How This DIY Blogger Transformed Her Dilapidated Fixer-Upper

published Aug 1, 2018
1 / 25
Jenni bought the house for $24,000 and completely gutted it in a whirlwind, four-month renovation. (Image credit: I Spy DIY)

Name: Jenni Radosevich of I Spy DIY
Location: Milwaukee
Size: 1,465 square feet
Years lived in: 1.5 years

As the founder of I Spy DIY, Jenni’s superpower is looking at a fabulous accessory or covetable piece of decor and saying, “I can do that.” So it’s little wonder that her entire house was one big do-it-yourself.

When Jenni first spied her $24,000, three-bedroom, two-bath abode, it was a fixer-upper with a lot of, um, potential. The roof was leaking, there were animals living in the walls, and “you could barely see it smelled so bad,” she says. “It was a complete wreck.”

Jenni soon learned the property was owned by the city, which meant it would require a proposal process. “They wanted someone who’d come in and live there, not flip it,” she says. “Someone who was going to invest in the neighborhood.” The city couldn’t have found someone more willing to invest.

Jenni enlisted the help of a real estate agent and Realtor® (a member of the National Association of Realtors®), who is one of Milwaukee’s top sellers and had a superpower of her own: helping first-time buyers like Jenni. The Realtor® worked with her for four weeks, helping file the proposal with the city. Cut ahead to Jenni winning the house, and then let the DIYs begin!

Jenni set her $100,000 reno budget on the fly as she vaulted ceilings, knocked down walls, and installed built-in shelving. She admits she didn’t sleep much while the house was in progress, but four months later, every inch of the space celebrates her eclectic-modern vibe. And it turns out creating a DIY home comes with fringe benefits: “I became a lot more confident in my skills through the renovation process,” she says of the whole experience.

(Image credit: Creative Studio)

With houses in her neighborhood now going for $250,000, Jenni is happy with her home-sized DIY: “My instincts turned out to be right, and that feels good. It’s a lot of work, but it’s amazing to have something that’s my own.”

(Image credit: I Spy DIY)
(Image credit: Creative Studio)


White paint throughout the house — HGTV HOME by Sherwin-Williams Extra White

World Market Desk
Jenny’s Print Shop Art Poppies and Hyacinth in Shutterfly Canvas in Walnut Frame
Vintage Frame
Target Rug
West Elm Chair (old)
Hobby Lobby Ladder
World Market Vase (old)
Antlers (from a local shop)
Target Chunky Knit Wool Woven Rug

Custom Coffee Table
Article Nirvana Dakota Tan Sofa
Article Pendula light
Article Tana Wood Stool
World Market Woven Basket
RugsUSA Jubilee Solid Braided Indoor/Outdoor
Hobby Lobby Blanket
Pillows – Mix of Target, Mudcloth, Marshall’s
Items on Shelves: Mix of World Market, West Elm, Amazon and Vintage
Bull Print by Amy Carroll for Minted

Thanks, Jenni!

This post is sponsored by the National Association of Realtors® and was created by Apartment Therapy’s Creative Studio. Realtors® are members of the National Association of Realtors®.
Thank you for supporting the brands that make Apartment Therapy possible.