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More Information Than You Wanted to Know—Alllll About Me

Hi there! I’m Racheal and I am obsessed. This is the place that I share all that I am obsessed with… old houses made new, old items made new and paint allllllll over the walls!!

One question I get asked all the time is “where did you learn all this?”

Honestly, I think it’s genetic. My mom was a self-taught general contractor and my dad a self-taught everything else. I’ve been playing in construction homes for as long as I can remember. I don’t think my parents actually had me use any tools or work on any projects with them, but the proximity to the projects made me more comfortable with the process. As an adult I’ve had access to their tools and watched a lot of YouTube tutorials.

I got my start shortly after the birth of my second child. I was struggling with postpartum depression. I had a newborn with Down syndrome and a lot of health issues AND a 16 month old—I was crying everyday. It was hard, and I won’t go into it except to say that everyone should be going to therapy and I wish I was at the time.

Anyway… my husband went on a business trip and I was going crazy. So I got a babysitter and randomly wandered down to a tile store. I had this fireplace that I hated with all of my heart and wanted to tile over. I found some tile, some mastic and a trowel and went to town! The hideous fireplace disappeared and my house looked so much better! But more importantly, it made me feel confident and accomplished.

A few years ago my parents bought a 1950’s farmhouse. It needed A LOT of work. And they were kind of “over” doing projects themselves. So we worked out a deal. I’d renovate it (they’d trust me to renovate it!), and afterward they’d rent the house out to us.

So, with a 9-week-old baby (#3!) strapped to my back, I renovated the crap out of this place. And I LOVED it.

Before I moved in, I had spent a lot of time on instagram and in homes of friends and noticed that all these put together spaces had one thing in common: they were neutral. So, I painted all the walls grey and installed all white tile. White cabinets, white trim. “Mature”.

After living in “maturity” for a year I came to the conclusion that I am just not a neutral person. So I began the journey of painting all the walls. Introducing color. Stripes. Funk. I made this place a reflection of my family—colorful, slightly bizarre and awesome.

Oh! Why Banyan Bridges?

Good question. You see, in Hilo, Hawaii there is a park called Rainbow Falls. Here there are several large banyan trees, I want to say they’re at least 60 feet tall, but let’s be real, I’m making that number up. They’re big.

Up at the top of these trees the branches intertwine, forming a canopy, or, if you’re stupid and reckless, a bridge.

I am a tree climber. Trees speak to my soul and climbing them gives me life. So, of course, I climbed these trees. As high as I could go. And once I reached the top of one I used this terrifying “bridge” to cross to the other one. As I said, this was reckless. Don’t do this. It terrified me and there was a point where I almost fell! Mini heart attack, adrenaline pumping—the works. Moral of the story is, it was something that scared me, and I did it anyway. 

Starting Banyan Bridges has taken me WAY outside my comfort zone and has helped me grow. I hope to help you step outside your comfort zone too! Pick up that hammer! Paint those walls! But for heaven’s sake, DO NOT try to cross that banyan bridge.