Krista Wells chronicles her styling journey as she creates something unique in every room of her St. John’s home
When you set foot into the porch of Krista Wells’s home, you immediately get a sense of her unique style. She believes it’s the rich colour she painted the room that makes it one of her favourite DIY projects to date.
“I took a risk, and I went with a really deep burgundy on the vertical shiplap,” says Wells from her turn-of-the-century home. “There’s a rug with some burgundy and some blue in it and we had chevron tile installed. And everything in that room just came together perfectly. Exactly the way I envisioned it … So, it’s the first impression you get when you walk in.”
Wells and her family live in a neighbourhood known as Georgestown in St. John’s, N.L. It was previously her husband’s childhood home and when her in-laws were moving out in 2018, they decided to scoop it up. Since then, she’s made her mark on the space with creative flair.
Wells also documents her work on her Instagram channel Georgestownonmymind, which has more than 10,000 followers.
Her house is filled with projects she’s taken on: old furniture turned new, walls splashed with deep colours, fixtures made to her exact specifications.
“I love the satisfaction of creating something and seeing that vision come to life with my very own hands,” she says.
Wells also takes on design jobs for others and says it’s satisfying to see people’s faces when you’ve helped them make a home more enjoyable to be in.
One of her first handy projects, with some enlisted help from her husband, was a coffee table made from pallets. It sparked a passion for DIY. She picked up some tools, started watching YouTube videos and asked people for their tips and tricks.
Over the past few years, Wells has accumulated several skills. For instance, she says she’s better at math now. There’s also a myriad of tools under her belt and she’s no longer afraid of the miter saw. She’s also working on her confidence to wield the table saw.
“I have no problem using a nail gun at all,” she says. “I can hang anything and everything at this point. I’ve become friends with most of the folks who work at Kent, because I spend so much time there.”
She’s also learned some design skills and computer programs for rendering.
One of her favourite home projects was creating a passageway from the master bedroom into a spare bedroom to make a dressing room.
“Knocking down that wall was the most liberating thing at a very difficult time,” says Wells, who is a teacher. Last year she and her Grade 1 class had to switch to online learning, and she was feeling anxious about the change and needed an outlet. “I channeled all of those feelings into that project.”
The dressing room makeover also marked several firsts; the first time she got to take down a wall, as well as install gyprock and plaster, which she vows to never do again. “There’s a reason people pay to have that done.”
The dressing room also has one of the trickier elements she’s ever taken on: wallpapering the ceiling. It took two extra hands to get it done. The wallpaper is from Texas-based Dizzy with Excitement, and Wells has since done video tutorials for that company on how to install wallpaper.
Her bedroom also has another fine feature: a mirror that hangs over the fireplace. Wells says she initially had her eye on a West Elm mirror, but it was pricey and couldn’t be shipped to her. Instead, she made her own.
It was easy, she says. All she needed was some plywood, a bunch of smaller square mirrors, spray paint and wood strapping to create the ideal sized, and priced, mirror.
All but one room has at least one of her flipped pieces of furniture. In her office loft, that piece is her desk. She got it for $40 on Facebook Marketplace from a man in Trinity, a three-hour-drive from St. John’s. At the time, the desk wasn’t exactly office-worthy.
“It was too short,” she recalls. “It was like midway between a desk and a coffee table.
So, I added legs on the bottom of it and then gave it a good sand and paint. I love it because every time I look at it, I’m like ‘I made it!’ It’s pretty awesome to be able to upcycle furniture and things like that.”
Wells records her projects on Instagram, which has led to partnerships. Back in the summer of 2020, she was approached by Kent Building Supplies to document her crafting journey through video tutorials. She says it’s a dream collaboration because she already does so much of her shopping there.
She’s also thankful for the opportunities that have arisen since she began publicly showing her work, including the chance to team up with the Candlelighters Association of Newfoundland and Labrador and style the bedroom of a teenage girl with leukemia.
While her account is filled with beautiful rooms, Wells understands social media often only shows the most glamorous and curated projects. For instance, redoing her bedroom was a six-month project, but social media can make things seem like they happen in a blink of an eye.
“I always say to people, homes take time. Many hours go into each of those projects.”
Wells says she’s not a professional and she’s still learning. She had wanted to create a plaid paint pattern in her office closet but it didn’t go well, so she showed that to her audience, as well as when she got it right by wallpapering the space instead.
“I think it’s important to share the highs and the lows,” says Wells. “Things don’t always go as planned.”