My name is Amanda Vernaci and I live in Michigan with my husband, TJ and our two little boys, AJ and Jordan! I am a fearless, self-taught, DIY-er empowering women around the world to transform their homes on a budget. Follow along with me to laugh and learn together!
One day, I decided it was time to stop waiting. We aren’t promised tomorrow so I didn’t want to spend another day wishing for what could be. I knew there had to be other people out there in the same situation so I decided to create a place where people could come to learn how to make ANY space they have into a place they were proud to call home and invite people in to come stay awhile!
Nothing ever goes according to plan and I usually find myself in some interesting situations. There is no feeling like stepping back after overcoming obstacles during a tough project and knowing that YOU DID THAT!
I was born and raised in Michigan and we are lifers here! We absolutely love that we get to enjoy all of the seasons and nothing beats Michigan summers up north spending the time on the water!
I’m a huge advocate for only buying the tools you need for the project at hand. There is no need to go buy a bunch of expensive tools all at once. Start with whatever you need for your current project and build/upgrade your tool collection overtime. That’s how I did it! Here is a link to my most recommended tools for DIYers!
When I started Come Stay Awhile in January 2019, we were living in a small 1,000 sq ft rental home while my husband, TJ, finished veterinary school. I would often get frustrated watching my friends buy their first houses and start families while we felt stuck in a temporary rental home. One day, I decided that instead of waiting for our next home, I wanted to make the most of what we had NOW. We weren’t promised tomorrow so I didn’t want to spend another day wishing or waiting for what was next. I launched Come Stay Awhile with the intention to help change the narrative that you don’t need a huge expensive house or boat loads of money to make it feel like home. I wanted to help people discover the potential of the homes they are in and how they can transform them into a place they are proud to call home. My hope was to create a positive place where people can come to feel uplifted, inspired and empowered to tackle projects of their own!
I get this question ALL THE TIME! People always want to know where I learned how to do what I do and the truth is… it’s mostly self-taught. We bought our first home in the middle of the pandemic and we didn’t have the resources or money to spend on big expensive renovations so I decided if I wanted my house to look a certain way, I was going to have to do it myself! I bought my first power drill and started my first DIY project. With each project I’ve tackled since that day, I sharpen my skills and learn new tools. All it takes to DIY is the will to learn and the patience to try… and try again when you mess up (because you will) but that’s ok! That’s how we learn!
I brainstormed for weeks over what to name this community. I wanted it to be home related because I knew that would be my focus but I also wanted it to encompass much more than that.
Come Stay Awhile felt right because of two things:
Family and work/life balance are the most important things to me. What’s the point of working if we don’t ever allow ourselves time away to enjoy the life we’ve built? It can be challenging with a job on social media that is available to be consumed 24/7 but I’ve set boundaries that I am not on, on the weekends so I can be with my family and I take my weeknights off to spend time with my husband and my son. I treat this job just like any other with set “hours” so that I can make the most of the precious time I have on this earth spent with the people I love.
If you’ve been here a while, you know I am a sucker for neutrals. Instead of using heavy colors, I like when things feel soft, warm and inviting.
Walls: Repose Gray by Sherwin Williams (the perfect neutral wall color that goes with warm or cool tones), Alabaster by Sherwin Williams (warmer white), Snowbound by Sherwin Williams (neutral white), Chantilly Lace by Benjamin Moore (bright white), Blank Canvas by Behr (warm/neutral white)
My Interior Doors/Window Trim: Even Better Beige by Behr
Baseboards: Pure White
Accent Colors: Grizzle Gray by Sherwin Williams, Pigeon by Farrow and Ball, Evergreen Fog by Sherwin Williams
Gosh, this question is tough because I am so proud of all of my projects. Each project I overcame hurdles and learned new skills that prepared me for the following project so they are all so special to me but I think my favorite so far is our current kitchen renovation. We bought a house that was stuck in the 90s with SUCH good bones in October 2022 and I knew that one of the first projects I wanted to tackle was the kitchen. Not just a kitchen upgrade but a FULL kitchen gut job. I was super intimidating because I had never done a project this large but I was eager and excited to take on the challenge. If you’ve been here a while, you’ll know that I never back down from a challenge! I have overcome so much throughout this renovation and am so proud of what I’ve done. From simply planning, designing and measuring to installing new cabinets ALL BY MYSELF… it truly is my dream space and I still feel so proud when I look at how beautiful it turned out. There is still a lot to be done in this space but it’s come SO FAR.
TJ and I have a fun story of how we met. We met in 2013 when we were both working for the Detroit Pistons. I was an NBA dancer for 3 seasons and he was on the acrobatic dunk team, The Flight Crew. (You know… the guys who run, jump on the trampolines and dunk!? Yeah, that was TJ!) We have SO many incredible memories from this season of our lives and feel so blessed to share them together. We dated for a year and half before we got engaged and got married in July 2015! He is my favorite person to dream and do life with. Together we have a son, AJ, who lights up our world.
We have both always felt called to having two kids. We currently have an almost 3 year old son, AJ, and I am pregnant with our second child now! We are waiting to find out the gender until birth! We always dreamed that our kids would be 3-4 years apart (this is the same distance we have with our siblings too). We trust God’s plan and are excited for what He has in store for our family.
Unfortunately, at this time I am not taking on clients. I’ve done this in the past and it’s just too hard to transport all of my tools and travel for the projects. I do however, have a fun segment that I do on Fridays on my social platforms called Spruce My Space where you can submit a photo of your space and I will mock up what I would do if it were my own!
I actually have my Bachelor’s Degree in Web Design and Interactive Media. I also have certifications in graphic design, SEO & google analytics. I worked just shy of 10 years in web design and development before officially launching Come Stay Awhile. I have always had an entrepreneur heart and have always been a BIG dreamer. I truly believe that God put me on this career path so that I could gain all the skills I would need to be able to create the community you know today as Come Stay Awhile. I truly hate the word ‘influencer’.
Growing your social media into a full-time business takes a lot of time, hard-work and dedication. I really don’t think most people understand how much hustle happens behind the scenes. Social media has changed our lives and I am passionate about teaching you how it can change yours too. I developed a course, The Influencer Academy, that teaches you everything you need to know about how you, too, can turn social media into a full-time job! Click here to learn more.
Ahh yes! Nothing better than saving money, am I right? Click here to view a list of all of my active coupon codes!
The most asked question! The answer is yes! We are planning what this will look like going forward but it’s definitely something that I want to bring back. I love being able to show you what I would do with YOUR spaces! It’s a fun way to bring the Come Stay Awhile design to your homes and give you ideas for your homes. I am unsure when it will make its weekly return, but it’s on our list of things to tackle and plan for in 2023! Not sure what Spruce My Space is? Here’s an example!