Category: Decorate

The Water Closet

August 31

We’ve always got a project or two going on around here.  Sometimes it seems like they never end…one leading right into another in an endless cycle!  But that’s what we signed up for when we bought this old house, and for the most part, we really enjoy the process and of course, the outcome!  Even though we hardly ever splurge big on our renovations and spend much of the project loosing plenty of blood, sweat, and tears, we still find satisfaction getting our hands dirty doing as much as we possibly can ourselves!  We’ve tackled almost every floor and room of this house…but a couple still remain partially unchanged since we moved in 13 years ago.  So not only do we still have projects on the list, the maintenance cycle keeps us busy in between…and there’s usually an unexpected problem popping up here and there!  Oh, the joys of an old home!  And sometimes a tiny project can last years…making small changes along the way, one extra-bit-of-spending-money at a time!  Such is the case with our first floor powder room.  It was the least unfortunate looking of all the rooms when we moved in, so it remained the same while we attempted to alter the ones we really couldn’t stand!  We finally got around to stripping the wallpaper and changing the faucet but that’s where it ends…until now.  And even though it still isn’t finished, I’m going to share how it’s going so far…and will follow up with the final result!  I guess if I always waited until a project was TOTALLY completed, I’d never share anything!  See how we’ve started…

time for change…

Storage Style

August 22

Not too long ago one of my friends tried to convince me to blog about my kitchen hutch.  I really hesitated since in my opinion, there’s nothing really special about it!  I’ve shared it before when it was all dressed for the holidays, but I never thought of its every day appearance as being all that exciting.   Not that I don’t love it, but it humbly holds a hodgepodge of serving pieces and party supplies, snacks and baking utensils…just about anything really!  I’ve always liked to organize and store my supplies in a way that I don’t have to go digging when I need them…but that means that they need to be out in the open.  And even though it can look cluttered, having these things at my fingertips is much less stressful for me and visually helps me remember what I’ve got on hand so I don’t unnecessarily purchase something I don’t really need!  So I have this odd, little nook in my kitchen that really isn’t big enough for an eating area or much else for that matter!  Our side door is also located there which makes it almost impossible for that space to be functional!  Without having custom cabinetry built my only option was to find something that would actually fit…which ended up being an old hutch that had been in my son’s room displaying outgrown Lego creations & stuffed animals!  My nook now had a purpose…a place to store all those extra kitchen items that I previously didn’t have room for!  I love this hutch for hiding extra linens and grocery items in the deep drawers and the open shelving can show off all the cute stuff…even if it is utilitarian!  I can’t take any decorative credit for its appearance…the things I store here are nice looking all on their own!  I just display my prettiest serving pieces, and use glass containers to hold colorful baking cups, straws, and other fun party products!  But at the urging of my friend, I decided to go ahead and share how I organize in this tiny space…it’s simple, it’s fun, it’s useful, and I hope you can find some inspiration for your home!

time to organize…

Good Night in White!

July 27

I’ve been doing quite a bit of painting lately…for my Giggle creations, in my home, and as I posted on Monday…just about anything I can get my hands on!   My color of choice these days–white!  Each spring I love to purge my home of unnecessary clutter, a popular time of year to clean & organize.  But this year I also wanted to lighten and refresh my indoor spaces and there’s no better color than white to make things seem clean and bright!  I’ve learned over the years that for me, neutral colors work best for my walls and upholstery pieces…even though I am a sucker for color and pattern!  It takes great restraint on occasion when shopping for furniture or choosing paint colors since I usually gravitate toward choices far from neutral!  But I can keep my passion for patterns and ever changing color loves alive in my home when I purchase pillows, artwork, rugs, and accessories.  These things can often be inexpensive so I can swap them out when I feel the need for change!  So the latest room in need of something fresh happened to be our bedroom.  I sometimes feel like the bedroom is one of the last rooms I spend time on.  I suppose that’s because nobody really sees it but us!  And like many families, our bedroom is an accumulation of hand-me-down furniture and mismatched pieces that we love…but don’t really go together!  I had already painted some of our bedroom furniture to help remedy that situation but I wasn’t completely satisfied with the room as a whole.  I was ready for an update and the easiest way to do it was to paint the walls…and sticking to my personal lessons learned, I chose white!  See the simple ways I updated our space just by painting, a little organizing, and keeping things I love near!

bright mornings = good mornings!

A Little Summer Learning

June 13

So a really funny thing happened over the weekend…while I was continuing my spring cleaning, I gathered some old games, books, and flashcards to sort through and donate the ones the kids had outgrown.  I used to keep these items in a cupboard in my living room…it made it easy to grab those learning tools for some quick review and of course the games for when the words “I’m bored” were uttered!  Thinking my boys were WAY past the flash card days, I began to group them on the table and in my common fashion, got sidetracked by another task!  There sat a pile of cards…not just filled with math facts, but some with geographical questions and others with historical facts including American presidents.  To our complete surprise, my husband and I both overheard the boys talking about the presidents and soon realized that they were actually quizzing each other with those flashcards!  We all eventually got involved trying to answer the questions and everyone was ACTUALLY having fun!  Needless to say, I decided to hang on to that particular stack of cards!  This made me wonder if I left some of these items out on the coffee table if they might possibly get used?  I know most kids these days do have a share of summer homework…which I think is great!  However, when the subject of summer homework comes up in our house…let’s just say it’s not always a popular topic!  But this moment of active and unsolicited involvement with the flashcards left me with a glimmer of hope that some extra academic activities might take place if given an opportunity!  So I decided to gather a few learning tools and books of fun facts that I hadn’t yet gotten rid of to test this theory out!  What I noticed over the weekend was that the boys were just playing around and a family game of “questions” evolved!  My coffee table is now filled with the potential spur-of-the-moment family “game” or just some educational “browsing”…and I’m pretty sure it will encourage a little extra summer learning!

sneak in some summertime education!

Personal Gallery

April 11

If there’s one thing I love seeing in homes it’s a gallery wall!  Not only do they look great but they’re such a wonderful way to display the unique personalities of all who live within those walls!  It’s also lovely to highlight cherished photos or mementos that can take you on a stroll through memory lane each time you pass them!  The other thing I absolutely love about a gallery collection is that there are NO rules…which is the kind of decorating application that I follow religiously!  You just gather the things you love the most and start creating!  Today I’d like to share some simple suggestions and tips for creating a gallery wall for any room.  Have a peek at the one I started…

reveal your personality on a wall!

Spare Room Share…

February 24

After my little revelation last week I really did decide to make the best of what I’ve got…and what I’ve got is no room to craft!  But no matter, my spare bedroom has served as my “craft room” for years and with the exception of having to box up all my stuff when guests stay over (or just put my parents in that room…they’re used to the organized chaos!), the spare room/craft room has work out pretty well!  So I decided to spruce it up a bit, make it a little more organized, and make it look like it was intended to be this way all along!  I may not be able to have this entire space dedicated to crafting…but I can certainly make the best of it!  All it took was some cleaning, organizing, and finding items to contain lots of trinkets!  I only made a couple purchases to keep my supplies tidy so the bed could be free from boxes of buttons or whatever else is stacked upon the mattress!  All in all, I’m pretty happy with the results!  And I’m thrilled to say that plenty was re-purposed so that I didn’t just save money but created unique storage options that are as fun to look at as they are useful…which makes for a happy space to get creative in!  If i want, I can kick back on the bed for some “creative relaxation” too!  Have a peek at my spare room that shares a bit of…

my creative side

Fabric Refresh!

January 4

Here we are in 2016!  I hope everyone has gotten off to a great start in the first few days of the New Year!   I enjoyed the holiday break visiting with family and friends, eating way too much, and remaining 95% unplugged from technology for the entirety of our Christmas vacation!  The week prior to Christmas I was having some technical difficulties with the blog photos…any of you who view with your phones may have noticed that the photos were upside down or sideways!  I was planning on trying to figure out what was up with this technological glitch but honestly decided not to fret about it during the holiday!  I’m testing something new this morning and hope it works but if not, I promise to get to the bottom of this with much needed help from my friend who knows more about computers than I do!  But until then, I will keep moving forward with some DIY fun!  I don’t know about you, but when the holidays are over and all the decorations come down…my house seems a bit barren!  But I have mixed feelings about seeing everything go…while it’s sad to think of packing up all the festivity, the Christmas tree’s finest moments had withered and gone and I was feeling anxious for something fresh again.  I’d been thinking a little ahead over the break and I knew I wanted to make some kind of “artwork” to set on the cabinet in my living room after the holiday decor was gone.  It’s funny how ideas come to you sometimes isn’t it?  But while I was working on some Giggle mini magnet boards I found my inspiration.  I often come across interesting things inside the frames I purchase…and behind a framed 1943 teaching certificate was a simple piece of fabric turned backwards to fill the space between the paper and the backing.  When I flipped the fabric over I absolutely fell in love!  The pattern was so fun and graphic I decided to keep it in that small frame and use it in my home somewhere.  So that silly little scrap of vintage fabric inspired my DIY artwork for the empty space in my living room!

refresh a room with fabric…

Semi-New Chandelier!

December 11

I’ve been wanting a new chandelier in my dining room for many years!  At first it wasn’t in the budget with all the house projects we faced so we gave the original a coat of paint & some new shades and it was actually pretty cute for the time being!  It’s funny how so many years passed…even though I was always kind-of looking, we just never found the right replacement.  Honestly I almost always feel like there’s NEVER an ideal time to make a big purchase…but my latest desire to make a change had me pounding the pavement to find “the one”!  Much to my husband’s dismay, I occasionally get these urges for instant change…and then I’m on a mission to make it happen!  Unfortunately for me, sometimes my mission has many stumbling blocks…including cost!  But my quest for a chandelier allowed me to re-visit a suggestion from my husband…why not use the one hanging in the basement?  Well, my first reaction wasn’t that pleasant.  Years ago my in-laws brought us this old chandelier they found in an alley in Washington DC…you can imagine what this thing looked like!  I thought it was one of the ugliest lights I had ever seen…but I knew I could do something with what was left of its crystals…so we kept it.  Tucked away in our workshop gathering even more dust than it came with, I eventually depleted it of all of its drippy, teardrop crystals using them in countless Giggle projects.  But my recent desperation allowed me to take one more look…and we released it from the dungeon.  Hmmm…maybe I COULD work with this.  I have learned after years of junking never to judge by first appearances!  So i was off to get new candle stick covers, light bulbs, and yes, more crystals!  Luckily I had several acquired in my Giggle inventory and I was able to piece together much of what had been missing!  A quick trip to the antique store and I finally had enough to put this baby back together again!  Lots of elbow grease later we actually had a new chandelier!  My hubby is happy ’cause he was always partial to this thing–I’m happy ’cause I finally have something sparkly and unique!  And with a history that will definitely spark an interesting conversation, this semi-new chandelier was just what we were waiting for!

take a fresh look at what you already have…

Winter Whites!

December 9

There’s something so serene about decorating with white.  And using this color for the holidays is not only beautiful but still perfectly festive for Christmas and the winter months to follow!  However, no matter what color you’re using, you most likely won’t want to leave ALL your decorations up after the New Year begins…but some can easily transition to January and might keep a little cheer in the house after the tree comes down!  Even though I have lots of various shades of white in my house all year long…this Christmas I decided it would be nice to stick with the neutral color theme.  For me, using white is not just simple and calming, but at this time of year it can be somewhat enchanting!  And keeping with the theme of “simple” this year–some winter white is an easy way to make my holiday bright and joyful without all the fuss!

simply beautiful…white!

An Artful Room

September 21

On a recent visit to a friend’s home I was enamored with her spaces the moment I walked through the door!  Not that I haven’t been there before…but I guess I had forgotten the artful details and ingenious ideas she uses to display all the things that have so much meaning to her and her family!  Her home is layered with memories and representations of those who live there…almost everything in her home had a story–I love that!  I really wanted to share her living room with you today…I think what I love most is how she sees the beauty in ordinary items that are uncommonly celebrated…and yet when displayed in such a heartfelt way, they become as grand as a museum piece!  She truly is an artist…and I know this because I admire her sewn creations but also because I can see how she views uncommon treasures–revealing their beauty in seemingly effortless ways!  When I asked if I could come and take some photos for the blog I knew she would tidy up…I would too if someone were taking pictures!  But I’ve been to her home when it’s in a more “lived in” state…and believe me when I tell you that it still looks equally as lovely and artistically intriguing!  The take-away for me is to display what you love no matter what those things are…and you’ll succeed in creating inviting spaces that tell your story and the stories of those you love!  I hope you find as much inspiration as I did!

look into an artful room…