Updating a mirror backed hutch with foam board and stencils

Our dining room hutch had a mirrored back and I was itching to give it a new look. Its look changed dramatically with just foam board and a stencil. I cut the foam board to fit over the mirrors and stenciled it with the Casablanca stencil from Cutting Edge stencils. Adding a stenciled back and removing the doors was an inexpensive way to get a whole new look. Updating the mirrored backed hutch with a new stenciled back changed the feel of the dining room from formal to more casual.
In the years 16 years we’ve lived in this house the dining room has undergone several changes. The builder’s white became a most horrible yellow in the early days here. I struggled over picking a color and ended up picking a bad one. Next it was a dark red which was a big trend in dining rooms in the 90s.
hutch with blue and white transferware dishes
This dining room suit was a cheap buy when we needed furniture for the room because we moved our old dining room furniture to the basement. It’s definitely not something I’d pick today.
hutch in believable buff dining room
When I wanted to lighten up the red walls, I painted it Believable Buff by Sherwin Williams. It was a good neutral and I didn’t tire of it so quickly.     hutch with stenciled back
Now, jumping on the gray bandwagon, the walls are Agreeable Gray, a taupey gray, by Sherwin Williams. Here’s how the hutch looks today with the doors removed and the stenciled back. Are you embracing all the pretty gray shades?   hutch
It was too busy looking with the fretwork on the doors and the the stenciled back. There was too much going on so I removed the doors. I never really liked them anyhow! Be gone doors!
mirrored back hutch, stenciled back, white ironstone 2
The dining room is slowly getting a new look. It’s a work in progress right now. I’m working on painting the hall and living room before I can call it done.   mirrored back hutch, stenciled back, white ironstone
My white ironstone collection looks pretty good with the hutch’s new look.     stencil on foam board
Working with foam board is not my favorite thing, it was difficult to cut and I would suggest practicing first if you want to cut it. I did get better as I went along. You’ll need a sharp exacto knife and a straight edge.   foam board stencil


After it was cut I stenciled it. I taped it back together to make it easier to stencil. Can you see how it curled after it dried? To try to remedy that I turned it over and piled some weight on the ends. It worked in a kinda/sorta way. Super strength double faced tape works well to hold it in place in the hutch but I need to add a few more pieces in spots that don’t stick well.
hutch door hinges
I had to stain the areas where the door hinges were. I left them like that and didn’t try to hide the fact that there were doors on this piece. So with just a few more pieces of double faced tape this little project will be finished and I’m calling it imperfectly fine.

When the painting is finished I’ll be pulling out some autumn decorations. We’ve had a few cool nights and it feels like autumn is in the air. What have you been up to, decorating for fall?

Thanks for visiting! Debra (((xx)))

Improvising a Burlap tablecloth from Landscapers burlap

Our patio table is so old, about 20 years I think. Originally it was white but we painted it black a few summers ago. While there’s nothing wrong with it, I’d love to have a new set. Every time I find one I really like, it costs over a thousand dollars and that’s just too costly for us.
I can’t remember how many sets of cushions we’ve been through, but the current ones are teal, black and brown. Changing out the cushions every few years isn’t the problem, it’s the glass top table that I don’t like.  It has a design on it and I think after 20 some years I’m just tired of it!
glass topped table on patio
This is a big square table and no tablecloths are made to fit it properly. To get rid of that glaring glass look I improvised a tablecloth from landscapers burlap.
burlap roll
You can find this type of burlap on rolls at garden centers and home improvement stores. I got this roll at Lowe’s for about ten dollars for a 24‘ by 3’ roll. It’s used mostly for protecting shrubs in winter and when seeding new lawns.
burlap tablecloth
I cut 2 lengths of burlap for the table, not worrying about where they overlap when laid on the table. It’s almost impossible to cut burlap straight but you can take care of that later. Any wrinkles in the burlap will disappear in a few days.
You can even out the ends by pulling out some of the threads to fray the edges a little on the cut ends. I didn’t cut the other edges, the selvedge edges of the burlap but you could if you want.
burlap table cover patio
If you don’t like seeing where the burlap overlaps, you can put down a table runner. This twig runner came from Target.
burlap table cover patio2
Rolls of burlap from the garden center can be used in so many ways. I can see it as table runners for any outdoor party and just imagine all the ways it could be used in spring or Christmas décor…..big full bows, wrapped in and around tree branches, wreathes, ornaments and more.
Next time you’re in a garden center check out those rolls of burlap!
We had a week of gorgeous weather but now the 3 H’s are back again…hazy, hot and humid! I got so much work done outside and the garden is giving us so many tomatoes but not the tomatoes we thought!! Seems the plants were mislabeled and we ended up with a bunch of yellow tomatoes and grape tomatoes! What I thought was yellow squash ended up being butternut squash. Somebody must have been playing with the plant markers at the garden store.

Thanks for visiting! Debra (((xx)))


Using silver spray paint with furniture wax, redecorating the Dining room

One thing leads to another in redecorating a space. I’m in the middle of redecorating the dining room and it’s never as easy as slapping a different color of paint on the walls.  Painting furniture and recovering chair seats and adding new accessories are part of the process.

This dining room project on a burgundy colored bombe chest was a total experiment. I wanted a silver luxe look without too much gloss and I wanted to make this project simple by using spray paint. So on went my thinking cap and this is what I came up with. Using spray paint with Annie Sloan waxes.  drawers


I looked but couldn’t find a picture of the bombe chest before I painted it, but it was dark and had a flower design on the front of the drawers. It was an inexpensive piece so I had no qualms about painting it. Going over this piece with liquid sander, which is sometimes called deglosser was the first step.  Easy, no sanding involved! After it dried I sprayed it with Krylon metallic aluminum. It was really shiny and bright, not at all the look I was going for. That’s where the wax came into play.

spray paint wax

I mixed a little dark wax with clear wax and rubbed it on. I liked it immediately. It had the color I wanted and the wax knocked down the sheen.

silver painted bombe chest

I distressed  the drawer fronts and edges but that didn’t photograph too well, but you get the idea.

Anew gray from Sherwin Williams

The new paint color on the walls is Anew Gray, it’s a gray with tan in it, a greige. It works well with cool and warm tones.

Anew gray from Sherwin Williams DR

Here’s a look at the newly recovered chair seats.

painted bombe chest and silver

You can get a glimpse of the china cabinet with its doors removed and a newly stenciled back, that was another project that I’ll be sharing later.

I’ll be painting the living room in Agreeable Gray, a slightly lighter color if I ever get done with this project.Thinking smile It always takes me forever! I got some new pieces in there and a pretty new rug.

Have you used gray in your home or do you think this trend will be over soon?


Follow along on instagram, we’ll be at the beach for a few days with surf, sand and sun!

Thanks for visiting! Debra (((xx)))


Upper cabinet project in kitchen is finally complete


This kitchen cabinet project has gone on forever it seems but I’m happy to say it is finished! From the café curtains to the finishing and painting of all cabinets, it’s done and I am so happy about that!

Here’s a recap and the official reveal of the finished projects.

breakfast area

Here’s a look at the board and batten project that we did last winter, refinishing my Mom’s table and new fabric panels on the windows.

bakers rack kitchen

Looking through the kitchen and the baker’s rack freshly painted with Annie Sloan’s chalk paint.

pantry wall

Here’s my post about painting the cabinets with Benjamin Moore’s Advance paint. I love how this side of the kitchen turned out. Getting rid of the bifold doors really takes the kitchen up a notch! Notice we added doors below the microwave too.

kitchen stripped runner

A new runner from Rugs USA has the perfect colors for the kitchen’s new look.

stove kitchen

The next project might be replacing the tile backsplash with subway tile. Getting rid of the shelves on this end of the island added a lot of extra space to move around. This was the 2nd transformation of the island, remember this one,  from white to dark red?

upper cabinets

Adding tolix stools to the island is on my to-do list.Something like this,


shelf kitchen

A cute shelf was added above the kitchen window.


In the 16 years we’ve lived in this house there have been a few kitchen makeovers. Back splash sink, granite…..it’s ever evolving!

What’s next, I’m thinking of removing some wallpaperSad smile

I have been on a hiatus because I’ve been sick for the last 3 weeks. What started out as a sinus/allergy problem became a virus with a cough and aches and pains that seem to last forever! I’m sick and tired of coughing my guts out and the throbbing headache that comes with it! I’m sick and tired of feeling lousy and I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired! I’ve been to the Dr twice now and am very slowly starting to feel better. I’m itching to start a new project!


Thanks for visiting! Debbie (((xx)))

A Guest Post and Feature Friday from The Old Painted Cottage

Hello! So very nice to meet you. My name is Jennifer, and I blog over at The Old Painted Cottage. I’m excited to be guest blogging here for Debra today!

My husband, Adam, and I live in a cozy 1200 square foot ranch-style home, in Southern California. We purchased our home 4 years ago, and we’ve been renovating it ever since. It was in sad, desperate shape when we first laid eyes on it.

See for yourself. Here was the kitchen, the day we moved in, complete with missing oven door and painted dishwasher…

With little to no prior DIY experience, the two of us have tackled every single last square inch of this house.

Here’s how the kitchen looked after we singlehandedly ripped out all the old kitchen cabinets, tile, sink and appliances…

When we first started moving in, nearly all of our old furnishings (which were mostly leftovers from my Shabby Chic, let’s paint everything white and put a rose on it phase) didn’t hold up in our new home. I tried it every which way, but this ranch-style home just begged for something new and completely different, so I reinvented my style as I went. If you look at my blog from 3 and 4 years back, you can witness firsthand the photographic documentation of my style evolution unfold in many of my older posts.

I’m really happy with the end result. Our home feels cozy, intimate and speaks to both my husband and I, which is very important.

Among other things, I’m an antique dealer, so many of the furnishings in our home are the result of leaving the house before dawn and hitting the flea markets with flashlights and cash in hand. While I primarily buy for clients and my online website, if something catches my eye that’s perfect for our home, that baby is coming home with me!

Our kitchen we completely ripped out and renovated from scratch. The cabinets, butcherblock countertops and sink are from IKEA. The island is from JC Penney. The pendant lights were found on eBay. The subway tile is from Home Depot. And the small white sideboard Adam rescued from the trash outside of a wood workshop.

We had our handyman build the two chunky white shelves in the dining room, and the 11 foot fishermans table was built by my husband and myself.

Our master bedroom is actually quite tiny in size, so a large statement piece, such as this mantel turned headboard provides a perfect focal point for the space. I found the mantel on the side of someone’s house and offered them $100 for it. I dragged it home, painted it, upholstered it along with matching fabric covered buttons and the rest is history…

bedroom luggage3

bedroom luggage6

bedroom luggage9

bedroom luggage1

Although we have nearly everything completed (with the the exception of our master bath – that one’s going to require adequate time and funds), I still manage to come up with new projects all the time. I love interior design, and as I’ve often been told, I have "ants in my pants" by those that know me best. Just when it’s complete, I’m ready to start all over again with an entirely new concept. Keeps my husband on his toes : )

Thanks again to Debra for graciously allowing us to share our home with you lovely readers!


  Thank you Jennifer for guest posting and giving us a delightful tour. Your home is full of great ideas and inspires us all. Those “ants in the pants” must be part of your creative process that help you achieve your dream.  I’m going to take a look back a few years in your blog to see how your style has evolved.


Thanks for visiting! Debra (((xx)))

Café curtains in the kitchen

When I was young café curtains were in almost every kitchen. Gradually they were replaced by mini-blinds, wooden blinds, roller shades and bamboo shades.  I had 1 inch wooden blinds with a valance in my kitchen, but like everything else, after so many years I wanted a new look.  Café curtains are the replacements!

cafe curtain

I’ve been noticing that café curtains are being used again and decided to make some for my kitchen. Here’s a peek of the fabric. I haven’t sewn them yet, I was just testing out different lengths. I bought this fabric last year with the intention to use it for cushion covers and a window treatment in the kitchen but over the year I started rethinking that….I just wasn’t crazy over the fabric anymore. Ugh…..why does that happen….I hate when that happens!


But I decided to use it anyhow and now I’m starting to like it again. It looks great with the new wall color and my Annie Sloan painted pumpkins.

z cafe curtain

source This was my inspiration for café curtains and a shelf above my kitchen window. Speaking of kitchens, on Monday the trim will start to go up around my upper cabinets.


These sunny yellow curtains are hung just above the sill.


These cute curtains were made from napkins, no sewing involved. Another no sew method, café curtains would be easy to create using heat tape. They use so little fabric you could change the the look often or for every season.

I’m starting to paint the kitchen cabinets now so the work is progressing. Can’t wait til it’s done!

What are you working on? Got any projects going?

Happy Fall!


Thanks for visiting! Debra (((xx)))

front porch decorating for Fall

Our front porch is ready for a new look for Fall but I’m not quite sure how I’m going to give it it’s autumnal look. My vintage wicker planter won’t be used on the front porch, I’ll have to use these urns with coleus that have grown to giant size.

green front door

If I put them in the inner corner they will stay good looking until it gets really cold and are hit by frost. I’ll leave one on it’s pedestal and put the other on the porch floor and decorate around them.

coleus in urn


If you’re interested in lots more front porch ideas and decorating for Fall, Dave and Mary Morris have written an ebook full of inspiration, Front Porch Ideas and More. You’ll see a lot of names you recognize featured in this 251 page ebook which sells for $6.97. My feature starts on page 114 and I’m thrilled to have my porch featured! This is an affiliate program so if you choose to buy through this link I’ll get a small commission. Smile

Click Here to get your copy!


image Let’s get decorating for Fall!   I must have the Fall decorating bug! My previous post was all about fall decorating too.


Thanks for visiting! Debbie (((xx)))

Tour a model home #2

I mentioned previously that my daughter is building a new home and we got to tour some models. The second model home we toured was brightly decorated. The walls were neutral and all the accents were colorful. I was smitten as soon as I walked in!  That lime green chair was so pretty surrounded by red, orange, blue, green and gold. In case you missed it here’s the model home tour #1.2012_08_12_6265

I was so enamored by the colors that I didn’t pay much attention to the house itself, except to notice that it was large.

z green chair

Here’s that beautiful green chair, the one that called my name when I entered. Yes, it has my head turning out tons of ideas how to use a similar fabric in my home.

z throw pillows

There were touches of blue throughout, on the stacking tables and in pillows.

z open floor plan

This was another open floor plan without a formal dining area. there was a small room to the right of the foyer that could be used as an office or dining room..

z living dining room

The colors worked so well together.z kitchen

See that area to the right of where the refrigerator goes….that’s a humungous walk in pantry!

z powder room

Green cabinets in the powder room.

z girls room

Pretty girl’s room done in pink, orange and aqua.

z boys room

Boy’s room in a nautical theme.

z jack jill bath

This was the Jack and Jill bath featuring all the colors used in the house.

z master bedroom

Here’s a little glimpse into the master. This room had softer color.

z master bath z master bath2

There were 2 separate vanities in the master bath. Mine would be the messy one!

z great room

In the family room over garage were still more bright colors.

z hall

Looking from master into FROG.

z top of stairs

Looking down the stairs and hall.

z colorful chair

And yet more bright color on the basement family room. Maybe all these colors aren’t for everyone but I sure did like the great room, dining and kitchen!


I’m still up here in Canandaigua but will probably be home tomorrow. I found 2 Home Goods stores in one day! I felt like I won the lottery! I may have bought a few things Winking smile



Thanks for visiting! Debbie (((xx)))

A model home tour

Recently I toured model homes in western NY with my daughter. She’s building a new home and it was fun to check out how the models were decorated. This one was done in blue, gray and taupe tones and had a soft serene feeling. I loved this place from the moment I stepped in the front door, that is, until I saw model #2, I’ll share that one in another post.

front porch

Enter from small front porch with board and batten shutters, gray siding, black door and stacked stone.

kitchen shaker cabinets

The kitchen had shaker style cabinetry, grey tiled backsplash and pretty granite.


kitchen island

This island was huge and had blue cabinets.

kitchen sink

A giant sized kitchen sink and you can see the granite choice. It had a soft, subtle pattern and felt much less busy than the granite in my kitchen. Of course I liked it….now I want to change everything I have! That’s not gonna happen.

fireplace stacked stone

More stacked stone and some pretty built-ins surrounding the fireplace.

fireplace stacked stone2

Could that rug be from Ballards? Check out the side table, sticks are definitely in style! Behind this chair are the stairs to the lower level.

masterbath bedroom chair

The master bedroom was filled with light from a wall of windows.

masterbath bedroom

Pretty blue walls in this room.

masterbath bedroom 3

Pocket doors into the master bath.

masterbath storage

A built in storage niche.

masterbath shower


masterbath shower2

A five foot shower with a bench and great looking tile.

masterbath vanity

These cabinets were a pale grey and the countertop was a plain matte white.


A second bedroom on the main level.

hall bath

In person this bath was beautiful! I loved the dark tiled floor and the vanity painted taupe.


A peek into the laundry room with marble tiled floors.


Looking up from the lower level.

family room

This is the large family room in the lower level. This house had tons of windows and was full of light.

family room2

Someone I might know just hamming it up for a picture. There was a wet bar in this room too.

bath lower level

There is another bedroom and bath on this level. The colors in this tile were the ones used throughout the home.


A workshop was on this level too. It had large windows and a door to the outside! A DIY’ers dream!

This is the home my daughter is building with some changes. They’ve figured out a great floor plan the almost eliminates the hallway and works better for them.

The next model home was decorated completely differently and I’ll be posting that next.


I’m still here in NY, I haven’t really done much moving but I’ve been watching Mia and that is exhausting. She is one little 4 year old who talks non-stop and goes and goes and goes. Confused smile



Thanks for visiting! Debbie (((xx)))

The redecorated Family room Reveal

In January we started work on painting our family room, adding board and battens and redecorating. I’m happy to say the room is done, well, about 99% done. The golds and reds of the 90s are gone and we’ve got a new lighter look.

Here’s the tour and all the projects it took to get to this point.

First we painted the top walls palladian blue, an historic color from Benjamin Moore and painted the bottom a premixed white. Next we put up the board and battens.family room

We ordered a new couch from Hickory Craft and got our comfortable chairs and ottoman slipcovered.  The wire basket from TJ Maxx is a good place to throw newspapers or pillows.

couch coffeetable board and batten

The window panels came from Target and the pillows from TJ MAXX. I love that store for home accessories. They always have the best stuff.


The clock got a makeover with homemade chalk paint and I brought in the lamps from the living room. The mannequin came up from the basement.

family room stenciled table2

This sweet little Annie Sloan chalk painted table with a Royal Design stencil is used in the room, where ever it’s needed.

cece-caldwell-chalk-paint 2

The bombe chest was painted with CeCe Caldwell chalk paint.

stone fireplace

The black lantern is from Pottery Barn outlet, silver trays and horses head are thrifted pieces and the pallet sign is a DIY project.

urn, chalk paint chair, antlers

The side chair got a new look and the urn came from a thrift shop. I like how the antlers look in the urn.

plate wall

I created a free form plate wall that wraps around the corner, above a repurposed yardsale dresser that now holds the tv. A vintage stool is from an antique store and rope trim was added to a plastic planter. And yet another pillow from TJ Maxx. I found the galvanized box in my husband’s stash.

slipcover chair ottoman

Here are our slipcovered chairs with an old shutter from the re-build it store. Check out my cool old rotary phone.


I love how the slipcovers turned out with their little pleated skirts. My slipcover gal does a great job. Slipcovering is one project I won’t do, I think I would get so frustrated and wouldn’t finish, so I’m happy to have someone else do it.

black lamp shade

My husband’s black lamp is old and really heavy. I was going to look for a new one but I think I’ll keep this one. It serves us well because it has two light bulbs, one on either side.


familyroom coffee table restoration Hardware knockoff

And finally our Restoration Hardware coffee table knockoff. I think it turned out great and I can stash some baskets or wooden boxes underneath for added storage.

The red and gold is gone, but it took a ton of projects to get this room done.  I still want to tweak it a little and add in a few more things on the walls and in some empty spots, but I want to keep it light and comfy looking.

a family room1

Here’s a before of the clock and bombe chest that were made over and chairs that got slipcovered.


Here’s the giant tv armoire that got moved to the basement and the chair that was made over.

When we started this project we also painted the kitchen and powder room. Yesterday I painted the vanity with ASCP and I still want to make some shelves for in there. In the kitchen I’m still working on the top cabinets. The weather has been too darn hot to work outside and I’ve been invaded by zucchini so I’ve slowed down on projects, but it’s getting there. Smile

So what do you think? Will board and batten be on its way out soon and define the early 21st century as a decorating trend? Or will it stay around a while? Will blue/greens be replaced by a new darker color?

Thanks for visiting! Debbie (((xx)))

DIY Knockoff, How to make a Restoration Hardware coffee table Part 2

The DIY Restoration Hardware coffee table project is now finished! It’s a fairly simple DIY and will definitely get you the look for less. So here’s how to make a Restoration Hardware coffee table.  Part 1 is HERE.

 welded coffee table frame

Part 1 is here. We used angle iron to create the base. It needs to be welded together, so you will need to find someone to do that for you. A friend maybe, or check a metal shop or a welding shop.

This project originally was intended to use pallet wood for the top, but after a lot of work creating that top, it just didn’t cut it. Despite all our efforts, the wood didn’t lay flat and the top looked too thin for the base.

pallet project1

Here’s the pallet wood laid out for the top. I loved the way it looked and was so disappointed that it didn’t work out,


We glued the pallet wood to a piece of plywood.

pallet table top

Next, we weighted it down while the glue dried.

pallet top plywood

This is the old piece of plywood we glued to the back. It fit inside the frame. I was planning on sanding it to make it look better. I didn’t get a picture of how this top looked on the base. Thumbs down  No good. Too thin, not flat, a total failure!   Failure #1.

boards coffee table top

Off to Lowe’s we went to get some new boards for the top. We used 2” x 6’” boards this time. We laid them side by side and used 3 pieces of 1” wood to fasten them together. You can see how those pieces fit inside the frame to keep the top from moving.


We used 3 pieces of 1” wood across the bottom and screwed them in place.

boards coffee table top 2

The top lays on top of the frame, it’s not fastened to the frame. The 1” boards fit inside the frame.

 staining top

Now it was time to get to work on finishing the wood. I started by sanding, then stained the top with a gray stain. I used a practice board to get an idea of how the stain would look and ended up adding water to the water based stain to make it lighter.

When we took the top inside, it was way too dark! Failure #2. I ended up sanding, sanding and sanding off a lot of the stain to get the look I saw in my mind.

2family room coffee table. restoration hardware knockoff

Here it is all finished and in the family room!

 3 family room coffee table. restoration hardware knockoff

Before I stained the top, I beat it up with a hammer and whatever I could find to add dings and scrapes in the wood.

4 family room coffee table. restoration hardware knockoff

I like it!

5 family room coffee table. restoration hardware knockoff


 55 family room coffee table. restoration hardware knockoff


56 family room coffee table. restoration hardware knockoff

What do ya think? Here’s my DIY version.

coffee table. restoration hardware knockoff

Here’s the original.


It’s longer and looks lower but our DIY version costs MUCH less! Here’s the cost breakdown.

The original $1500-2000 depending on the size!

Our DIY version, angle iron $114.

welding, $80.

wood for top, $25

total  $219.00

$219.00 verses $1500.00

I’ll take the DIY version any day! Hope you like our version.

Added to Tutorials and Tip at Home Stories A to Z


Thanks for visiting! Debbie (((xx)))

Decorating with pillows

Pillows add interest to your décor with a pop of color, texture and  interesting fabric.  I’ll admit to using a few too many pillows, occasionally ! But pillows are too comfy, cozy and homey to resist.

2012_04_20_4LR pillows

These flanged blue pillows add color to the living room. Pillows are a great way to add color in a neutral room. Changing out your pillows for the season or whenever the mood strikes is a cheap way to create a new look.


family rm

These great pillows on the new sofa in our family room came from TJ Max.You can always find the best pillows there. And tons of other décor accents too!

guest rm pillows 1

Pillow overload! Counting the 4 bed pillows, there are a total of 10 pillows on this bed. Which brings up the subject of where to put them when you crawl in bed…..on the floor of course.

guest rm pillows

I love the look of black pillows in this lime green room.


With endless fabric choices, they’re the perfect accent.  Smile

Linked to the party at




because pillows are so darn pretty!  




Thanks for visiting! Debbie (((xx)))

vintage dress forms

I purchased this vintage dress form at a flea market about 15 years ago. I think it was about 12 dollars…..pretty cheap, even back then. I had big plans for it at the time but never really did anything with it. So I finally got it out of the basement and put it in the family room, to see if I felt inspired to dress it up somehow.

dress form

Dress forms fit perfectly in  French inspired décor that’s so popular now. I don’t really have that décor in our family room…..actually I’m still waiting to get the slipcovers so I can finish up in there.

Source: houzz.com


I love how the dress form looks in this office space.



Here’s an example of a dress form decoupaged with book pages.




Another pretty example of a banner displayed on a dress form from Miss Mustard seed.


Source: houzz.com via Bungalow on Pinterest



I love the look of old necklaces displayed on this dress form.

My dress form isn’t the prettiest example but it’s still pretty cool…if I can ever decide what to do with it! I’ll figure it out eventually.


This week I’m in TN with my older daughter and granddaughter visiting my younger daughter and her family. We were expecting warm weather but it’s cold with a chance of snow flurries. I hope the sun shines mid week so we can get outside and play, staying in the house is making us all crazy. Confused smile


Added to Thrifty Treasures




Thanks for visiting! Debbie (((xx)))

Spring Mantel 5 ways

Take a look at these different versions of the Spring mantel. I used the same pieces in each, just left out a few. Which version do you prefer?

Putting together a Spring mantel was not high priority this year. We were still painting, and things were pretty much a mess, but I finally got my mantel groove on.Spring mantel 12

For fresh greenery, I bought some outdoor plants at Lowe’s, figuring I’d plant them outside later and collected things from around the house and my hoard stash in the basement. I arranged and rearranged and felt pretty good about it, then the husband, Bill, said, “is that how you’re leaving it? It looks like too much stuff.” Really? I liked it, but was willing to make it less busy.

By moving the plants closer to the sign, removing and rearranging, I created a slightly different look in each version.

a mantel 1and 2 variations 

I like the pink african violets and birds in the center.

 a mantel 3and 4 variations

Do you have a favorite yet?

a mantel full

The one that we liked was #4. Enough stuff for me but not too much for him.


a mantel center

I had my first experience using a sawzall when I made the pallet sign  Smile  and won the cute ceramic birds in a blog giveaway.

curly plant

This curly plant is Big Twister Rush.

Spring mantel 14 curly plant

You can see how the stems curl and twist. It’s a pretty and unique plant and looks good in the tureen.


The color and freshness of the plants give the mantel a real Spring feel.


This columbine is Winky Double Rose and White.

Spring mantel 16 colombine

The white chalkboard planter came from a thrift shop and all the silver pieces were collected from yardsales and thrift shops.


ba 1 mantel

Welcome Spring, even though it’s still a bit chilly, I’m glad you’re here!

 This new color in our family room is so easy to work with and I’m loving it!

On Saturday I’m going to an ASCP workshop! I’m so excited! 

I’ll soon be sharing how I made the pallet sign.



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Debbie (((xx)))

A child’s umbrella becomes a Spring door Decoration


Welcome Spring! Inspired by a pin from Pinterest and the warmer weather, I made a pretty new door decoration for Spring.  On our front door, a child’s umbrella now welcomes Spring to our house. I found the child size umbrella at Dollar General and used things I had from old wreaths and arrangements. It turned out pretty cute.

Spring door 3

To give the bottom end a little pouf, I stuffed in some newspaper before I added the ribbon.

Spring porch2012 door3[2]

Next, I loosely arranged the flowers in a small piece of floral foam and then stuffed that in the left side of the umbrella and put more newspaper around it to hold it in place.

Spring door 4

For shaping, I put more newspaper in the other side of the umbrella and added lots of moss on top of that and in the folds.

Door spring flowers

I glued a little nest and eggs on top of the moss.

Spring front door


Here’s the inspiration and mine.

Spring door 12



The scale of my tulips is a bit too big and the handle is turned but it’s still cute and colorful.

Spring porch2012 door[2]

Pansies were planted in the urns and are looking pretty sparse right now but they’ll fill in.


I used moss from the back yard to fill in around the pansies.

We had the most gorgeous weather last week, but this week it’s back to cold and windy with frost warnings at night! Come on Spring!

Added to

Party-with-My-Peeps-125The Southern Institute Home Stories A2Z


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Debbie (((xx)))

Cutting edge Stencils Review and Giveaway

Stencils are a quick way to liven up a space or create a focal point.  Cutting Edge Stencils offers stencil designs for every room. There are so many designs that you’ll have a hard time deciding which you like best!       Wall-art-Stencils-syc-branc_1

Whether you want to add some branches, vines or birds, stencils are a quick way to add interest to a room.


This bright space became even prettier by stenciling some zinnias on the walls!


You can even stencil on fabric to create pretty pillows or window panels.


Inspired by popular geometric patterns, like the one above, I chose the Casablanca stencil to create a focal wall in our entry.


Before attempting to use a large design like this, it’s important to read all the instructions and helpful videos on their site.  The stencil itself is sturdy and easy to work with. The hardest part for me was having just the right amount of paint on the foam roller. I’ve stenciled before but always by pouncing with a stencil brush. This was my first time using a roller but after I got the feel for it there was no stopping me.

stencil vignette

There were a few times I wanted another hand, but it turned out great.

stencil wall

The leveling tool was helpful to keep everything straight and lining it up was so simple.

stencil wall2

Cutting Edge Stencils is generously offering one of you a 50$ gift certificate.

Follow them on twitter and like them on  facebook.  

There are 2 ways to enter;

Swirl09For one entry to win the 50$ gift certificate, go to Cutting Edge Stencils and have a look around, then tell me your favorite in a comment. I know you’ll have a tough time deciding on a stencil just like I did.

Swirl09  For another entry, tweet, facebook or mention the giveaway on your blog and come back and comment.


Help me celebrate my first official WordPress post! To celebrate the move I’ll be having another great giveaway later this week!



Debbie (((xx)))

Painting the powder room and decorating updates

Remember the harlequin pattern in the powder room? It’s gone! It’s been replaced with Benjamin Moore’s Wythe blue from the same color strip as Palladian blue in their historical colors.

Harlequin powder room circa 2007. Even though painting this pattern was a lot of work, after 5 years I need a change.

a sink 1

I’d describe Wythe blue as green-blue-grayish. 

wythe blue

Palladian blue is in the little hallway off the kitchen, the kitchen and family room. I’d describe it as blue-green. It looks grayish in the pictures, but it’s really not. I’m adding bead board wallpaper and chair rail in there too.

palladian blue

We have been painting fools around here. The ceiling in the kitchen is not done yet, but when it is, this paint party will be over for a while.

I’m waiting to get the new couch before I add much to the family room. Right now there are just a few things on the mantle.

The price for reupholstering our chairs was ridiculous, so I’m thinking about plan B, which is probably slipcovers. It’s getting there.

Soon I’ll be moving to Word Press and Google friends connect will no longer be available to WP blogs. I hope you will follow me on twitter, facebook, Pinterest, Google+ and rss feed in a reader.

Thank you! I appreciate you coming by so much! 

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Debbie (((xx)))

A little redo with homemade chalk paint

Chalk paint seems to be THE thing right now. I hope to try it soon, but until I do, I decided to try and make my own. Since I haven’t used the real thing, I have nothing to compare it to, but I can share my thoughts on using the homemade version.

Here’s the recipe I used. Basically you just add calcium carbonate or Plaster of Paris to paint.plaster of paris


I made mine with Plaster of Paris that I bought at Lowe’s for about 6 bucks.





Our huge clock needed a makeover for the room’s new color. Here’s the before, in the gold family room.


Here’s the after, in the palladian blue family room. I still need to add the numbers.



I mixed about 3 parts paint to 1 part Plaster of Paris and stirred it up like a crazy woman. It was smooth and dried fast, really fast. It took 2 coats, but I didn’t sand or use primer, basically I just slapped on the paint. When it was dry, it was very matte and chalky looking. Then I rubbed on a little Johnson’s paste wax for furniture. I let that dry and came back with craft paint for a little distressing. I tried to scratch some off to see if it flaked easily and it didn’t. It seemed hard.

So there you have it, my take on homemade chalk paint. If you google it, you’ll find some people have had success and others haven’t. Me, I’m not sure. I’m not turning cartwheels, but it’s ok.


I’m feeling like I have too many projects going on at once. After painting the kitchen and family room, installing, painting and caulking the board and batten, I painted all the trim in both rooms. We primed the powder room to cover the bright green and black harlequin pattern, and painted the ceiling. I’ll be putting up beadboard wallpaper and painting in there soon.

I finally decided on fabric to reupholster the chairs and ottoman. The fabric I planned on using in the family room and kitchen isn’t making me happy anymore, so I feel like I’m decorating backwards. It’s easier if you pick out fabric first and base your choices on that. It’s working out though, because I’m sticking with neutrals and adding color in small doses.

Talk about working backwards, now my husband wants to paint the ceiling.

And I’ve got a stenciled wall project started. 


In a couple weeks I’ll be moving to Word Press and Google friends connect will no longer be available to WP blogs. I hope you will follow me on twitter, facebook, Pinterest, Google+ and rss feed in a reader.

Thank you! I appreciate you coming by so much! 

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Debbie (((xx)))