Sunday, December 29, 2013

Best of 2013

I can't believe it's almost 2014. This year has flown by. Unfortunately, I didn't meet all of my goals that I set at the end of last year, so they'll just have to make the list again for 2014. I did manage to complete some big projects. I thought I would do a little recap in case you might have missed something that you'd be interested in, starting with projects at the beginning of this year to the present. Just click on the description at the bottom of each picture to see the original post and step by step instructions or tours.







I guess I accomplished more than I thought this year, the pantry redo, the laundry room makeover and decorating my mom and Stanley's new beach house. I need to add the workout room again to this years list. I keep putting it off because of the dog crates. Dogs and children seem to create some decorating challenges. We'll delve into some of that this year as well as my closet makeover and some other fun stuff.
If you haven't had a chance yet, I'd love for you to become a friend/follower in the new year. There are a lot of different ways to do it. You can check out my sidebar under follow or just do it with one of the links below:

You can also follow me on Pinterest and Facebook. I need to work on Twitter and Instagram. I guess I'm not as caught up on that stuff as some of you cool kids. :) More resolutions. I'm not sure there are enough hours in the day for anymore social media.

Anyway, thank you so much for stopping by. If you have any ideas for things that you'd like to see in the future or any comments in general, I always love feedback!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

One Kings Lane Statement Chair

I was contacted by One Kings Lane recently (How cool is that?) to create a post about a statement chair in my house. First of all, I was jumping up and down at the mere fact that One Kings Lane was contacting ME at all. Secondly, I thought, how fun is this because I think a chair selection says a lot about someone. I was up to the challenge!

I remember in college learning about all of the different styles of chairs and having to not only memorize the names of them but also having to remember the dates of their arrival on the furniture scene. We not only had to learn about the different styles of chairs but to create one out of cardboard. It was probably one of my favorite projects ever because it really made me think about how something is created not only from a design standpoint but from a construction standpoint. This is where you learn in Interior Design just how important chairs are.

I didn't realize at first what a hard challenge this would be, selecting only one chair. I have so many...dining, sitting, stools, gliders. How can I choose just one? Then I looked at the 1930's reproduction club chair in my bedroom. It has ME written all over it. It definitely makes a  "statement" about me and my design style. One design philosophy comes to mind that was originally quoted by Louis Sullivan describing his modern skyscrapers, "Form follows function." I think this statement holds true for furniture as well, especially chairs. Why were chairs invented?  I think to  have a comfortable place to sit besides the floor. Have you ever sat in a chair that is more comfortable than a club chair? Why reinvent the wheel? Am I right?
It is so simple in its design. Reminding me of another design concept that I go by, "Keep it simple stupid." (I'm not sure where this quote came from originally but I'm sure it's still as true today as the first day it was uttered.) You don't have to make things complicated when designing anything.  I love the fact that it is deep so you can stack pillows in it and still be able to sit or you can just leave it as is and the beauty of the leather stands on its own. There is just something special about a worn leather that I love, rustic and warm. I don't mind it showing every piece of wear and tear.

Beautiful and functional pieces like this club chair stand the test of time. The warm rustic feel of the leather will set the tone for a room. Its versatile styling can be used in a traditional or modern setting. It can be dressed up or down. It will last for years to come and never be one of those furniture purchases that becomes a "hand me down" because you don't want it anymore.
 I guess it was not such a hard decision after all. With a little mix of modern and rustic, its simple yet elegant ,comfortable yet stylish design, the club chair is definitely my statement chair.
To find out more about the history of a statement chair in your own home, visit One Kings Lane @

Thursday, December 12, 2013

New Light Fixtures, Yipee!!

island light fixture with Edison bulbs
I am not usually a Black Friday shopper, but when I saw on Facebook that Forge Imports was having a 50% off entire store sale, I threw the Christmas lights aside and made sure to be there when they opened. I went in just looking for a light for the living room but...

An island light and a study light later, I found the living room fixture that I have been waiting three years for...
living room Spanish colonial inspired light fixture
Ahhh, so much better than the builder grade ceiling fan that had dried white paint dripping down from it because I had planned on changing it out three years ago! Please pay no attention to my undecorated tree. That is the project with the kids tonight.

Even though I hadn't planned on getting a light fixture for the island, when I found the one above I had to have it. I have been wanting to use Edison bulbs somewhere and this fixture fit perfectly with that style. I'm starting to bring out a little more of my industrial side. Plus, the light that was there will be perfect in my closet with a little bling added to it. I'll be sure to share that one with you when it's complete. (after Christmas!) I just realized that I sound like I'm trying to justify my purchase to you or even myself. Do you ever do that in your head before (or after)you buy something?

The antler light for the study was also something that I was dreaming of but never thought I would have. They are usually either very expensive or they are plastic and fake looking. This one was not only a great price but I love the combination of the iron and antlers.

I believe that light fixtures are so important in a room and are worth putting a little extra money into. Every house that we have ever flipped has had quality fixtures. If you buy them right, light fixtures should never have to be replaced. The rooms that I always concentrate on are the entry, dining room, living room and kitchen/breakfast room. Like paint, changing out light fixtures is an easy fix for completely transforming a room.

Friday, December 6, 2013

One Man's Trash...

We've all heard the expression, "One man's trash is another man's treasure." This is so true and a key to successfully decorating on a budget. I found this "treasure" at Goodwill last year after Christmas. It's a little rickety and probably doesn't function well anymore. I'm guessing someone moved here from somewhere where this was useful and after moving to San Antonio thought that they would never need it again. After all, the one time it kind of snowed a few years ago, we were all using cookie sheets and cardboard for our sledding. I thought it was a great addition to my outdoor Christmas decorations and would at least create the atmosphere of it being cold outside.

I remember back when I was working and decorating models, one of the ladies that worked in the office would always ask me how I found things in some of these discount stores because she just didn't have the imagination for it. I think that you just have to know what you like and have a plan. If you go in "just looking" sometimes it can be overwhelming. Here are some of the items that I have found at Goodwill and some of the items that I keep an eye out for...

Containers... They can be used for all kinds of things and in every room of the house. This yellow metal bucket probably didn't go with someones decor anymore but works great with my yellow shelving in the pantry.

Holiday items...This glass mosaic candle holder was a steal.

Glass and bar ware...I had to search the store to find six or I would not have gotten them.

Stores like Goodwill can work for all of us because we all have unique styles and tastes, the key is just knowing what that style is. Once you know that, just take an inventory of things that you would like for your house and go from there. If that is too overwhelming just do one room at a time. You have to be ready to go a few times and not be tempted by things that you don't really need. Hoarders beware. Because of all of the good deals, it's easy to get swept up into the..."I might need that someday" rationalization. If you don't feel like you're going to use something immediately, don't get it! This holds true for all discount shopping including garage and estate sales. If you don't need a lamp or a surfboard or a garden gnome, just don't get it!

So to recap, know what you like, buy only what you need, be patient and you'll have a well decorated home on a budget. Happy shopping all you discount bargain shoppers like me out there. If you have a cool find you'd like to share, let us know in the comment section...

Thursday, December 5, 2013

The Start of the Christmas Decorating

Well, I am just taking my sweet time this year decorating for Christmas. Not that that isn't usually the case. It just seems more obvious to me this year. I look on blogger and down the list I see home tours and links filled with holiday decorating. Some people even have more than one tree decorated! Impressive! And me, not even ONE tree yet...haven't even made it to the tree lot. I'm feeling a bit like a blogging slacker. I'll just show you what I'm up to a little at a time so I don't get too overwhelmed. LOL

The NOEL was new last year. I always like to throw in something new every year to keep it fresh. I also try to move the old things around so they seem like they're new, mainly to keep me interested in what I'm doing.

I tried something new with the chandelier this year. I hope the fresh greenery lasts and this thing doesn't burst into flames.

Speaking of dangers, I learned yesterday that beyond the obvious hazards of decorating; ladders, hammers, power tools, standing on things that you shouldn't to reach places you shouldn't and so on, that near encounters with rattlesnakes are now on my list of decorating dangers. The day after weeding through the ivy to place my Christmas lights in a perfect row down my sidewalk, I received an email from my neighbor across the street that right after I came inside at dusk, there was a rattlesnake in her driveway about 15' from where I was crawling around. Scary!

Anyway, on with the decorating...
I have an enclosed stairway so I usually don't pay much attention to it but this year I thought it looked a little sad so I added some greenery, ribbon and bells. If you can't find the color bells you want (I couldn't), paint them. These were gold. I painted them the wall color and sanded.

Trying to make my blues work this year.

I love the smell of the hazelnut coffee beans when the candle is lit.

Again with the fresh greenery. I hope I don't regret this.

Well, that's it for now. I'm still fiddling with the mantle and a few other things but I'll share them soon. Happy decorating to those of you that are like me and still have a lot to do.

sharing with ~ French Country Cottage

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Winter Bulletin Board Ideas

winter bulletin board idea
It's that time again. I need to come up with another idea for the school bulletin board. This is the one that I did a couple of years ago with a winter theme.

winter bulletin board ideas for elementary school
This is last years board. I love anything Peanuts but I need something fresh this year. Wish me luck. I have to have it finished by Tuesday and I'm out of ideas!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Fresh or Frozen?

I'll take frozen please or at least fresh from the grocery store. This is a picture of my Grandmother taken before the depression. I'm pretty sure they were grateful for this turkey but I'm grateful for the grocery store! Happy Turkey day!

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!! I am reposting my "pretty bird" from last year because I always need a reminder how to do it myself. If you haven't put your turkey in the oven yet, try this out...

OK. This wing hanging out (at least I think it's a wing, I don't want to know) is not very attractive. The first year that I made a turkey myself, my mother tried to explain to me over the phone how to tuck it under. It's easier if you can see it instead of having it explained to you, so the following are pictures of how to do it. Every year I do this, I don't think I'm doing it right because you really have to force it sometimes and it feels like it's going to pop.

First, pull the wing towards you while lifting up the main part of the bird.

Start forcing it under the bird. It might fight you a little here...

Now that it is under, repeat on the other side.

Now put the back side of the wing under the leg and you're ready to oil and season.

My husband and I have done a little experiment every year. We make a breast and a whole bird and we switch off on each using either butter or vegetable oil. Every year the vegetable oil is the favorite and it's a lot easier to spread over the bird too. If you usually use butter, you might want to try it out and see what YOU think.

Then we season with salt and pepper and in 3-5 hours it will be ready to go.YUM! The house smells great!!

I hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Christmas Decorating at Mom's

The call came early this year. The one that starts with, "Do you want to come over?" I wouldn't have guessed that it was to decorate for Christmas because it's not even Thanksgiving yet and I know my mom's attitude towards that. This year, though, she had the excuse of being out of town for 10 days between now and Christmas so, it's OK. While I am not one that decorates before Thanksgiving either, I don't shame other people because they do. What am I...the Christmas decorating police? Well, not this year at least. :)

So we had fun being naughty little elves, throwing caution to the wind, and heading out to the nearest Home Depot to buy some fresh greenery and poinsettias. The intoxicating smell of pine definitely put me in the decorating mood....along with the hot buttered rum and Krispy Kreme donuts!

My decorating style involves keeping things simple...

incorporating natural elements like greenery and fresh flowers...

blending rooms together...

combining bling with rustic elements...

using everyday items along with seasonal ones...

placing decorations in unexpected places...

and having someone to bounce ideas off of.

The kids helping out and using their creativity.

The end to the day.

Decorating is fun but exhausting. I'm glad I have a couple of days to recuperate before I start on my house!
sharing with ~