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Teen Bedroom Makeover

     Wallpaper! That kept me from redecorating my step-daughter’s bedroom for more than two years after we moved into this house. My previous experience with the stuff was enough to prevent me from ripping down a fuchsia-colored print that Liesbeth was never fond of. It covered only one wall; one with a slanted ceiling at that, thus not really even a full wall. Silly me! One day I finally decided to just take a peek underneath by peeling back a small piece in a corner. Fifteen minutes later, the wall was bare and the floor was covered with intact rolls of fuchsia. Except the wall wasn’t completely bare. It was covered in paint…fuchsia paint. Ha! It was also covered in several blotches of putty where the previous owners had attempted to repair some blemishes. I couldn’t leave the blotches as they were since they’d show up as uneven imperfections under new coats of paint, so I sanded them down and covered several other holes to smooth out the wall. All in all not a difficult task. That’s how this decorating project finally got rolling!

     We then focused on colors and furnishings. She already had a twin bed, two deep purple beanbag seats, a white IKEA desk, her grandmother’s rather old-fashioned armoire and a chromed ceiling lamp. I wondered where to start exactly. She takes drum lessons and likes heavy metal. She’d been through a ”goth” phase and was then into a “grunge” phase. She doesn’t like fuchsia and hot pinks but adores dark purple. Not quite sure about which direction to take, I simply let her make the first big decision by selecting the curtain fabric. Some people choose curtains last to help bring everything in the room together. I thought it best to start with something new that would suit her own taste. She chose something quite unlike what I anticipated! Something very sophisticated and grown-up! That should not have entirely surprised me though, as she’s 18 and just starting studies at a nearby college to be a veterinarian assistant. They grow up fast before you realize it, don’t they!

     I then had to scratch my head about how to tie in the purple beanbags with a fabric of darker flower silhouettes on a background of graduating shades from gray to beige. Challenge on! Given her love for animals, we decided to create her “sanctuary” based on the flora and fauna of the local nature preserve. We live near a heather marshland, so the beanbags became the “water” around an old coffee table that I painted purple to match and also applied a vinyl photograph of lily pads to the top. 

     We painted the walls a neutral greige as a backdrop for the curtains and the vinyl “birch forest” stickers on the opposite wall. (I found all the vinyl appliques on Etsy.) I used the leftover lighter beige shades of the curtain fabric to make a velcroed decorative top for the duvet cover. The duvet cover colors worked well in the room, but the zig-zag striped pattern didn’t, so covering it up with the removable fabric worked out perfectly. I also bought modular IKEA units to complement and provide extra storage.

     I added a bit of character to the old wall mirror by creating a sort of diorama of the nearby pond. I cut and glued a piece of wavy patterned glass to fit within the frame, then filled it with blue gravel that I found at a local crafts store. I added a miniature plastic rabbit and set of cattails as well as a couple of small twigs to emulate trees.

     I painted a colorful landscape on the face of the old armoire to emulate heather in the foreground, then grasses and hills in the background.

     Finally, I also added some paint to the ceiling lamp to cover up the chrome and make it look a bit more natural.

     Lies is very happy with the result, and it now provides her a serene place to study or relax!

Creating Space Full of Harmony and Peacefulness with Simple Décor

Creating Space Full of Harmony and Peacefulness with Simple Décor

In today’s hectic world, stress is hard to avoid and everyone needs a place where they can feel comfortable and relaxed. An idea of having a peaceful home, where you can rest and indulge in a quiet moment, is incredibly appealing. You can use simple décor to add a sense of comfort, peace, and harmony to your home. Here are some of the tips on how to turn your home into a relaxing retreat.

Go for something low in your entry 

When it comes to entry, having a long, low table or a bench seems inviting and urges you to come closer and investigate. In most cases you would probably just leave your bag and rush through to other rooms, but this way you’ll have a reason to slow down. It may not seem as a huge difference, but it might be enough to change the hectic pace from the outside into a calm stroll at home. To emphasize the effect of peacefulness, place a beautiful vase of flowers and a nicely-designed cloth on the table. 

Minimize clutter 

Clutter can be the cause of physical and mental chaos. Not only can it prevent you from finding your keys in a hurry, but it also creates a feeling of discomfort even if you’re not close to it. Whether it’s a pile of paper on your desk or it’s ready to burst out from the closet, you need to manage it to restore the feeling of pleasantness. When it comes to paper storage, I use woven baskets and bins along with simple white magazine files. They’re practical and great for achieving neat and minimalistic look. 

Choose serene colors 

Perhaps the most important thing about creating a space full of harmony is carefully choosing the colors and the shades. When deciding on colors that will dominate the space, natural and earthy tones are the best option. Neutral and pale tones invite you to relax, whereas a room with too many colors might put you off. Neutral tones include colors such as beige, brown, white, and ivory. This color palette will add a sense of serenity to your home. 

Natural light 

Introducing natural light into the room is another essential thing when it comes to making a place for relaxation. Consider having roof windows or even glass doors. However, keep in mind that although natural light streaming through wide windows is delightful, light that’s too glaring can be a nuisance. Opt for sheer curtains or translucent shades to modify the light without completely blocking it. 

Stay minimalistic 

The comfortable place you’re striving for should be kept clean, neat, and simple. There’s no need for too many ornaments or decorations. Opt for a minimalistic design and have one element stand out. It can be a lovely vase with flowers, patterned chairs, or some interesting wall art to capture the attention. Take a look at homewares by Jonathan Adler in Australia to get inspired.  

Be close to nature 

Bringing plants into your home is an important step towards creating your own personal oasis. Plants help in cleaning and re-oxygenating the indoor air, thus eliminating toxic gasses. Their natural green color and pleasant scent will contribute to the peacefulness of your home. I recommend bonsai trees. 

Keeping your home away from the outside chaos can be tricky, but with some imaginative details you can tackle this problem. By following these tips, you’ll be on the right track for creating a harmonic and peaceful place.

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Rental Remedies

     When my husband got reassigned to a new job three hours away from home, we found this little fully-furnished rental and decided it would be a great place to create a temporary nest and avoid packing up all our furniture for the move. I’m delighted with the old farmhouse character, but a bit disappointed that it’s not my own to decorate fully to my tastes.

     However, I have jumped at every opportunity to address my husband’s complaints about living in a 200+ year-old building, such as: “This bare wooden floor is cold on my feet”, or “Brrr, there’s not much insulation around these old windows”, or “That street light that streams through the hall window into our bedroom when we leave the door open is really irritating”. That’s music to my ears because it invites me to find a creative decorative solution to his very practical problems! 🙂

     As autumn nears the evenings will become brisker, but his feet will remain warm with the softness of sheepskin underfoot.

     On cold winter evenings, now all we need to do is pull the plaid blankets closed that I repurposed into curtains. No sewing involved!

     We can also now sleep with the bedroom door open since I repurposed a couple of grain-sack pillow cases into a curtain to replace a flimsy see-through lace curtain hung by the landlords.

     I can’t wait to hear his next complaint! 🙂

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How My New Home Office Came to Be . . . 

Hi Neighbors! It’s been a while! The past few months have been very busy for our family, around our home & new adventures for our kids(young adults!). We installed New flooring in the Kitchen and Living Room which I have already posted. My husband and I fell in love with the color & style of the floors, that we decided to have the same flooring laid in our Master Bedroom and my Daughter’s room on the second floor of our home. 

After our contractor laid the floors, and the room was empty, I decided to give the wall a fresh coat of light gray paint and repaint the white trim a brighter white. Then we moved all my daughter’s furniture back in her room. Her New bedroom looked so bright and refreshing. I should have taken some photos. So, about 2 weeks after all the renovations in her room, she decided that wanted to move out and get an apartment. That was not expected so soon! But, I am so proud of my Megan . . . wanting her independence. (She really is only a hop, skip and a jump from us, which we are very happy about. I actually see her more now than when she lived at home! So towards the end of April, I moved my home office from a small section in our Family Room to my own space. I’m having a lot of fun working on the progress of this room between work & family. So this is what I have done so far. 🙂

BEFORE. . .

AFTER . . .

I will have more updates on the rest of the my office space. What to do with enclosing the closets?? Wood bi-fold doors or Drapes? Any suggestions?? 

Batchelor of Science with a First Class Honours

The Graduate

Hello everyone.  What a strange year I have had since I Iast posted. My ex husband died and left his house to our son Alexander.  It has taken a huge amount of work to make it habitable.  Alexander moved into the house with his girlfriend about 6 weeks ago.  Then last week he graduated from university with a first class honours degree in music technology He has set up his own business doing the lighting and sound for music events and it seems to be working well so far. Tony and I are empty nesters now and my craft stash has expanded to fill aAlexander’s old room.

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Sliding Door

This was a “One Thing Lead to Another” project that happened after finishing our built-in bookcase in the office. The swinging door had been off for months while the bookcase was being built. In fact, I liked it off. It made the office feel bigger and more accessible. And mistakes of all mistakes, when the bookcase was finished and the swinging door went back on, the bookcase was completely covered by the door! So this happened.

We don’t always get the opportunity to repurpose materials in projects, but we had saved this door for a handful of years with the idea that someday it would work somewhere.

Even though the door is almost always open, we wanted to offer privacy inside and used a spray for a frosted glass finish.

Inside the office: the sliding door and the built-in bookcase.    Plus the gong has a new home 🙂

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Entryway Update

I was inspired to update my entryway after reading Melissa Michaels book The Inspired Room. Specifically, to add a lamp and layer objects, using a newly purchased wooden red tray.

Before, a somewhat seasonal rotation of décor, no welcoming light for evening and night, a bit tired and bland. The grandkids are allowed one “gong“ each, per visit. But sometimes we get carried away anyway.

The red wooden tray was a find at Christmas and fun to use to corral a wintry scene. The sparkle of Christmas faded into a dull January and I knew I was ready for a change.

The whale’s tail hits the mark for Spring and Summer. Maybe I’ll replace it with a globe in September before the Fall pumpkins return.  

Chair redo

Can You Fall In Love With Fabric?

I don’t think I can confess to the amount of hours I spend looking at decorating magazines and blogs,, and searching the internet for inspiration. It is amazing how my style can be influenced subliminally by frequently seen images. For a very long time my favorite movie was “You’ve Got Mail.” One day I realized my living areas looked an awful lot like Meg Ryan’s apartment. 

Most of my redecorating involves paint, fabric and thrifty finds from yard sales, Craigslist and Ebay. Throw in some repurposing of furniture and moving things I already own from room to room. The chair pictured above was purchased on Ebay years ago…I loved the chair design but.the cushions that came with it were rather flimsy…I had lived with them for years.. A recent jolt of confidence in my skills prompted me to improve the chair to make it more suitable for our living room. 

I replaced the back cushion with a larger more substantial pillow. I looked online and found a site where I could order foam for the cushion cut to order (http://www.thefoamfactory.com/). I chose foam that was three inches thick, more than double the existing cushion. 

 Choosing the fabric at first left me a little insecure. I wanted something that was both traditional and modern, neutral but not solid. Looking at fabric for days online wasn’t enough. I couldn’t tell the weight of the fabric . So off I went to Joann’s to just browse….I was not ready to buy….this decision was going to take more time. Wrong! I browsed the bargain fabric first and nothing spoke to me. So I headed back to the upholstery fabrics. When I saw this fabric I knew it was “the one.” I loved the weight, the texture, the design. I walked away to look at other selections, but came back just two minutes later and decided this was it. A 40% off sale helped to seal the deal. I was in love and taking the plunge. 

My sewing skills are rudimentary, but I can sew a pretty good removable pillow casing. It was finished within hours of arriving home from Joann’s.  I put it on the chair when finished and took pictures to send to my daughter. Lots of pictures. It took a while longer but I managed to sew a removable cover for the seat cushion too, It’s not perfect but I love the results. 

 I am not sure about pairing the accent pillow with the chair (it was made from two placemats from Target) and I don’t ever decorate with teddy bears. It was a gift from a three year old girl for Valentine’s Day. So sweet.

 I do love the way my chair turned out. I already have plans to incorporate the fabric into slipcovering my Pottery Barn sofa without spending a thousand dollars. Stay tuned!

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Love Your Home Challenge: Set A Spring Table

     Although it’s still snowy and cold outside, Melissa has motivated me via her #loveyourhomechallenge to bring some spring cheer into my home and prep for this year’s Easter tablescape. I’ve cleared the normal daily clutter off our dining table and created two centerpieces composed of eggs and crocuses. I’ve currently used natural egg shells, but I’m contemplating dying them in colors to match the place settings. I also placed moss in one glass vase to cover up the crocus pot and old straw in the other. I’m as yet also undecided on which of those I like best, though I’m leaning toward the moss. What do you think?

     I love ceramics and glass, and I enjoy combining them into colorful place settings. Here, I’ve mixed my set of vintage Alfred Meakin “Audubon Birds of America“ dinner plates that each feature a different illustration along with some duck-egg blue salad plates, Portmeirion “Birds of Britain” appetizer/dessert plates and a set of glass bowls from Biot in France. The glass bowls blend very well with a set of wine goblets I found years ago in Murano in Italy and a set of 1950s water glasses my mother-in-law gave me. I complete the look with my favorite spring-time silverware set embossed with daffodils, which I notice need a good polish. Good thing I’ve got a couple of weeks left before Easter to get to that little chore!

     I wish everyone a cheery spring season!