Last Minute Christmas Decor Ideas

For those of you hosting a holiday get together this year, time is running out to get the house in order! Yikes. Doesn't December seem to fly by in the blink of an eye?!

Well, here are my favorite sources of inspiration-

1. The Nesting Place Blog Christmas Tour Not only does she showcase her gorgeous home but she started a link party, so tons of other talented bloggers have linked their holiday decor as well.

2. Digs Digs website featuring 50 EASY Holiday Centerpieces

Love the non-traditional but still festive shades of pink.

How cute do the red and green apple slices look against the white china?!

Everyone remembers rock candy from their childhood. Looks just like snow here.

Hope this helps those of you still struggling with decorating their table/house (like myself). I'll be hosting a small get together on Christmas morning, per my usual tradition. I've had my table decorated for weeks but kept switching things up. I think I finally have it how I want it, so I'll share pics tomorrow. Stay warm. -S


China Cabinet Redo

One of the projects I tackled this Summer was redoing an old china cabinet I found at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore. With chipped dull paint, tarnished knobs and dusty shelves, she didn't look like much. But, I saw her potential and plus, she was just $60. I knew with a little labor of love, she had the potential of being beautiful. (*sorry for the crappy cell phone pictures)

I got out my cleaning supplies, gave her a good wipe down and then began lightly sanding. Because the piece is so old, I used a fine grit sandpaper and only sanded enough to smooth out the globs of paint from the previous poor paint job. I also removed the hardware and decided to remove the glass door as well. 

Here's the new hardware I picked up at Target.
I repainted the whole piece using leftover trim paint from our wainscoting install in the dining room. She still looked a little plain, so I added dark brown scrapbook paper that matched the wall color in the dining room on the back of the inside.
 I was intending on painting the back of the inside but didn't want to commit to a color just yet. The scrapbook paper was supposed to be temporary, but it was so easy and looked good enough I left it.

Just cut to size and use double sided tape to get it to stick.

And here she is in all her glory-

And a peek at my Thanksgiving table this year-

This was the first large piece of furniture I have done, and although more time consuming, it was very easy. I plan to do more pieces like this, as time allows. I love giving new life to otherwise discarded old furniture. It's cheaper, can be personalized and almost always better quality than you find today.

Budget Breakdown
Cabinet (ReStore)                          $60
New Hardware (Target)                 $20
Scrapbook paper (Hobby Lobby)   $1

I'd love to hear about any pieces of furniture you've redone or plan to! love, S


Back in Business!

Whew! It's been awhile since I've been here. Almost 6 months in fact! I had a very busy Summer with lots going on and blogging took a back seat. After awhile, I think I caught a case of writer's block because every time I went to post, my mind froze.

First, I want to thank you, my dear Internet friends and followers, who kept in touch with me via email and kept me motivated to return to the blog land. Seriously, it brightened my days weeks months to have readers check in with little ol' me. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your patience and sweet words.

Second, let's get back to the good stuff...design, DIY projects and pretty pretty pictures! I promise that I have stayed busy with little house projects that I am excited to share and will share soon. For now, I want to show what I've been doing recently.

DIFFA Holiday by Design 2010

You may remember me sharing pictures of the table I designed for the DIFFA Dining by Design event this Spring. I shared pics HERE and HERE. Well, I was asked to participate in this year's holiday event. It is a smaller scale event but still just as fun and exciting. Over 100 local designers created wreaths, table decor and swags to donate to the silent auction. People were invited to bid on the holiday pieces while sipping great wine and munching on yummy food from several great local high-end restaurants. It was truly a wonderful night and all the proceeds went to DIFFA (Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS).

My talented dear friend.assistant George helped me create a fun wreath for the event. First, we headed to Michael's armed with our 40% off coupons and ransacked their holiday decor section.

I tried out a variety of picks and ribbons right there on the floor and was mistaken for a Michael's employee not once, not twice but three times! Guess I know where to go if I want a part-time job:)

I'll be honest and say that this wreath took us about 20 minutes to put together and that may have included a few breaks for wine inspiration. We wanted a non-fussy piece that could last throughout the holiday season. Think we achieved it-

Detail shot of the sage green, turquoise and deep purple glittery goodness-

Pics from the event-
George and I of course had to find our wreath as soon as we arrived and snap a pic:)

Even got an action shot of someone placing a bid on it! Awesome.

Lots of beautiful people bidding on lots of beautiful things.

And some other wreaths that really stood out to me-

I call this one the Carrie Bradshaw, as it's made of shoes! 

Love Tim Butt's (designer/owner of Black Bamboo) roasted marshmallows-

A wreath from a real tire with REAL flowers planted inside-

And finally, a wreath made from 'do not disturb' signs from various hotels. This would be such a cute and unique way to display souvenirs for an avid traveler-

It definitely got me in the holiday spirit!
Back soon. I promise! love, S


Quick Thank You

Thank You to Better After for featuring my DIY Drop-cloth Ric Rac Curtains, originally shared HERE. I appreciate the support. If you aren't already a regular reader of Better After, check it out RIGHT NOW! She features some of the most inspired DIY projects that I've ever seen.

It's almost Friday, yay! My blogging's been lagging this week, as I've been busy at a work conference but hope to catch up this weekend. love, S

Click HERE to check out the post.


Dining Room Redo #2

You may recall that I first completed my dining room a few months ago and blogged about it HERE and HERE. Although I loved my $8 dish display, the room still didn't seem complete. So after several weeks of staring at a ho-hum room, I decided to do something bold.

First, let's look at the original blah BEFORE:

Phase 1 (new lighting, new window treatments, new trim)

Phase 2: Dish Display

Phase 3: Out with the old...

In with the new...


*Disclaimer- This room is NOT complete. I have some more to add to the walls and some colorful accents to add. I'm also still deciding what to do with the tray ceiling. I'm thinking about either a textured finish or a pale shade of green.

J painted this and I got a frame from Michaels. I love all the colors and how it pops off the chocolate brown walls.

The paint is Behr's Premium Primer and Paint in One in Mocha Latte in flat finish.


I'm working on the last few details and will share the final reveal soon! This took up the majority of my Memorial Day weekend but I can't help but smile everytime I see the room, so it was worth all the hard work.

On a side note, I'm blogging from a BRAND NEW laptop! Yay! I'm so excited and hope that my blogging issues of last week won't happen again. Have a lovely week! ~S


Easy Curb Appeal Upgrade

Yikes, it's been a full 3 days. I'm sore, exhausted, tan and totally proud of my hard work:)

Project #1- New front door and trim color

Let's look at the before first:

Time to get rid of the gross green color!

Started by painting the trim around the windows the same as the rest of the exterior trim-

Then onto the actual door. I used the same Onyx Black color matched to Behr's Premium Primer and Paint in One that I used on the interior side but in exterior semi-gloss.

Do you spy my little helper in the lower left hand window:)

This led to:

Project #2- Painted Exterior Lights

As much as I long for over-sized, gorgeous exterior lights like this-
 they're not in the budget. So, I painted our existing ones.

Before: Dull color that blended into the siding.

After: Glossy black!

The best thing is that it cost $0 since I used leftover paint from our front door!

Project #3- Power washed and stained both sides of fence

This is the best 'before' pic I could find-

After: Cedar stain

I also mulched, mowed, weedeated and treated our grass.

I think the exterior is coming along nicely. Here's my house right before I moved in on July 3, 2008.

And Present Day-

I also did a MAJOR makeover inside our house. Pics of that later this week.
Hope everyone enjoyed their long weekend. It went by way too fast! I'm off to walk the dogs and enjoy a cool beverage on the patio. So not ready for this weekend to end:(

love, S


weekend plans

Guess what I'm doing this weekend...

No lake house. No barbeques. No days of rest.
Just 3 days of uninterrupted house projects.

I wouldn't have it any other way.

Have a lovely weekend!
love, S


Master Key

If you're visiting from Remodelaholic, Hello and Welcome!

Every time I've browsed through an antique store, thrift store or random decor store in the past few months, I was on the look out for vintage skeleton keys. Unfortunately, I didn't have much luck. I only found a few and they were pretty costly. As much as I wanted authentic, old keys I decided to go with easy-to-find, inexpensive reproductions.

The set of 7 was $19 with free shipping, plus the 10% discount that was emailed out last week. This was much better than the $8-10 price tag per vintage skeleton key I found at a local antique store. I ordered them late Sunday online and they were at my door on Wednesday afternoon.

I then purchased 7 mismatched photo frames from Dollar Tree and got to work.

I used some scraps of Burlap to cover the glass and superglued the keys on...

and created this display-

My original plan was to spray paint the frames all the same color but I changed my mind once I saw them on the wall. I'm digging the mismatched look.

This took less than 15 minutes to put together and was less than $25 for all 7 framed keys. I love how it breaks up the lines in our half bath. I will say that the keys are much larger than I expected, but I'm extremely happy with the final look.

What do you think?
Happy Almost Friday!
love, S

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