Saturday, March 13, 2010

Glimpses of Home

The children are gone now. The house is quiet. Too quiet. When I need to hear their voices in my memory and recapture glimpses of days gone by, I retreat to my little white room upstairs. We have this beautiful staircase that leads to one little lone room that lives by itself on the second floor. Well, it's actually not little. It's very big. And sunny. I call it my "Vitamin D" room. Doctors say we can get our daily dose of Vitamin D with 15 minutes of sunshine a day. They say that will ward off all kinds of gunk...depression being one of them. So I've loaded up the white room with scrapbooks, childhood toys and sunshine. That's home to me.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Shabby Chic and a Little Antique coming back!

I'm not reopening my store, but I've been very busy painting. I'm looking for a local venue to sell my shabby chic furniture and accessories. I'll be specializing in baby furniture but will have lots of other styles and types. If any one knows of a place or has an idea, please leave a comment for me. My garage and upstairs is flowing over!

Repurposing Ideas from Better Homes and Gardens

These are old light globes turned upside down!
Old creamers and sugar bowls used in another way Use old salt and pepper shakers in the bath!


Flea market Friday!

I had a great little haul from the flea market today. I just have to share my "treasures" with you!
I found this lovely knit scarf for $1.00 that is perfect for an afghan on my little chair. It looks so much like the big one on the sofa it sits next to. Here's the big knit afghan on the left on the sofa
Here's how I hope to pay for my shopping trip.The thrift store said we could fill a sack full of books or magazines for $7.00. I must have 30 very old "Look", "Life" and "House Beautiful" in pristine condition. we come! I have a plan for these little pretty's. Each one was fifty cents.
A new old bottle to add to my collection. I just hung an altered art tag and put a flower on top for the stopper. the bottle was fifty cents.
I loved these old glasses for $1.00 for the set
I splurged on the antique scale - $30.00 - I think I need some folded white crisp linens on the other side where the nest under the jar is.
The little antique glass soap dish was 25 cents.
The old white saucers, cups and platter were $2.50 for all.
This little vase was $1.00. It's tarnished silver on the bottom.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Special tip to sell your house faster..shhh...

I've said it before, but I think it needs to be said again. Decorate your laundry room! (Can you tell that I visited a lot of ugly laundry rooms last week?) Rooms that are "just there"...adding nothing to the house. A fresh coat of pretty paint and some shelving or pictures can make the whole house seem bigger. Why? Because buyer's remember your house as the home with the pretty laundry room. It adds an extra room on to the home in their mind., instead of just the oversize closet or dungeon where the washing machine sits. I've included my laundry room and another one that I just love.

Do garden homes have to be boring?

The answer is a resounding "No!" from Sue Matthews, a commercial designer in Birmingham, Alabama. In a recent interview in the Realtysouth publication "Home Gallery" Matthews shared pictures her own garden home located in the Narrows. in Birmingham. Matthews states, "Having been in the design world for more than 25 years, I have been exposed to new funiture and materials every day, but I have always been drawn to old architectural elements and the memories the bring me, as well as the wonderful world of whimsy. With that in mind, I selected paint colors that would work with many of the accessories I had collected over the years."
Most of the walls in Matthews home are a neutral taupe color that makes a great background for the bright accessories she loves so much while still accentuating the textures in architectural items that she also has included throughout the house. Matthews goes on to say that she chose every piece of furniture and accessory item in her home because "it spoke to her" never because it was something she actually needed or matched someting else she already had. The result is that her whole house is her own creation and not just another garden house in a box.

Another version of Box on Wheels

Last week I posted the old crates that we made into a coffee table and end table. Yesterday I saw this in Better Homes and Gardens and it seemed like a mini version of our project. This is simply a wine box (you can ask the liquor store for free ones)with smaller industrial casters on it. Great idea for dog toys, garden tools, cleaning supplies or even bath toiletries. I'm still working on finding industrial casters for less than $6.00 a wheel (Home depot)!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Monday, March 8, 2010

Hop on My Real Estate Caravan

This week I wanted to show you pictures of a home I toured yesterday. It's located on Rice Valley Road in Tuscaloosa and is listed by Carol Jackson of Realtysouth. It's around 2000 square feet with a list price of $209,000. It's located in the highly desirable 35406 zip code. The reason I chose to feature it, is that the owners have totally redone this home from an outdated 19 year old home to a contemporary charming little gem. Although they did invest some real dollars in the master bath, the other changes were inexpensive sweat equity. The kitchen cabinets that look so contemporary were once dated, dark cabinets that they painted. The picture you see of the hall bathroom was also an owner re-do. The bathroom vanity is the old original painted black and the mirror and faucet were changed out. They updated the flooring to ceramic tile, too. All of the decorating in the home was very nice and everyone touring the home was most impressed. The owner knows how to stage a home right down to the fresh baked cookies and the yummy candle burning. It truly was a pleasure to visit this well loved home! So remember when you are looking at these pictures, that this a home that is ready to have it's 20th birthday next month!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Beautiful Living

(This is a quote by Kimberly Merritt of . Check out her blog. I love it! It says so much about design, but so much more about life.)

Photo courtesy of

Living beautifully is not about perfection.

Just as life is meant to be enjoyed, our homes are meant to be lived in. Life is messy, but you don’t have to clean it up on my watch. The beautiful part happens when the counters are completely covered in flour because the kids are helping you make cookies. (Not because those counters are granite.) It’s when newspapers, magazines and books are strewn all over every single surface because you’re learning about something new. It’s when you’ve scored a great find at a tag sale, and then repainted it and placed it in your dining room. It’s framing your children’s art in inexpensive frames – proudly. (And right alongside “real” art.)

So if you read posts about finding the perfect color palette or how to work with pattern, I hope you learn something. That’s something else I do – I teach. But please understand that decorating your home happens over time… gradually. It’s in the mundane everyday decisions of pairing things together – the good, the bad and the ugly. Only I hope you’re doing something about the ugly part. My own home is far from perfect. It will continue to evolve over time, and whenever life gets thrown into the mix. Yours should too.

Our Old Crate Coffee Tables project

This weekend Dave and I cleaned out some old crates we found in an abandoned shed and attached some industrial casters bought at Home depot to the bottom. I had hoped to put some Restore-A-Finish on them but the wood was so porous it didn't pass the patch test. So instead, I put a coat of polyurathane on them. I have taken a picture of them with and without a glass top. They obviously don't go with my living room furniture, but I can see them with a white shabby chic sofa or with the hinged lids off and used as planters in a sunroom. I will have them for sale at my upcoming Trash Can Annie sale (dates upcoming) In the meantime, I just wanted to get you thinking about how to use cast-offs. remember, industrial, rustic, and reclaimed is all the rage. This project cost me $48.00 for the casters.
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Beachy Bedroom

Beachy Bedroom

Shabby Chic Living Room

Shabby Chic Living Room
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Shabby Chic Dining Room

Shabby Chic Dining Room