So Many Things to Love

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There are so many things to love about this space.  


The Hickory White neoclassical chairs in the dining area are given a modern twist with the ultra hip fabric from Robert Allen.  Love.

My eye is also drawn to the walls in the kitchen which give off a warm glow that perfectly compliments the cool hues in the blue tones.  Oh my.

Then there is that light fixture.  Seriously.  How cool is that?

So let’s review:

  • Mixing traditional elements with unexpected modern touches = instant winner
  • Combine warm tones with cool tones to balance the room
  • Bring in interesting light fixtures to give the room added dimension

What do you like about this space?  I would love to hear from you!


3 Tips for Organizing Your Home

I’d like to introduce you to a blogging friend of mine, Alli from An Alli Event!  She is creative, genuine and funny.  I’ve followed her blog for quite some time now and it is an honor to have her as a guest on my blog.  Here are her 3 tips for organizing your home.  Take it away, Alli! 





 I love the feeling of accomplishment I get when I clean out a closet, the kitchen pantry or reorganize an entire room. And I always promise myself that the space will stay clutter free. Yeah. Right. In a perfect world.

 I adopted the mantra “Everything has a place and everything should be in its place” many years ago. I just wish my kids and husband would adopt that saying, too.

 Here are my three tips for keeping a space clean, organized and clutter free!

1. Everything must have its own space!

Identify what’s important to you and find a home for those items. Use the 80/20 rule – We only use about 20% of what we own. The other 80% is something we once used, or think we may use someday. Get rid of things you don’t use.

I find that areas stay cluttered when there is no rhyme nor reason for that particular area. When we take the time and find a space for something, it’s easier to put it back where it belongs. Which brings me to #2.

2. It only takes a few extra seconds to put things back where they belong.

Take my walk-in closet in my bedroom for example. It would stay neat and tidy if I always put my shoes back where they belonged instead of sometimes kicking them off and leaving them wherever they happen to land. The same goes for putting clothing where they belong: the dirty clothes hamper, a hanger or the dry clean hamper.

It’s so much easier to clean the kitchen while you prepare a meal and finish up as soon as you’re done eating.

3. Just touch it once!

I have a small table right beside the entry door. It has a bowl for the keys and a basket with slots for the mail. As soon as I walk in the door the keys go into the bowl and the mail is deposited in the basket. Junk mail is disposed of instead of stuck somewhere to accumulate.

I always know where my keys are because I only touched them once. I don’t leave them on the kitchen counter or on my dresser. They always go in the bowl. My keys are not old like the following picture, but don’t you just love the antique bowl and the rusted old keys?


Helpful Hint: Years ago I read a book on organizing that used the acronym “SPACE” and it goes right along with my 3 tips for organizing.

Organizing the Home


I hope these 3 tips for organizing your home have helped you to become better organized. What’s your best organizing tip?

An Alli Event


Hometalk and Bold Color

There’s my name — right next to the Hometalk logo!!  Excuse me a moment while I do a little happy dance!  Thankfully, I work alone so no one has to be subjected to my spastic interpretation of the sprinkler dance.


I have long been a fan of Hometalk so when they asked me to curate a board for them on bold color, I boldly said YES!

Hometalk is the largest online home & garden knowledge hub.  It’s made up of a community of homeowners, renters, and home improvement pros who generously share their ideas about home and gardening.  It’s a great resource!

Let’s take a look at a few of the bold color gems I have chosen for you from the Hometalk site! 

Several of My Bold Color Favorites



I chose this post because everyone loves a charming entrance, right?  The red door plays perfectly off the gray paint on this little cottage.  If you feel like your house needs some personality, try painting the front door an interesting color.  It’s an easy Saturday project and just think, you might fall in love with your house all over again.




This dresser really sings because of three things:  the shape, the color and the gloss finish.  The delicate nature of the shape of this piece combined with the color and gloss have a huge impact.  I simply can’t take my eyes off of it.





I fell in love with this art the minute I saw it.


Stacking the three pieces on a narrow wall gives this room an intense amount of energy.  Love.  Love.  Love.




Now THAT is a focal wall!  Wow.  Let’s take a look at how this was accomplished.  I’m guessing that the rug was the inspiration piece, meaning that the person who designed this room took the color suggestions from the rug.  

The painted burst of color on the wall can easily be achieved with some painter’s tape and a little planning.  The white frame around it is just paint, so you don’t even need to get out the saw!  

The flower in the middle is a three-dimensional item, probably picked up in a craft store or home and garden center.

The butterfly artwork could be made a number of ways.  You might try a stencil, sticker or a Cricut to cut out the shape in the middle.  This room has loads of personality and it was all achieved with color.  

Are you inspired?

Click here to see the rest of my Bold Color Collection!

Share your bold color creations.  I would love to hear from you!

Thank you, Hometalk, for this incredible honor!  Be sure and head to their site to see the rest of my collection.

Searching for bold color just for you,  😉


P.S.  Here is another post about bold color.  You won’t want to miss these gorgeous rooms!



Creativity, Conversation and Laughter

If you live in the Portland, Oregon area and you want to treat yourself to a fun evening of creativity, great conversation and lots of laughter, head over to Brush and Trowel for one of the event or demo classes.

brush and trowel building


Great Conversation, Plenty of Laughter

Adrienne, the queen of creativity

Adrienne Wanamaker, the owner, will put you at ease with her million dollar smile and her “you can do it” attitude.   [Read more…]

Planning A Wedding

My cousin is in the midst of planning a wedding for her daughter and future son-in-law.

She is doing an amazing job of balancing their budget and their vision while creating memories along the way.   A wedding is such a beautiful, meaningful occasion and those of us who have planned a wedding, know that it’s easy to feel like everything has to be perfect.  Stepping outside that thought process for just a minute causes us all to agree that the process is just as important as the actual day. [Read more…]

How To Easily Throw An Easy Party


Parties are fun.  But they can also be exhausting.  I am always on the lookout for ways to easily throw an easy party.  

Here are the hints that top my list —

The Plan

1.  Make the main dish and ask guests to each bring a salad or dessert.  I love to see what everyone brings!  I get the best recipes that way.  

  Barefoot Contessa1


2.  Make sure your trash is in plain site so that guests can help keep the party area clean by throwing away used plates, napkins, etc., as the evening progresses. [Read more…]

Make Your 4th of July GREAT!

Who doesn’t love the 4th of July?  I was just in Michigan recently, and we went to the Memorial Day Parade hosted by a neighboring town.  It was like stepping back into a Norman Rockwell painting.  People of all ages packed both sides of the streets eagerly waiting for the band to march through town.  All the kids, dressed in red, white, and blue, enthusiastically waved their American flags as each segment of the parade marched by.


It was a beautiful site.  I’m proud to call this country my home!

There is something about the patriotic spirit that is so hopeful.  

So selfless.

And so sincere. [Read more…]

Why You Must Try This Dessert

Barefoot Contessa1

Why do I want you to try this dessert?

Well, it’s pretty simple really.  It’s delicious and it only requires a few ingredients.  It’s hard to find a recipe that has both those qualifications but when I do, I put a star next to it!  Allow me to elaborate… 😉

Give Me Delicious 

If you are a chocolate lover, this dessert is for you.

It’s ooey.

It’s gooey.

It’s pure heaven.

Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream and seriously, you will be over the moon for the decadent delight. [Read more…]

How To Make Your Guests Feel Welcome


The visit


As I started thinking about this post, my mind went into list mode as it often does.  But then I started thinking, do I really need to state the obvious?  I mean, don’t we all know that fresh sheets and an extra blanket are a given when getting the guest room ready?

[Read more…]

Celebrate With Great Invitations and of Course, Ice Cream!

I love to celebrate!  My “go to” prize for just about any kind of achievement is an ice cream cone.

Your soccer team won?  Let’s get ice cream!

You were chosen to be in the play?  Let’s get ice cream!

You got an A on your test?  Let’s get ice cream!

It’s Monday…let’s get ice cream!  

My husband usually just rolls his eyes and laughs. [Read more…]

Graduation Parties

Max and Jared at graduation

I love this time of year. The weather is finally shifting, giving us hope that maybe, just maybe summer is on its way. With the word summer comes thoughts of vacation, sunscreen, bonfires and hamburgers on the grill. [Read more…]

Ballard Designs

I just got my new Ballard Designs catalog and I had to share my favorites.  (This is not a sponsored post btw, it’s just me sending some love to Ballards!)

Blue Vase Art

Blue Vase Art

Seriously!  How cute are these pictures?  This collection would look amazing in your living room, guest room, bathroom or foyer.


Bornova Side Tables

Bornova Side Tables

The texture on these little beauties is great.  I’m in love with the gray.  Which one is your favorite?



Edie Block Print Table Collection

Edie Block Print Table Linens

This collection took my breath away.



Haviland Shades

Haviland Shades

Every lamp should have personality and these shades will give you that little bit of punch that you may need.



Marguerite Stools

Marguerite Stools

I would have to go with the  driftwood finish on these stools – although I love them both.

Check out the Ballard Design catalog.   They offer a quality product for a very reasonable price.  Their inventory is constantly changing so if you like it, you better snag it!  I’ve only gotten through 10 pages so far, so with coffee cup in hand, I’m going to continue my browsing!

Happy Friday,




What does a bench say to you?  To me, I guess the words that come to mind would be…have a seat, stay awhile, informal, party, squish together,kid friendly,  the more the merrier, welcome.  😉  I like benches.  I like them in the kitchen, by the front door and of course out back on the patio.  Let’s take a look at some of my favorites!


I’m in love with this little treasure. Consider adding a small bench to your front porch. It’s a great way to add a feeling of warmth and welcome to your home.

If you are fortunate enough to have a backyard space like this, you may want to think about a stone bench. Creating a curved shape, like you see here, creates a warmer space. Add color and texture to your bench with cushions and pillows. This type of bench is not only unique but it is also impervious to the weather.

Here is another example of a stone bench that incorporates a cement seat. Beautiful.

This bench is incorporated into the design of the back porch. I would guess that a person could even take a nap on this type of bench. What do you think? 😉

I wanted to finish my post with this bench, simply because it made me smile. What is your style?  Maybe you like a bench that blends into your surroundings.  Maybe you like something that is bursting with color.  Make your backyard a reflection of your style.  The sky is the limit!
A big thank you goes to the folks at Houzz for these amazing pictures!




I love the idea of a banquette!  Think about it…when you go into a restaurant, would you rather sit at a booth or a table?  We always choose a booth!  Why?  Because it just seems more cozy!  Don’t you think?  Adding a banquette to your eating area will give your kitchen that same warm and cozy feeling that you want when sharing a meal with friends and family.  


Let’s take a look at a few of my favorites — from Houzz, of course!


Banquettes are perfect for a small area where you need to maximize your seating.


This area is very small and yet it comfortably seats six people.  I love how the back of this bench perfect frames the decorative window.


This corner booth transforms an empty spot in the kitchen into a cute, trendy little eating area for 4 or 5 hungry guests.


I especially love the banquettes that extend out from the wall on either side of the table.  All you need to do is add some washable cushions and you have the perfect spot for that morning cup of coffee!


Banquettes can be the focal point of your kitchen.
Maybe you want your banquette to be the focal point of the kitchen.  This can easily be achieved by paying special attention to the fabric choice and bench design.


This bench is actually a stand alone piece that looks like a built-in.  The shape is unique and the fabric really makes a statement.


Find a good upholsterer and design your own look!


Banquettes don’t have to be built in.
Maybe you don’t want a permanent structure added to your kitchen, but you like the banquette look.  Just like I noted in the earlier picture (green and white striped bench), you can achieve that look with a bench.


Whether you order this out of a catalog or have it custom made, this gives you the option to change out the seating in the future if need be.  You could even take this with you if you move.  (I’m loving the tufting.  Anybody else agree?)


Here is another example of a stand-alone bench used to achieve a banquette look.


Here is my favorite banquette pic~


It has everything — the lighting, the window, the built-ins, the pillows, the table, the chairs — all perfect!
Which picture was your favorite?


Now I want a cup of coffee!  😉


Have a great day,

Unexpected Fabric

I believe that your personal design style evolves over time.  The rooms that I find the most interesting usually tell a story.  Maybe it’s in the artwork, or the furniture, or the accessories.  The way that new and old items are woven together in a room give the space a unique depth that you won’t find if all the pieces are purchased at the same time.

I am currently working with a client who was given two of these Louse XVI beauties by her mom.

photo (15)

I can’t wait to get them back from my upholstery guy and place them in her room.  The fabric we chose is gorgeous.

Do you have a chair that might be a diamond in the rough?  Consider getting it reupholstered.  It’s the  perfect way to add personality to your space.

Here are some examples of chairs that have been reborn.  Enjoy!

Be bold!  Infuse your room with an incredible amount of energy by choosing a bold simple print.


Use a contrasting fabric on the back of your chair.  So fun!


Less than one yard of fabric transformed this chair into a showpiece.  Let your imagination run wild!


Think about what elements you want to accentuate when you are choosing your fabric.  Here we can see that the designer wanted to bring the outdoors in with the placement of this botanical print in front of the windows.


Are you looking to mix elegance with comfort?  Choose a simple, comfortable fabric to achieve this look.


This beautiful chair that is peeking at us from the corner has quite the personality, don’t you agree?


Mix modern with traditional.  Be brave!


I had to end my post with this show stopper!  I love everything about this chair.
The high gloss black paint is both elegant and unexpected.  The plush velvet fabric is decadent.  This is truly a winner.


Which one was your favorite?
Head out to your garage and see if you have a forgotten chair that is waiting to be rediscovered!
Have a great day!
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