Answers to 10 Popular Decorating Questions

Designer Questions 7

As you can imagine, I get asked design questions all the time.  There are those that stand out because they are asked most often.  Believe me, there are more than 10, but let’s just get started with these. 1. I have an open plan in my home but want to change colors, where do I…

My 10 Furniture Must Haves

Must Have Hostess Chairs

They say experience is the best teacher and now that I have it, I’d have to agree. I have lived in nearly 20 different houses or apartments over the years and I now know what pieces have stood the test of time. There are certain versatile items that can be used in nearly every room…

Double Lamp Shade is Stylish and Unique

Double Lamp Shade

It took a bit of time but I have fallen in love with the variety of printed lamp shades out there. I have several in my home and they are a great way to update a lamp, and your room as a result. Then, the other day I spotted this double lamp shade. It was…

Awesome Old Fashioned Easter Eggs

Easter Egg with Chick

Did you know that the original PAAS Easter egg dye was invented by an American named William Townley? “Mr. Townley owned a drug store in Newark, New Jersey, where he concocted recipes for home products. In the late 1800s, he came up with a recipe for Easter egg dye tablets that tinted eggs five cheerful…

Best Vegetarian/Vegan Cookbooks

Best Vegetarian Cookbooks

…according to me! That’s right, I use quite a few vegetarian cookbooks in my kitchen and I’ve recently done a series of articles on these five with recipes included. If you missed the series, here’s a recap to spark your interest! I’ve been mostly vegetarian and sometimes vegan for the past 5 years or so….

The Vegan Cook’s Bible’s Black Blondies

Black Blondies

The Vegan Cook’s Bibleby Pat Crocker is a cookbook I purchased for the amazing amount of health information it has.  There are over 120 pages of intense information about how a vegan lifestyle can affect your health along with how certain foods benefit different body systems. There are 60 pages following that list all the…

The Vegan Table’s Elegantly Simple Stuffed Bell Peppers

Vegetarian Cookbooks 7

Choosing a vegan cooking style is a choice that requires dedication, perseverance, and determination.  I tried this for a while and found that I really wanted eggs, butter and milk in my recipes. That doesn’t mean you can’t do it and find it to be just the right fit for your health goals and conscience….

Cooking Light’s Baby Arugula, Pear, and Gorgonzola Salad

Vegetarian Cookbooks 5

Cooking Light Way to Cook Vegetarianshould be a staple in any vegetarian’s kitchen. Even if you only occasionally go meat-free, like on Meat-Free Mondays, this cookbook will give you over 150 delicious recipes that celebrate the idea of dining without meat. What is nice about his cookbook is that the recipes included cover vegetables of…

Vegetable of the Day’s Summer Beans with Lemon and Almonds

Vegetarian Cookbooks 3

Vegetable of the Day by Kate McMillan is my newest cookbook, and it is by Williams-Sonoma so you know it has to be good! There truly is a vegetable recipe for every day of the year! Not surprisingly, there are 12 chapters titled by the month, and each one begins with a full spread calendar and…

Unique Water Shut-Off Position

Water Shut-Off Valve Placement

I took a photo of this in my friend T.J.’s model home, because I thought it was such a smart idea. I have spent many agonizing hours trying to paint around, tape around, wallpaper around, and upholster around the water shut-off under the commode. You’ve done this haven’t you? You try laying on the commode,…

Jungle Theme Kid’s Bedroom Projects

Jungle Room

When you are getting set to decorate a child’s bedroom, you often search through bedding for inspiration.  It makes sense because there are so many great bedding designs out there for kids, and its fun to let your child make the bedding decision. Then, it’s up to you to bring the entire bedroom to life….

Are Vessel Sinks Practical?


OK, I don’t have a vessel sink but I do think they can be stunning. I just wonder if there is a possibility that you might keep running into it as you move your hands around with toothbrushes, tubes, bottles and the like. Also, do they collect dust and bathroom debris under them and are…

Stainless Steel Back Splash – Yea or Nay?

Stainless Steel Back Splash

When I saw this stainless steel tile back splash I immediately thought, wow that looks so sleek and modern.  I love it! Then I started thinking about how my stainless steel sink looks right now and that maybe it isn’t such a great idea. Although, I don’t really scrub my back splash too often, maybe…

What NOT To Do with Old Jeans

Jeans Table

When I saw this table in a restaurant on a recent vacation, I knew I had to at least comment on it. And my comment is, “Never do this to a pair of old jeans!” There are countless other things to do with old jeans….recycle them into insulation, cut them off to make shorts, Make…

Mirrors Can Do Magic in Your Home

Mirror on Dining Room Wall

I had a horrific mirror experience this spring and I’m now finally getting over it.  No, no one was hurt, but it could have been a disaster.  Now, I find that the mirrors in my home are so much more important to me than I originally thought.  Here’s the story. I arrived home from dropping…

How To Survive Wallpaper Nightmares

Surviving Wallpaper Nightmares 1

After having wallpapered dozens of rooms, and of course removed just as much paper, I can tell you I’ve been through dream projects and nightmares as well. However, between Matt’s and my experience, we can get you through any wallpaper dilemma and have you begging for more….wallpapering that is, not dilemmas. 1. Can I prime…

Make a Modern Stylish Bean Bag Pouf

Poufs 1

The bean bag chair of the 70’s was a comfortable relative of the new bean bag pouf, it just looks a bit slouchy and worn down compared to the new more geometric style.  These are easy to make and are a fun addition to just about any room. Before you start your pouf, there are…

Make Your Bed The Star of Your Bedroom Decor

Beds 3 Color

For years I’ve taught that when you enter your bedroom, your bed should be positioned front and center because it is the largest piece of furniture in the room. Also, it is the one piece that you can design any way you like by selecting an upholstered headboard versus a wood or iron one. You…

Discover Home Decorating Ideas While on Vacation

Williamsburg Finished Bedroom

I’m sure I’ve mentioned before that one of the best ways to get inspired to decorate your home is to do a little research.  The best place to do that research…… on vacation!  Now doesn’t that sound like a good idea?  Here’s a for instance:  you know you’ve wanted to create a tropical paradise in…

A Curved Shower Rod is The Bomb!

Moen Curved Shower Rod

Don’t you hate it when the shower curtain floats into the tub and either sticks to your wet body or leaves you little or no room to wash up? Well, my daughter and I solved that in her bathroom with a curved shower curtain and we’ll never go back to the old style! Have you…

Can You Do This with Your Box of Chalk?

Chalk Festival Legos

We have a Chalk Festival in my town every year and I have to tell you that the art created is amazing.  The designs are all put in the middle of the street which is closed off for a short period and then the art usually remains until it washes away. This is one that…

Accessorize Your Kitchen with the Art of Vignettes

Tex Mex Vignette

Vignettes, or small groupings of accessories, are great ways to add designer details to your kitchen. They need to be thought out well because the kitchen counter is a very busy place. Of course you have necessities that belong there, but a few accessories do make it feel more like home instead of a sterile…

Oreo Balls Taste Like Expensive Truffles

Oreo Balls Are a Quick Dessert

I’m not sure where this recipe originated…probably from the Nabisco Company, but they are fabulous made with the original Oreo and I recently had some made with the mint Oreo and fell in love again! I got this recipe from my friend Sharlee, who gives me most of my great recipes. The ones pictured are…

Get Organized Using Your Recycled Jars

Recycled Jars to Organize

A recycled jar “carrier” can be used for so many things. I like the idea of silverware and napkins for a buffet, but it could hold candies, craft items, office supplies and more.  This is also a good project to do with kids since you can have most of the cutting done at your local…

How I Hosted A Tasting Party

Tasting Party Table Setting

I finally tried hosting a tasting party and it was a huge success – I’ll tell you how I did it. I am constantly looking for ways to have a party.  I love getting together with my friends and creating an experience for everyone.  I’m already known for my Christmas Cookie Exchange, and last year…

Printed Lamp Shades Add a Nice Detail

Printed Lamp Shade

I know this isn’t the first printed lamp shade you’ve seen, but it certainly is an interesting one, especially since we’ve been having discussions about the color gray. I do like the idea of giving your shade a little lift with a colored fabric, texture, pleating, folds and now printed patterns. You might want to…

How to Use the Color Gray in Your Home

Light Gray Media Room

A recent visit to a Designer Show House opened my eyes to the popularity of the color…or lack of color…“gray”! Some of the rooms were designed with gray as the main color but done in varying shades as you see in this lovely contemporary living room setting.  The clean, curvilinear lines and geometric shapes are…

Interesting Detail on High End Chairs

Chair with Serged Edges Showing

Another quick shot from the Show House I recently visited. This is a detail we’ve seen on clothing before and I’m not surprised that it made it to home fashions.  Notice the seams on this high end chair.  Instead of the serged edges and seam allowances being hidden inside the upholstery, they are on the…

Meet My Eagle

Eagle In My Tree

Well, he’s not MY eagle, but he is in MY tree! What a wonderful surprise to see this beautiful bird soar across the yard and land in the tree right above my head! He obviously wasn’t afraid of me or any of the other people standing around me, and he posed for pictures like he’d…

Is Grey the New Hot Color for 2014?

Grey Show House Room

Last week I visited a Designer Show House in our area and found one color that was a common thread throughout most of the home. That color is “grey”. This room was all done in varying shades of it and other rooms had it as accents or backgrounds or in details.  I took lots of…

Sew Your Own Mini Felt Conversation Hearts

Felt Hearts Sprinkled on Bed

Candy conversation hearts are all the rage around Valentine’s Day, but with a few scraps of felt and embroidery floss you can make some of your own that have your sentiments on them and can be used year after year. Materials List: Variety of 9×12 felt squares or scraps Heart shaped template or cookie cutter Coordinating embroidery…

Old Buoys Dress an Accent Wall

Wall of Buoys

Saw this fabulously colorful wall in one of the dining rooms at the Gaylord Palms Hotel near Walt Disney World. I thought the old buoys looked great against the rich blue walls and it is a perfect example of how good lighting can make a difference. It looked like the buoys were strung on boat…

Octogenarian Birthdays Are the Best

Birthday Cake for Jeanne

I have gone to several octogenarian birthday’s in the last month and I want to make some comments about the birthday boys and girls and their friends. In every aspect, the people I met and spoke with were exemplary people. They were kind, they looked in my eyes as they spoke to me, they seemed…

The Pampered Hot Drink Consumer

Flavia Hot Drink Maker

Just spent a few hours at the car dealer getting something checked on my car. To help make all of us poor folk who are just sitting there waiting, a bit happier, this car dealership has a big screen TV, comfy chairs, bagels and donuts (in the morning but changes to fresh baked chocolate chip…

Read These Tips Before Buying a Couch

Tight Back Sofas Always Look Neat

A couch (or sofa as I’ve  come to call it) is a big purchase and these tips will help you make a smart decision on both style and quality. Let’s talk about style first since that decision is made while you are still at home.  The quality portion happens while you are standing in the…

Love These Pretty Ruffles

Ruffled Comforter

First, sorry the photo is a bit fuzzy but I bet you’ll get the idea.  I found this cute comforter in white with colorful floral fabric ruffles sewn onto it in a stripe design. These are easy to make and would look cute on pillows, as trim on towels, napkins, dust ruffles, drapery panels, pillow…

Salad Dressing Has All My Favorites

Salad Dressing Package

How could it be possible that someone would put together all my favorite things in one salad dressing?  I love vinaigrette dressing, add my favorite berry – raspberry – and then make it FAT-FREE!!! This is another dream come true.  This little packet came from a restaurant so I don’t know if the brand is…

My Serpentine…Friend?

My Serpentine Friend

I have to be careful when I go out to get the mail because I have a “friend” who likes to meet me there. Although truth be told I don’t know which one of us is more afraid! Do any of you have critters that like to show their faces all too often?