Ya down with OCD?

True or false? It’s not what’s on the outside, it’s what’s on the inside that counts.

Pssh. Duh. FALSE. If it were true, there would be no such thing as Home-Owner’s Associations, that show Curb Appeal, or people who design book covers for a living. We’re humans. We tend to notice the outside of things because … well, that’s just what we see first.

Brienna was not in love with the outside of her home or the first-impression it gave. It was little sad, a little dreary, and off-centered enough to drive her batty. Seriously, who designs a house with three windows on one side and four on the other? I’m twitching.




My OCD and I can relax now, however, thanks to Brienna’s handiwork. She brightened up the entire exterior and restored balance to the universe by removing that fourth window and adding a porch-sized portico. Perfect!

New landscaping, a pretty mint-colored door, windowboxes and a new brick walkway complete the look

See more on her site Brienna Wagner.


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Marimekko Makeovers!

If Marimekko makes your eyeballs squeal with delight, I’ve got a treat for you.

If you are unsure what Marimekko is, I’ve got a paragraph copied and pasted from Wikipedia for you:

Marimekko is a Finnish home furnishings, textiles and fashion company based in Helsinki. It made important contributions to fashion in the 1960s. It is particularly noted for its brightly colored printed fabrics and simple styles, used both in women’s garments and in home furnishings.”

Okay, now that we’re all caught up, here are some Marimekko inspired makeovers. Fun for everyone!


Claire is a self-professed Marimekko maniac. She has added touches of their iconic designs all over her home, inside and out.



She decoupaged this weather-beaten bench with paper napkins and it’s so darn cute I almost didn’t even notice her equally cute dog. Isn’t he posing so nicely? Who’s a good boy? You’re a good boy, yes you are!

Right. I bet you are wondering how she plans to protect her paper-covered bench. Two words. Yacht varnish. Unofficial slogan: Protect Anything From Everything.

See the how-to on her blog Pillar Box Blue.


As for the inside of her home, Claire was looking for any reason to say goodbye to the beige-colored carpet on her stairs. They are the first thing you see when you enter the front door, so she decided to make them worthy of center stage with Marimekko wallpaper.




Not only a huge improvement from before, but she smiles every time she walks in her home now. Her teenage boys even told her (without prompting!) that they really liked the new look. She said “I know they maybe a bit over the top for some people. They are what we British call ‘A bit Marmite.’ (You either love’m or hate’m).  So far more people seem to love’m than hate’m.”

I bet they do! Also, I had to look up what Marmite is, and was stunned to find out. Ummm, my British friends, can we talk? WHAT? WHYYYY?? Please explain.

See more on her blog Pillar Box Blue.


If you love Marimekko but aren’t ready to make a staircase-sized commitment, here’s a cute little project from Kat at Just Crafty Enough.

She thought she could recreate their most famous pattern, Unikki on a pair of shoes, but her husband thought she shouldn’t bother. It would be too hard. Yeahhhh. Who do you think won that argument?



Kat, of course. “Challenge accepted and accomplished!” She executed it perfectly. Many people have used acrylic craft paint to do something similar, but Kat thought paint pens would give her more control. Unfortunately, she found that fabric paint pens lacked great color saturation. No big deal, she used Sharpies instead, and as you can see, she had no problems with bleeding. They look fantastic.


Next, it wouldn’t be the internet without a Mason jar or two. Linda from Mason Jar Crafts Love created this cute Marimekko-style vase from a plain-jane jar.



Girrrl, you are looking SO influential-Finnish-designer now!

I bet you have everything you need to make yourself one of these today.


And lastly, the only thing in the cards for this card table was a trip to the dump. It was less ‘Marimekko’ and more ‘Jackson Pollack as angry toddler with a hammer.’



But Stacey somehow saw potential here and brought it back to life with a fresh coat of paint and a yard or so of the Siirtolapuutarha fabric in vinyl. If you can’t find vinyl or PVC fabric you could always use … yacht varnish. On second thought, that doesn’t sound very food-safe, so yeah, maybe don’t.

See Stacey’s step-by-step on her blog Addison Meadows Lane.


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Pretty Patio Party

Summer is winding down, but there is still plenty of time to get out there and enjoy the outdoors before colder temperatures take over. Unless you live where I live, which is on the surface of the sun. Commonly known as ‘Phoenix.’ Colder temperatures will never take over, I’m in literal hell, someone help.

But if you live somewhere where your flesh doesn’t melt off your bones when you walk outside, here are a few outdoor projects you can try. One for each level of DIY-er!


DIY Level 1: Paint a faded patio umbrella.

Patio Umbrella Before

Patio Umbrella

Ashley was inspired by a similar umbrella design from Urban Outfitters that cost nearly $300.  Ashley’s version … $20! After several coats of paint (using several different techniques – turns out painting an umbrella is more time consuming than you might think) Ashley stenciled on the design and added pom-pom trim.  Pom-pom trim improves everything, this is a well known fact.  I’m thinking of decorating the terrorist toddler with some.

See more from Ashley at Bigger Than the Three of Us.


DIY Level 2: transform a patio set.

Blue and White Patio Set Before


Blue and White Patio Set 1

Emily from Our House Now A Home had an old patio table that was not her favorite. She has a much more colorful style, plus the tiles on the top kept breaking. She had dreams for a rustic hand-built table, but didn’t have the time to build one from scratch. Instead, she used the old table as a base and built a rustic tabletop to lay right on top. A coat of cobalt paint and a bright new umbrella completes the look.

Emily says it’s one of those things she’s kicking herself for not doing sooner. We all have something like that in our lives. I bet you could name one right now. Let me go all Tony Robbins on you and serve up some motivation: Whatever that thing is, DO IT TODAY! Paint that trim you’ve been putting off. Repair that hole in the wall. You’ll thank yourself. Then you’ll come back and thank me. And then we’ll thank Tony Robbins together.


DIY Level 3: built an outdoor sectional with pallets.

Outdoor Pallet Sectional Before


Outdoor Pallet Sectional

When Jill decided she wanted more outdoor seating, she was serious. She created this pallet sectional for her back patio that seats 15! I don’t even like that many people. Kidding, kidding, I do.

Almost everything here, including the pillows, cushion covers, and rug is homemade, hand painted, hand sewed, and/or dyed at home, all for less than $250. I mean … you could almost buy an umbrella at Urban Outfitters for that … or you could build an entire suite of furniture for your patio. It’s up to you.

See her budget breakdown and lots more pictures right here.


Happy weekend friend!

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Superb Appeal

Here’s a tragic story to start your day. All of the plants in my front yard are dead for some terrible, unknown reason.

The reason is that I did not water them. Apparently plants need water or something.

But it’s not really my fault because they are supposed to be on a dripper system. However, it seems you should turn that system up a little more when the temperatures hover around 120 WHO KNEW.

So now all the plants in my yard are dead and the neighbors surely hate me and it’s depressing to drive up to my house every day. THE END.

That’s not actually the end. I wouldn’t do that to you and your morning. Here is a happy front yard story.

Amy at My Life From Home had a perfectly nice front porch, but thought it could use a little more curb appeal.

Curb Appeal Refresh Before

Curb Appeal Refresh

So that’s what it got! It looks completely refreshed with nothing more than flowers and accessories. That’s basically all I need too. Give me flowers and new sunglasses and I’m a brand new woman. Maybe even one remembers to water her plants.


Leanne at Diva of DIY had also decided her yard needed some extra oomph. Her old patio set was the Official Patio Set of DrabTown, and if you know Leanna at all, you know that is simply unacceptable.

Colorful Patio Set Before

Colorful Patio Set

DrabTown is now a distant memory, fading further and further into the review mirror thanks to chalk paint, chevron tape and most mysteriously of all … Bondo?!

Head on over to her blog Diva of DIY to find out more!

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