Christmas Light Garland

Are you Christmas fanatic who had your tree up in September? Do you wait until after Thanksgiving to get started? Are you like me and decided that now would be a great time to paint the entire inside of your house?

Yeah, timing is not my strong suit. But I am excited to finally get rid of this filthy, flat builder-beige! I chose a white-white shade of … white.  Ahhh, it’s like a breath of fresh air for my walls. I can’t describe to you how disgusting flat paint gets in a house full of kids. But I’ll try. Way disgusting.

But now that the walls are white-white, I’m noticing how yellowy-white the doors and trim are in comparison. So I’ll be painting those too. Wheee! Nothing like a monumental project to add more stress and anxiety to the holidays!  I will probably not have my decorations up until New Years.

But not you! You have your decorations up, your Christmas shopping is done, you’ve got a batch of homemade cookies in the oven and you’re just sitting there twiddling your over-productive thumbs.

You could: A) Get your buns over here and help me paint. Or B) Do a little Christmas crafting!

Here is a most adorable idea from Kristi at Chatfield Court. She took a handful of burned-out Christmas bulbs and threw them in the trash. Wait, that’s what I would have done. Creative-pants Kristi, on the other hand, spray-painted them with Rust-Oleum Mirror Effect Spray followed by a quick spritz of vinegar and water. This resulted in a mercury-glass look:




Um, hello gorgeous. She simply strung them together with baker’s twine for the cutest Christmas garland you’ve seen all day. LOVE this idea!


And it’s such a simple project, you could make it today and STILL have plenty of time to get over here and help me paint. At least think about it.

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Thankful and Carpetless

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope your kitchen is full of family, friends, and food today, and empty of the one thing no one can stomach. No, not frog-eye salad, that’s actually my favorite. Don’t be crazy. I’m talking about carpet. 

Really now, who puts carpet in the kitchen? Probably the same people who put it in the bathroom. Whoever they are, they’re lunatics and not to be trusted. Although, my grandparents had carpet in their kitchen and bathrooms, and they were some of the nicest people on the planet, so I could be wrong. But better not trust them, just to be safe.

Or, why not just rip that carpet out and install some up-to-date flooring? The turkey’s still thawing, you’ve got time.




Cara made a night-and-day change in her kitchen by ditching the the decades-old carpet and dark and dated wall-paneling. I admit, it would have been really hard for me to see the potential in the before. Those drapes … those walls … that CARPET.

But she soldiered on and transformed this space into the gorgeous light-filled kitchen you see here.



So many smart updates. Reversing the layout and bringing the peninsula further into the dining room area looks like it doubled the entire kitchen space. The new door also brings in so much light, I bet the old owners wish they could go back in time and at least change that. It didn’t have to be a carpeted cave all this time!

See more on Cara’s blog Live the Home Life.

And have a happy Thanksgiving friend.

And save me some frog-eye salad.




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Fit to Be Tied

Do you work best under a deadline? I think most people do. I set arbitrary deadlines for myself all the time. Here’s the secret for being successful with that: you have to tell other people. If you set a deadline in your head, you can easily talk yourself out of it. BUT if you tell someone else and they keep you accountable, you and your buns will work overtime to make it happen, whatever ‘it’ happens to be.

Angela gave herself six weeks to complete a full makeover of her exercise room into a room for her toddler son. And her list of everything she wanted to complete in those six weeks was lonnnngg. But she kept track of her weekly progress on her blog, and was cheered on by her readers along the way. What would the world be like without you fabulously supportive blog readers? I hope I never find out.

Not only did she give her son a room worth raving about, she did it in exactly six weeks AND checked everything off that list. Let’s take a look.





Her goal was a menswear-inspired ‘little gentleman’s lounge,’ which she completely nailed. The jumping off point for her design was the discovery of the tufted leather chairs, which she found in the pet section! They’re meant for dogs (hilariously, they were called ‘Sexy Pet Loungers,’ which I’m still laughing about), but they were just the right size for her toddler son, and went perfectly with her theme. Also, anything meant to withstand animal use probably has a decent chance at surviving a toddler boy. I would know.




My brain boggles at the amount of time and math it must have taken to paint the argyle wall, but what a show-stopper! I love the rows of airplane hooks here too, practical hat storage and fun design element in one. But I think the hanging tent might be my favorite part. Not only is the tent made from navy suiting-fabric with thin white pinstripes (perfect) she created the top by collecting neckties from every male member of her family. There are ties donated from uncles, grandpas, great-grandpas, and even the first tie her husband ever wore. She sewed a special tag on the backs with each of their names.

And that’s just one of the extra-special details she put into this room. There are so many more. SO MANY! Go visit her blog and find out, you are sure to be amazed. How amazed? There’s mention of a vintage Thriller vinyl, OK? Just trust me. Go. See it all at blue i style.

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Breath of Fresh Heirloom

Maggie had just finished renovating her home into the dreamy, bright, white-filled space she had always imagined. Then, a bomb dropped. A bomb in the shape of a behemoth 9’x7′ hutch from the ’70s. “It’s the perfect size to fill that empty wall in the kitchen!” her father-in-law enthusiastically proclaimed. “Obviously of course you want it.”

“Yes. Awesome. I would definitely love that.” Maggie replied, silently screaming on the inside.

“Great. I’ve been storing this thing for 10 years and I want it gone.” Maggie’s inner screaming continued as the monster-hutch traveled from New Jersey to Massachusetts, finally clunking down in her home in all its powerfully brown glory.




But it really was the perfect size.



And after a few graphite-colored coats of chalk paint and a layer of gold Rub ‘n Buff on the hardware, she started to warm up to it. She even discovered a few secrets this hutch was hiding along the way, which made her love it even more. Now it’s the perfect place to display her collection of white dishes and silver pieces. Yay for happy endings!

See all the details on her blog Crunchy Diva.

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