7 Upcycle Projects That Helped Me Get Organized

I love working on upcycle projects because they breathe new life into objects that might otherwise end up in the landfill.  I also love getting organized.  So, when an upcycle project actually helps me get organized, I know it’s a winner.

If you’ve been visiting my blog for a while, you probably know about my most recent upcycle project – where my husband and I took an old dresser and two salvage shop kitchen cabinets and turned them into built-ins for my dressing room.

Those built-ins made it easy to organize that room.

So today I’m rummaging through the attic of this blog and pulling out some of my older posts about upcycle projects that helped me get organized.

Before we start, I must warn you that some of my early photography was pretty horrendous.  But I’m going to show you anyway.

Okay, let’s see . . . ah, here’s a good one to start with.

1.  DIY Shoe Storage Upgrade

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We took a small bookshelf and converted it into much-needed shoe storage for our mudroom.

A small bookshelf converted to shoe storage

 

2. A Vintage-Inspired Laundry Hamper From An Old Lamp Shade

This laundry hamper project required a little sewing, but if was fun and easy.

A vintage-inspired laundry hamper made with the frame of an old lamp shade

This hamper now sits in our recently-remodeled laundry room.

3.  Jewelry Organizers From Old Frames

This idea has been around for a long time.  But these jewelry organizers were fun to make – and they were a great way to use my vintage button collection.

Jewelry organizers made with upcycled frames

 

 

4.  A New Life For An Old Trailer Sink

In this project, we repurposed an old trailer sink into a much-needed potting bench sink for my greenhouse.

An old trailer sink gets a new home in this potting bench.

It has a water source and a very simple and practical way to drain.

Having this sink really helps me keep the greenhouse in order, and I use it all the time.

5.  An Old Stereo Cabinet Converted To A Liquor Cabinet

My husband, Chris, did this elegant conversion.  I always admire his attention to detail.

An Old Stereo Cabinet Converted To a Liquor Cabinet

Now there is a handy place for everything.

 

6.  A Chalkboard From An Old Cabinet Door

We simply couldn’t chuck this cute old cabinet door that was original to our house, so I turned it into a chalkboard for our kitchen.  We use it every day to keep track of our grocery needs.

This post also talks about a couple of mystery chambers that we found during our laundry room remodel.  Old houses hold many secrets!

7.  Kitchen Storage With A Vintage Twist

I still can’t believe that I found this vintage cabinet for only $5 at a garage sale.  Sprucing it up and tucking it into an underused kitchen corner helped me get my serveware organized.

 

 

Thanks for helping me sort through my blog’s attic today.  My plan is to continue to organize the attic, so I’ll be posting more roundups from time to time.

Posts on this website are for entertainment only and are not tutorials.

 

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Easy-Peasy Tulips In A Champagne Bucket

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you might remember my elevated tulips floral arrangement from last year.

Tulips arranged on a cake stand

It sat on a cake stand and actually looked a little like a cake.

I love working with tulips when they are in season because they are so beautiful and affordable.  Recently, I stumbled upon a 24-stem bunch at Trader Joe’s.

So many tulips!  I decided to fill my champagne bucket with some of them in an arrangement that uses many of the same materials as the elevated tulips arrangement did – but is even simpler to put together.

 

The Materials

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I use my thrift store champagne bucket for floral arrangements all the time.  Champagne buckets make any flower or stem look so elegant.  I grew paperwhites in mine this past Christmas.

The bucket is 10 inches tall – too tall for me to just plop the tulips into.  So I would need a shallow bowl with a flat bottom that was just the right diameter to fit inside the ice bucket – near the top.  Luckily I had one.

I also needed a few decorative stones, some spike flower frogs, and my live Spanish moss.

Materials for easy-peasy tulips in a champagne bucket

 

The Method

I put the decorative stones in the bottom of the champagne bucket to weigh it down.  Now the arrangement wouldn’t be top heavy.

Then I the cut the tulips to the length I wanted them and put them on a few spike flower frogs.  I used about 11 of the tulips in this arrangement.

tulips on spike flower frogs

I set the shallow bowl inside the bucket and filled it with water.

Making easy-peasy tulips in a champagne bucket

And I carefully placed the flower frogs with tulips inside the shallow bowl.

making easy-peasy tulips in a champagne bucket

Now I just needed to conceal the bowl.  I used my live Spanish moss to give the arrangement a cute “scarf.” Live Spanish moss is an air plant, and it should appreciate the evaporated water that will come up from the shallow bowl.

Dry Spanish moss would probably also have worked for this arrangement.

champagne bucket centerpiece

All done!

The Result

Since tulips keep growing after they are cut, my arrangement got a bit leggy after a few days.

But actually that gave it a dramatic flair.

champagne bucket centerpiece

More Easy-Peasy Stuff

Recently we hosted a little birthday dinner for my mom, Erika. So, I needed a centerpiece, a cake, and a gift.  I wanted to get all fancy, but my inner voice kept warning me to “Keep it simple.”

The Centerpiece

This vintage fan vase makes arranging flowers so easy.

tulips in a vintage fan vase

There are so many fun vintage fan vases out there.  I am always tempted to add more to my vase collection.

The Cake

I made this super-easy fruit-topped almond cake.  It didn’t quite turn out looking like the photo in the recipe, but it was close.

fruit-topped almond cake

Next time I’ll use an 8-inch cake tin instead of a 9-inch so that the cake is taller.

 

The Gift

I wanted to give Mom an exotic plant to grow in her sunroom.  I was fascinated with the tree ferns I saw on our recent trip to Hawaii, but I could not find any locally.

Luckily I found a young Tasmanian Tree Fern Dicksonia antarctica at SevenTropical on Etsy.  It was surprisingly affordable, it arrived quickly, and it was a healthy plant.

And I found a hand-painted Farval overpot for it.

A young Tasmanian Tree Fern (Tasmanian Tree Fern Dicksonia antarctica) in a Farval overpot

I only wish the plant had come with care instructions.  (And maybe it did and I overlooked them.)  But that is easy to Google.

 

Posts on this website are for entertainment only and are not tutorials.

 

Here you’ll find seasonal goodies, my current decor obsessions, and more!

 

Want to see more? Browse my photo gallery or check out these categories:

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Our Master Bath Remodel Series
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My Dressing Room Remodel
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5 Ways To Bring the Tropics Into Home Decor

Rain, rain, rain. Around here, this is a gloomy time of the year.  The holidays have passed, and the days are short, gray, and soggy.  But my husband and I were very lucky to escape to Hawaii for much of January. 

And I came back with my head filled with the colors of the tropics,

A hibiscus in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

 

The lush, exuberant plants that seem almost unreal,

An island in Lily Pond, Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden, Hawaii

 

And all those rich natural textures.

Canoe hut at Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park, Hawaii

 

It was raining when we left for Hawaii, and it’s pretty much been raining since we got back. So I’m looking at ways to bring some of that tropical cheer into our home. 

Of course, many of us are already bringing the tropics into our homes simply by having tropical house plants.

Tropical plants and succulents share space in Erika’s sunroom

 

But there are many other ways to infuse the tropics into home decor. It all begins with . . . 

Striking the Right Balance

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Tropical décor does have a potential downside:  It’s all too easy to go overboard and wind up with something that looks overdone and a bit cliché – especially for the winter months.  The last thing I want is a living room with a “tacky tourist” look.

But if done right, it can be elegant, timeless, and airy.  Here are five things to consider when bringing the tropics into home décor.

1.  Choose a Limited Color Palette

Limiting the color palette can keep a tropical look tasteful. 

A tropical pattern adds playfulness to the classic blue-and-white color scheme of this tablecloth from The Roostery.

 

And it’s hard to go wrong with green and white.  I love this tropical leaf linen table runner from Mezalova Textile.

 

Using a limited color palette also helps when you want to go bigger and bolder, as with this Tropical  Leaves peel-and-stick wallpaper from DecoWorks.

Keeping the room’s accessories and colors to a minimum, as done here, helps balance the strong wall pattern.

2.  Use More Texture And Less Color

With the right accessories, rattan has the ability to blend into almost any décor.  I love all the texture in this room – and the luxurious, monochromatic look of the accessories on this rattan daybed  from The Wicked Boheme.

3.  Use Classic or Vintage-Inspired Botanical Prints

Vintage botanical prints always make me think of adventure, romance, and far-away places. I love the classic look of this Vintage Schumacher fabric from Melba Fabrics.

4.  Give Traditional Furniture a Tropical Update

Giving one well-chosen piece of accent furniture a tropical makeover can elevate a room.  A lovely example is this traditional armchair, which has been covered with this tropical palms/monkey cotton fabric from Exquisite Fabrics 2015.

5.  Feed the Senses

 Scented candles, like this plumeria candle from Olive Branch Organics, can also fill a room with a delicious tropical vibe. 

 

And so can tropical island music.

And then it won’t matter if it’s still raining outside.

 

Posts on this website are for entertainment only and are not tutorials.

Featured image courtesy of The Wicked Boheme.

 

Here you’ll find seasonal goodies, my current decor obsessions, and more!

 

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Questions to Ask Your Builder Before Your House Build Begins

I’d love to build my own home some day, but I imagine that finding a builder that I could trust and be comfortable with would be one of the toughest aspects.

I would definitely interview at least three builders – and no doubt pepper them with dozens of questions.  And today’s guest post, below, has a few of the questions I would be asking.

The following is a contributed post.  For more information on my contributed posts, please click here.

Questions to Ask Your Builder Before Your House Build Begins

You’ve been dreaming, and planning, planning and dreaming, and your house building plans are coming along nicely at last. You’ve got everything that you think you need from your plans, and the next stage is to find someone to take those plans off the paper and make something out of them.

Building a house is a daunting task. The idea of someone taking the dream you have and making it a reality is scary – mainly because you have to trust the builder that you pick!  It would help if you asked specific questions of your builder to make sure that you have selected the right one.

Before any building starts, you need to know how long building permits last, and you need to know that your builder is the right one for you.

With that in mind, here are a few questions you should be asking any builder you potentially want to hire. 

Question 1: How Long Have You Been Building?

It would help if you interviewed your builder as you would anyone else. You’re making an important decision, and this means that you need a builder with the right reputation. You need to know how many houses they’ve built and the price range, whether they’ve had any complaints. You want someone with a good reputation that knows what they’re doing.

Question 2: What Type Of Home Do You Build?

You need to choose a builder who is experienced in building the same type of home that you have planned. You want to make sure that you are getting what you pay for, and you need to ask so that you have the best possible fit.

Question 3: What Makes You Different?

You need to ask your builder what it is that sets them apart. There are a LOT of builders out there in the industry, and you need to make sure that you have the right one. Ask about their achievements and what their track record for success is.

Question 4: What About Permits?

Are you responsible for the permits and how long do building permits last? Depending on the build, you need to think about your zoning boards and the other organizations that have various requirements. It would help if you also asked whether your builder can be responsible for those permits or if you have to be. It’s essential to get this right!

Question 5: Do You Have References?

It’s important to read any online references and reviews about your builder, but you should also ask your builder to provide you with references.  They’ll be obliged to give you names of those who they have built for before.  Always triple check references; you won’t regret ensuring that your builder is the right one for your home build.

Asking the right questions will go a long way towards ensuring that your house build goes off without a hitch.

Posts on this website are for entertainment only and are not tutorials.

 

Here you’ll find seasonal goodies, my current decor obsessions, and more!

 

Want to see more? Browse my photo gallery or check out these categories:

Our Kitchen Remodel Series

Our Master Bath Remodel Series

Entertaining

My Dressing Room Remodel

Dan’s Workshop

Decorating and Holidays

Our Little Sunglo Greenhouse

Floral Design

Garden Design

The June Bug Diaries

Our Laundry Room Remodel

 

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Creating DIY Built-Ins Using Repurposed Pieces

I’ve had a few readers ask me about the little bank of built-in cabinets that Chris and I created for the south wall of my dressing room.

So today I’m sharing how we transformed an old dresser and two salvaged kitchen cabinets into custom built-in storage.

 

Our DIY built-ins for the dressing room south wall.

 

The Space

The dressing room is a quirky, kind-of-boot-shaped room.  The south wall space, where we installed the built-ins, is to the left in this sketch.

The Goal

We didn’t want the built-ins to look new but rather to look original to our circa 1927 house. We would be looking to use pieces with inset drawers and single-panel doors to match the existing original cabinetry in our home.

The Challenges

The space presented several challenges.  For starters, it was narrow – less than four feet wide.  There was also a sloped ceiling and a pocket window to work around.

Finding the Right Pieces

We chose to use a vintage dresser that we’d been storing for years.  It has inset drawers – exactly like the inset drawers in our original built-ins.

At some point in the dresser’s life, someone had removed its legs. This actually worked well for creating the built-in look that we wanted.

Unfortunately, I forgot to take a “before” photo of the dresser with the drawers in place.  The drawers were outside being painted when the photo above was taken.

The dresser would be placed against the west wall and under the window.

Now we needed something to fit in the space next to the dresser.  And, since that “something” wouldn’t be blocking the window, it could be taller than the dresser.

I knew that finding the right thing for the space would be tricky, if not impossible.  I briefly considered buying some open cubbies from a big box store because they were inexpensive and measured out well for the space.

But the cubbies were out of stock.  This turned out to be a blessing in disguise.  Little did I know that something better was just around the corner.

A trip to the salvage shop netted these Shaker-style cabinets – one base cabinet and one wall cabinet.

Measuring about 12 inches wide, they would be narrow enough to fit next to the dresser.  And they were in fairly good shape.  I liked these cabinets because of their single-panel doors – another design feature that I was looking for to match our original cabinetry.

 

Putting the Pieces Together

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Once we got home from the salvage shop, Chris removed the granite countertop from the base cabinet.

And I removed the cabinet pulls and started scrubbing, sanding, spackling, priming, and painting.

I painted all the pieces – the kitchen cabinets and the dresser – with Benjamin Moore’s cabinet-grade paint in Simply White. (I had also painted the walls and moldings with Simply White.  Since the room is so tiny and has only one small window, I wanted everything in the room to have the same light, neutral color.)

Now we faced another challenge:  In order for the pieces to fit snugly against the walls and truly look built-in, we needed to remove some of the baseboard molding from the area where they would be placed.

For this, Chris used his Ryobi multi tool.  I wish I could to say that this went well, but actually we wound up losing a small chunk of wall plaster in the process.  Luckily, the cabinetry covers the damaged area.

At least now everything would fit.

Some of the baseboard was removed to accommodate the built-ins.

Chris cut a new presswood countertop for the base cabinet.

And I painted it with the same paint I’d used on the cabinets.

We stacked the wall cabinet on top of the base cabinet and then, using screws, Chris anchored the pieces to the wall and to one other.

 

Now You See It, Now You Don’t

There were small gaps and seams between the pieces, but we made them disappear.

Chris cut and installed pieces of molding to fit over the gaps.

And then I caulked the seams around the molding using paintable caulk.  Once the caulk dried, I touched up the areas with the cabinet paint.

Now it was looking good! Painting everything one color minimized the varying heights and depths of the three pieces and tied the look together.

Final Touches

I covered the top of the base cabinet and the top of the dresser with this polyurethane finish.  It will protect the surface better than paint alone would, and it will make it easier for me to clean up my inevitable coffee spills.

I’d painted the drawers of the dresser, cleaned the interiors, and lined them with a pretty retro-floral shelf paper.

And we replaced all the cabinet and drawer pulls with glass knobs to match the other pulls in the room and throughout the house.

Now I’m looking very 1920s!

The Result

This was a budget-friendly little project, and I love how it turned out.

Before the remodel, the space was cluttered and claustrophobic.

South wall before.

During the remodel, the empty space looked even more narrow.

South wall during remodel.

But now, with the new cabinets, the area seems larger.  

South wall after remodel.

If you’re wondering about the stenciled floor (a real labor of love – emphasis on the labor part), check out this post.

And, to see how I organized these built-ins, as well as other parts of this dressing room, check out this post.

This south wall built-in installation was part of a larger remodel of the entire dressing room.  To read about the entire remodel, check out this post.

 

Posts on this website are for entertainment only and are not tutorials.

 

Here you’ll find seasonal goodies, my current decor obsessions, and more!

 

Want to see more? Browse my photo gallery or check out these categories:

Our Kitchen Remodel Series

Our Master Bath Remodel Series

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Organizing My New Dressing Room

Happy New Year, dear readers, and welcome to a new decade.  I  can’t believe we’ve entered the 2020’s!

Thanks to having participated in the One Room Challenge last fall, a six-week challenge during which Chris and I completely remodeled my little dressing room, I can at least say that I’m starting this new decade with a neatly organized wardrobe.

And while I certainly can’t claim to be an organizing guru, I did pick up a little inspiration from tidying expert Marie Kondo.  My takeaway:  Think vertical.  So here, I’m sharing some of the simple ways I organized my clothes and jewelry as I moved them back into my newly revamped dressing room.

 

Starting with A Clean Slate

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Before I started organizing, I donated all of my clothes to charity, and then I went out and bought a brand new wardrobe to go with my new dressing room!

Wait, no.  That was just a dream.

Actually, when the dressing room remodel was in its final stages, I began to do laundry – lots of it.  Although most of my clothes were already clean, I washed every piece that was going back into that room.  I just wanted everything to be fresh.

This process helped me take stock of exactly what I had in my wardrobe.

I lined the dresser drawers with a cheerful retro floral shelf paper.

And I tossed a charcoal air freshener into each drawer.

Then it was finally time to start organizing.

 

Ombre Denim

We put a lot of thought, but not a lot of money, into this dressing room remodel.  I love the south wall “built-ins” that we created by combining two salvage-shop kitchen cabinets and an old dresser.

Dressing room remodel

These new built-ins are intended to look original to our 1920’s house.  They frame a small window and work well with the sloped ceiling.

I was looking forward to using this upper cabinet for purses.

Vertical walk in closet storage

But then I realized it was suited to a more practical use: Denim.  I have way too many pairs of jeans, but I wear them all.

organizing jeans

In my new vertical cabinet, the jeans are stacked on top of one another.  But, unlike being stacked in a dresser drawer, they are all visible.  And they are organized by color and saturation.

organizing jeans

I fold them so that the pockets are always on top.  Since many brands of jeans have distinctive pocket stitching, I can quickly find the pair I want to wear.

 

Vertical Sweaters and T-Shirts

My sweaters and T-shirts are folded and placed neatly into drawers in the large wardrobe on the north wall.

But they are positioned vertically, as Marie Kondo suggests.  So, just like with my jeans, I can quickly see what I have.  Now nothing gets buried and forgotten.

organizing shirts

I use a charcoal air freshener as a spacer when I remove a shirt.  This keeps the other shirts neatly in place.

A charcoal air freshener, used as a spacer, keeps the vertically positioned shirts in place when one is removed.

I use expandable drawer dividers to define separate spaces for long-sleeve T-shirts, short-sleeve T-shirts, and tank tops – and for creating zones inside of drawers for things like purses and scarves.

Drawer organization

Velvet Hangers

I love the look of vintage wooden clothes hangers, and I use them on the open clothing rod on the north wall.  After all, I want this room to make me happy – not just be functional.  I love the look of this rustic pipe rod with the vintage hangers.

Vintage inspired clothing rod

But, in the enclosed hanging space inside the large wardrobe, I use space-saving velvet hangers similar to these.  I was a little skeptical about them at first, but to me it seems that they really do save space.

The velvet makes them grippy (sometimes almost too grippy), so clothes don’t slide off.

clothes on velvet hangers

And I love that these clothes are in an enclosed wardrobe.

wardrobe

I wanted a lot of enclosed storage in the dressing room because, before, the room always looked cluttered.  And all that clutter tended to gather dust.

Vertical Necklace Storage

Another enclosed storage area is this little vintage cabinet that we retrofitted into the northeast corner.

Vintage leaded glass cabinet

In it, Chris installed dozens of hooks for hanging necklaces.

organizing necklaces

Now, necklaces don’t get tangled, and it’s easy to see what I have. The shelf is also a good spot for the earring organizer I made a few years ago when I was going through my vintage button obsession.

A Victorian-era butter dish, so rustic that it’s silver plate is wearing off, holds a couple of fun vintage treasures inside.

Victorian butter dish

 

Vintage pins
Vintage pins.

On the shelf below, stackable jewelry trays similar to these hold other pieces of jewelry.

stackable jewelry trays

I just love that this room feels more airy and spacious than it did before the remodel, even though it holds the same amount of stuff.

Now if only the rest of my house was this organized!

 

Posts on this website are for entertainment only and are not tutorials.

 

Here you’ll find seasonal goodies, my current decor obsessions, and more!

 

Want to see more? Browse my photo gallery or check out these categories:

Our Kitchen Remodel Series

Our Master Bath Remodel Series

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My Dressing Room Remodel

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A DIY Lighted Holiday Sphere

If you’ve been with me for a while, you might remember the DIY hanging garden sphere that I shared this past spring.  I made it by clipping together two wire hanging basket cages.

Little did I know that the sphere would become a nursery for eight adorable baby juncos – two nests with four chicks each!

The baby juncos are long gone and, now that the holidays are upon us, these two hanging basket cages have a new job – this time as a lighted sphere for my front porch.

DIY lighted holiday sphere

You can pretty much see how I made it just by looking at the photo – except for that spiky white thing inside.

So what is that thing?

The Secret Ingredient

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It’s a huge allium seed head!  It bloomed purple over the summer and then dried to a soft straw color.

I photographed it in a child’s car seat to give you an idea of just how huge it is.

There are so many varieties of larger alliums, and I don’t remember exactly which one I planted.  But my educated guess is that it’s an Allium schubertii.

In early fall, when the blossom had gone to seed, I cut it and let it dry in my greenhouse.

Dressing Up The Allium Seed Head

I sprayed painted it with Rust-Oleum Specialty Metallic in silver.  It looked okay, but it didn’t really pop.  So I sprayed over that with a light coat of Krylon Glitter Shimmer in opulent opal.  That gave it a little more of the holiday glam I was looking for.

Then I put the painted seed head inside the two hanging baskets and clipped the baskets together using the fastening clips from one of the hanging basket chains.

The allium seed head is now captive inside these two hanging basket cages, one of which is turned upside-down and set on top of the other. Then they are clipped together with, and suspended by, the hanging chain from one of the hanging baskets.

Getting the allium inside the sphere without damaging it was a bit of a challenge, but I just did my best.

 

Lighting the Sphere

I used a 20-foot length of indoor-outdoor, green-wired clear incandescent mini lights, but a safer option would probably have been LED mini lights since they don’t burn as hot.

I just secured the strand of lights with as many twist ties as was necessary, wrapping the strand around the outer circumference of the sphere several times and spacing the lights as evenly as I could.

I hung the sphere from a hook on the porch and voila – we now have a fun and budget-friendly addition to our outdoor Christmas lights.

DIY lighted holiday sphere

And it’s large enough to lend a chandelier-like elegance to the front porch.

DIY lighted holiday sphere

 

Of course, this sphere would look good even without the allium in the middle.  But since I had it, I thought it was a fun addition.

This isn’t the first time I’ve used allium seed heads in holiday decor.  A couple of years ago, I made a frozen allium forest for our vintage putz church.

Happy Holidays!

Except for possibly publishing a guest post or two, I’m putting this blog down for its annual “long winter’s nap.”

So I’m wishing you and your loved ones the very best of the holiday season, and I look forward to sharing more with you in the New Year!

 

Posts on this website are for entertainment only and are not tutorials.

 

 

 

Browse my shop to find seasonal goodies, my current decor obsessions, and more!

 

 

Want to see more? Browse my photo gallery or check out these categories:

Our Kitchen Remodel Series

Our Master Bath Remodel Series

Entertaining

My Dressing Room Remodel

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Decorating and Holidays

Our Little Sunglo Greenhouse

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Our Laundry Room Remodel

 

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A Fifteen-Minute Garland

Last December, I was on a walk and came across a beautiful branch of hemlock that had been brought down in a windstorm.

Hemlock branch

So I brought it home.  Although hemlock does tend to dry quickly and become brittle indoors, I love it because of its small and adorable pine cones.  They can add so much natural charm to holiday decor.

The twigs and pine cones on this branch draped so gracefully that I decided to make a simple garland for the archway between our living room and dining room.

Preparing the Greens

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I shook the branch off really well and sprayed it with a little peppermint oil, which is a natural insect repellent, before bringing it in.  I left it outside for little while to give any insects that might have been on the branch ample time to escape.

Creating the Garland

Creating the garland took, at most, 15 minutes.

I cut the twigs off of the branch and laid them out (on the laundry room floor) to form the length of the garland.

Hemlock garland in the making

I used 22-gauge florist wire to securely connect the twigs to one another.  Then I just wound a narrow (3/4 inch) holiday ribbon through the garland.  I concealed the florist wire with the ribbon where I could.

That was it:  The hemlock, the florist wire, and the holiday ribbon.

 

Hanging the Garland

Even with help from my husband, this part of the project took a while.  We didn’t want to damage the wall by using nails, so we (and by “we” I mean Chris) hammered little nails to the top of the picture rail.  Then “we” used clear fishing line to suspend the garland from the nails

Hemlock garland
You can see the nail in the picture rail here, but the fishing line is almost invisible.

 

DIY Hemlock garland

The nails would be easy to remove, but we left them so they can be used for other garlands and bunting.

 

The Result

The garland was very simple, but that was exactly what I was in the mood for last year:  The beauty of nature without any glitz or gaudiness.  

The draping greenery and tiny pine cones created a fun little “enchanted forest” feel.

Hemlock garland

 

Hemlock garland

 

Hemlock garland

With the remaining hemlock twigs, I made a small wreath to hang in the window.

DIy wreath

 

Hemlock Doesn’t Last Long

The garland was fine for a couple of weeks but, when I took it down, I was reminded of why, despite its charm, hemlock isn’t used much in holiday decor:  When I moved it, needles fell everywhere.

It had become very dry and brittle indeed.

So, if you do use hemlock in holiday decor, just make sure to keep it away from anything that might cause it to catch fire.

Hemlock is fun to use in fuller wreaths too, such as this foraged wreath that I made back in 2014.

Posts on this website are for entertainment only and are not tutorials.

 

 

 

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Design Your Home With The Future In Mind

Every so often I come across something that talks about the benefits of aging in place, and it always worries me a bit because our house has so many stairs and a very high-maintenance garden.  It suits our needs fine now, but will it in the future?  I’m not so sure.

One of the benefits of designing a brand new house is that a person can consider the evolving needs of their family – and even what their own needs might be as they age.  So I thought this guest post, with pointers on how to design a new home for the future, was very interesting.

The following is a contributed post.  For more information on my contributed posts, please see this page.

Design Your Home With The Future In Mind

When you are designing something as important as the home you will live in, you obviously want to make sure that it is going to suit your needs, and the needs of your changing and growing family, for many years to come. You’ll want to focus not only on your present needs, but on what your needs might be in the future. Designing your home with the future in mind sounds simple, but it can actually be a considerable challenge.

If you are planning to design a new home and live in it for many years to come, here are a few things you may want to keep in mind.

 

Flexibility Above All Else

To create a home that will be likely to stand the test of time, you will generally need to promote flexibility above all else. What does this mean? Basically, it is a way of ensuring that each room in your home can be changed around relatively easily and quickly if you should need it to be. Of course you will start off with a plan for how the room will be used, but the more that you can integrate future possibilities into the design, the more you are preparing the whole house for the future.

One example would be if you design a ground-floor room to be a study – but keeping in mind that, in the future, it might need to be a bedroom for someone who can’t climb stairs anymore.

Consider Worst-Case Scenarios

None of us can predict what our future needs might be. A perfect home would be one that is likely to accommodate all of the possible futures that might crop up for you and your family.

As well as planning for the things you expect and hope for, it is wise to plan for any worst-case scenarios just in case they crop up. Especially if you are planning to age in place, or possibly care for an elderly parent in your home, ensuring accessibility to the home is a major consideration. This could mean including wheelchair ramps and any other features you would need in those circumstances.

Think Long-Term When Choosing A House Style

When choosing the style of the home, consider that not all current design trends will stand up to the test of time.  But by choosing a classic and timeless design, you can ensure that your home will never go out of style. And with a design that is classic yet simple, it’s easy to change up your interior décor as you wish and infuse current décor trends to keep your home looking contemporary.

You Can Only Do So Much

As you strive to design a home to suit your needs now and in the future, be aware that you are almost certainly going to fail in some way – because the truth is that no one really knows what the future will bring.  And you can only do so much to prepare for it.  So, all you can do is give it your very best shot and remember the most important thing of all: Design a home that will make you happy.

Posts on this website are for entertainment only and are not tutorials.

 

Browse my shop to find seasonal goodies, my current decor obsessions, and more!

 

Want to see more? Browse my photo gallery or check out these categories:

Our Kitchen Remodel Series

Our Master Bath Remodel Series

Entertaining

My Dressing Room Remodel

Dan’s Workshop

Decorating and Holidays

Our Little Sunglo Greenhouse

Floral Design