My dining room is DONE!  My husband sweetly indulged me when he got back from camping and found the rest of my fall decorating. 

This dining room is particularly challenging because it is so small.  We barely fit around the table.  And yes, I have a formal dining room I "could" use.  But it has carpet.  And I have I have kids.  I see what the tile looks like after meals.  I don't even want to imagine trying to keep carpet clean!

I'm loving how the shelves look.  You can't tell from this photo, but there are wrought iron roosters on the two end corners.  I'm thinking about putting some nice serving pieces that have wrought iron holders on the shelves to carry the wrought iron through  - plus they're that same cream color as the pitcher, so it should create an eclectic blend of pieces that layer to match.  An added bonus is I won't have to store them in the garage and can actually use them when I need them.  Novel concept I know.

In this photo you can see the other rooster.  Miranda and I found the first one at Hobby Lobby.  They had ONE.  I knew I would probably need another one, but because it's a national chain, I wasn't worried that because I was in Austin, I'd have a hard time finding a second one.  Ha.  It took me almost a month and a search of 5 different Hobby Lobby's before I found a second one (also of which they had just one left in stock) but he quickly became mine.  And the second one was 50% off, so quite the deal to boot!

I'm posting these photo's now with my fall decor out but in two very short weeks, all the fall colors and the rooster things will be replaced.  With nutcrackers.  I'm already picturing them nestled in poinsettia garland, with soft white twinkle lights.  My only hope is that I have enough room for all of them!  But that will be another post...


The nutcracker plates?  I have the first set!!!  Two more sets to go...

The Kitchen

It's almost done!!  Last weekend Mike and spent all day Saturday painting the kitchen and the last wall in family room.  We bought some plywood to do shelves above the windows and my plan is to move a majority of nicknack's up.  I just don't like clutter, and since the last kitchen was so BIG, I had things to fill the space without it being cluttery.  In this microscopic kitchen, my space fillers are now clutter, ugh.  I found a beautiful stain for the wood (I'm just not into painted wood) and Mike finished staining the shelves last weekend too.  Nothing got put up though.  No shelves, no curtains, and not the wrought iron roosters I bought. 

This weekend he's been at Boy Scout camp with our two oldest boys, so nothing done yet this weekend either (aside from some cleaning, which is always needed in a large family....)  I'm still so amazed that taking the hideous grape border down made such a huge difference in the kitchen.  Mike and I both swear it makes the kitchen seem bigger...yes, it could be just wishful thinking on our parts, but I'm going with it!

My goal, when he gets home, is to get those shelves up and determine how we're going to do the curtains.  He doesn't think the way I'm envisioning it will work because my curtain things from Ikea will bow the shelves.  I'd like to think he's wrong, but on matters such as this, he's usually right (darn it!).  So, we'll have to play around with it to see what's going to work best. 

I'm just excited to have another room almost complete!  Picture to come - the camera is at Boy Scout camp too, lol.

I'm on countdown...

...until I can put up Christmas decorations!!!

I know, I just blogged about my fall crafts two posts above.  And I actually have one more project to do for my family room for that fall feeling, which I will really enjoy all the way until Thanksgiving.  But the day after Thanksgiving (only the BEST shopping day EVER) it's all about Christmas for me!!!

Christmas is all about two themes for me.  Snowmen in my living room and nutcrackers everywhere else!!!  Every year I add a nutcracker or two to my collection.  I started collecting them in elementary school when my big brother gave me one for Christmas.  Then my friend in Jr. High got me another one.  My husband has added to my collection over the years.  So have my friends.  I have a nutcracker table runner.  I have nutcracker candles.  I have a nutcracker soap dispenser for the kitchen.  The one thing I don't have??  Would you believe plates?!

Until this year!!!  Behold these lovely plates: 

Aren't they lovely?!  According the their web site, Cost Plus World Market is going to carry them this year.  I'm thinking I need at least two sets, but I'd love to have three so I have a full 12 plates.  I plan to start stalking calling them soon to see when they plan to have them in.  These are exactly what I've been looking for for a couple of years now!

The Living Room

So this is, for the most part, my finished living room.  Some of the things that changed are the sconces.  This room, when we lived in CA, had much more beach-y feel.  White sconces, light wood tones, and more Americana decor.  I was able to re-purpose all of the decor, which was a huge plus.  I bought brushed bronze spray paint at my local Home Depot.  Mike took the glass out of the frame and we simply spray painted about 3 coats to get a nice even finish.  I left the shelf in here that I usually use with my living room set - I felt the frame for the artwork was a close enough match.  There was no place for my china hutch in the dining room, so it now acts as a book case.  I haven't quite got the accessories right there yet, but it's stained the same finish as the shelf, so it works nicely.  And that corner seems as if it was made for that piece because it fits perfectly!

OK, the curtains aren't working for me.  I originally bought them as a room divider (my office is in the back portion of this room, in what should be the formal dining room - who uses a formal dining room?!) and I like that, but I had mossy green curtains in here when the brown sectional was in this room.  Mossy green and red sofas are just not a good combination!  Believe it or not, Walmart has some beautiful red drapes that lined with some insulating material (because this room gets quite toasty in the summer with the morning sun, ugh...).  They're $22 a panel, and I probably need 4 panels, but they're perfect for this room and so I just need to save up for them.  I have the matching drapes in the office (er, that's another blog) so it would really pull the two rooms together - which is good for reasons I'll go into another time.
A different angle.  It's so funny that I can tell you where each of the pieces in this room came from, and how they've worked in every house I've had, even when the color schemes were completely different.  

I really feel it's important to decorate with pieces that you will love for long term, not just what's popular at the moment.  These red sofa's are a perfect example.  I love red.  Every home I've lived in has had something red in it.  But when it came time to buy new sofa's, I originally wanted a soft aqua.  I had seen a beautiful sofa at a furniture store that was going out of business and I was hopeful that it would be at a price I could afford.  It wasn't (seriously, who spends $2200 on clearance for a sofa that they're going to let their kids breathe on...not me...).  So when I bought these MUCH more affordable pieces ($400 for the set) I almost picked out a similar color in the micro suede.  But then I really thought about it.  Yes, at the time, my living room done in black and white, and the aqua would have looked beautiful.  Except these sofa's were for my family room, not my living room.  Which meant they had to be in a kid friendly fabric (aka, micro suede) and a color that didn't show dirt the moment the kids walked into the room (uh huh, that wouldn't be aqua).  And then I really thought about how they would work in my house.  They were replacing denim slip covered sofas, which I had originally thought about doing these sofa's in.  But that was just a little too casual.  And then I saw the lipstick red.  It called to me.  And three years later, I love the color as much as I did when they first arrived, even though my color scheme and accessories have changed quite a bit.  So I know the red was a great color choice for me - even though my mom would never agree! :)

Fall Updates

Recently, I came across a neat web site.  I say neat, because they have some beautifully decorated rooms and accessories.  But more than just a little out of my budget.  So when I came across these and I could see them in my den I knew they were exactly what I was looking for.  The thing that got me was that they are $125.  EACH.  Oh my.  So, while my friend Miranda was out visiting, I decided to hit my local craft store (and I introduced her to Hobby Lobby - who doesn't love Hobby Lobby?!)  

So, here are our creations!

Miranda did the white pumpkin and I did the orange.  I ran out of the crystals, so I plan to rub back this week and pick some up because I really think it needs one more pumpkin (I like groupings of three) and my pumpkin needs more twirly vines, but overall, I love how they turned out!

It's Was a BUSY Summer!

So, have you been hearing crickets when you come to my site?  Yes, it's been a quiet summer.  Not for lack of decorating!  Not because my life is quiet!  Quite the opposite in fact.  There's never a dull moment with a family of 6.

So first of all, my camera died a most untimely death.  Right before we left for vacation (of course).  So I've been taking shots here and there with my cell phone, but really, they just don't do anything justice.  So, I broke down a couple of weeks ago when my daughter was getting ready to go to a dance, and bought a new one.  So more photo's should be posted soon.

And decorating wise, what have I been up to you might ask?
  • finally selected a paint color for interior.  Pecan Sandi.  Yes, if you visited my home back in CA, it's the exact same color.  Because sometimes, the first color you choose is just the best color choice - I'll make sure to post a few pictures of some of the swatches on the wall that didn't work.
  • tore down the hideous grape border in the kitchen
  • but up new curtain rods in the den
  • switched the den furniture with the living room furniture
  • FINALLY got the boys rooms in some semblance of order - still looking for the right rug and artwork, but it's a vast improvement
  • got the dining room, living room, and den painted
  • made some new fall decorations
  • hung curtains
  • and I'm sure there's a few more things I'll remember later...
Pictures to come soon!!


I haven't posted in awhile.  Between the end of school and getting ready for vacation, decorating was put on hold.  That is, until this weekend!

BIG changes occurred in my house this weekend. I finally convinced my husband to completely swap furniture in two rooms.  So the living room furniture went in the den and the den furniture went in the living room.  Why such a big change?  Furniture size vs. room size.  My 'den' has lovely vaulted ceilings and is a bigger space (although awkwardly laid out with the windows and fireplace, but that's not something I can actually change unless we were to buy the house, and that's a whole other renovation project all by itself!).  My living room was small to begin with, but when I added my room divider, it became even smaller.  If you've seen my sectional sofa, a small room was not my best choice to put it in.  But I wanted a formal living room, so at the time, I thought I could make it work.

Four months later, I didn't really like either room.  

The den was to...RED.  Now I love the color red.  But in that room with the vaulted ceilings and the awful paint color, the red was just overwhelming (and yes, we have finally chosen a paint color, so we just need to go down and start buying paint) and I didn't even like to be in that room.  I tried rearranging the sofa's.  Changing the accessories around.  Nothing seemed to help.  Part of it is the color, and I know that.  But I couldn't ignore the glaring fact that the furniture wasn't right for the room.

And the living room, that I envisioned as cozy just seemed cramped.  It was hard to get into the room because you had to walk around the chaise lounge. Once in the room, it was all sofa.  The accessories were ok, but they just didn't seem to add any oomph to the room.

On Sunday, I sat in my very red den, trying to identify what the main problem was.  I knew the color was a big issue.  Yes, I have the paint chip picked out.  Yes, that will help (actually, that will help a lot) but still it didn't seem right.  The window placement is another huge issue, and not one that I can do much about.  But I finally looked at my room.  Then I went into the living room and looked at it.  And I came to the conclusion that the furniture needed to be swapped.  Thankfully, I have a husband who not only humors my whims, but was equally as unhappy with the rooms as I was.

I have to say, I'm very happy with the results so far.  I've decided to paint the remainder of the living room Silver Screens, to match my office, and I'm going to take down the divider between the rooms.  Now that the red sofa's coordinate with the red, black, and silver in the office, chopping up the space doesn't make sense.  I'm going to dye the room dividing curtains red (I think...maybe navy...might have to play with that a bit) and hang them on the bay window.  I also need to paint my white lantern sconces a nickel finish to match the accents in the room.  Surprisingly, I really like the dark wood accents that I already had in the room from the formal living room.  They really ground the space.  

The den is still a work in progress.  Now that I have room to hang up my artwork (the living room had almost no wall space so once the mirror and sconces were up, that was it) I need to decide on placement.  I also think I'm going to have some mats made for them.  I love the frames, but the existing mats aren't working for me.  I also need to get a bookcase to store all the dvd's, Wii games, and CD's.  We're getting rid of the existing entertainment center (it has really seen better days and the black doesn't match that room) so that will need to be replaced eventually.  And there's still the paint issue.  But I have curtains that will work and work well, so that's one less thing to do.

I would love to post some photo's.  Except my camera has finally died.  I tried to snap a few with my cell phone, but they came out fuzzy.  I might try my husband's when he gets home (he has a higher pixel count) but I make no promises at the moment. 

In case your counting, here's my to do list:
  1. paint the living room
  2. paint the den
  3. paint the hallway
  4. buy new bookcase's (most likely from Ikea unless we decide to make them ourselves...which is very likely with us!)
  5. buy a new entertainment center -OR-
  6. buy a new TV to hang on the wall (current tube TV is huge and they no longer make entertainment centers to fit TV's that large...we're sort of leaning towards a new TV)
  7. hang up curtains
  8. get artwork matted to put in frames
  9. hang all the accessories
Please don't ask me how long this all going to take.  I'm debating doing some painting in the living room today because I still have paint left.  But that would come after some sewing time!

The First Room Do-Over

So, most people probably wouldn't start with the hall bath as their first room re-do.  My kids have had the same jungle themed bathroom set from Target for years.  They loved the elephants and lions.  The nice bright colors.  The coordinated soap dispenser and toothbrush holder (shaped like a giraffe).  But after 6 years, the set had seen better days.  So when we moved to this house, I started looking for a set that was a little more mature, but still fun.

So first I fell in love with a paint color.  I know, that's not how you start a room make over.  Umh, unless your me.  I do this quite frequently.  I'm drawn to a color (and not consistently the same color either) and then I have an overwhelming need to decorate to match.  It's a sickness, I know.  So Behr has this color called Asparagus.  Yes, like the vegetable name.  I told you, it was a sickness.  It's such a lovely shade of green.  So lovely, I had to find a bath set to go with it!

Enter this set from Kohl's.  I loved the color pallet and the geometric style print (I am a sucker for geometric!)  The darkish color green that you see is the same Asparagus shade from Behr.  Which I got lucky on because I didn't actually have a color swatch on me when I purchased it.  And the set was on sale.  But those light towels.  Oh my, those towels were not going to work for me. I mean, they're really nice for when company comes to visit.  But for four active children, those lovely light colors will not work for me.  So I ended up using chocolate colored towels for every day, rugs too, and I think it really turned out well.  Here are my finished results:

I didn't go with the matching accessories.  Again, life with four kids has taught me that light colors used on a daily basis are not my friend.  However, I really like the rubbed bronze finish, which coordinates well with the chocolate colored rug, towels, and toilet seat cover.  I even swapped out the hideous 80's towel rods (seriously, this peach-ish colored, 80's style...with lavender walls...oh my) for the rubbed bronze.  That I will be taking with me if/when we move (because at this point, I'm not sure I ever want to move again in my whole life...).  I need to add some wall art, but overall, I'm very pleased!

Yes, Another Blog

I know I have two other blogs that I post to frequently (or semi-frequently as the case may be for one of them) but neither of them fit in line for what's been consuming quite a bit of what limited free time I have.  So yet a third blog is called for.  This is for all my decorating.  Many of my friends and family have requested that I post someplace other than Facebook (apparently not everyone has a facebook account yet - who knew?!).

Last year my family and I moved from California to Texas.  It was a BIG move.  We relocated temporarily to an apartment, but are now very happy to be back in a home.  Now because it's a rental house, it's seen a lot of wear and tear.  Because apparently some people don't consider a house they rent to be a home.  I don't get it, personally, but that's OK.  Any house I live in is well cared for as if it was my own, because while I'm there, it IS my home.  The place I am raising my family.  
So this new house has wonderful potential.  I'll be posting some photo's soon.  But it also needed a moderate amount of work.  For example.   Every room in the house - and I mean every single spot of wall space that you can see and even those you can't, is a lavender-ish beige color.  But that's a minor fix.  I've never seen a wall color I couldn't correct with a little bit of paint!!  And that's where this story begins!  

When this photo was taken, we still had CA plates on our car!  And that pole?  Oh, that's the stop sign in front of our house.  A street dead ends into our street.  But you know, at least we never have to worry about people parking in front of our house!