Thursday, May 31, 2012

Mixed Messages, Does Anyone Else Find This Ironic?

Scrolling down the pages of Pinterest the other day, I was suddenly struck by an irony: endless pins telling us how to get a perfect body adjacent to pins tempting us to whip up a decadent desert! It's both funny and a bit sad...

How tempting to think we can all "have our cake and eat it too."

(maybe you can, but those days are gone for me!)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A New "Me Time" Favorite

We all need downtime!
 Time when we can simply sit back and relax, at least for a few moments.

I find this particularly true of late, balancing multiple responsibilities of running a household, taking care of children, while cramming in my work duties during the hours they are attending school. So after they have been tucked into bed at the end of the day, a new favorite downtime activity - which I've been making a habit of enjoying a night or two a week - is to retire under the covers with a great movie! Newer releases or an old classic, up close and personal viewed on the high definition iPad screen, it's amazing the detail to be taken in as the drama unfolds.




A fabulous bit of entertainment!

A recent watch, North by Northwest, a must-see staring Cary Grant and Eve Marie Saint. I  noticed all the minute details of the interiors, wardrobes and even how beautifully manicured Mr. Grant's nails were, observations missed when watching on a TV screen from further away! Such fun to enjoy a good story while getting some downtime in the process to recharge.

What is your favorite "me time" activity that recharges you?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Cleaning Up: Feeling Better About A Room For Free!

A room that has actually been causing me to feel anxious upon entering for quite some time now has been the master closet. Over the past couple years it has become a dumping ground for leftover odds and ends from DIY projects, old keepsakes I've had a hard time parting with or figuring out where to store and items of clothing or accessories that I should have parted with ages ago. Entering has been an encounter with "old baggage," but I finally had enough! With an upcoming garage sale as motivation, in just a couple hours a fresher space was created that now feels great to be in!

Just piles of stuff thrown here and there - leftover frames, random foam pieces and oodles of magazine clippings from projects completed years ago! It was hard to even step foot into the closet.


Ah. But not now!! This large mirror has been buried behind frames and pictures for too long, but now I can get around to hanging it.

I can see what I have to wear...

...and with old materials from design projects tossed I have a great place for shoes, bags and jewelry.
My husband walked in and was so impressed he took a couple hours and tackled his side of the closet. 

{Vintage Lighting from Monticello...hum, that would be fun to add in the closet!}

Now that I have a clean canvas, I'm looking up at the boring light fixtures and tall ceilings in the closet and thinking I need to head back to Monticello to score some funky light fixtures. And maybe even paint? Don't hold your breath, I may get around to that in another year, but... 

Why oh why did I wait so long to simply clean up this space! What a difference, and it didn't cost a cent.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Honoring Those Who Have Served Us

On this memorial day, as we enjoy picnics and time with friends and families, 
let's take a moment to remember and thank all those who have risen to the task of protecting us.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Worlds Of Potential In This One Small Tube

Today is another shout out to a product I have gotten fantastic results from while working on a wide range of projects in my own home. How fun to have another advertiser at HOF whose product I just can't say enough great things about!

Drum roll please...Rub 'n Buff.
Serious magic packed into the tiniest little tube that will last you forever...well, not quite. But a long time.
Simply apply with a finger or small brush to add a beautiful wax metallic finish to nearly anything.

Here are some of my favorite projects using Rub 'n Buff:

It easily transforms hardware! Before...

...and the After. 

The golden tone on the hardware looks so much fresher and updated against the cream I choose when repainting this console which sits in my dining room. 

And this project truly caught my eye, using Rub 'n Buff to stencil a pattern in an entry. Fantastic!

(I would have never thought of using it with a stencil. Visit Renew Redo for a long list of projects Sammy has taken on using Rub 'n Buff.)

It can also take shiny... rich with a matte finish, updating a lamp found at a resale shop.

Andrea from Oak Ridge Revival did this project, opening my eyes to the potential of applying the product to a larger surface than I had envisioned in the past.

I also put this product to work when pulling my powder bath redo together on a budget. Updating an old mirror I had on hand with a layer of Rub 'n Buff let me achieve a high end look for mere pennies. 

In the same project I went cheap on my light fixture purchase. When it arrived sporting a finish that was not at all what I expected from the online pictures of the item, I didn't fret. Instead a quick wipe down of Rub 'n Buff, along with painting the candle sleeves, provided the look I thought I was getting in the first place.

I'm a particular fan of Antique Gold, but the product comes in a wide range of delicious colors. 

Do you have a Rub 'n Buff project you'd like to share?!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Reality Of A Budget!

I smiled a big smile when I saw this poster on Pinterest the other day, thinking thank goodness I'm not the only one who has had this thought!

When I've been busy "investing" in my house, working on a room or multiple rooms, my clothing budget has seen big cutbacks. And on the other hand, when I've had to restock the wardrobe, there have been freezes in the home improvement department. It's real and keeps my family's budget on track...really so important, particularly these days. I definitely believe it's wise to live within your means, avoid the credit card trap and to treat savings as another "expense" you account for on a monthly basis.(The current national savings rate is a mere 3.8 percent, and that just isn't going to do it in the long run!) 

Here's to knowing our limits and being just fine with them. It's a rare person who can have it all, all the time...and to think otherwise sets us up for all kinds of issues. IMO. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Add Color To Your Walls With Art

It's just a delight to be able to work with many advertisers whose work and products I truly in point, The Pink Pagoda. Not only do the giclee's capture the wonderful spirit of chinoiserie in a chic and colorful manner, but the woman behind the work is a delight as well. 

It's very easy to add color to you walls with art, if painting bold hues is not your thing but happy color is!

A vignette from one of The Pink Pagoda's customers above.

An eating area gets "dressed" with a series of Ming Vase prints in a range of colors.

And even a laundry room becomes one happy place with its collage of colorful art, 
many of the designs from The Pink Pagoda!

See more for yourself at

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Prettiest Room Dressed For Summer

Oh, now here is a room dressed for the season! Happy, cheerful colors mixed with lots of white and seagrass flooring create a most inviting sunroom from a space that was once a porch.

{the before}

For years Lindsey Ellis Beatty, Decorating Editor at Southern Living, welcome people into her home from an unfinished space. But once she got around to tackling the room she wished to create a room with a "wow" factor when opening the door for guests.

Fabrics play a big role, with an approach of mixing rather than matching fabric patterns in pink, turquoise and chartreuse.

She hung paintings of artist Michelle Armas (a favorite artist of ours at House of Fifty, featuring her work and blog in a recent issue). And it's always a fun look when adding a sculptural item alongside works of art. 

To make it all work Lindsey keep the walls, flooring and bigger furniture pieces free of pattern.

Classic figurine lamps paired with modern vases, all in white they work together well.

Make pattern mixes work by varying scale, carrying a similar color or two throughout and throwing in a solid.

Complete with a "butler's table" tucked away in the corner, this room is ready to welcome guests!

Lindsey's Tips on Adding the Wow Factor via Southern Living

1. Don't be afraid to be daring: "I kept a picture of my curtain fabric pinned in my office for a year, wondering if I had the guts to use it in such abundance. Now I have no regrets."

2. Give pink a chance: "I wanted a room that was bold but pretty. Pink is more universal than you might think. Its various shades complement a wide range of other colors."

3. Mix in white: "I always go back to white. It helps separate and highlight fabrics so a room feels cleaner and fresher. I love how color and pattern pop against a blank slate."

4. Blend fabrics fearlessly: "Combine fabrics that have the same color intensity. These brights work well together because they also share a similar funky and fun attitude."

Monday, May 21, 2012

Spotted: Anna Spiro Wallpaper Designs!

Coming across the delightful wallpaper designs by Anna Spiro this past weekend put a big smile on my face!
They are fresh and sweet with pretty color...take a look.

'Round and Round the Garden'

'Rosey Posey Trellis'

Lots of pretty colors!!

'Higgledy Piggledy Stripe'

Available at Porters Paints.

Congratulations Anna!

Friday, May 18, 2012

The Gracious Girl's Guide to Netiquette!

I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Mindy Lockard of the Gracious Girl
who has written two columns for House of Fifty mag. 

The latest covers the importance of behaving ourselves when interacting with people behind the protective barrier of our electronic devices. The things that most of us would never dream of saying to a person face-to-face can become much easier to consider when hiding behind a screen...literally and figuratively!

Two quotes from the article sum up the topic:

“The world of technology is like one big cocktail party. Although you’re not face-to-face, it’s important to remember there are people on the other end of your computer and smart phone.”


“If we approach every social media interaction as if it's a face-to-face meeting, we'll be sure to treat people with respect even when the connection is virtual.”

To read the entire article (it's placed at the end of our latest issue) click here.

Have a relaxing weekend!