DIY: Refinish A Chest In Five Hours For Less Than $40.00–Including The Chest!

 

When I suddenly needed a dresser for my guest room for my son’s girlfriend, who was staying with us for a while after graduating college, I thought at first I’d  buy those plastic bins with the drawers in them to go inside the closet.  But, after seeing that they cost anywhere from $20.00 to $40.00 for three drawers and how flim-flam they were I decided to switch gears and buy an actual piece of furniture that I could just refinish. 

The problem was, due to some very serious family illnesses we were dealing with, I waited till the last minute to get started.  Like literally the last minute.  So on Thursday, a few days before she was to arrive, I found what I thought was the perfect piece at CCA’s (Christian Community Action) Resale Shop.  By the time I went home to double-check measurements and got back to the store to buy it someone else had slipped in and purchased it first!  With the clock ticking, and booked all day Friday with clients, I was beyond frustrated.  Fortunately the next day when my husband happened to be driving by a garage sale some furniture caught his eye. 

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He stopped, checked it out and tried to call me to find out which of two pieces I would want.  I was in a meeting with some clients and couldn’t take the call so when he couldn’t get a hold of me he just decided to buy both pieces – a three drawer chest, and a taller five drawer chest – each for a whopping $20.00!  He got both pieces for less than one plastic bin of drawers!  (Knowing how limited I was on time he figured he’d go ahead and get them, because if one or both didn’t work we could just donate them to a local charity.)  Just in case you didn’t catch it – that was Friday; she was arriving on Sunday, which left me Saturday to get it done.

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He did good – the smaller chest was the perfect size, but of course, was hideous looking.  This was it after I took the drawers out.  (I always forget to start taking pictures at the very beginning of a project.) By the way, I started the project around 12:30p Saturday afternoon. 

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This is what the drawers looked like.

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The first thing I did was gather some tools so I could smack it up one side and down the other to give it a mottled, distressed look.  (Although, it was already distressed in a bad way I wanted to give it distress with a purpose.)

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So I clobbered it with this hammer….

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and whacked it with this gardening tool.

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When I was finished “distressing” it I gave it a good sanding.

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I repeated the same thing on the drawers.

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After going over the piece a couple of times with sand paper I wiped it down really well to get rid of all the particles and dust.

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After that – I think it was around 1:30p -  I ran up to Home Depot to purchase paint.  (No, I wasn’t organized enough to have gotten all that before I started!) After perusing the paint section I decided on this spray paint that offered 2 times the coverage. 

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I just sprayed the chest and the drawers with one coat and it really did give it nice coverage.  I was pleasantly surprised

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When the paint was good and dry – around 35 or 40 minutes later I sprayed over the black with this Hammered Metal Oil Rubbed Bronze.  Just a light coating to give it depth and dimension.  Again, just as with the black paint, all I needed was just one coat to give it just a little more interest and character. 

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I hadn’t originally planned on it, but after I had finished spray painting I decided to take it one step further.  Since I had some of this metallic antique gold leafing on hand I lightly dry brushed the chest and the drawers.

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This process has to be done very delicately or you’ll end up with too heavy handed a look. 

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So after you dab your brush into the paint you blot it really well on a towel to where it’s almost dry (hence the term dry-brush!).

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And then very lightly brush it onto the piece….

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Which gives it this sort of look.

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When I was finished with all the painting I sprayed it with a sealer for extra protection.

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By 5:30pm it was completely finished, dry to the touch and ready to move into her room. Yes, really, it was!

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And, here’s what it looks like in her room.  Not bad for less than $40.00 in product (including the chest) and five hours of my time start to finish. 

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It was ready and waiting for her when she arrived. Nothing like last minute, down to the wire projects!

Here’s the material price list:

Chest -  $20.00

Black Spray Paint = $ 5.96 (2@$2.98)

Hammered Metal – $ 5.27

Sand Paper – $  3.97

My Total Cost – $ 36.45 (including tax for paint and sandpaper)

(The gold leaf and the sealer would add approximately $7.00 – $10.00)

Oh, and one more thing…..

Just for fun I bought this tray at CCA (when I saw the original dresser I wanted) for $4.49 and used the exact same products to refinish it while I was refinishing the chest.

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And, it’s perfect for my books, magazines and netbook.  Well worth $4.49 and 20 minutes combined time to finish it. 

Sometimes a last minute frenzy works to your advantage.  All in all it was very productive day!

Happy Decorating!!!

Black Is Beautiful: Classic Color For Your Walls

 

Ever thought about painting one of your rooms black?  Or does that thought make you cringe?  When my daughter first told me she wanted to paint her bedroom black and her closet hot pink I know I cringed.  A black bedroom for my sweet, happy go lucky girl?  But, finally she convinced me and the end result was nothing short of spectacular.  Black walls, crystal chandeliers, hot pink closet with a black chandelier…….it turned out fabulous and now I’m sold on black.    Take a look at some of these spaces below and see if you don’t agree.

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How’s this for classic elegance?

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Love this gold accent color with the black and white.

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This is more of a gray black.  It looks fabulous with this cream.

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Paired with crisp white….clean, sleek, beautiful.

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Look how this teal blue pops with all the black and white.  Love that!

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Black works great with a clean and modern style…

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Or a more traditional style.  Love this red thrown in the mix.

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You can mix simple woods….

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Or go glam.

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Decorating with black is a very bold and powerful thing!  And, when softened with cream or white, any color of the rainbow works great with it as your accent color.  Don’t be afraid to experiment in your own home.  You can see from these photo’s that it’s certainly not dreary – and it doesn’t create a dark, gloomy cave like people tend to think.  In fact just the opposite – it creates a cozy, classic, elegant space that you can dress up or down; leave simple or add that pop of color.  So I say go for it!

( And, in case you’re wondering why my daughter’s adorable room isn’t on here it’s because her room is a mess and I just don’t have it in me to clean it up for a picture!  Sorry!  But, one of these days I will do a blog on the whole process.  It really did turn out great.  This time I have to admit she was right.)

Happy Decorating!

Tips For Your Next Pre-Rapture/Wedding Celebration

 

Okay, so I know we all had a good laugh and lot’s of fun with the whole rapture prediction.  A few of my friends were getting together for cocktails before attending a wedding for a dear friend of ours daughter so we decided to combine the pre-wedding moment with the pre-rapture moment.  It made for a great theme actually so if you’re looking for tips for your own pre-rapture party at the next crazy “prediction” here you go.

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First Becky made these fabulous cranberry/raspberry martinis that we newly named our very own: Rap-itinis  May I just say they were FABULOUS!

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And, what’s a pre-rapture party without – you guessed it – rappetizers!  Kathy brought basil homegrown from her own garden, fresh tomatoes and goat cheese.  She layered them on slices of baguettes.  They were to die for…..no pun intended.

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So once the designated doomsday time – 6:00p – came and went we had a toast.

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Happy that we still had a wedding to attend and that the young bride and groom would soon be able to tie the knot instead of dealing with the end of the world.  

Happy Decorating!

Time Flies: Happy Anniversary

 

Time really does fly by and no more so than when there are children in the house and special events that mark the passage of time.  All moms out there know the tugging of the heart at certain stages along the path of life and there’s nothing more impactful than your child getting married.  This post is to celebrate four happy years of marriage for my son and his beautiful wife.  I feel like four years ago I blinked and here we are today.  I’m sure they feel the same way.

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That special day four years ago.

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Our smiling, happy family celebrating the occasion.  And, my husband and I so thankful that our son found someone so precious to marry and another family to love him like we do.

I just don’t understand how my boys went from this:

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To this:

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Or how time slipped by so fast from this happy mother/son dance:

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To this joyful wedding dance:

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They’ve gone from being so small and dependent on mom:

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To growing up and becoming so independent:

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How did that happen so fast?

And, now this sweet couple has started a family of their own.

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With another baby on the way. 

They will now embark on their own sweet memories.  And I know they will cherish each step along the way and all the moments that mark the passage of time with their own beloved family.  A word of advice – be careful not to blink…..it goes by so fast.

Life is so precious.

Happy Anniversary!

A Little Book With Our Wine Club: Chapter 3

 

This month’s book club was at my house.  Our book was an older book by Anita Diamant called, “The Red Tent”.  It’s a fiction book based on the female character from the Bible named Dinah.

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So, of course, before we sat down for the discussion we poured ourselves a glass of wine.

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We grabbed our appetizers – goat cheese balls, hummus and flat bread.

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Which I served on these plates below in keeping somewhat with the theme.  The book includes, and revolves somewhat around, the sons of Jacob, who later represented the twelve tribes of Israel.  And, from this lineage, hundreds of years later came Jesus Christ so I thought it apropos to use these plates with the cross motif. 

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Since we usually try to pull the theme into the table décor I decided to create a centerpiece with candlesticks surrounding a bronze angel carrying a heart.  (Depicting the angel of the the Lord).  And, of course, my bronze cross for Jesus.

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I wanted to come up with some recipes that somehow reflected the book so I went to www.allrecipes.com and found some perfect dishes to support the theme.  I hung each of the recipes above each dish so everyone could see the correlation.

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Here are some of the recipes I found:

Creamy Goat Cheese and Honey

Goat Cheese and Honey Appetizer

Goat cheese and honey were commonly eaten back then so I loved coming across this recipe.

Creamy Goat Cheese and Honey

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces fresh goat cheese
  • 2 ounces finely chopped pecans
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, minced

Directions

1. Divide the goat cheese into 12 equal portions. Roll each portion into a ball. Combine the crushed pecans and cinnamon in a bowl. Roll each goat cheese ball in the pecan mixture until covered. Gently pat the balls into patties; transfer to a serving plate. Drizzle honey over the patties and sprinkle rosemary on top. Serve immediately.

Israeli Salad

Israeli Salad

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Since God changed Jacob’s name to Israel and his sons represented the twelve tribes of Israel I thought this recipe title was perfect.  And it was delicious!

Israeli Salad

Original Recipe Yield 5 servings

Ingredients

  • 6 cucumbers, diced
  • 4 roma (plum) tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 5 green onions, sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1/3 cup chopped garlic
  • 1 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
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Easter Appetizer

Sorry I don’t have a picture of this one (a new take on deviled eggs), but I thought it was a great name, too, for my theme since Dinah’s family lineage filters all the way down to Jesus.  They were a big hit.

Easter Appetizer

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons diced cooked ham
  • 1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

2. Place eggs in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring water to a boil and immediately remove from heat. Cover and let eggs stand in hot water for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from hot water, cool and peel. Cut eggs in half lengthwise and remove yolks.

3. In a small bowl, combine cream cheese, onion and ham until well mixed. Spoon mixture into eggs, covering tops. Place eggs in small baking dish. Spray with cooking spray and top with bread crumbs.

4. Bake in preheated oven 4 to 5 minutes, until golden and hot. Serve warm.

Momma’s Lamb’s Famous Fruit Salad

And, of course, with so much of the book about the “momma’s”, and lambs being such a part of their culture this recipe title was perfect, too.  And, it turned out to be a great new recipe I’ll add to my collection.  (No picture again….sorry!)

Momma Lamb’s Famous Fruit Salad

Original Recipe Yield 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 (20 ounce) can pineapple chunks
  • 1 (5 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 (15 ounce) can mandarin oranges, drained
  • 1 (10 ounce) jar maraschino cherries, drained
  • 3 bananas

Directions

1. Drain all of the juice from the pineapple into a large bowl. Set the pineapple chunks aside.

2. Add the vanilla pudding mix to the pineapple juice and mix well until smooth. Stir in the pineapple chunks, mandarin oranges, and maraschino cherries. Mix well. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

3. Just before serving slice the bananas into the bowl and fold in.

 

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And, to top off the meal, Barb and Connie brought angel food cake and devil’s food cake.  How fun is that!

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Of course, the evening was replete with our own “red tent”.  I will leave it at that…..you would just have to read the book to understand!

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A great read and a great evening!

Happy Decorating!

Prom Time Fun!

 

It is such a fun time and such great memories when high school prom time comes around.  Not just for the teens, but for the parents as well.

My daughter recently attended two proms.  One for her high school and one for another high school. She had a couple of girlfriends over to get ready for her own high school prom so I thought I’d create a little spa-like atmosphere where they could get ready in style.

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I brought them orange water on a gold tray with lollypops and girlie napkins.

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I let them have my bathroom for the occasion. 

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A little cheers before the completed look.

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Ready for the big night.

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So cute…..so fun.

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Her dad……still in shock that his baby girl is old enough for such things.

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Proud mom (with a bad hair day!) and her sweet, beautiful daughter.

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All dressed up and ready for the evening. 

 

Prom #2 her big brother, home from college, was there to greet her date along with her parents, much to his surprise.

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Awkward moments with parents and brother there to watch.

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But, soon he was comfortable and having fun.

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Another fun night…..another memory.  Good times!

 

And, even though this doesn’t have a whole lot to do with it….

Happy Decorating!!!

It’s All About Color!

 

In these difficult economic times, natural disasters and overall world distress it’s time to bring in some joy and happiness wherever we can find it.  One of the ways we can bring it to our homes is through color, color and more color.  Think outside the box and bring a smile to your décor.

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If you’re not brave enough to go for the gusto in larger pieces.  Play up color through accessories like these pillows.

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Or dress up a guest room with fun bedding like this.

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If you are really brave and love color what about brightening up your sofa or side chairs?

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You could always snazz up the space with a fantastic rug like this!

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Or dress up an existing dresser by adding colorful painted flowers.

 

Don’t live in a bland, boring box!!!  Fill your home with color and bring a smile to your surroundings!

Happy Decorating!!!!

Illuminate Your Landscape With Lighting!

 

We talked about how to create curb appeal on my last blog post, but today I’d like you to think about taking it one step further.  Why not add even more snazz and pizzazz with interesting, attractive outdoor lighting?   In these photo’s below you can see what an incredible impact they can have on your home.

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This attractive lighting illuminates this entire area….enhancing it’s beauty at night.

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The lighting on this bar is functional and attractive.

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The lighting here adds such warmth and personality and makes night time entertaining more fun and festive.

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Accenting the walkway helps your guests maneuver safely and highlights your entrance.

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See how it highlights this front yard.  Just beautiful.

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And this backyard!

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So fun!

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Check out Majestic Outdoor Lighting, Creative Outdoor Lighting and Outdoors Lighting Ideas for more information and pictures.  It’s not hard to see what an impact adding beautiful outdoor lighting has on a home.  Take a good look at your own place and do some research before you commit.  Then add that extra element to your home that sets you apart and highlights all that hard work you’ve put into your landscaping and curb appeal:  Creative outdoor lighting.

Happy Decorating!!

 

Creating The Ultimate Curb Appeal

 

We’ve all heard it before…..how vastly important curb appeal is.  It is after all the very first thing people see when they pull up to our home.  So why do so many people neglect so many important details?  I’m always astonished that people invest so much money in a home, whether it’s just $100,000.00 or much, much more, and then just let it go, taking no pride in the exterior appeal.  It’s an investment for all of us, the largest one most of us will ever make – why wouldn’t everyone want it to look it’s very finest when people come visit or just drive by?  Yes, it requires some time, effort and money, but it’s well worth it when you create a warm, welcoming entrance for family and friends.

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Tip number one is just to keep it clean!  Sweep off dirt, pick up newspapers and flyers.  Don’t make people cringe when they walk onto the porch.  It will lead them to fear they are entering into a "pig-sty” based on what they seen on the exterior!

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A fresh coat of paint, a front door that is clean, painted or stained and in good general shape speaks volumes.  If the front door is scuffed up and chipping, and the house paint is peeling away it sets a bad tone.

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Keep your lawn groomed and shrubs trimmed.  A little effort goes a long way.  Guests will notice and appreciate your efforts.

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Colorful flowers always create a pleasant, inviting atmosphere and welcome guests.

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If you’re lucky enough to have a large porch add some charming furniture and hanging baskets.  But, keep them well watered, pruned and fresh looking!

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Adding interest to the walkway with different types of stone, patterned concrete, etc, always adds charm and interest.

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Dressing up the risers on your steps gives the entrance personality, too.

If you want curb appeal remember some basic steps:

1) Clean , sweep, de-clutter your porch and sidewalk

2) Add fresh house paint

3) Make sure your have a clean, freshly painted or stained front door

4)  Update lighting and hardware

5) Mow and manicure the lawn

6) Keep trees and shrubs trimmed

7)  Add fresh flowers when season allows

8) Consider stone or patterned concrete for your walkway

9) Dress up a large front p0rch with attractive furniture such as wicker and nicely kempt hanging baskets

10) Consider enhancing your steps and risers with brick, stone or tile

 

Primarily, just keeping it clean and groomed will speak volumes!  The rest of the upkeep can be done periodically when time and finances allow, but must be done in order to keep your home fresh and updated.  Remember this is probably the largest investment you have right now.  Make the best of it and take pride in your home no matter how small or large!  Remember the tiniest of homes in the most basic of neighborhoods can stand out like a jewel when it’s well taken care of.  And, the largest of homes can kill the neighborhood and frustrate neighbors when it’s ill-kempt and an eye sore.  Do your part to create your own ultimate curb appeal!

Happy Decorating!

                                                       

 

Timeless Furniture: Always Classic, Always Sensational

 

If you are at a certain place in your life, maybe a little older and have extra income, or your just fortunate enough to maintain a healthy living in this difficult economy, perhaps you are interested in “investing” more in your home. Maybe you are just the type that would rather have one high end piece than a room full of medium or low end pieces.   You are ready for classic, timeless furniture….higher quality, more expensive, but pieces that are worthy of the “investment” and will last a lifetime. Pieces you can proudly pass down to your children that could very well last their own lifetimes.  Bill Luttrell’s showroom at the Dallas World Trade Center is a showroom that carries an array of high end, high quality pieces.  They are the largest local “to the trade” source for a furniture line called Century, as well as many other fine furniture dealers.  Bill Luttrell is known for their high quality, fine lines and timeless styles.  Check out some of these fabulous pieces below:

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See what I mean?   Can’t you see the fine quality as well as their timeless style?  These are pieces worth the investment and will give your home the beauty, character and timeless elegance you are ready for.  Let me know if you are ready for “finer” furniture now and if any of these pieces “speak” to you.   They are ready to be ordered and delivered right to your home to create your own classic, sensational, timeless, home!

Happy Decorating!!!

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