The Making Of The Perfect Wedding Centerpiece!

 

When my son and daughter-in-law came to me months before their wedding and ask me to help them decorate the wedding and reception, of course I was happy to help.  Her family was in another state, the wedding couple was paying for part of it themselves and were on a budget so since I’ve done many a wedding over the years it seemed like the natural thing to do. 

The drawback was I wouldn’t be able to do fresh flowers.  I couldn’t bear the thought of having to worry about getting all that taken care of the day before the wedding or on the wedding day itself.  I’d have enough to do just handling the rehearsal dinner and the overall decorating for the venue.  So after giving it some thought they decided silk it was and we got started with the arduous task of coming up with the perfect look for their wedding.  (One of the major perks to silk flowers was they would be able to keep some not only as a keepsake, but they could use them to decorate their first home as well.  A win-win!)

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It would have been easy for me to run wild and do something fun on my own, but it was their wedding day after all and every bride (and in this case – bride and groom) knows exactly what they want for their big moment. And, I wanted to be respectful of that so shortly after the decision was made to go with silk Melissa and I went to the Dallas market to track down the perfect “stuff”.  She had done enough “Pinterest surfing” to know the basic look she was after so we had sort of an idea of what we were looking for. 

Unexpectedly, as we perused the first showroom we both stopped in our tracks when we saw these cool leaf stems…..

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And, these coolest of cool branches.  Both were so unique and fun, they were made of quality “real touch” materials and were very pliable so they’d be easy to work with.  We spotted these first thing and then looked at just about every showroom at the World Trade Center before coming right back to them.

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After deciding on the leaves and branches she knew she wanted these burgundy hydrangeas – again, the “real touch” variety that looks and feels like the real thing…..

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As were these orchids she wanted……

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And, lastly, she really wanted peacock feathers to be the key accessory to the centerpieces and other items in the wedding as well…. 

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And, she wanted them in tall cylinder vases.  A very popular look these days that you’ll see all over Pinterest. 

Once the flowers were chosen the next decision was what would be the best filler for these large vases.  The bride and groom to be were hoping for either sand or rocks soooo……

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After unsuccessfully searching for inexpensive white sand in our area – I first tried regular sand thinking that maybe, just maybe it could work…..But,…..blaaaah! it was flat and dull and just not pretty enough for a wedding.  And, it made the vase very heavy……

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Then I tried inexpensive rocks from Home Depot, just to get a feel for them, which made the vase so heavy I could hardly lift it!  Not to mention my fingernails looked and felt as if I had run them through a meat grinder when I was done.  No way that could be done on or near the wedding day.

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Next I tried rocks and sand together…..mmmmmm……double ick!……not so happy with that look either.  So…..what to do…..what to do.  A full vase of rocks or sand even if I found prettier materials, no matter what style or color, was way too much work and way too heavy for me and the friends I recruited to help me set up to have to mess with.  And, there was still the added challenge of transporting everything. 

My problem was – I didn’t want to have to put them together on the wedding day…. the purpose of the silk was to be able to get them done way ahead of time to alleviate stress. But, if I did that – then came the challenge of how the heck we’d transport them thirty minutes away to the venue. By the time they were finished they would be around four feet high or more! Not to mention the width with all the branches.  Hmmmmmm…..what was a designer to do?????……

Then suddenly it came to me!

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My light bulb moment!

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I went to good old Home Depot and bought some pvc pipe….

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And, I had them cut the pipe into pieces that would fit down inside the vases.

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(As luck would have it I had them cut a little short so I used some styrofoam I already had and took a tomato can and cut the perfect size circles to place on the bottom and give them the height I needed.)

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Then I slipped the styrofoam to the bottom of the vase, slipped the pvc pipe down into the vase on top of the styrofoam and filled the outside of the pipe between it and the glass with a combination of this cool moss I found at Hobby Lobby and this rock from the Dollar Tree.  I wasn’t sure if they’d like it, but I played around with it with and without the rocks and they decided they not only liked it, but they liked it best with both rocks and moss.  They loved the organic look.

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I did some vases in the green moss…..

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And some in this brown moss that I also got at the Dollar Tree.

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I recruited my sister to round up some moss from her Dollar Tree stores in Wichita Falls since I bought all the brown moss at the stores in my surrounding areas! 

By the way, the cheapest place you’ll find these vases is at Ross and HomeGoodsTrust me – I checked everywhere you could possibly check – online, Craig’s list, market, etc…. I was at my wits end trying to find affordable ones – then my sister called and said she found a couple of them at the Ross store near her.  I had her grab them for me then I went to every Ross and Homegoods within a twenty mile radius whenever I was at a client’s house who had one near them and gathered up the rest! (They only carry one or two at each store!  Ugh!)  But they were $10.00 to $15.00 as opposed to $30.00 to $35.00.  Worth the extra effort.

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After the vases were done I made ten clusters of flowers for ten of the tables by wiring them together into bushels like this. This picture doesn’t have all the flowers in it – we had to wait on some backorders to come through, but I left room to wedge them down in the wire. (The other ten tables had a different look – I’ll get to those later)

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After I had all the bushels put together we had a little pow-wow one evening at my mom’s house where I was keeping them – my daughter, daughter-in-law, the bride-to-be and one of her bridesmaids – to wire on some more orchids to the branches. (I was out of storage room at my house – it was full of rehearsal dinner decorations, arrangements and more wedding décor!)

Melissa and Katie, my daughter-in-law, also made wire tea candles to hang from a few of the branches so they would flicker and glow when it got dark.

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Melissa with one of her bridesmaids, Lauren.  We made the evening fun with some wine, munchies and laughs till we got ‘em all done.

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Even my daughter’s Chihuahua, Harley, joined in the fun.

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Now I could store all the vases in bins separately to transport everything, then slip the pre-made florals right into this pvc pipe at the venue. Voila! Mission accomplished!

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For the other ten tables I used these tall skinny vases I have in my stock and borrowed some from my friend, Connie, to save some money.  I duplicated the same basic flowers I used in the large vases, with the exception of the creamy beige leaves – we substituted the green ones for those.  I just separated them into the three different height vases instead of one large vase to create a cluster that complimented the other tables, but had their own unique look.

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I experimented with different combo’s…..

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Tried different fillers with these, too.  I filled this one with salt to see what it would look like if I decided to go for the white sand.  But, once I decided on the moss for the larger ones the white was no longer an option for these.  It just didn’t “work” well together.  The white was too stark for the other more organic look. 

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So I found pebbles that complimented the rocks in the larger vases for the bottom of these instead….

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Then topped the pebbles with this cool colored sand I found at Michaels (it was the same color as the brown moss) and then just to bring in her turquoise I topped that with just a little touch of the perfect color of turquoise sand I found at Michaels, too.

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When everything was done I crammed it all into my den for weeks before the wedding.  (You could hardly move in there.)  The branches would get tangled up if you so much as looked at them wrong and I had a couple of the vases break and have to be re-done.  That was a royal pain!  But in the end….

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All the time, energy and hard work paid off.  They worked beautifully on these crisp white table cloths and created the look for the event Melissa was hoping for.   The crème-de-la-creme was the workers at the hotel thought they were real!

They (the bride and groom) went with the more unique option of having the tables set up for the wedding as well as the reception rather than the traditional rows. So when guests arrived the centerpieces would be in place and hopefully create a welcoming, warm, inviting atmosphere. Melissa understood that the centerpieces would help set the stage and personality of the event so the centerpieces were a huge deal to her. (A girl after my own heart!)

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She said they were everything she wanted and more.  And, that made her future mother-in-law very happy!

Happy Decorating!

Five More Days For The Giveaway!

Just a few days left to sign up for my giveaway!  Click here to register for the drawing!

Winner gets to choose from the custom artwork below:

 Steve-Taft-a_thumb1_thumb   

Jeremy-Hutcherson_thumb1_thumb

Wouldn’t it be fun to have one of these in your home or office? It could be yours if you sign up.

Click the link above for all the info!

Happy Decorating!!!

A Fresh, New Look For An Old Fashion Screened In Porch

 

These days the outdoor living area has morphed into a covered area with flagstone floors, a fireplace and a kitchen.   And, they are wonderful, functional and tons of fun.  But, there’s something oddly cozy and charming about the good old fashioned screened in porch.  

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We had a screened in porch built years ago – long before the current outdoor living area became so popular. And, it’s probably the favorite room in the house. We lounge out there, have dinner out there……coffee and newspaper in the morning, wine in the evening. Whenever the Texas weather allows it’s the most used room we have.

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  But, recently my rattan furniture has looked a bit “tired” and in desperate need of a facelift.

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I didn’t want to spend the money on new furniture, but wanted something fresh and fun.  I haggled back and forth between paint colors……did I want sage green or did I want black?

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After giving it some thought I settled on black.  So I hauled all my wicker furniture out into the back yard, wiped it all down with a moist rag…..

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Then started painting…..

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And, painting…..

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And, painting!

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Everything thing got a couple of coats of glossy black spray paint.

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Including this $50.00 rattan bench I purchased on clearance from Big Lots to add more seating to my dining table……

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And, this tall storage chest.  (This was originally a natural fence post color for my boy’s play room from twenty years ago that I later painted this creamy white for my daughter.  She had this color in her room for a few years and then I moved it to my porch. It worked for a time in this creamy color, but now it’s time for a new look again in black to match the rest of the outdoor space.)

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When I finished painting it looked like this.  Fresh, fun and new.  I got this fun rug at Walmart for $59.00.  Love the bright, bold colors and pattern.

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But, I felt the space still needed “something”, so I tried hanging sheers to see if it gave me the final look I wanted or if it was just too much.  When I stepped back to check it out I immediately knew it gave the porch the cozy look I was shooting for…..

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So I went to Bed, Bath and Beyond and bought enough sheers to cover each corner.  I used my $5.00 off coupons and my 20% off coupons and got each $20.00 panel for $15.00-$16.00 per panel.  By the way did you know at Bed, Bath and Beyond you can use a coupon for each item you buy?  I had ten panels and ten coupons – one for each sheer.  And, for those of you who don’t know this – they will take expired coupons up to seven years old!

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Adding the sheers created the charm and coziness that I was looking for.

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Then I tweaked the accessories, adding lime green flowers to my arrangement and bringing in this antique plate from my collection in the house to compliment the lime green in the new rug….

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I also added this adorable dog bed from Hobby Lobby for our cute little Chihuahua, Harley.  It was already black so it fit perfectly.  (And, of course it was on clearance or I probably wouldn’t have gotten it.)

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I painted some of the accessories black….

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Added some lime green to my potpourri – again to pull the green from the new rug in.

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I also painted all the dining chairs black and switched out my cushions to this fun red and cream from Gardenridge.  This chandelier over the table was originally cream…..

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Then I painted it turquoise for the wedding photo booth….

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….then recycled it again by painting it black to hang above my table on my porch.  Remember paint is our easiest, cheapest design tool…..it makes everything better!

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I made good use of this palm that was left over from the wedding by placing it in the corner for a cozy touch and painted this urn black (originally gray) to match everything else.

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Then I added some some new accessories like these garden balls to give it a fresh, new look.  Notice my black cabinet in the corner?  Love it in this color!  Simple, inexpensive paint has helped me re-create this piece that I’ve now had for twenty years.

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I have a collection of birdhouses and bird cages sprinkled all over the porch.  I just gave them a quick clean.

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I painted these tall candle holders black from the rusty brown color they were originally.  You can see them used at a shower I did on my blog post here.  The shorter candle holders were originally gray.  I got them at Hobby Lobby for $5.00 on clearance and painted them black, too.  (I was on such a roll painting everything I think my husband was afraid if he walked by I’d paint him black, too!)

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The end result is a fresh, updated “old fashioned screened in porch”.  Though it’s mostly recycled items that have been painted, rearranged, or tweaked  -  it feels brand new now, and I know we’ll continue to enjoy it as a family for many more years.

Happy Decorating!

Make Your Own Floral Arrangement On A Budget!

 

Although it’s nice to have a custom floral made for your home, and I certainly have plenty of them made for my clients, there is a way to do it yourself on a budget and have them look custom.  Really there is!

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If I don’t get them wholesale my favorite retail store to get flowers is Hobby Lobby. (If you’ve read many of my blog posts I know you won’t be surprised by that.  Click here to see a previous post on another “do it yourself floral”)

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For this arrangement I got these pretty pink bushels, because they had a quality look to them and also had additional branchy looking stems I wanted to use.

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I always wait till they’re on sale 50% off or I’ll use my 40% off coupon that they have weekly on there website.  

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There are several types of moss you can use, but for this one I used Spanish Moss.

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I started by clipping off individual stems and branches…..

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And placing them into the styrofoam I cut to fit and placed at the bottom of the container. 

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This container I got on clearance at Hobby Lobby, too, by the way.  It was $12.00, but originally a sage green color.  I wanted it to be black so I simply spray painted it to get the look I wanted.

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I intentionally made it a shorter arrangement rather than tall, because I want to keep it on the table during dinner and not have to remove it so people can see each other. 

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I continued to fill it with flowers  (this arrangement took two bushels that were on sale for $12.49 each) then started squeezing in the moss. I like to make the moss really thick so none of the styrofoam shows and the arrangement looks really full.

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Then I gave it a good tweakin’ and fluffin’ and when it was ready…..

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I added it to my dinner table on the screened in porch.

Easy to do and very affordable. Give it a try!

Happy Decorating!

Define Your Accessories With A Decorative Tray!

One of the easiest ways to define your accessories and give them more of a decorative purpose is to use a decorative tray to cluster them on. I addressed this a little on a previous blog, but wanted to touch on it again today.

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When you take all this kind of decorative clutter and simply place it on a decorative tray it suddenly goes from excessive clutter to a “decorative cluster”.

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See what I mean?  This just doesn’t have the same snazzy, organized look to it, does it?

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But, place it in a little tray like this and it gives it purpose and adds a sweet charm.  Don’t you think?  You don’t need an expensive tray either.  This one cost me $16.00 on clearance at good old Hobby Lobby.

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This is in my master bathroom and houses my jewelry that I wear most frequently and some homemade “beauty remedies”…..

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Like this little bowl of baking soda.  Did you know if you mix it with water and make a paste it’s a great little facial for your skin.  Helps smooth out your skin and tighten your pores.  (It really works, by the way.)

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And, this little pitcher has all natural honey in it.  It helps soften and smooth your skin and give it a little more of a youthful glow.  Just pour a small amount onto your fingers and rub into your face; let it set for ten or fifteen minutes.  Your skin will feel so soft….you’ll love it.  

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Pretty, functional and girlie!

In my kitchen I used a decorative tray to house all my coffee and beverage “stuff”, too:

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I got these clear bowls and the pitcher from Hobby Lobby and the Dollar Tree.  This tray used to look like this by the way:

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And I used my good old spray paint from Home Depot to paint it solid black for a cleaner, fresher look.

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  The old one was worn and I was tired of it.  Now it looks like brand new.  And, the black tray against the crystal containers look clean, fresh and nice.

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Just makes all the clutter look more defined and organized.

 

Don’t forget to click here to sign up for my giveaway!!

Custom artwork for you to choose from so sign up now!!! Less than two weeks to for the drawing!!)

Steve-Taft-a_thumb1Jeremy-Hutcherson_thumb1

You get to choose one of these fabulous pieces of art.

Click the link above for all the info!

Wouldn’t it be fun to have one of these in your home or office. It could be yours if you sign up!

Happy Decorating!!!

Reminder: Custom Art Giveaway On My Blog–Sign Up Today!!!

 

Don’t forget to click here to sign up for my giveaway!!

Custom artwork for you to choose from so sign up now!!!  Less than two weeks to for the drawing!!)

Steve Taft aJeremy Hutcherson

You get to choose one of these fabulous pieces of art.

Click the link above for all the info!

 

 

 

Wouldn’t it be fun to have one of these in your home or office.  It could be yours if you sign up!

Good luck!!!!

And, as always…..

Happy Decorating!!!

Refinished and Refined: A Creative, Cozy Condo – Down To The Last Detail!

 

When my friend, Jan, purchased a condo in Granbury on the lake she had no idea that shortly afterward there would be a fire, her adorable condo would be ruined and she would have to be completely re-do the entire thing!   Fortunately for her (and her husband) she is innovative and creative, has an eye for fabulous finds and knows how to stretch her dollars so that everything she purchases on a budget ends up looking like a million bucks.

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See what I mean?  Would you look at this adorable space?  How fun is this – with all this color and these fun patterns?  And, yes, she recovered and refinished these pieces herself! 

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Mmmmmhmmmmm….yes, ma’am….she did!  She is one of those people that has that incredible knack for taking other people’s discards and giving them lots of TLC as well as some serious BST (blood, sweat and tears)…..until they evolve into something fabulous, unique and, well, amazing.

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I mean…….how stinkin’ cute!  (And, by the way, don’t you just love these dark walls!)

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So creative and fun!

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Isn’t this a darling coffee table?…….How feminine and sweet!

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What a cozy room to snuggle up in with a glass of wine and a magazine!  And that view doesn’t hurt either!

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Notice the mis-matched chairs in this charming dining area?  Looks great paired with this vibrant, colorful rug.  The old with the new…..

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Such charming details in the kitchen.  So very Jan!  By the way you’ve seen her work before at a couple’s shower I posted a couple of months ago.  Take a look here.

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These white frames and mirrors make a wonderful collage. 

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You may recognize this chair from the shower.  Isn’t it fab?!

Are you just a little jealous?……Inspired maybe to get creative and turn someone else’s “has-beens” into your own upbeat, “happening now”, newly refinished and refined quality pieces like Jan does?  You can create the same look with a little of your own TLC and BST.  Give it a try.

But, for all you local folks Jan has a booth called Fabulous Finds at an antique mall (Witherspoon Antiques) in Granbury, Texas.  If you are ever out there swing by and take a look!  She may have just the pieces you’re looking for.

Here’s a peak at some of her the other items she’s turned from “ho-hum has-beens” to “oh my gosh I want that” pieces.

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Can you say freaking ca-uuuuuute!  She uses such fun colors to make everything so unique! Look her up!

And, don’t forget to sign up for my blog giveaway!  Click here to register!

Happy Decorating!

MY FIRST GIVEAWAY!!!! Custom Artwork For Your Home!

 

Have you ever felt like you were barreling down the highway at 100 mph and then suddenly hit a brick wall? Well, that’s me! I’ve hit that brick wall and desperately need to lighten the load for awhile.  After my son’s wedding I was so back logged with work deadlines there was just – once again – not enough hours in the day.  I’m ready to pull my hair out from work overload…..

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But, I think things are finally (….maybe…..hopefully…) getting back on track.  So since I know I’ve been absent from the blogosphere too much lately (and I apologize to those who enjoy the frequent blog posts I normally do) I’ve decided to re-enter the blogging world with my first giveaway! 

Yes, my first giveaway and I’m very excited about it!  Gaylynn McBrayer – friend, colleague, founder and owner of a wonderful, local “to the trade” showroom called  La Montage - has graciously agreed to team up with Sheri Martin Interiors and contribute a couple of art pieces for you to choose from!  You heard right……the winner of the giveaway will get a choice between two amazing pieces of art.

Steve Taft a

This gorgeous piece is by a popular, well known Texas artist named Steve Taff.  He’s adept at infusing unique designs, color and architectural elements in his work to create a rare, exclusive, eclectic piece of art.  This particular piece measures 20×24 including the frame and retails for $250.00!  Gaylynn has an array of his work on display at La Montage, but in addition to these he does custom art pieces for your home or office space.  You can see more of his work on her website:  http://lamontagefineart.com/

Jeremy Huterson

Another wonderful artist is Jeremy Hutcherson.  This particular piece displays one of my all time favorite, inspirational Bible verses along with this amazing cross.  Isn’t it beautiful?  Jeremy is also a local Dallas artist.  Each piece of his handmade art is a Limited Edition as only 500 of each design will ever be created.  This frameless piece measures 12×18 and retails for $90.00!  Again, check out her website here for more of his incredible work.

Here’s how to enter:

(You must be a US citizen and over 18 years of age)

1)  Like my page on Facebook

2) Follow my blog Sheri Martin Interiors and leave a comment

3) Current blog followers – like me on FB if you haven’t already and leave a comment on my blog

4) To be entered again follow me on Twitter here

And, that’s it!

Make sure to leave your name and email address so I can contact you!  The contest will run through July 31st.  The drawing will be done by random.org and I will announce the winner on August 1st.

Good luck!!!! (And, Happy Decorating!)

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