For those of us who love to go wandering through model homes just for fun it’s always fun to see the special attention to detail.  Isn’t it?  Then daydreaming about how much fun it would be do the same thing in our own homes…..getting ideas we intend to implement somewhere, somehow, someway! 

So when I was designing a model home recently in San Antonio with my friend and partner, Kristy, we made sure to make details a priority.   Because, well, we know that design really is in the details.


One of the fun details we implemented was this barrel ceiling in the entry tiled with linear glass copper tiles.  The picture doesn’t do it justice, but I can promise you it is stunning to walk through the front door and see this overhead.


Just below the barrel ceiling is this gorgeous slate floor in a fun herringbone pattern.


Have you ever wondered if it’s “too much” to have several different floors in full view of each other?  Many times one type of flooring material offers a consistency that provides a smooth, cohesive flow which is a great look.  But, here we decided to do something different to create interest and a bit of drama.  We have four of the same materials repeated in different patterns:  Slate in the entry, marble with slate insets and a wood band in the dining room, wood in the family room, and marble and wood in the kitchen. 


So you can see how the materials are repeated in each space, but with an entirely different look.  The result is dramatic and unique and still maintains a proper flow from one room to the next.


We went for drama again in the master bath combining porcelain tiles with glass mosaics.  Again – the result was rich, warm and stunning.





Porcelain and pebbles in one of the guest baths…..



Linear glass tiles were installed in a vertical pattern for the game room bath….


Stone on the kitchen wall, back splash and pass through bar (somewhat of a signature for this builder)….


And, an apron front sink…..


Paint with tea stain glaze in the master….



Fun combination of accessories…..
















So remember – don’t overlook the importance of the details so your home will have the polished, professionally designed look you see in model homes.

Hey, and check back in a couple days for Part 2 to see the model  finished out with furnishings!

Happy Decorating!

Going RAD With CAD: Designing A Space With The Ultimate Visual Aid!


One thing that’s almost always tough for a client to do is visualize a space that the designer can see so clearly.  The more visual aids at their fingertips the better in order to make informed and accurate decisions.

So whenever possible I like to give my clients that visual edge they need to really see the space finished out the way I see it. It makes it easier for everyone involved:  The client, the designer, the contractor….. 

Here are three of my current projects that I’m designing right now.


This client is looking at expanding and re-working the garage area as well as completely remodeling her kitchen.  (On this post I’m focusing more on her kitchen, however, we’ve done some extensive planning in the garage/exercise/kennel space as well.)


For her kitchen I designed two lay outs – one was working off the architect’s original lay out and another to show her some options within those parameters.  This is just one of the options I designed for her. FYI: It has nothing to do with cabinet and countertop details at this point.  It’s strictly for the lay out. 


Once she decides on the space plan of choice we will hone in on specific details such as cabinet stain and design, countertop options, hardware, window treatments, etc.


This just helps her to see what her options are with regard to laying out the space.


Another of my clients is a young couple looking to update their master bathroom.  They were having a really hard time visualizing the addition of stone walls around the shower (the interior shower walls will actually be more elaborate than pictured here), the dark marble countertops with dark stained cabinets……


As well as the stacked stone I proposed for the tub face.  And they had no idea what I meant with regard to a faux finish on the walls.  They found these CAD renderings extremely helpful in getting the visual perspective they needed.

Family Room-1b

For this family room I wanted to show my client several different lay outs with some different pieces to find out which she preferred visually and what was the best fit for her family.  (Again this has nothing to do with details such as fabrics and chair style…..just the lay out itself.)  This rendering shows her space with a sofa and four chairs….

Family 2b

This rendering shows the same space with a sectional and ottoman table (yes in reality we’d need a tray under those accessories!) instead of the fourth chair and wood table…..

Family 3

And finally, here you see a sofa and loveseat….(Notice I popped in the patio for a cozier visual here Smile)…….

Family 3b

And for another perspective in the space this rendering shows the far wall with a sideboard and mirror……

Back wall with large cabinet and ottomans

And this one shows the same wall with book shelves and an ottoman on either side that can be pulled into the family room for more seating if needed.   (The bookshelves I’m looking at for the space actually has the gliding ladder attached which is really cool looking.  I’ll let you know what we decide!)

When remodeling or redecorating – the better visual and understanding you have of the project and end result – the more likely you’ll make wiser choices along the way and be truly happy with the final outcome.

(This is a feature I offer online by the way if you should find yourself needing any design help from a distance.  Please feel free to contact me on my contact page if you’re interested.Smile)

Happy Decorating!

Decorating A Banquet For CCA: 700 People and 70 Tables….On A Budget!


When my friend, Stephanie, who is on the board of the CCA Charity League, called and asked me if I would be willing to decorate for the annual fundraising banquet, “Season of Hope”, this fall for 700 people (70 tables of 10) it was late August and I was sitting on a porch in Angelfire, New Mexico relaxing with friends and recuperating from a busy work schedule.  And, frankly I wasn’t at all sure it was a project I was willing to take on.  Not because I don’t love this sort of thing – I do….and not because I don’t love, encourage and support CCA –I absolutely do! 


It’s just…..I’m a working girl and projects like this take an incredible amount of time and energy and I just wasn’t sure I could swing it.  And, even if I could…..I wasn’t sure if I was willing.  My schedule stays so busy the thought of adding something else to my already demanding business was overwhelming.  (And, I was already suffering from serious “burn out” from a busy work load through the spring and summer.)


However, I’m the praying type, and this is for a really good cause so after giving it some thought, some prayer and discussing it with my hubby I decided I’d take the project on. 

But, I told her, if I was going to take on a project of this magnitude and squeeze the time into my already busy schedule I’d do it on one condition…..that she help me!

She agreed.


The first thing we did was do an inventory check of any and everything CCA had in their stash that I might be able to use.  We found some silver candlesticks and some silver containers.  We had enough candlesticks for 20-25 tables and enough containers for 10 of those tables (which left another forty five to fifty tables).   With this start – I decided silver would be our accent color of choice through out.


CCA’s theme colors are black, white and red and fortunately I had quite a few flowers I’d used for my son’s wedding that would work beautifully.  I laid out what I had all over my driveway and figured out how many more I’d need.  I wanted each table to have a touch of the same look whether it be a large arrangement or a small one.  I had 10 arrangements still made up from the wedding (check ‘em out here) and needed to make another 55 or so!


I made 12 more large floral arrangements using these slender vases from my own stock (I used these at my son’s rehearsal dinner with different arrangements – you can take a peak here)  By the way all those boxes and bags you see – full of banquet “stuff”!


I still had these florals and these vases made from the wedding, but this filler wouldn’t work for my new color scheme. However, it was such an ordeal creating this filler I wasn’t up for re-doing them all so I borrowed ten vases from my client, Jane, who used them for her son’s wedding as well. I needed to come up with a new cheap, easy filler for these vases that would work with our theme so after giving it much thought I decided to put my leftover wedding tulle to good use.  I had plenty of it so it was free.  My favorite word! (By the way I had this brown satin fabric so I was just “pretending” it was my tablecloth for experimenting purposes – I actually used white – FYI!)


For the thinner vases I simply wrapped the stems in tulle and stored them separate from the vases until time for the event.


For the larger vases I created cylinders with poster board and taped the edges together…..


Then I wrapped them in tulle thick enough to fill the vase, but leaving the center of the cylinder open so that the floral stems could be stored separately and then slipped down inside the vase at the event.  (This is basically what I did at the wedding only I used PVC pipe instead of poster board.  It was much easier and much cheaper using the poster board.  Live and learn!) 


Using containers I was able to retrieve and recycle from CCA Resale I made more floral arrangements  – one for each table…


All the containers were different…


I filled in a few tables with some of my own clear vases, but the majority of them were CCA resale items like these shown above. In addition to the ten that were already made I made 55 new arrangements- 12 larger vases and 43 varying smaller vases.  (I could never be a full time florist.  I feel like I have arthritis in my hands now!)


One thing I thought might be fun would be to show people just how versatile the resale items at the CCA Resale stores could be.   The CCA Resale stores sell all the items that are donated to CCA in order to help fund the CCA program to sponsor and help those in need – so their sales are very instrumental in helping to keep the program running.  And, there are a great many things people can do with them at these low prices if they just had the vision to do so


I wanted to use some of these items on some of the tables to demonstrate to guests the advantages of shopping there and when I ran the idea by the staff they loved it. So I went to two of the local stores and packed up my SUV (twice) with donated items to decorate tables with.  Like these candlesticks, this cross, this urn and this Asian stand shown above.  Don’t be deceived by how ratty tatty this all looks together. Once I was through with them they had an entirely different personality!


As did this mish mash of stuff (although this platter was already so cool I left it alone)……






And much more….


All had a serious personality change….


After playing around with all the accessories and meticulously figuring out what I wanted to put together and how I wanted each tablescape to look I carted everything out to my back yard a table at a time, cleaned them off…. 


Then started painting, painting, painting!  I used Rust-oleum Silver Hammered Spray Paint and Silver Metallic Spray Paint.  Notice this has the primer in it, too.  Take a look at all the surfaces it works on…..and yes, it even works on glass, too!


This gold lamp-turned candleholder, this votive….


This dated pink vase and these gold candlesticks….all transformed into something fresh and updated with silver. As were these:





Everything got 2 coats of silver paint….







Since the theme of the banquet is called Season of Hope I wanted to emphasize that by placing a picture frame on each table with the word “HOPE” displayed.  The purpose of CCA after all is to bring hope to the needy. So I recruited my daughter-in-law, Katie, and had her stencil the word “hope” onto several different sizes so we could frame them.  I had collected 70 or so frames – most from the CCA Resale stores by the way – and had Stephanie and some of the charity league members paint all of them (except the ones I had already experimented with) the hammered silver.  The frames were all different sizes and shapes so we had to have enough different sizes and shapes of the stencil to accommodate each frame.


I had her use the same stencil I used from my son’s wedding (you can see that post here).  When the originals were finished I took them to Office Max and made enough copies of each size and shape to fill the frames I’d gotten.  (They were only .10 cents a copy, by the way) I think they turned out great, don’t you?

STN- White Poly Satin Fabric

I bought yards and yards of white satin (over 200 yards) with my 40% off coupon at Hobby Lobby and had Stephanie and her friend, Genie, cut them all down to a yard and a half pieces in order to create a square topper for each table.  (This gave us toppers that cost around $3.00 apiece!)  Genie voluntarily surged some of them, but didn’t have time to finish before the event. (The edges were turned under so no one knew they weren’t finished off anyway.)


I was able to round up some actual silver pieces from CCA Resale for some of the tables – continuing our silver accent theme  (Yes, you’d be amazed at what you can find at one of their resale stores).


Definitely gives truth to the old adage “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure!” Don’t you agree?!!

When it was finally time to set up I had seven, yes seven, SUV loads of “stuff” to haul up to the hotel.  Fortunately a number of the charity league members came to help deliver and set up along with a couple of my friends, my husband, my mom and my daughter. 


I’m not gonna lie….when I walked into the banquet room and saw this massive sea of tables to decorate it was slightly intimidating.  But, I had my helpers and I was confident in the tablescapes I’d meticulously planned…it was just a matter of getting busy and working quickly.   We interspersed the three different types of table designs for symmetry and balance – a floral table, then a table with CCA Resale items and then a table with CCA candlesticks alternated repeatedly in “threesomes” throughout the space. (Does that make any sense?) Then I went table by table to tweak and arrange all the accessories and re-fluff all the flowers.  Stephanie painstakingly followed not far behind adding all the candlesticks.


And, in the end, with the candles lit and the tables set….it created a magical atmosphere when guests walked into the ballroom.  I’m not sure if it’s totally reflected in the pictures, but the words that were used by others to describe it were – magical, exquisite, breathtaking…..which gave me a great feeling of satisfaction.  I felt very proud and very happy with the outcome.  But, the nicest compliment of all was when local TV personality, Scott Murray, who emceed the event said that he’d been to many, many events over the last twenty years, but when he walked into the CCA banquet he had to stop and say, “Wow!”.   That just confirmed for me – mission accomplished”! 


The silver made some of the showiest tables at the banquet.  Makes you wonder how people just give this stuff away!  Doesn’t it?!  (Notice the “hope” sign by the way?)



Any floral in a clear vase got wrapped in the tulle to hide the stems and stay consistent with the larger vases.


See the transformation in these accessories with a couple coats of paint?  Remember what this vase looked like originally?  It was yellow glass!  Unifying everything with silver gave the tables, and in turn the banquet, an elegant, sophisticated vibe.


See what I mean about all the different shapes and sizes of frames?  We had all sizes, shapes and styles.




Seeing these accessories now you’d never know that everything was originally different colors and different textures.  The silver paint gave everything a uniform, cohesive look.



Remember this square piece?…..It was a bamboo like Kleenex holder.  Now it’s a fun, funky candle stand.







Remember the green obelisk?  And, this gold glass vase?  New life breathed into them with a couple coats of paint.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again….paint is our friend!











It was a lot of exhausting hard work, a lot of time…..

but,  it was an honor and I must say a lot of satisfaction for both Stephanie and I to be a part of such a great event. 

Then it was time to break it all down!!

And, before we were even finished breaking down the tables and packing up they ask if we’d be interested in doing it again next year…..and, though we took it as quite a compliment, we just had to laugh,  plug our ears and tell them we were too exhausted to even begin to think that far ahead!!

A shout out and many thanks to Susan Joyce of SJDesigns for the gorgeous florals used in the foyer, to Half Price books for their generous donation of books for props and to Lowe’s for giving freely of their time to prepare woodwork for the event.

Happy Decorating!!

Designing and Decorating A Model: Part 2

I shared on my last post what we were doing with the “nuts and bolts” in the model home I’m working on with a partner of mine.   Today I’m going to share the “fluffy stuff” – all the soft fabrics and furnishings that will bring the personality to the home.  Considering our design theme that we coined “Hill Country Hip” we wanted to find fabrics that sort of brought in the natural colors of nature with some fun, hip prints.  

After we drew up the floor plans for each space…


(These are the plans for dining room, family room and study.)


We selected our fabrics and furnishings to fit our “Hill Country Hip” theme and compliment the hard surfaces we selected.  Like this large “hip” damask and wide stripe in terracotta, beige, bold brown and cream we chose for the dining room.  We selected a cool bench seat to go with the dining table to throw in a fun flare.  Notice the floor pattern in the top right corner and the drapery style on the lower right. 


We chose a hip zebra pattern for the office.  This fabric has a bit of a chic vibe to it in this rich texture and sophisticated color way.  We’ll bring in color with a vibrant rug.  The paint swatch you see will be our ceiling.   (On the left is a picture of the barrel ceiling and the floor pattern in the entrance/hallway.  We’ll do a slate herringbone pattern on the floor and a linear glass tile mosaic on the ceiling.)


In the family room we’ve taken our color scheme and put a fun twist on it by going a bit brighter with them.  But, we’re still using our beiges, terracotta’s, wine reds, greens, and brown tones.  Every room is anchored with a more neutral palette and our patterns will be primarily the accent fabrics.  (Little Note:  Using different fabric patterns that compliment each other in a space helps bring interest and personality to a space.  When selecting fabrics don’t be afraid to mix it up!)


The space plan for the kitchen, master and the guest room.


Carrying the same color palette to the kitchen with an emphasis on the red and gold tones we wanted a rich compliment to the soft terracotta we chose for the walls.  We chose to add a cabinet in the mud room for storage.  The fabric to the right will be the seat cushion.


In the master we are emphasizing the browns, greens and creams in our accent fabrics, but we are going to take the terracotta to an all out orange for a little design “punch”!


We provided an optional look for the guest room – one that could be decorated as a guest room or one that could be used as a functioning sales/conference room.  They selected the conference room.  Here you’ll notice we stuck with our overall colors, but pulled in some blue as well.


Hard to see, but these are the space plans for the boy’s room and girl’s room


Again, we took our color palette and created a brighter twist to them for the girl’s room.  Love these colors…..bright, happy, fun and “hip”.  Notice all the patterns we are combining here.


For the boys room we brought in the soft blue again to accompany the overall color palette, but the builder decided they wanted to design the space for an “older boy” rather than a young boy.  So we will keep the color scheme the same, but find some more “grown up” looking fabric.


And, lastly our space plan for the game room…..


Here you see we continued the overall color scheme, but this time paired it with this rich pop of black. 

So there you have it.  Lots more work to be done. 

I’ll keep you posted!

Happy Decorating!!

Decorating A Model Home


When I received a phone call asking if I’d be interested in taking on a “fast track” model home in San Antonio I had to stop for a second and really think it through.  Was this a project I could take on with my already busy schedule?  After calling a designer friend of mine whom I frequently team up with for projects and recruiting her help I decided that, yes, I could and would take this on – crazy or not.  It was for a builder I’d worked with before on several models and I new the project could be interesting and fun….albeit hectic and busy.  After a couple of quick trips to San Antonio we pulled together a look the builder was very happy with

We dubbed the project design “Hill Country Hip”, or “Rustic Chic”  Here’s a sneak peak of what we’re doing:





Master Bath



Pool Bath


Jack & Jill


Guest Bath


Upstairs Game Room Bath


Looking cool, huh?! 

I’ll keep you posted as we go.  Right now I have to go finish up my last minute runnin’ around for the banquet tomorrow night.  70+ tables for 700+ peeps!  Almost done……I’ll get pic’s.

Happy Decorating!

Designing A Piano Room: The Search For The Perfect Chair


One of the projects I’m currently working on involves sprucing up the home of an adorable young family.   They’ve lived in the home for several years and with the “busy”ness of having babies and raising a young family they never quite got around to finishing out the decorating.  Now with their youngest the age of three they have a little more time to think about such things so they are concentrating first on the main living areas.

And, one of these areas is the piano room.  


After selecting our color palette and all the fabrics we are using it was time to think about seating.  We discussed the options – chaise lounge, settee, chairs, etc. and she decided her preference was two matching chairs. Something with “style”, but priced reasonably enough that we can recover it in this fabulous fabric above.  You can’t tell, but it actually has a sort of glittery sparkle to it.  Very rich looking.

FC Doncaster Bayside

It was selected to coordinate with the fabrics we are using for the drapes shown above and below.

FC hayton antique


So I set out to find some furniture options for her to consider.


I love the lower curved back and the distressed wood framing with all it’s intricate detail in this chair above.  A tad pricier than we wanted, but do-able.


I also like this more traditional look.  It’s a bit “squishier” and more comfy with the added cushion.  Again, I like the low back with the wood framing and subtle curves.  Nice look for the space.


A totally different look, this high back chair would actually work, too.  My preference is probably a lower back, but this would still work.  I like this style with the straight lines, and nail heads.


Still, there were others to consider – very different styles – but all styles that would work well depending on her taste and preference.


Since it’s not a room that will get a lot of actual use – “wallow-y” comfort isn’t the absolute top priority.  Just a couple of nice chairs where she or her guests could sit with a glass of wine and have a nice conversation or listen to the piano. 


I love this particular style and this fabric would actually work well with the drapery fabrics if she should decide to wait on the expense of recovering.  Just adding a pillow in the blue and cream fabric of choice would tie it all together.


Little Tip:  This is a way to tie in the fabric you love and the look you want if you can’t afford to do the entire chair. 


Another couple of styles that would work well are this sexy style above (love this fabric, too, but it just wouldn’t work with our color palette)……


Or this cool transitional style. 

All so different, yet all viable options.  A multitude of looks that would work in the same space.  And, each one of these chairs, as cool as they are, would take on a new personality once reupholstered in her own spectacular fabric of choice.     Decisions, decisions……..what would you choose?

Let me know your thoughts……

Happy Decorating!

Two Living Room Transformations: From Bland to Grand!


This is phase 1 of a project that I’ve been working on for two years.  This phase was actually completed months ago, but I’m just now getting around to posting it.  This client lucked into a great little house right on the lake in Fort Worth.  Great location and great view, but the house itself….well…not so much


Although it sufficed for awhile there came the time he was ready to update and make the interior view as beautiful as the exterior view.


You can see that not much had been done in the way of decorating and cozying up the place, but the spectacular view made it worthwhile.


(These chairs above are actually very nice and I ended up moving those to his office.)


Bland dining area, but great table and chairs.  I wanted to keep them, too.


Ho hum…..

living-before6 (2)

So after meeting with the client, doing the walk through, snapping some pictures and taking lots of notes I went back to my office and got to work.  I did a color board, put together a notebook of drawings, colors and pictures and drew up several space plan options one of which is below…..



Just one of the space plan options for the entire area….there were actually several possibilities depending on his needs and preference.


I sketched up a little drawing for a visual in the formal living room…..


Showed him several fabric combo’s for the drapes.  He selected this combination above for both living areas.


We selected these fabrics for the dining room.


And here is the dramatic transformation.  The formal living after.


A bit more charming and cozy I think, don’t you?



This dining room is right off the formal living so I thought I’d include it in the post as well.  These are the before pic’s here.


It went from bland…


To grand!


Below is the pass through area to the TV room before we gutted the kitchen and completely remodeled it.

pass thru-before1


pass thru-after

And after.  Pretty dramatic, right?

The pass through area leads you to the next living area.  His small TV room.

TV room-before1

Again…not so cozified and a bit bland.  It’s a tight space, but potentially very functional and cozy….

TV room space plan

There were several options here, too, but my preference was a sectional because of the small area we had to work with….


Which I sketched out…again to give him a bit of a visual.  But, he decided he wasn’t a “sectional” type of guy so we compromised and got the curved sofa, pictured below.    We had a custom TV cabinet built in the right corner for easy TV viewing.  Now it’s cozy and functional.


Again – from bland to grand!

A fun transformation don’t you think?  Now we’re discussing doing Phase 2 on the other side of the house where we will re-do the master bedroom and the guest room.  Still in the throws of planning and decision making.  It will be fun to see the outcome of that as well.  I’ll keep you “posted” (pun intended!) on the project.

Happy Decorating!

Office For Daddy Becomes a Room Fit For His Little Princess


One of my current jobs has been to transform a traditional looking stained, paneled, manly office into a sweet, precious little girlie room for an adorable little one year old girl. 


Tight on bedroom space, with three bedrooms upstairs filled with the older kids, it was time to make some changes downstairs and accommodate the new addition to the family.  The only room that made any sense was dad’s office space.


But, as you can see it wasn’t exactly a space fit for a princess….and that’s what I envisioned for their little cutie:  A pretty, little girlie room with a princess theme.  Certainly not dark paneled walls with a serious office theme.


I was pleasantly surprised when they, even dad, said paint was fine.  (Men tend to HATE painting over stained wood!)  And not only that, they wanted nothing ordinary, but something special and unique, for their special little girl.


Well, those kind of words are music to my ears… that exactly what we did.


I drew up a quickie sketch with a princess theme…..


Then I sketched up some valance designs I wanted to have custom-made by my wood maker and custom-painted in a playful design by the artist who would be doing the walls  -  just for the little princess.


I  chose Sherwin Williams Biscuit as the base coat and these Sherwin Williams colors – Hearts of Palm and Vivacious Pink as my accent colors.


I showed them the fabrics I wanted to use to match the existing retail bedding she had already purchased.  A pink satin for the windows and a sparkly pink organza for the either crib or dresser.  Once all the plans were approved we began the process of transformation.


While the drapes and valances were being made I had the entire room painted Sherwin Williams Biscuit.


All but the ceiling, because I wanted it to have a blue sky and clouds eventually.


Billy, the talented artist, put his crew to work masking off the harlequin shapes.



And, he doodled out some curly-q’s I decided to add to the bottom panels.  I let the artist in him do “his thing” and he drew these on free hand first.


Which ended up looking like this.


And this.


With the harlequins they looked like this.


He added green harlequins to the cabinet door fronts.


They added these adorable, fluffy clouds and this blue sky.


When all the artwork was done he went over it with a glaze to give it an old, aged, “castle feel”.


And the end result was this…


And this.  


Last, but not least, I asked for a custom painting incorporating the harlequins and her name to hang on the center wall of her cabinets.  Billy created this adorable plaque.  Isn’t it sweet? 

A far cry from a stuffy, serious office, wouldn’t you say?   It’s still a work in progress.  We need to paint the dresser, switch out the blinds, add the sconces, the upholstered furniture, the chandelier, etc.  But, we are doing it in stages so it will be a while before we are completely finished. 

I hope you’re inspired now to tackle your own little princess’s room! 

Happy Decorating!

No Sew Window Treatment In Less Than An Hour


I mentioned the other day that I made a no sew window treatment for my daughter’s bathroom.  A very simple, very easy treatment anybody can make.  And I do mean anybody!  So don’t feel too intimidated to try it.  You’ll be surprised at how simple this is and how great it looks.

Check out these step by step instructions and give it a try:


First get a strip of wood like this 1×3 from Lowes.   If you want a deeper return on the sides you can certainly do that, too.  I chose this size, because it’s all I needed for her bathroom.   Cut it (or have it cut at Lowe’s for free) somewhere between 3 and 6 inches longer than the window itself to allow room for the brackets and good coverage over the window.


For the correct measurements:

Measure the width of the board and add the returns for each side to the total measurements.  (Excuse my broken thumbnail – I broke it doing this project!) If your window is 30 inches wide and your returns are 3 inches you will add 6 inches for a total width of 36 inches so the sides of the board will be covered up.  It’s not complicated at all:  the width of the board, plus the depth of the board.  That’s it.  To figure the length a good rule of thumb is 1/4 to 1/3 of the length of the window for the finished length.  (For this treatment you will want to allow enough fabric to give you almost double that length so that when you create the swag you have enough fabric for the correct finished length.)  In my case the length of the window is 72 inches and my treatment’s finished length is 22 inches


 Fold the fabric in half with the face fabric (the pretty side) on the outside.  Fold in the sides like the picture above.


Use fabric glue like this Fabri-tac to secure the edges you turned inside.  Just dot the glue inside the edges and press together to give it a finished look.


 Wrap the top unfinished edge around the board so that both sides of the board are covered and staple into place. 


Tuck the fabric around the return edges (kind of like you would the edges of a flat sheet on a mattress) to form a neat fold.  Staple into place. 


Now you have a long piece of fabric hanging from the board.  In my case since I needed the finished length to be 22 inches (or so) so I started with a length of 44 inches (or so) of fabric.  It hung straight down in a rectangle after it was adhered to the board:  Basically a valance that hasn’t yet taken shape.


To create the swag look you are going to take your fingers (both hands) and place them just a few inches in on each side of the valance.   Now start to scrunch upwards like you’re creating a fan or an accordion.  Do this till you get the length you prefer on the outside swag points.  (Remember 1/4 to 1/3 of the length of the window is a good rule of thumb.)


Once your length is in place tie off the swag with ribbon.  (You can even use ribbon for your tie’s if you want to.)


To create the bands or ribbons select the width you’d like.  You can make them skinny or wide, whichever you prefer.  I wanted these a little on the wide side, but I’ve done these before with a skinny band and even rope tassels.  (Rope tassels work really well, too, and using them makes one less step for you to do.)


I wanted mine to match the shower curtains I had custom made so I purchased a similar fabric, but in a smaller print, and folded them to the width I wanted – seam in the middle as shown above – careful to turn under the bottom edge for a finished look.  I tacked them down by using the Fabri-tac glue shown above.  I tied them off to the right length with a small black ribbon, but you could tie a knot or a bow, too.  If you prefer you can just do a clean band by looping the band edge up to the board and stapling it into place.


When you are finished you should have something that looks like this. Ta-da!!!  Not hard at all!  This took me around 30 minutes start to finish.  You can do this – I promise!

I will say, though, that this treatment is better if it’s not a window facing the street or facing the backyard.   Otherwise, you probably want to match the liner fabric to your other windows – usually in a neutral color such as white, cream or beige.  This would result in having to sew on a liner (probably with a band of the face fabric at the bottom so that the liner doesn’t show from the front).  And, this is where custom drapes become necessary for those that don’t have an understanding of this sort of thing and sew really well.  

So remember this treatment is more for a side window, rather than the front or back where the liner can clearly be seen from the outside.

 Now for the candle.  Pretty basic, but here’s how to do it for those of you who might not know:


Take a basic candle votive such as this.


 Cut fabric to fit with enough to turn under the edges.


Turn in the raw edges in the back and glue together with Fabri-tac.  Finish off with a ribbon of your choice.  The ones with the wire on the edges work best so you can shape them.


Add a little bling or embellishment if you’d like for fun.

And that’s it!  There you go.  Now you can make a window treatment and a candle cover to snazz up your own space.

Good luck with your own project and Happy Decorating!!!

Christmastime Is Here!


Every year for the last dozen or so years I’ve been decorating my client Pam’s house for Christmas.  It’s become quite the tradition for the both of us and we always have fun pulling her home together.  This year was somewhat different.  She decided she was just “over” the 12 foot massive, enormous tree we’ve always done (we’ve gone through two of them) and ready for a smaller 9 foot tree.  The larger tree was an ordeal to say the least.  It was so wide at the bottom that by the time it narrowed at the top it was so far away from my reach – even when I stood on their gigantic ladder I had to resort to throwing some of the ornaments on the tree and poking them in with whatever makeshift “poker” I could get my hands on.  It was a lot of work and usually had us giggling, but somehow it always turned out gorgeous.

Switching to a much smaller tree would be easier, but left us a little unsure as to whether it could be anywhere near the showstopper the other one was.   After all was said and done I’m happy to say it turned out beautiful, showy, elegant and classic.  Though not as grand in size it still makes a grand statement.  As does the rest of her house. 

Very festive and fun!

Take a peek! 


 Pam loves Santa’s so we have quite an assortment sprinkled all over her house.


 We always layer two strands of lighted garland on her mantel for a rich, full look.


 We keep the color scheme classic with cream, gold and silver.









 More fun Santa’s.






 This giant Santa greets you at the entrance.  Love that!


I like to tuck a little fun under the tree even before all the gifts pile up.  Here we have another Santa and some gold gift boxes filled with silver and gold ornaments.

IMG_0404 Fun, unexpected items in the tree make it interesting!


Had to have our Santa’s in here! 





Of course, it’s important to glam up the stairway as well for that total holiday impact.  Almost pretty enough for a wedding – wouldn’t you say?!     (Excuse the gate – it’s for her precious, little doggy.)





Not an enormous twelve foot tree, but lovely none-the-less. 


There is just something about a houseful of Christmas decorations that makes everyone feel warm and snuggly!

Christmastime – such a happy time of year!!!!

(And, thank you, Pam, for donating your old trees to my church!!!)

Happy Decorating!!!

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