The Proposal


Okay, well, I know this has nothing to do with decorating, but since it’s my blog and I’m a mom – I have to share the big news.  My son just got engaged!  And the best part is the entire family was there for “the proposal”. 

Melissa’s family was in town from Minnesota and we had them over for a family dinner along with my parents.  My son, Daniel, wasn’t going to pop the question unless he was able to slip out with her father, Terry, at some point and ask for his blessing.  Once he did – he told me it was “on” and to get the camera….. 


….Which was nerve wracking, because it was my job to get everyone out back without telling them why.  The pretense was to go outside to get family pictures and then he would pop the question in front of the whole family (who had no idea).  But it was so stinking hot nobody was much interested in going outside! He was hoping for a sunset proposal, but it was dark before I convinced everyone to go outside for pictures “real quick”.


Once there, he dropped to his knee to “tie his shoe”, and then pulled out the ring.  Melissa was completely, utterly shocked.


It was precious!


They were both glowing and we were all in tears!


(And, no, that’s not a cemetery behind them…’s my backyard!)  Several of Daniel’s co-workers asked him if he proposed at a cemetery!


So sweet!


Time for celebration…….


And group hugs.


Melissa’s surprised, but happy family (minus her brother).


My elated family (minus my granddaughter).


The proud and happy grandparents, my mom and dad.


And the oh-so-happy couple!  Precious!

Time for more showers, a rehearsal dinner, etc……So fun!  And though this particular post had absolutely nothing to do with it…..

Happy Decorating!

A Little Bit French, A Little Bit Southwest…and A Little Newlywed Game?


I’m blessed in many ways, but one of those ways is my wonderful friendships.  My family is fortunate enough to be in a group friendship with four other families.  We’ve all been friends for a dozen years or more – some as many as 20 or more.  We’ve been through thick and thin – watched each others children grow up, graduate, leave for college, come home, get “real jobs”, get married and have babies.  And one way we support each other is showers…..for everything.   Weddings, babies….you name it.  But, one unfortunate young couple was so busy before their wedding nuptials, and our schedules were so hard to coordinate we finally gave up and opted for a “Newlywed Partay” instead.  So we waited until after the big day had passed and all the hoopla had settled back down and finally were able to celebrate. 

Our good friend Barbie opened up her beautiful home for the event.


And this is where the little bit French comes it.


She has a spectacular home with a wonderfully large living room filled with antiques, great textures, French furnishings…..and a touch of Southwest. Notice the picture above her fireplace? An unusual mix, but it works beautifully


Barbie graduated from college with three degrees, one of which was interior design, so notably reflected in her gorgeous home!



If you look closely you can see our group of “moms” in this picture she keeps on display. Our group nickname is the “Rita’s”.  (We came up with that one day while sipping on margaritas on a hot Texas summer afternoon years ago.  Senioritas sipping on margaritas.  Get it?!)  All the hubbies and kids refer to us as “the Rita’s” - and have for years.


Another little touch of France here with these cool wall accessories on the way to the den.  Notice her window dressings? It’s berry vine.  How creative is that!?


When you move into their den/game room you see where the main Southwest Theme really comes in.  Look at this great paneling.  Barbie and Cindy (another Rita) did this technique themselves.  Doesn’t it look cool?



I had to throw in her cool kitchen backsplash.  Very cool.


And, I’m incredibly jealous she’s managed to keep her backyard looking amazing in this stifling Texas heat.



We did what we moms do best – created a great spread of food, some catered by the fabulous Woody B’s Barbecue and some made by us.



After a great meal we moved to the living room – with the “newlyweds” front and center - to have some fun and play our own version of the Newlywed Game!  Just a fun little something to put them on the spot! 


Barbie put me in charge of the game so I headed out to one of my favorite places to gather the props – The Dollar Store! – and picked up these signs.  Then I printed off their names and glued them on.



I bought these baby award ribbons used for baby showers and called them the “High Five Spouse Award” for the winning spouse!


I bought these note pads for $1.00 each (Love the Dollar Store!) and changed out the front cover to make the “contestant pads”.


This is where they wrote their answers.


Myself, my hubby, my son and his girlfriend came up with the questions….


Complete with a score board.


We sat them down on opposite sides of the room (with flower lei’s) and started the questions….


The spectators sat back and enjoyed the show…..


We had some laughs…..


And, more laughs watching them struggle with questions most of us “older marrieds” couldn’t answer either….


And, in the end – Maripat was the winner!


But, we had mercy on Holston and gave him a “High Five Spouse Award”, too!!!


Next they opened their long awaited “Rita” gift….


Matching white monogrammed robes. 

Aaaaaaaahhhhhh, newlyweds… sweet!

So there you have it….a little decorating and a little fun!

And as always…

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!

Furniture Filled With Fabulosity!!!!


If you can think outside the box and want your home to reflect your unique style and attitude think about going fabulous with the furniture you select.  Take a look at these spectacular styles below and see if you can’t picture some of these pieces in your own space.  I know I can….




Fun, funky fabric combo.


Isn’t this cool embroidery?  Adds such sweet detail.



Love the cowhide!


I want this, I want this, I want this!!!!!  I’m crazy about this zebra and leather combo! 









Fun detail on these bar stools.





This fluffy thing is probably the most comfortable chair I have ever sat in in my entire life.  You may think it a bit much, but they sell an average of one a week.   Fun, funky……fabulous!

Have fun with your space!  Make it interesting!  Be unique, be different, and be sassy…..fill your home with furniture filled with fabulosity!!!

Happy Decorating!!!

Design Finds At The Atlanta Market: Rugs That Rock!


Last weekend I had the privilege of going to the design market in Atlanta with a group of my local Dallas designer friends.  We went to several design conferences, one of which included the wonderfully talented designer, Tobi Fairley, pictured below (the only brunette amongst us Dallas blondes!). 



Featured in one of my previous posts, Tobi has a very successful blog, a very successful design firm, has been published in several national magazines and participates in a great many design projects all over the country.  Forthcoming and generous, as always, she gave me some great blogging tips when I met her in New York last year and she gave me some great “twitter” tips in Atlanta. (Thanks, Tobi!) You can check out her blog here.


It was a very busy, eventful, informative weekend  – chock full of useful info from design pro’s like this panel above – including Tobi Fairley, Stan Topal of Stan Topal & Associates, a well known designer based in Atlanta, (who studied under the famous Billy Baldwin), Katie Armour with, and Krissa Rossbund with Traditional Home Magazine. 

And, happily, while there I found some wonderful new resources to share with my clients.  One of which provides these spectacular rugs pictured below.


They are full of fun, bright, beautiful patterns.



They have an array of transitional and contemporary options.


Lots of fun designs.


An assortment of eclectic styles.






Great polka dots.



Did I mention bright and fun?



And….just plain interesting.


Of course – they have cool, hip shags.




They even have these great cubes…..


And lots of great pillows….in lots of great styles and colors.


I can’t wait to share these great finds with my clients!

In addition to getting educated and gathering new resources for our clients – we shopped till we dropped -hitting the cash and carry floor for goodies for us!  It was a weekend full of fun, learning, shopping and, yes – eating.   Now it’s time to get back to the business of design.

Happy Decorating!

DIY: Create More Space For Dining – On A Budget


Like many of you I find myself with an ever-growing family and forever looking for ways to expand space, seating, etc…. One of the areas I desperately needed more space was my dining table on my screened in porch.  I have the typical oval iron patio table you can get almost anywhere – Home Depot, Lowes, etc. – that seats six people.  For years it sufficed for my family of five.  When my parents came over we could scrunch in an extra chair and manage just fine.  This is what it looked like originally – notice it seats six:

Outdoor Living - Table Setting 2

But, now that my oldest son is married with a toddler and another one on the way; and my middle son has a girlfriend (who is living with us at the moment) we’ve more than outgrown the table.   And except for a few months out of the year when it’s either too hot or too cold it’s our favorite place to have dinner together.

Outdoor Living-Table Setting

After looking at new tables and pondering what to do I decided I could “go cheap” and expand the table myself without having to invest in a new one. Because I’m one of “those” who love to have my table set at all times with a tablecloth and place settings I figured….I could just cover up my new makeshift table with a new, larger tablecloth.  Right?


So I headed to good old Home Depot to look for materials.  For my immediate family and my parents to sit comfortably when we are all together I needed to be able to seat at least nine people, but I wanted to be able to seat 12 – 14 at any given moment to accommodate more family and friends.  So I purchased one large 4’x8’ piece of wood and two 2’x4’ pieces.  I had Home Depot cut the 4×8 piece down the middle so I could add the smaller pieces as table leaves when needed.  (If you don’t have access to a saw just have them do it for you.  You get one or two cuts for free and then it’s something like $1.00 per cut after that.  Very reasonable and saves you the hassle.)


I bracketed the two large pieces together to create one stable piece.  (I just un-hinge it and add my leaves, securing them with brackets when I need to expand)


I added strength and stability to the perimeter of the table with 2×4 strips that I nailed into place.


I screwed in my makeshift legs (that I had cut to size by Home Depot).


I reinforced the legs with “L” brackets.


Yes, girls, you can do this all by yourself!



The iron table acts as my base and supports my new tabletop with the help of the new legs at each end.  Here’s what it looks like from the bottom.


And, here’s what it looks like from the top.


See how nice and big it is now?


And once I add my tablecloth, topper and place settings no one has a clue (till now) what it looks like underneath.  I added at iron bench at one end and two new iron chairs at the other.  (I’m thinking about painting all the chairs red, or maybe a mint green)


Right now you can see I can easily seat ten people:  Six in the center and two at each end.  But, remember I have two leaves that I can insert to expand the table to accommodate 12 – 14.  I have an extra table topper and an extra white tablecloth that I can add when the table is extended to keep it looking consistent and nice.  (I got the table topper and tablecloths from Wal-Mart, by the way)  A table this size makes a great space for birthday and holiday meals.

This can be done on an enclosed patio table or even on your indoor table.  And the total cost was less than $50.00! Much cheaper than a brand new table!  So if you are looking for an inexpensive way to gain more dining space consider this alternative. And, girls, you don’t need a man to do this for you.  You can do it by yourself.  So don’t wait around for him to do it for you.  Take the initiative and go for it!

Happy Decorating!!!

Transform Your Walkways To Stone With LimeCoat Resurfacing


Would you like to update your walkway or driveway, but you’re not up for busting the entire thing up and starting over?  LimeCoat resurfacing might just be the perfect solution for you.  It’s an ideal alternative to create the look of stone on driveways, pool decks, walkway’s and much more.   


It is made from limestone and quartz and can be applied to an array of surfaces. Considered one of the most durable coatings in the industry it is engineered to be a permanent application. 

There are a multitude of patterns to choose from.


It was originally developed in Europe to restore old historic buildings so it looks and feels like real stone.


You can opt for a border…..





Or choose no border at all.



You can mix patterns….


You can use this product inside or out.


It can completely transform an otherwise boring space… this porch above.  If you’d like to check out their website click here.

This is a great way to update your surfaces inside or out and bring in the fabulous look of stone!

Happy Decorating!

All White Can Be Just Right: Crisp & Clean


More often than not designers tend to do their best to steer people away from white and more towards color.  Generally people can be fearful of color – especially mixing and matching colors – and they love to fall back on white for various means of decorating.  Whether it be walls, tile floors, etc.  clients can feel much “safer” with white or at least some form of off-white.  Which can lead to a boring, stifling space!  But there are always exceptions to every rule and below you’ll see some fabulous exceptions.  Check out these all white rooms and take note of the details that make them so fabulous.


With the tan walls and flooring to offset the color this all white dining room just “works”.  One reason for this is all the wonderful textures they’ve incorporated into the space.  When repeating the same color its always wise to incorporate different textures to keep the space interesting.


Again, lots of texture to play off of and keep the eye interested:  White on white against white walls.  The splash of greenery adds a pleasant dose of warmth.


Love the look of slip covered upholstery combined with rustic furniture and a hardwood floors.  Doesn’t it look inviting and “comfortable”?


These black accents add a pop of fun in an otherwise all white outdoor living space.


Too much for some, perfect for others……very modern and sleek.  And clean!



Again, the black accents add a fun contrast to the stark white in this modern space.

So….…if it’s done correctly……if it serves a purpose….then white is more than alright.  It’s spectacular!

Happy Decorating!!!!

Bring A Little Sunshine To Your Home: Decorate With Yellow!

(So sorry for the long delay in my blog post….I’ve been sick all week and it’s been hard to keep my head above water and out of the fog I’ve been in, but I’m getting better – thank goodness!)

There’s not a brighter, happier color than the color yellow and when you bring it into your decorating that’s just what you get….a bright and happy space!


Most of this post is about using paint to enhance your space, but take a look at the room above.  Even with all white walls bringing in yellow through the drapes and upholstery gives the space the same bolster of fun.


There’s a certain amount of energy that yellow brings to a space.  Can you feel it with the rooms above and below?




It can be rather regal and stately……



It can be modern and edgy……


Country casual,,,,,,


Or even eclectic and unusual.  Look at this fun combination of colors above.


If you like “light and bright”, yellow is definitely a color for you to consider.   Yellow goes with any style décor so whatever your style might be it just may be the color for you. 

So think about bringing a little “happy” to your space…..with the color yellow!

Happy Decorating!


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