Tips For Decorating Your Teenager’s Room


If you are at that stage where your teenage is girl is ready to go to that “next level” with her room, odds are she knows exactly what she wants to do……whether you’re crazy about the idea or not.  I know….I’ve been there myself when my daughter wanted to re-d0 her room yet again and this time paint it black.  You can check out the pictures here.


But, just in case she comes to you for some decorating advice here are some great bedrooms for you to get ideas from.


You’ll notice most of these girl’s rooms are full of color.


Lots and lots of fun color.


So brace yourself and be “open” to their creative energy….


Hard as that might be!


It’s hard for us mommies to let go of that control, but it’s fun to see just where there creative energy will take them.


And you might actually find yourself a little surprised and impressed at just how creative and talented they are.


It’s actually fun to see how they want to express themselves.


Yes, you might be a little surprised and….


Even happy with the outcome.


So brace yourself tweener moms and teen moms and open up your mind to the unleashing of your daughter’s imagination.


And, help her pull off a space she can be proud of and call her own.

Happy Decorating!!!

Add Color And Funk For A Space Full Of Spunk!!


If you like color and you like contemporary décor you’ll like this fun décor from Global Views.


Never one to shy away from color and fun they have an array of new and exciting accessories, rugs and furnishings.


Lots of interesting options to choose from to create a space that’s hip, cool and “so very now”.


Their color palette is bright, bold and beautiful – like this magnificent turquoise….


And this wonderful, funky green and yellow,



They always have some fun chrome pieces, too….


Which looks fabulous intermingled with all their bright colors.




And how ‘bout these fun and funky lime green accessories?


And this cool lighting?


Put it all together – the color and the funk – and it makes for a living area chalk full of spunk!


Great look for a bedroom….clean, sleek…..hip! Look at the wall art – how funky and fun is that?  And, I like all this neutral with just a pop of orange in the pillows.


  Isn’t color fun?

Color, funk and spunk…..makes for a very happy, very fun space!

Happy Decorating!

Texas Hill Country Themed Shower


I’ve mentioned in previous posts the numerous showers my friends and I end up involved with for our children and now grandchildren.  We’ve rotated over the years having and/or helping with countless wedding showers, the weddings themselves, the baby showers, etc.


Our most recent couple’s shower was last weekend for my sweet friend Connie’s son, Ryley and his fiancé, Ashley.  As sweet as they are beautiful  – we were so excited to throw them their big bash.  After a pow-wow between the hostesses we decided on a Texas Hill Country theme.  I found these invitations with the Texas bluebonnets online – perfect for our theme – but, when they came in I thought the simple white card looked a bit lackluster.  So I decided to add the check craft paper and attach it with this red raffia ribbon through holes punched at the top.  It cost pennies per card to add and gave them a little more ooomph and personality.


Originally we were going to have it at my house in June so we could utilize our back yard to accommodate guests, but when the wedding suddenly got moved up to May because of the venue’s remodeling issues we had to scramble a bit and move the shower up to March for their college spring break. With a March shower and unpredictable weather we I decided it best to make a change to my friend Susan’s house where we could accommodate as many guests as needed regardless of whether or not the weather cooperated.   This is the circular drive to her front walkway and front door.


And since the weather clearly chose NOT to cooperate it’s a good thing we did. It poured down rain most of the day and most of the evening.


Since I was the one who originally wanted to have it at my house I decided it was only right for me to go ahead and do not only the invitations, but the decorating as well. I wasn’t about to dump all that on Susan after asking to switch it to her house. Besides – it was something I really wanted to do for my sweet friend and her sweet kiddo’s. 


To start with I brought my own metal garden cross from home for the front porch planter and draped it with a sign that says “Faith Family Friends” I got from Hobby Lobby – half price of course. And I made these fun letter signs (above) with their initials and some other things from Hobby Lobby.


The initial signs came like this and they were on sale, too, of course.  But, they weren’t quite big enough to make the impact I wanted so I purchased two picture frames they had on their 80% clearance for $2.00 each – pink and white girlie frames – and covered them with this cowhide fabric I also got at Hobby Lobby (using my online 40% coupon).


I wrapped each frame with the fabric and stapled it onto the back.


(The tag says $9.99, but they were really $1.99!)


I added picture hangers to the back so I could tie them on the wreath holders with twine. 


I screwed in a couple of screws to the front so I could hang the letters right onto the plaque from the picture hangers attached to the back of the metal signs.   This way they can keep them on the plaques and hang them like I did…..


Or prop them up on a table or dresser with the easel like this.or remove them from the tin plaques and hang them on their wall.


But, for the shower I hung them with the twine bows from some wreath holders I had.  Cute, don’t you think?

Next it was the main dessert table.


I started with more cow hide fabric.


Then I started layering with more fabric – faux leather I had on hand – and all the Hill Country accessories I could muster up.


This leather luggage was from my client, Amy.


I helped decorate her house a dozen or so years ago in the “Old Worldish” style so prevalent back then and now she is going Asian contemporary and has no need for them anymore.  So when I was at her house accessorizing for the new look I asked if I could borrow her old look for my shower.  Thankfully she was happy to oblige.


I got these baskets at CCA for .50 cents a piece…


And, these cool “Hill Country” accessories like the frame and the longhorn from good old Hobby Lobby half price as always….


Brought stuff of mine from my own house…


Added the amazing Texas cake that Susan baked and decorated herself. (I know….can you believe it?!)


We used the leather wine carrier for our “Message In A Bottle”.  With the pens and small note cards (shown below) guests were asked to write the young couple a note – could be advice, a scripture, a poem, a joke….anything they wanted to say to them.  At the end of the shower it was corked up and the couple is to save it till they return from their honeymoon to read them.



We bought these potted flowers at Callaway’s Nursery for color – and to look sort of like hill country wild flowers.


We added twigs, river rock, twine to look like rope, a cross and candlesticks I had in my own stash.


And these vases filled with tree branches.  (They’re actually fake branches I got at – where else – Hobby Lobby.)


And ended up with a fun Hill Country themed dessert table.


Next was the beverage section.


I found a great website for labels called where you can customize your own labels for wine….


Susan actually found this particular design which we decided looked the most Hill Country-esque.


Perfect for our wine bottles….


And these monogram caps for the beer bottles..


And these labels for the water bottles…


On the back of the water bottle labels I was able to write their “story” for a little personal touch.  (Unfortunately none of the “old people” could even read it without their glasses!  And, most didn’t have their glasses with them.  Too funny!) Diane and Susan got together and put all these labels and monogram tops on everything.


We brought out these big metal tubs and I added the twine and twigs for the rustic touch.  Even the hubbies pitched in to help.  Susan made some to die for Sangria we kept on ice in pitchers in one of the metal tubs.  It was so good hardly anyone drank the bottled wine so now we have a ton of Ryley and Ashley wine bottles left over!


I put a hill country accessory and name card by each dish so everyone would know exactly what they were eating.  These hill country accessories are actually drawer pulls from Hobby Lobby.


They fit perfectly here on the island where the buffet was.




And of course we had our “chips, dips and other stuff” section that Diane set up.


It was a great turn out in spite of the ridiculous weather.


Lots of mingling, food and fun.


And a fun, little game.

If any of you have ever played the left-right game you know it’s one of those games that even game-haters can enjoy.   I discovered the left-right game theme at Christmastime and thought it would be fun to incorporate it here.  So I wrote a lighthearted, fun, little love story called “The Hill Country Honey’s” about Ryley and Ashley with lots of the words left and right sprinkled throughout the story. We had everyone stand in a circle then we passed out several gift bags to various guests in the crowd.  As I read the story the gift bags were passed left or right each time the word was said throughout the story until it’s finished.  The guests holding the gift bags at the end of the story got to give them to the wedding couple and each one received a prize – a bag with wine to take home, themselves.


Ryley and Ashley (yeah, that cute young couple in the middle) seemed very pleased with the outcome.  How cute are they?


My hubby, Doug, and I relaxing and having a great time.


This is our little group of old, very special friends (our group nickname is the “goddesses” – you may have seen them on previous blog posts). Connie, the mother of the groom is standing to my left – the rest of us were the hostesses.   The four of us have teamed up many, many times for each other’s kids various showers.  This time it was her turn.   She was a grateful, happy mother-of-the groom.

Thanks goes out to Susan, far right, for letting me switch it to her place!  Thankfully she’s always happy to open up her amazing home and it worked out beautifully for the large crowd and the un-cooperating weather . (I recently did a post on her home. You can check it out here. ) I’ve decided that’s why God gives you friends with big houses… you have a place for all the big parties!


And little did we know that this cute bride-to-be was getter sick throughout the evening and had to go straight to the hospital immediately afterwards with 104 degree fever!  She was quite the trooper and appeared to be having a great time for someone who ended up with the flu!

Fortunately she is all better, back to planning her big day and no one else at the shower got sick!

Happy Decorating!

Easter Tablescape For A Worthwhile Give-Away


Recently I was asked to decorate a table for a drawing that’s to be done in a couple of weeks at Christian Community Action’s Resale Store for an Easter giveaway.  The tricky part was that I needed to by most everything from the resale store and make it look “pretty” enough for an Easter tablescape.


The purpose is to draw attention to CCA Resale and show patrons just what they can do with these recycled items.


So I perused the store one day to see what goodies they had…



Items I could use to create an inviting Easter table.


But, as so often happens in resale stores like this many times it’s difficult to find complete dish sets, although they do have them from time to time.  I actually came across one of them at my trip to the store that day, but didn’t care for the look and I wanted to show how fun and interesting it can be to mix and match.  Also, to show it’s not necessary to have the perfect, complete set of dishware.  And, I wanted to go more whimsical and fun than stuffy, formal and serious so I opted to go a different route.


I scoured the store and picked up some odds and ends to play with.


Found these great rattan chargers.  Terrible color, but sturdy and great looking.  And, this greenery was in good shape – just in the wrong container.


Found four polka dot plates I loved, and three cream plates.


I was happy to stumble across some “Easter colored” salad plates, four black bowls and other cool stuff.  I laid them all out on one of the tables for sale at CCA and started playing with everything to see what I could come up with.


I decided the chargers were a must….


They just needed to be painted.  So I spray painted them black with some paint I had here on hand at my house….


Spray painted come candlesticks black, too.


Then I painted this white bunny a cream color with some cream paint I had here.  Great for our Easter theme and perfect to help recycle a new look for the greenery I found.


I used good old Rust-oleum.


When I had everything put together as best I could my hubby helped me take it to the store and set up.  This green runner was found on my first trip to the store and worked perfectly for bringing in the Easter green.




I began layering all my cool finds and added yellow ribbon just for a little Easter punch.  (I got the whole roll at The Dollar Store for –yep – a dollar.)  Here you see a layered place setting using the black charger, polka dot plates, cream salad plate, black bowl.  I had four of these place settings.


Because I didn’t have enough for a complete set of six I opted to use this place setting for the two at each end.  How fantastic are these striped mugs?  Again….CCA Resale!  There were only two, but that’s okay, because they worked for these two place settings just fine.  Would have loved to have more, but oh well…….it still worked out.  Notice the layers here:  black, cream, yellow, cream, black and cream stripe.


Notice the little cream and green stand?  I found eight of them!  But, I only needed six to use at each place setting.  I bought a bag of eight styrofoam eggs from The Dollar Store – yep again – for a dollar! – to place on each one.  The purpose is to make them into place cards!  In each black bowl I placed small Easter globes from The Dollar Store for a fun Easter touch.


I clustered the candlesticks to one side and placed the greenery in the bunny and lifted it up with an upside down bowl (which I placed under the runner so it wouldn’t show) to give it a little height.  The balloon is just another fun touch from The Dollar Store.


CCA had these candle Easter eggs – three of them! – perfect for my candlesticks.


They also had this cream bunny basket I tucked in between the candlesticks and the arrangement.



I played with it at home first to get the look I wanted…..


Before I  set it up at CCA.


I forgot the yellow napkins so I’m gonna dash back up there and add them.


So there you have it.  Everything with the exception of about eight dollars worth of Easter stuff from The Dollar Store was CCA items!  See how much fun you can have “on the cheap”?  Not only are you helping to support CCA and keep them in business, you can really have some fun by creating a new look with someone else’s castaways! 

Happy Decorating!

Garage Sale Chic!


If you’re a fan of good old shabby chic and those fun “off the cuff” pieces that make a space interesting and spur conversation you might like the look of these pieces below.  Brand new, but made to look like that jewel of a find you may have stumbled across at a local garage sale each piece is full of fun, interest and character.






I especially love this….


And, this…




And this cool piece….




And, these fun pillows….






And, well, these awesome baskets, too…




Did I say a little “off the cuff”??



A fun look at some shabby, oh so savvy “garage sale chic”.

Happy Decorating!

To Dwell With Dignity: A Blessing Most Take For Granted


I am so grateful for organizations like Dwell With Dignity that make such amazing changes in the lives of others.  Dwell was started by Lisa Robison, a local designer and mom with a heart for the poor.  Her vision was to help the homeless obtain a place of their own to dwell as well as the dignity that comes along with it.  This local heartfelt endeavor is now known and copied nationwide.   The Interior Design Society’s local Dallas/Fort Worth chapter, of which I’m a member, was honored to be a part of Dwell’s worthwhile cause in preparing an apartment for a precious, young family of six.


The headquarters for Dwell is nestled in downtown Dallas in this older home that’s been converted into the non-profit organization.  It has grown far beyond their original vision.


This home turned office/workshop is adorable and cozy in and of itself.  Some of you may have seen or heard about them on the Nate Berkus show.  A media avenue that helped catapult them into a national household word.


See the artwork above on the left hand side?  This is a hollow core door that is placed in every single dwelling.  Painted in a theme specific to each home, each with their own personality, these doors are the signature piece representing Dwell With Dignity in welcoming each family to their new home.


After many trips to the Dwell warehouse (which has grown in volume exponentially since it started), and many pow-wows between the committee chairs and design team above – Alba Dorsch, Christine Gee, Denise Piaschyk and Dot Greenlee to name a few…..



And after many meetings with various members – plans were underway to begin working on artwork, furniture, drapes, etc. to ensure the project was completed by install date.



It was a team effort between members, but some of  the chair heads for each committee put in countless hours above and beyond to pull the project off. Kudos to Dot, Denise, Barbara, Jodi and Christine for your extra dedication!  Jodi Clark, a very talented artist and designer, (top left with the glasses on) was lead designer in charge of artwork.  Myself and others were there to follow her lead and help bring her vision to fruition.  Cutting, painting, sanding, re-framing – you name it she had us doing it.  Amazing what you can create for pennies with a little time and energy!


This dated chair on the left, donated by IDS member, Barbara Gilbert, became this cool chair on the right.  Thanks to Coverall Upholstery for recovering this chair pro-bono! (See what cool fabric can do to an old “tired” piece?) And, thanks to Childress Fabrics for working with us on the fabric!  With a project like this “It takes a village” is an old adage that certainly holds true.



All the preliminary preparation was completed just in time to install the week of the reveal.  It was a busy install week and a lot of work.  There were drapes to hang and tons of cleaning to do….


Rods to cut and install with limited tools.  Here Christine broke the hacksaw trying to saw through a wooden rod.  (They finally gave up, took it home and cut it with a proper saw!)



There was ironing to do, lots of goodies to assemble….



Fun to be had and beds to make…..








More ironing to do and chairs to recover….



And lots and lots more cleaning….


And, in the end here’s a glimpse at what this very special family gets to claim as their own. To “dwell with dignity”……a blessing most of us take for granted.  Have you ever thought about that?  Losing your home……to feel as if you’ve lost your dignity?  This made all involved humbled, grateful and honored to be a part of this.  Here you see artwork designed by Jodi and painted by members (yours truly included), chairs donated by Taylor King, the coffee table donated by lead designer, Denise Piaschyk, fabric by Kasmir, drapery labor by Shirley Oliver and the rods donated by Williamson Supply. Did I say it takes a village?


All the dishes, kitchen appliances, silverware and utensils were donated by Nathan Grace.


Dwell donated this amazing light fixture, perfect for this space.  All the electrical needs were provided by Sandro Jenson, the flooring was donated by American Tile and Pro Source.


Notice the traditional hollow core door?  Donated by Dwell and painted by none other that Jodi Clark herself.


Member Linda Boylan cut down grass cloth and papered the back of the shelves.



Look at this spacious master bedroom for the young couple and their youngest baby.  All you see here was either custom made, recycled or donated.  The sweet baby bedding was donated by Wee Dreamscapes.



Remember the ladies painting these pictures above?  Here they are framed, installed and looking adorable.  Most of the bedding was donated by Peacock Alley.  These pillows were custom made by member, Christine Gee, the coverlets were purchased retail by IDS.


How sweet is this?  A round piece of wood painted cream, letters painted in all sorts of colors and glued around the board to frame this round mirror that’s been mounted onto the back board. Super easy, inexpensive and cute!


A basket of stuffed animals for the sweet little kiddo’s, ages two and three.


A more “grown up” space for nine year old big sister.


A recycled old computer desk, painted and jazzed up for a girlie girl.


Teen dwell, comprised of teenagers in local area schools, made this fun arrangement by gluing flowers on the these branches.


When all was done we were a happy lot….proud of a huge undertaking on a shoestring budget.


Lisa Robison, founder of Dwell With Dignity, and her son stopped by when all was complete to see the apartment before the family arrived that afternoon.  She told us Nate Berkus (who did the apartment upstairs for his TV show) would be proud to give us his seal of approval!  Even though we were all thrilled with the end result and were confident in the final product I have to admit that was very nice validation!


When “reveal time” arrived, lead designer, Denise Piaschyk, project manager, Christine Gee and a member of the design team, Barbara Gilbert were jumping out of their skin waiting for the family to arrive.


Dot Greenlee, president of IDS, co-project manager and an integral part of the entire Dwell project went to get the family….(Have you ever seen such a beautiful bunch of kids?! So cute I thought I’d melt!)



We were so happy to welcome them into their new home.  You can see from their faces what a blessing it was to have been able to share in this.  (I’m crying again just writing about it!)


The children were so thrilled with their new rooms… were their parents.  When was the last time you stopped to thank God that your children had a roof over their heads?  When they’ve been without…..the gratification is real, it’s heartfelt and it runs deep.



One of the things that touched the family as much as anything were these amazing family photos taken by Denise, not only a fabulous designer, but a talented photographer. She took the family out a week or so ahead of time and snapped some precious professional photo’s.  We framed the pictures and sprinkled them all over the house.  A personalized touch specific to the family.  They LOVED them!  It was so moving just to watch the look on their faces when they saw their sweet family in these beautiful photos.


She loved seeing Daddy and baby sister in this picture.   Special kudos to Denise for providing them!


We made sure each family member had a goodie basket and the children had a new boxes filled with toys.




I mean……could you just die!  I wanted to bring them home with me!


A happy, grateful family embracing their new home….the little girls excitedly asked me several times….”Do we get to move in today?!”  And, happily, the answer was “Yes……today you move into your new home.” A moving experience I will forever cherish.


And, this incredibly precious, sweet, beautiful family will forever be in my prayers.

Other designers not listed above who participated in the project were Kristi Mastrandonis, Nicole Arnold, Kathy Prior, Annagae Li, and Lindsay Ward.  Our thanks to all the vendors and volunteers for their contributions to this amazing project.

Happy Decorating!

Accessorize Your Home Like A Pro!


Recently I was asked to write an article on interior design for a wonderful local magazine called “Our Community”.  In addition to the printed magazine they publish they also have a wonderful online site where you can peruse their latest editions.  (Click for more information. )

After giving the subject matter some thought I chose to write about some simple principles for fool proof accessorizing.

2012 Winter Issue Pg 1 (2)

Our Community Magazine Cover

Accessorizing can be quite intimidating for some people and try as they might they can never seem to get the look they were hoping for.

2012 Winter Issue Pg 15 (2)

My Article For “Our Community”

Since the article has been published and I was granted permission from the publisher I thought it would make a great topic for my blog, too.  Of course, you are more than welcome to read the magazine article, but I’m going to highlight the key points below, as well.

7-Different Shapes and Heights

First rule of thumb to keep accessorizing simple is to think in terms of three.  Three different pieces grouped together.   They can be similar items from the same series like these vases….

1-Vary Heights and Textures

Or they can be different items like these candlesticks with this floral.  Still the same principle – three pieces clustered together.  As seen in this picture and the picture with the vases, the second rule of thumb would be to vary the heights so that there are three different heights.

6-Different Shapes and Textures

And, third, think of three different shapes and/or textures – still applying the same principle of groups of three.  Of course, all of these rules can be tweaked or broken once you get the basic look down.  But, following these simple steps will just make it easier for you to get started.

2-Gouring Accessories In A Tray

Then you can create another look simply by placing the accessories in a decorative tray if you’d like.  Here you see the three pieces (four if you count the book the elephant is sitting on – a little tweak to the rule of three!), three different heights, three different shapes and three different textures.  So, the fourth step is optional – arranging the grouping on a decorative tray or cloth.

4-Using Two Groups Of Three

Here you see the same principle of three, but two groupings placed together.  On one side is the platter, the greenery and the floral arrangement and right next to it you see the two candlesticks and the vase.  

3-Using The Rules and Breaking The Rules

It’s a little hard to tell from this picture, but here you see three candlesticks, different heights, grouped in front of another group of three containers placed on a tray.  Underneath is a table throw (step four – using a table throw instead of a tray), which is another great way to define your accessories and give them purpose.  Just for that added touch I’ve tucked a couple of tassels in the mix. (Again – tweaking the rules a bit!)

5-Using A Tray To Cluster

And, here the same principles apply:  A bowl of balls, a cross, and a candle surrounded by a feather boa (three accessories) – all placed on a tray, and then again placed on a table throw.  So here I’ve doubled up on step 4.

So there you have it.  A simple fool proof way to accessorize.  And, like I said, once you get the hang of it you can tweak the rules –  a little or a lot depending on what the best fit is.  But, at least you now have a format to follow to get you started so time to get busy accessorizing.  Have fun with it!

And, don’t forget to check out “Our Community” magazine here!

Happy Decorating!!!!


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