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    Fall Mantel Decorated With Pumpkins

    How to decorate using two mirrors and a collection of pumpkins over a mantel to create a warm and inviting look when decorating your home for fall.
    Did I ever tell you what one of my favorite things about fall is – besides crisp air, falling leaves, cornstalks, football, that cozy nesting feeling, and cider.  It is PUMPKINS!!!
    I love decorating with pumpkins.  I am a classic orange pumpkin lover – no chic white ones for me.  I love the pop of color the old fashioned orange pumpkins provide in my neutral color scheme, especially when display on a fall mantel.

    I have created my own little pumpkin patch right on my mantel.
    XO I could eat them all up!  Visually as well as making pie and munching on toasted pumpkin seeds.
    How to Easily Create a Fall Mantel Decorated With Pumpkins

    I have two mirrors layered on the wall to add more interest. The larger one is hung on the wall.
    The smaller on is on the mantel and leaning against the larger mirror.

    Either one alone didn’t look right – together they make a much better style statement.

    I also like decorating with bigger pumpkins. Placing them in urns is my “go to” way to display fall pumpkins inside my house and out.
    Simple and classic – no fuss. I used book pages I shredded in my paper shredder to use as bedding in my jack-be-little pumpkin patch basket.

    The white ceramic urn I found for a few dollars at yard sale. The vase is from HomeGoods.
    Classic ceramic white urns are hard to find affordably online. Your best bet in finding one that isn’t plastic is a HomeGoods.
    You can also display pumpkins on candle holders like I did in this post:

    I made the fireplace screen out of a cardboard pattern cutting screen. It was super easy and hides a multitude of sins.
    You can find the tutorial here:

    A Variation on Decorating With Two Mirrors Over a Mantel

    For this mantel, I liked the look of layering mirrors on the mantel, but I only had one white framed mirror.
    So instead, I hung an empty white frame over the larger wall hung mirror – so it looks like two mirrors.
    I used clear fishing line to hang it. The top of the fishing line is attached to the top of the mirror with a thumb tack.
    So what do you think? You may have a few mirrors in other rooms of your house or in your decor stash that you can give a second life- using as is or giving the mirrors a coat of spray paint to coordinate with the room’s color scheme.
    For an even easier mirror over the mantel look, you can simply lean a larger mirror against the wall, and a smaller one in front of it. Instant Decorating at its best!!!

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    Making My Living Room Larger for $240




    If you’ve ever wondered, how to make a small room look bigger without having to knock down a wall?” I have the answer for you. It can be done with mirrors. See how I did just this when I added mirrors to the cozy corner in my living room. 

    You know that I enjoy decorating and keeping the rooms in my home updated in my own style with furnishings I buy as well as using decorative items I make.

    I am always looking at decorating magazine and catalogs for ideas and just last week, after seeing this photo on Pottery Barn’s website, I knew an idea I had brewing in my head for my living room was going to happen.
    Seeing the photo just reinforced what I already wanted to do… and that was to add large mirrors on the wall behind my sofa and console table in my living room.

    In the Pottery Barn photo, the mirrors have a hip and trendy vibe. I like that, but that is not the reason why I wanted to decorate my living room with mirrors. I wanted to add them to double the view of the lake.
    Moving Ahead With My Mirror Plan
    Then a few days after seeing the PB photo, while doing a stroll around HomeGoods, I came upon, not one, but 3 identical driftwood grey-stained wood-framed wall mirrors.
    “OK,” I said to my self, “This is fate! Adding mirrors to my living room is going to happen. These mirrors that have practically jumped out at me are perfect in every way – color, shape, size and price. $79 each.”
    The large mirrors from Pottery Barn are around $900 each!

    I only had one thing stopping me from buying the mirrors and that was how I was going to fit them in my very small car, a Mini Cooper.
    The saying “when there is a will there is a way” went through my mind. I made it happen, by wedging one mirror in the car and then taking three trips to get each one home. 🙂
    Decorating My Living Room To Reflect the Lake View

    After 5 years of living on the shores of Lake Murray in SC. I have been wanting to pare down the decor in my living room so it reflects what I see out the sliding glass doors and that is the lake, trees and nature.
    That is why we moved, for a water view, so I am determined to see it as much as I can.

    I want the decor to feel like a natural extension of what is on view outside and have been working on making that happen by creating a cozy corner using faux barnwood on two walls and coming up with a decorating style for the room that I call, White and Woodsy.
    I played around with how to space the mirrors on the wall and decided to make them look like a large window by placing them together instead of apart.

    When standing in the room now, at all angles you see the lake view, although you can’t see it in my photos as the very humid, rainy weather the past 3 days have fogged up the glass on the doors since we have the AC on in the house.
    If it ever stops raining, I will try to get a better photo so you can see how nice the reflection of the lake can be seen from different angles in the room.
    Living Room Wall Decor With Mirrors
    You may be asking… what did I do with the oversized wall clock I made that has been hanging on the wall the last few years? I moved the clock to a wall in my studioffice where I can still see it every day.

    Decorating with mirrors on a wall behind the sofa, a set of chairs or a console table can really make a small room look bigger visually.
    Adding them has literally made the room feel twice as big. Even Ed remarked about it, which of course made me happy to hear that my decorating efforts were paying off.
    More Ideas To Decorate With Mirrors
    Even though large mirrors can make a small room appear bigger, don’t overlook how small mirrors, like adding a starburst mirror like this to a wall can make a difference.
    Adding any size mirror can add visual interest to a space—not to mention solve a few design dilemmas along the way, like when I used mirrors to create faux door transoms to reflect light in dark hallway.
    You can also use a collection of smaller mirrors to create a layered mirror gallery wall like I did for the guest room in my previous home. Or use old wood window sashes to create a mirror that resembles a large window.
    All of these decorating ideas using mirrors are budget-friendly as you can find decorative mirrors at thrift stores, Target, Walmart, HomeGoods and even the dollar store.

    The Main Reasons Why I Like Using Mirrors:
    They can make a small space feel larger as the reflection visually doubles the space.
    Placed strategically across from a window, mirrors double the light that comes into a room.
    Mirrors also reflect both natural and artificial light that will make a room brighter during both the day and night. Even candlelight!

    Mirrors are also not just for walls, you can repurpose one to make a mirrored coffee table and use it in the room to bounce the light off a white ceiling.
    Decorating With Wall Mirror Tips

    Make Sure Whatever You Place in Front of the mirror is pretty and you don’t mind seeing a reflection of it. For instance, I now see two TV’s on the wall, but that I can live with.
    The Best Way to Hang Mirrors – Most large mirrors come with attached heavy duty hangers. Mine did, so hanging them was pretty easy. If they don’t, you can buy Heavy Duty Strap Hangers at the home improvement store. They are easy to screw onto the back.
    How to Keep Mirrors Streak Free – The best way to clean large mirrors is to double clean them. First use window cleaner or vinegar and a paper towel/newspaper to remove dust and dirt. Then spray-saturate the mirror with cleaner and using a squeegee, quickly use long swipes – top to bottom to remove the cleaner, wiping the cleaner from the squeegee after every swipe. The mirrors will be streak-free.
    Decorating with a Simple More Natural Vibe
    There’s something powerful and liberating about paring down to what you feel is essential in your decor.
    I think many of us crave a room without so much distraction in the way of clutter or unnecessary items, we feel less burdened; we flourish and have more energy. I know this is true for me.
    By adding the large mirrors on the wall, I made the room appear larger, while doubling the lake view.
    I went with my idea and got what I wanted…
    …an open, airy, but styled and cozy room that reflect the tones and textures of the landscape outside the glass doors, easing the transition from outdoors to indoors. 🙂
    What is essential for you when decorating a room in your home so it feels just right for you and your family?
    Decorating Resources:




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    How I Decorated My Fireplace Mantel for Summer




    Today I’m joining a few of my talented blogging friends for the Summer Seasonal Simplicity Series. It is all about summer mantel decorating ideas! If you have a fireplace mantel in your home, a sideboard or even a piano where you like to decorate the top for the changing seasons, you will enjoy these 15 doable and fresh DIY summer themed mantels ideas.

    Now that we are in the summer season, it was time to change up my fireplace mantel to decorate it for summer. Last summer, I loved how I decorated my fireplace mantel and will use the large planter I made for it again someday.

    This summer I wanted to see something new and different on the white mantel that is on a stone fireplace in my living room.
    You may recall this mantel was repurposed. It was once the top to my dining room hutch that we no longer could use, so we took the top off and turned it into a mantel.
    I didn’t buy anything new to decorate the mantel this year, but shopped my house to find decorative items in other rooms to use, as well as one large thing from my attic decor stash.

    I went in search of neutral colored and green items.
    I found a planter pot, candles, a wood beaded garland, tulips, a large basket and some greenery.
    Arranging Decorative Items on the Mantel

    To arrange the items in a stylish way, I tried to arrange the items across the mantel to keep a flow going. I used items with various heights, textures, colors and shapes to create interest.
    I played around with the items until I like what I saw.
    I was happy with how it looked in the above photo, but I felt the mantel needed more punch. I went on a search again to find something that would add it.

    Up in my attic stash, I found what it needed in the way of a large glass cabinet door I had used once before on my mantel one Christmas.
    It had been painted red, so I stripped it to the bare wood and then placed it on the mantel.
    Summer Styled Fireplace Mantel

    The stripped glass mullioned cabinet door gave all the items I placed on the mantel a cohesive look.

    The beaded wood garland is usually in a large dough bowl on my sofa table. I was happy to find a new way to use it.

    We don’t use the fireplace in the summer, so the garland will not be in the way. It adds an energy that I didn’t expect.

    I was happy with my efforts and also that the mantel goes with my White & Woodsy decorating style.
    Tips on What to Do With Your Fireplace in Summer

    When I decorate the mantel for summer, I also remove the large black fireplace screen that covers the fireplace and store it in the hidden closet in the foyer.
    In its place I put a basket filled with flowers or greenery.

    Shop the Look

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    Other ideas on how to decorate a fireplace when it is not going to be used for the summer are:

    More Summer Mantel Decorating Ideas
    Do you have a mantel to decorate in your home? If not, do you have a sofa table or a piano that can be decorated the same way a mantel is?
    If so, play around with items you already own or even new items to style your mantel for the summer.
    And be sure to check out how what my talented blogging friends decorated their mantels this year for summer by visiting the links under each of the images below.

    The Happy Housie // A Pretty Life // Modern Glam // Cassie Bustamante

    Rambling Renovators // In My Own Style // Finding Silver Pennies // Dans le Lakehouse

    Craftberry Bush // Maison de Pax // She Gave it a Go // Hallstrom Home

    Deeply Southern Home // My Sweet Savannah // Willow Street Interiors



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    Try This: Mix and Match Your Bedding

    Have fun when the seasons change by swapping out sheets, comforters and blankets on your bed. Seasonal change or even when you are simply changing the sheets to wash them, are the perfect times to give your bedding a mix and match makeover with the bedding you already own.

    Could your bedding use a wake up call? Do you change the bedding on your bed every season?
    I do, two times a year for seasonal changes to lighten it up for the warmer months of the year or to cozy it up for the cooler seasons.

    There’s no rule that says your sheets and bedding have to match in the way retailers like to sell them the “Bed in the Bag” way.

    I often post about how to use the furniture and decorative accessories you already own and move them from one room to another to change the look of each room, but now… why not do the same for your bed?

    If your linen closet is anything like mine, you may have quite a few bed linens stored there that over time you have simply forgotten about.

    Time to get in there to see what you actually have and can use to give your bed or any bed in your home a free and fun makeover.

    After taking the winter weight plush comforter and the channel stitched velvet quilt and shams off my bed, I wasn’t sure I wanted to put on the sheets and comforter I had last summer, but I didn’t want to buy anything new.

    So instead, I gathered all the blue and white bedding I owned and then played around using all of it on the bed instead of only using one matching set of bedding.

    These pillow shams have been folded neatly in my linen closet for the last 5 years! Time to use them again.
    Mix Sheet Sets, Shams, Comforters and More
    To mix patterns so they will look cohesive, there are definitely some key points to keep in mind: scale, color, and balance.

    When selecting the bedding options from your collection of bedding, remember to include a mix of scales such as pairing Damask print shams with polka dots sheets and a small patterned quilt to create visual interest.
    Be inventive and make up a new color story for the bed if your room color scheme is neutral. There are no rules that say you can’t mix a bunch of colors and textures to create an inviting and colorful bed in fun and unexpected pairings – no matching needed.
    A Few Mix and Match Bedding Ideas to Try
    Here is where you can have fun with any matching bedding set you already have. Mix it up with other sets to design a new look for your bed.
    Find a unifying element by taking color cues from a print on one piece of bedding. This could be the main color you want to use. Then choose the rest of the bedding that coordinates with it or simply looks good together in an unexpected way.
    If you change only one part of your bedding, change the shams. Sham covers can add a pop of color, seasonal style, or pattern. Plus, the large size makes the bed feel more comfy-cozy.
    Is your comforter or duvet reversible? Flip it.
    Look around your house for a decorative pillow in another room that would look good on your bed.
    To make a print on the bed pop, pair with white sheets, comforter or spread.
    Mix the new with old and vintage looking.
    How to Style Pillows on a Bed
    The Hotel Inspired

    Very symmetrical – stack two bed pillows on top of each other or propped on the headboard. Lean two more pillows in front of these and then a bolster in front.
    The Pillow Collector

    When you love decorative pillows so much and can’t have enough of them on your bed. Then go for it and add as many as makes you happy.
    Casual Ease
    Photo: Pottery Barn
    When you want an easy, effortless look, use an odd number of pillows. The aim to achieve ‘casual’ is to layer up bedding and accessories for an effortless look that doesn’t look like you tried too hard.
    Piled and Propped

    Adds a little bit of hotel inspired with a casual air.
    The Karate Chop

    Add a karate chop to the top of your bed pillows or poke the middle of your pillows to give them dents for a lived in look?
    The Sandwich
    Photo: Emily Kate Roemer Stying: Megan Hedgpeth
    When you have a large number of bed pillows at your disposable and like lots of color and pattern. Prop large shams or pillows against the headboard and sandwich patterned shams in between the propped pillows and 2 standard bed pillows covered in colorful pillow cases.
    The Matched Set – Reversed
    Photos: PotteryBarn
    If you have 4 pillow shams – 2 of one color and 2 of another, try this bed pillow placement idea. Or if you only have 2 sham-covered pillows and 2 standard pillow case covered pillows, reverse which one is in front for the other side of the bed.
    The Avant-Garde Rebel
    Photo: Pottery Barn
    Don’t like following rules? Then this bed pillow placement idea may be just your thing.
    The Minimal Zen

    And finally… the warm weather look I went for that makes my husband Ed extremely happy – is using only the actual pillows we put our heads on when we sleep.
    I may sneak in the two shams that I haven’t used in 5 years though. 🙂
    Where Do You Put Decorative Pillows When Sleeping?

    Where to put the decorative pillows when you are sleeping on the bed can become a problem if you have a lot of decorative bed pillows to take off every night.
    I try keep my pillows at a minimum and do like the look of large sham covered pillows over smaller decorative ones for my king size bed.
    I place them in a large basket at night that is across from my bed. Sometimes I move the basket to the opposite corner, but it is always in my room. Its only use is to place pillows in at night.
    When these pillows are not in use for the season, I store them in my linen closet.
    So the next time you change the sheets on your bed or are doing a seasonal change, don’t take styling the bed too seriously.
    Play with your bedding and mix it up!
    The bed styling that reflects your personality and style is the one that is right for you.
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    Decorating With Thrift Store Finds: Tips on How to Find The Good Stuff

    When you want to decorate your home on a budget, thrift stores and resale shops are the best places to go to find items to use, but what should you look for once you go? I am sharing what to look for and how to transform the items to fit your decorating style.

    If you have been reading my blog for a long time, then you know I like decorating with thrifty finds. I enjoy the “The-thrill-of-the-hunt” when shopping thrift stores, yard sales, and church rummage sales to find items that I can transform to use to decorate my home “in my own style”. This type of decor gets me excited. 🙂

    I was recently reminded of this when I found out that a huge Goodwill is being built in my town, along with a reader who emailed me wanting to know where I get all my white pitchers. It is a question I get asked a lot.

    I wrote back and told her that most are from local thrift stores and a few are from HomeGoods. She wrote back and said she shops at both, but never finds anything good. 🙁
    Often, I am asked how I always find “good stuff”. 
    This is what I hear from my friends and readers all the time…
    …“I go to the thrift store and never find anything”. “It is all junk”.  “ I don’t have a good eye” or “It’s so gross” to “Can I go shopping with you?”
    Once I was told that I should not shop at thrift stores because they are for people that have lower incomes and really need the items.  If I buy it – nothing is left for them.
    This is not true. Most stores use the money made in the store to give to charity.  So when I shop these stores, I am in turn giving to the charity or the non-profit organization that runs the store.
    Decorating With Thrift Store Finds: Tips on How to Find The Good Stuff
    When I set out to go thrifting, I always keep an open mind as you never know what you are going to find.

    I do however, have a list in my head of items that I like to collect that I use around my house. These items are – anything white – white pitchers, dinner and serving ware, ceramic pieces, books, baskets, furniture and vases are the most versatile items I use to decorate with.

    But I always come home with other stuff that I transform to fit my style or on some occasions use just as is.
    Tip No.1: Don’t Overlook the Ordinary

    When I am at the thrift store I don’t look for new or designer brand items. I look for the ordinary and consider what I can do with them to make them decor worthy.
    A 50 cent extra-large pickle jar used just as is, can become a perfect flower vase.

    Ordinary items are just waiting for you to add your style to using paint, paper or fabric.

    I bet you have seen baskets, not only at thrift stores, but at yard sales. It seems everyone want to get rid of baskets, but what they are not considering is how to change them to make them into something both decorative and useful.

    With a few snips with a knife or a good pair of scissors, baskets, even with handles can become chic storage containers.

    Tip No. 2: Keep Your Mind Open for Anything and Everything
    You may go in a thrift store seeking to find a piece of furniture for your guest room, but…

    …see a modern and unique glass vase that is only $1.60.

    Modern and unique pairs nicely with old-fashioned hydrangeas on a bedside table.  If I didn’t do a quick stroll around the thrift store after looking at the furniture, I would have never seen this vase.
    Tip No. 3: Know Your Style
    You have to know what you like and don’t like – otherwise everything just looks like clutter and junk.

    I found these candle lanterns for a few dollars years ago at a thrift store. They are OK just as is, but the color didn’t fit my style of decorating. However they are classic and have great lines so I knew I could easily transform them to my liking.

    Painting the bottoms using white chalk paint turned them into decorating items I like. I hope you never get bored of seeing them, as I have been using them for years now, both inside and outside my house.

    When you know your style – you will know that by removing a part of an item, cleaning it up, or painting it – it will look like something right out of a home decorating catalog. 
    I added small cedar wreaths to the candle lanterns this past Christmas and raised them up using another item I always look for at thrift stores and that is hard covered books that I can cover with colorful gift wrap or paint to make lifts of varying heights for decor, lamps and flower vases.
    Tip No. 4: The Good Stuff Goes Fast
    The home decor items that sell fast at thrift stores are usually reflected by current decorating trends.

    For instance over the last year, large distressed stone or terra cotta lamps like the ones sold at Pottery Barn for hundreds of dollars are very popular to DIY.
    Lamps with the right shape, even if they are ugly, are swooped up fast…

    …as they can be easily transformed with some Spackle and or paint.

    When thrifting with a group of friends, there is always going to be one item that all of you will reach for immediately when you see it.  This happened to me and my friend when we saw a cake stand.  I let my friend buy it knowing that eventually another one would come along. It did.
    Tip No. 5: Shop Often

    Make thrifting a weekly event. Mark it on your calendar.  I go once a week. Find out when the stores near you put out new items. This way you get a better chance of finding something sought after.
    Tip No. 6: Look For Items That are Useful

    When browsing the thrift store aisles, look for items that have good lines and shape. It is also important that they are in good condition and can be cleaned up with soap and water.

    SOLD! for 90 cents.

    Add some pretty paper and you have a chic new tissue box cover.
    Tip No. 7: Don’t Overlook Anything

    Just because the color of the item doesn’t float your boat, or it is just plain ugly, consider the possibilities.   Remember this little brown table?  I looked past the brown fake wood and the plastic wheels.  I saw a solid piece with a pretty vibe.

    A little DIY and I made it mine.  I removed the wheels, added ball finials, had a mirror cut to use on the top and painted it white. Everything can be changed with paint or by removing or adding something to it.
    I use it in my guest room now with a large basket on the bottom shelf.

    Tip No. 8: Don’t Give Up

    Keep searching until you find it. It took me a few months of searching before I spotted the simple brass chandelier that I was on the hunt for.

    With some spray paint and battery-operated candles, it became a beautiful way to light up my deck at night in style.

    Tip No. 9:  Look Beyond the Decorative Furnishing Aisles

    I always look in the book section for books, not only to make lifts for decorative objects as I mentioned earlier in the post, but also to find books with unique pages or colorful spines. I am on a search now to find more of these.
    To line this drawer, I used the pages of a calligraphy book I bought for 50 cents.

    Tip No. 10:  Shop for Seasonal Items Year Round

    To collect all the glass trees I needed to decorate my mantel one Christmas, I looked for glass trees on every thrift store shopping trip I took,  starting about 7 months in advance.  By the time the holidays arrived I had more than enough of the trees to add glitter and candles to decorate my mantel.  If you wait until the holiday or season, you may miss out. 

    Bonus Tip: Edit, Edit, Edit
    This could be the most important tip. For every item I bring into my house – one thing or more has to go out.
    Since I have edited the decorative items in my home like this, I have found the things that I keep – I really, really love. Editing my stuff has helped me pinpoint my decorating style.
    I keep a box in the back of my car that I put the unwanted stuff in so when I go to the thrift store I can easily drop it in the donation bins.
    What Doesn’t Make it into My Thrift Store Shopping Cart
    As much as I love finding decorating items on a budget, I have a few items that I never look at. They are upholstered furniture, pillows, electrical items and anything that cannot be thoroughly cleaned in a sink or washing machine.
    Where Else Do I Find Used Items to Decorate My House?
    Church Rummage Sales – One of my favorite sources for finding used items on the cheap is church rummage sales.  Church sales are better than a yard sale because there are dozens of people selling their stuff in one place and the prices are truly bargain basement. 

    Retirement Community Resale Shops – This is my secret source for finding the “good stuff” that many don’t realize exist. Find out how to locate them in your area in this post:

    Yard Sales and Facebook Marketplace – I have never found anything I like on Facebook Marketplace, but I know so many that do. Yard sales pop up all the time – to get the best stuff though, you need to be there as soon as they start selling in the morning.
    If you are in search of finding some new items to decorate a room or your whole house without having to spend a lot of money, then make a date with yourself to go thrifting. Make it a weekly thing as the thrill-of-the-hunt is fun and can be very rewarding.
    You May Also Like These Thrift Store Item Transformations: More

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    How My Living Room Decor Has Evolved


    Ideas on how to decorate a living room while allowing it to change and evolve over time to fit your life and personal style.

    If you joined the Facebook Group, The Decorating Panel (invite here), then you know this week is all about living rooms. When I went to look for a post to share in the group that showed how my living room looks now after living and updating the house for 5 years, I realized I didn’t have one.
    All of my more recent blog posts with photos taken in my living room are focused on a project I have done in the room or around holiday decorations.
    It was time to gather up a few photos in one post all about how the decor in my living room has evolved to what the room looks like now. It has gone through many changes – floor to ceiling.
    When I think back to how the room used to look, I realize just how much the room has evolved to make it fit the setting of the house and my personal style of decorating.
    I liked everything I did in the room over the years and don’t regret anything. The longer we lived in the house, the more I could see just what the room needed. The decor became more in tune with what is most important in the room… the view out the sliding glass doors to the lake.
    The Living Room – BEFORE

    If you have been a long time reader, you may remember how the living room looked when we first saw the house with our real estate agent. Here is a photo of the room with the previous owners furnishings.
    Once we moved in, I started removing and updating right away. The process has been ongoing ever since. One that I enjoy and will never be done doing as life changes, so must the spaces we live in.

    The first big change was removing the wall with a pocket door between the kitchen and living room.

    We removed it with the help of a contractor.

    It took some time, but was worth the effort.

    With the wall removed, the view to the lake was doubled from both the kitchen and living room.
    After this everything else we have done in the room, we have done ourselves to save money.

    On the opposite side of the room, we covered up this brick wall with…

    …white vertical paneling. We also built a stone fireplace using a product called AirStone.
    The mantel is from the top of a dining room hutch that was in our previous house. We no longer had a place for it and nobody wanted it so we had to break it apart, but saved the top to use as a mantel.

    Wall Color: SW Pure White
    I wasn’t sure yet what style of furniture I wanted for the room, so we brought the outdoor furniture into the room until we bought new furniture a piece at a time.

    On the long wall is the only place for the sofa. I have always had a slipcovered sofa. This one was a tie-on slipcover over a navy blue sofa from our previous house.

    I bought a new console table and placed it behind the sofa. It gave me a surface for a much needed lamp and decorative accessories.

    Eventually I bought a new Rolled Arm Slipcovered Sofa from Pottery Barn, made an oversize Fixer Upper Wall Clock and began to change the decorative accessories out every season. Blue pillows means it’s summer. 🙂
    Getting The Hardwood Floor Refinished

    When the hardwood floor was refinished is when I began to like the room. Up until this point, I always felt no matter what I added to the room, the orange floor always stuck out.

    The only time the floor looked OK was in the fall when I added fall colors to the room.

    The new grey floor stain made a huge difference. I finally felt I could do what I really wanted decor wise and not have to deal with the orange wood-tone anymore.

    How My Living Room Looks Now

    Sofa | Console Table | Rug | Barnwood Panels | Frames | Coffee Table | Pillows
    My house is on a point lot with the lake on 3 sides and tall pines all over our property. With nature all around us, I wanted the living room to reflect that so the two felt seamless. About a year ago I came up with a name for the decorating style of my living room.
    I call the style, White and Woodsy. It is a little bit traditional, not quite rustic, but has a nod to it. It’s casual and laid back, but overall has a bit of polish and uniformity.
    After going back and forth on ways to make the clock pop and add more of a cozy feel to the room, I chose to accent these two walls with Barnwood paneling instead of painting them a color.
    Adding it made the room come together instantly. I wouldn’t want it everywhere, but as an accent it works well.

    Wall Clock | Lamp
    It is cozy, yet bright and cheery. Cozy is more than a look, cozy is a feeling and I wanted it for this room.
    I created the gallery wall to create interest and to see the people I love the most on a daily basis.
    The Fireplace

    I change what is on the mantel seasonally, most of the time restyling items I already own in new ways.
    I looked for a long time to find comfy chairs that not only recline, but rock and swivel all around. This allows us to face the TV, the lake or swivel around to look at the fireplace.
    Full Room View

    Pom Pom Ottoman Slipcovers | White Sideboard
    The size of the room is 15′ x 16′. Not large, so I like to keep the furnishings minimal and cohesive.
    To create a conversational grouping of furniture in the room, two chairs across from the sofa would have made the space feel cramped and the chair backs would block the view to the lake.
    Instead, for more seating that visually doesn’t block the view, the pair of ottomans works perfectly. Extra and moveable seating when needed while adding to the decor.
    I painted the existing ceiling fan white.

    This wide-angle shot kind of distorts the room and makes it look larger than it is, but you can get a better overall feel for the space.
    Sliding Glass Doors & TV Wall

    I semi-made the extra wide drapery panels on the sliding glass doors by sewing two pre-made panels together. The TV is on a swing arm mount so we can easily change the angle to the kitchen or living room.
    Decorative Details Around the Room

    Basket Table | Floor Lamp

    Faux Concrete Planter

    Firewood Storage

    Coffee Table Styling

    Seasonal Changes
    One reason I like neutral walls and seating is that I can easily change out the decorative accessories to seasonal colors and not worry about having things match or coordinate. No matter what color I place in the room, it goes. No set color scheme to have to work with.




    The view from the kitchen to the living room. My latest project was creating this plate rack wall. It provides a nice transition between the two rooms.

    I know that was a lot of photos, but they tell the story of how the room has evolved over 5 years we have lived in the house.
    The room will never be done as I enjoy changing the decor seasonally. I also know that my life and tastes may change, so will this room.
    Do you like to change things up in your living room for the seasons or as your tastes and circumstances change?

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    After Christmas Winter Decorating Ideas


    How to transition from Christmas to winter decor? I have a few comfy, cozy and doable winter decorating ideas for your mantel, living room, kitchen and more.

    Now that the holidays are over and we have officially been in the season of winter for a little over 2 weeks, how do you transition from Christmas to winter decor?
    Our rooms may look a little barren after the tree comes down and the holiday decorations go back into storage until next year.
    With the coldest two months of the year ahead of us, along with staying at home more. Our need for the ultimate in the “comfy-cozy factor” goes up a few notches.
    A few little changes in all the right places can make a big difference in how you and your home feel right now.
    Make room for what matters by refreshing your spaces with cozy layers, tranquil touches, warm textures mixed with intentional objects. These will help you get through chilly January and February in warm and comfy-cozy style.
    Winter Decorating Ideas
    When transitioning from Christmas to winter decor, start small by simply rearranging your decorative accessories in new ways.
    Here are few ideas to get you started. Resource links for where I bought a few of the items I used is at the end of the post.

    Choose an Accent Color – This time of year I always like to see the fresh color scheme of green and white in my living room. I have used this color scheme in previous years using my collection of white pitchers and greenery from my yard.
    When you add one color around the room in the way of a pillow, vase, throw or even a painted small accent piece of furniture, it will make the room look refreshed. The accent color will tie the accessories together giving the room a styled look in an easy to do way.
    Go in search for items to use. Head to your china closet, basement or other rooms in your house to find items to use that are behind closed doors and missing out on adding decorative style to your home. Consider every item. Group or layer them to come up with new arrangements.

    For my winter fireplace mantel, I gathered two of my white planters and filled them with greenery – it’s fake from Hobby Lobby. 🙂

    Previously, the smaller of the two planters was on a sideboard in my living room and the larger one on my coffee table.

    Putting them together on the mantel creates a whole new look for them as well as my mantel.

    Along the mantel I also mixed in a new collection of woven baskets.
    Inside each basket is a cardboard spool that ribbon comes on. They act as hidden lifts so the candles I added to each basket look taller. On the mantel, no one will see these spools, except if they are 8 feet tall. 🙂
    Experiment with adding height to items you like that may seem too small by themselves to be displayed along a mantel. Use ribbon spools, boxes, or books to add height to items.

    Add Things You Love – For areas in full view – like a mantel. Make family photos the focus or a collection that you love but is not out in the open. Bring these items out to be seen.

    I only get to see granddaughter every few months so I intentionally added these two photos of her in a set of large frames I had where I could see her on a daily basis.
    I printed out photos from my phone to my computer. I used printer paper made for photos. It comes in glossy or matte.

    Place Items With Texture Around the House – Find pinecones or rocks outside and fill a bowl with them. Leave just like that or add a candle to the center of the bowl.
    If you don’t have any rocks outside in your home’s landscaping, you can buy a small bag at home improvement stores in the gardening section.
    Add thick and furry pillows and throws to seating to cuddle with.
    Place a basket or two on the floor to hold the throws when not in use.
    Add candles throughout your rooms. There’s no better time than chilly nights to enjoy the warmth of candle glow in a room. I have become a big fan of the battery-operated flicker candles, but still have a few real candles in my living room.

    Add a Small Lamp to Your Kitchen –
    Adding the small lamp to my kitchen counter has changed the way my entire kitchen and living room look at night. I experimented with a larger lamp I had to see if I would like the look and I did. I bought a new smaller lamp that fits better. I love the soft glow of the 40 watt bulb that a few readers told me to place in it.
    I wish I had added it years ago. If you don’t have a small lamp on your kitchen counter already – winter is the perfect time to add one.

    Set Your Dinner Table – Since we are not getting out to restaurants and friends homes to enjoy food as much. I know I miss doing this.
    Make an effort to make your dinner something special. Use pretty napkins, light candles and prepare new recipes. Good food simmering on the stove or baking in the oven is one of the best ways I know to make your home feel wonderfully warm and cozy.
    How do you decorate your home for winter?
    Winter Decorating Resources:

    Other Winter Decorating Posts You May Enjoy:

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    Home Decorating & Improvement Projects I am Planning for 2021


    Here we are on the other side of the holiday season and in the year 2021. If New Year’s Day didn’t land on a Friday I would have been back posting on January 2nd. The weekend was an added bonus to our holidays. 🙂
    Now that it is the first business day after New Year’s Day, it is time for me to get back at it.
    Taking time off always renews me and gets my brain fueled with new ideas, especially knowing that HOME has taken on more purposes and meaning than ever before.
    Although we’ve said goodbye to 2020, its challenges didn’t go away at the stroke of midnight on January 1st. In my home I still am in control and can make it as comfy cozy as I can for the uncertain times we are living in.
    As I redefine my surroundings to fit into how 2020 changed how I do a few things, I will be making a few changes for my everyday needs.
    For instance, when I updated my kitchen island to make it work even better to make it easier to do daily tasks. Function first – then styled and pretty. 🙂
    I love when I look around my house, it’s hard to find an area where there isn’t something I spend time working on with my hands as a way to put my personal stamp on my surroundings.
    This makes my home feel just right for Ed and I – not overly styled… just cozy and our own.
    I thought I would share the projects that I have on my 2021 “To-Do” list with you.
    Some are small and will be done in a few days time. Others will take more time and will be ongoing and will be part of an ongoing series as we complete them.
    But first I have to get organized. This won’t take me too long since I keep on top of clutter by editing what I no longer use or like frequently. I am starting the year by donating the things I no longer need. It is what I plan to do right after I post this post. 🙂
    Home Decorating & Improvement Projects I Am Planning

    Add a Plate Wall in the Kitchen – As much as I enjoy drawing on the chalkboard wall that I created on the narrow wall in-between my kitchen and living room, I love my collection of white platters even more. One of my first projects will be transforming this wall to a plate rack wall.

    2. New Table Top for My Kitchen Table – I have been searching for a new larger round kitchen table for some time. I have found many that I like, especially a few that have removable leaves, but the cost is out of the question.
    I shared how I changed the top of the table in these posts – table covering that looks like wood and faux zinc, but even though I liked both of these – we need a larger table.
    So we are going to keep the existing base that I like as it is classic in design and in contrast to all the wood in the room. I will remove the 4-foot round top and replace it with a 5-foot round top that we make from stock lumber.

    I would like the finish to look like this table.
    3. Add a New Covering on the Wall Behind the Table – Right now the window wall by the kitchen table has textured wallpaper. I would like to see more texture on the wall and am considering adding white horizontal panels or a grid wall.

    4. Transform This Storage Closet – This closet is in the game room that at one time was a bedroom that needed a clothes rod in the closet that we don’t use.
    What we do need is a highly organized closet for a range of misc. items from the overstock of paper and canned goods, board games to family photos. I am thinking something like this closet.
    Exterior & Outdoor Projects

    5. Add Front Porch Railing – Since we removed the shrubs in front of the porch when we had the house painted, we need to add railings, not only for safety, but for overall curb appeal. In keeping with the modern vibe of this side of the house we are going to use cable railing.
    I have been doing a lot of research and reading how-to’s to figure out the best way to proceed and what power tools we may need. I figure we can start once the weather warms up which will be around mid March.

    6. Kitchen Garden – We have already started this and hope to have a few raised beds ready for spring planting. I took this photo late yesterday afternoon when the area was in the shade. We have removed shrubs and are in the process of lengthening an existing French drain near the area.
    Project I Am Dreaming About

    This most likely isn’t going to happen this year unless I win the lottery, but both Ed and I are serious about expanding the kitchen with an addition that looks like the open and airy space in the above photo.
    We have a very small kitchen that we are content with, but it is tight and we get in the way of each other all the time when working in the space.
    We are going to research costs and meet with an architect/builder to see what could be done.
    DIY Decor
    I always enjoy creating pretty things and will be sharing them as I make new items to decorate the house all through the year.
    Your Projects
    I receive hundreds of decorating questions every year and answer them directly to the reader.
    It dawned on me that my responses to many of these questions are problems that many readers may have.
    So starting this month, I will be sharing a reader decorating question and my response in a blog post. This will also open up the conversation in the comments where other readers can offer ideas that will in turn help all of us.
    My Blogging Goal
    My main goal here on the blog though is to continue to remind and inspire you to nurture the spaces that help make you live your best life possible.
    Having a warm and well-kept home can enhance your life and we could all use a little more of this.
    My 2021 decorating plan is simple:
    Embrace and then add what I LOVE – If something makes you smile and feel good, make it yours!!! Find a way to add it and then enjoy it every single day.
    Change What I Can – Re-purpose and use what you have to change things up. (I will be sharing how I just did just this to refresh my fireplace mantel decor for the winter months.)
    Don’t Worry What Others Think – It is your house afterall! Do it – In Your Own Style!
    What would you like to see me post more about for 2021? After blogging for 11 years, I have covered a lot, but I know you may be looking to find out how to do something in particular. Let me know in the comments.
    XO – Diane

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