Multi-functional


Have you been to the stores and seen the new peel and stick decals you can use instead of stenciling your walls?  There are flowers, butterflies, balloons, teddy bears, cars, blocks, Disney characters… You get the idea.  While visiting my family in MN this last time, I came across these decals and thought it would be a great border in my granddaughter’s room.  I bought her favorite butterflies and a package of circles; just in case I needed more than one package to do the whole room.   

I randomly placed them along one of the walls as a border, but I never had the time to finish this process on the remaining walls before I had to leave.  A couple of days later I received a call from my daughter, she told me that my granddaughter did a little of her own “decorating” and had removed all the decals from her wall! 

I told my daughter that the border idea would have to wait until she was a little older, but in the meantime they could be placed above the closet and bedroom doors, on the inset panels of the doors (out of her reach).  Even above or around any of the hanging pictures would be cute!

They can be used on furniture, plastic containers that hold seasonal clothing, toys and stored in the closet.  How cute would that be to open the closet doors and see these containers personalized to match the room!  Use them on mirrors, windows in bathrooms, the ideas are endless!

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Smell is so underrated , but it probably is one of the most significant senses in our lives.  A smell can bring back a childhood memory, a favorite holiday, an important person in our lives.  

There are certain scents that remind me of my favorite holidays; Thanksgiving and Christmas being my most favorite.  As the air cools, the landscapes turn golden and brown, the harvest of apples and pumpkins begins.  I pull out the spices that I relate to at this time of year; cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg are a few of my favorites.  I create pot-pourri that I can simmer in a bowl of water and heat gently by candle or in a pot on the stove. 

One cinnamon stick, one part ground nutmeg, one part anise seed, two parts whole or ground cloves, and a pinch of ground ginger.    This makes a great hostess gift when layered in a glass mason jar, a holiday themed fabric trimmed to fit the top of the jar and the cinnamon stick tied with a note card, including instructions on how to use the pot-pourri!

Essential oils are another favorite of mine and can be therapeutic as well!  I like pine, (Oh, Christmas Tree…) and peppermint.  It is pretty simple to create a pleasing mixture as long as you buy good quality essential oils with a pure scent that is a natural extract.  Trust your nose! Blend favorites together, there are no rules.  Again, I like to use my simmering pot with about a cup of hot water and a couple of drops of essential oil.

Tired, stressed from all the holiday planning, shopping and running around?  These same dry mixtures (wrapped in cheesecloth) and essential oils can be added to a hot bath and have a soothing, relaxing effect on you.

Fall has officially arrived and with it longer, cooler evenings.  The perfect time to lounge outside!  I love this time of year and look forward to creating a special little spot to enjoy it. 

You guessed it; I walk around my home and pick out items that I want to use in my outdoor room.  Seating is critical so I selected a futon that is only used when I have overnight guests, and a couple of chairs.  A few plant stands that will work as side tables and framed mirrors for the tops.  In my linen closet I found some curtains, pillows, and a throw to bring in color.

This past summer I came across some really cool french doors that some one had thrown out; they will make a great folding screen.  I also found a discarded bathroom vanity that will make a great beverage bar; another mirror could work for the top and a couple of shelves added inside to hold drinkware.

A couple of house plants that could use some fresh potting soil and add a homey touch to my outdoor living area.  I will add a candlescape and frame a couple of favorite summer photos to create the perfect “room” to enjoy.

One last thing!  How can I forget a water feature?  There’s a urn that held a plant that I managed to kill…. it will make a great water feature for my room.  Well I better get to work or my room won’t get done!  Hey, what are you waiting for?  Go create your own special area to enjoy this weather!

I’m always looking for little “touches” to change the look of a room, a table or shelf because I get bored with the same ol’ same.  I walk from room to room always on the look out for a new way to display a favorite something of mine.  I like candles; the way they smell, the flickering lights that dance across the various surfaces beneath them and I love putting a bunch together in a collection.  Someone brillant came up with the idea of “candlescape kits” and it is very popular!  I know that you have ideas and items around your home that you can create these candlescapes from your favorite things.

My grandmother’s old mason canning jars is a favorite of mine.  I group various sizes and heights in a tray, add sand, pebbles, shells, I have even used coffee beans before to fill the jars and dropped in tea lights. 

How about using several small clear plain bud vases, fill with sticks, small budding branches, or flowers and arrange on a bed of bannana leaves and place candles around the vases in a pleasing arrangement.

This next one is very easy and so elegant, also my favorite!  Take several clear glasses, jars or vases and place them on a mirror.  Using candles of same color, but of various heights and place them in and around the glass containers of choice.  You can even add some clear or colored glass florist stones to the arrangement.  You will love the way the light reflects on all the surfaces!

So go ahead and make your candlescape; it’s addicting!

I love to decorate!  My mind goes a hundred miles a minute just thinking about all the facets involved with decorating a room.  HGTV is always on at my house, almost every magazine is about decorating on the coffee table, I have books on the subject, folders filled with torn pages on things I love…  I am hopeless!

When my two daughters and son-in-laws bought their first homes I got busy decorating them; I know it’s not my place to butt in and it was very difficult to keep my thoughts to myself.  I think I did pretty good though and only encouraged them and offered to lend a hand painting or whatever else I could.  Okay, I have to admit that I did put a little of myself in each of their homes by painting a series of canvases in their colors to hang on their walls.  Opps!

I am truly an addict; I hear someone talking about doing a room and I just have to get involved!  A friend of mine is buying a new home and she wants to change her whole decorating style – yes!  I scored big time!  I sat down on the floor with her two daughters, pulled out the color pencils, paper, and got to work designing their rooms.  (I’m preparing for decorating my first granddaughter’s room when she gets a little older, and yes, I have permission.)  We went with bright colors on the walls – stripes, cirlces, and at least two or three colors.  Billowy curtains with jewels, lots of pillows, dust ruffles on the beds, and of course reversible comforters on the bed to get more milege from the look we can create! 
We poured over  my paint color pallete (I own my very own paint contractor wheel – I am very serious about this!)   Pulled together all the fabrics and started editing pieces they already have in their bedrooms and  plan on reworking other items to fit the current look we are striving for.  The girls and I worked on their rooms for about an hour and I can hardly wait to get started!  I hope I have instilled in them some excitement to work on their rooms as well. 

Everyone is “Going Green” today.  You hear the term in the tv commercials, your favorite decorating shows and there’s all sorts of new products that have hopped on the train.  It isn’t anything new, just a fresh awareness of the importance of being green.   

I know what you’re thinking… “what does this have to do with decorating?”  Everything!  Beyond the new home building materials, the cleaning products, the renew, reuse and recycle things you can do to help your enivornment; you can use these same concepts in decorating. 

Adding real green plants to every room is a great way to start.  Every room deserves a little “life” by simply adding plants using the same ideas from “Decorating with a Collection.”  Use baskets or similar containers to hold the plants and place them in groups of uneven numbers or an unusual or large plant can stand alone.  There must be a balance of using green plants in a room as with any other decorating element.  Also, using natural items such as shells, rocks, drift wood in recycled containers to hold them brings a bit of nature indoors. 

I have always had a problem completing a room’s design when it comes to the windows.  I love the designer look that you see in all the magazines, in the stores, model homes, and on decorating shows…  I just don’t care for the price tag and the permanantcy of creating a designer look treatment.

Today there are so many options and choices; even the local home improvement stores have tons of accessories to help you create your own designer look!

There are few “rules” to decorating that I follow myself when decorating my own home.  One of my pet peeves though is to pass a home that is nicely landscaped and compliments the colors of the home and then as you look at the windows…  Every window has a different treatment that throws the whole look out the window!  So my first rule to creating a beautiful window treatment is to start with a cohesive look to the outside of the home.  Simply stated, pick a type of shade, blind or sheer to put on every window in the house.  I use bamboo roman shades on all my windows.

Now, if you have been reading any of my blogs, you know I like to make changes all the time because I become bored.  Once you choose the base, then the sky pretty much is the limit! 

Besides all the choices at the home stores for curtain rods, finials, brackets, other choices (these are the ones I always like.. the other choices).  Bamboo poles and branches make good curtain rods.   Those metal art pieces made of rod iron work well with swags.  Tie back brackets work for tie or tab curtain panels instead of curtain rods and can be placed above windows in an arch or wave pattern.

Then there is all the fabric choices!  Okay, we’ve established I like change so this is where I get the most bang for the buck!  I can go from floral, plaid, paisley (my favorite!), colorblock or solid color in an instant!  Not only do I change my window treatment fabrics a lot, I can change them from room to room since I have stayed within five colors as my foundation for decorating my whole house!  Are you still with me?  Panels of fabric can be swags, or valances, or can be used for the intented purpose as panels.

You can get that really expensive look of designer fashions by buying panels in the normal length of 84″ and a second panel and make a panel with the combined two panels into floor puddling to ceiling height lengths at a fraction of the cost!  Not to mention unique one of a kind design!

Are you still reading?  Get up and start your own window designs, it’s that easy!

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