Category Archives: Home Decorating Tricks and Ideas

All things for helping your house be more beautiful and fun and showing who YOU are!

How a Gazebo Reincarnated and Became Yard Art!

This was this gazebo's first life.

The second life of the gazebo as yard art!

I have long admired my neighbor, Mary, and her portable gazebo that sits up next to the back of their house and provided them with shade.  I loved the ornate metal corners whenever I had the occasion to see them. I always wondered what they would look like by themselves. I thought they would make lovely freestanding trellises.  So when Mary asked me if I wanted this particular item because they were replacing it with a new gazebo, I didn’t hesitate. Not even for heartbeat.  

It took all of us, Mary and I along with the hubby’s,  to move it over to our back yard. They were very confused when I told them not to put it on the patio, that I had other plans for it. I actually knew exactly what I wanted to do with it. I put it in the new perennial bed for all kinds of things to climb on and to give the bed a sort of outdoor room feel. I just took it apart, and rearranged the pieces.    

I love it! It’s so much fun! And I have planted two clematis, some climbing spinach, and tiger lillies to best utilize the corners. I have plans to plant a climbing rose with both of the clematis which I think will be a lovely complement to each other and maximize the bloom spot. We considered putting hanging pots on the bars that stretched across the tellises, but ours were too heavy. And then I remembered these darling outdoor lamps I bought two years ago that I have not used yet, and this will be the perfect place to hang those. I also have plans for other assorted wind chimes and all kinds of things.  It just lends itself to all kinds of things that are fun!    

So here’s the lesson I learned.  If you really like some element of something, don’t just think about it for the dedicated use that it was originally intended for, and then throw it out when part of it is used up.  Think outside of the box, and think about what element of it you can recycle and reuse. What’s the thing you like about it? The length? The color? The material it’s made out of? Where would that particular element be an enhancement? Can you take it apart? Or use just a portion of it? Try it!! Then you have something that you not only salvaged, but something you don’t have to replace! Lots of good recycling karma coming your way.  Plus, you have the joy of creating something that is all your own idea. No one else has it except you. Well, until everyone copies your idea, which is the best of complements!


Cool Decopauge idea on cabinet at Hotel Monaco


Great decopauge idea of repeated portrait prints!

I love it when you go on vacation, and you get an unexpected visual gift. That was the case when we entered the lobby of the Hotel Monaco in Portland Oregon. 

I brought back this great idea that we saw there.  It was a cabinet they had decopauged and laquered with a repetitive series of portraits.
You could do this easily, and by using a copier, make the pictures the exact size and color that you want them to be. Black prints on white paint would be really inexpensive to do and would be a great color choice.
I actually loved this entire hotel. The decor was so different, and so gorgeous.It was done by designer Cheryl Rowley, in the Anglo Chinois style. (I’ve never heard of that style before!)  Of course, MY photo’s don’t do it justice,  but here is a shot of the headboard in our room over our bed. The colors are purple, orange, and gold in a small check. It was so well done!  
Such an adventuresome color choice that most would be afraid of, but pulled off gloriously! To quote from their website, ” With a soft persimmon and periwinkle glow, deep chocolate furnishings and luscious flowers, our Portland, Oregon hotel promises a dramatic setting for your arrival.” That pretty much says it all! . Luscious indeed!   

Headboard in purple, gold and orange check print.

   For really good photos of this award winning hotel, and really amazing color choices, go to Mine just don’t do it justice. I hope you enjoy this amazing color offering as much as I did.

Need Room Color Inspiration?

I was looking for just the right color of tan/taupe/gray paint for Reid’s office.  (Yes, this remodel just goes on and on and on.) It’s HIS office, and HIS choice of color – frightening to this decorating control freak, but I just have to remind myself he DID have the good taste to marry ME.  We had spent several hours looking at pictures of rooms in all kinds of magazines, but I could not figure out what he wanted for wall color. I was completely baffled.  Fortunately, we went to my niece Lex’s for Easter (that’s another amazing decorator in my family) and she has a nice neutral, but interesting color palate, so I had Reid take a look at the paint colors in her recently remodeled home.  He came upon two he actually liked, which sent me to the Valspar Paint dealer in town to get paint chips.  

I was delighted because I LOVE Valspar paint. I used their metallic copper in my family room on my doors and on my cabinetry. It is gorgeous with the deep purple/mauve walls.  Anyway…while looking for this color chip, Coastal Village, a sophisticated mid tone gray, I saw what I thought was one of the best tools ever to bring out your inspiration genius! There, by their paint chips were almost 30 brochures, by color tint, with pictures of rooms painted all different colors.  Each brochure has at least 3 pictures of rooms with different colored walls. These are great tools if you are trying to determine what color to paint a room. I love them. Wish I would have seen them earlier in this decorating project. It probably would have saved me lots of anguish because I couldn’t read my husband’s mind.  Check them out! I’m keeping my very own set on hand from now on.  

Frames and Shelves For a Great Wall Decoration

Michelle's great frames with shelve wall idea

It’s only right that I should steal, (with permission, of course ) one of my favorite ideas for a first real post. And from one of my most talented friends!! My YaYa Michelle Green recently redid her basement, and when giving “the tour” showed us this little spectacular design idea shehad. It’s always a challenge to figure out what to put over the bed in a guest bedroom, but not for Michelle. Here is a great decorating idea of hers that doesn’t require highly specialized materials. Just run down to your local hobby store, and you’re in business.   

Here is what she did. Michelle took a frame, rectangular in shape, and placed it on the wall. She then set a shelf on the top part of the bottom of the frame.  She then placed an object d’art on the shelf, in this case these great looking contemporary vases. Repeat the steps above and place the same configuration side by side.  Three is a nice number, sitting them all on a row, or you could also place them in several different postions. The trick is to have the items match either in the color or the shape that works best for your own little project. Another little tip from Michelle, use velcro on the walls and the frames to keep them even. (Don’t want the OCD to kick in….LOL!)  My suggestion is to use a level to avoid the frustration of thinking you have them all even, only to find out that they aren’t after you’ve spent an hour putting them on your walls. Voile’! You quickly have a seriously classy treatment for a guest bedroom. 

Michelle had so many people bugging her all of the time to help them decorate that the YaYa’s decided she had to start charging for her time. ‘Cept for us, of course!!!

This great idea used in a guest bedroom