New House to Home: June 2012            

Monday, June 25, 2012

Taking Curtains From Off-the-Rack to Over-the-Top

Here's how I gave a pair of $15 curtain panels a quick and easy face lift.  The process was so easy, in fact, that I don't even have to use words to describe the process.





I got my curtain panels at a regional store called Meijer.  In case you don't have a Meijer in your area, they are also available online at Sears and Kohls and several other online retailers.  They are called Eclipse Kendall Thermalback Curtains. I like this particular brand because they are lined with a blackout lining.  Unlike so many off the rack panels, they actually block out a fair amount light. 

My ball fringe came from Hobby Lobby, and cost about $7 per yard.  You can find something similar here.

The trick to making ready-made curtain panels look custom is training them.  Training is the simple process of tying the panels into soft pleats and leaving them tied for about a week.  When you untie them, you are left with professional looking pleats that will stay in place and even return after being opened and closed. 

Curtains in training.
Adding trim to curtains is just one way of personalizing a store bought item.  I think everyone has their own way of taking things from off-the-rack to over-the-top.  What's yours?

Saturday, June 23, 2012

It's the Little Things

Here is one of my favorite things in my home.

It's a little display I set up that combines three of my favorite things:
  1. My children
  2. Christmas
  3. A trio of books purchased at an Atlanta flea market.
I love looking at the picture of my children and remembering the photo session when it was taken.  It makes me laugh to remember that one of the girls (I won't say which one) burst into tears just a fraction of a second after it was taken.  As for the books, I love the way their aged appearance offsets the relatively new appearance of my kitchen.  They also bring to mind a great day spent at the flea market about fifteen years ago with some college friends that I don't get to see nearly often enough.

The day I set up this little display in my kitchen, I started to feel like this house was becoming home.  Sometimes it's the little things...

What little things make your house a home?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Everything's Not What It Seems - Our Patio

Isn't our back patio just beautiful!?!?

We often sit out here and have an evening snack...

 or a glass of wine while reading a book.

The view is breathtaking. It seems like we've got it all together, right? Well, think again. Yes, if we look straight ahead, we see beautiful green trees full of singing birds and happy squirrels.  But, if we look down, we see what we have affectionately dubbed our "weed garden."

And if we look behind us toward the house, we see a mish-mash of broken pots, gardening supplies, and toys my kids have outgrown.

It kind of reminds me of the "Facebook cat" I've seen on Pinterest. 
  Pinned Image
The moral of today's story is to be content with what is good in your life, and not to focus on what you perceive to be good about someone else's life. After all, everything is not always what is seems to be...

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Have you tried Olioboard yet?  If you're not familiar, is a website where you can create interior design inspiration boards.  Ever wonder how that Pottery Barn quilt would look with that Target lamp and your favorite Sherwin Williams paint color?  Wish you could find out before you make the purchases or spend the day painting a room?  Olioboard is the place to find out. 

Right now I am working on some ideas for my bedroom.  Obviously I want to keep the backdrop neutral (given my history of moving), but I'd like to inject a bit of color and personality.  Here is one "moodboard" I came up with:

After seeing this moodboard, I decided that I'm not crazy about the wall color, and a few accessories would really personalize the space.  With just a few clicks, I was able to change the above image to this:

Much better.  It's a good thing I like it because I already own the bed, rust coverlet and shams, the neutral coverlet, the jacobian print fabric, and similar artwork.  You can add your own products to the moodboard, or add add products you find on the Olioboard website.  When moving into a new home, it's common to have to make an overwhelming number of design and decor decisions in a short period of time.  It's so great to be able get a general idea of what the final product will look like without making any commitment of time and money.

Once you have your new home looking exactly the way you want it to look, you can spend your free time designing rooms for an imaginary lake house that you don't actually own.

My house doesn't look exactly the way I want it to look, but I was having so much fun I couldn't stop myself!

Have fun with  I'd love to see what you create!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Home Goods Happy

Moving from the Memphis area to the Cincinnati area has had its benefits.  New friends, access to recreational activities such as a great amusement park and professional football and baseball teams, and fantastic eduacational opportunities are just a few examples of the perks of living in Cincy.  As great as all those things are, having a Home Goods ranks right at the top of my list of reasons I have adjusted so well to my new city. 

While living in Memphis, I would watch longingly as David Bromstad made trips to Home Goods on Color Splash.  Whenever I saw Home Goods featured on an HGTV show, I would google "when is Memphis getting a Home Goods store (August 12, 2012 for those of you still asking)?"  Whenever my family would take a road trip, I would pull up the Home Goods Store Locator to see if we were going to be anywhere in the vicinity of my favorite store.  Now I live within 15 minutes of Home Goods, and you would think I'd be over it.  Not so!  The lure of potential decor bargains is even greater now that it is in my own backyard.  Here's what I got on my latest shopping trip.

First up, I got this wood cabinet to hang above the toilet.  We had one in a
previous  house, and I've been looking for a quality ready-made one ever since.
It was great for housing spare toilet paper rolls and feminine supplies.

Look at how closely the finish on the new cabinet matches that of the existing cabinetry!

My next and favorite find was this beautiful wood console table for my entryway.  I've been looking for one for months.  I can't wait to accessorize that lower shelf.  Another trip to Home Goods might be in order. 

It's solid and heavy.  Of course it is, it's made by Ralph Lauren!

My final purchase was an impulse buy made right at the register.  In fact, I was already finished with my initial purchase and had to go back through the check out line in order to get them.  I'm glad I did, because when I went back today (don't judge), they were all gone.  They will make a great birthday present for my dessert-obsessed daughter. 

So, in the approximately forty-five minutes I spent in the store, I managed to get two items I had been wanting/needing and one great birthday gift.  I'd say that I had a pretty successful day. 

So, what is your go-to store for home decor?

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Angie's List

Six months after resolving to get some home projects completed, nothing is done.  It's not for a lack of trying.  I've called multiple contractors that failed to call me back. 

(That's not me.  I wish I looked that good while
sitting around the house calling contractors.)

I finally found one that came and took over six weeks to get me a quote (which was promised within the week), and the scope of work outlined in his quote omitted much of what we had discussed in our face to face meeting.  Another I was considering had a great deal of positive feedback, but after reading several of the reviews, it became apparent to me that one person was writing all the reviews (most likely someone from the contracting firm) and just changing the details of the work done. 

After expressing my frustration to several friends (actually anyone who would listen), a friend who has been doing quite a bit of remodeling offered to find me someone on Angie's List.

If you've ever watched HGTV, I'm sure you've seen the commercials and you know how it works.  For $39 per year, you can join the service, which provides you with online access to unbiased reviews of any type of contractor you might ever need.  The list includes plumbers, heating and AC contractors, painters, roofs, lawn and landscaping companies, pet care services, child care providers and many others.  Like me, my friend who has been doing all the remodeling is new to the area, so the service has been invaluable to her.  She has had only positive things to say about the contractors she has found through Angie's List.  As a member, when you have an experience with a contractor, whether it be positive or negative or somewhere in between, you can leave a review of that contractor to help other members with their decisions.  As for the reviews themselves, I was really impressed by the amount of detail members included.  If for some reason you are not happy with the contractor you select, Angie's List even offers a complaint resolution service.  Not only does Angie's List provide information on contractors that you would have do work around your house, for a separate fee you can also register to get access to information on health and wellness provider such as doctors, dentists, and other practitioners.  This is exactly the kind of information a new-to-town mom needs to make life easier.  Sign me up! 

As for my remodeling needs, I think I may have found the contractor of my dreams on Angie's List.  

This guy looks like he could get the job done, right?

The day before our scheduled appointment he called to confirm, he showed up for the appointment exactly when he said he would, and he sent me a quote containing a detailed scope of work in five days.  Unfortunately, like most good contractors, he is booked solid for the next month.  I am on his schedule in late July.  I'll keep you posted on the progress.  Until then, if you'd like to research Angie's List, head over to the Angie's List How It Works Page.

Have you had an experience with Angie's List?  I'd love to hear about it.