Archive for November, 2010

A little bit lazy…

I recently titled myself a “lazy decorator” (especially when it comes to Christmas).  Don’t get me wrong, I love to decorate for the holidays and if you came to my home even today you would probably say…”What did you mean by lazy?!”  Okay, so lazy might not be the best word to use, how about resourceful.  Instead of packing away all my “everyday decorations” to replace them with oodles of Christmas decor, I simply incorporate holiday into everyday.

My Christmas decorations basically fill about 5 large totes. In each tote is a different type of decor.  In one I have bows, another silk flowers, another berries stems and evergreen picks, another garlands and another wreaths.  I simply place the totes in the middle of the living room and set off to make a very warm and beautiful Christmas cottage.

A couple weeks ago, I was thrown into the holiday spirit since I was hosting a Christmas decorating class. Here are a few photos of how I transformed the studio from everyday to holiday in about an hour.

Everyday to…


Here is a breakdown from before to after:

  1. I wrapped the large lemon canvas print in Christmas wrapping paper.  I happened to have a nice red and green canvas painting that I was able to layer in front of the wrapped painting.  If you don’t have another piece of art that works well with your holiday decor, simply hang a wreath in front of the wrapped painting or add a nice bow to the “gift” you created.

  2. I traded all the lemons for red Christmas balls

  3. I filled the green vase with evergreen and berry picks

  4. I added an inexpensive garland, filled it with lights and adorned the ends with bows, silk poppies, berries, red ragweed, and sparkly silver picks.  (By the way, I never use hot glue.  I simply tuck the picks right into the garland and tie the bows on.  This way when the season is over, packing is a breeze!)

So easy!  Doesn’t it look great?!

Here is a closer look at the lamp on the mantle.  The only thing removed was the lemons.  (Actually, they are hiding under all the greenery in the basket. :))

Speaking of lamps, here is how I added a little bit of Christmas on the other side of the room…

I just left them exactly as they were and added a couple poinsettia candle rings side by side.  It took only seconds and looks so festive!

So how do you decorate for the holidays?  Does it take you a few hours, a day, a week or a month?


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Last Wednesday we were heading to my in-laws for Thanksgiving.  I’m not sure if the long car ride made Hailey delirious or what, but as we neared her grandma’s house I heard Hailey say…
“I can hear the ocean in here!”

When I looked back, I saw a sweet girl smiling with her Quik Trip drink and straw sticking in her ear. 🙂

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I am so excited that the Throwdown between The Pioneer Woman and Bobby Flay is finally going to be aired! I have had to stay tight lipped for 2 months.  Boy was that hard!

I am still pinching myself that I had the opportunity to watch the taping in person.   To be only inches away from a couple of amazing chefs and then be able to eat their awesome food – boy what an AMAZING day!

Unfortunately, we weren’t allowed to take pictures, so I am hoping to “make the cut” and be on TV to prove my presence. The show airs this Wednesday, November 17, 2010 at 8 pm central.  It also airs a couple more times this week.  You can get more details at the Food Network site.

Here is me waiting on the porch of The Lodge for the second half of the filming to begin…

WARNING to anyone brave enough to watch the show with me Wednesday, I’m bound to talk  an EXCESSIVE AMOUNT throughout the program! 😉

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A couple weeks ago I made it back into the decorating world after a stint as a “stay-at-home mommy of a newborn” by having an appointment with a new client. To be completely honest, I am so loving being a mom right now that I was struggling a little to get excited about working again.  But after visiting with this new client on the phone, I just knew I had to get back to work!

I guess my lack of energy must of shown at first because as we continued to work together on the project, my client noticed how “energized” I was becoming working on her home.  I guess creative blood runs in my veins and I just needed to get warmed up.  What a great time I had!

Here is a little background info: My client had moved back to Bartlesville a year ago and purchased a most beautiful home.  She and her husband decided to buy all new furniture and accessories for the home.  This exciting opportunity turned into an overwhelming challenge.  Furnishing and decorating an entire house can be difficult even for trained professionals, let alone homeowners, especially if there is a lack confidence in the choices made.  My client was ready to begin to pull her home together and so she invited me over for a little guidance and inspiration.

As we began looking from room to room, I noticed that she had done a very nice job of coordinating her furnishings and accessories with her preferred style. She allowed me the opportunity to brainstorm with her where she should place the pieces she had already purchased and give her suggestions of what she still needed to shop for.

When we came to her entry hall, she felt satisfied about the area but wondered if I had any additional pointers for her. Here is how the area looked before:

She did a great job balancing and coordinating her accessories. Although the area looked pretty, visually it felt as if the accessories were in charge of  “holding up” the mirror.  So out of curiosity, I asked if we could rotate the mirror.  Just look at what happened when we did!

It was amazing what a slight change in the hanging of the mirror did for the area. Not only did the mirror become more functional, so did the table underneath it.  No longer did it feel like there had to be accessories covering the whole surface.  Now that we had the area arranged like we wanted, we were able to start our “shopping list”.  (Remember that from a couple weeks ago?)  The area on the right of the mirror needed a little something and lamps seemed like the most perfect solution.  Here is a very, very rough sketch of what I what I suggested…

Two stacked buffet lamps.  Can’t you just see it?! They will be the perfect finishing touch.  I can’t wait to see how this area comes together after my client finishes shopping!

Do you have an area in your home that needs you to look at it a little differently? A slight change in perspective may be all you need to take your room from adequate to AMAZING!

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I’m on a mission! My house has quietly become a mess and I have to take control! Isn’t it amazing how it happens? Thankfully I have something to keep me motivated.  In only 4 days, my kid’s children’s church group is having a fundraiser flea market.  They have a goal to raise $10,000 for missions by the end of December and the are only about $2000 short.  I have been to plenty of successful yard sales to know that this is doable if they have enough treasures.  Now to go on a hunt in my own home.  There is definitely plenty of junk, I mean treasures to be found!

I have had the opportunity to help several clients through the years overcome clutter. I have to admit I grinned and giggled to myself several times through this process.  To all of you who have endured my organizing help, I am just as tough on myself as I was on you! 🙂

One thing that I have learned over time when it comes to organizing, is to start small. And this is exactly what I did.  My first clutter clearing feat, the powder bath!

Do you see the magazine and toilet paper holder?  Here, take a closer look:

It was driving me crazy!  I would be so embarrassed for a guest to have to look at it let alone look for anything interesting to read.

Ahh!  So much better and the best part is that it took less than 10 minutes to sort through and organize. After success in the bathroom, I was energized to conquer bigger areas!  On to the entry closet.

This closet had come to the place where you had to hold your tongue just right to shut the door. It was packed and I knew there just had to be a few items I could do without.

Now, I want you to notice that I realize my closet would not make it into the next decorating magazine’s closet makeover edition, but I can easily close and open the door without stuff falling out on me. 🙂 Plus, look how much stuff I found for the flea market!

Yes, all of this stuff was in the closet seen above. I have figured out that I am pretty talented at “squirreling” stuff away.

One of my main criteria for whether I hold on to an item or not is this…

If the item has not ever left the closet in its whole life, then I probably don’t need it any more.

Several of the above items were carefully stored away years ago and haven’t ever seen the light of day. I am learning that unless it is a family heirloom that I just cannot part with, I need to let someone else enjoy it.  I can’t even tell you how freeing it is to let things go!  Now I am on a roll.  Cleaning out this closet then gave me energy to conquer this…

With my recent discovery of coupon shopping and being able to save over 70% on groceries, my pantry has become very full! This area definitely needed attention.  I was running out of space and losing track of all the great foods I had recently purchased.

I remembered we had an extra plastic shelf that was taking up residence outdoors so I hunted it down and my husband took it to the car wash so it would be spider free and able to reside indoors.  Just look at what a difference a few shelves make!

Isn’t it glorious!  I am so excited.  I even came up with a bag of groceries to share with a local food pantry.  And this is only the beginning.

Like I said before, I have 4 more days to get my act together. I know that if I don’t get it done and out of my house* by the flea market then it will probably be the spring.  I don’t think I want to hibernate this winter with so much stuff.   I look forward to letting you know how it all turns out!

*On a side note, if you are going to take the time to get your clutter under control, make sure you remove the “sorted stuff” from the premises.  There is nothing worse than getting organized and letting items go and then not finishing the job by getting it OUT!  It is too easy for the “stuff” to make its way back into your home.  If you don’t want to mess with a yard sale, then donate it to a local charity.  Just don’t wait, eliminate!

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A few weeks ago I was invited to be a guest presenter at Kirkland’s Anniversary Celebration (in Owasso).

I had such a great time!  I just wish I had thought to bring my camera out a little sooner!

My favorite part of the event was the opportunity I had following the presentation to visit with individual customers about their decorating questions. I know this will probably sound funny, but it made me think about Lucy on the Charlie Brown cartoon with her “Doctor is In” booth.  How fun it would be to have a booth at the store one afternoon to get to meet fun people and talk decorating.   Who knows, we might just have to try it out!

If you are reading this Bonnie and are interested, just let me know!  I would love to come to the store again! 🙂

As I said before, I was asked to give a decorating presentation. This is when the idea hit me, “Why don’t I share ideas to help people successfully shop in decorator stores like Kirkland’s!”  I just love it when a great idea comes my way!  So here are a few pointers from the presentation.

How to Shop Like a Decorator
Tips and Tricks for Successfully Shopping for your Home

I never leave home without the following items:
Shopping List
Tape Measure
Paint deck or paint strips

The shopping list – what goes on the list and how is it created?
I always begin the decorating process of a room by clearing the space first and then arranging the furniture and accessories my client  already owns.  This makes creating a list so much easier.  Once everything is in place, I am able to see what “missing pieces” I need to purchase.
Next I list how many lamps, pieces of artwork, rugs, window treatments, and accessories I will need to finish the space followed by the approximate measurement I will need of these items.   This is especially important when looking for furniture, artwork, rugs and window treatments.

Here are a few tips for measuring (before you shop):
1.  When measuring the area above a mantle, measure the width of the mantle and the space above the mantle.  Also measure the depth of the mantle.  When choosing artwork for this area, make sure to find a piece or combination of pieces that fill at least 2/3 of the space above the mantle.
2.  If the area above the mantle is wider than tall, choose a horizontal piece of art.  If the area is taller than it is wide, choose a vertical piece of art.
3.  If you are looking for a piece of furniture or art for a specific wall, measure the width and height but do not find a piece with the wall’s exact measurement.  When placing furniture on a wall, it needs to fill only about 2/3 of the available space.
4. Use no smaller than a 5×8 rug in a sitting area.  Increase to a 9×11 if  you desire the furniture to rest on the rug.

Always carry a tape measure!
A small 6-10 foot tape should be sufficient for most situations.  (I now even carry one in my diaper bag 🙂 )
You never know when you might just find the perfect piece.  If you always have a tape measure on hand, you will be sure the item is the right fit before you even get home. (This is especially true when buying new furniture.  Furniture always looks smaller in the store than it does when you get it home.)
Having a tape measure on hand is also great for making sure what you buy will fit in your car before you buy it!

You can always be sure of the “right color” if you shop prepared with your paint deck!
Any paint company’s paint deck will work.
Choose color strips that best represent the colors of your project instead of zoning in on just one small paint color from the strip.

Take this photo for example.  These 3 strips are not “exactly” the colors of the painting but they do blend well.  If I took the 3 paint strips with me when I shopped, I would be able to find pillows, rugs and curtains easily and would be confident that they would work well on my project.

Your goal is for the items you are buying to “blend” well with the paint strip instead of  being an exact match.

Things you should match paint strips with in your home before shopping are (if you already own them):

Wall Color
Window Treatments

Wishing you great success on your next shopping adventure!

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