Month: November 2011

Restored Love

November 28, 2011


See my old hope chest? My parents gave this to me as a graduation present when I was 18 years old. A hope chest is what us girls all got as a gift around our 18th birthday so we would have a place to store what we would buy to prepare for our wedding and future household.


These advertisements sought to equate the ideal of domesticity with a Lane “Hope Chest,” in which a young woman stored clothing or home furnishings in anticipation of marriage. This was summed up in the company’s tag line: “The gift that starts the home.”

Lane advertisements reached a high point during World War II, persuading thousands of GIs leaving for overseas to purchase a Lane Hope Chest for the sweethearts they were leaving behind. Ads combined romantic images of men in uniform and their fiancées with patriotic slogans and the well-known face of national spokeswoman, and symbol of all things American, Shirley Temple.

I have used my chest all of these years to store all my cherished items: wedding mementos, all my children’s special items and many other important memories. I still love my chest but knew it was past time for a makeover:


This is the fabric I found earlier this month that I loved:


Of course I wanted to use Annie Sloan Chalk Paint– it makes the project so much easier! I choose the color Old White. No prep needed, I just unscrewed the top:


Here it is after the first painted coat:


I wanted to keep the antique brass hardware not only because of the cost, but I thought they looked good together with both the fabric and the off white paint:



All finished painting:




So pretty! What a difference!

Here are some of my special loves in my hope chest:

My son’s blankie that my mom made for him:


My daughter (who is getting married!) holding my wedding veil:


Awwww.. Here is a picture of my Christening hat:


Do you have a Hope Chest? What do you keep special in yours?


Similar topics you may enjoy:

Fabric Workroom Visit

Using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

Painting With Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

Before & After Annie Sloan Transformations

From My Home to Yours: Happy Thanksgiving!

November 22, 2011


With a short week and everyone’s mind preoccupied with Turkey and Black Friday sales, I racked my brain trying to come with up a decorating topic that you would really love to read about today. Instead of doing that, I decided to share some great before and after photos from my own personal condo I moved into a couple months ago:

new condo 005



new condo 023


These photos are a great example of use-what-you-have decorating. I think it is coming out great!

 I am so excited for the Holiday Season to begin! I love decorating for Christmas and I am glad to be putting the Fall decorations away. A new season to decorate for! I am feeling quite nostalgic this year for some reason. I think it started after I read SZ Interiors post ‘Shiny Brites: Vintage Glass Christmas Ornaments’. It is a great story.


Remember growing up, every year on Thanksgiving night, Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer would be on TV and that would be the start of the Christmas season! (remember the Norelco razors dashing over the snow at the end in the commercials?)

I also want to say I am very thankful for our good fortune over the past year. The sale of our home, quitting my part time job to pursue what I love, the happy engagement of our daughter and much more.

I hope you all have a very safe, happy and healthy Thanksgiving. I will see you next time when I begin blogging about the Christmas Season!

new condo 006


See my new lamp? I love it!


Related topic you may be interested in reading:

New Beginnings..And a New Pad To Decorate!

If you need help decorating your home, contact me today.

Sneak Peek at Living Room Makeover

November 18, 2011

A few months ago, I started a new living room and dining room redesign. Here is what the living room looked like when we started:


Here is a peek at the after:




At first, the client had wanted yellow walls in the room. See how important it is to test the color at home?:


The color is just to bright. Plus, she had bought two chocolate brown (red undertone) loveseats for the room, so that meant we now had to work with red undertones on the wall. We ended up with a custom color with Shaker Beige as the base.


As you can see, we have more work to do. We are just starting with the accessory and lighting stage which is my favorite part! It was very important to my client to use the clock (on the fireplace) and the picture on the mantel in the room because they have a lot of sentimental valve to her.



That’s it for now! You will just have to wait until I am finished with the two rooms to see the rest. As you can see in the pictures, my client won the brass fireplace debate. She wanted to keep it and I tried to talk her out of. But I actually think it is working with her special historic pieces. Plus, it is not shiny brass. 🙂

What do you think so far? Hopefully I will finish soon and I will be sure to post the after photos.

If you need help redesigning your space, contact me today.

Related Topic:

New Living Room/Dining Room Redesign

Versatile Blogger Award

November 16, 2011

I was so excited when I opened my email this morning. I was nominated for The Versatile Blogger Award! My blogger friend Linda Holt over at New Light Redesign nominated me for this award which means a lot coming from her because I love her ideas and her love of anything design like me. We have found we are so much alike that we must be lost sisters!

Here’s how it works on my part:

1. Thank and link back to the person who gave the award to you

2. Share 7 things about yourself

3. Send the award along to 7 other bloggers and let them know you have awarded them!

So now it’s my turn to share seven things about me that you probably don’t know. (this is harder than you think!)

#1  I love painting. Anything. Everything.

#2  My best friends in the world are my friends that make me laugh.


#3  I buy way too many lamps. Can’t help myself- there are so many pretty ones out there!

#4  I love naps!

#5  I love spending time in New Hampshire.

#6  I love to party. Well, I do!

#7  95% of my time is spent thinking about a blog, reading a blog, writing a blog, researching a blog, dreaming about a blog, looking for pictures for my blog, worrying about my blog, blog, blog, blog! Good thing I still love it!

Now the fun part. I get to pass the Versatile blogger award along to 7 other bloggers that I look forward to reading and I know you will too!

Connie Nikiforoff Designs

The Decorologist


Maria Killam

Centsational Girl

Made By Girl

Bossy Color Blog

I hope you enjoyed learning a little something about me. Thank you again Linda!

Until next time!

If you need help selecting colors or redesigning your space, contact me today!

Working With Bold Wall Colors

November 14, 2011

Ben Moore Marine Blue

Do you ever wonder how a designer transforms the walls in the room into the star of the room? How do they design the room around a bold wall color and make it look so gorgeous?

flickr  Ben Moore Starry Night Blue

Look at the furnishings in the photos above and below:

The common thread is that when you are using a dark, bold wall color, all the other furnishings in the room must be a basic neutral and ‘blend’ together with the wall color so that it does not take attention away from the walls.


Notice that when using a bold wall color, the sofa, the bed, the rug and even the accessories are neutral so that it does not take the focus off of the wall.

The neutrals that seem to work best to are white, tan, black and brown.

So remember: If you want to use a dramatic, dark wall color, and make it the star of the room, it is best to use neutrals for your fabrics, furniture, rug and artwork.

Now, do you think you can add another color in the mix for a ‘pop’ in the room when using a bold wall color:?

Love the bunny print! Love the yellow bench!

I think it works, but in very small doses. For example, in the photo above, if you start to sprinkle more of the raspberry color like the flowers around in the room, you start taking the focus off of the walls and instead making the accessories the star of the room.

So now do you feel more confident in using a darker wall color now that you know this little designer secret? Hope this post helps you to understand another color concept.

I want to thank all of my readers for writing to me and telling me that you have learned so much about color and decorating from reading my blog.  Really makes it all worth while for me.  Thank you. xo

If you need helping choosing paint colors for your home, contact me today!

All photos taken from unless otherwise noted.


Fabric Workroom Visit

November 4, 2011

Have you ever been to a fabric workshop? I am in absolute heaven as soon as I walk through the door:


Look! Everywhere you turn there are more fabric books to look at:


I love, love looking through all the books. Most fabric workrooms are open and available ‘to the trade’ only, meaning that you need to show identification as well as a state identification sales tax number. Each state has different requirements to obtain a sales Id number. If you are interested in obtaining, I would call your state tax office to inquire. At this particular workroom in Providence, RI, you must be ‘in the trade’ to browse here and purchase fabric.


Why go through the bother of visiting and purchasing from a workroom? For a few good reasons – not only do you get to pay wholesale cost which is considerably lower than the retail price, but you are able to see the latest and hottest fabric trends and colors, you can also borrow any books for a few days to bring home and you can order fabric samples right there quickly and easily! How great is that!

Each fabric workshop is unique in that each have their own fabric collections that they represent. This shop had Kravet, Duralee, Robert Allen,  Carole and many others. I seem to always be drawn to the Duralee fabrics because of all the great colors and patterns they use. This fabric below (and above) is from the new collection of Eileen Kathryn Boyd. So gorgeous!:



The reason for my visit this particular day was to look at fabric for window treatments for a client’s dining room. I had to work with this fabric below that was on her chairs:


I actually had a good idea of what I was looking for and I found rather quickly:


And then I was able to relax and browse through a few books for ideas, inspiration and fun! Here were two of my favorite books I brought home:

duralee 004

I love this blue fabric:

duralee 001

Another project I am working on is refinishing a old hope chest. I think I will use this fabric for the top. Don’t you just love it?

So if you would love to browse through fabric books, you should check out your local fabric workroom. Have you ever been to a workshop? Do you enjoy going?

If you need help finding the perfect fabric that goes with the perfect wall color, contact me today.