A Few Random Thoughts and Good Advice

March 8, 2016

* It is that time of year again when our thoughts and projects are beginning to include outdoors. If you are planning on using wood mulch this year, take notice:  Please do not use red-dyed wood chips in your yard! You are trying to make your garden look beautiful and your landscape natural. The wood chips that are dyed red are not natural looking. A better color choice to use outdoors with your plantings is brown- like the color of Earth. Mother Nature  will thank you, (and so will your neighbors)!



* I am so disappointed that my whole design plan I made for my new home office had to be thrown out and started from scratch again. The wall where I planned to have my bookshelves and window seat built;  something on this idea:

window wall


That is a radiator wall and you can not build closed cabinets on a radiator wall:

office window

Radiators can be moved but would be a very expensive project.  So, the new plans are moving the wall of shelving and cabinets over to this wall:

office shelf

What a mess! It will be a good focal wall. A navy office! I can’t wait.

* A painting lesson I experienced this weekend- If you are painting over a darker color, either walls or trim, I suggest strongly using a primer, no matter what the paint company declares. I painted over window trim this weekend that was a taupe brown and I painted over it with White Dove. Three coats later, it is still not covered well. Always use a primer when painting a lighter color over a darker color to save yourself a lot of work and headache!

* Remember my new home design project? If you were wondering about the progress, there isn’t much to tell. My client is an accountant and in January put everything on hold until after tax season. The inside walls are still going up so I will be ready to start again soon:


* Another good tip if you were not aware- if you are currently using a plastic shower curtain liner, try a fabric shower liner instead. I recently stayed somewhere with plastic liners and believe me when I say the cost of $10.00 more is well worth the price. Fabric does not try to stick to you when you are in the shower, it is nice to not see through the curtain, they do not have to be cleaned as often, etc. A huge upgrade to your shower.

* I am heading to Nashville, TN this week! It is the first time I have visited. I always hear such great things about the city. Has anyone been?  One thing we are definitely going to is the American Pickers Nashville location. Anything else special we should definitely see? I will share my adventure with you when I get back next week!


  1. You are SO RIGHT about that red mulch – it’s the worst. One year Mr. Man had a bunch installed in our yard, and it pretty much ruined my summer (haha)!

    I look forward to meeting with you this weekend in Nashville, Kelly! And HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!!!!!!

  2. Our neighbour put red mulch along the drive a few years ago – the worst thing ever!! Finally faded after a few years.
    Primer – Zinzeer primer is great for covering dark paint.

  3. You might want to check with your local building codes regarding the closed bookcase/shelf you’d like to build. It may be possible to leave a large enough open “toe kick” area to allow for heat dissipation. Check to see 🙂

    About the red mulch. In our area mulch color fades almost within one season to where it’s not blatantly red..so it really doesn’t look that odd. Plus…many people also use scoria rock which is local to the ND Badlands area and many places west of the Missouri. It can be crushed into small sizes or left in larger sizes (about the size of a cantaloupe) and can range from a sort of terra cotta color to very dark red which looks very nice in our landscapes. So ultimately I think mulch or any landscaping material’s colors should blend in with the local area. To tell you the truth, red mulch is used here and it looks very natural especially with all the brick homes we have that are also in red tones 🙂

    • I think there is natural looking red ‘tone’ mulch but then there is fake looking, less expensive screaming red colour mulch. That is the one to avoid!

  4. Completely agree Kelly! To me, a beautiful yard, garden simply looks natural, don’t like anything that looks mass produced, i.e. Dyed concrete borders with scalloped top. They are all over my new house and are about to get the boot! Thanks for your ideas!! Happy Spring!

  5. I used a fabric shower curtain liner and it was amazing until I washed it. Then the water soaked through and dripped down the outside of it, directed outside the tub thanks to the outer, decorative curtain. I’m back to plastic again, sadly.

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