Hand made jute tassel against the vibrant orange velvet.

Oranges, greens, browns and purples.  All the colors of fall emerge and act as a signal to a great time of year full of fun and frolic and the holidays.  As part two of my three part series on seasonal tables, I have created a table that celebrates the wonderful, vibrant colors of the fall season.

I challenged myself to create a table that references the fall season through color and texture, rather than using established icons like pumpkins, leaves and gourds.  There is a certain balance between the rustic and the refined in this table scape.  The birch bark that sheaths the zinc pots to the toile that was used for the napkins and window seat pillow covers.  The chippy white painted columns used as centerpiece bases to the DIY mercury glass candle holders.  The beautiful vintage amethyst cut glass plates against the home made jute tassels.  The elegant orange velvet bands as a counterpoint to the vintage grain sacks used as chair slipcovers.  All in all, a sweet way to welcome family and friends.

Credit where it is due, thank you to Vince at Good Look, Inc for collaborating with me on this table design…you continue to be a great resource to find the items for all my zany ideas, along with your great ideas and suggestions!

Here is what you will see:

  • Old porch post cut down in sections for the centerpiece, holding candles and flower arrangements
  • Zinc pot covered with birch bark for the flower arrangements
  • Chair caning used for a table runner
  • Hand made jute tassels
  • Hand made coasters using chipboard with embossed pattern
  • DIY Mercury glass candle holders using a pattern transfer method (how-to Click Here)
  • Fall inspired pillow and cushion slipcovers
  • Updated vintage napkins
  • Vintage grain sacks used as a dining chair slip cover for a quick and simple update
  • Simple grocery store flowers and fruits for affordable centerpieces

Pictures below.  I hope you find some inspiration!



Remember to click twice to bigify!

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Falling into Fall.


A Goulish Arrangement in a vintage orange pitcher.


This blogging thing is still relatively new to me.  The idea that retailers and bloggers alike are thinking about Fall while we, here in Texas are just at the beginning of our mean season is a bit of a challenge.

The earlier the better, I suppose.  It gives our wonderful and loyal followers enough lead time to start thinking about Fall design.  It just might get here in the blink of an eye.

Some ideas for Halloween decor…maybe you will find something that inspires you!



Remember to click twice to bigify!

As a footnote, this article is being submitted for consideration for Whisperwood Cottage’s “All Things Fall” link party:

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Anatomy of a Redesign – Part 2, The Reveal


Cozy Niche.

I am a person who loves balance and symmetry.  I am learning that one trick of design is getting balance through asymmetry.  I am not quite good at it, but I am learning!

This re-design is really about one simple change that lent itself to an entire transformation….it has been staring at me for years and I missed it.  It involved moving my dining room table from the middle of the room (symmetry) to one side of the room (asymmetry).  By using two benches in a window seat fashion, it allowed me to tuck the table into the corner of the room and create a  more open space, improve the traffic flow and have a more intimate and comfortable dining area.

Here is a rundown of what I did during this re-design:

  • Benches.  The benches used for the window seat were handcrafted by a local artisan.  I had them custom made to mimic the seat depth and height of a normal chair.  The decision to build the benches with the same dimensions of a chair made all the difference in the world in making the benches very comfortable. (if you are interested in custom benches, please email me from the “contact me” page and I will give you the artisan’s contact information)
  • Cushions.  Another opportunity to add the vintage touch, I used old quilts for cushion covers and filled them with down.  The cushions are very comfortable and along with the throw pillows, make the dining niche very comfy and cozy.  They really invite you to linger and use the table for reading and computer work.
  • Collections.  A design trick is to group collections or use repetition to create impact.  So I used the various built in shelves to showcase my antique oil lamp collection, vintage compotes and milk glass.
  • Storage.  I was able to add an antique wall cabinet that I had sitting in my garage for flair and extra storage.
  • Cost.  The total cost for this redesign was the cost for the benches, which was very, very reasonable.  Other than the benches, everything else were items that I had: oil lamps, milk glass, pillows, wall cabinet, antique and vintage small wares and fabric and stuffing for bench cushions.

I hope you enjoy the transformation and find some inspiration for your space!



Here are the pictures:

Remember to click twice to bigify!




The Simple Summer Table




Summer is a time when I prefer a simpler routine so I strive to find ways to create beauty and comfort with very little effort.

This is the first in a three part series on seasonal tables for summer, fall and winter.  And for those followers that have been asking, the dining room reveal will be my first blog article next week.

I used very simple ideas to create this easy, yet beautiful table setting. Here some of the ideas (sources to the right):

  • Simple white (neutral) table cloth
  • Contrasting neutral runner
  • Old architectural column riser as a centerpiece base (Good Look, Inc.)
  • Vintage jar as a vase with simple white field flowers  (Good Look, Inc.)
  • 107 year old pages from a music publication for place mats
  • Mixed vintage silverware
  • Mixed vintage silver napkin rings
  • Vintage Mini Cruets (Fringe)
  • Antique ironstone butter pats used for individual salt & pepper
  • Simple white votive candles
  • Vintage (newly made) milk bottle for decanting ice water (Glass Milk Bottles -new)
  • New cotton towels for napkins (IKEA, .79 cents)
  • Vintage aluminum salt shaker for a toothpick holder

I hope that you find some inspiration!



Remember to click twice on each picture to bigify them!



Opportunity for Refinement


Vintage Eastlake Frame.



White Field Flowers.

Gray Antique Wood.



Vintage Eastlake Frame. Alabaster. White Field Flowers. Salvaged Wood. Ironstone. Similar in tone, but different in texture and all present an opportunity for refinement.

Lovingly, I say that my kitchen is not the most refined kitchen.  It doesn’t have high end finishes like carrera marble, a tiled back splash or a sparkly chandelier.  It is a simple straightforward space with plenty of opportunity for refinement.  I try to think of it in terms of being a room, not a kitchen.  This opens up my thinking when making these small, but impactful changes.

This particular vignette started out with decorative objects that were holdovers from the kitchen before I embarked on my budget friendly remodel.  My eye and taste have evolved and I am now setting about to fine tune the style of the kitchen to flow better with the rest of the house.

An antique jug lamp, vintage soda bottles, a bread board and a folk art painting have been replaced with an alabaster lamp, a beautiful ironstone pitcher, an eastlake frame with a 250 year old nautical print and a newish mercury glass hurricane globe paired with and perched on top of an architectural and antique baluster do the trick.  These small changes have added a great deal of style to the entire kitchen.  The are the first thing you see when you enter the house and the first thing you see when you enter the kitchen and they set the tone for the entire house.

Thanks to my good friend and great shop owner, Vince at Good Look, Inc located the lamp, Eastlake frame and ironstone and Nancy at Ella Elaine, here in DT McKinney was the source for the mercury hurricane.  They both have such wonderful taste and style that I have benefited from.  Thank you!

Take a look and see what you think.  I hope you walk away with some inspiration!








Lavender: Two Ways


Dried Lavender.


I love lavender.  For me, it is such a relaxing and calming aromatic that I can’t get enough of it.  I keep dried lavender and  lavender oil around the house and try to use it in as many different ways as possible.

Making sachets with dried lavender is nothing new.  These particular sachets that I made are for a friend who will be giving them out at a family birthday party.  They are particularly sentimental because each one is made using her grandmother’s vintage linen napkins and handkerchiefs.

I made a point of hand sewing each one shut, once they were stuffed with the dried lavender. It would have been easier to use a sewing machine to finish up, but I really wanted them to have the handmade feel, so I finished each one up by hand.

Also, I use lavender oil and mix with water to make cold compresses for being outside on a hot summer day.  I used to attend bootcamp where our instructor would freeze cold compresses and bring them to us for summer work outs.  Even though it was 5:30 in the morning, here in Texas, it was still 85 degrees outside even before the sun came up.

Since our instructor worked so hard in creating the work outs, I offered to take on the cold compress duty.  However,  I put my spin on it by adding lavender oil to the water before I saturated the facecloths.  Jackpot.

It was such a pleasant way to cool off, I started making them and keeping them in the fridge to grab throughout the summer.  They are great for a day of flea marketing or antiquing, hiking, picnics, and outdoor summer celebrations.  When my mother comes to visit, she sits on the front porch alot and these little compresses do the trick in cooling her off and are very relaxing.  On occasion, I use them as a compress over my eyes to go to sleep.  The lavender smells so lovely and the coolness of the face cloth is very soothing.

The trick, I learned, is to wring out the wash cloth until it is just a smidge beyond damp.  Roll them up and put in zip lock bags and put in the fridge to grab for use.  If you are going out for a day long outing, put them in the freezer overnight, then put them in an insulated bag for use throughout the day.  Just a few drops of lavender oil to a bathroom sink full of water and you will yield about 12 or so cloths.  If you prefer a stronger scent of lavender, just add more drops of oil.

Try it…you will be glad you did!



Post Publish Update:  I got an email this evening and according to LocalHarvest.org, it is lavender month this month.  Here is a recipe (from them) for Lavender Lemonade and some relevant links for lavender products:


Lavender Products

Lavender Lemonade:

Herbal Lemonade Boil 2 cups of water and pour over a 2″ sprig of rosemary OR 1 heaping tablespoon of lavender flowers. Steep for 5-8 minutes and then remove herbs. Add 1/3 c. sugar or honey and stir to dissolve. Pour into a 1 quart jar and add 1/4 c. lemon juice. Fill the rest of the way with cold water. Chill and taste, adjusting lemon and sweetness to taste. Serve over ice, with a small fresh sprig of rosemary or lavender if you like.

Vintage, hand made lavender sachets.

Packaged in a bundle. Easy to grab.

Lavender Cold Compress stored in the fridge.

Lavender Compress ready to grab at the next summer picnic.


Antique Find: The Champagne Bucket

Prosecco in ice. How nice.

Country or cottage living is inherently romantic.  It isn’t just a design style, but for many of us it is a way of living.

I was visiting my friend, Judy Jonker, who was having a yard sale.  Now her yard sales aren’t like most yard sales.  She is a creative spirit who also loves all things old.  So she had some really special pieces.  When she isn’t having yard sales, she shows at Fringe, The Event, which is a monthly antique and vintage show here in McKinney.

I spied a vintage blue bowl on a table;  liked it, but moved on.  Then I turned around and about 20 feet away from me was an old, white, chippy plant stand.  The second I saw it, I had this instant thought that the enamel bowl I had just seen would fit perfectly in the plant stand, if I turned the plant stand upside down.

So I grabbed the bowl, turned the plant stand over and voila…it was a perfect fit.  I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with it…but I knew I loved it.

I brought it home and decided on putting it in my newly re-designed dining room as a lovely little wine or champagne bucket.  (As a foot note, the dining room redesign reveal will be featured in this blog very soon)

And so it goes…a romantic touch for a romantic girl.



Old plant stand, new life.

Time worn and lovely.

Vintage enamel bowl in an old plant stand.


Formerly…a Bedroom.


Old houses can often be quirky spaces.  My house is technically listed as a three bedroom however, it was a better fit for me to turn one bedroom into a den.

As a rule, I abhor recliners; but that became the starting point for the room in deference to my parents when they visit.  So I searched for one that looked the least like a recliner and had it custom upholstered.  It is the only new piece of furniture in the room.

When you look at the pictures (click below on the home tour link), you will see vintage French grain sack pillows, a found sofa with a newly made white denim slipcover, an antique farm table with the legs cut down to use as a coffee table, flea market ottomans updated with paint and french ticking fabric and 250 year old architectural and nautical prints in vintage Eastlake frames.

Please enjoy these additional pictures added to the home tour.