One Room or Another…



Before: Den

Side Table/Night Stand in the new Master Bedroom.

After in the same spot: New Side Table/Night Stand in the new Master Bedroom.

The beauty of an old house is that each room can be anything you want it to be.  Just as antiques can be moved from one room or another based on fancy and feeling, rooms can be re-purposed out of whimsy or necessity.  For me, necessity dictated some changes.

I have a special needs dog who often requires care throughout the night.  For the better part of three years, she wakes me up 2 to 4 times during the night.  The original master bedroom was upstairs, so it required me to pick her up and carry her up and down two flights of stairs (she is blind and can not walk down them on her own) which was difficult, not to mention dangerous.

About two years ago, I felt it was better to sleep downstairs in the guest room because it was easier to take my dog outside without having to navigate two flights of stairs.  However, the guest room has no closet and is hardly large enough for decent clothing storage.

The solution was to re-purpose each room downstairs in order to create a master bedroom for myself.  Indeed, it would help me feel less like a guest in temporary quarters as I did, storing my clothes in stacking plastic storage containers.

And so it goes, I had a major antique sale to get rid of the furniture that would not fit in the new arrangements and I set out to re-design each room in a way that was more suitable.

I will share the pictures in future posts, but I thought I would start out be sharing the old and new floor plan along with a sneak peak of the results.

I hope you find some inspiration.


A guest room, den, dining room and sitting room.

A guest room, den, dining room and sitting room.


A guest room, master bedroom, dining room and den

A guest room, master bedroom, dining room and den

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!




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!








Anatomy of a Redesign – Part 1

I would describe myself as a nester.  I would also tell you that like alot of people, change is challenging.  However, you would never know these things about me by looking at my house and the evolution of my style over time.  I am constantly changing things around.

I never know when or why the inspiration to change something will hit me.  I had just such a moment in my dining room when I realized one small change would change the entire dynamic of my dining-living room space.

Once I have the idea of what I want to do, the next step is the floor plan.  Here is the current floor plan, to scale:

Dining Room Current Floor Plan

You can see from this lay out, the space is very small (narrow) so the options are limited.  The new floor plan will open up the space visually as well as practically, by improving traffic flow and allowing more space for the living room furniture by kicking it (slightly) into the plane of the dining room.  Here is the proposed new floor plan:

Dining Room Proposed Floor Plan

Here is the “to do” list:

  1. Build window seat
  2. Swag lamp over to new dining area
  3. Move antique cabinet to where the bench is
  4. Find a new home for the bench
  5. Make window seat cushions
  6. Remove leaf from dining table
  7. Store two of the four dining room chairs

Cost wise, this is a very economical re do that will have major impact.  The materials for the window seat should be $200, give or take.  Beyond that, since I already have the fabric, I only need some foam for the bench cushions which I would estimate to be appr. $50.

The result will be featured in next week’s blog article.

As always, thank you for stopping by!



This will be removed and the bench (not pictured) will be removed and replaced with the antique cabinet shown in the picture below.

This area will be the new window seat/dining area and this cabinet will remain in the dining room, but moved to another place.

This won’t change, but will now become part of the window seat area for the dining table.