Recent Posts

Friday, May 22, 2015

Bits of Bliss

My friend Pam recently came to visit my home and brought me a Voluspa “Crane Flower” candle as a gift. Apparently it is a favorite in blogland and with good reason. The scent is lovely and light. While some candles need to be put away in the spring and summer this one can stay out year around. You can find a nearby store that sells this long burning candle HERE.


Mr. Décor had installed true wood bead board in the laundry room about two months ago. The day before my in-laws arrived I decided to paint it. The good news is that the decorating of the space is almost complete.

I have no idea how this position is even comfortable but I wish I could sleep as deeply as this dog.

I’m taking the weekend off to enjoy a bit more time with Grammy Jane and Pop Gunn.

Enjoy your holiday weekend! I’ll be back Monday.


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Anthropologie Inspired Applique Curtains

I’ve had a love affair going with applique curtains for awhile now.

The Little Things 044

I first saw them of course at Anthropologie. This is just one of the many styles they have had in past seasons. They of course wanted 1 million dollars for the curtains so I had to pass.

Then I saw the café curtains that Vicky from the Linen Garden made.

the linen garden - cafe curtains, handmade

Of course the Nester gave her own no sew version that was cute too.

no sew drapes

I knew the guest room needed a bit of jazzing up so I decided I would try my hand at creating some applique curtains for this space.

I used the white Lenda curtains from Ikea. They are a mid weight cotton that I felt would work well and at just $34 for the pair it would be ok if they didn’t.

As they were too long and I didn’t want tab tops I just cut that portion off and hemmed them to fit the window. (But just you wait and see what I did with the scraps!)

In terms of the applique I found a long tablecloth on clearance at HomeGoods in the color palette I was seeking. I made a quick cutout of the design I wanted and applied it to “Wonder Under” which you can find at most hobby and fabric stores. (Use a coupon!)

ORC Reveal Curtains 001

After I had ironed on the “wonder under” to the back side of the fabric I then took my sewing scissors and cut out the design a bit more closely and intricately.

Disclaimer: For all of the pieces that I needed this process took me approximately 3 hours. I did watch a movie while I did it.

ORC Reveal Curtains 003

Then I peeled the back of the paper off of the wonder under, positioned it on the curtain and ironed it on. Now you absolutely could stop here. I however wanted more of an applique look and also the ability to wash my drapes so I opted to sew on the applique.

I used a zig zag setting and more patience than Job.

The Little Things 054

You know how Martha will describe a project of hers as EASY? So you start said project and before you are even finished you want to toss out the project and possibly kill her?

I’m not gonna lie. The curtains took about four hours to sew on all the pieces. It wasn’t hard, but I wanted to give up 8 million times.

The Little Things 069

But man, are they so CUTE! The pictures don’t even do them justice!

I mean look at this pretty detail on the bottom of the hem.

The Little Things 059

They are so cute that Mr. Décor came home, asked me about my day and I said “I only did ONE thing” and pointed to the curtains.

He was like “You MADE these??? You are awesome! You are so clever and talented!”

I was all like “I’m glad you think so because I didn’t have any time to make dinner and you’re getting a cheese sandwich.”

The Little Things 080

Lucky for me he responded, “Wait! Can I close them?”

To which I replied “Of course.”

The Little Things 084

Then he responded with “Did you plan on alternating the pattern on each side so it would look great even when they were closed?”

To which I gave him “The Look” which said “Of course I did.”

The Little Things 082

So…. applique curtains. Skill level EASY.

Insanity Level: HIGH.

Now where is that straight jacket?

Linking to:

Between Naps On The Porch, Remodelaholic, Classy Clutter, Stonegable, A Stroll Thru Life, Not Just A HousewifeCommon Ground, Someday Crafts, The 36th Avenue, Ivy and Elephants, Savvy Southern Style, Katherine’s Corner, The Blissful Bee, Posed Perfection,My Fabuless Life,The Style Sisters, Sew A Fine Seam, Craftberry Bush, French Country Cottage, The Shabby Nest, Imparting Grace,My Romantic Home,The Charm of Home, AKA Design + Life, Tatertots and Jello, Funky Junk Interiors, My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia,The Dedicated House

Monday, May 18, 2015

Giving Antique Chairs a Makeover

The antique chairs I found at Round Top are now back from the upholsters.

The Little Things 031

Are you surprised at the color? I know most of you have heard me say a time or two hundred “Neutral furniture is best.”

The Little Things 029

Let’s start at the beginning.

Storybook Cottage Yard Living Room 063

1 million tacks were removed to take off the 100 year old needlepoint.

Eleanor's Aprons 003

I made the decision to keep the 100 year old burlap and horsehair as the support system verses ripping it out and replacing it with foam.

Eleanor's Aprons 004

The wood was painted with a chalk cottage white and highlighted with gold wax.

April DTA projects 006

In keeping with the antique factor I dug through my stash of heavy antique French sheeting to use as upholstery. I hemmed and hawed over whether or not to leave it in its creamy natural state or dye it. I know some of the purists are absolutely having a heart attack at the thought of painting the wood or dyeing antique French linen. But I had a quest and it was to detract the focus away from the hulking brick fireplace hearth in the living room.

So I went ahead and mixed equal amounts of liquid Rit teal and aquamarine dye color in my washing machine. It turned out EXACTLY the color I wanted.

(Disclaimer: I have been dyeing fabric for many years and am well versed in color mixing.)

The Little Things 024

Then came the hard part. I had to give up control. I can do simple upholstery but I wanted single welting and knew these two chairs would be best in the hands of a professional. Having just moved here I am still collecting my arsenal of contractors that I feel comfortable working with and sharing with clients.

Westwood Restorations was one of the few upholsterers who agreed with my decision to use the original support system which was FAR better than foam. They also specialize in antique restoration which made me feel even better.

(I would like to clarify that I was NOT give any discounts or incentives, they just did good work.)  

The Little Things 025-001

So the big questions is “How do they look in the space?”

The Little Things 035

Even though the chairs are antique I feel as if they feel fresh and fun.

The Little Things 037

The bottom line is that accompanied with the green hutch…

Decor To Adore ORC Reveal 102-001

…and happy, colorful chairs, you really don’t notice the hulking hearth as much. I just can’t wait for the cabinets in the hearth to be built to finish the space.

I’ll close with a real life secret. I killed the fern that I had sitting in the hearth basket in less than 2 weeks.

The Little Things 041

I guess I need to go faux. :)


Linking to:

Between Naps On The Porch, Remodelaholic, Classy Clutter, Stonegable, A Stroll Thru Life, Not Just A HousewifeCommon Ground, Someday Crafts, The 36th Avenue, Ivy and Elephants, Savvy Southern Style, Katherine’s Corner, The Blissful Bee, Posed Perfection,My Fabuless Life,The Style Sisters, Sew A Fine Seam, Craftberry Bush, French Country Cottage, The Shabby Nest, Imparting Grace,My Romantic Home,The Charm of Home, AKA Design + Life, Tatertots and Jello, Funky Junk Interiors, My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia,The Dedicated House, Miss Mustard Seed

Friday, May 15, 2015

Bit of Bliss - The Little Things

The day after I finished up this past semester I went around around room by room and made a list of what needed to be done. Every so often I will have a bit of free time or Mr. Décor will ask “What projects do you have for me?” Juggling so much I can get overwhelmed and just can’t think straight. It’s nice to have a list.

For those of you who peek at my Instagram page this past Wednesday you saw that I tackled one item on my list. I FINALLY got around to making a wreath for the freshly painted front door. It was a bit of a challenge to find something that looked just right since our door features a very longggg oval window.

(The grapevine wreath and various flowers came from Hobby Lobby.)

Another thing on the list was to address a gapping hole of wires in our bedroom.

Countertops 011

It’s so much nicer to come into our dark bedroom, flip a switch and instantly have two little dresser lights come on. It took just 20 minutes and a 79 cent faceplate to make a world of difference. #whydidwewaitsolong

(For those who may want to know, I bought these lamps for a song (maybe $3?) over 10 years ago. They were on massive clearance because the base had just a wee bit of the “leaning tower of Pisa” factor going on. They were meant to be a temporary fix until I found something better. As you can see, they are still in use. :)

The Little Things 015-001

The antique chairs are back home. For those of you that follow the Décor To Adore Facebook Page you received a sneak peek yesterday. I will have all the details on Monday’s post.

The Little Things 024

I’ve also been working on the guest bedroom. I’ve made new curtains, a headboard cover and a few pillows for the space. The challenge has been trying to photograph it as we have had non stop rain here in Texas and thunderstorms are predicted for the next 10 days. But after living in the desert for far to long I am enjoying it and will wait patiently for a sunny day. Of course the challenge is that starting today we will have houseguests for the next two weeks. How does one politely ask “Can you move your stuff out of my shot?” (smile)

The Little Things 020

May you find your bits of bliss.


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

New Countertops for the Storybook Cottage Kitchen

It’s been somewhat of a symphony of crickets here on the DTA blog.

The Fabulous Christine Dovey's kitchen.

After making it through finals I knew I had just 2 weeks before my next semester started. So I made a huge “to do” list and have been furiously making my way through it. On the top of the list was addressing the issue of our kitchen countertops. Most experts say that when you first move into a home you should live in it for a few months to a year before making any major structural or remodeling changes. I agree.

Now as a designer who did very well in the “kitchen and bath” learning portion of my interior design degree my eye instantly could see red flags when viewing our kitchen for the first time. To other eyes a first glance doesn’t look that bad…

Countertops 016

But on closer inspection it was revealed that granite tiles had been laid over existing laminate countertop. That’s no no #1. It’s a quick and cheap fix that in the long run can lead to a host of issues.

Countertops 024

The back splash was applied directly to sheetrock and when it didn’t work it was built up. Hence the reason for the super thick edge. This is particularly a bad move when done on exterior/outside walls. Moisture, mold, stability are just some of the reasons this was no no #2.

Countertops 044

You can also see that in the first photo the laser beam is very close to the decorative border on the left hand side...

Countertops 043

…but as you move further and further down the wall the laser gets lower and lower as the tiles were incorrectly placed.

Countertops 042

Adding insult on to major DIY kitchen injury is that several of the granite tiles were not laid level. Have you ever tried to work on an uneven countertop? It results in glasses constantly tipping over, liquids being spilled, plates and ceramic bowls being chipped whenever you mindlessly try to move then aside while cooking…

Countertops 027

As someone who takes pride in her work and cooks A LOT I wanted to strangle the individual who did the install by the end of the first week of moving in.

Not to mention it gave me the heebie jeebies that due to the dark pattern of the granite tile I could never tell if it was really clean or not. For someone who once spent 7 days in isolated ICU due to salmonella poisoning I am a bit finicky about my food preparation surfaces being clean and sanitary. So Mr. Décor and I were always doing a crazy clean up dance in which we would run our hands over the counter or squat down trying to capture the dirty spots in a reflective light.

The kitchen sink…well, it’s another ewww. This is as clean as I can get it due to years of stains, chips, gouges, etc.

Countertops 030

Of course the question is what countertop surface should we select?

My Pinterest kitchen board is filled with images of lovely marble island and food prep surfaces.

At the Beach:  An Inn That Became an Inn… That Became A House

So so pretty!

Marble Kitchens

But here’s the thing, marble is expensive. Sorry for stating the obvious.

Now marble would be a great option IF this was our end all, be all home.


Since Storybook Cottage falls more into our “next 7-8 years” home we had to think about not fun things like resale value. It’s no secret that we’ve already dumped quite a bit of money into our home just to make it safe and functional. I needed to look at other options.

So I looked into quartz countertops. Fantastic choice! Have you seen Kristin’s recent kitchen makeover?

But I just couldn’t find a color that I was REALLY in love with. Remember, we have 16 oak trees on our property that surround the house so its always a bit “dark”. I need light and bright!

White Corian countertops in Made by Girl’s kitchen.

Made By Girl: Where Did I Get That?!?! (Made By Girl)

Young House Love chose white Corian countertops after extensive research.

This kitchen made me think about what ours could be.

white Kitchen Cabinets With White Corian Countertop

As it just so happened Home Depot was having a sale on Corian, 10 off and a free integrated sink.

La Cornue CornuFe Range, Cottage, kitchen, Litchfield Designs

I haven’t quite decided on a backsplash. I do love classic subway tile.

We saved money using a standard 3x6 white subway tile from Home Depot.  Even though our backsplash tile choice was cheap, it's still a classic look and I really love the way it looks all the way up to to the ceiling behind the open shelves, and around the kitchen window.  I also really love the light grey grout we selected.  It is subtle, but really makes the tile a feature in the kitchen.

The contractor made the templates on Monday and our new countertops will be installed in about 2 weeks. So, I need to get crackin!

Do you have a countertop that you love?