Tired of you worn out furniture? You can get a new look on a budget!

Hi!

I’ve had my kitchen table for probably 15 years. When I moved in to my new home I needed to remove the leaf as I just didn’t have the space or need for such a large table.

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Pic from my old kitchen.

Because my cabinets are dark in my new home-the oak just wasn’t working. I’d had this vision in my mind of painting the table after seeing something similar in a catalog.

So I went to work!!

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I started by giving everything a light sanding.

I used these sanding blocks so I could get in the recessed areas:

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After sanding I wiped the chairs and tables with some soapy water-I just used dish soap.

I used a bonding primer but mixed in a little of the paint to darken it and hoped it would decrease the amount of additional coats needed. I am very impatient once I start a project. Having that darker base did the trick.

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Painting chairs is not my favorite thing BUT the end result is worth it! It took three coats of paint even with the darker primer. I finished each piece with General Finishes Flat out Flat Topcoat you can find here

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It has just the right amount of farmhouse charm I was going for. It’s a fresh and clean look with minimal expense-just some sweat equity. I did actually perspire a lot. I think it was about 90 degrees in this kitchen when I worked on this. It was September.

Here is another view with a few more do-dads thrown in. The “curtains” are actually table cloths I hung from those round curtain clips. You can find some super pretty patterns. They hang nicely and the cost for two panels was under $40!!

I hope this inspires you to freshen up some of your own well loved furniture!!!

Let me know if you do!!! I’d love to hear!

Take care!!!

Chris

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Make over your mantel for under $20!

Hi!!

As I was beginning to decorate for Christmas, I just kept looking at the tile surround of my fireplace and disliking it more and more. I told myself with so much to do this time of year, tackle that project after Christmas…….

But no, it just bothered me the more I looked at it. So I came home one evening from work, made dinner and began what turned out to be a pretty simple makeover.

Here is what the fireplace looked like before:

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The tile has a pinkish hue. Blah!!

The fireplace mantel was not a true white, more of a cream and I had been wanting to paint it as well. So I gave it a light sanding before getting started on the tile.

I began by washing all of the tile with warm water and a little dish soap. I also wiped down the mantel to remove any dust.

Next I taped off the gas insert, around the mantel and the carpet on the floor (the carpet is going soon too).

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See it is pink!!

I used this product- Zinsser 1-2-3. You can find this at Home Depot for around $9.00. The best part?? No sanding! This is a bonding primer to be used on about any surface. This is my first time using it but I’ve read on some other blogs that it holds up pretty well.

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I used an angled brush. The instructions say you can re-coat in 30 minutes. It takes approximately 7 days to cure. I applied three coats, then went to bed.

The next afternoon, I was thinking the paint had a bit of a bluish undertone, which I wasn’t loving. I had some floor paint I’d purchased to use on another project in white so I applied that over the tile as a final coat.

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This is the Valspar porch and floor paint you can have this tinted to about any color too.

Next I pulled out my can of Benjamin Moore paint in Snowfall I had used on my old kitchen cabinets (previous post). I gave the mantel a couple of coats to brighten the whole look and make it more cohesive.

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What a difference!!! It really brightened up the room-I love the way it turned out! I had a little bleed through around my tape so make sure you press it down firmly. It scrapes off pretty easily.

Then I decorated it…..again…….for Christmas!

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The wreaths were purchased at a Ballard Design outlet last year for $5.00. Love a good deal so I bought two.

The gold leaves I had on hand from my 2015 Christmas table. I love using things you already have. Just think about using them in a different way!

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Each side of the mantel is flanked by these DIY shutters. I originally had a wreath on the mirror but decided on the swag when I re-styled and like this look much better. I also had a few crystal candle sticks. I thought the crystal with gold/metallics looked really pretty. But, I only had three so off to Goodwill I went. I purchased an additional three candlestick for $8.00.

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Thanks for stopping by! Drop me a line and let me know what you think!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DIY Corbels

I love the look of those old, chippy antique corbels, but I don’t love the price. I’ve been considering ways to add some architectural interests to this builder grade home and came across this DIY from Shanty2chic which I thought was pretty cool.  With a recent investment in a compound mitre saw and brad nailer I felt this would be a pretty easy beginner project to test my new tools.

I purchased this two pack of corbels from Home Depot for $16.

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As you can see from the packaging the dimensions are only 8 1/2 X 6. I knew I wanted something larger. I had some scrap 1 1/2 inch by 3/4 inch boards and 1 1/2 inch by 1/2 boards left over from another project.

I basically held those up against the corbel to decide on length for the look I wanted and drew a pencil mark where I wanted to make the straight cut.

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Then I cut the ends that would go out from the base of the corbel at a 30 degree angle with the mitre saw (you can see this piece was already painted from another project).  The measurement for the first two pieces was 7 1/2 inches for the piece across the top and 10 1/2 inches for the piece running down the side.

I made cuts to two more pieces of the scrap wood- this time 10 inches in length for the shorter piece to run across the top of the corbel and 12 3/4 inches for the side piece. I also angled those pieces on one end with a 30 degree cut.

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I used wood glue to first attach the scrap wood to the corbel and then secured each length with 1 inch brad nails. Love my new brad nailer!!!!

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Once the entire thing was glued and nailed together, I gave it a light sanding.

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I didn’t worry about filling in the holes from the brad nailer because I knew I wanted them to look aged anyway.

I wanted to get a sense of size so I held one of the corbels up to a corner

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I’m sure if you wanted to make them larger you could continue to add more pieces to the side. You may even add a wider board as your final piece.

Next I gave them each a coat of Minwax stain in dark walnut.

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Yes, that is a well used can of stain.

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The next step is a little more difficult. At least it was for me. You need to wait for the stain to dry completely. So I placed a fan on them to speed up the process but ended up waiting until the next day to paint. I wanted them to be COMPLETELY dry.

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The next day I painted each corbel with chalk paint,as always with my faithful companion Tucker by my side.

I used three coats allowing each coat to dry thoroughly.

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Again, I didn’t care about perfectly even coats because I knew I would be distressing.  I allowed those to dry overnight. I am usually not this patient, trust me.

The next day, I applied the clear wax in this same Folk Art brand you can purchase at any craft store like Michael’s or Joann’s. I took Tucker for a walk to allow the wax to dry.

Next, the fun part!!! I used the same hand sander pictured above and distressed all of the edges. The wax allows the paint to just roll away to get that nice aged look.

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Of course, I’ll hang them eventually but for now I’m having fun moving them around adding them to vignettes!!

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Inexpensive Fall Tablescape and place setting

Hi!!

Sadly, I no longer have a dining room but that hasn’t stopped me from table styling!! It is so fun to throw a tablescape together. I love to shop the house and use inexpensive trinkets like the things you find in the Target One Spot.

The fall table I’ve put together here is an “anything goes!!!”

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I mixed gold rimmed crystal wine glasses with copper mule mugs.  The cinderella pumpkins are from Trader Joes. I added in a few fake pumpkins and greenery for the center piece.

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That’s lambs ear and a stem of faux greenery I cut and placed around the pumpkins.

For the place settings, I layered my Pottery Barn Emma plates (which btw-is my youngest daughter’s name) with a blue salad plate.  I topped the salad plate off with a tweed pumpkin and copper cookie cutter from Target.

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The cookie cutters came in an acorn, pumpkin and maple leaf pattern.

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The runner is a folded blanket scarf also purchased at the Target One Spot. I recently painted my kitchen table and chairs in black and white. Probably not for everyone but I love how it refreshed this worn out table and brightened my kitchen. Hope to post a tutorial with the products I used very soon.

Decorating does not have to be expensive. I may make a sign that says this one day 🙂 But it is so true. Snip clippings from your bushes. Think of other uses for things you already have and don’t be afraid to mix patterns and styles. Don’t get me wrong I love a beautifully placed and elegant table. But it’s fun to get creative on a budget.

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The candle pictured smells divine. I purchased it from Rachael Rae at BurlapBowDecor. Rachael has a website and an etsy shop that showcase her talents as well as her homemade candles. I hope you’ll pay her a visit!

This one is called pumpkin chai and I love it!

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Fall Is Finally In the Air!!!!

This week after months of 90 degree weather, the temperatures dropped. It has me thinking all things fall. Cider, crunchy leaves, the smell of burning wood in a fire pit and of course, pumpkins.

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I love the change of seasons. For some reason, this time of year brings back so many memories for me. I loved taking field trips to the pumpkin patch and apple orchards when my kiddos were little. I loved raking leaves when I was little and making “houses” with rooms to play in. I have fond memories of camping with my parents and then with my own family. Yep, fall just may be my favorite time of year.

My new home is in a quiet little neighborhood where porch sitting is the perfect end to a day.  It’s Saturday and rainy in my neck of the woods, so I snapped some pictures of my porch to share with you.

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One of the first things I did when I moved in was to add a hanging light over the door. The porch had a rather boring builder light and I think this added so much charm.  It was my first attempt at hanging a light and to be honest I was shocked when it actually turned on. I’m sure my new neighbors thought I was a loon. This was a pic I took before I added in the pumpkins. Those pale yellow mums did so well in those containers. You’ll see when you scroll down. I was super diligent about watering them daily.

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I had this grapevine wreath but was tired of the old decorations I had on it. So I pulled all of the old stuff off. I had this checked fabric I cut in strips and wrapped around the wreath. Then I just poked those sunflowers in and added some preserved leaves. I didn’t secure them with hot glue, so if I tire of this look I can easily change it again.

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That spot right there is where I do most of my porch sitting. Tucker, my goldendoodle likes to curl up beside me. All 68 pounds of him.

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The “coffee table” is an old pine box I found while out junking. I stained the dark pieces.. The rest is chalk paint. It sat a little low so I propped it up with four stone patio brick for added height.

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These were from last year too, but different porch so they get to make an appearance.

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I like mixing real with faux flowers and greenery. Added this indian corn in with the faux cabbage plant I picked up at Michael’s. It is a pretty good imitation.

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Here are those same mums from the first pic! Crazy because I do not have a green thumb. At all!! Just kept them watered. I love that little FALL sign I found at Marshall’s. img_2209 The variety of pumpkins and gourds you can find this year are so much fun!

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Thanks for stopping by!!!

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Hope you enjoyed my little fall porch.

Working on a little DIY project I will be sharing soon so be sure to visit me again!

hApPy  FaLL!!

Chris

 

 

I’ve been MIA-quick post to tell you about the last few months!!

Hi Everyone!!!

This is a tough post to write and one I’ve put off for some time. But I’ve missed coming here to share. I’ve missed creating because I’ve discovered I really do love it.

This past year, my husband and I separated and divorced after 30 years of marriage. I won’t go in to the details, just know it was an extremely difficult year. And even though my children are older….still very, very difficult.

So, what does that mean for me? It meant saying goodbye to memories, a home I loved and “what could have been.” It meant searching for and purchasing a new home on my own for the first time ever. I am fortunate to be in a situation where I could, so no complaints—just weird and sometimes scary. Okay, I will share there were several panicked phone calls to my oldest daughter who for her 25 years was a constant source of comfort and support. All my children were and I mean it when I say they are the best part of what we shared all those years.

So, I’m in a new place and have been in “project mode.” I’ve painted and painted and tried to come of with storage solutions because this new home is definitely lacking in that department.

I purchased three, yes three of those baskets from IKEA to hide stuff. I have this weird ledge in my master and I came up with this brilliant idea, I would hide all the stuff and put the baskets up there. Well guess what? Those baskets are heavy with all the stuff and that ledge is HIGH. So here one of them sits. I will probably use one as a coffee table in our bonus room, if I ever get to it.

 

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I’m pretty excited to have a front porch and have already spent a considerable amount of time here. I’ll be sharing my fall porch very soon! So hope you’ll stop in again!

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XOXOXO

Chris

Pillows, pillows, pillows

Y’all a second blog post in less than three days!!!! Woo hoo! Something new I’ve recently discovered is how changing out your pillow covers can really transform the look of your room. But boy can get that get pricey!!

I am fortunate to have taken an interest in sewing from an early age.  It started with a few things I learned from my mother, then from my home economics classes in high school and finally, lots of trial and error. Lots!!! I am by no means an expert but I get by okay! And really pillow covers are fairly simple. It is a lot of stitching in straight lines.

I  was recently browsing through a Pottery Barn catalog and came across these bohemian inspired pillows. You can see more like these on the Pottery Barn website here

I loved them at first sight!!!! Insert google eyes-if only I could figure out how to in WordPress???

So I made a quick trip to Hobby Lobby and chose some fabrics in the same color palette in different patterns.  At $5 a yard, this project is also economical! I’ve been wanting to change out my neutrals by adding some pops of blues or navy. This is what ended up coming home with me.

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I do love mixing patterns!! So much fun!

Using the photos from the catalog, I came up with my own version! Here is my disclaimer…..I do not quilt!!! So for those of you who do, you may cringe when you see how I’ve put together my little quilted pillow covers. I have a good friend who does quilt. Mary makes THE most gorgeous quilts and gifts imaginable! It you want to see true craftsmanship you can find a link to Mary’s blog here. I sure hope you go say hello! She and her sister also have an online fabric shop called Sunny Day Supply which you can link to here.

So I needed a pattern……I improvised with some gift wrap that had a grid on the reverse side.

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This helped me to cut straight lines.

I then started cutting fabric and rearranging until I liked the pattern:

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I overlapped the fabrics to allow for the seams needed to sew the pieces together.

Placing right sides together, I began stitching the pieces together with approximately a 5/8 inch seam allowance. I actually hand basted first until I was happy with the pattern distribution.

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After I stitched the pieces together, I trimmed down the seams and then flattened them out with a hot iron.

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Then just kept stitching until I had a full pillow front.

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I usually put a zipper in my covers but zippers are expensive folks, so I just made an envelope back. Details to come on how to make this simple backing in my next tutorial. Coming soon!!!

Here is the finished product!!

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This is the simple version.

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I will be posting on how I pieced together this funky version when next we meet!! So stop back soon!

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Happy DIY’ing!!

Chris

Happy Easter and Guinness Cake

Hello and Happy Easter!!!! It has been a very long time since I’ve posted or written anything on my blog. Work and home life have been very busy lately. I’m sure most of you can relate.

I was making this Guinness cake which is one of our family favorites and decided to snap a few iPhone pics to share with you just in case you’re stumped for your Easter celebrations. It is a nice dense chocolate cake with a delicious cream cheese icing.

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What you’ll need:

A greased 9 inch springform pan-line the bottom with parchment paper

Preheated 350 degree oven

Ingredients:

One can of Guinness

2 sticks of butter

3/4 cup of cocoa powder

2 cups of sugar

2 eggs

3/4 cup sour cream

1 1/2 tablespoons of vanilla

2 cups of flour

2 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda

Topping ingredients:

1 package cream cheese (8 ounce)

1 1/2 cups of confectioners sugar

1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream

1 teaspoon vanilla

Begin by lightly greasing your springform pan and lining with a parchment paper round.

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Melt butter and Guinness together over medium heat in a large heavy saucepan

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Mix together cocoa powder and sugar in a small bowl. Once butter is melted whisk in the cocoa and sugar mixture.

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In a separate small bowl, whisk eggs, sour cream and vanilla together and add to chocolate/guinness mixture.

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Next whisk in flour and baking soda until the mixture is smooth.

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Pour in to prepared pan and bake at 350 degrees F for approximately an hour. You can test with a toothpick. The cake will still stick to the toothpick in little crumbs but won’t be gooey.

Release the springform once the cake has cooled for about 20-30 minutes. Transfer to a cake stand.

Mix the cream cheese, confectioners sugar, heavy cream and vanilla with a hand or stand mixture. The icing should be very creamy. Top the cake to resemble the foam on the top of a pint of Guinness. EnJoY!!!!

Hoping you all have a most Blessed Easter!!

Chris

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Just a few random thoughts and pictures

Ohio weather can be so gloomy but I came home a little early a couple of days ago-the sun was shining and reflecting off the snow on the ground outside. The house just seemed to say, “time to grab a few pics Chris.” I try to pick up my camera once a week or so and just practice.  These pics are the product of that practice. I would really love to take a photography class but there always seems to be something else that seems more important. Maybe one day……..

So I spruced up just a little corner of the house and snapped away.

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I love decorating the fireplace mantel. I am not certain how many more restyles will be taking place on this particular mantel as there will be an inevitable move in my future so best to take as many pics as I can. There have been many, many good memories made around this fireplace and I will certainly miss it.

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Love the silver pieces with the white candle sticks. The little pom and bell garland was from an after Christmas clearance at Target.

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The first snow is always the prettiest in my opinion!

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I recently made some new checked pillow covers. They’re reversible-one side is a soft flannel, they other is a checked cotton. I love doing this with pillow covers because it gives you more bang for you buck.

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You can see the reversed flannel pattern here on the bed:

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And yes, I sort of move things around the house…a….lot.

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Disclaimer: this final shot was NOT taken on my sunny day I first mentioned. This one was taken with artificial lighting because of another gloomy Ohio day but…..Roses brighten my winters.

And spring is just around the corner!!!

Take care and stop back,

Chris

A quick pop in with some winterizing tips!!!

Good Wednesday Evening-I guess you could say I’m a bit of a blogging failure!! LOL! How does everyone keep up with this?? I’ve taken a bit of a U-turn in my personal life which I may share with you at some point so needless to say I haven’t gotten around to posting.

I would like to share just a few tips for decorating spaces for winter. So here goes>>>>

Firstly, this year I was very organized with packing Christmas away. I kept like things together but also kept in mind what could still be used in winter decorating. Greenery-especially anything with pinecones seemed completely appropriate to me. So I set those things aside and didn’t store until I was sure I wouldn’t be using them.

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I’ve probably mentioned a time or two how much I love this open shelving we put up in the kitchen this past year. It is just so much fun to decorate. I went with a winter white theme. Added in the greenery and pinecones and just a hint of copper. Can you believe those Moscow Mule cups were originally $19.99 at Michaels and I purchased them on clearance for under $6.00? They had so many before Christmas that I felt pretty certain there would be some left over for the after Christmas sales. And I was sooooo right and glad I waited!!! Tip #2.

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I wanted to use my dough bowl somewhere other than the floor. I thought it was probably too large for any of my tables but again, kept out some of the neutral Christmas stuff-greenery, twigs, pinecones and the trees that were on my buffet and just stuffed it full after layering in this faux fur rug:

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I just love that little hoot owl. I think his face is precious!!

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It’s a nice wintery transition for the dining room table which won’t be in use for some time.

I have this huge cabinet that houses the television and a vaulted ceiling, so I’m always looking for some way to fill this space. For Christmas I used the old, thrifted wooden chair but wanted to change it up.

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I propped my printers box with the same boxwood wreath (after a ribbon change out) and then slowly started to fill in with the other items pictured here.

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The chalk board was the same one pictured on the console table with the nativity from Christmas. I flipped it “landscape” and added in a little winter scene. I was just tickled when I came across that little striped pitcher. I already had the big one from Homegoods and could not resist.

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Most of what you see here are things I already had. Just moved them around my house. New pieces were the Moscow Mules, and the little Target pitcher. You can do this too. I promise. It works best for me to clear off a few spaces and just think of new ways to use the same pieces. Tip #3

See what you can come up with using items you already have. It’s economical!!

Best wishes and see you soon!

Chris