this is a page for

Category: DIY

DIY

making art more personal and fun

Over the years I’ve added a lot of fun and wacky art to our home. I’ll frame pretty much anything if it brings me joy! Much of my art, including the pieces pictured below, comes from one of my favorite charities, Art Enables. The marvelous people who run this nonprofit help developmentally-disabled adults create and sell art. They give people community, a sense of pride, and a small income. I had the pleasure of meeting the artist who made some of the paintings I bought, and he was so gracious and excited about his art…

easy and inexpensive fall decorations

Happy Fall! I finished decorating the front door this week, and the seasonal look makes it feel so festive! I thought it might be helpful to share some quick, easy, and cheap decorating tips I’ve learned over the years. 1. Spray paint plastic plant pots I bought the mums from Home Depot and painted some of the plastic grow pots with black spray paint I found in our garage. It creates a more unified look, and it’s very fast and easy. I’ve read that mums last a lot longer if you transplant them into…

DIY

decorating a stairwell landing

The landing on our stairwell was a blank slate, so I decided to mix it up a bit! And here are the before and after pics from this easy project. We already owned most of this art, which made this a cheap project! Much of it was hanging further down the staircase, and I’d wanted to lighten up that gallery anyway. I hung this sconce (affiliate link) and used the magic light trick from Nesting with Grace to make the sconce battery-operated. No need to call an electrician! I installed this small shelf (affiliate link) from Amazon…

DIY

DIY pantry door with chicken wire

When we bought our house, the pantry door was heavy, solid wood. The pantry is tiny and inevitably messy and has no interior light. The electrician said it would be tough to wire electricity to the pantry–I forget why–so I wanted to find other ways of letting light in. And then one of the kids had an accident with the door. Three of them were chasing each other in circles around the main level of the house, and the youngest girl ran into the door and fell down the basement stairs. It was horrible, one of…

DIY

from photo to painting

Every once in a while you snap a picture that is just awesome, right? Among the thousands of candid shots on my phone there are a handful of really great ones. The picture below is one of those. In August 2019 we were on vacation with all four kids when I snapped a pic of all of them jumping off a dock. I love so many things about this photo — the carefree image of childhood, the idea of jumping as a group into the unknown, and, of course, my memory of watching overjoyed kids hurl themselves into a freezing…

DIY

renovating an old secretary

My parents recently gave me this antique piece that’s been in my family for decades. Would you call this a hutch or a secretary? We’ve always called it the secretary, but maybe that’s a regional thing. At any rate, I absolutely love this piece and the memories it carries, but I wanted to lighten it up a bit. I used Jolie Paint (fantastic paint for furniture!) in Palace White. This paint is sort of a cross between milk paint and chalk paint, and you have a lot of control over the final look. (I…

DIY

rearranging the kitchen shelves

Our kitchen and dining room is the heart of our home. One of my favorite views in this room is the open shelving we mounted above a sideboard that contains our cocktail supplies. We made the shelves out of very, very old wood we bought at a shop in the country, and we spray painted the brackets gold. Over time the shelves had gotten cramped, and I wanted a new look. We removed everything from the shelves and decided to rearrange them with a moodier vibe. Here’s the finished product! The large art is from one of my…

DIY

bathroom renovation

When we bought this house, the bathroom on the main level was absolutely terrible. There was no toilet seat, there were dead bugs in the tub, and the whole room felt disgusting. I still remember my youngest daughter teetering on the edge of the toilet, trying to use it, while I hovered and reminded her over and over not to touch anything. And this was our home!! I loved the vintage pink sink and tub, but the plumbing was in such bad shape that it wasn’t cost-effective to keep those fixtures. Because there was so much work…

DIY

living room update

We’ve lived here for almost four years now, and I’ve never been completely happy with the living room. When we bought the house, the living room (and everything else) was painted a sickly shade of mint green. If you look to the left in the photo above, you’ll see a very green fireplace. I had a devil of a time scraping all that paint off the bricks! Ugh. My mom and I used so many terrible chemicals that I lost count. When the chemicals splattered on my arm, I got burns on my skin…

DIY

dining room refresh

The dining room had gotten a little stale, to put it mildly. We’d had a Christmas drawing framed on our wall for over a year. Plus, two of the dining room chairs my family used when I was a child finally bit the dust. We moved the two intact chairs to other parts of the house and bought four inexpensive wood chairs online. Although assembling them was a pain, I’m happy to report that they’re very solid and comfortable. A great deal! I moved the chairs to the driveway and applied stain and polyurethane. And…