Decorating for Fall

Fall is my favorite season, and I'm always ready to break out fall colors and decorations in August. This is even more comical since I've been living in Arizona for 10+ years, and fall weather begins sometime around....November. So I hold off until around late September and inevitably decide that I'm not waiting for a change in weather to change some things around the house. I don't do anything that takes tons of time or money, but I love the results when I add some little touches of fall.

First off, I pick up small pumpkins in orange and white and place them here and there. I like mixing the real ones with the rustic brown ones that I bought at Michael's years ago.

This year I balanced a few of the white pumpkins on candlesticks in front of Maggie's little abstract art canvas. I remembered that I had this black tassel garland left over from a birthday party, and threw that up on the wall since it looks sort of Halloweeny. 

My assistants wasted no time stretching fake spider webs anywhere they could. I let them have fun with it.

I also put out the canvas trick-or-treating art that Maggie made a few years ago, along with this little candy dish that my grandmother made for me when she was taking ceramics classes years ago. Still makes me smile when I look at it.

After Halloween, I'll take down the spider webs and jack-o-lanterns, leaving the pumpkins and fall leaves for Thanksgiving.

For more simple decorating ideas, seasonal or otherwise, check out The Nester's series on vignettes. I love to use her ideas - like incorporating some simple kid-made art and sentimental items - when I change things up. How do you decorate for fall? 

Joining the linkup at! Stop over and check out the ideas over there.

Patterned Wallpaper Accent Wall in the Office {removable wallpaper from Target}

I've been working on an office makeover for way too long – it's one of those projects that I got started and then kept putting on the back burner. My office is also the guest room, which always presents decorating dilemmas, but more about that in another post. 

Today I wanted to talk about the one small project that we did that made a huge difference in the way this room looks. We put up some patterned wallpaper - Devine Color Diamond Wallpaper in Twig from Target - just on the window wall. I love the mod pattern and the soft grayish taupe color scheme, which looks great with the brushed gold accessories and curtain rod on that wall. The wallpaper has a sticky back and is supposed to be removable and repositionable – perfect for commitment phobes like me who have always shied away from wallpaper because of what a task it is to take it down when you tire of it.

Chad found that it was a little tricky to work with, which resulted in one visible seam and a few bumpy areas – this would totally drive a pickier person crazy, but I was able to disguise the imperfections with the wall art and bookshelves that are placed in front of the wall. The result? A big difference that took less than one afternoon to accomplish, and that can easily be undone when needed. What do you think?

removable wallpaper - Devine Diamond in Twig by Target

removable wallpaper - Devine Diamond in Twig by Target

Has anyone else tried this removable wallpaper at Target? Check out their other great patterns and colors!

girl's room DIY update - new lavender paint and built-ins

lavender girl's room makeover with built in shelves and gold sconces image.jpg

I posted years ago when we updated Maggie's room from a toddler room with a crib to a room with a "big-girl bed" and a few adjustments to the decor. More recently, we did a bigger overhaul since the walls were due for repainting - and repainting leads to rearranging, which leads to the need for more storage....and on and on it goes. 

I loved the yellow walls in her room, but it seemed silly to keep the same color if we were going to go to all of the trouble to move everything and paint, and it had been six it was time for something new. She wasn't really ready for a "tween" room, and I"m not a big fan of theme decor, but her one request was lavender. So lavender it was. I did a lot of looking for a shade with a bit of muted earthiness to it - nothing too bubble-gum or neon. I also want the room to be light and bright, so I was worried about going with too dark of a shade. I'm pretty happy with the one we chose. 

I was inspired by this image, which I found via Pinterest and originally from this site

white built-in shelves with sconces from

I loved the open, white shelves and the gold sconces. Chad created a similar setup - the nice folks at Lowes even cut the shelves to size for us, saving him a few steps in the construction process. We still want to put cabinet doors on the lower shelves, and perhaps build a bridge over the bed like the inspiration photo.

I bought inexpensive sconces from Ikea, spray-painted them gold, and was happy with the result:

gold sconces with lavender walls girls room.jpg

To organize her accessories, we painted a pegboard the same lavender and added hooks - perfect for her many hats, belts, scarves, etc. 

I added a few other lavender accessories (some of them spray-painted with Krylon ColorMaster in Gum Drop), canvas wall art from Wayfair, and we were done - a fun, fresh made-over room on a very small budget!

refinished kids' art table

The makeovers continue.....Chad refinished the kids' art table, which they use all the time. They draw, paint, and craft there, and they love to sit there with their snacks when they watch a movie. We took it from a light maple, which really didn't match anything in the house, to a dark wood. Now it looks like it belongs here!

master bedroom redo - upholstered headboard


Why is it that the master bedroom often ends up being the last place we decorate? The Nester talked about that here and showed some of her bedroom updates here. We've been in our house for six years. One splurge I made when we moved in was on some pretty gray-blue silk curtains. I knew I wanted blue in the bedroom, but kept the walls khaki due to my fear of color and desire to be able to switch things up. But the room never really came together. This year, I decided it was time to spruce it up.

We bought the bedroom furniture when we were first married, but I've since have become less of a fan of the matchy-matchy furniture set concept. We wanted a king-sized bed, but we couldn't afford a whole new set.


We sold the set on Craigslist to a nice couple who wanted it for a guest room. In our guest room, we had the dark, antique cherry dressers that I had grown up with, along with a darling antique cherry desk that my parents had given me - but none of it was really needed or really fit in the guest room. I was too sentimentally attached to this stuff, so it finally occurred to me to use THAT in the bedroom. We moved it in, bought a king-sized boxspring and mattress, and were on our way.

With the purchase of the bed, we really couldn't afford a headboard and footboard too, and I wasn't really sure what I would want anyway. Then I saw this tutorial and was inspired. I googled some more tutorials, figured out what I wanted, and enlisted the help of my handy hubby. For very little money, we upholstered a headboard and I love it - it worked out perfectly.


We painted the room a pale blue. So tricky - I agonized over swatches because I wanted a soft, pale, earthy shade of blue, and I know how easily that can go wrong. Once the paint was mixed, I was so worried that it was just going to be a light, light gray - but then on the walls, it ended up being an even brighter blue than I wanted. I decided to live with it, and I'm glad. Once the curtains were up and the room was put back together, I liked it.

Again trying to save money, I bought a king-sized white matelesse bedspread from Stein Mart - no bedskirt or other pieces required, and I used the shams from my old set. I bought some small throw pillow covers from Etsy, and she's as done as she's going to be for now.

Using the desk and dresser as end tables was supposed to be temporary, but I kind of like having all of those drawers and space next to the bed. They might just stay that way. What budget-friendly projects have you tackled around the house?

fourth of july cupcake toppers {free download}

Hi everyone! I hope you're all getting ready for a fun, relaxing weekend involving sunshine, food, family, and friends! To celebrate, I'm posting my first free download....some Fourth of July cupcake toppers! Cupcake toppers have been super popular in the shop lately, and you can also use them for favor tags, napkin rings, treat toppers, and plenty of other things! Just print and cut......and I'd love for you to leave a comment if you download them! click here to download: fourth of july cupcake toppers

Have a fantastic weekend! :)

scrap wood side table

IMG_4743 I've been thinking about a side table for my dining room for a while now. I had my eye on some beautiful buffets that match my dining room table, but new furniture is not in the budget. Part of the problem, too, is that the space is narrow and I realized that most furniture pieces would be too bulky there (I had considered a dresser as one option, but it was too wide). So on a whim, when my husband had all of his tools out for another project, I pitched the idea to him. I knew he had a bunch of lumber odds and ends laying around — including some shelving boards from our closet and some trim pieces. He works for a homebuilder, and you'd be amazed at what those framing guys will throw in the dumpster! I have been known to force my husband to dumpster dive all in the name of a cheap home improvement project.

My kind, kind husband was, within minutes, cutting down boards and assembling a new side table for me out of scraps. It's nothing fancy, but it's the perfect size for this spot, and it cost us nothing! Thank goodness I still have cream paint left from the desk and china cabinet.


Now I'm dying to get a big drum shade light fixture like this one here to replace the pendant over the table. I've had my eye on it since Sherry and John featured it on one of their mood boards, and I've actually been peddling some stuff on Craigslist to help justify the purchase.

And...I need some help! See that big gaping nothingness on the bottom shelf of the table?


What do I put there? I had some tall, narrow baskets in mind to add some texture, but where might I find such baskets? I took a quick peek at Michael's this week and didn't see anything quite right. Any thoughts?

By the way...I snagged the cute cream pots and vase from Michael's clearance for less than $3 each, if anyone loves a good deal on some neutral accessories like I do!

Be sure to head over to Kimba's for DIY Day — always a great source for inspiration and lots of fun projects!

Update: I'm adding this to the Knock Off Knock Out party over here today too - go check out more great ideas!

back to school and a great before & after

Things have been busy here! Both of my kids started school today. I'm excited and tired and anxious to get settled into a routine. IMG_4661

How about some kitchen inspiration for your Wednesday?  Mandy got new kitchen counters. Here's the before:


Now go check out the after. Beautiful! Those are exactly the counters I'd love to have!

another furniture paintover

In honor of Kimba's DIY day and Transformation Thursday at the Shabby Chic Cottage, I have another project that I did a few months ago. Our dining room and living room are one big, open space. Our exclusive collection of mismatched hand-me-downs and side-of-the-road finds all live happily together in here. Years ago, when we had our first house with a true "dining room," we didn't have the money to buy actual dining room furniture to go in there. After keeping an eye on the classifieds, we bought a used (vintage? retro?) dining room set from a sweet elderly couple. I really just wanted something that would seat the whole family on holidays, and this did the trick. The set had seen better days by the time we moved to Tucson, so I managed to talk my husband into a new dining room table and chairs, but we couldn't yet get any extra pieces to go with them, so we were stuck with the old china cabinet. Here she is, all decked out for Christmas a couple of years ago:


You can't tell from the picture, but it's a different shade of wood than the table. I have plenty of mismatched stuff, but that particular combination looked all wrong, and since I have a lot of painted furniture in the adjacent living room, I decided to paint it to tie in with that stuff.

Here she is (again with the terrible photos, I know):



When we were in mid-paint, I decided to leave the inside brown. I don't know if that's a terrible faux-pas, but I liked the contrast with the dishes and whatnots that are arranged in there. And I figured I could always play around with some scrapbook paper back there for variety, like The Nester did.

Sooner or later I'll run out of that cream-colored paint, and then I'll have to come up with some new projects.