simple is beautiful

Oh Snap

Friday, April 29, 2011

OK, I need your help friends.  For about a month now, we have had a half upholstered chair sitting in our sun-room.  The plan is for me to recover it.  Do I know anything about upholstery?  No, but that never stops us does it?  The problem was removing the old fabric.  I have spent countless hours working on the removal and was still less than half way.

So the other evening, I told Mr. that if I could get the fabric off, I could easily recover the chair myself.  What was I thinking?

He reached for his heavy pliers and in ten minutes the fabric was off.

Crud.  What do I do now?  Have you upholstered a chair before?  This one has a channel back.  Can I change it to tufted?


In other news, congratulations to Janell 
and all of the incredibly talented
bloggers behind House of Fifty.

Also, congratulations to
my blogging friend Sherry
  for her feature in this months
Better Home & Gardens.

Enjoy your weekend!

Curb Appeal in the Desert

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

(the back porch)

It is good to be home and settled in.  After a day of yard work, which barely scratches the surface, I am ready to wrap up a few projects that I started before our trip.  Until then, I thought you might like to see a few ton of pictures.

One thing I love about La Quinta is the climate.  The days are hot and the nights are cool.  The air is always dry so the heat never seems as bad as the humid and hot summers we have here in the south.  In the evenings we open all of the doors and let the fresh air flow.  The homes all share a similar floor plan which includes a central courtyard.  Most of the homes look like this one below and are all tucked into the foot of a mountain.  The thing that sets each apart from the others is the door to the courtyard.

One night after dinner, we took a walk and I snapped a few pictures.  Enjoy.

Below is the gate to my in-law's home from the inside (sorry I don't have a view from the street).  The boys are busy making water balloons - a favorite past time.  Several years ago, one of them raised an umbrella at the pool and out fell a water balloon.  We heard giggles off in the distance.  Instant friendships were formed that day.  Our boys made friends with two other boys who spend their spring break in La Quinta and the four of them reconnect every year.

This is the view from the courtyard through the house - doors open.  Love.

Back From La Quinta & a Giveaway!!!

Monday, April 25, 2011


To say that a week in Southern California was dreamy would be an understatement.  Days filled with sunshine, beautiful flowers, and dining alfresco are only the beginning.  Knowing that I had a wonderful group of bloggers here to fill in for me while I was gone made my time away even more enjoyable.  I hope you enjoyed their guest posts and found them to be inspiring.
(La Quinta resort)
While I was in California, I often thought how wonderful it would be to have access to summer beauty year round.  Especially when it comes to entertaining.  I mean, stepping outside to cut a few flowers from the garden, or fresh ingredients for a special recipe would certainly make it easier and more enjoyable.

(bougainvillea from the back porch)

During our stay, one of our son's friend and his father drove down from L.A. to spend the day.  As much as I enjoy entertaining, I admit that sometimes it can be stressful.  Especially when you don't know your guests well, or in this case at all.  Will they like the food?  Will we run out of things to talk about?  --- are some of the things that ran through my mind.
(I served rotisserie chicken salad on croissants)

As I was preparing lunch, I found myself channeling Sandy from the blog the Reluctant Entertainer.  She has such a laid back California style that I would love to claim for my own.  Sandy realizes that entertaining doesn't always come easy - hint reluctant entertainer

Sandy has written a book to inspire us and to remind us that entertaining is more about connecting with others and less about perfection.

Here is just a peek at what you will find inside:

more than 40 recipes
tips for creating a welcoming atmosphere
questions that spark conversation
thoughts to open your heart and home

In honor of Mother's Day, Sandy is giving away a signed copy of her book.

To enter the giveaway all you need to do is leave a comment.

For additional entries you may:

1. Leave an extra comment if you are a C & V follower.
2. Leave an extra comment if you follow the Reluctant Entertainer.

The winner will be chosen via and will be announced this Thursday.  Good luck!

To learn more about the book or to purchase your own copy:

The Reluctant Entertainer: Every Woman's Guide to Simple and Gracious Hospitality

Greek Key Night Stands

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Today's quoteNeutral doesn't have to mean boring.
author ~ me

Every since I went with a more neutral color scheme in the master bedroom, I felt that it lacked any pizazz.  Know what I mean?  In order to get neutral right - at least in my little opinion - you need layers of texture and contrast..

When I started these changes, I knew it would be a process.  One that would evolve over time with ideas coming to me gradually.  Once the pillows were added, the night stands called for a new color.

I went with SW urban bronze for the color, but felt they needed something more.

My blogging friend and Weim lover, Rebecca from the blog GibbGabb, recently did a great makeover on her tables giving me the inspiration for my project.

Rebecca's tables

Finding a Greek Key pattern that I liked was easy after reading this post.  I began taping and re-taping until the pattern looked the OK.

After two coats of white semi-gloss and removing the tape, the best part by far, this is the result.

Roman Shades in the Kitchen

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

 Traditional Home

The bay window in our kitchen is on the radar.  In the 15 years we have lived here, these windows haven't seen a stitch of fabric.  For so long I really liked bare windows - so bare they remain.  The time has come to change this though and I'm planning to make flat Roman shades for the space.  They are easy to make and the fabric cost will be minimal, but the end result will be will so worth it.
our kitchen window
The plan is to paint the walls BM, Gray Owl and to replace the cabinet to the right of the window with open shelving.

Let's have a look at some inspiration photos.

Green Street




Kentucky Mama

Traditional Home

 A Well Dressed Home

Amoroso Design via houzz

Warmington & North via houzz

I am was considering this fabric, but it keeps showing up on google ads and I am already growing tired of it.  So, now I just need to find a fabric that can stand the test of time.
Stay tuned.

Chic Shutters

Monday, April 4, 2011

Thank you to everyone who left sweet comments on Emily's blog!  I enjoyed reading each and every one of them.  Just to let you know, I have several new items to add the to store, but it will have to wait until after market.  I did however, prepare a couple of posts for while I'm away...

Architectural elements in decor have always been a favorite of mine.  Even with the 90's craze of shabby chic behind us, I still love old shutters.  They look nice leaning against a wall or re-purposed into head boards, doors, and room dividers.  If you ask me, they are way more chic than shabby.

Apartment Therapy


Decor Pad
Decor Pad


spaces design

I see old shutters often when cruising the thrift stores.  They usually go for about $10 a piece.
You could easily create a headboard for two twin beds for around $40.

Have you found a new way to use old shutters?
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