December 2019:


Winter has arrived. We had early snow Halloween weekend (3-4 inches) and about a week later we got another 3-4 inches on top of that, and cold weather. The snow melted (thank goodness!) but winter caught autumn unprepared - a surprise ambush!

The house is now decorated for Christmas season and I snuggle underneath a thick throw blanket on the sofa at night admiring the Christmas tree. It's cold enough now to fire up the fireplace, brrrrr!

I hope everyone has a wonderful and blessed holiday season. May we all be jolly and bright and happy.


Friday, November 29, 2019

HGTV Magazine November 2019 Copy Our Cover - Part 3

Hola everybody!  I am getting a late start today, it is already dark outside at 4:24 p.m. I do not like this time of year.  All I want to do now is get into my PJs and go to bed at 7 p.m.!  After doing a couple of errands that included my mile round-trip walk to the supermarket, got home and unpacked my groceries and the stuff I'd bought at the drug store.  It was cold and damp outside but no wind so I headed back outside to sweep up a massive amount of leaves that had been blown into my driveway and backyard areas by the storm front that came through on Tuesday and strong winds that howled the entire day Wednesday.  Before I knew it, I'd spent another 2 1/2 hours outside (yet again) just sweeping up! 

Okay, enough of that.  Back to the look for less copying HGTV Magazine's 2019 November cover!  Because I didn't post this essentially Thanksgiving display in a more timely manner, I decided to leave out the paper flowers and the pumpkins that I shopped around for (but HGTV Magazine didn't), and show you what I hunted up for the candles and candlesticks, the cake stand, the vase, and the colorful napkins.  As I noted yesterday, these are items that can be used during any season.

The Vase

The HGTV vase is the Ree by Zuo Modern, 12 1/4" tall, ceramic, at $69 ( 

I found the same pattern vase at Houzz online for less than half price, but it is not as tall as the HGTV pick:  The Ree Vase in blue and white, small (8.3" tall), for $33 with free shipping.  Image below:

The score was found at Amazon online - the Ree vase by  Zuo Modern, 12.2" tall, for $23 with free shipping.  Got to love this! 

The Napkins

The HGTV pick are the Sunshine Dots 16" square cotton napkins in strawberry, $20 for a set of 2, at  Image below:

Shopping to try and match napkins is not easy!  I found a set of vaguely similar napkins in terms of color, but not an exact match for the free-form "dots" (almost like a pink leopard print).

I found a set of 4 polyester 18" square Multi-colored Siesta Medallion Napkins at Target for $15; I would call these napkins kissing cousins of the Sunshine Dots napkins:

I found this set of 6 (!) 20 inch square cotton napkins with 2 different shades of pink, blue, yellow and green dots on a white background, Latitude Run Aten Stripe at Wayfair for $18, with free shipping for a limited time:

And, to outdo itself, Latitude Run also offers a different version of the Aten Stripe 20" square cotton napkins at Wayfair for even less money - it appears that the colors in this version of the Aten Stripe napkin are more primary and less pastel, the dots appear slightly larger (?), $12 for a set of 6, with free shipping for a limited time:

It appears that there is more of plain white cotton area without dots around the center of the napkin, judging from the images of this version of the napkins at Wayfair online. 

I'll finish up tomorrow with the cake stands and the candlesticks/candles!  I hope you enjoyed Black Friday!

Thursday, November 28, 2019

HGTV Magazine November 2019 Copy Our Cover - Part 2

Back!  I should be putting up my Christmas tree but I really want to get at least this HGTV "Copy Our Cover" feature done before I start putzing around here and fall down the Rabbit Hole again!

The look:

Let's take a look at options I considered for the beautiful sideboard.  It's described as the "Carmen 54"W x 20"D x 33"H painted grass cloth, mahogany, and metal credenza in Teal Ocean by Benjamin Moore, $2,500,

Well, here it is - priced at "from $2,370" if you choose the turquoise color "Sherwin Williams Color Code SW6760-RIVULET."  This is a $200 price drop from the advertised price of $2,570.   If you stick with the "Natural" grasscloth color the price drops to "from $1,835."   They will color match with any Sherwin Williams or Benjamin Moore color.  Image below:

Not hoping to find a color match - but spray paint is cheap, just keep that in mind - I concentrated on trying to find clean, sleek lines and a metallic base or suitable base that could be painted to look like brass.  The hardware is brass as well as the legs on the Society Social piece.

I found this slightly smaller option at All Modern, one of my go-to places for sleek, clean lined furniture.  She's a beauty and yes, that's rose gold finish on the metal, not brass, but ain't she pretty!  A couple of cans of teal or turquoise spray paint, and if you're ambitious, buy a roll of light grasscloth wallpaper and add a coat of paint to add the texture on the original.  Voila!  For this price, if you have the room, you could add two and have a super-duper long credenza/sideboard:

Hitchin Server, 47.3"W x 15.8"D x 34"H, in black, it's on sale right now for $293 (reg. price $330), plus an extra 25% off with code BIGDEAL for a limited time!  Image below:

Another smaller but pricier option - but with a dreamy turquoise colored finish - is the Delgadillo Credenza at Joss and Main, 38"W x 16"D x 28"H for $799.99 ($800), "43% off retail price of $1,400).  It has a practical shelf behind the doors offering 4 storage spaces, but no separate drawers.  The piece comes in several different wood and metal finish options - but the turquoise blue finish on the cabinet front remains.  I chose the walnut (top and sides) and brass hardware finishes.  Image below:

And, for a larger version of this same credenza, I found one at Goedeker's, Canvas Walnut and Brass Pacific Waters Arc Sideboard by Nye Koncept, for $770 on a sale that ends, unfortunately, today.  But maybe they'll bring it back with a Black Friday price on it; regular retail price is $1,569, which is still less than the HGTV piece.  Dimensions are 57"W x 16"D x 28"H. This style "sideboard" comes in many different finishes, pictured below is in walnut (top and sides) and brass (metal hardware and legs):  

A pricier option, but about half the price of the HGTV selection, is the Mcdonough Sideboard by Brayden Studio at Wayfair, $1,200.00 (35% off retail price of $1,860.00), 57"W x 16"D x 28"H - so, 3" wider (longer) than the HGTV piece, 4" less depth and 5" less height than the HGTV pick, and the price is less than half the price for the HGTV pick.  This piece also comes in several different finishes for the top/sides and hardware.  I chose Walnut and brass finish.  Note: This piece is made of solid wood - Maple, with metal trim.  NO engineered wood in this piece. That isn't brass inlay on the doors, however.  The gold/brass color is part of the applied overlay painted finish.  Image below:
Here's a low price option - under $300.  You'd need to paint it and change out the hardware - but I can see the vision.  The bottom "base" could be painted brass gold, or could be overlaid with a brass foil if you're a more skilled D-I-Y-er.  The remainder of the piece could be painted your favorite shade of turquoise or teal, and if you're ambitious, add grasscloth wallpaper to the piece before painting it.  The final touch would be new brass handles.  Plenty of storage provided behind those 4 doors if you are a dedicated D-I-Y-er.  This is from Home Depot's Home Decorators Oxford Collection, White 58" Buffet, 58"W x 14.5"D x 30"H, $280.31, regular retail price $373.75.  (There is also a smaller 3-door version that is 45"W).  Image below:

As you see, lots of different options (five!) in all price ranges, depending on how much work you'd want to do (and your D-I-Y skill level) to achieve a final look.  

More tomorrow.  I will include the candlesticks, candles, cake stand, vase, and napkins which can be used and displayed all year round.  I'm going to leave off the ceramic turkey, flowers and the various pumpkins - which are holiday specific, except for this turkey I found and thought was so cute! 

This is from one of the low-cost online "let's see what they've got" shops that I go to to find really inexpensive things that can often look great.  Here's the Gilded Harvest White Ceramic Turkey from the Oriental Trading Company, dimensions (not too far off from the HGTV pick of 6"W x 6.25"D x 6.5"H) are 8" x 6" x 9" - but the website doesn't say which is which (of course not!), for $23 ($22.79).  It's already got "gilding" on it so you wouldn't even necessarily need to paint it solid gold unless you want. Depending on shipping costs, that's a savings of $10 from the HGTV pick.  Image below:

Nice and plump and juicy!  Gobble gobble!

Late, Late, For a Very Important Date! HGTV Magazine November 2019 Copy Our Cover

Hola and Happy Thanksgiving to everybody!  I'm as liberal politically as they come - a Wisconsin Progressive no less - the ORIGINAL Progressives from the 19th Century, LOL!  Not quite that old, but getting there, darlings.  Anyway, HAPPY THANKSGIVING.  I'm not at war with Thanksgiving and I sure the heck don't want to rename the holiday.

Now, with that out of the way - let me apologize for posting this today instead of weeks ago as I'd intended.  I got sidetracked by other things, including dental issues that I absolutely will NOT bore you with!  However, some of the items would fit perfectly well into a seasonal holiday/Christmas /winter display and are usable all year round in other styling arrangements, in addition to the beautiful credenza/sideboard.

HGTV Magazine's November 2019 cover featured a gorgeous turquoise colored credenza/sideboard topped with an arrangement of Thanksgiving seasonal items - just so pretty!  Take a look:

HGTV cost breakdown:

Sideboard:              $2,500
Cake Stand:                   75
Vase:                              69
Candles (2):                     6
Candle holders:              29 (small)
                                       32 (medium)
Ceramic Turkey:            33
(painted gold with spray paint by Rustoleum - not priced out)
Flatware:                        39 (set of 5 pieces)
Napkins:                         20 (set of 2)
Paper Flowers:             117 (3 at 39 ea.)
Total:                       $2,920

Follow along as I show you the options I found and total up my selections, to see if I could beat HGTV's total to get the look - that's the goal.  I sure do wish they'd bring back Sabrina Soto's "The High/Low Project" - I just love that show!  You know - most of us aren't on "Property Brothers" budgets.

First up, because it was relatively easy to knock off the list right away - the gold "electroplated-stainless steel flatware."  HGTV's 5-piece set is from, for $39.  Well, guess what - West Elm has a sale going on and there are two different gold-eletroplated sets!  The Blair Metal Flatware set in antique brass is now $23.20 (5 pieces) (up to 40% off) and the Smith Gold Flatware set in polished finish is now $20.40 (5 pieces) (up to 40% off).  That's a hefty savings from the original price of $39, I must say.

Blair Flatware
                                             Smith Flatware

One set I found was at Hobby Lobby online - but sadly now it's out of stock online, you would need to check your local store unless they restock online, Gold Cutlery (offered as Christmas decor) is now 50% off the price of $14.99 for a set of 5, to $7.49. I don't think that price can be beat, if you can find it in stock at a Hobby Lobby location near you or it comes back again seasonally next year online.  Sorry!  Image below:

A somewhat more expensive option at Target (but still less than the sets on sale at West Elm), is this 5 pc Stainless Steel Izon Mirror Flatware set in gold by Project 62 for $19.99, it's just gorgeous!  Image below:

More to come - check out the next post to find what I found for the other items.

Friday, November 15, 2019

Contemplating Doing a Switcheroo: Wallpaper v. Bed Linens

Still contemplating what to do to refresh/update the colors in my bathroom and now I'm thinking about my bedroom and my guest bedroom, too.  Seems like a natural jump - in my mind :)

I find changing things like bedding on a seasonal basis keeps me from getting bored with the decor, and I have a couple of options from which to choose when I do my switch-ups for the bedrooms. But as I wrote about in my previous post, I've become enamored with --

-- those large floral murals!  They all expensive, all more than I'd spend on a wall covering.  I first thought about installing something like them on a wall in my bathroom.  Then, after coming down to planet Earth and taking a good hard look at my bathroom, the room is far too small and the walls too chopped up to showcase such a mural. It would be a waste of money.

Now, would I love to put one of them up on one of my bedroom walls?  Absolutely!  Am I going to do it?  No - for the same reason, the cost.   Here's my blog entry about my enchantment with these super-enlarged floral wallcovers that have stolen my heart! Gorgeous!

Since I'm not willing to pay hundreds for a wall-size floral print wall mural, I thought - why not try the old switcheroo.  Look around for bedding that offers the same look for lower cost.

My bedroom walls are a medium gray color with no hint of blue or lavender.  The ceiling is white.  My curtains are creamy white.  The woodwork/trim is darkish (but one of the things I want to do someday is paint it white). I have natural finished hardwood floors, traditional style case goods in a dark cherry finish, and a campaign style (French) canopy bed in a color called "Gun Metal" on a metal frame.  Here's what the bed looks like now:

I've had this toile (black and white) quilt for several years.  It has matching pillow shams and the bedskirt on the bed came with the set too.  It is a black and white pinstripe flat panel skirt.  As  you can see, while the size of the toile quilt is full, it's not quite long enough to cover up the actual queen-size frame of the bed and so you see a "shadow" line where the frame juts out beyond my full-size box spring and mattress!  It shows up under the bedskirt in the photo but normally not something most people would notice.  It bothers me, though - one of the reasons I think a new duvet cover to go over an as yet unopened full/queen goosedown comforter that was a Christmas gift two seasons ago from one of my sisters would "juice up" the room for the already here cold winter season! 

Soooooo - here is a selection of duvet covers or comforters that caught my eye as I was hunting around for possibilities:

From Overstock, Lush Decor Zinnia Floral 3 Piece Full-Queen Quilt Set, today's price is $46.33.  As you can see, it is reversible - black with large floral print of white flowers and gold leaves on one side, and a small floral print on white on the reverse side:

From Wayfair, House of Hampton Alphonse Floral Blooms Reversible Comforter Set (Queen comforter, two shams and two decorative pillows), today's price is $59.99.  Reversible from a black background with large floral print shades of pink and gray) to a white background large floral print:

From Bealls Florida, I found this option, Intelligent Design Dorsey Floral Print Duvet Cover Set (Full/Queen) with two shams and two decorative pillows, today's price is $48.74.  A white background, large black/gray floral print and reversible to solid black:

At Amazon, the Getiann Black Floral Duvet Cover Set, Full/Queen, includes duvet cover and two pillow shams, $26.99 (free shipping).  This set appears to reverse to the same pattern and color:

Also at Amazon, the Tiffico Queen Duvet Cover Set Three Piece Dark Black Floral Leaf, includes duvet cover and two pillow shams, $29.70 (free shipping).  This set appears to reverse to the same print and color:

These are just some of the quits/duvet covers/comforter sets I've looked at thus far.  Geez Louise!  Right now, I'm drawn to options 2, 4 and 5.  I like the comforter idea, although I already own several, the pattern appeals to me.  On the other hand, I like the practicality of a duvet cover, and both prints in options 4 and 5 are beautiful and in colors that really appeal to me.

It may come down to price in the end.  But as of now, I'll look a little further and see what I can see.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Wallpaper Dreams!

I'm not sure when I first saw it, but it wasn't all that long ago.  It was probably on one of the HGTV or DIY Network shows I stream online.  A gigantic floral print of peonies - dramatic, bold, drop dead gorgeous.  It was like - HOLY HATHOR!  How beautiful is that!  And then two weeks ago, Mina Starsiak Hawk used something similar in her master suite bathroom makeover on the current HGTV show "Rock the Block," and it was like OH I WANT IT, I WANT IT! 

Well, wanting it and being willing to spend a lot of money (I'm very tight with my home improvement money) are two different things, sigh. 

I don't think this is exactly the paper/mural Mina used, but it's very similar to this wallpaper:

Of the various options I've seen online that appealed to me, this is the least expensive one at $99.00 on sale for one roll that is sized 8.3' L x 145" W, from  Brewster Home Fashions Komar La Maison Wall Mural.  This is not peel and stick wallpaper.  According to several of the reviews I read, it comes with a powder wallpaper paste mix, but the description indicates nothing about paste being included.  Also, one review said the pieces were applied horizontally, not vertically.  What???  I did not go through all of the reviews, but I didn't read any mention in other reviews that the pieces were hung horizontally and not vertically!  I don't think this color scheme would work with my current tile colors in the bathroom, even if I painted the walls white; looks like shades of gray, white and pink.  Notice it also has a subtle pattern in the background that looks sort of a pale peach or possibly pink color.  It also has "handwritten" text on it, which was pointed out by several of the reviewers who purchased the product, who said it wasn't something they'd noticed on the images provided at Wayfair.  How spectacular this would look in my bedroom.

It's free to dream, so - dream along with me! 

I love the black background of this paper - the drama!  But the price, oh the price!  I'd want to run the paper or mural from ceiling to baseboard and all the way across one wall.  For a standard 8' tall wall (96" and say a 12' wide wall) the cost is - well, to me anyway - staggering at $540 - on sale at 56% off the full retail price of $1,236 for a roll measuring 98" L x 150" W, from Wayfair.  This isn't a peel and stick, and it's not pasted, but does come with paste (that is stated in the Specifications).

With this color scheme, I might not need to fret about replacing the tile.  Even though there are small areas of pink and even yellow in this paper, the primary colors are black, the dusky greens and white to gray colors.  I think this would look stunning wrapped around a wall or two in my bathroom.  With the rest of the walls painted white, this might work with my beige tile surround in the tub/shower area and the tile on the floor and accent tiles behind the sink.  House of Hampton Peony Blossom Floral Textile Texture Wall Mural.  But -

Another take on giant peonies, this is a 10' L x 10' (120") W peel and stick mural at $3.35 a square foot, from Wayfair.  This is 100 square feet so the total cost would be $335.00.  Interestingly, different sized murals in the same design are priced higher per square foot for smaller sizes.  Hmmmm.

This color scheme is described as white, green and brown.  Brown?????  I see various shades of pink, white, grey and dusty green.  Am I color blind - where's the brown?  Anyway, love it!  Big, bold, spectacular.  This would work with my current olive green mottled tile floors and the greenish/brownish shiny glass mosaic tiles marching up to the ceiling behind the vanity, as well as the beige-y mottled tiles in the shower/tub surround.  But the price, oh, the price.  It's just not going to happen and I can't say unless I win the lottery because I don't play the lottery.  House of Hampton Removable Vintage Bouquet Peonies

Below is the option I like best thus far.  It would give me the drama of the black, and the other shades in the design would work well with the existing tiles I have.  The 90" L x 135" W is $537 and does not include shipping charges.  Yikes! 

This is the Creme Full Blossom Removable Mural from Muse Wall Studio

So, it doesn't appear I'll be applying anything so dramatic as the choices above, unless I find a really spectacular bargain somewhere online.  But I do want to paint the bathroom and get rid of the olive green walls with something lighter and brighter.  White would work but might be too stark.  On the other hand, I don't want a wall color that would be a whiteish color tinted with a beige tone, because I'd worry it would look dingy or dirty next to the white woodwork.  So - I need to think about this for awhile and look at tons of images of bathrooms before arriving at something I think will work for my taste and budget.  I guess that may take oh four or five years...