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Christmas Decorating in Four Simple Steps

Have you started decorating for Christmas yet? It seems like the holiday season comes earlier and earlier each year. The stores have Christmas decor on the shelves by October! I enjoy looking at the merchandise, and part of me gets so excited for this time of year. But on the other hand, I feel the stress of it all creeping into my life before I even buy our Thanksgiving turkey. So how can we avoid some of that stress? We can’t put our lives on hold for the whole month of December. Bills still have to be paid, homework has Read more…

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My Home Office Update

My home office is ready for its first appearance on the blog! Transforming it took longer than I expected, which I admit was entirely my fault. For one thing, I’m much better at starting a project than finishing one! Also, I really took my time choosing the paint color because I’m planning  to carry the same neutral color throughout most of the house. Here’s what the office looked like before we started painting: After trying a few neutral colors on the walls, I selected Benjamin Moore’s Gray Owl. I found it to be the perfect warm gray tone, but it Read more…

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How Artist Deane V. Bowers Turns Junk into Joy

What comes to mind when I mention “recycled art?” If you had asked me that question a few months ago, I would have said, “Giant pieces of rusty metal.” But then I met Deane Valentine Bowers. She transforms trash into colorful symbols of coastal Carolina charm. Her environmental folk art is a vibrant mix of materials that come together in an intricate feast for the eyes. If you have a piece of her work in your home, you’ll notice something new about it every time you look. Deane walks the Charleston streets and lowcountry beaches, collecting items to be reused. Read more…

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Paint Colors: My Boys’ Bedrooms

The first item on our new house to-do list was painting our boys’ bedrooms. I was excited to begin making the house our own, but I was a bit stressed about choosing paint colors on a deadline. We wanted to paint B’s room before we moved his bunk beds in, so I only had a few days to test colors, and it rained every day. I don’t recommend choosing paint colors without the sun! B wanted blue walls, and I wanted a color that would play nicely with the blonde wood tone of his furniture, so I decided to go Read more…

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Five Things I Minimized to Create Space in My Home

Several years ago, I discovered minimalism through Joshua Becker’s blog, Becoming Minimalist. I was drawn to the concept of making more room for joy in my life by removing possessions. I recognized that I was spending a lot of time cleaning, organizing, and managing our home and its contents, instead of spending that time enjoying my family and friends. I must admit, minimizing is still a struggle for me today, but the progress I’ve made encourages me to continue. Does this mean my goal is a stark white house with only the most essential items inside it? Absolutely not! My goal Read more…

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Introducing…Our New Home

My full house tour is finally here! Oddly, it’s not the tour I’d imagined when I started this blog. Since then, my family has moved out of our rental and into our own lovely lowcountry home. When we moved to Charleston three years ago, we thought living here was temporary, but life has a way of surprising us in the most wonderful ways. We’ve become attached to the community here, so when the opportunity to buy a house presented itself, we went for it! We chose this house because it bucks the trend of super-sized houses on tiny building lots. Read more…

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Etsy Roundup: Pretty Paintings

Etsy is one of my favorite places to shop for affordable art. In today’s Etsy roundup, I’d like to tell you about five artists who create pretty paintings and prints to adorn our walls. 1. Janet Hill Studio Janet Hill offers a delightful selection of whimsical prints with a feminine touch. Her work features a cast of stylish characters and their animals in colorful vintage scenes. Each piece will surprise you again and again with its fun details. 2. Solo Work Studio Cathy Horvath Buchanan uses vibrant colors in her modern folk art paintings. She paints charming scenes of houses, Read more…

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Staging Your Home to Sell

My husband and I have gone house hunting several times, and it never ceases to amaze me how awful some houses look when they’re on the market. As I walk through the house, I’m thinking, “They expect someone to buy the place looking like this?!” I’ve wondered the same thing while looking at real estate listings online. As I scroll through the photos, I think, “Wow. They need to find a new realtor.” If you don’t believe me, just click here. There are entire websites dedicated to showing you how not to list a home. If you are willing to put Read more…

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How to Style a Fireplace Mantel

If you have a fireplace in your home like I do, you know that styling the mantel can be one of our biggest decorating challenges. The fireplace is often the focal point of a room, so bringing it to its full potential can enhance the entire space. But most mantels are only a few inches deep, so how can we pack a lot of style into that small space? Today I’m sharing four elements of a well-styled mantel. 1. Focal point A strong focal point will draw attention and encourage the eye to linger on the mantel. A large mirror or Read more…

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How I Found A “New” Wardrobe In My Own Closet

Have you ever stared into your closet full of clothes and thought, “I can’t find anything to wear”? I found this happening to me on a regular basis, but couldn’t figure out why. I had plenty of shirts, sweaters, skirts, jeans, etc. Why was I having such trouble putting an outfit together each day? First, I thought, “Maybe I need a whole new wardrobe. I should get rid of all this and start over.” Then I thought about the time and money that idea would cost me, and rejected it swiftly! Next, I thought, “Maybe I have too much clothing. Read more…