home spaces

Multi-Purposing Seasonal Decor

It’s that busy time of year with Thanksgiving approaching and the holidays at its heels, when time moves so quickly we find ourselves celebrating the New Year in a blink of an eye. Each year I give thought on how best to manage time, reducing holiday angst to avoid feeling like I am racing through what should be a joy-filled time of year. Holiday decorating is one area that I have refined, saving time and $$$ by multi-purposing seasonal decor from fall to New Years. FYI…click on hyperlinked resources throughout the article, highlighted in orange font.

Multi-Purposing October through December! Consolidate your efforts and re-purpose from Halloween to the New Year. 

Faux Garland –  Halloween decor, why not decorate garland swags with spiders, webs, ghoulish ribbon and anything Halloween-ish that can easily be attached? In the fall leading to Thanksgiving, embellish wreaths as well as garland along staircases andIMG_0147 around doors with fall leaves, faux apples & pears. Garland with lights looks awesome against fall leaves. After Thanksgiving remove fall leaves and add holiday ribbon and festive decor touches. Faux fruit, if any, can remain. After the holidays it is important that garland and wreaths be stored for easy October access in your storage room if you plan on using this tip next year. Note: If hanging wreaths on windows I love the suction cup hooks large enough to hold BIG wreaths. Walmart carries Large Suction Cup Hook Christmas Wreath and Decoration Hanger. In higher elevations where pine trees surround homes, its OK to set up faux pine trees in the home, changing out seasonal ribbon and decor accessories through the holiday months.

Pumpkins – Nothing reflects fall better than pumpkins around landscape and inside a home. Those that are not carved for Halloween can be kept through Thanksgiving, to continue that warm glow of fall orange. Can pumpkins be used during the December holiday season? YES! Country Living  has some great ideas on how to repurpose pumpkins for a festive touch. Check it out!

Dealing with lights! 

Seasonal decor wouldn’t be the same without lights. Unfortunately, dealing with string lights can quickly put a damper on my festive mood. A number of years ago I thought the invention of pre-lit garland and Christmas trees was genius, until reality set in. Each year parts of the tree or garland go dark. This year we invested in a LED Christmas tree with hopes of getting more “light” years. Here are options to eliminate frustration and extend the life of your faux greenery.

  • Fill in the dark areas with 20 mini lights, perfect for filling in light
    where needed. Love that it only has the plug connector.
  • Consider purchasing LED pre-lit trees, garland and wreaths.
  • Purchase NON-lit trees, garland and wreaths and self string lights. When lights go dark it is far easier to remove and replace strands that are not manufacture installed.
  • Use timer battery operated light strands around non-prelit garland and trees givingProcessed with MOLDIV outdoor landscape a clean look without extension cords. Turn ON the switch to the timer once, at the time you want lights to go ON. Each night the lights will appear at that time. Typically they remain ON for 6 hours and OFF for 18 hours. Walmart has a great selection and on the Walmart website you can set your criteria on the left hand bar to narrow down choices to meet decorating needs.

Flock it yourself!

Love flocked greenery. This is something that can easily be done yourself be it on garland, wreaths or trees. Seeking a faux pine tree for front door decor, I was surprised to discover that already faux flocked trees are significantly more expensive than those that are not. At Walmart I found a perfect 6 ft Wesley Pine faux NON-LIT Christmas tree for $20. Also at Walmart, I purchased Santa Snow 9oz spray for $1.50. One spray can fullsizeoutput_4096covered flocking of the 6ft tree and 4 wreaths. Compare prices by clicking flocked trees HERE. Already having a beautiful pot for the tree, I used floral foam and rocks to secure the tree base. A decorative umbrella stand also works perfect as a base for faux trees, indoors or outdoors, (Amazon Cast Stone Umbrella Base). Your summer umbrella stand now in storage can be re-purposed to fit this need. Visit Umbrella Stands Re-Purposed – April blog post.

When time and money can be saved, I’m all over it! Multi-purposing seasonal decor fullsizeoutput_4090that can take you from October through December makes holiday decorating sense. This photo shows the front of my home, transitional, to take me to Thanksgiving. While many are fighting the shopping crowds on Black Friday, I’ll be decorating the front door faux tree and spray painting those pumpkins to re-purpose as landscape Christmas ornaments! Be creative, plan ahead, and consider these tips to multi-purpose your seasonal decor, taking you from October to New Years!

home spaces

Take It High And Wide!

This past summer, as mentioned in a previous post, I took a basic interior design course. The instructor shared simple home modifications that can make an impressive difference whether looking to make home spaces appear larger, embracing small spaces for a cozy feel, or finding balance with color and prints. The class uncovered a few needed home projects. Determined to solve morning sun issues as well as creating balance and functionality for the main living space, new rod and drapery panels made it on my TO DO list.

Before DIY Project

Problem. The back wall of windows to our home is like a magnet to the morning sun, which can be bright and blinding, facing northeast. The existing drapery panels and rod with brackets were not working out so well. The brackets failed to support the weight of the panels. Also, the room didn’t feel balanced, with panels hanging directly around the slider doorframe.

Solution. After thorough resourcing, online/store shopping, planning, careful selection and work, I am enjoying new drapery panels beautifully enhancing the main floor living space. The room now has a definite focal point, going high and wide for balance and functionality to block morning sun as well as selecting complimentary fabric that works with existing furniture. If you are considering a room facelift, the process I followed is listed at the end of this article along with hyperlinked resources.

Industrial Plumbers Pipe Rod

Highlighting a project favorite, the industrial plumbers pipe used for the rod gives a
clean look (without brackets) and sturdy enough to support the weight of panels. DIY steps along with instructional resources are listed below. Recommend using a referred Interior Designer if this type of DIY is not your thing. You will want to do this right the first time around, so if professional assistance is needed, then do so. This DIY project cost under $500 for 10 feet of plumbers pipe, flanges, elbows, nipples along with 17 yards of fabric and accessories to sew drapery panels. Custom quotes averaged $1,800 just for drapery panels.

Wall With A View

It was exciting to immediately apply what was taught during the summer design class. Slight modifications changed the feel and look of the main floor living space by adding a unique rod, functional and designer style drapery panels, which when placed higher and wider than the windows, professionally accents the wall with a view. You can refresh the look of your home by updating window treatments or simply adding panels to stylize what is already in your home. Remember, take it high and wide, add that industrial rod, and, enjoy the feel of added space without the need for home construction.

Drapery Panels, DIY or Store Bought

Identify the working space

  • Focal point?
  • Adding panels on the right wall (side window)…not necessary
  • Space behind the chairs too tight for panels, not allowing adequate fabric stacking

Determine the height, width, and quantity of your panels

  • Guideline link for hanging drapery
  • Drapery/panels extend beyond the window frame, height and width, illusion of higher ceiling and wider room
  • Best to work in odd numbers for drapery panels; 3, 5, etc.

Choosing the rod

  • Determine rod length and placement
  • Rod could have been pieced across the room, 25-foot piece
  • I chose 2 piece rod… 8 ft extending beyond slider frame and 2 ft accommodating far left panel

Industrial Plumbers Pipe Rod 

  • Best instruction DIY Plumber Pipe Curtain Rod
  • DIY – made my own – 2 rods; 2 ft and 8 ft. approximately $45, purchased at Lowe’s Plumbing Dept; 10 ft, 3/4 inch galvanized pipe cut and threaded at no charge
  • Spray painted using Hammered color spray paint and 4 hours to dry
  • Option: Purchasing finished industrial plumber rod – online vendors can be pricey; best pricing and sizing I was able to find… Houzz

Fabric Selection and Drapery Panels

Processed with MOLDIV
Choose fabric that works well with existing upholstery, in color and print size, for balance. Mix Fabrics Like A Pro
  • DIY panels –  How To Make Lined Pinch Pleat Drapes
  • Fabric ordered through Hobby Lobby; guaranteed all 17 yards delivered in one continuous roll  (not guaranteed by every online fabric store – disaster if making drapery)
  • French pleat tape ordered through Amazon and followed this instruction video
  • Other options – Purchase finished drapery panels available in a variety of lengths, widths, and styles; French pleat, grommet, rod pocket, ring & clip, etc.
    1. Bed, Bath and Beyond (save those coupons) input criteria online and narrow down options –  custom made available
    2. Pottery Barn has an impressive selection
    3. Work through a referred Interior Designer

Additional Resources

home spaces


Yep! Another design tip blogged because I LOVE sharing!

My neighbor and friend who invited me to the design class, gave permission to share the new look of her living room space. Her cat, Raphael (pictured), gave two paws up on the new look and blog sharing, as well! Thank you, Raphael!

It’s amazing how moving furniture around, without having to add anything to the space, can impact look and feel! Pictured are before and after photos. The goal is to bring the room together for a cozy and conversation friendly space, working with beautiful outdoor natural landscape and light.

This past week we learned how important it is to identify the focal point in a room and then arrange large furniture accordingly. Sometimes the focal point can be dual vs a singular point. In this case, the fireplace is a focal point and yet, so is the beauty of the outdoors with all the windows surrounding the living room.

Moving the sofa away from the window opens the space so the eyes are drawn outside instead of the view stopping at the sofa. The new placement of the sofa creates a soft divider to the kitchen, distinguishing the living room from the kitchen. Bringing the end table between the two chairs creates a functional space that can now be used when hosting company. The space is conversation friendly as guests are able to face each other with an added benefit of the area being framed by the fireplace and outdoor landscape. The amazing greenery of the outdoors feels like it is part of the room! The large floor lamp is moved to the back of the room, with the black shade anchoring the space.

This was all planned first, on graph paper, with the wisdom and guidance of Pam Smith, Instructor. Visit Pam at Pam Smith Designs.

Pam has shared many tips and here is an awesome one, HGTV Home Design Studio Room Planner, through Basset Furniture website. This tool allows you to place furniture on a graph, planning and visualizing different options before you begin heavy lifting and moving. The instructions are simple and the results are effective!!

You, too, can refresh your home! If you are feeling a need for change, all you have to do is MOVE it!! As summer gets ready to usher in fall, pick a room in your home to highlight the natural beauty of the layout and bring in the outdoors. Go for a whole new look and feel that may not cost anything but a little time and some physical work. You can do it! MOVE it!!

home spaces

POP That Color!

Recently, a friend of mine asked if I would be interested to attend an interior design course to learn basic principles. Wanting to do this for many years, I quickly said YES!! Last week we attended our first class. And, this past weekend, I took out the material handouts for review. It didn’t take long to look at my home with a different “educated” perspective. This is when a little acquired knowledge can sometimes be dangerous!!

The class was on COLOR and after watching the suggested video, noticed some areas of my home that needed POP!! It’s ok to use different shades of the same color in a room. To create interest, however, include contrast, either much darker or lighter.  An example is shown in the blog photo of a guest bedroom in my home. All the colors are different shades but too much along the same tone. I happened to have a black and light cream check flannel fabric. Practicing the simple principle learned, decided to make 2 pillows in this fabric for the bed. Notice the difference? The room and bed now feel warm and welcoming, like a magnetic draw into the room.

If you have a room with similar color tones, add pillows or consider an accessory or throw blanket that is in a much darker or lighter shade. Perhaps choose items in a complimentary color on the color wheel chart. If you need to introduce texture, this too will incorporate interest adding contrast and value to your room. As shown in the before pics of my dining room, I needed to incorporate lighter colors to offset the dark room and dining room furniture. I purchased the perfect find, a light distressed wood cabinet at our local Castle Rock, amazing shop, The Barn! The color and texture are perfect for this room and functional, providing needed storage for some of my collectibles. See the difference? 

Decor pillows are a great way to introduce simple and low cost updates without breaking the bank. If you are not one who sews, Home Goods/TJ Max and Ross Stores almost always have a HUGE selection, organized by color. Other favorite stores for pillows and trending accessories are Pottery Barn and Pier 1 imports. If you live  near Castle Rock check out The Barn and The Emporium. Small changes can make for BIG results. POP that color!!

home spaces

Oil To Perfection!

A year ago, the credenza shown in the blog photo above looked tired with patches of scratches and a surface that was becoming dull and light in color. After trying a number of wood products, nothing appeared to work. At this point I decided to put a generous amount of olive oil on a clean cotton rag, and in a circular motion gently rubbed the oil over the top of the credenza. Like magic all the markings and dry patches disappeared and my credenza looked like new! Amazing, it has remained looking this way until I noticed a 2-inch scratch yesterday.

No longer do scratches and tired looking wood surfaces bother me. Why? Because, the olive oil trick works better than any solution I previously tried and so far, the solution has been permanent!

OLIVE OIL!! Pure OLIVE OIL! Wish I took a BEFORE photo of the scratch, but I didn’t. After applying olive oil, the above photo shows where the scratch simply disappeared.

Checking other areas of the credenza, noticed a few nicks. Applied the olive oil and the nicks DISAPPEARED as shown above, BEFORE and AFTER.

Love when simple home remedies work! If you have scratches on your wood furniture, try applying olive oil on a cotton rag, and gently apply in a circular motion. Once the scuffs and scratches disappear, run the oiled rag across the top of your wood surface. You will be amazed…oil to perfection!!

home spaces

Stack It!

When our house was being built, we were BLESSED with a HUGE closet. And, I have had no problem filling it! About a year ago I took a weekend to share clothing no longer needed, filling bags for Goodwill Thrift Stores. While closet organizing I became frustrated with folded clothes continuously falling over on the shelf. Neat piles (especially with workout clothes) would topple over, blending in a pile. I am one of those who says; “What do I have on hand that could solve this problem?” rather than “Where is the closest organizing store to pick up shelf dividers?”

Remember the metal bookends that were probably more popular years ago than they are now? When we moved here, so did a box of those old metal bookends. I knew exactly where they were stored. Excited, I retrieved them with great hope and enthusiasm. They proved to be the BEST closet solution and are now successful shelf dividers for workout clothes, leggings, t-shirts and skinny jeans. After one year these bookends have “stacked it” well, embracing their new calling as shelf dividers. Job well done! Cost to me? $0

The blog photo shows various types and styles of bookends available today as well as how they are being used in my closet. They are typically sold in pairs and come in a variety of colors. If your shelf can accommodate the height, I would go with taller bookends. Measure first before ordering. Amazon.com has a great selection. I like metal because they are strong, solid (not clear plastic) and sturdy. Closets that are décor pretty, decorative bookends are also available online. There are some very cute ones that can be bought for children’s rooms.

Although bookends from the name alone suggest use with books, they can be repurposed to accommodate stacking closet shelf clothes, drawer items such as PJ’s and underclothes (smaller bookends) and even pantry food boxes and bagged items. Whether you already have metal bookends or if you need to purchase, give it a try and STACK IT for your organizational needs!


home spaces

Put Your Wine Bottles To Work!!

For the past 2 years I have been saving used wine bottles. When I began this wine bottle collection, I truly believed that someday the bottles could be repurposed to meet a need and prepared I would be! The storage cabinet is now full of bottles. Since I’m in a creative mood, this past weekend I focused on identifying a problem that could be solved with wine bottles.

It didn’t take long to find a need for such a solution. Whenever I have guests, be it for dinner or weekend wine and appetizers, there are frequent trips to the fridge for water. I have ONE water pitcher, which always tends to be in an inconvenient location at the wrong end of the table or placed somewhere in the living area that is not quickly spotted.

Realized, how perfect to repurpose wine bottles as water decanters! The bottles conserve space and can be spread out on a dinner table, placed at individual tables when hosting large dinner parties, or designated to various living area or outdoor counters when hosting a wine and appetizer soirée.

After washing wine bottles, identified a few design plans for their new purpose as water decanters. The blog photo shows 3 styles, from simple to a more complex decoupage. The first bottle (far left) is an awesome alternative to preserve wine labels if you have a special reserve bottle you once enjoyed or the label reflects a cherished memory. In addition, spray painting the bottles in colors that coordinate with a special event with added adhesive chalkboard labels, is a simple décor option. When used as water decanters, the best way to keep the water cold is to use crushed ice and fill the bottles with cold water from the refrigerator dispenser. Or, fill a large plastic dispenser with tap water and place in the fridge overnight. These plastic dispensers, (available at local grocery chain stores, Wal-Mart and Target) as you can see in the photo, make it easy to fill and refill bottles. Decorative wine stoppers are a creative way to keep the bottled water cold!

What are some other uses for wine bottles? A quick internet search reveals many websites sharing ideas, from simple to complex where kilns are needed to melt the bottle and create a serving dish – very cool!! Pinterest appears to have the most comprehensive listing of wine bottle ideas. Here is the LINK.

Instead of tossing out wine bottles, put those bottles to work!! Whether you choose to bring new life to your collection for use as water decanters or borrow Internet ideas to meet your needs, repurposing is FUN, $$$ saving, and eliminates environmental waste if you are not recycling.