mom’s patio makeover.

You may or may not have noticed that I took a while to respond to comments on my blog last week.  That’s because I was out west visiting my mom.  If you’ve followed me for long, then you may know that my mom lives out near Las Vegas (she’s in the suburb of Henderson).

My mom turned 80 last year.  I had always thought we’d do something amazing for her 80th.  After all, we took her on a cruise for her 70th, so we had to top that.

But then there was COVID.

I didn’t even think going out there to see her would be a good idea, let alone going on some kind of trip together.  So her 80th birthday came and went with nothing more than a phone call between us.

Some of you also know that my mom was a travel agent who specialized in cruises.  She was still working at 79.  Not full time, but she had her regular clients and she would still go in to the office and set up trips for them (myself included).  But again, then there was COVID.  Obviously, the travel industry was hit hard, and one of the segments hit the hardest was cruising (for obvious reasons).  So after helping all of her clients with canceled cruises and making sure they got refunds (myself included), she decided to officially retire late last year.

At the end of 2020, my mom also sold her big house (it was 4 bedrooms, 3 baths) and moved into a much smaller townhome.  The house was too much for her to handle, and although my brother is there to help her, it made sense to move into something a bit more reasonable.  Again, I really wanted to go out there and help her with the move, but then there were all of those COVID surges right after the holidays.

More recently, my mom has had some health issues and I realized that I could no longer let COVID stop me from flying out to spend some time with her.  My sister was planning to go with or without me, so last week I masked up, hopped on a plane and few out to Vegas.

Because my mom has been feeling so poorly, she hasn’t really done much with her new place.  Her townhome is accessed through a small courtyard …

and quite honestly, it was looking a bit sad when we got there.

There were some tired old patio chairs, a cast off kitchen chair and some empty planters.  It definitely needed some help.

So we piled my mom into the car and headed off to her local Lowes, which was literally just around the corner.  We picked out a fun bistro set and had my mom pick out some plants to fill the empty pots.  We also grabbed some solar lights on our way out.

Mom has always been a big fan of bougainvillea, so that was an obvious choice.  I don’t know much about gardening in the desert climate of her area, so I hope we made some good choices with the other plants as well.

In the end, it was really lucky that the Lowes was just around the corner.  The box that the bistro set came in was so huge that we had to put the back seat down to fit it in Mom’s SUV.  That meant we had to leave someone behind, go home and unload the box, then turn around and go back for them.  Fortunately, this was in the same shopping center …

I was more than happy to spend a little time checking out their local Goodwill while my mom and sister unloaded the car.

I have to say, it’s kind of amazing how a Goodwill looks pretty much the same no matter where you go.  Sadly I didn’t find a single thing that I just had to make room in my suitcase for.

Anyway, once we returned back to the house again, my sister tackled assembling the bistro set and I set to work filling up the pots.

That variegated cactus looking thing went in a pot that is out front beside her gate.

Honestly, I don’t know what that plant is, but it looks like something that can survive the occasional lack of watering.  Since this planter is outside the gate (and my mom will access the courtyard through her garage instead), I suspect that my mom may forget to water it on a regular basis, so I wanted something that would have a better chance of surviving a few droughts.

For the remaining planters, I emptied out the old, worn out dirt and refilled them with some Miracle Grow potting soil.  This way Mom won’t have to worry about feeding them for about six months.  Then I planted them up with the rest of the plants.

The tall skinny planters got some bright pink geraniums and some sedum that I hope will spill over the sides.

The larger pot was planted with the bougainvillea, some bright yellow ornamental grass and some more sedum.  This is the same sedum that I grew in my window box last summer and it did really well for me.  Hopefully it will do as well in my mom’s pots.

I sure was wishing I had some of my Dixie Belle products on hand!  This pot would have been the perfect candidate for some rusty patina.

By the time I had everything planted, my sister was working on the final touches to the bistro set.  Have I ever mentioned how much I dislike assembling things that come in a box?  Yeah, it’s not my cup of tea.  But my sister is good at it.

Fortunately, the chairs came fully assembled.

And aren’t they fab?  They totally look straight out of a Parisian bistro.

My sister just had to put the legs on the table, and that was touch and go.

If I’d had access to my full compliment of painting supplies and a little more time, I would have totally preferred to make over a vintage set of some kind.  After working with this set (which cost $248, check it out here), I was reminded of what I love about refurbishing vintage pieces rather than buying new.  This new stuff is super flimsy, way over priced, and a huge pain to assemble.

The solar lights went alongside the sidewalk leading from the gate up to the courtyard.

As a final touch, we found a cute lantern at Target for $10 and added a faux candle with a timer and placed that on the table.

Now this is the perfect spot to enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning, maybe even one drunk out of my mom’s wedding china.

To be quite honest, I don’t think my mom will actually spend much time sitting in her courtyard (and she doesn’t actually drink coffee).  She and I could not be any more different in that regard.  I would eat every meal out there, and spend a little bit of time every evening sitting there with a glass of wine (she doesn’t drink that either) and listening to the birds in the huge tree that is nearby.  But my mom isn’t really a ‘sitting outside’ sort of person.

But I couldn’t stand thinking of her being greeted by that sad old kitchen chair every time she returned home from somewhere.  Now she has a cheery spot with bright flowers and a little European flair to greet her instead.

Hopefully every time she passes through here on her way into her home she will not only be reminded of her many travels to Europe, but also of my sister and me even though we can’t be there with her on a regular basis.

Nancy’s house.

Every once in a while life just presents something kind of magical.  I think that’s what happened a week or so ago when I had the opportunity to tour Nancy’s house.

Nancy is a frequent shopper at Reclaiming Beautiful, the shop where I sell some of my creations in Stillwater, MN.  I’d heard that she was a fan of my items and once I’d followed her on Instagram (@eike_nancy) I realized that she has quite a few of my ‘smalls’ in her home, like the black toolbox below.

So, I reached out to Nancy and asked if I could come and tour her home and take some photos to share with all of you here on my blog.  She graciously agreed, and I drove out to her place on a pretty much perfect summer afternoon.  Even just driving there was a total pleasure, motoring along beautifully curvy country roads with the top down on my car.

As soon as I turned onto Nancy’s street, I knew I was in for a treat.  What an amazing setting.  I love how just the grass immediately surrounding the house is mowed and the rest is left natural.  I’ve recently been watching Gardener’s World on BritBox (any other fans out there?) and they had a segment that suggested this technique.

In my small suburban garden, this wouldn’t work at all, but I love it for a larger property like this.

Nancy and her husband, David, just moved into this house last August so this will be their first full summer.  They didn’t have time to focus on much of the landscaping last year, but hope to get more planted around the house this summer.

In the meantime, who needs anything more than these beautiful rolling fields?

Walking up to the front door, I just knew I was going to be in for a treat once I got inside.

Just check out the old mop bucket with the fern, it has a section from with prima’s Lovely Ledger transfer on it.

That’s not my work, but I love it!

I did spy some of my work on the porch though …

Remember when I added part of the Fresh Flowers transfer to that suitcase?  It looks perfect next to the bench on Nancy’s porch.

Once inside I was immediately struck by the view out the back.

The house is perfectly situated on the lot to give the feeling that there isn’t another neighbor around for miles.

But I was quickly distracted from the view by Nancy’s decorating.  Obviously she and I both love the same sort of look, which explains why she buys so much of my stuff 😉

Although that bench is not my work, I would guess that many of you might think it is.  It’s totally me.  But Nancy applied the Finicky Fox transfer to the bench herself.

Isn’t this sideboard fabulous?

I recognized a few things on top of it including the little bird cage that I revamped a while back.

Nancy’s home has an open concept, so the living room, dining room and kitchen are one big open space.  But let’s start in the living room.

It’s super cozy.

Her dog Lucy seems to agree.

I love how Nancy has styled her built in shelving with fab vintage finds including a few of my favorite non-collectibles (because I’m in denial that I collect things) like old clocks …

and cool old shoe forms.

Including this one which was dressed up with some transfers by yours truly …

This just goes to show that I don’t include all of the smaller projects I work on here on the blog.  I whipped this shoe form up one day, took a few photos, decided none of them were blog worthy, and I moved on to selling it.

Those of you who shop at Reclaiming Beautiful might also recognize this …

it’s one of their hand poured candles.  Nancy has added her own touch with the cow tag.  At least I’m assuming that’s a cow tag.  Can any of you farmers out there verify that for me?

Nancy has quite a few old scales scattered about …

I love this little square one …

Nancy’s kitchen is just simply gorgeous.

It looks fresh out of a magazine, doesn’t it?

It has some beautiful personal touches though, like the framed family recipes hung on the wall.

I absolutely love that they are written on old numbered ledger paper.

I also spied a couple more of my creations …

I even spotted the apron that I stenciled!

I have to admit I’m a little envious of Nancy’s light filled laundry room.

It’s probably quite pleasant to do laundry here.

And hey, she has one of my ironing board signs!

Just out in the hallway, you might also recognize one of these chalkboards

Here’s a quick look into Nancy’s master bedroom.

It was so fun to wander around Nancy’s beautiful home, and I have to admit I was pretty tickled to find so many of my pieces there.  It’s really awesome to know that my things are being enjoyed by someone.  It inspires me to continue giving old pieces a new lease on life.  I’ve even managed to get to a few garage sales this past week, so I’ll have a few updated garage sales finds to share with you guys next week.

In the meantime, I hope you enjoyed this tour of Nancy’s house.  If you’re an Instagram user, be sure to give her a follow @eike_nancy!

treat the cheese nicely.

Welcome to the next installment of our house tour series.  Today we’re visiting the kitchen.

If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time you’ve probably figured out that I don’t really cook.  You’ve wondered how I can find the time for a full-time job, plus a blog, plus furniture painting?  Well, the answer is, I don’t cook.  OK, maybe that’s not the full answer, but it’s certainly part of it.  Any cooking that takes place at our house is usually done by Mr. Q, and occasionally even by my sister.

That being said, having a gourmet kitchen is pretty low on our list of priorities.  We are very happy with having a mostly functional kitchen instead.  We have the basics; a stove, a microwave, a sink, some cupboards and a fridge.  None of which are fancy or expensive.  And in case you are wondering, no, we do not have a dishwasher.  But who really needs one for just two people who rarely cook?

But you know what?  Let’s stop here and put this kitchen in perspective by hopping into the time machine and heading back to 2006.  This was another of my domino effect decorating projects.  It started out with a plan to put in a new sink and counter tops, re-paint the cupboards and walls and tile the floor.  But it ended up morphing into something a little bit bigger.

To begin with I started out by removing the existing wallpaper in preparation for painting only to find that the lower half of the walls were covered with a thin layer of hardboard.  When we pulled that off, we discovered that the board had been put in place as a quick fix for plaster walls that were in really terrible condition as evidenced by this old page out of my ‘home redecorating’ scrapbook.

At that point my friend/picker/co-worker Sue and her husband kindly offered to help us remove the plaster so we could put up sheet rock instead.  Looking back, I still can’t believe how generous that was of them.  I’m pretty sure I had no idea what we were getting ourselves into.

That lead to the next unexpected decision, to open up the wall between the kitchen and the piano room.  You see, Sue’s husband accidentally got a little carried away with the sledge hammer and went right through that wall to the other side.

Rather than panic, we decided that it was sign that we should open up that wall and I’m still grateful to this day that he did that.  This change added much more light to the kitchen and really just opened up the entire first floor of our house.

Since we had the walls down to the studs, at that point it made sense to update the wiring in the kitchen and why not put in some counter top lighting as well, right?

Luckily Mr. Q’s brother Joel was able to help us out with that.

We had also planned to rip up the linoleum and do a ceramic tile floor instead.  We had even purchased all of the tile.  However, when we pulled up the linoleum we found wood floors underneath.  So instead we had the wood floors refinished in a checkerboard pattern.

The dark squares are stained and the light squares were left natural.

We hired various people to do most of the rest of the difficult work including sheet rocking the walls and ceiling, and putting in that new arched opening to match the other existing arches in the living room.  Plus putting in new counter tops, a new sink and faucet and tiling the back splash.

I still love the simple white subway tile back splash 13 years later.  It’s a timeless classic that works really well with the age of our home.

We also purchased new appliances back then, and as I’m writing this blog post I realize that means our kitchen appliances are all 13 years old too.  Yikes!  They’ll probably start dropping like flies soon.

We have just the one wall of cabinets and we never even considered replacing them.  Doing so would be expensive and I like the charm of these originals.  They are in really good shape considering they are over 100 years old.  I did switch out the knobs though.

They badly need to be repainted at this point though, maybe I’ll get to that next summer.  Next time around I’ll likely use Fusion paint for its durability.

Those cupboards at the very top originally had solid doors.  We cut out the inserts and replaced them with chicken wire.  Since they are up so high it was never practical to store anything we needed to be able to access on a regular basis up there.  So it made sense to make them decorative instead.

I have them filled with white (not all of it is technically ironstone) china serving pieces.

The rest of the decorative details were up to me and as per usual there are a lot of garage sale finds in this room.  That sisal runner in front of the cupboards was purchased at a garage sale and it’s the perfect size for that spot.

The little cupboard above the radiator by the stove is also a garage sale find.

I keep some of my favorite dishes inside including my french cafe au lait bowls, my numbered plates from Target and a couple of ironstone pieces.

My favorite garage sale find in the room though is the pair of plates hanging on the wall between the pantry door and the bathroom door.

I’ve learned that these are Norwegian cheese plates.  I had found an article once that said the writing on them roughly translates to ‘treat the cheese nicely’, but I’ve since lost track of that article.

  If any of you out there reading this know anything about these plates, I’d love to hear it.

Anyway, I paid just $1 for these plates and the man selling them said they had belonged to his Norwegian mother.  I love them, and even though they didn’t come from my own Norwegian grandmother I still treat them as though they did … and I also always treat the cheese nicely too 😉

Be sure to check back next Wednesday when we’ll take a look behind that pantry door!

the photo cottage.

Today I’m continuing the Wednesday tour of our home.  Today’s stop, the photo cottage.

This is a little building that’s out in our backyard.  I feel like it would be selling it a bit short to call it a shed, but it’s a little overkill to call it a summer house.  The people who owned the house before we did used it as a playhouse for their kids.

It has undergone several transformations since we’ve lived here.  It went from a storage area to a potting shed to a summer house, all of which were sadly underutilized.

Then in 2014 I decided to put it to use as a photo staging area.  I started by painting the interior walls and ceiling white, then painting a white & grey checkered pattern on the floor.

I have a cupboard out in the photo cottage that came with the house.  It’s a great spot for storing some of my photo props.

Although that chair stayed out there for a little while, I’m actually using it inside the house now.

I did quite a few furniture photo shoots in here originally.

But I really struggled with the lighting, and with getting the white balance right.  At certain times of the day the sun reflected off my red carriage house next door and turned everything pink.

Plus, the photo cottage isn’t really big enough to get shots from every angle.

Also, over time the painted floor started to really show its age.

I realized last summer that I needed to repaint it if I was going to continue to use it for photo shoots.  But time ran out and I never got it done.  Then I planned to paint it this summer.  And guess what?  It’s the end of summer and once again I still haven’t done it.  At this point, I’m giving up trying to accomplish it this year.  Also, I’m just not sure it’s worth the effort for a building that isn’t optimal for photo shoots anyway.

So the truth of the matter is that this little outbuilding has reverted back to its original purpose, as a storage area.  We’ll probably store our deck furniture out there this winter.  Maybe next Spring I can refresh this space once again.  Honestly, I give it a 50/50 chance of getting done.

I’m curious, what would you do with this little cottage if you had it in your backyard?




don’t take life (or decorating) too seriously.

Back when I began blogging I added a page on my blog called ‘tour my house’.  Although I have updated it sporadically over time, I haven’t really kept up on it.

I’ve also attempted to do ‘house tour’ posts at Christmas, but haven’t managed that either.

Quite honestly, I’m completely overwhelmed by the idea of cleaning/tidying my entire house and then photographing it all in one go.  So I decided to set a goal for myself of doing just one room per week until the whole house is done.

That being said, welcome to the first post of my home tour series!

It would seem logical to start with the outside, but Mr. Q and I are in the middle of a spruce up to our deck area, so I’m going to hold off on that for now.  Instead let’s begin at the front of the house on our three season porch.

I hand painted the black & white checkerboard pattern on the floor several years ago.  It was actually the 2nd time I’d painted a checkerboard floor out here.  The first time it was in shades of green.  I love the drama of the black & white, but kind of wish I’d gone for a more subtle look with grey & white.

If you’ve always longed for a painted floor, I will warn you that they get scratched up over time.  I did use Behr Porch & Patio Floor paint, which is formulated specifically for floors.  Nonetheless, the floor no longer looks pristine.  My advice to you is don’t paint your floors unless you are OK with an imperfect, worn over time, sort of look.

The most recent addition to my front porch is the updated farmhouse table that I shared last week along with the giant flour bin I purchased at the estate sale last weekend.

Looking at that photo you may be wondering ‘who in the world still has a wall mounted telephone?’, well, not me.  That a bakelite Masterphone.

When I purchased it (at a garage sale naturally) I thought it was some sort of phone for calling the servants since there’s no dial.  So I hung it in an ironic sort of way, because clearly we don’t have any servants.  Turns out these were really used on switchboards.

Just on the other side of the front door is my black cupboard.  I added a Prima Marketing transfer to the inside back in June.

I had been planning to sell the cupboard until I fell in love with the transfer inside, so for now it stays.

Way, way back in the day I had a complete set of matching wicker furniture on this porch that included a chaise, a matching chair, a matching foot stool, a matching table and a matching plant stand.  I was a matching fool when I was young.

I came to my senses over time and got rid of all of the pieces one by one except for this chaise.

Originally all of the associated cushions were floral in shades of peach and green (it was the 80’s after all).  But many years ago my friend Sue made me a simple linen slipcover for the chaise cushion.

Fortunately the cover is washable because in reality this chaise lounge really just functions as a large cat bed.

On most summer days you will find Lucy sleeping out here on the chaise.  Since it’s the most well lit room in the house she has to put her arm across her face to get a little shut eye.  Maybe she needs one of those eye mask thingies.

The pillow behind her is encased in one of my favorite finds ever, a gorgeous monogrammed pillow case.

Sadly, it has deteriorated over time and ripped quite a bit.  I need to take the time to repair and reinforce it, that doesn’t seem to be near the top of my very long to-do list though.

This bird house that I purchased many years ago at Oronoco Gold Rush perches on my Norwegian blue stool in the corner.

I’ve never wanted to actually put this outside and allow birds to live in it.  I don’t think it would hold up in the elements and I’d hate to see it ruined.

The 2nd seating option on the porch is another Adirondack chair that my handyman Ken made for us.  Mr. Q loves this chair and this is his spot on the porch.

The black pillows are from H & M Home several years ago.

This chippy blue stool adds a pop of color next to Mr. Q’s chair.

It also makes a convenient spot for a beverage when it’s not holding a tiny Spode creamer filled with flowers.

This trunk serves as another repository for drinks in between the two seats in the room.

The chippy paint job is original but I added the stencil.  One of these days I’d like to re-do this piece and use a transfer on the front.  But I don’t know, is three too many transfers for one room?

Well, make that four if you count the Bugs Bunny quote that I put above the windows.  Technically this is also a transfer.

I’ve always felt like this is a good reminder.  But I’ll take it one step further and say don’t take decorating too seriously either.

If you’re sensing any kind of theme in this room at all, it’s that almost everything is reused, re-purposed and/or restyled.  All of the items were purchased inexpensively at garage sales, or handmade.  I have lots of other things I’d rather spend my hard earned money on (travel!), so I decorate on the cheap.

Next Wednesday we’ll head inside the house and check out the living room, so be sure to stay tuned!

jodie’s house, part 4.

Welcome back to the final segment on our tour of my friend Jodie’s house.  All that we have left to see is her master suite, so let’s get started!

I have to say, there are lots of great features in Jodie & Doug’s master, but it’s very hard for any of them to compete with the view from that amazing wall of windows.

 Can you just imagine how gorgeous that view is when there is a freshly fallen snow?  Or, like the first time I visited, in the fall with brilliantly colored leaves on all of the trees?

I had to tear myself away from that view to get photos of the rest of the room.  I also had to shut the drapes because the room was drenched in sunlight and I was having trouble getting good photos!

I’m really quite envious of all of the beautiful light in this room.

You’ve already seen that Jodie has a Christmas tree in the living room, each of her boys has a tree in his room, and yes, there is one in the master bedroom too.

You see, Jodie has been collecting (or should I say non-collecting?) Precious Moments since 1984.  She received her first one from her pen pal in New Jersey!  Living in a household full of men, she thinks maybe the Precious Moment ornaments are just a tad too … well … precious for the family tree in the living room so she keeps them all on a tree in here.

Not only does she have lots of ornaments, she also has the Sugar Town.

I can see why they call it the Sugar Town because some of the pieces are just adorably sweet, like the free Christmas puppies.

Obviously the driver of this car couldn’t resist one of the free puppies!

I love the way that Jodie has displayed the nativity scene on a stack of vintage suitcases.

But then, I just have a weakness for vintage suitcases period, and these are awesome.  This is a pair that I would definitely never paint.

Jodie and Doug’s master bath is fantastic.

So much space!  Have I mentioned that I have the world’s smallest bathroom?

I always wonder, do people get cold in the winter when their bathroom is this large?  I mean, the steam from the shower just isn’t going to heat up the entire space, right?  Maybe Jodie will answer that question for me.  I’m sure those heated concrete floors help.

Isn’t the tub area fab?

I saw the idea for ‘get naked’ on pinterest and shared it with Jodie.  I love that she used it, doesn’t it add a bit of whimsy to the space?

And hey, there is the rest of that ladder!  Remember we saw a section of it hanging from the ceiling in the laundry room, and then another section leaning on the wall in Blake’s room.

Doug turned it into a bathtub caddy by adding a plexi-glass bottom and shaping it to fit the sides of the tub.

I really love this jar next to the tub, isn’t it gorgeous?

There is plenty of built in storage …

And hey, what is that I spy on top of the built in?

It’s one of my very first painted hat boxes!  Jodie has amazing taste, doesn’t she?  Wink, wink.  By the way, the dried roses in the container next to the hat box are from Jodie’s dad’s funeral.  She has kept them for all of these years.

A big thank you to Doug & Jodie for letting us take this tour of their house.  Jodie has incorporated so many clever decorating ideas, I hope some of you have been inspired by some of those ideas yourselves!

But wait, before Debbie and I head back across the border to Minnesota, no trip to Ellsworth would be complete without stopping at the Creamery to buy cheese curds.  After all, Ellsworth is the cheese curd capital of Wisconsin!

(Debbie left, Jodie right).


jodie’s house, part 3.

Initially I thought I would be able to fit the rest of our tour of Jodie’s house into one more post.  However, after working on it I realized I have so many more great things to show you that I’m going to have to make it two more posts!  If you missed the beginning, be sure to go back and check out part 1 and part 2.

Today we’re going to take a look at the boy’s bedrooms.

Doug & Jodie’s younger son, Carter, has a sports themed room complete with a basketball backstop as his headboard.

And check out this fab nightstand, it’s a basketball hoop mounted to the wall and covered with a piece of round glass.  How clever is that?

With this design on the opposite wall, I’m guessing that someone likes basketball.

There is a trio of lockers just as you come in the door which adds to the sports theme and provides extra storage for boy stuff.

And I love the way Jodie mounted this Scrabble board to the wall in Carter’s room.

There is one thing that all of the people who’s names are on the board have in common.  I’m debating whether I should just tell you what it is, or see if anyone can guess.  I’ll tell you what, I did a google search to see how hard it was to discover and it was pretty easy.  So I’ll leave it up to you!  Be sure to leave a comment if you figure it out.

I have to admit to a bit of a flub up now.  You see, both of the boys have their own small Christmas tree.  Each year Jodie buys them an ornament for their tree that represents something particular from that year.  When the boys leave home they’ll have ornaments to take with them for their own homes (my sister did the same with her kids).  Jodie had to coerce her boys into putting up their trees this year just so that I could get photos of them for the tour, and guess what?  I totally missed getting a photo of Carter’s tree.  I feel kind of bad about that.

The boys rooms are connected by a shared bath.

Each of the boys has his own sink area, with more of those Granicrete counters we saw on the earlier parts of our tour.

Around one side of the wall in the next photo is a shower, and around the other side is the toilet.

I wish I’d gotten a better photo of that ‘art’ on the wall (you can see it a little bit better in the next photo).  It’s designed like Scrabble and says “flush, brush, wash, aim”.   Ha, once again, definitely a boy’s bathroom!

There is a sliding barn-style door between the shared bath and their older son Blake’s room.

And hey, look!  I managed to get a photo of his Christmas tree, as well as some of the ornaments.

Jodie gave this next ornament to Blake the year he had his first girlfriend.

Awwww, isn’t that sweet?

Blake’s room originally had more of a hunting theme, but since he has gone off to college Jodie has toned it down a bit.

The headboard is made out of pallet boards.

And remember the ladder that was hanging from the ceiling in the laundry room?  I said you’d see more of it, and here is another section of the ladder in Blake’s room.

I had to share this bear with you …

Jodie had it made out of one of her dad’s old work shirts.  You see, Jodie’s dad was killed in a motorcycle accident 14 years ago.  Jodie’s boys were very young at the time, so how awesome that they have this reminder of their grandpa even though they didn’t get the chance to really know him.

This cute little desk sits next to the ladder.

Blake is currently a pre-med student at the U of M in Rochester.

I love that Jodie kept this board in it’s original condition and mounted it on the wall with a few nails for hanging hats and baseball gloves.

Just outside in the hallway hang these ribbons with all of the boy’s sports pins on them.

There are so many that they actually hang from ceiling to floor, but I wasn’t able to get far enough back to get them all in my frame.  What a great way to display them all though, right?

I hope you enjoyed today’s post.  Next week I’ll share the final segment of Jodie’s house tour, and I’m also working on a pair of nightstands that I hope to finish up this weekend.  So have a great weekend, and be sure to stay tuned!

jodie’s house, part 2.

Welcome back to part 2 of our tour of Jodie’s lovely home (if you missed part 1, you can see it here).  Today we’re going to take a look at the kitchen, the enclosed porch, the laundry room and the garage.  Yep, we’re even including the garage!

We’ll start in the kitchen where I’m pretty sure my sister got drool all over everything.

Especially the giant refrigerator.  My sister could easily fill that thing up, but I think my two bottles of wine, ketchup and other condiments would look pretty lonely in there.

I know my sister was also picturing just how many different kinds of Christmas cookies she could make if she had that huge island to spread out on!

As I mentioned in part one of our tour, all of the counter tops in Jodie’s home are made out of Granicrete, a concrete like product that can be colored to look like other stone materials.  Jodie chose a paler shade of brown for her island, but more of a dark granite color for the rest of her kitchen counters.

Just outside the window over Jodie’s kitchen sink, you can catch a glimpse of her enclosed porch.  Let’s head out there next.

Jodie and Doug did some really cool things out on the porch using salvaged materials.

The walls are a combination of old barn wood and sheets of galvanized metal.

The metal was salvaged from storage buildings on a friend’s property.

Isn’t the ceiling amazing?

Jodie has some great upcycled pieces out here on the porch as well, including the old military trunk turned coffee table.

I love what she has done with this old mailbox …

as well as the way she added a little pop of mid-century madness with this hanging light fixture.

Next let’s head back through the kitchen and into the hallway that leads to the laundry room.  Here’s another of Jodie’s window creations hanging on the wall.

I’ve got to keep that idea in mind the next time I see a pile of old windows for sale!

Also in the hallway is this giant ruler for keeping track of her kid’s growth.  Looks like they are both pretty tall, huh?

We’ve all seen this idea before, but I’ve never seen it done with the school pictures alongside.  Isn’t that clever?

And here is the laundry room.

I love this little arrangement that Jodie has on her counter top with the vintage iron in the old enamelware container.

 While I was admiring the arrangement, Jodie reminded me that I gave her the cross-stitched Noel towel.

I’d forgotten all about that!

This milk can arrangement in the window is also adorable.

That milk can has been in the family since Jodie was a kid.  Her grandparents owned a dairy farm just down the road and Jodie would use this milk can to get milk right out of the bulk tank.  I don’t believe that I’ve ever had fresh milk right off the farm, have you?

One of my favorite features in the laundry room is the old ladder hanging from the ceiling.  I’m a sucker for old ladders.  This particular ladder belonged to Jodie’s uncle and was much longer at first.  Doug cut it down to fit in this room, and you’ll see two more pieces of the ladder in other rooms before our tour of Jodie’s house is over.

Back out in the hallway we can take a look at Jodie’s gallery wall.

The use of horizontal stripes on the wall is perfect in this spot.

And what a great way to display many family photos all on one wall.

Before we finish part 2 of our tour, I just want to show you the garage.  Normally there isn’t much to see in the garage, but since Jodie took a couple days off work a few weeks back to paint her garage, I felt like I should be sure to include it.

Yep, that is the garage.  I think Jodie & Doug’s garage might be decorated better than some people’s living spaces.  Doug was working on building some sliding barn doors to close off one side of the garage while we were there that day.

Debbie might have drooled over the kitchen, but I drooled over the garage.  What I wouldn’t give to have a clean, bright, large work space complete with modern conveniences like plumbing.

Before we leave the garage I have to share this unique fishing rod holder that Doug made.

It’s made out of old clothes pins mounted on a board.  Isn’t that clever?

I hope you’re enjoying the tour of Jodie’s house.  I’m planning to share the final segment later this week, so be sure to stay tuned!

jodie’s house, part 1.

My co-worker Jodie and I have worked together at the day job for over 20 years now.  During that time Jodie has lived in a few different houses, but 3 years ago she and her husband Doug built their latest home out in Ellsworth, Wisconsin.  Jodie and Doug have two sons, the youngest is still at home but the oldest is off to college in Rochester, Minnesota.

While her home was under construction, my co-workers and I would hear frequent tales from Jodie about the process so I felt like I’d been there.  However, I’d never actually seen it in person until a month or so ago.  Mr. Q had a wedding to officiate in Ellsworth, so much to Jodie’s horror, I basically invited myself and my sister over to check it out so we could kill time while Mr. Q was doing the wedding.  I think Jodie was worried that I would notice every little detail that wasn’t perfect, but she couldn’t have been more wrong.  Both Debbie and I loved her house so much that I instantly asked Jodie if she would let me come back after her Christmas decorations were up to photograph it for a house tour here on the blog.  It has been a while since we’ve done a house tour and I’d been thinking about trying to find a willing victim for another one, so the timing was perfect.

And fortunately for us, Jodie agreed!

So last Saturday my assistant (a.k.a. my sister Debbie) and I drove out to Ellsworth again to get lots of pictures and more details about Jodie’s gorgeous home.

I have to admit, I was sort of hoping for a festive, snowy, winter day for our photo shoot, but instead it was bright, sunny and 45 degrees.  I shouldn’t complain, because a couple of days later not only did the snow show up, but so did the sub-zero wind chills.  I should have enjoyed that 45 degrees while it lasted!

But last weekend there was not a lick of snow in sight, yet Jodie’s house was still festive from the moment we walked up to the front door.

I ended up finding so many fab things to take photos of that I’m going to have to break this tour down into multiple parts.

  Today we are starting in the foyer.

Jodie’s husband made the console table that is just inside the door.  Jodie had been looking for just the right thing for that spot and when she showed a picture of what she wanted to Doug, he said “well, I could just make one.”

So, Doug made the table and Jodie painted it with Folk Art Home Decor chalk paint in Tuscan Red, and then she added a wax top coat.

Jodie and Doug’s home office is just to the left when you come in the house.

Are you wondering what’s on the floor?  At first glance it looks like an amazing old oriental rug with a very worn and muted pattern, but no.  The floors throughout the house are heated concrete!

The entire house is built on one level and is on a slab, so no basement.  The concrete has been stained with a concrete stain and then sealed.  The sealer has to be re-applied periodically.  The manufacturer recommends every year, but Jodie has only done it once in the three years they’ve been in the house.  She used a semi-gloss sealer, but says she would not do that again.  Scratches are just too obvious with the gloss finish (very similar to wood floors I’d say).  The next time she adds sealer she plans to use a matte finish.

One of my favorite things in the office are these globes that Jodie has hung from the ceiling.

I also love that she has an old family set of Encyclopedias on the window ledge.

These things might be totally defunct as far as researching your school paper goes, but they make awesome decor.

And hey, guess what’s over on the other side of the room?

Does anyone recognize it?  It’s the Old Pickup desk I painted back in July 2016.

The ladder leaning against the wall might also look familiar.

 Yep, Jodie has a few quandie originals lying around her house.

But the real pièce de résistance in this room, in my opinion, are those windows behind the ladder.  Jodie found them at a shop in Luck, WI called Junque in the Trunque.  She wanted to use them in the wall between the office and her dining room to allow more light to flow through.  So Doug framed them out.

I love that she retained that chippy white paint, isn’t it amazing?

You’ll see the other side of these windows when we get to the dining room in just a minute.

But first, let’s take a look at the small powder room that is also just off the foyer.

Hanging on the wall opposite of the toilet is this whimsical sign that Jodie made with a metal frame that she found at a junk shop.

I’m guessing that metal frame was once part of a first aid kit, but it is perfect for the powder room.  The message it contains is perfect for a house full of men too!

Before we leave the foyer, I also want to share this amazing ‘tree’ made out of barbed wire that hangs on the wall.  Jodie purchased the tree at a local occasional sale.  Then she cut the wording out of vinyl using her Cricut machine and added that to the wall.

I love the saying she chose, it works perfectly with the tree.

Just around the corner is the dining room.

And there is the other side of those fab chippy windows, only this side is red!

She has tons of storage in this giant built in cupboard along one wall.

By the way, all of the counter-tops in Jodie’s home, including this one, are made out of Granicrete.  Granicrete is a modified concrete mix that can be colored to look like granite, marble or any other stone material.

The dining room is open on two sides, one faces the kitchen which I’ll be sharing in a later post and the other faces the living room.

There are so many cool things to see in Jodie’s living room that I barely know where to start.  Let’s start with the window that is hanging on the wall next to the tree.

Jodie makes these window/signs out of salvaged windows.  When I come across suitable windows at garage sales, I try to snap them up for her because she is always working on another window for someone.  Now that my sister has seen this, she wants one next!  Jodie uses a combination of vinyl letters cut using her Cricut machine and hand painting to create her designs.

By the way, one glance at the Christmas tree reminds me that we are no longer in Minnesota!

Dang, those Peterson’s are a good looking bunch, aren’t they?

Jodie has lots of festive touches throughout her living room like this pretty snowflake pillow.

And this arrangement on the coffee table.

When Jodie was looking for the perfect table to place between the two chairs in front of her living room window, she couldn’t find exactly what she wanted.

So she made one!  She purchased a large round clock, and then Doug attached it to a table base to create the table she wanted.

The clock still works too!

In case you haven’t already figured it out, Jodie’s house is out in the country.  She and I are quite opposite in this regard.  She loves her country living and thinks it would be somewhat nerve wracking to live in the city (crime, neighbors looking in your windows), while I think living out in the country would be a bit unnerving (bears, bears looking in your windows!).

But, I can’t argue with the gorgeous views looking out from her windows.

Can you?

Be sure to check back next week for the rest of our tour!


amy’s house.

If you’ve been following me since last Christmas, you may remember when I featured a tour of my friend Amy’s house (part 1, part 2 and part 3).

Her Christmas decor was so fabulous!

She has an adorable farmhouse style kitchen.  Those rustic wood floors are to die for.

I loved the way she cozied up her living space with plaid wood throws and vintage snow shoes & skis.

I know it’s a bit early for Christmas though, and the real reason I’m reminding you of Amy’s home tour is because her house is now for sale!

I thought you guys might enjoy checking out the virtual tour of her home put together by her realtor.  It’s fun to see how bright and summery her home looks in the virtual tour.  It just goes to show you how easy it is to switch things up from season to season.  Also, I know you guys will appreciate all of the adorable vintage touches throughout her home.

The full listing for Amy’s home can be seen {here} if any of you local readers are in the market for a darling home in Stillwater!