"Love Your Home"

Happy Valentine's Day!  Thought I'd share a few ways to treat your home (and yourself) on this special day.  I know it's not Fab Five Friday, but here are my Top 5 ways to indulge your home. 

  1.  Wallflowers

                                   Bath and Body Works

Bath and Body Works
  • I swear by Bath and Body Works wallflowers.  My secret for creating an aromatic dwelling:  multiple plug-ins with the same sent.  My fragrance of choice is Cinnamon and Clove Buds.  Guests always comment that it smells so good as soon as they walk in the door. 

2.  A Red Phone

Home Decorators

  • Face it, we all need an "old school" phone for when the power goes out and the cordless is not an option.  This super chic twist on the classic is a great option for adding style with a utilitarian object.  
3.  "Red Velvet" Dining Chair 

Pier 1

  • It seems lately I've been fixated on dining chairs.  Is it just me or are the choices getting better?  This red velvet option is so cute.  (Did I mention that I love Red Velvet cake too?)  I digress.  Even if you only used two as accents at the ends of the table, what a way to add drama.

4.  Inspirational Art

  • You'd have to have been under a rock not to have seen these "Keep Calm" signs popping up everywhere.  I really like this spin on the original.  Wonder why?  My favorite verse is Philippians 4:6.

5.  Magazine Subscription

  • Lastly, I'm a bit of a magazine hoarder, and lately House Beautiful is tops with me.  The photography is spectacular and there's always so much to take in, not to mention they now have a digital version.  House Beautiful subscription = money well spent! 

So, on this day that celebrates LOVE, don't forget to show a little love to your home.  Happy Valentine's Day!

"Dreaming of Spring...."

While I do enjoy a cool, brisk day, this weekend's cold weather has me dreaming of Spring.  The fact that I can start to see perennials emerging from the ground just adds to the anticipation. 

Actually, it reminds me of what my outdoor space looked like when I moved in almost five years ago. 
It was pretty sad.

Since this was my first single family home, gardening was something that I had absolutely no experience with.  In fact, I didn't know a .....


from a Pansy.

So, I started small with the help of a friend who graciously shared some of her perennial blooms with me.  We eagerly beautified the yard with the addition of some color and I was hooked. Quite frankly, my original goal was to simply protect my investment.  Flowers are NOT cheap.  But as it turns out, I fell in love with gardening. 

Year 1

Who knew that digging in the dirt could be so therapeutic.  Or that watching a flower flourish under your care could yield such reward.  Needless to say, I'm hooked.

Year 2

Year 3

Year 4

(Sorry, I wasn't quite as motivated last Summer/Year 5, but I plan to hit the ground running this summer)

Funny thing is, over the years, I've gotten pretty good at it.



Even the insects appreciate my efforts.

I love it so much, I've since branched out to produce.

So, if you're bundled up today and dreaming of warmer weather, start thinking about how you'll decorate one of the most important rooms of your home, the outdoor room. 

Here's a great tool to help you get started:

Better Homes and Gardens' Plan a Garden - This online tool allows you to design anything from a patio-side container garden to your whole yard.  Simply use your mouse to "drag-and-drop" more than 150 trees, shrubs, and flowers. Add dozens of structures like buildings, sheds, fences, decks -- even a pond.

"Painting Tools You Can Use"

Have you ever been ready to jump into decorating a room and been totally at a lost for where to begin?  You know, you're hungry for a change, but you're just not sure where to start.  For most people wall color is a logical starting point, but that simply leads to the biggest question of all, what color?

I must admit, I'm not exactly a Sherwin Williams customer, but after researching and trying out some of their latest tools, I may just be a convert.

So let's say you have an empty room...

I typically begin with an inspiration piece.  Sometimes it's a fabric, sometimes it's art and other times it's based on a piece of furniture or large accessory that I know I'll be using in the space.  Whatever the jumping off point, Sherwin Williams' new Chip It! tool allows you to cut and paste a web location (html) and it will generate all the colors in the inspiration piece that you've uploaded.  For example,  I saw this pillow on the web....
Mecox Gardens

Absolutely stunning, but terribly expensive.  Nevertheless, a great inspiration piece for an entire room scheme.  So, I simply cut and pasted the website address for the pillow onto the Chip It program and viola!

The program generates an entire scheme with perfectly matched colors from the Sherwin Williams collection to make paint color selection a no brainer.  What I like even more is the added bonus of having this super cool palette to carry around when shopping for bedding, furniture, drapes, rugs, accessories etc.... 
Seriously, it's like decorating for dummies.  Love it!

And no need to stop at pillows, if there's a picture on the web that speaks to you, you can upload it. 

A fun wallpaper....

A sunset.....

The sky is the limit, literally.  

Ok, now let's say you already have an inspiration and it's not a photo on the web.  Maybe it's a fabric you picked up from the $5 Fabric Lady at Metrolina Expo.  You can download the Sherwin Williams Color Snap App and simply snap a photo (or use a saved one) and the app will color match any color in the photo.  For example,
I recently used this fabric in a client's living room....

Had I needed to select a paint color, I could've used the Color Snap app to match any color in this print.  You simply touch the colors in your photo and the app selects the perfect match to whatever you touch.  Fabulous!

Sherwin Williams has several other tools, but by far these two are my favorites.  I love technology.  Anyway, like I said, I may just be a convert. 

"Anything I Can Do...."

I was going through my photo archives and I came across a project that I thought I'd share with you. 
When I first moved into my current home, I was dying to install a fancy crystal chandelier in my guest bedroom.  I had installed this wallpaper....

Photo Source

And I needed a chandelier to achieve the look I was going for.  Something like the look here.

Photo Source

Needless to say, at $700, the large crystal chandeliers available online were out of the question.  

Lamps Plus

And the local big box stores just didn't offer the price or selections I was hoping for.


So, I decided to hit the pavement and try to find a DIY option.  It took me a little time, but eventually I ran into the perfect item with the perfect price at Hobo's Consignment in Greer, SC. 

I must admit that I first had to look past it's gaudy gold finish and see it for what it could become.  With a $22 price tag, that was pretty easy to do.  

Honestly, the whole project was really simple. (Sorry, no pictures.  This was a while back ago)
  •  I started by removing ALL of the crystals and giving them a good cleaning in the dishwasher. 
  • Then I simply spray painted the metal framing with the desired finish color.  I selected hammered spray paint by Rust Oleum in Dark Bronze

Rust Oleum
  • The chandelier candle sleeves were damaged so I purchased an inexpensive set at Lowe's and sprayed them with the bronze paint. 
Photo Source
  • Then I simply reattached all of the crystals.  Some found new homes, since I couldn't actually recall how they were attached exactly.  There were alot of them. 


So for about $40 and very little labor, I got a beautiful chandelier that is always a hit when people come over.   And frankly, anything I can do, you can do (maybe even better). 

If you try it out, or already have, share a picture with me at dwellbycheryl@yahoo.com

"My Favorite Word"

Well, it's that time of year again. What I like to call the shopping sweet spot.  You know, the time between Christmas and the start of spring.  It seems to be when retailers almost say, "Just take the merchandise please" and I'm quite happy to oblige. 

After the huge inventories are ordered for Christmas (and it seems that it never all gets sold) retailers are forced to clear the shelves as new spring merchandise arrives.  Can you say "shoportunity"?  It's the time of year when I see my favorite word "CLEARANCE" most often. 

So, I did a little browsing today and found some pretty good deals.  Thought I'd share.

Priced between $6.99 and $12.99 this monogrammed bath set is very cute and affordable.  I just purchased similar functioning  items for a client at a national retail superstore and the pricing was comparable and I did not get a monogram

Pottery Barn - Click to View

I'm not one to buy lots of Christmas gifts a year ahead of time, but at $2.99 (yes $2.99) and with free shipping and monogramming available, someone may just be getting this for Christmas.  Hope they're not reading.  :  ) 

Pottery Barn- Click to View

Rugs USA had me at, "75% off".  This $752, 5 X 8 modern combination of Ikat and Chevron is really a steal at $188!

Rugs USA- Click to View

Not sure how it might look in a space?  Maybe something like this...

Photo Source

For some reason light fixtures can get really pricey.  This sleek option is a fabulous open box deal for just $39.86 and Reg.  $129.91.  Not sure about you, but I couldn't care less whether the box is open, closed, torn or whether there's no box at all. 

Lamps Plus

This similar option is four times as much.

Crate and Barrel

Like I said, there are deals to be had.  So get out there...


"Mission Accomplished!"

This weekend I completed another successful project.  I was thrilled with the result.  It's so super rewarding to be able to create an inviting space for someone else.  Best of all, the client was thrilled.  Actually she said,

"I really love what you did to the room.  It is so warm and inviting and the atmosphere is calm.  I sat down with the kids all last night enjoying the space which is quite rare for me and even though I was only watching cartoons, I couldn't get enough."
- Another Satisfied Customer

You can't beat that.  I will share photos as soon as possible.  In the meantime, I'm just recuperating and enjoying the fact that I now have my home office back....

Client Project Madness


Weekend Antiquing with Friends!

This has been a "super" busy weekend.  Of course I had my install Saturday afternoon and earlier in the day I went to the monthly ICA Show at Metrolina (Charlotte, NC) with my friends Bonnie and Brittany.  They've been dying to make the trip up and I was happy to be their tour guide. 

While it was cold and rainy, its usually worth it in the end.  We started at one of my favorite vendors who has the cutest painted wood pieces.  There always so beautiful and well priced.  This bookshelf was priced at $150, but the vendor quickly informed us that he could knock off $40.00.   They even came in a variety of colors.

This similar option at Pier 1, which I own in light blue, retails for $229.95.  Needless to say I did not pay that.

Pier 1
Brittany was totally in love with this piece. 

And Bonnie put her haggling skills to test by getting these two driftwood pieces for $30.

In case you haven't noticed, driftwood has made a comeback.  From tables at Crate and Barrel ....

Crate and Barrel



to coat hangers on Etsy.  The organic look it  has is actually very versatile and can be used with lots of styles.  Bonnie's is modern country.  It seemed that the theme of the day for me was Coastal.  I thought this lamp was really cool, but imagine it with a drum shade instead.   I was afraid to ask "How much?" out of fear that it would be too cheap to pass up and I'd have to take it home.

I actually didn't take the picture of the lamp until I saw this piece for $5.00 and thought they'd be cute in a room with a coastal feel. 

Like these....

Decor Pad

Coastal Living
 Brittany picked up a few Mason jars.  Needless to say the options for those are limitless.  Not sure why I don't own any myself.

  • Use on a hook as a vase for your spring flowers....

  • Stunning as the tablescape for your summer evening outdoor dinner parties....

Photo Source

  • Add numbers and use to organize your kitchen staples....

Photo Source

And lastly, we spent most of our time going through Nancy's fabric at Feather Your Nest.  If you recall in my first Weekend Antiquing post she was the $5.00 fabric lady.  Bonnie got several yards of beautiful fabric for panels in her kitchen and living room and a beautiful coordinating medallion fabric for throw pillows.  In the end, I ended up only buying one of these cute little birds that I passed on last month. 

Sometimes it's just as fun to shop vicariously through your friends.  : )

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