Rugs for Entry Way

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Choosing rugs for the home can be a little intimidating.

It is really difficult for most of us to make a large priced purchase that is essentially the statement piece for the room. We want to show our style, but it can be hard to know how bold a room can go or how to match furniture and paint colors. The hardest of all rooms, in my opinion, is the front entry way. You want the rug to welcome your guests into a comforting home, but you may also want it to be a bit more formal as it is the first thing your guests will see. You also want the rug to be somewhat consistent of the style or feel of the rest of your home.

Here are some of my favorite entry rugs:

This beautifully colored Tuscan Dawn Moroccan Trellis in Titanium would be a stunning addition to a front entry. I can picture it with a black bench and umbrella stand, a lighter gray or ivory wall color and a black picture frames with black and white family pictures.

If you have a larger, open entry way a round rug is a great way to go! This rug, Shaw Living Christine in brown, is an elegant way to welcome your guests. If you love it but just do not have the right space, do not worry – it also comes in standard, rectangular sizes.

This bold, yet tastefully muted Artistic Weavers Blossoms rug in Rust is one of my favorites. This would look great with all kinds of decor styles. If you need a basic wall color, choose the tan as a great match with dark brown furniture and some red accents like a great rust colored entry table vase.

No matter what your style, it is in your best interest to stay on the muted side with your entry area. Picture your home being bright red, with bear rugs and giant tikis on the walls with bold, Native America style decor. Instead of overwhelming your guests in the entry, try to tone it down just a little bit. Maybe choose a monochromatic entry rug – choose a color that is consistently through your home and add a little wall decor with your style. Your guests will feel welcome into your home with a little bit of your style and as you lead them through, it will grow on them in a fabulous way! It will also bring in great conversation as you lead them through your home and you can begin to tell stories of where you got your decor, your travels, etc. Just remember that if you overwhelm them with your belongings, your guests are less likely to feel immediately welcome in your home!


The Un-Sharpie Method of Painting Dishes

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I have seen tutorials all over the internet about how to paint coffee mugs, plates, etc with Sharpies.

Full disclosure – I have not tried it myself. This is because I have also seen sites that claim they tried it and the idea failed miserably! Within a couple washings, even if washed by hand, these people state that the Sharpie just smears right off. I decided not to attempt something that is a possible waste of resources, not to mention time, and try to find another way to do this.


Image Credit:

The idea above shows drawing on the mug Not with a Sharpie pen, but instead a porcelain marker. These markers work just like Sharpies, but are meant specifically for ceramic, porcelain, glass and metal. After drawing, you will need to bake the mug, allow to cool and hand washing is recommended.

peb pen

Image Credit:

You can find porcelain markers at several retailers. I found one that I am excited to use (shown above) from a brand called Pebeo on Dick art supply. They have a pretty good selection of colors and come in fine and broad widths for under $5 each. Instructions are on the link under Description.

Bird Feeders

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I have heard that once you have a bird feeder in your yard, birds will start to rely on it for their source of food. For that reason, you should not have a feeder unless you are fully prepared to take on the responsibility of feeding them. I have never been good at this, but am going to attempt to try again.

We have been hanging out in the yard a lot lately due to the beautiful weather and BBQ season, so I figure now is the time to start filling a feeder so we can look at all the pretty birds while relaxing outside at the end of a long day at work.

The problem is, there are So Many great ideas for feeders – I want to make or buy them all, but at the same time do not want to clutter my yard.

Here are some that I absolutely love:

While I have seen many teacup feeders, this one from Busted Button comes with a really great user-friendly tutorial. These would make for really great and extremely cheap gifts – just hit up an estate sale for a few matching sets. I have seen these practically handed away for free because they no longer have the full tea set – but all you need is one cup and a saucer! In case you can’t find it, Home Depot sells chain by the foot for really cheap.



This chandelier style hummingbird feeder is sold on Amazon from Parasol. I love the look of this and I know hummingbirds are very attracted to the color red. I love watching hummingbirds – I have no idea how they are able to keep those little wings flapping for so long! I have also seen tutorials where people have re-purposed chandeliers themsevles and use the glass sconce part as a dish for bird seed. A fun money-saving idea if you have a funky old chandelier you are looking to play with!


Image – NeatoShop

This Zombie feeder found at NeatoShop is, well, neato. I have a friend who would absolutely love this as a gift. Quite nasty, I must say! The nails are actually perches for any birds that are brave enough to actually take food from this awesome feeder!

I can not wait to start bird watching!

Upcycling with Pallets!

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There are so many ways to save money when remodeling or decorating your home by upcycling.

One of the easiest ways to upcycle and save a ton of money on wood is by using pallets for your projects.


Photo: Bridgman

Many companies use pallets for shipping and dispose of them when they become slightly broken or weak. If you do not know where to find them, my best suggestion is to hop on Craigslist for your area. I see pallets regularly posted for free in my area. Or, if you are a bit more adventurous (I DO NOT recommend this!!), grab them off the freeway. No joke, a few weeks ago I was sitting in rush hour traffic when I see a car swerve really quickly into the emergency lane…then I see the driver hop out of his car and start running towards a pallet that was off to the side of the road! I guess he had a good project in mind ;) !

So what kind of projects can you use pallets for around the house? Well, lucky for you I compiled a list of Great Ideas, like this amazing patio table set shown above by Bridgman. Just promise me you won’t collect your pallets on the freeway!

Purchasing fruit crates can be Way Expensive. Make them free with pallets, and you can even paint and decorate to look like the real thing if you wish! Visit the End of Ordinary link above for details on how to make these crates!


Why not upcycle to create a whole wall of awesome? I love how each piece of wood is a different color – what a natural and beautiful look. For directions on how to complete this project, visit the Bower Power Blog link above.

A Few Ideas for Creating a Fabulous Front Porch

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There are so many thing in life that I dream about, and having a porch is one of them.

I never considered the idea until visiting some friends who live in the south. Nearly every single house on their street had a porch – families were hanging out sipping lemonade just like you might see in a movie from the good old days. Where I live, houses really don’t have much of a front yard at all. We have a small patch of grass with a tree, then a basic driveway that leads to the garage.

So after visiting these southern homes, I became inspired (okay, completely obsessed) with the idea of creating a porch at our home. While we currently cannot afford to do so, we decided we would start setting aside some money with the intention of creating a porch in the somewhat near future.

While I do not think many of these will work with our current home, here are some ideas that we are “considering”!


image –

I love watching anything from Bob Vila, and this image above came from his site. I think this idea is the most practical for our home, in a matching sense, since we do have this wood plank style of home. Bob Vila calls this the Bungalow style, which I guess is what our home is? I think it would be pretty with stone on the bottom portion, but I think that gets fairly pricey.

Initially, I thought our home would not be able to have a porch because of its lack of dimension. Our outer walls are mostly flat with not much overhang. If you have the same style of house, never fear! I found this home on Front-Porch-Ideas-And-More and hope you will go visit the site to see the”before” image for this home. While I am sure the renovations cost far more than I can afford, I keep this image as a reference when I am dreaming about a porch. It is an absolutely stunning home!


image –

Lastly is this home from Better Homes and Gardens. I absolutely love the idea of creating a sort of circular porch like this. It would add a lot of beauty and dimension, and probably value, to our home. Not only that, but it looks far more practical – I could fit a small round table on the deck for more seating!

Summertime always makes me want to work on the house! I am determined to make this porch idea into more than just a dream ;)

Tree Stump

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When we moved into our house, there were three tree stumps. Okay, I wouldn’t exactly call them stumps… they are about four feet high! The old owners cut down the trees because they were close to the house and nearly growing into the roof. Long story short, we are in the process of removing these “stumps”, so crafty me decided to do an internet search on what to to with these large pieces of wood!



Check out this rustic stool from BarStools & BarStools! I guess it it quite popular as it is on back order at the time of this post, though their site shows more will be available in August.

I am currently searching for ways to make the bottom half of a stool as I think a set of these in my home with my tree stumps will be So Fun!

Switch Plates – Say Goodbye to Plain and Boring!

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If you are like me, your house is probably filled with white light switch plates.

They came with the house. And if they aren’t broken, why fix them?!

Well, I will tell you why! Tucker, my son, came on a shopping trip with me the other day. You know how kids are – they see something they want and they just have to have it! Well he started throwing a fit over a switch plate that had Thomas the Train on it. I said no, he was not getting anything if he was going to act like a “bad boy”. But once he calmed down and we had left the store, he asked me politely. So once he finished his chores, I told him we could look at the internet and find something he liked.

My internet search for switch plate covers was an eye-opener. I guess it is actually a thing to decorate your switch plates! I grew up with white ones and have had white everywhere I have lived. But a little time on the internet can open your world up to all sorts of new ideas!

Unfortunately for Tucker, I had to say no to his favorite, only because I thought he was a bit too young for it. It might have given him (or ME!!) nightmares. This Nasty, but oh so amazing light switch plate show below from Etsy shop DogzillaLives is made from polymer clay and completely disgusts me in the greatest of ways! I have a friend who would Love to have one for her art studio, but my Tucker will have to wait a few years ;)

switch 2

If you are looking for something a bit more guest- friendly for your home, I absolutely fell in love with these filigree style covers from Wallplatesonline, shown below. So much more beautiful from the standard, cheap white nonsense I have been using for the last 30+ years! These seem like they will add value to your home when selling because they are just so pretty ;) . They come in all sorts of sizes for your whole house.


If you want to match your home decor completely, or add a bit of vintage look, try the tutorial from the image below, Whimsically Homemade. Seeing this vintage style makes me think it would be fun to copy and paste on a family heirloom recipe or an old wedding photo for the kitchen light switches!


As for Tucker, his decision was to go back to the store for the Thomas the Train! What can I say, my child knows what he want when he sees it ;)