About admin

A stay-at-home mother of three with a creative edge. Always looking for great diy design ideas that won't stretch the pocketbook. My MO: "keep it simple, stay true to yourself, and enjoy what the world has to offer!"

Malatesta Maison

A one-time country home of the Malatesta family (an Italian family that ruled over Rimini, Italy from 1295 until 1500) has been passionately restored into a family-owned B&B, the Malatesta Maison. This rustic stone farmhouse in the valley of the Marches, has modern elements like concrete and metal in its interior (an innovative contrast to the exterior) that is complimented by its simple and vintage décor.

The interior reflects the Scandinavian design style (from Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland) with its clean lines, light textiles, scaled back accessories and mid-century furniture.

The eclectic taste of the owners, Claudia and Carlo Ruzza, is simple, functional and minimalistic.

Black accents contrast the stark white walls and neutral pallette, and add dimension and texture.







Mon Cœur Métallique

Mon Cœur Métallique! I love my metal heart!
Wire heart filled with corksI recently came across an adorable decorative heart made from chicken wire.

I also found some other unique items made from chicken wire.


The chicken wire objects inspired me to create my own Cœur Métallique (metal heart). I already had some leftover chicken wire stored in our garage. I cut out a heart shape on two pieces.


Then, using a long strand of wire I connected the two heart shaped pieces.


I filled it with wine corks I had been saving!


chickenwireheartwithcorksI love mon coeur metallique! Great Valentine décor idea for a wine enthusiast!

J’ Adore Mes Coeurs

J’ adore mes coeurs! I was inspired by Valentine’s Day to finally take down some leftover holiday greens and pine cones and transition to hearts. I had some extra fabric sitting around and came up with the idea of sewing hearts. I love how they turned out!
Valentine Fabric HeartsI made burlap ones. I filled all the hearts with polyester fiber fill.
Burlap Hearts in Wire Basket

I had bought a linen table runner at a rummage sale this past fall for $1.00 and decided to use that for linen hearts. I also had an old cashmere grey sweater that had moth holes. So I used that fabric as well.
Linen and Cashmere Hearts

I found an old Burberry wool scarf that the moths had gotten a hold of. I think these are my favorite! J’ adore mes Coeurs Burberry!
Burberry Hearts

I displayed some in a wire basket in my living room.
Wire basket of fabric hearts

I put the remainder on some branches I collected and added Valentine lights.
Tree branches with lights and hanging hearts

Here are some other fabric hearts I found while spanning the globe!



Vintertid in Princeton, New Jersey

It’s wintertime in Princeton, New Jersey! We’ve had a few storms lately and the streets are blanketed with snow. I thought I would share some of the beautiful streets and lovely houses I get to see everyday! Downtown Princeton ShopsPalmer Square, Princeton NJPrinceton Shops Palmer Square ShopWitherspoon Street in Princeton, NJNassau Street, Princeton NJ

Mercer Street Houses, Princeton NJPrinceton NJ housePrinceton NJ houseWoodrow Wilson Home, Princeton NJPrinceton NJ housePrinceton NJ farmhouseBattleRoadPrinceton NJ houseBoudinot St House in Princeton, NJ

My kids and I decided to take advantage of all of the snow!
Sledding in Princeton, NJKids Sledding in Princeton, NJMe & my son in Princeton, NJ

Beautiful and Unique Chandeliers

Chandeliers and light fixtures can be a significant element in interior design. They can add uniqueness and style and personalize your home’s décor. They can also be more than just a style choice. They can be your expressive element in the art of living. I came across some beautiful and unique chandeliers that do just that.

I love ‘les pendentifs de la lumière naturelle’ (below) featured in e-magDECO’s “Un cocon familial simple et epure.”

I love adding unexpected touches like the attached water glasses to the chandelier below.


Gott Nytt År

Gott Nytt År! Bonne Année! Καλή Χρονιά! Happy New Year! I ring in the New Year (after being away for quite sometime) with a bittersweet perspective. Although I am looking forward to 2015, the Fall of 2014 was very sad. I not only lost my mother-in-law from cancer in September, but I also lost my own mother (who was 91 yrs.) from lung disease and heart failure in November. I am now trying to approach the new year in a positive and energetic way (which I know they would endorse and encourage). So this new year is a fresh start, a new beginning. Below are some of my favorite photos that exude a crisp, fresh approach to interior design.



Je vous souhaite une belle année 2015!

Ornements étoiles

J’adore les étoiles! I love stars! I decided to make some very French stars to use as Christmas ornaments. First, I bought plain unfinished wooden stars at a local craft store. The ones I bought had pre-drilled holes and ribbons. I cut off the ribbon.


Then I painted them all white and sanded down the edges for a distressed look.


Voila! They look beautiful plain.


But I decided to follow a transfer method I found on youtube and transfer French graphics onto them. The method works really well and can be found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSfj6eiNzew. I got some of the graphics from The Graphics Fairy under Vintage French Typography. Just make sure to reverse the images to a mirror image before printing out (I paste the images into a Microsoft Publisher document, save them as a JPEG, insert them into a different Publisher document and then flip them horizontally.


I used an exacto knife to trim the transfer medium that was created by the transfer process.


Because I love everything Scandinavian, I had to create a Swedish “God Jul!” And, because my husband is Greek, I also made a few Greek “Kala Christougenna” ones as well.


I found a wonderful vintage Santa with Joyeux Noel that I just love.


I came across a beautiful Greek Orthodox icon of an angel that is magical.


I created my own Joyeux Noel Eiffel Tower star ornament. I love Paris!!!


I also made a few more Kala Christougenna (Merry Christmas in Greek) ones with the Greek flag pattern. I’m going to sell these our Greek Orthodox church’s Christmas Fair.


There were quite a few graphics available under “vintage Christmas.” I love the God Jul graphic I found.


Voila! My very own beaux ornements étoiles! I picked up some branches outside in my yard and spray painted them with silver glitter. The stars hang beautifully!


Idées de déco de une échelle

Idées de déco de une échelle! Decorating ideas with a ladder!

Almost everyone has a ladder in their home. If it’s just sitting in your garage or shed, think about using it in an unconventional way:  as a home décor element in your interior design. If you don’t have one, you can make your own! (see how I did it below.)

I adore the hanging ladder (below). Very easy concept to copy!

The natural-looking ladders made from branches (above) inspired me to create my own.

I collected fallen branches from my own yard then sanded each one with my hand sander.

I then cut five 16 inch pieces and taped them into place on the two longer branches.


I drilled holes and then screwed each side of the 16 inch branch into place. I used 2.5 inch screws with thicker branches and 2 inch screws with the more narrow ones.

echelle decoratif

decoratif echelle2


IMG_5588bI love my very own échelle décoratif. I hung simple clear bulb lights like the Scandinavian interior designers do.

une echelleI hope you’ll be inspired to create your own échelle décoratif. I would love to see what you come up with!

Platypus French Country Knockoff!

I love the store Platypus. While strolling through it one day, I came across an accent table that had an old world French country feel to it. I loved it (below).


I love the casual and time-worn look of the French Country style that also projects a simple sophistication.

One of my favorite elements is distressed painted wood. That alongside a stained natural wood captures the casualness of the countryside of France.

Sometime ago, I was fortunate enough to be given a free pedestal table from a neighbor. I stored it in my garage waiting for the inspiration to do something with it. Once I saw the table at Platypus, I knew the look I wanted.

My plain pedestal table

My plain pedestal table

I decided to use some leftover Annie Sloan Chalk Paint I had in Old White.


I first painted the legs and base.

IMG_5189The wonderful thing about Chalk Paint is you don’t have to worry about sanding beforehand or applying the paint perfectly.

My table before being distressed.

My table before being distressed.

After two coats of paint, I took a piece of sandpaper and began sanding down the corners and curves to accentuate them and give a distressed look.


The table had wonderful elements and classic lines that didn’t stand out when it was all one color.


IMG_5210I love how it looks now. It adds a casual softness to my living room. Although it is a dining table, I use it as an end table (something I saw in Pottery Barn).

IMG_5228 refinishedtable

I love the look of my Platypus French Country Knockoff! It adds an understated and casual elegance to my living room!

Tee-se-itse TUESDAY! Do-it-yourself Autumn Candle Holder

I came across this very cute and easy diy! Perfect for Tee-se-itse TUESDAY! I found it at Spark & Chemistry.

All you’ll need are artificial fall leaves, a mason jar, mod podge and a paint brush/sponge.


You just mod podge the leaves onto the jar. You could probably use clear spray glue for a quicker application.


You can tie raffia, twine or burlap to the top and make a bow.


Such an easy tee-se-itse (do-it-yourself) Autumn Candle Holder.