Che figata FRIDAY! … Patterned Paint Rollers.

It’s “Che figata FRIDAY!” (that’s cool, in Italian!) I stumbled upon the coolest thing ever! Patterned paint rollers! You can use the rollers as an alternative to wallpaper. Or paint a pattern on a piece of furniture or fabric.

You no longer have to worry about being an amateur artist. The roller does the painting for you.

These patterned paint rollers come from Clare Bosanquet at The Painted House. She brought the idea to the UK from Romania.

Che figata FRIDAYSo adorable! And very affordable. Che decisamente figata! (That’s definitely cool!)


Mexican Style with a Modern Twist!

In the small town of Teotitlán del Valle in Oaxaca, Mexico the fine art of weaving rugs has existed for centuries dating back to 500 BC. The Zapotec Indians of Teotitlán create hand-crafted rugs and other textiles from wool and natural dyes. The designs and dye palettes are unique to each family’s tradition.

The colorful geometric patterns reflect artistic traditions of the Southwest, Latin America and Asia.

I love the Mexican/Southwestern/Spanish influence in interior design:  earthy tones, arched entryways, heavy woods, colorful tiles and stucco walls. I also love blending it with other design approaches. I found some interior design ideas that do just that:  Mexican Style with a Modern Twist!

Although not very modern at the core, the bedroom above at reflects a more traditional Mexican feel with ornate woods, conventional décor and lots of decorative textiles. It has a modern sense with its mix of the southwest. I love it.

By incorporating Mexican textiles as rugs and pillows, an otherwise modern or minimalist room can reflect a natural warmth.

A simple Mexican textile can add an eclectic surprise even when remaining monochromatic (below).

You can mix a single rug into a sparce space to keep lines simple and clean (from above) or layer several textiles for a more dramatic effect (below).


Clean white stucco walls and coarse elements as raw woods conjure up an earthy Mexican image.

Touches of colorful textiles, ornate woods, ornate iron elements and simple stoneware exude a southwestern feel.

Simple flat weave rugs whether Mexican, Indian or Persian can accentuate any form of modern design.

Traditional Mexican colors mixed into your home’s interior can add a southwestern feel. I adore the fiesta ware below from Diane Keaton’s home in Architectural Digest and featured on

I hope you have enjoyed the Mexican design style with a modern twist. Here’s how I’ve incorporated a bit of Mexican style into my own home…


My Fiestaware Kitchen!

My California Mission tiles.

My California Mission tiles.

My Mexican inspired deck.

My Mexican inspired deck.

I love the Mexican style with a modern twist. It is an eclectic and non-conforming approach which reflects a modern design sense –  that is all about the mix!

A Swedish Valentine

I love this simple berry heart (above) created by Home of Voxgirl. I decided to knock it off! She used a Swedish berry called nyponröd. I decided to use cranberries. In addition, you’ll need wire and wire cutters.

cranberries and wire globalknockoffs

I shaped and cut the wire into a heart and one by one strung the cranberries onto the wire.

stringing cranberries globalknockoffs

You can continually manipulate the wire once all the berries are strung. I added a twine bow to keep it simple and natural looking.

cranberry heart globalknockoffs

It looks so adorable hanging outside from a tree.

cranberry heart in tree globalknockoffs

I made several different sizes.

cranberry hearts on snow globalknockoffs

I paired up two berry hearts to create a stacked effect.


So simple, so delicate and so easy to make. The perfect Swedish Valentine. Glad Alla hjärtans dag! That’s Happy Valentine’s Day in Swedish!

Scandinavian Trophy Head Straight From Nature

I recently spotted a very unique and natural décor item at Deco Crush. It was featured in an article called Get The Look, 10 Decorating Ideas For A Beautiful Scandinavian Kitchen (10 Idées Déco Pour Une Jolie Cuisine Scandinave). Nature holds a prominent place in the hearts of Scandinavians, and it couldn’t be more obvious than in the magnificent trophy head made from branches of wood featured in the piece.



Because it captured my eye, I just had to knock it off! I first scanned the forest that surrounds our house and collected fallen branches.


Then using small hand clippers/shears, I cut pieces (that were similar in width) to the same length. I looked for two branches that looked like deer antlers and two that mimicked horns.


Branches that look like antlers and horns

I cut two branches to be placed horizontally (one for the forehead and one for the chin). Using hot glue, I glued the antlers and horns to both horizontal pieces.


Then I glued the pieces that were similar in length and width to make up the face. I used 12 pieces total gluing them to the front and back to emphasize the 3-dimensionality.

IMG_2241Once all  the pieces were glued and dried, I sprayed a light coating of white spray paint over the entire piece to make all the branches match in color and to cover any flaws.


Once the piece was dry, I hung it in my living room.


I love it! Now, I have a little touch of Scandinavia in my very own home.


It works well with our rustic stone fireplace and the forest outside.


I love my Scandinavian Trophy Head Straight From Nature. I hope this motivates you to make one!




I recently made over my pre-teen’s bedroom. Because we switched out my grandmother’s antique dresser with a mirror to just a plain dresser without a mirror, I had to come up with a substitute. Of course, my daughter wouldn’t settle for just a plain plastic framed full length mirror from Wal-Mart or Target (she is her mother’s daughter after all). I remembered seeing a DIY mirror on shanty-2-chic. There she stained it. I wanted to add my own customized twist.


What you’ll need:

  • Inexpensive floor-length mirror ($5 at Wal-Mart)
  • Two 1″ x 4″ wood boards
  • Gorilla wood glue
  • miter box with saw
  • clamps
  • staple gun (optional)
  • contact paper

So, I began with just a plain full-length Wal-Mart mirror.IMG_0941

I carefully pulled off the backing and frame from the mirror. I bought two 1″x4″ pieces of wood at Lowe’s. (Because of having 3 young kids and a very busy life, I didn’t get around to this project as quickly as I would have liked, so the wood ended up getting paint on it while sitting around in my basement – that’s called real life!)


miterboxThen (3 months later) utilizing a hand saw and miter box (very inexpensive at any home improvement store) I cut the wood into the following sizes:

  • 2 pieces at 48″ long (tip to tip)
  • 2 pieces at 17.25″ long (tip to tip)


I then glued the corners and held them together to dry with clamps. On shanty-2-chic she staples the wood together while they dried.


IMG_1254I sanded down any remaining dry glue residue with a hand sander.


Then, I stapled the corners to reinforce them.




I grabbed the roll of contact paper my daughter chose from Target.


I cut the contact paper to 52 inches long and then cut that piece in half.


I carefully peeled the backing off slightly and laid the panels under each side. I carefully folded the corners first as you would a present and then peeled the remaining paper backing and proceeded to fold the sides.




Smooth out the contact paper until all air bubbles are gone. You may need to glue a portion of the corners where paper meets paper to reinforce the adhesiveness. I then applied the Gorilla glue to the rim of the mirror-side of the mirror and carefully placed it onto the back of the frame. I once again put clamps at each corner and even laid a few very heavy books around the frame. I let this dry overnight.

And there you have it! My very custom DIY Mirror.


If you love this project, feel free to PIN IT!

My Pre-Teen’s Bedroom Makeover

It has taken a few months, but I am finally finished with my daughter Julia’s bedroom makeover. When we first moved into our house, we painted her bedroom walls a green pool color. Good luck making that color work, right? Follow me through the very long process to the end result…

For the longest time, all we had on the windows were basic white shades and an old comforter set I bought before I was married (20 years ago?) on the bed. The furniture was comprised of my grandmother’s antique dresser and nightstand. I was desperate to remove these pieces from my daughter’s room seeing that they were getting more and more damaged every day. I took the headboard and footboard out a long time ago for that very reason.


My grandmother's antique dresser

My grandmother’s antique dresser

I found a well-made, all-wood, dove-tail detail and all bedroom set on craigslist for only $80.00. It had a sleigh headboard, footboard and rails, dresser and nightstand.


My daughter and I removed the hardware and sanded each piece.


Then, using a gallon of white enamel paint that I already had, we painted each piece two coats.

Then, after the paint was thoroughly dry, we sealed the furniture with a polycrylic gloss sealer. We also gave it two coats.

My daughter wanted the knobs to be multi-colored, so using acrylic craft paint we painted each knob and sealed them with the polycrylic finish.



The furniture came out beautifully. I love the bed most of all.


We bought sheer pool and white colored (yes, pool – Same color as her walls!) curtain panels from PB Teen. They were only $12.00 a panel! Each curtain panel came in a little cotton bag. We stuffed the bags with tissue paper, bought cute vibrant artificial flowers at Michael’s and tied them to a white hanger. Our little art piece hangs on her bedroom door!


I also found a pool-colored plastic Adirondack chair at our local grocery store for only $14.99. My daughter loves to sit back and read in it. It adds a touch of fun and youth to the room.


Because I absolutely hate holes in the wall, it was a must to have bulletin boards! My daughter would put a thousand tack holes in the wall if I let her. I found large framed bulletin boards at Wal-Mart and spray painted the frames a green chartreuse color. I then framed the inside with a zig zag patterned duct tape my daughter picked out.




During this past summer I found cute deck lights at my grocery store, of all places! And best of all, they were pool colored! I strung these up over her closet.


I found both the furry white shag rugs and the multi-colored lamp at Target. The baskets were bought for 95 cents each some time ago at a thrift store. I spray painted those white. I splurged on the duvet cover and pillow sham. My daughter picked out the multi-colored zig zag pattern from PB Teen. The orange (yes, orange!) sheet set came from Bed, Bath & Beyond (love those coupons!).


I had a plain plastic-framed full length mirror I think I bought at Wal-Mart some time ago. I took off the old frame, made a new one with 2x4s and covered the frame with an elegant patterned contact paper. See my DIY Mirror Frame project for the how-to.


There you have it! A  pre-teen’s bedroom transformation.




Carmel by the sea

I recently visited my home state of California with my daughter. Because my trips home usually encompass catching up with family (I am one of nine!) and visiting friends, I rarely get to enjoy the beautiful sights that California has to offer. This trip, however, I managed to slip in a visit to the beautiful picturesque town of Camel, CA. I love the quaint architecture of the homes and shops and the brilliantly blooming flowers.

carmel, ca



Majolica Pottery At It’s Best…

On a recent trip to San Francisco, I walked through it’s Italian district, North Beach. I came across this wonderful shop called Biordi Art Imports ( They feature classic Italian majolica, an earthenware pottery covered with a white opaque lead glaze that includes tin, and then painted and fired. Using the opaque white glaze is a style of painting particular to the potters from the island of Majorca in the Mediterranean (hence, the name Majolica).

Majolica vases

Majolica pitcher

Many majolica artists derive their inspiration from nature featuring exotically painted fruits and landscapes.

Majolica bowl

Majolica Pot

Majolica tray

Majolica vase


It’s Beginning to look a lot like…SUMMER, European-style!

I came across some wonderful light-filled summer retreats at, an Italian interior design site that is exquisite. I love the vibrant colors used on this balcony at Villa Fabrica in Santorini, Greece. Santorini is an island in the southern Aegean Sea.


I also love the simplicity in design with the stucco white, elegant yet plain table and chairs and a simple olive tree. Really emphasizes the beautiful surroundings beyond.


The same simple table and chairs can be used inside. Using a wooden picnic table (as of knock off of this idea) would have the same impact, adding a twist to your summer décor. Here, the table paired with a vase of olive branches really emphasizes an ocean front Greek island freshness. I’ll definitely have to knock off the olive branches in a vase! Would work well with eucalyptus branches as well.


I am crazy about the natural light effects at this summer home in Fermentera, Spain (below). It is one of the Balearic Islands in the western Mediterranean Sea, near the eastern coast of the Iberian Peninsula. The lattice roof (made from bamboo) allows the beautiful summer sun to shine through yet also provides an adequate amount of shade. I also adore the overall natural ethos that ties into the surrounding beachy landscape. I’m definitely going to knock off the hat rack made from a log base and branches.formenteraSpain

Wicker baskets, untreated wood  and white linens in various rooms accentuate the rustic and natural setting of this island paradise.



From, eclectic European charm is accentuated in unique summer homes (below)

Fresh and simple in Mallorca, Spain.

Fresh and simple in Mallorca, Spain.

White slipcovers and fresh citric colors reflect the outdoor natural elements in Mallorca, Spain.

White slipcovers and fresh citric colors reflect the outdoor natural elements in Mallorca, Spain.


A natural and cool kitchen that emphasizes a summer freshness in Mallorca, Spain.

A natural and cool kitchen that emphasizes a summer freshness in Mallorca, Spain.


Outside patio in Formentera,, Spain from

Outside patio in Formentera,, Spain from


Forsythia for Spring!

 If you have any forsythia bushes in your yard or neighborhood, you don’t have to wait until Spring has sprung to reap the benefits of this beautiful and sunny bloom. Forsythia for Spring! Just clip a few sprigs, place them in a vase of warm water and watch them bloom in just a few days!



They brighten up any room, and because the branches are very lengthy they can add a lot of height and drama in an otherwise bland room.


I placed a vase of forsythia in my front window and have enjoyed watching it bloom a little bit more each day.

My Forsythia

forsythia2 With snow on the ground outside, my blooming forsythia gives my living room that much needed touch of Spring!

It is now in full bloom and beautiful!

Forsythia at

My forsythia in full bloom after only 3 days!