Che Figata FRIDAY! (That’s Cool, in Italian!)

I love this idea (above) of painting an enormous letter (or your initial) on one wall. Che figata!

Unique twist to an ordinary bookcase! Bring the outside inside in a unique way by wallpapering the wall behind a bookcase with a nature-oriented theme. Great way of emphasizing a “green” home.

Love these tiebacks (above). Add a modern and industrial touch with out-of-the-ordinary hardware. Che figata!

I love the chandeliers (above) from Pascal Delmotte and below from Arren Williams Design Lab. Simple, modern and elegant… and very cool.

Another cool feature from Pascal Delmotte (below) is to incorporate natural elements like rocks or boulders into your interior design. Very organic and modern and very cool.

Che figata! FRIDAY (That’s cool, in Italian)


Happy Friday! Here are some fun do-it-yourself candle holders that I think are very cool…

Chez Pixie

Wisk candle holders (above) from Chez Pixie. Unique and industrial-looking. Would look great hanging from tree branches or around a deck or patio.

Cement goblet tea light holders (above). An easy diy project using a simple cement mix and plastic cups. Another industrial-looking décor piece. Paint a terra cotta color and sand them down for a French look right out of Provence!

Twine tea lights (above). What a simple idea. Use double-sided tape and twine to give plain tea lights an organic and natural look. Would look great lined up on a fireplace mantle or down the middle of a table. So cute and so simple.

Paper covered tea lights (above). Another simple yet cute idea using ordinary tea lights! With double-sided tape or glue, apply patterned paper to the sides of basic tea lights to decorate for a theme party. Would look adorable for a baby or wedding shower. Use maps for a going away party!

I hope you have a wonderful “Che Figata! FRIDAY” by finding cool things that inspire you!

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.




Hurricane Sandy End Tables…

Hurricane Sandy hit us pretty hard here in Princeton, NJ. As a result, we had lots of downed trees. What to do with leftover cut tree stumps? Upcycle!! I’ve always wanted to have a natural look on our outside deck. So I decided to make end tables from the stumps. It was a bit more involved than I had anticipated. With three kids, I could only get to the project on the weekends. But after several months of procrastination and a step by step process, we now have beautiful, natural end tables on our deck just in time for summer!

stripping log

Once the logs were completely stripped of their bark, it was time to sand them. I bought an inexpensive hand sander at Lowe’s for about $30.00.


It took awhile to sand the sides completely, but with the help of my kids, we got the job done!

Then we applied a clear gloss exterior stain. I only bought a quart and it was more than enough. We applied two coats to the top, sides and bottom.


Because the logs are so heavy, I wanted to be able to move them around for convenience. I bought wheels to attach to the bottoms. First, I drilled holes to make installing the screws easier.

drilling holes


Then I screwed each wheel in with “wood” screws (metal screws that are meant to screw into wood).

Screwing each wheel

Once I was done, I turned the log upright to make sure it was balanced.


I now have two beautiful natural looking end tables for my deck! And the best thing is that they were upcycled from a natural disaster with the help of my kids!



Hurricane Sandy end table



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


Everything IKAT!

I am so loving everything IKAT! Although the textile pattern has been around over the past year, it is still being featured in everything from purses to pillows. Here are some of my favorites…


I adore this colorful green and blue burlap throw pillow from World Market, only $24.99.

madelineweinrib.comikatlucitechairOne of my all time favorites is this one of a kind Blue Daphne Ikat Vintage Vladimir Kagan Lucite chair. From Madeline


Pottery Barn featured this sold out Vivian Ikat duvet cover and pillow sham. You can still find it on ebay!


If you only want a touch of the ikat pattern, these beautiful ikat throw blankets made from recycled cotton yarns are available at for $165.00.

The Farmhouse

And, right in my own backyard are these ikat patterned chairs at The Farmhouse Store in Westfield, NJ and Princeton, NJ. Love them!


A unique ikat patterned accessory are these Blue Ikat Place Mats featured at They are 14 inch square, and come in a set of 4 for $267.00. A bit pricey!