Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Personal Thank You

I just want to take a minute and thank you for helping make
Design Challenge a success.

I started blogging because I wanted to connect with people,
share ideas and inspiration, and feel like I was part of a "community".
If I ever thought it was "all about me" that concept faded fast.

The reason behind Design Challenge
was born out of the idea of helping others.
I knew that there's some amazing talent out here in blogland,
and that we could all share our ideas and expertise,
(or lack thereof)
with our community of blogging friends.

Sometimes we need a fresh approach,
a helping hand,
and a new direction.

Sometimes we need encouragement
and the knowledge that others are willing to walk that extra mile with us.
As I said yesterday to a friend,

"I think a friend along the road to the destination,
makes it a much more enjoyable journey."

So thank you for taking the time to be a part of this,
it's not for me, but for the one that's been brave enough to open up
and say Hey, I need a little help.
Thanks for your wonderful comments,
even if it's just an "atta girl"!

And I want to ask for special prayers
for my dear friend, Anne,
Her mom has undergone surgery
and is in a very serious, fragile state.
Please remember them.

much love,

Design Challenge #6: Let's help Dianne!

Hi Everyone!
Dianne has a Design Challenge

Not only is she designing her Living Room
She's Designing a new life.

Here are some photos of Dianne's Living Room
which is pretty much a "blank slate" to work with.

Here is Dianne, "In Her Own Words"

My name is Dianne and i live in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Beautiful city. I am 57. As you can probably see by my lack of design from my pictures that i have no design. I think i did before, but it has completely changed over the years.

I was married for 32 years and one day my husband went to a other town where his brother lives and never came back. He did not want to be married. I have 2 boys, all grown and they were shocked. My style back then was comfortable but truthfully not my own style. This all happened 4 years ago. Time went on and i am presently living with a wonderful man. Who really doesn't mind what kind of style i have in my living room.

When he moved in i had all my old furniture, well about 2 months ago i decided to ditch the couch, love seat, lazy boy, dining room table, buffet. Out with the old!!!

Now comes the dilemma. I really love the shabby chic/french/romantic kind of feel. There is a blog out there "Simply Me" and i just love her style. I really don't want to paint the walls, as part of the purging i got BF to paint the walls "Cottage White". The floors are new also, dark bamboo flooring.

I was thinking of an Ikea couch, Ektorp. I have heard from some blogs they love that couch. As you can see most of the walls have nothing on them, except one wall.

Inspiration Photo Ikea: Ektorp sofa

I have a hard time in regards to placing the furniture once i have some furniture. My living room is a place where we watch movies and tv. I live in a small three bedroom townhouse.

I truly appreciate Debra putting this out there and am really looking forward to reading your comments. So whatever you think of that would help me to achieve this shabby/french/romantic feel for my living/dining room would be greatly appreciated. I am completely open to new things.


I believe this wall must be directly across from the large window.

Dianne has some wonderful Romantic/Shabby pieces.

The coffee table, buffet, several mirrors,
writing desk and chair, and an end table
all look like they could be used in her shabby design style.
and hmm... is that a white dresser I see (without the drawers)
and a chandelier, too?

She just needs advice on how to pull this look together.
Let's help her with some ideas
such as art work, possibly a rug,
and furniture placement so she can get this plan in motion.

Thanks in advance for sharing your thoughts,
it really means so much to the recipients!

Remember, you don't have to be a "professional"
to weigh in with your ideas.
Just share your immediate thoughts on what
you would do.

And your welcome, Dianne,
we're happy to help!

If you haven't entered my
Romantic French Style Give Away
you still have this week to enter.


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Fall Changes in the Dining Room

A couple of weeks ago
I shared my inspiration French ticking
and the fabric I found to make a table runner.

Well, I finished the tablerunner and made two accent pillows,
and I'm really lovin' the change!

I arranged my French iron basket on the table
with some wonderful sunflowers
and now I'm on my way for Fall.
Oh yeah, my absolute favorite time of the year!

and just a peek of one of my favorite old prints,
The Gleaners
 on the wall in the background.

Here's one of my decorating assistants.
She's such a huge help,
can you tell...?
she's dusting.

There's still time to enter the
Romantic French Style Give Away
just click HERE

I'm joining in today with

and these other great parties,
(links on the buttons on the sidebar)

Hope you're having a wonderful weekend,
and that you survived Irene,
all you out on the East Coast,
our prayers are with you.


Design Challenge #5 Jen's Fireplace and Niche

Hi Everyone,
welcome to a weekend edition of
Design Challenge!

Sometimes we have design challenges that were ready made for us.
In this case, Jen from Easy Peasy Chic 
is trying to work with the placement of a fireplace
and adjoining niche in her Great Room.

Below are some photos of Jen's Great Room
that show the culprits.

She is trying to find a way to make the fireplace the focal point of the room
while at the same time utilize the niche for their flat screen TV.
 Take a look at the configurement and you'll see what she's up against!

Here we have it in Jen's own words:

It just so happens that I have a BIG dilemma and the only cure I am afraid, is very expensive. The builder's niche has made keeping the fireplace a focal point in my great room almost impossible!!! It is soooooo frustrating. I think a custom built unit to fit the niche may help but the best price I have found is $1000 and I can't swing that. Of course my dream would be to demolish it all and rebuild a fireplace in the center of the wall and hang the tv above that. But that won't be happening for 20 years! So ANY advice would be great!!! The TV needs to stay here and I need storage that the dresser so freely gives for dvds, wii etc. I sooo need some wonderful and cost effective ideas on how to help my fireplace win the focal point battle it is having with the dingy niche? :)
Jen :)

More from Jen...

Making the fireplace a focal point again!

Anyone ever stained a precast stone fireplace? I am wanting to make my fireplace more of a focal point. After finally choosing paint we love we realize that it made the fireplace disappear. So I have been researching the possibility of staining the stone. It sounds like it can be done and for probably under $45!!

Here are some lighter colored ones that stand out nicely against their background paint..

Jen is looking at a custom design cabinet for the niche,
but needs some help right now as that might be a little while in the making.

Anyone out there know anything about painting this precast stone
since she wants it a lighter color?
Also, it sounds like they just painted the entire room so that might not
be an answer to this challenge.

Put on your decorator's hat/thinking cap for this one.
Let's get creative and and see if we can help Jen out!
Thanks a bunch in advance, everyone!
Hope you're having a great weekend,

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