Category: DIY Projects

Home decor, DIY, Do it Yourself, Renovation, Bedroom Designs

Natural Light Solutions- Solar Tubes

Solar Tubes, the 21st Century’s Deck Prism

Natural Light Solutions- Solar Tubes (1)

Have you ever heard of a deck prism? It is the coolest thing ever, at least it was the coolest thing ever a couple centuries ago.  A deck prism is made from glass and is shaped like an upside down pyramid.  It weighs about 15 lbs and was installed in the decks of ships to gather light and reflect it to the deck below so sailors did not have to use lanterns when transporting flammable cargo.  There’s your history lesson for the day….

Well, just think of solar tubes as the 21st century’s analogous answer to a deck prism.  Our friends just had two installed in their home, one in each of their bathrooms.  It is amazing the natural light that comes from these planetary wonders.  My friend said after their solar tube was installed she would always walk down the hall to turn off the light in the bathroom.  Light wasn’t on!  They love it!

I have a closet in our en suite that gets no light at all.  A solar tube is definitely on my list of things I want really bad!  We also have a bathroom that has only one teeny tiny window and would really benefit from a solar tube.  It is at the end of a hallway and would really brighten the entire hall.  Wait a minute!  Let’s put one in the hall.

The idea of natural light beaming down in my shower sounds fabulous.  Look at this bright space!

Natural Lighting solution- solar tubes

Fabulous Ceiling Ideas

Dining room with cherry wood ceiling panelsDon’t Forget the Ceiling!

We just had a nightmare occur at our house that gratefully has been remedied, but with expense, time, and much aggravation.

We had our ceiling textured as we finished our basement.  Unfortunately, neither one of us was home when the job was complete.  I can’t even describe to you the mess it was.  So as not to give myself a headache recapping all that went into this fix, I will not deliberate any longer.  But it does bring up the subject of ceilings.

Let’s think outside the textured box (wish I had) and take a look at some fantastic ideas for a much overlooked surface in our homes.  Here are some cool ideas to add such a punch to any ceiling.  I especially like the use of some of these ideas in a basement family room.

  • Beams ~ real or faux
  • Wallpaper, textured or not
  • Glossy wood
  • Weathered wood
  • Faux painted
  • Tongue & groove
  • Tin
  • Crown molding, of course
  • Think beyond white ~ use a bold color paint ~ or a contrasting paint
  • Skylights for an upper room ~ does amazing things and doesn’t have to be scary any more.  Check out Solar Tubes.

So, if you’re thinking about remodeling, building, or just need a change, think about re-doing a ceiling.  There are so many possibilities.

ceiling tongue & groove ceiling bright green kids room ceiling with wood

My Favorite Colors of Summer

Fresh New Summer Color Palettes to Love

I love the anticipation of summer.  In fact, I find myself in danger of wishing my life away waiting for the next season and the changes it brings.  For those of you living in a temperate climate, you probably have no idea what I’m talking about, but the change of defined seasons for me brings an excitement only suited to that particular season.  The clothes we wear, the activities we do, the cooking we enjoy, are all affected by the change in seasons.  Even the decorating.  In fact………

I just redecorated our little bathroom (sink & toilet type) a week ago in the bold colors of summer. I replaced the wintery picture of a boy with his dogs, with a painting of sunflowers.  I replaced the wintery pinecone potpourri with “GRAPEFRUIT”.  Seriously, Aromantique’s Grapefruit is absolutely HEAVENLY! I bought some apple green towels to add to the red and gold ones I already had (I love TJMAX.  I can always find something there I can’t live without. Great place for accent pieces, too).  I added a wreath with red pears, white-ish/green hydrangeas, and white berries, bringing out the little bit of green in the painting and coordinating with the green towels.  I added a soap dispenser with bright orange yummy smelling hand soap.

This looks like a very different room.  I love the way it turned out.  And because I repurposed almost everything including the painting I’ve had for years and never used, only cost me $30.  It was that much because of the $20 potpourri….but worth every penny!  The towels were $9. The wreath was one I had been using in my kitchen window but have exchanged with a cute little herb crate that I told you about a while ago.

These colors, yellow, yellow-gold, red, apple green, white, orange are the bright and bold colors of summer that I love.  Some may feel the yellows and reds tend to be colors more suited to fall, but when paired with the bright greens, oranges, and whites create a basket of summer you could almost eat!

It’s fun to intermix these summer/fall colors because it stretches your decorating budget by mixing and matching from season to season.

Maybe summer is NOT your favorite time of year. Maybe where you live is hot, humid, dry, or X-hot!  Consider using a summer palette to cool down your bedroom, family room, or back porch.

Other fabulous summer palettes, the light blues, butter yellows, celery greens all promote the calm of a summer afternoon.  The aquas, sea greens, and whites reminiscent of the Caribbean bring dreams of sun and sand. has dozens of summer palettes to choose from, and a great help when trying to put together your own preferred palette.

Wherever your summer dreams take you, treat yourself to a deco-treat of a few little changes that will hasten the summer fun you’ve been waiting for.

THESE are a few of my favorite colors of summer:

Colors of Summer colors of summer 2 colors of summer orange Colors of summer red Colors of summer yellow

Decorating in Rustic Charm


Decorating in Rustic Charm

What exactly is “rustic charm”?  That is simply up to the eye of the designer.  “Rustic” can mean anything from a pillar made out of a few pieces of stained barn wood, to the looks of an old sheep herders out-cabin.

Some may think “rustic” means old, worn out, used up and refurbished.  Others may suppose that a wide plank flooring is all you need to add a rustic flavor to the décor.

Wherever you fall on the country-chic living meter here are a few tips to consider.

  • Warm natural colors are the way to go to achieve the feel of the down home coziness rustic design intimates.  This doesn’t mean you have to paint everything beige.  Earthy yellows and bold, vibrant reds are wonderful colors to add to rustic decoration.
  • Adding some wood beams to an area, even just about the kitchen island, is a way to add that rustic flavor.  Sound intimidating?  If you’re not into reclaiming barn wood there are faux beams that can be purchased and installed in a weekend (or less).
  • Antiques or flea market finds.  Use your imagination and reclaim some of that stuff in the garage.  The old camp fire coffee pot, old scales, milk cans, wash tubs, ladders (a great idea), old chests or trunks, those doilies you’ve had no idea what to do with.
  • Lighting is important.  Choose, or make, some lights out of Mason Jars.  A candle chandelier, an old oil lamp, or lanterns.  These items are so popular now if you don’t have any old ones chances are you can find made-to-look-old ones in home décor stores.  And don’t forget about the made-for-the-garage- sconces we’ve talked about before.  WONDERFUL elements for the rustic look.

Start out by adding just a few rustic pieces positioned in between your traditional favorites.  Notice how quickly and with very little effort that old down home feeling comes alive.  You may not need to do nearly as much redecorating as you may think to achieve the hominess of a mountain retreat.

Decorating in Rustic Charm- Great ideas!    Decorating in Rustic Charm- Great ideas!