The One Where I Channel My Inner Nester

My friend Myquilin (better known as The Nester) is my Interior Design guru. I read her website and sigh at how beautiful and serene and lovely her house is, then usually look at my house, shrug my shoulders and assume I will never be able to pull off anything pretty or serene.

But something has gotten into me the last few weeks. I needed a distraction from my thoughts; I needed something to keep me busy and my dad had some time off to help me paint, so without really thinking about it, I started rolling the snowball and gave it a good shove.

The results are turning out marvelously, if I do say so myself. I have a long way to go, but I am slowly piecing together the home that I’ve always desired but assumed myself too inept to actually have.

I mean, we all know that I stink at DIY projects, right? Last time I attempted a do it yourself project, I ended up needing a steroid shot to combat my tracker jacker bites.

Dad and I repainted half of the interior of my house last week and I must say, it looks smashing. Of course, now all my furniture no longer matches (hello Craig’s List!) and I need new curtains and area rugs (hellooooo IKEA!) and…well, you get the snowball analogy, right?

I’m trying to reuse the few pieces that I can by repainting them. I made my first attempt at painting furniture on Saturday. Using Annie Sloan chalk paint (which is supposed to be fool proof…I decided to put it to the ultimate test), I refinished the table that was behind our couch.

We didn’t pay very much for this table and I’m not attached to it so I figured it I messed it up then no harm done. Friends, everything you’ve ever heard about Annie Sloan chalk paint is true. It practically does the work for you. Case in point – this is what my table looks like now.

Once I finished admiring my handiwork and patting myself on the back, I looked around at what needed to be done next and I asked myself, WWND?


What Would Nester Do?


She would shop her house, that’s what she would do. And so that’s what I did. I moved the blue vase from our bedroom (which Lee makes fun of…he calles it “Grandma’s Ashes” – punk…) and a couple of the colorful frames I had scattered throughout the house. I grabbed my pretty yellow pitcher that always makes me smile and a stack of books and threw it all on top of the table.

Then I went to Michaels where I bought the letter ‘S’, a piece of scrapbook paper and the bright green frame. I removed the glass, glued the paper on the back of the frame and then glued the ‘S’ to the paper and stood it proudly atop the books.

Look at me go!!!

I’ve also had these pretty Alphabet Bible Verse Cards for awhile and I’ve wanted to do a better job of displaying them so I used my thinker, looked through a couple of magazines, and I decided to keep it simple. I grabbed a couple of thumb tacks, a piece of string and the little clothespins that I use to hang up Christmas cards and viola!

Indeed…I do love it. I love it a lot – especially the way the colors all move from one room to the next in a way that makes sense.

Now I just need to sell all my brown furniture (except the pieces that I plan to paint…nothing wooden is safe in my house now. I MIGHT BE ADDICTED TO ANNIE SLOAN!) But it’s all starting to come together, slowly but surely. (Warning: The color and quality of these photos are not good. I didn’t have the patience to keep trying to get it right. The walls are a very pale, light grey…)

If you know anyone who might be interested in the dining room table and chairs and the hutch, let me know!

The cornices above the windows used to be dark brown. It took several coats of white paint (the same paint I used on the trim) to cover it but it was worth the effort. Now I just need some bright curtain panels to frame the window.

It’s not perfect…yet. But that’s the other thing that Nester has taught me – It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful. For now, I’m just happy with progress because it feels like something in life is finally moving forward. This, oddly, gives me a sense of hope for the future.

Who knew redecorating my house could be so philisophical?!



What are you up to this week?

We Interrupt Your Regularly Scheduled Blogging

Don’t mind me.

I’m just covered in paint.

Seriously. I can’t paint without getting it in my hair, on my legs and on a good day somewhere on my face.

This is a big job.

I did not consider the ramifications of repainting half my house before beginning.

Actually, that’s not totally true. Deep down I knew this was going to be a huge undertaking. I just pushed that little fact waaaaaaay back intot he recesses of my mind and pretended like this would be a walk in the park.

Good news? We should finish the bedroom and foyer today.

Other news that’s not necessarily bad but not jump for joy good, either?

We have the living room and dinig room to tackle tomorrow and the ceilings? Well…they’re kind of high.

But the best news? It’s going to look suhweet when it’s all said and done. And by all said and done, I mean after I sell off all the furniture that I don’t want anymore, get new furniture that matches the Feng Shui I’m going for, repaint the furniture I want to keep and give the entire room an overhaul.


Big Job.

But in the end it will be worth it because I am going to LOVE it.

Carry on, friends. I’m off to paint.

(And a big shout out to my dad who is sacrificing his time and sanity to come help me paint even though he really, really hates painting. But he loves me, so all is good. Right, Dad?)

The gene that skipped me

I am good at many things.  I know this and I embrace it.  Sometimes I doubt it, but deep down, I know the things in which I excell and I chase after them, sometimes with great glee.  Sometimes with trepidation.

I also know, however, of a great many things that I do not do well.  Like sewing – can’t do it.  I can’t even sew a button on a shirt without it falling back off within a few days.

I made an Octopus pillow in 7th grade.  I sewed it to my jeans…twice.  Ultimately it turned out pretty darn cute, what with its crooked eyes and all.  I haven’t sewn a single thing since then.

Ironing.  This is another skill that somehow passed on by me.  I can do it, of course.  It’s not rocket science, ironing a shirt.  But I’m not great at it.  I never know how to lay the shirts right on the table and I end up making more creases that need to be sprayed and ironed out and…

I felt a bit of shame over this one when we first got married.  I felt that ironing my husband’s shirts was a wifely duty that I needed to conquer in order to honor him.  I was certain that my initiatiation into Wifedom would not be solidified until I hung his shirts and pants, starched and pressed, in his closet.

I surrendered all of those feelings of failure a long time ago and, thankfully, I have a husband that doesn’t mind ironing his own clothes.  If he’s in a pinch and needs something – I am his gal!  But mostly, I don’t iron.  In fact, I can’t remember the last time I ironed.

And I don’t feel bad about that.

Decorating.  Ah, decorating.

I stink at it.

I don’t know if this pillow should go there or if that picture should hang here.  I don’t know how to arrange a book case to make it look cute and not cluttered.  I don’t know how to hang knick knacks on the wall in a way that is cute and doesn’t make my house looks like it’s inhabited by an eccentric old woman with 99 cats.

I don’t like to watch HGTV, because it makes me feel inadequate – and it bores me a little.  I actually just heard some of you gasp in horror. 

Picking out paint colors sends me nearly into shock and the decision to move our TV over the fireplace almost gave me a heart attack.  My husband has been wanting to do that for eight years.  I have resisted because I just couldn’t see it.

Then my neighbor came over.  My neighbor who had a table that she thought would look better as a bench so she sawed the legs off and painted it white and low and behold, she had herself a bench that looks like it walked out of Pottery BarnI would never have thought of something like that.  Ever.  If I didn’t know what to do with a table, I would get rid of it.  Or better yet, just sit and look at it for a decade and mutter repeatedly, “I hate that stupid table.”

Carol walked into our house on Sunday and in two hours the entire house was transformed.  Trans-flippin-formed!  Our front room, which has always been a bit of an eyesore has now morphed into a warm, cozy music room.  For eight years we’ve wondered what to do with that room and in one hour Carol fixed it.  We sold a desk, moved furniture and lamps around and voila’!  Transformation.


Then she tackled the rest of the house.  Like the foyer, which has felt like a cave for the past two years.  See the beautiful hutch in the above picture.  That bad boy was in our foyer.  And yes, for two years we have tripped over it, muttering under our breath and we were prepared to get rid of it.  Until…


And yes, she moved our TV over the fireplace, turned all the furniture toward it and by God if it doesn’t look like the room is twice as big.


Lee has been smugly strutting around the house all week.  Yes, dear.  You were right.  The TV looks great over the fireplace.  *eyeroll*

So now you know.  The decorating, designing, making cute from drab gene passed right on by me.  And it laughed as it raced by yelling “See ya, sucka!”  And I’m left with nothing to do but put this picture here and that painting there and then sit and wait for someone to come along and do it right.

I’ll try not to wait eight years this time.