Home decor · refreshment at home

Home Office Renovation

While many people have recently begun working from home, my husband’s office has been in our home for most of his 40 years of ministry. When we moved into our house eight years ago, we were thrilled that the first room off of the front entry way was an office. God took care of every need!

When a pastor has to have lots of books at easy access, it can really crowd up a room, so I’ve fought with how to make those books accessible and also look lovely, rather than crowded.

My husband is in this space for many hours every single day and I wanted to freshen up this space for him so it would be inviting, bright, and also reflect the things he loves. So one day I just went for it and started piling up books on our dining room and shifting furniture around until I found the best possible arrangement. Keep reading and you can see the amazing results that some simple changes made!

The picture below is the only BEFORE picture I took before I got in there and started my redo. I just get so excited about projects that call for redecorating!! You can get the idea of the old set up, which was that the desk was in front of the window with hopes of looking out on our beautiful view. However, the computer really blocked the view and also kept the window light from coming in. The ceiling light was a builder grade fixture that gave very little brightness and zero beauty!


On the picture below, move the slider over so you can get a feel for the before and after.

The first thing I did was to add the jute rug. I love that it warmed up the space and also added a masculine feel. Then I moved the desk so that it faces the door. It gives it more a feeling of a true office, and I also love that I can see my husband’s face when I walk up the hallway and he’s sitting at his desk!
The print over his desk was found at Hobby Lobby (where else?!). It was part of their spring decor (?) line and I get it 66% off! The mountain scene was perfect!

His leather recliner has just the space needed if he wants to stretch out, or if someone else comes to his office and needs a place to sit and chat. I hung the curtains I already had up a little bit off the window frame to lengthen the window a bit. The view of the mountains and the countryside can now actually be seen from his window!

My husband is an avid hiker and runner, so I hung his medals on the display board beside the bookshelf. The P. Buckley Moss print of the Blue Ridge Parkway is the perfect print for my Scenic Highway husband!

The painting of the old church was done by a gifted artist in SC and gifted to us by his niece, a dear friend of mine! Again, a perfect piece for a pastor’s study. I had tucked this away, looking for the perfect place for it. I’m glad I didn’t just slap it up somewhere because I loved it so much, but waited for the best place where it would be seen. Patience pays off!

I couldn’t get a good shot of the ceiling light that we replaced, but I found a ceiling light at Lowe’s marked down to $20 and it’s so pretty. It adds about 10x’s the light the old one did! What a difference that made!

My husband is really enjoying his new office space and that makes me happy! One day while I was out, he sent me a text saying how much he loved his new space and thanked me for the work I’d put into it. That made it worth it all!

I truly believe the greatest difference in the office was the rearrangement of the furniture. I spent around $25 on the canvas behind the desk, and $180 on the rug. All the other decor was already in our home. Lots of leg and muscle work went into this room when I consider how many books I moved, but again, it was well worth it!

What room do you have that just isn’t drawing you in?

Why not try to refresh that space first with some muscle power of furniture rearrangement? Maybe, like my project, everything else will fall into place easily after you get the placement right!

Tell me what room you’re thinking about changing!

Home decor · refreshment at home

The Easiest Method for Helping Indoor Plants Survive

Real plants in your home can add so much. I’ve gotten to the place where I forage through my yard for the fresh greens to make pretty arrangements, but I’m also adding some live plants.

I went to Lowe’s recently to look at succulents, and while I was there, I found a beautiful little fern that had a little wick at the bottom of its pot. That wick is how the plant gets its water! You place the plant into a reservoir with water in it. As the wick sits in the water, the plant will draw up as much water as it needs! This eliminates the fear of over or under-watering!

This system is perfect for anyone who wants to make having live plants easier. It’s also perfect for caring for your plants while on vacation. You can purchase these plants all ready for you with the wick system in place (my little plant was $5). You can also purchase the wick and add it to all your house plants!

ORIMERC 30 feet 1/6 inch Self Watering Capillary Wick Cord Vacation Plant Sitter DIY Hydroponic Wicking Self-Watering Planter Pot Automatic Water
This is $3.99 on Amazon and has 30 feet of wick! That would take care of a LOT of plants!

I put the mirror behind the plant to double the visual impact of this fern on my bedside table.

Silk ferns and ivy will NEVER find their way back into my house after finding these beauties!

Refresh your greenery in your home with some real greenery…even if you don’t have a green thumb! The wick system takes all the guess work out of growing plants!

Have you ever heard of the Wick Plants? Does this make you think you could have a live plant in your home and not kill it?!

Walk closely to Christ. Give Him your cares and have a lovely weekend.

Home decor · refreshment at home · spring

Spring Decor Refresh

Spring is a time of freshness, new life and so much beauty. Our homes can reflect all those characteristics simply by adding a few simple touches. I love to shop around my yard and my house for those items. I try to keep it light and airy with not too much on tables and shelves.

I have mentioned before that using fresh greens is so much better than buying fake plants – unless they really look real.

Here are a few vignettes that I added this week…

Bar counter tiered stand. Boxwood limbs and lemons add the pop of yellow and some fresh greens.
The succulent on the bottom tier is artificial, but the real ones look artificial, too, so I’m happy with this little pot.

The entryway needs a fresh welcome. Greens, some chocolate to share with guests, and my guest book all rest on the entry table.

My little church chalkboard is the message I want all my guests to do!
I broke my fake flower rule here, but they do look pretty real., so they’ll work until my roses begin to bloom again!
Kitchen table

A bamboo tray on the kitchen table holds a darling tea pot from a sweet friend, a succulent, a tray of encouraging quotes from another dear friend, and the salt and pepper. Small baskets like this are so versatile!

Coffee Table

To my wooden decorative balls, I added some moss covered balls. I made these for less than $3 with items from the Dollar Tree. Styrofoam balls, hot glue and Reindeer moss were used to make them. So easy! I’m going to be on the lookout for a small strand of tiny white battery operated lights to add to this bowl. I think they’d add the perfect touch!

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I removed the mirror from the mantle and changed it out with the old window, just for something different. I added branches from the backyard for greenery and then used only white decor. Something about green and white just feels fresh!

I love these curly branches!

What do you love adding to your decor in the spring? Maybe some of you had to add a snow shovel to your front porch this week when that cold front blew through! Crazy weather! Here’s to warmer temps and some lovely vignettes!

We have some super-fun plans for this weekend I can’t wait to share with you! Hope you have something fun planned, too!

Home decor · refreshment at home

My Cozy Minimalist Family Room Makeover

Myquillin Smith’s book, The Cozy Minimalist has helped me to transform yet another room in my house. You may remember my living room makeover that was completed at this time last year. You can find that post here. The transformation made such a difference and created a space we still love so much.

Soooo, I was very excited to move to our bonus room upstairs to give it some much needed minimalizing. What is crazy is that we called it the Family Room, but our family spent little time up there because it just wasn’t inviting. All the leftover pieces of furniture got put there and it just didn’t flow. I’ll prove it by this embarrassing Before photo…

It pains me to even look at this before photo!

First, I want to say that I prayed about how I wanted to use this room. and I also prayed the Lord would give me wisdom to purchase what was needed and stay in a budget that I had saved for. Use:

  1. We wanted to have groups of people – our family, small group Bible study, folks we would counsel and also guests. We needed good seating, and a place for coffee cups or tea glasses.
  2. I also wanted a place where my grandsons could play and join me for Bible Club.
  3. My husband needed a spot that was good for rest and relaxation; a place to watch football
  4. I wanted and a place where we could be together in the evenings

When I decided to redo the room, I used a beautiful horse painting we were given by the dear man who painted it to guide my colors and style! It’s quite large and I could never find a spot to hang it. Now it’s the centerpiece of the room. I painted the wall behind it a deep blue to accent the colors in the painting and make it “pop.”

One new piece I purchased was a love seat. I looked everywhere for one I loved and finally found one at Robert’s Furniture Store in Greeneville, TN. The sales rep there was so helpful! I couldn’t be happier with our Made in America purchase!

Here’s the first peek at the room…

Per the clear and precise guidance of The Cozy Minimalist, I emptied the room of everything except the big pieces to “quiet” the room. Then I could really focus on what I felt the room needed.

Our sofa was about 25 years old and I was ready for something I was in love with. I sent it to another home where it’s being put to good use because it’s still in perfect condition! Then I went to Facebook Marketplace and searched for a replacement. When I found a white slip covered sofa in perfect condition I knew that’s what I wanted. She was asking more than I felt I wanted to spend. I prayed about it and offered her less. She took it!

Part of the way through the redecorating

Again, following the advice in The Cozy Minimalist, I purchased my rug before choosing paint. These had all the perfect colors from the horse painting and is large enough to go under the sofa and chairs.

The leather Ottoman came from a store in Brevard, NC – MANtiques. I wanted the room to feel masculine and like a library kind of feel, and when I found the leather Ethan Allen ottoman, I knew it would be perfect in our room. I called the store with an offer lower than the price tag. She came down a little, but it still didn’t fit in my budget. I told her I would pray about it and get back to her. The Lord gave me a price to offer. I called back and she said, “I’m happy to give it to you for that!” “Thank you, Lord!” It has storage under the lid, so it’s a great place to hold our games!

We did some furniture swapping in our house and had two chairs that worked perfectly for more seating. Shopping your own house is great and free!! The only other thing I purchased is the large round mirror over the sofa. It came from Hobby Lobby and was purchased at 50% off! I love that it reflects the painting, the blue wall and the good light from the wide window.

I’m still contemplating my curtains. I’m thinking about going with a blue.

The television armoire was built for us by my father-in-law many years ago. I love having the television tucked away from view.

I’ll end with a before and after. Simply click in the middle of the next picture to slide the picture over to reveal the whole before and after photos!

Click in the middle of the picture and slide it over to see the Before and After!

The planning, purchasing and work of the transformation took six months, but it was worth it! We have spent so much more time up there already!

Is there a room in your house you don’t use because it isn’t inviting? I urge you to consider using Myquillen Smith’s techniques. I’m clearly not a minimalist, but her step-by-step guide is so helpful in making decisions in every step of the process. You can’t even imagine how easy it makes decorating! Don’t forget to pray about each decision and let the Lord make the room a blessing for you to use for His glory!

I hope you’ll refresh a room in your house!

denise a
Christmas decor · Home decor · seasonal decor

Christmas At My House

My pantry door chalkboard is a great place to add holiday greetings!

Happy week before Christmas! I’m posting pics of our house this year, albeit, my house is NOT the overdone, beautiful Christmas showcase. There are a couple reasons my decorations are minimal. First is because my husband and I took two weeks vacation in December. Therefore, we’ve been gone a good chunk of the month. Secondly, I’m really scaling back on my holiday decor, and instead am trying to simply decorate for the season as I explained here.

But I do love all the holiday things, and have tried to add a little pop here and there to make the home Christmas-cozy. I’m reminded that it’s more than just what you SEE. I’m hosting our family (Lord willing), so all the smells, sounds and warmth of the season will also be present when everyone gathers! I can’t wait!

Here’s a little tour of what I have done so far…

My kitchen is the hub of our home. The counter just has a runner with my tiered stand. I used my red and green Fiesta Ware cups for my salt pillar and measuring spoons. A little sprig of fresh greenery was tucked in the top. Oh, and baked goods like this sour dough Cinnamon Bread add to the fragrance of Christmas!

My living room coziness starts with this rug that feels like the softest blanket you’ll ever wrap up in! I adorned the mantle with fresh greenery from my yard. I hope to add my white lights there when we return from vacation!

The fireplace in our bedroom adds such a visual warmth. Liza enjoys it, too! My little Memory Tree is a special treasure and the perfect size for a bedroom. My sweet friend gave me this tree several years ago. Each ornament has a special memory written on it – the name of a loved one, a place we’ve gone, or a ministry we’ve served in. What a precious treasure the entire tree is!

Our “big tree” is back in our family room again this year, but in a different spot. I’m in the final stages of redoing this room and I can’t wait to reveal the whole project, but for now, here’s a little corner for you to see. My new rug has pops of bright pink and light blue, so I added those colors of ornaments to my tree and I love it!

You just can’t have Christmas pictures without a Christmas Cat! Liza has adorned our Christmas tree for 15 years. I think she approves of the new room and the location of the tree! The next picture also gives a better view of the colored ornaments I added to our HUGE collection of “special” ones we’ve been amassing through the years.

Our tree is a very full tree, but it’s appropriate because Christmas reminds us how full our lives can be. His Word tells us that in the “fullness of time” God sent His son, born of a woman, under the law to redeem us out of the law and to adopt us as His own. When we trust in Christ, we become a child of God! We have the rights and privileges of a full-grown son! Now that is a reason to celebrate!!

I pray your heart is even more full that all the decor in your house because you know the Christ of Christmas. If you don’t know Him personally, let me just say, He’s waiting for you with open arms.

Merry Christmas, Friends!