home accessories · Home decor

One Decorating Tip To Instantly Enlarge Your Room

This summer I redecorated our bedroom and I am in love with the way it turned out. It’s so much more inviting and it functions so much better!

I’ve sung Myquillyn Smith’s praises before here on my blog, but that won’t keep me from telling you again that her decorating steps have transformed my house! In her book, Cozy Minimalist Home, she gives the order that one should follow when decorating a space. I won’t go through the steps, but I do encourage you to get her book if you’re looking to refresh a room you hate! The “fix” won’t be found in Target’s pillow aisle or Hobby Lobby’s canvas prints. Trust me…those things need to wait. Get the book; you’ll be so glad you did!

I will tell you one secret she shared that has transformed my bedroom when I redid it this summer. Ready?

Hang the drapes high and wide!

You won’t believe the difference it will make in the room. Let me show you my visual! When I was redoing our bedroom, I took a picture with one window where the drapes were on suspension rods in the window and the other window was hung HIGH and WIDE.

Does the window on the left look much bigger? It’s all because of the placement of the drapes!

The lighting was poor in the picture above, but you can definitely see the difference, right?! Just stepping into the room now there is a “Wow!” factor simply because the windows look so much bigger!

I’m on a mission now to rehang all the drapes in the house! It will take time because I’ll need longer lengths. Buying 96″ or 102″ is usually what is needed.

Here’s the bedroom to date. I’m still hoping to paint and hang replace the fan with a light fixture, but I’m loving where it is at this moment!

Let’s do a side by side before and after. I’m being vulnerable to show this before picture! Ugh! I’m just glad it’s much better now!

Next week I’ll share with you my bargain finds and more details about what went into the room makeover, but for today I hope you’re inspired to

Hang those drapes high and wide!

Are you drapes up high or do you need to make some changes?

Fall · seasonal decor

Cozy Fall Decor for All the Senses

After reading The Cozy Minimalist Book a few years back, I have taken a whole different approach to decorating for fall. I have only a few “fall only” pieces in my home. Now I try to use real leaves, real pumpkins, and things from my yard. I pull out my fall-colored dishes and candles. I attempt to incorporate all five senses to find fall touches all through my home. Let me give you a few glimpses of what I mean.

In my kitchen I have a cookbook on a book stand, opened to a fall cake. The pumpkin plate on the stove is one of the few pieces I mentioned. I’ll use it September – November as my spoon rest as I cook.

The lazy Susan on my island holds a candle that I try to keep lit. It is a Wood wick that crackles. It gives a great aroma of fall scents, but also the sense that a fire is crackling somewhere. The tiered stand has a couple snack plates and a fall leaf spreader on one side.

The other side holds an orange Fiesta cup used as my salt pillar, a succulent and a couple pumpkin napkin holders.

My Southern Living Magazine is opened to a page of fall scenery and a tall pillar candle rests on top. Here there are both fall visuals and scents.

For the mantle I put branches from trees in the backyard into a white pitcher. They last a long time in water! I like it so much better than a stem of fake leaves!

Twinkly lights in a bowl filled with moss balls and wooden decorative balls add a little more sparkle and warm glow in the living room.

Cozy layers rest on my leather ottoman in our family room. Leaves from my yard are my florals and a magazine picturing a yummy stew is there on the tray.

Dried leaves and wheat stalks are in a tall vase on the armoire. I love those turquoise candle sticks in the brass holders. I learned that you should always burn the wicks of your candles. A little drippy wax down the side of the candle adds to the coziness.

Another fall picture is on display and ready for reading in the comfy chair.

One thing you can’t see is my Alexa that plays the Autumn playlist I’ve made up. It has songs like, Autumn Leaves and songs from Little Women. Cozy music is so-o-o inviting!

It’s all the little appeals to the five senses that make a house feel like fall is slipping inside. I have also added my fuzzy pillow slipcovers and some soft throws on the couches. Yep, it feels, looks, smells and even sounds like fall in my house.

Do you consider all five senses when you decorate for the seasons? What else do you add?

Refresh the senses for fall!

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
home accessories · Home decor

Just Keeping It Real, Folks!

Last year I read The Cozy Minimalist and I loved it! Myquillyn Smith, the author, doesn’t tell you to clear everything off your counters or have an undecorated home. Rather, she tells you how to use what you have in a wise way. I read the book because I felt like I was being inundated by stuff. I still have lots of it, but I’m learning to decorate with less, and I love the look so much more!

Recently, Myquillyn shared a live chat on Instagram about how to use greenery in your home in a way that is beautiful. She went to Michael’s and World Market looking for branches of leaves that looked real. She’d pick up a branch of silk fall leaves and say,

We can do better than this!

I have to agree. Plastic leaves that LOOK fake won’t fool anyone else’s eye if they don’t fool mine.

Her strong suggestion was to go outside and cut branches from your own yard, or from the area (with permission, of course!). Arrange the branches in a vase of water and enjoy! Every few days you may need to switch them out, but they’ll look far better than the cheap ones do! Here’s my recent attempt to add some greenery to my dining area ~

The very next morning while I was walking, I found a beautiful tree branch that had fallen from a tree on the street and was on the side of the road. I picked it up and carried it home with me and here’s where its new home is…

I look forward to finding some branches with colored leaves in the weeks ahead. I may not always have fresh branches in my vases, but I’ll definitely look for fresh more often!

Take a look around you and consider fresh greenery for fall, and even in winter. Those trees and bushes that need a little trim could add just the right touch to mantles and table scapes!

Have you ever used branches from your yard to add green touches around your home?

Consider refreshing your indoor greenery by keeping it real!

Here’s how I “minimalized” my home last year after reading The Cozy Minimalist. Be sure to scroll down and see the side by side before and after pictures!