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Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Round up!!

This week’s Friday “Question of The Day!” was quite thought provoking. We got so many great comments that will be helpful to the reader that asked the question.

I took bits and pieces from different comments that summed up the general overall feeling of my readers. They are in no particular order. I just copy and paste from the comments……….

One suggestion is that we need to manage our desires better and make 'a plan' for purchases and projects. Maybe that 'delay' will help us manage our choices better and discover that we really don't need x and y and could probably make-do with z

I think we get tired of 'things' when we've accumulated too much or spent too much time thinking about "things.
The reader shouldn't feel too bad about her desire to always be improving her home. It is an occupational hazard!
She just needs to learn to sew, or paint her own walls and generally become a DIY-er in order to not end up in the poorhouse!

The trick of course is to only spend what you can afford. It's a different thresh hold for everyone
I love to change things out each season. I find that is often enough without breaking the bank. I stay away from fads and trends, so I don't get tempted there.Only buy what you really love and you will not tire of it!
NOW FOR AN ANSWER...well, teeeheeee.....to me, the answer is quite simple. Be happy with what you have! MWAHHHHHH....I know that may not be what this person wants to hear! But be happy with whatcha got, take your time to figure out what you really want and then slowly take the steps towards the goal. That is what we did.....

fantastic question! I love traditional design, and usually go for neutral colors on larger surfaces like walls, rugs and upholstered furniture. I change the smaller decor elements like pillows, votives and even the "art" on my walls, regularly. Most of which I buy from flea markets. All investment pieces MUST be traditional

I change things up approximately every 5 years. I live in a townhouse and my mother told me my rooms must be smaller than everybody else's because there are so many layers of paint on them! I keep almost all of my furniture fabrics white and then just change out the paint color, pillows and window treatments.

Basically my readers feel we should all have a real plan in place before making a purchase for our homes. Once we have a plan in place then and only then should we buy what we truly love, not fad pieces. 

Sticking with classic, neutral pieces for our larger purchases such as sofas, chairs, carpets is a wise choice. Add color and trend pieces in pillows, mirrors, lamps etc.

A good way to save money is to re-purpose items with paint. Try learning some DIY skills to off-set the budget. These were all great suggestions and very practical.

I agree with every single suggestion. I never start a project without a plan of attack. I feel this is one of the most important aspects of designing a home that you will love.

Thank you to all of you that participated this week by leaving a comment. If any of you have any questions please email them to me and I will use them in one of my Friday’s post!! 

This is great fun! It is also a way of helping, and supporting each other.
I am looking forward to reading all of your helpful comments for next weeks, “ Question Of The Day!”


Email your questions to:
Subject: Question of the Day!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Friday’s QUESTION Of The Day!!!

Today we have a really good question from a reader. This one is really going to make you think! I know it really made me think. It is something that I think all of us designer-types struggle with from time to time.
This reader wrote:
Hi Kathysue! I love your new series. I have a question...not sure if it is appropriate for your series, but it is something I really struggle with.  What do you do when you've spent so much time and money on your house, only to he sick of it a little while later? And adding fresh flowers or rearranging the furniture just doesn't do it. I have the remodel itch all the time....I tell my husband it is an occupational hazard, but really, it's going to put us in the poorhouse! I wonder of others experience this, and what they do about it?

I told you it was a good question!! Very thought provoking, isn’t it?
I was going to give my answer in this post, but I am going to start giving my answer on the Round up post that I will be posting on Sunday. I don’t want what I have to say to influence any of your answers.
I can not wait to read your answers in the comments!!


Thursday, July 28, 2011

I Am Feeling A Little BLUE!!

After working in my garage all week I needed a bit of a relief for my eyes. I needed to see some beauty, so I wanted  to talk about something that I love!! The color blue!!

When blue is mixed with white it becomes a crisp, fresh, classic. For today’s post I thought I would show you some of the images that draw me in because of “BLUE!”

I know not everyone loves blue as much as I do, but I am sure even those that don’t call it their favorite color will enjoy the view……

I love this large box pleated  table skirt, the large print is another show stopper.

I don’t know where to begin in this dining room, I love it all!!

I just had to take a little time today to enjoy looking at something that I love!! BLUE!

“Enjoy the Process” Of:

Looking at whatever color you love!!


BTW: come back tomorrow for the Question of the Day!! It is a really good one this week!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Sliding Boxes!!!

Do you remember playing the sliding number game when you were a kid?


I remember playing it on long car trips. It was such a challenge to move the numbers around so you could slide the numbers into proper sequence. 
Why am I talking about a sliding number game on my blog that has to do with design?

Well, that is what I feel like I have been playing for the last week in my garage. 
Yes! I have been cleaning my garage and all I seem to be able to do is slide one box out to slide another one in its place. Too say I am frustrated would be an understatement.

We have lived in our home for over 32 years so there has not been the great big purge that we all do when we move from one house to another. I have purged some, had a couple of garages sales along the way, but nothing of any great significance. Nothing that ever seemed to really make a big difference in its appearance.

I will confess I have way too many things and way too many boxes. I am purging, but obviously not enough because there is no more room at the inn.

I have purged, categorized, labeled, compartmentalized and now for the hard part….. finding room for all the boxes. The sliding box game begins.

I  am not going to show you any horrible BEFORE images, trust me they are horrible. Nor will I be showing any glowingly beautiful AFTER images. I just needed to tell you all, my dear readers! I feel over whelmed!!!

Do you get this way when you are trying to accomplish something, and in the middle of it you realize  all your hard work really did not make a big difference?

I have looked at organized garages, and to be frank, they don’t have a lot of stuff like I do, in fact they have very little. I am beginning to think those that have organized garages have attic space or basement space where they hide all their boxes of stuff!! I am a pretty logical gal so trust me, I know I need to get rid of more stuff!!

Am I the only one with a dirty, cluttered garage or are there more of you out there?

If I could have a dream come true garage it would look like this………….

Source: bhg.com via Kathy Sue on Pinterest

Only in my dreams!!

This is one time I can truly say I am NOT…..

“Enjoying the Process!!”

BTW: My post, "Back to Basics," is being featured over at, " House of Fifty," blog today.

Monday, July 25, 2011


In the summer my mind will inevitably go to the beach. Not just the surf and sand but the possibility of living at the beach. Most of us can only dream of such a wonderful possibility, but dreams are a necessary part of life, don’t you think?

In dreaming of living at the beach we can envision a small cottage……..

Or maybe something larger like a gorgeous home in the Hamptons….

Okay, maybe this is too far of a stretch for my dream home at the beach.
How about something in-between like this………….
Now this is just right!!!!!

How would I go about decorating this lovely beach cottage? I wouldn’t want to get to kitschy or thematic, like this……….

As cute as this is, and as fun as the color combination is, it just takes it one step too far for my own personal taste.

I started thinking of what beach elements would I like to have in my home. I decided that I wanted what I will call, “Beach Elegance!”

I needed to define what that meant to me, and what elements I would need to achieve this look.
Navy and Cream
Any shade of blue from navy’s to aqua's mixed with white, cream or sand.

Other than the view outside the only nautical or beach themed item is the nautical instrument on the tripod. That is just enough to give this room its beach feel and still remain understated and elegant at the same time.

Although there is not a seashell in sight this room still has an elegant beachy vibe to it. I think it is the turquoise bottles and the great rattan coffee table. I would probably use a seascape piece of art in place of the blue and white porcelain artwork.

Turquoise and Cream

I am not completely sure if the art pieces are intaglios or shells, but for the sake of this discussion let’s view them as shells. This vignette is completely elegant and yet with the shell artwork it could be in an elegant beach house, don’t you think?

By having some artwork displayed of ocean scenes this would fit perfectly in an elegant beach home.

master bed and bath 027 In my own personal master bath I have chosen ocean colors to decorate with. By adding just one shell it takes on the elegant beach style that I love.

master bed and bath 032
On the top of my armoire I have ocean colored glass bottles with seashells.

Master Bed and Bath 2 009 
master bed and bath 015
I chose the color scheme of blue for the water, soft linen for the sand and white for the shells. I love the look and the feeling my bedroom gives me each time I step inside the door. I take a deep breath and relax. That is exactly what going to the beach does for me too!!!

This room by Meg Braff is elegant and simple. Notice the beach feel not only comes from the color, and the beautiful sea coral prints, but notice the texture of the chairs and the wallpaper. They remind me of the rope used to tie up  boats to the dock. You see, there are ways of having a beach styled room without getting too thematic or kitschy.

Now that I know the color direction I need  to stop and think about what type of ocean inspired elements are appealing to me.


I love shells, but not placed everywhere in a room. I like them to make a bigger statement. I find that big is better and less is more for me. I also love baskets, rattan and a beautiful seascape for artwork, a well made model sail boat is also appealing to me. If the room has just one or two of the elements it will be just enough to give me the elegant beach house I am looking for.

This mirror makes a wonderful statement because of the abundance of the shells and the size of the mirror. If there were more shells in this area such as in the dish on the console it would be one step too far.

Shells and Baskets
I like the large white coral and the sea fan on the mantel. I would have to eliminate the two elements by the pitcher of hydrangea’s. It is one step too far for me. I like the big statement piece on the mantel.

Having this magnificent sea shell chandelier would be plenty of beachiness in any room. Can you imagine having this view to  look at with breakfast every morning?  Perfection!!


It looks as if the bags are all packed up to head down to the beach for the day. The glamour in the mirrored table is a wonderful contrast to the casual shell chandelier and the beach baskets. This is one of my favorite  images that represents my look of,  “Beach Elegance!”


Simple, Elegant and still gives me a seaside feeling.

All the elements in one room. I probably would not had the coral beneath the piece of art. The large coral on the coffee table would have been enough for me.

Sail Boat

One large scaled mode of a sale boat with the addition of the turquoise and cream color scheme gives me the quality of  Beach elegance!!

 Subtle Elegant Beach Style

Sometimes I see a room that is not overtly done in a beach style, and yet I can tell it is by the seaside.

Sea grass rug, beach colors, baskets, it all says a beach-side home to me!!

Not a shell in sight nor a seascape and yet this just says,
“Elegant Beach style.”

So there you have it!! My take on what I like to call, “Beach Elegance.”

If you were to have your own beach house, would it be casual or elegant or maybe somewhere in-between? What colors do you think you would use? Would you do a thematic style of decor or would you go more subtle with your beach elements?

“Enjoy the Process” Of:

Dreaming about decorating your very own  summer beach house.

All of the above images are from Pinterest

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Round-up!!

I had so much fun reading everyone’s comments on Fridays Question of the Day. Apparently the majority of us are very lacking in our organization skills when it comes to family photos. I guess we are more normal than we thought.

However there were a few that seem to have a handle on it. I was amazed at their answers and at how organized they are. 

Here is what they wrote:

That was my frustration, bordering on major mother guilt, for years!!! I had boxes of pictures plus one family album (spanning several albums) for all three grown children. Dilemma: each of our children needed an album of their very own. For some very strange reason, I did not think ahead at the time and make three separate albums, as they grew up together. I was SO busy, I quite frankly thought they'd never leave home!
Now they have families of their own. I took all those pictures and spread them out in piles, categorizing as I went; I had piles covering all the kitchen counters, dining room table, coffee table and floors! I gave myself 3 days and it took 4 ten-hour days for that stage. Then, I sorted more and finally ended up with 900 pictures for each child (3 albums of 300 pictures each). The whole process took 2 weeks, 8-10 hour days. BUT it's done. Not so good pics went to the trash. And I saved any keepers that didn't make the cut for the albums for each child in one of those special boxes for pictures and put it in each grown child's memory box. I debated scanning and making a 'real' book via BookSmart online. I bought a decent scanner but that takes EONS of time. No thank you. and I debated sending a huge box of pictures away to be scanned (too much risk of loss). The three-set album for each child is different from his or her siblings with several common pictures (which I did have scanned). Twas a lot of work and a lot of joy too.
My best advice: give yourself deadlines and stick to them! Listen to music as you are sorting and don't 'dwell' on pictures and memories, until later, when you are all done.
July 22, 2011 7:41 AM

Wow!! I think this reader hit the nail on the head, we just need stick to it and do it!!!

Here is another good idea that a reader had:

Kathysue, ugh, this is difficult question. I have made 2 special albums - one is the "Family History Album" with family from grandparents through grown kids. A treasure. The second one is a Christmas album through 40 years (so far) with one page for each year. It is also a treasure - makes you pare down to essentials. I'm planning one album for each grown child and I have started plain old photo albums for each (of 6)grandchild trying to have 5 to 10 years in an album. The rest of the pics are in photo boxes waiting to be used or tossed. I treasure EVERY black and white old pic of family.....will NEVER get rid of those photos. You've inspired me to finish (at least to this point).

This last comment really seems to have a good system and one I would love to do:

We have gone totally digital on this one. Each year, I make a DVD (the Mac has easy software I use to do this) of all the really good pictures we've taken throughout the year. I organize the DVD into events/seasons like "Birthdays, Summer, Spring Break." These DVDs are kept in a binder and we can pop one in and watch it anytime (it also has music so it is a montage of sorts!). The rest I copy to a flash drive and put them in the safety deposit box. If there's one that I absolutely adore, I print it out and frame it! So, now everybody knows just how Type A I really am!!
Thanks, Kathy for this post, I really enjoyed reading all the comments! M.

Thank you all for your wonderful answers to this weeks Question of The Day!! For those of you who missed out be sure to go to the comment portion of the post and read all the honest and helpful answers!!
Don’t forget I will have a new question each Friday so we can all participate and hopefully along the way learn some new ideas and ways of handling things in our lives!!

Enjoy the Process” Of:

Being a part of a wonderful community of helpful people in blog land!!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Friday’s Question of The Day!!!

This is the first in what I hope to have as a weekly series. I am asking my readers to email me questions that they want to ask about things to do with our lives, homes, beauty, fashion, children etc. I will then do this weekly post. You will remain anonymous, only your question will be posted.

The answers will come from YOU, my readers, by writing a comment. I of course will also contribute to the answers if I have an answer to the question.

Shall we begin?

Our very first question is:

My question today is what do we do with all the family photographs in boxes, drawers etc. that didn't make it to the photo albums?

 My answer:
I have a friend that seems to have a really good handle on her photographs. Every year in January she takes her photos, and puts the best ones of every one in a photo album. The pictures that are good but not necessarily album worthy she goes through those and sorts out the best and puts them in a box with the year marked on it. The others are discarded. This seems to have worked quite well for her over the years.

Notice I did not say what I do with mine, because it is also a problem for me.

Now it is up to you, dear readers, to give your answers in the comments.

Thank you ahead of time for participating!! This is fun!!!

“Enjoy the Process” Of:

Helping out fellow bloggers by giving them your input!!


Remember to send me your questions  to:
Subject: Friday’s Question of The Day!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Fun Blue and White Summer Pieces!!

I got an email from World Market last night and on the front page they had an array of some fun blue and white items that they are calling, “Our New Eastern Indigo Collection.”

As soon as I saw the blue and white it peeked my interest. I love the crisp look of blue and white. Summertime is the perfect time to add blue and white to our homes, inside or out.
Here are just a few of the fun and reasonably priced items that I saw…….

wool chrocheted rug 3x5 49.99 world marketThis blue and white wool crocheted rug measuring 3X5 is only $49.99!!

Indigo Koi cube 79.99 world market 
A handy cube that can be used as an ottoman for $79.99.

Indian Koy bamboo rug 4x6 49.99 world market
This is a bamboo koi rug measuring 4X6ft. I think this would make an amazing wall hanging. Just think about using it outside on the wall. What a fun summer addition for your backyard.

koi tea pot 19.99
For $19.99 I think this fish tea pot is adorable. It would make a wonderful container for the green leaves of a hosta and some white hydrangeas. I have always had a thing for fish ceramics. Not sure why,but I am always drawn to them and this darling tea pot is no exception.

If your home or outdoor entertaining area needs a bit  of sprucing up I think these would do the trick!! I would not  use all the koi inspired items together, it would become a bit thematic, but one of these pieces would look great.

Before you leave I thought you might enjoy seeing a few rooms that are blue and white, a favorite of mine for summer decorating.

Have fun shopping!!

“Enjoy the Process” Of:

Adding some fun blue and white pieces to your summer decor!