Friday, March 17, 2017

Starting From Scratch In The Garden

January 1st of any year

Moving to a new city, apartment or house

Starting a new job

Beginning  a new school year

All these things have one thing in common...

They are new starts- filled with hope for good things to come. Of course you know there's some work ahead, but new beginnings are always exciting.

That's how I feel about the backyard at our new house.

It's raw and the previous owners didn't do anything to it.

MLS Photo

MLS Photo
So where do you start?

I start by writing it down and listing what we want.

What we want is beautiful, but easy to take care of.

The gardens of our last home were beautiful and spacious...

but  they were a lot to take care of.

Every Spring, these gardens needed lots of work; 360 bags of mulch needed to be spread, plus 1 yard of chips for the path ever other year. 

That's a lot of work in the Spring! Gardens like that also need tending every week, especially after a storm.

Because of that, we want something a little smaller and easier to take care of.

If we want space, we can always go to our 3 1/2 acres at our Mountain Cottage.

Last Fall Mr. DIY and I cleared out a lot of the underbrush and overseeded the backyard lawn. We plan to cut down some of the pine trees to give us more space. The backyard goes back a ways down the hill and while the pines are beautiful the size they are now, in future years they will become very large and tower over the house. We'll wait to cut down the larger pines until the the pines farther down the hill grow up a bit so we don't lose too much privacy.

Last Fall we also added some mulch around the house and a few weeks ago I planted some broccoli.
Can't wait to have fresh veggies growing in the garden. 

We plan to clear out a bit more at the edge of the natural area, but we'll do it a section at a time, bringing in good soil and mulching a bed only 3 - 4 ft wide along the back edge of the lawn. When we're all through there will still be a lot less mulch to apply than our last house. This past Fall, we spread 32 bags....
A lot easier than 360!

 It will be awhile before we get to get some flowers and pretty plants in, but this time around, the plants will have to be easy to take care of. Cleyera will be the main shrubs, and we'll add an easy to take care of Camellia, hydrangeas and some flowering perennials among the evergreen pine trees.
Mr. DIY might eventually install another circular cobblestone patio with a firepit like the one we at our last house.

That's the plan- pretty and easy to take care of- and of course, it won't break the budget.

Little by little, the landscape will get finished. 

If you have any suggestions, I'm all ears!


Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Zhushing Up A Corner Of The Laundry Room

Can your laundry room use a little zhushing?

It has been a pleasure folding laundry in our laundry room ever since it was transformed from builder basic to pretty and functional. Lighting really made a difference too. This angle looked great, but there was a corner that still needed zhushing up...

The sink area was too plain and needed some attention. This little corner of the laundry room was dark because the tall cabinet created a shadow even though Mr. DIY added 2 additional can lights to the room . The space above the sink also needed something...

I didn't want to spend a lot of money on artwork, so I found a wood frame for $9.99 at HomeGoods and printed up something on the printer.

Because the sink corner was dark, Mr. DIY added a barn style sconce. We purchased it from Amazon(I'll link below) for less than $40. He also cut down a curtain rod we already had and installed it above the sink

The last thing I purchased was a decorative white liquid soap dispenser at HomeGoods.

Zhushing complete!

Thanks for stopping by, 

If you missed our laundry room makeover, you can find it HERE.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Change Up Your Family Room With New Pillow Covers

Can you ever have enough pillows or pillow covers?

I don't think so, but maybe that's just me.
The biggest problem with buying pillows is that they take up too much space. 
The great thing about pillow covers is that they take up so little space when stored and they cost less to 
make (or buy) than if you buy a whole new pillow. For less $60 if you make pillow covers or $60-$100 if you purchase them, you can give your Family room a whole new look.

I probably have a couple/three dozen pillows and just change out the covers seasonally. 
In January, I ordered 3 different blue fabrics and some zippers from and made 8 pillow covers 
for the Family Room. I found the faux Mongolian fur pillow from

Blue is both classic and trendy and looks great on a white, tan or grey sofa.

Add caption
When the next season or holiday comes up, it's easy to change out the pillow covers for something else. 

Couldn't help rearranging the pillows...

Sewing a pillow cover is pretty easy and doesn't take much time.  If you don't sew, pillow covers are available online at Amazon, Etsy or your favorite store. I've included a few cute pillow covers that are available on Amazon. Most of these are 18" pillow covers, one is 24" and one is 20", so make sure you have the right size pillow/inner cushion to put them over if you order any.

As you can see from the pricing, pillow covers aren't too expensive and you can get a lot of them for $60 to $100. They also won't take up much space once you need to store them. 

What's your favorite way to change up your Family Room?


disclosure: the above links are affiliate links and if you purchase something from them, I will make a small commission.