Before and After, Decor, Home, My house

Working With What You Have: Kitchen Renovation

I have a problem. I have a really hard time showing you a project that I’ve done until it’s 100% perfect. My kitchen is a great example. I did most of the renovating last year between January and April and though it looks pretty damn good, I still haven’t painted the ceiling and gotten the perfect flushmount so therefore…it has stayed a secret. (Unless you count that picture of my painted cabinets up there in my header!)

But today Emily A. Clark is having a link party and she wants us to share a project that shows “Working With What You Have”. Well now,  that’s just the little push I needed to reveal my not-quite-done kitchen. Here’s the ‘before’ shot:


When we moved in, our house had so many eyesores that the kitchen actually ranked down pretty low on the renovation priority list. (Check out how an elderly man’s office became a sweet pre-schooler’s bedroom, how a beige-on-beige guest room because a princess bedroom, and how a dull wallpapered living room became a fun hangout spot and I think you’ll see what I mean.) Plus, the huge chunk of money that flies out of your wallet with a kitchen renovation was just not something we had…or have, I should say. So, I decided to do a putting-lipstick-on-a-pig remodel.

I knew I would need to work with the creamy-beige laminate countertops and the creamy faux-wood floors. To be completely honest, neither of the two is all that bad. Sure, I’d love to change both but since we might knock down a wall and reconfigure the kitchen someday, I have no desire to invest in counters and floors until we’re ready to make the big changes. But there were still three big offenders that HAD to be changed: the whitewashed cabinets, the cheap lights, and the plaid wallpaper.

PicMonkey Collage kitchen

It took a long time and I did every last bit of the work by myself (Alright. An electrician hung the pendant but the rest was all me!) but I finally got it done mostly done. Here’s the ‘after’.


Kitchen projects completed:

Removed wallpaper

Refinished and painted walls

Painted cabinets

Changed cabinet hardware

Removed bad lighting

Added pendant light (my beloved Hicks!)

Painted interior of the glass front cabinet

Accessorized the counters

Kitchen projects that still need to be done:

Refinish and paint the ceiling (I already have a few test sections up there which I mentioned back in this post.)

Install new flushmount in the center of the room (I already bought it. Just need the electrician to come and install it.)

I think this room is proof that you don’t have to re-do every little last thing to make a big difference. A little paint can go a looooooong way. (And I promise that when I get it all done– I mean, 100% done– I’ll share each and every step of the reno process with you.)

Before I sign off, how about another little before and after comparison.


I don’t know about you but that Hicks pendant makes me so happy that I almost don’t notice the sad counters! (I said almost.)

Make sure you check out all the other “Working With What You Have” posts over at Emily’s link up party today!


Sue at Home

Before and After, Decor, Home, My house

House Tour: Living Room

This is another one of those posts where I’m like, “What? I didn’t write that post yet?”. I mean, I’ve talked about our living room’s gallery wall and pink chair plus every detail of our foyer (which is part of our living room), but I’ve never talked about the living room itself. It’s even been featured on Apartment Therapy and yet I haven’t given you a full tour of the room! So, since I’m sure you’ve been dying to know where I got every last bit of it, here is the full tour and resource list. (And of course a beige-tastic “before” photo to start things off!)


living room 021


Paint: Benjamin Moore Teal

Rug: RugsUSA

Frames: Kohls

Manhattan Map: These Are Things

NYC area art: Aaron Straup Cope from 20×200

Canvas prints: Shutterfly

More detailed info about the gallery wall can be found here.


Media Console (we have two pushed together):  CB2

Copper balls: Design Within Reach Annex (read their interesting history here and here)

Apple Bookends: Happy Chic by Jonathan Adler


Woven rag bench: Threshold at Target

living room 049

Chair: PB Teen with my custom dye job (no longer available at PB Teen so try this one instead)

Je T’aime pillow: Atsuyo et Akiko

Garden stool: Home Goods

living room 047

Roman shades: Handmade by the former owner. They came with the house!

Arc lamp: CB2


Brass candlesticks: Unique Thrift store (about $2 a piece!)

living room 064

Coffee Table:  old one from Pottery Barn (similar here)

Couch:  really old one from Macy’s (similar here)

Pillows: printed on left (Country Lanes via Etsy), Monglian lamb (Pier 1, similar here), printed in middle (Nora Jane via Etsy), velvet (Crate and Barrel, similar here), printed on right (Eleen via Etsy)

Pink cashmere throw: Ann Taylor (Yup, you read that right! It was from a few years ago.)

living room 051

Lucite Tray:  Jonathan Adler

Brass bowl: Nate Berkus for Target (no longer available)

living room 074

living room 070

Foyer table:  Serena and Lily (Scored for less than $100! Read the story here.)

Lamp: Target base and shade

Chevron bowl:  Jayes via One Kings Lane

Runner:  Ballard Designs

Mirror:  it was my grandma’s :)

Hi letters:  Land of Nod with Krylon Metallic Spray Paint (read the tutorial here)

Orange frame:  C. Wonder

Brass bowl:  Nate Berkus for Target (no longer available)

More about the foyer in these posts: the inspiration, the decorations, the table, and the reveal.


living room 025


Dining Room and Hallway Paint: Benjamin Moore Coventry Gray

Antique chest:  My parents bought it at a neighbor’s yard sale over 20 years ago!


Map:  Future Map


Snake tray – Furbish

Skull box – a gift

Brass bunny – Antiques and Collectibles Too (read about where I found him here)

Turquoise vessel – TJ Maxx

Chevron urn – Nate Berkus for Target (no longer available)

Hope you enjoyed the Living Room tour. It sure is a lot more colorful than it used to be!



Check out more House Tour posts here.


Sue at Home

crafts, Decor, Family, Home, My house

Instant Gratification: Two Quickies for the Pinterest Challenge

Do you ever feel like you have so many projects going on and they’re all just halfway done? Case in point: The ladies each got new beds last week. Well, I should say new mattresses. (Sophia got a full and Lily got rid of her toddler bed and upgraded to Sophia’s old twin.) So of course that means changing lots of things in both of their rooms.  (Looks like I’ll probably get around to trying a DIY headboard sometime soon!) I’m also knee-deep in party planning for Sophia’s 8th birthday in less than 2 weeks. And since I’m insane, I just decided to paint the kitchen ceiling. (Test swatches went up last night!) You know…because there is not enough going on in the rest of the house. Right?

But until I get to all the big changes, I decided to try two super quick, super easy DIY projects for the Pinterest Challenge. (If you have no idea what I’m talking about…click here. And watch the adorable video. You’ll thank me.) Don’t feel like clicking over? Here’s the Cliffnotes version: Young House Love and Bower Power urge readers to stop pinning and start doing. That means, pick a project you pinned on Pinterest and do it!


Moving Lily’s bed meant all of her art was out of whack so as I moved most of the frames to the other side of the room, I remembered a pin I had just seen for a free printable from On To Baby.


It took me about a minute to design the printable for Lily’s room (just pick a color and input a name) and print it. And maybe a minute to put it into a red Ikea frame I had on hand. Boom. Two minute project. 100% done!



In a room that’s filled with reminders of everything I still need to do, this freebie (not including the cost of the frame, of course) gives me a little feeling of satisfaction. And Lily loves it! (More pics of Lily’s room before this switch can be seen here and here.)


Onto Sophia’s room. I had seen this gold painted frame awhile back from Bryn Alexandra and thought it was genius. It’s another cheapie from Ikea but it’s been glammed up in gold spray paint.

The two huge black frames on Sophia’s picture wall had been bugging me for awhile. They just felt so heavy for such a feminine room. They were always meant to be temporary but alas, two years later, they’re still there.

soph room shelves

So, I took them down and got to work out in the yard with a piece of cardboard under the frames. (Yes, it was freezing and not the best conditions to paint in but mama can’t wait til spring.) I had just bought a new can of Krylon Metallic paint from Michael’s so I decided to give that a try. As soon as I started painting, I was in love! This spray paint is so much better than the Rust-Oleum Universal Metallic that I had used before for the letters in my foyer. Check out the comparison.


I was so thrilled that I repainted them immediately. Check out the difference!

hi collage

But wait! Let’s get back to Sophia’s room. A couple of quick coats (ok…maybe three coats) of that glorious Krylon Metallic on each side and they were ready to put back in the room. I did a little rearranging too and…ta da! Instant Gratification.




For more pictures of Sophia’s room before this switch, click here and here.

Make sure you click over to Young House Love,  Bower Power, The Remodeled Life,  and Decor and the Dog on Wednesday to see all the other projects completed in the Pinterest challenge. I know I’ll be checking them out. You know…cause I need another project!


Sue at Home

P.S. I just want to give a shout out to Emily from one of my favorite blogs, Emily A. Clark, who featured my pink chair dye job on her Saturday 6 last weekend. Her readers were so kind to click over to my blog and I had my best day ever. Thanks Emily!!

If you’re unfamiliar with Emily’s blog, please check it out! She’s a super mom (with 5 kids!) who creates beautiful rooms. My favorite is her stunning office that she put in the home’s dining room. Those bookshelves are perfection!

Decor, Home, My house

You, Too, Can Have a Hot Pink Chair

As my readers know, one of my favorite things in my house is my hot pink chair. It took me a few hours and several boxes of RIT dye to change a white velvet slipcover from this old (ie: no longer available) PB Teen chair into the fuchsia beauty it is now. You can read all the details about the DIY dye job here.

chair 080

I have a feeling other people like pink chairs too because the DIY pink chair post has become one of my most read.

chair 050

And now I’m a trend setter because OBVIOUSLY this new pinky from Cost Plus World Market is inspired by my chair.

I’m kidding, of course. But seriously, go buy it! It’s gorgeous, has a rich color, has the same pretty legs as mine, and it’s tufted. Oh…and it’s only $229.99. So, now you get to have it without drowning in dye like I almost did. You’re welcome.


Sue at Home

Decor, Home, My house

Thrift Shop Recap

I would love to say that this is the post where I reveal the amaaaazing transformation that I completed to the busted up quartet of thrift store chairs I picked up last weekend but it’s been a hell of a week (hubs on a business trip, kid with a fever, insane week at work). Plus like I mentioned when I showed them to you, I’m going to need some semi-mild weather to go outside and sand and spray paint these babies.


You’ll recall that this was all part of Young House Love’s 100% totally unofficial Macklemore Thift Shop Challenge inspired by the song Thrift Shop (that I now CAN NOT get out of my head – and that’s a good thing). Well, today is the linky linky day where you should go back to Young House Love and check out all the good finds that everyone thrifted (it should be up soon). Did anyone score anything better than 4 chairs for 20 bucks? I think not. (Actually, probably yeah. I mean. Look at those chairs!)

So stay tuned to watch the transformation to see how this all plays out.


thrft-store-challenge-chairs-2PLUS TABLE

thrift-store-challenge-016PLUS SPRAY PAINT SHOULD EQUAL SOMETHING LIKE THIS (from Apartment Therapy)


Sue at Home

P.S. Oh by the way, I met Sherry and John Petersik of Young House Love yesterday! Like as in they came to my office and talked to me about Ladies’ Home Journal stuff. (I know. I can’t believe it either.) Since it was work related, I don’t feel like I should give all the details here but I can tell you that they were as kind and real in person as they seem on their blog.

Before and After, Decor, Home, My house

Playroom Remodel – Phase One

I’m about to tell you a secret. A big ugly, scary, wood-paneled secret in my house. It’s the girls’ playroom and it’s the place where pink plastic toys go to die.


When we moved into the house, the playroom was one of the big selling points. You see, our last place was a newish townhouse. And for all the great things it did have — a massive walk-in closet, 2 1/2 baths, a pool included with our maintenance fee — it lacked any specific place for our kids to put their toys so we spent many years with a Tinkerbell kitchen in the living room. (I know you think I’m joking but that’s a fact, Jack.) And since we went from having one tiny 6 week old when we moved in to having 2 busy and growing little girls when we moved out, the toys were beginning to take over our lives. (Note: Yes, the girls had a bedroom where some toys could go but since they shared it and it was kinda small, there wasn’t a lot of space for a Barbie playhouse.)

Before we talk about how it got to look like the explosion above, let’s take a peek at what it looked like when we came to see the house. An elderly woman had been using it as a sewing room. And we even find straight pins in the rug to this day just to remind us of it’s former life! Brace yourself for the worst / most hilarious “before” picture. And yes, this is the only “before” picture I have of this room.


Please note everything that’s happening here. Pablo is telling Sophia not to touch anything. Lily is trying to get picked up and Sophia is checking out the massive magnifying glass — which she used to call a “magnet flying class”. Priceless.

I had a grand plan when we moved in (over two years ago!) and it was to create a bright, airy room. I wanted lots of white and some pops of bright color. And I figured the best way to do that was to paint the paneling white and add lots of art in bright frames.

But once we got into the house and really accessed how bad off the other rooms were (bad wallpaper galore!), the playroom just got pushed back on the priority list. And then the mistakes (and toys) starting piling up.

Mistake #1. No system. We were so excited to just have space that we basically just dumped their toys down there and never set up a real system.

Mistake #2: Bad layout. Note the tall white bookshelves in the before pic above. They were attached to the wall and our old loveseat fit right in between them so we just left them there and planned the whole layout of the room around that section. (All because I didn’t want to figure out how to remove them. Come to find out later that it took 5 minutes and a screwdriver!)

Mistake #3: Let laziness take over. Because the room is really more of a storage space and they rarely play down there, we haven’t been diligent about making them pick up everyday.

Mistake #4: No decorations. Sure we hung up some bulletin boards, a disco ball (it was a promise I made before we moved into the house — and a source of pride!) and got a cheap duvet (essentially a piece of fabric) to drape over the old loveseat but other than that, we did nothing. The room needs a little  lot of love.

Let’s take another peek at those tall shelves that were attached to the wall. Note that the girls couldn’t reach the upper shelves. Plus, we were storing Barbies on the bottom, even though the Barbie house was across the room. Not very smart, was it?


Recently, I finally decided to remove the shelves from the wall and lay them down flat to create one entertainment center area and one Barbie area. (Don’t question this, people. If you had a Barbie house, a camper, a convertible Jeep, a hot air balloon and countless dolls and clothes, you’d need a Barbie area too.) One afternoon, Pablo and I spent HOURS down there cleaning and rearranging and when we revealed the new playroom to the girls, here was the reaction. I think they liked it!


They were so excited that they could reach their games and puzzles in the “entertainment center” that they pulled one out and started playing right away.


So far, it’s been working well. The girls do a great  job of cleaning up after themselves and it’s a lot more functional with the shelves down on the ground. Just for fun…one more look at the “before” and “after”…

playroom remodel collage

So, the rearranging is complete but we need to do a lot more. There are still so many things that I hate about the room (the wood paneling, the fluorescent and hallogen lighting, the wretched ceiling) and I’m not sure what I can get to right away.  But there will be lots of cosmetic changes soon: new curtains, new art, a system to display their art better, and lots more function. Stay tuned!


Sue at Home

Decor, Home, My house, Shopping

Thrift Store Challenge

Anyone who knows me, knows that I love Sherry and John Petersik’s blog Young House Love. It’s not just the great DIY and decorating ideas they come up with.  It’s the way they write. They’re kind, real, smart, and funny as hell.  Of all the blogs I follow daily (hundreds!), theirs is the only one I read word-for-word everyday. And they write a LOT of words! (Ok…I always read Elements of Style, too. But that’s about it.)

I’ve been meaning to write a thrift store post forever but I never got around to it. So when Young House Love decided to do the 100% Totally Unofficial Macklemore Thrift Shop Challenge, I had to bite. Challenge accepted!


I, too, have been obsessed with the new Macklemore & Ryan Lewis song Thrift Shop. With lyrics like, “I wear your granddad’s clothes. I look incredible. I’m in this big a$$ coat from that thrift shop down the road.“, how can you not get on board? Sherry and John’s challenge goes like this:

Step #1. Go to a thrift shop with – just as the chorus of the song says – “$20 in your pocket”and take a picture. Done. See above. (BTW: Sorry for all the bad iphone pics in this post. I was thrifting solo.)

Step #2. Spend that $20 any way you’d like and photograph your spoils.  Did it! See below…

Step #3. Find one item (or more) referenced in the song and snap a pic. Yup – did that, too. See pics below. (Sherry, who is well-versed in rapper speech, gave this list to the lyrically-challenged: “clothing with fringe, an all pink outfit, moccasins, a velour jumpsuit, house slippers, a brown leather jacket, a keyboard, a kneeboard, shoes with velcro, luggage, a plaid button up shirt, flannel zebra jammies, PJs with built-in socks, a telescope, and of course… a big a$$ coat.”)

Optional Step #4: Blog about it. Here it is!

So, come thrifting with me!

On the way to the store, guess what came on the radio? I took that as a good sign that this would be a fruitful shopping trip. (Seriously, I was so busy rocking out in the car that I had to open a window to cool down and that’s saying a lot because it’s 25 degrees here.)

I went to Unique in Union, NJ which is a thrift store like no other.


Unique is well organized, has tons of stuff (including furniture), and is ridiculously priced. Let’s take a tour:

There are lots of toys. I wouldn’t buy any grimy stuffed animals but a lot of these plastic things would be just fine with a scrub down. That little parking garage thing with the red ramps on the left side was a whopping $1.91. (I don’t know where they come up these weird prices but I’m not going to argue with something so cheap.)


There are rows and rows that look like this. This one was just books but there are aisles of china and CDs and holiday stuff and anything else you can think of.


I decided to skip the used bra and panty section. EEKS!


I loved spotting this little gem in the game area. Ha!

weakest link

I even snagged a picture of this sweet pink velour sweatsuit which satisfied the scavenger hunt portion of the challenge: to find something that was mentioned in the Thrift Shop song. In fact, if I may toot my scavenger horn, this beauty satisfies 2–that’s right, TWO!–categories: the “all pink outfit” and “the velour jumpsuit”! How you like me now, $herdog?


But let’s get over to the furniture department because you know that’s where I’m spending my 20 spot. I kinda fell in love with this headboard and it would be perfect for Sophia’s room once we get her a full size bed. All it would need is some spray paint in…hot pink? Yellow? Purple? Green? GOLD? Doesn’t matter because I passed on it. And it was only $14.99!


This desk needed a facelift and some new hardware but it had sexy legs , good bones, and it was really stable and sturdy. Bonus: the $9.99 price tag. No joke – if I had a bigger car, this would have come home with me.


I snagged a bonus pic for the scavenger hunt: a suitcase. They have tons but I was partial to this American Tourister in candy apple red that still had it’s striped luggage tag. Dirty? Yes. But a steal for $4.99.

luggageBut it was the chair section that I really wanted to check out. This section is also known as the where-guys-sleep-while-their-wives-are-shopping section. Case in point: dude in the wicker chair. (I’ve given him some dignity by shielding his face from my readers.)


I’ve been looking for some chairs for a loooooooooong time. I’d like to do a little mismatched thing around our table in the den. You know that look where you take a bunch of random chairs and paint them in a matching color for continuity? I don’t know what color we’ll do but all I need for now are 4 totally mismatched chairs that are somewhat stable or at the very least, repairable. Here are a couple examples of the look I want.

From BH&G

From ELLE Decor

From Apartment Therapy

And here’s what our sad little (faux-Saarinen-tulip) Docksta table looks like now. The fancy folding stools were purchased circa 1995 at the Woolworth’s on the Upper East Side. (Yes, there used to be a Woolworth on the Upper East Side. Naturally, it’s a Banana Republic now.)


OK – let’s get back to shopping. So, I gave each chair a little wiggle to check it’s stability and then pulled out this motley crew. (I know that one on the left is a little wimpy compared to the others but we have small people in our house and I think they’ll fit in there just perfectly.)


I wasn’t sure they were my final choices until I added up the random prices and found that it came to $19.96, just 4 pennies shy of my budget! Obviously, these chairs were meant to be mine. (Sure, I had to pay another $1.40 for tax but I still felt pretty proud of the score I got for the “$20 in my pocket” and some change from my wallet.)


By the way, the cheapest one has a stamp on the bottom that says Solid Mahogany. Which further proves that the prices they put on these things are so random. I’m not sure when I’ll get around to refinishing the chairs but you know I’ll keep you posted. For some decor inspiration for our den (a.k.a. the-most-well-lit-man-cave-in-the-world), check out my Pinterest board for the room.

On the way home, since I was in a thrifting mood, I decided to stop by Goodwill. There wasn’t much there but I really liked this peacock blue velvet lampshade for $2.99. (Ultimately, I couldn’t think of a room that I could use it in so I had to say no.)


And Christian Slater was begging me to bring him home but I’m not 16 anymore so I had to leave him behind. (Plus, I don’t think I need to see that movie again. Now, if it was Heathers then that would be a different story…)


Stay tuned to see my chairs turn into something purty. (Just don’t hold your breath though. It’s freeeeeezzzzzzing here and there will be no outdoor sanding or spray painting until we get a reprieve from the cold!)


Sue at Home

P.S. Stop the Presses! I just scheduled an appt to meet John and Sherry this week through my real job. Fingers crossed that everything works out. I’ve been dying to get them in the magazine for years so I’m thrilled to discuss some ideas with them in person. (And gush some love and admiration all over them!)

Before and After, Decor, Home, My house

House Tour: Master Bedroom

If you feel like you’ve already seen our master bedroom, you’re right. But you see, I realized when I was writing about all the Urban Outfitters stuff in our house that even though I wrote a lot of posts about our master bedroom (8 in total!), I never gave a proper piece-by-piece room tour with resource listings. (Bad blogger!) So, here it is.


Headboard – found in the garbage room of my first apartment about 20 years ago!

White sheets and white pillow casesLands’ End

Duvet cover – Lands’ End (No longer available. Similar available…well,nowhere!! Read all about my hunt for it here.)

Bed skirt – JC Penney (No longer available)

Shams – Urban Outfitters (No longer available. Similar here.)

Chevron pillow – Lands’ End (No longer available. Similar here.)

Linen PillowAtsuyo et Akiko (I’ve now moved it to my living room where it sits in the pink chair.)


 RugUrban Outfitters


Nightstands – Pottery Barn (No longer available. Similar here.)

Lamps on Nightstands – Martha Stewart  from way back – before the Macy’s & Home Depot lines – when she carried stuff like this on her website. (Similar here.)


Pill-shaped carafe and glassJonathan Adler


Printed curtains – Urban Outfitters  (No longer available. Similar here.) Find out how I magically lengthened them here.

Black curtain rodsIkea

White curtains – Ikea (No longer available. Similar here.)

Hidden curtain rodHome Depot (A genius solution when you want two curtains. Check out the price!)


Vintage dresser – Craigslist

FramesPottery Barn


Lucite tray – Home Goods (similar here)

Square Bowl – gift so I don’t have a resource (similar here)

Footed bowl – I had this for so long, I can’t remember where I got it! (similar here)



For Like Ever posterSuper-Rural

Poster frameTarget


Frame with necklacesPottery Barn (I spray painted it black)

Wrapping paper in frame – Old Navy (no longer available)

Black lacquered boxContainer Store

Red metallic pigDaytrip Jr.

It’s still a work in progress (I mean, why would you ever want to STOP decorating?) but it’s come a long way from the bland creamy cream room it once was, huh?

master before

For more posts about our master bedroom, check out these links:

Master Bedroom Inspiration: Olatz Schnabel

The Hunt for Master Bedroom Bedding

DIY: Lengthening our Master Bedroom Curtains

I Will Love This Poster For Like Ever

Jewelry Storage: A Work in Progress

Jewelry Storage: Phase 2

DIY: Quick and Easy Jewelry Display

 What’s Wrong With My Bedroom


Sue at Home

Food, Home, My house

Top Posts of 2012

As we come to the end of 2012, let’s take a look back at my top 5 posts of the year. Now, these aren’t my top posts but yours. The ones that you, my readers, have clicked on more than anything else.


I Have a Hot Pink Chair!

a.k.a. The post where I tell you how I finally dyed a slipcover I already had, despite my debilitating fear of RIT dye, to make the hot pink chair of my dreams.

What I learned from this post making the top 5: You like hot pink as much as I do! And you like DIY projects, too.

chair 068


Lily’s Rainbow Birthday Party

a.k.a. The post where I gave all the details of Lily’s colorful 4th birthday party.

What I learned from this post making the top 5: Good kid’s parties are appealing even if you don’t have kids. Or…”rainbow party” is a very powerful search term. Yeah, it’s probably that.



Rainbow Cake: If I Can Make It You Can Too

a.k.a. The cake that’ll impress with one simple secret weapon (shhh…it’s food coloring).

What I learned from this post making the top 5: It seems like you really, really like rainbow cakes and rainbow parties but I know the truth of this post’s success. It’s the secret weapon in the pic below. Some of the top searches that brought you to Sue at Home are: Aqua Sky Kitchenaid Mixer, Kitchenaid Aqua Sky, Kitchenaid Stand Mixer Aqua Sky, Kitchenaid Aqua Sky Mixer…you get the point. Looking back at this picture, I can see how bad it is and I promise that I’ll write a nice big post all about my glorious mixer soon with lots of beautiful glamour shots! (FYI: I got mine from here.)



DIY: Lengthening our Master Bedroom Curtains

a.k.a. How a trip to the tailor (don’t-think-I’m-fancy-it’s-just-my-dry-cleaner) helped me make cheap too-short curtains into floor-to-ceiling stunners.

What I learned from this post making the top 5: I get it, you really like DIY. I promise more in the new year.

curtain pinterest


And the number one most-clicked on post was….

Pin of the Week: Dressing Up Your Stairs

a.k.a. The one where I talked about painting, carpeting, and just about anything to do with stairs.

What I learned from this post making the top 5: Who knew you were so obsessed with your stairs? The only search term that topped variations on the Kitchenaid Mixer search was “painted stairs”. I hope this post gave you lots of good inspiration. I’ve yet to do anything fun with my stairs but hopefully I’ll get on it soon.

girls on steps

So,  what can you expect from Sue at Home in 2013? I’m thinking more DIY, monthly posts about my mixer, and possibly a new feature… Stairs of the Week?


Sue at Home

crafts, Decor, Home, My house

Holiday Card Display

If your house is anything like mine, the holiday cards have started arriving and you’re trying to figure out where to put all of them. Last year, I created a simple and free (use-what-ya-got) display. Before I tell you how I did it, let’s marvel at how different the living room looks with the old white slipcover on the chair. Doesn’t it look so much better with the dyed hot pink one?


Step 1: Grab a vase and fill it with something that’ll weigh it down. (Water works.)

Step 2: Grab some branches from your yard and put them in the vase.


Step 3: As the cards arrive, punch a small hole in the corner.

Step 4: Tie a little ribbon onto the card to make a loop.

Step 5: Hang!


To make it easy to keep up with, just put your hole punch and ribbon in an easily accessible spot like your kitchen junk drawer.  (The card in front was ours last year. You can read more about it here.)


Question…do you keep your holiday cards after the holiday season? I do! Nothing fancy, they just sit in a box in the attic. I know it might seem hoarder-ish but they really don’t take up a lot of space.  I loved the Christmas card book idea that Chelsea from Two Twenty One shared on I Heart Organizing the other day.  Check out the how-to and printables here.


Sue at Home