How to Decorate on a Budget & the Winner!

Great tips on how to decorate on a budget - Whats Ur Home Story

Lately one of my favorite topics, decorating a home especially a new one on a budget, has come up a lot as quite a few of my friends have moved into new homes. A few years back I was in the same boat and went through all the excitement and clueless of how and where to start. You're all of sudden presented with a blank canvas and all you want to do is go to town with it. In our first home we inherited a lot of the previous owner's 80's tastes as in Brown shag carpeting, a crystal chandelier that did not fit in any decor genre, 90's spot lights, Pink bathrooms, and the original bulky and totally dysfunctional stove & microwave combo. All we wanted to do was rip everything out and start afresh but alas who had the budget to tackle that many projects at once when we also had to buy … [Read more...]

           
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Tiered Jewelry Stand

diy jewelry stand with plates

If you have ever seen a painting of an Indian queen or princess you'd have noticed the colorful costumes and exquisite jewels. That deep love for dressing up in the finest transcends the classes with clear cut definitions of what traditional beauty looks like. Where I grew up, Kerala, the definition of a beautifully dressed women or young lady includes long hair (the longer the better) decked with jasmine flowers, a Bindi, colorful clothes, jewelry in the form of showy earrings, a necklace or two, loads of bangles, and anklets that chime when you walk. All of which I hated to the core. Amongst all these beautifully dressed women I would be this tomboy with short hair (I was big on Princess D's hairstyle then), no Bindi, pastel colored clothes, a minuscule earring, a very thin strand of a … [Read more...]

           
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How to Paint a Front Door & a Giveaway!

paint a front door

I have used all kinds of paint, the thick one, the watery kind, the one that needs sanding & priming, the one that doesn't need any pre-prep work. You name it I've tried it. Still with all this experience dealing with paint I've shied away from painting a door, especially a front door. The deterrents; priming and the many coats of paint to get the rich color and the right level of glossiness. And of course the biggest question of all how long will it last? For our poor front door there was no escaping the blaring hot afternoon sun as our home faces West. So even if I put in the effort to paint I was sure that the color would start fading in a matter of months. When we moved into our home 4 yrs ago the paint was a nice deep Red that I loved but the huge toll from all those long … [Read more...]

           
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Lotus Potus

lotus flower

A quick note for those that missed Monday's post, the $100 Lowes Gift card Giveaway is still open. Click the link to enter. ********************** So, back in June I had these high hopes of beautiful Lotus blooms filling up my water garden......... Granted that is wishful thinking but at least one or two gorgeous flowers like this isn't too much to ask for, don't you think? :( But nope, nothing  but luscious foliage. Through the entire growing season not a single flower in sight but like I mentioned we went from a teeny tiny root to 3 ft tall lush leathery leaves. What went wrong? After much research online and checking with water garden growers I learned that I started out on the wrong foot, i.e. Lotuses have a long growing season. So you need to start them as … [Read more...]

           
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Fall Front Porch & $100 Lowes GC Giveaway!

Wood crates for Fall decor

Usually I'm content with just adding Fall decor to my front porch and calling it a day but this time I tried to do things the right way. Yes, for a change I washed and cleaned the porch even painted the front door (more on that later in the week) before I decorated! You know, in our neck of the woods folks seem to be oblivious to the phenomenon called housing bust. Every where you turn new houses are popping up like mushrooms after a rain, our neighborhood is no exception. 4 continuous years of construction, you can imagine what we've had to deal with. The traffic, construction trucks, noise, the explosions to get the ground prepped for the basement......the list goes one. On top of all this we have also had to deal with loads of dust. Really, some days it feels like we are in the middle … [Read more...]

           
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My Blogging Psyche

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Can't believe this December will mark 3 full years this blog has been up and running. When I made the decision to start a blog I really had no big plans beyond a list of posts for the first 100 days. All I wanted was to share the home decorating, DIY, and gardening projects I did around the house with the world and inspire others. Soon the "professional" side of me took over (had to happen why else do I walk around with an MBA?) and I started viewing it as a profession and business. With that came goals, expectations, and comparisons. In time I discovered that there were quite a few bloggers in my niche who have managed to strike gold aka. make their passion a full time profession. With that wonderful realization, a dream of being in the same position one day started to take root and soon … [Read more...]

           
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How Trendy are You?

decorating trends

The latest decorating trends conversations usually start, pick up a frenzied pace, and die down to a quite mumble as the year winds down. So why are we having this conversation now in October? The other day a friend shared this House Beautiful post about Overdone DIY projects. Out of sheer curiosity I clicked on the link and what do I see? #1 Dip Dyeing - ???? #2 Instructional Signs - WTH? I stopped dead in my tracks; I had planned on using both of these (not exactly the same way they were talking about) in my daughter's soon to be made over room! Really? How could I, a home decor/DIY blogger who follows a gazillion magazines and blogs who can't find enough hours in the day to browse Pinterest, be so off? Totally dismayed I trudged on to see what else was on the list. Sure enough geometric … [Read more...]

           
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The Hometalk Hustle in Frederick

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What better way to kick start October than to catch up with some local members of my tribe! And that is exactly what we did this Saturday at the Hometalk Hustle hosted by Hometalk, Sweet Clover, and bunch of other stores in Frederick. As you all know Cassie from Primitive and Proper and Sarah, The Thriftress are good friends and it's always a pleasure when I get to visit their adorable store, Sweet Clover Barn. Last year too they had teamed with Hometalk to bring us the Hometalk Halloween Hunt, which was super fun. So needless to say I was very excited about this event. Plus this year there were a lot of us friends fresh from Haven planning to attend. Sure enough the Hometalk Hustle did not disappoint even though I was only there for a short time. With all the kids activities it is … [Read more...]

           
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2014 Fall Mantel

Simple Fall Mantel decorating ideas

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something Blue...............that's how my 2014 Fall Mantel took shape, in a matter of few minutes. Unlike the years past (2012 & 2013) this year I just decided to accept the White Elephant in the room, our seaside oil painting, and go with the flow. If you remember earlier I'd tired to mask the gigantic painting, which by the way someone refuses to take down or move to a different place, with a Burlap Boo Sign and Vintage Newspaper Paper Medallion. No such hide and seek games this year 'coz I just wanted something that I could whip up in a matter of minutes and where I could reuse items from around the house. On  a side note, I've had that tray for almost 2 yrs now and looks like I still haven't taken the thrift store price sticker … [Read more...]

           
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How to Stretch a Canvas

How to Stretch your own canvas

Before we get into the post let's do a quick flashback. Rewind to 2000 or even 2002. We used to live right next door to a Micheals store and my favorite past time was to just go to Micheals and hang around. During one of those trips it dawned on me that a lot of times paintings come as a rolled canvas and need to be stretched. Till then the possibility of an unframed canvas never crossed my mind. Actually take that back, I do remember one of my grant uncles gifting my parents an unframed oil painting many years ago, which he then took to an art store, got stretched, and framed. But that was during my "what do I care about the rest of the world?" teenager phase. Coming back to Micheals and their framing section, I discovered that stretching  canvases cost money and effort and the most … [Read more...]

           
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Clothespin Mirror

DIY Clothespin Mirror

Happy Monday! How was your weekend? I'm fresh off a nice DIY weekend where I was able to finally cross a few projects off my To Do List thanks to an activity free weekend. Ok it was not entirely activity free if you count the kids's sports and dances. Still, a weekend with enough downtime for some DIY is like my absolute stress buster. Kicking off our DIY parade is a Clothespin Mirror. Ever since I made my first sunburst mirror I've been itching to make another one. The problem was we really didn't want another mirror at home and so I put the idea on the back burner. Months passed by and then one day I was looking for something to gift to a friend who is also into DIY and the light bulb went on! Do you have friends who DIY too? What do you gift them? I always find that I have go the … [Read more...]

           
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