Big Closet Dreams in a Small Space!

I can’t help drooling over pictures of gorgeous walk-in closets with romantic and glamorous touches. We gave up our walk-in closet when we created a fourth bedroom upstairs. I don’t regret this extra room, which was first a nursery and … Continue reading

Hanging Out & Hanging Up Plants

Hello, Crazy Plant Lady here today!

My good friend, Nicola, asked me to share more about how I’m installing my macrame plant hangers (see this post and this post for the details on the hangers).

There are lots of creative ideas for creating hanging plant displays. I’ve started with some easy methods, including hanging my plants from

  • Wooden beams
  • Curtain rods
  • Wall brackets

I’ll give you those details and also include some more ambitious ideas that I still fantasize about!

One general tip is that I chose lighter weight planters. Some of my plants are hanging in my made-over yogurt containers, and others are in glass jars or vases, some painted with metallic spray paint.

Wooden Beams

I lucked out to have these beams running in our family room, so I screwed in coat hooks for my plants. Obviously, not every house has wooden beams, but if you do, this is easy, and to display more, you can screw in two hooks and run a rod between them.

Curtain Rods

Plants need light, so it makes sense to hang them in front of a window! It wouldn’t be the most convenient idea for curtains that you open and close often, but it’s great for windows where the curtains can stay open most of the time. I used shower curtain hooks to hang several plants this way. The rollers on the curtain hooks make it easy to move the plants, if you want to close the curtains.

Wall Brackets

I was honestly too nervous to hang plants from our ceilings. The house is about 90 years old, and the walls and ceilings are plaster and lathe. I had visions of the giant patches of plaster crumbling down on me, so I decided to use wall brackets. This method also gives you more flexibility about hanging heights.

These are the brackets I used. (The link is to Amazon, but they’re cheaper at IKEA, if you can get to a store).

If you’re feeling more courageous, here are some more ideas I’d like to try!

Hanging a ladder from the ceiling. This is just so peaceful and gorgeous!

Photo: Jennifer Chong of See and Savour

A large branch displaying multiple hangers. I love all the colors and designs!

Photo: Emily Katz of Modern Macrame 

How about a cool metal pipe or rod to display your plants?! A sleek look, and you could do it from a wall, if your ceilings are unreliable, like mine.

Photo: Cote Maison

Thanks for coming with me into the world of macrame and plants. I am clearly a little obsessed. I’ve got more new ideas coming up to share with you soon(ish)!


Vintage Photo Garland

As you know, this year’s Christmas has a vintage theme, and I thought it would be great fun to share some old Christmas pictures with this simple and pretty photo garland.

To start, I collected old pictures, including some of from my childhood and from my parents before I was born! Once I got into the project, I added some more recent pictures of our kids. I edited all of the pictures using an iPhone app called Instants, which makes them look like vintage Polaroids.

I used ric rac ribbon from my mom’s stash to make the garland, so this is authentic vintage! I hung the photos from the ric rac using clothes pins decorated with scrapbook paper in this year’s colors of pink, turquoise, and red.

This was an easy project, and it’s simple enough that I’m going to leave it up, even though I won’t be decorating the rest of the house until after Thanksgiving.

Easy DIY Jewelry Display Board

Sometimes, every day feels like rush, rush, rush… get up, get ready, take the kids to school, work, back home, more kids and more work… I am very fortunate to love it all as much as I do, but the pace can definitely get to be a bit much!

Every once in a while, I have to remind myself to take a “time out.” All the work of home and job is never truly finished, and it’s okay to give yourself a few hours – or even minutes – to do something for yourself.

Tonight’s time out was sooooo easy and exciting.

I have been eyeing beautiful closet designs on Pinterest, planning out my own little spot of blingy bliss. One thing I knew I wanted to include was a way to display some jewelry. I ended up making this beautiful and super-easy magnetic display board that was ready in minutes!

The simple materials for this board were:

Easy DIY Jewelry Display Board | Jewels at Home

Easy DIY Jewelry Display Board | Jewels at Home

The rest of my closet nook is still coming together and will require a bit more elbow grease than this easy project, but I hope I can show it to you soon!

“Jewels” (no pun intended!!)

Foyer Table Design Solution

We’re in the early stages of planning a kitchen remodel, and we interviewed several architects. One, whom we didn’t end up hiring, became somewhat fixated with this large picture window in our living room. It’s the first thing you see when you walk into our house, and admittedly, the view is mixed. You can glimpse the western sky at the top, which is often stunning at sunset, but much of the view looks out on our neighbors and also on our own cracked concrete driveway, including parked cars and a basketball hoop. This particular architect couldn’t help himself from repeatedly bemoaning this “tragic” window. He coyly promised a solution, but I guess he’ll never get the chance to tell us about it.

Meanwhile, here’s my decorating solution. I love how this table makes a pretty focal point that screens and distracts from the less picturesque parts of this view.  I realize it’s not technically in our foyer, but the table serves a similar purpose of dressing up our entry.

A vignette with pretty table and chairs | Jewels at Home



The table is actually a small dining table we had.  Without the leaves, it works as a large display table in this space and doubles as a serving area for parties.  The Craftsman style pedestal looks pretty standing in front of the window.  The chairs are made over from a craigslist find and deserve their own post!

Pretty table and chairs vignette in a Chinoiserie style | Jewels at Home

I can’t say I’m not a little curious what our sassy visiting architect had in mind, but for now, I’m very happy with the way this little vignette dresses up our living room while screening the less attractive parts of our view.

Table and chairs vignette in a sunny window | Jewels at Home


More on those dreamy chairs soon!



DIY Decorative Trays – Ten Great Ideas

Ten Trays

The best decorating projects combine form and function – they add beauty to your space, serve a purpose, and when you make your own, they are one of a kind! A decorative serving tray is just this kind of project. You can use them to display or transport items on a coffee table, buffet, desk, kitchen counter, and more.

My friend Ari got me excited about decorating our own trays when we were at the flea market this past weekend. I picked up an older wooden tray there for just $5, and I know I have a couple of my own lying around the house. I want to use some for display in the living and dining room, and one for the desk in my craft room. There are so many great ideas, and here are some I would love to try or adapt for myself.

Silhouette and Silver

Silver leaf tray

The botanical silhouette and silver leaf on this tray are beautiful.

Brenna at Design Sponge has a tutorial for how she made this tray from a thrift store find! You could simplify it for a similar look with silver spray paint, though the silver leaf looks amazing, and the glass makes the tray useable for serving.


monogram tray

Lots of options to personalize a monogram tray from A Modern Style on Etsy.

This one is by A Modern Style on Etsy. I love the bright colors and graphic design contrasted against the wood.

Wallpaper and Lacquer

Lacquer wallpaper trays

Gorgeous lacquered trays with wallpaper inserts and bold colors from iomoi.

This is from iomoi and hand lacquered, so it would be very durable and stand up to washing and heavy use. The coordinating colors on the body of the tray and the gold trim are gorgeous! I could use some more of the Imperial Trellis wallpaper I have left over from our powder room and lining our bookcases.

Painter’s Tape and Paint

painter's tape tray

Use painter’s tape to mask a design on a plain tray (or paint the tray a background color first). Follow with spray paint – looks great in metallic for a striking graphic design.

Courtney Kaye of Courtney on the Brink made these trays for holding jewelry. They look bold and elegant! I’ve been using metallic spray paint for a lot of projects recently, and I love it!

Tile Mosaic

tiled tray

A tile mosaic looks beautiful inside this tray.

This beautiful example, as well as instructions for tiling the inside of a tray, are from the Martha Stewart.

Frame and Fabric

This is an idea to make a tray from a frame and cabinet handles. You can put fabric or pretty paper under the glass.

Patrice from Lemon Tree Creations had this creative idea for making a tray from a frame and cabinet handles. The glass protects the decorative fabric or paper.


Stenciled Tray

This stenciled tray is so elegant. I love the painted grey exterior with the white and grey graphic design.

The instructions for stenciling this tray are from HGTV.  Of course, it looks so much like my Imperial Trellis wallpaper, that I could use that for the same look, but there are other great stencil ideas out there, including stenciling words.

Paper Mache

Paper Mache Tray

A sweet little tray made from paper mache and painted different colors inside and out.

Start from scratch! The instructions for making this paper mache tray are at Everything LEB. I love how she used metallic paint inside and the sweet green-blue on the outside.

Decoupage Circles

decoupaged tray

These cute circles have text from old books on them. You could do the same with all sorts of fabrics, papers, and shapes.

A fun and unique example of decoupage from iHanna. There are so many great ways to build on this idea!


photo tray

This photo in sepia tones looks beautiful mounted inside a tray.

You could print a single large photograph or several small ones and decoupage them to the inside of a tray and/or mount under glass. This lovely example is from Merle Hillary Interiors.

All these projects would be a perfect way to re-use a tray you already have or give new life to a thrift store or garage sale find. There are also new trays that would work well for makeovers. Here are two very different examples:

Glam Base

west elm trays

These lacquered trays from West Elm are already gorgeous. You could dress them up in so many ways!

If you want a tray that is already beautiful on its own, these trays from West Elm are a great option. With a simple design and so many colors to choose from, they would also be easy to customize. Only trick I foresee is that it might be a little tricky to get things to adhere well to the lacquer.

Simple Base

For a simple unfinished wood base, try this  Walnut Hollow Unfinished Wood Serving Tray, 15-inch x 11-inch.

Well, that’s my roundup of inspirations for trays to make yourself. I hope Ari and I can find some time soon to work on ours!


Gallery of Plates for the Dining Room

UPDATE 4/20/2011:

I wasn’t completely happy about the first iteration of our plate display, but that’s okay!  I popped into the Goodwill store on my way back from the hardware store today (buying spray paint – what else?!) and found two little plates that complement the collection nicely.  They were just $2.49 each, so a good deal, too!  I think flea markets and thrift stores are great places to find items for decor and styling.  A lot of the items would not seem special on their own but work well together.  It also gives your room a lot more personality to have a mix of old and new items.

I hung the new plates with the same 3M Command Picture Hanging Strips
that I used for the oversize initials project – I was paranoid and used way more strips than specified for their weight – and I think the display looks much more complete.  The other thing I did was to swap one of the blue and white plates with one of the green ones.  I was staring at it during dinner and just jumped up to try it!  Sometimes, staring at things helps.  It breaks up the line of blue and white plates while creating a small grouping with the two green ones.  Getting a balanced design can take a few tries, but it’s so pleasing to look at when it’s done. Here is the new dining room display.  I might still keep an eye out for something special at the flea market this weekend, but I no longer feel like something is missing.

wall gallery take 2

Take Two: The collection of plates feels more complete and balanced after the addition of two more plates and changing the positions a bit.

plates close-up

Close-up of the plates. Finding the right balance can take a few tries. I needed to separate the blue and white plates, because they are so strong and formed a line in the original placement. It works to group some like items together, like the octagonal green plates, while separating others, like the two small plates.


Remember the collection of plates I found for $11 at our local rummage sale (The Pleasure of the Hunt)?  I put them up in the dining room today, and it was an easy project to dress up the space!

Gallery of plates

Wall display with plates from a rummage sale. $11 worth of plates and another $11 of hanging materials.  I think I need a few more plates!

I got the idea for this plate gallery from Sabrina Soto’s High Low Project on HGTV.  I like Sabrina’s style – it’s classic and comfortable with a fresh contemporary touch.  If you haven’t seen the show (and I recommend you do!), she starts by designing a dream room for her clients that is full of high-end pieces and then recreates it for a fraction of the cost.  There is an element of the show that is a bit silly – some of the elements in the first room are always exceedingly expensive – like original artwork or rare antiques – and she also saves a lot of money on the second version by having her assistant build things, but overall, I love the concept.  Because she tries to recreate the original room, you get to see the project broken down into components, and she good tips for deals and DIY projects, which are right up my alley, in case you couldn’t tell!

Anyway, in one of the episodes (I think it’s the first one), she does a dining room makeover and hangs a collection of plates on the wall.  She used these Invisible Disc Hangers which are a great way to hang plates securely without any visible hardware!  They are made in England and available from a lot of vendors.  I found a good price for mine on eBay.  They are easy to use – just wet the disc and press it onto the back of a clean plate.  I used blue painter’s tape to mark the top center of the pattern, so I could line up the hanging ring.

disc hanger on plate

Just wet the disc hanger and press onto a clean plate.

I like how it looks, and I’ll see if I can find any more great deals on plates to add, when I go to the flea market next weekend.


Art Clips for Kids’ Fridge Gallery

Well, first of all, I never dreamed I would put a picture of our fridge in this blog. The whole kitchen is terribly dated and doesn’t reflect our style at all. However, it works, and given the cost of a kitchen renovation, we’ve decided to live with it for a while.

I’ve been trying to spruce the space up a bit and add some functionality – for example, I got a kitchen island cart that added just enough storage and counter space, as well as a small eat-in area for the kids. If you can’t afford a renovation right now, it’s definitely a good option, and there is a huge range of size and styles.

Sometimes, it’s the little things. It sounds a bit silly, but even though we are living with the pink (yes, you read that correctly) counters and floor and the impractical cabinet layout, we were really missing having a place to display our kids’ art. Like a lot of fridges, ours does not hold magnets. And I only wish this were because it is cool stainless steel – no, it’s 80s/early 90s black.

I will credit hubby for coming up with the idea of using clips to attach art to the fridge. His “beta” version used plain clips and poster putty, which showed behind the clips and lasted about a month before falling off. I decided to take his idea and “Jewels-ify” it with some improved engineering and design.

I started with plastic clips leftover from the temporary shades we had everywhere when we moved in. They are great for this project, because they are small and lightweight. The spring is not as strong as a clothespin, which makes them easier to use when attached to a surface.

I cut out strips from scraps of our Imperial Trellis wallpaper to fit the clips. I think it would have worked to cut random strips, but I tried to make patterns like stripes, “V”s, and zig-zags. This wallpaper went in the powder room and living room bookshelves. It has been the Energizer bunny of home decorating for me – it just keeps going and going! I’m totally in love with the elegant, classic, clean-lined pattern and the glow of the silver.

covered clips

plain plastic clips covered in wallpaper. I used hot glue, because the clips are not flat. (By the way, someone really needs to teach me some photo editing, so I can do proper "before and after"s!)

Finally, I used command adhesive strips from 3M to attach the clips to the fridge, and now we have a place to hang artwork and reminders! Yay!


command adhesive strips to hold the clips on the fridge.

art on fridge

Finished fridge gallery.


Close-up: how happy am I to look at this every day?!

I think these clips would also work on a door, art display board, or wall, not just on the fridge, so give it a try and send a picture of your results!

What a good feeling to have at least one thing in our kitchen that I enjoy looking at!