About Diane

About Diane Henkler

Road-trip-to-Key-West-and-the-Florida-Keys

The Blogger Behind In My Own Style

Diane Henkler Blogger at In My Own Style profile photo

My name is Diane

Welcome to In My Own Style

Contact Me:  inmyownstyle@gmail.com

New Reader? Check out my introduction: New Here, Start Here Page

Barn Wedding

I have been married to my husband Ed for 35 years. We have two grown daughters and so far one son-in-law and just recently, one adorable granddaughter. I started this blog back in 2009 in our previous house in suburban Philadelphia. I have been blogging about affordable decorating, creative DIY, my travel adventures and lifestyle for 10 years.

Ed and I have always wanted to live on the shores of a large body of water and made the dream happen in December 2016 when we moved to Lake Murray in South Carolina. We bought a 1970’s home that we have been updating to make it our own. Follow our progress, here: Lake House

I love all things creative, colorful and DIY.  My background is in display – which led me into the wonderful world of DIY decorating and design when Ed and I bought our first house. We didn’t have a big budget so I used the tricks I used in the display trade to decorate that first home.

Instant Decorating Book by Diane Henkler of In My Own Style blog

That led me to writing a decorating book about it, called Instant Decorating, published by Meredith Press back in the 1990’s. It is no longer in print, but my blog is where I continue to share ideas and what I have found works for me – all budget friendly… which I love.

I love the feeling after I put thought and effort into a space I have created with my own head, hands and heart. I love this feeling and the fact that you can’t put a price on it as what you create will become uniquely yours.

With a bit of ingenuity and resourcefulness I think anyone can create a home they love.

I am so glad you are here.

If you enjoy your visit, I hope you will want to subscribe to my posts and become a follower.

In My Own Style decorating tips and tricks

My Philosophy on Decorating:

How To Decorate So You Feel At Home

My Favorite Post:

 The Best 2 DIY Projects I Ever Made

Interested in How I Got into Blogging?

Read my story here:  Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

striped pencil page divider

More About Me:

Quotation I Live By:  “To invent you need a good imagination and a pile of junk” – Thomas Edison

First Object I Ever Re-Purposed: A pair of earrings for my Barbie when I was 8. I made them by cutting the tips off of the beaded end of straight pins. The beaded end was like a post earring. Once the pin was shortened I could pierce her ears with them.

Signature Flower: A mix of deep purple and lavender hydrangeas and pink peonies.   I can’t get enough of them. I have them in baskets and vases in every room of my home and planted outside in my garden.


Favorite Place:
Anywhere there is a view of water, the larger the body of water, the better. It could be standing on the bow of the Staten Island Ferry to lying on a beach or swinging on the swings that rim the Burlington, VT waterfront.

Most Prized Possessions:  My daughters.

Most Prized Material Possession: My first grade pencil case. It’s pink and the inside still smells like crayons and graphite.

What I Want To Be When I Grow Up:  After I graduated from The Fashion Institute of Technology I wanted to be an editor for a big magazine, but life took me on a different path and I ended up being a display designer.  I then took what I learned from working in retail display to start working as an Interior Designer helping people decorate their homes beautifully, but without breaking the bank.  Having a blog lets me be my own Editor-In-Chief so I am sort of doing what I always wanted.

Favorite Inside Pastime:  Watching old movies from the 40’s and 50’s, especially if they take place in NYC or during WW II and have Cary Grant, Doris Day, Rock Hudson, or Audrey Hepburn in them.

Favorite Outside Pastime: Sitting by above mentioned bodies of water, kayaking, swimming, riding bikes and hiking while on vacation with my family.

Music I Listen To When I Need A Lift: Anything and everything from rock to pop and everything in between along with movie scores by John Williams. I also love the sound of church bells ringing in the distance and will stop and pull over to the side of the road just to hear them. They remind me of a simpler time and to stop and enjoy every moment of my day.

Places I Go When I Need Inspiration: The streets of NYC, public libraries, bookstores where you can read and have a cup of tea or a latte while you browse. Flea markets, magazines such as In-Style, Country Living,House and Home, and my friend Karen Sacavage’s design studio/workroom.

Dislike: Amusement parks, I get really dizzy the minute I walk through the gate.

Still Want To Design: The perfect handbag. It would be a bit of “Audrey Hepburn” meets “Jane Goodall”.  A small black croc bag  that would have a long strap and lots of pockets for organization that would hold my camera, cellphone, sunglasses, keys, and lipstick and not look bulky.

Splurges: Travel and skin care products.

Collect: Seashells, matchbooks, clock faces, baskets, and colored pencils since I was a child.

If You Walked Into My House Right Now You Would Immediately Know: I love color!

Proudest Moment: Getting my book, Instant Decorating published and demonstrating projects from it on TV.

Surprising Fact: I have an identical twin sister named, Carol.

States I Have Lived In: Pennsylvania, New York, California, Washington, North Carolina, New Jersey, and South Carolina

Celebrity I Want To Spend The Day With: Ina Garten

I Smile When I See: A child skipping down the street – so carefree.

Simple Pleasures I Look Forward To: Fresh air, pumpkins, a breeze that makes my curtains billow into my room, a good red wine, the moon shining in on my bed at night, a rainy day, waking up to chirping birds, hearing the surf pounding against the sand.

Can’t Live Without: My Pilates Reformer and Lipstick!!!

Follow me on Social Media:

Instagram
Pinterest
Twitter
Facebook

My Writing Elsewhere:

Glidden Paints
True Value DIY Blog Squad
Momtastic
My Way Home
 
 

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138 Comments

  1. I love the writings about your life and the pleasures of decorating or Interior Design. Your experiences of the days before and the days coming in the future. Seeing how decorating a room or special place can change the atmosphere and feelings is exciting.

  2. Not sure if this is the right place, but this is my comment for the book giveaway. I couldn’t figure out how to access the comments area at the end of the post? Anyway…my decorating style is evolving, but I’m kind of landing on a cross between farmhouse and traditional, I guess. We just moved into a new house in December and this is the largest, most “serious” house that I’ve tackled decorating, which is a bit intimidating. Right now I’m super excited to make over my dining room. We had no furniture in there to start because we didn’t own a dining room set, but after several months of scouring Facebook Marketplace and Nextdoor listings, we bought a great secondhand set and moved it in last weekend. I like it because it’s “dining room-y” but not so formal as the traditional dark wood, Queen Anne type of stuff it seems like everyone’s unloading now. :-) I need to paint the room and you’ve inspired me to attempt stenciling above the chair rail. I just ordered the supplies today and can’t wait to start. The pink (!!) color the room is painted in now has got to go! Anyway, thanks for all your great ideas and the opportunity for the giveaway.

  3. Good morning Diane, my name is Christine Schiavone, we are in a bit of a jam here you see my 87 years young mother-in-law bought this really beautiful kitchen/dinette set, it has material on seats, I’m assuming it has thick foam padding underneath because they were comfortable. Our problem is, she started having Dementia issues, she would just sit there and urinate all over the chair. We have had no choice but to put her into a nursing home. We are taking almost all her furniture, one being the kitchen, I love it. My question is, I have to change all the seats, how do I redo this Diane? My mom bless her used to do this, I was young, who wanted to watch, and help Now I can use her help but our Heavenly Father took her home. How do I redo these, and what do I need to restore them back to how beautiful they were, of course I will do a different pattern, and I know that I need new foam padding, but that is as far as I know. Please help me Diane. This set was not cheap, and as I said it is beautiful. Please get back to me, and try to help me through this mess she made. Thank you so much, and Bless your heart. What would we do without someone like you who knows just what to do! Look forward to hearing from you.

  4. I not that much of a online reader to be honest but your blogs really nice, keep it up! I’ll go ahead and bookmark your website to come back later. All the best

  5. I was able to download a few free fonts from the dafonts.com website you mentioned. However, I’m not able to see them listed in my Silhouette Cameo. This is all new to me, so I may be doing something wrong. What must I do to be able to use them in my Silhouette software?
    Thanks!

    1. Hi Amanda –

      What Silhouette Software are you using? I know they update it from time to time. To use your own fonts, you need to have the Designer Edition software. Is that installed on your computer?

  6. Hey Diane,
    I have really gotten into my own projects around the house lately and love organization and decoration. I visited your site because I am looking for inspiration for decorating the nursery, expecting my first baby in April and needed an idea for the accent/statement wall. I think your “faux wallpaper using paint and stencils” is PERFECT! Just wanted to thank you for the excellent idea and inspiration and I look forward to your future projects, I’m sure I will be trying many more of them! Too gorgeous NOT to try them. Thanks Again!

    1. Hi Mandy –

      Thanks for taking the time to say hi and tell me that you found inspiration from my site. Enjoy getting the nursery together and decorated. April will be here before you know it. :-) Thanks for reading…and congrats on your soon to be first child. XO

  7. Hi Diane,

    When you lived in suburban Philadelphia, did you shop at the Joann’s in North Wales between 2010 and when you moved to South Carolina, at least once anyway? If so I remember waiting on you. When I came across this blog it felt familiar already. Usually we talk to our customers, my favorite part, it’s why I work there, and ask what they’re making etc. I remember (you?) were a blogger, didn’t have much to say about what you were going to do or make, understandably, and had to get going, busy busy! Small world?

    1. Hi Molly – Small world is right. I can’t believe you remember me coming into the store from seeing my photo. :-) I shopped at the North Wales JoAnn’s all the time. Sometimes I would be chatty and other times I was on a deadline and just needed to get my project supplies and get home to make it. I miss going there. There is a JoAnn’s in Columbia,SC. I have been there a few times, but it takes me about 45 mins to get there. I have a Hobby Lobby very close so that has become my go-to place although they don’t have the amount of fabric that JoAnn’s does. Right now I am looking for blue and white linen fabric and thought about taking a trip to JoAnn’s in Columbia to see if I can find it. Thanks for taking the time to connect with me and say hi.

    2. This is my comment for the book giveaway. Way back in the day my style was “colonial”!! Think big plaid sofas! My mom never liked that style but my girlfriends house was super colonial and I loved it when I was young. Whenever my mom bought new furniture I would ask her why she didn’t like that style. When I got married that’s the style we shopped for. Everything plaid and brown! Ugh! But I loved it at the time. Fast forward to getting rid of colonial and going to traditional. Much better! I loved that for a long time. I still have the Secretary but that’s it. I know have a kind of transitional, boho, semi farmhouse look! I don’t know what to call it but I love it! I’ve kept some pieces that I love(secretary). A few antiques, a chest from my mom’s… Eclectic? I don’t know.. Love your column! Thanks for a chance to win a great book! Love, Jeannie

  8. I used to be on your subscribers list and somehow, I was dropped and haven’t had a post from your blog in forever. I want to sign up again, but the SUBSCRIBE feature of the blog doesn’t work. Could you add me to your Subscriber’s list, please.
    Thanks, Pat

    1. Hi Pat –

      Thanks for telling me about not getting my posts. I added your email back into my Subscriber list so you should be good to go. I will be posting tomorrow morning, so let me know if you don’t get it.

      I will look into it the SUBSCRIBE feature not working. Did it not accept your email or did it just not open to add your information? This will help me figure out what is wrong and be able to get it fixed.

      Other readers have written that they no longer were getting my emails also. For them, their email provider blocked my posts from their inbox. It happens all the time. If you know how to add me to your contacts, it won’t happen again. .

      Thanks for reading.

  9. I am in the process of re-modeling my master bath. The final style will be very sleek and contemporary. A friend gave me two lovely mirrors for free. The frames on the mirrors are wood. The only problem is that the wood is painted antiqued gold (gold with flecks of black), and they also have a touch of silver in the background. Every fixture in my new bath will be shiny chrome. How can I paint the wooden frames with added silver to make them look more contemporary and fit with my fixtures?

  10. Hi Diane, it’s nice to meet you!

    Re-Purposed Barbie earrings…love it! I loved Barbies when I was growing up!

    I found your site while searching for chalk paint blogs.

    -Stephanie from north Alabama

    1. I just found you and am so glad that I did! You very geneously share ots of wonderful advice on how to do things, which make things easy for me! Thank you for doing that!

  11. Just “tripped” over your site! Good for me! You are inspirational, artistic, organized to the max… We have many things in common; I guess many of us creatives do, like COLOR (yummm)! Thank you for concise directions, WITH photos! I do understand the written word for DIY’s but photos makes it click for me…thanks. Absolutely LOVE your blog. I want to continue creating mine now that I’ve seen yours. Be blessed!

  12. I always enjoy my visits to your lovely inspired blog. You put a dash of fun in everything you share. Hugs
    P.S. I invite you to share at my Thursday link party ( you can share until Midnight on Saturday)

  13. Just signed up, and am interested in reading your blog. I, too, have two daughters.. I live in upstate NY, in Glens Falls, to be exact. We have an 100 yr old victorian, which we are playing with. We have rehabed 2 houses in 20yrs. This house is our last hurrah, since we are in our seventies. Hope to hear from you. Georgia

    1. Hi Georgia – Wow…good for you still at it in your 70’s!! Way to go. I have been to Glen Falls a few times and passed it quite a bit going up I-87. My youngest went to college in Burlington, VT and my oldest is in med school in Albany. It is a charming area. Enjoy playing and rehabbing your 100 year old home. I am sure there are lots of stories to tell.

  14. Hi Diane- happy New Year and happy New house! I am one of your readers and I love all your ideas on house décor and ability to transform any room at a low budget. I enjoy your postings and awesome ideas. If I get the Swiffer giveaway, I will clean my living room and hallway. The floors are laminate and they hard to keep free of dust.

  15. Oh my goodness, I just moved into a new house for the second time in the last year. I had justttt gotten comfy in my last house before I had to transition acrossed the country from Cali to Florida for work and I’m over here going insane trying to figure out how to organize all of my stuff, especially the kitchen, in the new space. I can’t even fathom how I want to decorate yet, but you totally are a huge inspiration and your site is loaded with so many helpful ideas and tips so I just wanted to thank you!
    P.S. I toatlly used to cut up my socks and random bits of ribbon and yarn with my pencil box scissors when I was little, to make my barbies “sweet new fashions” to wear… or at least I thought they were sweet. lol

    1. P.P.S. It’s also super refreshing to see other like minded people out there enjoying life, being creative, living healthily, crafting, and exploring the outdoors! ^_^ If I even mentioned ACV with “the Mother” at work, or liquid aminos, essential oils, or anything like that, I’d just get a bunch of puzzled blank stares and weird looks.

  16. You have me wanting to get busy and completely re-do my entire apartment! I am going to keep reading your blog to keep me inspired, excited and better informed about great DIY projects. Thanks for being where I could find you!

  17. I just read about your dill oil helping you with your sugar addiction. I was wondering if you still use it and if it is still working.

    1. Hi Michelle – Yes I still use the dill oil. It has been over a year and I find I don’t need to apply it as much. I usually go about 4 days before I put more on.

      I am not sure if you read the post lately, but I did add that I found that raw apple cider vinegar works well, too to help with sugar cravings. One tablespoon of Raw Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar (a brand usually found in the health food aisle) a day mixed with water has helped lower the candida in my system. This is what makes us crave sugar and with less of it. WOW! what a difference both have made in my life.

  18. Just ran across your blog, and fascinated with your re-do’s in the bathroom… the board & batten and the mirrors with the crown molding!! Great job! AND, just to let you know… I went to Amazon and found your book… ordered it and should have it within a couple weeks! I love the cover photo, and was intrigued! Subscribed to your blog as well, and will be looking forward to your posts! Leslee

    1. Hi Leslee – Thanks so much for taking the time to say hi and subscribing. It is wonderful to hear that my blog has inspired you. XO for buying my book. If you can over look some of the dated fabrics, the actual projects are timeless. :-)

  19. I’m living in Vietnam and are making 1 Singapore’s furniture company.I know your project on the site, I really like the idea of you it’s simple and easy to follow, for a developing country like Vietnamese is learning

  20. Oh Diane, I have to laugh! I have lots of junk but NO imagination. Love your site:)

  21. My organizing project for 2015 is my “suppose-to-be” walk-in closet. I’m too embarrassed to even send a picture. Your giveaway will be just what the doctor ordered.

  22. Hi Diane, I am so inspired by your blog. You have given me the courage to try new things. Thank you! I recently painted a table that I’d like to use as our main kitchen table. What do you suggest I put on top to protect the top? The woman in the paint store said we wouldn’t need a polyurethane finish. Should I use wax? I’ve never waxed anything before :) thanks for your help!

  23. Hello Diane,
    I’m so very new to the whole DIY scene, but I have fell in love and fill lost if I don’t get my daily fix of PINTEREST…which is how I came about your site. Just love the dresser you made a few years ago for the guest bedroom. My youngest son is going away to college and I feel that I can now redo his room to “match” the rest of my home. Room has Carolina Blue walls and a darker shade of carpet (UGH), but that is going to change very soon and I plan on using your idea…..

    Ps. Hope mine turns out as well as your did.

    Thanks,
    Dani

  24. Hi Di… my mother loved neck scarves of all textures, colors, styles, lengths, etc… and when she passed away a few years ago I still have a trunk full of her many scarfs that i’m finding difficult at the thought of giving them away. Any useful ingenious suggestions on what I can use them for? Maybe window coverings in some fashion? Thank you in advance.

    1. Hi Margote – I bet the scarves all beautiful. Long scarves or wrap style make colorful window valances.

      2 squares scarves of the same size can be sewn back to make to make a pillow cover. If you don’t sew you can simply – lay one scarf right side down. Lay a pillow on top. Cover pillow form with a second scarf that is face up. Tie the scarfs together at each corner in a knot and you have a no sew pillow cover.

      You can also use scarves as table runners or use them to upholster the seat on a dining room style chair.

      Choose a few or a collection of similar colors and frame them to group on the wall.

  25. Sure wish we had discovered you 25 yrs back. Wife and I,(70) are real crafty. I paint art with oils & build rustic furniture . She paints,fires porcelain & paints in all mediums. Steph’s way more talented than I .
    Q. I assume Briwax will not work due to
    Toluene content, right?
    Your the BEST.
    KARLP

  26. Hi Diane, Love your website, thanks for sharing your knowledge. I have just embarked on my journey with chalk paint. Unfortunately, despite my research things have gone wrong.

    I have a side table which I believe is 1930’s and I have prepped it by stripping the top, sanding the entire piece, followed by wiping down with paint thinner. The top had a few deep scratches in it and so I filled them with Minwax stainable fill.

    My vision was to stain the top and chalk paint the bottom. I used Minwax wood conditioner followed by Minwax wood stain (dark walnut) and found that the stain did not really penetrate the wood, some existing discolouration did not diminish, and the fill did not absorb the stain either. I let it sit with the stain on for about 10 minutes and repeated a second coat. It is a real mess and looks terrible. I am unsure how to rectify this. Should I try and sand again and maybe use General Finishes gel stain instead. Will I need to prime it first? Any advice would be appreciated:(

  27. Dear Diane,

    I found your site by “accident” while looking for chalk paint and I am SO Glad I did! Your comments are insightfull and detialed and can turn any newbie into a PRO in No time!!
    I am new to the Chalk Paint idea and since I saw on Pintrest an article on How to Paint a fabric chair ” I have become obsessed in wanting to try my DIY hand at it. I have one or 2 questions that I am sure you will be able to assist me with:
    Could I try your recipes and use this paint on a fabric couch? How will the wear and tear be, as I dont want the paint or wax coming off on my visitors clothing! This paint can obviously not be washed so I could’nt do it on pillows that may require a wash?
    What would you recommend to use instead?
    Kind regards
    Julie

    1. Hi Julie –

      I have seen others paint upholstery with chalk paint, but I have not tried it myself. If I was going to try it, I would use the Calcium Carbonate Powder recipe. It mixes up the smoothest. When you paint fabric, know that if there is any difference in texture – you will see that even after painting. I think it would work and once fully dry I do not see a problem with the color getting on clothing. If you wax it and the wax is not buffed – the wax may transfer from the body heat of the person sitting in the chair – you may just want to leave it unwaxed. The fabric will be stiff after painting, but it would look good.

      I would make new fabric covers for the pillows. If you don’t sew, I have a tutorial on how to make covers. I made one with a dishtowel, but you could use any fabric.

  28. Hi Diane,

    I happened upon your site and am so glad! You are an inspiration and I love your style!

    I’m hoping you can help me with some colour advice…
    The top of our harvest table at our cottage needs refinishing (scratches and hot spots). It is a sort of warm honey colour and so are the chairs.

    Here’s my question…I am thinking about painting the top of the table and leaving the skirt and chairs as they are. Is that something that is generally done? Would it make more sense to paint the chairs? And what colour would be best for either just the top or just the chairs?

    Keeping in mind that this is a cottage and therefore a bit of this and that :-), here is an overview of the colours that exist throughout the cottage.

    My kitchen has a grey/taupe countertop, a darker grey oak floor, honey coloured oak cabinet and biscuit coloured appliances. The table sits on the other side of the island from the kitchen. The table sits on the other side of the island from the kitchen in the dinning room which is open to the rest of the cottage…so it is a very visible piece between the living room and an extension that is another living/sitting space. The table itself sits on an oval woven area rug which has forest green, cranberry and off white. The walls of the cottage are all warm honey pine and so are the floors throughout (except for the kitchen).
    The accents of colour in the living room are light blue, forest green and cranberry and in the extension they are forest green, cranberry, and chocolate brown.

    You can see why I need some HELP! :-) I would like to make this table a ‘feature’…and would appreciate any suggestions/advice you might have regarding colour or treatment to make it look it’s best!

    Thanks so much!
    Michelle

  29. I have been GLUED to your pinterest site and have LOVED it!! I especially love your purple bathroom makeover. My question is this…we are renting a home that has NO shelving at all in it. I adore the that tub beadboard surround and would love to do that to this bathroom. You said it wouldn’t be too hard to take apart if you didn’t like it when you go to sell your home. Also, I would like to ask about the board and batten on your walls. Did you use beadboard and then put the larger wood strips over that or did you just put the large strips of wood directly onto the wall and then just paint it all white? I’m nervous but I really want to do this to this bathroom!! I think that our landlord would like the look. What do you think? Can’t wait to chat with you!! Lisa

    1. Hi Lisa – To answer your question –

      I did not use bead board in between the boards, I attached them right to the wall and then used caulk along the edges to make them look seamless with the wall.

  30. Hi Diane!
    I found your site a few minutes after my friend, Betsy Burch (of Elizabeth the II’s in Bedford, VA) told me about it today. I am so excited about what I have seen so far and can’t wait to get home Monday to just and look thru it. Your profile could be me with the exception that I like white wine!!!
    Thank you for sharing your ideas and how to’s. It is wonderful to have someone that is not worried about their ideas being stolen! Who said ‘copying is the greatest compliment’ or something like that? You’re terrific!
    Stormy Blair

  31. Hi Diane! Love your blog but have not received the last three posts. I miss you! Any ideas?

    1. Hi Wendy –

      Not getting email posts sent out is a widespread problem for all the blogs that still use the free Feedburner service to send out new post updates. Sometime in April Yahoo and AOL and a few other emails service providers changed the way they do things.

      These changes affected Feedburner email subscriptions and it no longer works. I have to switch my email subscriber list to a paid service. It is free to readers, but I have to pay now to send it out. I am in the process of getting it set up. You should be getting an email from me soon asking if you want to subscribe again. Once that is complete – then you will get my most recent posts in your inbox again.

      Things are always changing in how online services work, Feedburner was a great service, it is owned by Google. They stopped support for it a year ago and we all knew sooner or later it was not going to work anymore and we would have to start with a paying service like Mad Mimi, Feed Blitz, or Mail Chimp.

  32. Hello kindred spirit! I adore your website. Like you, I’m visually oriented and can’t multiply my way out of a paper bag.

    I am working on making a poster for our SGI Buddhist Culture Center on Mass Ave., NW and have been looking for a “moon over the capital” shot when I came upon your webpage. You have one that would be sooo perfect for our poster.e:

    I wonder if we might be able to use it with you permission and accreditation. We would make two posters and have them in the SGI-USA Culture Center for the month of May. I would prepare the artwork with a dynamite, very encouraging quote in it.

    Please write to me soon! With many thanks, Karla

  33. Diane,

    You are a genius. Sooooooo many great ideas and you are a fan of Ina’s…..me too. I will be following your sites for many ideas I can apply to my home.

    Patt

  34. Hi Diane
    Love your ideas. Found you as I was wondering if I could spray paint my towel racks with paint and found you did all the testing for me! 2 quick questions: Did the champion spray on paint in sterling silver hold up to damp towels? And where can I find that brand locally? Any big stores carry it? Seems I can find it online but with steep shipping charges. thanks!
    Alice

  35. Hi Diane! I just wanted to say THANK YOU for the inspiration you have given me. I quit my job a few months ago to be a mommy again and enjoy things a little bit more. We have lived in our house for 4 years now and I still hadn’t painted the base boards, walls were done though! :) I have gotten so many fun ideas from your site. I am currently redoing our master bath. We wanted to gut it completely, by way of a contractor, BUT we have twins that will be going to college year after next, so not so much. Anyway, I have taken it upon myself, with your help of course. I have gotten it painted, including the baseboards. My hubby and I rehung the ugly builder mirror (5 by 8 ft, thank you very much), after I put a baseboard trim on it. BEAUTIMOUS! I am so proud!!! Next, the cabinets. I now have a comp book FULL of projects all planned out! :) So again, thank you for putting the fire back into my heart. Keep up the beautiful work! Becky

  36. Wow your amazing! I can’t add either, and didn’t have a creative bone in my body with the exception of comedy/humor/silly radio banter and music of course! I love finding pefectly good items by the dumpster too! I lost my jobs some months ago and after the worst 2 yrs of my life retreated to my bedroom….lol I was forced to get creative during my convelesce due to no cable tv, internet, or any other form of distraction. I started doing those “one day I’m gonna….” projects and my mind wenty wild with lots of new ones. I would like to share with you someday, I may not be as awesome as I think…LOVE IT! LOVE YOU! YOU ROCK!!!!

  37. I am a principal of an elementary school in Paducah KY. We are doing a fundraiser in which parents donate furniture and we are going to chalk paint and auction off the products. We have 26 homerooms so will will have around 30 pieces. Can you recommend colors of chalk paint that will work best and will not end up items that someone will not want to purchase.
    I have experience using chalk paint but always had a color scheme to go by. your advice would be appreciated.

    1. Hi Dan –
      Sounds like you have a fun and colorful job ahead of you. The best colors of course are neutrals that will go with anyone’s color scheme. Black, white, sand beige, light grey, pale robin eggs blue, are all very popular right now. Use clear and dark waxes over them to make each piece look a little different. Classic flag red and navy blue will never go out of style. I would paint the larger pieces in the neutrals and a few smaller pieces like a night or side table or even a lone chair in more bold colors. Popular now are Emerald green and Orchid – which is a purple-pink.

      Best of luck with the fundraiser. When my daughters were in elementary school, I was always one of the class moms. I would have loved to be part of a fundraiser like this. Sure beats selling candy and gift wrap :-)

  38. Hi Diane! I found your blog via Handmade Savvy today and have perusing your site since. I can’t get enough of your posts! I love your design ideas & easy “how-to” projects all done with thriftiness in mind. Your style philosophy closely matches mine so I know this is a blog that I look forward to reading.
    Thanks for sharing your beautiful blog!

    1. Hi Carin-

      Thanks for coming over from The Handmade Home. I will have to thanks Ashley for featuring the light I painted. I appreciate you taking the time to write. I enjoy hearing from readers who share the same love of design and thriftiness…we are kindred spirits :)

  39. Hi Diane,

    I somehow came upon your blog and I really LOVE it!!!!!! I’m unorganized and WANT to be organized. I’m hoping to get some inspiration from you. As a matter of fact, The Container Store Shelves are being delivered tomorrow and Wednesday. (Thats where your magazine files come in!) :-) Its a start.
    I feel overwhelmed because I have so much to do and don’t know where to start and then I get side tracked into something else. I guess I just need to stay focused on the project and FINISH!
    Do you live in New Jersey? I’m in Readington, NJ.
    Can’t wait to look around your site even more!!!!!!!
    Kerrie

    1. Hi Kerrie –

      To stay organized I write everything that I plan to get done in a day in my daily planner. I check it throughout the day when I get sidetracked. It does help me stay focused.

      There is a Container Store opening by me in a few weeks – in King of Prussia, PA. I can’t wait to go there. I used to live in New Jersey. In Freehold. I have lived in suburban Phila for the last 21 years now.

  40. Hi Diane, I just wanted to let you know that I REALLY enjoy your blog, and your website. I’ve done a few projects and tricks that I learned here, mostly in decorating for events and at church. But more than the things I’ve gotten to try, I’ve realized more fully my own personal style, just by reading your blog (I have it come to my email). I LOVE to see pictures of your house — actually, pretty much any picture that you take. :) The clean glossy white, with pops of different bright, exciting colors, that’s totally my style too, although I didn’t realize it completely, until I had soaked up several posts, and kept finding pictures of your house that made me go, “oooohh! Now THAT’S pretty!!!” :) I love to decorate, but have a little budget, so your tips and tricks are awesome! Knowing that I can create something that looks intentional and professional, without having to spend a fortune to do it, is great. And reading your blog on a regular basis, keeps me in the mood to decorate all the time! :) So even though I can’t come give you a hug and thank you in person, here’s a digital thank you from Arkansas, for all that you do. For being yourself, and sharing Your Style. :)
    Jolene Barker

    1. Thanks so much Jolene for taking the time to say hi and leaving such a nice comment. It makes me so happy to hear that you not only like what I post about, but more so that you have found what you love and it fits your life and style. I truly enjoy decorating and creating on a super tight budget. It makes me really think about what I need, want, and like. No waste or choices that are not right.

      Thanks again for writing to me.

      Here is a digital hug right back atcha…XO

  41. Love the fireplace screens – so creative and easy. I’m going to try them with some of free heavy cardboard that furniture stores throw out. I’d like to do some perforated (carved out shapes maybe) fake window shutters for the summer – to let the air in but keep prying eyes out. Might use foam board to make them more weather resistant. Please let me know if you tackle something like that. Thanks for posting your wonderful ideas on the web.

  42. Diane, I have been to many sites and I love yours the best!! I just found it and lo and behold there were two projects that I was dying to do but didn’t know where to begin you saved me!! The headboard cover will help me deal with a brand new bed that I bought and now hate so the padded cover will help me deal with that. I bougt a used 1940’s bedroom set that I am painting but didn’t know what to do with the top since it is veneered and very destroyed now I know I can mod podge the top with a wonderful wrapping paper!! Thank you so much!!! Victoria

    1. Thanks Victoria – It is nice to hear. I love blogging and working on projects to share. It makes it all worthwhile to know that what I do is inspiring to others. The Mod Podge dresser is one of my most popular posts. I did it a few years ago and it still looks as good as the day I completed it. I will do it again on another piece of furniture when I find the right pattern of gift wrap.

  43. Hi Diane, I sent you a note before, and you responded but I can not find it, I asked you about making a cover for my granddaughters headboard, my daughter wants it to look like a purse, you said to get some wood but what I did not tell you is that the headboard is from an antique bed and has a big cherry headboard, Please help I want to do this for her but I am not that crafty, any suggestions?

  44. I found your blog through a search on Google… You are amazing, vet creative and talented! Thank you for all the wonderful DIY ideas!

  45. Hi Diane,
    Thank you so much for your beautiful site! I needed advice on how to paint an old wooden bench I bought at a garage sale. It’s a well built, sturdy, but ugly dark brown stain and I’m going to paint it a gray-blue color to set in our family room along a wall. Thank you for the how-to directions and inspirational pictures!

  46. Hi Diane –
    I found your blog via “I Heart Organizing” via “Hi, Sugar Plum”, via “YoungHouseLove”! I love your practical approach and you’ve given me loads of ideas for organizing my cluttered home. I will be back many times to check for more ideas and inspiration. Thank you!

  47. I spent a lot of time today on your blog and enjoyed it immensley. It takes a lot to impress me, but you did. You have a great eye and your very creative. I someday want to start a blog and you’re a great inspiration.
    Thank you!

  48. Hello Diane,
    I was looking for a tutorial on how to make an outdoor cushion. That’s when I happen to stumble across your article. And I’m thankful I did! I needed to find out about one project I had in mind and ended up with a list of them just by looking at your webpage. Once I read in to one thing I couldn’t get enough! I have about 7 or 8 if not more of your project ideas I want to create. Thank you for getting my creative juices flowing. If you like I may even send you photos of the ending results. I’m so excited and inspired!

    1. Hi Lourdes – thanks for taking the time to say hi! It is so nice to hear that you found lots of inspiration on my blog. XO By all means send me photos. I plan on creating a readers page someday soon.

  49. Diane:

    Sorry about my written English. I really enjoy your blog and thanks for sharing your ideas it helped me a lot.
    Best regards
    María de los Ángeles.

  50. Hi Dianne, I just happened upon your website while Googling “banquettes” ….lucky me!! I love your ideas, your style, your diy abilities!! I also am a diy”er” and I love transforming my home. You can guarantee I will be following your steps for the banquette…simple but beautiful results :)

    1. Thanks Jacqui – The banquette is the best home improvement project I ever did. It changed the way my kitchen functions and looks 100% I always joke, if we have to move from the house, I am ripping it off the wall and taking it with us. :)

  51. this is my first time on your site. i just retired and i really love your ideas..gonna try monograms..love it ….and i live in north carolina…text again later…..

  52. Diane,

    I can’t remember how I found your blog, but I love it. I was so excited to read your post on your visit to Detroit and the Henry Ford. I lived there for 50 + years before moving south a couple of years ago. Until you visit that museum you just don’t understand. It is amazing!! As a teacher I never tired of taking students there. And Greenfield Village is just as amazing. Thanks for recognizing a fantastic place. It made me want to go back and read more of your posts.

  53. Diane,
    Stumbled here from pinterest link. I always like to read the bio from blogs I might like to follow. Like a dating profile. I am hooked! I too pierced my Barbi’s ears with cut off straight pins, so funny to remember. I look forward to getting to know you and be inspired by your projects. Happy new year.

    1. Hi Kathy – Thanks for taking the time to connect. I sometimes think it would be fun to write a post about all the things that Barbie taught me :) She and her Mattel buddies were a big part of my childhood. :)

  54. I’m getting started on my sewing website. I just happened to find yours, it’s great. You have inspired me to keep going. Your ideas are fun and ingenious. I also like old movies from the 40s/50s. I am also the ex-wife of a career Navy man. I have subscribed to keep up with your site. Thanks.

  55. You have some wonderful ideas here! Thank you for sharing them. I have an odd question. Do you know the name of the font you have “Welcome” written in? (upper right corner of page in green)
    Thank you so much, Stacey

  56. I think you are just amazing! I have a passion for decorating and I am always looking for things that inspire me. Your blog definitely does that for me, and then some! Thank you!

  57. Diane,
    I love you tutorial on the Restoration Hardware concrete column knock-offs (and your site in general). I believe they’re going to be my Labor Day wknd project. Thank you!

  58. Just found your site and I love it! This is definitely my kind of decorating or do-it-yourself. I like nothing more than to make something gorgeous out of a cast off! Thanks for sharing! I’ll be sharing your site with friends!

  59. Hi, Diane today was my lucky day. I don’t usually follow blogs, but you really pulled me in. I love so many of your creative ideas. I feel like someone else loves the things that are dear to my heart. I love crafts, and decorating. I will be using several of your creative ideas.
    I live in Florida and I craft a lot with seashell.

  60. Hi Diane, your idea for the concrete columns on Apartment Therapy led me to your site, and I’m kicking myself for throwing away one of the frosted glass globes from our 1980 garden home we bought in Nov 2011.

    Anyhoo, I am looking for ideas to decorate the span of brick wall on our side yard, as the wall is part of our neighbor’s house. The
    homes are detached, but that side of his house is the fourth side of our patio. The portion that our great room faces is a paved patio and that wall. I have a few plants at different heights but need something large that won’t leave a mark on that wall. I also cannot hang anything from the overhang of his roof. My husband is tired of iron, and I already have a wrought iron round table and six chairs out there. Do you have any ideas for an affordable, free-standing SOMETHING? We are in South Texas and have afternoon sun for about two hours on that space.

  61. I love your blog! Enjoy getting your emails and would love to enter the Home Depot Giveaway!! Judy

  62. Hello Diane, you sound like my kindred spirit. Your ” happy life ” finding joy in the things you do is the foundation that brings your gifts to others. I have had a work in progress with my 1964 Alaska Beach Cabins. I think it so great that I am redoing my stairs much the same as you, although mine are pine and not carpeted. I just did a new tile job and repainted the foyer, added a new bath too. I will be looking for you on “Pinterest” and please do e mail if you have the time after looking at my site, would love to give you a special rate should you like to visit Juneau. Ak. Kindly yours. Pamela

  63. Hi Diane,
    I just found your blog and you are truly inspiring me to create. You have implemented projects that have simmered in my head for years, and I have just never taken the plunge. I LOVED your series on creativity 1-2-3, and am starting the 3×5 index cards tomorrow. I also loved the peek at your home office/creative space. You are a blessing and I think you have truly found your calling in leading a creative life that inspires others. Thank you!!

  64. Hello Diane! Just found your site because I couldn’t sleep,which is odd for me. Can’t wait to explore more. It’s so nice to read about the northeast ,and I love your simple comment page! Talk soon…….Jodi

    1. Hi Jodi – Thanks for the note and taking the time to connect – nice to hear that I have readers in nearby NJ. Lived there for 4 years and have spent many summers down in Ocean City. I hope you can get some sleep tonight.

      1. Hi Diane!

        I have followed you for a while and saw your post about OCNJ. It made me wonder where you live (I don’t expect a town). I live in SE PA and was wondering if you lived in this general area too. Its nice to know so I know I can replicate your DIY posts without much altering. Like if you lived out west, the humidity is different and can affect certain projects. Plus its always nice to to know and support local bloggers!

  65. I want to organize my home from top to bottom. I have always been a clutterer and for months I have wanted to get my home, my entire life totally organized, nice, neat, and then redecorate our home. I am baffled as to where and how to start. When absolutely nothing is organized, in a home that is clean, but never neat, where and how does a person begin? I need help and some old fashion steps to follow!! Any suggestions?
    Thanks…Needing to DECLUTTER & Organize ASAP!!

    1. Hi Connie –

      Getting rid of the clutter can seem daunting when you have lots of stuff laying around your home. My advice would be to start one step at a time, but you have to change old habits and keep at it constantly or you will just end up with a cluttered home again. Just remember that clutter is nothing more than postponed decisions.

      Start in one room. Take a few garbage bags or boxes in and mark them – TRASH DONATE NOT SURE. Fill them up with things you no longer need or want. IF you are not sure – ask yourself why are you holding on to it? Place items you are not sure about in the not sure box until you know what you want to do with them. Only keep things that you absolutely love or need to function in the room – everything else goes. Then take your boxes to the thrift store and trash. Then start on the next room and repeat the process. Keep going room by room until you have purged the clutter.

      Once you have your home decluttered – you have to create a few new habits or rules so it stays that way. 1. Don’t buy anything you don’t need – saves your money, too. 2. If you do bring something new into your house – something already in it has to go out. 3. Everything and I mean everything needs to have a space created for it. Don’t just lay things on a counter as a way to store it. Find a place in a drawer or cupboard so you always will know where it is. Line drawers with baskets and label each. This will help keep you organized and be able to quickly find things when needed. Try doing these 3 things for awhile until they become habits. It is hard to break the way we do things, but just start one baby step at a time until you reach your goal of a decluttered and organized home. I would also go to Walmart and Target and look at storage and organizing containers and units. There are so many that will help you in your task of creating order with all your stuff. Good Luck

  66. Hi Diane:
    I absolutely adore your site! I love that you seem able to re-purpose pretty much anything. Your modpodge dresser redo combined my love of re-purposing your own stuff with my love of collage! Wonderful. I hope you work on designing that bag very soon! I would definitely get in line for a bag like that! Thanks again for the inspiration, taja

  67. Hi Diane,

    I’ve made a comment yesterday but do not know where to look for your reply. A new blogger, new with the system, you know I have all the concerns of a newcomer. Anyway, it’s a chance for me to tell you once again that I love your creation, your creativity and of course your own style. I’m following you in Pinterest, and to my great delight, you are following me too. I’ve placed your website under “adorable sites” in my own one. Hope I am doing this correctly. I just want to share your style

  68. Hi Diane,

    I just stumbled upon your site and I’m so glad I did! My first project is going to be tuna can torchieres. As I was lurking I saw your fence and guessed you might live in Delaware or PA, my mom lives in DE and those fences are very specific to her area. Anyway, then I read you’d purchased something at the Lanchaster PB outlet and I laughed that I’d guessed somewhat correctly. I’m going to share this blog with my sweet mom and I know she’ll be so inspired. Now, off to find a copy of your out-of-print book!

  69. Found your blog through a Pinterest pin, and am so glad I did! and found a copy of your book; can’t wait to get it as I love your blog. Thanks for sharing your creativity online!

    1. Thanks Beth – I am looking forward to the conference and meeting up with everyone. The link-up is a great idea and will stop by to say hi!

  70. Found you on the Blissdom Ice Breakers. Your site is amazing. I love your creative ideas. Hopefully we’ll have a chance to meet at Blissdom next month.

  71. Hi- I just found your site. I think your house (before) and my house (now) could be identical twins. Can’t wait to try some of your ideas for kitchen and bath. Thanks so much! Joy

  72. Hello Diane!
    I am so GLAD i found your site! I am 25 years old and have been DIY’ing for almost a decade, and it is so hard to find things with step by step in structions like you have! I too love things that need to be “repurpsed, reused,redone, restained etc.” it makes things so homey and unique! Thank you for everything you share with us. I know i really appreciate the time and effort you spend posting! Thanks again!

  73. Hello Diane,

    I cannot remember how I stumbled onto your site but I’m so glad I did. I live in the wet and windy north west coast of Ireland so it seems you have fans all over the globe!
    I’m definetely going to stel your 3-D mirror wall, I hope you dont mind :).
    Thank you for all your lovely ideas.
    Angela

  74. OH MY! I just love your blog and am blown away by your creativity! I truly lucked out when I stumbled onto your site! You are my inspiration!

    1. Thanks so much Teresa Lynne-

      Did you actually find me through StumbleUpon? That is such a great site. I have the little “stumble” button under my browser bar and stumble whenever I can.

  75. I found ur site through Tip Junkie….the DIY you have here is amazing and I am so inspired!!

  76. Hi Diane,
    How I found this site is truly amazing. I find your work beyond incredable, your talents astound me. I am now beyond motivated to take on my kitchen. Yours has turned out so professionally that I can’t believe it wasn’t done by the pros…you should be so proud!
    I will be getting all my supplies tomorrow and let the games begin…I hope I can have my kitchen turn out half as good as yours and I will be blessed….will keep you posted..thanks for sharing your great info

    1. Hi Debra-

      Thanks so much for the nice comment. The hardest part of the kitchen re-do and making it look as best I could was to take my time and do it the right way. It took me three weeks to get it done. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask. You will do great.

  77. Hi from Ottawa, Canada! I’ve just signed on and giddily anticipate finding you in my mailbox! You have such a welcoming site, fabulous ideas and incredible talent. Reading your profile has me thinking that you enjoy the simple things and that if stress comes knocking at your door, you’ll point it in another direction as there’s no room for it in your life – I hope I’ve got that right! (Oh, and I did the earring thing with my Barbie, too!) I wish you continued success in all that you do and thank you, in advance, for sharing and inspiring – job well done!

  78. I stumbled across your website this morning. Now, three hours later, I think I can, maybe, start working! Yes, I’m at work! This is now, by far, my FAVORITE site! Thank you! There is not one thing I would not want in my own home. I can’t wait to spend more time here!

    1. Hi Laura-
      xoxo Thanks for connecting with me and leaving me the best kind of comment. It makes me so happy to know that what I am doing is inspiring you. One of my friends asked me over the weekend if I liked blogging. It told her I have such a passion for creating things and sharing them and this is truly my way to do it. I hope I can keep inspiring you. Thanks again – you truly have made my day.

  79. I think you are my hero! Your ideas are great. I have always been crafty but now I’m starting to realize that it is just a sick obsession and whether I like it or not, it must be a regular part of my life. I’m definitely going to try my take on your Starburst Mirror. Keep up the awesome work!

  80. Hi Diane, I have just moved back home to the states (Portland, OR) after living in Jamaica for about 3 1/2 years. When I married my Jamaican husband, I sold or gave away just about all of my household possessions, since he was totally set up already. Now I am starting our new home here basically from scratch and I am having a blast! He won’t be up for a couple of months yet, so I get to shop till I drop and have it all ready for him when he comes to stay.

    Anyway, I was out thrifting today, and I came across your book. I picked it up, looked at the cover and thought, Naaaa, this is too outdated. But I kept looking at the cover and thinking just how cheerful and bright it looked and how I loved the blue and yellow combo with the pops of red and the many other small, yet creative, details. Well, these are my fave colors for my new home, so for a whopping $1.99, I tossed it in my shopping cart.

    Later, I opened it up, and wow! The very first project was exactly what I needed to do with a hand-me-down couch, that I was debating whether to keep or not. I am so keeping the couch now!

    When I need a break now, from cleaning, organizing and working on making my house a home, (it’s actually too fun to call it work), I pick up your book and find tons of inspiring and can-do projects that I am so excited to try! And now I found your website! I am one happy girl. Suh-wheet. Now I am downright gleeful! Major props Diane!

    Now I must run . . . . and take a break. ;0)

    Thanks so much for the inspiration. I’ll do all the official “follow” stuff when I take a break . . . . . from taking a break.

    Most sincerely, Naseeha

  81. Hi Diane, I recently joined your following and I must say, I am so happy to have stumbled upon to your blog. Just in a few days, you have inspired me to get to projects that I have been putting off for the longest time! Thank you so much for inspiring me!

    Sherry

  82. Hi Diane! I’m your newest follower — simply because after reading your profile and what and who makes you who you are inside and out….I feel like I’ve known you for years. :) Thank you for being so open, warm, and welcoming! I’m so looking forward to getting to know you better. God bless you! ♥

    xoxo laurie

  83. Diane

    I saw your blog for the first time and today and was inspired. I have started tackling my stairs! Do you mind if I refer any of my readers (ha I think I have 1) to your site?

    Thank you for your inspiration
    Christy

  84. I found your site from Lavender Clouds and I am so glad I did! Looking forward to following your posts and finding the time to go back through your archives.

  85. Hi Diane,

    I just wanted to express my opinion about your site. I just love it !!!!

    You have great ideas and I appreciate each one of them.

    Jordan

  86. Hi, We met at BlogHer! I loooovvvee your site! And can’t seem to get off of it tonight. You have such great ideas. I really want to try making some of your things. I’m glad I found you! See you next year at BlogHer if not sooner! Lisa

  87. I’m a new follower (via google connect). Thanks for sharing your thoughts on your blog. Looks like i’ll be digging into archives. Have a terrific week!

  88. Hi, I loved reading the information about your daughters , I can realte. Nice when they grow up as you still have them but as friends Also I love the retro blue desk and drawers you painted, very pretty. Nice work you create. I will checking in. Cindy

  89. Hi Diane!

    Your hubby just told me about your website. Knowing you. I knew it would be fabulous!! After 15 yrs of being your neighbor and friend and seeing first hand how creative you are – I am glad everyone gets a chance to see what you are up to!!!
    Miss you but you can be sure I will be following your site.

  90. Hi Di!

    Great site! Love it – you’ve done a really good thing for novices like me to find inspiration.

    Love ya, miss ya,
    Suellen

  91. Hi Diane! Just wanted to let you know that I haven’t forgotten to send you the list about plugins, I just haven’t gotten there yet… But hopefully this week!

  92. Hi Diane:
    Your site is gorgeous. Just got here and can’t wait to really look around. I joined as a follower. Hope we can keep in touch!

  93. Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest! Your site makes me want to write up a big old list of projects for myself. I’m really impressed!

  94. Hi Diane, I just found your site because you mentioned how much you like the Chic Simple books that Jeff Stone and I created—thank you! I love your site—it feels like home to me. I enjoy how you share style and beauty in a calming manner. I have a new book coming out May 1 called What to Wear for the Rest of Your Life. I will be doing a book event in the Philadelphia area and would like to invite you when details are firmed up. All best, Kim Johnson Gross