Projects you can do yourself with easy step by step instructions.

I’ve received a few questions about styling a TV console or entertainment unit.  So today I’m going to give you a few tips on how to go about it.  It’s super easy and I don’t want you second guessing yourself or thinking it doesn’t look like Joanna Gaines did it or like it isn’t worthy of Country Living magazine.  Instead, remember anyone can copy someone else so…

In a world of Joanna’s, be a Unicorn!

Don’t you just hate the huge black boxes, the wires and the other crap that comes with a TV?  Goodness gracious, we can send a man to the moon but we can’t have wireless TV’s, stereos and lamps?  Ugh – Whatev.  Well since we must have the unsightly boxes/components, I think it’s best to separate them so one side isn’t heavier than the other when decorating.

Tips for Styling a TV Console Table

Easy tips for styling a TV console table around the ugly necessary boxes.

That was Tip #1Separate the large components or at least keep it balanced as much as possible.

Tip #2Keep your accessories similar in size and color.  Now you could fill it up with picture frames or books but why would you?  That’s taking the lazy way out.  I started with 2 small containers of greenery and pushed them to the outside edges and built inward toward the middle using whites and greens.  Hint: Two of the books below didn’t coordinate well so I covered them with Mod Podge and wrapping paper.  I love me some Mod Podge and now they have the color I need to coordinate with the rest of the room.

Styling a TV console by

Tip #3 Accessories look better in odd numbers.  I used the same coordinating white and green colors you see in the opposite grouping.  The song words are a favorite and just a quick print from my computer.  Now each time I see it I’ll probably start singing and smiling and singing even louder.

Odd numbers look best when accessorizing a TV console by

Tip #4Do something a little unexpected.  Y’all know I can’t get enough greenery so I decided to hang a small eucalyptus wreath in the middle of the table.  I think it gives the console table a little more character.  Well hello there Unicorn Cindy.

Bonus Tip for styling a TV console table:

When I thought I was finished, I stepped back and what did I notice?  The big TV with those little black speakers sticking out like my ears did in the third grade.  That wasn’t a good year and I cannot relive that moment every time I sit down.  So by adding a little jewelry with a little strategic hair fluffing (lanterns), the gap between the speakers has been filled in and disguised.  She shan’t be called Dumbo again.  Aren’t kids nice?  So nice.

Anyway, here’s the “before” pic of the TV console table.

Before pic for styling a TV console table

And here’s the “after” with all it’s cuteness.  Now things are more unified and certain things don’t stand out from the rest.

4 easy Tips for styling a TV console table by

There you go – 4 easy tips for Styling a TV console table!  Now you can go forth and style on your own.  If you need a little more advice I’m only an email away.   Oh yeah, I’ll write another post soon on how to style the walls around the TV just in case you need it.  😉 Big hug sweet friends.

So right before Christmas last year (a whole month ago), a sweet friend texted me a picture of her mantel and asked what I thought.  Well a story book of my opinions later, she made some changes.  This got me to thinking about mantels and how I decorated mine (this week) on the upstairs landing.  So today I’m going to share a few easy steps to decorating a mantel.

Chippy mantel added to wall for a cozy look.

This is our upstairs landing.  Yes, I still despise the gold wall color but totally love the mantel the Mister mounted to the wall.  Found it half off at a going out of biz sale.  Hello deal of the century!  I can’t get enough of anything that’s old with thick layers of chippy paint.  And as you can see, I totally mix my styles in the house in Highland Village.  There’s a bit of rustic mixed with traditional decor in this area.  On to the good stuff.

Easy Steps to Decorating a Mantel

Step 1:  Find your key piece or main focus:  This is the object you’ll add first.  It could be a clock, a piece of artwork, really whatever you like.  (Hint: Mirrors are not the best choice for mantels unless it’s reflecting the other side of the room. Most of the time they reflect the ceiling – not pretty!)

I chose a large metal piece that has a painting in the middle.  To me, it looks wintery and serene but not dreary.  This first piece will also set the theme for the rest of your decor.  Honestly, this large focal piece shouldn’t be this big.  It should be smaller and not meet the edge of the mantel.  But since when do I do what’s normal?  LOL

Easy Steps to decorating a mantel by

Step 2:  Choose a color scheme:  The majority of color in this painting is black, green, and white which will dictate the other items I use on the mantel.  Also think about sheen.  This painting is dull so I don’t want to add bright shiny metals like brass, chrome, etc.  I feel they would look out of place.  And while looking for ways to add texture, keep your various color palette to about 3.  It will keep the mantel from looking chaotic.

Layering is one way to decorate a mantel. Check out the east steps by

Step 3: Choose either symmetrical or balanced:  Symmetry is having the same decor items on both sides to keep it even or equal.  Like the same candle stick or vase on each side.  Balance is having items on each side but the items are different yet still visually weighted the same.  Does that makes sense?  For example – if you folded the mantel down the middle, both sides would look the same if symmetrical.

You can see this mantel is balanced, not symmetrical.  Both sides have the same type of items but the items are different.  Two candle sticks, two birch bark candles, two items of greenery.  But since the ironstone pitcher on the right has a larger surface of white than anything on the other side, I added white books to keep it “weighing” the same on the left side.

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Step 4: Making a visual triangle:  This little trick makes your mantel look expertly crafted!  Along with your key piece, work out toward the edges making triangles on either side.  Remember when I said this metal piece shouldn’t actually be this large?  This is why.  If it were smaller, you’d actually see the triangle (see white triangle).

But don’t fret, it’s perfectly fine to have layers instead and have triangles on the outer edges (see red triangles).

How to decorate a mantel in 4 easy steps! By

When decorating your mantel, keep in mind these 4 simple steps and you’ll be a pro in no time!  Soon you’ll find yourself thinking about triangles, color and balance when you’re out shopping.  😉  Most importantly, have fun.  If you like a full mantel or one that is over the top – go for it.  If you are minimalistic and only want 3 items on your mantel, that is pretty too.  Heck, you may like only 1 thing up there.  It’s all good.  You do You!

4 easy steps to decorating a mantel by


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County Road 407 - Easy Steps to Decorating a Mantel

Hello Friends!  You know how I’ve mentioned before that I’m a genius but some of you don’t believe me?  Well here’s proof.  I made 3 large Birch Bark candles for less than $1.00!  I know, right?!  You’re thinking no way and I’m saying yes way!

It all started when I finally put away the ridiculous amount of Christmas decor we had and got a burst of energy to do some winter decorating.  Remember a couple of posts back when I gave you some great tips on winter decorating (you can find that post here)?

Birch Bark Candle supplies by County Road 407 blog

Well I saw that my fave craft store had candles at 50% off so I had to go.  But the candles I went to get looked so fake and yucky.  I put them in my basket even though I was disappointed.  I could have gotten these from Amazon but I had a Veruca Salt moment and wanted them right then.  Not a proud moment but even worse, at half off they were still over $10 each.

DIY Birch Bark Candles using scrap book paper from

Walking around checking out the rest of the sale stuff I just kept thinking it was ridiculous to spend $30 on something I didn’t like.  I know it’s not that expensive and I’ve definitely spent more on other decor items but these were down right ugly.  But that’s when my genius moment struck.

Making a Birch Bark Candle from paper with a DIY on

I already had 3 candles at home so I pushed my little basket over to the paper section and picked up 2 – 12″ sheets of Birch Bark scrap book paper.    I also had tape and scissors which is all you need for this easy DIY.  Best of all, the 2 sheets were .59 cents each and on sale too!  Baahahaha

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Birch Bark Candle DIY from

I used my two 6 inch tall candles and could wrap both of them with only one sheet by cutting it in half.  The other candle sitting in the lantern is 7-1/2″ tall which needed it’s own sheet.  Since I intend to use the candles again I didn’t want to glue the paper on.  Just use clear packing tape to hold it together.  I have to admit, with the fat 6 inch candles, the paper didn’t go all the way around.  It left about a 1/4 inch gap.  It doesn’t bother me and no one can see it when you turn the candles just right.  If that sort of thing keeps you up at night, use skinnier candles.  😉

Candles made with birch bark paper with a DIY on

Genius, right?!  I think they turned out great and this is the start of some fabulous and super inexpensive winter decorating!  Oh yeah, the Mister said to mention they were only for decorative purposes and not to light them because the paper could catch on fire.  Okay, maybe safety isn’t my thing but all I have to do is use LED candles instead.  See there – still a genius.  😉

The easiest way to make fresh garland

One of the many great things about the country and being surrounded by trees is that you get to make your own fresh Christmas garland.  And goodness me, I clip and pluck and cut and prune to my hearts content.  I put live clippings everywhere!  Today though, I thought I’d share with you the easiest way to make fresh garland.  Even though I made it for our front gate, you can do this for a mantel, to hang over the door, or even above the kitchen cabinets if you’d like.  But for this post, it’s for our 16 foot front gate.

Easiest Way To Make Fresh Garland

Easiest way to make fresh garland by

Items needed:

  • 2 – 6 foot faux Christmas garlands from any craft store (get the cheapest you can find).  I got mine from Hobby Lobby.  They are used to secure the real clippings and won’t really be seen.
  • 2 – 6 foot decorative Christmas garlands (optional).  We had these left over from last year so I threw them in but they aren’t necessary.  Use whatever faux garland you like.
  • Floral wire
  • Pruning Shears
  • Real clippings (some home improvement stores or tree lots will often times give them to you free of charge)


The easiest way to make fresh garland for a front gate by

I put the dogs in the laundry basket that’s strapped onto the 4-wheeler and we head out to gather the limbs.  I think they love it as much as I do.  They sit and sniff and I snip and stack.  It’s therapeutic really.  I can see why people love gardening but my brown thumb and I just don’t have that kind of patience.

Dogs helping gather live clippings for the garland on

cedar and pine clippins for fresh garland


Easiest Way To Make Fresh Garland

Step 1:  Wrap the gate with the cheap garland securing it with floral wire.  If your stems are long enough, you can twist those around the gate and it will work just fine.  If you’re not doing a gate, just lay the fake garland out on a table and find the middle.  This is where I added the left over garland that had a few flocked leaves with pinecones but it isn’t needed at all.  It actually makes it look less real.

Easy DIY fresh garland from

Step 2:  Start adding the live clippings.  The longer the clippings are, the less you have to add and the fuller it will look.  I use pieces about 20 inches long.  Work your way out from the middle when placing the clippings on top of the fake garland.  When you are pleased with the look, twist the fake garland stems around the real clippings to secure it.  If the stems aren’t long enough, use the floral wire to secure each clipping to the fake stem.

DIY Easy fresh garland by

Step 3:  Step back and take a look.  If I have a bald spot or a place where one stem is standing higher than another, I simply secure another piece of the live clippings until I’m satisfied.

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Fresh garland DIY and wreath on front gate from


That’s it, you’re done!  I also hung a fake wreath but added live clippings to that as well.  Top it off with a bow then pat yourself on the back.  You just accomplished the easiest way to make fresh garland in 3 short steps!

I also added these lights.  They are battery operated and on a timer so we don’t have to run down to the gate and turn them off and on.  Adding a bow was the last step!  We love how it makes this old rusty gate look good!

Ooh, it would also look even more festive if it were flocked.  If you want to see an easy DIY for that, click here.  Although if it rains and snows where you’re at, the flocking will just fall off if it gets wet so beware!

I hope you’ve enjoyed Christmas decorating so far.  Join me next week for a farmhouse tour with several of my friends!  It’s going to be fantabulous!

Merry Christmas


My visit with THE KariAnne Wood from Thistlewood Farms

If you don’t know who KariAnne Wood is from the blog Thistlewood Farms, you’re missing out.  She’s kind, smart, sweet as pie and the cutest thing since the color pink.  I love her!  Her blog is about her life, her family, her beautiful farmhouse in Kentucky and her DIY projects.

Carol who blogs over at invited her and a few others over for a book signing.  Yes you read correctly, KariAnne wrote a book!  It’s called So Close To Amazing.

I’ve been excited for days and even wondered what people wear to a “private” book signing.  Should I wear something casual like oh-she’s-my-bestie-and-we’re-just-hangin-out (we met in person in July)  or maybe wow-she’s-the-queen-of-farmhouse-decor-and-I-should-kiss-her-feet-so-don’t-wear-heels-because-it’s-going-to-be-awkward-when-I-can’t-get-up?  I went with casual to keep us all safe.


KariAnne Wood from Thistlewood Farms and Cindy Richter from at the So Close To Amazing book signing

She has inspired me so many times through her blog and given me such great advice that I truly believe you’ll love her book.  I remember to this day the first time she ever commented on one of my blog posts.  I was so new and thought it was a mistake.  But nope, she’s just that sweet!

So Close To Amazing is about her move to Kentucky from the Dallas area and how the Lord laid out her path.  It’s about how she has questioned the Lord just like me and about DIY projects gone wrong just like so many of our own.  But what I love the most about the book is how she learned to rejoice in the small things, embrace the imperfect and celebrate the mistakes.

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The book So Close To Amazing by KariAnne Wood of Thistlewood Farms

During our time together we watched her smile and lift her hands in excitement, listened to her giggle and speak in “total asides”.  That alone kept me on my toes trying to keep up.  She’s genuine and sassy and crazy funny and sincere and rambunctious.  She’s a motivator, a mentor and my new forever friend.

If you’d like to order the book, click on this link.  

If you’d like to check out her blog, click on this link

And let me know when you get the book.  We’ll get together and do a project from the book then celebrate how amazing we are!  🙂

KariAnne's book So Close To Amazing with Cindy at Countyroad407


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