Decorating at age 25 when you first get married is sooo way different than when you’re 50 don’t you think?  My first attempt at decorating was when the style was… well, I don’t really think it had a name.  I’ll call it The Era of the Cave.  We had it decked out in burgundy, navy and teal green; teal carpet, teal and white checked linoleum floors, teal striped floral wall paper that covered every wall in our small bedroom and teal laminate counter tops with teal painted walls in our kitchen.  Goodness me, even as I type that out I’m thinking – what was I thinking?!  Well I know what I was saying – “Mhmm, this place looks fabulous.  It all matches”.

Antique Column repurposed into coat rack by countyroad407.com

Most of the decorating back then was determined by 3 kids and 2 dogs.  I think if I could have gotten away with plastic furniture and rubber walls and not been mocked as a horrible wife and mother, I would have done it.  Wouldn’t that have been a statement?  Maybe a better statement than the accuracy of a dirty brown streak that ran the length of the walls in the hallway where the kids rubbed their hands every time they walked through or when they smudged their feet on it from deciding that was the perfect place for a camp out.

repurposed bird feeder into kitchen sponge holder by countyroad407.com

After being there 13 years, we needed to move.  The Mister drove an hour and a half one way every day to his new job and he thought that 3 hours in the car would be better spent with his family.  No one can argue that so we built a house.  I decided that since the kids were older, we were going fresh and new.  The burgundy plaid sofa we’d found at a garage sale and the coordinating floral chairs we found on the side of the road (all recovered of course) and that burgundy sponge painted cabinet were not coming with us.  The Cave Era was out.

Mercury door knob in Navasota, TX by countyroad407.com

Sad thing was, it had been “out” for like 5 years.  But with small kids and a busy life, my days were spent raising kids, not keeping up with the Joneses.

Collection of white dishes and silverware by countyroad407.com

This new house was neutral in color because it would be easier to decorate while living life.  Furthermore when the moms came over they wouldn’t judge me for being 5 years behind in decorating.   It had taupe walls, taupe counter tops and taupe floors.  So much brown it was like living inside a Little Debbie snack cake.  But after 5 years, we finally painted something.  It was a wine colored accent wall in the breakfast room.  I know what you’re thinking – Oh my golly she did it again.  She went with burgundy!  But I didn’t.  It was wine colored.  It coordinated with the grape window treatments and the wallpaper border which of course matched the seat cushions on the chairs to the dining table.  Are you thinking I was crazy?  I’m sort of thinking I was.  But everyone liked it.  They thought I had it goin’ on – I was rockin’ it.  Uh yeah, no.  I was rockin’ it like puffy high top tennis shoes with high wasted mom jeans and little did I know the wine style was going out in a year.

Chicken wire cloche made from an old lampshade by Countyroad407.com



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But as luck would have it, I didn’t have to live with the wine theme after it was out of style.  We were moving again.  Not because the hubby got a new job but because we were tired of the kids being right there with us; right there under our feet, right there when it was time to get ready for school and they shared a bathroom or right there when I was trying to pluck my eyebrows and they came barging in asking if they could use our bathroom.  Yeah, because of that.  When we built the house the kids were so precious we thought they’d love to be with us and we’d be one happy family for decades.  Nope.  They didn’t want to be around us and we didn’t want to listen to every My Little Pony, Littlest Petshop or Pokemon conversation they ever had.

Vignette of antique box with hydrangeas by Countyroad407.com

The move this time was only 5 houses down on the same street and is the house we live in now.  It didn’t take much to talk the Mister into buying it.  All I had to say was “It has a game room with a door so when extra kids are over we can shut them in and not hear the commotion and each kid will have their own bathroom”.  But you’ve heard me say it before, I should have negotiated better when it came to the decorating.  The Mister told me we could paint the ugly gold walls when we moved in.  8 long years I’ve hated the paint on these walls.  Woe is me – late to the party again.

French lavender in vintage pitcher by Countyroad407.com

You’ve also heard me say 2018 is going to be my year or maybe that was 2017.  Either way, I’m painting these walls even if I have to hire a graffiti artist to do a walk through railcar touch up.  Question is, will I be 5 years late to the prom with my color choice?  Last week I saw Benjamin Moore Paints announced their new color of the year as “Caliente”.  I literally burst out laughing.  It’s red!  And what did they pair it with besides gray and blue – gold!  Oh My Word , gold! Hahahaha.

Hang a chandelier from the trees outdoors for a fun farmhouse look. Countyroad407.com

Now that I’m 51, I finally know what I like and can decorate for myself.  I don’t have to worry about kids etc.  And my new choices?  Well, I can say this about my them; the color will be neutral and the decor will be me.  I want a mix of farmhouse charm, a little vintage with repurposed items thrown in everywhere.  And it will for sure scream – Cindy, you are the bomb.com!  You are going to be in style forever!  Or at least 5 more years.

  I hope you find your style way before I did!

I’m part of a blog hop called the Fantastic Fifties!  You should check them out below.  You might find someone else you’d like to follow!  Just click on the links to go to their blogs.  Thanks for stopping by today!

 

 


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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 BlueSkyatHome.com 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 CountyRoad407.com 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

 

No this is not a paid advertisement

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Yay, we are back in Navasota soaking up the country life and enjoying the little things that make this place special.  Well special to me, the Mister couldn’t care less about the “special” things.  He enjoys being outside with the animals and just piddling.  Okay, he’s usually having to fix something but at least he’s here.

I on the other hand, not being the outdoorsy type, need more.  I need little details that make me smile.  Niceties so I don’t feel as though I’m tolerating what the Mister’s great grandmother did when she lived here.  So while I’m here this week, I’ll show you what makes me feel more refined while hangin’ out in the farmhouse kitchen.

 

 10 Farmhouse kitchen details I need in my life.

 

Farmhouse kitchen details in Navasota, TX by CountyRoad407.com

I’ll show you the entire kitchen one day for but now, here is the left corner.  Yes it still has white laminate counter tops which do not bother me (yet) and an old microwave that takes up precious counter space but look beyond that.  Look at the walls.  It’s the real deal.  Real board on board shiplap.  Finding that behind the upper cabinets we ripped out was a glorious day.  Anyway, that’s detail #1 on the list.

Now for detail #2.  It’s the framed vintage coffee bean sack.  The frame was $10 and the sack only $7!  HAHAHAHA – I love a bargain and need nice things to look at.  Remember, I’m all into decorating?

Detail #3 and probably a favorite.  I use vintage teacups as scoops for the sugar and flour canisters.  The matching saucer to this one sits on the stove.  We use it as a spoon rest.  You might also notice, the purple coordinates with the purple mason jars we use.

For farmhouse kitchen details, use a vintage teacup as a sugar scoop

 

Detail #4.  I use a metal bowl/basket to house the paper plates.  They look so much prettier in there – don’t you think?

Decorating with farmhouse kitchen details like grain sacks and adding details like wire paper plate holders

 

Detail #5 is over at the sink area by the windows.  I made a dish towel holder and used one of our forks for the hook.  I also found a silver plated wine chiller at an antique store (for $9) and decided to use it for cooking utensils because we only have 3 drawers in the kitchen to hold things – Detail #6.

Farmhouse kitchen details like a handmade hand towel holder and a silver plated wine caddy for utensils

Handmade dish towel holder by CountyRoad407.com for added farmhouse kitchen details

 

For detail #7 I came across this cast iron table top bird feeder at Hobby Lobby (hello 50% off) and thought it would be so cute sitting in the window holding sponges and the drain stopper.

Using a cast iron bird feeder as a sponge holder for farmhouse kitchen details. By CountyRoad407.com

 

Oh yeah, another favorite and detail #8 is… Here in the “kuntry” we use actual silverware for everyday.  It’s a pain to wash and polish sometimes but the vintage pattern is so cute.  And of course it totally makes us me feel more sophisticated. 😉

Silver plated utensils used for everyday for a farmhouse kitchen detail by CountyRoad407.com

 

Look at this adorable milk bottle measuring cup which is detail #9. Macy (my daughter who has taken residency while attending college) found it on Amazon and I think it’s perfect for the farmhouse kitchen!

Ceramic measuring cup speaks to farmhouse kitchen details

 

Last but not least, detail #10 is a vintage cake plate that I use as a napkin holder.  It sits over by the Coffee Station that you can read about here if you missed it.  The lid keeps the napkins from flying away when we use them outside.  Of course it’s great for cupcakes and cookies too.

Vintage Cake Plate used as a napkin holder for a farmhouse look by CountryRoad407.com

 

All of these things make life here so much more pleasant.  I’m not sure if it’s really because we aren’t down here as much so the mundane everyday life isn’t as annoying or if it’s not as bad as I thought it would be.

It could be because the Mister does everything in is power to make me happy and feel cherished.  He works hard to keep snakes and bugs away, to keep it cool inside while it’s super hot outside.  He keeps the well water from smelling like rotten eggs (mhmm it did, bleh), the internet running as fast as possible, and so many other things.

Either way, we make a good team.  He’ll keep making this old farmhouse better and better and I’ll keep making it cuter and cuter.

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One thing I’ve noticed at thrift stores is the plethora of used books.  I can usually find them costing ten cents to a dollar.  Sometimes they’ll have a BOGO sale or a BOG2 sale and I can’t pass on a bargain like that.  Why do I need so many books you ask?  Well, I use them almost everywhere!  So today I’m going to show you how I use books in my decor at the farmhouse.

Deconstructed Books

De-constructed books embelleshed with scraps of fabric and twine

I deconstructed the set above by using a sharp blade to cut off the covers.  Then I simply stacked and tied them together with scraps of fabric, ribbon and twine.  The little burlap doily is just another embellishment to make them even cuter than they already are.  These sit on my bedside table/chest. 🙂

deconstructed books used in farmhouse decor

Wow, would you look at that?  No wait, don’t!  I can see dust on the table above!  Goodness, now you know how I roll – blogging before dusting and decorating before baking!  But in my defense, I don’t live here on a daily basis.  Just certain weekends.  Getting back on track – these books are a little more rustic looking and highlight the antler and vintage door knob (hopefully not the dust) .  Ugh.

Painted Books

Painted book with Glidden Paint with Primer that didn't work even after 5 coats

I’ve painted some books with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.  That stuff worked like a charm with only one coat.  With the red book above I wasn’t so lucky.  I used left over Glidden Paint with a built in Primer and gave up after 5 coats.  It’s still pink.  See it in the picture below?  I do like pink but not for this project.  The navy and green books turned out fine with the Glidden paint.  In Glidden’s defense though, it doesn’t say it’s for “books”.  But who uses paint only for it’s labeled purposes?  Hello, not me.

Painted books for farmhouse decor

With these lovely painted books I simply used a Sharpie Marker and wrote PRAY on the paper edges.  You could also turn them around and write titles, numbers or anything else really.  These books are sitting above the TV.

Books that were painted and had the word PRAY wtritten on them with a Sharpie pen for farmhouse decor



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Below are two of the other painted books used only to blend in with the table and elevate the clock a bit.  I’d rather have the antique box with hydrangeas and the clock be more noticeable than the white painted books.

White painted books used in farmhouse decor

Color Clumping

If you’d rather not paint or deconstruct books, you can clump like colors together like these below.  I turned them around because the bindings were distracting and I wanted my sons school project to get highlighted rather than the busy bindings.  Isn’t he a beauty – in a weird, crazy kinda way?   Even though it has bulgy googly eyes and a broken tail, you know this momma doesn’t care.  It’s special memories.

books in decor highlighting special objects

I love the cartoon below.  It’s totally me.  But if I had all of the books turned around facing forward or had the book jackets still on, you’d probably not see it.  That’s why I keep similar colors together or turn them around.  It’s less distracting when the book covers and pages are related in color.

Layering books for decor

Layering items in the front and back gives the display depth and excitement.  Like the books below.  All I did was switch out the pale green comic with a coordinating colored sign and then include a wreath behind the books.  Just the added layers make this book vignette more interesting.

tan books with layers for decorating

Different Ideas

Books don’t have to sit on a shelf.  Below I wanted some red so the living room looked more patriotic during the fourth of July celebrations.  So by adding a few books in key areas, it sends your eyes around the room instead of stopping in one place.

red books used in decor to add color for a patriotic display

Different Ideas

Don’t forget cook books can be used in decor too!  This one by The Gathering of Friends is so pretty I don’t want it hidden between stacks of others.  It sits on the counter in the kitchen looking all dainty and sophisticated.  I have about 5 of these recipe books.  If you can find one, get it.  They are beautiful!  The book holder is from them as well.  I added the silver spoon with hot glue to the top.  It’s so stinkin cute – I love it!

recipe book used for decor in kitchen

Well there you have it, that’s how I use books in my decor.  Next time you’re at the thrift shop or at a garage sale, pick up some books and go crazy implementing them into your decor.  I bet you can come up with a few ideas I’ve not thought of.  And if you do have a brain surge, don’t forget to tag me when/if you share them on Instagram!

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Pretty Pintastic Party

Everyday centerpiece with vintage bottles

Who doesn’t like fresh flowers?  I actually know one person who is allergic therefore isn’t a fan – poor thing.   I feel sorry for her.  You can see from the picture below I like all kinds of flowers, even weeds/wild flowers.  And that I prefer to keep the table centerpiece fairly simple for an average day.

Centerpiece with vintage transformers, antlers, and wild flowers

Well I checked out Courthouse Antiques in Anderson, TX last weekend and picked up a few vintage bottles.  I’ve decided to use them as my new everyday centerpiece on the table in Navasota.  It’s my excuse to have fresh flowers all the time – wink wink and a smiley face.  If you could see my face right now trying to wink, you’d laugh and think I was having a spasm of some sort.  I’ve never been able to wink.

Anyway, I gathered a few more bottles I already had around the house and purchased $4.00 flowers at the grocery store.   Placed them in a cluster on the galvanized table (DIY found here).  Voila – a new everyday centerpiece with vintage bottles.  Seeing them every time I walk through the main thoroughfare makes me smile.

vintage bottles used as an everyday centerpiece on table

When deciding to cluster the items together, make sure and choose an odd number of pieces.  I’ve used seven.  Keep them varied in height as well.  Both of these tips will keep your centerpiece more appealing.  But if all of your items are the same size, just cut the flowers in various heights.

vintage bottles with flowers



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In this collection there are old vinegar jars, apothecary medicine bottles, a soda bottle, and a magnesia bottle that still has the stopper/lid.

Vintage Citrate Magnesia bottle with stopper

The soft colors, the unique shapes, the stretch marks and air bubbles – I love each imperfection.

 

Look at these other ideas for vintage bottles!

In this post she painted them making the labels really stand out.

This wall vase shown here in this post seems like an easy DIY.

You can embellish them like she did in this post even though it starts out giving you ideas for vintage jewelry (other fab idea).

You could even decoupage them like in this video!

 Do you have a collection of bottles?  Do you place them all together or in different places around the house?  How do you display them?  Are they being used?  I’d love to know!  

 

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