Decorating around the ugly thermostat

A while back, I posted about the vintage cabinet that got a makeover.  Today I thought I’d share what we did with that corner since we moved the cabinet to the opposite wall.  I’ll admit it took me a few days to decide what to do because there’s a thermostat and a large a/c return vent to contend with.  My Mission: Decorating around the ugly thermostat and minimize the huge A/C return vent.  My solution:  Incorporate it and do it on a budget.

Decorating the corner around ugly thermostat

Would you look at that?!  The walls were the color of a dirty baby diaper filled with pea soup and mustard.  I know you’re thinking you can see for yourself and don’t need a description, but the picture doesn’t do it justice my friend.  Trust me when I say dirty. baby. diaper.

To go along with that scrumptious color was all of the stuff that came with it; heavy dark furniture, a few antique goodies, linens (oh my a lot of linens), a fan, boxes, junk, animal tea pots, etc.   Nothing that really said vintage charm or farmhouse style that’s for sure.

After the new paint job, here is what the corner looks like now – fresh and bright.

How to decorate corner walls and ugly thermostats

The tea cart had been shoved in the small pantry area.  Before I painted it black, it was white with a green sponge painting technique.  Sorry, I don’t have a picture of that loveliness.  It was changed before I ever thought about blogging or trained my brain to think about recording everything I do.  Even so, it was obviously from the days back when sponge painting was a thing.  A trend I have to say will not be missed.  I replaced the wooden knobs with two mercury glass knobs from Hobby Lobby and now I think it conceals the ugly A/C return vent a bit better.  Don’t you?

decorate the corners with unique items

My mother-in-law already had the iron plate rack so I reused it and added vintage white plates and a couple of old lids from broken pots.  Found the “EAT” print in a booth at an antique store for $4.00.  It goes along with the dining theme and felt it was perfect for the thick bulky frame which I got at a neighborhood garage sale for less than $10.00.  Mhmm, that’s me, bargain shopper!

Make a hook out of an antique fork

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Besides budget queen, you may also know by now that I have an obsession with antique silver, especially if you’ve checked out my Instagram account.  Well because of that collection, I was able to make the hook that holds the flat bucket filled with lavender.  The Mister bent the fork for me and screwed it into a scrap block of wood.  Okay, I guess he really made it but I told him what I wanted so that must count for something.  Oh yeah!  The lavender is real and man does it smell delish.  There’s actually a pick-it-yourself lavender farm in Chappell Hill, TX which is super close to Navasota.  They have everything from lavender jelly and lavender lemonade to lavender linen spray and soap.  Definitely worth the visit.

decorating around the ugly thermostat

I gathered various frames from different garage sales and painted all of them white for consistency.  Keeping the same color is important for a fresh look.    I added a mirror to one and left the other empty so I could change things out.  Right now it has a vintage looking card with cupcakes on it.  You know, because of that whole eat/dining theme and I’m a total cake (cupcake) eater so I think it’s cute.

Dollar Store tray with chalkboard paint makes cute wall art

The silver tray was purchased at the dollar store.  Yep, it cost a whole dollar.  I hot glued a scrap piece of ribbon to the back to use as a hanger.  Painted the inside with left over chalkboard paint and drew on it what I was feeling at the time – thankful.  Another cool piece I can change depending on my mood.

Cotton is a big farmhouse style décor item.  You can find artificial cotton just about anywhere – even Magnolia Market.  Got mine in Round Top, TX and the cotton ends are huge.  They came in a bunch with 6 stems but because they are the real deal, I had to clean them a little.  It was quite messy but totally worth the $5.00 cost.

Incorporate ugly thermostat into wall decor

There you have it.  Mission accomplished.  The corner is decorated, the two eyesores aren’t as ugly as before, it’s different, it was a very inexpensive collage, and I think it now says farmhouse style.   The room is definitely brighter after the new paint and now when we’ve walked through it for the hundredth time in a day, we grin instead of grimace.

Next time I talk about the other corners, I’ll show you the new light fixture… she’s a looker! 😉

If you ever need some help decorating your difficult area, send a quick email with a picture.  I’m not shy about spilling my opinions and I’ll do my best to help.

Moonlight and Mason Jars Link Party

Confessions of a plate addict and where to find them

Since I confessed to having an obsession with columns in the last post, I thought I’d go ahead and come squeaky clean and out of the closet about my other addictions.  Does anyone else have any addictions for material possessions?  I know that sounds terrible but I’m not so bad as to grab the dishes if the house were on fire or cry if they all broke, but I do love them so – hence the confessions of a plate addict.

Here at our house in Highland Village, we have dishes for everyday meals, plates for Mexican food, summer plates, a set for fall and Thanksgiving, even a set for Christmas.  I also have several special dishes for birthdays or holidays like Valentine’s Day and Saint Patrick’s Day.

I get teased a lot by my family.  Just to irritate me, they’ll use the fall plates during spring time!  Ugh – feel the love?  But because I love them all (the plates not the kids – just kidding!), I over look the sarcasm and continue my journey to find more.

White dish decor

White dishes are my absolute fave.  They go with every place mat and with each season.  I know what you’re thinking, what do you mean season…no one does that!  Well I do and white goes with them all. 😉  Some are antique ironstone from England like the chamber pot in the picture above and some are pieces I’ve purchased from stores like HomeGoods.  Look at that little gravy boat.  It’s also an antique from the 1920’s.  What makes it so special is that it was a gift from my BFF!    I will treasure it always.

Antigue Ironstone chamber pot from England

antique white oval platters

Can anyone really go wrong with white serving platters?  Of course not.  You can mix old with new, traditional with modern, simple with extravagant if you’d like.  Not one in the stack above is the same color but they still look great together.  Yet another reason to love white dishes.

white plate with deer emblem

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Stacked white dishes with scrolled detail

Okay, here comes another confession… I also adore antique silver or silver plated utensils.  I started collecting them a few years ago because I wanted them to use as hooks on the antique columns I was redoing.  You can see those here in this post.

antique spoons on oval plates

Look at them.  Each are beautiful in their own tarnished, well worn, elegant way.  Most of the pieces range from 50 cents to a dollar.  Occasionally if it was one I thought was really different, I’d pay $2.00.  The forks and knives are the least expensive.  Don’t be afraid to mix them together with a place setting though.  They look awesome when paired with any white dishes.

White dishes with antique spoon handles

Where to find white dishes

Where to find antique silver

  • Antique Stores and Malls (usually sold in full sets but you can find some individuals)
  • Estate Sales/Garage Sales (usually by the piece)
  • Vintage Trade Shows
  • Facebook – Online trading post/garage sale sites in your area
  • Your grandmothers attic

I think I might have enough white dishes for now only because a year ago I was at my nieces gorgeous wedding.  She had rented the most stunning plates for the reception dinner.  I was just beside myself looking at everyone’s plates.  They had pink ones, green ones, blue ones and yellow ones.  Flowery ones, some with birds, gold rimmed and silver rimmed.

Just imagine setting a place with both a white plate and a vintage flowery plate on top.  Oh my golly, I can see it!  Anyone up for having a tea party with me?!  I’ll set the table if you’ll cook.  Or we could just sit and sip looking at the gorgeousness of the place settings before us.  Sigh.

A vintage pie cabinet gets a little more charm

One of the cutest items I decided to keep during the “Navasota Clean Out (purge)” was the vintage pie cabinet.  Look below at the picture.  Gaze passed the dark gold walls, the boxes, the old super heavy dining table and chairs, the blankets, the vacuum, the fan, and the plastic covered recliner.  There she is in the corner – a darling vintage pie cabinet.  I’m sure for some people the green is a perfectly fine color too, but for me, I want it to be white.   Oh my isn’t she cute?  Well I mean, won’t she be cute?

Vintage pie cabinet Before

Vintage Pie Cabinet Before

Each side has 3 holes with mesh screen to cover them.  I think it is to keep the flies out but y’all can tell me if you know something different.  Whatever it is, I think it gives her character.  The bottom has a shallow carving in the wood panels which adds even more personality!

Vintage Pie Cabinet After

After a good scrubbing, and to liven the old girl up a bit, I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and afterwards added the Annie Sloan Clear Wax for protection. If you’ve never used a chalk or milk paint, you should try it.  It is beautiful, very easy to apply and the finish seems so authentic.

I wanted the collection of bowls and ironstone to stand out so instead of using white again, I opted for basic black in a satin finish.  I love it!  As you can see, it still has its original glass.  I cannot decide whether to remove the glass, paint over the green and put the glass back, keep it green so we can remember the before color or remove the glass completely and add chicken wire there instead.  What do you think?

Inside vintage pie cabinet

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Vintage Pie Cabinet Left Side

See the holes with screens?  So stinkin cute.  There is a clasp or hook of some sort on the second shelf that I cannot figure out.  It doesn’t move up and down, just around and around.  The glass doors have a latch so I don’t think it was used for keeping the doors closed.  Anyone else have a clue?

For now, I enjoy having her in a new corner of the dining room and because well, she is a she, I think I’ll give her a name…how about Beatrice, Gladys, or Pearl?  I think next weekend I’ll add one or two bird nests, Easter eggs or bunnies for added happiness.  😉  Hope y’all have a great week!

A Little Spring in the Kitchen

The Mister gave me gorgeous pink roses for Valentine’s Day and I just couldn’t hang on to them any longer. Oh I try.  I wait until the very end.  I want to remember why he gave them to me – I’m cherished and loved.  A feeling that never gets old, even after being together 32 years (married for only 24 of them). So in order to do that, I took them apart and used the left over Baby’s Breath which was the only thing still alive.

Using Baby's Breath from Valentine's Day Roses

Valentine’s flowers


Mason jar, twine, scissors and Baby’s Breath (leftover Valentine’s flowers)

I could however hang on to the left over Baby’s Breath!  I decided to spread it around the house which gave me a good excuse to do a little spring decorating.   I pulled out a mason jar and added twine for a little extra pizzazz.  Twine is so inexpensive and something I try to keep around all the time.  There are tons of things you can do with it – wrap gifts, glue it to frames, make orbs, pumpkins and flowers with it.  Seriously, Pinterest has lots of ideas.  Wrap the twine in the grooves at the top and tie it with a bow – super simple and pretty.

Left over baby's Breath, jar, twine and scissors

Over the weekend, the Mister and I got to visit with my forever bestie and her hubby.  We hadn’t seen each other in months which BTW is way to long for a friendship.  We can talk for hours and hours and never run out of things to say.  She has so many talents that I envy.  My favorite is probably that she always says the perfect thing. It might not be what I want to hear but it’s perfect.

I was feeling a little anxious about my current relationship with the Lord.  I know the Bible says we are going to suffer in life but I hadn’t felt as though I had been suffering at all.  I wondered why this fallen world had let me be.  And then her words put things into perspective.  Words she’d actually heard from her dad many years ago.  “We do have challenges in our lives and we do have suffering.  We just have His grace when we need it so it doesn’t feel like suffering”.  Immediately I was calm and excited all at once.  Best friends are perfect.  Best friends know you like no other.

Spring vignette

While we were there she gave me my birthday gift from last year.  It was an ironstone gravy boat from the early 1900’s!  So beautiful, so white, so delicate.  I had to put it in with the new spring decor on my kitchen table.  While putting it together, I was reminded that the Lord always knows what we are doing and how we are doing.  Mathew 10:29 says Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.

He knows when I’m anxious, when I’m suffering, the number of hairs on my head and does not leave me.

Psalm 84:2-4 says My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young—a place near your altar, Lord Almighty, my King and my God.  Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you.

Spring decor on tray using left over baby's breath

Spring decor on tray

I do praise Him.  I praise him for my life, my relationship with Him, my family, friends, neighbors, our challenges, ups and downs.  Why even in the not-so-good times?  Because that’s how I know He’s there, cheering me on, waiting for me to glorify Him in that circumstance.  He’s given me all I ever need to succeed.  And I thank Him for that too.