Winter Wreath

Yesterday, I showed you our newly updated winter entry. And hinted at my coordinating wreath, which I am sure you are just dying to see; I won't keep you in suspense much longer.

Remember this guy?

I dug him out of the garage, added a bit of extra greenery to take him from Fall to Winter...

Accented with white winter berries and tied a nice, big burlap bow...

I'm quite pleased actually. At no additional cost, I was able to take this guy from Fall to Winter and coordinate him with my planters.

Who doesn't love a fully coordinated outdoor scheme, right?

Until next time,
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De-Christmas-ing the Entryway

It's officially, almost, February - no more excuses, the last of the Christmas decor must be put away!
That's what I thought to myself while I drove the car past our front entrance last week.

Someone must of heard me because the temperatures finally rose above freezing for the first time in weeks, so I got out there to work a bit of magic.

I removed all my red berried items and replaced them with white winter berries and purple eucalyptus. The majority of the greens, dogwood twigs and pinecones stayed.
(It helped that they were mostly frozen in place!)

After: Winter Entrance

I was really fortunate to find two huge faux branches of winter berries on clearance at my local nursery. A couple of clips later, I had enough little branches to accent all three planters and the wreath.

A little brighter - and a slight nod to Spring.

The eucalyptus came from Michael's.

Wanna see my new Winter wreath? Check back tomorrow to see how it all came together.

Hope you had a nice weekend!

Until next time,
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Saturday's Kitchen: Banoffee Pie and a Stickie!

What is it, exactly, you may ask?
Just what it sounds like - the world's best combination of banana and toffee ever!

We first ran across this dessert while living in London, but it wasn't until we returned to the US that I actually made one, or two.

Graham Cracker Crust ( I bought mine as I was short on time, but there are a million and one recipes to make your own)
2 cans sweetened condensed milk
2 bananas
Heavy Whipping Cream or store bought whipped cream
Vanilla extract
powdered sugar
Small chocolate bar (optional)

To make toffee: remove labels from unopened sweetened condensed milk cans. Submerge in pot of water, bring to boil, boil covered for 2.5 hours. Make sure to keep the cans of milk covered with water, meaning you'll have to top up from time to time.

To assemble: slice bananas into bottom of graham cracker crust. Open sweetened condensed milk cans and stir until toffee reaches a pourable consistency. Pour over bananas. Refrigerate to set.

Before serving: Whip cream, adding sugar to desired sweetness (1 tbs.) and a 1 tsp of vanilla, or crack open store bought whipped cream. Mound on top. grate small amount of chocolate bar over top for a decorative finish, if so desired.

I've had fairly good results with this recipe, although the last time I made it, it didn't set very well - hence the less than stellar picture. Fortunately, it tastes great regardless of how well it sets!

Wine Pairing:
This is an extremely rich and decidant dessert on it's own, but if you really want to go all out, try it with a dessert wine.

Dessert wines are generally fortified wines that are sweet in nature and pair well with all sorts of desserts - from sweet to savory. There are a couple of trains of thought on pairing dessert wines, but I tend to go with the classic, sweet - sweet combination! What can I say, I have a massive sweet tooth!

I recently discovered the Canadian Ice Wine, Jackson - Triggs Proprietors' Reserve 2007 Riesling Icewine. It's honey colored and intensly sweet.

A great introduction to the wonderful world of Stickies!

As always if you try it and like it, please do let me know.

Until next time,
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Personalizing a Foot Stool

If you follow me on Facebook, you'll know that my planned craft for today was foiled. I had intended on making my own moss balls, but found them for sale at Michael's for a ridiculous $4.99 - no way to beat that, so it was time to fall back on Plan B for this week's craft.

Enter the $8 foot stool

This is one of those projects that has been on the back burner for quite some time.
I picked up the stool at a local antique market for $8 this past Fall - the plan was to paint, stencil and distress it.

First a coat of Valspar Jade.

20 minutes later, a ring of Valspar Bronze (left over from the golden pinecones).

20 more minutes, an allover coat of Valspar Sky Blue.

1 hour later, a light sanding around the edges to reveal some of the various colors.

Time to stencil (left over from the BGR, for a tutorial, click here).

At this point, I let it dry overnight then went back in for another light sanding.

Getting angled, zoomed in, shots of distressing is really hard! Here are a couple of attempts:

I think you get the idea!

And here she is all settled into her new home. I'm loving this pop of color in our powder room. And I have a sneaking suspicion that my daughter will help bring the distressing to a whole new level!

Not bad for a first time distresser - wouldn't you say?

Until next time,

PS. if you'd like to follow me on facebook, click here. Or just become a Google friends follower in my sidebar to the right.
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Playing with Scale, in the Bathroom

Remember my recently styled shelves, which featured this lovely little mirror?

I stole it from here...

Powder Room (at Christmas)

Which left me with a minor spot to fill.
Truth be told, I had been wanting to switch out this mirror with our foyer mirror for quite some time,
so when opportunity called - I came a answerin!

What do you think?
Is it too big?
Mr. DD thought so.

But I love how much light it reflects around this small and somewhat dark space.

And for the record, he changed his opinion within an hour of it being hung.
Love when that happens.

This large scale piece makes a huge impact in a relatively small space - which, in my opinion, is a great thing in a powder room.

What do you think, is your powder room high on drama?

Until next time,


Linking in with Savvy Southern Style BTB party.
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Welcome To My Brand New Look

If you couldn't already tell, Designing Domesticity has just received a brand new look! And I am really excited about it!

My new logo...

Designing Domesticity

When the lovely Shari over at little blue deer suggested a pineapple, I just knew it was perfect. A pineapple after all, is a universal symbol of hospitality and welcome. Seeing as my blog is all about turning a house into a welcoming home - it couldn't be a better fit. And the caning pattern is truly one of my favorite elements. Does it remind you of anything?

Caned bed in Master Bedroom

More new features...

My new button....I kinda love it! Feel free to grab, share and distribute! The code is right over there...

And finally, I am now offering email subscriptions. Get Designing Domesticity right to your inbox. Now you won't miss a thing!

Thanks so much to Shari at little blue deer - I love my new look!

What do you think, does it suit me?

 Until next time,
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Guest Suite Hallway Nears Completion

It's been a couple of weeks now since I have mentioned our guest suite updates, but that doesn't mean that they aren't moving full speed ahead. Especially now that we have the real motivation of some very special guests coming to stay in February.

Here's where we left (click here for a refresher) you...

Not cute

And here's where we are today...

Two coats of wall paint, one coat of ceiling paint, a coat of primer and two coats on the trim! Just typing it all wears me was quite the painting project. Not that I had anything to do with it, Mr. DD did the whole thing himself. What a star!

I shopped the house and had a little fun accessorizing our newly painted white shelves! Recognize that mirror? More to come on that little change.

Even the door knobs have received an update. Out with the dated brass and in with an updated oil rubbed bronze, which will coordinate well with our new fixture, whenever I get around to ordering it.

Carriage House Chandelier

I'm loving this carriage house light from Ballard Designs...decisions, decisions.

The hallway has been transformed with just a couple cans of paint. It's no longer dark and boring - now it's light, bright and an all together more welcoming space. Ah, the magic of paint!

Until next time,


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Smith & Hawken

Was anyone else as disappointed by the demise of Smith & Hawken as I was?  Of course, this isn't something most people are probably thinking about in the dead of Winter...but I used to love their stuff; browsing their store was always so inspirational to me - than all of a sudden, it was gone. (I'd like to take this opportunity to remind everyone that I was out of the country for 5 years, so hopefully this isn't way off base.)

But suddenly, without much fan fare, it has started to reappear at Target.

The aisle at the store is almost always picked clean, and the navigation online a bit tricky, but lately the selection has been getting better and better. And Target finally has a dedicated boutique for them online.

Over the last year, I have purchased all of these S&H items at my local Target store.

The most reasonably priced, realistic, natural boxwood topiary I have ever seen. I kid you not.

Boot tray - in my winterized screened-in porch/mud room as we speak. Love it!

Wood Shaving Rose Wreath - each time I hang this on my door, I get loads of compliments!

No real point to these ramblings, other than to say, I miss Smith & Hawken and am thrilled that they seem to have found a new home in one of my highly frequented stomping grounds.

Can't wait to see what their Spring line holds...

What about you, are you an S&H fan?
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So easy, no sew curtain update

Most of you won't be surprised by this project as you have seen me work with ribbon once or twice! But this was so easy and so quick that I really couldn't not post a mini tutorial.

I have 5 of these curtains dotted around our house. At about $16 a piece, these Target beauties really can't be beat. But let's face it, there's really nothing to them. They aren't exactly special as is.

Awhile back, my Mom suggested that I give them a more custom look with ribbon. So I did just that...

I started by cutting off the original attached ties.

I placed ribbon over the seam of the original tie and pressed it in place with my old friend, Stitch Witchery.

I used the same piece of ribbon looping from the front to the back - just in case the fusing tape fails, it won't all come crashing down. Make sense?

Once the curtain was back up, I just tied the ribbon ends together and tucked the tails behind the curtain. 
So easy; the whole project, start to finish, was completed in less than 10 minutes!

Here's another look...



A slightly more custom look for very little time, effort and money - gotta love that!

What do you think, will you give it a try?

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Updates, updates and more good updates

Time is already flying and it's only the 3rd week of January - how does this seem to happen each and every year?

Anyway, a couple of quick updates on my end...because I know you want to be kept in the loop!

No 1 - I am so thrilled to announce that Designing Domesticity will be getting a face lift, courtesy of Little Blue Deer. I've already seen the initial proofs and I am loving the direction that we are headed.
Be sure to check back for the big reveal!

little blue deer

No 2 - I was so excited to receive an email from Monogram Boutique, notifying me that I had won her giveaway. I never win anything - so this is big news for me.

The first part is a gift certificate to my favorite CSN stores. As you know, I am in the process of working on my guest suite hallway at the moment and a new light is definitely in order.

Sea Gull Lighting 5231-782 -  in Heirloom Bronze Pendant
Perhaps this one?

The other part of the giveaway is a sweet little necklace from The Adopts Shoppe on Etsy.

Owl Bird Scrabble Necklace

I'm going with the little owl for my daughter - it's so cute and sweet, just like her!

No 3. It must be a lucky streak for me as I actually managed to win an auction on Ebay and picked up this little dresser for a steal!


Not sure what I'll be doing with her just yet, but stay tuned to find out!

No 4.  I am now officially offering design consultations, both online or in person in the Chicagoland area. If you are having trouble conceptualizing a room in your home or simply need ideas for furniture placement, please contact me for details.

Now you are officially in the know!
Check back tomorrow for a quick and easy no sew window treatment update.
Until then...
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