Thursday, March 24, 2011

“Let Your Light Shine” Chalkboard

I updated our kitchen chalkboard for spring.

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But also, because my daughter, Blondie, has a once in a lifetime experience going on right now.  As a fifth grader, she is participating in the High School play.  They are doing “The Wiz”, and she is a Munchkin.  This is a very new experience for her, so I am always trying to remind her to “Let Your Light Shine”.

I used chalk ink markers and blended the colors while they were still wet.  If you would like to see more about how I made this chalkboard, you can go here.

I have used this saying before in our home.

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This maple bucket is in our basement.

I figure, you can never remind your children too many times how amazing they are.

Please also remember if you were a follower of this blog before we made the recent changes, please follow again, follow RSS, Facebook or Twitter to continue receiving posts and information from Finding Home.  Thanks so much for your support! 

Have a great day!


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A Good Use of Frustration

Please see information below about continuing to follow Finding Home.

What is a girl to do when she spends months trying to get a blog just right and finds out that there are a whole bunch of issues?

Take that frustration and put it to good use.

Good use, but painful.  Do you see how sweet those birds are?

This is my baby girl’s wallpaper that we put up ten years ago.  At the time we didn’t know if she was a boy or a girl.  Good thing she was a girl because this border really is girly, but I convinced myself it would work for a boy or a girl.

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But, it is time.  Time to make good on a promise to re-do her room to be more grown up and how she wants it to be.

So we are starting here.

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And I will share the journey with you along the way.  This was my first time removing wallpaper and I can not tell you how satisfying it was to pull off a piece this large.

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My poor hubby, he just got off a nine hour flight home and I put him to work!

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But it is all for our Blondie who has been extremely patient, who worked really hard today on a snow day and has great ideas on what she wants her room to be.

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Stay tuned!

And, if you have been a follower of Finding Home, I need to ask you to “follow” again if you would like to continue to view posts .

Please click on the "Join this Site” button to the right.

or, you can follow through RSS, Facebook or Twitter.

Due to a technical challenge with switching from Blogger to Wordpress, unless you follow again or subscribe to RSS, you will no longer be delivered posts.

There is also a new option of subscribing to posts via email.

For a period of time, I am posting on my old blog and the new address.

If you bookmark my site, the new address is

I am so sorry to have to do this but your help would really be appreciated!


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A Change In Place – Please Come Join Me

So, it is finally here… 

The new logo, the new address, the new design.finallogodesignThe new blog address is 

There is a new blog design and I have now switched to Wordpress.

This is the part where I need your help. 

If you are a follower, and are still interested in being one, please go


Scroll down the right side and click on “Join this Site” and follow on the new site.

If you are reading this from a reader or blogroll, you should be able to click right on the links from here.  If you click to go into the post, you will re-directed to the new site and then you can join from there.

If you don’t make the change, I am afraid I will loose you! 

I am sorry to make it something you have to do.  Trust me, if there were a magic wand to make this all transfer over, I would SO be waving it right now!

You can update your blogroll by deleting the old blog site.  Posts will still come to you from the old site, but very delayed.  This is as a result of switching from Blogger to Wordpress.

I am so appreciative of each and everyone of my followers, really and truly.

I also have the option of following through

RSS Feed



So, it is a new beginning on this journey I have been blogging about and I truly hope you will join me.

Take care,


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Christmas on St. Patrick’s Day – You Bet!

Just dropping in to wish you all a Happy St. Patrick’s day. 

Frankly, I am pretty ticked that the leprechauns didn’t sneak in last night and finish my mountain of laundry.

Sure and Begorrah, it's leprechaun laundry day  fabric by vo on Spoonflower - custom fabric


Also, some exciting news.

A few months ago I got an email from Better Homes and Gardens asking permission to feature my Christmas Mantel on their website,

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As you can imagine, that was an easy YES PLEASE!

Unexpectedly, they have already put them up on the site.  I wasn’t expecting to see them till the fall. 

You can view the feature HERE.

There are a whole bunch of really talented bloggers out there who’s mantels are also featured.  Some of whom I was already very familiar with like,

Beth at The stories of A2Z

Shauna at Perfectly Imperfect

Wendy at the Shabby Nest

Susan at Between Naps on the Porch

And of course, the host of the party that lead BHG to us all, the talented and lovely Layla at The Lettered Cottage.

There are also several other bloggers who I was not already familiar with who did some beautiful work and it is worth checking them out as well.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Back to the Auction Game

I went to so many auction in January, February was a month to step back and assess what I had and hold off on auctions. 

But, last week, I made it back to a fun one. 

If you have read about my auctions before you know I tend to go to two different ones.  One is very organized, and one, not so much.

They both have their advantages and disadvantages.

This one was the not so organized one.

Here are some of the treasures I found…

The middle items are vintage shoe stretchers.  I actually have 12 of them, and no, I have no idea what I am going to do with them!

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Some vintage milk glass.  There were a few other pieces as well, but they didn’t make it to the photo shoot, they were already busy. 2011-03-15 spring mantel, family room march auction1

Some vintage Boy Scout stuff for a client’s playroom and vintage baseball items for another client.

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4 creamers, Coke crate and the bottles, tons of vintage thread spools and two hand mirrors.

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Again, not sure what I will do with these vintage movie reels, but hopefully I will figure something out.  Check out the labels inside the case, too fun.

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The Got Milk sign is actually for my husband’s office, I have been looking for one for him for a while.  The old frame should make a great chalkboard.  And, now THAT is a dictionary!  I haven’t checked the publication date but since it is in such bad shape I will not feel bad pulling it apart.

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The school bell is for my sister, she has a collection of them and the small clock is really cute.

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A whole bunch of linens.  My favorites are the red apron with the limes and the white floral table cloth.

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I am still working on putting together an auction “how-to” which hopefully will be done soon. 

This auction was interesting because I had a whole list of items that at 10:00 they still had not put up.  They started asking for requests and most of my stuff was bought in the last 20 minutes. 

Holding out so late was hard, but financially worth it.  I don’t believe this a pretty common practice, like I said this a pretty casual style auction, but you just never know!

I will share these finds at some of the parties in my sidebar, come on by!

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Our Spring Mantel…Sort of

As I have mentioned before, last year we completed some pretty major renovations on our home. 

I have finally gotten my act together to start sharing the before and afters of our own home, but, not yet.  I know, I am a tease. 

But this week I will share my family room.

One of the challenges has been that since we finished we have been in “holiday” mode.  Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Winter and Valentine’s Day. 

Now, I am finally ready to pull my house together for the day to day, not just for holidays. 

So, I have re-done my mantel.  It is kind of springy.  But, my real intention was to do a mantel, our mantel to enjoy and live with. 

I hope you like it, I do.

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I didn’t add a lot of color, just some warm browns, creams, and green.

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I found this tray online at Target last year and it has been on the coffee table in my living room.  I thought it added a nice touch and tie in with the clock faces.

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For a little bit of Easter, there are two bunnies.  When Easter is over, they can be removed without too much disruption.  I also added a small ironstone pitcher with dried lavender and hydrangea.

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I found the nesting basket at a yard sale last year and filled it with hydrangea.  It is hanging on a twig like ribbon some friends gave me.

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The mirror reflects a lot of light in the room and the picture in the upstairs hall.  At a different angle it also reflects the grouping on top of the armoire.

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Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!  Laura

Oh, and I will be sharing at some of the parties in my sidebar, stop on by!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Vignette Fiddling

I worked this morning on putting together a few vignettes for a new header.  For those of you who have followed me for a bit, you know I am in process of a blog and logo re-design.  The whole process has taken longer than expected, but I am really happy with the result I think I will end up and I think is very soon. 

I know I have said that before, but hopefully this time I am right! 

I thought I would share some of the photos with you.  I am really trying to work on my photo skills so this was also a great chance to practice.

Of course, my house is trashed as I grabbed different things from all over the place!

Such is the life of a blogger!

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Today, I am just feeling thankful that I have a home to take pictures of.  The devastation in Japan is unfathomable.  My prayers and I am sure all of your are with all affected today and for all that lies ahead.

Have a blessed day.


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Client Work Series – Linda’s Living Room

I told you yesterday that I was going to begin sharing some client work, so here it goes.

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This project took almost a full year and was a whole house re-do.  The client got my name from our local Benjamin Moore store who has sent business my way from time to time.

One thing I have learned in meeting new clients (although I always forget!), is not to have any expectations because the job and the people are never what you expect.  Not necessarily in a bad way (with the exception of the time I had to leave a client’s master bath because I was feeling itchy and she indicated that was “the bug problem” they were having!), just always different from what you expect.

When I walked into Linda’s house I had the most physical response to a house that I have ever had.  The house was built in 1981 and everything was exactly as it had been from the beginning.  This house needed some love and light.  Where she was living was not matching who she was.

I thought I would start today with the changes to her living room.

Here are the before and afters:


Linda Kane's Home 007


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Here are some side to side comparisons:


We left the mirror on the wall for two reasons.  One it had sentimental value. Two, it did a great job of reflecting light into the room.


We took away the heavy and dated draperies and replaced them with a lovely shade of blue in dupioni silk which added a little bit of elegance to the room.


The upholstered furniture was old, tired and not laid out correctly in the room.  The new sofa and chairs are by Temple.  The coffee and side tables are actually what she had, they just look much nicer with the room pulled together.

On the long wall where we removed the couch, I placed a set of three prints from Ballard Designs.


Removing the heavy credenza and replacing it with two new chairs and the existing side table made the room much more inviting.


She had a keyboard and TV in the corner.  The TV was moved to the family room, but she wanted the keyboard to stay.  So, I just worked with it by placing a runner and some accessories on top.  A room still has to function for a client, even if it is not the prettiest thing.


It is a little difficult to see, but the tile in the entry was very dated.  We replaced it with a neutral tile in a mixture of sizes in a random pattern.

The biggest changes were to remove the wallpaper and the carpeting.  Hardwood floors were underneath, but unfortunately we still had to replace them because there was so much pet damage that had seeped through the carpet over the years.  The wallpaper was replaced with a soft neutral beige paint and a large area rug was used on the hardwood floors.

Here are some other images of the room:

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I absolutely loved the mirrored tray on the coffee table.  It reflects so much light and adds just a little bit of “bling”.

Oh, and when you see my living room pictures, yes, that is my embroidered pillow.  At the time we had not yet found something to work there and it needed a little extra something for the pictures.

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This table is in the corner behind the couch.  I struggled so much with this area because the budget was D-O-N-E.   One day when I was there working on stuff I went and “shopped” her basement.  Wouldn’t you know this table was buried under a bunch of stuff not being used.  She as so please for it to find a place in the room.

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I will continue to share additional rooms from this completed house.

If you would like to learn any more information about how I started my business, you can read about it here.

Thanks so much for visiting and have a great day!


The Start of My Business and Putting Yourself Out There

I have mentioned in my “About Me” that I have been running a small interior decoration business since 2004, but I haven’t told you anything about that yet have I?

So, why not start today.

So, go back to 2004.  I was feeling the feeling that I think is so familiar to all of us.

Many of us here in blogland are stay at home parents.  At the time, I had a 4 year old and a 2 year old.  Cute kids and husband right?

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Focus!  Okay, so I was feeling overwhelmed and worried.

Was I going to loose me in being a parent?  My husband did and still does travel a fair amount for his job and I was feeling worried that the realities of our schedule would not allow me to figure out who I wanted to be when I grew up.

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE being able to stay home with my kids.  I recognize how blessed I am to be able to do that.  I just had to find a balance.

And then a friend of mine decided to build a new house.  A beautiful, very 2000’s, open floor plan house.  And she was overwhelmed.

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   So, I found my first level of courage and I asked her if she wanted some help.

I had been wanting to start a decorating business for a long time, but just did not know how to go about it.  I had been collecting magazine ideas and reading and thinking about decorating constantly FOREVER.

We came to an agreement.  I would give her a plan, no charge.  If she liked it, great.  If she didn’t no loss for her.  Either way, I would gain by figuring out if this was part of my path or not.

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Well, she liked it.  And no, I do not have any pictures of it finished, sorry!  Actually, what I mostly helped her with was paint color choices and where and when to start and stop a color, window treatments and furniture placement.  The one room we did do all the way was her downstairs bath.

What worked out to my advantage was that she the first house in a development of about 20 houses.  Through word of mouth, I ended up doing jobs for 6 houses in her neighborhood based on what they saw at her house.

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(This is a dining room that I did early on at a house in her neighborhood.)

Actually, almost every job I have done can be linked back to this first person who supported me.  Sort of like the “six degree of Kevin Bacon”, I got to experience the “Six degrees of Nancy”.

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(A bedroom that I helped finalize for a client)

And so a business was born.  I have no formal training, just my instincts that have developed over the years.  I say that not to brag, but as encouragement.  If you feel you have talent, put yourself out there.

I did take an online course a few months later.  It did give me some basic direction on scale drawings and fee structures and agreements which was helpful.  Mostly, however, I found it to be a bit of scam.  Scam is probably a little harsh, but I am having trouble fidning a better word.

  The first two questions on their final exam were: “What does a Interior Decorator do"?  Umm, decorate.  And “What does an Interior Designer do? Yeah, that would be design.  So much of their energy was put into what seemed to be a liability issue, to make sure that you never called yourself a designer, instead to use “decorator”.

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(A pantry that I converted to an office space for a client)

I did pay my “fees” for a few more years to the company I took the class from but I no longer do.  I thought it would really help me if could put some letters after my name to give me credibility.  The reality is no one knew what they meant, nor did they care.  Every client I have ever gained has been through a recommendation of a previous client.

This is a picture of one of my first logo planning sketches.

finding home 

A lot of the work that I have done in this area was as a result of the real estate boom that happened over the last 7 years.   There were so much new construction built in this area and people really struggled with how to address the wide open floor plans.

We live in Orange County, NY.  That is significant because we are the furthest County that NY City’s police officers and firemen can live in and still be employees of the city.  Being, the furthest, we are also the most affordable of the surrounding areas.  9/11 had a huge impact on this area, so many families moved out of the city to here, especially NYC’s finest.

As we all know the building boom has come to a dead stop, and so my business has slowed significantly.  That is actually okay with me because I am looking to start a new direction (more on that in the coming weeks).

Whether you call yourself a designer, a decorator, a crafter, an artist or whatever else works for you, the one thing I have learned is that you will never accomplish your goals unless you put yourself out there.

My business at this point is not paying any of the bills.  I take a few jobs here and there to keep getting experience.  That was always and still is the intention, but I do hope some day to be more financially successful. 

My main job still is taking care of my family.  And my friends, and church responsibilities, and, oh yeah, cleaning my house!

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And now, I have this blog as another element of a creative outlet, and I have all of you to thank for that!

So, I encourage anyone who has been thinking about doing something new, to try it, take a chance.  No because I am an expert of any sort.  But, because I know when we accomplish something for ourselves it feeds the soul and makes all the rest more enjoyable!  And, it make me a more enjoyable person to be around!

I thought I would start sharing some of my client work with you all over the next few weeks and so this seemed a good place to start. 

Stay tuned….