Get Well Tray

Ever since my kids were little, when one of them is not feeling well I set up a tv tray next to their bed with things the soothe them.  The kids know right away when someone in the house is sick because the infamous tray makes it's appearance.

Recently, I upgraded our little bedside get-well-tray...

   I picked up a cute, black folding tray at Target.  It looked particularly nice in Hannah's room so I decided to keep it in there for her to use as needed.

Not long after placing the simple black table in her room,  Laura Dro and Hattan Home contacted me to see if I would like to select something to sample from their latest collections.  Of course my answer was a big yes, and that is how Hannah's get-well-tray came to be so pretty.

(Please note, I received free product to write this post).

While browsing through Artist Laura Dro's collection, I immediately fell in love with her customizable lucite trays.   Each tray comes with gorgeous, removable artwork that allows you to change up the look of the tray.  To start, I ordered the frette work design with Hannah's monogram. 

I placed the tray on top of her new black folding tray and accessorized it with a sweet hydrangea, a candle and a chic water bottle from Hattan Home. I have to say, this little Glass Water Bottle is a major upgrade to disposable plastic bottles.  Not only does it serve a purpose on a bedside table, but it doubles as a cute accessory.  Who else agrees that water taste so much better from glass?

The older my daughter gets, the more time she spends in her room.  I realized that while this little tray will come in handy when she is sick, it will also provide a place to keep supplies close while she's working on homework in there.    

Our infamous get well tray looks so sweet now. It's almost like a get-well card came to life. It got me thinking…wouldn't this little collection be a fantastic kit to gift someone that's not feeling well?!

Thank you Laura Dro and Hattan Home for sending me these items to write this product review.  
To see more beautiful Laura Dro artwork, please visit  The unique and fun Hattan Home Treats for Your Home Collection can be seen at


For information on my affordable online design service please click here.

What Inspired Your Latest Home Project

Brought to you by Blogher and Crystal Light. 
Recently, I was given the opportunity participate in Crystal Light's Liquid Living Vibrantly Campaign.  I was asked to sample Crystal Light Liquid while searching for inspiration for a summertime project that would bring flavor and vibrancy to my life.  

 In addition to my family, things that bring vibrancy to my life is a passion for home design and the hunt for a great find.  Funny how inspiration works, that very same day as I was unpacking backpacks, I was struck by a fantastic one-of-a-kind original painting by my son, Cameron. The colors were a "vibrant" combination of turquoise and red.  I immediately pictured a summertime home decor vignette inspired by his amazing art...

Of course, the piece would need a unique frame from one of my local thrift shops.
Cameron's art, a summertime decor vignette and a thrifting adventure, my "living vibrantly" project fell right into place.

Here it is…

Here's a behind the scenes look at how it came together...
Since Cam's art was the center of my project, I asked him to join me on the frame hunt.  Thrifting with Cam was a blast.  He found certain items particularly amusing…  

  He determined it was only fair that if I was going to photograph him popping tags that he got paybacks.  So here I am giving him the official we-found-the-perfect-frame thumbs up.

 Cam's original painting was a bit large so we stopped at the office supply store and asked them to reduce the size to fit inside our frame. 

I removed the painting from our thrift store frame, spray painted it glossy black and inserted Cam's art covered by a piece of pre-cut plexiglass.

Using the art as my color road map, I created a vibrant summertime vignette in our living room bookcase.

I scored bright turquoise and red serving pieces in the clearance section of a discount home store.  

We are enjoying the new pop of color in the living room.  It has us excited for summertime entertaining.

What I love most is that Cameron's art is the center of this project.

Thank you, Crystal Light Liquid and Blogher for giving me the opportunity to sample the new delicious Crystal Light Liquid and create a project that involved my three passions; my family, home design and a deal hunt.  My interpretation of "living vibrantly".

What inspired your most recent home decor project?  Please let me know in the comments below to be entered into a drawing to win a $100 Visa gift card.


For information on my affordable online design service please click here. 

Update and FAQ on My Sams Club Floors

Some of the most frequently asked questions here at The Yellow Cape Cod have to do with my Sams Club floors.  Three years ago, we installed Select Surfaces Canyon Oak laminate flooring from Sams Club in the lower level of our home (you can read about it here).  

(Before)                                                (After)

Just a few months ago, we went back to Sams for more Select Surfaces laminate (this time in Cocoa Walnut) and had it installed throughout the upstairs (you can read about that here).  

(Before)                                                (After)

Since posting about these transformations, I've received hundreds of questions from readers.  Instead of continuing to respond individually, I thought it would be more helpful to do a blog post to answer the most frequently asked questions.   Please keep in mind, the following answers are 100% honest, based my own humble opinion and experiences. 

How do I clean them?
For daily cleaning, I use a broom or a dry Swiffer.  For deeper cleanings, we use a damp cloth with a hot water/vinegar solution.  We've also used laminate flooring cleaner which works nicely as well. 

Do they have a hollow sound?
In comparison to real, solid, hardwood, floors they do have a different sound.  However, when compared to other laminate products I've experienced, they have much less of a hollow or clicking sound.  We have not had an issue with them being noticeably noisy, even after having them installed upstairs.

(Before)                                                (After)

How have they held up, am I still happy with them?
They have held up wonderfully.  After three years of use, I'm very happy with the quality.  I feel they've been a durable option for our active family.  They also have a timeless, authentic hard wood look that compliments the design style of our home. 

Which color do I like better, Canyon Oak or Cocoa Walnut?
This is a tough one to answer.  I like them both equally, though there are differences.  Canyon Oak is not as dark as Cocoa Walnut, so it shows less dirt/dust.  However, the dark rich color of Cocoa Walnut is absolutely gorgeous.  Canyon Oak has a red undertone while Cocoa Walnut is more of a true dark brown with a slight ash undertone.  In regard to the style, the Canyon Oak planks lay flush against each other while the Cocoa Walnut planks have a beveled edge that creates a slight groove between the planks.  Canyon Oak is slightly shinier has more wood grain embossing than the Cocoa Walnut which has a smoother, more matte finish.

 Cocoa Walnut

Canyon Oak

Did I have laminate installed on our stairs?
I did not use laminate on the stairs, however I did install it on the landing.  Here is a blog post all about the stairs, please click here. 

Was the product difficult to install?  
I had our floors professionally installed by our local flooring installation expert, Gordie Cook from Design Floor Covering.  Gordie followed the manufacturers instructions provided in the box.  It went quickly and Gordie and his team had no issues during the process.  

Was this project a sponsored advertising opportunity or an organic experience?
When I originally installed the Canyon Oak flooring, it was NOT a sponsored project.   After sharing my experience with you here on The Yellow Cape Cod I was amazed by the response from readers telling me they had them installed based on my review.  It didn't take long for the folks at Select Surfaces to notice either, which is how I was given the opportunity to do a sponsored review of the Cocoa Walnut product.  Although I received free product for the Cocoa Walnut post, my positive review and satisfaction with the product is the same as my original, completely organic Canyon Oak post.   

All things considered; looks, durability and price; these floors are wonderful for our lifestyle.  We love how they have transformed our home and I would install them all over again in a heartbeat.

                         (Before)                                                                   (After)

I hope this additional information is helpful!  Thanks for stopping by.
Here is a link to Sams Club Select Surfaces Canyon Oak and here is a link to Cocoa Walnut.


For information on my affordable online design service please click here. 

Summer Nights

Hi, I'm back!  We had a wonderful vacation and it's great to be back in the design studio this morning.  Since starting my blog five years ago, this is the first time I've taken a whole week off of blogging.  I really missed it, but I have to admit having a little time off has left me feeling refreshed and inspired.  Spending time with my family also has a lot to do with that.   

This shot I took of my boys in the backyard captured the magic of one of our summer nights.  Last week while on family vacation, we spoiled ourselves and spent seven nights like this.  

Now that we're home, I can't wait to dive back into work.  I have a lot of fun projects in the works that I'm excited to share with you!  
Back to the studio!

Fabulous Dresser Makeover With Ana White Nightstand

While I'm away from the blog this week I thought it would be fun to schedule a few posts from the past.  These are projects I completed last year around this same time…

Remember last summer when I shared this room makeover?  Well today,  I'd like to take a minute to talk about one of the main elements in the space.  The dresser.  Our client, Sara had this dresser tucked away in a closet.  During our initial consultation, she mentioned that she'd like me to incorporate it into the new room, if possible.  It had sentimental meaning, not to mention the room was in need of a dresser.  

The piece was in great condition.  It was just waiting to become fabulous.  So... I included the piece into Sara's design plan along with suggestions to give it a makeover, DIY style. {What is a design plan... click here to find out}

Sara's Dad, Rob is very handy.  He got to work on the dresser right away.  The new look started by removing the top drawer and drawer tracks.  {If you are attempting this project at home, your piece may or may not need a piece of wood installed as a false bottom.  If your dresser already has a bottom, then a little caulk or wood putty can be used to fill the holes left after removing the tracks}. 

The piece was then sanded, painted and lightly distressed along the edges.  I chose a nice warm white paint color that provided amazing contrast to the new wall color.  Beautiful dark woven baskets were placed inside the new opening.  This gave the piece a ton of character and provided storage for guest supplies (clean towels, books, toiletries).  

Oversized cup style pulls from Restoration Hardware were used to replace the original drawer handles.  The large scale of this character rich hardware added major personality.  

A gorgeous mirror and a mix of new accessories and some things Sara already had stashed away in that closet-of-goodies created a simple vignette on top.

With a fabulous dresser like this, an ordinary night stand will not do.  

We discussed shopping around for a character rich nightstand when Rob offered to make one.
Using Ana White plans, here is the piece he created...  

Using the same paint color and treatment, and the same storage baskets he built a perfect companion to the dresser for less than $150. 

This is a great example of a design plan coming to life.  Sara and Rob executed the plan we created for this space flawlessly.   

For more before and after pictures of this space, please click here

For information on my affordable online design service please click here. 

How To Match A Potterybarn Finish~DIY Weathered Turquoise Mirror

 While I'm away from the blog this week I thought it would be fun to schedule a few posts from the past.  These are projects I completed last year around this same time...  

Today's look back post was a fun DIY project tutorial that demonstrates how easy it can be to re-create a distressed finish.  I found a gorgeous set of chunky candlesticks from Potterybarn in a beautiful distressed sea glass green finish.  They were perfect for my clients living room. 

To add more of this gorgeous color to the space, I set out on a quest to re-create this finish on a mirror and discovered it was pretty simple.

Recently I shared this dramatic living room makeover.  If you missed it, click here.  You may have noticed, the adjacent spaces are painted a pretty aqua color (Drizzle by Sherwin Williams).   You can see the hallway just outside the living room doorway.  

To tie the new neutral space into the rest of the home, we brought in a few accessories in a similar sea glass green shade.  

This beautiful painting is a treasured piece the couple acquired while traveling.  The background is a beautiful aqua green.  

The bookcase was styled with pretty accessories in aqua green including a collection of sea glass bottles.  

Last but not least, we brought in these Potterybarn candlesticks...

The distressed aqua finish is such a compliment to the space.  We needed a large mirror over the sofa and thought, "if only there was a mirror in this finish".  

Well, now there is… 

Here is how I did it:  

I started with a large rectangular painted mirror that had been stowed away in storage.  It was the perfect size and shape, just not the right color.  To prepare it for the makeover, it was sanded down and imperfections were filled with wood putty.  

I studied the finish on the candlesticks.  There were three colors, "layers" that I could see; taupe, aqua, and black.  These layers were topped off with a dark antique glaze.  

Now that I knew what colors I needed, I set out to find the perfect paint products.  I have been wanting to try chalk paint for a while and thought this would be a great opportunity.

 I visited one of my favorite local boutiques {My Sweet Holly} and gathered supplies, aqua and black clay chalk paint and a dark antique wax.  I brought one of the candlesticks with me to help choose the perfect shade of aqua.  The wonderful owner of the boutique reminded me that the paint would go on very rough, but after sanding and waxing the finish would be gorgeous. 

Since the prepped mirror was already a tan/taupe color, my first layer was in place.  
For the next layer, I gave the piece one coat of black paint. 

Once it was dry, I painted over the black with two coats of aqua and let it dry overnight.  

The next day,  I gave the entire piece a light sanding.  Once it was nice and smooth, I sanded a little harder, concentrating on the edges where a piece would naturally age.  

Once I had the desired amount of distressing, I vacuumed the dust off the mirror with a shop-vac and wiped it with a slightly damp cloth.

I finished with a coat of dark wax.  

The boutique owner was right, after the sanding and waxing step, the finish was smooth as silk.

If you missed the full room makeover reveal post, please click here.  
For information on my affordable online design consultation service, click here
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