How To Make An Impressive Indoor Centerpiece Using Outdoor Decor

Few things make me happier than coming home to a beautiful fresh floral arrangement. Whether it's a bouquet from my hubby, a vase filled with flowers I picked up while at the supermarket or just a simple bunch of fresh clippings from the yard. A fresh floral arrangement brings life and energy to the home and makes any space feel special. 

My favorite place to display fresh flowers is in our dining room. It's the first space you see upon entering the foyer. This week, I created what has to be my favorite fresh floral centerpiece ever for our dining room table. It started with a pair of Outdoor Covered Pillar Candleholders (Pawn Covered Pillar Candleholders from Bombay. I used one large and small. They are sold separately and available at Kolhs). 

These gorgeous candle holders are actually intended for outdoor use, but when I saw them I immediately pictured them inside on our table.  Merchandise that is intended for outdoor use is usually large in scale. When brought inside, pieces like this make a big statement. Especially in a small space like my dining room. They look really cool all on their own, but I decided to use them as vases to create an inexpensive, but quite impressive fresh floral centerpiece. The tops are removable and the inside where the candle is supposed to go can easily be used as a vessel.

I grabbed two bouquets of flowers from the supermarket and a package of wet foam. 

I cut the foam in half, wet it and stuck one half in each statue. 

Then, I trimmed the flowers down and stuck them in the foam one at a time. I made sure they were evenly spaced and coming out at all different angles. 

After placing the flowers in the vase, there were large gaps and empty areas that needed filling. I grabbed my hedge clippers and headed outside to the front yard. I clipped a few stems from my hydrangea and brought them inside.

I used the hydrangea to fill in the areas that looked bare. Then, using a few extra long stems, I gave the arrangements a little height by sticking them in the top. I stuck a few curved stems in the bottom for a cascading effect. 

The round statue tops look really cool sitting on the table next to the arrangement and create a cool vignette style centerpiece. 

Once the flowers die, I can either refresh the arrangement with a new pack of grocery store flowers and more yard clippings, or use them as candle holders, or simply leave the statues empty.  

Either way, I have a large, eye-catching centerpiece that anchors the dining room table. 

The Pawn Candle Holders were designed in Michigan and distributed by a Michigan based family business which has been based here for over 50 years. Since I am smitten with the mitten, it really makes me happy to know they were designed and distributed locally. Here is a link where these candleholders and other Bombay outdoor furnishings and accessories are available at Kohls. 

*I'm now available for new online design projects! Please click here for more info.
*I received the Pawn Candleholders free of charge to facilitate this post.

Changing Up Artwork For New Inspiration

It goes without saying that art is one of the easiest ways to give a room personality or change the mood of a space. As as Designer, I often us art as a jumping off point for an entire room design. I did this in my daughters room a few years ago. We purchased a piece of custom art with a ton of personality and used it as the inspiration for her design. We still love the original art, but recently we had an opportunity to change it up and try something new. contacted me and asked if I would like to try out a custom map canvas. When I started to think about places in the world that may have personal significance in our home,  I thought about my daughter and her love of New York City. Her Grandmother took her on a trip to the city a few years ago and she has been enamored ever since. Her dream is to live there, and since I am all about using interior design to feed her dreams,  a piece of NYC inspired art would have a perfect place above her bed. 

 Not only did the new map art fit right into the space, but it has inspired her to make a few more changes to her room. The inspiration board above shows her new custom map canvas with her bedding and a striking black and white molding treatment and painted ceiling that she has been inspired to incorporate. Art is powerful and inspirational, in this case may have inspired her to try her hand at a DIY molding project.  That's my girl!

To really highlight the new piece, I draped a few strands of oversized ball string lights across the canvas. It creates a beautiful soft glow and night and adds to the ambiance of the city-inspired art. This also provided a little whimsy to the bold, graphic, quality of the map. The graphic impact of the map art happens to be one of the reasons this new piece worked so well with her room design. The oversized chevron pattern on her feature wall (a tutorial on that project can be found here) calls for a piece of art that is simple, but striking and this piece fits the bill. 

Even though her room was originally designed around another piece of art, it was simple to incorporate a new piece. The black, white and gray palette I chose for her custom map art complements the other design elements in the space. These maps can be made in just about any custom color palette you select. By pulling an accent color from your existing design, you can easily incorporate a custom map that fits right into your decor. 

In addition to choosing a specific geographic location that has meaning to you and select your own color palette, you can also customize the size of your map canvas. I went with a piece that was similar in size to the other piece we have. This allows me to switch between the two pieces without making any other changes in the space relating to scale. Sometimes when your changing up your art, you may find that a difference in size can throw the room out of balance. In this case, having a piece made that was similar in size to what we had before ensured that the room would still have the same sense of balance. We can switch the two pieces up at any time without the need to change anything else. 

My husband often jokes that our home is like a living, breathing, ever changing animal. Nothing ever stays the same for long. That goes with the territory of being married to a design blogger. But in all seriousness, I think our homes should be ever changing and be able to reflect the different seasons of our life. Having the ability to have a custom piece of art made in the size and color of your choice makes it easy to bring renewed inspiration to a space. 

You can find out more about having your own custom map canvas made here. 
Thanks for stopping by! 
*I received a map canvas from in order to facilitate this review post.

How To Make a DIY Serving Station

This post is sponsored by The Home Depot.
Recently, I announced my partnership with The Home Depot for the 2015 Do-It-Herself (DIH) Workshops Program. The first project I made with them this year was the DIH Paver Planter.  This month, I made a DIH Serving Station and I couldn't be more excited about the way it turned out! Today, I'm going to take you through the steps I took to make this simple, fun, and handy project. 

I will also be co-hosting a live demonstration of this project at 6:30pm this Thursday, June 18th at The Home Depot in Grand Rapids, Michigan (Store #2720 located at 2727 Alpine Ave NW Grand Rapids, Michigan). If you are not located in that area, no worries, you can go to your local Home Depot (same time and date) to attend your local DIH Workshop where they will be demonstrating this same project. Please Click Here To Register.  During this FREE demonstration-style workshop, Home Depot professionals will show you the steps required to make a DIY Serving Station out of simple materials using easy to operate power tools. In addition to co-hosting a workshop here in Michigan, my job is also to share ideas with you on how to put your own twist on the project right here on the blog

Let me take you through the steps I took to make my DIH Serving Station.  I followed The Home Depot's "DIH Outdoor Serving Station Instructions". Then, I made a few tweaks to customize the look. I also decided to keep my Serving Station inside and use it in our formal dining room, as opposed to using it outside.  

Before I get into the details on how I customized the project, lets take a look at The Home Depot's version.

  The "DIH Outdoor Serving Station"...

Isn't it adorable? Are you ready to make one of your own? 
Here is what you will need...

Here are the steps...

Now, here are the tweaks I made to these instructions to put my own personal touch on the "DIH Outdoor Serving Station"...

As I mentioned, I decided to keep my serving station indoors as opposed to using it on our deck. Therefore, instead of staining it (as shown in step one) I painted mine black to complement my dining room decor. I used black chalkboard paint which allows me to write messages on the serving board or label whatever food I'm serving.

Another way I personalized the look was to use black hardware. I was able to find a black chain and black hook and eye kits at The Home Depot. I couldn't find black hinges in the size that I needed, so I purchased brass hinges and spray painted them black. 

The last tweak I made was to hang the serving station using d-ring hangers instead of the corner hinges shown in step six. This made it easy for me to use dry wall anchors. It also made the mounting hardware less conspicuous.

Since making my serving station a week ago, I've already used it twice. Once as a coffee/dessert station (as shown) and once as a wine/cheese serving station. I labeled my cheese using chalk markers on the serving board surface.

There are so many ways this project could be customized to suite your style and/or needs. I'm in love with the way this piece looks in my dining room and it has been so useful. There is nothing more gratifying that building something yourself and loving with the results! If you've never attempted a DIY project, this is a great "first project" to try. Come on out to your local Home Depot DIH Workshop to catch a live demonstration and have an opportunity to learn how to use the tools required to make one for yourself.

Once again, the workshop featuring the DIH Outdoor Serving Station will be held this Thursday, June 18th at 6:30pm at most Home Depot locations. For more information and to pre-register for the workshop near you, please click here.

If you are in Michigan, you can find me at the Grand Rapids Store #2720 located at 2727 Alpine Ave NW Grand Rapids, Michigan on Thursday, June 18th. Hope to see you there!

*This post is sponsored by The Home Depot.

DIY Portable Fresh Herb Container Garden

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As an Interior Designer, one of the tricks we use to make our design project photos come alive, is to incorporate fresh flowers or live greenery into the home for the photo shoot. This is because we know nothing brings life to a space like real, live plants. Even the most impeccable decor is further enhanced with the addition of a simple, green, living plant. 

Through years of staging and photographing my design projects, I've developed a huge crush on container herb gardens.  They are great for breathing life into a kitchen during the winter months when fresh floral arrangements can be scarce. I use them often for client projects. Making one for myself has been on my bucket list for a while and I finally get to cross it off.  

This little garden was so simple to put together. I love the way looks and I'm excited to cook with fresh herbs that I grew myself. It came together easily using things I already had around the house (clay pots, a serving tray and Modge Podge) and Burpee Home Garden plants that I purchased at my local garden center. 

Before selecting my herb plant varieties, I did a little research at the Burpee Home Gardens website. I chose three plants that require the same amount of light in order to keep all of these little plants happy together in one spot. I then narrowed them down by selecting two herbs that I often cook with (Sage and Oregano) and one that I was sold on after the mention of a delicious summer cocktail (Spearmint).

Here are some things I learned about these plants from Burpee Home Gardens...
Spearmint is best harvested as soon as you see it bloom. Use it's flavorful leaves with vegetables and in any summer drink, especially Mojitos. Sage is one of the best garden herbs because when protected, it will grow into a sturdy perennial shrub in most climates. The leaves are best when harvested before or just after blooming. Sage can be used fresh or dried with poultry, sausages, meats and vegetables. Oregano is a versatile culinary herb widely used, most often dried, in Italian dishes, tomato sauce, pizza, fish and salad dressings. Oregano requires little maintenance and makes an excellent edging plant or ground covering, even in dry garden spots. 

Once I had my plants selected, I planted them in cute little clay pots and labeled them. A quick internet search for "free printable plant labels" led me to these black and white printable herb labels at  If you would like to print these and use them yourself, please click here for the high resolution printable version by Anders Ruff Designs. I printed them out on regular paper, cut them out and used Modge Podge to apply them to the pots. 

Placing all three pots in a large white serving tray not only looks pretty, but makes it easy to move my little garden around. The plants I chose all require full sun. This means during the day they will most likely adorn our patio table. When it's time for dinner or while entertaining,  I'll bring them into the kitchen where the cooking and cocktail mixing will take place.

If you are like me, I need all the help I can get to keep my plants alive. Burpee Home Gardens makes it easy and fun to garden with amazing results. You can click here to learn more about home gardening and to find a store near you.

Another fantastic resource Burpee Home Gardens offers is an official Burpee Garden Coach. You simply visit and send an email there to get access to gardening tips. Now for a chance to win a $100 American Express gift card, tell me, what plants will you use to start your own garden?
Thanks for stopping by. I'm off to find the perfect summer Mojito recipe...
Leave a comment below for a chance to win a $100 American Express gift card!

***This post sponsored by Burpee Home Gardens. I received compensation to facilitate this review. All opinions are my own. 
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Learn How To Make a DIY Outdoor Serving Station

*This post is sponsored by The Home Depot. 
Recently, I made the exciting announcement regarding my year-long partnership with the Home Depot Do-It-Herself (DIH) program.  In case you missed it,  The Home Depot DIH Workshops.  are FREE, live, in-store workshops held throughout the country for Do-it-Herselfers of ALL ages and skill levels. These workshops offer step-by-step instructions on how to make simple home improvement projects with easy to operate power tools. Whether you are an experienced DIY-er or have never touched a power tool in your life, these interactive, demonstration-style workshops are a great opportunity to pick up tips and advice from the pros! These workshops are held on the third Thursday of each month at all Home Depot locations. Throughout the year I will be co-hosting live DIH workshops at various Home Depot stores. 

The June workshop will be held on Thursday, June 18th from 6:30pm-8:00pm. This workshop will feature a demonstration on how to make an adorable and super handy outdoor serving station!

Check it out...

Isn't it cool? I can't wait to finish mine!

In addition to co-hosting a live in-store workshop, I will be sharing this project here on the blog. I'm also working on my very own customized version of the outdoor serving station.  Once it's ready I'll be sure to share it with you! Once again, the workshop featuring the outdoor serving station will be held on Thursday, June 18th from 6:30pm-8:00pm at your local The Home Depot Store. For more information and to PRE-REGISTER for the outdoor serving station workshop near you, PLEASE CLICK HERE. 

If you are Michigan,  you will be able to find me at the Grand Rapids Store #2720 located at 2727 Alpine Ave NW Grand Rapids, Mi on Thursday, June 18th! Click here to register.
Hope to see you there!
*This post is sponsored by The Home Depot.

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