From My Pantry to Yours, A Wine Country Giveaway

By Kate Riley August 13, 2010

Some days I have to pinch myself because I’m a very lucky gal to live where I live, and I try my hardest not to ever forget it.  This summer, I’ve clocked plenty of leisure hours at some of my favorite wineries, and wherever I go, I like to pick up a few specialty items to enhance our culinary dishes at home. 

Today, I’d like to giveaway a few of those decadent treats to one of you.  It’s been a great month for this blog, so it’s time to pass it along to you in gratitude for continuing to read my musings.  This weekend, I’m delighted to be giving away the following wine country related goodies to one reader!

Lemon infused olive oil from The Olive Press and my favorite fig balsamic vinegar from the famous ‘the girl & the fig’ restaurant. 

oil and vinegar

This locally made fig and orange blossom candle (smells divine), and Dijon mustard.

candle and mustard

A bundle of fresh picked all natural French lavender from my garden.

lavender plus bee

This luxury bar of olive oil soap scented with lemongrass and rosemary (delish!)

lemongrass rosemary soap

This cute pair of dipping bowls . . .

dipping bowls

. . . and finally this book about choosing wines from around the world. 

wine book

One reader will be sent all of these goodies (and more lavender): 


Eligibility ?  Simply leave a comment in the form of a question, one you think I can answer. 

Have a specific DIY related question?  Got a decorating dilemma?  Curious about some aspect of remodeling or home improvement?   Are you on the hunt for some fabulous fall accessories, or do you want the skinny on a good paintbrush?  I’ll do my very best to answer the winner’s question in a follow up post.  

That’s all, just ask me a question to be entered to win !

One entry per person please.  Giveaway ends Monday August 16th at 8 p.m PST.  Winner chosen by  

Good luck friends, and thanks so much to all of you for stopping by to visit.

Have a fantastic weekend !



  1. This is more like three questions…about painting kitchen cabinets. Is there any kind of wood that won’t look good painted (ones with lots of grain)? How do you keep the paint from chipping with all the use…and- how long do you have to wait before hanging the doors after painting? Thanks.

  2. How do you recover a chair? An entire chair. Not just the seat of a chair, but the back, front, sides? I have a rocking chair that needs some serious TLC, but I’m too afraid to start. Help me!

  3. Hi there!!
    What a wonderful giveaway:):)
    I would love to know more about building up your blog!!!
    Ways to attract more readers and commenters:):)
    I love your blog and would like to one day be as successful!
    Your post could explain how you started….and detail how you got to where you are….with your blog and your career!!!

  4. Do you prefer white or red wine in the summertime? And does your taste change as the weather gets cooler?

  5. My question is:
    When we trim the top part of the wall next to the ceiling, a lot of times we get boo-boos and even though we wipe off the mistakes with a wet cloth right after, there is still a noticeable smear on the flat white ceiling paint. Unfortunately painting the ceiling is a very undesirable option for us as we’re short and it’s hard enough to trip there! We’ve tried using some of our own flat white paint, primer … but it still looks bad. What do you suggest?

  6. You are always taking such great pic’s what camera do you use and did you take some classes?

  7. Hi, I love your blog and congrats on all your recent recongition. My question: I am about to puchase the Emma headboard from Target for my daughter’s room and thought about painting some accent trim. It’s made of composite, so I am assuming I should prime first? do you agree? and how much should I paint for the trim? thanks!

  8. What an awesome giveaway! I have to say I have tossed my laptop into hubby’s lap on more than one occasion with a “hey you should make that for me” after browsing your blog!

    So what’s next? Any great new projects coming up? Any fantastic Fall decorating ideas on the horizon?

  9. We are moving into a rental condo, and we’d like to paint the walls of the kitchen and laundry room, but the tiles are funky, cool, cream, light orange, and light brown. The laundry room has medium-dark brown cabinets, so without making everything look too dark, what color do you suggest that would compliment the tiles and the cabinets?

  10. How are you so freakin awesone? If that is too hard to answer how about where do you get your inspiration from? I know there are probably many avenues but what inspiration piece could you not live without?

  11. My bedroom furniture needs some serious updating. It was my grandmother’s and has lots of rounded and some ornate accents on it. Even the drawer pulls and fake little keyhole covers need to be updated. I am loathe to get out the sander and am wondering, is there a way to get around sanding wood furniture before repainting? I have not painted furniture before so if I sent you photos of what I am working with could you give me the steps I need to take to make it look wonderful along with a color recommendation or two?

  12. What a fantastic giveaway!!!

    My question: my husband and I just expanded our outdoor patio and now I’m working on decorating it. I picked up a fun little table and a chair with nice lines (from a garage sale) with the intention of refinishing them for somewhere in the house. But now I’m thinking they’d look great out on my patio. However, I’m not sure if I need to do something “special” to them to make them outdoor friendly. It’s a covered patio, but the still exposed to the elements.

  13. My husband and I honeymooned in Sonoma so seeing all those goodies really takes me back! My question for you is…I have a huge picture window in my house and right now we have a couple of ugly red drapes over it that we really hate. What other suggestions do you have for such a large window? Blinds? Roman Shades? Completely naked? Thanks!

  14. Hi. My question is..Do you think that your house value should be affected by your decorating colour choices? I ask as we have had our house valued to re-negotiate the mortgage and the assessor made a comment outloud that it needed decorating throughout. I have just finished all the rooms. When I asked him about it, he said that the colours would put a potential buyer off. I answered that I wasn’t selling my house and was I supposed to live in a white box just in case. His answer was that he didn’t like the colours especially the blood red/maple kitchen and that our house was worth substantially less because of it, his advise was to paint everything white even if we weren’t moving. I felt this was unfair as we would paint everything back to white if we were moving but it means that you almost can’t have a personal style in your home without affecting your house value. As a result, our home has been valued at £2500.00 less than it should because of him. I have lodged a complaint. Joolz.

  15. I have a small bedroom in my home (it houses my piano and no bed) that has real wood paneling (the thick knotty stuff). I hate it, as it doesn’t go with my decorating style at all (although I’ve lived with it for 5 years now). Am I crazy to try to paint it? I’m afraid it will be a lot of work and then it won’t look good. Thoughts?

  16. My question is: I have over 100 pairs of shoes (and growing) and right now they are neatly lined up on the floor of a spare bedroom. How can I get them off the floor and store them? I think I’d like to display them in the bedroom as some sort of wall art but I can’t seem to wrap my mind around the enormous scope of the project.

    PS – I love this giveaway because I could ask you questions all day. Oh, and also, could you do a tutorial on how to hang wallpaper? I tried and it stank.

  17. I happened upon your blog the other day while looking for some inspiration on a project of my own. Your DIY projects are fantastic!

    I’d love to be entered in your giveaway, so I have a question for you. Have you tried any of the new latex paint and primer, all in one? I have a few bare wood items waiting for a coat of paint and I’m wondering how the all-in-one products compare to the old two step approach. Thanks!

  18. Oh, great giveaway! My question is actually about lavender. Do you need to dry it before putting it in a sachet or pillow? Does it mold if you don’t? And what about using it in food…washing it? Which parts do you use? Hmmm, that’s more than one question, isn’t it?

  19. My husband and I are thinking about renovating a 70’s fixer-upper and I’ve been thinking about the color scheme lately. I’m loving all things blue right now, and I’m thinking of a palette of blue-gray, white, dark brown, and some splashes of turquoise and teal. What other colors can I add so that it doesn’t seem too cold? I like a little bit of red–maybe a raspberry red–and fresh bright greens too but I’m not sure how to incorporate those with the other colors. Any ideas and tips would be greatly appreciated!

  20. Awesome giveaway…it’s like bringing a little bit of wine country home with you from a memorable vacation! Question…what dishes to you typically use the oil, vinegar and mustard in/on? If I win, I’d like to try one.

  21. We’re about to tackle a bathroom makeover. Actually, right now it’s our downstairs powder room/laundry room. It’s horrible. Washer and dryer and toilet and sink all in one little room. You have to lift the lid of the toilet to get the dryer door open! Anyway, we’re going to move the wall to make the powder room just have the sink and toilet, and then basically flip the washer and dryer to the other side of the wall to have access from the kitchen (I can send photos..). My question is… what are your suggestions/recommendations for building a new laundry area?? It won’t be a “room” – either enclosed in a closet-type space, or front loaders under a countertop for all to see. Or full-size stackable front-loaders. I don’t know! I have a design for the powder room, but am undecided on the laundry part of it. Thanks!

  22. So I started working on a chess board table top. I sanded down the table, primed, and painted it black. Then I started to add the chess board in gold over the black center of the table. I since then have changed my mind and just want a plain black table. Do you think I can use a fine sand paper grit and just sand off the gold and then paint it black again? Or should I resand down the entire table top, prime, and repaint?

  23. What are some window covering ideas? I have cats and don’t like to have fabric, too much hair gets on them, plus they tear them up!!! Right now I have faux wood blinds but I have a room that faces west and gets A TON of afternoon heat, I live in Louisiana and it’s hot!!! Can I put thermal roller shades BEHIND the blinds?

    Love your site!!

  24. What is the best way to decorate for the seasons in a small apartment with minimal storage space for off-season decorations?

  25. Do you have any suggestions for easy ways to cover up an electrical box? Ours is such an eye sore in our basement.

  26. Question: What kind of DIY decorating project(s) would you recommend that can be done with the most basic supplies on a low budget?

    (Here’s why: my hubs and I are living in another country for a bit and our home feels much like an asylum… bare white walls, very plain wooden furniture… not homey AT ALL…)

    We don’t live in the US right now, but have a US mailing address with my parents… am I still eligible? :)

  27. Hi Kate,
    I am considering replacing the posts on my staircase. I would like to take the wooden posts out and replace them with beautiful embellished metal posts. Where do you start when you have never undertaken a large remodeling project like this? Internet? Home improvement store? Love your blog and can’t wait to hear your suggestions!

  28. How do you deal with paint drips that have already dried….say on, I don’t know, your dining room chairs…? *guilty smile*

  29. Ok I hate to admit it but I am more excited about getting some of that lavender of yours :+)

    My Question: When did you plant you lavender? Any tips or advice you can give me would be great, I have planted lavender the last two years but never had any blooms!

  30. Thanks for the wonderful giveaway! My question is, do you and your husband ever clash on how to decorate, or does he let you have free reign of that department? My boyfriend and I live together and have differing tastes (he literally has two huge Tupac posters hanging in different rooms, I prefer originally art and photography), and we struggle with how to merge our styles. Any suggestions?

  31. Hey Kate! I have a design question – we painted the kitchen of our 1950’s ranch house a blueish-grayish-green, and have an adjoining dining room that is separated by a strip of molding. The dining room has board and batten, and is currently an ugly shade of cream. I was thinking staying light, but I’m not sure which way to turn! Should I do a white-green? An extremely light gray? Help!

  32. I’ve wanted to ask about a mirror I have that is so pretty but it had 2 chipped places that I can’t determine how to hide? (fell off the wall behind the dresser)

    It’s round and all mirror no frame with a beveled center circle framed by beveled smaller mirrors curved on the inside edge that flair out to the edge. The chiped places are on one edge and one spot on a small mirror. It is large and somewhat heavy.

  33. I have a question about using tools. I am looking to outfit myself with a small army of power tools. I am a little hesitant to use them because I have noone to SHOW me how… Do you have any suggestions on how to get comfortable using tools?

  34. I have a design dilemma: In my living room, the fireplace is located in the almost middle of one of the short walls. Flanking the firplace are two small square windows. Imagine the wall as having two eyes and a snout. What do I do with these windows? I would love to just keep the windows bare, but my neighbors are RIGHT there. So do you think I should create a roman shade? Long curtains to give it some balance? Also, note that I said “almost” middle of the wall. The fireplace is a few inches off-center. Help!

  35. I’m tackling my first strip and stain project and having some troubles. What is the best type of stain? Do you have any tips for application?

  36. Are you going to start including some fab wine country recipes for all of us? Being from the Chicagoland area I am always curious as to what people eat in beautiful wine country!

  37. What is the easiest way to decorate seasonally (i.e. Fall, Christmas). I don’t like a lot of “stuff” sitting around. I like a few nice items that really speak to the season…got any fabulous ideas…love all of your ideas!!!!

  38. I enjoy your blog so very much. We recently decided to sell our house and so staged it for sale, and then decided to keep it — I’ve been taking a lot of inspiration from your blog in the process of making our house feel new and fresh again. I’d love to know: what is a DIY transformation or decorating project that you feel didn’t work at all? Everything looks so wonderful, but there have to have been a few stinkers over the years.

  39. I have tile throughout my house. But I really want hardwoods. What is your opinion on engineered hardwood? Do you think glue down is ok? Or do you think I should just save more pennies and do it right by ripping it all up, putting in a new subfloor and real wood?

  40. Hi there! This is a simple question: When you recover dining room chair seats, how much fabric do you need per seat? 1 yard? 1/2 yard? 2 yards?

    Ohh! I hope I win! All that stuff looks AWESOME!

  41. I think this is the giveaway that I’d most love to win out of any i’ve ever entered! Right up my alley! My dilemma is this…our neighbors took out their fireplace and we saw it sitting on the side of the road, so stopped and asked if they minded if we took it for our house. (we’ve wanted a fire place to save on our huge propane bill in the winter, but coming up with the cash seemed a few years off…) So the issue is that there is brassy looking panels on the front…can I safely paint them? Also…our house isn’t rustic, but i’m having a hard time finding a mantel/rock surround that looks more modern than log cabin. I would love your help…I love all your design ideas and yours is the first blog I read if I see an update!

  42. What an awesome giveaway…anyone would be blessed to get such neat things!

    My DIY question would be: Could you show us how to make some very simple, but elegant table centerpieces for dinner occassions? I really am bad at this, and usually end up just putting candles in the center. I want a few cute options for family get togethers…not even necessarily holidays or themes, but just something nice, elegant and simple. Thanks.

  43. How do you effectively mix different stains/types of woods in a room to make it look cohesive?

  44. Where do you recommend buying hardwood floors (or laminate)? I love the look but hate the price tag!

  45. How do you tame clutter in your house? Do you feel like you’re constantly picking up after your kids and husband?

  46. What a great giveaway! I’d be most excited about the fresh lavendar and the balsamic vinegar…yum.

    Two questions: are there ways to slipcover and weatherproof a made-for-inside loveseat, so that we can use it under our porch in the summer? I’m most concerned about rain and mold, but don’t want to go buy a whole new loveseat if there’s a way to reuse the one we have.

    Second question: I struggle between supporting small businesses, i.e. etsy, and learning how to make the similar item myself. What do you recommend for someone who has little experience in crafting/DIYing?

  47. First question… can I come stay with you for a week and tour Napa Valley?
    If not… 2nd question… can you put together a tour guide and a recommendation on where to stay for when I plan my Napa Valley trip to sightsee and visit the wineries? I mean it! Who better than someone who lives there! Thank you!!!

  48. You seem to have a lot of experience with re-painting furniture. I painted my old buffet white, but every time I put something on top of it (such as a picture frame) it ends up sort of sticking and leaving a mark where it sat. I primed with zinsser and used water based dutch boy paint. My question is this- How do I get a quality diy paint job that doesn’t stick to items? Also, if you wouldn’t mind giving me some pointers on distressing my buffet? Thank you!

  49. What a great giveaway…I sure hope I win!

    I have a fun question for you…If you could put a message in a bottle what would it be?

    Nancy5678 at aol dot com

  50. If you could be the spokesperson for one brand or product, what would it be and why?

    Great giveaway! We just moved, and we have a soaking tub, I am thinking some of that lavender would be wonderful in it!

  51. What is your favorite website to shop for cool (but affordable) fabrics for curtains and/or pillows?

  52. What do you do with magazines around your house (especially ones you have a subscription to) – I can’t figure out what to do with them. Keep them? Throw them away? If so, when? Should I display them? How? A random question, but I’m starting to become overloaded with magazines!

  53. Thanks for this wonderful giveaway! I have a question for you . My room has darl wood closet doors but i want to light it up by paiting it in a lighter colou, do you have any tips reagrding painting closet doors ? thanks in advance !
    have a great weekend

  54. How amazing is this giveaway?! Such beautiful things & so generous of you. Ok, my question is about painting over real wood, I’ve found a few antique pieces at yard sales that I’m adding to a slowly growing collection. Most all the peices are in great shape but dinged or scratched in a few places & my family has me scared stiff to sand it down & paint over real & nice looking wood, like I’d be ruining it. Not all of the finishes necissarily “go” with the decor we already have & I’m scared to take a paint roller to all the mix matchy peices. Any advise?

  55. What color scheme(s) would you pick for a narrow rowhouse with exposed brick walls (red, brown, tan)?

    Great giveaway! Thanks!

  56. Hi! Love all the goodies in this giveaway.

    What is your favorite winery in Sonoma? My hubby and I took a trip out there a couple years ago and found some of our favorites, but we are always looking for new wine to try. :)

  57. I finished college a long time ago, yet my apartment still looks like a dorm room. Help me loose the plastic storage cases!!!! Please give me some ideas on beautiful storage solutions for the home.

  58. What is your go to source online for inspiration or guidance in colors? I always love looking through look-book type sites/blogs … any great ones you suggest?

  59. I adore the olive press! What is your favorite recipe to use the fig and balsamic vinegar?

  60. Great give away. My question is: I have a large wall in our living room, what other things besides pictures would you suggest to fill up the space? My furniture is dark leather, we have a flat screen on a stand, a couple pictures and a slender book case but I still have lots of space above the TV to work with.

  61. I know how much time it takes me to keep up my blog, my Etsy shop, and the related social networking, and I don’t even have a family to take care of! So I would like to know what percentage of your day do you think you spend on these activities and do you have any tips for doing so? Just the time it takes on the computer, not the time it takes you to do your projects!

    This is a wonderful giveaway – thanks!

  62. I tried spray painting a table a couple weeks ago and the finish on the top is sooooo bumpy! What can I do to fix that or to keep it from happening again?

  63. Hi. I regularly read your blog but never commented before. Your blog has inspired me to make numberous changes to my home and to try entertaining more even though it terrifies me. My question: What are some simple entertaining ideas that have worked for you?

  64. Here’s my question: Is there a way I can frame my bathroom mirror cheaply and easily? Thanks!!

  65. I’ve been wanting to frost my bathroom windows (well really just the lower pane) for some privacy. I love the natural light but my hubby always wants the blinds closed so our neighbors won’t see anything (they are currently out of town so I get to keep the blinds open for awhile). Could you do a glass frosting project? I think it would also be great as part of your True Value blogging. Thanks!

  66. We have oak trim throughout our house. It certainly isn’t pretty or stylish, but I am so afraid to paint it because it is in good condition. What would you do?

  67. How do you manage your time so you can have a blog, decorate, make beautiful things, spend time with your family, and keep up with cleaning your house? You are amazing, love your blog:)

  68. My masterbed room is in desperate need of a makeover. But the furniture is antique and was given to me by my mother-in-law. I would love to update it with out hurting her feelings. It would be my first time updating furniture. What do you recommend?

  69. How many bottles of your homemade syrah do you expect to cultivate this year? When I first saw this post, I thought you were giving away bottles of your wine. This stuff looks super amazing, too! As my husband is studying to be a sommelier, I am especially excited about that book.

  70. When you are looking for a piece of furniture to paint, is there anything or any material you stay away from?

  71. What is the best way to update and personalize a (temporary) rental house without painting the walls or spending a ton on accessories? My family will be in a rental for at least a year while our house is being rebuilt after a fire. We want to make it feel like home without spending too much for a short-term stay.

  72. We have a big walk in pantry and I love the space, but it ends up being our catch all. What are some easy inexpensive ways to organize and make the most of the space.

  73. Do you have a system to organize and store decorations/furniture that aren’t in use but that you don’t want to get rid of?

  74. How would you approach completely changing the style of a home, on a budget! Would you strive to complete one room at a time? One piece at a time? Our style is currently very traditional, and I think we need a slight modern twist! We are a young family!

  75. What a sweet giveaway :)
    I am about to move into a townhome with windows only on two sides of the home. Right now the colors are dark and the rooms look small. I can’t decide if I should go with creamy neutrals or find some great colors! How do you make rooms look larger, but still cozy and comfy, with paint colors?

  76. Wow! What a great giveaway! I’m adoring that your giving out some lavender! So cute. :)

    My questions is a bit of a personal one for you…
    What is a project you have always wanted to try (diy, cooking, anything!), but have been too overhwhelmed/ afraid to tackle?

  77. i have storage issues. as in, i store everything and anything. how do you organize things and what criteria do you use to chuck things out?

  78. What a great giveaway! I actually have two questions. 1. How do you build your blog and fanbase? 2. Did you apply to be in the True Value DIY Blog Squad or any other contests? How do you hear about them?


  79. What a fun prize :) My question is, where do you look the most for inspiration? I have a hard time making decisions, I feel like my house is in a constant state of flux!

  80. Where do you find all those beautiful bright fabrics that you post/use…like the ones from your orange and blue inspired rooms a while back and your laundry room makeover? I love them but my local fabric stores do not carry stuff like that!!

  81. I have two questions, actually. :)

    1. How do you best like to decorate for fall. I’ve been making corn husk wreath for friends and family and dreaming of decorating my porch for the first time for fall. How do you decorate outside and inside for fall?

    2. How do you grow lavender? And would it even grow where I live? It’s been pretty hot and muggy in Tennessee with a major heatwave rolling through. The head index has been 100+ everyday for weeks!

    I would love to experiences the goodies from where you live!

  82. We’re buying new kitchen chairs with wood legs but need to know what to put in the bottoms of the ‘feet’ to help them slide over our slate tiles easier??

    p.s. – I’m drooling at the items in your giveaway!

  83. This is a great giveaway, especially the lavender ;-)

    I could need some ideas for decorating my bedroom. The floor is honey coloured wood, the lamp in a warm brown and everything else is white. I really lack for ideas in wall decorating. At the moment I only have some pictures, which I don’t like anymore.

  84. What an amazing giveaway!

    Here’s my question – do you have some easy tips for decorating a powder room? Or a guest bath? I want both to feel soothing and refreshing but don’t want to break the bank.

  85. I see the “get organized” articles all the time….and they usually have good info. However, often their suggestions cost a good chunk of change. Do you have any organizing tips for the budget-minded person?

  86. What a fabulous giveaway!! My question is . . . do you have any tips for maximizing space in a small kitchen? We’re in the process of buying a house, and will be doing a kitchen remodel, once we move in. The kitchen is 10’8″x10’8″ (pretty small), and has two windows. I’m wondering, do you have any tips for maximizing space in small kitchens? Thanks for hosting such a fun giveaway!

  87. I have the smallest entry way ever! I need design advice! The space is 14 inches deep, 48 inches wide and 10 foot ceilings, what would you do? Table? Paint? accessories? What?

  88. How would you approach a whole house that is mostly wallpapered and in need of an update? I am overwhelmed at the volume of work and how you approach where to start.

  89. What a wonderful giveaway! I love your sense of style. We moved into a new house last fall and I went from a kitchen with white cabinets and light counters to one with dark cabinets and black granite. We have been struggling with a good color to paint the walls. It gets good light, but little direct sunlight. I’m wondering what your suggestions would be for a good color choice? We are feeling a little stumped.

  90. Hi! I LOVE your blog!! My friend Jac got me hooked. I am getting married in a little over 6 months and I am moving to my fiance’s house…which is a bachelor pad – I have lot’s of projects in mind…including adding french doors to our bedroom which leads to the backyard. I feel like this is a really hard task, what do you recommend I do to not feel overwhelmed with this task so that it is a success?


  91. I am about to paint my baseboards. What is the easiest way to pain them in rooms that have carpet without getting it on the carpet?

  92. What a generous giveaway! My decorating challenge is our front porch. This wide front porch faces a major road (not so much an issue) and the one side is within easy view of the neighbor’s house – they can look down directly. How can I create privacy without appearing to be grouchy and unsocial. We have high winds that blow up the valley so it will need to be durable, etc.

  93. Well, I’ve seen your posts on installing your wall treatments. Have you ever had to remove wallpaper in a room? What is the best way in terms of effectiveness and cost, in your opinion? Hubby and I have wallpaper that needs to be removed in our bathroom, but it’s been painted a couple of times over the years. It’s starting to peel, and has got to go!

    Thanks so much for the giveaway! I’m one of those new readers to help you have a wonderful month!! :)

  94. Wow what a great opportunity! Thanks.
    Well, the question that has been bothering me lately is Can you ever have too many glass cabinet doors in a kitchen?
    We are looking to replace some of our upper kitchen cabinet doors with glass doors. The hubs and I disagree on how many to get. He wants just 3 doors replaced whereas I want at least 5 replaced. I love love love my table jewelry (dishware) and want to look at it all the time.
    So have you ever seen a kitchen with too many glass doors or unbalanced because of the glass?

  95. Ok.. my question would be… How the heck do you score all those fabulous old pieces at St. Vincent de paul and you local thrift stores? Do you go often… like every day? I seem to stop by the ones near me randomly and have never seen such good deals! Do you barter with them to give you the pieces for less then they are marked? Thanks for a wonderful giveaway!

  96. How did you get started growing your lavender? I really want to grow some of my own and could use some pointers. P.S. I am in love with this giveaway.

  97. Also being a DIYer, I know any way to save money is welcomed. But I also know that sometimes spending more to get the best quality is well worth it. What is one thing that you would say you should never try to skimp on, but shell out a little extra dough to get the most for your money in the long run?

  98. Sweet Give away!! My question is about spray painting.. I love to spray paint almost anything!! I keep running into two problems.. the overspray.. If you are spaying any tips on containing the overspay and the nozzles keep getting clogged..I have a few cans that I can’t spay anymore.. Any tips you can give on worry free spay painting would be G*R*E*A*T!!!

  99. Wow, what a great giveaway! Well, first I would like to know your favorite recipe for vinaigrette dressing!!!

    But seriously, how do you choose paint colors – and do they have to be cohesive in the entire house? I can understand if 2 rooms are open to each other, but say a bedroom. I like the idea of it being consistent throughout the house, but I also like the idea of escaping to a bedroom that is completely different and unique. Thoughts?

    As always, thank you for the opportunity!

    ~Kat :)

  100. What a fantastic giveaway! My question: what ideas / tips do you have for budget-friendly window shades / coverings? Specifically I need some shades; I’ve taken down all the mini blinds that came with my house but haven’t put up new shades yet! I haven’t found many options that I like yet, and even fewer that I’d call a “bargain” (I’m a frugal shopper!) Thanks!

  101. What’s your suggestion for decorating when you rent a home and can’t just paint the walls any color you want? How do you bring extra pops of color to a room when your walls are all basically white?

  102. I would like to make a stain an old door I have for a headboard and was wondering if you could provide DIY steps to remove the layers of paint and then refinish the door.

  103. How do you keep brush marks from forming when you are using a brush, and don’t you think those old vines a way cool?

  104. I am wanting to make some curtains from raw fabricbut I’m not really sure where to start. How many yards of fabric do I need for floor to ceiling curtains? Is there a certain weight of fabric? Help!

  105. Where do you get inspiration and ideas for redoing furniture pieces? I love how you paint and redo furniture but I just can’t get the hang of it myself. I really like how you can do so many different styles of painting too. Its almost too many options for me to understand what goes on top of what and how you do it!

  106. What is your favorite way to use the lavender? This is an amazing give away. Thank you so much.

  107. Great giveaway! The husband and I vacationed in Sonoma earlier this year and The Girl and the Fig was amazing. I’m currently pregnant so my questions are about painting stuff while pregnant. Do they make no-VOC spray paint? Are there any no-VOC paint brands that you highly recommend?

  108. those all look fabulous!! you sure do live in a beautiful place!

    my question – and i know you’ve addressed it before – but how in the world do you find the time and continual motivation to do so many projects? i love seeing them! does the need for blog material motivate you, is it a way to express creativity, etc?

  109. What a great giveaway!! I know that you like to decorate with white, so my question is how do you find the “perfect” white for walls, trim, ceilings, etc? I’m kind of like Goldilocks… I’ve tried many shades of white paint but have yet to find my favorite hue that isn’t too diluted with undertones of other colors or too bright or too flat or too glossy… eek! What’s your go-to white color?

  110. I bought some big, brown, ugly couches just 3 years ago that I am not allowed to replace yet. Any ideas for some throw pillows that would brighten up the space? I am also thinking of upholstering our coffee table top with foam but I can’t decide on a fabric. Help!
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  111. We’re in the process of finishing a side entry into a landing that leads to the basement that had been water damaged before we bought the house. My question – what type of flooring do you suggest? It’s not a heavily used entrance, but it does lead to the basement so it’s more of a utilitarian entrance, not a pretty one.

  112. I want, I want! I’ve wanted to go to wine country forever.

    Ok, my question: Any clue how best to cut vinyl tile for around the sink/toilet area? I’ve finished my entire bathroom except for those two spaces because I canNOT figure out how to do it. Measuring doesn’t work because of the curved areas? Any ideas or any sources for ideas? I’d appreciate it.

  113. I recently inherited a Secretary desk with a matching hutch! I love the piece but hate the color of wood! I don’t even know where to begin to revamp it? Should I use oil or latex paint? What kind of primer should I use? What would be good color to paint it? I’m just very scared of ruining this piece that was so special to my grandma!

  114. I find it difficult to find the right pieces of furniture. Do you look for those pieces that are first functional (fulfills storage, right size, etc.) or do you seek those pieces that are attractive to you and then figure out what to do with them? What would your advice be for finding the right furniture for your home?
    Thanks so much!

  115. I have a metal bunkbed that could use painting- it is white – and in a boy’s room. I know, it sounds terrible. I need some coaching on how to go about prepping and painting it. Where do I start?

  116. What a fun giveaway! My question is: Do you have any advice about mudroom/entryway storage and/or built-ins? We’d like lots of storage for shoes, mittens, umbrellas, etc, but don’t want it to look jumbled and cluttered when you first walk into the house. Thanks so much!!

  117. I’m going to repaint a chair that was a library furniture discard (broken back) and make it into a stool for the bathroom. Do you think its better to sand off the finish before I paint or to simply use the Zisser primer you are also talking about to cover the stain finish and then paint over it?
    Your blog is my first stop in the morning, thanks.

  118. I have two floral couches I inherited that are perfect for my living room, except the floral pattern. I know you’ve made a slip cover, but I’m just not up for that. Do you have any recommendations on where to buy slip covers? Of course I’m not looking to spend too much on them, as we eventually will re-decorate the entire room. For now it’s a play room. Who uses living rooms anymore? Thanks!

  119. We just moved into a new house and the new windows are bigger than our old house so none of the draperies fit. We need to find a solution without spending a fortune. Do you know/have an affordable source or a how-to to find a classy window treatment?

  120. What a great bunch of goodies!
    My question is this, I have like zero funds for re-doing a kitchen that I cant stand any longer! I want to paint the cabinets (honey oak to antique white) However….the hubby thinks that when people attempt to paint them they look horrible. I am trying to prove him otherwise. Could you please tell me the best way to tackle this so they turn out wonderfully!

  121. Love the products up for giveaway! I ate at The Girl and The Fig when I was in wine country in November…yummy!

    I would like to take on a few DIY projects in my home but am a little nervous. What type of project would be good for a beginner to get their feet wet?


  122. I have to enter this one because I love the girl & the fig! :)

    My question would be, how do you pull a room together and choose all the elements, from the paint to the rugs to the fabric and accessories? All of your rooms seem to look so perfect, and I was wondering if you have any methodology to how you make your choices.


  123. Hi! I’m in the final stages of closing on my house and need help w/one dilemma. My new home is 3bdrms and each one will be used, it’s a starter home so I did give up some square footage. I work from home and would like to make one of the closets a workspace for my ‘work’ computer only. I chose a closet because I like the idea of being able to completely shut that part away on my time off. I’ve seen a couple of ideas on apartment therapy but was wondering if you had any ideas on how I can do this. Oh…I have never built anything so I’m a complete 1st timer. Look forward to your ideas.
    Thanks :)

  124. What a fabulous giveaway! My question is what is best site for fabric? My husband built an entry way bench that needs a cushion. I can’t find fabric I like anywhere!

  125. I’d love to paint the vanities in our bathrooms and replace the builder-grade countertops (similar to what you have in your kids’ bathroom that you said you were going to change out). What kind of painting technique would you suggest for doing this (paint type, brushes/rollers, etc.)? Thanks!

  126. I love to paint but I have a hard time with the line from the wall to the ceiling. I just can’t seem to make it like the professionals. Is there a brush to use, steady hand. I have tried taping and it bleeds. What can I do to get the professional line at the top of my ceilings that I can be proud of?

  127. What a wonderful giveaway!
    I would like to know some entertaining tips! I am planning a Halloween party this year and I need some ideas! Food? Drinks? Decor? What would YOU do?!

  128. I like to think I’m fairly good with choosing paints and furniture for a room, but when it comes to finishing and accessorizing….I’m totally lost! Do you have any general rule of thumbs for “finishing” a room? Do you just go with your gut on what you like….or do you keep to certain guidelines?

  129. What a generous giveaway! Here’s a question — what was your first DIY furniture project and how did it go? I am nervous to launch into a refinishing or repainting furniture job.

  130. This is an awesome giveaway! Do you do redos based on the season at the time or just the room you are doing? I read in an article that many people do redos based on the season and I thought that was so interesting!

  131. Hey there, my question is easy, probably – can you tell me how you get your lavender to grow so well? I had some going this year but I think the heat got to it and it took a turn for the worse so I was never able to harvest it. Would love some tips :)

  132. Great giveaway! Well, I could ask questions all day long! But here are two:
    1) What’s your favorite front door look. I currently have a brick home with white trim, dark green shutters and red door. I am painting the door black (would like to do the shutters but they’re mostly obscured by landscaping so they’ll wait for another day!). Besides the ubiquitous welcome mat, what provides the most lovely and welcoming entry?
    2) What’s the scoop on mixing woods? I just got a gorgeous walnut dining table. I happen to have my grandmother’s dark cherry buffet which I am sentimentally attached to, but whose reddish tones do not jibe happily with the chocolate-y table. I am thinking it may be time to part ways with the buffet. Or do you have any ideas?

  133. If you strip and paint a piece of furniture and decide you want to take it back to its natural state, can you do that? Great giveawau- LOVE wine country:)

  134. I have been struggling with a decorating decision. We moved into a new home a couple months ago and its a very open floorplan split-level. Anyway, we painted the kichen a greyish blue and the basement is painted light and dark brown. Right between these rooms is our living room. I want to find a color for the walls that flows easily with the two adjacent rooms. Any suggestions?

    Thanks for your help and the giveaway!

  135. I want to paint my front door and a bench I have on my front porch turquoise… do I talk my husband into loving the colors before or after I paint them?

  136. My question is….how can I make my home interiors look more French? I am a major Francophile, but I’m having major challenges figuring out what pieces to get/treatments to do to make that vision happen. It’s hard for me to make decisions, given that I’m a bit of a perfectionist. Thanks so much for your help! =)

  137. I just found your blog about two weeks ago and I LOVE your style! My question is: I have an open kitchen and living room. Can I paint them two different colors and if so, how do I handle the half wall between the two? Is it part of the kitchen or the living room??

  138. I really enjoy your blog and marvel at your keen eye for seeing pieces in a new way (and your ability to turn it into your vision!). I am envious! Do you have any tips for styling bookshelves, mantles, tops of dressers/chests, etc. and giving them a “finished” look? I’d love some advice about that.

  139. Great giveaway! Question: I have a counter in the kitchen where I want to replace the ugly pre-fab fake wood around the bottom (pressed board) with bead board. My cabinets are light oak – the trim in the kitchen/dining room is white. THe walls – mustard yellow. What color do I paint the beadboard – I don’t like the oak look – should I do white to match the trim or can I do the wall color yellow? I stumped.

  140. What a great giveaway!!! I am new to your blog and am enjoying all your projects. Since you seem to have a beautiful garden in the background, I was wondering what you recommend planting that is economical (ie. doesn’t die easily for the novice) and useful for cooking. I live in Southern California and need drought tolerant plant ideas. What do think?

  141. Ooh… wonderful prize!!

    My question is – do you have a favorite color combination right now? I am always on the lookout for new color ideas!

  142. My husband and I are in the initial design phase for an addition to our home – given your adventure in remodeling, what are some key pointers you would share?

  143. I am having a hard time finding that perfect shade of cream, champagne color to paint my very dark hallway that when you walk up to it you are like wow that is beautiful, have you come across that color?

  144. I love all your inspiring remodels. I just have one question, how do you get your hubby and kids to join in? Are you bribing them? I love to pursue your site and dream….

    Thanks for my dreams and the giveways.

  145. My house needs a master/bath remodel in the worst way and I’ve been putting it off because I don’t know where to start – any advice would be amazing!

  146. OOooh such decadent goodies! My question is this:

    If you bought a wood hutch, what would you use to prep it to be painted? Ok ok…this is totally real life, I am in this sitch and need to get this project started!

  147. I LOVE this!

    How do you choose a paint pallet for inside a house? I would love to update my colors, but have no clue on how to go about choosing them or they would look good together. I feel so overwhelmed every time I go to the paint store because there are so many colors to choose from!

  148. Our home office has wood panelling all over the walls. I was wondering what is your advice for paintind it? I have painted our laundry room and it turned out fine, but it took a long time and so much paint. Thanks! and I love your blog!

  149. Our 2 year old has taken toll on our microfiber couch. I have tried different stuff to clean it and I just can’t get it back to what it used to be. It has highlighter, crayon, and water/juice stains all over. What do you recommend to clean it, whether it be an upholstery machine or cleaning product? Or should I do a DIY and make all knew cushions!!!!?

  150. My question for you – What is the most effective way to paint an audio cabinent. Right now it’s a honey color… while everything else in the room is an espresso color… Paint? Spray Paint? Sand & Stain…Sell and buy exactly what I wanted in the first place? (LOL)

  151. Hi, What a fabulous giveaway. How do you grow such wonderful lavendar? What kind do you grow? Love it. LOVE your blog… Stanna

  152. I absoutely lover you blog and it has inspired me to look at the possibilities in my home with new eyes. My question is how do you determine where to start? I have found inspiration in blogs, magazines, etc. But I just can’t figure out where to start. How do you identify your projects, and start the implementation of your incredible ideas?


  153. I have a decorating dilemma! New house, all-white bathrooms (dark cabinets). You’d think that having everything to choose from would make it easier but actually it is crippling. I don’t want to just slap some “art” on the wall, buy matching towels and call it a day! How to approach this kind of project? No renovations needed, just a sense of style and color.

  154. We are trying to pick a stain colour for our cabnets, should we go with the red/brown as it seems warmer, or the black/brown (with slight grey undertones) as it matches the rest of the house better? I do like the idea of a warm colour, however cohesion is also nice…

  155. Decorating dilemma: We moved into a new house and other than hanging the TV above the fireplace (too high), putting it in a corner is the only option. I don’t want to buy a prefab corner cabinet that the TV sits on (tacky!) and I’m stumped on how to put the TV in a corner and have my living room maintain some form of elegance.

  156. Several months ago I went on a HobLob bender and bought about 15-20 (don’t want to dig them out to count) 14 X 14 metal tiles with various types of raised designs. I intended to spray paint them white and arrange them on the wall above my bed in place of a headboard or in an entry way. I was wondering if you had any ideas about how to make the tiles look more expensive/custom than they are. My design aesthetic in my small apartment is minimalist cottage beach (cream, light blues, light greens) with lots of silver accents and Heirloom Can I Get an Amen White.

  157. You’ve raved about the beadboard wall you think it would work well on textured walls (ick…who ever thought of textured walls anyway!) or would beadboard panels be better?

  158. I’m looking for the perfect gray to paint my family room. What’s your favorite gray color for walls?

  159. There seems to be a lot of interest in selvage quilts. I would like to see a how-to on getting started on one such as how wide to cut, how to connect them, patterns to use, etc

  160. Oooh awesome! My question is, how do you find such awesome deals at thrift shops? I am trying to decorate on a serious budget, but don’t have a lot of time either. Do you check out the stores everyday? Is there a good time/day of the week to go? Thanks!

  161. This is a little more on the personal side, but still, important…how do you enjoy the good things in life and still keep your trim figure and sane mind? Do you have an exercise or meditation schedule? What’s your secret for finding balance in life?

  162. We are turning a closet into a cozy office nook. I’d like two small filing cabinets to hold up a DIY’d desk of sorts. How would you go about doing that?

  163. Where do you store all your supplies for your projects? And is there an expiration date on spraypaint? ;-0

  164. I religiously read your blog, so much so that my husband constantly asks why I stalk this ‘Centsational Girl’! I tell him because 1) I love her style and sense of design and 2) because she does everything herself! I so wish I had the time to do the things you do. I have so many pieces that I picked up over the years that need some major love. One piece in particular is a side table with a unique 70’s design, but it’s damaged in a few places. It’s just particleboard, but I LOVE it. Is it possible to repair particleboard even if chunks are missing or is it a lost cause?

  165. What a wonderful giveaway. I’m about to become a mommy (3 weeks!!) and this little giveaway would be such a nice treat. I would like to know what the best decorating tips you have learned along the way would be? Or your favorite home improvement/cleaning things to use? Thanks for the giveaway!

  166. I recently found myself in a dilemma: We may have to move from our dream home to another city a few hours away. My question to you, Kate, is if you were faced with this dilemma, and the knowledge that the new city you were living in has similar homes to yours that are twice as expensive, how would you deal with the emotions of leaving this home you’ve nurtured, decorated, and loved (not to mention raise your young family in)? Also, if you had a reasonable budget allowance, what features would you look for in a new home-a fixer upper, so you can decorate precisely to your style? A lot, so you could build again? or a ready to move in home, so you could sit back and simply tweak it to your liking? I am trying very hard to realize that drywall and wood shouldn’t hold me down to a place, and if it’s overall better for the family, then it’s a good move. However, as all us home decor bloggers know, our home is much more than drywall to us. It’s our canvas, our sanctuary, our nest.

  167. What are some of your favorite design and craft blogs (especially any that are budget conscious)?

  168. Great give away!!!!
    My question is….. do you know right away that something will “work” for you? Or is the vision finalized as you are prepping the piece? I am looking for a couch for my kitchen and not sure exactly what will work. I hate to waste the money on something I wont be happy with! Is there an easy answer? :0)

  169. Great giveaway! And since it features lavender, my question is: when are you suppose to harvest lavender? I planted some for the first time this year and I’m not really sure what to do–I love the blooms on the plant–if I harvest it now does it bloom again? Or is that it for the season?

  170. Is the turquoise/aqua trend going to continue for awhile? I’m kind of in love with it and buying a house after renting for 3 years. Also, my builders oak cabinets make me a little sad, if I paint them white will they look dated in 5 years?

    So basically I want you to predict the future from a decorating standpoint. Heh.

  171. Hi! I have table centerpiece phobia! Do you have any ideas for something inexpensive that still has a wow factor? I have a empty rectangle dining room table and an empy round kitchen table.


  172. You have a lovely blog and I enjoy reading all your DIY projects. Also got inspired to do our bedroom with an asian theme.
    I have a question regarding our living room. Even though I love color as seen in my work, our living room is plain white and we have added color with accents like pillows, curtains, chair etc.. We would like to paint but are confused about how to go about it because of the layout. We have high ceilings, with two free standing walls with angles (one seperating the kichen and one seperating the kitchen and dining). If you have examples of open style living rooms with free standing walls in different colors it would be helful to visualize.

  173. First, thanks for the great recommendations for our wine country visit! We had a great time and your picks were spot on!

    Are you a strict scheduler when it comes to projects and kids? How do you find the time to rehab everything with such a full house?

  174. Have you ever painted ceramic tile, and if so, what were your results?

  175. I have a piece of old stain furniture. When using your favorite primer do I still need to sand it?

  176. My mouth is watering just looking at all those goodies…and my nose is tingling imagining the smell of fresh lavender!

    So, here is my decorating dilemma: we live in a small split-level. Our entrance is very bare…meaning I’ve lived here for 6 years and haven’t done a single thing with it yet! (In my defense, one of our daughters was very, very sick and had a lot of medical needs when we bought our house. We’ve been slowly making some changes in the rest of the house, but it’s definitely a process.) Have I mentioned that it’s a small space? Well, it is. If I put a table or a small bench in the space, the entry door would bump it. I’ve been considering a small plant stand/pillar-type thingie, but I’m afraid when the garage door opened, it would knock the plant off. It. is. tiny. And, ugly! White walls, linoleum floor in the entry with carpet going up and down the stairs. Black iron railings, dark wood (I hesitate to even call that stuff wood) doors, trim, and baseboards, which I can’t afford to replace right now, so they stay, and a lone spherical pendant light hanging down from the ceiling. I just have no clue how to make this area more inviting, and all of the “entrance re-do’s” are on spaces larger than mine. Any thoughts?

  177. I just found your site and I love it.

    My question: I have a stand that I would like to paint. It holds our tv. It has doors that role out from the sides. Do you think it is possible to paint these. I would love to do the whole thing a fresh white.

    PS We visited wine country last winter and I fell in love. We rented a great house and just loved our time there.

  178. I am trying to rearrange my family pictures on the wall, I want to make a picture collage but don’t even know where to start. Do you have any tips for arranging pictures on the wall?

  179. We are redoing our kitchen…woohoo…and I am choosing dark cherry cabinets with neutral floors and countertops. What are your paint color suggestions? I am thinking something light and airy and I get plenty of natural light in the room. Thanks!!

  180. My bedroom has tan-ish walls with turquoise accents. I’m looking to add a pop of color to spice things up, but feel a little stuck. Any ideas? (no pink please!)

  181. I am a new DIY decor I tried painting pots (for my window herb garden) but the pots are already painted with a glassy coating and my primer wouldnt stick. Any other ideas as to painting them white? Would spray paint be better than actual paint? Do i have to sand them? Can I sand them? LOL Thanks – your a true inspiration!

  182. I often feel as if I have no style whatsoever. I’m not sure if it comes from a long family history of no style whatsoever or if it’s just the way I’m built. I desire style. I read blogs like yours obsessively in hopes of being hit by some bolt of lightning that will bring out my own creativity and style. And yet, I still find the whole concept of decorating even my own home, very overwhelming.

    With that said:

    What do you think has most influenced your personal decorating style?

  183. My question will be about wine since I love it so much. I don’t live in Wine Country but I do work for a wine distributor in Chicago. So, out of all your wine tastings; which is your favorite red wine, white wine and dessert wine??

  184. I hear brass might make a comeback? I can see some brass/gold looking cool, but then I think about the heinous brass chandeliers and doorknobs circa 1985 and cringe. What are your thoughts on this?

  185. My family room from the previous owner has tan painted on the top half, an oak chair rail all around & a reddish painted textured wall on the bottom half. I need to lighten up. How would you go about re-doing this??

  186. How would you paint 1970’s maple spindle chairs? The varnish on them is pretty glossy. Should I spray paint. I want them black!

  187. Love the give-away!
    Decorating Dilemma- I have white ceramic floor tile in my kitchen with (formerly) white grout, with beautiful hardwood in the rest of the 1940’s era house. I want to get rid of the ceramic, but know I won’t be able to match new hardwood to the old. What do you suggest? Also, if I replace the white tile with another type of tile, how much work is it to rip out the old tile (I’ve never done a job that big before!) Budget is also a factor.

  188. I was wondering if you were going to maybe do a video virtual tour of your gorgeous home and yard? I just love your home and style and DIY attitude!

  189. I have no experience DIY or with decorating even, but we’re in the process of buying our first house (we bought one where we’d have to do little/no home improvement b/c it’s not really our “thing”)…and I want it to be beautiful. I’ve been so inspired by your room makeover for your daughter. What are some tips for how to approach decorating/furnishing our home? We’re starting with very little so it’s pretty much a blank slate. What are some pitfalls/common mistakes people make that I should avoid? Something I’m kind of worrying about is furniture placement…I don’t want it to look so boring but I’m at a complete lost how to make it look beautiful.

  190. I have a beautiful antique dining room set, with 8 chairs, huge claw feet and a side buffet. I want a small oblong table to set flower pots on that will sit between the windows and the dining room table. I would prefer to use a yard sale type find that doesn’t cost a lot of dough. Should I paint it a bright color, try to match it to the dining room set? I just don’t know where to go.

  191. We’re thinking of refinishing the wood floors of our 40’s cape cod by ourselves. I would love a good tutorial and some advice so I don’t end up hating the results.

  192. My question is… We just moved to a large 2 storey farm house that was built in the early 1990’s. The previous owners spent A LOT of money putting in honey oak cabinets, built in bookshelves, doors, baseboards and doortrim. I am hesitant to start refinishing because the house is 3600 square feet and I don’t know where to start and where to end! I want to bring it into current style! Help!

  193. Where do you go for inspiration? I faithfully read a few blogs and I’ve looked at Barnes & Noble for magazines that might have ideas but so far I’ve pretty much gotten nowhere. I have a living and dining room that are an embarassment – and right inside my front door. I need to find a style/color scheme that works with the few things I already have and the rooms beyond that you can see. After 18 months, I’ve got nothing.

  194. Wow – that is an amazing variety of treats! My question for you would be – is there a way to sew black-out lining to already existing drapes? It’s such a green thing to do for your home, but I can often find pre-made panels cheaper than the fabric for me to make some. But what if I want to add black out lining? Thanks again! :D

  195. I want to build a simple and inexpensive bookshelf that isn’t ugly along the entire length of a room. Any ideas or suggestions would be awesome.

  196. I was just looking at Costco in the oils section and purchased my regular huge bottle of Olive Oil… there was Grapeseed Oil next to it… hmmm or was it Grapeleaf? hmmmmmm, it was beautiful and green… how would you use this?

  197. When you cut in to paint at the ceiling, what kind of brush do you prefer? I have no luck with the slanty ones, perhaps I am not doing it right.

  198. Have you ever done window casing? I would love to trim out my windows and make them a gorgeous feature all on their own.

  199. My decorating dilemma is related to painting. We have left the walls unpainted since moving in several years ago. Mostly due to an overwhelming fear of choosing the wrong color, since the kitchen/living room/dining room are all one open space and have to be the same color. And I went with white trim on windows/baseboards and would like to keep that. How to choose?

    Part B: How long would it take to paint said area? (We have textured walls and have never painted a thing in our lives!)

  200. Sometimes the things I spray paint stay tacky forEVER! Is there any way to prevent this? I’m afraid of waiting too long to reapply because then it crackles…

  201. Fantastic giveaway! I would love to see some tips on growing lavender. I’d like to be able to have my own harvest one day! How did you get started? Do you grow different types? How long did the plants take to get well established?

  202. I have had all white walls since we built our house 19 years ago. I want to paint, starting with the family room open to the dining and kitchen, in the worst way, but am having trouble committing to a color. Any ideas on current great colors?

  203. I would like to know how you budget for your decorating? You have lots of wonderful ideas, and tons of talent getting them to become reality, but for me (a stay at home mom to 5) there is little budget for big decorating changes. So, do you put a little aside every month, sell something…then purchase something new, etc.? I’d really love to know! :)

  204. Love your blog! I’ve been reading you for months but this is my first time commenting – thank you for all your wonderful inspiration! I am now addicted to refinishing/making over furniture finds and even asked for a sander for birthday this month. :-) My question: what is the best method for sealing painted furniture? I used polycrilic on a desktop and love the overall results, but I greatly struggled with bubbles. I sanded and recoated five times but still ended up with some bubbles. What gives? Thanks for a lovely giveaway.

  205. Can you make a rental house with warm, rich colors into a bright, airy, white cottage/farmhouse feeling house!?

    This is my dilemma! No matter what I do the house still does not feel the way I want it to and I have no clue what to do!

    I guess my next step is to get a white slip cover for the couch and a brighter rug! I am starting on our dining room table now! I just painted it but its getting another overhaul!

  206. I live in an apartment so I can’t paint my walls, but I wanted to know: How can I incorporate pops of color into my decorating? And what are some tricks to decorating in a small space? HELP!

  207. Centsational Girl,
    I would love your take on window treatments….in your opinion, do you think a window treatment should be bold and make a statement or subdued as part of the neutral ground where your eye can rest?

  208. I have a Phoenix-based white stucco home with dark red trim and a red roof. But my dullsville front door (currently a dark stained wood) could use a coat of paint to freshen and brighten it. Any ideas of a color that could pop – besides the same red as the trim?

  209. I live in a small privately owned apartment complex so I have the freedom to make minor changes if I want. Luckily I have a ton of character (white, wood-beamed ceilings!), but would love to make it more “home-y”.

    What would you say is the most beneficial, cost effective change someone in an apartment can do to make it feel more like a home?

  210. Love the blog! My question is…. have you ever converted a buffet / dresser/ desk, or any other piece of furniture into a bathroom sink and vanity? I’m not a fan of built-in stock cabinets, but I am a little nervous to do the plumbing required on an unconventional piece of furniture. Thanks!

  211. I’m an Army wife, and I just moved for the 7th time in 6 years of marriage. Each house has a different style and different dimensions, which can be fun (because I can switch up how things look) or frustrating (because certain furniture that fits in one place doesn’t fit in another). It’s such a decorating dilemma! I’d like advice on anything….
    1. What pieces of furniture do you think are versatile and indispensable?
    2. What decorating tips do you have that will make a big impact but doesn’t use fragile materials?

    (Thank you for your awesome blog! I plan on getting furniture and refinishing it because of your inspiration. All your posts make me feel like I can have a beautiful house that I’m proud of, too…not just whatever ugly housing we get stuck with!)

  212. First I just have to say your blogsite is my fave. You are such a talented woman. My daughter loves the design you stenciled on your master bedroom wall. She will have a light pink wall where her bed will go. You used a metallic taupe paint. What paint color would be good to use on a light pink wall? We will be making a white headboard, painting other three walls a creamy white, hang a chandelier, and add a few black accents.

  213. Where can I find a cool pendant lamp that can be plugged in and doesn’t have to be wired to the wall? Desperately need this to decorate and lighten up in the living room but I can’t have one that an electrician needs to install (rental) and need to make do with a plug, a ceiling hook, and a swag chain (or something like that). Not interested in a floor lamp because it is right by a doorway into the hall and there’s a lovely large dresser that resides in that area. I haven’t seen the lamp anywhere yet and have moved past the “I’ll find it” to the “I need this now” stage! I am totally willing to bling out something basic or glue seashells or something to have a cool lamp but I haven’t even seen a pleasing base to work with and research shopping is difficult for me because of my sons who hate to shop and have way too much energy for running in to a store or the thrift store to check out what’s available!

  214. Help! I can’t get started remodeling our family room. I really don’t know where to begin. I am so afraid of starting off with a paint color or sofa style that is going to dictate what the enitre room should look like. I don’t want a room that’s full of things that match. I want a room full of items I love. How can I accomplish that without making a mess of things?

  215. I am going to attempt to paint an old children’s dresser to use (temporarily until I find something perfect) in our small guestroom. It is small and ugly and flat. I think the surface is wood, but it has been laquered or veneered or something hideous. Can I just paint over this without sanding? And do you have any suggestions on how to make this 3 foot dresser attractive in an adult space? Thanks!

  216. I live in Tampa, FL and can’t seem to find any good places to hunt down great furniture or antiques. Any suggestions from your travels (or those of people you know)?

  217. Oh my goodness, this last April my husband and I celebrated our tenth anniversary with a week in the wine country. One of our favorite meals during the trip was at The Girl and the Fig! We still talk about the delicious food and wonderful atmosphere of that night!

    Here’s my question:
    Lately when refinishing/repurposing wood furniture pieces I’ve tried to use spray paint rather than a traditional brush (to speed up the process) but my paint always ends up uneven and splotchy looking. Is there a way to use spray paint more effectively? Do you have an tips or tricks?


    My design dilemma is two-fold: (1) we have a large blank wall in our family room opposite windows. On that wall is a mounted flat-screen TV. There is no other furniture against that wall, nor anything else hanging on that wall, because we have no clue what to do with it. (2) We would like to come up with a solution for that wall that involves storage. We have three little ones under the age of 4…toys everywhere. It’s a tough job to tackle, but I’m sure you have many clever ideas! ;)

  219. The trim in my house is stained (somewhat similar to golden oak). Unfortunately, the kitchen cabinets match the trim. I think the trim is pretty; however, the kitchen cabinets look dated. The knobs on the cabinets are dated as well. Would you suggest only changing out the knobs? Or would you paint the cabinets a shade of white (or would this look hideous with the oak trim)?

  220. My question is, what other than white would make a good color combination with a pale bluey lavender.


  221. Do you have any ideas for re-tiling a bathroom shower? We are doing a “for now fix” in our bathroom shower, and a few tiles broke when we removed the tiles that needed to be re-applied. What would be some good ideas for patterns to use with replacement tile? I was thinking I might just do a stripe of the replacement tile, but I appreciate any ideas! :)

  222. I love lavendar! What are the different ways you use fresh (or dried) lavendar in your home?

  223. What a giveaway!! I have a paint question. We have a multi tones rug (beiges, browns, creams, mustard yellows and deep reds)very neutral….not one particular color stands out other than beige. We have a black/brown armoire. Brown leather couch, cream coffee table and deep red/tan small checked chairs. Black accents and I even made a table with old letterpress letters. My question is what color to paint the walls? I can not decide? Our trim is white and we have hardwood floors too. We only have one window in the 14 x 28 room, so kinda dark, I have lamps and a large black mirror to reflect light. Please help, I cant afford a new rug, so paint is my only option to try to help my sad living room :( I am thinking of painting my armoire cream?? Any suggestions would help. Thanks for the opportunity for some advice, I will cross my fingers for some help. Enjoy your day :) Jackie

  224. Ok here’s my dilema. My house is mostly neutral w/ white and aqua accents. The walls are tan, the carpet is cream, we have brown leather club chairs and a golden tan chenille couch. How can I change the decor from summer to fall without adding more brown? I’d love to be able to incorporate more aqua/light blue and white but I’m afraid it will just look more summery. I love the light and airy feel the white & gives the space.

  225. Love the Blog, and YUM on the giveaway! Here’s my problem: How do I make my home a reflection of myself, without putting of potential buyers in a few years?

  226. Boy, you know I want to win this one!!!

    Here’s my comment/question: can you please tell us more about your vines and how you’re planning to make wine up there? It’s another form of DIY that I can DEFINITELY get behind. : )

  227. White cabinets (cannot be painted), white tile and boring countertop. What can I do to liven up that white tile?

  228. I’m already getting excited about fall. When do you start decorating for it? Any new decorating ideas for Halloween?

  229. I need help decorating our bedroom. I have hear the tips about not using lots of photos, but what else do I use to decorate the walls? Any thoughts?

  230. Hi Kate,

    Hubby and I are going to a wedding in St. Helena in September—my question: What is your “must see” vineyard of choice?


  231. What color should I paint my great room? I’m remodeling my kitchen cabinets are black and oyster white. Hardwood floors will be a medium dark oak. I want a neutral color so that I can change my accessorie colors without having to repaint too often.

    Thanks for the give away :-)

  232. When you recovered the chair (added the cushion) in your step-daughter’s bedroom how large did you cut the foam? Also, did you add batting on top of the foam? I would really like to see a tutorial on how to transform rush bottom chairs (Pottery Barn) to ones with cushion seats.


  233. Great give-away Kate! My question: We have a distressed moss green leather couch, lt khaki walls and a wall of windows that i have put curtains from Home Depot on them. The curtains are coppery with a 18 inch black velvet bottom that I added. I would like to have an accent color but am unsure – so… I have chosen brown pillows. NOT EXCITING. Could you help out on a new accent color? is there a special way to decide on an accent color? thanks for your help! Melissa

  234. How do you have so much energy? I get tired just reading about all the things you do! I have a small library table (the kind that tilt toward the center) that my dad made when he was in high school in the early 1930’s. I have no idea of the finish that is on it but it is looking tired. Paint or refinish?

  235. Hi Kate, love your blog! And thank you for the generosity in this give-away.

    My question to you–I’m very new to DIY. Are there any particular projects that you recommend for starters so that they don’t get totally discouraged :-) ? Thank you!

  236. How long does it take you to do a redo like your bedroom? I feel like I often start projects that morph out of control. Something I think will take a week takes a month with the unexpected and I get frustrated. Awesome give away. I am constantly jealous of where you live. It makes me want to go to Napa so much more than my wine loving heart already does

  237. Do you have any spray painting tips or techniques that maximize the spread of paint and minimize drips?

    Awesome give-away- you rock!

  238. Great giveaway. My question is Will the bee in the lavendar photo be included in the prize package?? Just Kidding. Real question I have a beautiful vintage library card catalog from the 1950’s and it is like a blonde wood color. I would love to paint it white and distress with a brown glaze. I have NEVER done any type of furniture painting but after lurking on your blog have some great information about painting, etc. Should I leave this piece of history alone or attempt to do this. thanks, Lisa

  239. What brand of ice cream maker do you use? And thanks for the sorbet idea…now I HAVE to buy one!

  240. I just bought a new desk (really an old piano bench). The top lifts like a piano bench but I kind of want to cut one vertical side off so I can make a hinged drawer instead. Does that sound like a crazy bad idea or very difficult?

    PS I too live near wineries and I always say I’ll buy their fabulous vinegars but never do. Fig balsamic sounds amazing!

  241. How would set up a homeschool enviornment when limited on space? We only have a living/dining room combo so much of our work is done at the dining table. I have oodles and oodles of material and things look cluttered.

  242. We primed and paitned some small nightstands and the paint is taking forever to dry! what’s the deal? it’s been about 1.5 months now and they are still tacky. I don’t think we painted them too thick and we don’t live in a humid part of the country.

  243. Decorating dillema. How do I hide cords from a wall mounted tv? I dont want to spend money on the “cord hiders” they sell in stores. So I was just wondering if you had any creative ideas to hide cords w/o drilling into walls.
    btw I’m loving your blog lately. I totally want to do a Painted Trellis wall and build my own drying rack. Thanks for all the inspiration.

  244. my decoratin dilemma is drapes…I love sheer white long drapes in all their beachy glory but mine always seem to look cheap …probably because they are! BUT I see people do beautiful white window treatments on a dime all the time? Any suggestions?

  245. Dilemma! My husband and I were given his parent’s beautiful Pottery Barn sectional sofa. After living in a house with boys, dogs, and more boys… the canvas colored slipcovers were dirty, stained, and some were ripped (after the corner section fell off of a moving vehicle into the street on moving day). After washing and washing them… some of the pillow covers began to rip as well. In a moment of complete frustration, I bought loads of tan colored dye and dyed the whole lot of them in an attempt to at least mask the stains. Wonderful idea… until the actual furniture slipcovers somehow deteriorated in the wash and I was left with newly-dyed fabric that looks like a rabid cat attacked and shredded within an inch of its life. Now here’s my dilemma – I have zero experience with a sewing machine and a small budget, but new slipcovers are $1060 from Pottery Barn and even more from online companies. What do you think of using painter’s canvas as fabric? We have 2 dogs, a roommate, and a baby coming soon. My husband is in love with the sofa and does not want to see it go, but I can’t stand living with a couch that is covered in sheets (to protect the care cushions). Help! I don’t want to end up spending tons of $$ on fabric, only to find out that I bit off more than I can chew, but I also don’t want my living room looking like a college dorm room. What to do? What to do?

  246. Should I paint all my oak molding in the house AND my oak cabinets in the kitchen?? I am so tired of oak everywhere!

  247. Wow. What a giveaway. My question is: I have an old gold shiny metal fireplace cover. How would you suggest I paint it? I’m planning on painting the actual fireplace bricks white or off white am also trying to decide what color to paint the cover. Thanks!

  248. love this give-away! I have an antique dresser with a marble top and I am thinking of painting it to freshen it up. But I recently read a blog that said one should NEVER paint actual antiques. Old furniture, ok, but not antiques. What do you think?

  249. What are your best tips for yard sales/garage sales? How will I know if I am getting a great deal or if I am just buying junk? Thanks!

  250. Hi,
    My design question involves the kitchen… but before I ask, I just watned to say how much I enjoy your website. You have such a talent in turning the “everyday” things we see into something spectacular. I am in LOVE with your kitchen. And although I love scrolling through all of your photos and entries, I always find myself returning to those of the “heart of the home”… the kitchen :) I was wondering about your hood above the stove. My husband and I are building a home and we’ve now started selecting the kitchen stuff (yay!) and we are going to have a hood put up in place of a microwave & cabinet duo. Where did you purchase your hood and did you do all the creative work to it afterwards, like the scroll work and the shelf and the brackets under it (can’t think of the name of those darn things right now.)? Thanks so much and have a wonderful weekend :)

  251. Very fun giveaway! We’ll be moving into a new home next week and I’ve already got to projects on my “wish list.” The first is that we have to do something with the wall above our fireplace. the room is two stories tall and the limestone FP is flanked by windows at both levels but there is a vast white space above the mantle. do you have any suggestions for the space that won’t break the bank.

    Second wish list item is that we want to put a backsplash beneath the cabinets in our kitchen. I’ve spotted some lovely small sea-glass looking tiles but don’t know how to begin a project like this.

  252. What a decadent assortment of goodies. This is a question for transitioning decorating styles. If my decorating style has always leaned toward traditional pieces with deep colors and textures, but I would like to transition to something a little more modern, clean, and bright, what is the best use of time, money and energy if resources are not available to “clean house” and start over?

  253. What are your favorite materials for countertops? I’m just about to remodel my kitchen and I’m unsure what to do. I love granite, but maybe it’s going out of style? I’m not a big fan of quartz and I’m concerned about the maintenance of other types of stone. I don’t want to worry about staining!

    Thanks :-)

  254. WOW what a great bunch of goodies!

    We recently bought our first home and are learning to diy. What is the best type of window treatment for a kitchen nook. This is the only window in the kitchen and the nook is on the small side but the window takes up of 3/4 of the wall. I don’t want a treatment that will be overwhelming and I would love something that is easy to make yourself!

    Thanks in advance if you pick my question!!

  255. I have a great wooden dresser that my ex-husband sloppily stained. I wonder if I have to sand off all the old stain before I paint it how I’D like, or if I can just cover over the stain with the Zinzer Cover Stain (since the name says that! LOL) :)

  256. !!!!!!!! This is probably my favorite giveaway package ever! Awesome!
    ?????? What is your favorite “finishing” product in terms of a protective coat over basic paint? I mean protective in that I have a 7 AND 4 year old SUPER ADHD ACTIVE NON-STOP FRENETIC BLUR pair of kids whom, with all their joyful exuberance, tend to scruff up and knock over just about everything and I want to paint several pieces for both their rooms and the play room of our new house.

  257. FANTASTIC!!! giveaway!

    My question is about painting in the bathroom…have you ever seen paint that can be used to paint a bathtub? Not an old heavy duty metal tub, just a regular bathtub made of whatever they’re made of nowadays (fiberglass maybe?). Thanks!

  258. I’m trying to transform my living room (which is now shabby chic/vintage style) into more of a glamorous luxe feel while still keeping some vintage in there. Do you have any suggestions on how I could easily and inexpensively make this transition?

  259. Would you post a basic spray paint tutorial? You get such wonderful results with your spray paint projects! But I am constantly worried about the paint flaking over time, dripping during application, finding the right type of paint for the object’s surface, etc.

  260. I have a large wall in our finished basement that I want to use to display some of the kids’ art work (there is only so much space left in our kitchen). Any suggestions?

    If a reader sent you a picture of a room in their home, would you be able to offer some design advice?

    Thanks so much for the giveaway

  261. I have been tempted to paint my laminate kitchen cabinets. I am worried about how well it will hold up to use. How is the paint on the laminate t.v. cabinet in your toy room doing (i.e. holding strong, chipping, do you yell at your kids if they run toy cars over the finish?)?

  262. I just stained my kitchen step stool with oil based stain. Should I seal it somehow. I wonder if the stain will get on our clothes if we sit on it.

  263. Good morning, Kate! This is an amazing give away, wow~ So many lovely items :)

    My question: Sick of my rental kitchen! Should I invest in getting new knobs for the cabinets (which are the cheapest set from IKEA, white on white on white blah!)? There are only 12 knobs and I dunno if it would be a ‘waste of money’ or not. It would be cheaper than painting the whole room, which I want to do as well, but that will sadly have to wait.

    So yeah, will changing knobs make it look so much better or will it not even have an impact?

    Thank you so much!

  264. How do I turn a memo board into a membo board key rack with hooks and make it look nice?

  265. Inspired by your molding success, I want to replace the molding around my fireplace to something fancier and more substantial than the 2 inch strips I currently have there. Any tips or suggestions on wood to use, techniques and/or looks?

  266. I am 23 and just bought my first townhome- I am trying my best to decorate with a luxury feel while on a budget. What is the number one thing that you put in a room that makes it feel like home? My place still feels like a ‘house’ at the moment..I need those finishing touches to turn it into a home.

  267. We recently purchased a 1907 Craftsman home in Pasadena, CA and I’m having a really hard time decorating. I want to incorportate some modern design without losing the charm of the home. Any good ideas on how to do that?

  268. How did you deal with finding furniture to fill your house when you first got one? My hubby and I moved from a tiny apartment to a three bedroom house and I hate having completely empty rooms. I’ve been trying to balance picking up pieces at thrift stores and Ikea verses waiting to find (and afford) exactly what I want. Is it okay to buy a not-perfect $20 chair knowing you’ll replace it in a couple of years (seems wasteful) or just deal with the empty space? My hubby is in the ‘deal’ category, and we lived without dining room chairs for 6 weeks because he couldn’t agree on the perfect ones!

  269. Hi Kate! This giveaway looks great. I wanted to know what to do with my 50inch palsma TV that HAS to be placed in a corner? What do I do? Its’ temporarily on a buffet style table but I need a permanent soultion. Most “Corner Cabinets” are no tlarge enough for this huge monster. Should I consider a built in unit?

    Thanks! Shea

  270. My husband and I just spent our first wedding anniversary out in wine country, but sadly couldn’t bring anything back in our small carry-on luggage. This would be perfect!
    Anyway, what’s your favorite meal to whip up using fig balsamic vinegar?

  271. My kitchen is knotty pine…you know, old, orange, but still valuable to the home. My question is– Paint it or not? And if not, have it refinished so that it isn’t orange?

  272. Hi Kate! I love your blog and all of your projects. Your writing style is great too… I could go on, but down to business. This is my dilemma: How do I set up furniture in my family room? My kitchen opens up to the FR. You see the back of the couch as soon as you enter the FR off the kitchen. The couch faces the fireplace which has a TV above it. I’d love to send you a diagram to get your suggestions. Thank you in advance for any help!

  273. Love the giveaway! Here’s my question: We are getting ready to redo the kitchen and have boring oak cabinets that unfortunately I am NOT allowed to paint. Not sure if we should go with tile or granite countertops. We are trying to stick to a very low budget and are going to DIY everything. We want to resell very soon so it has to appeal to the buyers, and look updated and fresh. Any suggestions? Thanks and I love your blog!

  274. I have a beautiful balcony in need of a floor covering, as it is currently unfinished. I worry about tile being heavy, and also slick in the rainy season. Any ideas?

  275. My husband and i have original hardwood floors running throughout our 1930’s craftsman, but in the back they are covered by old ratty carpeting. We have been busy pulling the carpet up (along with everything else that entails) but the flooring underneath definitely needs to be refinished. But we can’t agree on whether to go that route, or just recarpet. The hubby thinks families will want carpet n the bedrooms and that it will be better for resale, but it seems like such a shame to recover all that hardwood floor. Any advice?

  276. I have the same dilemma as Kelley above. How do I decorate my apartment that has white walls that I can’t paint? A lot of the finishes (couch, dining and coffee table, piano, etc.) that we already have are in the chocolate brown family and I want to add more color!

  277. I have an old armchair I’d like to try reupholstering, but I’m on a budget, and I’m having trouble finding a source for seat cushion foam that is within my grasp, especially when I consider trim and fabric as well. Can you recommend any decent budget sources for upholstery supplies? Thanks for the giveaway!

  278. Other than using a good quality paint – would i have to do more to protect a beadboard backsplash?

  279. What a fab giveaway! Thanks for the chance to win!

    What are your favorite places to shop for homegoods? I love hearing about all your local favs but do you also have favorite stores that are all over? I live in hoe-dunk Idaho and the shopping is limited, but when I make it to bigger citites I want to know which places I have to go check out!

  280. Oh… I could sure use a fun prize like this! My son leaves for US Navy Boot Camp on Tuesday and although I am so proud… I’m going to miss him so much!

    My question: Is that your back yard you used in those photos? It looks stunning and I’d live to see more!

  281. My question is what color paint you used in your office? My husband painted my office years ago and it is ready for an update. I love your pictures that you have posted of your beautiful office. I would love more details.

  282. Kate,

    How many grape plants did you start with? How much space to they take up in your yard? Where did you order them? I know that’s 3 questions…feel free to enter me 3 times ;-)! I would love to start a vineyard at out house in the mountains.


  283. Ahh, a little parcel from California Wine country would be oh so nice! Very sweet of you to share.
    So now I must know, have you ever had a DIY project that you absolutely hated how it turned out? Or are you the enviable Angelina Jolie of the DIY design world –flawless and without care?! There must be something that ended up completely off your vision and therefore it was banished to the dark corners of your garage, no? I think for many newbie DIYers envisioning themselves create a project and actually doing it are two different things — help us be brave!

  284. I love the blue you use in your house. I have a similar shade in my living room, though it is more saturated. I would love to use a citrus orange color to accent. Could you recommend some lovely shades or interesting accent items?

  285. We recently moved into a new house. The trim is stained wood, lots of hardwood floors, neutral (brown) carpet and tan walls. I’m going crazy with all of the brown! However, I don’t know how to bring colors in with paint that matches the wood. Our old house had white trim, which anything looked good with. Any ideas?

  286. I am so inspired from your blog projects that I want to tackle making over nearly every piece of furniture we have. Do you have any suggestions on which piece of furniture would be the best project to start? I am considering a round kitchen pedestal table, buffet and hutch, armoire, kids bed and kitchen chairs (also reupholstering them). I love your blog and I especially love wine!

  287. If you were to move anywhere in the world, for one year, where would it be?

    – Kathy

    13cls13 at gmail dot com

  288. Looks like you have some great questions so far! Mine is pretty simple…you mentioned in your last post that you are catching up on some summer reading…what are you reading?

  289. Hey, I love your blog and I’m glad your answering questions cuz I’ve got a biggy! I just picked up an amazing old Travelers trunk From around 1905-20, we’re not sure. It’s so huge, and a little warn down but I love it! Any suggestions on what I could do with it? How I could spruce it up a bit and what funtionality it would actually have in our home?

    Looking forward to your response!

    Beautiful Back yard… ( if that is your backyard!)

  290. I haven’t heard you mention a basement. Do you have one? If so, what is it like?

    – Cassie

  291. First of all, LOVE your blog. Been following for over a year. My question is how do you know a good piece of furniture to redo when you see one at a thrift store?? I see pieces all the time, but I just don’t know what’s worth buying and redoing.

  292. Hi Kate, very nice of sharing the pleasures with your readers. Here is question reagarding the DIY. We have 3 high nook chairs in our kitchen, i mnaple wood stain. THE counters are white and maple wood cabinets. Can you suggest what colors/paints are preferred to repaint the 3 swirl-chairs.

  293. I need toy storage advice! I’m thinking about getting some of the sets at Land of Nod for my son’s room (just turned 3), but they’re all brightly colored, and I think I need to think about something more neutral for the living room, where we spend most of our time. Do you have any suggestions for containers to use, as well as additional storage ideas?

  294. Hi Kate! What a fun giveaway! … I love painting furniture. Do I need a paint sprayer? Are they easy to use? Clean-up? How much to spend? Which one to buy? Better end result? You get the idea. I have lots of questions!

  295. What a perfect gift for a wine lover! You (& your blog) cease to amaze me! It’s so inspiring to see what you are up to on a daily basis… how do you find the time? As a new(er) mommy, I spend a lot of time looking around the house and wanting to spruce up this and that. Any recommendations as to where to start? What was your first project? And how to you keep everything up?

  296. What a great looking giveaway!

    My question: What are some ways to use lavender in food? (I have some lavender ice cream the other day that was really good)


  297. How do I makeover my tween’s room so it’s not too grown up but not too little girl?

  298. I found a dining room table and 6 chairs for a steal of a deal. The chairs have caning on the backs, but two of them have holes in the caning. And the table definitely needs a refinish. My kitchen has a plain Jane tile floor, white paneling on the bottom part of the walls and a buttery yellow on the top. My question (finally) is, what should I do to the dining set? Should I sand everything down to match my newly refinished hardwood floors (which I did myself!) to tie it in with the rest of the house, or paint? And how should I fix or disguise the holes in the caning?


  299. Thanks for the inspiring blog and wonderful giveaway! My question is how to lighten up my brick fireplace without painting it. I wish I could but my husband is against painting so I am looking for ways to make it more traditional and less dated. Thanks!

  300. Kate, I am in LOVE with your wainscotting in your dining room. I would love to have it in ours, but we have a major problem. Our house is old, (circa 1924) and we still have all the original natural woodwork in a “cherry-ish” color. I’m debating painting the woodwork white. I love white woodwork (which would look great with the wainscotting if we did it) but I love the natural wood. What do you think?


    p.s. oh, and fantastic giveaway too!

  301. We have a very long living room that is connected to our foyer and dining room (house was built in 1974). It’s a very open floor plan. My issue is my living room – the ceiling is vaulted and the room is long – what do you suggest is the best way to arrange the furniture? Our fireplace is located in the family room so the living room doesn’t have much of a focal point. We also recently put hardwood floors in the living room (stained very dark) and we love them – but the room feels echo-y and the furniture is up against the walls so it seems like a bowling alley! Help! I can send you a picture if you want.

  302. Oh this is wonderful, I would love to win! Here’s my question – can you suggest a good dark blue to paint some “found” furniture for my son’s room? I want something that will look very Pottery Barn or Crate & Barrel-esque….not junky, if that makes sense!

  303. My husband and I don’t have a garage full of power tools. We have the basic hammer and screwdrivers and some hand me down wrenches. We own a house now and we feel like it’s probably time for us to start tackling some home improvement projects. My question is. . . What are the “must have” DIY tools for beginners?

  304. I just heard of a DIY project I’d love to see. A friend told me they re-did their fireplace using instant concrete. They somehow painted the concrete so that it looks like marble. They then trimmed it out with wood. I don’t know how you could make concrete look like marble, but I’d love to find out.

    Love your blog!

  305. Ooh this is a fabulous giveaway! My question relates to wall sconces. I have two wall sconces above my mantel connected to a dimmer switch. I really like having this option for lighting but the sconces are horribly outdated. Think late 80s. What kind of sconces would you use to update the lighting? Thanks!

  306. I am so jealous that I no longer live in Sonoma County, so this is a perfect giveaway – in my opinion, anyway!

    I’ve already incorporated lots of your tutorials (not to mention having successfully made your preserves), so I guess my decorating question would be: What are some ideas for decorative ceiling lights when you have low ceilings? Everything I love seems to be too large for my 8 foot ceilings. So we’re pretty much “stock” with builder’s-grade fixtures (you know, the ones that look like someone’s breast is coming off the ceiling). ;-)

  307. I have never used olive oil……..what is your favorite way to use it? This is an awesome give away

  308. I’d loooove to win! My question is: where are your favorite places to find home deals in the Bay Area? I happen to live driving distance from wine country- for the many of us who visit, where do we start? Your home is full of beautiful things!

  309. What would be your 5 must have tools for the starter furniture refinisher/repurposer?

  310. What a great giveaway idea! All those items look amazing. Here’s my question (hope this isn’t too general): What advice do you have for a DIY beginner who has NO experience with power tools? Are there any particular tools that are must-haves for most projects, brand recommendations, instructional websites or books, or any other tips you could pass along for someone who’s looking to build a DIY skill foundation?

  311. I am so sad that I really don’t have room for lavender in our tiny garden. German beer radishes came first this year :-(

    My question:

    What do you do with “works in progress”? I would love to take on more projects, but have no room and three kids. Do you have a dedicated workspace? Can we see it? If it is messy and small I would feel *ever* so much better about my chaos! ;-)

  312. All of your giveaways look great!!

    My question is this…
    I know I shouldn’t do this, but I paint my nails on my dining table. As a result, some of the nail polish remover has ruined the varnish (?) on the surface. How can I fix this? Is there an easy fix at all?

  313. Thanks for the opportunity to win an awesome prize!

    I’m going to be a first time mom in 6 months and have no idea where to start with a nursery. We have a small 10×10 room and I am not sure what pieces or what sizes of furniture I will need. I know I would like to keep it gender neutral and have a kitschy contemporary style. Where would you recommend starting?

  314. I just moved back to Texas after living a year abroad in Scotland. My husband and I are going to be living in a rent house for awhile, so anything I do to improve it’s looks will need to be non-permanent. What are your top “rent house fix ups”?

  315. My porch used to have two doors that lead into my house. One door has been closed off in order to extend a bathroom. To block this door, previous owners just place a piece of plywood over it and painted it white. They also closed off a window with just a piece of plywood and painted it also. With the window, I’m going to have mirror cut to fit and then place molding over it to look like window panes. I’m not sure what to do with the door or should I say, piece of plywood. This windo and door are both on the same wall which is brick and the wall to the right of this wall is brick also. The other two walls are siding and windows. Any ideas of how to make this not look like a door that has been covered up?

  316. My husband doesn’t like white trim, so our house still has Eighties style medium-dark brown trim. My look is casual and whimsical, but I’m having a hard time finding inspiration because most magazines feature homes with white trim…and those looks usually don’t translate well in a brown trimmed room.

    What advice do you have or references would you suggest to a gal struggling to have a cozy, whimsical house without painting her trim white?

  317. Hi there, Kate! I am just getting started in my first place, and I’m working to combine things I have acquired from years living abroad as well as in apartments…the only thing is that I’m having color overload!! I have some many beautiful things I’ve collected throughout the years, but everything is so bright and cheery. I really feel like I need something more subdued and calming for my bedroom. What color palette would you suggest for a chic, calming bedroom that would look fairly cohesive in my house?

  318. I just started my first blog! When you first started blogging how did you get your name out there? Your blog has definitely inspired me!


  319. Do you know of any good sites with instructions on how to put hardware on cabinets? Our kitchen doesn’t have any knobs or handles and I think I’m finally ready to pick them out and put them on, but don’t want to mess it up!

  320. I have an overall vision for my home, but can’t just plunk down the thousands it will take to shift from no-style to ooh-la-la style all at once. What changes would be most inspirational? How do you choose accessories, furniture, paint colors, curtains, oh my! – and work steadily toward your style goals?

  321. My wife and I are getting ready to paint our home. Neither of us has painted before. The colors are a pale yellow/cream, so do we need to use primer, or can we simply paint over it?

  322. I live in a 1924 California bungalow that badly needs repainting inside. What’s holding me back is that all of the woodwork needs to be stripped. It has obviously been repainted many times and by some very sloppy painters, I might add. So here’s my question: What do you think is the best way to tackle stripping interior wood trim?

    And P.S.: I’ve really learned a lot and gotten some great inspiration and motivation from your blog. Thanks!

  323. Wow Kate that is super generous of you!

    Would you strip or paint over a vintage side table? I have a piece from my great aunt and it was made in – I think – the 40’s and I’m concerned it has lead paint but it really, really needs to be something other than green/yellow with bad striae in the paint job.

  324. What a super great giveaway, Thank you! I always struggle with getting really sharp paint lines around my ceiling and molding, do you think tape or those edge rollers work best?

  325. This is a fabulous Giveaway, Miss Kate! I’ve been wanting to learn more about pairing wines with certain meals/foods and the book looks perfect. Lavender? Yes, please! Who doesn’t love a good Dijon? And I don’t know a girl who wouldn’t love a nice soap. :)

    Here’s my question: What advice can you give a couple who doesn’t always agree on the way their home is decorated? I’m a girl whose style had evolved somewhat over the years and she now enjoys thrifting and DIY-fixer-upper decorating projects. My husband is a pretty traditional guy who likes things to stay the same…meaning he’s not so much on board with painting furniture, changing stuff around, replacing fixtures, etc. He’s handy, but likes to limit his skills to home repairs and the like–not so much design oriented. I feel like our home is stuck back in 2003, when we were still young newlyweds and I had not a clue what I liked, so I just bought *stuff.*

    Sorry for the long question…it’s just something that’s been on my mind.

  326. How fun! My question: What is the reason for sanding after priming as you did for your son’s dresser? Maybe that’s a newbie question, but that’s what I am!

  327. Hi Kate,
    I really enjoy your blog and this is a great giveaway!
    I want to paint my front door, it is currently natural wood color (although I’m sure it’s sealed), around 5 years old. I was thinking of using a combination primer/paint to save a step (or coat). What would you do?

  328. How do you keep your inspirational design files organized? I rip out magazine photos, but also have a host of saved computer images. Do you organize them by room type, or by look/color, or ideas that could be DIY… how?! :)

  329. Wow! That is an awesome giveaway!! I would LOVE it!! Especially the lavendar! My question is: Is the bee included? ;-)

    Seriously, though, my question is this:

    Does your island that you painted match perfectly with your other kitchen cabinets? If not, what is the difference? It is so hard to tell in the photos and I have been wondering if you had the paint matched to the other cabinets when you painted your island. Thanks!!!

  330. What is the best finish of paint to use on a cupboard that will be used for storing dishes?

  331. I have lots of design dilemmas! The most urgent one is… How do you feel about painted ceilings? I am thinking of painting my master bedroom ceiling a chocolate brown (in suede). The walls are tan and the trim is white. Would it be too weird to have a painted ceiling? Does it really make the room seem smaller?

  332. Hello Kate! My question is this: In your formal living, is that slip cover washable? I love it but I have 3 boys that may (read: will) require cleaning of a light colored cover. My sectional is much like your family room sofas and I can take the covers off and wash them (Thank heaven!).
    Thanks and have a great weekendd!

  333. I recently visited Northern California and fell in love with the wonderful lavender that seems to grow in many places there!

    I live in a one bedroom apartment in an urban city. Right now my small square living room is serving as a place to watch tv, a “dining” room with a small round table, and a study area. It feels way too cluttered. The desk I currently have for doing work does not really fit into my bedroom. Do you have any tips/ideas on how to fit in a small but functional desk into a space that is being used for so many other things? Thanks!

  334. thanks for the giveaway! love your blog!!!

    our master bath has condensation bubbles above the tile on the drywall… any tips on how to remove (tried sanding)?

  335. I have an old maple table that was my grandparents’. I love it and I want to keep it as it reminds me of my grandparents. Recently, though, I guess the glue holding the pieces of wood together is becoming weak and my chairs are splitting on the seat. Any idea on how to fix this? Should I just cough up the money to get them refinished or throw out my beloved table all together?

  336. Hi Kate! Oh my goodness, my head is swirling with questions I would looove to ask you! I am literally dealing with two at this second, so you can choose which one you would like to answer:
    1. How, oh HOW, do I pick the right shade of blue for a particular room based on lighting or lack thereof, ceiling color/height, etc? (And PLEASE don’t say trial and error – that is not workin’ out for me!)
    2. We have hardwood flooring of a butterscotch oak color. Not my favorite – I would like to restain it to more of a walnut medium brown color sometime in the future. Meanwhile, we are rebuilding a staircase and need to stain the treads and handrail. Should we match it to the flooring since it might take forever to get around to changing the floors, or go with the color I like and would like to match the floors to later?
    Thanks! I love your blog!!!

  337. Thanks for the giveaway! I have two dressers in my house with no knobs or pulls – I stupidly threw them out a long time ago because they were brass – and they are a special-order size. How can I fix this without spending an arm and a leg on new pulls?

  338. Hi Kate! Great giveaway! Here is my dilemma of the moment – I have a “bay window” with a sliding glass door as the center window. It gets a HUGE amount of afternoon sun (as in we can barely see each other when sitting down to dinner if shades -or heavy curtains- are not pulled.) Right now I have shades up – they are “grass” shades and do an adequate job and are ok to look at. However, with kids, pulling a shade UP each time they want to go into the backyard is not practical. Ones that open vertically would be more practical but are so UN-pretty. :( How would you dress this window to be practical AND pretty!!! Help!

  339. 348 comments so far?!? You’re going to need to open up one of those bottles while you’re reading! :) My question for you is about your superb spray painting skillz….I stand 12″ away, using a fluid back and forth motion, blah, blah, blah….and yet, my finished piece always has little circles of highly concentrated paint?!? How do you get the ‘factory finish’?!?

    Oh, and here’s the unattainable….what is the perfect gray?!?

    xoxo, cassie

  340. Hi – Do you know how to fit a babygate to the bottom of a staircase when one side is a round railing and the other is a wall? It’s right at the entrance to our home (in the foyer) and we’ll need to get up and down the stairs often but don’t want baby crawling up them.


  341. What a wonderful giveaway.

    Any suggestions on repainting a front door? My door gets afternoon sun and gets quite hot during the afternoon. We have tried once (ok twice) to strip and repaint the door. The first time we stripped & sanded, then primed and painted. The second time we stripped (as the first time it all bubbled off within the next few days) and used the heat gun to strip everything, then sanded again, painted with some super expensive primer and then painted (as per the guy at the paint store). It is now bubbling again…. We believe the door may have been originally oiled, but don’t know for sure as it is 40+ years old (and was painted when we moved into the house). Or do I need to break down and buy a new front door?

  342. Hi Sarah,

    I rent an apartment, and my furnace/water heater is in a closet with a really vented door. How should I decorate/hide/change the door?


    P.S. Thanks for the giveaway!

  343. We are going to be embarking on a kitchen renovation soon, and I really want to have painted cabinets. Do you know of anywhere (online, one of the big home improvement stores, etc.) that do semi-custom bare wood cabinets (we will paint, or more than likely hire someone to paint) on the cheap? We have a decently sized kitchen and a medium-sized remodel budget (that needs to include a small amount of structural work), so cabinets are really an area that we need to try to conserve some money, without cheapening the kitchen. Any ideas?

  344. I have a mondo window in my living room and I just can’t figure out how to dress it. It’s got an arch at the top and measures 107″ at it’s tallest point. I can’t find any photos online of a window like mine to get any ideas. There is no way to have a center support for the rod if I hang it below the arch, but would hanging it above the arch loose some of the charm? Ugh. Please help! I just don’t know what to do with it.

  345. Hi Kate! I love your blog, you really inspire me! Also, thank you for offereing such a wonderful, generous giveaway.

    My question is, what are the best paints and tools and techniques for painting a simple wall mural? I was thinking of painting a nature silhouette and would appreciate your expertise! I’ve tried painting animals in a kid’s room with semi-gloss paint, but feel there is a better medium I can use next time. Thanks!

  346. How hard is it for you to let kids be kids in a new space that you have just redone???? Need some tips!

  347. I really love the fact that you do giveaways. Not are you a talented person but you are also a loving spirit!
    I have two bookshelves that are wood and have a natural finish but they are styled country. I want to use them because they are very large and my husband and I have a huge collection of books. How can I make them fit into my house that is not country at all. I don’t know what style my house is but it is not country. HELP!

  348. Not really decorating but . . . When and how do you prune your lavender? I’m obviously doing it wrong because some plants are getting huge and some have died completely :(

  349. I’ve recently stumbled onto your blog and have been avidly reading all of your prior posts and gleaning PLENTY of ideas. :) My question is: how do you select paint colors for your walls? And, how do you decide how to mix paint colors to get a pleasing color–such as the color in your updated playroom? I’ve been buying the paint samples and putting them up on our walls but nothing really says “Yes! Pick me!” It seems as though the color I envision just isn’t on the market and I’m really tempted to create my own but I don’t want to end up with a yucky can of mixed paint!

  350. I’ve been busy redecorating (i.e. painting our grad school thrift store finds) one cohesive color, and I’ve really been stuck on white. Tried Krylon’s white for some frames but it’s just too bright. Any other softer white (but non-ivory) shade you’d recommend?

  351. I’ve been searching for the perfect horizontal striped drapery panels for the last few months. After loads of disappointment, I’m throwing in the towel and am going to create a set for myself. But to spice it up, I’m hoping to paint the stripes with dye. What are your recommendations for the best fabric application (linen, cotton?) and the best fabric dye to give it a watercolor look?

    Thanks so much for your help! I love using your entries as a how-to for my DIY starter home!

    Much love, Katie

  352. Wow, thanks for hosting this! My husband and I purchased a foreclosure to fix up about 3 years ago. It has definitely been a lot of work! We put new carpet in the living room and all 3 bedrooms, but have come to find out that after 2 kids, a cat and just everyday living that the color and style we chose (cream, frise’ ?) that it isn’t holding up well. We are considering new carpet or perhaps pergo with a large area rug. I don’t know which would hold up best to everyday wear and tear, but what would also look welcoming and so pretty. Could you perhaps do a post about flooring options for busy families? Thanks again.

  353. Hello Kate :)

    This may not be the type of question you want to answer but can you use spray paint over zinsser oil based primer on top of a laminate type material? Sounds like a crazy mess to me but I have this project going lol.


  354. My question is … Where do you start? Where do you get inspiration, not to mention the skills necessary to complete a project? I get so overwhelmed that very little gets done.
    Thanks for the chance to win an incredible giveaway AND get questions answered.

  355. I am looking for inexpensive places to buy little gifts and treats to give away in my school prize box.

  356. Any suggestions for freshening up old cabinets? They are in good shape, but the finish is looking pretty bad.

  357. Love the giveaway, that’s my kind of style :)

    Hmmmm…..I don’t mind painting but I don’t like cutting in so my question is how do you cut in? Freehand, tape, tool?

    My latest project I didn’t cut in and my hubby gave me crown, I should have thought about that a long time ago :)
    Take care

  358. I am in love with your blog. I just found you three weeks ago and am well on my way with many projects. I hate sanding! Have you ever used liquid sanding to do a project? If so, how did it turn out? Also, I read the other day where someone sprays polyacrylic instead of sanding- what do you think about this?

  359. I want to know how to start a container garden. My garden did TERRIBLE this year I mean awful. I didn’t get but two small potatoes.

    I want to do herbs, and maybe onions, peppers and bell peppers. Advice?

  360. I want to add a column of three mirrors in my entry way, but I can’t afford a lot. There are these cheap mirrors I’d like to buy, and I was wondering:

    What are some inexpensive ($20 or less) ways to make cheap mirrors look more expensive?

  361. Hello! My husband and I moved from St. Helena to Sacramento (I was fresh out of college, and he was going to college) I love your blog because it reminds us of our old home, and of course, you have lovely taste.

    We recently bought our first home, so as you can imagine painting has been the first thing we needed to do, and frankly the first thing we thought we would be able to tackle. What brand of paint do you like best and what brand/style of paint brush do you like using most?

  362. Here’s a tough one but I know you can answer it!

    I’m redecorating my home to get ready to sell in about a year… we’ve never really made it our own but it’s not very neutral. Can you tell me… where do I start?!

    I thought I’d paint first but then what if the decor I like doesn’t match? Should I pick my decor first then? Should I do something different completely?


  363. We just tackled our first DIY dresser refinishing project for our baby girl’s room using your tutorials and it came out great! Thanks! Q: Is it worth it to have someone else install hardwood flooring for you, or is it a manageable task to tackle yourself? and is it cost-effective?

  364. There are so many questions running through my head, but I think I’ll go with this one… What’s the best way to tone down a bedroom that is painted a medium icy-turquoise and has lime green and turquoise bedding (Amy Butler Dancing Paisleys)? (My niece picked them both out for my new guest room, and what she wants, she gets!) I don’t want my guests to get eye strain.

    Rejected contenders:

    1. Should the shoe molding/quarter-round match the baseboard or the floor?

    2. What’s your opinion on painting the insides of closets some fun, unexpected colors? I’m contemplating adding some “hidden” interest to the coat closet in my foyer and to my laundry closet

  365. What kind of bug killer did you use for your black widow encounter? They have taken up residence in my trim pile in the garage, which has drastically cut down on my courage to tackle new projects. Any suggestions?

  366. I have that hollywood dressing room lighting in my bathroom. While it’s brass and hidious, it provides some very nice light. How do I replace all of that light and still get the same brighteness in the bathroom? We have no windows in the bath, so natural light is out.

  367. Where do you draw the line between refurbishing something for your house and a must-have new, high-end item to say “luxury”?

  368. I simply love everything you do and you’ve inspired me to create and decorate my own home. The only problem is my kitchen. I’ve stumbled on this task to bring it up to date. Do you have any cost effective solutions on a new appearance for my cabinets? I’ve painted them but it’s just not working for me. Help! I need an updated look without a huge expense!

  369. What are some great DIY projects that my daughter (age 5) could do with me? She wants to spruce up her bedroom but doesn’t want to be left out of the redecorating process. She wants to be there, paintbrush in-hand, grubby clothes on and glitter coming out her ears. So, any suggestions, you know, mom-to-mom? Thanks!

  370. Love figs – this stuff looks amazing! I just bought a french lavender plant. What is the best way to care for it? Thank you as always!

  371. If you have an open floor plan where you can see kitchen, dining, and living rooms, would you put wainscotting on one wall in the dining room?

  372. I am looking for some fall decorating and little gift ideas! Thanks for the great giveaway!

  373. I love California wine country! In May me and my husband went to San Francisco and Napa Valley for a week. We had an awesome time. Wish we could live there. Anyway, my question… What kinds of ideas can you reccomend for framing and decorating with the great pictures I took out in California?

  374. How do you balance your stylish decorating while also making all your spaces kid friendly?

  375. Such a silly question but, what is your opinion on mismatched frames? I’m starting a foyer gallery project and I have all these great frames in white, silver and dark wood. should i paint them all the same color or go with the eclectic flow?

  376. How would you go about redesigning a room that isn’t serving its purpose into something that will help you stay organized?

  377. How do you clean your paint brushes. I try and try to get mine clean but it seems hopeless.

  378. I really want to paint my kitchen table and chairs. Do you have any tips of how I could do it or what products I could use so it will dry hard. I know this is 2 questions, but I’m also having a hard time deciding what color to do; I just painted my cabinets cream, do you think if I did the table cream as well it would be too much of the same color? Thanks!

    Or if you want, you could just come and do it for me! :)

  379. Do you have any creative ideas for inexpensive, yet functional and stylish, bedroom night stands?

  380. Is there a way to space out letters – when you’re making a sign, for instance – that’s always eyepleasing? Some kind of formula, like wide letters (M) are spaced 1 inch apart and skinny letters (i) are spaced 1/2 inch apart. Or do you always have to just wing it?

  381. what is the best way to paint a metal? kitchen sink from the 1950s? and what other inexpensive furniture can i incorporate to my kitchen that will go with it. my husband and i barely inherited a house from 1912 and the only thing left in the kitchen is the double sink kind of like this one(
    of coarse we plan to redo the whole kitchen in the future but right now we dont have the budget for it. any help would be greatly appreciated. thank you!

  382. I know we may be a small niche but my DH is now fully bound to a heavy wheelchair. I need new kitchen flooring…we’re on a crawl space…can you help with some ideas that are NOT institutional looking but durable enough to carry the weight? Sales people just seem to want to sell what they have period.

  383. I live in a rental apartment and am bored of the space. I want to spruce up my living room (which also doubles as my husbands office and our “dining room”. Any inexpensive ideas to make the space more chic?

  384. I am totally lovin’ your summer posts. Not a whole lot of the revamping ones that I adore, but oh well :) I’m doing my first re-do on a ottoman, I can’t find feet for it that I like! Home Depot and Lowes have failed me and I’m not sure where else around the city to look to be honest. So I turned to the internet, nothing has caught my eye.

    –Do you know of any good ottoman legs sites?

  385. My question is going to seem so dumb I’m sure but I have a pair of raw wood Adirondack chairs I want to paint. I have a bunch of leftover wall paint in a light grey and I was wondering if it would be crazy to use them on the chairs ~or~ do I have to spend money on outdoor paint. I’ve never painted anything in my life and I figure these chairs are an easy beginner project. If only I knew how to begin! HA!

  386. when you paint walls, how do you cut in around trim/moulding/ceilings/windows with such a precise line? do you tape or just paint? tools???

  387. You rock girl! Great giveaways! I’m a huge olive oil/balsamic vinegar user so would love to try those flavors.

    What are your favorite wines? Do you prefer dry or sweet?? I prefer sweet wines myself

  388. How do you find the initiative to continue on with your long, arduous projects? I find it difficult to finish a job I’ve started…

  389. I have a huge blank wall in my master… we were going to put a wardrobe, but it was impractical… what can we do?? a sitting area?? a random dresser??

  390. I just came across your blog – how has this been missing from my life for so long?!?! I have become addicted very quickly!

    So, I have a beautiful kitchen with a small island and a small kitchen table that seats 4. I have granite countertops on the counters and the island. I’d like to find a way to increase the size of the island (or build a new one) and do away with the table altogether, so that all of my seating is around the island.

    Any ideas how to do this in a very thrifty way?

    I have never built anything to this scale, and it’s quite intimidating to me!

    PS My husband has no handyman skills, so it’s all me. He might be able to hold things in place while I nail, glue, etc.

  391. Great giveaway! I have a small corner hutch I got off of Craigslist that I want to paint but I’m not sure which way to go… I’m thinking black because then I don’t have to try and match my table, which is an antique white, but (it just seems like a really hard color to match) the table and hutch are really close so I’m not sure if black would look wrong… Maybe gray??? What do you think??

  392. I just started a small at home business and need to turn our “at the top of our stairs media niche” into an organized useful home office (to store catalogs, jewelry, boxes, display items, and office items). I am on a limited budget and would like to try and use things I already have (magazine files, old Illy coffee tins, old 2 shelf bookcase, baskets, etc.) I tend to clutter, so I don’t want to have the option to clutter. I want streamlined, clean, useful, and kid friendly! Quite a task…but I have decorating block and two small kids to watch! It doesn’t even matter if I win…any tips would be great! I’ll send you pics! Thanks.

  393. I made the mistake of painting my bathroom without using bathroom paint. Now we have a reoccuring mildew problem. When I repaint, do I need to sand/strip the walls first or can I just paint over with a mildew resistant primer and paint?

  394. Awesome giveaway…I hope I’m the lucky winner : )
    Q…I have popcorn celings in my bedrooms and I hate to fall asleep looking at that stuff every night….I’m afraid to take it down my self due to asbestos (?) concerns. Do you have any suggestions, that won’t break the bank?

  395. Any ideas on how I should go about stripping some nasty paint off of a very old trunk so I can refinish it? I’m not sure how to begin or what products work the best???? Help!!!!

  396. How can you make the most of closet space in a small ranch with only one small closet in the master bathroom? Such a dilemma!

  397. I’ve been struggling to find a green paint for my bedroom. My room is very bright from one east window. The greens I try look gray or like the inside of an operating room! I would like a serene garden feel. How do I find a good green. I don’t want to repaint because I have vaulted ceilings and plant shelves….way more work than I can handle twice. I think my husband would like me to get rid of the swatches of paint on the wall:-)

  398. hi. i am so inspired by your website. my question is how do i go about transitioning from a chocolate brown accent wall to a grey blue more calming tone. do i have to refurbish or change my existing dark stained furnitures to match the new color. thanks.

  399. Awesome giveaway! :)

    My question is about blogging itself. I’m interested in starting my own blog, but I find it to be very overwhelming! How did you begin?

  400. In order to find the furniture you make over for your home, how much time do you spend trolling the thrift store and/or craigslist?

  401. I love, love, love you! You are such a great inspiration! I have a very dark kitchen and family room. Dark paint, dark wood, dark granite and no direct sunlight. I want to brighten it up with paint, I’m thinking something with a yellow/gold hue. How do you choose a yellow paint that won’t be overbearing? Should I choose a different color altogether?

  402. How can I safely learn to use power tools for home improvement projects? I feel I could make a much bigger impact on my decor if I didn’t fear cutting off a finger! I’m thinking specifically of saws, nail guns, and the like, but I’m also interested in paint sprayers for upcoming tasks I have in mind. Thank you for sharing your beautiful ideas and expertise!

  403. Hi Kate – still LOVING your site!!! My question is…I have a butcher block table that I have refinished several times. All of a sudden there are little chipped spots in the varnish. Has this ever happened to you?? What would be your guess as to why? I always use Minwax stain and varnish….THANKS!!

  404. I have a bookcase I bought on craigslist that is flat black paint. I was wondering if I could sand it down and stain over it letting some of the black shine through in an almost distressed stain look. Would something like that work? Any other recommendations for flat black furniture re-dos?

  405. I have to re-do my bathroom-the wallpaper is peeling and it looks terrible because the previous owners never installed any type of vent to remove the humidity, so the paper peeled and they just pulled it off whereever and left the rest on. Now, wallpapering a bathroom may not have been the smartest idea-but I honestly don’t know what I can do to liven up those walls after steaming off all that nasty paper. Obviously it has to be something that won’t be damaged due to the humidity and still manage to look great…any ideas would be a big help!

  406. what is a simple way for me to brighten up a dark kitchen without painting? I rent a small flat but my kitchen is a very dark space.

    I have tried a mirror but it wasn’t very effective.

    Any ideas?

  407. Any ideas to update/change one of those light fixtures that you often see hanging over a pool table — bar with 3 glass shades hanging down? I’m up with painting it black, but I’d love to somehow change the shades.

    Love your blog and I’m so envious because wine country is my most favorite place on earth! You are one lucky girl!

  408. I’m a new reader and enjoying your blog! Do you have creative, not-too-expensive ideas for a headboard (queen size) in a master bedroom? Thanks!

  409. Would do anything for lavender! My question: Have you ever attempted to build your own bookcases? I’m attempting it & was wondering if you had any advice.

  410. Thanks!! So, do you have a budget set aside solely for thrift finds, supplies, materials, etc.? Wonderful blog!!!!!!!

  411. Here’s one: Is knotty pine ever an okay style element? I love mine, but HGTV is forever poo-pooing it – painting it, disparaging it, ripping it out. I say, love your knotty pine!

  412. Love your blog and am very excited to soon be decorating my new (to me) house. The house is 20 years old and has a 2 story faux stone fireplace in the great room. I would like to replace it, but there are many other things that need to be done first. I would like to mount mirror over the mantle. My question is how to mount a mirror (if possible) into the faux stone? I really like the sunburst/starburst type mirrors, but I am guessing I will need one that is kind of chunky to go over the stone. Any ideas?

  413. how do i make beautiful soap that make people want to eat them?
    thanks for hosting the giveaway.
    songyueyu at gmail

  414. I love your blog! This sounds so simple but…I am having trouble decorating my media console and my dresser. I’m not sure what items are appropriate for both pieces of furniture. I have a large framed photo over the dresser, and of course my TV on the console. But what next?

  415. Kate,

    Thanks for doing this! I would love to make Fall/Halloween decorations this year. Aside from decorating my mantel and table, I’d like to take the decorations into the rest of my house (couch, bedroom, etc). Any suggestions?

  416. I have a bunch of sea glass that I’ve collected over the years. I want to decorate with it, but am not sure how to do it – aside from putting it in a glass vase. How would you decorate with it?

  417. Hi Kate,
    Luv your blog! I found a great old wooden headboard today and found myself wondering “What would Kate do to make this look new again”? I’m just wondering if you would be willing to come and refinish it for me if I went back and bought it? Oh & BTW, I live up in Canada. P.S. I also visited a lovely lavendar farm for the first time this week all because of a post you wrote about a few months ago. Thanks for the chance of maybe winning your great gifts.

  418. When you are ready for a decorating project, do you do tide yourself over projects until you can do the big stuff or do you just wait and do the whole thing at once? I really want to redo my bedroom but can’t afford what I want right now.
    I LOVE your blog. And Northern California is amazing (Southern California where I live is no slouch either…lol). Keep up the fantastic job!!!

  419. My girls’ room does not have floor to ceiling windows. Would shorter curtains be a mistake or should I just go with a valence type curtain? what do you think?

  420. I am working to add furniture to my home. I found a great chair at a flea market (I bought it from Jenny @ Little Green Notebook) and it needs a little love. For a newbie, how difficult is it to reupholster a chair?

    Great giveaway:)

  421. Thanks for the chance. We recently painted EVERY room in our house. I’m terrified to put any of our artwork/pictures back on the walls. How many pictures should you have in a room? How many pictures are too many in a room? Should you have a picture on every wall?

  422. I’m looking for good ideas on a growth chart/measure to track my son’s height as he grows. Something that’s not too cutesy, good for a boy, and that will survive until he has children of his own. So maybe not paper, but I’m not sure what. Any ideas? Have you done anything like this for your kids?

  423. Any suggestions for decorating with a cranberry red couch (lt beige carpet and walls?) It seems most design sites/blogs tend to steer away from the “big red couch” topic, lol. Those that touch on it, lean more towards the bright red, leather trend) Would love to hear your take on it!

  424. The giveaway sounds marvelous but I do have a big question. I have two wooden armchairs that are in need of redoing. I want them to go into the little area I call the library. However… my one issue with these chairs at the fact they have a sort of scooped out seat. It’s curved instead of flat so that it’s more comfortable. That part is also removable if that makes sense. So I would love to put a cushion there so my tush doesn’t fall asleep on me while sitting and reading in them. But I have no idea what kind of cushion. I’m at a complete loss… Do you have any suggestions about that? :p

  425. What do you feel is the main decorating “ingredient” that pulls a living room together? I love everything in my living room (well, almost. LOL! ) but just don’t feel that it all meshes. I don’t know where to start or what to do. Thanks!

  426. I love your blog and would love to attempt some of your projects! do you have any tips on how to do a project (like repainting a dresser) when i have 3 boys 4 and under to mind? or is this just wisful thinking on my part.

  427. I hope you can answer this one… the previous owner’s of my house carpeted the kitchen. But rather than use an under layer, they glued the carpet to the sub floor. Do you know of a way to remove it? Would it be okay to put something over it? Two dogs and a cat (flour and eggs etc) are no friend to carpet in the kitchen! Love your blog.

  428. What is your favorite time of the year to go to the flea market/ antique fair in your area? Is there a season when your thrifting finds are better than others?

  429. OH, the fig balsamic…I must have more! Can I be eligible if I won your wine country giveaway before?

    I have so many questions for you! One that I have been contemplating lately is cabinets. What do you think is the most “timeless” look for kitchen cabinets? Is it dark wood, painted wood, light? I currently have white, which I ADORE, but have been considering black.

  430. Hey Kate,
    I love your DIY ideas! I live in an apartment where I am not allowed to paint or make any structural changes. The walls are builder’s beige. I was wondering if you have any tips on how to incorporate color and style to a space that you can’t make any “permanent” changes to?. No matter what I do I can’t seem to get a homey feel. Thanks! Julie

  431. My fireplace has green ceramic tile surround. I would like to update the appearance. Can I paint ceramic tile? Can you help me update the appearance?

  432. I’m interested in how long it takes you to complete an average post – from project completion, to writing, and then working on your photos – how long does *fabulous* take?

  433. How do I decorate for Autumn, without it being completely obvious? I’m looking for “inspired by fall”, not 10,000 leaves and a pumpkin.

  434. Love your blog and what a fun and fantastic giveaway! We just moved in to a much larger house with lots of built in shelving. Without breaking the bank, how can I ‘fill’ up the shelves without taking on a bunch of unnecessary clutter? Thanks! Enjoy what is left of the summer!

  435. Love your blog!!!
    My question is and was inspired by you. I used my first stripper (paint stripper, all you naughty minds) and chose to use the nice citrus one that you used. I was working on a door frame that had several layers of paint on it. The stripper did a nice job but now there is while paint reside left behind. Now what? Do I sand?? Stuck tell me what to do! Thanks!

  436. Man vs. Female: My husband HAD to get a leather lazy boy rocker/recliner. Yuck, but since I have domain over every other corner of the house, I gave in to his need for comfort. I try my best to disguise it with a textured blanket and a pillow. I also have a shabby chic side table, lamp and vintage magazine rack. I’d like to spruce up the corner with somethings on the wall. My dilema is in what to hang up and where. We have a mantle on one wall and a window on the other but nothing in the corner. What to do, what to do……

  437. We have a new house, (yay!) the front portion of the house is an enclosed patio, that goes up to the front door, it’s currently set up with a riverstone path and zen garden. The problem is in addition to the front door and living room windows, there’s a pair of sliding doors that opens into the master bedroom. Actually how the wall/enclosed area is, when you open the gate, directly across from it is the HUGE slidng doors to the bedroom. There’s a nice distance between the gate opening and the doors, but it’s direct line of sight. Any idea’s on garden/patio set up that would give more privacy to the master bedroom and direct visitors towards the front door? We plan on taking out the zen style garden (which at this point looks more bedraggled than Zen) and the current path and starting from scratch. Putting in flowers, small water feature, and trellises(with climbing flowers) along the sides to make the walls higher (they’re about 6ft)–since there’s a major street nearby, we wanted plants that might also lessen/absorb some of the noise. It’s in direct sunlight, Southern California around Ventura/Oxnard area, about 5 miles from ocean. Any suggestions?

  438. What do you do if you have a mixture of styles you like? I can never pin point my decorating style because it always changes.

  439. P.S.
    I love roses, peonies, lavender, honeysuckle, jasmine, magnolia, sweatpea, herbs, crepe-mrytle-trees (sp?), the list goes on and on. We have several patios, so I can always make one more flowery, the other more practical, etc. I’m just not sure what works with what and how to make the area look cohesive.

  440. Hi CG,
    My mom and I would like to tackle the dated wallpaper from her master bathroom, but don’t know where to even start.. what are your best tips for removing stubborn wallpaper and getting a smooth finish?

  441. I just picked up an awesome wooden framed couch… which is in dire need of paint. I was thinking of doing white (heirloom white, perhaps!) I have to redo the cushions, they’re dreadful… and I was thinking about doing red fabric. My problem is… should I do a pattern red? Or a simple red? Throw pillows will likely be white and black. My walls are kind of an aqua color. My curtains are black and white. From what I can tell, patterned furniture is picking up in popularity as of late…

  442. Hi Kate!! Thanks for already answering my dilemma of the week! (dresser) It looks sooo good!! and of course it is the piece I’m most proud of in my office. Now, my question is I love my neutral tones and accenting with black accessories. However, my kitchen cabinets are still am outdated oak. My husband would like to paint them black, BUT I really think black would make the room look dark and smaller. I prefer white!! How can we determine what the best color would be?? Thanks!

  443. Well…a wine country giveaway makes me curious about what type of wine you’ve been drinking this summer. Anything good coming out of California these days?

  444. Do you have a technique for blue painter’s tape or know of a better type of tape that I can use to protect the edges of my chalkboard paint back splash when I paint my kitchen walls?

  445. I need help adding color to my very neutral home while still keeping “the flow” of my very open floor plan. Perhaps some seasonal color for fall? Something I can change easily when I grow tired of it. Thanks!

  446. What is your favorite design magazine? Thanks for the giveaway — I just love reading your blog!!

  447. Oh my gosh! I’m so excited about these goodies – I hope I win!! :) I actually DO have a question: I want to refinish my dining table (dark wood stain for table, black, aged finish for chairs) and am curious which poly do you think would hold up the best for easily the busiest table in our home? Thanks so much!!

  448. What is your favorite Sonoma County thrift store? Love your blog and your style. Thanks for all the tips, tricks and treats! (Hope that came out right!!!!)

  449. Love your website. I am a “newbie” to home decorating and love all the ideas I am getting from all the fun blogs out there. I have two pine coffee tables that are in need of updating. What are some simple steps to take to paint and transform them.

    We use to live in the East Bay and would love to drive to the Wine Country. I miss it so much. I am now in Seattle.

  450. Do you have any good book suggestions? I’ve just finished The Host and need a new book to start.

  451. I can’t wait to try some of your projects, has anyone ever offered to pay you to make them a headboard or a wallpaper wall? :D Your decor is beautiful and some projects look too hard but once you show us how to, we are itching to get started on them! I love your style, please keep sharing your great ideas!

  452. I have an antique iron twin bed that needs refinishing bad for my daughter. I want it fixed up for her room so bad! What techniques and products would you use to undertake such a job? Its rusted and rough looking but I know there is a jewel underneath it all!

  453. Hi Kate! Your blog has inspired me to start repainting some old furniture I have in my garage…one problem, a lot of it has varnishes or stains, and I don’t know the best way to go about prepping and painting them. A tutorial on that would be amazing!


  454. How are you so unlazy? I’d love to be doing projects instead of just reading about them, but somehow a combination of laziness and insecurity overtakes me every time I plan something.

    Love your blog, btw.


  455. Can you recommend a website to buy some great Seattle Skyline or Space Needle prints for some lovely art to add to my boring room?


  456. I’m in a rental, stuck with an awful popcorn textured ceiling; what do you suggest to change things up a bit? (That’s not cost prohibitive.)

  457. I just got an old amorie and my hubby acidently thew out one of the drawer fronts that fell off. what can I do with it now? It has the drawers on one side and the other side is for hanging clothes.

  458. Great blog…you’ve given me courage to do things I never would have tried.

    When you plan your projects, do you have areas that you “splurge” on and others that you save on? For example…do you only buy top grade paint but save on tools? Are there materials that you have found work only when you put the money down?

  459. I just redid my craft room. It is all very dark wood (almost black), white furniture and raspberry colored accents. What color should I paint the walls?? Should I go basic white, or accent with a bold color like tangerine or teal??

  460. I live in a small town and the goodwill here rarely gets anything decent enough to transform into anything good. Do you have any website suggestions for good furniture/home decor items? I adore crate and barrel and pottery barn but sadly can’t afford most of the items they sell…

  461. I wanna know what makes you tick. You are the essence of the everready bunny. So full of energy and projects. What inspires YOU??

    What GORGEOUS giveaways….balm for this ragged soul!

  462. You have gotten me into a distraction of visiting Goodwill stores. I can’t pass one without stopping by to look. I recently found a lovely crystal base lamp. Once cleaned up, it sparkled. But the lampshade looks squatty.

    Q: How do you decide on the right size/shape for a lampshade?

    Love the inspirations you provide with your blog!

  463. Hello CG!!! I have been reading your blog for a few weeks now andvits become a daily reading addiction. I absolutely love it…Thank you for sharing your design ideas and DIY projects!…
    I am very excited about this giveaway since i love to cook a delish meal accompanied by a great salad where i can try a different cheese, olive oil and a nice bottle of wine…
    My design dilema is my guest bathroom. I just bought my 1st home and its def a project. My bathroom has those tiled ceiling which i totally hate. Specially since it seems like parts of it is starting to collapse. Do you have any ideas as to what is the easiest DIY way to remove these tiles? And what alternative materials would look elegant to redo the ceiling? Thanks again for the opportunity to enter in this giveaway… ~ Kenia~

  464. I’m currently redecorating my living and dining rooms. Do you have any tips on how to use both stained and painted furniture pieces in the same room?

  465. What is a good trim color for interior doors, base molding, etc.? There are so many whites and off whites to choose from. What are your favorites?

  466. What would you do to keep your home looking current and fresh if the latest design style or trend wasn’t to your taste?

  467. Excellent timing! I was just staring at my bedroom last night and wondering… what paint color will go with and show off our log bed? My husband MADE (cut down the trees and all!) the most gorgeous log bed as a wedding gift for me. Our bedroom has been a turquoise blue (a cool retreat) and is now apricot (warm, inviting to toddlers!), and I’m ready for a third color. I like a modern look, but can we achieve that with a log bed? Thanks!!

  468. This came at perfect timing! I was actually going to your site today to ask you this question anyways! I have an old dining room table in serious need of a new life. Most of my furniture is espresso-ish color. But this table is a light green with a natural wood top. A cheap set that got handed down. I want to make it more modern, and need ideas. I’ve never done anything like this before, but your website has inspired me! :) I was thinking of painting the chairs and the dining legs espresso and the table top white (like the rustic off white you see in kitchens). or vice versa. And then some fun funky fabric for the chairs. But my mom thinks it would be too much of a contrast. I wouldn’t even know what type of paint to get either. This might be a disaster waiting to happen, but I figure I don’t have much to lose. Thanks!!

  469. Hi! Love your blog! I have a kitchen question! My entire house is decorated in blue, green, cream, tan, white and yellow with white and dark wood furniture. My kitchen, however, is some kind of oak cabinetry (I think-kind of yellowy) with forrest green laminate counter tops. Would painting the cabinets cream be just too much or make the house seem too monotone and sterile? The adjacent living room has white furniture and light cream/yellow walls (Navajo White-Ben Moore). I was thinking cream cabinets, some kind of granite and a tile backsplash-those small rectangle glass looking tiles with a blue/green tint. Help!:)

  470. Always love reading your blog! I have a converted attic bedroom with dormers on both sides. I can send pictures, but I have no clue how to decorate this room! To make matters worse, we have a window behind our bed, which is completely useless to us. A headboard wouldn’t be high enough and since the room is smaller, curtains wouldn’t look right. Any ideas on how to disquise the window?

  471. I want to paint the trim in our home theatre room — currently, it’s a glaring white. I have seen magazine photos of rooms where the trim is painted the same color as the walls using a trim paint with more of a sheen than the walls. I want the trim to “disappear” and would love your advice on this. My wall color is Desert Shadows (BM 2114-30).

  472. Curtains. They are my stumbling block. I feel like the ones I put up never look quite right. We have very large windows and I seem to lack the knowledge of how wide the curtains should be, the right way to hang them, wether to use the rod pocket or clip rings….
    Ah! HELP!

    And I have 2 weeks left until baby comes and am craving oil & vinegar after reading your post. YUM!

  473. Hi CG! Love your blog! My question is, what method do you find works best for scenting your home? I’ve tried candles, oil diffusers, and reed diffusers. All of these options work okay, but only temporarily. I find that when I come home on the second or third day, the smell is not as strong or fragrant. We don’t have pets and are not smokers, so I don’t need to mask any smells. I just really enjoy a pleasant aroma when I walk through the door! The sweet smell of apples, clean crisp linen, etc. Any suggestions?! Thanks!

  474. I have RA and fibromyalgia (among other things!) Can you give me some easy decorating ideas I can do with my limited mobility and short bursts of energy?

  475. I have a question in regards to spray paint. Whenever I try to spray paint something I always get runny drips on what I’m painting and it gets glued to whatever surface I’m working on. I’ve tried different lengths away from the items I try to paint but always end up with the same outcome. What am I doing wrong? Thank you!

  476. you have inspired me to take a trip to napa next summer! my question is how much mixing can i do with metal finished on lights. many of my lights are ORB do i have to continue it throughout the house or can i use chrom/brushed nickel? also if i do use orb can i still mix in other fixtures in the kitchen and bathroom? thanks for the help!

  477. What an amazing gift! A wine question for you: I love buttery chardonnay which comes from your neck of the woods… What makes a chard more buttery? Is it the grapes?

    DIY question too: someone earlier mentioned popcorn cielings – I have them too :( is there something I can do to alter them?

    and last one, a travel question: my mom and I are traveling for our first time to Europe. I’d love to bring home an inexpenive souvenir for the house – something to decorate with but what should I be on the look out for? Any suggestions?

    Thank you for this fab giveaway and for sharing your thoughts and time with us. I look forward to seeing an email in my inbox… Like it’s a note just for me :)

  478. Hi Kate! In your experience, what have been the best phrases to use when searching Craigslist for furniture pieces?

  479. Great giveaway! Thanks!
    We built a timberframe home with a curved staircase. The curved wall is in my livingroom and I’m struggling with knowing what kind of furniture to but against that wall. Right now I have an old love seat there but wonder if I should purchase two chairs and a small table for that spot, or ????? Any and all suggestions would be appreciated! Thank you.

  480. I have a very small apartment, but my kitchen is pretty big. I’d say it’s at least 24′ by 20′. I need a cute way to store some stuff because I have very limited cupboard space and one of my longest walls coincides with the roof, so it’s very slanted. I can’t put anything higher than 3 feet on that wall. Do you have any suggestions for a piece of furniture or some other storage that would work in that area, but still look cute in a kitchen? It’s really the only wall I have open. The others are covered by doorways to the bathroom, laundry room, living room and one is covered in cupboards. The only other space I have is taken up by my appliances. It’s a very weird set up. Since I rent, I can’t do any renovation, but I can’t take the clutter anymore! Thank you for your time!

  481. Hi Friend, We are empty nesters and are downsizing into a garden apartment. We loved your Nantucket Grey so much that we’ve repainted the LARGE living, dining,kitchen and hallway with it. There is a bath right off the living room that is painted in 2’x2′ deep blue and medium blue blocks with white left between the blocks and I need to have a suggestion for the new paint color, please.
    Since it can be seen from the living area if the door is not closed, I’d like a co-ordinating color maybe lighter than the NG. We would love any help you maybe able to give us. Ann

  482. Which print magazines/catalogs/books would you suggest for inspiration? I’ve thumbed through dozens at my library and bookstores, but nothing comes close to the CG website for me. I’d like to create an inspiration file, but don’t really know where to begin.

    I also have some trouble visualizing a project; seeing beyond what I see. When you come across a flea market piece, how do you decide whether it’s a real find, or just junk? Thanks!!

  483. Hi!

    First let me say that both my husband and I love reading your blog and getting affordable, doable projects. You waltzed into our lives at just the right time almost a year ago when we bought our first home together. You have helped to inspire many rooms in our house and I just want to say “thanks!!”

    I would love to ask you a question!!! What about those oh-so-lovely half circle windows that are above half the regular windows in my house? How do you treat these windows? Do you ignore them and leave them bare? Do you bring your curtains higher to include it? I can’t visualize what I want it to look like!! Help??


  484. My husband (of two months!) and I are in a rental house. Even though I am doing my best to make it feel like a home there are just a lot of projects I’d like to take on to make it look more like us. First of all wallpaper over plaster walls! Can I say a big ICK?! I’d love to remove the wallpaper then texture and paint the plaster walls? Suggestions, ideas? How can I make this easier?

    Also I am working on a few other projects that involve spray paint. When I go to purchase spray paint, what is the best brand? What will work the best and be the best bang for my buck?


  485. My dilema..keeping my daughters room clean. I need to get her organized. It’s not really a remodeling project, but rather an organization project. I need to figure out how to keep stuff in it’s place (creating a place first) and help her (6 yo) have a place to put them back to when she’s finished playing.

  486. I have a color very similar to the nantucket grey on my walls in my family room. I have 2 slip covered sofas in white and a natural jute rug underneath. The only color in the room comes from the art on the walls. My problem is finding throw pillows that will carry these colors over to the sofas and add a little zing to the room. I would love any suggestions you might have. Martha

  487. I need help deciding how to fix an ugly eyesore at the top of my landing. Two windows are dark trim, but the third window leading down the kitchen staircase is painted. How do I paint and dress up with window treatments to salvage this ugly eyesore?

  488. Here is a random question, and not sure if you’ve ever tackled this project: We are wanting to put up chair rail along our stairs and hall. Friends of ours said “OH MY, don’t ever attempt to do that yourself!” Our house is a little… unique… in that things are not square, flush, or straight. Do you have any tips on this? Also, I have read a number of articles that are against painting the area above the chair rail darker than below…But I really want to go for the white ‘wainscoting’ look! Thoughts/suggestions?

  489. I’m curious to know how you budget for your projects–for the DIY materials as well as for ready-made purchases like pillows and furniture. What recommendations do you have for those of us who are trying to decorate and redecorate within the household budget? There are so many projects I’d like to try, but it always seems so expensive to tackle them, even going with DIY and recycled/repurposed items.

  490. Our dining room has a sliding door that goes out to our back yard. What do you think would be the best way to tie the two spaces together?

  491. My question: I have to replace my kitchen in my Colonial style house. I need to sell this house in the next ten years. What style cabinets, etc should I put in to appeal to the potential buyers of this house? Painted cabinets? What color? Wood cabinets? Thanks Ann

  492. I have 2 fuse boxes (electrical panels) that are NOT hidden–one is in my WC and the other is in my oldest daughter’s room. I want to cover them but still keep them accessible, and I was thinking of making a magnetic board (maybe on a hinge) encased in some nice molding. I DON’T WANT TO ASK MY HUSBAND for help on this project. Would you be able to help me? :)) I know you’re somewhere up here in NoCal by me–could we do this together?

  493. How do you spray paint a mirror without getting pain onto the glass itself? Especially if the inner edge is curved? Also, when repainting furniture, how do I keep the surface smooth? I repainted my dresser with latex paint (I primed first) and the texture is very pebbly. I am wondering if it was too hot out when I painted…

  494. Could you recommend some “starter” books or reading material on design, or DIY techniques for re-upholstering, painting stripping… I’m thinking just the basics, a solid foundation for those looking to learn?

    Thanks for the giveaway, and any answers!

  495. I love love love this giveaway!!
    I just bought a new condo and I am having a really hard time decidng how to paint it let alone what colors! It is a very open floor plan and I have very simple accessorites and furnature. I would love to post pics if you could help!!

  496. I need help! How do you pick complementary colors? My style is very simliar to yours (elegant traditional with warm, luxurious touches I like to call it). My hubs and I bought our first place in June, and love the huge open space that is our living & dining room + kitchen, but don’t know how to make the space feel cohesive without feeling matchy-matchy. I decided to paint the walls and ceiling shades of lavender and now all I can think of to go with it is more lavender and purple. We love blues and greens, but can’t picture these colors matching. I also don’t want the space to feel uber feminine by going with say a pink. Im lost. Please help.

  497. I would love your opinion on a design for a sea glass mosaic. I used to be fortunate enough to live in central CA and was able to hunt for sea glass. I now am so far removed, but would love to make a beautiful mosaic with my sea glass to remind me of the lovely CA coast. I have an old window with 9 panes that I would like to adhere the glass to. Any suggestions??

  498. Can you help me with decorating ideas for styling a mantle that’s on a wall with a vaulted ceiling? I feel like what I put on the mantle or above the mantle gets lost in the giantness of the wall.

  499. I purchased some bedroom furniture for my little girl’s room off Craigslist. It is all solid wood and painted a cream color. It needs to be cleaned up a bit and has some scuffs, some major and some minor. I’d like to lighten up the color. I’m thinking Rustoleum Heirloom White. My questions….do I need to sand it first? Do I need to prime it? Is spray paint the best option? Also, I’m going to keep the hardware but it’s dirty. What is the best way to clean it? Thanks!

  500. Hi Kate! I love your blog & look forward to reading your entries whenever you post. We are a fairly new couple with two little ones, & we’ve recently moved into a new home that needs a lot of new furniture & decor. I’m not really sure what my “style” is, but I love all the projects that you’ve done on your furniture pieces & in your home. What are your favorite magazines & websites that you look to for ideas? And for someone that is very new to home decorating, which ones would you recommend? I’ve been wanting to buy furniture & start decorating, but I’m really not sure where to start. Thanks for this chance at a wonderful giveaway.

  501. Tiyr giveaway is so generous! My question: How do you store/rotate your seasonal decor? I have a very small home but I absolutely love decorating for each season – ESPECIALLY FALL! – and storage is becoming a challenge.

  502. Do you have some great closet organization tips or organization tips in general? My fiance and I have two closets that face each other in a narrow part of our bedroom. If we aren’t diligent about organizing, the two somehow meet in the middle. It is a rental that already has some built-ins in the closet, but they seem to have been done clumsily and without much thought to how the closet would actually be used.

    Thanks for such a neat giveaway!

  503. Hi,
    Thanks for the giveaway and I would like to ask a wine-related question. What is your go to white wine for every occasion? I tend to stick with a certain Pinot Grigio but would like to broaden my horizons. Possibly get into light reds as well. Any suggestions? Of course, if I won, the book in the giveaway would probably also answer these questions. :) Thanks again!

  504. My house is very open– dining room, front room, and kitchen aren’t separated by walls. I think the dining area ends up looking very insignificant as a result. Do you have some ideas to give the dining area more oomph without overshadowing the rest of the rooms?

  505. Hello! Are you going to organize another meet and greet type thing for your lovely readers? I had so much fun at the Petaluma Antique Fair – I’d love another “insider” view around wine country! Have a lovely weekend :)

  506. Great giveaway!!!

    What’s your best advice for conquering clutter in a small space?

    Im constantly working to fight the pile of papers on my desk, counter, coffee table, etc. mail, bills, magazines, etc. i have bins, folders, etc but it still is messy!!! Paper isn’t my only clutter either! LOL

  507. I have a neutral sofa and loveseat that are very comfortable, and still in excellent shape except that the piping around the seat cushions is pulling away in spots. I have repaired them once already, and don’t feel that further repairs would hold up very long. I have thought of recovering just the seat cushions and making throw pillows in a coordinating fabric. What do you think of this idea, and could you suggest some sites that might offer inspiration?

  508. I don’t have any tool kit but would like to invest in my first set. Is there one that you cannot live without? Like a dremmel rotary? Or Rotozip? Or…. ?

    Thank you,

  509. I would love some help decoratng the inside of the 1970’s split foyer -you know the look approx 6 steps up and six steps down to family room. Just a tiny little square but does have one outlet. What would I put above the door ? How can I decorate but yet make it functional as three teenage boys, two dogs and a husband go out the door and use the stairs. I just can’t seem to pull any look together

    Thanks for the great give-away ! Love your blog and admire your sophisticated talent

  510. Love this giveaway! My biggest home decor nightmare is 2 florescent lite boxes. We have a 35 foot long, 3.5 foot wide hallway that leads from our den to all of the 5 bedrooms. It’s so dark, we have to keep some lights on 24/7. We have two 48″ lights, one at each end of the hallway. The “blue” light drives me nuts and the blah oak finish on the boxes are nothing to be thrilled with. I have had a hard time finding a paint color to look nice with the light color and just the plainness of the boxes too. My hubby wants the lightening to be energy efficient since they have to be on all the time. Sky light is not an option at that particular area of our roof. Any ideas and help would be so appreciated. Thanks for all your inspiration.

  511. Great giveaway! My question is…We have a very small bedroom which right now doubles as my husband’s office. We are currently working on an office for him in the basement. Do you have any tips on inexpensively making our bedroom feel more cozy and inviting?

  512. I love wine country, wish I lived there. My question is, what is the easiest way to make an apt look like a classy/ hip home (on a budget) and not look like a dorm room?

    Thank You

  513. We have dogs whom we love. We have their crates in our family room. How can we make them less “ugly”. What would you suggest??

  514. I have a solid wood dresser that I am going to paint and use as a buffet in the dining room. What is the best products to be sure it looks its best!

  515. Does your husband love your style, and does he participate in the decorating at all? Do you two ever disagree over decor?
    – Danielle
    other-option AT hotmail DOT com

  516. I was wondering if you ever take peoples pictures and help them with their rooms. I have a friend who has an interesting room with a TV console and it needs re-configuring. I am usually pretty good at this but with a built in wood box and free standing fireplace- I am stumped on this one!

    Would love to have my name in your hat for the sweet giveaway!

  517. WOW you have a lot of comments already!!!!
    Yes, you are a lucky girl living where you do! I’m in Texas and it’s like a billion degrees right now. No seriously, it’s 102 ugh!
    OK, so here’s my question……we are updating our 70’s ranch style home and want to know the best way to remove popcorn ceiling? Oh, and then what’s the best thing to put up in it’s place like updated texture or something else?
    Thanks for being an awesome blogger and posting frequently!!!
    I hope I win, I hope I win, I hope I win, I win, I hope I win, I hope I win, I hope I win, I win!!!!!!

  518. My partner has a 3 yoa son from a previous relationship who visits every other week. We’ve recently been approved to accept foster children, any gender from 0-5 yoa. My question is how to incorporate a bedroom for both of them? How do you decorate for a 3 yoa boy and a complete unknown? The room is a small 8×10 and a complete and total blank slate. I like clean, simple, classic lines and budget definately matters. Any suggestions? Thanks!

  519. Great giveaway! Lately, I have had bathrooms on the mind. What do you feel is a popular yet traditional countertop to use? We currently have builder’s grade culture marble and I am looking for something a little more design-forward. Love your blog!

  520. Is there a variety of lavender that would do well in Phoenix’s hot dry heat? I bought a couple from the local store and they both died when the heat set in.

  521. There are so many things I would like to accomplish in my home, and I really love your style. My problem is my attention span; I have hoards of unfinished projects!

    How do you keep your motivation to start and complete a DIY project, especially when it’s a tedious task? Also, if you have started a said-project and don’t want your husband to know about it, where do you stash it? :)

  522. Hmm… How do you stay motivated to keep doing stuff? I have so many project ideas, and even buy the stuff to do them, but then lose motivation to actually complete them. Where do you find the energy???