How to Combine Traditional with Contemporary Decor

Today I am sharing how I combine the styles of traditional and contemporary/modern in a design plan.

It’s fairly simple. When trying to combine traditional and contemporary designs, I like to keep all of the furniture lines clean and sleek. Then, I will keep all of the textiles and patterns traditional. I find that when I do these two things in a design, it turns out just right!

As you look at this dining room design board that I created below, notice that: 1) The furniture lines are sleek, clean, modern, and contemporary. 2) The fabrics, textiles, and wallpaper are traditional. You can create a happy mix of the two with your accessories and accent pieces.

Click this photo to find the sources for everything pictured on my commissionable links.

This dining table is a high-gloss white lacquer. Notice that the edges are very modern and angular. The chairs have a traditional rattan caning material, but the lines of the arms are very contemporary.

Above is the color palette used for this space. As always, everything pictured in this design has been linked on my You can find all of the commissionable links there.

Click the photo above to see sources and commissionable links for everything pictured.

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What Are Your Thoughts on Wallpaper?

Wallpaper has come back in a big way! Some of us are thinking, “Wait, didn’t I spend hours of my life removing wallpaper?” You did, but what goes around comes around. And it’s baaaaack! Other than someone who might be considering moving soon, I say bring it on!

Wallpaper can add character, interest, and personality to any space – even your laundry room. In the design plan below, I am showing a wallpaper pattern that I picked out for a bedroom. It has a lighter background and uses several colors in the design. I feel that gives it more flexibility in furnishings for the space, but also if you want to change bedding, etc, in the future, you will have more options with a wallpaper pattern like this.

I’ve linked all of the sources for what you see in this picture on my You can find the commissionable links there by clicking HERE or on the photos.

The colors used for inspiration for this space are below. Even if you are not painting the walls of a room, I recommend that you have a color palette that you use. This will help you when you are picking out furniture, bedding, and artwork.

The color palette, wallpaper, and furnishings of this space were inspired by a pastoral, French country feel. These are heirloom, classic designs that don’t go out of style and can stand the test of time.

So what are your thoughts? Are you ready to wallpaper a room (or two) in your home? Or are the memories of 1980s wallpaper removal still too fresh to consider it?

You can click the photos to be find sources for everything pictured here.

Tips for Designing Bedrooms in Modern Times

What if I told you that you no longer have to commit to an entire bedroom suite like our parents did? Gone are the days of walking into a furniture store to buy a matching bed, dresser, and nightstands. You will enjoy your bedroom space more and find it more relaxing if it has a “collected” feel to it.

I want to very quickly show you one example of how you can buy new pieces that don’t “match” and combine them with antiques, as well as modern pieces. The end result is a space that will reflect your individual personality and veer away from the cookie cutter bedroom suite of decades gone by.

Sources for all of these pieces are linked on my Click the picture to see more.

The first suggestion I have for creating a cohesive, collected look is to be intentional with your color palette. Search for and save a color palette that you like on Pinterest so that you can easily access it while shopping. Another option is to keep your paint chips in your wallet so that you can reference them quickly.

You will want to stick to your color palette for things like art, bedding, rugs, and furniture. If you wander from your color palette, the item you choose will boldly look out of place. You’ll find it visually disruptive to have it in your space, and you’ll become frustrated with your design.

The next tip I have is to pay attention to symmetry and scale. For example, if you are trying not to use nightstands that match perfectly, I suggest that they have something in common to tie them together. They should have similar size and color to balance the design. You don’t want one nightstand to be white and 30″ x 36″, while the other one is stained brown and is 28″ x 18″.

Those are all of the quick tips that I have for you today! I have linked sources for all of the pieces above on my page. You can find all of the commissionable links there. To make sure that you don’t miss out on future design advice, you can subscribe to my blog, follow me on Instagram, and follow me on

Click the photo to see all of the sources for these pieces on my

One Color Palette, Two Spaces, Two Budgets

Hello! Just wanted to post really quickly with an example of how one color palette can be used in two different spaces and two different budgets. I put together the color palette below for someone that requested a natural, yet modern, look.

These colors may be altered by your screen. Please view them in person before purchasing.

In the first space I used the color palette for an apartment that came mostly furnished. The budget for this space was around $1600. Click HERE to find the sources for the items below.

In the second space I have again used this color palette for a living room. The budget was more substantial for this space. Click HERE to find the sources for the pieces below.

All of the sources for both of the spaces can be found on my You can find my commissionable links there, or you can click on either picture to be taken there directly.

Teen Girl Bedroom

The last time we updated our daughter, Samantha’s, bedroom was when she was 2 years old, and she was transitioning from a crib to a full size bed. At the time we invested in some yellow and green Pottery Barn bedding. I even did a yellow faux finish on the walls. That shows you how long ago that was – faux finishes on the walls were all the rage. LOL

Samantha is starting high school, and we recently did a room update for her. We kept her white full sized bed, dresser, bookshelf, and nightstand. Her bedroom is on the small side, so we didn’t want to upgrade to a queen bed and lose any of the space that she has.

Benjamin Moore Dove Wing 960

We decided to paint a neutral color that would stand the test of time, so we went with Benjamin Moore Dove Wing. I absolutely love the color on her walls. It’s a very light warm gray. Not only will the new paint color work if she decides to change her bedding colors in the future, but we are hoping to sell our house in 4 years. Buyers will prefer the neutral color over something else.

Samantha found some Pottery Barn bedding in a blush color that she liked, the Monique Lhuillier Blossom Embroidered Quilt & Shams. I have purchased a lot of Pottery Barn bedding over the years, and it is incredibly well made. I have never been disappointed in the quality of their bedding. In addition to the blush colored quilt and shams, we added a lightweight gray comforter from Amazon. Samantha is cold-natured, so she can pull the gray comforter up when she needs it. (Yes, sometimes even on hot summer nights. That’s our girl!)

I found a gray curtain on clearance at World Market that pulled in the gray from the comforter. We added in some blush pink accessories like the fan from Home Goods.

We had a lot of fun putting Samantha’s new room together. She works really hard at school and all of her extracurricular activities. I’m glad she has a space that she can relax in during her high school years.

Haint Blue Porch Ceiling

We recently painted our porch ceiling Haint Blue. Haint Blue porch ceilings are a long-standing tradition in the south. Haint is the combination of the words Haunted and Saint. In other words, a Haint is a ghost or an evil spirit. Haint Blue has been said to repel evil spirits from entering a home. Some people also believed that it kept the bugs away, which can be bothersome on southern porches on summer evenings.

Haint Blue is a hue that can vary depending on who you’re asking. It can also vary regionally. For our ceiling we selected one of the most popular Haint Blue colors, Benjamin Moore Palladian Blue, HC-144. Southern Living agrees that Palladian Blue is one of the best choices for a Haint Blue ceiling.

Popular Porch Ceiling Colors from Benjamin Moore’s website.

Palladian Blue is a blueish-green. It looks different shades on our porch throughout the day. A lot of the accents on our house trim are beige, so a baby blue color like Clear Skies might’ve looked garish. A color like Clear Skies would also look better on a porch ceiling in a coastal region of the South.

This porch ceiling from Bless’Er House was an inspiration point when I was picking out a color.

We recently refreshed our whole porch, but painting the ceiling was my favorite part.

To learn more on other Southern Traditions you should know about, you can read my post HERE.

Budget Friendly Porch Makeover

If you are refreshing or redecorating any outside space, the perfect time to do so is after the 4th of July. As soon as Independence Day is over, retailers shift gears into back-to-school, fall, and Halloween. Everything is deeply discounted at stores and online. Everything that I added to our porch this year was on clearance.

Our local Homegoods has a corner of the store with miscellaneous clearance items. I found these outdoor throw pillows that ended up being $4.50 each. The navy seat cushions were $10 each. And the rug was a great deal, too. To compare, a nationwide big box store also had their outdoor cushions on clearance, but their “clearance” price was $35 for one seat cushion.

Lowe’s Home Improvement had an incredible selection of outdoor items on clearance. Most of their throw pillows ranged from $4-$6. Since I already purchased some, I skipped on those. But I did pick up a white garden stool/side table from Lowe’s. They also had plants on clearance. I picked up some 8 packs of Caladiums for $3 each. That’s like $0.38 each! It doesn’t cool off in our area until November, so these still have several months until they don’t look good anymore.

Hosta, Creeping Jenny, Polka Dot Plant, and Caladium

Other places where I found outdoor clearance items were World Market and Hobby Lobby. The wreath on the front door was originally $70 at Hobby Lobby, and I picked it up for $17.50.

The one change that I made to the front porch that wasn’t a clearance item was to paint the ceiling Haint Blue. Painting porch ceilings Haint Blue is a southern tradition. I’ll be blogging more about that soon, but I have to say that I abosolutely love it. If I was only able to make one change, I’d pick painting the ceiling.

From Homegoods: White Lantern, Pillows, Cushions, rug.

From Lowe’s: Plants, white garden stool.

From World Market: Small blue lantern.

From Hobby Lobby: Wreath.

Everything else we already owned.

Plants in front of our porch create privacy from the street.

The 50 Week China Cabinet Makeover

There really isn’t a solid reason why, but this china cabinet took me 50 weeks to finish. I wasn’t feeling a big creative push when I started working on it, and I think at the time we were transitioning out of an antique store we were in. I.e. I didn’t have a big need for additional inventory. Regardless of why, it actually took 50 weeks from start to finish.

Here it is “before”…


As always, a little repair work was needed before painting.

// there are a few things that lead me to believe this is from the 1920s – 30s. I think it has some definite Art Deco elements like the original handles on the bottom, the feet, and the trim work. (And who said I don’t use my degree on a daily basis?! Those Furniture History classes come in handy more than I ever thought they would.)

So after 50 weeks, here is the after.

Obviously there was a color change. I made my own “chalky” paint from scratch using Benjamin Moore’s Danville Tan. Painting was necessary mainly because of the repair work needed. I also changed the glass on the front. I created a “mercury glass” type of finish instead of clear glass. There are lots of methods for creating mercury glass if you search for it on Pinterest. It’s not my first time doing this technique, but a word to the wise: Just like a crackle finish will never turn out the same way twice, mercury glass will never turn out the same way twice. Let’s just say I thought long and hard, was definitely sure it was what I wanted to do, took some long, calming breaths, and said a prayer before I started it.

I’m happy the “mercury glass” turned out well!

It would have been fine without the mercury glass finish, but it didn’t seem quite complete to me without it.

The handles on the bottom are unique. I’m all about using the original hardware whenever possible.

Here’s the before and after…


What a big difference! I know it’s hard to tell from the pictures how big this is. It’s only about 64″ tall, which is on the smaller side for a china cabinet. That’s typical for the time period it’s from though. I can totally see this being used as anything from bathroom storage to a bar or bookshelf.

// next time…

Soft Aqua Dresser

Another new dresser! I don’t know why I’m so bad about showing these off to everyone once they’re finished. I’m really going to try to be better about that.

Here’s a small dresser that I picked up a while ago. As always, it needed some repair work. I don’t tend to paint quality wood furniture unless there’s something wrong with it. I do make exceptions for “ugly” furniture that needs a makeover though.

I usually try to paint furniture in neutral colors so that more people will be able to use them. But I have this one particular blue color that I love to use. It’s a custom color that I make. I make my own “chalky” paint. There are recipes galore on Pinterest.

I’ve had a hard time capturing the true color in photos. I like to describe it as the perfect, soft aqua/blue/teal color.

I’m happy that I was able to keep the original hardware. It still looks great, and it’s usually higher quality craftsmanship that what is currently available.

This is fairly small, just 35″ tall. Perfect for a guest bedroom or even bathroom storage.

I also just finished an Art Deco era china cabinet that I’ll post about soon. I seriously started working on it 50 weeks ago – almost a year! I’m glad it is done.

Dresser Makeover, Hardware Too!

Sometimes I forget exactly how many pieces of furniture have come and gone through our hands. It doesn’t seem like that many until I start scrolling through the files on our computer. It’s a lot, y’all. There’s a lot of learning and hands-on experience that have resulted from doing so many pieces, but from time to time I still come across problems that need to be solved.

Here’s a dresser that I just finished. Sorry, I don’t have a great before picture, but it’s the one on the right. It was blah, painted brown, and nothing to be desired. It’s wood, but the wood was painted over with a brown color. Not sure why.
I decided to go with gray and blue. I’m holding off on the “after” picture because I want to talk about my hardware problem first. I may have mentioned it before but ALWAYS, for the love of Pete, ALWAYS count the hardware before you buy it. Why? I promise you that you WILL spend more on new hardware than you did on the piece. And I also promise you that you won’t be able to find new hardware that matches up to old holes. Trust me.  So anyway, I counted the hardware, but failed to notice that some of it was damaged. Take a look:
Pretty brass hardware (y’all know it’s back, right?) with some faux tortoise cabochon type thingies. Except, some of the cabochons were broken and some were missing completely. First of all, let me be completely honest: The cabochons were ugly and plastic-y feeling. But I would have TOTALLY left them on there if they had all been intact. Not gonna lie – I would not have spent a dime to replace them. 
However, that wasn’t an option. I played around with several things, but I ended up coming up with this:
I married the old, original drawer pull with a new, pretty knob. And….I love it. But wait, there’s more. The next problem? Screws. Yep, turns out it was annoyingly difficult to find screws that worked. I got some blank stares at a local hardware store, and one morning I had two employees at Home Depot finally help me put together something that worked. I needed 8 screws exactly, but…
Instead I got 7 plus this screw ^ that someone didn’t turn into a screw. (Another trip back to Home Depot.)
Ok, finally. Here’s the after:



The hardware certainly wasn’t an issue I anticipated, but I think it completely transformed the piece. What do you think?