Tag Archives: home decor

How to Marry a Millionaire {The Apartment}

I LOVE old movies

As they go, however, this one isn’t on any of my top lists or anything (not much of a story), other than the fact that the cast is amazing – Lauren Bacall (gorgeous, smart), Marilyn Monroe and Betty Grable (who was already a little old for this role) as gold-diggers in one of the first-ever wide-screen CinemaScope films in 1953.  So it is beautiful to watch.

Naturally, the women are after money (men with money, specifically), but end up falling in love.   Oops.  I just spoiled it for you, didn’t I?

But in their pursuit of sugar-daddies, they lease this magnificent New York apartment.  The furnishings are pure mid-century-classic-dreamy.


Over the course of the film, they sell and re-buy the furnishings repeatedly as money is needed to keep up their charade.  But the lamp…the lamp stays.  And I am in love with that lamp.  If I could get my hands on it, I’d build a house around it.

Colors-so-lovely: Yellow-orange bench seating and throw pillows. Buttercup yellow couches, cool blue-gray floors and walls, beige and plum-brown throw-pillows.

Everything else was easy-come, easy-go, but the lamp always stayed!  I totally understand why.  :)

The Coffee Table

It’s green.

This ex-NFL football-player-turned-pastor gave DP and Tara this ornate, round coffee table (on which I broke the glass while it was in the mezzanine at church when I dropped my computer on it, corner first, yikes…was removing shards of glass for months from my little Dell) and one day, after we exchanged the beloved red couch for the sectional in the family room, I realized I needed a round coffee table, really needed one.  I called Tara to ask for this one (knowing I’d have to replace the glass), she said yes and then it sat in my garage until I knew exactly what the heck to do with it.  It had a beautiful dark brown finish, with slight gilding to accent the carvings and it is as heavy and solid as can be – as if it were made for an NFL football player.  But I didn’t want it to look like it was made to look, for crying out loud!  I sought to humble it a little.  *smile


during the sanding process

Plus, I’d been looking to cheer up my surroundings a bit since the red couch was gone (*sniff, sniff) – needed something outside the ordinary.  For the sectional is perfectly neutral – just waiting to be told what to do.

I considered painting the table white to add brightness, then asked my daughters and sister-in-law for their advice: should I paint it dark or white or maybe a zany color that I love?  And the resounding consensus was that anything can be re-painted so I should use a color I adore.  And so I did.


the first coat goes on…{paint was custom-mixed from a piece of grandbebe artwork right off my wall}

After I painted it, I looked around the house to see bits of this color was everywhere!

It is the color of my computer and a jacket I love.  It is part of the Luke’s HF green in designs and artwork on my walls by my kids when they were little and my grandbebes now.  It is the color of my notebooks and planner and the fresh limes on my counter and the inside of the avocado I had for lunch recently. It is the color of some handpainted stoneware saucers I have and most anything printed by Heaven Fest during the past year.  It is spring green – the leaf, tender and moist,  just bursting forth from the bud when you have all but given up hope of winter ever being over.


Are those fingerprints on there already?!,” you ask.  Is the sky blue?  Is there a God in heaven?  Do I have 6 grandbebes?  Did I have about 60 people at my house for a party last night?  Yes.  There are fingerprints on the new coffee table already: the sign of a lived-in, loved-in home. ;p

It is what Candi coined as “Jeanie green.”

My coffee table is a raucous green.  And now I must add bright-colored throw pillows and move the sepia family tree art and the antique intaglias from the stair wall.  Yes, this one simple act now requires more change, as almost any project upon which I embark does.  But I will be energized and happy in my family room, where delightful things always happen!  And where the coffee table is, unapologetically, green.


UPDATE 09.19.10 omygoodness!

I was reading an article in the Traditional Home magazine I got in the mail this week (October issue) and there was an article about designer Tobi Fairley using earth-friendly tactics such as salvaging discarded furniture and decorative items to be as environmentally-friendly as possible.  Of the design featured she said, “People are looking for ways to take older things and make them fresh again.  Recycling makes for more interesting interiors.  Nobody else is going to have your grandmther’s furniture painted chartruese.  That is going to add so much personality to the space.”

Good.  I needed that confirmation that I didn’t just fall right off the deep end!


I painted white numbers, 1 – 5, on the black breakfast bar stools the kids painted for me for Mother’s Day.  I used 5 different fonts and blew them up to about 250 points, but then I decided to make them all about 4″ high and that seemed to actually disappate some of the uniqueness of the variety of fonts, but I still like ’em.  I waxed them for protection (Minwax for Furniture – the old-fashioned way women used to do their furniture). 

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You’d think the grandkids would want to sit on them in the order of their birth, but you’d be wrong.  Everyone wants the big numbers now.

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All 5 of the little bebes came over Saturday night and filled the house with happy chaos.  Averi had to go home at 10 o’clock, but the other four spent the night.

At exactly 6:03 a.m., they jumped on to the bed, surrounding me (maybe “swarming” is more accurate) and started saying “Wake up, Nonna!  Wake up!”  And, “It’s gonna be a great day!  Wake up!”  Hunter demonstrated for me how to wipe the sleep from my eyes by twisting my fists over them.  They jumped and jumped until I agreed to get up.

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We started with cereal as an appetizer, followed by cheesy scrambled eggs as the main dish.  Poppa chose the cereal, but my grandbebes all love my eggs.


Somehow we were able to get them all presentable for church (almost had a disaster when Gemma, in her pretty pink polka-dot dress, got into a jar of Vicks…yikes!) and actually arrived on time!

“But from everlasting  to everlasting, the LORD’S love is with those who fear Him, and His righteousness with their children’s children…”  Psalm 103.17 NIV

Counting my blessings (as well as my breakfast-bar stools)…Jeanie

NOTE TO SELF:  Re-surface that blasted breakfast bar!!!

Orange you glad?

PLEASE NOTE: I actually started this post January the 29th.  I was so excited about doing orange stuff in the middle of winter.  Some of the zeal has dissipated – obvious by how long it has taken me to post this, but I am still very fond of tangerine and clementine and hot peach and orange crush and all things brilliantly hued in various forms of red with yellow.  I am just late saying so…Nonetheless…

I went on an orange kick. 

Orange is the happiest color.”  Frank Sinatra

I have talked about orange before because I really, really like it (here and here).

Right after the Christmas of 2007,I decided the living room/sanctuary was too neutral and that pumpkin and eggplant would jazz it up nicely until I could go on an all-new-furniture extravaganza…which has yet to occur, btw.  I bought fabric to recover the couch pillows and then flew off to Maui  to cook for a film crew with Carol Ann.

During our winter snow this past Monday (and my sweet day of rest and Sabbath), orange fever hit me.  Dave called to see what I was up to and when I told him I was painting things orange he said, “I am coming home to a Dr Seuss house” but he was not one bit fearful.  The next day when he saw that I had painted a chair, 2 candle-holders, a tree branch from last fall’s pruning (which I kept because I knew I could use it someday somewhere) and 3 wooden religious icons orange, he said he was afraid if he didn’t hide the  brushes he’d come home to an orange refrigerator and stove.  It is addictive.

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A year later, said fabric remains as it was – unused.  And maybe I won’t use it.  I’ll have to check to be sure, but I think the orange was more dull – like pumpkin pie filling before it is baked but it has lots of cinnamon.   And I am not really feeling the eggplant this year (leftover Tuscan~ishdays?), but would love to pair brilliant crayon orange with bright “tealish”-robin’s-egg-blue, although that is probably too big a jump for me right now.

Here is how some of it turned out/before and after:

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I tried several different fabrics for the chair cover.  I kind of know what I want, but haven’t come across it yet.  So recently, I just took a scrap of painter’s canvas and painted some simple flower shapes on it for now (I used an old pillow sham of Stormie’s as the inspiration).  I wanted a lot of “white space” and a pretty modern perspective.

I am not sure exactly what I will do with everything or how I will bring the whole room together.  But I know I had fun with the orange paint and that I am not afraid of the process or awaiting the a-ha moment.  It will happen. 

For the moment…Jeanie

My prayer

My most recent creation.

Dave and I picked up some cathedral prints in these 27″ square, very traditional frames from a hotel liquidator’s store.  They were nice enough and fit with my “sanctuary” art, but I had an idea. 


I have wanted to have a part of the Lord’s Prayer in my living room/sanctuary since I moved in.  I have really come to understand and appreciate the beauty  of how Jesus taught us to pray and am bowled over by the simple power of the words “on earth – as it is – in heaven.”  I sometimes wonder if I should quit praying anything else but “The Lord’s Prayer” until I really get it, that it is THE prayer.

Anyway – I decided to paint over the cathedrals.  I forgot to do a “before” picture. :[

So, I watered down some black acrylic to give it more of an “inky” consistency and just sort of wiped it over the prints in a pretty casual manner.  Because I am hanging them near my religious iconic art (which are really pretty primitive), I figured the sort of “folk-style” lettering would work well.


I traced the lettering on using graphite paper (from a Publisher document I’d made) and then just painted the letters with quick swipes, not worrying about coverage or staying in the lines.


I wish I’d been more courageous and made my letters bigger and bolder.  As is, I probably could have had the entire prayer, but I was afraid it wasn’t all going to fit.

I had been thinking about painting or replacing the mats, which were very faded, but after they were done, they seemed right.

On earth.  As it is.  In heaven. 

I am praying that with You, Jesus.  Keep teaching me…J

No fake-canvas-Impressionist prints were harmed in the making of this chalkboard

I Robin-ized something!

4 or 5 years ago, I decided on a chalkboard for the kitchen.  I use it to write scriptures or birthday greetings, and occasionally a to-do list love note for Dave.  So, I purchased one, cut the size to get a more unique-than-your-basic-office sized board and Dave put a thicker, aged wood frame on it.  I have never liked it.  Not only boring in looks, the board itself stunk at holding the chalk lines.  It is some sort of plastic-y coating and never worked well.

Enter the sister-in-law.  She buys old fake oil-paintings in interesting and pretty frames, paints over the print with chalkboard paint and voila!  A nice chalk-holding surface that has some age and interest to it.  You know this has been the year of the chalkboard-painted-stuff quest for me:  here or here or here or even here!

One day last week I decided it was time to make the change.  And, as if a sign from the heavens that yes!  this is the time! –  Stephanie-the-daughter brings in an old (late 50s or early 60s?) fake-oil Renoir in a very fussy (antique white with a goldish glaze) frame.  Her neighbor gave it to her and she mostly took it to be kind, but it was perfect for my plan!

Here is how…

I took the frame and print apart and washed everything.  I lightly sanded and used de-glosser on them (btw-I painted the back of the picture so that if someday, some one comes along who is mortified that I should have treated this piece so, they may switch it back around and enjoy their fake-oil-painted-fake-canvas art – I am thoughtful that way) and then dug in.  I painted 2 generous coats of the chalkboard paint on the board (which Robin assures me is sufficient).  Then I spray-primed the frame and painted two coats of white satin latex paint on the frame with a trim brush.



These photos make the painting look pretty brilliant, but it is actually rather subdued in color, dusty looking.

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Honestly, I had trouble actually using chalk on it at first.  I loved the black blackboard contrasting the white white of the frame, but you have to rub a piece of chalk over the whole thing to “prime” it for use.  Once that is done, you may proceed happily.  I thought the scripture appropriate for the occasion!

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I don’t neglect the old chalkboard (again with the thoughtfulness)…

Meanwhile, I rubbed an engine-red coat of paint onto the frame of the old chalkboard, allowing the wood grain to still show through a bit; sanded and re-painted the actual board for better chalk-holdage and now the grand-bebes may enjoy chalking on it to their heart’s delight, as always…but better.  It now looks very vintage, which I always wanted anyway.  Very Pottery Barn.

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The area of the new board is almost half of the last one, but what I lose in space, I have gained in something I like much better…for now.  I really had a secret desire to paint the frame glossy-enamel mimosa, but that would have required re-painting the entire kitchen.  Dave frowns on that sort of impetuous thinking.

This is what I did when the sun showed back up…Jeanie

NOTE TO SELF:  make everyone I know a unique and adorable chalkboard…just kidding…maybe…or not…

pictured: some “befores,” some “afters” (including the actual print facing the back – to prove I didn’t harm the fake oil)and Hunter outside writing on the “new” old chalkboard.

Chalk Dust

Thank-you to my daughter Stephanie for the chalkboard paint recipe listed in the comments after this blog post and to Martha Stewart Living for this recipe:

Custom Colors How-To
Start with flat-finish latex paint in any shade. For small areas, such as a door panel, mix 1 cup at a time.
1. Pour 1 cup of paint into a container. Add 2 tablespoons of unsanded tile grout. Mix with a paint stirrer, carefully breaking up clumps.
2. Apply paint with a roller or a sponge paintbrush to a primed or painted surface. Work in small sections, going over the same spot several times to ensure full, even coverage. Let dry.
3. Smooth area with 150-grit sandpaper, and wipe off dust.
4. To condition: Rub the side of a piece of chalk over entire surface. Wipe away residue with a barely damp sponge.

Some of Martha’s projects with custom colors:

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Here is a pretty interesting dining room I ran across.  It almost looks like it is in one of those old schoolhouses people buy and turn in to homes.

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These kid spaces/projects are cute (in the third picture, it is hard to see, but it is also the toy chest sporting the chalkboard surface):

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Two unique uses:  A mudroom locker (wish I had one of these!).  The quoteable laundry/linen closet – a door filled with inspiring words, right where you need them the most.

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A bathroom that welcomes graffiti.  A green chalkboard wall where you can draw on the stuff you don’t actually own.  And a wall to keep track and keep your stuff.

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Colorful, no?

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Quick, somebody tell me why I keep loving this room!?!:

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Yes, you guessed it-the orange chandelier…and table…and chairs.  I do have more orange paint.

The chalkboard paint yet awaits…Jeanie

Closet Organizing Made Easy! ??? !

That was the title of the article in my HGTV e-newsletter, “Closet Organizing Made Easy.”  THIS was the accompanying picture.   Seriously?  If I only owned two skirts, one pair of pants, 2 weird hats and 5 shirts I would NOT NEED their help organizing my closet.  What the heck are they trying to pull here?


It does look nice, though.  Except for those hats and the clothing colors.  So maybe it doesn’t.

Elise-the-Niece in her own roommate-filled house


Elise Rachelle, my gorgeous, delightful niece (brother Joe’s daughter), moved to Lakewood about a year ago (her family lives in Aberdeen, but she’d been YWAMming for a few years in Hawaii).  It has been so good to have her near – clear on the other side of the metro area.  She brings a lot of laughter and joy to family gatherings.

Elise rooms with 4 early-twenty-something-college girls.  She sent these to give us a look inside.  I love her style because it has been influenced by her missions travels around the world to places like Venezuela, Thailand, China, Bangladesh, Mexico and  Honduras.  Here is her tour in her own words:

This is my corner of the bedroom I share. I love maps and both of these were found at antique/thrift stores. The small flag patches represent all the countries I’ve been to.  The ‘night stands’ are cute little benches I bought at a yard sale right after I moved to CO.  I was so proud of my purchase that I called my mom telling her what a great deal it was :)

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This is our bathroom (below, left). With two people in the room, it’s kind of crowded and leaving the bathroom door open and just having the beads there helps open the room up.  Below right: The little tin that I just covered with cool patterned magazine pages. The script reads Pen and Ink… I keep my writing utensils in it :)

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This is a make-shift table for extra junk made from two stools with a slab of red painted wood across them. We covered the lower part with a cool piece of scrap material.  My roommies bed is on the right. She loves pillows! Her bed is raised and she has a desk underneath it for extra storage.

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We have a large open window, so we’ve used the ledge for pictures, and of course the famous Robin Moslander hand-made chalk board. I got mine for Christmas :)…Also in my little corner – I found this little bookshelf thing in our shed. I intend to paint it someday. (please ignore the huge orange extension cord).

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The top of the bookshelf with lamps I bought in Thailand. The small mirror bought at Walmart- great for putting on the necklaces hanging from it :) The bulletin/write-on, wipe-off board I found in a trash pile.  And the bulletin board up close.

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These are just dried flowers still in a vase. They held their color pretty well, so I kept them…This is in our living room. I live with four other girls, so our “decorating” is not really exsistent. However, we own a mannequin named Dorkus.

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Our very full bookshelf and a lamp. Our house is older and there isn’t a lot of lighting other than the lamps we have. Our fireplace mantel. A red and yellow flower match our green walls well, and the painting was actually done by Lou (one of the roommates).

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 These are the pillows on my bed. I love mis-matching patterns.  Big lamps help give our room light at night.

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From Aunt Jeanie: But what really says Elise?  Coffee.  Lots and lots of good coffee.  When she comes over, there is always a fresh pot on (to go with all those homebaked cookies for which she is so famous).  She is a sweetheart.  We’ll miss her when she leaves in a couple of months to accept a ministry position at her parents’ church.  I don’t think Aberdeen is big enough for the brightness and massiveness of this girl’s smile and giftings, but they are getting her anyway. :{


Thanks for letting us take a peek inside your home-for-now, Elise!  I am not a bit surprised at the color and texture and playfulness of it – because that is you!

Still loving the home tours…Jeanie

Noteread Elise’s blog here.