About Me

DIY home decorating blogs Diane Henkler blogger at In My Own Style
My name is Diane

Welcome to In My Own Style

Contact Me:  inmyownstyle@gmail.com

I love all things creative, colorful and DIY.  My background is in display – which led me into the wonderful world of DIY decorating and design when my husband and I bought our first house. We didn’t have a big budget so I used the tricks I used in the display trade to decorate that first home.

Instant Decorating Book by Diane Henkler of In My Own Style blog

That led me to writing a decorating book about it, called Instant Decorating, published by Meredith Press back in the 1990’s. It is no longer in print, but my blog is where I continue to share ideas and what I have found works for me – all budget friendly.

With a bit of ingenuity and resourcefulness I think anyone can create a home they love.

I am so glad you are here.

If you enjoy your visit, I hope you will want to subscribe to my RSS feed and become a follower.


Quotation I Live By:  “To invent you need a good imagination and a pile of junk” – Thomas Edison

First Object I Ever Re-Purposed: A pair of earrings for my Barbie when I was 8. I made them by cutting the tips off of the beaded end of straight pins. The beaded end was like a post earring. Once the pin was shortened I could pierce her ears with them.

Signature Flower: A mix of deep purple and lavender hydrangeas and pink peonies.   I can’t get enough of them. I have them in baskets and vases in every room of my home and planted outside in my garden.

Favorite Place:
Anywhere there is a view of water, the larger the body of water, the better. It could be standing on the bow of the Staten
Island Ferry to lying on a beach or swinging on the swings that rim the Burlington, VT waterfront.

Most Prized Possessions:  My daughters.

Most Prized Material Possession: My first grade pencil case. It’s pink and the inside still smells like crayons and graphite.

What I Want To Be When I Grow Up:  After I graduated from The Fashion Institute of Technology I wanted to be an editor for a big magazine, but life took me on a different path and I ended up being a display designer.  I then took what I learned from working in retail display to start working as an Interior Designer helping people decorate their homes beautifully, but without breaking the bank.  Having a blog lets me be my own Editor-In-Chief so I am sort of doing what I always wanted.

Favorite Inside Pastime:  Watching old movies from the 40’s and 50’s,especially if they take place in NYC or during WW II and have Cary Grant, Doris Day, Rock Hudson, or Audrey Hepburn in them.

Favorite Outside Pastime:  Sitting by above mentioned bodies of water, kayaking, swimming, riding bikes and hiking while on vacation with my family.

Music I Listen To When I Need A Lift: Anything and everything from rock to pop and everything in between along with movie scores by John Williams. I also love the sound of church bells ringing in the distance and will stop and pull over to the side of the road just to hear them.

Places I Go When I Need Inspiration: The streets of NYC, public libraries, bookstores where you can read and have a cup of tea or a latte while you browse. Flea markets, magazines such as In-Style, Country Living ,House and Home, and my friend Karen Sacavage’s design studio/workroom.

Dislike: Amusement parks, I get really dizzy the minute I walk through the gate.

Still Want To Design: The perfect handbag. It would be a bit of “Audrey Hepburn” meets “Jane Goodall”.  A small black croc bag  that would have a long strap and lots of pockets for organization that would hold my camera, cellphone, sunglasses, keys, and lipstick and not look bulky.

Splurges: Travel and skin care products.

Collect: Seashells, matchbooks, clock faces, baskets, and colored pencils since I was a child.

If You Walked Into My House Right Now You Would Immediately Know: I love color!

Proudest Moment: Getting my book, Instant Decorating published and demonstrating projects from it on TV.

Surprising Fact: I have an identical twin sister named, Carol.

States I Have Lived In: Pennsylvania, New York, California, Washington, North Carolina, and New Jersey Celebrity I Want To Spend The Day With: Ina Garten

I Smile When I See: A child skipping down the street – so carefree.

Simple Pleasures I Look Forward To: Fresh air, pumpkins, a breeze that makes my curtains billow into my room, a good red wine, the moon shining in on my bed at night, a rainy day, waking up to chirping birds, hearing the surf pounding against the sand.

Can’t Live Without: My Pilates Reformer and Lipstick!!!, DIY Home Decorating blog


Follow me on Social Media:


My Writing Elsewhere:

My Colortopia
True Value DIY Blog Squad
My Way Home



  1. Kate says

    Love the fireplace screens – so creative and easy. I’m going to try them with some of free heavy cardboard that furniture stores throw out. I’d like to do some perforated (carved out shapes maybe) fake window shutters for the summer – to let the air in but keep prying eyes out. Might use foam board to make them more weather resistant. Please let me know if you tackle something like that. Thanks for posting your wonderful ideas on the web.

  2. Jolene Barker says

    Hi Diane, I just wanted to let you know that I REALLY enjoy your blog, and your website. I’ve done a few projects and tricks that I learned here, mostly in decorating for events and at church. But more than the things I’ve gotten to try, I’ve realized more fully my own personal style, just by reading your blog (I have it come to my email). I LOVE to see pictures of your house — actually, pretty much any picture that you take. :) The clean glossy white, with pops of different bright, exciting colors, that’s totally my style too, although I didn’t realize it completely, until I had soaked up several posts, and kept finding pictures of your house that made me go, “oooohh! Now THAT’S pretty!!!” :) I love to decorate, but have a little budget, so your tips and tricks are awesome! Knowing that I can create something that looks intentional and professional, without having to spend a fortune to do it, is great. And reading your blog on a regular basis, keeps me in the mood to decorate all the time! :) So even though I can’t come give you a hug and thank you in person, here’s a digital thank you from Arkansas, for all that you do. For being yourself, and sharing Your Style. :)
    Jolene Barker

    • says

      Thanks so much Jolene for taking the time to say hi and leaving such a nice comment. It makes me so happy to hear that you not only like what I post about, but more so that you have found what you love and it fits your life and style. I truly enjoy decorating and creating on a super tight budget. It makes me really think about what I need, want, and like. No waste or choices that are not right.

      Thanks again for writing to me.

      Here is a digital hug right back atcha…XO

  3. Kerrie says

    Hi Diane,

    I somehow came upon your blog and I really LOVE it!!!!!! I’m unorganized and WANT to be organized. I’m hoping to get some inspiration from you. As a matter of fact, The Container Store Shelves are being delivered tomorrow and Wednesday. (Thats where your magazine files come in!) :-) Its a start.
    I feel overwhelmed because I have so much to do and don’t know where to start and then I get side tracked into something else. I guess I just need to stay focused on the project and FINISH!
    Do you live in New Jersey? I’m in Readington, NJ.
    Can’t wait to look around your site even more!!!!!!!

    • says

      Hi Kerrie –

      To stay organized I write everything that I plan to get done in a day in my daily planner. I check it throughout the day when I get sidetracked. It does help me stay focused.

      There is a Container Store opening by me in a few weeks – in King of Prussia, PA. I can’t wait to go there. I used to live in New Jersey. In Freehold. I have lived in suburban Phila for the last 21 years now.

  4. Carin says

    Hi Diane! I found your blog via Handmade Savvy today and have perusing your site since. I can’t get enough of your posts! I love your design ideas & easy “how-to” projects all done with thriftiness in mind. Your style philosophy closely matches mine so I know this is a blog that I look forward to reading.
    Thanks for sharing your beautiful blog!

    • says

      Hi Carin-

      Thanks for coming over from The Handmade Home. I will have to thanks Ashley for featuring the light I painted. I appreciate you taking the time to write. I enjoy hearing from readers who share the same love of design and thriftiness…we are kindred spirits :)

  5. Dan Pope says

    I am a principal of an elementary school in Paducah KY. We are doing a fundraiser in which parents donate furniture and we are going to chalk paint and auction off the products. We have 26 homerooms so will will have around 30 pieces. Can you recommend colors of chalk paint that will work best and will not end up items that someone will not want to purchase.
    I have experience using chalk paint but always had a color scheme to go by. your advice would be appreciated.

    • says

      Hi Dan –
      Sounds like you have a fun and colorful job ahead of you. The best colors of course are neutrals that will go with anyone’s color scheme. Black, white, sand beige, light grey, pale robin eggs blue, are all very popular right now. Use clear and dark waxes over them to make each piece look a little different. Classic flag red and navy blue will never go out of style. I would paint the larger pieces in the neutrals and a few smaller pieces like a night or side table or even a lone chair in more bold colors. Popular now are Emerald green and Orchid – which is a purple-pink.

      Best of luck with the fundraiser. When my daughters were in elementary school, I was always one of the class moms. I would have loved to be part of a fundraiser like this. Sure beats selling candy and gift wrap :-)

  6. T Dye says

    Wow your amazing! I can’t add either, and didn’t have a creative bone in my body with the exception of comedy/humor/silly radio banter and music of course! I love finding pefectly good items by the dumpster too! I lost my jobs some months ago and after the worst 2 yrs of my life retreated to my bedroom….lol I was forced to get creative during my convelesce due to no cable tv, internet, or any other form of distraction. I started doing those “one day I’m gonna….” projects and my mind wenty wild with lots of new ones. I would like to share with you someday, I may not be as awesome as I think…LOVE IT! LOVE YOU! YOU ROCK!!!!

  7. Becky says

    Hi Diane! I just wanted to say THANK YOU for the inspiration you have given me. I quit my job a few months ago to be a mommy again and enjoy things a little bit more. We have lived in our house for 4 years now and I still hadn’t painted the base boards, walls were done though! :) I have gotten so many fun ideas from your site. I am currently redoing our master bath. We wanted to gut it completely, by way of a contractor, BUT we have twins that will be going to college year after next, so not so much. Anyway, I have taken it upon myself, with your help of course. I have gotten it painted, including the baseboards. My hubby and I rehung the ugly builder mirror (5 by 8 ft, thank you very much), after I put a baseboard trim on it. BEAUTIMOUS! I am so proud!!! Next, the cabinets. I now have a comp book FULL of projects all planned out! :) So again, thank you for putting the fire back into my heart. Keep up the beautiful work! Becky

  8. Alice says

    Hi Diane
    Love your ideas. Found you as I was wondering if I could spray paint my towel racks with paint and found you did all the testing for me! 2 quick questions: Did the champion spray on paint in sterling silver hold up to damp towels? And where can I find that brand locally? Any big stores carry it? Seems I can find it online but with steep shipping charges. thanks!

  9. Patt says


    You are a genius. Sooooooo many great ideas and you are a fan of Ina’s…..me too. I will be following your sites for many ideas I can apply to my home.


  10. Karla McDuffie says

    Hello kindred spirit! I adore your website. Like you, I’m visually oriented and can’t multiply my way out of a paper bag.

    I am working on making a poster for our SGI Buddhist Culture Center on Mass Ave., NW and have been looking for a “moon over the capital” shot when I came upon your webpage. You have one that would be sooo perfect for our poster, located here:

    I wonder if we might be able to use it with you permission and accreditation. We would make two posters and have them in the SGI-USA Culture Center for the month of May. I would prepare the artwork with a dynamite, very encouraging quote in it.

    Please write to me soon! With many thanks, Karla

  11. Wendy says

    Hi Diane! Love your blog but have not received the last three posts. I miss you! Any ideas?

    • says

      Hi Wendy –

      Not getting email posts sent out is a widespread problem for all the blogs that still use the free Feedburner service to send out new post updates. Sometime in April Yahoo and AOL and a few other emails service providers changed the way they do things.

      These changes affected Feedburner email subscriptions and it no longer works. I have to switch my email subscriber list to a paid service. It is free to readers, but I have to pay now to send it out. I am in the process of getting it set up. You should be getting an email from me soon asking if you want to subscribe again. Once that is complete – then you will get my most recent posts in your inbox again.

      Things are always changing in how online services work, Feedburner was a great service, it is owned by Google. They stopped support for it a year ago and we all knew sooner or later it was not going to work anymore and we would have to start with a paying service like Mad Mimi, Feed Blitz, or Mail Chimp.

  12. Stormy Blair says

    Hi Diane!
    I found your site a few minutes after my friend, Betsy Burch (of Elizabeth the II’s in Bedford, VA) told me about it today. I am so excited about what I have seen so far and can’t wait to get home Monday to just and look thru it. Your profile could be me with the exception that I like white wine!!!
    Thank you for sharing your ideas and how to’s. It is wonderful to have someone that is not worried about their ideas being stolen! Who said ‘copying is the greatest compliment’ or something like that? You’re terrific!
    Stormy Blair

  13. Lisa says

    I have been GLUED to your pinterest site and have LOVED it!! I especially love your purple bathroom makeover. My question is this…we are renting a home that has NO shelving at all in it. I adore the that tub beadboard surround and would love to do that to this bathroom. You said it wouldn’t be too hard to take apart if you didn’t like it when you go to sell your home. Also, I would like to ask about the board and batten on your walls. Did you use beadboard and then put the larger wood strips over that or did you just put the large strips of wood directly onto the wall and then just paint it all white? I’m nervous but I really want to do this to this bathroom!! I think that our landlord would like the look. What do you think? Can’t wait to chat with you!! Lisa

    • says

      Hi Lisa – To answer your question –

      I did not use bead board in between the boards, I attached them right to the wall and then used caulk along the edges to make them look seamless with the wall.

  14. Michelle says

    Hi Diane,

    I happened upon your site and am so glad! You are an inspiration and I love your style!

    I’m hoping you can help me with some colour advice…
    The top of our harvest table at our cottage needs refinishing (scratches and hot spots). It is a sort of warm honey colour and so are the chairs.

    Here’s my question…I am thinking about painting the top of the table and leaving the skirt and chairs as they are. Is that something that is generally done? Would it make more sense to paint the chairs? And what colour would be best for either just the top or just the chairs?

    Keeping in mind that this is a cottage and therefore a bit of this and that :-), here is an overview of the colours that exist throughout the cottage.

    My kitchen has a grey/taupe countertop, a darker grey oak floor, honey coloured oak cabinet and biscuit coloured appliances. The table sits on the other side of the island from the kitchen. The table sits on the other side of the island from the kitchen in the dinning room which is open to the rest of the cottage…so it is a very visible piece between the living room and an extension that is another living/sitting space. The table itself sits on an oval woven area rug which has forest green, cranberry and off white. The walls of the cottage are all warm honey pine and so are the floors throughout (except for the kitchen).
    The accents of colour in the living room are light blue, forest green and cranberry and in the extension they are forest green, cranberry, and chocolate brown.

    You can see why I need some HELP! :-) I would like to make this table a ‘feature’…and would appreciate any suggestions/advice you might have regarding colour or treatment to make it look it’s best!

    Thanks so much!

  15. Julie says

    Dear Diane,

    I found your site by “accident” while looking for chalk paint and I am SO Glad I did! Your comments are insightfull and detialed and can turn any newbie into a PRO in No time!!
    I am new to the Chalk Paint idea and since I saw on Pintrest an article on How to Paint a fabric chair ” I have become obsessed in wanting to try my DIY hand at it. I have one or 2 questions that I am sure you will be able to assist me with:
    Could I try your recipes and use this paint on a fabric couch? How will the wear and tear be, as I dont want the paint or wax coming off on my visitors clothing! This paint can obviously not be washed so I could’nt do it on pillows that may require a wash?
    What would you recommend to use instead?
    Kind regards

    • says

      Hi Julie –

      I have seen others paint upholstery with chalk paint, but I have not tried it myself. If I was going to try it, I would use the Calcium Carbonate Powder recipe. It mixes up the smoothest. When you paint fabric, know that if there is any difference in texture – you will see that even after painting. I think it would work and once fully dry I do not see a problem with the color getting on clothing. If you wax it and the wax is not buffed – the wax may transfer from the body heat of the person sitting in the chair – you may just want to leave it unwaxed. The fabric will be stiff after painting, but it would look good.

      I would make new fabric covers for the pillows. If you don’t sew, I have a tutorial on how to make covers. I made one with a dishtowel, but you could use any fabric. You can find it in this post: http://inmyownstyle.com/2012/05/how-to-make-a-no-sew-pillow-using-dishtowels.html

  16. Kim says

    Hi Diane, Love your website, thanks for sharing your knowledge. I have just embarked on my journey with chalk paint. Unfortunately, despite my research things have gone wrong.

    I have a side table which I believe is 1930’s and I have prepped it by stripping the top, sanding the entire piece, followed by wiping down with paint thinner. The top had a few deep scratches in it and so I filled them with Minwax stainable fill.

    My vision was to stain the top and chalk paint the bottom. I used Minwax wood conditioner followed by Minwax wood stain (dark walnut) and found that the stain did not really penetrate the wood, some existing discolouration did not diminish, and the fill did not absorb the stain either. I let it sit with the stain on for about 10 minutes and repeated a second coat. It is a real mess and looks terrible. I am unsure how to rectify this. Should I try and sand again and maybe use General Finishes gel stain instead. Will I need to prime it first? Any advice would be appreciated:(

  17. KARL P GAGER says

    Sure wish we had discovered you 25 yrs back. Wife and I,(70) are real crafty. I paint art with oils & build rustic furniture . She paints,fires porcelain & paints in all mediums. Steph’s way more talented than I .
    Q. I assume Briwax will not work due to
    Toluene content, right?
    Your the BEST.

  18. margote olson says

    Hi Di… my mother loved neck scarves of all textures, colors, styles, lengths, etc… and when she passed away a few years ago I still have a trunk full of her many scarfs that i’m finding difficult at the thought of giving them away. Any useful ingenious suggestions on what I can use them for? Maybe window coverings in some fashion? Thank you in advance.

    • says

      Hi Margote – I bet the scarves all beautiful. Long scarves or wrap style make colorful window valances. Here is a link to one I did over at Momtastic: http://momtastic.com/life/170110-easiest-window-treatment-ever/

      2 squares scarves of the same size can be sewn back to make to make a pillow cover. If you don’t sew you can simply – lay one scarf right side down. Lay a pillow on top. Cover pillow form with a second scarf that is face up. Tie the scarfs together at each corner in a knot and you have a no sew pillow cover.

      You can also use scarves as table runners or use them to upholster the seat on a dining room style chair.

      Choose a few or a collection of similar colors and frame them to group on the wall.

  19. Dani Campbell says

    Hello Diane,
    I’m so very new to the whole DIY scene, but I have fell in love and fill lost if I don’t get my daily fix of PINTEREST…which is how I came about your site. Just love the dresser you made a few years ago for the guest bedroom. My youngest son is going away to college and I feel that I can now redo his room to “match” the rest of my home. Room has Carolina Blue walls and a darker shade of carpet (UGH), but that is going to change very soon and I plan on using your idea…..

    Ps. Hope mine turns out as well as your did.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *