A Chatty Post – Behind the Scenes This Week

Hello my stylish friends!

I have something a little different for you today instead of Style Scouting. I know many of you enjoy those posts, but I was busy this week and wasn’t online as much as I usually am to come across interesting and inspiring items to share with you.

So instead, I thought I would update you on what I have been doing behind the blog posts this week – lots of random things. Some of what I have been doing will become blog posts, other things are what that made up my week.

So grab your favorite fall beverage ( I am drinking this tea) and get cozy.

Making Over My Kitchen Table

In the process of paint a round wood dining table with black base coat layer.

DIY decorating project-wise this week, I decided that the top of my kitchen table needed a new look. It has had a few makeovers over the 20 + years since I bought it at JCPenneys for $159… Stripping... painting and covering with paper that looks like wood planking.

I am not afraid to start experimenting with paint to get the look I envision. It is only paint that can be removed if I don’t like what I create. I can always cover it with the wood-look paper again.

The look I want is a little bit rustic, but not a wood tone. I would like to add some contrast to the grey and brown wood tones and textures in the open concept living room and dining area of the kitchen. I am thinking a faux slate or zinc.

I am experimenting by adding layers of paint until I like what I see on the table surface. Once I like what I see I will share the results with you. I have been documenting all the steps.

So stay tuned to see what I come up with.

Thrift Store Shopping

Thrift store lamp before getting made over

I live in a rural area of a lake town. There is not much in the town center besides supermarkets, drug stores, banks, beauty salons, a library and a few small shops and restaurants.

To shop for most items I need besides food, I have to drive 30 minutes or longer to the city of Columbia and towns of Lexington or Harbison. I schedule a day every week to head to one of these towns to go to stores like HomeGoods, TJMaxx, Marshalls, Trader Joes, Whole Foods, Target, World Market and Walmart.

This past week I went to Lexington to go thrift store shopping for a large lamp. I have been searching for just the right size for a few months and found this to makeover.

I plan to use this lamp in either the living room or foyer once I transform it to fit my decorating style. I also bought a new lampshade for it at Walmart and ordered a dimming socket for it on Amazon.

Cleaning Out My Clothes Closet

This is my clothes closet.

With the change of every season, I take stock in every piece of clothing I own, what fits and what I haven’t worn. Over the last 3 years I have put a focus on eating healthy and keeping active. My reward for this helped me lose 36 pounds.

This past week I tried on all my cold weather clothes and most of it was too big. No complaints!!! But I had bags of clothing to take to the thrift store.

Clothes closet shelves with folded clothes and shoes.

With so much gone, I took time to clean the closet and reorganize everything…

… even all my Dansko clogs and sneakers.

They all have names – Sneakers – Paisley | Britney | discontinued style | Karena |Maureen – discontinued |Malin | discontinued style | Martina

I use to be a flats lover. Ballet flats, leopard flats, but wearing them for years was not a good thing and I developed plantar fasciitis in my right foot. It was very painful. I found a podiatrist who told me to stop wearing flats and wear clogs or boots and my problem would fix itself.

He was right, it did. My shoe style has been slip-on clogs ever since. Boots are just not me. :-)

Adding a Wood Beam (sort of) In The Kitchen

Back in the summer I found a stash of thick and heavy aged grey wood beams in our garage. When I asked Ed where they came from he had no idea. I call them the “mystery beams”. I came up with one way to use one when I made the long planter box for the mantel over the summer.

Ed holding up found wood beam above kitchen window.

A few weeks ago when sitting in the living room and looking towards the kitchen, I had another idea on how to use another one of the beams. I asked Ed if he would hold it up so I could consider if I liked the idea or not.

Small room fall decorating ideas.

I did like it! :-) We attached it to the wall with two long heavy duty screws.

Having the wood over the plain window gives the window more impact, but more importantly it balances wood accents throughout the open space.

I still have two more beams, so you may be seeing another project made with them in the near future.

What Every Homeowner Needs

Ed and I were on the upper deck on Saturday morning using this step stool to clear out the pine straw from the gutter on the lake side of the house.

While we were working, I mentioned to Ed that this stool is going on 35 years. It was one of the first things we bought when we bought our first house.

It is still going strong. I mention this as one thing every home should have. It comes in so very handy for so many things.

As you can see from the patina it has taken on, it comes in very handy for painting a room. :-) The company doesn’t make them quite like this anymore, but here is one that is very close.

Do you have a step stool like this in your house?

Searching for a Resource


I found this Italian grey pot at a local garden store for $6.99. They had a large variety of them in many shapes and sizes. I liked that it is has a grey color wash and a more modern vibe than a basic terra cotta flower pot.

When I got home I tried to find an online resource to share, but only found it being sold abroad, not in the US. It is a Vaso Patavium Greige pot. If you like the look, maybe your local garden store carries the line.

Waiting Sometimes Has It’s Rewards!

Navy and white bedding

And lastly, I am so excited about this.

Do you remember back in 2018 when I posted this photo of a bed displayed at my local furniture store? I loved this duvet set and wanted to buy it, but the price was out of my budget and was something the store wasn’t even sure they could order.

I ended up buying another less expensive comforter, but have never gotten this duvet out of my mind. I liked that it was not a solid color or a pattern – but in-between the two.

Even after 2 and a half years I still get questions about it since the photo has been pinned to Pinterest many times. When asked questions about it, I always feel bad that I could never give a resource for it until now.

Last week I was scrolling through Overstock for something unrelated and I did a double take… There was the duvet…. at less than half the price! I didn’t have to think twice about buying it.

I am hoping it is the same duvet. I am pretty sure it is. I’ll find out on Tuesday when it will be delivered.

Tomorrow I will be posting about something I repurposed + restyled to use on my Thanksgiving table. Best of all it was totally free!

See you tomorrow. Enjoy the rest of the weekend.

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    1. Hi Tana – I would have never thought I would be a 100% clog wearer, but here I am. They are part of my personal style now. I do know that when I find a style that I like, I better buy a second pair as Dansko does discontinue many styles after a short time.

  1. I can’t wait to see what you do with the lamp. Please hurry, I need some inspiration. Lol. So happy that you found your duvet. To randomly find it on Overstock – Karma!! Also, very excited to see your kitchen table redo.

  2. Great post and so timely for me! My husband and I just said yesterday that we needed to get a 2 step- step stool. I have a one step for my kitchen, but the 2 step is just what I need. Perfect! I am looking forward to what you do with your table. I did a faux zinc top for one of my clients using a metallic paint from BM, and it came out great. I am sure yours will, too.

  3. Please let us know if your new duvet is the same one you first saw! it’s so pretty, really like the soft blue…..I have most of the same shoes in my closet!

  4. Loved this post! I would love for you to tell us more about your weight loss…and congrats on that accomplishment!

  5. Don’t you just love it when you find a bargain! I wanted to redecorate so bad but alot wasn’t in the budget this year. So I started to look around on websites at least to get some ideas. I found the exact picture I wanted on Wayfair but it was almost $300. Definitely not in the budget right now. Well every now in then I go into Goodwill and walk around. I also have been looking for a large mirror. Not only did I find a large mirror but low and behold that picture was in there also and it happened to be half price day so I got it for only $5! I was so excited. I only now want to find a throw to blend the sofa and the colors in the pictures together which may taken some time but at least it is fall.

  6. Hi Diane, Yes, we have a similar step stool. I love that handle on the top! It gives me a feeling of security. I think your wood beam looks great. It goes so nicely with your new accent wall. And what a great price for that pot! Congratulations on your new duvet. I hope it’s what you’ve been looking for!

  7. Still painting my sisal rugs with Chalk PIny! Think of you when I wield the brush!!!!!.

  8. This was a fun post ?thank you!!!
    We have the same stool….it is white and has drips from painting projects over the years on it…. each color is a memory of a kids bedroom or a bathroom from an old home. Kinda weird but special at the same time. We got ours about 31 years ago ?

  9. I have given step stools as wedding shower gifts for a couples party. I am sure they wondered why I chose the gift, but were happy to have it later on.

  10. Fun post!! DO be careful with old wood found in garage. You want to make sure there are no termites being attached to your walls by the piece of wood.

  11. Yes, I have a stool like yours, and it, too has its own patina — mostly paint drips and splatters. I call it “my 2-step,” and for short people like us, it’s indispensable!

  12. Diane, I’ve been following your blog for a few months and like a lot of what you do. However, my house is a different style, Mountain Modern and way north in Montana, so a lot of your decor won’t work for my house. But I just had to tell you the beam over the window is amazing and works really well in your space! Keep up the good work of inspiring us!

    1. Hi Janis – thanks. :-) Mountain Modern sounds perfect for northern Montana. It is one state I have never been and hope to see one day. Thanks for reading my blog.

  13. Yes I do have the same step stool! It always came in handy. I did just buy a new one with a wider step and the bar to protect me from going forward. Just feels safer since my step stool is not the only thing that has 35 years on it!

    I hopefully will tackle my closet this week. It always feels good to weed out the things that I no longer wear. Congrats on working on your fitness! I have been working on it. Only halfway there but being consistent seems to be helping.

    Love your creativity!

  14. I do have that same stool…but it’s been relegated to the garage…my hubby uses it all the time. I’m glad you were finally able to find that duvet cover…quite the find. I’m anxious to see how your table turns out…keep us posted. Stay safe! ;)

  15. Happy Sunday Diane,
    Great post and yes I have TWO step stools (upstairs and downstairs) and yes I do remember that linen comforter you wanted. I’m so happy you found it. It is beautiful and will look so lovely in your bedroom. I’m excited to see what you will do with the thrift store lamp and tell Ed we love when he joins in on your posts.

  16. How FUN to get little sneaks and tidbits of upcoming project posts from you! I like this better than the internet finds to be honest. And yay! Good for you for finding that duvet you fell in love with….hopefully it is the same one. I have a folding step-stool similar to yours but what I really loved was a petite and very old wooden step ladder, complete with wonderful drippy paint splatters. Unfortunately, somebody apparently thought they liked it better than I did as one day it disappeared, never to return. Still saddens my heart and irritates me to no end! Looking forward to your projects, Diane.

  17. How cool that you found the duvet you wanted for so long, at an affordable price!
    I really like the Italian flower pot. Years ago I bought German flower pots at my local Walmart store. I rarely shopped there but happened to be walking through to buy something in particular, and saw the beautiful pots. Later I went back to see if they had any others, but there were none – so you never know when the right thing at the right price will appear!
    Looking forward to your next post with the repurposed item for your Thanksgiving table.