It’s Flea Market Season

22 Apr


I love a good flea market. The sense of anticipation, the haggling, the exhilaration of driving away with a treasure.

I read an article by an interior designer many years ago (I wish I remembered who!) that gave this tip on deciding what to put in your home.

“Only put things in your rooms that you absolutely love.”

This took a lot of pressure off of me. I used to think I needed to choose things that “went together” or stayed within a certain decade or style set. But this quote released me! I’ve gotten rid of lots of stuff that was just “there” and replaced it with things that inspire, encourage and delight me.

And I find lots of these things at thrift stores, yard sales and flea markets.

If you’re ready to go hunting check out:


When: Mid-April thru Mid-November every Saturday

Where: Brooklyn (Three different locations)

More info:


When: One weekend per month (except Feb. and July)

Where: Springfield, Ohio

More info:


When: Mid-May, July, and September. 6 days long each.

Where & when: Brimfield, Mass.

More info:

127 CORRIDOR SALE : World’s Longest Yard Sale! 654 miles!

When: 1st weekend in August
Where: From West Unity, Ohio, to Gadsden, Ala.
More info:

Tell us about the flea markets in YOUR area. Where do you find your best stuff?

Celebrate Spring with a Chalkboard Vase

15 Apr

I love flowers. In the Spring and Summer I pick them in our yard, and in the winter and fall I buy $6 bouquets from our local grocery store.

For a beautiful Easter centerpiece, a Mother’s Day present, or a fun surprise gift for a friend, create a chalkboard vase.

1. Buy some chalkboard paint.

2. Choose your container: a glass Mason jar, empty wine bottle, or even a bucket.

3. Clean the inside and outside throughly.

4. Paint. Depending on the look you’re wanting you can choose to paint the outside or the inside of the container. You will probably need two coats for perfect coverage. (If you plan to write on the chalkboard paint, be sure to choose the outside of the container for your paint!)

5. Write your message-and enjoy!




Spring Cleaning Lists and How To Clean Painted Walls and Furniture

8 Apr

Warm spring breezes are finally arriving, and many people are doing some cleaning and organizing around the house.

Lately, I’ve really been struggling to keep my children’s clothes organized. Or even just in their drawers! They were constantly spilling out. When I shared this with a friend she responded: “I find the less stuff I have, the less I need to do to care for it.” It was great advice.  I gave away all the clothes they had outgrown, or never wore and now their clothes fit easily into their dresser.

So consider doing a throw away/give away culling of your home this month- and enjoy less “stuff” to take care of.

Cleaning bucket

For the things you keep- I found two great lists of spring cleaning chores to guide your cleaning.

For cleaning painted walls or furniture:
1. Wipe off dust and dirt with a clean, damp rag.
2.Use a non-abrasive cleaner diluted in warm water to wipe off stubborn dirt and germs.
3. Keep a toothbrush and a few q-tips handy for getting into the crevices of furniture.

What are your best spring cleaning tips?

Have You Visited Houzz?

1 Apr

A friend of mine recently introduced me to the site and it’s so fun, I almost wish she hadn’t! It’s a well designed site dedicated to interior and exterior home ideas. Oh the photos! The beauty, the ideas! (This is not a paid advertisement, I just really like the site.)

I did a quick search for “primitive decorating ideas” and got ten pages of photos to browse through. And when I like one, I can save it to an idea book that I can look through later.  You can flip through the photos I liked in the slideshow below.



One of the things about primitive decorating that I love is the sense of timelessness and the peace that I have when I am in these spaces. There is a lack of clutter and distraction, an absence of excess technology and unneeded items. Do you have that same feeling when you interact with these spaces?

I hope you enjoy, feel free to share some of your favorite photos with us!

Stenciled Floor?

25 Mar

Floor stenciling? If you’re a history buff, or primitive decorating expert, you probably already know about floor stenciling. Let’s take a five sentence look at the origins of this in North America, and then see how you might use it in your home.

Early American settlers added beauty (without much expense) to their homes by stenciling patterns on their floors.  This started in the 1780′s and lasted into the nineteenth century.  Some of the patterns were painted to resembled rugs or floor cloths, others were geometric, birds, plants or American symbols.  The stenciling work was mostly done by itinerant artists, the most famous of whom is Moses Eaton and his son, Moses Eaton, Jr.

If you’d like to add a colonial or primitive touch to your home, floor stenciling is a fun way to do it!

There are many different stencil companies that sell stencils reminiscent of this period.

This floor cloth pattern is from


This floral pattern pictured below was originally in a tavern in Sudbary, Massachusetts circa 1790.  You can find it, and other colonial and primitive patterns at






There is a wide variety of beautiful Moses Eaton floor stencil patterns on


There are so many ways to make your home your own- I’ll leave you with this photo of a colonial style room with a painted rug in front of the fireplace.


Have you tried floor stenciling? We’d love to see a photo and hear about your process!

Bathroom Redo: From Coastal to Primitive

18 Mar

Meet Natalie.  She’s agreed to let me follow her bathroom redo.  (Her husband Rob is pictured with her as well.)  They constructed a new home in 1998 in North Carolina. Her home is decorated in neutral colors, with primitive decorating touches, all except for the upstairs guest bathroom.  The bathroom was decorated with seashell wallpaper and coral accents, and Natalie wants to redo the room to flow more naturally with the rest of her decorating style.

She’s painstakingly removed the wallpaper, and now her walls are white and ready for paint. She doesn’t have it in the budget to replace the blue countertop, so she’s looking for paint colors that will work with the countertops too.



Bathroom before pic.

Bathroom before pic.

So, she’s decided to paint her cabinets a deep brown (Philadelphia Brownstone) to contrast with the blue, and the walls a neutral, antique white (Steeple White.) I’ve included color cards for you to see, both colors she’s going to use are at the top right of the card. How nice!

I can’t wait to see this bathroom transformed with some paint.  I’ll post update photos as soon as I can. Is anyone else planning a room redo in their home now that Spring is almost here? Show us your before pictures and tell us what you’re planning to do!

Steeple White

Steeple White

Philadelphia Brownstone

Philadelphia Brownstone

A Match Made in Heaven

11 Mar

Kathy had dreamed of owning a store since she was a little girl. She remembers playing “store” in a cardboard box with holes cut out for windows and a door.

Chuck was always building things, and excelled in drafting and shop class in high school.  They met and married and when he built a beautiful shelf for their home- they started down a road that eventually ended in the opening of their own shop “Country Cupboard”. Located in Ligonier, Pennsylvania they’ve been serving customers for 12 years.

Chuck builds primitive/country style furniture made from solid premium pine, stained, painted, distressed and finished with a hand-rubbed wax.  Besides Chuck’s furniture, Kathy also stocks the shop with homemade nut rolls, cold Red Ribbon Soda Pop, and other fun country decorating items.


Kathy behind the counter at Country Cupboard.


Antique pieces add character and serve as display space at the shop. Cute!

Here’s a quick interview I did with Kathy. Enjoy!

5 Foot Farm Table

5 Foot Harvest Table

What’s one of the most popular items you sell at your store? Our Harvest Table.  Using 5/4 boards for the top and square nails, these tables can be made in different sizes up to 7 feet.  Tables are a great gathering place to create memories for years to come.

 Why did you choose to use Old Village Paints on your furniture?  We wanted a paint that reminded us of colors from the past but it also had to be a quality paint.  A local store, at that time, carried the Old Village Paint.  I remember the first color we bought was Village Tavern Blue.  After our first purchase of OVP we never used any other paint as you cannot beat the quality or colors that hold true to colors of the past.  

You can visit The Country Cupboard online here. Thanks Kathy and Chuck for spending some time with us!


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