July 11, 2014

My Fourth of July Chalkboard

4th of July chalkboard art

I only did a little decorating for the 4th of July since we won’t be home for most the day anyway. I re-did the chalkboard in my dining room with a 4th of July theme.

Fourth of July Chalkboard Art

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday weekend!

My Summer Porch Tour

I thought since it’s now “officially” summer that I would share what my screened in porch looks like this year. We’ve made a few changes. We moved some furniture down to the patio to stage it and I moved some other furniture into the porch.  One thing I’ve realized is that in the summer I don’t need a lot of “decor” on the porch.  The stars are the scenery since it’s off our top floor,  the birds we see in the trees and the delicious breeze we usually get. So I didn’t do a lot of decorating of surfaces and stuff like that this summer but I did paint and repurpose a lot of items. So I’ll just start in one area and work my way around! Be warned there are lots of photos so this is a long post.

Lots of Summer Porch Decorating Ideas

 Welcome to our summer screened porch!

Summer Porch Tour - small dining area on the porch
Our porch is long so we’ve always divided it into two distinct areas – dining and seating. We moved our large patio table and chairs downstairs and I repurposed a little bistro table I had. I had to spray paint it white and then I took a glass table top that I’ve been storing in my closet for about 12 years (that’s why this is not an organizing blog!)  and put that on top of the table.  Our “living room” area used to be on this end but this summer I switched it up. I’m still getting used to it!
Green geometric indoor/outdoor rug

It’s really just my husband and myself that come out here these days so a table for two is perfect. My husband comes out here with his work laptop before I get up  in the morning to get some work done. Which is why that power cord is there in case his battery dies.

hydrangeas from the garden

*I took these photos during the course of a day and my husband kept switching pillows on me!*  I spray painted that blue metal table since it was a really faded green and a bit rusted. He often has his personal laptop out here as well as his work one so he needed a place to put that (he does his Swagbucks in the morning on his personal laptop).

begonias in galvanized planters

Moving on…this plant stand is from Ikea. I think I got it last year or the year before. It might make it one more year…might. Anyway, I usually have ferns in these galvanized buckets (from Home Depot). But I saw these two big Begonias and remembered that I used to have a huge Begonia while I was in college. So feeling a bit nostalgic…I went for the Begonias instead of ferns this year!

Decorating with a fern on the porch

I did have to have at least one fern. I think it’s a requirement for Southern porches! I also spray painted this old plant stand to give it new life (I’ve done sooooo much spray painting this month).

screened porch decorated for summer

The seating area is now sort of in the middle of the porch.

industrial look galvanized lantern

I love this galvanized lantern and my planter cup of lavender! I put them on a tray so they would be easy to move when we want to put our feet up on the coffee table. :)

wall fountain in screened porch

There’s a wall fountain close by that we like to turn on.

DIY mosaic topped yellow buffet on the screened porch

This is a buffet that I did a  little makeover on long, long time ago. I did a mosaic on the top with broken plates and tiles with some tips from my blog  friend Penny @ The Comforts of Home. That’s a vintage galvanized watering can on top that I use to water the porch and deck plants and  a container of lettuce that I just started. There’s a skylight over this table so I’m hoping I can grow some lettuce on the porch without it bolting in this heat!

a planter filled with white petunias and a chalkboard plant marker

A planter of petunias with a little iron fairy peeking out which was a gift from my blog friend Linda.

Summer screened in porch tour

That’s it – those blue doors are the entrance to the dining room.

I hope you enjoyed the porch tour!


Linking to: Wow Us Wednesday, Creative Ways Link Party

Decorating With Faux Animal Mounts

Faux taxidermy has become a really popular trend in decorating the past couple of years! At first I didn’t like it at all. I mean, it’s a select group of people that embrace the whole animal head on the wall look. But after a while they sort of grew on me (the fake ones).

Decorating with faux taxidermy

I think it’s because  the fake ones are usually white , white with a color or even decoupaged – so they’re not life like at all. Now I see them more as modern art – as sculptures.

Creating a unique focal wall with faux taxidermy

I started with one that I bought at Target last year (see how mainstream they are) and now I’ve added two more small ones to make a unique focal point on this wall with the mirror.

faux taxidermy

The two I added started out as sort of black/bronze and I admit they looked a bit creepy to me! But a few passes with some white satin spray paint and they fit right in with the one from Target.

mirror reflecting part of living room

I love how the mirror on this wall reflects the living room!

decorating with faux animal head mounts

They are a bit quirky but so is the rest of the house!  I think I’m going to make a flower garland to hang around the stag head!

Fresh Look For My Small China Cabinet

Hi!  I was looking at my small black china cabinet that’s in my dining room and realized that I hadn’t changed the flowers in the planter on top of it since last fall! It still had fall hydrangeas and bittersweet in it. So since we had a few days of stormy afternoons I thought I’d do something fun for a change and fix up my china cabinet! Painting walls & scraping wallpaper is not as much fun as it used to be :)

black and white themed china cabinet - white typography and numbered accessories

So this cabinet is narrow and the shelf space is teeny. You can only get small things in this cabinet which is ok because small things don’t cost much and small things are easy to store.

Nest plate from TJMaxx

My eagle eyed daughter found this plate at TJMaxx while we were supposed to be shopping for a Father’s Day present and insisted that I get it (no argument from me)!

faux hydrangea stems

I have lots of faux hydrangeas in every color. I always buy them at the end of season clearance. By lots I mean I have a large plastic bin full of them! I pulled out all my white hydrangeas and went to work on my red planter box.

white hydrangea arrangement and lithographed tray

I really don’t have a clue about arranging “arrangements”.  I used every white – whitish hydrangea stem that I had and re-did this planter a few times until I got tired and decided that this looked just fine.

I also moved one of my lithographed trays over the cabinet (I had a thrift store picture in a black frame before which you can see in this post). I thought the background of the tray played off the wrapping paper I used for the back of the cabinet. Plus the yellow of the lemons reference all the yellow I use in my home.

Here are a few more photos:

small black china cabinet filled with black and white accessories


white ceramic pig in a china cabinet


black and white china cabinet

I like red and yellow but I also like black!

vintage brass chandelier

Back to painting!

Linking to: Savvy Southern Style

Free Home Decor Printable – Chickens, Burlap & Chicken Wire!

My daughter is retiring a lot of things in her Etsy store (hard at work on her demo reel) and as she does, I’ll be offering them as free printables on the blog. The first is a a really good one because it combines 3 favorites – chickens, burlap and chicken wire!  Here’s an example of how the free 3 Hens printable would look framed. Free art – can’t beat that!

Free home decor printable

She used burlap as the background for the chickens and surrounded them with chicken wire for a pretty farmhouse style print

free home decor printable of 3 chickens on burlap background

Click on the  sample photo below to access the print. Another page will open up. Print it out (regular printer paper is fine – card stock does make it look nicer) and then frame it.  I trimmed the white part off to fit my frame. Or just  put it on a clipboard or decoupage on to some wood for a great piece of free art!

three chickens free printable

I’ve found that Chrome works better for me when printing things from the web but maybe that’s just my computer :)

My New (to me) Dining Room China Cabinet

My husband got me a new china cabinet for the dining room (I got to pick it out) for Mother’s Day! I had few to choose from that needed painting but I really wasn’t looking forward to adding one more thing to my to do list, so I was lucky to find one that someone had already painted.

cottage china cabinet decorated with red and yellow plates, Country Living Rooster Plaes
All I did was paint some of the beadboard backing yellow. I didn’t spend a whole lot of time dressing it up – but I didn’t want to show it to you empty (that wouldn’t be fun :) )!

KMart Country Living Rooster Dishes

I used some Country Living plates and bowls that were purchased at K-Mart (I don’t know if they still have them – I got them in 2009).

thrifted rooster prints w/yellow candle holders on a white china cabinet

That’s the rooster print I found at the thriftstore that I showed you here with my other thrifty finds.

cottagey china cabinet with Country Living Rooster plates

I love that each shelf in the top part of the cabinet has two grooves for plates!

folded linen in a china cabinet bottom

I used to have a black chest of drawers in this spot (which I gave to my daughter) and it held all my tablecloths, placemats, tablerunners and my collection of vintage silverware .  I went through my  “collection” and got rid of quite a few linens. But as you can see I have room to grow (love table linens!).

vintage sewing drawer and yellow candle holder

An old sewing machine drawer is holding our cloth napkins.  I put the placemats in one of the drawers but I think I’ll move them down with the other linens.

cottage style white china cabinet

One of these days I’ll probably paint the hardware or maybe replace it (like after we move).  It’s the china cabinet I always wanted – it’s so cottagey!  Which is the style that I like. I didn’t want anything too formal. I also like it because it’s not as deep as the one in the living room (which takes a huge amount of plates to make a display). So this one should be easier to change around!



Painted Bench Makeover For The Deck

About  17 years ago my husband and I were walking through Target and I saw a bench that was on clearance. This was my first ever clearance purchase at Target! I can still remember how excited I was that I found it because we had just purchased our first house and money was tight. But this was something I could afford, it had a little bit of storage and it was perfect for my entry way. The stars aligned that day!

Painted bench makeover - the after

Fast forward 3 years-we sold that house and purchased this house and I didn’t have anywhere to put my bench…so it sat on my back patio….for years and years… and years. But now I spruced up my bench with a little paint and put it on my newly stained deck  and it’s perfect! (I’m taking down my curtains in the screened porch to wash them and was too lazy to move the ladder out of the shot).

Painted Bench Makeover

My husband needs someplace to sit when he’s grilling and I used to have a little red bistro set on the deck for that purpose. But I thought this bench would be much more comfortable for him.

painted bench with storage

Plus the seat lifts up and it’s a perfect place to stash his grilling tools (and get them out of my kitchen)!

Black painted bench on deck - before and after makeover

I used some black exterior paint I already had to paint it.  I decided to go with black for a variety of reasons. The deck color is called cedar but when it’s wet it can look almost pumpkin? Sometimes it looks brown sometimes it looks more orange – depends on the light (my husband is not fond of it but I’m not re-doing it).  Black was a color that looked good with the deck color. Also, you see the deck from a big picture window in the kitchen and my floors are black and white and my counters are black. So it helps to tie the two spaces together.

white garden bench

Here’s the before. It originally was some type of blond wood and I painted it white when we moved to this house.

container herb garden with washi tape herb markers

Next to the bench (on the other side of the steps leading to the backyard) is my container herb garden that I showed you how I planted here.

fern potted in a black urn

This potted fern is going to go next to the door leading into the screened in porch.

The deck is done! Yay one project is completed. Only about 20 more left to go before we can list this house! :)

The Perfect Spring Pillow

So I’m lightening things up in the living room for spring and I have some new pillows to share with you. Well 1 pillow today since I want to wash my white slipcovers before putting my other new pillows on that seating.  I bought a pretty aqua chevron pillow cover at Hobby Lobby a while ago and I wanted to make a really big yellow ruffled rosette for the center but we have been so busy working on our deck (what a huge exhausting project) that I just never had time.

Spring Decorations - aqua chevron pillow with yellow rosette

So for the time being I made a little rosette from some yellow toile fabric and am calling it good because otherwise this pillow would never see the light of day!

Yellow rosette on aqua chevron pillows

The lampshade is from Target – their Threshold line – which I really like since so many things are yellow.  :)

Yellow Threshold lampshade from Target

A yellow lampshade does not give off much light! But it’s ok because this is the lamp I leave on at night and it emits nice soft glow now that it has a yellow shade.  It’s on a swing arm lamp that I got at the thrift store many years ago (used to be gold and I spray painted it white).

Yellow polka dot vase filled with spring flowers

Some pretty faux spring flowers

Spring Decorating with Yellow

A little corner fluffed for spring!

My Easter Decorations

Hi everyone! I thought I’d share my Easter decorations today. I recently took out the toile fabric panels that lined the back of my  living room china cabinet and painted the beadboard backing  a golden yellow. So instead of just putting everything back, I put everything back and added some of my Easter decorations. So it’s all in one spot instead of spread throughout the house (makes it easier for me to put it all away).

Easter China Cabinet | A Cultivated Nest

This might just be the last time I decorate for Easter (I only do it for my daughter) and she’ll most likely be out on her own this time next year (sob!). I don’t know…I’m always torn with wanting to live simpler and getting rid of everything and thinking it all looks really cute when I have everything decorated :)

Easter bottlebrush tree and blue plates

I basically use the same decorations every year but try to think of new ways to use them. I normally buy new decorations close to the holiday or after the holiday when everything is on clearance (unless it’s something I really love – because if you wait till the end the picking’s are slim).

I’m just going to post photos with no text because everything is pretty self-explanatory. Here are some close-ups.

Easter bottlebrush tree and pink  plates


Easter decorations


Easter decorations - bunny

Easter decorations - egg topiary | A Cultivated Nest

Easter decorations

Happy Easter!

Easter banner | A Cultivated Nest

“Welcome to the Farm” Pillow for the Kitchen Windowseat

I guess you could say I have a farmhouse style vibe going on in my kitchen. So when I went to TJMaxx and saw that they had a whole bunch of farmhouse themed pillows…well I just had to get one. It was hard choosing just one especially since they were so reasonably priced!

farmhouse style pillow - kitchen window seat

So I got “Welcome to the Farm”. They have a whole bin full of farm/rooster themed pillows at my TJMaxx!

farmhouse style kitchen | www.acultivatednest.com

I do have a couple of cow prints and other little touches without being too themey ( I hope!).

red rooster and gingham plate

Above the window seat  I have a plate holder that’s easy to change the plate out since it just slips in. Right now I have one of my favorite plates from the thrift store in it.

farmhouse wall decor

On the opposite side I have a window sign and a bulletin board that’s just decorative. I  pin different things on it depending on my mood. Right now I have a little sign made from a printable in my daughter’s etsy store.

welcome to the farm pillow

I think I may have to stop with the “farmhouse” theme now!


Linking to: Feathered Nest Friday

Welcoming Spring In My Foyer

Happy Spring everyone!  I thought I’d share a little spring decorating that I did in my small foyer (which basically means doing something on my halltree). :)

Spring Easter egg wreath

I don’t plan on doing too much this year since we’re busy with house and garden projects. But as you know, I like to celebrate the seasons and most holidays by doing a little something!

Forsythia branches in a blue glass vase

I glued a few fake Easter eggs onto a grapevine wreath that I already had (it was on my cute little garden shed before and  I spray painted it blue at that time).  I also took some fake forsythia branches and placed them in a blue glass vase (see how I used them on my mantel a few years ago here).

red halltree decorated for spring

It’s simple yet says “spring”!

My forsythia is in bloom, all my spring bulbs are up, my Bradford Pear is covered in white blossoms and the sun feels soooo good!

forsythia in bloom
So glad spring is finally here! I hope it’s sunny where you are and that the snow is melting!

A Thrifty Find For The Screened In Porch

I hadn’t been to Hobby Lobby in a while (it’s in another town) but my husband had to go to Lowe’s  yesterday (same town) so I popped in to HL to see what’s new and walked out with a big fabulous sign for $4!

Thrifty Find - Farmer's Market Sign - screened in porch decor

The cashier thought the price was too good to be true and called the manager over (which was annoying ) but he confirmed that it was indeed on clearance and the right price.  I have to say that they really do have the best clearance prices on home decor stuff out of all the stores I shop.

Hobby Lobby sign price tag

So I took down the sign I made out of an old fence board (I’m going to repurpose it in the garden) and put the new Farmers’ Market one up in my screened in porch.

$4 Farmers' Market sign above porch doors | www.acultivatednest.com

I think it looks nice with the black of the curtains that you can usually see through the patio doors.

decorating a screened in porch | www.acultivatednest.com

It’s been a while since I’ve found such a good thrifty find!

My Cheerful Yellow Spring Decorating

Yellow is such a happy color! I decorate with yellow all year long (almost all of my walls are yellow) but I particularly love using yellow for spring decorating.

decorating with yellow for springHere are a few ways I’ve used yellow in my home.

Spring decor - faux yellow tulips in a white pitcher

I wasn’t sure what to do with my fireplace mantel (until I decorate for Easter) so I  kept it simple and popped some faux yellow tulips in a pitcher for the time being.

china cabinet with vintage yellow scale

I have my vintage yellow scale in my living room china cabinet.

decorating with yellow - yellow accessories

My favorite yellow lamp from Target gets moved around the living all the time.

yellow gingham kitchen curtains with red trim

I have yellow curtains in my kitchen.

yellow & red toile fabric in kitchen cabinets behind chicken wire

I also have yellow and red toile in the cabinet above my microwave.

yellow accents in a bookcase

There’s a few little yellow accent pieces in the the living room boockcases.

yellow home decor accents

and of course can’t forget my news yellow addition….

A Cultivated Nest Yellow Accent Chair

…my yellow accent chair from Target

Yellow is always cheerful!


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