The $11 Skinny Wreath

We live in a sweet little mid-century ranch (hence our little living room in need of a little coffee table – see previous post).  Every holiday season since we moved in, I have silently cursed the tiny space between our front and storm doors. Hang a normal sized wreath and it’s subjected to a good crushing whenever the door is closed. Unacceptable!

Being a thrifty girl, I occasionally find myself at the Dollar Store. During a recent trip, I was inspired to create a wreath that a) would be the right size, b) wouldn’t cost me an arm and a leg and c) I’d be willing to hang on my front door for all the world to see.


  • 7″ gold tinsel wreath with loop of string at top for hanging – $1 at Dollar Store
  • 11″ craft wreath – $1 at Dollar Store
  • 4 strands of tinsel, about 36″ each (I used a silver rope style) – $1 each at Dollar Store
  • gold and silver doorknob bell hanger – $1 at Dollar Store
  • two twist-ties from my junk drawer
  • 3M command hook – I sprung for the silver style, around $4 at CVS

wreath ingredients


  1. Using a twist tie, fasten the outer circle of the 7″ wreath to the inner circle of the 11″ wreath so that the smaller wreath nests inside the larger wreath with equal space between the two.
  2. Using a twist tie, fasten the bottoms of the wreaths as in Step 1.  Once fastened to the larger wreath, the smaller wreath can be pivoted to make room needed for Step 3.
  3. Wrap the 11″ wreath with four strands of tinsel – one strand for each quarter of the wreath, knotting each strand together and tucking in unsightly strands as needed. Continue wrapping until the 11″ wreath is completely covered.
  4. Pivot the tinsel wreath back into place. Secure with additional twist ties on the sides (optional).
  5. Using the loop at the top of the tinsel wreath, hang from 3M hook.
  6. Hang the bell doorknob hanger on the 3M hook to finish the look.


It took me about 20 minutes and I’m pretty pleased with the result!

Let’s Get Small

Every holiday season, I reconfigure our tiny living room to make way for a tree. And every year, the space left for the coffee table hand crafted by my grandfather is immediately too small. The poor table is too long. It feels awkward and crowded in its new space, ready to strike at unsuspecting shins.


We need a better solution for the holidays. Something round, something SMALL.  And when I say small, I mean something really, really small – like 23-30″ round.  Besides being small, it needs to fit in with our Pottery-Barn-esque decor (dark walnut, muted greens and blues), it needs to be an actual table we can set things on, and it needs to be on the child-proof side. The hunt is on!

  • Cala Hammered Coffee Table. $299.99 at World Market. I don’t think it’s “me” all year round, but it’s a festive look for the holidays.
  • Origami Coffee Table. $399.00 at West Elm. 28″ and would have looked very cool in our old condo…. Ah well, moving on.
  • Soho Randall Round Cocktail Table. $159.99 at 23.5″w 16.5″h.  Pros – it’s exactly the right size and price; reviewers rate it highly. Cons – It comes only in black and apparently there’s a weird silver circle on the top not shown in the pic. But now I know that the right sized table exists, watch out…
  • Safavieh Ruxton Dark Brown Wicker Ottoman. $177.99 at Overstock. I really love this. Maybe because I love it the 32″ will work? (Running hopeful to the living room to measure again). Nope, too big.
  • Rush Grass Ottoman. $79.00 at  30″ x 16.5″  Very tempting!  If the color is to be believed online, it’s a perfect match to the burgundy in my rug. And I already have a little woven grass on an accent table, so it wouldn’t seem entirely out of place…

I’ll be off to Homegoods later today to see if I can find something I can purchase immediately.  Stay tuned…

Dressing Up Your Drawers

Drawers 1

Drawers 1 (Photo credit: Jacobunny)

Who rummages through your drawers? You do! We say that’s reason enough to dress ’em up and bring on the bling.  Here are nine ways to get them gussied:

1) Brighten up your drawers with unexpected color.

2) No more paper liners and sachets – this herbal drawer liner does double duty. A pretty and practical perk for your dresser.

3) Replace drawer knobs and pulls for a quick and affordable mini-makeover.

4) KNM Home offers a custom drawer organizing solution to keep it all from getting lost in the shuffle. A place for everything, and everything in its place. The color choices are a fun bonus and the price is, too, starting around $26 for the 16-piece kit.

5) Add a drawer where it’s needed most. Upgrade your under-sink cabinet by installing a sliding organizer like this one from Container Store and boom, there’s the stuff you need. Right there.

6) Protect your kitchen blades with a soft cork Deluxe Bamboo Knife Dock. There are no pre-fitted grooves, so you can put your knives in just about any order you please.

7) Talk about bling. Install an LED interior light for your drawers. Battery operated, this design has a sensor. Open the drawer and the light stays on for 15 seconds. Close the drawer and the light goes off. The first few days, we bet you’ll open and close the drawers just for fun.

8) Classic and clutter-free. Stackable acrylic drawer organizers are perfect for shallow spaces teeming with tiny things to be tamed.

9) Free up counter space with this novel custom drawer idea to store tall utensils.

Yep, I can see every one of these items in my dream kitchen…

At Your Door

welcome mat

The door mat is looking a little worn which means we use it – a good sign.  Of course, wearing out our Welcome (mat) means finding a replacement.  And what better way to kick off than with a Welcome Mat post?  Exciting, right?  It doesn’t take much to get me giddy when it’s a cool, affordable way to wake up your home.

So file today’s post under “a few of my favorite things.” In the coming months, I’ll post shopping excursions, decorating ideas, and things that catch my eye.  I’ll take you behind the scenes as I brainstorm, hunt, shop and create great living spaces for clients – or just for fun. Sometimes I’ll wake up the whole house. Other times, I’ll give it just a little boost – like today – with a simple, sweet welcome mat.  Thanks for reading!  -Dawn

A Few of My Favorite Welcome Mats

Welcome in Binary Floor/Door Mat. $49.99 from ThinkGeek.  If Frank Lloyd Wright could ping…  It’s not every day you get a combination of subtle humor, function and style.

Floral Row welcome mat at Kohl’s. $24.99  Classy, not too flowery.  A sweet way to greet your feet.

Mosaic Tiles Doormat at Kohl’s.  $24.99  This earthy design wins points for hiding dirt with flair.

Multistripe Doormat at Pottery Barn $29.00  Vibrant and cheerful stripes, a great summer addition.

Colormate Poppy Doormat at KMart.  $12.98 A warm hello, especially perfect for the Fall.

Fleur De Lis Door Mat Non Personalized at Ballard Designs.  $39.00 Cool grey adds a touch of luxury and elegance in the winter months.

Boot tray at Bed Bath & Beyond, $7.99.  In cold climates, this is a must-have indoor companion to the welcome mat. Add some river rocks and voila, the slush and ice melts away and out of sight.

Daisies Recycled Rubber Doormat by Pure Modern, $24.75.  The bright and cheery daisies never fade, even when faced with muddy rain boots.

Wellness Mat. $119.95 (2×3) at William Sonoma.  It’s not a welcome mat, but it’s a must for anyone who spends a ton of time standing in one place – in the kitchen, at the copier, at a register. Worth every penny.