Author: Jen


Just No. Or, How to Hang Pictures II

Hanging pictures that are too small above your couch is like talking to someone with spinach in their teeth. It’s distracting.  It feels wrong.  Do you say something?  Do you nonchalantly stand on their couch and ask for a hammer?  Sometimes I do.  And. heaven. help. me. if. they. are. hung. too. high. and. too. small. It’s too much. Please.  You can’t.  Help me help you. The art should be 1/2 to 2/3 the size of whatever it is hanging above.  And NOT float mysteriously high on the wall.  It needs to be hung in relation to the objects around it. Public Service Announcement because you deserve to live in a Stylish Home.


Just No. Or, How to Hang Pictures.

Unless you are living in a house full of giraffes, and by giraffes I mean the actual animals, you are not to hang your pictures on top of your walls.  I, even for example sake, could not bring myself to hang the above picture any higher. This is correct: Hang artwork in relation to furnishings. If the picture hangs in a hallway then hang it about eye level or about 57 inches from floor to center of picture. Public Service Announcement because you deserve to live in a stylish home.


I’ve been in the midst of this and that and in the middle of here and there and thus I have not had time to post much.  So here is an update. I thought it would be easier to show you. We bought a house and are moving in a few weeks.  Important to note I bought the house without anyone else (Husband) seeing it and hoped they would like it after it was purchased. We, meaning me, have to move ourselves. Husband has to work. It’s not a military move–it’s just us thinking it would be great fun to move 1 mile. I work, helping you, fix your houses, and helping you sell your houses. I have two new realtors I work with who are wonderful. I just did this and I liked how it came out. Last summer we planned a huge trip that is taking place in just a few weeks. Backpacks only. You bring what you can carry. Kids too. Everything has to be well thought out. We are going There: We …

J Wes Yoder

Vintage Trailer Turned Into Guest House

I think this is a brilliant guest bedroom, don’t you? J. Wes Yoder bought a 1963 Shasta for $1,900 on eBay, and uses it as a guest house, at his home in Nashville. He now rents it out on AirBnB where I heard it is booked a year in advance. Absolutely brilliant.    


Blue and Gold Kitchens–Go Navy!

Maybe I just have Navy on my mind as we did just spend the weekend in Annapolis where I was surrounded by Blue and Gold. (Leave it to me to turn a tailgate and football game into a decorating inspiration, but whatever.)                        


Choosing Paint Colors for Open Floor Plan–Like Finding Jeans that Fit

  The question I get asked the most is what color should I paint my walls when the walls merge into 17 other spaces aka an open floor plan. People always want me to give them a magic answer that does not include the word beige. I get it. I’m not a fan of “beige” either. Open floor plans equal several walls that you see simultaneously–that means lots of square footage. This is not the opportunity to show your individuality and your love of color. Go neutral, you don’t have to call it “beige”–call it “Moonlit Mushroom” or “Hint of Chocolate”. You showcase your personality in other ways–accent chairs, a kitchen island, pillows, a wallpapered accent wall, rugs. And if you really want some diversity with the neutral color take the whole paint card and choose a few of the shades off the card for the surrounding opening rooms.   If in doubt about which neutral shade to go with–go lighter instead of darker. The color always intensifies and looks brighter once it goes on …


Kid’s Swim Teams, The Olympics, and America. Love.

I love my kid’s swim team. I love the Olympics. I love the 4th of July. And right now they all feel a little bit like the same thing. What’s more Americana than elementary through high school age kids shoulder to shoulder cheering each other on despite age, gender, color, religion, ethnicity, or ability? Seriously. There isn’t. There is zero difference in the courage level between the Olympic swimmer and the 8 year old in regards to standing on that starting block waiting for the buzzer. There is zero difference between the Olympian’s Mom and the 8 year old’s Mom once that buzzer goes off and you see your baby racing his butt off putting forth more determination, drive, and strength of spirit than even you knew he had. And there is zero difference between the Olympic spectators and the local swim meet’s when you are screaming your lungs out as they are approach the finish and it’s so close it could be First, it could be Second. My whole family is involved in our swim …


Moms and the Month of June

  June is always ridiculous. I called the orthodontist to see if she could reschedule my 11 year old’s appointment or give me an extra 15 minutes because I wasn’t sure we could make it on time. She said you must be having one of those busy days-and then I interrupted and actually told her why and what was making me busy– “You see I’m teaching about an artist at 2pm in this very son’s classroom and just before that I have to go see a lady about the 8 foot octopus that I am making for vacation bible school and I really shouldn’t move the appointment because there just isn’t any other day and can you hold on because I think the UPS guy is here with the knickers that I just ordered for the Colonial Days reenactment we are having at school Friday”. She laughed, albeit somewhat nervously, but that was all the encouragement I needed because I then launched into– “I have to melt paraffin. Have you ever melted paraffin? I mean I …


Plug-In Wall Sconces–Did I Just Blow Your Mind?

Plug-in wall sconces–who knew? I love writing these groundbreaking posts. Yes, you don’t need an expensive electrician to have wall mounted lighting. You can buy them with a regular ordinary cord and plug it into your wall and it will still look great. Think of the possibilities–free up room on your bedside table, better light for reading, intentional lighting where you need it, highlight a great spot. I know…your mind is blown.     Photo by Cynthia Lynn Photography    Photo by The Design Atelier –    Photo by Rauser Design – Look for farmhouse bedroom design inspiration


Sound Your Barbaric YAWP

Bluk. I sound my barbaric YAWP over the roofs of the world.  ~Walt Whitman-Leaves of Grass Your “barbaric yawp” is like your battle cry…how you would announce yourself to the world and let them know who you are.  Reflect your inner self…loudly, explosively and truthfully! Again, Bluk. That’s how I feel right now when I think about Barbaric YAWPs. We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. To quote from Whitman, “O me! O life!… of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless… of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?” Answer. That you are here – that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. That the …