Country style, country love, country life. Sharing my inspired, vintage, rustic DIY designs and decor on my blog.


While searching through my blog for some recent project before and after photos, I realized that I really haven’t posted any DIY projects lately!! What the heck!?! I had been so busy painting and waxing and building in the months leading up to Christmas, I cannot believe I didn’t share any projects with all of you! Well, I went back through my photos albums on my camera and there it was…concrete evidence of…a very bad case of craftus interruptus. Definition: working on but not finishing DIY projects or not taking before and after pics of the DIY projects to blog about. Scattered pics of multiple projects that were in the works simultaneously..the photos were in complete disarray (as was I during the last couple of months).

Array of DIY Photos

And the final blow was that I have a whole bunch of “before” and “during” pictures, but none of the final results! Why?! Primarily because I was working at a feverous pitch to prepare items for the Barn shop and before I could take the final shots, Coach would pack ’em up and bring them up to the Barn…and wham… SOLD! OK, let’s stop right there and say that I am not complaining about that part, just sayin’. So lest you think I have been lazing around doing nothing for the past couple of months except eating Christmas cookies…which I was…I present to you a short journey through my most recent projects. This trio of items: a cane back side chair with a velvet brocade padded seat, the vanity bench with the velvet brocade padded seat and the vintage dresser were all done about the same time. I used Annie Sloan Old White Chalk Paint on all of them. Distressed and waxed, with recovered cushions in this lush fabric, they were a bit hit at the shop!

Annie Sloan Old White Dresser and Vanity Bench

Cane Back Chair Brocade Velvet Seat Annie Sloan Old White Painted an old brown side table

Brown Painted Side Tableand added a crackled and stenciled French Typography top.

Painted Brown Side Table Annie Sloan Old WhiteIt was really cute, I swear!

Brown Side Table Crackled and Stenciled TopApparently there are a lot of Parisian natives around the North Shore, where our shop is. Because no matter what I paint, if it has a Paris graphic on it, it’s SOLD almost immediately.

Annie Sloan Old White Painted Table Top ParisPainted this vintage headboard a beautiful Benjamin Moore shade called Thunder Cloud Gray

Vintage Twin Headboardand added the curved stenciled graphic.

Americana Stencil Fleurs De LisBright yellow spotted leopard before. Weird.

Vintage Headboard BeforeCute little victorian bench with cat fabric. Before, with cats. There is no “after” on this one : ( Actually, I don’t even remember what I recovered it with!

Victorian Cat BenchRooster table made from an old table with legs but no top and a punched tin door panel.

Tin Punched Panel Rooster DoorPainted the table and frame in a mixture of reds I had hanging around.

Mixing Red PaintThen I crackled the frame surrounding the rooster, distressed it and waxed.

Painted and Crackled Rooster TableAttached the punched tin rooster top with some L-brackets.

Vintage Hall Tree.

Pine Hall Tree BeforeThe before was dark brown chunky pine, missing some pegs, pretty scratched and beaten up.

Pine Hall Tree scratched

Painted with Annie Sloan Old White, distressed and waxed. The “after” pic courtesy of The Barn at Todd Farm. (otherwise there would be no after pic!)

Hall Tree in the Barn at Todd FarmI also painted a red step-back cupboard, created quite a few Christmas decorations and managed to repaint a guest room in my son’s apartment, also in that shade of Thunder Cloud Gray (not to be confused with Storm Cloud Gray, I assure you…)

Painted Guest RoomBut from this point forward, I am back on track and snapping away as I go. Wait til you see the crown molding shots coming soon, because believe it or not, I am almost completely finished with mom’s kitchen makeover! I hope you have a completely awesome weekend everyone! Susan

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…when it’s time to make it into a coffee table! A few years ago, my daughter purchased a vintage look clock coffee table at HomeGoods very similar to this one from Goods Home Design.

Coffee Table Goods Home Design

It served her well…for quite awhile…but since she used her coffee table as a TV watching-dining surface, as many of us do, she noticed that crumbs were always getting stuck around the inside edges and the glass was constantly in need of cleaning. So, the clock coffee table was banished to one of the closets in our home where it has remained for quite some time. Whenever I asked her about taking it back to her house, she would state that 1.she really didn’t want to use it as a coffee table any more and 2. she had no room to store it, but 3. to please keep it because “someday” she will need it again…for something. In the closet it sat, until I recently asked if perhaps she would like us to try and sell it up at our shop we have in the old barn at Todd Farm. An idea to which she readily agreed (any little bit helps when paying off monstrous law school loans : ). So, I took it out and cleaned it up with the intent of bringing it up to the barn…but then a funny thing happened. It was Thanksgiving week and I was searching for places to store (actually HIDE) things that were hanging around the house in a hurry and plopped the giant clock (sans legs, of course) onto the mantel in my living room.

Mantel Clock Country Design Home

Where it has remained as the dramatic new focal point of the room. Which no one ever sees because we hardly ever go in there. (Which is why, when I am looking at this pic I realize that the stark white fireplace mantel could use a little TLC…new project : ) So I started looking around the web for other ways to use a clock but not as a clock. And I discovered that clocks, any kind of clocks, can be used in all sorts of imaginative ways. Like this Vintage Christmas Assemblage Clock decoration from

Christmas Assemblage from Joann.comA cool room divider like this one from Nexxt Design…

Clock Room Divider by Nexxt DesignHow about a sleek digital bookcase version from

Digital CLock Bookcase from OhGizmoCan birds tell time? Do they even need to know what time it is?

Clock Birdcage from Mousie MasalaA pillow from Creative with Clay. This might be hard to lean against on a sofa, but at least you’ll know what time it is to stop watching TV and get to work! (Actually, its made out of clay…quite inspired design, I would say : )

Wall Clock Pillow from Creative with Clay

A vintage look table top made from an old clock face from

Clock Table Top from GaryCSharpe via PinterestVintage look Chronograph Drawer Pulls from Anthropologie

Anthopologie Drawer PullsA steampunk loft window in Brooklyn Heights…amazing.

Steampunk Loft Window from Michael R. Davis via PinterestAnd clock dinner plates from Not On The High Street via Pinterest

Clock Dinner Plates from Not On The High Street via Pinterest

If you have a few minutes to spare, check out my Tick Tock Pinterest page with all sorts of amazing time pieces that serve dual purposes. For now, its time for me to get a move on! Have a timeless Tuesday, everyone! Susan

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It’s New Years Day, 2015. So I figure this is a good time to change a few things around here. Freshen up, clean out, add and subtract and shuffle around a few things in our home; this is the best part about home ownership. If I want to paint my room with pastel polka dots…I can. Not that I would, but this person from Home Design Inspirations did and look how cute!

Home Design Inspirations Polka Dot RoomOne of the fun parts of design blogging is that readers will often reach out for decorating ideas or DIY dilemma solutions because they know I might be able to help or offer suggestions. Oftentimes on my Facebook Country Design Home page, bloggers and companies will post a pic of some room or decor with a caption that reads: “if you could change something”, or “do you like this”, “are these lamps too big” or something along those lines. Sometimes I respond, sometimes I share them and check out what other people have to say about a particular style or space. I know what I like, but that doesn’t mean the rest of the world shares my country style and design aesthetic. Typically, a few people might respond and share the pic and we all move on. So, the other day, when I spotted this photo from Architectural Digest that came across my feed from Lamps Plus with the caption: “The first thing you would change in this living room is___________________”, I decided to share it on my Facebook page.

Peter Marino Living Room Fireplace ViewWhy? 1. because I thought it was very eclectic & interesting and 2. there were many parts of it that I personally didn’t care for, but a lot that I really liked, but I was curious what other people thought. Well, imagine my surprise when it reached well over 1000 views and garnered loads of comments!! Most of the comments were fairly negative (I did ask people to play nice : ) but many offered some constructive criticism such as painting the walls, removing the green couches, paint the fireplace mantel (I think that’s marble, so a no-go there), taking the box of Evian water off the modern coffee table…which they also did not like.  So I searched online for the origins of the room, which I traced back to internationally acclaimed Architect Peter Marino,  whose work was in the home of Muffy and Xavier Flouret in the Upper East Side of Manhattan and featured in Architectural Digest. According to the article, Muffy’s instructions were: “Let’s do it stylish, original, fun.” Which is exactly what the homeowners got: it’s fun, eclectic and every item in this room is an absolute conversation starter! On the AD website, I  discovered additional photographs of the same room, and this one in particular with a full view of the entire space.

Peter Marino Living Room AD 2012To me, the one piece that anchors the room is the large painting on the far wall that clearly inspired the color palette in the furnishings, wall color and accessories. So I posted the new pic, which again created another firestorm of activity; all told, between the two pics, we are presently at 2300+ views and 90 comments!  Now, everyone knows that I am a huge fan of color…the more the better…and even here I think it could work. But its the clashing patterns everywhere that are throwing me off. I re-imagined that if this were my room, (if I were so fortunate to have an apartment on the Upper East Side…) I’d keep the green and orange sofas ( I love those!), remove the brocade wallpaper and repaint the walls a creamy gold. Also replace the plaid drapes with a soft drapey silk, keeping the coffee table but recovering the top to remove the primary color splashes and change the artwork on the fireplace wall to more proportional pieces that don’t compete so much with the brown marble swirls. And that all made sense to me, which again is just my personal opinion. But THEN, I discovered the third photo, from the opposite vantage point of the fireplace. With the cool gigantic black & white cow painting by Donald Baechler. 

Peter Marino Design AD 2012 Living RoomAnd now I am at a crossroads about the space, so I am curious as to what you all think? Love the couches? Or not? Love the big fruit painting? The coffee table? The artwork? Why or why not? And how about that cow? Did the designer accomplish his goals for the homeowner: “stylish, original, fun” ? Remember to play nice and offer good advice: this is an exercise in constructive design choices : ) Hope your 2015 is off to a fun and stylish year!! Susan

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HGTV 2015 Dream Home Martha's VineyardMartha’s Vineyard here we come (fingers crossed xxxxxxx)!! For many, many years past, Coach and I, along with friends and families, had rented vacation homes during the summer months on Martha’s Vineyard. For those of you who aren’t familiar, Martha’s Vineyard is a small island off the coast of Cape Cod in Massachusetts, a quick trip by ferry boat or flight. Summer home to presidents and celebrities, this little gem of an island is the perfect getaway if you are longing for the sweet scent of salty air and the quintessential look of New England style architecture. Back when we were renting, a four bedroom home with a view of the sea would cost approximately $800 per week: nowawdays, that same four bedroom would now run you $5000+ for a week’s stay. So imagine my incredible delight when I received the email that this year’s HGTV Dream Home Giveaway is in Martha’s Vineyard!!

HGTV 2015 Dream Home Martha's Vineyard Front EntryNow, initially I was hesitant to share this with you, because the less people who enter means more chance for me to win. But, HGTV has a prettttty big following, so I am assuming that my little mention won’t make a whole lotta difference in the outcome of this contest… but just so you know, I am going to win this home… Here are a few of my favorite pics…

Welcome to my humble abode…

HGTV 2015 Dream Home Living Room EntranceThe soaring ceilings in this great room with rough-hewn posts and beams

HGTV 2015 Dream Home Great RoomCan you imagine having a dinner party in this combination kitchen…

HGTV 2015 Dream Home Kitchenand dining room space?

HGTV 2015 Dream Home Dining Room

Master Bedroom…sweet dreams.

HGTV 2015 Dream Home Master BedroomMaster Bath…what a view!

HGTV 2015 Dream Home Master BathGuest bedroom…if I were a guest here…would I ever leave?

HGTV 2015 Dream Home Guest BedroomNo Vineyard home is complete without some gorgeous outdoor living space. I can see me now, watching the sunset while sipping white wine…and don’t worry, I’ll invite all of you down for a visit : )

HGTV 2015 Dream Home Rear PatioFor more information and to enter, click here:

HGTV 2015 Dream Home Giveaway(but don’t really, because I’m going to win this anyway : ) Have a dreamy Tuesday, everyone! Susan


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Whew! Well that was quite a whirlwind of shopping, cooking, eating and so much family fun! This year’s Secret Santa clue poems were over the top and so incredibly inspired and hilarious! But now it’s over and the reality is setting in that it’s time to get back into the “making and blogging” saddle and start creating again! During one of my pre-Christmas shopping excursions, I headed down to Vintage Thymes Monthly Market for some “one for me, one for you” kind of shopping. When I happened upon this sign at Fleurish Home & Garden,

Benjamin Franklin Quote from Fleurish Home & Garden

I knew I had to have it for my desk (a “one for me” purchase : ) Its a constant reminder to me that what I do with this blog was never intended to be for the numbers-how many page views, how many readers, how many followers-but instead, it was meant as a vehicle to share my creative endeavors with all of you to enjoy and replicate (if you were so inclined). OR, to share my famous follies (for you to have a good laugh). Remember the time that I drove with the snow pile on my roof with the moon roof open…

snow falling on my head I often say to Coach (typically around the end of May when he’s teaching his last classes and getting ready for his two month summer break…) “why did I not become a teacher too!?” But then I remember that I am doing what I love: building & painting & creating…then teaching all of you the how-tos! Which is just as rewarding…except I don’t get my summers off…especially with the new barn shop at Todd Farm.

Vintage Sink in the Barn at Todd FarmThis year was definitely a DIY Christmas extravaganza for me! I’m excited to say that I received not one, but two shiny black cordless drills from Santa!

Drill Master Cordless DrillsA big one for those massive projects I work on, and the little guy just to have hanging around to tighten a screw or hang a picture. AND, a pile of HomeDepot gift cards to add stuff to my DIY arsenal.  See the one that says “for the one that wears a lot of hats around the house.” That’s me!

Home Depot Gift CardsAnd this year I’ll be packin’ some heat with this 1500w gun, which I am a little nervous about, I gotta say.

Heat GunApparently Santa had the same idea and added some cool bandaids to my tool box.

Glow In The Dark BandaidsAnd with all my new stuff, I am gearing up for a new year of more inspired, vintage rustic projects than ever that I can’t wait to share with you!  So here’s to all of you, my faithful readers (I haven’t popped the champagne yet, but this yummy frozen margarita will have to do for now!)

Margarita thanks for following & commenting & sharing my blog. See you in 2015! Susan  

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Inspired. Rustic. New Country Style.


Welcome To Country Design Home!

Inspired. Rustic. New Country the suburbs. Because you don't have to live on a farm to create a warm and inviting country-styled home. Follow my DIY junkin' journey as I give tips of the trades and inspired fresh country design ideas to create your own Country Design Home.

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