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


I’ve gotta say, I was more than a bit excited when I recently received an invite to attend a “Sneak Peek Blogger Event” at the newly remodeled Michaels Craft Store in Saugus, Mass.

Michaels Crafts Get Crafty Boston Sign

After all, I do spend quite a bit of time (and $$$!) there gathering materials for my very many, many DIY projects! And, I love to blog about them. So, I was delighted to have an opportunity to meet other area bloggers, take part in a craft session and have a tour of the fresh new look of my local Michaels store! Along with 27 other Boston area stores, the Saugus Michaels is unveiling a brighter, fresher style that is less cluttered, much more organized and shopper friendly.

Michaels Crafts Flower PlantersUpon our arrival, we were greeted and escorted into the Michaels Craft Room (which is, FYI, available to the public for group craft projects-good to know : ) After having a yummy bite and an Italian Soda (many of us had never heard of it, but so delish!), we were instructed in our craft projects, then left to our own devices and Exacto knives to create the perfect Boston Skyline from scrapbook paper and canvas.

Michaels Crafts Blogger IntroductionOnce our projects were completed, we were off on the store tour, led by Brett, the district manager along with several store employees, all of whom are now sporting bright red shirts so they are easy to spot when you need a crafty, helping hand.

Michaels Crafts DM TourHaving shopped here numerous times in the past, the first change I noticed was the wall banner circling the entire store, high enough to spot from any vantage point and identifying key shopping areas. Other new features include signage that not only identifies the area, but informs the shopper what is available in each aisle.

Michaels Crafts End Cap SignA newly expanded section, by customer request, is Home Decor, where you will find aisles stocked with latest trends in home fashions and accessories.

Sea Shell Statues Michaels CraftsLoving these ruffled pillows and ottomans!

Michaels Home Decor PillowsOne of the most noticeable changes throughout the store were the information boards associated with the products. I dabble in cake decorating from time to time, and I know my way around a pastry bag. BUT, what would be a simple cake decorating project for me could be an overwhelming task to an aspiring Cake Boss wanna be. So, Michaels solved this dilemma by not only stocking the shelves with the necessary tools, but also by adding these information and instruction boards (kind of like Pinterest in real life : )

Michaels Crafts Cake Decorating BoardThe chalk and chalkboard section, which is still so trending on Pinterest right now, has it’s own “Pin” board, where customers can get inspiration, then grab the necessary supplies to create the project of their choice.

Michaels Chalk Craft DisplayWhile on the tour, this new Tint It Spray caught my eye, (of course, with all the bright, pretty colors : ) with craft ideas and a color sample, plus supplies-brilliant!

Michaels Crafts Tint It Spray PMAs we turned each corner, I continued to be impressed by the overall look of the store with its colorful displays and variety of items for any imaginable craft project. AND, so excited to see that they are finally carrying my latest DIY obsession-Americana Chalky Paint by DecoArt!! I have just started using this product, and I can’t wait to share my first project with all of you. But for now, you will have to take my word for it that these paints and finishes are like nothing you may have worked with in the past.

Americana Chalky Finish PaintSo, now that I’ve given you the condensed tour, its your turn to head to your nearest Michaels to see what the blogging fuss is about! On Sunday, May 4th, there will be a grand re-opening of the Boston-area Michaels Stores featuring a 9:45 am ribbon-cutting ceremony, and over $1000 in gift card giveaways!! So, get crafty Boston, and…

Michaels Crafts Creative JourneyI hope you have a creative and inspired Sunday, everyone. And if you do happen to visit your local Michaels, tell them Sue from Country Design Home sent you! Susan 

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Another day, another DIY project done! This is an old commode Coach and I picked up at auction last fall for $25.

Country Pine Commode Before

Unfortunately, it was buried in the back of the barn until our most recent barn sale (which was quite a success, I must say). My mom had been searching for a nice storage cupboard for her entryway, and I knew this would be the perfect piece once I rescued it from under the piles of books and bric-a-brac!

Stacks of books in the barn

All it took was a bit of cleaning, a few coats of Annie Sloane Chalk Paint in Old White, a bit of sanding around the edges and a new product (more about this later), a crème wax by Americana Paints that you literally paint on with a brush and then buff off. It has no odor, has the consistency of a clear paint, leaves a nice, soft sheen and a very smooth protective finish. Our original intent was to paint the hardware as well, but once the piece was sanded and finished, we liked the dark contrast against the light wood.

Country Pine Commode Painted

But, the best part about this makeover is the staging that occurred once the commode was finished and moved into place. Because my mom is an artist, she sees everything a bit differently than most folks. The surfaces in her home become a canvas that she transforms from simple and unadorned to simply beautiful,  with a little help from her favorite HomeGoods store(s).

Country Pine Commode Staged

Each of these decorative items were purchased separately, but together they become a lovely vignette in shades of blues and silvers, with a few natural elements from the sea. Flanked by two antique ladder back chairs with gunny sack pillows, some of my mom’s paintings and the pediment mirror that is more than 25 years old, the vintage country pine commode has a new life greeting visitors in my mom’s entryway.

Painted Pine Country CommodeAnd that is what the three “R”‘s are all about- reclaim, recycle, relove. Have a lovely weekend everyone, the sun is about to shine!! Susan

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As I was scrolling through my morning emails (of which there are sooo many) this particularly one caught my eye and made me chuckle.

(DIY) Redneck Airconditioner (Modified) Cheap…

DIY Air Conditioner

Of course, I had to click on it to see what exactly this meant. I have seen redneck swimming pools (essentially a pickup truck with a plastic tarp liner filled with water) before, but this was a new one for me. This person, NKY DIY is a member of the Google + social media network, where folks add their DIY and home improvement projects to share with others, This particular member, NKY DIY  (there isn’t any other information, so I really can’t tell you more about him…) has posted many interesting YouTube videos with various helpful hints on everything from sightseeing and gardening, to this particular DIY Redneck Air Conditioner project. Watch the video here:

It’s cheap (essentially the cost of a Styrofoam cooler, a small portable fan and a PVC pipe, plus some empty 2L and gallon jugs filled with water and frozen.), requires no tools to build and no Freon!! Of course, can’t say it will do much for your decor, but I am certain that all of you DIY’ers out there can make this look beautiful!! Grab those old wooden pallets and start building your own decorative DIY AC Unit, if you are fortunate enough to be needing an air conditioner right now (we are at 40 degrees in Boston). Have a (hopefully warmer) Wednesday everyone. Susan

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Luckily for me, I have friends and relatives on both (warm) coasts of the US. A few weeks ago, I traveled to California

View of San Diego Harbor from Coronado

for a bit of R & R. So, it was only fair that last week I hopped on a flight to Florida, returning just in time to host Easter festivities on Sunday! While the trip to Cali was merely for fun, my Florida jaunt had a more lofty purpose. My wonderful friend Jan-a two time cancer survivor-is quite involved with an organization called Relay for Life.

Relay for Life

If you have not heard of it, you can click here for more information and to get involved.

Relay for Life

The primary fundraising campaign for the American Cancer Society, Relay for Life events are staged throughout the country to raise funds for research and cancer awareness and hopefully, someday, a cure. Which brings me to last week, when I traveled to Florida to lend Jan a hand while she held a RFL fundraiser at her winter home in Bonita Springs.

IMG_6643The Relay for Life fundraiser event was held indoors, because (unfortunately, we had threats of rain. But it didn’t dampen the spirits of the people who came to participate in such a worthwhile event. The Luminaria bags are purchased in honor of, or in memory of loved ones who have bravely battled cancer.

IMG_6681On the evening of the event, the bags are filled with sand and tealights to illuminate the HOPE

Relay for Life HOPEin all of us that someday will lead to a CURE.

IMG_6702Of course, while I was there, we did do some sightseeing and shopping (have you heard of Charming Charlie and Ross Dress for Less?!? OMG!!!) and some power walking, (have you ever visited someone and decided to go for a walk in their neighborhood, only to discover after an hour, that you are lost and have to rely on Siri to guide you back home? No? So that’s just me…) admiring the scenery while enjoying some much-needed sunshine and warm tropical breezes.

IMG_6649A few pics from my weekend: Sunrise in Bonita (although it was overcast quite a bit, the Florida sunshine still managed to peek through the clouds : )

IMG_6718Breakfast at Flippers on the Bay overlooking the Gulf

IMG_6721The Easter Bunny came and hid tons of eggs for the kids

IMG_6720Beautiful inlaid mosaic sea creatures at the entrance to the Naples Pier.

Sea Turtle At Naples PierA fun, relaxing, but very moving weekend, as once again, I mourned the loss of beloved ones, but rejoiced in the continued good health of others who have fought the fight and are winning the battle against cancer!  Hope you have a sunny Friday everyone, and please wish Jan and her team good luck while participating in this weekend’s Relay for Life in Bonita Springs! Susan





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HomeGoods Driftwood MirrorYou know that moment when you see something in a store and your heart starts beating faster and you think “wow, I really need to have that-I don’t care how much it costs!!” And then you discover it is marked down in the clearance section and you think “OK, you’re mine!!” Recently, I stumbled upon this large painted driftwood flower mirror in the clearance bin at HomeGoods. It is painted the perfect colors for my kitchen/family room, and I knew in an instant it was to be mine!

driftwood mirror beforeSo ridiculously cheap, and it was there because the center mirror was missing so it was being sold-I love these words-AS IS. To whomever broke the mirror- sorry about your seven years of bad luck. But for me, my lucky day!! Now, how to repair it and replace the missing mirror? Simple. The back piece was already pulled away from the frame. I am assuming that it was removed to clear away all of the broken glass shards. No problem, easier for me. I happened to have a large round unframed mirror that I had purchased from Ikea quite awhile ago, and it was just the right size to fit in the opening.

Ikea Mirror

So, I pried the backing off the frame,

Driftwood Mirror Backing Removedthen centered the mirror into the opening, ensuring that the little squares around the edges of the mirror were evenly distributed.

Driftwood Mirror Insert

Now, how to affix it to the irregular driftwood pieces of the frame? What else but duct tape? Super strong and pliable so I could wrap it around the circular shape and affix it to the frame. (of course, this is where I should insert the pic of the duct taped mirror, but alas, I was so excited I forgot!) Once secured, I re-attached the backing to the frame with some screws,

Driftwood Mirror Backing Screws

making sure I missed the mirror (that would have changed my luck in a flash!), and then re-attached the large hanging bracket, again avoiding the mirror with the screws and hiding it behind one of the large driftwood petals.

Hanging Bracket Behind Driftwood

And now it has a perfect new home in my kitchen, where it is a constant reminder of the hope of spring (yup, it’s coming…) and the thrill of bargain hunting. I received so many compliments about my latest find on Easter Sunday as well! Oh, and PS: the floral runner is from HomeGoods too!

Driftwood Mirror Easter Vignette PM

Always goes to show you, one shopper’s junk is another shopper’s treasure.  And, you don’t always need to go dumpster diving to find a hidden one that just needs a bit of TLC. Hope you are having a #HomeGoodsHappy Thursday, everyone! 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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