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


Not to be confused with ranch dressing,

Bench Ranch Dressing

which has much more white than this restyled country bench does! So the bench is finally done and done. From the painting poll that I took on a recent blog post, the colors that won were distressed aqua/blue/gray/mint.

Behr Paint Palette

I have to admit, I tried the mint and it didn’t really work with my nautical vision, so I stuck with the blues and grays. Before I committed to the final colors, I wanted to find the co-ordinating fabrics I was planning to use for the cushions and pillows. Made a trip to my local Joann’s and-go figure-I fell in love with these lobsters.

Bench Fabrics

(Folks that know me realize that this is rather puzzling, as I think that the best part of any lobster is the melted butter : ). Fanciful fellows, bright reds on a background of dark teal. Perfect! Had some difficulty choosing the cushion fabric, but then discovered 1.this gorgeous aqua and navy block fabric that looked to me like nautical flags

Bench HGTV Fabric

2. and then discovered that, of course, it’s from HGTV-sold! So starting with the old worn bench,

Bench Pediment Detail

I added a layer of Annie Sloan French Linen, mixed with water to give it a washed look.

Bench Annie Sloan French Linen

Then I added on layers of Behr’s Gulf Wind Blue, Peaceful Night, Battleship Gray and Gray Morning

Bench Annie Sloan Gray Wash

by dry-brushing to allow the lower layers of paints to be more transparent and add another dimension to the finished product. To enhance the spiral detail at the bottom, I added a touch of dark blue.

Bench Painted

Time to dress the bench! We all know that any delicious salad is just a bunch of veggies in a bowl until you add the spice and flavor with the dressing. Same holds true with decorating-it’s the finishing touches that define the piece. I love layering mis-matched co-ordinating pillows to achieve a casual, comfortable effect. So I started with the HGTV Home nautical flag cushion.

Bench Cushion

Added a large middle pillow-soft and sinkable for maximum comfort, created with two cotton kitchen towels from HomeGoods).

Bench Towel Cushion

The sailboat pillow came next-again, created with an embroidered kitchen towel (also thank you HomeGoods!) that I added the “SAIL” to.

Bench Sail Pillow

The next pillow was lobsters and sailboats with star buttons, both of those from Joann’s Fabrics.

Bench Three Pillows

When I stepped back to admire the bench, utilizing the squint test, I realized it needed one red item in the center. One more nautical towel, surrounded by the flag fabic, completed the vignette.

Bench Completed

The finally finished, decorated bench is now sitting proudly in the perfect spot on my country styled summer porch that is now patiently awaiting spring. Which cannot come soon enough! Susan



Please follow and like us:

read more

Today I am sharing a simple D.I.M. (Do It Myself) project that’s fun and quick and pretty simple, assuming you have the right tools and stuff. I saw something similar to this at HomeGoods awhile back and thought, gee, I have some chicken wire and an old frame, I can make that!

Chicken Wire Memory Frame Blue

So I did. Here’s the how-to:

1. Ask Coach if he knows where that old frame and the chicken wire is. He disappears into the barn, and a few minutes later he emerges with both in hand.

Frame and Chicken Wire

2. Fix the frame- it was a little old and dinged and faded, so I glued the edges and added a touch of Minwax to brighten it up.

memo board minwax

I painted the inside edge, first with a coat of off-white, then I dry-brushed it with Gulf Winds.

Dry Brush on Frame

Dry-brushing technique is what it sounds like: take a small amount of paint on the brush, then wipe most of it off onto paper.

Dry Brush Technique

You lightly brush the surface with the remaining paint, which gives you a soft, aged look.

Chicken Wire attached to frame

I always keep a supply of wet wipes to clean up the many errant paint marks I make along the way. To get into really tight spaces, just wrap it around the end of a flat head screw driver-perfect edge!

Wipes on edge of frame

3. Cut the chicken wire-turns out that scissors work just fine. But not your good sewing scissors, unless you want to go with the raggedy look the next time you are cutting taffeta!

Cutting Chicken Wire

4. Attach the chicken wire to the back of the frame. This got tricky because I couldn’t figure out what would work. Tried my electric staple gun- those staples were too big. Then I tried thumb tacks. Well first I had to find some thumb tacks, which you would think would be a breeze considering I have a “thumb tacks” drawer in my little nail organizer. NOT. Anyone need a giant bolt?

Thumb Tack Drawer

So I went to the junk drawer- please tell me you all have a junk drawer that looks like this?!

Junk Drawer

Nope, none there, either. Finally found a few, along with an American flag pin-so that’s where that went!- in my desk drawer.

Tacks in Drawer

And so, after all that, I tried the tacks and guess what-big fail!

Chicken Wire with tack

I would push them into place, then as soon as I tugged on another corner, the wire would slide over and the tack would pop off! Next option, my trusty old Bostitch stapler, which worked great.

Stapler and Chicken Wire

5. Add the decorative lettering. I had a bag of old “fake” Scrabble letters hanging around (doesn’t everyone?), so I used those.

Scrabble Letters

You could put whatever you want, but no profanities please : ) Well, I suppose you could, but it probably wouldn’t sell very well. Then again, maybe it would. Something like The F***ing Egg Plate might work. (If you have no idea what I am referring to, click the link for a good laugh…) So, now you measure out the amount of twine you will require to fit all of the letters.

Measuring twine

Hot glue the letters to the twine and affix twine to the frame with the glue.

Scrabble Tiles Attached

6. Color the clothespins. I threw them in a little can with some watered down paint and stirred them around, then let them sit for awhile.

Paint wash for clothespins

Hung them to dry-the reverse clothespin effect.

Clothespins drying

You’re going to use the clothespins to affix the photos or whatever else you would like to display.

Memory Board Completed

7. Add a picture hanger to the back and you’re done! Cute, simple project. I like the fact that there is no backing, that way you can use it on whichever wall you would like to have as the background color (like the red shown here from my dining room, or the blue above from my hall).

Chicken Wire Memory Frame Red

8. So, I guess for this week’s High Five for Friday will go to chicken wire! It’s cheap, pliable, cuttable with scissors and adds a rustic, country charm to any project you might be considering. Happy weekend everyone! Susan

Please follow and like us:

read more

Baseball season is upon us, and it’s almost opening day for the home town team! This is a repost from last season, when our Red Sox went on to win the World Series in 2013! So, in honor of baseball’s return, a return to a baby quilt DIY tutorial. Enjoy!!!

This past weekend, I had the honor of attending a baby shower for a dear friend’s daughter-in-law, who is soon to have a baby girl-very exciting! As crazy busy as I have been with all of this blogging and antiquing and vintage market nonsense, I decided to make time to create something special for the new little one.

Red Sox Baby Quilt

In the past, I have blogged about sports quilts that I have created for charity auctions2004 Red Sox Quilt

but those were primarily the colors of our Boston pro sports teams: deep reds and blues and greens and yellows and blacks-certainly not appropriate for a little girl’s room! And there really aren’t any cute pink and pastel sports baby bedding items on the market today. So when I happened upon some pastel sports baby onesies at Marshalls,

Reebok Onesies

I knew they were perfect choice for the quilt. (oops, sorry to say I cut them up, and then remembered to take the picture…) And thank you, Reebok and Nike,

Celtics Basketball

for understanding that women and kids are big sports fans, too!

Red Sox

And since women do most of the shopping,

Patriots Football Shirt

it would make perfect marketing sense to add some pastel logos to your pro sports collections.

Bruins Hockey

Click here for the actual how-to on making a t-shirt quilt. It’s really pretty simple: I cut the logos out from the fronts of the onesies (I usually use t-shirts, but any shirt or even shorts with a logo will do). Those became the four corners of the quilt. Opposite those, I created this cute embroidered pink ball cap (because pink hats do love Red Sox!)

Baseball Cap

hockey sticks (with a sparkly blue puck, because we girls do like a little bling : )

Hockey Sticks

a pink and purple football on polka dots

Pink Football

and a yellow and pink basketball,


the color of the new baby’s room. For the center square, an appliqued “I love Boston” patch using the “B” from a Red Sox bandana on a “love” background fabric.

I Heart Boston

With the completed squares ready to go, I created what I call a free-form quilt. With an assortment of dotted and pink print fabrics, I just built the quilt in sections, adding border after border to achieve the size and shape that I found the most appealing. Once completed, I added the batting and backing and stitched closed. So, “lucky” little baby girl, I hope you enjoy your new quilt, and grow up to be a big Boston sports fan just like your mommy and daddy!! We all can’t wait to meet you. Love, Susan

Please follow and like us:

read more

True story. Loved this hilarious account by Lisa of RitaJosVintage of the Saturday we just spent wheeling and dealing (NOT) at the Mill 77 Flea Market. The only thing she forgot was the part about all the crap falling from the trees that had both of us sneezing and coughing and popping Benedryls. Apparently nature and flea markets just don’t mix-lol!

Ritajos Vintage

Thanks, Lisa, for giving me a hearty laugh after more than a couple of days of sadness. Have a terrific Tuesday, everyone! Susan

Please follow and like us:

read more

This week’s High Five for Friday goes to Mill 77 Trading Company in Amesbury!

Mill 77

As you may recall, yours truly recently entered and won a staging contest at the Mill-yay team Mother Knows Best! Well, this weekend, for one day only (Saturday, June 1), the Mill is hosting their Macy Street Bazaar from 8-noon.

Macy Street Bazaar

This is a monthly outdoor marketplace event featuring many of the inside vendors, as well as outsiders, like myself. I am teaming up with Lisa from RitaJosVintage


to offer a variety of vintage and “junk-tique” wares. By the way, if you haven’t started reading Lisa’s new blog, check it out! You are in for one hilarious ride : ) We will have refurbished furniture (the finished bench, perhaps?), china, glassware, linens and so much more! Please stop by for a visit-we will be there from 8-noon only! Which means we have to be up at the crack of dawn…I take my coffee iced and black, thanks! Here’s a map: Mill 77 Map

It’s a straight shot up 95 north, or just a quick ride from 495 (unless you are using your car’s compass, yes, COMPASS, in which case you may find yourself driving through cow pastures and hayfields…just saying) Have a sunny weekend everyone, hope to see you at the Mill! Susan

Please follow and like us:

read more

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.

Follow Me On Instagram

Pure & Original Paint

Pure & Original Paint

I’m A Social Influencer!

Never Miss A Blog Post! Subscribe Free!

Never Miss An Inspired Blog Post-Join My Subscribers Free! Sign Up For Emails Here