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


Aside from Buffalo Plaid, my other favorite style icon is stripes! Big and bold or soft and dreamy, stripes make a statement about your style.

Define your space with stripes. Add a touch of bright to white.

Just a touch of bold for night.

Give the illusion of length

or height But not width. Stacy and Clinton warn most of us to avoid horizontal stripes, but honestly, if I looked like this, why not?!?!)

To me, navy stripes are nautical and beachy…like this comfy chair

Or umbrellas in a row or one perfect hat One fabulous suit

One perfect summer tote

One perfect sail

My latest obsession? Chevron Stripes. WOW! Introduced by the Missoni Fashion House back in the 70’s, chevron stripes are all the rage right now. You will find the signature zig zag pattern in eye-popping fashion,

Decorating vintage vignettes or modern, ecletic homes Even in nurseries! I am a lover of fashionable babies as much as the next mom, but not sure if even I could sleep in this room!

Recently spotted this picture in House Beautiful Magazine. You know that moment when you see something, really SEE something, and your heart starts pounding and your mind starts racing and you think, “where, oh where can I put this?!?” That “Ah, Ha!” decorating moment. This was it for me. I see another project in my future…

Time to get out the masking tape and paint supplies- oh, wait! – right after I finish the Hall of Shame!!! Susan

PS- I found this great tutorial on Pinterest on how to make perfect Chevron Stripes in your space. And if you happen to finish your project before I finish mine, please send me pics @ and I will post them!

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5046 and counting!! The number of hits I have had on my blog since my first published post on February 25, 2012 (such a rookie back then)! Thanks to everyone for continuing to read and respond to the posts about my crazy life. I will keep writing as long as you all keep reading : )

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The long weekend update : ) So far, this Memorial Day weekend has been well spent day-tripping, yard-saleing, dining (best nachos and view of the bay at the Black Cow in Newburyport) and hanging out with family and friends.  Took a ride up the coast on Saturday. Not sure whose idea it was, but never a smart choice to hit Hampton Beach on the first sunny day of a long holiday weekend (especially when you are stuck in miles of traffic with an empty tank of gas)!

Yesterday, I attended Boston’s Run to Remember (mentioned previously in this post), not as a runner, but as a spectator, cheering on my kids, their cousins and friends.

It was quite an impressive spectacle, with over 8000 runners participating in either a half-marathon or a 5 mile run, all to raise funds in honor of fallen Boston Police Officers. Coptors buzzing overhead, thousands of pounding feet, police motorcades and cheering spectators made for a memorable Sunday morning.

 Did a little window shopping while waiting at the 12 mile marker for our runners to arrive. Not sure what the marketing concept is behind the bird cage hat-bizarre!!!

Before I published the original post about Memorial Day, I asked my mom if she had any pictures of my dad in his naval uniform.

He served in the US Navy, aboard the USS Wakefield in WWII. Unexpectedly, the other day, she arrived at my house with an old leather scrapbook of my dad’s dated 1944-1946, filled with pictures and newspaper clippings of his time spent in Guam and the Phillipines. Especially amazing since I wasn’t even aware that this book existed! The edges literally crumbling in my hands as I carefully turn the pages, I am discovering a another chapter of my dad’s life he rarely mentioned during his lifetime. There are maps, typed clippings of naval co-ordinates, photos of his naval buddies and an “official” letter to his mom from the U.S. Naval Training Center.

A family treasure, to be sure, and one that I will try to preserve to pass on to the next generation. With this album they will discover that the man they knew simply as Grandpere was once a young man himself, with a love of family, an adventurous spirit and a wish to serve his country. Enjoy the rest of this long beautiful weekend!! Susan

Previous Post: With Memorial Day fast approaching, rather than discussing the latest decorating trends in red, white and blue or backyard BBQ’s, I would like to take a moment to share my thoughts about heroes. Male or female, military or civilian, heroes are just regular people who, when faced with extraordinary circumstances, rise to the occasion. Without thoughts of their own personal well-being, they give their bodies, hearts, souls and sometimes make the ultimate sacrifice for the freedom and safety of others. To them, our friends and families, co-workers and neighbors, soldiers, firefighters and police officers, we say thank you on this upcoming Memorial Day.

In our family, we often participate in charitable events for organizations that honor and help our heroes. This is a legacy passed down from my father, a WWII veteran who donated his time and energy in many ways, and always expected the same from his children. A friend once referred to it as “the crazy charity gene”, which I am pleased to say has been passed on to my own children. My recollections of his generous spirit go way back to when I was attending St. Mary’s Annunciation Elementary School. I remember driving up to the convent in our Ford station wagon laden with donated loaves of bread for the Sisters of Notre Dame.

Fast forward a few decades, and that spirit of generosity and service lives on in this generation. There are so many charities striving to help those less fortunate, every penny counts, and there are countless ways to pitch in. Whether you run, walk, dance, sew, auction,  crawl, counsel or just volunteer your time or donate dollars, it matters.

 With that spirit of giving in mind, I would like to take a moment to mention a few events in the Boston area that support many of our local heroes. Last weekend, my brother ran the “Run to Home Base” at Fenway Park, where over 2 million dollars was raised for the Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Home Base Program. These funds are essential to continue to care for veterans and their families affected by combat stress and traumatic brain injury.  Congrats to Bob-so proud of you!!

This upcoming weekend, our children, their cousins and many of their friends will be running in Boston’s Run to Remember, a half-marathon and 5K to honor Massachusetts Law Enforcement Officers killed in the line of duty. The net proceeds benefit community and kids’ programs of the Boston Police Department and their families.

On May 30th, our family, along with hundreds of supporters, will be attending a benefit at Fenway Park for the Pete Frates #3 Fund. Pete is a 27-year-old, former Division 1 college athlete and Captain of Boston College Baseball, who was recently diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.  Having recently learned of his devastating diagnosis, Pete, along with his family and friends have stepped up to the plate, coordinating fund-raising events to aid in the research and development of a cure for ALS. Our best wishes go out to Pete, and we are excited to see him throw out the first pitch at Fenway Park next week!

Now me, I am not much of a runner, and I hung up my cleats years ago.(yup, that’s me at bat in bell-bottom jeans-we were lucky to have game shirts back then! Thank you Title IX : )  Sewing is my thing, and I make quilts, lots of them, to donate to local charities. On my Facebook page,  “Threads of Hope”, you can view some samples of my quilts that have helped to raise over $11,000.00 for local charities. And if you happen to know of a charity that could use a quilt, email me!

Click on the links above to learn more about, to participate in, or to make a donation to any of these great causes.If you have a charitable event you would like to share or have a picture of your hero, send it to me and I will post it here. On this Memorial Day weekend, it’s all about remembering and paying it forward. Have a safe and happy holiday weekend! Susan

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Recently, we have been searching for a new chandelier for our dining room. Now, as my husband would say, “there is nothing wrong with the old one”. Except that it is Colonial Williamsburg style, shiny brass, double tiered, circa 1983, and has no business being in my casual country dining room. Just because it still works, doesn’t mean it still works. So I have finally talked him into replacing it with something a bit more current. The trick is agreeing on a finish and style. Since it typically takes us a year or so to agree on a new couch or chair or car, I can see that this is going to be another “work in progress“. But I have pinned a few, in the hopes that one might spark his interest.

There is this popular iron orb style we saw last week in Brimfield. But it only has one bulb, and being the only light source in what is currently my sewing/workroom/office just won’t work-these old eyes require a bit more wattage. I spotted this wrought iron pyramid style on a recent trip to the Boston Design Center. Gorgeous, but more suited for a medieval castle perhaps?

This rustic reclaimed wood style from Urban Chandy might not necessarily work for the dining room, but I am keeping it in the back of my mind for the Barn Project.

The crystal chandeliers I lust after are a bit too “blingy”, definitely NOT country casual. I am still hoping to add this to the Hall of Shame!

Mason jar chandeliers are the rage right now, but those just scream porch to me. Speaking of which, I just finished my porch mason jar creation. Remember those rustic green hanging baskets I found back in Essex? I sealed all of the chipping paint with a spray rust inhibitor, added some mason jars we found in Brimfield– LOVE!

Sparkly starfish are stunning, but more suited for a beach house… and these million raindrops lights from Junk Gypsies definitely belong in a grand ballroom- which would be great if I had a castle!

Ever have one of these days…? I’m not sure what is going on here, but if I ever have a food truck or Airstream trailer, this is definitely my go-to look!

Now I love color as much as the next girl (or guy), but these lights scream Taj Mahal Vegas to me- the colors are right, but the mood is so wrong!

This is my oil-rubbed bronze kitchen chandelier from Great Windsor Chairs. I love the simplicity of it and it lights up our lives every day-I wonder if they have this in red? If you have any other suggestions, please drop me an email and enlighten me! Susan

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I was killing time the other night, hanging around the HomeGoods parking lot, waiting for a car to be delivered. Long story. Since the truck was over an hour behind schedule, and I was already there, I figured I may as well check out the inside of the store. You know that commercial tagline: “HomeGoods Happy?”- that’s how I feel when I wander through the aisles of my local store. Now I know some high end designers wouldn’t dream of shopping at HomeGoods. Me? I am all about beauty and value. If it’s good enough for David Bromstad from HGTV (my color splash hero), it’s good enough for me! You just never know what you might find. Like this British-inspired wing chair. These French dressing mannequins.  Or one perfect seashell.


Inspiration around every corner.

Then I spotted the reflection of an amazing Ikat rug in this wall of mirrors! My favorite shades of blue, hand-hooked, 9X12 for $399! I thought “Jeez, I could build an entire room around this rug!”.  I decided to do a virtual bedroom-this is what happens when I have time to kill-the voices in my head start decorating! So I wandered around some more, snapping Iphone pics of items I thought would complement the rug-going with a rustic, ethnic, elegant vibe. (As a disclaimer, I will tell you the the Iphone pics aren’t the greatest, and the colors are slightly off. The rug tends more to the dark teal and grey/blue.)

This grey/blue painted, distressed cabinet would be great as a media console-TV on top, everything else hidden inside. The Trees painting was dreamy, and I thought it would hang perfectly over the bed(which they did not have at this HomeGoods, so I am improvising here) 

An antique spool bed adds a darker element that complements the the dark rattan chair. Obviously it needs a cushion, a pillow and a nubby, woven throw to make it a welcome reading nook. Found this throw at Joss and Main, another favorite online shopping place!

These sconces and mirror would give the room a touch of bling. I needed to find

some lamps but didn’t see anything that would work in my virtual room, and I didn’t have time to drive to the other three HomeGoods in my immediate area-which is what I typically would do. So I found these gorgeous rustic silver lamps online- perfect! I still had a lot more to find, but the truck finally arrived, so this shopping session was over. Now, if I only had another bedroom, so I could transform my virtual room into a reality! Anyone got a spare room they could volunteer for a makeover!?

Wishing you a “HomeGoods Happy” day! 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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