So, I don’t know about all of you, but I am starting to grow a bit weary of Halloween decor with all the oranges, yellows and browns. Now, I like trick or treating as much as the next girl, but the stores and magazines started featuring “your all-time favorite hearty fall recipes, scary decorations, costumes and painted pumpkins, etc!!) back in August!! So, as a little refreshing change of scenery, I give you red and white!

Crisp and clean, bright and cheery. Country Curtains buffalo plaid panels (one of my most-pinned boards on Pinterest).

One dotted umbrella, so cute! (photo via Cinco de Kiddo)

Time for a cheery spot of tea?

A harbinger of things to come here in New England (of course, that’s not til after the hurricane hits next week…) Photo via

A blog post can’t be complete without a mention of one of my special DIM projects: my dining room country plate rack!

 Stunning gown- not that I have anywhere to wear this, but Oh, how I wish I did!

But I could always wear it in this stunning living room! (via Lola Watson Interior Design)

Red and white is perfect for kitchen ware

and kitchen fare (photo via Country Living Magazine). And country kitchens! (photo via tumbleweed and

If you were going to have a red and white wedding, would this not be the perfect cake?

Would love a couple of these beauties for my dining room bench-sooo country pretty!

What a nice cheery bedroom! Loving the window pane mirror! (via backporchco)

And who doesn’t love a touch of black and white?! (Phot via Name Design Studio)

Now seeing all these red and white images, just realized that the next big holiday season will be upon us shortly! Maybe I should have chosen tropical blues instead? Have a cheery day everyone! Susan

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These yummy little shortbread cookies will be a hit at any Halloween party! I found this recipe on the pages of Coastal Living Magazine (one of the reasons I still love print magazines is finding little gems like this while perusing the glossy photographs of amazing spaces- online, I would have to be searching for this recipe…) Enjoy! 

Halloween Cookie Bites

Prep: 50 Minutes    Chill: 2 Hours    Bake 8-10 Minutes


1 cup butter, softened

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1 large egg

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 butter flavored extract (or you could use almond)

1/2 teaspoon lemon zest (I used orange- delish!)

Yellow food coloring.  Red food coloring.

1. Beat butter and sugar together at medium speed with an electric mixer for 2 minutes. Beat in egg and extracts. In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt and lemon zest. Gradually stir into butter mixture until fully combined and forms a stiff dough.

2. Place dough onto cutting surface and divide into 3 equal parts. (about 1 1/4 cups each). Leave one plain, add yellow food coloring to the second and then yellow/red to the third to make bright orange.

3. Grease a 9 x 5 loaf pan, and then line it with plastic wrap, smoothing it out as well as you can. Starting with the plain colored dough, press into bottom of pan to make a smooth layer. Add the orange dough, then the yellow on the top. Cover and chill min 2 hours.

4. Turn dough out onto cutting board. Slice in 1/2 inch sections (like you would a pound cake) and with the slice laying flat on the board, cut it into 6 triangles that resemble candy corn pieces. Place on cookie sheet that has been lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil (shiny side down). The dont need to be very far apart, as they do not spread. Bake @ 350 degrees 8-9 minutes until set but not browned. Cool on wire racks.

Makes 10 dozen delicous cookie bites!!

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This weekend, in preparation for the upcoming holidays, I have been working on the Hall of Shame (yes, we are on the home stretch now!). Basically I am finishing up the painting begun back in April, on that fateful day when I dropped the entire can onto the floor. Yesterday I completed all the trim, then tackled the remaining wall with the 3rd quart of Benjamin Moore Smoke paint- pretty, huh?

All was going well until I reached the very top of our hall stairway, which is very narrow and steep with a high ceiling. (Please don’t judge me because of my burgundy carpet. That was from the 80’s, and I knew not what I was doing!)

With no way to reach the very top far corner, I had two options…

 1. Suspend myself from the top stair to the wall and essentially dangle over the stairwell.

With Coach not being around, and my poor track record with disasters and mishaps in this hall to date, that did not seem like the best alternative. OR 2. Find a way to reach that corner without endangering life and limb. So I give you: Extend-A-Brush! 

With necessity being the mother of invention, I figured out a way to make my arm 6 feet long and reach that top corner!

Supplies required: 1 short handled 3″ angled brush + 1 long-handled mini-roller (minus the roller) +  masking tape (duct tape would do as well, but that was the first one I grabbed from my stick drawer in the HICC- Home Improvement Command Center)

My Extend-A-Brush made short work of that dangerous corner, and now, for the first time since I began this mecca back in the spring, all the walls are smoke blue- yay! And have this awesome invention to use in a tall or tight space! Do you think maybe I should patent this?!?

I could use some really cute zebra striped duct tape and jazz it up.

This may be it…time to hit up the guys at the Shark Tank!

Have a great Sunday everyone! Stay inspired, and enjoy the beautiful fall weather! Susan

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This week’s High Five for Friday goes to Pumpkins!

Everywhere you turn, on doorsteps

in home decorating

or on magazine covers, pumpkins have taken over the landscape. And rightly so! A bright, deep, rich orange fruit, indiginous to North America, the pumpkin is an iconic symbol of autumn and particularly the Thanksgiving and Halloween holidays. If you would like to know the true story behind the story, check out this book by Cindy Ott- Pumpkin: The Curious History of an American Icon. 

Once you learn the history, you can appreciate the bountiful beauty of this simple fruit. The rich orange color is perfect for painting a room.

or creating the perfect centerpiece for a holiday meal.

This stunning vintage vignette from Casa E Trend is so rich and colorful!

Try adding some flaming drama to your home decor…

or perhaps a few chevron stripes to brighten up your space!

The original pumpkin pies were created by the pilgrims and presumably served for the very first Thanksgiving.

They hollowed out pumpkins, fill them with cream, spices, eggs and honey and buried them in the ashes of their campfires, then cooked until the spicy custard was ready to eat. No need to worry about the perfect crust!

For pottage and puddings and custards and pies

Our pumpkins and parsnips are common supplies,

We have pumpkins at morning and pumpkins at noon,

If it were not for pumpkins we should be undoon.”

Pilgrim verse, circa 1633

Now, I could conceivably dig a hole in the back yard, build a campfire and bake up some yummy pumpkin pies, (that would certainly make for a fun-filled blog…hmmm) or I could just stick to what I normally do: make my pies with Pumpkin-in-a-can from Libbys! So, in keeping with the Thanksgiving tradition of sharing our bounty, here is one of my favorite all-time recipes for Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle.

It is easy and incredibly delicious!  

Have a sweet Friday, everyone! Susan

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It’s wanderlust Wednesday, and this week are taking a walk around Lake Quannapowitt in Wakefield.

We could drive for hours and head out west to the Berkshires, or up north to the mountains (you know, that grass is always greener thing), but sometimes in the words of Dorothy: “Toto, there’s no place like home”.

As I was walking, I noticed that there was what appeared to be a rainbow next to the setting sun. Stunning.

One lone duck still hanging around- I think his buddies have all flown south. Is he lost? Or hoping for indian summer?

Benches awaiting some walkers to rest along the three mile path.

A perfect tree for Halloween! Tall reeds lining the shore.

The leaves are finally falling.

Is there anything more beautiful than autumn in New England? 

The perfect vantage point for viewing the changing seasons.

These images were taken with my Iphone (someday I am actually going to remember to bring my camera!) Happy leaf peeping! Susan

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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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