Top Ten Mother's Day Gifts for your DIY MOMSo, I like a nice bouquet of flowers as well as the next mom,

Shower Flowers in Enamel Potsand I certainly would never turn away a box of yummy chocolates for Mother’s Day.

S'Mores Chocolate Pie Bites from Country Design HomeBUT, there are many moms out there-like me!-who love the fine art of restoring and upcycling junk into treasures. For these moms, my top ten outside-the-box Mother’s Day gift suggestions for you!

1. I paint…a LOT. And I go through a lot of paintbrushes. My personal favorites are these little Shortcuts by Wooster.

Wooster ShortCut Paintbrush


They have an angled edge and a soft rubber handle for easy gripping. I also use a lot of these assorted brushes-

DIY Mom Paint Brushesthey are available at your favorite local crafts emporium for CHEAP. And with a coupon, well you can still afford some of those Godivas as well!

2. So if I paint…a LOT…it only makes sense that I need lots of paint! I use all different brands but my favorites are the little sample pots of Behr Matte at Home Depot.

Behr Paint SamplesThey custom mix any color for you and cost less than $3.00! I can turn these into chalk paint all day long with a little plaster of paris and some calcium carbonate. My other paint of choice is Americana Chalky Paint by Decoart. I also use all sorts of varnishes and waxes and polys…

Americana Matte Varnishdepending on the project at hand. Most of these I purchase at Home Depot or Michaels, so again, a GC to one of those stores would be great.

Americana Chalky Paint3. I sand…a LOT. My go-to tool is this little Mouse Sander by Black and Decker.

Black and Decker Mouse SanderIt has a velcro base and the little sandpapers just stick on and pull off. I go through a ton of sandpaper and this stuff is not cheap. So throw in a bunch of these while you’re at it.

Mouse sander cut out sandpaper4. Coach and I move furniture…a LOT. Not always so easy to do, so one of these little dollys with the rug on it would be great so we can wheel stuff around instead of trying to carry it. This one from Harbor Freight Tools has a handle too! Of, and throw in some mover’s blankets as well to keep mom’s car nice and clean.

Rolling Dolly with Handle5. I screw and drill…a LOT. Coach presented me with a cordless, rechargeable screwdriver for Christmas and I LOVE IT. (and it came with a flashlight that plugs into the same rechargeable battery : )

Drillmaster Cordless Drill Harbor FreightMakes life so much easier when you don’t have to constantly go searching for a plug! Any brand will do, the more horsepower, the stronger the drill. Mine is a from Harbor Freight Tools, but here are endless options of brands and styles to choose from at your local big box store.

6. I also do some sawing, but not too much with a jigsaw- I just have never mastered the perfect cut with those. BUT, I do use my little Ryobi Mitre Chop saw all the time!

Ryobi Chop SawIt’s great for cutting rulers

Vintage Ruler chop sawand crown molding…lightweight stuff for frames and trim pieces. I leave the heavy duty chopping to Coach with his table saw or Sawz-all-that thing is a monster!

7. Every DIY mom needs a basic tool set…but NOT those flimsy little pink kits…I am talking hardcore, heavy duty hammers, nail punches, screwdrivers-both phillips head and flat head, chisels, scrapers, wrenches and pliers. Plus a cool bin or organizer

DIY Supply Binsto keep the tools…and the screws, bolts and nails…

Supply Binsall organized and handy…mine are pretty plain and plastic- but I would love some more colorful and fun bins to store my stuff!

8. I use gloves…LOTS of gloves. Not the pretty flowered garden variety gloves-we need the big, thick, rubber palmed gloves

Stripping Chemical Glovesfor protecting our hands from splinters and rusty nails. Occasionally I just use the thin rubber ones for washing stuff too. I don’t know why, but whenever I go searching for a pair, I can only find the left hands-the right ones always seem to disappear! So I do need an endless supply…

9. Oh, and then perhaps a GC for a nice manicure at your local salon. These days, my hands look more like those of a long-shoreman… Cracked, bleeding and dry hands10. And finally, a nice massaging hot pack. I just don’t have time for a whole spa day, but something to ease our aching shoulders and necks from all the sanding and painting and lifting and carrying and sawing and sanding. My daughter has one like this and its AWESOME.

Epulse Neck MassagerIt has these deep massaging balls or something that makes it feel like someone is actually doing the work on your back and neck!

So that’s it…my top ten gifts for your DIY mom for this Mother’s Day! If you have a favorite tool or DIY supply that you would like to share, please add a comment and I will check it out!! Off to DIY!! Susan




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Wow! How has time gone by this quickly?!? It seems like I was just standing on the sidelines on Marathon Monday and here it is almost two weeks later! So, so busy working on a million and one projects and finally finishing up our bathroom. And yes, I did choose a color: Gossamer Blue by Benjamin Moore.

Benjamin Moore Gossamer Blue

The perfect combination of blue/green with some gray notes. The second coat goes on this morning, then the final bathroom dressing begins. Inspired by my color choice, I’ve been painting quite a few things lately in a blue/green color combination-perhaps because we just have so little sunshine and lots of dank, dark days. Lately I feel the need for a little light and brightness, so I figure if Mother Nature won’t provide it outdoors, I certainly can inside! All photos via

This room is the perfect combination of bright patterns and colors.

Traditional Living Room by Sparta Interior Designers & Decorators My Interior by Karin Lowney-Seed

Even though the colors are darker, the contrast with the white planked walls is striking.

Beach Style Living Room by Chicago Interior Designers & Decorators Tom Stringer Design Partners

The blues in this room bring the outside in- what a view!

Beach Style Living Room by Boston Interior Designers & Decorators Su Casa Designs

This contemporary kitchen is typically not my style, but loving the bold colors which are perfect for this sleek style!

Contemporary Kitchen by Other Metro Kitchen Designers & Remodelers Kim Duffin for Sublime Architectural Interiors

Loving this sunny and bright coastal dining room.

Traditional Dining Room by Norwalk Architects & Building Designers Robert A. Cardello Architects

Sometimes the color is not provided with paint, but with the added accessories, as in this creamy white room with the blue banquette cushion and the green-hued painting. Peaceful dining.

Modern Dining Room by Boston Interior Designers & Decorators Duffy Design Group

Another coastal home, surrounded by the ocean. The blues and greens are softer so they don’t draw attention away from the incredible view.

Traditional Living Room by Rehoboth Beach Interior Designers & Decorators Bruce Palmer Coastal Design

These greens and blues are powerful pops of color against the white backdrop.

Contemporary Family Room by Huntington Interior Designers & Decorators Eileen Kathryn Boyd Interiors

And finally, the show-stopping room in softer blues and greens- which leads your eye straight out that window. Wow.

Beach Style Kitchen by Bentonville Photographers Roy Campana Photography

Bringing the outdoors in is pretty simple when choosing the proper color palette. Greens and blues are the colors of the ocean, land and sky-perfectly at home with any decorating style. So now it’s off to finish the bathroom! Have a terrific Thursday everyone! Susan

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Boston StrongIt’s Marathon Monday, where once again, 30,000+ brave souls from around the globe race from Hopkinton to Boston in an attempt to show who is the elitest of the fleetest of foot. This year happens to have some very special meaning for our family, as our daughter’s fiance is making his inaugural run through the city streets and winding hills in pursuit of the ultimate bragging rights of the marathoning world: “I Ran Boston”. Today, our family will be joining the thousands and thousands of onlookers and cheerleaders lining the 26 mile race route, ringing bells and holding signs to provide encouragement and support to friends, loved ones and runners who raise $$$ for their beloved charities. We will always remember the horrific marathon bombings of 2013, but we move forward as a city, remembering those who were lost, but celebrating the runners who have made tremendous strides in helping our city heal from that fateful day. So, today we celebrate Patriots Day, a Massachusetts-only holiday that commemorates the anniversary of the Battles of Lexington and Concord, the first battles of the American Revolutionary War fought on April 19, 1775. Once again, I am re-sharing this blog that I originally posted a few years back to honor our amazing city and its citizens. This is for all of my readers, and any onlookers watching from afar who are interested in capturing the essence of the incredible, wonderful, joyful city we call Boston. So here it is:

In honor of Patriots Day, a uniquely Massachusetts holiday, a little Boston history for your reading pleasure. Facts confirmed by Wikipedia, several historical societies and my historian-in-residence, Coach.  Click on the pictures for links to websites and information.

Boston (pronounced baws-tun). The Capital of Massachusetts. The Hub. The City of Champions (see Boston Red Sox, N.E. Patriots, Boston Celtics, Boston Bruins). Although significantly smaller in population than The Big Apple, what we lack in size we make up for in historic stature. We are the site of the world’s oldest marathon, begun in 1897, the Boston Marathon.We have the oldest MLB ballpark, Fenway Park (c.1912)

the Swan Boats (c.1877) in the Public Garden


and Harvard University, founded in 1636 and the alma mater of 7 US Presidents.

We are Beantown, named for Boston Baked Beans, a dish created by the Colonials, using beans cooked in molasses, a plentiful product due to the slave trade. Home of the USS Constitution, nicknamed “Old Ironsides”, (C.1787) the world’s oldest commissioned warship afloat.

We are The Cradle of Liberty, founded by the Puritans in 1630, and one of the oldest cities in the United States. Our citizens were the instigators of the

American Revolution, and Boston Harbor was the site of the Boston Tea Party,  where 342 chests of tea belonging to the British East India Company were thrown from ships into the water by American patriots disguised as Mohawk Indians. The Americans were protesting both a tax on tea (taxation without representation) and the perceived monopoly of the East India Company.

Our city was also the site of The Boston Massacre, an historic incident on March 5, 1770, in which British Army soldiers killed five male civilians and injured six others.

The incident was heavily propagandized by leading patriots, such as Paul Revere and Samuel Adams to fuel animosity toward the British authorities. Which finally led to the legendary Midnight Ride of Paul Revere (the reason for this holiday!)

Penned by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in 1860, this poem details Revere’s April 18th journey by horseback from Charlestown to Lexington & Concord to warn the townspeople to take up arms in defense of the oncoming British invasion.

“…He said to his friend, “If the British march By land or sea from the town to-night, Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch Of the North Church tower as a signal light,– One if by land, and two if by sea; And I on the opposite shore will be, Ready to ride and spread the alarm Through every Middlesex village and farm, For the country folk to be up and to arm.” 

The British, whose militia ships were in Boston Harbor, awaiting orders to begin their march to Concord, where they were to destroy supplies and munitions being stored by the local militia of soldiers and townsfolk.

Revere’s plan was to make his way there ahead of the advancing British troops, alerting the locals along the way of the impending British invasion. On the night of April 18, 1775,  alerted by the two lanterns hanging in the Old North Church, indicating the British would be advancing in boats over the Charles River, Revere began his historic journey on horseback. He traveled from Charlestown to Concord, alerting the local minutemen of the advancing regiments. Captured and released by the British, he made his way to The Old North Bridge, the site of the Battles of Lexington and Concord 

on April 19, 1775, the beginning of the American Revolution. And the rest, shall we say, is history. Yes, you do need to know this for the exam. No, you cannot bring your musket to class for show and tell. Whether this is a holiday for you or not, enjoy the day. And whether you are running or watching the Boston Marathon  today, be safe, be proud of our great city and stay Boston Strong. Have a fantastic day everyone! And GO CHRIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! xoxo Susan

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Well, the weather may have turned a bit warmer and the ice and snow banks have virtually disappeared so the ducks can have a bath, but the landscape is still quite brown around here.

Ducks at Lake QuannapowittTime to interject a bit of springtime color decor inside to add a bit of cheeriness to our otherwise drab and dark days. Photos via

How about a pop of orange?? Are you brave enough?

Traditional Hall

This bright apple green is perfect for a baby’s nursery!

Eclectic Nursery by Albuquerque Media & Bloggers Annalea Hart

Such pretty, pretty pastels…pink and green are just so fresh!

Contemporary Living Room by Pittsburgh Interior Designers & Decorators alisha gwen interior design

Loving the soothing coastal colors in this bedroom.

Beach Style Bedroom by Charleston Interior Designers & Decorators Margaret Donaldson Interiors

How sweet is this breakfast nook? Love the light shiplap planking and the pastel soft furnishings.Could definitely enjoy a latte here!

Beach Style Dining Room by Birmingham Media & Bloggers Southern Living

Charming dining area with pops of orange and green. Makes me want to go paint something…now!

Rustic Dining Room by San Francisco Architects & Building Designers Mark English Architects, AIA

I am typically not a huge fan of yellow, but this room would make you feel like you were sleeping in sunshine : )

Traditional Bedroom by Easton Interior Designers & Decorators Bountiful

If I had a kitchen do-over…this would be it! No more beige cabinets for me!

Beach Style Kitchen by Atlanta Interior Designers & Decorators Carter Kay Interiors

Do you have the longing to add some color to your space?? Grab a can of paint and start the makeover you’ve been thinking about today! You’ll be amazed what one can of paint can do for your room (and your gloomy mood : ). Have a colorful Friday everyone…today’s the day I decide on the color for my bathroom makeover! Susan

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With the bathroom project finally winding down, my attention turns to styling this beautiful little jewel of a bath. With chrome fixtures
Bathroom Chrome Wall Mount Faucetand sparkling marble floors

Marble Hexagon Tilethis bathroom deserves some extra decorating lovin’! In keeping with my country bath style, I am in search of the perfect shower and window curtains along with the necessary bath accessories to bring everything together and create the refined country look I am going for. Off to internet land to search for the perfect country style where I discovered a few front-runners (and actually made me rethink my wall color choice, which presently is a color called ThunderCloud Gray from Benjamin Moore.)

Benjamin Moore Thunder Cloud GrayEven though it looks light in this sample, I am thinking it might be a little too dark for this pretty little room…) First, some pictures of stylish country baths:

1.Something about this little vintage powder room speaks to me. The pale blue walls against the distressed white vanity and the vintage beveled mirror…wow.

Shabby Chic Bathroom by Millbrook Architects & Building Designers Crisp Architects

2.This rustic gray and white French Country bath is so sweet, but might be lacking just a touch of color for my taste.

Traditional Bathroom

3. Am loving the pale aqua walls, but I think it may be a bit too retro for my country bath.

Farmhouse Bathroom by Nashville Architects & Building Designers anna forkum

4.Well, this one is simply spectacular with the wood beams and the stunning linen closet. But this just won’t fit in my 5 x 8 space. But I’m saving this idea into my fixer upper dream home file.

Beach Style Bathroom by Denver Interior Designers & Decorators Jordan Design Studio, Ltd.

5. That vintage sink and chrome faucet is similar in feel to the ones I chose. But the rest of the creamy white may need a wee bit more contrast for me.

Traditional Bathroom by Seattle Interior Designers & Decorators Sandra Lindsay Design

6. This pale silver sage color-Benjamin Moore Imperial Gray-

Benjamin Moore Imperial Gray

may be just the one I’ve been searching for since I started this whole project. Love, love, love it.

Traditional Bathroom by Charlestown Architects & Building Designers Giambastiani Design

Then I searched for curtains:
1.The white ruffles are so sweet, but not sure how Coach will feel about those!

Traditional Bathroom by New York Interior Designers & Decorators Marks & Frantz Interior Design

2. I do love a nautical look, but I am thinking the dark blue walls may present the same problem as the deep gray.

Tropical Bathroom by Tampa Architects & Building Designers E+D Architecture and Design, PL

3.I’ve been thinking about a roman shade for the one window, but I don’t want plain white, as it is straight ahead when you look into the room from the hall. These are pretty and simple.

Traditional Bathroom by Charleston General Contractors Priester’s Custom Contracting, LLC

4. Hmmm, would I want to do a matching shower curtain and window valance? This is pretty much the setup in my bath. I do like the way they work together to create a cohesive look.

5 .These tie-backs. Well, I think they’re perfect for that little white window. Now if I can only find a shower curtain to match we’re in business!

So all of this online searching has only resulted in more confusion and indecision about which colors to actually choose for my little country bath! You know, sometimes it’s easier to give other folks advice about their decorating rather than your own…that whole plumber not fixing his own pipes thing, I imagine. I think my best bet will be to head out and look for a shower curtain first, find the perfect one, then match my curtains and paint colors to that. Make sense? Well, to me it does, so store shopping it is! Hope you have a more decisive Thursday than I am 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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