Are you a big fan of the HGTV annual dream homes? My hand is raised with you! The houses are always built in a dreamy vacation location. But, the insides of the homes are often dreamier to me. Last week I had the good fortune of being invited to tour the 2020 HGTV Dream Home in Hilton Head, SC thanks to Cabinets to Go. (Disclosure: I’m not sponsored by Cabinets to Go, the HGTV Dream Home sweepstakes is sponsored by them. I was provided with an invitation to tour the home and Cabinets to Go paid my hotel expenses.) What do you say, want to come on the tour with me?

Tour of the 2020 HGTV Dream Home in Hilton Head, SC

The house is at the end of a cul-de-sac and feels private because of the landscaping around it.

But by far the most amazing part of this house aren’t actually in the house. It’s the views out the back. Granted, there’s still a lot of beauty inside. But, don’t take my word for it, let’s go in and I’ll give you the tour! By the way, if you see anything you like, I’ve sourced most of the items in the home for you to purchase!

Inside the foyer, the room is decorated with art from the ground on up the staircase.

Yes, that is a canoe hanging over your head as you walk in. Honestly, this was one of the few things I didn’t like in the house. Let me explain.

Something about it looming over my head gave me worry. It wasn’t until I took a peek at how it was hanging that I understood why I got that feeling.

There was a french cleat attached to the boat and the other half of the cleat was attached to the wall. But, the top of the french cleat wasn’t seated into the wall cleat completely. It looks like they had a devil of a time hanging the canoe and finally just secured it with a few wood screws. I certainly hope they are long enough to go into the studs in the wall. Regardless, I never lingered underneath that boat.

Now on to the rest of the house HGTV Dream Home house tour (which I really enjoyed.) The use of textures in this home was amazing. From real shells and driftwood, to rope framed mirrors and shiny ceramic pots. It was a delight to the eye.

These oyster shell mirrors were beautiful, but more impactful as a trio.

I did my best to get you the links to the exact sources. For any item I couldn’t find or that is no longer available, I selected very similar items.

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

Sources From Top Left to Bottom Right:

Rug | DIY Oars (or Purchase Oars) | Oyster Mirror (or DIY one)| Guard Station Print | Nautical Rope Mirror | Driftwood | Colorful Beach Painting | Coral | Pink Succulent Photo | Sea Print | Colleen Elizabeth Art Canvases | Umbrella Stand | Aqua Pillar Candles | Hurricane Candle Holder | Faux Peace Lily Potted Plant | Dresser

From the foyer, the living room beckoned me. Especially because I couldn’t wait to see the beautiful fireplace surround. And the beadboard ceilings helped highlight the fireplace feature.

My best guess as to how it was made was the surround was coated with stucco material, then beach pebbles and shells were pressed into the wet stucco.

The results were beautiful and perfect for a coastal home.

Paint colors in this room are all from Sherwin Williams: 

Walls: HGSW4001 Fundamental White | Ceiling: HGSW2327 Mint to Be

Here’s a list of sources for the living room furniture and decor.

Sources From Top Left to Bottom Right:

Zig Zag Pillow | Macrame Pillow | DIY Watercolor Map | Beach Huts Print | Glass Vase | Magnifying Glass | Rope Serving Tray | Driftwood, Coral, Glass Float Decor Spheres | Picture Frame | Rattan Chair | Hand-Braided Rug | Coffee Table | Modern Arm Sofa | Faux Willow Tree | Navy & White Garden Stool

Let’s go into the kitchen. When I first entered the kitchen, I did a double take because I was surprised to see the same cabinets I chose for Millie’s Remodel! It was fun seeing them in a completely different style home.

This pantry had me digging the dark navy colored wall behind. The color is Blue Endeavor HGSW4001 from Sherwin Williams. Remember when I painted the pantry at the Saving Etta project black? I really like how the pantry items show up in front of a dark background!

I also like the use of baskets to hide clutter and the glass containers showcasing colorful dry storage.

The kitchen had so many beautiful elements, these are a few I sourced for you:

Sources From Top Left to Bottom Right:

Pendant Lights | Kitchen Utensil Canister | 3×12 Navy Subway Tiles | LaCuisine Cast Iron Set | Charleston Driftwood Cabinets | White & Blue Metal Storage Bins | Glass Food Storage Jars | Striped Towel | Wooden Kitchen Utensil Set | Marble Cutting & Serving Board | Breville Espresso Maker | 3 pc. Floral Canister Set | Round Acrylic Knobs | Acrylic Cabinet Drawer Pulls

The house doesn’t have a dining room, but off the kitchen is a breakfast area. Frankly, I’m seeing more homes that don’t have a formal dining room. As you probably remember, I turned our dining room into a more functional space. Besides, in this home, the back deck has a large dining table for guests.

I love the furniture chosen in the breakfast nook, here are the sources, but I’m telling you, someone should totally create a DIY version of that pendant light!

Sources From Top Left to Bottom Right:

Geometric String Light | Square Mirror | Handle Square Rope Mirror | Handle Round Rope Mirror | Pedestal Table | Modern Chairs | Geometric Planter | Stripe Rug

Let’s head into the master suite, shall we? Where as most of the rooms you’ve seen so far have a cool palette. The master suite is filled with bright coral and pink accents. This space is filled with sunshine and cheer.

I loved the driftwood art installation. This can be easily recreated by using 3MCommand strips or tacking the wood with finish nails.

The wall and ceiling paint color HGSW4001 Fundamental White from Sherwin Williams.

The french doors in the master bedroom open out onto the back deck and a sweet little seating area for coffee and conversation.

For your convenience, these are the sources for the master bedroom. Most of the items are available. If not, I substituted similar items.

Sources From Top Left to Bottom Right:

Wall Mirror | Sails Ceiling Fan | Eyelet Pillowcases | Quilt | Diamond Throw Pillow | Square Knit Pillow | Rug | Trellis Bed | Peacock Chair | Driftwood | 3 Drawer Side Dresser | Coral Night Light Lamp Set | 9 Drawer Dresser

The master bathroom was painted a beautiful blush color. But, the wall tile was a nice graphic balance keeping the room from feeling too feminine.

Walls and ceiling are painted Romance HGSW2067 by Sherwin Williams

Walls and ceiling in the water closet are Coral Reef HGSW1074  by Sherwin Williams

The master bathroom sources are available below. Again, I sourced as much as I could find and substituted like items when they weren’t available.

Sources From Top Left to Bottom Right:

Wall Sconce Light | White-Framed Mirror | Wall Color | Shower Wall Tile | Shower Floor Tile | Chelsea Linen Vanity Cabinets | Beach Day Print | Delta Sink Faucet | Square Cabinet Pulls | Towel Set | Teak Bench | Tub Filler | Large Modern Artwork | Concrete End Table Stool | Black & White Artwork | Free-Standing Tub

I leave you with a view of the Master Bedroom closet! This was such a fun and colorful space.

The walls and ceiling are painted Island Time HGSW2312  by Sherwin Williams

The blue and aqua diamond rug can be purchased here.

I’ll give you the rest of the tour soon. Click here to see the mudroom/laundry room, the upstairs bedrooms, and the amazing backyard!

Hope you enjoyed the tour of the 2020 HGTV Dream Home in Hilton Head, SC. You can enter to win this house by entering daily here. Last day to enter is February 19th, 2020. Good luck!

Disclosure: I’m not sponsored by Cabinets to Go, the HGTV Dream Home sweepstakes is sponsored by them. I was provided with an invitation to tour the home and Cabinets to Go paid my hotel expenses.

Screen Porch Makeover with Invisible Mosquito Screens

I’m incredibly excited about our screen porch makeover with invisible mosquito screens. But, I also can’t wait to share with you the almost invisible insect window screen material I found to replace our old screen porch screens. It’s honestly a night and day difference! Read on and you’ll see! And if you like anything you see, scroll to the end of the article for my source links.

But, before we get to the screens, let me fill you in on the screen porch decorating progression. It has been an ongoing work in progress for twelve years!)

Budget Makeover:

The screen porch is definitely the place we love to hang out. If the weather is nice, one (or all of us) are enjoying sitting outside.

Our porch was one of the things that sold us on this house (in addition to the fact that we used to live across the street and always loved this house before we owned it.) We had longed for a screen porch because anyone who lives in the south knows the mosquitoes, flies, and bugs are no joke. It’s a real nuisance when all you want to do is sit outside but instead you become a mosquito cocktail within minutes.

When we first moved in, we didn’t the cash to furnish the porch because we scraped together all our funds to purchase the house.

Screen Porch Makeover with Invisible Mosquito Screens

But, after a few years I was able to decorate the screen porch using a lot of cheap and found objects. I built the bench using an old headboard and painted a thrift store bamboo rug.

Screen Porch Makeover with Invisible Mosquito Screens

I also turned an old ladder into leaning display shelves and created pendant lights with old minnow traps.

As luck would have it, I stumbled upon a dumpster destined coffee table and (after giving it a new top and paint) it worked beautifully on the porch.

Screen Porch Makeover with Invisible Mosquito Screens

I was proud of my frugal porch furnishings, but after many years of use, I was cravings something new. I also wanted to update the furniture to accommodate more people comfortably.

Screen Porch Makeover 2019:

In the beginning of the summer, I sold all my DIY upcycled furniture except for one piece. I kept this plant stand that was an antique dry sink I scored at a yard sale for $3!

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

With the cash I made selling my old furniture,  I shopped online until I found the perfect outdoor sofa set from Wayfair. The price was great, but the reviews said it took a long time to assemble. In actuality, it took me less than two hours (with a few breaks in there.)

The sofa is sold with throw pillows that are plain and bright green. I threw them outside onto the deck furniture and went on a quick trip to my local AtHome store to purchase boho inspired pillows.

I also found a little side table from AtHome.

To round out (and maximize) the seating, I bought two stackable modern chairs and cushions from AtHome.

Although my painted bamboo rug was still in good shape, I wanted something more modern and less attention seeking. This rug is an outdoor rug that can be easily cleaned if it gets dirty and it doesn’t mind not being the show stopper.

The other side of the sofa has a garden stool topped with a glass round to make another side table. This might be unconventional, but I wanted a taller plant on the porch. On a whim, I set this cast iron plant on the side table and instantly loved it there. Have no fear, there is still enough room for beverages on the glass round.

With the new furniture set up, the screen porch has become my new favorite spot to work.

But, as I sat on the new furniture working, I looked up and thought, “There is one project I have always wanted to tackle on our screen porch…”

“…the ceiling.”

The wood ceiling has called for a fresh coat of light blue paint since we bought the house (about twelve years ago.) But, I never got around to it. I decided the new furniture would look so much better with a painted ceiling. Am I right?

Light Blue Painted Porch Ceiling:

Unfortunately, I was too busy working on the Millie’s Remodel project to do it myself, so I contacted my painter. He gave me a price I couldn’t turn down and I gladly turned over the task to him.

Luckily our Hunter fan still looks amazing with the light blue ceiling.

I also had him paint the rest of the porch rails and trim white because it was in need of a fresh coat. He and his partner had to remove all the screens to paint the railings. When I saw how amazing the view was without screens, I decided to look for some of the nearly invisible mosquito screens I have seen on house tours.

Nearly Invisible Mosquito Screens:

After installing the first panel I was speechless. The difference was almost day and night! The old screens are on the left and the new on the right.

But, here’s where you can really see the difference:

The screen door still has the old screens. See how much darker and fuzzier the view is? I purchased the BetterVue Nearly Invisible Insect Screens from Amazon and could not be happier!

Need more proof? Here’s the scene through the old screens:

And now through the new screens:

There is no photoshop or trickery there, you can clearly see the difference the new screens make.

The Finishing Touches:

For decor, I kept it simple. A few magazines and a piece of driftwood in a tray.

Fresh cut hydrangeas fill a big vase.

Unfortunately the ones still outside are turning brown in the hot summer sun.

Our rope hammock gets lots of use. It’s definitely a favorite for the kids and the adults.

Especially when you can nap and listen to the low tones of the wind chime my family gave me for Mother’s Day one year.

Do you love my screen porch makeover? Look at how much light comes through those new insect screens!

When the weather isn’t insanely hot and humid, you will likely find me here:

I hope you enjoyed my Screen Porch Makeover with Invisible Mosquito Screens.

Here’s a fun video I made showing you how quiet and beautiful it is on the porch.

Screen Porch Makeover with Invisible Mosquito Screens Sources:

And if you liked anything you saw, here is a list of my sources for the screen porch furniture, decor, and of course the nearly invisible screens!

Nearly Invisible Insect & Mosquito Screen Replacement Roll

Sources to Achieve My Boho Screen Porch Look:

5 Piece Outdoor Rattan Sectional
Gray Modern Stackable Chairs (similar)
Navy Seat Cushions
Mullen Gray/Navy Indoor Outdoor Herringbone Rug
White Ceramic Lattice Garden Stool
18″ Round Glass Table Top

Square Planter Pot (similar)
Deep Tone Wind Chimes
Pawley’s Island Rope Hammock
Aqua Stripe Turkish Towel (similar)
Hobnail Planter Pot (similar look)
Hunter Caneel Bay Outdoor Ceiling Fan
Copper Tray

Similar Outdoor Pillows:
Fringed Pillow
Macrame Pillow
Tribal Diamond Pillow
Navy Tribal Ikat Pillow

Hope you got some great ideas and hope you are enjoying some outside time where you are!

Create this DIY Chalkboard Calendar to get you and your family organized. It will only take you about half an hour to create but it will save you the headache of double booking yourself and get the kids on board with upcoming activities and trips.

DIY Chalkboard Wall CalendarDIY Chalkboard Wall Calendar

I’m bring back this tutorial for those of you that may have missed it. Why? Because this DIY Chalkboard Wall Calendar has been in our kitchen for over four years and it has held up beautifully! This calendar is an important part of our daily routine. My kids look at it frequently to see what activities and trips are coming up. My husband and I use a Google calendar to stay current, but this calendar is a great way to keep the kids organized and to let me look at a glance what’s coming up while I’m on the phone. Seriously, this is one of the best things I created for our family. In the spirit of getting organized, I’m going to share with you my easy DIY chalkboard wall calendar. But, first here are some great uses for a chalkboard calendar.

Ways to Use a Chalkboard Calendar:

  • Keep Track of After School Activities
  • Menu Plan
  • Chore Reminders
  • School Lunch Menu
  • Holidays
  • Birthdays
  • Reminder for Pets Flea, Tick and Heartworm Medicine
  • Business Trips
  • Vacations
  • Date Nights
  • Family Activities
  • Blog Calendar
  • Schedule Meetings
  • Work Calendar
  • Project Planning

Have I left anything out?

2014 chalkboard calendar wall

Easy to Clean:

In the past I used to draw out the calendar lines, but trying to erase inside the lines was tedious and time consuming. What busy mom has time for that?! By using the vinyl stripes, I can easily erase the calendar after two months and add new dates.

To save extra time, I like to put recurring items on the bottom line so I can wipe around them and keep the items there from month-to-month.

close up chalkboard calendar day

I also use consistent color coding. One color per person and I use separate colors for school or trips. But, feel free to do what works for your family.

To create this quick chalkboard calendar you need to start with a chalkboard wall (or large chalkboard.) Then gather some supplies.


(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)


Using the level, make a straight (and level) line for the top of your calendar. (Mine is 28″ wide.)

draw chalk lines using level

Using your ruler, mark a tick mark horizontally every 4″ (more or less depending on your space availability) for the 7 days. Make 5 tick marks down from the top line vertically every 4″. Repeat on the opposite side. Then add your horizontal tick marks for the days at the bottom.

chalk grid lines created

Use your vinyl lines to outline the calendar and create the horizontal lines.

chalkboard horizontal lines drawn

Connect the vertical tick marks with vinyl lines. If you have excess vinyl, snip off the excess with a pair of scissors. (Our calendar is 20″ tall.)

excess vinyl trim excess

In our house I added two calendars. It’s always nice to see a month ahead! Sometimes I contemplate moving the calendars up and added a third month, but for now this works well for us.

grid lines chalkboard calendar

The chalkboard calendar lets you get creative and practice your chalk lettering. (It’s been fun for me to practice since picking up these hand-lettering books.)

February Chalkboard Calendar month

Can you think of other ways to  keep you and your family organized? I’d love to hear it.

2014 chalkboard calendar wall

By the way, Leen has a chalkboard calendar for those of you that don’t want to commit to a large painted chalkboard wall in your home!

PHGFancySignDisclosure: This is NOT a sponsored post. Leen is just a good friend and my go to source for vinyl graphics and designs.

You may also like Jacque’s Perpetual Menu Calendar:

Reusable monthly menu board with magnetic meals - perpetual menu board

Or this refrigerator chalkboard calendar:

Holiday Home Tour 2017 | Pretty Handy Girl

Happy Holidays! I can’t believe the holidays are here once again. This will be my seventh holiday home tour shared with you. I honestly can not believe I’ve been running this little old blog of mine since 2010. (These are my holiday home tours from 20102011201320142015, and 2016.) You may have noticed there was a gap, because in 2012 I was up to my ear-plugged ears building our kitchen back after a water leak. But, enough about moldy messes and termite damage, won’t you come in for the annual holiday home tour.

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

Holiday Home Tour 2017 | Pretty Handy Girl

In the past I’ve dressed up my faux wreaths (with less than $20 in supplies) for the front doors, but this year a pair of live pine wreaths whispered my name at Lowe’s. Obviously, I caved.

Holiday Home Tour 2017 | Pretty Handy Girl

I’m participating in a group tour with several other fabulous home bloggers.

Holiday Home Tour 2017 | Pretty Handy GirlYou’ll definitely want to see inside each of their homes:

Just a Girl
Home Stories A to Z
Honey We’re Home
Tatertots and Jello
Hi Sugarplum
A Thoughtful Place
Not Just a Housewife
Centsational Style
The Inspired Room
320 Sycamore
Thrifty Decor Chic

Be sure to go see Sawdust Girl’s holiday home tour tomorrow!

Because I consider you a friend, why don’t you come in through the mudroom entrance. That’s the door we use, only solicitors come to the front door.

Holiday Home Tour 2017 | Pretty Handy Girl

Holiday Home Tour 2017 | Pretty Handy Girl

Feel free to take your coat off and stay for a while. Holiday Home Tour 2017 | Pretty Handy Girl

Holiday Home Tour 2017 | Pretty Handy Girl

I’m brewing some fresh coffee and would love to offer you my own version of a mocha latte. Or you can make your own specialty coffee at the coffee bar I set up.

Holiday Home Tour 2017 | Pretty Handy Girl

Holiday Home Tour 2017 | Pretty Handy Girl

Holiday Home Tour 2017 | Pretty Handy Girl

The table is set for the holidays. This year I chose to decorate with blue Spode plates and pretty blue-green eucalyptus leaves.

Holiday Home Tour 2017 | Pretty Handy Girl

Holiday Home Tour 2017 | Pretty Handy Girl

Holiday Home Tour 2017 | Pretty Handy Girl
Holiday Home Tour 2017 | Pretty Handy Girl

Holiday Home Tour 2017 | Pretty Handy Girl

Holiday Home Tour 2017 | Pretty Handy Girl

Holiday Home Tour 2017 | Pretty Handy Girl

In the corner I set up a vintage Flexible Flyer sled under the winter words chalkboard art.  If you like my sign, I have a free printable you can download for yourself here.

Holiday Home Tour 2017 | Pretty Handy Girl

Now that you have a hot drink in hand, let’s head into the living room.

Holiday Home Tour 2017 | Pretty Handy Girl

This year I decorated using rustic accents and neutrals. The camellias and rose hips are picked fresh from the yard. Nothing beats free greenery!

Holiday Home Tour 2017 | Pretty Handy Girl

I did purchase some pine bough rope, a package of paperwhites, and eucalyptus leaves on the cheap for the rest of my natural decorations.

Holiday Home Tour 2017 | Pretty Handy Girl

Holiday Home Tour 2017 | Pretty Handy Girl

The wreath over the mantel is a combination of two wreaths and some eucalyptus leaves tucked into it. I love the natural feel of this casual green wreath.

Holiday Home Tour 2017 | Pretty Handy Girl

Holiday Home Tour 2017 | Pretty Handy Girl

Holiday Home Tour 2017 | Pretty Handy Girl

I’ve been anxiously awaiting the paperwhites to bloom. It should be any day now.

Holiday Home Tour 2017 | Pretty Handy Girl

Holiday Home Tour 2017 | Pretty Handy Girl

Holiday Home Tour 2017 | Pretty Handy Girl

Let’s head into the heart of the home, our kitchen.

Holiday Home Tour 2017 | Pretty Handy Girl

This room was a labor of love for certain. It took me 13 months to build the kitchen back after a water leak and subsequent mold left us with an empty room down to the studs.

But, the upside of all the damage was I was able to make design changes to the room. One of those changes involved building a built-in window seat bench with storage inside. This freed up room in the kitchen as we can push the table up against the window seat.

I don’t usually add much to the kitchen except some simple touches like a beaded garland on the chandelier. I admit, I like it so much I’ve left it on the light well into late January sometimes. Can you blame me?

Holiday Home Tour 2017 | Pretty Handy Girl

Adding the wreaths to the window this year seemed like a fun way to reuse these little faux boxwood wreaths.

Holiday Home Tour 2017 | Pretty Handy Girl

And of course, one wreath on the custom range hood I built.

Holiday Home Tour 2017 | Pretty Handy Girl

I always enjoy adding some winter decor to the built in desk and wall-mounted hutch in the corner of our kitchen.

Holiday Home Tour 2017 | Pretty Handy Girl

Holiday Home Tour 2017 | Pretty Handy Girl

Blue Mason jars with epson salt and a votive candles bring a little snow vibe into the house.

Holiday Home Tour 2017 | Pretty Handy Girl

Holiday Home Tour 2017 | Pretty Handy Girl

The front foyer is where we keep my boys’ advent calendars. I was thinking there will come a day when they are off to college and it won’t seem right not having the advent calendars here. The thought makes me a bit melancholy, especially since our oldest will be a freshman in high school next year. That leaves me with four more years having both boys under my roof. *sniff, sniff*

Holiday Home Tour 2017 | Pretty Handy Girl

I hope you are having a wonderful Holiday season and are able to avoid all the rushing around. Thank you so much for visiting my home today.

8 Fabulous Fall Home ToursFabulous Fall Home Tours

Welcome to the Fabulous Fall Home Tours! The tour features 8 fabulously talented bloggers who have opened their homes up so you can get inspired by some beautiful fall decorating. If you are just coming in from Sarah’s house, it’s nice to see you. Wasn’t her home gorgeous? Stick around, we have a great line up of talented bloggers who have graciously opened their homes to you.

Fabulous Fall Home Tour 2017

These are the other bloggers who are joining in today:

Pretty Handy Girl

Addicted 2 DIY

The DIY Village

The Heathered Nest

In My Own Style

Jennifer Rizzo

One Project Closer

Ugly Duckling House

Here’s a warm cup of coffee with a little pumpkin spice added to it. Won’t you come on in.

Like that little garden flag? Shh, I’ll tell you a secret: it’s made from a Dollar Store placemat and here’s the tutorial. Luckily my cotton fall wreath survived being stored for a year. I added a few more colorful leaves and hung it on the door.

Yesterday I gave a tour of my dining room with its beautiful fall tablescape and coffee bar. If you want to peek in the dining room, I’ll wait right here.

Come on into our mudroom. This is our friend and family entrance. No one uses the front door much. Feel free to kick off your shoes and get comfortable if you want. We all walk barefoot around here.

Several years ago I built that shoe storage bench using kitchen cabinets and some discarded shelves.

The coat rack was also made with reclaimed items. Can you guess what they are? You’ll have to read the tutorial to find out!

By our front door is a fun colorful little set of drawers. I transformed this old IKEA cabinet into one of my favorite furniture pieces in the house.

Let’s head to the kitchen, shall we? The kitchen is one of my favorite rooms in our house. Not because I love to cook, but because this room gets lots of daylight and I love all the changes that were made to the space. For example, I built a bay window seat with storage to allow us more room in the kitchen.

Gorgeous Fall decor. Farmhouse Table and chairs

I also added all the planks (aka shiplap) and they cost me next to nothing. You can read how to DIY your own plank walls if you want to add shiplap to your home! A few years ago I faux painted that table to look like driftwood. It has held up pretty good.

Love this kitchen decorated for fall. You have to see the rest!

Sink Goals! Love this farmhouse sink with blue cabinets

I vowed not to spend money on flowers and greenery this year. It was fun challenging myself and it forced me to go outside and “shop my yard!”

The results were abundant amounts of greenery using plants I don’t usually think of for home decor (like monkey grass blooms and fern clippings.)

If you asked me what is my favorite element in my kitchen, it would be my reclaimed lumber open shelves. These babies are my pride and joy. I found the lumber at a local reclaimed lumber shop and painted the corbels myself to make them look old. Then I carefully drilled through the tile to hang the shelves.

My DIY wall-mounted hutch is the place we hide all the paper clutter. I have a spot for everything here.

Step right through the doorway into our living room.

I have a confession to make. I cheated and bought one bunch of calla lilies at the grocery store. But, who could turn these down? They bloomed in the perfect fall colors!

I waffled on ordering this yellow chair from La-Z-Boy a few years ago. I’m so happy with this chair because it works well with a lot of different color palettes.

On the other side is our white leather recliner, also from La-Z-Boy. This is the chair that everyone fights over because everyone wants to kick back and relax in it.

I found a stash of forgotten framed photos in our attic and decided to display them on the bookshelves.

That’s my mom and me in the bottom picture. She looks like a teenager!

On a whim, I stuffed some white mini lights under some silk leaves.

I’m enjoying the cozy touches in our living room and it makes me want to curl up on the sofa with a warm drink.

I hope you enjoyed my Fabulous Fall Home Tour! It’s time for you to head over to Katie’s at Addicted 2 DIY. She’s waiting for you.

Fabulous Fall Home Tour 2017

These are the other bloggers who are joining in today:

Pretty Handy Girl

Addicted 2 DIY

The DIY Village

The Heathered Nest

In My Own Style

Jennifer Rizzo

One Project Closer

Ugly Duckling House

Fall Decorated Tablescape & Coffee BarFall Tablescape and Coffee Bar

Welcome! I’m so glad you could join me today. I enjoyed taking a little time off from my investment house projects to decorate the house for autumn. It’s always fun to twitter around and create a beautiful tablescape. Last year’s tablescape had plenty of orange, yellow and pink accents. But this year I chose a palette filled with blue, green, and accents of purple that complimented our fall hydrangeas.  I also had fun adding a little coffee bar. Won’t you come on in and stay for a while? I’m brewing some fresh coffee and have baked pears for you to sample. Don’t forget to help yourself to some coffee.

black hutch with coffee bar set up

Fall tablescape and hydrangea and pears

Several years ago I sold our old dining room table and decided to build my own rustic farmhouse table. I love it and kick myself for not making this table sooner. It was a fairly quick build, you can find my tutorial to build your own farmhouse table here.

Coffee bar decorated for fall

(I’ve included affiliate links in this post. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links.
There is no additional cost to you. You can 
read more about affiliate links here.)

Right before I started decorating, I received my monthly Sand Dollar Lane Box. Inside were several items including the chalkboard and magnetic zinc frames you see on the tour. In addition, a little wooden desk box and some other pretty little things were inside the box. I am particularly enamored with the little gold magnifying paperweight and a small whale dish that brighten any space. (Did you spot them above?)

apples and zinc framed magnetic board

Here’s a better view, can you see the pretty paperweight on the shelf above? I might need to feature it more next time. The bowl the apples are in was in my subscription box last month. Leen really knows how to pick some cute farmhouse coastal decor!

Fall leaves chalkboard sign

When I received the chalkboard in the Sand Dollar Lane Box, I knew I wanted to make a fall words chalkboard sign. I don’t seem to spend as much time making chalkboard art anymore, so this was a fun little activity. As inspiration, I used some of the lessons I learned in the Busy Girl’s Guide to Handlettering Course. And because I love sharing, here is the free chalkboard art printable available for you to download here (print it our use it as a template for your own art.)

Rustic Fall Tablescape with hydrangeas and pears

This year’s tablescape is relatively simple. I built a rustic painted trough to display hydrangeas in, making a beautiful centerpiece.

Hydrangeas in rustic trough box

Then I used a pear and a loropetalum clipping at each place setting.

Pear on plate

While decorating the dining room, I decided not to buy any flowers or greenery this year. I had two reasons for this decision:

  1. I struck out finding seeded eucalyptus anywhere. I might need to order some from a florist. (Anyone have a good resource?)
  2. I wanted to challenge myself to use what I have. You know what? I was amazed at how much greenery I was able to harvest from my yard!

Apples, gourd and liriope at coffee bar

Ferns, loropetalum, monkey grass and the hydrangea bushes were overly abundant this year. The clippings from them worked nicely in my fall decor. I encourage you to take a look in your yard, you’d be amazed what you can use for fresh greenery!

Coffee bar set up in dining room hutch

Usually we use the hutch in our dining room for a hot cocoa bar during the holidays, but I decided it would be nice to create a little coffee bar to enjoy for the fall. Who doesn’t love a pretty coffee bar? (Especially if you make your own frothy healthy coffee at home.)

I hope you’ll come back tomorrow for the Fabulous Fall Home Tours. I’ll be joined by seven more of my talented friends!

Fabulous Fall Home Tour 2017

See you in the morning.

Wall Paint Color in this room is Benjamin Moore Elmira White. 

Hidden Wine Storage at Back of Countertop | Pretty Handy Girl

Today’s the day I’m finally sharing the Pantry Reveal, complete with a Coffee Bar and Hidden Wine Storage! Let me warn you, this isn’t your ordinary pantry. This space is multi-functional. The dreams of a better and more organized pantry started four years ago while I was in the thick of our kitchen renovation. For 48 months I’ve mulled over the plans to have food storage that works better for how my family lives.  At first I used painter’s tape to try to figure out better spacing (excuse the poor photo quality. This was taken before I improved my photography skills):

Pantry Before | Pretty Handy Girl

The shelves were only 12″ deep in a 36″ deep closet. That’s 2/3 of the pantry not being utilized. I’m sure you or someone you known has a similar 6 foot wide pantry with bi-fold doors. Be sure to share this post so they know there is hope for a more organized pantry.

As another year past, my plans began to take shape utilizing more of the depth of the pantry:

Open Pantry Concept Sketch

Then my plans evolved into this chicken scratch sketch:

After the plans sat in my head for a while, I used Sketch Up to utilize every square inch of space in the closet side. . .

. . .which you probably saw when I showed you how to build chalkboard front drawers

Make Your Own Chalkboard Front Drawers | Organized Pantry | Pretty Handy Girl

and how to use vintage rulers as shelf stops.

How to Use Vintage Rulers for Narrow Pantry Shelf Stops | Pretty Handy Girl

The closet side of the pantry holds roughly 2/3 of what the original 6 foot wide pantry did!

Pantry with Coffee Bar and Hidden Wine Storage | Pretty Handy Girl

The other two thirds of the pantry area was set up with upper and lower cabinets and a walnut counter top. I ordered the cabinets from Kith Cabinets (the same manufacturer that made the rest of our kitchen cabinets) because I worried that I wouldn’t be able to match the quality if I built them myself.

Hidden Wine Storage at back of countertop | Pretty Handy Girl

The upper cabinet is deceiving because it is actually 18″ deep (as opposed to a normal 12″ deep upper). Which means we have a lot more storage within those cabinets.

We have some amazing storage now! Large pull out shelves hold all the chips, pretzels and snacks. I debated ordering  a three drawer cabinet, but ultimately knew I’d prefer the deeper storage that the trays offered.

At some point, I’ll build custom dividers for the chips and snacks. The baskets work well, but there is a 3-4″ gap behind them that I could use. (I’m all about utilizing that space wasted space!)

The drawer is perfect for coffee stirrers, extra k-cups, plastic utensils, straws and more.

Speaking of coffee, it’s a wonderful feeling having a dedicated coffee station now.

When guests come to our house, the first stop (after the mudroom) is the coffee bar! I wish I had a photo of the bi-fold pantry doors before. They were uninviting and bland. This is essentially what they looked like:




This is what greets us now:

You may recall our DIY Chalkboard Calendar wall. We still use it for the kids’ and family’s activities. It helps the boys feel more connected with our schedule and lets them keep up with events and upcoming travel.

But wait, that’s not all! Are you ready to see the hidden wine storage?

Hold onto your wine glass!

Hidden Wine Storage at Back of Countertop | Pretty Handy Girl

How cool is that?

We can remove the doors if we want.

This makes the perfect spot for self serve wine at an open house party.

Normally we access half the wine storage at a time.

The real star of this pantry makeover is the rustic reclaimed wood plank wall. (I need to mention that I was approached by Timberchic about working with them on a sponsored post. A year passed before I contacted them back with the idea to use their wood panels in my pantry makeover.)

Those planks are a super DIY friendly product called Timberchic. The wood is salvaged from logs lost during lumber transport in the Maine river and lake systems. You can read the amazing story here and learn how Timberchic is helping the local ecosystem.

The planks can be purchased in 3″ and 5″ lengths.  I chose 5 inch planks in a variety of natural and whitewash, then cut them into thirds for my project. (I’ve suggested that Timberchic should sell these thinner planks. Be sure to send them a tweet letting them know you like the thinner look too!)

Pantry with Coffee Bar and Hidden Wine Storage | Pretty Handy Girl

In the meantime, I put together this little video to show you how easy it is to install the Timberchic panels:

Now we have a beverage center for day or night!

What do you think? Do you like the new pantry, coffee bar and hidden wine storage area?

I’m not sure I can still call this a pantry. A Pantry with Coffee Bar and Hidden Wine Storage?

or does it qualify as a butler’s pantry?

I don’t know for sure, but I do know that I love all the storage. . .

. . .and the view when we come into the kitchen.

Do you have a 6 foot bi-fold pantry? Why not turn it into something you’ve always dreamed about.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for Timberchic. I was compensated for my time and promotion of the Timberchic products. As always, I’m very particular about the brands I represent. I only work with products I love and want to share with my closest friends.

How to Use Vintage Rulers for Narrow Pantry Shelf Stops | Pretty Handy Girl

While configuring the new pantry, I knew I wanted to use up any and all available space to maximize storage. A shallow shelf took advantage of the 3 inches behind the door frame in the closet side of the pantry. To prevent items from tumbling off  these shelves, you can use thin slats of wood. But, I utilized Vintage Ruler Stops on the Narrow Pantry Shelves. Not only do the rulers prevent items from being bumped or knocked off, but they provide a rainbow of color.

If you remember, this was the pantry before:

And these are the plans I made to transform the pantry into something beautiful with more storage.

Installing Vintage Ruler Stops on Narrow Shelves:

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

Optional: Painter’s tape


Cut vintage rulers (or other thin wood material) to the width of the shelf cabinet box. Squeeze a line of Iron Grip Silicone Adhesive along the bottom edge of the shelf and about an inch up on either side.

Press the ruler into the glue and line it up with the bottom edge of the shelf.

Use painter’s tape or a few brad nails to support the ruler while the adhesive cures. Once the GE Iron Grip Adhesive cures it will hold the ruler firmly. Without the adhesive, brad nails will eventually work their way through the wood or fall out.

Repeat for the remaining shelves.

Make Your Own Chalkboard Front Drawers | Organized Pantry | Pretty Handy Girl

Your shelves are ready to load up with jars and cans!

Make Your Own Chalkboard Front Drawers | Organized Pantry | Pretty Handy Girl

I love the side storage that was reclaimed in the closet. That was definitely one of my biggest pet peeves about the old pantry — wasted space.

It’s amazing how many jars and cans I can fit on the side.

Make Your Own Chalkboard Front Drawers | Organized Pantry | Pretty Handy Girl

Do you have a pantry or closet that can use narrow shelves for additional storage? I bet you do ;-).

I’m really anxious to show you a sneak peek of the pantry renovation project. I’m not 100% done, but the finish line is close. This is a good spot to give you a pantry progress update and show you the process of turning a bi-fold door pantry into something with more functional storage, not to mention coolness factor.

This is where the project began:

That was our 6′ wide and 3′ deep pantry back in 2012 shortly after a small water leak left us with a gutted kitchen. After the restoration crew installed the new subfloor (because of the asbestos abatement), I took the ugly bi-fold doors off and fully intending to include the pantry in my complete DIY kitchen renovation. By the time I finished the kitchen renovation, I was exhausted and longing for a break. Four years later, this is where the pantry progressed until a few months ago.

Big difference right? Just kidding. I installed flooring and a new light fixture, but that’s it. I had dreams of making an open pantry and showed this sketch to my friend Sandra from back in 2013.

Open Pantry Concept Sketch

She and I talked through some ideas and then I sat on the project for a couple of years. By this time I had revised my idea on the pantry and drew up a new sketch:

(Please don’t show that to my illustration professors. That’s one rough sketch there.)

The idea was to partition off the right hand side of the pantry and create a small closet with a door. To get the most storage possible, I moved over to SketchUp to draw out plans for the small closet.

Next it was time to cut the shelves out and get this project rolling.

Our dining room took over pantry duties as I began the framing process in the gutted pantry.

I’m sure you’re going to ask me why I didn’t remove the framing over the doorway. I decided to leave it in place because the door frame is made up of a large double header and the kids’ bathtub is directly over the header. Basically I didn’t want to risk the tub falling through the ceiling.

New wiring was run for two outlets on the left side and I moved an outlet down toward the floor on the right side.

You may remember when I showed you how to Add Energy Efficient LED light fixtures in recessed can lights. Those lights were the ones I installed on each side of the partition.

I tried to hire my favorite electrician to install a door frame switch for the light, but he explained how to do it and left without taking my money. (I owe him big time.)

In the end, I’m grateful for his advice and for pushing me out of my comfort zone. It wasn’t as hard as I expected.

Next up on the to do list was to build the cabinetry for the closet.

I constructed two boxes. One deep box for the back and a shallow box for the side shelves. I’m not going to show you how to build cabinets because Sawdust Girl does it so much better than I do!

After the boxes were built and painted, I carefully installed them into the closet. Some white caulk and trim moulding were added to give it a more finished look.

Next I built the drawer boxes for inside the larger cabinet box. Again, Sawdust Girl has the best instructions for building drawer boxes here. But, here’s a tutorial to show you how to finish off plywood edges.

Blum drawer slides (affiliate link) were used on the drawers, per Sandra’s suggestion.

Make Your Own Chalkboard Front Drawers | Organized Pantry | Pretty Handy Girl

Want to see the full reveal? Click here to see my Pantry Reveal with Hidden Wine Storage.

Make Your Own Chalkboard Front Drawers | Organized Pantry | Pretty Handy Girl

Holiday Home Tour 2016 | Pretty Handy Girl

I’m so happy to see you again this year! This is my annual holiday home tour and each year I can’t wait to invite you in to see the decorations. (These are my home tours from 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015.) This year I tried to keep it simple, but I did take two days to make a really fun vintage sign. I hope you’ll come on in and see it (and the rest of my holiday decorating efforts.)

Before I start decorating, I like to choose a theme. This year I wanted to create a nature or woodland inspired theme. I pulled the storage bins out of the attic and assessed what I had to work with. Then, I made a list of some items I could use to fill out the room. Next stop was my local At Home store. This home tour has been sponsored by At Home. This year I’ve been thrilled to be an At Home brand ambassador. (You can see a photo tour of the At Home store in this post.

At Home Store Tour | Pretty Handy Girl

Or come take a tour of my patio decorated for a garden party using several At Home finds (feel free to stay a while if you need to shake off that winter chill by looking at summer photos.)

Outdoor Garden Patio Party Decorating Ideas | Pretty Handy Girl

Finally, you won’t want to miss this drab to fab screen porch makeover that I accomplished with help from At Home.

Installing the Most Beautiful Ceiling Fan | Haiku Copper Luxe Ceiling Fan | Pretty Handy Girl

Have you warmed up yet? Well come on inside and get cozy. I made you some hot chocolate and salted caramel chocolate chip cookies for the tour.


Did you notice the little silver twig tree? That was an At Home find, I couldn’t resist it. The little white lights make the tree glow at night. I also picked up some faux poinsettias from At Home and popped them in my 3 Step Little Red Wagon Planter.

Holiday Home Tour 2016 | Pretty Handy Girl


May I take your jacket? You can kick off your shoes if you want to get more comfortable. The shoe storage bench and coat rack were early DIY projects. This mudroom spot is my sanity saver because it holds our daily assortment of coats, backpacks, shoes and socks!


These topiaries from At Home have seen a lot of use. I bought the unlit versions to save money and added my own lights for the holidays. But, honestly the lit versions are only $10 more, so splurge if you buy some for your home.


I decorated the shelf with some reindeer and two DIY cone trees (hot glue and moss or leaves). I also used some wall decal stars from my friend Leen the Graphics Queen (affiliate link.)


The “Post” box keeps all our epi-pens close at hand but not in sight. Anyone else have a collection of epi-pens? 😉


Come on in the living room and sit down. I just finished decorating the tree.


I brightened the tree with lots of feather boas and red ornaments. Plus, I added several of the kids’ ornaments they made in preschool. Those ornaments may not be pretty, but they are precious to us.


Want to make your own decorative bird house topper? It’s a fun little project that will satisfy your doodling desires.


I have to share with you these beautiful pillows I bought at At Home!


They look a lot like some higher end store pillows, but for much less. I especially like the faux fur pillows. They might stay on the couch year round.


Speaking of pillows, I had to buy Bandit a cozy bed from At Home. They have the best prices and selection I’ve ever seen for dog bedding. Good dog, Bandit. It’s about time you fell asleep. This dog is non-stop energy most of the time.

The other find I couldn’t resist at At Home was this pretty shell tray. They have an amazing assortment of trays in all colors, shapes and sizes.

I love using this easy to make shutter screen to display our Christmas cards each year.


This year I added a strand of lights and the vintage sled.



Did you spot my new vintage inspired sign?


I made it this week using all scraps from my workshop. Here’s the tutorial to make your own Vintage Rustic Sleigh Ride Sign!


I know I’ve probably overstated this, but At Home has everything for your home decorating! For instance, birch logs can be purchased in the wedding section of At Home. (I’m not sure why they are in that section, but they are.) They were 6 feet tall, but I cut each log into three for display by the fireplace.


I bought the white lantern from At Home to round out my collection. You may not realize it, but that little black lantern was actually transformed from a $5 dated light fixture.



A note about that metallic dot pillow—yup, you guessed it—another At Home favorite find!



Let’s head into the kitchen.



Every year, I like to make a little something I think the kids will enjoy. This year, I created a little snow scene in a cloche.


The cloche is actually the globe from a hanging light. I ditched the light and used the globe to make a fun little snow globe scene.


I used more wall decal stars from my friend Leen the Graphics Queen (affiliate link) to decorate the windows. These little stars add a festive feel in minutes.


On the other side of the kitchen is a desk aka our family command center. The raised desk was a DIY project I built using more ReStore cast offs. And the hutch was built using an old table top. . . seriously!



The little galvanized village scene was created using a variety of At Home accessories. The lighted pine cones came in a set of three and have a timer switch so they’ll shut off at night. That’s one less thing I have to turn off before bed.



I usually let my boys decorate a small tree. This year they added blue lights to this little faux ivy tree. I actually like the soft blue glow at night. My boys. . . they love to go against the grain. 😉


Thank you so much for coming over. I enjoyed your company.


Stop by sometime next week. I’ll be sharing my frugal holiday tablescape with you.


Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for At Home. I was compensated for my time writing this post. At Home also provided me with a gift card to purchase items to use in this post. All ideas and words are my own. I was not told what to write.

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Check out Pretty Handy Girl's Holiday Home Tour for holiday home decor ideas and inspiration! | Holiday decor for the home #prettyhandygirl #holidayhome #holidaydecor