In The Eye Of The Beholder

The holiday decor has been packed up and put in the shed.

The dining room is back to normal. I've erased the Christmas tree on the chalk board.

Now my thoughts are heading toward the new year.

The local photographer Country Woman hired to photograph the kitchen will be here the second week in January. I looked at his website. Pretty fancy. 

Wonder what he'll think when he gets in here and sees he's supposed to photograph the poor woman's version of a newly decorated kitchen?

It might be fun to see the look on his/her/their face. Whoever comes.

Sometimes I just have to laugh. I left a completely redone kitchen back in Texas. It had the granite counter tops and deep drawers and beautiful bronzed faucet set, etc.

It had a new dishwasher and a new floor and one half wall was knocked out to create more room. It was all repainted and professionally renovated and done with the aid of a designer. 

And no one asked to photograph it.

(I have no idea why I'm showing the dining room and talking about the kitchen. Sorry about that.)

The decoupaged cabinets seem to be the draw. I'm sure many of you, when you first saw it, thought: What on earth has she done to those nice white cabinets?

I sat down on a garden rolling cart (because my squatting abilities have seen better days) and started gluing quotes and vintage images and anything that caught my fancy on there. With a foam brush in one hand and Mod Podge in the other.

I had no idea what I was going to do until it was done. I had just repainted those cabinets, so my intention was not to cover them up. But that's somehow what I ended up doing.

Which is how a lot of my decorating somehow gets done. 

I guess beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder, huh?

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  1. But really Brenda, you Had all the latest and greatest but were you happy? It is so much nicer to see your inner creativity flow from where your heart is now.

  2. Looks like a cute little café in your dining room with the two tables, red checked curtains and bistro sign. I would bring dinner over and we could eat there, if I lived in OK.

  3. Forgot to say I'm really tired of granite counter tops. I don't have them, but am tired of seeing them in blog land. A bit tired of bronze faucets too.

  4. Your coffee station is just TOO cute!! You're gonna have to host some kind of 'Coffee Catch-Up' Skype session, where you sit in your little bistro kitchen, and we all say what kind of caffeine we're drinking at the beginning, and then the gabfest begins! Whaddaya think?

    Never liked granite counters and prefer chrome to bronze, just more practical and pretty!


  5. I bet this house is a lot more comfortable though!!!! I like fancy to look at, but I will take comfortable any day. I am not a fancy person. I also like that you use color. Especially in winter I need color! I come on here to see what you are doing now as it is always interesting. Plus it never hurts that you have a way with words! Always interesting thoughts and going ons.

  6. The CW photographer will be amazed and delighted by your lovely kitchen. I absolutely adore all your decor...

  7. Just goes to show ya that all that fancy smansy granite and decorator stuff isn't all it's cracked up to be, it's all just so cookie cutter imho. The unique and colorful kitchen you've created is one of a kind, no one else has it and it reflects YOUR personality not the personality of some decorator that doesn't live there. The splashes of red really catch my eye and all the little things you have created hold my interest. The photograper is going to love it!

  8. Your creativity is amazing and I know you inspire others!

  9. It just shows that using your creativity is sometimes better than using money to decorate a home! I think it's wonderful that now 2 people have wanted to come photograph your home. Good luck with your next photo shoot!

  10. Dear Brenda,
    I love your blog and what you have done with your little blue house. I can see why the magazine companies would want to photograph your house. You are ingenious in the fact you can decorate so beautifully with little to no extra money. It is more appealing to the reader to see what beautiful things one can create on a limited income. Your little blue house is so very picturesque. It has a warm welcoming feel to it. It invites me back to visit time and time again. The home you had in Texas with all its finery has nothing up on this little place. Professional designers and granite counter tops are out of the reach of many of us readers. You, my friend are very talented.
    I have been a long time reader and enjoy your blog very much.


  11. You know what's "funny", Brenda? I think it's because anyone can have a high-end kitchen with granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances, custom cabinets, expensive faucets, etc. if they have the money. But is there anything unique about them? Absolutely not. Sometimes they can be beautiful, but other times, they all look alike and make my eyes glaze over. Now take a kitchen like the one you have now...who else has that kind of kitchen? Can someone else simply buy that look? Nope! It has to be created! And that's what makes your kitchen so unique and worth photographing. It has personality. :-)

  12. I agree with Melanie above...I oooh and aaah over blogs...but some that touch me the most..are those who create the beauty...'right were they are'! I am humored when I watch HGTV and the couple demand granite counter tops and stainless steal appliances..I am like...really..did you just see the home you looked AT!!!! not! In fact I am now in the bloggin world ..dont know how to relate...because I see such fancy...that is only 50% out there...its about creating coziness and lovilness as have done inviting, so lovely and so real!

  13. I love your ORIGINALITY and so will Country Woman fans..........thanks for sharing!

  14. Magazines want to feature photos of your kitchen, and the rest of your home, in part because the décor is creative, unique, and you did it yourself. But maybe the main reason is, the way you decorate seems to tell a story. It starts out as your story, but each visitor to your blog can find something of themselves in your photographs as well.

    The colorful quilts and blue Ball jars might remind someone of Grandma, while the Bistro sign and small café tables might spark a memory of a trip to Paris for someone else. The vintage photos of children, the little red truck and the farm animals, and the sea shells and starfish might stir up memories from childhood visits to the country or to the beach. Or, if a visitor, or you personally, have not had those specific experiences, the little decorative touches can help conjure up dreams and possibilities.

    It seems as though you decorate for your pleasure, rather than to try to impress someone or follow the current decorating trend. Your approach results in a warm and pleasing environment that I hope brings as much comfort and enjoyment to you as it brings to all of us who visit here.

    1. Well said! I wish I had written it. You said exactly what I was thinking. Thank you!

  15. I was one who liked the cabinets so I must have Country Woman taste :)

  16. There's nothing 'funny' about it at all. It makes perfect sense that they would want to photograph your home. It's different, unique and charming. None of those adjectives describe stainless steel or granite.

  17. I love your little country decorated house. In fact, I love it so much, that I have gone out on ebay and bought some of the same things you have in your kitchen! Congrats on your being unique and catching the eye of the folks at Country Woman.
    Take care.

  18. I am in love with your kitchen! I can't wait to see it featured in one of my favorite magazines.

  19. A cozy little kitchen, to me, is much more inviting than granite countertops and tile floors. Un-decorating here as well. I have been bitten by the Spring cleaning bug! Or maybe it was the tweaking bug......

  20. Granite and stainless steel are a passing trend to me. What really inspires me is when someone lets their inner pizazz out and creates a unique one of a kind kitchen like yours! I can hardly wait to see it in the mag!!! Blessings to you!

  21. IF the photographer gives you advance notice as to when he/she will arrive, I hope you will be standing there with YOUR camera, to catch their expression when they first see your cute kitchen!!!! What do you think they'll show....surprise, delight, astonishment? I wager they have never seen or experienced a kitchen like it before. They may not comment, but you can usually tell by facial expressions what a person is thinking. For instance, I put a small artificial white Christmas tree in the center of my kitchen table this year, decorated it with cute red, black and white checked ornaments in a McKenzie Childs style. I loved it! My first guest took a look and said, "Oh." The second guest said, "You have a black, white and red checked tree, cute." (Still luke-warm in my mind.) When my family arrived on Christmas eve, my d-i-l who NEVER compliments anything, gushed about how cute it was. And my s-i-l could not stop raving about how much she liked it. So yes, beauty IS in the eye of the beholder. Good luck. Vicki in Louisville KY.

  22. As one who has had her home photographed, I can tell you that the photographer will be charmed! Your home reflects YOU, cozy, warm and charming! Your kitchen is darling, infused with personality, {I love the jar lighting!} and it will inspire many who see it in the magazine to do something that makes them smile in their own home. Happy New Year, Brenda! xoxo

  23. Brenda, your kitchen is delightful, as many others have mentioned. The best part of your kitchen is you--you have managed to create a delightful, warm environment where many would have just harrumphed and ignored the possibilities. If I never see another all white kitchen with granite/marble counters and stainless steel everything it will be much too soon!! Yours is the kitchen that I would prefer to hang out in. My guess is that those of us that like your blog are just the tip of the iceberg of folks that would prefer your warm, colorful surroundings! As always, thank you for sharing.

  24. I personally think they are going to love your colorful, happy place. It is filled with much charm, lots of DIY projects and love.


  25. I am in agreement with everyone, Brenda. Money can't buy imagination and ingenuity. I think that's what this magazine is looking for and the photographer had better see it. I was really amazed in a recent issue of Better Homes & Gardens to read in an article about a featured home, "...not featured is the breakfast room as they are still working on it." It was always my impression that magazines wanted "picture perfect" homes and mine is a work in progress. Isn't everyone's? Have faith that the magazines know this by now.


  26. Anyone can have a designer come in and create a kitchen, with the right amount of money. You, my friend, have created a unique and charming space. xo Laura

  27. Hi Brenda!
    I just love your kitchen......and Country woman is lucky your letting them in! I love your quilt - is it the pinwheel design? This year I am determined to learn to in PA I have to be able to find someone to teach me! And I'm ready to pack away 2013 too! New Year's Day is when I do it.....
    Happy New Year....stay focused and positive.......better times are coming......

  28. But this kitchen has PERSONALITY! It's unique. It's creative! It pops into my mind quite
    frequently and makes me smile. Granite and stainless NEVER do that.
    Happy New Year
    jane in easttx


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