Tag Archives: home decor

Carol Ann’s Casa – HOME TOUR!

Carol Ann Kelly, the  world’s foremost authority on all things Bolivia (where she grew up as a missionary’s kid),  and the wildly popular pastor’s wife and worship leader at NHCC is allowing us a HOME TOUR!   In mostly her own words with a few of my thoughts as well, we’ll begin in the heart of her home, the warm kitchen  – as inviting as your favorite, slightly obscure coffee shop.  Carol Ann’s comments will be in quotation marks.  Come in and look around!

Carol Ann’s Casa

“Well…I LOVE color, but not primary or pastel colors. I also don’t like flowery decor, but more bold pieces, whimsical.”

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 “I like warm earthy colors – they are relaxing to me.  I’ve always loved coffee houses with the deep earthy colors and so when Rob and I decided to take on the painting of our stark white walls which I hated, we enlisted Mae Linnemeyer’s help.  I shared with her my ideas and together we worked on creating space that we’d love to hang out in.”

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“We removed the traditional kitchen table space and replaced it with two whimsical chairs and a coffee table and a new light fixture.  The coffee table is the kind you can pull out and make into a table, which is fun.”

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“I also wanted to add details that you’d be surprised by, so I don’t think you can tell from the pics, but on my walls above the kitchen counters I have putty stencils of a coffee mug with steam coming out…same color as the walls so it’s subtle, but fun when it’s discovered.  I sketched the mug and Mae helped create the putty stencils.”

From Jeanie: the putty stencil mugs are genius.  Wish I could have made them show up!



“I also wanted different window treatment from the standard blinds and curtains, so Mae helped me sew coffee bags together as more of an awning treatment like you’d see on the outside of a coffee shop, we just brought it inside.”

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“The long mirrors in the front living room were purchased at a hotel outlet store and we painted them and then sand-papered them to look well worn.  Again, taking what’s outside and moving inside, we took garden trellis and hung them on the wall – I especially liked these trellis’ because they have the ‘Fleur-Elise’ symbols on them which remind me of Leesy.”

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“Above our piano, we put hooks that go across the whole wall.  Then found hanging metal baskets for our sheet music – a lot more fun than a piano bench storage option!”

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“I love black and white painting and old gas station, license plates decor.  It was our previous decor before we went with coffee house stuff and I didn’t want to part with it…so it is now our bathroom and hallway decor and works perfect.”

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“The guitar pics are Rob’s choice but I love them.  We are a family that LOVES music, so you’ll see this and coffee expressed throughout the house…I also love black and white pics.  The pic on the mantel of Rob and I is my favorite ever picture of us.  My niece Morgan caught me laughing and it represents my relationship with Rob – filled with humor and warmth.”

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Jeanie’s favorite part of Carol Ann’s house~

“The corkboard wall and blackboard pantry door is a lot of fun and we often completely change it up for the occasion.  In the picture you have it was “Christmas-fied”.  It’s been a mural for Robbin and Bethany’s grad parties and is just waiting to be transformed again for Elise.”


From Jeanie: Yes-this wall of cork and the blackboard door are THE centerpiece.  Even before I knew Carol Ann, this part of her home (in the kitchen) when she first did it , created a stir.  Everyone was raving!  It is where you go and stand and soak in whatever is there.  It is an ever-changing piece of art, a place to outwardly post the colorful lives of the Kelly family.

When I asked Carol Ann to remind me about her theory of drinking coffee on a very hot summer day (in which she is a firm believer), for I remember her explaining to me that if it is very hot out, drinking hot cofee will make you feel cooler, she only replied:  “…Yes, coffee is to be consumed in any temperature, any time of day, for any reason!  :-)”

Thanks for the welcoming look inside, CAK…Jeanie

previous tours here: Amy’sTara’smine (the post that kicked it all off)…another one of mine…and can you believe more of mine?…Pearl’sRobin’s…and there is more to come!

still with the picture problems here at the blog – aaaarrrrrgggggghhhhhh….sorry you can’t click and SEE!


Truly, I promise – I have home tours coming!  Several people, *ahem, have said soon they will share their spaces.  They will show us what makes their home their home!  Meanwhile, the firstborn has submitted hers.

Tara is a home-maker, as many women are.  She makes home while mommying, wife-ing, travelling in ministry, song-writing, recording, etc.  She is always excitedly telling us about one project or another and very thoughtfully creates spaces that reflect the love between her and Dave, for their son and the life of worship to God they are building.  A guest in their home recently commented, “Your house is…warm.”  It is!

Tour Tara’s Home:

They use every inch of yard space to enjoy their family life.  And loving the outdoors like they do, Tara utilized an old tree stump as wall art later adding sepia prints from a family photo shoot.  It is striking.  And simple!

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You can kind of see the loft and skylight above and the kitchen opening from the living room.  The old window matches my coffee table as it is from Tara’s elementary school in Nebraska.  Tara specifically left the dishes in the sink under the word “Life” because that is what dishes are!

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Photos of the little guy hang on a dining area wall.  Tara loves to organize life via bulletin and message boards.

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Down the hallway, and a picture of our Home Tour hostess – taking pictures.  By the way, Tara told me she really had a blast photographing her home – just like I told her she would.

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Old maps, atlases, anything about world travel can find itself in the Powers family decor.  There are a lot of photographs of their little family, peach soy candles, and one-of-a-kind art by a friend atop the bookshelves.

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In the upstairs bath, French poster art (on canvas), and a piece from Tara’s sister, Stephanie, – the tree above the bath tissue.

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A gift: Hunter in pencil; Dave’s guitars as art in the loft/TV area.

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Giant art canvas painted by Pearl as a headboard.  A photo I really love (I found it in my pictures) of Tara, Dave and Hunter Christmas 2007.  They took it themselves and it really captures them at home.

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Hunter’s room-you gotta LOVE this poster of him with daddy and the accompanying scripture.  Some of his weaponry hanging.  They are good about encouraging the wild-hearted boy in him.

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These are some of the parts of Tara’s home that makes it theirs.  I can think of other scenes in her inviting house that I am surprised she didn’t send.  I hope she’ll discover more of the home she is building through the camera lense.  It is a wonderful new way to see.

Wanna give us a tour of your home?  C’mon!!  let me know…Jeanie

Amass Appeal

“Even in the most simple and random acts of accumulation, we are defining ourselves…”  -Alexandra Stoddard

Storage, displaying collections – how on earth did everything become a collection?

My Grandma Baker gave me the book, Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch when I was 8.  When we moved a couple of years later, it got tossed and I missed it so.  In the early years of our marriage I found a copy of the same vintage and bought it for a quarter.  I was thrilled, ecstatic!  Then I found another.  I now have at least 7 or 8 copies of Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch.  Thank goodness I have a strong commitment to NOT having collections!

But stuff.  Wow, life is made of stuff.  Too much of it, I am certain.  And how, oh,  how do we manage to find a place for all of it?  Here are a few of my ways:

I have one drawer full of my kids’ artwork from elementary school days left (I’ve given them the rest).  I spray-painted a bunch of large cast-off frames black.  I had Hobby Lobby cut some neutral mats.   In theory, I can switch out the art out and have an ever-changing remembrance of my babies growing up.  I only changed 3 last time, but in theory…

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I took the hymnal rack off the old pew in our dining area and hung it on the stair wall bewteen the family room and the sanctuary/living room.  I love old hymnals!  Some one made the crosses for us.  Just tucked them in because they don’t hang or stand.

The four intaglios (an Italian word pronounced in-TAL-yo) need some restoration, as they are in their original frames from the 30s and 40s, but I like the authenticity.  The printmaking process usually involves engraving the art on a hard metal plate, which is then inked and used to make multiple prints.  One of these, at least, is a numbered, limited edition and all are signed by the artists.

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My FAVORITE artwork by the grandbabies below.  These were done by Gavin, Hunter and Guini 2 and 1/2 years ago, when Gav was 3,  Hunter was not even two and Guini was almost 1 .  It is time to let Gemma and Averi have a go at a canvas!

Dave loves watches and actually has a pretty cool collection.  Here are a few we still use around a lampbase on his desk.  Have the time?… (in the background are the heavy brass ends to actual fire hoses – we await the creative idea for how to make them useful, we wait)

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When a lovely Catholic woman visiting my home told me she was so blessed my icons she nearly wept, I didn’t even know what she was talking about.  But I do love my religious art (reproductions of ancient works).  I have several other prints yet to hang.

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While living in Nebraska, I enjoyed mixing and matching china found in second-hand shops in small farm towns which I displayed in custom cabinetry.  It is currently just stacked in the kitchen cupboards, but I still enjoy a cup of tea at times, in a pretty , 14K-gold-embellished, China cup. 

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“I am against minimalism; I like stuff!  And I believe in mixing anything and everything.  The idea is to please one’s own sense  of aesthetics and comfort.”  ~Bill Goldsmith

Fresh ideas for organizing stuff, anyone?…Jeanie

My HOME theme verse:By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasure.”  Proverbs 24.3, 4 NIV


All this pondering and adventuring into the world of creating home started with this post.

Alexandra Stoddard on Creating a Beautiful Home

As a young mommy with 5 children hanging off my arms everyday in the late 1980s, I read a book from the library by Alexandra Stoddard, a revered interior designer and prolific author. 

Having moved a lot as a child, I struggled with a bit of rootlessness, yet was always looking for a way to be planted – create home.  Looking back at the notes I wrote when I read Alexandra’s book, I can see that this woman whom I will probably never meet, this woman who lives a life which is night-and-day different than mine – was actually an early mentor for me.  She gave me the words and understanding to create a home for myself and my family.

These are some things I learned from Alexandra Stoddard:

“I’ve seen the homliest houses transformed into havens of affection and joy by fascinating, high-spirited people.”


“An honest home that rings true to the lives of the people who occupy it will always be disarmingly refreshing to visitors.”

“Style requires discipline…Edit.  Putter.  Eliminate.”

“Don’t feel compelled to fill up all the spaces.  Space is a luxury.  Plus space  helps us feel serene.  Create rooms that have free corners.”

“Clean windows are like a cloudless day.  White window trim intensifies light.”

“I have  a theory about houses.  The front is the most formal and correct.  The middle loosens up a bit after we’ve passed through our public rooms into our private, intimate rooms.   By the time we get to the back, there is children’s art on the walls, good smells coming from the kitchen, and there is laughter.”

“Design your life, not your house…Create rooms for endless pleasure and feelings of well-being.”

“Houses, no matter how humble or grand, come and go and ultimately do not define us.  Home is an attitude that has to do with love and caring, thoughtfulness, honesty and authenticity.”

“If you are drawn to certain colors and objects, chances are that a compatibility of spirit will bind them together.”

About 10 years ago Alexandra Stoddard was in Denver promoting a book she wrote (which I have never read), Feeling at Home.   I found, tucked into my home-making notebook (where I have kept ideas and magazine pictures for inspiration) the torn piece of newspaper from an interview she did for the Home section of the Rocky Mountain News where she advises:

“Write down ten things that define who you are.  Now bring your list and walk around [your home].  How do you feel in your home?   If you don’t feel good about a dark corner, change it.  Do you have a blah area?   Get out your paint brush.  If you love the color blue, paint your ceilings blue…put a blue quilt on your bed.

“What I want is for you to feel…wonderful when you’ve made the connection.   You’re not decorating a house…you’re taking yourself and the way you truly want to live [to heart] so your environment stimulates the best in you.”

I really love her philosophy on home.  I am going to make my list now…Jeanie

“By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasure.”  Proverbs 24.3, 4 NIV

NOTE TO SELF: My Savior, my husband and kids, those grandbabies, writing, worshiping/singing, family dinners, time with Dave, time in the Word (aka time WITH the Word), speaking/teaching, cheering young wives and mommies on (my spiritual daughters), loyal friends…can I have more than 10?…

pictured: sneak peek on the orange-painting-craze; kid’s art on the walls

French Country

Some days I feel like surrounding myself with the colors and textures of the Provence, a French Chateau…light streaming, robust in nature, generous scale, soaring windows.  There’d be a large, weathered sideboard filled with ceramic pottery in delightful countryside colors – a disarray of the prosaic, the edible and the elegant.

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Do you see with me, in your mind’s eye (in my imaginary French kitchen),  the bowl of fresh garlic and the reds and yellows of garden produce on the large Monet-blue, cloth-covered harvest table; sumptuous drapes (the epitome of unrestrained romanticism) pulled back to reveal the hen house and fowl, where large hand-woven baskets will carry eggs?

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Some days, I am a little bit country – in the Southeastern France (near the Mediterranian) kind of way.

One of my favorite quotes ever (by a French designer):

The convivial table is where it all begins.”  ~Muriel  Grateau

Parlez-vous Francais?…Je m’appelle Jeanie!

NOTE TO SELF: must have farm, even if it is tiny…

pictured: a basket of Dave’s current DVD watching; the Waverly rose print drape about to be re-purposed for outdoor funrniture upholstery on lime green frames!; Monet-blue pottery, a personal-sized soup tureen from Joan; the country-colored dish cloths I was folding this morning.  The first rooster I ever got; the egg bowl that sits in my fridge.

Pearl’s House of Many Colors – Home Tour


You’d hardly know from meeting Pearl of Denver, with her gentle spirit and quiet ways, that she is an adventurer with color and art and creativity.  She is always looking for the next  outlet for her artistic ability.  Her home is an ever-changing palette of color and fun, something she has passed to her two children.  Like Bryan said recently, “Beige has been forever banished from our home.”

In the photo above, you see the cannisters, on display atop Pearl’s kitchen cupboards, that her parents received as a wedding gift more than 44 yers ago.  Pearl’s mom was  going to get rid of them before Pearl and Bryan got married, but saved them for Pearl at her request.   They are beautiful and  treasured for the memories they invoke.

I love the pictured, beautifully painted, cupboard (below).  The smaller one on the right was there, but they picked up the wider cupboard at a garage sale.  Added trim, new hardware and a paint job making them look like a custom cabinet.  It works!  


In the living room, Pearl displays art projects by both her married daughter and herself.  Pearl’s latest piece of art is carved foam, done with relief technique.  You can read more about it here.  Pearl was noticing how different the colors look in digital photos from real life.  But I have seen both.  And she is brave and has created a fun home!


Pearl created  her son’s room to reflect his main interest:  music.  Steven, a high school-aged drummer, guitarist, composer  has a red red room with musical notes and records adorning the walls.  His drum wall has the coolest tree silhouette painting and there are flourishes in black painted throughout.



Click on the images for a better look.  And call Pearl if you’d like really cool images painted on your walls!  She is good, really, really good!

I love that Pearl surrounds herself with color and vivaciousness for living.  I love that her canvas is her home, for the love of her family!

How much do you think I am loving that orange hallway?…Jeanie

NOTE TO SELF: let the color-monster inside run free!…

I have worked with Pearl on church projects


A woman whose husband became a missionary in India during World War II described the special classes they attended to train for living simply.  Her teacher told the class that no matter how primitive their new homes would be, and they would be plain, to remember that no room could be more beautiful than one that was flooded with light, and filled with good books and flowers.

I just heard a realtor say you could raise the value of your home considerably by just scrubbing it clean: sparkling windows, dust-free surfaces and banish the clutter.  Equity for just a little sweat.

The post that started me on this home-making inquiry…

Quoteable Home

Who said this?  “Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home.”



“…in this house…we are living our days in contentment and grace…”  Alexandra Stoddard


“Home should be a very personal oasis, a refuge from trends, prentiousness, ‘in and outs.’  Home should reflect the things we love and the people we care about.”  Joann R. Barwick in House Beautiful,  January 1989

“‘Second hand,’ or ‘already loved.'”  Mary Emmerling

“Economy often begets creativity.”  Mary Emmerling


[In home decor], “I work for an unstudied, unpackaged effect.”  -Winslow

A pine table is a proper thing, but a pine table that pretends to be black walnut is an abomination.”  Ella Church Rodman


“Start Fresh. 

Strip your place of everything – remove light fixtures, ugly hardware, hinges, doors, moldings, carpets – anything that is ugly and you don’t like it.”  Alexandra Stoddard in Style for Living

This whole home-making thing started with this post.

pictured from top: a corner of Robin’s house featuring the oak clawfoot pedestal table some one gave to Dave and Tara who gave it to me before I gave it to Joe and Robin;  a rooster Robin recently purchased on a treasure-shopping expidition; Hunter jumping on the couch this morning

The Chairs

This cracked me up: I was on craigslist last night and found these chairs, a set of 3 for $75.  They are exactly like the chair I just painted orange, except this seller said she just painted them white and covered the seats in pink toile.  Hilarious!


Then Stephanie had me check out a cool project on designspongeonline.com and I got sucked in to the before and after section where I noticed a definite painted chair craze going on.  Here are a couple that made me feel happy (plus I seriously own the exact vintage oak farm chair on the right and now I am thinking, hmmmm…)


Robin sent me these pics of her dining table (recently painted) and the two chair covers she made, but only two because she wants to exercise her right of decorative freedom!


Chairs are suddenly everywhere and they are all begging to be orange, I am sure of it.

Hope you’re in a comfy one!…Jeanie

“A table, a chair, a bowl of fruit and a violin; what else does a man need to be happy?”   ~Albert Einstein