Favorite Posts of 2012

Hi everyone – how were your holidays? The end of 2012 has been good to us – we’ve spent the last week eating way too many sweets, sleeping in late, doing dance battles with Just Dance 4 (in which I get my butt kicked by my oldest daughter no matter how many times we play), playing Five Crowns & Sorry, and getting some much needed R & R. Of course, we also had our Christmas gift exchange – this year we tried something different and limited the amount spent on each adult to under $5 per gift. It was fun to see what everyone came up with – some gifts were handmade like the shell box that my daughter made for my sister, some were practical like my new cheese grater, and the best ones were joke gifts linked back to funny past family events like the Burger King hat and rutabaga that my dad received or the plunger and toilet paper that were gifted to my brother-in-law (as you can imagine, there are some great stories behind these…). I hope that your holidays have been filled with the same laughter and time with family as ours.

As we get close to ringing in the new year, I thought it’d be fun to do an end of the year post with my most popular posts of 2012 (you can view each post by clicking on the highlighted links). By far and away the most popular post was on 20 Rule of Thumb Measurements for Decorating Your Home. If you’ve ever wondered how high you should hang a picture on the wall or what size light fixture is appropriate for your space or if you’ve needed help with hanging drapery panels, this post is for you. 

There’s also a recent follow-up post with 10 More Rule of Thumb Measurements for Decorating Your Home that is helpful for selecting and hanging ceiling fans and choosing appropriately sized dining room chairs and tables.
Those of you who like to garden enjoyed the post on Galvanized Metal Tubs, Buckets, & Pails as Planters. Not only do galvanized containers have a great look, but they are rust resistant and very reasonably priced, making them a fantastic choice for planters.

Our fireplace/bookcase remodel was my biggest project of 2012 and a popular post. We started out with major ugly:

and after painting the bookcases, adding a new gas fireplace and installing stone veneer over the bricklining the backs of the bookcases with burlap

and recently restyling the shelves, it’s made a world of difference in the appearance of our family room:

Another favorite project from 2012 was creating three Restoration Hardware-like rustic bulletin boards to go on an awkward wall in our kitchen.  Creating these bulletin boards has gone a long way in helping me to stay organized and keeping track of coupons and other little things that tend to get lost in the paperwork on my desk. For 2013, I’m thinking about changing up the fabric covering the bulletin boards to create more contrast with my kitchen wall color. 

Since we went out of town for Christmas this year, I didn’t put up a ton of decorations but I do like to decorate our combination dining/living room since it houses our Christmas tree and is one of the two rooms that are most visible when you enter our home. In addition to decorating the table, I created star anise wreaths to tie to the back of each dining chair and LOVE how their fragrance has filled the downstairs of our home!

Another popular post was one with four great baby shower games & activities, including creating a pack of late night diapers for the new mom:

With Facebook changing the size for cover photos to a long, horizontal image, making a collage photo with several pictures is a great way to go. After creating one for Driven by Décor’s FB page using Picmonkey, I posted a tutorial on how to create a photo collage for the cover photo of your own Facebook page. Picmonkey recently started charging a fee for certain photo editing services, but you can still create a Facebook collage for free on their site.

Finally, readers liked the idea of using nautical rope and vintage ladders in decorating. My posts on creative ways to use nautical rope in your home’s décor,

nautical rope lighting fixtures,

and 25 unique ways to decorate using vintage ladders were among the most popular posts of the year.

Have a fun and safe New Year’s everyone and I’ll see you in 2013!

HomeGoods Gift Card Giveaway Winner!


Thanks to everyone for entering the HomeGoods gift card giveaway.  It was fun to read through all of the comments – the excitement that each of you have over your perfect HomeGoods find came shining through! I was surprised to read that there’s also quite a few of you who haven’t ever shopped at HomeGoods – you are missing out! Now on to the winner of the giveaway: congratulations to….Peggy Smith!  To Peggy and all of my other readers, warmest wishes for a wonderful Christmas. I hope that the holiday finds you surrounded by friends and family!  BHG XOXO,

10 More Rule of Thumb Measurements for Decorating Your Home


Two decorating projects that I’ve been working on this month are selecting a ceiling fan for our home office and helping my sister find dining room chairs that work well with her new dining table. Once again, I’ve gathered together some measurement guidelines to help in making my decorating decisions and then compiled them here for easy future reference.   (For my previous post on 20 rule of thumb measurements for hanging artwork, selecting and hanging window treatments, and choosing light fixtures and rugs, go to: 20 Rule of Thumb Measurements for Decorating Your Home).  Ceiling Fans {BHG} It’s important to choose a ceiling fan that is proportional to the size of your room.  To determine the fan size that’s most appropriate for your space (fans are sized by the number of inches that their blades span), first determine the square feet of your room by multiplying the room’s length by its […]

Target Holiday Home Décor Clearance


I am officially done with my Christmas shopping. Yes, FINALLY done. I pushed through the torrential rain and 50mph winds to knock it out with a whirlwind shopping trip in which I hit Joann’s, Charming Charlie, Dick’s Sporting Goods, ULTA, Panera, Hobby Lobby, and Target. I’ve got lots of wrapping and card writing to do but thought I’d throw up a quick post to let you know that Target’s Target + Neiman Marcus Collection is now 50% off! They have also already put all of their Christmas home décor on clearance at 30-50% off – now’s the time to grab one of their cute advent calendars for next year! They’ve also got some beautiful mercury glass pieces on clearance as well as frames and other small home décor items such as these cable knit vases and trees, felt acorn vase fillers, decorative boxes, and pillows: I picked up two of […]

Unique Bedroom Nightstand Ideas


When choosing furniture for a bedroom, it’s tempting to buy a matching furniture set where you get everything together – a headboard, nightstands, chest of drawers, and mirror. It’s a quick and easy way to furnish an entire room and you can often get furniture sets for a super low price. But please…DON’T DO IT! Have you ever oohh’ed and aahh’ed over a beautiful room where every piece of furniture matched? I highly doubt it.  Most well-decorated rooms feel as though the pieces have been collected over time rather than purchased in a single visit to Furniture Fair. If you already have a matching set of bedroom furniture, no fear – most of us have committed this decorating sin at some point – but now’s the time to start breaking up your matching set and bringing some personality to your space. A good start to having this “collected” feel would be to switch […]

HomeGoods $50 Gift Card Giveaway!!


This giveaway is now closed – thanks for entering! If you were to ask me which store I shop more than any other, my answer would be easy: HomeGoods. Whenever I find myself in the vicinity of one of our two local HomeGoods stores, it sucks me in like a magnet, forcing me to make a quick stop to make sure I’m not missing out on a fabulous buy.  It’s a decorating sickness, I know. Now I’m going to share my love of HomeGoods with one of Driven by Décor’s awesome readers because this month’s giveaway is a $50 HomeGoods gift card that can be used at HomeGoods, T.J. Maxx, and Marshalls!! Use it to buy some new pillows for your couch, a new framed art print for your bedroom, or some accessories to decorate your bookshelves – it doesn’t matter what you use it for, but use it for […]

Pottery Barn’s Holiday Décor


I went to the mall with one of my daughters Thursday night and ran into Pottery Barn to check out their Warehouse Event. I hadn’t been to Pottery Barn for weeks so it was my first time seeing the store all decorated up for the holidays. The store looked beautiful and gave me so many ideas for decorating my home next year! I snapped a few pictures and thought I’d share them with you as well:The top of this chest is beautifully decorated with faux poinsetta stems in Tuscan Urns and Cachepots mixed in with Bay Leaf Tree Candles, pillar holders, and a lantern: A console table behind a couch is styled with an assortment of Faux Potted Pine Trees, Etched Mercury Glass Pillar Holders & Glass Bottles, Beaded Birch Pillar Candles, and faux potted flowers: I love the trio of Silver Malta Lanterns hanging from above: For this display, […]

Holiday Decorating: DIY Star Anise Wreaths


The Christmas decorations are up (finally!). I’m always a bit late to the game This year I decided to add a little something special to my dining room – small star anise wreaths hung on the back of each dining room side chair: Last winter I bought a large star anise wreath for our front door and loved not only how it looked but also its wonderful licorice scent. So once I decided to add some holiday decorations to the backs of our dining chairs, I was quick to come up the idea of creating small star anise wreaths hung on the chairs with decorative ribbon.  There’s not much to this DIY project – here’s the supply list: 8″ foam wreaths (I bought mine on sale at Jo-Ann’s) Brown burlap (I bought 2 yards, which is more than enough for 6 wreaths) Star anise, which can be found at Asian grocery stores. […]