DIY Dorm Room Decor Ideas

Dorm days are upon the back to campus crowd once again.  College bound decoristas are owning color, texture and pattern, expressing stylish signs of budding tastes. Back to campus condos, townhouses, apartments, and sorority house rooms need decor love too, and decor and DIY design class is in session. School is always in when it comes to interior design, decorating, chic accents and color choices.  Dorm decor is a study in ever evolving styles and tastes. Gone are the dorm days of cinder block bookcases and anything will do furnishings. Thank goodness the old school school of thought has taken a page from the book of back to campus DIY dorm room decor ideas.

 DIY Dorm Room Decor Ideas


At this stage of the dorm decorating game colors, pattern and the general decorative direction is in play, but building upon those choices sets apart from general style studies.  With that in mind, I’m placing decorative emphasis on updating basic and affordable pieces with fabric, hardware, paint, embellishments and basic DIY talent.


A simple DIY dorm room decor ideas equation guaranteed to result in a positive result goes like this:

Updates + Embellishments = Wow Factor


Paint covers a multitude of mistakes, yesteryear funk and gunk, and pure ugly. I love the look in the image below,  but the price may induce sticker shock.  The cure?  Take one can of spray paint in hand and color your world.


Trade ordinary for extraordinary by using fabric to line drawers.  Replace standard ho-hum hardware with designer knobs and pulls.  Factory primed and ready for paint or faux finish molding rosettes are primed and ready for drawer fronts.


Mad in Crafts shows us how to get our fabulous DIY inspired talent on with thumbtacks and paint. Knock off?  Knock your socks off chic, dorm decoristas! Get the designer inspired details here.


Alexis over at Persia Lou creates this DIY Marble Paper Filing Cabinet.  Talk about style files!  See her tutorial here.

Dorm room decor days are here again.  Take a course in smart, savvy and stylish back to campus DIY.

Love your style!




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A Most Fetching Friday




adjective: fetching


synonyms: attractive, appealing, sweet, pretty, good-looking, lovely, delightful, charming,prepossessing, captivating, enchanting, irresistible


Places In The Home is an interior design and decorating show and tell. Goodness knows I have met the tell quota, so let’s concentrate on the show part of all this with a new blog series, A Most Fetching Friday. Architectural, interiors, design, antiques, travel and food images will be worth at least the 300-500 words of a blog post, and Friday speaks for itself.  Enjoy this debut with a tour of eye-catching features found down Southern states way.

Traditional Kitchen by Knoxville Architects & Building Designers Home Design Elements LLC

deeringantiquesahlmiamicircle_002Dering Antiques – Atlanta, Georgia via Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles

foxgloves-antiquesahlmiamicircle_015Foxglove Antiques & GalleriesAtlanta, Georgia via Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles

new-orleans-restaurant1St. Lawrence in the Vieux Carré – New Orleans, Louisiana

lemon-icebox-pieLemon Ice Box Pie – Food & Wine

Bill PaxtonDishing with Texas-born Actor and Director Bill Paxton via Southern Living

antique-architecturalMain Street Revival – Garden & Gun

I hope you have a most fetching Friday.

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Filed under Antiques, Architectural, celebrities, celebrity chefs, Decor, Food, Historical Landmarks, home decor, Interior Decorating, Interior Design, Kitchen, Salvage piece, travel

DIY Project Inspiration

About the time I think it’s time for a blog vacation, I see something so gorgeous, so share worthy, my blog writing, sourcing and general gabfest battery is recharged and DIY project inspiration is born.  Thank you, Better Homes and Gardens.  The summer months can be as hectic as they are relaxing, and with that in mind I am tailoring my blog posts to suit the on-the-go set.  Pretty is as pretty inspires.

 office-colorsBetter Homes and Gardens

Leopard prints are spot on style. This timeless look falls into the category of classic in the interior design and decor fabric hall of fame.  Don’t share the leopard love?  Here’s a suggestion.  Introduce leopard print in a small but statement making way like the upholstered chair bottom in the above image.  It will either make a bigger impression on you than you think, or it will only be a small bump in the decorative road to change. Vintage chairs can be found for cheap or free at second-hand shops, thrift stores, garage sales, flea markets and curbside boutiques (one man’s trash is another man’s DIY project).


Pick a fabulous designer color in your favorite brand of paint or spray paint and chalk it up, distress it down or go glam.  Fabric remnants are a do it yourself upholsterers best friend and find.  Upholstering a chair bottom is about as easy as a DIY project comes.   Link love: how to reupholster a chair seat.

DIY project inspiration

Low cost DIY projects keep beginners anxiety and buyers remorse at bay and spells  D-I- Why not?

Love your style!


Filed under accent chairs, DIY, fabric, project, Upholstery

Black Pepper Honey Fruit Salad

Summer salads just make good summer sense.  Chilled summer salads made with seasonal fruits and vegetables make both a treat for the eye and the taste buds. Fresh fruit, lemon, fine black pepper and honey star in this summer must make salad, Black Pepper Honey Fruit Salad.

Black Pepper Honey Fruit Salad

Chicken salad is a summertime house favorite.  The summer cold front we have experiencing was all the incentive I needed to get out the big blue pot for a chicken and sausage gumbo.  I borrowed two of the trinity seasoned chicken breast and whipped up a quick chicken salad for lunch.  The thought train didn’t stop there.  Recently, I ran across a recipe on the The Star Press website for Black Pepper Honey Fruit Salad that I bookmarked in the “I want to try this” part of my brain.  I tweaked the fruit salad part of the recipe more to my liking using cantaloupe, blueberries, petite table grapes and ripe yellow and white peaches.  I also adjusted the ingredients of the dressing by using fresh lemon juice instead of lime.  In other words,  I didn’t have any limes, but I chalk it up to culinary intervention because the lemon completely woke up the flavor with a bite of fresh zing!


Fresh, home grown tomatoes from our next door neighbor’s garden provide a slight taste of savory that pairs deliciously with the sweetness of the cantaloupe.  A pinch of kosher salt and a dash of the fine black pepper and let the summer of salad begin.


Black Pepper Honey Fruit Salad


1  cantaloupe, peeled and diced

1 pint blueberries

4 peaches, peeled and diced

1 cup petite table grapes

1½  tablespoon lemon juice

2-3 tablespoons good honey

generous pinch of kosher salt

½ teaspoon fine black pepper



Place prepared fruit in a large mixing bowl.  In separate mixing bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, honey, kosher salt and pepper.  Drizzle the black pepper honey dressing over fruit and gently toss to coat fruit and incorporate flavors.


gold darleen

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Sweet Summer Decor Inspiration: The Watermelon

Today’s color, texture and decor inspiration is brought to you by the unofficial official fruit of summer, the watermelon.


red-green-renovated-kitchenCountry Living – Alec Hemer

watermelon-bowlWatermelon Serving Bowl

I knew I wanted to do a post featuring the colors of a ripe, delicious watermelon when I saw the image below.  This beautiful accent chair cushions immediately draw the eye in with the fresh, crisp and bright  apple-green material and white rope trim.  Credit the accent pillow in Romo’s “Tulipa Coral”  fabric for taking this tiptoeing through the tulips palette to color perfection heights.

chair-fabricTraditional Home

 Drinks anyone?

watermelon-coolerWatermelon  Cooler Punch via Better Homes and Gardens

Sugartown watermelon “produced” a sweet summer treat and a taste for sweet summer decor inspiration.

watermelon inspired decorResource information available upon request

watermelon-cardsWatermelon Stationery by Jill Byers

decor inspiration watermelonCabrera Watermelon  ||  Malakos Malachite  ||  Lumiere Hot Pepper   ||  Monticello Peony

watermelon-shotsWatermelon Lime Jello Shots – Sweet Tooth

Any way you slice it,  decor inspiration is everywhere.

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Tales of Road and Sky: Vacation Trip Reports

The Places In The Home gang will not be taking a vacation until later this year, so to feed my traveling jones I’m living vicariously through vacation trip reports from readers, friends and family this summer. Thanks to the tales of road and sky journaled through the lenses of varied mobile device cameras, I’ve traveled to Tennessee, North Carolina, Crete, Las Vegas, Toronto, Cocoa Beach, Destin, Georgia,  Seattle and New Orleans.  Incoming vacation trip reports show the traveling masses are living up to my travel motto.

vacation trip reports


I called our son this morning to ask if he would mind me posting this picture of him and his girlfriend from their June trip to Las Vegas.  He thought about it for a minute and in his characteristically witty manner replied, “You have my Viva Las Vegas permission.”

J&K VegasBellagio Conservatory & Botancial Gardens, Las Vegas, Nevada

A picture tells the story long after the vacation ends.

Crete1Balos Beach Crete, Greece

The intended purpose of a vacation is fun,


Lake-BurtonLake Burton, Georgia

and fun is always in style.


A fun accent piece makes for an interesting conversation piece, a fun night out with friends knocks at the door of nice to see you again, and a punch of fun color shows off the ever appropriate sense of spontaneity.

Eiffel-tower1Eiffel Tower – Paris Hotel

Music is the ultimate traveling companion. It’s the soundtrack memories dance to.  I put as much thought into selecting our travel tunes as I do the travel itinerary.  It’s very High Fidelity.  Gosh, what is it with me and movies references this week?  The music we travel to stays on the mind and the memory, and believe me, I speak from experience.   My dad decided one extended summer trip many summers ago that since he was a Willie Nelson fan the entire family was going to become Willie Nelson fans, like it or not.  Before the seat belts were buckled and the tires had cleared the driveway our self-appointed travel DJ popped Stardust by Willie Nelson into the cassette player (told you it was many moons ago).  The cassette played and played over the mountains and through the woods all the way to grandmother’s house and back.  As much as we bitched and protested about it then, we have never forgotten that trip nor that album. To bring it all home, guess what comes in as my number one  playlist starred under travel tunes?  The music is good, but the memories are what makes it great.

Where are you going on your next vacation? What music will be making your travel playlist?  Share your vacation trip reports here!

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Filed under summer, travel, vacations

A Haven Within A Haven

How was everyone’s holiday weekend?  The good news is we only have 54 days to go until the next one. Hello, Labor Day.  We enjoyed three days of celebrating, letting freedom ring, cooking, relaxing and watching a first season House of Cards marathon- the cherry on top of the holiday weekend cake. The characters, plot twists and interiors worked double time with my thoughts.  I’m the type of viewer who doesn’t immediately realize how much of an impression fictional and nonfictional scenes and characters are making on me. It’s the same with inspiring and impressive interior design and decorating.  I didn’t get the point of the movie Moonstruck the first time I watched it, but eventually the charm of it all snapped me out of it and it became one of my favorite movies.  I wanted my money back after seeing the movie August: Osage County.  Boy, did this movie serve up a heavy dose of family drama, definitely leaving an impression on me.  After much post movie viewing thought it dawned on me what I thought was dislike for the film was in fact an appreciation of it.  I balked at Dave the Builder’s suggestion to watch the television series  Le Femme Nikita (the USA Network series), reluctantly giving in because the man raved about it (and there was nothing good on television that evening).  Two episodes in and I was a hooked.  Interior design and decorating, make that inspiring and impressive interior design and decorating, has the same effect on me.  There are spaces that grab the eye at first glance and others with a wash over you presence that slowly and surely draw you in.

la femme nikita

House of Cards carefully drew me in like a hand of Aces high with its brilliant writing, captivating storyline, foreboding theme song and sleek set designs. Very impressive stuff, but there’s more.  Somewhere between the predictable D.C. decor styles and overly emphasized minimalism associated with naive tastes lies the shared space existence found in many a home sweet home- a haven within a haven.


For those of you who are familiar with the show I don’t need to explain, and for those of you who are not familiar with the show I won’t provide too many plot details so as not to spoil it for you.  A quick synopsis to put you in the loop -

The married Washington powerhouse couple, Francis  and Claire Underwood, come together at the smoking window, as I referred to it all weekend long. Cutting deals and stabbing backs is tough on even the coolest of nerves, and the occasional shared cigarette at an opened window serves as both a vent for second hand smoke and an in-house haven to vent away the foul of the day. That window area is a haven within a haven.


Last March I entered the Beautiful Black and White Pinterest Sweepstakes from House Beautiful. Excitement and shock came in a double dose of thrill when I received the email stating I had been selected as the winner of the Grandin Road Rebecca Swivel Chair.  When the chair arrived it immediately took its rightful position in my future home office. This is my “in my own little corner, in my own little chair” part of the house where downtime meets me time and helps me lose track of real time for a short period of time.

Do you have a haven within your haven?

Love your style!


Filed under accent chairs, decorating styles, Home Furnishings, Interior Decorating, Interior Design

Proud To Be: Happy 4th of July 2014

Happy 4th of July 2014!  And I’m proud to be an American…

The_Fourth_of_July,_1916_Childe_Hassam (1)The Fourth of July, 1916 Childe Hassam

red-white-blue-kitchenBetter Homes and Gardens

What’s a July 4th celebration without a patriotic flag cake decked out in red strawberries, white chocolate and blueberries?

flag-cakeFlag Cake recipe via Food Network

red-white-blue-bedroomElle Decor

patriotic hat box1stdibs

Happy 4th of July 2014

Dave the Builder and I wish all of you a festive and safe 4th of July holiday weekend.  Enjoy, reflect and let freedom ring with friends and family in All- American style.  God Bless the USA!

gold darleen

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Coast to Coast: Coastal Designs of Summer

With the 4th of July holiday weekend right at the doorstep of a three day weekend I know schedules are full and plans are coming down to the wire.  Grab a beverage, stream some soft jazz or whatever music genre floats your relaxation boat, and cast your eyes on a few of my favorite images in today’s Coast to Coast Coastal Designs of Summer design and decorating show and tell. Summer serenity now is just a scroll away.  Enjoy!

antique-coastalTraditional Home


beach-house-homer-oatman Home Adore-Homer Oatman Architects

blue-white-sunroomBetter Homes and Gardens

domaine-ropeTimothy Haynes and Kevin Roberts Interiors – Domaine

Love your coastal design of summer style!

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Filed under architecture, coastal, decorating styles, home decor, Interior Decorating, Interior Design

From Coast to Coast: Seafood Cuisine of Summer

From sea to shining sea, crustaceans and seasonal fish are the seafood cuisine of summer and the palatable pride of both the East and West coasts.  Lobster, crab, gulf shrimp, clams, sea scallops, mussels cod, haddock are in East coast season.

New_England_clam_bakeNew England Clambake

Is anyone else thinking about the song, “Clambake”, from the Elvis Presley movie of the same name?  Clambake, gonna have a clambake!  Good tunes frame a good time.

Seafood Cuisine of Summer

In keeping with the keep it summer simple rule of summer entertaining, I like the versatility a casual with an elegant twist style brings to the table or beach blanket.  Keep the look simple and keep the guests guessing what decorating and entertaining surprise you’ll pull out of your beach bag of tricks.  Building on a theme takes a lot of the guesswork out of decorating and tablescaping.  The summer season comes ready to go with a ski boat load of ideas for themed parties and get-togethers with a catch of the day menu .  A cool beverage and a hot night can be all the theme you need, but if you’re looking for other theme ideas here’s a list of suggestions:

Reelin’, Chillin’ & Grillin’ Summer Nights

Seafood Bake-n-Boil

Nautical and Nice

Tropical Tails

Shrimp on the Barbie Under the Stars

Driftwood-PlatterDriftwood Platter

lobster-trayAmalfi Lobster Tray design by Thomas Paul

lobster-coastal living magazinevia

Ever wonder why lemon is the seafood plate accessory of choice?  Lemon wakes up the natural flavors in seafood and fish.  The bright bite of fresh meets citrus sweet and flavor balance is born.  Lemon wraps make a pretty plate presentation and keep the lemons seeds contained.



King crab, salmon, halibut, Pacific bay shrimp, sea scallops, swordfish, flounder, clams, oysters, calamari squid – Pacific perfection!


From coast to coast and sea to shining sea, seafood lovers know the world is their oyster.


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Filed under entertaining, Food, outdoor living, party ideas, seasonal decorating, summer, tablescapes