Talking All Things Thanksgiving Turkey

Thanksgiving turkey solutions, suggestions, and total turkey success is exactly what we’ve got going for today’s countdown to Thanksgiving post.

Talking All Things Thanksgiving Turkey

Three weeks goes by super quick, and things do tend to get awfully hectic at this time of year.

With that in mind, I thought I would post this info sooner rather than later to allow time to gather and plan for your gather together times.


Better Homes & Gardens

How big of a bird will I actually need?

How do I properly defrost the thing?

What temperature is best to cook a turkey on?

How long do I cook the Thanksgiving turkey for?

Thanksgiving turkeyHerb, Lemon, and Garlic Turkey

Roast, bake or air fry?

To stuff, or not to stuff?

What’s the best seasonings of the turkey roasting-baking-frying season?

Let’s talk turkey.

Turkey-cuts-diagram (1)

How much turkey do you need?


From the folks at Delish

Thawing the Frozen Thanksgiving Turkey

For Refrigerator Thawing:

Place turkey on a tray to eliminate leakage to other areas of refrigerator.

Thaw breast side up, in original unopened wrapper on a tray in the fridge (40 degrees F or below).

Allow at least 1 day of thawing for every 4-5 lbs.

Suggested thawing time for a frozen turkey:

4 to 12 pound turkey:           1 to 3 days
12 to 16 pound turkey:         3 to 4 days
16 to 20 pound turkey:        4 to 5 days
20 to 24 pound turkey:        5 to 6 days

Cold Water Thawing:

Thaw breast side down, in original unopened wrapper.

Cover the turkey completely with cold water.  Change the water every 30 minutes.

Estimate a minimum thawing time of 30 minutes per pound.

4 to 12 pound turkey:        2 to 6 hours
12 to 16 pound turkey:      6 to 8 hours
16 to 20 pound turkey:     8 to 10 hours
20 to 24 pound turkey:     10 to 12 hours

The good people at Butterball offer cooking calculators and conversion charts for everything Thanksgiving turkey.

Here’s the link: Butterball Calculators and Conversions Chart

The Amazon Echo calls up Alexa the answer machine, now we’re cooking playlists, recipes, and the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line® .

Prep the bird and don’t forget to tie those bad boy turkey legs together with cooking twine.


Thawed turkey roasting times in a 325 °F regular oven:

6 to 10 pounds:      2 to 3 hours (unstuffed)       –     2¼-3½ hours (stuffed)

10 to 18 pounds:    3 to 3½ hours (unstuffed)   –     3¾-4½ hours (stuffed)

18 to 22 pounds:     3½-4 hours (unstuffed)    –      4½ – 5 hours (stuffed)

22-24 pounds:        4-4½ hours (unstuffed)     –     5-5½ hours (stuffed)

24-30 pounds:        4½-5 hours  (unstuffed)    –      5½-6½ hours (stuffed)

Thawed turkey roasting times in a 325 °F convection oven:

6 to 10 pounds:       1½-2 hours (unstuffed)       –    1¾-2½  hours (stuffed)

10 to 18 pounds:     2 to 2½ hours (unstuffed)   –    2½-3¼ hours (stuffed)

18 to 22 pounds:     2½-3 hours (unstuffed)      –      3¼ hours (stuffed)

22-24 pounds:        3-3½ hours (unstuffed)       –      3¾-4¼ hours (stuffed)

The turkey is done when the temperature with a meat thermometer reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F in the breast and 175°F in the thickest part of the thigh.


Better Homes & Gardens – Photo by Jason Donnelly


Taylor Digital Folding Probe Meat Thermometer with Blue Backlight Display

Use a food thermometer to check the turkey in the thickest part of the breast.

If you stuff the Thanksgiving turkey, the center of the stuffing must reach 165 degrees F.

Roasting Meat Thermometer T731 Oven Safe Large 2.5-Inch Easy-Read Face

Cross contamination between turkey and stuffing is a concern, so just make sure both turkey and stuffing reach proper temperatures.

Let the turkey stand 15 minutes before carving.



Safe Turkey Prep, Thawing, Stuffing, Cooking, Clean Up Tips:

Always wash your hands before and after preparing or eating food.

Thaw turkeys in the refrigerator, never on the counter.

Don’t wash raw poultry before cooking.  It can spread germs to other areas.

Place stuffing in the turkey just before cooking.

Cook raw poultry thoroughly to at least an internal temperature of 165° F.

Wash your counters, cutting boards, and utensils after they touch raw meat.

Don’t feed your pets raw food. 


Graniteware Oval Roaster

The black graniteware covered roaster speaks holidays to me, but I’m always open to a new trad roasting pan that gets the Thanksgiving turkey roasted to perfection.

Personal preference for white meat drives me to simply roast a boneless turkey breast.

Thanksgiving-platter (1)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Place turkey breast, breast-side up, into the roasting pan.

Dry the skin of the turkey breast by patting with a paper towel.

Give the outer skin of the turkey a generous rub down with butter.

Season the turkey breast with seasonings and herbs of your choice (see suggestions further down in the post).

Rub the seasonings into the skin of the turkey breast.

Roast the turkey breast at 350 degrees for approximately 25 minutes per pound until thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast reads 165 degrees F.

Nordic Ware Copper Roaster XL Large

Nordic Ware Copper Roaster XL Large

Cajun Classic 15 Oval Aluminum Roaster GL10050

Cajun Classic 15″ Oval Aluminum Roaster GL10050

Check out vintage shops and flea markets for good deals on vintage cookware.


Cotton Port Antique Mall

Cooks 2-pc. Nonstick Roaster with Rack

Cooks 2-pc. Nonstick Roaster with Rack

Stainless Steel Roaster Pan Extra Large & Lightweight

Stainless Steel Roaster Pan Extra Large & Lightweight

Gibson Home Kenmar High Dome Oval Roaster Set

Gibson Home Kenmar High Dome Oval Roaster Set

All-Clad B1 Hard Anodized Nonstick Roaster with Rack

Farberware 12″ x 16″ Nonstick Roaster with Rack


Electric Roaster Oven Stainless Steel with Self-Basting Lid

Electric Roaster Oven Stainless Steel with Self-Basting Lid

Gibson Home Radiance 17.5 Inch Stainless Steel Copper Plated Oval Roaster

Gibson Home Radiance 17.5 Inch Stainless Steel Copper Plated Oval Roaster with Lid and Roasting Rack

3-Piece 18 inch Jumbo Roasting Pan with Lid and Basting Rack, Stainless Steel

3-Piece 18 inch Jumbo Roasting Pan with Lid and Basting Rack, Stainless Steel

Ninja Foodi 5-in-1 Indoor Grill with Air Fryer, Roast, Bake & Dehydrate

Ninja Foodi 5-in-1 Indoor Grill with Air Fryer, Roast, Bake & Dehydrate

Ninja Foodi 9-in-1 6.5qt Pressure Cooker and Air Fryer with High Gloss Finish

Ninja Foodi 8qt. 9-in-1 Deluxe XL Pressure Cooker & Air Fryer Stainless Steel 

Going the pressure cooker and air fryer route gives the holiday cook a holiday helping hand.

Turkey breast is the requested option of the Places In The Home crowd, and I usually go with a 3lb. bird breast.

Here’s my two-step how to air fry a Thanksgiving turkey:

Remove any netting from around the breast, lightly coat turkey breast with olive oil and season with preferred seasonings.

Select the air fryer or air crisp function and set fryer to 350 degrees.

The first round of “frying” is for 20 minutes.

Now comes step 2.

Using caution as not to burn yourself, turn the turkey breast and re-coat with olive oil and seasonings.

Set to air fryer or air crisp function at 350 degrees for an additional 30 minutes or until internal temperature of turkey breast reaches 165 degrees.

Allow turkey breast to rest in the place for 10-15 minutes.

Cooks 5-Qt. Programmable Latch and Travel Slow Cooker

Cooks 5-Qt. Programmable Latch and Travel Slow Cooker

For the slow-cooker cooks:

Seasoning the Bird:

I usually add a stalk of celery cut into three equal parts and ½ peeled and sliced onion or 2-3 cut green onions.

Add 1 ½-2 cups of chicken broth or white wine to roasting pan to keep the turkey moist during baking.

No turkey roasting-baking is complete without butter (Julia Child would be so proud).

Rub 4 Tablespoons (½ stick) butter over turkey breast meat under skin.  Next, add 4 tablespoons butter to the turkey cavity.  Finish up by rubbing a generous amount of butter over the outside of the turkey.

Sprinkle turkey with seasonings of your choice of seasonings such as salt, pepper, poultry seasoning, thyme, garlic, rosemary, or Creole seasoning.



Williams-Sonoma Turkey Seasoning Paste

Cover with roasting pan lid or a foil tent for first 1-1½ of roasting.



Farberware Professional Dishwasher Safe 3-in-1 Plastic and Rubber Baster

Set of 2 Stainless Steel Turkey Lifters

Set of 2 Stainless Steel Turkey Lifters

Cuisinart 3-Piece Rose Gold Carving Set

Cuisinart 3-Piece Rose Gold Carving Set


Based on a Thanksgiving dinner for six (6) people, this How Much to Serve guide is simply that; a guide give or take a helping or two.


1-1½ pounds sliced turkey per person (which means you will need to buy a 9 pound turkey).  Think leftovers!


1½ cup serving per person


1-½ cup serving per person

Bottles of Wine:

2-3 bottles should be enough to sip and toast for dinner for 6.


Figure on one 9 inch pie being enough for a party of six.

One 5 inch, round, single layer cake.



Plymouth Turkey Extra Large Serving Platter

Plymouth Turkey Extra Large Serving Platter


Williams Roberts Oval Turkey Platter

BLACK+DECKER ComfortGrip 9 Inch Electric KnifeBLACK+DECKER  9 Inch Electric Knife

Vintage Platter Serving Dish- Made in England- John Maddock & Sons- Royal Vitreous Louis XIV

Vintage Platter Serving Dish- John Maddock & Sons- Royal Vitreous Louis XIV

Arthur Court Thanksgiving Turkey Handed Carving Set - Forged Stainless Steel Carving Fork and Carving Knife

Arthur Court Thanksgiving Turkey Carving Fork and Carving Knife


Better Homes & Gardens – Photo by Con Poulos

Carving the Bird:

Place the bird on a carving board or reliable surface for carving, breast side up with the legs facing away from you.

Position the carving fork in the lower part of the breast to hold the turkey steady as you carve.

Find the hip joint connecting the thigh and the breast and begin slicing through.  Repeat on the opposite side.

Separate the drumstick from the thigh by cutting through the joint.

Let’s move on to the drumstick/ turkey leg.

Pull each leg to extend them away from the body and slice between the breast and the drumstick.

Move the leg backward to loosen it away from the socket, cut away from skin and remove.  Repeat on the opposite side.

Now we’re winging it!

Locate the joint connecting the wing to the body and slice on through.

Repeat on the opposite side.

For the breast, begin by slicing as close to the breastbone as possible.

Slice all the way down as to have one large piece and repeat on the opposite side.

Place breast on cutting surface and slice from smallest end to the largest.

Arrange and plate as you like.

Bee & Willow™ 20-Inch Turkey Motif Serving Platter in White

Bee & Willow™ 20-Inch Turkey Motif Serving Platter in White

Woodland 12 in Turkey Platter

Woodland 12 in Turkey Platter

Laguiole 2-Pc. Pakkawood Carving Set

Laguiole 2-Pc. Pakkawood Carving Set


Antler Handle 3 Piece Carving Set, Black Carving Set

Antler Handle 3 Piece Carving Set, Black Carving Set

Cherished family recipes shine at the holidays, and this handwritten recipe platter (submit your recipe) will become a treasured slice of tradition.

Handwritten Recipe Personalized Platter

Handwritten Recipe Personalized Platter

November ushers in the holiday season, and the Thanksgiving Day meal sets the tone and the table for delicious times.

Gathering around the holiday table gorgeously set and featuring a Thanksgiving turkey baked-roasted-grilled-air fried to absolute golden perfection is a culinary tradition to feast upon.

love signature

Thanksgiving Kitchen Information

With supply and demand a hot topic of conversation of late, today’s post offers a cornucopia of Thanksgiving kitchen information, sources, and tips to help plan, prep, and plate the perfect Thanksgiving meal.

You’ve got questions (demand).

I’ve got Thanksgiving kitchen information answers (supply).

No shortage in the chain here, folks.


Thomas O’Brien – Luxe Interiors+Design- Photo by Francesco Lagnese

Holiday tradition proves there’s soon to be something cookin’ in the holiday kitchen.


Everingham Design

As they say about the holidays, it’s the most wonderful time of the year.

Wonderful, delicious, and busy.

Let’s show and tell Thanksgiving kitchen information.


In my recipe book, culinary companion pieces aka time-saving kitchenware essentials that make the plan-prep-cook-bake-serve process a whole lot easier on the cook qualify as the consummate ingredient to a successful spread.

thanksgiving-kitchen-informationEmile Henry French Ruffled Pie Dish

Things can get mighty hectic in the holiday kitchen, and a cook is only as good as the kitchen gadgets, tools and accessories he or she uses.


 LC Interiors

A well-stocked and organized holiday pantry becomes the star of the kitchen show everyday of the week, but it’s especially popular at holiday hosting time.


Sweet and savory seasonings flavor the taste of fall dishes.

Libbey Cylinder 3-Piece Multi-Size Glass Storage Jar Set with Lids


Seasonal vegetables, baked goods, and meats glazed, infused, and enriched by the addition of jams, jellies, syrups, marmalades, spices and seasonings combinations put a delicious twist on the traditional.


seasonings swap


Lock & Lock canisters are my go-to storage containers to store sweet potato puree to cornbread to chocolate walnut fudge.

Lock-Lock-4-piece-Tall-Canister-Storage-Set (1)

Lock & Lock 4 piece Tall Canister Storage Set

Classic style measures up in the holiday kitchen.

Corning-Ware-measuring-bowls (1)

Corningware Cornflower 4 pc. Measuring Bowl Set

Aluminum Bundt PanAluminum Bundt Pan

holiday in the kitchen tip

Choose dishes and recipes you’ve met and mastered to prevent a cooking-baking meltdown.

If your dying to try that new dish you saw in a cookbook, on social media, or on a cooking show, prepare it a week or so out to get the hang of it.

Lodge 7 Quart Oval Dutch Oven - Oyster WhiteLodge 7 Quart Oval Dutch Oven – Oyster White

Pots, pans, Dutch ovens, and cocottes with high performance cook and serve capability add a kick to your kitchen style.

Lodge 5 Quart Seasoned Cast Iron Dutch OvenLodge 5 Quart Seasoned Cast Iron Dutch Oven

holiday in the kitchen tip

Take an inventory of the dishes that have to be cooked on Thanksgiving day and the total prep to stove to oven to table time.

Monaco 10-Piece Fog Aluminum Non-Stick Cookware Set

Thyme & Table Nonstick Supreme Cookware, 12-Piece Set, Cream

Thyme & Table Nonstick Supreme Cookware, 12-Piece Set, Cream

Cuisinart Blush Stainless 11-pc. Stainless Steel Dishwasher Safe Cookware Set

Cuisinart Blush Stainless 11-pc. Stainless Steel Dishwasher Safe Cookware Set

Tramontina Prisma 7-qt. Cast Iron Dutch Oven

Tramontina Prisma 7-qt. Cast Iron Dutch Oven

Cooks 30-pc Aluminum Non-Stick Cookware Set

Cooks 30-pc Aluminum Non-Stick Cookware Set

Anolon Advanced Home Hard Anodized 2-pc. Dutch Oven

Anolon Advanced Home Hard Anodized 2-pc. Dutch Oven

Allow ten extra minutes per recipe to help rule out any issues.

Heavy-Duty Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet Frying Pan Set

Indoor/Outdoor Heavy-Duty Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet Frying Pan Set 

skillet cornbread


Pioneer Woman Speckle 2-Piece Prairie Cast Aluminum Fry Pan Set

Lodge Wildlife Series Turkey Scene, Seasoned 13.25 Cast Iron Skillet

Lodge Wildlife Series Turkey Scene, Seasoned 13.25″ Cast Iron Skillet

I ♥ this turkey scene cast iron skillet!

You know me and my fondness for working with a theme.

Beautiful 6 Quart Touchscreen Air Fryer, White Icing by Drew Barrymore

Beautiful 6 Quart Touchscreen Air Fryer, White Icing by Drew Barrymore

Instant Pot® 10Qt Vortex Plus Air Fryer Oven

Instant Pot® 10Qt Vortex Plus Air Fryer Oven

Presto electric knife sharpener

Presto® Ever Sharp® Sapphirite™ 2-Stage Electric Knife Sharpener

Cuisinart Matte Black 12-Pc. Cutlery Set

Cuisinart Matte Black 12-Pc. Cutlery Set


Carbon Loft Owen Rolling Kitchen Island

Lyndon Kitchen Island

Lyndon Kitchen Island

Savannah Black Kitchen Cart with Stainless Top

Savannah Black Kitchen Cart with Stainless Top


Mason Cash Mixing Bowls

Rose Gold Cookware with Ladle, Whisk, Tongs, Slotted Spatula, Spoon

Rose Gold Cookware with Ladle, Whisk, Tongs, Slotted Spatula, Spoon

mixing-bowls-hobnailTabletops Gallery Hobnail 4-pc. Mixing Bowl Set

copper-rust-white-stoneware-pumpkins10oz Stoneware Pumpkin Jar White – Threshold™

Gibson Home Radiance 17.5 Inch Stainless Steel Copper Plated Oval Roaster

Gibson Home Radiance 17.5 Inch Stainless Steel Copper Plated Oval Roaster

KitchenAid ® 13-Cup White Food Processor

KitchenAid ® 13-Cup White Food Processor

Hamilton Beach 2 Speed Hand Blender

Hamilton Beach 2 Speed Hand Blender

KitchenAid Ultra Power 5-Speed Hand Mixer

KitchenAid Ultra Power 5-Speed Hand Mixer

Mason Cash In The Forest Batter Bowl

Mason Cash | In The Forest Batter Bowl


Nordic Ware Wheat & Pumpkin Pan

Nordic Ware Harvest-Turkey-Pumpkin Pans

autumn_wreath_bronze (1)

Nordic Ware Autumn Wreath Bundt® Pan

BakerEze 6 Pc Copper Nonstick Bakeware Set, Muffin Cake & Cookie Pans

BakerEze 6 Pc Copper Nonstick Bakeware Set, Muffin Cake & Cookie Pans

Thanksgiving kitchen information

Cuisipro 6 Sided Box Grater

 Marble Board

Mason Cash | S12 Fox Embossed Mixing Bowl – 4.25 Quart
The Pioneer Woman Olive Wood 19.5-Inch Rolling Pin
Marble Board

9 Inch Scalloped Pie Pan

9 Inch Scalloped Pie Pan

Matte White Ceramic Pumpkin Shaped Deep Pie Dish with Lid

Matte White Ceramic Pumpkin Shaped Deep Pie Dish with Lid


Williams Sonoma Stoneware Pie Dish, Set of 3

fall bakeware

Vale 2-Piece Baking Set
Ceramic Pie Dish


Crate & Barrel

Thanksgiving Pie and Happy Thanksgiving Plaque Cookie Cutter

Thanksgiving Pie and Happy Thanksgiving Plaque Cookie Cutter

Cook with Color 12 Piece Plastic Mixing Bowls Set with Lids

Cook with Color 12 Piece Plastic Mixing Bowls Set with Lids 

Wilton Bake It Better Non-Stick Baking Pan Set, 3-PieceWilton Bake It Better Non-Stick Baking Pan Set, 3-Piece

Sing it with me, friends.

♫ I can mash potato, I can mash potato ♫

Starfrit Rotato Express Electric PeelerStarfrit Rotato Express Electric Peeler

holiday in the kitchen tip

Mashed potatoes will stay warm for an hour or so in a slow cooker set to low.


Now, let’s talk gravy.

If you slightly scorch the gravy, don’t panic.

Add 1 teaspoon of smooth peanut butter until the burnt flavor is gone. You may need to add more peanut butter.  Do so 1 teaspoon at a time.

Tasteless gravy happens.

Remedy by adding a chicken bouillon cube, caramelized onions, and/or a splash of wine, and a generous pour of heavy cream to liven up the taste of an otherwise bland gravy.

Perhaps a heaping tablespoon of savory roasted garlic onion jam?


Simmer the gravy for 25-30 minutes, allowing the added flavors to incorporate and season.

Greyish-Blue Transferware Gravy Boat

Greasy gravy is nasty gravy.

Begin with a mixture of ½ teaspoon cornstarch with 1 teaspoon water.  If gravy remains too greasy add another ½ teaspoon cornstarch with 1 teaspoon water.

If your gravy comes out too thin here’s a remedy to thicken it up.

Heat one cup of turkey or chicken broth (fresh or canned) until it reaches a simmer.


Mix one tablespoon of cornstarch with one to two tablespoons of cold water in a small lidded jar.  Shake to mix, making sure cornstarch incorporates and there is no lumps.



Slowly whisk the cornstarch/water mixture into the simmering broth, whisking continuously to eliminate lumping.

Simmer the broth until it thickens; about 2 minutes.

Add thickened broth to gravy.


Tried, true, and my new traditional holiday gravy recipe is easy and delicious.

In a large skillet, melt ½ stick of butter.  Over medium-high heat, sauté pearl onions (if from a jar, drain) and chopped garlic until translucent and tender.

Pearl onions make a lovely presentation, but if you don’t like or can’t find these little bites of deliciousness, peel and chop a medium onion and go with it.


Cuisinart Mini-Prep Plus 3-Cup Food Chopper, Metallic Red

Cuisinart Mini-Prep Plus 3-Cup Food Chopper, Metallic Red

Add 2 jars of roasted turkey gravy from a jar.  Stir ingredients together, reduce heat to medium.

Next, add 1 teaspoon herbs de Provence, stir, and reduce heat to simmer.  Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Aladdin Heritage Vacuum Bottle 24oz, Plaid

Use a vacuum bottle (Thermos) to keep the gravy warm and free up another stove burner. 

holiday in the kitchen tip

Cut up vegetables such as green onions, bell pepper, celery, garlic, and root vegetables ahead of time and store in the refrigerator in air tight containers. 


House & Garden- Photo by Andrew Montgomery

Rubbermaid Brilliance Glass Food Storage Containers, Set of 4 Food Containers with Lids (8 Pieces Total), BPA Free and Leak Proof



Balboa Park ‘Roasted Oak’ Finished Server

Thyme & Table Non-Stick Coated High Carbon Stainlless Steel Carbone Chef's Knives, 3 Piece Set

Thyme & Table Non-Stick Coated High Carbon Stainless Steel Carbone Chef’s Knives, 3 Piece Set

Better Homes & Gardens Porcelain Large Footed Serve Bowl

Better Homes & Gardens Porcelain Large Footed Serve Bowl

 Acorn Wood Serving Tray

Acorn Wood Serving Tray

Farberware 12 Inch by 18 Inch Hardwood Drip Trench Cutting BoardFarberware Hardwood Drip Trench Cutting Board


Rubbermaid Brilliance Glass Food Storage Containers, Set of 4 with Lids 

The countdown to Thanksgiving turkey times is on.

Here’s hoping this Thanksgiving kitchen information show and tell offers the information and source suggestions needed to ensure total Thanksgiving turkey success.

Love your style!

Budget Friendly Renovation Ideas

Budget friendly renovation ideas serve a work with what you have purpose in the home improving the outdated with the updated game.

Today’s 6-10 blog post bookends the Home Improvement Ideas on a Budget companion post.

Here we go.

Budget Friendly Renovation Ideas

6.  Make the Decorative Call to Replace Outdated Window Treatments

(or elect not to use window treatments at all)

Period Architecture

Period Architecture

There’s no substitute for the beauty of natural light, but privacy concerns may trump this option.

If going with window treatments consider blinds, shutters, shades and even architectural salvage pieces.

Heidi Caillier

House Beautiful – Heidi Caillier Design


farmhouse shutters Leanne Ford interiors

House BeautifulLeanne Ford

Working or stationary, a pair of vintage shutters used as a complementing accent in your window treatment application take the finished look to new heights.


The house we owned before the one we presently live in was a garden district charmer complete with interior French doors, original cast iron farmhouse kitchen sink with drain board, and casement windows.

The previous homeowners bleached the screened interior window frames that surrounded the casement windows above the kitchen sink.

We removed the screen and left them in place as the sole window treatment, hitting a work with what you have budget friendly renovation ideas home run.

Mahogany wood windows in the home of Michael and Ally Banks were bleached in keeping with a Belgian influenced result.

View this post on Instagram


A post shared by BarnesVanze Architects (@barnesvanze) on

I found this piece at Hobby Lobby, and the price is budget friendly renovation ideas right.

Embossed Medallion Metal Wall Decor

Stand out and be noticed unique is what we’re going for here, so the idea is to use the embossed medallion (36 ½” wide) as an inside mount valance.

flip house kitchen remodel update remove

Dressing up a window frame with pediments, decorative corbels or architectural pieces is another decorative option that will help to achieve a custom look.

distressed corbel

7.  Shed New Light On The Situation

New lighting fixtures instantly update and turn on the visual wow factor.

white-tongue-and-groove-trim-on-island Heidi Caillier Design 

Pendant lights will be hanging around and on-trend for awhile.

Alyssa Colagiacomo Interiors

I’m a huge fan of a lamp(s) on kitchen countertops.

LKM Design Bedford, NH Farmhouse Kitchen

LKM Design

A well placed lamp easily becomes a focal point of both function and fashion.


Wireless LED puck lights mounted under cabinets are my first choice of affordable accent lighting.

Puck lights cast a lovely light at night- an all grown up night light.

outdated kitchen

This is the original image I worked off of for this post, so Number 8 refers to furr-down.

8A. Places In The Home #1 Rule of Kitchen Remodels: Furr Down Be Gone!

Furr Down

A box-out at the ceiling typically 12″ high and 14″ deep.  Often used for AC duct work.  Kitchen cabinets are installed up to it creating a step effect.  Also called a soffit or bulkhead.

I am no fan of the furr down.

Removing an ornamental furr down takes years off the life of an outdated kitchen.

crown molding cabinet topsBetter Homes & Gardens

Crown molding added to the tops of upper cabinets gives a finished top edge and ups the decorative ante.

crown-molding (1)

8B. New Sink + New Faucet = Hello, Current and Fresh Update

flip house kitchen remodel update

Number 8 in this photo reflects the kitchen sink and faucet dilemma.


Love, love, love the details and accents of this spectacular service kitchen by Jill Frey Kitchen Design.

Perfectly positioned accent lighting, statement flooring, gorgeous choice of countertop materials, excellent choice of window treatment, and a focal point sink prove the contrast engages the eye point.

Kraus KHU103-32 Undermount 32 inch 2-Bowl Stainless Steel Kitchen Sink

Swiss Madison Ceramic Farmhouse Kitchen Sink with Apron

Swiss Madison Delice 30″ x 18″ Ceramic Farmhouse Kitchen Sink w/Apron


Lyndhurst 2-Handle Bridge Kitchen Faucet with Side Sprayer in Matte Gold

Kraus KBU24 Undermount 32 inch 2-Bowl Stainless Steel Kitchen SinkKraus KBU24 Undermount 32 inch 2-Bowl Stainless Steel Kitchen Sink

9.  Update Switches, Plugs and Plates


Small changes make safe and stylish improvements and brings things into the 21st century.

10.  Countertop Solutions

mint green kitchen

Studio MRS

In real estate it’s all about location, location, location.

In renovating it’s all about enhance, enhance, enhance.

Manufacturers pay very close attention to the design and decor needs and wants of the buying and renovating public, and the kitchen design industry has made huge strides in bringing to the retail marketplace affordable alternatives to expensive kitchen countertop materials.


Rust-Oleum Countertop Transformations

If the existing countertops are free of stains, marks, scratches and the like,  workable with your color palette, and not overly antiquated, you may be in business.

How to paint laminate countertops instructions from DIY Network HERE


DAICH SpreadStone Mineral Select Countertop Refinishing Kit

Countertops are the utilitarian workhorse of kitchen, and as such should be crafted from quality materials coupled with a quality look.

If a quality, style and affordability tops the list, consider replacing existing outdated and worn laminate with new laminate in new and improved pattern selections.

Formica light countertopsFormica

Laminate is back on the radar as an affordable and visually pleasing countertop and backsplash option.


Bonus Suggestions

contemporary-bathroom Jill Sorensen Inc Design Firm

Wall sconce lighting is a versatile choice for ambient lighting in foyers, kitchens and bathrooms.

Changing vanity cabinet hardware takes years off a tired look.


One Kings Lane – Photo by Tiffany Haynes

Color makes a big splash in small spaces.

bold-wallpaper-white-tile-bathroomRue Magazine

Make a big and bold statement by painting trim or wainscotting in a fabulous color and wallpapering the walls and/or ceiling.


Domino – Photo by Ungano+Agriodimasy

Replace existing vent covers with decorative resin wall or ceiling vent covers.

Decorative Resin Wall or Ceiling Vent CoversVent Covers Unlimited

Fireplace built-ins come in as one of the top remodeling projects I love to tackle.

 stephanie kraus design Stephanie Kraus Design

Again color, texture, and pattern come into play.


It’s amazing what you can do with a gallon of paint, new cabinet hardware and a roll(s) of gorgeous wallpaper.


Works in the kitchen, too!

Liz Caan & Co. wallpaper cabinetsLiz Caan & Co.

Painting the built-ins and the bricks is a budget friendly step in the right direction.

For the DIY decorista project pros, covering over the bricks with tile or texture project may fit the bill.

Budget friendly?

Perhaps not, but in terms of resale and style at home value it can be a justified expense.

dalliance designDalliance Design

Picture lights mounted at the center point at the top of each unit creates a stunning library effect, and wallpapering the back wall of the unit or painting in a fabulous designer color brings forth the decorative oomph in updated fashion.

Plenty of wall space to fill?

I love this DIY library wall project from Kristin Cadwallader of Bliss at Home as featured by Better Homes & Gardens with all the how to instructions.

Click on the above link to check it out.


“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”
—Theodore Roosevelt

Teddy’s words hammer and nail the sentiment of this budget friendly renovation ideas post.

Home improve what you can, with what you have, when you can.

Home Improvement Ideas On A Budget

The main objective of home improvement ideas on a budget is to update, refresh, and improve existing features in pretty on a penny fashion.

The same logic applies to blog posts in need of a refresh.

Caught up in the splendor of sourcing, I accidentally changed the status of this four year old post (time sure does fly) from published to draft, so it and its sister post is coming around again with improved upon budget friendly remodeling ideas.

Many of the conversations around Places In The Home center around renovating, updating and home improvement ideas on a budget.

We speak fluent all things house that make a home around here, and we love when renovating, updating and remodeling projects leave a little change in our pocket.

Design on a dime is good, but project on a penny is even better.

wheat penniesFlickr

Both our flipping and personal home owning portfolio has consisted of pre-owned homes in established neighborhoods flush with properties primed for remodeling.

Older properties appeal to a large portion of the buying market such as first time home buyers, downsizers, and fixer upper decoristas.

I decided to check out our local real estate listings for a newer older property to use as a visual guide.  Being familiar with the residential landscape, I thought I would score a great listing photo from particular areas known for 60s-80s ranch style homes.

Guess again.

What I learned is good news travels fast among sellers.

Living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms, and bathrooms of older properties remain stuck in a time warp, but the kitchens rock the modern update.

You would have to be living under a rock if you do not know the value of and  demand for the updated kitchen.

I remembered I kept the image file of the flip house we entertained purchasing a couple of years ago.

The deal didn’t work for us, but the images do for this post.


Click Here to Enlarge Image

It’s a fact of real estate and home owner life that not everyone can afford a total renovation of their new older home after purchase.

A business associate shared with me her philosophy as to why so many occupied properties on the real estate listings channel are sparsely furnished.

Too much month at the end of the money.


When there’s too much renovating at the end of the money work with what you have.

Let me share with you Dave the Builder’s short and to the point philosophy.



Take it one bite at a time.

flip house kitchen remodel update

Let’s look at 10 home improvement ideas on a budget to update and refresh the spaces and the places in the home.

1. Function isn’t always stylish, so dress it up!

Fluorescent lights offer reliable affordable lighting for main and task lighting in a kitchen.

That’s the good.

The bad?

Basic fluorescent lighting fixtures.

I’ve got a couple of solutions for this dilemma that are relatively simple and inexpensive.

framed fluorescent light

This is our kitchen renovation and remodel in progress, in two very different paint colors, and completed.

Note the framed fluorescent light.


Frame an otherwise plain fluorescent light with decorative trim to introduce a custom look to the project.

Hudson pendantsY Lighting

Light Shaded Drum Chandelier

Another option is to take down the fluorescent light and replace its ceiling footprint with a decorative panel.

Liz Caan & Co.

Liz Caan & Co.

I’m crazy about chandeliers and pendant lights on a Carrie Bradshaw Manolo Blahnik level.

flip pendants

 3 – Light Lantern Square Pendant
Patrice 3 – Light Pendant
Landrum 2-Light Single Globe Pendant 
1 – Light Single Dome Pendant

You’ve probably heard the reference “jewelry of the room” in regards to lighting fixtures.

Statement accessories and accents pull the entire look together and impress the eye.


Keowee 4-Light Galvanized Orb Chandelier with Antique White Wood Accents
Ariella 1-Light Brushed Champagne Bronze Mini Pendant with Glass Shade
Hanks 1-Light Midnight Black Medium Pendant with Smooth White Glass Shade
Talullah 1-Light Matte White Pendant Lighting with Gold Interior
Benita 4-light Brushed Champagne Silver Metal and Crystal Orb Chandelier
Brant Point 1-Light Brushed Nickel Pendant with Matte Gray Metal Shade

2.  Home on the Range

A new and/or improved range hood is is both an investment in function, safety, and updated style.

Christy Foran Design

Christy Foran Design

A contrasting finish and/or material creates a commanding focal point.

all-white-kitchen-with-brass-accents-Amber InteriorsAmber Interiors


Reclaimed wood beams and scrap pieces strikingly fit in with home improvement ideas on a budget.

Scrap pieces of reclaimed wood left over from large jobs and demos can be bought at very affordable prices.


Reclaimed wood beams camouflage a multitude of design and decorating sins.

When the tornado hit our house in 2017 and took most of our roof off, the kitchen ceiling suffered several issues including the exposure of tape joints on the drywall ceiling.


After taking a project priority inventory, I consulted Dave and we decided to purchase a reclaimed wood beam from a local antiques store and install it over the joint in this image.

The current status on this update is project pending, patience waning, but I digress.

Standard-Tile-Photos-Chris-VeithStandard Tile-Photo by Chris Veith

Using decorative embellishments such as corbels, onlays and appliques will give an existing range hood and splatter guard a custom refresh.


Home Depot

There’s renovating and decorating gold in them thar Etsy listings, home improvement stores, flea markets, and antiques stores.

ornamental gate architectural iron

Iron Ornamental Grate

Architectural salvage pieces make visually interesting interior and exterior accent pieces.

An ornamental iron grate is beautifully put to decorative use as a splatter guard-fireback.

Antique 1800s Cast Iron Register GrateAntique 1800s Cast Iron Register Grate

3. Cabinets and the Techniques That Improve Them

Behr neutral colors


Select your color(s), grab a brush, bucket, roller, pan, painters tape, a couple of drop clothes and proceed to color your world!


kitchen colorsPainting kitchen cabinets, walls, ceilings, and molding will bring forth an affordable change with instant visual gratification.

Maureen Stevens Design


Opposites attract comes to mind when I see these contrasting drawer fronts.

Contrast engages the eye and creates visual interest.

white-painted-cabinets-natural-wood-contrastBetter Homes & Gardens


Maria Haidamus Interiors

Maria Haidamus Interiors

How about adding glass front inserts to existing cabinet doors?

DIY instructions HERE

Once the cut out is complete, I prefer to take the doors to a local glass company.

The pros measure, cut and install the glass, and the cost involved is surprisingly affordable.

Farmhouse is still the decorating style darling, and chicken wire cabinet doors will certainly achieve the style and put a unique twist on vintage chic.

How to instructions HERE


I love this budget friendly idea for cabinet doors featured by Better Homes & Gardens.

Removing an existing cabinet door front and replacing it with a canvas art print results in a distinctive kitchen feature that’s anything but ordinary.

art-as-cabinet-doorsBetter Homes & Gardens

Ideas for this range from culinary art to black and white photography to photos from your own collection.

I’m seriously contemplating doing this with these photos on canvas of the Canadian snowbird’s wedding day and the wedding photo of my parent’s wedding cake.



Dave and I often have conversations about the design and décor features of the houses we lived in as kids.

One conversation is particularly easy as it goes since our present house is also my childhood home.

panelingMy mother with her grand-mother and two first cousins
in our paneling covered kitchen circa 1974

My parents did an extensive remodel and addition to the house in 1986, modernizing for the time the design and decor including the removal of any and all paneling.

Timeworn and let’s face it tacky faux wood paneling is not my wall covering of choice.

Removing paneling is certainly an option, but it can test the budget therefore, we usually go the fill the grooves with drywall joint compound and paint over it route.

Beadboard paneling is the exception to our remove the paneling rule.

If it is in good shape and great style, it stays.

beadboard-panelingBetter Homes & Gardens

The flip house was built in the late 1960s- a prime paneling period in the ranch style house portfolio.


My home improvement ideas on a budget suggestions for this area:

Take down the upper cabinet unit to open up the space and enhance the sight line.

Keep the peninsula (note the bottom cabinets and drawers).

Replace the cabinet and drawer hardware.

Consider cabinet and drawer hardware in the same color family but different pattern and texture as the hardware choice for the main kitchen area to create statement contrast.

The canvas art idea as cabinet doors would work well in this area.


Liberty Regal Square 3 in. Center-to-Center Champagne Bronze Drawer Pull

Square off (straight) the rounded edge countertop.


Fill in the paneling grooves and paint the paneling in your color of choice.

Jenni-Kayne-kitchenRue Magazine

A decorative cabinet panel (under $20) added to the upper cabinet will cover and conceal any damage done in the process and give the end piece a fresh custom look.


Open-shelving is on trend and would work in this location.

Swedish Farm Kitchen Island

Swedish Farm Kitchen Island


Stuart I Brown Solid Wood Top Two-Tier Black Metal Rolling Kitchen Island 

Roll in a kitchen island for extra prep space.

kitchen island fixtures

Carbon Loft Elisgner Industrial Black Metal 29-inch Kitchen Island Table

Carbon Loft Elisgner Industrial Black Metal 29-inch Kitchen Island Table

pantry cabinets

The logic of good bones applies here.

Storage wins out, and there’s a good amount of it in place on this wall.

My suggestions for this area:

Fill in the paneling grooves, allow to dry, and paint the back wall.

Remove the hardware, fill in holes with wood putty, prep cabinets, and paint in color of choice.

Adjust the countertop to your liking (we’ll cover budget friendly countertop surface options in part two).

As far as the louvered door and wall to the left of this area goes, and if the budget allows, I’d demo it down and open up the entire space, incorporating the den/dining room combination into an open floor plan plan.

Taking down the entire wall all the way over to the opposite door opening (not visible in this image) would include losing this area, running up the budget, and bring in load bearing wall issues.

4.  Hardware Schmardware

Armac Martin

Replacing cabinet drawer and door hardware instantly updates the outdated.


Consider replacing the hinges for a totally refreshed look.


Home improvement stores clearance bins, Overstock, Amazon, eBay and Etsy are excellent places to pick up super affordable cabinet hardware.

5.  Floors & More


Older properties sometimes surprise you with their quality design and decorative features, such as original hardwood or tile flooring.


Unfortunately, older properties can also mean older color palettes where orange, yellow and avocado green reign 1970s supreme!


Here’s a few suggestions:

Who doesn’t want to replace outdated flooring?

What we want, and what we can afford, don’t necessarily line up.

Don’t you hate when that happens?

luxury vinyl plank flooringLuxury Vinyl Plank Flooring

If new flooring is the area of priority, first search clearance sections of home improvement stores, discount building supply warehouses, liquidators, online retailers and eBay for discounted deals.


When buying local shop prices.

Inquire about flooring goods left over from large jobs.

Retailers will often sell these at great discounts.

Dave the Builder wants me to share with you all a trade secret.

Shop flooring installation prices as well.

Negotiate the best price with the flooring retailer on the flooring and get a quote for the install.

Contact other independent and reputable installers in your area to see if you can negotiate a better price.

k2-_bce12373-d8f6-476c-b953-64e301551026.v3If replacing the existing flooring is a budget buster, kick your flooring plan into clean and save gear.

Often our flip house budget left no room for new flooring, so I would hire a local professional floor refinisher to come in and clean the existing flooring.

He taught me that a bucket of cold (yes, cold) water, several drops of Dawn dishwashing liquid, a mop, and a lot of good old fashioned elbow grease can bring an existing floor back to life.

Home Improvement Ideas On A BudgetMore times than not the flooring in older properties is a blast from the past.

New flooring is a major expense- sometimes an expense best left for another time and project.

In these cases, a well placed decorative area rug covers a multitude of outdated sins.


A patch of sheet rock, framed piece of art or decorative architectural wall piece can cover yet more design sins of days past.

NuTone radio systemNorthside Service Company

In part two of this series, I’ll address home improvement ideas on a budget 6-10 and several budget friendly remodeling bonus ideas.

Fall Traditions of Kitchen Style, Spice and Seasoning

Spending time in the Places In The Home kitchen on a fall afternoon coincides with traditions of kitchen style, spice and seasoning rooted in memories dating back to the little kitchen in our first home where my love of developing recipes inspired by the tastes of the fall ~autumn season all began.


Designing, decorating and stocking the kitchen, pantry and cupboard with personal style, staples and spices became an adventure in discovery of taste and tastes.

When fall comes around each year, the memories flood my mind reminding me these are special times for making fall traditions of kitchen style, spice and seasoning.


The crimson and gold Anjou and Bosc pears from the produce section of our local Kroger colorfully complemented my fall dining room decorating scheme, but as it goes with fresh fruit and shelf life, nothing lasts forever.


Once photographed and admired, it’s time to give thought to delicious ways of putting a seasonal spin on it.


Tradition is the key ingredient of my recipes.

The recipes and kitchen philosophies of my great grandmother, my darling Mama Two, inspire and influence the salads, entrees and desserts developed and prepared in the Places In The Home test kitchen.

Mason-Cash-mixing-bowlsMason Cash Mixing Bowls

I leave myself a mixing bowl full of wiggle room by referring to the Places In The Home kitchen as a test kitchen.  If a recipe exceeds taste expectations, my kitchen is the culinary kingdom in which I rule over complete with crown roast and wooden spoon scepter.  If a recipe fails, then my kitchen is simply a test kitchen where taste perfection is not an absolute and I remind the family that Domino’s delivers.


A jar of Mrs. Bridges fig preserves is my autumn jam.  Fig and pear preserves were a Mama Two staple, especially in her baked goods that I associate with fall traditions of kitchen style, spice and seasoning.  Isn’t it funny the things that play traditional fall favorites with our memory?   It’s a question asked and deliciously answered by the fresh pear salad with sour cream, fig preserves and honey I came up with.



The taste of fall on an vintage porcelain dessert plate.

Slice a fresh pair of your flavor choice in two.  Using a spoon, gently spoon out the center of each pear half.  Place each pear halves core side up on a plate.  Spoon ½-1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice over pear halves.  Spoon a generous dollop of sour cream into center of each pear half.  Top sour cream with 1 heaping teaspoon of fig preserves.  Lightly drizzle honey over pear halves.

A perfect union of flavors for a fresh fall salad option, and a gathering of ideas for fall kitchen style, spice and seasoning.

kitchen style




A Most Fetching Friday: Pantry Envy

This week’s A Most Fetching Friday features kitchen or kitchen adjacent pantries of brilliant design, functionality and visual appeal worthy of pantry envy.



Architectural Digest

pantry-Hayburn & Co

Hayburn & Co.

Steven Gambrel


Country Living


John Lewis of Hungerford

Pantry Envy Accessories –


pantry envy





Love your style!

Junior League of High Point, North Carolina 2015 Designer Showhouse Kitchen

As I perused the Places In The Home Facebook page this week an image posted by Traditional Home magazine immediately caught my eye.

The Junior League of High Point, North Carolina 2015 Designer Showhouse kitchen designed by Charlotte, North Carolina Interior Designer Lisa Mende of Lisa Mende Design is visually captivating.

Junior League of High Point, North Carolina 2015 Designer Showhouse KitchenLisa Mende Design – Junior League of High Point, North Carolina, 2015 Designer Showhouse

Older homes have a history, a story to tell.

Lisa Mende tapped into the home’s history as inspiration for her thoroughly modern interior design concept and execution.

Distinctive details reminiscent of the emerging Art Deco times of the 19oos when the house was built, world events of the early 20th century and the sinking of the Titanic all played a large role in the kitchen design inspiration and influence.

Inspiration truly is everywhere!

Click on the link below the images to read the full story and view the gallery of images from the showhouse.

Lisa_Mende_Design_Showhouse_kitchen_1Lisa Mende Design – Junior League of High Point, North Carolina, 2015 Designer Showhouse

You never know when or where inspiration will strike or what home decor item will excite the eye.

Below is the swoonworthy beauty that did just that.


The Pimlico Double Swing Arm Plug In  has found a place on my gotta have it list.


Being the fan of art as a kitchen decor choice that I am, the above image speaks modern elegance to me.

Now comes the disclosure portion of this post.

Disclosure: As it in life and disclosure policy compliance with FTC rules, honesty is the best policy. This post contains affiliate links. If you click on one of the product links and make a purchase from the retailer, I receive a commission from the sale.

To read the entire policy in full (fun, fun) please read my disclosure page.


Abstract by Mayberry

The framed art piece and the swing arm lamp combination works, and works beautifully.


I love keeping an eye out for designs, decorating applications and home decor that raises the bar, races the heart and inspires.

Love your style!

Holiday Drama: Home Decor Statement Pieces

Home decor statement pieces aren’t expressly exclusive to holiday fashions.

Decoristas never need an excuse to home decor accent and accessorize, nor do they shy from reminding Santa it’s perfectly fine to add home decor statement pieces to his list.

At this most festive and stylish time of year, home is the star of the meeting, greeting and eating holiday show.

There’s no time like the present to add a few home decor statement pieces to your holiday wishlist.

I connected the dots to this Christmas wishlist conclusion as I sketched out a potential design alternative for a client.


The homeowner wants several items that will stretch the budget tighter than tight, and realizing that fact commented, “I guess I could always ask for it as a Christmas present.”

 Christmas bells went off and the Elves got busy dropping hints.

Accent chests offer superb storage and style options for dining rooms as well as kitchens and breakfast areas.

Known as the hub of the home, the kitchen especially is the center of attention at the holiday time of year.

Reason number one why I love to “decorate” my kitchen for the holidays.

Lyndon Kitchen Island

Lyndon Kitchen Island

The polar opposite of boring-done to death-everybody else is doing it, mixing periods and styles is being embraced more and more as the new kid on the block in design style.

Salento 6-light Chandelier

Salento 6-light Chandelier

The proof of the point hangs with this experimental pairing of an old-world charm of this Parisian white chandelier framed with two sleek and modern Hicks pendants in bronze and black.   


We’re considering hanging this lighting trio over the island area.



Architectural Digest

Leora Modern Glam Tufted Velvet Wingback Loveseat

Leora Modern Glam Tufted Velvet Wingback Loveseat

Alisa Grey Upholstered Settee Bench Loveseat

Alisa Grey Upholstered Settee Bench Loveseat


Adesso High Back Chair by Ebanista

Toddman Light Beige Fabric High Back Accent Chair

Toddman Light Beige Fabric High Back Accent Chair

Dear Santa:

 Love your style!