Apples to Apples: Lessons In Project Planning

Project planning supports project success.

Take the Google Doodle for example.



When I opened up Chrome Monday morning, the Google doodle successfully accomplished its purpose of informing me it’s Teacher Appreciation Week.

The celebration of our teachers got me to thinking about the special teachers I had and love to this day, the significant role a teacher plays in the lives of her/his students, and the apples to apples comparison between teacher project planning and decorista project planning.

kate spade new york Zadie Drive Apple Lidded Box

kate spade new york Zadie Drive Apple Lidded Box

Many of us have a special place in our heart and grateful appreciation for at least one teacher from our scholastic past.

I can trace aspects of the life lessons, confidence levels, journalism interests, political interests and organizational skills utilized in my daily professional and personal life back to three beloved teachers.


“It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.”

-Albert Einstein

Their influence through the formative years positively shaped, molded, and impacted my life, and the lessons learned reach far beyond a textbook, chalkboard, Donny Osmond or David Cassidy notebook.

Sweet and innocent were the times.

donny-david-notebooksVintage Advertisement of Tumblr

I am struck by the similarities between teacher lesson planning and decorista project planning.

With the teacher lesson plan, planning is crucial to a successful instructional experience.

To be effective in classroom management, it is necessary to remain focused on the task at hand before moving on to the next activity.

When a teacher provides his or her students with step-by-step instructions, it makes for a smooth transition into the next subject.


In regards to a home improvement or interior decorating project, a detailed project plan puts inspiration to paper, dollars to sense, purpose to project.

Begin with a Master Plan

Project planning is essential to the overall process from idea to design to decorating execution to finished product.

Check Yes or No

Will converting a space from let’s say a formal living room or rarely used guest bedroom into a home office be a beneficial transformation or a regrettable repurpose?

Study the space and evaluate if it may be of better use to your needs by taking a recess from its initial purpose.

Will moving a wall make the design grade?

Take the time to study the space, and let the walls or removal of them talk to you.
Project planning

Stay the Course

It is mighty tempting to tackle more than originally planned once you get into the project of it all.

Spreading the project love too thin can result in an incomplete or failing grade assigned to the design objective and decrease the desired quality of work.

Education is Project Power

Folks, let me let you in on a little secret.

There’s a whole lot more that goes into the home improvement interior design and interior decorating projects you see tackled and mastered on your favorite house to home show.

I’m not saying leave it to the professionals, but I do suggest doing your homework before jumping into the “I/we can do that” waters.

Do your homework by learning all you can through materials, fixtures and appliances manufacturer’s websites.

Access the FAQ page.

If you’ve got a question odds are someone else does too.

Take the time to watch the how-to videos.

Home improvement sites offer great tutorials, and YouTube is a treasure trove of information.

Read customer reviews and home improvement-interior design blogs.

Project planning is the essential tool beneficial to both teachers and decoristas.

#ThankATeacher  #AppreciateAnEducator

love your style


Deliveries. Issues. Solutions. That’s the Way It Goes With Major Home Improvement Projects

My posting plan to bring you the companion piece post to Do You Know What It Means to Love the Decorating Styles Characteristic of the New Orleans Garden District didn’t quite make it to deadline.  Deliveries, issues and solutions have taken priority over my normal posting schedule, but that’s the way it goes with major home improvement projects.

roofing shingles delivery

Home improvement projects are not without problems, delays and contractor issues.  Don’t you just hate that?

roofing supplies

We are now back on track, and from the looks of things it’s time to get things started up on the roof.

home improvement projects

Lawn and garden cleanup is on schedule.

And loud.

Dave reminded me, “if you think this is loud, wait until the roofers get started.”

tree debris removal

A good suggestion for surviving major home improvement projects is to always be prepared.

bose headphones

Have a wonderful weekend.

love your style



Our Had Tornado-Must Home Improve Show: Selecting Roofing Shingles

We have now come to the new roof portion of our had tornado-must home improve show selecting roofing shingles edition.

Scope sheets and roofing materials lead the conversation of late around Places In The Home.

Performance, color, texture, pattern, and climate figure into the roofing shingle selection equation.

Durability, protection and ability to hold up to normal Louisiana weather (I don’t even want to think about hurricane season) is the first thing to consider when selecting roofing shingles.

The next thing is to consider is the style aspect- the color, texture and pattern play.

Tricorn Black  ||  Afternoon  ||  High Reflective White 

The exterior colors are not due for a color palette change anytime soon.

Based on our preferences I doubt there will be a dramatic shift in color choice when we do repaint.

Louisiana sun and humidity work against the longevity of a shingle’s color.

Dave has to continually remind me to take this fact under consideration in the color selection process.

Scroll back up to the top of the page and look at the roofs.  See the streaked and darkening appearance of the shingles?

Humidity + Algae = Discoloration

Natural weathering comes with age and exposure to the elements, but our harsh weather conditions accelerate the appearance of aged wear.

I flipped over this Heirloom Brown (color) diamond (pattern) architectural shingle (texture).

GAF Sienna Heirloom Brown Value Collection Lifetime Shingles 

Budget should be a four-letter word.

I know it makes me swear I will stay within ours.

For just that reason, I am choosing several options with budget friendly price points.

Landmark Premium ~ Weathered Wood

Owens Corning Trudefinition Duration in Estate Gray

roofing shingles

GAF Royal Sovereign 3-Tab Shingles in Weathered Gray

Curb appeal is returning, slowly but surely.

Take Cover Now: Tornado Damage

There is nothing pretty about a tornado or tornado damage, and take cover now is a warning best heeded.


This past Sunday afternoon we learned that lesson firsthand as our town-neighborhood-house was hit by a tornado.

tornado-Sams-ClubPhoto~Cheryl Davis

We are no strangers to the force and fury of a hurricane.

A tornado however, is an extremely rare occurrence in Central Louisiana. This tornado experience was a first for us.


Our local news station was live on the air with the entire weather team covering the storm.  The senior weatherman shouted “take cover now” and with that we took cover in the guest bathroom bathtub.

We never did hear the roaring train sound so many people remark they hear as a tornado approaches or when one is overhead.

What we did hear is the terrifying sound of trees, shingles, and various projectiles hitting the house.

The entire top of our neighbor’s magnolia tree was the first thing we saw as we opened our front door.


Salvaged magnolia leaves placed in a mason jar injects a touch of simple beauty and Southern comfort into this otherwise ugly situation.


Utilities are truly a beautiful thing.

We lost power Sunday afternoon, got it back a little before midnight, lost it again Monday morning and didn’t see the light of lights until last night at 9:51 pm CST.

A big, big thank you goes out to the utilities workers for a job well done and most appreciated.


That was then,


and this is now.


The crepe myrtle to the immediate right is history as is the hydrangea.  The bird feeder chandelier was found one street over.

Howdy Do (the jockey) and the bird bath may be down but not out of the lawn and garden beautification game.


The roof is heavily damaged and the inside of the house is a victim of stained ceilings, wet carpets, dirty floors, etc…

Clorox bleach and Lysol spray is suddenly a hot commodity.

My desk/computer is in Dave’s man cave, and a large part of the ceiling in the room is soaked through and through.

That’s an odor one can only take for a few minutes at a time.

Blogging will slow as the smell increases.

I will probably need several more bottles of this stuff before all of this is over.


Roofs, ceilings, floors and sheetrock can be fixed.

We are safe and that’s all that matters.


Love your style!


A Home Decor & Remodelista Show & Tell: Apartment Guide Your Picks Your Place Sweepstakes

I received an email asking me if I would like to spread the word to my readers about the Apartment Guide Your Picks Your Place Sweepstakes. Sure! What home decor aficionado~home remodelista wouldn’t love to further their home improvement knowledge, and the chance to win a $10,000 grand prize?   The sweepstakes focuses on home improvement, and features weekly prizes to help both experts and beginners update their spaces. One lucky winner will also receive a $10,000 grand prize.  I think this qualifies as a newsworthy home decor show & tell!

Is your place in need of a style update?  Apartment Guide has partnered with TV host and design expert Kim Myles for the second annual Apartment Guide “Your Picks. Your Place.” You can enter now for a chance to win a $10,000 grand prize or one of eight $250 weekly prizes to go towards your own selections for your home. You can visit YourPicks. and vote daily for your favorite room design.  From now until August 14th, you can enter to win the $10,000 grand prize or one of eight weekly $250 prizes. The site will feature four different room designs every two weeks.  By voting, you’ll be entered for a chance to win a $10,000 grand prize or one of eight $250 weekly prizes to go toward your own selections for your home.

Also, throughout the sweepstakes Kim will be sharing budget-friendly and easy-to-implement decor ideas. Below, I have included her top 10 tips for renters.

Small Investment, Big Impact:

Top 10 Design Tips for the Commitment-Phobe from Kim Myles

1.  Use fabric and wallpaper in unexpected ways by framing and hanging pieces to add pops of color and interest to bare walls.

2.  Add a big rug to inject color and pattern into a space.  Don’t be afraid to put carpet on top of carpet.

3.  Divide a room and add color using a folding screen that can also provide extra storage space behind it.

4.  Transition your dining area for a dinner party using items on hand.  Empty wine bottles and tapered candles can become a DIY candelabra, and flowers or leaves from the outdoors can become instant centerpieces.

5.  Choose foundation items like couches in neutral colors so that you can update your decor easily over time with patterned pillows, colored accent chairs and unique wall art.

6.  No headboard? No problem. Create your own using a stenciled canvas or a reclaimed item like an old mantle.

7.  Hang shelves from a single bar installed near the ceiling to minimize wall damage and take advantage of vertical storage space.

8.  Mirrors should be in everyone’s decor tool kit. Cluster groups of smaller mirrors together on a wall to add glamour without the investment of a big piece.

9.  Make furniture work to live in your space.  Choose items that provide extra hidden storage and users, like storage ottomans that double as coffee tables, sleeper sofas and bookcases with bins.

10.  Create a floating wall by hanging a floor-to-ceiling curtain from a rod hung from the ceiling, and just one foot out from a bare wall.  Fill in the space with shelves or large items such as bikes.

Our son called this week with exciting news- he signed the lease on a house. I remember how excited we were when we leased our first house, which eventually we purchased. Good times!  Kim Myles Top 10 Design Tips is timely and good information.

Take a look at the Your Picks. Your Place. Sweepstakes if it piques your interest.  Good luck, and if you do enter and win, please share it with us!






Disclosure:  I have not been compensated in any way for this post.