A note from Chip & Joanna Gaines

With the onset of text message and emails, the art of writing letters has sadly become somewhat obsolete. Today I received a note from Joanna Gaines. As busy as she is, she could have sent an email or text, but she took the time to respond via good ole standard post mail. When the mail arrived, I had been running around multi-tasking, then I saw that I received a letter and couldn’t wait to rip it open. Her handwritten note on the back of her card made my day so I wanted to share it.

It’s nice to write to someone out-of-the blue and make their day. You can create your own custom note paper by typing a large initial or monogram at the top of your page. Or any type of design you may like, along with your relevant information. Don’t be afraid to play around and come up with something that represents YOU!

Here is Chip and Joanna’s note below:


I use a note paper with my star logo at the top, then enclose it into a petal enclosure, which then inserts into a translucent envelope. You can find these online at envelope speciality sites.


Thanks Joanna, your thoughtfulness allowed me to take a few moments of time for myself to appreciate you and your words.



Stylish Bedroom Makeover

This bedroom look was inspired by the colors in the large abstract painting hanging in the room. I really love using lots of textures in my designs. And I also like unique one-of-a-kind pieces. For this room, I purchased a jute rug online; picked up the new Hooker dresser at a second hand store; bought and painted/distressed a desk from Craigslist for a vanity; reused the existing night stand; purchased the wall art which includes the color palette; purchased the gold mirror on clearance; bought the room darkening drapes online. then I finished off the look with some other existing decor items. This room came together so well. It’s stylish and yet the look is very inexpensive to achieve.

To save money when decorating a bedroom, consider using a metal platform bed frame like this one. You can purchase brackets to add a headboard if you like.

Bed linens are a combination of ivory duvet cover, throw pillows, and layered faux fur throws.

Here is a wide pan photo of the entire room. It has the feel of a trendy boutique hotel room.

bedroom Pan

Photography copyrighted by Misti Morningstar


Romantic Christmas Dinner Table

Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year. I love having family and friends over for dinner, games, and sweets! Each year I decorate the table in a different style and color scheme. This table was especially cool because my mom had some gorgeous dishes packed away that she had never used. I was so excited to incorporate them in the design. If you are looking for dishes, you can always check out your local second hand shops, ebay, etsy, and even Goodwill.

Now, the challenge for me was to get this table done in 3 hours. Because that was all the time I had! So, to get inspired, I put all my items on the table. Just look at it!

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I know it can be a bit overwhelming, but what I want you to do is think about your color palette for the table design, and then combining that with design layers to get a ‘look’. My color palette was black, white, silver, gold, and red.

I did not have any charger plates to integrate the black and white dishes into the design so I purchased these inexpensive beautiful red ones with faux diamond borders. I also purchased a gold table cloth and the silver and gold vases you see in the center of the table to hold the flowers, and Christmas poppers (I get poppers every year – they’re such fun!). You can find a selection of these items at department stores in your area. On the way home I stopped at Trader Joe’s and purchased 3 bunches of red roses.

Using the other items that I already had I began to set the table. To make interesting name tags, try using Gift Tags. I found these snowflake tags and then just used a marker to write-on the names of my guests.

To make your table look extra fancy, swirl different colors of string beads around the vases and candles. Then set a few ornate ornaments around within the beads. Play around until it looks the way you like it.

For table favors I used my own handcrafted soaps (www.savagesoaps.com) wrapped in coordinating wrapping paper. And remember you don’t need everything to be an exact match. What you want is to have a look where your items are complementing each other. As you can see my wrapping paper ties in with the red charger plates, and then I used a white ribbon to tie it into the white plates.


So there you have it. A fabulous Christmas table look with a romantic feel. Add your candles and voila! Dramatic and inviting.



I used the leftover Christmas decor on the mantle. Again, use layers to achieve a rich look. I used a long gold rope and swirled it around through objects on the mantle, similar to the way I did the beads on the dinner table. Pop a fresh evergreen wreath over a mirror with a piece of a coat hanger and place large poinsettias around the corners of your room and you’ve completed the look.



Photography copyrighted by Misti Morningstar



Dated Kitchen Gets a Fresh Look

One of the things many homeowners encounter is the dreaded DATED KITCHEN!!!!!! Whether you recently bought a home that has a dated kitchen or you’ve just been waiting to update your kitchen because you don’t know what to do… Here is an idea that will save on replacing the kitchen cabinets.

Here is the before photo. Everything is dated. And way too much clutter.

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BEFORE Dated Kitchen

First step, de-clutter!

Second, the plan was to keep the cabinets to save money. So I replaced the old white hardware, with silver knobs to give them an updated look.

New floor was installed. This is a tile that looks like ceramic but is less expensive.

New faux tile Kitchen flooring

New light fixture; new paint color (I faux painted the walls and below island); new granite counter tops; new blinds; new appliances; new breakfast area furniture.

As you can see you can make a dramatic difference without spending a lot of money!

BEFORE Dining Area
AFTER Dining Area

Home Exterior Gets Curb Appeal

This home was tired, rotted and dated. The community it sits within is wooded with a nearby lake, walking trails, with a bit of rustic camp feel. I felt that the home clearly needed to blend in more with the landscape, along with incorporating some modern updates.




Repaired rotting wood, new paint choices, new porch furniture, outdoor patio rug, and planters make this home look entirely different!


Bathroom Dilemma Eliminated

Does your bathroom resemble this below?


Clearly in need of an update, I went to work to give this bathroom the modern update it was desperately seeking.

New paint, updated ceramic tile around the tub and shower, new pebble shower floor, new glass shower door, new window treatments, floor tile, art, and spa-like decor.


A pebble floor in the shower is easy to incorporate. The pebbles come in sheets and they are applied like ceramic tiles. The add a wonderful tactile feeling to the feet while showering.

To save money, the existing cabinets and mirror frame were painted in an expresso brown. Electrical was updated in the mirror wall to allow for a lighted wall-mount makeup mirror.

Now this bathroom has a feel of a space you’d want to relax in.



Retail Spacelift

One of my businesses is natural handcrafted soaps (www.savagesoaps.com) The space is small so we wanted to reduce the footprint of the main counter and update the look of the shelving.

Here is the before photo.


I drew up the designs and then we built it. It’s modern and clean.


This antique copper pot was converted into a sink with a foot pedal. And we used existing pipe with inexpensive lacquered MDF for the countertops.


The wall signage was updated. I just got black flat paint and painted over the old image and then had our logo created into dimensional letters with adhesive backing which I then simply adhered to the wall. The sign frame is floor tile that I had cut into pieces, then I applied to the wall with construction adhesive.StorePOSafter2


The walls and ceiling were previously marble faux painted with my own special technique.