How I Failed To Decorate our Dining Room

No one likes to say that they have failed. Today I give you permission to completely FAIL in your home decor. I completely failed in this renovation project, but all is not lost!

Competing in the One Room Challenge|Designers Sweet Spot|
Dining room before the One Room Challenge

The One Room Challenge Dining Room Update

This week is the final reveal for the One Room Challenge. I have been avoiding writing this post, because it’s hard for me to admit that I have failed this challenge.

I haven’t finished our dining room.

I was really excited in the beginning, the painting was easy.

How I Failed to Decorate Our Dining Room|Designers Sweet Spot|

It took me an entire weekend to paint the built-in dining hutch. The white is so much lighter, I really do like it. I am glad I took the plunge to paint all that dark woodwork.

How I Failed to Decorate Our Dining Room|Designers Sweet Spot|

The next project  was the ceiling. This painted ceiling medallion gives the room something special. Our kitty loves to stare at the ceiling, she must find it interesting.

How I Failed to Decorate Our Dining Room|Designers Sweet Spot|

I bought some great fabric at a fabulous price and whipped up a pair of curtains. I was on a roll!

And that’s where the story ends. Actually, it came to a grinding halt.

The END of the Dining Room ORC Story

The table improvements are holding me back. I need to paint the table, but I don’t have the vision right now as to which colors to use. White, black? Grey, Chocolate? Can’t decide.

Am having second thoughts about the curtains that  I made.

I never have second thoughts. NEVER. Usually, I am an all in kind of girl. But, something in this room just doesn’t feel right.

How I Failed to Decorate Our Dining Room|Designers Sweet Spot|

Our home is very traditional. My mother’s beautiful Liberty Blue dishes are going to be the focus of this dining room. However, I don’t know what I was thinking when I chose the black floral for the curtain fabric. They just don’t complement each other, not at all.

I am even second guessing the paint color I chose. I just don’t love it.

How I Failed to Decorate Our Dining Room|Designers Sweet Spot|www.designerssweetspot.comThis Waverly floral print is beautiful but, it’s just A LOT OF FLORAL. There are three other rooms that lead off the dining area, and all of them have to coordinate. This print just isn’t working out with the other rooms the way I had hoped. Rather than try to make things work and not be happy with the result I am going to stop.

I am putting the breaks on this entire project until I can find another fabric(s) that I like and re-think the entire design plan.

How I Failed to Decorate Our Dining Room|Designers Sweet Spot|

To Be Continued

Another problem is with the dining chairs. I have been looking for fabrics and materials to refurbish them. However, things are far more expensive than I had anticipated. With the cost of the fabric, foam cushions, welting, tacks, upholstery strapping and nailhead details it will cost between $80-90.00 per chair to redo them. Multiply this times 6 because we have 6 chairs. Yikes, that’s a lot of dough!

New chairs run in the neighborhood of $100.00, and I am not sure that I want to put all the time and money into these old chairs that I don’t really care for anyway. It just doesn’t seem worth it when I could purchase new ones in a finish and style that I like, and just do minimal customizing to match our decor.

So, the chairs are also on the back burner.

I’ve been shopping for lighting, and accessories too. Can’t find anything that I like, that fits in our traditional farmhouse decor and that I can afford. I love modern styles, but they just don’t work well with our traditional home.

How I FAILED in the One Room Challenge

Things just aren’t working out right now. In thinking about how to explain my failure to my readers, I have come to the conclusion that we don’t like to admit our defeats! As bloggers, we don’t want to tell others we can’t do it. Perhaps we expect too much from ourselves. At least I do. Seems like there is always something I am hiding from behind the computer.

It’s okay to fail in your decorating project. I hereby give you permission. Sometimes we need to give ourselves the “okay” to not be perfect and have a perfect magazine styled home. Beautiful homes are an evolution of style and living that develops over time.

Beautiful homes are an evolution of style and living. Click To Tweet

Just like a shoe that doesn’t fit, our home needs to be comfortable for us to live in and fit us well. Things will come together in this room at another time, it’s just now right now. I am okay with that.

This is the end of my One Room Challenge renovation. More time is needed to figure things out. Updates will be posted as I have them but this failed project will remain unfinished for the time being.

Don’t forget to Pin this post!

Failing the One Room Challenge|Designers Sweet Spot|

Read some of these other projects for more inspiration!

Bathroom Update on a Budget

10 Steps to a Fixer Upper Style Bathroom, Budget Friendly

Urban Loft

How to Stencil Furniture Like a Boss

Paint Your Own Unique Sunburst Ceiling Medallion

Painted Woodwork (Gasp!) from Dark to Delightful


Linking up to the rest of the One Room Challenge over on Calling It Home Blog. Be sure to check out these fantastic projects!



Top 30 Fabulous Gifts for Women Over 50

Looking for a great gift? Try one of these fabulous ideas for women over 50! I am in the 50 club now, so I can write this post! This post contains affiliate links. By making a purchase I will receive a small commission at no additional charge to you. Thank you for your support!

Top 30 Fabulous Gifts for Women over 50|Designers Sweet Spot|

Top 30 Fab Gifts for Women Over 50

I recently became a member of the over 50 club. Let me tell you girls, it’s very freeing. Suddenly you have a new outlook on life. These gifts are selected from the viewpoint of a woman who has a new lease on life.

Suddenly, I am concerned about wrinkles, aging, beauty marks and greying roots. I am pricing compression hose, anticipating hot flashes and wearing colors that I never have before. It’s a whole new world! If you know someone who fits this description, these gifts are for her! Or for you, because suddenly it’s okay to take better care of ourselves! Here we go!

Holiday Gift Guide for Girls over 50|Designers Sweet Spot|

Gifts for Midlife Women

  1. Cute compression socks. I wasn’t kidding when I said I was pricing these out. Did you know they make compression socks in adorable prints??? That way the rest of the world will never know what they really are, or how fabulous they make your legs feel. Check out this fabulous selection here.Top 30 Fabulous Gifts for Women Over 50|Designers Sweet Spot|
  2. Fine home decor diffuser set. Face it, women love things that smell good. We also love things for our home. This combination is perfect with both a diffuser and candle in a fabulous Birchwood Pine Scent. What could be better?Top 30 Fabulous Gifts for Women Over 50|Designers Sweet Spot|
  3. Lip Wrinkle Remover. If you have started getting those telltale aging lines around your lips, this is for you! This product fills in those little lines and gives you a smoother lip line. A big plus, your lipstick won’t bleed into your wrinkles like it used to! Top 30 Fab Gifts for Women over 50|Designers Sweet Spot|
  4. Scalp Makeup. I had never heard of it either. Turns out you can camouflage your lack of hair with a brush and some color matched makeup. What a fabulous idea! Joan Rivers knows her stuff. Buy it here.Top 30 fab gifts for women over 50|Designers Sweet Spot|
  5. Cell Phone Fan. This is such a fun stocking stuffer! These little fans plug into your charging port and give you an instant breeze when you need it. Great when the hot flashes get unbearable! Order here.
  6. Wine lounging outfit. Perfect outfit to slip on when you have had a long day and need a glass of wine. Great gift for your girlfriends! Order here.
  7. Speaking of wine, a Wine Club Membership is a great gift. Each month the recipient will receive 2 or 4 bottles of their choice delivered right to their door. Premium wines without all the hassles. A fabulous hostess gift too! Join the club here.
  8. Beautiful Wine Glasses. At this point in life, our glasses are either chipped or mismatched. A set of lovely wine glasses makes a girl feel 20 years younger! Order these glasses here.
  9. Magnifier Light for Crafts. We don’t want to admit it, but we don’t see as well as we used to. This craft light will help her see all the little details in her project!
  10. If she’s at all crafty, she will adore this Circuit Explore Air 2.   These machines can cut anything from fabric, to paper, vinyl or metal in a matter of seconds. I am dying to get one of these for my craft room!!! A must have for the serious crafter!
  11. Pretty Planner for 2018. This Dayspring planner has beautifully designed pages with bible verses, stickers and much more! You will like it so much you will want one for yourself! 
  12. Joanna Gaines Mug. Anyone who loves farmhouse will adore this cute coffee mug. We all cultivate our inner Joanna Gaines sometimes! 
  13. Fleece Lined Yoga Pants: Perfect for going to exercise class on those cold days. As we age our circulation worsens and we need extra layers to stay warmer. 
  14. Beautiful Vintage Style Cloche hats.   I adore these darling hats for going to the grocery store and cold chilly days.
  15. Cashmere Wrap. You know you have always wanted one. Life is too short for imitations.
  16. Classic Chanel No. 5 Perfume Cheap perfume is no one’s friend. You know you’ve always wanted to be a Coco woman. Now is the time!
  17. Emoji Facial Mask. We tried some of these for a girls night, what fun we had! We laughed so hard ! Get multiples for girls night! Inexpensive but worth their weight in gold for entertainment!
  18. Every woman wants more youthful skin. The Clarissonic Facial Scrubber is fabulous for cleansing with very little effort. Helps give your skin a youthful glow!
  19. Faux Fur Throw for cuddling. These throws feel amazing for cuddling with your sweetie on cold winter nights.
  20. Cleaning Concentrate Set from Grove Collective. This product is all natural without any chemical ingredients. Simply add the concentrate to your spray bottle and you can clean just about anything from ceramic, chrome, granite, to stainless steel and more.
  21. Acute Moroccan Organ Oil for dry skin. This oil is a true skin super food! Incredibly rich in vitamin E, essential fatty acids, and proteins, argan oil helps restore texture and tone. Lightweight and easily absorbed, the aromas of citrus and ginger will invigorate and warm the senses!
  22. Glass Spray Bottle from Grove Collaborative. Ideal size for mixing your own cleaning products, pretty too!
  23. Japanese Kokedama Kit, for the gardener who has everything: These unique moss covered balls are stunning planters when hung. Great for indoors or outdoors, or even with a potted plant on a dining table. 
  24. Himalayan Salt Lamp. Not only are these lamps beautiful, but they are very therapeutic, and promotes overall wellness.
  25. Portable Light Therapy Happy Light to cure Seasonal Affective Disorder. A must have for anyone in a northern climate. Fewer daylight hours in the winter affect many people in the form of depression. Exposure to a Happy Light for a few minutes each day can make a world of difference in their overall health.

26. Reuseable Swell Water Bottle: These bottles are insulated stainless steel and keep liquids hot or cold for as long as 24 hours. Comes in beautiful prints and colors, like this faux teak wood print pictured above.

27. Agate Book Ends with Rubber Bumpers. Beautiful and unique for display on any kind of bookshelf or desk, these natural stone bookends will make a lasting impression for any kind of decor.

28. Geometric Wall Terrariums: Terrific for any room, these beautiful terrariums are easy to care for and don’t take up much space. Grow herbs, flowers or succulents in your home or apartment all season long. A unique gift for those with green thumbs!

29. Pugg Ceramic Tea Pot with tea infuser. These beautiful tea pots make a cup of tea into a relaxing experience. Dishwasher safe, comes in six beautiful floral designs.

30. Taylors of Harrogate Classic Tea Sampler Box. Delicious collection of teas that will keep her warm all winter long. This package has 48 delightful bags of 6 different varieties.


Wow, what a list! She will love any of them I promise! Don’t forget to pin this post!

Holiday Gift Guide for Women over 50|Designers Sweet Spot|

Love these ideas? Try some of these other posts:

Spray Painted Christmas Tree

Christmas Knitting for Gifts

Spray Painted Christmas Tree

Timepiece Christmas Ornament

Christmas Chicken Coop

Holiday Gift Guide for Girls over 50|Designers Sweet Spot|

Linking up to the Everyday Home Blog Christmas Gift Guide Blog Hop! Be sure to stop by and read all these great gift ideas!







How to Make Budget Curtains for Any Room

Budget curtains can be hard to find if you pay retail price. Here are my best tips for making them yourself in just a few simple steps. This post contains affiliate links from which I will make a small commission should you decide to purchase. Thank you for supporting my blog in this way.

Painted Woodwork (GASP!)|Designers Sweet Spot|

Here we are back again for week 3 of the One Room Challenge! This week our dining room renovation includes Window Treatments! Here’s what we have covered so far:

Week 1: Design Plan

Week 2: Paint

Week 3: Ceiling Medallion

Click on the links above to see the progress!

Competing in the One Room Challenge|Designers Sweet Spot|
Dining room before the One Room Challenge

 Curtains That Only Look Expensive

New curtains have been on my to do list for this room for a while. I dread a large project like this because it’s expensive and time consuming. However, this one turned out to be less expensive than I anticipated.

Here’s my story: Since I had my fabric picked out since week one, it was going to be easy to go and buy it at the store. Problem was they were sold out when I got there. Not good!

The Fabric Deal

After browsing the clearance rack of decor fabrics, I came up with two options. One was a lovely teal priced at $4.00 a yard. What a great deal! Option two was a lovely Waverly fabric floral print priced at $13.00 per yard. Not so cheap, but I really liked it.

I took both bolts to the counter and asked the clerk why one was so much more than the other. Turns out the Waverly floral was incorrectly priced. It should have been marked 80% OFF!!! Calmly, I explained that I wanted to buy the entire bolt, before she could come to her senses and charge me more.

How to Make Budget Curtains|Designers Sweet Spot|

Yes, I bought 7 yards of this fantastic Waverly cotton decor print fabric for $2.60 per yard. I have a total investment of about $12.00 with these curtains! It doesn’t get any better than that!

How to make budget curtains|Designers Sweet Spot|

Overall, the print is a wee bit darker than I had planned. However for $12.00 I will make it work. I am in love with this print!

You will see in this photo that I also have white sheer curtains. They were my first purchase for this house and I decided to keep them as is. I used small suspension rods to hang those curtains inside each window well. You can get yours from my affiliate link here.

Buy White suspension rods

White Sheer Curtain Panels

How to Make Budget Curtains|Designers Sweet Spot|

My method for making your own designer fabric curtains:

How to Make Curtains:

  1. Purchase Waverly floral decor fabric 54″ wide (affiliate link). Measure your window length, then add 9″ to get the correct yardage. DOUBLE the amount to have enough fabric for two curtain panels.
  2. Cut fabric to desired length (window length plus 9″).
  3. Make a hem for the side seams with a 1/2″ seam allowance, repeat again to clean finish raw edge.
  4. Finish the top edge by folding under 1/4″ on raw edge, stitch. Fold over again 5″ and stitch.
  5. Hem bottom edge by folding under 1/4″ on raw edge, stitch in place. Fold over again 5″, PIN in place. Hang up to window and adjust length as needed. You should have a slight break in the fabric at the bottom where the curtain pools on the ground under the window.
  6. Sew bottom edge, press.
  7. Hang on large wooden curtain rings.  I prefer curtain rings that clip to the fabric, they are fast and easy. These are the ones I use (affiliate). Hang and enjoy!

Don’t forget to check out the other posts in the link up this week on Calling it Home.

Here’s the next part of the renovation schedule:

Week 4: Table Improvements

Week 5: Wall and Lighting Decor

Week 6: Accessories and Final Reveal

Be sure to sign up for my mailing list for the updates!

Pin this post!

How to Make Budget Curtains|Designers sweet Spot|


Spiced Hot Apple Cider Recipe for Blissful Chilly Nights

Spiced Hot Apple Cider is one of our comfort staple foods. There is nothing better than a cup or two on those chilly evenings! This post contains affiliate links. Your purchase will provide me with a small commission. Thank you for your support!

Spiced Hot Apple Cider|Designers Sweet Spot|

Spiced Hot Apple Cider

Spiced Hot Apple Cider is easy to make. It’s even easier to drink it, cup after cup. We often make this drink while watching a good movie, or as an indulgence after a long hard day. You can make this beverage with fresh cider or bottled apple juice, but I must say the fresh cider has the most robust flavor.

It is wise to buy your cider mulling spices in bulk for the most economical savings. However, you will find that when you have all these yummy ingredients in the house, you are far more likely to make yourself this fabulous treat. BUY LARGE QUANTITIES of spices, because you never know when the urge will strike. There have been many late nights when I have wanted to run out and buy spices but the local grocery store charges 10X as much as what I pay for the bulk price. Trust me, you don’t want to be making extra trips to the store!

Here’s my favorite spice choices for this beverage:

Bulk Cinnamon Sticks

Bulk Whole Cloves


If you have a special occasion, you can zip it up with a bit of liquor! Just so you know, weekends count as special occasions in my book!

Cinnamon Schnapps

Cherry Brandy

Cranberry Wine

Delicious! Makes a great unexpected treat for company that drops by at the last minute too!

Spiced Hot Cider Recipe


Spiced Hot Apple Cider Recipe for Blissful Chilly Nights


  • 4-6 cups of fresh cider or bottled apple juice
  • 3-5 cinnamon sticks
  • 6-8 cloves
  • 1-2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2-1 jigger of flavored liquor per cup of juice
  • Fresh cinnamon sticks or cranberries for garnish


  1. •Pour cider into medium sauce pan
  2. *Add spices
  3. •Heat over medium high heat until warm
  4. •Measure out liquor, add to individual serving cups
  5. *Pour the hot spiced cider through a sieve into cups
  6. •Add garnish if desired, serve immediately
  7. To make the flavors stronger, bring cider near to boiling. Reduce to simmer, add spices and cook 30-40 minutes until liquid is dark and flavorful. Then strain and serve as noted.

Spiced Hot Apple Cider Recipe for Chilly Nights|Designers Sweet Spot|

Try some of these other delicious recipes, you know you want to!

Viennese Coffee

No Fail Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake Recipe

Summer Fruit Sangria

How to Pair Wine with Food

Holiday Cheese Board


Dining Room: The Simple Reason Before the Decorating Storm

The One Room Challenge is the cream of the crop for interior design remodels. This month we are working on renovating our own dining room for the design challenge!

Dining Room: The Simple Reason behind the Decorating Storm|Designers Sweet Spot|
Dining room before the One Room Challenge

The One Room Challenge

The One Room Challenge has been around for about 12 years. It originated with the Calling It Home blog, and is sponsored by Better Homes and Gardens and other fabulous brands. This is a very popular contest among bloggers and interior designers. I have wanted to try this competition but something always seems to get in my way. This year, I have decided to join the crowd and see what happens!

Here’s how it works: There are a number of chosen designers for this competition that work with major sponsors for the event. Trust me they are rock stars! Bloggers like myself can link up our own version of the ORC each week showing the progress in our rooms. If the project is popular enough, any blogger has a chance to be a major designer the next time around and may be featured in magazines or attract major corporate sponsors. I am not working with any sponsors for this event, just winging it this time around! The competition is held twice each year in October and April and lasts for 6 weeks.

Our dining room will be the subject of my posts which I will post each Wednesday through October and early November. This week is the introduction and “game plan” of the event. You see see the other participants in this challenge here.

ORC Blog Schedule

Here is my schedule for the renovations throughout the month:

Week 1: Painting

Week 2: Stenciling

Week 3: Window Treatments

Week 4: Table Improvements

Week 5: Wall and Lighting Decor

Week 6: Accessories and Final Reveal

Here we go! This is my for this room includes lightning up the space, and adding some color and pattern. Our home is an old urban farmhouse. Most of the rooms are painted beige. However, I am not a beige kind of girl. I know the world is full of beige rooms that are beautiful, but I am ready to move away from the plain neutral decor in this room. I am craving color and pattern!


Dining Room Decorating |Designers Sweet Spot|
Mood Board for Dining room renovation by Designers Sweet Spot

My favorite decorating style is probably farmhouse but I am smitten with English style antique furnishings, fine art and eclectic accessories. Does that make me English, Farmhouse, Transitional or just confused? Guess we will find out! Ha, ha!

Interior designer Tricia Guild has been at the forefront of cutting edge interiors for many years. I have follower her for as long as I can remember and she never fails to inspire me. Our dining room renovation is inspired by her classic furniture mixed with modern colors and fabrics. This inspirational video from is full of ideas for our dining room.  I have included it because you really can’t get the full idea of what I want to create without seeing these incredible rooms in all their glory.

Looking forward to the challenge! You can see last year’s final One Room Challenge posts here!  

Be sure to stop back to see the progress each week! Sign up here for updates! 

Be sure to Pin this post for later!

Dining Room: The Simple Reason Before the Decorating Storm|Designers Sweet Spot|

Here are some of my most popular design posts:

Thrifted Dining Room

Dining Room Reveal

Living Room Revealed

20 Stenciled Wall Transformations to Inspire You

Urban Loft

How to Stencil Furniture Like a Boss