Furniture Makeovers and Keys to Happiness

I'm hauling this re-done baby over to my client's family room.
Here's how it used to look.  It was lower and deeply tufted.
I drew a design that had a flat panel base, nail heads and raised it about 8 inches so they can use it as a coffee table, too...the upholsterer did a great job executing it!  The fabric is 100% linen.
One more look...
These chairs are going in for "rehab" too.
The black chairs are finished, with new cushions and paint touch-ups.

Reading about Sherry Hart's Favorite Room 
on Savvy Southern Style
made me happy and 
want to paint everything white 
(her console below was stained pine)
and collect old bottles
and speak with a southern accent.
Where is Sherry hiding the d@#* cable boxes?

Can you believe this is the view from where I got my mammogram?
I'm cancer-free for 18 years!  Feeling healthy is a key to happiness.

This is random but my husband and I just finished the last (third)
season of the HBO series "Game of Thrones."
It's got enough violence and sex in it that you wouldn't want to
watch it with your mother...but it can hook you.
Thankfully, no one gave away the season finale...
so, I won't...but I was not happy.

This is from Apartment Therapy ...
Here is a little sample...
"1. Make your bed. In a popular post last month, I explained the many benefits of daily bed-making. Gretchen Rubin, New York Times best-selling author of The Happiness Project, explains that this three minute task is one of the simplest habits you can adopt to positively impact your happiness."
I wonder if the more pillows you have on the bed, the happier you are?

My friend, Elita, also recommended The Happiness Project
...I just bought it on Amazon. The books are stacking up on my night stand!

I'm no authority on 
"The Keys to Happiness", 
but I'm pretty sure that
Birthday Celebrations,
Puppies and 
Coconut Cake
should be on the list.
My cousin's birthday party with my sister
(she made the Ina Garten Coconut cake--wow!).
The puppies are brothers.
Judge, the one looking at my sister, is hers.
Chief, the one on top of her head, is ours.
Chief is 3 1/2 months  old.  The San Pellegrino bottle is to give you size perspective...because when we saw him on the computer screen before we got him, he looked a lot bigger!  He's doubled in size since then.  

One last thought on happiness.
Recognize your blessings everyday.

For example, I'm grateful for a husband who cooks and
made this delicious
Vietnamese Grilled Steak Salad.

What makes YOU happy?


  1. I definitely think the more pillows you have, the better! At least they make me happy. Congratulations on being CANCER FREE!! That is amazing and something to celebrate.

  2. That ottoman is fab!
    It makes me happy to hear you're cancer free. I didn't know you once had cancer - congrats to you! Michele xo

  3. I melt every time I see the puppy, Mary Ann!
    The ottoman looks amazing! Love the black chairs too, and yes, the salad looks delicious!

  4. And congratulations on 18 great years!!

  5. Mary Ann... what a darling pup!!!! Makes me happy too! You did an incredible job on the ottoman!!!

  6. Great news on your mammo and wish I had that view at mine next month. Your little baby is so cute and I make my bed everyday unless I am sick.

  7. What a happy post! Gratitude is the key for me. Of course a great view, puppy's, any cake, and family fall into the gratitude category!

  8. awww i love Chief!! and congrats on the milestones - your health and happiness is the MOST important!!

  9. I love this post - so many things to make me smile! Congrats on another healthy checkup - I'm sure that view helps to calm everyone who walks in the door! :)

  10. The ottoman transformation and chairs look fabulous. I know your client will be excited at the changes. Congratulations on being cancer free for 18 years! I know it is always a relief to get the news each time.

    For me, one key to happiness is trying to remember to appreciate the small things and not take them for granted. I try to consciously think of at least 3 each day.

  11. Wonderful post and I loved seeing the ottoman! Gorgeous! Friends, family, pets and the beach are my keys to happiness! Cheers!

  12. You are so lucky to have a husband who cooks..lucky lady! Though I do love to cook (but have to be in the mood)! I love The Happienss Project,even for people who hate self help books this is a winner. I have bought it as a gift too:)
    Yes making my bed and seeing no dishes in the sink makes me happy...sometimes its the little things:)

    Gee thanks for now making me crave a slice of cold coconut cake and a tall glass of milk!

  13. I want a dog just like yours! SO CUTE. and i'm love with the navy and white bedroom too. you inspire me :)

    ps...think they dropped the wires behind the wall. I saw a pin on how to do it. will send it to you. :)

  14. I need to take a look at the book Mary Ann. I've heard lots of great things about it. The pups are darling and the coconut cake looks delicious. I saw the food network episode where Ina made the cake and have wanted to try it! Congrats on a healthy check up! I can imagine what a relief that must be:)

  15. First and Foremost, so happy to hear 18 years clear!! That is worth celebrating!!! Puppy Love for chief, major!!!! Pillow, Love them but not too many on my bed, and speaking of making the bed...... Read my post about making up your bed, you just might want to do it a little later in the day....http://goodlifeofdesign.blogspot.com/2013/08/you-have-permission-to-not-make-your_7.html

    Happy Monday Mary Ann, oh the fact that I woke up this morning makes me happy, good to be alive!!! xoxo

  16. Mary Ann, I loved this post! First off, congrats on another year cancer free! I just passed my 4th year! :-) That is most definitely something to smile about! I love your new baby! He is so precious! -And the ottoman looks fantastic! I also think that more pillows=happiness!
    My side of the bed used to look a lot like yours (with a quite a few books) and, even though I love the feel of a book in my hand, I have to say that I am a kindle convert. All of my books are now in one little tablet! I have the very UN-FANCY version, because I wanted it to look like a book page, and not like an iPad screen. I really love it. I still buy "pretty" books for around the house, and anything that I want to reference again and again.

    We had the wires hidden in the wall for our flat screen, and our box is in a similar basket. My guess is that she put the throws on top of her cable box, in the basket, for the photo. (But maybe she has a more brilliant hiding place! If you find out, let us know!)

    Continued heath and happiness to you!

  17. That ottoman turned out beautifully...and that darn pup of yours is absolutely adorable!

  18. First - Congrats on your great check up!
    Second - That ottoman is gorgeous!
    Third - I'm in love with Chief!!! :)

  19. The ottoman and chairs look great! I whole heartily agree that birthday parties, coconut cake and puppies are definitely on the happiness list. And so happy you were given a clean bill of health! Oh, and that salad looks so yummy!

  20. Congrats on being cancer free for 18 years. Love the ottoman and the fabrics you used and your pup is adorable. Ahhh, they grow so fast. My husband and I got hooked on Game of Thrones too. Haven't seen the end of the season yet, so thanks for not spilling the beans.


  21. Congrats on your mammo! That's awesome news! I love all your projects! check of the list! And have started reading the happiness project so we are on the same page. was thinking of writing a post on happy for tomorrow!!!

  22. Congratulations, Mary Ann. That is the best news. Those chairs and ottoman makeover are spot on, as usual. The puppy, the cake, the salad...all good things. Thanks for sharing.

  23. LOVE this awesome dose of happiness you shared today! Congrats on your great checkup, too!

  24. 18 Years cancer free is all I can take away from this chock full post! Iam sooooooo happy for you! XO

  25. Cute puppies! Yes, Sherry needs to explain the cable box doesn't she?! Love the ottoman & chairs!

  26. Awww, I love Chief- he is too precious!!!

  27. Hi Mary Ann,

    Congrats on another year cancer free! Looks like life is treating you well and you have a lot to be happy about. (including a husband that cooks!)

    3 1/2 years ago my daughter met a great guy. Yesterday he drove her up to La Jolla cove and proposed in a secluded spot overlooking the water. That makes me very happy! :)

    Linda in S.D.

  28. Mary Ann, so many beautiful images! Congratulations on being cancer free...so awesome!!! Woohoo!!!

  29. Congratulations Mary Ann! 18 years.....and healthy as ever!! You SO deserve it and I'm really happy for you!

    Wow....what a difference in that ottoman! It turned out gorgeous....the chairs too! Don't you love when you take an old, ugly worn out piece and turn it into a gem?? Yes....give me a can of white paint and I'll paint everything in sight!!! And the "white" coconut cake.....yummmmo!!!! But it's those two little darlin's that steal this blog post!!! Just SO...SO....cute!!! Thanks for sharing all your little tips....what better way to start a Monday than a post from you!! Have a great week!

  30. Mary Ann,
    Congratulations on your anniversary...a very important one. I love what you did with the ottoman, it looks great. I used to work in a law office with that view. I like my job in Costa Mesa so much more! :D I read the Happiness Project when it first came out. I love Gretchen Rubin and he wisdom on happiness. I now need to read her second happiness book.
    Your puppy is adorable.

  31. Having a husband that made Vietnamese Steak salad would make me happy! No such luck over here. Sadly I am the only cook. :o(

    How wonderful you are cancer free for 18 years and proudly share it to help others! Love the ottoman project, puppies and coconut cake too! Your random posts are my favorite!

  32. TV is remote, our cable boxes are in a cabinet. Sometimes it gets a bit confused though and we have to reboot it.

  33. Oops, remote is wrong term...the tv is wireless.

  34. Love this post! Such great ideas to ponder! I used to make over furniture all the time many years ago!

  35. You have been one busy lady....love the ottoman and its new look...and your puppy is so stinking cute! That cake looks yummy....sounds like fun!

  36. What a packed full of great stuff post (the ottoman is fabulous!). ! I think you said it perfectly - "RECOGNIZE your blessings everyday". For me, happiness is about being grateful for what I do have and not getting stuck on what I don't have. LOVE that your husband cooks - (Trader Joe made my Vietnamese salad tonight and I am loving every bite as I peruse though my favorite blogs :D

  37. Mary Ann I adore the new ottoman/ coffee table!
    I do suddenly get joy from making my bed,
    It makes the room look beautiful for the rest of the day whether anyone sees it or not!

    Feature:Designer Barry Dixon

  38. Holy crap...what a week I have had! Way too much love:) Love the change in that ottoman...and also love that you recycled! I will let you in on a little secret...they are in the basket under the throws:) So I can hide them anytime I want! Lucky you to have a husband who cooks. Mine thinks opening a jar of spaghetti sauce is gourmet .

  39. Ha Ha...what an idiot I am. I thought that meant you had been having mammograms for 18 years and so far no cancer.....not that you already HAD it. I need to go back to school. AND...big puppy love. Dang I could snuggle with that little face.

  40. I am always so amazed at how things can tranform with fabric. I have a few old chairs with a really ugly paisley fabric from 20 years ago and now you have inspired me to go to my local Calico Corners.

  41. Love the linen fabric.....and the puppies! :)

  42. Upholstery is such a skill. I secretly want to ask this guy I know if I can be his apprentice...I want to learn how to do it Really Nice like that! Beautiful Job. Yes Puppies, Yes Cake and YES YES YES Game of Thrones. They are Mine and I am Theirs:) Hurry Up with the next season HBO.

  43. Hi sweetie!!!

    How are you doing Mary Ann??? I was so happy to see your comments, my friend. Thank you so much for stopping by!

    And how about this??? Whoa! What a gorgeous post! I love the chairs, the ottoman, but especially your words. I will not take this day for granted... thank you for the reminder!

    Lots of love to you!

    Luciane at HomeBunch.com

  44. The ottoman made a lovely transformation. You made some great choices for the re-do. And congrats on your cancer-free anniversary!

  45. What a fabulous post! Not only does the ottoman take my breath away…it makes me excited about some things I've been wanting to recover for my shop! It was an amazing transformation! That coconut cake looks divine…and No, I cannot believe that was your view from your mammogram place! I'm so happy for you to be cancer free for 18 years! That is certainly something to happy about!! Hope you are enjoying a wonderful day!

  46. it's a great article, beautiful photos. Thanks for sharing this. I will share it through my twitter.
    from: wall decals wall stickers


  47. These are the great collections which I have ever seen. And most which I like are the chairs I think they are the best suited for my home and thus will surround a little space because in my small home there is a problem of storage and that's why I have put some of stuff into the storage units.

  48. Thanks for sharing I love this post - so many things to make me smile ! furniture is key of the happiness so i think classic furniture is the best for every one.


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