Tips For Making Your Home Spectacular From Top Designer, Best-Selling Author

Sunday, 31 Mar 2013, 6:00:00 AM

Special To The Mirror

What makes a house a home? The answer for Dena, acclaimed designer

and author of “The Painted Home,” is simple: Look at every room as an

opportunity to reflect who you are by surrounding yourself with the

things you love.

From the kitchen, a warm and welcoming space, to the bedroom, a haven

for relaxation and dreaming, Dena offers a host of insider tips and

practical, whimsical DIY projects in “The Painted Home” that can bring

out the designer in anyone.

“There are countless yet inexpensive ways to transform the everyday

into something special,” says Dena. “With a trip to the flea market,

some needle and thread, a glue gun and, of course, paint, there’s no

limit to what you can do to turn your home into a place that is uniquely


Dena Designs’ home products include everything from rugs and

wallpaper to stationery and children’s decor and can be found in more

than 15,000 retail outlets, including Dillard’s and Bed Bath &


Dena’s favorite DIY home design projects include:

Layered Glass Vases: Create a one-of-a-kind centerpiece with a

collection of different-sized, clear, cylindrical vases. Print out color

copies of fabric or use wallpaper, sturdy gift wrapping paper or other

patterned material. Use double-stick tape to adhere the paper to the

inside of the vase. Insert a smaller vase into the larger one and fill

with water and fresh-cut flowers.

One-of-a-Kind Slip Cover: Slip covers are a great way to revamp a

chair and make it washable. Dena recommends a white slip cover that

provides a clean palette to let your inner designer flourish. Cut

circles, leaves or any shape out of a mix of favorite fabrics. Place the

slip cover on the chair and arrange the shapes. Use a simple

over-and-under running stitch ¼” from the edge of the fabric to add

charm and secure the cutouts to your slip cover.

Stenciled Wall: Stenciling a wall is easy and inexpensive-and adds an

interesting focal point to the room. Dena includes a stencil in her

book, or you can create your own. Beginning at the bottom corner of the

wall, adhere the stencil with low-tack masking tape. Put a small amount

of acrylic or stencil paint onto a palette. Using a stencil brush, apply

paint perpendicularly to the wall. Repeat the pattern until the wall is


Decoupage Plates: To help create an eye-catching wall, Dena suggests

grouping together a collection of similar objects, such as decoupaged

plates. Using thin paper, print copies of fabrics, colorful designs or

family photos to adhere to clear glass plates. Cut the copies to fit the

plates, leaving a ½” border around the edge. Use a foam brush to spread

thin coats of Mod Podge on the back of the plate and the front of the

image. Adhere the image to the plate and work out any air bubbles. Dena

uses a cork to gently roll out bubbles. After the plate dries, use a

metallic gold marker to create a border around each plate.

For the complete steps for these projects, visit For a copy of “The Painted Home” by Dena, visit

-- Courtesy of North American Precis Syndicate

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