...because home doesn't happen overnight.

After posting this nighttime instagram photo…

…many of you noticed something missing.

wayfair kit3

Remember that beauteous living art frame? And my apprehension at keeping all those plants alive given my hastiness in selecting the plants and my tendency to bring death to all things green? Well, some things happened. Some expected and some unexpected. The African violets died. EXPECTED. The rest of the plants lived. UNEXPECTED. Not only did they live – they thrived! So much that they quickly outgrew the wall planter. They became top heavy and it was obvious {even to me with my black thumb} that they couldn’t stay within the confines of the modestly sized wall planter for much longer. Reluctantly, I transplanted the living plants to an outdoor planter on our back patio.

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This picture doesn’t do them justice. They are huge. I removed part of the snake plant and put it in our bedroom but a little off shoot is still going strong outside in the planter.

With the plants living happily ever after outside, I was hesitant to replant/rehang the living art frame. I really liked the look of the succulent/fern mix I had going on previously but I wasn’t keen on having to transplant another round of plants in a few short months. Plants that aren’t so heavy, won’t grow so large, or plants that can be trimmed/cut back regularly would be ideal. And then while cleaning out the attic, I came across some artwork.

attic find 2

It is a painting of mine and HH’s first home in Illinois. Our best friends had it commissioned for us as a going away gift when we moved to Ohio five years ago. It means so much to us and I was ashamed {but excited!} to find it in our attic. HH and I both agreed that it needed to be put on display ASAP.

kitchen art 1

Now it lives in our kitchen where the wall planter once hung. It brings a smile to my face when I’m washing dishes or unloading the dishwasher. Lots of memories in that house. It’s where we brought home our firstborn. It’s where we first tried our hands at DIY and attempted {but completely failed} to find our style. Still, I can’t help but feel nostalgic when I see it.

kitchen art 2

I hung the painting with my trusty 3M adhesive strips. Do you recall my frustration with the magnetic spice containers? I added a picture ledge and eight spice jars from IKEA to remedy the situation.

kitchen art 3

I had problems with powdery and/or gritty spices getting stuck around the metal-to-metal closure of the magnetic containers. Over time, they became extremely difficult to open. These new spice jars have a glass-to-plastic closure. I transferred my powdery and gritty spices into them. So far, so good. I don’t have any problems with dried herbs or leafy seasonings in the magnetic containers so they are still living on the side of the fridge.

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Can you believe I haven’t spray painted the lids gold yet?! Haha.

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Sorry about the harsh lighting and shadows in these images. The skylights were doing their thing.

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I really enjoyed having live greenery in the kitchen so I’m itching to add some pots to the windowsill. What about the living art frame? It’s here, chillin’ in the garage with all of the other future project supplies. What is its fate? We’re 99% sure we want to grow a kitchen garden at some point. I think I’ll eventually plant herbs in the wall planter and hang it out back near the grill. {The planter can be used indoors or outdoors.} I’m hoping the herbs will fare better {not outgrow the planter} since I’ll be cutting them regularly. We’ll see…

This is what it’s like to live with me. I am constantly changing stuff around until it works and feels right. Tweaking, if you will. To family and friends, it’s like a game figuring out what is different from their last visit. But once I find the perfect spot for something, it sticks. I think this kitchen art is a sticker.

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking



I spray painted the lids of my spice jars (similar to yours) with chalkboard paint and then I can write the spices on them :)

The greenery has always looked so good in your kitchen, can’t wait to see some on the window sill. I love the added artwork though. You can never go wrong with something if its sentimental.

I’m pinning this just so I can remember your tip. That is such a great idea!!!


Gosh I just love your style! I agree with the tweaking side of things. It takes me more than a few tries to hone in on what I’m really looking for (although I am still very much in those beginning stages like you were in the first home). Thanks as always for the inspiration.

I love the spices on the shelf! I had the same problem with the magnetic spice tins, not to mention that they were almost too magnetic and could never get them off the fridge. And my OCD issue when trying to get them back into place in their “grid”. I may need to find a little space for a shelf and jars!


I just want to say that I am in love with your kitchen and your style! Those globe light fixtures and modern but classic design is just wonderful. Hope I can pull it off in my new home!


I mentioned painting the lids with chalkboard paint to HH and he gasped. He HATES the feel of chalkboard anything – whether it’s real slate or not. Bummer. I bet yours look fab!

I love that you have a painting of your first home! I also had magnetic spice jars but decided to switch them out after a few years because I wanted something easier to close and something with more capacity. I switched over to mason jars with chalk painted lids for labeling and love them!

The placement of your spice rack is awesome! It looks like you have a nice view from your sink as well, any sighting of greenery is a good sight! What if you color coded the spice lids? It might take some extra time but how cool what that be to have the colors ordered in descending shades?


I LOVE what the skylights do to your kitchen during the day, Dana. It looks like such a happy and homey place to be! :)

I love it! It screams ‘home’ :)


Oh that is sad!


Thanks Caroline! That’s what I think, too.


Oooooh, ombre lids!


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