...because home doesn't happen overnight.

Sometimes I don’t feel like conquering bigger projects. Sometimes I’m lazy. Sometimes I’m not motivated. Sometimes I’m all “Screw the journey. Can I get a fairy godmother up in here to wave a magic wand and finish this place so I can sit down?” Sometimes I just want to do something super easy that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg or require a ton of time or make a huge mess. Can you relate? Here are two quick, easy and inexpensive {think less than $15} projects I tackled recently that were all wham, bam, thank you ma’am.

this or that

The first is a succulent centerpiece for our dining table. I wanted something that could be left on the table while we eat. Nothing too tall that would obstruct views of the person{s} across the table and nothing too wide that would creep in on eating real estate. Not literally eating real estate but, you know, I don’t want a centerpiece taking over the table and crowding my plate.

this or that 2

I stole Jenny’s idea and painted a squatty glass bowl in a pearly mint. {It’s Martha Stewart’s pearl acrylic in mint chip.} I painted it one evening after the kids were in bed then let it dry overnight. The next morning I put some rocks in the bottom, covered them with potting soil and planted a trio of succulents.

this or that 3

Wham, bam, thank you ma’am. The bowl was $4 from JoAnn’s. I already had the paint and soil. I found the rocks in my yard. {The only time having rocks in my yard has been a good thing.} The plants were something like $3 each from Home Depot.

this or that 1

I love the pearly mint and live greenery on our table. And, bonus, I’ve yet to chase any succulents off my plate.

this or that 5

Next up is this fiery M. I let the kids help me with this one. I put the paper mache letter on a piece of cardboard and gave the boys foam brushes. I mixed up some bright orange and bright red acrylic paints on a paper plate and let the boys have at it. It took about three coats and some mama touching up to get ‘er done.

this or that 4

Wham, bam, thank you ma’am. The M was less than $5 from JoAnn’s and the paints were a buck each.

this or that 6

It’s a happy addition to our living room shelves and totally kid-friendly.

Why can’t everything be this quick and easy?

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking



OK, well you are MY fairy godmother. Because I’ve been meaning to put some finishing touches to my bedroom updates (lagging behind on my August Style Cure!)– and my plans were to add a wide bowl of succulents to my dresser and a row of family initials along a narrow sliver of wall. Now I have some inspiration– and ideas of where to find the items (for me, finding time to shop is the rate-limiting step.)


I can totally relate! I love the simple projects you tackled…they look beautiful! :)


Yes! We’re in the middle of a kitchen remodel and while I’m grateful we’re able to do it in the first place, I just want it to be over! Not to mention, I’m tired of all the money we’re spending on dinners out. I think we can definitely swing your two fabulous DIYs, however! I’m adding them to the list!! Thanks for sharing.


Love these ideas Dana! Thanks for the inspiration!

i just scored the same little pointy succulent from ikea the other day and put it in a gorgeous white potter also from ikea. love it and theyre slow growing = no creepin :)


We have a succulent centerpiece too. :) Same idea, in two white dollar store bowls. Maybe mine need to be minty-fied. :D


Yes I totally agree simple projects can be so rewarding quickly instead of gutting a room for example and going through phases to finish it. I loved what you did with the succulents and painting the glass. I’m taking a break from big projects and love the idea of doing fun easy ones.


Dana your house it turning out to be the most beautifully styled ever!! It’s so visually appealing yet so approachable. You really have a gift.


I totally agree- how do you make living with 3 kids look so neat and orderly? I have school papers everywhere and shoes -ooh- the shoes… maybe this has something to do with the fact that i have 2 girls and 1 boy. heheh Thanks for sharing all of your cool ideas.


It is the small things that make a room great, the small touches. I am just very bad at it. Simple but satisfying.


Your ideas are cool yet really simple. Thanks for this post! Now I’m inspired to make simple changes.

I totally know what you mean! We’re in a little project phase right now too. It’s nice to have a little breather and enjoy a project that can get finished all in one go. I love your projects – I’m all about plants that don’t creep too much too :)


Dude how do you keep Mabrey from pulling down all of the items on the open shelving?! My kid looooves to scoot the wicker baskets all through the house.


Mabrey can only reach the bottom shelf right now. The baskets on the bottom shelf hold kid-friendly items…mostly books, so she is free to pull them down and explore – which she does all the time!


I’m not going to lie, stuff doesn’t just disappear from our house. It takes some work. As soon as the boys are home from school we empty backpacks. While they tackle homework, I sort through all the {mostly unnecessary} papers that come home for parents. Same goes for mail…as soon as I bring it in the house it gets sorted. I have a large woven basket on the kitchen desk that I throw “look at later” papers in – from school and the mail. Once a week or so I go through those and do what needs to be done with them – returned, recycled, noted in my planner, filled out, etc. This is the first year I’ve had two in school. The amount of paperwork that comes home with them is insane and I even signed up for email notifications!


love the succulent centerpiece. ive tried my darndest to keep succs alive inside and they just aren’t having it. my outdoor succulents thrive, but my indoor cacti just don’t work. im still swooning over that dining space. it truly is just perfect. have a great weekend. oh and love the pillows, too.


I love it! I must admit I was a little worried when I saw that the beautiful round table was gone but you are exactly right, the new table looks great in that space and I adore the new bench. I was wondering if you could tell me the kind of light bulb you have in the Hoyne light fixture. I finally bought one (it went on sale!) and now am obsessing over which bulb to use. Thanks for all of the inspiration!


Yeah, when I see anything that is pearly mint I get reminded of Martha Stewart right away :) I recall a couple of her logos having similar color… I personally like the big red M. Its bright color adds life to the shelves.

Thanks for sharing this post :)


Can totally related. Sometimes you just need to start and project and finish it to feel you have accomplished something. I like your fiery M!


oooh, i made one of those little gardens in that very same glass bowl a couple of years ago. (and subsequently killed it – thanks to moving, pregnancy, and delivery complications, totally not because i have a black thumb…) never thought about painting the glass though! nice. love the color you chose.


Love the succulent centerpiece! I have several little succulents with no vases, this is a perfect idea! Since you used acrylic, does watering your plants affect the paint at all?


No, it hasn’t yet. I did let the paint cure for 24 hours before I planted.


[…] – easy-to-maintain houseplants In Ohio, everything goes dormant and turns brown for the winter but I need greenery around me. To […]

[…] The fun blue bowl is from Pier One (I think – it was a present and I already took the label off the bottom), and the sparkle stones are from Ikea. Snagged the little succulents from Lowes for a dollar a piece (clearance rack ftw!). The idea came from my favs Young House Love and HouseTweaking. […]


[…] Bulbs.com dining table – West Elm Boerum table in natural succulent centerpiece – DIY vintage kilim rug – etsy tulip chairs – Overstock, reupholstered by Springboro […]