Hi guys do you miss me yet?! Don't worry, I'll be back next week with lots to share with you! Right now I want to introduce Mrs. Chic! Her and her husband are some great DIY'ers who pretty much tackles everything themselves when it comes to their home. I figured todays post would be great given that this is Memorial Day weekend and a great time to spruce up your home for summer! Take it away Mrs. Chic!

Thanks Lakietha for having me guest post today. It’s my first time guest posting and I’m very excited. I’ve been reading Home to three Duncan Boys for months, and I’m always amazed by all the projects Lakeitha’s able to get done with three little ones running around.

For those of you who are not familiar with my blog Chic Little House, my husband and I purchased our little 1956 rancher in Northern, California in December 2008. Since then we have completed many projects around our house {inside & out}. With the weather warming up, I thought I’d share with a two projects that you can tackle around your home that will make a big impact.

Everyone knows the power of paint and how it can transform a room or an old desk. Not only can paint transform a room it can work wonders on the outside of your house. One of our first major DIY projects we tackled was painting our house. I know what you’re thinking that’s way too much work, but trust me if you can paint honey oak trim, you can paint your house too!
A couple of reasons why we choose to go the DIY route is: saving money, we have a one story, and there’s that satisfaction of a DIY project. If you think about it, most DYI projects don’t cost that much. Why? because you’re saving on the labor. We estimated having our house professionally painted in the area we live in would have cost us $ 1500.

Our home on painting day

Tips for painting your house yourself:

*pick your paint colors in advance, think of the trim, garage door, front door, eves color.

*walk around your neighborhood during different times of the day for inspiration. Most home look good with a color palette of four of more colors. Our house has 5 colors: grey exterior, white trim, black shutters and red wood, wood trellis.

*Check out the outdoor paint color booklets at your local home improvement store, most paint companies have great color combinations.

Just like painting a desk, your house requires prep work. Here are some items you may need:

*broom to remove cobwebs
*paint sprayer (we rented ours)
*caulk for wood siding
*roller and paint brush

Remember to tape off your windows and watch for over spray. We got lots of help from my dad and his girlfriend and had so much fun paint our house! So invite friends over and have fun.

Our Home Now

Budget Breakdown for painting our house around $ 300.

we spent around $ 155 on paint (and had leftovers that is perfect for touchups)

$100 for paint sprayer for 24hrs

remaining money went on misc. items like paint supplies, shutters and house numbers

Another way to make a big impact without painting the entire house, is painting your front door. We recently painted our front door a cheery red!

Another project that really improved the look our house was installing sod ourselves. We got a quote from our landscaper who installed our sprinkler system in the front yard. He wanted to charge us $400 just for the installation, which was more than our sprinkler system with labor cost! So we went the DIY route. Are front yard is approx. 1000sq my husband installed the entire yard himself! I wanted to help but each roll was too heavy for me.
We order 2 1/2 pallets of sod

Here are a few tips for getting a deal and laying sod:

*Call around to sod farms and see if you can get free delivery. Some places will deliver for free if you reach a minimum square foot amount.

*When you lay your sod stagger your seams, and make sure you lay them tight.

*When laying over a sprinkler head use an exact o knife to make a sit. That way when the sprinkler head is lowered, it will disappear. Laying sod is hard work, but the transformation is amazing!

Thanks again Lakeitha for having my guest post. It's been fun sharing our DIY projects with your readers!

Thank you Mrs. Chic (oh and I can't forget the Mister)! You guys did an amazing job of sprucing up your house! I love the red door and how it just pops out against the house! Are any of you doing any outdoor entertaining this weekend? Do you plan on sprucing up your outdoors? If so, I want to hear your plans!

Have a great holiday weekend everyone! "See you" next week!



GUEST BLOGGER: BluLabel Bungalow

Today I'm extra excited! Not only does Sex and the City 2 hit theaters today, but I was able to score one of the hottest rising bloggers to give you a sneak peek of the decor from the set! So, to not bore you with all my blabbering, I'll allow Erika to take it from here!

Hello everyone, this is Erika Ward from BluLabel Bungalow and I'm excited to be a guest blogger for Home to Three Duncan Boys! With high anticipation for the upcoming release of the movie Sex and the City 2, LaKeitha asked that I whip up a post based on the film.

When I view movies like this I usually have to see them twice; once for the story line, the second time for the interior design. What's better than getting a "home tour" of your favorite gal's apartment and gaining inspiration for your own home.

It seems new photos from the sets are being released daily. The ones you see below are images from the official website or shots I snagged from the movie trailer like this one of Carrie and Big's bedroom.

The apartment, boasting bold wallpaper patterns, luxurious fabrics, and amazing furniture was designed to reflect how Carrie would interpret them as a couple.

A big congrats to Hickory Chair for having two furniture pieces in the movie. The Hallings Secretary designed by Thomas O'Brien and the Hunt Chair designed by Suzanne Kasler. The wallpaper is the Rococo Damask by Cole and Sons, the bedding by Anichini.

And who could ever forget the closet from the last scene in the first movie? A fashionista's dream! Notice the difference between the two sides. Big's side has dark, masculine wood tones while Carrie's side has white cabinetry, ample closed storage up top and back lit shelving for her shoes.

NET-A-PORTER provided most of the clothes for Carrie's closet.

Moving on to the kitchen and dining room...You can't help but notice the electric blue tile backsplash against the bright white kitchen cabinets. I don't know the tile's source, but I would guess Ann Sacks. See the inset of what appears to be the same tile, but in a different color.

The fabric on the dining room chairs is gender neutral even with its feminine details. For all you couples fighting about home decor, see if you can find common ground with this print Bellgravia by Lee Jofa.

I can't wait to see more of the living room below...so sophisticated without being pretentious. Here we see more of the neutral color palette, the repeat of blue in the sofa, and now an infusion of color with this gorgeous accent pillow.

The Birdie Blossom Pillow / The Rug Company will cost you $495 for its handmade needlepoint detail, while the Anderson Chair by William Sonoma Home is a close substitute for Carrie's modern wing chair.

Everyone's sweetheart Charlotte is seen baking cute confections while wearing this playful Baker's Delight Apron from Anthropologie. At an easily affordable $32.00, these babies will be sold out by Saturday!

Again we see beautiful white cabinets this time in Charlotte's professional grade kitchen. This time around she's the mother of two little angels and I cannot wait to see her in action! Who else can bake cupcakes like she can wearing a vintage Valentino skirt?

This post could go on forever with scene after scene of fabulousness that will make you green with envy! I'm also looking forward to seeing scenes from the girls' vacation in Dubai as well as the elaborate wedding that takes place in New York! Are you planning to see Sex and the City 2? Which of the ladies apartments would you like to tour in person?

Thanks, Erika! I wouldn't mind seeing all of their homes! But, if I had to choose, I'd pick Carrie so I could get a peek at that fabulous closet! I can not wait to see this movie later today! Who else is making plans to see the movie?!




Hi Everyone! Okay so it's day three of my time away and I can't wait to share with you what I've been up too! But, on the other hand, I'm really starting to feel a little spoiled by my guest bloggers! Today I would like for you to meet Tonia.
Tonia is a woman after my own heart! She is constantly finding great pieces at her local thrift shops. She is here to share some of her tips to striking gold on your next thrifting excursion. Take it away Tonia!

When LaKeitha asked me to be her guest, I thought long and hard about what I would talk about. My mind went all over the place trying to think of something. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks, thrifting; it’s what I do best. So I’ve complied a few hints and tips, some you know and a few you may not.

If you have not been thrift shopping yet, then I encourage you to try it. Most people picture dingy floors, clothing piled on a table, and funny smells. In every town there are a few like that and those are the ones I like most. Thrifting is a fabulous way to stretch your dollar.

1. Have a Plan and keep an open-mind
Know ahead of time what you need. You cannot go “thrifting” without knowing exactly what you are looking for. With that said, Look-out for any other hot items. {i.e. campaign-style furniture} It’s always a hit-or-miss when it comes to thrift stores. You can sometimes hit the jackpot, but make sure what you find is actually something you need, otherwise you’re just buying clutter, and you’re not saving money at all.

Found for $40

2. Look for designer brands and consider alterations
You would be surprised at the higher end labels that are lurking on the racks. I’ve found labels such as Prada, Carolina Herrera, and Lanvin. Don't forget about handbags as well and always try things on, but don’t overlook great quality pieces because they're too big. Its worth having alterations done. If it’s a label you’re not familiar with, and it’s a great piece, it could be a European brand that you’re not familiar with. If you have one of those "smart phones" you can always Google unfamiliar labels. I know I do!

Found at Salvation Army for $9

3. Leave the kids at home
Most times than not you’re sifting through aisles that are full racks of clothing and household items. Children become bored and tired easily when you are not doing anything that they are interested in, so leave them at home or with a sitter. If you have to take them with you bring lunch with you, so you don't have to worry with finding a place to eat.

4. Know the Sale Days
Salvation Army stores have half-off all clothing on Wednesdays. Goodwill offers half off their clothing on certain color tags, each week. You would need to check with your local store for exact details.

Found at Goodwill for $12

5. Make a friend
You don’t expect them to bend over backwards but if you’re friendly each time you visit, and address them by name they’ll surely remember you over time and may give you a call when something hits the store you might have interest in.

6. Have cash and go often
If you don’t find anything one week, go the next week. Inventory changes often. When paying in cash you will be more selective on the items you purchase. Have a budget and stick to it, yes even thrifting.

7. Have your own bags and boxes
Have your own boxes, bags, tissue paper and/or bubble wrap for those delicate breakables you might be purchase. Nothing like finding a fabulous piece, get it home and it’s broken. I re-wrap things and place them in a box in the trunk of my car so they don’t get broken. Especially if I know I’m going to be out most of the day.

...and don't forget the hand sanitizer! It's a must.

I hope these tips help someone that maybe new to thrifting.
Thank you Lakeitha, for allowing me to do my very first guest post with you.
I hope you’re having a well deserved vacation with your family. See you on next week.

Thanks Tonia for the tips! I have a question; Can I have the purse and the dresser?!

So, what do you guys think? Were these tips helpful? Do you have your own to add? I want to hear it!



Hi guys, so far my week is going great! And hopefully yours is too! Today, I would like for you to welcome Emily A. Clark as my next guest. She is one of my new "friends" here in blogland! I love her sense of style and her way of mixing things up. So without further adieu, I present to you Emily!

First, I have to say that Lakeitha leaves some of my very favorite comments on my blog, and I think she has a beautiful personal style, so I of course, I was happy to fill in for her while she enjoys some time off.

The topic of my post is one that many of us strive to do, but sometimes just don't know where to start: layering and mixing patterns within a room. The good news is that in today's design world, almost anything goes. However, sometimes it's hard to be confident in your patten-mixing ability. Here are a few of my best tips:

1. Layering patterns is easy when you start with a neutral palette.

If you start with a neutral base (sofa, flooring, walls, etc.), you can layer almost any array of multiple patterns by using different throw pillows. And, of course, the great thing about pillows is that they can be changed easily as your tastes change. Notice in this image that while none of the accessories--pillows, curtains, accent chair, or even the green vases--may not necessarily "match," they all work in the room together when added to a soft neutral palette.

House Beautiful

2. Vary the scale of the patterns you are mixing.

It's not so much whether you can mix florals with stripes with plaids, etc. You can mix lots of different patterns as long as you vary the size of the patterns. For example, if you have a really bold rug with a strong pattern, choose upholstery that has a smaller scale pattern (a thin striped chair, for example). Lots of patterns in one room only become busy when they are all at the same or a similar scale.

Lots of patterns done right:

House Beautiful

3. Throw an animal print into the mix to serve as a "neutral."

Although some people may think an animal print is a rather bold statement, it's actually a great way to bring in another pattern that works as a neutral. Almost any room can handle a small dose of the wild, and they are in naturally warm, neutral colors.

Country Living

Good luck mixing things up in your home! And, Lakeitha, thanks for having me!

Thank you, Emily! I'm telling you, it's so nice to be able to take some time off and learn something in the process! I think I'm ready to tackle painting rooms in my house and mixing patterns in a professional way;-)

Do any of you feel confident when you mix patterns? Do you like plaids and polka dots? Or, do you prefer the stripe with stripe look?!




Hi Guys!
I'm away for the week, but don't worry, I have a great line up of ladies to hold you over until I return! First up is Janell. It's no secret that she is one of my blog buddies and I'm so excited to have her share some tips on choosing the right paint color for your home! Take it away Janell!

Thanks Lakeitha for inviting me to be a guest blogger, while you enjoy a little down time with your family!

When Lakeitha suggested selecting paint colors as a possible post topic, I felt the same way I feel when a client asks for advice on paint colors! Anxious!! I really believe selecting the right paint color is one of the hardest aspects of creating a great room. The endless choices can create confusion. On top of this issue, colors rarely look the same on paint chips as they do on your own walls.

What I've learned, since starting my design business Isabella & Max, is that selecting paint colors often involves quite a bit of trail and error: select the colors, test the colors, tweak your choices, test again and hopefully find a winner!

So while I wish I had a magic formula for picking the perfect color each and every time, I don't. But here are some tips I've learned over the years, which will hopefully help make the process less frustrating and intimidating.

Tip #1

Before heading out to the paint store, first look around your home.

What colors are you drawn to? Are there colors already present in your home that you are loving, in a fabric, an accessory, a piece of furniture or artwork?

Also, look in your closet. Do you see that there are colors you are repeatedly drawn to?

Tip #2

Visit your favorite paint store and invest in a fan deck.

Having a fan deck will allow you to see the whole range of color options in your home. (Or simply clear out the paint chip display, to potential disgruntled looks sent your way by a salesperson.) How a color looks on a paint chip in the store will have nearly nothing to do with how the color will look in your home. The lighting is not the same, and the specific colors and finishes in your home will be reflected on the color, making it appear unique in your space.

Tip #3

Select your top color choices and test them...before you begin buying gallons of paint!

Once home hold the paint chips up against the walls, as well as the furniture, carpet, trim work and other items to remain in the space. Select two or three favorite colors. Next test these colors on the wall. Fortunately, many paint companies now sell pouches or test size samples of their paints.

I would highly recommend not jumping directly into your painting project prior to testing the colors. I've made this mistake before when painting a kitchen, as I'll share below.

Tip #4

Prime first.

First prime an area with white primer, in the room you want to select a paint color for, and then test the color here. Why do this? How the tested paint colors look will be significantly effected by the wall color that you are testing over. If your walls are white, you are ahead of the game!

In my kitchen painting fiasco, I originally wanted to paint the room Devine Color's Devine Blade, a fresh beautiful green. However, the color looked horrible when I tested it on top of the muted tan color the kitchen was currently painted. It caused the green to take on a neon appearance.

So instead I decided to paint the kitchen yellow. Random, I know. In the course of a week I painted the kitchen, each and every inch of the walls, three times, each attempt selecting what I hoped would be the right shade of yellow. I got so frustrated that finally I decided to start over from scratch, and primed an area to test other colors. And what color did I test? My favorite Devine Blade. And guess what, on the neutral primed wall this color suddenly looked fabulous! A couple hundred dollars in wasted paint later I was really kicking myself, as I once again drove off to the store to purchased more paint. This time the right color, Devine Blade!

Tip #5

Observe how the paint colors look during the day and at night.

Make sure to look at how the paint looks in different light, the color will change with the changing light! If you are loving one of the colors, proceed with confidence. But if the colors are not exactly what you were hoping for, try to determine what it is about the color you don't like and select additional choices to test.

I recently helped a client select a green paint color for her kitchen. We thought the right shade had been selected on our first attempt. But after the color was tested it appeared very minty on her walls. Knowing this characteristic was what we wanted to avoid, we again looked through fan deck and picked a similar color, but this time a green with a more earthy undertone. The second time was a charm!

Tip #6

Trial and Error.

So, selecting just the right paint colors can be a process of Trail and Error. The key is to be ready for this, understanding it will probably require a bit of time to find the right color. But hopefully, with a bit of patience, you'll find the perfect colors for your home and will find yourself painting happily ever after.

Enjoy your week!! Janell

Great tips Janell! I'll make sure I keep them in mind when I paint TJ's room;-) So, what do you think? Are you ready to go and tackle some painting?! Have you ever purchased a gallon of paint after seeing the chip in the store and you just knew it was the perfect shade only to be disappointed seeing it in your home? Let me hear about it!




Yesterday, I told you that my oldest (TJ) wanted his own room. And while we were at IKEA, I decided to do a little looking around to see if I found anything that would inspire me. I’m usually into the nautical rooms or the “pottery barn” looking rooms. You know the ones, worn, lived in, all American boy type rooms. They tend to have a weathered look (rustic I guess). The boldest color in the room tend to be red. Got the picture now?! There is no surprise that I gravitated towards things that were red, white, and blue. That was my color scheme and I was also thinking yellow because that’s his favorite color. Here are a few things that caught my eye:

IMG00145-20100512-1327[1] (2)

This headboard was a steal at $199. Although I could make it myself with plywood, foam, batting, and fabric for much less, having it already made for me is priceless!

IMG00148-20100512-1330[1] (2)

This is the HEMNES dresser and for $149 it totally could work. Again, I could find one on craigslist or Goodwill , and I probably will. That’s one thing I don’t like about IKEA, putting there stuff together. But, I guess that’s how you get the savings!

img00150-20100512-1331[1] (2)TJ like the yellow better! You can see him playing in the drawer of the white one. I think he liked how easily they rolled out:-)

Here are a few other things that I thought were good pieces

img00151-20100512-1340[1] (2) This fabric could totally work for a headboard…

img00158-20100512-1355[1] (2) These are the pendants that were giving new life by Janell for her son’s room

img00159-20100512-1356[1] (2) You may think these are a little feminine, but I think painted orange, they could be a nice graphic addition to TJ’s room!

IMG00160-20100512-1358[1] (2) Oh, I just love these! And for $40, not only would the work in a kitchen, but what about a nautical room?!

IMG00161-20100512-1400[1] (2) I really don’t know what this poster represents. I just like it!

IMG00163-20100512-1402[1] (2) But, this one could work for the room. I will be returning to get it now that I know what direction I’m headed in!

Here is the room that TJ said he wanted his room to look like


After handing him a few catalogs when we got home, he quickly pointed out this one (from Serena & Lily) stating that it was “fancy”. It’s funny because he likes yellow. I never would have thought that he would have chosen a room without it. But then he pointed out that it does indeed have yellow in the room. Do you see it?!

I guess I have my hands full on this one! I can’t wait to start. In the mean time, I will be taking a week off for a little R&R, but don’t worry, I have the most amazing group of women taking over my blog! I can’t wait for you to see what they have for you next week!

I’m still working on the before and after of the dresser. I may just post it to my other blog Swoon Worthy Boutique. I’ll keep you posted!

Have a great weekend!



Last week, TJ and I went out for some much needed  mother/son time.  What I’ve realized is that when you have multiple children, you have to give them individual time.  That way they don’t have to fight for attention.  Our day together consisted of a trip to my chiropractor (I think that terrified him) then we made a trip to IKEA. 

While at IKEA, we had lunch and we talked about how he feels being the oldest and having to share everything with his brothers.  That’s when he shared his feelings of having his own room.  First he said that Nick and Bren are best friends.  And I thought that was odd.  I told him that they are all friends and that they are brothers.  He said “yeah I know that, but they are BEST FRIENDS”.  He also said they are babies and that he wants his own ‘stuff’ away from them.  So, after a little more talking and eating, I decided to walk around IKEA with a new project in mind…. Giving my “baby” his own room!

I’ve already had a few images in mind of what I wanted their room to look like









Can you tell “I” love blue?!


The last image (above) was for their playroom.  But, now that TJ wants his own room, I’m going to try to use it as inspiration in Nick and Bren’s room because I’ve already purchased 5yrds of that striped fabric dangit!

goodwill transformations 009

I’ll show you what we found at IKEA hopefully tomorrow after my before and after post of my dresser.  Oh, and he also picked out a room that he loves because it’s (in his own words) FANCY! I can’t wait to get started on his room.  Although it kinda makes me a little emotional thinking about him as a “BIG BOY”.  Well,  I guess it’s time.  He will be 6 this year for goodness sake!



**all images found in Google images.  If you know the source, please let me know!**