This Site is Moving! Please Follow Me @

It has been fun here getting my feet wet on, but within the next day, I will be transferring all of the content on this blog over to my new self-hosted site, Snazzy Little Things @   All things remain the same:  the theme is vintage inspired DIY methods & vintage decor, and I embrace Steampunk and industrial decor, and distressed finishes.  We are still doing home improvement projects…and now we’ve expanded into furniture rehab and antiquing.   I’m constantly experimenting with something new over there.

I also started a Facebook page, where I post my DIY dilemmas and videos of projects I’m working on.   That is where I am the most active.

Won’t you please join me on both platforms, and use the “Follow” button as you have in the past?  I would love to see you all there.

Saving this old site was a good idea initially, but the theme is no longer supported and I’m afraid will disintegrate before our very eyes over time.   I’m still learning about the self-hosted platform and love it, but I’m making changes daily.   There are new features there that I can enable there, such as:

  1. A DIY Supply Store:  I have hand-picked every item, with a limited selection on what you can find in my DIY supply store.  This way, you know exactly what to look for when you’re out shopping
  2. A Project Gallery – including all 26 projects I’ve done to-date, with more coming.
  3. More sidebar options
  4. Ways to monetize my blog that I couldn’t figure out how to do here on and stay within guidelines.

So everything really is the same…just more features than before.

Thanks for all of your support here at Streetwise Decor…I loved this platform and my theme, but times are a-changing and I have to keep up with it.

Best regards,



My New Facebook Page!

snazzy cover2

Won’t you join me (please)  in Facbook-land?

Oh…and by the way…“Announcing my new blog name!”    Didja catch that?   “Snazzy Little Things” met the approval of my kids, so I went with it!   Still working on a new WordPress self-hosted site along with a new logo, but for now, the Facebook cover above will suffice for a brand identity.

Hope you like since it’s something I find myself saying OFTEN when I’m out thrift store shopping.   “Well isn’t THAT a schnazzy little thing??”    I dropped the “sch” off of “snazzy” but that’s truly how I tend to say it.   Seemed fitting since I’m going to be doing a lot of schnazzy antique rehab this year.

This is a huge step for me, putting myself out there (even more so) on the web.  Blogging has mostly been a creative outlet for me, but I wanted to find others who shared my excitement for budget DIY, antiques, steampunk, art nouveau & art deco and mixing all together with new stuff.    Facebook works best when I’m “in the moment” and want to show you something quick.   When I want to write about something…Wordpress it is!    Sometimes you’ll get a glimpse of something that doesn’t warrant an entire blog post.   So I hope to get to know all of you a bit better on the “dark side” on Facebook.

Oh…and THE NEW BLOG is being built…stay tuned!

Now a couple of questions…

Are “site redirects” allowed once I set up the new blog?  I don’t want to lose any readers along the way as I move to a new self-hosted WordPress blog.   (It’s on my list of “to-do’s,  just haven’t researched it yet). 

Thanks all!

My Painfully Neutral Home

A confession.

I live my entire life in black and white movie. Ok, sepia tones. (for real. see pictures below, no filters or special films were used in the taking of these pictures).

Between that and the nasty Ohio winter, I am starting to need light therapy.


Sure, a year ago I sort of preached that one should decorate in neutrals for the sake of making their homes more marketable in case of resale. I am hating myself for that right now. I’ve been talking like a bigshot like I do things that are cutting edge, and a design risk-taker, (hey, I’m getting there, like the Union Jack headboard) but the fact is, I’m a chicken-$h!t when it comes bringing color in my home decor. Not sure why I’ve done that…maybe it’s the apartment living all those years where the wainscoting and neutral walls were never my own? Maybe I’m just lazy. Who knows…

Try this sometime. Take pictures of your own house, then look at those pictures objectively. That’s pretty much what did it for me. My plan was to proudly present you with a house tour, but I was derailed by my brain short circuiting after fighting with the WP gallery widget. Nothing’s simple. And I’m slightly embarrassed that I’ve let things get this out of hand and didn’t buy anything other than taupe or brown for the last 15 years.

The fact is, I really haven’t shopped for anything this year. I’ve given away two household’s worth of stuff, every two weeks my kids seem to out grow their jeans and shoes, and we’ve been paying contractors. When I do shop it’s out of need vs. want. Annnd….what’s left in the house are the items I thought “had potential”. But before I’m too hard on myself, I will say that last year, we took on A LOT of major projects. Most of the shell of the home is complete. I’m still working on the steampunky man cave in our industrial basement. Yes, I’ve eradicated all existence of builder’s white, and the orangey throw-up-ey builder’s oak…so that’s a major step.

In the spirit of honesty, I posted a picture of my kitchen tonight. Sorry, not quite the “gallery” I was hoping for. Didn’t even empty the sink or stage it for ya. But look how neutral, huh? {Note the blue Dawn container-which is PROOF it’s not a black & white photo}.

So now, it’s time for a


In DIY blogland…I’ve encountered women who have achieved magazine-worthy homes by just driving by a pile of garbage on a rainy day, and transforming it into a beautifully staged French country farmhouse dining room set by that weekend. Complete with their perfectly groomed children dressed in white suspenders and a bouquet of daisies.  Every project is like an episode of craft wars, so it’s hard not to get envious when I step outside of my own blog. As I watch DIY projects unfold by these talented ladies, I find myself getting major trigger-finger to do a few projects of my own. My paint brush is almost always loaded, and an arm’s-length away.

So if I didn’t mention it before…Phase II of my decorating this year

I will be FORCING myself to use color!!

And…let’s just chalk up last year (Phase I) as “preparing the canvas”.   Thank you, Bob Ross.


P.S. – here are some updates:

1) The new blog is under construction, AND….

2) We’ve chosen a NEW NAME. (to be announced)

3) A Facebook page where people can share furniture re-purposing questions and post photos of projects that are nearly curb-bound. I would LOVE it if my other DIY blogging friends could help out.

4) I’ve hired a great designer to help out with my new logo…very pumped.

5) I am also stockpiling a few Goodwill purchases for some future projects as I declare the Phase II color assault on my home.

Tonight’s purchase:

A Goodwill treasure

A Goodwill treasure me out. What COLOR do you think this should be? I’m considering a Decoupage treatment to the drawer facings. I’m also thinking and where it will live–maybe in the overexposed morning room off to the left in the awesome picture I took below. Part of me is still wanting this to be a white or French Grey table. Here is a shot of the rest of my house (and before you pity me, I am making a trip to Ikea this weekend and on the list: a new, colorful rug…and brighter pillows for my couch and new art. Yep, I have a lot to do.


It’s a canvas, right?

Blog Phase II

20130202-210700.jpgLooking back at 2012, I realize that my relationship with the blogging world has been very fulfilling, but complicated. Streetwise originally started out as a way to channel my excitement for our DIY progress into a medium other than Facebook.

Don’t get me wrong, our Facebook friends were supportive of us when we spammed them constantly with our before and after pictures…but when you’re remodeling two houses on opposite ends of the state, keeping your head above water and DIY becomes almost the only thing you think about. The more pictures I would post, the more I realized that Facebook wasn’t the right forum to find other DIY enthusiasts.

It took me a while to get my bearings and to feel comfortable in blogland. Blogging my goals last year made me accountable. By stating one’s goals out loud, even if it’s to a single blog follower…someone, somewhere out on the World Wide Web is reading your story. Plus, when you find other people who share your hobbies and passions, you perpetuate inspiration inside your own creative “think tank”. It took me a long time to acclimate to blogland.

But I get it now.

Blog Phase One = RETIRED!
So here’s the thing…you can only do so much to a house. On that note, I declare that “Phase One” of our dueling house remodeling is DONE, and therefore, so is “Phase One” of the blog.

Blog Phase TWO
So onward and upward! Hello Phase Two!!!! With that, here are some ideas I’m kickin’ around for my blog this 2013.

Vintage eStore
I am assembling quite a mix of vintage home decor. Stay tuned as we put this quaint little collection together. This new site is under construction! You’ll find steampunk & industrial motifs, rock & roll memorabilia and much more.

More Budget DIY. Avoid trends. Embrace edgy.
I admit it, I love edgier decorating. To me…every wall is a “feature wall”. I love risk takers and have assembled a nice collection of other bloggers that think the same way. While I do follow some trends, I don’t think they should dictate every piece of decorating. I want classics! I want eclectic! What keeps me up at night is thinking of ways to use home decor as an artistic expression. I always, always push myself, and sometimes I miss the mark. But I want to have a house filled with items that reflect the personalities of our family members. That may mean doing something edgier that reflects our own taste, rather than always taking the safe route.

Feature Guest Bloggers
I want to WILL feature other bloggers and invite guest posters into the mix…people who are curators of all things unique. I also love risky DIY project do-ers. Steampunk enthusiasts, lovers of Art Deco, French Country, women with sledgehammers…this means you!

Be Budget Conscious. Ask “Buy vs. Build???”
So in Phase Two…my basic question is and will be “which is cheaper? To buy or build?”. While I love the occasional splurge, sometimes I do things as cheaply as possible for the sheer thrill of it! I want people to vote on these choices with me when I am at a design crossroads. I will post pictures of antiques that *might* come home for a touch up. I want to engage other curators of cool stuff on this site and build forums as well. I want I want I want.

Be Real
Meaning, I need to WILL post more personal articles. While I could say that 15 months of two home remodels occupied 100% of my time, the truth is I would draw a complete blank when it came time to write from the heart. Let’s just say that there are a lot of reasons behind why I have been so incredibly cost-conscious cheap…so maybe I should share a more personal side of myself. So I will work to do that in the coming year. I love people who have a colorful past, and my life is no different. Insert tags. – autism, divorce, single parent, discrimination, job-loss, ex’s, other people’s hoarding, finding love again. I may or may not write about all of it…but believe me, it’s all in there!

DIY In Progress: Sofa Table $40 Score!

Click the picture to read the full tutorial on my new website, Snazzy Little Things.


Rock & Roll…

One of our passions is collecting new and vintage rock memorabilia…of the punk-rock-British-invasion variety. Here is a sneak peek at some of the elements that will make their way to our newly remodeled industrial basement.

Continue reading

Cool DIY Blog List

Jenna was one of the first bloggers that I discovered when I started blogging early 2012, and she impressed me with her projects right out of the gate. Her ability to break down a difficult DIY project into an easy-to-read article is why I keep coming back.

Pretty Handy Girl BlogI thought I was handy, until I discovered “Pretty Handy Girl”! Brittany has some true home-grown talent when it comes to DIY, and isn’t afraid of power tools!

…I entered a contest at this site…be sure to visit Stacy’s site, she’s one of my new favorites with very easy to follow tutorials and an inspiration for my blogging efforts this year!

A year ago this month on a Saturday morning, I begrudgingly put away my Christmas decorations while lamenting at how plain my house looked post-holiday. Continue reading

DIY Reupholstery Sneak Peek

I never had sewn a thing in my life, so if I can do this, so can you. Click the picture below to see the full 40 picture tutorial!


Continue reading

DIY: Ikea Butcher Block Countertops

See entire kitchen transformation on’s “Rate My Space”!

Total island remodel project cost = $470

Before I post my own tutorial, I recommend you take a look at This Old House Butcher Block Countertop Installation for a great step-by-step instructional. Why reinvent the wheel, right?

Always on an extreme budget, I seriously wanted to redo my entire kitchen for, ahem, *less than $1,500* (don’t laugh). But in the world of kitchen remodeling, I realized that no licensed contractor shared my vision (and laughed at me) nor would they discuss any creative workaround to help me accomplish my goal. Continue reading

DIY: Painting Stair Railings & Fixing Color Mistakes

In this post you will witness my neurosis with color and getting it exactly right. During my recent stair railing makeover, I tried to step outside of my normal comfort zone and “warm up” my color scheme by bringing out the reds in my flooring. My house is an open loft style and the railing is visible from nearly every vantage point, including the kitchen, office, foyer, living room, sunroom. Each room flows right into the next. So in this case, the color had to be right.

My house had builder’s oak–everywhere! And when I say this, I mean that orangey oak that came standard with houses (and still does).


So here is my first iteration of trying to “warm up” my house with reds: Continue reading