ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Packrat 101: More is More

Updated on September 8, 2020
Vista15 profile image

I became a decorator at age 14. I 'found' a vacant house out in the woods and made curtains for that poor, dilapidated building.

Queen of Hearts and Bunnies

Decorating Magic? ...or Madness

I always thought when you aquired something, especially something you've wanted 'all your life', you kept it forever! Even if all your life was only 9 years. Back then I saved marbles...

I lost my marbles.

I am the Queen of Hearts.

I collect Bunnies. They multiply, you know.

I lived 10 years in a Travel Trailer.

It's hard to be a Pack Rat and live in a Travel Trailer.

And everybody thought I was having a good time.

Haha... I was!

Camper Years...

Camper before replacing carpet.
Camper before replacing carpet.
More changes besides new carpet.
More changes besides new carpet.
Bunk beds for my pups... Hero, top - Honey, bottom.
Bunk beds for my pups... Hero, top - Honey, bottom.

I Have a Keeping Room ... I keep everything.

Now I have a house. Actually, it is a duplex, so it's like 2 houses...

I keep everything. This room is meant to be a bedroom, and is, since I sleep in it, but was originally a dining room. It is that too, since I usually eat in it. It is also my Living Room, because my Front Room is storage. It is also my Office.

This is the West wall in the middle room downstairs. (Where I live.) About the most expensive item in this picture is the little dog, Rebel. (The one in the middle of the couch... $400. Inflation...the other one, Hero, was $150.) The couch, $46 and change...

My old stereo ($20 in 1980) sits atop a long coffee table (found in alley) under the window. The corner table was left by a tenant. The center art piece above the couch is an original ink and watercolor by an old friend, Rob Maher, from back in Minnesota. It was given to me. I paid 25 cents for the black shawl positioned above the artwork, then paired one on the opposite wall. Dang thing cost 2 bucks!

The coffee table was $12.99 and lends itself well to table cloths, mostly under $2 at the Thrift Store. The lamp was a gift from my sister and the shade had become mangled. I found this new shade at a Thrift Store for 75 cents... new tag still on it for $36.

My daughter, Tanya's, wedding and graduation pictures fill out the rest of the wall over the couch.

The East Wall

The East wall. My Office... Where I eminate from. Antique office chair was given to me 30 + years ago. (You see it in the camper pictures.) The desk, a tressel table left by a tenant. Small dresser, found in alley and painted white. The two wool rugs, both for $150, on sale for 25% off.

The center art is an oil painting glued to a mirror... $18.50 at a consignment shop... the rest is partly my son, Tracy's, wedding pictures and Kris Kristofferson memorabilia, including a charcoal pastel drawing I did. Oh, I guess that's the only one showing. There's more off to the right.

Ah... The South Wall

South wall, same as the first photo, showing Queen of Hearts scarf gracing the window, some bunnies and my cat, Moni, in the basket.
South wall, same as the first photo, showing Queen of Hearts scarf gracing the window, some bunnies and my cat, Moni, in the basket.

For a long time I didn't get any pictures of my South wall... finally got this one trying to get a good picture of my cat, Moni. Here she's sleeping so that's not it, either.

The red box on the left (seen better in the first photo) was found down the alley and is sitting on a wrought iron stand, actually an aquarium stand, also found down the alley.

The Queen of Hearts Scarf gracing the window, is a silk scarf design from Diane Von Furstenberg, a splurge of $25. It sat in a drawer for years and I finally decided it needed to be used! I knew it would deteriorate, and it did, but recently I aquired 2 kittens who are now mostly grow'd, and they discovered they could see out the window after I pulled the A/C out of the window and set it on the coffee table, then the stereo on top and the basket as well...brought it closer to the window. First they ripped the bottom row of cards off, and now they've ripped off the Queen's head. Ouch!

Can you say eBay? Yup, I found one, paid double what I bought this one for, but it's VINTAGE! and it's on it's way to me as I 'speak'.

We've talked about the $36 lamp shade already... but then there's the octagon mirror. One of the Thrift Stores used to sell the items in the display windows on the 1st of the month, but I think they had too many people hasseling over them so they stopped doing that. Anyway, the mirror was in the window and I wanted it. I had to get there at 6:00 in the morning to get in line for the 'bargains'. I figured around $10 and I was right, it was $10.99. But I still like it.

Not as fancy as the scarf hanging, but it will protect it...

New Queen Of Hearts Scarf, framed.  Cats can' t get this one...
New Queen Of Hearts Scarf, framed. Cats can' t get this one...

And the North Wall

North wall.  This has the desk set-up I had in the an antique hutch over it.
North wall. This has the desk set-up I had in the an antique hutch over it.

I was sitting on the couch one day looking at the North wall and thought it needed something black and large on top. My guitar!

Life is so simple.

Tanya Tucker has been moved to the East wall and my Blackhawk Jacket hangs where it was. The guitar is autographed by Blackhawk. I won't say what I paid for it in a Celebrity auction, but since Van Stephenson has died, it is priceless.

The TV went the way of the world... analog.

The right section of desktop is from a sewing machine table I discuss later, as part of it went for another use.

And that cabinet... the forerunner of the TV stand, '50's style, now has two drawers fitted in it that I found down the alley.

And, of course, that antique hutch was given to me. And the black and blue file cabinets, that I haven't got painted white yet, were $6 and $7, respectively. The white ones I had paid $40 apiece for them, back in the olden days. (before Thrift Stores.)

My Kitchen Looks Like an Ice Cream Parlor

When I moved downstairs, it was beige. BEIGE. In a north room... it was morbid. I first painted the ceiling a dark yellow. The cabinets were varnished, probably a walnut, because some of the cabinet doors, about the same shade, were unfinished plywood that had darkened with age. There were 3 drawer fronts missing in the sink section. Two others were missing from a 4 foot section by the stove, which I relegated to the basement and fitting perfectly under the stairwell, after a trip to the upstairs apartment where it didn't work. A lot of hard work...

There was 3 sections of wainscotting I painted ice blue. Then I started painting the walls white, and the edges of the cabinets. I had found a 7' cabinet section down the alley. I propped it across the open trunk of my (old) car and lashed it to the hinges and carefully drove down the alley home. It kind of teeter tottered, but I got it here. I had put the 5 drawers in the back seat. It was painted teal and missing a counter top.


I added the bottom photo as an extra, because it gives a close-up of the details.

This also shows the island I purchased as a floor sample sale item.

The wicker light was left in the basement by tenants.

The photos on the wall are remnants of my years in Nashville, namely me with Toby Keith, Doug Supernaw, Mark Collie (in the 1st picture), Vern Gosdin, Rodney Crowell and Deborah Allen, (this picture) ... excuse me while I namedrop...

Costs... Refrigerator: $299, scratch and dent from ApplianceSmart.

Island: $79, floor sample, reduced from $129, Home Depot.

Sink Faucet: $25...?

Ceiling Fan/Light: $13.88, Wally World. (I bought 4! Have installed 3.)

Bar Stool: $4, Thrift Store, upholstered in blue & white stripe $1 yard fabric.

Microwave: $15 Flea Market.

For the third time in my life, I used a trio of colors on kitchen doors and drawer fronts. First was in the '60's when GREEN, YELLOW and ORANGE was the rage. Next was the '80's when I did some remodeling for an ex-boyfriend (silly girl) and combined AQUA, BURGANDY and ORANGE.

Now if you're paying attention here, kitchen cabinets typically have even numbered doors and drawers, so the three-color combination does some scary things.

These shades, though, are ICE BLUE, BANANA YELLOW and MINT GREEN... and it's like walking into an ice cream parlor.


It didn't come this way.... so far all the pictures have been AFTER pictures.

So, here we have work in progress. I had water damage from up above, though I couldn't figure out why.... until I remodeled the apartment upstairs and discovered pigeons had made a hole in the wall of the closet and water drained down on the kitchen ceiling and the wall.

The counter top was thrown out by my neighbor. He cut it in two, jagged, to get it out. (Didn't know I wanted it.) This was the butcher block style Formica so popular earlier on. Matched all I already had, upstairs and down. I had to cut it off and found more further down the alley that I needed to make it 3 sections.

Ah, cleaned up well...! I had used tape over the seams, until I finally discovered I could fill it in with epoxy.

I hadn't put the edges on yet when this picture was taken.


Temporarily done and put into use. I have floral fabric in green, yellow and blue on cream background to make Roman shades for this room.

I worked as a sample lady in Krogers and other stores for several years. The Kuerig coffee maker I got to keep after doing 6 demos, and the Water filter unit was about the same. You buy the bottle of filtered water that mounts upside down on it. I call these my freebies.

Peg Rail Shelf

I built a shelf and peg bar at the top of the wainscotting. This shows up in a previous picture, much more loaded... but here is a jacket of mine... and one of Hero's.

Focal Point

Finished Product

This cabinet was $6 at a Thrift Store and had varnished plywood doors. I took them off and used them elsewhere. And painted it white. It is the focal point for the kitchen. When you come into the kitchen from the front room/foyer, your eyes go to the far wall and this unit.

I paid $4 for one of the baskets, but the rest were either a dollar or found/free.

The top and wall hold the THEME. Heart basket for the Queen of Hearts, Bunny is my mascot, bees and hive are the Honey theme of the kitchen itself.

Today, there is a feeding station for my animals in front of the baskets on the bottom shelf... a black ceramic octagon water dish, a long ceramic tray for nuggies, and a small clear glass bowl for milk.

A close-up of the tablescape.

Nov. 30, 2013

Forgotten little corner of my kitchen...

This is a Dry Sink I finally got painted white. I bought it for $15 at a Thrift Store.

This is the area between the refrigerator and the doorway to the Bedroom and Keeping Room.

Above the Dry Sink is an antique shelf found down the alley. I did nothing to it but clean it up and hang it.

I also have an old ladder I plan to hang over the windows and use as a shelf. I have 2 strings of patio lights that will drape over the rungs. They are brown wicker. Someday it will all be 'finished'....

I Made a Closet in My Bathroom

Behind that cabinet with the baskets is a door to the bathroom. Hmmm.... there was a door going into the bedroom, too. I detest a bathroom door off the kitchen, so I closed it off and built a (much needed) closet behind it.

This bathroom is tiny, about 4' X 7' without counting the closet space. I added this dresser which I got for $20 at a used shop, and that about completed the room. There are 2 Bread Boxes above the toilet that have now been painted white.

Here you see a little 4 drawer cabinet that fits perfectly between the camode and the bathtub. I made this from a sewing machine cabinet ($8), and used the top as part of the desk top, first in the camper, and now in the Keeping Room.

I made the toilet paper holder from a paper towel holder.

Going around the room, you see a striped fabric on the wall. This is heavy canvas from a Thrift Store shower curtain... not over $2. I insulated the wall behind it. I have some white 4 inch ceramic tiles I want to put on the wood below the window.

One more picture of this little bitty room... it is so compact it reminds me of my camper. But then, the bathroom there was 24 INCHES X 30 INCHES... !!!

Here is a small shelf I put up temporarily, 6 years ago! that I made for something in my other life.

I have one of those $5 door mirrors over the sink. That was intended to be temporary, too, but when I took it down and put up a nice oval mirror eye level, it didn't 'work'. I put a similar one below it. That didn't 'work', either. So, the door mirror went back up! It helps the room to appear bigger.

I bought the clown picture because I liked it, and one day decided to put it in the bathroom. I have recently moved it to above the towel rack and it looks better there. I don't think I paid $5 for that.

Bedroom Remodel... 2 years - plus in progress

The puzzle (mess) my son left me...
The puzzle (mess) my son left me...

Nice lamp

Now, mind you, Son did a lot for me. Besides a lot of the work upstairs, he did most of the insulation and sheetrock in my bedroom and ALL of the mud work and sanding. So I hate to complain...

...but what he didn't help me with was putting this shelf up!

What would have been a 15 minute job for two of us, took me 2 hours by myself after he left... I asked him 3 different times. The shelf was $7.

I jumped over a picture there... the one above is how I plan to set the bed when I finish the room. The bed frame was $10, then I had to buy rails and they were $20.

This bedroom will be ALL WHITE with gold accents, and a few pastel things. Also, most of my rabbit collection will be displayed here. I have some pieces of white carpet I will be using instead of the rug shown in the upper picture.

I'm going to add one more picture to show it is 'coming along'.

Coming together...

See, here all the casings are painted on this double window that was such a mess in the first bedroom picture.... It just needs to be painted around the glass. [Which has now been done. Just didn't get a new picture yet.]

So here we have the finished windows on the left, and a macrame hanging shelf, $3 at a thrift store. I even managed to find a stud to screw the hook into! Which is good, because I have a spider plant on the bottom shelf. It's starting to feel like 'finished'!

July 1, 2013

I put up lace curtains on a rod at the top. Now it really looks 'finished'.

I plan on 3 layers of curtains, all white, but this is a neat start, even though the lace will go against the glass on a tension rod inside. Then there will be eyelet Roman Shades hanging in front of them and the rod the curtains are on right now, temporarily, will be kind of a princess style ruffled drape, mostly to the side.

Getting there... curtains and mirror

Okay, here I have the casings up on the right window and it is ready to paint (white.) And I got the tension rods for the, lace curtains on the left window, and put them up. Also put up a mirror in the middle of the window, which was a freebie, given to me by a friend. I took the macramé shelf down to work on the right window. But it's starting to feel like a bedroom...

Aug 5, 2013

Sneaking this one in...
Sneaking this one in...

September 17, 2013

This little corner cabinet, left by a tenant, rounds out this small square room.
This little corner cabinet, left by a tenant, rounds out this small square room.
My Kickbike is encorporated into the design, and look... we have Maui in the standing mirror. You see a bit of the lamp shade.  It stands just inside the doorway, so you can reach in and turn on the light.
My Kickbike is encorporated into the design, and look... we have Maui in the standing mirror. You see a bit of the lamp shade. It stands just inside the doorway, so you can reach in and turn on the light.

Pretty much finished... Whew.

Everything is back in the bedroom now... but the BED.

My Pizza Chit camera won't take the whole room, and my computer batteries are dead, so I can't video and pull snapshots... But I have a one-time use camera I'm documenting the project with, so I maybe can add some good photos later.

I still have to make my Roman Shades (white eyelet) to go over the lace curtains and Priscillas to go over all...

And I haven't got all the pictures and accessories up... which will include my bunny collection. You see a few already in these pictures.

I have an air mattress for the bed and 3 cats! I've been trying to figure out how to keep them out permanently. So far, they have taken over the room! They think it's theirs! I can't just close the door, so what I am going to do is turn the door into what looks like a peg board, drilling holes all over the panel sections. It's got to have circulation. There is a heat vent, but no cold air return.

Anyway, this project has taken almost 3 years. I will LOVE it when I can sleep in there!

More More More

Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 28, 2013.  The bed goes here.  The 2 small mirrors went in the bathroom.
Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 28, 2013. The bed goes here. The 2 small mirrors went in the bathroom.

Frosting on the Cake

I kinda changed my mind on the Roman shades, and will be leaving the eyelet as Priscillas over the lace panels, since there is one to put on the south window, and will use a the other pair I have for the shades that will hang between them, and the Priscillas can probably remain tied back... hopefully. But isn't this just beautiful?

This is a wicker etegere` I found at the edge of the alley the day after Christmas one year. It had been raining and it was very bowed. The shelves wouldn't stay in place. Ha! I brought it into my kitchen, tied a rope around it with the shelves in place, and when it dried, it was perfect. Apparently, my neighbor got a new cabinet for her Knic Knacs and I got THIS! It was natural and took about 8 coats of paint to get it covered. But I dearly love it.

The picture, which will go on the wall above the cabinet (that's the one that had all the tools and lamp on it during the remodel.) is a poster of a painting someone did of a Landmark restaurant in Nashville, The Elliston Place Soda Shop, that I cleaned for the better part of 2 1/2 years. I found 3 of them in the trash one night... The little picture in the corner is a snapshot of the actual building.

The round boxes, 2 on bottom shelf, one on top shelf, will be next to my bed as a night stand... It actually is set up in the picture I showed the placement of the bed.

My sweet Kickbike. Probably the most expensive thing in the room. Close to $400 by the time I paid shipping from California.

The twin King sized night stands were mahogany before I painted them. I paid $25 for the pair. They are unique in that the door lifts and slides into the cabinet.

The Door

I did drill holes in the door, and it makes a major difference. Looks kind of neat, too.

I still have to put the plates back on and I have antique glass door knobs for it. Tweaking, tweaking... [Got that little job done.]

Still Tweaking: December 18, 2013

Soda Shop, Butterflies and Boy/Girl drawings in octagon frames.
Soda Shop, Butterflies and Boy/Girl drawings in octagon frames.

This, of course is the Soda Shop picture I mentioned in Nashville. I surrounded it with 2 butterfly pictures and little Boy and Girl pictures in octagon frames. What I really should do is frame the little snapshot of the actual building an put it under the butterfly pictures.

Bird print flanked by BB Bunny framed cards with ecru signature shawl draped above.
Bird print flanked by BB Bunny framed cards with ecru signature shawl draped above.

There is actually a story about the BB Bunny cards. They are copyright, 1989. Back then I saw a picture and an article in the newspaper about this woman who trains and photographs bunnies. I was publishing a little magazine for a bar I owned back then, so I managed to get a hold of this woman and did a phone interview with her for an article in my magazine. She gladly offered to send me more pictures and included a box of the actual cards. I saved these all these years until I found the right spot for them

I still have 2 more cards, but they wouldn't fit this display, so maybe I can find a place for them somewhere else eventually. On the back of each card it says, 'B.B. Bunny and Friends are alive and hoppy with their trainer Genny Gentry in Tucson, Arizona.'

There is a video I found on You Tube of a demonstration with her bunnies. It also says Genny was deceased recently. What a treasure it is to still have these.

How I Found It (April 2001)

Yes, that's me.
Yes, that's me.

The Worst of it

2008 ~ One Picture is worth a thousand words

I have since fixed the cement blocks and it looks better.
I have since fixed the cement blocks and it looks better.

My Front Porch Looking In

This is actually 2005. The little one going down the steps went to Doggie Heaven on August 7, 2005, just a little over a year after I had one like her killed by a German Shepard at age 7 1/2. I don't want to get morbid, but her name was Honey Pearl Joy Dreym, the first Pom I had, that I bought in Nashville and raised in the camper (remember the bunk beds?), along with Hero (the) Great True Dreym... on the step here with Mitzi Sweet Baby Dreym, who was a Throw-away. I had Miti 2 years, she doubled her weight and died of a probable heart attack.

I still have Hero. He is 15 years old, and showing his age. He lost most of his hair after Miti died. I got another one, Rebel Jett Star Dreym (seen on the couch in the Keeping Room), but Hero didn't like him. He wanted another girfriend. Hero's ears scrunched from swelling, and he is losing his sight and hearing. Poor Baby...

See the tree how big it's grown...

2010...$100 car.
2010...$100 car.

I love this house. It still needs some roofing and repairs, but the landscaping is shaping up well, too. I still have to finish my dog's little playpen. I still have enough pickets to finish. I bought 7 sections, plus 4 posts from a junk man for $60. I've found more 4 X 4's, so I have enough of those, too. This man lives behind me across the alley, so if I need something I can't find, chances are, he has it.


Here is some of the work in progress with the fence. I cut the pickets scalloped with dog eared tops.

Now let's go upstairs...

Handrail has been painted blue.
Handrail has been painted blue.

Dining Area

This is the west end of a narrow kitchen. There are 5 windows and here you see one of the Roman Shades I made for the entire room. In fact, there are 14 windows upstairs, that I made these shades for. All of the material was bought at $1 a yard.

The area rug was found. The chairs were found, painted and re-upholstered. The table was left in the basement and I painted that.

Kitchen... 3rd remodel

I had so much fun with the 3 color combination downstairs, I did the same up here. I wanted primary colors, but not 'Kids' colors, so I had the medium light blue left over from a room painted downstairs by tenants, mixed a Honey shade of yellow from paints I had, and had a red mixed, the only full priced (quart) of paint I bought, called Late Tomato. Price: $6 or $8. I don't remember full price, only the bargains! I really like how it turned out.

Room divider... in back of the refrigerator, is a 3 shelf book case left by a tenant and a 2 door cabinet perched on top found down the alley, I call a China cabinet...

Here we have the new stove and refrigerator, $300 each. Microwave stand, $17, used. The little cabinet above was $25... but it just fit in between the 2 sets of windows on the south wall.

Cut outs for light and circulation

Here is my son, Tracy, making cut-outs between the kitchen and middle room for light and circulation. I had thought about it when I was living up there. When I first mentioned it to him, he didn't think much of the idea. But after thinking about it for a while, he picked up on my idea.

Note: I used the same yellow paint on this kitchen ceiling as I had downstairs. It blended with the counter tops and lifted them.

Also, it was one of two gallons of paint I had purchased 3 for $1. ...there was only two I could use. This being a closing of a Thrift Store and everything left was offered for 3 for $1... I made my 3rd item a wooden item that had little nick nack shelves in the corners and a large mirror in the middle. I'm not sure it's original purpose, maybe a headboard, but it fits perfectly on my fireplace mantle downstairs. Dimensions are about 4' X 4' and 7 inches deep. The mirror is about 3' X 3'. Sorry I don't have a picture to show. I mean, that's about the best 33 1/3 cents I've ever spent!

Finished product from the other side, the Middle Room. (Equivalent to my Keeping Room.)

Also, note the ceiling fan/light. I bought 4 of these when I first bought the house, for $13.88 apiece. I have installed 3 and used the 4th for replacement parts.

From the kitchen side again. My current tenants have voiced they like this feature.

Front Bedroom

Here my son is going through some of his things in the front bedroom. It didn't take long for the beard to come off.. he didn't want people thinking I was his girlfriend... Oh, darn. He stayed 4 months and did a lot of helping me get the apartment ready to rent again after it had been trashed. (after a complete remodel, including 3 rooms of new carpet I haven't been able to do downstairs... I don't remember the total cost, but it was $7 per yard with pad.)

Note the Mexican hand-carved wooden screen. It has 5 sections, but wasn't completely unfolded. This was a consignment find I watched for a few months. It's origninal price was $750. They had it up for sale for $350. Next time it had gone down to $285. Next time I stopped it was $218. I nabbed it. I doubted it would come down any further, or someone else might have been watching it, too. I have brought this downstairs now and am using it in the foyer. Tenants seemed to love knocking it over...

Floor lamp was a thrift store find at $6.

The bed frame was in the basement. I painted it white. The mattress and founation I had bought for myself ($300) and didn't like it. I moved it upstairs and went back to sleeping on my couch. I bought an air mattress...still in the box.

Middle/Living Room

The Middle Room used as a Living Room. Son's bike and bike parts, but furniture is mine. I bought the Love Seat new for $285. I have another one that is similar shaped with a blue and white check pattern with little peachy colored flowers in some of the checks...I bought it used, damaged, for $27.50. All it needed to fix it was to take it apart and put some screws in it. I can do that. I spent 100 years as an upholsterer.

The bike is leaning against an office chair I bought for $13.. and a desk, not shown, for $7. The lamp was one I bought for $1.75 without the shade. It was leftover from one previous tenants broke. The stand was found in an alley.


I installed a toilet... YES! All by myself.

I completely re-did the bathroom. New floor tile came from the dumpster... New toilet, $59, new sink, $39 plus $12 for faucets... Wall sconces were $10 each. I found a sink cabinet down the alley and bought a ceramic sink that sits on top. (not shown) Also, not shown is the claw foot tub which is antique.

On the far wall I installed a double door cabinet with beveled mirrors (not shown), $3 at thrift store, because it wouldn't fit between the light sconces. Painted it white. The mirror that IS in between the lights was given to me by a friend.

Back Bedroom

This picture shows a little more of the carpet.

This is the back bedroom. I found the dresser down an alley. (Boy, I have the biggest alley, don't I?!) I bought the drawer pulls for about $1 at the Thrift Store. I priced them at the hardware store... they were $5.95 EACH!! That would have been about $48... The lamp was $3... The bed frame was 'down the alley'!!! I bought the mattress for $100. ...doing the math... drawer pulls were 12 1/2 cents apiece.

This room didn't have a closet, so I bought the cedar wardrobe at a used store for $69. Here you see more of the Roman Shades I made with $1 a yard fabrics. I had stored up on them before I even bought the house.

Back door goes to a little balcony and a stairway down to the back yard.


Here's that balcony. ...and a little kitty I was taking the picture of. One of Moni's babies that died. Her name was Sweetie.

Sorry. The railing had only about 4 uprights and then had chicken wire stapled to them. I HATE chicken wire. So... I installed salvaged 2 X 4's a few inches apart and did away with the wire. Blue outdoor (grass) carpet was $10.

I didn't show the basement, but I have it overflowing with salvaged lumber and odds and ends. If I need a piece of lumber, I look down there, and likely never have to buy anything. The only new materials I've bought for my house is about 3 rolls of insulation and 8 sheets of sheetrock. Oh, and the paneling I used for wainscotting in the upstairs kitchen.

Back Porch... Another Red Door.

Here's the downstairs back porch. The blue carpet is from the last carpet I put in the camper... with a commercial grade topper I found (down my alley) and sewed a black band around.

The 16 cubbie was found (down my alley) as well as the little trash receptical, and painted both white. Red door, of course!

I'm almost done.... I'm sure you're getting tired of hearing about my alley!

Okay, the plan with pack rat decorating is to use what you can obtain free, or cheaply, or stuff you've had all your life, until you can afford (or find) something better.

The theory goes, if it didn't cost much, or anything, you can throw it out when you replace it. Trouble is... I seem to have a difficult time throwing anything out!

My logo, shown below, means you can live in 'Affordable Luxury.'

Affordable Luxury

Tiana Dreymor

The Boss (and the Queen of Hearts.)

Copyright ~ Vista 15 ~ March 16, 2013

(P.S. My logo was designed by a Facebook Friend in South Africa... for $10...! )

Spring 2013 Update : Patio

April 18

First photos of attempt at building a patio in my back yard. I laid 48 patio blocks and 5 rolls of sod. They sat a little too long while I worked on the blocks.

May 17

The sod has taken hold, thankfully, and I got one more roll, cut it in half and filled in the far corners.

I am attempting to build a shed out of the pickup topper, with 4 foot walls. I have one frame built and the topper is propped. I got stopped some by rain...some by baby kitties... Dixie has 3 kittens born about April 6, and just brought 'home' a week ago. They are adorable. No pictures yet, but one is white (with one blue eye and one green eye), one is Calico and the other one is identical to her, tiger stripe.

Hopefully.... more to come.

(Huh. Someone stole my pickup topper December 18, 2013. There goes the shed idea.)

Whatever happened to the 'Front Room'?

Table Bouquet
Table Bouquet
Front Door
Front Door

Basically a storage room....

Right now most of the bedroom furniture is stored there. These pictures are from several years ago and some of the things shown are put to use elsewhere, or in the case of the table, taken apart to make room for more.

Update: March 23, 2015

Cabinet on Mantle

Painted White


Paint stripped off face of fireplace.  Still working on hearth.
Paint stripped off face of fireplace. Still working on hearth.

...maybe you'd like to see the basement?

The Basement

Cabinet from kitchen now under the basement stairwell.
Cabinet from kitchen now under the basement stairwell.
Cabinet found down alley sitting at the bottom of the basement stairs.
Cabinet found down alley sitting at the bottom of the basement stairs.
Old fashioned pattern drawers used in stores back in the day... stacked as a work station in basement.  Paid $25 for the 2.
Old fashioned pattern drawers used in stores back in the day... stacked as a work station in basement. Paid $25 for the 2.
One of the drawers holding 8 gallon cans of paint.
One of the drawers holding 8 gallon cans of paint.
Bottom of basement stairs looking up to the landing... Lots of clutter.
Bottom of basement stairs looking up to the landing... Lots of clutter.

Not shown...

I have a laundry area with washer and dryer with a small cabinet between them...From ApplianceSmart/Scratch and Dent...$400 for the pair.

I have a sewing area, with a cutting table and a sewing table from things I've found down my alley. Plus there are 2 furnaces and 2 water heaters...

July 25, 2013

Oh, shoot. Would you like to see the kitties?

June 16, 2013

Smokey Jo White
Smokey Jo White

Dixie Ruby Hope Dreym had 5 kittens last year, and 3 this year.

This poor little sweetheart was lost/missing/taken or succumbed to heat, around the 4th of July. She was so pretty with one blue eye and one green eye, and her fur was not pure white, but 'smokey'. There is an entertainer named Tony Joe White, thus the other names I had given her. A little piece of my heart is missing.

July 16, 2013

Dixie Ruby Hope Dreym with her remaining babies, Tiger Beau Diddley Dreym and Callie Ellen Coe Dreym.
Dixie Ruby Hope Dreym with her remaining babies, Tiger Beau Diddley Dreym and Callie Ellen Coe Dreym.

You see the theme here? Bo Diddley... and David Allan Coe? It started with Jo, Bo, and Co (of calico) and grew from there. I had thought there was a Smokey Joe... but it was Tony.

I have one more outside cat, King. I live in Hilltop and he is the King of the Hill. He came to me with a 50 cent piece size infected hole in his neck. I healed it with Honey. I later added King Duvalier Dreym, with no 3rd name... But it comes from Duvalier's Dream by Kris Kristofferson.

Another picture of Dixie and her 'chicks'.... Callie and Tiger.  Careful you might not see Callie.
Another picture of Dixie and her 'chicks'.... Callie and Tiger. Careful you might not see Callie.
King Duvalier Dreym
King Duvalier Dreym

Indoor Cats

I have a stray Mama that came to me with 4 babies that all ultimately died (a story of another Hub, the Unhumane Society) and I named her Moni Jewel Abigail Dreym. It was then I realized a Jewel theme that one of my female dogs didn't get (Miti), but started with my first Pom, Honey Pearl Joy Dreym. So I continued it with my female dog, Maui Precious Diamond Dreym. Honey and Miti have gone to Rainbow Bridge, but are always in my heart. Miti was Mitzi Sweet Baby Dreym.

My elder male Pom is Hero (the) Great True Dreym. He is Hero for 2 reasons. My Hero is Kris Kristofferson, but I couldn't name him Kris, because I had a daughter-in-law, Kris. (Krisie) The other reason is I wanted to name a puppy Hero when I was little. My Dad said, 'We'll call him Zero until he does something heroic.' He never did. My Dad shot him when he killed the neighbors rabbits.

So we got into names instead of cats. Might as well mention my young Pom, Rebel Jett Star Dreym. Rebel Without a Cause/Jett Rink, James Dean character in Giant. And Star just seemed to fit.

So... last year, Dixie had 5 kittens, one black and the rest tiger stripe. 4 had gone to new homes, so I coaxed her and the black kitty to my front porch, and named him Raven Lucky Arrow Dreym. Raven got hit by a car so I brought him indoors. Fortunately, he WAS lucky, only slightly bruised. A couple weeks later one of the babies came back and was crying next door, where he had been born. I took him in and they re-bonded so well, I kept him in, too, and named him Cisco Pike Kidd Dreym, because he looked like one of my friend's cats who was Cisco Pike... Can you tell, she is a Kristofferson fan, too? His 2nd movie, but 1st staring roll was in the movie, Cisco Pike. Oh, and he lives in Maui, Hawaii. And I have another friend with the cutest little dog, named Maui.

So, let's go find pictures.

Moni Jewel Abigail Dreym

Raven Lucky Arrow Dreym

Cisco Pike Kidd Dreym

Cisco just had a bout with independence... or something. He got out and was gone for 2 weeks. Even when he came back he wouldn't come to me. He was terrified. I managed to get ahold of him once, and brought him in, but he was still scared. He got out again a few minutes later. Finally, a few days later, Dixie brought him to my back door. He let me pick him up. I brought him in and he was fine. She must have had a word with him....! You know, 'this is where the food is...' etc.' This picture was just taken a couple days ago, and you see him mooshing me.

So, let's see the Pups, too... they are all indoor dogs...

Hero Great True Dreym

He was cold so he wrapped himself up in the blanket.  Sweet.  He is 15 years old.
He was cold so he wrapped himself up in the blanket. Sweet. He is 15 years old.

Rebel Jett Star Dreym

This little beauty just turned 8.
This little beauty just turned 8.

Maui Precious Diamond Dreym

Maui came to my door and said, 'Let me in.' So I did. Five hours later, my tenant said she belonged to the people 2 houses down. So he took her from me and took her down there, while my heart was breaking, because I'd already fallen in love with her. The woman came out screaming, 'No, no, take her back. I don't want her!' I yelled, 'You don't want her?' 'NO!' 'Well, I DO!'

So she grabbed her from him and ran over to me, shoved her in my arms and said, 'Merry Christmas!'

This picture was taken the day I got her, Nov. 2, 2011, so she is probably close to 3 years old now. She weighs about 30 pounds. I thought she was Dalmation, but she hasn't gotten big enough for that, so she may be mixed with something like Jack Russell, or other Spaniel.

So there you have my house, and my menagerie... I live right!

One More Picture...Maui just the other day.

Maui in the door window.  Me in the Gazing Ball taking pictures with my computer.
Maui in the door window. Me in the Gazing Ball taking pictures with my computer.

Oooops! Forgot the Babies AND New Babies

Tiger Beau Diddley Dreym.
Tiger Beau Diddley Dreym.
Callie Ellen Coe Dreym
Callie Ellen Coe Dreym

Born 9-11-2013, Dixie's New Babies

Holly Opal Lux Dreym, Prince Charming Onyx Dreym, Gypsy Rose Garnet Dreym.  These are all little girls, a little boy, Kookie Ray Max Dreym disappeared around Nov. 1st.  You know, you name 'em, you claim 'em.
Holly Opal Lux Dreym, Prince Charming Onyx Dreym, Gypsy Rose Garnet Dreym. These are all little girls, a little boy, Kookie Ray Max Dreym disappeared around Nov. 1st. You know, you name 'em, you claim 'em.

And Here's Dixie Ruby Hope Dreym. Mama to 7 of them...

And King Duvalier Dreym. Papa to at least one of them.

Dixie, King, Tiger, Callie and the babies are still outdoor cats.

Was all that necessary?

No, but ain't they cute?

Hee hee. Miss T.

Another Update: 9/17/2013

I am UN-duplexing my house. I am cutting a doorway to the stairwell in the foyer, and locking/blocking the upstairs door.

I can use 2 Kitchens and 2 Baths, can't I?

My last tenants, besides not paying rent for 4 1/2 months, refusing to leave, trashing the place... then stealing my A/C, Microwave AND the mattress for the double bed when the city told them to get out, did NOT make it taking the STOVE. I came home too soon.

This picture doesn't show how bad it really was...

Stove adjar... they tried to take it with 'em.

Forgot one Unique Photo.

The End...? Almost.

So there you have the latest in the progress of my home. As they say, 'A good house is never done', so right now I have decided to UN-DUPLEX my house. I can use 2 Bathrooms and 2 Kitchens, right?

I am cutting a doorway through the wall at the base of the stairs, assumably the way it originally was, and will keep the outside upper door locked.


Okay, waning light... It will get better. Here is what I call my Barn Door. I cut a hole through to the stairwell and am hanging a door that is supposed to slide behind the hutch next to it when I want it opened. Supposed to.

Let there be light. You can see the 'Barn Door' a little better here.

Open Sez Me

Here I am sliding the door open. Needs tweaking.... but it's in use at the present time (2/12/2014) as because of the horrendous winter we are having, I have 6 kittens in the stairwell until it warms up. It's my outdoor cats, except for King. He's been here to eat 3 times, so he is making it okay, since I think he has another home....

But.. it will come along later. Would you like to see more of my bedroom?

Ah.... a better picture.

Foyer - Feb 2016

Gettin' 'er done.
Gettin' 'er done.

The Bed

The Nightstand

Still Needs Mattress

February 18, 2014 - I Will Sleep in my Bedroom Tonight!

Ready For Bed

New Auditor's Photo

See the tree how big it's grown....
See the tree how big it's grown....

Can you believe this??? I laughed so hard when I saw it.

Guess what!

It is now 2017...October 21, to be exact.

I have moved my Kitchen upstairs!


New microwave
New microwave

My (10) Cats...

over-ran my kitchen, so I moved it upstairs. I'm lovin' it!

© 2013 Tiana Dreymor


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • moonlake profile image


      5 years ago from America

      You are right you do what you have to do. My boys are nearby and they do things for me, but they have busy lives and I can't always count on them for my projects.

    • Vista15 profile imageAUTHOR

      Tiana Dreymor 

      5 years ago from Columbus, OH

      You learn to 'get the job done' living alone... Things just take longer and you need a lot more oomph! You learn to pivot things and brace with boards, jack things up... whatever the brain can come up with to do the 'impossible'... and I love it! Thanks for the vote!

    • moonlake profile image


      5 years ago from America

      I like your house very nice. The outside looks great in white. It is hard to do things when you have no one to help put up shelves. I have a 100 projects to do but don't know if I can do them by myself. Vote up on your hub.

    • Vista15 profile imageAUTHOR

      Tiana Dreymor 

      7 years ago from Columbus, OH

      Woo Hoo! Find a fabric you LOVE and pick 3 colors from it. That's how I did with the kitchen I did for the boyfriend. Who would have thought Aqua, Burgandy and Orange would work together??? It was awesome. I actually did the same with my downstairs kitchen, having bought the fabric for another house I was planning to buy. It had green flooring in the kitchen. The deal fell through, so I put the colors in this kitchen. Still haven't made the curtains!!! One day... I still have to tweak the bedroom curtains, then set the box spring and BLOW UP the mattress.

      Thanks for the compliments and voting! See you on the flip flop.

    • justmesuzanne profile image


      7 years ago from Texas

      Your house is cute! You've done a lot of great work. I really like the idea of painting the kitchen cabinet doors and drawers in alternating colors. I haven't done much with my kitchen yet, but I may borrow your idea if and when I do! Voted up and awesome! :)


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)