Commona-my House

Savvy, Chic and Timeless Inspiration for your house from my house. Mother of 4, wife and decor lover. We've moved 13 times in 15 years.That's a lot of trying to make a house a home.

Amy is a winner of Top 25 Home Design Moms - 2013

Of all the DIY projects you've done, which was your favorite?

My favorite DIY project was in our old house in California- a complete bathroom make-over. We tiled what was originally seafoam carpeting (yes, in the bathroom there was seafoam green carpet). We put up beadboard (liquid nails is amazing). I cut trim molding to frame out the builder's grade mirror and I painted the walls a pale gray. It was the main guest bath downstairs and it had a huge impact in feeling like the house was starting to be 'ours'. The entire project cost less than $100 dollars.

What's your advice for moms who want to decorate their home on a budget?

Start with a vision of what you want it to be when all is said and done. Find an inspiration. This will help you to do a little bit at a time and still have a direction, a plan. You will spend less in the long run if you stay on track. Start with the bones...for example, start with the major 'bones' of the project...the floor, the major furniture pieces, the lighting fixtures. So many people get so caught up in the accessories and then skimp on the major elements in the room- that is backwards to me. Start with the major elements and then add layers when budget allows. You'll find that the accessories usually have a low, budget friendly option, and these accessories are typically what you can change out after you grow board of say, orange chevron pillows. Look at what you want to spend and allot a certain amount for each 'section' of the room. For example: My total budget is $3000. I will spend no more than $1000 on a couch, which leaves $1000 for other furniture pieces and $1000 for curtains, pillows, lighting and accessories. No matter what your budget, you'll most likely be able to find the look you're after if you shop around, think of buying some pieces (say a coffee table, lamps, etc) at a thrift store or discount shops like Home Goods, etc. And remember, the best rooms, aren't INSTANT rooms...although it's tempting to do everything in a week, sometimes it is best to do things over time when you have a plan to follow.

Where do you find inspiration for keeping your home stylish?

I find my inspiration in combining classics of the past and current trends. That is what my Gram taught me. She knew all about antiques and classic design, but she always had a current W Magazine on her coffee table, staying current. Knowing the fundamentals of design and antiques has given me an eye for good craftsmanship and for the unique. I love looking at fabric: patterns and colors. For example, my favorite pattern is GREEK KEY, one that has reemerged as a fresh design, even though it is one of the oldest patterns known to man. I love that. I love that everything old can be new and fresh with a modern color palette and current textiles. On this same subject, thrift stores are inspiring to me. I think it is sort of special to be able to give an object another life. And in turn, a responsible (to our environment) way to consume. Many of my favorite things in my home are thrift shop finds, things that have character and possibilities and that I found at a fraction of the cost and of typically, higher quality, than their high-end new counterparts.

What's your family's favorite Mexican or (Mexican-inspired) dish? Please share a link to your recipe!

Amy deMik

I have a thing for Cafe Rio's pulled pork mexican salad. There are so many copy cat recipes out there, and sometimes even the slightest difference can change the outcome of the dressing, the rice, etc. Here is my favorite, closest "mock" Cafe Rio salad recipe. It takes a bit of time, because you are making all of the components that go into the salad (lime cilantro rice, beans, buttermilk cilantro dressing, etc) but it is SO worth it! Here is the recipe I use every time now (originally from
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Couldn't part with your little one's baby blankets? Neither could we! We're looking for ways to repurpose baby blankets of all shapes and sizes. Share a link to your instructions and photo if you have one!

Amy deMik

I've been setting aside my kids baby blankets and special out-grown clothing in a bin so that I can make them a special quilt/blanket when they go to college. I've saved my girls' blankets and special dresses (oh the memories are all there in those little pretty prints) and I've saved every t-shirt from teams and camps that my son has gone many memories will be in their big kid quilt some day.
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