DIY Housewarming Gift

Transforming a house into a home takes more than just beautiful decor and perfectly placed furniture…it takes time, love and care. Moving into – and setting up – your dream house can be a daunting task, which is why housewarming gifts are a thoughtful way to wish someone an easier transition into their new home. We’ve put together an example of an easy housewarming gift to ease that transition for a family member, friend, or even a new neighbor.
DIYHW2Thinking of a theme is a great place to start, whether it’s a room of the house or even a favorite family activity. For this particular example, we chose the kitchen as our starting point. We took an ordinary wooden box found at our local craft store and transformed it into something the new home owners could use as a decor item in their kitchen.
DIYHW3Here is a neat trick – take a regular wooden box and apply a light coat of craft glue. Apply paint over the glue as soon as it gets a little tacky and as the glue dries underneath, you will see a very subtle crackle appear on the surface. NOTE: we used a regular glue stick to achieve a more subtle crackle, but using liquid white glue will provide a more noticeable effect. Once the paint has completely dried, freehand your word of choice (or use your favorite font or stencil to transfer a message onto the box). Then simply sand the box to achieve a more distressed look.
DIYHW4Choose useful items such as wooden spoons, cutting boards and any other with other items you feel will be most appreciated. In our example, we’ve included a handmade grain sack, a cook book, some dish soap and fun salt and pepper shakers made from mini Ball jars for a touch of whimsy. The cute little rosemary pot adds a pop of color and adds a nice fragrance.
DIYHW5Don’t forget to add a little tag with a sweet message for a personal touch. We made use of a chalkboard tag with the short message “Home is where the heart is.” But yours could say, “Welcome to the neighborhood” or even a simple, “Warmly, The Gaines Family.” This housewarming gift basket doesn’t need to be expensive or extravagant, just a little something to ensure you’ll always have a friendly neighbor you can borrow a cup of sugar from in a moment of need. Enjoy!

The Faceless Bunker

We were excited to tackle “The Faceless Bunker” for our clients, who for the majority of their lives together lived on an island. Their hopes of moving back to Waco were to be able to find a home with the same feel as their beach house in a good neighborhood. The area they wanted to live in is a small suburb of Waco and is known for its established neighborhoods, great school districts and beautiful trees. It is not, however, known for the beachy style houses like the Fuch’s were looking for. This was a challenge for us, but the clients landed on “The Faceless Bunker” because it had the most potential to be transformed into a modern beach home.

To begin, we started working on the exterior, which lacked both color and personality. We had to remove the brick because it was not attached to the house properly and we added new siding, which was painted with “Natural Choice” and the trim was painted “Gauntlet Gray.” We added a faux balcony to bring some dimension to the front of the house and installed new windows, so that the home was no longer faceless. The front door was replaced and painted “Underseas” and all new landscaping was added to create a tropical ambiance for the home.

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Inside, our client’s least favorite part of the home was the entryway and layout. The view of the beautiful backyard was obstructed due to a lot of railings and posts. In place of this, I designed a new railing with steel and cables to give the entryway a more modern clean look and also allow for a better view to the rest of the home. The Fuch’s requested bamboo flooring, so we installed bamboo flooring throughout the entire first floor of the home.



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Because the view was important to them, the Fuch’s wanted to relocate the kitchen to a more central place in the house. I reconstructed the kitchen in the middle of the first floor where the craft room and mechanical closet were originally. We added new windows, cabinets, countertops and a backsplash. I also installed loading shelves and appliances to give it a fresh and fun feel.






The original kitchen became a new home work space for our client’s kids. I installed two sconce lights with a desk that was suspended from cables, similar to the railing in the new entryway. At the client’s request, I also designed sliding doors leading into the butler’s pantry, which were painted “Ice Cabinet.” In the pantry, we created simple shelving with galvanized pipe and reclaimed wood to add both character and function. We also installed built in cabinets and a bench seating area. I designed the bench and table myself to match the new railing and overall look of the house and our carpenter, Clint, built both pieces.




In the dining room we added a new set of French doors which opened up to the outside patio. We also installed new flooring and light fixtures. Because the original railing and posts were removed, the view to the backyard was visible from this room as well. Now the clients were able to see outside from both the dining and living room without something blocking their view.

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On the bottom floor of the house a new stairwell was installed and large French doors and windows were added to bring more natural light into the space. The fireplace was simplified and restructured for a more modern look with black tile. In hopes of personalizing the space for the Fuch’s, I brought in my friend, a graphic designer, to design a plat map of their neighborhood. This custom made piece was installed along the large wall in the living room and would forever remind the client’s of their new home.




In the game room, we updated the bar area to give it a clean look. The existing brick wall added some warmth to the space and the metal accents. I brought in a ping pong table for the room, promising to provide a great source of entertainment for their kids.



The master bathroom had been newly renovated, but the Fuch’s did not prefer the style of the room. We gave it a more modern beach house look by adding a new set of double vanities, Alder wood, tile, countertops and a glass shower enclosure.




In the end, this house was transformed into an open and modern beach style home. Instead of an awkward and choppy layout, I created an open floor plan with maximum views to the beautiful backyard to see the new landscaping. The new style of the home matched the client’s personalities and preferences; Chip and I were honored to create this great space for the Fuch’s to raise their family.

I incorporated several products from my store, Magnolia Market, in this home- many of which are displayed below. If you are looking for a specific item, please refer to the pictures below or check out our online store.

wall shelf

Drawbridge Shelf – Magnolia Market
galvanized tin caddy
Galvanized Tin Caddy – Magnolia Market
black distressed coat hanger
Black Distressed Coat Hanger – Magnolia Market
yellow almond stem
Yellow Almond Stem – Magnolia Market
White Vase – Magnolia Market
mechanics caddy
Mechanics Caddy – Magnolia Market
ceramic jug vase
Ceramic Jug Vase – Magnolia Market

{Photos by Rachel Whyte Photography}


DIY Botanical Hanging Print

As you’ve seen on the show, I love to decorate with beautiful vintage pieces and rare finds. These pieces not only add character, but they also tell a story. One of my favorite design tips is mixing old with new so that your rooms have character and feel unique to your personal style.


A favorite piece we’ve used when decorating are these beautiful antique botanical prints. Unfortunately, these can at times be difficult to find and potentially very pricey, so we thought we would show you a fun and easy way to make your own botanical hanging print.


There are many websites that provide free botanical art to download, but please ensure you respect and adhere to their distribution and use policies. For this particular print, we used Botanicus is a free, web-based encyclopedia of digitized historic, botanical literature from the Missouri Botanical Garden Library. You can read more about it here.
There are pages and pages full of beautiful art prints for you to choose from, with this particular image found on page 239.
bp3- Go here and scroll through the page list on the left side of your screen. There are pages full of text, but to view the prints, scroll down until you see “plate 1″ and click on it.
- You can toggle from page to page and browse through the prints.
– Click on download on the top of the page. This will download the entire book, which is a 32 mb PDF file. As it is a PDF, you cannot download  single pages, but will need to download the entire book.
– Once downloaded, you can select the image you like and print.
Assembling your poster:


Materials needed:
- A botanical print enlarged to desired size. You can have it printed at your local Staples or print shop, and you can choose whichever paper you want. This one had a bit of a sheen to it, but a matte version would look great as well. (This print measures 24″x 36″)
– 2 X 7/8″ dowels
- Twine or rope
– Hot Glue, staples or thumb tacks
– 2 eye hooks
– Wood Stain (optional; we used Special Walnut)
Cut dowels 1″ longer than poster (leaving you 0.5″ either side of the print).
Stain dowels if desired and allow to dry completely.
Insert eye hooks to either side of dowels.
Place a thin bead of hot glue along the bottom of the print and attach to the dowel. Alternatively, you can also use staples or thumbtacks to attach print to dowel. Repeat this at the top of the print.
Thread twine or rope trough eye hooks and secure with a knot.
These can of course can be printed smaller (or larger) and displayed in frames as part of a gallery wall, or simply hung with with large paper clips and changed from season to season. Enjoy!