My friend Heather, from childhood in Wisconsin, purchased a very old farmhouse in Wisconsin a few months ago. She asked for my help with decorating. I am not a professional decorator, I simply enjoy shopping and decorating. I help friends decorate when they ask. This project is interesting since she is in Wisconsin and I am in Texas. I made the design plan based on photos and videos she sent me. They want a country chic look that goes with their farm house. For the kitchen/dining area she wanted to incorporate roosters. I like that too, as long it isn’t overly decorated with chickens and roosters. I have seen people with collections of these ceramic things and it just gets to be a bit much and cluttered looking. Sometimes less is more. Which is why my design plan uses some rooster decor, but it more about colors and creating a farmhouse feeling that is inviting and feels like a warm home.

Heather and her fiancé are on a budget since they just bought this house and between them they have 5 kids. I kept that in mind trying to create the best space possible for the lowest cost  possible. I don’t sacrifice style for cost though. You can find good style and quality for the right prices if you put in the time and effort to look. Also, finding used furniture pieces and refinishing or painting them is a HUGE money saver.

The first thing Heather needed was a new (or new to them) dining set to accommodate all 7 of them. The set they are using belongs to her Fiance’s parents, so she needed a new set. We searched on Facebook buy, sell, trade, but it was eventually at a garage sale where she found a good deal. The table has several leaves too. Which is perfect, since their space is not that large for the table. It came with 3 chairs. They will use two chairs at the table and one will go off to the side wall in the kitchen and be pulled up when needed if they have company. For the side chairs I recommend benches. This goes with the farmhouse theme and they can fit 2-3 kids on each bench. Perfect solution for their needs!

Here is the dining set she picked up recently for a great deal!


To give the set an updated look that will work with the style she is trying to achieve I suggest using the Waverly chalk paint in the color red. She can get this chalk paint and wax at Walmart for under $6 a container. She should be able to do the entire dining room set using about 4 containers of the paint and 2 containers of the wax. $6 multiplied by 6 containers is $36 for the paint and wax. She should finish it using the antique color wax from Waverly. She did this recently to her living room coffee table and end tables and they look great!

I found some inexpensive benches on amazon that she can also buy and paint red. They are $50.99 each with free shipping. The nice thing about using chalk paint is that you don’t have to strip the furniture first. You paint right over the current finish. I gave instructions on how to use wax paint in a previous blog posting when I painted the twin’s toddler beds:

Here is the bench I found for her on Amazon. She will need 2 of them:


She will paint the whole set red with the vintage wax finish over the chalk paint. This is exactly what I did for my twin’s toddler beds and this is how the color and finish should look on her dining set when she is done:

She has some additional painting to do in the kitchen. When she moved in, one of the walls was painted burgundy in the kitchen/ dining area. The rest of the walls in the kitchen and dining area are white. She believes she has more of the white paint since the previous owner recently painted. I suggest painting the burgundy wall back to white to match the rest of the dining area.


The refrigerator is in odd spot because the home is so old there were not indoor refrigerators when it was built, so it wasn’t in the design of the kitchen. It is actually in their dining space. The dining space flows directly from the kitchen. I suggested that she put a piece of furniture next to the refrigerator so it won’t look so odd on its own in that space. I have been keeping my eye on the buy, sell, trade Facebook page in her region and I found a piece that works for this space. It too should be painted the red color and finished in the antique wax, so that the furniture in that space all matches. She got a good deal on this nice piece too! Once again, buying things used can be a great way to save money when decorating. Sometimes you have to be willing to do a little work to make it all look perfect together. Heather is willing to paint and I know it will all look fabulous when she is done! Here is the cabinet piece she will put next to the fridge:


On top of this piece I found a cool rustic looking tray for a good deal at Walmart (around $15) That will go on the very top, pushed almost all the way back to the wall. It stands well on its side, so it’s perfect to put up here. It is also a useful piece to serve things outside for their bonfire nights too. Great tray to carry beverages and s’mores fixings outside. In front of the tray she can place the whimsical rooster she picked up recently at a resale store:

She has five wall spaces to hang up some artwork. Here are those wall spaces- the “before” pics:

I selected some items online that were priced right and match the style we are working to achieve. My favorite is this gallery wrapped canvas, as it reminds me of driving in Northern Wiscomsin where farms are so prevalent. She can buy this at for $51.39 and the size is 24×32. I suggest hanging this on the wall with the refrigerator. The wall should be repainted white of course.

I also selected some plates from Walmart that she hang on one of the walls- preferably the more narrow vertical wall space; the wall that has the light switches on it. I suggest hanging the plates vertically as shown in the photo I took at Walmart (people probably think I am crazy when they see me laying plates on the floor at Walmart and snapping photos). They are approximately 10″ each. They are the Pioneer Woman brand. She has her own show and she is fabulous! If you haven’t seen her show you have to watch it! Great recipes and she has a great sense of country style. Walmart carries an entire Pioneer Woman line of household furnishings. These plates are $4.38 each, so for three it would be under $15 including tax. Great deal for this nice look! I mailed Heather plate hanging hooks that glue on the back of any plate. I have used them in my house. They are self adhesive and hold up to 15 lbs each. I mailed her 3 of them, so she can simply apply these to the plates, let the glue set overnight, and then they are ready to hang the next day.

The third suggestion I have for the walls is this gallery wrapped canvas rooster artwork. The nice thing about gallery wrapped artwork is that it is finished on all sides, so there is no need to frame it. This rooster painting on is $39.07 and is 18×24 inches in size.

The fourth piece of wall art that I suggest is another gallery wrapped canvas that is painted by the same artist as the first canvas. The artist is Llyod Glover. These paintings are great country/ farm scenes that will add to the farm house feeling that they want. The bright colors will give a warm feeling to the space as well. The size is 22×32 inches and the price is great at $45.48.

If they can’t afford to buy all the artwork at once then I suggest simply buying one at a time and using the Walmart site to purchase. They can do FREE shipping “site to store” as well, since these art pieces aren’t carried in the actual stores, but sold only online. I selected items online, so that they should be available for purchase for a longer length of time- several months from now, so they can space out their purchases. And you really can’t beat these prices!

The fifth and final wall decor item I found is actually on Heather’s local Facebook buy, sell, trade site right now. It has been up there for 2 weeks at $25 so I think she can offer the seller $20 and get it. It is a rooster clock.


For the window in the kitchen, I selected a neutral valance to cover the shade and make that space look complete. She already has this, so she just has to now iron and hang ????


They also have a built in wall cabinet in the dining area.


Heather asked me what to place in there. I developed a plan for this piece based on our conversation of what she has and what can be purchased resonably. It should look nice, so that it doesn’t look cluttered with random items. Rather the items should be lined up. I suggest clear crystal and glass ware, along with their liquor bottles. The books currently in the cabinet can be removed and then lined up nicely on the open shelf of the new cabinet that she purchased to go next to the refrigerator.

As for this built in cabinet, the liquor bottles can go on one shelf. To make the bottles look organized and nice and neat, they should be lined up and evenly spaced. All the bottles should be turned so the labels are facing forward. She has a crystal vase she can put inside this cabinet. I suggest that she look for clear glass and crystal service wares (at garage sales or resale shops) that she can put inside the cabinet. The items can then also be used for meals. Useful and looking pretty is the goal. I suggest looking for pitchers, bowls of various sizes, platters, vases, etc…as long as they are clear glass or crystal. Matching will make the cabinet look nice and neat, decorated, and tasteful all at the same time. She can also purchase wine glasses and tall fluted beer glasses at the dollar tree. I suggest purchasing 8-12 of each. $20 can go a long way at the dollar tree, since everything is $1 each!

Here are the glasses at the dollar tree I mentioned:

I like to line up pics of my decor selections when I am doing a decorating project. That way I know it all works together. Below is a gallery of the wall hangings for the five walls. I have to say, I LOVE how it all looks together! It is going to make her home look fabulous! Along with the red painted furniture of course!