That’s right, to the whole handful of you who actually follow this little ole blog of mine, you may have noticed I have disappeared with no new posts since February.  The reason?? I have done absolutely NO home or decor projects since my cozy sweater pillows I shared here.  None, nada……zilch.

Don’t get me wrong, I have a HUGE list of projects (and garage full of projects) that I want to work on/finish, and with the on-and-off nice weather we have been having, my spray painting/paint something/build something/update my decor mojo has been working overtime!!  However, at this point, no more projects are being completed on the Bentz house.  You are probably asking why!?!?

It’s because……I’M MOVING!!! That’s right. Due to life’s twists and turns (and blessings in disguise), I am almost the proud owner of my own little humble abode.  The deal is almost done, with one potential hiccup that I am waiting on. Fingers crossed this puppy gets finalized and my moving date gets set!!!  

Will I miss my “new construction” townhouse that I have been so proud of?  Yes. But will I be even more proud of my own little house that is ALL MINE??   HECK YES!!!!  EXCITED GIRL RIGHT HERE!!

And lucky for my “wanna spray paint something/knock holes in something/upholster something” self, this little ole 70+ year old house needs some definite cosmetic lovin!!!  It’s not too bad though. Not enough that I ran out of the house crying on first entry (that may or may not have happened at one or two other houses I looked at……).  Everything major is in awesome shape, but the decor styling of a couple who have owned the house for 38+ years is much different than what I want to live in!  I am inheriting some awesome built-ins, but also a TEENSY kitchen that has cabinets just BEGGING to be knocked out to open up for more natural light.  Can’t wait to get my sledgehammer-ing on!

I have a few projects that have been done completed around the “old house” which I still have to write-up and post, and I might as well put up an “old house” tour before I go, but new projects are going to be very few until late summer when this girl is gettin busy at the new house!

Now, because I can barely contain my decor excitement, I have whipped up a little mood board for my new, all mine, girly, wonderful bedroom.  Here is what I will be moving in to (minus the furniture)…..

There are no real good pics yet (I will be snapping away at my home inspection coming up) but the bedroom is painted a really pale, baby pink with a pink and blue stenciled border around the top.  I’m sure the stencil took a lot of hard work and arm strength to complete, but it will be painted over!   Here is what I hope this fab space will become…………

The entire board was generated based on the new bedding I am longing for in the bottom left corner.  Right now the bedroom at the “old house” has tan walls with white and light green bedding. I’m itching for some bright and sunny color, but still with some subtle-ness going on.  You may recognize the chandelier from my closet makeover here.  There is a standard 1970’s “boob” light in the center of the room which will be swapped out for this lady-like fixture which will be removed from my closet when moving.

The dresser here is from IKEA, but I have a similar one that just needs a darker coat of stain…..PROJECT! I LOVE long mirrors over dressers and right now only have a lame-0 square one.  This is from IKEA and will be a definite early purchase for the house.  I am still dreaiming of which paint color I want on the wall……this girl is finally branching out of using tans on the wall for once (SCARY!). I am leaning toward the lighter, “Misty Aqua.”  Both colors are Glidden which I will color match to Olympic no VOC paint.

Right now my teensy bed is just a bed frame. I have all the materials necessary to build an awesome upholstered headboard, but now I have changed my mind and I think I REALLY want to build a farmhouse bed like the one blog-pro Katie Bower and her hubby built.  This is a DEFINITE project and I am itching to move JUST so I can get my build on. No sense building it now and having to move it! Who am I kidding?!?! I won’t be doing much of the heavy lifting…that’s what the guys are for….HOWEVER, I am nice and will save them one more heavy thing to move!

The rest of the stuff is just coordinating accessories that I love that will help round out the space.  I found the chair over at Joss & Main and I really wish I could stop drooling over looking at  it every 10 seconds!  Although its “on cheap” at $222.95 (down from $299) I can’t justify buying that right now with all of the other new house expenditures coming up.  Housewarming gift anyone (wink wink!)?!?!?!?

I really love the plan to use dark and white wood in the room for contrast.  The bed will probably be white, and as I said above, my dresser is going dark. Not sure about my current nightstand which will be getting another definite makeover. Maybe white like the bed? Or maybe a fun coral color???? NOW THERE’S AN IDEA!!

I have spent a considerable amount of time daydreaming about the rest of the house but the master bedroom is the only space that I have mentally ready to go! Want a sneak peak of some of the other spaces??

This is the 2nd bedroom………of course it has a full corkboard wall and baby blue ceiling fan……..why wouldn’t it?!?!?!  🙂

But it has awesome built-ins, begging to be painted.  Who wants to be the first to say in this cork-filled wonderland?!?! Oh, and it has blue carpet in this room…my favorite!!!!! SIKE!

That’s all of the sneak peeks for now. Hope I didn’t jinx myself and this potential one hiccup comes around and rears its ugly head, and then this place is only a fond memory of what could have been! CROSS YOUR FINGERS PEOPLE!

OH! One more thing…..White Picket Bentz will no longer be White Picket Bentz……as soon as I can come up with a new name. Anyone have any good ideas?!?! Lots of changes coming!  Who’s excited?!?!?!



Cozy sweater pillows

Holy hiatus!!! It has been a while since I have posted. I realized I had better get a move on posting some of my “winter” projects since spring seems to be coming quickly here in PA!

Much like everyone else in the blog world, I have been longing for a cozy sweater pillow or two for the couch during the winter. Pillows like these….

Via Pottery Barn

just make me want to curl up on the couch while it snows outside, or while catching up on my weekly DVR shows!  There are a million and 7 tutorials floating around the internet, but honestly, making these two pillows on my own….

was SUPER easy.

I told you that when I reorganized my closet here, I had 5 bags of clothes to donate and 1 for consignment.  Before these clothes were collected, I quick remembered that two of my all-time favorite sweaters, that had become too old and worn out to wear would be PERFECT for sweater pillows!!!

First I decided what sized pillows I wanted. I had a square pillow insert that I was able to use, as well as a rectangle green pillow that I hated since the day it was bought.  Once I knew my pillow sizes, I got to work on the sweaters….

I laid out my two sweaters…..

and thankfully my sized medium sweaters were both the exact width of the pillows so I only had to cut the sweaters straight across at the underarm line.  EASY!!

Now, if you follow me on Pinterest, you know I have a board called “I can’t even sew a button.”  That is 100% true. I have no idea how to sew anything. If I have to hem pants, its no sew hem tape. If I have to sew a button on, it gets passed to my mom! I don’t own a sewing machine and I told myself these pillows would be the time to figure this whole sewing thing out!  I learned to use a sewing machine in 8th grade home-ec, but there was a reason I won the wood shop award rather than the home-ec award for the entire 8th grade!

I went to Target, bought myself a tiny sewing kit and got to work.  First I turned the sweaters inside out.  Then I got to work sewing one end closed.

Now, I have no idea if what I did is actual technical sewing, but I just followed the same pattern of looping the thread around the sweater, working my way down until it was closed……..

Apparently this is some sort of sewing b/c it worked!

I turned the sweater right-side-out and the seam felt pretty secure…….pure giddy excitement here!  I actually sewed something!!! WOO!

I tried out the pillow and this sweater needed a little trimming to size…..

In went the pillow and I used the same Tiffany-sew method to close the open side of the sweater. SUCCESS!!

Prior to getting started on my pillows I was browsing through my new favorite store…….Charming Charlie’s.  Honestly, I am obsessed.  Have you ever been there???AMAZING!!  This place is an accessory mecca! It’s almost overwhelming to walk around and try to narrow down 1 or 2…….or 20 things to buy!  While I was browsing, I came across this headband that had adorable flowers attached…………

I thought they would look perfect to make my sweater pillows a little more girly and fun!  I took the flowers off the headband and sewed the white and tan flower onto the pillow…….

the third white flower was an earring with the post cut off the back, sewed on.

I also bought that burlap/feather flower clip to add to the bigger pillow! ADORBS!!!!!

I love them. They are super cozy to curl up on the couch with!

Total cost for two brand new pillows??? $10!!!   For the totally unnecessary but awesome flowers and my little sewing kit from Target!! This was an awesome, cheap update to my winter decor!!

Warm up Winter (and big blog surprise!!!!)

I am SO excited I can barely contain myself!!  I have a special surprise here on the blog today (SO EXCITED) but first let me tell you what its about!

I took Christmas and all of its sparkly glory down two-ish weeks ago, and just stared at the blank empty spaces in the house just begging to be decorated.  Although our winter in eastern PA has been pretty mild (60 degrees today – flip flop weather!!), I am still itching for official spring.  Part of me wanted to get all of my light blue and beachy decor items out to lighten up the house for spring already in January…….but that’s just silly when we could still get 4 feet of snow in February (hope I didn’t jinx us!!!)

So, spring is still in hiding (for now)……..but until then, what could I decorate the house with to make it feel cozy and winter-y without feeling too Christmas-y or snowman-esque?? I decided to look to some of my favorites, the pro’s if you will, for inspiration!

(Here is the exciting part!) I have the honor of introducing to you two of my favorite bloggers (for those of you who are new to this whole home decor blog thing!!!)  I mean, this is like being in the presence of royalty just having these two awesome women agree to share their wisdom here on this little ‘ole blog!  Star struck….geeky…..nerdy groupie…..yes, that’s me! Consider me a big nerd!!!

And now, without further ado………the pros!!!

I first stumbled upon Anna’s blog Take the Side Street through the great home decor inspiration-space, Pinterest.  She had an awesome mercury glass tutorial that I used here to create my own faux mercury glass!  After reading her tutorial and scoping out her other awesome projects, Anna has become one of my new favorite blogs! This girl is SUPER funny and always has awesome ideas and isn’t afraid of taking risks! Make sure you check her out!  Here is how this pro decorates her house during these cold dark months between Christmas and spring! Take it away Anna!!


The only holidays I really decorate for are Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas… so by the time January rolls around, I am all decorated out. It’s like I enter decor detox after the holiday decoration overload. I like my decor to be on the sparse side during the months of January and February; Valentine’s Day is lucky to get even one or two small touches throughout the house, and that’s only because I have kiddos who ask for it. Such a mean mom, I know!

I’m a big believer in having natural touches throughout my decor, and while I may feel it’s not quite time to start pulling out bird nests and starfish, you will see weathered wood, rocks and even some moss around my house right now… oh, and this year I did leave my snowflake chandelier up (hey, it’s still winter!). Other than that I keep my decor very simple and clutter-free for a little while. Sparse. Clean. Less to dust, right?

Amen to the less dusting Anna!!!  And now……….the next celebrity I have for you is like an A list celebrity being stalked by the less than D list celebrity (….that would be me).

Anyone that has poked around Pinterest or has ever looked at a handful of home decor blogs has probably already seen this awesome lady’s work featured and raved about!  She is on practically every blogger’s blog roll and has been featured in magazines, worked with amazingly fabulous photographers and has an absolutely BEAUTIFUL home! Her creativity is absolutely “centsational!”  I would love for you to meet Kate from Centsational Girl……..


For many, it’s hard to imagine anything good about winter, but I prefer to take a positive attitude and embrace the season.  After all, without the dormancy of winter, there would be no glorious spring!.  In my world, I like to bring a little green indoors and one of the easiest ways is with small terrariums of succulents or orchids that prefer indirect sunlight.  Add a few cozy knit blankets, and some faux fur pillows, light a fire and cozy up in your favorite chair with a pet or loved one to await the fairer weather that will soon arrive!

OMG!! I am absolutely IN LOVE with those chairs in Kate’s house!  And that awesome mirror has been pinned on Pinterest countless times!!! That fireplace looks so cozy (for days that haven’t hit 60 degrees during winter!!)  What are your favorite parts?? Share!

I am more than grateful to these two ladies for taking time out of their busy lives to share some inspiration with me to share with all of you! You girls are truly awesome!!!

And now, after these two heavy hitters, I am going to share my warm winter decor…….it is nothing like what these two are capable of, but hey, this blog is me!

Cold winter days and nights, with occasional flurries (hopefully no shovel-able snow!) calls for warm textures to cozy up in while watching a movie, catching up on some Real Housewives on the DVR, and some hot chocolate or tea!

The throw above came from Pier 1 and is SUPER soft and comfy.  It has gold undertones which just makes me feel cozy and warm during the cold winter!  The branches in the back help bring in natural textures to cozy up the space! There are two new sweater pillows on the couch made by your’s truly!! They are beyond cozy to curl up on!!

The rest of the house is decorated with natural touches and some warm colors of winter.

The pillar candles are clearance items from Pier 1 and reminded me of logs or tree stumps.  I pulled out my little white bird from Pier 1 as a little glimmer of spring to come!  Everything is set on top of two books with positive titles reminding me to be thankful for all I have……all that’s good….and the many blessings I have been given!  A burlap covered box helps add some winter texture to the spot.  I made the branch in the front after being obsessed with much more expensive versions from places like Pottery Barn, Z Gallerie and West Elm.  Being a cheapo, I decided to make my own…..I can’t say its perfect, but it adds some additional natural touches. I will share the details with that project soon!

For now, the house is quiet with its decor, just warm and inviting, to ride out the cold days of winter, post Christmas!  Natural touches and cozy textures (and a blazing fireplace if you are lucky) will help keep those winter days and nights cozy until spring arrives!!!

Hope you all enjoyed the inspiration and eye-candy from the celebrity bloggers Anna and Kate!!! I can’t thank them enough for gracing us with their presence and sharing their awesome talent!!!  Make sure you regularly check out their blogs Take the Side Street & Centsational Girl. There is always awesome stuff happening over there!

Joss & Main

How was everyone’s weekend? It is supposed to go from 30 degrees today up to 60 degrees for the rest of the week.  I can’t wait!!!

Anyway, I get a ton of “junk” email every day as I’m sure all of you do. I usually grumble about it but never bother to unsubscribe. Most of it I don’t pay attention to.

Daily I receive an email from online retailer Joss & Main.  I’m sure those of you who are familiar with the home decor blogland have heard of them. For those of you who don’t know, Joss & Main offers several collections daily to purchase home decor, accessories, furniture, kitchen items, etc.  These are typically high end items offered at major discounts.  Some stuff is still too spendy for me, but other stuff is an awesome deal!  But there are only a limited number of each item and the sales only last for 1-2 days and then it is gone.

I have been scouting their emails a little more closely the past few weeks and boy, I have had a hard time not whipping out the credit card!  Today’s email especially was chock full of fabulous items and I admit, for the 2nd time in two weeks, I made a TEENSY purchase!  But let me show you some of the other stuff that I am STILL pining away for……

The Amy Butler bedding collection has fabulous bright colors that are sure to bring spring to any dreary, drab bedroom! I absolutely fell in love with this pillow! It’s the Sari Blooms Square Pillow regularly $40, down to $26.95. I had a hard time saying no to this ruffled beauty!!

This duvet cover that is part of the Amy Butler collection is also gorgeous! I can’t decide which side of the cover is my favorite!

Today, the Maison Maison collection offered tons of chic home decor and furniture pieces. Two of my favorites are the white studded clover ottoman, reguarly $199 on sale for $88 (limited quantities left!)

and this gilded Hollister framed mirror which is SOLD OUT!! This mirror was regularly $256 on sale  for $89.95! Isn’t it pretty!?!?! I LOVE it!How about this Eco-Natural storage basket in gray…..$129.99 down to $56.95That basket would be awesome with cozy blankets or magazines in it for winter!

Joss & Main doesn’t just have accessories, occassionally there will be artwork or even wallpaper like this gorgeous, colorful wallpaper event from Amy Butler!

And a few things from this Home Essence office supply collection may or may not be ending up on my desk at work shortly!!!!Hey, for $6.95 that was too good to pass up!! And the matching pencil “cup” and business card holder may have been added as an impulse purchase!! I told you, I can’t resist!

To shop their events, you need to “join” Joss & Main, which just means signing up to receive their daily emails. There are no fees and you can choose how often you want to receive their emails!

I invite you to sign up today as my “friend”  for Joss & Main through the White Picket Bentz event here.   You can also refer your own friends once you join.  For any purchase that your friends make through each event, Joss & Main will credit your account toward your future purchases!!!  But I’m warning you…..joining may be dangerous for your financial health! But everyone deserves to treat themselves now and again dont’ they?!?

Take a look at today’s events! What are YOUR favorite items??? It is too hard for me to decide on one favorite, but that pillow is STILL calling me to come back!  Happy shopping!!!

Low Cost Closet Expansion!

When I revealed my pop-up New Year’s resolution here, I shared this disgraceful mess with you….

…and mentioned that I was beginning a master bedroom closet expansion!!!

I already shared one piece with you, the installation of my new sparkly friend…..

Ah yes, one week later I am still stopping by the closet every time I pass to turn on the light to “ohhhh…ahhh…..” in admiration!

In the first picture above, you can see that the closet door opens in.  The closet is immediately behind the bedroom door, which opens toward the closet, creating an obstacle course just to get dressed or put clothes away.

This is just one of two doors to move to get to the shelves in the closet. It honestly made the closet feel smaller than a phone booth!

First step in my closet makeover…………REMOVE THE CLOSET DOOR!!

WOO! Doesn’t it already feel nice and spacious?? All it took was removing the pins in the hinges and lifting that puppy out of there!

Then comes the closet mess.  See all of that junk below my dresses, and the MESS of sweaters above the dresses?

That mess and junk HAD to be contained.  5 bags of clothes to donate and 1 bag for consignment later (yes, that’s 6 bags!!!), the mess was finally starting to be corralled!

The sweaters on the other hand, are another story.  When our house was built, it was blessed with standard Rubbermaid wire storage racks!  Awesome.  This is not our “forever” house, so at this point putting awesome closet storage in there, like these awesome closets……

Found here

Found here

is really unreasonable and out of the question.  A girl can dream though, right?

The problem with these wire racks is that any clothes that are folded and stacked on them end up with these awesome ribs!

Now for sweatshirts, tank tops and even jeans, these ribs go away easily with a nice shake.  However, sweaters aren’t so easy and I’m not a fan of having to iron ribs out of sweaters in the morning before work.  Temporarily, I laid a giant beach towel/blanket down on the shelf to protect my sweaters….

…but this new closet update needed something more permanent, and less insane looking!  I searched all of the major stores for some sort of closet storage solution, to no avail (hmmmm…..this might be a business opportunity for me!)  I cut a piece of ply-wood to the size of the shelf and covered (read: wrapped) it in an extra piece of linen fabric I had in my stash.

MUCH better. Now there is no chance of extra ribs in my already ribbed sweaters!

Note to self…..you wear a lot of brown (5 brown sweaters and 1 in the wash not included in this picture – spice up your wardrobe with some color!!!!)

So, let’s recap at this point…….

1.  Door removed from closet

2. Chandelier hung

3.  6 bags of clothes donated/consigned

4.  Sweaters corralled and rib-less!

I was loving the closet without a door, however, I felt it was a little naked and boring and needed some spice.  I saw this AWESOME curtain at Target and knew I had to have it!

I could have gotten fancy with its clip to hold it back, but I just used a 3M hook with removable sticky!

As you can see above, when I removed the hinges for the door, it left a nice mark in the molding.  They were natural wood color, but I painted them the same color as the trim so they would blend.  I could have filled them in with wood filler, but I figured at some point we will be moving and maybe this place’s next owners will want a closet door back, so really I’m doing them a favor!!! And it’s not too noticeable.  No need to get crazy!

Now, by this point I’m sure you have figured out that there was no real “expansion” going on in this here closet!  Not that I wouldn’t love to knock a wall down and get an even bigger closet, but let’s be reasonable! And giving away 6 bags of clothing, my clothes now fit in the closet!  Just a few little tweaks and the closet feels 10x bigger!!

I can actually move around in the closet and even dress in there!

Ahhhh, so spacious!  Clean, organized spaces can do wonders for the soul!  New Year’s resolution #2:  Keep closet neat and organized (and make the bed every day – let’s see how long that one lasts!!)

So Lady Like…

Is it just me or has every girl dreamed of having a fabulous closet for dressing….full of fabulous clothes/shoes/bags and topped off with a gorgeous chandelier?  Yes? No? Well for years I have dreamed of having this super girly space that I could call all mine….enter the master bedroom closet.  When our house was built, our walk-in closet came stocked with this standard “boob” light….

Not only was it SUPER ugly, it didn’t really give off great light, making the closet drab and dreary. Enter the Kristaller chandelier from the ever awesome IKEA….

It is so feminine and delicate, but not too old and stuffy…..and for only $40, it was perfect!  And it was SUPER easy to install!

The first step was to make sure the power was off to the closet/master bedroom……

= me getting nervous!!  Death by electrocution, falling from a ladder is really not how I want to be sent off to the Pearly Gates!!  I was like a MAD WOMAN running up the steps several times to make sure the power was off to the master bedroom closet.  Once I was sure it was off, I was ready to go.  HOWEVER, now that the power was off, this interior closet with no windows was DARK…….duh!  Slight roadblock, resolved with a work lamp plugged in down the hall!

After unscrewing and removing the old, ugly lamp (which was relatively easy), I installed the new mounting bracket that was supplied with the IKEA light.  This was the only real roadblock I encountered during the process.  I dropped one of the bracket screws from up on the ladder and could NOT find it in the closet…..

After trying several alternatives from the basement stash of extra screws, this blip on the radar was solved and the bracket was securely mounted.

Next came the scary part…..the electrical wiring.  I didn’t take any pictures of this process b/c I was too consumed with getting it right and not falling off the ladder!  HOWEVER, the smiling IKEA instruction guide was pretty on point with the uber easy process!

There was a black ground wire, a white “hot” wire and a fancy green/yellow additional ground wire.  I matched up the black and white wires with the wires in the ceiling….seriously, how hard is that??? Then the green/yellow wire got matched to the additional copper wire in the ceiling.  BAM! Done-zo!  I put the light bulbs in and ran back downstairs to turn on the power………imagine me yelling and singing a loud HALLELUJAH when I arrived back upstairs to find this!

Glorious, sparkling, pretty light.  HOWEVER……look how long that cord is!! Womp womp!  Luckily, IKEA realizes we don’t all have 50 foot ceilings and provided this handy “S” hook to hoist ‘er up!

Quick and simple clipping of the chain higher resulted in this glorious sight…….

Ahhhhhhhhh…….isn’t she a beauty?! Nothing but smiles coming from this girl!  Every time I walk past the closet I just stop and turn on the light, stand and smile for a few seconds, and move on!  I am officially in love!  It just screams “lady like!”












Isn’t it FABULOUS?????  I can’t wait until all of my little touches are done on the closet!

A Real Page Turner

Hi!!!  Just a quick stop in…….has anyone else picked up the premier issue of the new HGTV Magazine?  While waiting in the checkout line of Lowes recently, I saw there was an HGTV magazine (missed all of the news that there would even be one apparently!)


I decided to pick it up and am SUPER glad I did.   I have tried some other home decor/DIY magazines and some of them were either too wild for my decorating tastes…..not really into black, zebra print, or gold furniture…..or too craft-centered….I don’t really use doilies or knit.  HGTV magazine had tons to offer, all of which kept me interested!

Some of my favorites were the peeks inside of some HGTV stars’ homes including Vern Yip and Sarah Richardson, solutions to real life couples’ decorating squabbles from the “experts” of HGTV (including the use of too many decorative pillows – that one could have been submitted from casa Bentz), and a real-life house overhaul/update by a Nashville couple who did an awesome job on their definite fixer-upper!

One of my favorite parts of this issue was the decor ideas from bungalow houses.  I absolutely love bungalows.  They are so cute and full of character…..


How ADORABLE is that house…….(SIGH) someday!

Oh, and after reading the “Mission Makeover” segment, lets just say, our mouthwash will DEFINITELY not be staying in its ugly bottle anymore (hidden out of sight under the sink!))  Why can’t I ever come up with this simple but GENIUS stuff??

I will definitely be placing my order for a subscription, only $15….not bad right?  You can head on over to the HGTV magazine site and sign up for your free trial offer of the magazine!  Wish I knew about the free offer before, but the $3.99 +tax spent was definitely worth it!