Patty and Jimmy: Redecorating with What You Have


I had this idea. I wanted to redecorate a room in a friend’s home with things they already owned. My friends Sue and Stacey thought it sounded like fun, and said they would help me. Sue’s sister, Patty graciously volunteered her home.

Patty and Jimmy are good friends of ours. They work hard. Jimmy works as a carpenter at the Brooklin Boat Yard where he builds boats. He is a volunteer fire fighter, and the care taker of our house when we aren’t home. Patty works in the circulation department of Wooden Boat Magazine. They have three grown children. Their youngest is in her second year of college.

When we asked Patty what she wanted us to highlight in the redesign, she said a piece of artwork she recently received from her best friends. It was a sunflower painting done by a local artist, now deceased, Lee Clark Allen. When we walked through Patty’s house, we saw a lot of beautiful artwork. There was a piece done by another local artist, also now deceased, Charlie Tyler. I was a gorgeous horse. Her kids had also made some beautiful artwork over the years that we wanted to highlight.

Pat and Jimmy's room before

We arrived, in the morning, after Patty and Jimmy left for work, and started by clearing everything out of the room except the large furniture pieces. We removed pictures from the walls and knick knacks from shelves, so that we had a blank canvas.


entry after

In the hallway, we highlighted some of the kids artwork, so that you could see it from the living room.  We made a gallery wall of all the family photos in the extended hallway. They had a bigger impact when they were hung together on one wall rather than spread throughout the house.

dining room

In the dining area, we turned the table sideways and pushed it closer to the window. The horse artwork took center stage on the dining room wall.

Kitchen after

Patty and Jimmy's kitchen: decorating with what you have

In the living room, we hung the sunflower painting on one side of the TV with a plant  on a stool under it. We took the book cases and placed one behind the sofa, for a sofa table. We put a cupboard that was in the entry way on the right side of the TV and placed some of the things from the shelves inside it. The other shelf went into the entry way in place of the cupboard.

pat living

We added a rug that another friend of ours wasn’t using anymore to the room, and hung the clock and map that were hanging behind the wood stove by the door instead.

pat liv after

I brought the curtains that used to hang in my kitchen and they worked for some added color on the windows. We put a wooden model boat on top of the shelf that we put behind the couch.

Pat living after

We took the small white table out of the living room and moved the wooden side table to between the chairs. A piece of pottery that their daughter made was put on the coffee table.

inspiration picture after

living room after

Jimmy and Patty arrived home from work to their newly redecorated home, and they were happy with how everything turned out. Patty loved the family gallery wall and is planning on adding to it.

Jimmy and Patty

We had a little celebration and all the dogs at the party agreed that they liked the new changes too.

happy dogs

Enjoy your weekend!



  1. says

    What a fun idea and so thoughtful of you and your friends! People who work full time and have busy lives don’t have time to decorate and restyle all the time like we do as bloggers! I’m sure the homeowners love what you did and those dogs seem to have had a howling good time too! Thanks for sharing the fun with us!

  2. Kelly W. says

    What a wonderful gift to good friends! Love how you made their rooms look bigger and the pretty arrangement. Their table looks so inviting! Mary, I need you to do this for me too. Do you travel out of state? ; )