May’s Random Musings And Decorating Ideas

Do you want to catch up with recents things going on at StoneGable and The Tanglewood House? And get lots of decorating tips too? Great you will find all this and more in today's post.
pottery on a chest

I thought it would be fun to catch you up on things going on here at The Tanglewood House and give you some decorating ideas and inspiration! So today I’m sharing May’s random musings and decorating ideas.

The top story around our house is about the duck…


duck eggs

In the landscaped beds between our garage and the sidewalk, a mallard duck has laid her eggs! She chose a very nice spot to build a nest and lay 8 eggs. She is pretty much the same color as the hydrangea branches and the leaves. She sits so still and quietly on her nest that no one coming to our house notices her. They walk right by our little mother-to-be!

I tried to take a picture of her sitting on her nest and spooked her so she flew away, but not too far. I stayed long enough to snap a picture with my phone and tell her I was her friend and would not hurt her babies.

Bobby and I marveled that she sat through some pretty bad, rainy weather lately. But I guess she did not mind. After all, she is a duck!

Her babies should hatch soon. Their gestation is 28 days. That is a long time to sit on a nest! When the babies hatch I’m sure they will make their way to one of the three ponds on the golf course.

I’ll update you and hopefully get some pics of the fuzzy little ducklings.

Summer Arrangements

flowers on a table

I’m so happy summer is almost here! Bobby and I have been visiting Amish greenhouses to gather summer annuals and herbs for our pots, urns, and containers.

Even if you have the most palatial gardens it’s nice to plant some outdoor pots near your front door or back door so you can easily snip a few flowers and herbs to bring inside!

I love to arrange flowers to put in my foyer or by my coffee maker or on our dining room table.

My office, where I work all day, sits opposite the foyer so I can look out through the french doors and see the flowers on the foyer table.


It’s important to have items you love in your home where you can see them.

The arrangement above was a bit of serendipity! I had the peonies in another arrangement and they were almost spent. Then my friend Donna came for dinner and brought me the gorgeous rhododendron. And our late-blooming lilacs are just starting to bloom. So I put the three flowers together and voila!

Have you ever thought about planting a flowering perennial plant in a container inside? The purple flowering plant above is a perennial. I potted it in a wooden planter and it lasted for several weeks indoors. I just kept deadheading the spent flowers so the plant always looked nice. But eventually, it started to look stressed so I planted it outside. And now I have this beautiful purple flowering verbena in our garden. Economical, pretty, and smart! Win, win, win!

Changing Decor… Again

Do you make changes in your decor regularly? I think making even the smallest changes in our decor can breathe new life into a room and inspire you!


I changed a few things in the foyer… again! I was rooting around the basement and found the lamp and the plates and the zebra rug!

I held on to the zebra rug when we moved from StoneGable not quite knowing what I would do with it. So just for fun I brought it up and put it in the foyer. I know when it was at StoneGable many of you loved it and many of you really did not!

But here’s the thing, we really have to put what we love in our homes and not worry about how others may feel about how we decorate! We need to live with what we love.

You can see all the changes our foyer has gone through here, The Evolution Of A Foyer. I’ve not updated it with the zebra rug pictures but I will over the weekend.

You can see The Evolution Of A Living Room here. And The Evolution Of A Dining Room here.

Should We Layer Rugs?

Let’s chat about layering rugs for a minute. I think layering rugs is tricky business. Most wall-to-wall carpeting is not a good foundation for layered rugs. Most rugs with any pile are not the best for layering.

If you have a very flat base rug, like a sisal, and another very flat rug to put on top of it they will probably work well together. They aren’t too thick and can lay flat without lifting up when they are walked on. But most of the time you want to stay away from layering rugs.

And layering a rug under a coffee table is another no-no! It breaks up the lines of the furniture! Trust me on this. We really don’t need two rugs under a coffee table.

Home Improvements

Is anyone having trouble finding folks to do home projects in your area? We sure are! We have a few home projects we are trying to get scheduled. We are still living with our ugly stairs and guest bathroom. I’m hoping by the fall these projects will be done.

Another project I want to do so badly is to put hardwood in the foyer. Not a fan of the tile! Bobby is not convinced. We usually agree on almost everything, but ripping up the tile is a bit of a hard sell. We are good at negotiating so we will see what happens. I’ll keep you updated!


When we made over the bedrooms and the hall and the bathrooms at StoneGable we hung lots of wallpaper! But taking it off the walls was a nightmare! So I swore I would NEVER, EVER, NEVER hang wallpaper in my home again! Well, never say never my friend!

We papered our power room and now I’m actually thinking about papering the kitchen. I love the idea of a very light leaf design with lots of white space. Or a pencil drawing.

I’ve ordered samples and Bobby is onboard! What makes this go-round of wallpaper different is three little words… peel and stick!

This is my favorite sample so far. It’s a large-ish print.


Have any of you used peel and stick wallpaper? Bobby is a really good wallpaper and peel and stick was a bit of a learning curve, but he found his peel and stick groove.

What are your thoughts on peel and stick wallpaper?

Displaying Family Pictures

I have so many wonderful pictures of my grandchildren! I often get asked why I don’t have them displayed in any of the images on the blog. Easy answer, our children asked us not to show images of the kids. Very smart parent, right?

I do like to display current pictures of them but not in the areas I take pictures most frequently. I have pictures on our nightstands and a lot of pictures in my office.

Since I like a clean look, most of the kiddos’ pictures are in white frames. And I’m planning on a gallery wall, in my office.

One great tip for displaying photos of loved ones is to put them in frames of the same color. Or create a color palette for the frames. This makes a very pretty and cohesive grouping.

Have you ever thought of framing meaningful cards you get? I’ve done that for years. This is a card my daughter, Jacqueline, gave me for Mother’s Day a few years ago.

I keep it on my desk to remind me that even though my daughter is grown I can still be a good example of a godly, strong woman to her.

picture in white frame

Behind this card are a few other cards I put in this frame that are special to me.

I’m So Excited About This Diy

I’m so excited about the newest home decor DIY I am working on. I recently saw decorative books bundled together in the same color palettes. You can see them here and here. I think they would make a fabulous addition to any home decor. Who wouldn’t love a bunch of books that work together and work with their decor?

The ones that caught my eye were neutral and another was blue. Five books in different shades of the same color and with different covers that looked so pretty together. So I thought, “I can do that “.

So I’m busy painting and covering books to make a pretty decorative bundle. Look for a post soon.

Garden Stools

Garden stools have made a huge comeback lately. They are classics but they are getting a lot of extra attention!


The garden stool, in the foyer now, has been in our living room and bedroom here at the Tanglewood House.

I found this stool on clearance. And no wonder, it was originally bright school bus yellow! So I spray painted it a gunmetal gray years and years ago! If you don’t like the color of a piece of decor in your home PAINT IT!

We also have two spring green garden stools on our patio. They add a very pretty pop of color!


And they are great places to lay a drink or they work as makeshift places to sit.


Think about using a pretty garden stool in your home or outdoor spaces.

Color Palette And A Salad

I often get asked about my color palette.

I recently did a collage for my newsletter and think it really captured the essence of the Tanglewood House’s colors!

collage of rooms

I think knowing your decorating style and your whole home color palette are THE two most important things to do to help you decorate your home.

You can see a very informative post about How To Choose A Color Palette here. And see a recipe for Asian Ramen Noodle Salad here. This salad is perfect to take to summer get-togethers.

More May’s Random Musings And Decorating Ideas

dining room table
  • Loving our new round table in the dining room. I’m learning how to create round centerpieces for it.
  • We are waiting anxiously for the new sofa for the sunroom. Working on a mini makeover.
  • Our whole family will be together for Memorial Day! If you live anywhere close to Lancaster County make sure you check out the Strasburg Memorial Day parade. It’s a real slice of the best of America!
  • Our hydrangea bushes are starting to bud. I have been known to cut a few buds to put in small vases. They are so pretty!
  • I am not a naturally neat person. I wish I was. But I like to be organized. So it is an effort, even to this day, to keep things tidy! Especially, what I call hot spots. And you can tell how busy I am by how my desk looks. Right now it’s a bit out of control! YIKES! Maybe that is oversharing!
  • I stash my bathing suit and things I need to go to the pool in a big pretty straw tote and hang it next to our door. No one is the wiser. I can grab it and go and while it is hanging by the door in the foyer it’s very decorative too.
  • This weekend I’m working on our guest rooms. Cleaning and organizing and probably moving furniture and accent decor around. Do you get your guest rooms ready for summer guests? What is your best tip?
  • I’m thinking about replacing the big four-poster bed in one of the guest rooms with twin spindle beds.
  • And the biggest debate at the Pratt house is whether to blow out the wall in the loft and create a bunkroom for the grandkids above the garage. Not sure we would make the $$$ back in resale though. But it would be such a fun place for the “babies”.
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  1. Marilyn S. says:

    I LOVE this post ! What a wonderful idea to give us wonderful ideas and a little behind the scenes peek into the wonderful world of Tangle wood at Stonegable. Please keep as a monthly series.

  2. Fun post! At my last house, which we built, we thought in the future we might build a room over the garage. Building code required a steel I-beam across the expanse. Knowing it might be more difficult to add latter we added it during construction. This may not apply in your case, just thought I would give you a heads up.

    1. If we built this house we would have done the same. I bet you love using the space above your garage.

  3. I like your new post, Yvonne! I also love to frame things, I’ve done postcards I’ve received from a friend in England and framed beautiful scenes from gift bags, especially to have a few holiday themed prints. I most recently framed a Christmas letter from my mother to her parents in French which was done in the second grade. I just found this hidden behind her wedding picture, it’s dated in 1929!

    1. Margo, what a treasure to have your Mother’s card! Thanks for the tips.

  4. Love this post & hearing about the mother duck!

  5. Deb Wostmann says:

    Such a fun post. I wouldn’t worry about adding that room for the grandkids. As a Realtor I’d say in these current times you might be surprised at the amount you’d make back on the project. More importantly, live in your home the way it works for you and your family. I think having a bunk room for the grand babies would give them such fond and happy memories of going to grandma and grandpa’s house. I’m jealous I don’t have a place that I could do the very same.

  6. I had to comment to tell you how much I enjoyed today’s post! It was a genuine pleasure to read about the current daily events in your life. I hope you’ll continue with this series. Your warm inviting voice comes through loud and clear. Thanks for the nice start to my day!

  7. What fun to read your “musings!” Can’t wait to see the ducklings. And speaking of “ducklings”, BLOW OUT THAT WALL if you can afford it now. The joy everyone will get from the “bunkroom at Mimi and Poppy’s” (or whoever) will FAR outweigh your investment return. Better get that quote really soon though, before lumber prices go up another 400% from a year and a half ago!! And YES, folks are having a hard time finding handymen in our area. The ones that are working are just sooo overwhelmed.

  8. This was a fun read. I hope it becomes a regular Thursday morning post.

    I have a robin’s nest in my pergola. She sits very quietly when I’m outside. I take a peak but never get too close or make any noise. I feel privileged that she comes back every spring to nest in the rafters of the pergola. I also walk by a pond every morning that has ducks. I’m waiting to see all the little fluff balls following behind their mamas. So cute!

    I love your zebra rug! And am happy to see it brought back at Tanglewood. It’s perfect in your entrance.

    1. You must offer that robin such a nice place to hatch her babies. Musings will be a monthly series. So glad you enjoyed it.

  9. Where can I purchase the beautiful chest that has the white swirls of the front?

    1. Hi Peggy, I found the chest on Joss and Main a decade ago. It’s a piece from Hooker Furniture Manufacturer. I have not seen it anywhere for years. Sorry I can’t help you more.

  10. I enjoyed your musings and decorating ideas post very much. It’s fun to see what is in your plans for future decorating, and the story about the ducks reminded me that my sister had ducks nesting in a flower bed by her front door every spring for years.

  11. I hear your dilemma regarding sleeping space. I decided on a custom made Murphy bed. The freed up space can be used for other things like my yoga practice and craft work most of the time and then the room converts into play space for the grandkids. Our builder bolted it to the wall which can easily be taken down when we decide to move. Should we decide to leave it with the house, it is a good selling feature. We love it!

  12. Hello! I love your blog and your beautiful home! I am learning a lot from you ? I remember seeing somewhere that you can do virtual design/decorating consultations. Is that something you still do? If so, where can I find the information?

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Amy, I used to do consultations, but now I have grandchildren and use that time to be with them. Sorry!

  13. I really enjoyed your musings. This should be a constant post, as well as, tips about downsizing (dealing with the emotional tide that comes with big changes).

    We have a pair of ducks visiting our backyard, but no eggs. They enjoy our neighbor’s pond and come to our house to nibble on the fallen bird seed under the feeders.

    Thank you for sharing yourself with all of us!

    1. Hi Sue,

      If you go to the top right hand corner, you can search “downsizing” Yvonne has done several posts on the subject. One can learn a lot from reading the comments from readers who have also done so. Hope this helps!

    2. I plan to write a downsizing post once a month and a musing post too.

  14. Nancy Dotson says:

    Hi, I love your emails…I’m thinking of changing from my traditional rectangle dining table to a round table and haven’t found one that speaks to me. I love yours, can I ask where you purchased? Also love the chairs, but do like my current dining chairs which would work with a round table.



    1. Hi Nancy, I found my table at Ethan Allen. It has an ample size leaf so we can sit 10 around the table comfortably.

  15. MARY-ANN (FROM CANADA!) says:

    Yvonne, I loved your “Musings and Decorating Ideas” and am happy to hear that this will be a monthly feature! Your posts are always so informative!

    Thanks for sharing your beautiful home and your wonderful family with us! So cute that the Mama duck has nested in your yard! She found a wonderful spot! How nice to be able to watch and wait for these little ones to hatch!

    Enjoy your week!

  16. I truly enjoyed your musings and decorating ideas. Love the wallpaper and would like to try the Peal and stick. Any decorations with books makes me happy. Thank you for sharing!

    1. So sweet Mary! I’m thrilled you are enjoying the new Musings series!