Dining room mini makeover, before and after with paint and fabric

I have been planning on painting the legs of my dining table ever since we moved to our new house (ah.. hum) 8 years ago. Our previous house was a country cape in the suburbs and now we actually live in the country but in a much more contemporary style home. Well this past weekend after yet another snow storm kept me house bound, I decided …today is the day for a mini dining room make over. Luckily I happened to have a can of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in the basement. I had originally planned on painting the legs black but Graphite is a dark charcoal and that is the color I had on hand.

Here is a before of the table with the country white washed legs. FYI.. In case you are wondering, I wasn’t going for a “puddled look” with the drapes…I  think I had just hung them and they weren’t hemmed yet. Also, there is no rug because at that point we were having “elder dog issues”.

dining room before

dining room before

As always, the reason why I like using the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint is because I just open the can and start painting…no prep what so ever.

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Graphite

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Graphite

It took less that 30 minutes to apply the first coat, and then another 30 minutes for the second. A project that I have been thinking about for 8 years done in an hour.

Here is the After. I am so happy with how it turned out (still no rug because now we have puppy chewing issues).

dining table after

dining table after

I also reupholstered the seat cushions of the chairs with a beautiful wool fabric in a diamond pattern from Alessandra Branca.  That actually took longer than the painting but was totally worth the work as I think it looks much better.

reupholster seat cushions

Alessandra Branca for Schumacher Sofia Diamond

Now, this is where I would love your opinion. I fell in love with another print from Alessandra Branca but it is a bit too pricey to use for new window panels ($140+ /yard). I want to use it though to tie everything together. Here is the print.

Alessandra Branca

Alessandra Branca Elizabeth from Schumacher

There are two (more affordable) ways I can use the fabric. The first is to have faux roman shades made to hang between the current drapes. Here it is hanging up to give you an idea of what I mean.


The second way I can use the fabric is to buy a couple yards and make a table cloth. Here is a what it might look like with a place setting.


Soooo…. please help me make a decision…roman shades or a table cloth?  Which do you like better?

If you would like help with a mini makeover in your own home, give me a call!

My Olioboard Guest Bedroom Comes to Life

One of my favorite design tools that I use for both myself and for my clients is Olioboard. In case you haven’t heard of it, Olioboard is an online design program where you can create 2D or 3D  inspiration or design boards simply by clicking and dragging an almost endless library of real life products. It is super easy to learn and so much fun to create a  fantasy room or try out how an actual room would look with your chosen furnishings.

olioboard purple bedroom

Linda Holt Interiors

 Being a photographer I love the fact that Olioboard is actual photographs. It really helps my clients visual the entire completed room. It also makes me look so professional even though Olioboard really does all the magic.

Recently I created an Olioboard for a very small guest bedroom I was decorating. My client already had the bed, asked that it be very simply furnished and preferred Red and Cream as his colors of choice. I put together this board below as inspiration and much to my surprise he said he loved it all and to go ahead and decorate the room exactly like the board; rug, fabric, storage bench, art work, bedding…everything! (click on photo to enlarge)

designing a bed room with Olioboard

Now that the room is finished I thought it would be fun to show the Olioboard come to life. (click on photo to enlarge)

small guest bedroom

I made just a few small changes at the client’s request such as one big statement pillow rather than a bed full.

I also decided to have my friend Susan Siefer paint the two side tables with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint to add a pop of blue and also to make the room a little more custom.

Susan custom mixed the Blue to match the Blue in the fabric shade and the Red accent stripe is Annie Sloan Emperors Silk.

Even though it is a very small room it was still fun to put it all together on Olioboard and also easier for my client to visualize how it would look once finished.

How about you? Do you use Olioboard?

If you would like help decorating or help with Color, give me a call.

My new walking desk version 1.0

Have you heard about the newest trend in the work place? It’s called a walking desk.  Quite surprisingly, studies have shown that long periods of sitting is actually worse for our health than a steady diet of junk food. Well the idea of a walking desk was actually first presented to me by my husband. He is a software engineer and his entire working life has been spent sitting at a desk all day long writing software. For the past 18 months my husband has been working from home and last Summer he decided that he wanted to try a walking desk. Since he wasn’t sure it would be something that he would like or be even be able to work on he didn’t want to spend upwards of $3000.00 on a manufactured walking desk.

Instead, he choose to make an inexpensive DIY version. His current work desk is an antique farm table but since he would soon be standing he needed to first raise the desk.

He simply put the table legs up on jacks …hey, I didn’t say his DIY way was going to be pretty…then he purchased an inexpensive treadmill base. He’s been using his walking desk since last Summer and it has changed his life. After a few weeks of adjustment and getting used to typing while moving he is now walking upwards of 10-12 miles a day!  It’s incredible to see him almost speed walking all the while typing away on the key board. This is his current set up.

DIY walking desk

A few weeks ago he decided that the “cheap” treadmill had served it’s purpose (the smell of burning rubber may also had something to do with it) and it was time for an upgrade to a high end treadmill base that could handle his daily miles. This is when I decided I should try the whole thing out. I took his “cheap” treadmill and for my desk we purchased one 4 x 8 piece of plywood from Home Depot. We first  had them cut the sheet down the middle and then one piece in half again. After measuring my height while standing on the treadmill the two half pieces became the “legs” and support braces of the desk and the larger piece became the top.

I gave it a quick coat of Annie Sloan Napoleon Blue Chalk paint and one coat covered all the knots and grain just fine.

It has now been just over 2 weeks and I am happy to report I haven’t walked or fallen off the treadmill once. I am no where near my husband’s speed walking pace of 60+ miles a week but everyday I feel more comfortable and at ease with the whole set up. I can’t do everything while walking (it’s difficult to use the mouse curser, write or draw) but at the very least I can email, do social media and write my blog pots while walking.

Again, it isn’t pretty but if it adds years to my life and takes some weight off I can live without the pretty….for a little while anyway.

How about you, have you heard of a walking desk? Do you think you would ever want to give it a try.

Looking for Color or Decorating help? Give me a call.




My 15 Seconds of Fame in House Beautiful Magazine

When I received a call from an editor at House Beautiful Magazine back in November I was driving home from an appointment and only answered my phone because I thought I must have left something at my client’s house. When the caller, Christine Pittel, said she wanted to interview me about painting my first nanosecond thought was  “oh, she must be looking for the OTHER Linda Holt“.  There actually is one and she lives just a few towns away from me and is a well known Artist. Although we have never met we have been confused for one another for the past 20 years. In the next nanosecond I heard Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and painting furniture and it was at this point I pulled off the road to try and collect myself and calm down my rapidly beating heart…OMG…House Beautiful, OMG…House Beautiful! House-Beautiful-Feb13-cover Many of you already know that I am a huge Annie Sloan Chalk Paint fan. My good friend Susan Siefer of MadPatter Art Design actually was the one who turned me on to it a couple years back. She was likely one of the very first around to check out and start using the paint. Now of course it seems like EVERYONE is using it.


Since I am basically lazy when it comes to painting furniture, I love the fact that you don’t have to sand or prep a piece before starting to paint. It’s instant gratification and you can have a fresh updated piece in a day…love that! Painted furniture is so “on trend” right now and I usually try and incorporate at least one painted piece into each of my projects.  My client’s love to have something unique and custom without spending a huge amount of money. As I recently shared in a previous post, I just painted two chairs with Annie Sloan Barcelona Orange for one of my clients.

Annie Sloan Barcelona Orange

Annie Sloan Barcelona Orange

Anyway, I digress… Pittel asked me to name my favorite Annie Sloan paint color and to talk about a piece I used it on and why.  My pick?  Florence: one of Annie’s newest colors.

Annie Sloan Florence

Annie Sloan Florence

How funny that I picked this color even before I knew that Pantone’s Color of the Year was to be Emerald Green. Below is my actual  quote in the February House Beautiful feature on Color Painted Furniture. (click on photo to enlarge) HB quoteand here is the piece in mention; done with my painting partner Susan.

 If you would like to see other pieces Susan and I have painted that are currently for sale check out my Pinterest board here.

If you had told me 5 years ago when I was still working full time as a photographer and only dreaming of being an interior decorator that one day I would be quoted in House Beautiful  I would have said you were crazy. It’s been an exciting  journey and I have to give credit to a few teachers and mentors who made my quote possible: namely Maria Killam for her True Color Expert training Leatrice Eiseman for her Color Expert training classKate Smith for her friendship and advice, Susan Siefer, close friend and painting partner and most recently Tobi Fairley, my teacher and business mentor. They have all educated me, inspired me, and fueled my passion and love of Color and Design.  I thank you and love you all.

If you would like a custom painted piece of furniture in your home or decorating help, give me a call.



NECN Room Makeover: How We Transformed The Room (part 1)

My NECN room makeover segment aired this morning so now I can show you all the behind the scenes and the process as it unfolded. This is what the room looked like on my first visit. (click on any photo to enlarge it)

room before

room before

Besides the clutter, the major problem with the room was that it was really dark, the furniture placement wasn’t working and the room did not reflect the personality of the awesome young family that lives there which is made up of Mom and Dad, 3 young kids, 2 big dogs and 2 cats!

My design plan for the room was challenging given we only had a budget of  $500.00:  Rearrange the furniture to get a better floor plan (free), lighten up the room with paint, get some art work up on the bare walls and replace the Taupe and Brown colored window treatments that were not working with the decor. I also needed to find seating to replace the over sized checked chair and ottoman that were the only 2 things not staying in the room.

The homeowners biggest complaint was that the room was too dark. The two windows in the room face into dark green trees so almost no natural light enters the room. The dark and dated brick wall flanked by the dark stained bookcases made the room even darker. I suggested we paint the brick a soft white as well as the dark stained built in book cases to lighten up that end of the room.


By pure chance, the husband is a carpenter so he chose to box out the brick with wood but painting it White would have the same “lightening” effect. Look at the difference in the after photo of this same wall.

bookcase wall after

bookcase wall after

After the book cases were painted I “shopped” the homeowner’s house to find accessories, collectibles and photos that I then used to style the bookcases (no more over stuffed and sagging shelves). We added inexpensive baskets from Homegoods to store Legos and small toys out of view.

The walls were originally painted White but as I blogged about in an earlier post that you can read HERE, the color White only comes to life in a room with lot’s of natural light. Since this room receives almost no light, the White only made the walls look gray and dingy. Instead, I chose an on trend soft neutral that added some depth and color and really livened up the room.

Since the Red sofa was staying, as was the Red, Brown and Orange area rug.  I chose to use Red as our accent color throughout the room. I  painted an old dresser that was being used as a TV stand Red to match the sofa.

Here is a photo of the dresser before:

 TV stand before

TV stand before

and here it is after after a couple coats of Annie Sloan Chalk paint…much happier don’t you think?

TV stand after

TV stand after

The walls were completely bare of art work so to add more color and a little personality I enlisted the homeowners children to create colorful art for an art wall. Each child now proudly points out their contribution to the room. The frames (originally Brown)were found at a yard sale for $4.00 and I painted them the same color Red as the dresser.

Here is a photo of that side of the room before:



and here is the wall after:

art wall after

What turned out to be another focal point of the room was the homeowners wedding quilt.It had been rolled up in a bag for over 10 years and it was especially emotional for them to finally see it displayed. She made the quilt herself and all the guests signed it. Here is the wall we hung the quilt on before:



and here it is after. As you can see I put the sofa on this wall so that it is now directly across from the TV. The wedding quilt hangs prominently between the windows.


Lastly, since I posted all these “before” and “after” photos, I thought it only fitting to show a “during” image….just a small hint of how much work went into this $500.00 makeover.


In my next post I will share a few more low cost tricks we used in this makeover.

Would love to hear what you think? Do you like the transformation?

If you would like a makeover of your room give me a call!



Mini Bathroom Makeover Before and After

When my husband and I bought our (almost) new house in 2005 we loved everything about it except for the kitchen and baths. The previous owner/builder had very different tastes than us and we didn’t care for his choice of tiles or cabinetry. It didn’t seem like a big deal at the time because we thought we would refinance in a year or so and redo both the kitchen and the master bathroom. Well then of course the recession hit and our house lost about 18% in value in the first two years. Refinancing was no longer an option so we just had to make do.  The kitchen is still as it was but this past weekend I gave the master bathroom a final cosmetic make over.

When we moved in, this is what I had to work with for tiles.

existing bathroom tile

existing bathroom tile

Pink and white tiles…NOT the first thing that comes to mind when I think of my dream bathroom.

The vanity was orangy cherry wood with a green laminate top. Unfortunately I don’t have a photo of the green laminate because we did change that out to a white quartz top. Since I had pink and green as my fixed elements I decided to just embrace the pink and green color scheme. I painted the walls green to match to laminate counter top  and I found a pink and green large scale botanical print to pull everything together.

bathroom window treatment

bathroom window treatment



I also had a collection of McKenzie Childs plates and knobs that fit my color scheme perfectly so I used my plates as wall art and switched out the stock vanity knobs to my McKenzie Child’s ones. Here is what our master bathroom  looked like until this past weekend.

 master bath before

master bath before

So what continued to bug me about this bathroom? I could live with the pink tiles and the pink and green color scheme but I could not stand looking at that orange vanity that related to nothing and stuck out like a sore thumb. Well this past weekend I decide to paint the vanity. I will admit I was nervous… now I don’t have a moments hesitation when it comes to painting furniture but cabinetry is different. What if I messed up? Also, being basically lazy when it comes to painting I didn’t want the hassle of  cleaning, sanding and priming those cabinets so I decided to use the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. You can read more about my experience with the paint HERE.

I removed the knobs and just started painting. I choose the Pure White as I wanted the vanity to match the white molding, white toilet and white tub and shower (which is to the left of the photo).

As soon as the first brush stroke went on I started to relax. The paint covered beautifully and I knew had made the right decision.

Pure White going on Cherry wood

Pure White going on Cherry wood

I wanted a smooth finish so I painted the first coat, lightly sanded with a 600 grid sand paper, painted a second coat, lightly sanded again and then applied 2 coats of wax. I thought the Pure White might be just a touch too “white” so I decided to tweak the final color just a bit by mixing a tiny amount of the dark wax in with the clear wax. It came out just how I wanted it and I could not be happier.

Here is the before again (minus the top knob):

Vanity before

Vanity before

and here is the after:

vanity after

vanity after


SOOO much better don’t you think?   Oh, and that white chair over to the left..that is going to get a coat of Pink paint ASAP.

bathroom after

bathroom after


Now I just have decide if I am brave enough to take on the huge job of painting the kitchen cabinets which are the exact same orange Cherry wood as what was in the bathroom. I know many people love the look of Cherry…it is just not for me.

I would love to hear what you think of my mini bathroom makeover.


If you would like help choosing color or decorating, give me a call.




Before and After…and After… With Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

Remember this table? This was the very the first piece of furniture my painting partner Susan Siefer of  Mad Patter Art Design and I painted using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.

console table before

console table before

The top was covered with dirty contact paper that was hiding at least two previous paint jobs: notice the yellow that was painted over the blue that was painted over the original wood.

console table before

contact paper over paint

Since we had heard there was no striping, sanding or prepping needed with the Annie Sloan paint we wanted to try it on really rough piece. You can read my blog here about all the steps we did with the paint, stencil and wax to transform it into this.

console table after

console table after

Well after looking at it for a few months in the studio we weren’t feeling the love anymore. In fact there were several of our earliest pieces that we got the urge to give a make over. Luckily, one of the best things about the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint is that if you decide you want a change …just repaint it…again, no sanding, prepping or striping.

Then last week while visiting the Brimfield Antique show we saw this fabulous Union Jack dresser painted by Nancy Chace of Sea Rose Cottage.

Union Jack Dresser

Photo by Nancy Chace of Sea Rose Cottage

Seeing Nancy’s chest inspired us to give our console table a little British flair.

console table after, after

console table after and after

We used nail heads around the edge for a little added bling.

We also gave a makeover to this Antibes Green stenciled table.

green stenciled table before

green stenciled table before

It now has a new life painted Emperor’s  Silk Red.

Table after

Table after

Here is a close up of the top which we lacquered with images of graffiti that I photographed while vacationing in Barcelona.

barcelona table detail

We gave this red stool with silk fabric a makeover to go into a little girl’s room.

stool before

stool before

and is now painted with Antoinette pink and gold leaf trim and recovered with a bright paisley print.

stool after

stool after

Even this orange and blue table got a little tweek

with the addition of a pompom accent trim.

Since we have recently acquired some large and unique pieces to paint, as well as a few commissioned pieces, we need to clear out and make some room. We are putting all our pieces for sale on Etsy. Click HERE to see what is for sale as well as some of Susan’s paintings. You can also see our painted furniture by following my board on Pinterest . We will be adding new pieces as we paint.

So what do you think of our makeovers?  Have you used the Annie Sloan paint yet?

If you have a piece of furniture you would like transformed or if you need help choosing the perfect color, or decorating give me a call at 617-965-3342.


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