Home Decor Interview:
Debra from "Bungalow"
Call her the reluctant blogger, but Debra from
has found success even when she never really intended to. Perhaps that's
why her blog is so popular.
A talented lady who thrives on all things thrifty, Debra is part of a growing
legion of bloggers and decorators who take what's trash to others and turn it
into something worth showing off in your home.
The result? Low cost decor that looks great! Debra features all
these projects on
and more. In addition, she's going through some tough times right now.
We thank Debra for taking the time out to sit down and have an interview with
us, and we hope you enjoy this very special Q&A session.
1. Hi Debra, thank you so much for doing this interview with us. Please tell
everyone a bit about yourself and your lovely blog, “Bungalow.”
Thank you for inviting me to join up with so many talented decor bloggers, it's
quite an honor.
I was truly blessed to be able to retire early from the Hershey Company where I
worked for about 30 years. My job was on the production floor not behind a desk.
It was hard work and I don't miss it at all.
I've been blogging for about three years. Honestly, my interest in blogging
wanes. Sometimes I'm into it and at other times I struggle just to get 2 posts a
week! I have nothing but admiration for the really successful blogs because it
takes tons of dedication and hard work. I started blogging as an outlet for
stress, a place where I could write about dealing with Alzheimer's and to
showcase some projects. I blog about thrifting and thrifty decorating. Spray
paint is my BFF and I hope I may have inspired others to think outside the box
when it comes to decorating. I post a few recipes and tips and a little about a
woman's daily life.
The original name of my blog was the bunnys bungalow but I've shortened it to
Bungalow, thinking it sounded more sophisticated....Lol. Hopefully soon my blog
will get a makeover and possibly move to Wordpress.
2. Before we go further, we want to make mention of your mother, who
unfortunately is suffering from Alzheimer’s. I saw my grandmother live through
the exact same pain you describe in your blog, and it’s terrible and all we can
do is try to cope the best we can. We wish you the best of luck as you care for
her and spend time by her side. What words of advice would you have for someone
who may be going through something similar, be it their parents, grandparents,
Talk to them if you can at the beginning stages while they can still communicate
their wants and needs. Find out how they want their finances handled, what kind
of living arrangements they will be comfortable with. Ask questions, even the
ones that are hard to ask. Get to know them a little better. Just talk and be
sure to tell them you love them. Get your ducks in a row as far as legalities
like power of attorney, wills and advance directives. It's important.
3. Like many of the bloggers we’ve interviewed, you are very much interested
in renovating “trash” into treasures. They all say the same thing: it’s the
thrill of the chase, the challenge of the makeover, and the satisfaction of the
end result. However, where do you suggest someone learn these kinds of skills?
Is it something you are born with, or is it a learned skill that anyone can do?
First, I think you have to have the desire, it does take some effort to find
that perfect piece to turn into a treasure. Some people are genuinely not
interested in searching , for that person buying new is the answer. But I do
feel that there is some talent in the ability to see past the trash part.
Natural ability to see something in a new way I call the trash to treasure eye.
For example, an old chippy door, is it just an ugly old thing that need stripped
and repainted? No way! Hang it on the wall and enjoy it as it is, paint it with
chalkboard paint and showcase a favorite quote or verse or use it as a family
message center. Add some hooks and it could be a hall tree in a foyer or add
legs and it's a coffee table. If it's a screen door, hang it from the ceiling to
use a pot rack.. That's how my mind works and it gets me in trouble sometimes
with too many projects! But I do believe that anyone with the desire can do it.
Study blogs and magazines to get inspiration, make a list of things you'd like
to find then get out there and put on your trash to treasure glasses. Don't get
disappointed if you don't find anything at first, you will, just keep on trying.
Never think you can't transform something. I've flown by the seat of my pants
many times and have never messed up so bad it had to be trashed. Just go for it
and learn as you go.
4. You’re not only a thrift store junkie, but you work at one too! Please
tell us a bit about your job and if you enjoy it. And how has it been working
all the extra hours ever since your co-worker suffered an accident?
I do enjoy working there, but after an 8 hour day my feet hurt! I am an "incharge
person". I do deposits and oversee the clothing store which also sells household
items like dishes, linens and knickknacks. I handle problems that may arise at
checkout, restock the store, do displays and the window display, which you know
I love to do. There are tons of items to pick from when putting together a
display, that's the fun part.
My coworker was in a head on collision and was recently readmitted to the ICU
with pneumonia so I am working some extra hours to help out. She is slowly
getting better and we all miss her. Since this is a Christian Ministries store,
lots of prayers are going up for her too.
5. You and I have almost the exact same bed, and it looks beautiful. Here in
California, people are afraid to put anything above the bed because it could
crash onto us during an earthquake. But you recently have a new addition above
your bed; although it’s not really “new.” Please explain your mental process for
re-using and recycling. Do you create a mental vision of what it should look
like, and then look for stuff in the house that you already have? Or is it the
opposite (that is, you see something around the house and imagine what else it
could be used for)?
Well in the case of the art above the bed I couldn't find anything that I liked,
so I just redid what I had to create the look I was going for.
FIrst I decide what I want, which sometimes is the hardest part, then I'll try
to create it with what I have. That means looking through things I already own
to see if I can come up with some possibilities, if not I'll shop yardsales and
thrift shops. Usually what you're looking for will turn up eventually. So to
answer your question, I create a mental vision first. I'm a very visual person.
6. A lot of people with smaller homes have a never-ending thirst for new
decor, whether it’s recycling an old item or fixing up an antique from a yard
sale. But in smaller homes, it’s easy to run out of space for new items pretty
quickly. Does this happen to you, and if so, how do you work around it? Do you
scale back your bargain hunting, or do you often sell old items to make room for
At almost 2000 square feet, I'm happy with the size of our ranch home, plus
there's 500 more square feet in the finished basement and lots of storage down
there too. The size of our home is deceptive because there's more house behind
the garage which is not visible from the street. If my kitchen was a little
bigger I'd say it was the perfect size and now I have a huge patio to decorate
which has been fun.
I wouldn't say I run out of space, more space means more space to clean and I
can think of many more things I'd rather do. I guess I do scale back on bargain
hunting by not buying many larger pieces and sometimes I give things away and we
have a yearly yard sale.
7. Debra, thanks again for sharing your time with us. I know these are
difficult times for you, so please hang in there. For this last question, can
you please tell us a bit about a project you are currently working on, or one
that you are thinking of working on sometime later this year? We all have things
in the back of our heads that we’re looking forward to decorating in the future.
Currently I'm working on a project with frames and am about finished decorating
the patio. I'm thinking of lightening the walls in the den and kitchen and
adding more greens and aquas along with the reds and I'd love to do board and
batten in the smaller guest room.. Slowly I'm getting rid of some of the Tuscan
accents and moving toward a more organic feel with shells, nests, and natural
fibers like jute and burlap.
I always have a head full of projects!
We want to send Debbie our full support and tell her how much we enjoy her work.
We appreciate the time she took to answer our questions, and we hope you'll all
check out her blog,
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