H. Camille Smith

"Trends come and go but good design is timeless."

Camille is a managing editor for HGTV.com, fine artist and antique furniture devotee. As a former interior designer and Nickelodeon animator, she has a real passion for balanced, beautiful interiors with a touch of whimsy and punch of color. Camille shares a mid-century cottage with two exceptionally pampered pooches and rooms filled with vintage finds.

H. Camille Smith ON PINTEREST

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POSTS BY H. Camille Smith

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My sister bought a fixer-upper beach house almost two years ago which we’ve slowly but surely been hammering back into shape. In addition to a long list of structural changes, we needed to find a house full of beachy furniture and accessories on the cheap. I hail from a family of bargain hunters/diy-ers so the beach house has been a fun challenge for us.

Before: We started in the main living area which was dark, crowded and just plain sad. Sunny yellow trim did nothing to brighten up the driftwood gray paneling. Unfortunately, you can’t see the pitiful greenish-gold shag carpet which, thanks to leaking windows, had mildewed and actually smelled worse than it looked (hard to believe, I know). Dark, dated and dingy beach house living room before makeover

See the Afters

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If there’s one thing my frequent estate/garage sale forays has taught me,  it’s that no one need ever pay full price for a candle. Ten bucks for a pillar candle? What?! I can’t remember the last time I shelled out more than $1 for one. The only downside to purchasing secondhand candles is that they’re often dented, scratched or are a color that won’t work with your decor. No worries, a little hot glue and twine will cover up a world of sins.

I recently picked up some bargain candles at an estate sale in Knoxville before heading down to my sister’s work-in-progress beach house. I had some jute twine and furniture webbing left over from other projects so I decided to give these 3 thrifted candles a quick beachy makeover — et voila:  coastal twine-wrapped candles

Pretty, huh? I paid $2 for the 3 candles and, as I said, all the other materials I already had on hand — but, if I had to buy them, this would be a $10-$15 project.  They fit right in with our other beachy bargains:coastal twine-wrapped candles

I know people will ask about fire safety for obvious reasons — twine and upholstery webbing are flammable. First, as with any candle, you shouldn’t leave it burning without supervision — but — I’ve done variations of this project (covering pillar candles in paper, ribbon, bark and even paint) many times and never had a problem. The key is to choose a pillar candle wide enough that the wick burns down the center leaving a wax shell. Don’t try this technique on a narrow pillar or taper candle.

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My love affair with stately, opulent marble began in college and my first trip to Italy. Semesters spent in art history class poring over photos of classical sculpture and architecture didn’t prepare me for experiencing it firsthand. By the end of Day One, I was hooked and my quest for Carrara marble began.

The first bit of marble awesomeness I bought was a small bedroom lamp. I’ve since graduated to these big beauties (below). You can find them on ebay, 1stdibs and V&M but be prepared to shell out the big bucks. The lamps themselves are pricey but shipping is the real budget-buster. Plus, because these date mainly to the ’20s, ’30s and ’40s (Art Deco and Hollywood Regency periods), the wiring will need to be replaced meaning more $$.

To score a marble lamp within budget, hit local antique or thrift stores and, of course, estate and garage sales. Before purchasing, carefully check the stone for chips, cracks and discoloration. A good cleaning with mild dish soap and a toothbrush will do wonders, but marble is porous so if the lamp has spent decades exposed to cigarette smoke, regaining its original creamy color will require professional help.

Oh, in case you’re wondering: I paid $35 for the lamp below at an antique store which my dad and I then rewired for around $12, $15 for the drum shade and $18 (a total splurge) for the crystal finial.marble table lamp with lenten roses

How amazing is this bowl?! I found it full of stagnant water and rotted plants at an estate sale. It was so grimy that both I and the seller initially thought it was concrete. After wiping off a layer of black slime (eww!) I could tell it was marble and knew I had to have it. The price: just $10 — a real steal. Of course, I tweaked my back man-handling it back to the car…but….it was totally worth it.  carrara marble planter with orchids

Here you can see the planter’s detail. The marble isn’t polished but the lion’s heads and banded detail are well carved. carrara marble planter with orchids

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With just one week till V-Day, it’s time for some quick-and-easy printables to put the finishing touches on your celebrations. From valentines you can print then embellish, to lettered tags perfect for topping gifts or treats, we’ve got you covered.

These charming printable tags can be cut into any shape to top their favorite sweets: Printable Valentine's Day Cupcake Toppers

If an old-school valentine is more your speed, print one of our cute valentines onto card stock then embellish them with self-adhesive rhinestones and ribbon:  Free Valentine's Day Printable Card

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Just 2 more weeks till Valentine’s Day, can you believe it?

The stores are stocked full of tasty little bon-bons packed into pretty packages — which are all very tempting but so…well, mass-produced. If you’re looking for an easy way to surprise your valentine with an equally pretty box filled with homemade tasty bon-bons, then I’ve got you covered! This heart-and-arrow takeout box is a snap to craft and dipping fortune cookies into chocolate couldn’t be easier — even for a certified non-cook like me.

Kids will love making these to give to classmates, family friends or grandparents, and your wallet will appreciate that the materials can be picked up, inexpensively, at your local market and craft store.

Ready to get started? Get the complete step-by-step instructionsValentine's Day Kids' Craft: How to Make Chocolate-Covered Fortune Cookies

As a variation to the heart-and-arrow box, I added square corners cut from paper doilies to each side, then surrounded the lace with self-adhesive rhinestones. Valentine's Day Kids' Craft: How to Make Chocolate-Covered Fortune Cookies

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If you’re like me, you’ve *just* finished packing away the holiday decorations and it’s already time to start thinking about Valentine’s Day. While it’s true that time does fly, it seems to go into hyper-speed whenever we approach a holiday centered around sweets. Well, honestly, Valentine’s Day is about letting the people in your life know how important they are to you — but — you get to say it with chocolate. Which is a win-win in my book any day.

Candy and cupcakes are great by themselves, but to take your V-day gift-giving up a notch, you need a cute handmade container — preferably one that’s quick, easy and inexpensive to create. Voila! May I present doily treat cups that are SO easy to make that they’re the perfect Valentine’s Day project for kids.  

Honestly, you won’t believe how easy these are — and they’re totally food safe and kid friendly. Ready to get crafting? Well, alrighty then, here are the complete step-by-step instructions plus a few photos to spur your creativity.

Because you use a muffin tin to shape them, they’re just the right size for cupcakes: lace doily treat cup

Or you can sandwich wired ribbon between the doilies to create a cute handle: doily treat cup  READ MORE

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Seriously, what did we do before Pinterest? It’s not only a great way for the HGTV.com editors to stay on top of design, craft, entertaining and gardening trends, it also lets us know what you guys are interested in so we can tailor our content to suit it. 

So, needless to say, we keep a close eye on the photos HGTV fans pin and the ensuing comments — we love feedback! Wondering which 35 HGTV images were most pinned (and repinned…and repinned) in 2012? Check em out then feel free to pin away to your own boards or leave comments letting us know why that photo is one of your faves.  

All 35 images are stars but here are 6 stand-outs: 

Not surprisingly, beautiful indoor spaces, like this chic and restful bedroom by Sarah Richardson, topped the list:Sarah Richardson's silver bedroom

Dreamy outdoor rooms were also big. HGTV fans love how John Gidding turned the under-used corner of a deck into a party-ready outdoor lounge:John Gidding's corner outdoor loung

The chalkboard paint trend is still going strong. Tinted a cheery red, it gives an old dresser new usefulness:
Chalkboard Dresser

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As the holidays inch ever closer, I bet you’re ready for another crafty gift wrap idea, right? Well, I’ve got you covered with two (easy!) ideas for doily gift wrap that are oh-so-feminine to complement the dude-tastic gift wrap I shared last week.

BTW, if you haven’t already jumped on the brown-Kraft-paper-as-gift-wrap train, I recommend you hop on at the next station. Simply put, it is the bomb. Inexpensive and available year-round (I buy mine at the dollar store), the thick paper makes crisp corners and the neutral color works with any embellishments.  For me, it’s the perfect year-round gift wrap and I always keep a few rolls on hand.

What are the holidays without a little sparkle? After wrapping the gift in Kraft paper, I glammed-up a paper doily by coating it with spray adhesive (like Super 77), then dusting the still-wet glue with glitter. Once the glue had dried, I attached the doily to the package with glue dots to prevent it from shifting when I added the ribbon. As a final touch, I tied on one of the glittery pinecones I made for my salvaged molding/evergreen bough and added a few self-adhesive rhinestones for extra glitz.   Doily Holiday Gift Wrap

Or, you can skip the Kraft paper and just wrap a paper doily around a pretty box. I used glue dots to secure the doily’s edges then wrapped the box with yarn and tied on a pom-pom. These are soo cute and soo easy to make, learn how to craft one yourself below.  Handmade Holiday Gift Wrap Idea

Step 1: Wrap yarn around your fingers a dozen or so times. The more times you wrap it, the fuller the pom-pom will be.
How to Make a Yarn Pom-Pom Step 1
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The holidays are sneaking up on us fast! Hanukkah began this weekend and Christmas will be here in less than 2 weeks. If you’re like me, you’re in gift wrapping crunch mode.

Honestly, wrapping gifts is one of my favorite things about the holidays but wrapping guys’ gifts can be tough — the trick is to keep them seasonal and masculine. For my mens’ gifts this year, that means this awesome blue plaid ribbon (love!) and handy-dandy, works-with-anything Kraft paper.

Another Kraft paper bonus: Thanks to its thickness, you can paint it without rippling the paper. So for Grant’s gift, I painted on a chalkboard gift tag then topped it with a blue plaid ribbon rose (in honor of his bowtie obsession) and a sparkly snowflake ornament.Chalkboard Gift Wrap With Handmade Ribbon Rose

Step 1: I planned to add the ribbon rose on one side and have the chalkboard tag take up most of the remaining space so I first taped on a band of ribbon to determine the tag’s placement. Next I used a ruler to mark out a rectangle, leaving the corners unmarked. To round the tag’s corners, I sketched around a small tin then erased any pencil marks that wouldn’t be covered by the chalkboard paint. chalkboard gift wrap

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As you guys know, I love a good estate sale. One of my favorite places to search for treasures is the garage — but I’m not looking for tools. I’m on a quest to find broken bits with potential — like drawers, keys or old knobs that have been separated from their original piece of furniture or vintage harps, finials or other electrical hardware — essentially anything with character that I think I can repurpose.   

A few months ago, I discovered a 4-foot board with a carved detail along the top and beautiful raised acanthus leaves at either end. The seller found it in a barn and had no idea how old it was or whether it once framed an elaborate doorway or was part of a long piece of furniture, like a buffet.  The white paint was crazed and chipping – just how I like it. The seller seemed shocked that I even wanted a beat-up old board so he priced it low – 2 whole dollars. Originally, my plan was to strip all the paint and stain it but once I had removed the chipped paint and sanded it smooth, I decided to leave it as-is.

Topped with glittered pinecones, blue Spruce and holly boughs, my found molding makes a beautiful, rustic swag above the entry to my kitchen:

Here you can see the acanthus leaf detail on the ends — pretty, right?! Totally worth a dusty, dirty scavenger hunt in the wood pile.

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