About CatrinaAtHome

I'm Catrina Vargas-Cormell, old home renovator, designer and home decor enthusiast. I can geek out on restoration tools and vintage fabrics with the best of them. I live for the weekends when I can go pickin' with my husband of 24 years.

Be different. Be you.

Being different.. just for the sake of being different.. is annoying. We all know that girl/guy. And ew.

Being different because that’s who you are, is beautiful! And empowering to others!

Coco Chanel said: don’t be like the rest of them, darling.

I couldn’t agree more.

This next part may sting a little.

I think a lot about this neutral trend that we are seeing in home decor. All gray and white. All greige.. and white. All whites. I’m certainly not speaking about everyone but I have noticed that for far too many, a neutral palette is a copout. They’ll never admit it, but it’s easier to decorate with neutrals because tough decisions on color that may or may not be popular choices, never have to be made.

coco quote2 CAH.png


I feel like one thing I do more than anything else is give women courage to pursue the home they really want. Not what their mom or sister or coworker suggests but the home that they want.

It does take courage to step out of what’s expected of you and pursue what you really want for your home.

So I’ll say to you what I say to so many others,

Take the time to figure out what you really want for your home: You color story, your style and the way you want your home to feel.

Figure out what’s standing in your way: Is it your insecurity? Is it the strong opinions of others? Is it finances?

Make a plan for removing the obstacles: This could mean starting a savings or selling some stuff in your home to raise the funds. It could mean having a sit down talk with someone who has a strong opinion on your home and life.

Go for it! For some, this could be the hardest part! I get it. But creating a home that you love to be in, that refreshes you and inspires you and motivates you to go out and do what you’re supposed to do in the world, is worth the effort! You and your family are worth the effort!

“don’t be like the rest of them, darling.”

Don’t fall into what everyone else is doing out of fear or exhaustion. I urge you to take the time to get to know what you want and summon the courage to pursue it. You got this!


Blessings on you and your home,


The Declutter Project

I’ve got no photos for this post (I know, unheard of these days) .. because who wants to see photos of clutter?

Not me.

Since January 2016, I’ve been on a major decluttering spree. Like MAJOR. Giving stuff away, throwing stuff away and selling stuff on eBay and craigslist.

I have no idea how I can be a year and a half into this and still so far to go, but its true.

When the heck did I become such an accumulator? I grew up with nothing! Seriously!       I know early on in my marriage, holding on to stuff was likely a residual effect of my childhood but that was a long time ago! I have no excuse anymore. None.

My husband and I just recently wrapped up an Estate Sale that we did for a friend who had lived in her house for 30+years. That’s a long time to accumulate stuff. Being around all that STUFF for over two weeks as we prepped for the sale has really made us get even more serious about decluttering our home.

We’ve been posting things on Craigslist and eBay like crazy this past week! Making a little cash and clearing stuff out!

Here are my tips for starting the simplifying and decluttering process:

  1. If you’re overwhelmed, start small. with a drawer, a closet or a single cupboard. Don’t move on till you complete that small project. Celebrate that success and keep going.
  2. Start with just fifteen minutes a day. Set a timer if you want but don’t stop till the timer goes off.
  3. Ask yourself these questions when you’re finding it tough to get rid of something: Do I love it? Am I using it? Have I used it in the past 6 months? Do I have multiples of this? Is it broken? Am I keeping this out of obligation or guilt?
  4. Don’t forget to declutter your furniture, too! That stray bookcase or hand me down end table… or the dreaded treadmill (that you know you’re not using) need to go. All of that can go on Craigslist, in a garage sale or to the Goodwill.

When we simplify our lives and declutter our homes we will literally feel lighter. Stuff has a way of weighing down not only our physical space but our mental and emotional space.

simplify Catrina At home Blog

try it!

You just may make a few bucks selling stuff you don’t need and find new peace of mind you didn’t know was possible just by simplifying.





Easy Spring Centerpiece

Winter is fading into history and Spring is… springing!

Living in the  desert southwest, Spring happens earlier for us. The temps start to rise and blooms start appearing while most of the country is still under snow. We are fortunate that way but our Summers are HOT. So… there’s that. :-)

But for now, we are enjoying a brief moment of ideal temps and light winds.

Seeing blooms appear outside makes me want to bring the Spring indoors! I made this simple Spring centerpiece, purchasing everything from Hobby Lobby, and you can too!

I use no hot glue (or anything else really) to secure the greenery or flowers in place and that’s the beauty of it, when you want to change out the flowers or figurine as the season changes, it’s super easy to do!


  1. Make sure all of your greenery and flowers run in the same direction, clockwise or counter clockwise, this helps the centerpiece flow together nicely.
  2. Have fun! Don’t stress about perfection, there’s no right or wrong way to do this. If you follow my lead and not use glue you can always pull out the pieces and start again.

If you make a Spring centerpiece I would love to see it! Feel free to post it on my Facebook page.

Happy Spring!




How To Style Series: Throw Blankets

The throw blanket is a great way to add texture and color to your home design!

You can go for a structured look with a neatly folded throw blanket or casually drape a throw over the edge of a sofa for a more laid back approach.

Here’s a short video on how to style your throw like a pro:

A few important tips to remember:

  1. The throw blanket is mostly decorative. If you are struggling to figure out how to implement it into your home design, you may consider leaving it out. It’s not a necessary element, like most home decor, it’s optional.
  2. The simplest way to store a throw is to roll it up and put it in a basket with other throws or pillows. Store the basket next to the sofa or couch or on a bookcase.
  3. Have fun and experiment with your throw in different locations and different styles in your living space. This is your space and the final result should be pleasing and inviting to you and yours.

Happy styling!





How To Style Series: The Nightstand

Your nightstand is the possibly the first thing you see when you wake up in the morning and the last thing before you go to sleep at night. And yet, very often, it’s the area of our home that lacks any style. It’s an afterthought at best.


When we take the time to actually style our nightstands with a few things that we love, it makes it nice to walk into the room at night and nice to wake up to. Style isn’t for others to look at and/or admire, it’s for us to feel more at home in our homes. When we are surrounded by objects (many or few) that we love and inspire us, that reflect our personalities, we feel ‘at home.’

When we feel refreshed and inspired at home we are able to recharge and regain the energy we need to go out and do what we’re supposed to do in the world.

Here’s a quick video on how to style a nightstand:


Here are the simple steps to a fabulous nightstand:

  1. Add lighting (a medium sized lamp of your choice)
  2. Add art or a mirror (leaning against the wall or hanging on the wall, your choice)
  3. Add a small stack of books
  4. Add in flowers or greenery
  5. Bring in personal touches (favorite collectibles or photos)
  6. Don’t overcrowd the space, leave plenty of room to charge your phone, etc.
  7. Use different textures and heights to create interest
  8. Style in odd numbers (three or five items)

Take a look at your nightstand, does it reflect you and your personal style? I hope these simple steps will motivate you to style your home in a way that refreshes and inspires you.


Happy styling,


How to style your nightstand pic



Done is better than perfect

“I’m afraid I might mess it up.”


This is the “reason” I hear so often from folks who want to do that DIY project, pick a new couch or paint their bedroom… but haven’t started yet.

For some it’s been days but for others… it’s been years. They’re stuck.

There’s very few things in this world that can’t be fixed if indeed you do “mess it up” so I ask you, is that really the reason you haven’t begun?

Is there some perfectionism mixed in there? Maybe a little fear of what others will say?

When you leave the land of the Talkers and join in the land of the Doers, when you put yourself out there and take the leap to start your project, you quickly find out, that making mistakes is part of the process. It’s as common as dirt.

The difference is, I’ve been doing this long enough to know that I’m going to screw up from time to time. I get pissed, fix it, learn from it and move on. End of story.

Confidence and understanding are only developed through experience.

And the only way to get some experience.. is to get started.

Silence the naysayers and even the voices in your head, take a leap and START that project/job/weight loss program etc. that you’ve been wanting to and kick fear in the face, once and for all.

You got this.





Color Speaks To Us & For Us

Color is the top form of non verbal communication.

Can I say that again?

Color is the TOP form of non verbal communication. Wow.

Color means so much and says so much, what does your color scheme say about you?

If you want to change the atmosphere in your home, what colors should you introduce?

Apples in bowl CatrinaAtHome

Check out this video to hear how color speaks to us and for us.

Here’s a very brief rundown of some popular colors and what they say:

Orange: Cheerful, energetic, confident, spontaneous, extrovert, social, happy.

Dark blue: Responsible, confident, intuitive, loyal, trustworthy, truthful, successful.

Green: Nourishing, balancing, energetic, prosperous, growth, health, vitality.

Purple: Creative, wise, royalty, strong, powerful, imaginative.

Yellow: Enhances intelligence and helps clarify thoughts, happiness, uplifting, optimism.

Pink: Innocent love, calm, warmth, feminine, intuitive, sensitive.

Red: Passion! Heightens strong emotions of love or hate, makes you feel active, bold, youthful, energetic, confident.

White: Purity, innocence, untouched, cleanliness, equality, neutrality and independence.

Black: Formal, glamorous, timeless, strength, stability, mysterious, protective, powerful and even intimidating.

Bright gold: Luxury, vitality,  success, achievement, triumph, luxury, quality, prestige, elegance.

Silver: Ornate, glamorous, graceful, sophisticated, elegant.

Turquoise: vibrant and spirited.

Beige: Non threatening. Think of it as a background color. The one that allows others to come forward and shine.

Brown: Protector,  Security, contentment, cozy, strength, honest, genuine and sincere. Brings a grounding and stability.

I could geek out for hours on this subject but I don’t want to make your eyes bleed having to read my ramblings. LOL There’s lots of interesting reading material on the science of color and how it impacts the world around us. A quick google search would probably yield more info than you can shake a stick at but if you’re still curious, check out some of those materials and let me know what you discovered about your style that you didn’t know before.

Blessings from this proud color geek,