Inside Marie’s Home for Halloween & What Happened to the Porch Column Dilemma

Thanks so much to everyone who left a comment on yesterday’s post. The information you shared and your suggestions were outstanding! Unfortunately, I’m having to start my estimate process all over again. My porch was due to be painted yesterday, but the company that was scheduled to do it blew me off after the project manager came out on Monday and he saw the peeling paint on the columns.

He informed me during that visit that the owner of the company who had given me my original estimate wasn’t even a painter, had never painted anything and was just the owner of the franchise. He said that properly stripping the columns would take an extra day of work. Okay, I just wanted it done properly. He left saying he would get back to me. I expected the owner to contact me and ask me to amend the contract to reflect the additional work time needed. I never heard back from them at all that day.

I texted the project manager that evening to ask what time they would be out the following day since they had never given me an arrival time. He texted back the next morning (the day my porch was scheduled to be painted) that they weren’t coming, would have to reschedule later. I texted back this: “No, this is not okay. It’s not okay to tell a customer the day you’re supposed to show up on her job that you’re not going to be there.”

I canceled the job with them and will find someone else. Unfortunately, this type of unprofessional behavior is very common here in Atlanta where jobs are plentiful. I found this company on the Nextdoor .com website for our area. So much for the recommendations you find there!

My guess as to why they didn’t show up is that when the project manager (who IS an actual painter) saw the columns, he no longer wanted my job since it was going to require more work to do it right. We could have discussed amending the contract to reflect the extra time needed, but instead, they just decided to not show up.

I really regret that this company wasted my time since I have other commitments coming up soon that will delay the start of the work now until the beginning of November. So I’ll be getting more estimates and starting my paint company search all over again. I have an estimate scheduled for tomorrow, so we’ll see how that goes.

Just wanted to give you an update since you were all so generous with your suggestions and tips in the comments of yesterday’s post. Thanks again for all that great information in the comments. I know the information you shared will benefit others as must as it has been helpful for me!


Inside Marie’s Home for Halloween

How about a little tour of how my friend, Marie, has decorated inside her home for Halloween! Marie had this adorable display set up on her big island in the kitchen.

Update: The pumpkin stands below are available at Hobby Lobby and I found some of them here: Pumpkin Stands.


Even the chairs at the bar section of the island were decorated.


There were other little surprises here and there around the house. It’s so fun when you turn a corner and find these fun surprises!


Marie completely redid her decorations for her main staircase this year.


The highlight of the staircase is these adorable Halloween witch dolls/figures. They are dressed in full Halloween splendor and were each a work of art!

Update: Several folks have asked about these whimsical figures decorating the stairs. They are by Mark Roberts and Marie said she purchased them from Grandinroad online.


Here are a few close-ups of each…


Their faces show so much personality!


Can you believe all the detail that went into each one!


This one sliding down the banister was my favorite! 🙂


You may recall that Marie had a tree in her kitchen that she decorates for all the holidays. This was her Halloween tree a previous year.


This year Marie decided to decorate a tree in the living room instead. I love the Halloween ornament colors against the green of the tree.


Here are a few close-ups for ya.






I stepped out Marie’s back door and snapped a few photos of the decorations I found there. She had this pretty centerpiece in the middle of the long table on her covered brick patio area.


The outdoor fireplace was decorated as well.

Halloween Mantel, Outdoor Fireplace


So cute! I love all the cats!

Halloween Mantel Decorations


During the night, a big wind blew over one of the umbrellas out back. Marie and I both tried to right it but it was sorta wedged against the concrete and the table was too wide to get a good grip on it. Marie had someone coming out that day to help her with it, but in the meantime, I couldn’t resist sharing how beautiful the backyard looked on this gorgeous sunny fall day!

This is where Marie and her husband frequently entertain and host charitable events during the summer months. I wonder if a guest has ever ended up in the pool? Ha! Only I would think of that!


Happy Halloween to you!


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  1. I’m sorry to hear about what happened with your columns. I want to thank you for generously sharing your paint colors. I am having my den and kitchen painted in Sugar Cookie. I love it! The color is perfect, not too bright, not too pale. I plan to have the front of my home painted using the same color this winter. It is so cheerful! I hope this cheers you up.

    • I’m so glad that color worked for you. That’s awesome! I still absolutely love it after all these years. I’m sure if I ever move I’ll be using it again. It really is such a perfect color and goes with everything.

  2. Marie’s place is over the top with holiday decor!
    Sorry to hear about the issues with the painting and how it’s going to impact other project scheduling. Ugh, that’s such a pain.

  3. Marie’s witches are the cutest! Can you tell us where she purchased them?


    • They are by Mark Roberts and I remember Marie said she purchased those from Grandinroad. If you go to the Grandinroad website and type in “Mark Roberts” in their search bar, they’ll pop up. Warning: Marie they were a splurge so they are kinda pricey. They appear to be on sale right now.

  4. I know how irritating it is to have unreliable contractors. So sorry.

    Wow, Marie really gets into Halloween. Must be fun around her house. We just moved across Tenn a month ago so decorating is the last thing on our agenda but I do have some fall decor outside and one Fitz and Floyd haunted house out there next to the front door. We moved from an old folks home neighborhood (or-so it seemed like) to a vibrant multiage neighborhood between Nashville and Memphis and they even have a Halloween parade. Fun fun. Prince Hairy Beary pooch even has a pumpkin outfit to greet the children in.

  5. FABULOUS!!! I love it!!

    Do you have any idea where she got those wire pumpkin holders in the kitchen? (The ones that make them look like Jack-O-Lanterns without actually carving.) I would love to get some. Thanks!

  6. I guess in today’s world integrity doesn’t matter. Work so plentiful you can blow people off! Sorry your painting project fell through, but probably a good thing with that particular business. Similar situation for me with our irrigation pump. Work improperly done with the pump and thought engine was the problem, work done on engine unnecessarily, blah blah $$$. Love, love all the Halloween decorations. The witches are incredibly detailed and fun. Beautiful ornaments on the Halloween tree as well! Can only imagine how dramatic it would be to see all in person (although your photos capture details superbly!). Thank you Marie!

  7. Susan it’s not just in Atlanta that it’s hard to find good and reliable help. Believe me, down here in Savannah it’s the same way. I’ve been through it many times myself. On a brighter note I love looking at Marie’s decorations! She goes all out and I know the children love it! Halloween is my absolute favourite time of the year.

  8. Bernadette M Gibson says

    Susan, do you know the name of the artist that makes the witch dolls? In a small way they remind me of Mark Robert’s work. My daughter would love one of these dolls. She collects Mark Robert, and several others. She is a really big fan of Halloween and would love these witch dolls. Thanks!!

    • They are Mark Roberts, I remember her saying that when I was there. She got them at Grandinroad online. Bernadette, search for “Mark Roberts” on the Grandinroad website and you’ll see them all there. They are currently on sale.

  9. Love the Halloween decor!!! Thanks for sharing!
    (Don’t wait too late to paint – we seem to actually have the beginnings of fall weather and some paint has minimum temperatures for application.)

    • Totally agree with Amma re temps as they can dictate how a paint will perform in not applied under the proper conditions. It also requires time to cure not to be confused with dry plus location for example can affect it. (i.e.: Full sun being the worse for most.) Brenda-

  10. So, what are the chances of you doing the columns yourself? I do things like this myself all the time, and it is not hard.

    • Thanks, Lori, but I prefer it have it done by a professional painter. I don’t mind painting inside, but the porch is way too high up for me to attempt painting it. I’m prefer leaving the stripping of the columns and the painting of the porch to a professional.

  11. Ugh, we need to look for a painter soon and now I dread it even more. Not much into Halloween decor, but Marie’s house makes reconsider.

  12. So sorry to hear about your painters – that’s so frustrating! Good luck on finding a good one, and tell Marie she’s done a fabulous job! She could sell tickets! 🙂

  13. Susan, we are 30 miles south of you and I can relate to every word re painting of columns. In the past two years I cannot tell you the number of so called businesses who will not call back, have called to tell us they just do not have time, say they will come, but never show up, will show up, but never get back with us and on and on.
    Very disgusting!
    Love all of the decorations, especially the tree.

  14. Can’t trust Nextdoor? Now that’s a bummer. So sorry to hear that, but forewarned is forearmed. (Did I get the order/spelling right? )

  15. I get that. There are a lot of things I leave to the professionals, especially if it involves major electrical work and anything to do with natural gas. My mother would get onto me if I tried something like stripping and repainting columns as tall as yours. I hope you find someone reputable.

  16. Linda S. in NE says

    I am so sorry to hear of your experience with trying to get your porch columns repainted. I had almost the same thing happen through a recommendation, only involving replacing my garage doors. Talked to the contractor on the phone, he seemed very knowledgeable, made several recommendations to me, set up a time and agreed to come out the next day for a look-see. Never showed up, nor even bothered to call and reschedule. I was replacing three garage doors, so it was not like he wasn’t going to make a profit on my work. I really don’t understand how contractors can operate like that, and still stay in business. Sadly, it does seem to be the new “normal” though. I “feel” for you, and hope you can get your work finished before you have to deal with winter weather.

  17. Totally fun and do appreciate the tour of Marie’s home. Sorry to hear about the painters but forgot to mention to you re the process I had mentioned; we had our fiber-glass slide for our in-ground pool repaired a few years ago using this method and it came out like brand new. -Brenda-

  18. I’m not sure how much farther East you live from me(I’m in Brookstone), but we had Randy’s Painting Plus paint our house a few months ago. They were very professional, showed up on time and did a fantastic job. And we are fussy about painting. Randy was out each day checking on the work, and that impressed us. I would send you contact info, but we aren’t home right now.

  19. I just wonder, where does Marie store all her decorations and how much time she must spend setting everything up.

  20. Wow, Marie sure knows how to stage her house for every season and holiday !
    Her collection of witches is amazing, each one is cutest then the other.
    Thanks for sharing Susan.

  21. OMG Susan,
    the witch doll that’s the favorite of yours looks exactly like my old art teacher! I always thought she’s a witch! lol But they’re all cute! Love the Venetian/Vintage dresses! Actually they (especially that one the red-haired figure is wearing) look like something I’d wear, too, without being a witch! 😀 Also love those “spider” pumpkin stands! So funny! Love Marie’s decoration for Halloween! Only those salt and pepper “eyeballs” are a little scary! lol

  22. Elinda Turner says

    I love Mark Roberts. I have a collection of his fairies and elves that I Use to decorate our great room at Christmas. I purchased my elves and fairies in 2003. I still enjoy them after all of these years.

    Love Marie’s decorations.

  23. Thanks for taking us along to Marie’s home. Just call us “Friends of Marie” If you can’t find the exact pumpkin holders, tall black candle holders make good stands.If Grandinroad is too pricey, Annalee has smaller dolls.
    I think you should report the painters to the state or put a report on Yelp. Perhaps they are a franchise without real experience who thought they would just slap some paint up and be gone because you are a woman.

  24. Does Marie have help or does she do all the decorating by herself?

  25. As always a home run eith Marie s House. Ask her where she gets all of her ornaments. I have started a Halloween tree because of your site and her inspiration. She has the greatest ornaments.

    Keep up the good work with your website. I look forward to it every day it’s out

  26. Hi Susan. Sorry to hear about your experience with the painters. Hope you have better luck soon. Now, about Marie’s home – all I can say is WOW! What an amazing job. I don’t decorate for Halloween but I do decorate quite a bit for Fall. I sure hope you will be visiting Marie’s during Christmas and sharing pics of her home. I am sure it will be fabulous! Have a great day and enjoy this incredible fall weather we are finally experiencing here in Georgia.

  27. I just love when you visit Marie…she has such a comical sensibility that is still so gorgeous. Good luck on your columns…. We are do DIYers…and this sounds like it may just need some old fashioned elbow grease and lots of sanding, a good sealer and a superior paint…sadly!

  28. Michele M. says

    So sorry about your contractor doing that to you. I think it is almost universal – good affordable help is impossible to find, it would seem. Have same problems here in mid Ohio. 🙁

    Marie’s home is so festive! Every pic of those witches brought on another big grin. What fun – I’d love to be a guest in her adorably fun Halloween Haven!

    GL Susan. I will keep my fingers crossed for you. Hugs.

  29. What a mess for your painting project plan! I have had really good luck finding help using HomeAdvisor. Apparently companies have to pay for the leads and then you post reviews after they complete the work, so there is some vetting involved. Have used 5 times and had good results from all. Angies list is similar. Best of luck finding a good painter!

  30. Marie is amazing! I love every tour you give us of r amazing home.I always wonder how old she is that she still has enough energy to do all this!!!! Thanks for the link to the pumpkin holders! Ordering some now! Have a HAPPY Halloween!!!!!

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