About Centsational Girl

Hello and welcome to Centsational Girl! I’m Kate Riley, bargain hunter, design lover, renovator, and incurable DIYer, living in Northern California’s Wine Country.

kate riley 500 pxI’m a simple gal with a simple dream:  transforming the drab into the fab with an arsenal of paintbrushes and power tools. In pursuit of diamond style on a dime, I shop thrift stores and home improvement centers with an eye for repurposing found objects and creating new things.

My motto is ‘fabulous, for less’ and I’ll show you how to fix up your place and with finesse. I write about design, home improvement, and DIY projects and how to bring affordable style to your home, so be sure to read the Style Files for the latest articles. I’ve created several collections of fabrics and wallpapers as well, see all of my designs on my Kate Riley portfolio website.

Why subscribe to Centsational Girl? 

I always share my tips, tricks, and tutorials whenever I transform a space or create something new. Catch up on the archives by browsing the Project Gallery, don’t miss the Style Files for plenty of inspiring home improvement and interior decorating ideas, and browse my other domain Best of DIY for over 1,000 of my favorite DIY projects.

Want some backround?  Here’s the scoop. I’m a former lawyer turned home blogger who’s been passionate about design, decor, and do-it-yourself projects for over a decade. Together with my guy, we’ve tackled several remodels, including our own home addition and remodel beginning in 2006 and our current fixer home. This site is where I share all of my adventures in DIY projects, textile design, interior decorating, home improvement, and our life here in California.

I also contribute articles to the Lamps Plus blog sharing all about great design, and at My Colortopia for Glidden talking all things color and paint. I wrote for Better Homes and Gardens for over two years, you can find the most popular BHG articles here.

My work has been featured in DIY Magazine, HGTV Magazine, This Old House Magazine, Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest Publications, and the Nate Berkus Show. Visit my Press Page for more in print and online press, including popular sites like HGTV, Apartment Therapy, and Design*Sponge.

Blogging about home has brought some wonderful opportunities my way to work closely with home improvement brands, including Lowes, Home Depot, True Value, Rust-Oleum, ScotchBlue Painter’s Tape, Daltile, and Campbell Hausfeld, also home decor brands and retailers such as World Market, Ballard Designs, Michaels Stores, Dash & Albert, Waverly, West Elm, HomeGoods, Wayfair, Pine Cone Hill, Donna Karan Home, Z Gallerie, Joss & Main, and American Express Rewards.

Centsational Girl continues to be one of the top rated Home and Garden blogs on the web with an average of 1.3 million pageviews per month.

If you’re new here, you can subscribe for free to Centsational Girl by RSS feed or via email subscription (see the ‘subscribe’ tab on the Home Page)..


Q:  Will we ever learn the names of your family members ?

Matt is my husband but I won’t share my kids’ names.  Call me a privacy freak ~ it just helps me sleep at night..  .

Q: Do you really write for three blogs?

Yep! Find me here of course, and once a month at Glidden at My Colortopia and for Lamps Plus at Style Illuminated..S

Q:  Do you still practice law ?

I gave up my practice in 2010 to become a full time blogger.  I love interacting with all of you, creating new things and writing about great design.  .

Q:  Do you have a nanny ?  Do you ever sleep?

No nanny, I’m raising my kids, it’s my #1 job and I require a full 8 hours sleep every night otherwise I’m very grouchy and worthless to the world. ..

Q: How did you get started blogging?  Do you have any tips to share?

I’ve been blogging since 2009 and I’ve written all about my blogging journey on these anniversaries (year 1, year 2, year 3, year 4) and I hosted a helpful series on growing your blog.  Here are my ten tips for new bloggers..

Q: Is there a tour of your home I can browse?

Yes, you can tour my home here  .  .

Q:  What kind of camera and photo editing software do you use?

 I own a Nikon D90 DSLR camera and several lenses. I use my Tamron 10-24mm 3.5 lens to shoot wide angles, sometimes the kit 18-55 mm 3.5 lens, and for closeups I have a 50mm 1.8 Nikor lens and a 35mm 2.0 Nikkor lens.

I work mostly in Picasa and Photoshop Elements for photo editing and I’ve written several posts on what I’ve learned about photography.  I’m not a professional, but I did once write a post on ten basics for better interior photography.  . .

Q: Will you ever do videos on your site ?

I’d love to feature videos, but it always takes several hours to edit them, and that’s time I could spend with my family or working on something new. 

Q:  What is that paint color in your Office? Kitchen? Master bath?

All the colors I’ve used in my home are listed here.

Q:  How can I become a sponsor or participate in a giveaway on your site or work with you on a campaign ?

Thanks for considering this site! If you’d like to become a sponsor, check my rates here. My blog policies page explains all about giveaways. For partnership opportunities please review my blog polices, download my media kit, and contact me via email..

Q: If I haven’t visited in a while, how do I read older posts from the past week or two?

Click on the home page and look down to the very bottom of the site, you’ll find all articles paginated in chronological order!

Thanks so much to all of you who read this blog, you inspire me to keep writing !

…now back to the blog!

…now back to the blog! .

…now back to the b