Monthly archive - October 2015

Decorator Markham Roberts

Decorator Markham Roberts

I was fortunate this week to attend a presentation on decorating by Markham Roberts at Boscobel Mansion. First off if you are ever in the area to go to Boscobel visit it; the grounds are breath taking with a view of the Hudson River and West Point in the distance along with the furnishing/decorating which were exquisite. The added plus was listening to Markham Roberts presentation; refreshing and informative.

hudson riverwm

Markham’s work is beautiful, but what I liked was the mixture of components and elements combined together of different styles in the same room to create a story. As a decorator the key is to listen to our clients desires, how they would like to have their rooms translated to their vision. Using elements that you already have and adding the missing pieces to create a cohesive look is what we do for clients.

red living room

Many people may be thinking as they are reading this, I don’t like that style of decorating, or I don’t have a budget for that style etc. What I find when I go to these presentations is that although it might not be “my style;” by keeping an open mind you can gain ideas and inspiration from other people’s work. He added interesting objects, like a photograph, artifact, or piece of furniture that stood out but still worked with everything else. Adding a piece with a little sense of humor was also refreshing, adding interest and curiosity in a room.  The subtlety of items like that I always feel make a room complete.

I loved one statement Markham made; decorators have the ability to visually see the room in it’s entirety before all the elements are together. In our minds we have the ability to visual all the elements to make a statement in the room. Studies have been done that have found less than 10% of the population has this ability. I believe it’s true, when clients give me the opportunity to use what they own and enhance their spaces I find the rooms go from ‘oh this is nice’ to ‘wow look at this space’; the room almost starts to sing. They through the process wonder and ask, am I sure it will work? Does it go? The reward of course is when the client also feels the new space I have created translated into their dream room, one that they had envision but could not bring to fruition by themselves. I guess this is why we hire professionals, to help us accomplish what we know we would never be able to do on our own.

Boscobel mansionwm




What, Why, When | Home Staging

What, Why, When | Home Staging


Home Staging is using limited funds, practical creativity and extraordinary expertise to professionally preparing a home to sell so that it becomes infinitely more attractive to potential buyer. A professionally staged home sells quickly, for more money while in turn becoming a small investment for the home seller but that investment allows greater home sale earnings.” Audra Slinkey, President of HSR


Some Realtors and home sellers will say that they have already “staged” their homes only to find that they will be lowering their price within the month. There is a vast difference between a home that was simply de-cluttered and cleaned and one that was professionally staged! Creating the “model home” look is not easily achieved without the help of someone who does this everyday for a living. By staging your home professionally it will resonate stronger with buyers compelling buyers to consider your home seriously in their search.


What are the advantages of professionally staging your home?

Sellers Have a Difficult Time Being Objective – This is your home, a place where you have created memories, spent time, effort making it feel like yours, putting your imprint- personality into the spaces. Now you need to realize that once the house is put on the market it is a product vying for buyers to look at it over all the other house in the market. It needs to appeal to buyers not you.

You Will Make More Money – According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) the average staging investment is between 1 to 4% of the home’s listing price; that investment generates a return between 8 to 10%.  A professional Home Stager knows how to direct you in investing money to prepare your home.

Creating a Product that Resonates with Buyers –A professional Home Stager is an expert at marketing the inside of a home so the spaces emotionally respond to buyers. By focusing on how to package a house a Home Stager utilizes key elements in your rooms and will enhance the spaces so buyers respond to the product, your largest investment your house. We help you protect the equity in your home.

Ease the Pressures of Selling – Putting a house on the market can be stressful. How do you prepare the house for sale, what are buyers looking for, how do you organize and declutter- what is the difference? A professional Home Stager will help create logic from the chaos, they will recommend updates that will give you a return on your investment and show you ways to improve upon your spaces for a minimal investment.

Benefits the Marketing of the Home – Today 90% of buyers look for their next home online. If the pictures of the rooms do not resonate with buyers, they will not schedule an appointment to see the property. Did you know according the NAR (National Association of Realtors) that a stage home is 80% more likely to be scheduled to be seen by buyers over a home that has not been professionally staged. The more traffic you have through your home, the sooner it will sell.





5 Simple Ways to Cozy Up Your Home – Inexpensively

5 Simple Ways to Cozy Up Your Home – Inexpensively

With the cooler weather we move indoors to stay cozy and snugly. You might want to update your rooms and make them feel warmer but not break the bank. By adding just a few elements to a room you can change the feeling completely. Here are 5 simple ways to update and create the welcoming warmth, along with some reasonable resources to find great item.

Let’s first start with pillows. Pillows in warm tone, textures and sizes are great for changing the feel of a room.

allmodern pillow

Allmodern This cute pillow in warm orange is only $22.20

Esty and Target are also great resources to find pillows at reasonable prices.

Add a layer, find a luscious warm throw to wrap yourself in.

gold throw

West Elm warm gold throw is a beautiful addition over a chair, bed or couch

Or maybe a fur throw that are popular and trending now from Pottery Barnfur throw

A few other sources to look into are Crate and Barrel, Hayneedle, and Wayfair

Then warm up the ambiance with some candles. Consider grouping a few together in different heights to make a statement.


Yankee Candle and Pier 1 have a huge selection of candles and an assortment of holders that can enhance your decor and add a warm scent to the air.

Adding drapery’s to your windows can add not only visual warmth but also help keep heat in. You can go for custom, semi-custom, or off the rack depending on your budget. Window treatments add a focal point to a room, along with enhancing your view.

The Shade Store offers semi custom drapery. I call it semi because you select from their fabrics and the styles they offer, with those selections their is an array to choose from. Similar is Smith and Nobel offering customers semi custom drapery. You could also look for less expensive options which would be from Overstock, and Bed Bath & Beyond

Last consider adding a rug to keep your feet warm in your rooms. I find a rug is also a great way to update the feeling of a space lending character and style. Consider the size of the room when purchasing a rug. If you go with a solid rug like a shag pile purchasing two smaller rugs placed next to one another may provide you the coverage you need for a larger space at a better price than one large rug. Don’t go too small when you are looking for rugs.

patterned rugs

Birch Lane

Other great resources to find reasonably priced rugs are Ikea , World Market, One Kings Lane, dwell

Adding all these elements or just a few will lend warmth and character creating an inviting room, making it a place you will want to burrow away in through the cold winter months. The resources provided help you save money, as you can see decorating does not need to break the bank!

Other good reads:

Piecing a Room Together That Works

Bring the Outdoors In

Bring the Outdoors In

Bring the Outdoors In

The summer turns to fall, and the warmer air becomes cooler. The one thing everyone loves about the summer months is being outdoors. So how do you bring the outdoors inside when the temperatures may not allow you to be outside?

Having large windows definitely helps transition the two spaces. I always suggest to clients open drapery or remove the drapery to let the light flood into a room. With daylight savings time the days are shorter also, by opening the window coverings allows light to pour into your indoor spaces. The bright light coming in warms a room but also lifts the spirits. Having energy efficient windows is the best way to go to keep the heat in a room.

open doors and windows to outdoor spaces

If you are considering putting in more windows, possibly a sliding door, French door or folding glass wall are great options to open up the walls to add light. By doing so you are opening the walls to allow a view of the outdoors inside. Landscaping outdoors surrounding the building can add interest to indoor spaces, if the view is expansive it can complement the interior décor.

Can’t add windows or doors to your rooms, keep it a little simpler by thinking about bringing the outdoors in with potted or container plants to your space. Plants are one of the elements in designing a room that can add warmth instantly. Using them to fill an empty corner or add to a few to coffee table, add to break up all those books on a shelf or maybe add one to your desk. Plants have health benefits helping purifying the air but also aesthetically are pleasing.

plants in containers

Another great way to bring the outdoors in is to consider using a color scheme that you see outdoors that you love. When vacationing on Cape Cod this summer the colors of the ocean, sky and sand were breath taking. Why not consider decorating a room in array of blues, and beige’s similar. I also noticed the combination of colors in the hydrangeas were also stunning.  Look around your yard, parks, or outdoor spaces to find inspiration and go with it. Take a picture and use an app like ColorSnap to find a color palette to work with. You will be amazed at the results and how the room easily comes together.


Bringing the outdoors in is easier than you might think. With sunshine pouring through the windows, adding a new color palette that reminds you of a great trip you took during the summer, and bringing outdoor elements in your spaces all will be a welcome feeling when dealing with the colder months.

Send me pictures as to how your brought your outdoor spaces in.