Category archive - Redesign and Decorating Ideas

5 Important Lessons Learned As A Professional Stager

5 Important Lessons Learned As A Professional Stager

I have seen a lot of houses through the years being a professional stager. I have learned a lot in those years too. Not only business wise, but also ways that can help people when they are decorating their houses. One thing to keep in mind is that…

Everyone Sells Eventually

As a professional stager I think I have seen it all, and then I go to a house and say, nope never saw this. So here are a few take-a-ways that can help any homeowner when decorating or updating their house.

Measure your room before you purchase furniture, and go SLOWLY when purchasing items. We tend to over consume here in the USA, thinking we need the entire set of something when shopping in a furniture store. When it is time to sell I hear “I can’t give this stuff away!” So consider the essential piece first, place it in the room, get the feeling for it in the room, then and only then add to the room.

when decorating start with a few key pieces and build the room from there

Hire someone, if you are not trained in finishes and color. I have entered into many half a million on up homes only to see none of the finishes correlate to one another. What a waste of money! You builder is trained in construction NOT finishes. The store clerk can tell you what looks good in the store, but has no idea about the rest of your house, your style, light in rooms etc. Hire a designer or decorator that can assist you with these expensive choices. They should be able to tell you why your pink travertine tile you love does not go with Uba Tuba granite. Why the highly veined marble does not go with the trending retro revival backsplash you have fallen in love with.

Look at your house as a whole, not just one room. Many times when I consult a homeowner on their house, there is no continuity from room to room. One room might be filled with over stuffed furniture around the TV and the next room has Victorian tiny detailed furniture. Do one or the other look, but don’t try to do everything under one roof.

When updating, or thinking of changes things, keep in mind the value it will lend to the property but also the aesthetics and how it will enhance the overall look of the house. When looking for items and staying on budget consider what will give you the bang for the buck over all.

kitchen with finishes that are a worthy investment

Keep in mind the focal point in a room. Is it the view, is it the fireplace, are there architectural details in the room that should be played up, or do you need to make a focal point. Making a focal point might be adding art, but make sure the art you add is the right size for the space. Too many times I see mini art on a big wall, not enhancing the room or giving a focal point at all.  Don’t ignor this if the focal point is played up, the room can take on a totally different feeling.

I know I said 5, but this one I need to put in. There is always a way to update the furnishings you have to make them look fresh and current. I have done this so many times when getting a house ready for market, and every time the sellers are amazed. So don’t despair, a professional stager or decorator always have tricks up their sleeves!

Other Good Reads:

How to Make a Room Look Balanced

Designing By Numbers

Hand-Me -Down / Inherited Furniture- What To Do??


Home Improvements Worth the Investment

Home Improvements Worth the Investment

It’s every home owner’s question, if I improve this in my home will I get a return on the investment… What is the bang for the buck, and which home improvements are worth considering?

Being summer time, it is a great time to consider one of the best investments a home owner can make, upgrading their landscaping. What would that entail? Trees, foundation shrubs, flagstone walkway, bright flowers and a fresh mulch. By adding these to your yard the typical return is close to 100% or higher. It is an investment that will continually grow, get it, continually grow…

While we are on the subject of outdoors a patio or deck is worth the investment also. It not only extends your living space, but will allow you to enjoy all that work you did upgrading your landscape.

A new roof is one that will achieve 100% return similar to landscaping. If you have shingles missing, roof covered in moss, or stains on your ceilings and walls it’s time to consider this investment. It will also help you with your energy bill. A new roof is one thing every home inspector looks at, along with buyers when it’s time to sell, so if you need a new one, invest in it and at least enjoy a dry house while you live there. Adding insulation under your roof is not only saving you on heating and cooling cost it will reap you a 95% return.

Another big improvement is Hardwood Floors. They are classic, timeless everyone loves and desires them. So if you have them and are noticing they’re worn, not looking the best, give them some TLC have them refinished and reap the return when you sell. If you don’t have them and want to replace your flooring you currently own, you will gain about 90% return on the cost.open living room space to outdoors with hardwood floors

So for doing one or all five of these improvements, for the money you invest, you will get just about every dollar back in value; now that is a better return on investment then the stock market! Here the National Association of Realtors broke projects down, along with the satisfaction or “Joy Score” of getting the project completed:

home improvement projects that are worth the investment

Other good reads:

2017 Home Trends

10 Home Renovations That Are Worth The Investment


Color, The Backdrop Of  A Great Room

Color, The Backdrop Of A Great Room

Color is the backdrop of a great room

Color has such an impact in a room. If the color is not right, the room does not look right. Color does make a room harmonious and beautiful.

For some it can be difficult to choose, for others they just pick a color because they are frustrated and just make a choice because there are so many available. How do you narrow it down to make the color work?

Finding the right color

It can be hard to find the right color. But when you do find it the room looks fantastic. Think of images that you love on Pinterest, or pictures you drool over on Instagram. Those rooms resonate with you because the color is done correctly. It is balanced well, and makes you feel something, whether relaxed, excited, or falling in love with the way it is presented. The color is probably working well in that space.

soft blue color in a bedroom

To start, look at the fixed elements in a room. Those are the things that you cannot change. Think flooring, cabinets, tile, and counters. Each and every one of those has color in it. Those items will not change in your design, unless you are starting from scratch or redesigning a room. Fixed elements will dictate what colors will work well in the space. Mixing too many of these elements can make a room not feel cohesive. You need to pick one main element and coordinate the color with it throughout the room. Due to fixed elements being expensive and difficult to change, serious consideration in the choices need to be made.

For instance, you chose travertine flooring. Identify the color family first.  On the walls the color needs to complement those fixed features that are not changing. Your whites should be on the warmer scale also to complement the browns. The reason neutral colors work so well in spaces is that it allows the elements of the room stand out, not the color. Every neutral has an undertone and can coordinate with your finishes. It can be difficult to see these subtle colors but once identified, the room will come together and feel harmonious. The accent colors that you pick up and use can vary in saturation that will give the mood to the room that you are trying to achieve.

Choosing color can be challenging for some. That’s when I suggest having someone come in and assist you. They should be able to narrow the array of colors and assist you in finding the perfect shade for your space.

Other Good Reads:

Meaning of Colors

Choosing Colors for a New House

Color How They Work Together


Take Your House Out of Hibernation

Take Your House Out of Hibernation

Spring is a great time to consider ways to take your house out of hibernation. Here are four easy, inexpensive easy ways to give you a fresh new look.

Start at the Entrancepainting can greatly improve the look of your house

Your front door is not only the ‘mouth’ of your house, but also the first impression to visitors. Consider the condition of the door and possibly the color. A new color can completely change the look of your house giving it a fresh new look. Consider a new set of lights, or clean the glass on your lights. New door mat, maybe a pretty container of flowers.

Make it Brightbrighten up your decor

Maybe remove some of the warmer colors you used in your décor and add lighter shades, and brighter shades to give more life to your room. If you look at a color wheel and choose a color opposite the primary color you have in the room. If you have a blue room consider adding yellow to give you a new look and a little warmth. Just be careful of the saturation of the colors you are choosing to complement each other. Add lights and fresh flowers too.

Clean the Cobwebsclean everything so the light can brigten spaces

This may be obvious to some, but opening the shades, dusting them off, removing cobwebs, dust from all surfaces will make a room feel good and refreshed and in your mind it will also. That cleaning will make the rooms resonate fresher.

Use your Sense of Smell

Not only clean the windows, open them and let the fresh air flow throughout the house. Consider adding scented potted geraniums or a vase of eucalyptus in your house to give it a fresh smell. House plants are great air purifiers and add to the décor of any room. Don’t have a green thumb? Consider easy to care for plants that require little care.

Other Great Reads:

Hand-Me -Down / Inherited Furniture- What To Do??

10 Inexpensive Ways to Increase Your Curb Appeal

Designing Rooms that People and Pets Love


2017 Home Trends

2017 Home Trends

Trends. What’s going to be popular, or showing up as popular as decorating trends? After attending the NY Now –which features vendors, and Architectural Digest 2017 featuring everything for the home and highlighted artists, there were reoccurring trends that should be noticed.

For 2017 the soft gold tone continues to still popular and showing up in furniture, lighting, and finishes for the house. It is not the brass of the 80’s but a softer look which is warmer. This trend I think will continue because the gray tones are starting to subside, while the taupe colors are becoming more popular, and will continue to trend.

soft gold knobs, soft gold fixtures are trending

Back to nature, things made of wood, live edge furniture, wall gardens and plants all very popular. I have noticed these for a few years and due to their organic nature, they will probably continue trending for a few years. I see this because people are looking for healthy ways to live, more in-tune to their environment. Being connect with the environment they will include these elements in their homes.

feather fabric nature related

Speaking of the nature trends, animals are a big influence with decorative items. Hides, horns and lambskin are big in accessories for the home. This fabric from Coral and Tusk of embroidered feathers would be a beautiful addition to a room. If you want to update a room add a hide pillow or fur pillow into the mix. This trend is whimsical as well as luxurious to the eye.

Both the natural elements and animal influence relate to the bohemian trend that is popular in design. Although I relay it to the 1960’s hippy days of growing up, LOL, it has a fresh flair to it. A little more organic a little less quirky.

boheimian trend in decor for living

Casa Cook Hotel

Deep rich colors are also trending. Think of deep navy, rich emerald green in couches, walls, cabinetry as well as accent pieces like pillows and art are showing up repeatedly. The deep colors are a switch from the dark grays, a little less moody possibly a more optimistic feeling. Bolder colors will be seen in the coming years for home décor but of course mixed with neutrals or softer shades to balance the entire look.

If the last time you decorated your rooms was when you moved in five or more years ago, now is the time to consider something new and fresh to update your spaces!

Some other good reads

Fad verse Trend | What’s the Difference

According to “Pinterest” 2017 Trends


Home Organization and Decorating Go Hand in Hand

Home Organization and Decorating Go Hand in Hand

Home organization is a crucial element in decorating

If you have organization within your room, it will keep you design looking fresh long after you finished the last touches. Why? Because it will reduce the visual clutter and you can then focus on the design.

I know you think decorating = painting, new rug and new furniture. When considering a decorating plan, one of the first things that needs to be envisioned is how the space will be used and lived in.  One element of design is form and function and how they blend together. The right balance will give a calming feeling when using the room. It is important to do your basic work up front too before you begin. Do your measurements, create a vision board. The room not only has to be pleasing to the eye, but how the space will be used, allowing you simple solutions for storage. Consider the style of your home and look for storage solutions that complement that style along with the décor.

staged living room with shelves for storage and storage cabinets

Storage Solutions

When you have the proper storage solutions it will give your room a more polished look. If you love that polished look you need to have a place to put your things. You know ‘a place for everything and everything in its place.’ Having that will also probably help you with any extra clutter. If you don’t have room for it; guess what? It’s time to de-clutter and remove some of the things you don’t use any more.

If you do not have the space, consider built-in shelves going upward, this is always an easy solution for small spaces. Consider creating a space with shelves and drawers possibly in an awkward spot like a corner in a room to store some of your things. Having proper organization throughout your house will help with the resale of your house, but also help you now living in the spaces. I recommend baskets a lot to keep similar lose objects together. They make the shelves/rooms appear neater. Keeping things organized also helps reduce some of the stress that goes along with clutter and mess. It is a lot more calming to enter a room that is organized than one that is in complete chaos.

So when you are considering revamping a room and giving it fresh new look, also keep in mind organization solutions so that you can maintain the beauty of your new room for years to come.

Other good reads:

Piecing a Room Together

10 Ideas to Give your House Love

Chi The Energy in Your House


Fad verse Trend | What’s the Difference

Fad verse Trend | What’s the Difference

People confuse fad with trend when talking about fashion or decorating. What is the difference between a fad and a trend? Typically you want to seriously consider decorating a room with a fad. Changing a rooms decor to keep up with fads can be expensive, that is why it is better to look at trends instead.

Fad Verses Trend

Fad according by definition is “something that becomes very popular in a short amount of time, and then is forgotten about at the same speed.” Some fads you may recall are big floral wall paper, wall to wall mirrors, dried arrangements on walls, and carpet in the bathroom. They were popular at one time but when you look back you say “how could we ever think that was nice?!” Probably because at the time it filled an emotional need that made you feel that it was nice, and a good look. Although fads come and go they can still have a place in your decor though.

fad of the times

Then there are trends, a trend is typically based on a lifestyle change, it will be “something that will last for a longer time.” Values and attitude toward the trend are different; they have longevity and are considered timeless. Think of white bath fixtures, neutral color walls, hardwood floors all of these elements in design are and will remain timeless.

trending finishes make this bath timeless

How do you decorate incorporating trends with a little fashion fad and pull it off to look great? There is a balance that comes with a good design. Because home decor can be an expensive, the waves of trends and fads do not move as quickly as in the fashion world. To keep a beat on what works and what does not, it helps to keep in mind that if you are completely renovating a space it is always smarter to go with a tried and true trend for the key elements of the room such as flooring, bath fixtures, appliances and be a little more daring with light fixtures, wall color and accessories since these items are not as costly and can be changed more readily. This is where the balance comes into play to create a great design.

Every year there are trends that designers watch for, these can translate to those tried and true items that have staying power, other trends may not, but those are the elements that can be added as changeable with the times. One thing to keep in mind though, take a good objective look at your home about every five years to see whether the items in your home are what you see in stores, design magazines, TV or TV shows are a few suggestions to keep up with what is current. Changing your paint color, the Tiffany light fixture in the kitchen that use to be popular in the 80’s, or that floral wall paper border might seem quite daring to you but give it a try. The small changes can make a huge impact.  It’s time to move from that fad to a new one that will create more of an “in” look.


Lighting a Room in Layers

Lighting a Room in Layers

Lighting in a room can not only illuminate it but the fixture itself can pull the room together, allowing it to be a statement. Lighting can be tough though, because to find the right fixture is not necessarily an easy task. I help many people with their décor needs, and the light in the room is one more element that has to have serious consideration.

When I help clients, I look at their lighting fixtures. Why does it matter? Lighting is like a hair or clothing style, it can really date a room. A new light fixture in a room can transform it from ahh, to OOOH! When you are selling, lighting, if it looks like it from an era long ago gives the impression that probably nothing else in the house has been taken care of or replaced when needed.

Having the proper illumination is also important. You not only need a light for the ambiance, there is also the need for task lighting and accent lighting. Who knew right?

Ambiance lighting lights the entire room, think of it as general lighting. It’s the light that you use when you flip that switch to enter a room. These can be chandeliers, flush mount fixtures, recessed lighting or pendants. They will be in every room of your house, typically in the center of the room close to the ceiling. Knowing the right size and height will ensure you have the proper lighting for that room.

Next consider task lighting. This is to illuminate an area when you are reading, grooming, cooking etc. These can be a table lamp, sconce, under cabinet light, floor lamp, pendant or recess. Consider the amount of light the fixture will provide. LED lighting is becoming very popular due to less energy used while providing the right amount of light. LED lighting is not only in task light, many manufactures are using it in all styles of lights to save you money!

Last would be accent lighting to use through a room. It highlights a specific detail in a space, such as a beautiful piece of art, or accessory, and highlighting architectural features. Wall sconces, recessed light, track lights are all examples of accent lighting. I have seen it used to highlight a tray ceiling in a room, or attractive crown molding. Using sconces on either side of a fireplace draws your attention to the mantle. Accent lighting is that little surprise in the room that gives it the luxury feeling when done correctly.

Other good reads:

Light by Numbers

Demystifying LED Lighting

 


Art Gallery Wall

Art Gallery Wall

Art is essential for every room. It not only makes it feel homier, but it gives life and personality to a room. How do you hang a collection of pictures on a wall to create a gallery that looks good? Proportions, colors, and frame styles all should be considered to create the gallery wall that awes.

Consider doing a gallery wall of similar subject. The subject can be a collection of coins, butterflies, silhouettes, mirrors, places that you have visited or lived, use your imagination. Using your children’s art you could create a gallery of all one medium such as all drawings, all paintings etc. If you have favorite art pieces consider tying them together by color, by using a common theme on your first gallery, this will help create the balance you are hoping to achieve.

Another way to tie your art together is to use the same type of frame. Either all the same size shadow box type of frame, rectangle frame, or canvas.  Using different sized frames but all with the same finish, will create a relationship between the various pieces to make your gallery feel harmonious. It allows the eye to focus at the art that is being featured.

Spacing is essential when you are creating a gallery wall to make it feel balanced. Just randomly hanging pictures will probably not create the symmetry that you are hoping to achieve. Typically it is easier if you are using the same size frame throughout your gallery. Here find the center point of your wall and then measure a few inches between each frame keeping them level in rows and columns.

 If you are using various sizes of frames then you will want to pay attention the sizes of art placing them to balance one another. This tends to be a more challenging type of gallery but can be very beautiful. The key to using mixed sizes, and if you feel so inclined mixed objects, is to keep a fairly even horizontal line between objects, or to use one large object in the center and build around it.

 

There are various guides online to give you ideas of different layouts that might work with the pieces of art you have, to create a gallery. It’s fun to play around with it and make a huge impact in a room! Send me some of your art gallery’s that you have created!

Other Good Reads:

Piecing a Room Together That Works

5 Simple Ways to Cozy Up Your Home – Inexpensively

5 Basic Steps to Creating Fantastic Displays


Kitchen Design

Kitchen Design

Clients ask “if I were to renovate my kitchen what should I do?” First off, I would never recommend someone to do just before selling your house. If you are planning on staying a while, three or more years, then it should be a consideration if you find that your kitchen is dated.

According to polls taken, and trends sighted in design magazines, white kitchen cabinets are still very popular. It goes to show you that light and bright is typically the choice of many. Counters that are of a hard surface like quarts, natural stone are still desirable by the majority, but other surfaces such as stainless or concrete have their place in today’s designs.

Smart technology is now being incorporated into appliances to bring convenience into our lives. The question I always hear is, “should we have all stainless appliances?”  Stainless has been popular for years, but at the Architectural Digest show last year, many of the manufactures were featuring black appliances. So I would not be surprised that stainless takes a back seat for a while.

The key when redesigning a kitchen is to ensure it will serve your needs first, and it will not look dated within five years time. Here I searched the internet for kitchens I find to be clean, classic, and very tastefully done that will endure the test of time for many years to come.

The white with soft gray cabinets are classic. Note the use of different materials for the counters. The open style is nice for family as well as entertaining.

If you are not hooked on white cabinetry but still like the painted look of cabinets, this soft taupe color is a great neutral that goes beautifully with the quartz counters. The color trend of gray is still around but greige is a nice blend of both gray and browns that tend to be warmer.

The classic wood cabinets here bring a warmth to all the stainless, again a mix of counter material. If you choose wood cabinets consider a shaker or smooth panel look, they will continue to look in style for a long time.

You can never go wrong with the classic black and white in a kitchen. The gorgeous soaring ceiling of course makes this space feel welcoming and open.

If you are considering building or updating a new kitchen, classic will always be in fashion. Incorporate shaker style cabinets, simple and clean. Neutral colors for your back-splash tile and counters. Stone counters are the preferred material for kitchens. If you need to put your “personality” into the design, choose one item to do the talking, do not make the back-splash, counter, cabinets, lighting and floor all stand out; pick one.

Other good reads:

Key Improvements That Will Reap a Profit | Kitchens

Kitchen Trends for 2015 and Beyond