Category archive - Redesign and Decorating Ideas

Dress Up Your Living Room

Dress Up Your Living Room

With the holidays here, lots of friends and family coming to visit, this is a great time to refresh your living room. Re-styling a living room does not have to be expensive, and by adding a few new elements to existing can create a whole new feeling.

 

Elements to Consider

Sometimes by just changing your layout you can create a totally different feeling throughout the room. Pairing down some furniture also will give a more elegant feeling. Consider the main focal point in the room, is it a fireplace, maybe a drop-dead view; arrange the furniture to highlight that focal point. No focal point? Maybe create one by wallpapering one feature wall with a great pattern. By arranging the furniture around the focal point or in a friendly conversation arrangement the room can have totally different feeling.

Need a little more than just rearranging and editing furniture? Start with the flooring, as you would first when designing a room. Finding a new rug can change the feeling completely and warm up the space. Consider the dimensions of the room first to ensure you select the right size. Too small and the area will not look anchored, too big you will not be able to show off your wood floors. Trending rugs popular today are with bold or understated geometric pattern, subtle washed out colors, or bohemian style rugs that are playful and romantic at the same time. Similar to Persian style rugs but less traditional.

Next consider texture in your room. Add plump pillows to complement the colors in your rug. Consider various fabrics throughout the room like velvet, wool, tweed, sheepskin. The accessories you add will also contribute to the texture in the room. Style your coffee table and end tables with vases, plants, books or unique objects that complement the look you are achieving. These items are similar to when you get dressed up for a party, you put on your outfit but then add the shoes, tie, jewelry to create a total look; a room is similar. Layer the glamour on, but do it subtly to maintain the elegance you are going for.

styled living room with lots of accessories

Look to the walls. The color in a room can impact the ambiance of the room. A good rule of thumb is to consider a color from an element within the room. Look at your fireplace surround and the stone. What undertone does it have, that could be your starting point, maybe your new rug is a good inspiration point to find a color or the fabulous colors in a printed pillow. Take those clues and base your color from those elements. Maybe you want to go dark rich and bold, keep a balance of neutral throughout the room.

warm color on walls gives the room a cosy feeling

Adding simple drapes can also dress up a room. Consider simple panels that reach the floor on beautiful rods. Hang them closer to the ceiling to give the windows an illusion of being large. Decorative panels will not cover the window when closed but to give a feeling of opulence, consider doing two panels on each side to create the fullness if you are purchasing pre-made panels.

Art and lighting are also additional elements that can add a lavish feeling to your room. The height and size of the lamp can complement the décor to create a renewed feeling. Art can refresh the feeling of a room. Consider moving art around from other rooms to create a gallery wall that can become a focal point that is showy. Transforming and updating your living room does not need to be expensive. With a little cleverness using what you own, or only updating a few pieces, you can create an elegant space to entertain guest!

 

Other Good Reads:

Designing By Numbers

5 Decorating Elements to Make a Room Look Fantastic


2018 Color Trends To Watch

2018 Color Trends To Watch

havEvery year some colors in design stand out over others that make an impression. They seem to feel fresh, new, and spark interest. Paint companies predict color trends; globally color expert panels predict what they believe will be the new color trends. From their predictions colors begin to emerge in décor and you begin to see them as mainstream go to colors.

2018 paint colors have been announced from major paint manufactures.  In the Moment- Behr, a softer blue that is calming. Caliente- Benjamin Moore, a vibrant red that is exciting.  Oceanside- Sherwin Williams a blue green that is mysterious like the ocean itself.

2018 color trends

I find it takes a while for the “years” predicted colors to become more mainstream. It takes consumers a while to embrace them. These colors will be seen in decor, but consumers are identifing two other color trends in décor that have sparked my interest. I am seeing them used in more applications for home décor. Although these two colors had been chosen a few years back as “color of the year,” and they have had their place of “color of the year”  now more than before are showing up more on popular sites like Pinterest and Instagram.

At High Point; a design/decor show this past month, Dusty Pink tones (think Rose Quartz, Pantone’s 2016 color pick) continued to pop up over and over again. It’s featured in bedding, furniture and metals. It is showing up in metal in cooking items, and accessories for the home. The soft sheen is something new and attractive to be considered in the mix of a room.

Here is West Elm’s bedding. The soft feeling it conveys a relaxed but elegant feeling in a room. The color complements gray, navy and beige nicely. It almost is a neutral, subtle, innocuous.

dusty rose bedding

Eyes are always looking at metals to see where the popularity lies. Copper emerged big a few years ago and now the soft rose metals are popular and trending. If you are not ready to commit to the rose color or feel it is too feminine, this is a nice way to introduce it in your room.dusty pink bronze and leather credenza by BDDWAdd black, brown or gray along with the dusty rose to give it less of a femine feeling.

dusty rose rug

Emerald green is another color I see popping up in beautiful ways (Pantone’s color pick back in 2013). Velvet sofa’s are an emerging trend along with chairs. Again if this is too trendy of a color, consider accessories instead.

It’s a beautiful contrast against white, making a clear statement. Take a look at these designs to see how they have incorporated this rich color.

green sofas

 

House Beautiful gree accessories

The image above is from 2013, probably due to Pantone’s pick back then highlights accessories. This color is now popping up all over in home design

Consider this year’s trending colors, or the past now emerging colors, to refresh and renew any room in your home.

Other Good Reads:

Green- Inspirational Rooms

Seeing Red????


Decorating for The Fall Season

Decorating for The Fall Season

Halloween; merchadise sales are second to Christmas. Who doesn’t love to decorate for the holidays?!

How can you get a longer run out of decorating for holidays? Decorate for the season, and add a couple of pieces in for the holiday that will create a festive felling.

Fall it’s a great time to bring the outdoors into your decor with gourds, pumpkins, leaves and other elements that create the festive feeling. These elements are sustainable through Thanksgiving, so you can gain longivity from these simple arrangements.

I pulled together some images that are also on my Pinterest board to give you some inspiration. It amazes me the talent that people have to create simple but unique arrangements. You do not have to be a master in flower arranging, but have a good eye and ablity to create similar fall arrangements using the elements here. Use these ideas on entrance tables, coffee tables, counter tops, table tops; your imagination is your limit! Enjoy decorating!

Orange pumpkins, flowers and berries

fall decor orange floweres and berries

The color of the flowers and adding small gourds are beautiful. Doing multiple vases along a table would be stunning!

sunflowers and berriesgourds and berries on a tray

Simple gourd and berry motif for an autumn table

orange roses and birch bark vases

Love the color of the roses with these natural vases

White Gourds

white gourds on wood tray

white pumpkin fall center pieceThe use of grasses and dry flowers in the gourd make for such a beautiful fall arrangement.

white gourds and succulants

This one I can even see working into the winter months.

Grasses and feathers

feathers in a white vase

 

Need more inspiration visit my Pinterst board

 

Other great reads:

Fall Tabletop Decorations


5 Decorating Elements to Make a Room Look Fantastic

5 Decorating Elements to Make a Room Look Fantastic

Every designer uses key decorating elements to make a room look fantastic. It’s the little things that take a room from ehh to beautiful. But those details are not always easy to decipher as to what they are. If you consider these five elements when creating your spaces, you will see a considerable change.

First, find a focal point. Every room needs a focal point to build around. It can be as simple as a beautiful fireplace, a fantastic view, or even a piece of furniture or art. But the focal point is where the eye is drawn when you walk into the room. The items and placement of furnishings within the space then complement that focal point. One focal point in a room will make it feel classy. Think of a kitchen. If you are renovating, don’t have your finishes’ competing for attention. Let one finish do the talking, such as the floor tile, or the counter, or the backsplash but not all be the main focal.

Next consider something organic. Plants are fantastic in a room. They not only purify the air they also add beauty to a space. If you don’t consider yourself with a green thumb; then look into investing into some real good silk fake plants. They are carefree while adding beauty, and warmth to your room.

adding plants to a room make it feel warmer

Texture is important also in every room. Texture can be in a rug, a throw, baskets that you have your plants in. Having the different textures allows the eye to look around, having all smooth surfaces can feel cold and hard, adding texture, the room becomes softer and more interesting to look at. By adding layers you can create a textured look also. A blanket on the back of a chair with a complementary pillow makes a chair feel more inviting.

Along with texture though, your eye does need to rest someplace. Having open space, or a surface with little to nothing on it can do the trick. The minimalistic area gives you a place to rest your eye and be able to take in the entire space. Not every inch of a wall needs to have something hanging on it. Not every surface has to be filled with tchotchkes, or furniture. Open spaces in a room are refreshing.

having open space in a room helps the eye rest

Last color, it speaks louder than most people realize. When you are choosing color for the walls of a room consider the impact it has. I hear from a lot of my clients that it is the first component they want to tackle when decorating a room. In reality, it is the last element to tie a room completely together. It’s not to say that if you love green you cannot choose elements with green; but once you get all your green pieces together, then choose a color to complement those items to tie the room together.

Still a little baffled as to how to make your room look fantastic? Consider reaching out to myself or a local decorator. For a small investment it might be worth every penny to get the look you are hoping to achieve.

Other helpful reads:

Your House is The Boss When Choosing Colors

Five Decorating Elements That Can Make a House Look Cheap


Simple Systems for Fall Inspiration In Your Home

Simple Systems for Fall Inspiration In Your Home

Where do you get your Inspiration from? The air becomes crisper, the days shorter, fall is coming, and the best part- kids go back to school!

We get back into our routines, instead of the lazy days of summer. The question always arises how can we make life a simpler, are their better systems, better ways to make these routines easier. Of course the first step to making things easier comes through organization.

Organization in the home is always a tough one because so many live under one roof, with all our possessions and articles we bring in from the outside; it can get out of hand. My fall inspiration to organize starts usually when I am pulling out the warmer clothes. You can consider this flow chart from Buzzfed as to how to organize:

organizing chart

Or make it a lot simpler. To begin organizing an area, I create three piles. Let’s take the clothes closet dilemma which always surfaces when the change of seasons is here. First wash all clothes; when putting them away really ask yourself:

  1. Did I wear this at all this season?
  2. Is it in good condition?
  3. Does it still fit?

From there pull out anything that you know you will probably not use next year and anything that is not in good condition. Donate, sell or throw it out depending on the condition. This is the first pile.

Next those items that you say “hmmm, I really didn’t have an occasion to wear this but I will hang onto in case…those items cast to another pile.

The last pile is the clothes, shoes, accessories you know you will use again next year. Store those neatly- by style (all tee shirts together, short together, bathing suits – you get the idea) by doing so if you win a trip to a southern destination this winter you are ready to go in a flash, seriously though, it will make finding things easier for the next season.

That second pile…go back to it now take your time and be honest, if you really think you might use, store by its classification/style, if not let someone else enjoy.

This sorting principle can be applied to any room in the house. Think bathroom with towels, toiletries, medicines. Things you need frequently put in am easy to reach storage area. “A place for everything and everything in its place” as my father always say. Move to your kitchen, do the same. In the pantry, group like products together, discard anything past expiration shelf date. This will allow you to easily take stock of what you have, and what you need. Making shopping that much easier, if not enjoyable; or am I going too far with that?

organized kitchen is inspirational

 

Feel inspired by the progress you have made. I find after I do a though cleaning; the house almost feels new again. It inspires me then to think, hmm maybe I should update this room with a new color, move a few things around to get a new look, or just add something I found sitting in storage I had forgotten that I even had. Get your inspiration, organize and see how it feels.

Other Good Reads

Can the Colors of Your House Affect Your Mood?

Things Your Home Does Not Need

Home Improvement Projects | Inexpensive Updates


Update Your Room for FREE!

Update Your Room for FREE!

Update your room for free! Simply look around your house and see if there are items you can move to give your room a new look.

It’s hard for some; once you get your house decorated items stay in the same spot for YEARS! That doesn’t mean that’s bad, but change can be good. What is the best way to begin an update? Start first by removing anything in the room that is broken, or does not serve a purpose. This could be an old TV, books or magazines that are no longer read, any decorations that have more dust than appeal.

Clear the space

By clearing the space or room, it is important to keep in mind what is the room used for? Do you just add a bunch of stuff into the room because you no longer use it? By clearing it out, it will give it an updated feeling alone without spending a dime. If anything, maybe you can make money by selling some of the items you no longer use.

clearing clutter alone can make a room look completely different

Size Matters

Yes it does, even in a room! If you have a room with too much furniture, it will feel cramped, and small. Just by removing some of the items, it will open up the room, giving it a refreshed new look, but when doing so, keep the integrity of the room. By this I mean, if it is a family room, keep the TV, and key pieces of furniture for viewing the TV, but not every piece you have currently. Measure the room and furniture, draw it out on a piece of paper and see what is reasonable to fit into the space, then if you feel you can, add one or two pieces if the room allows. Too much furniture can be too much, edit open the room up.

Move It, Move It

Think about moving some of your furniture around or into other rooms. Here is an example; this house had an open family room with a fabulous fireplace. Unfortunately the position of the furniture was not taking advantage of the features in the room. The owner was not happy with the room at all.

misplaced furniture

By using furnishings and accessories in other rooms, and moving the furniture, we were able to take advantage of all the features in the room. We created a better seating arrangement, flow, and updated the room without spending any money. The owner loved the space after! Who wouldn’t we gave it a new look, at no cost. Win, win!

rearranged furniture to utilize entire space

With a little thought, a lot of effort- throwing things away that are no longer useful, and rearranging furniture, art and accessories you can have a completely different looking room, for FREE in a weekend!

Other Good Reads

No Brainer De-Cluttering

Home Organization and Decorating Go Hand in Hand


Five Decorating Elements That Can Make a House Look Cheap

Five Decorating Elements That Can Make a House Look Cheap

What makes a house look cheap and one that looks classy? What items should you avoid when trying to create a look that will enhance a room, not detract from its beauty? When you are ready to sell, or even living in your house, you want your décor to complement the value of your house. You dont want things that with cheapen its appearance.  I will be the first one though, to say you do not need to spend a ton of money to decorate.

Furniture Sets

I get it, if you know nothing about decorating you go to the store and pick up the whole ensemble for a room at once. The couch, side tables, coffee table and chairs that typically do not enhance the room. First off, my guess is that you did not measure the room, so all the pieces probably do not fit in the room, or the pieces are not the right size for the room. Second the quality is probably not the best and it will not stand up to the test of time, eventually looking shotty. Mixing pieces is a good thing, giving you the ability to still decorate on a budget but with style. I always say get one good quality piece like a sofa, and then build from there.

 furniture  all the same can cheapen the look in a room

Theme Decorating

It’s ok for your child’s room but don’t do it anyplace else in your house. Too much of a good thing is just that – too much, and it will look cheap. Instead look through design magazines, and get inspiration on Pinterest and Instagram. Find a style that you like and incorporate some of the things you collect within that style. I find pigs kind of humorous and have a few in my kitchen, but by no means do I have the plates, placemats, valance with pigs on the windows, pigs on every surface of the counters. Two or three objects is all you need in a room, otherwise it begins to look cheap. Same goes for the “flowers” that are put in a room. Adding too many artificial plants and flowers makes a room look cheap. Consider live plants, or if you don’t have a green thumb maybe air plants.

Color on Walls

This is a tough one for people to understand, because they go to the store, find a color swatch put it on the walls without testing it to see how it really looks.  First the overall colors in the room need to be considered, as well as throughout the house. Just because the builder painted the walls a generic white does not mean that is the best color to complement your room, it can cheapen the look of a space. Similarly using the wrong undertone in a space can make the room look cheap because it does not complement anything in the room. Not sure what color to use, get advice from a professional color consult, it’s worth the cost.

cheap looking room

Art Work

Sorry, but it can look cheap, like posters or mass production art.  Consider either making your own art, there are a ton of ideas and tutorial online for simple ideas or visit sites like Etsy and choose something original. Also the size of art is really important in a room too. Too small of art can cheapen the look of a room as can the framing of the art.

Lighting

The ‘builder lights’ that come with a house are usually very cheap, and can cheapen the look of any décor. Also outdated light fixtures do the same. When looking through design magazines and online notice the lighting and the styles. Then see if you can find similar in nice finishes at either big box stores or online. This can be tough, but the most important take away here is finding lighting that is in style now. The cut glass Tiffany lamps that were popular in the 80’s now look cheap if they are not real Tiffany lamps or in a Victorian styled house. Time to find something more in style with the times to step up the style of your rooms.

Review your rooms, do you have any of these elements that might be making your house look cheap? Remove, replace and update to give everything a fresh new look.

Other good reads:

Lighting a Room In Layers 

Arranging a Room

Lighting Can Help Sell Your House


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, First Lesson

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! Your 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