Category archive - Redesign and Decorating Ideas

Love- Decorating and Designing a Room

Love- Decorating and Designing a Room

February, the month for lovers. So how does that relate to decorating and designing a room  you ask?

If you think about it, when decorating a room you create character by adding the things that you love. Whether it is a piece of art, trinkets you have collected from various places you have been, or a color you love. Without realizing it you infuse your rooms with love and it does not have to be obvious with a symbol of a heart or the word love.

I love youHere it is obvious the message being conveyed but it is done so cleaver in this bedroom, by incorporating the message over and over again on canvas. Adding the touches of pink in the lamp and bedding help complete the picture.




mantleThis fireplace mantel conveys the love of family. The silhouettes of the family members are classic in design, and I love that they included the dog!



Color in a room always sets a mood. Pink is a color that most people will shy away from unless it is a little girl’s room. By adding splashes of pink along with lots of neutrals it brightens the room and keeps it lighthearted!pink pop

On the other had you can use a softer shade of the same color and it conveys a feeling of romance. Here using the softer shades of pink, again along with neutrals, not only is romantic but sophisticated, the softness of the fabrics pull the whole look together.

romantic bedrroom

My sister is a collector of heart shaped rocks, whenever we visit her at the beach we go on a search to find the perfect ones to add to her collection for her outdoor shower. These are rocks and coral that have been lovingly tumbled over the years by waves of the ocean creating the shape. What a fun collection!

heart rocks

heart tumbled rocks





While you are adoring the ones you love this month, also love your spaces you live in. Decorate and design with objects, colors and textures that you love; it will make for a happier home.


Wreaths- Great Ideas for the Holidays

Wreaths- Great Ideas for the Holidays

Every year I decorate our traditional colonial home by hanging wreaths on all the windows. I love the simplicity, and the charm they add. I do find myself navigating towards less traditional evergreen wreaths and thought it would be fun to share some great ideas.



Keeping the traditional color theme of Christmas this festive wreath was made with chili peppers and evergreens. This would be nice in a kitchen too.




Glass balls– the kind you can decorate your tree with, always make for a fun and lasting wreath.



This non-traditional wreath with all the colors is such an eye grabber!






Going a little more subtle with the glass balls, this is a beautiful wreath keeping the glass in one color. It adds “bling” to a traditional wreath made out of greenery.




Fruit is always a simple way to add color and interest to a wreath. Both of these are excellent examples…










Although many people like to hang their wreath on the front door, my mother in law hangs hers inside the windows similar to this. I love how it brings the festive mood into a room.


Why not add a little whimsy to your holiday decorating with tiny bells or presents made into a wreath. These would be great if you do not have a lot of space to hang a large wreath, or want to stand out from the traditional holiday wreath.

jinglebell wreathgift wreath










I would love to see and hear what type of wreaths you decorate with for the holidays! Cheers


















Color- How The Opposite Gender Perceives

Color- How The Opposite Gender Perceives

So here we are in October… wow, did September fly! I hope some of you became inspired and updated your rooms with new color.

I recently came across this blog site and wanted to share. “Data Pointed is the home of artist and scientist Stephen Von Worley’s data visualization research…” He wrote an amusing blog about genders and how they perceive color.

If you click on the image above you can see how men tend to generalize the description of color, whereby woman tend to be a little more descriptive. Rose (hers) light red (his), sea foam green vs. light green. The info graphic above also can show how men and woman perceive saturation and, brightness as well as popularity and name length of color. Kind of fun to play with.

So remember when you are viewing colors, don’t be surprised if the opposite sex does not see the nuances of the colors the same as you! Let me know of your stories trying to describe your favorite color to someone….

Try Out Your Room Colors Virtually

Try Out Your Room Colors Virtually

When I first wrote this blog in 2012 a few paint manufactures were creating apps and online resources that we consumers could use to choose colors for decorating our rooms. Now just about every paint resource has an app that you can use to do this. Some allow you to take pictures of the room and experiment with the color. Others have pictures of a room that you can add color to see if you like the combinations. Either way they are fun to use, and can help you choose that perfect color for your next decorating project. Here are links and descriptions by manufacture. If you know of more let me know so I can keep this updated!

Glidden has narrowed down their colors by room to their Top 10. Select the type of room you would like to paint, find a color pallet then, once you find color that inspires you click on the chip and they suggest a pallet to work with. They also have a Room Visualizer Tool either you can take a picture of your own room and “paint” the walls or use one of their rooms to decide if you like the color before you paint.


Valspar has a fun interactive site that you can upload your own photo, or use one of theirs; select a color to paint the walls to see how your room will look. Fun way to start narrowing a pallet down before you go to the store.


Benjamin Moore has a color gallery where you visualize groups of colors, like neutrals, view designer classics, or check out trends to identify a color you are looking for.

Benjamin Moore color gallery

They also have an app to design your own room, again either using your photo or one they have to get a feeling of how the colors will look in a room.Benjamin Moore


The color visualizer by Sherwin-Williams allows you to upload a photo of your room, or house and allows you “try” more than 1500 different colors in the room or on the exterior of your home. They have a quick demo to make the whole process easy.

SW color snap

Olympic Paints have a color capture app that allows you to snap a picture of any color that inspires you and you can find the paint color that will match it. This can be very useful if you are trying to find inspiration for a room.

Olympic app


Behr also has a mobile app that will allow you to preview, match, and coordinate colors “on-the-go” with their convenient new tool.

Behr app


Remember your monitor or phone can only give you a pretty good idea how the color will look, but you should always paint a swatch on the wall and view it in all types of light; day light- morning, noon and early evening, and indoor light. This way you can see how it will look with your flooring, and any items you plan on adding to the room.

Have fun using these sites, get inspired and update your rooms with color! Let me know which one you found the most useful.

How to Match Colors- blog from

How to Match Colors- blog from

Staging Your Home With Color

Staging Your Home With Color

When getting your home ready for the market light, clean, organized spaces appear larger. I have always said “a fresh coat of paint is one of the best investments you can put into your home prior to selling.” Maximize your rooms with complementary neutral colors; the buyer will be able to see their self living in the space a lot easier, verses seeing how you lived in the house.

bath painted with neutral colorsHere is an example of a bathroom I staged recently; we toned down the color just a bit with a grey/blue color that was pulled from the tiles. It gave the room an updated, more open cohesive look. Although there is “color” on the walls it is not what you see in the room, you see the features of the room.

When choosing color remember there are many neutral colors besides white that will give you a hint of color but play off the walls and make a room look warm and inviting think of grays, soft yellows, beige with a hint of cream in it, calming blues, or subtle greens. They will make the room feel warm and inviting. Here are some colors from the Benjamin Moore palette that you could try on your walls.BMoore neutral colors

  It is best to tone down the bold or dark colors, like reds and bright shocking colors when selling your home. These can contribute to the ambiance of a room if used appropriately, but typically they do not convey the open feel you are hoping to achieve. The accessories in the room can be used to play up pops of color if needed. Paint the moldings the same color as the walls which will give the illusion of a larger space. This way you are not redecorating the entire room, just updating and neutralizing it.

Bright, light neutral color rooms are what sell. If you are having a tough time, give Design Solutions a call to help you get your house in tip top selling condition.





Color- How to Choose

Color- How to Choose

painting blind


Color is a very personal choice, and for some it can very difficult to choose. So how do you begin to choose a color for a room? First off don’t just call in a painter, and don’t just hope a color you pick will be perfect right of the bat.



I always suggest by starting with an inspiration board or “drawer”, items that inspire you to start the decorating process.
inspirationg items Here is one I did online with the pictures of items. Another way is to find things that you love; it can be a vase, packaging colors (yes think cereal boxes…), piece of jewelry, a flower, a color of shoes or a flower- use your imagination. Collect these treasures that you are partial to in one area and you will see a repeating pattern of color from the assortment of objects.


Next I go to fabrics, I love fabrics. There are so many colors, patterns and “feelings” that can be translated from one to the next.  Many fabrics will have this seasons colors that are popular, so I love searching the array of colors in fabrics. Sometimes this is the “inspiration” alone, the jumping off point that stimulates the design of the room. If the fabric has a bold print I suggest using the lightest color as the predominate one in the room, maybe some of the brighter ones can be used in accessories and accent pieces.


I always tell a client that painting the walls is the last piece of the puzzle when designing a room because all major paint brands have an endless array of
rich bluescolors.
How to put that array of color to work to create the perfect room does take some time, and if you are not sure hire someone like me to help!


Spending the time to get the elements together might seem complicated at first but the time will be worth the results!


Update Rooms with Color

Update Rooms with Color

Fall great time to update a room. But where do you start? I have decided September to be the month to blog about how to re-think a room and how to develop a color pallet in a room. Colors have an impact on us, they can’t necessarily be felt but they can change the way we feel. The visual clues define a space and speak to us creating a mood of the room. Each season paint companies develop pallets that work with home fashions and textiles to create a mood, update a room and bring freshness to our spaces we live in.

wyeth blueYou may say, my wall paper I hung in 2001 is great, it might be…but it may also be outdated and dark. Think of it this way, you purchase one or two new items of clothing each season, right? You have to admit you love something new to wear.  Updating a room can be looked at as a gift to yourself by refreshing the old, bringing new light in your space. You feel better about the space because it feels new. This year’s color pick by Benjamin Moore is Wythe Blue; it is such a classic- not over powering and actually a calming neutral. Blue isn’t you? There are so many other pallets to work from, so where do you begin…


pop of orange


What are the color trends this season? The combination of neutrals such as light grey to something darker like charcoal, browns like mocha and cinnamon, creams and whites then mixed with bright pops of honey gold, rich blue, bright orange, and even pink “the colors of causes” brighten up rooms and spaces. The balance between the neutral and pops of colors are important to create the character you are looking for.


So how do you begin? Follow along this month and I will help you define the ambiance and colors needed to create and update your room!

Can’t Paint? Idea to Decorate Plan Walls

Can’t Paint? Idea to Decorate Plan Walls

As I helped unloaded all the “necessities” into the college apartment I noticed how cold, sterile the white plan walls are.  I thought aside from inexpensive posters what else could be used to decorate plan white walls to spice up the room? You can’t paint the walls in most college apartments, dorm rooms or in some apartments that you rent, so what else can you do???

There are many companies now that offer wall “stickers” that are removable and add just that pop that a room might need... How about adding a tree of knowledge to a college dorm room to inspire …Tree of knowledge

Just search the internet for sticker wall art, wall stickers, sticker wall paper and you can find a ton of sites and companies that have very cool designs. You can even have a custom design done- maybe the college mascot, a favorite animal, or just shapes. I am also seeing these at stores such as Ikea, Target and Home Goods- although the breath of designs not as wide.

These are completely removable and do not damage the walls. They will add whimsy and style to those plan white walls. Experiment, be imaginative have fun! Great idea for any room. Let me know what you tried!


Designing By Numbers

Designing By Numbers

I am often asked  how far, high, amount, etc. things should be placed in a room.  There are some general guideline to use but many factors go into creating a perfect space. The contents in the room, the placement of objects in a room, size of room,  architectural details etc. all play together to make a space perfect.

These tips might help when you are not sure, or find something is not looking quite as you expected.


When hanging a piece of art on a blank wall (no furniture around) the center of the frame should be at eye level- approximately 50-60 inches off the floor.  Above a couch the bottom of the picture is typically hung 6″ above the back of the couch. When grouping pictures of different sizes and shapes in a room on different walls, keep the top of the frames or bottoms level throughout the room depending on objects within the room, and sizes of frames. This allows the eye to easily move around the room. Of course these are only general guidelines but it’s a place to start if you are totally confused.


Light fixtures should hang about 30-34 inches above a table for a standard 8 foot ceiling. If the ceiling is higher add an inch for each additional foot beyond the standard 8 feet. You do not want to be sitting at a table with the light fixture obstructing your view.


Although symmetry can create a calm space within a room, the best way to achieve balance other than symmetry is to work in odd numbers (3, 5, 7 etc. of something) The eye finds this more pleasing.

Speaking of odd numbers, when designing window treatments break the height into thirds also. For instance if you want your curtain to swag on the side of a window have it come either 1/3 or 2/3 down the side of the height of the window.


When putting down an area rug you should consider to have at least 18 inches between the edge of the rug and wall. There are exceptions such as entry ways.

When grouping furniture so guests can comfortable sit and talk place the couch and the armchairs 4-9 feet apart.

Shelving should be open, less is more. Try to keep 30% of the space as open space when adding items. Baskets are a nice way to reduce the cluttered look on shelves.

Kitchen counters… the maximum appliances left on countertops should be no more than 3. Countertops are work areas and they should be kept

Let me know how you have used numbers in helping achieve the perfect room!