Category archive - Redesign and Decorating Ideas

Which Paint Color Is the Right One?

Which Paint Color Is the Right One?

When it’s time to paint a room, do you agonize over which color will work? Have you painted a room you chose from a chip and through “this will be it!”; only to find it is not the one? Paint color can be tricky but it does not have to be.

I recently attended a conference in Toronto to learn how to make sense of it all. There are many blogs, websites and tons of information on color, but they are typically just that, information on color. When it comes to finding the right paint color it can be tricky because there are so many elements in the room to consider. If they are not being considered, you will feel like the room is not “quite right,” but not knowing why it is not “quite right.”

A great example I have, when I first moved into my house I chose fabric for drapes in my dining room because I liked it. Similarly, I found wallpaper that I thought would look lovely giving me that beautiful airy tone on tone look I was trying to achieve. Low and behold once the room was completed it was OK but not “quite right.” Yes, everyone said they “loved” the room but something was off. One day my daughter said “Mom, I think the drapes are faded or something,”  they looked dirty compared to the wall paper! When choosing fabric for the drapes and the wall paper they looked ok together from the samples I had, but the beige’s were “not quite” right. That’s when I fell upon Maria Killam’s blog and discovered it’s all about the undertones.

beige colors

The yellow/beige in the drapes was not working with the pink/beige in the wallpaper making the drapes look dirty. Needless to say it became a huge project (info for another blog) to remove the wallpaper and paint to make everything work together; an expense I could have avoided if I only knew then what I know now!

Through Maria’s course I learned to distinguish the difference in colors, and why they work or do not work within a room. You see you need to take all the element in the room, distinguish which undertones are going on, if the color is on the warm or cool side of the spectrum, muddy or clean and then you can start to eliminate some colors to consider others. I truly believe either you are born with this instinct or you need to learn it. Not all is lost, I mean 90% of the time I was getting it right but did not know why. Now when I have a client say “but I really love this color, can’t I use it instead?” I have the facts and ways to show why a color is the correct choice over another so that the room looks great, not that “not quite right look.”

Other posts you might enjoy:


Try Out Your Room Colors Virtually

The Right Color for a Room

Can the Colors of Your House Affect Your Mood?

Bathroom Window Dealing with Privacy Issues

Bathroom Window Dealing with Privacy Issues

The humidity in a bathroom can cause havoc on any window treatment. Although a window is a great feature because it lends light in a small space it can cause privacy issues. A few of my clients have just this, and know others could be in the same situation, so this is to help you look at some different options.

bath with window wm

If you are building a new home you can think about the placement of the window in the bathroom; but if you are moving into a home that has a window placed above the bathtub/shower you need to deal with the privacy issue unfortunately.  The challenge of the size, location or conditions of a room need to be addressed.

You may be familiar with glass film, it can cover the entire pane of the window giving soft filtered light. It is similar to frosted glass but a little less expensive. There are many manufactures of vinyl film it is applied directly to clean glass that can gain you privacy during daylight hours. They are easy to apply, you just need to have patients. The direction to go with these would be to coordinate with the style of the home, but keep the design of the film simple due to the size, and elements in the bathroom to allow the light to pour in, but gain privacy.

If you have the need for more privacy, Hunter Douglas has waterproof shutters that can be opened to allow the sun to come in, but closed when needing privacy. Due to being a solid material these would provide privacy anytime throughout the day. They are simple and classic that would complement many styles of décor.

If you are a DIY type of person, you could sew up a café type curtain put up with a spring type rod made of a fun shower curtain. This would give you the privacy but may not last as long as the two options mentioned above.

Last if you are building or willing to do renovations, think of add a window in ceiling versus the wall. This way you gain the light and keep the privacy. The disadvantage of these are that due to the humidity liking to rise, it’s best to insure the surrounding area of the window is durable in those types of conditions. A smaller window know as an eyelash window is another option allowing light but maintain privacy. Another idea is to put in glass block that can admit the light through but also provide discreet privacy. These options are something to consider with the décor of the home.


The factor to think consider is allowing light to pour in, while maintaining privacy. There are various solutions for window problems, keeping in mind budget and style. Natural light is great to have in a small space.

Things Your Home Does Not Need

Things Your Home Does Not Need

Spring cleaning involves removing clutter. Probably you never gave it much thought when you purchased or thought you needed something for your home. Then you begin to realize items you have added really don’t serve a purpose or enhance your spaces, cluttering and taking away valuable space in your house. Here are some suggestions of things to look at through your home that could be removed and improve your spaces

Small Pieces of Furniture

Many times I will review clients’ spaces to see they have a lot of little pieces of furniture that really do not serve much of a purpose other than cluttering the space. Sometimes it’s a lot of small chairs, tables, or pieces that really do not do much other than take up valuable space. Make sure the items you have throughout a room serve a purpose. Possibly some of those smaller pieces can be re-purposed or given a new home.

“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”
William Morris


Bench at The Foot of The BedBedroom bench

It is an accent that many people feel they need, but then find it becomes a dumping ground for the day or maybe a weeks’ worth of accessories and clothing. If your bench is just doing that, maybe it’s time to re-purpose it to another room where it can be used as seating.

Wall Paint

Color on walls can add to the space but having neutral walls has huge benefits. Bold colors are a statement of choice. Many times you can do a room with a neutral wall color and the pops can come from the art and accessories you place in the rooms.bold art


If the room is small there is no need to have a whole piece of furniture next to the bed. Use a simple shelf instead to hold those essentials you may need through the night. Using a shelf also will make the room feel larger too.

Bedside Lights

Get rid of the table lamp and replace with a hanging wall or ceiling light. These not only free up the space on either side of the bed they also will give the room a refreshed newer feeling.

Matched Set of Furniture

When you go shopping for furniture is your instinct to purchase the couch and all the tables – coffee and sides that they display only to find they do not work in your space? Slow down, measure your space first. Draw a layout as to what will fit in the space. Maybe you need a smaller table to serve in front of the couch or maybe you don’t need one at all but a side table. Plan first before purchasing unneeded pieces of furniture.

TVold TV

What??! You say. With streaming, many of the things you watch can probably be viewed on your computer or smart device so why not skip the TV. Along with that it will also eliminate the TV consult or big piece you need to store it on. Big space saver!

Open your eyes and take a critical look at your rooms. If all you see is “stuff” it’s time to re-evaluate what is in them. Let me know what you have found to be unnecessary or have found another use for that works better in your rooms.

2016 Spring Show Trends

2016 Spring Show Trends

Shows are great to see what is new, trending and inspirational. This spring being in NY I attended the NYNow show which is chock filled with consumer goods, and the Architectural Digest show where vendors show off the latest and greatest for living in your abode. What trends showed up, and what will we be seeing more of in the future? Here are just a few of the things I noticed.


The look on appliances is out but stainless is starting to trend downward. I continue to see more and more streamline looks with integrated appliances  with the cabinetry. Jenn-air when I visited them, they agreed and demonstrated how the home is going to be more and more automated. Using systems that tie to smart devices making life simpler to control our cooking when we are not there in the home, or even when we are. The controls make it so simple that anyone can become a chef- well, pretty much, in the kitchen. For two years now I have seen the ‘obsidian’ interiors and was curious why the change. The answer was that the colors of food pop more when shown against black. Studies have been done to prove people find food more appetizing when presented on a darker surface than lighter. I might try this experiment myself at home to see if it is really true. integrated appliances obsidian refridgerator


This is always interesting to me and at the AD show they have vendors that come out with such unique ideas. I thought this rope light was quite interesting done by Luke Lamp Co. Might not be something you can see in your abode but to me it was new fresh, and of course the use of LED lights intrigued me. Of course there were other vendors with fabulous lighting and beautiful designs also. The glass and metal work of some of the artist is incredible.LED rope light


Metal is in big! Not just in decor but in furniture as well. I believe this trend is here to stay a while. Mirrors, vessels, containers, furniture, fabrics it is everywhere. Seems the bling is the thing.

I found these beautiful lace like vessels at the NY Now show so delicate,and intriguing

metal lace bowls

Outdoors In

Plants, green walls, bringing the outdoors inside is big both at NY Now and at the AD show. With the weather becoming warmer this might be the time to start creating and thinking of outdoor plants that can easily adapt to indoors when the weather is not so nice. The green walls are fantastic, just not too sure I have the wherewithal to do one my self but I love them. I will keep right now, to the two stag horn ferns Dwell so kindly gave me at the end of the show.

stag horn ferns

I know not everyone jumps on the newest that is being shown, but seeing it can allow you to start thinking and understanding what’s to come as more and more consumers start to embrace the trends that the industry sees.


Flooring Pros and Cons

Flooring Pros and Cons

Flooring can be one of those things you might think what does it matter? But it can and does depending on what room and how you live in your home. Some flooring can be fabulous for one home owner and horrible for another. Know the pros and cons before you purchase and ask a reputable dealer questions to decide what will be best.

Solid Hardwood– Is solid wood that properly sealed is easy to care for. As it wears over time it can be refinished which is a big plus. It is softer on feet than tile so it would be a wise chose in an open kitchen concept type plan.hardwood through bedroom

Engineered Hardwood – The top layer is hardwood with a tough core of fiberboard. The plus of engineered hardwood is that it is more stable then solid hardwood that expands and shrinks due to humidity. The downside is that the top layer when marred can only be refinished a few times over the life of the product. If in a low traffic area it could be a perfect choice.

Laminate– It is a multi-layer synthetic flooring fused or laminated together to simulate wood or stone. This is an affordable, durable and easy to install flooring, unfortunately it will not help your resale value through, therefore not necessarily the best choice for some rooms.

Tile– it comes in many materials cement, Porcelain, ceramic and stone which allows you to be quite creative with all the options. Tile even now comes in a wood look so if you have a very high traffic area such as a hall it could be a great options for durability. The installation could get pricey and inexpensive tiles can be prone to chipping. Tiles durability and ease of care makes it an excellent choice for high traffic areas.

Vinyl flooring-it comes in sheet or tile form and is inexpensive flooring option. It is a little softer than wood or tile and wears well. Purchasing higher quality vinyl tiles will hold up better to a lot of wear and tear look for LVT or LVP (luxury vinyl tiles or luxury vinyl plank). They can be easy to install, but ensuring the subfloor is free of any particles is essential. The down side of vinyl is the use of PVC in the manufacturing that emit VOC (volatile organic compounds).vinyl floor

Cork– made from the bark of the cork oak it is a sustainable flooring option. It is softer underfoot and is resistant to stains and mildew. But if it is not finished properly it can absorb moisture. It also tends to be a more expensive flooring than other options.

All of these flooring options have pros and cons, it’s important to understand them when choosing the material and the area you plan on installing it in.

Tile Floors

Tile Floors

Tile floors are great for high traffic areas. The beauty of using tiles are the different looks that can be achieved, but it is also important to know and understand the different properties of tiles. Understanding what the different materials are and the advantages of each helps choosing the proper material for a job.

Ceramic and porcelain tiles are affordable and stand up to heavy traffic, although there is a difference in the material that they are made of.

Ceramic Tiles – These are made from clay material formed into a mold. Traditional ceramic tile is non- porcelain tile made from white, red and or brown clay and other minerals

Porcelain Tiles– These are made from clay and minerals as ceramic but contain 50% feldspar that acts like a “flux” in the kiln drying process, melting into a glass like material and bonding all the molded ingredients together. Porcelain tiles are more expensive than non-porcelain and can be harder to work with. They do have greater durability than ceramic tiles and are highly stain resistance. They also have through-bodied color so in a situation of a chip, the color is throughout the tile not on the surface.tile bath

Finishes on tiles are typically glazes that increase stain, scratch, moisture resistance and help with traction.

Natural Stone Tiles are another option, these tiles are beautiful and vary due to the characteristics of the natural stone. Some natural stones are more dense and harder than others, allowing them to be better for different application.

Granite- very dense and hard comes in array of colors and patterns

Slate – very dense and durable naturally textured

Marble- more porous than granite therefore it needs to be polished and sealed more frequently.

Limestone – less dense than granite or slate, and can be easily stained therefore not a good choice for a high trafficked area

Travertine – type of limestone that is warm in color, has pitting or divots. Special care for sealing is recommended

slate floor

The polished finish can give each stone a difference appearance so the beauty of the stone can shine through. The surface can vary from natural which appears dull, to honed that looks more like a matt finish, and polished which is the highest gloss finish on the stone; the more polished the surface the less impervious the natural stone becomes. Stone can be sealed which also helps with the resistance to stains, scratches and moisture. Natural stone is a beautiful choice but can be a little pricier compared to ceramic or porcelain tiles.

Depending on the look you want to achieve, tile is a fantastic flooring surface for high traffic areas because they come in various colors, sizes and finishes to set the ambiance in the room.

Meaning of Colors

Meaning of Colors

Color can have a significant impact on how we feel, perceive something, and react to things. Because of emotions, different colors can elicit feelings throughout the house subconsciously. The questions comes to which colors are best for some rooms and not others, and why.

For example yellow is associated with joy, happiness, intellect and energy. Because it evokes a pleasant, cheerful feeling it is a great color to use in spaces that you want to be uplifting. It is a color that would be good to have in an office, child’s room, kitchen or even a family room where there is a gathering a friends, family and acquaintances.

soft yellow kitchen

Blue one of the most popular colors maybe because it is considered with stability providing a calming and serene feeling. In home décor it can be used as a neutral (think blue jeans), to combine other colors within a room. Blue of course is associated with water so it is a perfect color for bathrooms, due to the calming effect. It is considered to suppress appetites I think because, we have very little blue food, but if that is the case it would not be choice then for a kitchen or dining area.

Blue bath

Red is a very popular color in décor because of the energy it gives off, its stimulating visibility is full of ego. It would be a great color for a child’s playroom, or an exercise room. Red, orange and bright yellow are two very subjective colors though when used in home décor so they should be avoided as a paint color on walls if you are trying to sell your home.

When we think of the outdoors green comes to mind because of trees, and grass. Green is associated with newness, nourishment and a fresh start. It is believed to relieve stress and is easy on the eyes- probably why you see shades of green in places of healing.

green living room

But when choosing colors for your home do not rule out what are considered neutral colors- gray, whites, browns. These are great for connecting spaces with color, but they are also great for spaces to play up color. Both Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore picked neutral whites for 2016 Color of the year for the serenity  and calmness they can create, but also giving individuals the ability to off set other colors if one so chooses.   Neutral colors also help highlight architectural details which is important when selling a house; you want buyers to be looking at the house, not at the “things” within the room.

Color does play a big role in the feeling of rooms, so when choosing, it is usually the last design element to go into the room, but one of the important details to set the entire mood. If you are thinking of changing your colors, feeling something is not quite right in a room, consult a professional to help you ensure that what you are painting will convey exactly what you intend. Do you have a color story you can share? I would love to hear.

Can the Colors of Your House Affect Your Mood?

Can the Colors of Your House Affect Your Mood?

Winter the days are shorter, colder, making us feel cooped up. Spending more time indoors can effect your mood, but so can the colors you use in decorating your rooms. If the colors in the rooms are not quite right they could be causing you to feel depressed, lethargic, and sluggish. By simply changing out colors in a room it can lift your mood significantly.colorand feeling

Color plays a role in how we feel about a lot of things consciously and subconsciously. Think of food, if the color is a little off we won’t go near it. Would you want to dig into a juicy green steak? When looking at products manufactures know which colors will out preform in sales over others. They might throw in a “pop” color just to test but stores will most likely invest less in that different color over the tried and true they know will sell.

Think of your home, the color in some rooms can affect your mood. Do you have a favorite room in your house? Think of the colors that are in it, they probably play a big role in why you love that room. Let’s face the fact, color is personal.  Colors evoke emotions, look at the 2016 colors that Pantone selected this year; a soft pink – Rose Quartz and soft blue- Serenity. Some designers are excited to embrace while others absolutely abhor them. They feel that the colors are too passé from the 80’s when they were popular. But like fashion everything is cyclical. So how do you pick colors that you will love in your house?

pantone 2016

I advise clients to find a color that they love to use as a base color, this is one that you will have the most of throughout your home. How do you find a base color? Look in your closet and see what colors of clothing you tend to navigate toward, or try creating a collection of things you love on Pinterest board and you will start seeing a reoccurring color.

The main color that you love should be on the walls of rooms that are visible to one another. If you get stressed picking colors choose a lighter tone of the color or softer feeling which will play a little more neutral. To amp it up add accessories in darker shades of your fav color. As a simplified rule, choose three colors per living floor space i.e. upstairs can be treated differently than downstairs. Use a neutral but complementary color to connect spaces such as hallways. If you are using more neutrals for the main areas of the house, you can use bolder color in the connecting area that complements too.  If choosing a color freaks you out, get a base idea of what you like, gather some pictures that inspire you and contact a local professional to help you with a paint consult. The time spent will be well worth the minimal cost and save you time and money in the long run.

pop of color

If the color you love is in the majority of the space in your home, it can significantly change your mood and feeling about rooms that you think are not that great. I would love to see your transformations of your spaces that lift your mood!

Other good reads:

Your House is The Boss When Choosing Colors

Key Improvements That Will Reap a Profit   | Bathrooms

Key Improvements That Will Reap a Profit | Bathrooms

Selling can be a little bit of a Catch 22; what do you do? Spend some money to change and improve, possibly gain a bigger interest in your house, or don’t improve saving money and possibly loose some interest in your house or even having to list for lower price when it is on the market. The key is to ensure elements that matter to buyers are represented in your house when selling. Invest your money in updates that will resonate with buyers and help you stand out above the competition. A Professional Home Stager will help you understand what those investments are that have an impact.

The Bathroom

Bathrooms are rooms that matter a lot to buyers. First and foremost they expect them to be clean and spotless, a room that will accommodate their daily routine, but with a style. We can thank HGTV and other home improvement shows for helping the consumer understand trends. Since Baby-boomers are downsizing and moving the Millennials and Gen X generations ready to buy but are not willing to find a fixer upper, they want move in ready.

If you are planning on selling soon two things that can be done to update a bathroom, and make a significant impact at a are reasonably cost are lighting and a fresh coat of neutral color paint. Removing the builder Hollywood light fixture to one that is more in style, and giving the room a fresh coat of light neutral toned paint will impress. It is a small investment for a big return.

lights and paint for a bath

If your toilet has seen a little too much wear and tear, consider replacing to newer water efficient one. Make sure the seat matches the bowl. Buyers are not impressed by how creative you can be in this area.

You can also improve a dated bathroom by updating your bathroom cabinets, or painting them to a neutral fresh white tone and adding new updated hardware. Hard stone or quartz counters are desirable but if that is not in the budget consider a new solid laminate. By keeping this rooms finishes simple and in light neutral colors it will appear larger and become an asset for the sale of the house.

I always suggest to my clients to purchase new white towels, and a new white shower curtain if the bathroom requires one. It matters more to buyers that bathrooms are white glove clean. All personal items need to be out of site if you are selling too. No matter what the price point of the house is, people do not want to see owners’ personal grooming items.

Taking a little time to pay attention to the details can make a big impact for such a tiny room. If you have a great tip send it along!

Luxury Bathrooms

Luxury Bathrooms


Remodeling is Trumping Moving | Houzz Survey

Key Improvements That Will Reap a Profit | Kitchens

Key Improvements That Will Reap a Profit | Kitchens

Selling can be a little bit of a Catch 22; what do you do? Spend some money to change and improve, possibly gain a bigger interest in your house, or don’t improve saving money and possibly loose some interest in your house or even having to list for lower price when it is on the market. The key is to ensure elements that matter to buyers are represented in your house when selling. Invest your money in updates that will resonate with buyers and help you stand out above the competition. A Professional Home Stager will help you understand what those investments are that have an impact.

The Kitchen

I always hear this when the house is on the market “should I have put in granite counters?” Here is my answer in long form, sorry…….

Since this is one of the key rooms that buyer’s base 30% of their decision on liking a house or not, money spent here is wise. Take a look around with a critical eye, does your kitchen convey one that appears up to date? If you are not sure what an updated kitchen is, contact a designer, Professional Stager or go to a kitchen store to see what the latest designs are.

Some improvements can be as simple as paint or as involved as replacing everything in the room. Some elements to keep in mind when thinking up “updated” kitchen are the cabinets style popular today? Sometimes just painting out good quality cabinets, and updating hardware can do the trick to bring the kitchen into the 21st century when putting your house on the market. But if the cabinets are very taste specific or something that hasn’t been in the market in the past ten years, then it is wise to replace. If you are planning on dwelling longer, and not selling within a year then taking the next step to replace, or possibly resurface the cabinets, either would be worth the investment. A professional will be able to help and direct you.

Other elements in the kitchen to keep in mind are all the appliances matching? Even having all black or all stainless can make the room feel up to date. Having a mix of finishes should be changed, making sure all appliances are functioning and working is important when you sell.  Trends change, so currently the question is which appliances color are popular? If there is not one that stands out, currently as I write this, stainless is always a safe choice.

Counter tops can date a space also. Having a stone surface like quartz or granite is the preferred choice by buyers. But if you are selling soon take a look at the new laminate surfaces which are a little less expensive and can make a good impression on a buyer.

Model kitchen

Neutral paint colors on the wall are important and a back splash help bring all the elements together.  Updating light fixtures and sink faucets are also good investments to update the room. Creating a kitchen that impresses buyers can be a bigger expense than some are willing to take on. Be objective and look at this room from a buyer’s eye, not sure you can do that, then call in a Professional Home Stager, they will be able to survey the room and help you choose what the best course will be to obtain the biggest return on your investment.

Is Your Home Having a Mid-life Crisis?

Kitchen Trends for 2015 and Beyond

Hub of the House | The Kitchen