decorating tips

Refresh Your home with this easy decorating tip that is cheaper than painting, and here's how

Are you ready for the answer? What decorating DIY could possibly be cheaper than painting?? 

Rearrange your furniture.
Yes - it's that simple! 

It's been a long winter (it always is) and it's easy to get stir crazy and want to make some major changes in your home. Especially if you've been living in your home for awhile you may be ready for a drastic change. All you need to get started is a few ideas and some furniture sliders, then viola! Instant makeover. 

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During the process you may find that you don't need some furniture anymore, or may want to borrow other pieces from another room. Try things you've never done before - have you tried your sofa on a different wall? Layered in front of the picture window? Across from the window? Perpendicular? You get the idea! 

 

Local Room Makeovers

 

Even if you're not ready to rearrange, it's important to keep this in mind when you are purchasing new furniture because you want the most versatile pieces that allow for several room configurations. The best combination for this is a sofa and 2 upholstered chairs. The configurations are so versatile in any space with this combination. 

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The best part about this rearranging makeover? You can try it out and if you don't like it put it back the way it was! No harm done ;) 

So what do you think? Are you going to rearrange your room today? 

Cheers!

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Useful or Beautiful - Part 3

Now that you've read how to purge & declutter, and how to smartly reduce what you bring home, I would like to share a few design tips on creating a beautiful space using what you already have.

1- Create a plan!

This is the most important step, and the first I do when I meet with a new client. Brainstorming all our ideas and coming up with an organized master plan for the room will keep your goals on track. It's important to understand how you currently use the room, and how you want to use it going forward.This information will guide any decisions you make going forward.

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2- Inspire Yourself

Sometimes it's hard to see new potential for the same old pieces in the same old room. That's one of the biggest benefits a decorator can bring to your job is a fresh new perspective! To start getting some ideas you can look on Pinterest or Houzz for other rooms that inspire you. Then look for a common theme in them, are you drawn to neutral colored rooms? Bold colored accents? Mid century style?

 

3- Try something new

After the purge, some inspiration, and a plan you will start to see your things in an all new way. Try new things with your existing pieces. It could be as simple as rearranging the furniture to create a better seating area. Or maybe you found an easy DIY idea that will help you repurpose that old side table, chair, or accessory.

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4- Fill in the gaps

Once you're set up the foundation for the room using what you already had, you'll have a better sense of what you need. Check back with your plan to see what your other goals were. How many were accomplished with what you already had? And how many need to be filled in with new purchases? If you head out shopping bring your design plan with you to keep you on track.

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5- Rotate accessories

If you have a lot of accessories you want to keep but they aren't working together, I would recommend rotating them seasonally. Keep out lightweight linens and fresh bright colors for the spring, and store your heavy blankets, curtains, pillows, carpet, and darker colored accessories for the winter.

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6- Enjoy!

Show yourself and your new space some gratitude. It may not be magazine perfect, but nothing really is. Enjoy the change you've made in your home, the new freedom from clutter, and the well planned decor you have in your home. Maybe you can even celebrate by hosting a party to show it off!

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I hope this mini series has helped inspire you to redecorate a room in you home.

Cheers,

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Useful or Beautiful - Part 2

Last week I shared a few tips on how to declutter your home by purging things you don't need or love. (click here for article). This week I will share some of my tips on how to avoid accumulating too much in the first place.

Step 2: avoid buying too much stuff!

Now this is tricky because shopping feeds into our desire for instant gratification. We are constantly overwhelmed with lifestyle ads & coupons that say "buy this and you will be happier." But the truth is that happiness may be short lived - then you're just left with "stuff". So here are my tips & strategies to help resist the temptation.

1- AVOID FLASH SALES

Yes, you can do it. Someone is always curating an enticing list of "must haves", and you surely can find some exciting deals on there. But the devil in these sites is that there is only a limited quantity and it's gone. It bullies you to buy now or forever hold your peace. So my advice is if you're not actively looking for something - don't open that email! Or better yet - unsubscribe from such emails and only log in when you are looking for something. Seriously - you will thank me!

2- Make a list

Impulse shopping is also the devil so I suggest making a list and sticking with it. At the beginning of every room redesign I work on we create goals for the room, and then define what it we need to fulfill those goals. I write up a design plan with all the details and items to buy for each client. Then I suggest to put the list on your phone, tablet, or in a program like Evernote that syncs with everything. Or just keep the design plan in your wallet.  This will keep you on task when you're shopping around and resist unnecessary purchases.

 

3- Sleep on it

If you have a few items you want or need, create a list then sleep on it. This gives yourself time to sort through your decision and prioritize your purchases.  Keeping an ongoing list of "wishes" will help you stay organized and avoid spending extra money on things you don't need. Plus it gives you the chance to change your mind without spending too much time or money.

 

 

3- Walk with it

So now you're in the store and you can't resist an item. It grabs your attention and you want it! Go ahead and put it in your basket. Walk the rest of the store with it and re-evaluate the object at the end of loop through the store. Does it meet the criteria you established for your goals? (color, category, texture, etc) If it's not perfect then put it back. Usually a walk through the store will help you sort through other options and may provide the right perspective.

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4- Photograph (or Pin) it

Another strategy to postpone a purchase is to photograph it (in person) or Pin it (if online). This way you won't loose track of it and can go back to make the purchase later. If you collect enough images then you can even create a moodboard and see how all the items will look together. This will make sure you're staying on track with your goals.

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5- Reduce time spent shopping

Many people find shopping a pleasurable experience, but perhaps it provides too much temptation to make an unnecessary purchase. In this case when you feel the urge to shop, make a list of what you want to get it off your mind, then find something else entirely different to do. Think of other hobbies that you enjoy such as reading, watching a movie, going out to eat with friends, working out, etc. There are plenty of other hobbies to distract yourself from the urge to buy!

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I hope these tips & strategies provide you with some ways to manage your purchases. What ways do you find helpful to reduce accidental shopping, and to ensure you make the right purchases for your home?

Cheers!

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Gliding into the Weekend

Well it certainly feels like summer here, and I am really looking forward to the holiday! I was reviewing my notes from this past weekend's Happy Places event at Babies R us and I wanted to share one of my favorite tips for repurposing furniture as your baby and toddlers grow.

When planning a nursery many people opt to have a glider or rocker in the room. When picking out your glider style and color consider one that can live happily in a family room or den once baby has grown. There are so many armchair options that you would never deem them as nursery furniture! A good quality glider can really grow with your family and you'll get many years from your investment. 

   
  
  

Tips for Mounting TV's

There are many resons to mount your TV, including safety as a major concern. There is also a growing trend towards smaller homes that have an open floor plan with a multi-purpose "great room". By mounting the TV in these rooms you can achieve greater visability in a smaller footprint. 

With all the adances in TV technology and the growing number of mounting solutions is there is no reason to have a poor floor plan! (see previous post: necessary evils). Gone are the days of lining all the furniture along one wall so "everyone can see." Flat screens alone allow for a wide viewing angle, and with the addition of Sanus products your mounting options are endless. 

Let's take a look at some of their solutions that might work for your home. 

Full Motion

You can't beat the flexibility of this wall mount. You can literally mount a TV in the corner, you can pivot, angle, and pull out from the wall. This ensures everyone can have the perfect view, and you can adjust to reduce glare as needed.

Sanus VLF525

 

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Design Tip:

I like this sketch above because it clearly shows the corner mount which is awesome.  One thing I don't like about it though is the fireplace is right next to the TV, which creates a focal point competition. In this case mounting above the fireplace would be a better design decision to reinforce one focal point. Or move the TV to another wall away from the fireplace.

Another beneift of a wall mount is the flexible furniture options, if you choose to have any at all! In this case they chose to drop the cords behind the wall and add artwork for a gallery wall effect. 

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Tilt

Sometimes all you need for a perfect view is a little tilt. Some examples would be a wall mount in the bedroom, over a fireplace, or to angle for little kids to see. 

Last week in Review

It's that time of year when each week gets busier than the last and the list of to-do's keep growing! Last week was especially busy preparing for the decorating presentation I gave at the Habitat ReStore. I enjoyed putting my thoughts together and sharing some of my top decorating tips! 

Presentation set up with handouts

Raffled a Starbucks gift card and a cute little holiday tree from Trader Joes!

As I was preparing the slides of text and gathering the photos I realized it was a lot like assembling the largest blog post ever and presenting it live! And once I started creating it was so hard to stop! I could go on and on about the details of each photo since there are so many aspects that relate to each other. If you made it out to the presentation - thank you! It was great to see you, and if you couldn't make it I'll be giving more next year, stay in the loop here.

Below are a few of my favorite photos that correlate to holiday entertaining, maximizing the function, and creating good conversation areas.  

  

Decorating Presentation at the Habitat Restore!

Thursday December 5th I will be making my first decorating presentation at the Habitat Restore in Randolph NJ. The topic will be the 10 Most Common Decorating Mistakes, and the focus will be on furniture arrangements to get your rooms ready for holiday entertaining! After the presentation I'll do a demonstration with furniture at the Restore. If you're interested in coming please sign up with the form below!

Looking forward to seeing you then!

Thursday December 5th
Habitat Restore
274 South Salem Street, Randolph NJ
(At the corner of Route 10 West and Salem Street)
973.366.3358 

http://www.morrishabitat.org/restore/