New Resolutions

Happy New Year! Another year has come and gone already, where does the time go?! I always like to take the new year to reflect on where I've been, how my business has grown, and what I plan to do going forward.

Last year was a productive year for me. I feel I really learned a lot and stretched beyond my comfort level while learning to handle the "business" side of my business. Being that I went to school for design I always like to joke that I have a scrappy MBA, meaning that I learn the "business" as I go along! Good thing for lots of helpful people and educational resources!

This year I plan to continue last year's momentum with 3 overarching goals and 1 specific business goal. Here we go!

 

BECOME NKBA CERTIFIED

The NKBA is a kitchen & bath association and I'm going to work towards my certification! I've really enjoyed helping clients select their finishes such as matching their countertop/ backsplash/ cabinets/ fixtures, and paint colors. I've worked on a few simple layouts and I've enjoyed using the 20/20 CAD software. So now I'm going to take this to the next level so I can take on even bigger projects! I am so excited! I think this will really be a good fit for my skill set of mixing creative design with technical specs.

 

 

STAY ON TOP OF THINGS

When things get busy priorities change and it becomes hard to stay on top of the little things like emails, mail, magazines, trade publications etc. It's easy to get swept up in the whirlwind but this year I'd really like to make it a point to go through this information as I get it. I hate piles of paperwork and sometimes you can miss out on some good opportunities or announcements! This goal certainly applies to both my personal and business life. Staying on top will help reduce clutter and keep me organized!

(source via Apartment Therapy)

 

ALWAYS BE ON TIME

First I am so happy to say I've rarely been late to a client appointment! But in my personal life... that's another story, I feel I'm late to everything! As I get busier I try to jam more into a day than is actually possible and so I run late. Lately I find that the stress of being late is really negatively affecting me. The good news is that it's all self inflicted! I can control my expectations for the day and manage my time by planning more realistically. It's always a work in progress but in essence this boils down to setting more realistic goals every day!

 

 

 

DON'T NEGLECT HOME

All the little details make a difference and again, one of the first things to get dropped off the priority list is my own home! When I'm busy helping clients, networking, and running my business I put our home goals on the back burner. Well this year is going to change! It got to the point where putting these things off really bummed us out and became frustrating. So I've been working on plans for our home and will make sure to fit them into the agenda as well! Again this comes down to managing time and expectations. Putting limits on work and life so they each get a fair share!

 

 

 

 

AND HERE'S A LOOKBACK AT 2014

some of my biggest accomplishments and continuing goals

Happy Holiday Season!

Every time I check in I cannot believe how fast time is flying!! This week was Hanukkah and tonight is Christmas Eve already! So what have I been up to? It's been a busy season getting ready for the holidays and helping people decorate their homes. Now it's time to kick back and relax (after we clean the house, prep dinner, and deliver dozens of cookies!).  Our neighbors benefit from my cookie cooking obsession - I don't normally bake desserts during the year since it's just the 2 of us at home, so I indulge during the holidays :)  

Every year I make the same few favorites and I've gotten my system down pretty well by now. Then I try adding a few new ones in to keep it interesting.  Here is a snapshot of this years cookies! Some photos are my own and others are from the recipe website. (links below!)

COOKIES

 

1- Peppermint Bark |  2-  Gingersnaps  |  3- Coffee Bon Bons

4- Rolo Cookies  |   5- Uncle Richie Cookies  |  6- Maraschino Cherry Almond Cookies

7- Triple Chocolate Chunk  |  8- No Bake Vanilla Cake Batter Truffles  |  9- Sea Salt & PB Turtle Cookies

10- Chocolate Peppermint Patty Cookies

GUEST ROOM

Let's see, what else have I been up to? I was interviewed for an article in our local paper! I gave a few tips for creating a nice comfortable guest room for the holidays and my picture was used for the entire article! Below is my picture and a link to the article. 

Article Link (pg 2): http://www.njherald.com/link/721023/hello-holidays

UGLY SWEATERS

I went to an "ugly sweater" party this year for a networking event and was excited to find not only what I thought was an ugly sweater, but an ugly sweater vest!! Then I found an equally ugly turtleneck to wear underneath and bam! I was ready for the party. Much to my disappointment though.... so many people actually told me that it looked cute!! CUTE PEOPLE!!! I was like - uh, seriously?? As the designer in your network I am wearing this to an UGLY SWEATER party - and you actually think it's cute?? Oh boy... So now I ask YOU - Is this ugly or cute?!? Be honest!

 

Well that's all for now! Let me know if you make any of the cookies I shared, and I'm curious to know your thoughts on this sweater vest! I will check in again before the year's end... which is next week already! In the meantime I wish you all the very best of the holiday season!!!

Cheers!

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A Thanksgiving Cheat Sheet

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope you all are getting ready to enjoy some time with family and friends this holiday weekend. Whether you are traveling out of town, or are running around preparing the big feast I wish you the best!

Wherever you sit this holiday season you are likely to encounter a beautiful table setting. Or if you are hosting you may want to create one. There are so many beautiful ideas out there, but just where does everything actually go? I mean the basic details such as: Does the fork go on the left or right of the plate?

(source)

Or as a guest if you all gather around a table filled with glasses, silverware and bread plates, which water glass is yours?

At last here is a cheat sheet that easily explains it all! No more wondering how to set, or which to use! I used to waitress so I am very familiar with the "proper" way to set a table. Another tip I can give is to start from "the outside in" meaning, your dessert fork will be closest to the plate, and your salad/app fork is furthest. Enjoy!

(Pinterest link)

Cheers!

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A Map Chair DIY

So I finally had a chance (and the motivation) to work on this little side project I had in mind for awhile. I inherited these imitation Arne Jacobson Ant Chairs awhile back and wanted to do something fun with them. They were a little scratched up so I thought of painting patterns, doing a collage, or something else altogether. Then I thought it would be really fun to apply an antique map across the entire surface!

So I started shopping around and saw this nice old world map in blue on AllPosters.com. It was something a little different looking and I loved the colors together. It almost looks like a wood texture underneath the print which was a nice effect.

My motivation was to complete this chair in time for the Habitat Green Event held last month. I thought it would be a fun addition to my booth as a little before & after project and I only had 3 days to work on it!

So when the poster arrived I laid it out on the table to relax the curl from shipping.

Then I gathered my first round of supplies including: a brayer, Mod Podge, and brush

Now to be honest, I'd never used Mod Podge before, but it seemed like a simple yet strong adhesive to use. I watched a few YouTube videos on how to use it, then I felt ready to give it a try. First I began to gob it all over the surface of the chair and spread it around with a paint brush. Then I very carefully laid the map across the surface and rolled the brayer across the surface to get out any air bubbles.

As it turns out, while I was in the middle of this time sensitive part a very large UPS delivery came to our house and due to the sheer size and weight of it, the UPS delivery man came to the side door, knocked, and offered to bring it in. I was very appreciate of his kindness, and my guard-dog Lab absolutely loves the UPS man so he was going nuts, got a few treats, and wanted to go for a ride.

So... by the time I got back to the chair the Mod Podge was starting to adhere and I couldn't really adjust the map or roll out any other bubbles. In general I'm very happy with how it came out, but there is one section in the back where there is a complex curve and it didn't adhere perfectly.

So now that the map has been applied to the chair it was time to very carefully cut the map to the shape of the chair. I just used a simple xacto knife with a fresh blade and followed along the edge.

 

Creepy Artwork!

Just in time for Halloween this week I thought I'd share some really cool, yet strangely bizarre, and possibly even creepy artwork! I stumbled upon these at the Habitat Restore and couldn't believe how intricate they were. They are 3 exotic beetles with gears and tiny mechanism inside, and each is preserved carefully inside a glass bell jar. It was pretty amazing to see the high level of detail that went into each piece!

My photo definitely doesn't do this creature any justice! The creator of these Frankenstein pieces is Mike Libby of Insect Lab Studio, and he smartly put his signature on the bottom of these pieces. So curiosity takes me on an adventure through his website to see what other creations he has made - and I find them all amazing and beautiful. I could see these in an office or science classroom!

So now here are some better images of these really unique pieces of art.

Dynastidae: Eupatorus Gracilicornis
(aka Rhino Beetle)

Lucanidae: Cyclomattus Elephas
(aka: Stag Beetle)

Cetonidae: Torynorhinna Flammae
(aka Flower beetle)

And in case you're wondering, YES THEY ARE REAL BUGS!!! I have no idea how he is able to handle them without them crumbling to a million dried dust particles. But somehow he manages to install the gears into each and every one of them. And he doesn't stop at beetles... oh no! Check out these other beautifully mechanical insects.

Papilionidae: Papilio Ulysses
(aka Swallowtail butterfly)

Odonata: Anax Junius
(aka Dragonfly)

Wasp (no latin name!)

1st Dibs on This Habitat Collection

Well it's been a busy few weeks but I am excited to say that I can finally share some pictures and links for a staging job I recently worked on. Someone had contacted me about staging a home that was completely vacant. I offered a few options, one of which was to stage with inventory and furniture from the Habitat Restore. They chose that option and the fun began!

First I met them at the house for a staging consultation. That's when I walk around and asses the space, make recommendations, then decide what type of furniture and layouts would work best for each room. Every home is different, and here we focused on these 3 impact rooms: living room, dining room, and kitchen.

Empty home before staging

The day before staging I walked the Restore floor and found pieces that worked together and fit my plan. That was a good practice in my "use what you have" training and philosophy. Whatever was available on the floor at that moment was what I could use. No time to make changes, order anything else, or shop around. I used only what was available - good thing the Restore has a lot of great pieces!

The day of staging I met the movers at the Restore to help coordinate the furniture pick-up. I worked with a team from Junk-A-Haulics, and they were fantastic! Everything was packed and unpacked quickly and very carefully. You can see them in action here :)


Junk-A-Haulics in action

Then the fun part for me really began - rearranging the furniture and adding decorative touches through accessories. Once everything was in place the transformation was complete! It's amazing what a difference furniture makes in showing a home. Many home buyers have a hard time imagining themselves and their furniture in a space, so staging helps potential home buyers see the scale of a room with furniture, and suggestions how they can use it.

Ta da! Same house after staging.

The best part of using Habitat Restore for staging is that all these pieces of furniture are available for sale, so make sure to read through to the bottom! Here are some more before and after photos:

Living room before

living room after

living room after

living room after staging

Dining room before

Dining room after

Fireplace before

Fireplace after

Foyer before

Foyer after

And while I don't have any "before" pictures of the kitchen or front porch I wanted to show the "afters" anyway!

Kitchen after

Kitchen after with butcher block cart in previously empty space.

Countertop staging

Front porch after staging

Ok, so now that you've seen what items I used from the Restore I am excited to say you can have first dibs to buy these items!! They have been listed for sale on ebay so you can buy any of them right now. We have it set up so you can use paypal online or pay at the store when you pick up. The only catch?? These items won't be back at the Restore until Tue Oct 21st. So that's it! See something you like? Take a look at the listing here!

http://www.ebay.com/usr/morrisrestore973

And make sure you click "see all items" for a full list. Act quick - the beautiful dining table and coffee table have already been sold!

Any questions send me an email or call, just click the contact link below for information.

Cheers!

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Custom Office of "The Grommet"

The other day while I was reading an article online and I saw an ad for "The Grommet - Buy Differently" embedded in the page. I NEVER click on those ads but for some reason it intrigued me, partially because I've never heard of it and also because I was in the shopping frame of mine for some client projects. 

I learned that The Grommet is a product launching platform that takes undiscovered products from makers and artists and provides them a platform for selling. In the era of kickstarter and other crowdsourcing options The Grommet gives an opportunity for the artists to tell their stories and sell their products to a larger audience. 

What also intrigued me though was the custom office of The Grommet! They had artists custom make their cubicles (which they call pods) and they added a lot of personal touches to the space. I love to see collaborations between designers and small businesses because the possibilities are endless! This is a good case study showing how brand identity & interior design go hand in hand. 

So now for some pictures! 

They designed their "pods" to look like shipping palettes since they ship all their products. 

They also created a custom video backdrop where they film the launch of their new products. 

Some other details of their office, an industrial look with exposed brick and ductwork.

And of course I'd be remiss if I didn't say to check out their products! They do have a wide variety of unique products with stories. It's perfect to keep in mind for the upcoming holiday season!

So what do you think of their custom office and product lines? 

Cheers,

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Oh Summer, Where Have You Gone??

I probably say this every year, but summer has gone by way too fast! I wish you a happy long weekend to soak up this last bit of summer! Here are some ways to indulge...

Swing in a hammock with drinks readily nearby (via Pinterest)

Enjoy a seat by the fire (via Pinterest)

Great tip I found on Pinterest: keep mosquitos away by making bundles of sage and toss into the fire!

 

ICFF Sub-trend: Convertible Furniture

Here is my second ICFF recap from this year. The first was a round up of some of my favorites, now I'd like to share a few items that have a common design thread of space saving, convertible furniture. 

1- Convertible Pool Tables

First on my list is a pool table that converts into an elegant dining table by simply adding a cover. Perfectly stylish way for eating a meal, then simply slide off and play! This one by Belgium company Fusion Tables is streamlined and contemporary, and I just love their use of new color instead of the same old green felt. 

(Fusion Tables)

Vision Billiards, formerly Balic Billiards and part of Bilijardai products, offers handmade and premium billiard tables. They too offer a line of contemporary convertable tables which they brought to the show, but they also offer some of the most unique custom table designs I've seen! Check out their website for some examples. 

(Vision Billiards at the show) 

 

2- Umbra Folding Chairs

I love the flexibility (foldability?) of these chairs - and what a great way to get them out of the way when not using them? So simple and fun. Not available through their website yet but check back soon I'm sure! www.umbra.com

 

3- Riveli Shelving

I remember seeing these at the show last year and like how many options they've come out with since. What really clicked with me this year was that the back side was a magnetic blackboard, which would make these shelves perfect for a kitchen or foyer.

The whiteboard is a good idea too.

And I especially love the graphic print options when closed, these make for a great retail option, like the photo above. For more information check out their website www.lakeandwells.com 

4- Sliding horizontal columns

And lastly these interested sliding horizontal columns that can again serve as a graphic background, but can then be pulled out several feet and turned into a light fixture (shown above) or a seat or climbing wall (shown below). 

I remember this booth was from one of the student section, but unfortunately can't remember which one! I will update the information when I find it, but in the meantime if anyone knows who's this is please leave a comment below! 

And that's a wrap! What do you think of some of these design concepts? Would love to know in your comments below. 

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. 

   
  
  

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to all you kind-hearted, patient men! Wishing you all a day to enjoy, however you like it. 

Reading in a comfy chair... 

 

Grilling outdoors 

 

 

Watching your favorite game (World Cup time!) 

 

Time spent creating 

 

Time spent playing...

 

Or playing...  

 

Or going for a drive.

 

 

Enjoy!

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ICFF 2014 Favorites

I enjoyed yet another year at ICFF (Interrnational Contemporary Furniture Fair) checking out all the new products & concepts! There is always so much to share after going to a show like this, and I have several follow up posts planned. I'd like to start with a few of my favorites though. I think I appreciate most of these for their unique take on a concept or just the whimsy of the idea. So here is product round up numero uno!

1- Jewel Encrusted Sinks

Aren't these all beauties?? You would almost never even know a sink was there. Like this shell one below.

 

The Mansion in Detail- part 2

I hope many of you are getting ready to enjoy a long weekend! I wanted to share part 2 of my Blairsden Mansion recap, again focusing on the details rather than the full room. If you missed "Part 1" check it out here! 

Let's begin with fellow Interior Redecorator Susan Hayes! Congratulations!
Love this puppy portrait and wallpaper in the Puppy's Suite #29 by Re-Feather Your Nest Decorating, LLC

Plaster moldings & upholstered walls #30 James Yarosh Associates Fine Art Gallery

Quarter stool #30

Original glass doorknob and lock

Layered bedding with lighting #31 Sandra John Interior Design

The Mansion in Detail- part 1

I was so excited to see Blairsden Mansion last weekend with my mom! If you haven't heard me mention Mansions in May before it's an event hosted in Morris County NJ every 2 years by the Woman's Association of Morristown Medical Center. The fundraising efforts this year went to two great causes: to expand the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, and the New Autism Center. Not only is it a great cause to support, but it helps showcase designers in the area, help build their portfolio, and is a fun way to try new things! It was very competitive to get a room this year and so it's even more exciting for those who got one! 

So for this post I thought rather than show photos of the entire room (which is very hard to do) it would be fun to show a few details that I found beautiful or interesting. Not only are the architectural details of the mansion stunning, but the way each decorator styled their room is beautiful. These small details are things you can apply to your own home to add more interest. There were 52 rooms in the mansion so I will break the posts into two parts. So without further adieu in the order of the tour.... post number one! 

Check out the carved details above!!

Gorgeous inlaid floor detail: #2 by Van Cleef Tile & Stone

Bookshelf styling #3 by Barbara Ostrom Associates

Original leather wallpaper with painted molding - #6 Billiard Room by Bjorn Bjornsson Interior Design

Table vignette #11 by Hope Sferra Interiors Inc.

A Colorful Nursery Moodboard

I was excited to attend an event at Creative Wall Coverings just about 2 weeks ago where I saw a rep from Sanderson present some truly stunning new product. Each wallpaper and matching fabric was more gorgeous than the next and it had us all swooning. The textures and metallics were fantastic and exciting, and the children's line called "All About Me" by their Harlequin brand was just charming. It was so charming in fact that I even decided to create my very first moodboard to share with you here! I usually create a board to share privately with my clients, but after seeing sample boards at CW&I and being inspired by these patterns I thought I'd give it a whirl even though there is no particular client for the board. 

I decided to start with their Kaleidoscope pattern since I thought the geometry and colors were fun and generally gender neutral. There are several colorways for each pattern too, so make sure you see them all! 

The concept here is a contemporary nursery that could go mid-century. Since the wallpaper is so colorful and gorgeous, we'll let it steal the show and do all the heavy work by putting it on one main wall. By consolidating the pattern (as opposed to an entire room) it will keep the room from looking too busy and will provide a great backdrop to build upon. In front of the wallpaper we'll use white furniture that will really pop in front of all those colors. On the opposite wall we'll bring in some of the colors from the paper with smaller accessories. Depending on gender you could use more pink or blue accessories, but the use of the yellow & orange really works well too. 

And here's the board!

The format above is similar to Olioboard that layers each item for a more realistic look with consideration to scale. The other option shown below is a cleaner grid format that lets each product have it's own space. 

Which format do you prefer? If you're checking in please leave your comment below, I'd like to know! One format certainly takes longer than the other ;) 

Here are some other favorite "All About Me" fabrics that have been on my mind. It was hard to decide which to work with first!

Cabinet Concepts in 3D

Many times in design the initial concept isn't exactly what becomes the final. In some cases there are minor tweaks, and in others it's a major overhaul. Either way a lot of work goes into each concept even if it's not produced or chosen as the final. Here is an example of a built-in cabinet concept I designed in CAD as a "proof of concept." This was designed based on existing cabinets that were purchased at the Habitat Restore. They would provide a ton of storage along a blank wall while transforming existing bifold doors into sleek, space-saving barn style sliding doors that would disappear behind the cabinets. 

Here is a video of the cabinet parts and assembly. This is by no means a finished render, but I thought it was fun to show nonetheless! 

 

And here is a video of all the moving parts, the sliding doors and cabinets that open. These are my first YouTube videos ever, and I still have to figure out why the video is blurry the first few seconds and not centered on the preview....

Anyway, once installed they would need to be painted to match the room. One option is to paint the cabinets the same color as the trim, which is a glossy white. This would make the cabinets stand out in the room and blend in with the door and moldings. Below is a section view of the room showing the span of cabinets and a part of the wall on each side.

 

A second option (and what I would recommend for this particular space) is to "paint out" the cabinets the same color as the wall so the cabinets actually blend into the wall and become a subtle architectural detail. Then the door and molding would stand out as a more detailed deep entry into the next room. 

So what do you think of this built-in cabinet concept? Do you have other custom cabinet needs or ideas?Would love to hear!

Cheers,

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Other posts you may like:

Paint out molding

Design Details

Disappearing Doors

 

Tips for Earth Day and Always

While Earth Day was officially Tuesday the 22nd of this week, it's always a good time to share some tips to reduce the footprint in our daily lives.These tips are essential information to share on a decorating website where decisions are being made on what to keep, donate, reuse, or recycle. I wrote this article last year focusing on product ideas: Decorating Tips Mother Earth Would Love, and another on America Recycles Day in November.

Here are 4 NEW tips & resources to help you reduce, reuse, and recycle. I hope you find some of these helpful in making the right decisions for your home. 

1- Retint your old paint

WOW! I was watching HGTV /DIY Network's Rehab Addict where Nicole Curtis brought gallons of unused paint to a paint store to have them retinted!! Not only was the cost savings significant, but think of all that paint saved just because it was leftover or not perfect for a previous job. Her only tip was to keep the base color in mind, if you have a light base you can work with lighter colors or darken it, if you are starting with a dark base then you'll have to stay with a darker color. I can't wait to try this myself.

(via Instagram: Mintygreendream)

2- Retrofit High hat Lights

This is a great tip from C&C Electric, I learned they can replace your existing high hat lights with these retrofit LED bulbs! Not only will they save you electricity, but will outlast a regular incandescent by many years (which are not being produced anymore anyway). 

(source via C&C facebook)

3- Recycling Resources

I am so glad LED's are on the rise and compact florescents are being replaced. As I'm sure you know they contain mercury which is not only hazardous when broken, but makes them hard to dispose of because a limited number of places take them to recycle. I did find a great local resource for pretty much any type of recycling though so if you are looking to unload some of your old bulbs you can bring them to the recycling center in Roxbury (more info in this link).

(image source)

4- Prevent E-waste

New flatscreen TV's have become so affordable that it has become hard to give away those old TV's that are more than 2"deep. Same with computers, monitors, printers, cell phones, etc. The problem is these are also terrible for the landfill since they have different parts and components that should be dissected and properly recycled. There is a local resource called GreenVision that accepts anything with a plug and dissects the parts for recycle. Not only are they 99.8% landfill free, they also provide meaningful jobs for developmentally disabled students and adults. Bring your old electronics there! Greenvision Inc.

(via GreenSource website)

 

I hope these tips give you some ideas to be resourceful and recycle. Have a great weekend!!

Cheers, 

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DIY Paint Projects

HGTV is continually a source of inspiration for anyone looking for creative solutions for their home. I came across this article and wanted to show a few of my favorite before & afters that demonstrate how a little bit of paint can go a long way! 

These bird sculptures are such a great example of how metallic paint can change the entire look of an object. Everyone has (or has seen) a bazillion of these little collectables, and I've seen this idea before but now in a matching bookend! By painting the object all one color it becomes more interesting to look at the sculptural details rather than the painted ones. 

 I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this idea! Especially since the days of "matchy-matchy" sets are over, why not go to your local Habitat Restore, or local thrift store and buy a bunch of different wooden chairs! These seats are so easy to DIY reupholster as well. Now they all coordinate but aren't identical so they add some interest to the room and let your eyes wander!

Another great way to add a pop of color to a room, especially when wooden bedroom furniture can be so dark and dreary. This pop of pink certainly adds some interest, or why not try a simple white, cream, or black for a neutral option. 

Well the weekend starts in 3, 2, 1.... go! Hope you all have a wonderful one!

Cheers, 

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Habitat Q&A Recap

Last month I hosted a "Design Dilemma" Q&A session at the Habitat Restore and was happy to help people with those burning design questions on their minds. I helped with several furniture floorplan questions, which I LOVE doing because it creates a world of difference in a home and how you use the space. I also fielded a few DIY questions related to updating furniture & kitchen cabinets. Below are a few other questions with pictures to demonstrate a solution. 

Q- What type of curtains can I put in a two-story bay window? 

A- I love the look of straight curtain panels hung on either side of the window and on the inside of each corner. Floor to ceiling this look pulls the room together and adds softness while not competing with the view or being overly complicated. I pulled up an image I had saved to my Pinterest board and she loved it!

For the link click here and check out some of my other window treatment ideas on my pinterest board here: http://www.pinterest.com/innovatemyplace/window-treatments/

Q: The brick fireplace in my home is too orange and doesn't match my style. Can I paint it?

A: Yes, try a whitewash! While painting is a good option for some homes I have been recommending a whitewash look instead. This takes out the orange/red undertones in the brick and neutralizes them while still showing variations in each brick. This works particularly well with the gray trend that's been going on the past few years. This DIY project is as simple as watering down latex paint and "washing' it on and letting it soak in. Blot off drippy areas, and you can customize how much you want covered.

(pinterest link)

Q: My dining room has a built-in cabinet in one corner, and the room is feeling off balance. Can I paint the inside the same as the wall color?

A: This was a great question because balance is so important in a room. My first suggestion would be to add another tall object in the opposite corner, another built-in with more storage that matched the other would be best. If that won't fit then try adding a corner shelf of even a tall plant. The second part of this answer is to try "painting out" the entire built-in. This is a great trick to use in small spaces to make everything seamless and blend in while adding subtle details and of course storage. 

  

(pinterest link)

What questions & design dilemmas are on your mind? 

Cheers, 

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Happy Friday (sort of)

Well another week has come and gone very quickly, and we are ending the week on a dark, dreary, drizzly day. Ugh spring, where are you! I know I am not alone, so here are some pretty spring pictures to keep those of us in the northeast going.... 

(Thanks Martha via Pinterest)

Pretty lilacs via HenhurtInteriorsBlog - I can almost smell them!

This photo makes rainy days look very classy. (source)

Someday we can enjoy the sunny outdoors again! (source) 

 

Rainy days are always good for browsing Pinterest... and for a laugh you should check out "Pinterest Nailed It" for classic Pinterest fails.

 

Starting with this lovely DIY artwork idea. (source)

Or if you're trying a Pinterest food item like this Minion here... (source)

More here and here, and look in Pinterest itself. 

Hope you all have a lovely weekend, no matter the weather :)

Cheers, 

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