Interior Design and Redesign

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Helpful Tidbits From a Friend

Bed Sheets
After drying my sheets, I put both sheets and one pillowcase in the other pillow case. Fold neatly in a square. Next time you change sheets, you just take the one pillow case and all the sheets and pillow case are inside. No need to look for matches. Takes up less storage room too.

Clean your glass shower
To clean the glass in your shower easily, apply lemon juice to the glass with a sponge. Then, take newspaper and wipe the lemon juice off the glass. It will be clean and sparkle with no scrubbing!

Reheat Pizza
Heat up leftover pizza in a non-stick skillet on top of the stove, set heat to med-low and heat till warm. This keeps the crust crispy. No soggy micro pizza. I saw this on the cooking channel and it really works.

Easy Deviled Eggs
Put cooked egg yolks in a zip lock bag. Seal, mash till they are all broken up. Add remainder of ingredients, reseal, keep mashing it up mixing thoroughly, cut the tip of the baggy, squeeze mixture into egg. Just throw bag away when done easy clean up.

Expanding Frosting
When you buy a container of cake frosting from the store, whip it with your mixer for a few minutes. You can double it in size. You get to frost more cake/cupcakes with the same amount. You also eat less sugar/calories per serving.

Reheating refrigerated bread
To warm biscuits, pancakes, or muffins that were refrigerated, place them in a microwave with a cup of water. The increased moisture will keep the food moist and help it reheat faster.

Newspaper Weeds-Away
Start putting in your plants, work the nutrients in your soil. Wet newspapers, put layers around the plants overlapping as you go, cover with mulch and forget about weeds. Weeds will get through some gardening plastic, they will not get through wet newspapers.

Broken Glass
Use a dry cotton ball to pick up little broken pieces of glass - the fibers catch ones you can't see!

No More Mosquitoes
Place a dryer sheet in your pocket. It will keep the mosquitoes away.

Squirrel Away!
To keep squirrels from eating your plants sprinkle your plants with cayenne pepper. The cayenne pepper doesn't hurt the plant and the squirrels won't come near it.

Easier thank you's
When you throw a bridal/baby shower, buy a pack of thank you cards for the guest of honor. During the party, pass out the envelopes and have everyone put their address on one. When the bride/new mother sends the thank you's, they're all addressed!

If you purchase a new bike for your child, place their picture inside the handle bar before placing the grips on. If the bike is stolen and later recovered, remove the grip and there is your proof who owns the bike.

Flexible vacuum
To get something out of a heat register or under the fridge add an empty paper towel roll or empty gift wrap roll to your vacuum. It can be bent or flattened to get in narrow openings.

Reducing Static Cling
Pin a small safety pin to the seam of your slip and you will not have a clingy skirt or dress. Same thing works with slacks that cling when wearing panty hose. Place pin in seam of slacks and -- voila -- static is gone.

Measuring Cups
Before you pour sticky substances into a measuring cup, fill it with hot water. Dump out the hot water, but don't dry the cup. Next, add your ingredient, such as peanut butter, and watch how easily it comes right out.

Foggy Windshield?
Hate foggy windshields? Buy a chalkboard eraser and keep it in the glove box of your car. When the windows fog, rub with the eraser! Works better than a cloth!

Reopening envelope
If you seal an envelope and then realize you forgot to include something inside, just place your sealed envelope in the freezer for an hour or two. Voila! It unseals easily.

Use your hair conditioner to shave your legs. It's a lot cheaper than shaving cream and leaves your legs really smooth. It's also a great way to use up the conditioner you bought but didn't like when you tried it in your hair...

Good-bye Fruit Flies
To get rid of pesky fruit flies, take a small glass fill it 1/2" with Apple Cider Vinegar and 2 drops of dishwashing liquid, mix well. You will find those flies drawn to the cup and gone forever!

Get Rid of Ants
Put small piles of cornmeal where you see ants. They eat it, take it "home," & can't digest it so it kills them. It may take a week or so, esp. if it rains, but it works & you don't have the worry about pets or small children being harmed!

Take baby powder to the beach
Keep a small bottle of baby powder in your beach bag. When you're ready to leave the beach sprinkle yourself and kids with the powder and the sand will slide right off your skin .

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Overhang of Table Cloths

How many inches is a tablecloth supposed to hang from the table? 6-8"?

It's personal choice, but either length is good. Sometimes you're handicapped and limited by the size of the talecloth you particularly want to use. Depends also on height of chairs compared to height of table too. Should come down and close the gap between top of legs when seated but not so long as to bellow over on top of one's lap.

Extremely large tables will probably look better with 8" overlap.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

When Grass Won't Grow Under Trees

Got a big tree in the front or back yard preventing grass from growing?

It's difficult to keep anything alive under a tree, especially ones that have large roots that appear above ground.

So convert the area under the tree to moss.

Moss looks great and has an almost magical feeling. It loves shady areas and nooks and crannies and will grow quite happily in and around the roots of the tree.

Best of all, it never needs to be mowed or fertilized. And you never need to apply pesticides.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Adding Substantial Drama to a Room

Some rooms are meant to be subtle. They are filled with soft colors. A very blended look.

Other rooms are made for drama.

When creating a dramatic room, don't think that strong, bold colors are the only way to add drama. While they are one of the least expensive ways, and easy to implement with paint, there are other effective ways to strengthen a room or a portion of a room.

In your master bedroom, turn your bed into a canopy bed. Not only will the canopy bed add height to the room, but it makes a huge statement, thereby adding drama.

Canopy beds can extend all the way to a flat ceiling, or sit out in the openness of a vaulted ceiling room. The soft fabrics you can add to all of the corners will also help define height as the vertical lines are repeated.

Purchase and custom frame an oversized mirror, say one that is 4-5 feet wide by 8-9 feet tall. Put it in your entry. Stand it on the floor, leaning back against the wall. Wow! What an effect. It is such an unexpected treatment of a room, the drama is enormous.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Living Room Becomes Bedroom by Night

I am about to move; but the thing is my boyfriend, our 13 month old son, and I are on a tight budget and my boyfriend will be going to school during the week and my son & I will be moving into a 1 bedroom apartment. Well my question is 'How can I turn the living room into a bedroom at night & a living room during the day with a full size bed on a fixed income? (his is so my 13 month old can have the bedroom.)

Put the bed up against a wall with the length side against the wall. Put a coordinating comforter or spread over the bed. Fill the bed up with throw pillows of various sizes and shapes and stack them against the wall on the bed, going down the length of the bed. You'll need somewhere between 7-13 pillows roughly. This will make the bed look more like a sofa during the day, and of course it's easy to toss them on the floor at night when sleeping. Keep the bed made during the day - that's the most important part.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Weathering Furniture

Want to make that dinged up chest look weathered and antique? Give it a helping hand.

Take it to our local auto body shop and ask them to put it in their sandblasting booth. That alone will make it look instantly weathered, adding years to the look of the furniture.

To make the metal hinges look weathered too, rub vinegar on the metal and leave for at least 24 hours. The metal will get "pocked" and start looking antique. Wipe away the vinegar when you get the look you want.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Plumbing in Your Home

A client began to notice some mold on the drywall in their garage. There was a toilet immediately overhead the area. But the client didn't do anything about the situation. The husband kept saying he would call in a plumber, but he never got around to it.

Extremely hot weather set in. The mold seemed to triple overnight. By now there was a serious problem.

A plumber was hired and it turned out to be a leaky toilet which the client's husband had installed incorrectly. But the mold-covered walls had to be removed and replaced. The area had to be decontaminated, then thoroughly dried before new drywall could be installed.

The whole process took over one week to complete at a cost of $3600.

If you notice any sign of leaking water in your home, address the issue instantly. The problem will not go away on its own. Some plumbers offer contracts where they will visit your home on a scheduled routine visit to check everything.

Is it needed? Only you can determine that.

By the way, many insurance companies will pay for repairs, but you should know that if you report a mold problem to your insurance company, your home will be forever memorialized as being a "mold problem home", which could make resale more complicated. So you might want to think about self-insurance for this type of issue.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Choosing Art for a Bedroom


I love the look of oil paintings with traditional scenes. How do you choose subject matter for particular rooms, for instance, a bedroom?
>I have dark walnut antique bedroom furniture with a predominately red/gold bedding for fall and black and white toile for spring and summer. What do you think of green for the walls, and what color would the masterbath be?


1) If you have one look for the fall and a different look for spring, consider changing out your art to suit each of the two looks.

2) Subject matter isn't as important as color and size. You want the overall color palette of the art to "blend" with the colors in the room. They may be darker (for more drama) or lighter (for a softer look), but the colors of the room should be repeated in the art. You also want the size to be appropriate (scale/proportion) to the place where the art will hang.

3) So then it just is personal taste when it comes to subject matter and style. If your fabrics say "vintage, very traditional" then pick art that is more realistic and traditional. If your fabric is a little more contemporary, perhaps look at some impressionism.

4) If you're married, the subject matter might need to be less feminine. Landscapes are always in vogue. Some men don't like flowers (like my husband), so I try to make the room a little less feminine, just to make him happy too.

5) Heavy oils tend to feel best with traditional styles and heavier fabrics.

6) Be careful with the wall color. You already have walnut (brown) wood, red, gold, black, white. You don't want more than 4 colors, typically, in a room. Change up the intensity and saturation, but don't get too many colors going on. For best unity, keep the color of the walls in bedroom and take into bath area if they connect openly. For variety, just change the shade or go with a tint of the same color. This helps unify the areas, yet gives a subtle change of pace too.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Update Your Floral Arrangements

I real give-away of the passage of time is the floral arrangement you have in your home. Of course, if the arrangement is artificial, dust will give away its age.

Nowadays, large dramatic floral arrangements are "in". So get rid of those small round ones.

Repetition is very popular now too. Like 5 bud vases all alike, each with a single red rose, all alike.

And get rid of those dried arrangements from the 70's and 80's.

Think fresh. Think live. Think big and dramatic.

Clean artificial floral arrangements with a cleaning spray available at most floral and craft shops. Or douse them with water.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Plumbers Can Try Your Patience

In a recent bathtub replacement project, I was left with some tasks at the end that had to be completed before the tub could be used. Normally my drywall man would have done this, but he had saved me from a dilemma late at night and I was in a hurry to get the tub ready for an out of town guest.

So I thought I'd pass on my experience by way of some tips:

1) Don't think that a tub replacement is an easy task and that it will go totally the way you want it to go. That's a very unrealistic dream.
2) Your plumber will probably arrive late.
3) Your plumber may take off in the middle of the project, saying he has to go get something from his office or that something is broken and needs to be replaced. It's amazing how many of these guys don't have the little part needed on their truck. Can it be they are actually going to another home to start a project, only to leave that homeowner mid way to return to you? Don't be fooled.
4) Your plumber will probably be gone much longer than he says he will be gone.
5) Your drywall or surrounding walls WILL get damaged.
6) Your plumber will probably tell you he doesn't do drywall very well, and you'll have to wait to bring in another guy to do that.
7) If it's late, the new guy might not stick around to wait for the drywall patch to dry so he can prime it (twice) and seal the tub and wall where they meet. You'll have to do that yourself.

I know things can come up and these types of jobs can be very time consuming. But wouldn't it be better to guestimate the time rather than promise you emphatically that the job will be done by a specific time?

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Updating, Remodeling or Decorating Bathrooms

If you're in need of some quick tips for remodeling your bathroom, visit these pages:

Decorating Bathrooms

Remodeling Your Bathroom

Redesign and Staging Baths

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Kitchen Remodeling

If you're thinking about remodeling your kitchen, or even your bath, you should check out all of the current ratings put out in this month's issue of "Consumer Reports".

The issue is devoted to Dream Kitchens for Less.

You'll find unbiased rathings of 172 different products: anything from flooring, counter tops, appliances, you name it.

That's the August issue.

You'll also find an online cost calculator at

Thursday, June 29, 2006

What Size Tile to Get?

My house is an open floor plan. I'm removing all my hardwood floors that start at the foyer of my house that leads down a short hall way to the kitchen. What would be the difference if I chose a 13 inch cermamic tile of an 18 inch? Is it just what I like best or will one make the room look larger/smaller?

Compare the price of the smaller size to the larger size (square or rectangular) or whatever configuration you choose to see if there is a price savings on one size as opposed to the other when you factor in your total square foot needs. That might have an influence on your decision.

As for making a room look larger or smaller, that probably would be determined more by the direction of the tile, whether square or rectangular, and perhaps color.

If square, the smaller size might appear a bit more busy than the larger tile. If rectangular, and the longest side is parallel to the length of the hall, it might have a lengthening effect. If the longer side of the tile is perpendicular to the length of the hall, it might have a widening effect.

If the tiles are laid in at an angle, it can make the hall appear wider.

It's always good to test it out if you're not sure. You can buy samples of each size and lay them in the hall to get a better feeling for what you want before you lay down the big money.

Try to look at plenty of examples in the showroom of the effects of each tile size, particularly in the color you are selecting.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Should you dump your plumber?

I dumped my plumber after he made inappropriate comments of a sexual nature to my daughter. I then discovered from another plumber that he did an inappropriate repair on a tub that was leaking.

Obviously it was a no brainer to dump him.

Here are some other clues that problems may be ahead:

1) He shows up at 2:00 P.M. when the appointment was for 9:00 A.M.
2) He doesn't cover his shoes before entering your home.
3) His tools are as nasty as your old pipes.
4) He doesn't give you detailed answers to your questions.
5) He helps himself to food.
6) Your final bill doesn't even come close to the estimate.
7) He leaves a big mess when he leaves.
8) He gives you no guarantee or warranty on his work when he's done.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Outdoor Decoration Tips

Colors and Accents
  • Easily add color to your yards by putting in plants, pots, a railing, window boxes, hanging flower pots, colored baskets, painted benches, wooden boxes, metal pots, an assortment of wind chimes.Paint your tired old gate or fence. Recover old chair cushions, buy a new table cloth, visit 2nd hand stores and pickup some color coordinated dishes. Get a new umbrella. A strong color on your back wall will really add flair as a backdrop.
  • Plant colorful and sweet smelling flowers near your windows so you can enjoy the fragrance when you have your windows open.

Inspiration and Themes
If you don't have a theme, choose one that blends with the style of your home or the colors you have painted your home. Don't feel that you have to choose one style and only one style. Mix two styles together. Mix even more for a very eclectic look, just make sure you have one style dominate the other.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Summer Decorating Tips

Now that school's out for most students, and summer is officially here (I know, because my daughter was born on the first day of summer, June 21), it's time to get out doors more often and just relax.

So here are a few tips to make the outdoors more inviting:

1) Put a bench in the back yard and create an instant reading place. Add some posts behind the bench to create a backdrop. Put a small end table or coffee table nearby. Get out and read a good book, sip some iced tea, enjoy the kids playing.

2) Add a colorful new umbrella to your outdoor dining table. A splash of new color will enliven the area and add instant charm for outdoor entertaining.

3) Spray paint some of your old baskets different colors. Add some potted plants. Display them in groupings in and around your lawn or deck furniture.

4) If you have a large lawn in the back, put up a large tent and open up the front to face your home. Add some charming furniture to the inside of the tent and you've instantly added additional space for evening enjoyment.

5) Get some outdoor lanterns or light posts and place around your garden. Eat outdoors more often and enjoy the balmy weather.

6) Invest in a movable gazebo, the kind you can now find in most home improvement stores, at Walmart, KMart and even grocery stores. Position the gazebo near your family room or any room that opens to the backyard. It will provide shade for the home and give the appearance of an add-on room. Put a dining table and chairs in the gazebo and enjoy eating dinner outside every evening.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Different Colors for Ceilings

I have a question regarding painting a kitchen ceiling. It's a cathedral knock-down ceiling but changes to popcorn between the kitchen and family room doorway area which is only about a 4 or 5 foot space. My client doesn't want to paint the family room ceiling because it's popcorn and flows to most other areas of the house, but the kitchen is separate except for the doorway area into the family room. She is painting the family room a warm gold color and leaving the ceilings white, but we are thinking about painting the ceiling in the kitchen the same gold color because it is a high ceiling and the gold matches the kitchen faux wallpaper nicely. Would it look funny to just end the paint at the break in ceiling types or is there a better way to do this?

I don't have a problem with changing the color on the ceiling when it is clearly a different room and the texture changes, so long as a colored ceiling does not make the room look smaller. It will, but when you have high ceilings to begin with, you can get away with it.

After it's done, if it doesn't feel perfect, you can add a faux beam or molding to separate the two to make them visually more separate. Or perhaps the lighting will allow you to section off a portion inside the gold and paint it white to match the outer area, creating a "border" with the gold rather than an all one-color ceiling.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Decorating and Redesign Tidbits

1) If you never use a particular room, it will never be comfortable. So then it just gets relegated to color and pattern. Be totally honest about what you like. If you don't care that much for books, don't create a library. If you always make excuses about exercising, don't create a home gym.

2) If you're going to be afraid to use something, don't buy it. Years ago I purchased a living room set with black ebony wood and gold velvet fabric. I was totally afraid to even sit in the room. What a waste.

3) If you're remodeling or building a home, put your light switches where they make sense, not where they will be cheaper. You'll hate where you put them for as long as you live there if they don't make sense. Go for convenience, not savings.

4) If you use brilliant white plumbing fixtures, they will sparkle and always feel clean.

5) Place your shower drains in a corner, not in the middle of the shower. No one likes to stand on a drain.

Your home should be a place of comfort and refuge.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Rugs vs. Furniture: What to Buy First?

I have a great room, exposing my dining room, kitchen, hallway, and living area. I plan to purchase the same pattern rug for all rooms. Which should you purchase first, furniture, or rugs?

I'm taking it you're talking about area rugs and not wall to wall carpeting.

First I recommend you work out on paper the furniture layout you want to use, because area rugs need to be coordinated with the configuration. I would purchase nothing at all, were it me, until I knew what my furniture would be, it's size and location. This will play a part in deciding the size of the rug needed for each room. I would also pay attention to whether I'm likely to want to change the configuration of the furniture around from time to time, as the rug could hamper that process.

I would also make sure that I have plenty of fabric choices that will blend with the color of the rug before committing to either furniture or rugs.

You should gather samples if you can of everything you think you might like to get to make sure they look good together and in the light conditions of each room.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Using Fabrics in Interior Redesign Services

Are your fabrics dating your rooms? Certain colors and combinations of colors, patterns indicate a strong remembrance to times past. This is a good clue as to when your room was last updated.

For example, avacado green and gold was prevalent in the 60's. Blue and mauve was indicative of the 80's. Teale and green was prevalent in the 90's.

But changing everything can get expensive, especially of the "give away" fabrics are on your walls, carpeting or upholstered furniture.

So if you need a quick fix that is inexpensive, consider slip covers for your seating. Good companies to explore are Surefit.Net or Domestications.Com.

To keep the slipcovers from moving, tuck lengths of PVC pipe or rolled magazines pushed behind the cushions to keep the slipcover in place.

If budget allows, use custom slipcovers. You can get them in components so you can Velcro the skirt in place, each arm separately and then add the cushion covers for a very fitted look.

I've even known people to drape the top and cushions with large throws. It just depends on how much you have to hide and the style of seating you're working with.

Some wallpapers can be painted over. I don't like it myself, but it can be a quick remedy when you need one.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Exterior Redesign Tips

To evoke happy memories of the past, don't overlook the value of a well scented garden - or beautiful scents in your home.

I returned home yesterday from a seminar to the beautiful aroma of garden flowers in my kitchen, all brought to me by the scented oil fragrance coming from one of my plug-ins.

But before I even got in the front door, I walked past my night blooming jasmine filling my entire front garden with such a sweet fragrance. I just love this time of year.

When planning your scented garden, select plants that bloom at different times of the year so that you always smell something good out there. But don't limit yourself to flowers. You can get wonderful aromas from some leaves, shrubs, trees and vines.

Be sure to place heavily scented plants (particularly if they bloom at the same time of year) apart from one another or their combined scents might become overwhelming.

Enclose your garden with a fence to hold in the fragrance. Reflected heat from a wall or your home can help intensify scents.

Plant the larger, more dense fragrant shrubs in the back of the garden to act as a windbreak.

Be sure to plant scented flowers around windows and doorways. Place night time scented plants around your bedroom windows. Jasmine and gardenias are perfect for this.

Two other good plant choices are mock orange, which blooms in the summer and lilac trees. Other plants to try: chocolate cosmos, winter daphne, hybrid tea roses, sweet autumn clematis.

Interior Redesign: Scented Gardens

To evoke happy memories of the past, don't overlook the value of a well scented garden - or beautiful scents in your home.

I returned home yesterday from a seminar to the beautiful aroma of garden flowers in my kitchen, all brought to me by the scented oil fragrance coming from one of my plug-ins.

But before I even got in the front door, I walked past my night blooming jasmine filling my entire front garden with such a sweet fragrance. I just love this time of year.

When planning your scented garden, select plants that bloom at different times of the year so that you always smell something good out there. But don't limit yourself to flowers. You can get wonderful aromas from some leaves, shrubs, trees and vines.

Be sure to place heavily scented plants (particularly if they bloom at the same time of year) apart from one another or their combined scents might become overwhelming.

Enclose your garden with a fence to hold in the fragrance. Reflected heat from a wall or your home can help intensify scents.

Plant the larger, more dense fragrant shrubs in the back of the garden to act as a windbreak.

Be sure to plant scented flowers around windows and doorways. Place night time scented plants around your bedroom windows. Jasmine and gardenias are perfect for this.

Two other good plant choices are mock orange, which blooms in the summer and lilac trees. Other plants to try: chocolate cosmos, winter daphne, hybrid tea roses, sweet autumn clematis.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Hanging Art Over Mantle

I'm going to help a friend hang 3 pictures over her mantle. Each picture is 14 3/4" wide. The mantle is 5'. How high above the mantle should we hang them and how far apart? She is going to display other photo's and the tallest is 17 3/4" and one of the others is 10 1/2".

How high above the mantle depends, in part, on whether you're going to sit anything ON the mantle. Naturally it's good to overlap behind what's on the mantle, because you don't want the eye to be drawn to the wall between objects.

14-3/4 is fairly small, so I'd probably hang the pictures somewhere between 2-3" max apart.

The key is to find an arrangement that fills approximately 2/3rds of the width of the mantle and that is balanced. So what you want to do is lay all of the different pictures out on the floor in front of the mantle and play with different arrangement configurations until you find the one you like the best. Be careful that the width of the total arrangement doesn't exceed (at least not by much) the 2/3rds measurement of the mantle if you want the best feeling.

The reason for this is that you don't want the grouping to appear crunched in the space, but also you don't want it to feel overwhelmed by the space.

You can lay each piece on butcher block paper and outline the piece and cut out the shapes. That makes it easy to rearrange them, but also easy to tack the paper on the wall itself so you have a good idea of where to position them and if the overall arrangement will fill the space nicely.

Group like kinds together. If each piece doesn't "feel good" with the others, don't try to force them into a group, as no matter how good the arrangement is, it still won't look good.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Choosing the Right Seating for You

Over the years I've gain more than a few pounds. Guess it happens to most everyone.

And every year, as my body wears down more and more and I get new aches and pains, I think more about comfort than anything else. I can remember when my Mom would buy the ugliest of shoes merely because they were comfortable. I thought she was insane. Now I see myself doing the same thing.

So as our bodies broaden and become heavier, the force of gravity takes a bigger toll. We're heavier and we're spreading out.

So look for seating in your home that is comfortable for your body type. If you're a larger body type, you're not likely to be comfortable on a hardwood bench. On the other hand, if you have a bad back, you're not likely to feel adequately supported on an overly soft sofa.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Orange Continues to be Strong Decorating Color

Orange is the new red and continues to be a strong choice by interior designers across the country.

Mix it with other warm colors: yellow, off white, blue, purple, green.

Choose subdued tints and shades. If doing a tone-on-tone look, vary your textures for the most pleasing results.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Redesign Finishing Touches

A decorative or handsome tray placed on an ottoman or bed. Fill it with things that relate to the room.

Bed: Open book, pair of glasses, bud vase with rose, potpourri in a decorative bowl, decorative handtowels.

Ottoman in the Den: Pens and pencils in a decorative holder, some monogrammed notepads, an address book, pair of glasses or magnifying glass.

Ottoman in Living Room: Wine bottle and two crystal glasses, fresh flowers in clear vase, book of poetry.

A bowl of color coordinated jelly beans or fresh fruit is a nice touch.

A mixture of textures: shiny surfaces mixed with rough textures. Keeps people off balance and that generates interest.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Current Decorating Colors by Interior Designers

Here are what some professionals are saying:

  • Lots of blue, framed with creams and whites.

  • Glacier-white lacquered walls.

  • Khaki, linen and white with one single accent color in subtle values, such as red, blue or green.

  • Golden camel with black and ivory. Chic and grounding.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Decorating Touches

Think about your accessories as you would your earrings or a fine necklace. It's the accessories that express your personality and add the finishing touch to your decor.

That's why they are so important.

For a change of pace from the typical plant one sees on a table or shelf, try adding some succulents in coordinating pots. Group them in small clusters of say 5 or 7. vary the sizes and heights for the most pleasing arrangements.

It's an unexpected treatment that can really look terrific.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Avoiding Decorating Mistakes

Before you buy furniture, make sure it will pass through the door of the room and that it is not too tall for the height of the room. You don't want to have to cut a hole in the floor or wall so it will fit.

Ordering furniture from a website. Make sure to check the dimensions. You don't want to mistakenly wind up with children's furniture or doll furniture.

Be sure to measure the width, height and length of furniture and compare it to the space in the room. If you buy furniture that is too big, you'll be really limited on arrangement configurations.

If you buy furniture that is too small, it will feel dwarfed and you'll have to buy more to make up the difference.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Decorating Dining Room

A client has a teak dining room suite. Her chairs are not that attractive (more outdated appearing than the rest of the set). She has four new chairs in her travel trailer that are of a lighter wood but the seats are much nicer upholstered and the chairs are more modern and heavier. If the two colors of the wood blend or compliment each other, that switch should work shouldn't it?

My dining room chairs don't match the table itself and I love it. If they blend, you get a nice eclectic look. Another alternative is to put slip covers over the current chairs in a fabric that blends with the wood and the room. You can buy slip covers ready made which look especially contemporary in white, off white or black, or make them yourself, etc. Some come with contrasting colors on the piping too.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Interior Design Tip #7

Take a second look at your lighting.

Change out the bulbs to colored ones. Or just decrease or increase the wattage for a pleasant change of pace.

Add or remove a lamp. Make sure that the room has light in all the most important areas - especially if they are task areas.

Add lights that highlight just the art for a dramatic effect.

Add uplights on the floor behind a tree or plant. Watch the interesting shadows that appear.