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Showing posts from 2011

THE NEW "HOT" COLOR FOR 2012 - HOT PINK!

Last year, it was purple -- but for 2012, I predict the new “hot” color in interior decorating will be, ironically, hot pink! The color is bright and fun. With the retro feel of the 1970s, I predict that hot pink will become a popular color and will be paired with many different colors – from lime green to cobalt blue, orange to violet. When used with those colors, the decorating color scheme will be daring and adventurous.
In my opinion, hot pink is a very versatile color. As most people know, pink is a mixture of red and white. It has many different tints (light colors, mixed with more white) and shades (darker colors, mixed with more black). Hot pink is an intense shade of pink, although different from “shocking” pink, which is closer in color to magenta (it has a little purple hue).
Hot pink is a very bold, almost florescent pink. For many years, it has been associated with the color of girls’ bedrooms. But it can be used as an accent in a sophisticated, neutral color sc…

Photo Book

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Spruce up your home for the holidays!

If you are dreading the holidays because you’re unhappy with your living room or dining room - especially your worn-out sofa and/or chairs - here are some budget-wise decorating ideas to update your upholstered items:

- If your sofa or chairs need recovering or need to be replaced, consider slipcovering them instead! You can buy stretchable slipcovers at stores such as Walmart and Target. For even more selection, look at Surefit, J.C. Penney or Pottery Barn slipcovers online.
-If you can’t find a ready-made slipcover to fit your sofa, find a nice quilt or throw to drape over your sofa.
-Add accent pillows for some added color to your “new” sofa.
-Dining room chairs that have removable seats can be recovered easily.
Just unbolt the seat from the chair frame and stretch your new fabric over the seat. Make sure you have extra fabric to tuck around to the back and use a staple gun to attach it.

Hope these ideas will help you (and your wallet)get your home ready for the upcoming…

The Benefits of Home Staging

The term, “Home staging” is being used more and more these days. Just tune into the HGTV and you’ll see a bevy of shows about staging and house hunting. But for many homeowners who don’t watch the shows, “home staging” is a relatively new term.

In previous years, it was left up to the homeowner to prepare their home for showings. Although some real estate agents are knowledgable and can advise the homeowners about home staging, most agents are experts in the field of selling and closing, not home design. Agents generally know what factors can help sell a home, but they don't have time to assist the homeowners in what can be a long process in getting their homes into selling condition.

Professional home stagers are experts in the art of preparing a home for resale. They can help eliminate clutter, arrange (or remove) furniture, assist in enhancing curb appeal and help the house look welcoming. With the assistance of a professional home stager, your house can make a positive f…

Home Staging FAQs

Do you have questions about home staging or property presentation services? I've found that a lot of people do not know what a home stager does or how they can help a home seller. So, here are some of the most commonly asked questions that will shed some light on what home stagers can offer you if you have decided to sell your home:

Q. What is home staging?

A. Home staging is a way of showing a house in the best possible light to prospective buyers in order to sell the property faster and for a better price. Home staging usually involves reducing and reorganizing a clients' belongings, rearranging their furniture and accessorizing the home. The home stager's objective is to transform the property so that it appeals to the widest range of prospective buyers.


Q. Is there any difference between a home stager and an interior designer?

A. Although these professions seem to have similarities, they in reality are worlds apart. An interior designer’s role is to make your ho…

Designing Study Areas for Your Kids

Now that the summer is over and school is back in session (for most of us at least), it’s time to think about the dreaded homework scenario for your kids. Since doing homework is a vital part of their education, I think it’s really important to have a dedicated area in your home for the kids – of all ages -- to do their homework.

This is especially important to teens. Although the usual spot for studying may have been the kitchen table, teens need another area of the home that can be quiet for studying and provide a decent amount of space to “spread out.”

If the space in your home is limited, then a folding screen or divider, even a bookcase, can offer some privacy or divide the space between the other areas of the room and the study space.
Here are some ideas when you’re designing your kid’s study area:
A computer desk is essential these days – and, if possible a good-sized one so that they can spread out their books, folders and other homework materials. Of course, a desk ch…

Decorating Items with Spray Paint

They call me the “Spray Paint Queen” – but it works so well and is so affordable!!! It’s amazing that they make spray paint that can cover almost any surface, not just metal but plastic, wicker, and rattan and wood. But I caution you to READ THE LABELS before you purchase!

My latest projects were two wicker chairs and - believe it or not – the motor of a ceiling fan. I found a really nice, inexpensive wicker-look ceiling fan for my sunroom, but the motor was black. Since I determined that this would not look good in my tropical-inspired sunroom, I decided to spray paint it a multi-color bronze that looks fabulous in the room!

So – if paint will adhere to other surfaces, you could repaint lamps and other accessories as well. Using a tarp or lots of newspaper to cover the floor or ground, I always paint outside or in a well-ventilated garage or basement.

Hopefully, you’ll start looking at some of your older pieces or garage sale finds as potentially new decorative accents. As al…

Refurbishing Furniture Ideas

I'm just like everyone else - I don't have much money to spend on lots of furniture and accessories. Especially as a home stager. Although the owner's rent furniture, I try to keep the cost to the owner to a minimum by adding some of my own furniture and accessories. And it pays off - I always have very satisfied clients who sell their homes quickly and for more money!

But - back to repurposing furniture and accessories. Believe it or not, I have always been shy about visting other people's yard and garage sales. As I've always heard...one person's junk is another person's treasure.
One reason I avoided garage and yard sales was because I hated to walk away without buying something. The sad and desperate look on the owner's faces always make me feel pressured. But no more - I finally have transcended to a different state of mind and have evolved to a shop-aholic at garage sales.

After a recent impromptu visit to a local yard sale, I have decided t…

Make Your Rooms Feel More Spacious

If you're like me, I don't like to walk into a room and feel that it is closing in on me - this probably means that it is crowded with too much furniture and accessories - or just "stuff". I love an open, spacious feeling in a room - even if the room is small. Whether it is in a house, an apartment, condo or dorm, decorating small areas can be challenging.

One of my "fans" has asked me to address some solutions to the crowded feeling. In response to her request, I've enumerated some decorating tips below that may help with those rooms and areas that are smaller than we'd like.

Some of my suggestions are merely optical illusions which attract the eye and center it on the focal point. The end result is a room that feels larger than it is and much more spacious.

One thing to remember: dark colors usually make a space feel more intimate and cozy while light shades make a room feel more open and spacious. If you want that spacious feeling, choose …

Ideas for Decorating Your Outdoor "Rooms" on a Budget

Summer is almost upon us, and most of us want to spend more and more time outdoors. If you love relaxing on your deck or porch like I do, here are some ideas for decorating your outdoor space. Since outdoor rooms are very popular now, there are many more options to the homeowner. Your outdoor room can be an extension of your home and you can personalize it with some exterior decorating ideas.
Selecting outdoor furniture which suits your personal taste and style may be challenging. Prices range from the inexpensive (resin or aluminum) to the more expensive (wrought iron or wooden) – for example. You can choose from many different styles and colors to meet your needs. And there are many bright new colored accessories (pillows, cushions, umbrellas) featured this year!
If you’re on a budget, discount stores usually have less expensive outdoor furniture available or you can pick up a white Adirondack resin chair for a very reasonable cost. This year, you can even choose some brightl…

Spring Cleaning Tips - from Ceiling to Floor!

Spring is finally here! If you're like me, I'm now in the mood to start spring cleaning. If you'd like some ideas to begin your mission, here are some suggestions - from ceiling to floor:
1. Ceilings – Dust from corner to corner and wash if possible. Remember to clean the light fixtures, ceiling fans, smoke detector covers you may want to replace, light bulbs and smoke detector batteries while you’re up there.

2. Walls – Dust corner to corner, floor to ceiling; wash & scrub walls & everything on them (fixtures, pictures, mirrors, doors & door frames, hanging shelves, clocks, etc.). I often find little dust bunnies and cob webs in the corners of room, which I tackle with an extendable cleaning mop.

3. Windows – Clean them inside & out, including the tracks & frames; wash or have curtains professionally cleaned and clean the blinds.

4.Cabinets, Counters, Drawers, Shelves – Empty shelves and drawers, remove shelf paper, wash inside & out, top & …

ADD SOME SPRING TO YOUR HOME!

Spring is in the air here in Maryland – at least for a day! The nice weather inspires us to get going if you’re thinking about any remodeling, redecorating or putting your home up for sale.
If you want to bring a touch of spring into your household, here are some budget-wise ideas:
-Bring some live plants into your home by clipping outdoor ivy and then rooting them in water. Or purchase some inexpensive annuals, such as impatiens, begonias, primroses,or fushias, and keep them indoors. These flowers like low-light so they will live indoors, as long as you keep them watered.
-Embellish candles for an expensive way to decorate your home. Attach dried flowers, shells, pebbles or twigs for a new look. Then you can group different sizes together for an arrangement on a table or shelf.
-Spray paint or stencil some old houseplant pots to add some color to your table or shelves. Pot your shade annuals or cuttings into the “new” pots and you have a new decorative item at a minimal cost!

Tips for Buying Upholstered Furniture

After selling furniture for a couple of years and 20 years experience as an Interior Decorator, I’d like to suggest the tips below if you are in the market for new upholstery. When looking for upholstery, you should ask the salesperson for information on fabric and construction before making your decision to purchase.



Fabrics:

Durability and function should be paramount in selecting which fabric you choose for your upholstery. Fabrics can add color, character and charm to your room.

-Leather has features which can make it superior to other upholstery materials since it will not tear along the seam lines or easily rip as some other fabrics do. Leather is made to provide you with years of timeless beauty, however, it is a bit pricy.

-Leathermatch is a more economical material choice. Leather match upholstery means the piece has a combination of real leather and dyed-to-match vinyl. It features the look of leather at a more affordable cost.

-Microfiber features superfine filaments…

Tips for furniture buying - Part 1

During January and February, many furniture manufacturers decide to have sales. If you're in the market for some new furniture -whether you need one piece or an entire room full of furniture, this is usually a good time to shop. For the furniture-buying novice, I'd like to pass along some advice to my readers before you go shopping. Since I've had some experience with furniture in my career as a designer-salesperson at two well-known furniture stories in Annapolis, I hope you will benefit from some of these tips:


First, when searching for a particular piece of furniture, ask a salesperson about the construction of the furniture.

If shopping for case goods (dressers, tables, chests) -- are the drawer corners dovetailed and glued? Or just glued and stapled? The best drawer construction is dovetailed and glued. Lower end furniture drawers are made by stapling and gluing the corners. This is sufficient, but it is not the optimal way to build furniture. If you want you…

January is the Time to Buy Bed Linens

Did you know that the average person spends about a third of their life in bed? Since most of us spend between 6 to 8 hours (and for the lucky ones, 8-10 hours) in bed, it’s important to choose the right bed sheets for your bed. And – it’s an added bonus if the sheets enhance the overall décor of your bedroom as well. Since January is the best time of year to shop for new bed linens, here are a few tips to be aware of before you start sheet-shopping:



Size: Before you go out and buy new sheets, I’d like to suggest that you measure your bed (including the width of the side of your mattress). In the past, sheet sizes such as “twin,” “full,” “queen” and king” were reliable and would fit all beds according to size. But recently, many mattress manufacturers have added extra comfort features, such as pillow top mattresses which are deeper than older mattresses. There are so many different size mattresses now that it is important to know before you venture out on your quest for new be…