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Showing posts from 2013

Decorating Tips for Your Christmas Tree

Happy Holidays to all!  Only 10 days until Christmas!  If you'd like some tips on decorating your tree this year, here are some of my (hopefully) useful tips:

Beginning the task: When decorating your tree, put lights on first, then the garland, and finally the ornaments. I think of my tree as a three-dimensional painting. Do you have a color scheme or theme that you want to follow? Sometimes having a plan for your tree makes it more fun to decorate – at least in my opinion. You can spend all year collecting items for your tree – but a good time of year to find bargains is, of course, the post-holiday sales.

Hanging Ornaments: Begin by hanging "filler ornaments" and evenly space them around the tree. They could be basic solid color balls that are easily found at discount stores in a wide range of colors to coordinate and enhance your decorating scheme. You'll need about 20 "filler ornaments" for every two feet of Christmas tree. Don't hang all your ornam…

Staging Your Home During the Holidays

During the holidays, many sellers always ask me, “How much holiday decorating should I do if I’m trying to sell my house?” So, I wanted to share my home stager guidelines with you if you’re trying to sell your house during the holidays:

     -I always suggest putting a wreath on the door and little white candles in the windows since both are very warm and welcoming (the objective if you’re trying to sell your house).  -Outdoor lights can be a bonus and can be pretty and attractive, especially at night.  But be careful not to go overboard like Clark Griswold in National Lampoon’s, ”Christmas Vacation.”
           -Don’t put out your blow up Santa and his reindeer in your yard! Put out your holiday “ornaments” next year. 
     -In my opinion, it’s OK to have one Christmas tree or a menorah out during the holiday season, but as soon as the holiday is over, everything should be put away (including the gifts!)     -Try to keep your holiday decorating to a minimum.  Don’t deck out your house w…

"Green" Ways to Make Your Home Shine for the Holidays!

If you are hosting family and friends for the holidays, I'm sure you've been busy getting ready for the event. Whether you are getting your home ready for the holidays or ready for sale, here are 10 "green" tips using many household items that you may already have in your house.  They are much healthier for your family than using the alternative, chemical-based products.

1.  Clean your glass windows, doors or mirrors with a mixture of white vinegar and water and wipe with newspaper for a beautiful, streak-free shine.
2.  Freshen your garbage disposal by putting a lemon wedge in and running the disposal.  This will neutralize odors and crease a fresh, lemony scent.  Fresh lemon can also be used to scrub kitchen counters and salt can be added as an abrasive for stubborn stains (tip - be careful using any abrasives with granite and marble - they are porous and scratch easily).
3.  Remove crayon from the walls with toothpaste (not the gel type).  Simply put a small amoun…

Getting Your Home Ready for the Holidays!

Time is fast approaching for the holidays so it’s time to think about making a few low budget changes!  If 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 and it’s not in your budget this year, consider slip covering them instead! You can buy stretchable slipcovers at stores such as Walmart and Target. For even more selection, look at Surefit, Bed, Bath and Beyond, J.C. Penney or Pottery Barn slipcovers online – to name a few!!
-If you can’t find a ready-made slipcover to fit your sofa, find a nice quilt or throw to drape over your sofa to cover those worn out or stained area.
-Add accent pillows for some added color to your “new” sofa. Accent pillows are good to “hide” holes and stains too J.  You can add up to six on a long sofa; about four on a love seat; and one or two on a large chair.
- Many d…

Decorating Ideas for Your Thanksgiving Table

Fall is in the air and it’s only a few weeks until Thanksgiving!  If you are hosting this wonderful dinner, you are to be congratulated.  And, you may want a few ideas for your tablescape. So, here are some ideas to help you get ready for the big day:
1. You can either make or purchase a fall-inspired or Thanksgiving centerpiece. Make one yourself by using a traditional cornucopia centerpiece with fruit or a fall floral arrangement made with clippings from your garden! Believe it or not, my mums and marigolds are still in bloom! Or, you can then scatter some fall leaves from your yard, very small pumpkins, berries or nuts on the table around the centerpiece to highlight it around your centerpiece (remember to wash your yard-treasures thoroughly before adding them to your table). If you don't feel adventurous in making your own arrangement, then I encourage you to get one from a local florist.
2. You can add candles to your table in fall colors - shades of gold, rust, burgundy, green…

Give Your Home a Lift with Paint!

Do you want to change your home's ambiance for the least amount of money before the Holidays? If your answer is, yes - here's how: Paint!  And Fall is a great time of year to paint your home.  The weather is cooler, and it is easier to air out your house to let the paint dry faster.

Changing the color of a room can transform the overall feeling of a room. First, you need to decide on a new color. I'd like to suggest a couple of options:

1. Before you buy the paint color that you have selected, I recommend that you purchase a sample in order to paint it on your wall to see if you like it. Most brands of paint these days have samples available for purchase. This is a good idea because you'll get to see the color on the wall in your room in different lighting - morning, afternoon and evening light. Paint colors can change according to the light in the room, and you can make sure that you like the way the new paint looks during the different times of day.

2. If you'd r…

Get Your Home Ready For Fall!

Autumn is time for changes – the leaves are turning, the kids are back in school, football games are on TV, and you start looking toward the upcoming holidays – which will be here before we know it!

If your house needs a little TLC before the fall football get-togethers and the holiday season begins, here are a few ideas to help you:

1. Begin your task with one room at a time – so you do not feel so overwhelmed.

2. Identify the problem area(s). And ask yourself - are there too many books, magazines, dishes, knick-knacks, blankets, toys, etc. around? Does something need to be repaired or fixed before you can start organizing? If so, try your hand at the repair, hire someone or bribe your significant other to help you.

3. Next, start looking for some storage solutions to organize your belongings. This could range from bookshelves with canvas or wicker baskets to under-the-bed storage containers (I bought lifts at Bed, Bath and Beyond for my bed so I could squeeze some storage container…

Even More Decorating Tips for Your Outdoor Room - Part 3

Here are more decorating tips for your outdoor room.Lighting can be very important – especially if you want to enjoy your outdoor space at twilight and after dark. The lighting aspect of your outdoor room can also be taken care of in an affordable yet stylish manner.

Use candles or torches for that elegant and peaceful atmosphere and if you are worried about safety you can go for solar lamps. If you want to create a festive mood, hang some holiday lights over the porch beam or on a nearby tree. You can even make luminaries by dropping a candle in a punched recycled can. My personal preferences are inexpensive, decorative paper lanterns with battery-powered lights that are sold at stores like Pier One. They add a calming, relaxing ambiance.

I’m also seeing more and more lamps that can withstand outdoor use – both floor lamps and table lamps. I’ve even seen outdoor chandeliers! I can’t confirm how good these “outdoor” lights work without problems – so I recommend that you talk with one…

More Decorating Tips for Outdoor Rooms

Tips for Decorating Your “Outdoor Room” – Part 2

Happy July and Independence Day!Time to enjoy the beautiful weather and think about extending our living spaces to our decks and porches. One of the considerations in setting up your outdoor room is privacy. If this is one of your concerns, here are some ways you can do so.

If you’re one of those lucky homeowners whose deck or outdoor patio is protected by a wall or a fence on at least one side, you’re probably not as concerned about privacy.

If you do want to add some privacy, you can use a trellis on one or more of the other sides. For additional privacy you can plant a vine that is fast growing, on the base of the trellis. We made our own trellis with a sheet of lattice set inside a wooden frame with a T-base for ground support. To make your trellis portable, you can anchor them in a planter and move it however you want them to be placed.

If your outdoor room is protected from the weather by a roof, like the end of a deck you can …

Decorating your "Outdoor Room" on a budget!

If the temperature is any indication, Summer has finally arrived! And it’s time for enjoying the great outdoors, entertaining and celebrating the beautiful weather. 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 an Adirondack resin chair fo…

A Stager's Tips for Selling Your Home (and edge out the competition!)

Well, it’s finally nice weather and the Spring race to buy a new home is on! If you're a home buyer, you definitely are on a house-hunting mission! If you and your real estate agent do "drive bys," you've probably eliminated a few properties based on their exterior appearance - including broken railings, children's toys in the yard or an unmowed lawn.Curb appeal is so important to the prospective home buyer since it is the FIRST impression a prospective buyer will have.It could mean the difference between a "sale" and "no sale."

If you are the home seller, here are some recommendations to keep your home in pristine condition and appeal to the prospective home buyers "drive by":

1. Make sure that your lawn is freshly cut and that leaves in your lawn are raked. If winter has set in, please make sure that the snow has been shoveled in the driveway and on walk-ways and sidewalks.

2. Your home's entryway should be attractive and welc…

Tip for Hanging Pictures and Wall Art

As an interior decorator for 25 years, I’ve helped my clients hang many pictures in their homes, so I wanted to share some of my tips with you.
If you have a large empty wall where you’d like to hang lots of pictures, I’d like to suggest that you arrange the artwork on the floor first.Then, measure how far they need to be from one another (each picture should be the same distance from the other, vertically and horizontally).Next, take one at a time and put them on the wall.I usually start from the center point and work on each side.
Another option would be to make a template of each picture and adhere it to the wall gently using a re-useable adhesive, which looks a little bit like putty, but it won’t tear pieces from the wall or the paper patterns.
For a grouping, consider a grouping of four of the same-size pictures, together like a four-square to give the illusion of a larger picture.I’d like to recommend that the pictures have a unifying theme, such as cityscapes, landscapes, and flo…

Tips on Buying Furniture

After selling furniture for a couple of years and 25 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.
1. 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 that…

Ready, Set, Downsize!

There can be many different reasons for downsizing – but moving is probably the most common. Well, I’m not moving, but the older I get the more I get annoyed at all the stuff I’ve accumulated over the years. Does this sound familiar to you? 

In the past, I would move to a different home every four years. And every time I moved, I would sort through my stuff, donating lots of bags to the Salvation Army, Purple Heart and Goodwill. As you can tell, my love of shopping for clothes, shoes and decorative items has always gotten me in trouble.

However, now that I’ve been living in the same house for the past five years, my “stuff” has been multiplying exponentially. Not only is the crawl space under the house filled up completely, but we now have a garage that has no more extra room – especially for a car. And it's migrating to my two spare bedrooms and the closets are bulging at the seams. I'm really tired of the piles which seem to grow on a weekly basis. And even more fru…