Skip to main content


Showing posts from 2015
Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2016 Surprise! This year Pantone has chosen two colors to represent the Color of the Year.   The colors are a complete opposite of last year’s rich, bold color Marsala.   This year, Pantone chose two colors on the other end of the color wheel, Rose Quartz and Serenity are soft and subtle. "Joined together Rose Quartz and Serenity demonstrate an inherent balance between a warmer embracing rose tone and the cooler tranquil blue, reflecting connection and wellness as well as a soothing sense of order and peace,” (Leatrice Eiseman- Pantone Color Institute) I actually love the choice of two softer colors for this year. I think both colors are really versatile and can be used in a variety of color schemes.   Rose Quartz is subtle tone that can really be used as a neutral and compliment a variety of colors.   Both colors would pair well with darker, bold blues and purples, but could also work well paired with whites and creams to create light an

Choosing Your Kitchen Countertop

By Stephanie Platt, Interior Designer and Staging Assistant, A Goode Start My husband and I are in the middle of remodeling our kitchen, and I can tell you that deciding on which countertop to go with kept me up a couple of nights.   In the end, we went with a classic oak butcher block.   When it is installed and oiled it will really pop against our white cabinets and dark floors.   We had debated whether to splurge on granite, but in the end we chose the more budget friendly option.   Our house sits in a neighborhood of first time houses; in fact, our house is our starter house. When shopping for finishes for your house, you really want to take the neighborhood into consideration.   You don’t want to add something to your house that will raise the price too much for the target buyer.   Kitchens are an eye-catcher when you are selling your house.   It is the kitchens and bathrooms that will set your house apart from all the others on the market.   Even if you are not planning o

Five Common Decorating Mistakes

Five Common Decorating Mistakes By Stephanie Platt, Interior Designer and Staging Assistant for A Goode Start Are you decorating a space in your house or do you have a space that just doesn't;t work and you can't figure out what the problem is? Below is a list of some common mistakes that when addressed can make a big impact on your space. 1. Not Enough Light - The key to creating an effective lighting plan in your space is to use layers.  There are three categories of lighting and all three need to be used to create a well lit space. General- General lighting, also known as ambient light, provides your room with overall light.  The most common types of general lighting is chandeliers, ceiling or wall mounted fixtures, recessed lights and floor/table lamps.  The overall light in a space should be comfortable and allow you to perform tasks and move around safely. Task- Think of task light as light for your work space. It is lighting that helps you perform certain ac

Neutral Colors Rock!

Neutral Colors Rock! By Stephanie Platt,  Interior Designer and Staging Assistant with A Goode Start My husband and I recently purchased new living room furniture.   I have always had a hand-me-down couch, something that went perfectly with someone else’s style.   This was a big purchase for me and one I took very seriously. I drug my husband to the furniture store on a Saturday morning where we proceeded to sit on what seemed like a never ending array of couches.   I fell head over heels in love with this trendy couch in a soft teal.   It was comfortable and gorgeous. I was ready to redo my entire living room in order for this couch to fit. And that is when my husband burst my bubble.   He wanted something that worked with the aesthetic that we already had and I had to agree. In the end we went with a nice neutral soft brown couch with clean sophisticated lines. When making big furniture purchases it is best to go with something neutral that will outlast the latest trends.  

Adding Pizzazz to Your Home with Accent Walls

Adding Pizzazz to Your Home with   Accent Walls By Guest Blogger, Stephanie Platt I am a sucker for old houses, there is just something about walking into a home that is unique and has lots of character. When my husband and I went searching for a house I really wanted to choose one that oozed character, but they were either out of my price range or needed way to much work for us. So we ended up settling for a builder’s grade duplex that needed some work.   I wanted to punch up the character and charm without going overboard on the budget.   Accent walls are a great way to introduce some character into your home.   An accent wall , or feature wall, is a wall whose design differs from the design of the other walls in the room. The accent wall's color can simply be a different shade of the color of the other walls, or have a completely different design in terms of the color and material . Accent walls are a great way to break up large spaces or to highlight an area of interes

Curb Appeal is Important!

By Guest Blogger, Stephanie Platt, 2012 Graduate of the Art Institute of Pittsburgh   So you have decided to sell your house and get it staged.   Staging is a great way to showcase your home and it really lets buyers see your home at its best.   It is important to not forget about the outside of your house.   Curb appeal is so important when selling your home.   Don’t miss the opportunity to make a great first impression.   Here are some quick and simple things that you can do to make your home stand out.     -Maintenance: Even though the outside of your house might look clean it will still benefit from a once over with the power washer.   Siding and brick especially collect dirt and pollen over the years.   While you have the power washer be sure to go over the patio and walkways. Also be sure to trim any trees or shrubs and pull any weeds. -Paint: You don’t have to go crazy and paint the whole house but touching up the paint on the trim and the door will make

Using Sea Glass in Decorating

This article has been written by the newest addition to the Goode Start team, Stephanie Platt.  She is a 2012 graduate of The Art Institute of Pittsburgh.   As the seasons change and the temperature warms up, I start to count the days until I can dip my toes into the ocean at the beach.   As a child some of my best memories are at the beach walking and endlessly searching for treasure.   I would come home with pockets full of sand, shells and my favorite, sea glass.   It is a tradition that I am delighted that my children have adopted.   We have amassed quite a collection, and these gems are on display in a vase in my dining room.   It is a constant reminder of the beach even on the coldest days.       Recently I came across this color palette on pinterest (originally posted by Better Homes and Gardens) and I fell in love.   The most common colors of sea glass are white, and light blue- green.   The color palette would be the perfect way to bring the beach into your house.   The

Do's & Don'ts of Living in a House on the Market

So you get the call. Potential buyers are coming in an hour and you’re still in your robe with coffee in hand. There are spilled Cheerios on the floor and kids running through the house. How do you keep it all together while living in a staged home?   1.       DO keep all the cleaning supplies you use in one place. Having them in a basket or caddy is a great idea. If you have multiple levels in your home, it may also be helpful to have one for each. You don’t want to be running around trying to find the dusting spray! 2.       DON’T leave your laundry, dirty or clean, out for everyone to see. Make sure your dirty ones are in the washer or hamper. If you haven’t folded clean ones yet, bring them with you to fold when you leave. It’ll kill time while you wait for the showing to be over. 3.       DO make your bed first thing when you wake up. When your bed is made, it can instantly make your room look cleaner and everything else will feel easier to tidy up. 4.       DON’

Little Money to Spare? No Problem!

When “redecorating” comes to mind, dollar signs probably do, too. Take a quick look to learn how to shop in your own home and save some cash! First things first—room layout. By simply rearranging furniture, rooms can be given a whole new feel. A good room has good traffic flow. This doesn’t necessarily mean that there IS a lot of traffic, just that it is easy to walk into and/or through. With this in mind, think about what you might want to move around. Would the chair be better against a different wall? Is it frustrating to have to walk around the bed to get to the dresser? Take a walk around your home and “shop”. Focus on what you’re looking for. A small trunk could double as storage and a coffee table, or maybe an old table could be used as a desk. Don’t forget the attic and basement—you’d be surprised what you can find! Once you have the furniture together, it’s time to accessorize. Think unconventionally by turning a top sheet into a shower curtain. Use teacups from t

Tips for Getting Organized (It's Never Too Late!)

Was, “De-Clutter” on your New Year’s Resolution List this year? Do you get so overwhelmed that you put keep putting it off? Whether you need to get your house ready to put on the market or are simply looking to better your interior spaces, here are a few tips and tricks to help you tackle messes (and keep them away)!   1.        Start Small. Don’t try to do everything in one day or all at once. This is how many people lose interest and energy in organizing. Instead, set a goal of something to complete and if you want, a timeline. Split up the time and the amount of work reasonably. If you know you have Aunt Martha coming to visit in 3 weeks and you don’t want her to comment on your messy closet, dedicate an hour each day until then to work on it. The time will add up and you will still be able to keep up with your busy life! 2.        Have a Place for Everything. When you have a designated spot for something, you will be less likely to lose your belongings. Keep your key

Staging Your House During Winter Months

Hi Everyone, It’s February already!   And there will probably   be at least one to two months more of winter.   So, if you are trying to sell your house during the winter, it’s harder than other times of the year.   Unfortunately, there are no blooming flowers, no green grass or trees, but lots of bare landscape and sometimes, lots of leftover leaves from fall!   So, what should you do to make your house have more curb appeal? Here are ten suggestions to help you showcase your house during these cold months: 1.         Make sure that all the extra leaves and branches are raked up in the yard. 2.         Trim back the dead plants and flowers that may still be looming in your flower beds. 3.       Plant some winter flowers such as pansies and winter cabbage in large flower pots near your front door. 4.       Place a pretty winter-themed wreath on your door for more color! 5.       If you have snow, make sure that there is a clear path to your front door.   Potenti

Pantone's Color of the Year for 2015

Pantone has long been the industry expert in color trends in fashion and decorating.  This year, they announced that the color of the year is "Marsala," a reddish brown color which reminds me of the color of red wine.  After last year's vibrant, "Radiant Orchid," I have to admit I'm a little disappointed. But who am I to disagree with the industry expert? According to Pantone's Executive Director, Leatrice Eiseman, "Marsala enriches our mind, body and soul, exuding confidence and stability. "Marsala" (Pantone #18-1438) is a subtly seductive shade, one that draws us in to its embracing warmth."  Well, after reading this - maybe I have changed my mind :-) The color is deep and rich, and I can see it as a comfy leather sofa in my family room.  Oops - not so fast!  Let's open our minds to the versatility of "Marsala."  It has an earthy appeal which would look beautiful with sandstone or gold, but would also look smashing