Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Difference A Day Makes

Sorry there has been a gap in my posts. I have been tackling a few projects around the house as well as working on clients' homes. The hours and days fly by for me. I bet you feel the same.

Before we move into the busy holiday season I want to encourage you to tackle a few projects that will improve your home. Aim for something that will take no more than a couple of hours so that you will feel like you have accomplished something that day.

How is your entryway looking? Tired? Dirty? Dated? Pick a rich luscious color of paint and transform the door. Is the hardware rusty or discolored? Change it out, perhaps with a new finish. Power wash the steps and walkway to bring freshness to the area. As a finishing touch add plants that will bring color throughout the next season. Pansies are my favorite in cold weather because they bloom abundantly when a chill is in the air. A silk topiary in an interesting planter looks great on the front porch so think in that direction if live plants don't work for you.

Another quick change is to hang a piece of art in an empty space. Perhaps you have something stashed in the attic or under your bed that you loved in a previous home and just didn't hang it when you moved. Unless it is dated or faded, find a spot for it. If you don't already own something, a shopping trip to a home decor store or art festival will let you find something you connect to and want to enjoy daily.

One last idea for project day...what needs to be fixed but no one ever gets around to it? Restapling busted screens, shaving sticky doors, cleaning off a top shelf so that things don't tumble out constantly....I bet you can easily add to this list . Just do it! So many things take about 10 minutes to do. These small fixes will make you feel better about your surroundings.

I would love to hear what you have done in your one day project.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Old Chair...New Look

I love this chair because it has that added touch that makes it special. This one was commercially made but it got me thinking about how easy it would be to create an interesting back on a similar piece.

Do you have embroidered samplers that you or a relative made in years past? Wouldn't that look cool? Too big? Let them go off the edges. Too small? Sew a border of fabric around it.

How about an old quilt piece? Or just a great fabric with lots of personality on the back and something solid on the seat.

If the chair frame is past the pretty stage then paint it with a great color that you don't often use.

It is all about making the piece uniquely you.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Are you watching DESIGN STAR on HGTV? I am not so much into the conflicts of personalities and the drama that goes on ( you know the constant 'will it be finished in time' stuff) but I do love seeing what they come up with for the space. I loved and hated the rooms that were part of the white box challenge.

I thought the girl that went home deserved to go. Feathers on the floor and chaotic blue walls for a man that said he was corporate professional...really? This is a designer that does what she wants and not what the client asks for.

The winner of the night , Nina, did a room that did not fit a guy but would look great in a young girls room. My favorite feature was the row of paper umbrellas along the walls. This would be fairly reasonable in price to do but gives a great focal point to the room.
Check out the picture

What caught your eye in this episode that you would like to recreate?

Monday, February 1, 2010

Enjoying Your Memories Each Day

Photographs are an important part of most peoples lives. We use the camera to capture our favorite memories but unless you have mastered scrapbooking you probably have tossed these images in a box or drawer with the intentions of organizing them later. Your pictures need to be enjoyed now. Let’s explore ways to surround yourself with these priceless bits of your life.

Pick a seasonal theme such as Easter finery and go through your photo collection to find your favorite pictures of your family on Sunday morning. Don’t just concentrate on the children but go back a few generations and enjoy the changes in fashions. Why did we stop wearing those cute little hats and gloves? If your pictures are both color and black and white you may want to have them all copied in black and white for consistency. Put your new collection in frames and group them on a table top. Take time to change them each season. Look for vacation photos, back to school pictures and building a snowman shots. A grouping of each family member on their first birthday will surely bring comparisons of common physical traits.

Children always seem to be full of squeals and smiles during bathtime. Take advantage of this exuberance by taking snapshots of bubble covered heads and towel wrapped dancers. Ask your mom to find the pictures she took of you showing off in the buff. Your kids will love it! You can do a couple of 8x10’s or a grouping of various sizes depending on your wall space and the amount of pictures you have to display. The goal is to create a soapy personalized gallery.

Create a mobile to hang in a child’s room with pictures of family members or friends. Photocopy your pictures and place two of them back to back, laminate them, then punch a small hole at the top of the picture. After laminating them together you can cut out different shapes and add embellishments. The scrapbooking section of your craft store will have ribbons, trims and templates to help you personalize the pictures. Thread ribbon, fishing line or yarn through the hole in each photo and attach to a recycled mobile frame or hang directly from the ceiling with a clear pushpin. Hanging them at different heights will allow you to better view each picture in your hanging photo album.

As you are going through your pictures, sort them into theme piles. You are now ready to place them into specialized photo albums. I enjoy looking through a small book filled with pictures of my daughter and her dad carving the Halloween pumpkin. From the silly faces that come from sticking your hand in a stringy sticky pumpkin to the finished product, this event has given me wonderful snapshots through the years.

On a side note, protect your picture negatives or disks from damage by placing them in a security box that is water tight and fire proof. You may even want to keep this box at a location other than your own home. Pictures are one of the few things that we can’t replace if disaster strikes.

Warning! Sorting through old photographs becomes addictive. Be ready to devote several hours to enjoying the blessed life you have lived.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Decorating With Teens Can Be Fun...REALLY!

The teen years should be called the bedroom years. A computer, home entertainment system and a bed provide them with all they think they need. If it weren’t for the occasional trip to the kitchen, parents would never see their offspring.

There comes a time when your child will declare their room boring or childish. The American Girl Dolls or Brio Trains will be packed for the attic along with the posters from their favorite Disney movies. They are ready to express themselves in their own creative way. As a parent, your job is to remind yourself of what you wanted at this age and how much you would have loved it if your parents had been open to your ideas. I was lucky. My mom gave me the freedom to paint my room trim and closet door lime green. At the time I ( and my friends) thought it was so pretty. I am not sure that was true and it is probably the reason I want only white trim in my home today.

A cool teen room starts out with a theme. For boys, skateboarding, surfing or technology are popular. A giant mural depicting a surfer experiencing the ultimate wave or a skateboarder doing a 360 in the park will give an awesome impact to a room.
Guys are often most comfortable with the colors of their favorite team or school. Hang plenty of shelves for them to display equipment, trophies and souvenir hats. Old t-shirts from favorite events can be turned into pillows for the bed.

Stripes and polka dots are strong favorites with teen girls. You can use paint to create this look on the wall or purchase a comforter splashed with dots or lined with stripes. Animal prints are also a hit. Zebra is fun, especially when paired with a color such as yellow or bright green.

Visit the paint store and let your teen play in the paint sample cards. Encourage them to think about colors that aren’t the typical pink, purple, primary blue and red. Look at the color cards furnished by the paint companies. The combinations they suggest will spark your imagination.

Don’t be surprised if they want to paint their room black. If you aren’t thrilled about this for the entire room redirect them to paint their furniture in this dark tone. One wall in black can create a stunning accent wall behind their bed. Blackboard paint is also a fun choice. It lets them express themselves with easily changed drawings or song lyrics.

Decorating your child’s room can be a fun project. Give them a budget and a few guidelines then listen to what they have to say. They may actually think you are cool for encouraging their creativity.

(Photo shows a room that your teen would love to relax and entertain in. It was featured in a model home. I did not design this beautiful room and do not know the name of the designer in order to give them the credit.)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Quick Change

This is the time of the year we get in the mood for change. Here is a quick and inexpensive idea for your windows.

Sheers are inexpensive to buy if you don't already own any. Instead of the tradional way of sliding them on a rod pocket pole try mounting them with clips. Use as little or as many as you want to get the effect you love. The picture shows adding tassels for interest. You can also loosely wrap the pole in multiple ribbons or a garland of flowers. Lengths of ribbon attached at the clips so that they hang down at different lengths are a creative way to add color.

I would love to hear your ideas. Add them to the comments.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Gettting Ready For Outdoor Living

Enjoy this time between the winter chill and the muggy nights of summer to by taking activities outside. Create an outdoor room on your porch or deck that will be perfect for dining, reading or napping. Begin by giving the area a thorough cleaning. Toss out those plastic flower pots that get stockpiled each year. Replace them with vessels made of natural materials such as clay, stone or glazed pottery. There are many faux stone planters available if you need something that can be moved easily. Fill your new pots with a combination of plants. Start with something low that will spill over the sides such as ivy, next tuck in impatiens that will grow to a beautiful puff of color. Your local garden center manager will be able to recommend the perfect combinations for your environment. Be sure to ask for something with a wonderful fragrance that will heighten the experience of sitting in your garden room.

Your new favorite space will need comfortable seating and a table. This can be a splurge of new furniture with a tailored classic look or you can rummage through the attic or garage sales for a mixture of pieces that give you a charming cottage feel. If you have a collection of mismatched pieces unify them by painting everything the same color. White is the most popular hue but find spray paint in color that makes you happy….that is what this area is all about!

To finish off this wonderful retreat, think of things that will appeal to the senses. Fill the seating with comfortable pillows. The market is being flooded with great outdoor fabrics so you don’t have to worry about a sudden rainstorm. Buy a great set of plastic dishes so that you don’t have to worry about breakage. From the dollar store to mall department stores, you can find plates and cups that are different from your everyday place settings. The change will make a simple sandwich seem tastier.