Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Oh Christmas Tree

was walking my dog one night last week and noticed that many of my neighbors have put up their tree. It is a sight that I just love - the twinkling tree visible through the window. I guess that means it is time for me to get out my holiday decorations and perform the annual ritual of adorning my house from head to toe. Over the years I have developed a “method to the madness” of decorating my home. I thought I might share some of my thoughts on this subject with you and inspire you to create your own version of the “method”!
Start with the biggest part - the tree. If you have a pre-lit, skip ahead to the next step of tree decorating. You can never have too many lights. Ten strands of 100 lights for a 7 foot tree is a good guideline. Work from the inside of the tree to the outside wrapping lights to the tip of each branch. Sounds like a lot of work - but your tree will shine. Put the topper on next. It needs to be eye-catching as most people tend to look up at the tree top first. It will give you a better feel for how to proceed with the rest of the tree. Garland would come next if you want to add it to the tree. It adds color and texture in an unexpected way. Start at the top and go horizontally leaving enough slack to make the garland swag as it goes across. Drop down for the next row on the back of the tree. Add your ornaments next. As a guide, consider basic ball ornaments as fillers and use 10-20 per 3 feet of your tree. Larger ones should be put toward the back near a light so they will glow from deep inside. Your favorite ornaments should hang in a visible spot and on the outer tips of the outermost branches. Ornaments show off the best when suspended from a branch. The same rule 10-20 per 3 feet of tree applies.
Many of you have collections of angels or Santas that you put out during the holidays. Select 2-3 places in your home to set up your displays. It could be the dining room table, the mantel, or a side table. Remember the “less is more” rule and just display a few pieces in each grouping. Add some greenery and a pretty holiday mat under it all and you are set.
I like to dress up the outside of my home with lots of simple wreathes with big red bows. It is a Christmas tradition and gives a welcoming, homey look to visitors. Since it is on the outside of the house, the bigger wreathes look more proportionally correct.
Homes with lots of outdoor lights look really great too. To me, it says the person who did all that decorating on the outside, loves Christmas as much as I do.
Happy holidays everyone!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A House Hunting Adventure

My son is now looking to buy his first home. He asked me to help him and I jumped at the chance to do what I do best-design. We have seen everything from well kept ranchers to 4 bedroom fixer-uppers. I want to share some nuggets of the advice and visions I gave him after each house visit -usually in the car as we were driving to the next one on his list. I will hit the highlights of our conversations that can help those of you looking to purchase a home.
I have always stated that a fresh coat of paint is easy to do and can cover a multitude of sins from previous owners. Also, if the colors do not flow from room to room, the house may seem chaotic and chopped up. My son will get my”color walk through” service when he picks the home he wants to give it harmony and cohesion without major remodeling. Always inspect the walls before painting for signs of foundation shifting/cracking or mold presence. These issues could be a deal breaker.
Many houses on the market are a little dated. They can become more current with the addition of a few new things. Consider changing door knobs, hinges and cabinet hardware to a more modern finish. Replace interior doors with new 6 panel doors. Change out light fixtures in the ceiling, at the front door and over the bathroom vanity. Carpets that are in bad shape can be replaced or changed to laminate/hardwood floors. They are long lasting and easier for people with allergies especially if the previous owner had pets.
As far as the structure of the house goes, enlist a home inspector to look for things you would not normally notice. They check roofs, utility systems and foundations for any issues that could potentially become a costly repair for the new owner.
Here is my point. I tell my clients that it takes 3-5 years to make a house a “home”. When you are considering purchasing a home, you need to try and see beyond its current décor to what you would like it to be. If it is the size and style you want and is structurally safe, you can move in and slowly change the décor to put your personal style on it. Make your own 3 year plan for remodeling.
Repairs and replacements that are beyond the scope of interior design need to be looked at differently. Necessary repair costs need to be addressed along with the price of the home. For the house of your choice, make a list of what needs to be done and get prices for those items . Consider that cost in relation to the asking price of a home and what you will offer to the seller. Stay within your budget.
Well, there are three more houses on my son’s list to look at tonight. Maybe one of these will “the one”. We shall see.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Journey of The Family Room Updating

When my husband built the fireplace surround, the entire room had the same dark wood stain on the paneling and screamed 1970's very loud and clear. Until last month, my husband fiercely fought to protect that outdated image. What made him give in and let me start updating that room is unclear to this day. But, nonetheless, it has started. Paint was the first step. I wanted to get to a bright, warm and inviting feel for the room. There were steps we had to take first- deglossing and priming. But the look is awesome! The paint is Valspar Homestead Resort Tea Room Yellow, a yellow that does not turn green on the wall. I have become a strong advocate for the sample jars of paint. Stay tuned for furniture, accessory and window treatment updates.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A Carpet That Has It All

How would you like to have carpet of your dreams-very strong,eco-friendly and superior stain resistance? Who wouldn't? I think I have found the answer!
Mohawk's new line of sustainable carpet features Smartstrand. I have the scoop on this product for you. About 1/3 of the ingredients are made from renewable resources. The stain resistance of this carpeting will never wear off. Just think, superior stain resistance that is there forever! Warm water will remove some very scary permanent stains on the SmartStrand- mustard, wine and bleach-yes bleach! The worldwide ecomony and ecology benefit from less production energy needed and lower greenhouse gas emissions in these carpets.
This product is the answer to consumers needs.You have to see it to believe it.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Answering a Request for Ceiling Fan Redesign Pictures

By popular request, I have posted here pictures of my redesigned ceiling fans. Hope they will get your creative juices going!

Monday, September 12, 2011

More of the Fresh Ideas

1.For a quick side table, use a luggage rack. There are so many styles to fit any décor. Top with a tray or your favorite book collection.

2. Perk up a guest or master bathroom. Display a selection of high quality hand towels rolled up and placed inside a reed basket or wooden bowl set on the countertop. Add a decorative trim or tassel fringe to the bottom of a readymade shower curtain to get a custom look.

3. Move a decorative display or collection in your home to a different room than where you now have it. Add a beautiful placemat or a metallic charger plate under the display. It will seem brand new to you.

4. Replace the top screws on your lampshades with a decorative finial. They are available in cut glass, metallic designs and marble finials. It is a nice touch to freshen the look of the lighting in your homes.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Some Fresh Ideas

Sometimes the decorating bug bites and we want to make quick, easy changes that can shake things up a bit in our homes. As a bonus, these 5 ideas that do not involve picking up a paint brush or any other form of manual labor. We all like that.
1. Bring in fresh flowers. This is so simple yet it can have a powerful punch. Many retail locations now offer pretty bouquets at a very reasonable cost. Your home will feel fresh and welcoming to your guests and your family.
2. Create some spaciousness in your small spaces by replacing bulky wood tables with open, glass-top styles. They are available as dining tables and coffee tables.
3. Get a new lamp. Newer styles range from some that have attractive sculptures as their base to those that have clear vases that you can fill with different elements to create just the right mood for your rooms.
4. Show your flair just a little! Use that color or fabric you have been wanting to display in a small way such as a throw pillow or a small chair. You will get the punch of pattern and color that will work fine with your existing décor.
5. Add a little fun to any conversation area with the addition of a super fluffy shag rug in either a bold color or a soft creamy color. It adds the unexpected touch.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Is It Real Or Faux?

Faux is a fancy French word for "false".It refers to a manufacturing process that creates items to closely resemble the genuine article. Faux has been a buzz word in interior décor for a long time. It offers clients a variety of price points for their home’s interior design, it preserves our natural resources,and it opens up a world of design possibilities. Besides, who wants to tell their friends about the fabulous “false” interior décor items in their home?
Everyone is familiar with faux wood blinds. They provide great coverage on the window and the slats are pretty impressive for a fake. The same faux wood can be used in shutters. Also,there are some really good faux fabrics out there that are durable, eco-friendly and a good value. Faux silk has the same luster and slub as real silk. Faux suedes and leathers offer an excellent combination of color, value pricing and are easy to care for.
One of my favorite faux products is the perfect answer to one of my least favorite design issues – the windowless room. I always feel like the walls are closing in and that the room lacks the brightness afforded by light pouring in a window. The solution is another faux. It is a wall mural that can be a fake window with a scene of beaches and forests out the window. It is applied to the wall like wallpaper. There are images of French doors open to the outside view of a beach with the ocean beckoning beyond. The effect on the room is dramatic. It visually pushes the walls out and opens up the room to the horizons of the mural. You just have to see the effect this has on a room for yourself. Rooms increase in size without any remodeling! I have one client who took this design style one step further. We put an octagon window mural in their windowless guest bathroom. My client then went out and got some window moldings to frame in the window mural. What a great idea. Not only did the window mural open up the room but then when it was framed in, it gained dimension. I guess you could say it was a blend of faux and real.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Its all in the Details

I had the pleasure of visiting Biltmore Estates in Asheville, NC last week. The beauty and design of the place was amazing. Nothing was left to chance. Everything was finished to the last detail. Lots and lots of detail. Each of the beams in the ceilings was decoratively finished with a pattern painted on or papered on. The raised panel doors also had a fluted edge in each of the panels of the door. The door latches had large adorned brass platings. Arched doors that had arched wood moldings also had a patterned decorative arched wood piece next to the moldings.
It may sound like more than you want for your home but the concept to remember is that it is the details that make the decor unique and beautiful.
What a great place. Plan to visit there!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Color Focus- For Today and 2012

The gurus of the home fashion world are now enlightening us with their fresh color combinations for the coming year. The hues that they forecast will be showing up in home stores all across the country. This year the movement in color is based on all things of nature that inhabit the Earth. We realize the need to sustain Mother Earth for generations to come. These new color schemes draw deeply on the many hues we see right outside our windows.
Neutrals will become warmer- just as if the sun were shining on this color palette. They will reflect the golden tint of a sunny day and will include everything from the color of a wheat field blowing in the breeze to a piece of driftwood found on the beach.
The shades of red and orange are going to show marvelous variations. Think of a ripe red apple. If you look closely at it, you will see more than one color in the peel. Expect to see these natural color variations for this category.
Blues for 2012 reflects the color of water as the world works to preserve this valuable natural resource. Stand on the shoreline and observe the variation of the colors in the water. This group contains the colors of ocean currents and rushing waves. Look also for faded blue to make a statement in fabrics and décor. Take a trip to an aquarium and become inspired for colors.
Lastly, greens are and will always be the color of nature. The movement for sustainability of the earth –“going green”- takes its name from this color. The beautiful greens in the unspoiled places on earth- deep in the forest and in the undersea world- will dominate this coming year. Green is one of my favorite colors as every color of flower has a green stem and leaves.
This is the year for you to take your cue from nature and look outside your window for inspiration. Mother Nature still reigns as the best color consultant around.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Your Color Questionairre

Bohdan Gernaga calls it tapping into his clients inner rainbow. I refer to it as discovering a client's color personality. Color self assessment will tell you a lot. Consider the following: How does the room make you feel? Would you like to change how you feel about that room? How do you use the room? What do you want this room to say to guests in your home? Do you have any furnishings or fabrics you want to put in the room?
Your answers will help you determine your color personality. That is a good guideline to refer to when you are making a decorating decision.
Fall 2011 color forecast will be out soon. Stay tuned.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Design for your Community

How about a little design work "outside the box"? As I look around at a lot of residential communities (mine included), the entrances and signs have become ragged, weatherworn and overgrown. I have a design plan in mine for the ones in my neighborhood that will transform the entrances into something all of us can enjoy. How about you? Does your neighborhood entrance need a little sprucing up? Need a new sign? Lighting? I am thinking that I can use some solar lights there for illumination- no power bill for that type of lighting. Here is the before pic and the after pic will follow when the weather is better( 100 degrees today) and we can get to the work. Let's share pics and ideas!

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Best Fabric For Your Home- By Far!

I just finished reading a blog about the beautiful variety of indoor/outdoor fabrics in the market and I just love them! If they are meant to stand up to the elements of summer weather, then imagine how good they would be for indoor use where fabrics get a lot of wear and tear and use by the whole family. I am currently designing a sunroom on the river that sees a lot of family traffic, wet swimsuits, and fruity thirst-quenching drinks. We are covering the dining table benches and the furniture in that room in an indoor/outdoor fabric for easy maintanence and less worry and more summer fun and enjoyment. Pictures will follow when the room is complete.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Create a Custom Ceiling Fan

This is just about the time that the original ceiling fans that I purchased for my home are starting to look dated. I could have replaced them I suppose but instead chose to try a little "recycling design". The blades were wood look with a cane insert from the 1980's. So we took them off the fan, turned them over and painted them a glossy black for our master bedroom. Voila! Instant class!
The blades from my kitchen fan got a coat of red paint to complement the red and blue/white toile scheme. See picture:!/pages/Creatively-Yours-Interior-Design/110651859738
That was just painting them. Think marbelized paint, decorative finishes, tole painting and more.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

"Mom's Cave"- What a Great Idea

This idea is just for us girls. The “mom cave” is the new decorating phenomenon for the women of the house as they stake a claim to a secluded and quiet space of their own. It is a wonderful idea not only for moms and wives- girls can create their own “girlfriend cave”. The macho looking “man cave” with its sport memorabilia and big screen television has inspired the creation of this very feminine space that offers solace and a place for rebuilding inner strength and regrouping.
The “mom cave” can be any size you can carve out in your home. A walk-in closet would make a wonderful cozy space that is budget friendly. Find a space away from the center of activity in your home if possible.Just get started and find a spot to call your own.
Decorating the “mom cave” and the “girlfriend cave” is a breeze. Always have the room measurements handy so when you see the perfect chaise, you will know if it is a perfect fit. Think about how you want the room to work for you. It could be a place to sit in a comfy chair and listen to your favorite music. Or if you would like to try your hand at different arts you will need to include a table surface.
Start by deciding what to use on the walls Be as colorful or neutral as your heart desires. After all, this space will be a reflection of you to be enjoyed by you. Do you like stripes, florals, or pastel colors? This is the place to put them. Then get furnishings and accessories new or from around the house that will work for your vision of the “mom cave.” The only rule for this space is that you feel happy and relaxed in your personal cocoon.
Now just sit back and enjoy your special area and never again be envious of the guys relaxing in their “man cave”. Besides, our special spaces are so much prettier!!
So many of you are crafty and like design. I would love to see some of the ideas you come up with for this! E mail photos to me at Call me to help you get started on your special space. I have some great ideas for you.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

How to Pull It All Together

How to Pull It All Together

Have you gotten to that place yet? I have been there more times than I care to admit. Every one of us will come to that place of not knowing how to pull our interior decorating together in our homes. We may have good design furnishings in our homes but completing the look and the flow of colors can be a challenge. I hear from many of my clients that they too are stuck and cannot bring their interior decorating together. But why does that happen? Are there some quick coordinating tips to help pull a look together? Oh yes, and I have lots of experience completing interior designs for my clients so they live happily ever after in their homes!
”Know your style.” Do you like traditional furnishings? Or is that too old fashioned for you and the latest up to date style is more you? What pieces do you already have that you love? Pay close attention to home décor items that you really like in magazines or in furniture stores. All of these things will lead you to discover your design style. Then you will have sufficient information to work on decorating your room. When you get stuck and cannot decide what else a room may need to complete it, let your newly discovered style sense guide your choices. It is a big help and keeps you on track.
“Analyze your colors.” Colors set a mood, create atmosphere and can totally influence the décor of a room. Whether your walls are painted with a lot of color or you have it in small doses with throw pillows, it is very important. Do you have a color scheme? Do you use your colors when considering the design elements of your room? You will not believe how much easier it is to decorate when you consider the colors involved.
Consider the accessories in your room. They need to coordinate and compliment the overall interior decoration of your room and are part of the whole picture.
“Acquire the power of observation.” There is another great tool I suggest to my clients and I encourage you to try it also. Sit in your room for awhile without any distractions and write down your design thoughts as they come into your mind. Train yourself to become observant of the room’s furnishings and how they make you feel. Calm? Happy? Warm? Disorganized? Doing this little exercise will tell you a lot about how you see your room presently and where you would like it to go in the future. That is a plan if there ever was one for coordinating a room’s décor.
Now you are ready to go forth and decorate. Have no fear- run with your ideas to create a successful design!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Colors Lead the Way in Senior Friendly Design

Americans are living longer these days thanks to modern medicine and healthier lifestyles. As a result of all this good stuff, the elder segment of our population is mushrooming and many new living issues have cropped up. Today’s focus is the role of color in design for empty nesters and seniors, whether they age in place at home or downsize to an age restricted community. Good senior design addresses furnishings for their safety as well as colors for their living environment.
The human eye undergoes major changes with age. Vision and color perception diminish over time. These changes can make everyday life quite challenging. A very important part of every senior design I do is to create a color scheme for elderly eyes that will improve their quality of life. The key to this is good use of color contrast in their living environment.
I always start with the walls and the doors since they are the biggest surfaces in a room. My recommendation is to use light colors for the wall in a matte finish. They increase light reflectance and do not cause annoying glare that can be hard on someone with cataracts. Furniture and fixtures show up easily if their colors are in contrast to a light wall color. In addition, when contrast colors are used on the baseboards and floors, it is easier to identify the edges of a room. Skillful use of contrast finishes can define a doorway and indicate the top and bottom steps of a flight of stairs. These painting ideas help make life easier for our aging population. One final word about paint- use low VOC paints to cut down on fumes which can affect the respiratory systems of some seniors. It is also eco-friendly.
I have some additional thoughts on color and pattern. Skip wallpaper patterns with large stripes. They tend to appear as bars in motion to senior eyes and can affect mobility. Wall coverings in small patterns are always winners. Be wary of using two intense colors side by side in the same room as their borders can appear unstable and jumpy. Limit the bright intense colors to grab bars, levers and light switches. It will make them easy to find.
Making the right interior design and color decisions can go a long way to a better life and comfortable living environment for our older citizens. Through my interior designs, I hope to impart a sense of safety, comfort and enjoyment for all seniors. They deserve the best in this new stage of living!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Persian Rug Inspired Design

I love the deep brick red and royal blues of the living room that led the way for the interior design color scheme of this living room. The 2 wing chairs were recovered in the brick red. The banding on the draperies and the throw pillows also got a dose of this color. In front of the drop leaf table, a floral arrangement of the color scheme was added and highlighted by the rich wood of the table.The deep blue was added only as the accent color on the pillows and in some of the accessories around the room. The result was a room of beautiful colors that meshed so nicely!

Monday, May 9, 2011

New Styles, Energy Efiiciency and Green Design Window Treatments

Would you believe that your window treatments can be stylish, contemporary, green and energy efficient? Well now it is possible to have it all for your home. Hunter Douglas has created the best of all worlds for your windows.
Natural Elements is their new collection of horizontal blinds that combine modern metal alloys with the warmth of real wood accents. Textured and shimmery finish slats give maximum view. Rich wood valances and keystones create a fashion statement. Materials used in these blinds are 95% recycled making them a green product. That is a winning combination of style and earth friendly materials.
Solar Energy Sensors for Hunter Douglas shades automatically raise or lower window shade treatments according to the changing sunlight to provide energy cost savings. They couldn’t be simpler to install- just stick them to the window where the shades are installed. Watch them go to work adjusting the shades to keep out the heat. Many of their shade products have a high R-value- an indicator of a product’s resistance to air flow passing through it from outside. A high R-value can stop much of the hot air from entering your home. Even the efficiency of low e-glass windows can be doubled with certain energy efficient shades. And the Federal Tax Credit applies to some of these products to boot. How can you lose? You just have to see them! Call me to arrange your personal energy saving design consultation and see all of the stylish, green and efficient products.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Every month, you will find me poring over more issues of home décor magazines than you can shake a stick at! I love reading them and seeing what is new. I am always tearing out pictures of rooms that have that “wow” factor in their décor. I just know that some future client will be totally into that style! Hmm, it just so happens that today’s topic is style. What is it? How do you find your style?
Spend a few minutes people watching at the mall and you will see a wide variety of styles in peoples’ clothing and overall appearance. Some of them will not appeal to you. But it works for them and they are comfortable in their own skin. So let’s talk about your “style” and making you “comfortable in your own skin” as it applies to your home. I would like you to start by evaluating your clothes closet. Do you see lots of one particular color? Are there a lot of bright colors or neutrals? Are most your outfits very traditional or the very latest in fashions? You should see your “style” begin to emerge by doing this. So suppose you have noted your clothes are mostly neutrals and conservative. Your style is more traditional with a neutral palette and you would be more at home with a tan colored sofa and maybe a few throw pillows in a brighter color. Armed with this knowledge about yourself, you can begin to transform your rooms to fit your own personal colors and preferences. When your surroundings reflect your taste and style, it is very welcoming and lifts your spirits. So, go ahead and look in your closet, make a few general notes and apply the findings to your rooms. It really works, cross my heart!
Another good indicator of personal style lies in how you read a home décor magazine. I know that sounds odd, but just bear with me. As you flip through a decorating magazine, you will see lots of photos of completed rooms on the pages. Here again, you will have a love/hate reaction to the different looks. Take notice of the pictures that hold your attention the longest, or in my case, the ones where I tear the pages out! These particular pages that you ooh and aah at are further indicators of your style. It could be the colors used or the type of furnishings and accessories. When this happens to you, take notes and if possible, tear out the page for later reference. Think about how the ideas shown in your favorite photos can be applied to your rooms.
There you have two excellent ways to start transforming your home to reflect your personal style. You can begin with small changes, like accessories, or go big and repaint. If your home reflects your passions and interests and is full of what you love, then it is truly a pleasure to live in it.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Favorite Things Fine Designer Fabrics

I have been pouring over 3 new custom fabrics from Kasmir and I certainly have my favorites. If you like beautiful tapestry weaves, unique fabric color palettes and lovely softness then this exclusive volume set of fabrics is for you. The experience of seeing this variety of quilted, woven and layered styles is a feast for the eyes. Imagine the substantial hand of a woven fabric with threads of many wonderful colors hanging at your windows or on your sofa. They are so luxurious and dreamy. See them in the comfort of your own home. Let me know how I can help!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

A Window Treatment Fresh Idea- Quilted Cornices

My client’s dining room got a “quiet elegance” interior decorating makeover last week. The beautiful quilted cornice boards played a big part in the decor. The grey Chinese wallpaper in the room had a soft luster to it. Soft coral flowers with green stems were randomly placed on the wallpaper. Grey peau de soie cornices in a custom quilt pattern nicely coordinated with the wallpaper. The carpeting pulle

d out the coral of the flowers. Silky custom pleated sheers completed the interior design of the room. The look was a huge hit especially with the chandelier lights dimmed to a soft glow.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

More On The New Lightbulbs

The Kelvin number is important in deciding whether you want a yellow or white glow in your room’s décor. It is also important when considering the use of a room. 2700K is considered good for bedrooms and dining rooms. 4100K is used for general lighting and for offices and work areas. To read, a 5000k bulb is recommended.
Lumens - This term indicates how much light is produced by a particular bulb. A 75 watt standard bulb or an 18-25 watt CFL (spiral fluorescent) bulb will both give you about 1100 lumens but the CFL bulb uses one-third of the wattage. Think of the energy savings possible for your home and others around the world just by changing to CFL bulbs!
CFLs or compact fluorescent lamps are being met with mixed results. They do last very long and cost less over their lifetime. I know you are saying they are plain ugly and do not give off bright light. I can now get them for you encased in a bulb like the standard ones we all want. As far as their light output, there are now different “lumens” and “colors” available in CFLs to address every lighting need you may have.
Changes in our environments and lifestyles are never easy. It seems like we have used the standard incandescent light bulb in our homes forever. So, there is some learning and adapting to be done to understand all the new light bulb. This is the start for all of us on this important change that will affect global energy use. It is definitely a move in the right direction.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The New Light Bulbs

There are 3 things you will need to know to select the best light bulb for your needs.Shades of Light has broken it down into understandable parts for everyone. All bulb cartons will have a "nutrition label" stating color, lumens and lumens per watt. Read on for the explanation.
Color- The familiar incandescent bulb gave a "warm white" and was 2700K. You can now get a "daylight" bulb that measures 5000K.
Lumens- Measures how much light is produced. For example to get 1600 lumens of light, you need a 100 watt incandescent bulb or a 25 watt LED bulb. Same brightness from both BUT much less energy used!
Lumens Per Watt- measures how much light you get for the energy consumed by a bulb. The 60 watts of energy used in an incandescent only gives 13 LPW-not very efficient. Contrast that with a 6 watt LED bulb that gives 100 LPW- much stronger light with much less power used.
Hope that helps all of us be more energy efficient!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Fifth Wall

I want everyone to start looking up. To the ceiling that is! For years we have come up with color schemes for the 4 side walls in our homes. We have agonized over using the right shade of beige or blue. Many sample paints have been put on our walls to be stared at and pondered about. I have done it too! My friends and family have seen many paint cards taped up to my walls over the years. I am willing to bet that there is a can of “Ceiling White” paint gathering dust in the dark recesses of your garage. That color was a staple for our home for years. Are you ready for a change? I want to get you thinking about putting the same efforts into ceiling color decisions that you put into the rest of your walls.
If you are building or remodeling, there are architectural details available for the ceiling. A tray ceiling is easy to add during home construction. It can be contrast painted to highlight its features. I have seen rectangle and octagon styles that definitely make a statement. Paint a strong accent color on the angled sides of the tray for a great look. Also, a decorative painter can create the “look” of a tray on any ceiling. It is lovely!
Decorative crown moldings can be added into the tray ceiling. They also go nicely along the top edges of any room. It creates a level of interest wherever you want to add to the look of your home... The different shapes of the moldings can be layered for a more dramatic look. Painted or stained, it is a dimensional detail for your décor.
Decorative medallions can be added to the center of a ceiling alone or around a light fixture. You can “fake it” by faux painting the “look” of a medallion or center design on any ceiling They can be painted in just about any color and could be made like the design on an oriental rug you may have in that room. How about making the ceiling look like you are inside a luxurious tent for a little girl’s room? If you can dream it, I know the perfect person to create it for you.
Even just a coat of paint in a color other than white makes for a great look. In a sunroom, you could paint the ceiling a soft blue, like the sky and feel more like you are outdoors. Dark paints used on the ceiling can add a great bit of drama to a room. Any wall color can be mixed with white to create a tint for the ceiling that is low risk.
Well there you have it. I hope that I have sparked your imagination to think about your ceilings and enhance your interior décor style. If nothing else, at least

give your ceiling a fresh coat of that “Ceiling White “paint and the whole room will brighten. Just in time for spring!

Thursday, March 3, 2011


Pink has claimed the title of hot new color for 2011. It is the color of optimism and has the power to lift our spirits and push aside our worries and gloomy thoughts. Everyone could all use a dose of it to help feel better about life with all its ups and downs. We are seeing the whole spectrum pinks being used for fabrics, paints and accessories. There is a passion and a depth to pink. It is flattering for all skin tones, making people look good and feel good.
If you are still not convinced to take the plunge into pink as your main color, I have some ideas for adding it in small doses. Try a pink candle, pink clothes hangers for the closet or thumbtacks in pink. Write your notes with a pink pen. Change the knobs on your bedroom cabinets to a fresh shade of pink.
The whole point here is to just give it a try. Check out the huge variety of pinks available in a paint deck. There is bound to be one that is just right for you.
One more thing, last year’s turquoise is still a strong color in home décor and will work with pink. So go shopping and have no fear of coordinating the two colors.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Accent on Color

I am so proud to have one of my designs featured on the AVA Living premier designer website. It is a great honor.
The photograph is the feature listing on AVA.
This was a small wall in between the family room and the formal rooms that needed its own pizzaz to stand up with the other colors in the rooms. It became the accent wall in the room with a color taken from the rooftops shown in the painting. It was Behr Warm Terra Cotta. The rest of the walls facing it were in Behr River Bank. This little wall carried a big impact!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

My Top Organization Tips for You

They are everywhere this time of year, those colorful storage bins. They are the promise of an organized life and all we have to do is neatly pile our stuff inside, close the lid and put a label on the outside. That would be nice but it is not reality! It takes training to be organized and stay that way. It goes hand in hand with interior decorating and can help create spaciousness in your living space. So I have some great organization tips to pass along to you.
Create a desk/bill paying area in your home. Keep all your important and time sensitive mail and bills together there for ease of locating. You will find that if you have a designated area for those important things, you will not spend time searching around the house and risk losing your paperwork. If you can have a file cabinet with manila folders to hold all important documents in alphabetical order in the desk area, all the better for organizing. You can put a hook there for your house keys and never search for them again!
Everyone can find a small wall area in their home for organizing coats, hats and backpacks. You don’t need much space. Coat hooks are available at your local home improvement store and are very inexpensive. So, there is no excuse for not having your family’s coats, hats and etc. hanging neat and organized!
Don’t you just hate trying to find the right suitcase/travel totes when you need them? I got you covered. Store your suitcases one inside of the other when not in use. They will be easy to find all together and take up less space in your home. While you are at it, put your jewelry travel cases and other carry-on travel items with your luggage. Everything will be at your fingertips when you need travel.
This is one I love. Instead of throwing all your laundry together and waiting for laundry day to sort the wash, buy a hamper with divided bins. Then every time you add a piece of laundry to the appropriate bin of the hamper, your sorting is automatically done. Laundry day just got a whole lot easier!
Now, as ambitious as all this organization stuff may sound, I have a greater reason for doing this neatnik kind of work. The unseen benefits for me are a simpler, easier lifestyle with less work in a home that is definitely easy to care for. That is the ticket for me! Maybe the idea of less work sounds appealing to you too. As someone once said, life can be messy- let’s clean it up!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Interior Design Expert Memorial Wall

This is the wall I designed for my client who wanted a memory area of her deceased brother's life. From the collection of pictures, mirrors, musical notes and Wall Words emerged a lovely tribute. The words were special to the client. Any words or quotes can be designed to fit the decor. It was perfect in every way for her.

Thursday, January 13, 2011



This is the time of the year when I wish all of you a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year while planning to start my annual diet. Don’t we all start dieting and eating better this time of year? Well I have a diet for you that will not deprive nor starve you. The work will be done by you but not to you! Make sense yet? We are going to put your home on a “diet”. This is a really good resolution for 2011.
One of the things that I notice about my home and that of many of my clients is that there is too much stuff in each room. Book collections, doll collections, and jars full of seashells are just some of the things that take over and clog up our decors. Many of us are collectors and savers of beautiful and unique treasures that we love to put on display for all to see. That in and of itself is great. Then we all know what happens next, our families and friends get wind of what we like and shower us with more of them on our birthdays and Christmases until we cry uncle! But we love all of them and try to show the whole collection off to the world that passes through our door. There is a problem with that. I will explain it by relating a little story about one of my clients. She had 2 china hutches in her dining room and lots of pretty dish sets and pewter/silver pieces. When I started moving them around for her, I discovered she had this lovely 3 piece silver tea service right in front of me that I had not seen due to the large amount of items in the cabinet. It was so beautiful but could be appreciated among all the other things. Hmm, sounds like the perfect example of the saying “less is more”.
So here is how your home diet works. Look at your stuff and collections as “calories”. Your job is to reduce the number of household “calories”. This will let you feature some of your treasures but not all of them at once. The pieces you leave out will stand out and probably garner some compliments from people who say they had never seen those pieces before! They were hidden by the excess stuff. The ones you put away for now can be rotated out at a later date and have their chance in the spotlight. There are added bonuses too- less for you to have to dust and the streamlined look in your rooms can be very soothing to the soul.
So once you are on a roll, keep it going in your closets and drawers. Your favorite charity would appreciate donations of stuff that result from this special household diet. The results are seen immediately in your rooms. Too bad our own personal diets don’t work so well and so quick!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Interior Design Swag Window Treatment

Swags are a timeless and beautiful addition to any formal room in your home. The ones pictured here are where the swag is placed over ( on top of) the cascades. You can see the full, graceful effect of the swoop. This is that new peau de soie type fabric. The colors and the soft hand of it are just so graceful.