Wednesday, March 30, 2011

3rd Generation Decorator

It all makes sense now. Decorating is just in my blood. I was looking through some old pictures today and what did I find? A picture of myself as a small child helping my mom put up wallpaper. A little background on my mom...a pretty great decorator herself.  I grew up helping her move around furniture and have had a paint brush in my hand since I can remember.  She always had a vision and although she didn't have a huge pocket-book, her house always looked amazing. Who am I kidding, her house is still's just a different house. I learned how to thrift shop and how to repurpose things at a young age, and for that I'm truly grateful.

Here I am 30 years ago, and that's my mom up on the ladder.

Here I am now working on one of my many projects.

And here's my daughter Daniella, following our footsteps.

Introducing our 3rd generation decorator, Daniella.



Tuesday, March 29, 2011

So the search is on.  I can't help but think what happens if we sell our house?  Where will we go?  The problem with the area we live is that there is not a whole lot of inventory of homes, especially the kind that are our style.  So although our home hasn't sold we have already started the search for a new one.  I'm already starting to look for ideas for my studio/home office/ woman cave.

My current studio is pretty gender neutral.  I like it, but in my next one I'm gonna need inspiration in my surroundings.

I have decided to keep my current furniture, I'm just gonna spice it up a bit.

I like the idea of this next space.  I like the clean lines, the chandelier, the girly rug, and if I get a space (like a converted formal dining space) with a large doorway, I will get some taller bookshelves to flank the doorway.

Rebecca Orlov's Home Office via Unplggd.

My girly inspiration will more likely come in the form of animal print since I'm not a huge fan of flowers, so far I have decided on a neutral brown palette, something like what I currently have in my formal living room.

I must have a chandelier to go with my glam/ diva space, so an original formal dining space will work out great because more than likely there is already electrical on the ceiling in the center of the room.  Not exactly sure where I'm going with the chandelier, but something like this one from

For a touch of color I'd add my hot pink Felicia curtains from Ikea that I currently have in my closet.  Although Ikea no longer carries these, you can score some on Ebay.

Now for some animal print touches.  I'm thinking of adding some accents in animal print, probably leopard or zebra print.  I'll either do this with a rug, on a chair, art on the wall, or on the furniture.

Both the rug and the chairs are from

I love this cute painting as well, definitely enhances the Diva look, and the little pug makes it even cuter.

This painting is an original and available through Studiovignette.

I also thought this table was awesome.  If you live in NYC you've got to check out Sparrowsnest1, for some amazing repurposed items.  This one in particular I love!  It's a different take on a table top.

So there's the gist of my woman cave.  It will be interesting what the final product looks like.



Friday, March 25, 2011

A Well Staged Home

So the staging is complete.  Since we are still living in the home, I wanted to try to keep things simple, but functional.  I followed my own Staging 101 post as best as I could.  If we were childless, I would've followed  it 100%, but had to make some adjustments for the needs of our children.

Thanks to some simplifying and some great photography, this is what our home now looks like.

The family room

Family room 2

View from the kitchen

The kitchen

The study (Keep in mind, I still have to work in here)

The Formal Living Room

The Powder Room

The Master Bedroom

The Master Bath

Boys Room

Girls Room

Our Real Estate Agent did a great job taking photos.

Anybody want to buy a house?



Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Finally figured out what to do with my Laundry Room

Ok, here it laundry room.

For months (ok more like a year), I've been wondering what the heck to do with this space.  I've been coveting beautiful laundry spaces with custom cabinets.  Like this one:

I looked on craigslist to find some decent old cabinets, but couldn't find just a few (everyone wants you to buy the whole kitchen) and I also really wanted glass doors. I finally gave up hope, and since I was in desperate need of linen space I went for the plastic bin look.  Well I think I finally found a solution.

Can you imagine all t he possibilities? What a great way to repurpose the hutch from a china cabinet.  Believe it or not I find these hutches by themselves sometimes without the bottom sometimes.  I thought this was very smart and creative.  Check out what they did with the sideboard.



Here is a great laundry coupon website

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Staging 101

So our house is officially on the market.  The FSBO sign is off and it is now on the Multiple Listing Service.  Since the internet is where most buyers start their home search, having pictures in your listing is vital, and a properly staged home will attract more buyers to your photos.  So here are a few tips when it comes to staging.

1.) Get rid of your clutter- I have 2-year-old twins so their junk is always all over the place.  My trick...stratigically place boxes and pretty baskets that I can throw stuff in pretty quickly.  You never want to say no to a last-minute showing.  Start storing personal items like photos and keep your counter tops in your kitchen and bathroom clear.  There is nothing worse than walking into a home with the owners personal junk all over the place.

2.) Less is more- Start moving now! Only keep key pieces in the home.   Too much furniture can actually make your house look smaller.  Rent a storage facility or utilize some storage space in your basement to temporarily put things.

3.) Set the stage- Define the areas and set a mood.  You want a home buyer to be able to picture themselves living there.  Shy away from placing all the furniture along the wall.  Putting the furniture in the middle of the room actually helps with the flow of traffic and makes a room look larger.  Make sure each room has a purpose because contrary to popular belief not everyone has an imagination.  Put dishes out on your table and set up a faux cocktail bar if you like.  Put a cushy robe on a hanger in your bathroom or set out a bottle of sparkling cider and 2 glasses and light candles.  If some of these ideas seem too over the top for your geographical area or your personality, think of something that is practical for you and makes sense.

4.) Paint- Nothing against you people who love white walls, but the majority of us out there would prefer some added warmth to our homes.  Paint is the cheapest yet most eye-catching upgrade that you can make to your home.  Keep it someone neutral to appeal to the masses, just don't forget neutral doesn't necessarily mean beige.  Some greens and blues are pretty neutral, and if you must go beige darken it up a little with a latte colored brown.

5.) Make a first impression- Don't avoid your foyer or your front door.  Most people get a feeling about a home when they walk into the front door.  So make sure your foyer and/or living room are well staged and immaculate.

6.) Lighting- When you have a showing, make sure you turn on your lamps to create warmth.  If you have a fireplace, light it.  Also a few candles for light and scent are good, just avoid the strongly scented candles because they may be a little over kill.

7.) Yes people open things up-  Make sure your closets are de-cluttered.  You should store about half of your clothes  and leave half in your closet (the stuff you use everyday) so that people can actually see the back of your closet.  It is also important to keep drawers organized, especially in the bathrooms and kitchens.

8.) Not everyone loves your furry friend- So I'm a big animal lover, but not everyone is.  Nobody wants your furry friend at the showing nor do they want their hair or scent.  Remove all signs of pet presence.  This means hide the cat litter box, the pet bed, and vacuum up all the hair.  Use a pet neutralizer to try to neutralize the odor as best as possible.

9.) Don't let them drive away-  This means curb appeal.  People will judge what they see outside and already have an impression in their heads before they go inside.  You could have the most updated, upgraded home in the neighborhood and potential buyers may just drive away.  Touch up your paint, stucco, or siding wherever you might spot damage. Make sure your lawn in mowed, your flowers are manicured, your mailbox and house numbers look good, and that your mulch has been redone.  To add a designer touch, add a couple of urns with plants flanking your doorway, and I always suggest to purchase a new welcome mat.

10.) If you have no clue what you are doing hire a professional- Like I said earlier, not everyone has an imagination.  So if you are one of those people get yourself a Lisa Laporta or a Sabrina Soto.  There are many interior designers out there who specialize is staging. If you home is vacant don't leave it that way. Get yourself a staging company that you can rent furniture from or buy some key pieces on craigslist on the cheap.

Here are some examples of well staged rooms

Kitchen design by Touch of Class in Northern Kentucky.

Living room design by Moving Mountains Designs in Los Angeles, CA.

Master Bedroom design by Sensational Home Staging & Design in Danville, CA

Now I must be off to do some staging myself.



Monday, March 7, 2011

Large Wall- Cheap Artwork

I thought I'd share a creative idea that I have for filling up a large wall with some art.  My first thought was to frame a large piece or 3 smaller pieces of fabric to give my wall some color, but I couldn't find inexpensive frames that would work.  Then I discovered sheer panels at Ikea.  The best thing about these panels is that they show through part of your wall color so any one will look like it is made for your space.  They are actually meant to use as room dividers or curtain panels, but I thought this was a good use for them.  Here are some examples of some current ones that Ikea carries.

Anno Inez Panel- $9.99 each

Anno LJUV Panels- $19.99 each

Flyn Jorun Panels- $44.99/ 3 pack

Here is what mine look like up.  I just used thumb tacks and tacked the tops and bottoms and some random center spots.  My ceilings are 9 feet tall and the panels are long enough to run all the way down.

The blue is repeated in our accent wall and our draperies.

The furniture has been moved around since, but I'm sure you get the point : )

I believe I paid around $30 bucks for the set of 3.  So for me it was one of the most inexpensive options and I think it looks great.



Friday, March 4, 2011

Tot to Tween for your Princess

We all want things to endure the test of time.  Your children growing happens so amazingly fast.  You start with the nursery, then go to the princess room, and next thing you know they are teenagers.  There definitely is a way to decorate that will withstand all those phases.

Now I know some of you don't mind decorating, and redecorating, and redecorating again.  In fact, I'm probably the last person to be talking since I'll probably decorate my little girls room 15 more times until she turns 18.  But for those of you who want their girls room to go from Tot to Tween and then to a guest room here are some ideas.

#1- Start with a color that is not pink or purple.  The best way to not age the room is with a coat of paint.  Go with neutrals like sagey greens, light blues, greys, and browns.

#2- Skip the toddler bed.  Of course you will need a crib and some may opt for a crib to toddler bed conversion, but to save money skip the toddler bed and buy some rails for a big girl bed.

#3- If you must use pink or purple use it in the accessories.  Comforters, lamps, pictures are all easy to replace.

#4- Get a teenagers opinion.  I know, kind of funny.  The last opinion you want is a teenagers, but this way you know if your little girl will like the room when she is a teenager.

#5-Use multipurpose/ functional furniture. For example a vanity can easily become a desk and an ottoman can be used as a step stool.

When I decorated Daniella's room she was 18 months old.  The twins had shared a room in California, but now that we were in a larger house we had the room so split them up, plus I thought it would be fun to decorate a boys room and a girls room.  So I started searching the internet for inspiration.  This is what I came up with:

Designed by Lisa Epley for her daughter.

I started with some pale blue paint and a upolstered headboard from Target and went from there.  I did some Craigslist shopping and got the dresser, nightstand, and vanity for $60 bucks.

The Eiffel Tower is a wall decal from Amazon.

This is one of the dressers I got from Craigslist.  Although it was already cream color, it was kind of dingy and needed a fresh coat of paint and I decided to paint the hardware metallic silver.  The Paris painting was painted by my mom and the two little ballerinas were a thrift store find for $1.50.

Here is her little dressing area.  Vanity was part of the Craigslist furniture.  The stool I purchased on clearance at Value City for $20 bucks.  The mirror is from Lowes -$14.99.  The lamp and pictures are from Home Goods (each $29.99).  The little end table I stole from my Family Room.

This nightstand is also part of the Craigslist furniture, but I opted to paint it metallic silver just for the fun of it.  It actually didn't match the other 2 pieces anyway, but the guy I bought it from threw it in.

The ottoman I got on clearance at Value City for $40 bucks.  It's great for storing blankets or toys and helps Daniella climb into bed.

Here is another angle.  The curtains are panels from Wal-Mart for $14.99 each.  There is a white outdoor roll-up shade underneath them for under $10 dollars at Lowes.  The Chandelier is from Ikea for $39.99.

If this room is not your style here are some other rooms that will grow with you from tot to tween.

I love the wallpaper in this room.  Now these are toddler beds from Ikea which I probably would skip, but a nice iron headboard would do the trick as well.  There is a great post about wallpaper at Making it Lovely.

Here is a fun and graphic route.  I love the bright colors that are used.  See more at Turquose L.A.

Finally for a more luxurious look, opt for this textured room.  Mustard would be the last color a lot of you would use for a little girls room, but it really adds depth and texture to this room.  I love the rug and the faux fur used on the bed.  There is a great post about luxury girls rooms at DigsDigs.

Last but not least, have fun.  Your princess will love it!