Say Yes to White Walls


Often clients hire me for a paint color consultation requesting lots of color with the hope that new color will add warmth to their home.  I admit, I love the idea of adding color but lately I find myself drawn more toward light, whisper soft, white walls. 

 There is something soothing and fresh about white walls that at times white is often my color of choice.  It is light, calming and of course the perfect neutral backdrop to almost any style.




My Love Hate Relationship with Wallpaper


Ever fall in love with wallpaper but are hesitant to use it?  Me too!  After years of working as a designer and ripping down layers and layers of wallpaper in client’s homes, I am the first to admit that some days I never want to see wall paper again.

And then, the most beautiful pattern of yummy wallpaper comes my way and I can’t help myself.

Here is the best solution for those of you with a similar love hate relationship to wallpaper.  Use it in a closet for an unexpected touch of pattern and texture.  This little trick will give you your pattern fix without turning your house into a mess of flowers and stripes and plaids – oh my!   


Wallpaper can be used in almost any closet – feel free to go a bit crazy – in a Master Closet; Child’s Room (as shown in the photo) or consider your Guest Bedroom.   What a wonderful little surprise for a guest when they go to hang their clothes in your home!

Interior Designer Tips for Selecting a New Paint Color

1. Find a starting place. Pull your color inspiration from something already in the room such as an area rug or painting. If you are planning to replace the furnishings in a room as well as fresh paint, start by finding the new items for the room. Finding a paint color to match a rug you love is infinitely easier than trying to find a rug you like to work with the color of your walls.
2. Think about what you like, and what colors you like to wear. If you don’t look good in yellow, do not paint your Master Bathroom yellow or you will be unhappy with yourself every time you look in the mirror. You might be seeing a lot of blues and browns in home furnishings lately, but if you don’t love blue do not paint your room blue just to keep up with the trends.
3. Get inspired! Mother Nature is the world’s best colorist and she pulls together the most incredible palettes. Look around outside for color combinations you might have never considered.
4. Start small and take baby steps. If you want to try a bold color for the first time, start in a small and manageable space such as a Powder Room. The small space will allow you to live with you new bold color in a small amount, plus you will need very few accessories to pull the look together.
5. Ignore all “rules” you may have heard such as dark colors making a room look small. Do not be guided by what you have been told is right or wrong when selecting colors. Yes, some of these rules do have some amount of truth but the world is not black and white, and nor should your home be.

Low Cost Kitchen Makeovers

The Kitchen is the room in a home most frequently used by family members, and therefore should be an inviting space.  Kitchens are also the most expensive room to remodel and update.  Do not be discouraged by the high cost of a Kitchen renovation as there are many inexpensive updates that you can do to freshen your Kitchen on a budget.

Paint the Cabinets: If your cabinets look dated and old, yet new cabinets are not in your budget, paint them for new look.  You can use a color to match your trim color in your home, such as white, or venture out with a color such as a red or yellow.

Take Off Cabinet Doors: If your cabinet doors are so bad that even a new paint color will not help, you might want to take them off entirely.  This will create an open and airy look in the Kitchen.  If you consider this idea, keep in mind that you will need to constantly keep your dishes neatly organized in order to have this open look be a good one.

New Cabinet Hardware: Changing the knobs on your cabinets updates the overall look of a Kitchen.  New hardware typically costs a few dollars each at a home improvement store and entire sets of hardware can often be found at flea markets, garage sales, or even posted on eBay.

New Faucet: Plumbing fixtures in a Kitchen are like jewelry on an outfit.  Most women understand that one well chosen piece of jewelry can make an outfit.  The same is true for a faucet; a sparkling clean, new and modernized faucet can instantly improve a Kitchen.  Those of us skilled at home improvement projects will find installing a Kitchen faucet a relatively simple task and can save the cost of hiring a plumber.

Flip Appliances Panels: Did you know that a large number of dishwashers and other appliances installed in a Kitchen have removable panels on their face?  Most of these panels are one color on the face, such as white, and another on the back, such as black.  Check out your appliances to see if any have panels that can be flipped to change the color without spending a dime.

Install Vinyl Floor: If your Kitchen floor is in need of some help, you can install adhesive vinyl tiles yourself.  The project can be completed in a weekend with the cost of the individual tiles as low as a dollar each.  For a little work, and very little cost, you can have a new Kitchen floor.

Paint the Walls: This most basic of all budget decorating fixes can not be overlooked in the Kitchen.  A new wall color will instantly change the look of the Kitchen.  Consider using a paint color inspired by food such as a chili pepper red or eggplant purple.

Remember, there are lots of ways to improve your Kitchen without breaking the bank.  Often, small decorating changes can result in a transformed a room.  Your much used Kitchen can become your much loved Kitchen with some budget friendly improvements.

Ten Tips for Decorating a Child’s Room


  1. Start with a theme and think outside of the box. Avoid room themes that are based on your child’s favorite character or television show because it will be difficult to design the room without having to purchase a lot of overpriced and unattractive room decor created to market specifically for kids. Instead, select a theme that is more general based on a broader interest of your child, such as a flower garden or the solar system.
  2. Allow your child to become a part of the process. Talk to you child about their specific tastes in colors and other room details. Ask them about what they would like the room to look like; perhaps they will have an idea that is lots more creative than anything you might see in a magazine or catalog.
  3. Use a great paint color but think sophisticated rather than Crayola crayon. Select a paint color that is subtle, subdued and classic. Allow the brighter colors to come from accessories and your child’s toys, these items will inevitably be brightly colored.
  4. Make it personal by incorporating your child’s name somewhere in the room. Perhaps you can stencil their name on the wall above the bed. Also, rather than spending money on store bought art work, use inexpensive plastic frames to display your child’s artwork and other creations.
  5. Remember not to strive for perfection when creating a child’s room. Nobody is perfect, including your child, and you want to keep the environment friendly and forgiving for the ongoing mess and clutter that often associated with a child’s bedroom.
  6. Make toy and clothing storage accessible to your child’s height and reach level. Be sure that your child can be successful in selecting their clothing, and be able to reach toys for play and easily put them away at pick up time.
  7. Don’t forget about the ceiling. This is another great space to add a bit of visual interest. Depending on the theme of the room, you might consider hanging fabric butterflies, beautiful planets, or other items that relate to your concept.
  8. Look for wall paper cutouts that are easily applied to the wall, and easily removed. These are a great alternative to traditional wallpaper, wallpaper borders, or murals as they go up (and down) in a matter of minutes.
  9. Think long term. When purchasing more expensive items like furniture, look for pieces that are classically designed and will grow with your child.
  10.  Keep it simple and fun. Remember those times when you child was very young and more interested in the wrapping paper rather than the actual gift. Same applies with their bedroom design. There is no need to go overboard and spend lots of money. A little effort and creativity on your part will go a long way in creating a room that you will like and your child will enjoy for many years.

Three Ways to Freshen Up a Room for Less Than $15

There are many great budget decorating products and tips out there, but when it comes to freshening up a room for under $15.00 nothing tops the following three items.  The beauty of each of these selections is that they are multi purpose purchase that can be used in a multitude of ways.

A Quart of Paint:  Paint is the unsurpassed winner in budget makeover projects and a quart of paint typically cost between $9.00 and $13.00.  The cost is low and the uses are infinite.  A quart of paint can easily cover Powder Room walls giving a room an entirely new look.  Additionally, you can paint existing furniture items such as tables, chairs and dressers.  Painting furniture can make an old item feel new.  Kitchen and Bathroom cabinets when painted receive a welcomed facelift.  Other items to think about painting include lamps, baskets, planters, and other accessories.

A Flat Bed Sheet:  Shop discount stores and clearance centers for flat bed sheets and you can find steals on these paying less than $15.00 a sheet.  This can be the most lovely pattern fabric for the lowest cost around.  Use this fabric to make throw pillows for a sofa or bed.  Flat bed sheets can also be used as drapery panels for a no sew project.  Other applications in which you can use the sheet it to make custom shower curtains, chair covers, table clothes, placemats, and nearly anything that involves using fabric. 

Blank Artist Canvas:  For under $15.00 you can purchase a stretched artist’s canvas in a large array of sizes.   Typically made of cotton duct and stapled on a wooden frame, these canvases can be easily turned into custom works of abstract art, and you do not need to be an artist.  Please note, abstract is the key word.  Go to your local library and find pictures of abstract art with broad expanses of color and simple lines.  You can then replicate the masterpiece on your canvas.  Or if you would rather come up with your own version of a masterpiece, you can use foam brushes to make wide stripes of colors allowing drips and paint build up to add to your piece.

Try investing $15.00 or less in any of the above items.  Each one (paint, bed sheet, and an artist canvas) offer unlimited opportunity to decorate your home for a small amount of money.


7 Budget Tips for Dabbling in a Color Trend

Ringing in the New Year with a New Color!

New colors come into fashion with every season change.  Keeping up with color trends is a great way to help a home decorated on a budget look fresh and current.  Before jumping in, consider these tips to help keep you in style yet on track with your budget decorating goals.

  1. One surefire way to incorporate new colors each season into your home is to have the major furnishings and walls in a neutral palette.  This will allow you to bring in new colors without clashing.
  2. Make sure that when you use the latest color in your home, it works with your other items.  A well color coordinated room can make even the shabbiest of interiors look expensive.
  3. Do not feel like you absolutely have to use the latest and greatest color in your home.  Just because a color is in style, does not mean that you must like it or use it.
  4. Think very carefully about investing money into a piece of furniture or other large item in the latest and greatest color.  You don’t want to be stuck with a sofa for 20 years date stamped spring of 2012.
  5. Think small and cheap.  For example, an inexpensive lacquered bowl in a fresh color brings the trend into your home for a small monetary commitment.  A single throw pillow in the season’s hot color is another budget friendly way to dabble in a new color.
  6. Consider painting a small table or other furniture item in a new hue.  A quart of paint is very inexpensive; the only real investment with this option is your time.
  7. Think practicality when purchasing something simply to partake in a trend.  You might consider purchasing an item for your Kitchen such a set of plastic tumblers or coffee mugs.  This small purchase will give a taste of the color you crave with the ability to store the items in a cabinet once trend has passed.

Remember these seven tips the next time you see those great new colors.  If possible, bring new colors into your home regularly for a true designer look.  Just remember that you can participate in a color trend without sacrificing your decorating budget.

Small Items That Pack a Big Punch

 Who says good things don’t come in small packages?   Sometimes a small item can add a lot of style impact to your home.   Small items can be great looking and budget friendly; in fact, some of these items are even free.  Check out these undersized items that deliver big decorating impact.

Produce:  Yes, you read correctly, produceDisplay colorful, fresh fruit or vegetables in a bowl in the Kitchen or Dining Room.  When used as an edible accessory, produce adds color and a delicate smell to your home and is great for your waistline.  Some varieties to try include pears, apples, lemons, limes, pomegranates, artichokes, and eggplants.

A Tassel:  Use tassels in unexpected ways.  Add a single tassel to the end of a pull cord on a ceiling fan or light fixture for a touch of color and instant sophistication.  Tassels can also be hung over a knob on a dresser or armoire to freshen the look of an existing piece of furniture.

Three Way Light Bulbs:  Replace a standard light bulb with a three way light bulb in a lamp that accommodates such a bulb.   The smallest wattage can be used for soft lighting to create instant ambiance.  The highest setting can be used for task lighting and reading. 

Throw Pillows:  Use throw pillows as a small yet effective way to add color, pattern and texture.  Adding a throw pillow in the season’s hot color, this spring the color is yellow, instantly updates a room.

Door Mat:  A new doormat welcomes guests to your home.  Rather than the basic green or tan color mat, look for a brightly painted mat to add color and warmth to your entrance.  First impressions last, so make yours representative of the details inside your home.

New Cabinet Knobs:  Replace your old cabinet knobs for a quick and effective transformation.  New knobs can transform the look of Kitchen cabinets from old to new.  A modern knob on older cabinets can result in an instantaneous updated look. 

Lamp Shade:  A tired looking lamp becomes new again with a fresh shade.   Seek to change both the shape and color of the old shade, and you will feel like you purchased a new lamp.  Bring your lamp base to the shade store for the most successful results. 

Fresh Flowers:  Flowers add color and smell to your home and help to brighten just about any room.  Pick flowers from your garden or purchase stems from growers at local farmer’s markets for a fresh and budget friendly alternative.

Hand Towels:  Perk up a Kitchen or Powder Room with hand towels.  These objects of necessity can do much more than simply dry your hands.  For just a few dollars, colored or patterned hand towels add a bit of interest in these utilitarian spaces. 

Paint:  One gallon of a new paint color can dramatically change the look of a small room or piece of furniture.  Drab walls can instantaneously change to stunning and a piece of furniture can be given a whole new personality with paint color.

Child’s Artwork:  Nothing adds character and color to home like a picture made by your favorite child.  Simple artwork can be transformed to look like a masterpiece when placed in inexpensive frame.  You can even commission your child to color a picture for you to fill a specific place on your wall or add a needed touch of color in a room.  

These ideas are simple and inexpensive.  Go ahead and give one a try, you will be impressed with how big of an impact the addition of one small decorative item can have in your home.

Interior Design Makeovers in 2 Minutes, 20 Minutes, 2 Hours and 2 Days

With the long Thanksgiving weekend upon us, here are a few ideas to freshen up your home no matter how little or how much time you may have this weekend.  Maybe you can even give the 2 minute makeover ideas a try while your turkey is cooking! 

Happy Thanksgiving.

2 Minutes Makeover Ideas

Take a visual scan of the room in need. Look for things that instinctually bother you and are ongoing visual eyesores. These can be things like a picture that is hung too high or too low, a plant with dead branches, or an accessory that you no longer like. Take two minutes and fix this problem; re-hang the picture, pull the leaves off the plant, or remove that accessory.

Add fresh flowers in a colorful vase.

Quickly rearrange the existing items on a mantel shelf or coffee table.

20 Minutes Makeover Ideas

Empty a bookcase of all its contents. Reposition the items back on the bookshelves in a new and interesting way. Instead of placing books standing up, stack them in neat piles of like size books and place them on the shelves with an accessory or two on top of the books.

Take down all the artwork on the walls and re-hang in new places in the room. It will look like you purchased all new artwork.

Rearrange your furniture in one room for a new look.

Swap the lamps in one room with the lamps in another room. That matching pair of lamps in your Master Bedroom might look great in your Living Room and the unmatched pair from the Living Room might add a touch of visual and unexpected interest to the bedroom.

2 Hours Makeover Ideas

In a bedroom, switch out the duvet cover or quilt, add decorative pillow shams, and hang some coordinating sheer delicate drapery panels.

In a Bathroom, add new towels in a fresh color, a clean new shower curtain, a new area rug, and new framed mirror.

An alternative in the Bathroom is to paint an old wood vanity a crisp white or even use this as an unexpected place to add a touch of color.

Go through your entire house with touch up paint. It is amazing what eliminating scuffs and dings on the walls can do to help brighten a home.

Hang a set of shelves in the Office or in a Child’s Bedroom for book or toy storage.

Hang a new light fixture in your Entry or Dining Room; it is like adding jewelry to an outfit.

2 Days Makeover Ideas

Repaint a room, any room from a Bedroom to the Kitchen, top to bottom in a fresh and up-to-date color.

For your patio, buy new furniture, an outdoor area rug, a few new potted plants, and hang some wooden carvings to transform an average patio to an outside oasis.

Give a bathroom a complete facelift by painting the walls, installing a new framed mirror and light fixture, new towels, new accessories and rugs. The room will appear brand new.