Thursday, September 23, 2010


Would you like your bedroom to feel like a high-end, restful, resort hotel?  (Who wouldn't?)
Professional results are easier and less expensive than you think.
First, lets talk beds.  I am going to say something really controversial here so hang on......Make your Bed every day!  Making your bed is the easiest way to make your room and home appear cleaner.  You can have a super clean house but  your bed is unmade it looks dirty.  In the reverse if your house needs a good dusting and vacuuming but your bed is made and clothes are in the hamper, your look clean. "I don't have enough time"  you say. Well, I recently timed myself making my own bed and three mornings in a row the entire process (with multiple decorative pillows and layers) took 28 seconds...yes I said 28 seconds. "Not enough time"  Really.....?
Ok, so we are all making our bed; now what?
A luxurious bed is all about layers. Layers can mean a lot of $ but it doesn't have to.

"Bed in Bag" combos can really give you a lot of bang for your buck. Making them look custom is not as hard or costly as you may think.
 Lets get started

-If your box spring layer is visible use a dust ruffle or wrap.
-Sheets in a neutral color will allow you more freedom to change top layers and still coordinate.
-Comforter or Duvet, Pull this layer down to the end of the bed making sure it covers 2 inches of bed skirt. Many people are tempted to pull the comforter up to the top of the pillows, this makes the spread too short for the bottom.
-Fold back the top 8-15 inches of the spread and sheets. A great look if your comforter is reversible with a coordinating print or solid on the under side.
-Put on your shams and decorative pillows. A tight stack is more stylish and European than and scattering. 
-Layer, use a folded blanket, wrap,quilt, comforter...(anything that coordinates with bedding ) at the end of your bed.  The underside of other quilts and comforters are often a good place to look for neutrals in your own home.
-Don't forget smell...I love a great smelling home and especially in the bedroom.  A quick and healthy fix for the "stale" is a spray bottle of water and pure lavender oil.  I spray the sheets every morning before making the bed and they are fresh when I get back in at night.  I would caution using chemical plug in fresheners and sprays as they can cause so many side effects. Pure Lavender Oil is relaxing, freshening, disinfecting. and just amazing.  
-Last but not Least.... to maintain a great bed remember the top layers are just for show.  DO NOT  sleep with your new comforter or quilt as a blanket and do not use your decorative pillows to sleep on.  The natural oils in our hands and on our faces break down fabrics and  will cause your beautiful bed to look worn and tired.  These top layers will also need washed more making them age much faster.


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Get The Message

Function and Form.....put them together....Success.

Recently while working on a client's office we had one of these "success" moments.  We needed a big white board (dry erase) for planning and tracking events but we had just styled the office and the "white board look" was not working.  We needed something with the same great function of the white board but with  more style and personality.  I suggested a big frame, painted out to compliment the room. We were also watching our cost so we did some digging.  We found an old picture frame and removed the art work, spay painted the frame, tricked it out with some silver accent paint, spray frosted the back of the clear glass so it was opaque,  and put it back together.  The glass works just like a white board but with more style.....Success.  

Use this idea in whatever size you need or whatever frames you already have. A cute little frame painted white by the fridge for a grocery list, a black frame by the back door to leave a message for family, frames painted in bright lacquer colors (one for each family member) for messages or get the idea.  Magnetic paint could also work on the back of the glass to magnetize your white board.

Leave a message.......With STYLE

Monday, August 23, 2010

Going Gray

Have you ever looked for the "The perfect Neutral"? Of course we all think of Tan/Cream/Beige; but lets think outside of this well used "tan" box and talk GRAY.

Gray....Its the Its hot, cold, warm, cool, modern, classic, masculine, feminine, professional and casual. With so many choices of undertones in Gray the application possibilities are endless.

Does your windowless office look like this? Sometimes we are tempted to paint everything white to "lighten it up" but with out the contrast of high and low tones everything looks...blah. Here are two examples of offices that I have had the opportunity to work on recently. I used shades of Gray in both offices. I selected shades of Gray with different undertones that accented the surroundings (furniture, trim work, carpet....) . Take of notice of how great the Gray works the with the Cream feminine office furniture, and how cool and professional the color looks in the second office with the wood trim and graphics of the company.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

color coach

Hello everyone,
Home from camp and ready to dig in.

I am sure we have all been working on a project (bedroom, bath, kids room....etc.) and while out and about we run into super cute pillows or a lamp or some great furniture and we wonder if it will work in our room. No one wants to spend time or $ on items that won't work in the space so we either pass it up or purchase with risk.

I suggest carrying a color card. You can go as elaborate or as simple as you like. Lets start with simple...stop by the paint counter where you purchased your paint and pick up a color strip with your wall color on it. These color samples include the range of light to dark and they are perfect for finding coordinating items. You can also grab a few cards in the colors of your furniture or fireplace rock....whatever you need to work with. Jot down your room and window dimensions on the back and tuck it into your wallet. The next time you are out and you see some great drapes on clearance you can know for sure they are the right shade and size.

If you are doing a major project like a new home or a big remodel....carry a small picture album with notes, pictures from magazines, paint samples, fabric ideas, room dimensions, and furniture wish list......its all in one place and easy to tote around.

Happy Hunting

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Porch Rug - how to

I am just jumping in....Suni is not here today so hang on.

The Front Porch Rug..........

Background- I needed (wanted) a rug on the front porch. Our home is about 100 years old and we have a big concrete and brick front porch that we spend a lot of time on. I love porch and patio furniture and accessories but not the price tag and the temporariness of all outdoor items. Soooo, I looked around here and there for a rug but even the "good" priced rugs were more than I wanted to spend. We really use our porch........ spaghetti, a muddy dog or two, and lots of Popsicles, I just couldn't bring myself to invest too much into it...... So I did a little in home recon. In the basement I found the rug....worn, not the right colors and water damaged (hot water heater leaked).....Perfect!

In my rug search I had noticed that several of the outdoor rugs were not a woven design but a stamped on or painted design and I thought "Why Not?". I decided that a stripe would be the easiest to execute, so with some clearance spray paint (.99) (I chose dark colors for impact and for their ability to hide dirt) and some old packing tape I got busy. I striped the rug with tape making the pattern random to hide imperfections. I was careful to be a straight and neat as possible but I DID NOT stress and measure. I started with my dark colors first, black and blue....after about an hour I pulled up the tape and taped right over the black and blue stripes for the yellow and gray. (side note: I had purchased white paint for the stripes too but it did not read well on the rug and the old colors showed through and looked dirty so I did more yellow and gray) The rug was dry in about 3 hours and ready to go. It is even soft to the foot. The spray paint is light and airy enough to keep the comfort of the rug and not be crunchy.

We have been using it for over a month now and I am really pleased. No paint running or rubbing off and no more dingy rug. Total cost $7.00 (paint)

This technique works really well with Berber, sisal, anything tight woven and/or short pile.... The patterns are endless....lattice work, monogram welcome mats, random geometric, botanical (lay down large leaves and can layer the colors and designs.

Give it a try.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

My first time...

So that you know this is Suni, not Marla. She has all but refused to do this on her own. So here I sit at her dining room table "force-feeding" her self-esteem.

As I blog, I must tell you Marla's quite nervous....putting away the lasagna she threw together for our kids, covering the table with pages from decorating magazines she has saved for shabby-chic ideas to help me with my decorating woes, and explaining what she did with her front porch rug that was very worn and outdated.

The "Before's and After's" should be sufficient for both Marla and everyone else, that she not only has worth but is relevant. She is economical. Fun. Modern. Sophisticated. Real. A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.

The first 2 shots are "before" and last 3 are "after's"... Please tell us what you think!
Stay tuned for the step-by-step how-to's coming on next blog entry.