Friday, May 30, 2008

Room makeover, a before & after: And clean up those animal bones

Sometimes, when you're a young teenager, the best place for you to live is in a cave. So, the design above made perfect sense when I was given the task of remaking a room where a ceiling beam pretty much cut it in half. (See below for the before.)

(And if you think that room is messy, you are wrong. You just don't get me, never have and never will. And why can't I have a princess phone and an 8-track tape player? Oh, sorry, little PTSD flashback there.)

I hung curtains on rods that were screwed into the beam, on the side facing the bed. To hang the curtains across the foot of the bed, I strung fishing wire from the beam to the wall.

What was once a problem is now a hangout...a great place to talk to friends and tell them how Great Your Godmother Is for doing this for you...

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A Snapshot: I'm sooo shallow

My husband reveres books for the reading part. While I’ve been known to pick up a tome every now and again (I know Goodnight Moon by heart), I love them especially for their looks. Don’t these look nice propping up this girl?

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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Better than anything you could buy

My friend Chris is one of the hardest working people you could meet, with two kids, a full-time communications job that she does from home, and several freelance writing jobs that she does...I'm not sure when...probably when the rest of us are sleeping.

And she's creative, to boot. Here's a great idea you can steal from her: She frames her children's artwork and arranges it above her desk. The pictures are easy enough to replace as the kids come up with something new.

The result: a colorful, fun wall that keeps changing and keeps you smiling.

So put your kids (or someone else's) to work. Faster! Faster! Or no supper!

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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I sale; you sale; we all sale

Do you yard sale? I think that can be a verb, especially if you do it a lot.

Since we were talking yesterday about my upcoming yard sale, I thought I'd pass along a tip for those of you who like to keep an eye out for bargains, or want to save the environment by re-using items, or appreciate the quality of older furniture...

Just about any piece of furniture will look good painted black (I like Benjamin Moore's semi-gloss).

I bought this armoire at a yard sale for $50 a few years ago. It was solid and clean, but its finish was, um, finished. A quart of paint and a few new knobs, and it makes for a great armoire for my office.

I added a few wire shelves inside for even more storage space.

Just one more tip when you are refurbishing a piece: Don't put it in your garage to tackle later...when you've got your painting clothes on...and after you've taken the "before" photo...but instead start to sand it just to see how that will go...and then decide to test the paint color...and, oh heck, might as well finish the whole thing and then ruin your favorite jeans by getting paint on them and order pizza for dinner cause you haven't done anything else all day. Don't do that.

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A Snapshot: His poop don't stink

This guy looks down on the cats who live in our house, as if to say: She feeds you, sure, but does she display you in the library? No, I didn’t think so.

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Ahhh...this is what an empty garage looks like

I make it a point every year to hold a yard sale (in some parts of the country, it's a tag sale or a garage sale. Come to think of it, in my part of the country, it's a YOD sale.)

I do it to shed my house of stuff I no longer need or want. I do to make room for new stuff, which next year could be in the yard sale because I no longer need or want it. I do it to get rid of the stuff that last year I thought I might need or want for a little longer, but then didn't after all.

I do it to keep my house from becoming overrun with stuff. I do it because it makes me feel popular to make signs with arrows pointing to my house.

Whatever reason you do it, here are some suggestions:

  • Advertise in the newspaper and on craigslist. Mention the words: furniture, vintage, multi-family (if all that is true, that is).

  • Make lots of signs. With words big enough to read. While traveling 60 mph.

  • Don't discourage early birds. But, if you get to my house early, you better plan on paying full price. Or have coffee for me.

  • Once you are officially open, bargain for heaven's sake. You aren't a museum curator, you're holding a yard sale. Get over your stuff.

  • Tell people to come back when the yard sale ends to take away whatever is left. Then put out plenty of boxes and let people have at it. This is true: People caught up in yard sale mania will lick twigs off your driveway if they are free.

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Monday, May 26, 2008

Soylent Green is people

In my line of work, I help people beautify their homes by using, mostly, what they already own. My feeling is this: Many of us have plenty of stuff, plenty of stuff we really like in fact, we just don't know how to pull it all together to create pleasing, comfortable, organized spaces.

In fact, sometimes too much stuff is what keeps us from creating pleasing, comfortable, organized spaces.

If that is the case in your home, listen to this: It's OK to get rid of things.

Perhaps to you that seems obvious, but I have run into numerous (wonderful) people who don't see this as an option: Because someone they love owned the thing, gave them the thing, or maybe just because they have Always Had The Thing.

I'm here to tell you: People you love or who love you really, really don't care if you get rid of stuff associated with them. Stop calling them, sending them money on their birthday, or smiling at their memory, that's a problem. Getting rid of the stuff that bottles up your home and gets in the way of loving where you live, that's not a problem.

Same with stuff you've owned for ages. These items are not your friends. Friends don't let friends live in cluttered houses.

Stuff isn't people.

So what to do with it all?

  • Hold a yard (tag, garage) sale (I'm having my annual sale soon...more tips to follow).

  • Sell items on craigslist (there are some peculiarities to doing this; more on this another time).

  • Find a consignment shop. Depending on the kind of store, you can consign everything from furniture and household items to baby equipment and clothes and get a cut of the sale.

  • Sell collectible or unusual or hard-to-find items on eBay.

  • Donate things to charity. Some charities even pick up.

  • Get together with friends and relatives for a clothing, accessory or product swap. (Ever wind up with perfectly good makeup, shampoo or perfume that just doesn't work for you? This is a good way to get rid of them and try something else.)

Go ahead, do it. It's OK.

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Sunday, May 25, 2008

A Snapshot: Lightening things up

Here’s a trend for you: I’m noticing lots of glass paperweights being used in room designs. I picked this one up at a second-hand shop. Looks to me like sharks fighting in a sea of green ginger ale. If you've got any paperweights, display them in a collection...or let one steal the show.

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Friday, May 23, 2008

Go ahead, pretend you live there

What would designers do with the prospect of transforming the blank slate of some 20 rooms - and nearly as many outdoor spaces - in a 100-year-old house overlooking the ocean?

Drool, drool, drool. Then get to work.

The result: the Newport Showhouse Guild's 14th annual Designer Showcase. It's in Narragansett, RI, and I recommend checking it out.

The showhouse is at Southwinds, 545 Ocean Road, the home of Judge Frank (of ABC’s Caught in Providence fame) and Joyce Caprio and State Rep. David Caprio. It's open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $25 (the guild puts on showhouses to raise money for charity).

Designers from Rhode Island and beyond have contributed to the metamorphosis, which required the Caprios, who have lived at the 10,000-square-foot home for 35 years, to move out for several months.

Despite the individual efforts of the designers, their work shows some common themes: The ocean is well-represented, with shells, summer hues, and organic materials often used. Many incorporated animal prints.

There are unexpected touches as well...the pink in the dining room, the coral in a sunroom, family photos decoupaged on trompe l'oeil painted walls in an upstairs hallway.

The showhouse folks were nice enough to let me take a few photos outside, but you'll have to put your mouse down and head over there yourself to get a look inside. And while you are there: be sure to look up. Nary a ceiling is overlooked...with materials such as sailcloth and lattice put to use in addition to painted finishes.

And if you find something you really love...many of the furnishings and accessories are for sale, with 25 percent going to charity.

So, be sure to visit before the showhouse closes on June 8. After that, the Caprios will kick you out.

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Vet you don't know what staggity means

Sometimes it's good to mix things up (for instance, I love it that my 5-year-old son thinks a Storm Trooper is a Storm Troopider, McDonald's is Old McDonald's and Dominoes are Domidoes).

Scrambling things in decorating works, too. Case in point: On my desk, an oak library table, I've got a few second-hand silverplate items, a box that once held jewelry and a plate that probably served bread. Now they hold pens and paperclips.

The lamps are new and acrylic, the desk, old and wooden, the paperweight, glass. Mixing surfaces, textures, styles and even ages of items keeps things interesting.

If your desk is looking a little predictable, check out the kitchen, the garage, bedroom or bathroom to see what you can find to shake things up. Sometimes it makes all the sense in the world.

(Oh, and staggity. My son's reaction to the mouse, with its hair stuck in spikes because of the rain, that our cat Homer left on the doormat: "Why does that mouse look all staggity?"
"You know, like it was hit by lightning?"
That's one way of putting it. Here's another: Yuk.)

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Decorating for a family affair

Embolden Design threw a big party last week, which was fitting because the web development, design and consulting firm in Pawtucket, RI, was celebrating a big anniversary (its 10th...which is like a century in the web world, considering how young the industry is), and it was celebrating in a big place.

Embolden lives in a brick mill building in Pawtucket that has attracted artists and small businesses. The wooden floors are scarred from the years of manufacturing work that was done there, the windows are upwards of 10 feet and the ceilings, 15 feet.

Embolden (which, in the interest of full disclosure, is owned by my sister Ann-Marie) occupies about 4,500 square feet of the mill. So, how to decorate such a large space for a party? The answer: Keep it simple. And keep the scale grand.

We hung about 40 16-inch white paper lanterns from the ceiling. We selected white so they'd pop against the orange walls of the space. The idea was to create drama and to visually lower the ceiling in such a tall space.
We also asked Flowerthyme in Wakefield, RI, (as it turns out, related to me in no way) to create several large arrangements - about four feet tall - so they wouldn't get lost in the space. Flowerthyme incorporated blooming branches, birds of paradise (for their orange) and white lilacs.

The result: An office space that looked elegant and festive.

Plus, there was booze and the food was terrific. It was catered by More Than a Meal Catering, which is run by Amos House, a social service agency that helps the poor and homeless of RI. The money the catering business makes is used to do good. I highly recommend using More Than a Meal, both for their professionalism and tasty treats.

Another neat thing about the party: Embolden, which primarily works with nonprofit organizations and community foundations, did a takeoff on "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" and instead gave away a prize of a "Radical Makeover: RI Nonprofit Edition" to a nonprofit whose name was drawn from a raffle. (Nothing beats doing well and doing good at the same time.)

The grand prize, worth more than $20,000, includes a new or redesigned website by Embolden and marketing, communications, and financial consultations contributed by various companies and an office makeover by At Home Redesigns (my business) and Consignments Ltd., a home furnishings consignments store in Wakefield, RI, that my friend Marianne owns.

The winner, Options Magazine, happens to be in the same mill building as Embolden and should be a lot of fun to redesign. I'll keep you posted.

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A Snapshot: How much you bench? $105

Another Brimfield find: An older restaurant bench that someone painted red. I was thinking for the end of my bed, but it could also work in the kitchen, or maybe the family room… I’m sure I could make my money back in my friend Marianne’s consignment shop. Eventually everything winds up there to make room for something new…

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A Snapshot: Spring in my step

I picked up this handbag at Brimfield. It's a vintage Margaret Smith bag. Paid $25, which I think was a great deal. Margaret Smith, of Gardiner, Maine, started making beach bags and totes in the '40s and the company continues today. (I love to look stuff up and pretend I knew that all along...)

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Monday, May 19, 2008

First the rain, now the cold

There's always an emphasis on the garden and on spring at the May Brimfield Antiques Show. Thought I'd share with you some photos I took while I was there last week - before the rain made picture-taking, though not shopping, impossible.

Now, I'm off to bed to recuperate from something else I picked up at Brimfield: a lousy cold.

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Sunday, May 18, 2008

A Snapshot: Pays to think outside the box

Got this little red box at Brimfield for $20. Found it in a booth that sold mostly linens. Antiques shopping hint: Don’t discount a booth because it mostly carries items you are not particularly interested in. Sometimes a little gem awaits.

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NY Post headline: Naked people overrun Brimfield Antiques Show

I'm back from the Brimfield Antiques Show (the largest antiques show in New England with 5,000 dealers from all over the country). I had to keep my visit to one day this time, and it poured from lunchtime on, but it was, as usual, wonderful.

Also, as usual, I had good company: My closest friend for 30 years, Marianne, there in the pink boots standing next to me, and her Mom, who knows pretty much everything you need to know about antiques cause she's been buying and selling for years. How many years, I'm not going to say, but I will tell you one thing about Marianne's Mom: No matter how young you are, I dare you to try to keep up with her at Brimfield.

Things to love about Marianne and Brimfield: She's a speed shopper, and I don't like to dawdle either; she's got a great sense of direction, which means she remembers where we bought stuff and that comes in handy when it's time to pick it all up; she's not scared of a strong martini (which has nothing to do with Brimfield, but I do like that about her); and she's not afraid to wear pink boots.

Plus she knows what I mean when I say: "Where's that guy's booth, the one who had those things?" And she generally keeps me pointed in the right direction and wipes the drool off my chin...

We got a boat-load of stuff, which is to say two vans full. Full, as in we had to tie our little cart to the roof of one to get it all home. Marianne found a lot of fun stuff for her shop, a home furnishings consignment store in Wakefield, RI, called Consignments Ltd.

I didn't set any records for purchases, being there only one day, but I did what I could to stimulate the economy. I'll give you specifics later.

As you roam the many fields of Brimfield, you catch snippets of information from the dealers and you notice themes.

This year, topics of conversation included:

  • The number of European buyers (up) thanks to the value of the dollar (down).
  • The price of gas (up). Dealers come from all over the country, carrying heavy loads, so gas prices hurt.
  • The price of gold and silver (up), which was good or bad, depending on whether you were buying or selling.

Another Brimfield phenomenon: Every year we notice an influx of a particular item. For instance, after the war started, a lot of dealers were selling vintage war posters, or reproductions of them.

In recent years, for whatever reason, lots of monkeys...statues, paintings, old stuffed ones. (How many times can you say: "Marianne, look, isn't this your aunt? I see the family resemblance" before she decides to let you try to find your way back to the van by yourself.)

This year, the theme was nudes. Paintings, sculptures, little ivory doo-dads, glass etchings...

Was going to take photos to show you what I mean. But I found myself standing there staring at the various nudes, trying to decide whether to take a photo, wondering how odd I would look doing that, and then realizing by then I was really standing there too long, and would definitely get noticed as the woman with drool on her chin who stares at nudes...and then takes photos of them. So I decided to pass.

Next time you get out of the shower, take a look in the mirror. You'll get the idea.

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Saturday, May 17, 2008

A Snapshot: The beat up, the better

Found objects are perfect for the yard as they just look better the more weathered they get. Look around for wooden toolboxes, window panes, shells, and ceramic pots. Tuck them in patios, decks and in your garden.

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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Take a seat; leave the table

Before I set off for Brimfield, I thought I'd show you one more example of something I love that I found there.

At least 6 or so years ago, I got this table. The lines are terrific and so is the hardware. It's an altar table or an incense table, only a lot simpler than you usually see. It's got some age to it (which is what people say when they have no idea how old something is.)

It was a great deal. I paid about $225 for it, just as a dealer was about to load it on his truck at the end of the day. (The wicker chairs were a wonderful find, too...but that's another story.) I've had the table in my family room, in the dining room and now in my kitchen. (I like to shake things up...hence the redesign business.)

One of the best things about this table is this: My sister Kat wants it bad. Been looking for one like it for her for years, and haven't come close. So, it's kind of my insurance policy. Someday I'll need something from her... like a cornea or for her to pay Jude's college education...and I'll be all set...

I'm headed to Brimfield! I'll report back this weekend.

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Real Estate Staging: FSBO: Cozy house, no plumbing

Sold my house today. Yea, that's right, even in this market. Got multiple offers, too.

And it was a pretty small house, say 6 square feet, tops.

Ok...actually it was a Little Tikes firehouse, bought two years ago for my son, Jude. It had all sorts of cool features, a basketball hoop, soccer net, gas hose, cell phone. But, mostly what I liked about it: It was a house. It was something to Halloween, a haunted house; at Christmas, with a wreath; in the summer, with a little flower garden.

My husband had his doubts from the start:

"Think he'll play with it?"
"Of course I will! I mean, he will."

So we plunked down cold hard credit card and brought it home.

Jude liked throwing mud at it. And climbing on the roof. (A recent exchange: "Off the roof, you'll break your neck." Jude: "Can I do it when you aren't looking?")

So I sold it, to make way for a swing set. No problem. Woman with twin 20-month-old boys is going to pick it up. She said the kids need fresh air. But I saw that look in her eye...

As you can tell, I'm an expert at selling homes (OK, I also stage real homes for a living), so here's a tip for making your house seem bigger.

Expand your living space by creating outdoor rooms. If you’ve got a deck, add a table and chairs, pillows, lemonade and glasses. If you’ve got a garden, tuck in a bench with a throw blanket on it.

If you’ve got a patio, add a few chaise lounges and magazines.

The message: Come on in. Have a seat. There’s plenty of room.

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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Can't wait to use the Port-o-Potty!

If you read my blog yesterday, you'll already know this, but the Brimfield Antiques Show started today. It's the largest outdoor antiques show in New England and it lasts six days. Think the arrival of the Great Pumpkin, the start of baseball season (if you're my husband, not me), the receipt of your Economic Stimulus Payment (if it was a lot bigger and hadn't already been spent).

I can't get there until Friday. But, in case you beat me to it, I'm passing along 5 Tips for Shopping Brimfield:

Wear comfortable shoes. Not shoes that are comfortable at home or at the beach. Shoes that are comfortable at a construction site (read: ugly).

Bring cash. You’ll get a better deal because it’s more convenient for dealers (read: no need to get the IRS involved). Most dealers do not accept credit cards.

Negotiate: You know how you tell kids the TV goes off in 2 minutes, and they say 10 more minutes, and you say, 5, and they say 8 and you say forget it, the whole deal’s off, and you start to Google: Selling my child on black market, and then they say 3 and you are both happy (read: worn down). Same at Brimfield, just insert dollars for minutes.

Pack it: If you’ve done your job well, you’ll have lots of loot to take home. Plan to bring a backpack or a cart to lug smaller items around the fields. Bring blankets and rope to secure the bigger items. If you’ve got any room in your vehicle at the end of the day, come back the next day (read: the cost of the motel, dinner and drinks in no way counts toward total spending at Brimfield).

Prepare for it: Bring rain boots, umbrellas, gloves, hats, sunblock, water bottles, snacks, cell phone (for emergency measurement phone calls home), hand sanitizer, toilet paper (read: ever used a Port-o-Potty?)

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A Snapshot: And now it's mine

Since the Brimfield Antiques Show is this week (signal the confetti!), I thought I’d share one of my favorite finds from last year. It’s an oil painting signed (can’t quite read the name) and dated 1927. I love the subject matter: the ocean (someone has written “The Gathering Storm” on the back); the size (it’s only 12 inches by 10 inches, and there’s something endearing about that); and the frame (I like the way the black contrasts against the apple green wall I have it hanging on). And I love the price: $30.

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Monday, May 12, 2008

A Snapshot: One hard worker

This is the commode I picked up at Brimfield a few years ago. Since I’ve had it, it’s held toys in the family room, and now does duty as a nightstand. Like a lot of furniture made back in the day, it’s solid and will likely see a lot more service before it retires.

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Antiques: They're not just getting older...

What a great way to start the week: Mother's Day presents (a tile with a flower formed by my son's paint-covered finger tips being my favorite), cake and sunshine, at least here in Rhode Island.

And it's only going to get better. For one, my mother's birthday is this week. And so is the Brimfield Antiques Show (and frankly, not necessarily in that order). Brimfield, in case you are not familiar, is a town in Massachusetts, and is the location of the largest outdoor antique show in New England (perhaps beyond) and features 5,000 dealers from all over the country, who for six days display their furniture, glassware, artwork, garden accessories, and every collectible item you can imagine.

The show runs three times a year - May, July and September - and I do my utmost to spend two opening-to-closing days there in May and September.

You walk miles through dusty fields in the heat, in the cold, in the rain - as the case may be - to find the perfect something, or the strange something, or just to learn something. You pull a heavy cart to carry the stuff that will fit in it and then later battle pedestrians and traffic to pick up the stuff that won't.

You get filthy, exhausted, sore. It's heaven.

My oddest Brimfield purchase: An iron turtle that I had to have to act as greeter to the patio I had just designed for our back yard (see him in the photo above, lower left corner). I'm too embarrassed to tell you what I paid for him, but he cost a couple of bucks a pound, and it took two men to carry him to the yard.

Brimfield has yielded all sorts of great finds - a cowboy costume from the '40s that my son loved for as long as it fit; a gorgeous oak barrister's bookcase that I sold for more than I paid for it when I decided to switch it out a few years later (when's the last time that happened with new furniture?), the commode next to my bed that once held a chamber pot and now holds decorating magazines. I've bought more trinkets, prints and collectible Christmas and Halloween decorations than I can remember.

I even stole something once, although I swear I didn't mean to. I was shopping a hardware booth when I found a drawer knob that I needed. I asked the dealer how much and he said "free." I thought he meant: Free as in, it's so small and I don't want it, just take it. Actually he meant free as in one-two-free. We worked it out, but I've avoided that particular row in that particular field for years.

If you get the chance, drop by Brimfield or another antiques fair in your town. As a general rule, antique or vintage items are a better value than new ones and they give you the chance to add a little personality - or a really big turtle - to your home.

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Saturday, May 10, 2008

One man's trash can ...

En route to my kitchen yesterday, I passed by the bathroom, and caught a glimpse of my 5-year-old standing there… doing, well, what boys do standing up in bathrooms. (Why I could see all this when I don’t have X-ray vision is another matter.)

Main problem was my son wasn’t standing over the toilet. He was standing over the trash can. We caught each other’s shocked expressions at the same time. My otherwise bright preschooler was announcing with a mixture of horror and disbelief: “That was a mistake!”

Seems that when you’ve got to go really, really bad and you’re busy thinking of other things…like will Tom and Jerry ever get along?...that you don’t discriminate between short, round containers near a particular spot in the bathroom.

So, add trash can to the shopping list.

My heretofore lovely trash can was a bronze metal container. I chose that to complement the light fixture in the bathroom, which is also bronze.

This all leads me to a decorating tip: When you are picking out accessories for a bathroom or kitchen, stick to the same metal finish throughout. If you’ve got brushed nickel on the faucets, use that finish on the lights, toilet paper holder, light switches, trash can and even the toilet handle (did you know you can replace your toilet handle quiet easily?).

It’s a subtle thing, but the overall effect will be a polished, put-together space. All that aside, I’m going to be looking for something in particular when I pick up my new trash can: I’m going to try to find one that flushes.

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A Snapshot: Bedside manners

Put a vase with fresh flowers on your nightstand and see how it transforms your room. Think boutique hotel. Think luxury. Think to throw them away before the petals start to drop and you start thinking: what is this mess?

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Friday, May 9, 2008

A Snapshot: I love a compliment

My house is yellow, so I use a lot of purple in my garden. Yellow and purple are complementary colors, meaning they appear opposite each other on the color wheel. The contrast makes the colors pop!

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Pour it on

My son's preschool put on a Mother's Day Tea yesterday. There was no tea per se, but plenty of lemonade, mini muffins, and corsages made of tissue paper flowers by little fingers.

I convinced my 5-year-old to dress up, which is to say I caved and let him wear sweatpants. (He hasn't worn pants with buttons since he was 2. The best explanation I can get is: Buttons are round and hurt his feelings. Yea, I don' t get it either.)

But I did insist he did wear a plain T-shirt, black to coordinate with his sweats. The Red Sox and Sponge Bob franchises would have to get someone else to handle their advertising for the morning.

The preschool girls, though, are obviously practiced at this tea business. They wore sundresses, pink sweaters, and shoes that did not say "New Balance" on them. They were a pot of pastel flowers let loose.

Individually, they were cute. Together, they were an impressionist's painting: a blur of color that created a perfect picture of young girlhood.

There's a design lesson in all this: We create drama when we repeat elements. A single flower in a vase is pretty. A grouping of five vases with single flowers in them, that'll catch your eye.

Got a collection of some sort, say birdhouses, scattered around a room or your house? Group them together and see how much more of an impact they make. Give it a try!

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Thursday, May 8, 2008

A Snapshot: A girl in her garden

This gal lives on my deck. A simple garden statue, some flowers, and suddenly you're not just sitting outside. You're sitting pretty.

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Sunday, May 4, 2008

Design, deadlines and Dick Van Dyke

Few things in life have appealed to me more than rearranging furniture, accessories and artwork. Could be the thrill of creating something new out of the old. Could be I like a change in the landscape. Could be I have trouble sitting still and need to do something while I'm watching reality TV.

So, I started my interior redesign business, At Home Redesigns, after working for years as a newspaper and web writer and editor. I get paid to redo rooms in a day and also to get people's houses looking good before they are put up for sale. All those editing skills come in handy. Having learned to think quickly and make deadlines helps, too. Design sense is, of course, essential to it all.

Now that I work on other people's homes, my husband is more likely to recognize ours when he comes home from work. (Think Dick Van Dyke and the ottoman.)

I find I daily have new ideas for sprucing up spaces, that I discover fun or interesting products or that I simply have musings I'd love to pass on.

So, visit when you can. Email with design or product suggestions and questions and we'll talk.

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