A few months back I was called in for a flooring consultation. At the time, the clients’ home had wood-looking, ceramic tile in the entry which led back towards the kitchen, and carpet in the Living, Dining and Family rooms, as well as the stairwell and bedrooms. The couple wanted to replace the carpet in the bedrooms, but weren’t sure if carpet should stay in the main living spaces. With 3 dogs in the house (2 of which are Great Danes!), they thought wood floors might be a better option for the downstairs. While the carpet had definitely seen better days, the tile was in good shape. So the options considered were: 1. Keep the existing tile and replace the carpet with new carpet or wood; 2. Take out the carpet and try to match the tile to carry it throughout the entire downstairs (matching would have been difficult as the clients hadn’t been the ones to put the tile in originally); 3. Rip out all current flooring and replace with something new, like wood.
The clients really liked the idea of having wood floors, but with 3 dogs, I suggested they consider a laminate wood flooring that would better resist scratching from the dogs’ nails. I also recommended that the downstairs have only one type of flooring which would visually make the rooms appear larger. After looking at the wood flooring samples I’d brought with me, a whitewashed laminate was decided on which complemented the home’s furnishings and fit the casual style of the clients. Shown below are the before and afters. The clients decided to go with laminate throughout the downstairs and in the upstairs hallway, and carpet in the bedrooms and stairwell. They are thrilled with the results loving the look, feel and function of their new flooring!
*Flooring and installation provided by Carpet Clearance Warehouse, Santa Clarita.
If you were a child of the 80’s (like myself!) your memories of wallpaper may match the images shown in the first photo below… How many of you remember the Laura Ashley tiny florals, the seafoam green and pink “Southwestern” patterns or the popularity of BORDERS that ran across many a wall?
Wallpaper has certainly seen it’s trends through the years, and for a while, it seemed to be a design choice many people avoided- myself included! But I’m here to tell you that wallpaper can be a wonderful way to incorporate color, texture and pattern into a room, and with the multitude of AMAZING papers available to choose from these days, in a wide range of prices, it’s a design option that is worth noting.
Recently, I was introduced to Stuart Glist, owner of the Wallpaper Bin located in nearby Northridge, CA. Wallpaper Bin has been in business for 40 years and is well known throughout the Valley and Los Angeles area as the place to go to when in need of wall coverings. Stuart has many papers available for purchase in his store, but if you don’t see something you like, he also has a number of sample books that can be browsed through and ordered from, many times at a discount! If you have a photo of something you like, he recommends bringing it to him to see what he can do. And, if you are unsure of hanging wallpaper yourself, Stuart knows many professional hangers and can recommend one in your area who can get the job done!
Here we are, in the first week of 2016, and I find myself both sad that the holidays are over, and happy that the frenzied pace of planning, decorating, shopping, shipping, shopping, cleaning, cooking and SHOPPING, is over! Lol… Seriously, I really think this was the most hectic holiday season for me EVER!
2015 was a year full of projects- big and small. On the personal Homefront, we updated our kitchen with new hardware for the cabinets and drawers; changed the look of our family room by replacing our old brown sofa and chair with a contemporary, grey velvet sofa and chrome chairs (a fantastic second-hand find); painted the exterior of our house. (Not originally on our to- do list, but so glad it was done- What a change!)
Professionally, I was given the opportunity to assist a number of people with their homes. From consultations, to Home Stagings, to full Home Design, I loved helping my clients achieve better function and style suited for their needs. An unexpected bonus to the year was being recognized by both Houzz and Thumbtack for excellence in Customer Service in Interior Design- something I always strive for when working with clients and pride myself on.
I am excited for what 2016 will bring and look forward to sharing some photos on new projects in the coming months! Happy New Year Everyone!
A Few of my Favorite Things
It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these but what better time to hawk a store’s wares than the holiday season, right? Lol… This year I am all about Target! For years I’ve been shopping at Target for household items, toys and clothing, but recently it has become one of my go-to stores when I’m on the hunt for home furnishings and decor. Stylish, affordable- Target has really upped their game in the home decor department! To be honest, not everything at Target is as well made as I would like- I see inconsistencies in the level of quality when it comes to the upholstered furniture, and I really wish the throw pillows had removable covers and better quality filling. However, there are plenty of items that are absolutely wonderful, and I find myself shopping here quite a bit for my clients and myself!
Shown below are some top picks of mine that can currently be found in stores and online.
1. Holiday Pillows $19-24. Beaded, embroidered, and super cute for Winter and the holidays. My only disappointment is covers can’t be removed for cleaning and I’d prefer down inserts to polyfill.
2. Peg legged, Grey Ottoman. Approx. $80. Great fabric and stylish!
3. Swoop Chair. Currently on sale for $170.
I bought a pair of these chairs for a staging and they are fantastic. Well made, firm but comfortable cushions. Variety of colors.
4. Tufted Slipper Chair. $199. Beautiful styling, well made, firm cushions. Just purchased one to use in a client’s guest bedroom design. Such a lovely chair!
5. 3 Globe Arc Floor Lamp. $149. Brass with a marble base. It’s gorgeous and has the retro-contemporary look that is so popular right now.
6. Adjustable Drop Pendant Lamp. $75. I love this lamp. Casual yet stylish. I’ve put this lamp in two of my clients homes.
7. Tripod Floor Lamp. $89. Sculptural, pretty. The perfect looking lamp to place next to a sofa or chair especially in a small space.
8. Table Lamps. $45-$80. These are 2 examples of fantastic table lamps. Metal, ceramic, glass… So many great options right now and prices are reasonable.
9. Gold Hammered Metal Drum Table. On sale for $62, reg’l price $69. I’m a huge fan of small occasional tables. They add function and style to any space, yet don’t require much room. This table is awesome with it’s hourglass shape, hammered texture and warm metal gleam.
10. Sugar Paper Products. $3-$25. Based in Los Angeles, Sugar Paper has collaborated with Target and the new line is out! How cute are these Calendars, Day Planners, and gift wrap items? I picked up the Kraft paper/ gold lettered 2016 calendar for myself. Adorable gift wrap in 4 color schemes can be found in the holiday section.
What a nice surprise it was to receive notification that I am a recipient of Thumbtack’s Best of 2015 Award for Customer Service as a Decorator for the Santa Clarita area! I love helping my clients make their homes not only look, but function better, and the bonus of my job is making new friends along the way! Thank you Thumbtack for the recognition!
We moved into our house four years ago. At the time, the house was 8 years old and in need of some maintenance and updating. We created a Master To- Do List and every year we’ve tackled one major home project. But, while exterior paint was on that list, it kept getting bumped down. When the time came for my husband and I to assess this Summer’s project, we could no longer hold off on painting the house. She had been baking in the hot SoCal sun for 15 years, and was in desperate need of a facelift. Not only was the paint horribly faded, but there were a number of cracks and missing chunks of stucco (thanks to the previous tenants dogs who chewed it up!) that needed repairing. We looked into several options and hired a painter who came highly recommended by a couple of friends. The painter did a great job, spending two days to prep and three to paint. The original color of the house was a golden- peach with brown trim, which my husband hated. The color didn’t bother me but I was open to a change, so after some discussion we decided to go with white paint and dark brown trim which we thought would compliment the Spanish styled exterior. The problem with white paint is that there are SO MANY variations of the color! I picked two, creamy whites out of our painter’s swatch booklet, he put up test patches on the house, and I chose the creamier shade of the two. The house looks really good- clean and bright, BUT… It’s not the white I was envisioning in my head. I was hoping for a “half and half” shade of white and we ended up with a “2% milk” shade. The decorator/ perfectionist/ OCD side of me is kicking myself for not getting the color right, while the practical side of me is saying to just get over it because there is no sense in torturing myself about it. (SIGH)
Regardless, the house look SO much better than before, and several of our neighbors were impressed enough to ask our painter for estimates for their homes. Now I’m itching to complete my vision of curb appeal by planting low growing, red carpet roses in front of the white rose bushes that I put in a few years ago. Unfortunately for me, changes to the landscape will have to wait until next year. With our current water restrictions and the season, it’s just not a good time to plant anything. A client recently asked me if, as a decorator, was my house ever “finished”? Honestly… Probably not. But with every item crossed off our Master List, we’re getting closer! And in 10 years when the last project is finally completed, you know what’s going to happen? We’ll probably have to paint the house again. Maybe then I’ll get my perfect shade of white… 😉
I’ve always been a crafty person, but I’ll admit that between life/ kids/ home/ business, I have difficulty finding the time to break out my glue gun! Luckily, this little project required only about 30 minutes (if that!) to complete, and while I didn’t use my hot glue gun, glue was involved. For a few years now I’ve been keeping my eyes open for an attractive utensil holder to put out for parties and gatherings.
Last Summer I was charmed by an adorable server at a client’s house. It was a wood cutlery tray that had been painted, and had feet attached in the form of 4 crystal knobs, as well as two drawer pulls attached to the sides to use as handles. My client said she had found it at a boutique years ago and used it frequently. I was inspired!
Recently, I created my own server using a wood tray found at HomeGoods and drawer pulls from IKEA. I wanted something contemporary and streamlined, so left the tray as found (walnut stained) and chose nickel pulls that had straight lines and were a little chunky. Flipping the tray over, I measured placement for the pulls on opposite ends, applied a small amount of E6000 glue directly to the wood, and held the pulls in place for a few minutes to adhere, wiping away excess glue with a toothpick. I then left the tray untouched for about an hour. I had read about E6000 glue on a crafting blog, but this was my first time using it. I am a fan! (For this kind of project, it was WAY better than Superglue!). And that’s all that was required- I now have a footed utensil server. It looks great on the countertop or table, and guests can help themselves to the cutlery they need.
*Note: I would recommend using screws to attach pulls to the tray if pulls are to be used as handles. For my purposes, the glue was just fine to attach the pulls as “feet”.
My daughter is a tweenager in the truest sense… 12 years old, she’ll be starting 7th grade this Fall, which is Junior High in our town, and like many teen girls, she is interested in fashion, makeup, YouTube and Instagram. But being 12 years old, my daughter is not quite ready to give up her beloved stuffed animals and dolls- namely Barbie and American Girl. Her room is a reflection of her- a mix of antiques, contemporary decor and fun accessories, both girly and sophisticated. As my daughter grows older, I anticipate her interests will veer more towards the teen and less the little girl, and we’ll adjust the decor as needed. But part of me thinks the dolls are here to stay.
If you are thinking of putting your house on the market, consider having your house professionally staged. A good stager will consider size and style of the house, location, and of course the Seller’s budget when coming up with a design plan. Even simple stagings can have great effect, although keep in mind that the cost of staging a vacant home will be considerably more than an occupied one because all furnishings and decor will need to be rented and brought into the house. While staging can run anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand, the initial output almost always pays itself off- studies show professionally staged homes typically sell quickly and for top dollar, which of course is the goal of any Seller.
The photo examples shown below are of a staging I recently worked on. The house was not large, but had an open floor plan, clay tile floors and an updated kitchen. It was also very taste specific in decor. By paring down and rearranging furnishings, as well as limiting decorative elements, the house feels bright and spacious. Potential buyers can now focus on the house itself, rather than all of the Seller’s possessions.