Wednesday, May 22, 2013

30 of my FAVORITE Tips and Tricks to Make your House your Home

My any people think that Interior Designers are a luxury and a service that costs an arm and a leg. I truly believe that it doesn’t have to and spaces that you see in  magazines can be attainable at any budget…it just is a matter of being creative. I believe that design in a matter of knowing the rules, knowing when to break them, and knowing when to alter  them for your lifestyle.

With that being said, I have put together 30 of my favorite tips and tricks that I always try to incorporate into any space I am working on. They are things that only take a little while and really make a HUGE impact!

1. Hang Drapery at the Ceiling
Hanging drapery high and wide (when ceiling height and space permit) make the window feel larger and it keeps the drapes from blocking too much of the light. It also makes the room feel bigger and more open.


 2. Create an accent wall
Accent walls can be a powerful in your home. They break up the traditional look of having four walls that are painted the same color. They draw your eye to a particular part of the room, and give the room more depth. This is a great way to experiment with pops of color, wallpapers, and pattern.

3. Don’t Forget your Ceilings
Think of your ceiling as your 5th wall.
4.Kitchen Work Triangle
“The goals of a good kitchen work triangle is to place the three most common work sites the most efficient distance apart and to minimize traffic through the work zone”-Chris Adams
Work Zones:
       Refrigerator - the cold storage work site
       Sink - the cleaning/preparation work site
       Stove - the cooking work site
  5. Conversational Seating
Make sure that your seating area is centered around your focal point (ie. Fireplace/ Accent Wall/TV) and to create either a “L” shape or a “U” Shape with your furniture. In an L shaped layout, if space allows place a smaller piece diagonally across from where the 2 pieces come together.

6. Coffee Table Rule
The ideal distance from the edge of the sofa to the edge of the coffee table is 18”. This is close enough to reach for a drink, put down a magazine or stretch out your legs.

7.Light Up your Space
Lighting can make a space feel brighter and bigger. Along with natural light and overhead light, make sure to have a lighting fixture in 3 corners of the room to create a balance.
8.Be Reflective
Mirrors are on of my favorite accessories because they can make a room look bigger and brighter. Put one opposite of a window to reflect the natural light and, or lean one against a wall in a dining room to reflect the chandelier, and add double the light in the space.
9.First Impressions
Make a lasting impression with your friends and neighbors by painting your front door with a pop of color. It will differentiate your house from the others on the block and reflect your personality.
10.Go Bold in Small Spaces
Choose a small space like a powder room to go BOLD. Use dark colors, interesting materials, or funky patters and textures to really create a statement room.
11. Define your Space
More than just covering your floors, the right size area rug can define a space in your home.


12. Painting Tip
Before you pour your paint in your paint tray, cover it with a layer of aluminum foil. When you're done, simply remove the foil and throw it away. Your paint tray won't have a drop of paint on it and will still be good as new!

13.Give Old Pieces New Life
If some of your old furniture is looking dated, give it a new coat of stain or paint it a fun color! Spray paint is your friend.
NOTE: Don’t forget to sand the piece first, and seal after to protect it.

14.Gallery Wall
The arrangement of a medley of photographs and pieces of artwork that have special meaning. There’s something lovely about arranging things into a perfectly masterminded yet haphazard cluster. Gallery Walls are a great way to showcasing many of your items in a small area while creating a focal wall.
15. Paint Your Trim
Paint your trim wood trim white or a color that works with the design of your room. White will update the space while adding a crisp clean outline and a color gives your space a contemporary feel to your rooms.
16. Think Outside Of The Box
Typically you think of a piece of furniture having only one purpose. That does not have to be the case. Get creative on the placement and purpose of your furniture in your space. It may have more than one purpose.
17. Use Trays
Trays are one of my favorite accessories because they are very universal and can be used in MANY applications. Think about using trays to showcase or to highlight a certain space in your home. Trays are great for keeping things organized and give you that quick, put together look.

18. Cleaning Paint Brushes
Use vinegar and hot water to clean your paintbrushes.Rather than just rinsing your brush with water, soak your paintbrushes in a mixture of 1/2  vinegar and 1/2 hot water for 30 minutes. For stubborn brushes, soak overnight.

19. Mix and Match
One pair of pillows always look dinky so pile on the pillows in contrasting patterns, colors and textures. Don’t worry about having both side symmetrical, just try to keep each side balanced off the other.

20. White works
Don’t be afraid to infuse white in your our space.. White will never go out of style and adds a freshness to your space
21. Tuck In Your Throws
I know it sounds silly but try and tuck your throws/blankets behind a throw pillow on a chair into your sofa cushions. This will give a clean, put together and  polished look while still maintaining the soft feel.

22. Add Greenery
Add small bits of greenery throughout your home. Even if you don’t have a green thumb, use silk plants or trees. Greenery adds softness to a space and give it a since of life.

23. Groups of 3
When accessorizing, place items in a groups of three’s. Odd numbers always work nicely together, so feel free to add other objects as long as it remains an odd number. Also try to use objects that are different heights, shapes, colors and sizes. This create a very dynamic, and well balanced display.

24. Group Like With Like
If you have a collection of something try to group it together or in the same space. This way the collection will make more of an impact as apposed to being spread throughout your home.

25. Shape with Shape
When it come to lamp shades, side tables or an area rug, try to look at what it will be paired with or the space it will be going in, and what overall shape it is. This create a more cohesive aesthetic.

26. Switch out Cabinet Pulls
One of the easiest and least expensive ways to update your kitchen or bathroom is to switch out the hardware. A brushed nickel or an oiled bronze can give them a more sophisticated and chic look.

27. Art is Everywhere
Art doesn’t have to be a portrait or a landscape. To add some new “art” to your space, think about framing pictures that your children have drawn for you, or a picture from a magazine that you like, or even a scarf of your grandmothers that you would like to display.
28. Add A Punch
I love doing the unexpected. Think about adding a punch of color to the back of your bookcases, or a fun fabric to the back of your china cabinet. This will add another layer to the space and create more texture.
29. Be Artfully Unexpected
Put art where you would least expect it; Like in a closet, above a doorway, on a door, in between windows or even on your bookcase. Art also doesn’t have to be hung too, it can be placed and grouped together to create a gallery effect.

30. Design for You
Make your home be your happy place and reflective of you and your style.  Design for YOU!

I hope you are inspired to get creative in your own home! 

Saturday, May 18, 2013


Now that spring is FINALLY here...I have become OBSESSED  with our back patio and spending time outside...I thought, because I love it so much, maybe I would share my process on how it all came together, hoping to inspire you to create a space that you love as well!





It was a big project last year that I was bound and determined to finish before our wedding in July. Because we had recently purchased out home, shortly before, I knew that I was going to have to keep the budget really low. I knew I wanted something that would create a BIG impact and give us more space to entertain and relax without purchasing actual furniture. I was looking on Pinterest (as I often do) and found this picture which really got the wheels turning in my head.
 I loved the idea of using palettes and creating furniture with them, and thought with my small budget for this project, I would do just that....

So I started 12 with grungy old palette that I talked the guys at Ace Hardware into giving me (not an easy task these day, because palette's are IN) After MANY trips back and forth to our house we finally got them all into our backyard, and that is when the fun started.

Because they were a little dirty and had been sitting on a loading dock for who knows how long, I thought they needed a quick cleaning, so I borrowed  my parents power washer. Once they dried I purchased a paint sprayer to get the white look that I had seen in my inspiration picture....I thought I might start with painting by hand, but soon realized that these babies sucked up some paint, I resorted to the big guns You could also go to your local rental shop and rent an industrial painter that would get the job done in minutes!

THIS is the one I got from Home Depot. It is not the best out there, but it got the job done and I have used it for several other DIY projects.

As for Paint I used a white primer that could withstand the elements. I just went to Home Depot to pick mine up. They are VERY helpful there, so just ask!

Once the pallets had been painted I created a L shaped sectional and tucked it into the back corner of the space.

NOTE: This seems like a fast project, but it did take me 3 weekends to complete.....

During this time I had purchased a a great vibrant green outdoor fabric from and upholstered some custom cut foam that I purchased at Joann Fabric, to create my seat cushions. 

For all of the "finishing touches" here is where I purchased/picked up the rest of the items to pull the whole area together:

2 Outdoor chairs: Ikea
(These were my biggest splurge at $80 each)
 5x 8" Outdoor Rug: Kohls 
(Used Kohl's cash and coupon $59.99)
2 Bunching tables on Casters: Ikea
($7.99 each)
Rattan side drum table: Garage Sale
Green Bean Bag Pouf/Side Table: Tuesday Morning
(On sale for $25- no longer avlaible)
White tray on top of pouf: West Elm
($19/ FREE-Wedding gift)
Large corner tray: Z Gallerie
(On Sale for $20- No longer Available)
Throw Pillows: Home Depot
 (On Sale for $15 each- Last seasons collection/ No longer available)
Drapery Sheers: Ikea
($4.99 for a PAIR- Such a deal and I buy in bulk- Can be cut to size)
Hanging Lanterns: Garage Sale
($3 for both- Spray painted white)
Picnic Table:
 (FREE- left from previous owners- Spray painted white)
Outdoor Lights: Target
($12.99 per strand-No longer avlaible but can be found many places)
Mirror: HomeGoods
(On Sale for $20- Spray painted white)
Decorative silk plants: Ikea
($4.99 each)

I hope you are inspried to create something from the unexpected or transform your outdoor space! Have a GREAT Saturday! I am off to garage sales to pick up my next DIY project :)