Archive for 2010

Making Your Holiday Table Special

Whether you serve sit down style or opt for a buffet, making your Holiday table special adds that finishing touch for the day.

1. What's on the Menu? By reviewing your menu plans, you'll have a starting point on how you want to set your table, your serving pieces needs and what size table you'll need. Try to add one dish that’s new or different.

Pumpkin Spiced Mimosas
Pumpkin Spice Apple Cider Mimosas

2. What's the Theme? However you decorate the rest of your home is your common thread for creating a beautiful spread. Color is the easiest to replicate.

3. Gather the Goods. Corral your serving pieces, China, serving ware, napkins and linens 1st. Your serving pieces can be a mix and match, don't feel that they all have to be a certain style, just make sure they can house the food they're intended for. The same goes for China. There is no need to resort to using paper, a mix of dinnerware is O.K.

BH&G Photo - Red Transferware
 Back Story on not having a full "set" of China - While conducting a workshop a few years back, one of the participants shared that when her daughter 1st married, they were a bit strapped for cash. Creatively, she shopped the clearance sections for a collection of very good, but usually single, place settings. When she hosted her 1st Holiday, she created a tradition that each setting was beautifully laid out, and each family member got to choose their own setting for dining that day. It is now a tradition, which the family looks forward to each year.

How to shop for Mix & Match China

4. If you're serving sit down style and have enough room, use chargers. They're inexpensive, protect your linens and add that special splash to the place setting. If serving buffet style, the chargers can be used under the serving pieces for the same effect. I have found some of my favorites, from bamboo to crocodile embossed, at Target. Hobby Lobby too has a nice assortment.

5. Consider a run of organza, tulle or sheer fabrics to go over your linens. Fabric stores have wonderful holiday fabrics that can enhance your basic linens. They too most likely will be on sale.

6. If serving buffet style, use lifts to raise a few of the dishes or décor to create an interesting tablescape. Cake stands, large pots, sturdy boxes, books can all lift things up. Make sure if they aren’t pretty, to put them under the linens.

7. Mark your serving pieces. Use stick ‘em notes to mark what each dish will serve.

8. Set the table. Don’t go overboard, but make it special. Fold napkins in a special way, add a small gift ( I like British party crackers,) candles (unscented,) and whatever other décor you’ve decided on to make each place setting special.

9. Make it special. From a signature cocktail, to a special centerpiece, to a new tradition, making your dinner special for the ones you love makes for memories.

Preying with the Rules

I am a fan of reality shows. To me they score far and away more than fiction, especially because they are easy to relate with. They also teach real life lessons and they depict the true human nature. This weekend I watched a penultimate show of a local music star search contest. In the local standards, the stakes were high and the contestants gave it no less seriousness. They clad the best fashion and pulled the hottest moves. At that point of the competition, the rules of the last elimination were quite clear, or so we thought! Two contestants were to be eliminated so to remain with four finalists. The first contestant was eliminated by the least number of votes garnered from fans. That was done according to book. It seemed to the judges that if the game was played by the set rules, a ‘strong’ contestant would have been eliminated at the expense of a ‘weaker’ contestant, who was a darling to the fans, a working strategy. This particular contestant was all along on probation but thanks to a horde fans, she kept coming on coming back. Thus the judges decided to eliminate this contestant by ‘judge’s votes’.
The jeers and murmurs from the crowd made their statement. The game had been rigged. The result had been insincerely arrived at. The crowd had been robbed of their right to vote for their favorite contestant, their votes had been trashed. The card had been passed under the table. It can be compared with the survivor series. Contestants always fight to get a hold of immunity and the rules are always very clear – get to the immunity instrument and stay in the competition. What would probably happen if the mode of acquiring this immunity is determined at the end of the race?
Games and competitions are only fair when rules are stuck to. The same applies to life. Fair play is one virtue that should be sought by all and sundry. Notwithstanding the side of the equation that one is! Taking advantage of the other side is not an alien phenomenon. It cuts across the board. Raw deals are always experienced, whether in employment, contracts and even marriages! Rules of engagement are always broken. This does not only water down the integrity of the defaulter, it can also jeopardize long cultivated relationships, not to mention cost a great deal to the victim. 
That said, however, it also very important for everyone to make due diligence, read in between the lines and especially to get a good look at the fine print and only get as deep into the water as they weight can bear. Terms and conditions of any engagement is always overlooked. This has been in many occasions the cause of great anguish when the water turns murky.

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6 Tips on How to Give Your Holiday Décor a Makeover:

Think Outside the Box!                    Showcase Family Heirlooms

Color            Use What You Have               Set Your Holiday Table in Style

                                      Incorporate New Pieces

#1. Use What You Have

Inventory what you have. Don’t rummage in the boxes my friend, unload them, especially if you’re O.C.D.-ish or a theme person. By revaluating your existing things, you’ll be inspired, find new connections and come up with different combinations.

#2 Think Outside the Box!

Don’t put it up like last year, or the year before, or the year before… One of my favorite places to decorate is the China Cabinet – Acres of Waterford or Macy style China displays are so BORING, besides, the Dining Room is meant for conversation and celebration. Have a treasured ornament from Great Grandma? Hang it from an ornament stand with her picture next to it. Vases can be filled with tinsel or mini-ornaments, shelves can be sprinkled with faux snow – Tell a story in this great space!

#3 Color

A great way to refresh and reinvent your décor is with a new thread of color. This year’s hot hues are Chocolate, Blue, Bronze, Orange and Super brights - like Neon Yellow, Hot Pink and Lime Green. A little shot of these fresh hues will liven up your old stuff and make it all shiny and new. Try some new napkins, I like to pair two together. How about a can of bronze floral spray on some old greenery and neon green on pine cones with a dusting of chocolate glitter? Why not pickup a pot of hot pink orchids or Christmas cactus to perk up table tops? Pop them into copper containers or in brightly glazed pots.

#4 Showcase Family Heirlooms

The Holidays are all about family, and what a better way of celebrating the season than with special pieces of the past. Besides the antique ornaments, what about the heirloom silver tea service? The tray can be proudly placed on the living room cocktail table anchoring a lovely holiday vignette. The pot and creamer used as vessel for a spectacular floral arrangement, and the sugar bowl filled with wrapped candies in the powder room to refresh the breath of guests.

#5 Set Your Table with Style

Treat your guests with style and panache by setting a lovely table. Whether buffet or sit down, be a great hostess by adorning your tables with a feast for the eyes as well as the stomach. Mix and Match is always a lovely treat, so don’t worry that you don’t have enough of one dish set. Never revert to Chinette, but feel free to twist up your service by serving appetizers or use festive paper as the second/salad plate. If buffeting, flat is not where it’s at – Create lifts and height with flipped pots, boxes, hurricane vases, giant martini or daiquiri glasses. The pots/boxes can be covered with runs of fabrics or table clothes, and vases, glasses used as platter/plate stands or filled with dips or food. Think of a fancy brunch at a 5 Star Hotel. Candles, fresh floral and chargers come cheap and make a chic impact for your table. Make sure that the candles are scent free.

#6 Incorporate New Pieces

This is a double meaning tip. When decorating, don’t leave what you already have out, pack it away and replace with the Holiday Décor. Rotation is good. Plus, when the holidays are over, and you unpack the old stuff, consider placement in a new spot.

Now that you’ve unpacked and inventoried your decor, decorated - Pack a box or two to be donated. It’s time for someone else to love your décor. Just like the cloths in your closet, if you haven’t used them in awhile, it’s time to let them to go. By donating, you make room for a few new things.

Use the tips above to help you shop for a few new décor pieces. From color to decorating area, a few new added pieces to your Holiday collection can perk up the old stash and give you a new fresh view.


Ornament Stands:

Festive Paper Plates:

Orchids and Christmas Cactus: Home Depot

Floral Spray, Glitter, Giant Martini Glasses, Candles: Michaels

Chargers, Hurricanes: Hobby Lobby

We're Plaid Proud!

Make your Black Friday... PLAID!

This year has been an exciting year of "firsts" and "new" things for Stuart, Dwayne and myself, that's for sure! A new business, a new way of thinking, new clients, and new challenges. But for me personally, a new thing has truthfully come to front of my mind without a second thought, buy locally.

Being a Local Business owner, my eyes have been opened to how really important it is to support local businesses. Before, I never really thought of going to a local shop for gifts, or for lunch, or for...well anything. It was too easy to just stop by a "Big Box Store" and get something "cheap", and truthfully, I use the word "cheap" loosely. As I've found, we're often less expensive than "large retailers" on the same exact items.

Something as simple as produce was just a quick trip to Wal-mart or Meijer. But when I experienced the Farmer's Market, I discovered a whole new world of true local celebration. The Farmers Market is a great example of how easy it is to buy locally grown foods, support local farmers and their families, and make a fun experience out of the whole thing!

As Black Friday approaches, and we're all thinking of the excellent "sales" the Big Box/Big Retailers are preparing, don't forget the local retailers who are also sharing in the excitement with discounts, deals, and sales! And this my friend's is what has become known as "PLAID FRIDAY". Actually thought of and celebrated widely in Oakland, California, this day is simply the fun and enjoyable alternative to the big box store "Black Friday," and is designed promote both local and independently owned businesses during the holidays. The actual name Plaid Friday celebrates the diversity and creativity of independent businesses, how we're all weaved together to make our own neighborhoods, cities, and towns. You can share in Plaid Friday by wearing Plaid, and by stopping by a local business. Whether it is our store, or someone elses, please make sure you stop by and let them know that you support them. We're all in this together!

See you Friday...and I'll be wearing my PLAID!

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Style Spotlight - The Forgotten Dining Room

With holiday celebrations just around the corner, now is a perfect time to address our Dining Rooms. The dining room is typically the least used room in any home. It also tends to be the room that is most difficult to decorate. Big, bulky furniture suites, extensive hardwood surfaces and space constraints conspire to prevent you from putting your personal stamp on the room. The dining room was intended to be a space used for celebrations, lively conversation and special occasion dining. Decorate this family gathering space with color, creative displays and décor that will make every guest feel welcome!

Ralph Lauren Wallpaper in BURNISHED CORK - TOBACCO
 • With wallpapers back in vogue, this may just be the room to unleash a paper creation! Textures, faux techniques, patterns, metallic’s and more are readily available with today’s advanced technology. With a dining room’s hardwood and suite of furniture, wallpaper is a great juxtaposition to the sameness of the space.

• If paint is your choice, choose a hue to compliments your furniture and celebrates you personal style. The dining room was meant for family gatherings and entertaining, so this is a perfect space to show off your personality. Why not pick a color that has been inching up to a new favorite?

Monochrome Dining Room

  • What's on your floor? -  Rug or no rug? Rugs can add warmth, anchor furniture, add color, texture and ambiance to a space.

• Rethink your Lighting. If your chandelier has seen better days, why not replace or repurpose the one you have? A chandelier should be about 12" narrower than the width of the table over which it hangs and hung approximately 30” above the surface. If you want to reinvent your existing piece – A new coat of paint, new shades or a ceiling medallion, can give a new piece a new life. Swap out your old switch for a dimmer too.

• Hang paintings, family portraits, and other wall art at a lower level so that you and your guests can enjoy them while seated at the dining table. Place a large mirror in the room across from windows to create an illusion of space or reflect your lovely chandelier.

• Shop your home, a local art gallery or store for paintings, prints, plates to adorn your walls. Antique or specialty plates make great wall art, especially hung in a collection. Art in this room should feed the soul with food or dining themes – Still life settings, photography of bistro store fronts, or club car dining are all great ideas for hung art.

Still Life Wtih Blooming Red Tulips Pre-made-framed Framed Art Print

Still Life Wtih Blooming Red Tulips Print by Nicole Etienne at

• Give your china cabinet a makeover by creating a seasonal display or a vignette of precious family objects. From holiday China to treasured ornaments removing the typical stored finds and reinventing the space will give your room a whole new identity. Antique family photos in small sterling silver frames become more meaningful when paired with an heirloom object, such as a pocket watch or a baby’s bootie. Creatively displayed postcards, pictures, souvenirs and other special remembrances make wonderful dinner conversation starters.

• Slip cover, reupholster or replace worn dining chairs. Purchase custom slipcovers with interesting details, such as back lacing, monogramming or fun trims. Reupholster your seats with a colorful fabric that matches the freshly painted walls. Replace the two captain’s chairs with upholstered parson’s chairs. The fabric will soften the hard woods in the room and create a softened look – Best of all, these chairs can be rotated into other spaces when needed.
Limited Edition Designer Parsons Slipcover

• Finally, set the mood for your room with accessories. For the table, river a Pashima shawl for a stunning look, tall glass footed hurricanes filled with seasonal finds, your buffet set with a sparkling silver pieces and each of your seats paired with a lumbar pillow.

By putting your personal stamp on your dining room you reinvent a forgotten space, create a mood for a room meant to celebrate family and friends and having a seasonal jumping off point for your holiday and entertaining decorating for this year
Farmhouse Update

Featured in the Herald Leader, Weekender!

Here's what Harriett Hendren had to see about our Christmas Open House coming up!!!

Christmas is nearly two months away, but November means the beginning of "open house" season, with stores decked out for the holidays offering specials and treats.
One of the first open houses in Lexington starts Tuesday and runs through Nov. 6 at House, the cut-as-a-button homem decor shop at 1583 Delaware Avenue.

Everything will be 20% off. Co-owners J. Stuart Hurt, Dwayne Anderson, and Jeremy Rice worked for years at Corman's, so they can decorate for the holidays like nobody's business.
A sampling of what you'll find: candles, trees, garlands, wreaths, swags and loads of holiday design ideas.
Call (859) 523-3933 or go to


Click Here!

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Christmas Open House! It's here!

Mark your calendars! 'house' will be celebrating OUR first ever November Christmas Open House! We are so very excited! Tues Nov 2 - Saturday Nov 6 Save 20% off EVERYTHING

We've been working our little butts off (well if mine is the determining factor..." fat butts off " )! Christmas is EVERYWHERE in the store....I MEAN EVERYWHERE.

Against what I would have chosen, we started listening to Christmas music on Tuesday of this week, but 4 days in...I'M READY! There's just something about Christmas Music that puts you in the mood!

We've been putting up trees, decorating garlands, wreaths, and swags! If you've thought our store was full before....just wait until you see it for Christmas! I should have went on a diet!

To let you in on a little honesty, every year as the Christmas season approaches, I get a little nervous, wondering how we are going to top what the three of us created before. WELL....this year, is VERY different. Hands down...we've smacked anything we've ever done out of the park this year.

As far as themes....we have everything. We have Burberry Equestrian, Classic Williamsburg, Traditional Red & Green, Oompa Loompa Red and Green, Candy, Cardinal, Formal Gold, Formal Silver, Ice and Snow, as well as some new combinations of Navy/Burgundy with a Flocked tree, and many others!

We are so excited to open our doors and share this wonderful season with you!

We also need your assistance to help us spread the word of the Christmas Open House Nov 2 Nov 6! Please tweet (we're @housebyjsd) , facebook, email, word of mouth all of your friends! Not everyone knows where to find us now! And after all....we're half the fun! (insert disclosure of possible snow and glitter thrown here! we do like to have a good time!)

We're counting down and hope that you are too! Thanks again! And see you soon!

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Tips on Creating Seasonal Arrangements

Any flat surface is a great area to seasonally dress. Here are a few tips on making the vignette look fabulous:
  • Room's purpose and style - Fancy in the fancy areas, casual in the casual areas.
  • Room's function - A large arrangement on a family room cocktail table isn't going to work if you're room's function is TV viewing...
  • Scale and Proportion - Whatever the area, make sure that the "stuff" is in scale to the surface or area your putting it.  For example, a large mantle needs large accessories.
  • Create highs and lows - Use books, cake stands, easels, hurricanes, apothecary's to create highs and lows in your display.
  • Group collections in odd numbers.
  • Try to break your symmetry - Don't be matchy matchy. 
  • Add something unexpected in the mix - Create a conversation.
  • Don't get lazy - Hang what needs to be hung, use a measuring tape when needed, take the extra step...
  • Bang for the Buck - One spectacular pieces, with knock-offs around it - makes the knockoffs spectacular too.
  • Don't go over board - Too much of a good thing, isn't good...

Fall Decorations - Tips & Techniques

Mother Nature is beginning to put on her grandest show for the year, and we're heading to the attic or basement for all those boxes marked "Fall Decorations."

As many of you would agree, fall is a great season to change out or update your seasonal and home décor, but just like our wardrobe, sometimes we need to weed out or refresh our stash. Here a few ideas and tips to help you update your home for the season and infused the latest trends into your home décor.

1.) Give your rooms a new arrangement. Fall is the perfect time to review your spaces and ready your rooms for the upcoming succession of holidays. Like a blank canvas, a new arrangement gives you an introduction for a medley of fresh ideas from accessory placement to infusing new color ideas. By starting at the base, you can layer on interesting new ideas, rotate your collections and perhaps come up with something totally new! (Insider Arrangement tip: Your hearth, piano or picture window is appropriate launching points for your new redesign.)

2.) Shop Your Home and Reinvent It. Unveil those fall décor boxes and sort through your decorating goods by shopping your own home. Metallics are still in the fore front of 2010-11 trends. Could your ceramic pumpkin and Indian corn collection get a hip makeover with a quick coat of trendy pearlized or high gloss paint; perhaps those pitted cabinet knobs, a lamp bases, or a painting frame could be given the same coat, creating a new metallic tread to your décor? From lamp shades to art print's mats - small changes made to your old stuff gives them the same result as a bit of Botox!

3.) Put it into Rotation. The same stuff out all the time, in the same place becomes a bit dull on the eyes - Consider a rotation of your accessories. Packing away a few of your room’s accessory staples when seasonally decorating, not only rejuvenates your room, but when you bring it back into the mix, put it in a different spot! My motto is - "A pumpkin in, means a Llardro out. "

4.) Layer it.  As the temperature goes down, the layers come out.  Nothing speaks more to the season than cozy & warm textiles.  Hot trends are nature inspired textural prints, animal motifs and ethnic patchworks - So incorporate layered fabrics and other textiles like rugs into your seasonal decorating.  Have an old quilt that can be reinvented into a beautiful pillow, framed as art, or upholstered into a footstool? Don't be afraid to layer more than one rug on the floor or consider that rugs can be wall art too. (Insider Tip: No one ever said you can't use fabrics as accessories - Down tables, tossed on sofa backs or tucked into or on top of bookcases or armories.)

•6.) Coordinate with Color. Incorporating a new color palette into a space is one of the easiest ways to revitalize a room. Some new color combinations may evoke your creativity when seasonally accessioning your rooms, looking for a new pillows, window panels, throws or creating vignettes:
-Coffee Bean Brown paired with Artichoke Green
-Dove Grey paired with Navy
-Deep Plum paired with Paprika
Try Chambourd and Buttered Yam Affinity hues by Ben Moore
-Apple Green paired with Tomato Red
-Smoky Pale Blue paired with Metallic Champagne Beige

What I love about Fall!

Now that it seem the temperatures have finally started to lower and become the Fall that so many of us love, I can't help but think about all of the things that I love about Fall!
The crisp mornings, warm afternoons, and chilly nights! Bowls of chilli! FOOTBALL! The turning of the leaves! And maybe...just maybe that the hint of Christmas is right around the corner! (I know it's still early, but I had to mention it!)

In the last few weeks we've been working on many Fall parties, and have created a number of different takes on Fall. For me, Fall isn't just about sunflowers, and pumpkins (although I'll never pass on a piece of pumpkin pie....don't judge!) , however the season is more about the colors and textures.
Our lovely friends at Heaven Hill asked us to do a couple of Fall floral arrangement to sit out at an WEG event at Keeneland. So what was I to use?
We first off, I found the incredible orange coxcomb seen in the arrangement, it was without a doubt what set the color direction for the rest, and who can pass on the fun texture that it provides! Taking the lead from the coxcomb, I had the color direction, but needed the right textures to add. The large bourbon stained fugi poms (the flowers that are kind of like star bursts) were a great texture against the coxcomb, plus they gave me the option of them being the "star players" in the arrangements. The unusual color and flower shape were ideal!
What to add next?! Well, I LOVE hydrangeas.....or maybe I should say I LUUUUUURRRRVVV hydrangeas (I have about lost my religion with mine at my home, because they bloomed like twice this summer!) The mini-greens hydrangeas were a perfect pop of color in this monochromatic orange/bourbon/green combination!
The final pieces to finish the combination were hypericum berry, decorative cabbage, and a surprise addition by a pomegranate. Notice the color of the hypericum. Often you find it in either a red/burgundy, apple green, or white color.... Well this morning I hit the jackpot....with this creamcicle hinted hypericum! THE PERFECT filler!
As for the cabbage, I use cabbage a lot in the fall, they are such a statement piece! And the was a beautiful green pomegrated with hints of orange and burnt umber. NOW, just between you and me, it was artifitial....that's right....fake! But this morning while at the store, everyone who has saw it and touched it have asked where in the world have I gotten this beautiful fruit! I never shared the information around it! It just proves that in some circumstances, you can add artificial pieces with fresh to make a look!
So for me today, this was fall. A monochromatic look at the season through a different eye! Now...if I could just find a piece of pumpkin pie!

"Glamour Don'ts" of Home Staging/Redesign

Just like our favorite magazine, we home stagers/redesigns have our own list of pet peeves when it comes to our craft. Here are a few....

Dynasty 3.jpg•1.) Faux Greenery/Silks in Odd Areas. Always place trees or greenery in areas that they could actually GROW! Their sole purpose is to give the illusion they are real, therefore need photosynthesis to grow. Oh... and placing ivy as a window valance or China cabinet topper went out when Dynasty went off the air.

•2.) Floating Art. When hanging art over a sofa or a case good, associate the height to the item to retain good visual contact. The display will not look right if it seems to float too high above the object - it needs to be grounded. 18" from the back of the sofa is a good rule of thumb. And slightly above the smallest arrangement for the case good.

•3.) The Rug Scale to Conversation Area Faux Pas. A rug can create and define a conversational grouping. Make sure that the scale of the rug is in-tune to the scale of the furniture/objects associated to it. A sofa should either be sitting on or no more than 8"away from a rug. Just about the same size as the cocktail table is not a scale formula for rug size.

•4.) Accessorizing with Evens. When accessorizing or creating vignettes, the golden rule is "Always in Odd Numbers."

•5.) Forgetting the Focal Point. Every space has a fabulous purpose or emphasis. Focusing on the purpose and/or emphasis of the room will allow you to set the mood and arrange the furnishings and accessories properly.

•6.) Forgetting the Stature of the Home or Room. Wicker doesn't belong in formal living rooms, nor does a Big Lots ficus tree in a Tony Tudor. Make sure the things placed in a room or home go with the stature of the space.

•7.) Flood Window Treatments. Traditionally drapery panels are set 1/2 in. off the floor. 1" is pushing it and 3" off the floor is creating a Capri.

•8.) Being Light Challenged. Every room should have at least three light sources for the function of space. Ceiling lights do not count. The perfect formula is to have them placed in a triangle pattern around the room; which will create movement and flow to the space.

•9.) Table Short. Anywhere someone sits in a functional space should have a table in reach of a seated person. The exception is a transitional space such as a foyer or hall.

•10.) A Mirrored Mess. Mirrors over fireplaces, sofas, or lonely on a wall oh my... Mirrors should always reflect something beautiful - Not a ceiling fan, walk rail or wall. You can be excused if it is a decorative mirror that shows as art rather than function.

•11.) Oddly Angled Furniture. Don't think your being creative if you put it on an angle. Angles instantly slice through visionary planes, can make people psychologically feel uncomfortable, can eat up floor space and can render the piece or room functionless.

So here we are, only 6 months into this business...and 'house' was voted Best New Store in Ace Weekly's 2010 Best of Lexington by their readers!

It is an incredible honor! Thank you to all of those out there who have supported us when we opened the door and those of you that have continued to support us!

It's hard to believe that the year is coming to an end....Well...I mean there's still Fall coming up, but Christmas will be here before we know it...and then Stuart, Dwayne, and I will be at market again trying to figure out what new we're going to do next year!

I know it's a little early...but thank you for the incredible year!

Also, I realize that I have slacked majorly on blogging.....I promise to do more with that! However, if you would like to see lots of current events and etc...always check our facebook and twitter pages!


Finally Moved IN!

7:00 am. Before
Sometimes it takes a fresh set of eyes, some creative juices and a bit of expertise to make things come together. My client on Saturday, moved in over a year ago - A sofa here, a tread mill there, a few thing hung, but she struggled with placement and making the home her own. Lovely pieces, family heirlooms (such as the Armoire right,) great accessories, treasured photos, just not in the right spots.

10am. After!
Although her room is long, the space is narrow.  We established three living areas in one space.

  1. We swapped the large sofa for a love seat, allowing for a dining area to emerge and banished the treadmill as well.. The buffet was repositioned to it's rightful home from the entry area, creating not only a sense of a dining room - but a perfect platform for collections and a serving area.
  2. The TV spot was recreated by a simple tweak in furniture positioning.
Since that room is long and narrow, keeping big pieces on the long plane makes for visual volume in the room. Too, take advantage of extra space such as the bay window to steal a bit of floor space, by sliding that over sized chair into the space.

Space Define and in Scale to Room

3. Create a Functional Foyer - Not only the entry which the family comes home to on a daily basis, but also the foyer for visiting guests.  The back of the love seat creates a "wall" so that the area feels like a room.  The bench, borrowed from the dining set is a great spot to drop back packs, brief cases, or a spot to take off shoes.  The homeowner's family treasured armoire will be repurposed into shoe storage - Celebrating the piece once again, like her Mom did so many years ago.
The Heirloom Armoire will house the family's shoes

Applause.... "I can't say enough about Julea's work. She came in the door and got straight to work and turned my beautiful house into a stunning home using only what I already had. I have a beautiful home with an awkward set up. She walked in and automatically knew what to do (I had worked on trying to figure it out for a year and was still stumped). She also worked with me to plan the next room I wanted to work on. I have started the process of finding the pieces for the rest of our home (much bigger than our last). I have a clear plan now. Everyone who walks in our home is shocked by the transformation."

Ambition, Greed and the other side

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That you cannot have your cake and eat it at the same time is a famous cliche, probably as famous as the one about the grass on the other side! There are illustrations all around us. Right from when we set out at the unveiling of a new day to the rush at its close. We, meaning a majority of mankind, find ourselves pulled by the gravity of the numerous things that we interact with. This is more so the ones we do not possess.

Thinking that this is a negative aspect is being oblivious of the nature of mankind! For mankind is generally a progress seeker. This being the chief reason why we no longer live in natural caves. We are clearly out of the woods…and even far away from there! The search for a better, more comfortable life makes mankind move from one level to the other, more so in the advancing direction.

This noble notion is, however, usually misused if not misinterpreted to be; the other side is the better side. Greed is always a very pushy attitude that leads many in to making the wrong move in the hope of getting it easier or cozier in their life.

No one ever said, for example, that life is better when one changes jobs. The pay could be far and away higher, but the conditions could be downgrading and dehumanizing. More money does not always mean more happiness, for as the late Notorious BIG would have it, ‘more money, more problems. Back home, there is a famous saying, that most ladies would rather ‘cry on a Mercedes than laugh on a bicycle!’ this is in regard to relationships they would rather be in.

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There is always the talk of people (read ladies) to move on to more promising relationships, especially based on financial feasibility of the other guy. Jobs are changed from time to time, if only to make it more worthwhile. Have you ever paid for a new suit only to realize there were ‘better others’? Is it not a factor of non contentment rather than hasty selection that drives the notion that your neighbour’s wife is ‘hotter’ than yours?

What we need to differentiate here is greed and ambition. While ambition looks to the other side for inspirations and lessons, greed pushes us to get that which is on the side and draws all our attention to copy it, regardless. While ambition seeks to exceed the achievements of the other side, greed works to take over the possessions of the other side. And while ambition seeks a progressive advancement into the betterment of life, greed looks to crash land into the better life.
That said, the thing to remember is that while advancement is about change, the psychological rearrangement precedes physical change in ambitious persons, while the opposite is characteristic of greed.

You will get a better happier life in your current job place, country, marriage and what have you! Just look inside you and see exactly what pessimistic and redundant tendencies that have made you a bad apple in the eye of your spouse, boss, prospective customer et cetera. And even if the problem is on their side…it is up to you to bring out the 80% good before you finally table their 20% ill!

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The Interior Stylists' Secret Recipe


Understand your client’s needs, appreciate their lifestyle, value their taste – Core ingredients to having satisfied clients.

  • Help choose a color palette that enhances the home’s bones, embraces what they already have, and creates the style & mood they’ll love to come home to.
  • Create a floor plan that honors the room’s function, carefully considering traffic patterns, activities and focal points.
  • Offer creative and cost effective solutions to re-invent, re-purpose or relocate difficult, tired or hidden gems.
  • Don’t conceal your favorite hidden shopping haunts; instead, invite them to take hand on a shopping expedition or explain a room-by-room shopping wish list to complete.
  • Be full service and express your textile talents with a full understanding of how to dress a space with fabrics and window wardrobes.
  • Complete the home with detailed accessorizing and styling expertise to help evoke conversation, celebrate the 5 senses, stir interest and celebrate the room’s personality.
Our style is your style, our talent is to make your home lovely for you! An Interior Stylist is an expert in fully understanding and defining what the homeowner wants. Although totally in-tune to the current color and trends - An Interior Stylist is there to meld your personal taste with her creativity and expertise into a home of your dreams.

FALLing for your Kitchen - Seasonal & Organizational Updates for the Heart of the Home

Wall Color BM-2144-30 Rosemary Sprig
The kitchen is the most utilized and meaningful room in a household. It is the hub for family tasks and used for food preparation, household management, and of course entertaining. It is indeed the heart of any home. No matter how many rooms you have dedicated for entertainment, everyone always ends up in the kitchen! With the kids back in school, a cool nip in the air, fall kicks off our major holiday season - in fact, we can celebrate right through the New Year. Now is a great time to get your kitchen “party readied,” and organized for easy maneuvering during the holiday rush, and of course-seasonally updated.

Need a Color Lift? - Try reinventing an old piece, a wall , or whole room... Be inspired by the season - Ben Moore’s  Rosemary Sprig 2144-30, Toasted Pecan #1209, Burnt Sienna #1196, or Sherwin William’s Library Pewter SW0038, or Studio Blue-Green SW0047. It’s just paint, and is the easiest and cheapest change you can make.

Counter Tops - Swap out a tired canister set with a new revision; there are loads to choose from (If you’re not a gourmet cook, store pens, notepads, and takeout menus inside.) They add needed color and design. Large platters on plate stands are good-looking in unused dark corners or grouped on walls. Extra-large clear glass canisters are conversation makers when layered with dried beans, nuts or black, yellow and white dried popcorn. A kitchen must is a sassy new set of dish towels, seasonal kitchen candles, and a hand soap/lotion set in scents of spiced apple, pumpkin or caramel.

Tell a Story with your Floral - A whimsical floral whether store or home made adds a bit of seasonal flair to any table. Create a mini-container garden by abundantly grouping those adorable “mini” annuals and petite ivy. or a bountiful arrangement with faux fall veggies, dried pods, leaves and vines.

Rustic watering cans from Pottery Barn can be seasonal highlights
Looking Up - Upper cabinet tops or upper shelves seem always to pose a decorating challenge. For a quick and easy change, large seasonally inspired platters, pots, framed art fill tired spots.
• Smart Cook Organization - An easy way to organize, is to create stations within your kitchen. Love to bake? Set aside two cabinets and counter space solely used for baking (near the oven of course,) fill with baking essentials such as pans, small appliances, spices and other baking staples. Task clustering such as this will help you to stay on task during the busy holiday rush.

• Get your Party Started - Love to entertain, but don’t have a Butler’s Pantry? Convert your little used desk area into an entertainment station.

-Replace wood panels of upper cabinet with glass, adding lighting, and glass shelves - store glasses and decorative bottles.
-Line desk drawer with felt, and hold bar essentials and serving pieces.
-Add a tension rod with shirred fabric for extra storage to the knee hole space, or find the perfectly sized rolling cart.
Space Game - Use a Lazy Susan cabinet for a “Party Pantry.” Store food products, Beverages, paper goods. and china that can be used to throw a soiree at moment’s notice. If you’re even luckier to have an unused closet. super size it and linens, vases, and decor all in one neat place.

No matter how large or small your kitchen, whether you’re a gourmet cook or take-out type, every kitchen needs a seasonal boost and should be readied for family, friends for upcoming holiday celebrations!
A floral gives a kitchen a seasonal boost (NDI Floral.)

The Case of the Pink Palette

I try not to tip toe around certain situations, so when I met with a new client last week, with a bad case of color - I had to give it to her straight.

She was so excited, having just moved from the busy city to the blissful 'burbs - Enjoying the wide open spaces and oodles of trees that her new mature folks, golf community boasted. But as I drove the winding roads of the Oak Hills golf community, my mind wandered – “What is delightful for one homeowner is disastrous to another – Beauty is truly in the eyes of the beholder.” After narrowly missing a caravan of golf carts, I pulled up the house. I gathered my thoughts, briefcase and color fan decks and knocked, not knowing what I was walking into…

My business, Interior Styling, my M.O. “Let’s start with what you have and move on from that. “ I’m the clever decorating sleuth that homeowners bring when they need home help – Got a decorating dilemma – Give me a jingle, I’m your gal.

She called me in because she had a problem – PINK.  Like the last sticky bite of an over spun cotton candy cone, the previous owner had sugar coated the place in pink. Pink tiles on the kitchen floors, pink Formica on the counters, pink walls, pink carpet – I will not tell you what’s in the baths….

After casing the joint, asking pertinent questions and feeling like I had just took a dip in a big bottle of Pepto Bismol, we sat down and got to business.

"Pink can be chic if used in moderation, after all it’s just the tint of red" I said.  She then stated that she needed to keep some of it, can you make it work I've got a budget. I can make pink work, but we need to resolve it a bit...So how does she fix the prior owner's Pink rampage without spending a bundle? With infusing new COLOR of course! From wall color to accents we’ll create a new palette.

And Here's How -

Her furniture was great, nice modern dark sage sofa, two red leather accent chairs, plenty of accent tables and lamps, nice dining room pieces. We repositioned the furniture into a cohesive arrangement, which cleared the path for color options.

Taking cues from her existing stuff, I created a new palette for her. With a flick of my wrist the fan deck unfurled. I chose a warm putty color as her overall hue to give her a harmonious back drop. She just installed some oak flooring, so a touch of herbal greens as secondary colors will fix the fire place mishap, be used as an accent wall color to define and balance the spaces. We'll incorporate pops of red and pink, from the chairs, existing art and use the pink, instead of fighting it – We’ll make it work.

- Main Color: Ben Moore, Abingdon Putty HC-99

- Fireplace Brick Color: Ben Moore, Hampshire Gray HC-101

- Dining Room Accent Wall: Ben Moore, Gloucester Sage HC-100

(The greens will play well with her new oak floors, existing oak trim and cabinet material. Green too is the compliment of red, making for a nice juxtaposition.)

We “shopped” her home and I made suggestions on what to hang where, what she needed to shop retail for and what needed to be repurposed and renewed (i.e. Lamp shades, etc…) She had some great art pieces with thread of reds that will be just the ticket to bringing all the colors together, allowing her to fall in love with her stuff all over again and giving her old stuff a new lease on life.

We chatted about a future reinvention her window treatments, keeping the sheer panels, but replacing the pinch pleat valance (Ugh..)  with some eye lifting cornice boards, furthering her decorating makeover.

She scribed her projects, and I put away my decks.  Is the case complete, nope, but, we’re done with the 1st step, and off to a good start. Once the place is painted, and shopping done, I’ll be back for the rest, so stay tuned…