Archive for August 2010

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…

Times of Change

Nothing lasts forever! Everything changes, with time being the factor of measurement. There is a common local slang that goes like “tumetoka mbali” (We’ve come from far). This is usually an ingredient whenever a current affair is compared with its not-so-long-ago antecedent. That the days are going faster in this age is a common connotation and this follows all the other aspects of days on the run!
Everything is in its own revolution these days, from the society to religion and everything else in between. Not one parent have I heard complain of ‘strange behavior’ by their children. The games have changed. The language of the young is totally poles apart with that of the old folk. Am reminded of the days past, not so long ago though, when the trunk phone was the most reliable form of remote communication! People would give ‘phone dates’, something like “I will give you a ring on Friday at 10am.” The recipient would then hover around the nearby (we are talking kilometers here) public telephone booth for as long as would take the caller to keep their word. Too bad if there was the characteristic long queue on weekends or worse still the other guy doesn’t call! Fast forward 2010, mobile phone explosion! Necessity for all and sundry.
But change is the meaning of life. It is the reason the sun comes up and goes down, the seasons change and the young lose their lithe! ‘Coming of age’ is usually a misnomer for a stationary point in the projectile of life. Soon the benefits of that day are eroded by those of the next and their memories quickly trashed to the decadence of epoch. The pride of today’s achievements is only a blindfold to reality of the gluttony of nature. The insatiable want for more. This is habitually obscured by the challenges of the times ahead.
The only thing to keep in mind is that only quitters can escape the reality of life, albeit momentarily and only fools regret for a day gone past because that is a closed case.

Click Here! For more tips on change and change management.

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The Second Initiation

So now the secondary schools are welcoming juniors, who have apparently been so senior in their earlier niche that their horns could no longer fit in the low bushes! And into another land so open that the same horns have to be hidden in the sand lest some "tools of routine maintenance" have to come to play!

Well done boys and girls! You must have really earned it - of course from a hard book-digging or deep pocket-digging! Anyhow, you are now into a new territory and this should sink to the deepest of your heads!

Below is a letter of advice that i received from a good friend when i was about to be in your situation and maybe it will be of use to some of you!

It went like....

Carrying a metal box, bucket and hockey stick (something you never saw until today and you'll never see thereafter - the latter goes for the bucket, only that it's loss is often more memorable!) is a precedent, a rite of passage in its own way! Needless to say that the usual "inmate barrier" at the end of the "show me this, go touch that circuit" is a precedent!

A wise first timer knows that talking is a reserve of a few and even when asked to, hesitation is in many ways the better choice! But wisdom comes with age and the first few weeks is far away from age in this world of iron and mud! One wrong statement and you're down a damn slippery stretch, the end of which is a pool of shit....drowning is inevitable!

Laughter is not an option, nothing is a joke if it faces you! Now, if laughter is strictly prohibited, try crying! This prompts a mandatory "apologetic call" to one's mother. Make a guess what the handset is....a boot size 10 fresh from the foot of a footballer's appendage, after two straight hours of marijuana-powered practising session!

Meals are officially mandatory, but missing them is also an option you'd consider inputting in your program or else it might crash! Your mellow-looking melamine plate might be the cause of appetite-loss, especially due to a lost tooth! That nice mug will only be a darling to your hands but might never kiss your lips in the foreseeable days!

You sure have strong bones and even stronger immunity after the longest holiday of your young life, don't expect to use that therapeutic matress and those cosy blankets. Someone will find you more appropriate beddings to check on the possibility of over-sleeping!

So your mother taught you how to wash clothes and iron them, thank her for this, your expertise will come in handy..not everyone washes their clothes...and everyone goes to class groomed (Apart from you if you liked the look of Mr. Principal!) And, oh, that new trouser fits better in someone else's buttocks! Yours can well stand the morning cold, not to mention it's still tender enough for the eyes, don't mind the peep holes!

There's much more i can talk to you here, but i think that too much of a thing is another thing! Just assimillate that and when you are'll get more elsewhere!

And that is how my letter read, and that is how it turned out to be!

Secret gift for my readers =====>Click Here!

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