B L O G
beautifying, loving, organizing & good things
for your home & life
for your home & life
... and how to correct them.
25. Using toilet rugs. Those ones that wrap around the toilet? Sorry, but they're not the best. FIX: It is better to use an area rug in the bath outside the shower or tub. Ahhh, that's better.
24. Too many photos displayed. Too much of a good thing can be too much. It's like wearing every single scarf, necklace and accessory all at the same time! FIX: display less, and rotate them every month. You’ll see them with new eyes and appreciate what is currently displayed.
23. Ignoring the foyer. FIX: The foyer should entice people to see the rest of the house. This introduces the theme of the entire home’s décor. Welcome your visitors with a little vignette of something charming.
22. Undressed cables. This relates to the mess of spaghetti that occurs with multiple TV and computer cables. FIX: Hide the unsightly cables and cords along the furniture legs wherever possible, and through cable management tools available at Ikea or with 3M Command Hooks (pictured).
21. Out of place theme rooms. For example, having a beach-side theme in a high desert home can feel out of place. It’s better to display shells in a basket, than designing an entire room that looks as if should be in Hawaii. (On that note, a trip to Hawaii sounds lovely right about now....)
20. Outdated cabinet hardware. For example, 1970’s cabinet hardware in the kitchen instead of up-to-date knobs. This is an easy way to update a kitchen for very little money. Try Amazon.
19. Lop-sided furniture arrangements. This relates to scale – having all heavy pieces on one side of the room makes it feel out of balance. Create flow so the eye travels up and down, around the room.
18. Keeping something you hate. What do you do with that gift or inherited piece that just is not you? Only live with what you love! FIX: Bless the unloved object sell it or donate it to your favorite worthy cause. (And no guilt.... your relationships are based on love, not things!)
17. Too formal. Is your living space is so formal that no one wants to enter? FIX: loosen up your décor a little. Make every room inviting and comfortable. Live in your living room! What a concept.
16. Uncomfortable dining chairs. Your chairs should be so comfortable that someone would be fine spending the rest of the evening sitting in them. FIX: Test the dining chairs before purchasing with the 'tush test'. To be really 'designer-like', switch up the styles (see #14).
15. Lack of a traffic pattern. Here’s a hint – if you have a party and people always rearrange certain pieces, they’re helping you create a better flow. FIX: rearrange and discover how much better your room can feel.
14. Everything is matchy - matchy. Do not feel obligated to purchase matching bedroom suites, all matching living room suites or even matching dining suites for that matter! FIX: Well-designed rooms have a mix of furniture. If you already have a matching set, break it up. Move a living room side table into the bedroom as a nightstand, and vice versa. Isn't that fun? A whole new look for $0.
13. Following fads to a fault. FIX: If you like a particular fad, acknowledge the fad in a small accessory (i.e. throw pillow) or a paint color to invigorate your room. Don’t go overboard and buy everything new, chasing the latest trend. It's easy to repaint, or replace a small pillow when the trend passes. And it will pass.
12. Furniture that doesn’t fit. Measure, measure, measure before buying new furniture. Make sure it is proportional to the space. Learn from my own mistakes. Measure twice, buy once.
11. Too many patterns. Use Alana’s trick to mix the fabrics for fool-proof, pulled-together rooms. Big print... little print... geometric... stripe and a texture. Works every time.
10. Floating rugs. Small rugs should not float by themselves in the middle of the room. FIX: Anchor the furniture grouping with a larger size rug, with each piece of furniture having at least the front legs on the rug. When in doubt, go a little bigger than you think necessary. You’ll be glad you did.
9. Improper lighting. A common problem is not enough reading lights and only relying on overhead lighting. FIX: Incorporate all three levels of lighting: ambient, task and accent.
8. Frames hung too high. Artwork should be hung at your eye level. Are you a different height than your sweetie? Hang the artwork halfway between your eye level and his eye level. Problem solved.
7. Tacky couch covers. If you need a slipcover, get one tailor made for your piece. It's worth every penny.
6. Pushed back furniture. Like awkward pre-teens at a dance, hugging the walls hoping to join the fun, your furniture does not belong against the walls either. FIX: Bring the furniture into the middle of the room and create conversational clusters. So much more interesting and inviting. Whether your room is small or massive, pull the furniture in from the walls. No wallflowers allowed.
5. Too many pillows. Yes, we love pillows but let’s be sensible too. We have to sit on the sofa! After years of a plethora of pillows, I finally recognized too much is well, just too much. FIX: Exercise restraint, ladies. (Yes, ladies. Every time we entertained, the men would remove my sofa's extra pillows. It was a hint.) Additionally, if you take 30 minutes to remove your bed's pillow before retiring, it's a hint that you need to edit as well. Less is more. I can't believe I'm finally admitting that.
4. Fear of color. Paint is the least expensive way to dramatically transform any room. It’s just paint! Go ahead – try some color!
3. Knick-knack overload on tables, and in rooms. FIX: Remember, it’s easy if it’s odd – rule of 3, 5, or 7 on a table. Group like with like and you'll appreciate your treasures. Rotate the displayed treasures every month and it'll always feel fresh.
2. Ignoring windows. Highlight your windows, and consider drama drapes. While we're talking windows, wash them, and let there be light.
1. Fake flowers and plants. Still have silk plants or plastic fruit? (Yes, I have seen them in your homes.) FIX: Use real plants, or a beautiful bowl of fresh fruit instead. Every room can benefit from a touch of organic (geode, woven basket, twigs in a vase, etc.). Give your rooms some life…. Use the real thing wherever possible. Mother Nature's bounty is the best interior accessory.
No matter your "mistake", it's easily correctable. Happy Decorating!
True confession: I am not the world's greatest cook. The best thing I make is reservations. Over the years dear friends have encouraged me by giving me cookbooks, sending me to cooking classes, and so forth. In fact, one year several women got together and made me a book of all their favorite recipes. They’re so thoughtful – but I still really didn’t enjoy the process of cooking. Then one year I was throwing a baby shower, and the caterer fell through at the last minute. That morning I knew enough to put together the basic food that tasted good, but I was stressing out over it. A friend helping me said, “You’re creative. Don’t think of cooking – think of creating.” In that moment a light bulb went on – suddenly I looked at this process of putting together the food with new eyes. I actually enjoyed placing the food on the platters and arranging them just ‘so’.
The very same principle applies when decorating your home.
For me, it's cooking. For you it may be decorating.
Sometimes when I go into a home for a color consultation and pull out my paint decks, I see fear in people’s eyes. Or if I’m accompanying a client when they’re choosing their sofa fabric, they have the same panicked look I used to get when thinking about cooking.
But if you think of CREATING a beautiful space – color, accessories, fabrics – then it becomes a truly enjoyable experience. Enjoy the pleasure of choosing a fabric that speaks to your heart. If your favorite place on earth is France, then choose a throw pillow that evokes those memories. If you are a sensual person, get high thread count sheets so every morning you’re greeted with the luxurious feeling that delights you. Enjoy the creative process of setting the table with colorful dishes that delight your eye, and have fun with mixing and matching the table linens. Now that's really fun.
Alexandra Stoddard is a contemporary philosopher, author and interior designer. She is the author of several of my favorite books, such as Living a Beautiful Life. She wisely said, “Don’t think of decorating. Think of Creating.” So true! Just as some of you love the creative process of cooking a fabulous meal, you can enjoy the creative process of pulling together your home's decor.
You'll have to excuse me. We have dinner reservations.
Where do you spend vs. where you do you save when it comes to home improvement?
A smart homeowner knows where to spend their money and where to save. If there's a chance you'll be selling your house any time in the future, it's good to know what features / home improvements are most desirable among homeowners today.
Zillow Digs analyzed the sales of over 2.8 million homes across the U.S. and determined which key features were most desirable in homes, and how they affected the selling prices around the country. Interested? We were too. Read on...
BARN DOORS. You've seen them in all the HGTV shows. Sliding barn doors in the kitchen, to the pantry, over the master closet - barn doors are everywhere. According to the report homes that had "Barn Door" in the listing sold for average 13.4% more than expected and a whopping 57 days faster. Where was the most common metro for barn doors? You may be thinking somewhere in TX, but no - it's Phoenix! (Sorry, Chip & Joanna Gaines) We believe this trend will fade, but for now, it's trending. Spend on Barn Doors if you're selling your home within the next year or so.
HEART OF THE HOME: let's talk about kitchens. What do buyers want today?
SHAKER CABINETS. Cabinet styles come and go, but if you are thinking about redoing your cabinets, it's interesting to note that listings with "shaker cabinets" sold 9% above expected, and 45 days faster. If you've ever seen HGTV's Flip or Flop, they use shaker cabinets all the time. (Which makes sense, because the most common metro with shaker cabinets is Los Angeles, CA.) SAVE on those high end custom cabinets that are very taste-specific. Yes, you may love the sleek industrial look, but buyers aren't so keen on that, so save your money. SPEND your money on classic cabinets, like shakers.
SUBWAY TILE and FARMHOUSE SINKS were also features more desirable than their counterparts. Homes listing "subway tiles" were sold for 7% more than expected and a whopping 63 days faster. If you're thinking about an elaborate, taste-specific tile, think again if there's ever a chance you'll sell. Listings with "farmhouse sink" sold for 8% more. Last but not least, QUARTZ and GRANITE were highly desirable. Quartz saw a 6% sales premium, and Granite gave a 4% boost. If you have tired tiled counters or worse yet, Formica, consider swapping out to quartz or granite. SAVE your money on heavily patterned, wild granite countertops. You may love it, but chances are the next buyer won't be as enamored. Stick with a classic, timeless look.
Why does it matter?
According to the latest census records, we will move an average of 11.7 times in our lifetime! Even if you stay in the same vicinity, chances are you will be selling your home at some point.
If there is a possibility of you selling your home, knowing what features are most appealing to the widest number of buyers is important. For more see the full Zillow Digs report.
Hmmm, what are you going to do with all that money you've saved?