From the category archives:

blog

Easy. Breezy. Fun. Functional.

For most of my clients, the kitchen is the heart of their home. That means it gets a lot of attention and is also subject to wear and tear.

While a complete kitchen makeover can be time-consuming and costly, there are so many simple and inexpensive ways to update this space.  Here are some of my favorites.

1. Dress up counter space.  From cute canisters to classic or funky trays, it’s amazing how far a little accessorizing will go. It’s easy and affordable to infuse color, personality, and even a bit of playfulness into your space while adding functionality, too. And for you trendsetters and commitment-phobes, accessories allow you to try out new colors or themes and switch them out as your tastes change.

owl.jpg

Photo Source: Simple Stylings

2. Give cabinets a face lift.  Simply swapping out cabinet hardware delivers big impact with minimal cost and effort. Whether you want to go classic, retro, or modern, there’s a knob or pull to match. Once you identify the look you want, shopping online may deliver more cost-savings than you will find in a store.hardware resize

Photo Source: Aesthetedesigns.com

3. See the writing on the wall.  With a simple decal or a couple coats of chalkboard paint, you can alter a wall or corner of your kitchen in many fun and functional ways. Little ones have a place to doodle while you prep and cook. Siblings or friends can pick up a game of tic tac toe or hangman. And you get a convenient spot to draw up a menu plan or grocery list. (Tip: Snap a photo of the list with your phone before you head out to the store.)

  chalkboard panel 2.jpg

Photo Source: Cape27blog

4. Create a feature wall.  Paint, wallpaper, or artful presentation of everyday staples are all fair game for adding interest or drama to the kitchen. Always loved chartreuse but feared the obnoxious factor when it comes to interior design? Here’s your chance. Do it. Go.

Photo Source: Houzz

If wallpaper feels like too much of a long-term commitment, consider one of many great self-adhesive options.

Photo Source: Home Stories A to Z

5. Brighten up cabinet interiors.  I just love the effect of this easy update, especially with glass or door-less cabinets. Don’t be shy with color or pattern! If your cabinets aren’t exposed for all to see, you can be even more daring or creative, and be sure to get a little lift every time you reach inside for a bowl.

   gray wallpaper.jpg

Photo Source: A Lo And Behold Life

Photo Source: A Beautiful Mess

6. Transform the kitchen table.  Seriously, how fun is a turquoise kitchen table? With a little elbow grease and a can of paint, you can transform almost any ordinary kitchen table into a focal point. Make dinnertime extra special.

Photo Source: Rooms Interior Design

7. Don’t forget the floor!  Whether it’s a well-positioned rug, a coat of paint, or something in between, sprucing up floor space is a subtle yet powerful way to add warmth, color, and style. Check out FLOR carpet tiles for great styles with size and shape flexibility. As a bonus, they don’t slip and are super easy to clean!

Photo Source: Dream Home DIY

patterned floor.jpg

Photo Source: Houzz

I use a lot of these updates regularly with my clients and even I am feeling inspired! So what are you waiting for? Try one (or two) of these ideas and come on back to brag about the results.

The post above is a copy of the article I wrote for the online publication of Seattle’s Child, where I publish bi-weekly articles on home organization. To see a complete list of all past articles, please visit the Reclaim Your Home section on Seattle’s Child. See this article on the Seattle’s Child website here

{ 0 comments }

Have you been to my online store yet?  There you’ll find a curated collection of furniture, lighting and accent pieces hand-selected by me.  Below are a few of my favorite pieces available now: 092314 Top Shop v4   1. Mirabella Traditional Mirror, 2. Pardo Hendricks Transitional Foyer Light, 3. Aurelius Pillow, 4. Whisper Traditional Table Lamp, 5. Premak Infused Teak Wood Side Table, 6. Mira Contemporary Chalk Stripe Hand Tufted Wool Rug 

{ 0 comments }

It’s Friday, which makes me very happy.  And so do these unique furniture finds.  Each has a distinct, eye-catching element. Which one is your favorite?

1. Look at this cool chair-table-bench combo! This one piece is a great use of your space, as you can adjust it to meet your need by simply rotating the bench segments.

bench

2. This modern furniture set fits together like a jigsaw puzzle, and turns into a tower when you need a little more floor space.

seating set

3. Talk about a statement piece!  The natural wood combined with the clear glass “river” in this table looks both elegant and modern. The design is inspired by the gorgeous surroundings of the Pacific Northwest. 

Table

4. Safe to say, this is a step up your typical folding table.  I love the sleek, intricate design.

table 2

5. Finally, how cool is this coffee table?  Simply slide out the layers to customize the table based on your surface space needs or design style.

Coffee Table

{ 0 comments }

Buying a new sofa is a pretty big deal for most of us. As one of the larger pieces of furniture in a room, you want to get the look just right. Comfort, durability, and cost are major considerations, too.

Here are the 6 main things to consider BEFORE you head out sofa shopping to keep “options overwhelm” at bay and ensure a winning purchase.

1. Size and Shape
Size and shape will likely be the greatest determining factors in your sofa purchase. What is the size and layout of the room? What other seating options are available? Will the sofa be used for family movie night, entertaining, or quiet solo reading time?

As for shape, sofa vs. sectional is the great debate. Sectionals can really do a great job filling space, especially when lounging is the name of the game. The downside is that sectionals usually have to stay put in a specific place. Sofas typically offer more flexibility and can be easily moved around a room.

Great bi-sectionals like this one, with a chaise that adapts to left or right, are hot right now.
JaneBi-Sectional.jpg
Photo Source:  Gus Modern

To help you get clear on the dimensions that will really work with your space, play around with a mock-up using empty boxes or painter’s tape.

TapeOut.jpg
Photo source: Thrifty Decor Chick

2. Placement
Maybe your room only allows one spot to put your sofa. Or maybe you’re just used to seeing things as they are. Step back, take in the totality of the space, and revisit how you plan to use the sofa. Putting it in a place most conducive to your intended use will ensure the feeling and flow overall.

If your sofa is the spot where the family collects for movie night, you definitely want clear lines to the TV. But if your intent is for entertainment and engaged conversation, consider opposing, unmatched sofas.

talking sofa.jpg
Photo source: Houzz – ABCD Design

Make sure you consider placement of accessory furniture, such as side or coffee tables for putting beverages, snacks, or books within easy reach. Diagonal placement of sofas looks interesting and can really open up a smaller space.


Photo source: Houzz – Sara Eizen

3. Style
So now that you have your space and function squared away, it’s time to think about the style of the sofa itself. Casual and comfy? Sleek and streamlined? Vintage? Modern? I say go for a look you love and that augments the style of your home, even if it’s not necessarily a match. There is absolutely nothing wrong with mixing modern with antique if the overall aesthetic is a hit.

Another consideration is the style of the sofa back. A loose back, with cushions and pillows that can be removed (great for fort building!) is usually best in a casual space where slouching is encouraged. A tight back, which is integrated with the sofa, is usually best in a living room where you may want a more formal look and feel (or for type-A personalities who don’t want to deal with fluffing sofa cushions into shape all day!)

SofaBacks.jpg
Photo source: Sara Eizen

4. Upholstery
If you have little ones at home, I recommend synthetic fabric, which is easy to clean and withstands the test of time busy feet and hands. Many companies are now offering amazing outdoor fabrics (see below) which look and feel like regular upholstery fabric but better resist stains and fading. Leather is durable and looks great, just know that pillows and throws tend to slip and slide. Unless your sofa is in a low-use zone or just for looks, avoid fancy satin, brocade, and damask.


Photo Source: Pulliam Morris Interiors

5. Color
To print or not to print, that is the question. A sofa is typically an investment so you want to choose one that will fit your family and lifestyle for years to come. That’s why I usually advise  going with a fairly neutral fabric and adding color, texture, and finesse with pillows and throws.

(Designer tip: Ask for a fabric swatch to take home before you buy. Check it out under different lighting in the room and see how it goes with other furniture that will be sharing the space.)

FabricSofaSwatch.JPG
Photo source: First House Living

6. Quality
I’m the first to admit that it’s hard to resist a good buy. But if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. The last thing you want to do is repeat this sofa shopping process all over again when your “screaming deal” falls apart too soon.

A quality sofa is solid with a bit of weight. Do the flop test. Examine the cushions and frame. Frames made of kiln-dried hardwood (alder, birch, maple or oak, or a good, high-quality plywood) will last longer because the process of kiln drying removes all moisture from the wood, enabling it to retain its shape and stability over a long period of time.. Also look for joints that are double doweled and fitted with corner blocks that are glued and screwed, not stapled, into place.

As for cushions, you’ll do best with as dense a foam as you can find. Foam coupled with batting and/or down is ideal. If you get down to the springs, eight-way, hand-tied springs are top notch while S-shaped springs are just as comfortable at less cost. Drop-in coil springs are a less expensive alternative.

Inside.jpg
Photo source: Smith Brothers Furniture

Shopping for a sofa may not be the easiest or most exciting task on your weekend to-do list, but I hope these guidelines will get you started. And just think, with football season and cozy holidays just around the corner, the payoff for making a smart sofa purchase will be huge.

The post above is a copy of the article I wrote for the online publication of Seattle’s Child, where I publish bi-weekly articles on home organization. To see a complete list of all past articles, please visit the Reclaim Your Home section on Seattle’s Child. See this article on the Seattle’s Child website here

{ 0 comments }