Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Decorating for the holidays (inexpensively)

It is that time of year to start preparing for the holidays.  We have lists to make, meals to consider, cookies to bake, arrangements for visiting families, gifts to make, gifts to purchase, people to visit, events to attend, and finally get our homes in order via decorating and organizing.  Where do we begin? If you are like me, you will not feel ready to begin the craziness in the least until your home is decorated and organized first.  After knowing that is accomplished, I can start on the lists!
On a tight budget, there are many ways to give your home the freshly re-decorated look.  First assess each room that you want to freshen up. Starting with your family room, take out "seasonal" items such as pillows, throws, light window treatments (sheers, valances, panles) that feel summery.  Then change some of your furniture around.  Move chairs, tables, and lamps to a diiferent spot.  Take out unnecessary items like toys, old candles, stacks of books, papers, baskets, small chairs, and scale down on the number of family photos/pictures.  If you need to wipe down the moulding from hand prints and clean the windows, do so!  Once you have a fresh "pallette", then decorate with things like a couple of new seasonal pillows, slipcovers over the sofa and chairs, new valances or panels, a fresh warm throw to display over the sofa, new fragrant candles, and possibly new lamp shades.  If you have time to paint one accent wall, you will give the room a whole new look!

Monday, October 24, 2011

"New for Buffalo: A superiority complex"

Buffalonians, you should be proud of the beautiful city you have!!  Last week the National Historic Preservation Council held it's conference here and what a review they gave us!  I am so excited to express what I have known for so long,  we have beautiful architecture, theater, homes, restaurants, parks, waterfornt, etc.   I could go on and on but please read the article from our Buffalo News entitled:  "New for Buffalo: A superiority complex" (instead of "inferiority").   http://www.buffalonews.com/topics/preservation/article604173.ece  My husband and myself did the Museums by Moonlight Tour last Thursday evening.  As we stood in line to enter the Richardson Complex (the "Psych Center" as we know it), the rain was like a monsoon but it didn't seem to deter the many people who commented on how surprised they were at our city and said that they will have to come back and do the things they couldn't possibly have time to do in one week! At least they didn't comment on our snow ;)  Enjoy the article and be proud!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

So you think you can decorate?!

Boring Kitchen

In my career of over 14 years experience in the design/decorating field in Buffalo, I have had the priviledge of entering many, many homes to guide people with their design dilemmas.  First, let me tell you that for the most part, people generally have a good sense of furniture placement and organization.  After that it goes stale.
Yes, you paint and buy new accessories but somehow it all seems to be so blah.  Your furniture is boring (and possibly the wrong size or set up for the room), the paint colors you chose are just not right and your window treatments are hung improperly so they look like wet towels slung over a wash line.  Sometimes you wish that your house could look like the ones on HGTV or in magazines, right?   Well, the homes on t.v. and in magazines are professionally decorated and professionally lighted.  Not to mention that the accessories are usually purchased through someone who has access to everything at a trade price and an avenue of endless supply.  Unless you can devote many hours to scouring the internet, perusing magazines, and gallons of gas finding the right thing for that problem area, chances are you will buy something that everyone else has and now your home looks cookie cutter.
If you have an eye for design and decorating, you are one of the lucky ones!  There are not a lot of people who have the vision to see the space totally restructured or re-decorated.  Some people can't even visualize a different fabric on a piece of furniture or the way the furniture arrangement can be changed to make the space more appealing.  If you know this about yourself, hire a professional and feel better about your space.
For those of you who like to keep things fresh and are willing to refinish or reuse an object to change it up, good luck and keep the creativity going!  Never be afraid of color and never be afraid to ask a professional either! ;)
Poorly arranged

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Summer White Decorating

When living in Buffalo, we only have so many months that we can call "Summer".  So change it up for a small amount of time and money and decorate with the brightness of white!
White is an ideal color for a small space. The monochromatic palette opens up the room and bounces light throughout, visually expanding the perceived space. In a small nook, the contrast of textures -- chenille fabric, light airy drapes, and sparkling crystal -- pleases the eye. The beauty of decorating with white is that it changes shade as the light changes. A sun-bleached palette can become a warm and cozy ivory in the evening when lights are turned on.
Don't be afraid to get out the paintbrush. Any piece of furniture with a dark finish can be transformed with a few layers of paint and a bit of sanding that gives it a distressed look, will suit an all-white bedroom. Layer different shades of white to provide more texture and a sense of age to a room. Even an old metal chandelier can find new life thanks to white paint.
Keep color to a bare minimum to bring furnishings of all eras and influences together with style. Creamy whites and taupe unify collected furnishings.
Slipcovers in white are easy on the eye and can be bleached when washed in case junior or fido makes an ice cream mess!
Use color as an accent and never be afraid of it!!


Friday, June 17, 2011

Need a Home Inspection??

Whether you are buying OR selling, it is almost a must to hire a home inspector.  Check out http://contemporary-estates.com/  Click on the link Services to see the list of 11 things you need to know to pass your home inspection.  Be informed, then give a call to set up your appointment!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Looking for furniture?

FWS in Buffalo, Orchard Park, and Williamsville has just listed new closeouts in their furniture section!  Closeout quantities are limited

Friday, May 20, 2011

This is the bathroom I want to be in!!!

"LIFE WITH A TWIST"!  the new Kohler Tresham Collection~ Classic Americana with a little modern eclectic sensibility.  http://www.kohler.com/tresham/

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Before and After Bathroom!

Bathroom before...

Bathroom after...

Better use of space, new shower with seat, and the color is invigorating to wake up to!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Dreary days but bloomin' everywhere!

Oh My! More rain and more in the forecast.  But, look around...everything is so colorful, lush, and beautiful!  The grass is loving the moisture and so are the flowers and budding ornamental trees.  I have many Robins wandering around and happily chirping busying themselves on making nests. (My cats are going crazy through the windows watching!)  Soon people will be planting all of their Memorial day flowers and getting ready for vegetable beds.  The rain will soon subside and the humans will once again emerge with even more ideas on how to surround ourselves with the loveliness of outdoor living.


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Ready for Porch Living?

I don't know about you, but most of my Summer is spent on my screened porch.  The sounds of mowers, kids playing, and the crickets at night are so soothing.  Warm breezes and late grilled dinners are enjoyed as well as friends and bottles of wine.  Make any porch space you have into a special retreat with comfy chairs, a candle or two and a throw rug for all of the comforts of your outdoor living room!  You don't need anything extravagant, just enjoy the smells and the sounds!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Dreary weather and a food hangover! Can someone stop this madness???

WARNING!  What you are about to read may cause the doldrums!
How many days can one endure grey, rainy, dreary weather, and NOT want to indulge in the comfort of familiar, mouth watering, comfort food!?  Has this been days, weeks, or months since the sunshine has been here?  For those of you who are of the creative persuasion, you understand that you can not possibly be on top of your game for so many people for so many days without a little inspiration from the sunshine and its warmth. Right??  So, when I need inspiration and it does not come, what happens?  I tend to draw toward comforts that temporarily satisfy my searching, aching for creativity, soul.  One word...Food.  It does not help that brunch was full of wonderful tasting comfort food with family and alcohol (mimosas to be exact!) yesterday.  So, here I sit, waiting for creativity to strike and my body screaming at me that I have ingested too much comfort and not enough action.  Do I want to do something about this?  Not really.  It is Monday and dreary with rain predicted for the next 4 days and I am in a creative slump.  AAAGGGHHHH.  Any words of advice dear friends?  My brain is in need of refreshing.