It seems to be the rule, in most cases, that ceilings are painted white.
Perhaps it’s because a white ceiling gives the illusion of a bigger and brighter space.
While there’s nothing wrong with this, you might be missing  out on what could be beautiful design by doing something different.
Think of your ceiling as the 5th wall. It deserves as much attention as you give all of the other aspects of your interior design.
Take a look at these photos for some exciting ways to take your ceilings from white to wow.

Soft and sophisticated, this monochromatic look is really beautiful. Try to imagine how different the feel would be if the ceiling were painted white.

The mocha shade on the ceiling is also used on the molding giving a cohesive look.

This is a great way to treat a tray ceiling. The green stripe is a bit lighter than the wall color, giving the room a soft , overall impression.
A favorite technique of mine that gives the feeling of a canopy bed. The molding is applied up the wall at the head of the bed and continues along the ceiling to the foot of the bed. The paint applied to this area is a high gloss creating a beautiful sheen. Remember, however, when using a high gloss finish, the walls/ceiling need to be flawlessly smooth.
Small rooms don’t need to be painted a white or lighter color as seen here. The darker walls and ceiling give the space a cozy feel.
The soft blue of the ceiling is brought into the furniture and accessories giving this beautiful room a light and airy feeling. As in photo # 2, the color extends onto the top of the walls.
Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around

If you’re like me, they stay in my phone. Then if I want to share one or print it out, I have to thumb back until I find it which can take time and too much patience.

I just ran across a product called Little Black Book and it’s a wonderful way to capture all of those special moments into a high quality, inexpensive photo book. Their website is www.artisanstate.com/photo-book/little-black-book.html
Take a look and see what you think.
Little Black Book
Flush Mount
I’m thinking of what wonderful gifts these little photo books would make.
Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
Most of us live in rooms that are to some degree, at least, eclectically designed.
This means that our home is not cookie cutter (buying an entire room from a showroom floor for example). It’s not impersonal. We mix old and new, heritage and modern, collected and casual.
The goal with an eclectic design style is to tell the story of our journey which is the best interior design. It shows our personality and gives a visual history of our life and family.
But pulling it all together so it doesn’t look like a hodge-podge can be a challenge.
For this week’s article, I’m sharing the words of LISA FREDERICK, a Houzz Contributor. She gives some excellent advice on how to make the eclectic style of interior design work successfully. You most likely won’t love every photo and that’s O.K. The design principles are sound and will help make sure that you won’t trip over the line between contrast and chaos.
What’s your take on eclectic style? Let me know in the comments.
Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
Most women tend to stick with the tried and true when It comes to decorating their home and there’s nothing wrong with that.
But sometimes do you get an itch to try something that’s totally out-of-the-box?
Maybe, there lies within that secret part of yourself, an urge to break out a little and express another facet of your personality that you’ve hidden.
That’s the fun of decorating— giving yourself permission to dare to be different from the norm.
Always decorate with what YOU love. If a piece or design element is unexpected, so much the better. Because it represents who you are and that’s essential to making a home authentically your own.
Here are some examples of how to do that (from HOUZZ):

PLAY WITH SCALE

At first glance, you may be surprised by the size of the flower arrangement. But they become a focal point. You only want one thing in a room that is over-sized and that one thing could also be a lamp or a piece of art.

ASYMMETRY

If this shelving arrangement makes you feel off-balanced, don’t even try it. If, on the other hand it wouldn’t—why not?
3-D WALL DISPLAYS
In this photo, the owner wanted to display a collection of radios and in the following picture, an article of clothing that had special meaning is artfully hung on the wall.
Why not display something personal that might  otherwise be stuck in a closet or drawer. You then receive pleasure each time you look at it; It’s part of your unique story.

QUIRKY WALLPAPER

Why not if you love it. This paper shows Bond Girls, but it could be anything that speaks to you, even if it’s not considered the norm.
MIX UP DESIGN STYLE
For this traditionally designed room, the owner chose a funky piece of artwork to hang above the fireplace. Again the unexpected, which is what adds zest to a space because it’s unpredictable.

THE 6TH WALL

Instead of the usual white ceiling, why not treat it differently? In this photo, the owner used tin tiles. The white walls, flooring, and the window wall insures, the dark ceiling is not oppressive.
There you have it. Just a few ideas that may spark some out-of-the-box design concepts for your your home. In the end, the only person/persons you need to please is yourself and any others who share your spaces.
Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
Having a window wall is a definite plus. It lets a lot of natural light into a room and it’s especially terrific if it looks out onto a lovely view.
But it can also be a source of frustration if you’re not sure how to use the space underneath the windows. By not wasting this area, you gain a lot of the room’s functionality. Is there ever too much space? One TIP is if the room receives a lot of sun, consider using solar shades. They can be mounted from the ceiling and will protect not only your eyes, but carpets and furnishings as well.
Take a look at these photos for some good ideas from HOUZZ.
The shelves are perfect for extra storage and also hides the radiator on the far right. while allowing for sufficient air flow. This design is great for a kid’s room.
Perfect space for a desk, particularly in a smaller home where there isn’t room for a designated office.
A large daybed with storage drawers underneath. Wouldn’t you feel like a cat dozing in the sunshine on this bed?
Another daybed that’s narrower than the previous photo and fits perfectly with the frameless window. It takes advantage of extra storage space underneath as well.
A low bookcase fills this space beautifully and it’s as sleek-looking as the home’s architecture.
A built-in dresser which saves space and also deals with a not so attractive radiator.
Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Nancy
Dedicated to helping YOU live your rooms—not the OTHER way around
For those of us who live in the Seattle area or anywhere in the Pacific Northwest, the Sunday our team, the Seattle Seahawks, won the AFC Championship was a day and a game we’ll never forget. It was literally won in the last few minutes and an absolute nailbiter
You don’t have to be young and/or male to get caught up in the frenzy either. My best friend’s 95-year-old- mother watched the game and had to take a Xanax after the game was over!
So now it’s on to the Super Bowl.
In the United States, Super Bowl Sunday is celebrated like it was a national holiday.
It’s the sense of community and getting together with friends and family; it’s about food, most of it not good for us, and drinks.
If you’re hosting a Super Bowl party, here are some items you can order from Houzz that can make your celebrating more fun, easier, and score your own touchdown.
P.S. Be sure to try the Guacamole recipe. I tried it and it’s delicious
P.P.S Go Hawks!!!
Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Nancy
Dedicated to helping YOU live your rooms—not the OTHER way around
Color is magical and powerful.
It can transform a space because color affects us emotionally, mentally, and physically.
Imagine for a moment being surrounded in a Pepto Bismol pink painted room vs. a space colored in a soft, barely blush pink; you can feel your pulse rate rising and following respectively.
What we see, in our current state of evolution, is the primary source for all of our experiences.
And color is something we see. Amazingly, the human eye can distinguish between 7 and 10 million different colors!
For this article, I want to show you a few examples of colors that soothe the soul. Not surprisingly, they are colors found in nature.
They are all Sherwin Williams paint colors. via Huff Post Home
Soft Blues Soft Blues
Gray Blues Gray Blues
Aqua Blues Aqua Blues
Pale Greens Pale Greens
Dusty Pinks Dusty Pinks
Lavenders Lavenders
Beiges Beiges
Pale Grays Pale Grays
These hues slow down heart rate and lower blood pressure because they are calming. They’re all soft and less saturated. They are dustier and have been “greyed” down.
The colors you see here are going to be a little different from what you’ll see on your walls at home, so be sure to try an actual sample first.
And, as always, it has to be a color that you love or it won’t have the calming, soothing influence you desire.
Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Nancy
Dedicated to helping YOU live your rooms—not the OTHER way around

Marsala - Pantone Color of the year 2015

Sensual and bold, delicious Marsala is a daringly inviting tone that nurtures; exuding confidence and stability while feeding the body, mind and soul “. This are the worlds on Pantone‘s website when you read abou this wonderful new color.

Every year the Pantone Color Institute chooses one color that they define as their “color of the Year.”
It shows up in fashion, cosmetics, paint, fabrics, home accessories, floral arrangements—almost everywhere.
The 2015 hue is called “Marsala.” It’s a red shade with brown undertones that create a very warm and rich color that blends well with many other colors. It’s easy on the eye.
BUT, and this is the most important question, is it easy on YOUR eyes?
Color choices are generally chosen on an emotional level. Some colors we love, some we hate, and still others we feel neutral about. No matter what colors you choose whether it’s your clothing, makeup, or in your home, it has to be one you love; it makes you feel good.
As I always say, you’re your very own trendsetter. You decide and that makes it the perfect color for you.  Take a look at these photos and see how many ways “Marsala” has been used. You could decide you’d like to add it to your own decor.
An entry way with a richer paint color and added accessories placed on a custom designed marble and burnished metal shelf.P.S. I used this color on an entrance hall wall for a client several years ago and called it “Root Beer.” Today it would be called “Marsala!
Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Nancy
Dedicated to helping YOU live your rooms—not the OTHER way around
Photos credit via KOMET
clutterYou’ve packed away the holiday decorations for yet another year. Wrapping paper, rripped boxes, and torn ribbons have made their way to the re-cycle bin. Guests and relatives have returned home and a certain quietude returns.
An emotional let-down can also happen at this time. Your home seems somehow empty without the glitter and lights you so enjoyed over these last weeks. Sort of like blowing out candles; the light is diminished. Maybe this year another focus is called for.
Instead of waiting for Spring cleaning, maybe this is the perfect time to do it. You’ve already started by doing your holiday clean-up.
Following are words from SALLY AUGUSTIN, Ph.D (sallyaugustin@tdesign withscience.com). They’re from an article she wrote for PSYCHOLOGY TODAY. She speaks of clutter in a deeper and different way:
“We continually accumulate stuff. Stuff isn’t trash, it’s torn out magazine articles set aside to read later, gifts that haven’t quite made their way to their final resting place, and cozy nests created to fight off the winter chill—in a word, it’s clutter.
Clutter is mentally exhausting. In our less developed prehistory,, we needed to continually survey our environment to make sure that nothing that found us appetizing was approaching. It’s easier to review a less cluttered environment; danger stands out more clearly. That survey behavior from long ago is probably at least one of the reasons that we prefer less complex wallpaper today. Each time we review a space, our eyes linger on each item there so clutter is also stressful because it takes us longer to complete an “environmental sweep.”
Clutter is undesirable for another major reason. We use the design of spaces we control and the objects we place in those spaces to communicate to ourselves and others who we feel we are—at least on our good days.
We are very good at reading our own environments and those of others—research has shown, for example, that we can pretty accurately assess a person through a quick review of places they control. We can even estimate how well a space could communicate who we are—that’s why we can take a couple of steps into  a perspective home and decide if it’s the space for us.
Excess objects and disorder can cloud the message sent by a space. Not clearly presenting ourselves through a space we control causes stress. Imagine that the spaces we control are topiary plants—they always need to be trimmed so people can determine the story we’re telling.”
So what do you think? Couldn’t this be a great way to start the New Year? You’ll have your Spring cleaning done well ahead of time. Best of all, you’ll feel really good about your home and yourself.
Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Nancy
Dedicated to helping YOU live your rooms—not the OTHER way around
For Tips on De-cluttering Your Home Room-By-Room, check out these articles:
How often have you said, “I don’t have a moment to myself, or, “I can’t even hear myself think.”
All of us, too many times to count, have uttered these words. Instead of taking slow, deep, healthy breaths, we take quick, shallow ones which only heighten anxiety, stress, and tiredness.
We live in a world that doesn’t easily allow us time for self-reflection and it’s precisely because of these worldly demands that we need to re-connect with who we are at our core. This kind of time-out is how we can stay balanced and feel that we’re on firm-footing and feel some sense of control over our lives.
You can create a special place in your home that allows you to just be in the moment. You might have a room that isn’t being used that well, or even a corner of a room. It could be a space that you combine with doing yoga.
  • It doesn’t take much to mindfully design your sacred space. Here’s what you need:
  • Gentle soothing colors
  • Soft lighting
  • A low table that contains items that “speak” to you and feel good to the touch, that provoke wonderful memories.
  • Add candles and scents that you love.
  • If you like music, make sure it has no words as lyrics can provoke distracting thoughts.
  • Above all else, no clutter.
It might be only five minutes or an hour that you spend in your private place, but while there, you will find yourself almost automatically taking deep breaths and most likely, lower your blood pressure because you’ve created a quiet space that allows you to sit, quiet your mind, and “just be.”
Take a look at these photos (HuffPost) for some ideas that can inspire you to create your own stress-free place.

A classic meditation room where stress is left outside of the door.

Any time you can connect to nature, guarantees feeling peaceful.

A simple corner of the room can provide a sanctuary.

This room defines Asian design in its simplicity.

Might you have a small extra bedroom that you could convert into your special place?

Another Asian design that would definitely be considered a Zen space. The warm wood, soft lighting, shoji screens, and utter lack of ornamentation are serenely beautiful.

Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
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