As a lover of beauty in all of its many forms, I don’t find myself delving into the political world often.
In fact, I stay out of it as much as possible.
However, this year it’s impossible to ignore.
The rancor and divisive political rhetoric has made it so—more than any other presidential campaign in my lifetime and maybe ever.
It has created a malaise and underlying, ongoing anxiety that is shared by millions of Americans.
At the same time, I’m reminded even more of how the warmth and comfort of our home can sustain us in troubled times.
Our safe place where we surround ourselves with friends, family, and all of what makes a house into a home.
This week, I’ve decided to add a little levity to my article and invite you to take a quiz from Houzz.
It’s quick and FUN.
And you may discover another aspect of your design style that you weren’t aware of and might want to add into your home!
P.S. As I write this, there are 26 days until election night. Praise the Lord!!
Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
If you look at a white color chip, you’ll most likely describe the color as white. Easy.
Now look at a collection of white colors and it’s a different story. None of them will look exactly the same. You’ll see subtle differences.
The fact is there are hundreds of different white hues all having slightly different undertones.
So how on earth do you choose the right one for you in your home?
Take a look at these photos and the paint colors used in each room. The pros choose them because they always work and they will for you, too.
A modern, clean white. Works well with grays as chosen here for the trim color.

WHITE WISP- Benjamin Moore

Rustic Dining Room by Urbanology Designs
Has a slight gray undertone that keeps it from feeling too cold.
Traditional Living Room by Lisa Tharp Design
A warm white, yet it won’t appear too yellow.
Aptly named, this white has long been a designer favorite because it’s a true bright white that works well with any color it’s paired with.
A bright, warm white. Works especially well for those of us who experience the often gray days of the Pacific Northwest.
A cool, crisp white that won’t appear too yellowy.
Don’t you just love the name of this color? A true warm white that will also never come come off as too yellow.
  • Always paint a large area of color on the wall. A little paint chip is just too small to get a true idea of the hue.
  • Always check the color in natural light, across from a window if possible, in order to see the true color.
  • Always choose high quality paint. It will pay you back many times over— both in how the end results look and how much longer it stays looking fresh.
  • Always test your paint choice in the room where it will be used. A space that receives northern exposure, for example, will look very different than one facing south.
Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
Photos via HOUZZ
Area rugs offer a functional and a visual layer of design.
They anchor the seating group they’re under and add to a room’s design appeal.
In a neutral space, this decor element can even be a focal point. Or just add to the overall warmth of a space.
The trick is determining the scale of area rugs. You don’t want it to be too small or too large. Usually I find clients choosing a rug that is smaller than it should be for the area it’s anchoring.
MODERN-RUGS.CO.UK (an online rug company) has a wonderful infographic that takes all the guesswork out of this design dilemma. It will make all the difference in the overall look and feel of your rooms.
Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
Soothing, restorative, organized, tranquil, calming, natural.
These are all words used to describe Japanese interior design. They are also words that reflect how we want to feel in our home—regardless of design style.
Take a look at the 5 elements shown in the following photos. While they represent traditional Japanese design, we can incorporate them into our own home.
And because of how these elements make us feel, our home truly can help nurture our best life.
Japanese Style 4
Nature has never made a mistake with the colors it surrounds itself with. They always work; they never clash. In this photos, you can’t help but feel soothed with the autumnal hues of red, brown, and yellow.
A sure way to bring nature indoors. Not only beautiful, but living plants and trees purify the air and helps us feel calmer. They also have restorative value.
Minimalist serveware and table setting:
Not only restful to the eye, but food will look and taste better, too, with simple and clean-lined settings.
Japanese-inspired entryway design:
We all know the negative effects of clutter, but for most of us it seems to require a mindfulness to avoid it. The results, though, promise a serene mind second to none.
Japanese hinoki-wood soaking tub in a soothing all white bathroom:
Natural wood elements reflect nature and for human beings we’re happier when it surrounds us. It makes us feel more at one with our world
Until next time…
Blessings fro my home to yours,
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
Photos originated on HuffingtonPost
Would you decorate with the world
A few weeks ago I shared the story of the official World’s Ugliest Color. (“Want to Know the World’s Ugliest Color?”)
My personal belief is no color is truly ugly; it’s how you use it, how much of it you use, and what it’s paired with.
If you simply look at a paint chip, you may have an initial negative impression.
But when you see it in a room with other colors that it’s paired with plus the lighting, texture,and  sheen, the hue you initially found distasteful can become one that you see entirely differently.
Color expert, Jennifer Ott, took the challenge of showing how this “ugliest color” Pantone 448C could be used to show it might not be so ugly after all. Take a look and see what you think.
This still may not be a color you would choose, but you have to admit it’s not as blah as it appears in the paint chip.
And that’s color magic!
Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
Most of us know the negative physical and emotional toll that results when faced with a disorganized home.
A home in disarray creates chaos which leaves us feeling stressed and un-centered, leads to negative self-talk, and feeling physically tired. Not the Rx. for a happy home.
Knowing this, we endeavor at being organized. However, it’s so easy to fall off the track.
Our lives are so busy with more distractions than we know what to do with. Before we realize it, it’s happening: the dreaded signs of disorganization begin to creep in.
DANICA ROG shared with FRESHOME.COM 9 ways that highly organized people do in order to have a home that is tidy, warm, comfortable and works to the benefit of all who live there.
These ideas promise to streamline your life and how great is that.

They have a place for everything

Put things where they’re used, not where there is space

When it comes to fighting clutter, the most important thing that organized people do is make room for items in the location they’re used, not where there is space. Stamps stay near the bills in the home office, stain remover stays in the laundry room.

The further your belongings are from where you use them means the more time and effort to retrieve them, and the less likelihood you’ll put them back once they’ve been used. Which is the last thing you want when you already have to pay a cable bill or remove a coffee stain.

They use tools

Mental notes are out, day planners are in.

Organized people schedule everything. They map out their days and weeks with calendars, whether online, in a planner, or both. They invest in the time to set a reminder or make a note, freeing up brain space to focus on what’s in front of you.

Going digital? Here’s a list of some great organizational apps.

minimalism organized people

Image: Nicole Hollis

They have less

The less there is, the less there is to organize.

It’s that simple. Organized homes aren’t filled with excess towels and sheets, or plates and dishes. They just have washing machines and dishwashers. If you can narrow down to just the necessities, you’re bound to be left only with the items you use regularly and love.

Having less of anything – whether wardrobe, board games, or pantry items, makes for easier choices.

gallery organized people

Image: Domus Nova

They know when to say, “good enough”

They’re not perfectionists, and don’t try to be.

Organization is so often associated with detail-orientation, but the two are not mutually exclusive. Organized people are the ones who are OK with putting slightly wrinkly sheets on the bed. They don’t have a five-star meal on the table each night. They get things done as efficiently as possible, allowing themselves to cut some corners to get to the next task at hand.

entry-way organized people

Image: Up Interiors

They put things away

Right away.

Author Gretchen Rubin wrote about her experiences trying to clear clutter and become more organized. Her two biggest successes: the one minute rule, and ten minute tidy-up.

The one minute rule declares any task that can be done in under a minute should be done immediately, from filing a record to hanging up a coat or umbrella. Then, every night before bed, she suggests taking ten minutes to tidy up visual clutter in your home. Can’t commit to ten? Start with five.

Staying on top of things little by little is much easier and rewarding than having to tackle your mess once it’s hit the point of no return.

They reevaluate


Lifestyles (and design styles) change, and the organized person is constantly combing through their belongings and deciding what isn’t needed anymore. In a world where we’re almost always accumulating things, we also have to consciously curate our items.

organized people

Image: Dyer Photo

They say no

And don’t think twice.

The invitation to a last minute happy hour, the extra task at work, the lamp from their mother-in-law. Organized people are OK with saying no to things that risk overloading them, whether physically or emotionally. Because the straw that broke the camel’s back shouldn’t be a lamp you didn’t even want in the first place.

They don’t hide their belongings

Out of sight isn’t out of mind.

The art of being organized isn’t the art of stowing away all of your items. In fact, keeping your belongings in plain sight or easily accessible makes them easier to find, use, and move on from. Keeping all of your possessions in boxes and drawers means more time and frustration spent digging.

Invest in some aesthetically-pleasing storage containers. For the kitchen, they’re great for storing cereals, nuts, and pastas (and making it easy to know when they’re running low). For elsewhere in the home, an assortment of sizes can contain kids toys, beauty accessories, even spare change.

They celebrate big and small achievements

A long list of big tasks is daunting to anyone.

Those who stay organized flourish by putting small, easy tasks on a to-do list. Mixing in simple tasks with difficult ones provides encouragement and shows progress as you make your way through the list.

And when tasks are overwhelmingly large, like doing your taxes or buying a new car, break it down into smaller, more digestible to-dos.

They aren’t easy side-tracked

Often times, multitasking (or attempting to) leads to less productivity overall. This is especially relevant living in a world where we constantly have a buzzing cellphone in hand and a full email inbox.

Organized people don’t feel the need to answer every email as they receive it. Instead, they ignore or turn off notifications for such distractions, and finish the task they’re currently in the middle of.

A study by the University of British Columbia said the average person checks email 15 times a day. However, the study suggests three times is all we need to keep added stress away and stay on track with other tasks.

Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Dedicated to helping you live your best life—not the other way around
Choosing color is a subjective exercise.
There are certain hues you love at first sight and others not so much.
As an interior designer, it’s my joyful job to help you choose colors that please and that you want to be surrounded by. So this choosing is always done in a positive way.
I recently, however, came across an article about a shade that research says is absolutely the world’s ugliest.
I have to say the experts called this one correctly. It really is not very pleasing
Written by Caroline Picard for, have a look.

Colors can conjure up a lot of associations, but apparently only one specific hue has the power to “minimize appeal” and “maximize perceived harm.” That’s right — researchers pinpointed the world’s ugliest color, and it’s been lovingly described as “dirty,” “tar,” and even “death,” just to name a few associations.

Pantone 448 C, also called “opaque couché,” may get a bad rap, but this sewage-tinged hue actually has an important mission. Out of the entire rainbow, experts chose the green-brown shade to discourage smoking. And one look at this swatch will convince you of its habit-breaking abilities. It’s not for the faint of heart, but here it is:

Disgusting, right? Back in 2012, the Australian government hired research agency GfK to spearhead the new package design for all tobacco products. But instead of the marketing firm’s usual goal, they had to accomplish the opposite. Every carton had to look as unappealing as possible.

It took three months, seven studies, and more than 1000 regular smokers, but the researchers finally determined the most offensive color to print alongside new graphic health warnings. Also in the running? Lime green, white, beige, dark gray, and mustard.Dark brown came in a close second, but its rich (and chocolatey!) undertones seemed too appetizing — similar to medium olive’s “classy” associations.

After finding a clear winner (or loser, in this case), the government first announced the hue as “olive green.” But after an urgent letter from the Australian Olive Association, they changed the nickname “drab dark brown” — no hard feelings, olives?

Thanks to Australia and GfK’s colorful breakthrough, other governments are also adopting the shade. Ireland, the United Kingdom, and France recently passed “plain packaging” laws of their own, with mockups featuring the same exact hue. Perhaps opaque couché might get a better reputation for all the lives it could possibly help save.

Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
As an interior designer and lover of all things beautiful, I love re-purposing furniture. It’s not only good for the environment, but it can also be cost-effective, charming, and out-of-the-ordinary.
Here are 13 examples of unconventional bathroom vanities that have stepped out-of-the-box to find  new life in a different way than originally thought of. Take a look.
  • You will likely need a carpenter to re-configure drawers in order to accommodate the sink and plumbing. You also want to maintain as much storage area as possible.
  • If there is not a material like quartz, granite, etc., on the top of the furniture, apply a wood sealer such as used on boats to prevent water damage.
There you have it. Different ideas and different design styles for re-purposing a piece of furniture into a bathroom vanity. You may have an old piece in storage that you could use in this way. If not, and you like the idea, check out Craigslist, antique malls, or yard sales. You may be surprised at what treasures you find.
Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
There are any number of reasons why you may choose to rent rather than purchase a home.
You may be downsizing and simply don’t wish to have the burdens that come with home ownership. When the sink leaks, for instance, you’d rather call the manager or owner and the problem is fixed—no muss, no fuss.
Or, you may be building a home and need a place to live in the meantime.
Or maybe you or your parents are moving into an assisted living complex.
Again, there are many valid reasons why renting an apartment or home is the best option. However, there can be challenges. One of them are restrictions as to what you can do with wall decor.
Your apartment is your home and however long you reside there, you want it to reflect your taste and who you are in the world. You don’t want it to look and feel temporary.
So how do you satisfy your design dreams and also the rental owner’s rules?
Freshome offers 13 ideas that can help you with this design dilemma so everyone wins. Take a look.

Removable wallpaper

When most people think of wallpaper, the first word that may come to mind is “permanence”. Not a great move if you’re renting. Removable wallpaper, however, swoops in to save the day for renters, and maybe homeowners with commitment issues. Gone is the terror of peeling off tiny bits of thin, dried paper. This modern decor tool goes easy-on, easy-off in countless modern prints and patterns. Your landlord will be none the wiser.

tapestry modern wall decorating ideas

Image: Nanette Wong

Hang a tapestry

Tapestries aren’t just for bohemian interiors anymore. While there are plenty to be found with intricate medallion designs, there are also countless choices to fit any decor style. Geometric patterns or abstract prints compliment contemporary style, while printed outdoor images, quotes, and minimalist designs bode well with more modern settings.

wall curtain wall decorating ideas

Image: hooray blog

String a curtain

If a tapestry just doesn’t fit your style, a curtain might do the trick. A simple, solid drapery softens the room without adding too much fuss. The mounts won’t do much damage and, in a pinch, tensions rods would do the trick. We personally love this look behind a bed.

gallery wall decorating ideas

Create a (shelved) gallery wall

Want the trendy gallery wall look, without the mess of drilling a dozen holes in the wall? Consider using floating shelves instead. Sure, you’re still putting a few holes in the wall to install the shelves, but you’re also able to change up your selection at any time without new holes. Look for floating shelves with a small outer lip to stop slippage. Otherwise, use some wall putty to hold the frames in place.

Frame a statement piece

A large piece of art doesn’t have to weigh you, or your walls, down. Hanging a poster or large photo has to do entirely with what it’s framed in. Find a lightweight poster frame, or alternative method — like these wooden bars, which leave the poster intact and give any artwork a clean, crisp look.

big mirror wall decorating ideas

Image: bloglovin’

Add a mirror

You’ll need a mirror anyway, right? Go big with a framed floor mirror, which can be found relatively inexpensively. Not only will it take up a considerable amount of your wall space with zero holes, but it will also help reflect and create light throughout your apartment. Again, wall putty is your friend here.

DIY copper shelves wall decorating ideas

Image: homeedit

Go green

A little green can go a long way. Dress up your walls with some of your favorite houseplants, whether by hanging a pot from a ceiling hook or placing a plant stand in front of your bare walls. The open shelving from your gallery wall also gets a lively upgrade with a plant, as shown above.

Stick on a decal

Wall decal stickers are widely available online and offer something for everyone. Whether it’s adding a shape like stripes, stars or polka dots, channeling nature with trees and leaves, or writing out your favorite quote, there are an endless number of styles and designs. Think about size and placement. Decals come in sticker or wall-cling materials, both which are a breeze to remove when the time comes.

neon sign wall decorating ideas


Flash some Neon

An eye-catching statement piece doesn’t have to be enormous — it just has to be eye-catching. Neon signs are just that. Grab a vintage one of your favorite brand, or find a new one with a fun saying or image that will have everyone talking.

Be crafty with washi

Heard of washi tape yet? It’s the Japanese version of masking tape. Made from rice paper, it doesn’t leave the residue of the stuff we have stateside. Even more appealing, it comes in a massive variety of colors and patterns. Hanging your pictures, prints and other paper goods with a piece of washi tape for an easy gallery wall, or create your own geometric mural with it.

Get organized

Use your spare wall space to get organized. From cork boards to calendars, get your style on while staying on schedule.


large wall map wall decorating ideas

Image: Lake Jane

Map it out

Maps aren’t going out of style anytime soon, and we say the bigger the better. A vintage style adds class to your space, while more classic styles can accommodate any decor style. Hang it like you would large art, and you’ll be seeing the world from the comfort of your couch. Bonus points if you flag the places you’ve traveled.

Hang it up

Calling all trendsetters. Displaying your favorite clothing and accessories with this trending wall decor. Hats are big this year (in fashion as well as wall decorating ideas), but sweaters, scarves, even jeans could hand decoratively on small nails for a look that’s ultra-chic.

What are you favorite no-fuss wall decorating ideas? Reach out to us in the comments or on social media — we’d love to hear from you!

Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
Having recently completed one master bathroom remodel and about to start another, I definitely have bathrooms on the brain.
One of the biggest challenges is having ample storage space that is functional and esthetically beautiful and visually calming.
Here are 10 examples for creating extra space no matter how big or small your bathroom is. Take a look.
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