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

Flowers and candles are the usual choices for decorating your dining table. And while beautiful, they become expected and also a bit boring.

What about considering tabletop decor that is more adventurous and eye-catching. What about using design elements that can make your dining table a focal point. Even better if you tell your personal design story at the same time.

Take a look at these photos from Houzz. They’ll be sure to spark your creativity and you’ll see your dining table with fresh eyes and new possibilities.

If you’re still decorating your home for the holidays or you just want to add something special, take a look at these photos from Instagram. They originally appeared on HOUSEBEAUTIFUL.COM
I know you love design that is beautiful, simple, and unusual, and these photos express that.
Incorporate 1 or 2 ideas to give your unique decor flair to this year’s holiday decorating. You’ll be impressed and your guests will appreciate the beauty you’ve created as well.
1. Metallics and white are just as festive as red and green.

2. Make wreaths out of unexpected materials, like quartz crystals.

3. Everything looks fancier on cake stands and under glass cloches.

4. Peonies make for a beautiful, if unexpected, alternative to poinsettias.

5. Sometimes trees don’t need ornaments to make a dramatic statement.

6. Unfussy greens and red ribbon make for a fresh take on outdoor wreaths.

7. Reindeer are always a chic choice.

8. Pine adds instant holiday flair to your arrangements.

9. Use trimming as Christmas tree garland.

Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
As this year quickly comes to a close, you may be planning projects for the new year. One of those plans may include changes in your home.
But before you do, take a look at these photos and suggestions. You may see your home as it currently exists with new eyes. Big changes may not be necessary.
Sometimes small changes can make all the difference in the world in how your home functions and feels.
Remember that when all is said and done, the only things of importance are that you live, love, and laugh in your home. That’s perfect design—one that you’ve mindfully designed.
FOLLOW YOUR HEART
As a designer, if a client asks me what the current trends are, I reply “You are.” The only time to use” trends” is if they fit into what you love and can happily live with. That’s what makes you a trendsetter.

CLEARLY DEFINE HOW YOU USE EACH ROOM

MOOD BOARDS
You love interior design and decorating and most likely have collected shelter magazines that end up in a stack. Take the time to go through them and cut out everything that inspires you. Place them onto a board. You’ll discover that there is a theme, a pattern that evolves  that defines your style. Then make a note on each picture what you love about it. Then as you move forward into making larger design changes, you’ll feel confident in your choices. This exercise alone helps you avoid frustration and saves making costly mistakes.
CHANGE THE COLOR OF YOUR FRONT DOOR
You might be amazed at what a huge difference this simple change can make. Not only can it improve curb appeal, but it can make you smile each time you come home, making you feel better about your home in general. Remember that small changes can make big differences, not only in how your home looks, but more importantly, how you feel about it.
REFRESH YOUR BATHROOM
It doesn’t take much. New fluffy towels, a luxurious bathmat to sink your toes in. Maybe a heated towel rack so you’re wrapped in warmth each time you leave the bath or shower. Place potions and lotions in beautiful containers that rest on an equally beautiful tray. Add a real plant or fresh flowers and don’t forget a robe that makes you feel camera-ready when you slip it on. You’re appealing to all of your senses and your brain will thank you by releasing feel-good emotions.
TAKING A PLAIN PIECE OF FURNITURE AND MAKING IT YOUR OWN
You can easily change this inexpensive piece of furniture simply by adding a glass or mirrored top. You can also change the look by using a lacquered paint in a color you love that complements the other colors used in the room or if the room is all in neutrals, use the piece of furniture to add a pop of color.
HAVE SOMETHING CUSTOM MADE
It could be a headboard, window coverings, or a piece of art. Anything that becomes one-of-a-kind and speaks to who you are; the uniqueness of you.

CELEBRATE EVERY MEAL

Not just for company. Whether you’re by yourself or serving family members, celebrate yourself by setting the table. Use real glasses, plates, silverware, and cloth napkins. Add pretty place mats, a table runner or tablecloth, natural greens or fresh flowers. It’s amazing how doing this will enrich your life. Plus you”ll take longer to eat your meal and you’ll probably eat less.
CHECK YOUR LIGHTING
Nothing can enhance the function and feel of your home than the proper lighting. It’s needed for performing tasks efficiently as well as for mood. All lights should be on dimmers and no black hole corners. Besides overhead lighting, each room should have table lamps and/or floor lamps. You want light to be evenly distributed throughout a space.
ADD THINGS SLOWLY AND OF GOOD QUALITY
Think carefully of what you might want to add to your home. Buy excellent quality even if you have to wait to acquire it. Better an empty space than one filled with lesser quality goods. You won’t be happy because they don’t hold up well and you’ll end up spending more in the long run.
Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms, not the other way around
Photos via HOUZZ
With the holidays fast approaching, it’s inevitable that you’ll have extra people visiting your home. Whether it’s family and’or friends, everyone needs a place to sit.
Obviously, you don’t want the extra seating to remain in your entertainment area, so what to do?
There are many places in your home where you already have what you need and perhaps didn’t think about using because these pieces were part of the design for a particular room.
But they can serve a dual function and easily give you that extra seating when you need it.
Take a look at these photos. Most likely you’ll already have some of these examples. If not, you may see an idea that you’d like to add. A piece that would not only be functional, but is also beautiful and can add something special to your interior decor.
Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
Photos via HOUZZ
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How Color Blind Are You?

November 21st, 2014
This little quiz from QUIZZYN is just for fun – grab a cup of coffee or tea and take a few minutes for yourself and check it out.
Few women experience true color blindness as it’s mostly a male condition.
After all, how many of us help our husbands separate navy from black socks?
Or, how many of us can recognize many different shades of the same color? Most women have no trouble with this; it’s one of our many gifts!
So take this quick quiz. I’ll bet you get 10 out of 10. If not, that’s o.k., too. It’s not strict science—it’s just for fun.
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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