In honor of complete transparency, you won’t find this week’s article talking about interior design at all.
 
Instead, I’m sending you quips that ask the simple question “why?” on mundane things you may have wondered about, too. They were sent to me from a friend by a clever anonymous author.
 
I promise they’ll make you smile and even laugh—sometimes, on some days, that is the best thing of all.
 


Why do supermarkets make the sick walk all the way to the back of the store to get their prescriptions 
 
while healthy people can buy cigarettes at the front?
 

 

 
Why do people order double cheeseburgers, large fries, and a diet coke?
 

 
 
Why do banks leave vault doors open and then chain the pens to the counters?
 
Why do we leave cars worth thousands of dollars in our driveways and put our useless junk in the garage?


 
 
EVER WONDER…
 
Why the sun lightens our hair, but darkens our skin?
 

 
 
Why can’t women put on mascara with their mouth closed? 


 
Why don’t you ever see the headline ‘Psychic Wins Lottery’? 
 

 
Why is ‘abbreviated’ such a long word?
 

 
 
Why is it that doctors and attorneys call what they do ‘practice’? 


 
 Why is lemon juice made with artificial flavoring, and dish washing liquid made with real lemons? 


 
  Why is the man who invests all your money called a broker?
 
  
 
 
Why isn’t there mouse-flavored cat food?

  
Why didn’t Noah swat those two mosquitoes?
 

 
 
 
Why do they sterilize the needle for lethal injections?
 


 
You know that indestructible black box that is used on airplanes?  Why don’t they make the whole plane
out of that stuff??
 


 
 Why don’t sheep shrink when it rains? 
 

 Why are they called apartments when they are all stuck together?   
 
If flying is so safe, why do they call the airport the terminal? 



Now that you’ve smiled at least once, it’s your turn to spread the stupidity and send this to someone you want to bring a smile to (maybe even a chuckle)… in other words, send it to everyone.  We all need to smile every once in a while. OH you didn’t smile – well how about this one: 
 

Have a happy day.
 
 
Until next time…
 
Blessings from my home to yours,
 
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
 
Spring is but a few days away—on the calendar at least.
 
However, for most of us, we need only look outside to know that it doesn’t feel or look like this anticipated season.
 
No matter, the SCENTS of spring are something we can capture right now. Hopefully, they can help shed the winter doldrums until the real ones come into bloom.
 
Here are 19 different candles, diffusers and other delicious ways (including a “Happiness” scent) to make you feel the time has finally come to put away the wool clothing and unfold the linen—well almost!
 
So choose your favorite and let the sweet aroma work its magic.
home scentshome scents
 
Until next time…
 
Blessings from my home to yours,
 
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
 
photos via Elle Decor
Last week I shared 8 ideas for welcoming spring into your home and I find I’m still stuck on a spring theme. Maybe its because it continues to be cold and rainy and if I write about it enough, maybe it will arrive sooner? LOL!
 
This week I’m going to write about color and what could be more spring-like than a hue called “Easter Lily.”
 
This beautiful, sweet-scented flower is actually a summer-blooming one, but its been cultivated to bloom early. Now we enjoy it at Easter—hence, we refer to it as the Easter lily.
 
The lovely milk-white flower with its blush of yellow-green center epitomizes spring and the qualities associated with this season—rebirth, love, joy and beauty.
 
Could we even ask for anything more?
 
Take a look at these photos and see what you think. You may decide that “Easter Lily” is the perfect color to bring into your home.
 
Traditional Landscape by The New York Botanical Garden
by Jennifer Ott Design
Besides “Easter Lily,” here are a few other colors that are equally soft and soothing.
 
Farmhouse Bathroom by Phinney Design Group
This pale wall color with its warm undertones perfectly complements the yellow undertones in the furniture and wood flooring.
 
Contemporary Bedroom by Student Cribs
This attic room has a skylight but no windows. Painting the ceiling white and the walls a soft and mellow yellow allows this space to still feel light and airy.
 
Farmhouse Bedroom by Gale Goff Architect
Painting the ceiling white and the walls a pale yellow , allow the wood beams to stand out even though they’re both light hues. Bringing in the blues echoes the sea beyond. Who wouldn’t want to wake up in this light-filled bedroom?
 
Traditional Kitchen by Cushman Design Group

The warm soft yellow on the walls and the yellow undertoned wood floor soften the cool stainless steel appliances.

Farmhouse Porch by Shannon Malone

These porch walls could have been painted white, but they would not have the warm glow that this very subtle creamy hue offers.

 
There are so many colors that partner well with “Easter Lily” or any other milky-white and creamy hues. Think of sage, soft leafy greens, or greenish-grays.
 
Happy Spring! Happy Easter!
 
Blessings from my home to yours…
 
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
 
Photos via HOUZZ
Perhaps it’s because we’ve had a long, seemingly endless winter with record low temperatures and rain, rain, and more rain. Along with some snow to keep it interesting!
 
All I know for sure, is that I feel more anxious for spring to arrive this year than ever before. Maybe you do, too?
 
Aah, spring. Just saying the word puts a bounce in my step and a lilt to my voice.
 
In spring, everything is glistening, green and new. There is a feeling of renewal and reawakening. The world comes alive again and along with it, new hope and possibilities.
 
But nature likes routine and has her own natural cycle, so I know we’re not quite done with winter yet. There will still be some last, gasping days left before it finally passes for another year.
 
We can’t rush the days on the calendar, but we can do some things that boost our mood now in anticipation for sunshine and greenery that’s just around the corner.
 
Here are a few ideas:
 
Shabby-chic Style Powder Room by Torie Jayne
CHANGE OUT YOUR BATHROOM TOWELS
 
Most of us choose neutral-colored bathroom towels, but consider exchanging them for more colorful versions that can brighten your feelings until nature does it for you.
 
Shabby-chic Style Dining Room by Dreamy Whites
BUY YOURSELF FRESH FLOWERS
 
The quickest way to give yourself and your rooms a lift. Daffodils, tulips, and sweet-smelling hyacinth are readily available now and you’ll think and truly feel spring. I sometimes think God gave us these beautiful blooms as a gift to hold us until spring really arrives.
 
Contemporary Living Room Richmond, 1930's refurbishment
CHANGE OUT YOUR THROW PILLOWS
 
Now is the time to lighten and brighten your atmosphere with spring-colored pillows. I buy pillow covers so I can in an instant exchange the velvet and faux fur ones to the linen and silk ones that herald spring.
 
Contemporary Living Room by Casey & Fox

TREAT YOURSELF DURING COFFEE/TEA BREAKS

 
Instead of the go-to mugs we become so used to drinking from, why not use beautiful matching cups, saucers, and pots? It turns those routine breaks into something special which in turn become special moments for you as well.
 
Traditional Kitchen by Higham Furniture
REFRESH YOUR PAINT
 
Perhaps it’s time to repaint as its been a few years, or maybe you’ve been thinking of trying a different color or painting an accent wall. No matter, as you’ll feel instant gratification when you look at freshly painted walls.
 
Transitional Bedroom by Sasha Meredith Designs
DECORATE YOUR BED
 
Time to change your bedding to something more spring-like. Different colors than you’re used to and don’t be afraid to mix patterns like you see in this photo. When you make your bed in the morning, try spraying your pillows with a fresh-scented linen water. When you slip into bed that night, you’ll sleep like a baby.
 
Scandinavian Bedroom by Element Studios

A PEACEFUL WRITING SPOT

Research has shown over and over again that keeping a gratitude journal lifts our spirits. It’s impossible to feel depressed when we are thinking positive thoughts. And don’t use electronic tablets either. Use a real pen and pretty paper to note your thoughts.
 
Modern Bedroom by Natural Bed Company
REMOVE HEAVY WINDOW COVERINGS
 
Replace with lighter- weight ones that let the light in. No keeping blinds or curtains half- closed either. Our brains need all the daylight we can give them for mood enhancement. Of course, that requires clean windows for sure!
 
These are just a few ideas that can help hasten spring into your home and life.
 
I bet you have some other great suggestions and I’d love for you to share 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
 
Photos via HOUZZ
Are you as winter weary as I am?
 
Maybe it’s the record rainfall we’ve experienced in our neck of the woods or the continued cold nights and gray days.
 
Whatever, I’m more than ready for spring this year.
 
While I can’t move the days magically forward on the calendar at warp speed, I can bring the eagerly anticipated coming season into my home. How? Hanging a wreath that signals sunshine, warm days and Easter parades—much more satisfying than chocolate bunnies!
 
Take a look at a few that I found, including the price and where you can find them.
 
You may see one that’s just the ticket to grace your home and delight you every time you see it.
 
TAKE A LOOK AT ALL OF THE WREATHS and find out where to buy at ELLE DECOReaster wreatheaster wreatheaster wreath
 
Until next time…
 
Blessings from my home to yours,
 
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
 
 
Hallways are often not given the design attention they deserve.
 
They’re areas that we quickly pass through to get from point A to point B, and yet this space can be a place to stop and take notice.
 
Hallways offer design opportunities using lighting, artwork, sculptural pieces,mirrors, and furniture (when space allows) to reward you with even more pleasure from your home.
 
Decorating a hallway adds life to the space. Along with color and detail you’ll add personality to the area as well; it goes from “nothing” to “something.”
 
HALLWAY TIPS FOR DESIGN SUCCESS:
 
  .  Average hallways using American standards are generally 36 inches wide which is needed for comfort and accessibility.
 
  .  When hanging artwork and photos, place at eye level which is about 62 inched from the floor to the middle of the piece.
 
  .  Ceiling light fixtures should clear 84 inches.
 
  .  Lighting is important in a hallway, lest whatever you are displaying become obscured in shadows.
 
  .  In a narrow hallway, hang smaller pieces as larger ones require more space to fully see and appreciate.
 
  .  Use the the hallway for a pop of color, but because this area connects spaces, there should be a visual tie between the hallway into the connected spaces beyond.  .  
 
  .  Consider the hallway ceiling. Ideas here could be a different paint color, stencils, or wallpaper.
 
  .  If you need or want a furniture piece in a narrow hallway, look for a skinny console table to give you some surface space. Just be sure to have enough space for easy walk-through room. If in doubt, don’t.
 
HALLWAY DESIGN IDEAS:
 
Scandinavian Hall by Dash & Albert Australia
With the light-colored walls, your eye is immediately drawn to the floor runner and the artwork. There’s enough room to add the chair and small table which completes this simple vignette.
 
Transitional Hall by Allison Lind Interiors
Using a black and white wallpaper pattern and same color picture frames, this red chair pops and visually draws you into the space.
 
Eclectic Hall by Morgante Wilson Architects
This is the same concept as photo 2, except a dark paint color is used making the white chair pop. Notice, too, that the adjoining room on the right is using the same darker shade which visually connects the two spaces.
 
Eclectic Hall by Kim Pearson Pty Ltd
In this white space, the stunning architectural archway and the artwork serve as a punctuation point making you want to walk towards the end of this hallway.
 
Transitional Hall by Chipper Hatter Architectural Photographer
A study in Zen, and beautiful in its simplicity. Uses black and white along with small hits of red and green color.
 
Contemporary Hall by Mafi Australia
Again—simple and clean-looking design. The furniture is perfectly scaled to this hallway. The beauty of the archway and quiet artwork effortlessly draw you in.
 
Contemporary Hall by Vivendi - Luxury Home Builders
You immediately learn something about this homeowner through the display of surfboards and the art at the end of the hallway. This area of your home can be a great place to share your interests.
 
Transitional Hall by Bibby + Brady
Black framed photos add interest, but what really moves you down the hallway is the wallpaper and simple furniture leading into the next room.
 
Transitional Entry by Bibby + Brady
There are many points of interest in this hallway, but especially noteworthy are how the pink in the artwork and the flowers connect with the window treatment in the next room. Also notice the unusual light fixture and the choice of ceiling color. So much of good design is in the fine details.
Modern Hall by Accoya Wood
A hallway so rich in architectural detail only needs the simple mirror as the focal point.
 
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
Two pairs of feet in socks in front of a roaring fire
What you say?
 
What the heck is Hygge and how do I even say the word?
 
Think of pronouncing it as Hoo-Gah or Hue-Gah.
 
It’s a Danish word and translated as “cozy.” However, the philosophy is common throughout Scandinavia. 
 
I remember coming home from school on cold, winter afternoons to my Swedish grandparent’s farmhouse. Entering through the back porch, I was immediately assailed with the aroma of freshly-baked sugar cookies, brewing coffee, and feeling the immediate warmth of the old wood stove.
 
I realize now that I was experiencing a Hygge moment, although it wasn’t a word my Grandma used—it just was.
 
SO WHAT IS HYGGE?
 
It’s creating special moments that allow you to slow down and take the time to really savor friends and loved ones.
 
Mother with two young children by Christmas tree
 
It’s taking time out from worrying about money, acquiring more things, the state of world affairs, or anxiety about the future.
 
It’s about having simple experiences that make you feel joyful, grateful, and simply glad to be alive.
 
It’s a state of well-being, balance, and moderation in all things. Think of Hygge as an internal state and it’s the small things that make you feel it.
 
Candles in a sauna
 
 INGREDIENTS FOR A “HYGGE” HOME
 
.  Candles (unscented)
 
.  Firelight
 
.  Sheepskin or faux fur rugs placed on chairs or sofas
 
.  Delicious, tantalizing baked goods—cinnamon rolls, sugar cookies
 
.  Favorite beverages—coffee, tea, hot chocolate, hot-mulled wine
 
.  Soft, textured fabrics—affordable cashmere, velvet, fleece
 
.  Cozy throws to curl up in
 
.  Thick, fluffy socks or slippers
 
.  A hot bath, followed with a warm, plush and fluffy towels
 
.  Good books
 
.  Sharing time with friends and loved ones
 
.  Enjoying alone time with yourself
 
.  Turning off tech devices
 
 
 
Hyggeting, when you get to the root of it, is how you want to feel in your home—not just in winter, but all year long.
 

You’ve had many, many Hygge moments and not paid much attention to their importance at the time. Perhaps, if we all think of the concept mindfully; if we stay aware and keep it front of mind, we really can live happier at home.
 
Helen Russell, who authored “The Year of Living Danishly,” said it best: “Hygge is the complete absence of anything annoying or emotionally overwhelming” with “a focus on togetherness and prioritizing the people in your life.”
 
Doesn’t that sound wonderful?
 
Until next time…
 
Blessings from my home to yours,
 
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
 
Images courtesy BBC
Picture a 3-legged stool, then imagine it’s missing 1 leg. The stool becomes unbalanced and cannot securely stand.
 
Now give a name to each leg—Feel, Function, and Flow. These 3 “F” words are what is required in order for a home to be the happy and fulfilling place it’s meant to be.
 
You know your home needs to be esthetically pleasing and proper function goes without saying.
 
However, if you are constantly nursing bruises from bumping into a coffee table or furniture edges, you’re painfully reminded of that 3rd. leg—flow—or lack thereof.
 
When you have good flow in a space, you can easily move about and have a comfortable feeling. Without it, you’re not relaxed; it discourages productivity; and doesn’t support the activities you wish to do in that room.
 
The reasons for poor flow are usually having too much furniture, or furniture that is larger than the space allows for.
 
Ask yourself 3 questions if you think you have this design dilemma:
  • Can you freely move around the room?
  • Can you easily move through all the passages to the space?
  • Can you use all the room has to offer with ease?
Answering no to any of these questions means the function and feel of a room will be comprised as well.
 
Following are suggestions that can eliminate this and give you a “stool” that is fully supported—each working in sync with the other 2.
 
Take a look.
 
 

DINING ROOM

 
Allow 36 inches between dining chairs and the wall so guests can easily move chairs in and out. Provide approximately 48 inches between the table and entrance to the room so movement isn’t impeded.
 
Contemporary Dining Room by Elevation
Plan 24 inches between chairs so guests aren’t bumping elbows every time they move.
 
BEDROOM
 
Contemporary Bedroom by Erika Bierman Photography
Leave 30-36 inches of room on each side of the bed so you’re not bumping into furniture in the dark. Make sure walk space is open going into the bathroom or hallway for the same reason.
Contemporary Bedroom by Alma-nac
If your bedroom is small and narrow, consider placing a shelf behind the head of the bed.
 
Caveat: If you live in earthquake country as I do, make sure any items on the shelf are secured.
 
LIVING ROOM
 
Contemporary Living Room by Cheryl Ketner Interiors
If your living room is tight, a round coffee table can improve flow.
 
                                    Or
 
Contemporary Living Room by Folio Design London
Another choice is an irregular-shaped one which also offers no sharp edges.
 
Contemporary Family Room by Décor Aid
Choose smaller pieces of furniture like these chairs and stools. You can seat more people and still have the proper scale and avoid a cramped-looking room.
 
BATHROOMS
 
Modern Bathroom by Affecting Spaces
My favorite trick in a small bathroom is to replace a swing door with a pocket door if there’s room inside of the wall. If you can’t add a pocket door, consider a barn-style door.
 
Contemporary Bathroom by Ira Frazin Architect
The same idea applies to the shower door. Install a sliding glass shower door to replace a swing-open door.
 
KITCHEN
 
Contemporary Kitchen by Roundhouse
I know most of us love kitchen islands, but make sure you have 42 inches between the island and the counter for easy movement.
 
Contemporary Kitchen by Mackenzie Pronk Architects
Same idea if you have a dining table and seating at an island. Both sets of  chairs/stools should be able to slide back without hitting each other.
 
HOME OFFICE
 
Contemporary Home Office by Blackbox design studios
If you’ve carved out space in a nook to use as a home office, allow 42 inches of room to slide your chair in and out from the desk. Otherwise, you may feel like you can’t breathe.
 
HALLWAY
 
Contemporary Living Room by Andrea Hubbell Photography
All hallways and walk-through areas need to be clear of obstructions for obvious reasons.
Contemporary Dining Room by Hall Smith Office_Architecture
When your entire home has good flow, everything becomes easier in ways big and small. Take the time to create a space plan. You’ll love your home so much more and it’ll fit you like a soft kidskin glove.
 
 
Until next time…
 
Blessings from my home to you yours,
 
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
 
Photos via HOUZZ
Every year a new list emerges telling us what’s trending in interior design and decorating.
 
In fact, I should say lists plural. Google “design trends 2017” and you’ll find many references.
 
The idea is to look at them and ask yourself 2 questions:
 
.  If I added this idea to my home, would it make it function better?
.  If I buy or incorporate this in my home, would it make my heart sing more because of it?
 
The whole idea of trends is to present new ideas in design or discover new technology that really can make your life better.
 
In the following photos you’ll see some ideas that aren’t new at all—they’re just rediscovered and shown in a newer fresher way.
 
And that’s the beauty of it; you decide what’s “on trend.” If it works for you in form and function, you have the trendiest home on the block!
 
Take a look and see what you think and feel.
 
 SATIN BRASS
A softer, quieter feel than bright and shiny brass. Works well with all colors and most design styles.
 
Our lives seem to revolve around technology and our homes will continue to find new ways to incorporate their features into our design. From charging stations to voice-activated assistants as shown in this photo. On the table is Amazon’s Alexa which acts as a voice-activated interface for many smart home devices.
 
 
 
A DIFFERENT VANITY SOLUTION

If you don’t wish to choose the typical vanity, consider using a cabinet, console, or chest of drawers for a different purpose. Almost anything that can hold a sink and plumbing will work. A great way to have a one-of-a- kind piece.

 
KITCHEN STORAGE WALLS

Housing much of a kitchen’s necessities in one built-in area, frees up space elsewhere and keeps everything close at hand.

 
DESIGNATED LAUNDRY ROOM

If you have the space, splurging on a laundry room might be something that makes your life easier. Everything needed is in one room and can be beautiful and functional at the same time.

 

BRINGING THE OUTDOORS IN SHOWERS
Contemporary Bathroom by Milestone Homes
Everyone enjoys and benefits experiencing nature. If you have the budget, what a joy to feel like you’re showering outdoors when you’re inside. It could be a feast for the senses!
 
STORAGE NICHES
Room of the Day: A Pattern-Happy Powder Room With a Secret

A great idea, especially if you’re remodeling, is to add storage spaces between wall studs. They’re a great space saver.

 
BLACK STEEL AND GLASS DOORS
Transitional Entry by Stuart Pliner Design

If you have a dark entry, this could be the answer for letting in much needed light. Also being seen for shower doors in place of frameless glass. Black steel window frames are also becoming popular.

 
 
CONTRASTING KITCHEN ISLANDS
Traditional Kitchen by Smith & Smith Kitchens

White kitchens remain the popular choice for this space. To keep them from looking too sterile, painting the island a darker color helps bring contrast and balance.

 
WAINSCOTING IN BATHROOMS
Traditional Bathroom by Hatfield Builders & Remodelers

Painted wood panels is a wonderful way of adding interest to a bathroom. You can also use tile.

 
BEDSIDE PENDANT LIGHTS
Scandinavian Bedroom by Shanade McAllister-Fisher

Especially helpful in a small bedroom, pendant lights free up bedside tables. Plus, there are so many beautiful choices available in all price points, that they can make a dramatic design statement.

 
BEDROOM PAINT COLORS
Traditional Bedroom by Amy Werfel Interiors

Paint choices in bedrooms usually lean toward soft, soothing hues. Consider, however, choosing darker shades to create a more intimate and romantic atmosphere.

 
ALL WHITE KITCHENS
Farmhouse Kitchen by The Working Kitchen, Ltd.

To keep an all white kitchen from appearing stark, add wood elements to provide warmth.

 
HEXAGONAL TILE BACKSPLASHES
Contemporary Kitchen by Trevor Brown Architect

Subway tile is an ever popular choice for backsplashes. However, if you’re looking for something different and still classic, consider the hexagon shape.

 

Of course, along with the what’s trending lists, there has to be the what’s out lists. Pay no attention. The only thing that counts in your home is being surrounded by all that you love and that which nurtures your best life.
 
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
Mediterranean Kitchen by M. Elle Design
Helping a client decide on the right kitchen countertop is right up there there in importance when designing or remodeling a kitchen.
 
There are so many choices and factors that decide what will be best.
 
Things like budget, personal preference, cooking and cleaning style are all questions that need to be answered before making the final decision.
 
JENNIFER OTT, San Francisco interior designer, designed a quiz for Houzz that can help you answer these questions for yourself.
 
Its fun and quick so take a coffee or tea break and see what you discover.
 
I have to say when I took it, the answer was spot-on—quartz!
 
 
Until next time…
 
Blessings from my home to yours,
 
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
More About

More About

Read more about Nancy Meadows and her work as a designer...

Services

Services

Find out how Nancy can help you in solving your design dilemmas...

Contact

Contact

Begin the process of decorating your home or work space with Nancy Meadows...