There’s one area of the home that doesn’t always get the attention it deserves.
That would be the foyer.
Because it’s a pass-through place and not where we linger, it’s often not given the consideration that the other rooms are given.
Yet, the foyer is where we greet our guests, the first place where we introduce them into our home. It also may be the entrance you use and why shouldn’t you feel as gracefully welcomed as your guests?
Here are 11 ways that show how your foyer can be as mindfully designed as all of the areas of your home.
We often paint the outside of the front door, but consider doing the same to the inside as you see in this photo. It’s unexpected making it a wonderful surprise.

If you don’t have a high enough ceiling for a chandelier, you can still find a light fixture that will bedazzle instead of having a plain flush-mounted one.

Beach Style Entry by Ethos Interiors

If you have a small foyer, consider a door with flair such as the one in this photo. The window panes can be glazed or textured if you need privacy.

Another trick for a small entrance, is the tried and true mirror. It bounces light and makes the area feel larger.
Instead of a squared corner table, consider a rounded one. It’s good feng shui as well because it allows energy to flow more easily. This is an exceptional piece. It’s not only an unusually designed table, but with no legs it feels suspended taking up less visual space.

Natural wood and fabric pieces add texture and always have a warm and homey feel to them that make it easy to say “welcome home.”

In a narrow entrance, an unusual and narrow side table, art piece, and a plant are all that’s needed to make a welcoming design statement.
This entry has a rather long hallway, so consider using a wall to display a collection as this owner as done. You start sharing your personal story before your guests have even reached the living room.
Imagine stepping into your home and smelling something delicious like the roses in this photo. Appealing to all of our senses is an integral part of Mindful Interior Design because we use all 6 senses everyday, not just visual.
Another of our senses is hearing, and the entrance to our home can be a lovely place to have wind chimes. Just make sure you’re hearing a soft singing of chimes and not a gong sound which would be jarring and irritating.
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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Speaking as a designer, there’s nothing quite like natural fabrics
However, also speaking as a designer, there are situations when using gorgeous natural fibers is simply not wise or practical.
When I owned my day spa in my last professional life, I had a love seat recovered in a beautiful, creme-colored, soft wool. You felt like you were receiving a big hug each time you sat in it.
Needless to say, it was wonderful for about 6 months. With so much use, it started showing wear and tear and stains were not easily removed, if at all. It had been a poor choice and had to be replaced; it was an expensive lesson learned!
Fabric choice is also important if you have children and/or pets, or you simply want easy-care in your home. For everyone, daily living takes a toll in our home.
You want to be practical, yet you also want your fabrics to be beautiful.
Here are 4 fabrics that can offer the best of everything.
VINYL
Vinyl is a synthetic leather that comes in many colors and finishes. It can have the look of shiny patent leather as well as other finishes.
It’s easily wiped clean with a mild detergent and a soft, damp cloth. It also doesn’t tear easily.

In this photo, vinyl has been used as a wall covering.

ULTRASUEDE
Ultrasuede is the trade name for a synthetic microfiber that looks like suede.
It feels soft, plush and sensuous to the touch. This fabric is unbelievably resistant to stains. Ultrasuede has the same long-wear as leather and it’s very animal friendly.
SUNBRELLA
Sunbrella has come a long way since its debut in 1961 as an awning fabric.
Today, it’s chosen as an indoor fabric because of its durability and also because their advanced fabric finishes match the look and feel of fine interior fabrics.
Sunbrella fabrics are available not just for up upholstery, but also drapery and accessories like pillows and throws.
CRYPTON
Crypton refers to its fabrics as the “super fabric” and in many ways it is.
On their website, crypton.com, they show a short video with an upholstered Crypton fabric. They take red wine, blueberry pie, crayon, ice creme, dog slobber, and watermelon and apply it to the fabric (it hurts to watch). Then using a tooth brush and their cleanser, each of the notorious stains are easily brushed away.
Available in a wide array of textures and colors, it’s considered a “green” fabric. The protection is built into each fiber and is also odor-resistant.
There you have it—4 fabrics that allow you to keep designer style and make living easier.
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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You’ve decided this is the year to remodel your bathroom.
You have a million and one questions and concerns: what should you budget, should you do it yourself, who should you hire, what are the best materials?
The list goes on and on.
This week’s article addresses all of these questions and many more in a realistic step-by-step workbook that MITCHELL PARKER, Houzz Editorial Staff has written.
It really is a complete “bible” on having a successful bathroom remodel. Even if you decide to hire a designer and/or contractor, you’ll have a heads up before even starting the work.
Many of the decisions will be yours to make, so the more you know ahead of time, the greater your success will be.
Imagine—your bathroom remodel is completed. It came in on budget and the result is even better than you dreamed it would be.
All because you planned ahead so thoroughly.
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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 MINDFUL INTERIOR DESIGN:
I’ll never forget the day that I saw the color green appear around my beloved Westie, “Watney’s” mouth.
We brought him to work with us each day and it was located in an old building. Consequently, there were a couple of rat poison kits stationed in what I thought were hidden corners. Not hidden enough apparently for my curious dog who loved to eat anything!
Realizing he had found the deadly poison, I rushed him to the vet feeling very scared and  certainly like a bad Mom.
After receiving an emetic, we were sent home to let the medicine take its course which it did over several hours. My poor Watney was exhausted, spent, and totally done in with a low-hanging head. However, the treatment worked, luckily for us all, and he went on to live a good life.
It taught me a good lesson and made me aware that rat poison not withstanding,there are other more benign-seeming poisons that we have in our homes and yards that are equally as deadly and risk the lives of the treasured furry members of our families.
ELLEDECOR.com recently shared an article and photos written by MARIA CARTER from WOMANS DAY that show 12 common plants that can harm and/or kill our 4-legged “best friends.”
We love our pets so much in this country that we spend billions each year making sure they’re healthy and happy.
There’s comfort here in knowing that forewarned is forearmed.
                       12 COMMON PLANTS THAT CAN BE DEADLY FOR PETS [PHOTOS]
Dumbcane
While Dieffenbachia is rarely deadly, it can cause airways of pets and humans to swell up and prevent breathing. Avoid the plant’s sap: It causes irritation to skin and, if it comes into contact with eyes, damage to the cornea.
Rosary Pea
Also called prayer bean, Buddhist rosary and Indian licorice, this invasive outdoor plant houses abrin, one of the most powerful toxins on the planet. Just one “pea” can cause death. Watch out for rustic jewelry made with the seeds: A recall was issued for bracelets made with the peas in 2012.
Larkspur
The genus Delphinium (larkspur) covers approximately 300 species of perennial wildflowers.Alkaloids found in these plants can cause muscle tremors, respiratory paralysis, cardiac failure, and death in both cats and dogs.
Foxglove
Although an extract from foxglove is used in pharmaceuticals for heart failure patients, the plant in its raw for is extremely toxic for people, cats, and dogs. Just a half gram of a dried leaf, or 2 grams of a fresh leaf, can kill a human.
Autumn Crocus
Also called “naked ladies” and “meadow saffron,”crocus contains a toxin that causes symptoms that resemble arsenic poisoning and can lead to death—bloody vomiting, bone marrow suppression, damage to multiple organs, and more.
Sago Palm
A common ornamental tree in tropical climates, sago palm has a mortality rate of 50% to 75% when ingested, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). Symptoms include black “tarry” feces, bruising, and liver failure.
Black Locust
The entire black locust tree is harmful, but the bark and shoots are the most toxic. It is estimated that 10% of black locust exposures result in death. Symptoms include nausea, depression, weakness, and kidney failure.
Yew
Never play fetch with a yew branch—a dog could get a deadly dose of the tree’s leaves or bark just by holding a twig in its mouth. Worse, symptoms often go undetected until its too late.
Oleander
Oleander leaves can kill a human, and even take down a 1,500-pound cow, so yeah, needless to say it’s extremely toxic to pets. Symptoms include diarrhea, muscle tremors, difficulty breathing, and cardiac failure.
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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Do you have a non-working fireplace or one that you don’t use very often?
You love the look of a fireplace mantel and surround so you don’t want to cover it up.
However, you don’t like the look of the black hole that’s the fireplace box either.
Using your fireplace as a “frame” is a wonderful design element even without the fire.
Here are 22 ways to decorate the firebox minus the fire.
TIP:  If you choose filling the fire box with wood, make sure all of the wood pieces are clean. The last thing you want are any bugs crawling out!
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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MINDFUL INTERIOR DESIGN:
I’m always looking for unusual table centerpieces for myself and my clients, If it’s something that nature gifts us with, so much the better.
The idea I’m sharing with you this week, comes from landscape designer, ROXANNE KIM-PEREZ. It utilizes simple things that are easily found and not difficult to put together—namely, driftwood, succulents, and tillandsias (air plants).
For those of us living in the Northwest, driftwood is found on beaches everywhere. It’s usually kicked aside like the sand it rests on as we walk along.
But if you really look at driftwood through your artist’s eye, you notice beautiful shapes, color, and texture. This simple  and seemingly common gift of nature becomes a piece of sculpture that time and tide creates and becomes a piece of sculpture—one that you can turn into your own piece of art to be enjoyed for a very long time and with little care.
Roxanne shows you step-by-step, everything you need to create your own “masterpiece” centerpiece. It does require a drill which if you’re uncomfortable using, someone can help you with this step.
Take a look and see how easy this project is to do. There’s nothing like the feeling you get when you create something that requires your heart, mind, and hands. You become the artist and how great is that?
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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MINDFUL INTERIOR DESIGN
This week, I’m sharing an article written by one of my favorite home bloggers.
We live such busy lives and technology, as helpful as it can be, means we never really “turn off.”
Just like practicing mindful interior design to have our perfect home, we need to be mindful about slowing down as well.
As human beings, our lives can quite literally depend on physically, mentally, and spiritually taking a break and re-charging.
Laura gives many tips on how to do this and doing even one can make a big difference in the quality of your life.
What do urban gardens, the home canning craze, the resurgence of vinyl records and the renewed popularity of old-timey crafts have in common? They’re all ways of addressing the same issue: rushed modern life. Boiling farm-fresh berries on your stovetop for jam lets you experience the satisfaction of producing something for yourself that you would normally buy in a store. Knitting a scarf during your train commute helps you savor a sliver of time in your day that would otherwise be a chore. But crafts and cooking aren’t the only ways to access slow living — you can begin today with a practice as simple as looking up and noticing the clouds.
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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I’m working with a client who has chosen to freshen her home and part of this “refreshment” includes fabric.
She has two guest bedrooms and each has a window seat overlooking beautiful trees that were screaming for comphy  cushions.
Partly because she has active grandchildren, we chose indoor-outdoor fabric for the cushions.
We call it indoor-outdoor fabric because it’s come a long way from the heavy canvass always associated with outdoor material.
You’ll find examples that have the feel and texture of regular indoor fabrics. Two of my favorite sources are SUNBRELLA and DURALEE.
While indoor-outdoor fabric is extremely durable and fade-resistant, it’s not indestructible. However, it’s much easier to keep clean than many other fabrics. SUNBRELLA has a website, www.sunbrella.com/stainchart that gives instructions for removing a wide variety of stains.
The cost of this fabric from Sunbrella and Duralee runs from $25 to $130 a yard. With minimal care, you can enjoy indoor-outdoor fabric for many years to come.
Take a look at this photos from HOUZZ. They’ll show you examples of how beautifully they can be incorporated into your interior decor. You’ll see why bringing  outdoor material indoors is a good thing!
Indoor-outdoor fabric has come a long way from the heavy solids and limited stripes of yesterday’s outdoor fabric choices.
Wovens
Prints
Sheers
The perfect fabric for stools and chairs

Don’t forget Fido’s bed

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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MINDFUL INTERIOR DESIGN:
Yikes, it’s hard to believe that summer is over. The calendar says it lasts until September 23rd, but once we celebrate Labor Day, for most of us summer is past tense. If nothing else, shorter days and cooler nights remind us.
Just as changing out our wardrobe from summer to fall is necessary, there are things to do in our home as well that make spending more time indoors even more pleasurable.
This week’s article is from LAURA GASKILL, http://www.lolalina.com/
She is a Houzz contributor and a favorite home blogger. Laura shares 8 ways to make this seasonal transition something to look forward to. Enjoy!
TO-DO’S: YOUR SEPTEMBER HOME CHECK LIST [PHOTOS]
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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Last week I talked about using wallpaper instead of paint for walls and/or ceiling.
This week I want to show you some ideas of using simple framing and wallpaper to create an art piece.
TOUCH INTERIORS
Framed wallpaper. A bright, circus-inspired diamond print paper from Cole & Son was used like a huge art installation in this vibrant living space. Using simple moldings painted to match the walls creates the look of a giant frame around the wallpaper. When to think of framed wallpaper: Framing wallpaper, either in actual frames, or using molding, is a great way to show off a bold, artistic paper without covering an entire wall.
Rather than papering an entire wall, the designer chose to use simple molding to cover just a portion of the wall. This paper is so bold, that an entire wall of it could have been overboard. Using molding, it becomes a huge art installation .
ALEXANDER JOHNSON PHOTOGRAPHY
Framed wallpaper is a fantastic and simple alternative to wall art or wallpapering the entire wall. The frame sizes can be customized as you or your designer sees fit. The pattern is repeated in the window treatment.
The framed wallpaper become the art pieces in this dining room. The design was repeated in the window treatments.
RACHEL OLIVER DESIGN, LLC
Lengths of wallpaper framed with basic wooden wall molding beef up the headboards of a pair of four-posters in this bedroom. A gorgeous F. Schumacher paper was used here, but you could frame a really pretty gift wrap for a budget take on this look.
In this photo, beautiful chinoiserie paper has been chosen as “headboards” for a guest room.
ELIZABETH GORDON
Go garden green. The inspiration for this dining room was a garden that’s framed by the room’s windows. “The clients wanted the majority of the house interiors to reflect the cool blues and greens found on property,” says designer Elizabeth Gordon.
In this example, wallpaper is applied only to the ceiling. How gorgeous is this living room?
THE UPWARD BOUND HOUSE by ELIZABETH BOMBERER
Painted the same color as the wall, the box molding is not a distraction for the large patterned wallpaper it frames. The result is big on drama. More ways with molding: Molding: Add Texture by Detailing Your Detail.
A dining room application where the frames are painted the same color as the walls. They almost disappear focusing your eyes on the paper design. Note: I would have painted the electrical outlet cover the same color as the walls for a seamless look.
SHOSHANA GOSSELIN
Create a multi-layered gallery – Secure some painted moulding to the wall to create frames, then layer box-framed trinkets on top of grass cloth wallpaper. It’s infinitely more interesting than a painted wall or single piece of art hung above the bed.
This last example uses framed grass cloth and framed real objects creating a 3-D effect. It’s used above the bed and on each side of the bed. Really beautiful.
These are just a few ideas of how wallpaper can be used to ARTfully enhance your interior decor in unusual ways.
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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