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A Master Suite Gets the Attention it Deserves

We recently wrapped up a master suite project for some wonderful clients.  They have a large and very busy family and were in need a of an updated and welcoming master suite where mom and dad could have a little down time at the end of the day.  This couple was so wise to spend their time and decorating dollars on this often neglected part of the home.

One of the great things about this project was that the bedroom and attached sitting room were pretty much a blank canvas.



The suite is very spacious and gets an amazing amount of natural light from the many windows in the space. We knew it could be transformed into a beautiful bedroom for this busy couple.

Our goal:  A cophisticated space that was fabulous to wake up to and a welcoming retreat at the end of the day.  Cozy + Sophisticated = Cophisticated.

We started with paint.  The walls were beige, however, the color was a bit peachy for the overall look we wanted to achieve.  All beiges are NOT created equal as you might remember from this post.   Freshly painted with Sherwin Williams “Accessible Beige” these walls became a perfect backdrop for the rest of the elements in the space.

The placement of the bed in this room needed to be in front of the windows.  This meant that the windows needed to serve as a “frame” for the bed.


We decided to go with bamboo roman shades accented by some light and lovely sheer panels.  A new tufted linen headboard,  updated bedding and a pair of gorgeous glass lamps finished this area beautifully.


We were thrilled to be able to use the client’s existing dresser and nightstands.


The dresser just needed a lamp and a little accessorizing to be just as lovely as the rest of the room.


Across from the bed there was a tall chest that looked a little lost and forlorn and wasn’t needed for storage.


So we swapped it out for a great little sitting area with some soothing artwork.  Much better to wake up to!


The sitting room often serves as a pre-bedime TV watching/family hangout area, so it needed to stylish, comfortable and provide as much seating as possible for the family.


A new chaise sofa and comfortable suede chair provide seating and the windows are up-to-date with bamboo roman shades.  These plus a new media cabinet with storage underneath all came together to give the sitting room a much more updated and cophisticated look and feel.


We were thrilled with how this master suite was transformed from ‘blah’ to ‘ahhhh’!


Often the master bedroom is the last to get decorating attention as we are very often focused on the more public rooms of the house, which is understandable.  However, at the core of every family is at least one parent, usually busy and often exhausted, who needs their own place to relax and renew at the end of each day.  A master bedroom that makes you smile and invites you in and restores you.

Does your bedroom welcome you in and make you smile or is it all piles of laundry and blank walls?   Think about how it might be made more of a sanctuary and less of an afterthought.   Just because you are the only one who sees it doesn’t make it any less important.  Give it the attention it deserves and it will give you back the rest and renewal you deserve.


If you need help staging your home to sell or styling your home into a place you love, contact us at or visit our website at



A little holiday shortcut

I wrote this post the other day about the holidays and how I’m trying not to be a baby Scrinch this year and be stressed out about making things “Perfect”.

A really sweet reader friend commented that what she liked best about the post was that it had one or two “specifics on how to make shortcuts feel like enough. Because they are, if we let them be.”

I love this and it is so true!  Shortcuts can absolutely be enough if we let them be.  Much better than being overwhelmed and doing nothing, right?

So with that in mind I thought I’d share one of my favorite holiday decorating shortcuts.

Here goes:

  1.  Purchase a poinsettia – any color you like.

  2.  Collect 5-6 of your favorite small vases and/or small bowls.

  3.  Cut poinsettia flowers the right length for the containers you have.  (Apparently the blooms will last longer if you sear the cut end over a candle, however, then it becomes less of a shortcut so I just stick them in the water – no searing.)

  4.  Put them around your house in any spot that could use a little holiday cheer.


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apologies for the very unprofessional photography

apologies for the very unprofessional photography



Of course you can make these  more elaborate if you’d like:

image via Southern Living

image via Southern Living


image via Southern Living

image via Southern Living


image via Better Homes and Gardens

image via Better Homes and Gardens

image via Better Homes and Gardens

image via Better Homes and Gardens

image via Better Homes and Gardens

image via Better Homes and Gardens


Simple or elaborate, either way, it’s an affordable and really easy way to deck the halls.  A beautiful shortcut.  Because shortcuts are ok!

Happy Holidays!


If you need help staging your home to sell or styling your home into a place you love, contact us or visit our website at


Pick your own Perfect

Dear Friends,

I had so many ideas for a December blog post.  “How to Decorate the Perfect Tree”, “Recipe for a Perfect Holiday Party”, “Don’t Panic, but Your Mother-in-Law is Coming”.

And then it occurred to me that these may be the last things some of us need to hear this time of year. Enough already, right?   So I started thinking instead about how we might bring ourselves a little less stress and a little more joy during the holidays.

There is no decorating advice in this post and no pretty pictures, so if this is the only reason you’re here, feel free to stop reading now.  Consider yourself warned. : )

As for me, when December rolls around, I become a very stressed out, grumpy and not nice to be around person.  I complain endlessly.   Like if Scrooge and the Grinch had a baby together.

The to-do list is longer than what one human could ever pull off, the presents need to be conceived/purchased/wrapped, some entertaining should be done, the greeting cards must go out, blah, blah blah.  And then in January someone actually has to pay for all of this.

And to top it off, I see so many people around me who seem to REVEL in all of this holiday stuff, LOVE it, get so much JOY out of it.  How???

If I’m being totally honest,  I’d be just as happy to fast forward to January 1.  I like to blame it on the fact that we celebrate 2 holidays in our family and that it’s all just too much.  I’ve come to realize, however, it’s all about the idea of Perfect.

My realization started with this fantastic blog post from a few weeks back by Glennon at Momastery.  And then along came this amazing Ted Talk by Brene Brown.  I was really moved by both of these and I think, for me at least, they are linked together sort of like this:

Fear of not creating the “Perfect” holiday:

= only seeing the bad/overwhelming

= not welcoming your friends into your home over the holidays without major anxiety

= subjecting your family to a very unpleasant wife/mommy for 30ish days

= desire to hide under the covers until the ball drops

And when I say perfect, I don’t mean really PERFECT,  I mean things like “the house is not clean enough” “the food will not be good enough” “the gift might not be exactly right”.  I mean really silly “how could it ever be good enough so I just won’t do it”  kind of thinking.

I’m starting get the idea that (a) this really IS crazy thinking (b) I seem to be missing out on a lot of fun here and (c) maybe I need to define my own meaning of holiday Perfect.  Not what I see in a magazine, or on Pinterest (Heaven forbid) or on someone else’s Christmas card.

I’m still working on what this new Perfect will look like, but here are a few ideas so far:

My kids coming home while something, anything,  is cooking and noticing the good smells coming from the kitchen.  And this can be tacos from a box.

Inviting friends over and not worrying that my floors are not even close to being clean.  I’m toying with the idea that my friends might not care as much as I think they do about how clean my floors are.

Realizing that it all gets done in the end.  Every single time.  Just focusing on today and not freaking out about tomorrow or next week is not actually a bad thing.

And lastly:  thinking about my own Perfect holiday memories.   They are memories of all of us crammed into the tiny den at my grandparents house just hanging out, of staring at the patterns made on the ceiling by the blinking lights on the tree, of waking up in the wee hours with my sisters to see if Santa actually came.  They are of feelings of love, wonder and excitement.  Not one material thing, beautifully decorated home or grand party.

Now don’t get me wrong, there is absolutely nothing wrong with material things, beautifully decorated homes or grand parties.  They can be amazing!  As long as these are not things that are stealing the joy from your holidays.  And if you are one of those people who can pull all of this off effortlessly and enjoy it and still be nice to your family then I envy you.  I am in awe of you.  I want to be just like you!  And I have tried and I have failed for many years in a row.

This year, after finally realizing how crazy it is to let December turn me into baby Scrinch.  After getting that it shouldn’t be about trying to make someone else’s version of Perfect holidays, I’m starting to feel kind of relaxed.  This is an odd sensation for me in December, but I’m sure I could get used to it.

So dear friends, if you’re feeling anywhere near like I’m usually feeling in December.  If you have been pretending to be jolly while really just trying to hold it all together until 12/26,   I encourage you to take some time to think about your own favorite holiday memories.   Perhaps use that as place to begin to pick your own holiday Perfect.  Take a deep breath and see if you can focus more on the good feelings and less on the super high expectations we seem to place on ourselves this time of year.

A wise friend once told me that your happiness is the best gift you can give your family.  Take a moment to think about that as a new holiday Perfect.

And for goodness sakes, whatever you do, stay off of Pinterest.

Wishing you holidays filled with love, peace and joy and your very own kind of Perfect.

image via Warner Bros

image via Warner Bros



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Before and After: Finishing a Family Room

Sometimes a room is just hard to finish.

You’ve got paint on the walls, treatments on the windows, the important pieces of furniture in place, but you’re just not quite there yet.  You run out of the time, ideas and energy needed for taking things from just “fine” to “fantastic”.

This is a predicament many of our clients face. It was the case for a super sweet and very busy family we worked with recently.  They had a wonderful space for a family room.  Great cathedral ceilings, wood floors, a fireplace, nice blinds on the windows and the perfect leather sofa.  But the room needed “finishing” and we were so happy to be able to help.


Here’s a look at the room before:

2014-02-12 14.38.38

They were close – 75% of the way there.  This room just needed life on the walls, accessories and a few small pieces of furniture to look pulled together and live up to it’s real potential.


Here’s the finished family room.


Hello fantastic!

The rug and coffee table were updated with fresh, neutral pieces.

And there were TV and stereo components that needed a home.

2014-02-12 14.16.51


They found one in an adorable media cabinet that is perfect for this spot.




The empty corner and huge blank wall over the sofa…


2014-02-12 14.15.16


Taken care of with a large arching lamp and a family photo gallery.




This corner with huge potential…

 2014-02-12 14.16.05


Was brought to life as a cozy seating area with a comfy chair and ottoman from another room in the home and some colorful artwork.




A console table that was already behind the sofa…

 2014-02-12 14.16.19


Was the perfect place for adding visual interest with some accessories.




And this area near the fireplace…


2014-02-12 14.17.56


Was the just the right spot for a woven armchair that brings both extra seating and some wonderful texture into the room.




Was the room fine before?  Yes, it was just fine and functional.


2014-02-12 14.38.38


But now it is finished and fantastic!



And isn’t finished better than fine?  And fantastic better than functional?


It is better, happier and makes you want to be in the space.  Are there rooms in your home that you don’t really want to be in?  Perhaps it’s because they’re not quite “finished”.

So press on, finish that room, make it a fantastic place you can’t wait to come home to.  A place you really want to be!



If you need help staging your home to sell or styling your home into a place you love, contact us at or visit our website at








Springtime love for your fireplace

Spring is really and truly finally here!  Open the windows, air out the house, let the spring cleaning begin.  And while you’re opening, airing and cleaning, don’t overlook your fireplace.  I don’t know about yours, but mine worked a lot of overtime this winter.

It looks something like this at the moment.


It is dirty, tired and smelly.

This is not very nice to come home to.  And since many of us have fireplaces in the rooms we spend the most time in, why not make them pretty for spring and summer?

First, start with a really good cleaning.  There are some instruction to get you going here. This is not a fun job, but you will be so very happy that you did and you will no longer be greeted by that sooty smell.

Now that it’s clean,  let’s turn that black hole into something a little more appealing.

The first thing that comes to mind is a beautiful green plant.

Ferns are always pretty and will bring a wonderful, spring-like feeling into any space.



Other plants can work just as well.



Isn’t that much nicer to look at than a dark, empty space?  This works equally well for you, gas fireplace folks.  A lovely green plant on the hearth will absolutely brighten things up.


If a plant is not your idea of fun, how about a basket full of logs?

myhomeideas dot com


Beautiful, rustic and natural.


Or use logs…


for something more unique and modern.


Hydrangeas anyone?



They look so fresh and pretty in this fireplace grate.


White objects can really brighten up this otherwise dark area.


Unexpected and lovely.


And if you still want that cozy fireplace glow in the warmer months, candles might be the perfect solution.



Who can resist this?


However you decide to let your fireplace shine this spring and summer, remember that amost anything is better than 6 months of dirt and ashes.  So give that fireplace some springtime love and enjoy it as much as you did this winter!



If you need help staging your home to sell or styling your home into a place you love, contact us or visit our website at





The Dogs of Design

Have you noticed how often dogs are popping up in interior design photos lately?  I’m seeing so many pictures of adorable pooches in their beautiful homes and I love how much life they add to the images.


Check out this cutie-pie on his owner’s very eye catching staircase.




And this guy – I’m thinking he owns this spot.


It’s highly possible that this is one pampered Poodle, as it should be of course.




So many beautiful shoes to chew when Mommy’s not looking.




A friend said to me recently that life is easier when your dog matches your upholstery.

Case in point here…




And here.




Don’t these two have a beautiful place to wait for Mommy and Daddy to come home?




Look at this little French Bulldog and his hip and colorful pad!




And who wouldn’t want to come home to this face?  And that fabulous color on the walls?



I saved my favorite for last.  I have a huge soft spot for Bulldogs – those smushed faces are irresistible to me!  Love how this guys climbs right up and settles in for a snuggle on a pretty cool, rustic bed.




Kudos to these photographers and designers for keeping their spaces real by including these furry family members in their photos.


Are you a dog lover?  What’s your pooch’s favorite perch?



If you need help staging your home to sell or styling your home into a place you love, contact us or visit our website at