Friday, October 30, 2015

Decorating Tip: Day 21

Use something beautiful for everyday purposes.

One Kings Lane
This blue bowl would be a fantastic holder for car keys in an entryway, sponges by the kitchen sink, or pretty soaps in the bathroom.

Decorating Tip: Day 30

Woohoo. I am almost at the end of this 31-day writing challenge. It has been made even more challenging by work, kids' sporting events, and illness. And, while I have really missed the less structured way that I usually write posts here, this project has made me think about the blog in some new ways. I expect there to be some changes.

Moving on to today's tip...

Open the curtains and let the light shine in!

Heidi Johnson Keller Williams
This beautifully staged room has no curtains -- which is another tip: Add curtains to soften a space -- but I love, love, love the way the photo shows the light coming in! 

A third tip is to Turn on Lamps for Added Light and Warmth. Which always reminds me of this scene from Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window. It's my favorite movie, and since my husband and I watched it on our first date, it's extra special now.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

One Room Challenge: Week 4

It's week four of the One Room Challenge. The hardest week. Is there any more I need to say about that?

This is a good time to re-assess where I'm going and what still needs to be done in my #backtobasics bathroom.

Remember this floor? It still looks like that.

But I removed these brown rubber-bumper baseboards. That alone has made it look a million times better.

I also gave the ol' heave-ho to this roller shade. I replaced it with a bottom up top down shade--which makes the room soooo much brighter! I'm a tad concerned about how much you can see through the shade from the street so that still needs to be tested (or tickets sold). #peepshow

As you can see from this photo, there's a lot of white and that's pretty blah. But the space is so small that I don't want to overwhelm it with too much pattern/color (which is why I've been referring to this project as "back-to-basics"). Incidentally, I'm wearing that same grey turtleneck today, a few weeks later, I cannot wait until my first Stitch Fix shipment comes!!

Kohler Purist Line
It would be awesome to replace the sink we have with this one from Kohler. I love absolutely everything in the Purist line, especially their brass light fixtures. Did you see Kristin's bathroom makeover?? It is so beautiful I could cry! But we are not doing a complete gut job on ours so this project is low-cost and use-what-we-have (mostly).

Bliss at Home

I still need to paint, which is a pretty major thing, but before I can do that there is a lot of sanding and patching that need to be done. I can't do the floor until I paint. And I can't replace the baseboards until I lay the floors. You see where I'm going with this???

As for the finishing touches, though, I've started to give those some thought. Just because I'm nowhere near done, why should that stop me?!?

World Market
I'm all for this plush wool rug. Even in a bathroom, you might be thinking? Especially in a bathroom, I say! However, it's not in stock. I'm tracking it, so just maybe it'll arrive in time for the reveal on November 12. The space between the tub and the vanity is about as tight as my time frame, and I think this baby will fit.

I'm also on the hunt for a clock for the bathroom. It's pretty, but for practical purposes; a clock keeps me on track when I'm getting ready in the morning. Since there are four of us sharing the shower, that's no small thing. And completely off-topic from decor, but I started taking my shower first this week instead of last, and it's made a huge difference in my productivity level and my sense of peace. Both of which I'm going to need if I'm going to finish this project on time.

The pressure is now ON! Of course all I really want to do is crawl under the covers and eat a barrel of KitKats... 

Wish me and the other 150+ participants luck!

I'm off to get totally intimidated see how everyone else is doing.  Xoxo ~Carrie

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Decorating Tip: Day 27

When mixing colors to create a neutral palette, stick to a spectrum rather than a specific color family.

Kara Rosenlund
With this tip, you can mix brown & gray with black & tan without feeling like you've done something "wrong." There are gradations of color and they work nicely together to create a neutral palette. Too much of any one color would make it feel less serene. *Also be sure to check out the link to see even more of this beautiful Australian home.


I'm using this theory with my outfit today: black slacks, blue-grey-black top, and mushroom colored sweater. It works, and it's also contributing to me feeling really calm. That may also be because I've tweaked my morning routine. Instead of taking my shower last and hurrying through getting ready (usually walking my daughter to school with wet hair--not cool when it's only 37 degrees), I woke up just a few minutes earlier and took my shower first, before the rest of my family.

Now I want to say something deep about how this 31-day writing challenge--which got majorly sidetracked around day 17--has still taught me so much about myself. And that with this self-knowledge, I've made other important changes in my daily routines. Because for some weird reason, October is always the month I do some sort of challenge (take a break from Facebook, stop listening to music in the car, go without makeup, quit coffee). This time around I find myself subscribed to Stitch Fix, making healthy dinners, and keeping up on laundry. Because I am an upholder and because we are planning to use these daily tips to promote the decorating side of the business, I will go back and fill in the holes. For now, though, I'm just happy to be back in the blogging saddle!

Linking up with Meg, even though today is not Monday.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

One Room Challenge: Week 3

It is the most beautiful Fall day here in Michigan!! The trees are in full, riotous color. All crimson and chartreuse and persimmon... It looks like the world is on fire! 

My parents are getting on a plane to fly to Ireland in about an hour. Hooray! And, me? I'm taking my bathroom back-to-basics in six short weeks as part of the One Room Challenge(TM) hosted by Linda of Calling It Home

I'm actually rather late with today's post, and I've totally fallen off the bandwagon of posting a decorating tip per day. It's a bit like that Lumosity game Train of Thought. Have you ever played that one? Well, anyway, it takes a lot of staying power to make all the trains run on time around here, and some weeks I'd rather eat a pan of brownies and curl up with a good book...

Over the weekend I did make some good progress on the bathroom, though. Friday night I ripped the rubber bumper-baseboards off the wall, then went to the hardware store to buy paint and supplies to transform the vanity. I put the primer on the cabinet before bed, then gave it one coat the next day. I used a super high gloss and I like how it makes the dark cabinet reflective. While there I also bought a top-down-bottom-up window shade. I like how much more light the room gets now while still maintaining privacy.

That's the good news.

The bad news is that the grasscloth wallpaper (mentioned here) is not going to work; the bathroom is too humid and it's not recommended. The herringbone pattern for the floor is out because it would be way too many cuts in a very tiny space. My husband has an ear infection, and since I'm relying on him to do the floors as well as fix some drywall issues, those things will have to wait until he is feeling better. I also need to do at least one more coat of paint on the vanity because I suck at painting there are some drips and a patch that pulled away when I took off the painter's tape. 

But I bought some cute little plants this weekend and I'm excited to style the space so maybe that will be enough excitement to carry me through to the end??

Now let's all go check out the rest of the participants! (click on the icon to access the link).

Friday, October 16, 2015

Decorating Tip: Day 16

Sets are a good place to start.

Pottery Barn

If you're decorating a new space, shopping at a store like Pottery Barn or Ethan Allen can be a wonderful choice! Not only can you purchase your big pieces of furniture there, you can also get all of the accessories to go with it, right down to the throw pillows and coffee table books. 

But if you're working on a budget or want a look that's not ready-made but more collected, consider hiring an interior decorator! When I work with clients, I source items from a variety of stores and help them use what they have to create a finished space. Visit Your Organized Space for more details about our services!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

One Room Challenge: Week Two

Today's post comes to you with a soundtrack. Get this song going in the background, then start reading. 
My plan so far is all black gloss, glass, chrome, grasscloth, and brass. With touches of aqua and silver. And maybe herringbone floors. Perfect for a bathroom, I think.

So far, though, I have not done much other than dream in my back-to-basics One Room Challenge bathroom. I'm telling myself that it's because this week is one of the two busy times of year at the nonprofit where I work, and I'm also seeing decorating clients. This weekend, though, I should be able to buy the paint to get started with the vanity I showed you in WEEK ONE

I really need to make some decisions on the window treatment to replace this shade. It might even now be too late for what I'm hoping for... The reveal is coming November 12!

Follow along for sneak peeks on Instagram

Be sure to check out the rest of the guest posts here and the 20 invited bloggers here. There is so much inspiration and talent!!! Thanks to all who have found me and given me encouragement so far! It means the world to me! :)

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Decorating Tip: Day 14


via Objects of Use
Nothing costs less than a good, old-fashioned cleaning session! It makes a house look and smell great. Plus, as things get tidied up, they get moved around. Touching these items even briefly as you clean makes the room feel more alive.

Decorating Tip: Day 13

"Decorating taste might vary, but windows damn well better be clean."
via Frog Hills Designs blog
This quote is from Seven Up by Janet Evanovich, one of the Stephanie Plum novels. I love, love, love her sass! Whether you do it yourself or hire someone, having clean windows makes a big difference in how your home looks--both to others and from the inside. Dirty windows prevent light from getting in. As we approach winter, we need to capture every bit of light there is!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Decorating Tip: Day 12

Buy the mat opening, not the frame size.

Thompson Custom Homes via Home Bunch
I always try to put my photos and other pictures in frames with a mat. It elevates the look of even the cheapest frame, making my family photos and vacation pics look more like fine art!

Buy online: frames and mats

Decorating Tip: Day 11

Change your perspective.

You don't have to have the biggest house on the block or the newest furniture to have a home you love. Acknowledging what you do have with gratitude can make it feel like more than enough! 

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Decorating Tip: Day 10

Throw a party!

Sometimes having a finish line can be all the motivation someone needs to get a project done. If you are struggling to get a room decorated, try scheduling a party. Knowing you will have a houseful of guests might help focus your next steps. And even if it doesn't look perfect, a party is still fun!

Friday, October 9, 2015

Decorating Tip: Day 9


I'm working on our bathroom for the One Room Challenge, and this week's very first step is to declutter what I'm not using. 

This rattan basket is something I've had for a long time. Up until today, I have used it to keep washcloths handy by the sink. But it just doesn't fit my vision for how I want the space to look when the six-week One Room Challenge is over. 

The basket was also the perfect vessel for all the excess body sprays and lotions that I'm not using. By putting them together like this, it makes it feel like a gift! Which makes me feel a lot better about giving it away. Naturally there's some guilt about spending too much money on Aveda sunscreen that I don't like the smell of. And angst about simply giving away perfectly good things I do like (body spray) but have too much of to use before it goes bad. 

If you struggle with decluttering, contact my friend and partner Erica. She is a professional organizer and an exceptionally nice person! Visit Your Organized Space to learn more.

Linking up with Marty at A Stroll Through Life today.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

One Room Challenge: Back to Basics Bathroom

My absolute favorite thing about blogging is the One Room Challenge, created by Linda of Calling It Home! There is a ton of inspiration!! Plus, all of the other participants are so genuinely nice and supportive! It's been a great experience in the past. This will be my fifth time linking up.

I'll start with the pretty inspiration.

Atlanta Homes Magazine

This next image is what inspired the whole plan. I saw it on Beth's Instagram feed weeks ago and knew then that I wanted to paint our base cabinet black.

Judith Balis Interiors
Brace yourselves for the "Before" photos:

It's an extraordinarily small bathroom that my entire family shares. I don't want to surrender one of our four bedrooms and start knocking out walls just yet, so this transformation will be strictly cosmetic. 

But I think there's a lot I can do with paint.

And a new window treatment.

And some updated flooring. 

I'll also use accessories to make it feel more cohesive. World Market is having a bath sale right now, so I'm off to pick up a few things.

Wish me luck!!! 

To check out the rest of the linkup participants visit Calling It Home and be sure to check out the 20 official participants, too!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Decorating Tips: Day 7

Your entryway is your first impression.
Pay special attention to where people come and go from your home. This area sets the tone for your house. It tells guests what kind of people live inside. And, it can signal a threshold ritual for those who live there, reminding them of what they love best about the place they call home.

This tip is similar to how an invitation sets the tone for a party. Which is a fun coincidence since the beautiful door above was repinned from me by none other than the most glamorous party planner extraordinaire, Danielle D. Rollins, author of Soiree: Entertaining with Style.

Danielle Rollins
And that's what's hap"pinning" this week! :)

Come back tomorrow to see which room I've chosen for this year's One Room Challenge!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Decorating Tips: Day 6

Phew! I'm all caught up. If you are looking back at the posts day-by-day, you will see that the number sequence is all out of whack, but whatever... It feels good to have done something I said I would do! 

This week I'm still thinking a lot about how to appreciate Fall, the literal season that I am in. Fall, or autumn, means grey and rainy here where I live at least as much as it means stunning orange and crimson leaves.


Burberry proves grey and rainy is beautiful. 

Grey and rainy brings trench coats and rain boots. A cup of tea in front of the fire. A pan of brownies in the oven. And today's decorating tip... 

See the entirety of the scene when you decorate, not just what is expected.

In fact, adding in a dash of the unexpected can make a room come alive!

Decorating Tip #3

For the basics, choose white.

Heather Bullard
For dishes, bedding, and towels--all building blocks of your design--choose white. 

It helps to create a cohesive look and allows you to mix & match more easily, regardless of whether your style is farmhouse country, urban contemporary, or something in between!

Apartment Therapy

Decorating Tip #2

Don't be afraid to use things in unexpected ways...

Martha Stewart
Tea towels as curtains.

An oriental rug in the laundry room or bath.

A bookcase or dresser in your kitchen for extra storage.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Decorating Tip #1

If you love it, it will work. 

Sometimes people hide away the things they love best because they think that whatever it is just isn't "done" when you are decorating. But I think that's wrong! If you love something, there's always a way to make it work in your design scheme.

Decorating Tip 5: Life's a Stage

Totally cringing this morning because I promised you all a decorating tip per day this month and here it is, the fifth day, and I'm just getting down to business. 

It feels like figuring this out, though, is part of what the challenge is supposed to be teaching me. Because Friday I worked at my nonprofit job, met with a client to grow the decorating business, and saw a favorite friend for lunch. Saturday I tried to figure out a new way to post that would make it easier (spoiler: it didn't work). All along the way, I'm learning to be gentle with myself even as I dream bigger. 

And as I rush around, forgetting things here and there, but otherwise living my dream there's that fear, that nasty nagging voice, that asks "who do you think you are? of course you forgot that thing. you should just quit now. why did you think you could pull this off? what makes you so special???" 

Do you know that voice? I don't like it very much. Luckily, I'm reading a great book right now that argues for thinking big and cherishes those who think differently. The book is called The One Thing, and I just discovered it was written by one of the founders of the real estate company Keller-Williams

This seems like the perfect time to talk about HOME STAGING. The condition of your home is so important that it takes up two of the seven steps on Keller-Williams' checklist for selling a home.

To read some of my thoughts on home staging, check out these posts:

Getting a Good House Photo

A Tale of Two Houses

You can also see my last house staged for sale here.

Even if you are not selling your house, you can still stage it for the life you want to live!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

31 Days of Decorating Tips

It's the first of October, which means it's the start of the 31 day writing challenge! The idea is to post every day. My topic this year, true to my back-to-basics philosophy lately, is 31 days of decorating tips. It is part of the House & Home category.

If you are new here, welcome! My name is Carrie. I am a wife, mom, and interior decorator living in East Lansing, Michigan.

Over the next few weeks I will be sharing decorating tips that are easy and inexpensive. These are the simple ways I've found to refresh virtually every room in my own home and those of my clients. 

If you would like to follow along, please consider one (or all!) of the following ways:
  • By email using the box to the right
  • Google Friend Connect (also on the right)
Or, follow via... To learn more about our professional services, please visit Your Organized Space
Thanks so much for stopping by! I'm excited to get to know you! :)



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...