Whether helping homeowners or builders/developers, we have solid advice to share about selecting and installing dining chandeliers.Read More
Our Thoughts on All Things Home
What do we mean when we say our staging style is Modern? Clean lines, contemporary flair, strong colors, mixed metals and more.Read More
Being featured on other peoples' blogs is always an honor. Here are a couple of places you can find us...Read More
We enjoy taking opportunities to share our design insights and advice at little or no charge to consumers. Some of our recent speaking engagements have been very rewarding.Read More
It can be difficult to decide whether you should go with current trends or abiding classics when choosing renovation finishes. We weigh in...Read More
With yesterday's post about the expansion of our Home Staging business into Full-Rental Lifestyle Staging for empty homes, we couldn't but help reflect on how far we've come.Read More
The current real estate climate in the Arlington/Somerville/Winchester/Lexington/Cambridge/Belmont area in which we generally work has really compelled us to expand our Home Staging offerings--based on repeated requests from realtors.Read More
Selecting exterior house paint color is one of the trickiest jobs around. The factors of scale, sunlight and setting all affect the look of exterior paints...Read More
The principle of establishing creative constraints is fundamental to our success in giving clients functional, beautiful rooms. Before we begin any "creative" work, we figure out the boundaries of the project. We want to know every limit of the job and have learned over the years that the more there are, the more creative we can and must be.Read More
Styling our client's built-in proved trickier than we would have originally predicted, but we got some good take-aways from the experience...Read More
If you’ve watched any decorating television show in the last decade, often times the first thing the designer does is take down an existing ceiling fan and replace it with a light fixture. I am not one of those decorators, I totally embrace the ceiling fan. Ceiling fans these days are not what they used to be, they are sleek, modern and attractive. Add on a remote control and I am in loveRead More
It is remarkable the difference optimally placed furniture can make to the presentation of a home. For sale, in particular, it is very important to have walkways accessible -- that includes entryways into rooms.Read More
Over the span of 6 months we worked with this client to recraft the downstairs of her graceful neo-colonial home. What started with a redesign session ended with install of new furniture and custom drapery.Read More
One of our current projects is serving as consultants on a low-budget kitchen remodel. Our client and her husband want to use as much of their existing items as possible, and plan to do all of the work themselves. She has hired us to give feedback and guidance on her design plan.Read More
We had the opportunity to provide a color consultation on several rooms in a townhouse west of Boston. The homeowner had moved into her unit that was already painted in neutrals, such as beige and yellow. While some of her color palette was in the earth tones, many of her furnishings and art had a modern feel and a citrus-bright color story. Here's what we decided to do...Read More
Our client had many great ideas for how the room could be used: reading, playing games, Web surfing, studying and relaxing. After looking around her house, we realized many of those activities were already taking place in other areas. Rather than try to design the library so that it could accomodate all these functions, we worked with her to enhance the usage of the spaces in the home that were already serving these needs.
For instance, there was already a computer at a desk in the kitchen. We interviewed all family members to see how that area might better meet each of their technology needs. One person wanted a more comfortable chair; another needed access to a printer; a third offered to add their laptop to the computing area. This great collaboration alleviated the need for a computer in the library.
Ideally, we would have the library be a cozy, intimate room for reading and relaxing. By incoporating everyone's voice into the process, it was a way to figure out how to achieve this, and how to rejuvenate the other spaces in the house for their originally envisioned function.
If you are like us, all the wonder and excitement at decorating for the holidays drains away come early January and leaves a wake of work in its stead. The time comes to put away the decorations for another year.
In some houses, furniture gets moved back to its customary location and the standard objects like picture frames and knick-knacks regain their rightful place.
Why not mix it up a bit?!
We were talking just the other day about how both of us use this time to cast a fresh eye onto our living space. It's a fun time to do a little "spring clean" mid-winter. We also appraise if we like the way our furniture is arranged, and if we really want to keep all the little decorations in their same location.
A freshen-up inside can really boost the mood!
Create a zone for each child. Give each child a bulletin board in the kitchen. On this board, they can hang any item they adore. When the bulletin board is filled, each child can place items that must come down off the board into a basket of artwork in his or her room. And when that is filled, you make one of two choices for the contents: into the recycle bin or into an heirloom box for the extra special pieces.
It must be saved! For those extra special treasures, we like this idea for creating an heirloom box for each child: have your children decorate their own large cardboard box from IKEA. In that box, we keep all of the really fabulous items that must be passed along in the future, such as first drawings, first report cards or anything that tugs at your heartstrings.
It must go! So, there are things that just don’t merit display or long-term storage. In our houses, it is usually the kids' worksheets or doodles. To manage the piles of paper, we have an "art basket" in our kitchen. All of this type of work goes into the kitchen art basket. The basket gets filled for two weeks, until recycle day. If the kids haven’t gone back to the item to look for it, then it leaves on the recycle truck. To minimize anxiety over a completely empty art basket, we always leave a few of the most recent items in the basket.
In short, we definitely believe that with a little effort and kid cooperation, your home can both support your kids’ love of creativity and be a place of adult sanity.
When taking furniture from an old house to a new house, the urge is to keep furniture, art and accessories in their previous groupings. By nature, we get locked into thinking about our furnishings "going together" in a certain way. Moving into a new space is an opportunity to mix things up--and, quite honestly, it's also a mandate to mix things up. Reality is that your current arrangement of furnishings likely will not continue to work in new rooms of different shape and geographic orientation.
Here are three simple steps to establishing a great look in your new place with all the same, old stuff:
1. For each room, determine it's optimal function for your family (ignore how the space was being used by the previous owners).
2. Look at each piece of your furniture, art and decorative accessory as a stand-alone item. Forget about how or where it was used in your previous space. Make no assumptions about how it should be used in your new space.
3. Clearly determined room functionality + innovative use of available furnishings=great new spaces. Combine your items to support your new ways of living in your new space.
One very important side-note: color scheme. In a previous post we talked about determining your color scheme. Starting off fresh in a new space is the perfect opportunity to assert your color scheme throughout all your rooms. Be selective about which of your art and decorative accessories you use. And never let the previous tenant's color choices determine your color scheme! Painting a room is relatively fast and inexpensive, so paint over wall colors that aren't perfect for you. Rather than "working around" existing carpets or wallpaper in the new space that don't support your color scheme, remove them. Although doing this work may mean spending some extra dollars during the move, using the previous tenant's choices of these key visual items can completely derail your decorating process and prevent your new space from feeling like the great new home you want it to be. And, remember: paint and elbow grease are much cheaper than buying new things!