Your home can be organized and beautiful.

If you had to choose would you choose form or function?

I recently had a discussion about this with one of my favorite clients.

She said that her sister who is artistic will always choose form. But my client herself is very practical so she will always choose function.

But guess what? I am here to tell you that you can have both! This is why I am so passionate about organizing and styling. It is those finishing touches that make your home feel warm and welcoming. These finishing touches also add an extra incentive to keep these areas organized.

There are so many creative ways to provide beautiful storage solutions that are still just as functional and easy to maintain. For example, this is a photo of my client’s bathroom counter. I have worked with her for years and she has a beautiful home that is decorated with earth tones and pops of greens.  When I walked into her bathroom and saw a  dusty clear dish on her bathroom counter with a mixture of buttons, coins and some jewelry thrown together I told her I knew we could do better.

Her first question was if we put some other tray or dish here isn’t it going to look more cluttered? Nope! I assured her that was not the case. I suggested we go straight to the kitchen and look in her cabinets at the entertaining pieces she was not using. We found this beautiful wooden tray and then we grabbed these adorable bowls. The greens in the bowl matched her bathroom accents perfectly.

The whole process took less than 20 minutes but made such a big difference! It didn’t cost her a penny and it elevated her bathroom and gave her a more functional system.

Do you have a spot you could improve in your home by getting creative with some storage?

 

How to add Hygge to your home

What is Hygge?

If I had to describe Hygge in one word I would say “ cozy”.

I have found that over the years my style has evolved and I love the feeling of a cozy home.

The more cozy elements I add the calmer I feel. 

Some of my favorite ways to make a home feel more Hygge are:

-Blankets, pillows and more blankets!

-Battery powered candles and twinkle lights.

-Real candles burning in my favorite scent 

-A warm dog on my lap 

-A cup of tea or coffee 

-A good book or movie 

How does your home feel right now? Could it use some cozy touches for Fall?

Are you ready for summer guests?

photo credit: Pure Salt Interiors

Summer can be such a busy time filled with lots of activities and trips. It can also be a time for last minute guests.

-A visit from family or friends or a last minute sleepover for the kids.

– Birthday parties and cookouts, Special occasions and events.

-A neighbor dropping by for a play date or glass of wine.

-A last minute weekend get away or day trip to the beach or lake.

So what can you do to make summer a little easier and less stressful? How can you be ready for your guests and stop that last minute panic?

Guest Room:

-De clutter your guest room now. If it is always ready for guests then there is no last minute panic and shoving everything in a closet.

-Update the bedding and towels. Make sure everything is clean and fresh.

-Make sure the room is clean. Dust and vacuum regularly to keep the cobwebs and dust away.

-Make sure there is a working lamp or some sort of lighting.

-Check your guest bathroom inventory for soap, shampoo and any necessities guests may need.

-Have a space for guests to put their suitcase or hang up a few items.

Household Systems:

Set up household systems so that everything has a place and it is easy to maintain. This makes a last minute clean much easier.

Keep surfaces clear from clutter:

Keep main surfaces as clean as possible. Try not to use your dining room table, kitchen table or kitchen island as a drop zone for papers and other clutter. If these surfaces are easy to clear then last minute entertaining is much easier.

Kids Areas:

Create a summertime routine so that kids areas do not get completely out of control.

There is no reason for “mom” to keep spinning her wheels cleaning up all the time. Kids can be taught routines and taking care of their things; then when they ask to have a friend over no one has to be stressed and cleaning frantically at the last minute.

 

How does your home make you feel?

 

 

Does your home feel like a sanctuary or is it a source of stress and anxiety?

I had an interesting conversation with a longtime client last week. She commented that she loved her powder room and it made her happy. It was recently redesigned with a new bold patterned wallpaper and a textured tile backsplash. Along with a new beautiful navy vanity and a fun piece of artwork.

Before my client even said anything I had been thinking how much the powder room represented her fun bold and colorful style. And how streamlined and clutter free it was compared to other parts of her house. So I asked her “What if your whole house could feel as good as this powder room?”

You don’t have to tackle your whole house at once. Just take one space at a time. Walk around your house and take inventory of what spaces and things you truly love. Less is more..you can create the home you have always wanted.

Take one room at a time and be a ruthless editor. De clutter, organize and style it so it represents your current lifestyle. And your style right now. Not the you from 5 years ago, not your ex-husband’s style and not the hand me downs from your family and friends you are keeping out of guilt. Keep only the things that feel like you and make YOU happy. (Of course, you do have to be mindful and respectful of other family members and their spaces.) But start with what you can change and you and everyone else will notice a difference I promise!

Living room design for senior clients

 

I got a call from some clients that I have worked with for years. They are a sweet older couple in their late seventies and wanted to convert one of their guest bedrooms into a cozy den.  I was so excited to help with this project! The only things they really had in the room were 2 new recliners and a TV stand that had a fireplace insert. (Which they said they absolutely loved the coziness the fireplace added so that right there gave me some ideas.) So the design was a clean slate!

I suggested we do a cozy library feel with lots of browns and oranges. Soft glow of candles and fireplace.

They had an eclectic mix of artwork so we discussed that 3 different types of art would not work in the room. Southwest, Thai dancers and a barn. We decided to use some beautiful prints we had discovered while de cluttering my client’s office. They were beautiful brown sketches with an old world feel and would definitely go with the vibe of the room. We redistributed the other pieces of art to different areas of the house.

We started with a Pinterest board to narrow down color palette and general aesthetic. I encouraged them to order a low bookcase to go on an empty wall to add some warmth. I suggested we style it with some mementos from their travels, old books and a few new accessories. It would also be a good place for my client to keep his lap top and any reading materials he wanted near his recliner.

I took them shopping and it took us a little over an hour to find everything left on our list!

It really is amazing how a cohesive color palette and accessories can completely transform a room.

We still have a few tweaks and things to add but I love the way it turned out. It is such a cozy relaxing room. And the best part… the dog agrees!

 

Things I envisioned for the room:

-Low bookshelf in a dark wood to match TV stand

-Vintage sketches framed above bookcase

-Panoramic picture on long wall above recliners

-Faux plant to bring outdoors in (they did not want maintenance of a live plant and very little light comes in room).

-Battery powered candles in metal votive holders to create a cozy relaxing vibe

-Rug with warm colors like brown, orange and green

-Curtains in a neutral color

-Display old books and mementos from travel

-Stained glass lamp

-Wooden tray

Fresh Flowers and Feng Shui

Have you ever thought buying fresh flowers for yourself was a luxury? Maybe it seems too expensive and frivolous? I used to feel the same way until I started following the amazing Amanda Gibby Peters and bought her book “Simple Shui for Everyday.” You can read more about the advantages below in her post.

If you are at all interested in Feng Shui she is a master and so inspiring. And even if you think Feng Shui is too woo woo…buy yourself the flowers anyway because you are worth it! I truly believe it’s the little details that make such a difference in our homes and how we feel!

your *excuse* to buy fresh flowers…

 

 

 

The benefits of Shopping Secondhand

Shopping secondhand may take time but there are so many advantages to it!  After years of helping women with their closets I can honestly say there are so many clothes out there that are in new or like new condition that end up at consignment or thrift stores.  Taking items to consignment is a way to make a little money and pass your items on in a responsible way where they don’t end up in the landfill.  If you aren’t worried about getting any money back for the items then there are so many great thrift shops that support wonderful causes  that you can donate to.   And the best part is  that someone else benefits from something that was just taking up space in your closet and never being worn.

What are some of the biggest benefits of shopping secondhand?

-You can try a variety of brands all in one place and you may even discover brands you didn’t know about.

-Once you identify the brands that fit you best you can look for those specific brands in the future.

-If you have an item, style or brand that is no longer made sometimes you can find these gems hidden at consignment and thrift shops.

-You have the opportunity to buy brands that are higher end and better quality for a fraction of the price.

-If you need some transitional pieces for weight fluctuations ( as many women struggle with, myself included) then you can buy some staple pieces at an affordable price.

-If you have a special occasion that requires an outfit you are not likely to wear often you can buy secondhand to stay within a budget and not have to spend money on something new.

I hope these tips helped and you are inspired to buy secondhand or at least do some  browsing! Its’ fun to see what you might find!

Some of my favorite local shops are:

Pennies for Change Thrift Store, Durham, NC

http://thedcrc.org

My Secret Closet, Hillsborough,NC

http://www.mysecretcloset.com

The Stock Exchange, Chapel Hill, NC

http://www.shopstockexchange.com

 

The little things do make a difference…

Do you ever say to yourself “Well this room is a mess and I don’t have time to do a big cleanup so there is no point in trying?”

I’m here to tell you the little things not only make a difference but they also provide motivation to do more! There are so many times that I have worked with clients who say “That area isn’t a priority and it doesn’t really bother me.”

Until….we improve the spaces around that area and suddenly it really jumps out as an eyesore and starts to drive them crazy.

This is why I am so passionate about organizing AND styling your space.  When you style your space or even just a corner of the room and love the way it looks then suddenly you feel better and want more of that feeling in your home!

What is one small thing you can do today to make your space feel happy?