June 9, 2010

Quick fixes to your home in a day

by Shelly

I get so excited when I go to grab the incoming mail and see the newest edition of House Beautiful laying in there! Immediately, I scan through my daily schedule in my head to think of when I will have a half hour or so to read it cover to cover that day. Yesterday I did so quite easily, as I spent two hours of my day waiting in the walk in clinic to be seen for my horrific head cold that has turned into a nice little sinus infection.
Well in this months’ issue they featured the work of a few leading interior designers and then asked the some easy small changes you can do in a day to make a big impact in your home.
1. Organize with Trays

“Corral items like TV remotes on a tray on the coffee table. Put liquor bottles, glasses, and bar accoutrements on a tray in the living or dining room, like in this Georgia beach house.” —Jim Howard

2. Display Children’s Art
“Display drawings in a colorful frame, or in a white frame with a colored mat. Hang them in an otherwise unimaginative space. They’re full of spirit — and meaningful.” —Eric Cohler
3. Remove Upper Cabinet Doors
“Remove upper doors. Arrange your dishes and glasses in an interesting way. Put miscellaneous items in low wicker baskets that are all uniform.” —Jim Howard.

4. Paint the Lampshades
“Buy an inexpensive paper shade and paint it red —Farrow and Ball’s Blazer is a gorgeous scarlet. A red shade makes the light incredibly romantic and flattering.” —Joe Nye
5. Bring on the Branches
“Put branches in a container. You could even then go to Home Depot and get a small spotlight to light them from below. It casts fantastic shadows into empty corners.” —Jean Larette

6.Rehang Your Artworks
“Put pieces in unusual places, like above a door. Lean some against a mirror. Hang several in an asymmetrical collage, at least three inches apart, like how these antique mirrors are in a Georgia beach house.” —Jim Howard
7. Refresh the Bath
“Change your shower curtain, or just the liner. Add fragrant candles and a small bouquet. Clear the counters of everything except your prettiest essentials.” —Jean Larette
8. Refresh with New Sheets
“Refresh your bedroom with new sheets. My favorites are white hotel-style sheets with a colored border. They have such a classic look; you can buy them anywhere.” —Eric Cohler
9.Wallpaper the Back of Shelves
“Paper the back of a cabinet or bookshelf in faux-snakeskin, crocodile, or ostrich. Paint can’t come close to the impact. It will inspire you to rearrange your shelves.” —Jean Larette
10.Remove Rugs
“Get a carpet remnant and put it down in an unusual place, like a patio or balcony. Or take up some of your rugs. Bare wood and stone floors can be just as beautiful.” —Eric Cohler
11. Accessorize with Books
“Stack art, design, gardening, travel books — whatever you collect — on a table. Books are my favorite accessory because they’re so personal — they reflect your interests.” —Joe Nye
12. Paint Curtain Rods
“Paint rods and rings with a color that complements the curtains. Rub the paint on with a rag — it creates a softer effect. “—Jim Howard
Some of these suggestions I totally agree with, while some of them I think are so-so ideas. My suggestions? They may sound similar to what the “experts” said, but read on….

1. Rehang Your Artwork: No, not like Jim Howard suggested. I walk into peoples’ homes all the time and immediately think, “That picture is FAR too high on the wall!”. Bring your artwork down to your EYE level. If you have to look up to see it, it’s too high! And if you are putting art behind a sofa, you probably need to lower it even a bit more. You want it to float just above the top of the sofa, not way up above the wall behind it.
Hillary Thomas
Phoebe Howard

2. Declutter Your Kitchen!!!! : Get rid of the mess people! Buy yourself plenty of plastic storage container for your pantry to house all those chips, cereals, etc.  Still not enough room? Pick up some pretty seagrass or woven baskets with lids to set on the floor or countertop. Grab old fashioned glass jars for flour, sugar, and grains. It can be done! I promise you it will make you actually want to cook in your kitchen and going into that room won’t seem like such a chore.
Anne Turner Carrol’s Kitchen via Decor Pad

via Country Living

3. Add Fresh Flowers and Plants: Just by adding a pretty vase with flowers, a potted plant or an indoor tree can really breath life into a room and make your home seem more welcoming.  BUT… I said “fresh” flowers and plants! Please, please, please do not put a silk ficus tree in your home….EVER! Seriously. It looks fake, it will collect dust and look even more fake and no you are not fooling anyone. I promise you. Ok, with that being said there are SOME nice looking silk flowers and plants that have come on the market. They are not cheap. If you see them at Michael’s or any other craft store for that matter, the swap meet, you get the picture…then they’re probably the icky ones I’m talking about. I’ve seen nicer silks at some home boutiques stores and Pottery Barn.  The best ones I’ve ever seen are by Distinctive Designs. A few samples...

Check out their site! If you see something you like I just happen to have an account with them.  I can get you a quote, as well as offer you an additional 10% off!
Barclay  Butera

via Velvet and Linen

4. PAINT: Do your walls look dingy, or do you have dust marks on your walls from your pictures being hung in the same place for so long? Did you paint your house more than say six years ago, right when you moved into your home? OR did you move right into your place and just leave the paint on the walls from the previous owners? If you have little ones, furry ones or a clumsy husband then you need to PAINT! This one thing will make the room seem cleaner, brighter, and more put together (partly because you’ll want to organize a bit after you are done) than anything else you can do to a room. I’ll show you a shot of our home and what a little paint (and umm…undecorating!) can do.
Summer is right around the corner! Are you going to do anything to spruce up your home and give it a quick fix?

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

sarah, flourish design + style June 9, 2010 at 1:30 am

Love your suggestions! When I worked at Pottery Barn, one of our most popular things was the botanicals.. they are lovely! xx


Kimmie @ live fancy. June 9, 2010 at 3:28 am

I have never seen anything like that Hillary Thomas room- it is SO easy to do with my current room. I am seriously going to copycat the heck out of it! And your dining room is lovely- love that sweet shade of blue.


Jessie June 9, 2010 at 10:25 am

I love your dining room! That blue paint is beautiful!


Shelly @littlemrsdoitall June 9, 2010 at 5:04 pm

Kimmie…take a look at Hillary Thomas' website! Her look is so Southern California beachy chic. I LOVE it! Sarah…PB seriously has the best fake flora and fauna. I have two of their topiaries on my fireplace mantel. Jessie..that blue is SO pretty and Reed picked it out! It's BM HC-143 Wythe Blue.


Oonafey June 10, 2010 at 9:46 pm

Your blue dining room paint is beyond yummy! I think I finally found my "office" paint… I hate how it always looks different once you get it on your own walls though. *pout* I'm sure it won't look that good.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: