Decorating tips for pets (and their owners)!

How do you decorate for that prince or princess in your house?

Oliver
My boyfriend Oliver enjoying his “man” chair

There are so many options for decorating and dealing with the “needs” of your pets without having to give up design or aesthetics. Here are just a few great ideas for your special family members!

denhausAre you looking for a modern twist on the dog crate? Check out this really cool option from DenHaus.com. This is designed for the very discriminating dog (and owner)!

If you have a wire crate and would like a unique way to make it “fashionable”, MollyMutt.com offers wonderful fabric crate covers and duvets. These are also great for keeping your companion warm and cozy in the winter.

Click here for a great looking crate that combines the look of wood and metal. This crate can even double as an attractive and useful end table!

And how about this for a home! Your special friend can sleep in their own tent! This lovely home is from DoggieVogue.com.

There are also very chic items for you cat lovers as well, this bed found on PoshPuppyBoutique.com, is actually described as a “pet” bed and can be used for either cats or dogs and comes in multiple colors to blend in your home.

When it comes to our pet’s dinnerware let’s not settle on plain and simple. Check out the many options at the Posh Puppy Boutique. There are many to choose from! There are bowls for everyone’s taste. Whether you want contemporary, modern, Asian or a bowl made out of a skate board you can find it!

And let’s not forget the treat containers! Check out Etsy.com for a large array of treat containers for your pet. I never realized how many options there are for treats…… I guess it is time for me and Oliver to trade up from the ziplock bag!

For more unique decorating ideas from Redesign Right contact us at debbie@redesignright.com or 610.955.8202.

Decorating Ideas for the College Student

Don’t you love that commercial where the man is skipping through the office supply store and the music in the background is playing, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year…” as it’s Back To School Time!  All the parents are joyfully saying, “YEAH!!!” as the kids moan and groan.  For those of you that are sending your loved bundle off to college I wanted to dedicate a blog post on decorating for the college dorm room or apartment.

For the first-time parents of soon-to-start college students here are a couple of things to keep in mind:

  • Space is a luxury students won’t have!
  • Bring some items that are reminders of “home”.
  • Be organized!

If your college student is going to live in their first apartment here are some decorating ideas:

Pick a theme!
Since in many cases rooms will be shared it is best to communicate a taste preference with the roommates before the move in date. An overall neutral theme that anything can go with would be the safest choice and then individually personalize the spaces with accessories.  Retail stores, such as Target, allow a wonderful option to go online and create a “list” of items that can be shared with roommates for feedback.

Find your Furniture
The most expensive investment when starting in a new apartment is furniture.  Ask friends and relatives to see if they have anything that they would like to donate to you – remember you can always spruce up a couch with pillows! And remember spray paint is our friend.   Look online for sources such as Craig’s List and Ebay Local or visit your local Goodwill Store for things.  Ikea also has a whole line of furniture geared for multi-use, small space decorating that is affordable, check that out here.  For all of your bathroom and kitchen needs you may also want to check out Bed, Bath & Beyond who has added a tab to their website just for the College Student!  In fact, Bed, Bath & Beyond has kindly suggested a college dorm packing list, click here to view the list.

Do It Yourself!
Preparing a student for college can be overwhelming and very expensive that first year. Students have a vision of what they want their new home to look like and parents have the vision of dollar signs!  Having sent my last of 4 children to college I can tell you there are many cost saving ideas out there.  Websites such as Better Homes and Garden, eHow, and diynetwork.com have great DIY (Do-It-Yourself) videos and instructions for many cost saving decorating ideas.  There are also great magazines at your local bookshop, or you can jump over to Pinterest.com where you will be overwhelmed with ideas!

Also don’t forget to pack your cherubs with a cleaning supply bucket, equipped with sponges, cleaners, wipes, etc. Through the years, I have found that the cleaning supplies were the most cost effective item we bought for school and lasted for years because they were only used by me on move in and move out day!

For more information on how Redesign Right can help you make your college bound child make their dorm feel like home contact us at 610.955.8202 or  debbie@redesignright.com.

Decorating for the bachelor…

Ok fellas – this one’s for you!  For all you bachelors looking for a redesign we have a simple 3-step redesign for you!  First of all, the first impression is a lasting impression.  When someone walks in your front door you want them to say to themselves, “Wow, this guy really has it together!”  Your living space does not have to equate to a large “man cave” it can and should be clean, simple, and memorable.

Keep it clean!
As I said, first impressions are key!  Have a place for everything – get organized!  This could be as simple as going to your local home store and purchasing decorative containers to hold your stuff.  Don’t get nervous, this can be accomplished by going to Home Depot!  If you dislike shopping, shop online!  There are great organizational stores, such as The Container Store, that sell everything and anything you might need!

Keep it Simple!
Think of the colors that you enjoy – pick a simple palette and you won’t go wrong!  Benjamin Moore has a whole line of “masculine” colors, here are a few:  Gentlemans Gray HC-168, Fort Sumner Tan 1119, Mallard Green 2053-10, Lead Gray 2131-30, Golden Retriever 2165-30, Richmond Green 553, Hodley Red HC-65.  Pick one “base” color to start with and stay within the shades of that color.  This is an easy no fail monochromatic design style.

Make it Memorable!
Always start with your largest piece of furniture in a room.  A couch, a master bed,or a desk and position it in a position of importance.  Then arrange the rest of the pieces of furniture to complement and enhance it.  Then accessorize your furniture with pillows, throws, lamps, and plants to pull the room together. Accessories in a room are important!  They eliminate the “I just moved in look.”  If you are unsure of the “look” that projects you, check out this article on some great styles. Remember your home reflects who lives there.  Start with these simple steps of keep it clean, keep in simple and make it memorable and you are on your way to decorating success.

What is old is new!

Don’t you love the look of vintage?  Who hasn’t paged through the many cool items on Etsy.com and thought, “I could make that!”  For those of you who can, that’s great, and for those of you who wish you could …you CAN!

spray paintThere are many ways to resurrect items!  Remember spray paint is your friend .  Anyone can paint don’t be afraid – fearlessly give it a try!  Click here and check out just one simple idea on how to change an ordinary old table into a retro piece of art!  Be create and let your imaginations go wild!  I love to spray paint and while writing this article I found this great and informative article on how to spray paint. Click here to check it out, it is fabulous!

Want to update your chairs easily?  Just replace the fabric or paint them – it’s not hard and it can make a huge difference in your room.  Whether you have chairs or bar stools here is a clever way to bring life to them again. If you have an old dining room set with fabric seats – change the fabric to a new fun color. The newest color this season is Tangerine!  What an easy way to update your tired dining room!  Click here for a step-by-step process on how to recover fabric chairs!  Since these chairs do not require a great deal of fabric you can splurge on higher end fabrics and bring your room to a whole new level!

If you want a change in your living room but can’t make any major purchases – pick up a new set of lamps at an antique store, or repurpose some lamps that you no longer like.  Keep in mind the trusty spray paint can modify anything so don’t get hung up on the color!  Purchase a nifty new lampshade at your local home store (such as Target, Home Goods, Loews, etc.) and you’re in business!

Anything can be repurposed – all you need is to look at things with fresh eyes – take on the challenge and ask yourself, “what could I do to this piece to give it a whole new look?”  Have fun!!

Time to Downsize!

Downsizing can seem like a daunting proposition – but if you break it down into “bite size” pieces you’ll find you can get through it!

First you need to come up with 4 areas in your home.  You need an area or boxes to:

Keep – Donate – Re-gift – Throw

A good rule of thumb is if you have not used it in 6 months (or even a year) there is a good chance you will never use it.  As you go through each area remember it will cost to move it.   Also when you unpack you will have to find a home for everything you decide to keep!

Here are a few tips to keep you focused:

  1. Try to stay emotionally detached from your “piles” as if they belonged to someone else.
  2. Keep only the things that you can realistically useor store in a small space.
    • Appliances:  If you haven’t used that bread maker, Cuisinart blender or smoothie maker in the last year…it’s time to get rid of it!
    • Clothes:  If you haven’t worn it in the last year, it’s time for it to go.  Even if you can still fit into it, styles change and you will look “dated”.
    • Your children’s stuff:  If your children have long gone to college and are in their own places they should be responsible for all of their stuff!  If you have collected a lot of holiday items for decorations – now is the time to give that away to your children – so they can share with their children.
  3. Plan to sell or give away.  If you don’t have the time or don’t want to figure out EBay, you can find a trading assistant to handle this for you, click here to read more.

Although it is hard to part, you need to keep your emotions at the door of each room.  As you are going through your home remember there are so many charitable companies that would love to have your discarded items (assuming they are in good working shape).  If you don’t have local women’s shelter or church give your items to the Salvation Army and Purple Heart.   Both of these agencies will actually come to your home and pick items up!  You should check with them for the rules of what they will and will not take.

If you have large furniture, keep in mind that you can sell this to put toward the purchase of new and updated furniture for your smaller space.  EBay and Craig’s List are great ways to do this!

If you need help in deciding what will go to your new home we will be glad to visit both sights (new and old) and help you decide specifically what will fit into the new home.

Contact us at debbie@redesignright.com or 610.955.8202.

Wishing for a seaside vacation? Bring the sea home!

Wishing you owned that cute little cape? Until that dream comes true, why not create your own version of the “dream” in your home! Create that seaside getaway by bringing the beach into your redesign this summer!

Here are some quick and inexpensive ways to achieve this!

First, choose a room where you want this “seaside” feel to reside…

Secondly, think about the beautiful blue sea, the natural colors of sand, baskets and pebbles. Think of the green colors in the ocean and palm trees. Create the palette of colors that remind you of the beach and memories from your past that bring you joy. These  colors will be the palette in which you build your room.

Thirdly, start accessorizing and having fun. The room needs to reflect YOU! What you
like and what you want to be surrounded by. Frame a picture of your favorite get away!
If you wish to create an “antiqued” look to your artwork click here for a great way to age
it using coffee! I have also found that rubbing a small amount of dark stain over the print
will quickly give it a nice “aged” look as well. (First practice on something first to make
sure you like the look!!). If you want to add a rope mirror to your design as one of your
wall hangings, I just found a fun article by Nate Berkus on how to make one yourself!

Click here if you’re feeling ambitious!

Also don’t forget to bring some real seaside elements into your design! Beautiful sea-shells, driftwood and coral are great accessories to decorate with. And you can find driftwood and sea shells on the beach which makes them a very affordable accessory! If you cannot find coral on the beach you can now purchase faux sea coral. Check these out. Right now lanterns are very popular in all styles of design. These beautiful hurricane lanterns can be a wonderful focal point on your coffee table. Add a beautiful sea color candle will top the look off! Be sure in your design to add lots of natural textures, such as a sisal rug, baskets and tall sea grass. Most importantly have fun with this – make your space special and sea worthy for you!

For more information on how Redesign Right can help you bring the sea into your home contact us at debbie@redesignright.com or 610.955.8202.

Are you selling your home?

Does the outside of your home appeal to prospective buyers?

Here’s a handy-dandy check list of what you need to check on the outside of your house before a showing:

Has your house been power washed recently?  If you see any signs of black or green mold, it’s time!  A power washing company should be able to take care of this for you.  Also don’t forget to have your sidewalks, paths and outside chimney cleaned too.

Does your house present a nice curb appeal?
Do you still have leaves from the fall under your shrubs?  Does your mailbox need to be replaced?  Can the prospective buyer/agent find your house numbers? Plant some flowers around your mail box or lamp post to add a nice pop!  Add pop of color to your front door so it can be seen from the street. Be sure your lawn is mowed and edged!  Sweep or blow all grass clippings off the walk way, and front steps.  Check that there is not an accumulation of grass clippings and dead leaves around your curb.

Let the summer sun in!
Be sure your windows present well without spider webbing – make them sparkle! Make the outside glass light fixtures sparkle as well! Here’s a great link on how to clean your windows so there are no streaks!

Selling your home is the biggest asset you will ever sell.  You want to make sure you put your best foot forward.   If you need help staging your home, don’t hesitate to contact Redesign Right!  We work as much or as little as you need to get the job done.

For more information on how Redesign Right can help you stage your home for a quick sale contact us at debbie@redesignright.com or 610.955.8202.

Inexpensive ideas to Spruce up your Home

Decorating a home inexpensively doesn’t mean that a house has to look cheap. There are plenty of ways to decorate or update your home without spending a lot of money. In fact inexpensive decorating can be fun!

I love to scrounge through second-hand shops and garage sales in neighborhoods.  Although, many of these items are outdated or slightly damaged, much of them are very well constructed and can be made into high quality treasures! I tell many of my students that some of the greatest designs have been created by thinking way outside the box! Spray paint needs to be your new best friend!  Repurposing lamps, metal pieces and furniture with spray paint can resurrect and create some of the finest focal points in a room!

Don’t underestimate what is outside your home. Look at your patio furniture.  Some of the best end tables end up being a metal piece of furniture from the patio. The trend of metal furniture, art and accessories is strong right now.  Check out your own patio first! Also look around your yard for items that will bring nature, texture and color to your room. Tall twigs in a large vase are an excellent way to create height as well as bringing nature into a design.

Another easy way to update a room at minimal cost is to look at your existing furniture and consider slip covers or a few new throw pillows. Also consider purchasing a few new inexpensive accessories in the newest season colors. (Tangerine). You only need to introduce the color three times in a room to balance and ground the design.

It is amazing how adding a few new pieces of newness can transform the entire look and feel of a room! I know it is hard to believe but try it!  It is similar to wearing a dress you have had for 5 years and updating it with a fantastic wild new belt!  The same principle can be applied to your rooms.

For more information on how Redesign Right can help you spruce up your home contact us at debbie@redesignright.com or 610.955.8202.

Decorating Decks, Porches and Patios

I don’t know about you but I am excited that the nice weather is here and we can now sit outside and enjoy the beautiful weather and nature.  One of my favorite things to do in my own home is decorate my deck to look like another family room.  Here are a few quick ideas that can help you achieve this:

Add instant color and height!  Purchase a tall flowering plant that will not only add height to the area but also a pop of color. You want to pick a plant that will flower all summer long and possibly into the fall.  When you transfer the plant to your pot, be sure to also plant some ivy or a combination of cascading and flowering plants at the base of the pot to finish the look.  I also add a bit of mulch to the pot to not only finish the look but it also helps keep the moisture in as well.

Be creative with your container gardening.  Look around your storage area, do you have any old baskets you don’t use anymore – think about using them as decorations for your plants!  As long as you have proper drainage, many things can be used!  Click here to review some information on choosing the proper containers from the folks at HGTV.

Add some outdoor light!  Just like inside, lighting can make or break the ambience of a room.  Be sure to think about lighting when designing your outside spaces.  Don’t forget the importance of candles in a space! Check out the latest lanterns and hurricane lamps at places like Pottery Barn or Home Goods to find soft outdoor lighting options.  Have some fun – it can be simple or crazy!

Add an outdoor rug! Just like inside, we need to ground the conversational seating area outside.  One of the easiest ways to ground furniture is to place it on a rug. It also makes the seating area more intimate and cozy. Heck, you may forget your outside!  You can achieve this by purchasing an inexpensive rug at any Target or Wal-Mart.

Enjoy your outdoor spaces this summer!

For more information on how Redesign Right can help you decorate your outdoor spaces contact us at debbie@redesignright.com or 610.955.8202.

Picking a Paint Color Can Be Intimidating!

Sometimes picking paint colors for your home can be frightening!  There are so many decisions to make and you don’t want to make a mistake.  Understanding some simple design color principles will help you get started.

Most interior decorators use the color wheel to set up basic color schemes when designing homes.  All colors arise from the basic three primary colors. The Primary colors are yellow, blue, and red.  All secondary colors on the wheel are achieved by mixing any two of these three basic colors together in various ratios.

Complementary colors are colors that are opposite on the color wheel.  These colors when placed together create excitement and drama. For example, violet placed next to yellow or orange placed next to blue are good examples of complementary colors achieving drama in a room. With this in mind, each homeowner must decide which color trends is more appropriate for their individual needs.

Analogous colors schemes are colors that reside next to each other on the color wheel.  For example red and purple, yellow and orange are both examples of analogous colors. These combinations tend to be a bit more soothing than complementary colors and work well in a more casual informal area.

Monochromatic color schemes feature one color in varying shades, tones and tints.  Most of the time these color schemes are restful and sometimes almost monotonous.  However, I have seen shocking pink monochromatic color schemes that were anything but restful!

When choosing your color scheme keep in mind how you want the room to feel, who is going to use the room and what colors are already in the home. If you are unsure what colors to even begin with, look in your closet.  What colors do you tend to like, feel comfortable in and are drawn to?  Once you decide on a color try the different color scheme suggestions above to help you formulate your plan of action.

For more information on how Redesign Right can help you choose the right color for your next project contact us at debbie@redesignright.com or 610.955.8202.