Is it time to Downsize?

This seems to be on many people’s minds lately. Whether you are moving across town or cross country, moving can be a very daunting process. 

But when your new space is smaller than your former home, the challenge can be especially great. However, downsizing a home does not mean you will sacrifice your style.  It can be a very exciting time and a time to reinvent yourself.

Reinventing this room.

The major key to downsizing is to realize you cannot keep everything you had before the downsize.  You need to be objective and carefully choose all that you love and want to be surrounded by.  You have to think long and hard about what furniture you REALLY need to have.  Holding onto 3 desks when it is just you living in the new location may not be a wise choice.  Think about what you really need and love. Can you trade in your king-size mattress for a queen? Do you need a large sofa and a love-seat? Or can you survive with one or the other?

Another tip for downsizing a home is to maximize storage space. Closet organizers are a great way to store a lot of “stuff” in a small closet. Using a professional closet organizing company may be a good idea.

Using wall-mounted shelves can also be a good alternative to bookcases. They can be placed where you want them, open up floor space and make your room seem less cluttered.

When you downsize, it is an excellent opportunity to consolidate, get rid of and donate seldom used items.  During the process ask yourself, “When was the last time I used this item?” Was it in the last year? Can I live without it? Could someone else benefit from me donating this item?

Reinventing this room.

If you are unsure of how to reinvent your existing furniture in your new home speak to a trained redesigner to help you.  They will visit both your existing home and new home and help you make the best design and cost effective decisions for your new space and life style.

Are you organized or free spirited?

I unfortunately, or fortunately depending on how you look at it, am very organized.  If I have too much “eye noise” coming at me, I cannot concentrate on the task at hand or have a complete thought!

I have found a few inexpensive but effective organizing tips that may help you get started: 
Use Decorative storage boxes to store your regularly used belongings and get them out of sight. Have fun with this!  Use attractive boxes, of different shapes, sizes and fun colors of the season.

  • Use them in your closets for storing bulky sweaters, blankets, and other lightweight items.
  • Use them in your office on shelves to add not only order but color!
  • Use large colorful boxes without lids in a playroom to store/organize children’s toys.
  • Use plastic boxes with a picture of the item on the front for easy recognition.  I love to do this with shoes and handbags!

I love Hooks around the home for storing items used regularly.

  • Hooks on the backs of bedroom doors can organize jackets, bags, and hats.
  • Hooks in a mudroom can hang wet clothing items.
  • Hooks in a kitchen cupboard to hold all the important keys.
  • Hooks to hold all your long necklaces that get tangled in drawers.  You can color coordinate them too! Thank you Container Store!
  •  Decorative hooks on the walls of children’s rooms are ideal for schoolbags and other belongings.
  • Hooks in the bathroom will conserve wall space for hanging towels.
  • In addition, hanging shoe organizers on the backs of bedroom doors using hooks can not only hold up to twelve pairs of shoes but other items too. These holders are great for organizing scarves and small toys.  I also used them to organize my college students in their dorm rooms.  These pockets held face cloths, umbrellas, iPods anything that was small and had no home!  It works great if the pockets are clear. 
  • Ikea has a great organizer for scarves and pashminas!  Love this item!

Use file cabinets as a way to keep papers tidy. I know this sounds silly but it is amazing how easy you can become buried in paper. Paperwork lying around in various locations creates clutter and leaves you disorganized.  I try only to touch paper once, especially the mail.  I try to “trash” or “file it” somewhere other than my desk or counter top.  If space is limited, I suggest using a compact accordion-style file organizer.

Start being better organized by trying the 3 inexpensive ideas above. They are simple things to do but you will feel better organized, more satisfied with your life and find you may have a little more time on your hands because you weren’t searching for things!

I love to organize and simplify my life.  I find the magazine Real Simple is a great read!  Check it out.

Decorating Mantels

Mantels are usually the main focal point in a room and should absolutely receive your best accessories!  Mantels are always our starting point in a room for design.

Today, most mantels are designed asymmetrically with accessories because the finished look is more balanced, interesting and less predictable looking than symmetrical mantels. When designing your mantel be sure to place your accessories at varying heights to create flow and movement  with your eyes.

Create interest to your mantel by layering accessories, adding unexpected color and textures. (Shiny bottles, dull plants, woven baskets, metal statues and soft pillows to the hearth).

Remember decorating your mantel should be fun!  Since mantels are the main focal point in a room remember to change them often to reflect the seasons, holidays and events in your own life.








If you need some help or inspiration with any of your decorating needs please check out our decorating portfolio or contact us.

Decorating Coffee Tables

Coffee tables are central to most seating areas and should be decorated well. In many cases these tables are an important focal point in a room. Besides mantles coffee tables are the 2nd most important area to accessorize and should definitely receive some of your best accessories!

When creating your coffee tables start by:

  • Pulling together various accessories you love and want to enjoy looking at.
  • Start by placing the accessories in various positions creating interesting patterns, shapes and heights with them on the table. Don’t just line them up. Create unexpected
  • Put groupings together if you have small collections.
  • Make sure you have achieved a harmonious balance.
  • Check that the scale of your items is pleasing.
  • Add surprise texture and color to your table to create excitement.
  • AND Most importantly have fun and change your table to reflect the different seasons
    and holidays!

Next week – Mantles.

If you have a passion for decorating and would like to unleash your creativity check out Redesign Right’s 3-Day Interior Redesign Training.

Want to sell your home faster?

Did you know that staged homes sell 78% faster and for approximately 15% more than un-staged homes?  It has been proven over and over again that staged homes in this market are the way to go when you are selling your home.  Whether you decide to do it yourself or hire a staging company, every home should be staged to create a competitive edge and memory in the prospective buyers mind.

bathroom before and afterWhat a difference a few spa like touches in a bathroom can make!

bedroom before and afterRemove the wallpaper, paint the paneling, hang a few pictures and dress an inflatable bed!  Wow instant bedroom!

before & after family roomWhat a difference a few key pieces in a family room can make in the buyers mind!

Interior Redesign & Home Staging Training

“Let us help you achieve your dream of having your own interior redesign and home staging business.”

Transforming Cabinets into Book Shelves You Can Be Proud Of!

Do you have an old outdated cabinet?

Transform it into an updated functional bookshelf for your living room with three simple steps!

  1. Remove the chicken wire doors from the unit using an electric screwdriver
  2. Camouflage screw holes using furniture wood stain
  3. Choose a neutral color of silk moiré fabric and attach it to the back wall using staple gun or hot glue gun

VOILA! What a modern place to display your family’s collections.

“The 5 Step Program” – Are you living in CHAOS?

“Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome”

The good news is chaos is treatable and there is a 5 step program that will help get you on the road to recovery and inviting your friends over.

pic1Step #1 – Let’s Use the Room

Do you have rooms you don’t use?

Well, you are not alone….99% of the time the reason people do not use their rooms is because the furniture is placed incorrectly…’s not necessarily the pieces you own; it’s where you have put them. So before you take a match to your room and start over with all new furniture, check the placement of it.

  • Is your furniture all lined up against the walls similar to a doctor’s office?
  • Is your huge sectional greeting you like a wall when you walk into a room making it difficult to easily enter and sit?
  • Is your furniture spaced so far apart that having a conversation with someone requires a megaphone?

You know, it doesn’t matter how comfortable, beautiful, or expensive the furniture is, if you haven’t set up the foundation of the room with correct furniture placement that welcomes and encourages conversations, then people will not use the room.

So it is not so much the furniture you have… is where you place it that gives a room its functionality.

pic2Step #2 – Let there be light

How many lamps do you have in each room?

Every room should have at least 3 lights in it and ceiling lights do not count! This is one design tip that can transform a room. Having proper lighting not only creates warm and welcoming spaces it also can determine whether the room is used or not.

  • Is there a room in your home that always seems so dark you find yourself not using it?
  • Is there a room in your home that everyone walks by because it is not warm or inviting?

Lighting can be an important key to setting up a room. Lighting determines the mood and helps to execute the function of a room. For instance, the older someone gets the less mood lighting they may want in their rooms. They may trade mood lighting for very bright lights to see what they are doing (master bathrooms).

Perhaps in the family room you may want to keep the lighting moderate and flexible. You may want to include task lighting for reading, as well as mood lighting for entertaining and TV watching.

In the master bedroom you may want to use your 3 lamps to create an all mood lighting that fosters relaxation and rest.

If you need to purchase lamps think big and tall. Lighting shining down on you is much more functional and attractive than lighting coming up on your face (think Frankenstein effect). Ideally, the bottom of the lampshade should be ear level when you are seated and all shades in the room should similarly match.

Since the goal of redesign is to use what you already have, try to resurrect an old lamp with a new drum lamp shade. Some of the ugliest ceramic lamps from the 60’s have been turned into incredible looking one- of- a- kind art pieces that can bring pop to a room.

pic3Step #3 – Let’s Showcase You

Accessories are an important part of a redesign. They are what makes your home different from anyone else’s and they are unique to you. Everyone can have the same fantastic couch from Pottery Barn…but what makes it unique to your home is the choice and placement of the accessories that adorn it!

Your displayed accessories should represent your history, your travels and your loved ones. Your accessories should invoke wonderful memories, stories and help start conversations. Our goal in redesigning is not to only make the room pretty but to make sure we have reflected and honored the people who live there. After all it is your home and you want it to be unique to you and memorable to others.

  • Put all your small collectables together and create an impact in one spot rather than polka dotting them all over the room.
  • For a neater look in the bookcases, take off all the book jackets and arrange your books in order of size.
  • When accessorizing a table mix up textures and contrasts for visual interest. (Shiny/Dull, Soft/Hard, Smooth and Rough)

When accessorizing don’t worry about what is in the magazines think about what is important to you and your family and showcase them.

pic4Step #4 – Let There be Some Breathing Room

Does every wall in your home have something hanging on it?

Unfortunately, many people think their rooms are not done unless there is something on every wall of the room. Often times this creates a great deal of eye noise coming at you and we become overwhelmed and appreciate nothing. It is important that each room have some empty space or breathing room on the wall so we can appreciate the entire room and its art.

When you are deciding on artwork for a room consider the frame color and the theme. They should all work together with the furniture and accessories. I always tell my clients when they are shopping for artwork to buy what they want to look at, make it large and don’t hang it too high. (Or call me and I will hang it)

Like accessories, your art work should be unique to you. It should portray your likes, loves, travels and beliefs. Often times it is the artwork that sets the tone or feeling of the room.

pic51Step # 5 – Let’s Invite the Painter Over Last

Do you paint your room first and then decorate it?

In a perfect world, paint color should be chosen last in your design. It is like buying a pair of shoes and then trying to find the perfect dress to go with it.

The first thing you want to do in a design is set up your room correctly. Start with placing the foundation of your furniture first, than place your lamps, plants and accessories etc …because these will all in the end affect the colors you choose in the room.

Actually choosing a paint color can be tricky. Paint color should be chosen in the room they will reside in. They should never be chosen under fluorescent bulbs at the hardware store nor should your color be chosen because it looks great in your mother-in-laws home.

Also consider the colors you like and the colors you look good in. If you are a blue person than you may not want to paint your family room red. If you do not personally look good in yellow than painting your bedroom yellow may not be a wise choice. Also consider the effect a color may have on people.

  • What color encourages you to eat? (Red)
  • What color triggers hormone relaxation? (Blue)
  • What color alleviates depression? (Green)

By choosing our paint color last in the decorating process it seals and finishes the design. It is just like finding the perfect dress and finishing off the look with a fantastic piece of colored jewelry.

Are you tired of living in Chaos?

“Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome”

Then we encourage you to make a few small changes in your home, using the steps above. It is our hope you will fall in love with your home all over again and start to entertain with confidence.

Debbie Correale
Redesign Right, LLC
Iris Professional Interior Redesign and Home Staging Trainer

“Helping others fulfill a dream of owning their own interior redesign/home staging business
610 955-8202