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Do you have an old outdated cabinet?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

Using Mirrors in Decorating

Mirrors when placed properly in a room can maximize light and visually expand an  area.   They bring a strong visual weight into a room and tend to attract a great deal of attention and command.  They are a wonderful way to brighten up a room and introduce elements of elegance, beauty and sparkle in any décor.

Mirrors can be used as wall art, architectural enhancements or for the functional purpose of reflecting oneself.  Whenever you are hanging a mirror remember the most important rule is to make sure the mirror reflects something beautiful. If a mirror is to be used for the purpose of checking oneself be sure not to hang them too high as it is frustrating to use a mirror that cuts the top of your head off!

Mirrors make wonderful focal points in a room.  If hanging a mirror over a  mantle make sure you angle the mirror so its reflection shines down into the room.  You want to see a reflection of a beautifully decorated room not a bare wall or ceiling fan above.  Experiment by angling a mirror in a room until you achieve the reflection you want.  It is amazing how the perspective in a room can be changed by just tilting/angling a mirror. Mirrors can be quite influential!  We can visually magnify and create depth in a small room by just introducing one into the room.  When lights and candles are added in as well, the reflection in the mirror creates more visual space as well as a romantic glow!

Mirrors if hung properly can visually expand space in a room.  Mirrors that are hung to  reflect a view out a window  not only bring the outside in, but also enlarge the space and create another “window” in the room.  Mirrors are also wonderful at diverting your eyes back into a room.  For instance, placing a mirror between 2 outside windows helps to draw the eye away from the view outdoors and bring it back into the room.  This is particularly helpful when we do not want to play up the outdoors!

Mirrors are also great as back drops for accessories.  Hang or lean a mirror on a table or bookcase and place accessories in front of them.   The small pieces of art, vases of flowers/twigs, and statues will “grow” in presence when backed by a mirror.  Adding mirrors to dark bookcases sometimes adds just the perfect amount of light needed.

Mirrors can also be used as trays on coffee tables, bureaus, dining tables or in the bathroom to display canisters or perfume bottles.  Mary Carol Garrity from Nell Hill uses mirrors as chargers for her dinner parties to add some drama to her tables.  Mirrors should also be used to repeat beautiful oil paintings, statues and floral arrangements in a room.  If you are missing large pieces of art for a room, try gluing a beautiful platter, piece of small art or metal architectural piece onto a large mirror to create a whole new piece of art.

Mirrors are one of the most universal accessories out there.  They can be used to create, hide, divert and beautify any room and décor.

Debbie Correale, Redesign Right, LLC

Do you wonder how color trends start?

Color trends are not created by random people in attic rooms. Color trends are actually established by international color forecasting organizations. These groups create color palettes, color direction and forecasts annually to the design industry.   Manufacturers look and rely on these forecasts for their company direction and sales success. These color associations actually forecast color direction and trends with remarkable accuracy!

CMG (Color Marketing Group) is one of these groups responsible for choosing the direction of color and design trends. They help translate the trends into salable colors for manufacturers.  This international group has over 1000 members from 20 different countries and forecast color trends eighteen months or more in advance to manufacturers.

Pantone, Inc has been a renowned authority on color for more than 45 years. They have been inspiring design professionals and the industry for years.  What I did not realize about Pantone was that in 1963 the founder, Lawrence Herbert, developed a standardized color reproduction system that revolutionized the color trend world.  His insight that the color spectrum is seen and interpreted differently by each individual led him to develop the Pantone Matching System, a book of standardized color in fan format.  By standardizing the colors, different manufacturers in different locations and industries can now refer to the Pantone system and be assured that all colors will match.  (Now I understand that it is not a pure “coincidence” that my new bed sheets and new dress are exactly the same new hot color for the season!)

Every season designers wait for Pantone to publish their Fashion Color Report, announce their new seasonal palette and “Color of the Year.”  This year Pantone announced Honeysuckle as the “Color of the Year.  We will see this color in everything.  Clothes, shoes, jewelry, bedding, nail polish and yes even a Pantone Visa Card will be sporting this color!  Pantone has described this new color as encouraging, uplifting and one that will instill confidence, courage and spirit in times of stress.

Sounds like a color we should all be wearing.

Debbie Correale, Redesign Right, LLC