Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Get your Porch ready for Spring!

It's HERE! Spring! And, yes, with it comes that lovely yellow film that sticks to everything for a few days...but hey, we can't live without pollen, so embrace it and what it brings to life! Pretty soon, you can rinse it off and revive your outdoor spaces!

A good place to start is by checking all your pot & planters. Do you need to replace soil & plants? Maybe you just need a little fertilizer for your existing plantings and you're set!

Some of my favorite container plants for this area of Texas are: Asparagus Fern, Pin Cushions, Trailing Verbena, Salvias, Mint, and Leaucantha. Pick out a container that has enough room for the plants to grow and hold gets really dry here and pots can dry out quickly every day.

Don't forget to add some colorful fun fabrics to your existing patio furniture. You can buy inexpensive fabric to make your own OR opt for pre-made ones from Garden Ridge, Walmart, Target, Marshall's, Ross or Resale shop. Hanging panels to a covered area and creating wispy-flowing curtains can really enclose a space and make it intimate while adding color. Another way to add color to your existing furnishings is spray paint. Spray paint comes in array of colors and finishes... and if you find the right "type" you can paint any surface you want to liven up!

Don't forget the critters! Add bird feeder, bird baths, squirrel feeders and anything else that may call in the wild life around you. Wind chimes can add a sweet melody to go along with the natural one you'll have if you feed your feathered friends.

Look for architectural art to hang. Everyone has something laying around...and if you don't, that neighbor or family member with the building of junk does! Go hunting for the perfect piece of vintage art to include in your newly re-designed outdoor space. Pieces of old fences, vintage gates, pieces of brass, iron or rusty mystery metals are just what the diva calls for. Be sure and think outside the box when deciding what to do with the treasures you find!

You may want to add some reading material for those lazy days outside. I like to add a blank journal or tablet outside too, so when I start to brainstorm or need to jot down my ideas, I have paper and pen to do so!

So what are you waiting for. IT'S beautiful outside!! Get out there and spray off that yucky yellow stuff and get to work!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Picking the Perfect Paint Palette

1. Start Small
If you're not sure where to begin with color, experiment in a powder room or bathroom, a small hall or area between rooms, or an accent wall. If you're doing your own painting, pick an area that's quick to do so you can see your results sooner, and be happy with it or change it. Look at the process as an adventure.
To get started, select a favorite color drawn from artwork, a rug, dishes and an accessory or furniture piece as a main color or accent.

2. Think About Your Mood
When selecting a color, consider the mood of a room. In a bedroom do you want the feeling to be restful and soothing or dramatic and intimate? Soft, cool colors and neutrals usually create a quieter feeling while stronger colors are for drama.
Do you want a dining area to feel sociable and stimulating or appear formal and quiet? Warmer, contrasting and somewhat brighter colors add to a sociable atmosphere; deeper blue-greens and neutrals will give a more formal ambiance.
Do you want kid's rooms to create an active and exciting energy or an orderly and restful feeling? Be careful not to overstimulate your children with intensely bright hues. You may not know it, but some brighter colors can lead to unrest and irritability.

3. Pay Attention to Lighting
The reason why paint stores have light boxes for you to test paint chips:
Natural daylight shows the truest color;
Incandescent lighting brings out warm tones and yellows;
Fluorescent lighting casts a sharp blue tone.
So, a strong color might be too bright and overpowering when used on all walls or next to a large window, but it might be effective when used as an accent wall with indirect light.

4. Learn the Color Terms
It helps to understand the terminology used to describe color.
Hue is what we call a color. Red is the hue; blue is the hue.
The value of the hue is how light or dark it is.
Saturation refers to how dominant the hue is. As we go from red to pink, the red hue becomes less dominant.
Intensity is the brilliance of the color. The pure colors such as red are more intense than the combined colors such as yellow-green. A stronger intense color usually has a more dominant hue.
If you want a more active space, consider introducing stronger, more intense color. Even if you want a light-colored room, choose colors that are slightly more saturated than off-white or light pastel. Very light color can feel bright and stark when it appears on all surfaces in a room. However, two or more medium-light, closely related pastel colors can create a luminous effect when used in the same room.

5.Test Your Color Choice
Boost your confidence by testing colors on poster board or large areas of a wall. Don't be afraid to go beyond your comfort zone: Consider strong, vivid colors or soft, deep neutrals like chocolate brown or olive green as main or accent colors. Or add drama with a stronger color on the ceiling. Tinted ceilings can dramatically change the whole look of a room.

6. Add Depth With Decorative Finishes
Transform flat, dull walls into interesting and personal spaces with subtle or dramatic visual texture and broken color. Burnished mineral/metal finishes and layered colored glazes add depth. Some examples of softly reflective metals are mica, copper, pewter, bronze and, of course, antiqued silver and gold.

7. Walk Into Another Room
Consider walls as planes of color, and see how they interact when viewing one next to the other in adjacent rooms. Approach it like a composition: You're in one room, but you're going to see a piece of another room through it. So as you're choosing colors, consider how they will flow from room to room to create your picture.

8. Follow the Color Wheel
A small color wheel is a great reference tool for modifying and intensifying two or more colors. For example, red and green, which are complementary (opposite) colors, are most intense when used together. You may be surprised at how many combinations function beautifully together, and you may even become attracted to entirely new color palettes. The color wheel also illustrates the visual temperature of a color. Draw a line from the yellow-green mark on the color wheel all the way down to the red-violet; you'll see that all the colors on the left are warm and the colors on the right are cool.

9. Play Up Monochromatic Schemes
Think one color is boring? Create bold or subtle variations within one color group with contrasting paint finishes. For example, use closely related colors, or try a single color in different finishes, for walls and trim in one space.
For an accent color, select a warmer (more toward reds) or cooler (more toward blues) color to complement your main color group. For a quieter ambiance, make sure your colors are not extremely bright. White or an off-white tint can be a striking accent when used as trim with a monochromatic color group.

10. Choose Different Paint Finishes
A single color used on walls and trim takes on new significance when applied in different finishes. For example, wall and trim colors can remain the same hue, but use an eggshell (matte and less reflective) finish on walls and a satin or semigloss on trim. The color will appear slightly different on each surface. It's a good way to create a cohesive look in rooms with many windows and doors, and relatively little wall area.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Trendy Tricks & Tips

It's an ideal time to freshen up your home and try 9 Hot Decorating Trends...


This season look for textiles with large repeat patterns. Embrace the motifs of nature in a big way. Graphic prints are the rage, from big bold flowers to stylized branches. The scale is so big it can appear sculptural.


Old made new again! Unique vintage articles add a touch whimsy and style to any decor. Great for the budget conscious and even better for the environment.

3. WALLPAPER is adds depth, color and pattern to a space. Available in so many new styles you have to see them to believe them!

4. METALLIC on vanity cabinets, walls and ceilings. Accents and accessories in silver, mercury glass, mirrors, and crystals.


Raspberry tones, pinky reds and coral shades are the in colors for home fashion and look fabulous married with chocolate brown.


Clean tones of cobalt, slate, charcoal and gray flannel will dominate. Pair it with orange or fuchia!

7. AVIAN CHIC...all things bird related.

You will find bird motifs in fabrics, accent pieces and wall art everywhere you look this year.


Tree trunk tables, carved decorative bowls, wood motifs called faux bois.


With a focus on earth friendly living, anything hand made, environmentally friendly or made with natural organic materials. The texture of knitted and stitched handiwork is cropping up in ceramics, on furniture and wall decor.

Look around your home today and see what new trend you can incorporate into your existing may surprise yourself!

Ask Stacie...

Q: Hi Stacie, Is there a guide or formula to how much space you should leave between your furniture? -D

A: You should always treat the wall around a piece of furniture like you would the matting around a picture. Do not try to fill up all the space around it. Leave enough space around your furniture so that a person can move about it freely. Also be sure there is enough space to pull out a chair in the dining room without hitting the walls. Here are a few guidelines:

COFFEE TABLE: Allow18 to 24 inches between the sofa and coffee table

TV VIEWING: Comfortable TV viewing- is three times the size of the screen. (i.e: to comfortably watch a 30" TV screen you would need to be seated 90 inches a way).

DINING ROOM CHAIR: Allow 24" to 30" between the back of a dining room chair and the wall.-

BED: The clearance between the bed and wall should be at least 24 inches