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

Friday, February 20, 2009

Granite Countertops- SO Yesterday!

For nearly two decades, granite has been the number one choice for kitchen countertops. Like its predecessors laminate and solid surface, granite will soon become a thing of the past. The theory is that once a material is found in apartment complexes and tract homes, it's on its way out. So what's next? Here are few a new options:

The trend now is toward warmer and softer materials like wood, copper and soapstone. The most popular woods for counters today are walnut and teak sometimes paired with copper. Both require more maintenance than granite. Wood needs frequent sanding and oiling, while copper requires buffing and polishing.


Some soapstone is mined in Georgia and some people feel that soapstone is more subdued and warmer than granite. It looks old immediately and achieves an attractive patina with use. It can also withstand hot pots and pans.

The material has become more popular in the last few years as a material for counters, but it has been around since the turn of the 20th century when it was invented to shield the undercarriages of trolley cars from sparks clicked up from the tracks. It is made of a mixture of cement, sand and recycled paper.


For a sleek, modern look, some people are choosing seamless sheets of textured glass."ThinkGlass" has a line of luminous and glacial-looking solid glass countertops that are more sanitary than granite and just as durable.

New terrazzo products made of recycled glass are also generating enthusiasm. Vetrazzo and IceStone are manufactures who make this product. Both products are as durable as granite, are less porous and therefore more stain resistant. Resealing is recommended every year or two.


This is a quartz composite surface that is manufactured by Silestone and Caesarstone. The appeal is a soft more uniform look than granite. Engineered stone is virtually maintenance free and is available in a wide range of colors. While it looks like stone, this material is non-porous. It does not stain or require routine applications of a sealant.


THIS IS HOT (no pun intended). This product once fired, becomes seamless and looks like a polished gem stone. It is oh so GORGEOUS! It will not stain, chip, scratch or scorch and it stands up to acidic foods. Lava Stone is expensive, and because the factory is located in France, they can fill only about 200 orders from the United States a year.

There are kitchen counters made of recycled paper or sustainable wood pulp by companies like Richlite and PaperStone. They are made of layers of paper or pulp mixed with pigment and a resin binder that are pressed together with tremendous force. The product is extremely strong and water resistant. (the material is also used for cutting boards, rain guards and skateboard ramps). This material has a soft texture and mimics those qualities of soapstone and holds up well to hot pans and spilled foods. Scratches disappear after scouring with a Scotch-Brite pad and an application of linseed or mineral oil.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

10 Reasons to Professionally Stage Your Property

Professionally Staged Properties:

• Look better than others on the market

• Sell faster

• Typically sell for more money

• Look better in print and internet ads

• Receive more foot traffic

• End up on a buyer's "must see" list

• Are viewed by buyers as "well maintained"

• Are viewed as "well maintained" by Appraisers

• Are often appraised at a higher values

• Are "move in ready"

Staging Works!
Use a stager, SELL a HOUSE

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

What is ReDesign?

Ask Stacie...

"I'm not familiar with the Interior Redesign process. Can you tell me how it works?

On a typical Redesign consultation, I first meet with the homeowner to talk about their problems, expectations, and specific needs. Maybe it's adding more warmth to a room, or making a space more inviting, comfortable, or functional.

Next, I asses the furniture arrangement for balance and flow, and look at the accessories and art placement. On my next visit I empty the room and start rearranging. I may shop for additional items (within the client's budget) to complete the transformation. The design process for one room typically takes 3 to 4 hours. It's like working a jigsaw puzzle - all the pieces are there - it's a matter of knowing just where to place them that makes all the difference.

Redesign can be "debt-free" decorating if you are a do-it-yourselfer. But for minimal amounts ($250 w/ Creative Solutions), considering the creativity used, a Redesigner can transform your space using your current items. It's like getting a whole new room and you didn't have to leave the house (or demolish it)!

It is also considered "green" to Redesign because you are re-purposing and recycling items, not just throwing them away or buying new things. So you can take care of the environment while taking care of your home too!

Please send your design questions to Stacie at

Spring Decorating is just around the Corner!

Only 37 more days until SPRING...

Spring means a return of sunshine, fresh breezes, blooming flowers, and the fragrance of fresh cut grass. What are you gonna do in your house to celebrate the return of this wonderful season? A fresh coat of paint on the walls is a good place to start to help make your home feel alive and revitalized . And, be's only paint! Your least expensive and most effective decorating tool.

The Bath This season, monogram a set a white Egyptian cotton towels in your favorite color for a classic look. Or if you can't find towels to match your decor, sew a band of fabric or trim to the edges. For that sophisticated all white European look, purchase a waffle-weave shower curtain. Terrycloth is still a favorite for covering bath chairs and vanity stools, it's also luxurious in bathrobes and slippers.

Windows Let the sunshine in! Replace heavy drapes with shears or cotton. For a spring look remove panels and add interest by using a valance or simply reveal the architectural elements of the window. Maybe you want to add a natural element with woven blinds. They come in an array of colors and add just a hint of the outside indoors!

Table Settings Table linens should also be transitioned. Leave your tablecloths off for a lighter look. If you prefer a cover, try using a translucent sheer fabric or summer chintz. For drama, casually lay a table scarf across your table or counter. This makes for an interesting table setting when entertaining. Add two candlesticks and ..."viola," another exquisite conversation piece for your home.

The Kitchen Add fresh lemons or green apples to your favorite bowls and baskets and display on an island or counter top. Colored glass, Italian tile, and mirrored tile added to the back splash of your kitchen counter top are a few ways to update to a contemporary look. Don't forget to de-clutter. In a small kitchen, one of my favorite ways to disguise large, bulky appliances is to store them in a BIG basket on top of the fridge.

Furnishings Lighten up using slipcovers. There are many inexpensive, lightweight, ready-made covers available in lots of colors and styles. Heavy wing chairs and recliners can be replaced with wicker and rattan chairs. Roll up and store your area rugs. Replace with sisal or canvas, or just leave the floors bare. Use pillows and throws printed in French Provincial themes, spring florals, brightly colored patterns or solids. Using anything with an animal print, such as leopard, paired with pillows adorned with accents such as embroidery, beading and mirrors will give charming results.

Lighting Rethink lighting. Buy a new lamp that's fun and interesting (think of it as jewelry for you home). We all know that sometimes it's the simplest accessory that can take an outfit from ordinary to extraordinary. Make a statement...change your lampshades. I think the best thing that has happened in home accessories the decorative lampshade. Adding at least one decorative lampshade in your home is a great way to spruce up for spring.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

For the LOVE of Wallpaper!

Ok, first of all, note that the top picture is BEFORE any work was done in this remarkable home. The owner, at one point, was in LOVE with florals...and, well, Waverly Wallpaper filled that love-need with their vast array of wonderful floral motif selections.

I have to admit, I too, went through a "florally phase" of decor...but never quite this far! AND, I am not proud of all my floral choices that found their way onto EVERYTHING I owned..., BUT it does make me able to "relate" better to my clients. I can sympathize with their need and love for all things floral. I also help them OUT of "floralholic denial" and lead them into more suitable ways of using florals, vines, and small garden animals. In the end, they are "healed" from their overzealous, ill-used and overpowering choices of floral (hopefully, if I have done a good job!).

It is a tragedy that florals have gotten a "bad reputation" in general. We have used them on so many "matching accessories"...window treatments, seat cushions, rugs, towels, lamps, wall art, arrangements, furniture, faux painting, etc...that we just make ourselves and the people that come in our homes SICK of floral!

Good news is here for the homeowners that want to change their ways! You don't have to move just because you hate your floral wallpaper. In the instance of this home featured, the wallpaper was put on SOOOO perfectly, we opted to seal it, texture over it & paint the walls; instead of taking it all down. (Cost and time saver!) I advise you use a professional to evaluate IF you need to take it down or IF you can leave it up and texture over it, etc...

This home was an "Update/Stage" so we didn't add a lot of personal touches to the end results, but we KNEW we had to get rid of the floral wallpaper in order for the home to have the BEST chance of selling. It screamed at every person entering the room- "DATED, LOTS OF POTENTIAL WORK TO TAKE ME DOWN, DON'T BUY ME!" I don't have pictures posted of every room in the house, but I assure you, there was no room left untouched by Waverly! I have links to see more of the "before" picts of this particular house if you want to check them out.

The really bad thing about most "old" wallpapers is that they don't give NEW wallpaper trends a chance! There are MANY amazing choices of wallpaper nowadays! Just looking through a few choices makes me want to wallpaper every room in my own home...but I digress. Wallpaper is still a great solution to problem walls- covering up flaws, adding texture & color. It is also great to use to get that mood or feel you want that you may not be able to reach with a faux or decorative paint treatment. There are literally thousands of choices when it comes to NEW wallpaper. You can even customize it! You can use photos you have taken and make a wall/ceiling mural or a series of murals. You can make custom "wallies" with text & shapes, the possibilities are really endless. They have improved how it's applied & removed.

Check out to see what Sherwin Williams offers in the way of wallpaper- it's awesome! They are just one company offering a "new" take on an "old" trend.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Solid Granite or Granite Tile

When clients are on a budget and need to consider all money saving options, I gladly give my opinion. In almost every "Update/Stage Project" counter tops are an issue. Most frequently the question is whether to go with solid slab granite or granite tile.

Both have positives and negatives. I of course, love to use solid slab granite when possible.

The cost of slab granite FAR exceeds the cost of a simple granite tile. The top kitchen to the right is a "Stage Update", where the client wanted to do the MOST for the cheapest amount possible. We priced both options and decided to go w/the granite tile due to how far we needed to stretch the budget. Also the location & size of the house was a factor (Would buyers expect solid granite? Would installing solid granite "over-build" the house?) . The kitchen had blue Silestone to begin with..."blue anything" is never a good selling point! We chose a simple Venetian Gold granite tile to replace the 'ol blue and it instantly brought the kitchen to a more neutral ground that is pleasing to look at for most a fraction of the cost of slab granite (thousands less!).

Other important Notes:
*Grout lines, grout color and choice of how to seal the granite or granite tile is important as well. *The "edge" choice is limited when using tile as opposed to a fabricator cutting a chosen custom edge.
*The depth of granite tile is considerably different than that of slab, which takes away strength of the stone...and can lead to cracking more easily.

The second case we have is a client that was doing the same thing, a "Stage/Update". Only this client's home was in a location a home should not have "less than" solid granite counter tops. It had a very high end granite to start with, but again it was BLUE! The dreaded color of homes for sale! For budget purposes, we picked a generally low level, neutral granite called St. Cecelia. Very popular because the colors and pattern can fit in with MANY styles. Going with the color choice we kept our cost down. The truth is, most granites are the same depth, it's the rarity of the color or pattern that makes the price go up! Granite vendors often have "Levels" to grade their granite supply. From Level 1 and up...even in Lowes they have levels for their granites offered. But if you ask the right questions, you can find that most often the difference is not in the size, weight or depth, it is the color and pattern that is sought after and cost the extra bucks!

This new granite costs less than the owners original "blue pearl", but looks a million times better for the purpose of "showing a home on the market". Buyers are totally turned off by anything that makes them feel automatically "bad" in a space...Kitchens are SO important and having a blue counter top, no matter how expensive it originally was, will not be a strong selling point and most likely will turn buyers "off". We were able to salvage the old blue pearl granite in solid pieces and use it in the adjoining pool house, a rightful place for that color! Re-purposing the hi-end granite outside was a great investment and use of color and materials.

Both clients in these two instances were very pleased with the outcome of their choices based on the criteria of their homes and projects.

Granite in any form is a wonderful and amazing product from our Earth. If you ever have the chance to just go "shop" for slabs of granite in a real granite yard, you will be amazed at what comes out of the quarries and into our spaces. The marble, onyx and granite specimens cease to amaze me with all their color, little blobs of fossilized something-r-other and the way it is all perfectly preserved. Some people can't see the true beauty behind these remarkable pieces of stone, even say they "hate granite"!! God is truly The Master Creator and so, so, so much more creative than we could ever be! Just look at a slab of marble and think of the story of " David" (the statue) that Michelangelo sculpted...It was a big piece of marble passed from Artist to Artist to create a statue for the cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore. It was weathered, worn down and left for someone to make it all it could be. "Michelangelo worked under the premise that the image of David was already IN the block of stone he was working on — in much the same way as the human soul is found within the physical body".
I LOVE that story! Not only do I find "stone" interesting because of it's physical traits & useful is the relation to myself. How I am like weathered stone, full of blobs of something-r-other, but yet I can be sculpted into something wonderful, polished, purposeful and stand the everyday tests of life all because someone saw what was IN me. :)

I have several local granite fabricators and granite yards I can recommend for your projects if you are in need of bids or more information.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

But it only cost $100 on HGTV!

The photos to left show a Staged Dining Room "Before & After".
We added new wall and ceiling paint, changed the light fixture, re-painted all the trim and mouldings, refinished the wood floors and brought in the owners furnishings with a few decorative touches to make this space attractive to the general public.

I am a fan of HGTV. It is one of the few channels I actually spend time watching...but I do get a little discouraged at some of the shows. Let me elaborate...The before & after picts of the Dining Room to the left are going to be my example. This Dining Room is in a home I staged and is on the market For Sale. This client had a large budget to stage his home from floor to ceiling inside and out- which is awesome! But that is not reality for everyone. On some of the staging and updating shows on HGTV, they give viewers a false sense of "affordability". Then, when a client contacts me or someone in my profession, they believe (because they saw it on TV) certain projects should cost much less than what they are quoted. The problem is this...each show on HGTV has a "crew"...they have laborers, tradesmen, professionals, really professional tools-BIG ones- and other "crew members" in addition to the homeowners they "use" in making the show. Typically they have a budget of say $2000, and they do a kitchen update for a stage job. It ends up looking fabulous of course BUT here is what they don't figure in to the "budget"...

*Labor Charges* Professionals, spending time, experience and efforts on the ENTIRE job. They normally have (more than one) pro carpenter, electrician, plumber, painters, tile & stone experts and flooring pros...Go hire just ONE of these experts and see how much your material AND LABOR ends up costing! Totally worth having a pro for any project, but HGTV doesn't show the REAL monetary value of hiring one- they just show how great it is to have 1 (or 7) on site!

*Space Planning & Design Cost* A host Designer or guest Designer is shown leisurely drawing out by the curb or while they are inside talking about what they want to do...I can tell you it takes several hours, sometimes days or weeks to come up with a plan depending on the job. To simply sketch out or install the plan onto a program that gives the 3-D space effect takes time and knowledge (a measuring tape and camera is good too!)...HGTV doesn't show how much time & research it takes for the designers to come up with ideas. In some case they show MANY Designers working on a plan for just ONE project. If you hired 3 Designers to work on your one little Living Room Project- I assure you, they wouldn't say- "Aww, it was nothing, take my plan for free- my time wasn't worth anything!" I also assure you, each of them will be paid. Folks contact professionals because they NEED what is in their brains to come out and make their spaces have to pay for doesn't magically happen in 10 mins like on camera and then there is no charge for it- sorry! :)

*Tools needed for all Labor* You can't just tile your kitchen with a screwdriver people! My husband is THE Tool Man. He loves his tools! Loves to use them, share them and buy more. I love his handiness and knowledge about tools and that he teaches me more about them. I can honestly say, jobs are easier when you have the right tool. You should always buy quality shown on HGTV! They always have these enormous tents with, what I like to think of, as the Tool Buffet, waiting for the project to begin. Normal people do not have these tools laying around OR THEY WOULD BE USING THEM! Table saws, miter saws, jigsaws, nail guns, power tools, lights, saw horses, an unlimited array of perfect tools for the project. In reality, Tradesmen have to pay for their tools, they have to store them, upkeep them, know HOW to use them, replace them, etc...That is not cheap! Understand HGTV provides tools on their shows but doesn't show any "cost" to the clients for them in any way...BUT back here in Kansas, Toto, we either have those tools ourselves at home and can use them (and obviously pay for them) OR hire tradesmen that can use them (and pay THEM for using their tools). Just take a look at the tools used on the next show...then go price some of them!

*Retail Material Costs* Once in a while, HGTV shows "real prices" of items from normal stores we can all go to. Lots of time though, they go to a store that is wholesale only and show this ridiculous price for something you are never going to find! If you want to know what YOU are going to pay for an item in REAL life, go shop for items on your project list and see how quickly they add up...most often HGTV doesn't count all the "little" extras you will need...go buy a round of nails for one of the nail guns they use... HGTV doesn't add that to the overall costs of a space they just added crown moulding too. They just show the cost of the moulding and maybe paint! There would be a lot more to adding crown to a space in reality...Paint brushes, buckets, caulk, caulk guns, saws, sand paper, nail guns, nails are just some other expenses incurred on a real job site where crown moulding is being installed (and don't forget the Carpenter & his labor expenses!). Be aware of what they DO and DON'T reveal as costs.

*Demolition, Clean Up & Removal* Never have I seen this expense listed on any of HGTV's shows. It is a HUGE task and expense depending on the project. Demolishing a simple wall, tearing out kitchen cabinets, or God forbid removing tile or wallpaper is hard work! It produces more trash and wastes than is will fit into your City trash can for Monday morning. Some jobs require a rented dumpster, trailers to haul things to be recycled or trucks & trailers to just make it to the dump! It takes tradesmen time, muscle and know-how to demolish or remove something. Then there is the issue of where it goes once it's out of your house and how it's going to get there! Make sure to not forget about this issue when figuring your project budget & plan.

I didn't cover everything HGTV shows leave out of their "expenses", but hopefully I listed enough to make you stop and think about what reality is and how much it costs. It may cost more than what is shown on TV, but if done well with good planning all along with way, it will be worth it! Who knows, you may be able to do it for less!

In the long run, I love to watch HGTV and admire many of the good people who work for the shows. They are talented and give us all inspiration and guidance to make our lives a better place to live everyday. They may not show all the expense related matter they should, but they show enough to make us all want to get off the couch and create something, right? Hopefully this helps you become aware of some details to pay attention to when dreaming of that new master bathroom and watching HGTV!

Interior Decorating and Design in 2009

The photos below are from wonderful clients that moved to Texas recently from ATL! They built their dream home and are now enjoying knowing that everything they see and experience in their home each day is ALL they wanted...many professionals worked on their home. I was one of those pros hired and went through the whole process. These are just a couple shots of their home...the Kitchen & adjoining Living Room in framing stages and after completed. We still have decorating to do in this spectacular home...more pictures from their home to come again later!

2009 is off to an unusual start financially for most...With the odd economy, folks are debating on whether or not to buy or build new homes in this great "Buyer's Market" or just stay where they are and Update (dreaded word of most husbands), Remodel or ReDesign.

I have met a few of both lately...

New and current clients that have decided to build and hire me to review their architectural plans, go over material selections, color choices and an overall professional opinion of how they can achieve the perfect personal touches they desire in their dream homes.

On the flip side, I have new clients each week that love their location and sorta love their homes....but would REALLY fall in love w/ their spaces again if they could affordably update.

That's where Creative Solutions comes to the rescue in both cases!

Reviewing your builder plans in detail is a must for new construction. Spaces could end up being wasted or impersonal when just a little tweak here and there could have made all the difference are crucial to get right in the building phases. Most homeowners know what they want, but the actual process of building a home is to say the least, overwhelming for most, and simple things get left out or just passed over due to the "hurry and get it done" mentality. Building a home is an everyday addition to the normal "to-do list" we have, staying atop what is going on and how things look throughout the process is vital. There are always unavoidable hang-ups, hold-ups and mess-ups, but a good builder knows how to get you through all those rough spots. In the end, working with true professionals make the process, dare I say, enjoyable?! The end result will exceed your vision if you take the time to use the advice and knowledge of those "in the business"...TIP: Do your homework on your architect, builder, potential tradesmen, Interior Designer/Decorator, Landscaper, etc. to find who you can best work with personality-wise and has the professional qualities you desire.

Regarding general Residential Updating, Remodel and Redesign if you decide to take that route...It is most important to have realistic goals in mind in relation to your budget & work to be done. Going through your home and making an extensive and comprehensive list of everything you dream of doing from inside/out top to bottom is the best place to start. From the list, you can get bids, go price materials, find ideas, get advice, and finally form a budget with a realistic idea of what you can afford. You may find you want to update your entire kitchen, but in order to afford some of the big ticket items, you should keep your cabinets and just paint them. Or maybe a granite tile fits the budget better than slab granite being installed to replace your counter tops. There are many ways to get the look and feel you want in your home while staying in your budget. Having a professional guide you or oversee the project for you is a great way to ensure your budget is spent accordingly and the experience is positive. Creative Solutions specializes in taking your budget & dream list and making it a reality for you to enjoy!

Make sure and post your puzzling design questions!!