Tag Archives: article

What Do You Want to Know?

I enjoy writing, and I have written articles on the subjects of interior design, decorating and home improvement at Suite 101.  Occasionally, I will be linking to one of them from this blog.  I love teaching homeowners about design and how to make their home decor projects successful!

Are there any subjects you would like to see me write about?  I am open to all suggestions!  Leave a comment with your suggestions, and you just may see an article link on that subject in the near future…


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Contractor Horror Stories

Have you ever hired a contractor for a home improvement project, only to have the project go terribly wrong?  I have heard numerous horror stories from my clients over the years, and I have unfortunately experienced some of my own!

I am so very thankful to have a fantastic group of local contractors I can recommend to my clients.  There are some ways you can check out your contractor prior to hiring him for the job.  I just wrote an article on the subject, and you can find it here.

Of course, to avoid disappointment, you need to do your homework in finding a quality contractor to work with.  Also, be sure you have realistic expectations of how long your project should take, how much it will cost and the headaches that are inevitable during any home improvement project!  Sometimes, the contractor is bad.  Sometimes, headaches are just a part of the deal.

Share your contracctor horror stories here – feel free to vent (politely) and we can all commiserate together.

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New Article Featured

I have a new article featured on the Ava Living website home page – “Wow Your Guests”.  In this article I offer tips on how to make your guest room wow your guests this holiday season.  Check it out, then come back to leave a comment here – I would love to know your thoughts.  Also, what is your best guest room tip?  Share it here!

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Color Trends for 2010

Cooler temperatures and shorter daylight hours have us spending more time indoors as fall creeps toward winter. Taking some time to refresh your home now will leave you yearning for those cozy days of December!

The colors to watch for in the upcoming year incorporate many of the tones and textures we have been seeing in fashion for the past several seasons. Believe or not, even the current economic climate has an effect on color trends! Look for four main color groupings in interior home fashion for 2010.

As the economy struggles, people look for a reminder of better times – nostalgia for the “way it was” The reuse of our existing furnishings and fixtures in new ways has been a popular trend. People like to recycle items instead of simply throwing them away. Decorating with flea market finds, and discovering treasures from days past have been common themes in recent months, and this trend will continue well into the new year. Several time-honored and time-worn colors reflect this theme perfectly; look for Smokey Blue, Caribbean Coral or Interactive Cream from paint company Sherwin Williams. These tones are mellow and aged, evoking a sense of a treasured heirloom.

Throughout the country, people are looking for ways to simplify their lives. From books on controlling clutter, to the explosion of yoga classes available today, we want to slow down, relax and create a sense of calm in our lives. Look for this trend to show itself through the continued move toward the gray palette. From warm, putty grays such as Sherwin Williams’ Enigma to cool, steely grays like Magnetic Gray from the same company. This trend does not leave gray to its own devices, however. Look for grays to be paired beautifully with warm tones, such as Butter Up, a gorgeous soft yellow from Sherwin Williams. The mix of warm and cool tones keep this palette interesting, soft and sophisticated, not loud or brash.

Our quest to simplify also leaves us longing to explore our roots. The simplicity of ancient tribes, such as Native American, African or Aboriginal cultures, is reflected in both the colors and the patterns of the upcoming year. Geometrics and tribal patterns will dominate fabrics, in hues reflecting the mystery and enduring qualities of these cultures. Look for Red Tomato, Oceanside and Rookwood Amber from Sherwin Williams to get a good feel for this trendy palette. These are rich, comfortable tones, reflecting the earthy qualities of these far-away places.

Anyone watching the news today longs for some good news. As the economy begins moving forward again, our spirits are lifted. This feeling of hope and optimism about the future is reflected in the last major color palette for 2010. Think of colors that make you happy; how about Fun Yellow, Summer Day, Verve Violet or Animated Coral from Sherwin Williams? These vibrant, fun tones will brighten your day, and make you feel like you are on a perpetual vacation when you incorporate them into your spaces. Just how do you make these trendy new hues work in your home? The key is in moderation.

When fixing your home up this fall, do not fall into the trap of thinking you cannot be trendy without spending your entire budget on a whole new decor. By simply adding a few punches of these hot new color tones to your space, your room will take on a whole new look. For example, that buttery yellow leather sofa you bought 5 years ago? Add some crisp, gray linen pillows and a faux mink throw, and your tired sofa of yesterday bursts into the new year with style. Or, the bedroom with safe beige walls? Bring in a new piece of art incorporating tropical tones or an antique side table in distressed green or blue hues. How about adding a rug to your wood floors, both to warm the space as temperatures fall, and to add texture, pattern and color to your room? Bring in a rug with rich reds and blues in an African or Native American motif to spice things up a bit. Paint the old armoire collecting dust in your attic, and bring it into your family room for extra storage. Add texture to your windows by installing woven wood shades and incorporating a colorful valance or drapery panels to add warm to your space. A new, eye-popping lampshade could be just the thing to add pizzazz to that tired corner in your living room. Mixing the old with the new is the key to bringing the latest trends to your home without spending a ton of money. And, you will get a one-of-a-kind look that no one else can match.

Check out the paint colors I mentioned at www.sherwinwilliams.com, as well as coordinating fabrics and trims at www.robertallendesign.com. A little paint and a yard of fabric can go a long way to creating that cozy winter getaway you desire – even on a budget.

Get the print version of this article in the October/November 2009 issue of Valley Women & Beyond magazine, a free publication found in the St. Croix and Mississippi River valleys of Minnesota and Wisconsin.

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Outdoor Decor

If you are anywhere near the St. Croix Valley area of MN or WI, check your local coffee shop, newsstand or hair salon for your FREE copy of Valley Women & Beyond magazine.  This magazine is brand new, and covers local events, women of distinction, fashion, food – anything of interest to women!  The Aug/Sept issue is out, and I have an article in the magazine on the topic of outdoor decorating.  Following is an excerpt – you’ll have to get your copy of the magazine to see the rest (aren’t I mean??).  Although it’s still under construction, you can also check out http://www.valleywomenandbeyond.com for more information on the magazine and drop locations.  And, by all means, stop back here to leave your comments about the article – I would love to hear your favorite outdoor decorating tip or your thoughts on the article!

“In our neck of the woods, we want to soak up every minute of our short summer season. The best way to enjoy summer at home is on your deck or patio. But, how do you make your patio feel as homey and comfortable as your living room? The market has been flooded with some amazing outdoor products in recent years to help you do just that. You are just a weekend project away from enjoying the outdoors in style.

These days, the trend in outdoor living is to create a living room, or even an entire kitchen, outside. Gone are the days of simple patio furniture and a folding lawn chair or two. Today, there are a vast variety of products that can make your outdoor room as comfy as your interior space.”

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Open for Business!

The opening of my new interior design business was featured in the New Richmond News about a week ago.  I think they did a fantastic article, and I’m so grateful for the exposure!  Check it out, and let me know what you think –

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