The First Things You Should Buy for Your New Home

First-things-to-buy-for-new-home

Hello!  Moving into a new home can be overwhelming!  It always takes twice as many boxes as you estimated…and unpacking feels like it takes a year.  The “to do” list when you move seems miles long and ranges from finding a new cable company to lining your cabinets with shelf paper (and you can guess which one almost always drops off the list!).  Moving into a new home also comes with tons of expenses, so it’s important to know the first things you should buy for your new home.

In my opinion, window treatments are the first thing you should buy for your new home.  You won’t make a good first impression on your new neighbors if they see you unpacking boxes in your ratty PJs at all hours of the night!  Start with some sort of basic shade or blind that will give you privacy, then add more decorative drapery panels as you begin decorating your space.

Neutral-shades

Here is a neutral shade that provides privacy, but it definitely looks unfinished without draperies!

Window Treatments: Stage 1

My favorite way to do window treatments is in two stages.  First, start with a neutral-colored shade or blind.  I like blinds or woven wood shades in white, cream, grey or tan.  Avoid blinds in a dark wood tone because they show dust like crazy!  These shades will give you visual privacy from nosy neighbors and can also save on heating and cooling costs.  Shades come with no lining, a lighter lining that allows light to show through but obscures the interior view somewhat, or heavy blackout lining.  I recommend blackout lining for all bedrooms and bathrooms, a light lining for the rooms in the front of the house, and no lining on the back windows of the home (as long as neighbors cannot see into your backyard).  If necessary, you can exist with only shades for a long time…but your room may look sparse and unfinished.

Window Treatments: Stage 2

The second stage of installing window treatments is adding decorative panels.  Once you have your furniture arranged and have started hanging art in the rooms, it’s time to add decorative window panels.  Look at the colors of furniture and art in each room.  Select drapery panels that coordinate with those colors, but are also basic enough to still work if you change accent colors in a room.  I usually go with a solid colored drapery panel; if you pick a pattern, trends may change or you may grow tired of it.  I mean…who wants to look at chevron-printed draperies for years!?!?

Solid-colored-drapery

Here is a solid blue drapery panel with cream colored shades.

When selecting drapery panels, choose panels that are long enough to go from the ceiling (or crown molding) to the floor.  Never hang your draperies where they don’t reach the floor.  That is the fashion equivalent of wearing pants that are too short!  Draperies should either skim the floor or “puddle” on the ground.  Choose a wide-diameter drapery rod that extends out beyond the edges of your window for a more professional look.

Drapery-puddle

These are draperies that “puddle” on the floor.

Drapery-rod

Notice the rod is hung as high as possible…up to the crown molding.

For more guidance on the first things you should buy for your new home, see this article on Realtor.com where my tip is featured, along with many other suggestions.  My favorite idea in this article is side tables!  After all that unpacking, you are going to need a LOT of wine and definitely need somewhere to rest your glass!!!

If you need help with window treatments or decorating your new home, contact me here.

Thanks for reading!

Serene She Shed

Hello!

In the past, “Man Caves” were very popular and got a lot of press on television makeover shows and in articles.  Not to be left out, women created “She Sheds” – the feminine version of the manly retreat!  Both types of rooms require a space like a garage or basement that is devoted to relaxing and hanging out.  A company in the UK, Tiger Sheds, makes garden sheds that can be turned into these relaxing retreats.  They have a blog that features a different style of Man Cave or She Shed each month.  The first month features a serene She Shed interior decorating scheme and I had a tip featured on the blog.

Serene_She_Shed

{source}

How_to_create_a_she_shed

{source}

In addition to the tips listed in the post, here are a few more ways to create a serene She Shed:

  • The foundation of a serene interior is lighting. No matter how calming your room is, if you have bright, harsh lighting, the room won’t be serene.  Lighting should be done in layers for different types of activities.  When doing certain tasks such as crafting, you want a brighter light that can be provided by overhead lighting.  However, when you are relaxing or watching TV, you want softer light.  This soft light can come from lamps or an overhead light fixture on a dimmer.
  • Color is another important element in creating a serene interior. Soft or dark colors create a more serene environment than bright ones.  Examples of soft colors are pale blue, blush pink, or light grey.  Examples of dark colors are navy blue, plum, or sage green.  Use soft or dark colors for wall paint, upholstery, and rugs.
  • One final tip for creating a serene interior: minimize the use of accessories and stick to larger pieces.  When decorating, use one large item instead of multiple small items.  Where there are numerous smaller objects on a table top, bookcase, or wall, the eye darts around taking in all the items.  When there is one large object, the eye can land on one thing and it is more visually “restful”.

I hope you’ve enjoyed these tips on creating a serene She Shed.  Thanks to The Hip Horticulturist for featuring my tip on their blog series about inspired interiors.  If you need help creating your personal oasis, contact me for a consultation.

Thanks for reading!

 

Elements of a Great Foyer

Hello!

If you are itching to redecorate your home but are limited on time or money (or both!), your foyer is one of the quickest and easiest projects to tackle.  Here are the elements of a great foyer to ensure your entry way is welcoming.

Console Table:  A console table is the anchor of good foyer design.  It needs to be large enough to hold some lamps and a few decorative accessories, but should not crowd into the space or be in the way of entering.  If you have an old chest or dresser, sometimes these pieces can work well as a console table, but make sure they aren’t too large for the space.

White_Laquer_Console_Table

{Source}

Rug:  A rug adds color and texture to your foyer, but can also catch dust that might be tracked in.

Pink_Rug

{Source}

Lighting:  Lamps are a fantastic way to provide soft lighting and set a relaxing mood.  I prefer the symmetry of using a pair of lamps if your space allows.

Gold_Table_Lamp

{Source}

Art:  Your foyer is the perfect place for a large piece of art!  Choose art that is approximately the same width or slightly narrower than your console table.

Oversided_Art_for_Foyer

{Source}

Decorative Tray or Bowl:  Place a decorative tray or bowl on the console table.  This gives you a place to toss your keys so you never lose them again!

Decorative_Bowl

{Source}

Chair or Stool:  A chair or stool (or a pair!) gives you a place to take off your shoes or set your purse.  These items can also be brought into the living area for additional seating when you are entertaining.

Gold_Stool

{Source}

Combining these elements will make for a beautiful, yet functional, foyer your guests will love!

Elements_of_a_Great_Foyer

 

Please contact Tiffani Stutzman Design if you would like to book a two-hour consult to help you get started on a makeover for your foyer.

Thanks for reading!

Decorating Your Outdoor Space for Spring

Hello!

Although many parts of the country are still covered in snow, here in Louisiana, spring is in full bloom!  Everywhere you turn, bushes are bursting with flowers!  I love this time of year and make an effort to spend lots of time outside.  We only have a very short window before the heat…and humidity…are out of control!

Here are some pictures of gorgeous flowers in bloom right now.

Flowers_in_bloom

Outdoor_Decorating_Ideas

Pool_Landscaping_Brick_Planter

{Landscape Architecture by the fantastic Philip Moser Associates, Inc. in Baton Rouge, LA}

 

GG_Gerbing_Azaleas

Miniature_Bottle_Brush

Pink_Blooms

Since the weather is so nice, I wanted to share some resources for decorating your outdoor space for spring.

Decorating_Your_Outdoor_Space

{Landscape Architecture by Philip Moser Associates, Inc.}

Decorating_Your_Outdoor_Space

I hope you enjoy reading these items and get lots of great tips for decorating your outdoor space!

If you’d like some help making your outdoor spaces look coordinated, elegant, and stylish, contact me here.

Thanks for reading!

DIY Project – Painting Furniture

Hello!

I have been redoing some rooms in our home and ended up with two pieces of furniture that just weren’t working in our spaces anymore.  The first piece was an armoire that was a cherry-stained wood and was originally designed to hold a box-style TV (remember those???).  We used it for storage of coolers and luggage now.  The second piece was an antique wooden cabinet that I got for a bargain price.  It was stained a medium brown.

I wanted to brighten up both pieces, so I decided to use Annie Sloan chalk paint to paint both pieces of furniture.

Here is a before picture of the armoire.  I forgot to take a picture of the antique cabinet…sorry!

Before-Old-Armoire

I decided to paint the TV armoire white to go in a guest room that is primarily white and grey.  The beauty of Annie Sloan chalk paint is that you don’t have to do any prepping or sanding of the surface.  I also looked into other brands of chalk paint, but Annie Sloan had the best reviews overall.  Also, some other brands of chalk paint do not come in a pure white.

The process on the TV armoire was pretty easy.

  • I removed the hardware and took out the drawers.
  • I ended up putting on three coats of paint before I was happy with the brightness of the white and didn’t have any wood tone showing through. I painted both the outside and the inside of the cabinet.

During-Old-Armoire-Painting-Furniture

During-Old-Armoire-2-Painting-Furniture

  • I lightly sanded the piece and added a bit of distressing in a few places by sanding more. This does create a lot of dust, so I was glad to be doing this outside!

After-Distressed-Armoire-Painting-Furniture

  • I then rubbed on a coat of the Annie Sloan clear wax (not the darker one that would have given it an aged look). In hindsight, I could have used only two coats of paint because the wax enhances the paint and makes it look more evenly toned.
  • Finally, I added new chrome hardware to match the light fixtures in the room.
  • I let the wax “cure” for about a week before I placed anything on or in the armoire.

I am a little concerned about the durability of the finish, but since it has a slightly distressed look, a few scratches won’t be out of place!  The Annie Sloan website says it can take up to 21 days for the wax to cure.

For the other cabinet, I decided to paint it a light grey (called Paris Grey).  I used the same process, but only did two coats of paint.  I didn’t paint the inside of the cabinet so it would remain as durable as possible.  I also didn’t do any sanding before applying the wax, except for a few paint drips that needed to be fixed.  The light grey paint looked almost white when I put it on, but after rubbing on the clear wax, the color darkened up to more of a medium grey tone.  I also added brushed nickel hardware to match the rest of the room.

Here are after pictures of the complete pieces.

After-Painted-Armoire-Painting-Furniture

After-Painted-Cabinet-Painting-Furniture

Overall, both pieces look very nice and were easy to do!  I love not having to do much prep or sanding.  The durability of the finish has not been tested yet, but should continue to get better as the wax cures.

Do you have any experience with chalk paint?  What did you think?  If you’d like some help figuring out ways to update your existing furniture, contact me here.

Thanks for reading!

Fabulous sofas!

Hello!

I have been working on our income taxes for DAYS and I’m so over it!  My back is killing me because my pretty desk chair is not quite as ergonomic as it should be!  I’d like to snuggle up on a gorgeous sofa right now and take a nice long nap.  Here are some of my favorite sofas.

Navy-Velvet-Sofa

{Source}

pale-green-sofa

{Source}

cream-sofa-nailheads

{Source}

grey-sofa

{Source}

teal-velvet-sofa

{Source}

cream-tufted-sofa

{Source}

tan-curved-sofa

{Source}

And possibly the BEST sofa ever for lounging….

lounging-sectional

{Source}

 

Which is your favorite???  If you need help selecting a sofa that will be perfect for your home, contact me here.

Thanks for reading!

 

How to Decorate that Boring Guest Room in Your Home

Hello!

Do you have a terrible guest bedroom??  Does the room have only a bed and nothing else??  It’s time to do something with that embarrassing room!  You just need a little help to get started.

First, find a piece of art that you love which can be used as an inspiration piece for the room.  It can be something you currently own or something new.  Here is an example:

Yellow_Grey_Art

{Source}

Next, determine the three main colors in the art.  It works best if one of the colors is a neutral like grey, cream, or tan.  For the piece of art from above, the colors are white, grey, and yellow.  These colors will make up the color palette for the room.

The elements of a good guest room are:

Bed with nice sheets and comfortable pillows – I like to keep a couple of extra pillows in the closet with varying levels of firmness.

Bedding – Select a coverlet or comforter that contains one of more of the colors from your art.  I like to use a solid-colored bedspread, then add in additional color through decorative throw pillows.

Grey_Bedding

{Source}

Yellow_Grey_Pillow

{Source}

Yellow_Pillow

{Source}

Yellow_Grey_Pillow

{Source}

Nightstand – This nightstand should be big enough to hold a lamp, a bottle of water, and a couple of decorative accessories or magazines.

Mirrored_Nightstand

{Source}

Lamp – This allows guests to read in bed at night.

Yellow_Lamp

{Source}

Bench or accent chair – This is a place where guests can place their belongings or sit down to put on their shoes.

Grey_Bench

{Source}

Mirror – Every guest needs a place to check their appearance!

Greek_Key_Mirror

{Source}

Window coverings – Make sure the shades or drapes can allow light in during the day, but can also be closed for privacy.

Alarm clock – Even though many guests use their phone as an alarm clock, it is still nice to be able to see the time during the night.

Decorative items – Find a few accessories in shades from your color palette.  This might include additional art, a vase, tray for jewelry, candles, or picture frames.

Yellow_Vase

{Source}

Night light – This will keep guests from bumping into things during the night.

Waste basket – Give guests a place to dispose of trash instead of carting to another location in your house.

Shop online or in person for items from this list that contain the colors of your color palette.  Target is a great source for inexpensive bedding, small furniture items, and decorative accessories!

Once you get all the items set up in your guest room, take it for a test run.  It’s always a good idea to sleep overnight in your guest bedroom to make sure it isn’t lacking anything a guest might need.  Congratulations!!  This guest room will even impress your Mother-In-Law!

If you need help creating a fabulous room your guests will love, contact me here.

Thanks for reading!

So Excited to be Featured in Houzz Article!

Hello!

One of my master bedroom projects was recently featured in an article on Houzz.com!

Houzz_History_of_Paisley

If you’re not familiar with Houzz, it is a home remodeling and design website that brings homeowners and home professionals together in a uniquely visual community.  You can search for anything home related (such as glass tile backsplash) and thousands of photos will be available for you to peruse.  It is a great source for ideas and inspiration!

You can also find professionals in your area (contractors, designers, etc.), get advice on design dilemmas, and even shop!

To read the article where my work is featured, click here.

One small issue you might notice…it’s in Italian!!  However, you can just hit the “translate” button in your web browser and see the article in English.  I’m hoping this leads to my first client in Italy!

Thanks for reading!

Rose Quartz Office

Hello!

Pantone selected Rose Quartz as one of the colors of the year.

Pantone Rose Quartz

I’m normally not much of a pastel person, but this subtle, delicate color would be perfect for a super feminine office!

Rose Quartz Office

West Elm Elton Chair | Worlds Away Hyde Side Table | Lamps Plus Madlyn Lamp | Safavieh Cambridge Rug | Worlds Away Jared Desk | Philippe Starck Ghost Armchair | Aerin Shagreen Box | Pier1 Ennis Mirror | Currey&Company Karma Pendant Light

Would you decorate a room using Rose Quartz?

Thanks for reading!

 

The New Look of Brass

Hello!

For the last couple of years, brass has slowly been creeping back into the design world.  I recently attended market in Atlanta and it was EVERYWHERE!  When you think of brass, do you immediately think of the gaudy, bright gold faucets in your parents’ bathroom in 1982??  Well, let me tell you…this is not your mother’s brass!

The brass today is warm, soft, and inviting.  It can be mixed with other metals for a contemporary look.  It looks fantastic with natural stone, such as marble or granite.  It can be found everywhere…furniture, faucets, lighting, hardware, and accessories!

Here are some of my favorite brass items:

Brass light fixture

{source}

Brass cabinet hardware

{source}

Brass side table

{source}

Brass writing desk

{source}

Brass bathroom faucet

{source}

So, would you try brass in your home???

Thanks for reading!