Wednesday, January 21, 2015

What Size Rug Should I Buy for My Master Bedroom?

Currently I am elbow deep in the design plans of two Master Bedrooms- and how I love to design Master Bedrooms! 

I love the task of creating a beautiful and welcoming sanctuary for the homeowners to lose themselves in at the end of the day. In terms of space planning, the Master Bedroom is usually fairly straight forward which leaves a lot of opportunity for me to exercise my creative juices with colors, textures and unique design elements.

INSTANT DOWNLOAD Lemony Snicket A Series of Unfortunate Events Poster 11x14
In fact, when designing a Master Bedroom there are just a few key pieces needed regardless of size, style or layout of the room: 

  • A Bed 
  • A Nightstand or Two 
  • A Dresser or Two 
  • A Rug
  • Occasionally a side chair or bench
Since there are so few key pieces used in designing a typical Master Bedroom, each piece is quite important and should be selected thoughtfully. Which brings me to a key piece that many homeowners seem to flub when left to their own devices: The Rug. 

Their biggest mistake? Getting the wrong size rug!

So how do you know what size rug will fit best in your Master Bedroom? First let's discuss the purposes the rug will serve for the homeowners in the Master Bedroom.

1. A rug will unify the pieces of furniture
2. A rug will enhance and tie the design scheme together
3. A rug will help the acoustics of the room by introducing a soft layer
4. A rug will be another form of insulation in the room, offering warmth over tile or wood flooring
5. A rug provides warmth and comfort underfoot when first getting out of bed barefooted

So let's get to the technicality of it all!
First, find your room measurements. For this example, we're going to use an average-sized Master Bedroom that is 14'x14'. In the room we're going to put a king sized bed, two nightstands and a dresser. 

Here is the bedroom shown with three different sized rugs: 5x8, 8x10 or 9x12 rug. Now let's discuss....

This is what I call a 'postage stamp' rug. It is just plopped right on the floor in front of the bed and instead of uniting elements, it becomes an element on its own. A rug that is so disproportionately small will actually make the room feel smaller and disjointed. 

In my experience, many clients who are doing it on their own tend to pick the 5x8 rug. It's less expensive and often a client thinks it's big enough to serve their sized room. I'd put that on Craigslist and put the money towards a bigger rug!

Now here is the same room with an 8x10 rug. Much better! The proportions of the rug with regards to the bed is good. The rug grounds and frames the bed making it seem more important in the space. You will probably have a little more then 18" of rug to put your tootsies on on either side of the bed and plenty of rug left at the foot of the bed, if laid 2/3 of the way under the bed as it should be. I prefer a little more rug on either side of the bed but this is manageable! If this was a queen bed in the space, there would be almost 2 feet of rug on either side of the bed which would make this size ideal!

Finally, here is the room with the king bed with a 9x12 rug. We've got a winner! In this room, the rug not only grounds the bed in the space but it also aligns with the nightstands so it makes them feel more cohesive in the space as well. While I placed the rug 2/3 of the way under the bed, you can slide it a little forward or back so that it lays nicely in front of a dresser. In this room, there is just 1 foot of wood floor exposed on two sides of the rug. The longstanding "rule" has been that an area rug should be 18" away from the wall. I think this rule can be played with- as all rules can be! 

Given these measurements, I would strive for a 9x12 rug with a king bed and an 8x10 rug with a queen bed. However, if the room were a little larger and a dresser was going to be placed along side the left wall, I might actually recommend the 8x10 with the king so it doesn't sit awkwardly under part of the dresser! See? No hard fast rules! Just some good old-fashioned, solid space planning! If you're struggling with space planning, hire a professional to avoid making costly mistakes! It's our job to weigh all the options, proportions, costs and considerations to make the best recommendation for your space!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Meet Jeff Lewis Color

I love me some great paint colors. Anyone who knows me, knows that I travel around with my large, obnoxious color wheels from Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams in my trunk at all times should a paint color emergency arise.

I joke about there being an emergency, but as an Interior Designer I can't count the number of times I've been at a social event and someone will say, "Oh! Your an Interior Designer? What color should I paint my xxx room?" To which I'd like to respond, "Umm, I've had two glasses of you really want me to pick a color for you right now???"

But, I don't say that.....out loud. I usually chuckle and say, "It's really not a good idea to select a color without being in the space"...which is true...ish. 

It's also sort of code for, "I'm off the clock- note wine in hand??" But, if I like the said-offender, or they give me the color-blind/design-challenged vibe, my designer super-power will go into overdrive....I'll race to my car like a caped-crusader trying to save the world from another color-choice gone wrong, whip out my gigantic bag of color wheels and give them a few colors to try in the space. Hopefully, they'll be so kind as to hand me glass #3 by that point!

Why do I share my woes of lugging the color wheels? Because my color selections just expanded with a new delicious paint line that may have actually isolated the most perfect neutrals in the spectrum. Meet Jeff Lewis Color

Jeff Lewis Color

For those of you who are not familiar with Jeff Lewis, he is the sarcastic, snarky, handsome, witty and gifted (those compliments took a turn, huh?) Interior Designer on the hit Bravo show "Flipping Out"


I have been a fan of the show and of Jeff's since its inception. I do love to watch the behind-the-scenes antics of what Jeff does to manage his flipping projects and his design projects. I am only a team of one at the moment but I can fully relate to many of the trials and tribulations he encounters while executing his design jobs. Plus, he's a great designer. And he is no-nonsense- which I totally appreciate in a profession that can be inundated with frivolity. Jeff shows just how much business acumen is needed to be a successful designer- you can't just pick pretty pillows! 

And he is brilliant with color.....hence...Jeff Lewis Color. This well-edited paint line offers 32 colors in muted neutrals with three finishes: no-gloss, quarter-gloss and semi-gloss. Straight-forward. Just like Jeff. Love it.  

The best part of the edited collection is that the colors are fool-proof! There are no frighteningly bright Miami Vice colors which will go so-wrong on the wall. Any color in Jeff Lewis Color is a good starting point for a room that can go in any direction: traditional, mod, eclectic, shabby, modern...

The Jeff Lewis paint collection that just came out from Dunn Edwards paints is fantastic!  The colors are so rich in depth but calm and beautiful.

If you'd like to get more of Jeff Lewis in your own hands, you can either purchase a fan deck for $19.99 or order a free color card of your very own.

Color Card

Another great feature is that you can buy a sample-sized paint can of every color for $7.99 each. That really takes the risk out of an already fool-proof color palette. Just visit Jeff Lewis Color and you can order your favorites.

Now, how to get your hands on some. Jeff Lewis Color, manufactured by Dunn-Edwards, is available in 111 stores- (none near me, ugh)- and at Home Depot online. Price point per gallon is $39.98 which is about $10 more then Home Depot's standard Behr paint and about $10 less then Benjamin Moore. Well-played, Jeff.  Well-played.

With all this hooting and hollering about Jeff Lewis Color, I haven't had the opportunity to use it in a project yet. I have selected it for a few projects so I hope to see it on the walls really soon. You can go over to the website to view all 32 colors in rooms and gallery photos to get a better idea of what they would look like.

Here are my three favorite colors:
Jeff Lewis Color Dusk JLC412 a beautifully seductive gray.

Jeff Lewis Color JLC214 Quarry a delicious beige.

Jeff Lewis Color JLC315 Lake the most perfect blue. 

I must say- blue is one of the hardest colors to nail and Jeff nailed them. He has the most perfect blues in the color spectrum. 

Here is my little disclaimer: This is NOT a sponsored post. Jeff Lewis is not cutting me a check or sending me a free color wheel to talk about Jeff Lewis Color (although if he wants to PM me, I'd be happy to tell him where to send it!). I'm just a blabber-mouth who loves to share what I love. Can't wait to share once I've gotten a color on the wall!


Thursday, January 8, 2015

Artist Spotlight: Lisa Kobin of Crystal Alley

From time to time, I like to feature artists and designers on my blog whom I admire. Today, I'd like to feature my favorite artist/designer of all-time.

Besides being immensely talented, she is also quite special to me. She has been my best friend for over 25 years (did I mention we met in-utero?) This talented gal is Lisa Kobin of Crystal Alley.

about me

To try to define Lisa as an artist is quite a challenge. She studied Fashion Design, and worked as a Fashion Designer. She designed some of the cutest kids clothes you could imagine. Then when she started making beautiful babies of her own, she ventured out into other areas of design. There isn't one thing she can't do!

Lisa has done beautiful wall murals:

Fashion Illustrations (That is the Snowflake Princess for the New York Palace Hotel, NYC):

Logo Design:


And this is where it gets crazy....Lisa is so super-talented, look what she can do with an egg and a pumpkin. I can barely dye Easter eggs with a kit! Those are HAND-PAINTED on the eggs & pumpkins!  This is true art!


Did I mention what she can do with chalk?

Lisa recently expanded her portfolio and started doing House Portraits. In fact, this beauty showed up in the mail for me the other day from my amazing friend. It is my house. My very first house. The house I brought my babies home from the hospital to. We are currently in the process of selling our home to get a little more space but I will always cherish the memories I've had here....and Lisa captured that in this beautiful portrait. I can't wait to bring this and the memories over to our new home one day! 

In fact, if you go to Lisa's YouTube site you can watch videos of the art in progress. Here is the one of my house portrait being done.

Amazing, right? I didn't even mention that she is an amazing singer and has sung the National Anthem at some Minor League Baseball games and some NHL games. Yes, her talent is endless....but perhaps the best thing about Lisa is her giant heart. With all this talent and beauty, she is also the nicest person with the largest heart...I am blessed to have her as my best friend.

Ok,....enough of my go and subscribe to her site, follow her on social media and all that good stuff so you don't miss out on an ounce of this talent!

Business Card Template Crystal Alley

 Or follow her on Twitter: @LisaPuccioKobin
Or Subscribe to her amazing YouTube channel to watch her amazing artwork in progress:
Or Subscribe to her YouTube channel to view her singing performances!

I can't wait to see what else is in store for Lisa Kobin and Crystal Alley!

Monday, January 5, 2015

So it's been a while....

So sorry it's been a while....I feel like I start a lot of my posts off that way. I don't know why but I feel the need to apologize for not posting daily like some of the other bloggers I follow and admire.

But it's a new year and in this new year I am going to start embracing the reality of "what is" and not "what I want it to be some day."  I'm not going to wait until I lose 10 pounds or move to a new home or take my business to the next level to start living. Instead, I am going to embrace the truth and the beauty of how things actually are today. 

  • I am healthy. 
  • I have a great home filled with love. 
  • My business is growing every year. 
  • I can't seem to manage posting on my blog as often as I'd like.:)
Live in the now #quote More inspiration at Bed and Breakfast Valencia Mindfulness Retreat Spain :

Don't get me wrong, my constant living for the future is what keeps me working hard, dreaming, and challenging myself for the better...but I have to remember to take the time to embrace the now. To appreciate what "is" while still striving for what I want it to be. Let's face it, once I achieve what I'm striving for...won't there be a new goal? So how will I ever be satisfied? By stopping and enjoying the now......
Stress is caused by being ‘here’ but wanting to be ‘there’. – Eckhart Tolle 

So I take it back....I'm not sorry it's been a while. My attention has been focused on my interior design business, some new clients, new projects and as always, my family. I'm going to rescind my apology for not posting daily....I'll probably never have the time or the creative juices to post that often....and for right now, that's OK. For right now, I have clients who need my attention, a business I am working hard to grow and a family I won't cheat out of my time.

This blog and my readers are all very important to me but for right now, I want to post when I have something worthwhile to say so I'm not just filling up your in-box. With that being said....I have some great ideas for posts on the blog this year...some re-current themes and some helpful tips. And I hope to share more of my design process while I work with clients. I can't promise there will be daily posts..but I can promise that I'll post when I can and that's all I can promise for now! 
Living in the now!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

So I started working with a new client who is quite contemporary and loves color! Score! Usually, in contemporary spaces, the architecture is very clean and streamlined. This is chic and beautiful but often leaves for very flat open spaces that long to be filled!

 Sometimes the knee-jerk reaction is to cover each blank wall with art but a clean contemporary space, the ideal would be to use fewer pieces of art but larger pieces of art. Another thought is the use of mirrors.....on the wall....but not as it was done on the set of Miami Vice....take a peek....

Here are some of the images that I pinned over on a Wall Treatment board on Pinterest...follow me there...will you?
A mirror wall, a great inspiration!

pedestal sink in powder room, pedestal sink in bathroom, antique mirror in bathroom

#Mirrored Wall: a real estate client added this idea to her family room and the house sold at first sight!

Visit the rest of the mirrored walls over on my Pinterest Board here:


Sunday, November 2, 2014

Shopping Vintage for your Home: Chairish

For those of you who are avid readers of my blog, you may remember a new business adventure I was taking on about a year ago, partnering in a consignment shop. As a designer, I often frequent consignment shops to find unique goodies to put in my client's homes. Shopping for pre-loved furniture and accessories allows you to find/buy vintage pieces that are no longer in production and can really set your home apart, giving it a unique and curated feel.

So naturally, when an opportunity arose to partner in a consignment store, I was super inspired, motivated and eager to take on the retail world! Sadly, the project stalled and was not progressing in a way that would make it lucrative for me to invest any more time to. However, I am still a BIG believer in shopping consignment or vintage for your home. Just because it lived and was loved in someone else's space doesn't mean it can't continue to shine in your home!

Or @big box stores or @malls. Why on EARTH would you want to look like everyone else... or let your home look that way either?

So where can you shop for pre-loved finds without hitting the roads and hoofing it into local consignment shops? Meet Chairish. This amazing site is where "Design Lovers Buy and Sell".  The shop has items that are all curator approved which means you can feel confident when shopping at Chairish. They even have a specific 'vintage' section so you can find pieces with a little more love to them here!If you have delicious goodies to sell from your home, Chairish has an 80/20 split where you pocket 80% versus the typical 50/50 split you'd find in consignment stores,, it is free to list! (Although they are selective and will not take just anything...which is nice as a shopper- not a lot of junk to weed through!)

I decided to have a little fun on this chilly weekend so I put together a mood-board with some of my favorite vintage finds straight from the Chairish site!  

I like to mix pieces from different eras to really give the room personality. You'll see some French chairs and a French desk paired with Mid-Century chairs and artwork. You don't have to stick to one style or one era when decorating. Chairish gives you all different styles to shop from all on one site!

Here is some info on the individual pieces I used for my mood-board. You'll be surprised at the price range you'll find for such unique pieces!

Black French Desk- item no longer available but you can have this one if you make an enticing offer! It's reduced to $2129:
Antique Louis XV Style Desk

Image of Byron Botker Chrome Chairs Model #817 - A Pair

Faux Bamboo Gold Nesting Tables

Faux Bamboo Gold Nesting Tables $300 or Make an Offer

French Chair in New Blue Velvet Upholstery

Vintage Rattan Coffee Table Philippines Import

Image of Mid-Century Original Abstract on Masonite

Image of Brass Pineapple Lamp

Image of Vintage Brass Whale Figurine

Large Footed Brass & Glass Serving Tray

Vintage Brass Eagle Bookends

Happy Shopping! And by the way, this post on Chairish is not a sponsored post. It was inspired by all the Vintage goodies over at Chairish that I just had to share! Let me know what you find!


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Three things Every Homeowner Should Do Before Listing Their Home!

Whew! Having your house on the market is a lot of work! I like to think that my house is always clean and relatively neat- for a busy family of four plus one furry member. But keeping your house "show ready" is a whole other level!!

The good news is that we have had a lot of showings, second showings and a great buzz about our house!  There were three key steps that we took that I think have helped us attract buyers, show well, and ultimately, will help us when the offers start to come in:)

Step #1 Get your home inspected first!
We had a Home Inspector come to our home and conduct a Homeowners Pre-Inspection. Most homeowners looking to put their home on the market don't even consider having an inspection done. They don't want to spend the money and instead, just fix up a few home repairs that haven't been completed. That's a big mistake! I think hiring a Home Inspector before going on the market is absolutely imperative and here is why:

 The most serious buyers are the ones who will see your home first- they have been looking, they are educated and they know as soon as something new hits the market. For this reason, usually your best offers are the ones that come in first. 

Let's say you get a great offer in the first week and you accept it. Now the buyer will bring in a Home Inspector to inspect the house. You'd like to think that everything will go smoothly but remember, it is the inspector's job to do his/her due diligence and point out everything that is potentially problematic with the home. 
Once that 2,000+ page report is compiled :), your buyers will look at it and possibly detract from their original offer based on the results of the inspection. And you are left vulnerable. Money is literally being taken out of your pocket. Why? Because you didn't know these problems existed in the first place! Perhaps if you did know you would have addressed them before going on the market...and the cost to address them would be less than the amount the buyer is deducting from their offer. I tell my clients all the time: What would cost hundreds to do, buyers will deduct thousands for.

Got my logic?

We had our home inspected first and then we addressed any major issues that needed to be addressed. Yes, the inspection cost us several hundreds of dollars.....but knowledge is power. We chose to spend what we could on repairs as a result of the inspection. Instead of spending $5000 on painting and other cosmetic things, we chose to spend money on things that would come up on the inspection. No one is going to reduce their offer because your paint is chipping!Of course, it goes without saying, once you have the inspection done, invest the money to fix the major things you feel you can afford to fix. As for the things you can't afford to fix, at least you are aware of them and you can price your home accordingly.

Then we moved on to the next step:

Step #2 Staging and Packing
Yes. I said packing. Most people think it is absurd to pack before you have even put your house on the market but trust me, it is a necessary step! I went room-to-room and de-cluttered. Everybody got a box to fill of unnecessary items from their rooms. My kids packed their extra stuffed animals that didn't need snuggling for the next few months and the broken down Legos that could get thrown in a bin. I cleaned out closets and re-folded my linen closet. Cleaning out cabinets and closets (which will inevitably be opened) will show the prospective buyers how much space you have and how organized you can be in this home. Remember, you are selling a lifestyle...if your home is neat and organized, the buyers will believe that they will be neat and organized in this home, too! Remove small unnecessary pieces of furniture that might clutter up a space. Take down about 95% of your framed photos and religious items and clean, clean, clean! Baseboards, trims, doors, doorknobs....nobody wants to buy anyone else's dirt- get rid of yours and a buyer will picture themselves in your clean and tidy home! Consider hiring a professional Stager to help pull it together for you. Usually a consultation lasts a few hours and you get a vast amount of information. Homeowners stop seeing their own clutter after a while so hiring a professional will help speed up the process and you'll have a better result than if you handle the task on your own. I happen to know a good Stager if you need one:)


Step #3 Have your Home Professionally Photographed (or get your Realtor to do it!)
90% of buyers shop online for a home before contacting a Realtor. That means the first-impression of your home will be based on the photographs. Do you want to rely on iPhone photos or a point and shoot camera?  Photographing the home is usually the responsibility of the Realtor. Because I am in the business and I had a favorite photographer of my own, I had them done myself. And my home is NOT a million dollar home. And my home is probably the ONLY home in its price category that has professional photos. But, we have had an exorbitant amount of showings and I think it is because it shows so well online. When interviewing prospective Realtors, ask if they can have the property professionally photographed! Also, Homestyling101 also offers Real Estate Photography services bundled with staging services! Contact me for more information!

Basically, all three steps that every Homeowner should take before listing their home are steps that ensure that your home will stand out among the competition. Once your home goes on the market, it is a product and if your product looks better than the competition and is priced well- it should sell!

Many people don't want to spend money on their home before they sell it. Change your mindset! It's not spending- it is investing in your largest asset! If you were going to sell your car, you'd have it detailed first...right? Well it's that same thought- your home is your largest asset. Why not be as prepared as possible when selling it? Why not show your "product" in the best light when selling? It is an investment in your largest investment!

I'd love to hear your comments and feedback on other tips you may have used in selling your home...or struggles! Open discuss!