December, 2010 browsing by month


Making Your Room Feel Cozy and Warm

Monday, December 27th, 2010

Dear Kelly,

Do you have any suggestions to help my living room warm and cozier when the tree goes down?? It is north facing room without a lot of light. It has never had that ‘welcome’ feel to it. Thank you!!!  Jan M.


File Photo

It sure does look like a sad and empty room when the tree and Christmas decorations are down!  Now is actually a great time for you to rearrange the room and give your room a new look for free using what you already own!

Starting with the basics, check out my post: Priority! Questions To Ask Before You Begin Redesign to see what you would like the room used for. Once you know what the primary use of the room is, you can find out answers to more questions about your furnishings in another post: More Questions To Ask Before Your Room Redesign.  Are you thinking of painting the room?  Nothing will update and refresh a room quicker or least inexpensively than a fresh coat of paint.  Since you did not include any pictures, I am wondering what you have now for paint colors?  Does it look dingy to you? It could be the white or neutral you are using.  Read this post from my friend Maria, Clean verses Dirty Colours, (she spells colors wrong- she is from Canada) :) where she explains so well how a color can look ‘dirty’ even if it is white.

      Maria Killam – demonstrating the wrong color to use

That said, maybe now would be a good time to choose a new paint color with a little more depth and richness (a non-white) that would make the space much cozier and warm.  You should just go for it!  One room. Look at the below picture to see a perfect example of a room painted a warm, rich paint color:


Maria Killam Designs

After you have painted (if you decide to paint), now is the time to start arranging your furniture.  Start with the sofa, which is typically the largest piece of furniture in the room.  Can you try to bring the furniture away from the walls?  Another new look I love is to use a console table behind the sofa.  It gives you another flat surface in the room where you can make a tablescape which is what makes the room have some personality!  I explained how versatile console tables are in my post:   Beautiful & Functional Tables .

Amanda Nisbet

Amanda Nisbet

After you figure out where the largest piece is going, the rest will fall into place. Put chairs across from each other, facing the sofa with small tables next to if room allows.  One item I would suggest is to purchase yourself, if you do not already have, is an area rug.  An area rug is what anchors the sofa and other furnishings together.  I love rugs with bold colors and patterns that complement, but not necessarily match, your wall color.  This is a great place to pull your accent colors from.  Another decorating 101 rule of thumb, is that your accent color in the room should be seen in three main accessories.  So if you pull a color from the rug, say raspberry, then you should use raspberry in two other areas such as pillows and vases.

Jonathan Adler

Jonathan Adler

See how Jonathan incorporated teal throughout the room?  Isn’t his work gorgeous?  I could look through his rooms all day.

So  are you ready for a change?  This is a great time because everything is in the room is out of order.  Plus, this is a good time of year to work inside the house and don’t forget about the January White Sales!

I hope this helped give you a few ideas Jan!  Good luck and let me know if you have other decorating questions!


If you need help making your home feel cozy and warm, call me today!

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History of the Apron

Sunday, December 26th, 2010

My mom sent me this email that I thought was so adorable! I wanted to share this with you because this is sure to bring back fond memories:

“NOTICE that a ‘Medium’ is a size 14 – 16! This line is my favorite part of this email, I think!!”


Remember making an apron in Home Ec? Remember Home Ec?


The History of  ‘APRONS’


I don’t think our kids know what an apron is.
The principal use of Grandma’s apron was to protect the dress underneath because she only had a few and because it was easier to wash aprons than dresses and aprons required less material.  But along with that, it served as a potholder for
removing hot pans from the oven.

It was wonderful for drying children’s tears, and on occasion was even used for cleaning out dirty ears.

From the chicken coop, the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven.

When company came, those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids.

And when the weather was cold, Grandma wrapped it around her arms.

Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the hot wood stove.

Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron.

From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables.
After the peas had been shelled, it carried out the hulls.

In the fall, the apron was used to bring in apples that had fallen from the trees.

When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds.

When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved her apron, and the men folk knew it was time to come in from the fields to dinner.

It will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace that ‘old-time apron’ that served so many purposes.


Grandma used to set her hot baked apple pies on the window sill to cool.  Her granddaughters set theirs on the window sill
to thaw.

They would go crazy now trying to figure out how many germs were on that apron

I don’t think I ever caught anything from an apron – but love…”


I hope you enjoyed the article as much as I did!

If you need help making your home updated and fresh, call me today!

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January White Sales

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

We know it’s coming! If you know your shopping, then you know that January is “white sale” time!  This time of year is the best for finding “great buys” on sheets, towels and lots of other items for your home.

Monreale Paisley Duvet Cover, Twin

Pottery Barn

I actually found the history of the ‘white sale’ pretty cool.  In 1878, John Wanamaker of Philadelphia department store fame, decreed January to be the time for a “white sale.” Bed linens, which were available in white only, were sold at a discount. It’s believed he might have done so to keep linen makers in business during a slow time of year.

Photo File

It wasn’t until the late 1950s that prints, as well as colored sheets, were also included in January white sales. White sales also include blankets, bedspreads, sheets, towels and washcloths, kitchen towels, etc.  Pretty interesting, huh?

We know the sales are coming, we just do not have enough brain space to think of our ratty bath towels or even our stained tablecloths at this time.  We are all consumed with Christmas right now-  including me.  But I thought that maybe this year, I will put a little planning into the sales.  I usually don’t start thinking of the house ‘linens’ until March or April and then I get mad at myself for missing the sales!

Classic Hotel Table Runner, 16 x 90", Ivory

Pottery Barn

So I am feeling like a pretty smart shopper right now.  I am going to try to look around the house this week and next to see if I need any new items I really could use.  I know I can use new placemats and napkins to lift up my kitchen after all of my Christmas decorations are put away.  They are not expensive, but on sale it will be a great inexpensive way to update my kitchen.

Tuscan Block-Print Napkins & Place Mats, Set of 6

Pottery Barn

I am going to try to pick up a few new pillowcase also in a good cotton high thread count. Nothing better than ultra soft pillow and sheets! If you are thinking of painting and doing a bedroom over, January is the time to get the best prices.  And as always, I suggest you buy your bedding first then you choose your paint colors to coordinate.  Much easier that way.

And don’t forget new towels.  You should treat yourself to luxury towels at this time- again because of the deals you can find.  Don’t we know we deserve these small items of comfort?  But honey… it was on sale!!

Just thought I would give you another something else to think about this week.  :)  Can’t wait!  Only 4 days left!!

Where to find some great ‘white sale’ deals in January?  Here are a few of my favorites I will definitely be checking out for sales:   

 Company C  I absolutely love their rugs, bedding, accessories and fabric. Fun and colorful.  Mid-range prices.

Company C

 Crate & Barrel and Pottery Barn of course for a peek.    

 Cb2-   Crate & Barrel’s little sister. Trendy and fun linens, rugs and accessories at low prices.

Macy’s : Love their bedding collections and usually start my search for the bedroom here.

JC Penney-  You can not beat their prices.

And one of my favorite window treatment (ready made) places to look for sales is Neiman Marcus.  Beautiful stuff!


Neiman Marcus

Do you have any great places to shop sales?  I know I am forgetting a few good ones!  Comments?

If you need help making your home feel comfy and warm, contact me today!

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Christmas Tablescapes

Friday, December 17th, 2010

I thought you would enjoy a few more inspirational photos of beautifully decorated tables all decked out for the Holidays:


Pier One

I’m dreaming of a White Christmas…

Sandra Lee

 A simple gold charger with a pretty plate and an ornament on top.  Very chic!

Guy Fieri

I love the look of short cut flowers in vases.  Very elegant (and easy!)


Paula Deen

Looks like a wild Christmas party over at Country Living:


Country Living

 This tablescape below should be fairly easy to duplicate with your own tableware:


Especially for my daughter Meg:


Who loves those little white donuts!  Look at all of them babe! Yum!!

Isn’t this simple but adorable?


Country Living

 I thought this was so sweet:

Country Living

Country Living

 And one of my very favorite Holiday tables:

    Katrina Giles

Do you dress up your table for the Holidays?  Do you have a picture you would like to share?  I would love to see!!

 If you need help making your home warm, comfortable and happy, contact me today!

Other Holiday topics that might interest you:

Thanksgiving Holiday Tablescapes

Christmas Table Centerpiece 101

More Creative Christmas Decorating

Even More Christmas Tablescape Ideas

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