Decorating Hints & Tips

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Secret to Online Accessory Shopping

Monday, January 5th, 2015

One of my favorite activities is going accessory shopping! I love the hunt of finding the perfect piece in shops, big stores, barn sales and auctions. Art and accessories are the personality of a room:

Kelly Bernier 5 14 vignette 7

Today, it is even easier to shop for special items online. If you have a tabletop or console you are looking to style, there are many online sites where ordering is quick and easy. A few of my favorites are Overstock, Pottery Barn, West Elm, Lamps Plus, Pier1, Ballard Design Joss & Main and Craig’s List.

If you are shopping online for accessories, the secret is to plan ahead what items you will need. Plan it out on paper or in your head what will go on this side of the table, what will be on the other side? Should I use a lamp or maybe two? What size is best to hang a picture or mirror behind? What material and size of bowl will look best?

Kelly Bernier 5 14 vignette 5

I recently helped a client shop online for her mantel. She wanted a whole new look. I first sent her ideas to shop(look) around her home to see what we could use. Then instead of her running all around picking up items, I made a plan on paper and then sent her ideas and photos online and product information. Look how nice it came out:

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I am now working with someone helping find a centerpiece for his kitchen table:

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First thing I thought would look nice is a small tray in the center of the table holding a couple items:

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Another idea could be a few pretty glass pieces:

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Also, planning what you actually can fit and use in the space is important in online shopping so you do not have the hassle of returns.

Hope this helps next time you are looking to dress up your tables!

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My Year In Review

Monday, December 22nd, 2014

As I look back over 2014, I have to say that I had a wonderful year. I moved into a beautiful new condo:

Sneak Peek At My New Condo

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I also set goals for myself which I accomplished, (ok, most of them). One important objective I made for my blog was to only post when I had interesting or educational information to share with my readers. For example, I did a ton of work and research about the new Cree LED lights:

Everything You Need To Know About the New Light Bulbs

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I loved how everyone commented on whether or not to paint my friend Connie’s mantel:

Agree or Disagree to Paint Mantel?

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And the results of that blog:

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So pretty! Great job Connie.

Here are a few reader favorites this past year:

Another Color Option For Pinky-Beige

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Best Trim Color For Revere Pewter

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Blues For Ceilings

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Inspiring Christmas Tablescapes

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Here are a few of my favorite blogs this past year:

Photos To Share!

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Eric Roth, professional photographer, came to my home to take pictures! Such an exciting day for me!

More Granite Decisions

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I learned so much from all of your comments! You helped me make the right decision for my kitchen backsplash.

Custom Starburst Mirror

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Thank you so much everyone! Thank you for all of your kind comments and letters and all of my readers that stop by. And thank you to all of my local business as well as all of my online design clients. So great to work with you all! I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and a Joyous New Year!!  xo

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The Ten Most Common Decorating Mistakes

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

Recognizing the most common decorating mistakes and how to correct them, can turn a cramped and chaotic space into one that is organized and tranquil and can create a sense of order and balance. These invaluable lessons I learned from my teacher, mentor and friend, Lauri Ward, president and founder of Use What You Have Interiors® (UWYH).

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Lauri Ward revolutionized the interior design business with a simple idea – using what people already have in their home as the foundation to create a fresher, updated, more elegant look, without spending a lot of money.

This time of year, I like to look over my old notes and files for review and ideas for the coming year.  One of the most valuable lessons I learned from training with Lauri was The Ten Most Common Decorating Mistakes:

1.  Not Defining Your Priorities: Before you begin your room design, you should know what the room will be used for, which furnishings will be kept in the room and of course, your budget.

2.  An Uncomfortable Conversation Area: Can you and your guests have a conversation without straining your neck? A U-shaped furniture arrangement is best for conversation; least favorite is a L-shaped arrangement. And beware of the sofa/loveseat combination!

3. Poor Furniture Placement: Avoid placing all of your furniture up against the wall, but be sure there are open pathways to walk through the room.

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4. A Room That Is Off Balance: A room will look unbalanced if you have all of the taller, heavier furniture on one side of the room with smaller, delicate pieces on the opposite side of the room.

5. Furniture of Different Heights: If the seating heights of furniture are varied and/or artwork is hung at different levels, the effect creates a ‘roller coaster’ effect that causes the eye to travel uncomfortably up and down around the room.

6. A Room That Lacks Cohesion: A room without unity or a ‘pulled together’ look is easily solved using pairs of furnishings such as two chairs, two lamps and/or two end tables that will add symmetry to the room.

Kelly Bernier 5 14 bedroom 2

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7. Ignoring The Focal Point In The Room: Well-designed rooms have a focal point — the first thing your eye sees when you enter. Without it, the room lacks interest and direction.

8. Improper Use of Artwork: Hanging your artwork too high or scattering your artwork around the room is two of the most common ways artwork is displayed incorrectly.

9. Ineffective Use Of Accessories: As a general rule, less is more. Use larger accessories and keep the smaller pieces together as a group.

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10. Using Lighting Incorrectly: Every room should have general illumination, task lighting and mood/accent lighting. Lighting is one of the most important factors in a room and the right choices can make a great impact. Dimmers are invaluable!

These simple decorating principles are the basics in design to help find what is not working in your room and how to correct them.

If you would like to learn more about Lauri Ward and training for ‘The Use What You Have System’, read here.

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Inspiring Christmas Tablescapes

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

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Oh so pretty! I just love looking at beautiful Holiday tablescapes and I know you do too!:

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It takes a little planning to put something together as beautiful as these:

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I’m sure you could also set a beautiful table after you made a list of what you would need.

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I love so many of these vignettes, but where would you ever put the food?

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Look how gorgeous this is:

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Love, love this one!:

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Here is a close up of the one above:

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So simple and so gorgeous, don’t you agree?

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I hope you enjoyed and were able to get a few inspiring ideas for your Christmas table! I have Christmas on my mind, how about you?

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