A SUMMER QUIZ

“Your home is your personal canvas – a place for celebrating Beauty”.

 

Here’s a little quiz I’ve put together, to re-vitalize your home decorating skills during these hot, lazy summer days.

Please note, this is intended to be fun!

Even better – your answers will not be graded.

 

Question #1:

Summer is the worst time of year to even consider an interior design project.
T or F

False. If you are thinking of re-decorating, or having a picture perfect new dining room by the holidays, NOW is the time to kick things into high gear!

Especially if your plans involve anything custom, or lining up vendors and/or contractors – you need to plan several months ahead.

Why?

Most workrooms and manufacturers have a cutoff date for the holidays. If you wait too long, your dream project simply won’t happen in time.


Question #2:

The best, and most obvious, reason to hire an interior design is because you can afford to do so. T or F

False. The best reason to hire an interior designer is when you’re feeling completely overwhelmed, and short on time & ideas.

Not to mention having access to a much broader scope of resources, for whatever your heart desires.

By the way, if you love interior design and are always re-arranging things in your home, check out this link – especially if you frequently worry “Am I doing this right?


Question #3:

Working with an Interior Designer can sometimes lead to bargains. T or F

True. Some designers will pass along showroom discounts; other times, you might be lucky enough to score exactly the item you are looking for – on Sale – at an exclusive designer showroom.

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LISTEN TO YOUR HEART

The dental assistant had a question.

“Is Teal in?”she wanted to know.

She went on to explain that she wanted to repaint her Master Bedroom and the color teal really appealed to her.

She just wasn’t sure it was the “in” color to use.

While I generally don’t hand out free advice, I couldn’t resist this one.

I told her to forget what colors are “in” and paint her bedroom whatever favorite color she wanted.

It was her bedroom, after all!

A few days later, another acquaintance was lamenting the large amount of dark wood in her home – dark oak floors, kitchen and bathroom cabinets, and walls.

Her husband had suggested painting them.

“But,” she wondered aloud, “What happens if ten years from now dark wood is again back in style?”

She wasn’t asking my opinion, so I didn’t provide it, but here’s the thing.

Fads are just that.

They come and go.

What your heart and your gut are telling you – that’s what you want to pay attention to!

Your home needs to be about you and the things you love.

Whether you love teal, or your home is too dark and you want to lighten things up, I say – go for it!

Here’s another example.

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HOW TO ACHIEVE ‘TOTAL ZEN’

We were standing in the living room of my client’s home.

As we looked around us, taking in the handiwork of the previous owners, it was clear that my client wanted to make this house her own.

That’s when she declared “I want to have an absolute Zen-like space to come home to.”

That one statement set a very clear vision for the project.

Sparsely furnished, this particular home would be clean-lined and minimalist, with Asian overtones in the bamboo floors and accessories.

Plus, there would be plenty of built-in storage to avoid clutter.

It was the sort of project that took an entire team to pull off.

Well, you might not be in need of an entire team.

But, perhaps you’re drawn to the idea of a peaceful, Zen-like space to come home to.

You may also love the idea of having someone to bounce your ideas off of and help you pull the project together – from start to finish.

That’s what I call Total Zen.

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HOW TO ACHIEVE INNER ‘SERENITY’

“TO:  The Supreme Pontiff Julius II           

FROM:  M. Buonarroti, artist

RE:  Interior Decorating

Most Holy Father,

It grieves me that your Holiness is unhappy with the progress on the Sistine Chapel.

Admittedly, it’s taken a little time and we’re into a slight cost overrun, but Your Holiness must admit this isn’t something that can be done with a numbered kit.

It’s hard on the neck, too. And, while you don’t do the shopping,You must know the price of fresco colors is out of sight! A couple more years should do it.

Your obedient servant,

Michelangelo

P.S. I beg to point out to Your Holiness that there is nothing in the contract about scraping the sash in the Vatican Refectory. As I’ve said before, I don’t do windows.”

(From an ancient account in Rome’s Vatican Library. Date has been effaced, but is believed to be circa AD 1510)

 

Yes, you read correctly.

This excerpt was written by that Michelangelo, the one of Sistine ceiling fame.

I happen to love this quote!

It’s a page straight out of history, yet – despite the passage of 500 years – not a lot has changed.

It could just as easily have been written yesterday.

Truth be told, the first time I heard this was at a meeting, where the speaker read it aloud before a room full of interior designers.

You can be sure it got a good laugh.

However, I think just about anyone can relate to Michelangelo’s words.

For example, if you’ve ever taken on a project that ran into cost overruns, or was not completed on time, this letter will sound painfully familiar.

Then there’s the part about the “numbered kit”.

Did such a thing even exist back then? (Apparently so).

What Michelangelo was basically saying, was that painting the Sistine ceiling was not just any old work of Art.

His letter makes plain that this was part of a very involved process – one that could not be rushed.

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HOW TO ACHIEVE ‘PEACE OF MIND’

According to a recent study “the state of your home has a direct impact on your Relationships, your Self-Esteem & your overall Happiness”.

 

I thought I’d take a moment to explain the inspiration behind Designer-in-a-Box – specifically the three packages that I offer.

Let’s begin then, with the very first tier, the one I call Peace of Mind.

Why that particular name? Where did it come from?

Well, perhaps this describes you…

Is your home filled with furniture you bought years ago (in college, maybe?), or with things that someone else chose?

Maybe even leftover from a previous relationship?

So, here’s the thing.

If your home no longer reflects who you are, it’s like dragging a heavy weight around with you every day.

(Remember that study? Your happiness depends on this!)

Now, change the picture.

Visualize yourself coming into a home that truly supports your health and well-being and reflects the essence of who you are.

That is what I call Peace of Mind.

And, as I’ve mentioned, Peace of Mind also happens to be the name of the intro package I’ve created for my ultimate DIY interior design program– DESIGNER IN A BOX.

Of course, these words could mean something else entirely.

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CELEBRATE YOUR INNER DESIGNER

Next week marks the annual observation of our national holiday – the 4th of July.

For many of us, that means barbecues and fireworks – traditions we’ve held onto since childhood.

But sometimes, we tend to forget what the holiday is all about.

July 4th  is also known as Independence Day.

As you know, this harkens back to a time in our nation’s history when we first declared our independence from the mother country.

The signing of the Declaration of Independence made this moment official.

Webster’s Dictionary defines independence as:  1.The state or quality of being independent; freedom from dependence; exemption from reliance on; self-subsistence of maintenance; direction of one’s own affairs without interference.

As you can see, there are many ways to declare ones independence.

Most of us have approached this phase of our lives during our late teens and twenties, when we tend to break away from our parents influence and strike out on our own.

Others, such as my grandparents, declared their independence by leaving behind their homeland, and immigrating to the United States, dreaming of the possibilities for themselves and their families.

Independence, after all, is all about Freedom.

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IS DESIGNER IN A BOX FOR YOU?

If you’ve been reading my blog lately, then you know that I’ve been gearing up to launch my brand new Interior Design Program DESIGNER IN A BOX.

And I’m guessing you have some questions.

Perhaps the most pressing one – correct me if I’m wrong – is this:

How do you know if Designer in a Box is right for you?

Well, here’s a hypothetical scenario:

Let’s say you’ve decided to redecorate your living room and create a space that is invitingly cozy and comfortable and reflects everything you are passionate about.

So, you head over to your favorite big-box furniture store that is currently having a big Sale.

An eager and attentive salesperson comes to your aid, and ultimately convinces you to buy a beautiful white, leather sofa.

You are certain this is exactly what you need.

A few days later, the sofa is delivered to your home.

You’re surprised to learn that it is a little large for the space – you thought it was such a perfect fit!

And while you still think the sofa is attractive, you’re not quite so sure anymore that you’ve made the correct choice.

So you call your mother, and some friends.

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INTRODUCING: DESIGNER IN A BOX!

Are you ready to create the home of your dreams?  

Well, what if I told you there is now a fabulous on-line tool that can help you do just that?

I’m thrilled to announce my brand new Interior Design program – DESIGNER IN A BOX – the Ultimate DIY Course for designing your own home!

A little over a year ago, I came up with the idea to introduce an Interior Design program in the form of an on-line tutorial.

“Wouldn’t it be great,” I thought, “To have an on-line tool that helps you design the home of your dreams?”

The creative wheels have been turning ever since.

It’s moments like these that remind me why I created this program in the first place. 

It’s because I truly believe everyone deserves to have a beautiful home!

Not only that, I believe access to professional interior design advice should be readily available and affordable to anyone.

In order to do this, I realized I would be sharing a lot of information that includes not just the A,B,C’s of interior design but also insider tips, worksheets and plenty of personal advice.

I specifically tailored this Home Study Course towards anyone who is a little more “hands on”, preferring to handle much of the design work yourself while having access to professional advice along the way.

My intention with this program is just that – to help you create a beautiful home that supports and nourishes you in every aspect of your life.

So, how do you know if Designer in a Box is right for you?

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IS YOUR HOME TOXIC?

A few months ago, an acquaintance of mine mentioned that her two-year old grandson had been quite sick over the past few months.

The poor little guy had been in and out of our local Children’s Hospital, subjected to one test after another.

After all that, there was still no clear diagnosis.                             

However, doctors were beginning to question whether the real culprit might be the new carpet recently installed in the family’s home.

It’s hard to believe, isn’t it?

I was shocked when I heard this, but I wasn’t surprised.

The truth is, fumes from fresh paint, new furniture, new carpet and fabrics, and that new car smell – those fumes are what’s referred to as “off-gassing” and it’s all highly toxic.

The toxicity comes from the VOC’s, or Volatile Organic Compounds, that are present in any of these products.

You might be wondering, is it even possible to avoid them?

Well, you’ll be happy to know there is a way, and you can do that by considering healthier alternatives such as zero VOC Paints, organic fabrics and water based finishes.

You can read all about this and more in my new guide “LIVING GREEN”  – available either as a downloadable file, or a printed booklet that will be shipped to your front door.

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DO YOU PAY THE TOLL?

On December 29, 2011, Seattleites found themselves with a new Toll Bridge.

While the bridge itself wasn’t new, the toll was.

For those not familiar with the Seattle area, we have two bridges that span Lake Washington – connecting the city, itself, with the suburbs and outlying areas.

I think it’s safe to say that hundreds of thousands of commuters rely on these bridges every single day.

So, enacting a toll was a really big deal.

Here’s what has happened since. Many commuters have simply refused to pay the toll. Instead, they are driving well out of their way and finding alternate routes.

They either travel across the second bridge – whether or not it is convenient to where they live or work – or they circumnavigate the lake completely.

What surprises me most about this, is that the folks who have chosen to drive around the lake or find alternate routes, don’t seem to be concerned about the extra distances they’re driving, or the additional expense for gas.

Meanwhile, for those who opt to pay the toll, the route into the City is straight sailing all the way – a huge improvement over snarled traffic jams that used to be the norm.

Of course, whether to pay the toll or not, that’s up to the individual and their unique circumstances.

In the end it’s all about choices.

The analogy here, is that we often make similar decisions when it comes to buying new furniture – whether to go all out and invest in superior quality and a better experience – the equivalent of paying the toll – or settling on something more affordable that fits our budget here and now.

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