Earlier this week, I had a chance encounter with a former client.  Fortune Cookie The client was accompanied by a friend who, it turns out, happened to be a seamstress.

Just that morning, I had been rummaging through my closet, fussing over some items that needed to be altered. I was at a loss where to go for such a service. Whom should I call?

Enter the seamstress.

Said seamstress also happened to live in the same neighborhood where I grew up, and even on the same street. She is a caregiver and friend to a former next-door neighbor.

Plus she sews.

Sure, I could have just shopped for new clothes. But I’d already tried that, and couldn’t find what I was looking for.

And that’s the thing.

When you already own the perfect article of clothing, or piece of furniture, why replace it just because it no longer fits? Why not have it altered, instead?

(And protect the landfills in the process).

Because, let’s face it, sometimes furniture no longer fits our lifestyle. Our needs may have changed over time, and even our tastes.

Sometimes things just get a bit worn and have that ‘tired’ look.

When furniture has good bones, as we in the industry like to say, I’m a big proponent of having the piece re-upholstered, and breathing new life into something you already own.

Why not?

You can re-purpose just about anything, even your home!

The following scenario is something I’ve heard more than once.

A family decides they have outgrown their home and it’s time to move. After many months of looking and getting nowhere, they suddenly realize their present home is perfectly adequate – it just needs an overhaul.

Since they already love the neighborhood, and the location couldn’t be more convenient for school and work, they hire an architect and interior designer, and end up remodeling instead.

Sometimes things are just meant to be.



Last week, I wrote about the giving of gifts, and my fascination with the Japanese scroll, which reveals itself just like a gift when removed from the custom box it has been stored in.

A home can reveal itself in very much the same way. If you think about it, just the act of entering someone’s home can feel like a ceremony.

As you move from room to room the house will continue to reveal itself. There could be a pleasant surprise around any corner, maybe even the kind that takes your breath away.

“Oh, what a beautiful room!” we’ve all been known to say at one time or another.

This is one reason why both designers and architects will typically hold back with their design. We don’t want to overpower your senses all at once.

We want you to take things in a little bit at a time, and take a moment to savor the design before revealing the next surprise.

So take a moment to to ask yourself  – what is the first impression visitors have when they enter your home?

Let’s begin with the entry.

The main entrance to your abode should always say something about the person who lives there, i.e. YOU, so the question is – what do you want your entry to say about you?

You can emphasize either your decorating style, or your personal interests, thus setting the tone for the rest of your home.

Do you collect antiques? Perhaps an antique chest, or table, would be the perfect accent for the entry. Are you passionate about Asian art and design? Then maybe that antique chest should be a blend of East meets West.

Maybe your lifestyle is more casual, in which case you might prefer a simple bench where visitors could rest their belongings.

There is nothing right or wrong here. It’s simply a matter of letting your home speak for you.

And don’t stop with the entry. In every room of your house, you have probably decorated according to your families’ tastes and budget.

Think about what you can add to any of these rooms to freshen the look for the New Year. Will it be a set of decorative throw pillows in a stunning color? New window treatments? A sleek new sofa for the family room?

Think about that awesome Brochure I recommended in my recent post Dream Big for the Holidays.

Think to yourself:   what will people experience when they enter my home. How will it unfold?

What will be the subtle ‘surprise’?