And the survey says...(your answers to design challenges questions)

I sent out a quick survey - only 2 questions - to my email list recently, because I am so interested in what people's home decor/design challenges are.

The questions were: 

1) What are your BIGGEST challenges in design/decorating?

and 2) There's a TON of info out there - what would help you with your challenges?

I got back so many fascinating, good answers. Answers like:

Designing wall space

Envisioning creative layouts on a budget in odd shaped historic homes

Finding what I love and tying it all together

What to put on my walls - I'm at a total loss about how to decorate my walls

Making rooms flow together

Spatial Organization

What furniture to keep and/or what furniture to buy - I want a new look for my __ room

My room doesn't feel 'finished' and I don't know what to do

I need my small space/room/house to have maximum storage and function, and I don't know how.

How to downsize/get rid of sentimental items we don't need.

And for question 2, answers like:

Design magazines and pinterest, I suppose

More time and more money...lol...bit sized pieces and local examples of setting the decorating bar higher, paired with how they accomplished that on a smaller budget

There is a ton of info but I don't have the time to sift through it, locate what I want, or often, have the ability to do it. EX: I want floating shelves. Even after I locate it, it will take me forever to get it on the wall.

Someone taking me through combining some older decor I love with new pieces so it all blends with the style I've created.

Guides based on color palette (how to used a color palette to create a flow from room to room)

Knowing what would help me and where to get it, affordably.

Having a plan or guide to follow, otherwise I don't know where to start or ever get to the point where I feel like I've 'finished' a room.

 

If you didn't answer the survey, what would you add?  I would love to hear! And if you did do the survey, do these other answers resonate with you? I know SO many people have these challenges, and I've been trying to come up with a hybrid of DIY/design advice that can help get a project going! Thank you for your answers!

 

What's old is new again!

 PHOTO BY SARAH SHIELDS

PHOTO BY SARAH SHIELDS

 

There are those that love wallpaper, and more of us that loathe it. But that may not necessarily be the case anymore. When my husband and I bought our last house, my criteria was absolutely no wallpaper. I couldn’t stand it, and I nixed any house that had it. Well, that and wall to wall carpet everywhere. But back to the wallpaper. I remembered many a day tediously spraying and scraping wallpaper at my grandparent’s house, in which every room was wallpapered top to bottom, with several layers. I seem to recall even a ceiling or two were wallpapered. Wow. 

Anyway, I relented on the wallpaper point somewhat, because the house we ended up with did have some, but at least it was contained to a border in the kitchen and two upstairs closets. (That’s all gone now, in case you wondered.) And I’ve decided that wallpaper works in some cases, so I’ve definitely changed my tune.

That’s right, wallpaper is back in vogue, and I actually do like much of what I see. If you’ve been a previous wallpaper snob like me, you might consider it if you have an area it would work for. Some ideas: you can add an accent wall with it, like in a bedroom on a headboard wall, or add it on wainscoting for a very custom, luxe feel. You can do this without having to commit to spending hours scraping it off later or leaving it to the next owners, because today you can get amazing temporary ‘wallpaper’, which is basically like contact paper that easily goes on and peels off when you want to remove it. So guess what I’ve installed? Yep, wallpaper! Would I do an entire room in it? No, but again, a small area or a wainscot or a focal wall would be great for this, again, think of it as an accent. And because rolls range from approximately $25-45 apiece, it is definitely more of an investment than just paint and you’ll probably end up needed more than you think you will, especially when having to match a pattern. What do you think of my ‘subway tile’ walls?

PS- I made a mistake when I did this project...can you spot it?

I am TERRIBLE with links-goodness, I can't figure out how to create links on here :/

So forgive me for not linking, ugh, but check out the following: Devine (target has it), Spoonflower, and Tempaper for some options!

 

Life is hard...you gotta ask for help

I don't know about you, but I bet you're like me, always wishing for more hours in the day. With a to-do list that never seems to shrink, and in fact, keeps getting added on to, even though you're always DOING.

Yeah. I'm trying to get help working on my business, outsourcing those things I just can't do, or that take me FOREVER because I don't know how. Like this website here. And setting up ads and opt-ins and on and on...and automating as much as possible. So that I can have time to blog, which I don't do enough of. I have wonderful employees that help me immensely, in the midst of their busy lives, too, while I try to figure stuff out. Because business ownership is HARD, especially when so much has changed in my industry and in social media and it's tough to know where to focus energy a lot of times (and there's a lot of distraction, too).

And then there's my house, which is like having another child (I already have four kids so...yeah). Did I mention it's a very OLD house? VERY time consuming. And that's what brings about this post. I ask for help from my family, and now I'm starting to ask for help from my friends. And you know what? They are HAPPY to help. Just like I'm happy to help them. And it takes such a weight off. And I had a neighbor girl come weed for me, and a friend is going to come work her green thumb magic in my yard, and another friend is helping me get ready for a photoshoot (I will definitely blog THAT). Not to mention a crew of friends who helped paint our garage (and that was such a sweet relief, too). And that's the essence of what makes life go better. Not trying to do it all, but to lean on others. And to help others when we can, and accept help from others. We're all in this together.

'Closet under the stairs' Makeover

Several years ago I was so absolutely fed up with this wonderfully quirky pit of 'everything we don't know what to do with, we throw in here', aka the coat closet under the stairs that I had to do SOMETHING DRASTIC. I decided to make it over into a little 'library' for the kids. A cozy little 'room' where they could go solo or huddle with each other and read or play.

Wish I had a  BEFORE 'before' pic, but this one is the in between, after it had already been a library but before we repainted.

 the 'before'

the 'before'

A couple months ago, my daughter and I changed it up a little, repainting and adding stencils on one of the walls. It was a good time to cull & organize some of our books, toys, & misc. Once in awhile it's good to take everything out of a space that seems stale or dysfunctional, and to try to re-envision its maximum potential. My daughter picked the paint colors and stencil, and even stenciled the wall herself. 

 painting in progress....

painting in progress....

I love this little space! It's full of books we love, treasured toys, and lots of personality. Not sure what I will do when they entirely outgrow it. :(

 

 the 'new' library!

the 'new' library!

 I added some baskets on the top shelf to contain/hide toys and look uniform

I added some baskets on the top shelf to contain/hide toys and look uniform

 i love organized shelves!

i love organized shelves!

 wool rug (found at a thrift store!)

wool rug (found at a thrift store!)

Staging a log cabin

We recently had the chance to stage a log cabin, which is a unique opportunity! This was an occupied staging, so we used a combination of the owners things, in addition to bringing in some key accessories. With the homeowner's prep work, our staging, and pro photography, we think it looked amazing!

Even better, the homeowners got an offer at the very first showing, which was the day after going on the market. Hurray for a quick sale!

Here's a great before & after, and some of our vignettes. Design is in the details!

 LR before

LR before

 LR after

LR after

 LR after

LR after

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