The first 5 improvements an interior designer makes!

October 20th, 2016


1. The colour and style of the home
When I walk into a house, the immediate thing I get an impression of is the style of the home. What is the owner’s style of luxury? This can be demonstrated through various senses, both visual and tactile; from scent through to sound. I find that lush linen curtains, carefully picked accessories and a scented candle can immediately move a living room into a more luxurious direction. Being clear on your style before following through to its implementation/creation is the best way to create a coherent story or theme in your home.

Introducing colour in the right way:
This is often high on the list of hairy decisions to commit to! If you don’t feel like taking the plunge on repainting your walls, here are some of the easiest ways for you to weave colour into your spaces:

  • Front door: Why not make the entry point to your house bright to greet you each day? Coloured doors ooze personality and can set the mood for whenever you leave or return home. If you don’t feel like going all out on colour with a door, paint the reveal instead, so that when your door opens a splash of colour comes through.
  • Upholstery and soft furnishings: Here’s an easy one! Refresh your scatter cushions, rugs, curtains, table runners, throws and linens with a new colour scheme. If you’re up for it, reupholster a much loved, though worn piece of furniture – like an armchair. Give it a charismatic colour and allow it the chance to be the star of your room once more.
  • Art and accessories: You’d be surprised how much of a difference these make when considered holistically in terms of colour. A simple arrangement of objects on a mantlepiece in brights can turn a calm, neutral space into a more exciting contemporary room. Naturally, large pieces of art will always direct the palette of your room. Shuffle your art around to hang the liveliest pieces in frequent access/activity zones and enjoy the shift in mood and energy!

The benefit of adding colour to a home is that it’s such a great way to easily and efficiently refresh, enliven and introduce your personality into the scheme. Colour is also great for inciting mood in each room.

2. Review and refresh the entry statement
Not a spot to be underestimated! The entry is the gateway between the outside world and the sanctuary of your home. What kind of mood do you want to set here? How can you infuse your personality into this spot? How can this area improve your daily routines returning and alighting from home on a daily basis? I find that a mirror or strong piece of art is great here. A beautiful console is super handy to store your everyday items such as wallet, keys, sunglasses etc., and also allow room for some fun shelf decorating. Lastly, greenery will never go wrong here (add a fern on the console, or a fiddle leaf in the corner), and consider some beautiful lamps to create ambience at night whilst being decorative pieces in and of themselves.

3. Change up door hardware with more interesting and unique options
We’re lucky to have such a wide range of options available making door hardware an area that we’ve come to LOVE having fun with. Why not make this a bold statement for your home? Look to grand hotels or retail stores for inspiration. Explore finishes, colours, textures and scale when assessing store-bought options, or commission a decorative pull for your doors or cabinets. Don’t be afraid to mix and match metals with different finish styles (e.g. matt, shine, powder-coated). The benefit of updating door and cabinet hardware is that it’s such an easy way to inject some personality into your spaces and make your everyday routines a little more fun.

4. Let there be light (artificial, task and ambient lighting)!
Light is one of the most important elements in the design of a home! Without light, the beauty of our spaces cannot be adequately enjoyed, and the tone and mood of our rooms may be off. I dedicate a whole module to this, but immediate changes can be easily introduced through artificial lighting. A commanding floor lamp in a living area could add some drama to the furniture scheme, whilst imbuing gorgeous mood light at night when relaxing. Lamps come in all styles, varieties, shapes and sizes. Wherever I can, I include a beautiful lamp to side tables, consoles, desks and shelves. A show-stopping pendant light over a dining table setting or cascading chandelier over stairs can be the difference between ‘nice’ and ‘WOW’.
Artificial lights are fantastic as they provide both practical and aesthetic functions to a home, and are ultra flexible for introducing or shifting around. Whether you buy new, or source vintage, your collection should tell the story of your style.

5. Furniture update
Often, the interior ‘styling’ or the sourcing and curation of your furniture, art and accessories comes last in the interior design stages. This is all about expression, creating mood and adding intrigue. A quick update could involve replacing a key piece of furniture such as your dining table or lounge suite to something better suited to your family, room layout or personal style.  Even 1-2 edits here can transform the feel and functionality of the space immensely. The biggest benefit of a furniture update? They’re often the bulkiest and key pieces in your scheme, so doing this right will help you nail that perfect home!

Painting? Here are some tips from the pros!

October 13th, 2016


Paint the Trim First, Then the Ceilings and Walls

Pros usually follow a certain order when painting a room. They paint the trim first, then the ceiling, then the walls. That’s because it’s easier (and faster) to tape off the trim than to tape off the walls. And you certainly don’t want to tape them both off!

When painting the trim, you don’t have to be neat. Just concentrate on getting a smooth finish on the wood. Don’t worry if the trim paint gets slopped onto the walls. You’ll cover it later when painting the walls. Once the trim is completely painted and dry (at least 24 hours), tape it off (using an “easy release” painter’s tape), then paint the ceiling, then the walls.

To Avoid Lap Marks…

To avoid lap marks, roll the full height of the wall and keep a wet edge. Lap marks are those ugly stripes caused by uneven layers of paint buildup. They occur when you roll over paint that’s already partly dry. (In warm, dry conditions, latex paint can begin to stiffen in less than a minute!) The key to avoiding lap marks is to maintain a “wet edge,” so each stroke of your roller overlaps the previous stroke before the paint can begin to dry.

To maintain a wet edge, paint an entire wall all at once. Start at one end, running the roller up and down the full height of the wall, moving over slightly with each stroke. Move backward where necessary to even out thick spots or runs. Don’t let the roller become nearly dry; reload it often so that it’s always at least half loaded. Keep the open side of the roller frame facing the area that’s already painted. That puts less pressure on the open side of the roller, so you’re less likely to leave paint ridges.

Clear the Entire Room Before Painting

If something is too big to take out, move it to the center of the room and cover it with plastic. Use canvas drop cloths. Unlike plastic, they stay put without tape and aren’t slippery.


Just Listed in Nantucket Condos

October 7th, 2016

WOW! Over $20,000 of updates in this condo located in the very desirable Nantucket neighborhood! Awesome kitchen remodel with partial wall removed to create an open floor plan and island! New dishwasher, range, oven w/ warming drawer and vent hood! Beautiful granite counters, tile back splash, touch sensor faucet, stainless steel sink and more! Two half baths featuring over sized vanities are connected by shared tub/shower area and are updated with raised counter tops w/ all new granite, sinks, fixtures, 2 toilets, mirrors, tiled tub/shower and two new pocket doors. Interior walls/ceilings have been resurfaced and finished with decorator paint colors! NEW floors& crown molding! Pella windows & sliding door to private balcony! Nantucket is conveniently located close to Lake Hefner, great restaurants & shopping! HOA fee of $178 monthly provides beautiful common areas and swimming pool, security gate, water, trash, roof & all ext. maintenance. Complete update list provided!

View the Tour

Hire a Realtor to properly market your home!

October 6th, 2016


You can’t just list it and forget it: Marketing a home in 2016

If you’re working with a quality agent, they won’t just put your house up on a real estate site and call it a day. They’ll create an entire marketing campaign for your home, covering everything from your home’s unique selling proposition to positioning your home in the market to defining and reaching your target market.

That could take you hours, if not days, of homework.

Richard Paz, a top real estate agent in Miami Beach who sells more than 8 times more homes than the average agent in the same area, notes,

“Targeting the right audience is crucial. One of my clients has a condo that’s on a canal with a boat slip, right across the street from the beach.

With a property like that, we’ll be targeting boaters as buyers — people who own a boat, or live in a waterfront home somewhere else and want to downsize, but still keep their homes close to them.

So, we’ll advertise at boat shows, in boating-related publications, use social media advertising to target boat owners looking for homes — things like that.”

Marketing a home effectively requires not just knowledge of up-to-date marketing techniques and strategies (can you run a targeted Facebook ad campaign?), but again, the time to implement those techniques.

For example, in 2014, 42% of owners selling their homes were marketing it via yard signs (and 25% weren’t actively marketing at all). But only 9% of buyers found the home they purchased via yard signs.

That just goes to show how out of touch most homeowners are with what actually gets a home sold these days.

Easily breathe new life into these four components of your home!

September 30th, 2016


Give Your Wood Furniture a New Finish

After years of use and abuse, your precious wood furniture might start to look a little worn out. But the great thing about solid wood furniture is that it can nearly always be repaired. The first task is to assess the extent of the damage. If you’re only looking to repair a few water stains, then the job is pretty simple. Spread a clean towel over the stain and use a hot iron over it. Depending on the extent of the stain, this might take a few passes, so just keep checking to see if the stain has disappeared.

If you have a piece of furniture that has more than just a few water marks on it, it might require a complete overhaul. Apply a liberal coat of paint stripper to loosen the old finish and then scrap it off with a plastic scraper. After the wood has had time to dry, get down to bare wood with sandpaper. Start with a coarser 150 grit paper and then finish with a finer 220 grit. Next, you’ll need to apply your finish. You could go the natural route with a finish like tung oil or boiled linseed oil. However, these finishes take a long time to dry between coats. For a faster finish, stain the wood with an oil-based stain and then apply a few coats of polyurethane.

Give New Life to a Worn Out Couch

After a few years of heavy use, your beloved sofa can start to lose its shape. But rather than replace a saggy-looking sofa, you can give it a boost with a few quick steps. Start by giving your couch a thorough cleaning. The high heat of a steam cleaner can help restore some of the lift in the couch cushions. If that doesn’t work, you can rebuild the couch cushions with material bought from a craft store. Pull the foam out of each cushion and wrap it in couple of layer of quilt batting to help it regain its shape. If you have cushions with loose stuffing, you can refill them with polyester fiberfill.

Reupholster an Old Chair

Your dated or worn out kitchen chairs might have you longing for a weekend trip to Ikea. But if it’s just the chair’s cushion that needs to be replaced, and the frame is still in good condition, you should try your hand at some upholstery work first. To begin, you need to remove the chair’s cushion, which is usually held in place with a few screws. Using a flathead screwdriver and a pair of pliers, carefully remove the staples that hold the fabric in place. Try not to destroy the old upholstery while you’re doing this because it’s going to serve as a handy template when you cut the new fabric. Iron the old fabric so that it’s perfectly flat, and spread it out over the new fabric. Trace an outline in chalk and then trim it down to size. Finally, using a staple gun, affix the new fabric to the chair, pulling it taut as you work your way around the cushion.

Paint Over It

Aging patio furniture can leave you with rust stains on you deck and your clothes. By applying a fresh coat of paint, you can return that furniture to its former glory. You first need to remove the loose paint and some of the rust. On flat and even surfaces, medium grit sandpaper works best. For mesh surfaces or hard to reach places, a stiff wire brush will do the job. Wipe any remaining dust and debris off with a cloth. Once you’ve stripped the chair, apply a coat of primer, which will help the paint adhere, and let it dry overnight. Finally, apply several thin coats of rust-proof spray paint to the chair, allowing it to dry between each coat.