Thursday, October 30, 2008

Tip...get money!

Here's a fun project for your creative side!
For a girl's room...

For a child's room or play-space...

Family room, dining area, or den...

I have officially enrolled in an AHS (Accredited Home Staging) Course online and will be "official" after this weekend! One doesn't even need certification or any type of degree to be a "stager," but I want the credibility for the client's sake. I already have one client lined-up and am looking forward to staging her home. I can't wait to show before and after photos on my blog! After already accumulating some staging accessories through our "flipped" properties- I have started to pick-up good finds here and there. I recently learned of a great trick in preparing wall decor that you don't have to spend a fortune on to look nice. It was suggested (in one of my books) that you go to a local craft store and find canvas, then pick-up some fabric, then put it together and voila! Did you know you could also frame fabric to make art? So here are a few of my projects, one for a girl's room, one for a play-space or bonus area (for kids) and one for a family room or den. It was fun and very inexpensive.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Trick? Aren't artistic or don't want to paint? pre-pasted murals!

We recently painted our second bathroom on the top floor and changed the theme from frogs to Monkeys for the kids. I wanted to do something creative on the walls but honestly I don't have the time or the exact "know-how" of how to paint a mural. I started searching online and eventually arrived on ebay. I found this awesome Monkey mural where the pieces all come separate...a branch, 12 leaves, and 4 monkeys. You can place it on your wall however you'd like and use as much or as little pieces as you'd like. It looks hand-painted and is not supose to do any harm to your walls. It did go on like a wall-boarder though...not sure what it will do if I ever need to get it off. None the less, it's SUPER CUTE!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Trick? Painting straight lines on textured walls...

I've done a lot of painting in various homes. I get a little better every time and every time it seems I learn a new trick here and there. A couple years ago I was painting some walls in my family room...the problem was 1) we had textured walls and 2) the walls curved into eachother, therefore it was hard to decide where to stop the line and difficult to make a straight line as well.
I myself prefer to stop BEFORE the curve. I will run the painter's tape from the ceiling to the floor and do so just before the curve to gaurantee a straight line with the tape. A neighbor of mine, at that time, was an artist and told me of some stuff used on canvas to keep paints from running together. I went to my local Michaels and picked it up. It's called Gesso and I have included a photo. It doesn't take much, but all you do is dilute the Gesso with a bit of water and then put some on your brush. I would press the tape down tightly and then "paint-on" the gesso-water mixture just along the tape line where I wanted the straight line. After an hour or so I could paint my color onto the wall, remove the tape, and presto...a straight line on textured walls!

Here is a project I just finished in my daughters room. Here I painted horizonal lines and used the gesso to keep the paint from running and to keep those straight lines!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Hiding cords...Trick? Leafy green garland.

I love to bring the outdoors in. So when I decided to put a fountain in my family room I had to figure-out a way to "hide" the big, thick-black cord that would run across the cove over to the outlet. I have done this in other rooms to hide computer cords and XBOX/Tivo/Cable cords as well. Once you run the cord from it's source to the outlet...gently glide a bit of leafy garland over top or in front of the cord. For the holidays I add a touch of orange-berry garland. I have also simply placed plants strategically in areas to cover-up all those unsightly cords.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Trick? Cutting-in.

Ever tried to paint your own walls before? Ever wonder how the heck the professionals get that straight line where the wall meets the ceiling? This is a trick called cutting-in (yet another of many tricks I learned form Mom). If you want to try it yourself there are a couple important things:

1) The brush. Make sure it is angled and 2"- this usually does the job best. Also, you should be spending around $10-$15 for a good brush to ensure that the bristles will not come off onto your walls. Loose and falling bristles will also make the job look a lot more sloppy.

2) Get a 6' ladder. Or if you're tall you may only need a regular paint-ladder about 3-4' tall. Either way, you want to be able to be at eye-level of where your wall meets your ceiling...this will make drawing the line much easier.

TIP: When hiring a painter (say, from craigslist), always ask if he/she "cuts-in." This is a sure sign as to whether or not they are "professional." A great painter will almost never tape-off ceilings.

The following link is pretty can see how the painter sets the bristles just up against the wall where it meets the ceiling and then, at an angle, glides the brush in a straight line across the top.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

About this Blog... Trick # 1...PAINT!

Welcome to my at home tricks and decorating and staging tips blog. It all began when I was a kid and growing-up I watched my Mom decorating the house, painting, and coming-up with festive ideas for the holidays and for hosting guests. Never did I know at the time that I would "inherit" some of her talent as a homemaker and decorator. though I've always loved looking in Home Decor magazines and watching all the great reality decorating shows- it hasn't been until the last 7 years or so when I have REALLY become interested in pursuing some form of interior design for myself. Since my husband and I got married and have owned various different homes, I have had a blast choosing furniture, wall decor, paint color and ultimately designing and decorating our living spaces. From one home to the next I've gradually learned and gotten better with themes and color palates and I finally feel comfortable enough to share some of my talent with others.

My husband's business calls for staging opportunities and we recently "flipped" a couple homes. This is when the reality of becoming a home-stager got "real" to me. Therefore, I have now decided to take my talent to the next level, study some design books and educate myself a bit more about interior design and staging. I have done some work in our homes as well as in other homes and this is where I will share my work and give some tricks and tips that I use around my house and in other homes.
Decorating has truly become a passion for me and eventually I hope to grow this passion into a business where I can help others and enjoy every second of the process at the same time. Enjoy!
* In my opinion, there is nothing more boring than white walls. White walls do not express any sort of personality. When you walk in your door you want to feel "at home." In doing so you want your environment to reflect YOU and your family, of course. Whether you like things soft and nuetral, or loud and bold...OR somewhere in the middle, find a color that demonstrates who you are and will be comforting and inviting to you and your family when you're at home. Go to and "try-on" some colors- OR click on my "Try-on Colors" link to the left and click on "explore color" at their website.
TIP #1: Also keep in mind that someday you may want to re-sell your home. If that day will come sooner than later than a better option might be to keep your colors nuetral, something a "majority" of people may prefer and be comfortable with. However, you can always cover-up paint. So don't fret too much if the next buyers don't like your color can start all over (but would you want to)?
TIP#2: I've used many different paint brands over the years and if you want a paint that will cover in 1 coat and maybe only 2 coats for darker colors, well, quite simply, BENJAMIN MOORE ($40-50/gallon) is the place to go. You will pay more for the paint but have to do less...otherwise you will pay less and need more paint and it will take-up more time to do more coats! If you're looking for a good less-expensive paint I'd suggest Behr ($28/gallon carried at Home Depot). See my link "How to Paint" in the left sidebar to learn some techniques and preparation to get yourself started! If you don't want to tackle the job yourself, I've used Craigslist as a great resource to find qualified painters. Always check references!