Transform Your Space, Transform Your Life

DaddySonRenovationsmI’ve learned so much over the past 5 years about sowing the seeds that you want to harvest in your life. Modern families can be a bit complicated at times (it comes with the territory), but we have to be careful not to devote all of our energy to whatever drama is brewing at that time.  Whatever you feed in your life is nourished and grows; be it positivity or negativity; healthy relationships or unhealthy relationships; a dead end job or your dream; spirituality or emptiness. Whatever you pay the most attention to is ultimately what will show up and show out in your life! As such, I’ve been really mindful of not feeding into the actions of others that I simply cannot change. I no longer devote all of my energy to trying to figure it out. I know that my home, my kids, my family are happier because I let go of “fixing.”

Now I devote my engergy to things I can change, but have neglected over the past 5 years, like my home. My hubby and I downsized from a two story to a ranch a couple of years ago. I’ve always dreamed of living in a cute ranch that I beautify with my own blood, sweat and tears but we never made it a priority…until now. Now instead of focusing on “fixing” things or people that I can’t change, I have redirected my energy to fixing things that I can change.

Over the next few months, I hope you’ll join me for my transform your space, transform your life series as my hubby and I renovate our adorable ranch and create an inviting and serene space that screams positive energy, love and peace. First up is our master bedroom and it’s probably our most favorite room in the house. Our hope is to create our own little beach like sanctuary. My hubby and youngest son are in the pic. It was their Daddy and Son Renovation Day. At 3 years old, little Eli loves to help and including him in our renovation process makes it a lot easier and a lot more fun! Don’t miss out on my happy home series as I give you tips for not only transforming your space, but transforming your outlook on life. I’ll also tell you about some of my most fanstastic best kept secrets as well.   Until then, what can you let go of “fixing” and what can you focus on fixing in your life that will sow seeds of positivity instead of constant drama?

 

Greening Your Spring

eco-friendly-bedroomLet’s face it. Spring cleaning can either be a huge chore no one in the family really has the desire to tackle, or it can be an exhilarating time of year to clean out your space, create some mental and physical clarity and refresh your perspective on all of the great things you have going on in life. This year instead of just sprucing up your home, why not turn your home into a healthy living oasis where allergens, pollutants and not-so-planet friendly practices are manned?

Eco-friendly designer Robin Wilson, president of RobinWilson Home in New York City, one of the pioneers of eco-friendly design and an ambassador for The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, offers these nine tips for taking spring cleaning to another level this season:

1. In the bathroom, get rid of your vinyl shower curtain because it holds mold more easily and off gases. Use a nylon curtain instead. It’s also less expensive. Use non-toxic cleansers, always lower the toilet seat when flushing and fix a leaky faucet (which will also save you money!)

2. For bedding, use synthetic pillows over feathered ones if you suffer from allergies or asthma. Wash your pillowcase once a week, your pillow protector at least once a month and replace pillows every three years. Cover your mattress with a hypoallergenic cover and wash it every two months. Make sure that it is non-toxic without formaldehyde-based fire retardants.

3. Use non-VOC paints in your home, which won’t off gas, leave an obnoxious paint odor or stir up asthma or allergies. You can’t even tell the difference in how it looks on the wall.

4.  Avoid wall-to-wall carpeting. Tile and hardwood floors are a much better choice, but must be vacuumed or cleaned on a regular basis to eliminate dirt and dust. Each Spring, remove everything from the room as if you were moving, and mop or steam clean the floor.

5. Check for mold in dishwashers and under the fridge in the water pan. Regularly change the water dispenser and icemaker filters.

6. One of the biggest trends today is eco-friendly cabinetry because it has no formaldehyde adhesives and is made with low VOC stains.  Consider frameless cabinets, which won’t collect as much dust.

7.  Wash or freeze your child’s stuffed animals to kill dust mites.

8. Consider using slipcovers, which can be washed regularly on your upholstered sofas. Make sure you limit the use of drapes as they are “dust catchers.”

9.  Always take off your shoes when you enter your home to prevent the outside world from coming in.

Sherrell Dorsey is an eco-glamour expert, trained aesthetician and creator of the blog OrganicBeautyVixen.com. Find her beauty, style and green living tips on Twitter and Instagram: @organicvixen.

 

The 72 Hour Design Challenge

Who has a space they have absolutely no idea what to do with? How’s that living room looking? Bedroom need a little TLC? Bathroom kindof drab? What about your kitchen? Could it use a facelift? Whatever your design dilemma is let’s tackle it together!

Here’s how it works…subscribe to my blog at www.yourcolorvision.wordpress.com  (if you haven’t already), email me (click on TV to your top right) clear pictures of the space and what your design style is i.e. modern, traditional, rustic etc and I’ll respond within 72 hours with a design solution!

C’mon this will be fun! If you want to see an example, check out the ideas I came up with for my friend Jimmy’s Place below.

You have nothing to lose. Ready…Set…Send me those pics!

Be COLORful!

Cheers to a Fresh Start

Who else has a “holiday hangover” besides me? I’m already missing hanging out with my mom, waking up (at noon) and drinking coffee out of the mug my dad set out for me right next to the coffee maker and of course spending time with friends and family that I only see a couple of times throughout the year.  Just as I’m allowing my reminiscing to get me into a full on winter funk I remember! What is wrong with me? This is a FRESH start! Let’s get organized! Make a schedule! Begin the workouts! Finally throw out the eggnog and put the Christmas decorations away!

First things first though.  Let’s get organized. What good is a home decorated within an inch of its life if things aren’t organized? Organization and killer decor go hand in hand.  So let’s get started with your office space, specifically your desk.  That’s always the “catch-all” at my house.

Photos (not in frames or pined to corkboard/ memo boards), letters, mail, pens and all the little knick knacks on your desk need to be organized if your office space has any chance of looking ready for business in 2011.  More than likely most if not all of these should be hidden or contained for a clutter free look.  Consider these ideas from REAL SIMPLE.

 

 

 

 

 

Another area that can get very disorganized quickly is the laundry room.  Throw a family in the mix and there will be guaranteed missing socks galore.  Check out some of these options from Apartment Therapy to get you excited about doing laundry…well, organized anyway ; ).

 

 

And lastly, brace yourself, let’s walk slowly toward your closet.  Take a deep breath and exhale.  How organized is it?  Look at these extra tidy ones.  These guys are major overachievers!  Also, keep in mind that if you hang, fold, and stack your clothes and shoes by color it will look a lot more organized.  That alone will make a major difference.

 

 

Best of luck!  Start the year off right and get your space organized! 

 Trust me.  I’ll be taking my own advice…

For more design tips, please visit www.yourcolorvision.wordpress.com.

Secret Retreat Tucked Away in the City

I’ll spill the beans if you promise not to tell anyone…my back patio lol!! Ok, ok maybe not to the masses, but to me nestled on my outdoor love seat, sipping a cup of coffee (or lemonade as I’m frying an egg on the side table in this 90+ degree heat) it certainly is. I have lived here for years and ya know, I’ve never really and truly invested into this space before this year. It was always something that I put off, but I made up my mind that this would be the year that I actually enjoyed the space.

The furniture came from Target and Ikea over the last few years. They actually held up very well. I even left these out all winter and no rust! Don’t try this at home though. The green and blue rug is from Pier1, pillows and cushions from Home Goods and lanterns from Cost Plus World Market. Flowers, plants and trees I got from my local farmers market in Detroit, Eastern Market. I really love the experience there. You can negotiate, get some really great deals and talk to knowledgeable folks who can school you on which flowers to get depending on how much sunlight they’ll be in. They were a huge help to me. I’m almost 2 months in and flowers still holding up well!

Show me your outdoor hide-a-way!

Or do you have one that needs a little TLC?

Check out the before and after pics.

Before

Before

After

After

After

After

Before

Before

After

After

rayneecrowesmRaynée Crowe, TMF’s primary modern home contributor, is an interior decorating consultant who ironically never considered herself creative, and then one day the ‘ol proverbial light bulb went off.  Her love for mixing and matching colors, patterns and decorating had manifested itself into daydreaming of color swatches, textiles and room arrangements.  That passion and excitement grew and soon it was pure enjoyment as she worked with friends and clients to select color pallets, accessories, furniture and arrange spaces.  Finally she understood the saying “if you do what you love you’ll never work a day in your life” and so in 2008 Color Vision LLC was born.  For more information, you can email Raynee at yourcolorvision@gmail.com.

For more great tips and ideas, check out her blog at www.yourcolorvision.wordpress.com.

Wall Therapy

Check out these great options for your walls

1. Modern Wallpaper

Photo: www.burkedecor.com

Prints are back! But this isn’t your grandmother’s wallpaper. Fussy floral designs and passé paisley prints-definitely out. These days you can find some seriously cool patterned paper to adorn your walls. Used strategically, wallpaper is like the icing on the cake for any space that needs to be kicked up a notch. Like window treatments, wallpaper can really finish a room. Check out www.burkdecor.com for more styles. I love this one! It’s perfect for a hallway or a wall in a home office.

2. Stencils

Photo: http://www.etsy.com/listing/42930016/wall-stencil-anemone-grande-large-size

Wall stencils are a fresh alternative to framed wall art and a creative way to add an artistic flair to a drab space. You’ve seen them used in children’s rooms (think Winnie the Pooh, Tigger and the gang), but they’re not just for kids anymore. Check out some fun yet sophisticated options here:

http://www.etsy.com/shop/CuttingEdgeStencils.

Another neat thing about stencils is that you can also use them to amp up your flooring!

3. Decals

Photo: www.ragingvinyl.com

How cool are wall decals?! With so many different designs to choose from, you’re sure to find one to suit your space. And because they peel off easily, you can change the look of your room on a whim without spending a lot of time or money.

4. Chalkboard Paint

Photo: www.remodelista.com

Mommy tip: Need to keep your children occupied while you’re washing dishes or cooking dinner? Paint a wall in your kitchen with chalkboard paint! Kids can write, draw and create where you can keep an eye on the little monsters. Easy to clean, it’s the perfect spot to leave fun messages or reminders for the family. It’s also a great place to hang the kids’ art work. Oh, and if you’re having a dinner party, try displaying your menu creatively on your handy kitchen chalkboard. ; )

Which one will you try?

rayneeRaynée Crowe, TMF’s primary modern home contributor, is an interior decorating consultant who ironically never considered herself creative, and then one day the ‘ol proverbial light bulb went off.  Her love for mixing and matching colors, patterns and decorating had manifested itself into daydreaming of color swatches, textiles and room arrangements.  That passion and excitement grew and soon it was pure enjoyment as she worked with friends and clients to select color pallets, accessories, furniture and arrange spaces.  Finally she understood the saying “if you do what you love you’ll never work a day in your life” and so in 2008 Color Vision LLC was born.  For more information, you can email Raynee at yourcolorvision@gmail.com.

For more great tips and ideas, check out her blog at www.yourcolorvision.wordpress.com.

Easy Ways to Spring Up Your Space

dramaticpastelsAhh Spring is in the air…or at least upon us so says the calendar.  Either way it’s time to finally take down the holiday wreath and pack away the holiday greeting cards.  Sure there still may be some snow on the ground, but without a doubt we’re rounding the bend and headed for Spring!

Not sure how to change gears?  Not to worry.  Here are a few easy ways to Spring Up your space:

New welcome mat; new beginning

Your current welcome mat probably at this point isn’t making anyone feel too welcome.  If you’ve endured the brutal winter this season it’s probably safe to say that your welcome mat has too.  Switch it out for a new, fresh one.  Have fun with it.  Try one that reflects the ushering in of the new season.  Check these out at Cost Plus World Market.

New bathroom mat/shower curtain; new look

Changing these two things can change the entire look of your bathroom. Try it and see!  If you’re anything like me when you find something you like you tend to hang on to it, but take a look around this season at some of the latest designs.  You’re sure to find something that matches your taste and budget.  Take a look at Bed Bath & Beyond to get some ideas.

Add color; add style

Change up the pillows on your couch and bed.  Think bright colors like oranges and greens or more muted tones like pastel blues, purples and yellows depending upon your color scheme (3 should do the trick).  It’s a subtle change that can make a big difference in freshening up your space. Check out CB2 this season for some fresh and modern ideas.

Add flowers; add life

What better way to signal that Spring is here than with flowers.  The most common areas such as the dining room and kitchen table are obvious, but don’t forget the bathroom counter and your home office too.  Try calla lilies and tulips, Spring favorites.

In addition, for you expecting mommies out there that have more to consider than just the common areas in your home; here’s a helpful site to assist in preparing your baby’s room this Spring.  Think “green” and not just pink and blue as you welcome your new little addition.  Click here for some great ideas.

Need ideas on how to style your baby’s room?

babygreenroom1These days, you can find very hip and stylish bedding and accessories.  The pinks and blues are old staples that will always be available, but don’t be afraid to get a little creative with your baby’s room.  Baby accessories have come a long way.  If you don’t see what you like in the various retailers, check online to broaden your options.  Visit babysinstyle.com for some creative ideas.

Whether you’re sprucing up your space with a few of the ideas above or preparing a new room for baby, have fun with it.  Develop your own personal decorating style and search for what you really want.  With store front retailers and the internet there’s no need to settle for home decor that you don’t love. Remember, this is your home; your haven.  Love it!

Bonus Tip: Have a favorite holiday greeting card that includes a picture of your family or friends?  Cut around the picture and frame it.  That way you can enjoy it all year long!

Happy Spring!

Color Vision

rayneeRaynée Crowe, an interior decorating consultant, ironically never considered herself creative and then one day the ‘ol proverbial light bulb went off.  Her love for mixing and matching colors, patterns and decorating had manifested itself into daydreaming of color swatches, textiles and room arrangements.  That passion and excitement grew and soon it was pure enjoyment as she worked with friends and clients to select color pallets, accessories, furniture and arrange spaces.  Finally she understood the saying “if you do what you love you’ll never work a day in your life” and so in 2008 Color Vision LLC was born.  For more information, you can email Raynee at yourcolorvision@gmail.com.

Creating a Family Friendly Recreation Room

Redecorating a family recreation room to accomodate a blended family may seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. Family recreation rooms, also known as bonus rooms and game rooms, can be a great place for the family to hang out. The way the room is decorated will depend on the way the family plans to use the room. The most important thing is to create a space that the entire family will enjoy.

  1. First, sit down as a family and decide what the space will be used for. Let everyone get involved in this process and give ideas. You are a family so it is important for everyone to enjoy this room. Decide what activities will take place in this room. Defining the space will make it easier to decorate the room.
  2. Now that you have sat down as a family and decided what the room will be used for, you will need to create zones for each activity. For example, if you want a place to curl up with a good book, a comfortable chair placed in a corner may be ideal. Just make sure to include adequate lighting, if you do set up a reading zone. If watching television and playing games is the purpose of this room, you will need to set up zones for those activities as well. You may want to consider an entertainment center with lots of storage. The storage areas can house movies, games, CD’s and many other items.
  3. The next thing you want to do is create a budget of how much you want to spend on updating the space. There are plenty of ways to decorate on a budget. Get creative. Don’t be afraid to update the old using something as simple as a can of spray paint. Let the family show their creativity as well.
  4. It is now time to decide what furniture and accessories will be needed for the space. Do you already have the necessary pieces? Do you need to shop for additional pieces? Can you pull the items from other rooms? These are just some of the questions you should ask yourself. Look in decorating magazines to get ideas for furniture and accessories. If you need to buy new furniture for the room, it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Buy multifunctional items, such as ottomans that double as a coffee table, seating and storage. There are many discount stores such as Target, Wal-Mart, TJ Maxx and Marshalls that sell furniture and accessories at discounted prices. You can also check your local newspaper classifieds, Craigslist and yard sales for used items. Clip coupons and check you weekly sales ads…shop around. Make sure to stock up on decorative baskets and boxes to store items such as books, CD’s and movies.

You don’t have to feel overwhelmed or be a professional to pull this task off. Enjoy yourself and remember to do this as a family. You and your blended family will be creating a space that the whole family will love. Lastly, make sure you keep the room organized! Be sure that everything has its’ own space. See to it that the family makes it a habit of returning items to their designated places. Nothing creates chaos in a home worse than clutter and disorganization!

Happy Decorating!!

Tia Spaulding, ASP

Owner of Creative Interiors and Home Staging

www.creativeinteriorsandhomestaging.com