Quickie-Monique and Ryan’s Family Room

14 07 2010

Monique contacted me regarding her living room a couple months ago and wanted some fresh ideas since she was tired of the contractor white walls.  Here is her letter:

Dear Sharon: We are looking to change the look of our family room space by updating a few key pieces, but also have several pieces that we would like to keep. The family room is part of the “great room” space in our home, so the look from the family room has to flow into the dining and kitchen as well. I am drawn to warmer tones like wheat, red, and rich chocolates, but I am also open to other color choices and prefer wood tones in the espresso family. The style of furniture that I like tends to be cleaner lines, but I also don’t like anything that is too modern. I love texture and details, whether that be an interesting button on a pillow to a distressed finish on a candleholder and also love touches of nature. I tend to like styles that are contemporary, French, or slightly traditional in feel.  The main piece of furniture we want to change is a sectional. We have two small dogs and two cats, so we need something that is durable and easy to keep clean.  We have a square coffee table and console table that have beveled glass that we like to keep. We also own two ladder back shelving units that flank our fireplace that are in an espresso stain. Other than these pieces, we are looking to add or change the rest of the space….wall art, decorative accessories, pillows, throws, table lighting, and possibly a rug.
One of the biggest choices we also need to make is wall color. Due to the layout of our home, the color we put in this space will wrap through most of our main level and will possibly even wrap up the stairway onto the second level. It is so tough to find a neutral and warm tone that will work in many areas!  Can you tell that we need a lot of help?!  The space is 14’x15′ and has one large window along a North facing window.


Monique certainly knows how to accessorize a room, but I agree that the walls could use a little color and since they are replacing the sofa a few other additions might be nice to spruce things up a bit.  Here is their material board:
And the material board breakdown:
  1. For the color palette, I have warmed up the walls a bit with Behr/ Pale Wheat #UL160-7 for most of the walls.  If you are interested in adding an accent wall my suggestion would be the wall with the windows that spreads between the family room and kitchen.  It will make an impact as you enter the house and has two inside corners for it to die into.  My suggestion for this color would be Behr/ Cacao #UL160-22.  Since you already have so many accents in red that I adore, I thought I would add complementary plum and orange accents to the room to balance all the dark furniture.
  2. The sofa sectional is a customized design from Smith Brothers and is a medium chocolate brown.  For your layout, you should opt for a RAF sofa, corner chair and LAF loveseat.
  3. Since I changed out most of the metal finishes in the room, I wanted to give you an option for changing out your ceiling fan to a bronzed finish.  This also includes a light kit since while we were talking you mentioned low lighting in the room.  You might also consider a dimmer on the switch so that you could choose your lighting level accordingly.
  4. The pillows for the sofa are semi-custom made from a vendor on Etsy.  My suggestion for each corner would be an ivory silk pillow with metal accents with a plum silk pillow with a self fabric accent in front of the ivory one.  On either corner with arms include the paisley pillow for a pop of color and fun.
  5. Since the curtains go on the accent wall, I figured the wheat color would complement the room, carpet and dark furniture.  I would put a decorative panel on each side of the long window and do a wide panel on the slider. I think bronze hardware would look great with the golden tones in the room.  Something like this would look spectacular.
  6. I selected an area rug for your dining room that would complement the family room in hopes that it would blend the rooms together well.
  7. This lamp is selected for behind the chair as a reading lamp.  With it’s overhang it should provide ample task lighting while adding a decorative touch to the room.
  8. You currently have a lamp on the console table and I thought an updated version to match the other metals in the room would add a touch of sophistication.  This simple lamp is elegant and will look great with both your dining room and your family room decors since it splits the difference between the rooms.
  9. This chair had me going back and forth between a decorative piece and a comfy version.  I decided you had plenty of soft furniture with the sectional and to that I would add some interest with this piece.  The back of this chair is certainly a statement and will look great next to your ladder bookshelves.  It combines the paisley effect and the more organic botanicals found in both the area rug and artwork.  I would suggest having the seat upholstered in the “Date” fabric.
  10. Lastly, I took a note from your current photographic artwork and selected something with a similar look, but incorporated all of our colors to help it blend with the room.

Since I adore all of the accessories throughout the space currently, I haven’t added anything new.  My only suggestion is to maybe incorporate in a few more plum accents to complement the red one just to finalize things.  So there you have a slightly traditional space that is oozing with sophistication.  Can’t wait to see how the room looks when you finish with it!  If you want to get a Quickie of your own, click here.





Quickie-Favorite Bedroom Items

13 05 2010

So for the next few weeks’ Quickies I thought I would pull together some of my favorite pieces for each type of room.  So naturally, I figured I would start with a bedroom in this year’s most popular color, turquoise.

Here is our board:

And now for the rundown:

  1. Starting with the color palette, a gray-ish blue for the walls in a soft tone will give that calming chic effect we are looking to create.  Something like, , should just do the trick.  For the rest of the colors, dark brown, a light taupe and punches of dark turquoise will make the room finished with furnishings and accessories.
  2. A geometric headboard will ground the room and this favorite from west elm won’t disappoint.  Between it’s eye catching price and the symmetry of it’s lines, this will be a bedroom staple for years to come.
  3. The nightstands a just a bit off but that is what I absolutely love about them.  Since the headboard has so much symmetry it is great to pair it with side tables that are a bit out of balance.  I think the pulls add so much character to these pieces with out dating them for years to come.
  4. With such stable, long lasting pieces in the room so far it is time for a little punch of unexpected.  A couple of these chairs in a seating group just to the side of the room will look fabulous.  And if you don’t have room for 2 just add one with a little side table to create an “intimate reading nook.”
  5. Just a little accent for your nightstands with this lovely, modern alarm clock.  It is just the perfect amount of edgy with such a classic room.
  6. The bedding is from one of my favorite designers that I introduced you to a while back, DwellStudios.  This bedding reminded me of the headboard, but with a softer side in circles.  The neutral gray tone will look fantastic in the room of muted blues and that little accent pillow with the birds will pull the rug right in.
  7. Speaking of the rug, this dark turquoise lovely will nestle right under the bed perfectly.  I loved that it had the bird’s foot prints lining one edge that throw the symmetry of the bed right out the window.  Just a fun little nod to not making everything perfect-o!
  8. The window coverings needed a little softness, but still needs to pull back in some structure, so these panels fit the part.  The natural linen material often looks a bit messy, but the link pattern helps to create the form that it needs.  Hung from a basic brushed nickel rod these will help make the room effortless.
  9. Lastly, nightstand table lights will look dramatic with this full arc table lamp and the bright white linen shade will pull all the materials back into the space.

Hope you love seeing a few of my favorite items.  I have spent many hours contemplating that headboard!!  Don’t you just LOVE that chair?!  Anyway, if you are interested in a Quickie for yourself, stop on by and shoot me an email so I can get started!





Quickie Patio Revamp

21 04 2010

First, I would like to apologize for my recent absence.  It all started with me being under the weather for a couple days, but now I am back and rejuvenated with new topics and ideas.

For this weeks’ quickie I wanted to explore something in the outdoors since we are getting into nice weather, so I looked at revamping a patio.  John and I have been working out ideas for our own patio so I gathered some items that I loved but just didn’t make our final cut!

So here is our material board:


  1. I divided up the patio into a few sections.  A lounging area that centers around a firepit, an outdoor dining area and some accessories for a tree.  As part of the lounging area, these nesting table will be able to be spread out between all the chairs for comfortable conversation over a fire.
  2. These lounge chairs make a perfect comfy spot to enjoy a fire with a companion.  Putting two of these chairs side by side on one side of the firepit will make a great area for playing some cards and drinking some wine!
  3. These woven side chairs would look great flanking the lounge chairs, one on each side.  The high back design will make them perfect for sitting in during a long evening.
  4. Finally, a traditional firepit completes this section.  This one is great since it has the orange accents to really complete the look.
  5. This umbrella is a perfect addition to a dining area, especially since it isn’t anchored in the center of the table.  Often times this impedes conversation and is hard to remove if you want to bask in the sun.  With the cantilevered design of this option you’ll love the flexibility it provides.  As an added bonus, isn’t the color spectacular?!
  6. These chairs are a inexpensive option for outdoor dining.  While a bit on the small side, they reduce the overall size of the table while still providing seating to 4 guests.  The easy clean ability will make this dining area an easy decision for outdoor entertaining.
  7. Can’t have chairs without a great table and this one is GREAT!  The construction is a sturdy metal that will hold up for years to come and the white finish will make it very versatile with anything you accessorize with it.
  8. Speaking of accessories, these woven placemats will add a great punch of color to the tabletop that will look fantastic with the umbrella above.  These plates and glasses will also be a welcome addition since they are made of a shatterproof material.
  9. Finally, a bird feeder and a few floating candles hanging by twine from a favorite tree will look great and add to the ambiance as night falls.  Who doesn’t love sitting outside, enjoying a great night with friends surrounded by firelight?!  Sounds about perfect to me.

So there you have it, an affordable patio for entertaining guests by firelight.  What do you think?  How do you entertain summertime guests?  Do you have a favorite summertime drink you serve?  If you would like a quickie of your own, click here to have us get started.





Sarah’s Kitchen Quickie

8 04 2010

Well, when Sarah emailed me that her kitchen could use a makeover, I got straight to working on a solution.  Here’s her letter:

I am a returning customer and love seeing all your ideas.  My husband and I recently purchased our first home and are in need of some design help for our kitchen.  Currently, I feel like our kitchen jumped straight out of the ‘80s country look.  I am not a fan of oak cabinets, however they are in good shape so have a hard time getting rid of them.  We generally like everything very modern and my favorite finish is chrome.  Everything in our house is painted white so we will need some suggestions for color as well.  I want to bring this outdated kitchen into the modern age.  Please help. –Sarah B.

This kitchen has soaring potential and amazing bones but needs just a little TLC.  So with a lot of paint and a little stainless steel, this space can be transformed from the little bit of country to jaw-dropping modern they’ve been dreaming about.  Here’s their material board:

And now for the board breakdown.

  1. Dark, dark, dark brown paint will whip those cabinets from country oak to modern in just a couple of coats.  Since you have good bones to your cabinets but just want to refresh the room to update your look, this will be a great and inexpensive solution.  You will probably need to prime the cabinets first, then go for a color like, Dunn Edwards/#DEC756 Weathered Brown and put a couple coats of clear coat to finish them off so they won’t scratch.  Now for the walls, pairing a light tan color will create some contrast between the walls and the cabinets.  A great wall color would be Valspar/ #6003-1B Frappe.  Keep the trim consistent with the rest of your house and leave it and the doors a pure white.
  2. For your countertops either a poured concrete (fairly pricey considering the time it takes to build custom moulds) or a close look alike found in Corian would be a great fit for your ultra modern kitchen.
  3. Here we have some appliances in a stainless steel finish.  By updating your appliances you will not only add value to your home but will certainly add style to the end result.
  4. Here we have some mesh mounted stainless steel penny round tile to update the backsplash.  This ultra fun and modern twist will help connect the countertop to the cabinets while certainly making an impact with your guests.
  5. Since you will be tearing out the tile on the countertop and backsplash, this might be a great time to refresh the floors as well.  To complement the dark wooden floors in the nearby family room, here is a large scale tile (12” x 24”) with a contemporary mesh pattern.
  6. These sleek pulls will add dimension to the cabinets on both the drawers and upper doors.  They are almost 10” long so will make a dramatic impact on the overall appearence while helping to modernize the trim on the doors.
  7. Just a few accessories for the kitchen such as hand towels, oven mitts and pads in a dark cabernet red will accent the room nicely.
  8. Finally, these prints by Martin (upper left, upper right, lower left and lower right) will add a little tongue in cheek action across the kitchen near the pantry.  Since Sarah has a long standing wine addiction, I thought it would be fun to add these guys to the mix in a simple frame to finish off our room.

So there you have it.  Sarah’s chic and modern kitchen makeover.  I can’t wait to hear what you guys think.  And if you are in need of your very own material board, click here to get one for yourself.





Kari’s Dorm Room Quickie

24 03 2010

I got an email about a week ago asking for a advice on a college dorm room.  Kari didn’t have much money to spend, but wanted to save up and have a FABULOUS room when she gets to college in the fall.  Knowing that she won’t be able to paint the room we’ve added much needed color in other areas.  Here is a sample of a dorm room at college as is:

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/23/32598105_f7f7d1c0e5.jpgPretty bland, right?!  Nothing says “inviting” like some stark white walls!!  So here are some suggestions to livening up this plain old dorm room into a fun, energetic space.  Here is our material board:

  1. The color palette for our room is a bright one.  Most of the accents are in orange and pink.  The furnishings are all in either white to help them blend in with the walls so we don’t see hard edges and black for a touch more of color.  Starting with the loft, as most dorm patrons use them as a space saving feature, we should give this a once over with some white gloss spray paint.  It will do wonders to take it from rustic to feminine plus it will look great with the desk.
  2. The bedding needed to be bold since the bed frame was taking on the color of the walls. This bedding won’t disappoint with it’s versatile colors and simple pattern.
  3. What dorm room would be complete without a TV?!  So we have added a television stand that can store all those CD’s and DVD’s and will look great while doing it.
  4. For all the late night reading we have included a floor lamp with multi-directional lights.  This will be easy to have one for reading on the sofa and another giving the room ambiance.
  5. Since most people don’t think about where the towels will go, I’ll tell ya.  Mine hung on the back of my door for all to see when they sat in the room with the door shut.  So having some fun colored, fresh towels will make a great start to the beginning of the school year.
  6. Every room needs a place to sit and hang with friends.  Not only is this futon is uber chic with it’s detailing, but will pull out to make a bed for visiting friends as well.  And for the price tag sitting at $180 bucks you just can’t beat it.
  7. These little ottomans will really add a pop of color to the seating area while performing a multitude of tasks.  Not only will they hold your beverage while catching up on a little TV, but they also can provide more seating for when you throw big parties.  Now we are talking.
  8. Wall décor, should be fun in dorm rooms so I have added a few options to get Kari started.  The clock/message board is perfect for hanging in the room to leave messages for your roommate and vice versa.  Who doesn’t love a little moose head?!  Cardboard Safari makes these and I think this guy would be fun to decorate for all the seasons and football games.  And just keeping in the spirit of having something glowing on your wall-an ampersand all lit up.
  9. Finally, getting your study on with style (I mean you ARE there to attend school and all.)  Starting with the desk, this great parson’s desk is simple and functional.  In the white gloss color it will go great with your loft and help it to blend in.  This collection of organizers just add a little punch of color for the top of your desk and come in several styles to help you stay on top of your studies.  And a desk just won’t be functional with out a light and this one is perfect.  Trust me when I tell you it is a wonderful lamp, because I have the exact same one on my desk at work.

So there you have some suggestions to help Kari get started on her dorm room for next fall.  If I can help you with your own room, visit us at www.ma-deonline.com to get started.





Quickie Inspired by Color

17 03 2010

This week for our quickie I wanted to share a personal photo as inspiration from our recent trip to New Zealand (back in September 2009).

I have this picture displayed on our wall in the living room.  No, it isn’t because it was the most thrilling moment of my life so far, which it was, but because the colors in the photograph are so vibrant.  If I hadn’t seen it with my very own eyes I would have thought this picture had been altered in a computer program like Photoshop.  It is truly one of the first times that I have ever looked at a body of water and thought that is exactly what it looked like in a photograph.  Now, I can’t say in the moments before this shot was taken that I thought, “wow, how pretty” because in all actuality I was thinking, “what in the heck prompted me to think this was a good idea?!  Gosh, how am I going to get out of this?”  Mind you, I was already strapped at the ankles with the bungy cord and standing on the ledge before these thoughts crossed my mind so after some stalling I realized that there was no turning back.  So I jumped.  Well, more like I leaned forward and fell off.  If you are interested in my jump off the Kawarau Bridge in Queenstown, New Zealand you can see the actual footage below.

Anyway, back to this week’s Quickie.  Since the water is the inspiration for our Quickie I figured why not use the bathroom as our muse since it is the room in the house the uses the most water. So without further ado, our calm, serene bathroom.

Here is our material board:

  1. Our color palette consists of clam colors in the green, turquoise, white and beige.  The wall color should be a nice basic tan that will complement all the other bright colors we have going on in the space.  Ralph Lauren makes a brilliant color: #NA38 Macaw that would be perfect for the walls so the bold colors will really pop.  A nice turquoise accent color would be Dunn Edwards/ # DE5767 Star City.
  2. This mirror has a nice simplicity with the rim being a wood trim that helps to enhance the colors in our room.
  3. The vanity is an all wood/painted white version that has a white granite top.  The style is very transitional and simple so it would fit into just about any bathroom and look great.
  4. These vanity lights are very simple but have an elegance about them.  They will look great for years to come.
  5. For the tub surround and backsplash above the vanity this tile will make a great accent.  The bold turquoise color will look fantastic with the tan background of the paint and the long rectangular shape will really help to add a modern updated feel to the bathroom walls.
  6. These faucets are perfect since they will blend in with the room.  I didn’t want anything too modern or fancy to make the vanity stand out so picked one with a low profile and nice soft nickel coloration.
  7. This white shower curtain will look great with the bright, bold turquoise tile behind it.  We don’t want too much color overtaking the space so subtle touches of color with neutral items really help to balance the room.
  8. Won’t this shelf look great painted the turquoise color of Dunn Edwards paint that I mentioned in item 1?!  Mounting this shelf above the toilet to keep extras in little containers makes this a perfect little storage option.
  9. These towels just help to pull the entire palette together.  They have various shades of green, white and blue and will look great in our bathroom.
  10. Lastly, we have all the accessories that go into the space.  The towel bars have a nice modern feeling while the rest have great color.  A trash can, tissue holder and tray all in that brilliant faux driftwood collection and the bright green mouthwash cup, soap dispenser and toothbrush holder are accents will really stand out and bring the whole space together without over powering the simplicity of the room.

There you have my take on being inspired by color.  Wasn’t that blue-green of the water marvelous?!  Makes me want to go back!!  Tell me about the most daring thing you have ever done on vacation?  Have you ever bungy-ed yourself?  If so, would you do it again?  Well, if this Quickie has inspired you to get started on a room of your own, click here and we will get you set up.





Design Quickie Inspiration-Facets (Architectural)

10 03 2010

Today’s quickie is inspired by an architectural trend that I have seen popping up.  Literally.  Facets are an incredibly dynamic look that come to life either 3 dimensionally or create a look as if they were 3 dimensional.  A facet is defined as a divided plane surface (think diamond ring.)  Here is the inspiration trend we are following:

So for today’s quickie I have filled a design board with a complete dining room look with all things faceted.  I wanted to challenge myself since the style we are following tends to be more modern in direction, I have decided to take it in a more traditional classic style for our quickie.

And here is our material board:

Now for the rundown of what everything is:

  1. For our color palette, since we are moving in a decidedly more traditional way, a subtle blue would be nice for the walls.  My suggestion would be Dunn Edwards/ #DE5799 Snow Lodge.  It has a nice soft hue to pick up colors in the artwork without replicating the color and will look stunning with the wood finish.  I think it would be nice to trim the room in a nice, clean off-white color.  Ralph Lauren Paint/ #UL45 Modern Studio, is a nice creamy neutral that will look fantastic with all the rooms’ white accessories.
  2. These extraordinary lamps will add sparkle to the room with their antique mirror faceted bases.  The height is a bit shorter than a typical buffet lamp but since the buffet sits higher than normal itself the overall appearance will still work perfectly.
  3. Speaking of the buffet, this piece is unusual since it offers facets on not only the wooden drawer fronts but has fluted glass as well.  Its very traditional structure is brought new again with more modern elements.
  4. The faceted ceramic tall vase has a beautiful design and will look great next to the buffet.  We accented it with some bright yellow f aux flowers that pick up an accent color in the artwork.
  5. The accessories for the room should be in a pure white or chrome metal and pick up hues of bright yellow and soft lemongrass green.  As you can see in the napkin rings we have picked a simple, clean lined style with a soft green napkin as a suggestion of a direction to move in.
  6. This marvelous pendant light fixture is perfect for our space.  It has a full on faceted look while supporting the white accessories throughout the space.  Even though Le Klint fixtures have been around for ages they still can give a modern twist thus creating a classic, timeless style.
  7. This pedestal bowl is just a start for the table scape.  With the traditional design of the bowl it is updated  by adding the faceted edges.  It will look great with flowers, Christmas ornaments, or just about anything else you can think of to collect inside the bowl.
  8. This table was a steal!!  Originally $799 I found it marked down to an astonishing $399-half price.  Can you believe it?!  This is the perfect find as it has a very traditional but simple design aesthetic and offers the same facets that the buffet has.  The detail of the squares on the top is just icing on the cake in making this table perfect for our space.
  9. These wonderful side chairs will look amazing next to each other (two on each side of the table.)  The style of the chair is unique and has a wonderful nail head trim around the seat and back.
  10. These fabulous armchairs for the ends of the table will help to ground the look.  The oversized nail head trim really steps up the design of these chairs.
  11. The artist offers many faceted prints to choose from, but this one inspired the color palette for the room.  The artwork comes as a limited edition print that is one of 50 total that have been created by the artist.
  12. This is just a little fun accessory I came across while pulling everything together and thought it would look great on the buffet next to a lamp.
  13. Finally, these crystal cut votive candle holders will look great perched around the pedestal bowl on the table scape.  Spread them down the table for an elegant dinner and you will have a spectacular space to entertain.

I hope that you have fallen for the facets as much as I have in this process.  I look forward to hearing your feedback on whether or not you like the more traditional design choices offered in this space.  If you want to pick up a quickie of your own, click here to get started.