Apr 27

Empty Nester Update

Posted In Art, Decorating, Styling, Uncategorized

I never get tired of looking at pictures of my children.  I bet you don’t either! But at some point, all of those pictures, showing the kids at every stage of growing up…. birthdays, school, sports, vacations, proms, graduations, weddings, grandchildren, pets and on and on and on….become, well, just a little TOO much!

Such was the case in my lovely client’s home.  Her grown up family is a large and extended one, and the pictures were everywhere.   Enough, she said!  Let’s edit a little, clean up this place and decorate.

Family room before

We decided to start with a family picture wall in her hall way.  Keeping a selection of favorite pictures on one large wall of a home just makes sense.  It’s fun when you can compare, notice similarities ( wow…Sally really does look like Julie did at that age….) and enjoy changes. Everything is in one place and can be updated as time goes on.

All the best

Now, to the family room.  Out went old pillows, rugs, art, lighting…all in bad condition and from another era.  The walls were painted, the carpet cleaned, and new window coverings ordered. (yet to arrive in this photo)

A blank slate

The furniture was pushed into a more inviting arrangement, conducive to both conversation and TV viewing.  In came art, lighting, pillows and throws, a rug, and a selection of fun new pieces to mix with some of her old things to create pretty vignettes around the room.

New lightning and accessories

She didn’t want fancy or even elegant…just warm, comfortable, colorful.

Color on the mantel

Something beautiful to look at, besides family photos.

Coffee table vignette

The final product!

Ready to enjoy!

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Apr 21

Help! Houseguests.

Posted In Art, Budget, Decorating, Move-in's, Shopping, staging, Styling, Uncategorized

Oh dear.  A panicked call from one of my favorites.  She said, “My mom is coming to visit and I’d be embarrassed to have her stay in this room!”  Can you help? NOW?


Help me look pretty!!

My gorgeous young client loves to live in a pretty home, but putting it all together is not her specialty. (She is very VERY smart in other subjects.)  We’ve worked on her places together for years, starting with a first condo.  It was darling!  Near the beach, it was perfect for a young single woman, all fun and sexy with reds and blacks… a little bit like this.


 A few years later, we staged and sold the condo so she and her new husband could buy a “grown-up and married’ home.  More remodeling and decorating ensued, room by room.


New house, living room...she still likes red!

Now a baby has arrived and another is on the way, so rooms and priorities have changed.  But not that desire to have a pretty house.

The guest room was the last to be done…don’t we all have a room like that in our home?  But now, with Grandma coming for Easter, it was finally time to make it warm, bright, inviting. Several requests:  blues and browns…no greens please.  No headboards or fancy custom spreads and pillows.  All must be available now…no special orders.  (Helloooooo Target, Pier One and HomeGoods!)  AND, the furniture couldn’t be moved…..there just wasn’t another arrangement that would work in the small room.

With a $500 budget and a small time frame, here is what we came up with.


Would you sleep here?

I think that Grandma will be veerry comfortable!

Have  a happy, happy, HAPPY Easter!!

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Apr 21

Budget Beware…..

Posted In Budget, Clothing, Decorating, Shopping, Uncategorized

Clothes shopping is dangerous.  At least shopping for my grown up daughters, or nieces, or girlfriends or even my super stylish mother is…  I just can’t help it when, as I look through all of the darling outfits that would be just right for them, my thoughts wander to my own wardrobe and how perfect that or THAT would be… for me.

Wait, I think….  This is not about you, Judy dear. Don’t be selfish. Think of others.  You don’t need this. Save your money.  What would Suze Orman say? (WWSOS)  But, alas, my self control just flies out the door, especially in certain stores.

Don’t spend unnecessarily, Judy!!

With Easter just around the corner, I ventured out yesterday to pick up a little something to send each of my (grown up) babies.  Knowing that chocolate and candies are mostly on their “no-no” list, I headed straight to a favorite source for all things bohemian and fun: Anthropologie.

How can you not love love love a store that hangs marshmallows from the ceiling?

Ok…so no marshmallows for the girls.  My plan:  find a cute little top for each….something springy, stylish and easy to ship.  Simple enough.  The danger:  I have to try the tops to be sure they are cute “on” and will fit well.  When I find something that is just right for me, size wise, I go up in one size for one daughter and down one size for the other.  Works like a charm.

The selection was lush, colorful, textural….fabulous.  I hauled at least 10 pieces into the dressing room while Crystal, my savvy salesgal, schlepped in another 8.  After much deliberation, hemming and hawing, I purchased one top for each, along with a coordinating necklace.  ( I do love necklaces)

Outfit #1

Silky, flowing, comfy...looks great with skinny jeans

Purple and rust...very pretty with the top.

Outfit #2

So cute and fitted...perfect with leggings or skinnies

Chunky and bright

What do you think?  Will they like them?

AND…yes, I also bought for myself.  Willpower out the window, budget be damned. Worst of all…I bought the same top, above, that one of my darlings will have.  Guess which?  (look at my “Out of Africa” blog for my favorite colors and you’ll know immediately)  I promise I PROMISE, sweet daughter….I will not wear it when you do!

And Suzie….the budget starts tomorrow!

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