My New Year’s Resolution

Not everyone makes New Year’s resolutions or if they do, by now have they kept them?  My perennial favorite is always to lose weight.  One of these days I am really going to get serious about this and quit praying for a tape worm!  But this year my New Year’s resolution was to finally get more tech friendly.  I don’t want to do just the basic things I wanted to become a whiz.  For Christmas I received an iPad and an iPhone.  I must say it is pretty embarrassing to call your 10 year old Grandson to find out what I did or what I shouldn’t have done and then I have to tell him to talk slow because it is “Mimi” he is talking to.  He has helped a lot but unlike me, he has always had a computer available and I did not grow up with one.  Now that is my story and I am sticking to it!!  One of the other things Jake has taught me is some of his favorite games.  He said not only will this iPad make my life easier but I will have more fun.  I guess at my age they don’t know that we can have fun!!  I caught on fast to some of the games and he was right it has made my life easier, but the fun part I am not sure about that.  He has got me addicted to “tap tap, skip bo, and free flow” games to start with. The problem is while I am supposed to be having fun my blood pressure is up, my nerves are shot, and I am not sleeping well because I know that tablet is over on my desk just waiting to be turned on!  I say “just one game” and when I say that, I really mean it but one turns into two and two turns into seven (just like chips).  I say “just put it down and step away from it, I am bigger than you are!” Sometimes it hurts and sometimes it doesn’t but I am getting into this new technology.  Next I am thinking are motorized window coverings next? No one in my neighborhood has them and my high windows would benefit from them.  It is time to replace some of those window coverings anyway and I was thinking about Silhouette or Pirouette’s with PowerRise with Platinum Technology.  I would love to explain to the neighbors and my friends just how easy the remote works as I raise and lower and open and close the window coverings.  Who would have guessed I love this technology?  You don’t need to be a tech whiz or on the geek squad to own these wonderful coverings with the remote control (and this is fun!!!).   So as my Grandson Jake says, this will make your life easier and you will have fun!!

Sally’s Latest Charity Events

cystic fibrosis2

A Captive Audience

Make a Wish

On Tuesday July 23rd, I spoke to a wonderful group of consumers in Grand Island, Nebraska. As I drove up to the store I saw on their billboard my name and the fact that my subject I was speaking about was the “10 Steps to the Perfect Room”.  The location was the Floor to Ceiling Store and their charity was The Make A Wish Foundation.  The weather was hot, the refreshments were cool but the audience was on fire!  We were all inspired by a Make a Wish recipient who went to Disney and she touched our hearts.  Her Mother spoke about the experience and what it meant not only for her daughter but also for the whole family.  Every Mother could relate to her comments.

After my seminar there were questions on bay windows, Pirouette’s, and cleaning products.  It was a very inquisitive group.

That evening $3,000.00 was raised to help other children and their families achieve their dream and are granted a wish.

A personal thank you to Hannah from Make A Wish Foundation.  You are most welcome and it is people like you who make my job a pleasure and a blessing!  Thank you to Floor To Ceiling as well for a great evening!!

Wow!

It was practically standing room only on September 23rd, in Union, NJ as Sally kicked off her fall series of Charity Events.  Hosted by The Decorating Store at Terminal Mills.  The event’s charity was the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, a cause close to the heart of the owner Nina Spinelli.  Sally chose a new grouping of fabrics to illustrate the “beachy” trend from Carole Fabrics.  The audience oohed and aahed as she unveiled the fabrics, paints, and Hunter Douglas Window Coverings for three rooms in her “imagined” home.

Various questions were asked about Hunter Douglas products and Sally also spoke on Child Safety.  October is Child Safety month but Sally feels so strongly about it and feels it needs to be talked about not only in October but every month of the year.  $1600 was raised for the Cystic Fibrosis research.

 

Quirky Seating

It might be odd, but I have a quirky idea that might work for you.

Quirky seating

Quirky seating

I have always loved putting an odd chair in every room. What I mean by odd is: a chair that does not match the existing decor of the room. It could be an antique chair introduced into a traditional setting; it brings in some history. I might add a contemporary chair into a transitional room; it becomes a conversation piece. I might also add a colorful unique chair to a rather beige room, thus spicing the place up. You could even try putting an animal print chair in a floral room to add a whimsical touch.

Any type of chair could work, so long as it’s different. It could even be a plain chair with an interesting cover or upholstery. It will become the unexpected and, thus, a conversation starter.

Get out of the matchy matchy and have some fun!

OOOoooohh… Shiny!

Duette® Honeycomb Shades in Opalessence Eclipse™

Duette® Honeycomb Shades in Opalessence Eclipse™

You don’t have to be a glamor puss to like shiny!

We could all add a little shine to every room- even cozy casual rooms can benefit from a little shine! Have you ever noticed how your eyes are drawn to those items with sheen? They flirt with the light and make sun-rays dance. Perhaps try giving a room some sheen with a brass, silver, mirror, or glass piece. These could be in the form of a picture frame, candlesticks, or a glass vase of flowers. Even window coverings can do this! Are you familiar with the Duette Opalessence?  It has natural mica in it that catches your eye, gives the window covering depth and dimension, and adds visual interest- making it a plus for just about any room!

Open Concept Living

I am a fan of the show Love It Or List It on HGTV. Described by HGTV “Love It or List It is a real estate and renovation show featuring interior designer, Hilary Farr and real estate agent, David Visentin. While designer Hilary attempts to win over the homeowners by renovating their current home, real estate agent David tries to find them the home of their dreams. Once all work has been complete and all potential homes have been viewed, couples must decide whether to love their homes or list them.”

Green, Spice and Gold color combination

Green, Spice and Gold color combination

At the start of every show the homeowners make a “wishlist.” I have discovered there is one “must-have” that seems to continuously reappear: open concept rooms. In many episodes, while remodeling the home in question, down come the walls leaving an open space behind. While it does make the home seem bigger, there is a problem that arises: where does one room start and the next one end?

When faced with this challenge, choosing paint and window covering colors can be issue. Do you paint all the walls the same color, perhaps a white or beige?  My answer is: NO! That’s boring!  You don’t have to do that!  Try using three colors in this space.  Let’s talk about using green, gold, and spice.  Picture green on three walls in the living room but a common wall, perhaps that runs from the living room into the dining room, paint the color spice. Then paint the other walls in the dining room the color spice. From there, the hallways and foyer could be a transitioning soft gold. Once painted, tie all of these areas together with the same type of window coverings.  It will give a continuity to the space and add a wonderful flow!

Pantone Color of the Year

I was right!

About 2 weeks ago I read that Pantone (a color regulation company) announced their color of the year for 2013. The color should be no surprise to readers of my blog; I recently talked about this “new” color in a post and have bought some apparel items in this gorgeous gem color (hint, hint) as well. I also love it in home décor!

Pantone Color of the Year 2013

Pantone Color of the Year 2013

The color?  Emerald!  As Pantone describes it: “Lively. Radiant. Lush. A color of elegance and beauty that enhances our sense of well-being, balance and harmony.” It is a beautiful accent color and works well with many other colors from other gem tones to neutrals and more.

Try adding a splash to your home. Hunter Douglas has some terrific products to help accent in Emerald or act as a backdrop for this stunning color. Bring “elegance” and “harmony” home with Emerald!

I was a Late Bloomer

I was a late bloomer.

That sounds like a confession in a 12 step program meeting; for me, it is very true.

I was one of the youngest children in my high school class. I got through high school, then waited to go to college, simply because I wasn’t ready. I didn’t start dating as early as most of my friends and- sad to say- I had no style. I had no reference or education about design, partially because our home featured a beige, monochromatic color scheme and was very simple. My idea of home design, at the time, was adding rose bud contact paper onto my dresser. I laugh now thinking about that white background with little itsy bitsy roses on the paper. That was style?!

I was in my 20’s when I started to develop socially and mentally.  I watched how others dressed and started to pay more attention to my own fashion. The same was true of my home. I started to read decorating magazines and books (it is something I still do today while sitting at airports and on airplanes) and would tear out pictures of things I like to possibly emulate (with my own twist) later on.

photogallery

HunterDouglas.com Photo Gallery

I might have been a late bloomer, but you don’t have to be.  I am learning more about home design every day and I am, finally, very comfortable with my style.  I now enjoy helping others to find their decor style. There is so much more information and inspiration available – on design magazines, on websites (like Pinterest.com or HunterDouglas.com), and more. All of them are available to help you to gain some design self confidence. Need more assistance? Try the “Ask Sally and Jen” feature of HunterDouglas.com, I hear the people answering your questions are excellent!

Fix-up or Sell As-is?

Does this make sense to you?

You have lived in your home for many years and now are moving, but before you can move you want to “fix-up” your dated house.

In this competitive market, perhaps you aren’t confident that your home will sell as-is or for the price that you want it to sell for. Some home owners do try to sell as-is. Selling as-is can be a problem; potential buyers may not have vision or time to fix up a new home. These buyers won’t be buying the as-is home because they can’t envision it any other way, or don’t want to get into a project house.

What do you do?!?!

Before you start to fix it up, have it inspected. The buyers will be doing that themselves, but as a seller I would want to know any big problems before they could ruin a sale. I hate surprises like that! Fix the big problems, then fix the cosmetic problems.

I have often wondered why we want to fix up our home for someone else; we should be doing that for ourselves!

Hunter Douglas EverWood® TruGrain® Blinds

Hunter Douglas EverWood® TruGrain® Blinds

Instead of living with that tired looking carpet, replace it now!  Why wait to the house goes on the market just so someone else can see the new floor?  Don’t we deserve the new carpeting or flooring?  Your home might need some cosmetic work too.  Don’t wait to do that just for someone else!  When replacing items for real estate we tend to think we need neutral colors, but it doesn’t need to be white.  White can be too sterile looking, not warm and inviting.  There are other neutral colors that appealing and are “move right in colors”. Update the lighting-  don’t forget to use brighter bulbs to bathe the room with light!  Replace dirty broken and dated window coverings.  Give your windows the warmth of wood on a budget by using Hunter Douglas EverWood® TruGrain® Alternative Wood Blinds. They look amazing and will go with any decorating style.

Afterwards you are going to say “Why didn’t I do this sooner?”  You will love the new look and the perspective buyers will appreciate the updated interior.  Hopefully you will hear “I want this house”!!

No Regrets: Be Bold with Design Choices

Have you ever settled for something then regret it later, wishing you had gone bolder?

Maybe you were debating about buying a fashion-forward fuchsia colored handbag and ended up buying the black, utilitarian handbag (even though you already had several black ones in your closet).

Perhaps you were smitten by the picture of a red dining room you saw in a magazine, but chickened out at the paint store and bought beige instead.

Palm Beach™ polysatin shutters

Maybe you really wanted Shutters, but you settled for a basic shade because you thought it was “too much.”

Well, I say NO more design regrets, go for it! Isn’t it time we do something we really want instead of settling for something more conservative or expected?

In my new home my living room had a nice, basic fireplace. Nice and basic are good, but I wanted WOW. On the side of my living room that has the fireplace, the wall rises up two stories with an open loft on the opposite side. I knew I wanted a mirror above the fireplace and had several mirrors to choose from that were in my last home. One mirror was smaller, but had some great detail to it- the other was HUGE and had a wide silver and golden colored frame around it.  I first thought the bigger one might be “over the top,” but I decided to go for it anyway. It took five men to get it above the fireplace and mount it where I wanted it, but I LOVE it! I also wanted to add some scones off to the sides of the mirror. I knew that because of the size of the mirror I would need large sconces to be in order to be in proportion to the mirror and space. I searched high and low until I found the right sconces; they are long, lean and perfect! Now, everyone who walks in says: WOW! And comments on how gorgeous it is and/ or how they wished they could do something like that.

My question is: Why not?

I really, really love the scones and mirror and am glad I didn’t settle for less! So, I say, it’s time to go bold!

Decorate More than Your Tree…

Several weeks ago I heard the familiar commercials start about school supplies and school clothing. Last week I went into a craft store and Halloween decorations were everywhere, pumpkins and gourds, jack-o-lanterns, scarecrows, ghosts and goblins were all there. Now, even before Halloween has started, I have started to see Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other holiday decorating items make their way into stores and various advertisements; I have already received catalogs that have Christmas decorations in them! It seems a bit early to start thinking about the holidays already! It’s still Summer!

Hunter Douglas Child Safe Window Coverings – Duette® and honeycomb shades with Duolite

I moved into a new home in January, which means I will have a new home to decorate for the holiday season. I have already started to think about how I am going to decorate for the holiday season and I have made a big decision:  This year it will be different.  This year I will be decorating more than just the tree for Christmas; this season I will spend the money I would have for new Christmas decorations and instead will use it for window coverings in my guest room. My guests can appreciate them throughout the year and I will love having my guest room finished! I won’t even miss those decorations that are out for about a month, then packed up and put away for the other 11 months.

I have just started to think about my guest room window: I need a window covering that provides privacy and also helps to darken the room. I also need to think about child safety and make sure that my window coverings keep my young visitors safe! Hunter Douglas has so many options that meet all my needs, I may have a hard time choosing!

With the holidays not far behind the start of school and Halloween, I am glad I have started thinking about my “holiday decorating.” Soon, I will be filling that guest room with family and friends and they, in turn, will be filling my house with love, laughter, and fun. After all is said and done, I don’t think I’ll miss my traditional holiday decorations at all!