Monthly Archives: September 2011


Through a Decorators Eyes

Today is a pretty exciting day for me, because, it’s the day that I get to share with you my newest venture. Almost 2 years ago now I started decorate IT online to help savvy DIY decorators like you, create sensational, designer-looking homes more affordably than ever before.

So, as part of my continuing effort to find new ways, to help you decorate your home. I’d like to introduce the first in what I hope will become an entire series of eBooks..

Through a Decorators Eyes: 67 Irresistible Paint Colors for Your Home

CLICK HERE to read more…

Decorating to Achieve a Sense of Flow

Dining Room Decorating Tips

I’m pretty excited about creating this Room Review. It seems that there are quite a few people looking for help decorating their Dining Room Sideboards and this room is a perfect example of a beautiful room, that just needs help with the decorative finishing touches.

Decorating Ideas for a Dining Room
Dining Room Before

This Dining Room was submitted by Meredith from Australia. She told me that she likes minimal clutter and spaces that are light and bright. But she’s not loving the way the sideboard and shelves are decorated.

Decorate a Dining Room Sideboard
Dining Room Sideboard & Shelves Before

So Meredith, here are my ideas for your Dining Room:
Overall the pieces that you have can work well together. But your space currently lacks the unifying elements that bring it all together. Right now you have a black & white zone (the shelves), a wood zone (the table and sideboard) and a red zone (the painting) creating 3 distinct areas. We need to mix things up a bit to break the divide and bring a sense of flow and unity the space.

I’ll start with the far corner and work my way around the room to the shelves that are giving you a headache. For the far corner (left of the patio doors) I wanted to introduce an design element that would anchor the corner and be strong enough to support the dramatic painting. I also noticed that you don’t have a pendant light over your table so I thought this would be a fantastic opportunity to add an arc light!

Dining Room Lighting Ideas
Nova Lighting Tigre Arc Lamp

There are several reasons why I love this lamp for your room:

  • The sensual lines of it’s base are a natural compliment to the silhouette of the woman in the painting.
  • The base is black and that’ll help bridge the visual divides in the room because it’ll balance out the other black elements that you already have on the shelves.
  • Having a light over your table gives you the option for lighting up just the table instead of the entire room. This’ll create more intimacy in the space when you’re entertaining.
  • Placing an arc lamp in this corner of the room won’t get in the way of the traffic flow. This corner is your least used walkway and this lamp is tall enough tuck neatly out of the way.

If you like this lamp, you can purchase it here. Nova Tigre Arc Lamp

The next element that I’d suggest for your room are a pair of drapery side panels for your patio door. Drapes will bring a softness to the space and add another vertical element. I wouldn’t go to bold with the color because they should play a supporting role in the design but a simple pair of neutral colored fabric panels like the ones shown here will frame your window beautifully. If you’d like to keep your verticals for their functionality simply install the side panels over the blinds and you’ll get the best of both worlds.

Dupioni Silk Pole Pocket Drapes in Clay, Pottery Barn

Now to decorate those shelves that you’re not loving. I really like your idea of shelves above the sideboard and you’ve got some great pieces to work with, but because everything is similar in size and dimension the individual pieces get lost. So I’d suggest mixing things up a bit by introducing a larger piece and grouping together the smaller pieces to give them more visual weight. However in order to introduce a larger piece you’ll need more space and that means losing one shelf and lowering the other (to about 55” from the floor).
Here’s a design sketch of what I’m thinking for your sideboard and shelves:

Decorate Dining Room Sideboard
Design Sketch for Dining Room Sideboard & Shelves

For height I introduced this sensational red abstract painting that I found on Etsy, it’s a great addition to the shelf however you could also use a series of tall (at least 36”) red vases if you prefer. You’ll also notice that I’ve grouped your leaf statues and pottery pieces together to tidy up the look.

Red Abstract Painting | Nathalie Van/Etsy

The final element that I’d suggest for your room is a simple red glass bowl as a centerpiece on your table. This lovely bowl will provide a bright little hit of color without being to ostentatious. If you like this bowl, you can order it here Kosta Boda Atoll Red Dish

Decorate Dining Room Table | Red Bowl
Kosta Boda Atoll Red Dish

Well Meredith, I hope this gives you some decorating inspiration for your Dining Room. These small changes will unify the room and give your design a better sense of flow. If you are interested in purchasing any of the products that I’ve listed here simply click on the images to order online.

If you’re reading this and you’d like to have us create a complete e-decorating plan for a room in your home check out our affordable  virtual decorating  plan

How to Decorate a Family Room

Adding the WOW factor to a Neutral Color Scheme

For this Free Room Review Stacy from California submitted pictures of her Family Room to get my opinion on what to do with the challenging furniture layout. She also mentioned that she likes warm comfortable rooms that are inviting; rooms that have a traditional touch but don’t feel stuffy or uptight.

decorate family room
Planning a Furniture Arrangement for Long Narrow Rooms can be a Challenge

The real challenge for me though, is that Stacy doesn’t like Browns or Grey and most of her room is quite neutral. I’ll always do my best to honor any request that a client offers up because I believe that your home should reflect you and your tastes, not mine. However I have to say that this room had me stumped, but, after some persistence I managed to find a few sensational items that’ll bring some wow factor to this space!

Stacy, here’s what I came up with for your Family Room:


The best way to decorate long narrow Living Rooms is to visually divide the space into two distinct areas, then treat each of those areas as an individual room. You’ve already got a great layout on the far end of the room (where the TV cabinet is) but the space where the occasional chair sits seems underutilized. So after playing around with a few options I finally settled on making this a multi-purpose area because I know you entertain a lot. With 4 comfy chairs this space now has a “coffee-house” vibe that that could easily transform into a games area whenever you need it too!

Furniture Arrangement for a Long Narrow Family Room
Visually Divide Long Narrow Rooms by Creating Two Distinct Areas Within The Larger Room


Stacy, you mentioned that your sofa has to stay, but because it is such a mid-tone color and very similar to the wall color, we’ll need to add some contrast elsewhere the room for interest. Knowing that you’re not a fan of Browns I opted to go to the other end of the spectrum and chose off-white to keep the light, bright feeling in the room. I wanted to define the new entertaining area as a unique space, and having different colored furniture will achieve this.These new slipper chairs are a birch color which is perfect because it doesn’t have a yellow undertone. Both your walls and sofa have a slight peachy-pinky undertone and yellow in this room just wouldn’t work.

Birch Colored Slipper Chair for Entertaining Area

I also liked these slipper chairs because they have a similar line to your sofa but the button tufting on the back gives it a more tailored look, this’ll start to create that traditional feel you’re looking for in the room. These chairs are also a steal of a deal and will easily fit into your decorating budget.. Click Here to Buy these Chairs


Use a Clean, Simple Wood Coffee Table to Anchor the Accent Chairs

To finish off the furniture in this area I also found this simple but elegant round coffee table. The color is almost identical to the curio cabinet that you love, making it a perfect fit for this side of the room. Like this table? You can buy it, click here!


Stacy, I wanted to give you some options that would bring some wow factor to this room. So I immediately went to toss cushions, relatively speaking they are an inexpensive way to bring some drama to the space and if you ever want to transform the look of a room, toss cushions are very easy to change!

Use a Patterned Throw Pillow to Unify the Color Scheme in the Room

The first toss cushion that I choose for your room is this gorgeous velvet pillow with a crewel embroidery pattern. It’ll look sensational on your sofa because it’ll give you some contrast but the big plus of this pillow is the accent colors in the embroidery (aqua and celery). By introducing just this little bit of colorful pattern we are opening up possibilities for beautiful, striking accent colors. I call this element a “design key” it’s the element (or elements) of a design that unify all of the colors in the room, and make the color palette make sense. Although I tried desperately to stay away from browns, the truth is that your room needs a touch of a darker color to bring depth. On the plus side though you’ll only need 2 of these pillows on your sofa! Buy This Pillow Here


Seaglass Accent Pillow
Thyme Accent Pillow


With the velvet toss cushions in place we can have a bit of fun with the rest of the accent colors, like the greens you love. For your sofa I’d suggest sticking with the softer, more muted colors like the seaglass and thyme pillow. BUT, this sensational vibrant green apple color is perfect for the the new entertaining area. The green apple brings some drama and vibrancy to the space while still tying in with the rest of the colors in the room!

Green Apple Accent Pillow

Well Stacy that should give you a good fresh start to your room, and give you the opportunity to start using this room to it’s full potential. Once you’ve got these items in place we can look at a new area rug option (with less brown!) and soft flowing drapery panels to accentuate the height of the room. So when you’re ready to tackle the rest of the elements in the room, check out our complete styleIT and styleIT 3D decorating plans. A complete decorating plan is 20-30 pages of the same well thought out, professional decorating advice that you’ve received here, just more of it!

Click Here to Learn More about our styleIT or styleIT 3-D decorating plans.

Bedroom Decorating Ideas

We’re shaking things up again with our Free Room Reviews. Starting now, we’re sharing our Free decorating advice with the blogosphere so that everyone has access to the home decorating tips that we provide with our Free Room Reviews.Bedroom decorating ideas

To kick off this new evolution of Room Reviews, Debra has kindly agreed to let us showcase her new bedroom (thanks Debra!).

To bring you up to speed Debra told me that she’d like:
1) to make her room appear bigger
2) neutral colors (particularly grey)
And from the pictures she selected in her stylefinder I can see that she prefers a contemporary style, and fresh bright spaces.

So Debra, this is how I’d decorate your bedroom!

How to arrange bedroom furnitureBEDROOM FURNITURE ARRANGEMENT:

The architectural features in the room like the closet and entry door along one wall of the  room, plus the window along the one exterior wall pretty much dictate the space plan for your room. However it’s actually a great layout because it places your bed (and headboard) on the wall opposite the entry door, and this’ll create a very dramatic focal point in your room.



Which brings us to furniture selections for your room; I envision a spectacular upholstered headboard like the one shown here for your bed.

Grey Upholstered Headboard
Skyline Furniture Arc Notched Nail Button Bed in Velvet Pewter. Click Image to Learn More.

I chose this style for it’s beautifully shaped headboard, the soft flowing arch will help draw your eye up and make your room feel a little taller. The darker pewter color will also bring some dimension to your room. Placing the darkest item on the furthest wall from the door will make the space feel a little longer.

How to decorate bedroom using mirrored furniture
Crestview One Door Mirrored Cabinet in White. Click Image to Learn More.

Another way to make the space feel a little bigger is to use shiny, reflective surfaces, to trick the eye and disguise the parameters of the room. A great way to add shimmery surfaces to your bedroom would be with mirrored nightstands (like the one shown here) and a decorative profile mirror resting against the long wall.


Debra, you didn’t mention anything about the paint color in your styleFInder so I’m going to suggest one just in case you are willing to re-paint. Gray Bedroom Paint Color GreyIf not, your current wall color will do, but the room would look sensational painted in this soft warm grey color, it’s similar to the color in the inspirational picture you submitted, just a little softer to compensate for your smaller room. Sherwin Williams Argos SW7066.


Another way to visually manipulate the size of the room is with stripes. A stripe running the length of the room will again draw your eye towards the focal point that is your headboard. This sensational bedding will do the trick, beautifully!

Bedroom Decorating Ideas | Designer Bedding
Milano Collection Egyptian Cotton Bedding in Pewter. Click Image to Learn More.


Because everything I’ve suggested so far is pretty neutral you can have a bit of fun with the decorative accents in your bedroom. You mentioned that blue is a favorite accent color of yours, and a pale watery blue would look amazing with your new room design. You can use your blue feature color in toss cushions, ceramic (or glass) bedside table lamps, and even a few small pieces of artwork on the walls beside your window.

That’ll give you a good start to decorating your new bedroom. However, if you’d like to have me create a complete decorating plan for your bedroom, check out our styleIT and styleIT 3D custom decorating portfolios. With a complete decorating plan I’ll go into more detail about the items I talked about here and provide specifications for absolutely everything in the room (including lamps, toss cushions, and window coverings).