Top 25 Renovating Mistakes

  1. Buying Cheap Materials

    “One of the biggest mistakes that people make when it comes to home renovation (is that) they try to be cheap when they buy materials. The bottom line is, you’re going to get what you pay for.” “If you’re going to do it, do it. If you can’t afford to do it, wait.”

    2. Inaccurate Measurements

    An inch or even sometimes a half an inch can make a difference. And if your dimensions are off and it’s not equal and symmetrical, you’re not going to get the full impact and effect that you want. If you’re not sure about how to measure or you can’t follow the directions, don’t hesitate at all to call somebody. Ask them to come over and take the measurement for you.

    3. Skipping the Prep Work

    Do it the right way, right away. You shouldn’t avoid your prep work. You want to take the time to do it right and right from the beginning.

    It’s a horrible, tedious process, and nobody likes it, but it saves so much time later on down the way. And that’s what you’re trying to do: save yourself money and time.

 

Top 25 Renovating Mistakes

How High Should You Hang Your Upper Kitchen Cabinets?

 Here is a relevant article from Houzz.  Don’t let industry norms box you in. Here are some reasons why you might want more space above your countertops
A client of mine recently raised a good question: “Do upper cabinets have to be installed the standard 18 inches off the countertop?” It got me thinking outside of the usual cabinetry box. Of course, there are lots of ways to install your upper cabinets, and if you’re willing to have an open mind, you might find that elevating them comes with unexpected benefits. Here are situations where you might want to hang your cabinets a little higher.
How High Should You Hang Your Upper Kitchen Cabinets?

CONQUER KITCHEN CLUTTER

Here is another interesting article from Kohler, on how to declutter your kitchen.  I love a simple and clean countertop, so hide a lot in the pantry and in an appliance garage.  Here are a few more ideas.

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Looking for the secret to easier cleanup, clearing away clutter and getting your kitchen organized once and for all? Zero in on hard-working products that speed up your workflow and keep everything in its place to make kitchen time more enjoyable.

Cut Down On Counter Clutter

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Shown: The Riverby under-mount kitchen sink with utility rack, soaking cup, colander and cutting board.

Adding simple storage to your space is a great way to keep your cleaning tools organized and within reach. Pare down the number of sponges, scrubbers, and brushes crowding your countertops and drawers by swapping them for tools with multiple uses. Our kitchen accessories feature a variety of simple, purposefully designed products, from dishwasher-safe caddies to a one-of-a-kind squeegee/brush combination. You could be enjoying a clutter-free kitchen in no time.

Accessorize your Kitchen Sink

e5f214306a8430dcd25aad98e306ca3e75a5c0d6.jpgThe Prolific under-mount kitchen sink with bamboo cutting board, colander and washbin.

Many of our kitchen sinks have added accessories like prep bowls, utensil trays, colanders and cutting boards to make cooking and cleaning faster and easier. Using integrated tools within your sink space transforms your standard sink into a fully usable workstation. So you’re not only containing your messes to one easy-to-clean area, but you’re also keeping bulky accessories from cluttering your countertops.

Go Hands-Free with Your Faucet

ded822c54100055a3d8df054d10384719b56c1b4.jpgShown: The Beckon Touchless kitchen faucet.

Upgrading to a faucet that accommodates the way you work around the kitchen can save time and effort. And when it comes to function and cleanliness, motion activated faucets just make sense. Touchless technology turns on with the wave of a hand, making messy tasks easier and keeping the kitchen more sanitary — especially during cold and flu season.

The Final Ingredient
Achieving a cleaner, more organized kitchen that you love is doable without a remodel. You just need the right recipe and the active ingredients to make it work.

CONQUER KITCHEN CLUTTER

7 Design Tips For a Chef-Worthy Kitchen

This a great article from Dwell Magazine.

If you have serious culinary chops and take pride in preparing meals that wow your family and friends, keep these tips in mind when designing or renovating your kitchen.

If boiling eggs is not your forte, and you’d much rather eat out than experiment with new recipes, then a basic kitchen may be all you need. But if you’re serious about cooking and love nothing more than spending hours trying out new dishes that’ll impress guests at your next dinner party, then here are some elements to incorporate for a professional-grade kitchen.

1. The Magic Triangle

When planning the layout for your kitchen, refer to the “kitchen work triangle” with the cooking area, sink, and refrigerator at its three points. Though modern kitchens have evolved, and it is sometimes geometrically impossible to abide by this configuration (for example, in a single wall kitchen), the triangle is a good concept to keep in mind when designing to maximize functionality and ease of movement.

What they did not talk about is the new triangle, where the refrigerator is off to the side and a little out of the way.  There needs to be space across from it or beside it to put food when cooking, but it does not absolutely need to be part of the triangle anymore.  I love the cooktop part of my triangle, as I am working there, more than in the refrigerator. (unless I am really hungry)

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2. Two Sinks

Install two sinks so that you can clean fruits and vegetables in one while washing or stacking used pots and pans in the other. Ensure that the sink is deep and the faucets are high, so you don’t have to worry about water splashing onto the countertop as you strain your pasta or wash your dishes.

I have a little different take on this.  My utility room is adjacent to my kitchen, so I added a large stainless sink in there if I need a place for pots and pans.  If I am entertaining, I do not want my guests to see dirty pans in my kitchen, so this works great! 

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3. Plenty of Durable Work Counters

As a home chef, you’ll be engaged in many food preparation tasks, so think about how to maximize counter space. Surface counters made of quartz, laminates, and solid surfaces are good choices for their durability, and antibacterial and anti-staining properties. Such surfaces are ideal for areas where you’ll do the most peeling, chopping, and blending.

Quartz is the new popular countertop and it is great, but if you select a plain one, be prepared to constantly be cleaning it, as it shows every spot.  I love a good granite that hides a little.  

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4. Built-In Appliances

Integrated appliances are your best bet for freeing up space, hiding unsightly electrical cords, and getting a clean, streamlined look. Wherever possible, choose built-in ovens, dishwashers, coffee machines, microwaves, and pullout fridges. This will help free up more counter space and make your kitchen look much more inviting.

I love making my dishwasher and refrigerator look like cabinets.  Now there are drawer refrigerators and freezers.  I hide my microwave and toaster oven in my pantry.  Clean is the new look!  

5. Good Lighting

A bright kitchen is not only healthier for your eyes, it makes preparing food safer and will probably put you in a cheerier mood. Locate your kitchen close to windows or incorporate skylights to increase the amount of natural light it receives. When choosing light fixtures, consider ambient lights, task lights, and accent lights. Use down lights to prevent glare and shadows, strip lighting under cabinets, and wide-rimmed pendant lights above the bar or island counter.

In my last home I had windows under the cabinets that looked out to the garden.  It had a wonderful effect.  We added another window when we remodeled last summer to take full advantage of our water view. 

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6. Ample and Intelligent Storage

Easy and intuitive access to a large pantry, spice racks, pots and pans, utensils, dinnerware, and cutlery can make all the difference when you’re preparing a feast for a large group. Consider storage systems which hold all your kitchen basics neatly and beautifully like a secret armoire.

I personally think that although this is “cool”, there are a lot better use of space, than hanging your utensils and knives.  One knife block on the counter is quite practical. 

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7. Wine Storage Facilities

Good food isn’t complete without great wine, so consider including wine storage facilities.  We love ours and use it every day.  

7 Design Tips For a Chef-Worthy Kitchen - Photo 7 of 7 - Perlick wine cooler

 

7 Design Tips For a Chef-Worthy Kitchen

Luxury Kitchens Sell the Home: Design Trends

 January 21, 2018 by 

Recently some 60,000+ people gathered in Orlando, FL at the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS) hosted by the National Kitchen and Bath Association. It’s where companies that supply the kitchen and bath trade showcase their wares to interior designers, retailers and dealers, architects, builders, and remodelers. KBIS is part of Design and Construction Week with the NAHB International Builders’ Show.

Kitchens take center stage at KBIS and have been a focus of my research over the past year as well. I participated in a series of AuthLux day-long workshops on luxury kitchen and bath design sponsored by ROHL, the kitchen and bath luxury fixtures company, and part of the Fortune Brands family of companies.

An excerpted hour-long version of that full-day event was presented at this year’s KBIS, but I thought to share more insights from an AuthLux Summit panel discussion about designing the luxury kitchen of tomorrow today, hosted by Dallas-based interior designer Denise MaGaha.

The kitchen unlocks the value of a home

The kitchen is now the showpiece of the modern home. “The ultimate design statement of the home starts in the kitchen,” said MaGaha as she introduced the discussion focused on the three essential design elements for the modern kitchen – Cabinetry, Appliances and Water Appliances. “With the trend toward open-floor plans, the kitchen sets the stage for all the other design decisions in the home.”

The kitchen’s importance to the home owner is second to none. In today’s open-floor home designs, the kitchen takes center stage as the place where the family’s lifestyle starts. Kitchens are the most important selling point in home buyers’ decision, according to Realtor.com, and homes listed with “luxury kitchens” sell faster and command a higher selling price than similar-sized homes in the same ZIP code.

It’s no wonder then that interior designers find the greatest demand for their services in remodeling kitchens. Some 80% of home remodeling projects take place in the kitchen, according to the National Association of Home Builder’s Remodeling Market Index survey.

Here are some highlights from the panel discussion:

Upscale cabinets must be as beautiful on the inside as on the outside

Cabinets are the grounding element in the luxury kitchen, as all the other elements are mounted on them or placed within them. What’s more, they set the design style for the kitchen. “Today we see transitional and modern style with strong architectural references increasingly popular,” explained Jason Artus of Rutt HandCrafted Cabinetry, based in Lancaster County, PA.

“That’s also why we find European style frameless-constructed cabinets growing in demand,” Artus said. Frameless cabinets allow for additional storage with wider drawers and pullouts because they do not have a face frame attached to the front of the cabinet box and no center stile coming down in the middle of two cabinet doors. Frameless cabinets give a sleek, simple aesthetic that provide easier access to the items inside.

Another trend Artus sees in luxury cabinet choices is more drawers, instead of hinged door cabinets. “Additional drawers in the kitchen results in more accessible storage and organization, which is a top priority for clients to be sure that each and every kitchen item has its place.” And once those drawers or cabinets are opened, lights need to turn on automatically to guide the way.

And for the luxury home owner, the outside is just as important as the inside when it comes to cabinets. “It is expected that today’s upscale cabinetry look as beautiful on the interior as it does on the exterior,” Artus said, as he points to growing interest within the design community in white oak on cabinet interiors for “those looking for a lighter option to pair with darker exterior finishes.”

Luxury kitchens mean chef-quality appliances

While cabinetry provides the modern kitchen’s form, the appliances provide its function. And today that function is going more high-tech as smart technology is added into the mix. Selecting appliance brands that serve their function in style and are ahead of the curve in innovation is key.

Juanita Galliford, of Thermador, part of BSH Home Appliances Corporation, shared that her company has been at the forefront of kitchen innovation since its founding in 1916. It invented the wall oven and cooktop combination and was the first to introduce stainless steel. And in 1948 it brought the first professional-quality and performance ranges to the home owner, followed by the first self-cleaning oven in the 60s. When it comes to kitchen appliance innovation, she said, “Thermador has led while other brands have followed.”

On the cutting edge of cooking technology today is the steam/convection oven, Galliford explained. “The steam oven is one of the healthiest ways to cook a meal. Traditional ovens pull moisture out of the food as it cooks, while in a steam oven food is cooked in its own juices, enhancing flavor and retaining nutrients,” she said and told how it is also super-fast, allowing a 14 lb. turkey to cook in only 90 minutes.

And in the modern luxury kitchen, the refrigerator has taken on a new role as the “culinary preservation center,” noted Galliford. “Refrigerators are no longer just about preservation. Today’s homeowner wants personalization allowing them to customize the line up of cold storage combinations that give them exactly the cold storage solutions they desire.” So a modular concept in cold storage is required allowing the homeowner to pick fresh food store, freezer and wine storage combinations right for their needs.

From sink and faucet to water appliance

And perhaps the most overlooked, yet most critical function in the kitchen is the faucet and sink, which ROHL has redefined as the water appliance. “The most used appliance in the kitchen is actually the faucet/sink combination,” said Greg Rohl. “A family of four uses their water appliance 20-30 times a day. We encourage designers to think about reallocating budgets towards this most heavily used ‘appliance’ allowing clients to spend more for better quality and more attractive solutions.”

To discover the water appliance faucets, fixtures and fittings that meet 21st century needs in quality, style and function, ROHL canvases the world to find products that meet the luxury homeowners’ needs, like the innovative Pull-Out Kitchen Faucet, which founder Ken Rohl discovered in Europe in 1983 and which became the flagship product for the ROHL brand.

Through close collaborations with its worldwide partners, ROHL finds it critical to maintain authenticity in time-honored material and craft while adapting to modern needs. “We work closely with on-staff engineers and industrial designers to incorporate low-lead material requirements, meet California water-use and flow restrictions and IAPMO and EPA WaterSense criteria without compromise,” Rohl noted.

Designing the luxury kitchen of tomorrow today

Designing the kitchen of tomorrow today requires bringing many separate components provided by a variety of suppliers with unique expertise together into a cohesive kitchen package that combines beauty and function, efficiency and style. “Traditional kitchen configurations with upper and lower cabinets are being replaced by full-on kitchen islands – grounded by larger sinks, faucets and accompanying accessories,” Rohl explained. “Today, and in the future, the multi-function sink/faucet combination will continue to be the mainstay of the kitchen, flanked by the cooking and cold storage appliances, and installed with beautiful, architectural cabinetry that defines the kitchen’s style.”

The kitchen’s place of presence in the home is without doubt. Yet its form and function continues to evolve with technology, product and design innovations. Perhaps Christopher Peacock, a high-end cabinetry designer in Norwalk, CT expressed the evolution of the modern kitchen best: “It’s almost not worth calling it a kitchen anymore—it’s a living room that you can cook in.”

Luxury Kitchens Sell the Home: Design Trends

IS THERE ANYTHING CLASSIC IN A CURRENT TREND?

Every year new trends are announced and we respond to them in some manner. Just how important they should be in your lifestyle is usually at question. “Consumers always want to see something new, but they want that with something familiar”, according to Leatrice Eiseman –executive director of the Pantone Color institute.

There are some that think it is important to have the current trends in design be a part of your home and others that really don’t care. What is most important is how do you bring your home environment current so you enjoy living in it. If a trend seems terrible to you, then bringing it into your home is not the best idea for you.

If you want to add the latest color trends in your home every year, there are many ways to do it and not spend a fortune. Remember when you buy a trendy piece of furniture, you are most likely going to have to live with it a long time. Accents added in the latest and greatest color and/patterns are not terribly expensive to replace when you tire of the trend, as most of us do after a while. If you love a trendy new color, throw pillows or vases might be an easy solution and not cost a fortune. I love that we now have Home Goods, TJMaxx, Marshalls and Ross as great sources for buying easily replaceable accessories. Little or no guilt when you spend $20.00 on a accent rather that the $200 a custom-made designer pillow might cost.

That beige or gray neutral sofa may look dull on display at your local vendor, but it will go with everything you put on it over the years. Look for simple classic lines and you will not grow tired of your furniture. Look for fun splashes of color to liven it up every year or every season. When you shop for your “big” items, if there is even a tiny doubt you will not love it in five or ten years, then it is probably not a good choice.

Clean lines are always in style. Ornate looked great in the Victorian era and if you have a few  family pieces, they can look fantastic in a very modern interior, as a lovely focal point, but a whole room of them might be kind of depressing. Think simple and you won’t get tired of it.

If you go neutral in most of your home, you won’t have to change much often. Paint a wall one of the newly trendy colors and love it for a while. Paint is relatively cheap and easy to replace. Add a couple pillows in a coordinating color and you are looking trendy. Add flowers in the new colors (if appropriate) and your friends will think you know what you are doing.

Texture is another way to add interest to a neutral interior. Trends in texture do change, but they seem to have a little more longevity. A cowhide rug may not go out of style, but florals and certain print designs don’t say in fashion for long.

Avoid trendy when it comes to big signature pieces, as you will want ones that meet the test of time. Dining room tables, beds, kitchen cabinets, flooring and architectural details are not the place to be trendy, as they are all expensive to replace. Pick ones you love when you see them. Pay a little more and get something that is made well with great lines.

One of the most important things to remember about trends: if you don’t like it when you first see it, you most likely never will. That being said, there are some trends that never go out of style. Tasteful animal prints are always a fun look in small doses. Some say granite in the kitchen is on the way out, but I am not sure I am totally on track with that one. Beautiful classic

oriental rugs always add interest to a room and I personally think some of the Mid-Century modern furniture will never go out of style. Mid-Century modern seems to a “trend” coming back to be popular, but I think it never went away as it has always been classic, workable and beautiful. From a designer point of view, they have never made anything more comfortable and beautiful than an Eames Lounge chair or as elegant as a steel and glass Platner coffee table or side table. If I could afford four Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona chairs from 1929 in my living room, I would be forever happy.

Balance may be one of the key words in bringing trendiness into your home or office environment. Function of the piece should be an important part of your decision making when buying long-term pieces. Maybe this year the glass dining table is popular. You buy one, then you remember you sometimes have twenty for holiday dinners and the glass table does not expand. That brings the word “versatility” to mind. Can you use that trendy item some other way in the future? Can you paint it? Can you change it?

I have a beautiful old-world Baker round dining table I bought twenty years ago. When I got tired of the wood look, I painted it black and put a dark wax finish on it. I paired it with see through ghost chairs, so it now looks up to date. It expands and I have seated twelve for dinner. Think about what you have and how you can change it, to make it more current. Good lines always look good.

Timeless design always doesn’t pull from trends and is quietly understated, simple and sophisticated. Let go of the idea that your taste will never change. As we go through life our taste changes. What we should strive to do is to find something that is highly functional, not bland, while being subtle, adaptable and will pass the test of time.

If you are having a hard time finding the right balance in your home, it might be the time to hire a professional interior designer. I would love to help you make your home your living paradise. It is what we designers do.

IS THERE ANYTHING CLASSIC IN A CURRENT TREND?

16 Style Mistakes That Age You

This article came up on my Newsfeed on Facebook.  Wonder what you all think?

If you’re not old enough to have watched The Golden Girls when it originally aired, then you shouldn’t be dressing like them.

You’ll have plenty of time for shoulder pads and pant-suits when you’re actually a senior. For now, just avoid these fashion faux-pas that add decades to your look:

1. Long, Long Hair

As we age, we develop the tendency to try to hide our new wrinkles. Ironically, nothing adds years to your look like straggly hair that’s a bit too thin to be as long as it is.

Instead of growing your hair in a vain effort to cover up the visible signs of aging, choose a layered cut that frames your face nicely. There’s no need to go full-on pixie cut, but mature hair has a different texture, so work with it, not against it. Not only will you look younger, you’ll probably save on shampoo costs too.

2. Baggy Bottoms

When you’re ready to give up on dating, start wearing ill-fitting pants. Baggy bottoms are a must when you’re simply over it. If you’re still into attracting dates, though, make sure your pants fit.

They don’t have to be skin-tight, but if there’s enough fabric on your behind to double as a parachute, you’re not going to win any beauty pageants. That’s okay. You don’t have to win a beauty pageant. More power to you. We’re just telling you how it is; what you do with that information is your own business.

3. Dark Lipstick

Unless you were born a goth, stick to a bit of gloss. Natural shades create a supple, youthful look. Darker colors draw attention to lines around the mouth, and though those are usually the product of a life full of laughter, it’s generally a look most women want to avoid.

Even bold shades of ruby red can end up making you look older than you actually are by highlighting wrinkles around the mouth. If your skin is unbelievably smooth, then you can get away with it. For the rest of us, dark lipsticks aren’t the best choice. There’s a reason most older woman usually wear shades of nude.

4. Neutral Pantyhose

Neutral pantyhose make you look like you’re applying for a corporate job in the 1960s, which, come to think of it, is fine if that’s what you’re going for. But when it’s a youthful appearance you seek, skip the hose or stick with black.

If you’re black is a little too dark for your outfit, go for a color. As long as the neutral hose of the mid-century is behind us, we’re good.

5. All-Black Outfits

Black goes with anything, but it can also give you a funereal look, like an Irish mourner from the 1920s. Even a bit of contrast can help prevent the sense that you’re going to start keening at any moment.

Try pairing a black dress with a bright pendant necklace and dangle earrings. Even better, wear break up your outfit with a colorful scarf or cardigan.

6. Boxy Blazers

Contemporary fashion has a thing called a “boyfriend blazer.” The idea is that these jackets could have come from your boyfriend’s closet, but in fact, these items are cut to create a slim, feminine silhouette.

Do not actually wear your boyfriend’s blazer if you don’t want to add a decade or two to your appearance. Big, boxy blazers make you look like David Byrne, circa Stop Making Sense. Just remember: Shoulder pads are the enemy, now and forever (but not in the ’80s).

7. Antique Dresses

Shopping at the thrift store can yield gems. Just be wary of picking up too many floral, lace-lined numbers. First off, you’ll look like a walking doily. Second, you’re not an extra from Little House on the Prairie.

Finally, wearing a grandma’s dress will make people think you’re a grandma. That’s awesome; grandmas are great and we love them all. That doesn’t mean they all look super-youthful, though.

8. Stretched Out Skinny Jeans

This is not exactly the same thing as item No. 2 on our list, which, as you will recall, was labeled “Baggy Bottoms.” It’s sort of the same, but not exactly. We mention the hazard of stretched-out skinny jeans because it’s such a widespread issue, a special subset of the Baggy Bottom debacle.

The problem began when clothes manufacturers stopped using any denim that wasn’t at least 80-percent rubber bands. That stretchy denim looks great for about a week and a half, then it loses its elasticity, just like your skin does when you age. That’s not a good look when you’re going for youthfulness.

9. Herbert Frames

What do we mean by “Herbert frames?” You know, black plastic glasses that are big and thick and might have made you look punk in the early ’90s but now mostly just make you look like someone who was young in the early ’90s, i.e., an aging hipster.

Plastic frames lined with bright colors are all the rage these days. Try them to keep your face looking smooth and youthful.

10. Jersey Fabric Dresses

Jersey fabric is the most comfortable cloth in the world. Wearing a jersey dress is like wrapping your whole body in your favorite old T-shirt. Everything is wonderful about this soft, light fabric, except for the way it treats your figure.

Jersey tends to cling to everything. That can create some unflattering angles, which increases the appearance of age. Plus, the fact that you so clearly dress for comfort suggests that you’ve given up on standing out in the crowd. Try double-knitted jersey for a similar feel on your skin without the unforgiving fit.

11. Thick Black Eyeliner

In general, the trick to emphasizing your youthful features is to avoid drawing attention toward your more autumnal qualities. We’re thinking, specifically, of eye wrinkles.

The area around your eyes is one of the first places that your years of life, laughter, and loss are etched into your face. Thick, dark eyeliner acts as a spotlight on this frequently wrinkled area. Avoid, avoid, avoid.

12. Too Much Tanning

The sun preserves life on the planet, but it also gives us wrinkled old leathery hides when we spend too much time basking in its rays. It’s all about the ultraviolet light, which wages an all-out attack on collagen fibers in the skin.

We’re not saying you should wear a face-kini every time you leave the house, but it’s worth investing in a little high-SPF sunscreen. Your skin will thank you sooner than you think.

13. Shapeless Frocks

This may seem obvious, but the temptation to throw on a muumuu and rush out the door can be overwhelming at times. Resist it.

Also, we just realized that ironic muumuus are probably going to be this summer’s big fashion trend, so maybe ignore everything we said on the subject. All hail the muumuu!

14. A Short Scarf Around the Neck

You’ve probably seen ladies with colorful silk scarves tied around their necks. Do you think any of them get carded at the grocery store? No, they do not, and the simple reason why is that short silk scarves around the neck went out of fashion about 50 years ago.

If you just stocked up on colorful silk scarves and are wondering if Etsy issues refunds, don’t worry. There’s an awesome way to wear them that actually looks pretty youthful. Try tying them around the strap of your purse. You get a pop of color without looking precisely 150 years old.

15. Brooches and Lapel Pins

Even the word “brooch” sounds old. So does the word “lapel,” come to think of it.

Anyway, sticking an old gilded piece of finery on your boxy jacket makes you look a little out of date. Try a few one-inch round buttons instead. That’s what the kids are into these days.

16. Excessive Foundation

Too much makeup fuels the suspicion that you’re hiding something under there. Plus, there’s something unnatural about a face with a ton of foundation. Make sure no one could credibly use the verb “to cake” while describing the way you put on your face.

Keep it light and natural. Otherwise, people might stop carding you, too, which is always a shock the first time it happens. Or so we’ve been told by our elders; we certainly don’t have any first-hand experience with stuff like that.

16 Style Mistakes That Age You

Back to the Studio

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It was a summer that I did not venture into my art studio, and yesterday I realized painting is what makes my heart sing.  That and some great Rhythm and Blues music in the background make for a wonderful day.

Two days ago I picked up a piece from a wonderful Interior Design Studio in Edmonds that sells quite a bit of my work.  The owner took me to house she is redoing and asked if I could do something for the living room to put above the fireplace. The colors were rich grays, taupes, bronze and a little bit of yellow green.  This piece is 30″ x 60″ and painted over a previous piece I had done a long time ago. Purple Abstract 30x48

It was done in a time when everything I did had some purple in it.  In the last couple of years I have finally grown tired of purple. I find painting over a previously painted abstract gives depth and life to a new painting.

In this case, since it was already framed, I just used green guerrilla painters tape to cover the frame, so did not have to remove it and could get right to painting.

Whenever I do a bigger piece, I make it so you can hang it vertically or horizontally. It is one thing I do to make it easier to use in what ever environment you hang the art.  In my own home, I may hang it one way for a while, then change 90 degrees in another place.  That way I don’t grow tired of the piece as quickly.

At the end of the day yesterday I felt this piece was complete and had a great start on a second piece.  I plan to spend a lot more time in my studio in the days to come.  It makes me happy!

Back to the Studio

And now for the closet

Yes, I should be in my Art Studio painting, but for the last several weeks I have been redoing my closet.  I admit it is a big closet, but I have collected stuff for years and years. In this home the closet had a few quick shelves and lots of baskets. Since I really could not afford a California Closet at close to $20,000 (That would be about three or four vacations), so I did a Closet Maid Wire closet and I am happy with the result. It is my personal sanctuary. I have photos of my sons when they were little and a few other things I love that are just not appropriate in the rest of the house.

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So in-between my jewelry collection are photos of my three sons when they were two.  It makes me smile knowing they are happy and successful young men now.

My hat boxes were repaired and added to with labels on each box, so hats and gloves and stuff can easily be found.  It was fun to see what all I had when I had to dismantle and put back together the closet.  I found treasures and I found not so much treasures that went Goodwill.

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My “Angels Fly Because They Take Themselves Lightly” art piece is over one of my doors. A good friend of my late husband said that about him at his funeral and it always make me smile, knowing he is somehow watching over me and my wonderful sons.

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Purses and scarves found a new and organized home, right next to old family portraits. IMG_1394

My shoes are happy and I can see them all at last.  Yes, I do love converse tennis shoes and wear them a lot in Spring and Fall.  They are just happy shoes!

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Years of collecting what I call Junk Jewelry can easily be found and used!  The mirror will be painted white as soon as I get around to it.

Lots of great hanging space to short and long and way too many belts for a waist that was always much smaller than it is now.  One of the joys of growing older and loving to cook and eat.

A lot of these ideas can be incorporated into a smaller closet.  I have lots of extra room now and really don’t buy many new clothes.  If you see the mirror on the right, it is on a sort of secret door that goes into a shelved 5 x 5 room with floor to ceiling shelves for Christmas Decor, luggage and other “stuff”.

What else can I say, but now my closet makes me smile in the morning. Too bad I don’t have to get dressed up that much anymore.  Where do I wear all this stuff?  I am not ready to get rid of everything, so I just go in my closet and smile and know I can wear fun stuff!

And now for the closet

30 Design Mistakes You Should Never Make from Houzz

This article came on my newsfeed this morning and I thought it was very interesting.  While I agree with most, I do not agree with all. There are as many opinions about design as there are people with opinions. 

Drop the paint can, step away from the brick and read this remodeling advice from people who’ve been there

April 21, 2016
There are a million and one things to consider when taking on a remodeling project. Some of those decisions have the potential to significantly impact your home — and in turn your emotional well-being — for years to come. It doesn’t matter how functional your new kitchen is, for example, if you hate the flooring material you chose. It’s going to eat away at you every single day.

In hopes of preventing these situations, we asked readers for design advice on things you should never, ever do during a remodel. Their suggestions are quite revealing, and worth considering. But remember, the thing about advice is that you don’t have to take it. After all, the main takeaway message here should be that no matter what, it’s your home. And you should do whatever you want. Just don’t say we didn’t warn you.

30 Design Mistakes You Should Never Make from Houzz