Barbara’s Blog

Discover Hidden Treasures

Posted by on Nov 1, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

Discover Hidden Treasures

Without warning it happens; after living in a home for a number of years and looking at the same furnishings for all those years, a homeowner often sees the house or some rooms as lackluster.  They have a difficult time seeing the potential of those rooms and the furnishings in them.  They want to make a change, but where do they start?  Short of making major renovations or buying all new furniture and accessories, is there any other alternative?  YES, Interior Redesigning is a budget-friendly solution to this problem.

Interior Redesigning can bring a fresh perspective to a project to help clients achieve the look or feel they would like to create in a room, but haven’t been able to achieve on their own.  There are HIDDEN TREASURES just waiting to be discovered in most people’s homes, but they need a trained eye for design to find them.  That’s where Interior Redesigning comes in.  Interior redesign is similar to traditional interior decorating because you aim to capture the client’s personality and style.  The cost-effective benefit of redesign is that you use a client’s existing furnishings and accessories for most of the project to bring a designer look to a space that needs to be “freshened up,” or just restyled.  Interior redesign is environmentally friendly because it helps the homeowner to repurpose and get more life out of their existing furniture and accessories. Best of all it is easy on the wallet because you literally shop in the comfort of your own home!

Listed below are some minor tweaks that can make a big impact to a redesign project:

Paint

  • Try painting one wall in a room with an accent color.  The contrast brings in a pop of color without making a major commitment to the rest of the room.
  • If your home is painted in outdated colors, try lightening up darker trim or cabinets with white or cream.  The lighter colors will brighten up the space.

Lighting

  • Want to bring a more current  look to a dated lighting fixture?  A new fixture in one of today’s popular finishes can make a difference.  For some fixtures, just changing the finish will be enough of a change.
  • Swapping out a ceiling fan for a lighting fixture, or adding a chandelier where the ceiling fan used to be can make a major difference.

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Fabrics and Rugs

  • When redesigning a space, replacing upholstery, curtains, throw pillows or bedding, is a good way to create a refreshed look to the space.
  • Using lighter and brighter fabrics in bold prints to create a new look will breathe new life into a room that is newly redesigned.
  • Replacing window panels in today’s colorful tones, or recovering dining chair pads, or placing chair covers over  wooden chairs can bring a sophisticated look to a dining room.

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Bathroom To Spa

  • Painting the walls and cabinets in a bathroom, then replacing the hardware will instantly update a lackluster bathroom.
  • Add in a new shower curtain, or if in the budget, a new shower door, light fixture and sink fixture and you’ve turned the outdated bathroom into a relaxing spa bathroom.

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So if you are looking to make changes to spaces in your home, go on a treasure hunt down the hallway or into rooms.  Who knows what treasures you might find lurking in plain sight or tucked away in a corner.  HAPPY TREASURE HUNTING~~

 

Short on Storage? Think Under the Stairs & Beyond…

Posted by on Oct 4, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

Short on Storage?  Think Under the Stairs & Beyond…
Who couldn’t use some more storage, after all, you can only stretch a bedroom closet or hallway coat closet just so far.  You may have untapped storage space in the most unsuspecting places. 
When the hallway coat closet just isn’t big enough for coats, boots, umbrellas, the space under the stairway, in some instances, can serve as additional storage.  The pictures below show a unique and functional use of the space under the stairs in this home.  The decorative detail moulding “hides” the access to added storage.  How cool!

The next two pictures show how to use the extra space under the stairs leading down to the basement.  What a great use of the space, affording even more storage for toys, books, etc, anything you want to display or maybe keep together in decorative boxes.

Built-ins are also a great way to add extra storage and make functional use of the space underneath a window seat.  In these examples, the built-ins create a beautiful focal point also.

The family dog can live like royalty in this unique doghouse.dogbed
The children’s library can look like this.
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This home-office would make anyone happy to be there.
Yes, you can always use more storage space; with a little creativity you can make functional use of those “nooks and crannies,” and also add some interest!   

(photo credits of http://www.houzz.com)

Dorm-Ward Bound

Posted by on Jul 26, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

It’s that time again.  It seems that school just ended, graduation ceremonies and parties done, and while that’s true, Dorm-Ward Bound students are starting to plan and shop. Those important items they will be packing up and taking with them on their new or returning college experience.

On a recent trip to Bed Bath & Beyond, I saw quite a few teens shopping with their parents.  They are getting a jump on the checklist items to bring with them to college.  It can be overwhelming, but with stores like Bed Bath & Beyond or Kohl’s, to name just a few, when shopping in the store or online, you can find a wide variety of bedding, bath, storage and organization items.  Consider pre-ordering what you need at a store near your home or online. Then all you need to do is pick up and pay for the order when you arrive at the college destination.  Dormify specializes in dorm room decor.

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Show your school spirit

Electronics and chargers for electronics come in many shapes and forms.  I particularly loved the colorful Keurig Brewing Systems, and bold-colored bath accessories, hampers, bold and vibrant bedding and accessories.

Check out some of the colorful and free spirited bedding ensembles, storage ottomans, stacking bookcases, bungee chairs; so many items for students to create a functional and stylish space or area all their own.

Pastels can brighten up the room

Pastels can brighten up the room

Bungees are cozy place to study!

 

Carry it all in a caddy

Carry it all in a caddy

At the end of the day, after tests, writing papers, etc, a student should have a special space to come back to, a place where they can study, hang out, or just relax and of course, sleep!!!

Celebrating Summer!

Posted by on Jun 30, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

Celebrating Summer!

Happy  240th Birthday America!

This July, we at Creatively Transformed are concentrating on transforming our Summer into one never to forget.  Summer is way too short not to make the most of it. Summertime and the living is easy. . . the long, lazy days of summer are here. Beach weather, watermelons, fruit-flavored sorbets, sand-between-your-toes, fireworks, barbecues, flip flops and bathing suits come to mind for most people when they think of summer. But life is busy and these days, many of us find ourselves wishing we’d made more time for our favorite fun-in-the-sun activities: a picnic in the park, catching lightning bugs in the backyard, or a night out at the outdoor movies or a concert. You know… the stuff memories are made of.

Summertime brings a variety of free concerts to Long Island. So, pack a picnic, grab your lawn chairs, put on some insect repellent and head outdoors to listen to great local music. Throw down a blanket, spread out the snacks, uncork the wine, and watch the kids boogie under the evening stars as you sway to some cool and breezy melodies. The outdoor concerts are in full force, beckoning visitors to get outside and enjoy the thriving music scene. The free events will keep you tapping your feet. So get out there, enjoy the weather and tune into the music.

Though new blockbusters may grab all the headlines, summer movies reach new heights in the great outdoors. Watching movies on a large screen outdoors has become a popular summer activity. It is called open-air cinema.  There are several outdoor movies scheduled all across Long Island. Most of the movies are free or raise money for charity.  Some films are sponsored by Chambers of Commerce and even serve free popcorn.  It is a great opportunity to enjoy some under the stars, sitting on lawn chairs or blankets.

You can never have enough red, white, and blue for the Fourth of July! But think about all of the outdoor beauty that we have here on Long Island.

Get out there and enjoy it!

 

Breaking Up With Your House~~WHAT?

Posted by on Jun 3, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

Breaking Up With Your House~~WHAT?

 

I was watching TV the other night and a commercial came on that got me thinking about the process of selling a home and how emotional a process it can be.  There is hope, though, if you prepare for this process; it can relieve some of the time and stress involved.  Consider this scenario; the commercial may be familiar to you…

“YOU AND YOUR FAMILY LOVE THIS HOUSE ~~ YOU GAVE IT A NAME ~~ YOU NAMED IT “OUR HOME.”

You may have lived in it for 10 years, maybe longer, but over that time you put YOUR personality and style into it.  It has become a retreat, a place to relax at the end of busy days; an emotional connection has been made over this time.  You find now that a decision has to be made and selling “Our Home” because of  a job relocation, downsizing or another life changing situation isn’t always an easy decision to make.  It’s time to “BREAK UP WITH YOUR HOME” you have to change your mindset from HOME to HOUSE.  You have to think of your home as a house, a commodity that you can market and sell.  To increase the sellability and profitability on this house,  these changes  can be a major factor to bring a quick and profitable sale:

  1. Transform the house from taste specific to a more neutral style to appeal to the most amount of potential buyers.
  1. Buyers look for “turn-key,” well maintained and updated condition.
  1. You need to create an emotional connection for these buyers so they can make it their “NEW HOME.”  You want that  FIRST IMPRESSION to wow buyers and create that important emotional connection.

As a Home Staging and Interior Redesign Specialist, and owner of Creatively Transformed Home Staging and Interior Redesign, I can help make the transformation needed to showcase a house and get it sold, so you can move on to create another “HOME” that you can “LOVE WHERE YOU LIVE” all over again!!

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Outdoor Living Spaces-Bringing the Inside-Outdoors

Posted by on May 3, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

Outdoor Living Spaces-Bringing the Inside-Outdoors

With the temperature climbing, producing warm, sunny days, you may be making plans for your outdoor family-friendly space.  Whether you are thinking outdoor dining/entertaining, a poolside retreat or a beautiful flower garden, begin by formulating a plan and envisioning how your finished space will look and feel.  This helps to make the best decisions in designing your outdoor retreat.

Top influencers dominating outdoor living landscape this year, according to Trex Company, a wood-alternative railing and decking manufacturer, are integrated benches and outdoor kitchens, with theme settings becoming popular as well.  The look of the tropics seems to be dominating outdoor design themes, bringing in the ambiance of exotic island getaways with Tiki torches, cabanas, waterfalls and deck boards featuring warm colors and multi-colored streaking with inspiration from tropical hardwoods.  There seems to be an increased interest, also, in multi-level decks, curves, cantilevers, pergolas and walls to create a three-dimensional look,  while defining different functional areas.  Aesthetics plays a huge part in many deck-building decisions, but high-performance and low maintenance materials are important to homeowners looking to spend more time enjoying their outdoor space than having to maintain it.

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With the addition of outdoor kitchens, dining nooks and fireplaces, integrated benches with colorful cushions and pillows, storage components and lighting are adding interest and function to these outdoor spaces.  Choosing the right furniture pieces will help bring a fresh new look to your outdoor space, and there are great options to create and redefine those spaces.

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Sectional seating is a very popular option now as it is very versatile, redefining a space in minutes.  You can literally go from close configuration for poolside conversation to strategically placed seating, creating an open look to encourage mingling.  A pair of garden stools can create a unique coffee table or if extra seating is necessary, they can handle the job easily.  Accessories or a brightly colored accent piece can bring pizzazz into the design, or try a tiled bistro table or Papasan chair.  Pillows, cushions, umbrellas and outdoor rugs and curtains can transform a weather-worn space into a refreshed and renewed outdoor oasis.  Be sure to add in those special accents – lanterns, wall décor, statues and wind chimes – treasures that are uniquely you, letting your personality shine through. OutdoorKitchenBlog3

Relax and enjoy the upcoming spring days and evenings outdoors, with the anticipation of the lazy days of summer coming just around the corner~~SO YOU CAN LOVE THE HOME YOU LIVE IN – INDOORS AND OUT~~

Vanishing Walls~Open Up the Look

Posted by on Mar 31, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

Vanishing Walls~Open Up the Look

In new construction houses or in older houses, do you notice that walls seem to be vanishing to make way for open-plan layouts, producing multi-purpose areas?  In many cases kitchens, dining rooms and family/living rooms flow seamlessly into one another.  This creates a beautiful, spacious look and feel, but you may ask “How do you decorate this one large multi-purpose space?  How can this kitchen, dining room, and family room be decorated to create a cohesive look showcasing these three spaces?”

  1. Color

The key to creating this open floorplan is continuity.  Wall color is the No.1 element for achieving continuity.  The same “warm” or “cool” color should be used throughout the space.  Another choice would be to paint architectural elements, chair rails, soffits or pilasters in a variation of the main color, from light to dark.

Large furnishings are most successful when chosen in a mono-chromatic (using any shade, tint, or tone of one color) palette; for example, three shades of green.  This creates an easy flow, with the eye travelling throughout  the space without interruption.  Using pops of the same color, for example, the fabric color for the sofa in the living room and chair-seat fabric at the dining table, to the fabric for the shade on a table lamp creates a comforting sense of continuity, moving from one space to another.

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  1. Flooring  

In a open floorplan living space, keep the flooring material consistent.  Changing flooring material will chop up the flow of the space.  Laying wood planks on the diagonal, or setting tiles in a herringbone pattern can create a different look, but the main thing is to keep it the same throughout the space.  Layering rugs on top of hardwood or tile floors can soften the look and add warmth, while also identifying the rooms also.  Rugs are very versatile; they add personality, color, texture and style, and they anchor the furniture arrangement on an area rug, creating a conversation zone in this open space.

  1. Art/Accessories

The use of artwork and accessories enhances the space by using these items in repeating or contrasting tones of the existing color.  Add texture with picture frames, and add interest by not only hanging artwork on the walls, but bring it into a space by placing pieces on a ledge or tabletop. Decorative folding screens  are problem solvers too.pic2

  1. Furniture Arrangement

Furniture arrangement is critical in open floorplans.  Separate but useful ‘zones’ can be defined by a simple sofa table or sideboard behind a sofa, connecting family room with dining room.  Bring furniture “off the walls” to create a conversation, reading or dining space.  This produces a feeling of light and airy.  Open plans need unity so keep color and materials to a minimum.

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  1. Window Treatments

To further unify the space, choose window treatments that work well in the entire interior, not just one particular zone, and this will further unify the space.  Hang window treatment 3” – 6” beyond the side of the  window frame for a grander look and more light.  To create the illusion of a taller window,  mount rod 4” – 6” above the window frame or halfway between ceiling and window frame.

Open floor plans sometimes can be a challenge to decorate, but the unity and flow of the spaces are great for entertaining and are warm and inviting.  So, providing the wall or walls you would like to remove are not load-bearing, or the issue can be treated in another way, go for it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Proper Furniture Placement-It Balances the Room

Posted by on Feb 29, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

Proper Furniture Placement-It Balances the Room

When a room is completely empty is the best time to plan the layout of the furniture that will be used in the room.            

 

 

 

 

This way you can get a more accurate sense of the room’s natural strengths.  The furniture needs to be arranged so it enhances the architectural details of the room.  Some questions to ask yourself are:

  • How should the furniture be arranged to draw attention to the room’s best characteristics?
  • What are the features that immediately catch your eye?
  • Consider traffic patterns in the room.  Is there a large window or a fireplace?
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When deciding on the furniture layout of a room, balance of the furniture to be used in the room, along with size and visual weight should be considered.  All sides of the room must appear to be carrying an equal amount of “weight” distributed evenly.

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The term “weight,” as used in design, is described as “visual weight,” or how heavy or massive a piece of furniture appears to be to the human eye.  One piece of furniture may appear to be heavier because it is larger, more colorful, darker or has a busy pattern.  Use pieces with less visual weight in a small room.  Chairs or couches that are white have less visual weight than dark chairs and couches.  Glass furniture, such as tables, take up less space visually and they are good for small rooms.  Heavier fabrics and patterned fabrics give furniture a heavier feel.

In a room with an architectural feature, for example a fireplace, arrange furniture so the focus is on the center of attention, the fireplace.  The eye should fall upon the focal point.

The axis of a room deals with the elevation of the room, ensuring that it dominates the eye – from floor to ceiling.  If the focal point is a fireplace, draw the eye upward by adding a tall piece on the mantel, a piece of art above the mantel or maybe a mirror resting on the mantel.  Building up the axis on the opposite wall will balance out the room.  Use objects that are of equal weight, as the objects on the opposite wall should be high enough to establish their own axis, perhaps a tall wall unit, or in the example above, the entryway and furniture with drapes behind.

Proper placement of furniture and planning the layout carefully is essential to produce a practical and visually appealing design, enabling the homeowner to sit back and relax in an inviting, beautifully put together space!!

Don’t feel you can put a visually balanced designed room together?  Give Creatively Transformed a call – we can take the stress out of decorating and bring your design inspiration to reality!

Company’s Coming – A Quick Holiday Refresh

Posted by on Dec 1, 2015 in Blog, Project Pics | 0 comments

Company’s Coming – A Quick Holiday Refresh

So you get a call saying that you will be having guests for the upcoming holidays and they are staying 4 days!  As if it’s not crazy enough with holiday preparations underway and in full-swing ~~ now the attic bedroom, in its’ disheveled state, needs a really quick refresh!!!

Three and a half weeks before Christmas I got a distress call from a client with just this issue.  Her daughter and son-in-law, along with three children, were coming in for four days at Christmas!  They needed a budget-friendly refresh, and they need it quickly.

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From the pictures, it is obvious that this is a design challenge.  How can you place a queen size bed, along with two twin beds and a pack-n-play in this 12’ by 17’ room and leave space for accessing the beds?  Furniture height was a consideration too because where the eaves meet the perimeter side walls the height was only a little over 5’.  Also, the room has three small windows that don’t provide much in the way of natural light.  The only other source of light was from a floor lamp alongside the bed.  A favorite area rug was staying, which determined the color choices in the room, and a favorite piece of artwork was a must for the wall above the bed.

First step was to give the space a fresh, new coat of paint and make any repairs to the walls.  For adequate lighting, 6 high hats were installed and both the headboard and footboard were removed from the bed, which visually opened up the space.

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Two small side tables were brought in for both sides of the bed, but the real challenge was placing the two twin size beds in a way the all could be accessed easily enough.  Bunkbeds would have solved that problem, but because of the height restriction on the short walls where the eaves met the shorter walls, that was not even an option.  With some researching for comfortable, size-appropriate beds, I found two items that would work very well…twin size CHAIR BEDS!image2 image3

When opened, they could be placed head-to-head along the long wall, just fitting in the space in front of the closet.  When not in use, they could be folded up to provide seating for guests.  It worked great and now the room looks neat and organized, but when the need arises, pop open the beds and everyone gets a good nights’ sleep!  Table lamps were added and new bedding purchased to tie the look together very nicely.

The hallway got a new coat of paint and a storage/linen cabinet, and the bathroom also got the benefit of this “refresh”.  With the wallpaper removed, walls repaired and repainted, tub repainted, and a new tiered shelf for toiletries,  the bathroom now looks updated and refreshed.

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This attic bedroom now looks neat and organized, just waiting for guests come for a short stay!

Enjoy the holidays~~~

A Thanksgiving Family Tradition

Posted by on Nov 7, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

A Thanksgiving Family Tradition

Thanksgiving is such a favorite American holiday, a very heavily traveled holiday, and in many families there are special traditions that are repeated year after year because it just wouldn’t seem the same without them.  Here is one of mine that takes preference over all others in our family ~~ Barbara’s Applesauce ~~

 

 

 

 

 

Our traditional Thanksgiving meal is much like many others, starting with a beautifully set table (for me the presentation is a must for the dining experience)

Gobble up the tablescape

Gobble up the tablescape

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The fabulous Fall colors are so welcoming

with turkey and gravy, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, breaded cauliflower, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin bread.  There is one item that can absolutely not be taken off our menu – any time – ever; APPLESAUCE!!  Our Thanksgiving meal would just not be the same without it!

A big question in the family this time of year is “Where are we going for Thanksgiving this year? and Aunt Barbara’s making applesauce, right?”  It is a big job because I like to make small individual jars for all the kids, which now number 14!  One year I made a special jar for my tallest fan, and I have to say you would have thought the kid won lotto – the smile on his face was priceless.  He’s in his second year of college now, but looking forward to coming home at Thanksgiving, there is a jar with his name on it!!

The recipe is very simple, with no special ingredients other than the obvious, but I think because it is such a favorite and it’s made with love, I guess that’s the secret ingredient – Made with Love.

Grandma’s/Aunt Barbara’s Applesauce

Preparing the ingredients

 

Ingredients:

8 – 10 Apples   Mainly Macoun or Macintosh, but I like to throw in a few Granny Smith’s, a few Gala and/or  Honeycrisp

½ cup                 Sugar

2 tbs                    Cinnamon

I try to get large apples because they are easier to peel (never could get used to the Apple Peeler).

Peel apples and core them, then cut up in small chunks and cook in a large pot with  enough water to cover the bottom so apples won’t stick while simmering. (Be careful not to add too much water because the sauce will be very thin). Simmer until apples are soft, the consistency of potatoes when mashing.  I add the sugar and cinnamon at this time and you can test it out to see if it needs more sugar or cinnamon.  From the pot, I put the mixture in a blender (a  little at a time) and blend until smooth.  I pour the hot sauce into the jars, cover and let cool.  The mason jars will seal tight as it cools. 8 – 10 large apples would make a quart jar and maybe another smaller jar.  Try and see what works and tastes best for you an It’s a lot of work but so worth it to see everyone enjoying it.

If you do decide to try this recipe, I would love to hear how it turned out, and if you got really adventurous and added other ingredients, let me know, always open for a variation on a recipe.

Most of all, enjoy your Thanksgiving Day meal, wherever it  may be,  and be thankful for all the blessings we do have and to be surrounded by family and friends.

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Candles bring warmth and beauty

 


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