Wednesday, September 26, 2012


This week I met a new client who shook my hand while saying, "I hate people who live in black and white spaces!"  Humm...interesting way to start, but hey, I love honesty so thought this would be an interesting challenge.  After spending a small fortune to renovate a weekend home in the Hudson Valley, my client and her husband walked into the freshly restored spaces and thought something was missing.  Was the furniture wrong, they asked?  Were the spaces too cold?  Was the lighting off?  Did they make a mistake with the neighborhood?  After fielding many questions with a smile, I asked them to kindly head out for a few hours so I'd have an opportunity to spread my design dust around the house.  Two spots were screaming for attention...a kitchen nook with built-ins and a bathroom with more marble and tile than the Uffizi gallery in Florence.  If I've said it once, I've said it a million times, two of my favorite things to do to spruce up any space is to de-clutter and add splashes of color.  In this case, the built-in bookshelves felt as stuffed as I do after eating a burger while wearing tight jeans, so I removed about 25% of the contents and added a pop of color on the walls behind the shelves.  So my new clients wouldn't become my new enemies, I used dyed paper I found at Pier 1, cut to size each shelf and applied with thumb tacks (eventually using wallpaper glue after they came home and fell in love).  In the marble-palooza bathroom, I took a stark white cupboard and added a dramatic color.  The result...big smiles on exhausted faces.  So, do a sample and just COMMIT to painting something.  If you're bookshelves are looking like an overstuffed apartment building, start with one shelf.  Remove a few items.  Walk away.  Then attack the rest.  We live a lot of our lives in our personal spaces, so we should make them as fabulous as possible!