Wednesday, September 10, 2014


I've recently helped several couples move and what I discovered during the process was A.) I loathe moving and have no idea how my business has morphed into design/move your crapola and B.) wow do people collect a lot of sh*t!  Now, don't get me wrong, I love knick-knack-patty-wack just as much as most elderly Midwestern women, but your house has to HOLD the STUFF you have!  Pretty simple concept, right? It's shocking how many people can't seem to let go of things like childhood clothes, old games and toys, photos, etc.  I remember years ago when Suze Orman was a regular on "Oprah" and would preach (in that squeaky, make you wanna jump in a vat of boiling water, annoying voice) "if you haven't touched it in a year, GET RID OF IT!" And, no, she wasn't referring to your spouse, she was talking about closet clutter and other items that stack up in peoples homes over time.  When I'm helping clients transition into a new place, I ask similar questions…how long have you had that hidden in the closet, can it be scanned and saved on a computer, can you donate it to anyone or give it to a family member who will use it or honor it in a different way?  I'm a strong believer that a home and the items in it should tell a story, and there's not better way to do that than to pull the things you've stored OUT and re purpose them.  Those great old photos of grandpa, scan them first and save them to your hard drive, then take the originals and frame them in museum-quality frames (so they don't fade), make fun napkins out of them (different companies online will take your scanned photo and turn them into just about anything), USE your Grandmothers china (if pieces break, well, that's life..Grandma wanted you to USE them, not store them in a dark closet).  In the example above I took fabric from a beautiful dress my client kept of her aunts and created an ottoman out of it.  Stop cringing, this is a pet and kid-free home and the piece will live prominently in the middle of their living room with a silver tray given to them as a wedding gift sitting ontop (base of ottoman was first item the couple bought together, a coffee table in lower Manhattan).  Three items that meant a lot to the couple re purposed to honor those memories.  Simple, thoughtful and pretty cool designs!
Ottomans are incredibly easy to make and can evolve out of just about anything.  I took an old coffee table the couple loved but knew needed a little help, I removed the legs and bought banister spindles at the Home Depot, cut them down to size, stained them then headed to Michael's Arts & Crap and picked up a piece of foam.  With a staple gun and little patience I was able to attach the fabric (which I scotch guarded first for extra protection).  Just like couples coming together and mixing backgrounds and styles, these very different pieces came together to create one happy, beautiful item.