Friday, February 27, 2015


For the first time since moving to the east coast I finally know why we call our entry foyer a "mud room" and why they are so incredibly important.  No matter how fastidious a cleaner you might fancy yourself to be, it's hard to stay on top of old man winter...that sounds dirty...and it IS! From snowy boots to salty shoes and wet jackets, thank goodness for these much-needed landing spots for everything winter brings through your front door.  I had planned on showing fun before and after photos of several mud rooms and entry ways I've done in the last month, but the more I combed through your lovely emails this morning the more questions I had about past tips, so I decided to jump start your weekend by sharing a few of my favorite ideas.
T.I.P.F. (That's TIP Friday to you!):
I don't care if you're eighteen or eighty, we all lose track of our keys from time to time.  I love this simple way of keeping track of them and do it over and over in homes I design.  I'll buy a simple frame from Target or Home Goods, remove the glass and insert either a burlap-wrapped piece of cardboard or place something fun on the piece of cardboard that comes with many a scrap of wallpaper, wrapping paper, etc.  I'll then screw in tiny hooks from the Home Depot (they will go through the cardboard and secure themselves to the back of the frame) and add labels to the top showing what keys go to what (you can also color code the hooks to the key chains so no one mistakes where to return them when finished).  Another popular tip I recently passed along was an incredibly simple way to dress up a staircase, by painting the risers the colors of a paint chip card (like anything you'd grab at the hardware store with various shades of the same color on the card..simply grab small samples of each for $3.99/each and have fun transforming those drab stairs into something everyone will stare at!  And finally, if I had a dollar for every email I received about where to find (and how to transform) an airline beverage cart into a home-bar, well, I'd be able to buy John Travolta's airplane!  I stumbled upon this idea when designing a small space in Manhattan for two guys, one of which worked in the airline industry.  Huge entertainers with great big personalities, I thought outside of the box when given the task of finding a unique bar.  A search on eBay found some for hundreds of dollars, but patience and late-night bidding landed me a deal that wasn't sky-high.  As is the case with all three very different projects above, stray from the norm and mundane and whatever you do will be far from lame!