Furnishing Inspiration:

Everything Old (Can be!) New Again

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It’s true. Everything old really CAN be new again! Current trends in home furnishings certainly make this point, with many wonderful old pieces being restored and revived to enjoy a second life. In the hands of a skilled artisan, it’s amazing what new hardware, paint and a few tools can do.

And while some people may prefer all-new furnishings, more and more people are coming to appreciate the value—both monetary and aesthetic—that older pieces of furniture can provide. Simply put, they are often better made than their contemporary counterparts. And they are certainly more interesting!

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Refinished furniture provides the perfect opportunity to mix old with new and give your space a hip, eclectic vibe. And with today’s advanced options in paint finishes, refinished furnishings are often a case of history meets technology.

Plus, since they do not require any new resources to be harvested, they are also an eco-friendly choice. Something that’s appreciated year-round, but especially as Earth Day approaches on April 22.

Recently, I’ve been blessed to take a hands-on role in this renaissance of furniture restoration as a Maker Boss with A Makers’ Story. The only organization of its kind, A Makers’ Story empowers artisans to create and make a difference in hearts and homes.

“I delight in creating unique, one-of-a-kind pieces. And as I work, I always wonder about the previous owner’s life, and about the home that will welcome it next and hope it brings them joy, as well.”
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One particularly remarkable aspect of furniture restoration is not just the refinishing that takes place, but also the repurposing that often accompanies it. An antique dresser makes for a much more interesting media stand! And you can shake things up by turning grandma’s china hutch into a unique baby changing station—or even a chic home bar, if granny would approve. Breathe new life into a chest of drawers from a bygone era by making it a beautiful new vanity that is sure to be a bathroom focal point.

So if you’ve inherited antiques or sentimental pieces, but they are just not your style? Call on an expert to customize them into something that is a perfect fit.

Inspired to find a “new” old piece? Stay tuned…Some will be for sale here soon!

Posted on April 11, 2018 .

Coloring YOU Happy!

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Online Consulting Service Brings Rainbow of Possibilities

SPRING is in the air! And as anyone who knows me can tell you, Spring is my favorite season! (Living in Asheville, I love Fall, too, of course, but that is another matter!) With Spring, the renewal of life, all of God’s colors bloom anew and give our view a vibrancy we may have forgotten in the gloom of winter.

I get this same sense of bubbly energy anytime I work with clients to pick the perfect colors for their homes. Whether it is creating the ideal interior paint color palette or crafting a color plan for a home’s exterior, helping a space spring to life brings me joy.

I am elated to now offer Online Virtual Consultation—which means I can share my talents with clients in any location!

The process is super simple, fun and FAST! Clients need only send me their info/photos, and—PRESTO!—I create a detailed custom design. Since everything is done online, the whole process is expedited and affordable.

Some people are blessed with the gift of a “designer’s eye”, but even those color-savvy among us have probably experienced “painters remorse”. You know, being stuck with a color you don’t like once it’s on the wall! Or, for the ambitious types, it may mean doing double-duty: reselecting and repainting, fingers crossed!

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And while paint may be one of the least expensive investments you can make to dramatically change your space, it’s a bummer to see your invested time and expense go to waste—a BIG bummer!

Whether you are a DIY-er or opt to hire a pro, expert advice on the selection end of your project will save you time, money and potential regret. It’s an investment in peace of mind that is sure to COLOR YOU HAPPY! Plus, it will leave you with more time to enjoy the gorgeous garden blooms!

Posted on March 23, 2018 .

Making the Grade:

College Living Goes Back to School in Style

Someone once told me that the purpose of going to college was to become a better person, a fully-developed adult, if you will. While I don’t agree with that exact sentiment, I do believe that the “college years” (typically ages 18-24), are formative ones for “finding yourself,” as we used to call it—regardless of whether or not a large chunk of those years is spent sitting in a classroom.

As young men and women leave their parents nest and make their way in the world, their surroundings become even more important. Just as their parents years ago created colorful nurseries for their babies to stimulate intellectual growth and interaction with the world around them, infusing personality and energy into a college living space can act as a source of inspiration.

Fortunately, it’s easier than ever to achieve a spectacular space to call home-away-from-home, beautifully and affordably. Dorm décor has become an industry unto itself, and today’s college residence has graduated well beyond the mishmash of yesteryear. Gone are the days of milk crate shelves and mismatched hand-me-down furnishings!

With a growing number of apartment complexes catering specifically to college students, options such as the approval to paint walls and have pets on the premises—previously no-no’s with most landlords—have become available. This type of freedom offers nearly endless possibilities for personalized touches.

Even without this advantage, though, the options for customizing colorful college interiors are vast: bedding, window treatments, artwork, accessories, rugs, and furnishings—which can easily be slip-covered if they do happen to be hand-me-downs!—all offer ways to infuse color, texture and interest into the space without risking your security deposit.

As you would expect at this age and stage in life, lively, light-hearted design tends to take center stage. Bold geometric patterns, monograms and organic materials such as burlap, canvas and seagrass are all on-trend at the moment. And I’ve found that when pets are permitted, they often become the stars of the living space, pampered and revered for the joy (and stress-relief!) they provide.

Studies show that today’s co-ed encounters more stress than ever before: grades, work responsibilities, and ensuring one’s viability on the increasingly competitive job market upon graduation are all constant stressors most students face. Having a happy place to land at the end of each busy day, and possibly curl up with the most comforting comfort away from home—be it a furry pooch, fluffy kitty or even a fuzzy little pot-bellied piggy—is the ultimate support system.

It doesn’t take a college education to know that our environment influences our mood, productivity and more. Sending your student back to school in style is an investment in more than just aesthetics. By providing an inviting space where students can relax and recharge between bustling class, work and social schedules, it can also be a contribution to overall health, happiness and well-being.

And while today’s college students often reside in chic spaces that may rival the style of even their parents’ homes, don’t worry mom and dad: they’ll still want to come home to visit. After all, no amount of style can replace mom’s cooking—or free laundry service!

 

Posted on July 27, 2015 .

TRADE SECRETS:

One Designer's Determination to Give Clients Beautiful Bargains

I’ve always loved a bargain. Ask anyone who knows me and they’ll tell you I can’t pass up a good flea market, garage sale or estate auction. Sometimes the best bargains the hidden gems: the ones that have the least curb appeal are the ones that make my imagination run wild with the possibilities. Maybe it’s because I see potential that others don’t, or maybe it’s because I’ve learned to be creative through the years to fit my big design dreams into a small budget. Or maybe it’s both.

As a design and color consultant, I utilize this same approach for my clients’ projects. Dream big and make the most of every cent of every budget.

While some designers don’t like to talk about money—or even disclose fees—for fear of appearing crass, I think it’s important to be as upfront and open as possible. Plus, I’ve never been one to buy into that school of thought or put a high price on snobbery. Who wants to scare off potential clients?!?

Instead, I have a three-pronged approach to making my (very colorful!) services as attainable as possible for potential clients:

• Affordable Service Rates (posted very clearly on my website!)

Whether hourly or on a per-project basis, our rates are very competitive and, of course, there’s always room for a bit of negotiation.

We offer discounts for large-scale or multiple projects contracted at once and are also happy to create custom packages.  For example, a recent DIY staging consultation for a full-home makeover with all color and material selections for the entire home: conducted for just $1500 as our "Full-Home Flip Plan".

 

• Wholesale “To-the-Trade” Discounts on Products

Decorating industry professionals receive trade discounts through a variety of product vendors. Our discounts, which can range from 5-30%, are then shared with our clients in full. So unlike you may experience with some designers, the price we pay is the price you pay. By using Color Me Happy Home as your personal shopper, not only will you save money on your furnishings, artwork and décor accessories, but you will also be confident that you acquire the best possible selections for all your space.

 

• Alternative Payments by Bartering

Yes, bartering, as in: trading, swapping or otherwise exchanging goods and services in lieu of currency. It’s a long-lost skill that was commonplace since the dawn of man until only a few generations past. Just like the trading posts that once lined the Appalachian Trail, on occasion we accept payment by this non-traditional means.

While we keep current with the latest on-trend colors and home décor, we also value this old-fashioned approach to transacting. Our hope is to open the possibility of affording our services—which we realize, while competitively priced, many people would consider a luxury—to a larger pool of potential clients.

Items we accept for payment via bartering include goods, such as antiques, art and electronics and services such as landscaping, painting and salon services.


As a color consulting and home design firm, I believe our main product is actually “happiness”. And money can’t buy happiness. By enlisting our services, you will save the stress of project management and the anxiety of second-guessing yourself or enduring expensive do-overs. In the end, a thoughtfully designed space, painted in the perfect colors of God’s rainbow, however, can give you peace and go a very long way in helping you find your happy place.

Posted on June 22, 2015 .