Archive July 8, 2017

Top Ten Decorating Tools

Top Ten Decorating Tools

These are the Top Ten Decorating Tools that I’ve found to be essential in my work. All make the job easier, safer, and a lot more fun.

I’ve provided links for your information. I don’t make any money from endorsing these products, but I do use them. Always shop around for the best price.

  • Furniture Sliders – For Easy Furniture Moving These amazing tools come in all shapes and sizes and allow you to easily move furniture without straining or lifting. There’s a hard plastic set that slides on carpet, and a thick felt set that will protect your hardwood floors. Be sure to use the right slider for your floor. Felt sliders won’t slide on carpet, and the hard plastic sliders will scratch a hardwood floor. If you have more than one set, you can place them under all the heavy pieces in your room and slide them around until you find just the right arrangement. Tip: Instead of lifting heavy furniture to insert the slider, carefully tip each corner just enough to get the slider under the leg of the piece. Easier on the back!
  • Raw Walnut or Pecan – Touch-up Scratches in Hardwood Floors If you have hardwood floors, or work with hardwood floors, you know that scratches are inevitable. Take a piece of walnut or pecan (yes, the nuts) and smash it into the scratch. Then just sweep up the crumbs. This works best on light to medium colored wood floors. If your floors are dark and the scratch has exposed the bare wood, go over it with a brown marker, first. Tip: Don’t eat them all.
  • Hercules Hooks – Safely Hang Heavy Pictures and Mirrors Also known as Monkey Hooks and Sidewinders (some brands are stronger). These incredible little hooks really work! You can easily insert them through drywall (by hand) and they will safely hold heavy pictures and mirrors. The long smooth hook goes inside the wall and the picture hangs on the tiny hook. To be on the safe side, I never hang the maximum weight (35 pounds) on one hook. If a picture or mirror feels really heavy, I use two, spaced about 6 to 8 inches apart. Hercules Hooks even work on plaster walls. But since plaster walls are much harder than drywall, you will have to make a small hole with a hammer and nail so that you can insert the hook. The only place you can’t use them is on solid wood, brick or masonry walls. There has to be a space inside the wall for the hook to anchor itself. If you hit a stud, use a nail instead. Tip: If you’re having trouble pushing the Hercules Hook into the wall (and you haven’t hit a stud) try pushing it through the wall “hook-side down,” then twist it around 180 degrees to hang your picture. It frequently works for some reason! If you read more about Art for Staging a Home than also click here.
  • Kapro Set & Match – Measure and Level Pictures This nifty little ruler allows you to mark two nail holes at the same time, and make them level! Why would you want to do that? Lots of mirrors and pictures come with two hooks, one on each side of the frame. This helps to distribute the weight. Usually there’s a warning not to string picture wire between them. If you ignore that warning and string wire anyway, a really heavy picture could pull one of those hooks out and send your picture crashing to the floor. I love this ruler because I can measure the distance between the hooks with one side, then I flip it over, put the zero on the ruler (midpoint) where I want the center of my picture to be and mark the distance to the hooks on each side. The level on the ruler keeps things level! Makes my life a lot easier.
  • Furniture Repair Markers in Black and Brown – Fix Scratched Wood on Frames and Furniture I use these to touch up scratches in picture frames, chair and table legs, floors, just about anything that’s brown or black. 
  • Hair Dryer – Remove Price Stickers Everybody’s got a hair dryer, but did you know you can remove sticky hard to peel off price stickers with them? Just heat the sticker until it softens and peel right off. 
  • Minwax Polyshades – Refresh Scuffed Woodwork Without Refinishing If you have wood banisters, door frames, doors, furniture, just about anything that’s wood-toned and it’s scuffed, you might be able to use this product to refresh it without stripping and refinishing. Minwax Polyshades are stain and polyurethane in one application. Important Tip: The product link above is for example purposes. Be sure to match the stain color and sheen (matte, satin, gloss) to your original wood finish. And test it on a small, inconspicuous area first. 
  • Lead Wool – Anchor Curtain Rods to Cinderblock and Masonry Walls I work in alot of older homes built prior to 1950. Many of these homes have cinderblock construction which makes it very difficult to hang curtain rods, art, and mirrors on exterior walls. If you live in a home like this, you know what I’m talking about.  When you drill your hole for the screws that are going to attach your rods or art, if you need more grip in addition to your anchor, fill the hole with lead wool. It will grip the screw and secure your drapery rod. Important Tip: Hang your heaviest pieces on interior walls. Also, lead is toxic. Wear gloves when working with it and keep it away from small children. Check with your local hardware store for small package amounts. You won’t need very much. 
  • Krud Kutter – Non-Toxic Heavy Duty Cleaner I use Krud Kutter to clean stainless steel appliances. It’ the only thing I’ve found that will remove grease and marks. If necessary, you can follow with a vinegar and water rinse and polish dry with a soft cloth.
  • Pure Ayre – Environmentally Safe Odor Eater Cat odors, smoke, and cooking smells will kill a home sale. Most air fresheners add another layer of scent that many buyers find offensive. If you’ve thoroughly cleaned and you still notice odors, Pure Ayre might help.

What’s Your Favorite Decorating Tool or Tip?

Do you have a favorite decorating tool or a tip to make home staging easier? Please share it! And if you’re a home decorator or stager, feel free to include a link to your website.

Art for Staging a Home

Art for Staging a Home

Art for staging a home has a different purpose than art that’s collected for personal reasons. When someone collects art, it’s because there’s something about the piece that speaks to them.

It may remind them of a place they’ve visited. They may love the ocean, or the mountains, or cowboys. In time, their art collection expands and creates a unique and personal imprint of their life and interests.

Staging art is designed to market your home. It’s used to fill empty walls with the right size, color and style that will create excitement in a buyer and make them want to buy the house.

If you’re purchasing new art in order to sell your home, the following tips can help you get it right.

Top Ten Tips Art for Staging a Home

  • Color matters. For greatest visual impact repeat the colors already in the room.
  • Similar frames will give your art more punch.
  • Stick with a consistent theme in the pictures.
  • Think of the art and the furniture it’s closest to as one unit.
  • Hang pictures so they’re visually within four to six inches of nearby furniture. More on this in art and mirrors.
  • Select the size and shape of the art to fit the wall. Or, cluster several pieces to fill a very large wall.
  • Mix up the sizes: small, medium, large.
  • Add something fun and unexpected.
  • Don’t overdo it. Leave some empty space.
  • Include one large picture on your largest, most visible wall. You can also read more about How Buyers Agent Queensland Can Assist with the Property Settlement Process by visiting

Staging Details

  • The owner added one large picture behind the dining room table. A wall this size requires a commanding piece of art.
  • Notice how the colors in the picture pick up the colors of the room and the dark accent wall.
  • Art doesn’t have to be expensive. You can frequently find staging art at bargain stores like Ross and T.J.Maxx.
  • Notice also that we turned the rug on the floor to fit the shape of the room. Think of rugs as “art” for the floor. The same rules apply.
  • Open the shades! Every room looks better in sunlight.

Does the Style of the Art Matter?

Yes it does. Whenever possible, allow the art to complement the style and setting of the home. When there is no specific style, abstract florals and abstract landscapes tend to work.

This newly remodeled home in the heart of an exciting urban re-development in Denver, Colorado boasts high contrast finishes like dark wood cabinets, slab marble counter-tops and stainless steel appliances.

Top Ten Tips for Mixing Fabric Patterns

Top Ten Tips for Mixing Fabric Patterns

Nature mixes color, pattern, contrast and texture with perfection. Designers study the subtle rules of nature and aspire to recreate its beauty in furnishings and fabric. The perfect mix of fabric and color can make a room sing.

Where Do You Start?

Being able to create a beautiful fabric mix takes talent, skill and an intuitive sense of knowing when something is right. Designers speak of starting with inspiration. That means you start with something you love. When you start with your favorite pattern then follow the Top Ten Tips for Mixing Fabric Patterns, everything will fall into place, like magic.

Learn from the Pattern Masters

Ralph Lauren is among the best. His mixes are always elegant, tasteful and exciting. I’ll use his Lake House bedding collection as an example.

Top Ten Tips for Mixing Fabric Patterns


The pattern you love most will either be a curvy/floral or a geometric/stripe/plaid/check. There are millions of patterns, but for simplicity, they all fall into one of these two categories. I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to start with a pattern you love. If you don’t love it, don’t bother. You will never be happy with the outcome. Click here to read more about The Benefits of Using a Buyer Agent in Sydney.

  • If your first pick is curvy/floral, next pick a geometric with a common color
  • If your first pick is a geometric, make your second pick curvy/floral with a common color

Note: Here the common color is red


The most exciting pattern mixes include a large, medium and small pattern. Add some of each.


Add a solid in the common color to “ground” it.


Match your background shade! Note that in all the samples, the background color (the lightest color) is ivory. If your starting pattern has a brighter white background, stay consistent with a brighter shade of white.


When adding more fabrics to the mix, pull a different color out of one of your first two choices. Design doesn’t happen in isolation. The most pleasing mixes connect the colors.


Pull a dark shade out of one of the patterns to give your mix some punch. This strong navy stripe, repeating the navy in the plaid, is perfect.


What color does for the eyes, texture does for the skin. Include some “touchables,” something smooth, nubby, sleek and soft.


Give the eyes a break with a neutral. Notice how many brown shades there are in nature; tree trunks, branches, dirt, rocks and sand. They soothe. They also make flowers, sky, water, and grasses seem more vivid. A tan cable knit and the cream colored knit add texture and calm.


The Golden Mean and the 60-30-10 Rule are guidelines for finding the right balance in your colors and fabric. Which color you choose as your dominant one is up to you. But for a beautiful outcome, strive to add the others within nature’s perfect proportions.


Repeat your major fabrics two or three times.