Monday, June 24,2013. Black,Onyx,Ebony

Saturday, February 28, 2015

So sorry I haven't been posting more lately, but we have been busy.
My youngest graduated from 8th grade so there were celebration activities at school and orientation for High School and a lot of other stuff going on with my other kids as well.
But back to business..
I have been obsessed with BLACK painted walls lately...especially in bedrooms.

Painting walls a deep dark color, especially in a small room can give the illusion that the room is larger as the black color makes the walls disappear. "Cooler" blacks recede better than warmer ones. Use a satin or low sheen, as darker, richer colors have more colorant which boosts sheen. So you can step down one level of sheen. 
House is a good site for the sheen information. To balance the too use light colored furniture, window treatments, and bedding. Use of glass and metal will also help as they reflect light. A big beautiful mirror would be great too.

Here is another example and again the window treatment is light, there is glass and mirror accents and natural, light colored furniture. I just love the look. The natural colored carpet softens the dark colors on the walls. 
What do you think? It's risky but I know a lot of you did RED in your dining rooms a few tears ago. It looks cool in a small bathroom as well. I want to know what you think of the BLACK?.

Thursday, June 13, 2013. Sofa Fillings, What do you Prefer?

Have you ever had a fabulous pair of shoes? At first, even if they aren't very comfortable you can be in love with how they look but after wearing them a few times, if they pinch and poke your feet, the beauty of them will fade. Well, a beautiful sofa is very similar to a pretty pair of shoes...If it's comfy, if it makes you feel good when you are relaxing on it, or sitting with a friend enjoying a glass of wine, then it is worth every penny, if not , then it doesn't deserve a place in your home.

The cushion filling is of upmost importance. Different fillings will be good for different people.

The highest quality filling is Down. Make sure if you use this there is a down proof ticking under the upholstery so feathers don't poke out.

Down, with other materials mixed in is a good quality to choose. Pads of Dacron polyester fiber and down are wrapped around high density foam.

Most common is high density polyurethane. Common sense, higher density=more firm.

Foam can be wrapped in softer material or cotton to bake it softer.
Dacron wrapped foam is the cheapest but doesn't last very long.
In the end, you have to choose what makes you feel comfortable.

While we are discussing sofas, how about slipcovers? I personally believe that the washable skip overs are the way to go. I have had a white sectional sofa for about five years, and my family is
constantly on this sofa. I wash and dry the covers about once a month and they continue to look great. Slipcovers can be changed fir the seasons, or in a few years when you tire of what you have.

IKEA has washable covers in a variety of colors. They also have chair slipcovers. I prefer white or cream and then add color with a throw or pillows.

Arhaus also has washable covers. 
Restoration Hardware is another store who carries washable covers. They have 72 fabrics, leather, different length and depths for the sofa construction. 
So many choices.

Monday, June 3, 2013 Organization and Other Stuff

Hi Everyone..I've been busy, my daughter graduated from college, our oldest, how proud we all are of her accomplishments. Crazy weather here in New Jersey. Windy and cold at the beach, yet hot and humid in land.
An old friend, who I worked for at southern living at home, did a DIY closet organization project and I thought you might like to see it.
She used the Closet Maid line that she found at Home Depot. It was under 100.00 and super easy to install. Her hubby did the job and according to my friend, he isn't super handy, so it must be easy to install.

Here is the closet BEFORE:
My friend is Kathy. Kathy was switching her son's room and her daughter's room. This is the closet when it was her teenage son's room. 

Here Kathy installed the Closet Maid pieces that best fit her needs and her space. The dresser was a piece she already had and they paintedit white and changed out the knobs. She added pretty fabric storage storage boxes. Love it!

Saturday, May 25, 2013. Do It Yourself Project Ideas

Been working on updating a few bedrooms and I thought I'd share with you a quick little project that personalized a child s room or playroom.
This one I did for my son's wall. He loves sports, I added his jersey number and quote that my husband always tells him to motivate him.

After completing it, I think I should have painted the whole canvas yellow and then did the lettering. Ok, here is how I did it.

First, buy blank artist canvas, all craft stores carry them.

These are paint pens that come in all different colors and widths they are very easy to work with. I am not the most artistic person, but I have the ideas. These were bought at a craft store also.

You can pencil in what you want to draw on the canvas. Go over it with the paint pens. If you do it the way I should have, paint the entire canvas a color, let dry and then do the writing.

Enjoy your Memorial Day Weekend

Thursday, May 9, 2013 Update a Small Space

working on a young lady's bedroom update and wanted to share a section of what we did to add storage and a spot to sit or drop a book bag.
This is the before:

The door on the left leads to the hallway and the door to the right is a walk in closet. There was this unused space between the two doors so I suggested we put a narrow bench with storage . The poster is dance themed and there were other similar framed posters on a different wall in the room.

This is the After:

We grouped three framed posters together, so it looks like a little gallery wall.
The bench is from Target and was about 60.00. It comes in a few finishes. The handled fabric cubes come in a variety of colors. They can hold shoes, hats, nothing. It is a simple way to make use of a really small footage of the room.
Can you think of a small space in a room in your home that could use a little update? Maybe I can help. 

Tuesday, May 07, 2013 Thank You

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Just wanted to say a big thank you to everyone who has been reading my blog over the past 9 months. I have hit over 10,000 views and visits to my site. Slowly it has been growing . Thank you so much do all the positive feedback.

I was shopping for paint colors in lowes and found a few I wanted to show your case you were looking to paint a room.

Been thinking about outdoor spaces and there's a trend to use mirrors outside. It certainly will reflect the light, all the colors of nature and make you feel like the indoors have come outside . Grand inroad has a large 4 foot arched mirror for $299.00 

What do you think of this?

If you are using comfy seating outdoors, why not add some soft throws. They can add a pop of color instead of a pillow. Those summer evenings can get chilly, so it is useful too. West elm had some nice ones to check out. See photo above. 
I have been having technical issues so if you need to ask a question you can email me at damcraig@

Sunday, April, 21, 2013. Let's think about the space Outside your home

Now that the weather has been alittle bit more "spring like", let's start thinking about the space outside our homes..
I've been working on styling my porch, but until it is complete, I wanted to mention a few items I've found to share with all of you. has some unique doormats.
I haven't seen Suzani used on a doormat, and thought you might like to see it too..$34.00

This sand dollar may is done in muted blues and creams, also from and $34.00
I like to cook with fresh herbs, I saw this great idea the other day. It was a container garden but a "salsa" garden. You can grow everything you need for a delicious salsa in this one pot. I serve salsa all summer long with chips and guacamole and Skinny girl cocktails.
Here is what you can do.
Start with a container, if it has a hole cover it with broken clay pot pieces or that mesh lining. Fill the container 3/4 with potting soil. Add the plants. I like cherry tomatoes, which would probably be the largest plant so center it in the pot. Next, add what you like for your salsa. Peppers, hot chili peppers, cilantro, chives, onion, scallions. Make sure it gets about 8 hours of sun a day. Here are a few 
containers I found.

this one is a rustic metal container from

Sort of difficult to see in the photo, but this one is copper from

Here is the marbalized  container with a different shape. This one can sit nicely on a porch ledge or a deck ledge.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013 Where do you draw Inspiration to Decorate?

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Prayers go out to all the victims of the Marathon.
I can't help but think about all the runners and how they trained so hard and for so long. How inspired you must be. So, with a heavy heart I ask, what inspires you? It's a much lighter subject, but when you decide to add an accessory to a room, or a piece of furniture, what is it that inspires you?
I would say first I need COMFORT.
My family room has to have cozy sofas or chairs to st and read a book or chat with a friend. My kitchen has to have comfortable access to the things I need to cook. I love to cook and feed everyone. I need a big round table so everyone can talk and see each other as we have a meal together.
My bathroom has to smell good, that's comfy to me. Pretty towels to dry your hands.
He bedroom, of course, needs a soft fluffy bed. Any other bedroom in the house has to wrap you up and make you feel like your in a cocoon for the hours you are there. I'd love to hear what inspires you.
On another note, our outdoor spaces can be found square footage. I'll be sharing ideas in the coming posts.

Thursday, March 28, 2013 A Few Ideas for your Holiday Table

Happy Spring!! The weather here in New Jersey has not been spring like yet. I'm hoping it will be warmer soon. With Easter coming this weekend, I just wanted to do a quick post with a few ideas for you all who might be entertaining this Sunday.
I usually buy my candles at Bath and Body Works. Love the variety of scents , they burn nicely, smell up the whole house with one three wick candle..I discovered the other day that when the candle has burned out you can reuse the glass container for a variety of things. Just fill the glass with water and the wax will float and you can pop it out.. The labels come off easily and you have a glass vessel for whatever you want...

Here you can take strips of fabric and tie a knot and presto you have a pretty vase..three of them 
down the center of a table would be pretty. 

Another idea , tie burlap and ribbon around the pots of flowers and set in the middle of your holiday 

This was my crown roast dinner last year, if you look closely you can see that I took a burlap runner 
and slipped a ribbon down the center to add some color. There were string eggs strewn about the table and I added little bunnies here and there.

Here is a closer look at the string eggs.
It is quite easy to do and fun, I thought so anyway..
Blow up a small balloon and tie it off. Take thin colored cord or yarn and dip it in fabric glue, be careful not to knot the string. Wrap the string around the balloon in varying directions. Set it for a few hours to over night and when the string has become hard, pop the balloon and you have an egg. I scattered them all over the house, on my dinner table, in baskets, attached them to my burlap wreath. 

Love tulips, even if you only decorate with flowers your table will look amazing for Easter or Springtime.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013 Finds You Might Like

Been shopping and wanted to share some of what I found.
I have been obsessed with yellow for a few years now, ever since I painted my living room a gray shade and wanted to use the yellow as an accent. At the time, it was so hard to find anything yellow, but now it is very accessible.

Buttery yellow throw, from Target $30.00 it goes in any room. Comes in other colors, too

This is a jewelry holder so cute for a girls room . Found it on

Here's a peek at an idea board for a neutral room . The textures and prints are the way to make the room interesting. 
Till next time...

Wednesday, March 6,2013 Little Changes

Time for a change up?
Is there a spot in a room that just needs some help?
Maybe you have an idea of what to do but can't quite pull it together?
Here is an example:
A sad spot at the bottom of a brick fireplace.

There was a perfectly fine glazed container sitting in a bathroom upstairs, intended for magazines, but never saw a single copy. 

Here is some greenery that was just sitting on top of a wooden cabinet in another room. 

Not a penny spent and the bottom of the fireplace looks alittle freshened up..
It's the change up. You can do it too. Or email me if you need some help. Damcraig@

Tuesday, February 19, 2013. Kitchen Update

Hey everyone..hope your week is going well. Wanted to share with you pictures and some advice I gave to a friend on a renovation project for her kitchen. The homeowner is someone I have known for years and I worked for her a few years ago when we were both Southern Living At Home consultants. She has great style and and eye for design.

Love, love the fireplace in a kitchen. My friend asked if the fireplace should be painted. I said a 
big YES! Whitewash it . I also would do a mantle. 

The popcorn ceiling was being refinished. I suggested that the cabinets be painted white and new hardware. 

This hutch is in the kitchen but on a separate area from the fireplace and the cabinets. I like the idea of a marble top, paint the piece a darker color and change out the hardware. If you do a marble top, or another material that will stand up to water, you can use as a dry bar.

A different view of the room. The table is a wood stained top and black legs. The chairs are black wood. Once the cabinets are painted white I would evaluate whether the hutch would look best in all one tone, maybe a black wash and black granite, to keep consistent with the rest of the counter tops. 

The island has a black granite top and is painted a green color. I will keep you posted on the progress of this awesome kitchen. This home is so great for entertaining. See you soon...

Monday, March 04, 2013. Doors and Knockers, Knockers and Doors

Love to see colored front doors. shows personality and sets you apart from your neighbors with just alittle can of paint...
What color to paint the door???
That's where most of us just end the thought of possibly painting the door a new color.I remember going on a college tour with my son to Muhlenberg College where many of the doors on the buildings on campus are painted a bright red color. It left an impression on me and was a bright spot on an otherwise dreary scene of brick and mortar.
A little history, Red doors are a sign of "welcome" in many countries. In Ireland it is said to ward off ghosts and evil spirits. In Chona it is a symbol of good luck for the New Year.

Blue doors are said to evoke a sense of calm and serenity

Black doors are a sign of Strength and Sophistication

Of course you have to consider the amount of sun exposure the door will get, as the color could fade. 

On to the jewelry for the door.. The knockers and the hardware. There is such a variety of items to choose from and they can be found online and in stores everywhere. Here is a cute crab knocker that is on our front door. It has a brass/ patina finish. I love it but there have been a few skeptics. At the very least, it starts a conversation as someone spots it.

Here is a pretty dragonfly from Restoration Hardware

Anthropologie has  some unique ones I thought were worth sharing.

Friday, February 15, 2013. Window Treatment Ideas

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Hi, hope you are staying warm and cozy inside your homes. This cold weather makes you appreciate your nest.

Working on my sons room and thought you'd like to see the window curtain rod.

My son loves baseball, so I thought making the rod out of a bat would be a unique idea

The concept would work with a golf club, lacrosse stick too. Love working on kids rooms.  Have a nice weekend.