Keep it up…then sit back, because life is good…enough!

Okay…June is here and we have all our Spring Stuff done, right??…

Done…what do you mean…done?? Is it ever really done? No, not really.  If you own a home, you are never really done.  Face it…there is always something to clean, something to paint, something to tidy, something to throw out.  I think sometimes, that is the greatest thing about moving.  It provides the perfect opportunity to clean, paint, tidy, and throw out!  It’s something I’ve been working on all winter…it’s the reason for what started as my hobby, and led to an obsession (oh, I mean career!).  It is a necessary evil that surrounds us all, whether we do a once-a year scrub down…or the more complicated path I have chosen, the once-every-six-years move and shake things up a bit!  It’s as my friend, Suzanne says, “It’s the process that we love.” 

So, whether you are staying in your home to live, or getting ready to sell and move…don’t fret if you haven’t got it all done.  Keeping up with the care and maintenance of your home really is the key.  One of my favorite clients this year was selling her home after 20+ years of living and loving it.  They had raised their family there, and now were faced with the daunting task of packing it all up to move.  The lady of the house hired me to help her work through all that needed doing to prepare for their move.  What an excellent student!!  She did everything that I asked of her.  We used what we could of existing decor.  She cleaned.  We painted and repaired.  She tidied and threw out…donated what she could for furniture and items she would no longer need.  As we chatted one day after a particularly gruelling day of work, she commented on how much work it was to do all the things necessary to get the house ready for sale.  She worried that 20 years of wear and tear on her home would make it difficult to sell.  I told her not to worry about it, because when all the work was done, and the time was right, her house would sell and she would be on to her next big adventure.  How do I know this??  I have moved 13 times (I think…), I have sold 4 homes, I have painted, renovated, redecorated, and revamped I don’t know how many houses.  And I believe that everything happens when it’s supposed to.  My last house sold in less than two weeks…in a recession…on an acreage. 

And so we finished our project.  And her house sold in just over a month…in still-a-recession…on an acreage.  And I told my client, “See…I knew it would happen when the time was right.”

Your home is your biggest investment.  Take care of it.  Clean it, paint it, up-date it, and love it!  And when it’s time for a new phase in your life…don’t be scared of the change to come.  Get busy with the work that needs to be done, and believe…everything will work out the way its supposed to.

PS//Thanks to my Polly…my biggest fan!  One of my soul-sisters and a constant source of encouragement…and laughs!  Love you, my friend.

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Outdoor Pursuits…Freshen up, then sit back and enjoy!

The arrival of May means to most that we can finally get outside of our homes after a long-endured winter!  For me, it means my annual Mother’s Day trip to the local greenhouses…even if it is too cold to plant, it is so fantastic to just wander through the greenery, smell the fresh aroma of the newly planted seedlings, and admire the gorgeous floral baskets that I don’t dare purchase because it’s still just too cold out! 

For the painter in me, May is the perfect time for a fresh coat of stain on outdoor decks.  It is great to get this task out of the way before the rest of summer hits!  Our family has recently moved into our 5th home and through my 20+ years of renovating, I am staining yet another deck.  Through the years, the products available have improved greatly.  For this latest project, I have chosen SICO’s Exterior Wood Protector in Driftwood.  It is a great color to harmonize with my beige exterior.  It has a blue tinge going on, but dries down to a beautiful weathered-grey color.  This works well with the stone accents on the front of our home that have my favorite shades of caramels, tans, and greys. 

Even if your deck is constructed of pressure-treated wood, it is desirable to stain it.  If your home is brand new, then let it sit for a year to weather a bit as it will take the stain better.  Staining pressure treated wood gives it a finished look and reduces the signs of water staining.  Don’t be afraid!!  As with anything connected with your home, upkeep is the key.  There are so many great Exterior Stain Products out there…their resilience to wear and UV damage is greatly improved and once that initial coat has been applied, you can even skip a year before re-coating.  And of course, the vertical surfaces of your structures are going to weather far less than the horizontal, so they require less re-coating over the years.

To those who know me really well, it will be no surprise, that I am not just going to use one color of stain on my decking!  Choose your shades according to your needs and requirements of your home.  My previous two properties, which were acreages, both led me to use a sandstone shade for all horizontal surfaces.  Anyone living in the country, and also any lake or beach property, will find blending your surface to the mud and sand tracking up to your door to be a sanity-saving move!!  For my current decking, I am adding a second shade (yet to be determined…) to break up the length of the deck surface.  And the designer in me has to add the creativity to jazz it up a bit.  Stay tuned…

Stacey…

Color, Color…so many choices!

I had a wonderful conversation with a client recently.  She couldn’t decide on a color…because she just loved so many options.  What a great dilemma, though very stressful for some.  My personal and my company motto has always been, why wash walls when you can paint??  It’s true, don’t you think? 

 There are so many gorgeous colors and patterns and fabrics coming on the market.  We are so influenced by the colors that surround us.  Each person has their own color palette that makes them feel a variety of moods…happy, energized, cozy, relaxed.  And the same goes for your home.  I believe that each home has its own color palette that reflects back all that it represents regarding the family that lives there, the atmosphere, the tone and mood.  Of course, that’s not to say we cannot paint and change it up!

A while ago, my assistant and I were happily painting a client’s home, and discussing my latest home (yes…I have had a few!)  She asked me if I brought “the door” to the new house?  I laughed…No, I did not bring “the door”!  The door she was speaking of was my pantry door.  I had studied this plain white, boring door for a few years; changed it from white, to taupe, to tan…nothing suited my lovely black tiles and countertops and stainlesss appliances.  Then, one day as I sat deep in thought with my coffee in hand, I had a shot of inspiration!  Black…that door needs to be black.  But why would I paint a plain, boring black??  Let’s spice it up and try a paint finish to add some interest and character to that boring, blah door.  And so “the door” came about!  A lovely black door with plaster details, crackled and distressed, brushed gold and silver highlights peeking through.  Ahhh…perfect. 

I am pretty sure the new homeowners would have noticed “the door” missing!  And so, I didn’t bring it–I now have a new pantry door to finish.  Hmmm…what to do?  I just know this house won’t have a black door…its just not a black house.  It is a cream house I have determined.  It will be filled with cream colors…and some gold and silver…and it will be a process of love for me to decorate and paint my home.  And as every home should be…it will be just great, because it has a family that loves it!

I have been back to visit, and see “the door”.  The lovely lady that resides there now LOVES “the door”!  Perfect…

Stacey

Re-fresh, re-juvenate, and be happy…it’s Spring!

As we all work towards making our world a more green place to be, there is also lots of reasons why we should make our homes not only green…but a place of sanctuary…a place where we feel comfort as soon as we walk through the door.  We all know what it is like…to balance family, work, play, and find time for sanity is really tough, it seems!

There are many ways to bring a sense of calm to a hectic, crazy life that most of us lead.  For most of us, the sad truth is that we have too much stuff!  It is Spring Time, so it is time to freshen up your home…and your mind!  Get rid of the clutter.  If your items still have some use in them, donate them to a thrift store.  Throw out the stuff that has done its time. And look closely at what you really need in that room to make you happy?  Can you edit the kids art work, family photos, papers and books?  Is there a different way to arrange your furnishings?  Do you really need all the furniture that you have??  Donate it also to a needy family or the thrift store.  Pare things down, and you will immediately feel a sense of calm coming over you.  Your room will be easier to keep clean and organized, and you can concentrate on the more important things in your life…kids, family, and maybe some quiet time with that special someone in your life!

One of the mission statements of my company is to help bring peace and harmony to my client’s homes.  We truly believe that you are affected by all that surrounds you…your space, your colors, and perhaps most importantly  of all…the people in your life.  Back from a recent trip to the States which involved time spent with collegues, suppliers, family and friends (and, of course, some time spent decorating!)…I can’t tell you the happiness it brings me to be surrounded by positive people.  It is a statement that I have tried to live by my whole adult life.  They bring you up, they celebrate your successes, they inspire and encourage, and they are always there when you need them.  These are my friends.  I share both professional and personal ideas with them, maybe a glass of wine…and I value them for who they are as people.  I am constantly amazed at how many nice people you can meet in your travels.  This global world really is a small world. 

So as you refresh your home this spring by de-cluttering, maybe adding a fresh coat of paint, and getting rid of all the extra stuff that you just don’t need…remember to re-juvenate yourself as well!  Surround yourself with positive people.  Learn something new.  Go have some fun with an old friend. 

And feel happy and blessed that you have great people around you.

Stacey

70’s Influence Strong…Again!

I was so excited to see so much 70’s influence popping up all over the place…on the fashion front and for your home. 

When Steven Tyler walked out on stage last week as judge of American Idol…I nearly jumped out of my chair!  What a fantastic shirt…and where did he get it??  This really is what we are seeing in the Design World…the jewel tone colors of purples, reds, turquoises…which have kind of been surfacing for a while.  But now they are mixed with beads and jewels.  The materials are soft, layered, and float naturally, evoking the free-spirit sense that was so strong in the 70’s.

On a recent visit to a local Fashion and Home Decor Store, I was thrilled to see the vibrant colors and gemstones featured in a new line of jewellry this lovely store is featuring.  Fabulous!!  My daughter was along for the trip, and she just loved the young funky vibe of the colors and the fun attitude of every piece.  In the meantime, I had a deja-vu back to when I was about 8…when mom sewed me a funky corduroy outfit with flared bell bottoms, which I paired with my peace-sign appliqued running shoes…Stylin’!!

And so…I am super-excited to see the Peace sign has resurfaced.  I can’t wait to stroll through the shops this spring and see all that is new, get inspired on how to change up my house and the homes of my clients.  And I can’t wait to re-live the 70’s…new and even better this time around.

Stacey

Hello world!

Welcome to my new blog…filled with tons of SAGE Advice!

Upon the encouragement of a dear friend, I have created my blog out of my passion for Design…but of so much more!!   Look for Tips and Tidbits on ways to have the best balance of life and home.  

I LOVE all that is unique and different in this world…don’t you?  I am obsessed with change, new things, new people, and…yes, admittedly– new furniture! 

Follow me as I try to learn all that I can in this world…about home design and decor, healthy living, and what’s new and hot in style and home fashion…and paint colors, of course!

Happy March!

Stacey…

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