Here's one of my favorite 'GREEN'  decorating tricks
and one that costs you little or nothing



How long have you been living with the same decor?

Is it looking worn, dingy, dated?
Or are you just tired of seeing the same things the same way everyday for 5, 8, 10 years?
You  may not have the budget to completely redecorate right now, but you can extend your time between redecorating
by changing things up a little




Whatever the original reason for this table
(obviously something to do with serving beverages)
no home is complete without it, or a reasonable facsimile of the same.
It is functional
(where else do you put the book you are reading or the milk and cookies?)



I have a long blank wall along the hallway at the top of my stairs
visible from the living room below
For some time now, I have been planning to do a family photo gallery there.

I thought I'd share some tips, tricks and ideas
on making beautiful and striking gallery walls or shelves

Shelves are a perfect place to display photos
they allow you to bring in other items of interest
layer for dimension
mix and match
a wall, on the other hand, is a little more difficult to keep interesting
there is only one dimension



exploring slipcovers

[image from french garden house]

more popular than ever before, custom slipcovers mimic upholstery and offer a quick change without buying new furniture.   I've been walking around my house lately, craving a change (the pitfalls of being a designer is always wanting new looks and rearranging furniture a lot) slipcovers are looking pretty good to me right now.....
they can bring the look of upholstery to wooden dining chairs
I REALLY need a change there!. . . .
I love how slipcovers soften the look of wooden chairs and add a softer dimension to a hard surfaced dining room

I love the look of fresh white slipcovers, but it wouldn't suit my dining area - I need to find a nice 'beigey linen type' fabric (how's that for definite?)
they are good for covering worn surfaces (from designer Brooke Gianetti's home) if your upholstery is a little 'aged' or outdated

perfect for neutralizing your decor
but by the same token, you could ADD color with slipcovers

they almost look like clothing for your furniture with little flirty skirts
This beigey linen type fabric (I knew there was such a thing) would work better at my house than white.  Now to decide if the skirt should go to the floor or be short and flirty....
looking even more like clothing for your furniture with laces and gathered skirting
I really love those dressmaker details on a slipcover

like buttons
(there's that beigey linen type fabric again)
or pleats
or tiny little ruffles and ties
 and more ties...

you can choose to cover or expose wood trim

have a scalloped hem or straight
this adorable chair has little pleated ruffles and an embroidered monogram
and the ties look like ballet slipper laces
who knew slipcovers could be so detailed!

Below is Billy Joel's home in the Hamptons.  Notice the slipcovered sofas
the neutral palette allows the artwork to take center stage
Not all slipcovers are white, but neutral slipcovers will allow you to change your decor easily
(just change out the pillows and accessories and you have an entirely new look)
from fresh, cool and collected
to warm and inviting

soft neutral calm
or beachy charm
only the accent fabrics and accessories need change
(this slipcover actually covers a daybed)

slipcovers fit any decorating style
If you like the white, but have pets or children - just remember
they're washable!
(if you have them custom made, make sure you use a washable fabric - and white does have advantages in that it can be bleached...)
Pottery barn has used them successfully for years

But... they don't have to be white....

use a patterned, colored, or textured fabric

sofas and chairs are not the only furniture that can be slipcovered
change the look of your bed with a slipcovered head or footboard.

a slipcover from an old rug covers the 'less than attractive' bed in this room
what a brilliant idea (I wonder if you have to vacuum it)

If you are interest in slipcovers, I have resources. I can also recommend a book on how to make them if you are adventurous.  I'm considering going along that 'adventurous' route myself - by attempting to make my own dining room chair slipcovers.....I'll let you know how that goes.....
  wish me luck!




Aganthus Green (Benjamin Moore)


Choosing a paint color can be a daunting task.  There are literally thousands of colors to choose from, and even if you know what colors you are using in your decor, wall color can be difficult.  So, some tips to help make it a little bit easier:

DO:  Choose a neutral for your background color.  (Neutrals are not limited to whites, tans, browns, greys and beige.  Every color has a neutral - muted down, or grayed versions will enhance but not overpower your decor.)  Your wall color should not be the first thing you see when you enter a room - it should all pull together as one balanced look.

This chart shows what happens when gray is added to colors, creating beautiful neutrals.

DO:  Invest in some sample pots of the colors you are considering.   Instead of painting your walls with the samples, paint two coats on poster board, leaving a 2" white border.  The advantage is that you can tack the poster board to your wall and move the board around the room and see the colors in different light.  The white border keeps your current wall color from influencing the new color.  (You may find that soft sage green turns into pea soup in the evening light, or that the soft peach is actually neon once it's on four walls).

DON'T:  Let color indimidate you.  Paint is the easiest element to change and the least expensive. 

We are all familiar with the neutrals of tan, taupe and beige and their range of colors.  If you want to explore some choices from your armchair, check out this website
Be aware beige and tan can have a pink or yellow/orange undertone.  Make sure you test on the wall (poster board) and in different light throughout the day, or it may turn ugly on you.

Clay Beige by Benjamin Moore

Woodstock Tan (Benjamin Moore)

Another popular choice in wall color
earthy and soothing greens
Green has the power to make you feel calm and serene. 

Hampton Green (Benjamin Moore)
Keep your greens soft and muted (with a grey tone to them).  Too vibrant a hue will result in this:
Yikes!!!  NOT  a neutral!

cool blues

(Valspar -Blue Arrow)

Sea Salt by Sherwin Williams

Benjamin Moore's color palette is truly exceptional.  (Pottery Barn also uses their paint for the catalog). 

I also love the yummy colors at Restoration Hardware

Restoration Hardware colors

Pale Silver (Restoration Hardware)

Silver Sage (Restoration Hardware)

A color that is growing in popularity for its sheer versatility, is Gray 
It is the new neutral - the perfect foil for virtually every other color.

Gray is not limited to the lighter version of black we grew up with.  Today's gray includes a full spectrum of color and intensity and looks beautiful paired with your favorite color.
 Take a look at these photos, and say hello to the newest neutral trend

Gray looks wonderful with silver, and surpisingly just as elegant with gold.

It is beautiful paired with cream or crisp white

It looks dramatic with black and yellow accents

Gray doesn't overpower or fight with other colors.  It is the perfect well-behaved neutral.

It warms up with burnt orange or pumpkin

One of my favorite combinations is a soothing gray beige with cream and tan
A calm gray beige with white is a perfect palette for a soothing nursery
Gray-blue creates a cool, clean classic with white and chrome/silver
Revere Pewter (Benjamin Moore) accented with black

More of my favorite grey tones with tan and cream - soft on the eye with pops of black to add contrast

Fabric and Upholstery take on the gray tones in this design by Candice Olson

Love this Grey and Beige/Cream palette.  The darker wood gives it depth.

Darker greys create a masculine atmosphere

Dove Gray - so sweet
this soft neutral gray is the perfect backdrop for this colorful palette and artwork

a combination of gray and tobacco with darker woods -
proof that gray works with nearly every color and wood tone
soft gray painted cabinets

Blue-grey and white  -  a classic look
I used these colors with black and silver accents in my son's room
blue-gray perfectly compliments these warm wood tones and orange/pumpkin accents
beautiful layers - light gray walls with deeper upholstery and rich wood tones
paired with cream again - I'm liking this!

masculine drama in charcoal with aubergine - a denser palette
this soft grey/lavender is beautiful, airy and feminine

Atmospheric (Pottery Barn color from Benjamin Moore)
(I like that tone on tone sign over the bed with the vinyl lettering)

Stonington Gray (Benjamin Moore)
Willow Creek (Benjamin Moore)
Pantone (Farrow and Ball)

design by Helen Green
Grey-greens sooth and calm - and look striking with white molding

kitchen cabinets with a grey wash

Gray is a perfect cameleon - cool on its own - when paired with warmer colors it allows them to shine
there is nothing 'cool' about this room..

tell me you love the ledge behind the bed and the giant mirror as headboard that adds light and dimension to this room.  that's creating brilliant magic, baby!

the pale gold with that beigey-gray -  poetry

Taupe is a cool brown/beige with gray tones -  so it compliments the rich tones of the wood floor and the sparkle of the mirror.  White adds an extra punch.

tan is the perfect compliment to this silver blue room

Sandy Hook Grey (Benjamin Moore)

Creekside Green (Benjamin Moore)

Soft grey blue in baby's room

white washed (gray washed) woods

A pale silver-gray on this staircase suits the silvery mirrors perfectly

Like an overcast day, gray enhances the other colors around it.  I hope you have enjoyed exploring gray with me.  I'm planning to use it in my office as I make preparations to remodel there.  I have been INSPIRED!
I Hope You Have , Too!

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