Creating Cozy


This time of year my clients consistently ask me to infuse some “cozy” elements into their homes, especially because the glow of the holiday decorations has been packed away. This is easily achieved if you live in a log home like this one with a fabulous stone fireplace situated across from your bed. For the rest of us, I will share some tips today on how you can create some “cozy” without relocating to the mountains. Read more

Our Family Beach Bungalow: After Sandy

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Many readers sent in emails to see if our bungalow survived Hurricane Sandy. The good news is that it did and the amount of damage was far less than we anticipated. We are on the Jersey Shore and the houses that were directly on the ocean (about six houses from us) are gone or basically destroyed. This was the first time ever that we were happy not to be ocean-front. Read more

Building AYP: Hot Topics


Here are the Hot Topics that our readers commented on and emailed us about the most. Some even got in the press! Additional highlights for AYP include; rapid growth on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest (don’t miss my pins, I am seriously addicted!) as well as The Novogratz, Young House LoveTobi Fairley and Cari Cucksey, from the hit HGTV show Cash & Cari, all following us on Twitter, OMG.

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Wrap It Up

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My obsession with Estate Sales has its advantages this time of year. I am on the hunt weekly helping my daughter Cathy find what she needs for her clients but in addition I cannot pass up a bargain. One of my favorite bargains to collect throughout the year is ribbon and wrapping supplies. We are all feeling the pressure this weekend to get our gifts wrapped and ready to give. I am so thankful that I collect these interesting supplies all year-long, you should try it. Read more

Folding Chair Makeover


Getting ready for the holidays this weekend I pulled out our old, metal, folding chairs and wondered how could I make them look hipper or at least more presentable. I decided that my obsession with spray paint would definitely come in handy. A fresh color and coat would do the trick but some of my chairs had padding, now what? I began the search and found this fabulous DIY from Design For Mankind. Click here for step by step instructions on how to create this chair makeover, just in time for the holidays. Read more

Mudroom Mayhem


I had a super fun Wednesday getting back to everyone about their design dilemmas and project questions this week in my Just Ask category. The topic most people were interested in was organization, in particular mud rooms as we approach coat and boot season. I have designed hundreds of them so I am happy to share some inspiration.

Q. As the holidays and winter months approach I need to finally design my mud room. I have the space for built ins but wanted to also see what you can recommend if I just did a long bench with some storage. Barb L.

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Farmhouse Dream


Welcome to the home of Lori and Dan Donza. When they decided to add a great room onto to their 1950′s split level they decided to re-define their style. The goal was to create a gathering room for family and friends to enjoy spending time together, featuring a large farmhouse table and an inviting seating area to accommodate everyone in one space. This is a hip, hardworking couple who is not afraid to roll up their sleeves and get to work. They wanted to make their mark on the design and wow did they ever, just check out these before pictures.

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The Purposeful Staircase


It is so much fun answering your design questions in Just Ask and it is especially fun when several people ask a question about the same topic. This week I received five questions all about staircases and how to utilize the space underneath. Is it safe to do, tacky to do, ugly to do, pretty to do and a good idea to do? I picked the question that basically covers all of the design options regarding this topic (they also complimented me, hehehe) and I hope this provides the inspiration needed to make dead space into functional space.

Q. We are building a new home and are pretty much set with the plans except for the entrance foyer. The home is not huge so I want every bit of space to be functional and fabulous. That is where you come in; I am crazy for your blog and I know you will give me some good ideas of what I can do under the staircase. Read more

Closet Couture


I have designed hundreds of closets for my clients and I have to say there is a certain thrill in helping someone realize their Dream Closet! We all feel better about ourselves when we are well dressed and well organized.

Having a luxury closet or a closet that is organized fulfills that need as well as providing a happy space to decide what to wear that day. Imagine starting off you day in this closet, personally I would be very happy. The trend in bedroom design is less furniture pieces that house clothes (dressers and armories) and more seating areas. In smaller homes or city apartments some bedrooms even double as home offices so maximizing floor space is essential. Utilizing every inch of space in your closet is the way to go in a large or small place! Read more

Chalk It Up


Has anyone else noticed how popular chalkboard paint has become? I started noticing more and more requests from my clients recently, all asking where they could use it and how fun they thought it would be. This got me to thinking why we love the idea of chalk boards so much. Read more