busy woman at A DESK

Permission to Do Nothing, Take Two.

About ten years ago, I wrote a column with that title ( without the take two); the gist of it was that just because you have a window does not mean you must put window covering on it. And.. just because the neighbors got a new countertop, that doesn’t mean you need to get one. And, just because there is a new paint color of the year doesn’t mean you have to paint the living room.  It was one of the most popular columns I’ve written. I really hoped, although now with hindsight I realize my hope was totally misguided, that a few people hell-bent on keeping up with the world would take notice and just slow down.  I’m not much of an optimist, actually, but I did have hopes.  I’ve since lowered my expectations.   OK, so not quite so slow. So, when the news came that we had READ MORE

my black chair

Slipcover. Yay or nay?

( Blue chair is the before, black print is the slipcover) You’ve been in one of these situations, I’ll bet:  -The purple accent chair doesn’t look so great with the new sofa.  -Uncle Jim gave you his ‘sittin’ chair, and the leather cushions are so bare you’re afraid to sit there. -The winter was hard on the sofa;  it’s wearing in places, showing blotches and kitty scratches, but it’s still really comfy. So, what’s the solution? Well, of course, you can dispose of these pieces and get new ones, but for environmental, frugal, or sentimental reasons, this might not be a viable option for you. You could give them away—same reasons for not doing that. You could get them reupholstered. But you will probably be a tad surprised at the price tag.  ( More on this in a minute.) Or, you could consider slipcovers. (I can HEAR you, you know!)  READ MORE

vector woman on a treadmill

Resolution? Start with a plan.

It just goes without saying that if you want something to change in your life, YOU have to start it. You, yourself. It’s up to you.   My promise to myself in 2020 is that I will FINALLY get the course I’m writing ‘Learn to Choose Window Coverings’ done by a certain date. If I put my nose to the grindstone and stop doing anything which doesn’t support that outcome, it’s an achievable goal. I’m allocating mornings, Monday to Friday, to this task. I’ve scheduled subjects to a calendar. I’ve grouped tasks to do several in one day rather than split like functions up. I’ll save time doing it this way.  It’s doable — provided I stick to the schedule and not allow myself to be pulled away.   And that’s the rub. Not just for getting this task done for me, but it appears that for many, many MANY people READ MORE

Stop Getting Ready to Start

I hear this a lot, “I really need to get rid of stuff”.  “If I could just get organized, I’d be able to get my little business off the ground.” “I really need some extra space in the spare room, but I just don’t have time to get all that stuff packed and moved downstairs.” “If I just buy that one thing ( book, course, tool, piece of furniture…) it will be the answer to my problem.” We don’t buy the mixer, we buy the aspiration that we will be a better baker. We buy the best sewing machine because we believe that owning it alone will make us a better sewer. We buy the book on how to declutter because it will mean we have started the process. When we buy the second book three months down the line, it will be because the first book ‘didn’t work’. I’ve READ MORE

MOney out the windows graphic

9 Ways to Reduce Home Heat Loss

 25% of your heat goes OUT your windows. If your heating bill is $100.00 for a month, about $25.00 of that goes directly out your windows. So, it ain’t rocket science to see that if you can reduce this one area of heat loss, you can actually see a dollar drop in your heating bill.

sofa too large

A Quora Question

  Just in case you don’t know about ‘Quora’, it’s an online answer forum. You ask a question and an expert will answer. I’m a Quora answerer in Home Decor and Interior Design/Decoration. If you know Quora, you know that there are some really, really, peculiar questions. But every once in awhile a question comes along which makes me think, or re-think, and I try to give a concerted reply. I got one of those today. “Why do people who really can’t afford it hire a designer?” As someone who charges money for consultations on color, interior decoration or window coverings, let me share a few things you may not know about professionals like me. If we have managed to stay in the business for 10 years or longer, there is a really strong chance we know what we are talking about and can give some good advice. The industry READ MORE

A Year, Already???

We are closer to Christmas than we are to the last July long weekend. THAT puts it into perspective, a bit, doesn’t it?    Here are a few tips you can use to get your spaces ready for Christmas, without breaking the budget, again, or still. With decorating, you want to remember to put your money where you can see it.  If you need new curtains in the kitchen or drapes in the living room this is the time to do them. Fabrics are on sale- both in the stores and through me, and if you act soon, you can still have the new look in time for Christmas.    So – spend a bit of money on fabric and use the following tips to get the rest of the house spiffed up. De-clutter your public spaces.   You may not realize how disconcerting your clutter is to your guests. READ MORE

spools of thread

I Don’t Need as Much as I Thought

I don’t need as much as I thought I did.  All the pictures are off my walls. All the stuff I thought I liked to have around me is out of sight.  A lot of it has been trashed or given away. Too much is in storage. I’m selling my condo and I had to ‘depersonalize’. It’s a tough thing to do, but holy moly is it a great exercise. I mean, how many sheets does a home with one bed really need? Or how many towels?  Or how many ruddy muffin pans?  I know 24 muffin pans is too many. My ole Aunt M was a military wife, and after they got notice that they were being stationed to Norman Wells for a year — in the early 1950’s I believe, —  they were told to plan to take in the food staples they would need for a year. She got a big READ MORE

patio in the snow

Summer Furniture Fabric Round-up

Even though summer will not be with us for much longer, our outdoor furniture often stays outside well into the fall, and that’s fine. It’s OK to leave it out all year round if you’ve chosen the right fabric and foam. There is no reason good outdoor furniture can’t be used and enoyed for many, many seasons.Let’s look at what makes a fabric suitable for outdoor use so when you are looking for new fabric for covers this winter you will know what to look for. Fiber content.  Natural fibers – like cotton and linen – are very affected by the sun and bleaching and fiber deterioration will usually take place in one season. Yes, they are natural and bio-degradeable, and can also be organic, but you need to consider them as one-season wonders. After one full summer, here, you will see a lot of sun fade, and that is READ MORE

Is a T-shirt the summer shirt?

No, it’s not, and you should stop wearing them in the summer. This is short and sweet — and gives you the answer to how to feel cooler in the summer.  Please take pity on the little ones. They don’t know that polyester shirts ( or T-shirts) will make them feel the heat MORE… actually up to more than 10 degrees. If it’s 25 outside, and your little one has a T-shirt on, under that T-shirt the heat may feel like about 35 to them.  And to you too.  If you are wearing T-shirts as your summer shirt, or putting one on your child. please think again. The following section is from a column  I published a few years ago. And now to one of my pet peeves. Again. I feel sorry for people who suffer in the summer heat. I don’t feel sorry for people who suffer in the READ MORE