Here we are again and the weather should start to change soon, although it’s still raining here in Seattle!

I was thinking this might be a good time of year for a refresh again. There is no way to make a room stand out than by creating a focal wall. The architectural details of your space will give you inspiration. If you are in an apartment or room devoid of trim you can still add your own interest. This can be done by adding interesting wall colors, unique details, wall treatments, furniture and special accessories. Usually the cost can be low unless you are adding millwork or special details through hiring a contractor.

Here is how I would start: first find out which wall or area in your home is what you want to emphasize. Then rearrange the space to accommodate that area and add some interest.

  1. Fireplace Drama- Make this wall the center of attention by adding a beautiful marble or stone face. If you have brick, seal and paint the brick a color complimentary color to your trim work. Replace the mantel with a larger or more attractive piece. Place a large mirror or large scale artwork over the mantel. Add some interesting accessories on the mantel and hearth. Symmetrical is formal and uneven is casual.
  2. A Dramatic Entrance- Choose the longest entry wall and either paint it with special effects or wallpaper it in a large scale geometric pattern. Add a narrow long entry table and adorn it with special accessories or memorabiliy. Place a large piece of artwork over the top or a smaller grouping. You can even add some lamps for effect.
  3. In the Dining Room- you can create attention by placing a buffet or long table against a long wall and either paint with a dramatic color or a statement wallpaper. Again use the accessories and artwork with lamps to finish the details. If needed you can even paint the sideboard in a special paint finish.
  4. Powder Room- it is easy to choose the focal point here, usually the sink wall. Paint or paper the accent wall, add some glam with silver or chrome finishes, add a large decorative mirror and some complimentary towels and accessories. You can even add sconce light fixtures for ambient light.
  5. The Master Bedroom- The wall behind the headboard works well to add drama. A dark or special paint finish or a large wallpaper pattern, even grasscloth for softness and texture. Then artwork it’s the drama that you want to add over the bed or at the nighstands. A pair of nightstands and lamps (not to small in size) and you have a lovely boudoir. I do have to say if you do not have a headboard- get one! Add some beautiful pillows on a duvet or comforter and you have a hotel style bedroom to relax in.
  6. Other places- to add drama are up at the ceiling with special paint finishes, wallpaper or artwork. As well as stairways with a grouping of complimentary art or family photos.

Look around your home and see where you can add just a little bit more detail to make it a special focal area for you and your guests to enjoy. And always is you need help just call for a consultation.


Ultra Violet lights the way to what is yet to come, says Pantone.

It is that time of year again when all the paint companies change to their own Color of the Year.

I thought I would do a quick update to what is new as the easiest change you can make in the New Year for refreshing your home is in the Paint Color.

Pantone is known as the guru when it comes to color but they also do color based on all things- clothing, vehicles, interiors and more. So although it is nice to know their colors, I would stick with the local paint stores for your interior color. Pantone’s color for 2018 is UltraViolet 18-3838. A Beautiful purple which you will see in accessories and fashion.

Sherwin Williams’s choice is Oceanside SW6496 a rich jewel tone blue. It’s a complex deep color that bridges blues and greens.

They have 3 paint palette categories:

Sincerity which has hushed tones of sand, complex grays and hazy botanicals. It is influenced by our nesting instincts of decluttering, soothing spaces, and imperfect finishes.

Unity refers to global community and a sense of adventure, extending our boundaries. Tassels, knots, woodgrain, woven fabrics, natural crafts, fold patterns are found in this style.

Connectivity is driven by data influences, customizing, tech world mindfulness about our environment and food. It has a lot of stripes and geometrics and changes direction with lines. It is a high tech palette.


Benjamin Moore named Caliente AF290 their color of the year. It is a strong radiant color full of energy. A bold color used for a front door, upholstery or accents in the interior or on a wall.

Their color palette continues which pinks, red, rust to grays and blues, some neutrals and a rich gold.


Whatever the “trends” are in color it should be something that you can live with for a long time. Purchasing small pieces in the “now” color will allow you to easily change it later. Paint in a room or as an access is an inexpensive way to use the colors temporarily.

Good luck choosing your new colors to refresh your home. Remember you can always hire a professional for a bit of guidance and may save you some anxiety and money from making a mistake.

Happy New Year!

An intimate living room with gray accent wall, stone mantle, wood floors and red area rug is equal parts contemporary and cozy.

Sprucing Up A Kitchen

Are you thinking of adding a special touch to your kitchen? Without doing a full remodel you can add some special finishes and change the look. If your counter top material is good you can just add a new backsplash. Let’s say you purchased a home and you don’t like the backsplash but you can tolerate the countertop, especially if it is granite or quartz.

Using a new tile can add focus to your kitchen. Newer kitchens will extend the splash all the way up to the upper cabinets, that’s what we call a “full height splash”. Choosing the pattern and specific tile can be tricky but there are a lot of choices out there. A classic look which is still popular is subway tile. It comes in ceramic and glass and in several sizes like 3”x6” a standard but also large format sizes too. Tile can be horizontal or vertical, matte or glazed, some have a crackle finish, and some have beveled edges. There are several good tile companies to look at your choices. Here in Seattle I would go to Dal Tile, OTM, United Tile, Statements and Contract Furnishings Mart. You may need to ask your tile installer to give you an idea of how much will need, don’t worry he can purchase it for you if you need. He can also remove the old tile on the wall.

To add a special detail I like to make a statement over the cooktop with a framed out inset of a tile detail. Don’t forget to choose the grout! It can be an exact match or a contrasting color like gray. The contrasting color will make each tile stand out and create its own design.

If you want to add deco’s then choose one that complements your tile. Look for ideas on how to install their pattern, go to the tile company’s websites or check HOUZZ for ideas.

Pay special attention to how the tile blends in with your countertop, cabinet color and flooring. They should all complement each other. It doesn’t have to be “matchy” but the undertones of each item colors should be the same- otherwise you could end up with a pink toned tile with an orange toned cabinet! Don’t forget your paint color, which is the easiest thing to change.

So remember for tile choices think: Size, Finish, Color, Pattern, Grout.

It sometimes pays to get professional help to just pick out the details.



Welcome to the New Year 2017! For me the end of 2016 went fast and furious as I embarked on new projects. Recently I was available in a booth at the Remodel Show in Seattle for complimentary consultations and many people stopped by to ask about the concerns over their projects.

So I thought I would share some of my thoughts on pulling together a project.

I usually consider the largest ticket item- expense and work from there. It could be a new floor, cabinets or even a sofa. Choose the item and its color and characteristics then layer in the other items or surfaces. In this case the floor needed to be selected first, then the cabinets, then the countertop and lastly the tile splash. I do usually consider the furnishings to be purchased into this color scheme, comparing photos, catalogs and accessories. You can see that it flows and takes into account the costs of each item. In a living room it might be the expensive area rug, or custom art, then the sofa as the foundation for style and then the chairs, which might have more color to them, lastly the tables.

There is always an inspiration piece whether that is a photo of something you like, a piece of art, beautiful granite or quartz or an area rug. It usually does have the colors in it that you will be pulling out into the room. If you can decide on what style you like and stick with that idea is will go easier for you.

The idea is to layer your selections to suit the color scheme and style. You do this by selecting one piece at a time but try and select all your materials prior to purchasing. It won’t turn out piece meal that way. This is not easy as usually a contractor has a time schedule or your budget isn’t able to purchase all at once, ect. Always have available the materials you have selected when you are choosing new ones. This can be by a photo on your phone or ipad but is most helpful if you have a folder and keep samples with you when shopping. Then always bring the items back to your project to check the color in that light.

In new construction I will try and “walk” the exterior style and color into the interior of the home. Selecting stone and paint to compliment the interiors cabinets and granite. I do try and assemble all the materials before ordering. That means exterior stone, paint body and trim color, kitchen cabinets/granite/tile/plumbing, then bathroom tiles, all interior paint and flooring and that includes any office and laundry. Since this is a large project that takes time then allow yourself enough time to get all the materials together so the ordering process goes smoothly. And don’t be surprised if in the meantime something is cancelled and you have to reselect. But it’s easier as you already have a palette to work with. It’s hard to fall in love with an item and reselect but a lot of times it turns out better!

I hope this helps to identify how to make choices when designing a new space. Give yourself time, have patience and enjoy the process. As always if you have trouble call for a consult.




I thought I would write about the beautiful gray fabrics that are in production now. Grays are very popular and come both in warm and cool tones. Scalamandre is a luscious fabric line with many colors and weaves of fabrics.

I love this photo as it shows all the necessary textures needed to make a monochromatic room warm and sophisticated. In this case I refer to monochromatic as a single hue or one major color tone for the palette. The word “hue” refers to the selected color. By using this warm gray and adding slight accent color tones the gray is the focus. Just look at how beautifully the textures fill out the space: a sleek fabric with a glossy diamond pattern between two classic cottons with classic styles are nestled on the sofa as pillow accents. The sofa has a rich, thick tweedy texture with a classic style and turned dark wood legs with shiny chrome feet. The rich linen damask roman shade at the window offers extra pattern and texture. The throw on the ottoman has a cashmere look to it with a paisley layer of multiple grays and a slight blue for soft accent colors. The pom pom trim adds a bit of whimsy.

The ottoman itself adds another type of fabric in that it is leather. The sisal rug brings out the soft warm golden tones in the throw.

Take some time to examine all of the details in the photo and the layering of fabrics and textures. Then the next time you want to do a similar one hue color scheme you’ll know how to go about it!



Are You Experiencing Spooky Colors this October?

There are several trend forecasts out this year for 2017. Here are just a couple of ideas from my favorite paint brands.


Color of the Year- Shadow 2117-30 a rich, royal moody gray amethystJust extinguished candles on table against a purple wall

Colors are soft and cast shadows and light on a room with an interplay of light and dark. Colors: Grays-Stormy Monday, Wet Concrete, whites- Wish, Cloud Cover, Porcelain, yellow-Amulet, Etruscan, Teal- Sea Star, Iceberg and more, Try it in Aura or Regal Select bases.


Color of the Year- Poised Taupe SW 6039- an earthy gray resulting in to a weathered woodsy complex color

Sherwin Williams divides the colors into groups. Noir is a deep palette of blues to black to grape, poised taupe falls in this group. Holistic is a soft palette of soothing colors- greens and blues- Stardew, Mountain Air,  Acier, Sheraton Sage, corals- Brandywine, Roycroft and for a dark color Deep Forest Brown. Intrepid is an energic palette of black- Caviar, purples- Kimono Violet and Dahlia, orange- Serape, Emotional and a green Citronella. Lastly Unbounded a bold group with bright colors- Freshwater blue, Coral Reef coral, Bee yellow, Adriatic Sea marine blue and Sealskin brown. These are not all the colors offered, go to the store and check out the colormix for yourself.

PANTONE: the Color Marketing Group is the color group that predicts and markets colors for all the products we use from cars to clothing and there new 2017 forecast will be coming out soon for fall. There will be some soft greens to bold hues. Stay tuned.

Here are some of my tips for using paint: Always be sure to look at a large sample of the color in your room both during the day and at night. Some areas may have less light than others and therefore change the color to a darker shade or let the undertone of the color “pop” out more. I always get a real sample of the paint color to test and don’t rely on the paper color strip as it is not actual paint. There can also be an undertone of red, yellow, blue or green to the color “hue” so make sure it’s appealing in your room. Do you want a warm tone or a cool tone? Usually the more complex the color is by having several tints to it the richer the color. Paint can surprise you so take your time and do your homework so when it goes on the wall you are not disappointed. Also there is no right or wrong when it comes to ceiling or trim color. Usually a softer white is warmer than a stark white, trim can be the same as the wall color or the ceiling. Be sure and get a good quality paint product. Study your room for the affect that you want. Make your room timeless for your style. And as always if you need help I am just a color consult away, 425-795-6380sw-img-diy-coty4-17-lp1





Welcome Fall! Today is the first day of fall and although I still enjoy the sunshine I am getting the “bug” to decorate for fall. One of the friendliest ways to decorate is to accent your front door. If you already have a color painted on your front door then use that color to display more decorative items on your step or porch. An autumn wreath is always a friendly addition to your door. If you can’t nail it on the door place it eye height on the wall at the entry. Autumn leaves can be wrapped around posts or poked into a bale of hay or pots. Pots can be cleared of dying plants and an evergreen plant changing colors or fall plants can be used to fill the pots. Pumpkins can be placed on steps whether artificial or real they are welcoming. Choose a variety of heights when decorating, use can use boxes, crates, bales of hay, anything that elevates. Other interior decorating items can be used too as long as the porch is covered. Don’t forget the beautiful doormats available for fall. Fall is all those beautiful orange and brown colors but you can add greens, black, reds and other accessory colors- just stay with a theme. It is always hard to decorate for fall without including Halloween, but if possible start early and then after the first week of October you can add your “spooky” items to include the holiday!






How about rearranging your living or family area to create a comfortable and inviting space? Here are some tips to get you started:

Always create a conversation area to allow for a face to face chat

If there is a fireplace in the center of the room, allow it to be the focal point and arrange around it

If there is no focal point then create one by using windows, TV, art or an interesting display on a table

If there is a view then pull the furniture back to the wall to face the windows

Plan for traffic flow; allow walkways to be at least 30” between pieces

Allow 18” between a coffee table and a sofa for sitting and reaching the table with beverages

Anchor the arrangement with a rug, coffee table or ottoman

If the space is tight try nesting tables or round tables since they are easier to maneuver around

For TV viewing, plan 8-12’ distance from the TV, best viewing angle is about 30 degrees, allow traffic to flow behind the TV if possible

Plan for built in’s or freestanding pieces to house the TV

Use storage pieces for the perimeter of the room such as: a desk, hutch, buffet, and console with doors

For a larger space or irregular room with no free walls pull the furniture toward the center of the room and float it

For a conversation group place pieces about 8’ apart in a larger space, try 2 sofa’s facing each other. Then create a separate conversation area with a grouping of 2 chairs and a table

For a long narrow room create a comfortable grouping with a sofa and 2 chairs opposite each other that are lightweight with open legs (not skirted). Allows you to move the furniture easier and is less bulky

Use good lighting for ambient and task activities

Create some personality by adding colorful pillows, throws, artwork and accessories                             100185265.jpg.rendition.largest[1]

As always- good luck with your arranging. If you need help with your spaces call me.

Journey with Mom

  • Well May has ended and I meant to do a post but here we are at June 1st, my monthly post is late.

This month I would like to talk about my mother. Stella is 95 years old as of last week. She has been a great example for me about aging.

Since this month I’d like to talk about aging and safety, I’d like to give you a few tips. She has Macular Degeneration, central vision problems.

She just had eye surgery for blood in her left eye that obstructed her vision. Now we will wait and see if it helped.

When you are dealing with safety here are some suggestions:P1040284

  • Clear all floors of rugs and loose items that could cause falls
  • Make sure the clocks, phones and TV’s are simple and easy to use and operate, backlighting is good
  • If balance is a problem have them use a cane, walker or wheelchair
  • Educate them on the correct use of the assistive device
  • Openings to doorways should be wide enough for a walker/wheelchair to enter
  • Thresholds should be as low as possible
  • Use grab bars and easy to use door handles and faucets
  • Be aware of safety in cooking areas
  • Explain the “who, what, why and how” of treatments and procedures you expect them to participate in. Repeat as necessary
  • Make their tasks of daily living as simple as possible to encourage independance
  • Allow plenty of time for rest as fatigue exacerbates falls
  • Expect confusion in the night time hours and plan for safety
  • Have a friend or family member accompany them during tasks. In a retirement home there are always willing friends
  • Make staff and caregivers aware of any changes in health

Good luck with your loved ones and if you need any help making their home safe for aging in place call me for a consult.

Guest Suite

Guest Suite


Here we are in great spring weather. This is a good time to think about your guest room as company may be on your doorstep in no time. I would suggest freshening up your guest room. There are some easy things to do to make it warm and welcoming and new for your guests.

First of all clean out the cobwebs and spray a freshening scent to charm your guests. Create a cozy reading nook by either putting a small chair or a club chair in a corner nook. If you can find space place a small side table and lamp (table or floor) next to it. There are many versions of round and square tables on the market now. I would place a dresser or desk in the area so you can sit some special needs nearby. Take a basket or container and fill it with a bottle of water, some munchies sealed in their wrapper- nuts or crackers, a magazine or a book. Maybe some directions to local businesses or tourists spots, a table and pen, where to find the closest coffee shop.

Next go to work on the bedding. Fine linen sheets are always the best. Check the thread count as the larger the number the finer the sheets. They are cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Usually a white or neutral color is best. When was the last time you enjoyed staying in a hotel and what did they have on the bed and to display in the room. Place a nice neutral blanket on the sheets. The comforter can be a duvet or a coverlet in a pattern or solid color. Do use feather down pillows and not the inexpensive polyfill. Ok you can have an extra in the closet in case of allergies. Then because someone may need an extra blanket or pillow, I would stash that in the top of the closet. A good lamp and clock by the bedside is nice.

Then if there is a bathroom near I would supply it with some sample toiletries and soft white towels. A fragrant candle or potpourri is nice also.

The idea is to create a retreat that you would enjoy if you were traveling. So go in that extra room now and dust it off and make it welcoming. You might just find out that you want to go in there and spend a night for yourself!

As always call if you need help or ideas. Patty  @ 425-793-6380                                                          RMS_KarenSpirit-green-blue-contemporary-guest-bedroom-coastal_s4x3.jpg.rend.hgtvcom.616.462[1]