5 ways to add interest to your walls

You can add interest, architectural detail, or drama to your walls to create a more unique and personalized space. Wether you opt for the DIY methods or hire a professional to help you achieve your look, I want to see your results!

1. Awesome wallpaper- Yes, there are fabulous wallpapers out there! Pairing flocked wallpaper with great mill work allows this bright color to create a playful entry.

Be warned though….you need a smooth wall to pull off many wallpaper designs. But have no fear, a good paper hanger can float your walls first to create that smooth look without skim coating your textured walls.image

2. Wainscoting- Often used in dining rooms to add architectural detail or to help create a more intimate space. There are grooved wainscoting sheets available at your local DIY or lumber yard (4 x8) but spend a little more for the real stuff. It’s worth the extra money in its effectiveness and finish quality. And please don’t limit this feature to the bottom of your walls….look up and apply it to your ceilings (your 5th wall)!


3. Peel-able decals- Technology has brought us the ability to create our own images to be used as wall paper or decals. You can take an antique map into your local reprographics shop, they scan and scale it for you, and print out a vinyl that can be installed in your home that reminds you of that fabulous vacation to Italy.


4. High gloss paint- Choose a stencil or pattern, measure a lot, and create a space with depth and attitude that works great in dining rooms, hallways, bedrooms or just about anywhere.


5. Wood- not the wood paneling that just popped into your head! Reclaimed wood set typically or in a herringbone pattern, engineered exotic hardwoods, any wood with character can create an accent wall that suits many design styles.


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Benjamin Moore – Chalkboard Paint in ANY COLOR!!!

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Marble in the kitchen?

Marble has been in European kitchens for decades.  But American’s have been sold on the “perfect look”…the highly polished granite. We want our counters to remain pristine and have that show room polish. But I am here to challenge you to rethink the materials you use in your kitchens and the rest of your home!

One option for you to consider is marble. Marble is a gorgeous natural stone that can add warmth and a ton of character to your home. Kitchens are often the heart of a home and many families are choosing to opt for open spaces and great rooms to allow for their families to be in the kitchen together, to bring guests into the kitchen, and make memories and traditions that last for generations to come. So if you are looking for a legacy of love and warmth wrapped around family mealtimes, let you countertops join you.

There are many marbles to choose from, such as:

The traditional white marble, Carrara Marble, from Tuscany, Italy. It is primarily a white or blue grey marble.

Carrara marble countertops

I am super excited about another marble, Eramosa, from Canada. This gorgeous marble looks similar to wood when vein cut.


Eramosa Limestone

I look forward to seeing this marble in a kitchen I am working on!! I will post photos when it’s done.

Marble is waterproof, heatproof and beautiful! It’s finish can be polished, honed or leathered. Polished being the most common finish because this is how it arrives from the quarry. Honed finish is created by removing the very top layer of polished stone and is a very desirable finish. A leathered treatment it a little more work with brushes to create a slightly textured surface. Leathering is a very good finish for kitchen counters as it will be more durable.

Don’t be afraid to use a natural stone other than granite in your kitchen. You will enjoy the stories your countertops will tell of birthdays, Saturday dinners with friends, or family times together.

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Nursery Ideas

While we are awaiting the birth of our third child any day now I thought I would share a few nursery ideas. When you think of paint, think outside the solid wall color….think stripes, plaid, argyle or dots! Bring in unexpected pieces to create a room you will most likely be spending a lot of time in.

I love the paint in this room! Great for larger rooms with great light. Our nursery is not large so we have incorporated one argyle strip and I will post those photos soon.

Photo from Design Dazzle

And for your girl….

Pink and green argyle nursery

OK….if this is too much for your room. Try just a small bit like this one:

Large single argyle accent wall

I love this barn door! A sophisticated nursery for a little cowboy or girl. Love the neutral tones with the pop of my favorite color…orange.

Sophisticated cowboy/cowgirl nursery

For those afraid of color….skip the next one! This very bright room is very fun during non nap times….not sure I could sleep in there though. But I must give credit to the bold idea and great composition.

Not afraid of color!

How about a more soothing monochromatic scheme. Random letters or your child’s name would be super fun in this nursery. Keep the decor simple and let the letters shine. Speaking of….try doing them not only in different shades of blue, but also different paint finishes such as high gloss.

Painted letters monochromatic nursery photo:Decor Pad

And how about stripes….these are large neutral stripes that really allow the wall decals to pop. But so much better than a solid colored wall.

Large neutral stripes photo: www.babylifestyles.com

And lastly…how about dots?

Modern dots nursery

Modern dots nursery

So have some fun. Be creative. I’ll let you know how ours turns out soon!


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An addictive website! ONE KING’S LANE

Since I was introduced to this website, I have been addicted! Terrific carpets, holiday items, table top, luggage, cashmere throws, candles….and so much more at GREAT discounts! I have had a couple of very happy clients who saved a lot of money shopping here!

So let me introduce you…….  https://www.onekingslane.com/invite/tristangary

Brown and Ivory geometric rug

And what’s fun is that once you sign up, you can invite your friends/family to join and you get credit.

I love these 22″ pillows at $52 for the pair!


22" Red and White Pillows


Archipelago CandlesFlorentine 3 Tiered Server

This is an elegant server just in time for the holidays!

Florentine 3 Tiered Server

Enjoy the website and let me know of any great buys you make, treasures you find, or Christmas presents for me 😉




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Unique Design Finds

 Today’s post is brought to you by unique designs I find in my searches….maybe not all are what you might put in your home today…..but fun to see, appreciate, gawk at anyway. Do you have a favorite?

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Interior Fall Color Palette…ala Salted Caramel Mocha

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4 reasons to hire a professional to stage your home.

Because 1st Impressions do matter!

  • MONEY! Staged homes sell, on average, 8-10% higher, according to the NAR (National Association of Realtors). According to HomeGain real estate, staging your home is the 2nd highest home improvement you can do to get the highest ROI (Return on investment). Agents surveyed through HomeGain report the overall prices of a 3bd/2ba home, after spending between $5,000-$8,000 on professional whole house staging, can result in the following price increases: in the West, as high as $22,762; in the East, as high as $23,532; in the South, $21,470; in the Mid-West, $20,279. All of those figures reflect over a 150% return on investment.


  • Staged homes sell faster! According to Realtors:

Nationwide: 5.3% of Realtors think the home sells days faster (less than a week)

44.8% think a home sells weeks faster

25.8% think a home sells months faster

Higher inventory means that buyers can take their time looking for just the right
home. The goal is to make them want yours!  By highlighting the best features of your home and making it more desirable than the next one, they won’t want to risk losing

  • A professionally staged home photographs well. According to the NAR’s research of buyers, 90% of all buyers start their search online.  Give buyers areason to visit your listing first with great photos of a well-staged home.  A buyer may overlook 1 less bathroom or lack of garage if they can “see themselves” living in your home.


  •  Advertising your listing as being professionally staged! The fees you pay that increase the value of your home and help it sell faster can also be tax deductible! Ask your CPA for more details.
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Do you feel good when you walk in your space?

The goal of our home or business is to feel great and make you happy to walk in right? Maybe you are living with outdated furniture or finishes that you don’t like and that make you feel heavy or tired when you walk in.  I know I *sigh* at a few sights around my own home after combining my and my husbands furniture when we got married….4 years ago.

As my clients will tell you, I often say, “When you walk into a space and you feel good (or conversely, bad) and you can’t say for sure why, it’s often the color.”

The psychology of color in interior design is a fascinating topic…no really, it is. 😉

Reds are thought to be vivacious and exciting, blues are calming and serious, greens are soothing and tranquil, oranges are enthusiasm and energy, purples are creative and royal, white is clean and neutral, greys are timeless and solid….etc, etc…

And while some of these stereotypes are true, choosing your colors has as much or more to do with supporting your style or your “look”.  Are you wanting to complete a room that has furniture and art you love with walls that seem to disappear? Are you wanting to create drama with wall color? Are you afraid of making the wrong decision?


I implore you to please NOT stop at just your walls! To create an overall pleasing design, you need to address your ceilings with a complimentary color. A general rule of thumb is: If your ceilings are 8′ or lower, stick with a very light neutral in similar tones to your walls. If you ceilings are 8’+, then you can use more color to really create a finished, welcoming space.

So when choosing your colors, you have options.

1. Hire an interior designer, who can bring their passion into your home to create inspired spaces tailored to your style.

2. Pour through magazines and websites, identifying spaces that you see yourself in. Look to see if it is the color, the space planning, the lighting or the furnishings that you are drawn to. Maybe it’s a bold color, but you pair it with large white molding or waiscoting and those bold colors can lose some of their “powers” and be just what you are looking for.


Is this your color of the year?

3. Consult your wardrobe. What colors make you feel good when you wear them or be surrounded by? Sometimes this is a terrific way to jump start your interior color choices! Or make you rethink your own wardrobe….How much black and white can one person wear??

4. Have I mentioned hiring a designer yet? A color consultation can be done in a short period of time. Money well spent!

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