Paint 101 - Picking the Perfect Sheen

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This post…well, this is not going to be the super fun post with all the great before and after photos. This post will be about as exciting as, well watching paint dry. This is the third cousin to those awesome before and after pics…but hopefully it has a lot of information and a really good personality!

Sometimes if a client is looking for a refresh of their home, they can get the most bang for their buck with paint. Whether doing it as a weekend DIY project or hiring someone, paint can be a game changer on your walls or a piece of furniture.

I do Color and Paint Consultations and once a color is chosen, the question I’m asked most often is what type of paint do I use?

My answer depends on what is being painted and where it is. So what is sheen and why does it matter?

Sheen is the amount of shine or resin that is in the paint and how much it reflects light. Today’s paints have new and improved formulas that last longer and wear better, but it still helps to use the correct paint for the project. There are five basic paint types.


Source: Behr Paints

So here we go…

Flat or Matte - Has virtually no shine and has an almost chalk look to it. It is good for hiding imperfections on a surface but if you have kids or pets, use this one on the ceiling only. In new homes, it is often the choice of the contractor because it is the least expensive. That lack of resin, that creates shine in a paint also makes it hard to clean, and subject to stain.

Eggshell - Slightly more sheen than a flat paint and more washable too. You could use this in a dining room, master bedroom or any room that doesn’t get a lot of traffic. It reflects light better than flat paint does to give a soft lustre.

Satin - A satin finish can have a pearl effect. It can be used in moderate to heavy traffic areas like living and family rooms, hallways, kitchens, trim and shutters. You could also use when painting furniture.

Semi-Gloss - Semi-Gloss paint is great for high traffic, high use areas. Paint your kitchen, woodwork, trim, and doors in this highly scrubbable paint. This paint has a medium reflecting value and because of that will show any nicks or imperfections.

High Gloss (Sheen) - This paint has a very shiny almost glass-like finish. It is very on trend for bedrooms and dining rooms to give that laqcured look. It has a high durability and can also be used in high traffic areas like kitchens, trim, cabinetry, doors and shutters.


Source: House Beautiful Magazine

I hope these tips for picking out the type of paint for each project were helpful.

For you as an extra bonus I’m including a FREE Printable on the right Paint Sheens for you to use. Just click the link below for yours!

Paint 101 - Paint Sheens


Marie Kondo "Tidying Up" And My Word For 2019


You guys!  Have you watched Marie Kondo spreading her pixie dust and sparking joy yet?  Her show “Tidying Up” on Netflix is sooo good and I have binge watched them all. 

She is all about organizing by categories like clothing, books, Kondo (which is kitchen, garage and miscellaneous) and sentimental items instead of by room. Her mantra is to only keep the items that spark joy. If it’s not something that is going to serve you in the future, thank that item and let it move on to someone else by putting it in the trash pile or donating it.


It is verrry interesting, at least to me , to see the things that the people on the show get hung up on. 

Everyone has their own stuff to get through!  I won’t give any spoilers but each episode there is not only the physical possessions to declutter, but the emotional things that go along with the “stuff” sometimes takes them out before they begin. 


Hello Netflix…how brilliant are you to release this in January when everyone is make resolutions, setting goals and making plans for the new year.  I love the start of the new year.  It is a blank slate.  365  new chances to fill…or not.

Every year I try to come up with a word to help me hold focus to my goals…I’m not really a resolution maker but I do like to set goals.  A word that I can use to keep the mojo going when it doesn’t want to keep going.


Something that sums up how I want to pursue this next trip around the sun.  A word that can help me hold focus, because if I’m being honest, some years are easier than others to keep that touchstone.  Life happens. Things get out of balance and off course.


I try to pick a word that will work for both my business and me personally.

This year my word is Intention.


I chose it, or I really think it chose me, because I need to have more of a plan both professionally and personally to do things with purpose.  Sometimes it seems like life is just a series of reactions to what is happening as opposed to being proactive and doing things with intent.  To plan an action and take the steps, give it the significance to follow through. 

Professionally, this means posting more often on social media, writing my blog posts and newsletter on schedule.  Taking those continuing education courses.  Reaching out to others in my industry.

Personally, it’s making time for my marriage.  Having regular date nights, putting time together in front.  Making my health a priority and sticking with it.  Figuring out what works for our lifestyle and striving for a balance (a whole different blog post).

Are there going to be failures?…hell yes!  But the resolve to do it with intention and determination is what I got.  So let’s go with that.



My Secret to an Easy, Inexpensive Way to Change Your Decor

It’s officially Christmas decorating season. One of my favorite times to decorate my home and the homes of my clients. Before I get started and things get cray, I wanted to share one of my favorite ways to update your home.


We all know that pillows are an easy way to update your decor but an even easier option…pillow covers! Yep, that’s right. Maybe you have a pillow problem like me? But storage can be a problem…am I right?

For seasonal or holiday changes switching a few pillows out with new covers can give you a whole new look…for very little moola!

Bonus points because whenever the current season is over, you can zip them off, throw them in the washing machine and depending on the fabric, either hang to dry or toss in the dryer. Then fold and store them flat.

Below are some of the ones I’ll use for Christmas and keep the Winter ones on into January.


Some of my favorite online sites for pillow covers are…

Amazon… here

Etsy… here , here and here.

Ikea…one of my favorite places to shop for covers year round. If you can’t make it to one of their stores, shop online here.


No matter your style, there are pillow covers to help you change up your decor for the seasons in minutes!

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What's Old Is New - DIY Fall Wreath


A couple years ago I pinned this lovely blue door from Shades of Blue Interiors on one of my Pinterest boards because I love blue and I LOVED this blue door.

Especially surrounded by the Fall colors.

I had been wanting to paint our front door but just needed to find THE color. If you’ve known me for five minutes, you know I love a good DIY project. So a couple months ago I found my perfect blue for our front door.

Let the painting begin…


Starting with this….


Almost there.

When Fall rolled around I knew that I wanted to recreate the colors in the Blue Door watercolor above.

Hmmmmm…what is a serial crafter to do?

I had a grapevine wreath that came in a raffle prize that had been hidden away in a garage cupboard because it needed to be. It was not cute. A quick trip to Michael’s and I bought some flowers in the colors I wanted and “thank you Michael’s, they were 50% off!

I had the ribbon, moss, glue gun and glue. I stripped flowers and leaves from their stems, applied moss as a base, said a couple of swear words when I burnt my thumb, added a flower here and a pumpkin there. In less than 30 minutes, I had a finished wreath.

It seriously took me longer to clean up all the moss than it did to put the wreath together. That stuff goes everywhere!

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So…how did it turn out you ask?


The wreath colors on the blue door look just like I hoped they would…


Your front door is your chance to make a first impression. Paint can be a game changer for very little cost and time investment.

By refreshing an old, tired wreath…I created a new Fall look for my new blue door.

Now…what to do for Christmas!

By Design,


5 Tips for Styling Bookshelves

Hey there...Do you have bookshelves, either built-in or freestanding that never quite look right?  It can be tough.  That's exactly the problem a sweet client of mine had with her brand new gorgeous built-in bookcases.  She tried a few times to get it right and just wasn't happy with them. They flank her fireplace and are a focal point of the room  . We talked over the phone and set up a time for me to come and see what was up and how I could help.  By the time we left she was a much happier girl and could enjoy those beautiful shelves.  

Honestly, its a different time in design folks with Kindles and iPads. Books may not even be the star of the show.  Or maybe you have a lot of books and need to donate and purge some of the ones you haven't touched in years.  You know the ones I mean...the diet and exercise books from the 80's or 90's, the book about Herbs that has a torn cover and hasn't been cracked open in a decade.  Donate them, especially the ones that really have no personal meaning to you.  Keep the ones you treasure, that speak to a time in your life because, no Kindle or iPad is going to replace that.

So what did I do? And what are my tips?  Read on to find out.

First I emptied everything out of them; placing items I knew I would reuse and setting aside items that could go to another room.  Voila!  Blank canvas. 


1. Start At The Top

I like to start on the top shelf with a statement piece.  Something tall like some artwork or a set of candlesticks, but something you can leave a little space around too so that it doesn't look heavy.

2.  Group Like Objects

Picture frames of family, pets, or trips you've taken are perfect for this.  The frames don't have to match but should be similar in size.  You can group by color for more impact and definitely mix some texture in your frames.  This works with any style of decor.  Tell a story of you, your people and your adventures.

Image Source

Image Source

3.  Place Books Vertically and Horizontally

Your books don't all have to be standing up like good little soldiers.  Mix it up!  When you place some books laying horizontally, they create a bookend and you can place an object on top like a candle or pottery.  Something that tells your passions and interests.  If you have a lot of books, put more of them together on the bottom shelf to create a foundation.

4.  Use greenery 

If you have a green thumb and your shelves get some natural light, green plants will add that extra element.  If you have a slightly black thumb, then faux is the way to go.  There are some really good ones out there and I recommend using the most realistic version you can find.  Add them on a stack of books turned sideways or tucked in a basket.  

5. Add Texture

Texture can be anything from woven or wire baskets, to glass, to even the book covers themselves if you remove the paper cover.  Baskets can be used for storage to hide things like toys, papers or speakers.  Glass or ceramic vases can add color and bounce light around.  Natural wood is another element to bring in to add that depth that make your shelves come alive.


So there you have it friends.  Using these tips, the next time you're heading to Target or TJ Maxx, you'll know exactly what you need to style your shelves like a boss!

By design...