Blog Archives

Help for ugly paint color

paint colors, bright green walls, ugly walls

Bright Green Walls

Dear Design Diva,

I painted my loft what I thought was going to be a light apple green color. My floors are hardwoods. It seems too bright in here, what can I do to tone it down?

Roy

Dear Roy,

Did you know that 40% of all paint sales are from people selecting the wrong color the first time around? Hopefully that should make you feel a little better. You haven’t mentioned whether you have set up your furniture and the rest of your accessories yet. Sometimes when you paint, the color can seem too intense when you are just looking at the solid walls. Once you hang draperies, artwork, accessories, and add your furniture, there is so much more to look at that it detracts from the boldness of the wall color.

If you have already done all that and are still unhappy with the color, you can add a wash of color over the green to tone it down. I like to combine one part brown paint with 4 parts of glaze, and then wash it over the walls with a large brush, making bold strokes. If you prefer, you can roll the glaze on, cover the coated wall with a large plastic drop cloth, and when you peel the drop cloth off it gives the appearance of distressed leather. I love this glazing treatment and use it often for studies and libraries. It also looks great over red paint for a deep red leather look.

I hope that helps!

The DesignDiva

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If you have a decorating question, please leave a comment below or email us at askthedesigndiva@gmail.com.

Check out our other blogs Save or Splurge and High End Looks for Less.

Barbara Green is The Design Diva and owner of Sensibly Chic Interior Design and host of “Ask the Design Diva,” a weekly radio show that answers all of your decorating questions. Listen to the live stream Saturday mornings from 8 to 9AM at AskTheDesignDiva.com or listen to the podcast anytime.

What to do with Ugly Countertops

ktichen update, ugly countertops,

Ugly Green Kitchen Counters

Dear Design Diva,

I have ugly green laminate countertops in my kitchen that I can’t afford to change. My cabinets are a light wood color. What can I do to make the kitchen look better?

Nancy

Dear Nancy,

My recommendation is to work on making the rest of your kitchen so utterly beautiful you don’t even notice the countertops. Select a dramatic paint color that you absolutely love and paint your walls. Then buy placemats, towels, and other kitchen accessories so that the color is evenly dispersed throughout the room. The goal is to put enough of the color around the room that your eye goes from accent to accent without resting on any of the ugly countertop. Add enough beautiful things to look at and your ugly countertop will disappear.

If you really want to transform your kitchen on a budget, I would also recommend updating the hardware on your cabinets. If you are feeling really industrious, I’d also suggest sanding, priming, and painting the cabinets. It won’t cost you more than $50 and a couple of weekends, but you will feel like you have a brand new kitchen.

Good Luck!

The Design Diva

If you like what you’ve read, please share it with your friends and followers.

If you have a decorating question, please leave a comment below or email us at askthedesigndiva@gmail.com.

Check out our other blogs Save or Splurge and High End Looks for Less.

Barbara Green is The Design Diva and owner of Sensibly Chic Interior Design and the host of “Ask the Design Diva,” a weekly radio show that answers all of your decorating questions. Listen to the live stream Saturday mornings from 8 to 9AM at AskTheDesignDiva.com or listen to the podcast anytime.

Best Floor for the Townhome

floor plan, floorplan, flooring, hardwood floor, renovationDear Design Diva,

I need new flooring for my townhome and don’t know what to do. The first floor has one long, open area with the living room at one end, the kitchen at the other end, and the dining area in the middle. Also off of the kitchen is the master bedroom. The rooms are a patchwork of wall to wall carpeting and ceramic tile. The carpet is really beat up and needs to be replaced. I plan on putting the place on the market in a couple of years, so what would be the best floor for resale?

Floored in Pennsylvania

Dear FIP,

flooring, wood floors, renovationMy first recommendation would be to get rid of the variety of flooring and stick with one type throughout the first level.  It will make the home feel more spacious without all the divided areas. Hardwood floors are the flooring of choice these days, and will give a good return on your investment. They work well in both traditional and contemporary interiors, and the new floors are really durable. Carpet and tile come in so many different styles and colors, personal preferences could become an obstacle, while wood floors have a broader appeal. They have stood the test of time and have only gotten better. Go for it!

The Design Diva

If you like what you’ve read, please share it with your friends and followers.

If you have a decorating question, please leave a comment below or email us at askthedesigndiva@gmail.com.

Check out our other blogs Save or Splurge and High End Looks for Less.

Barbara Green is The Design Diva and owner of Sensibly Chic Interior Design.

Follow on Twitterhttp://twitter.com/thedesigndiva.

 

Window Valance Ideas

Dear Design Diva,

I want to put some kind of fabric at my windows, but I don’t know whether I should do curtains or a valance or something else. I want it to look nice, but I have young children and I’m afraid they’ll get long drapery panels dirty. I also don’t want to spend too much.  Any suggestions?

Window Weary

Dear WW,

Your idea for fabric at the windows is a great one. It will add color, warmth, and style to your room. I like valances for homes with kids and/or pets because dirty hands and shedding fur won’t  bother them. The largest cost in custom window treatments is the fabric, so valances end up being quite affordable, too. There are so many styles to choose from, and with all the fabric available, your options are endless. Here is a gallery of styles to get you started:

If you like what you’ve read, please share it with your friends and followers.

If you have a decorating question, please leave a comment below or email us at askthedesigndiva@gmail.com.

Check out our other blogs Save or Splurge and High End Looks for Less.

Barbara Green is The Design Diva and owner of Sensibly Chic Interior Design.

Follow on Twitterhttp://twitter.com/thedesigndiva.

What to do with Bedroom Televisions

television, bedroom television, bedroom tv, tv in bedroom

Bedroom Short on Storage

 

Dear Design Diva,

My husband likes to watch TV in bed, but the cabinet that holds the television takes up so much space I can’t have a dresser. I don’t really like how TVs look in the bedroom and our room gets really messy without enough storage. Unfortunately hubby said if the TV goes, he goes with it. Do you have any ideas?

TV Wife

 

Dear TVW,

bedroom television, television,

Dresser with Wall Mount TV

As more people are demanding a TV in the bedroom, more options are being offered. One solution would be to hang a flat screen TV on the wall, allowing plenty of room below for a dresser. The dresser to the right was custom built with lots of storage for both clothing, jewelry and accessories.

 

 

bedroom television, television dresser, tv dresser, dresser for tv

Dresser with Television Storage

 

Another idea is a dresser designed with television in mind. These newer styles are about the size of a chest, with the top level open for your TV equipment. This extra detail gives you lots of drawer space for storage, but also allows you to prevent the cable box or DVD player from cluttering the surface.

 

bedroom mirror, mirror tv, mirror television

Mirror Television

 

 

Since most bedrooms have a mirror, a third option is a new product that looks like a framed mirror when not in use, but with the click of a remote becomes your television screen. It is pictured to the right above a mantle, but would work beautifully above a dresser, too.

pop up tv stand, tv for foot of bed, master bedroom tv

Pop-Up Television Stand

 

The final idea is for those with a large decorating budget, since it is the most expensive option. A cabinet sits at the foot of your bed, and keeps the television hidden when not in use. When you are ready to watch TV, the television rises out of the cabinet in seconds. Some of these cabinets even allow the TV to swivel, in case you’d like to watch from a seating area instead of in bed.

 

 

 

If you like what you’ve read, please share it with your friends and followers. If you have a decorating question, please leave a comment below or email us at askthedesigndiva@gmail.com.

Check out our other blogs Save or Splurge and High End Looks for Less.

Barbara Green is The Design Diva and owner of Sensibly Chic Interior Design. Follow on Twitterhttp://twitter.com/thedesigndiva.

Removing Popcorn Ceiling in 5 Easy Steps

popcorn ceiling, home improvement, homeimprovements

Popcorn Ceiling

Dear Design Diva,

I have “popcorn” ceilings and I hate them. Is it hard to get rid of them?

Popcorn Anonymous

Dear PA,

I don’t know anyone who really likes popcorn ceilings, other than the builders who install them. It’s not hard to get rid of, but it is a very messy job. Also, some of the older popcorn ceilings contain asbestos, so if that is a possibility,  take the precautionary step of having a small chip tested before contaminating your home. The supplies you need are a ladder, a garden sprayer, a four inch scraper, a face mask, and goggles. Here are the 5 easy steps:

  1. Remove everything from the room, or if that isn’t possible, cover everything with drop clothes. Also be sure to seal off doorways because this stuff will get everywhere.
  2. Use the garden sprayer to wet the popcorn ceiling with water. Since you will be standing on a ladder, only wet as far as your arm can reach.
  3. After it is saturated, scrape it off with the 4 inch scraper. It will fall off very easily when wet. Be sure you have your mask and goggles on.
  4. Keep moving your ladder around the room, scraping the ceiling off in sections.
  5. After the popcorn is gone, you may have to go back up and re-spackle or sand the taped joints. If you re-paint your ceiling before you have a smooth surface you will be praying for a popcorn ceiling again!

Extra note: Consider selecting a color other than white for the ceiling. You’ll love how it looks!

Best,

The Design Diva

If you like what you’ve read, please share it with your friends and followers. If you have a decorating question, please leave a comment below or email us at askthedesigndiva@gmail.com.

Check out our other blogs Save or Splurge and High End Looks for Less.

Barbara Green is The Design Diva and owner of Sensibly Chic Interior Design. Follow on Twitterhttp://twitter.com/thedesigndiva.

 

5 Storage Solutions for Small Homes

clutter, storage solutions, storage ideasDear Design Diva,

I have moved into a small home and have a lot of stuff but not a lot of closet space. How can I keep my belongings, but avoid clutter?

Thanks,

Crammed

Dear Crammed,

Here are 5 ways to hide your clutter in your new home:

storage ottoman, square ottoman, storage ideas, storage solutions

Square Storage Ottoman

1. Storage Ottomans – Instead of a coffee table, use a storage ottoman to hide extra pillows, blankets, towels, water bottles, toiletries, etc and you can instantly turn your living room into a guest room. If you have trouble fitting all of that in your ottoman, invest in one of those bags that you use a vacuum to suck the air out of to be able to fit in the confined space.  This also leaves your linen closet free to store the linens you use on a regular basis. You can also put one at the foot of your bed to store off-season clothing.

2. Storage Cubes – These are great for small spaces because they multitask. You can stick them in corners or under console tables and pull them out for extra seating when you have more guests than chairs. Meanwhile, they are surving double duty by hiding extra office supplies, holiday decorations, or that rarely used fondue pot.

storage, storage ideas, storage solutions, trash can

30 Gallon trash Can

3. 32 Gallon Trash Can – Few people realize this, but a 30 gallon trash can is a good height for a side table. When you are at the hardware store purchasing one, also pick up a pre-cut round piece of wood. After you fill the can with your stuff, cover it with the piece of wood and throw a tablecloth on top. You can cheat and use a king-size fitted sheet purchased from the clearance section of a bed and bath superstore and tuck the elastic edge to the inside to have a billowed hem instead of a hem with a straight edge.

 

Shoe rack, hanging shoe rack, storage, storage ideas, storage solutions

Over-door Shoe Rack

4. Hanging Shoe Rack – This is great for storing smaller items in every room of your home. In the hall closet keep extra batteries, extension cords, flashlights, gloves, scarves and sunglasses for easy access as you need them. In the kitchen, use it for extra napkins, silverware, envelopes of powdered drink mix, tea bags, and spices. On the back of the bathroom door you can store skin lotions, hair products, washclothes, blow dryers, and straighening irons (once they’ve cooled off). In the home office, store extra ink cartridges, pens, pencisl, stapler, calculator, and business cards. In the bedroom use it for socks, bras, underwear, scarves, perfume, or jewelry.

undeer bed storage, wrapping paper storage, gift wrap storage

Under Bed Wrapping Paper storage

5.  Under the Bed – This is a goldmine of space to store your rarely used, over-sized things. You can store wrapping paper, ribbon, and tape in a container ready for your next occassion. Under-bed storage containers can keepsake works of art your children created, you can slide suitcases underneath to store them, and also have the option of filling them with excess items before sliding it under. To maximize the room under the bed, you can purchase risers which lift the bed an additional 10 inches off the floor so your storage height increases.

I hope this helps you and your storage problem!

Best,

The Design Diva

If you like what you’ve read, please share it with your friends and followers. If you have a decorating question, please leave a comment below or email us at askthedesigndiva@gmail.com. Check out our other blogs Save or Splurge and High End Looks for Less.

Barbara Green is The Design Diva and owner of Sensibly Chic Interior Design. Follow on Twitterhttp://twitter.com/thedesigndiva.

Lighting Style for Dining Room

Dear Design Diva,

We got the standard lighting package when we had our house built and I want to replace the dining room chandelier. What should I look for?

Kelly

Dear Kelly,

Chandelier, Drum Chandelier, Uttermost

Uttermost Alita in Champagne

Dining room lighting has changed a lot. A hot new trend is the “drum shade” chandelier. It is exactly as it sounds, shaped like a drum. There are different styles of drum chandelier, and you can pick which suits your taste best. The Design Diva loves the chandeliers by Uttermost (don’t worry, they are not paying me to say that!), and here are a couple examples to get you started:

drum mchandelier, chandelier, uttermost

Uttermost Tuxedo Chandelier

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you have any decorating questions, please leave them as a comment below or email them to askthedesigndiva@gmail.com.

Please check out our other blogs: Save or Splurge and High End Looks for Less.

 

Barbara Green the The Design Diva and owner of Sensibly Chic Interior Design. Follow her on Twitter @thedesigndiva.

Paint Color for Powder Room

paint, painting, paint colors, powder room, bathroom

Rich Red Powder Room

Dear Design Diva,

I have a powder room that is still “builder beige.” I plan on painting it but am tempted to keep it light because I’m afraid it will feel too small. What do you recommend?

Jane

Dear Jane,

Thank you for deciding to get rid of builder beige! Ugh, that color really gets to me. I understand how you can be tempted to keep the paint color light, but think about it. Do you really think when people go into your powder room with pale walls they are going to say “Oh my, this powder room is so large!?” You’re not going to be fooling anyone into thinking the room is big, so why not go with something dramatic?

I love painting powder rooms in rich, jewel tone colors such as emerald green, sapphire blue, and deep ruby red. They add style and drama and a WOW factor. Yes, it is dark, but how long do people stay in powder rooms? Not very long. They can feel like they’ve walked into an elegant jewel box instead of a tiny, washed out wash room. Be bold and give it a try!

The Design Diva

If you like what you’ve read, please share it with your friends and followers. If you have a decorating question, please leave a comment below or email us at askthedesigndiva@gmail.com. Check out our other blogs Save or Splurge and High End Looks for Less.

Barbara Green is The Design Diva and owner of Sensibly Chic Interior Design. Follow on Twitter @thedesigndiva.

Which comes first, paint or flooring?

paint, painting, flooring, floors, home improvementDear Design Diva,
I am moving into a “fixer-upper” that needs new flooring and new paint in every room. Which do I do first?
Thanks,
Miss DIYer

Dear Miss DIYer,
It really depends on where your fear is the strongest. If you are afraid you or your painter will spill paint on the brand new flooring, then paint first and have the flooring installed afterward. However, flooring installers are infamous for banging up the walls during installations, which will damage your fresh paint job. So if your fear of messing up the paint job is greater than your fear of spilling paint, be well prepared with ample drop clothes and extra touch-up paint and have the flooring installed first.

Try and have some fearless fun!
The Design Diva

Do you have a design dilemma or question for The Design Diva? If so, leave a comment here or email her at askthedesigndiva@gmail.com.

Barbara Green is The Design Diva and owner of Sensibly Chic Interior Design. Follow her on Twitter @thedesigndiva.