Blog Archives

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

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


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?



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!


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 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

Saving on Draperies and Blinds

valance, blinds, curtains

Layered Blinds and Valance

Dear Design Diva,

I had an interior designer come to my home to give me ideas for draperies and blinds. I am just now recovering from the shock when her quote was for thousands of dollars! How can I achieve an elegant look but save money too?


Dear “O”,

Working with some interior designers can be quite costly. You are paying for their expertise in design, but if you can do the work yourself you can save lots of money. It might be a little difficult finding a designer willing to work that way, though, since they make money off of the entire project and not just the design.

Since fabric is the most expensive part of a window treatment, valances are much more affordable than drapes. Find a valance design which suits your room and style, shop at discount fabric stores for the right color and pattern, and either make them yourself or find someone who sews in her home, since those seamstresses are usually more affordable than a formal workroom.  You can also shop online for pre-made valances if your windows are of a standard size. The one tip I always recommend is hanging them high above the window, so only a small portion of window is covered. This will give more prominence to the window and allow more light to shine through. Affordable, woven wood blinds can be added for texture and privacy.

Hope this helps!

The Design Diva

Do you have a design dilemma you’d like answered? Leave a comment below or email at

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

Curtains or Drapes – Which is it?

Window Treatments, Drapery, Valance

Window Treatment


Dear Design Diva,

I am decorating my new home and I am thoroughly confused when it comes to my windows. Why do some people say I need window treatments, others say I need curtains, and still others say I need drapes! What is the difference?

Window Challenged

Dear WD,

I guess it would seem confusing to an amateur decorator, but any interior designer worth her fee is sure to know the differences. “Window treatments” is the broad term used to refer to anything you use to cover or accent your windows. This includes curtains, blinds, drapes, shades, cornice boards, valances, wood blinds, or plantation shutters.

curtains, valance

Curtains with Valance

A curtain or curtain panel is a length of fabric that has a rod-pocket along the top which gets gathered on the rod informally. It is usually unlined, and can be either floor length, to the window sill, or  a half-window height referred to as “cafe curtains”, often seen in kitchens and bathrooms.

Curtains are usually a more casual option, and are great for summer when you want a light, breezy look at the windows. You can also find outdoor curtains that are made from durable, weather resistant fabrics and are popular for privacy and softness around decking, arbors, and gazebos.

A drape, or drapery panel is a length of fabric that has an attached lining and buckram at the top for stiffened pleats. The pleats can be various styles, such as pinch-pleat, goblet, inverted, or cartridge pleat. Draperies are hung with hooks on either traverse rods or rods with rings.

Drapes, Skirted Drapes

Drapes with Accent Banding on Top and Bottom

Drapes are usually reserved for more formal or traditional decors. Drapery fabrics are usually more expensive than those used for curtains, and the labor to construct them is higher, and the hardware is more expensive, so the entire project will end up costing you more.

I hope I have cleared up your confusion. Thanks for writing!

The Design Diva

If you or anyone you know has a question for The Design Diva, either enter it as a comment below or send an email to:

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


What to do with Ugly Kitchen Cabinets?

dark cabinets, ugly cabinets, brown cabinets, ugly brown cabinets

Dark, Dated Cabinets


Dear Design Diva,
I have a very dark kitchen with ugly kitchen cabinets. I can’t afford to replace them, but I hate the look of white cabinets. What do you suggest?

In The Dark

Dear ITD,
You probably spend more awake time in your kitchen than any other room in your house, so it is important that you enjoy the view. Since you didn’t mention how low your budget is, I will give you a few options at varying levels of expense.

refaced cabinets, maple cabinets

Refaced Cabinets

Option 1 – Instead of replacing them, you can reface them. Basically a contractor removes all your cabinet doors and drawer fronts, applies a new veneer to the frames of the cabinets, and then installs brand new cabinet doors and drawer fronts. Still pricey, but less pricey than replacing.

Option 2 – If you like the look European or English Country, you can remove the bottom cabinets and cover the openings with colorful curtains while you either remove the upper cabinet doors completely or have the center panel cut out and replaced with glass. This is the option I used in my own kitchen, and I love it!

Option 3 – I know you don’t like white cabinets, but painting the cabinets is the least expensive option for transforming your kitchen. Just because you are painting doesn’t mean you have to paint them white. Soft green cabinets are very popular now and will give a soothing, restful feel to your kitchen.

painted cabinets, green cabinets, painted green cabinets

Green Painted Cabinets

Sofa or Couch – Which is it?

Dear Design Diva,

What is the difference between a sofa and a couch?



Dear Confused,

Some might think the only difference between a sofa and a couch is where you grew up and which term your family used. However, those two terms do actually refer to two different items. “Couch” came from the french word “coucher,” which means “to lie down on a bed.” (Remember the popular Patti LaBelle song “Lady Marmalade” which was later remade by Christina Aquilera for “Moulin Rouge”  – Voulez vous coucher avec moi, ce soir?) That being said, couch refers to a “fainting couch” or flat bed-like surface without the typical arms and back associated with sofas. The word “sofa” came from the Arabic word “suffa” which means long seat made of wood and cushions used for comfortable seating.

Hope that clears things up. So now you have to decide if you are a couch potato or a sofa slug…


The Design Diva of Sensibly Chic Interior Design