How To Finish a Room Like a Designer

Designing a space is all about telling a story. The biggest difference between a standard room and a stunning room are placement and details. Ever wonder how designers are able to transform a plain room with furniture into an inviting space that you don’t want to leave? Find out their secrets by using these 3 steps.

Sabine Guillaume Hayes, Interior Designer

Sabine Guillaume Hayes, Interior Designer

Remember the Purpose. The first step to finishing a room properly is remembering why you are designing and decorating it in the first place. Is it to add more room? Repurposing an unused basement into a family room? Adding more coziness to your living room? Adding personality to your powder room? Interior Designers always start a project with finding out the purpose and use of a space. Once they have a purpose it becomes the vision that dictates the end result. If you are finishing a master bedroom room, ask yourself how you want to feel when you're in the space. If you want to feel relaxed and calm then it may be a good idea to finish your bed with plush pillows, add a large area rug under your bed or place a scented candle on your dresser for aromatherapy.  These details will be determined by your use of the space.

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Placement Matters. Since every space is unique in its own form, placement of your furniture and even accessories make a difference. For example, if you are hanging wall art in the hallway be sure it's large enough or use a grouping to fit well in the amount of wall space available. When placing accessories use odd number groupings, like 3 or 5 for visual interest. 

"Be original and your home will speak for itself." -Brett Schwebke

Beauty in the Details. Details can elevate the design in a space instantly. Something as simple as draping a throw on a chair and adding an accent pillow can dress up a standard piece of furniture. You should make sure you have a reason for every detail you add. Be careful not to over accessorize because instead of looking like finishing touches your accents will look like afterthoughts or even worst...accidents. 

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If you want some more designer secrets be sure to check out my FREE Designer Tip Sheet available to all subscribers. Not subsrcibed? Fill the your information below. Share photos of your finishing touches with me on my Facebook page! Can't wait to see your beautiful spaces!

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Spice Up Your Dining Room with These Easy Changes

With today's lifestyle and open layout floor plans, the kitchen has become the main space everyone gravitates to. This can leave the dining room feeling unused, uninviting, cold, or "the room only used twice a year". This doesn't have to be the case. Even if you have an eat-in kitchen or a morning room, the dining room can serve a purpose of its own. The dining room can be a multifunctional space for everyday dining, more formal dining (like dinner parties) or both! Having a casual and formal dining room that feels inviting can be achievable. 

Maybe you already use your dining room on a daily basis for casual dining or maybe you host formal dinners but the decor is outdated or unattractive, with just a few changes it can become a functional AND stylish room that reflects your household's personality. 

spice up your dining room

spice up your dining room

"Every room needs a slap in the face!" -Geoffrey Ross

Update your Light Fixture. A light fixture can make or break your dining room. Your light fixture in your dining room not only provides a source of light but as an anchor to the room. Having an outdated light fixture or no light fixture at all takes away from the overall design of your dining room. If you want to elevate your dining room add a stylish and functional chandelier or pendant based on the scale of the room and your table. For inside decorating secrets, like how high to hang a chandelier, sign up to receive my Designer Tip Sheet

Dining room by my good friend and interior designer Sharina Liverman.

Dining room by my good friend and interior designer Sharina Liverman.

Add a Fresh Coat of Paint. I always say that paint is one of the most cost-effective ways to redesign a space. Be sure to select a color from your room's color palette, this will allow the remaining colors to flow throughout the design. If you are overwhelmed with choosing the perfect color for your dining room, click here for paint color assistance.

Add or Change your Area Rug. I get asked a lot whether you should add an area rug in a dining room. My answer 99% of the time is yes. If your light fixture is the anchor to your dining room, your area rug is what supports the anchor. It allows the table, which should be the focal point, to shine. Whether you have a small room, a large room or an open space that serves as your dining area I suggest using a durable area rug that can easily be spot cleaned and hide stains. When it comes to dining rooms, I prefer to use a low pile rug or even an indoor/outdoor rug for upkeep. Be sure both your table AND chairs sit on your area rug. Your rug size should not be too small that the chairs are off the rug when pulled out, but it should not be too large that your buffet, server and china cabinet are sitting on your rug. 

Dining room designed by my good friend and interior designer Sharina Liverman.

Dining room designed by my good friend and interior designer Sharina Liverman.

Add a Centerpiece. This part can be tricky for many. Your centerpiece should reflect the style of the room. The style of the room should reflect your personality. For example, if you're style is more structured and simple a set of accessories would be a great centerpiece for you. However, if you are very detailed and more formal an arrangement of florals in a traditional glass vase might be a better option. Here are some ideas for centerpieces

  • fresh or silk floral arrangments
  • a set of 3 potted plants
  • large decorative bowls
  • a set of candlesticks or holders
  • a sculpture
  • complimentary vases at different heights
  • a large tray with a collection of flowers, candles, and vases 

Sometimes finding the perfect centerpiece for your dining room can be impossible. Let me take away that stress and design the perfect centerpiece that will compliment the decor of your dining room. Contact me at 610.924.2780 to get started on your custom made centerpiece.

Swap Out Your Chairs. Your dining room should be inviting, functional but most importantly unique. You deserve to have a dining room that is like no one else's. An easy way to create a unique look is to change your dining room chairs. If you are worried about not having a matching set, you may want to consider reupholstering your seat cushions in a custom pattern fabric or just changing your end, armchairs with 2 fabric upholstery chairs (if you have a rectangular table). If you want a more eclectic look, have your chairs contrast with your table. For example, if you have a distressed wooden table consider adding metal chairs. If you have a metal dining table, consider fabric or wooden chairs. Be sure to work with a professional designer for chair selections, since this can be tricky to perfect. 

centerpiece arranged and made by Sabine Hayes.

centerpiece arranged and made by Sabine Hayes.

Entertain your guests for dinner parties or even game night parties in your NEW, redesigned dining room! Share your ideas in the comments below of ways you're going to spice up your dining room this season.

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Using Art to Create a Color Palette

As an interior designer, I believe that developing a color palette for your space is crucial to achieving a successful design. Whether you are using monochromatic, complementary, or contrasting colors it's important to define the role that each color in your palette has. If you are having a hard time developing a color palette, draw inspiration from something that already has a color palette like a piece of art.

using art to create a color palette

using art to create a color palette

Art is a great way to develop a color palette because it already has a collection of colors, tones, and shades that you can draw from throughout your room. Let's take a look at a formal living room I designed for a client and how I was able to pull colors from the custom artwork to design the entire room.

This living room included 4 original artwork pieces I had an artist create just for this project. All of the individual art pieces were uniquely different but shared the same colors. The colors inspired me to develop colors for the window treatment fabric, accent pillows, area rug, tabletop accessories, walls, trim, and even the ceiling.

formal living room paint color

formal living room paint color

color palette

color palette

Once you determine which colors from the artwork you want to incorporate in the design section them into categories (e.i. main color, secondary color, accent color, etc). This will help you determine which colors will be used the most and which colors will be used to complement the main color. In this living room the blueish, teal color was the "main color" and the soft browns, tans, and creams were "secondary". Lastly, the reds and purples were "accent colors" used in the pillows and the centerpiece. Each color was carefully selected for a particular role in the living room. 

coffee table centerpiece

coffee table centerpiece

Leave a comment below and share where you create your color palette from? Maybe you are asking "How do I find the right artwork?" or "I'm scared I will choose the wrong color?". Let me help, contact me directly at sabine@georgettemarise.com to start on your personal color palette for your room!

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How to Decorate When You Are Starting From Scratch

Whether you're moving into your first apartment, house, downsizing or upgrading it can be overwhelming to decorate, especially if you have nothing. I remember when I moved into my first apartment by myself 12 years ago I had no furniture except for a mattress, books, my computer, and personal items. Sometimes starting from scratch is a great way to decorate because you have nothing to limit your choices. 

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Start Somewhere. When you have little to nothing, it's time to visit the drawing board, look at your home and determine what is the priority. Sometimes the priority is decorating the entire home and sometimes the priority is taking it one room at a time. Once you've made the decision of what the priority is...focus on it. 

"Inspiration is the seed. Design but the flower." - Michael Langham

Be Inspired. Every unique design came from an inspiration. Once you find your inspiration it will transpire into a vision. Together, with an interior designer, that vision will transform into reality. An inspiration can be as simple as using the colors and tones of nature or the style of your favorite restaurant. There are no wrong answers only unique ones.  

Decide What Is Your Investment. Designing and decorating are investments you make. Based on your priority and the vision, finalizing a comfortable total dollar amount is the next important step. Be sure to decide on a realistic budget before starting any work. Keep in mind that emergencies can occur which should reflect in your budget. 

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Create a Floor Plan. Once you've determined a budget, focus on your needs for the room or rooms. Having a well-designed floor plan creates a base for your decorating project, especially if you are working in phases over time. A floor plan will allow you to go back and finish the pieces of the design. A floor plan is also a great way to make sure any furniture needed will fit properly in your space, which is especially key in small spaces.

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Shopping. Use your floor plan to create a list of furnishings needed to accomplish the design. Always purchase your largest and most important pieces first. When I am designing a room I always like to start with the seating and some important accessories such as lighting. For example, in a living room, I would purchase the sofa and chairs first then tables and lamps with essential wall decor.

Decorating is a process. The decor of a space tells a story of those that occupy it, therefore it has to be done with thought and purpose. If you are looking to tell your story in your space but don't know how to, let's work together to create your vision. Email me today at sabine@georgettemarise.com.

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5 Ways to Create a Calm Space

It's a known fact that most of us are living fast paced, stressful lives more than ever before. Our lives are filled with busy schedules, tight deadlines, and pressures coming from all directions. Our homes are supposed to be havens where we release our fears, anxiety, and fatigue but sometimes we don't get the opportunity to do so. 

Our homes are often filled with meaningless things that don't allow us to release our burdens from the outside world. It's time to change that. We must take some time to create calming spaces in our homes that allow us to relax and be ourselves. Take some time to create at least ONE space in your home that will allow you to relax your mind, body, and soul. 

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1. Add the Right Colors. Colors are psychological and choosing the right color can affect our mood and attitude. When I design a space I tend to ask my clients, "How do you want to feel in this space?". Their response determines the main color and accent colors I incorporate into their design. Design Tip: Colors such as blues, grays, whites, greens, violets, and pink have the capability to bring peacefulness, tranquility, freshness, and calmness to a room. 

2. Add Comfortable Furniture. Comfortable furniture is key to enjoying a space. Your furniture has to be able to withstand everyday sitting, stretching, and lounging. Be sure to select quality furniture that fits your comfort needs. For example, if you are looking to put your feet up and lounging consider incorporating a chaise or a sofa with an ottoman. 

This sitting room has a comfortable sofa with an attached chaise for lounging after a long day.

This sitting room has a comfortable sofa with an attached chaise for lounging after a long day.

3. Lighting.Lighting.Lighting. I stress the use of lighting because there are different levels of lighting. General, Task & Accent. Each form of light serves a purpose. When you are creating a calm space it's important to use the correct amounts of lighting to be able to view the things around you balanced by soft lighting for ambiance. 

I used a table lamp on the dresser and a floor lamp near the chair as forms of soft accent lighting. 

I used a table lamp on the dresser and a floor lamp near the chair as forms of soft accent lighting. 

4.  The Use of Texture. The use of texture in a space adds dimension. Texture adds a level of interest that encourages you to connect with your senses. However, be careful to not use too much texture. Texture can include a grasscloth wallpaper, a plush area rug, a stone wall, a distressed table or a soft pillow. 

This powder room is designed with a textured grasscloth wallpaper and a hammered copper bowl sink. 

This powder room is designed with a textured grasscloth wallpaper and a hammered copper bowl sink. 

5. Aromatherapy. Speaking of senses, adding aromatherapy such as the scent of lavender into your space helps you to relax and rest. Personally, I love candles! I use aromatherapy candles in almost every room in my home. I use candles as a way to calm my senses after a long day or in the office for a pleasant scent while working. Consider using aromatherapy in your room to enhance your mood and stimulate healing.  

Comment below and share the space you consider a calming space.

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Project Tour: Girls Auto Clinic

Custom Nail Bar Designed by Sabine Hayes. Photography by Simone Merrique

Custom Nail Bar Designed by Sabine Hayes. Photography by Simone Merrique

As an interior designer, I love to create unique spaces that are customized to suit my client's needs. With that said, last year I had the opportunity to a meet female mechanic who was planning to open the nation's first female owned auto shop operated by female auto mechanics with a connected nail and blow-out bar. I was sold on the vision and uniqueness that I had to be part of this project. 

I am excited to share Girls Auto Clinic and Clutch Beauty Bar by Girls Auto Clinic, a company that empowers, caters and educates women about their cars. I had the pleasure of designing the complete interior of the auto shop and the beauty bar through my Full Service

Dilemma: How to take an existing male occupied auto shop with a connected storage warehouse and transform it into a female friendly auto shop that included a nail and hair salon. Patrice really wanted the salon and waiting area lounge to feel like a girls club house. A space that was comfortable, relaxing with an industrial, vintage edge.

Solution: The project consisted of 2 properties that were connected by 2 rooms, which were designed as a waiting area lounge and TV room. With my team of architects, contractors, electricians, plumbers, lighting designers, graphic designers, upholsterers, carpenters, and artisans we completely renovated a non-inviting group of rooms into a cohesive flow of spaces that serviced individual purposes. For example, when you walk into Girls Auto Clinic you can decide to wait in the lounge area and do some work on your laptop over a cup of coffee while you wait for your car OR just get a manicure and pedicure in the beauty bar without getting your car serviced. The flow allows for different needs to be met.

Presentation Board of Girls Auto Clinic designed by Georgette Marise Interiors

Presentation Board of Girls Auto Clinic designed by Georgette Marise Interiors

Before my team could start on constructing anything, I needed to sit down and develop a concept, a plan, a story, better known as THE DESIGN. This consisted of creating a floor plan using the blueprints of the existing building. Once the floor plan was developed it was time to select a color palette. Our color palette was inspired by Patrice's love of color and a wall mural we created that pulled in reds, oranges, soft yellows, and light blues. We used shades of gray as a neutral base for accents. We were then able to start specifying lighting fixtures, flooring, wall & ceiling treatments, furnishings, and accessories.  

BEFORE & AFTER: Girls Auto Clinic Front Entrance with custom vapor lights. Photography by Simone Merrique

BEFORE & AFTER: Girls Auto Clinic Front Entrance with custom vapor lights. Photography by Simone Merrique

BEFORE & AFTER: Girls Auto Clinic Repair Center

BEFORE & AFTER: Girls Auto Clinic Repair Center

BEFORE & AFTER: Girls Auto Clinic Lounge with the Clutch Cafe and a custom work counter

BEFORE & AFTER: Girls Auto Clinic Lounge with the Clutch Cafe and a custom work counter

It was important to create a welcoming environment as soon as you walk into the front entrance. We did this by keeping the majority of the walls white and painted the original tin ceilings a rich, gray color.

BEFORE & AFTER: Girls Auto Clinic Front Lounge with a custom built window seat

BEFORE & AFTER: Girls Auto Clinic Front Lounge with a custom built window seat

BEFORE & AFTER: Girls Auto Clinic TV Room with a custom floor lamp made of black pipes.

BEFORE & AFTER: Girls Auto Clinic TV Room with a custom floor lamp made of black pipes.

The TV room is a cozy, smaller room with a kids' table and an eclectic styled seating area for clients to relax while waiting for their car repair. 

BEFORE & AFTER: Clutch Beauty Bar by Girls Auto Clinic Nail Bar with the famous wall mural. Photography by Simone Merrique

BEFORE & AFTER: Clutch Beauty Bar by Girls Auto Clinic Nail Bar with the famous wall mural. Photography by Simone Merrique

When you walk into the beauty bar you are greeted by the focal point of the entire shop and salon. The focal point is the custom Girls Auto Clinic mural inspired by Patrice's love of vintage garages. 

In front of the rustic garage door mural, is an industrial styled bar that was designed to service client's nail care needs as they wait for their cars. The red painted bar stools remind you of classic Tolix metal chairs. The 9' bar has a sleek black top countertop with a diamond plate sheet metal front accented by wrench hooks for your bags and purses. 

Clutch Beauty Bar Hair Stations with red toolboxes

Clutch Beauty Bar Hair Stations with red toolboxes

With a dedicated team of talented experts catering to the design, our vision was brought to reality. 

The same way a home is a reflection of its owners, a place of business is a reflection of its customers and workers. It's a balance of creating a space that services the customer's needs and wants while developing an environment where workers want to be. Interior Design plays a large role in a successful place of business. Leave a comment below of your thoughts on Girls Auto Clinic.

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Simple Decorating Ideas for Your Deck or Patio

Summer is officially in full gear and that means more time outdoors. There's something about summer that brings a casual attitude to life. We enjoy eating outside, taking walks in the park, driving to the beach for the weekend and going on a relaxing vacation. 

"...create an extension of your home, outdoors."

Enjoying the outdoors can also mean spending time right outside your home. If you live in a smaller home like a rowhome or townhome you may only have a rooftop deck or small patio as your "outdoor space" and probably asking, "How do I enjoy outdoor living in such a small area?". I can relate because I live in the city with a deck and small yard. But there's hope! With just a few key pieces you can create an extension of your home outdoors to enjoy after a long day of work or hosting friends and family for a BBQ.

For more product info click link to Polyvore.

For more product info click link to Polyvore.

Chairs. Use a couple of outdoor chairs instead of a typical sofa or loveseat. This will save space on your deck or small patio and allow for easy moving around.

Accent Pillows. Pillows are a quick and simple way of elevating a typical outdoor chair. Pillows are like artwork. They are a small component but can tell the story of your outdoor space. Mix and match with prints, solids, or graphic pillows. 

Garden Stool. Placing a garden stool between 2 chairs is a great way to add a tabletop surface. It's also a creative way to add a pop of color to your decor!

Outdoor Rug. An outdoor rug brings an area together. A rug sets the tone to your overall decor. Make sure your rug is not too big or too small. 

Patio Umbrella. A patio umbrella is a must, especially if your deck does not have an awning or some form of providing shade. Not only does an umbrella block the sun and provide shade, but similar to the rug, it has the ability to bring an area together. Design Tip: If your furnishing is against the wall and you don't have room for a full umbrella, consider a half umbrella.

Outdoor Poufs. Poufs are great outdoors too! They are comfortable lounging floor seats that add texture and color to your outdoor design. Add 1, 2 or 3 to elevate your decor.   

Accent Chair. Adding a hanging chair, a small scale chair, or a hammock is a great way to create a little reading nook or just a private area to relax off to the side.

Accent Plants. Plants on your deck or patio are important, especially if you live in the city where having grass is a luxury.  Plants add greenery, dimension, and an organic freshness to your space. This is also an area where mixing and matching will add visual interest. Design Tip: If you have a tall fence, consider adding wall plants in individual pots hung in rows on your fence. Add floor plants to add height in a corner and small potted flowers on table surfaces for decorative accents. 

If you have outdoor furnishings but don't feel like your outdoor decor is where it can be, let me be an extra set of eyes and hands to create an extension of your home outdoors. Email me at sabine@georgettemarise.com to discuss how we can transform your outdoor space together.

I want to hear how you use your outdoor space. Leave your comments below.

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How to Make Father's Day Special

With so many holidays and celebrations, we can often forget the true meaning of the occasion. Father's Day can sometimes be clustered with graduations and beginning of summer festivities. Dads need to be celebrated too!

I spoke to several dads last year about what their dream Man Caves would look like and the main responses were surprisingly very simplistic. Most dads just want to relax and feel appreciated. Sometimes this is hard for me to process because I often forget that the most precious things in life are priceless. This Father's Day instead of giving dad something he won't use or doesn't want, take the pressure off the actual holiday and give dad something he really wants. Here are some of my simple suggestions to making this Father's Day special.

Give the Gift of Relaxation. When home dads usually want to do one of two things: relax or work. Relaxing can mean being left alone in front of the TV in his favorite chair. Working can usually mean doing something to pass time, something of enjoyment or taking on a DIY challenge project. If Dad likes to relax, a great gift is to allow him to be comfortable and setting the tone for something he loves to do. If you don't have room in your home for a Man Cave then maybe create an area with a chair and ottoman or recliner for him with a small table for his drink of choice.

Give the Gift of Appreciation. I often forget the power of "Thank You". We tell our kids to say thank you when someone does something for them but as adults, we either don't say it enough or we don't say it genuinely. Dads play an important role in our children's lives. As a mother and wife with a busy schedule, I often question, "Does anyone appreciate what I do?". Dads can feel and question the SAME thing, therefore a simple Thank You or words of gratitude for what Dad does is more meaningful than any mug, tie, cologne money can buy. Again, don't go overboard with the words but be authentic and appreciative. 

I hope you are able to create an atmosphere for Dad that makes him feel appreciated! How are you going to make Father's Day special this year? Share your comments below.

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Q & A: Creating a Gallery Wall with Quality Photos

Your home is all about telling YOUR story throughout. The style of your front door, the placement of your furniture, the colors on your walls, the fabric draped on your windows, the photos and artwork displayed on your walls, the style of your lighting fixtures, and the flow from one room to another all make your home unique to you. 

When someone walks into your home the one thing that differentiates your home from anyone else's are your portraits and family photos. Photos make a home personal. A gallery wall allows you to easily display all the special images important to you like your family pictures, precious moments/trips, or beautiful portraits. This can be done with as little as 2-3 framed pictures to 15-20 images grouped together. The number of frames depends on your wall size and how many images you want to display. 

I took this opportunity to ask portrait photographer, Kirsten White of Kirsten White Photography to share her expertise of using quality portraits can tell YOUR story.  

Sabine: How long have you been a photographer?

Kirsten White, Owner & Photographer of Kirsten White Photography

Kirsten White, Owner & Photographer of Kirsten White Photography

Kirsten: I've been a professional photographer for 7 years. Prior to that, I always "played photographer" for my friends and family since around middle school. I studied any book I could find on cameras, light, and photography. I spent my free time replicating photos in fashion magazines. About 10 years ago, I had a short stint doing makeup as a side hustle and liked to promote my makeovers with before and after photos. Soon, women were calling me more for the photos than the makeup and I really loved doing the mini photo shoots. I started getting more and more elaborate with my "after" sessions with lights and wardrobe. Lol! That's when I decided to go focus on photography. 

Sabine: What type of photography do you specialize in?

Kirsten: I specialize in photographing women. I love helping women to celebrate their beauty and express themselves with portraits. There's a hashtag that I love to participate with - #ExistInPhotos. That movement is important because so many times women simply don't exist in family photos or on the walls at home because she's either taking the photos or she's hung up on some aspect of her appearance and fears she doesn't look good. I think we're all guilty of hiding from a bad hair day or wanting to avoid pictures until we lose a few pounds. Sometimes, however, this avoidance goes on for years! I like to have a meaningful consultation with my clients and find out where they are regarding self-image and draw out strengths and ideal experiences. With that information, I can design a dream photo shoot showcasing the woman looking and feeling her best! I also really enjoy doing headshots and branding images for women and their businesses. It's so important to have fantastic images to make a great online first impression! 

"A great portrait is timeless and captures the uniqueness and beauty of the moment." - Kirsten White

Sabine: Why are portraits so important?

Kirsten: Portraits are important because they last forever. One thing we can never replace is time. A great portrait is timeless and captures the uniqueness and beauty of the moment. As a mother, I absolutely cherish my photos of my children. They grow up so quickly and I love looking at each portrait and candid photo and reminiscing about them at the age in the image. As a daughter, whose mother is deceased, the photographs I have of and with my mother are easily my most precious possessions! Same with my grandmother. I'm so glad I insisted on doing a generational photo session with me, my daughter, my mom, and my grandmother several years ago. My grandmother passed away about a year later and I lost my mom 2 1/2 years ago. Every time I look at our portrait, I remember how much fun we had together that day!

Sabine: What's the key to quality photos?

Kirsten: The key to quality photos is to relax and enjoy the moment. It's all about the sparkle in the eyes. Whether you're smiling or not, a strong connection in the eyes can take a portrait from good to great!

Sabine: What's your advice to creating a story through a gallery wall?

Kirsten: The best thing about a gallery wall, to me, is the story being told through the pictures. When I photograph a client, I'm actually shooting with this in mind. I like to do flow posing where each pose seems to naturally flow into the next. In a gallery grouping, it almost looks like she's dancing or moving right in front of you. You can also make a great gallery wall with lifestyle portraits so when displayed in a chronological grouping, it tells the story of the day. 

Gallery wall and Interior Design by Georgette Marise Interiors.

Gallery wall and Interior Design by Georgette Marise Interiors.

Sabine: Can someone combine portraits, family pictures and scenery photos all on one wall?

Kirsten: Yes! You can absolutely combine portraits, casual family pictures, and scenic photos on one wall. I like to see this especially in homes where each family member gets their own row. The rows are separated with a row of family pictures, and the wall is anchored with the scenic photos that provide cohesion by showing what they like to do together or where they like to visit/vacation as a family. 

Sabine: What's the key to selecting the right frame? Do you recommend a mat inside the frame?

Kirsten: Framing is very important to galleries and to portraits in general. To me, it's like the finishing touch that elevates the art. I always prefer mats inside frames. It just adds a beautiful high-end touch, in my opinion. With frames, I like them to be the same color and texture, even if they aren't all the same size or shape. My mother had a more eclectic approach and liked walls with different frame colors, shapes, sizes, and sometimes different materials. She looked for the frame that she felt best complimented the photograph. It's all about personal preference and what makes you happy. The big takeaway is to print your photos and do so through a professional lab (easily done through your photographer). All photo paper is not the same and while you may save a little money at the time, you don't want your precious photographs fading from the sunlight or over time. You also don't want to "just get the digitals" to save money because in most cases you'll never get around to having the photos printed. There are millions of photos trapped indefinitely on CDs or thumb drives! In my packages, I include the digital file for each portrait that's purchased. That way, I know my client is getting the best in both quality products and service. 

Want to schedule a photo shoot with Kirsten? Book online here or email Kirsten at kirsten@kirstenwhitephoto.com.  Comment below and share with us on Facebook your gallery walls! 

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Turning your New House into your New Home

As someone who has moved a lot over the years, I can understand the emotional transition and countless decisions that come with moving into a new home. How do you make your new place of living feel like its your home?

"A house is just a shell composed of multiple spaces, but it's NOT a home until it has your personality reflected throughout its entirety." -S. Hayes 

Define Each Room. Decide what the function of each room in your new home will be. Whether you are downsizing or upgrading, your new home is different than your old home so you will have to make adjustments. For example, if you are going to work from home and need dedicated work space maybe you want to turn the formal living room into your home office. The key is to start with your needs and everything will fall into place. Once you've defined the room, place your boxes (that were hopefully labeled by room) in their designated rooms. Moving isn’t easy, but if you unpack a few boxes every day you will see the light at the end of the tunnel.

This home office, designed by Sabine, was originally a formal living room.  

This home office, designed by Sabine, was originally a formal living room.  

Find What Fits. If you are downsizing into a smaller home you will be donating, selling or throwing away a lot of your things you had in your larger home. However, if you are upgrading determine the things that are on the “must keep list”. After you have defined the function of your rooms/areas, decide what furniture and accessories are appropriate for the spaces. For example, you might've had a sectional in your last living room but now your current room is shaped differently, what do you do? If the sectional configuration cannot fit in the space you may have to replace it with a sofa and 2 chairs, or 2 sofas, instead. This is where your designer comes in to assist with a furniture layout. 

Furniture Layout

Furniture Layout

Finish One Room. Accessorizing is one of the most important elements to designing and decorating a room. I personally have moved to 4 states, 6 cities in 18 years, and from my experience, there’s nothing more comforting than having a few completed rooms in your new home. Even if you are still in transition or getting settled. Be sure to take one room that’s important to you, add your large essential pieces then be sure to personalize the space by adding accessories. Design Tip: To reduce the amount of echo from the walls focus on adding artwork to the walls.

What has your moving experience been? Did you find it easy to transition into your new home? I want to know, so please share your thoughts in the comments below. If you are stressed with trying to create a home in your new house contact me TODAY at sabine@georgettemarise.com to get started on your new chapter. 

À la prochaine,

 

Gift Guide: Design Picks for Mother's Day

"Being a mother is learning about strengths you didn't know you had, and dealing with fears you didn't know existed." -Linda Wooten

mother's day gift guide

Mother's Day is only once a year but mothers should be appreciated every day for the important jobs they do. Being a mother has been one of the hardest but most rewarding roles I've been blessed with. When I think of my role model or who I aspire to be, I immediately think of my late mother Suzanne Marise and my late grandmother Georgette. I am truly grateful for their love and strength they had, which allowed me to become the woman, wife, mother and designer I am today. 

"No language can express the power, and beauty, and heroism, and majesty of a mother's love." -Edwin Hubbell Chapin

Let's lift up our amazing mothers, grandmothers, aunts and/or any motherly figure in our lives by showing our appreciation. Gifts are a great way to show that we care and think of our amazing moms or mom figures. This year I hand-picked some stylish-curated gifts for our everyday, busy moms. Click on the links below to order before Mother's Day and don't foeget to leave mom a special note!

Mother's Day Gift Ideas

Mother's Day Gift Ideas

1. Crate & Barrel Vintage Tea Kettle 2. Amara Uzes Tuberose Candle 3. Amara Hangit Photo Display 4. West Elm Brass Word Object-Cheers 5. Amara Pearl Tumblers 6.

For more on my story, ready my bio. Drop me a note in the comment of your favorite mother's day gift.

Bonne Fête des Mères! (french. Happy Mother's Day!)

 

How to Create a Comfortable & Stylish Family Room Around Your TV

Technology has dramatically changed the way we live in our homes. Every room in our home has a smart TV, laptop, and/or tablet. This is the age, in which we live in. It's not necessarily a bad thing, but you have to ask yourselves if the design of your home has updated to your modernized lifestyle?

Outside of the kitchen, the family room/living room, for smaller homes, is the most congregated space in your home. Why? Well, because that's usually where the TV is. Whether you are streaming your favorite show, hosting a watch party, or put a program on for your kids to watch, the television is part of your life and therefore an essential piece of your home. 

Although the TV is part of your life it doesn't have to be the center attention of your space. Let me explain. The design of the TV is essentially a black box. Thanks to modern design, screens are now flat, thin in depth, and have the ability to mount on a wall. But how do you incorporate a black box  into a room of stylish, casual furniture with decorative accessories? Answer: by carefully blending your needs (functions) + your wants (style).

Create a Focal Point. Though the main function of your family room is the TV, it shouldn't be the focal point. For example, if the first thing you see when you walk into your room are the floor to ceiling windows over looking your beautiful yard, the windows should be your focal point. Depending on the layout of your space, consider placing the TV on a short wall or the next largest wall.  

WE TURNED THIS 70" TV INTO A PIECE OF ART BY FRAMING IT AND ADDING PICTURE FRAMES AROUND IT TO CREATE A COLLAGE WALL.

WE TURNED THIS 70" TV INTO A PIECE OF ART BY FRAMING IT AND ADDING PICTURE FRAMES AROUND IT TO CREATE A COLLAGE WALL.

Create a Distraction. You want to make sure the TV is viewable from all angles, so make sure your seating arrangement allows for that. However, to avoid making the TV an eye soar you may want to consider framing it (if the TV is mounted to the wall). Framing your TV will create the visual appearance of wall decor when the screen is off. If your TV is not mounted consider using a furniture TV console to sit beneath. Using a TV console that looks like quality furniture will make your TV feel included with the rest of your furniture and accessories.

Accessorize. After you've created a focal point and have a distraction, the next step is to accessorize. Accessorizing is an important step to finishing a successful room. Think of this: How exciting would a room be if you just had a sofa and a TV hung on the wall? Not interesting...right? Even a successful man cave needs accessories. If your TV is mounted to the wall, line up framed pictures or wall art to the left and right of your screen. Tip: Make sure all the gaps between the frames are the same distance. If your TV is on a console add wall decor above or on both sides of the screen. This will give your room a balanced and collected look. 

In the comments below share with me where your TV is located (mounted to the wall, framed and above the fireplace, on a console, etc). 

À la prochaine,

 

How Fresh Flowers Can Add a Special POP to your Decor

HOW FRESH FLOWERS ADD A POP TO YOUR DECOR

HOW FRESH FLOWERS ADD A POP TO YOUR DECOR

I am so excited spring is finally here and the weather has been consistent. The best part of spring, in my opinion, are the new flowers blooming, bright colors and a sense of freshness. After being confined indoors from winter, spring allows us to enjoy the outdoors and even bring the outdoors in. Flowers are a great way to add an organic, outdoor element indoors. What I love and enjoy about flowers are the various ways they bring life to a completed space. 

As many of you know, I love almost anything Parisian. That is probably something I got from my late grandmother Georgette (hence the name). My family is from the Caribbean and one of the languages I grew up around was French. I have not made it to France yet, but it is on my list! I say that to say, I bumped into this adorable Parisian floral and garden boutique in the Old City neighborhood of Philadelphia. I later found out that this cute floral shop Petit Jardin en Ville, is owned by a husband and wife couple. When I stopped in the store I felt very relaxed and at peace because of my surroundings. The vintage garden decor, with the gray painted brick wall, pails of fresh and colorful flower stems, accompanied with a knowledgeable and friendly store associate made me feel comfortable and inspired to find my own new flower. This experience has inspired me to write about the MANY ways fresh flowers can add a special POP to your home decor. 

Adds Color. The beautiful thing about flowers is there are thousands of types that can be mixed and matched to coordinate with your room decor. Even if the design of your space is neutral, a bright floral arrangement can add that je ne sais quoi or that element of surprise.

Instagram: @petitjardinenville

Instagram: @petitjardinenville

Adds Height. The secret to arranging accessories is to work in odd numbers. Floral arrangements are a great way to add height to a flat tabletop surface, such as a dining table, kitchen island or a desk. Floral arrangements can vary in height both tall and low. Be sure to choose one that is to scale with your overall design. For example, a low arrangement is perfect for a centerpiece on a dining table during a dinner party. This allows guests to comfortably conversate with one another. 

Adds Freshness. Even the most beautiful room can feel stale. Fresh flowers have a way of bringing a fresh, fragrance and life to a space. 

Spring Floral Centerpiece with fresh cut limes designed by Georgette Marise Interiors.

Spring Floral Centerpiece with fresh cut limes designed by Georgette Marise Interiors.

Once you've found your perfect selection of fresh cut flowers and add them to your completed space, Mimi Verde, owner and florist of VERDE' EVENTS, says there are key things you can do to extend the longevity of your beautiful arrangement. 

  • Remove all dead foliage from your stems.
  • Change your water daily to retain freshness.
  • Use flower food to help the flowers last longer.
  • Cut the stems at an angle daily. 

All flowers are different so Mimi suggests that if you have hydrangeas, keep them away from sunlight. For roses, she suggests using a capful of Coca-Cola in the water. Most floral arrangements should last 7-10 days if maintained properly. To contact VERDE' EVENTS call Mimi at 267.928.5034. 

Comment below to share your favorite flowers. 

À la prochaine, 

 

 

 

Refresh Your Space With These Spring & Summer Paint Colors

Spring is finally here and it's time to refresh, spruce up, and brighten up your palette! If you are scratching your head around one particular room and don't know how to give it a little change, try upgrading the paint color on the walls and ceiling. 

Sometimes all your room needs is a redesign of the space. Painting is the fastest and most cost effective way to makeover a room without changing the furniture. It has the power to change the tone and mood of your space. Selecting the RIGHT paint color for your room is the biggest challenge my clients have. If you are looking to refresh your room try one of these colors this spring and summer to create an inviting space that you and your guests will enjoy.

My top Paint Color Picks for this Spring and Summer. 

My top Paint Color Picks for this Spring and Summer. 

If you would like to freshen the look of your room this spring but don't know what color would work best for your space, I recommend starting with my online Color Suggestions service to save you time, energy and headache. CLICK HERE.

Comment below with your favorite Spring/Summer paint color choices. Can't wait to see them!

À la prochaine, 

 

 

 

 

 

3 Pieces of Furniture that Should be in Every Bedroom

The bedroom is one of the most important rooms in a home. Though it’s not a public room in the home where everyone is invited, it is a private room for resting, relaxing, and “me” time. Whether you are decorating a master bedroom, a guest bedroom, or a kid’s bedroom these are 3 pieces of furniture you definitely need to have.

Bed Frame. The bed is the most important piece to a bedroom, it is also the largest piece. After all, if there’s no bed then it’s not a bedroom, right. It is usually placed on the longest or largest wall. It is considered the showcase piece that defines the rest of the room. The wall that the bed is placed is the focal point wall that you see when you walk into the room. There are several styles to choose from, sleigh bed, 4 poster bed, panel bed, bunk bed, upholstered bed, and the list goes on. Choose the style of your bed carefully because it has to be both functional and stylish.

painting the bed frame wall an accent color created the focal point to this master bedroom.

painting the bed frame wall an accent color created the focal point to this master bedroom.

Chest of Drawers. Storage, Storage, Storage. Every room needs it. A chest is a great piece to add in any bedroom because of it functionality. It also is a great way to add height to your room. Don’t forget to accessorize it by putting artwork or wall decor above it .

Depending on the size of your bedroom, you maybe able to fit both a tall chest of drawers and a wide dresser. Be sure to talk to an interior designer to assist you in deciding which, if not both, will be appropriate for your bedroom.

In this master bedroom, I used the chest of drawers/dresser and an accent chair to create a functional sitting area.

In this master bedroom, I used the chest of drawers/dresser and an accent chair to create a functional sitting area.

Accent Chair. This is often the forgotten piece of furniture in a room because most people go straight to the bed for seating in a bedroom. The bed is for resting, and the accent chair serves as a great place to cozy up and read a book before going to bed, reading the paper with a cup of coffee in the morning before starting the day, or maybe feeding your newborn in the nursery . 

Creating a sitting corner is an important element to a bedroom because not only does it allow you to add another texture or color to the room, but it serves as another area in the room to relax, take your shoes off, and to unwind. Contact me at sabine@georgettemarise.com today to create your bedroom retreat.

Here's to gorgeous bedrooms!

 

No. 1 Reason Why You Should Invest in Your Powder Room

Powder Room...It may be one of the smallest rooms in your home but it's one of the few rooms that get the most attention. Think about it, when guests come to your home there is usually a large percent chance they will ask to use the restroom. Therefore, make sure you are investing in the design of your powder room. 

I used a grass cloth wallpaper in half of the space to add texture. I switched the pedestal sink for a vanity sink with a raised bowl for a spa experience.

I used a grass cloth wallpaper in half of the space to add texture. I switched the pedestal sink for a vanity sink with a raised bowl for a spa experience.

No. 1 Reason - Guests always use the powder room.

The powder room isn't for you, it's for your guests. Even if it's the size of a tiny closet, it cannot be forgotten or an afterthought. The design & decor of your powder room should be the cherry on top! This is the room that you really want your guests to say "WOW"! Take a chance and be daring in your powder design. 

If your home tells a story, your powder room has to be part of the story. It needs to reflect the overall style of your home. If you have a new construction home with builder grade or contractor grade finishes you may want to consider upgrading all the finishes at one time or one by one. When it comes to designing a small space like a powder room the smallest detail matters, from the flooring choice to the mirror style to even the sink and door hardware choices. 

"The importance is in the details." -Russ Cooper

If your powder room is not inviting, aesthetically pleasing, or outdated it may be time to think about upgrading the design. Are you overwhelmed with the thought of selecting from the hundreds and thousands of options? Where do you start--- I'm here to help you. Let's work hand in hand to create a powder room that is not only functional but will impress your guests. Let's include you powder room into the story of your home. LET'S START!

Here's to gorgeous powder rooms!

 

 

 

Create Your Dream Space in the New Year.

The start of a new year brings new beginnings, goals, and new tasks to accomplish. One of the top to-do tasks on the new year's list is usually completing a renovation project in the home. I am a big advocate that your home should reflect your personality, therefore I encourage you to define qualities you would like to create in your dream space.

"Your home doesn't need to look like anyone else's but your own."

What is most important to you in your home? Decide what is important to you in order to determine the functions for each space in your home. Once you have a function defined, this will provide the purpose. Having a purpose is the beginning phase to creating a plan. 

How do you want to feel in your home? Having a plan allows you or your interior designer to create a layout that will be the base to your design. Once the layout is finalized it's important to know how you want to feel in your space. Colors, lighting, texture, placement, and finish options are all choices that affect how you feel in your space. Your choices have to be chosen strategically.  

What personal or meaningful touches do you want in your home? The difference between a house and a home is personalization. A house is just the shell, whereas a home is the soul. Your home should showcase your style, your personality, your hobbies, your loved ones and your prized possessions. Someone should be able to walk into your home and know who you are. 

follow the steps to achieving your dream space

follow the steps to achieving your dream space

Are you excited about creating your dream space yet? Stay connected to Georgette Marise to find out helpful do's and don'ts for starting a renovation project from our own expert contractors. Share with me ideas for your dream space in the comments below.

Here's to creating dream spaces!

 

5 Reasons How Paint Can Transform a Room

Painting your walls can change your space for the best or the worst. I love to walk into a space and feel comfortable, excited, happy, relaxed, or even surprised! The reason why I can have those feelings when I walk into a space is because something as simple as a wall color can play a large role in designing a successful room. One of the largest structures in a room are the walls and painting them the right color can MAKE or BREAK the design of your room. 

Have you ever chosen a wall color then paint your walls, place all the furnishings back into the room and feel like you're in a different room? That's because color is one of the most important elements in interior design. I decided to focus on 5 reasons paint can transform your room to a new level visually.

"Choosing the right color, finish, or pattern for your room is key to transforming your space."

1. Creates a Backdrop. Since walls are one of the largest structures in your room, painting them will make a dramatic difference in how your room looks. Design Tip: If prefer to not have the walls the focus of your room then I suggest painting them a neutral color or even white. This will create a backdrop for your key pieces (e.i. artwork, pillows, accent furnishings) to shine. White walls are always a great option if you prefer a fresh, clean look.

2. Adds Pattern and Texture. If you like the idea of adding a focal wall or want to highlight a surface like the floors, ceilings or a column then using a faux finish or special technique with paint can allow you to create a custom pattern or texture that no one else will have. Be sure you consult with your interior designer and paint specialist first. 

A professional faux finisher created a leather-look pattern with paint.

A professional faux finisher created a leather-look pattern with paint.

3. Adds Contrast. A successful room design includes visual interest. Nothing adds more visual interest than contrast. Even if you have a monochromatic color palette, add contrast by using a darker wall color than your floor surface. This will add a layer of interest to the design of your room.

We gave this master bedroom a slight contrast by painting a darker hue on the focal wall.

We gave this master bedroom a slight contrast by painting a darker hue on the focal wall.

4. Adds Color. Color has the power to affect your emotions. It's a good idea to take some time and determine how you want to feel in your room. Warm colors can make a space feel cozy, exciting, playful, and energized. Whereas, cool colors can make a space feel relaxing, soothing, and peaceful.

5. Freshens a Room. A fresh coat of paint is a quick and easy way to liven or freshen your room. New painted walls have a clean and bright layer of finish to them that will add a new look to your room.

If you are frustrated trying to choose a paint color for your room or don't know what will look great with your existing design, this is your time to get your PAINT CONSULTATION for a flat rate! This will save you TIME & HEADACHE. I will choose the right paint color and finish for your walls that will have your guests impressed with your NEW room! Plus your painter will be excited that you finally made a decision! GET STARTED BY CLICKING>>>HERE.

Here's to beautiful colored walls!

 

P.S. Not located in the Tri State area? No worries, Paint Color Suggestions is an online service offered at a flat rate per room. 

3 Bar Cart Accessories for your New Year's Eve Party

The countdown for the New Year is quickly approaching! If you are hosting a few friends and family, a bar cart can be the star of the night. A bar cart can be mobile or in a permanent location used as a serving station. With arranging these few accessories you can elevate the appearance of your bar cart just in time for your New Year's Eve guests! 

Ice Bucket. If you have specific liquors you are using to make cocktails place 2-4 bottles on your cart first. This will add height and allow you to built around them. If you have certain liquors that need to remain cold place them in an ice bucket. An ice bucket can be decorative just as it is functional.

Shaker. Show off your bartending or mixology skills by using a shaker for some of your New Year's drinks. Place your shaker near your liquor bottles and next to any additional ingredients you are using like mint leaves, limes, etc. This should be on the top shelf since you will need it on hand to mix.

Add stylish and functional accessories to your bar cart. 

Add stylish and functional accessories to your bar cart. 

Glasses. You can't have a functional bar cart without glasses. Display and store a group of different glasses based on the drinks you are serving. For example, you can start with wine glasses then also include pairs of tumblers or martini glasses if you are serving cocktails. I always like placing my glasses in rows for a clean and professional display. 

Be sure to share pictures of your bar carts on Twitter or Instagram and use #styleANDfunctionNYE. Don't forget to follow me on Instagram at @georgettemarise

I hope that 2016 has been a blessing in many ways and wish you nothing but the best in 2017. Thank you for reading my posts, I hope that I was able to ignite an inspiration for your spaces with tips and ideas to your dilemmas. If you would like personal design solutions email me directly at sabine@georgettemarise.com.

Happy New Year and here's to 2017!

 

 

 

 

Gift Guide: Last Minute Gifts

Christmas is around the corner!!! Sometimes the thought of buying your loved ones, friends, and coworkers gifts can be daunting and frustrating. With just a few days left to shop, here are some last minute gift ideas that your creative loved ones will be sure to enjoy!

Great gift options in time for the holidays! To access the product info CLICK ON this link. 

Great gift options in time for the holidays! To access the product info CLICK ON this link

I hope that you have a great holiday and share this time with those who mean the most to you. Joyeux Noël!