How to Update your Living Room Without Buying New Furniture

They say most people change or update the furniture in their homes every 7 years. I personally believe this is done because as humans we get tired of looking at the same thing over and over. This is probably why we see many companies remodel their place of business every couple of years. Change, no matter if it’s big or small, can be refreshing especially in our homes.

living room design

living room design

Your living room is typically the first space guests come in when visiting your home. This maybe a combined living/family space for the entire home or it maybe a separate formal room that is reserved primarily for guests only. Either way updating the decor of your living room can bring new life into your entire home. Even the smallest changes to your living room’s decor can improve your mood and make you more productive.

rearrange your furniture

rearrange your furniture

Rearrange Your Furniture. The right furniture layout can change the productivity of your living room. Often times we place our furniture in one location and never see the other possibilities for the room. If possible try moving your sofa to another side of the room (preferably the longest wall in the room-since the sofa is your longest piece of furniture). If you have an open floor plan try floating your sofa in the middle of the room and move your chairs to the opposite side of the sofa. If moving your sofa is not an option, try moving smaller furnishings like the tv console table or accent chairs.

Change your Wall Color. Color trends change every year. A color palette that was in style 15 years ago maybe outdated now. Giving your living room a fresh coat of paint has the power to transform your room. Be sure the color you choose coordinates with your room’s overall color palette and any neighboring rooms.

lighting fixture

lighting fixture

Change your light fixture. Proper lighting is essential in a room’s design. Just like colors can become outdated so can light fixtures. Something as simple as updating your table or floor lamps can quickly update the decor of your living room.

drape a throw on your chair

drape a throw on your chair

Add Layers. This may seem like a small change but it is the fastest and easiest way to update the look of your living room. By simply switching out your pillows, throws and area rug you have given your seating area a mini makeover. Be sure to add pillows with different texture and patterns for visual interest. With the seasons changing now is a perfect time to get a new throw to drape against your accent chair, this will add color and layered texture to your chair. Don’t forget about your area rug! whether you have a hard floor surface or wall to wall carpet, adding a rug defines an area. If you have a monochromatic or neutral palette in you living room, updating your rug to a print or texture will complete your space. Make sure your area rug is not too small and fits comfortably within your seating area.

Revamp your Wall Decor. Your wall decor helps tell the story of your rooms design. Start with a main artwork and allow the other wall decor pieces to coordinate with the main piece. Try changing the frame of an existing artwork or print to give it new life in your room.

Share in the comments below when was the last time your living room was updated.

À la prochaine,

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Bring Summer into your Home with These Lively Colors

Summer Colors for the home

Summer Colors for the home

Summer is in full gear and that means bright, organic colors that remind us of the outdoors. I am personally a fan of rich color tones blended with soft neutrals and this summer my color picks are inspired by fashion, tropical foliage, and the different shades of a sunset.


SW 6626 Sunset is a beautiful, bright orange with a slight peach undertone. This warm color pairs nicely with a soft off-white neutral yet can contrast with a deep green such as SW 6432 Garden Spot.

SW 6432 Garden Spot is a fresh, organic green-leaf color that is sure to blend with any color palette this summer. Add this cool color to contrast against the warm SW 6626 Sunset or SW 6671 Curry tones. If you prefer a neutral color palette use this rich green as an accent color against your crisp, clean white decor.

SW 6671 Curry is a warm punch of color that will spice up any room or space this summer. This golden, yellow color contrasts perfectly with SW 6432 Garden Spot or a rich teal color.

Pull inspiration this summer from what’s around you to get started. Some great inspiration sources are nature, your wardrobe, artwork, magazines and Pinterest of course.

If selecting colors for your home that reflect your style sounds overwhelming, exhausting or even impossible try my online Paint Color Suggestion service. For a flat rate I will select a complete color palette that will have your guests saying “Wow!”.

À la prochaine,

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Decorating a New Home During Life Transitions


Perspective is everything. I recently had a client of preteen girls who were initially moving into a new house. Her girls were excited about getting their own room. The project was put on pause due to some unexpected flooding that occurred (never fun). Two years later the mother reached out to continue the girls’ rooms except now the girls had to share a room. The girls were not excited about this change of course. By this time the styles and needs of the girls changed and they could not come to an agreement on style, furnishings, colors or placement. Through seeing some visual design boards and shopping the girls were starting to see the vision. As an interior designer, I love tackling challenges! I made it my goal to design a shared bedroom that represented each girl. As I started to design there were many changes and obstacles but seeing the completed space as the finish line was my focus.

Mood Board: Each girl’s style and needs we represented in this design.

Mood Board: Each girl’s style and needs we represented in this design.

Fast forward to now, demolition is complete, drywall/plumbing/lighting is done, painting is finish and furniture has been ordered. Seeing the completed space even in the midst of construction chaos is easy for me but not so much for preteen girls. They were getting anxious and I understand. I later had a conversation with the mother and she explained that the girls were going through several life changes in their home life and this project represented a space they can call their own. That put everything in perspective for me! That made the design even more important. This was more than putting pretty things together. It was about creating an environment where they can feel safe and comfortable to be themselves.

Life changes can be challenging. Whether you are moving, newly married, just had a new baby, became an empty nester, maybe just got a new job, or going through a divorce the look and feel of your home during these life transitions can make a big difference.


Start with a Purpose

Your home is more than a group of walls, ceiling, and floors. It’s your personal space. It doesn’t have to be perfect (nor does that exist) but it should reflect your style and personality. Define each room. For each room or space ask yourself: What will I be doing in this space? (resting, entertaining, dining, working, meditating, reading, playing, etc.) How do I want to feel in this room or space? (calm, productive, happy, safe, relaxed, energized, etc.) Defining these questions are the first step to accomplishing a new space.



After you’ve defined the use of each room or space, it’s time to plan. An easy way to plan is start with developing a budget. Once you have a budget create a floor plan or layout. You can do this with your interior designer or on your own if you are going the DIY route. Measure your space and put it on paper or use a planning software.

Remember we talked about finding your purpose? That is going to come in handy for the planning stage. It’s time to decide what furnishings are going to be needed in the space. If you are incorporating some existing pieces start there. Begin with the largest furnishings and add them to the plan. Ex. If you are creating a reading area on a 2nd-floor landing space to feel relaxed you might want to add a chaise, a comfortable plush chair, or some floor pillows near a group of floating shelves. Also, be sure to complete any construction, electrical, painting, or installation needed.


Once you’ve finished planning and everything is in, it’s time to decorate! When installing it’s always a good idea to start with the placement of your largest piece of furniture. Once your furniture, tables, rugs are in place add your accessories (the pillows, wall decor, framed pictures, table tops accents, plants, etc)

Your space should accomplish what you want it to accomplish. By being intentional about decorating your new home you can help decrease the stress that happens during life transitions.

À la prochaine,

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5 Ways to Spend Quality Time with Mom this Mother's Day


Mother’s Day is in a few days and the stress of picking the right gift or flowers with the hopes of booking a reservation for brunch can be overwhelming. Gifts, flowers or going out for Sunday brunch are all great ways to show your mom that you care and were thinking of her, especially if her love language is receiving gifts. However, sometimes the best memories are the ones that are created through spending quality time together at home.

If your mom lives local spending quality time at home can beat the gift of beautiful flowers and personalized keepsakes. Even though my “love language” is quality time I can get so consumed with the busyness of life that as a mother myself I undervalue the impact of building memories with my 8-year-old daughter until she tells me how much those times mean to her.

Quality time doesn’t have to be complicated or overthought but it should revolve around your mom’s interests (since it is Mother’s Day). Here are some ideas you can share together around the house.

  1. Cook or Bake Together. Sharing time in the kitchen can bring a relationship even closer, especially if cooking or baking is a passion that you and your mother enjoy together. The beauty of this quality time is that you get to enjoy the labor of your love.

  2. Gardening Together. This is personally an activity I enjoy doing with my mother-in-law. She loves to garden and she has thought me so much about planting. If spending time in the kitchen feels stressful you may find getting your hands dirty outside in the yard or planting pots on the balcony relaxing.

  3. Watch a Movie. If you’re looking for a casual, comfortable and relaxing day with mom one idea is staying in and putting a movie on. Since it’s Mother’s Day be sure you let mom pick the movie and have her favorite snacks available.

  4. Spending Time with the Family. This is especially nice if your mom always loves to spend time with her grandkids. Prepare some projects (like some already mentioned) and instead of just you and mom include the kids.

  5. Tea Time. Life can be often filled with going from one appointment to another, running daily errands, and work/family obligations. Taking a breather and sitting down with your mom over tea and hors d’oeuvres is a great way to pause and cherish the company of your mother.


Your version of spending quality time maybe different based on your mom’s interest and personality and your overall relationship with her but the goal is the same. I hope you make some precious memories with your mom this Mother’s Day!

Share one of you most memorable times with your mom below.

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

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Create a Closet Makeover in the New Year

Happy New Year! The holidays are over and it’s time to think about new goals and projects you want to tackle for the year. A great personal project in your home to tackle at the beginning of the year is your closet. Closets are an essential part of a home. I want to spend time sharing particularly about the closets in our bedroom. They are the enclosed spaces where everything is stored, most importantly our clothes. Having a well designed and organized closet can create ease in our daily lives.

Closet makeover

Closet makeover

Know Your Closet Type. Depending on the type of closet that you have your design and organization may be different but the overall concept is the same.

  • Reach-In Closets. These closets are usually found in apartments and older homes. Reach-ins are versatile in design and can easily be tucked away in corner of a room with a single door or can take up a complete wall with sliding or pocket doors. They have a rod pole with a shelf above for additional storage. If customized or designed successfully these closets can offer maximum storage with minimum space.

  • Wardrobe or Armoires. These are probably the oldest form of closets and are still used today as additional forms of storage. Wardrobes can be found in lofts or modern homes as built-ins or large pieces of furniture. They usually have doors and drawers with rods and compartments inside including mirrors, hooks, and pull-outs.

  • Walk-In Closets. Walk-ins are a room within themselves. They are often considered luxurious and found in master suites. In order to not waste space, I recommend a proper closet system design, lighting fixture(s), and even a seating area (if possible). A successful walk-in closet in my opinion is one that blends with the overall decor of a master bedroom.

Organize Your Closet. Whether you have a reach-in, wardrobe or walk-in closet without organization your closet is just a space full of stuff everywhere. You should open the door(s) to your closet and know what you need and where to find it. Depending on your closet type, amount of clothing, and your budget you may want to consider purchasing or custom designing a full closet system. Even a small reach-in closet can benefit from a closet system with additional shelves and drawers. Tracey Evelyn, a wardrobe stylist expert recommends categorizing your closet. She says that by grouping all your blouses together, your skirts together and dresses together they make moving through your closet such a breeze. Tracey helps her clients organize their clothing in their closets to make getting dressed easy and quick through her personal Closet Edit service.

group your clothing

group your clothing

Decorate Your Closet. Just like any space the functional component is essential but so is the aesthetic. As I mentioned earlier, your closet should blend in with the overall decor of your bedroom. For example, if your bedroom is rustic with a neutral color palette be sure that look is carried into your closet. Also, don’t be afraid to accessorize with the space you have. Check out my post on Must Haves for Decorating your Closet for tips and inspiration.

Let’s start the new year fresh and organized! Share below what home projects you are hoping to tackle this year.

Bonne année ! Happy New Year!

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Gift Guide: Holiday Gifts for Her


The holidays are upon us and shopping for gifts can feel like another task. This season I created curated gift guides from Target! In this guide we’re starting with gifts for the special women in your life (your mom, wife, in-laws, sisters, aunts, bestie, co-workers, and don’t forget your kid’s teachers).

Curated gift guide from  target

Curated gift guide from target

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Sabine's Favorite Tablescapes for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Tablescape Ideas

Thanksgiving Tablescape Ideas

With Thanksgiving around the corner you’re probably going down the checklist and finishing your last minute shopping if you’re hosting. Thanksgiving is all about expressing gratitude while in the company of loved ones and delicious food. The center of Thanksgiving dinner is the table. Whether you gather around for a sit-down dinner or serve a buffet style dinner the table is always the focal point.

I love a beautiful tablescape. A successful tablescape in my opinion has multiple layers of interest, especially for Thanksgiving. A Thanksgiving tablescape has more items on the table than an average table setting. Here are my top favorite Pins of tablescapes perfect for Thanksgiving.

What I love about this setting is the use of gold, bronze and copper. Those tones have a warmth about them, perfect for fall. The gold flatware is balanced by the simple white charger, dinner & salad plate then topped off with the copper wine glasses. The copper wine glasses are the showpieces in this tablescape!

This tablescape caught my eye because of the beautiful pops of color (of course) but also the use of texture. I love the woven table runner as a base with the groupings of both velvet & real pumpkins in different colors accented by the mercury glass candle votives. However, what stood out to me immediately were the medium sized succulent/floral centerpieces in a black container! I loved the use of 3 centerpieces since they were fairly low and medium in size.

Unlike the previous tablescape pin, the use of a large floral centerpiece in this tablescape caught my eye. I love a large centerpiece in this setting because all the other elements (like the natural table, white are subtle). The amber glass urn as the container is both elegant and classic for a fall look.

This tablescape is a perfect example of how to use a table runner on a round table. In this tablescape the runner is used to divide the table in half, forcing 2 place settings to be at a slight angle instead of a 90 degree angle. Also, I love the light blush color palette, which is unusually for fall but it works well. I am a big fan of white pumpkins, so this setting has my love. This is beautiful for a smaller, intimate Thanksgiving dinner.

I find this tablescape unique. It’s both rustic and elegant. I love the lush, rich colors of the floral arrangement accented by the bold magnolia leaves running down the table. The alternating dinnerware creates a diverse setting but still coordinates with the overall style of the tablescape. For example, one place setting has a charcoal charger with an off-white/speckled plate while another place setting has an off-white charger with a charcoal plate next to an off-white charger with a gold-trim white plate setting. What brings these different settings together is the color palette, the common plum napkins with gold rings and the common glassware.

I hope your tablescape is a gathering location that envokes great conversation and laughter over a shared meal. Don’t be overwhelmed with what you need to create a beautiful table, use what you do have and allow everything else to fall into place.

For help creating a quick tablescape design using items you already have, schedule a phone consultation with me before Thanksgiving.

For more of my tablescape favorites follow my board on Pinterest. Happy Thanksgiving!

À la prochaine,

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How Gratitude Helps you Live in your Best Space

I love this time of the season. Thanksgiving happens to be my favorite holiday. I have so many memories of my time with my mother in the kitchen making turkey for our family and not eating all day just in anticipation for all the delicious food that will be at the dinner table. One of my favorite parts of Thanksgiving is reflecting on what I am grateful for, something that I believe we all should do everyday.

Being grateful for our homes and those that we share it with can really help put life in perspective. Reflecting and having gratitude for where we live draws inspiration. Remember that gratitude is a mind shift. Gratitude for our homes allows us to:

  • love the features that make our homes uniquely ours (like sentimental furnishings or accessories that we’ve collected in our travels)

  • be better hosts to our guests

  • not dwell on what we don’t have but what we are blessed to have

Gratitude Goes a Long Way

Gratitude Goes a Long Way

My favorite part of being an interior designer is walking into people’s homes and hearing how they use their space, or I should say how they would like to use their space after it’s designed. It gives me an inside glimpse of their lives and their interactions with their family. They share things they love about their home like the overall layout or floor plan of the house, the cozy fireplace in the living room or the private outdoor space. Often times they share memories they’ve had as a family in these spaces. I find this inspirational and valuable as a designer because each client has their own qualities that they love.

Though there will always be room for improvement when it comes to our homes, I believe that it’s always a good idea to pause and look around our homes. You will be surprised at the memories you remember and the inspiration this can bring. No matter whether your home is a 1-bedroom condo in a high rise, a loft in the city, a single-family home in the suburbs or a mansion on an estate, having a home that reflects who you are is a blessing which should not be taken for granted.

It would be a joy to hear about what you are grateful in your homes. Please share in the comments below. I can start…

I am grateful to be able to share my home with my husband and 2 kids. Our home is a safe place where we laugh, cry, play, work, entertain, meditate, and rest together as a family.

Your turn…

À la prochaine,

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Bring Fall Looks and Scents Into your Home

Though the seasons this year have taken an unusual twist, by that I mean it feels as though we went from summer straight to winter, I still want to celebrate and enjoy the fall season. Fall is suppose to be the beautiful transition from the hot summer day to the cold wintery nights. I love watching the leaves turn into rich earth tone colors before they gently drop to the ground.


As the seasons change so do we. From our wardrobe to our home decor we add multiple layers and textures mixed with dark color tones during this transition of seasons. The great thing is you can add fall looks and scents in small ways that can make a big impact.

Add Layers. A well designed space has layers. This can be as simple as adding a soft throw to the arm of your sofa or switching out your spring and summer pillows with a grouping of fall colored pillows. In your dining area try adding a runner to your table for texture and definition or new bedding for your relaxing bedroom. Tracey Evelyn, stylist expert and owner of Tracey Evelyn recommends the following fabrics and textures on trend this fall: leather, chenille, burlap, knit, tweed and faux fur.


Add Fall Scents. This tip hits home for me. Why? Because I enjoy beautiful scents, especially when they are subtle and natural. Anyone that knows me, knows I love candles. Actually, I would say I’m obsessed with candles! This past September I had the great joy of experiencing making my own candle with some friends at a new BYOB eco-friendly candle making studio called Wax + Wine in Philadelphia. During my time there I had the chance to chat with Co-Founder, Jordan Beletz about what scents add to a space in the fall season.

Sabine: In a brief sentence, explain what is Wax + Wine?

Jordan: Wax + Wine is a BYOB candle making experience.


Sabine: I'm a big believer that scents affect how people feel in a space. In your opinion, what are some benefits to adding aromatics to a space?

Jordan: It sets a mood and becomes a piece of interior. Similar to how fresh flowers always make a statement, a candle scent evokes memories and conversation. It adds another dimension to a space. It adds emotion to something beautiful.

Sabine: What is it about the scent of pumpkins that resonates with people in the fall?

Jordan: It brings back memories. From pumpkin picking with their family when they were children, it’s a sign of a season changing. Summer is over and winter is near, and there is no better season then fall. Plus everyone loves pumpkins.

Sabine: From your collection of scents at Wax + Wine, what are your favorite scents for the fall season and why?

Jordan: I love the basics. Hazelnut Coffee, Pumpkin Chai, and Fresh Coffee. I love their strong scents, every time I light them it makes any room feel warmer, and they just smell delicious~


Sabine: What makes a quality candle?

Jordan: A high grade, quality wax and top grade fragrance oil and the proper ratio. Candle making is a science, and we are always trying to improve our recipe.

Personally, my favorite fall look and scent this season are soft throws with my bayberry cypress candle. Share in the comments below what your favorite look or scent is this season. I look forward to reading what your favorites are.

À la prochaine,

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5 Ways to Personalize your New Construction Home

A new construction home has a polished look and feel to it when you are touring around the newly drywalled rooms for the first time. Everything is brand-new, clean and fresh like a blank canvas. Often times, unless you are working on a custom built, new construction homes are in a development, community or street with other similar models. Though the exterior core of your new construction may have to look similar to your neighbors, the details and the design of the interior can be unique to you.


1. Paint or Upgrade your Front Door. As guests walk up to your house your front door is the first impression they have of your home. It should be welcoming, inviting…overall it should reflect YOU! Unfortunately, most new construction homes have standard fiberglass exterior doors in neutral colors. If your development allows, I suggest painting or changing your front door to a color and style that not only elevates your curb appeal and compliments the architecture of the house but also brings out your personality.

upgrade your front door. this single fiberglass door was changed to a custom wrought iron double door for a grand welcome.

upgrade your front door. this single fiberglass door was changed to a custom wrought iron double door for a grand welcome.

2. Upgrade your Fixtures. Unless you are building a custom home where you can specify all the fixtures and finishes, I suggest upgrading your builder grade fixtures (such as your light fixtures, door hardware, etc.) to your personal style. This can be overwhelming but doesn’t have to be done all at once. My advice is to focus on one room at a time, this will make each room feel complete.

upgrade your fixtures. designed by sharina liverman

upgrade your fixtures. designed by sharina liverman

3. Add Architectural Features. Architectural features such as fireplaces, molding, ceiling finishes, wall applications can all take your simple blank canvas and transform it to your personal oasis. The key is to know what features to add and where.

add architectural features.

add architectural features.

4. Paint your Walls. Painting your walls is the least expensive way to transform a new construction home. If you are purchasing your home while it is under construction some builders are willing to paint using your specified colors instead of the standard flat off-white or beige throughout. This will allow you to move into a freshly painted house that you don’t have to worry about.

5. Add Wallpaper. Add texture, pattern, color, and design to your space by incorporating a wallpaper that compliments the overall decor of your home. Wallpaper is a great way to add your personal style to your new construction. Depending on your design you can use it on an accent wall, in the hallway, on the ceiling, or in a small room. The possibilities are endless.

Do you live in a new construction home? What are some personal changes you made or would like to make to your blank canvas? Share in the comments below!

À la prochaine,

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Fall Colors to Enhance your Home

The change of seasons always brings new color palettes, textures and designs. I love the fall season because it adds a sense of warmth and comfort to our homes.


It’s time to add some fall accents and one way of doing that is with incorporating fall colors into your overall color palette. The beauty of creating a color palette is the versatility it has. Here are some of my favorite colors this fall.


Plum Brown has a dramatic depth to it. Use this rich eggplant color on your walls with white trim work or wainscoting in a dining room, powder room or bedroom. This color pairs well with Rookwood Amber for a beautiful contrast.

Rookwood Amber is a great warm color to add to your palette this fall. It’s an earth tone color that can be incorporated in a pillow design, window treatments, plants (like mums), artwork or even a fall tabletop accessory (like a pumpkin).

Forestwood brings the fall outdoor colors indoors. This color is inspired by colors found in nature. This deep, rich green is a perfect choice to use in your pillow decor, accent throw or fall bedding.

Santorini Blue can be considered an unexpected fall color tone but this teal base color contrasts beautifully with Rookwood Amber and Plum Brown. It’s the perfect color to add chic and style to a space.

What I love most about these colors for fall are the rich tones in each color. Whether you decide to use these colors together in a palette or separately as an accent to your existing colors they are sure to enhance the overall decor of your home.

What are some colors you are using in your home this fall and what do you love about them? Share in the comments below.

À la prochaine,

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No. 1 Least-Expensive Way to Dramatically Change your Room

Have you ever looked at your room and wished you could change the look of it but got overwhelmed at the thought of how much a project like that would cost? What if I told you that, if done correctly, you don’t have to buy any furnishings to have a new looking room!


Change your wall color, change your room.

Your walls, floors and ceiling are the base of your room. Everything else in your space (like your light fixtures, furniture, artwork, and accessories) work off of the base. If you change the appearance of the base you can make a dramatic change in the overall decor of your room. For example, think of a living room with white walls and dark furniture. The lightness of the walls creates a neutral base for the rest of the room. This allows the dark furnishings to contrast and stand out in the room. Now think of the same room with sage green walls and dark furniture, the darkness of the furniture has the potential to make the room look smaller or more intimate (depending on how you look at it). It’s the same room with the same furniture, but the color of the walls change the look and feel complete.

Living Room Makeover: This client wanted to create an intimate space with layers of color.

Living Room Makeover: This client wanted to create an intimate space with layers of color.

The color of your walls has the power to:

  • neutralize your room

  • change the “mood” of your room

  • draw attention to focal points and specific features such as architectural elements (built-ins, fireplaces, moldings, etc)

Living Room Makeover: darker wall colors were chosen to contrast with the existing neutral sofa.

Living Room Makeover: darker wall colors were chosen to contrast with the existing neutral sofa.

Changing the color of your walls is much more cost-effective than purchasing all new furniture and accessories. It can give new life to existing pieces that were once non-relevant.


Here are some tips to get you started.

  • Be sure to create a color palette for your room. This can be done by pulling colors from your existing furnishings and artwork you may want to keep.

  • Select the right paint finish for the application. For example, if you are painting your kitchen or bathroom use a satin or eggshell paint finish. To highlight your trimwork and molding details I would recommend using a semi-gloss finish.

  • I recommend hiring a professional painter for quality and accuracy.

Selecting a color palette and determining which paint color to use can be overwhelming and stressful. Avoid picking out the wrong paint color by using our color expertise. Our Paint Suggestions will make picking out a new wall color simple and easy. Let’s get painting>>CLICK HERE.

À la prochaine,

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Why This Artwork is an Inspiration This Mother's Day

Art is an important element to designing a room. A lot of times, art or wall decor are placed on the walls to "fill in" a blank space. The truth is art should be personal and unique, especially if it's in your home. It should draw an emotional response while complimenting the overall style of your room. 


This past Mother's Day I was reminded of my mother from an artwork I have hung in my staircase landing. It's a print of Picasso's Mother-Child sketch. My late mother, Suzanne Marise, was not an art collector but she owned this beautiful print and hung it in her room. It wasn't until I was collecting her things I noticed it was a Picasso print from 1904. I knew I had to add this to my home in memory of her. I decided to give it a facelift by adding a custom mat and frame. 

P.Picasso Mother-Child print 1904

P.Picasso Mother-Child print 1904

"The truth is art should be personal and unique, especially if it's in your home." -S.Hayes

This Artwork Is Personal To Me.

Every time I see this Mother-Child sketch I can't help but be reminded of the bond between my mother and me. It's a way of having a little piece of her. Now that I'm a mother myself I understand the precious bond a mother has with her child, it's like no other relationship.

The Layers of the Sketch Remind Me Motherhood Is A Process.

As I look at Picasso's sketch of this mother nursing her child, I notice his multiple sketches of the mother's hand. I love to see the raw sketches of the hand included in the print. It shows the multiple drafts he had to sketch before developing a hand he was proud of. This process Picasso took is similar to the journey of motherhood. As mothers, we make mistakes, try our best but are not perfect. Motherhood is a journey of trial and error driven by love.  

This Artwork Blends With Many Pieces. 

In addition to the sentimental value this artwork has to me, I love the neutral tones and simplicity of the sketch. When selecting a mat and frame I decided to use a monochromatic palette by using a darker tone for the mat and a medium tone for the distressed wood frame. The neutral tones give me the versatility to use this piece on a gallery wall with a collage of other pieces or as a focal point by itself. 

Picasso 1904

Picasso 1904

No matter what pieces of artwork you use in your home, I hope that this inspires you to get personal with your wall decor. Be sure when you are selecting your artwork to consider the room you are placing it in and how it coordinates with your color palette and decor style. Share in the comments below your favorite artwork in your home and why. I'd love to hear all about it!  

To all the Mothers and Grandmothers I hope you had a wonderful Mother's Day!

À la prochaine,

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Looking to create a color palette from your artwork? Check out: Using Art to Create a Color Palette.

How to Decorate your Bookcase

how to decorate your bookcase

how to decorate your bookcase

Over the years I've often been asked by people how to decorate bookcases. My answer is never the same. The reason is because every bookcase is different. You may be a bookworm and have an entire library of books or maybe you're someone who is looking to use your bookcase for additional storage or lastly maybe you're someone who mainly wants to use your bookcase to display your accessories/collectables, etc. Before you can start decorating your bookcase you need to figure out your bookcase's function. Asking yourself these questions is a great start.

  • What do I want to use my bookcase for? (e.i. store books, display pictures, showcase collectibles, storage, accents, etc.)
  • Do I need my bookcase to be functional or stylish or both?

I recently worked with a client to redesign her custom built-in bookcases surrounding her fireplace in the living room. To best explain how you can decorate your bookcase I'm going to walk you through my process as I gave my client's bookcase function and style. 


Dilemma: My clients are 2 busy working professionals with a toddler. They had a carpenter build a bookcase around their fireplace to create a focal point. However, as time passed their bookcase shortly became a collection of shelves that weren't serving a purpose but instead became extra surface space for items they wanted to keep out of reach from their toddler. 

Solution: My client's vision was to have their built-in bookcase and fireplace wall serve as the focal point of their living room. The bookcase had to be safe enough for their toddler yet stylish enough to compliment their living decor. To achieve this I started with adding function to the bottom shelves by incorporating large fabric bins for their toddler's small toys. For the 2 middle shelves I added medium picture frames with smaller frames layered in front for visual interest. I also added hardcover books (from large to small) on the end for easy access. I added the family initial for personalization with a small foliage for an organic feel. The heavy stone bookends placed on the middle shelves added both style and function to the design. 


Client's Reaction: "I like the diversity in the items that are on the bookcase. From the B initial to the candles to the arranged books to the basket, which makes it conveniant to hide things, it feels like the living room is complete now."

To elevate your bookcase into an area that will compliment your decor and lifestyle email me at to schedule a simple home visit. 

À la prochaine,

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5 Natural Ways to Clean your Furniture this Spring

Natural Furniture cleaning solutions

Natural Furniture cleaning solutions

Spring is HERE! Spring is one of my favorite seasons because it's the perfect balance between winter and summer. Spring cleaning is a great time to open our windows that have been closed for the last couple of months and bring fresh air into our homes. Cleaning your furniture doesn't have to mean using bottles of toxic cleaners filled with harmful chemicals  and heavy scents. With just a few household ingredients and tricks you can safely and effectively have a fresh, clean home.

Vacuum. Vacuuming should be done often to remove soils, dust, and airborne particles from carpets and rugs. Soft surfaces like our carpets, area rugs, upholstery, cushions and fabric drapery work as a filter that traps and captures airborne particles. The problem is these surfaces don't have a way of releasing these particles once captured, they must be removed physically. Vacuuming is an effective way to removing these particles and it eliminates allergens that are not visible. Tip: Remember to also vacuum your upholstered sofas and chairs. Not only does vacuuming clean the surface but increases the longevity of the fabric.  


Dust Hard Surfaces With Microfiber. Microfiber clothes are my favorite and highly recommended products for cleaning your furniture. When used dry, microfiber clothes are excellent because of their ability to capture, trap, and hold dust particles from hard surfaces like wood, metal, glass, leather, stone, etc. My favorite microfiber clothes are Norwex's EnviroCloth because of it's antibacterial agent. It can be used wet to clean and disinfect or dry to remove dust. 


Use the Power of Vinegar. Distilled white vinegar is an effective cleaner because of its high acidity. It can be used to destroy bacteria and remove stains and odors. Here's just a few cleaning powers vinegar has.

  • cleans glass surfaces
  • cleans indoor wrought iron furniture
  • removes grease stains from suede furniture
  • vinegar, lemon juice and linseed oil can be used to clean sealed wood furniture

Polish With Lemon. Lemons can be used for multiple cleaning solutions. They also offer a fresh scent when cleaning. Most furniture polishes leave an unpleasant, heavy, oily finish on hard surfaces such as wood. Instead you can use a few drops of lemon juice mixed with olive oil to polish varnished wood furniture. After polishing, if you have a residue you can remove excess polish naturally with cornstarch. 


Clean With Baking Soda. Baking soda is always handy to have around the house for several reasons but pertaining to cleaning your furniture here's a few.

  • Sprinkle baking soda on your fabric then vacuum to remove odors from your upholstery furniture.
  • Wipe down your leather sofa with a mixture of a cup of salt water with two tablespoons of baking soda and one teaspoon of flour in a bowl to clean your leather furniture. Don't forget to dry with a a dry cloth.
  • To clean your copper accents buff your copper with a baking soda & lemon juice paste (mix baking soda with enough lemon juice to make a paste).
  • To deodorize your rugs sprinkle baking soda on your rugs and let stand for at least 15 minutes then vacuum.

Before trying a new cleaning solution always test a small area first. Share in the comments below your favorite natural cleaning solutions.

À la prochaine,

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Looking to make spring cleaning easy for the whole family? Check out: Q & A: Tips to Simplify Spring Cleaning




7 Tips to Create a Romantic Bedroom

The overall decor of your home is a reflection of you as the owner. This is especially true when it comes to your own bedroom. Outside of the bathroom, our bedroom is the most personal room in our home. For those that share this space with a significant other, it's even more personal. How do you create a bedroom that is relaxing enough to let your hair down yet intimate enough to set a romantic ambiance? 

Tips to create a romantic bedroom

Tips to create a romantic bedroom

Clean Up. This may seem obvious, but often times our bedrooms become the victims of neglected laundry. Whether you decide to hire a cleaning person or do it yourself, straightening up and organizing is the first step to creating a romantic bedroom. It's amazing how a little cleaning can open up and transform a space. 

master bedroom

master bedroom

Soft Flooring. When you are trying to create a romantic setting, soft textures are important. If you have hardwood floors add a large area rug either at the foot of the bed (large enough so your feet touch the rug when you get out of bed) or wall to wall carpet. This will bring a warmth and sense of comfort to your room setting.

custom window treatment

custom window treatment

Install Window Treatments. Add another layer of texture to your room with window treatments. Depending on the style of your room, you can keep your treatments simple and modern or traditional and ornate. In addition to the aesthetics of window treatments, they also can be extremely functional. For example, if you the both of you love to wake up to the morning sunlight it might be a good idea to have sheer panels to allow the natural light to filter through. However, if the both of you prefer to wake up to darkness, then blackout shades or panels would be a better solution. Determine what is the best option functionally, then choose the material and finish to compliment the style of the room.

Lighting Is Key. As a designer, I believe the right lighting is one of the most important aspects to a room. In order to create a romantic bedroom, the lighting has to be warm. If you have a ceiling light fixture like a chandelier or pendant I recommend having it controlled on a dimmer. A dimmer in the bedroom will give you the ability to control the setting of the ambiance. In addition to any ceiling light you may have I recommend adding table lamps and/or wall sconces. This will add a form of task and accent lighting to your space. 

A Pillow or Two. Pillows are a great accent and can easily dress up a bed. However, too many pillows can be overwhelming to creating a romantic setting. I recommend keeping 2-3 shams (the larger pillows) with 2 soft accent pillows on your bed. The accent pillows should have a soft texture blend but should not be the same. Allow the pillows to be unique and different for visual interest. 

Flowers. Flowers bring freshness and beauty to the decor of a space. If you are allergic to fresh flowers consider a small silk arrangement to place on your nightstand or dresser. This will bring an organic feel to your room. One small - medium arrangement is usually enough. 



Candles. As a candle lover, I believe in candles everywhere but especially in your bedroom. Add candle votives as part of your room accessories. Mercury glass candle votives, for example, are beautiful finishing touches to your nightstand and dresser decor and also offer a stunning glow when lit. Candles are a great way to create a romantic setting in your room. 

It's the small accents that can elevate a space. For more ideas of how to elevate your bedroom decor contact me at 

À la prochaine,

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Sabine's Favorite Pins of NFL Players' Homes

Favorite Pins of NFL players' homes

Favorite Pins of NFL players' homes

Even if you're not a football fan or even follow the sport, you know that Sunday is one of the biggest games of the year...Super Bowl Sunday!!! This year my Boston Native team The New England Patriots will be playing my husband's Philadelphia Native team The Philadelphia Eagles. For many of these football players, this is the most important game of their career, they worked hard all season and sacrificed time away from their homes and families to get here. Having a home that reflects their personality is extremely important to them. 

" can be a lot sometimes, and sometimes it’s just nice to go home and be chill and be away from everything.” -Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles

If we look at their homes, we can learn a lot about these athletes. We can see if they like to entertain, cook, read, watch movies, play music, drive luxury cars, or spend time outdoors for example.  Although, their interests off the field may be different the one thing their homes have in common is they call it home.  Their homes are a place they can relax and unwind after a challenging or victorious season. Join me as I go through some of these athletes' homes that stood out to me. 

I love the architecture of this house. The white finished exterior offers a fresh, clean look while contrasting well with the black framed windows and railings. The curb appeal is beautiful and gives an inviting feel. 

The kitchen is usually the hub of the home. I love this open floor plan, eclectic kitchen because of its energy. The lower ceiling height in the kitchen area, is a great way of making the kitchen feel intimate. The exotic grains in the hardwood floors give a warmth to the space. The stainless steel island is balanced well with the modern, slightly distressed leather barstools. Overall this kitchen is a beautiful space for entertaining guests or enjoying solo.

This grand living room takes advantage of its tall ceilings. I love how the beautiful picture windows create a stunning backdrop as you enter the room. The custom, neutral colored window treatments drape the center windows elegantly. This room uses subtle tones but feels very welcoming. I also love the use of light furniture & wall color balanced by a dark area rug and built-ins. 

"We built this house as a sanctuary for our family—a place where we can enjoy being together.” -Tom Brady, New England Patriots

Although this rustic kitchen is large in size, it has a casual and organic approach to its design. The island serves as the kitchen's anchor and is beautifully accented by 3 clear glass bell jar lantern pendants hung from a brick ceiling. The slightly distressed grayish-brown cabinets are topped with elegant white stone countertops to give a clean look. Overall, I love the simplicity and unique design choices in this open kitchen. 

My favorite part of this room is the view, of course. This room is a sophisticated approach to a game space. The pool table looks like a piece of furniture, centered in the space, while an accent square game table with 3 upholstered chairs are placed in the corner of the room near the calming view of the water. 

Our homes are ultimately where we recharge, re-energize, and rest. Just like these football athletes, we have a chance to be ourselves when we enter our homes. As hectic or lonely as our homes are it's still home...and there's nothing like it. 

Share in the comments below, what's the best part about being home?

For more of my favorite NFL players' homes follow me on Pinterest.

À la prochaine,

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New Year Design Resolutions

Happy New Year! The New Year always brings fresh ideas, an urge for change, and new needs. Most of us make resolutions in January to change or improve on an area in our lives. I am a believer that our homes affect the way we live. Similar to our lives, our homes are always in need of improvement. Whether you need a complete renovation or just bored with your sofa, making changes and improvements to our homes AKA the place we spend the majority of our time is important.



Make Small Improvements. 

The thought of fixing our homes to our standards can get overwhelmingly discouraging. We feel that we need thousands of dollars to renovate (which is the case at times) but sometimes we can start with doing cosmetic changes and start small. Here are some examples of small improvements that can make a big impact.

  • painting the walls and/or doors
  • adding accent pillows to the sofa
  • draping a new accent throw to your chair
  • adding artwork to your walls
  • create a gallery wall
  • incorporate an area rug under your dining table
  • changing your bedding
  • adding new drapery to your windows
  • upgrading a new ceiling light fixture
  • changing the hardware in your kitchen or bathroom (such as faucets, cabinet knobs/pulls, etc.)
add accent pillows to your sofa

add accent pillows to your sofa

Budget for the Big Projects.

If you have a "big" project that is on your wish list like a new kitchen, building an addition, a bathroom renovation, or a bedroom remodel start budgeting early. While you are saving for your project, start developing your style by flipping through magazines, pinning on Pinterest, or assembling boards on Houzz. Once you've collected your style ideas have a personal Inspiration Board created for you with furnishings, lighting, flooring, color, and finish options. This will help you to envision the design concept for your project. 

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What's your New Year design resolution? This year are you planning to make small improvements OR budget for a big project? Be sure to share your resolutions in the comments. 

À la prochaine,

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Holiday Series: New Year's Eve Dinner Party Hosting Advice from The Pastelillo Lady

I can't believe that the holidays came and past and we are approaching the New Year. I hope that you and your family had a Merry Christmas, Hanukkah, and/or Kwanzaa. With the holidays behind us it's time to celebrate the welcoming of the New Year! 


As I wrap up my Holiday Series, I had the chance to sit down over some coffee and chat with Liz Morgan, better known as The Pastelillo Lady. She is an expert when it comes to entertaining and loves to serve delicious dishes to her guests.

Liz Morgan, owner of The Pastilillo Lady

Liz Morgan, owner of The Pastilillo Lady

"Growing up in a Puerto Rican household, eating pastelillos was a treat," she explained. It wasn't until after college while living in her first apartment she asked her mom for her pastelillo recipe. She practiced and mastered making pastelillos. Eventually, people started asking her to make pastelillos for them, then it grew to people asking her to make pastelillo for their events. That was the beginning of The Pastilillo Lady.

If you are not familiar with pastelillos, Liz explains them as Puerto Rican empanadas but the reason they're different is the ingredients. She says she adds olives, onions, peppers, and blend of vegetables with a "secret sauce", then simmers the meat to add to a thick dough which is then pinched and fried. 

The pasteilillo lady

The pasteilillo lady

As she prepares to host her own party for the holidays, she says the look of a dinner party is essential to a successful party, everything from the food setup, music, and good wine & spirits of course. 

Photo by  Joseph Gonzalez  on  Unsplash

There is a specific menu she likes to stick to when throwing a dinner party but she says her favorite dish is pernil, which is a popular Puerto Rican pork dish roasted for 12 hours resulting in tender meat and a crispy skin. 

The Benefit of Having a Party Catered. 

There's a lot of components to hosting a successful party. Confirming your guest count, prepping your home, decorating your home, selecting an outfit, having the right music, and the list goes on. With a long to-do list sometimes preparing a full menu can be exhausting. So I asked Liz, who caters events, what the benefit is to have a party catered. Liz mentioned that although she enjoys cooking she thinks it's important to enjoy your party. When hosting you don't get a chance to sit down and enjoy the food, have a drink and be stress-free. She says the benefit of having your party catered is it gives you the chance to enjoy your company, instead of being in the kitchen. When she caters to her clients she preps, serves and provides as necessary dinnerware. 

Buffet Style or Sit Down

Liz explained that if you're hosting more than 10 people the intimacy of a sit-down dinner is lost and suggests to do a buffet-style. "When I think of dinner parties, you have a table and you have to be able to seat everyone at the table if you can't have everyone sit down at the table do a buffet-style," she told me.

Liz's Top Tips For Serving a Menu For a Large Group?

"Always overcook and purchase to-go containers." Guests are usually happy to take food home. "It's never too much of a good thing. Your guests get to go home and remember their experience through the food," Liz mentions. She also mentions having a variety of food is important because not everyone has the same taste.

"Invest in a server," she says. "If you're not going to have a caterer, invest in a server." She says it doesn't have to cost a lot. It allows you to enjoy the party and your guests. Some of the tasks your server can provide are refilling drinks, serving your guests, cleaning up, and taking out the trash. 

To contact Liz email her at or follow her Instagram Page @the_pastelillo_lady for pictures of her yummy pastelillos!

As I write my last blog for 2017, I want to personally thank you for taking the time and reading my posts. Wishing you the best in 2018!

Bonne Année!

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Holiday Series: Last Minute Dinner Party Decor Ideas

Dinner parties are great moments shared with friends and family over food and drinks. However, before your guests taste your delicious food and drinks it's the decor and ambiance that sets the tone to your party. This is especially key with the holidays. 

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When you're hosting a dinner party, the decor extends past the dining table. It starts from the front door then to the sofa and even extends to the powder room. With the holidays a few days away, I've selected a few simple yet stylish accessories that will set a festive tone before your guests arrive. Some of them you may already have, if not I've attached the links below to purchase directly.

Simple Holiday Decor Ideas. 

Simple Holiday Decor Ideas. 

Wreath. Set the tone with a wreath. This season I am in love with the Winter Berry Wreath. Nothing gives a warm greeting like a wreath hung on your front door as guests enter.

Ornaments. Ornaments can be used beyond your tree. Switch out your coffee table centerpiece or foyer console centerpiece for a bowl filled with ornaments. This will add a festive accent as guests are coming in. If you have little ones you may want to get shatterproof ornaments. 

Layers of Candles. As many of you know I am a candle lover, especially when decorating for a party. Use a series of gold, silver or mercury candle votives on your foyer table, coffee table, kitchen island, and in your powder room for an intimate ambiance. Then use pillar candles on your dining table or tall candlesticks on your dining table if you are having a smaller sit-down dinner. For larger parties, add the pillar candles near the buffet and around the sitting areas.

Festive Accent Pillows. Extend the holiday decor to your living areas by adding accent pillows to your existing sofa and chairs. Remember to mix your pillow sizes, this adds visual interest. For example, if you have a large 20" square pillow add a smaller, square pillow in front of it and a shimmering rectangular kidney pillow in the middle. To shop the gold & ivory sequence pillow click here.

Table Runner. Whether you are using your dining table for an intimate dinner for 6-10 or as a serving surface for the menu of delicious dishes adding a textured or patterned table runner can create the base for your focal point. Click here to purchase the table runner above. 

Tray. A dinner party is the time to dust show off your best serving tray. I love this round, gold tray above because it is the perfect base to hold wine glasses as guests arrive. It can turn a set of simple clear glasses into a festive collection. 

Florals. Add a vase with fresh cut flowers and place on your table runner with your candles. This will add a fresh and organic layer to your decor. I choose a grouping of hydrangeas in a glass vase but you can also re-pot poinsettias as a table centerpiece.

Before you go and purchase last minute decorations, first go through what you already have. The great thing is these items are easy to find last minute and will elevate your party. Please share photos from your parties on our Facebook page. 

Joyeux Noël!

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