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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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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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.  



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,


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

Happy New Year and here's to 2017!





Decorating with Christmas Ornaments

Can you believe Christmas is less than a week away? Between decorating the Christmas tree or decorating for holiday guests there's not too much time left. The Christmas tree sets the tone and becomes the focal point for your holiday decor. As with most decor, accessories are key to a successful design - even with Christmas decor. If you're like me you love to use pieces that are multifunctional, stylish and kid-friendly of course. Ornaments are great holiday accessories that are versatile, decorative and festive! 

Christmas Tree Accessory. Ornaments serve as accessories for the Christmas tree by adding color and texture. If you prefer a theme, pick ornaments that are similar in color or use sets that form a complimenting color palette. If you have little ones like I do, you may want to avoid glass, metal, or small ornaments. Instead, purchase plastic (shatterproof) ornaments that are large enough that your little one won't put it in their mouth. If you are using an eclectic decor have your little one create their own ornaments using wooden cutouts or felt fabric.  

soft glitter SNOWFLAKE  ornaments make a great "shatterproof" options if you have little ones.

soft glitter SNOWFLAKE  ornaments make a great "shatterproof" options if you have little ones.

Tabletop Centerpiece. Ornaments can make a beautiful tabletop centerpiece by simply putting them in a clear bowl or cylinder vase. To create a uniform look, I suggest using the same ornaments in each container. 

Gift Toppers. In addition to decorating your tree and table setting, ornaments can also be used to accessorize your wrapped gifts. Adding a small ornament is an extra touch that will surprise the recipient. Be sure to use the appropriate size ornament for your gift package. 

ornaments make great gift toppers!

ornaments make great gift toppers!

Share some of your favorite ornaments on our comments below. 

Here's to a Merry Christmas!


How to Get the Look of a Luxury Hotel Room

Ever wish your bedroom could look and feel like a clean, relaxing getaway? With just a few decor essentials you can transform your bedroom into a hotel-style bedroom. 

The key to creating a hotel-style bedroom is to remove clutter. You have to make your bedroom a space where you can be yourself and feel pampered. If you have clutter in your bedroom, it's not going to feel like a peaceful oasis. 

Upholstered Headboard. The bed is the focal point of the bedroom. An upholstered headboard can add texture and softness to your bedroom. If you are going to use an upholstered headboard, I would recommend a neutral color (i.e. cream, beige, brown, grey, etc.) to allow for versatility.

Coverlet. Often times in a luxury hotel room the bedding is layered with a duvet, bed sheets and standard pillows in crisp white. The coverlet is the layer that usually is folded and tucked at the foot of the bed and provides the accent to the white base layers. Design Tip: If you have a white base, add a tone-on-tone solid color or pattern print coverlet for interest.

Accent Pillows. Pillows in a bedroom are essential in a bedroom. I personally encourage clients to incorporate 2-3 euro shams and 2-3 different sized decorative pillows for a final touch to setting a bed. This will add dimension, texture and color to your bedding. 

"Pillows are to a room what jewelry is to an outfit." - S. Hayes

Nightstand. Your nightstand is one of the most used table surfaces in the bedroom. Therefore it has to be functional, durable and stylish. The style and design has to shine next to your bed. Design Tip: For a unique look choose a nightstand that contrast with your bed. Just make sure it is proportioned and balanced properly to your bed frame.

Lighting. Lighting is key to any space. Luxury hotel rooms use layers of light sources in each room for efficient, focused and accent lighting such as table lamps, wall sconces and floor lamps. Wall sconces beside the bed frame are a great alternative to table lamps on nightstands. Wall sconces can serve as both task and accent lighting. 

Lastly, hotel rooms use neutral wall colors combined with textured wallpaper like grasscloth to add depth. Neutral wall colors create a fresh and clean base to your color palette. This allows for colorful and interchangeable accessories. 

Creating a luxury hotel style bedroom is all about the details and quality. With the right placement, accents, and finishing touches you can turn your busy and tired bedroom into a relaxing hotel style room. To add a little luxury details to your room contact me today at to get started today. 

Here's to creating a relaxing oasis!


How To Make a Large Impact with a Small Room

Do you have a small room in your home that currently is getting no use like a bonus room, a tiny attic, a spare bedroom, or maybe a room off your basement? Those tiny spaces can sometimes be a challenge to find purpose for. Then when you do find a purpose for them you have no idea where to start decorating. How do you maximize the space AND still make it look beautiful?!!

My hope is that you are able to find use for your space despite the square footage. You can still have a functional AND stylish room even if it's the smallest area in your home. 

1. Find a Purpose. Before you do anything, you must first figure out what you want to use the space for. Is this a room for your kids to play and do homework? Is this an extra bedroom for when guests come to visit? Is this a casual space for the family to watch TV together? Is this an office space for you to pursue your new business venture or for when you have to take work home? Is it all of the above? That's okay too.

Get great use out of your small space.

Get great use out of your small space.

2. Who is it For? After your determine what the space will be used for, you need to decide who will be using the space. This will determine how the space is designed. Remember that the space should reflect it's occupants. For example, if it will be used as a play room and an area for you to work it would make sense to incorporate multifunctional pieces that are kid friendly and can be used by your kids and yourself.

3. Determine Your Must Haves. Based on what the space will be used for and who will be using it, write down a few must haves that are needed to get the most function out of the space. For example, if you have an extra bedroom that you use as a home office but need to also use it as a guest room some of your must haves might be a bed, a desk or laptop table, and some form of storage. 

4. Layout the Space. Once you've determined your purpose, your occupants, and your must haves it's time to put it all on paper. This is where working with a designer can save you a lot of time, energy and headache. Poor planning leads to mistakes, returns and frustration so make sure you take the time to layout the space properly. Take a basic measurement (width, length, ceiling height) of your space or room then draw it on paper (use graph paper to make it easier). Be sure to note all doors, openings, windows, outlets, and vents. Start with your largest piece of furniture needed (e.i. a bed, a desk, a sofa, etc.) and draw it in. After you have drawn your largest furnishings, continue adding your remaining must haves. Need help? Add my online Furniture Layout service from my À La Carte menu.

rough sketch of a multifunctional space

rough sketch of a multifunctional space

5. Think Multifunctional. If you are decorating a small space and want to maximize every square footage you have, you must think of every furnishing as dual use. Back to the home office and guest room example, instead of getting a large full or queen size bed that will only be used occasionally think about getting a sofa bed or a day bed. This will allow you to have a sitting area if you have work guests (without it feeling like a bedroom) while providing a comfortable resting area for when you do host guests.

Don't allow the size of your space make you feel as though you can not achieve a functional & stylish design. With these 5 suggestions you will be on your way to making your smallest space in your home feel like the most functional. Comment below on what you would like to use your smallest room for. Can't wait read them! I am here to help, so if you need assistance with determining what type of furnishing will work best in your space start with my online Furniture Layout service today!

Here's to amazing small spaces!