Sell Quicker-5 Easy Guidelines to Stage Your Home

Thinking about putting your home on the market? Here are some helpful ideas to help you prepare your home for sale

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Storage Opportunities -Bring Me A Basket


My favorite storage option for pillows, linens, books, magazines, dog toys and more.  A plethora of sizes, shapes, tone and textures are available.  Officially get organized month is over tomorrow, but are good ideas for storage ever ‘OVER”?

You can use baskets in your entry area to collect shoes, mail and kids backpacks.  In your bedroom to place your decorative bedding pillows in until the next day, in family rooms to store magazines and hold comfy throws.  Baskets work great on shelves to store smaller items such as music CDs or DVDs.

Here are a few options to consider :

Simple and rectangular from Crate and Barrel,  round and deep from Restoration HardwareStorage Baskets








You can find baskets of all configurations at retailers such as Target, Marshalls Home Goods,  and Michael’s Arts and Crafts .  Baskets are great tools to organize small office items.  Add a few that are colorful to give a pop of interest to a neutral decor scheme.  Check out these great ones from Cost Plus World Market.

The addition of baskets on the bottom shelves of this ‘open’ bookshelf design give the shelving more visual weight and interest doesn’t it??

So, where can you add great looking, and highly functioning BASKETS in your home and office environment?

Enjoy Your Nest-Create a Retreat At Home

A lot of the country is having winter cold and wet weather.  The type of weather that makes you feel like staying home.  Staying home curled up under a cozy throw with a fire going and a cup of cocoa in hand.  Even for those of us who live in geographies with winter temperatures in the balmy 70’s we still have a chill in the air in early morning and night-time hours.

If you haven’t already, it is time to create a cozy get away in your home so you can enjoy staying inside more.  Here are the basic elements you will need to create your personal ‘nest’:

  • At least one amazing cozy comfy throw for the family room.  The options are almost endless.  Here are a few of our favorites, all on special sale now at Restoration Hardware

    Chenille Throw

    Cashmere Throw

    Plush Throw

    Function and decor beauty all in one!

  • A stock of herbal teas and hot cocoas.  Cost Plus World Market offers some great options.

  • A well insulated mug to drink the beverages from
  • Coasters so you can put the mug down on the nearest table without worry of damages.

  • Scented candles (we enjoy Red Current by Votivo most!)

  • Get all your lighting on dimmer switches to create what ever mood you want.
  • If you have a fireplace, make sure to use it.
  • A good supply of books and or DVD movies.   Perhaps you will get a Nook or  a Kindle e-book reader as a gift  this Christmas.  You can download your books and magazines without needing to brave the cold!


Transformational Interior Design

Design is a process.  Candace Olsen said ‘Good Design Takes Time’.  It is true!  Sometimes you can make a notable change to the interior design of  a space pretty quickly, but often the design plan needs to be developed, executed and adjusted to get it just right.  So, while we all are trained to get everything quickly, I call it the ‘microwave society syndrome’, take a deep breath and invest time into the planning process to get the best end result.

Below is a recent example of a project S Interior Design is working on.    You will see from the before and after photos the room has undergone a transformation.  New paint colors, new seating, accent tables, area rugs, window treatments and more.  Perhaps most different design element is the fireplace.  The fireplace is a focal point in the room and before it had a faux paint technique in muddy brown tones that read as ‘Tuscon’.  The new homeowners, wanted to inject color and an ethnic style element into the design.  First we painted it, then we chose tiles to place on the hearth and the surround.

Firplace Design before

Before Picture

Fireplace After Paint Color

Fireplace After Paint Color

Fireplace After Paint and Tile

Fireplace After Paint and Tile

Here are photo collages showing other transformational design elements in the great room and adjoining eat-in  kitchen area.

After Transformational Interior Design

Interior Design A-Z: ‘T’ is for Tile

The journey through the design alphabet continues with the letter ‘T’.  My Facebook and Twitter friends suggested; Tables, Travertine and Tile.   The subject is so large, this post will just ‘touch on it.

Let’s talk TILE.

Choices of tile materials and types are vast.  Different rooms and functionality requirements, not to mention personal aesthetic and maintenance preferences should guide the decision-making process as to what type of tile is chosen.  For a great overview of tile materials and types , read 3 Types of Tile Types and Tile Your World.

Tile can be used as a strictly decorative design element.  Mosaic tile artwork and accessories can be used to add texture and color to kitchens, bathrooms, and display areas.  Glass mosaic tiles are beautiful and often add just the right WOW factor to a kitchen or bathroom back splash. The glass tiles are very easy to take care of in both kitchens and bathroom settings.

A few  great sites to explore are  Susan Jablon Mosaics and  Oceanside Glasstile an environmentally friendly glass tile company.

S Interior Design Kitchen Remodel

Kitchen Backsplash Using Oceanside Glass Tiles

Environmentally Friendly Kitchen Remodel – S Interior Design

S Interior Design Kitchen Remodel Using Susan Jablon Mosaic Tile

Kitchen With Susan Jablon Mosaic Tile Back Splash

Kitchen Remodel Using Susan Jablon Glass Mosaic Tile-S Interior Design

Some common floor tiles are travertine,  porcelain, and in certain regions Saltillo tile.

There is tile that now looks like wood planks for those who want the look of wood without the maintenance factors.

Tile is a great material to use as a fireplace surround and on a hearth.

S Interior Design Fireplace Surround Design

3-dimensional Tile Makes This Fireplace a Focal Point

Great Room Design by S Interior Design

Interior Design A-Z: ‘J’ is For JUTE. Do you know what it is?

Interior Design A-Z continues with the letter ‘J’.   We received some great suggestions including joinery, Jacquard, jabot and jute.  Decided to learn more about Jute and share with everyone.   S Interior Design thinks a fun patterned jute rug is a great way to add a new look for summer to your home!

Traditionally used as carpet backing, jute is one of the finest and softest of natural floor covering materials. It is made from the yarn derived from the fibrous stalks of the jute plant and woven into either a boucle or herringbone pattern. Jute is grown in China, India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.

Jute is used for many purposes, including the manufacture of burlap, gunny sacks, bags, rope, and backings for rugs and carpets. Although it is naturally a pale neutral brown, it can be bleached to create a very pale cream, or dyed and then woven, somewhat like a carpet, to create simple colored patterns.

Floral Jute Rug- Cost Plus World Market

Jute Rug with Border- Home Decorators Collection

Different weights of yarn create finer or heavier textures. The fibers have a fine, silky soft luster which brings brightness and beauty to any interior. Because jute is so soft, it is ideal for bedroom floors, sitting rooms, but is not a practical material for areas of heavy wear.

Jute is used in a wide variety of goods. Jute mats and prayer rugs are common in the East as are jute backed carpets. Jutes, single largest use; however, is in sacks and bags, those of finer quality being called burlap of Hessian.

One of the questions I had was “What is the difference between JUTE and SISAL?”

What Is the Difference Between Jute and Sisal Rugs?

ds_tuesda13222 Contributor

By Tuesday Fuller, eHow Contributing Writer

The differences between jute and sisal area rugs are actually few; however, both materials are becoming popular for use in the home and each brings its own unique quality to a room.



  1. Sisal is a natural fiber produced from agave leaves and primarily grown and produced in South America and Africa. Jute is harvested from the C. capsularis and C. olitorius species of tropical trees in India, which is currently the world’s largest producer.
  2. Production Process

  3. Jute is processed by harvesting jute stalks and submerging them in cold water until the woody stalk separates from the fibers. They are then washed in fresh water and set to dry. With sisal, a process called decortication takes place where the sisal leaves are ground into a pulp until only the fibers remain. The fibers are then dried and bailed, similar to hay.
  4. Characteristics

  5. Sisal area rugs feature individually dyed fibers for a multicolored rug that closely resembles wool, while jute has a more unified dye pattern and features the soft shine of silk.
  6. Price and Considerations

  7. Jute is softer and less expensive than sisal but also less durable. Both materials damage easily with water and fade when exposed to direct sunlight.
  8. Economical Benefits

  9. Both sisal and jute are renewable resources and biodegradable for the benefit of the environment. Neither material involves the use of dangerous chemicals during production.

Read more: What Is the Difference Between Jute and Sisal Rugs? |

A Unique Fireplace Feature Wall

This wall was covered in tile with a traditional style fireplace box.  We did away with the tile, we did away with the firebox.  We are installing a  32″w’ x 24″ h framed in walnut gel burning fireplace from Fireplace Keeper and surrounding it with a tonal array of paint color.  Below is the scaled 1/2″=1′-0″ drawing that the decorative painters will follow.  The tall rectangle with lines on it represents a doorway to a kitchen, and the horizontal rectangle amid the color represents the fireplace.

The construction dust should be settled in the next week and then the painting will begin!  We will post the finished pictures when it is completed.

Intrigued By Flat Velveteen Hangers

I have been contemplating those sexy thin velvet covered hangers for months now.  So tempting in their vast array of color options.  What is causing me to hang back (no pun intended).  Why don’t I take the leap and just by $30 worth and effectively change the look and functionality of my poor overcrowded closet?

Not that long ago,  I proudly invested in a slew of wooden hangers (“NO more wire hangers as Mommy Dearest yelled!)  I kept a cache of plastic hangers to dry the delicate clothes on, but any wire hanger was expunged from my husband, son’s and my closet spaces.

Is it fear of choosing the wrong color or combination of colors?  No, that can’t be it, I am a designer and colors do not scare me.  Oh, I think I know what it is….it is the daunting tax of re-hanging all of those clothes.  Can I just close my eyes, click my heels and magically make it all happen for me without lifting a finger?

Okay, I will start slow, I will replace the hangers in the guest bedroom closet so at least my guests will enjoy the beauty and functionality of the ‘velveteen hangers’.

Another Color Success Story


This is the ‘focal point’ of the room when you open the front door.  Bland and uninteresting.


No one would call this a bland un-interesting room now!  Color and texture bring the room to life.

Yes, that is the same chair, re-upholstered with an added swivel mechanism so it can be used to watch TV from, or converse with other people sitting on the sofa and leather recliner chair (not shown)

Fireplace Makeover-Flat to Fabulous

Fireplace After Tile, Paint, Art & Accessories


A recent re-do in a Scottsdale, AZ condominium includes this dramatic fireplace make-over.  Enter the front door and this is what you see straight ahead.

Fireplace surround in gorgeous dimensional tile set vertically, mantel shelf now a glossy black, properly  scaled accessories and eye catching 3-D artwork grace the mantel shelf.  Now this is a fabulous focal point!

Fireplace BEFOREBEFORE, the surround was bland and without interest.