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    10 Hallmarks of Maximalist Design

    More is more…and MORE is in…!! If the words Maximalist Design conjures up visions of over-the-top, stuffy rooms cluttered with tchotchkes and keepsakes gathered over the years, then you are in for a pleasant surprise. This is not your grandmother’s maximalism….! The following are 10 easy to identify Hallmarks of Maximalist Design

    I have put together 10 easy tips on how to create a joyous oasis of maximalist luxury in your home, without it looking cluttered or busy. Maximalism is not so much a style as it is an escape from a world and culture that at times seems bleak and boring since it was born out of a reaction to the minimalist movement.

    10 Hallmarks of Maximalist Design

    A Maximalist space can be in any period, style, or trend. It can be applied to a small room, making it look like a luxurious little jewel box or a large room where it makes a statement. The basic elements of a maximalist home are pretty much the polar opposite of a minimalist interior. The minimalist preference for white walls and quiet color palettes are a no-no for maximalism. The bolder, brighter, and more color-splashed it is, the better.

    In the words of Jonathan Adler, “minimalism is a bummer. When you’re about to kick the bucket, you don’t want to look back and see an endless haze of beige.” I have worshipped at the altar of both. I have lived through my minimalist period and celebrated my unabashedly maximalist phase and reveled in the joy of each, at different phases of my life. Here are some quick tips on how to create a maximalist oasis. Let your soul spread its wings and have its own maximalist moment.

    COLORS – Take a look in your wardrobe for cues on what colors make you happy. Painting your walls the same color as your favourite skirt or summer jacket or pantsuit will make you feel empowered and confident working in this Home Office and walking through that stylish Indigo hued Art Deco style Hallway, every day. Against this rich backdrop, the white and occasional black of the furniture in the foreground is what makes the walls pop but yet does not overpower the room.

    10 Hallmarks of Maximalist Design

    LAYERS – Another one of my 10 Hallmarks of Maximalist Design. This is a little tricky to pull off – but not if you follow the simple rule that I have followed a hundred times with clients and am sharing with you now. Select an item of clothing in a bold color from your closet. At the paint shop, match the color of the wardrobe item to a shade on the paint deck (or what’s closes to it) and note down the name. Now, on the same paint chip go to a shade that is 1 or 2 or 3 steps up or down from your original selection to start building your color scheme. Note down the names of each shade. These will be the colors for your wall paint and the dominant color for wallpaper, rug, sofa, and curtains but, remember not to stick to solids. For instance, layer a solid color sofa on a self-patterned rug and curtains in bold patterns against the backdrop of small-patterned wallpaper on one wall or two. This will give you a wonderfully layered look that is luxurious and comforting at the same time, like this Traditional style green-on-green Drawing Room, steeped in eye-catching opulence.

    DRAMA – Add red in measured doses and you can never go wrong. However, an entire bedroom with red-painted walls may not be the ultimate relaxing space. In the bedroom below, the bold red Art Deco style headboard against the dark blue walls are softened by a lavender lamp shade. Clever blending of all the different colors together stirs in excitement into the space without making one feel anxious or irritating. Bear in mind, lavender is red and blue mixed together but in inequal ratios. As I always say, it’s all in the details.

    10 Hallmarks of Maximalist Design

    BOLD CONTRASTS – To create this effect, pull colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel in a split-complementary or tetradic color scheme. The blue, watermelon, orange, green, pale yellow, and brown contrast with as well as complement each other well in the living room below. As do the patterns (stripes with large scale prints) and textures (plush with shiny finishes), to create a sophisticated, eclectic interior space that you will not easily tire of, no matter how long the stay-at-home lockdown lasts.

    LARGE SCALE – The oversized scale of the artwork, the floor to ceiling bookshelves and the plush overstuffed sofas against the floor to ceiling window coverings in the room below, joyfully plays up the maximalism in this Eclectic style home.

    10 Hallmarks of Maximalist Design

    PATTERN PLAY – The prints on the wallpaper, the fabric canopy, the bedspread complement each other and work well in this pattern-on-pattern blush themed English Country style bedroom below. By varying the scale of the prints on the furnishings, as well as by contrasting dark and light wood finishes, It feels calming and serene despite the use of multiple patterns.

    GLAMMED UP – Walls clad in luxe wallpaper and velvet-upholstered chairs with brushed nickel finish detail gathered around the burnished wood dining table with a rich, dark sheen topped with a stylish chandelier, ups the glam factor of this Modern style maximalist dining room below.

    BLACK IS A BEAUTIFUL BACKDROP – A rich glossy black finish instantly dresses up this jewel-like kitched with mirrored backsplash – like wearing a string of black pearls paired with a white silk blouse to a posh but fun gala.

    ANIMAL PRINTS IN SMALL DOSES – Animal prints are a great way to add pattern and instant glamour to a space – but in small doses, such as an ottoman, a pillow cushion or…. if you dare…an area rug.

    A PLACE FOR EVERYTHING AND EVERYTHING IN IT’S PLACE – Maximalism is not about rooms packed wall to wall with furniture and accessories. Rather, it is about curated collections carefully edited with a keen eye and a disciplined approach. One of the 10 Hallmarks of Maximalist Design is careful editing. The Transitional style Family Room showcases the homeowners’ collected treasures from travels around the world separately on the built-in bookshelves and in an antique chinoiserie armoire so it still manages to look neat and orderly by following the rule of – a place for everything and everything in its place.

    10 Hallmarks of Maximalist Design

    Photo credits – Maximalist Interior photo courtesy Daunenspiel. Jonathan Adler flagship store NYC photo courtesy Jonathan Adler. COLORS – Electric Blue Home Office and Art Deco style Hallway photo courtesy 1st Dibs, design by Sasha Bikoff. LAYERS – Green-on-green layered Traditional style Drawing Room photo courtesy One Kings Lane. DRAMA – Hollywood Regency style Red headboard in bedroom photo courtesy Chairish. BOLD CONTRAST – Blue, orange, brown and pale yellow Mid-Century Living Room photo courtesy Architectural Digest. LARGE SCALE – Eclectic Living room with oversized artwork photo courtesy Architectural Digest. PATTERN PLAY – English Country Cottage style blush bedroom photo courtesy Country Life magazine. GLAMMED UP – Dining Room photo courtesy Ellie Koleen photography, Design by Erin Melkonian Designs, Light fixture courtesy Corbett Lighting. BLACK IS BEAUTIFUL – Bathroom photo courtesy The Tile Shop blog. ANIMAL PRINTS – Leopard Print rug in Mid-Century style bedroom photo courtesy Chairish. A PLACE FOR EVERYTHING – Transitional Style Family room photo courtesy Tori Black Homes Interior Design.

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    Summer’s Top 5 Color Trends in Fashion & Home

    According to Pantone, the color experts, the hot new colors this summer range from Grape Compote, a muted purple tint – to Flame Scarlet, which is perhaps the brightest, boldest shade of fiery red, just like the name sounds. In between these two extremes, is dovetailed, the easier to live with shades of Denim Blue, Coral Pink and White White, all of which have remained ever popular summer go-to shades for Fashion as well as Home Decor through the years. Here is my take on Summer’s Top 5 Color Trends in Fashion & Home,

    Summer's Top 5 Color Trends in Fashion & Home

    As you work these trending colors into your everyday outfits this summer, here’s a cheat sheet on how to mix and match like a Pantone expert creating color-schemes tying together walls floor, furniture and accessories for each room in your home using this year’s trendiest tints.

    PURPLE –

    This year’s purple is a yummy hue called Grape Compote which when cleverly paired, will look as dreamy on you, as it will in your home.

    Summer's Top 5 Color Trends in Fashion & Home

    The trick is here to pick the exact Pantone prescribed shade on the paint deck or color wheel and then go upwards and outwards when selecting the paint for the walls or upholstery fabric or curtains.

    Summer's Top 5 Color Trends in Fashion & Home
    WHITE –

    Easy breezy white is a perennial summer favorite of one all. What’s not to love about a summery white dress in soft gauzy cotton?

    Summer's Top 5 Color Trends in Fashion & Home

    To make a white on white room look easy-going and refreshing instead of bland and inconsequential, add a dash of texture and mix in a subtle pattern in a complementary hue or make a bold choice with contrasting black wood and metal finishes.

    Summer's Top 5 Color Trends in Fashion & Home
    CORAL PINK –

    When wearing pink be specific as to the exact shade – because all pinks are not created equal. Pink must always be worn in tandem with either a stronger color – for dramatic effect – or with a softer color for subtlety. Keep accessories to a minimum because less is more.

    Summer's Top 5 Color Trends in Fashion & Home

    Coral Pink is a beautifully soothing but tricky color to decorate with. It can end up looking too washed out and wimpy or too intense and fake looking. The trick is to let nature be the inspiration when choosing pink. Pick the variations of pink that are found in nature and you won’t go wrong.

    Summer's Top 5 Color Trends in Fashion & Home
    DENIM BLUE –

    Nothing says summer more than blue denim – be it dark stonewashed indigo- blue or a soft faded chambray blue.

    Summer's Top 5 Color Trends in Fashion & Home

    ….and nothing conveys summer decor better than baby blue walls and washed blue fabric upholstered furniture.

    Summer's Top 5 Color Trends in Fashion & Home
    SCARLET –

    It is the perfect choice for a statement-making summer dress. Alternately, pair a red-striped white top with a fun pair of red shoes. This is one of those times when you do not want to match the shoes with the bag.

    Summer's Top 5 Color Trends in Fashion & Home

    A bold red-walled room makes a unique statement. One that visitors and guests to your home will be hard put to forget and dying to re-create. The trick is if you’re going to go red, go bold and don’t drop the ball. Adding an equally bold contrasting color in the same tone will make it work. Another refreshing alternative is to bring in white to contrast with and play off the red in a fun, energizing combination which is at the same time very livable. And that is my Summer’s Top 5 Color Trends in Fashion & Home

    Summer's Top 5 Color Trends in Fashion & Home

    Image credits: Purple Top courtesy Zara, White Dress courtesy Venus, White on white Living Room courtesy House Beautiful, Pink Pants courtesy Express, Coral Pink Bedroom courtesy Verandah, Blue Chambray Summer Dress courtesy Farfetch, Blue Bedroom courtesy Verandah, Red Dining Room with high gloss walls Courtesy Elle Decor,

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    How To Make Your Home Feel Like A Luxury Hotel

    Isolating at home in this time of Coronavirus has gotten some of us fighting cabin fever by now. Having said that, considering oneself to be among the lucky ones for not showing symptoms of anything worse than that, I decided to stay put for a bit longer and instead, make a list of how to make your home feel like a luxury hotel – and make the forced isolation feel just a teeny bit, like a holiday in one of those exotic locations far far away, that is on our bucket list.

    How To Make Your Home Feel Like A Luxury Hotel
    SOFT SHEETS – THESE DAYS MORNINGS ARE FOR LOUNGING IN BED

    …as we remind ourselves of 2 well-known facts. Firstly, that worry has no outcome, and secondly, that we spend 1/3 of our lives in bed. Replacing your bedsheets is the easiest, and most cost-effective way to upgrade your bed to a hotel bed. However, 800 thread count sheets – the kind you sleep on at the best luxury hotels, can be pricey! So catch a sale this summer and wake up with a smile in your home-hotel room, feeling like a million dollars.

    NOTE – while a higher thread count sheet stands for better quality, it’s the thread or fiber quality that matters most. A sheet of a better-quality fiber with a lower thread count will often feel softer and stand up to washing better than a sheet made from a lower-quality fiber with a higher thread count. Make sense?

    BLACK-OUT CURTAINS

    One would be hard put to figure out how to make your home feel like a luxury hotel if your bedroom windows are so bare that the very first rays of the sun hit you straight in the eye even as you are trying to decode that happy early morning dream as you wake up. If you wouldn’t pay for a hotel room that robs you of precious sleep, why put up with it at home? Am I right?

    How To Make Your Home Feel Like A Luxury Hotel
    OH SO FLUFFY TOWELS!! FOR A HEAD-TO-TOE PAMPERED FEELING.

    One of the easiest tips on how to make your home feel like a luxury hotel is by switching to softer towels. Shopping for towels is best done by feeling and touching but when that does not seem possible in the short run. Nevertheless, let us talk about something called a ‘gram count’. The density of a bath towel is measured in grams per square meter (GSM). This number varies between 300-900. A 300-400 gram towel is thinner and lighter and is quick-drying – so this is best suited for a gym towel or a kitchen towel. A 400-600 GSM is a medium-weight towel – that works great as a beach towel or an everyday bath towel. A 600-900 GSM is dense and absorbent, making it score high on the “fluff” scale but it requires a bit more drying time. Be sure to pick one that strikes a good balance between thick and absorbent, yet light enough to be quick-drying.

    Egyptian and Turkish towels – Everyday towels are often made of standard cotton. Choose Turkish cotton if you prefer a thick, luxurious feel. They also become softer and fluffier with every wash. To keep your towels soft and fluffy, avoid using fabric softeners when washing. For a true Hotel look and feel, choose white towels, which look timeless and work with any style or color scheme. Stack your towels in an open-weave basket or tray for a spa-like bathroom experience.

    GOOD LIGHTING.

    Staring into that blue computer screen is murder on your eyes. Your home-hotel needs good task lighting (a) at your desk…

    How To Make Your Home Feel Like A Luxury Hotel

    …and (b) mood lighting for relaxing in the intimate areas of your home such as bedrooms. Keep in mind, for reading or working in bed the light source should be above and behind you for minimum eye strain.

    How To Make Your Home Feel Like A Luxury Hotel
    A STURDY AND COMFORTABLE DESK CHAIR

    Working from home on a regular basis as we are forced to, for some time now, you deserve more than a makeshift chair at the kitchen table. On top of everything else you are dealing with, you don’t have to be cramping from sitting on an uncomfortable chair for 12 hours every day. Pick one that looks as good as it feels nice and say goodbye to being a clock-watcher waiting for quitting time, even for a day!

    PLAIN WHITE OR BLUE-AND-WHITE CHINA.

    When it comes to lifting your mood, the aroma of a wholesome home-cooked meal served on a set of pristine white platters, bowls, and plates soothes one’s soul like little else. What about you?

    While blue and white dishes remind one of a very nice (but unpretentious) hotel in Bloomsbury where both the food they serve as well as the plates they serve it in, are simply ……Yummy! Stay safe, all!!

    How To Make Your Home Feel Like A Luxury Hotel

    Resource Guide – Hotel Room With a View pic courtesy Brisbane Marriott Hotel, White Towels pic courtesy The Turkish Towel Collection, Colorful Towels pic courtesy Designer Living, Task Lighting pic courtesy New York Times, Bedroom Wall Sconces pic courtesy YLighting, Home Office pic courtesy Wall Street Journal, White Dinnerware pic courtesy Costco

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    14 Fashion Must-Haves for 40 Somethings

    Staying home this week – trying to remain busy, positive, calm and optimistic – decided to start working on my new Fashion blog. This is my 14 Fashion Must-Haves for 40 Somethings – the first of a series titled Wallet-Friendly Fashions.

    There are a lot of places that offer great affordable choices for fashionistas in their 20 and even 30s. But when it comes to timeless affordable fashion trends for the woman in her 40s, the landscape gets a tad bleaker.

    If you’re a style-informed fashionista over 40 or 50, these are some must-haves to add to your closet as go-to items year-round (keeping fingers crossed that we will be stepping outside real soon).

    14 Fashion Must-Haves for 40 Somethings

    How many of these must-haves do you already have in your closet? FYI, from time to time, I may receive a small commission for items purchased.

    The Pencil Skirt

    This one is a personal fave in my closet.

    14 Fashion Must-Haves for 40 Somethings

    I wear my pencil skirts in multiple colors to work three to four times a week – as some of my design clients and friends will attest to 🙂 It is a timeless and stylish women’s fashion staple. Check out the skirt on SALE at Boden USA (they have a 90-day return policy – but not on sale items).

    14 Fashion Must-Haves for 40 Somethings

    A pencil skirt is timeless, elegant and comfortable to work in – except when I’m on a Design project that needs me to climb up a ladder to measure floor-to-ceiling French Doors for custom window treatments.

    The Not-So-Tank Top

    I feel tank tops and 40 somethings don’t mix well. My version is a not-so-tank with a silk lining, which is still fashionable and fun to wear (and yet not quite as unforgiving as a fitted tank top with spaghetti straps) like the one below, in black silk embellished with a hint of lace, for evening wear…

    14 Fashion Must-Haves for 40 Somethings

    ….or for daytime, choose a well-cut tank with wide straps like the one from Anthropologie currently on SALE!!

    14 Fashion Must-Haves for 40 Somethings

    The A-Line Midi Dress

    A staple on my list of 14 fashion must-haves for 40 somethings for whatever one might find on the to-do list on any given day – whether it be running errands by yourself, brunch with friends or out on a first date. Shop Modcloth for this Midi dress on SALE now….!!

    14 Fashion Must-Haves for 40 Somethings

    The Black Work (Or Play) Suit

    This is a wardrobe essential that you can throw in the suitcase to take on out of town trips for business or pleasure – to be mixed and matched with separates. Shop Frank & Oak‘s Transit Packable blazer and Grant Tapered pull-on Pants that wear well with travel over multiple days and nights.

    14 Fashion Must-Haves for 40 Somethings

    I bought my black pantsuit a long time ago at Talbots. It has stayed with me through one childbirth, a divorce and multiple moves and I dare say, has aged well!! I still swear by it. From time to time I have paired it with a black and white silk top for a classic look, worn the jacket with blue jeans and pink linen blouse for a casual weekend look and opted for a fun and flirty short skirt over a black top for a grown-up play date. Black pants make getting dressed for work a breeze as you only have to think about the top – be it a white pussy-bow blouse or abstract floral pattern peasant blouse or sleeveless geometric top.

    The Leopard Print – In Small Doses

    No list of 14 fashion must-haves for 40 somethings would be complete without this one. However, note to self – leopard print is only good in small doses (I learned that from trial and error over the years) like a leopard print bag or stiletto sandals….

    14 Fashion Must-Haves for 40 Somethings

    …or a short animal print jacket (this one from Zaful is 56% off), that looks straight out of Mrs Maisel’s closet..!

    14 Fashion Must-Haves for 40 Somethings

    The Trench Coat

    A wardrobe staple of Parisian women inside and outside of the glossy pages of fashion magazines everywhere, this a must-have for anyone who speaks these three French words – “tout le monde”…! The Trench Coat is one fierce fashion choice that will instantly upgrade your closet to that of a 40-something global fashion icon before you can say “touché”…! Shop Banana Republic for a classic trench similar to the one below…

    14 Fashion Must-Haves for 40 Somethings

    …or go to La Redoute (they now ship to the US and accept returns for $5) for this statement-making vintage-looking brick-red number from that you can sweep up for a 50% OFF SALE !

    14 Fashion Must-Haves for 40 Somethings

    Mine is a cotton creation in a black and white houndstooth that is less fierce and more casual but still elegant at the same time. I left it with my niece, the 20 something fashionista. Oh well!

    Booties

    Another basic item that will nicely finish your wardrobe – in winter, fall or spring. Zappos has long been my go-to for affordable women’s shoes for booties that look like one pictured below.

    14 Fashion Must-Haves for 40 Somethings

    As well as DSW – because it fulfills my three requirements for women’s shoes – affordable, comfortable and fashionable.

    14 Fashion Must-Haves for 40 Somethings

    The Houndstooth

    The houndstooth is my staple for women’s clothing options that are bold yet sophisticated and every-day at the same time – creating an interesting texture, it is a must-have for the fashion-forward 40-50 something woman.

    Cropped Pants

    Stretched Capris or cropped Pants combine the comfort of leggings with the looks of work attire. It transitions from work to lunch to back at home.

    I feel like the moment when the humble stretched pants received the seal of approval to enter into the world of work attire, needs to be celebrated by hard-working women that want all-day comfort in an outfit that at the same time makes them look well put together.

    The Big Little Black Dress.

    Wear a different black dress every day. It was Designer Bobi Leonard who put that fun idea of a-black-for-every-day-of-the-week work dress code in my head. It works!

    I have worn a not so little (calf-length midi) black dress – to work with a mossy green bomber jacket over it, then thrown a washed gold cashmere shawl on top, switching to gold H&M sandals for an evening out.

    14 Fashion Must-Haves for 40 Somethings

    Accessorize with a multi-colored glam necklace – like the orange and brown bead necklace that I picked up on a trip to Goa, or the gun-metal choker my friend Meenu bought me in New Delhi. A chunky necklace is my go-to for accessorizing whether I’m getting dressed for work – or for a social event.

    Red Shoes

    A must must-have, whether you plan to “dance away the blues” or plan on heading out to work in, paired with a white button-down shirt and basic black leggings and/or capri pants. If you’re looking for a sexy pair of shoes to wear with your white wide-leg pants at work or for date nights – this is it. I have three pairs of reds. One pair of knee-high boots, a pair of booties and the third, a sexy, strappy number for going out – when I don’t have to be on my feet for long – each one really affordable!!

    14 Fashion Must-Haves for 40 Somethings

    I found the red boots at a store on Melrose Avenue that was going out of business – and had a 75% OFF sale. The booties I bought at Sheik Shoes and the strappy sandals that look like the one pictured above, came from a Nordstrom half-yearly sale!! Affordable fashion…yay!

    This one above is good for going casual in, all through the spring and summer months.

    The Not-So-Basic Black Bag

    A decent-sized everyday bag in black goes a long way to round up your wardrobe.

    I swear by my patent leather black bag, It is roomy enough for everything I need with me at work, like cellphone keys, etc., etc., as well as handy for when I’m out and about running errands.

    ….and I have a smaller cross-body style one with a long strap – once again in black patent leather – for partying.

    The Wide-Leg Pants

    Okay, enough with the black! It’s time to add some joy to your closet with a pair of semi-casual wide-leg pants either in blue denim for every day on the go or an eye-catching, brightly colored pair for the office or afternoon shopping or just for hanging out. I found these Mustard Yellow Banana Republic pants on SALE !!

    I love my wide-leg pants – in beige and tan – and plan on getting a pair in white to step out in, come summer – hope and payers and fingers crossed !!

    The White Button-Down Shirt

    This one works really hard to make you look fabulous both at work – tucked into a pair of wide-leg black and white striped pants or worn with an amply cut pencil skirt in a rich port color or over plaid gray skinny pants – and at play – paired with a casual pink and white box-pleated skirt or beige satin pleated spring skirt ….

    It also makes for a great date-night fashion option when worn over a pair of faux leather black leggings a pair of strappy red high heels and a chunky red necklace….!!

    Hope you enjoy experimenting with sartorial suggestions for my 14 fashion must-haves for 40 somethings….!!

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    How to Makeover a Man Cave in 5 easy steps

    Truth be told, when we decide to cohabit, we end up spending most of the rest of our lives in a shared space. However, there are times when the need for a separate space to call our own, arises for men, women and all partners.  Now they don’t have to go far to get some personal space.  Here’s how to makeover a Man Cave in 5 easy steps.

    Give the man a place to call his own.  A members-only clubhouse that feels like home that the husband, boyfriend, partner, significant other can escape to for some alone time, any time they need a break from that weekend to-do list and other stuff called “life”. 

    Be it a shared space in a garage or an entire basement floor or a corner of the home office or a spare bedroom, the man cave has become a trend that is here to stay. If planned and executed properly it can add to a home’s value. 

    First things first – Draw up a list of the features that you will want in your man chamber – in order of priority.

    • Functionality of the space – Plan what activities, other than watching TV (perhaps a no-brainer) will take place here. How often do you plan to entertain in your man cave? What will be the size of the group gathered here at any given time. Small weekend hangouts or large Superbowl parties? Take into consideration that guests will need access to drinks, snacks, proximity to a bathroom  etc.,
    • The basics – Plan a Color Scheme, Style and Scale. Get the basics right the first time around as mistakes can be costly!  Stick to one or two main colors in the same or a contrasting color family and add pops of color in the same tone and hue.

    Do not mix warm colors with cool tones or jewel tones with pastels.  A clash of warm and cool tones or an uncoordinated mix of styles and shapes will not allow the mind to calm down and chill out effectively.

    Interior colors that do not make you feel relaxed or a mish mash of irregularly sized furniture – such as a sofa that is too big for the coffee table or a rug that is too small, objects that don’t mix well – are all going to adversely affect your enjoyment of the space.

    • Floor Plan – Measure the room. Taking accurate measurements of the room is crucial in deciding how big a sofa will fit or how far away from the television your guests may be seated for a viewing experience that is not marred by eye strain. This step is crucial.

    If I had a dime for every time a client came to me AFTER buying the biggest, best piece of Sofa they could lay their eyes on at the fancy retail store only to discover that the Sofa does  not fit at all….. well, you get the picture. This step absolutely needs to happen before you jump in the car to go shopping for furniture and a big screen TV – and fall in love with that sectional couch that looks perfect in the showroom. Remember….head before heart!!

    • Furniture layout – After you get measurements of the room you must figure out things like where the sofa goes or where the telly will be installed and what kind of table to purchase for putting beverages, snacks and refreshments at arms length. It is essential to draw out a furniture layout however rudimentary – drawn on a napkin or created using a dedicated home design software.

    This allows you to see if you have a clear traffic pathway to enter and exit the room without bumping into furniture and if you and your guests have enough space to move around the room easily. The rule of thumb is – any furniture items should be at least 3 ft away from a doorway. Planning a layout is the design equivalent of measure twice cut once. No shortcuts!

    • The aesthetics – One the most important things to consider when discussing how to makeover a Man Cave in 5 easy steps remember to style your space with your man in mind. When choosing the decor, don’t forget to have fun, but pare it down to a single dominant style, especially if it is a small room. If you love something you saw in a magazine or a film set, adapt it to your guy’s taste, improvise. Good taste is always in style, whether you’re going for a Mid Century Modern man’s den or a European loft style lair or an Industrial style retreat or a playfully whimsical Art Deco hide-out.
    How to Makeover a Man Cave in 5 easy steps
    https://www.bedfordandbroome.com

    The preceding four steps will collectively contribute to the aesthetics of a space, which in turn defines the comfort level, the way you feel – relaxed or anxious and stressed out – when you step in the room. When decorating a room – and a man cave is no exception – aesthetics affect our mood and emotional well-being, whether we care for them or not.

    Now that you’ve followed these five foolproof steps let your ideas take wings, have fun choosing the various design elements –  be it funky paint colors, bold black and white patterned wallpaper or quaint vintage posters in rustic wood frames. Make sure to choose upholstery and rugs that will add texture to create interest.  Pick out accessories and artwork that speak to his passions and hobbies.

    How to Makeover a Man Cave in 5 easy steps
    http://nextluxury.com

    And that ladies and gentlemen, is how to makeover a Man Cave in 5 easy steps. You’re on your way to creating a really cool man cave – one that reminds us why we love men….!

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    SOME TIPS ON HOW TO CREATE MORE SPLASH WITH LESS CASH

    Decorating your home, condo or flat does not have to cost an arm and a leg anymore. Here are some of my tips on how to create more splash with less cash.

    MOOD LIGHTING – if a client tells me they have a tight budget my go-to is to create a personalized look with carefully curated floor lamps and table lamps to provide mood lighting around the room. If you are undertaking a makeover of your home or just entertaining some friends for the evening, forget everything else – go straight for a couple of lamps placed around the room, with the light source at different heights, add candles and voila! Instant coziness combined with instant glam!

    Lighting will do a ton towards making an average room go from meh to magical in minutes. However, don’t go overboard. I say that myself, after once having wallpapered an entire powder room in a single afternoon and switching out the vanity lights for a more bespoke look right before company was coming. The results were amazing. My company seemed to agree 🙂

    PILLOWS AND A THROW – Pillows on a sofa instantly add a level of comfort and coziness to a room making it more special and inviting. Buy pillows in different shapes and in a variety of sizes medium to large either 20-inch or 22-inch. Mix but not match, patterns and colors.

    The trick is to buy pillow covers in a particular size and stuff them with pillow inserts that are slightly larger. For instance, a 20 inch cover on a 22 inch insert makes it look more plush and luxurious. And you don’t have to do the karate chop on your pillows. Just arrange them loosely on your sofa looking like……..well, pillows.

    Finish styling your sofa by adding a neatly folded Throw or Afghan. It’s like adding a scarf to your outfit! Try to match the style of the throw to the design of the sofa.

    Some tips on how to create more splash with less Cash

    RUG – Add a luxurious looking rug that won’t break the bank! As I’ve said before, the rug makes the room. It works like the gorgeous patterned jacket that you decided to throw over the boring top and pants as you headed out the door like a Parisian girl – and it earned you a ton of compliments at work!

    Buy a rug in a medium or high loop in the largest size that will easily fit in the room. You can layer it with a smaller, less dense hide rug or a flat-woven dhurrie for the ultimate luxe look. Layering always makes a room look luxurious. And as I’ve said before – wait for those sales! It pays out. When combining rugs, pay attention to create a contrast – in color and pattern. For instance, place a patterned or striped flat rug on a solid with a shag-like density OR lay a plush white fleece rug on a patterned Persian or Kilim.

    CUSTOM HARDWARE – Most spec homes come with generic kitchen and bathroom hardware. Switch them out for ones that work better with the style of your furniture and décor. If you are prepared to do a bit of research, you can find cabinet handles and drawer pulls in painted wood for a Country French look, ceramic for a boho-chic ambiance, brass for a transitional or nickel for a modern contemporary look and bakelite, lucite or glass for an Art Deco or Hollywood Regency vibe. This is yet another inexpensive way to add character and personalized feel to your home without making a dent in your wallet.

    Flea markets are a great source of cabinet hardware. My go-to place was Liz’s Hardware in Los Angeles with it’s Ali Baba’s treasure trove of door handles and cabinet hardware in all kinds of styles and finishes. Find your fave hunting ground for bespoke hardware in your own neighborhood.

    PAINT – Most spec homes, condos and rentals for that matter, come with generic white paint on the walls. Ask any designer and they will tell you that Paint is THE most inexpensive, quickest easiest way to give a distinctive look to a home. Collect pictures of your favorite rooms and pick the one that you think suits your personality best. Plan a trip to the paint store to pick up chips in that shade as well as the two other shades right next to the one you like. Tape the chips to the walls of your room and live with it for a couple of days.

    Measure the length and height of your walls with a tape measure to figure out how much paint you want to buy. If you have no idea how much paint you need, the person at the paint desk at the store is often a big help in calculating you how many gallons are needed for your room if you give him/her the size of your walls – minus the doors and windows.

    No more living with builder’s grade Swiss Coffee on your walls!

    WINDOW TREATMENTS – I often see my clients ignore the windows when planning for furniture for a room. That is a mistake. With the exception of plantation shutters – which is a drop-dead gorgeous look – most window treatments such as Roman shades, Roller shades and drapes are generally an inexpensive quick and easy fix and can take a room from soulless to sexy in minutes! Made-to-order drapery may be expensive but with a little planning, you can pull off a near-custom look with what is available out there these days.

    A number of online retailers offer curtains that look tailored with simple but elegant trims or stria in contemporary styles mounted on custom-look bronze nickel or bamboo rods. You can combine shades and drapes to a window in order to create layer upon layer of textures and patterns to make the space more interesting.

    When measuring for length or fullness, do not skimp. Decide on what kind of look you want – pinch pleated or butterfly pleats look classy and timeless. Grommet drapes are cool and casual but if not well planned it can end up looking like shower curtains rather than customized drapes. Hang the drapes on ceiling-mounted rods for a great look or wall mount the rods as high as possible, allowing for no more than 1 1/2-2 inches for the hardware. This adds height to the space – a trick to getting the “custom” look.

    Some tips on how to create more splash with less Cash

    CROWN MOLDING AND TRIM – always a favorite go-to for decorators when looking to add a custom-built touch to any room. Choose a patterned or plain molding, depending on the aesthetics of your space. Also keep in mind the wider the molding, the more formal the look.

    If you want to add some character to an old bungalow or cottage – don’t forget window and door trim. Install wide window and door trims in rich wood finish or paint them in a color to contrast with the walls add a finishing touch make the area look instantly classy and customized

    A FEATURE WALL – I live and die by feature walls. If you are going to do any single thing to decorate your home, flat or condo, do plan on doing a feature wall. It will instantly dress up the space, whether you paint a single wall a different – or darker – shade than the rest of the room or you wallpaper a single wall in feature wallpaper, do think about adding a feature wall to your decorated space.

    Vintage furniture stores and even box chain stores like Lowes and Home Depot can sometimes yield a really nice patterned wallpaper if you look a little harder. Paint and wallpaper stores sometimes sell remnants.

    The wallpaper you choose depends on what kind of atmosphere you want to create – it could be a subtle self-pattern or a funky print with serious Mid-Century vibes or a modern re-incarnation of a French Toile de Jouy! Make it a personal choice – it’s about you and it’s about having fun! And those are some of my tips for more splash than cash.

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    Spicy Kale and Eggs

    This recipe for Spicy Kale and Eggs has been tried and tested in my kitchen several times before being passed on to family members all of whom vouch for its health benefits as well as taste. Eggs gently simmered to perfection on a bed of winter kale braised with garlic, green onions and lemon juice – courtesy Williams Sonoma. Sometimes I add chopped onions and sauteed potatoes.

    Ingredients:
    • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
    • 4 green onions, white and light green portions, chopped
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 2 bunches kale, tough stems removed, leaves roughly chopped
    • 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
    • Salt to taste
    • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
    • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
    • 4 eggs
    • Red pepper flakes, to taste

    Spicy Kale and Eggs recipe
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk

    Directions:
    In a large fry pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the green onions and garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add half of the kale and sauté, stirring frequently until it begins to wilt, about 2 minutes. Stir in the remaining kale and repeat. Add the broth, the 1/2 tsp. salt and the 1/4 tsp. black pepper. Stir in the lemon zest and juice. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the kale softens, about 6 minutes.

    Spicy Kale and Eggs recipe
    http://williams-sonoma.com

    Using the back of a spoon, create a pocket for each egg in the kale. Crack 1 egg into each pocket. Reduce the heat to medium-low and season the eggs with salt and black pepper. Cover the pan and let the eggs cook until almost opaque, 4 to 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the eggs rest, covered, until done to your taste. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes and serve immediately. Serves 4. Hope you enjoy my Spicy Kale and Eggs recipe.

    Adapted from Williams-Sonoma.

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