Tuesday, July 21, 2015

No More Monkey Business With Mircrofiber Fabrics

"I have a set of dining chairs that are over 30 years old and I was looking to replace them with new ones. I was unable to find any chairs that I liked as well as these or would be suitable to go with the table that came with them! Therefore I have decided to keep them and have them re-upholstered. After hours of hunting for upholstery fabric I’ve just about given up! We use these chairs daily and we have a large family, pets and grandchildren that come often so I need a really good fabric that will look nice with the rest of the room. Can you suggest what fabric would be best in terms of durability and style? "

Fear not, I have just what you need!  Durable, cleanable, Microfiber! You might have seen this fabric on many name brand sofas, loveseats, recliners, sectional and other upholstered furnishings. These soft and luscious fabrics endure all life has to throw at them.  With passes of “100,000 Double Rubs” it’s resistant to wear and fading, and the nylon "miracle fibers “give these fabrics extra life and durability. 

Cleaning is simple.  Liquids bead up and repelled on the surface for easy-blotting with a clean cloth. A barrier of protection is built into each fabric to prevent stains.  
While the home furnishing industry is flooded and saturated with Chinese imports, the beauty of these fabrics is made complete with one essential feature...Made in the USA.

 You don’t have to “monkey around” anymore…Check out the video, then call me for a private In-Home Consultation to see samples of these amazing fabric! We’ll choose just the right shade of color to go with your existing furnishings and your dining set will look brand new!

These are just a few of the hundreds of colors available!

Monday, July 13, 2015


Does anyone go to the shoe repairman anymore? I think probably not!  Most people will donate to charity or toss shoes out when they are worn or go out of fashion, right? And what does repairing shoes have to do with your sofa anyway?

My favorite shoes are a pair of 13-year-old, classic tan flats whose tops are genuine, hand-tooled leather, with real leather soles, and real wood stack flat heels. But what makes them special is the insides – all lined in kid leather with a leather last! I have taken impeccable care of them through the years but they are showing signs of “wear”. They fit like a good pair of leather gloves and go with just about everything I wear. The thought of having to part with these shoes is dreadful! I bought them in Italy on one of my trips back home so in addition to all of their practical attributes they hold a special memory for me!

Just about to finally toss them, I thought, “No, wait, I’ll take them to the shoe repairman to get an estimate to see if they can be repaired, a new sole and new heel caps!”
After examining them carefully, I thought he’d say they aren’t worth it, but instead he said he could bring them back to life – it would cost me some pretty pennies! I had to think really hard, was the price he quoted really worth it? After all I have bought many new shoes in the past years in hopes of replacing this pair, BUT I always come back to these shoes because I love them. Then he said, For the price of this repair you could go and buy several new pairs of tan flat shoes, but it is nothing compared to the price of a new pair of Italian leather shoes like them of the same quality.”

Well that was it, I had them repaired and now my shoes are like new after all they have new soles, new heels, and he even put a new shine on them so they glow like they use to when I first got them!
I share the story above because in my Design practice I am regularly asked, “Is this sofa worth reupholstering?”. The answer is yes, but only if like my shoe repair, your upholstered sofa or chair is of good quality, has a kiln dried wood framed, and hand tied springs. Because you see, just like my shoe repair, “For the price of re-upholstering you could go and buy several new pieces of furniture, but it is nothing compared to the price of a new sofa or chair like them of the same quality”!


Most recently I am having a 15-year-old Pearson sofa and two arm chairs re-upholstered for one of my clients. These pieces retail today at about $9,000 for the sofa and about $6,000 for the two chairs. She could easily purchase a new sofa and chairs at a local retailer for the price of the labor and material it takes to re-upholster the old ones. But she could not buy a new Pearson sofa and two arm chairs for that price!
So you see, just like my shoes, her sofa and chairs are totally worth the investment of reupholstering. Because it’s worth it!

Having trouble deciding if your furniture pieces are worth re-upholstering?  Let's get together for a Consultation and we can look at your options! 925-862-9064

Monday, June 29, 2015

I want that exact color on my walls! Color Consultation Please!

Fabric by Robert Allen Fabrics,
colors by Benjamin Moore Paint
“I like the colors in this scarf”, she said! “Oh I love the print colors in this Hallmark wrapping paper!”  Or let’s not forget this one, “I want the colors of the pattern printed on my sun dress, the yellow in the lemons, that’s the one!”  These are just a few of the requests I hear from folks when they ask me to chose a wall color for their homes. I’ve been known to get it just right 99% of the time, but it usually takes a close look at that scarf, wrapping paper and lemons to translate the colors to wall paint colors! This task is typically done in the client’s home by pulling many color memo samples to choose just the right shade for the walls, ceilings, trim and accent walls!

But now I have a “Decorator’s Assistant” to make this task more exciting and definitely more fun! No, the assistant is not a human being that I bring with me to your home. This “Decorator’s Assistant” is a handy-dandy little App on my iPhone. I take a picture with the iPhone of the print, pattern or color and it sorts, copies, and chooses the paint colors that appear in the print, pattern or color.  How’s that for an assistant?

Dinner Plate from Bed Bath and Beyond,
Colors by Benjamin Moore Paint
In most instances this little assistant gets the colors spot on correct, and that’s wonderful! But it still takes a trained eye and years of experience to know how much of the color, the placement of the color, the sheen of the color and if the color needs adjusting in saturation or undertone to make it work!  The combinations are limitless for instance, but the real trick is choosing the right combination for the space in the right light!

So although this little “Decorator’s Assistant” is a great help, you still need the “Professional Decorator” to master the color decisions. Thank Goodness!

Same Dinner Plate photographed in a different room
will result in a different color palette.
If you need a Color Consultation for your next email or call to schedule an appointment in your home, and see this little “Decorator’s Assistant” in action, you’ll be amazed!  

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Table Top Take Over

I love a pretty table! Any table will do really, I don’t even need a reason to dress a table but having one does help my imagination run wild with possible theme ideas! Don’t feel confident in dressing your table for that next event or occasion you have coming up? No worries!

Here are 4 basic design elements to guide you through dressing your table.

  • The Foundation. Start with the linen color. Choose a color that may fit the theme of the event.  This was a ladies luncheon and the Tiffany Blue seemed fitting and fun for an afternoon and a departure from plain white linens. Party and event rental companies have thousands of colored tablecloths and accessories for the table. I use Pleasanton Rentals, and the price can be surprisingly inexpensive when you consider the time and effort of pressing, washing and then pressing again to store it.  

  • The Contrast.  Dishes, glasses, flatware. Here is the place for an interesting eye catching contrast. If the table linens are pale in color go with a darker dish, if dark in color go with a lighter dish color. Here I used small light colored luncheon plates that had a strong graphic design on them which played perfectly into the stylish Tiffany Blue color. Stemware or glasses can be clear or frosted, and the flatware can be simple or elaborate which ever fits the occasion.
  • The Layered Effect. Napkins choose the napkin according to the dishes and flatware being used. If the dishes have a busy themed graphic design (as these do) or a scrolled border, I use a simple napkin. If the dishes are plain I use a napkin with some sort of border or contrast color on it to add interest and depth to the table top. A fancy folded napkin can make for a wonderful artfully dressed table and there are many on-line tutorials you can watch to lean how. The napkin ring is considered the jewelry on the table.  Interesting shapes and colors that work well with the theme can be fabulous and exciting. Here we used Pearl napkin rings playing into the Tiffany Jewelry theme.  Runners over the foundation linens also work to add depth and scale to the table as well. You can use several napkins, a silk scarf, or any other piece of fabric folded length wise for a runner.
  • The Crown. This is the last and final element that can make or break a beautifully dressed table top the Centerpiece. But before you decide on how much, or what size, or how many, or what color the centerpiece is to be try different size vases or containers on the table “after it is set” with all the above elements. If the table is long in length several small containers will keep the scale proportion better. If it’s a large round table one large in the center will do nicely. The content of the centerpiece should be fitting to the occasion, here plain white hydrangeas in low profile clear vases showed up the color of the table linens better than colored flowers would have. Also the white hydrangeas color supported the pearl white napkin rings beautifully.  
Dress your table for success with these guidelines in mind and you’re sure to be a hit.