Have you made your preparations for the 4th of July? There's still time
to create a festive backdrop for your celebration. You don't have to go
overboard to get the patriotic feel. A few balloon clusters, liberal use
of red, white and blue, and of course, flags, are expected elements, but
using them in unexpected and inventive ways adds to the fun.
you have a favorite way to decorate for the holiday? Are you particularly
proud of your holiday display? If so I would love to hear from you and see
your photos. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org .
||Outdoor Dining Accessories
Think outdoor dining is time consuming or a bother? There are many
accessories that can make dining alfresco just as easy as dining
Serving trays are the most versatile of your helpers. Keep
one assembled with the basics- napkins, place mats, tableware,
candleholders and more. Setting the table can be done in just minutes-and
it allows you to turn this task over to a willing volunteer!
Deeper trays or caddies can be used for taking drinks outside. Set up a
small side table outdoors as a beverage cart for convenience.
foods hot or cold with warming stones, cordless hot trays or specially
designed cold trays. Marble trays or cheese-type boards can be chilled in
the refrigerator to help keep foods cold. Serving dishes can be placed on
a tray, jelly roll pan or a container of crushed ice. Be sure to protect
your table surface from condensation or temperature changes, especially if
using a glass topped table.
Plate covers like the bamboo set shown
help insulate foods as well as protect from wind and insects. Their design
adds interest to the tablescape and can make the "reveal" of each dish
Buying accessories like this needn't add
seasonal clutter to your home. These pieces can be used for other purposes
all year round. Trays and caddies are obvious candidates for repurposing.
Plate covers can help insulate serving dishes indoors when the weather is
colder and foods cool off quickly. They can "hide" a small stack of
paperwork on a desk , or makeup and toiletries on a tray in the bathroom
Shop now for the best selection and look for other
accessories that may be multipurpose. If you find a great buy, please
contract me. I'll be happy to include your find in the next newsletter.
||Multi-Purpose Tray Table
above, trays are indispensable when entertaining. A tray table such as the
one pictured can be used inside and out as a side table or beverage bar.
Think of how handy it could be as an auxiliary staging area in a
It can be set up in a guest room to hold necessities or in
a bathroom to hold toiletries and towels. In a small bedroom it could even
be used in as a nightstand.
Compact, versatile, convenient, and
affordable-tray tables are available in styles to fit into nearly any
||Bringing the Outside In
Create the feel of
summer indoors with these quick tips for a seasonal room makeover:
Clear out heavy, dark or other season specific accessories. Pack
up woolen throws, accent pillows in dark colors, heavy candlesticks,
containers of pinecones and wood stacked in the fireplace or firebox
Clear clutter. Fewer things and less "STUFF" will make the
room feel more open and fresh-and will require less
Let there be light!. Remove heavy curtains and
replace with lightweight panels or sheers. For light or privacy control,,
consider installing inexpensive "quick shades" which will filter light.
Remove area rugs where possible. Polished wood floors
reflect light and seem cooler, as do tile floors. If a rug is needed, try
a lightweight woven rug or one of the indoor/outdoor designs that look
like wool or sisal.
Brighten up your color scheme. Whites
and pastel versions of your color palette can be introduced through
strategic placement of accessories.
Go natural. Shells and
elements from the sea are classic summertime accessories. Ferns, tropical
leaves and flowers in simple arrangements or in a cluster of glass bottles
bring the casual feel of outdoors inside. A few glass containers in odd
numbers with pale stones and wisps of sea oats or ornamental green grass,
for example, are architecturally interesting accents.
color. If your sofa or chair needs a lift, add color without weight by
using a woven sarong, shawl, or tablecloth as you would a
Mix it up. Replace a wooden table with a glass or
tile and metal outdoor piece. Birdbaths and planters can make interesting
Shop your house first and see the possibilities in the things you own.
Then shop the stores for the seasonal accessories that will complete your
||Organizing Software: Inventory Guardian
I've just learned
about a new system for keeping track of what you own. Inventory Guardian
has been created for businesses and homeowners to easily track and
document their inventory or possessions. This new software is designed to
be user friendly-by using software and optional scanners, items may be
tracked by location and quantity. Photo documentation/identification is
also available. Bar-coding is not required to track items, but barcodes
that are currently placed on items can be integrated.
is web based. It has potential for being a perfect peace of mind system
for businesses and homeowners living in areas subject to the threat of
disasters like floods, tornadoes or fires. With Internet access,
downloading the inventory information for insurance claims would be quick
Whether you're a business person who needs help with
inventory control or a homeowner who wants to organize household
inventory, collections and your most treasured possessions, Inventory
Guardian promises to make the process of information set up and retrieval
simple and accessible.
For more information and special
introductory pricing until June 30th, click on the link below.
||Seasonal Color Trick
Love the colors of
the sea, but are afraid to paint an entire wall the color? Purchase blank
artist canvas in different sizes and create a collage of beach glass
colors for your wall. This no-commitment-needed color fix can be left as
is or it can be embellished. Simple designs are best for this treatment to
allow the colors to be the focus.
Some wall colors to try: Return
to Paradise 2038-50, Sea Mist Green 2042-50, Bahama Waters 576, Ocean
Front 660 and Carribean Cool 661 all from Benjamin Moore.
Love it or hate
it, yard art is definitely a case of beauty being in the eye of the
beholder. Many homeowner associations have regulations about the use of
decorative accessories in the front yard including the type of mailbox
that is acceptable. Few regulate the backyard and that gives the homeowner
the freedom of expression that may or may not delight their
What separates classy from pretentious? What is corny
and what is cute? What is classic and what is dated? Sometimes the lines
are blurred by the objects and the materials they are made of, where they
are placed, how they are used, the type of home, the neighborhood, and the
occupants of the home.
Years ago, I would occasionally drive by a
house that had a concrete goose on the front stoop. During the rainy
season it had a yellow slicker, hat and umbrella. Then I noticed it had a
costume for nearly any holiday. (The cupid costume was particularly
I never saw the homeowners or knew if they had children
or grandchildren or if they just had a sense of humor. I don't know if
their neighbors enjoyed the show or if they thought it was an eyesore.
(The costumes seemed well made and were always placed just so.) The people
moved and the goose went with them. I miss it and the humor and effort
that went in to the display.
I mention this
because it could have been an eyesore if the costumes had become ragged or
tacky looking. If they had added a lot of accessories or "friends" it
would have changed the entire display. The homeowner's association, if
there was one, apparently allowed it and it was the only decorative
element in the front yard. The restraint, timing and subtle humor made it
work, in my opinion.
That's the key to using yard art successfully. You may be restricted to
having something only in your back yard but even there, use restraint.
Just as too much jewelry will ruin an outfit, using too many decorative
accessories outdoors will overwhelm the landscape and your home. You want
to limit and coordinate your accessories, though everything needn't match.
Continuity in a theme or look will result in a more seamless landscape.
Placement is important. Does the piece complete the plantings or compete
with them? Does it look like an after thought or stick out awkwardly? Does
it make sense where it is or in relationship to the architecture of the
home? If it doesn't add anything of value to the landscape then it's
As with most things in decorating, less is more in using
yard art. You may be attracted to decorative dragonfly collectibles or
maybe elves but you don't want to create the effect of a swarm of insects
or Keeblerville in your backyard-or do you?
I guess it all depends
on your sense of humor!
For more information on the little garden
door for elves or leprechauns please click on the link below.
||Consumer Help for Shopping Online
Web shopping is as
common and easy as catalog shopping. It's also easy to be lulled into the
sense that web businesses are reliable, particularly if the company has
been in business for some time.
At a time when many well known
businesses are facing reorganization and bankruptcy, it is particularly
important to check out a company before you place an order.
Several years ago
there was a catalog company that had unique accessories for the home. When
I tried to look for a particular accessory that they had once carried, I
learned that the company had run into trouble and was not responding to
customer service issues. I avoided problems for myself and my client by
searching for information on Complaints.com.
Complaints.com is a site where you can post your complaints and
consumer experiences for public view, read other consumer experiences, get
help with your product / service / customer service problem or complaint,
gain leverage to help solve your complaints, and check to see how a
business is performing and treating customers.
changeable business climate is is important to be informed about the
reliability of the companies you do business with locally and online.
Protect yourself and help others by visiting this or similar sites.
||About The Redesigner's Notebook
Redesigner's Notebook is devoted to tips and articles relating to
interior redesign, decorating, entertaining, organizing and related
If you have an interest or question that you would like
to see addressed, or a community event that you would like to see included
that relates to these subjects please contact me. Your comments and
suggestions are always appreciated!
~ Pam Faulkner, Faulkner House