Organize, Decorate, and Save the IKEA Way!

Shopping at IKEA can be both exciting and overwhelming, it is very easy to get distracted so it’s important to know your budget and what you’re looking for before you head up the escalator into the unknown. My interns and I went in with the intention of finding creative storage solutions. While there were many possibilities, we liked these hanging baskets for only $19.99 each. They are perfect for any room. Hide those unsightly toys that clutter the floor in your child’s playroom, use them for laundry, magazines, supplies… their uses are endless. These versatile baskets can be arranged as a decorative set as well. When shopping for storage solutions, it is important not to be close minded. There are hundreds of ways to maximize spaces with storage that is cost effective and appropriate for any room. So be creative, and feel free to share your ideas!

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It’s Intern Season

In just two weeks I will have two High School Interns working with me. Taylor and Katie are seniors at Ridgefield High School and they will be helping me with everything. We’ll be bringing you information about local shopping, decorating trends, college dorm decorating and more. Hope you’ll stay tuned and tell your friends. I’d also love to give them some field experience, so keep in mind you’ll get three for the price of one through June when their internship ends. Sign up now and save.

A Contemporary Stage

Before: An unusual staircase space.

Earlier this year, I staged a contemporary house. The owners were very motivated, receptive to ideas and had already done a lot of work. I mention this because it made my job much easier. The before picture you see is an unusual space at the foot of the basement stairs. Without spending too much money, we needed to find a way to simplify the spot without drawing too much attention. Take a look at the after picture and let me know what you think.   http://www.flickr.com/photos/magicalmakeoverinteriors/sets/72157626784065739/    With a larger budget we probably would have eliminated the spot all together, but time and money were key and the house sold in just about a month.

Summer Hours

During the summer my schedule doesn’t seem to be my own. My kids are home, my husband works fewer hours and the warm weather is always beckoning me outside. Try as I might I just can’t seem to focus on the tasks at hand. Why do it today when I can relax on the patio instead? This is the point where I should be suggesting some sort of solution, right? Well I’m not sure I have one. Instead I’ll suggest you bring it outdoors if you can and do the best you can to stay focused.

Summertime is a time to relax, a time to move a little slower and the only time of year there are flowers we can take time to smell! So right now I’m sitting in my summer office, writing about summer, thinking summer thoughts and being in a summer state of mind. Take a look at my summer office and let me know what you think.

Summer Hours

 

The Magic of Travel

An Asian Garden

A recent trip to Thailand included a stop at Singapore’s airport. I was impressed, the airport was very clean, full of shops and had beautiful gardens. After a long flight it was so nice to get out to stretch my legs and I was pleased with what I saw. Since opening in 1981, Singapore Changi Airport has grown and has won countless awards for customer service. I mention this to emphasize how important first impressions are, how our environments can make a huge difference in how we feel and how traveling can inspire new ideas. If you have any interest in learning more about Changi take a look:  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singapore_Airport) . Stay tuned for more design news from my trip to Thailand.

My Year of Travel

So far this year I’ve been traveling more than usual. In fact I just returned from a road trip with my two sons to visit colleges. While this has little to do with design and decorating, I would like to report that there are some very beautiful colleges out there.

American University in Washington, DC has absolutely stunning gardens, Elon University in North Carolina is beautifully landscaped and Belmont University in Nashville almost has the feel of a New Orleans mansion. Inside these universities are updated and very tastefully done. Honestly, it made me wish I were looking at the schools for myself.

As far as decorating, I’d have to say the gardens inspired me with some ideas for my outdoor spaces. The weather in the Northeast is just starting to bring us some nice days so I imagine I’ll be digging, transplanting, repainting patio furniture and more, but before I get very far I’m heading off on my big trip for the year. I’ll be spending two weeks in Chaing Mai, Thailand and I’m sure I’ll return with many ideas.

In the meantime I’d love to hear about your outdoor decorating, so send a comment and if I can I’ll post from Thailand.

Elon University Garden

Vacation in Design

When I go on vacation I love to stay in attractive, well designed places. Often returning home with new ideas and inspiration. I like to feel I’m spending my hard earned money as much for the visual treats and ambiance as the destination attractions. For example, I love Cape May,  New Jersey. Not only because it’s a great beach vacation, but it’s a design feast with historic Victorian architecture. The past couple of years they’ve had a a designer show house which is usually and old Victorian mansion remodeled and decorated by the local designers.

This coming week I’m headed south to North Carolina and Tennessee. I’m hoping to get a little shopping in and be inspired by local trends and crafts. North Carolina is of course the furniture capital of the world and well known for outlets. With limited time I’ll be lucky to get in a shop or two so I’m sure I’ll be inspired to return.

Shopping isn’t the only way to be inspired, local architecture and culture can inspire but sometimes it’s just the place you stay. A recent search on VRBO brought up an interesting property called Martini Modern in Sarasota , check it out it’s a design feast and available for rent.

Martini Modern

Wherever you go,  whatever you do design inspiration is everywhere. How have you been inspired lately?

The Magic is in the Design

I started Magical Makeover Interiors at the end of 2003 when I finally realized I had a talent and passion for decorating. Encouraged by my friends after helping them with their design dilemmas I moved forward to create a business. My daughter who was 11 at the time helped me with the name, which came from the feeling we got when we finished a project – the room was so transformed it had to be magic!

As the years have passed, business has had its ups and downs and I still believe that our homes are our sanctuaries. I think we owe it to ourselves to create a nurturing retreat where we can recharge, reconnect and regroup.  Our homes are where we can relax and be ourselves and whether we have a lot or just a little we can make the most of it simply and affordably.

This blog will hopefully give you inspiration, ideas and creative suggestions to make your own  personal retreat. If you have questions or ideas I hope you’ll share them and join me by sharing your passion for place.