Baby it’s cold outside, so warm up by the fire.

If you’re lucky enough to have a fireplace in your kitchen or dining room, winter is the perfect time to light that fire and get cozy. I love to serve candlelight dinners by the fire. No need to wait for dinner guests, give yourself and your family a treat. It’s a great way to make everyday meals special and encourage family togetherness. If you need a little inspiration, take a look at this Houzz article from last winter, then go ahead and light that fire!

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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.

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

Jewelry for Your Home

Accessories are like jewelry for your home. You put your room together, arranging furniture for function and flow…and your done? Not quite. Now it’s time to add personality and flair. This is where you can really make your house feel like home.

I shop for accessories everywhere, consignment stores, tag sales, Home Goods, furniture stores, flea markets, online and while traveling. When I’m looking for a particular item I shop everywhere and if I see something in a store that’s too expensive I’ll research online and try to find it for less. I’m not sure if I just like shopping or if I’m just on a mission and don’t want to give up until I find what I want at a price I’m willing to pay.

Some of my favorite finds were unexpected, a kneeling statue from Thailand and a carved  lotus panel wall hanging. When I look at these items each day I remember how I found them and it leaves with with a nice feeling.

Lotus Panel

Bodhisattva Bestowing Blessings

Both items are large, 4’x4′ and 4′ tall.

 

 

 

Finding accessories you love will give your home personality and warmth. Be sure to select items that blend with your decor, be aware of size, color and placement and don’t be afraid to experiment. If you find an expensive piece and you’re not sure how it will look ask the store owner if you can take it on approval. This may seem like a lot, but if you think of your home as your retreat and a place to recharge, surrounding yourself with the jewelry you love will really make you feel good.

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.