Handcrafted Classic American Furniture Never Goes Out of Style

A traditional classic.

A traditional classic.

Have you ever walked into a room and been drawn to a beautiful piece of furniture? Maybe that sounds a little silly, but quality furniture can really pull me in. The craftsmanship, finish and detail are something to be admired. Which is why I recently became the manager for Eldred Wheeler’s factory showroom in Wilton, CT.  The pieces in my store are timeless and as far as I’m concerned have no design boundaries. A well crafted piece of furniture looks beautiful in both traditional and modern design. Placed as a functional piece of furniture it enhances the total look of a room or as a focal point it serves as a piece of art. If you shop for traditional furniture, keep an eye out for Eldred Wheeler pieces. They are well crafted and tend to hold their value at resale. Check them out online or find the Wilton Store on Facebook.

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More Great News! Another Way to Make Photography into Art!

Along with great bargains, I am always looking for fun and creative ways to display my photos. I recently came across an old picture I took while on vacation with my family. It is a beautiful landscape that I wanted to show off in a unique way. I didn’t think just framing it would suffice. A recent trip to Lillian August gave me some inspiration, when I saw a triptych photo. Triptych photography is when one photo is broken into three separate panels to make easy and interesting wall art. This can be done with any kind of picture and it adds a designer’s touch to any room. I also like this idea because it’s a simple, personal accessory that adds impact. Check out  EZ Photo Design  if you want to create your own triptych art or try Canvas Art Designs for some ready made pieces. The triptych photography method is a great way to add art into any room, if you have other great photo display ideas  feel free to share them!
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Sweeter Dreams When you Save!

I’m all about being creative and innovative, and if I can be self sufficient at the same time that’s just an added bonus. By that I mean, if I feel I can create something, or find a cheaper alternative to something such as an upholstered headboard, then I will. I’ve been looking around furniture stores with my interns and it never ceases to amaze us how expensive the upholstered headboards are. In some stores they are priced at over $1,000! After looking around Lillian August, I was determined to find inexpensive alternatives to their beautiful headboards. If you really love this look like I do, don’t settle for the expensive one in the store just because it’s convenient. Take this opportunity to express your creative side and make a work of art. But if that’s not your thing, shop around. I found this great, three piece upholstered headboard on CountryDoor.com.  If there is one thing I’m adamant about, it is shopping around.

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There is no need to break your bank for a stylish look that will fit your life. If you can find it cheaper somewhere else or make it yourself, then do so. In this case both are possible. To make it, you would just need to make a plywood frame, cover it in batting, then using a staple gun to cover it in the fabric of your choice. I would love to hear from you about headboard horror stories regarding over pricing, possibly a great piece that you got for a steal, or even a successful self-creation!Image

The Art of Signs

Signs add visual interest to this outdoor patio.

Signs, signs, everywhere signs… It’s true, everywhere I look I see signs being used as accessory art in the home and I’ll admit I’m a collector. I think it started when a friend of mine gave me a sign that reads “Don’t mess with my Feng Shui”. Now I’ve collected several and continue to look for more. In particular I like distressed looking signs, but I also choose them for the message.  For the most part signs are an inexpensive way to add art to a space. The right sign in the right place adds visual interest, can be inspiring and might even help strike up a conversation. If you like the idea of a custom sign you can try a site like Saltbox Signs or Etsy is great if you want more of a selection. Do you have any signs? If so do you have a favorite?

Cool Way to Make Your Photography into Art

Finally, your woes about what to do with all the family photos you have stored away, are over! Show off your photography skills in a fun and creative way that is sure to attract attention.  Photo mosaics are a great alternative for displaying a collection of pictures as a single image. Choose from a single event or several events and like magic your photos become a memorable piece of art.  Check out Design A Mosaic for creations starting as low as $24.99, just think your entire life on display as a wonderful piece of art! I love this idea as a memorable and creative present, so try this out and share your experiences!     Image

Simple Makeovers

Simple Makeovers.

Great Idea!

ImageFor a recent bathroom remodel project, shades or any window treatment didn’t seem to be an option. While searching the isles of Home Depot, I came across decorative window films. At first I thought it might look tacky, but for $22.00 it seemed worth a try. I have to say it was easy and the results were fabulous! At some point I might add a valance, but for the time being I have a finished look and the necessary privacy for a bathroom, which is why I call this a great idea!

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?

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.