Love the Home You're In!

Don't "Lose that lovin' feeling" in your home!  Hopefully you have started the New Year off and are getting into the groove.  By this time you have De-cluttered and are getting ready for Spring.  As it turns out, we've had a lot of warmer weather than normal so far.  It is hard NOT to want to move toward lighter, brighter, and more colorful interiors.  Create that love by adding a dash of color anywhere!  It could be a new window treatment or chair to liven things up or a simple throw, a pretty pillow, or a new piece of art!  One of my clients told me recently that after having installed some new orange silk panels in an otherwise neutral bedroom that she doesn't know how she lived without color before!  She said, "It made me so HAPPY!"  ...and that is exactly how you should feel in your haven.

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Love your Objects d'art!  Another tip to remember during this month of Saint Valentine's is to make interior purchases that you truly love.  It can make all the difference in the world.  If you purchase right you may spend a little extra money, but find that when you get something that you adore, you are less likely to dispose of it and more likely to move it around in your home over time.  A well-designed interior should flow so that your accent pieces are somewhat interchangeable from space to space in the home. 


"Heart love"...

Decorate with hearts in art, on your coffee table, and in bookshelves. 


Put a spin on the chic black and white and neutral trend by adding red, pink, or fuchsia to it!  Red creates energy and drama; pink is pretty and lighthearted fun; fuchsia is bold and sexy.  Be daring and paint your bookshelves a cool color; It's just paint after all!  I have a friend who will volunteer to paint pretty much anything when she gets bored. 

If you need a gift for your Valentine, give the gift of design!  It is a gift certificate that is kind of like saying, "take time to go to the spa." Except it says bring the 'sense of spa' into your home.  Or, if it's an office space you may need an energetic, but comfortable feel to keep you from falling asleep. If you feel comfortable and relaxed in your space, you will be more rested, and likewise if you feel active and happy, you will be more productive when you need to be.  That's a fact!  Design based on evidence and studies, makes a lasting and significant impact on your life. 

With love,

New Year, New Home

When you take down Christmas decorations, it is the perfect time to rethink some of your interior decor.  Also, you should seize the opportunity to clean surfaces with a fresh scented furniture polish to get your "scent"sations energized for the New Year!  So, there you go, it’s time to de-clutter and STREAMLINE!  

Both your life and your home!!!

Take a free afternoon or weekend to do some of the following things:

Get some fresh new green plants such as air plants or tropical indoor plants that don't take a lot of maintenance, but give color, texture, and a dose of fresh oxygen to a space.  I am an orchid lover and have a room full of them.  They make me happy!

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You can also freshen the air with new, clean smelling candles.  Move from the heavier cinnamon and cypress scents to the clean fresh linen, lime verbina or Volcano no. 6 Capri blue candle in a pretty jar.  I can't get enough of this scent!!!  It's addicting...YUMMY!!!


Re-hang a wall gallery of photographs or artwork.  Don't be afraid of making holes in the wall; spackling and paint are cheap!  Re-place old pictures with newer ones and move old ones around to new spots.  This will create a fresh focal point on the wall.  Musical Pictures! Art is my passion, so I CRAVE the energy of it in my life and on my walls!!!

The same theory applies to accessories such as lamps, books, table top items or candle holders.  Take and edit these items now that you have shed the extra decorations from the Holidays!  The clean simple tabletop will be nice for a change.  It gives you a sense of order in the chaos of the New Year! A beautiful tablescape is good for your visual sense.

Daylight savings time in the winter can be a let your light shine!  Shed shutters or dark and heavy window coverings temporarily or permanently for brighter interior spaces.  Use lighter or sheer fabrics to make spaces airy and spacious looking.  Use reeded or grass shades as an alternative to blinds or shutters under your draperies.  The color white or cream is always soothing, you can't go wrong there!


Add a new touch to a room by painting "something".  It could be the back of bookshelves or a piece of furniture.  Old objects get a makeover with a new background!  I LOVE a hit of intense color somewhere in a room...

In the New Year add music to your interior experience.  The sounds of smooth jazz or new age music can transform your sense of space.  If you don't believe me, try it!  I remember going to a home show in San Diego in Rancho Santa Fe and walking around a beautiful home listening to the music of Enya.  I will never forget the impression it made on me of the space and the feeling I got while I was there.  AMAZING!!!


Get into your wild side!  I think animal prints will forever be loved.  I know I will always LOVE animal prints! Whether it's a leopard or zebra print, let it SPEAK!  Use one print as a focal point and you will ROCK the room!


Make a "Zen" space for exercise when you can't make it to the gym!  It happens! If you have a designated area in your home, it is easy to roll out the yoga mat and do a "YouTube" session in the comfort of your own home.  Namaste

Weave in artwork of inspirational words or quotes into the wall gallery to motivate you.  It helps to visualize positivity!  LOVE, JOY and GIVE THANKS!


Bring the Spa home to your own bath.  Use your bathroom as an escape to shed the stress of the day.  Place stacks of fresh towels by the tub along with bath salts and yummy bubble baths!  Have candles, a towel warmer and music to add to the experience, as well.  Exhale!!!  Ahhhh

Don't forget to embrace YOU in the New Year!  You owe it to yourself to make your space comfortable and relaxing.  Your home is your refuge in the craziness of this world.  It is NOT trivial to be at PEACE in your surroundings.  You are a better person for it:  Kinder, more patient, gentler, level headed, less stressed and able to show that to your fellow man.  God Bless you and yours in 2017!

12 Designer Days of Christmas

On the first Day of Christmas, my Designer said to me, "Paint your room and rock a new look in old digs!"

So I did:

I painted a room in my home, and it changed my whole anxious pre-holiday attitude!  I have a guest room that has been a work in progress.  It looks nice and inviting - mind you - but I wanted it to be like a boutique hotel for my holiday guests (and my dog, Charlie, who loves looking out the window at the cat across the street!).  It was painted a great sulfuric-looking green, but I wanted a change. So, here's the deal for my inspiration: I went to a Minneapolis club called "First Avenue," also known as "The House that Prince Built."  They showed life-sized footage of Prince performing on that stage.  Ever since then, I've been obsessed with purple!  I don't mean purple like the color of a grape.  I personally am in love with the light tint of purple with a hint of red, or in my mind, the color "orchid."  The room looks like a whole new dreamy guest suite, fit for any special guest or furry friend!  With lofty white linens and sumptuous new pillows, the same furniture, but with a twist in the accessories and art...  Wow!  Oh what a difference a day and a fresh paint color makes!  So find your own color inspiration this holiday, and don't be afraid to paint!


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On the second day of Christmas, my designer told me with an attitude..." Less is more! We need to edit this space."  


I happen to love a lot of "STUFF" because I just love color, texture, cool things and art.  Sometimes it needs to be DE-cluttered and streamlined.  I'll be honest, sometimes my life needs to be streamlined!  Often we have too much going on in our lives, especially at the holidays!  In our homes, it is often the same scenario.  When we decorate our home for the Holidays, we should put away some of our day-to-day decor and concentrate on the seasonal decorations, so they are a wonderful focal point to get us inspired about the season.  The metallic finishes, bling and sparkly things draw the eye to look at the visual feast. Before you add something, remove something inconsequential.

*Mention this blog post at checkout and receive 20% off accessories through December!!

On the third day of Christmas, my designer said to me, "Just Chill!"

In other words:

Sometimes we get into a frenzy trying to make things perfect in our homes for the holiday or year-round for that matter.  It really is not about being perfect for others or even ourselves. What it is about, is comfort and the feeling of harmony and joy in our surroundings.  The lived-in look is a good thing for a home. Note I don't mean dirty dishes on the counters or shabby, taciturn upholstery, but it's okay to have a few magazines lying around here and there and a pillow not perfectly karate chopped on the sofa.  Life is about enjoying your space and feeling at home and comfortable.  Keep that in mind and don't sweat the small stuff!  Enjoy your holidays - no one is perfect! And remember the lyrics to the song, "Tidings of comfort and joy."

On the fourth day of Christmas, my designer said to me, "Candle Light is Key!"

She meant: 

You can have a home that isn't right out of "House Beautiful" magazine, but still have the ambiance of a home out of a magazine!  It is all about the sights and smells.  Light a cadre of candles of the same scent, whether they are frasier fir, cinnamon or red currant.  Not only will the room be softer and more beautiful, but the smell goes along with the visual sensation.  Let your senses work together, not only sight and smell, but sound, touch and feel.  Have some appropriate music playing that also reflects the mood you want to project.  Design is for all of the senses, not just the eyes!

*Mention this blog post at checkout and receive buy one candle get one free through December!!

 On the fifth day of Christmas, my designer said to me, "Get Your Kitchen in Order!"

Oh no!  I'm not following, that is a major overhaul!   

She explained:

The kitchen is the true heart of the home .  It is where all guests and family congregate for parties and celebrations, no matter the size.  Even if you don't cook, this is going to be the case!  It is not necessarily about having the "" kitchen with all the new rage appliances and quartz counter tops.  It's about a warm and functional space.  That being said, when entertaining, be organized in the kitchen with your food, appetizers and beverages.  The chic cocktail napkins should be readily accessible, as well as the party glasses and wine! An organized bar cart can help streamline the small kitchen space. Have festive picks for small hors d'hourves, as well as small plates, so it is easy to maneuver through the crowd.  The food can be placed throughout the house at stations in the public spaces, so as not to overcrowd the kitchen.  But be advised, it is a natural place to congregate!  The kitchen is king!

*Mention this blog post at checkout and receive 20% off kitchen and home items through December!!

On the sixth day of Christmas, my designer said to me, " Deck the Halls!"  

I have heard that every year at the holidays, but what she meant was:

Greenery is the best, easiest and least expensive way to get a huge impact in the holiday design. Throw in a little gold and silver spray paint, and you've got Neimann's and Bergdorf's all in one!  Glam it up and Green it up! In this case, more can be more!  Your local garden shop is likely to have cuttings from Christmas trees that they'll sell or give away. It's also fun to hunt for clippings in the yard or along public sidewalks while walking your dog. You never know what kind of pretty weeds you'll find, like smilax or even trees with red or garnet berries. Paint the greenery and then top it off with more candles and some red ribbon. Mantle, dining table, buffet...You've got a wrap! Place a wreath on a sculpture or mirror. Easy, fun and a HUGE impact!

On the seventh day of Christmas, my designer said to me, " Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall..."

This is what I learned:

Mirrors reflect.  They reflect light and beautiful vistas.  One can't have too many, especially at this time of year.  They can be placed on walls at the end of a hallway or in rooms adjacent to one another to create the "Versailles hall of mirrors" effect of infinity.  They can be adorned with the greenery and ribbon to set off the frames.  The light bounces from the surface of a mirror and that is key, especially with all of the candles.  As a surface accessory, they can also be placed on tables to anchor centerpieces and to add a sparkle.  One can't have too many mirrors!

*Mention this blog post at checkout and receive 25% off any mirror or painting through December!!

On the eighth day of Christmas, my designer said to me,  "MAGIC!"

Go on:

There is magic in the air this time of year. It's stars and tinsel, cookies and champagne!  It is our attitude that helps to create this feeling of magic! It is easy to be stressed and pulled in so many different directions.  Your home can create the feeling of peace and comfort. Having a tranquil environment will transform your spirit and attitude toward yourself and others.  Use your home as a haven or safe place of refuge during this frenzied time!  The holiday decor will add the sparkle to lift your spirits!  A hot bath with bath salts can ease your weary bones and make a big difference in your spirit.  Remember candles and scents can take you to calmer places in your mind.  Why not add flower petals to the water for some eye candy?

On the ninth day of Christmas, my designer said to me, "Red and Green and Leopard!"

Why Red and Green and Leopard you ask...

Color and pattern buoys the soul!  This time of year - along with the glitz and glam of gold and silver, bold reds and greens paired together - add another dimension to your decor:  Any shade of blue or Leopard print is always good punctuation!  Change your pillows for the months of November and December!  It's a fun and easy way to revamp a tired sofa or chairs!  Make a designated pillow storage closet or vacuum pack for the other seasons, as well!

*Mention this blog post at checkout and receive 20% off all pillows through December!!

On the tenth day of Christmas, my designer said to me, "Presentable Presents!" 

Let your creativity shine:

That doesn't mean breaking the bank to give a thoughtful, beautiful or cherished gift.  Gifts are given at this time of year to show your thoughtfulness toward a friend or loved one.  The wrapping can be as enticing as the gift.  Use traditional wrap or break the mold and re-brand the traditional colors to teal and turquoise with pink or red! Add a brooch, pin or ornament to the box with ribbon.   It's a lot of fun to the giver to come up with creative ways to wrap a gift.  It's also beautiful to have a tree with artistically wrapped and arranged gifts!  Use your imagination and run with it. This is another way to show your own style.  No awards for best wrapping, only gratitude!

On the eleventh day of Christmas, my designer said to me, "Cozy Fires and Throws are a MUST!"

Calm colors and warm blankets in front of a roaring fire with a good book and a hot cup of tea or toddy can tuck you in for a warm winter rest. The ambiance of a fire can incite creativity during the Holiday season. Remember to take time for the little things and make time for yourself. Wrapped up in a beautiful artistic Designer's Guild or Pinecone Hill throw, is just what the Doctor ordered during the stress of the Holidays!

*Mention this blog post at checkout and receive 25% off all throws and bedding through December!!

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my designer said to me, "Family!"

Need I say much more...

Time spent with family during the Holidays is the single most important gift you can give yourself and others! Get in the giving spirit and help out a friend or neighbor as well - we never know the struggles of the ones around us. Now enjoy your beautiful home with loving family and friends and never forget the Reason for the Season!!

Merry Christmas!!

Love and Joy,

Nicole and The NNDS Family


All special offers on this blog post will be honored through December. They cannot be in addition to other sales that may be going on, we will take the largest % off in that case. Happy Holidays to all!