Tag Archives: paint

Saving Money on Your Project! Think about DIY!

23 Apr

Do It Yourself

Sometimes the budget just doesn’t allow you to buy that bathroom fixture! The fixture that where you had torn the picture right of a magazine and have literally been obsessing over; for about four months now.

You’ve actually have fallen madly in love with the fixture, dreaming how it would look in your needed bathroom renovation.

AND you’ve found out that you need tile! A lot of it! Remembering square footage means more! This was Delia’s story!

Don’t fret! It’s all about saving! There are alternatives! Did you know, you can buy home improvement supplies from specialty online retailers?

Instead of paying top price at a national chain store – shave up to 50%off of fixtures and more at sites such as:

http://www.efaucets.com

http://www.tileshop.com

http://www.horizonshutters.com

My favorite is http://www.overstock.com

Then go to http://www.diyornot.com for giving it a try to do it yourself. A step-by-step instructions on projects at your fingertips! You will be surprised how the dollars in savings add up!

Oh! Don’t forget HGTV too! http://www.hgtv.com

Letia Mitchell LifeStyle & DesignLetia 🙂

Bad Paint Job!

10 May

The house painter you’ve hired can be your friend or not!   Sonia, from Fort Worth, TX had sent me an e-mail, horror story about how the painter she hired was from HELL and did not finish the work and on top of that, more paint had to be brought; as well as hiring new painters to complete the work!

All I can say, is to get references, references and then some more REFERENCES!!  Sonia admitted at the end of her e-mail; she didn’t. Straight out of the Pennysaver.  

The painters you hire, have to be on time, give you a contract indicating what the service is, how many rooms and how long they are going to be.   It should include clean up and most of  all their license – if there are damages!  And read carefully, before you sign anything!

There’s nothing worse than having a painter doing sloppy work; the brushes have to be clean ; ready to use and they should want to come to work and do the job!  (no walking around doing nothing) With the Internet, the company can be looked up easily with the BBB!

Do you have a painting horror story?  Please share, for Sonia believes she is the only one!!!!  We all learn by our mistakes, but we don’t want to spend a lot of money to get it!  Just sharing some pointers to keep in mind! 

Remember REFERENCES!

Letia 🙂

Ahhh! Paint!

24 Jan

Here we are, Part 1 of Does It Go Great Together? series.  The #1 question that is e-mailed to me is about PAINT!

Yes, I said Paint!   More so about picking a color.  Then the colors, what brand types and how much a person is so afraid of color and how the beige walls are their standard choice!    Everyone knows their colors!  Even if you don’t think you do, you really do. 🙂

The primary colors are red, blue and yellow.  When the primary colors are mixed together to create different color combinations, created are your secondary colors:  purple, green and orange.   All defined as the color wheel! Using the primary and secondary colors together, beautiful paint colors are created; combinations galore!

When looking at a paint color sheet, the many shades are called paint hues.   It is when the primary color or secondary color is increased or decreased; all providing a selection of whether to be monochromatic (modern) or analogous (pleasing, matching).  So say, if you like the color purple!  The question is…what type of purple, the paint hues allows to either to be bold/dark or soft/light.

Paint colors are to a person’s taste; quite personal.   The color can remind you of something wonderful or it can be irritating.  Leaving specific colors which go together, where  some that do not.   There’s cool tones like a white or a baby blue.   Then there’s loud colors, demanding presence; like a red or a black.  Whatever the color is, you have to take the time to look at the colors;  see how it makes you feel.  If you really like it, question how will it compliment the room and the room’s size?

Once you have made your decision, then you have to some preliminary work first.   Looking through my archives, I found this flashback video!   It’s a reply to an e-mail I’d received, it will give you some more information.

  • get many color swatches or color sheets.
  • write down the paint number and the brand.
  • select the colors you like!
  • request paint samples.
  • paint 24″ x 24″ square on the wall of the room to be painted.
  • review the color in the night, the day and w/wo candles before making the color your final selection.
  • who is painting?  Find out before buying paint?
  • talk to the supplier, ask what’s the best finish and are there any rebates.
  • is there a specific look on the wall you’re thinking of
  • the preparation to paint is key,  so you have easy clean-up.
  • stick to your budget, get estimates.
  • tell your environmental concerns to the supplier, so he can meet your needs.
  • BE HAPPY and Excited about it!!!!!

I know the idea of painting can be overwhelming in many ways, don’t be.  When you’re looking for a color, think about you and what you can create.   You will be surprise how your spaces will change, by merely the color!

Letia 🙂

www.myperfectcolor.com and www.yolocolorhouse.com

How To: Decorate Tips

9 Dec

Amy Brinkerhouse, Durham, NC. says

” I have a lot ideas and would like to begin changing for the new year, but I have no guidance and I can’t afford a decorator; I so happened to find this site and wondered if you could help me? What can I do, what do I do first?”

Change is good, often we look around in our homes and it’s seems like you’ve been there forever!  Yes, it may be comfortable and it may show your own individuality, but where do you begin to change?  Where?  Where?

It’s sad when a person is in a room and there is no identifiable thing to talk about.  The first thing is to identify the things that makes you happy.  It could be a chair, a plant, paint color or dishes.  What ever it is and it is now in your room, KEEP them and incorporate them into your change.

So I am going to answer your question, two-fold.  For readers who have already decided what they are going change and….those who are starting from scratch?  Who are asking what’s next?  Some tips, so you are not completely lost.

Amy would love to have a decorator, but she’s on a budget.  It’s great to have a budget and stick to it!  So first, consider the changes to be done to the room as a project; with a name.  Once you consider it a project; it makes it official.  She will take it seriously when shopping and especially when watching those dollars.

  • Take your time to choose your color scheme, choose your paint, floor treatments, fabrics!  Set price points and don’t be afraid to lower your price and ask when the products usually go on sale.   Once you have decided, order everything at once.  Call them all in!  Why?  This forces you to factor in everything, before you make the call.  If it is out of budget, you will get a better idea of what costs should be lowered and rethink.
  • Get professionals!  Get referrals for painters, upholsterer and a licensed electrician.   Ask for references and licenses.  Once the information is provided, do your own homework; before hiring.  Check BBB and www.franklinreport.com.
  • Upholstering takes 4 – 6 weeks. DO NOT order too much fabric.  Only order what you need.  Do you know a yard of material is expensive!   I’ll say it again, ONLY ORDER WHAT YOU NEED; ask the ulphoster  the correct yardage measurements.  Define if you want piping, trim and or hems.  It’s important.  If you choose a pattern, you are going to spend more money – to match the material! hat is she talking about?> For example, if you have a stripe pattern.  All the lines are supposed to line up, it takes a lot of material to do that!  The same will be for a pattern; like circles.  So, if you can love a solid material, try it.  But, if you fall in love with a pattern, just remember the yardage will cost you a bit more.
  • New flooring, goes in first.  If it’s putting down a new floor, staining a floor, grouting a floor  or  even cleaning up the surfaces, it should be done before any painting, wall papering,etc.  <except carpet, after painting>
  • For the kitchen, installing of  new cabinets, shelves, etc.  should all be done before any painting.  Once the cabinets are up, then order the appliances, based on the layout.  Heights, widths, flooring and exhausts must be taken in consideration.  Measure, then measure and measure again.  If the appliances are ordered at one time, be sure that the seller gives you a deal.  Save your receipts, for if they are energy-efficient appliances; check for rebates.
  • New light fixtures, they should be hung after you paint!  Sconces,  chandeliers, etc.  If touch-ups are required, it can be done after installation.
  • Then the drapes and window treatments, go up, but measure carefully before purchasing.   Custom costs money, so you can either do two things – buy stock panels in 84″ or 95″ from a department store (e.g. JC Penney).  Or go to your local fabric store, buy the material and make them! (a panel is usually 54″x84″).
  • Add furniture, arrange chairs and the sofa.  If there is a focal point in the room, arrange it around it.   Arrange the furniture as many times you need, until you feel comfortable with the layout.  Sunlight can also affect your layout decision; so look at the arrangement during the day and then at night-time.
  • Lastly, accessorizing the room; this is the fun part.  Isolate the many colors which would work with your color scheme, especially those colors which pop.  The accessories should be of different heights, a mixture and something you feel completes the room.  Personalize with your photos or favorite works of art.

Remember, always get estimates for any project, measure 3x and keep asking questions.  Oh! Don’t be afraid to go over your ideas with friends; include them when shopping; it helps you to not second guess too much!

Be well – Letia

? lee@lmlifestyleanddesign.com


What’s All this Fuss about a Color?

28 Oct

Your mind often associates a color with a thought, a memory or a time, sometimes without you even knowing it!

Marketing and advertisement firms know this and do their best to get “you” the consumer to associate a color in buying a product, that they’ve been hired to sell.  It’s so clever! 

This is why interior designers and decorators pay very close attention to the color schemes each year, it helps in their presentations to potential clients.  

Let me show you what I mean…. I am going to take one color in particular, where both men and women can identify with, without really knowing it!  Immediately as clean, relaxing, rich and classy?  The color palette is …..

Tiffany & Co

If you notice, Tiffany & Co® uses this as a signature color for their store, advertisements and gift wrapping.  The Tiffany box with this color conveys expensive, quality, classy and its timeless.

Aveeno® has used this same color to represent clean and fresh for their products also, knowing that a woman would be quickly drawn to the color while walking down an aisle at either a CVS, Walgreens or Wal-Mart, picked off the shelf than any other product; just because of the color.   Marketing firms have researched this color and have found that it does encourage a removal from the shelf to a final buy at the cash register.  Based on sales ratio, this color does just that! 

Aveeno

 Clinique® uses this color also for their cosmetics and skin products, which represents pure, clean and fresh.

Clinique

For the home, let me give you another example.  Here you have two bedrooms, which are beautiful and look very inviting; after a long, long day <just push those pillows right off the bed!!>

When looking at the photos, which bedroom are you drawn to first?   Most people would choose the bedroom on the left, simply because of the color, the mind is being triggered.  It’s clean, fresh and relaxing.  

One more!  This bathroom was just considered ordinary, before the owner added some paint color.  There’s nothing special about the bathroom, it has all the typical features. When picking a paint color; 8 times out of 10, guess what color is chosen for a bathroom?  Yes, the same color I’ve been talking about <giggle>!

Even a paint can has this color! The color wheel is so fascinating, it becomes more intriguing when you associate the color to a person, place, a smell or a thing where our minds are triggered. 

This is why when selecting a paint color; there is so much indecisiveness!  Or you may know the color; however when you get home the color is all wrong! 

The pigment might be off just a little, it’s too light or it’s too dark.   Not quite what you had in mind!  I say keep trying until you get it right!  That’s what primer is for!  And now the paint and the primer are together in one paint can; which is simply brilliant!    

So when picking a color, whether its furniture, the wall or bedroom ensemble, take it a step further and see why you’re selecting that particular color.  What does it remind you of?  If you want to share, leave me a comment!  Now, if anyone asks you “So, what’s all this fuss about a color?”  You can say to them…..it’s EVERYTHING!

Be well – Lee 🙂

Bedding from Horchow Collections, Harmony paint by Sherwin-Williams, Bathroom photo by starterhometodreamhome.blogspot.com.

 

Smile with Flowers!

7 Apr

Smile with Flowers

  Flowers make us smile and we look for them at weddings, birthdays, at any celebration and comes highly recommended to give for those “I apologize” days.  Flowers just don’t have to be around for these occasions, you can have flowers in your home all year round!  It’s sometimes hard to remember their names, but we all have our favorites!     

We decorate with flowers! Often people usually place flowers in a vase to dress up a table, more often in the dining room or in the living room; but you can put flowers wherever you like.  They can be in a small-scale or very bold.  April is usually the month when Spring flowers start arriving from overseas (Holland), but May is the time for flowers to start blooming in the U.S..        

You don’t even have to wait until someone sends you flowers.  For those who are in NYC, Manhattan’s century-old flower district occupies little more than a block of West 28th Street, between Avenue of the Americas and Seventh Avenue is a must!  Although the business is wholesale, many of the shops will take walk-ins, the prices are nicely reduced. 😉   

 Or you can even buy flowers at your local supermarket too (usually shipped from local nurseries and the prices are quite affordable).   Perhaps you or your neighbor have a Lilac tree or a Gardenia bush?  You only need a few clippings, imagine putting them in your favorite spot in the house to relax!  Nice, Hugh?  The fragrance will make you smile!     

Flowers can be found in all sort of vivid colors, from bold to quite soft.  One flower which also comes to mind, is the infamous Gerber Daisy, which has inspired many paint companies to mimic their bold colors (for instance Benjamin Moore Paints).  The behind the scene science to make the many hybrids is simply remarkable and well appreciated.      

The Gerber Daisy

I’ve got you thinking?  Why not try taking a single stem of your favorite flower with a small vase and place in it your bathroom, just to have it there will brighten up your morning.  Or put a couple of stems in your kitchen, just to have a “Look Mommy, flowers!”,  while you get the kids ready for school, it will be a great conversation starter.  How about in the bedroom?      

Maybe, you don’t want a vase, just take a small drinking glass, fill with cool water and place just the flower bud!  Or perhaps, wrap a few flower stems in a few wet paper towels and take them to work for your desk. The fragrance will be with you all day!  If anyone asks you what’s the occasion, just say, “Oh, no occasion”. 😉     

 If you are one that can’t have flowers around you, but love them, go to your greeting card store or the card section at your local supermarket, there are many cards with beautiful flowers; pick one and place on your desk instead.  Or you could get a picture,  a postcard… whatever you prefer, but do experience the joy of having flowers around you!  So, what’s your favorite flower?  Did, I convince you to smile with flowers, I sure hope so!  Enjoy!  🙂    

Be well – Letia    

lee@lmlifestyleanddesign.com

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