For Rent: Rental Refresh Upgrades

Today’s blog post is brought to you by the letter R for rental refresh upgrades. The conversation of late between mama and papa Places In The Home and our soon to be college graduate son heading up to the Great White North to begin his career has revolved around rental property viewings, interiors, exteriors, accents (eh?) and scads of all things house that make a home (rented or owned) furnishings.  This is the time of year when thoughts of apartments, condos, townhomes and single-family houses for rent and rental refresh upgrades begin to take center stage in the minds of college bound students, career starting college grads and newlywed couples.  According to recent real estate and business reports, millennials trend more toward renting than buying.


The genius of internet listings, video viewings, real estate apps and Skype proves an essential tool in locating a property.  With a few clicks, well placed phone calls and virtual tours, our son has successfully rented a two story Victorian-era style home.  Now comes the fun part- the rental refresh upgrades.  He and his girlfriend are currently in putting a stylish spin on his new abode mode.  This is not our son’s first time at the rental rodeo.  He knows all too well renting comes with caveats, and property management firms have rules and code restrictions that must be adhered to.  Addressing the aforementioned right off the bat clearly defines the can and cannots.  Fortunately, the home owner is on board with the updates and rental refresh upgrades our son wants to do to the property.

BM-revere-pewter-framedBenjamin Moore

Fresh paint  rules the rental refresh upgrade playbook.   I ran across this quote yesterday and it really hit home.

“Color is the least expensive thing to put in a house.” —Ruthie Sommers

Color often gives the biggest return on your interior decorating investment. Paint is an instant update and covers a multitude of previous tenant color choice sins and the scuffs, streaks and uh-ohs made when moving out.  As a housewarming gift, Mr. Girlfriend’s Dad is painting the entire interior and key exterior areas of the house.  Going with a neutral color palette allows more breathing room in regards to accents and furnishings.  Landlords and property managers love neutral palettes, and come closer to approving the request for painting with this color choice.


My inbox is experiencing a high volume of before, during and after pictures.  It’s exciting to be in the loop, share in the progress and to be asked to be a part of the process .


Does it makes sense and cent$ to make updates and improvements to a rental property?  Absolutely!  Focus less on the fact your new residence is a rental and more on the fact that your new residence is where you call home.  All things house that make a home come together to make the out of your own pocket rental refresh upgrades worth it for the sake of your comfort, convenience and personal style touch.

Rental Refresh Upgrades

So worth it rental refresh upgrades good to go as in take it with you when you go ideas range from a programmable thermostat, stylish mirrors in bathrooms, accent rugs, light switch and wall plates, cabinet knobs and pulls, new shower head(s) and focal point light fixtures to exterior walkway lighting, planter boxes and a decorative mailbox.  Renting or buying, it really is amazing how a sense of personal style, displaying objects of individual interest and decorating with accents that capture and convey your personality makes a house a home.

studded-rug-FlooringHall’s Flooring

I’ll leave it there for today’s post and pick it back up with more pictures and suggestions for rental refresh upgrades.

Love your style!

Blue, Brown and Aqua Color Palette

The color spotlight for this week shines on the palette perfection brought forth by the calm, serene and often understated elegance of a blue, brown and aqua color palette.


A tried and true color palette choice, a blue, brown, and aqua color palette is not your average lock you down to basic run-of-the-mill color palette option.  Selections of varying shades work together to serenely frame a space regardless of decorative style.

Cat-Mountain-ResidenceGlynis Wood Interiors

From the subtle shades of coastal blues and tranquil aquas to a bold turquoise paired with a warm Moroccan, the blue, brown, and aqua color palette strikes a perfected balance of blended shade and tone culminating in flawless color palette execution.


Working with classic color palette combinations as the decorating foundation and building from there allows for a fresh perspective in the grand color palette scheme of things.


Aqua, turquoise, Tiffany or Wedgwood- the many tones, colors and shades available in the current paint, fabric, upholstery and wallcovering marketplace reflects the popularity of this palette and how it fits in with the design and decorating styles and tastes of today’s decoristas.

Bold Statement

Saint-JamesHotel Saint James

High Impact


Reserved Elegance




Benjamin Moore HC-69  Whitall Brown ||  Benjamin Moore  2107-10  Chocolate Candy Brown  ||  Aqua Ocean by Valspar  ||  House Fabric  ||Online Fabric Store  ||Inside Wallpaper  ||  Total Wallcovering

A Most Fetching Friday





adjective: fetching


synonyms: attractive, appealing, sweet, pretty, good-looking, lovely, delightful, charming, prepossessing, captivating, enchanting, irresistible


This week’s A Most Fetching Friday features the best of the best in interior design and all that that implies.

ff-Mary-McDonald-Mary McDonald via Architectural Digest

ff-Ralph-Lauren-paintRalph Lauren via Home Depot


traditional-living-room-darryl-carterDarryl Carter Inc. via Architectural Digest

ff-goldAtlanta Homes & Lifestyles



 I hope you have a most fetching Friday.

Love your style!

St. Patrick’s Day Spotlight On The Color Green

Top of the morning to you on this beautiful and most appropriate day to shine the St. Patrick’s Day spotlight on the color green.  May good luck and great design and decor inspire you today and everyday!

Agates and GeodesNatural Beauty

I am excited for the debut of the green Ball American Heritage Collection jars. With spring decor inspiration flowing, these most definitely will be on the gotta have it list.  Fresh and green takes on a whole new meaning.

green-ball-american-pint-jarsGreen Ball American Heritage Collection Pint Jars available at FOOD52

The decorative power a well placed antique piece has over a space never fails to amaze me.

scarlett-greenArchitectural Digest

traditional bedroom
Shade of Shamrock~
shamrock paint colors
Glamour is served and served well in this Kelly Wearstler designed kitchen in the home of Cameron Diaz.  Lacquered in a custom green paint, the look perfectly proves the point that not all kitchens are meant for white cabinets.
Cameron-Diaz-kitchenWilliam Abranowicz for Elle Decor 
Interiors that incorporate the color green as the main palette choice or as a well appointed accent color will invariably catch the eye. Reason? The color green associates a natural beauty with a tangible balance. It’s a color that easily flows from space to space, shade to shade with the base elements of classic design and decor.

Color Combinations: Pink and Brown

Shades, tones, hues and variants come beautifully to the page and palette by means of perhaps one of the most striking and elegant color combinations, pink and brown.

Julian Schnabel Gramercy Park Hotel

Julian SchnabelGramercy Park Hotel 

Southern Accents showhome


Mahogany and walnut antique pieces tend to catch my eye first over other woods due to their ability to take color.  The ribbon and grain of these woods capture the rich browns, hints of ebony and crimson reds characteristically based in both the pink and brown color families.

pink and brown color palette

House Beautiful

There is no wrong direction to go in with the color combination of pink and brown, and that’s exactly the point.  Brick, berry, chocolate,  fuchsia, cherry, mushroom, coral- quite a walk away from but still in the neighborhood of traditional pink and brown.  That’s the beauty of a color combination that complements and coordinates well with many home decor and home furnishing options.


It does not restrict or confine its color choices to one set rule as it grants decorative leeway in the rich, deep, bright, bold, understated, whimsical, classic or new traditional scheme of things.

pink and brown fabricsOnline Fabric Store, Online Fabric Store,  House Fabric, Layla Grayce, Traditional Home

Benjamin Moore paint colorsvia

The broad range of pinks and browns opens the world of color up to interpretations and combinations galore.  Demonstrated above is four gorgeous examples of this school of thought from Benjamin Moore-pop of glorious Glamour Pink, anything but middle of the road Middlebury Brown, Coral Pink, and timeless Tudor Brown.


designer Anne Hepfer


Soft shades and hues perfect a nursery or tween girls bedroom with an air of age appropriate sophistication.

pink and brown teenage bedroom

El Mueble

From a soft hint or faint whisper of, a berry bold statement, or a redefined interpretation of the classics, the color combination of pink and brown plays well to the room.

It’s Time For A New Dining Room Paint Color

A tedious decor project I’ve been working on collided head on with my consulting duties last week.  My schedule got crazy busy and caused a delay in my posting.  Taking a break from the monotony of term sheets and contracts, I shifted my attention to an at home project long overdue. It’s time to choose a new dining room paint color.  It’s no secret how much I love Sherwin-Williams Fired Brick, but with the lack of natural light in the dining room it is proving to be on the dark side. The lighting of a space (or lack thereof) is a crucial factor to consider in the selection of paint colors.

Sherwin Williams Fired Brick

I’m heading in the direction of a barely there classic color palette that will:

~ frame the flow of  bookend color from foyer to butler pantry

~bring the French inspired ooh la la factor to the space

~ allow a better showcase for the existing light fixtures

Valspar Mesa Sand

The color choice needs to complement the new kitchen paint color, Curio Gray. Considering the foyer wallpaper, drapes, and dark finish of the living room suite (not my fav, but it keeps the peace), I’m leaning towards the pink/red family of colors- one with a whisper, a scant hint of pink with a café au lait base. When done right, pink defies the connotation of  frill and femininity so closely associated with the color. Achieving light, tone, and shade synergy is the trick. First up is Valspar Mesa Sand.

dining room paint color

Paint color samples can fool the eye.  I highly suggest purchasing a sample container ($2.98 at Lowe’s) of the color(s) you are considering and trying it out on the wall. Paint a large enough area of the wall and let the paint completely dry in order to get a good and proper color read.

Mesa Sand sample

Well that’s a big no go on the Mesa Sand! What a paint color sample looks like on a chart or in a can is very different from what it will actually look like on the wall. Mesa Sand looks to be the perfect shade of  brownish pink in the first image, a peachy salmon with a brown base in the paint sample image, and a flat beige on the wall. On to the next choice.

Farrow and Ball Setting Plaster

Farrow & Ball Setting Plaster is working for me. The sample is en route and my fingers are crossed.

crystal chandelier

What project Dave the Builder will be tackling on his summer vacation is no longer a mystery.  I’ll show you what else I have in mind later in the week. Think light fixture.



Adventures In Decorating Rental Property

During a recent all in the family design consultation the question “how would mom decorate it?” was asked and answered.  The it I refer to is the  townhouse our son will soon call home.  He is on the move once again in the pursuit of higher education and stylish digs.  Thus begins our adventures in decorating rental property.  Our son has a clear and concise idea of what he wants on the education front, but questions his decorative decisions on the latter.  I always chuckle when I see a bumper sticker declaring “My son/daughter and my money go to LSU.”  I’m considering printing up a couple of custom stickers that declare “My son and my money and my furniture, home furnishings, and home decor accessories go to LSU.”


It’s important when decorating rental property to be fully aware of the rules and limitations regarding changes to the existing decor, but to also keep a personal stamp of style in mind. Color does just that. The color palette I’m suggesting consists of his all time favorite colors.  Not quite nautical in nature, but close enough to glean inspiration from.  It’s been established the living area and kitchen colors will remain as is for the following two reasons:

1. A neutral color palette in a common area works to your advantage. Neutral colors are wildly popular because most everyone lives well with them. With that in mind, it’s a safe assumption a neutral color palette in shared areas will reduce the risk of conflicting tastes with the roommate. Your security deposit dollars and post graduation time schedule thank you in advance for your consideration.

2. Introduce color through accent pieces and home decor accessories.  It’s much easier to add and subtract on a smaller scale than to go big or repaint at this stage of the college housing game.

nautical color palette

The decorative emphasis is on the bedroom. The floor plan offers enough space and full walls for better furniture placement. Windows are great, but can wreak havoc with furniture placement. Thankfully, this will not present a problem. Storage and a sufficient work area remain big considerations in the overall plan.

bedroom floor plan

Let me share with you a renter/lessee tip.  Before painting the interior or exterior of a property, obtain written permission from the landlord or property management firm. With written permission from the property management firm giving the okay to paint  firmly in place, we’ve reached a color compromise of sorts.  Sherwin-Williams Hyper Blue is the one color he is set on. We both agree the 14′ X 13′ bedroom is better equipped to do Hyper Blue decorative justice as a focal point color. Enter the accent wall.

red accent wallvia

“I Heart NY” is one of my favorite Sex In The City episodes. Moon river, a red accent wall, and the charismatic Chris Noth aka Mr. Big made a lasting impression on me. That one red wall is captivating! Other than my gush, our son has no point of reference. Unfortunately, Dave the Builder does due to the years of overexposure to my obsession.  Dave suggested the above image for visual reference.  The decision has been made and we have a winner- a happy collegiate,  a bedroom stylishly furnished, and one Sherwin-Williams Hyper Blue accent wall.


This nautical inspiration from Cottage Company Interiors is a great example of how to implement a classic design with a fresh perspective.

bedroom furnishings

Dave the Builder insists on making a custom upholstered headboard. It’s a practical and affordable way to bring more color into the space and to create a striking look.  One sheet of plywood, a jigsaw, upholstery foam, batting, upholstery fabric, and a staple gun will get the DIY job done.



Mudhut Jute Sphere Table Lamp $44.99

Threshold  Brown Side Table $89.99

Threshold Nolan Bonded Leather Club Chair with Nailhead Accents in Espresso $197.99

Metal Porthole Mirror $89.99

Threshold Avington Banker’s Chair in Dark Tobacco $135.99

Threshold Desk $99.99

Ottoman $24.98

Threshold Fuzzy Throw in Red $14.99


Pharmacy-Style Floor Lamp $94.66


Storage Bench $249.99

Adding Machine Framed Art Print $64.99

Online Fabric Store:

Richloom Weston Navy Fabric $$20.05 per yard


For the next two months one thing is for sure- college decorating days are here again.  This is a refresher course for me in the A,B,C’s of decorating rental property, an all in the family affair, and I’m loving every stylish minute of it!



Footstool Redo Status: Completed!

The soon to be footstool redo referenced in the post Decor Mistake Or Furniture Placement Brilliance? In An Unexpected Place is painted, upholstered, hot glued, messed up, re- hot glued, embellished, and sitting pretty in an unexpected place.

Quick backstory~ this footstool belonged to my maternal grandmother and I always had an affinity for it. Sentimental value put the brakes on it becoming antique shop inventory, so keeping it in the family it is. The pseudo early American look simply does not do justice to the little footstool that can and its decorative potential. In a crystal clear moment of creative clarity I remembered the boatload of Sherwin-Williams Illusions Translucent Metallic Finish left over from a remodel. The Illusion line is no longer in production. The new line is Faux Impressions Metallic and comes in gold or pearl.

Sherwin-Williams Illusions Translucent Metallic Finish has a  manufacturing formula that allows it to coat easier and capture the pigment of metal. I used two coats on each leg to achieve the depth of coverage I wanted. I tested a glaze application on one of the legs.  The glaze  muted the sheen too much for the intended effect.  After the legs dried overnight I removed them with a screwdriver, set them to the side, and prepared to get my upholstering on.

On our most recent antiques buying trip I made a quick dash into Hobby Lobby with 40% off coupon in hand.  The fabric below caught my eye only out of the “I’m here and I’m getting something” principal.  Standing and studying the fabric two words rose to the top of my thoughts, bargain bin.

There in the back of the bargain bin was a bolt of fabric with the texture, color, and price point perfect for this project.  Hobby Lobby was out of the thicker bullion fringe I really wanted. This is where the twisted cord trim comes in. The twisted cord trim added a stronger presence to the top of the bullion trim and emphasized the fringe. Nailheads rounded out the purchase- all $8.27 of it.

  • ½ yard fabric : $3.50 
  • 1 yard 2″ bullion fringe list price:$1.99 – with 40% off coupon: $1.19
  • 1 yard 1″  black twisted cord w/ lip trim: $1.59
  • 1 package nailhead accents: $1.99

My upholstering formula is not rocket science. Square up the fabric cut and center the footstool top.

Gently pull the fabric up over sides to desired tightness.  Staple fabric in place.  I staple all the way around continuing to pull up sections of fabric as I go. Working in small sections makes the fabric easier to work with.  I do a neat fold every few staple applications to make a neater tuck.

Trim off  the excess fabric with scissors.

Screw the footstool legs back into place while the glue gun is heating up. Sharp scissors are a must when working with trim.  Raveling is expected, but sharp scissors will guarantee a sharper, cleaner cut. Use caution with all these tools of the upholstering and DIY trade.

Choose your starting point ( I always choose what will be the back area of the piece- most likely to be seen).  Apply the hot glue in small sections.

If raveling occurred when the initial cut was made turn the end under and apply a small drop of glue.  Let it set for a minute and continue on with the final glue application.

Don’t you just love when the hot glue dries and rises above the top of the fringe? Here’s my little trick for removing the glue that has not completely dried yet. Insert the pointed end of a wood skewer into the glue. In an upward motion gently work the glue loose,  being careful not to pierce or tear the fabric or fringe.

The last step is to apply any additional embellishments.  Nailhead accents are subject to personal taste, and in this case they are a necessary part to the completed look.

  To space, or not to space, what do you think?

This home decor DIY project saved an outdated keepsake from becoming just another tucked away item. It perfectly suits the intended purpose, price point, and finished look.

Love your style!




Color Me Inspired: Choosing Paint Colors

Choosing paint colors can be a daunting process, but it doesn’t have to be. Exterior or interior painting is by far one of the most inexpensive, impressive, and immediate options for changing and refreshing home decor. I like to think of color as personality plus in a gallon, quart, or sample size container.  It can infuse a space with decorative drama, calming appeal, or high octane energy.  It is proven that color affects our mood and how we perceive the feel of the space we are in.


A couple of years ago on the eve of one of our trips out to America’s playground, I watched an interested show during Vegas Week on the Travel Channel.  The premise of the segment was how environment and interior design affects gamblers. Color plays a huge role in casino interior design, especially pertaining to the mood and behaviors of gambling guests. Blues are typically avoided due to their perceived calming effect, reds remains a popular color choice for the excitement factor, and purples evoke an intimate, warm, and inviting feeling.  Color holds the power to calm, excite, bore, and entice. It is a fascinating concept.

heirloom-tomatoesHeirloom Tomatoes~ Sherwin-Williams colors from top to bottom: Cherry Tomato, Daredevil, Quilt Gold, Luau Green, Real Red, and Auric

Color choices reflect our personalities and tastes.  Sure, there are implied and true rules for color selection in interior design.  Yes, smaller spaces appear larger when a lighter color is used, a softer paint color choice can be the better way to go in spaces with plenty of natural light, and a neutral palette is a focal points best friend.


Between the walls of every space there is a colorful heartbeat. A color choice can come from a favorite article of clothing, piece of jewelry, home decor accessory or fabric, or a collectible.  I like this simple and logical principal- if a color makes a bold statement, the walls of a space can wear it well.

Schumacher IkatSchumacher Adras Ikat Print in Jewel~ Benjamin Moore colors top right to bottom: Exotic Red, Peony, Caponata, Mohair, Bavarian Cream, Abstracta, and Spring Purple

leather bound booksVintage Volumes~ Sherwin-Williams colors from top right to bottom left: Tricorn Black, Roycroft Copper Red, Cupola Yellow, Blue Mosque, Cerise, Spatial White, Gale Force, Auric, and Dutch Cocoa


When deciding what color to paint a space,  these are some of the things I take into consideration:

  • What is the overall feeling this space needs to convey?  Formal or casual?  Relaxing bedroom or high energy kitchen?
  • The visual flow and compatibility with the overall color palette.
  • Texture and sheen, or lack thereof.  Will it be flat matte or the soft sheen satin eggshell?  The glosses shine in the vein of durability- the choice range being the easy to clean sheen semi-gloss to the  woodwork, furniture, and high sheen, high traffic friendly high gloss.
  • Lighting.  A space blessed with plenty of natural light can support darker color choices.  Natural light will accent the prominent tone of the color. The color of the paint you see in the store will not be the color of the paint you see on the walls in your home.  Paint colors will cast different colors at different times of the day based on natural and artificial lighting (basically the same principal as photographing with natural light vs. night shots).
  • Small space + light colors= open up and say size.
  • Small space + the b&b principal (balanced & bold) = hello, gorgeous!


  • Color is not just for walls. Painting a ceiling with a contrasting color or sheen creates a dramatic focal point that will spread the color love by guiding the eye to the wall color.
  • Hue you calling neutral?  White,  beige, black, and brown are no longer the only kids on the neutral block.  Flawless gray areas are considered a classic neutral.  A bold color can be the Switzerland of the space,  as long as warm and cool shades exist in colorful harmony while balancing the hue.


All things do come together in a space to influence the whole of the look, and when the correct balance is achieved- look out!  A small space does tend to appear larger if lighter colors are used, but large patterns or bold colors balanced with the proper lighting can make a dramatic statement.  Painting is a great way to test the take a chance waters and step out of the decorative comfort zone. Most paint brands have paint samples for purchase.  Take the time to purchase paint samples of the color or colors you have narrowed your choice down to.

Roses~ Vincent van Gogh

Apply a couple of coats of the paint to an area on the wall you will be painting, allowing to completely dry.  Okay, turn on the lights, pull back the curtains or open the blinds, shutters etc… and let the light in.  Take a look, study, decide.  Hold that thought until later in the day when the light situation will be different.  Take a look, study, decide.  Now, hold that thought until evening when the light situation has once again changed. Take a look, study, decide.  The tones of the color will come to call at different times of day.  In other words, the color will show you how beautiful and right it is for you to live with at any time.






Better Homes and Gardens,  la receta de la felicidadThe Paris Apartment, Dering Hall


When The Pear Begins To Rot: A Kitchen Repaint Project

Our  kitchen repaint is nearing the final stages however, my accessorizing vision is not quite at 20/20.  When we started the initial remodel of our house, the color choices I selected really made an impression on me.  My tastes change, lighting becomes unflattering, and I begin to question my past decor choices. Do you do that?  I have the luxury of not being on a time clock when selecting  the color, design, and decor of my own home. The process is slow, thorough, and one I try to make right the first go round.  Do I get it right the first time every time?  Of course not.  “Re” is a big part of my design and decor vocabulary.

The color selecting process has purposely been at a snail’s pace. I wanted a rich color to complement the countertops and backsplash.  The space is blessed with natural light, white cabinets and molding, and tile flooring that is a decorative chameleon. With all that going for the space one big issue went against it. The previous kitchen paint color, Anjou Pear by Sherwin-Williams, was beginning to rot.  Anjou Pear is a beautiful color, but it was time for a change.

Dave the Builder was surprised to find out the kitchen was the redo target.  This all came about with me thinking I wanted to change the color of the dining room.  The more I studied the space, sketched out the ideas, and walked by the dining room 900 times a day, the more I realized I did not want to change the color.  The second I came to the realization it was in fact the kitchen in need of a change, the master plan decoratively began to come together.

Hello, Curio Gray by Sherwin-Williams.  Ours was not an instant attraction, but my how you have grown on me.

I fought the good fight against a television in the kitchen, but as you can see I lost.  The electrical and cable outlets  are leftovers from my parent’s kitchen-office combo design.  Dave did not move them when he remodeled the kitchen because he wasn’t sure what we would do with the space. Instead of moving the outlets he has suggested we simply buy a bigger television. A master problem solver, that Dave the Builder.  The eyesores outlets will be relocated sooner than later. The point of the image is to show the new home of the architectural pediment and the new lamp. I have an antique iron fence piece in mind to complete the look.

An Italian iron lantern in storage is the light fixture I’m leaning toward to replace the current alabaster chandelier in the breakfast area.  Paint colors choices for the perfect lantern patina are narrowed to three~


Decorative decisions, decorative decisions.  Stay tuned.