Shayne Blue Inspiration

Can we talk about Shayne Blue. I think I have a new design soul sister. Hahah. I mean, I love eclectic spaces like these. When I picture my ideal dream home, it’s full of random things (you know I love that MIX). That’s why I love Kelly Wearstler so much. So much visual stimulation. Ohhh ahhh.

I recommend you check out her site and see lovely rooms full of unique pieces (like the chairs!!)



shaneblue6santa anita race track, shayne blue,

I like the simplicity of this mantle. What are your thoughts on blackamoors? There’s a very interesting history behind them if you care to have yourself a googlefest!


So good, fun, exciting to look at! 🙂

Garage Makeover: Finishing Up the Space

It’s always been my belief that if your home is beautiful, in one way or another your life will be too. What’s that Martha Stewart quote on my About page?

“Your home should be a reflection of how you want to live right now and for the next phase of your life.”

I briefly blogged (like seriously glazed over) my 2 year depression since 2015 when I found out I could not naturally conceive (I have something called premature ovarian insufficiency–and it left me pretty broken). Being depressed makes it really hard for you to want to clean, decorate, or take pride in your space. When I was living with my mother last year, I had a snap realization that I needed to move back home with my boyfriend and get it together. So that’s what I did. And I blogged about how I was living in his garage apartment. I’ve been feeling pretty good ever since I made that decision (and I started taking medication).

Well, I wasn’t supposed to be here 7 months (like really, I don’t want to be here. I want my own apartment!) but here I am. And I never finished decorating. Living in a tiny box is so hard. There’s no storage. There’s no space for my beloved things. I only have 2 pieces of my own furniture in here. 2 chairs. Everything else is furniture from when Jim and his siblings were kids. Baby dresser, kids bookcase…I’m sleeping on a Jim’s twin size kid’s bed! 😐

I was watching one of my favorite instagram interior stylists instastories and she and her husband just sold their apartment. She’s stuck living in her mother-in-law’s house in one bedroom of the home. And what did she do? Made it her own. She’s inspired me to finish out the space.

I don’t know how much longer I’ll be in the garage but while I am here I can be more at home.

Here’s where it was before I came along.


Unfortunately the bed is still over there. It has a trundle so Jim and I can sleep together. Ugh.

I cleaned it up and added my flair, but only to one front corner of the room. I deemed it the living room.


This side/half of the room stays relatively clean and hasn’t changed other than the addition of plants and a few more knick knacks that I have no where else to put.


Directly across from this is our fridge and microwave.  There’s also a pretty beat up old baby bookcase (which you can’t see, tucked in the recess near the door, but is shown in the top pre-move in photo). The bookcase ends up being a catch all for food, glasses, plates, towels, and JUNK.

Here’s what I’d like to do


Okay, I know this doesn’t look like much of anything now. I didn’t go through the trouble of making a complete styled room like I normally do.

This is embarrassing and I’m ashamed to show it on the internet but whatever. I mean people live in construction zones. As someone who is supposed to love interiors it’s just shameful I didn’t try harder to make my own living space a better place. But I really didn’t think I’d be here this long. This whole thing was supposed to be temporary. It’s crazy how we learn to live with certain things. Over look certain things. Ah.


So, I’d get rid of baby Jim twin bed and trundle. Seeeee ya! And center the bed on the window.

I already own the Wayfair headboard from when I was obsessed with iron beds. All I need to do is paint it black! I went to my mom’s house and picked it up from storage. I even began sanding it for paint. Woowooo. I always have the hardest time picking out bedding for myself. My best bet is to go to an actual store and see the blankets and such first hand. But I did like this Target quilt. I’m a sucker for chenille and I like the geometric lines.

Second, since this is a little room and side tables are not going to fit on either side of the bed (fullsize by the way), I thought why not a tray table floor lamp! I’d switch out the lamp shade but I love how gross and 60s/70s this one looks!

One dilemma is where to put my clothes. That rack was up here too when I arrived. It’s one of those metal deals. There’s actually a rodless closet behind it, but I don’t think the rack will fit. The hot water heater for the bathroom is in there. I can’t fold up all my dresses to put in the dresser. But that rack absolutely has to go.

Third, instead of the old baby bookshelf, I’d get this Pier 1 etagere. It’s not exactly the style I was hoping for, but do you know how expensive bookcases are? I mean lord, they’re as much a dang sofa. Haha. So, at $300 this one is good enough. Plus, I think it goes with my mid-century meets 70s vibe. In fact, here’s 2 vintage ones on chairish! Styled out with books, my record player, glassware and such…I’m digging it.

I’d also get rid of that little wooden table that is currently operating as a tiny desk. And I’d probably get rid of my white table that is serving as a nightstand. And we’d touch up the paint. Someone drew on the walls.

Annnnnd, if I can, I’d reallly like to replace those blinds. I’m not sure about that yet though. This is supposed to a be a fairly cheap makeover 😛


My chair is obviously a mustardy velvet yellow. As much as I LOVE color, part of me wants to do a neutral space. What’s wrong with me! Like creams and black and browns and brass. I don’t know you guys. Thoughts? But I’m totally digging that I can quickly and cheaply alter this room with a new bed, a new bookcase, and a lamp. 😀




*Similar white kids dresser to what’s in the room.


Staging to sell: the living room

I admit I have not staged a house before but hey there’s a first time for everything! I don’t really see what the difference is from styling. Just use less stuff. What I do know is, you want to show off your home’s true potential… make it look good so buyers can see themselves living there.

The first time my client listed her home, her realtor took some pretty crappy photos. Not being an expert in this, it seemed like as a whole he focused more on her furnishings rather than the unique architectural features of the house and took the photos in bad lighting, at the wrong time of day. Here’s my favorite photo he took and listed. I don’t have a clue what it conveys to the buyer. Maybe he’s showing off the wallpaper or the closet, but my eyes go to the bust and the piece of furniture (and the trash can in the other room. Ooops!)


I wanted to focus on styling the room to make it more presentable for real estate photos (stage it for selling) and generate some content for the blog! 🙂

She has moved the majority of her furniture to her new house (the french country meets beach) but we do have a few bits and bobs to work with. Since I’m doing this for the heck of it, there is no money going in to buy staging furniture. So, what goes goes.

Here are the before listing photos.


See, like what is this really showing the home buyer? Her taste in furniture? I see the fireplace but he cut off the windows and height of the room. I don’t know, I just don’t feel like he really tried to show the whole space. It reads more like, “Hey, here’s how I decorated, look at these styled shots!”lr3

Again here. You get a glimpse into the foyer but the focus is more on the work of art.

The room is a long rectangle, and the furnishings (well, what’s left) are French antique. But isn’t that painting amazing? It’s still on the wall so, score, something major to wow house hunters. “Yvonne, our [insert local artist] piece would look so chic on this wall.” “Why yes, Thom. I was thinking the very same!” “WE’LL TAKE IT!”

It would be fun to throw in some more modern pieces but there aren’t any so there! Wouldn’t it look so great painted white, with some low-slung cushy velvety mid-century sofa against that painting? Or some sort of lumpy 70s/80s crusty brown number?  Maybe an all black, brown, ivory neutral room with highlights of pinks. And plants. Ohhh, I wish we could do that.

See how dark these images are? That’s not how you list a property!!

Here’s what we were left with when she moved:


I feel like my iphone shots better convey the space of the room than his wack listing photos do! Like I said, I’m no expert in this but I’ve perused through TONS of house listings for my own enjoyment/ when I rent and I want to see as much of the space as possible!

Furniture-wise there’s not a lot to work with. She could clear away every single thing. I wonder how many houses sell naked vs. staged. Does one do better than the other? Judging by those morons on House Hunters with no imagination, I’d say it’s probably better to jazz up your house with some furniture and style than leave it empty. “John, I can’t picture our life in this empty room.” “John, they have a sofa there. That’s where OUR sofa will go!” “Yes, Carol.”

I cleared away the clutter, searched high and low for any useful piece of furniture, art, books, etc. that has yet to be completely moved/cleared out (attic, basement, you name it). Luckily, she brought back her coffee table which really helped!

This is what I came up with:


I moved the sofa under the painting and flanked it with these marble-topped side tables. The homeowner was using them as plant stands. I have no idea if that’s their original purpose but I love how they look as end tables! The coffee table she brought back is heavy wrought iron with a glass top. I found that floor lamp down in the basement. I think it’s the perfect accent to the table and I like the height with those [Christmas] candles (haha!). Those are actually my brass candlesticks. I left the coffee table fairly clean because house hunters don’t need to see too much style or clutter.



All the greenery I used was found in the yard around the house. The magnolia blossom filled the room with such a beautiful smell! What a wonderful scent to welcome your guests! There’s also Japanese maple in that bowl.



I always enjoy a good mirror above a fireplace mantle. This thing was tucked up in the attic. Jim and I carried it down 2 flights of stairs. Okay, he carried it down. But I helped! It was monster heavy and really ideally should be hung but I think you still get the look that I was going for. It did not have vertical hanging hardware nor was I about to mount some giant heavy mirror on the wall of a house trying to be sold!


I wish we had smaller slipper chairs. These guys weren’t the easiest to work with. Caddy corner? Straight on? I went with on the diagonal to make the conversational area appear more intimate/closed in. The room is so large!


Here’s a pulled back shot. You can see the room is lacking furniture but I did try to create a conversation area. While taking these photos, I also tried to get as much architectural detail in as possible. There is a lot of molding in the house. Something the realtor did not capture! :\


Here is the other side of the room, with the little mirror nook. I almost left it empty but added a stack of wee books to jazz it up.


The marble end tables are a nice repetition of the marble in this little nook don’t you think! I totally planned that (actually I’m just now realizing that…hahaha…nice how things work out!)


Here’s a shot of the foyer. I threw in that rug and table to make it a bit more inviting. I believe that mirror is going to the new house.


One side of the room.

And now the other!


This table was under the little mirror arched nook but I moved it to this wall. This table is a good representation of my searching hoard. I found the painting in the upstairs sunroom, the lamps were all that was left in the master, the books were stragglers between the breakfast room, study, and random closets and table tops, the vase and that juggy thing were on the breakfast room built-in shelves, the butterflies were broken in a closet box, and the bust was on a mantle in the study. Wheeeew. Oh and the ferns from the yard! You can scrape together a table top if you search your house high and low 😉


This vase/urn majig was also in the study. I knew it would be great with some big structural plant matter. I don’t know what these are but in a pinch I think they did the trick! Whoever buys this house will have plenty of plants to choose from if they can’t make it to the florist: ferns, hydrangea, magnolia, those pink butterfly bushes, holly, lenton roses, and more.


I did snap some pics of the room with all the lights ON, which is how realty photos appear…


There’s two floor pillows to sit on as well. I didn’t want them to be too noticeable. But they’re there, behind the far chair. So, if someone did live in this space, they could sit about 6-7 people!

So, that’s the newly staged/styled living room. What are your thoughts? Did I show you the full scope of the room in a way that if you were a buyer you’d want to come see the house? And as a stylist, did I style in a pretty way given what I had? I wish there were more pieces to work with because this is the size of room where you could create zones.  A little sofa area in the middle like I did, some chairs off to the side under the windows, maybe build a huge built-in where I put the table and house your book collection! Loads of potential!

I’d love to hear your thoughts! And don’t worry. She has a new realtor!