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Five Tips for Reducing the Paper Clutter in Your Home

Photo Credit: Houzz

Photo Credit: Houzz


Would you like your home office to look like this? You must clear your paper clutter and put the proper filing systems in place to have an organized and stylish office.

An overabundance of paper quickly becomes an eyesore. If it’s not cared for, it eventually becomes a looming pile and before you know it, you’re buried! Take a few tips for reducing the paper clutter in your home and find the surface of your desk again!

1) Pay bills online:

Most companies allow for bill paying online. They will even generate email notifications when the bills are due. Some people need a piece of paper to come in the mailbox every month; if you don’t, sign up for the online bill-paying option. If you can’t find out where to do this for each individual company, ask your bank if they offer any bill-paying services. Some banks will help you pay your bills electronically as long as the funds are available.

2) Keep a filing cabinet:

Some pieces of paper must be kept. Keep a filing cabinet for this purpose. The size of the cabinet will depend on your needs, but most households operate well with a two-drawer filing cabinet under the desk. Use hanging folders or two-pocket, labeled folders to find necessary papers quickly.

3) Filing Systems:

Filing is boring.  I know it! I hear you!

The following color coded / self purging filing system is just the perfect solution to put away papers with a system that is easy to maintain. FreedomFiler™ will change the flow of paper through your entire house and office:

Red Permanent Files. Keep the most important papers, such as car titles and birth certificates, in a waterproof, firesafe lockbox.

Orange: Remove / Replace Files: Insurance policies, contract from service providers. Whenever an old document is added the older one is removed.

Light Blue: Tax Related Documents. Two sets. One for an odd year and another for an even year.

Dark Blue: Rotating Archive Files – Tax Files to be saved for 10 years.

Green: Monthly files including bills, statements and any other document that are not tax deductible. Two sets. One for an odd year and another for an even year.

For more information please watch the following video:



4) Think long and hard before keeping that paper:

Do you really need to keep that paper? Why are you keeping it? If there is no solid answer to these questions, throw it out. Open mail near the trash or recycling bin to easily get rid of unnecessary pieces of paper. Junk mail can go directly into the trash from this vantage point, as can any internal advertising or return envelopes you don’t need.

5) Find out who is sending you junk mail and get off their mailing list:

Any junk mail you are receiving is coming from somewhere. It might be difficult to discern who is sending it, but if you can find out, call them and ask to be removed from their mailing list. It might take a couple months to cycle you out of their mailing system but it should happen. The amount of paper coming into your home should reduce itself after you make the requests.

For more tips for reducing the paper clutter in your home or to set up a consultation, contact us.

How to Incorporate Mad Men Style in Your Home Decor


Credit: Design Within Reach

Credit: Design Within Reach

There’s a lot more to enjoy about the scenery of the hit TV show Mad Men besides Don Draper in a suit. The producers of Mad Men have brought in interior designers who have focused on the trends and styles that create beautifully accurate rooms. Whether you’re looking at the office of one of the “Mad” men, or the inside of Betty Draper’s home, your eyes are catching a fascinating design approach that never goes out of style.

Mid-century style, characterized by clean, simple lines, was developed from the 1930s through the 1960s. “Design Within Reach” designers present a modern and stylish interior in neutral colors.

Here’s how to incorporate Mad Men style in your home decor:

  1. Invest in furnishings to last a lifetime. For example: The Barcelona chair from “Design Within Reach” attests to the mid-century’s mastery of form, function and style.
  2. Instead of painting an accent wall, hang a bold graphic.
  3. Place your pictures and frames on top of the shelves.
  4. Keep the space planning light and open. Separating an open space with tactically placed furniture groupings brings the open space into focus.
  5. Create a monochrome color scheme for a simple look that’s jazzed up with shapely furniture and imaginative lighting.
  6. Keep it simple. Don’t overcrowd the space with accessories.
  7. Mix it up and have fun by blending new pieces with old. Be creative! Shop around antique shops, flea markets and vintage stores.
  8. Soften and define the living space with a rug to provide contrast to your flooring.
  9. Incorporate a classic mid-century light fixture to pump up a room’s drama. Reference the Arco Floor Lamp with white base from “Design within Reach.”


If you’re interested in more ideas on how to incorporate Mad Men style in your home decor, feel free to contact us. We’ll be happy to make suggestions in line with your budget.

Simple Tips for Organizing Your Kitchen

Kitchen Remodeling

Kitchen Remodeling: Before & After. Source: Interior Visions, LLC


Organizing Your Kitchen doesn’t need to be a daunting chore. There are many different ways to organize a kitchen, and many of them require very few outside purchases. Room organization needs to be personalized, so mixing and matching ideas with some creative innovations of your own will work best. Here are some simple tips for organizing your kitchen.

Begin by looking up; many people forget about the available wall space that isn’t being utilized. Small kitchens benefit greatly from this concept, while big kitchens spread out using wall space. Hang pots and pans on the wall or above the stove on a hood rack. This gives both utility and decoration to the room.

Use a lazy susan as a centerpiece on the table. The sugar bowl, honey, butter bowl, salt and pepper can be added to provide a compact condiment station. A two-tiered lazy susan works best for those who entertain often.

Hang some shelves with pegs in the kitchen for the aprons and towels. The top of the shelf might hold the cookbooks, giving this piece of wall decoration a double use. Pans with holes in the handles will also hang nicely, as long as the shelf is anchored into a wall stud.

When storing items in the cupboards, store them by use and keep similar items together. Your favorite mixing bowl should be in a low cupboard, front and center. The crock-pot or other appliances that make an occasional appearance will be placed higher, often out of reach. Storage containers often nest inside each other and should be stored the same way. Anything which will stack safely should be kept together to maximize the space inside the cupboard.

Photo Credit: Houzz

Photo Credit: Houzz

Use a filing system for plastic containers. Keep the lids in a pile or drawer to themselves, and separate the drawer with wooden or plastic separators. The lids which match specific containers will be filed together. For example, if you save butter dishes for future use, the lids to the dishes will be stored together and away from the name brand plastic container lids.

Organizing your kitchen does not have to soak up every resource. These tips for organizing your kitchen can be done with simple planning and foresight. For more information on how we can help you or to set up a consultation, contact us.


Adding a Touch of Luxury to Your Kitchen without Breaking the Bank


Kitchen Design

Kitchen Remodeling

You’re ready for a new look in your kitchen, but you can’t afford a complete remodel. We have a suggestion: transform your cabinets! There are a lot of modern, creative ways you can do this, thus adding a touch of luxury to your kitchen without breaking the bank (or taking out a second mortgage). Here are some suggestions:

  • Color change!  Simply change the color of the cabinets, or cabinet doors. This way you can transform the look and feel of the entire space. Do you want to brighten up your kitchen? Then choose an off-white color that reflects light. Or do you prefer elegant understatement? Then strip the paint, and stain your cabinets the color of a dark wood that complements your countertops. Perhaps you don’t see much luxurious wood grain in the newly stripped cabinets. In that case, you can buy replacement wood-grained cabinet doors in a color that will complement the cabinets behind them.
  • Update your countertops. You can get a man-made product that resembles natural stone for your countertops. There are many, such as Ceasarstone and EuroStone. These products also give tremendous resilience to staining and chipping.
  • Add panel inserts to some of your cabinet doors. These come in a wide variety of materials, from glass and wood to acrylic and laminate. The acrylic and laminate can add pops of bright color to a modern kitchen. The glass options can add a natural, eco-chic feel to your cabinets.
  • Add a backsplash to integrate and connect. A backsplash is a good connector between the cabinets and the counter space. There are many backsplash materials to choose from, depending on your style and preference. Remember, grout also has its own capacity to increase interest or add a pop of color. So consider trying other colors, as opposed to getting just the usual white.
  • Finishing touches complete the look and functionality of your cabinets. Think of them as accessories! You can put crown molding on the top of the upper cabinets. How about new knobs, drawer pulls or cabinet handles? And you might like to get soft close dampeners for the renovated cabinet doors.


Are you ready to undertake adding a touch of luxury to your kitchen without breaking the bank? Contact me to set up your consultation.

Best Color Tips from an Interior Designer

Color Schemes

Credit: Benjamin Moore

In the last two posts, we talked about creating the perfect color palette and perfecting your color scheme. Today, we share the best color tips from an Interior Designer to help you finalize your color selection and painting project.

  • Give yourself a week. Look at the color swatches for at least 1 week before committing to any color scheme!
  • It’s okay to keep it simple. If you are unsure or it’s your first time putting together a palette, consider keeping it simple. Choose neutral warm beige as your primary color, and then keep your other color choices in the same value, i.e., in the same shade (or challenge yourself to go darker).
  • Choose even color values/shades. Most harmonious palettes use color of roughly even value (lightness or darkness).
  • Keep a balance of visual weight in the space by balancing colors. For example, combine the intense red walls of a room with white color on your trim. Don’t be afraid to mix warm colors with colds and neutrals.
  • Make sure to think about other colors, patterns, and textures you want to layer into the space. What rare colors do you want to incorporate? If you have a red sofa that you will be keeping as a dominant element in your living room, make sure the walls will complement it. Do you want your existing drapery fabric to stand out, or blend?
  • Pick a color to use to some degree throughout. To make sure the entire home color palette has a unified flow to it, make sure there is a one color that gets used to some degree throughout the entire house. This most often is the trim color used at the doors, windows and base moldings.

Unexpected Touches:

Use your imagination! Consider painting the inside of a bookcase, or lacquering your coffee table or a side table a bright contrast color. Draperies can be a great place to add both color and texture!

And remember, there are color experts available to help you with the transformation of your home palette. A few hours’ consultation can be worth it, if there are questions keeping you from moving forward. Contact us to get started.

Happy coloring!

Perfecting the Color Scheme for Your Home

Colors Scheme

Colors Scheme

Last week, we discussed how to create the perfect color palette for your home. There were lots of great tips on how to find inspiration and a few rules to get you started. This week, I want to focus on perfecting the color scheme for your home.

When initially looking at colors to put together, consider your color swatches in natural bright light from a north-facing window. The effects of changing sunlight will be minimized. Summer is a great time of year to paint in the Pacific Northwest. Take advantage of the beautiful sunshine!

Once you have set the direction of the color scheme for your home, consider the color swatches within each room and in all the types of lights that the room experiences. You will find that the color changes with the light.

Once you have narrowed down the color palette using your smaller swatches, paint the wall using a large sample of the colors. Undertones not apparent in a small swatch are more apparent in a larger sample. For instance, a beige that looks like a perfectly balanced neutral in a small swatch can show a pink undertone once seen in a larger sample.

Paint at least a 3′ x 4′ section of the room’s wall with a small amount of paint. Benjamin Moore offers a minimum sample bottle to test many of the colors in your space.

Next week, I will share some of my best color tips! Be sure to check back and if you are ready to perfect the color scheme for your home, then contact us today to get started with a free one-hour consultation.

Create the Perfect Color Palette for Your Home

Creating the Perfect Color Palette

Photo Credit: Benjamin Moore

Does your home need a new splash of color, a quick pick-me-up, or perhaps a fresh perspective? If you want to make a dramatic improvement to the interior of your home without spending a lot of money, then there is nothing better than a fresh coat of paint.

Before jumping in, it is important to think through the color direction for your home as a whole instead of thinking about color one room at a time. Every room should feel unique, while also creating a pleasing and harmonious flow to the entire home.

Getting Inspired

The first step in your new paint project is to develop a color palette for your home. There are many ways to begin developing the color palette for your home, but it is important to be inspired by the things and places you love. Here are some ideas for finding inspiration:

  • Look inside your closet. What colors do you surround yourself in all day? Do you wear a predominance of neutrals? Or are you drawn to the bright and bold?
  • Take a look through design magazines, apps, or Pinterest. Clip photos and then take some notes on what you like about the colors in the rooms you are attracted to. Take those photos with you to the paint store to use when selecting swatches to take home and consider in the space.


A Few General Rules

Nobody wants a cookie-cutter home. It should feel and look like your own. That’s why I feel that rules are made to be broken; however, it is important to consider a few general rules when finalizing your color palette:

  • Neutrals and less intense versions of colors should be used for interior walls. Brighter and saturated colors are best for accessories and accents.
  • Don’t be scared of colors. However, the 80’s are over! Pastels are generally not a good idea; instead go for the deep, rich colors. I always like to use colors with a hint of grey for a nice rich, deep color scheme.
  • If you are living in a historic home, consider the style of the home as a primary influence. There are many wonderful resources and books that can give insight into a historically inspired color palette.
  • Lastly, consider the psychological effects that colors conjure. Many people respond well to soft earth tones that are warm in their base color. These colors seem to be universally comforting. Blues and greens are generally found to be relaxing. Red is stimulating and great for encouraging good food consumption and interesting conversation in the dining room.

To learn more about the psychological effect of colors, you can Google the topic and find lots of interesting pieces that have been written by color theorists.

Be sure to check back next week for the next article on perfecting your color scheme. In the meantime, if you are ready to get started selecting a color palette for your home and need some assistance, please contact us to schedule a color consultation.

Staging Opens Your Home to the Buyer’s Heart

Seattle Remodeling Expo Show: January 4-6, 2013

The Seattle Remodeling Expo is teaming up with the Seattle Chapter of NAPO (National Association of Professional Organizers) to present the “Ask an Organizer” section.

I will be giving a presentation on “Organize your Home with Style!” January 5 at 3:00 p.m. designed to help individuals and businesses with home organization.

Here’s the link to the Remodeling Home Show for additional information:


I am offering complimentary tickets to everyone who would like to attend the show and see my presentation. Happy New Year!

Complimentary Ticket

Complimentary Ticket