Marie Kelly Unlimited - ....Unlimited Solutions for a Successful Home


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Home Organization
Home Staging
Miscellaneous Quick Tips
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___ WELCOME TO @ Home With Marie ___

FALL into a Great Backyard

@ Home with Marie 2012
With the start of school, once again the calendar reminds us
that hot summer days and warm sunshine, will soon be only a memory, as we move closer to the upcoming Fall Season. 
Summertime is usually spent grilling and entertaining with friends out on the deck, or relaxing with the one you love, while watching the stars from your patio. But for many people the cooler temperatures of the Fall Season, signals a time to put away the patio furniture and start hibernation indoors until next year when summer returns once again.

ScreenHunter 10 Aug. 28If you are someone who hibernates inside once summer ends, you are missing out on a fantastic opportunity to decorate your patio or deck, for one of the most colorful and playful times of the year. Now is the time to break out those rich and vibrant deep purples, warm chestnut browns, and rich carmel tones, sprinkled with golden yellows, and vibrant orange.

Cooler temps means more pleasant and enjoyable temperatures for relaxing outdoors, so why not make this the best time to bring out all the things you love.

Add a colorful exterior rug,
new chair cushions and pillows, or maybe even an outdoor fire pit or some colorful paper lanterns to set
the mood for those crisp fall nights. 

Plus don't stop at decorating
at just the Front Porch. Continue the warmth and feeling of the season by bringing those seasonal rugs, pillows, fall floral and other seasonal treasures indoors, where you and your family can be surrounded by a seasonal platter of fall color and inspiration.   

If you're planning to put your
home on the market this upcoming season, don't forget to keep those porches, decks and patios looking inviting. Buyers want to envision themselves enjoying the outdoors just as much as you do. Remember ... a great patio, deck, or porch is valuable living space that helps SELL a home and gets you offers.
So before you put the cover on those comfy deck chairs, and shelve those pillows and tableware until next summer, think of all the possibilities the upcoming Fall Season gives you, to uncover a new and even more exciting Colorful and Festive time of year to enjoy the backyard.

Creating a Beautiful Backyard For Buyers


When staging your home for sale, don't forget backyard decks and patios.
Potential buyers want to "SEE" the potential your home has to offer.
Don't allow buyers to guess "what could be" .... create it for them !!

If you live an area with gorgeous views, make sure buyers see that there is a warm, cozy and comfortable space for them to both relax and enjoy the view.

If your home offers great amenities such as a pool, or outdoors kitchen, use that theme to design around it and create a space that buyers cant wait to show off to their friends and family.

Maybe your home is more city or urban, where privacy tends to be something that buyers would love to know you have. In this situation, creating a space for entertainment or casual reading, while also providing a sense of privacy, will gain you high marks when buyers view your home.

No matter what your individual home has  to offer, make sure the colors compliment your particular demographics and style of home. While a playful palette of vivid color and patterns may be great for a modern or contemporary home, a more formal or elegant design of home, may have be more inclined to flow, with neutral colors, amongst wooden or iron furniture combined with lots of textures and layers for coziness, to create that warm and unqiue indoor/outdoor total living space that  buyers love.

Do you have a lakeside home, maybe blues and greens would help play up your outdoor features. Does your home sit in a wooded area, where pops of bright color against the lush green trees would make buyers drool? 

You don't need alot of space, for buyers  to see how valuable your home's deck or patio can be to their family needs. Just "go with the flow" from inside your home,  and connect that design to create an Indoor/Outdoor living space that will have buyers begging to spend the summer there with family and friends.

Are You "Over Priced" For Success?

In today's economy,you need
more than just a beautiful
home .... 
Smart sellers know that a great agent, along with a beautifully staged home, and professional MLS photos, is the key to successfully selling your home faster than competitive homes in your area.

But even the most beautiful of homes, will NOT sell if your home is priced too high for the consumer market to bear.

Selling a home is an emotional experience that also requires understanding of today's economy and how marketing your product, at a price that bears attention, while still offering a fair value. It's difficult for many sellers to be objective about the market value of their home, because of the personal attachment to the memories, time, and expense invested in their home over the years. But sentiment alone does not add to the value of the home. As a seller you must give what buyers are looking for, in order to be successful.

If you want to be a successful seller, you need to be on your game, and follow a professional game plan for winning. Working with an experienced Real Estate Industry Professional who can help you prepare and market your home, will give you the solid foundation towards a financially successful home sale.

Make a list of your homes best features, as well as the ones that make up the reasons why you are moving. Today's buyers are looking to invest their hard earned dollars in only the best value they can find. With the help of a Real Estate Industry Professional who knows buyer trends, neighborhood comps, and the best way to showcase your home and its best qualities, will give you the competitive edge to sell your home for the highest market value available to you, without becoming an overpriced and overlooked option for buyers and offers.

Spring Painting 101

Spring has arrived and the official start of a new season
filled with color and style has begun. 
What colors will YOU grow  this Spring,
and where will you plant them in and around your home?
Choosing which paint colors as well as
what types of paint finishes and where,
can be an overwhelming task for many homeowners.
Although it's best to consult with a Professional Color Expert to help with these types of decisions, there are 3 basics things you can keep in mind to help ease the decision making process. 
How To Choose A Paint Color
Select something in the room that makes you happy. Draw upon those colors and feelings to create a theme or color palette that ties everything together.
Starting fresh? Find something you like,
a piece of artwork, a rug, a photo, or a piece of decorative accessory, and use that
as your bridge in creating a cohesive look.
How To Choose A Paint Finish
Selecting a finish is not hard, but first you must decide where and how the area or item you are painting, is going to be utilized. Although there are many things to consider and different types of paint that will give you the effect you are trying to achieve, there are still some basic tips you can follow, to help you select the right finishes.
Satin works great for homes with uneven walls where you need to minimize or hide imperfections. Semi-Gloss is great for trim pieces or mouldings and high traffic areas, because it's easy to wipe clean.  Gloss is durable and looks great for accenting the curves and lines of furniture pieces.
How To Select The Right Tools
(1) Invest in a good drop cloth that can be used over and over again. Cloth is more durable that plastic and provides a better non-slippery surface for working in.
(2) You'll  need Blue Tape or Frog Tape in order to mask off area for protection and create clean corners and lines.
(3) Paint Rollers - these are great for larger areas and come in a variety of sizes. Choose a deep pile roller for textured surfaces, and a low pile roller for smooth finish walls. Don't forget to get an extension rod if you want to be able to reach those high reach areas like ceilings and wall corners.
(4) Paint Brushes - Decide if you need a natural bristle or synthetic brushes. Stains typically require synthetic nylon or polyester while most interior wall paints are best paired with natural brushes to avoid streaking. Don't forget an angle brush so you can "cut in" corners where walls meet moldings.
Painting your home doesn't have to be complicated. With a little bit of patience and creativity, you too can find the color of your dreams, and a room where memories are created.                                             

Getting a "Jump" On Springtime Color

Thinking of adding some
Springtime color to your home,
but worried it's still too cold 

Don't let cooler temps discourage you from adding punches of color to welcome buyers and guest to your front door. 
Create a feeling of surprise 
with Springtime flowers like Pansies or Johnny Jump Ups,
that Tolerate Midwestern
Springtime temps. Place in colorful pots near front entrances, to create a dramatic effect that is unforgettable.
With so many houses still winter time grey and boring, NOW is the time to give YOUR HOME that punch of color  and surprise that says "BUY ME" ...
I'm the home that's FunColorful,and Unforgettable!!

Adding Warmth with Bookcases

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Does your home have empty spaces you're unsure how to use? Are you looking for more function as well as decorative space to showcase your accessories and collectibles?

Built-In Bookcases can be a beautiful way to display your books and collectibles, while adding a layer of design and warmth to any room.

Looking for an attractive way
to make your bookcases flow seamlessly from window to wall?  Use curtains   that match or complement your window treatments, to flank the sides of the bookcase to create a window effect. Curtains can also be used to hide shelf clutter especially in guest rooms or workrooms.

Bookcases are also a great way to separate a space, acting as a room divider to create the illusion of  additional space for dining or studying.

Whether its built in or free standing, however you decide to use bookcases is up to you. The possibilities are endless, and can quickly and easily turn an everyday space into a designer showplace.

A Romantic Table For 2

Don't let COLD weather or busy schedules
prevent you from creating a
Romantic Dinner for 2
on Valentine's Day ..
There may be snow but that just gives
you a reason to snuggle closer ...
Create a romantic table setting for 2 on
your deck or patio, out in the snow or under
the stars with a fire .... 
Looking for something indoors? Why not
take that beautiful wrought iron bistro set
you loved all summer long, and set a table
for 2 indoors by the fireplace ...
Creating a Table for 2 on Valentine's Day doesn't have to be expensive.
 It just takes a little imagination and a lot of L.O.V.E 


Scent-sational Valentine's Gifts

Valentine's Day Countdown

Are you still struggling to find the perfect gift that says you care? Forget the cliche box of Chocolates or Roses, and create something that says "you are worth the time" to be remembered.

holiday gift ideas martha stewart copy
Take a bar of luxury scented soap, and remove the outer manufacturer label. Replace it with softly colored wrapping paper, and a handwritten or printed personalized gift tag with a special message from you.
Arrange several soaps in a basket or other decorative container. Add a soft bath pillow and a scented candle, and you're set to be remembered for months to come.

There's nothing better on a cold
winter night than sitting by a cozy fire. The only thing better is a great smelling fireplace to make your senses drift. Why not give that feeling to someone special.

Give that special someone a homemade fireplace sachet. They're easy and inexpensive to make. Just take a 12 inch square of brown paper, fill it with natural scents like cinnamon stick, dried orange peel, or sandlewood. Wrap and tie with baking twine. For added indulgence, combine this with a bottle of wine and 2 long stem glasses, for a gift that says your worth taking time out for.

It doesn't take a lot to say "I Love You" ... or "You're The Best". All it takes a little creativity from the heart, to make someone feel special for months to come.

Game Day Strategies for Selling Your Home

Football Fans everywhere have
  waited for this day
" Super Bowl Sunday " 
Football fans everywhere, spend weeks planning parties with family and friends,
for that one special day when everyone gathers together at your home.
 You clean, you cook, and make sure every detail is planned for, yet
 when selling a home, most people do not prepare for that one important day
when potential home buyers will walk through your door.
Develop a Game Day Strategy for Selling Your Home.
You can't expect to win, if you don't have a Game Plan.
Develop an Offensive Strategy to "Score Points"
with potential buyers.
        Develop a Strong Defense - Secure a knowledgeable Realtor that knows 
        the comparables in your area and can help you set a competitive selling price
        for your home, along with a solid "Marketing Game Plan".
        Make sure your home is sparkling clean & "Move In Ready".
        Declutter, Declutter, Declutter !!
        Hire a Professional Stager who is experienced in making your home
        appeal to the largest number of potential buyers while focusing on your
        home's best features.
        Get Professional Quality Photos of your home
        According to the National Association of Realtors, 98% of home buyers say that
        photographs are among the most important features when house hunting online. 
        With this much riding on the quality of your home's photos why take chances with
        "home photography" or amateur quality photos.
        Get ready for GAME DAY !!
        Review the scoreboard, check your Game Plan, secure pets outside the
        home, and get ready to ......  SCORE A TOUCHDOWN !!


Make Your Sunroom A Beautiful Place


Does your home's Sunroom or Four Season's room, still look like it's the Christmas season? 
Maybe it's time to bring out the boxes and put away the winter memories, and update your room to Spring and all colors of nature.
If you're selling your home this Spring, buyers don't want to see a Sunroom, back porch, or other potentially valuable areas like these, cluttered with holiday decorations from Christmas and New Year's or dead plants from last summer you've forgotten to toss away.
Allow buyers to see the beauty of this valuable space by adding cheerful colors that compliment the season and your particular home, while inspiring nature and through pillows and area rugs, along with healthy plants that appear to have been growing there all winter long.
Even if your style is more Formal or Traditional, you can still evoke the feeling of a sunny comfortable and peaceful space that buyer will be drawn to. Cluttered spaces and even empty spaces, can make a room feel
empty, cold, and unuseable.
Awaken the senses of buyers with
the ability to connect to every valuable space, your home has to offer.

Creative Ideas For Storing Tablecloths

The holidays are over and all those beautiful tablecloths
need a place to reside till they are needed again. 
From china hutches, to china cabinets and closet shelves 
stacked and jammed with beautiful linens,
how do you keep these priceless and precious items 
ready to wear for your next gathering?  
pants hanger become table cloth organizer

Why fold, stuff, crease, and wrinkle beautiful tablecloths,
when you can just hang them.
By using a standard pants hanger found in stores,
you can hang even your most treasured family tablecloths
in less space, while keeping them iron fresh and ready to use.
Best of all depending on the weight of each tablecloth,
you can hang 3-4 tablecloths per hanger, 
making this a space worthy idea you can hang in any closet. 


Packing Up Christmas Memories

The holidays are almost over, and packing up those Christmas decorations can sometimes be just as time consuming as deciding how to arrange it all.
 So how to you preserve that creative spark and recreate the same excitement again next year?
Take a photo of your greatest creations and displays,
so you will remember exactly how it looked, and what items you used.
Then pack that photo along with those items away for next year,
 so you can bring back memories, and save time re-creating
the perfect holiday memory.

Layering Your Rooms For Warmth & Design

The winter chill is on and temps across the US have us
 reaching for cozy sweaters and throws....
What is it about a knitted throw that makes
 you feel warm and comforted even on the worst of days.
A knitted throw can warm us, nurture us, and comfort us like an old friend. It's no wonder
we find ways to incorporate them into our everyday decor with their beauty and style.
Knitted throws and pillows are as versatile as they are beautiful, and
add a layer of warmth and beauty to the spaces they decorate.
These soft and luxurious accessories
are great in living rooms, family
rooms, bedrooms, and nurseries.
The possibilities are endless.
Knitted throws add layer and texture to when thrown over sofas or chairs, and add warmth and character when folded at the end of a bed, or layered across the bed as a blanket on cold nights. Best of all knitted pillows and
throws are not just for winter time.
Think of how comforting it feels to
be nestled in a throw on chilly Spring night or while reading a book on a crisp Fall day.
Summertime throws are lighter in weight, but heavy on color for that added punch of texture and fun, to
any space or special event.  
On a porch by the lake, or by a
campfire on the beach, knitted throws
are like a best friend, capturing all our memories and wrapping them
up in special hug.


How To Light Up The Perfect Christmas Tree

Holiday Edition 

You shop and shop for the perfect tree. Your head spins with color choices, what ornaments to add, plus garland, ribbons and other decor to accessorize it with. Yet the one thing that remains the same with every Holiday Tree
is how to light it, so that it shines big, bright and beautiful from top to bottom, without dimming it's beauty, or outshining the rest of the room.

My husband and I decorated, lighted,
and fluffed all sizes and shapes of Christmas Trees commercially, for many years. Each year holiday
shoppers would stop to ask us, how
to make their own trees at home, a Holiday memory vs a Holiday nightmare. If you are one of those people that find themselves "wrapped up" in cords, then help is on the way.

Truth is even though many people now have Pre-Lit trees in their homes, there are still many of us who endure and enjoy the Holiday tradition of adding their own lighting to artificial or fresh cut trees. Here's some tips on how to make any height tree a beautiful success.

Light the tree from the top down working in sections rather than round and round the tree. Start near the trunk of the tree and work your way out each branch and then back again, until each branch is covered in lights.

By doing this, your eye goes beyond the surface of the branches, adds depth and fullness, plus allows you to put ornaments inside the tree that reflect the light and colors of each ornament.

A good rule of thumb for estimating the number of lights needed for a tree is approximately 100 lights per foot
of tree. A 7ft tree should have at least 700 lights in order to be properly illuminated, both inside and outside the tree for maximum depth and fullness.

So go ahead and light up your Holiday trees in color or clear, and in shapes of starlights, flametips and more. With these simple tree lighting steps, the only thing  you will be wrapped up this Holiday season in, is memories shared with family and friends.

Holidays - A Time for Color Adventure

The Holidays are a beautiful time of year,
filled with twinkling lights, colorful ornaments,
and festive decorations.
via Martha Stewart
It's also a great time of year for introducing
a variety of colors into your home, and experimenting
 with colors you might otherwise be shy about adding,
to your everyday decor.
Today Christmas is more than just traditional Red & Green.
Anything goes when it comes
to choosing colors that  represent your individual style for celebrating the 
holiday season.
                                                       Go bold with Turquoise, Purple, Fushia and Lime Green.
Or maybe a modern twist with 
Chocolate and Green or the
dramatic jewel tone colors of
blue and green peacock feathers. 
If something more elegant is your style, try the simplicity of all White with a touches of Silver or Gold.    
There are no limits to the joy
that color can bring to you and  your home this holiday season.
Whether you want to start a new family tradition or simply want try something new and exciting this season, don't be afraid to go with colors you are passionate about. You just might find yourself incorporating these colors into your decor, the whole year long.

Orange You Glad It's Fall

Fall is a time of brilliant colors,
warm fires, textured fabrics,
and an overall feeling of comfort
and entertainment
with family and friends.
The holidays will be here before
you know it, but right now is the
time to immerse yourself in the
colors of Fall.
When you think of Fall, the first color that comes to mind is ORANGE.  But this Fall color favorite comes in more forms than just images of pumpkins. The color Orange comes in a bountiful array of shades to match your individual personality and design styles.
Bring the Fall indoors, with Colorful Burnt Orange Leaves and stems arranged on a mantel or buffet.

Or maybe an Orange pillow with the
texture and pattern of fall wild
flowers is more your style. 

Pair this with a warm and cozy throw in a wonderfully nubby brown, ivory or deep gold or purple, for a dramatic yet
pulled together look and feel. 
ScreenHunter 10 Aug. 28

The possibilities are endless in how to bring the beauty of FALL indoors to your home.

Orange you glad that nature offers such a great color, that works in combination with so many other beautiful colors, to match your individual style. 

Nightstands That Withstand Function


As you reached for the Alarm Clock this morning,
did you awake to a bedroom where beauty and function mixed?

Starting with the night stand .... Is there enough light for the room,
is the furniture big enough for your needs, does it function for your needs?

Believe it or not a great nightstand is more than just a pretty table next to your bed.

This repurposed nightstand by HGTV Designer, Kenneth Brown shows how even an old 1950's credenza can be the best nightstand.

If standard nightstands with drawers are not functional for your particular needs, maybe furniture pieces with doors, that provide storage
for larger items, is what you really need.

This bedside table/nightstand by Designer Jodie Rosen makes a perfect design statement as well as houses storage for
books, glasses, and other bedside needs.

To finish the look Jodie has added a larger silver based lamp to compliment the larger and bolder furniture pulls.

In this particular case not only does this particular piece of furniture provide function, but also provides a tremendous amount of design style and elegance.

When selecting a great bedside table for your bedroom, remember that beauty follows function. Pretty furniture quickly loses it's beauty, if it doesn't provide you with the essentials to peace and functionality. Likewise no one wants strictly function, if doesn't provide a sense of beauty, elegance, and personal appeal. 

Consider your storage needs, your personal needs, and the type of lighting you will be selecting. Do you need something larger with drawers, or doors, or possibly just a an end table due to space or limited needs.

When you reach for that clock each morning, are your stretching your needs, or reaching for the stars? 

Staging Your Home With Emotional Value

which means hundreds of "smart" homeowners will turn to Home Staging, to prepare their homes for the rush of Spring Selling Season.

Although there are many steps to properly and professionally staging a home, for the purpose of this particular post, I want to concentrate on how to create a great  "Emotional Connection" to your home.

As a seller, you already have a very emotional connection  to your space. It is one where your children grew up, maybe it was even the first home you purchased as husband and wife, or where years of family celebrations happened.

But to potential buyers, your home is nothing more than walls and windows, unless you draw them in, by creating a place where their own new memories can be created.

Staging your home with unrelated groups   of collectible decor or cute items you personally love that have no relationship      to the overall selling points of the home, offers no value and in turn can actually create a low-budget feel. 

Bottom line, staging should create value
and purpose to a space that is important to buyers vs.filling it with stuff that is important  to you as the owner. 

Staging is also not about "Decorating"
the home or just filling it with "stuff".
The purpose of staging to appeal to
the show buyers the "Specific Value"
in your home as well as appeal to the emotional side of buyers is to help them
connect to the many wonderful ways in which the home can be used.

Is your home great for entertaining, or  is your home a quiet place for relaxing and escaping? Are the spaces in your home that appeal to men more than women, or children more than men? 

For many sellers it is hard to see passed their own personal experiences in the home, in order to "open the  home up" to  the possibilities of what  TODAY'S buyers  are looking for. For many sellers, it takes a objective outsider, like a Professional Home Stager, to see the possibilities in what your home offers, and how  to create that emotional connection that makes buyers want to make an offer.

Even though every home and every
housing market is different, there are
many ways that sellers can enhance
their homes while enhancing the
financial success of a sale.

A Professional Home Stager is trained to know these things and how to set the stage for a successful sale that attracts the perfect buyer, to your perfect home.

If you are having trouble creating that memorable home, that attracts TODAY'S buyers, maybe it's time to put away the collection of family favorites, and turn to the experience of a Professional Home Stager who can incorporate your beautiful collection in a way that is new and exciting, and provides that "Emotional Connection" that draws in buyers to your home.

The Door to Creative Decorating

If you've ever been to a Salvage Center
 or Builders Recycling Center,
 you know the treasures you can find ...
                   photo courtesy of                                                       photo courtesy of todd baker @
There are literally hundreds of Antique Door Knobs,
 that come in a variety of styles,colors, shapes & materials. 
 There is no end to the fun, creative, and even elegant ways
you can use old antique doorknobs to give your
 towels, coats, hats, and home, more a vintage feel. 
glass doorknobs2
photo courtesy of:
These beautiful pieces of the past can be found at a local Salvage Centers
as well as local Habitat for Humanity ReStore Centers
that stock vintage building supplies.

Go out create a new memory .... from the past !!

Keeping The Green In Home Decor

Keeping The Green
 in Home Decor
Adding a variety of
houseplants to your 
home decor, adds texture
to a room, as well as helps
bring the feeling of the
outdoors inside ... 
Houseplants are a great way add 
warmth and texture to a home, especially in winter months when gardens are brown and grey, or covered in snow. 

There are hundreds of varieties,
sizes, and colors, as well as many
low maintenance plants for those
with no green thumb. Unfortunately most homes are also very dry in winter months, which leaves houseplants screaming for moisture, as well as becoming more prone to certain diseases. Over watering is not the answer. The answer is humidity. Unless you are raising cactus, most houseplants need at least 50% humidity to keep luscious and thriving. Regular misting will help increase humidity. 

When selecting a plant for your home, consider the amount of maintenance it requires, the amount of sunlight it needs, and most importantly the size it will grow. Many low maintenance plants are fast growers, and will need re-potting in order to stay healthy and continue growing strong. Consider the type of texture and overall look you want to achieve with plants. Are you looking for something soft and airy like a fern to compliment your shabby soft interior with soothing colors, or are you a strong and bold color person, looking for a more tall and stealthy plant like a ficus or rubber tree. No matter if you have a green thumb or not, there are many varieties of plants to suit your particular needs and tastes. 

Beginners Tip: Want to start with something easy? Consider a "Pothos" plant. They are tolerant to almost any home condition, including low light, and are easy to care for while providing a stunning array of shiny green leaves for baskets, desktop bowls and more. 

Stylish Storage Solutions


The end of January is already here, 
and thoughts of New Year Resolutions now seem to have lost their sparkle, 
as you struggle for ways to accomplish your goals. 
Well here are a few ideas for conquering those New Year's organizing goals, 
with less stress and added function, along with style.  

From toys and remotes, to game controllers and blankets, there is 
always an excessive amount of miscellaneous clutter, when it comes 
to Living Rooms and Family Rooms. 

Instead of baskets, boxes and other types of storage containers, I like to 
hide clutter while still offering a stylish and functional way to live peacefully. Storage ottomans and chests that can multi-task   as tables, are a great way to instantly hide clutter, while also making it easy for kids and family to keep things tidy. 
Do boots seem to have you flipping with the way they are always flopping? Why not try these inexpensive Boot Shapers, for just $10/pair at, and keep those closets tidy as well as give you more space, which means you can have more shoes ... how great is that ladies?

To store beautiful china away till your next family gathering, consider these elegant looking Black Storage boxes instead of standard vinyl cases with zippers that always seem to get stuck. These stylish storage boxes from look beautiful in a closet or even on an open shelf, while concealing the clutter and protecting china for years to come. 

And last but not least, how many times have you gone up and down the stairs to grab a screwdriver, then a step stool, only to find you need yet another tool and down the stairs you go back to the garage or basement. This handy step stool storage box is the perfect answer to home repair needs. This Step'n Store from is just $45 but well worth the price for having everything where you need it, in a kitchen pantry or hallway closet without an unsightly tool box to look at, or a junk drawer filled with tools. 

Keep organized doesn't have to be an additional chore, when you have the right organization tools and products to assist you, while keeping your home stylish and attractive.

How To Create Colorful Wall Arrangements

Do your photos crave color?
Do you struggle with how to arrange photos
so they tell a story?
from decorating on a dime
image: Decorating on a Dime
Here's a quick tip for arranging those family photos,
while also adding some color and fun.
1.) Choose a frame color and finish for your grouping.
 Choose a complimentary style like brushed nickel,
and repeat that finish in different shapes,
or for a more traditional look approach,
 select a repeating frame of the same style and color,
 like the photo above.  
2.) Now that you have selected a frame,
choose the colors for your photo mats.
Note this process works best with B&W or Sepia tone photos.
Choose colors that are complimentary to your room,
but in a darker or lighter shade than your walls,
or a more playful punch of varying bold colors. 
3.) Select how you want to tell your story ...
Do you want each line to tell a short story,
or do you want the wall to tell a longer story like a book,
that you read line to line filled with action and adventure?
4.) Layout your frames on the floor in the design pattern you
have chosen and re-arrange as needed until you find that
perfect style that says "you".
5) Measure, hang, and there you have it ....
A customized, colorful, and creative wall
 that tells a story of the people who live there,
and the road traveled along the way.

Space Saving Laundry Design


Lack of space shouldn't mean lack of organization or function. 
With a little creativity you can still have the laundry room you need and desire. 
Consider replacing your standard washer and dryer for a stackable 
more compact model, and add full length shelving in the space "next" 
to the washer & dryer. 

In the long run you will achieve more storage space that is also easier to 
reach than traditional storage shelves
or cabinets installed "above" standard full size washer and dryers.
You can also convert an usable closet into laundry space. A beautiful backsplash and appropriately size cabinets, and you have all the amenities of a full size laundry room, in half the space.  An oversized pantry, is also a great way to add needed laundry space without sacrificing the loss of the pantry. Depending on the amount of space you have to work with, you can add a full size washer and dryer, while still utilizing cabinets or shelving for food and kitchen items either on the side, or above the washer/dryer. 
With a little creativity and the help of a qualified professional, you can achieve the laundry room you always hoped for, in a space and budget you can work with. 

Rocky Road Boot Tray

apartment therapy boot tray

I think we can all agree, that this winter has blessed us with more than our fair share of snow and slush.

So how do you keep your entryway clean and dry from winter boots and slushy messes?

Here's a great low cost idea for everyday messy shoes and boots this winter, and throughout the upcoming rainy months of Spring soon ahead
56172 nTake a large tray metal baking pan, and line it with medium sized river rock or other colorful stone to compliment your decor. 

To finish the look and also keep stones in place, add a pre-made picture frame or pieces of wood trim in a color that matches your decorating style.

Whether it's framed or unframed, large stones or small stones, these boot trays will add style and sophistication to any laundry room or entry way.

New Year ~ New You Kickoff

Let's celebrate THE NEW YEAR together!!
With each new year comes the opportunity for new beginnings & fresh starts. 
While everyone is concentrating on personal goals like weight loss and stop smoking, what if this year we work together on CHANGING your HOME? 
 Let Marie Kelly help you kick off the new year with positive change.
 In a year long effort to help our readers create a NEW YEAR / NEW YOU @ Home, 
we are bringing you a year of weekly tips in how to reach your goals 
of creating change in the spaces around you. 
Even one small change can yield big results without a huge price tag!!
Your Mission ~ Change out pillows!!
It's no surprise that a small accessory like pillows can make a huge difference in a room.
From floral to striped, to to tassled or buttoned, pillows come in a variety of styles and shapes. 

Start with a theme or color foundation you want the room to focus on, and bring that color to life through your pillows. Look for artwork or other accessories in the room you want to pull from.
Use that color palette to determine the color and design style of the pillows you will need.
Don't be afraid to mix patterns and shapes.     
I always use 3 rules when selecting pillows.
     1-Theme /   2-Color  /  3-Fabric 
Choose pillows that offer different forms of texture. For example, if you have a leather sofa, then add pillows with more nubby texture like  a linen, or add fur or velvet pillows for soft warmth and softness. 
Remember opposites attract. You don't have to be matchy matchy when selecting pillows. Sometimes the most beautiful of rooms, comes from adding the unexpected

Putting On The Glitz for New Year's Eve

Soon it will be the biggest celebration night of the year !! 
Tonight family, friends, neighbors, and more, will celebrate
the ringing in of another new year ahead.
With budgets tighter these days, more and more people
are opting to celebrate New Year's Eve at home.
 But just because you're celebrating at home,
doesn't mean you have to forget about celebrating in style !!
Make your Holiday Buffet tables dazzle
with delight and festive charm. Add holiday decorations like scattered glass ornaments,
curled ribbons, and round mirrored
plattters to reflect the sparkle and shine.  
Add depth and interest to your food displays
by placing dishes at different heights using
cake pedestals or other types of risers.
To complete the look add various sizes and shapes of candles for added sparkle and shine.
Appetizers are always the highlight of
any New Year's Eve Celebration.
Make serving appetizer and drinks something guests crave by using
unusual items to keep bottles of
champagne chilled, like a garden urn
filled with snow.
A bird bath brought indoors becomes a centerpiece of attention when decorated
with holiday greenery and adorned with silver ornaments and candles. 
Don't forget to keep the party rolling, 
by storing extra drinks, napkins and paper plates close by. Place a storage crate filled with handy refill items under your display table. The crate will be hidden by the tablecloth, and you won't have to dash to find supplies for guests when quanitities are low.
Are you planning a sit down dinner for your guests? Then let creativity should be your
main dish. Adornments for napkin rings
along with party hats and party favors in a coordinated color and theme makes any
dinner seem like a party.
What is a formal dinner without a grand dessert or sweet tray to complete the meal . Try these adorable  yet elegant cupcakes served in a gold stemmed martini glass lined with mini marshmellows. 
Or how about these coconut crusted
smores to add whimsy and flavor to your
party sweet table ~
After the board games, the music and
laughter comes the countdown ...
3 .. 2 ..1 ...Happy New Year !! 
If you're looking for a healthy alternative to champagne or wine toasts to the New Year,
try a funky and modern twists like fruit smoothies. Guests will enjoy the surprise
and it's a welcome alternative to alcohol for guests who need to drive home after the event.
New Year's Eve is a time of sharing with those we love, those we value, and those we hope to keep connected with throughout the coming year.
Whatever your style, buffet or sit down, modern or formal, the most important thing to highlight at your party is creativity and love. Enjoy the time with family and friends, and make those you are sharing with, feel welcome !!


The Ghost of Christmas Future

The gifts have been opened, and all that beautiful wrapping paper is now is just a memory to be tossed away.
Don't be haunted by mounds
of beautiful paper. Here's a
solution to wrap up those leftovers.
Remember the days when Grandma would collect and save all that left over paper, to fold and reuse for next year? Grandma had the right idea, but that was before the dawn of paper shredders, and a whole new way of recylcing was born upon us.
Take all that used wrapping paper
and put it in the shredder, where it can be used for filling of future gifts and even for storage of christmas items, protecting them for years to come.


Holiday Wrap Up

You hustled, you bustled, you elbowed your way through the stores .... now comes the hard part ... how to wrap all those gifts and still make them as exciting as the gift inside. 
Dress it in yarn ...... 
Forget store bought ribbon and bows. Soft and fluffy yarn poms make any gift fun.
holiday gifts 3
Or think how beautiful white angora yarn warms up a box, with it's softness like snow.
Dress it in fabric ....
From silk to remnants, to vintage handkerchiefs and colorful flannel .... the possibilities are endless for making any gift soft, and reusable.
Make it colorful ... Make it fun!!
The holidays are a time of bright and festive color. Break free of traditional red and green and opt for modern colors like purple, chocolate brown, lime green or fushia.
With a little thinking outside the box, you too can create gifts that create excitement, long before the present is even open.

Less Stress Holiday Dinners

The guests are arriving, the kitchen
is full of goodies simmering away, yet how do you do it all and still smile? ... DELEGATE !!
Have a list of easy tasks prepared for guests that offer to help. Allow others to pour the wine, refill drinks, or make the announcement for dinner.
Having someone else do little things for you, can actually help you concentrate on that all important Holiday Dinner presentation, you want everyone to remember throughout the year. 
Holiday tablescapes (
Remember that Family gatherings usually involve small kids. Appetizer trays meant for adult guests, are a sure invitation for little hands and sloppy messes.
Create a kid friendly appetizer tray with cheese sticks, apple slices, animal crackers, etc, to keep them focused on their own delights
turkey (
If nothing else remember this -
Even the best of chefs, have set
off a smoke alarm or two in their days. The most important thing
about the Holidays, is to enjoy
family and friends, and be thankful for the love, support, and most of
all bravery, for enduring whatever comes out of the kitchen !!

Create a Memory with Handmade Holiday Ornaments

Every year you strive to be more creative than the last.
Here's some ideas on Holidays ornaments
that even the kids can help make.
Clear ornaments become mini
holly-day terrariums
Hot-glue a plastic sprig of holly and berries to the inside of a clear ornament cap. Twist the ornament
cap into place so the holly hangs
down inside the bauble.
Photo Courtesy of:
Looking to add a little Coastal Charm to your Holiday Decorating ~ 
Simply glue sand onto an aqua color ornament, add buttons and mini shells for a frosty festive coastal memory.
Photo Courtesy of:
Christmas Au Natural ~
Mini bubble shells wrapped
around a styrofoam ball
becomes an ornamental treasure.
For directions on how to make
this and other beautiful shabby chic ornaments, go to:  
Looking for something more Traditional ~ 
See how a piece of toile pattern, trimmed from a dinner napkin and decoupaged onto a basic ball becomes an elegant ornament. For directions on how to make this easy yet beautiful Traditional style ornament go to:
Here's something every baking enthusiast will enjoy ~
Stryofoam balls become cupcakes of fun with the help of artificial snowflakes and berries.
For directions on how to create
these fun and festive, delicious ornaments, go to:

Guest Room Goodies

Over the river and through the woods,
to Grandmother's House we go ....
The Holidays are a time of fast paced shopping, planning, cleaning and prepping 
for family and friends both near and far. Along with the stress of holiday planning,
also comes the preparation of where visitors will stay in your home.
Even if you are lucky enough to have a guest room, there is still work
 that needs to be done in order to prepare for their arrival.
Nobody wants a grumpy guest.  Remember how you felt on vacation with fluffy pillows, comfy sheets and warm blankets? No matter what size the room, big or small, the one thing you can never compromise on is comfort. Even if your guests are sharing a corner office, you can still make them feel special with good quality sheets and pillows to make their bedtime peaceful and relaxing. Make sure there are blinds or curtains they can operate, to control both the light and privacy conditions.
Don't forget about bathrooms as well. Decide whether guests will be sharing a bathroom or
if they will have the luxury of a private bathroom.
Remember that bathroom comfort is just as important and the bedroom. Fluffy towels, a bath mat, and even a basket of toiletries like scented soap, hand lotion, and a plush wash cloth, can
be simple yet special features that makes them feel welcome.
If guests will be sharing a bathroom with other members of your family, decide ahead of time, how to properly plan for morning rush time so that guests no not feel like they are intruding on your daily routines.  
#2 Convenience
It's the little things in life that matter most.
Along with that vase of fresh flowers or holiday greens, think of the convenience and sentiment a corner table in the guest room with a small coffee maker that guests can wake up to would be. 
Or how about a pitcher of water and some holiday glassware for that middle
of night dry throat that winter time brings. Find out what your guest might need during their stay, for late night or early mornings, so they can feel at home.
#3  Holiday Fun
The Holidays are a special time of   celebration, remembering old times, while creating new with family and friends. So some the holidays can even mean a time of relaxation. Allow your guests to snuggle up with a special book or old family photo album placed in their room. 
If children are visiting, make sure that
there are games, puzzles, movies, etc to occupy their busy brains and fingers.  
The Holidays are a busy time, but also
a time that passes by quickly, especially when those we love and cherish are many times only able to visit and share with at holidays and special occassions.
Take the time to plan, prepare and make it special, not just for them, but for everyone including you and your own family, to lessen the stress and increase the good times and love that the Holidays are really about.

Halloween Sweet Treats & Table Delights

Week 4
Happy Halloween to all you Ghosts, Goblins, and Ghouls !!
It's Halloween Weekend !!! Starting tonight and all through the weekend, Halloween Parties everywhere will be creatively displaying their frightful best in costume and home decorations. But party tables and tummies need something special too. Don't worry, it doesn't need to be complicated .... it just needs to be FUN !
Make your party and dinner tables this weekened, colorful and fun. Use creative ideas for napkin rings, like these black maraboo feathers or skeletons and spiders.
Looking for the dark side of Halloween?
Drench your tables in traditional black,
with skull scary creations in silver & glitter, plus a Top Hat or 2, to make your table 
dance with delight. 
Presentation is everything when hosting parties, so  don't be afraid of bringing out those furry spiders and bug eyed bats, to dress up a table and make guests shiver.
Looking for some quick sweet treat ideas to please your ghoulish crowd? I just love these cute little witch legs to dress up a cupcake, made from paper straws.
Click photo for link to the directions.  
Why not consider this colorful Rainbow
Bundt Cake as a festively treat for all your hungry ghouls. Easy to make, yet looks like you bought it from a professional bakery. 
Click the photo for link to the directions.
Whatever your taste, color, or style,
Halloween is the one time of year where anything goes  -- from creepy and crawly, to magical and mysterious, 3 heads or beheaded .... it's all done for the fun of the holiday, and the fun and friendship shared with your party guests.


Spooky & Special Halloween Mantels & More

Week 3

Along with cooler temps, comes the desire to decorate fireplace mantels for the Fall and Halloween Season. From spooky and creepy, to festive and fun, fireplace mantels have long been a tradition of exquisite decor and holiday fun.

This fun and creative mantel design offers Trick-or-Treaters
of all ages, a bit of whimsy and wonder by layering objects from back to front in different colors and textures, as well as adding objects of different heights, for a lush and full mantel effect.

Spanish Moss becomes cool and creepy when placed in a glass apothecary jar with furry fake spiders inside and around the jar. 

Go for the unexpected yet classic Edgar Allan Poe look, with everyday items like a wooden chest, glass bell jar and old books. 
Cobwebs and a blackbird under glass complete the creepy eclectic look.

If  simple and classic is more your style,
consider bringing in the outdoors,
with colorful branches, and fall floral,
along with scented candles, and
pumpkins or gords, in varying sizes
and shapes.

If neutral tones are more your style,
consider using white pumpkins along with
darker wood toned decor for a dramatic effect that pops with seasonal elegance.

Even if you don't have a fireplace mantel, you can still create these same effects on
a entryway table, dining room buffet, or bookcase. Sometimes an unused corner, can become a sizzling seasonal space, when decorated with unexpected items
that give warmth, whimsy or creatively creepy fun.

With any holiday decoration, the key is to finding balance. A few sparse objects scattered about, is uninteresting, and won't have a big enough effect to draw people in, while going overboard will only diminish the look and feel of what you are trying to accomplish, and look over cluttered. Balance is the key, but most importantly ....

Remember to have Fun!! 
Halloween is all about being creative!!

THE GREAT PUMPKIN - Creative Ideas For The Pefect Pumpkin


The countdown continues -- Just 23 days till Halloween!!

Have you found your perfect pumpkins yet? From big ones to little ones, from smooth
and Orange to bumpy and Green, pumpkins come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors.

From creepy to cool, funny to frightening, each of us celebrates the traditional Fall
and Halloween season, in a different way.

Now that you've found the perfect pumpkins, how will you display them? How about some great new ideas for Jack-O-Lanterns ...

Black cats are popular this time of year, yet
very different from your common day Jack-O-Lantern. (click photo for directions)

There's also flowers, faces, and drilled hole cutouts, to make your Halloween Pumpkins
shine brightly and uniquely on front porch steps this season.

For those who don't like to carve, there's also no-carve decorating options. From stencils to painting, to decoupage, or decorating with diamonds,  the possibilities are unlimited.

Even after you've decorated & decoupaged, painted and made pretty  .... where you
display your creative works of art may still
be a consideration.

Though some creative pumpkins may best be displayed indoors, there are great ideas for making your house, stand out on the block.

I just love this creative idea for a wiggly worm
pumpkin, to entertain young Trick-or-Treaters.

Or something more formal and upscale is what your looking for, there's creating by the numbers, to make your home stand out in
the crowd. (click photo for directions)

No matter how you desire to display your fun and uniquely creative works of pumpkin art, remember that the Halloween season is all about color, creativity, and thinking outside the box.    

Thanks to all the contributors linked in our blog this week. I know you will find many new ideas for creating that one of a kind special pumpkin, that makes this season
a special memory for years to come !!

LET'S PARTY - Halloween Party Food Ideas


Join us every week throughout October
for dozens of Crazy, Creative, Spooky, and Inspirational
Home & Halloween Ideas for Decorating, Entertaining, and more

Halloween is just 30 days away, and  thoughts of scary costumes and sweet treats will now become a priority. Halloween parties come in all sizes and varieties, from kids Trick-or-Treat nights, to full blown Witches & Warlock Conventions.

As with any party, the food you serve, and how you display it,  is a huge part of what makes a party a success.

Forget simple platters and bowls, and go for out of the ordinary and interesting, with a bit of spooky. A birdcage makes a great display for appetizers. Add parsley for greenery along with black ravens and
you have a delightfully scary dish to display.

Turn simple crackers and cheese into Halloween happiness. Use mini cookie cutters in shapes like ghosts, bats, pumpkins and more, to create holiday shaped meats, cheeses and fruits. Use pimento and black olives for designing the faces. A great idea for both adult as well as kids parties.

Turn refrigerated breadsticks into fun and
yummy Mummy Wraps. Brush lightly with seasoned butter and add cloves for eyes.

Turn everyday cheese balls into flavorful pumpkins of fun with Dorito chips, black olives for the face, and a dill pickle for the stem. 

Looking for more formal ways to entertain your guests?  These Pear Ghosts take only 30 mins to make, yet will make a lasting sweet impression
on guests. (Click photo for recipe)

There are literally hundreds of ways
of creating fun, flavorful, and creative treats for your guests.  The TRICK is to think outside the box, in order to create a TREAT that guests will remember, long after the Halloween Magic is gone.

Putting the COLOR back into Halloween

Putting the COLOR back
into Halloween ...

Today marks the 1st day of FALL !! 
That magical time of year when a NEW Season
of magic and excitement begins.

Soon everyone will be decorating their homes for the holidays. Most importantly the ever popular Halloween.
A time of ghosts, goblins, gremlins, and pumpkins. How many of you have Plastic Pumpkins or Jack O Lanterns that have seen better days? Before you toss that pumpkin into the garbage, STOP and repurpose that Pumpkin into a new Colorful and Magical decoration.

Plastic pumpkins and lighted plastic Jack O Lanterns are inexpensive but over time fade and get toss in the garbage for newer and more attractive ones. In my experience newer doesn't always mean better, as new plastic ones don't seem to have the same heavier construction or facial expressions, as pumpkins of yesteryear. My SOLUTION ~ PAINT IT!!

With all the choices of Plastic spray paints available to us these days, the choices for repurposing plastic pumpkins is "Unlimited". From bright green to black, to purple and even just recoloring with Orange again, if that is what you enjoy.

Start by masking off the stem portion of the Jack O Lantern. Make sure the pumpkin is clean and free of debris inside and out. Use a spray paint especially formulated for plastic, like Krylon Fusion. Apply at least 2 coats to cover and protect. Let dry and replace the interior light with a green or orange mini bulb (available in the Christmas section of your local Retail or Hobby Stores). If your light and cord have also seen better days, you can easily replace that as well, with a inexpensive light kit, (for less than $4) at your local Craft & Hobby Store.

You now have an inexpensive, yet customize and totally repurposed Holiday Decoration, that will shine BRIGHTLY throughout Halloween for many more years to come!!

P.S. This also works great for all those Plastic Trick or Treat Pumpkins, as well as Stone Pumpkins that have faded over time. Today's Spray Paints come in a variety of formulas to adhere to various types of surfaces, including stone, glass and more.

Happy Haunting!!

Summer Vacation Homes

July is finally here and now is the time to squeeze in those family vacations before
the dreaded process of Back to School planning begins.
Your vacation home should be a warm
and cozy place you long to return to.
However most families neglect to decorate
or furnish their vacation homes with the style
or warmth, of their everyday home.
Vacations are for escaping and dreaming. Your vacation home should be even that
and more to you.
Periodically update your furnishing and accessories to include memories and
favorite colors that make your own home
feel comfortable. No one wants to escape to
a cabin or vacation home, that screams maintenance or lacks the charm and warmth,
to make you feel as if you never want to leave.
Add small touches like higher end decor
pieces mixed in with bargain or flea market items. Candles, throws, favorite books, sea shells collected, all add to the memories and
the comfort of a family vacation home.
Update with fresh pillows, linens or comforters, and even a coat of fresh paint for the family dining area, kitchen, or bedroom. Make it a family painting project for brothers, sisters, in laws and kids, to help makeover the favorite room in the house and each contribute a special current object to mark the year you all were together and help contributed to making it that special place that everyone looks forward to spending time in, year after year.

Define Your Deck Space

Everyone loves decks and patios for everything from
quiet relaxation, to entertaining with family and friends.
Whether you have a small space, or a large and luxurious space,
you still need to define your space.
Just having a bunch of beautiful furniture out on a patio is not enough.
When you define a space, you give it purpose, function, and style.
This can be done by simply placing your furniture in groups for function.
For example dining space, conversation space, grilling/prep space, etc.
To even further define a space, use rugs.
Rugs are the perfect element for added texture and definition.
 Rugs add color, emphasis design style, and create imaginary walls
for your specific space. Rugs are like shoes that help ground
the overall style and design.
The next time you step out onto your deck, think of it as your
outdoor living space. Use rugs and groupings to create
imaginary walls, add plants to soften or add coverage,
and group furniture for function and definition.

Garage Sale Goodies

I'm a big fan of decorating magazines. Let's face it, we all
need a little inspiration now and then to get us through.
I recently came across several cute & creatively clever
makeovers, for household items  that have seen better days.
These are so cute, I had to share them with all of you.
( Photos courtesy of HGTV Magazine )
How fun is this one? Unscrew the hooks from
a coatrack and paint the base a coordinating s
Take wooden balls from your local craft store, and paint each one with craft paint.

Screw the hooks back onto the base, and attach the wooden balls  to the end of
each hook using hot glue or superglue and allow to full dry. You now have a great
fun and creative coat rack for your  mudroom or entry that looks brand new.
Here's another creatively cute idea !!
How many brass candlesticks have you gotten rid of in garage sales? Well, this might just
make you want to go buy them back ... 
Simply spray paint in bold and flavorful colors with paint like Krylon Fusion (my favorite).


Apply several coats and allow to dry.
Add your favorite color candles to coordinate
or compliment the base color and you have an awesomely creative and colorful accessories that friends and family will
wish they had thought of themselves.
So the next time you find yourself at a garage sale or flea market
and think, who would want THAT ...
remember these creative ideas and think to yourself ...
ooooh I want THAT !!


May signals the the start of 
Garage Sale Season
 Spring is in full gear and Garage Sale Season is heating up!!
Are you ready to cash in on clutter?  Maybe you are a garage sale shopper
 and LOVE to cash in on other people's clutter .... 
No matter if you are selling or shopping, here are a few simple Quick Tips
 to help you  make the 2013 Garage Sale Season a successful one!!
Tips for Garage Sale Shoppers ...
1. Remember to shop early for the best selection of items.
    Most garage sales start as early at 7:30am
2. Bring cash, especially singles. Don't lose out on a great
    bargain, because neither you or the seller has change.
3.  Pack a styrofoam cooler in your trunk to hold fragile
     items you don't want broken.
                                          4.  Pack a blanket and twine in case you find a larger item
                                                that needs to be wrapped or tied down in your trunk.
                                          5.  Remember to pack water and a snack. Summertime
                                               heat can quickly drain you of energy and fluids.
                                          6.  MAKE A PLAN! Know what you are looking for at a
                                               Garage Sale. Shopping other's trash is not a reason to
                                               bring home more clutter. Garage Sales are a great way
                                               to find items you want or need, at great prices. Don't
                                               waste money buying items you won't have time to
                                               refinish, or items that look cute, only to become items in
                                               your own garage sale months later.
   Tips For Garage Sale Sellers ......
   1.  Know your competition and join in the fun. 
        Look for Community Garage Sales to increase
        your advertising $$ and increase your sale
        day traffic.  
  2.   Take the time to display your unwanted treasures 
         as if you were in a retail store. Group like items
         together like baby clothes with baby toys, or sport
         equipment with sports jerseys,memorabilia, etc.
  3.    Wear an Carpenter's Apron to keep your cash, markers,
         and receipt book in. Never leave cash boxes unattended. 
         Be prepared to give the correct change with singles or quarters. 
  4.    Mark your items clearly. Keep it simple. Don't price items less than 
         25c so it's easier for people to pay, as well you having the correct
         abilty for change. Don't forget to have plastic or paper bags on hand for
         shoppers with multiple items. OFFER to help them take items to their car.
  5.    Place your biggest and best item at the curb to draw in shoppers. 
  6.    Keep your tables neat and full. People like a bargain, but they also like to shop a
         table that looks like it offers many treasures to hunt through. No one wants an
         empty table of leftovers.  
Grab your keys, your cash, and your sunglasses,
 and make 2013 a successful GARAGE SALE SEASON
for both the shopper and the seller in you !!

SPRING 2013 Home Selling Market

The Spring 2013
 Selling Season Has Begun ...
... and it's better than ever
  April is almost over and May is quickly on it's way. The Spring Selling Season here
  in Chicago is in full force and Homes professionally staged by Marie Kelly Unlimited
  have been HOT!! While economists say that housing inventory is low, many homes 
  are still sitting on the market 100, 200, 300, and even 400 days here in Chicago.
  So why are the homes we service selling so quickly? It's because we partner with 
  only the best Real Estate Agents and Service Partners to bring homeowners the
  best of the best to make you successful.
  Take a look at something of our recent Home Staging Sales .....
                     Huntley, IL 
       Under contract in under 24 hrs                                         Gurnee, IL 
    w/Multiple Offers over asking price                       Under contract in under 24 hrs     
                         Elgin, IL
               Under contract 3 days
                    Full asking Price
                                                                                            Carpentersville, IL
                                                                                           Under contract 7 days
                                                                                w/Multiple Offers over asking price
  Home Staging has become the mainstream in how to sell your home successfully.
  No matter what economists say, buyers will always want the best home on the
  block. Make your home a place that buyers are drawn to and create that frenzy
  that makes them want to place an offer as quickly as possible.
   Make sure you have  the kind of  SELLING TEAM your home deserves and make
   YOUR home is THE home that buyers can't forget !!

Quick Tips for Backyard Color

If you want to create a feeling of
to the outdoors with your backyard porch, patio or deck,
use colors that coordinate with your outdoor scenery.
Living near near water?
Incorporate blues, aquas, and sand into your palette.
Living in the city?
Try bold spicy colors, like
Lime Green, Chili Peper Reds,
 Deep Orange, or even Deep Purple.
For a more elegant and formal
 look to your patio ...
Try Black and White with a touch
of silver or gold for the sleek look
of industrial city glam.
Surrounded by beautiful
trees or forest?
Bring in earth tones
and colors of nature,  
in varying shades of 
golds, greens,
browns, and tans.

Emerald: Pantone's Color of the Year 2013

Follow the Yellow Brick Road to 
Today is St. Patrick's Day. The one day each year where everybody's favorite color is GREEN.  Did you also know that  Pantone's Color of the Year for 2013
This rich, deep green color is pure luxury to many design styles.
I have to admit. When I
first saw this color I was concerned as to how I
would be able to to incorporate such a bold color into my designs.
But the more I explored
and worked with this color, the more I grew fond of this color's  simple yet limitless ways for bringing in elegance, fun, richness, and power to a room.
Just because a color is popular or
new, doesn't mean you have to
drench your whole home in that color.
Depending on your comfort level with incorporating color, you can gradually add Pantone's Emerald into smaller areas of your home, with items such as pillows, lamps, or in smaller decorative accessories like glassware, artwork, etc.   
For braver souls, who love to immerse themselves in a variety of life's colors, you can drench your rooms with larger accents of EMERALD with items such as chairs, curtains, and even your walls. 
But wait, there's more ways to bring in this powerful and vivid color ....
think of a peacock and all the colors they bring to you visually.
Think of all the possibilities that paring Pantone's EMERALD could do, with say Peacock Blue, Aquamarine, Amethyst or Metallic Golds. 
Whatever your comfort level of incorporating new color into your home, and into your life may be, there a place, a space, a spot, a corner, where Pantone's EMERALD,
can lead you to your Pot of Gold.


Kitchen Lighting Solutions

Kitchen lighting should be as functional as it is beautiful.
Today's homeowner has a multitude of choices for making their home
a brighter and more beautiful working environment
for cooking, creating, entertaining, and dining.
Pendant lighting comes in a variety of style, colors, sizes, and  finishes. The type of kitchen style you currently have and if you want to match it, or mix it up, is something you need to decide before shopping.
One way to select your lighting finish is to match the appliances or cabinet hardware.
A stainless steel appliances for example would easily compliment sleek and contemporary stainless steal lighting.
If color is something you are longing to  bring in with your lighting, imagine how a pop of orange or bronze, or even jewel tone colors in emerald, blue, or purple,  could add that extra zing of excitement to your kitchen island or dining counter.
Seating area lighting is another fun and adventurous shopping trip, where you can be as creative as you want. From modern day chandliers, to wild shapes and sizes,
the possiblities are unlimited.
From sleek and modern metals, to
elegant and traditional glass, to fun and contemporary colors, shapes, and sizes, selecting hanging light fixtures for your kitchen is definitely more than just light, it's
a way of defining who you are, who you want to be, and how you want it done. 

Welcoming New Color & Patterns In Your Home

Who's ready for Spring ??
Are you craving color but unsure which ones are really YOU??
Do you forever collect paint samples only to find
your home drenched in all the same colors year after year?
For many homeowners, adding new colors to their home, is difficult. More importantly, most homeowners are unsure what colors and patterns would compliment their 
homes and design tastes and grow weary from all the choices they have to select from.
Fortunately there is an easier  way to change it up, without throwing it out. As a Certified Home Enhancement Expert TM,
I help clients make changes in their homes everyday. 
I have found the best way
to introduce new colors and patterns, is through the use of accessories like pillows, throws, and even artwork. Once you have embraced new color choices, you can grow to add various patterns based on those color choices, and finally once your fear of color is erased, you can move onto repainting walls and more. By tackling your fear of color in small steps, you can grow yourself and your home into a Blooming array of color and pattern that is your signature style that you can call HOME.

Decreasing the Clutter To Increase The Traffic

Quick Tips for Successfully Selling Your Home  
In order to sell your home successfully,
you need more than a sign in the lawn, and pretty furniture inside.
Knowing what buyers want, and what price they are
willing to reasonably pay for it,
 is the vital  balance that Pro's like 
Real Estate Agents and Home Staging Professionals together,
can bring to your selling table,
Simply said, if you want more traffic,
you need less clutter ...
Does your home create a feeling of
warmth and peace and coziness, or
does the world seem to stop as soon
as you enter, making you feel uneasy,
as you step over shoes, toys, & more.
For many homeowners, decluttering
equals Staging. The truth is, even though decluttering is a very important step in successfully selling a home, the fact is that decluttering is only the FIRST of many
steps, in the Home Staging Process.
According to a 2011 HomeGain's Report,
Cleaning & Decluttering is the #1 best ROI when selling a home.
So where do you start with removing the excess and putting away the treasures?
First let me say that no one wants a home stripped of character or decor. There is a tender balance in creating a home that is
clean and sparkling, yet bold and full of character. This is where a Professional
Home Stager can assist you. But what you
the Homeowner can do right now is also
an important step.
Allow buyers to see the beauty of your
home and not your items that you personally treasure. Putting away cherished items is only temporary, and will be brought to life again in your new home.  
From excess appliances on the kitchen counter, to personal items on bathroom sinks, to the toys in little Johnny's room
 that just would fit in his toy box anymore,
are all signs that clutter is present.
Closets need to be streamlined and simplified along with all cabinets and drawers. Basements and garages are
the worst areas for clutter and unsightly storage. If you have more than your home storage areas can bare, consider getting
a temporary storage unit or a portable
pod to store the excess items in while
selling your home. Truth is the longer you have lived in a home, the more items you have probably collected over the years.
Selling your home is a huge responsibility, but it can also be one of the most profitable experiences as well, providing you give your home the necessary ingredients to be successful. Show buyers the value in purchasing your home. Show them the reason you originally feel in love with that home and make that dream come alive again, for
the next family that dreams of starting a life there. 

How To Make A Colorful Entrance

Quick Tips for Successfully Selling Your Home  
In order to sell your home successfully,
you need more than a sign in the lawn, and pretty furniture inside.
Knowing what buyers want, and what price they are
willing to reasonably pay for it,
 is the vital  balance that Pro's like 
Real Estate Agents and Home Staging Professionals together,
can bring to your selling table.
Everyone knows that Curb Appeal is the one of the most important factors in creating desire for potential buyers to view your home. Depending on the color and architechtural style of your home, a COLORFUL front door may be just what you need in order to stand out, yet also brings warmth and character to your home.
Nothing compares to the elegance of
a wooden front door. 
Stately, luxurious, and considered maintenace free by potential buyers. Think of the homes you've driven by
and dream of someday, how many of those homes have a wooden door with textured glass or sleek metal details?
For those of us with less than dreamy
entrances, who rely on COLOR
to be the focal point of a warm and welcoming home entrance, we start
with the colors RED and BLACK.
For many people thoughts of a colorful
front door automatically turn to basic
Although both colors blend in well with most homes especially Traditional and 
Colonial styles, selecting a color for your door also depends on the style and color
of your home's exterior. 
Choosing a COLOR for your Front Door also depends on the look you are trying to achieve. Do you want your Front Door to stand out, blend in better for cohesiveness,
or do you need it to slide into the background, giving front and center attention to the landscape and architechtural detail of your home.
Selecting paint colors for your front entrance to your home is more than just pretty paint colors. Your front door is the emotional entrance to your home, and first step to creating the feel of what is coming, once they open that door. For this reason color is not only has to be appealing, but carry meaning. This is  where a Color Expert  or Home Staging Professional, can help you decide what selections are best  suited for your home, in order to achieve the look you need for best value, appearance, and style


Shooting For Success

UNIT 316 Living Rm SIGNED
As a Professional Photographer for over 15 years, I have said many times that great photos are created not captured.
When photographing Real Estate, setting the moment has everything to do with success, including lighting, interest, and balance. Good photography should draw you into a home like a Welcome Mat.
Unit 320 master bath A SIGNED
More than 90% of today’s buyers use the internet to shop for a new home. For this reason and more, professional quality photos are essential in getting a potential buyers attention, and drawing them into the "feeling"  created by the photographer, the moment they view the picture. With a click of the mouse, your home could be eliminated, simply because the photos they are viewing are NOT a true indication of the beauty, space, and design, your home has to offer. Great photography should inspire the buyer to want to see more.
When making a list of Real Estate Professionals to help prepare your home for sale, don’t forget to hire a Professional Home Stager to make your home the best it can be, as well as an experienced Photographer to create and capture the feeling of a home.


The Center of Attention

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Photo credit::
Your fireplace doesn't have to be in the center of a room,
 to be the CENTER of attention.
Many homeowners are frozen to creativity, by the warmth of an off center fireplace. Somehow knowing how to arrange furniture and accessories
 becomes a difficult challenge of direction.
An offset mantel to balance the design and draw the eye the opposite direction
along with  carefully placed accessories, can make an awkwardly designed fireplace,  appear as if it was intentionally designed just for you.

It's a Great Day to Start Sharing!

 webshots butterfly

Welcome to our new Blog ....
Where we hope to inform and inspire you with creativity,
on a variety of Decorating, Design,and Organizational Topics,
 for a more Balanced and Beautiful Life!
Patricia Marie Kelly
Owner & Creative Director
Marie Kelly Unlimited