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


Holiday & Seasonal
Home Decorating
Home Organization
Home Staging
Miscellaneous Quick Tips
News & Announcments
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___ WELCOME TO @ Home With Marie ___

Dressed for Organization


Every woman needs a little black dress
To stay organized with ...

What woman doesn't have tons of fun
and flirty jewelery they need to store, without the clutter of multiple jewelry boxes and the tangling of necklaces or bulky pieces that just don't seem to fit.
Jewelry armoires are great, but
finding space for yet another piece of furniture can sometimes be a problem,
not to mention the clutter additional furniture can lead to. 
This little black dress by Umbra® is a
stylish way to store earrings, necklaces
and bracelets. 


This two sided organizer hangs
on a rod or a hook to maximize space and swivels so you can  see your jewelry collections more easily. 
This fashion forward and fun jewelry organizer features 39 vinyl pockets on one side and 24 hook and loop closures
on the other.
The Umbra TM Jewelry Organizer retails for $19.99
at local home organization stores like Bed Bath & Beyond and The Container Store.

You'll wonder how you ever got "dressed" without it !!


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. 

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 pricing your product, at a price that bears attention, while still offering a fair value, is how successful sellers are overcoming the economy.
You and your agent don't dictate the market - buyers do. If you want to be a successful home seller, you need to be on your game, and follow a professional game plan for winning.

In today's economy, buyers are looking to invest their hard earned dollars in only the best value they can find. Working with an experienced Real Estate Industry Professional who can help you prepare and sell your home, will allow you the solid foundation towards a financially successful home sale.


@ Home with Marie 2012
means savings for you !!
Now is the perfect time to
SAVE MONEY on items for
August starts the hustle and bustle of finding school supplies for children young and old.
Did you know that this is also a GREAT TIME
for finding sales on items you need for your
home like bedding, lighting, and more? 
When you see CRAYONS, what do you see? 
Do you see boxes of COLOR that inspire you to 
paint your home? When you see PENCIL BOXES
and BACKPACKS, do you see how easy it is to contain and organize STUFF that is now piling
up around your home? 
Even though most retailers are pushing BACK TO SCHOOL supplies and items for Dorm Rooms, you will find across the board SALES on things like bedding, lamps, and more, making BACK TO SCHOOL the BEST TIME to find home decor pick me ups and replacements for anyone needing a NEW SPARK of something colorful to lift a drab or unexciting room, or a great time to start that HOLIDAY makeover while PRICES ARE RIGHT.

Home Office Safety & Organization

As a Professional Organizer, I work with
many clients who struggle day to day
with paper and electronic mail overload.

Helping them set up systems and methods
for better organization, and functionality is always a priority.

As we dive into how to keep, sort, and store, emails and their attachments, there is one area that seems to come up time and time again --  How to protect your computer and its documents, from malicious emails.

Repetitive spam emails may at first glance seem annoying but harmless, however in actuality many of these emails are specifically sent to to destroy your computers performance along with destruction and/or removal of highly sensitive information.

Let’s face it. Even the best Anti-virus software, cannot overcome human error or that irresistible urge to open an email that appears harmless at first glance. Here is a simple trick for knowing whether the email you are about  to click, is really who it says it is from.

Hover your mouse over the “sender” name. This will show the exact email address your sender is from.
You will be amazed at who the sender really is. This simple step can save you countless hours of computer repair time, not to mention stress and aggravation.

Instituting methods for streamlining time and paperwork, along with methods and systems for keeping information safe and secure,leads to a more productive home office, along with less stress,
and less time wasted.

Keeping your home organized, productive and safe

"Pretty" Awesome Finds


Jump start your DIY Weekend Decorating
with this  "Pretty" Awesome Find .....

Dress up your Summertime
Dinners and Dining Rooms
with this his awesome
Drum Chandelier with crystal teardrops
available at

Click the photo to be directed
to the link.

Looking for a unique Wedding Gift?  Celebrate the special day
with a beautiful set of Linen
Mrs & Mrs decor pillows from

Click the photo to be directed
to the link.

Happy Decorating !!

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.

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.

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!!

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

Celebrating 7 Years of Service Across Chicagoland

Happy Anniversary 
Marie Kelly Unlimited

Marie Kelly Unlimited is proud to celebrate 7 Years of Service!! 
 As we enter into our 8th year, we are blessed to have grown 
and serviced the Chicagoland area for so many years. 

Over the past 7 years Marie Kelly Unlimited has grown 
to offer our customers a variety of services, 
from Homeowners to Realtors, to Investors and Builders, 
 to Commercial Properties and more. 

Thank you everyone who has helped us along the way,
 to build a better life for those across Chicagoland.

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:

Ribbon Round Up

paper towel ribbon holder
The holidays are here and so is
gift giving season.
Are your ribbon spools unwinding your patience?
Try stacking them on a paper towel
holder from largest to smallest.
Use a small piece of scotch tape to
keep ends neat and tangle free.

Wrapping Up Christmas

ft wrapping04 xl
Have alot of gifts to wrap this Holiday season?
Try selecting a specific color or
theme of wrapping paper for each family member, to make gift wrapping easier and more personalized.
To wrap something soft like a scarf or pashmina, place a piece of cardboard inside the item so that you have a sturdy structure to help keep its shape and prevent paper from tearing.

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!!

Move over Summer ... Autumn is coming!

 With the start of school, bells start ringing, so do early morning alarm clocks. Paper piles swell and homework stream into the house and shorter autumn days bring a hectic round of sports, activities and events. Can the holidays be far behind?
Before you get caught up in all a new school
year brings, take time to really look around at what nature is showing us. Gardens are in full bloom, the farmers markets are overflowing and there is a slight nip in the evening air.
Now is the time to take advantage of the last summer colors by bringing in a vase of
cut  flowers or take advantage of all the end of summer sales and freshen your outdoor spaces. Add an exterior area rug, new chair cushions or for more fun, or maybe even add an outdoor firepit.
I hope you enjoy our Fall Home Mini Mag. Take a peek inside and see what inspires you to create the home you deserve. Regardless of your budget, any room can be transformed with creative ideas. For more ideas or to help you develop a plan, call
and schedule a consultation today.


It's that time of year again, when families everywhere are starting to
 plan and pack for their college bound sons and daughters,
as they prepare for Dorm Life this Fall.   
One of the most popular questions I get from parents is how to
keep their Teen's Dorm Room organized, while still having space
 for clothes, books, etc.
Look no further than the space under your bed. Under bed storage
comes in a variety of styles, from plastic storage bags with zippers
to wicker baskets, to flat plastic bins with lids, but the one I like
 the best if under bed storage drawers. These full size drawers
 much like those found in a dressers, are not only larger and sturdier,
but also come with casters, making it easier for sliding in and out
 from under the bed. Depending on where you position your bed,
you can actually get 2 drawers on each of sideof the bed,
making it comparable to a 4 drawer dresser,
without the losing space from adding a bulky dresser to the room.
Stores like Room & Board, The Container Store, IKEA, Target, and 
other Big Box stores, have these in stock and ready for adding to your
shopping list of 'must have's"  for your College Bound Teen.

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 !!

Summer Weekend of Dreams ~ Italy

Follow us this summer, as we discover beautiful places around the globe,
to bring you great design ideas for your home
This week's stop ... Italy 
Italy offers a wealth of design possibilities everywhere you go...
From the architectural history of Rome, to the canals of Venice, the sailing waters of Portfornio, the hills of Tuscano, and the  mountain rich areas of Dolomites.
From stately and elegant, to warm and cozy, to casual and inviting, in Italy there is something for everyone to dream about.
One of the most common elements found
in Italian design is arches. From doorways
and windows, to fireplaces and more,
beautiful designed arches are a feature
that is repeatedly seen throughout the region. Marble, stone, and wrought iron, are just some of the other elements you will find in homes throughout the country.    
And yet with all similarities found throughout the country, you will still find huge variances in design styles and colors. While some parts of Italy are stately and historic with large amounts of white and cream colors
as the foundation for its color palletes, with a splash of accent color added in, there are other areas of Italy where bright and vivid colors is abundant.
Still the most common style of decorating derived from Italy is Tuscan. The warm and inviting colors of rust, warm brown, greens, golds and creams, brings together the feeling of comfort, serenity, family, and entertaining.
Natural elements and greenery are integrated into every room, as if nature placed it there itself.  Richly textured fabrics and hand painted ceramics are also commonly found.
From Old World and Historic, to Formal and Elegant, or contemporary and cozy, Italy offers a wealth of variety and color palettes to choice from, dream of, and hold dear in your heart everyday throughout your home. 


Summer Weekend of Dreams ~ Paris

Follow us this summer, as we discover beautiful places around the globe,
to bring you great design ideas for your home
Today's stop ... Paris, France
What is it about Paris that makes it
such a romantic and beautiful place?
Is it the feeling it creates in our hearts,
or the beauty we see in our eyes ....
Or do you see Paris as a place of Fashion exploding with Color?
Or is it a place with history and vintage
charm that makes us feel connected?
Paris to each of us means different things that
brings us joy and comfort in our hearts.
So how do you bring that feeling into your
home and keep that passion alive everyday?
If France makes you think of Vintage decor and romance ... then soft colors,  and antique or Old World decor may be something you will want to bring into your current home ....
Vintage usually leads to styles of
French Country and variations of
which denotes soft colors and a
romantic feel. 
Vintage can also be more of a stately
and elegant design, with  marble,
metals, and stone as your guide.
Maybe even a combination of both?
Maybe a French Bakery is what you remember or dream of ... 
The smell of freshly baked breads, or
the smell of freshly brewed coffee ...
Could a French Country Kitchen be something you would love to wake up
to each day?
Or maybe the streets of France with all its Color is what excites you ... Streets with
bright colors of pink, yellow, red, and more.
Flowers, and greenery surround you and transform you with the fragrant smell of fresh bouquets of flowers.
Or is it the Moulin Rouge with it's fiery bold colors of Red that bring you back to the memories of your travels to France ...  
Whatever tickles your fancy, from luxurious and romantic, to vintage and historic, to fun and flavorful, or even a mixture of both, bringing Paris home is easy, when you know which elements
inspire you. Let the passion, the beauty,
and the history of France, become a
part of your home.  


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 !!