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


Holiday & Seasonal
Home Decorating
Home Staging
Miscellaneous Quick Tips
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Miscellaneous Quick Tips

Define Your Deck Space

Photo via: Pinterest
Everyone loves decks and patios for everything from quiet relaxation, to entertaining with family and friends. No matter 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 easily be done by simply placing your furniture in groups for function. For example dining space, conversation space, grilling/prep space, etc. 

Photo via: Grand In Road

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.


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?
Photo credit: Design Seeds
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. 
Photo credit: Design Seeds
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.
Photo credit: Design Seeds
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.
Photo credit: Design Seeds
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.                                             

How To Make A Colorful Entrance

Photo credit:

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 architectural 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.
Photo credit: Pella Doors
Nothing compares to the elegance of
a wooden front door. More than just  
beautiful and stately, wood doors are viewed as a statement of luxury by potential buyers. Wood doors are common in higher end luxury homes. Think of how much character and elegance a wood door could possibly add to your home, and the value it appears to add. 
Photo credit: House Beautiful
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

Photo credit:

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 architectural detail of your home.
Photo credit: Apartment Therapy
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


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?

Photo credit: Design Seeds 
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 the vast amount of choices we have now to select from.
Fortunately there is an easier and simpler way to change things up, without throwing it out. As a Certified Staging & Design Expert, I have helped hundreds of 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 bouquet of color and pattern, that is a Signature Style, that you can call HOME.

Make Your Sunroom A Beautiful Place

Does your enclosed porch or Four Season Room, still look like it's Christmas season?

Does your Sunroom bring you more grey skies than sunny moments?

If you're selling your home this Spring, buyers don't want to see potentially valuable areas like these, cluttered with holiday decorations or dead plants from last summer you've forgotten to toss away.

Allow buyers to see the beauty of this valuable space by adding seasonal colors that compliment the time of year and your individual home, along with pillows, area rugs, and fresh flowers or plants, that appear to have been growing there all winter long. Use warm weather floral prints and brighter colors in Spring and Summer, and rich darker colors in Fall and Winter Seasons.

Even if your style is more Formal or Traditional, you can still evoke the feeling of a sunny comfortable and peaceful space that buyers will be drawn to. Cluttered and even empty spaces, can make a room feel cold, and unusable.
Buyers love indoor/outdoor spaces that make them feel relaxed, and removed from family hustle, bustle and noise. Awaken the senses of buyers with the ability to connect to every valuable space, your home has to offer.

Make your Sunroom and enclosed porches a space that buyers long to spend time in, whether alone or entertaining with friends and family.

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.  
Photo via:
#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.
Photo via:
#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 occasions.
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.

Layering Your Rooms For Warmth & Design

Photo via: Pinterest
The winter chill is on and temps across the US have us
 reaching for cozy sweaters and throws....
Photo via: Pinterest
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.
Photo via: Pinterest
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.
Photo via: Pinterest
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.
Photo via: Pinterest
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.


Putting On The Glitz for New Year's Eve

3 .. 2 ..1 ...Happy New Year !!
Just 4 more days till family, friends, neighbors, and more,
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 forgo celebrating in style !!
Photo via: Pinterest
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.
Photo credit:
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. 
Photo via: Pinterest
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 quantities 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.
Photo via: Pinterest
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 ~
Photo via: Pinterest
Photo via: Pinterest
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 !!


Quick Tips For Holiday Survival


The Holidays are jammed packed with activity, and trying to accomplish everything can be a monstrous task if you don't plan ahead.

Photo via Pinterest

Check your table linens and napkins NOW. Many stores are offering huge SALES on tableware and decor for the holidays. Don't wait until you are ready to set the table to find worn or soiled tablecloths, chipped dishes, etc.

Wrap your presents as you purchase them instead of waiting until Christmas Eve to wrap a huge pile of presents with creativity and love. You'll not only wrap a better looking present, but you won't find yourself running out of wrapping paper or ribbon at the last minute either.

Photo via Pinterest
The Holidays come with truckloads of holiday mail and cards. Plan ahead for Holiday paper clutter. Get a decorative wicker basket, wire letter holder, or decorative velvet tray for all those holiday cards you will be receiving. Don't let them pile up or clutter your beautiful decorated spaces. Don't forget to tape return address labels to the backside of cards, for addresses you don't already have.

Photo via Apartment Therapy

Plan ahead for all those coats, hats, and other bulky winter items when holiday guests arrive. Have a place for messy items like boots, so that entry spaces stay clean,dry and Holiday sparkling.

Staying ahead of small items can add up big in the end, when Holiday stress is running high and the number of days till Christmas are quickly running out.

LET'S PARTY - Halloween Party Food Ideas


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

Photo credit:
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.

Photo credit:

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.

Photo credit:

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

Photo credit:

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

Photo credit:

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.

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 !!

Photo credit: BHG.comIf 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.

Photo credit: BHG.comNo 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?

Photo credit: Marie Kelly Unlimited
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.

Packing Up Christmas Memories

Photo credit:
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.

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?

Photo via: Pinterest
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.

Photo via:

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? 

Keeping The Green In Home Decor

Keeping The Green
 in Home Decor
Photo via:: Apartment Therapy
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.  

Photo via: Homedit.comFrom 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?

Photo via: The Organizing StoreTo 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. 
Photo via:
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?
Photo via: Pinterest
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.

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!!
Photo via: Pier One Imports
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.
Photo via: Pinterest
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

Halloween Sweet Treats & Table Delights


Photo via: Pinterest
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 !
Photo credit: The Thrifty Crafter
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.
Photo credit:
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.
Photo credit: Shelterness
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.  
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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.
Photo via: Pinterest
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


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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. 

Photo via: Pinterest
This fun and creative mantel 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. 

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

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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.

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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 gourds, in varying sizes and shapes. 

Photo credit: Pottery Barn

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.

Photo via: Pinterest

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!!

Summer Vacation Homes

Photo via: House Beautiful
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.
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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.

Quick Tips for Backyard Color

Photo credit: Coastal Living
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.

Photo credit: House and Home 
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.
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Surrounded by beautiful
trees or forest?
Bring in earth tones
and colors of nature,  
in varying shades of 
golds, greens, browns
and tans, for a color cohesive blend with nature.


Kitchen Lighting Solutions

Photo via: PinterestKitchen 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.
Photo credit: BHG.comPendant 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.
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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.
Photo via: Pinterest
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.
Photo via: Pinterest
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. 

The Center of Attention

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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.