All posts by Monique

Hunter Douglas Ideas for Conserving Energy


Getting Organized For Back To School

Back to school is almost here. Organizing children’s gear makes life easier. Here are some examples of ways to organize your mudroom for your children’s activities.

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Restore Summer Brightness to Your Home

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASummer has arrived at last, following an unusually long winter hibernation. With longer days and bright sunlight we may begin to notice things about our homes that were not so obvious during those dark days in January and February. That paint color that looked so fresh and bright……… was it 10 years ago?…….. is a little tired looking now…… and Muffin has used the sofa as a scratching post once too often!…….. the wine stains in the carpet, from the last party, will simply not come out…… and the furniture in the study does not look as pristine as it once did….. and besides, it never really fit the room well anyway, especially since the space has become the home office!

The wallpaper in the guest bathroom is peeling, and you are not sure that you like that shade of yellow anymore….. the kitchen could use an update…the cabinet doors are a little loose….. the hardware is dated…… and you really would like to have granite countertops…… you are wondering if you can somehow incorporate  your recent acquisition of an Oriental rug from Aunt Myrtle, into the foyer…… or will it clash with the existing color on the walls?

Summer is a perfect time to restore a fresh look to your home’s decor…….. and we can help!

Call us for a design consultation. We can bring a new look to your house in ways that will be chic all year round.

Masculine Ideas for Father’s Day

fathers day remoteIs it a coincidence that the men’s U.S. Open Golf Championships are always on Father’s Day weekend? We think not. So treat your husband or dad to some couch time on a comfortable sofa and state-of-the-art big-screen TV.

While large TVs may not be appealing to a lot of wives, it is possible to create a stylish décor around them, AKA the man cave. To satisfy the male’s requirements, we suggest leather upholstery on an oversize sofa, a coffee table you can put your feet on and access to refreshments nearby.interiors by monique male retreat Read more…

Traveling Through Your Home

There are many ways to approach the interior design process of one’s house.  The owners of this home asked me to create a design incorporating their love of world travel and some key pieces from their tours of far-away places.

Memories of Japan: A Restful Haven

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When most people think of Japan, they think of the bustling city of Tokyo.  But it is the tranquil and traditional countryside that shaped this room, namely the themes of the two Japanese prints on the wall at the head of the bed.

The print on the right features a kimono-clad woman admiring the blossoms of a tree that fills the canvas.  The colors…brick, porcelain blue and cream, to name a few…set the palette for a room that is restful and serene.

Our eyes are drawn next to the bed pillows, covered in fabric adorned with open colorful parasols.  In Japanese culture, the umbrella signifies a happy, complete life, so fitting here.

The pillow grouping is offset by a central pillow covered in blue fabric that is enhanced by a gingko-leaf design, reminding us of the Far East.

The bed is inviting and tranquil, covered by a white spread whose diamond quilting is repeated in the room’s cream and beige wall covering.  At the foot of the bed is draped a light-blue throw, accented by an embroidered silk runner, another souvenir of the homeowners’ Japanese travels.

The porcelain bedside lamps are also reminiscent of the Far East in a seafoam-kissed blue, topped by a creamy fabric shade.  The effect is of two pagodas, defining the place of repose.

The tables flanking the bed are dark supports for the “pagoda” lamps and remind us of the dark bark of the tree trunk in the country scene above the bed.

The room invites us to: “Rest here.  Meditate.”  And we do.

Memories of China: Joy

The vibrancy of China, another part of the world visited by our homeowners, is evident in our design for the master bedroom.

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For the Chinese, red symbolizes good fortune and happiness.  And this room exudes both.

The sumptuous bedclothes are a cascade of reds and maroons, accented by traditional Chinese medallions and gold trim.  Imagine reclining like royalty on this profusion of pillows.

The wallcovering continues the use of vivid crimson colors with subtle impressionistic flowers in its design.

The dark wood of the bed posters unites the bed and wall, guiding our eyes to the stark white picture of an oriental lily.  The chinoiserie drapes, a fanciful imagining of Chinese life in white and red, frame the bright white sheers that insulate this Far Eastern oasis from the outside world.

And the ginger jar lamp on the bed table assures us, “All is right.  You are home.”

Buying Your Next Home? Contact Interiors by Monique for design assistance.

IMG_0088This time of year is a popular time for many to purchase a new home or begin a new renovation project. Buying a new home or renovating an existing home is an exciting experience for most of us, but it can be nerve-wracking when it comes to decorating it.

Will that pesky column in the middle of the family room need to be moved? Will that wall need to be knocked down to accommodate your furniture?

Where do you start, you may wonder? How you use the room will determine the path you’ll take.

What about a color scheme. Will it be paint or wallpaper on the wall? What about floor covering…hardwood, carpeting, tile? What furniture will suit the room? What kind of window treatments will you choose? Can you incorporate your prized collections into the room?

How do you create the atmosphere you’re looking for? Sounds overwhelming, doesn’t it?

But be reassured…these are the kinds of decisions that an experienced interior designer can guide you through to convert your newly purchased home or renovated space into a more functional, attractive and inviting place for your family and friends to enjoy.

So when you buy your next home or are updating your existing living space, remember Interiors by Monique. We can help you transform your home into a space you’ll love.

Design Dilemna? What to do about an unattractive fireplace…

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Due to a renovation, this became a nonworking fireplace. The interior section of the fireplace had a painted black plaster and tin metal plate covering the hole for the wood stove pipe.

Design Solution: Interiors by Monique’s creative, decorative painter solved this problem by painting the interior to match the marble mantle, therefore making it more attractive and unified. The floor grill in front of the fireplace which had been painted black was faux painted to match the aged fir wood floor, enhancing the overall look of the living room.

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Garden Trompe L’Oeil Transforms Basement

During the remodel we transformed this concrete basement into a garden haven. To make the window wells more appealing and to camouflage the exterior concrete, large flower pots were painted on the outside wall which were visible to the inside, completing the look of a garden. This made for a wonderful play area for the young girls that lived in this home.

Pomp and Circumstance Season

graduation capsMay and June signal graduation season and along with it, a chance to celebrate one of life’s great milestones – whether it’s from pre-school, middle school, high school or college.

Entertaining family and friends? Since parties tend to overlap, having a less formal open house with set starting and ending time is a great way to include a lot of guests without having to make sure there is seating for each person. If you’re planning something more intimate for family, host a brunch. The menu can be as varied as you like it with breakfast foods as well as salads and desserts. Read more…

Home Staging Tips

Staging is a vital part of getting a home ready for sale.  But since a staged home is calmer, less cluttered, and more attractive, many people are staging their homes to live a more comfortable life.  Whether you are planning to put your home on the market, or you simply want a more beautiful living space, you can use these home staging tips to achieve success.

Step number one is clearing the clutter.  Make your house as clean and organized as possible.  A cluttered, overstuffed home sends a message to potential buyers – and to your own psyche – that there isn’t enough space and storage in the home.

When it comes to paint colors, choose warm hues.  Many homeowners make the mistake of thinking that all walls need to be white in order to be neutral.  But white tends to look unfinished and cold.  Look for warm colors, based on reds, oranges, and yellows.  Using soft tints of these colors will make a space feel inviting.

Lighting is a crucial part of a well-staged home.  A well-lit home feels more cheerful and attractive.  Make sure the windows are clean to allow as much sunlight in as possible.  In dark rooms, add high-hat lights.  If installed lighting is impossible, make sure you have several lamps with high-voltage bulbs.  Replace dark-colored lampshades with lighter ones so light is not blocked.

A simple – but very effective – decorating strategy is to update cabinet knobs.  Replacing knobs and hardware in the kitchen or bathroom is easy and inexpensive, and can transform the entire room.

Look for ways to highlight the most positive features in your home.  Emphasize focal points by arranging furniture around them.  Create vignettes that draw the eye to the most attractive elements of your house, like picture windows, fireplaces, and unusual architecture.

Remember that first impressions are critical.  Take a good, hard look at how it feels to drive up to your home, walk up to the front door, and enter.  Is there anything that blocks your way?  Do you need to clean up the yard?  What lighting can you add?  The entrance to your home sends a very strong message to potential buyers, and it evokes long-lasting emotions in the home’s residents, as well.  Improve your curb appeal, front door, and entrance hall, and you are sure to have a home that feels more inviting and comfortable.

To your home staging success!