Cuckoo for You and the Birds Too

As humans, we have a tendency to get gypped. With everything! I find myself looking at my dog from time to time thinking (and occasionally talking out loud) “You are so lucky you don’t have to work.” Or, “You haven’t a care in the world! All you do is eat, go to the bathroom, and destroy the toys that I buy. Our cats- relax ALL day except when they hear that food bowl being filled.

BUT the animal that we all wish we were…. BIRDS

Freedom, the power to fly AND they get to go down south for the winter!  The one fault I can find about being a bird is their homes… WHAT A DRAG. A few pieces of plywood your kid nailed together and painted horrid hues thanks to last years camp counselor. SO, I have always refrained from asking my magic genie to grant my unwilling desire to be a bird… until now. Thanks to dZi Wild Woolies, birds are now living the “high” life (haha).

dZi is an innovative company dedicated to creating one of a kind pieces with high quality goods and services by connecting artisans and consumers through the sale of fair trade products. The featured item this week is dZi’s “Wild Woolies Birdhouses.” They are all created and handmade by skilled artisan workers in a fair trade production center in Nepal. They use 100% natural wool (which is water resistant!) and non-toxic, azo-free dyes! Talk about a product you can feel good buying! No sweatshops, no long, labor intensive hours- just artisans doin’ there thing, making adorable little houses for the little birdies!

These whimsical, creative houses are the cutest way to decorate outdoors along with giving a family of birds a hip place to stay!

The Forest House- Am I the only one who would live in a life size replica? Quaint, earthy… Homey!

Confusion may arise. Birds have been trained their whole lives not to go near owls and now their moving in!

The birds may kick out the fairies but I bet they keep the name: Wild Woolie Fairy House!

Why wake up and smell the flowers when you can live IN the Daffodil?!

Commitment Phobes – Tempaper is Here!

How many of us have wanted to redecorate our living room, bedroom, dining room- ANY room? Time to call the interior decorator and pick up an extra shift at work, because we all know how expensive home decor can get. But now, with Tempapera line of temporary wallpaper you never have to worry about making a longtime commitment to wallpaper ever again. Tempaper is an easy way to spice up any room, even a college dorm room! No fussing around with water, paste, rollers or permanency. The self adhesive is as easy to get off as it is to get on. Peel and stick that’s all there is to it! And when you’ve grown tired of it, peel it off, throw it out and up with the next pattern. Worried none of Tempapers patterns are right for you? Unleash your inner artist and get the “Tempaper By You” and paint your own landscape for the tea room, pink giraffe for your little girl, or beige stripes for the family room. And guess what- Tempaper isn’t just limited to walls, it works on furniture too! The newest trend in interior design is not to be missed- and who doesn’t jump on an inexpensive, commitment free trend?! From contemporary, to earthy, to funky– Tempaper has it all! P.S. When will Tempaper make boyfriends?!

Dorm room safe! Who wouldn’t want to stay in and study with those walls?!

Keep your furniture neutral and give the walls some attention!

Unleash your inner artist! You’ve always wanted your own line of wallpaper so here is your start! Paint, paintbrush and “Tempaper By You” is all you need!

Glamorous Chain Chandeliers

This room from Luxe Interiors is to die for!   It’s glam-elegance to perfection.  The stunning chain chandelier adds the perfect amount of drama.  Want the look?  Here’s some chain chandeliers I think are fabulous.

I know, isn’t it just too good?  These are the things that get me so excited!  Perfectly draped pearly silver chains hang  from shiny curved chrome, yum!    It’s really just a fabulous piece.  Click on chandelier to buy.

This ones done in black.  It’s just so sexy.  I Love the way the light peeks through the perfectly draped chains.  The right light can really make all the difference.  Click on chandelier to buy.

I can so see this in a grand entry way or even better, amidst a spiral staircase.    Don’t over look lighting and what it can do not only for your room, but for you too.  Because…we all want to be well lit.

Cowhide Rugs…how to use & where to get.


You’re not in the market for a total room makeover, but you’re bored with your room.  Styles change and you can’t redecorate every time you see a new room you love on Pintrest.  There are little things you can do to freshen up a room and bring it up to date without investing in a total room makeover.  Cowhide rugs are a relatively inexpensive way to update a room.  They are versatile and could be added to almost any decor style.  Beyond that cowhides are surprisingly durable.  The natural oils actually allow liquids to beed up making it easy to clean.  They are cow!!  Think about it.  Cows get rained on and roll in the mud.  Your dog pees…rinse it.  A customer of mine at Presenceused it as a table cloth for Thanksgiving.  A lovely family member spilled red wine and she just wiped it up (true story).

If you walked into this beautiful white room you probably wouldn’t think to add the rustic look of the natural cowhide. It’s that polar opposite that makes it not only work, but work fabulously.   And…in my opinion makes the room even that much more inviting.

  Here they used stenciled zebra cowhides to add texture and personality to a dining room.   If a hide is not big enough, put two or more together.  You can easily overlap them.  The largest cowhides are approximately 6.5′ to 7.5′. Here’s example of a transitional living room.  The tangerine cowhide adds a much needed pop of color.  Cowhides come in a rainbow of dyed colors and it’s an easy way to add color without too much commitment.

Here’s a more traditional room.  The zebra cowhide gives it an updated edge.

Wether your traditional, transitional, modern, country, rustic or anything in between cowhides can add that extra fabulous something.  Don’t be afraid of color and patterns and when you’re thinking it doesn’t go…look again.

The Fun Part…..Choosing The Sofa

Now that Dana is excited we can choose the sofa and fabrics.  This room is all about family, being comfortable and chilling in front of the TV.  So here’s what Dana knows she wants.  Comfort is a must and she wants two chaises (one for her and one for T – her husband) Maddison is 8 and can fit anywhere.   We looked at lots of pictures together and I have sense of what she wants.  Layers of white with pops of color.  Dana wants transitional.  So I have her and T look at a company called BSC, we sell this at Presence.  They have tons of options for sofas including over 300 fabrics and over 40 styles.  The other great option is that you can choose to get most styles upholstered or slip covered.  There slip covers are so form fitting you can’t tell.  Dana and T chose quickly.  They opted for the “Grant”.  It’s simple with clean lines and it has tons of layout options.    The sofa will be a “U” shape with a right and left chaise connected by two seats between.  We went over the 300 fabrics for about 3 weeks.    Then the the unthinkable happened, we were told it was discontinued.  Back to the drawing board.  With a slew of new fabrics to choose from we started again.  It only took about 2 hours to choose the 2nd time around.  Dana’s getting her white sofa and her texture and her two chaises!    We opted for a white cable that will go on the outside of the sofa and all the seating will be in oatmeal.  We added a bit of color with throw pillows.  It’s all removable and washable and if they get bored…..order new covers.

Getting Started – A Decorating Journey.

Let me start by saying that I am NOT a decorator, but I love decor.  I am NOT a designer, but I am designing a room for a customer.  Does that Make sense? I have a retail gift and home accessory shop in Piermont NY and sometimes I help decorate.  So here’s my latest “non” designer project.

Making decorating decisions can be daunting.  I find that people make decisions sometimes out of fear.  They are afraid that they will get sick of an item that has too much color or style.  So, they play it safe.  My first tip I want to share is….Choose what you LOVE!  If you absolutely love it, you wont get sick of it.  If you love it, you’ll make it work.  Personally I would get sick of something boring and plain.  I’m currently helping a customer who knows what she likes, but can’t make a decision if her life depended on it.  Dana desperately wants a beautiful room, but doesn’t know where to begin.  So, I offered to help.  We are decorating her loft in her four story town house.  Dana wants to use this space for her family to spend time together, watch TV and just hang out.    She wants it done, but I wasn’t feeling any excitement from her.  I told Dana to start with something she loves and we’ll go from there.  2 days later Dana walked into my store and she couldn’t have been more excited.  “I did what you said, I went to Home Goods and bought something!”  She was so excited!  ” I really love it and hope you do too. ”  I told her it didn’t matter if “I” loved it or not.  So Dana pulls out this colorful glass lantern.  She didn’t know where it was going to go, but she LOVED it!  Had to have it!  She was so excited and that’s what we needed.  Now we could start.  By the way, I didn’t love the lantern, but I didn’t hate it either.  I actually told her to go back and buy another one.  We’ll hang them in the loft slightly askew.  It will definitely work and she will be happy every time she looks at them.  Even better, the lanterns now have a story.  Which I LOVE!