The Chill is Creeping In...Time to Warm Up!

by Carriann 7 Oct 2014

The smell of freshly sharpened pencils are now replaced with that earthy nip in the air. Your mornings may greet you with thoughts of turning on your furnace while you drag yourself into this new time of year. But there is such a beauty that comes with the Fall Season!! And if you're like me, it's your favorite time of year. Candy corn is pouring into my bloodstream like water and my creativity shoots though the roof!  This season not only begs for a palette of harvest colors in our home, but spaces that embrace us and bring warmth as the cold creeps in. With all that excitement going on outside, why not bring some of it indoors? If you like your home to have that Fall Festive Flare, than consider some of my design insights and I promise your home will hug you! As you prepare for Fall, consider some of these items and I promise that your home won't have you feeling the cold.

Consider some of my favorite items to add to the Season:

Wreaths. They're not just for front doors! Consider a wreath that is made of branches and add your own gourds, mini pumpkins, ribbons, Fall ornaments or even earthly items you find outside in nature.  You can hang them with ribbon over large picture windows, above your fireplace, in stairwells, on accent walls, or even on interior doors such as pantries and closets.

Candles & Scents. There are so many great scents out there to capture the mood of the season. And they can take you well into Thanksgiving. Cinnamon, Apple Spice, Cider, Pumpkin, and fig are all great options that will fill your home with amazing seasonal scents. They also add a great splash of Fall color! Plug-ins with these great smells will add that extra zest in your home as well.

Fall Garland. Wrap around chandeliers, doorways, mirrors, fireplaces, stair railings, and even windows.

Earthy Finds. What's so wonderful about this time of year is the many places you can venture outside and collect the dried and dead items that are all around our Fall landscapes. Things like twigs, wild grasses, acorns, branches, nuts, and cattails are easy to find. Purchase a can of orange, brown, or black spray paint and paint a few items for an inexpensive way to make your home super festive!

Throws, pillows and Slippers. Not only does a warm cup of coffee or cocoa warm us up, but so do those soft elements that invite the 'cozy factor.' Adding items like a basket of slippers right near your front door encourage yourself and your guests to kick off those shoes without losing the warmth. Purchase as many as you need in different sizes and leave in a decorative basket near your front door or where guests enter your home. Soft blankets and throws in Fall colors will bring those festive colors into your space as well. Accent pillows with Fall patterns or embroidered seasonal images will make your space pop with fun designs.

Faux Leaves. What an inexpensive way to add huge fun to your home! Sprinkle faux leaves on side tables, a dining buffet, dining table centerpieces, decorative shelves, and even bath tub surrounds. You'll be amazed at how much they add to the feel of the season! 

Enhance Your Window Coverings

Now is the best time to upgrade your window coverings to ones that will insulate and eliminate those nasty drafts that make their way through our windows.  Take it one step further by caulking all windows prior to installing your new shades! Consider these shades to help insulate your windows and help with those ever increasing utility bills! When shopping for the perfect shade, keep in mind...the more fabric and material that is up against your window, the more insulation you will have.

Roman Shades. They provide a tailored look and offer durable fabrics to block out those unwanted drafts. You can choose from the hobbled option, top down bottom up, continuous cord loop, and cordless for additional safety. You can also add liners to the shades to allow even more energy efficiency.  I love how Roman Shades add that touch of elegance to your space. Coordinate with a color that already compliments the color palette within your space. If you have a sage green comforter ensemble, consider a shade green roman shade to tie the color in throughout your room. These are great for a variety of styles such as Traditional, Coastal themes, Modern, and even Cottage Style.

Double Cellular. When it comes to extreme temperatures, two cells are always better than one! The Double Cellular Shade offers two cells of fabric which offer that extra insulating factor. Cellular shades are timeless and fit any style of décor from Ultra Modern to Traditional. Choose your colors and designs wisely and you will have window shades that compliment your home for years. Consider patterns such as Corkboard Granite, Iron Scroll Black Rose, or Brushed Orange Linen instead of a standard white or off white and your space is surely to look as if you hired a professional Designer!

Left: Corkboard Granite

Middle: Iron Scroll Black Rose

Right: Brushed Orange Linen


Follow these tips when getting your home ready for this fall season and you're sure to flash a warm smile!

Happy Decorating! 


Carriann Johnson

Light The Mood in Your Home

by Carriann 29 Aug 2014

There are several key ingredients to creating great spaces within your home, but they all end with an overall result... "What mood does the space leave?" Successful spaces are the result of all key ingredients merging into one and working in harmony.
Lighting is one of these ingredients. And let's face it, lighting can drastically change the feel of a space. So where does our lighting come from? There's natural lighting (windows) and artificial lighting (fixtures).  Fixtures are specific in living areas such as kitchens and baths. Natural lighting is less specific and fills a room with more ambient light. But we are still left with the challenge of controlling both light sources. Window coverings allow you to control and direct natural lighting. They also dress up your window and enhance your space. Your space can be designed beautifully, have amazing textures, rich colors, eye catching décor, and just the precise amount of plants and fresh flowers. But if you're lighting is off, it will kill the entire look. It's like having a designer outfit on, looking your best, every hair is in place, but you wear an outdated, hideous pair of shoes. You kill the entire look! And once you realize it (if you do), the mood is negatively influenced. The reason many Homeowners are unsure of lighting solutions is because they simply don't have the tips and tricks of the trade. Keep reading, because I'm about to share some juicy information with you! Here are 4 popular spaces in homes today and some key points for each. Follow my designer tips and you'll soon be celebrating the very mood you wished to achieve!

Family / Living Rooms

We love our family rooms! After all, it's where we spend our time either relaxing, being a family, playing a game, entertaining, or watching our favorite TV show. This is a space where controlling light is critical, depending on the activity in the space.

  • Keep colors muted. Earth tones and neutrals will always create a soothing mood.
  • Window shades that work best for this space: blackout (for television viewing), shades that allow directional tilting such as wood blinds or sheer shades.
  • Choose a color and shade that compliments your current décor.
  • If you have an accent wall in your space, consider a window shade that coordinates or matches your wall color.
  • Choose textures and colors that invite the 'cozy factor.'  Plush throws, oversized pillows, upholstered furniture, soft rugs, and controlled lighting will all allow just the right mood for this space.
  • Don't forget the dimmer switch! Dimmer switches allow you to control the level of your artificial lighting. Plus, it's a small investment that offers a substantial influence to the mood of your space!

Kitchens / Eating Areas

Our kitchens have become an extension of family rooms. They're where we gather the most. After all...the stomach knows best, right?

  • Lively prints and bold patterns will enhance this space. Consider a Roller Shade or Roman Shade for this space.The possibilities are endless with these types of shades. You can choose patterns and designs that coordinate with your décor as well! 
  • Have fun with your colors here. Since you don't want to fall asleep in this space, don't go overboard on your muted palette. Colors that lift your mood such as reds, oranges, and yellows are perfect in kitchens.
  • This is usually the first or second room we enter as we start our day! Choose colors, textures, and décor that invite you in and lift your mood.


Oh, the poor bathroom. Our lives are so busy these days, they can look more like a chemistry lab or laundry room than the retreats we need them to be! If you desire a space that invites you in the morning, and resolves you at night, follow these tips....

  • Keep your colors rich and muted. You can never go wrong by choosing soothing wall colors in this space.  Consider a Roller Shade, Roman Shade, or Cellular Shade for this space.
  • Since bathrooms require privacy, consider a top down bottom up shade. This allows more control of your natural lighting and privacy.
  • Keep décor and textures simple.
  • If you want that spa-like feel, visit a local spa and take note of how they treated the space. Colors and textures will all create a mood that soothe.
  • Personalize this space if you need! I love photos so, if your pup Baxter is the apple of your eye, consider a cute picture of him on your vanity. His wagging tail and sincere eyes will surely put a smile on your face. And what a great way to start your day!


They're our sanctuaries. They're the space that is most personal to us and often a space that either hugs us, or frustrates us. Follow these tips, and the frustration will fly away....

  • Choose 2, no more than 3 colors to design this space.
  • Select a rug, bedspread, or artwork to serve as the inspiration for the room. Build your entire design for your space around that item.
  • Keep lighting soft, soft, soft! Avoid artificial lighting that is fluorescent, too bright, or too harsh. Lamps or chandeliers are always a sure decision. 
  • Consider blackout window shades. A Cellular shade, Roller shade, or Roman shade offers this feature. Who doesn't want the option to control natural light in a sleeping space? Afternoon nap anyone? Morning sun too bright? :)
  • Avoid the clutter. Our lives are hectic enough so, why would you allow your sanctuary to get that way?
  • Don't forget that dimmer switch!

Use these above guides when creating your spaces and you're sure to love the moods they create! The elements that come together when the right lighting is achieved transform a room into a seamless combination of functionality and style. When you have the knowledge, you have the confidence! Happy Decorating!


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Carriann Johnson

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