Spring Cleaning – The best ways to sell or donate furniture NYC style

Spring Cleaning – The best ways to sell or donate furniture NYC style

  It’s that time of year again – Spring Cleaning! Let’s say you did the hard work already and you decided what stays and what goes, you disposed of what can’t be salvaged, and now it’s time to sell or donate what’s left. Did you say you already did the hard work? Surprise! Now you are finding it’s not so easy to even GIVE things away in Brooklyn or NYC (the same may be true where you live). The good news is thanks to new apps and sites that operate locally, you have some alternatives to Craigslist. Note that local selling apps are not available in all areas, so check to see which of these will work for you.   These first few are specifically geared toward furniture and décor: 1. Krrb I’ve used this one and – full disclosure – am an occasional guest contributor on their blog Pros: They have a good search engine and focus on home furnishings; there’s a wide user base with lots of listings in Brooklyn. Cons: Their fee structure can be a bit hard to follow. They include ‘corner shops’ from actual retailers who promote and thus receive favorable positioning in the listing areas, so you are not always looking at ‘your neighbors’ stuff’. 2. Aptdeco Pros: The purchase is made online and they will arrange delivery for a fee with a 3rd party delivery service.  They specialize in furniture and decor, so you may be more likely to attract a buyer. Best for high ticket items because of the commission and delivery fees. Cons: They take a 19% commission on the sale, and you have to pay for...
Love Your Home 365 Days of the Year – a New Year’ s Resolution You Can Keep

Love Your Home 365 Days of the Year – a New Year’ s Resolution You Can Keep

Like many of us at the start of a new year, I recently started a list of my New Year’s resolutions and realized that it was actually depressing me. Why? There is no way I am going to conquer all the clutter in my home, exercise 5 days a week, put home-cooked dinner on the table every day, and no way I will suddenly become a super-tidy person. It’s just not me. Then I thought back to last year’s list: One of my resolutions made a big difference for me, which was to “do something nice for my body every day” – it could be exercise, it could be spending some extra time on my hair or personal grooming, it could be a massage or getting my nails done, or even just eating clean, good food. (Okay, if I could have just done the massages every day I would have!) Leaving it general gave me permission to adjust what I did so that if I was super-busy, or didn’t have time to go to the gym I could still stick to it. This felt good — I wasn’t ‘failing’ at my resolution, instead, I was building the good feeling and strength that comes from sticking to it. Plus my hair looked better! What I learned was that resolutions and goals do not need to be the same thing. A resolution can encompass a shift in outlook or be one daily habit that you incorporate. The goals you create out of that ‘sit under it’ but the resolution can be more general. It takes some of the pressure off to know that as long as...
Fun and Practical Ideas for Kids Rooms

Fun and Practical Ideas for Kids Rooms

  A number of years ago I wrote a book called, Kids Rooms, Ideas and Projects for Children’s Spaces. At the time this came out it was one of just a few books on the topic. Today I notice almost every parent wanting to do something special for their kid’s room. Although the book is now out of print,  I still love this creative playroom entry by designer Laura Bohn that we featured on the cover (above). Wondering where to go next with your kids’ space? Here are a few of the key features I like to include when working on a kids room. 1. Create display space to showcase artwork and memorabilia       2. Be consistent with storage. It doesn’t need to involve expensive bins (see the potato chip storage below) but an effort should be made to use one system, whether it’s bins, buckets, or baskets. That will create a clean, uncluttered look in the room.     3. Have some fun – infuse a little fantasy. I love how the playroom entry at the top of the post transforms a simple entrance into a wonderland.  Here’s where you can play off a theme and inject a bit of whimsy.       Here’s a source for a similar light. So have fun when you’re redecorating your kid’s room. Let your creativity loose and get your child involved in the process with you. If you’re not sure where to start,  download a copy of my free ebook– 10 Steps to Your Perfect Room Makeover. These steps will work for your kid’s room or any room in your house that...
4 Finishing Touches that Turn Functional into Fabulous!

4 Finishing Touches that Turn Functional into Fabulous!

Do you have an area of your home that you’ve put some effort into, but it still doesn’t quite have that polished look you were hoping for? It’s common to run out of steam at the end of a design project or makeover and be left with a nice room, but not a great room. Maybe what’s missing is a little flair or your own personal stamp? Here are four fabulous finishing touches that give your space extra pizzazz without driving you crazy in the process. 1. Use color to unify. Does your room look like it’s not very cohesive? Take a look at what you have in the space, and pick a secondary color or two to play with for your finishing touches. For example, a small patch of yellow on a rug or a touch of yellow on a painting can be picked up by a pillow. You can even introduce an accent color that doesn’t show up anywhere else! If you use these colors consistently in your pillows, art and accessories, you can’t go wrong. 2. Start with a clean slate, then add and edit. If you already have some items on the space you’re working on, such as a shelf, table or mantle, clear them off and place things in one at a time, creating small groups to start. You do not have to use everything! Translation – you should not use everything. Most of the time, a smaller, carefully curated collection of things makes a stronger design statement than having a whole lot of stuff – even if you feel it has a similar...
3 Ways to Get People to Take Off their Shoes at the Door

3 Ways to Get People to Take Off their Shoes at the Door

In the Summer months you and your family are probably in and out throughout the day. Has your entryway become a tripping hazard because of all the sneakers, flip-flops and other assorted shoes piled up by the front door? And what about your guests? Do you ask them to “please take off your shoes at the front door”? More and more of us do because we want to keep our homes clean and safe from pollutants being tracked in from the outside. I got into this habit myself when I moved to Brooklyn but my sister had done it for years in her Boston home, to the chagrin of our parents whose holiday outfit plans included the shoes and who felt lost (and cold) without them. There are a lot of good reasons to remove shoes in a home — even one without kids. The key is to make it work for your family and any visitors, so here are a few steps to make it work for everyone.   #1 Let them know — gently. A please take off your shoes sign is a polite way to let your guests know you have a no-shoes policy in your home. It’s also a great constant reminder for your kids so you hopefully don’t have to tell them for the umpteenth time. Something simple like, “Welcome friends, please bare your soles,” will get attention. I’m always in favor of using fun graphics and humor to break the tension, and here are some great examples:   For something understated but eye-catching, how about framing a picture like this one?! or this:    ...
5 Must-Have Design Elements for Your Home Office Space

5 Must-Have Design Elements for Your Home Office Space

Working from home – it sounds fantastic until you actually try it. It can be challenging balancing your work life with your home life when the two are sharing the same space. If you are setting up your home office for the first time or what you currently have just isn’t working, you want to design a home office space that makes for a smooth transition from home life to work space and back again. Here are 5 must-have design elements for your home office space to work for you and your lifestyle: 1 – Create Division It’s great if you can have a dedicated room for your home office so you can shut the door and put your workday behind you, but that isn’t always feasible. If you can’t put your office in a separate room, then create a way to visually ‘put away’ the office. Existing closets can become desk areas with storage above, and freestanding armoires are available that convert to home offices. Other options include folding screens and freestanding bookshelves. You can even mount a curtain divider on a ‘hospital track’ for floor to ceiling separation. 2 – Find Adequate Storage As a designer working from home, one of my biggest challenges is storage for all of my samples. I keep gathering new samples and spec books and the collection seems to constantly grow, without a way to expand the storage space! To keep things under control at least 3 times a year (put this on your calendar) review, discard, or return samples and supplies. Keep only what you need close at hand. Can some files you need but seldom use be kept in your attic...
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