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March 27, 2021
Hello, my name is Vanessa. I'm not going to tell my life story, but I will tell you a little bit about me and a few of my favorite decorating tips (or maybe more like pet peeves).
If you are from Fort Wayne, like I am, I have a little fun fact for you. It's funny that I remember this, because my dad read this to me from the newspaper and I was MORTIFIED! I think this is the ONLY reason I remember this fact. The very lyrics that I used to title this blog post are from the song, The Humpty Dance, by Digital Underground, and it was the very first song to be played on the radio station HOT107.9. What he must have thought while he was reading that still makes me laugh!! Maybe he read it to me giggling inside. I'll never know... My dad was my best buddy, and passed away in January of 2017. He was my biggest supporter. I miss him so much.... He always told me, "Just try it. If it doesn't work, you can always do something else." He was right. He gave me the courage to go out and do what I love. I work hard, yet never feel like I'm working. I hear that is what you're supposed to do. So, thank you, Dad. Mom too. She passed away in December of 2014, and was an amazing, encouraging, loving mom. We were so lucky to have such supportive parents. Even when I was a little kid helping her clean up the kitchen after dinner or fold laundry she would always say "you are SUCH a good worker". I was always so proud of myself. I guess those two things just stuck with me. Only recently have I realized those two small things have encouraged me to work hard and step outside of my comfort zone and take risks. Not only did I have awesome parents growing up, but I still have my amazing sisters and brothers here supporting me and my incredible friends. So thank you, again, to all of you!
Always armed with a pad of paper and a pencil at my sibling's sporting events working on drawings to keep me busy (I was much younger than my sisters and brothers) I had lot's of practice early on. Houses were one of my favorite thing to draw. I have always loved to draw and paint. I've always been an artist and it carried on into interior decorating and design. I remember the very first time I decorated my bedroom. I believe it was somewhere around second grade. I was able to make all the choices and help in the process. Wallpaper and this cute gingham print bedspread. I insisted one wall be painted. A few years later I even painted my room myself (I proceeded to paint the baseboard heaters and all - I had no idea where to stop!). I was way ahead of my time, it was the 80's and I painted my room gray! This still makes me laugh... what younger girl wants their room to be gray?! Especially in the 80's when everything was so bold and bright?!
I constantly rearranged the furniture in my bedroom. Trying to find new innovative ways to make the room "new". I probably drove my older sister crazy with it. We shared a room. Although thinking back, she was probably more concerned about me borrowing her clothes without asking.
I have been helping friends and clients decorate their homes as long as I can remember. I then moved on to renovating homes and staging homes and then flipping and restoring historic homes. Over the years, I have heard over and over from many people that they couldn't have a beautiful house because "it was just too expensive to decorate" or "I don't have enough money to hire a designer" or "I don't know where to start" or "I can't pick out a paint color to save my life". I have changed so many of their minds just by giving them a few tips and resources! I can tell you right from the start that I personally do not like to spend a lot of money on things and I think my house looks beautiful.
Today I'll share just a few tips with you on how to enhance your spaces without doing much or spending a lot of money. I'll also share some tips that will help your house feel more "designer" with what you have.
I will start with this, PLEASE use longer window treatments when you can. Hang them as high as possible and all the way to the floor or within a few inches of the floor. Also hang them wider than the window. You'll see in the photo of my guest room how I did this. I used sheers and regular window panels with a double rod. All of these panels are 96" in length, four panels total. It makes the window look two to three times the size and the room looks so much better! Imagine had I just left the window with the blinds only. It completely transforms the room.
Bathroom mirrors.... Oh this is another pet peeve of mine. So many houses that you walk into that were built into the 2010's, maybe even later, have the standard beveled mirror above the bathroom sink and a light above it. Look up from there... do you see at least 2-3 feet of wall space above it? Most likely. By simply putting in a taller mirror and either putting two sconce lights to the sides of the mirror or the new (very cool) cluster pendant light from the ceiling to one side, your bathroom will instantly feel bigger! With the new orientation of the mirror, the ceilings immediately become taller in your mind and everything becomes more open.
When choosing rugs for living spaces, go larger than smaller. The one that I currently have in my living room actually drives me crazy because it just bumps up against my sofa legs and my chair legs (I love the rug so much and brought it out from a bedroom). Ideally rugs in living spaces should extend under the edges of your furniture. They will help anchor the room and visually give the eye the sense that everything is in it's place, nothing is floating around in space. Same goes for under a table. You should have a rug big enough that when you pull out chairs to sit on them, the chair legs stay on the rug.
Personally I love using lamps. I like to have a few small accent lamps around. I have one in my kitchen on the counter that I leave on all the time (with a very energy efficient bulb) and another in my living room that I turn on occasionally and another in my office. I have full size lamps as well. Rarely do I use overhead lighting. Lamps provide a much more soothing light in the evenings. The accent lamps are great when you are watching TV or want to have more of an ambient light later at night. Now, of course overhead lighting is not bad, it works great for tasks when you need to get something done, especially in kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, garages and other spaces like that. If you don't already use lamps in your other living spaces, give them a try, you may feel more relaxed.
I don't want to give all my secrets away on my first post, and as you see, I like to get pretty much straight to the point. Maybe as I get into this blogging a bit more, I will get a little more "fluffy" and tell more stories, but for now I will keep it short and sweet! Maybe I will add some vlogging too (I'm so excited I have just recently learned the difference between blogging and vlogging - I feel silly for even admitting that!) Hi, I'm new here. Ha!
Thank You for reading! I appreciate you :)