Category Archives: Redesign

DECORATING WITH GOOD BONES

It’s the end of October and another Halloween is just around the corner.  Yea right… as if 2020 could get much scarier.  From worldwide pandemics to out-of-control forest fires, invading murder hornets to nasty elections, this year has been pretty doggone terrifying even without our favorite, bone-chilling holiday.

Speaking of masked holidays, working in a client’s home can be a lot like trick-or-treat.  Sometimes we’re treated to spaces which aren’t all that frightening.  Others are so hair-raising, the Bates Motel would be a welcomed alternative.  Of course, the truth is most really aren’t that bad.  The good bones are there.  They’re only hidden behind an all-to-familiar disguise.

Recently, we helped style a Crystal Lake couple’s master bedroom & en suite bath.  This extra-large bedroom offered plenty of possibilities.  As often happens, too many choices can actually be more frightening, making confident decorating decisions more difficult.  All of the “bones”, from wall color to furnishings were already good.  The problem was less-than-optimal furniture placement and a simple lack of finishing touches.

After the consultation, we started sourcing the “treats” we needed to help finish the space.  For sure, we needed greenery, artwork, window treatments, rug, ottoman and a few other finishing touches to fill out the large space.  While we were hunting, our homeowners got busy, following our recommendations, re-arranging furniture to make better use of the space and to make it feel more cozy.  Finally, we were back to finish treating our clients to the tricks of the trade.

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On one hand, it’s easy to think of bones as being scary.  On the other, good bones are the foundation and building blocks for any improvements.  Good decorating begins with good “bones”.  Luckily for us, that’s just what our clients had.

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After a few hours layering and mixing the old with the new, the master bedroom space came alive with more personality, polish and pizazz.  Fleshing out the “bones” was all it took to make this master bedroom more masterful and our owners “loved it”.

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As scary as 2020 has been, it’s always good to keep our fears and frustrations in perspective.  For every negative, there’s a positive.  That applies to decorating as well.  So if the bones of your decorating project are giving you a fright, why not give us a call.   It might just be a scary mask hiding the potential and good bones in your space.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN & HAPPY DECORATING FROM DECOR DESIGNS… 815-245-2433

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EVOLUTIONARY DESIGN

The longer you do any job, you discover hidden gems to appreciate.  One of the things we’ve discovered, after 16 years of professional decorating, is how much fun it is to watch the evolution of our client’s lives & homes over the years.  With every new chapter comes the opportunity for change.  And every change is an opportunity for us to help update and refresh  our clients decor so their homes are always a close reflection of who and where they are in life.

Image by Colin Behrens from Pixabay

In some cases, we’ve been there for multiple incarnations of the decor in the same home.  In others, we’ve help our clients move to new homes where we blend old & new.  With some, we’ve even been there long enough to watch the kids grow up, buy homes and become second generation clients as well.

Back in the Spring, we had the privilege of reconnecting with a client whom we’ve worked with several times over the years.  We first met in 2010 when we helped stage their home for sale.  After the sale and move, we helped with several phases of styling and updates in the new home.  And most recently, after another move, she reached out for help with her new townhome in Huntley.

As you can imagine, after 12 years, her lifestyle and taste has evolved.  On top of that, moving from one home to another almost always requires updating furniture etc…. to fit & work in the new space.  Having worked well together for so many years, she knew we were the perfect resource to help reinvent the main living areas in the new townhome to get her off to a fresh start .

Working remotely at first, due to Covid, we helped with paint color, light fixtures and other infrastructural updates.  Then we set to work helping plan, select & order all the new furniture and other things she wanted for the new home.

After the stay-at-home orders were lifted, we were able to finally see the spaces in person.  We assessed our progress and came up with a plan for all the finishing touches that would give the spaces personality and bring them to life.  Finally, last week, we layered in all those touches and these are the results:

Geo pattern chairs in Living Room

Living Room

Farmhouse Chic Dining Room

Dining Room

Family Room

I love the way everything looks!“, she said as we finished up.  Working within her timeframe and budget, we created a space that I’m sure she’ll enjoy for many years.

So, if it’s time for another evolution in your own decor, we hope we hear from you.  Change isn’t always easy.  But, it doesn’t have to be painful.  Let us help uncover the hidden gems in your own decor.

Happy Evolutionary Design!   Decor Designs, Inc.  815-245-2433

 

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DECORATING DURING A PANDEMIC

How exactly do you decorate during a pandemic?  Not very easily, let me tell you.  But everyone said, once the Covid shut down was over, business would boom in many industries, including interior decorating.  And I’m really beginning to think there is some truth to those predictions!  It’s been obvious from the numbers of people I see shopping for home decor and from the increase in inquiries and new projects we’ve started since the end of May.

Of course, that’s a good problem to have when you’ve been idled for more than two months as “non-essential”.  For our abundantly patient clients who began their decorating projects prior to the stay-at-home orders, there hasn’t been anything to do but wait.  And for those who are just starting, the realities of idled factories and disrupted supply chains is making decorating during a pandemic an ongoing challenge now and for the foreseeable future.

Now that things have largely reopened, it’s off to the races as we’ve been playing catch-up for our clients who started projects before March.  And we’ve also been fielding a ton of new business from those who decided, after spending all that time at home, they need to something about their decor as well.  We’ve accomplished a lot in the last month and a half!  But there’s a heck of a lot more to do.

Here are some pics of projects we’ve finished over the last few weeks with a brief explanation of each set.  A special thank you to all our wonderful families for letting us share photos of their transformations.  Hope you enjoy!

As you can tell from some of these photos, with holiday decor still obvious in the Before shots, several of our recently-completed projects began right after the first of the year.  Such was the case for this Family Room & Kitchen refresh we did for a wonderful family in Bloomingdale, IL.  We had ordered new custom seating pieces in February and were on track for a late April install when Covid hit.  So it was a relief for us all when the stay-at-home orders were finally relaxed and the new furniture arrived.  I guess it’s still true that good things come to those who wait…

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And the following pics are from a project in Palatine, IL where we helped a young, soon-to-be newlywed couple get off on the right foot in their first home together.  We all know the stresses of getting married. (I can only imagine what a pandemic adds.) While merging households & lifestyles can be a big challenge for newlyweds, it was so much fun helping these “kids” get off to a great start!

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FOYER TABLE BEFORE

 

The previous owners left an oversized and ornately carved coffee table the couple found when they moved in.  Rather than throwing it in the trash, we suggested cleaning it up, cutting it in half and either mounting it on the wall as a foyer table or using it on the floor as a bench.  One-of-a-kind foyer table wins!

 

 

 

People need to sell and move during a pandemic too.  So, staging homes for sale has been just as important as decorating for those staying put.  Here are some Before & After shots of a project in Prairie Grove, IL.  Repurposing our clients furnishings and adding a few new punches of our own, we helped prepare this property to attract the largest possible pool of buyers.  Staging can be a win-win if you do it early enough in the process.  Why not enjoy the beautiful changes until your home sells?

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Finally, we had fun putting some finishing touches on a gorgeous, custom home in Barrington, IL.  With three young children, there’s hardly ever enough time in the day to focus on decorating.  So, after being referred by a neighbor, we were excited to step in and help give the first floor of this home the added attention it needed taking it from “ok-for-now” to WOW!

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So yes, decorating during a pandemic has proven to have its own unique set of challenges.  Just like every other business, we’ve had to reinvent the way we work while continuing to provide our clients with the products and services they want and need during these unusual times.

I’m happy to report we are rising to the occasion.  At the end of the day, it’s not IF we can do something but HOW we can do it!  Whether consulting remotely, shopping online, or socially distancing in stores or homes, we are determined to continue making our mark when the world needs pretty more than ever!

Happy “Pandemic” Decorating from Decor Designs.  815-245-2433

 

 

 

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FAMILY FIRST HOME DECORATING

“Home” and “family”, the two words are almost synonymous.  Our homes are our sanctuary in a crazy, hectic world.  And they provide the anchor that keeps our family group from drifting too far apart.  So it should go without say your family and its members are a key component to successful decorating.

Sometimes folks have a grand vision of their perfectly appointed and decorated home.  But, practically speaking, family needs and lifestyle throw a wrench into achieving that vision.  We always try to encourage our clients to decorate for “the way they live” rather than “the way they wished they lived”.  That’s not to say you can’t have a beautifully styled home.  But, failing to consider the way you use a room is the first mistake most DIY decorators make when styling a space.

This week, we helped a couple with two young girls put a few more finishing touches on their beautiful home in Roselle.  For this phase, we wanted to complete the main Living Room area, create a play space of the girls and brighten up the dark Master Bedroom.

In their long, rectangular Living Room, our goal was to create a kid-friendly, but adult space for tv and entertaining.  We also wanted to create a separate play area for the two, young girls which could be tidied easily while keeping them under watchful eye.

Living Room Before

We began by replacing the fabric sectional with a leather sofa and love seat.  Sectionals are very unforgiving and offer limited possibilities when playing with furniture placement.  And while some wouldn’t consider leather to be kid-friend, it is strong and durable.  It’s definitely easier to wipe clean and almost never looks dirty.  To the new seating, we added new, walnut-colored end tables.  The homeowners used chalk paint to give their entertainment console a fresh, new look and helped us avoid too many mismatched woods in the space.  Finally, we layered in a new area rug, blue upholstered storage ottoman, off-white/blue floral window panels, large, colorful artwork, a pair of table lamps, greenery and accessories.

Living Room After

With kids come toys, lots of toys!  So we looked for every opportunity for places to tuck them away when not in use.  The storage ottoman in the “adult” area was a good start.  To it, we added complimentary storage cabinets flanking the play area.  Cube baskets inside are perfect for dolls & smaller toys.  We also slightly angled the furniture to create a nook behind the sofa for larger pieces.  Finally, we dropped in decorative boxes by the door to quickly catch smaller items.

Kid’s play area

Playing off other colors in the home, we blended teal from the adjoining Family Room and dark blue from the Master Bedroom as part of our color story.  Luckily the girly-pink in the play area and the deep rich blues we used in the Living Room play perfectly together.  So we were able to unite the two spaces using accents of both.

Master Bedroom Before

In the Master Bedroom, our goal was simply to lighten and brighten.  While darker walls are restful in bedrooms, it’s important to balance them with lighter bedding especially if your bedroom furniture is also dark.  Rather than replacing the bedding, we simply introduced a pair of white pillows and a white bed throw.  We also angled a new, fluffy white area rug under the bed.  We finished by replacing the dark, blue window panels with lighter ones with accents of blue embroidery.

Master Bedroom After

Home is definitely synonymous with family.  Decorating for the way a family lives and functions is more important than having everything be pretty but not practical.  Helping this family find a happy balance between the two is why we love doing what we do.

Happy Family First Decorating from Decor Designs.  815-245-2433

 

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CREATING ADULT SPACES IN KID-FRIENDLY HOMES

Parenting… I’m guessing there’s probably nothing more satisfying or fulfilling.  Then again, there’s probably nothing quite so stressful or frustrating.  Every parent wants to create a safe and supportive environment for their children.  But, that often means sacrificing as an adult, especially with home decor.

Whether it’s child-proofed corners, washable rugs, non-breakable accessories or toys galore, most parents simply give up on having anything too “designer”.  At least they give up until the kids are teenagers or out of the house completely!  Having strictly adult spaces with kids is a challenge for any family.  So, it’s always fun for us when we have the opportunity to help clients create spaces that allow for adult activities while leaving others that are more family-oriented and kid-friendly.

We’ve recently been working with clients in McHenry, IL who wanted to create an adult space in their ground floor bonus room.  With a young son, the couple’s entire three-story town home was very kid-centric to say the least.  They envisioned at least one area in the home where they could de-stress, relax and just be without having to child-proof or sacrifice on any of the creature comforts adults enjoy.

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Their vision for the space was a media room for relaxing, taking a nap, reading a book or watching tv & movies.  With a monster 86″ flat-screen tv and killer sound system, this space would be an adult retreat from the organized chaos of family life upstairs.

Wanting several grown up elements, they asked that we incorporate a coffee/wine bar theme in the space.  Since they’d already purchased a new ultra-deep sofa, entertainment center & bookcase, we were asked to simply pull their vision together by bringing in everything else from window coverings to artwork, lighting to accessories.

After several weeks of space planning and shopping for the details, we returned to give the room the adult theme the owners so desperately wanted and deserved.

AFTER

First, we replaced the white, wood blinds with new bamboo roman shades for warmth and privacy.  Then, we added a reclaimed-wood & metal console table to serve as both wine & coffee bar. (espresso machine on order)  To it, we added wine stem storage with wine racks on the floor underneath.  Three gray, leather storage cubes were added.  They can serve as extra seating, tables and storage for unused pillows and throws.  A black, wire mesh chair in the corner offers additional seating.  A new c-table provides a place for a cup of coffee or glass of wine while snuggling on the extra-deep sofa.

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Without a ceiling fixture, we needed to create a lighting triangle to take care of any dark corners in the room.  So, we added a beautiful floor lamp from Crate & Barrel by the sofa.  Then we placed a pewter teardrop lamp from World Market on the floor by the tv.  Finally, a glass bottle accent lamp from HomeGoods found its spot on the bookcase.

An avid audiophile, the husband wanted acoustic panels in the room to help with sound.  By some miracle, he’d already found some.  Covered with burlap, coffee bean bags, they fit perfectly into our design.  So we used 6 of them above the sofa doubling as artwork.  We added a framed burlap bulletin and chalk board to cover the unsightly electrical panel.  And we added a family photo wall and other metal bowl art from World Market to balance the space.

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Every little detail from coffee cups and spoons to serving trays and flavored syrups were added. And lastly, we poured coffee beans into the vintage sugar molds on the window sill.  Good design touches as many of the senses as possible.  So we made sure the wonderful aroma of the coffee beans filled the air as well as any neighborhood coffee house.

The end result is a room that allows for plenty of “adulting”.  Whether it’s for a cup of coffee with the morning news, a game of chess or a great movie, this space went from a sad, underutilized storage area to a media room any adult would enjoy.

The moral of this story is this.  Finding the right combination of kid-friendly spaces, family spaces and adult spaces makes any home feel more balanced.  It offers adults the opportunity to be adults in their own home while still having spaces for kids to be kids.  When everyone’s needs are met, family happiness ensues!

Happy Adult Decorating from Decor Designs.  815-245-2433

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DECORATING FOR YOUR BEST SELF

Interior decorating is an evolution. Your decor generally evolves along a path that parallels your personal journey. As your income level, lifestyle & interests change over time, so does your decor. With that in mind, all you can do is style your home in a way that reflects the most authentic version of your ‘best self’ at the time.

Disagree? Drag out some old photos of yourself. Were you rocking it with bell bottoms in the late 60s & 70s? Or how about those Farrah Fawcett “wings” or a mullet in the 80s? I’m betting you’re like, “What the hell was I thinking?” But, it happens. At some point, even design professionals look back at photos of their work from years past and ask, “What was I thinking?” Don’t beat yourself up; it’s natural. Trends change, times change & tastes change. And thank goodness they do. Remember olive green appliances?

Over the past few months, we’ve been working with a client who we helped with some redecorating about five years ago. Even in that short amount of time, she has experienced some milestones in life. On top of that, trends and her own taste have changed.

We’ve helped see this client through several different versions of her ‘best self’. Her two-story townhome with volumn ceilings and arched windows has been a perfect backdrop for our stylings. As the story goes, our client decided to buy a new sofa for her living room. And the rest is history. Before we knew it, we had a touched almost every part of the living spaces in her riverfront home.

2014 Living Room Before
2014 Dining Room Before
2014 Basement Before
2014 Sitting Area Before

In 2014, we helped her finishing moving into her new space. After some painting, we reused and repurposed much of her previous furniture and added some finishing touches building off the dark woods and leather. Jewel tone teal accents punched up the tone-on-tone neutrals. We also styled the basement at the time leaving most of the details for a later date.

2014 Living Room After
Living Room 2014 After
Basement 2014 After

In with 2019! Inspired by the current version of her ‘best self’ and a trend toward lighter & brighter, she asked for help making the changes needed to blend her new pieces and bring her inspiration to life.

In the Living Room, we replaced teal and black accents with cream and blush. We added a new tufted gray leather ottoman from Penny Mustard. Matching tiered side tables from Wayfair replaced the oversized side table. Clear glass lamps, a fiddle leaf fig tree, new cream window panels, bright capiz shell artwork and brighter accessories complete the look.

2019 Living Room After

In the Dining Room, we kept the table but replaced the heavy wooden chairs. We repeated the tufted texture from the Living Room ottoman by ordering custom upholstered parsons chairs from Steinhafels. A new cabinet in warm white from Ballard Design serves as a bar cabinet. Our client painted the pub table (introduced in 2014) with off-white chalk paint to match the new cabinet. Three industrial swivel stools from Ballard replace the dark wood sway back bar stools.

2019 Living Room After
2019 Dining Room After

In the basement, we repurposed some of the elements we replaced upstairs. A new reclaimed wood & metal entertainment center from Steinhafels provided a dramatic focal point for the repurposed sectional. We grouped four leather swivel chairs from Pottery Barn near the wet bar area for group conversation. The pub table and chairs offer a great space for drinks or gaming. New custom blinds, drink tables from Crate & Barrel and artwork and accessories complete the warm and inviting space.

2019 Basement After
2019 Basement After
2019 Basement After
2019 Sitting Area After

In the end, by replacing a few key elements and restyling with complimentary artwork and accessories, we were able to give entirely new personality to the spaces. Light and bright suits our client for the next chapter in her life. And we were thrilled to help her pull it all together.

Tastes and trends are always changing. Why not celebrate the current version of your best self? Happy Decorating from Decor Designs. 815-245-2433

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FOR EVERY ROOM A PURPOSE

Every room needs a purpose. After all, you’re paying a mortgage & taxes on every square foot of your home. Why not try to make the best use of every square foot of your investment? Sometimes, however, deciding how to make the best use of a space can be a challenge for homeowners.

It’s always great when folks are willing to think outside the box. Using a room or items in unexpected ways is definitely a trademark of good design. Sometimes, however, it’s easy to stray too far from a room’s intended function. Doing so can have an unintended, snowball effect that negatively impacts the look and feel of other rooms in the home.

This week, we helped a young family in Roselle struggling with how to best use & decorate their home’s family room. They’d tried everything to make the space feel functional and pulled together. But, nothing seemed to be working quite the way they wanted. Finally, they reached out to us for help.

Their last failed attempt had been flipping the family & dining rooms. And while functional, both spaces were left suffering from what we called an “identity crisis”. The dining room furniture didn’t quite work in the long, narrow family room. And their small sitting area looked lost and out of place in the dining room.

Family Room Before
Dining Room Before

While applauding their efforts, swapping the furniture was actually creating more problems that it was solving. And so, we decided the dining set really belonged back in the dining room. That way, we could make more progress creating a new, inviting and more functional space in the family room.

Dining Furniture Removed and New Chairs Delivered

Giving the family room purpose, we decided to reuse our client’s bar cabinet and create a sitting area to compliment it either for reading or enjoying cocktails in front of the fireplace.

We started by ordering two, larger scale-appropriate club chairs from Pier One. While waiting for those to be delivered, we set to work buying all of the other things we’d need to finish the space and bring it to life.

We found a large, tufted ottoman that worked perfectly for a cocktail table as well as additional seating if needed. Matching harp tables by each chair were found offering a place to put a drink or book. Next, we found a 5×7 area rug to brighten the space and anchor the seating group in front of the fireplace.

Family Room After

Drapery panels were purchased to soften the faux wood blinds in the corner window. And since no room is complete without them, we bought finishing touches included a floor lamp for additional lighting, a fiddle leaf fig tree for height and organic texture, large wall mirror to make the space feel wider as well as a throw and accent pillows.

A few new accessories were also purchased to compliment existing pieces and tie into the homeowner’s existing farmhouse and shabby chic decor.

The progress we made in solving this room’s identity crisis is clear. A new and inviting sitting area now greats the family and guests and makes for a better use of this space.

Never be afraid to think outside the box. It’s better to make use of a space than to leave it empty and a wasted investment. But, keep in mind that the rooms in a home are generally designed with specific purposes in mind. Straying too far from those intended purposes can create more headaches than it solves.

Happy, Purposeful Decorating from Decor Designs. 815-245-2433

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DECOR DESIGNS CELEBRATES 15 YEARS

In February, Decor Designs, Inc. will celebrate its 15th Anniversary!   Since 2004, we’ve been invited into hundreds of homes & lives.  We’re so very thankful for the opportunities we’ve had to help with your decorating dilemmas.  We certainly hope we’ve had as much of an impact on you as you’ve had on us.

To celebrate our 15th Birthday, we’ve planned a special Rollback Rate promotion.  New clients (no matter the service) who call and reference the special Promo Code will have their billable hours adjusted to our 2004 Service Rates for the entire month of February.

For Example: 

Consultations (currently $95/hr. with a $195 minimum) will be billed at $25/hr. during the promotional period.  Interior Redesign, Decorating & Staging rates (currently $95/hr. with a 2 hour minimum of $295) will be adjusted to $40/hr. with no minimum.  (All other rates will see similar adjustments for services provided during the month of February, 2019!)

It’s been an AMAZING 15 years!  We’ve helped create a lot of pretty in our little corner of the world.  But, there are still plenty of rooms out there desperately waiting for a fresh, beautiful new look.  Together, we can make that happen!

We are so happy to celebrate this milestone and share these sharply discounted 2004 rates as a thank you for your continued support. This is a rare opportunity to take advantage of 15 years of experience at low, low Start-Up prices.  Don’t let it pass you by!  And don’t forget to share this post with family & friends in the Chicago area.  Call 815-245-2433 TODAY to start your your decorating journey with us.

Living Room After

Additional Promotional Information:

  • Clients must reference Promo Code ROLLBACK15 when booking their initial appointment to take advantage of these Rollback Rates.
  • Rollback Rates do not apply to current contracts or previous invoices. 
  • Service dates & appointments are provided on a first-come, first-served basis during normal business hours and may be limited due to availability.
  • Rollback Rates only apply to those services provided during the month of February 2019!  Effective March 1, 2019, regular rates will apply.
  • We proudly serve (and this promotion applies only to) clients within a 25 mile radius of our Crystal Lake office.
  • A 3% fee will be added to invoices for clients paying by credit card.
  • Rates for products/ services not provided in 2004 will be adjusted to reflect the rate at the time initially offered.
  • A full list of Rollback Rates is available upon request.
  • Other restrictions and exclusions may apply. Please call 815-245-2433 for details.

 

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NEW YEAR NEW DECOR

It’s hard to believe we’re ready to launch into a New Year!  It seems like only yesterday we were fretting the uncertainty of Y2K.  And yet, here we are almost 20 years later ready to do it again!

Time flies when you’re having fun!  And we’ve had a blast in 2018 helping over three dozen clients make the world and their lives happier & prettier by updating and restyling their homes and businesses.

While we all have a love-hate relationship with Resolutions, you can’t help but admit it’s a logical time of year to set goals for the next twelve months.  Or, at the very least, it’s natural to review the successes and disappointments of the past twelve.

There are the usual suspects:  Job, Health, Relationships & Weight!  But, how many times have you put decorating on your New Year’s to-do list?  If not, why not?  Planning to improve and beautify your surroundings can be just as important as working on more internal goals.  Numerous studies have shown that a person’s living and work environment can play a huge role in overall happiness.

So, as you start checking off the days on a new calendar, what are your decorating resolutions for the New Year?  Will 2019 finally be the year that you take charge of those interior decorating projects you’ve been neglecting?  Or will you finally set a new stage for your life by tackling the updates that have been nagging at you?

Time and tide wait for no man!”  So, what are you waiting on?  Add a few decorating updates to your list of resolutions this year.  And if you’d like some help staying motivated, accountable or just to make sure it gets done and done right, give us a call!  Like all our clients this and previous years, we’ll help ensure 2019 is a beautiful, happier one for you and your family.

HAPPY NEW YEAR from All of Us at Decor Designs!!!  815-245-2433

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