Personal Scavenger Hunt – Step Two

Now that you have located your good feeling “touchstone” the next step of Your Personal Scavenger Hunt can begin. Be sure to carry this “touchstone” with you if it is small enough and if not; keep a photo of it with you to keep you connected to the good vibrations it sends.

Step Two:
Begin Your “Hunt”

  • Go to a bookstore, a news stand or a discount book store. Locate the design magazine section and gather a pile to check out. Sit at a table and begin to browse through them. When you find items you like, jot down the magazine name and any other key information. Often in the back they will list where you can buy items they feature.
  • Purchase magazines that have what you like and maybe subscribe to a few as well. The point here is one of self-discovery where you give yourself time to discover what you love. This may take time, so be patient and enjoy yourself.
  • Visit the HGTV channel or website to see what they have to offer. Make note of any styles that you love. Write down the shows that have what you like and see if you can get purchasing information on their website.
  • Keep your decorating project in the back of your mind as you go through your daily life. You’ll be surprised how many different styles you will be exposed to on a daily basis. If you do remember a place where you felt really comfortable such as a restaurant or resort see if you can visit them and take photos of what you liked there. Ask the staff who their decorator was.
  • Begin “virtually shopping” on-line. Surf the websites of companies you wish to shop at. When you see something you like, bookmark that page. When you narrow it down to a list of 3 possibilities, go ahead and “print screen” or “cut and paste” and print up a copy. Be sure to list the important details in case you want to purchase later.

Test Your Ideas

Make posters of your selections and put them on the walls of the room you are decorating. Live with them for at least a week and then choose your favorite. If you have determined other factors such as color or carpeting, add these to your posters to get the feeling for the completed look your room will convey.

Now that you have chosen the look of what you would like to have in your room, and an idea of where you can purchase these items, you are ready for the next step; “Playing Goldilocks.”

’till next time,
Your Personal Space Coach©

Personal Scavenger Hunt – Step One

Unless you know exactly what you want I recommend doing some decorating “detective work.” This will not only save you money but will ensure that you end up with items that you love!

A “Personal Scavenger Hunt” of discovery will help you to clarify what you want and what will fit your room best. Keep your search playful and fun. If you want your home to feel good then the steps you take to furnish it need to hold that energy as well. There is no hurry, no deadline more important than creating the happy feeling you want once the project is completed. So relax, take your time and keep your search enjoyable. Take time out for a coffee break; treat yourself to lunch out and acknowledge all you got done during your day.

Personal Scavenger Hunt:

Step One: Locate Your “touchstone” Item

  • Get comfortable, relax and tune in to your inner wisdom
  • Take a moment to pull up your inner joy
  • Think about the things you love and that give you good energy
  • Perhaps it is a favorite pair of earrings, or a scarf, an accessory in your office, a favorite coffee mug.
  • Go and collect this item or sit in the room it is in and while looking at it relive the joy you felt when you first got it and that you still feel today
  • This item will be your feeling “touchstone”
  • If it is small you can carry it with you when you do your Scavenger Hunt
  • If it is a large item, take a photo of it on your phone – even make it your wallpaper while you are doing your “Hunt”

I call this item a “touchstone” because it will help you focus on that “happy” feeling that tells you this item is a keeper. It will also alert you to items that are not energy boosters for you. If it doesn’t “jazz” you like your favorite item does then it is not a keeper.

Take your time finding this feeling “touchstone.” Go through your whole house noticing which items give you that “zing” feeling. Make a list of them in your journal. These are important elements to have in each room. You won’t feel jazzed about everything in your rooms, some things are just necessary (like extension cords) but if you have a few then the whole room will be positively affected.

For next Tuesday’s Tips blog I’ll continue with Step Two.

’till next time,
Your Personal Space Coach©

Make “Friends” With Your Room

Instead of just moving stuff into a room because it “fits” I recommend that you first take a moment to “make friends” with the space you want to decorate.

Step One-Visualize:
Sit quietly in the room you are planning to decorate and ask yourself the questions below. As you review these questions write down your answers in your Personal Space Journal (see blog post for details.) While you answer these questions be sure to make note of any other questions that come to mind and jot them down. The clearer you are on what you want and why you want it, the easier it will be for you to find success.
• What purpose was this room designed for originally?
• How would I like to use this room?
o List the activities you will do in this room. (Such as watching TV, cooking, reading etc.)
• Do these activities require any specific furniture or floor plan design?
o Electronics may require special outlets, or art may need to be protected from sun or shelving is needed for books or a pool table needs extra space.
o Are there any special lighting challenges?
• Who will use this room the most?
o Get feedback on your design ideas from anyone who will be using the room but make the final choice yourself.
• What colors would I like to have in this room?
• What textures do I like? (Such as glass, crystal, wood, stone, brick or iron work.)
• What do I want for the flooring? (Carpet, wood, tile, vinyl)
• What do I want for the walls? (paint, molding, wallpaper)
• What is the style I want to have in this room?
• What do I already have for this room?
o List what is there
o List what is needed
• If this is a redecorating project make a list of “keep” – “release” – “need new”

Step Two: Rough Sketch of Your Vision

• Using your list from above create a rough sketch using simple circles, rectangles, and squares to position where you want your furniture to be.
• Label each item with a simple name – “new sofa” “green chair” etc
• Remember to consider room to walk around so leave space where needed in your sketch (I’ll teach you how to do a simple floor plan in future posts)

Now that you have a general idea of how you want to use the room and what items you need to purchase our next step will be to clarify your vision. Check out next Tuesdays Tips for doing a “Personal Scavenger Hunt.”

‘till next time,
Ginger- Marie
Your Personal Space Coach©

The “Don’t Like” List

How do you begin a decorating project when you have no clue what it is you want? You start with what you know you “don’t” want. Sounds crazy right? This is one of our “delightfully human” traits – to be clear on what we don’t like before we can clarify what it is we do like.

Give yourself as much time as you need. It could be done in a day if you are only doing a small room or it might take up to a month to complete this process. There is no hurry. Going slow will allow you time to process all that you discover about yourself. Keep it fun!

The “Don’t Like” List:
Grab a pen and a sheet of paper; draw a line down the middle. (Or use your Personal Space Journal) Write in the left column “Don’t Like” and in the right column “Love.”

  1. Very quickly without much thought list off the top of your head furnishings you have seen and experienced that you really don’t like. Maybe there are colors that really turn you off, or perhaps a style that you just can’t stand.
  2. Once you have pulled up all you know for sure you don’t like/want, try imagining the opposite for each item you listed. This will give you a starting point of what you might like/want.
  3. Now that you have listed all that you had on your mind, you will want to delve deeper into what you do like.
  4. Google the items you are considering purchasing from this list of furnishings. Look over the photos and find items that you love. If you do see something that you really can’t stand and haven’t listed it already, jot it down. Knowing your “don’t like” list will help steer you toward finding what you love. Bookmark the pages of what you like or list the details so you can find it later when you are ready to shop.
  5. If you are on Pinterest you can even create “pin” boards to collect the pictures of what you like/love.
  • Flooring:
  • Carpet – Area Rugs
  • Floor Tile – Vinyl Flooring – Wood Flooring
  • Walls:
  • Paint Color – Wallpaper – Faux Painting – Wood Paneling – Chair Railing and Crown Molding
  • Lighting:
  • Floor lighting –
  • Table lamps – Track Lighting – Chandeliers
  • Furniture
  • Chairs – wood, metal, upholstered
  • Sofa – benches, wood framed, upholstered
  • Tables – end tables, coffee table, task tables, and dining room tables
  • Accessories – (this area is virtually unlimited so choose areas you are considering)
  • Silk Floral or Plant arrangements – candle holders, figurines, boxes, pillows, blankets, art, paintings, photography

Next you can Google styles and see if you find one that has most of what you want. Remember you don’t have to stick to any one style; in fact to mix styles in a clever, harmonious fashion is called “Eclectic” style. Other style include…
Country – Country French – Contemporary – Early American – Modern – Scandinavian – Mediterranean – Old World – Asian – Traditional – Retro …just to name a few.

The key here is to notice what appeals to you on the visual level. Next we’ll discover how comfortable these styles are to live with.

’till next time,
Your Personal Space Coach©

Create A Color/Pattern Board

There are four reasons I always order sample swatches before I make my purchases.

Misc 020First, it gives me time to compare them in my home and get clear on which one I want. There is less pressure because you are not committed with the choice even if they make you pay for the sample. One store I was at said it would take 8 weeks to get a swatch. I have no idea if that was true, I suspected he was just trying to boost the sale but I didn’t argue. ***Instead of waiting 8 weeks I went to the paint store, gathered up all the color swatches I thought matched the color of the fabric I was looking at, went back to the furniture store and compared them. And I took pictures to help me with the color. Thank god for cell phone cameras!! They really make the job easier. Once I had paint chips of the matching shade I then went to the fabric store and bought a swatch of fabric that was the same color. Now I had something I could work with in my room at my leisure.
Second, I need an accurate color sample so I can color coordinate other items for the room such as carpet. I must tell l you it is very rare for someone to have accurate color memory, not to mention seeing the colors in your home are completely different than seeing them in the store.
Third, you will want a record of the colors/patterns in your room for your color board. This is what interior designers do! A color/pattern board is a collection of what you selected and will keep the vision fresh in your mind while you wait the 8 weeks or so for the item to be made. We can easily forget what we purchased and having a concrete sample of it helps us to hold the vision.
Last, you can compare your samples with the finished pieces to be sure you got what you ordered. Mistakes do happen and if they do you want to have proof of what you originally ordered.

If you are working with a small budget and can’t go custom, your fabric selection will usually be limited to what you see on the showroom floor. So your sample color swatches will come in real handy allowing you to match the showroom item to what is already in the home. When you find the style you like, make sure it’s comfortable and then check to see if you like the color it comes in. Once you can match these three (style, comfort and color) you are on your way. Be sure to ask if they will order you a sample of the fabric. If not, do my paint chip-fabric store trick*** mentioned above.

I hope you find these tips helpful when you do your search for fabric. If you have questions drop me a note and I will b sure to answer them. Thanks for reading my blog!
’till next time,
Ginger – Marie
Your Personal Space Coach©

Choosing Fabric Colors

The key to selecting fabric colors for your home such as upholstery and drapery color is to try on the fabric first in the room you are working with. You can do this in one of two ways. You can make an appointment with a shop-at-home sales rep that will bring the samples to your home, or you can go to the furniture store and look at the selections there. The shop-at-home coordinator is a commissioned sales person so they will try to sell you product in your home. If you don’t want to deal with that pressure then you will need to do the leg work yourself. iphone pics 6 101

First, before you shop or have a rep come to your home do your “color homework” which will allow you to choose your general color scheme without any pressure from others.

  • Start at your paint store and collect samples of all the colors you like. Take them home and mark the ones that work with the furniture, carpet and colors you are keeping. Narrow your selection down to 5 or less. Carry these colors with you.
  • Go a store that sells linens and if you see wash clothes or inexpensive towels in the shades you like, buy them and drape them over your furniture or lay them on your floor to see if you like living with them for a few days.
  • The fabric store is another place to “color shop” and purchase small amounts of fabric to try out the color at home.
  • I have even taken blankets in the color I was wondering about and tacked them on the wall to see if it worked for me. This is especially helpful if you are considering a dark accent wall.
  • Leave them up for a few days to determine which ones you really like best.

Once you have chosen your color(s) take your samples with you to the furniture store to use as a guide when selecting the fabric for your new chairs or sofa. Once you have made a definite selection or are down to 3 possible choices I would order sample swatches of the fabric. You might have to pay a little but do it so you have a record of your choices.

Once they arrive (usually they are mailed to you) leave them out for a few days and make your choice. Then you are ready to make your purchase with confidence!

’till next time,
Ginger – Marie
Your Personal Space Coach©

Are You Warm or Cool?

Color is energy. The color we see with our eyes carries with it a vibration that triggers emotions in us. So it is crucial that you not only choose the colors that “match” what is going on in your room or in your wardrobe ensemble but that these colors also brighten your mood. iphone pics 6 119

One of the energies we need to pay attention to when decorating our home and to some extend even our wardrobe is the temperature of the color. Every color of the rainbow comes in either a warm or cool tone. This first photo is the basic color wheel. There are just three colors that all other colors are made from and they are The Primary Colors of red, yellow and blue. If a color is “warm” it will have more yellow in it and if it is “cool” it will have more blue in it. The 6 large colors are “true” meaning they are not blended to create warm or cool tones. Just looking at this color wheel you can see where the temperature varies naturally with each color; red, orange, yellow = warm and green, blue, purple = cool.

With the blending of yellow + green we begin to see the warming of green and green + blue we see natural cool green becomes even cooler with the addition of blue. This color wheel makes it look simple but it can be a bit more difficult to pick the temperature out once you get to the paint store.

In this photo I combined a group of colors in the style of a color wheel but notice how in each color swatch there are variations in temperature. Can you pick out where some are “true” color and when they begin to go “yellow/warm” or “blue/cool?” It can be very subtle or very obvious so I recommend you bring many paint samples home with you if you are matching what is already in your room.

iphone pics 6 117Lighting will affect a color as well. If you took a true red and put it in an office where there is only fluorescent lighting it will appear “cool” in temperature because florescent lights are cool. But take it home and it will appear “warm” because the incandescent light of most homes is yellow. This is why it is challenging to match up your furniture selections from showroom which is fluorescent lighting with items in your home which is incandescent.

Rule of Thumb: carry your color swatches with you when you shop. If your colors look good together in fluorescent light then when you get them home they will look good in your home lighting as well.

Also, as you make purchase especially of upholstered items ask for fabric swatches for your project book. Carpet samples, upholstery samples, drapery fabric, pillow fabric, and paint samples are just an example of what you will want to start collecting to keep your home color in harmony.

So, are you warm or cool in color tone? The warm colors of red, orange (my favorite) and yellow appeal to me most often but since I live in hot Arizona I have mostly cool tones in my home, otherwise it feels too darn hot!! 🙂

’till next time,
Your Personal Space Coach©

What Color Are Your Walls?

Once you have identified your power colors you will want to incorporate them into your home. An inexpensive way to start adding color to your home is through paint. But choosing a paint color can be daunting so I recommend that you experiment by playing with color first. These tips below will show you how you can test color out in small does before you commit to a whole wall or room color.

iphone pics 6 098How to Choose Your Best Wall Color When You Have No Idea Where to Start:

  • Visit your local paint department and collect samples of the colors you like. These will be similar to the colors you wear. (see previous blog post) The paint samples are small so get at least three duplicates of the ones you really like.
  • Once you return home cut and tape them together to make a 5″ square of the colors you like. Then tape them on your walls and observe them over a period of days.
  • Notice how the color works with the rest of your decor. As you discover the ones that don’t work, pull them down and keep up your favorites.
  • Remember the color you eventually painting on the wall will be about 3 shades darker in appearance than the small swatch you are choosing. So once you know the one you like, go a shade or two lighter when buying the paint.
  • If you know for sure you want a dark bold wall then you might buy a sample size of it or a quart, and paint one spot or small wall to test how it feels to you once it is up. This can easily be painted over later.
  • Or if you don’t want to paint the whole wall, get a large piece of thick cardboard like form an old box and paint this. Once it is dry you can hang it on the wall and test it for a few days to see if you want to live with that color
  • If you are painting more than one wall; remember that opposite walls will appear to be a different shade depending on where your light source (window) is. So test out your samples on all the walls you will be painting.
  • Once you choose your paint color, keep a permanent swatch of it in your Project Journal to carry with you when you shop for the rest of the room. You will need this to guide you in your other color choices.

Rule of Thumb – keep your color scheme to about 3 colors and be sure they are all either warm or cool in tone; try not to mix warm and cool colors because this clashing of energy can be unsettling. In this picture the yellow shades on the top are “warm” and the bottom shades are “cool”

Have fun, experiment and by all means use color!!

’till next time,
Ginger -Marie
Your Personal Space Coach©



Find Your Personal Colors

Having the right color scheme can make all the difference between creating a room that is just okay, to one that simply sparkles. And who is to say which color is “right” anyway? You are that’s who!!

When you choose a color scheme that gives you energy and happiness, it will follow that others who enter the room will pick up on this vibration. It may not be the design or color they would choose for themselves but they will be able to recognize the feeling of harmony and symmetry the room exudes. This is why you can visit restaurants, resorts and other environments decorated in a style you would never choose for your home decor, yet you enjoy being in these rooms. Simply put, they work because the person behind their creation loved the finished room themselves.

The rooms of our home reflect who we are inside. And just as with a charismatic person whose dynamic energy draws everyone at a party toward them, so too the rooms we decorate can have this dynamic pull as well – and it’s opposite if we are not careful with our space. Create what you love, care for and tend to your home space and it will translate good vibrations to all. So the “right” color scheme is the one that makes you feel good. Personal Colors

If you feel hesitant to put color on your walls or use bold color fabrics here is a step that will help you find your best colors. You will need a notebook (your Personal Space Journal) a pen and your clothes closet.

Find Your Personal Colors:

  1. Look over your wardrobe and notice what colors you see – list them in your notebook
  2. Next group similar colors together- does one color stand out as the one you wear the most? Jot down the number of outfits you have in each color (all shades of a color go together)
  3. Pick your favorite 3-5 outfits and write down why you like these most.
  4. Stand before a mirror with good lighting – hold them up under your chin and notice how they affect your complexion. Typically our “power” colors will make our skin look smooth and pink, and the colors that our not in our palate will make our skin look sallow and cause every blemish or purple shadow to stand out.
  5. Notice what colors are not in your closet. Do you know why? It could be because you might love the color and it might look good on you but it feels too flashy, or feminine or some other reaction pops up. Just notice and write it in your journal

So here is the point I am trying to make; fill the rooms of your home with the colors you love to wear. For example; maybe the color taupe washes out your completion so you stay away from wearing that color. Well, be sure to stay away from taupe in your room decor as well. Never decorate with a color you wouldn’t wear on your body, at least not the dominate colors. Accent colors can be colors you wouldn’t wear, but never the large surfaces such as large upholstered items,  wall color or flooring color. You won’t feel good in those rooms any more than you would if you were wearing that color on your body.

Keep reading for more tips on color. If you have any questions write me a note and I’ll be sure to cover it in my posts. Thank you for reading my blog!!

’till next time,
Your Personal Space Coach©


Tips on Hanging Pictures

There is nothing like art or photographs to give a room your personal stamp. More than with the furniture or rugs you add to a room, the art you include shows off your distinctive taste and personality. This happens at an even greater level if you are the painter or the photographer of a picture or someone you know is. When you add pictures of the people you love to your wall arrangements you are stating their importance and value in your life. Kitchen Private Spot

Art can set the mood for the room by portraying a theme you want to emphasize. So when you choose art such as paintings, wall sculptures, or photography be sure to ask yourself if these selections feel good to you. Here are some suggestions:

  • Bedroom:  choose art that is warm and inviting or sensual and stimulating depending on your preferences
  • Kitchen: choose something that expresses your cooking style or a motif you are fond of such as fruit or roosters
  • Living Room: choose a fine art painting that accents the colors you are using and has a theme that reflects what matters to you
  • Family Room: a good place for movie and travel posters as well as vacation photos
  • Kids Room: use a theme they really love (Disney, Cars, Dinosaurs)  and keep it flexible for changing as they grow. Framed posters are much easier to change than wallpaper

Systematic Art  has all the equipment you could possible need to hang a picture. If your art is large and heavy you to have the proper equipment for both the framed picture and the wall in case extra supports are needed. Also, remember to lift framed pictures with two hands, one on each side so that you don’t place too much strain on the corner joints which can cause a frame to pull apart.

Hang Pictures Low!

Use your furniture and your height (not the ceiling) to guide your placement of pictures. I recommend using a combination of your eye-level and the shoulder-level of the shortest adult in the home as your guide. This means as they stand before the picture or the main picture in a collection, that the bottom of the picture aligns just below the shoulders. The pictures center is meant to be at the eye level of the people living in the home.Copy of iphone pics 5 033

Place pictures over a sofa no higher than 6″ – 12″ above the back. (As in this photo) You are in essence framing the scene with the sofa as the anchor. If you have other details on the wall to coordinate with like a fire place or windows, you need to think of these items as part of your “picture” arrangement and hang the art in harmony with these items.

The space that the art, the window and the fireplace take up is called “positive space,” and the space all around these items is called “negative space.” Positive and negative space creates shapes that need to be considered as well when you do the hanging. For instance you would hang a picture evenly spaced between two windows which would leave the negative space balanced and the overall feeling will be more harmonious than if you hung it closer to one window than the other.

These are just a few tips and tricks to consider when hanging pictures on your walls and I hope you found them helpful. Drop me a note and I’ll be sure to answer any questions you might have.

’till next time,
Your Personal Space Coach©