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©

Personal Space Invasion-Getting Robbed!

It’s an odd thing to be burglarized. The experience and my reaction was not at all what I expected it to be. I have had a few things stolen in my life; a favorite scarf and mittens, and food in the company refrigerator. But I had never experienced anything like the 110° summer day when I came home to find my garage door wide open, my metal front door and security screen door broken off their hinges and my AC running nonstop.

This wasn’t a simple job to do. The buglers had to jump my block fence, plow through thorny bougainvillea and then crowbar my two metal doors off their hinges. With all this effort they didn’t stay long and they left items prepped but not taken. Something scared them off thank god, but they still did the damage we all fear… they invaded my home, my Personal Space, broke and took my property. Broken Door 1

But the thing I really didn’t expect was my reaction. I was returning after a full day of errands and getting my teeth cleaned and had groceries in the car that would spoil soon in the heat. My first feeling wasn’t fear; it was anger at being inconvenienced! My next concern was to call the police, then my neighbors to see if they could store my food. I seemed to have an attitude of “okay, now what?” instead of panic or fear. This really surprised me, even while it was happening!

Once the officers had entered and searched the place to be sure no one was inside I entered and got the second surprise of the day. As I looked at my living room and saw the mangled doors, shattered door frame, and missing electronics the thing that came in my head was a song by MC Hammer “You Can’t Touch This!” Only my mind replaced “this” with “me” and I felt such an overpowering sense of peace it stunned me. This lasted for quite a while and stayed with me even when grief mixed with the anger over what I lost and the work I now had to do because some fools decided to trash my home. Even today, three years later I can still recall that feeling and the strength it gave me.

I really get it now that no one can touch me; the real me!! No matter what “they” do I am always safe. It was my spirit talking to me that moment as I looked at the damage. This “peace that passes all understanding” has been a long time coming for I have lived through a number of major traumas. This event showed me I had finally conquered fear and I believe the burglary was a gift to show me this about myself.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Have you ever been robbed and did the experience surprise you?

’till next time,
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©

Don’t Let Your Guests Invade Your Space

When it comes to entertaining friends, family or others in your home it is important to keep some space “off limits” to your guests. This important step enables you to keep your home as a place of private refuge. If you entertain often in your home and want to show off your beautifully decorated rooms, just be sure to keep some areas and items private. It’s fairly easy to do; just keep doors closed and if necessary locked as well. Hide things in a closet you don’t want others to see. Your home is not their business. This is your private home and you have every right to close off part of it for just yourself and those who live there with you. In this manner you empower yourself with respect.We all need space where we don’t have to put on a “good show” and that is what our homes are for. So keep that in mind when having people over; protect your private space and belongings. Theme Party

Tips for entertaining:

  • Center the food and entertainment in the rooms you are willing to share with the “world”
  • Most people who visit or attend your party will hover in the kitchen, so this is a key room to have read-for-company
  • Create serving stations, a bar area and seating sections
  • Use colorful flower arrangements, candles, place mats and colorful dishes to designate the party boundaries
  • Distraction is the best tool I know for keeping guests captivated so they won’t need to see “the rest of your house” but if for some reason someone really presses the issue and you just don’t want to show your private rooms make up a story about how they are being remodeled and you’ll show them later. Then reconsider if this person is someone you want in your home for future parties.
  • Sometimes we feel we must entertain in our home such as to boost our career or keep the in-laws happy. I think this is a mistake and a time to employ your personal power and creativity. Instead host a party at a favorite restaurant, resort, or park.
  • Theme driven parties will also keep guests in the designated space. The decorations help set up the “party boundaries” and make the rest of the house ‘off limits”
  • Pool party theme, Hawaiian theme, and Picnic or Al Fresco dining will keep your guests outdoors
  • Cookie Decorating or Cookie Sharing Holiday Party keeps them in the kitchen and dining room
  • Use movies or TV shows playing low in the family room to draw people there, especially if they came to watch the game.
  • Have your outdoor section set up for seating and drinks in case the party moves outdoors
  • Use music outdoors as well if it won’t bother the neighbors

The important point to remember is that this is YOUR home and no one has the right to force themselves in if you don’t want them there. Trust me, do this for yourself and your personal power will bloom!

’till next time,
Your Personal Space Coach©

Sheldon Cooper’s Power Spot

Once you claim your private (power) spot in your home, you will notice other places that you frequently visit will also have spots that you regularly use which are power spots for you even if they are not completely private.Sheldon's spot

There are examples all around us of people claiming their power spots. A funny example you may have seen comes from one of my favorite TV shows The Big Bang Theory. In almost every episode we see where the character “Sheldon Cooper” has laid claim to a particular spot on the couch and won’t let anyone else sit there. I don’t recommend that we go this psycho in our relationships but it serves as a funny example of what “taking up space” can look like. TV character Sheldon has definitely declared his right to exist, but unlike Sheldon, we want remember to keep our sense of humor if our space is invaded.

[easyazon_link asin=”B000W91RUG” locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”persspaccoac-20″]The Big Bang Theory: The Complete First Season[/easyazon_link], the pilot episode from 2007:
Leonard: (shouted to Penny as she starts to sit down) you can’t sit there!!
Penny: Why not?
Sheldon: That’s where I sit.
Penny: What’s the difference?
Sheldon: What’s the difference? In the winter that seat is close enough to the radiator to remain warm, and yet not so close as to cause perspiration. In the summer, it’s directly in the path of a cross-breeze created by opening windows there and there. It faces the television at an angle that is neither direct, thus discouraging conversation, nor so far wide as to create a parallax distortion. I could go on, but I think I’ve made my point.

Have you ever felt this way about a spot you thought was yours? I find this happens to me when I attend a movie and have to get up. I make sure I leave something like a sweater to mark “my spot” because I don’t want to lose it while I go get a soda. I know whole families who have a certain section in their church where they “always” sit and others who favor particular locations of Starbucks along with a favorite table to sit at. This is healthy human behavior; putting down territorial roots even if they are temporary. We need them for our survival and it is healthy as long as we stay flexible and know the truth – the power behind and ability to create our “roots” is actually inside each of us. The power is never “out there” and always comes from within. We are the power in our lives, not the spot we choose to inhabit; it just helps us to expand our expression to take up space in an outward fashion.
’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©

Your “Off Limits” Space

Do you have a space that you can call your own, a spot that is off-limits to others? This is a key step to take if your goal is to take up space more dynamically in your life. Having this private power spot space will help you establish healthy personal boundaries with others. If you cannot create a full room all for yourself, then find a corner of a room, or a special chair, a table or window seat. Here is an example of what I am talking about:

Mom's Chair
Mom’s Chair

A friend of mine, who is the mother of three teenagers, created her private power spot by taking over a corner in her family room. She found an upholstered chair she loved and placed it on a colorful round rug. The rug helped define the borders of her personal space and once she stepped on it she felt insulated from the world around her.  Next she added her iPod, a shelf for books, a lamp and a table. This space she titled “Mom’s Place” and no one; not her husband or her children could enter this small 5′ corner of the room and talk to her unless she invited them. When she went to this spot it meant “Mom was taking a time-out.” Only her 2 pet Yorkshire terriers were welcomed without invitation. She created this spot because every other room in the house was used by the rest of her family. This spot suited her perfectly, she even had a window she could open for fresh air, look out of and see her garden. Many of her friends asked her if the kitchen wasn’t her private power spot but she told them that while the kitchen was her room, filled with her things, she worked there and it couldn’t be hers privately, so she found she couldn’t relax and unwind there. The spot she called “Mom’s Place” was hers alone and served as a refuge and sanctuary from the work of the day. It meant time off, a place to restore herself and refresh her spirit. 

Everyone needs this private form of personal space; it helps us to maintain our personal power and sanity. We are meant to take up space for ourselves, it’s not only our birthright but it’s our responsibility to live and breathe as the unique beings we were created to be. We all have something distinctive to put forth into this world and unless we claim our right to express ourselves, we all miss out on something wonderful. So empower and anchor your individual expression by first creating a spot that is all yours; a place from which you can center yourself and restore your energy.

’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©