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Welcome to our daily journal of what is happening in the world of your Cozy Chic Designers. Join us for articles, tips, pictures, and advice. Click below to see some good examples of what we can do for you!

Live Room MakeOver Party

Home Staging
Home Decor

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Military Mommy MakeOver

Wow, what a great day we had on Tuesday! It goes down in history as one of the best "pay it forward" days I think I've ever had.

We had given away a "Live Room MakeOver" to the wife of a deployed Airmen on Valentine's Day of this year. And on Tuesday, we finally got to reveal the results to the deserving recipient!

Danielle is a young wife and stay-at-home mom on Travis AFB. When we originally met her our plan was to "redesign" her house and donate our services for however long the project took. However, upon our initial consultation, we realized that the family room was only sparsely furnished with a couch and TV.

So we decided to take on a new course. We soliticed for vendors to donate to our cause and were able to provide her with complete furnishings and paint for a beautiful family room with the help of Balfour Beatty Communities (base housing company), and Pier 1 Imports. We also received volunteer help from Airmen in the 15 AMMOS.

Overall, it was a great experience, and we are excited to do it again next year!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Decorating Paradox of Technology

If you are like a lot of our clients, you've struggled with the decorating dilemma of what to do on the wall of your flat-screen TV. Although these new-fangled entertainment boxes are widely popular, they have really caused problems for the beauty of family rooms across the country.

So, here is a great decorating option: Mask the TV as a piece of a larger picture collage with similar frames!
One piece of advice though: Keep the other framed artwork very easy to view at a glance. Notice the florals and dog in the picture are very high contrast, very defined shapes. That way you avoid competition with your TV when it is turned on.
Picture courtesy of: Better Homes and Gardens

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Economic Hardship Causes Families to "Celebrate Home" By Janet Davison

When I was a child growing up in Vacaville, my Dad, a self-employed contractor and the father of eight, had a fluctuating income. I remember times – especially around tax-time when my parents would call us all together, sit us on the couch and tell us it was “Nuts and Berries Time.” Having almond trees and blackberry bushes in our Chestnut Street backyard, we all knew that this meant that we needed to “tighten our belts, eat the food that was already in the cupboard, and pitch in together to save money” -- at least until after the taxes were paid. As kids, our contributions were no doubt small, but we felt the pride and satisfaction of joining together and being a part of the solution.

Today, there is similar trend on the rise where families are banding together to combat the challenging economic times. My 35-year career as a decorator has brought me into the living rooms of hundreds of Vacaville homes and given me a “front row seat” to observe families as they adapt to changes in the economy. When our country first started experiencing the problems associated with recession there was the typical stress that accompanies uncertainty, but as time goes by families are rising above the stress and creating their own “nuts and berries experience.”

From what I’ve observed, I really see a silver lining of optimism emerging. People are “settling into the economic situation” and are turning recovery into a positive process. Families are being brought closer together as they go “back to basics.” Family members are not just pitching in and cooperating, they are working together with a hardy resilience – intentionally doing things together and enjoying each other’s company.

Because staying home saves money, the place we call “home” is taking on a greater importance.The way I see it, there are three trends forming:

1. Families are enjoying spending time together
The evidence of families enjoying each other is spread across their dining room tables in the form of puzzles and board games. It is reported that the sale of games has increased during the recession. Families are watching movies together, cooking, shopping and eating together. With the release of Wii Fit®, some are even exercising together!

2. Home improvement and decorating are on the rise.
The physical condition of the home itself is taking on a greater importance. Rather than going on vacation or making big ticket purchases families are sprucing up the place where they spend their time together – their homes!

My partner, Jennifer Griswold, and I see this evidenced through our business, Cozy Chic Design & Home Staging®. While we offer a full range of decorating services, our most popular ones today center around “interior redesign” which is an thrifty way to help people bring life and excitement into the decorating they already have. The process, which can be done in as little as a “Power Hour” involvesboth of us using our trained eye and experience to reposition existing furniture and accessories, and suggest minimal purchases where necessary to create a whole new look on a very reasonable budget.

3. American families are doing more entertaining at home.
Inviting friends over has replaced “going out” as a form of entertainment. People have returned to playing cards and visiting together -- sharing everything from information about good buys they have found, to sales events, family stories and recipes.

Ironically, one industry that is feeling the reverse affects of the failing economy is the home party industry. With more and more people looking for second jobs to supplement their income, the home party industry is as strong as ever. Couple that with the fact that “shopping locally” through a home party representative is excellent way to support members of your local economy, and you may think twice about buying items through a “big box” store next time. Neil Offen, president of the Direct Sales Association reports that the “home party industry is flourishing as friends gather together in each others’ homes to fellowship, learn something new and shop together.”

Cozy Chic Design married decorating and entertaining together by creating our signature party-event, the “Home MakeOver Party.” After completing a redesign project” we invite the homeowner to host a Home MakeOver Party – providing her an entertaining format to unveil her newly decorated room at a party with her friends. By using an accessory product line from “Celebrating Home”® we are able to offer the homemaker the added money-saving benefit of receiving some of her decorating items for free. Created in March 2009, at the height of the recession, Celebrating Home® was built on the foundation of two industry icons, Home and Garden Party and Home Interiors and Gifts. It is the largest party-plan home d├ęcor company in the nation. Heather Chastain, president of Celebrating Home® says, “We share a passion for the home. We believe that the home is the center of family.”

Even though times are tough, the American can-do attitude is alive and well – and very evident in our Vacaville homes. Families and friends are coming together, caring about each other, getting back to basics and pitching in with a “nuts and berries attitude.”
There is a silver lining to this recession and you’ll begin to see it too, once you take the time to once again, “celebrate home.”

Janet Davison is the daughter of the late Ted Chancellor, former mayor of Vacaville. She is a co-owner of Cozy Chic Design and a Senior National Executive with Celebrating Home®

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Bedroom Redesign x 2

This is a double redesign we did recently on two bedrooms in the same house. We wanted to make use of the current bedding, which was in good condition, and maintain the current furniture. Although the pictures don't quite show it, this room was quite dark and cave-like with little light, dark pieces of furniture and heavy bedding.

We started by switching the heavy bedding with a lighter-colored beige velvet comforter set from the guest room. From there we chose to incorporate mirrors and white to really brighten the room. The patterns in the pillow and blanket materiels give the room a much more contemporary feel. The cost of this section of the room was under $150. See details below:

Sunburst Mirror..................................$69.99..........Home Goods, Vacaville
Lamps...................................................$15/ea..........Encore, Sacramento
Green pillows.......................................$9.99/set.....Ikea, Sacramento
Pink patterned pillow.........................$19.99..........World Market, Fairfield
Fabric (green pattern).......................$10...............Ikea, Sacramento
Pink flowers.........................................$10...............Home Goods, Vacaville

Next, we took the heavier bedding and incorporated it into the guest room. This room really lacked a very definable focal point and it lacked a headboard as well, so we married the two together in our resulting design. The homeowner had the mosaic candle sconces, so the only purchase necessary was the headboard mirror.

The headboard mirror was a great find at Encore in Sacramento. It really expands the look of this very tiny room and gives it a much more majestic look.
Redesign results = PRICELESS!

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

Mirrors are a staple of home decor. In their simplist form, they are handy for applying your makeup in the morning and checking your hair before you leave the house. But in addition, they can have multiple other creative uses.

Mirrors are especially handy in small spaces as they can visually expand the look of a room. In real estate staging, if we want to enhance a small, dark room, our solution always involves using mirrors. The reflective qualities of mirrors will often resemble the light and look of an additional window, adding visual appeal to an area.

Another advantage of using mirrors in our business is that they are a "style neutral" type of wall art that we can use for all types of different clients. One of our most popular ways to use mirrors these days is to create a mirror grid by using multiples of similarly shaped mirrors. This is a wonderfully versatile way to decorate because you can manipulate the grid to create any shape or look you need for walls of all sizes!

Most people shy away from giving wall art as a gift because it is so hard to pick something that the recipient will like. However, mirrors are a wonderful gift because they have so many different uses. For instance, a regular-sized mirror 23" x 26" mirror can not only be used as a wall piece, it can be taken down and used as the base for a beautifully reflective table center-piece. Additionally, there are lots of non-traditional mirrored items on the home decor market these days. You can find mirrored lamps, nightstands, sconces, chandeliers, and many more. So, next time you are in search of the perfect wedding gift, consider a simple mirror. It may be the perfect thing!

Finally, during this extremely beautiful spring season, mirrors are the perfect answer to help bring the outdoors inside. Strategically placing mirrors across from large windows or sliding glass doors reflects the deep green grass and seasonal flowers enlarging the visual field and giving the room a feeling of new life that is only appropriate for springtime.

Mirrors are a wonderful tool. Try thinking outside the box and use your mirrors for more than just putting on your makeup in the morning and find some new creative ways to reflect the beauty of the spring season--you'll be happy you did!