2016 Kitchen Backsplash Trends – Adhesive Kitchen Backsplashes

When I first started my staging and design business in 2007, travertine backsplashes and Venetian gold granite was all the rage. New products and styles are constantly emerging with the latest being peel and stick kitchen backsplashes! Now I wouldn’t recommend this product to everyone, but they are very easy to install and anyone can do it. It’s also a great way to save money, time, and frustration.

Internet blogger “Landee” recently shared a project in her own home where she used vinyl adhesive for her kitchen backsplash for a total cost of $98 for her entire kitchen and she now sells the product on her ETSY store online. This product is great for those currently leasing or renting their home because it is also easy to remove.


Lowes Home Improvement offers a variety of peel and stick “mosaics” now including this Mountain Terrain Composite Vinyl Mosaic Scale wall tile. The product requires no grout or tools for installation and is resistant to water damage and can even be used on shower walls. Check out this application in the kitchen featured here…it looks real, doesn’t it?!

Lowes Mountain Terrain Composite Vinyl Mosaic

Lastly I wanted to feature a less traditional looking adhesive backsplash. Home Depot sells these decorative backsplash panels online in a brushed aluminum finish made to mimic old tin ceiling tiles. Another internet blogger Joanna Goddard shared this project on her blog A Cup of Jo. The tin looking backsplash was installed in this Brooklyn, New York apartment by cutting the plastic sheets to size and using a very strong adhesive tape.

Decorative Backsplash Panel in Brushed Aluminum

Depending on the price point of your home these adhesive backsplashes may or may not be for you but they are a fun and easy way to get creative in your home with relatively little money spent. Adhesive backsplashes can also be a great and easy fix for those trying to sell homes that may be dated or lack upgrades compared to other homes in your market. Do your research first and see if these products are the right choice for your next home improvement project.

Posted in Charlotte Home Staging, Home Improvement, Interior Design | Tagged , , ,

Bookshelf Styling

Styled Bookshelf by aweldressedhome.com

Styled Bookshelf by aweldressedhome.com

Yes, it is a thing! I’d say over 90% of the clients homes that I consult on need help in this area of their home when it comes time to sell. Bookshelves often are over stuffed, cluttered, and disorganized. The same holds true with glass door display cabinets and china cabinets. It is okay when there are doors on cabinets to conceal this clutter, but when you have beautiful built-in shelving or standalone bookcases, you should style these pieces to create an attractive display in your home.

To style your shelves, you’ll want to start with a clean slate and remove all existing personal property in the shelves and clean them thoroughly before you begin. I recommend having a combination of hardcover books, framed family photos, silk plants, and home décor accessories on hand to style your shelves. Feel free to include souvenirs and personal momentos from trips you’ve taken over the years as part of your accessory collection. You might have some beer steins from your trip to Germany or an Eifel tower statue from that trip to France to complement your display and give it a personal touch.

Start by creating both horizontal and vertical groupings of books on various shelves. Mingle in your accessories and greenery. As you start to fill your shelves, strive for a balanced and symmetrical presentation in your display. If your shelves need to be truly functional, for example in your office, there are many stores (including regular office supply stores) that sell decorative file and storage boxes that you can use in place of the books. Lastly, if you want to take it up a notch, consider adding an accent color on the back wall of your shelves or install wallpaper to add texture and warmth. I am providing some photos here to illustrate some of these suggestions and inspire you.

Better Homes and Gardens Bookshelf Makeover

Better Homes and Gardens Bookshelf Makeover

Posted in Home Staging Tips, Interior Design, Lake Norman Home Staging | Tagged , ,

Simply White

Going into 2016 consumers should expect to see “less is more” color palettes with more neutral color tones and less color. Benjamin Moore’s 2016 color of the year is Simply White while Sherwin Williams named Alabaster, another flattering natural white, its color of the year. What is funny is that we’ve been using Alabaster for years now. Alabaster has been a great classic color for our clients who want to update worn cabinetry and tired brick fireplaces.

2013 Staging Project: We updated this fireplace with Sherwin Alabaster.

2013 Staging Project: We updated this fireplace with Sherwin Williams Alabaster.

With white as a backdrop, the room designs featured here use neutral colors, mixed metals, and natural looking products to create a look that will be very popular this year. Neutral back drops are layered and warmed with natural products including wood furniture, metal accent pieces, natural fiber area rugs, and textiles. There are a variety of resources available for consumers and homeowners to create this look at home. Online resources include Overstock.com, Joss&Main, One Kings Lane, and Wayfair.com. For those who like to touch and feel products before they buy them, there are many national chain décor stores such as Home Goods, Kirkland’s, Pier1 Imports, SteinMart, and even Target!

Modern Globe Floor Lamp in Brassy Gold metallic finish by Threshold at TARGET

Going into 2016, you may or may not decide to de-color your world and simply go white. There’s nothing wrong with a little bit of color, but this year, neutral tones and white color backdrops are in. You can’t go wrong with this look and while it is the trend, white is a decorating trend that never goes out of style.  Home owners and home buyers alike will appreciate the calming and relaxing environment that a neutral backdrop offers.

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Over the Tabletop 2015

The North Mecklenburg Woman’s Club recently held their 7th annual Over the Tabletop & Sip and Shop at The Peninsula Club in Cornelius. Over the last 100 years, this organization has brought together women to promote and support social, educational and civic progress in our community. Members believe that in creating a better life for people in our communities, we create a better life for each other. The club spends all year long raising funds only to give it all away at the end of the year and then start all over again.

Over the Tabletop is just one of many fundraising events and it showcases the talent of many local interior designers and small business owners. In addition to their design contest, there was also a very well attended silent auction and Sip and Shop consisting of thirty local vendors and artisans selling their merchandise in anticipation of the upcoming holiday season. This was our first time participating in the event and I must say I was impressed! All tabletop designs by professionals and amateurs alike were amazing and I want to feature several designs and winners here to inspire you this holiday season.

“An Evening with Christian” – This play on Fifty Shades of Grey design by Keith Johnson at Blacklion won the President’s Award for Best Overall Design. This one set the scene with some not so obvious risque props incorporated into the design.

"An Evening with Christian"

“An Evening with Christian”

“Christmas at the Lake” by stager and designer Lisa McCoy at Centerpiece Home Staging won the Over the Top award for extreme design excellence. McCoy’s design was all about layering and incorporated a multitude of textures within her overall design. She also handmade and decorated the cake and small desserts herself which were an inspiration from Pinterest.com

"Christmas at the Lake"

“Christmas at the Lake”

Handmade desserts and cake decorated by designer Lisa McCoy

Handmade desserts and cake decorated by designer Lisa McCoy

“Mele Kalikamaka” by Starr Miller Interior Design, Inc. in Cornelius won A Theme Come True Award for her best execution of her Hawaiian Christmas song theme. We loved the dripping Hawaiian flowers backdrop.

"Mele Kalikamaka"

“Mele Kalikamaka”

“There’s No Business Like Snow Business” by Realtor and amateur designer Dana Greshko at Wilson Realty Co. won the Holiday Spirit Award for Holiday Design Excellence. The snowman place settings were so adorable!

"There's No Business Like Snow Business"

“There’s No Business Like Snow Business”

Snowman Place Setting

Snowman Place Setting

“Have Your Elf a Merry Little Christmas” was created by woman’s club volunteer and event coordinator Barbara Kasprzak.

"Have Your Elf a Merry Little Christmas"

“Have Your Elf a Merry Little Christmas”

“Christmas in Fairy Land” was a mantle and hearth entry created by Maureen Fitzpatrick Collins at The White Azaelia where her booth is showcased inside Blacklion, Huntersville NC.

Hearth Design

“Thanksgiving” side board and buffet design by Kelly George at Centerpiece Home Staging was one of two Thanksgiving themed designs this year at Over the Top. George handmade her pumpkin topiaries and set the mood with candle lighting and leopard buffet lamps.












Posted in Interior Design, Real Estate | Tagged , , ,

Maximize your lighting budget when you update your home

4-light bronze strapped metal pendant

4-light bronze strapped metal pendant will be used in foyer (from LOWES)

A real estate professional that I’ve been working with for many years recently purchased a total fixer-upper in our area for their own retirement home. The home has good bones and desirable ranch floor plan; however, this property had been a rental property for many years and was in need of a complete facelift. The home is now getting all new flooring, paint, and lighting. My client had to set budgets and make some compromises because of budget. Instead of replacing the kitchen cabinets, we are painting them and the cabinets are getting new hardware.

When it came time to make lighting selections, my client’s budget was $3,000 for the entire home. I met with her at a nearby lighting store to do an initial consult to find out her preferences and dislikes. When she fell in love with this Murray Feiss oval drum pendant light for her dining room (on sale for $960), it was dismissed almost instantly since this single pendant alone would be one third of her total budget. I convinced my client that I was up to the challenge to get her what she wanted within her budget. In addition to Lee Lighting, I traveled to Lowes, Home Depot, LightStyles, and Plantation Lighting stores. I made a spreadsheet and played around with numbers and styles at each store so my client would have an exact list of what she should purchase within her budget. Twenty-four fixtures were recommended from all five stores at a grand total of $2,964.74 before tax including her stunning Feiss pendant. My client was very happy with the choices including a much more affordable chandelier from Lowes to replace the ceiling fan in their master bedroom with vaulted ceilings and this allen + roth sphere pendant light for their foyer. Design challenges including budget can be overcome if you are willing to make some compromises and work through the challenge with an appropriate trade professional. There are many directories available online to help you find a professional including your local Homebuilders Association (www.lakenormanhba.com) and HOUZZ.COM.

Murray Feiss Lucia Oval Drum Pendant

Murray Feiss Lucia Oval Drum Pendant

Posted in Decor, Decorating Tips, Interior Design | Tagged

Renovation Dream Team Transforms Historic Home

Burton Home - Mud+Laundry After

Mud Room & Laundry After Renovation

While not perfect, the Burton family decided to purchase their 1947 home in historic Dilworth because of its desirable location and because they had vision and immediately saw the home’s renovation potential, a gift not all buyers possess. Rather than starting with an architect first, this family selected a team to work with and renovate the house into their dream home. Their team consisted of architect Don Duffy, Henderson Building Group (licensed general contractor), and interior designer Kristen Enwright to collaborate and address the homes short comings and bring their vision to life.

Problem: The original kitchen in this home was extremely small and compartmentalized from the rest of the home. The Burton’s desired a more open floor plan with more space for entertaining. The original home had three bedrooms and an addition was done to the home in the 1980’s to add a second floor that included three more bedrooms and a bathroom.

Burton Home - Before Kitchen that was converted to mud+laundry

Here’s the former kitchen before renovation. This space was converted to create a new mud room and laundry facility.

Solution: The Burton’s remodeling team came up with a brilliant plan to reconfigure the floor plan by converting two of three bedrooms on the main floor into a new open concept kitchen/living space and converted the former 10×15’ kitchen into a mud room and laundry space conveniently located next to the home’s exterior entrance. This new floor plan is much more functional and their general contractor was able to utilize their existing plumbing from the former kitchen to plumb the new laundry space.

Laundry Facility After Renovation

Laundry Facility After Renovation

Bedroom 1 before conversion into new living space.

Bedroom 1 before conversion into new living space.

Burton Home - Bedroom 1 before converting to Kitchen

Bedroom 2 before converting to new kitchen

Burton Home - After Open Kitchen-Living Space

New open concept with kitchen and living room in one open space.

Taking the team approach to renovate their home served the Burton’s well. It was a smart renovation because the team was able to collaborate during the design process and not after plans were already drawn, which resulted in less changes and re-design time in the end. The team was also able to save the homeowners money by utilizing existing fixtures when available. Renovations are intrusive and homeowners need to do their homework and choose their team members wisely. Reach out to friends and family who have gone through similar projects and be your own advocate to ensure that the transition goes smoothly.

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Interior door style

Image via Houzz

Image via Houzz

For many years, white interior trim has been most prevalent in homes here in the south. Older homes with dark stained interior doors or trim are often painted white to update the look and feel of a home; however, I’ve started to see a shift toward black or charcoal gray doors and trim in both new construction, recently remodeled homes, and even in new luxury apartments. Homeowners are finding this look both elegant and sophisticated. Almost anything can be painted with the right product, and dark paint can make even the stock builder grade door look classy. You can paint just the interior doors dark and it’s perfectly acceptable to also paint your trim (baseboards and window trim) the same color. Popular color choices for this type of project include Benjamin Moore Graphite, Black Suede by Behr, Onyx Black by Glidden – all in semi-gloss finish.

Dark paint can make a stock builder grade door look classy.

Dark paint can make a stock builder grade door look classy.

Another interior door trend that has been gaining popularity is the use of decorative barn doors inside the house. This rustic look brings both style and character into a home.  I recently worked on a project in Charlotte where the homeowner installed double sliding barn doors in their master bedroom. The dual doors nicely frame the entry into their large and luxurious master bath. Sometimes these doors can be purely decorative such as the kitchen door featured here. This door frame separates the home’s foyer from the kitchen and this custom barn door makes a statement upon entering the home. The homeowner hired Chad Albertson Rustic Home to design, build, and install for approximately $1,100. The homeowner felt this was a great price given the cost of hardware alone. Readers can view other projects by Albertson on his Facebook page Chad Albertson Rustic Home.


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