Lets get Organize!

Greetings Friends!

The arrival of fall means the start of the holiday season and many of us start accessorizing our homes and begin to get nervous of not being able to pull the room together before the holidays. am I correct?
If you’re the one entertaining this holiday season, it’s never too early to start prepping your home… Lets start by cleaning and organizing!

As a professional organizer friend of mine says “A place for everything and everything in its place.” While there are lots of storage and organization tips and tactics recommended by professional organizers, my perspective is to share the decorative side of organizing in this month’s column “Organizing for Impact“. People generally judge others and the envionment based on a first impression. Busyness and disarray do not evoke feelings of welcomeness in a room; in fact it makes guests uncomfortable. Less really is better in many cases…

OVERALL SPACE Declutter and depersonalize as much as you can live without. If you haven’t used items in over ten years, if they have no sentimental or financial value, or if they’re stylishly out-dated, it’s a great time to purge or find alternative storage. Furniture pieces that obstruct traffic patterns or simply don’t fit a placement, should be reconsidered. Anything that can be consolidated or replaced with an alternative space saver would help create a more open-feeling room: for example, nesting tables for “as needed” use or wall sconces instead of lamps. Don’t forget cluttered wall space too, whether it be too many pieces against a wall or wall art displays that need breathing room . Open windows create birghtness which ultimately adds to the feeling of spaciousness in a room. Presenting a room in a more organized and orderly fashion will add to its comfort value immensely!

COLOR The fewer colors in a busy, cluttered space the better for bringing stability to the disorder. A soothing palette of color, if not neutrals, especially for the walls, will help calm down the percieved unrest and keep the space visually cohesive Even within a group of objects, pieces on an open unit can be brought into better harmony with the whole room by leveraging one or more of the hues in the overall color scheme or by organizing the items by color within that group of items (for example, organize books on bookshelves by the colors of their spines). 



OPEN STORAGE SPACE Shelving units are typical dumping grounds for miscellaneous stuff or knickknacks to get them off other surfaces like floors and table tops. But then the shelves get cluttered and in turn need organizing themselves! One rule of thumb is to “put like with like” on open shelves, in cubbies, and on counters; for example, stack like dishes together, group books together, and centralize an assortment of collectibles. Arrange elements according to the guidelines of design: in groups of 3-5, tallest in the back or middle, various widths, heights and depths. Use today’s decorative wicker baskets on shelves to collect smaller things like gadgets, office supplies, tools, toys and other essentials to keep them out of sight and create a greater sense of order. If you have too many miscellaneous storage units, consider building open shelving as a functional, yet decorative, solution.

HIDDEN STORAGE SPACE Clutter and excess accessories can be readily cleaned up in a room by maximizing hidden storage in your furnishings. The more drawers you have to work with, the more things you’ll be able to keep easily accessible yet out of view. Tables, buffets, cabinets, bureaus, and other furniture items with drawers of varying width, length and depth will provide homes for all size items. Storage ottomans and benches with lift up tops are funtional and stylish at the same time. There are even bed frames with storage headboards and underneath drawers, great for adults and kids alike! What about building in storage space under stairs, window seats and behind knee walls to help the cause!


So kick off the Fall with some productive cleaning and organizing for a fresh look you, your family and friends with be impressed with. You’ll feel so much better (and have it all behind you) when the weather begs you to be outdoors to enjoy. Happy FALL!

If you have a specific decorating dilemma, email me at jvelasquez@decorandyou.com or call me at 954-384-3290.


Football Season is Here!

Greetings Friends!

Labor Day weekend is over and that means back to school for kids all over the country. It also means Football season is here, this week I had the joy of watching my two sons play.  My youngest son played an amazing game for our city league, scoring 3 touch downs, yes 3 in one game, while my older son played in his first JV game         for his high school, where has the time gone.

Speaking of time, summer time is winding down; while most folks are preparing for the leaves to start falling and the nights to start getting cooler, for us here in South Florida it’s time to really enjoy the outdoors.  Imagine being able to enjoy football season while lounging by the pool or being able to “step out” for a romantic evening without having to leave your home. Outdoor spaces can be used for dining, entertaining or just relaxing with family and friends, that’s why decorating outdoor rooms is just as important as the inside ones. Creating beautiful, useful spaces outdoors is a great way to extend your home’s living space.

First is important to determine the primary function of the space. Identify how you live, do you spend time at the table or are you more of a lounger, it is crucial that you honestly look at what you need before you decide any seating plan. Once you have decided exactly how you will use your outdoor area and have the exact measurement of your space it is time to furniture selection and placement etc.

Furnishings Outdoor furniture has changed dramatically. It used to be very plain and functional. Now you can find a wide variety of furniture made of weather resistant materials. Organic look is popular now, with bamboo, dark metal and wood paired with woven fibers like wicker. Cushions soften your outdoor furniture, making it more inviting and comfortable; they are fader resistant, stain resistant and waterproof.

Color Citrus tones, bright yellow, gray, green, orange and aqua are very popular, especially in accent pieces like pillows or cushions. To make your outdoor seem like an extension of your home, I recommend using the same primary color scheme you’ve used in the interior, varying the intensity of the colors by using brighter, more dominant shades.

Lighting Create different levels of lighting with gas lantern, chandeliers, table lamp and ceiling fans etc. you can find variety of designs depending of your style and the ambiance you want to create. Torches and candles create a warm and inviting casual mood whether they are lining a path or standing sentinel around a patio Pull out your Christmas lights, wrapping that small iridescent string of white bulbs around tree trunks and branches will bring a romantic atmosphere to your backyard.

Accessorizing Define your seating area with an outdoor area rug. Because outdoor area rugs come in so many different colors and designs, you can use it as your inspiration tool to help you select your accent colors. New materials and fibers are now being used to create colorful area rugs resistant to fading and mildew. Outdoor throw pillows can be added to provide accent colors.  Stripes and modern floral are hot, have fun experimenting with different patterns, keep in mind that pillows don’t necessarily have to match Look for all weather fabrics, which are becoming as exiting and sophisticated as interior ones. Bring some shade to tone down the summer heat of your décor with some neutral outdoor drapes. Use them on terraces, covered patio, verandas or to create poolside cabana spaces with luxury feel. Draperies can make your outdoor space cozier and more private. Outdoor fountain add a majestic soothing element to your patio. Add an outdoor wall art, such as colorful metal panels, a sculpture or an all weather art print. Plants are musts for outdoor table, it is important to consider the container as well as the plant. If you have a specific decorating dilemma, email me at jvelasquez@decorandyou.com or call me at 954-384-3290.

Home Office Design

Some years ago the thought of working from home was a vision of the distant future, well that future has arrived. You may be interested in a home office because you are starting a home business, your job agreed to let you work from home or you just need a place for household paperwork such as paying bills, doing taxes or surf the web in a nice environment.

No matter what type of home office you want to create, a pull down desk in your kitchen or a fully furnished set-up, it should have comfortable, logical design that makes it easy to do business.

Here are a few tips to consider when planning and designing your Home Office:

Identifying Your Needs

Before you begin to spend thousands of dollars on a home office, take a moment to think what its primary use will be. Do you need a space to connect with the outside world via fax, computer and phone? Do you want a quite space to work on a presentation? Or would you simply like a comfortable space for you and the kids to surf the internet, play computer games or work on a project? Answering these questions is the most important step of the planning process. Once you’ve indentified your needs make a list of necessities, including furniture, equipment, accessories, phone lines according to the work you plan to do.

Choosing a Location

A home office can be located pretty much anywhere in your house: Kitchen, basement, attic, spare bedroom, closet, the space under your stairway or even a large closet. Now that you select the space keep in mind the following elements:

Square footage: Is helpful to measure and compare different rooms in your house according to the list of necessities.

Access: If you are having clients going to your office it might be better having a separate entrance, while a family office might best be located in the living room.

Power Supply: Adequate wiring and outlets cab be critical, make sure you have a plan before hiring an electrician.

– Lighting: When choosing location think natural light first and artificial second. We work better with the presence of sunlight; it will give you a psychological boost.

-Environment. Ideally the location you choose should have windows. If you are considering a non-living space like a garage or attic, take into account heating, ventilation or air conditioning.

– Noise level: Make sure the noise level is acceptable; evaluate the level during the period you’ll be working.

Creating a Floor Plan

To create a floor plan make a drawing of the space you plan to set up your home office. Measure the space, and transfer those measurements to a grid paper sheet; make sure you consider any outlet, windows and any other feature in the space. Now go back to your list of necessities and make a cutout for large items, like desks, filing cabinets, chairs and tables. Try out different ideas for your floor plan by arranging and re-arranging the cutouts on the base drawing. Once you have a lay out that works now you are ready to begin selecting the furniture and equipment. This is when the fun starts, the key for success is purchasing the right sizes for each piece, you can loves a desk but if the size is not the right one you might end up with a non-functional home office.