Category Archives: Redesign & Decorating

2017 Decorating Trends

The decorating trends for 2017 include a few surprises, and some holdovers from 2016. This year, comfort and some fun elements are becoming popular.

Here they are in a nutshell:


  • Bright greens (apple, lime, emerald)
  • Light and soft colors (light blush, light grey)
  • Dark and deep colors (deep grey/purple, graphite, navy blue)
  • Bright white for accent


  • Lots of bold patterns and pattern mixing
  • Texture mixes – large, chunky textiles mixes with faux fur and very “comfy” textures
  • Mohair, wool, and velvet is also featured
  • Reclaimed wood and wood tile is still popular
  • Tropical prints, and geometric prints (this sounds like a 70’s re-boot to me)!

Materials for fixtures and accessories:

  • Bronze, copper, and gold, soft – not too shiny, and all mixed together
  • Chalk-white, or matte white ceramics
  • Marble and brass tables, and counters/sink fixtures
  • Acrylic (acrylic “frameless” art mounts and tables)
  • Natural “driftwood” style tables.

Overall styles and trends:

Farmhouse and reclaimed styles are still big, but accents like bare Edison bulbs are out. A more sophisticated farmhouse look is gaining ground – think of artisan-crafted furniture and accessories, like hand-blown glass, and less crafty/DIY items. Streamlined styles are still popular for those with a more modern taste, but adding textured throws and unusual art and wall hangings will keep it from feeling cold. Some sources say the boho-chic style is still popular, but it seems like the main trends are comfortable, yet sophisticated… whimsical, but with a bit of drama. There also seems to be a paradox of styles between hiding away items and having a minimal look, but then also adding more and more patterns. The heavy industrial seems to be fading away, along with oversized furniture. Using space efficiently is key this year.

And if you would like any guidance on navigating the new trends, and finding the ones that suit you and your home best, feel free to call us!

Abundantly Clear Design – 303-322-5327 –

Intimidated By Accessories?

 Accessories transform a nicely decorated room into a perfect, finished space.  But many homeowners have a hard time choosing the right ones.  Consequently, rooms are often left unfinished.

 Now, with this simple checklist, this can be a thing of the past:

When you see an accessory that you are considering for your room, make sure it meets these guidelines: 

  • Does it have the right mood?  In order for an accessory to “work” in a room, it needs to be in harmony with the mood of the space.  That means that it evokes the same feelings.  Is your room romantic?  Sleek?  Cozy?  Make sure the accessory feels that way, too.  However, accessories that change a room’s mood can work as well if done correctly.  For example, a modern space feels warmer with rustic or hand-made accessories like woven bowls or rough textiles.  Rooms with a lot of patterns in the fabrics can benefit from areas of “rest” with monochromatic or streamlined accessories.


  • Is it going to make the room too “theme-y”?   In general, it’s best to avoid a room that looks like it came out of the Madonna Inn (Google that if you aren’t familiar it).  A touch of whimsy or a conversation piece here and there is great, but a “jungle room” may start to feel a little old after a few months.  A bowl of beach glass on the table with sea shell throw pillows can look great, but add in anchor-design curtains, a fishing net, and a light-house sculpture and the room starts to feel like a seafood restaurant from the 70’s.  A room should have a consistent feel, but a little restraint goes a long way.


  • Is it the right scale?  If you are looking for a piece to display on a large, high shelf, don’t choose something that is too small.  It will just feel lost and incomplete.  And a very large item will look out of place in a room of small, delicate pieces.  Make sure that the accessory you choose harmonizes with the scale of the other items and furniture around it.


  • Is the color right?  Does the color (or colors) of the accessory work in your room?  Of course, it doesn’t have to match exactly, but make sure it blends nicely.  NOTE: Another option is to choose an accessory with a color that stands out.  This can make a dramatic statement.  Make sure, however, that this “drama” fits the mood of your room! It can also help the design of the room if this “pop” of color happens in three places throughout the room – for a triangulation of color.


  • Do you love it?  This may seem obvious, but many homeowners get caught up in making sure that all of their decorating “works” and forget to make sure that they really love everything that is going in their home.  Even if the accessory fits all the other criteria, if you don’t love it, don’t buy it.

And remember, less is more.  Like when accessorizing an outfit, sometimes the best thing you can do is take one item away to help the remaining ones look even better.  That way, you can…

Live Abundantly Clear!

– Holly (always happy to help you accessorize, or edit) Lange –  (303) 322-5327

Present Projects

Yesterday, my husband and I both had a day off, at the same time – a very rare occurrence.  It was a hot, muggy afternoon, with dark clouds threatening rain.  So, we decided to check the TiVo to see what it had recorded.  We decided to watch Kung Fu Panda.  High-brow it is not, and yet… there was a wise Turtle who said a wise thing:

“The past is history.  The future is a mystery.  Right now is a gift – that’s why it’s called the present.”

This is not a new quote, a new concept, or even a new movie, but I liked getting the reminder.  How often are we so consumed with the future and the past, that we forget to enjoy or even notice the present?  I love working with clients, helping them stage their homes or get their spaces organized and functioning well – because I am completely present with them, in that moment.  I don’t think about the last appointment, or the next appointment, I just think about that item, or that picture, or lamp, and the best place where it should “live”.   It may sound odd, but when I’m finished, I feel refreshed.  Even if it’s a long day, and I’m physically worn out, my mind is awake.  It’s why I love what I do. 

Any project, whether large or small, has the power to engage us and connect us the the present moment.  Years ago, before TV or I-Phones, people would unwind by playing a card game, chatting with friends, or even doing chores together.  In fact, I doubt the need to “unwind” was even considered very often.  You just did what you needed to do, and you found the joy in it, in that moment.  If you find that TV, Facebook, or your Blackberry are at best post-poning your anxiety, and at worst adding to it, why not turn them off for a while?  Is life so awful that we need constant distractions from it?  If so, why aren’t we looking at the reason?

I find it funny that computers and Blackberrys are something we are “on”… like a drug.  True, the very fact that I’m writing this blog is ironic, or just plain hypocritical, but when I’m “off” the computer, I’m off.  Without these electronic leashes, I find I can enjoy everything from grocery shopping to cleaning out the garage.  A project, any project, can allow you to remember how lucky you are to have a brain and a body that works.  In the next few days, try doing a little project with the phone or Blackberry out of reach, and see how (after you get over the anxiety of being “disconnected”) it can calm your mind.

Paint Colors and other Scary Tales

It was a dark and stormy night.  Edith was looking through paint color swatches to decide what color to paint her dining room.   The phone rings.  The man on the line says, “Don’t pick that color, it’ll feel like a cave in there!”  Then Edith realized: the call was coming from inside the house!!!  Shriek!

Okay, maybe it’s not that bad, but selecting paint colors can be a scary prospect for most people.  The most common side effect of this fear is a house with no color, or too much of the same color, or a “jewel-box” effect – where one room is painted at a time without regard to the overall flow of the house.  Or, you may have one room painted an intense color, which you now hate, but you’re too scared to change it or to paint any other rooms.  You don’t need to live this way – there is help out there!   Actually, there is help right here.

Perhaps you’ve decided “builder’s beige” is your style after all, or perhaps you are experiencing perfection paralysis.  You don’t want to make a mistake and end up with a migraine every time you step into that space.  So, what do you do?  You can call me!

Okay, how does this work?  To start, I’m a big fan of Benjamin Moore colors.  Most of them work very well with each other, and they have a livable palette suitable for any age or style of home.  I will come to your home armed with my satchel of paint samples.  We start with the fan-deck, and narrow down a few favorites (I like to start with an overall color for hallways and such, and a trim color, if needed).   Then I pull out the 3″x5″ samples of the colors we liked so we can tape them up and take a good look.  It’s amazing how often the first color we pick is the winner.  We’ll put up 5 more samples and realize that first one was the best!  Then after about 2 to 4 hours (depending on how many rooms we are working with), we have a final palette for the house.  I trim off a quarter of each paint sample for you to keep, label the backs, and write down the numbers on a 3-part form so I’ll have a copy, and presto! – you now have your house colors all settled!   I can even order larger samples and have them mailed to your home if you want a little more time to “live” with them and make sure they are right at all times of the day.

Of course, there’s a lot more to it than that.  We’ll look at your floors, counters, cabinets, furniture colors, the light in the home, etc.   We’ll focus on how the colors work together and flow throughout the house.  We’ll talk about color theory and how colors will compliment or contrast with each other.  The main thing I will do for you is make sure these colors suit you, your style and your home.  There are colors I like better than others, but my goal is to always guide you toward your ideal colors, in a way that will be stylish and tasteful.  Put your fears to rest and give me a call!  And remember: it’s only paint!

Live well & live in color,


Abundantly Clear – 303.322.5327

A Master Re-Treat

Over the past four years of helping clients redesign and stage their homes for sale, I’ve noticed an alarming trend.  Okay, maybe it’s not alarming, I just like that phrase.  Moving on…

The trend I have noticed is that many parents spend the time and expense to give their children’s rooms an elaborate make-over.  It can be a palace, or a race car driver’s dream hang-out (well, if the driver was 5, that is).  I am always amazed at how beautiful and creative these rooms are, and I imagine how much fun the parents must have had crafting the perfect space for their little one(s).  But then I step into the master bedroom…

Now, generally the furniture is very nice – a good solid bedroom set.  But then, it’s like after they moved in, the parents looked around for a spare comforter that no one else was using, found one balled up in the  corner of the garage and said: “that’ll do”.  Yes, yes, once again, dramatic effect going on here – they very rarely have oil marks on them.   It just seems, overall, that many parents lose steam once they get to their own room.  I’d like to help correct that and be the one to say (yes, even in this day and age) “treat yourself”.

I know, maybe they had a great bedding set once upon a time, but after years of sharing the bed with the dog, well, more “disposable” bedding became easier to manage.  I can relate to all of the practical reasons for a lackluster master bedroom – not the least being cost.   For that reason, I haven’t updated my bedroom furniture in years (and I don’t plan to anytime soon), but I have put a little effort into the things that are easier to change – paint, bedding, throw pillows, art, side furniture, and lighting.

With a simple and inexpensive bedspread (or “coverlet” – the newer term for it), and a few colorful throw pillows, you can keep the old, soft comfy sheets and cover them all up so your bed looks neat, crisp, and you’ll keep the dust off your pillows!  One, two, or three throw pillows are plenty.  No need to be like Ben Stiller in that movie that made us all question why we suddenly felt the need for 20 pillows on the bed.  By the way, I mention bedding first because it’s the hardest thing to match to other elements.  With the color trends changing by the season, find bedding you like and then decorate or find paint around that theme/palette.

Some other things you can try to spruce up your bedroom and make it feel as good as the rest of your home: buy a pair of lamps that you love for your nightstands.  These may be with you for a long time, so really look around.  I’ve attached a photo of a lamp I fell in love with.  To get the pair felt like a splurge, but I’ll have them forever.  Find something with some color, or texture.  Make sure it will sit high enough so you’ll be able to read by it.  If you have room, get a beautiful club chair or similar and put it in a corner with a little table and a lamp.  Add some plants.  You can buy a large plant and put it on a stand to fill in a dead space or soften the edges of a big dresser by putting it next to it.  Plus, plants clean the air – and who doesn’t want some cleaner air while they’re sleeping?  Add some art – don’t put all the great art in the living room – save one or two just for you.  Put one over the bed – and put one in a place where you’ll wake up, see it, and smile. 

If you don’t have the means to make any changes now, then just think about it next time you have decided to do a little decorating elsewhere in the house.  You’ve worked hard to pay for your home – and you’ve probably put yourself last for a long time.  You deserve a space, just for you, that makes you feel great.  Have fun!

Spruce up your bedroom with lamps.
Spruce up your bedroom with lamps.