Category Archives: GraceAnn Simoni

It’s Back…Brass

See if we wait long enough it comes around again.


A home decorating trend that was hot this past year and is forecasted to stay strong for the new 2014 is the addition of brass accents. The use of brass in home decorating and design made a comeback in recent years but has really seen a steady climb in 2013 due to the the metal’s versatility and visual impact. The brass trend is a popular choice among designers and homeowners because the metal can be customized to accommodate any décor setting. Whether it’s a highly polished look to compliment a modern décor or a dulled antique finish to represent a warm, rustic, vintage feel, the brass trend looks like it is here to stay.

bronze fleur de lis

An additional benefit of incorporating brass is that it is one of the most durable and strong metals with a resistance to corrosion. These attributes make the metal even more desirable to be utilized in décor and architectural elements.


The beautiful earthly metal is ideal for kitchen & bathroom fixtures, fireplace surrounds, architectural accents and artistic sculptures. It is sure to add a timeless beauty to any space. So consider brass when doing your next renovation or decoration. Realm of design looks forward to creating the perfect brass accent to adorn your space.



– See more at:

Have you heard “PURPLE”?

Have you heard???? Pantone color of the year is Radiant Orchid??  Before you disregard it; read on to find out how it can change you life and surroundings.

 Feature Article


– 8 Ways

 The Color Purple Can Help You Bring More Success, Love, and Wealth

© K Weber Communications LLC 2002-2009

Purple is a potent color. In every society, purple holds a special place, and a special meaning. It is said that Leonardo da Vinci believed meditating in a lavender or purple-colored light was improved by a factor of 10. Purple is associated with wealth, nobility, stature, religion, piety, magic, and sexuality.

Purple is mixture of soothing, calm blue with boisterous, energetic red. Purple is associated with royalty. It symbolizes power, nobility, luxury, and ambition. It conveys wealth and extravagance. Purple is associated with wisdom, dignity, independence, creativity, mystery, and magic. Some 75 percent of small children choose purple over other colors.

It is said that purple was a favorite color of Cleopatra. It has continued to be a color associated with royalty, with high honor, such as the purple heart awarded American soldiers wounded or killed in war. Obviously, purple is a very special color. That is also true in feng shui. In feng shui, there is one color that is suitable in any direction. That color is purple.

Purple is the color associated with any of the directions as a beneficial color. You might even say that purple is the “feng shui beige.” Sometimes purple is not the easiest color to live with. So, if you have strong feelings about purple it’s better not to use it. Or, if your space would look strange with purple, then it’s better to use a color that goes with your decor.

Purple is also a color that generates good chi. So, wherever you would like to add extra energy, consider adding purple. However, because it is a stimulating color, it’s better not to put purple in bathrooms and kitchens, where it can enhance the negative energies of these rooms.

However, if you’ve ever wondered how purple can help your feng shui, then here eight ways purple can help you in your life.

1. Purple helps you gain MORE RECOGNITION.
Purple is an excellent color to add in the south sector of your house or living room or office. In particular, it is especially good if you are in a power position, such as principle or owner of a business. Purple is definitely a power color. Add it to a south wall for added prestige and to further your ambitions for fame.

2. Purple helps you gain CREATIVE, SUCCESSFUL CHILDREN.
Purple is an excellent enhancement to any child’s room. Painted on any wall or used in furnishings, purple is very enhancing to any child regardless of the child’s personal feng shui. Purple is also enhancing to the child’s imagination. It is also enhancing to any wall it is painted on regardless of direction.

Your child suffering from ill health? Purple is beneficial when painted on an east wall as it helps improve health. Want to inspire creativity in your child? Paint the west wall purple. Is your child a burgeoning artist or actor and craving recognition? Paint the south wall purple to boost their profile and chances of being noticed.

3. Purple helps you gain MORE MONEY.
Purple is the ultimate prosperity color. Paint the southeast wall, sector, or corner of your living room a royal purple color. This is the color of extremely deep water, which means wealth in feng shui.

Wearing purple clothing or ties is a great way for sales people, bankers, or anyone who deals with money to use purple in a personal and wealth-enhancing way. Or, use purple in the north, which is the direction of water. Purple here brings luck for wealth and prosperity associated with your job and business opportunities.

4. Purple helps you gain in BUSINESS.
Businesses that prosper with the color purple include advertising, art studios, television and film companies, psychologists offices, gift stores, or lighting businesses. Florists also benefit from purple. Invite some purple into your business — especially in the southeast sector.

5. Purple helps you gain PEACE, WISDOM, AND GROWTH.
Paint your meditation room purple or lavender for personal growth. The purple enhances meditation – especially if it is in the form of lavender-colored light. To accomplish this, purchase a lavender-colored crystal and hang the crystal in the sunlight so that it casts lavender rainbows on the walls. Or, hang a purple tinted stained-glass window in your windows to create more purple light.

6. Purple helps you gain more GOOD LUCK.
Purple and shades of purple are excellent for stimulating good luck. It is especially good when it is paired with white, gold, or silver. Use these color combinations in the west and northwest corners to enhance these corners and bring about greater luck.

7. Purple helps you gain NEW OPPORTUNITIES IN YOUR LIFE.
Try painting your front door purple. Purple invites opportunities to your home and activates the energy of the entry way – which is where chi enters your home. You can instantly improve the chi of your home simply by painting your front door.

Plus, you can improve your opportunities – and whatever aspect of your life that relates to the door direction that your front door faces – simply by painting your front door purple. Better career? Purple helps that. Better health? Purple helps that too. More friends and recognition? Purple wins again. There is only one exception with purple, and that is the northwest-facing front door. Better to paint this door gold, white, silver, or gray.

8. Purple helps you gain a BETTER LOVE LIFE.
Purple improves luck and chi and there is no better place for purple to work its magic than on romance. Use purple colors in the southwest sector of your home, your bedroom or your office wherever you want to boost the romance energy.

Place your wedding or honeymoon pictures in purple frames to keep the two of you cozy for a long time. Sleep on lavender sheets for more romantic energy. Place purple amethyst geodes in the SW corner to keep the heart fires burning. Want more attention in the bedroom or from admirers? Wear purple underwear. Spray lavender essence on your bedding for relaxing, romantic interludes.
As you can see purple is a wonder color. In fact, you might be wondering how you’ve lived without it!

© K Weber Communications LLC 2002-2009

Kathryn Weber is the publisher of the Red Lotus Letter Feng Shui E-zine and certified feng shui consultant in classical Chinese feng shui. Kathryn helps her readers improve their lives and generate more wealth with feng shui. For more information and to receive her FREE Ebook “Easy Money – 3 Steps to Building Massive Wealth with Feng Shui” visit and learn the fast and fun way how feng shui can make your life more prosperous and abundant!

Never too late to decorate!!

bird on mantle

If you’re like me and discovered that you are behind in the Holiday decorating and are starting to think “why bother for only a couple of weeks?”

Think about Winter decorating  instead. This way you can leave the decorations up way past Christmas without looking like you were too busy to take them down.winter decor

Change up that traditional Xmas tree with the colored lights and ornaments to a Xmas tree or topiary with white lights and branches of artificial berries or sprigs of holly. Wood branches from the yard can be placed in the tree along with additional large pine cones hung from the branches instead of the ornaments. The tree then becomes decorative way past the traditional holiday season. 

Forget about the Santa and Reindeer motif. Work with snowmen and snowflakes instead. Those can stay until the first thaw. Silver and shining is the thing this year. Blue and icy works well, too.
Remember we want to cherish the holidays not dread the hassle. Decorating for the entire winter season can help eliminate those January/February winter blahs too! And because I am so late the only photo I can take credit for is the snowman!!

Peace and Blessing to you all. See you in the New Year to help you overcome the winter blahs with some color excitement.



Sherwin Williams Color of the Year 2014

You know Purple not Purrpple!

Painting in 2014? Here’s the hot color

The palette called Curiosity is “largely driven by science and geology.”

A sophisticated grayish violet dubbed Exclusive Plum is the Sherwin-Williams Color of the Year for 2014. “This dusky, filtered violet is refined without being stuffy, elegant yet easy, and layered with romantic potential,” says Jackie Jordan, the company’s director of color marketing.

The 2014 forecast features 38 colors in four palettes: Reasoned, Diaphanous, Intrinsic and Curiosity. Curiosity is “largely driven by science and geology,” and is where Exclusive Plum fits in.

The company says the 2014 color is versatile and can be used in a variety of spaces: For a cozy, masculine den, Jordan recommends pairing it with accents of copper and worn leather. It can be layered with gold, gray and white for an “elegant, dreamy bedroom,” or highlighted against white subway tile and chrome in the master bath. Pops of magenta and chartreuse make for a more energetic space.

For more examples of how to use Elusive Plum SW 6263 Visit the link below.

Thusday Tip. Dining room, By the numbers

pumpkin vase

The Table: pumpkin vase

  • Allow 36 inches from the edge of the dining table to the wall or another piece of furniture for easy access in and out of the chairs and to avoid damage to the buffet.
  • Make sure if an area rug is used that the chair legs remain on the rug even when pulled out.
  • Knees should be able to be 12 inches to 14 inches under the table.
  • Seat height for dining chairs should be at least 18 inches high. Although sometimes our thighs or knees touch the dining table base because it is not the correct distance from the seat.

Are you thinking of a new chandelier for the holiday?  Here are the numbers:

  • Diameter of the dining room chandelier should be about one half to two thirds the width of the table it will be hanging over.
  • The general rule for hanging dining room chandelier is that the bottom of the fixture should hang between 30″ and 36″ from the tabletop.

Enjoy your family time

GraceAnn Simoni,


…and so it begins…

Can you believe it, the first big Holiday of the season is right around the corner, Thanksgiving?

I love this holiday, to have the chance to fill the house with the wonderful turkey and pumpkin smells and the thoughts of all the people around the table!!!  “Oh no!” you say.   “Where am I am going to put everyone?”

When I was growing up there was always the extra card table or two in the living room and the ‘kids’ table’ (I think I was still there at age 13), usually set up in the kitchen.  Thanksgiving is all about getting ‘together‘ over a meal and giving thanks.

Let’s take a look at some ideas for getting more people in the same room.  Some tricks I have tried in the past include turning the dining room table at an angle.  You will discover that it offers the ability to seat more people and the result is less damage to the china cabinet or buffet by chairs too close.   Photo below is a client’s home and you can see the redesigned space gives plenty of room for additional chairs.  This also allows plenty of room to add the table extensions.MB DR beforeand after

Below is a home of my client that I redesigned just for the holidays and her large family.

My team  moved the table and china hutch to the living room.  The hutch was to  be accessorized with all sizes of old family photos just to extend the theme of ‘thankfulness for family’.  There is also room to set up small separate tables, perhaps one, ‘for the kids’ in the same room.

Original Living Room
Original Living Room
After the room 'switch'
After the room ‘switch’

We used the original dining room as a small sitting area for the grandmas to talk and spend time with the little ones in a room separate from the ‘football’ family room.

Original Dining Room
Original Dining Room

After the 'switch'

As it turns out, these rooms were left this way after the holidays and the sitting room became the quiet homework center.  The dining room was used more often because it felt more open and worked great for school projects.

Hope these ideas will help you get the whole family together in the same room.

Wishing you a very happy Thanksgiving,




Moving is stressful for everyone, including your pets

IMG_0623As many of you already know I foster dogs for A Caring Place Humane Society  here in Chicago.  I am amazed at how many dogs are turned in as ‘ strays’.  I imagine someone out there crying because there dog is lost and not knowing what to do.  Here is a scenario that I imagine happens too often.  You are moving to a new place and your dog gets loose.  He does not know where home is so he wonders around till someone hopefully finds him and takes him to a shelter.

Chet writes;

Moving is stressful…
… And your dog will experience much of the
same anxiety that you do.

The change.  The state of limbo that’s inevitable
as you pack one house, and then unpack the
next.  The actual moving day.

Then there’s the adjustment period, as everyone
gets settled into their new surroundings.

Your family is stressed by the change…

… And your dog senses this!!!

Consider how many stories you’ve heard about dogs
‘running away’ from their new home after a move, trying
to find their way back to the old house.

It happens all the time, more often than you even
hear about on the local news stations!

So here is great information from Chet Womach, one of my favorite online Pet Trainers.
He is  sharing 10 tips that should help make your dog’s transition between the old
and new homes as smooth and painless as possible.

You can read it here:


Chet Womach  (check out all his post and subscribe to his news letter)

GraceAnn’s Blog, Textures for Fall

Fall is my favorite season because of all the colors from gold, to purples and a thousand shades of green. Look for all the textures,  from the smooth still green leaves to the crunchy ones on the ground.  The drying branches and the aging trunks of trees.  Add some fall touches to your table.    Remember in my last post I talked about the textures I saw using  burlap and wood.  Here is one I saw at Americas Mart in Atlanta.

Americas Mart July 2013 (2) - Copy Lots of burlap,  lots of fall colors

This is a table runner and placemats made from slivers of wood.Americas Mart July 2013 (7) - Copy

For a simpler look try one of these.

For Halloween I used orange flowers in a vase with small pumpkins nearby.


Use a real pumpkin and take out the seeds with the smallest hole you can make work.  Then using a 1 inch circular bit make several holes near the ‘lid’  fill the pumpkin with water and insert sprigs of flowers in each hole.

pumpkin vaseEnjoy!

Grace Ann’s DIY Tip

Fall lends itself to lots of fun colors.  Let’s get creative and redesign the centerpiece on your table.  I love the look of a basket full of colorful gourds  in the fall, but I also like fall colored flowers. Combine the two in one basket by cutting the flowers down to about 3 inches and placing them in florist vials which hold water. These can be purchased from you local florist.

flower picksInsert the pick through out the gourd arrangement.

You can the changes flowers as needed and refresh water in the vials easily.

fall gords

Behind the arrangement, on my kitchen island,  I have a tray with a fall scene on an easel as a back drop to add more fall coloring.  Enjoy!