…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,




Last minute chandelier tip from my friend Eleida

Halloween Decor Tip by Next Level Interiors

Posted by  on Oct 17, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

Halloween Decor Tip

We love to decorate our tables for Halloween but often forget the chandelier. Add some decor to it too and complement your tablescape. All you need is some thin wire to secure the pieces, and your creativity. It can be an unexpected and unique finishing touch!

Check out my blog this Sunday for some great Halloween Tablescape ideas

Bringing Fall Indoors by my friend Eleida

Posted by  on Oct 20, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments


Bringing Fall IndoorsNext Level Interiors

Fall is a great time to add some seasonal decor to your home.  As it gets colder outside, it is a time when we want to feel warm and cozy and bring some of the beautiful fall colors indoors.

In the dining room, create a beautiful tablescape that displays your favorite fall colors. Set arrangement on plates or trays so they can be easily moved as needed.   Vary the heights of the items for added interest. This is a great place to add candles and some gold accents too if you want to dress it up.


Mantles are also great to display some of your favorite seasonal items. You can either work with the artwork you already have on the wall, or remove it temporarily and add something that reflects the season – branches, leaves, or other fall decor.

Get creative with items, and places where you can display them, from stairways to window sills and beyond.


Have fun decorating your home and enjoy the season!  To read more of Elieda’s posts


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
TheDogTrainingSecret.com  (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!

Feathering Your Nest with pattern, repeat, pattern, repeat! by Jill Robson

custom window treatments and interior fashions

Have you noticed how frequently we are seeing repetitive patterns right now, on everything? Whether they are made of straight lines or more flowing curves, the repetition of a single motif is used to create a simple pattern or an all-over visual effect.On fabric: I particularly love how these drapery panels have been pleated – if you look carefully and let your eye follow the panels from the bottom to the top, you can see that the fabric has been manipulated to create a new pattern within the original one.  Yes – it is the same fabric on the pillows! When you are selecting fabric for window treatments, it is very important to consider how the pattern will look when it is pleated or gathered on a rod.  Working with a well-qualified drapery workroom, that pays careful attention to this detail, can mean the difference between pattern success or pattern failure.


In furniture:


On wallpaper:


In artwork:

Wall art

And it’s a hot pattern for stencils, if you prefer to create your own fabric and wallpaper alternative.

At what point would you consider a pattern “enough or too much of a good thing”?