Most of my design time is spent in the remodeling world, specifying products and project managing remodels of bathrooms, kitchens, whole homes and partial homes, which I adore doing!  While I may not be decorating a room with furniture as often, I still know the importance of furniture and how it can set the tone for a room or a home.

I also believe that our homes, like our growing families, go through different phases, and different furniture and or arrangements also occur in our homes during those phases.  I have been in client homes before that don’t seem to have a hang out space, and it will leave me wondering “where do they hang out?”  I have teenagers, and love for their friends to be at our home.  I was noticing that my 20 year old couch that I loved, seemed too short for more than one person to sit comfortably, and that our club chairs were worn and not well liked. The furniture desperately  needed to be replaced despite my best efforts to hide the fabric tears in the chairs with duck tape and hidden with pretty pillows, and the couch was terribly faded! The family room we hang out in just didn’t seem to fit even four people comfortably especially when a dog and two cats join in!

While I had my eye out for some new couches I am a picky buyer, and would rather do without until I find the perfect piece.  I also believe that the perfect piece of furniture can happen along when least expected. I found my husband when least expected 23 years ago, too!

Favorite couchOne day recently after a quick trip to the mall, my daughter and I happened to be walking though Pottery Barn on the way to our car. She pleaded we not walk though since I “always have to go through there”. Even though I wasn’t going to look at furniture, I couldn’t help to instantly fall in love with this couch my daughter happened to sit on.  It was Memorial Day weekend, a great furniture sale weekend, and I LOVED this couch.  It fit all the ‘wants’ I had on my imaginary list; grey, fit 2-3 people comfortably, cushy, price, and they had two!

It didn’t take long to start the  process of renting a box van to transport my new finds to my home. My family room is now the happy recipient of two of these beauties flanking each other. They have been a hit, as family asked why I didn’t do this earlier. And I LOVE walking in and seeing my family, animals and friends happily sprawled out on the furniture. It makes my heart happy!  Who knew furniture could help bring a family together?

Do you have a great story about how furniture has brought your family together?  I’d love to hear about it!


By Marlie Bilbruck-Boerger

Windows and floors and doors, oh my! Windows and floors and doors, oh my!

We all remember a similar rhyme from childhood (lions and tigers and bears, oh my!), but now that we are adults, this revised version is probably a more accurate depiction of what scares us.

Of these three design elements, the one most often overlooked, strictly for lack of knowhow on the behalf of most home owners, are doors. Floors we see changed out, upgraded and improved frequently. Window treatment fabrication is a huge industry with products readily available in stores across the country. Doors though, are all too often utilized and forgotten, especially interior doors and doorways.

Here are five great ideas for finishing a doorway.

  • New Doors: It may seem like an obvious answer, but you’d be surprised how many people continue to live with their standard, builder-grade, hollow doors. Upgrade your doors to new 4-panel solid wood doors, and you will be amazed how they add style and dampen noise. Yes, they can be a little pricey, but higher quality doors are one of the things homebuyers recognize and will pay for.
  • Drape Your Doorway: It might sound a little Bohemian, but fabric can add great texture to a space. You can decide what kind of style you want conveyed. You may opt for a heavier velvet drape for a dramatic feel. If fresh is the message you want sent, a light airy sheer will do the job. Using a tension rod, suspend your curtain selection from the inside frame of the doorway. Utilize a curtain tieback, a piece of rope, or just a ribbon to pull the drape back and secure it to one side, making the doorway easy to pass through.
  • Leave Your Doorway Without a Door: Don’t put a door on it at all. Instead paint out the wall the door is on in an accent color and the door frame in a complimentary color to highlight it. For instance you may want to paint the wall a beautiful butter yellow and the door frame a deep purple or a lavender.
  • Change the Shape of the Opening: If you are wanting to do something a little more in-depth, and are looking for a completely new door look, you may want to hire a contractor to reshape your door. By changing the shape of the doorway from a basic rectangle to something more unique (i.e. a dormered arch, a cathedral arch, etc.) you can add interest to the space.
  • Upcycle, Recycle: Look around at salvage yards, antique stores and swap meets for a unique door (or something that can be used as a door) to give your room just the right finishing touch. You may like the idea of the barn doors that are so popular right now, or you may find a neat old door with a stain glass inset. You can even think beyond the “door frame”, and look at other items with the idea of turning them into doors. For instance, galvanized roofing material can be framed out and added to a doorway with the simple addition of some hinges.

Whatever your door situation is you can have some fun with these frequently overlooked, yet necessary, aspects of your home. You’re only limited by your imagination. Enjoy!



Mirror, Mirror on the Wall…

March 15, 2016

By Marlie Bilbruck-Boerger We all know the line, ‘Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?’ No matter what the answer returned by the all-knowing reflective oracle is to that question, the unmistakable effectiveness of a mirror to add detail, form and function to a room is a sure thing. Mirrors can […]

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