Monday, November 12, 2012

More Flair and Dare – decorating a narrow apartment

Stove pipe hidden


Before pictures - from the kitchen to the front door
In front of kitchen area
Looking toward kitchen

   Last week I spent four and a half days helping my sister decorate her long, narrow apartment—the bottom half of an older home in the bay area. The pictures show a little of what it was like when I got there, and then what we ended up with. Since the rent is cheap she had to do a lot of moving furniture that belonged to the owners upstairs.
     I knew shortly after I started my own decorating business many years ago that I was not and never would be a famous top notch designer. What I did discover was that I am great with helping people make their home beautiful without having them spend a lot of money. I realized that most people want their homes to be beautiful but don’t know how to use what they have and don’t have the money to spend on new furniture and things.
     Often I find that friends and family have wonderful treasures either hidden in the corner of a room, or stashed in a closet, or even just put in the wrong room – like the attic or garage. Well, I have I love to help people use what they have as much as I love writing stories.
      I adopted the name of my decorating talents with two slogans – one is “Have Hammer Will Travel”, and “Flair and Dare”. Flair and Dare is the official name because I don’t mind taking chances. I hate pictures unframed and or sitting on the floor or a room. Correcting this when I go to someone’s house does wonders for moral and for the beginning of a great new outlook. Lots of times it is someone’s fear of making a hole in the wall so they never hang a picture. How silly is that. Who cares if there is more than one hole behind a picture that wasn’t hung right the first time?
    When I got to her place the furniture needed to be arranged in to several different spaces as the room when you enter is very long. In addition there is a stove pipe heater almost half-way in the room. She won’t use it, but it can’t be moved either so we had to use that as part of the décor.

Treasures from Sally's added to the bedroom

    We spent each day shopping at her favorite (high-end) stores – Sally’s, Anytime Thrift Store, and Wills, plus Ross & TJ's (not truly high end unless you find the best buys that someone else once owned). We bought a great assortment of colorful throw pillows, rugs, mirrors, plants and throws. Aside from that we used what she had.
Here are some finished pictures:

Her intimate dining area in front of kitchen



  1. I love shopping at Ross and thrift stores. It's a treasure hunt. Sometimes I luck out, but often I come out empty handed. Christmas is a different story. Ross has great gifts at reasonable prices. Love your before and after pics.