Friday, August 28, 2015

I was inspired in a subway train


hello friends_edited-1

Black and White

My inspiration for this weeks Friday Feature came from the lady below! Craig and I lived in NYC for seven years and when you looked in my closet there was nothing but Black and White clothing….. We sold our apartment in 2012  however, I still go to my physicians in the city, which was were I was going when I had to snap this picture…. I was dressed as I would livingdown the shore…I forgot what the uniform was of NYC… Not to mention how many bags everyone carries around. So this very stoic person was my inspiration ….You never know where you are going to get your inspiration from in decorating…It could be from a magazine,  a piece of art that you found in Home Goods, a piece of fabric, a television show, a movie…(I am always inspired by any movie that Diane Keaton was in.  Her kitchens are always so beautiful ….your starting off point is endless…All you have to do is start.

Diane-Keaton-in-The-Father-of-the-Bride-kitchen 9cc7c0d7741545f20cb305ec2ea64e8b Diane-Keatons-country-kitchen-in-Baby-Boom Father-of-the-Bride-kitchen-Diane-Keaton

Well, the question we picked from last weeks list was one that is asked so often! “My husband hangs our artwork too high!! At what height should artwork be hung as his eye  and my eye are at different levels” thanks Joan W.  
Our rule of thumb is to hang all pictures at 57″ on center. This is “gallery height” and roughly the average human eye level.
To do this you measure up 57″ from the floor (mark here). You want your picture’s center – whatever size – over this point, so measure your picture – top to bottom, divide it in half, …
subtract whatever distance there is between wire and top of frame and then add that number to your 57″. That is where you put the pin in.
Keep sending in your questions….we love hearing from you … Questions?

my nameResources
Tumbler for various black and white interiors – Harmonize Homes Tumbler

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Are you organized?


hello friends_edited-1
One of the hardest things when you work at home is to stay focused.  I make fun of my self a lot because I really battle with the word focused.   I have anywhere from 8-10 browsers up on my computer at any time and I have an ongoing list of things that pop into my head.    A few things to help stay focused is to keep as organized as you can.
1.  They make their bed every day
Professional organizers make their beds every day!  It is so funny as my sister and I will say oh, I didn’t even get to make the bed today….Making the bed was so ingrained in our up bringing… we had to make the bed!!
“Arguably the most important activity of the day, there’s really no excusing this one. Bed making promotes productivity throughout the day and will pave the way for an organized lifestyle. Plus, it’s a pleasure to get into a made bed at the end of a long day.”
2. Make a list of what to do today.
Writing a to do list for the day – This does work-
“Take a few minutes in the morning to jot down your goals for the day. Having a concrete list will keep you on track throughout the day and give you a sense of accomplishment when tasks are completed.”
3. Deal with your clothes
You know the age old organization for the office as far as dealing with that piece of paper, Act, File or threw out….well it is the same for clothes…deal with them on an on going bases..
“Hang, launder, or fold every garment and DO NOT let anything hit the floor. Neglected clothing can slowly build up and lead to an overwhelming mound.”

4.  The Kitchen 
Deal with your kitchen  on a daily bases, clean out the refrigerator, throw out last week take out that is still sitting there….don’t forget the dogie bag that you had to bring home for the restaurant…
“Your kitchen and sink counters inevitably get dirty every day. So take a minute or two to wipe them down before you head to bed.”

5.  Deal with your mail daily
“Tend to your mailbox daily to avoid a build up of bill payments and to-dos. Immediately toss junk mail into recycling and store the rest in an active inbox so you’ll know where to find it.”  I deal with banking, bills, invoicing etc every Friday…it helps…. I have a bin where I put everything that I must act on.

6.  Take care of your purses and pockets and don’t forget your car
“Take a couple of minutes to throw away any receipts or trash that you’ve acquired throughout the day. Place loose change into your wallet or coin jar and make sure any loose papers are filed or thrown away.”  Okay, this is not me….I seem to dump one pocket book into another….
7.  Before Bed
“Before heading to bed, mentally walk through the next day and do your best to prepare for it. Set aside necessary items and pack up your bag so you can grab it on the fly if need be.
House Beautiful – 9 things professional organizers do by Jessica Cumberbathc Anderson

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

How to display your collections


hello friends_edited-1
I started collecting Ivory colored  McCoy and Hull Pottery  years ago….We were still living in the original house where the kids grew up, which was in the early 1990’s.  We would head out to Lambertsville area early in the morning and comb the booths for pieces… I have always been in love with pottery including hand thrown pieces.  I took a pottery glass in college and ended up auditing the class for an additional three (3) semesters…..
Above is my collection that I currently have.  It  has traveled from the James-port House, to the Maine Street House, to West 100 and Riverside to West 83rd to 21 River Road to Briar Avenue….the only house it never made its presences was the Bayshore house.   The pieces are not really worth much these days as the market has changed…. but I still love them!!!!


People collect and display many things…..the trick to it is  in groupings and consistency in colors and shapes….  In my grouping I have added a few green pieces for some pop of color…. I’m including some pictures that I found on Tumblr…. a great place for inspiration…..I hope you get some ideas and start  displaying your collections…

As you can see in the picture above the person is very much into collecting vintage vases  and kept the collection very shelf specific.


A glass cabinet is a beautiful way to display your collection without the threat of dust…..its a plus…..


Just love this monochromatic look to this display especially how it plays off the artwork…

tumblr_nt6yrl7l7w1t1mnt2o1_500 This is a beautiful display of shells….and sea coral that would look just beautiful at any beach house.

tumblr_n8g4zv9GZB1qgn7e1o1_540Above is a coffee table that is artfully displaying some wooden objects and some vintage architectural elements.





Remember the best way to start any collection is by going to area flea markets…its fun to be on the hunt for something specific…..  Enjoy…..share with me your pictures….I would love to see them…..

Don’t forget to send me pictures of your collection……I’ll feature them on a future blog.
my name

Monday, August 17, 2015

Meet Charles

HARMONIZING HOMES IS GROWINGMEET CHARLESTransforming Your Home With Design and Style

hello friends_edited-1

Well today is the day that we all get to meet Charles!  It is really funny how this union happened…..Charles called me one day to follow up on a voice mail that he left me….I actually didn’t hear or see the voice mail at the time he contacted me…..(He will be instrumental in helping me with my new phone I am sure)…
He asked if I was looking for any help….and I said NO……not really and then ,I for what ever reason retracted that statement and said well wait a minute ….If I have Charles helping me with some drawing and floor plans, then I could be doing other tasks to help grow my business.  So we meet and he was a breath of fresh air… He had a beautiful well presented portfolio and had been working for Elise Denver , interior designer in Indiana, Pa.
Charles is a recent grad from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a BS degree, Major in Interior Design..
So this is Charles, and we will be hitting the ground running today as we have a full packed remainder of the  month….   He has already helped with some requested designs from Dezignables.   Wait to you see what we will be doing together!!  Lets all give Charles a warm welcome… he begins is new life here in Toms River…
my name

Friday, August 14, 2015

Decking the Halls with Family Photo's


hello friends_edited-1
I can’t believe it is Friday already what a crazy busy week….I really feel blessed this week….the phone keeps ringing with additional job opportunities ….so grateful for the referrals.   Monday is a big day for Harmonizing Homes as we are welcoming aboard our very first employee  his name is Charles Messenger…more to come on Charles during my Monday Blog….
Today I wanted to show you some of our recent photo galleries that we had installed in two separate homes.. I come up with the ideas and lay it all out then I have to beg my life partner (Craig) to install…now this can be very tricky as those little triangle hooks on the back side are not always straight….so there is a lot of measuring and remeasuring and dirty look….I mean I get those eyes…you know what I’m taking about….but he does it for me….Love him!
Here is Lara’s gallery – A lovely home in West Field New Jersey……I decided to use several different sizes of frames and hang  the photo gallery in a free flowing display….as the gallery flowed up the stair way…All photos were matted and framed in the same colors.  This display will enable us to add additional photos going up the stairs… Home owner can change out pictures as time goes on for a updated gallery.  I recommend a little fun tack on the back of the photo’s so the do not slide around.


The second photo gallery belongs to Pam – Her beautiful home is located in West Caldwell New Jersey – Since her photo gallery was located in the hall I decided to do more of a precise hanging rather than free flowing.  There is really no rules on hanging a gallery you can do it any which way you would like, this was just my preference.   You remember the looks I was talking about….well I got a lot of them on this job.


Here are a two other examples of some photo galleries that I like…as you can see you can get really creative…The idea is that you should stay with the same color and matting to make the gallery look  attractive.
unnamed (1)
Farm House Gallery Gallery Found on Houzz
Upper Canyon Estate Gallery Found on Houzz
Frames and Matting-Michaels

Wednesday, August 12, 2015



Now that fall is around the corner (there I said it)  it is time to focus on the entire of our homes… I don’t know about you??? however,  in our home it is a rule that we do not do any work in the interior of our house during the summer.  Its all about being out doors and enjoying alfresco dining and hanging out pool side enjoying the sun and warmth……but reality is that school starts next month and we all return to a normal routine.
Chincoteague Oysters from VA…in a sherry vinegar mignonette and a nice bottle of Poully Fusse’
DSC_0614 - Copy
Grand son Jake age 7 surfing in pool.

So in this blog I am featuring some idea’s for a featured wall in your home….One wall shout out wall can make all the difference in your home….It doesn’t necessarily need to be a wall with outstanding architectural features.  It can be a plan ordinary wall in a main room of your home.  The materials that you can use are endless, from fabric to stone.
Accent a wall with reclaimed antique doors
Line a wall with reclaimed wood for a warm cozy look.
The use of fabric in draperies is a great accent wall feature.
Probably the most inexpensive way to feature a wall is by using paint.
tumblr_nrz3qmQwag1r4mmz8o1_500 (1)
Built -ins are a beautiful way to accent a wall.

Built -ins’ and a ceiling are the featured walls in this bedroom.

Add a chalk board using chalk paint found at your local hardware store.

A bathroom wall of wood breaks down the white…giving it a warmer element.
The built-ins and accent pieces are used to feature this living area’s walls.
Don’t forget wall paper is back in Vogue….a bit more expensive then paint, but more dramatic
Top of the expense scale, the use of stone as an accent wall..
Lets not forget some art work to use on your featured wall.
This is my featured wall in my family room….a large piece of art work and some vases.

Well, I hope that I gave you some inspiration for your upcoming fall projects…..In our home, we are going to finish painting the rooms….as we moved in two days before Christmas …so not everything was completed before the warmer weather arrived….
Let me know if you have any name