MHS Wish List: Dolce & Gabbana

MHS Wish List: Dolce & Gabbana

I’ll give it to Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana- they know how to make a statement with their clothes. And while I find most to be about 3 steps past the point of wearability, this blouse is sublime… With a price tag to match.

Bring on the sales!


Small Spaces, Big Style

Small Spaces, Big Style

large_logoDefinitely an oft-sought style question is how to properly and stylishly decorate a small space. While Colorado residences are not typically lacking in square footage, my friends in New York City and Boston (among other places) have a different real estate reality.  And even among our comparatively ample digs, we all have a small room here and there; the following will hopefully help you achieve big style in a small space.

FURNITURE– A small room does not require correspondingly small furniture that will only draw attention to its modest size. Instead, choose pieces with clean lines and a simple design and avoid the oversized (a lounge chair), over-stuffed (sofa), or over-done (certain period antiques). Additionally, stick with materials like lucite, glass and mirror, that carry no visual weight, and be mindful of where and how you incorporate wood, the heaviest of all materials. Finally, if space for seating is limited, a pouf  (google it) functions as a chair without taking up additional space.

PROPORTION– Simply because your furniture is scaled appropriately does not mean you can’t play with the proportion of accessories. Plants, pillows and a vase can be large to communicate volume, contrast and drama without sacrificing the room’s balance; on the contrary, it only adds to it.

CLUTTER– As important as the scale and lines of the furniture is any ‘stuff’ you do or don’t keep on it. Simply put, clutter kills small spaces. Good design (both in your home and in fashion) requires balance between the available space and the details that fill it. I recommend removing at least 2/3 of current surface elements and judging the difference. You can always add more back later.

WALL– Utilizing wall space is another sure-fire way to keep surfaces clear and clutter under control. Mount your television, combine photos into one (or multiple) framed  collages that hang in a picture vignette, and put books and keepsakes on shelves.

LIGHT– One simple way to open a room is to light it up. If you have big windows and great natural light, keep the glass clean and window treatments minimal. A simple roman shade will add privacy and panache without infringing upon valuable space. Furthermore, to bring attention up (a popular trick in designing small spaces), hang a crystal chandelier or (if vertical space is limited), a flush or semi-flush ceiling mount fixture.

PAINT– I don’t follow the herd regarding the rule that dark paint exaggerates a space’s small size. Some of the coolest and most modern paint colors belong to darker families, and I believe that the style boost garnered from having such a shade far outweighs the possibility for any (slightly) enhanced coziness.

BEDROOM– The easiest way to gain space in a bedroom is to replace two bedside tables with one chest of drawers. If you’re coupled, this arrangement won’t work, but a single person living alone has no need for the standard model of two. Past that, all the above rules still apply with one bit of advice: if your walls are dark, please use light colored sheets and if your sheets are patterned, that should be the only pattern in the room.

How To Sell

How To Sell

large_logoIn my line of work, classifieds and consignment stores are crucial. At any given time, I must be able to source furniture and home décor items for my clients, and with some insisting on the lower prices characteristic of secondhand furniture and others requiring pieces that aren’t currently available in stores, online classifieds and local consignment stores have become an invaluable resource. Needless to say, it is also an ideal solution for you and anyone who wants to recoup some money on items that no longer are needed or loved. And yet despite the popularity and necessity of classifieds, most listings are a disaster. The following should be considered when listing items you hope will sell and command competitive prices.

PICTURE– You would think this is obvious, but including photos of your merchandise is an absolute necessity. At any given time, there are multiple listings for any item and whoever presents an accompanying photo cuts the queue. The picture should be clear, well lighted, representative of all angles, and attractive.

WORDS– Accompanying a good photo should be a great write-up. I am not suggesting your listing sound like a description out of Architectural Digest; however, the more personality you can infuse, the better it reads. In that vein, explain why the piece is special, any history it has, alternate ways to use or place it. If you know its market value, definitely include this information. The more you can tell your audience about the item, the more interested we will be. If repairs are required, providing recommendations (when applicable) will go far.

HONESTY– Furnishing misleading information about a piece (whether intentional or not) is the fastest way to lose the sale. Many listings tout design buzz words like ‘mid century modern’ and ‘art deco’ to describe pieces that are not. If you don’t know the style or origins of a piece, simply say so, but attaching misplaced design significance makes me question other possible inaccuracies.

CONSIGN– Without a doubt, listing and monitoring items yourself takes time and effort. If you have neither to spare, consignment stores take the responsibility for showing and selling off your hands and tend to move items faster. However, they also take 50%. I advise opening an account with your local shop; even if you sell the big ticket items yourself, smaller pieces (votives, pillows, glass objects, coasters) do sell and add up to a respectable chunk of extra change.