Theme Layout

Boxed or Wide or Framed

Theme Translation

Display Featured Slider


Featured Slider Styles


Display Grid Slider

Grid Slider Styles

Display Trending Posts


Display Author Bio


Display Instagram Footer

Blog Archive

Powered by Blogger.

Julea Joseph

Julea Joseph
Hello - I'm Julea


A stylish home shouldn't be out of your reach or cost you a fortune. From entertaining to decorating, home should be celebrated and your special place in this busy world. Join me on my adventures to enhance, celebrate and appreciate all things home.


Connect With Me


mail_zps793320b3.png Pinteresticon photo 

pinterest_zps86954fe7.png Facebookicon photo 

facebook_zpscbaa8773.png Etsyicon photo 

etsy_zps6a4bf45a.png Twittericon photo 

twitter_zps899d66e4.png YouTubeicon photo 

youtube_zpsb8bc64f4.png Google icon photo 

google_zps953c7303.png LinkedInicon photo 


New HGTV Episode!

Just got word that another of my series of interior design work for HGTV's "My First Place will be airing  - HMFP-1209, is scheduled to premiere Tuesday, January 12th at 8:00 pm ET (7:00 pm central).

Filmed in Wrigleyville, this fabulous flat's 2nd bedroom had some decorating challenges!  Take an akward 9'x15' space with one big Honkin' window from Manly Minimal to Lady Executive Chic!  Too... Work within a budget shopping from furniture to flowers and style it in 1/2 a day.  Oh yeah, in the parking poor city of Chicago on Saturday!!!  Man I used all those sassy Home Staging skills. It was a BLAST - Tune in to see the results.
Minimally Before....
Share :

The Great Holiday Hostess

The Great Holiday Hostess-

Hosting is defined as the art of graciously welcoming guests into your home. As the winter holiday season arrives, don’t just deck your halls with fabulously festive seasonal décor – remember, too, gestures of hospitality that demonstrate your thoughtfulness are top priority. From easy flowing furniture arrangements to the smallest personal details, it’s amazingly easy to make each of your holiday guests feel welcome and comfortable. The best thing about the holidays is spending time with family and friends to enjoy celebrations and share traditions - and having as much fun as your guests is the surest sign you’re a great hostess!

Five Senses for the Holidays

Sight: Gather miniature twinkle lights and place them under a glass cake cover on a footed cake stand to create a glowing display. Choose mix and match jewel-tone chargers, and stemware paired with your white china for a kaleidoscopic hued table arrangement. Add strands of colored beads tied up as napkin rings.

Touch: Place a small trunk or decorative box by the front door filled with warm, cuddly slippers for your visitors. Add layers on chairs and sofas with chunky, thick, luxurious throws. Provide plenty of white and red boas and an array of Santa hats for guests to adorn themselves.

Taste: Create conversation and make your holiday party memorable by featuring Napa inspired appetizers along with a wine and cheese tasting. For the kids - a table setup for "make-your-own" mini pizzas. Have plenty of fun toppings, pita bread and water crackers, and bottled pizza spread on hand.

Sound: For that magical jingle-jangle, hang wreaths or ribbons adorned with tons of bells on all your doors. Nothing says "Welcome" more than the crackle of a fire, favorite holiday tunes on the stereo, great conversation, and the laughter of children.

Smell: In addition to the aromas created in the kitchen, incorporate candles and oils featuring seasonal scents such as cinnamon, cranberry, gingerbread, frankincense and peppermint throughout the house. Consider tossing dried herbs or cedar chips on the fire in the fireplace for added scent-sations.

Finishing Touches

Swap out typical chandelier shades and chain covers for brilliant hued or shiny ones, or get crafty with added trims or other adornments. Drape evergreen, floral, fruit or ornamental garlands through the arms of chandeliers and wall sconces.

Encourage the creative side of your kiddos and have them craft one-of-kind ornaments for party guests. Use their creations for double duty -- first as place cards for dinner seating, then as unique take-home gifts with special memories.

Utilize your Good Bones serving pieces. Oversized martini or daiquiri glasses not only work well at the bar area to hold olives or lemon twists, but also on the buffet filled with dips, dressings, or spreads.
Share :

Hip Holiday Trends

As we slip into the holiday decorating season, one my wonder what's "in" to suggest to your clients when refreshing their seasonal collections?

Personalize It - Monograms! Add a font or two to textiles, containers, glass pieces, ornaments or door wreaths to give their seasonal wares a signature look. Don't forget to take that same theme right into their entertaining items too. (Ornament from: http://www.themonogramdivas.com/ )

Individuality - Make it Your Own. Introduce a new accent color to your traditional color scheme of green and red. Try metallic lime green, hot magenta, a plumy purple or burnt oranges to infuse a bit of unique into your holiday decor repertoire. (Wreath from: http://www.overstock.com/ )

Au Naturale - With Eco-Green still running strong, advise your clients to go natural with forced bulbs such as amaryllis or paperwhites as centerpieces. Rather than using silks, incorporate real greens, branches, pods and berries into their decor. Consider natural fibers as a juxtaposition to all the satins and velvets.
Share :

HGTV Dining Room Transformation!

See what Julea does for an empty space, for new homeowners on My First Place.

Re-Air Times December 8th and December 22nd. 7:00 pm CST! http://www.hgtv.com/my-first-place/picky-and-plugging-away/index.html

The 2nd home in a series of 4 - From furniture selection to finishing touches, see how Julea takes a space from plain and empty to elegant & entertainment ready!

Share :

Paint Transformation

It is amazing what a bit of color on you walls can do!

A new client had built a lovely custom home, but had struggled choosing paint colors, so had stared at "Contractor White" walls for 4 years.

Here's what a new color palette can do -

1.) Create mood within a space.

2.) Emphasizes key architectual focal points.
3.) Enriches the furniture and/or elements of the room.

4.) Sets and defines the stage, for additional decorating - IE. Window treatments.

Paint choices chosen: Sherwin Williams
Great Room - Golden Fleece SW-6388 Fireplace wall Arresting Auburn SW-6034
Kitchen - Compatible Cream SW-6387

Fabric choice for kitchen & family room

Share :

Tread Carefully When Seasonally Staging/Decorating Your Home

I'll be getting interviewed for our local paper in 1 hour on Holiday Decorating & Entertaining. After spending the weekend compiling my thoughts and doing a bit detective work, here is my thoughts on Holiday Decor for your home.

Retail can be overwhelming; you can be swayed and tempted a few times within an isle these days. From new color combinations in the ornament lane, to adorable tiny bales of hay - Retailers aim for you to spend. So here is a philosophy to apply when seasonally decorating -
· When seasonally staging/decorating a home keep true to the bones of the home and the decorative style of the interior. Be very careful when dressing and styling the home to keep in-tune to the price point, architecture, and decorative interior style of the home whether it is for sale or not.

Example: A Colonial looks best with classic seasonal decor on the outside - The burlap Hoe-Down theme looks out-of-place with the classic lines and refinery of the home. Instead, replant your entry Urns with seasonal finds - Tall grasses, mums, kale, pumpkins or gourds. Or create a bit of whimsy with a pumpkin topiary by stacking graduated sized pumpkins within the urns. Symmetry is key when working with formal style.

Example: Inside: IN this same style home an entry or dining table looks festive with a fall inspired floral in an eye-catching container of polished copper or silver. Apple baskets or primitive wood containers will not be in-tuned to the home's style. Instead, mix in a bit of everlasting pods, berries or branches to bring a bit of the "nature" trend alive. Purchase plaid or a fall colored stripe yardage from a local fabric store for use as runners or simple throws. The plaid or stripe pattern will pair beautifully with your traditional interior design. Want to create that cozy feel - Look for throws in a small pile "fur" such as sheared mink.

On that same note, it is a struggle these days to find the time to even consider not using paper plates, paper table clothes and throw away serving trays when hosting a celebration. DON"T! Unless you have over 60 coming, paper is just a no-no. Whether it is a Broker's open or a Holiday gathering for friends and family, take the extra effort and make it special.

Example: Broker's Open/Casual Gathering - If you have to get "throw-away," purchase clear plastic or at least the paper square plates in a solid color. Crazy patterns and motif only fight with what is on the plate, and if they're extra cute, become the conversation rather than the home... Transfer the chow to new platters. If the food is store bought, by this simple move, it goes ready-made to home-made. From thrown together, to thought out. Add a bouquet of fresh seasonal flowers, a "with compliments" bag of pumpkin seeds with your card attached, and you've just made a great statement.
Share :

Room Makeover Services - As Easy as 1,2,3

1st recommended by her Realtor when she 1st arrived in the Chicago land area from Louisville in 2007, my new client wanted to put her stamp on her new home. We used what she already owned, and made her new home hers with a new wall color paint palette and interior redesign.
Three years later, relocated again - I'm at it again with her new home in Indiana.

If you're read to make a change, or have just moved into a new home, Room Makeovers are great way to revitalizing a home. Also know as interior arrangement, or redesign, this decorating technique celebrates the homeowner's existing things. By using the client's own pieces, it validates past purchases, embraces family treasures and readies a space for new decorating ideas or purchases.

  1. Color Consultation - Often times a new homeowner wants to start decorating their new home from the get-go. Gone with the old homeowners, in with color choices in-tune to her belongings and personal style.

  2. Interior Redesign- We take what you have and make it all work within your new home. In a few hours, your blank space becomes your space. Your room becomes balanced, functional and unified. Best of all, you get instant gratification, validate your existing pieces, and readies the space for family and friends. If added items are desired, I'll create a "wish list" of things that will enhance the room further.

  3. Shopping & Traditional Design Services- If you'd like to refresh and add to your collections, I can make suggestion or shop for those new pieces. I too offer more traditional design service such as window treatments and one-of-kind accents such as custom floral arrangements to add those finishing touches to your space.

End Result: A home you can call you own, without the stress of thinking you have to buy ALL NEW. A space you can entertain and live-in within a few weeks of moving in.

"The thing I love about you Julea is that I would of thought to put everything back just the way you had it in my old home, instead your found a whole different way of arranging and displaying my things to fit into my new home - creating something fresh and new." - Angela

Share :

Cranberry Chicken

October Recipe of the Month – Cranberry Chicken
This month’s recipe came from my good friend Susie – Who said it’s not really a recipe but a totally delicious meal made from a few ingredients. Of course, I had to put a Julea spin on it…

Table Setting of the Month: Welcome the new season with a smart new center piece. I found this adorable cat topiary at my local grocery store (Jewel,) and paired it with a fall swag unearthed from my many “Fall Decorating “ boxes. Twisted and circled into a wreath for the topiary to sit in. Drape your table with pumpkin hued fabric and adorn the top with an ethnic rug usually found on my wall for the fall season. My lovely Italian artichoke colored plates with olive motif make for a nice setting, along with this year’s Birthday gift serving pieces from my Dad and his wife (http://www.qvc.com/)

Cranberry Chicken
4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
¾ cup Catalina Salad Dressing
1 14oz. can of Whole Cranberry Sauce
½ Envelope of Onion Soup Mix
Instructions: Heat oven to 350. In a large baking dish, combine all ingredients, except chicken and mix well. Add chicken, bake for 1 hour.

Sided with: Halved Acorn Squash baked for 1hour 15 minutes. Sprinkled with rosemary, sea salt and pepper, wrapped in foil.
Uncle Ben’s Long Grain & Wild Rice – Herb Roasted Chicken flavor.

Share :

“Falling” in Love with Your Home 2009 Style

Mother Nature is beginning to put on her grandest show for the year, and we’re heading to the attic or basement for all those boxes marked “Fall Decorations.” As many of you would agree, fall is a great season to change out or update your seasonal and home décor, but just like our wardrobe, sometimes we need to weed out or refresh our stash. Here a few ideas and tips to help you update your home for the season and infused the latest trends into your home décor.

1.) Give your rooms a new arrangement. Fall is the perfect time to review your spaces and ready your rooms for the upcoming succession of holidays. Like a blank canvas, a new arrangement gives you an introduction for a medley of fresh ideas from accessory placement to infusing new color ideas. By starting at the base, you can layer on interesting new ideas, rotate your collections and perhaps come up with something totally new! (Insider Arrangement tip: Your hearth, piano or picture window is appropriate launching points for your new redesign.)

2.) Shop Your Home & Reinvent It. Unveil those fall décor boxes and sort through your decorating goods by shopping your own home. Metallic’s are at the fore front of 2009-10 trends. Could your ceramic pumpkin and Indian corn collection get a hip makeover with a quick coat of trendy antique copper paint; perhaps those pitted cabinet knobs, a lamp bases, or a painting frame could be given the same coat, creating a new metallic tread to your décor? From lamp shades to art print’s mats – small changes made to your old stuff gives them the same result as a bit of Botox! (Insider's tip: By updating more than one accessory item with a common color element, you'll create a new rhythm & flow to the room.)

3.) Put it into Rotation. The same stuff out all the time, in the same place becomes a bit dull on the eyes - Consider a rotation of your accessories. Packing away a few of your room accessory staples when seasonally decorating, not only rejuvenates your room, but when you bring it back into the mix, put it in a different spot! My motto is – “A pumpkin in, means a Lladro out!

4.) Layer it On. As the temperature goes down, the layers come out. Nothing speaks more to the season than cozy & warm textiles. Hot trends are nature inspired textural prints, animal motifs and ethnic patchworks - So incorporate layered fabrics and other textiles like rugs into your seasonal decorating. Have an old quilt that can be reinvented into a beautiful pillow, framed as art, or upholstered into a footstool? (Patchwork stools by Horchow.)Don’t be afraid to layer more than one rug on the floor or consider that rugs can be wall art too. (Insider Tip: No one ever said you can’ use fabrics as accessories – Down tables, tossed on sofa backs or tucked into or on top of bookcases or armoires.)

5.) Setting the Room’s Mood. Nothing is cuter than Mr. Scarecrow you picked up at the craft show, but is he appropriate sitting in your formal living room? Remember to set the mood of the room with how you accessorize it. Mr. Scarecrow would be better far better suited to hang out in the kitchen, and sitting on your cocktail table a repurposed silver serving tray adorned with pine cones, leaves and candles more befitting for the flavor of the room. Ombre is a trend, so why not invest in a few large ombre colored candle holders for a new candle look. (Ombre Candle Holders from World Market.)

6.) Coordinate with Color. Incorporating a new color palette into a space is one of the easiest ways to revitalize a room. Some new color combinations may evoke your creativity when seasonally accessioning your rooms, looking for a new pillows, window panels, throws or creating vignettes:

Coffee Bean Brown paired with Artichoke Green
Deep Plum paired with Paprika
Apple Green paired with Tomato Red
Smokey Blue paired with Champagne Beige (Pottery Barn Panels.)

Share :

The Secret Formula to Creating a Beautiful Home - The Perfect "Mix”

Ahhh… wouldn’t it be pure bliss to have an unlimited budget to make your space lovely? No regard for the bottom line or being reduced to look at price tags? The sheer joy…. For me, there is no fun in that – What about the hunt, the use of creativity and inventive cunning to reach the same end? Now that’s bliss…

A core philosophy’s of my business is getting the right “mix” – Defining when to spend it and when not to when it comes to decorating and styling your home. For me, a beautiful space has a rich collectiveness - A mixture of rich with poor, old with new - A secret recipe that in the end defines the legacy and personality of the homeowner.

My business signature is using what you have, and then moving on from that. For most of my clients, shopping is not an issue, nor is what they already own – It’s the mêlée of pulling it collectively together to distinguish their space and define their style. Whether they’re puzzled on how to make their living room inviting or launching into a remodeling project – They struggle with knowing how to mix that perfect recipe.

My secret formula is to know when to use it, when to spend it, and how to get the look for less. The total package has to fit together with your personal taste, style of your home and most importantly – Your Budget! It doesn’t matter if I’m staging your home, helping you decorate for a party or holiday, or consulting on a major renovation – The formula is the same. So what’s my formula? How you obtain that perfect recipe?

Here are the three ingredients:

  1. USE IT: Most of us over the years have acuminated things, whether bought, inherited, or found, we have stuff. If you take a hard look at your stuff; I guarantee there is treasure galore within your inventory. Can you repaint, upholster, and update it? In another room, would it look better or have better use? Your old stuff is your legacy, it defines who you are, and if it doesn’t, I’ll let you know. As an educated professional, my talent is to be able to identify what can be used or not when it comes to making your spaces beautiful. Although, most would not cast me to appear on “Antiques Road show,” I’m pretty good at knowing what’s worthy, and really good at using it if it fits into the grand plan.
    Whether it’s a couch, painting or lamp, I’ll let you know if it will work, or if it’s an undiscovered treasure that we can use “as is,” or is worthy of a reinvention. I did a staging recently and came upon a signed Leroy Neiman print that the homeowner had picked up at a garage sale. They were going to toss it because the matting was ragged and damaged and the print was falling out of its frame. After a quick look over and a suggested run to a framing store for a re-mat & tune-up - They’ll have a pretty snazzy “real” piece of showcase art!

  2. SPEND IT: O.K., even though I’m supposed to be the budget decorator, you just have to sometimes SPEND IT! Love that vintage French one-of-a-kind-kind; will be perfect for my awkwardly sized foyer- Entry Table? – Go get it. It will become the showcase to your home. You’ll love looking at it every day and it will define the style of your place. There has to be expensive in the mix – and there will be a times that spending the big bucks is a worthwhile or part of the grand plan. That stuff may be pricey, but you can fill in the blanks with less expensive or fabulous finds.
    The other piece of SPEND IT has to do with the quality of things. Sometimes you can’t get it for less; sometimes the workmanship upstages the price point. Your inherited Grandma’s dining room set can be broken or made by the SPEND IT choice you make. Pair her set with off-the-rack Target window treatments and rods and her set is reduced to a “tired pass-down.” Pair her set with custom one-of-kind window treatments and the set is upgrade to “antique heirloom.”

  3. LOOK FOR LESS: Getting the LOOK FOR LESS is a two- fold feat. The 1st feat is to see if you can find the expensive, SPEND IT item for less (you still have to pay $$$ for it though.) And the 2nd feat is to be to make choices at discount store, and have the eye for inexpensive items that LOOK expensive. Shopping expensive is easy; anyone can walk into the Mart and find fabulous stuff, expensively priced. Finding its identical twin or a knock-off for a fraction of the price takes talent and an eye. Getting that look for less, filling in those blanks makes for that perfect “mix.”

  • Say you’ve got a few lovely Sterling silver pieces. Pair those with a few more in silver-plate, and the plate becomes instantly “Sterling” by association… The end result is a beautiful mix…
Share :

Easy Gourmet - Twisted Surf & Turf

Easy Gourmet - September 09 Twisted Surf & Turf

We’re all pinching a penny or two these days, so I came up with an inexpensive, but rich meal. The key to great cooking is to have a well stocked pantry, and be wise when shopping. Price items out, don’t be afraid to shop at “alternative” discount stores, but reserve a few bucks for gourmet items to add a rich twist to your meals. In this recipe pairing, I took simple ingredients and upgraded them w/a few POW items.

  • Table Setting of the Month: - My “use what you own “philosophy extends to table settings. For our table setting, I employed a sarong as a runner for the table for its color and sea theme. Fish themed plates, napkin rings a Batik table cloth with fish motif completes the setting (-all already in my entertaining arsenal.) The big prize was flowers purchased for $3.99 a bouquet at a discount food store. Bought in threes, for a total of 10 bucks a knockout rich floral for my table setting.
    Hint: Consider purchasing an array of Gourmet Sea salts and serve them on scallop shells (which you can buy at a gourmet food store,) as a great option to a typical salt shaker To see all of my great serving ideas watch the ‘Easy Gourmet” show, Channel 4 on http://www.palosheights.org/.


Herbs de Provence Rice - Take simple white rice to a new taste level.

1 cup white rice
2 cups water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon herbs de Provence (can be purchased at local gourmet food shop or store such as HomeGoods or TJMaxx.
1 tablespoon unsalted butter to finish
Instructions: In a large, microwave safe bowl, mix all ingredients except butter. Microwave on time cook for 21 minutes at power level 6. Let sit for 5 minutes, stir in butter to finish.

Chili Shrimp Salad -The Chinese chili sauce adds just the right zip to this totally tasty, be easy to make salad.

12 oz. bag of frozen jumbo shrimp thawed, drained and chilled.
1 bag Butter lettuce salad mix
1 Yellow Pepper - Chopped
1 Cucumber - Chopped
1 Tomato - Chopped
Chili Dressing:
½ Lemon juiced
¼ cup Italian bottle dressing
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon Chinese Chili Sauce (Found in ethnic food isle.)
Instructions: Whisk together dressing ingredients, add shrimp to marinate. In large bowl combine lettuce mix, chopped vegetables and marinated shrimp and dressing – Toss.

Blue Cheese Butter Filets - Taking a petite steak to a whole new level.
1 cup crumbled blue cheese
1 stick unsalted butter room temperture
2 packaged bacon wrapped Fillet Mignons
Instructions: Bring fillets to room temperature. Heat grill. Mix together with fork, butter and blue cheese. Reserve for serving. Grill steaks to desired doneness. As soon as steaks are off grill, add tablespoon of blue cheese butter to top. Serve immediately.

Share :

July - Easy Gourmet Recipe: Grilled Pizza

Grilled Margherita Pizza

With summer now in full swing, why wouldn’t you want to get that grill going, rather than heat up the kitchen? This recipe brings back memories from my days living in San Francisco! Try this classic style pizza in the grill. The fresh ingredients are all available at your favorite store or farmer’s market and if you want to by-pass making your own dough – Trader Joes has fresh dough in their cooler section.

Ingredients for Topping:

Extra virgin olive oil
Fresh vine ripe tomatoes
1 clove garlic, crushed and finely chopped
Buffalo or Cow milk fresh mozzarella cheese – Sliced.
Fresh Basil
Salt & Pepper to Taste
1/4 cup fresh shredded parmesan cheese
Pizza Dough:

1 cake fresh yeast (Cake yeast can be found in the Egg section of most groceries.)
2 teaspoons sugar
1-2 cups warm water
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt


In a food processor or mixer with dough attachment, add yeast, sugar, salt, 1 cup of water and 1 cup of flour. Pulse to mix. Let set for around 5 minutes. The yeast will activate and start to foam. Add rest of ingredients, and add water slowly while pulsing and then mix till the dough is balled. Set in oiled bowl for 30 minutes. You can make dough night before and then allow to come to room temperature. Heat grill to Medium-High. Make sure the grate is well cleaned and oiled. On a floured surface, roll out pizza dough crust to pie pie sizes. Oil crust, and arrange toppings. Grill around 12-18 minutes depending on grill heat, rotating once. Top with Parmesan - Salt and pepper to taste. Serves 4.
Share :

What's IN for OUT-Side

The great thing about retail these days - Is we have so much to choose from. Here are some of the latest hot trends when it comes to decorating your outside places.

  • Anything Tie-Dyed or Ombré

  • Geometrical and Super large Prints

  • Bright Happy Colors - Especially Blues, Greens & Oranges

  • Sophisticated Neutrals paired with Brights

  • Black Accessories and Accent furniture

  • Things with Wings - Birds, Butterflies, Dragonflies

  • Birdcages

  • Outdoor waterproof Art

  • Cut-out patterns, lattice and textural accents

  • Artisan Glass - Hand blown, Bubble or Mosaic
Share :

Easy Gourmet Recipe & Table Setting Ideas – June 2009

I'll be hosting my niece's baby shower in September. As I was going through magazines and books - I found these great recipes, twisted them slightly and came up with this month's recipes for the "Easy Gourmet" Cable TV show.
To watch a summary of the show Easy Gourmet.
  • They're super fresh, easy to make, and perfect for a wonderful lunch or light dinner on a perfectly beautiful early summer day. Of course make for interesting dishes for a shower too.

Table Setting Idea: For this month's table setting idea - I mixed vintage styles - Wonderful quilted fabric yardage I had picked up for another project - Which gives us a kick-off to June with its cabbage rose motif and soft summer colors. I paired the fabric with my Retro "soup and sandwich" luncheon set - Which is PINK!

I threw in a bit of current with stemless platinum banded wine glasses. The wine I selected was "Fat Bastard" Rosé - Which is you know the label, the packaging is as deviously delicious as the liquid inside!

The Floral arrangement is perfect for any Centerpiece for a buffet or entry way for entertaining. I used a knock out, lush hanging coned container garden I picked up my my local grocery store. All the rage this season, I removed the wire hangers, and placed it in a gazing ball stand. What a instant statement for a summer soiree!

Don't be afraid to pair different styles. By using color as their common thread - It all works. Being slightly out-of-the box is GOOD!

BLTs with Caesar Mayo
-Shopping Cart
· 1 Package of pre-made bacon of your choice.
· 3 tablespoons of Mayo
· 1 tablespoon fresh Parmesan cheese
· 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
· 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
· Splash of Worcestershire sauce
· ½ clove of finely diced garlic
· 2 anchovy fillets
· Crusty bread slices
· Sliced ripe red tomatoes
· Romaine lettuce leaves
· Salt & Pepper to taste

1. In food processor, combine mayo, cheese, lemon juice, mustard, diced garlic & anchovy fillets, mix to smooth.
2. Cook bacon as per package instructions.
3. Toast bread.
4. Spread Caesar mayo on bread slices. Layer on each side of bread tomato and lettuces, then pile with bacon.
Serves 4.

Cold Cucumber Soup
-Shopping Cart
· 1 large English (Hot House) cucumber peeled and cubed
· ½ Yellow Bell Pepper cubed
· 2 Green Onion diced
· 1 teaspoon fresh mint chopped
· ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
· 1 tablespoon dill mix spice
· 1/1/2 tablespoons olive oil
· 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
· 1 cup yogurt
· 1 cup sour cream
· Chopped chives to garnish

1. In food processor, puree all ingredients till smooth.
2. Chill 2 hours.
3. Serve with chopped fresh chives, and dollop of sour cream.
Serves 4.
Share :

About Reinventing Space...

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Reinventing Space
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
Make a Smilebox slideshow
Share :

Super Staging Tips on CLTV

Make sure to tune-in to Chicago Tribune’s CLTV the weekend of May 16 & 17th – Homes Plus show!

I'll be featured with a recent Staging I did for a Homewood couple on a bare-bones budget.

See how with just a few gallons of paint, focused and strategic styling, and a bit of elbow grease – A home can be center stage!

If you don’t want to empty your purse, but want to make sure your home is prepped, polished and perfectly package for today’s very competitive market – Here are some tips Julea will be discussing.
· Always keep-in-mind the price point when making changes.
· Consider your home’s style and feel when updating and decorating.
· Clean, un-cluttered and neutral is appealing to a wide group.
· Add a bit of flavor with a pop of color or seasonal flair.
· Make sure to check the 5 senses within the home.

For your local listings visit http://www.cltv.com/ Homes Plus is on at 9am. And 1pm. Every weekend.
Share :

The Tale of 2 Teachers, 2 Mortgages and a Baby...

Ah-Hah! You thought that hiring a professional Stager would cost you big bucks and they were exclusively for fancy, expensive homes.
Think again. With the wise advice of a pro, a homeowner can make smart, economical updates and enhancements to their home to get it prepped and ready for the market.

Case Example The Tale of Two Teachers, Two Mortgages and a Baby…
With a baby, two mortgages, and salaries as music teacher and swimming coach - This young couple was working on a super tight budget to make their for-sale home shine! With the help of a stager, they made great choices on how to stage their home.
Home Statistics: Starter or Down-size Home 2 Bedrooms 1 Bath Price $150,000.00
Pluses: Great cottage feel features, fireplace, beamed ceilings, nice size rooms, awesome, high ceiling bonus room off kitchen.
Issues: Empty, Too personal choice of paint colors.
Action Plan: Because of the price point, no drastic changes were made – Instead with a fresh coat of paint, a few ceiling light fixtures and strategic staging the home was transformed.
#1. Make repairs and updates yourself. With a few stager chosen paint colors and a few key economic updates – In one weekend the home began the shine - Paint, etc…$ 150.00
#2. Empty Rooms? What should I do? Rather than renting furniture, the homeowner purchased and borrowed a few advised key pieces. Once sold, the new will go to their new home – Furniture $ 1400.00

#3. Making it a Home. Once painted and furniture delivered, the professional stager swept through the house - bringing in a host of accessories, art and window treatments, thus turning the house into a home - Staging Fee $ 750.00

Results: See for yourself…. http://www.realestateshows.com/393418
Share :

Easy Gourmet Recipe of the Month - April 2009

These Recipes are perfect for a special spring brunch, baby or wedding shower. Pair the quiche with a wonderful baby mixed greens salad, and cheese cake for dessert - And you'll be the great hostess for your next event!

To watch a streaming video of the show "Easy Gourmet" visit Palos Heights Channel 4 at -http://www.palosheights.org/

Canadian Bacon & Potato Quiche
1 Refrigerated pie crust
1 cup frozen shredded potatoes, thawed
1 cup ½ pieces fresh asparagus
¾ cup diced Canadian bacon
½ Cup shredded Havarti cheese
4 eggs
1 cup of milk
½ teaspoon dried marjoram leaves
¼ teaspoon salt
Heat oven to 375◦. Roll out pie crust into glass pie pan. Bake around 7-8 minutes to set crust.
While pie is baking, whisk eggs with milk, marjoram and salt – Set aside. Grate cheese, dice bacon and cut asparagus.
Remove pie from oven. Layer potatoes, asparagus, bacon and cheese in crust; pour egg/milk mixture over pie. Bake 35 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Sparkling Grape/Lemonade
1 bunch red or purple seedless grapes.
1 bottle sparkling grape juice
¼ frozen pink lemonade.
Freeze grapes over night. Stir lemonade and sparkling juice in large picture. Add frozen grapes. Serve immediately.
Share :

An Eco-Chic Makeover - Celebrate Earth Day by Shopping in Your Own Home

It’s now chic to be frugal. It’s cool to conserve and you’re a total faux paus to even consider throwing it all out and starting over.

April 22 is Earth day and I think it’s just awesome that we’re collectively re-educating ourselves on how to be a bit more GREEN. But when it comes to making your home interiors beautiful, how do you following the emerald trail, and make Mother Nature proud?

Simple, you use what you already have!

  • A Room Re-Arrange – Give your spaces a fresh new look with a new room arrangement. As the season changes, so should your interiors. A change in your room’s foot print is a great way to revitalize your space. Take it a step further and switch out some of your furniture and accessories too. Swap out your dark wood side tables for those glass and metal ones from another room, or give your room a seasonal focal point by re-arranging the furniture to face your picture window rather than the fireplace.
  • Re-Move or Rotate – Sometimes by just removing or rotating your belongings, your room will have a fresh new look. I call it “archiving.” Too many family photos, a collection that has been you curio forever, or flower arrangements that have seen better days – Remove, or rotate them. Perhaps that collection can be swapped with another, or the family photos can be scatted around the home in smaller numbers, or the floral arrangement can be rejuvenated.
  • Rejuvenate Exisiting Things – Reinvent that tired floral arrangement by giving it a second life. Gather all your florals and stored stem and give them “re-do” by swapping stems, containers and greenery. That old dresser can be repurposed into an entry piece or dining buffet by reviving it with a fresh coat of paint, knobs and a great tassel attached to one of the drawers. A stale lamp can be given a new light with a new sassy shade, a new harp, or a nifty specialty finial. A favorite print can be re-matted and framed in a style or color.
  • Reupholster or Slipcover – That much loved old couch, side chair or settee which most likely has great bones and could use a shot of Botox with a stylish new fabric, and plump new cushions. Older pieces were sure built well, so if you’ve inherited a great arm chair or couch – It’s in your best interest to have it reupholstered or slip covered. Although a bit costly, it is a far cheaper design method than investing in an expensive high-end sofa which could run you thousands. The upside is you can do custom detailing such as nail heads or more than one slipcover - Which will give you a couture look.


Share :

The NEW Neutral - Grey

Grey Matters

There is a hip new color in town - If you’re thinking of giving your home a fresh coat of paint, adding new window treatments, or are looking to invest in a new piece of furniture, Consider Grey. Grey is the new hue, the new neutral – It’s the new Taupe. Grey has been sneaking into our palette over the past few years, showing up in fashion, and as now as part of new collections in large décor retailers such as Crate & Barrel, West Elm and Horchow. Pick up any decorating magazine, and you’ll see it too.
So what’s so great about grey? Grey is most associated with the practical, timeless, middle-of-the-road, solid things in life. And in times of economic challenges, well, grey is solid like a rock. This new neutral pairs perfectly with a wide range of colors, can bridge the brighter jewel-tone hues, and pairs beautifully with black, white and all shades of brown. And is you are an art lover, gray is the perfect backdrop to display your collection.
So if you’re ready to take a leap into a new color, grey may be a new choice for you.
Here are a few Grays to try out:
Sherwin Williams Gateway Gray 7644 -a beautiful warm tone, perfect for foyers and halls. Or is you need a bit of drama, try Ben Moore Affinity hue in Sparrow AF-720. This deep green gray is stunning when paired with cream and pewter. Or it’s close cousin, Sherwin William’s classic Library Pewter 0038 which I just used in a model’s library with cool blues, chrome, and browns.

Share :

Successful Staging on a Budget

We all watch those reality home staging improvement shows on HGTV...
In what seems like a day... A home that has been haplessly sitting on the Market, goes from drab and hopeless, to totally fabulous. The makeover is incredible! From a whole new kitchen (including appliances and really cute back-splash glass tiles) to a household full of new furnishings - All for a mire $2000.00! WOW, Staging sure seems remarkable.

Well, just like a sub-prime mortgage.... What seems too good to be true, well, is. The truth is - the TV show has a behind-the-scene staff of around 20, and they got that cute glass tile for free - Check the credits.... If you actually totaled the actual real-time labor and material cost you'd be at least five times that price, if not more...

But have no fear, ALL staging doesn't have to cost you a pretty penny - In fact, if smartly done, staging can make a huge impact -without the hefty price tag. The trick is having a smart Realtor and a good Stager. The smart Realtor knows that staging is going to take the home to the next level, and is the ultimate marketing tool. The good Stager is packed with creativity, and can advise the homeowner on cost effective updates that don't break the break, and will give you a bang for your buck to boot.

-Take my two latest staging as examples.
ONE - Done a few weeks ago - This poor empty town home that had sat on the market for over 250 days. Now with a new Realtor, the Realtor brought in her Stager - Smart Realtor. The out-of-state owners were willing to have the unit merchandised within a small budget. I worked with the existing color scheme, removed, touched up, and staged the unit with a frugal budget. The products were purchased JUST for the unit, and will stay with the unit when sold (A sassy marketing tool...) Beside just merchandise, a small bistro set and air bed were used to enhance the space.

The home was staged on Monday, the home went on the Market that weekend, and they had an OFFER on Tuesday - So within 48 hours of going on the market, the home had a buyer... WOW, Staging is truly remarkable, take a look - http://www.realestateshows.com/show.php?id=371391&resize=1

TWO - My second staging was just done this past Saturday. The near empty home had been on the market since September, with no interest, and now too has a new Realtor - who brought a stager in - Smart Realtor.

From my suggestions the seller agreed to painting a few key rooms of the home, making it "Move-in Ready." The paint crew worked Thursday and Friday. I came in at 8am. on Saturday morning to stage the home. With some merchandising and using what was left in the unit - The home was staged -

With a bit of advertising the Realtor had an open house on Sunday, all with gushing reviews, and another showing on Monday, and an offer on Tuesday. Wow, staging is truly remarkable, take a look: http://www.realestateshows.com/show.php?mls=basic&id=374821

So, with a bit a frugality, smart updates, and a great selling & marketing team - You too can successfully stage your home on a budget.
Share :