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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.


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5 Home Staging Tips When Selling in the Winter

If your home is on the market during the winter months, here are a few extra staging tips and ideas to ensure your home will show well during the chilly and sometimes weather challenging season.

Chicago home staging

#1. A Clear Path.  Make sure from curbside to front porch your potential buyers have easy access to your home.  Keep walkways clear of snow and ice. Purchase a non-salt based de-icer that will not leave white residue tracks.

#2. A Shoe Removal Friendly Foyer. Make it easy for people to remove their footwear with seating and a stylish boot tray in the foyer. You don't want the 1st impression to get off on the wrong foot.

#3. Light it up. During the winter months, evening comes early and days may be overcast. Keep your exterior and interior lights on timers so that your home is well lit for showings. Replace light bulbs with a higher wattage and choose a bulb that casts a warm tone.

#4. Bring on the Greens.  With nature on siesta, have a evergreen container garden to greet guests, showcase your porch and to liven up the entry to your home. Inside, pack away the fake floral and replace with potted flowering plants in pretty containers and a few vases of fresh floral.  Fresh always adds a bit of hospitality and creates a cheerful display.

#5. Set a Warm Mood. Give home lookers a sense of cozy by making sure the temperature is at a comfortable setting, rooms look inviting with an added decorative touch of a warm throw, a few extra pillows and the flicker of a few candles. Use battery operated candles which are safe while you are gone for showings.

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Great Accessories - Tiered Serving Stands

fall decorating ideas, tips, home accessorizing

I speak often about 'Good Bone' accessories, who's look you can change out with ease.  Accessories that can be used in many ways, swapped or turned into something else and are fundamental pieces in your accessory collection. 

A few months ago, one of my clients was ready to give her kitchen island a fresh new look.  I suggested a tiered serving stand. They come in assorted styles, heights, materials and can be found on-line, in catalogs or at any retailer. These stands are perfect for endless display ideas. They can be used to house small items, display seasonal or hobby finds, or can sweep into service to display cookies, appetizers or more.

Here are a few ideas for displaying:

Home decorating tips

Gardening items in this wooden three tiered stand. Perfect for the gardening hobbyist.

accessories for the holidays

Christmas tinsel and glass ornaments make this stand ready for the holidays. I see it displayed on a foyer table.

Home entertaining tips. holiday

Ready for service. This cute wire stand is displayed with bagels and coffee. Just the right touch for a special breakfast or brunch.

Home bathroom decorating ideas.

For the bathing beauty. Tiered serving stand used for toiletries and soap.  The perfect thing for a visiting guest.

(Pictures collected from Pinterest)

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Home Decorating Ideas - The Art of the Mix

Home Decorating tips Chicago
Wouldn't it be pure bliss to have an unlimited budget to make your home lovely.  No regard for the bottom line or being reduced to look at price tags?  Oh joy.  As a Chicago home decorator, interior stylist and stager there is no fun in that scenario!

I love the thrill of the hunt, find euphoria in using what you already have and get giddy using my creativity and cunning ability to reach the same end. Now that's pure bliss.

My job with clients is to know when to spend it and when not to - getting that right mix.  A beautiful home should have a rich collectiveness - A mix of rich with poor, old with new - A 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 - Most 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:
USE IT:   Most of us over the years have accumulated 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, reupholster, 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! 

SPEND IT:  O.K., even though I'm supposed to be the budget decorator, sometimes you have to spend a bit.  Love that vintage French one-of-a-kind-kind piece, knowing it will be perfect for your 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 may need repair and is a perfect example of 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 now upgraded to "antique heirloom."

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 a bit of cash.) And the 2nd feat is to have the knack for eyeing that inexpensive item that has the look of expensive.   Shopping expensive is easy; anyone can walk into the Chicago Designer 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 you have found at a discount retailer in silver-plate and the plate becomes instantly "Sterling" by association.

The end result is a beautiful home that has the perfect mix...
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Art on the Cheap DIY - Wallpaper and Walgreens

Home Staging Chicago

Time constraints can be a gift.  It’s amazing what you can drum up when in a jam. I sometimes do my best thinking at four in the morning.   I had a busy day ahead, with client appointments mixed in with home staging shopping. As I mapped out my client/shopping route – I could not factor in a stop at a wallpaper store kind of far away. I needed a roll of wallpaper for some DIY art I was going to make using framed wallpaper. Buy a glassed frame, cut up the paper, stick it in the frame and WAYLA! - Sassy art.  My idea by creating my own was; I could control the size of the art, no lollygagging around shopping for a certain sized art - You control the size.

Tick Tock... I was stuck thinking about the out-of-reach wallpaper and then I got an idea…  What if I just printed off the wallpaper instead of driving to that store?  My mind started spinning and I remembered last time I was in Walgreens I noted they had these cool mega huge printers like fancy print shops. Out came my laptop, I signed into my Walgreens account and looked at my super size printing options.  I had the wallpaper print photo from my presentation design board, so I just uploaded the picture. Next, I just picked my size and ordered two 20"x30" posters. Lucky me, all large prints were 40% off. Cool - total cost $44.00! 

It took all of 5 minutes to complete the order. The prints were ready before I even headed out for the day and I just picked them up on my route! Two poster frames later and here are the results. 

This time, time was on my side.

 Chicago Home Staging

Home Staging DIY

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Infographic: Time to Redecorate - DIY or Hire a Designer?

alt="Redecorating Infographic">Instylemodern Infographic
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REALTORS who use a HOME STAGER - Are 'STAGED' Themselves.


As a Home Staging business owner, my livelihood is to assist Homeowners and Realtors in the process to best present a home to appeal to the buyer pool. A well staged home offers the best 1st impression both online and in person.  Time and effort have been invested to package the home for optimum appeal by investing in updates and changes to spruced and styled the home from curbside to back fence. The result is a home that showcases its best features and styled to emotionally invite a buyer to see themselves living there.

I made an observation the other day about ALL my Realtor clients - Just like a homeowner who makes the commitment to stage their home, my Realtors have made the commitment to ‘STAGE’ themselves.

Each one has bettered themselves by investing years of educating themselves on all aspects of Real Estate, honed and upgraded their sales, interpersonal and business skills - making everything about them a great 1st impression. Then they take their business to the next level by partnering with a Home Stager. Having a Home Stager on their team does two things. It offers their client the best marketing plan to showcase their property and the staged home itself becomes a reflection of their professional brand. They build a reputation that every home they list will always show its very best.


Back to my observation. A Realtor and I were waiting on a stoop for our 2nd home staging client to greet us. I was raving about how nice the 1st client had been, and inquired how she had gotten the listing.  She answered that the homeowner found her on Zillow by her great reviews, and that the seller had interviewed 4 other Realtors. She was the chosen Realtor because she offered the best marketing plan which too included a professional stager and photographer - Just what the homeowner was looking for!

By setting herself apart by branding her business, she was awarded the listing. By going extra lengths to make her business model the best, by creating the total package, she created optimum appeal for the homeowner to list with her. She is a STAGED Realtor.
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Style Your Patio - From Slab to Sensational!

Interior Stylist Chicago, One Day Makeover
Don’t let your back sliding door be the end of your living spaces.  Now that a warmer season is upon us - your patio is the perfect muse for your decorating creativity, and a wonderful expansion to your home’s entertaining square footage. Give your patio a room makeover! There is a bevy of outdoor furnishings, textiles, accessories and lighting to create an ideal outdoor oasis.   With a little professional direction, a bit of creativity and shopping, and clues from your existing “inside” space, the incarnation of your new “living room” is easily fashioned.
  • Start with color. Whether a new palette or a twist from your interior hues – a designated set of colors will help you set a direction for your space, and make gathering your goods a breeze.
  • Anchor the space with a great outdoor rug. Create “walls” by using footed lanterns, screens, large potted plants, or benches. The walls will further help you define your space.
  • Set-up your outdoor room much like you would inside your home, using the same guidelines for flow, function and focal points.  Include all the comforts of home, such as throw pillows, ottomans, candles, art, and of course accessories.
  • Hang a mirror on one of your walls to reflect the beauty of your garden, fountain or focal point. Or use the mirror to mimic a doorway to another space.
Interior Design Chicago, Decorating, Styling, Staging

  • Introduce a water feature.  The fountain will add an element of calm with its sound, refresh the senses with its movement, and mask unwanted noise from nearby traffic or neighbors.
  • If your city code allows, add the element of fire with a chimenea, fire pit or fireplace. A fire element can be a hypnotic focal point to a patio space.
  • Add an array of exterior lighting.  From accent, chandeliers or floor lamps to strings of clear outdoor lights – lighting creates mood, and adds a festive feeling.

The use of stylish details can take a plain concrete outdoor space to a whole new level, transforming your patio from slab to sensational!


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Julea's Home Stylist Lessons - Decorating Workshops for Homeowners

home staging, decorating and interior design workshops and training

We are excited to now offer a new series of workshops - 'Julea's Stylist Lessons'. Do you love to decorate, just can't get enough of HGTV, and wish you could get a how-to guide to styling your home? Get ready for a home decorating and staging educational series, created specifically to cater to the design passionate homeowner – YOU!

Home Accessory Workshop

If you love to decorate and want the inside scoop on styling your home - Join Interior Stylist Julea Joseph as she addresses accessorizing your home. Let’s kick off the summer season with an informative and fun workshop on creating fresh updates for your home using accessories - Both inside and out. From making a mantle fabulous, dressing your el fresco table, to Julea’s top 10 accessory ‘musts’ for every abode. This workshop will not only inspire, but show you the fundamental rules of good design.

FEE: $25.00. (Light refreshments served).
Date: Wednesday, June 5th 6:30pm-8:30pm.
Location: ‘Mitchell’s Flowers & Events’ 14309 Beacon Ave - Located in the lovely Orland Park Historical District. Shop in their designer studio and receive an event discount. Space is limited. R.S.V.P. 708.448.7500 Julea@Julea.com. To register click on my EVENTS link: 
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10 Great Home Decor and Accessories You Should Buy

When styling your home, seek out 'Good Bone' pieces that can transform any space in a big way. These home decor items can be shifted to another room at a whim. They have a timeless design and will have a place in your decor and accessory arsenal for many years. Ten great home decorating pieces that you should always be looking to acquire.

1.)    A CLASSIC SET OF BLACK TURNED CANDLESTICKS/HOLDERS.  Their curves, the color, and their varied height make for a classic lesson in good design.  A nice set of candlesticks can be used in any setting - from al fresco dining to adorning an entryway table.

home accessorizing chicago

2.)    A SILVER TRAY.  Modern or detailed, sterling or silverplate - a silver tray sets a rich stage for any vignette. It works for hosting hand towels and mints in a powder room prepped for a party, to a setting place for business cards, holiday cards or daily mail.
home decorating, styling, home staging chicago

3.)    A PARSONS STYLE CONSOLE TABLE. Simple, timeless chic - this mainstay can slide behind a sofa, in a foyer or can double as a desk.
Home Shopping Services, Chicago interior design

4.) A CHINESE GARDEN STOOL.  These little wonders come in traditional and modernized versions and can be seated anywhere.
Interior Decorating Chicago

5.)     A SET OF NESTING TABLES.  Table chameleons. Can be tucked next to any seating, or be all spread out.
Home Staging Orland Park

6.)    A BOWL SHAPED VASE.   From creating a crafty terrarium to showcasing summer peonies, this vase style will bowl you over with its many uses.

Home Stylist Chicago

7.)    18”x18” SILK COVERED DOWN FILLED PILLOWS. Sized right, organic, textural and totally comfortable.  These pillows can dress up any sofa or chair. 
How to Accesorize

8.)    A 6’x 9’ JUTE RUG.  Rough yes, but in a good way! This style of rug can create the perfect juxtaposition in any space.
Home Staging

9.)   A 'WOW' PIECE OF ART. Whatever your medium, whatever the subject, whatever your style - Every home deserves to have a great piece of Art.
Design Services Palos Park, Illinois

10.) A LARGE, REAL ORCHID.  Easy to take care of, not too pricy and long lasting - Orchids are just beautiful.   Add an orchid on a cocktail table or as a centerpiece and your plain space just got elevated to high style.
Home decor, decorating, design, staging Chicago
White Orchids by Just add Ice Orchids
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10 Bad Home Accessories You Should Never Buy

Certain home accessories should be left at the store when you are decorating, or staging your home. Let's take a look at what is considered in my opinion - to be the most offensive decor-ruiners.

1.) A 6 foot silk ficus tree from a craft store.

fake, faux, tree, silk

2.) Mass produced art that you see over and over again in every store.
How to choose wall art, accessorizing, interior styling Chicago

3.) Pillows too big for the seating you are buying them for.

home decorating, accessorizing, styling, staging with pillows

4.)Anything you would consider putting on top of your kitchen cabinets.

Kitchen decorating, accessorizing, design, Chicago

5.) An area rug just right for the width of the cocktail table rather than the conversation area.
rug, room size, wrong

6.) A large Plain Jane framed mirror for over a fireplace mantle or sofa.

Accessorizing fireplace mantles

7.) Really short lamps for your nightstands next to your pillow top bed.

master bedroom decorating

8.)    Ivy garland to adorn or drape a piece of furniture.

Family room decorating

9.)    Your 36th photo frame for family pictures.

Accessorizing with family photos, decorating, styling, home staging Chicago

10.) Anything that has a moose, bear or angel theme.

Home accessorizing, design, decorating, home staging Chicago

Source:(All images found on Google Images.)

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Selling Your Home? I don’t want to offend... but you don’t belong here - I do the Home Stager.

Home Staging Company Chicago
Honestly, don’t be offended and don’t get emotional, but you don’t belong here anymore. We all know there is a perfect formula to selling a home and you are not part of the equation - but I am. From your basement crawl space stuffed with holiday decorations to your favorite purple hue you just adore in your master bedroom - when you are ready to sell it's time to remove you from your home.

I have been in the Home Staging business for 14 years, specializing in occupied homes rather than empty ones. Houses filled with people, complete with pets, kids and the whirl of our daily, crazy lives. I get it - I too have a house filled with just about the same stuff (well maybe not the purple bedroom). I am sensitive to understanding the emotional connection we have with our belongings and the place we call home. But if you want to sell your home, it all boils down to you and your stuff - No offense.

Here’s the bottom line, when you sell your home, there is a particular group of people that want to buy it.  Your Realtor and I will help make that determination. He/She does this for a living and is familiar with your demographics such as schools, transportation, affordability, floor plan and amenities. I know what people want and what makes your home desirable to someone. One of first questions I ask when walking through your door is “So, who’s buying your home?”

What does this group want?  They want to move into your home and not have to do a bunch of stuff. I promise they will not love your kitchen wallpaper, your purple bedroom, or Illini themed basement. They can not see past your overstuffed storage space, Mom's and your collection of Llardros or your cat box.

It’s my job to help you prep, paint and style your home so it is irresistible to that group. Can you do it on your own? Some can but not most. Most sellers are emotionally involved - what you think is great most likely needs to be tweaked. What you think is uncluttered is not, and guess what, I can smell your cat!  Pay the price and have a seasoned expert help you detail the most expensive thing you have ever owned. Build your sales team - You, Me and the Realtor. Our goal is to sell your home so you can go buy another one. Now let go and let me in.

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Backyard Chickens - Coops are Chic!

chicken coops are chic
Our Backyard Chickens.
Little did I know almost 12 years ago when I bought my first batch of chickens that someday they'd be the trendy chic backyard hobby to have.  Why did I get chickens 12 years ago? Well, we bought my childhood home complete with a chicken coop on 1.5 acres, and being an avid reader of Martha Stewart magazine, she had chickens and a lovely garden - So why not me too? As a kid we had ducks, bunnies and I rode my neighbor's horses, so the little town we had moved to was 'pet' friendly as well.

I share the street with a Horse and Rider in my 'pet' friendly town.

My Chicken Coop 'Coup du Jour'

[Turns out my coop is very old, having been the my neighbor's historical estate out building before they subdivided the land post WWII to build my home. ]

It all seemed serendipitous since not only did I have a coop, lived in a chicken friendly town, but a feed store, aptly named The Feed Store carried chickens and was the same place we got those ducks and bunnies as a kid.  A quick chat on chicken raising with the staff and I drove home with 6 baby chicks and bags of chicken chow. I created my French kitchen garden the same summer.  Eggs were gifted to me by fall as well as something else - Community.

Colorful Eggs from my Hens
Soon, my friends would bring their kids or grand kids over to my 'farm' to see the chickens and my garden. I would open my mailbox or door and there'd be a note with a bag of egg cartons or veggie peels for my chickens to eat. I was giving my fertilized eggs to the local Montessori School for classes to hatch.  The kids even had a field trip to my home to see their fruits of labor and my garden.

My French Garden Kitchen

William -Sonoma  Chicken Coop
So what a surprise when I started reading in the paper that the new trend was to have chickens. Even more of surprise when I saw that William - Sonoma had hopped on board the coop train and has an Agrarian collection in which they offer up coops to bee hives. From the city of Chicago to suburbs, the idea of having backyard chickens seems to have hatched! I was visiting the San Francisco Bay area a few weeks back and it seems everyone has a fancy coop, even in property tight Berkley, CA!

Having a coop does also requires a bit of maintenance and setup. Read this great article about maintaining and setting up your coop before your make your final decision on a coop investment from my friends at Treats for Chickens. 

10 Reasons to Check Your Chicken Yard + Checklist

Why I love my Chickens:

  • Daily fresh organic eggs.
  • The best organic fertilizer for my garden.
  • All my veggie, bread and fruit scraps that would have been in the garbage - feeds my chickens.
  • When free ranging, eat bugs keeping my garden pest free.
  • Creates community.
  • Fun to have
Thinking of getting your own coop? 
Maybe I'll create the next buzz and get a few bee hives!


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Business Cards - Your Visual Elevator Speech

Business Cards - They are meant to quickly broadcast, inform and remind prospective clients and associates who you are and what your do.  They are a small snippet of your branding and identity, your business finger print.

If you're just starting off they should be 1st on your list for advertising and marketing purposes.
Companies such as Vistaprint.com  are super easy to work with and can produce a great card.

As your business grows, so should your cards:  Your business evolves and you will find what works for marketing and doesn't.

First Impressions:
  • Afford only the best.  Budget restriction may impend the quality of your cards when you 1st establish your business. But as your profits rise, spend the monies to have a card professionally created and executed by a graphic designer.
  • Print your cards on good quality heavy stock.
Show off your Talents:
  • Your logo, color and stock paper color can express your talents and reflect that finger print.
  • Text - Be reminded of KISS - Don't over do the card with too much information. I've seen more logos on a business card that the business identity is lost.  Same goes for a multitude of services. You've got 3-5 seconds for them to read it. It should be about you not your associations you belong to.
  • Font - Make sure it is easy and large enough to read.
As an example - Here is the evolution of my cards:

Fresh out of my specialty Interior Redesign and Home Staging training I ordered these cards from Colorful Images. I called myself a 'Home Stylist' only to be confused at my High School reunion to be a Hair Stylist.  I quickly changed my position to Interior Stylist to better identify myself.

Reinventing Space and The House Stager

the house stager

 (Black and White copy of cards)
rs OLD

We had relocated to Chicago where no one knew what a Home Stager or Redesigner was - I hired a very fancy graphic designer to create a new identity for me. Originally my business identity and cards were a split personality. I had them printed on craft paper (I had a whole "Packaging" the product theme) By offering two cards I could showcase my two services  which both where virtually unknown in the Chicago-land market.

What I discovered over time -
  • Square cards don't fit into any protective business card cases, making for a lot of squished and bent cards in my brief case and purse.
  • Having two identities is ultimately confusing to your clients, associates and press.
  • Font and text size is too small for anyone over 35 to read unless they have a magnifying glass. 
  • Upscale Craft paper stock although beautiful and coordinating w/the "Package" theme is very expensive and not easy to match and readily available when wanting to do quick marketing campaigns such as post cards, pass-outs, gift certificates and flyer's.


Large font, defined logo and focus on the services that drew the biggest client base.

  • The House Stager has been shortened to HOUSE STAGER and only used  for website marketing and educational purposes.  
  • Square cards still. People love them and identify that I'm in a creative business. Too bad about not fitting in a carrier.
  • One identity and more personal individual name branding. This goes hand and hand w/my website. REINVENTING SPACE.com which was WAY to long to type, remember, and spell...  so I now use JULEA.com.  If they can't spell it, they can't find you.
  • Font and text size adjusted for over 35 year eyes -  My target market...
  • White paper coincides with easy marketing, and is less expensive. K.I.S.S.

  • New fresh logo and color scheme.  Easy to read.  I now am building a team of associates as part of my business plan, so the cards offer them a not so overpowering identity of 'Julea'.

 So when it comes to your business cards, make sure they evolve with your business identity -
Are professional and of quality materials to ensure the stature of your business, and quickly and effectively identify who and what your do -
Making that visual elevator speech a success!

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Fe Fi Faux Plants - How to Use Fake in Your Decor

Faux, fake or silk plants and floral is fine in your home decorating IF you use it sparingly and they are displayed to look as if the real thing.  The whole point of fake is that it looks realistic and doesn't require watering or weekly replacement.  Good for us, that there are some beauties out there for us to choose. Here are some rules to use when buying or styling your spaces with faux floral.

1.) Be in-tuned to current styles. Page through shelter magazines, websites, blogs and such to get the scoop on the latest trends and styles.   If you've got ivy perched on top of your China Cabinet, Armoire or Entertainment unit, please remove it.  Using ivy to adorn the tops of things went out with the dress-up Goose.  Instead, re-house the ivy in a rustic glazed urn or colorful pot and add it to an appropriate counter or table as a welcomed accent.

An Ivy Issue... (from uglyhousephotos.com)
Ivy housed in a glazed pot.

2.) Make sure it looks real.  From color palette, texture, scale, etc. when shopping, make sure the product is as close to nature as you can get.  If shopping for a large tree or floor plant - Think how this species would look in nature.
Silk fern terrarium by NDI
Fern Terrarium by NDI

Trees should look as if in nature.

3.) Make sure it 'could' grow.  I've seen ficus trees in the oddest places, mostly in some dark corner of a windowless room - Common sense says plants need light to grow, so place it near a window where it can pretend to grow.

Ficus tree in dark corner (Photo: Source)

Place faux trees near a window to mimic a real one.

4.) Floral Arrangements should look too as if a professional florist put it together for an occasion, a store bought or garden arrangement you added to a vase or as an artistic statement for the style of your home.  A mega sized rose in an urn arrangement on your dining room table says "My daughter just got married, or I wish I was living at Downton Abbey."  Stay true to the bones of your home as well as what would be appropriate (an affordable) if real.
Look for faux floral that are appropriate

5.) Display floral in 'season.'  Tulips, daffodils, forsythia and forced branches are perfect now, sunflowers, not so much.  Consider rotating out or refreshing your floral as the seasons change.

6.)  Consider the purpose of the room.  A 4 foot vase and sticks is not great on the TV room's cocktail table, a tree in place of the refrigerator in a vacant staged home can't fool anyone and an ivy line powder room shelf, is only a dust collector. Instead, add the curly willow arrangement on your entry table and add just a simple square vase with fresh eucalyptus from your local grocery store.

Curly Willow from Vickerman

7.) Use a Light Hand.  Acres of fake floral or trees or plants adorning your home is too much, the best rule of thumb is to use the rule of three.  One large, medium and small in a large room and one or two in a small room.  Too much of anything looks like your hoarding.

A trio of florals adorn this room.  (Photo: House Beautiful)

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