Welcome to SHM Designs where life is our inspiration. Our company designs interiors and exteriors of homes, furniture and accessories. We are passionate about creating a home which is not only beautiful, but comfortable and functional as well. Our number one goal in every design is to create such a feeling that all you can do is SMILE!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Save Money using the 4 R's in Design: Reduce, Reuse & Recycle = Redesign

My #1 Goal as a designer is to find ways to Reduce Cost, Spend Wisely and  Save MONEY:
  • Sometimes all it takes to create a "Redesign"(new look) in your home is to Reduce the amount of accessories you have.  A bookcase, for example, that is filled to the brim can acquire a great new look.  Pack away a few of those novels - at least temporarily - and open up the shelves. Bookshelves are great places to artfully intersperse a favorite collection. Make random space on each shelf for one or two items such as a childhood toy, a unique souvenir or family heirloom.

Circa Interiors & Antiques

Better Homes and Garden

  • Reusing accessories and furniture in a Redesign is also a great way to get a new look at no cost. Go through the rooms in your home and look for items that can be rotated into other living areas. Don't limit yourself to accessories; furniture can just as easily be rotated. Create a cozy corner with a writing table that has been tucked away or place a chair near the fireplace.  Also create new natural centerpieces with items you find outside or with fresh fruit. Even though you are reusing items you already have, they will look and feel different to you in their new space.

Bosworth Hoedemaker

Centerpieces created with fruit and fresh flowers.

Courtney Giles

A cozy new corner.

Graham Moss

Move pictures around to create new arrangements.

  • Recycling in decorating is a fun great way to use items you already have and give them a whole new look creating a custom Redesign. Recycling is one of my favorite parts of designing.  I love the lines of older pieces and the challenge of giving them new life. I also love taking something and changing its whole purpose. Recycling allows a person the opportunity to truly express themselves. Pictures below are from Eddie Ross Blog. (I blog highly recommend)

Found at a flea market for $45

Look at the transformation : A little bit of paint and some velcro cushions . INCREDIBLE!!

Just Perfect

Goodwill Find

Some inexpensive, pretty fabric and look what you can have.

So Nice.

Remember: Reduce, Reuse & Recycle = Redesign.

Take Care,

For help designing a room that makes you smile, contact me and ask about my design services.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Best and Easiest Way to Choose a Room Color

I have been spending alot of time talking about color because it is what most people struggle with. WHAT COLOR SHOULD I PICK ??? I know its' hard.  You want to make sure you get it right. Well the easiest way I think to pick your room color is to start with an Inspirational Piece. Something that either has meaning or an item you fell in love with while on a shopping spree and just had to have. One reason that piece probably inspires you is because of its colors. Inspirations can come from anything, i.e. - a piece of furniture, a painting/picture, a rug or an object such as a vase. Whatever it is start with that and build from its colors.

The hallway pictured above uses a distressed cabinet as an inspirational piece.  This piece probably started as a simple stained wood cabinet which was distressed with blue grays and red tones.  Theses colors allowed the decorator to use both warm and cool colors in the room creating a visually balanced room. Using red for the door against the white walls creates an  impact but is softened by the neutral tones of the browns and beiges, soft shades of blues/grays and the various shades of reds used throughout the room.

The artwork above the fireplace is the inspirational piece for this family room. Like in the first picture, the walls are kept white, creating a neutral background for the bold colors used in the room.


In this room alot of items could have been the designers inspiration but I am going to choose the upholstered bed.  The designer wanted to give this room a crisp, clean, cool feeling. She achieved this by using various shades of blue and green. She created visual balance by using neutral colors of white and light wood tones.

The inspiration for this family room was the rug. The warm tones of the reds, browns and dark greens of the rug added to the already warm rustic feeling of this room.  Using the crisp white slipcovered couch and white cushioned chair created the visual balance needed in the room and the small accents of reds and dark browns throughout pulled the room all together. 

 I would love to hear your stories on choosing room colors. Send me a note in the comment box below.

Take Care,

For help designing a room that makes you smile, contact me and ask about my design services.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Decorative Painting: New Designer to SHM Designs

I am so excited to introduce one of SHM Designers:


Megan has been working professionally as an artist for the past 11 years.  She lives in Westminster with her husband and 2 children ( Kayla and Kolby). Her specialty is custom murals but she also paints beautiful home decor pieces and gifts.  Everything is custom hand-painted. Decorative painting is usually very personal, thus Megan works very close with her clients to assure they are truly happy.


 "I love to paint, and feel blessed that I spend most of my days doing just that. My favorite medium is acrylics, but when time allows, I still love to throw myself into a watercolor painting. I am always looking for new techniques to try, and different surfaces to experiment with. I believe that anything can be painted, and anything can be painted on. "

Past Projects of Megan's:

Mural for a Nursery

Mural for a Nursery

Mural for a Nursery

Custom Gift

Custom Gift

Mural for a Nursery

Mural for J&P Pizza

Mural Painted on Tiles

Mural painted on Slate

Custom Gift

Custom Gift

Mural Painted on a Saw ( Custom Gift)

You can learn more about Megan by visiting her website http://meganstantonbrown.com/

Follow Up:  As you all know from a past post, I am cleaning out my work room.  I have ALOT of Fabric, Yarn, Knitting and Sewing Books, Magazines and Patterns for sale.  Anyone interested in coming over and looking please contact me to schedule a time.  I will post some pictures this week.

Take Care,

For help designing a room that makes you smile, contact me and ask about my design services.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Using Color in Your Home: Painted Furniture


Color can be brought into a room in alot of different ways. As we talked about already, most people instantly think about painting their walls as a way to add color. My goal for the next couple of posts, is to get you thinking about all the other potential ways to add color.

#1 Painted Furniture:  I love painted furniture. It can add color and continuity to a room. It can also be the answer to decorating a room on a budget. New painted pieces can run from a couple hundred dollars to prices in the thousands. However, with a little elbow grease you can take an old piece, either given to you or picked up at a yard sale, thrift shop or consignment store and turn it into a beautiful custom piece.

Take a look at this video on how to paint a piece of furniture:

It's that easy! Try it on a old piece that you're thinking about throwing away.  Antique and vintage furniture have such incredible lines that you will be amazed at the transformation it will have after being painted.

Millstone Trading

Yvestown Photostream on Flickr



 Here is an example of what a little paint and new upholstery can do for that piece you are storing in your basement because its been in your family and you feel awful getting rid of it.

Old Settee

Old Settee

Look what updated paint and new upholstery can do. I had this done for a clients bedroom. We spent less then half the cost of what a new piece would of been. ( More pictures of the whole room to follow. We did alot of things like this. SOOO much fun!)

Hot Tip:

If the idea of painting a piece seems to time consuming, consider spray painting.  Rustoleum has some great products and a good selection of colors.  I have used their products on alot of my projects and have been very satisfied.  What's also nice is they have products for all surface types. Check out their website for more information and some great how to videos.: http://rustoleum.com/

Take Care,

For help designing a room that makes you smile, contact me and ask about my design services

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Helpful Tips for Painting a Room

Moloney-Smith & Associates

In everything we do there is some type of cause and effect which creates a mood. This is also true in decorating. Whenever you enter a room, you instantly feel something. Whether you realize it or not a MOOD has been established by how it is decorated and the COLORS that have been used. Therefore, picking your colors are very important.

Decorators talk about color in terms of properties or qualities; hue- the name of the color, value-the amount of lightness or darkness in a color and intensity- the amount of brightness or dullness in a color. You can use these three color properties to create a room that you love.

  • Usually the first word that pops into peoples head when hearing the word color is PAINT.  Painting a room is probably the easiest and cheapest way to create or change the mood of a room. It is also the LAST item I pick when creating the look of a room. It is soooo much harder to find rugs, fabric, curtains/drapes or furniture that match your wall color then it is to find paint to match your home decor. Today you can pretty much get any color you can imagine in any hue, value, intensity that you want.  If you can't find it, most companies can blend colors to make it. So please save yourself a headache and pick your home decor first. Here are some of my favorite paint lines that I have used:

Benjamin Moore
Sherwin Williams
Ralph Lauren

I just got a great book on colors and am finding that Farrow & Ball has colors that I just love.   I have never used them but their colors are wonderful and their tips are great.

Useful tips from Farrow & Ball Paints
  • Start by thinking how light moves through your house and the effect it has at different times of the day
  • Consider the period of your property and whether this also influences your choice
  • Think about the colours you are comfortable with - look at your clothes, your car, furniture and fabrics. Decide on a palette that feels right to you
  • Don’t be tempted to use too many colours on architectural features as you may distract from the very thing you are trying to enhance
  • The traditional approach to decorating is more colour on the walls than on the woodwork; however, reversing this can be equally effective
  • Monochromatic schemes (using the same color in different values and intensities) are particularly good for irregular shaped rooms as they help to iron out any visual faults

Interior Design Magazine

Take Care,

For help designing a room that makes you smile, contact me and ask about my design services


Monday, February 14, 2011

#7 Favorite Home Decor: Color

Windsor Smith

Color is one of the most exciting and versatile tools you have in decorating a room. You can take the plainest room, with the most simplest, inexpensive furnishings, and with the proper color, transform it into something incredible. Everywhere you look your eyes see color.  Whether you realize it or not, different colors cause different emotional responses.

Below is a list of colors in order of their popularity with most people, along with the impressions and moods they generally give: (source Penn Foster College)
  1. Red- strong, stimulating
  2. Blue- serene, cool, remote
  3. Violet- impressive, stately
  4. Green- restful, calm
  5. Orange- cheerful, warm
  6. Yellow- sunny, bright
With all this said however, you may respond to a color totally different then someone else because of your individual experiences in life. For example you may hate the color blue because as a child you had to wear a blue sweater to school everyday as part of your uniform. In this case, blue would not be the color to paint your room. Therefore, it is really important before starting a painting project, to understand how certain colors make you feel.

Paint companies are working hard to make deciding on color easier.  There are websites that allow you to experiment with paint colors. You can actually paint an online room to see how it looks. Here are two of those websites;

I've given you a collection of some beautifully painted rooms. While looking at these rooms, stop and think: How do they make me feel?
Jan Showers

Amy Morris & Emily Jenkins Followill Photography

Gina Kates

Angus Fergusson Photography

unknown source

 unkown source

unknown source

Taking the time to think about the mood you want to achieve in your home will bring you closer to creating a home that will always makes you smile. 

Take Care,

For help designing a room that makes you smile, contact me and ask about my design services.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Home Projects

Have you ever finally decided to start A project in your home and then the next thing you know you have 15 projects going on at the same time. Well that is exactly what has happened to me.  As you know I decided   to change my downstairs work room into a showroom /office. A very BIG project but one I was excited to do.  Now go back about a year, my daughters decided they wanted to have  "older" looking bedrooms.  We decided to start with Sara's room (she is the oldest) and then move down in age.  I started her room, but got to a point (mind you, we only had the desk and the wall paint) where she couldn't make any final decisions. Every week she would change her mind.  So we put the project on hold. Of course as soooon as I dive into the project downstairs she decides she knows exactly what she wants and wants to get things moving again.

I say to myself that's fine, I can handle both of these projects at the same time, start a company and continuing working with my existing clients.   Women are great at multitasking! First item on Sara's list hardwood floors (actually they have always been on my list for all of the bedrooms). So I call Mark (a great carpenter that works on alot of projects for me) and I go to order the floors. I quickly find out that it is more cost effective to order ALL of the flooring at the same time.  That means flooring for 4 bedrooms and a family room.

Yes my friends, I now have to tear up 6 rooms pretty much at the same time and continue on with my "normal" life. And if you personally know me, normal is not apart of my life!

Needless to say we are just going to take a leap of faith, hope my marriage can handle this added chaos, and move forward.

Here are a couple of before pictures of Sara's now empty bedroom and what the rest of my house looks likes. So much fun.

Hallway upstairs now storing furniture.

Sara has moved into the guestroom. Isn't it great!

The dining room is perfect for holding wood.

If I am a little late on my blogs, you now know why. Can anyone say CRAZY !!!!

Take Care,

You to can have your house look like this, contact me and ask me about my design services.

Believe it or not I am still SMILING! I am actually having fun. I love design.