Embracing the Many Facets of Bamboo

Room HINTS with Jenifer Jones





Designer Hints with Jennifer Jones of Niche Interiors

  1. What is the best accessory to complete a room?    

Good lighting! A table or floor lamp can make a world of difference.

  1. How do you decide on the color scheme for the room?

To create the design concept and color scheme, we use our clients feedback after they’ve reviewed customized image books. There are SO many shades to choose from that showing clients brilliant images is much more effective than just telling someone about a certain color!

  1. The secret to styling a mantel?  

Asymmetry and layering are so important when styling a mantel. Don’t be afraid to layer higher objects in front of artwork or mirrors.

  1. Designer pet peeve?

High water drapes! Gets me every time.

  1. Without fail design hint that you have learned over your career?  

It’s so important to measure doors, hallways, and elevators before placing furniture orders.

For more information on Jennifer Jones, Interior Designer of Niche Interiors check out www.nicheinteriors.com

10 Tricks to Make Your Home Magazine Worthy

10 Tricks to Make Your Home Magazine Worthy

by Amanda Kingloff November 25, 2014 Yahoo.com

Do you flip through the pages of Elle Décor or Domino and just sigh, wishing that your foyer, bedroom, or coffee table could look that good?

Here’s the thing…you probably have everything you need to have a beautifully styled bed, an artfully set dinner table, or a fantastic foyer right at your fingertips. Don’t believe me? Read on for easy tips, tricks, and hacks for styling 10 different areas in your home like a pro.




You’ve seen the color-coded bookshelves time and time again, but they just can’t be beat. Arranging books by color calms the eye and organizes the space into blocks of color. To break the trend a bit, try not to fall into the rainbow order of color—group your blues next to pink and your lavenders next to yellow.

Lay books on their sides so that you have some vertical and horizontal lines working for you. This also allows you to give some of your favorite knick-knacks a little stage.

Image via One Good Thing

2.Coffee Table



It’s so easy for your coffee table to get cluttered with ugly stuff—remotes, school books, empty cups—but if you set the stage for a well-styled coffee table, perhaps your family members with take notice and follow your lead.

The best way to start is with a tray—it corrals the stuff and creates a little vignette, as the designers like to call it. Add something with a little verticality (flowers or a tall vase) and something horizontal (books) to add interest. And if the remote has to live there, it can easily hide away in the corner of your stylish vignette.

Image via Handmade Mood


3.Front Door



Maybe the most important location in your house, the front door should feel welcoming, seasonal, and friendly. A fresh coat of paint (love the unexpected color here!) is always a must, and seasonal flowers, plants, or outdoor knick-knacks take your curb appeal up a notch. Placing pots, benches, or baskets on either side of the door will bring symmetry and balance to your home’s entrance.

Image via Little Greene



4.Art Wall



Salon-style art walls have been the rage for some time, but it can be intimidating to start nailing into that blank, freshly painted wall. Instead of the painstaking measuring and cutting brown paper to the size of your frames (which can take forever!), first map out your wall size with painter’s tape on the floor. Lay your focal-point piece in the center and work outward. Stand up on a chair and take a pic with your phone so you know the arrangement as you start on your wall. This hack will get you the wall you love in half the time! (Also, don’t be afraid to mix 3D pieces like clocks, sculptures, hooks, and small shelves in with your framed pieces.)

Image via The Everygirl





After your front door, the next place your guests will see is your foyer or entryway. The upside to thoughtfully styling this area of the home is this: you can do it once and leave it alone. It’s not a place that has to draw everyday use (like a coffee table or kitchen counter for example), so you can be a little more precious here.

I love this 3-step design idea by The Hunted Interior: place a tall lamp with interest to one side of your console, lean a piece of art against the wall, and place a basket below the console that can be your clutter catch-all. Start with those three steps and then fill in with books and knick-knacks.

Image via The Hunted Interior

6.Night Stand



When you flip through the pages of your favorite home catalog or décor mag, every corner of the bedrooms always looks so clean and uncluttered. Tackling your nightstand and keeping it functional and stylish at the same time is not so hard.

First, get a nightstand with drawers. Open shelving gets messy fast, and drawers let you hide away your bedside unmentionables. Decorative boxes are great for nightstands so you can store jewelry, watches, and phones…the last things you take off and put down at bedtime.

Image via Sis & Taylor

7.Dinner Table



The pressure to set a lovely and stylish dinner party table is immense, and it sometimes feels like Pinterest is that playground bully saying “I’m better than you are—you’ll never beat me.”

Here’s a quick 2-step hack that will make your table bold and beautiful. First, use a dark tablecloth. Most of us have light-colored dishes so make them pop with a dark gray or blue linen. Second, raid your produce drawer for your centerpiece. Grab a shallow tray or basket and gather your richly colored greens, fruits, and veggies together for a bountiful centerpiece that doesn’t have to go to waste.

Image via The Kitchen

8.Mud Room



The key to a well-styled mudroom is all about the organization tools you use, namely, your bins and baskets. With all the hats, coats, boots, and backpacks that get thrown, tossed, and dumped at the door, if you have a unifying element like color or material in the bins that you use, you will find that the melted snow puddles might not bother you so much any more.

Image via Simply Seleta




Kitchen Counter



When it comes to kitchens, function has to precede form, but form certainly still has a seat at the counter. There are ways to have what you need when you need them and look great doing it.

Take this kitchen for example. Cutting boards and sugar are at your fingertips, yet it doesn’t feel like someone failed to clean up after themselves. Lean your loveliest cutting boards against the wall, and have a shallow basket to hold herbs, your fav cookbook, and the salt and pepper shakers that are too cute to live in the cabinet. And if you’re the type that likes to have your wooden spoons handy, it’s fine to keep them on the counter…just store them in a ceramic or glass crock that matches your décor

Image via Owens & Davis




You know when you walk into a fancy hotel room and you wish your bed could look that lovely and fluffed every day? If you follow this linen plan, you’ll feel like you should be paying big bucks to crawl into your own bed every night.

Image via Vanilla Slate Designs

How to Manage Clutter with Adult ADHD

How to Manage Clutter with Adult ADHD

By Eileen Bailey Aug 2, 2014 HealthCentral.com

When you have adult ADHD, organization is a never ending quest. You try and try, yet you never seem to get any more organized. You still have piles of papers and clutter all around. You still lose your keys on a regular basis and spend time every day looking for your cell phone. Don’t lose hope. The following tips can help you organize your home.

Start small



You might start off strong but soon get distracted and end up getting nothing done or become so overwhelmed you give up on the project. Break the task down. Start with one small area and work on clearing the clutter in that area only. Don’t think about any other areas of the house until this one is completed. If you find this overwhelming, set a time limit.


Don’t be afraid to throw things away



There is probably a lot of “stuff” that you can get rid of and never miss. Many people with ADHD find it difficult to throw things away, thinking they might need it in the future. Try designating one spot in your house, such as a drawer or closet, to keep those items you aren’t ready to let go. Once this area is filled, go through it and get rid of the things you haven’t used or thought about.


Cut down on new stuff



Impulsively buying things that draw your attention is a sure fire way of filling your house with clutter. Think about when you are most likely to buy the trinkets and gizmos that fill your house. Do you shop online? Browse stores because you are bored? Need to spend money every time you get paid? Recognize your triggers and avoid them.


Schedule declutter time



You can set aside 10 or 15 minutes a day or an hour each week. Experiment to find out what works best for you. Pick a small area each day, such as cleaning out one kitchen drawer or picking up the clutter from the living room. You might want to make it a family activity once a week and have everyone work on clearing the clutter from a small area. It is often easier to keep at a task when you work together.

Ask a friend to help



Sort items, room by room, into separate piles. One pile should be for donating, one for keeping, one for trash and one for “not sure.” Once you complete a room, immediately take the items to donate away and put the throw-away items in the trash. Designate an area for ‘not sure’ items. Once the area is full, you must decide what to do with them.


Go digital



Many bank statements and other financial documents are available online. You can save them directly on your computer rather than having papers stacked in piles everywhere. For documents not available online, scan them into your computer, and save them. Create a folder on your computer labeled “financial documents” and save all in that folder so you can easily find the one you need later.

Establish a routine



Do you and your family tend to drop items as you walk into the house, making every flat surface a breeding ground of clutter? Keep a large basket, a shelf or cubbies by the front door to leave keys, umbrellas, backpacks, books, purses. As soon as someone enters the door, they put everything in the right place, where it can be easily retrieved later.

The takeaway

If, no matter what you do, you can’t seem to get clutter under control, consider working with an ADHD coach, or a professional organizer for organization. A coach can work with you to come up with systems and routines to help you reduce clutter.

How to Compost

How to Compost

Composting reduces your home’s waste, helps the environment, and refreshes your flowerbeds.  Get started with these FAQs from RealSimple.com.

By Andra Chantim

The average American household throws away about 25 percent of its food. But if we composted that stuff, we would lighten landfill loads while creating nourishment for gardens and lawns. Cary Oshins, a soil scientist and the director of education for the United States Composting Council, explains the easy, earth-friendly practice.

How do you start?

Get a bottomless plastic, metal, or wooden container that holds about 80 gallons, or 10 cubic feet. (One you can buy: the Earth Machine Composter, $109, HomeDepot.com.) Place it on the ground in a shady area of your yard. On the kitchen counter, set a small lidded container (such as the Oxo Good Grips compost bin; $20, oxo.com) for catching compostables as you cook.

What foods can go in the compost bin?

Fruit peels, coffee grounds (and paper filters), eggshells, leftover vegetables. Don’t compost meat, cheese, or fish, because they attract animals. And skip cooking oil, which draws insects.

What else?

Any and all organic matter. Most of your compost should be made up of dry materials, like torn-up newspaper, twigs, dead leaves, and paper plates. These items contain carbon, which gives the microbes that decompose the pile the energy necessary to work their magic. Food and other moisture-rich items, like grass clippings, supply the protein that microbes need to reproduce. You’ll get the best results with a roughly three-to-one ratio of dry to wet. No worries if it’s not perfect; composting is very forgiving.

Is there any upkeep?

Watch the moisture level. The pile should be damp, like a wrung-out sponge—not soaking, like a swamp, or dry enough to blow around. If it’s too dry, spritz it with the hose. Too wet? Add shredded newspaper or wood chips.

What about the smell?

Maintain a thick layer of dry stuff, like dead leaves, at the top of the pile, and cover new food scraps with old compost. (Have a small shovel handy for this purpose.)

How can you tell when a pile has decomposed?

It usually takes four to six months for compost to turn into dark brown or black soil with a nice, earthy aroma. Once most of your pile fits this profile, take away the bin and let the finished compost continue to break down in your yard for a few weeks. Put the bin in a new spot to start a fresh pile. Kick it off by scooping in anything from the old pile that’s not quite decomposed.

What if you don’t have any outdoor space?

You can still recycle food scraps if you have somewhere to unload them weekly. Check with your local department of public works or a farmers’ market to see if there’s a drop-off site. In between hauls, stash scraps in the freezer in a sealed container lined with newspaper.

Finally, how can you use compost?

Think of it as food for dirt. Spread it over your lawn to nourish the grass, or mix it into garden soil.