Sheila Rich Interiors: Design Blog

Helpful tips and suggestions on designing your interior.

Recent blog posts

Breaking news – you can now find more of my interior design tips and advice in my monthly column, “Rich Ideas”, in the Asbury Park Press, both online and in print.

I’ll be talking about lots of design concepts and answering readers’ questions about anything and everything related to design, remodeling and pre-construction layout planning. No design challenge is too big or too small; after all, every aspect of your home deserves attention and makes an impact on family, friends, and even future buyers.

Got a seemingly impossible design challenge you’d like advice for? b2ap3_thumbnail_newspapers.jpg
Need some help transitioning your things to an active adult community?
Want to know how to make the best use of small spaces?
Preparing your home for the real estate market?
Aging in place or buying a multi-gen home that needs to include universal design?

From trends to timeless designs, professional to residential interiors, I’m happy to help you create the look and functionality that best suits your lifestyle or business.

You can read my column online or in print in the Asbury Park Press’s “Living in Jersey” section on the third Thursday of every month, and you can email your design questions to me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Hits: 54
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    Find Sheila Rich’s Column in The Asbury Park Press Newspaper!

    Breaking news – you can now find more of my interior design tips and advice in my monthly column, “Rich Ideas”, in the Asbury Park Press, both online and in print. I’ll be talking about lots of design concepts and answering readers’ questions about anything and everything related to design, remodeling and pre-construction layout planning. No design challenge is too big or too small; after all, ev ...

    by Sheila Rich
    Wednesday, 02 September 2015
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    Hidden Hobby and Game Room

    Earlier this year I was contacted by the Make-A-Wish Foundation asking if I’d be interested in helping them fulfill a wish for Angelo, a 3½-year-old boy who loves trains. No question – I was thrilled to be able to make his dream come true! Angelo’s wish was to have a room dedicated to his train hobby. He came to love trains because during his many medical treatments, his dad would help him refocu ...

    by Sheila Rich
    Saturday, 01 August 2015
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    Give Your Decor a Surprise Pop of Futuristic Color

    Recently I was invited to be one of three Houzz panelists at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) held at the Javits Center in New York City. As panelists, we answered design questions from International Interior Design Education Conference attendees as part of their Continuing Education Unit. If you’re not familiar with Houzz, I definitely recommend checking it out. Houzz is a ...

    by Sheila Rich
    Wednesday, 01 July 2015
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    Light Up Your Life…and Your Home

    Good lighting is crucial in any home, yet a lack of ceiling fixtures or ineffective lighting is a common complaint among homeowners. This problem can be overcome, regardless of the challenges. Maybe you own a condo, apartment or townhouse with cement ceilings and you can’t add recessed lighting – don’t lose heart. As with almost any interior design challenge, there is a solution that will not on ...

    by Sheila Rich
    Friday, 01 May 2015

    Color Without Chaos: Add Vibrancy to Your Rooms

    Love colors but don’t want to overwhelm your home? Here’s how we solved that dilemma for one color-loving client who simply couldn’t imagine living her life surrounded by neutral walls. As a contemporary artist, my client’s world is filled with color. But when she overdid the colors in her previous condo, none of her artwork was noticeable and the effect was chaotic. Her new condo offered a fres ...

    by Sheila Rich
    Friday, 01 May 2015
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    Derailing the Railroad Car Effect

    If you have a long, narrow hallway with doors on either side, you know what the “railroad car” effect is. These interior hallways are long, linear corridors that are usually relatively dark except for whatever ceiling fixture sheds some light in the area; they can even be on the dark side on sunny days. It’s typical to find these types of hallways in older apartments, condos, and even some mid-ce ...

    by Sheila Rich
    Sunday, 29 March 2015
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    Up, Up, and Away – Eye-Catching Collection Displays

    Lots of us have collections, whether they’re family heirlooms, books, or just things we’ve accumulated over the years that have sentimental value. But we don’t always have the space to display them, nor do we want them cluttering up our counters, table tops, or fireplace mantles. Rather than tucking them away, enjoy them and the memories they bring by creating out-of-the-way display areas in just ...

    by Sheila Rich
    Monday, 02 March 2015
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    Inspiration: Great Gallery Walls

    Images of symmetrical, themed, and eclectic gallery walls were supplied by the contributor and are not the work of Sheila Rich nor do they represent the work, philosophy, or style of Sheila Rich Interiors. The beach house photo at the end is the work of Sheila Rich Interiors. Contributed by Jane Blanchard A gallery wall is a perfect way to display collections of things that matter to you, whethe ...

    by Sheila Rich
    Monday, 02 February 2015
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    Hiding in Plain Sight - Hidden Gems of Interior Design

    Who doesn’t love a good secret? Your home can have its design secrets too – hidden gems that are camouflaged or concealed in a way that makes them accessible and usable but not necessarily noticeable to guests. Storage Almost everyone needs more storage space, regardless of the size of your home. One good way to accomplish this attractively is to install a window bench in an available nook. Not ...

    by Sheila Rich
    Friday, 09 January 2015
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    Holiday Style For All Tastes

    The holidays mean different things to everyone. To some, they’re all about seasonal traditions and memories; to others, they’re a time for celebration and parties; to a growing segment, it’s a combination of both, reimagined with a conscious effort to keep things “green”. The way a home is decorated tends to reflect the person’s or family’s preferences as well as their design style. A family st ...

    by Sheila Rich
    Tuesday, 02 December 2014
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    A Room of Their Own – Kids’ Bedroom Autonomy

    Every child has their own personality, interests, likes and passions. Where better for them to express those wonderful traits than in their own bedrooms? More than just a place to sleep, a child’s bedroom is their own little world. It’s where they go to do their homework, entertain friends, and enjoy some playtime. Just like your home should be a reflection of yourself, a child’s bedroom should r ...

    by Sheila Rich
    Wednesday, 29 October 2014
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    Undersized Bathroom, Oversized Functionality and Beauty

    A small bathroom doesn't have to cramp your style. With a little remodeling and some good interior design, you can have all the functionality and beauty you need with plenty of elbow room. One of my bathroom projects is a perfect example of that. A client asked me to update and redesign their 125 sq. ft. bathroom, making it more efficient and increasing their storage space. The room already had a ...

    by Sheila Rich
    Wednesday, 17 September 2014
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    Let Your Office Décor Send the Right Message

    “I knew the minute I walked into his office that we were on the same wavelength.” How often have you heard something similar to this? Before you speak one word to a potential client, your office decor has already spoken volumes about you and your business. That long-lasting first impression can also set the tone for your meeting by either putting your client in a more receptive mood – or “remind ...

    by Sheila Rich
    Wednesday, 13 August 2014
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    Hearts Trump Trends

    What do you do if you love color and collections when trends lean toward monochromatic designs and minimalism? You follow your heart. Trends come and go – some you may love, others may not be your style. It’s your home, your environment, so whatever décor you choose should make you happy and comfortable. The key to incorporating the things you love is use them so they flow with the overall desi ...

    by Sheila Rich
    Sunday, 03 August 2014
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    The Ups and Downs of Staircases

    "Upstairs, Downstairs", "below stairs", the famous sweeping staircase of Gone with the Wind. Stairs have historically been used for so many things: to represent socio-economic divide in Victorian/Edwardian household, as plot/scene tools in movies, and as grand entrances for brides. So much of life has been described with "stairs" being the critical factor, yet many homeowners who put a lot of thou ...

    by Sheila Rich
    Wednesday, 02 July 2014
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    Wood Flooring - A Trend with Staying Power

    Wood flooring is a warm, beautiful choice for almost any room in your home. Today, many homeowners are choosing wood over wall-to-wall carpeting, sometimes using area rugs to ground a furniture grouping or continue a color theme. This month, I'm happy to welcome guest blogger and wood flooring expert Jonathan Sapir M.D. of London based Wood and Beyond. If you're considering wood flooring for your ...

    by Sheila Rich
    Friday, 23 May 2014
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    Hot Design Trends: Color and Brass

    Once again, I thoroughly enjoyed going to the spring High Point Market and seeing the latest design trends. Some are new concepts and others have been taking root and increasing in popularity for a couple of years now, but all are fresh, fun, and exciting. Brass is making a comeback in a big way, and its warm tone is upstaging chrome and steel. This isn't the ornate, overdone, or fussy brass you ...

    by Sheila Rich
    Tuesday, 22 April 2014
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    Color Your Kitchen in Vintage Style

    Kitchen ranges and appliances in orange, turquoise, and red? It’s not a dream – these colors and more are here and making bold statements. I saw beautiful examples of these items when I went to the Architectural Digest Home Design Show in New York City earlier this month. As always, there was an amazing array of the latest trends covering every aspect of interior design, but this one really stood ...

    by Sheila Rich
    Thursday, 10 April 2014
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    Discover "Maximum Minimalism" Beauty: Hansgrohe Bath and Kitchen Design

    I was recently invited by Hansgrohe to participate in Design NY for an exclusive tour of their new bathroom and kitchen designs showroom. If you’re not familiar with Hansgrohe, they’re a trend-setting kitchen and bath concepts company with sustainable technologies that break free of age-old standards and raise the bar on design and functionality. One of the many things that sets Hansgrohe apart i ...

    by Sheila Rich
    Thursday, 16 January 2014
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    Ring in the Bling - Year Round Holiday Sparkle In Home Design

    Everyone loves beautiful holiday decorations, but let’s face it – no one enjoys taking them all down again. It’s time consuming and a bit of a letdown. But there’s a way to dress up your décor for the holidays and not have to take everything down afterwards. In home décor just like in fashion, bling is the thing, and dressed-up rooms practically define the holidays. Accessorizing your room with ...

    by Sheila Rich
    Wednesday, 11 December 2013
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    Interior Design Trends for 2014 - High Point Market Finds!

    I just got back from another amazing trip to the High Point Market, and I wanted to share with you all the exciting new design trends for 2014. Color is king, and the color trends we're seeing are definitely not shy!  Lots of apple green, orange, peacock, jade, and teal in mixed fabrics are being used on upholstered furniture.  But pictures speak louder than words: Orange is one of the ...

    by Sheila Rich
    Thursday, 24 October 2013
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    5 Keys to a Successful Home Office Design

    Do you have the option of starting your work day with a cup of coffee in your hand and slippers on your feet? Millions of telecommuters and home-based business owners do, and the American Community Survey conducted by the US Census shows that those numbers are rising annually. Because most business is done electronically, many large and small corporations have embraced this new reality, which can ...

    by Sheila Rich
    Friday, 13 September 2013
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    Location, Location, Location: The TV Dilemma

    Televisions have come a long way since the days of those bulky units that protruded into the room, taking up lots of space or requiring a piece of furniture dedicated to them. Today’s flat-screen TVs are no longer intrusive and take convenience to a whole new level. But whatever the size, the same issue still remains – where’s the best place to put your television? It’s not surprising that more t ...

    by Sheila Rich
    Monday, 19 August 2013
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    Basements: No Longer the “B” Word of the Home

    For too long, basements haven’t served as useful living areas of the home, remaining unfinished, poorly designed or unkempt. But it doesn’t have to be this way - a basement can be just as warm, welcoming, and functional as the rest of your home with good, thoughtful design. First, decide on the purpose you want your basement to serve. If you have a large basement, it can serve multiple purposes w ...

    by Sheila Rich
    Monday, 08 July 2013
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    Hot Summer Design Tips - Outdoor Entertaining

    Remember the days when your guests enjoyed relaxing in your backyard while you sweated over a hot stove in the kitchen, totally isolated from the outdoor fun? Well, that no longer needs to be the scenario at your next summertime gathering – an outdoor kitchen allows you be part of the party even while you’re preparing the goodies. An outdoor kitchen puts everything you need at your fingertips, in ...

    by Sheila Rich
    Monday, 03 June 2013
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    Cool Down with Hot Summer Design - Backyard Resort

    More and more families continue to opt for staycations – estimates show about a quarter of working families chose staycations over destinations in 2012 – and even more enjoy summer entertaining at home. So why sweat it out on a hot patio when your own home can have all the amenities of a summer getaway – and then some? I'll be posting a three-part series of ways you can turn your home into an out ...

    by Sheila Rich
    Thursday, 23 May 2013
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    Three Keys To Good Interior Design

    Good design is the absence of decorating. I recently heard Dennis Quaid say, “Good film is the absence of acting.”  This got me thinking that the same is true of interior design: Good design is the absence of decorating. Good interior design is as functional as it pleasing.  The furniture and furnishings just feel right, just as Mother Nature does it….natural and organically suited to ...

    by Sheila Rich
    Friday, 10 May 2013
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    Couture Living - Timeless Kitchen Design

    Kitchen Design for Today and Tomorrow Today’s kitchen is far more than just functional, it's a major part of your home’s style. It's the hub of the home; the place where we spend a lot of time preparing for holidays and family gatherings, not to mention everyday meals. And because it’s such an important room, our guests often join us there. But there’s even more to this central room - the look a ...

    by Sheila Rich
    Tuesday, 16 April 2013
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    Corporate Office Interiors: Designing Beauty and Sustainability

    A well-designed, eco-friendly office environment = healthier, more productive employees. No one enjoys going to work in a poorly designed, messy, or unappealing office. It’s no secret that a drab, unhealthy work environment increases absenteeism and results in lower productivity. This doesn’t need to be the case any longer. By updating offices with sustainable, eco-friendly products and good int ...

    by Sheila Rich
    Monday, 17 September 2012
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    More Than Décor: Interior Designer as Advocate in New Construction and Renovation

    Building a new home? Renovating? Remodeling? Your interior designer is your stress-relief advocate. Construction From the Inside Out: Avoiding “I Should’ve” Stress Your architect shows you a blueprint of your new home – maybe you make a few changes, maybe you like it just the way it is. Giving your stamp of approval now - without the trained eye of an interior designer - could be one of the cost ...

    by Sheila Rich
    Friday, 10 August 2012
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    Reimagine ~ Reuse ~ Repurpose Your Home’s Interior Architecture

    Architecture and interior design go hand-in-hand. Interesting interior architecture - like French doors and mill work – always add to both the aesthetic and real estate value of your home. But as beautiful as they are, if they’re used incorrectly, they can look awkward or just plain wrong. That doesn’t mean you have to part with those wonderful architectural features. Take a fresh look around to ...

    by Sheila Rich
    Thursday, 12 July 2012
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    Renovation vs. Relocation - Five Points to Help You Decide

    At some point in our lives, we come to that inevitable crossroads: Do I renovate my home or relocate? Sometimes the choice is easy; other times it can be a real quandary. Here are a few things to consider when making your decision. 1. Do you like your neighborhood? If you have school-age children, are you happy with the school system?  These are two key factors to take into consideration on ...

    by Sheila Rich
    Sunday, 10 June 2012
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    Turn Interior Design Problems Into Solutions – Two Quick Tips (Part 2 of 2)

    Continuing on from my previous post about how to camouflage builders’ errors and unsightly, intrusive features, here’s my second tip. Tip #2: Creative Camouflage. My client asked me to completely redesign her kitchen in a bright, contemporary style. As part of that makeover, I planned to use two types of white tiles for the backsplash over the granite counter with a double row of stainless steel ...

    by Sheila Rich
    Tuesday, 15 May 2012
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    Turn Interior Design Problems Into Solutions – Two Quick Tips (Part 1 of 2)

    Have you ever wanted to make a space more livable by getting rid of unsightly features like exposed pipes?  Has a builder made a measuring error and installed a window unevenly? Don’t fret – many problems can be minimized or completely camouflaged through good design.  That “industrial looking” basement or attic can be turned into an attractive living space.  And you don’t have to ...

    by Sheila Rich
    Tuesday, 01 May 2012
  • Interior Designer or Interior Decorator: Who Do I Hire? Is There a Difference?

    If you’re like most people, you probably assume "interior designer" and "interior decorator" are different ways of saying the same thing. But there are big differences between them, and knowing which person to hire is key to the success of your interior design project. An interior designer has a more extensive education and must meet certain criteria in order to be licensed and meet government re ...

    by Sheila Rich
    Friday, 13 April 2012
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    Corporate Design Considerations

    Whether you run a small business or a large corporation, at some point your office interiors will need refreshing.  A well-furnished office with proper lighting can increase productivity, foster positive attitudes among employees, and create an appealing work environment. It’s also a great time to consider using sustainable, eco-friendly products, which can benefit the earth, your business a ...

    by Sheila Rich
    Thursday, 23 February 2012
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    No Heirloom Holiday Ornaments? A Meaningful Solution!

    No matter which holiday you celebrate at this time of year, most of us look forward to bringing out our old family decorations and enjoying them just as much as if they were new. And in a way, they are new – it’s the one time of year that our home takes on a whole new and different look because of these traditional old pieces. Add to the mix celebrations with family and friends, and our homes come ...

    by Sheila Rich
    Wednesday, 07 December 2011
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    Options for a Sliding Glass Door Dilemma

    A reader asked for my help with a challenge regarding her stained wood, 12 foot sliding glass doors. She felt torn between wanting the beauty of the door to show and wanting privacy at night. Drapes weren’t an option for her because she just didn’t like them, and she didn’t want the door covered up during the day. While you may not have the exact same situation of wanting to allow light to flow ...

    by Sheila Rich
    Tuesday, 29 November 2011
  • Successfully Intermingling Heirloom Silverware

    Heirlooms are an important part of every family and every home; I receive questions regularly from people asking how they can integrate their family heirlooms into their décor. But heirlooms aren’t just decorative pieces that can be used as accessories or wall art, there are also utilitarian heirlooms that tend to get tucked away if the family that inherits them already has their own crystal, chin ...

    by Sheila Rich
    Monday, 14 November 2011
  • The Power of an Updated Powder Room

    The powder room is one of the most important rooms in a house to update. Not only will it be used by your guests, but it’s also in the main area of your house and will be seen by everyone. An added bonus to keeping your bathrooms well-kept and up-to-date is that they add to the value of your home. Being so visible, the powder room is where you put best foot forward. Here you can afford to get a b ...

    by Sheila Rich
    Thursday, 03 November 2011
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    The Home Remodeling Model

    It’s always a smart idea to invest in your home by upgrading or maintaining it, but it’s even more important in today’s economy. People who have been in their homes for many years have seen their homes appreciate in value, and they're putting their money back into their homes and enjoying the benefits, both while they’re living there and when it’s time to sell. Remodeling a home can seem like an ...

    by Sheila Rich
    Monday, 03 October 2011
  • Mixing Wood Tones Successfully

    I’m often asked what the “rule” is for mixing wood tones in a home - the first thing to remember is that there are no rules in interior design. If you use correct placement and proper proportions, just about anything goes. The most important thing is to make sure you place your furniture where it fits rather than where you think it will best be seen - even a beautiful piece of furniture in the wro ...

    by Sheila Rich
    Friday, 16 September 2011
  • New Construction Considerations

    Having a new house built is an exciting time, but it can be a confusing one as well. One reader said that the choices her builder was offering her in areas like cabinetry and flooring weren’t to her taste, and she was wondering if she should just go along with the builder’s selections and then redecorate later or if she should take the time to decide on different preferences now. New construction ...

    by Sheila Rich
    Friday, 02 September 2011
  • Don’t Make Your Home A Museum!

    A reader of my blog asked a question that many people who love fine furnishings have on their minds: “Can I decorate my home with fine furniture in such a way that my guests feel comfortable?” A polished, more formal interior doesn’t have to be stiff and uninviting. You can buy the types of furnishings you like and still make people feel welcome in your home - as long as you don’t create a museum ...

    by Sheila Rich
    Wednesday, 17 August 2011
  • Choices, Choices: Paint or Faux Finish?

    Many people ask me whether it’s better to use trendy faux finishes on their walls or to simply paint them. My answer is always the same: What’s popular now may not be the correct thing for your home, and chances are that it won’t be popular forever. I recommend using more classic solutions when redecorating; it’s much easier and less expensive to add trendy touches as accents than it is to refinis ...

    by Sheila Rich
    Wednesday, 03 August 2011
  • The Multi-Faceted Mirror

    All too often, home and condo buyers complain that the previous owners have covered one or more walls with floor-to-ceiling mirrors, especially if the interior hasn’t been updated recently. The idea behind mirrored walls is to use mirrors to visually increase the size of a room or add reflective light to a dark area, but some do-it-yourselfers overdid it. Mirrors should be used as a decorating to ...

    by Sheila Rich
    Wednesday, 20 July 2011
  • Negotiating The Carpet Puzzle

    I receive a lot of questions about choosing carpet color, especially when homeowners are either replacing a hall carpet that abuts existing carpeting in other rooms or replacing carpeting in a room that abuts existing hall carpeting. Sometimes rooms or halls are repainted or repapered in a different color than they were, which means that the new carpeting may need to be a different color than it ...

    by Sheila Rich
    Wednesday, 06 July 2011
  • New Life for Old Heirlooms

    Treasured heirlooms are something you never want to be without. They tell a story about your family history and stir fond memories, so you don’t want them squirreled away in the attic collecting dust. Sometimes moving heirloom pieces around is the best way to help you see them in a new light. You can even change their function; for example, moving a large armoire from the dining room to the livin ...

    by Sheila Rich
    Friday, 17 June 2011
  • To Carpet Or Not To Carpet…That Is The Question

    When you’re in the construction phase of a new home, builders will many times allow you to make upgrades in the products they offer throughout the house. One choice you may face is whether to have wood flooring or wall-to-wall carpeting in your new home. Personally, I love wood flooring, especially when it’s contrasted with area rugs. Using an area rug under a grouping pulls it together while add ...

    by Sheila Rich
    Friday, 03 June 2011
  • Show House Basics for YOUR Home

    Whenever I design a show house room, I let the room speak to me first. What does it offer? What natural elements are there to work with? For example, the 2011 Holly Hill show house had stone walls and high, angled windows that allowed natural light into the room and offered garden views. I immediately knew my design would use these elements to their best advantage. The stone walls and greenery s ...

    by Sheila Rich
    Monday, 16 May 2011
  • Basement Wine Room Becomes A Warm Couple’s Retreat

    I have the honor again this year to participate in the Stately Homes by the Sea Show House in beautiful Locust, NJ. The proceeds for the event go to the Visiting Nurse Association of Central Jersey. I accepted the challenge of transforming a small, uninspired basement wine room into something else. You can see “before” and “after” photos and descriptions of the space in my Portfolio Show House se ...

    by Sheila Rich
    Wednesday, 04 May 2011
  • Color Your World

    Whether bright or muted, the most important thing when choosing your home’s color scheme is to remember is that it must flow throughout your entire house – each room should fit in with the whole picture. Start in the living room or great room with a color you love, making sure you have furnishings that support it. You don’t want too much contrast in too many jarring colors. If you go with a bold ...

    by Sheila Rich
    Wednesday, 20 April 2011
  • Flowers in Your Decor

    How to use fresh or silk flower arrangements to accessorize rooms in any decor. I have yet to see a fresh floral arrangement I didn’t like. Flower arrangements look best when they appear to have just come out of the garden and are put together in a way that doesn’t seem contrived. One of the easiest ways to do this when you’re putting the arrangement together is to keep in mind how the flowers l ...

    by Sheila Rich
    Tuesday, 05 April 2011
  • What’s Your “Wow” Factor?

    Don't settle for a dull room - give your home that "wow" factor! It’s a confusing scenario many homeowners face: You have a room that’s technically attractive….technically. You have beautiful furniture, high-quality carpeting, and clean, painted walls. Individually, each facet is great, yet the overall impression of the room is flat and boring. What’s going on? Despite all of your room’s wonderf ...

    by Sheila Rich
    Thursday, 17 March 2011
  • Secrets For Creating A Warm, Cozy Home

    Interior design secrets for creating a warm, cozy home. No matter what size your rooms are, you can use these “secrets” to give your rooms that warm, cozy feeling that turns a house into a home. If you have a large house with big interior spaces, you can start by arranging your furniture into smaller groupings and grounding them with area rugs. Instead of lining the furniture along the walls or ...

    by Sheila Rich
    Monday, 07 March 2011
  • Aging In Place – Considerations for Comfortable Living

    Planning ahead can make aging in place much easier. It’s never too early to think about making your home more user-friendly for your future, your aging family members, or guests of various ability levels. Many of these considerations can be put in place during interior updates or renovations, and it can save a lot of headaches and costs later in life or when you have a houseful of multi-generatio ...

    by Sheila Rich
    Friday, 18 February 2011
  • The Fifth Wall

    The "fifth wall" of a room - the ceiling - is just as important as the rest of the room. Question: What’s the most overlooked wall of a room? Answer: The “fifth wall” – otherwise known as the ceiling. Ceilings can add drama and depth to a room, especially if they’re architecturally interesting (like vaulted, cathedral, or trey ceilings). The unique architecture of these ceilings is accentuated ...

    by Sheila Rich
    Monday, 07 February 2011
  • Lower Your Health Risks – Choose Eco-Friendly Carpet (Pt. 2 of 2)

    Several solutions to make your home healthier by choosing eco-friendly carpeting. Part 2: What’s the solution? Okay, so in the previous blog post we talked about that “new carpet smell” actually stemming from VOCs, which are a hazard to humans and the environment. Now let’s talk about solutions. One way to recognize a “green”, or eco-friendly, carpet is to check the label for a small green hous ...

    by Sheila Rich
    Tuesday, 18 January 2011
  • Lower Your Health Risks – Choose Eco-Friendly Carpet (Pt. 1 of 2)

    New carpet smell is actually the sign of hazardous VOC pollutants. Protect your family's health by choosing eco-friendly green carpeting. Part 1: What’s the issue? More and more information is coming out about the dangers - to both people and the environment - of off-gassing from carpeting and paints. When it’s time to choose new carpeting, you might want to consider avoiding these contaminants ...

    by Sheila Rich
    Wednesday, 05 January 2011
  • Small Rooms? Visually Maximize Them!

    Visually maximize the small spaces of your home or apartment with these simple changes. There are many ways to get the most out of smaller spaces, whether you’re in a house or an apartment. Kitchen. • Install seamless countertops, like stainless steel or Corian, with a sink of the same material so it’s part of the overall unit and visually streamlined, eliminating a choppy appearance. • Use d ...

    by Sheila Rich
    Wednesday, 01 December 2010
  • Practical Seasonal Home Décor

    Keep your home decor fresh with low cost, easy to store accessory changes. You can reflect the change of seasons through your home’s décor without breaking the bank or renting a storage unit! Many homeowners enjoy seasonal makeovers because the change in appearance gives their rooms a boost and makes them look new. But you don’t have to get carried away by completely refurnishing your interior; ...

    by Sheila Rich
    Wednesday, 27 October 2010
  • Empty Nest = Luxury Closet

    Empty nesters convert an extra bedroom into a luxury closet with all the amenities. During the six-year run of my column “Rich Ideas”, a homeowner wrote in to ask if I thought it was a good idea for her to turn her newly married daughter’s bedroom into a large walk-in closet with all the amenities. Not only was that a wonderful way to turn “empty nest syndrome” into a positive thing, but it added ...

    by Sheila Rich
    Monday, 11 October 2010
  • Non-Eco-Friendly Green Washed Paints

    Beware of green-washed labels when buying eco-friendly paints. Not all paints that appear to be eco-friendly actually are; in fact, there are many wolves in sheep’s clothing. Labels can be worded in tricky ways to make uninformed buyers think they’re buying green when they’re actually not. The best way to know whether the paint you’re planning to buy is low in VOCs is to read the label carefully ...

    by Sheila Rich
    Friday, 24 September 2010
  • Paint Your Home “Green”: Pros, Cons & Watchwords

    Interior design using paints low in VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds). Eco-friendly paint is a hot topic, and it’s a good idea to learn more about it before you start your color selection process. “Green” paints are not only better for your health, they’re also better for the environment. Most indoor commercial paints produce Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) that are released into the environme ...

    by Sheila Rich
    Thursday, 16 September 2010
  • Entry Foyers = First Impressions

    Make your entry foyer a welcoming introduction to your home. The entry foyer is a very important area of the house, yet so often it’s completely overlooked from a decorating perspective. Whether your entry foyer is grand or small, it’s the first thing in your home that people see when they visit, and for that matter, it’s also the first thing you see when you come home. It’s a statement of what’s ...

    by Sheila Rich
    Monday, 23 August 2010
  • Blending Antiques into Your Décor

    Antiques can be mixed with almost any style decor in homes and offices. Clients have asked me over the years whether they can use antiques with their furnishings of different styles or eras.  The answer is definitely YES! Antiques tend to soften the starkness of contemporary décor and work beautifully with French, traditional, and other styles as well. One of the wonderful things about anti ...

    by Sheila Rich
    Monday, 09 August 2010
  • Make the Most of Multi-Level Windows

    Multi-story windows allow outdoor views into your home. Window treatments can afford privacy and enhance decor without blocking sunlit views. Multiple levels of windows that cover the entire height of one wall may have been put there in order to take advantage of a beautiful view and add drama. If that’s the case, it’s best to leave the windows bare and let nature become your window treatment. H ...

    by Sheila Rich
    Tuesday, 20 July 2010
  • Does privacy = heavy window treatments? Absolutely not!

    Maximize natural light and outdoor views in your home while maintaining privacy with proper landscaping and minimal window treatments. It’s not necessary to deprive yourself of nature’s beauty by using heavy window treatments for privacy. Different areas of your home can be treated in different ways to maximize light and openness where you want it while giving some rooms the privacy they require. ...

    by Sheila Rich
    Friday, 09 July 2010
  • Three easy steps to choosing the interior designer who’s right for you.

    3 easy steps to choosing your interior designer. There are plenty of interior designers out there, but it’s important to work with one who’s right for your budget and sense of style. Here are three simple steps to ensuring you invest in the right designer: 1. Interview. When you’re interviewing interior designers, review their portfolios or web sites to see examples of their work in the particul ...

    by Sheila Rich
    Monday, 21 June 2010
  • What’s chromatherapy? Can room colors really affect my mood or health?

    Interior designs using Chromatheraphy can raise your spirits, improve illness, and promote general good heath. Make your home cozy or lively with the right color and patterns! Also called Color Therapy, chromatherapy is the use of color to promote general good health and treat certain maladies. Color Therapy isn’t a new concept. The use of color in a therapeutic way dates back as far as ancient ...

    by Sheila Rich
    Thursday, 03 June 2010
  • Selling Your House? Real Estate Market Home Prep 101

    A house is a very emotional purchase – potential buyers tend to be swayed by how the house makes them feel when they walk in and whether they can see themselves living there. Here are a few basic tips to help you make your house “market ready” inside and out: Indoors – Neat, Warm, Welcoming •  Keep your house attractive. Prospective buyers can visit at any time. •  Eliminate clutter. ...

    by Sheila Rich
    Monday, 10 May 2010
  • Colors, Colors Everywhere! Is White Outdated?

    Dramatic wall paint colors are trendy today, but that doesn’t mean white is out. In fact, white is never outdated; it’s a versatile, classic color that never goes out of style. It’s soothing, comfortable, and a great backdrop for art and furniture. While white can be thought of by some as cold or associated mainly with contemporary decors, it certainly doesn’t have to be either of those things. T ...

    by Sheila Rich
    Monday, 10 May 2010
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