Saturday, September 14, 2013

What Can You Get For a Dollar These Days?

boxes post pic 1

If you’re in the right place at the right time – you can get more for your DOLLAR than you might think.  Best advice?  Have a wad of $1 bills in your pocket...
That way you are ready to barter... and offer the lowest  (but be fair) amount to begin.

boxes post pic 2

It does take more than just luck though.  Stopping at yard sales / garage sales has to be something you will take the time to do.  This HANDSOME set of herringbone and leather boxes just needed a little hot glue after I got home.

boxes post pic 3

Then I had to figure out what I would use them for.  We have a cupboard that is crowded with lots of boxes of herbal tea that we don’t drink very often.  We need more space for dishes in that cupboard so why not put the tea in these boxes, and place them on top of the fridge?  Hmmm, I like that idea, let’s try it!

boxes post pic 4

Hey, now I’m getting brave, showing the world the INSIDE of my cupboards!  Well, this is ONE cupboard I’m not ashamed to show.  You see, many moons ago, I was so desperate to brighten up the inside of that cupboard, that I used the leftover sky blue paint from one of my boys bedrooms to paint the inside walls of it (and I painted the shelves white).  I just LOVED it instantly and it’s always seemed like a CHEERY cupboard ever since!  Do my cups and glasses all match?  No way!  We have an eclectic collection of glasses & it all works out just fine.

boxes post pic 5

Okay now for the photo of my refrigerator door clutter revealed to the world.  
I cheated and de-cluttered before snapping this shot Laughing out loud.  

I found that picture of my 3 boys when cleaning behind the refrigerator (oh my, 
had it been that many years since I cleaned behind the refrigerator?  I hope not!).  

The old post card was from my husband’s Grandmother and I thought it was so pretty.  

Last but not least, our very first Grandbaby Lillian 
gets front row and center stage on the fridge with her birth announcement.  
She’s such a love, I wish I could just kiss her SWEET little face every day Red heart

boxes post pic 6

I took some photos without the magnets too – since I couldn’t decide back then, how much I really wanted to reveal to you all.  Next, I will show you INSIDE my refrigerator… 
haha, just kidding Surprised smile

boxes post pic 7

I’m not big on too many accessories.  I’m also not much of a tchotchke person.
(pronounced CHACH-KEE)
So the accessories in my home (that I put in place anyway) are pretty minimal unless they are pieces that have a function.  For the sake of the photo, I threw these apples that I already had, in a glass bowl and I thought that looked really nice – I like it a lot actually.  Then I decided that this old scale that we picked up a few months ago might also look nice up there…   

boxes post pic 8
So  CHEER UP!  You really CAN  get something good for a dollar these days!  And this big expenditure of mine also bought me more space in a prime real estate cupboard!  I don’t have a pantry so that is worth much more than the $1 spent, BELIEVE me! 

boxes post pic 9

Thanks for stopping by New England Style.  I’m off to my workroom to finish up a sewing job.  Make the most of your weekend, please share, comment, follow my blog and come back to read more if you enjoyed it!


Owner of Michelle Jamieson Interiors /Author of  

Sharing with some favorite blogs of mine:
Southern Savvy Style for Wow Us Wednesdays

Sunday, September 8, 2013

My Exclusive Attic Collection

My Mom once told me "you never met a chair I didn't like".  Haha, she's so funny but SO right!  I also have a hard time letting go of them (apparently).  What would I ever do without my attic?  This is the "Furniture Department" in my attic.

One thing I wish my attic had would be taller ceilings.  We can't stand up there, so
its a real back breaker after a while.  So that must be why its usually such a mess (lol).  I made that doll by the way, many many moons ago!

So I'll let you in on a secret... I also never met a "lamp" I didn't like.  Those get changed out throughout the years in my home, but I rarely part with one unless its broken.  This is only part of the "Lighting Department" in my attic.

Today I was up there looking for lamp parts, a comforter, and I can't even remember what else(?)  I made so many trips up there and found some great items to use in my "someday very soon" guest room (and other rooms) by scrounging through my "Drapery Department".  The curtain above has a lovely smocked top and the prettiest pastel fabric. I picked these custom curtains up years ago at a yardsale in my neighborhood. Custom made and beautifully so I couldn't pass them up for such a small pricetag (even though I could have made them myself).  Maybe I will take them apart and turn them into panels for my "soon-to-be" guest room.

Here is another panel I picked up in my yardsale travels. Its a Pottery Barn Kids, Audrey Chenille Polka Dot Panel also from my "exclusive attic collection" (lol).  I'm trying it out in my kitchen just for fun. This would be perfect in my "someday-soon" guest room if it only had a partner :-(  I may get creative and turn it into a valance or pillows just so I can use it there!  I love it with the newly painted wall in my kitchen (I used leftover paint from about 6 years ago).

I hope this post comes out okay "visually".  I'm posting from my phone for a change.  The only other time I did that the pictures looked grainy... 

Please share this and follow me if you enjoy reading my blog!  I'm always open to feedback so if you are a blogger (or a reader) and have advice for me, I'm listening!  As always, e-mail me if you are interested in having custom work done.  If you like this article you may like another article I wrote on a similar topic: Recycled Window Treatments

Have a great day!

Owner Of Michelle Jamieson Interiors
Author of

Linking up with an old favorite blog of mine:
Between Naps on the Porch for Metamorphosis Monday
My Romantic Home for Show & Tell Fridays
From My Front Porch to Yours for Treasure Hunt Thursday

Friday, August 30, 2013

Fabric Shopping Fieldtrip for Home Decorating Inspiration!

Recently I had the opportunity to go fabric shopping.  You might think that I do that all the time being that I’m a designer/ fabricator and all that.  Nope.  My whole life it’s been a favorite thing of mine to do though.  About 12+ years ago, I started selling fabrics.  I sell about 10 different lines of fabrics & trims now, so I have a sample room off of my workroom/design studio and it’s filled with sample books!  Sounds fabulous, right?  Well – yes and no.  If I only get to go shopping for fabrics like ONCE a YEAR if even THAT?  How INSPIRING it is to GO to the fabric store. 
Okay, no offense to the local ‘chain’ fabric stores, but that’s NOT what I’m referring to here.  I pop into those stores a few times a year but I DON’T go there for fabric.  I’m usually there when I run out of thread or when I broke my seam ripper (yes I DO make mistakes and do have to use my seam ripper).  But more often then not, I’m there just to buy supplies for Christmas cookie decorating or for another crafty project.
When I’m at my favorite local fabric store, I am overwhelmed with a feeling that I’ll try to describeRolling on the floor laughing  It’s almost like coming home and feeling relieved that HOME is still there?  Wondering why I don’t come back more often?  Feeling like perhaps I should buy more fabrics for my jobs there, and help contribute to the LOCAL ECONOMY?  When I do shop there for my clients, I take pictures of the fabrics that I think would look fabulous and unique in their home.  In order to save having to go back a second time – I  make sure my clients are at LEAST available by phone when I’m there for them, so that I can get an OKAY on a fabric and take it home that day.
I do take lots of extra pictures while I’m there, download and file them when I get home, and I refer to them over the next few months for INSPIRATION for other jobs. That file (called “Summer Fabrics 2013”) my friends, is what I’m sharing with you (my fabulous & loyal readers) in this post!
Perhaps you don’t have a privately owned fabric store nearby like I do.  Or if you do, maybe the buyers aren’t as savvy as they are at this store – our selection is absolutely TO DIE FOR!!!  (I do have to be honest though and say that some of these fabrics are SECONDS.)  A lot of my clients that shop here don’t realize that and as a result, I have been given a roll of fabric now and again from this store… full of flaws which makes it very difficult to work with depending on what I’m making.  When I buy fabric here I am watching like a HAWK when they roll it out for me – I have them slow down so that I can inspect it closely.
So I was trying to narrow my photos down in order to showcase the best ones for you here in this article.  But I STILL ended up with about 50 photos to show you.  So that was when I decided to use my favorite PHOTO EDITING SOFTWARE again (I use it every single day, on my Android phone, my laptop AND my MS Surface Pro Tablet!) Remember this and TRY IT if you haven’t already – it’s called FOTOR!  Fotor has many great features and you can make collages with it too.  I can even watermark my photos in TEXT.
Grouping all of these photos by COLOR, to make multiple collages allowed me to try some NEW styles within the Fotor COLLAGE section.  I’ve discovered a couple of new FUNKY COLLAGES that I will use from now on!  This article is not sponsored by them by the way – although I would be glad to sponsor them because I love their software that much! 
Another thing I’m trying for the first time right now is Windows Live Writer WLW.  I’m always looking for ways to be more efficient with my business.  So as much as I LOVE to write and do the marketing and social media, it does sometimes get in the way of me being able to SEW and finish up jobs in a timely manor.  I read that Windows Live Writer software is something that a lot of bloggers can’t live without.  It allows us to write blog posts when there is no access to the internet – no wifi.  Which is when I should be writing my blog posts.  When I’m at my son’s band practice… waiting in the lobby… at the Lake and the service is not good, so we tend to get bumped off-line frequently.  So I thought I was going to have to come up with extra funds to invest in this software (which I do NOT like to do like EVER), but I found the download for Windows Live Writer and it happens to be FREEEEEE!  Yay!  Here is a link if you are interested in trying it for your own blog (after you’re done perusing my blog of course:  Windows Live Writer & other Essentials Free Download
What colors and fabrics are YOU drawn to right now?  Are you still in SUMMER mode like I am or are you already thinking FALL
I hope you enjoyed this little field trip to my local fabric store without leaving the comfort of your home! 
Until next time…
Owner Michelle Jamieson Interiors / Author


Sharing with these favorite blogs of mine: 
Southern Savvy Style for Wow Us Wednesdays!
Coastal Charm for Nifty Thrifty Tuesdays
My Romantic Home / Show and Tell Friday

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Stunning London Shade in a Wide Silk Stripe

What more could this totally PRETTY New England Style bathroom need?  It has wood shutters, bead-board and the prettiest topiary wallpaper.  The background color in the wallpaper is a cool, soft, mint. Add the warm, terracotta color in the pots and grassy green topiaries...

Of course... FABRIC is what's missing!  Every room needs at least a little bit of fabric to soften it up, add a layer of texture and absorb some of the ECHO.  How about a wide striped silk?  I don't recommend using real SILK (like this) in a bathroom unless it's a powder room with no shower or tub (since silk should not get wet and is not meant to handle a lot of moisture or humidity).

I mount all of my VALANCES and SHADES by using these speaker stands that I attach a board to with wing nuts.  To that board, I have permanently attached small clamps (not shown).  I always love the way the  backs of my shades look when they're all complete.  I call this the NUTS AND BOLTS view, including the rings, fabric covered weight bar etc.  A lot of time, know-how and labor goes into the construction of a properly constructed, professional shade like this.

I always tell my LONDON SHADE clients that I sell them as STATIONARY shade valances.  Once I've installed them, I do not recommend they use them as a shade that they open and close.  So if you need privacy, you will need to order some sort of functional shade, blind or shutter to go beneath it like the one you see here.  A shade like this can take over an hour to DRESS at the install to get all the folds to look just right.  Once you (or your kids) start messing with it... trust me, you will regret it - (don't come cryin' to me - I warned you!) it will be a jumbled up MESS! To see some natural woven roller shades that I sell the most of, visit this post: Woven Roller Shades with Valances & Panels

Do you LOVE it?  I would love it if you would share my article, pin it, Tweet it, Facebook like and of course, stick around and search my blog for more articles you may enjoy ;-)  ((Here is an article I wrote about a similar style, but in bright vibrant color in Linen Balloon Shades in Bright Linen ))
Owner of Michelle Jamieson Interiors / Author of

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Marblehead Coast Bedroom Dressed in Linen

Do you love Linen like I do?  This bedroom in Marblehead, MA, just steps from the beach, is shaping up to be one that is very close to my heart!  To see what I mean by "shaping up", just take a look at the "before" photo below.  This room had not been touched since the 1920's until just a few months ago. (Do you like antique homes? See a previous home also renovated by my clients here: Antique Home in Lynnfield Featured in Boston Globe )

Now you get it.  The owners of this home are industrious, talented and already had great taste.  As soon as these walls were stripped of wallpaper, a beautiful and serene painting was selected as the inspiration for the feeling of the entire room.

I used that painting to come up with several fabrics to choose from.  We collaborated and narrowed down to 3 that covered what I consider to be key elements in the design of any room; texture, pattern and color. They are very different, yet play off of each other in a subtle way, adding much more to this room than one would notice at first glance.

As you might guess, we selected Linen as the main fabric.  This one has two color tones visible in the threads, which make it irresistible, giving it depth and texture, visible even from across the room.  Pair this Linen, tailored bed skirt with a nubby, seagrass rug and we have now laid out the perfect foundation for our beachy bedroom.  This is no ordinary, store bought dust ruffle.  This is hand stitched (by "me") with double rolled hems that I didn't press with a hot iron.  I prefer to finger press and only use shots of steam, sparingly.

The softness now added to this room has given it a feeling that is SO inviting at the end of the day.

Flanged pillow shams repeat another Linen layer up on top of the bed as well.  What do you think about this gorgeous, long pillow that we decided to showcase our oh-so-special, paisley fabric on?

This "sweet", lovable Boston Terrier, Sophie just loves it and thinks this room was designed just for her!

Are you inspired?  If so, I hope you'll comment below and share my article!

This job is complete... and we are off to the beach ;-)  Until next time... happy decorating and enjoy this beautiful summer while it's still here!
Owner of Michelle Jamieson Interiors / Author of

P.S. This is the second home I've worked on with these clients. Here is a link to another room in another house I worked on with them: Custom Roman Shades Leather Banding

I'm sharing this article with these favorite blogs of mine:
A Stroll Through Life for Inspire Me Tuesday
French Country Cottage for Feathered Nest Friday
Shabby Chic Cottage for Transformation Thursdays
Southern Savvy Style for Wow Us Wednesdays
My Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday
Mod Vintage Life for Mod Mix Monday

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Gorgeous Girls Room and a Microsoft Surface Tablet Review

This is my first blog post using my Microsoft Surface Pro Tablet.  I made the collage above using a new photo editing app that I am crazy about called "Fotor" - Like their Facebook page here:  Fotor Facebook Page and edit your photos here: Fotor Website.  PLEASE NOTE THIS IS NOT A PAID AD, I just love this app and love to tell my readers about things I LOVE!!!  I'm now not only using Fotor to edit my blog pics on my Laptop, but also on my Android phone AND my Tablet!  Today's post is an experimentation of sorts and is turning out to be fun too!  I recently acquired my new Microsoft Surface Pro Tablet in order to be able to keep up with all of my business related computer tasks when I am on the go.  It has been a challenge to master this "time saver"(?) but the rewards are finally trickling in.  This is what this new baby of mine looks like:

I rarely ever used the family iPad, so I do not have "too" much experience to compare the two...(note, I am a novice... beginner tablet user).  I did have a lot of trouble bonding with this tablet in the beginning.  So to do a fair comparison and have some educated questions ready before seeking help... I spent a couple of hours playing with the iPad one night to see if I would have as much trouble bonding with that.

My son Evan advised me to go to the Microsoft store and ask for help (he of course had an anterior motive since he wanted us to pass down the old iPad to "him")...  That my friends was the best advice ever!  Wow, those employees at the Rockingham Mall Microsoft store in NH were incredibly helpful.  I went in with my tablet and said "please help me fall in love with my Surface tablet because right now I want to throw it out the window!"  They spent at least an hour going over basics and answered every question I had... solved many of my issues and set me on the path to bonding with this baby. 

Okay so I will wrap up this review since you probably came to my site to see beautiful custom furnishings for the home... not to read a technical review!  I do have jobs lined up (okay "piled" up to be honeest) on my workroom table as we speak... so I will get to those as soon as I hit the "PUBLISH" button:

I came to the conclusion that obviously the iPad is an amazing little tablet.  Two Christmas's ago, it replaced our desktop computer on the main floor that everyone would "go to" to look things up online.  But the iPad cannot take the place of the computer for school projects.  The Microsoft RT that my youngest son has can do that because it has"Office suite" including Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint on it... and its a great tool for online shopping, videos, social media and research, like the iPad.  So the awesome little Microsoft Surface RT tablet wins hands down for students. 

As for me... I am a business owner and Interior Designer that uses a blog for my website and I need that to be easy to update from anywhere, using photos that I took from a job and need to have easy access to those photos from my device.  I use QuickBooks Pro almost every day.  I use a Graphic Design software to do renderings for my clients.  I do not use the Office tools like others do, I simply don't need them.  Therefore, this Microsoft Surface Pro tablet is perfect for me because I have so much storage space in my tablet that I have the ability to download that software right onto it if I choose (though I'm considering going with cloud versions but I will save that for another post, another day).  I believe (now that I have nearly completed this post on the tablet) that my Microsoft Surface Pro tablet will actually replace my laptop... I also believe that the Microsoft Surface RT tablet will be all my youngest son needs for school AND not only will he not miss the iPad we handed down to his brother... but he won't need a laptop or desktop computer either.

Find the tools that best suit "your" needs.  There is a tool out there for everyone and so many of our needs are different, that's why we have so many to choose from.  I get annoyed when I hear comments like "the iPad is so much better than the Surface" or vice versa.  If you take the time to educate yourself about the products out there before you buy, you will find that comparing these tools can be like comparing mangos to tomatoes (the tomato being the Surface tablet due to its versatility, lol). 

Make a list of your needs when it comes to your tablet purchase.  "YES" the iPad was easier to learn and bond with initially.  But ultimately it is too limited for "all" of my needs.  The iPad is a great lightweight, portable, companion to your smartphone and your laptop. With patience and practice... my lightweight, portable, Microsoft Surface tablet(s) have actually "replaced" my laptop. 

I hope that this article will be helpful to many.  What has your tablet experience been like?

Michelle Jamieson
Interior Designer and Author of

Linking to;
My Romantic Home

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Recycled Valances

You might think that this ensemble looks like it belongs together.  Well, in a way, you would be right.  Take a look at the "before" photo below, and believe it or not, this valance is the same valance.

I was only going to be working on replacing old cushions with brand new ones when I got to this home.  But once the new cushion was underway, I couldn't help but to suggest a simple fix for the window treatment too.  You see, I can be very frugal, love to recycle and the rest of this room was already perfect, so it was pretty much a "no brainer" for me to suggest what I did next.

This is the "after" shot from the same angle as the before.  I looked at the back of the red floral fabric and saw a warm, woven, golden toned fabric that had no 'sheen' like the old red on the front did.  I actually decided that I liked it better than the red.  A LOT better as a matter of fact.

I suggested to my client that all she really needed to do was to order a new, thick wood rod in the same black finish as her chairs.  Next, let me take her valance, rip it out, flip it over so that the back side is the front side, press it, pleat it and hang it from rings.  She was skeptical... very skeptical.

Seeing is believing, so that is where these pictures came from.  I sent her the pictures from my workroom and let her make the choice between the red or the gold tone on the back.

What ended up making the decision easier in the end, was that the cushion fabric came in a lot more of a burnt orange color than it looked when we selected it from the book.  So it ended up being easier than ever as soon as the cushion was done.  Doesn't the NEW (ahem) valance fabric look great with the new cushion?

Lastly, the sill length blackout curtains that were necessary to block some of the light were seriously dating the room more than anything else.  The rest of the room is and was already fantastic, so I could not wait to show her how fabulous these natural woven roller shades would look in their place!

Here is a close-up of the NEW (ahem) valance with the new hardware.  It looks like something that one would see on the cover of Traditional Home Magazine, no kidding.  I wish I had taken these pictures with my good camera, these are all a little fuzzy, taken with my smart phone.  But the very idea that these curtains are recycled and will give my clients another 15-20 years of enjoyment is very gratifying.  We all need to think more like this!  What can you recycle in your home decor scheme today?  Perhaps all you need is to hire a professional to take a fresh look at what you have and suggest something new... out of something "old".  WARNING - not all designers will want to work with you on this level.  You'll want to try to find one that can be down-to-earth (like me?).

To see more valances with shades visit this post next: Layering Window Treatments

Until next time... happy decorating!


Linking to:
Funky Junk Interiors for Junky Hangups
A Stroll Through Life for Inspire Me Tuesday
French Country Cottage for Feathered Nest Friday
Coastal Charm (Nifty Thrifty Tuesdays)
Southern Savvy Style (Wow Us Wednesdays)


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