Category: News

Pop Shop Market

Come visit me at the POP Shop Market

Pop Shop Market

Saturday 12/2/17
Great vendors, food and drinks!
Shop for your loved ones or treat yourself


With today’s furnishings trending towards modern, and technology enabling us to have less ‘stuff’ around’, it’s nice to have something in your home that is warm and reflects your personality. That’s where bookshelves come in. They are a great place to store not only books but collectables and home decor items in a way that is uniquely yours. So here are some tips to get that professional look when styling your bookshelf.

How To Style Your Bookshelf
mage from decor fix

The first thing I tell both my staging and design clients in Fairfield and Westchester County is to remove everything from an existing shelf and start from scratch.  This helps get rid of clutter and allows you to take stock of what you have. More importantly, if you want to create a masterpiece you have to start with a blank canvas. Then choose your colors. Will you stay mostly monochromatic or do you have objects that are all over the color chart? It’s your bookshelf so anything goes but if you want that designer look, try to keep to similar tones overall with coordinating splashes of color.

After you have assessed what you want to place on your shelf separate out the tallest objects and place them on the shelf first. Think vases, a sculpture, a ginger jar or even a tall plant if you want to add organic objects into the mix. This step will establish scale and make your bookshelves feel nicely full. If your shelves are tall enough to accommodate framed artwork or a small mirror go for it.  This adds nice depth to your design because it draws the eye to the back of the shelf. Adding a contrast color to the back of the shelves adds depth and interest. You can also add wallpaper in the back of the shelves for texture or color.

Next select books that are pleasing to look at and that compliment the colors of your room. Divide them into groups by color and size then scatter them around stacking both horizontally and vertically. If you have a lot of books, you can keep similar colors together. Otherwise you’ll want to spread like colors throughout mixing both light and dark shades to achieve balance.

image from gohaus
image from gohaus

from wisteria
from amber interiors
from amber interiors

Now add your accessories starting with key pieces first.  Keeping your tall objects in mind, make sure you have one impactful object per shelf.  Add sculptures, potted plants, trays or anything that is substantial enough to be a focal point. Last but not least, fill out the space with smaller objects. These could be standing picture frames, nicely arranged collectibles, attractive memorabilia and anything else that makes you happy when you look at it! But remember …less IS more!

The eye should move through the shelves flowing through it and they should never feel too crowded.

Styling bookshelves is a great form of self expression and adds personality to your room. There are no rules as to what you can and cannot put on them (except maybe an old ripped up paperback 🙂 Just be mindful of balance intermingling objects of similar colors, textures and sizes throughout. Have fun creating your masterpiece and enjoying your creation!

Your home is your castle, decorated to your liking, a place to relax, be comfortable and enjoy meaningful surroundings. When it comes time to sell though, it’s time to ask yourself if your potential buyers will feel the same way about your home that you do. That answer is typically no and that’s understandable. The problem with this is that more than likely you’ll end up leaving money on the table if you don’t do something about it. That’s where staging comes in.

1/3 of Buyer Agents Said a homes value increased 1-5% due to staging.
77% of Buyer Agents said Home Staging makes it easier for a Bueyer to visualize a property as their future home.

Staging will help you overcome obstacles that prevent buyers from seeing your home and it also encourages the right buyer to make an offer at the right price. Remember the saying “You never get a second chance to make a good first impression”? Never is this so important as in real estate because it makes the difference between someone seeing your home or not at all.

95% of buyers search for their home online* which gives them access to property information, photos, videos, aerial shots and neighborhood walk throughs. While the Realtor does make suggestions, it is most often the buyer who asks to see specific properties that they have chosen after seeing pictures online. When a Realtor does
recommend a specific home, the first thing that the buyer will do is look at the online listing. So the pictures must look enticing enough for a buyer to want to make the effort to see it.

Look at your home through the eye of a camera lens. How will it appear? Is it cluttered? Will your potential buyer perceive it to be stylish or does it feel dated? Do the attributes of the architecture shine through? These are all pertinent questions to ask yourself and if you want to get top dollar the answers should all be yes. Here’s an example of how staging can change the whole look of a room. The home below was on the market for over a year with two different Realtors. The third Realtor finally called in kellydesigns and it sold in 48 days.

Home Staging by kellydesigns

A buyer can list all of their criteria and a Realtor can find them a house that meets all of it but if they walk into the house and it just does not feel right, they will pass on the house. Naysayers think that buyers can visualize a home they way they would want it but realists know that this is only partially true. In today’s fast paced world most buyers do not want to do the work or see past faults.

49% of Buyer Agents said Home Staging does have an effect on a Buyer’s View of a Home
Staging willpositively impact a home’s value if decorated to a Buyer’s taste, according to 38% of Buyer Agents

In order for a buyer to imagine themselves living in your house they need to see themselves (real or imagined) in that space. Your home is a very personal space so its essential to declutter and remove evidence of your life there. This way the buyer will not be walking around looking at your things. They will be imagining the possibilities of how their life could be. The furniture, wall color and surroundings should be selling a lifestyle. Vacant homes are very important to stage. Sometimes rooms look larger with furniture in them and again staging helps gives a potential buyer a vision of how they will live in the space. The furniture also gives the buyers a chance to sit and look around and admire the beauty in the home. They will stay in a staged home longer which allows a better emotional connection to the property.

This home is currently for sale in Redding, CT

I first noticed Staging when I worked in California almost 25 years ago it was a new concept. Now, West coast sellers would not think of selling without staging! Staging initially gained traction in Westchester and Fairfield County during the market turndown but now its here to stay. Unfortunately when do you do not stage your home you are helping the competition to look better. Instead of thinking of staging as an expense consider it an investment that will give you a positive return. I’ve seen average homes that look luxurious, simply because of the furnishings. Its all about perception! When it comes time to sell, its time to detach yourself emotionally, regard your home as a product and make that home the best possible product you can sell. There’s plenty of time to be sentimental after the contract is signed and during the final move. In the meantime staging will help you get the most possible amount of money for your home! Staging also helps to sell it in the least amount of time so you can stop living in flux and get on with your life. If you look at it from monetary view, staging costs less than your first markdown, for sure! And if you add up what it costs to maintain a home; mortgage, gas, electric, insurance, etc and multiply it by number of months on market, wouldn’t it be better and smarter to move it faster by staging? Again, it is usually less than the cost of running expenses for 3 months.

For more information about the benefits of staging download my free report. You can also follow kellydesigns on Facebook and kellydesignsofct on Instagram for updates on why staging matters and to see my staging projects as they happen. Looking forward to seeing you there.

This home is currently for sale in Greenfield Hill, Fairfield, CT


* NAR Real Estate in the Digital Age 2017 Report

Fun with Front Doors

Fun With Front Doors

Your front door is the one of the first things people notice when driving by or entering your home and is an important element that sets that stage for what’s to come on the inside. Today manufacturers offer a wide array of options ranging from moderately priced beautifully designed off the shelf models to custom-made doors in all shapes and sizes with everything from art glass to hand forged hardware.

Choosing the right material and finish is an important consideration and for that I point you to a previous newsletter on this topic here. This time, lets have some fun and talk about some of the trending colors in Fairfield and Westchester county.

Choosing a brown front door is a popular choice as it matches the exterior of most homes and is usually a wood door. It is considered neutral because it blends into the outside and is an extension of nature. The color brown is natural and organic and is associated with warmth, stability, and reliability. If blending into the environment with an earthy tone is not for you, don’t be afraid to go bold with another color that may be more reflective of your personality as well as your interior styling.

A Red door means welcome in both Feng Shui and early American tradition. If you believe in or follow Feng Shui, painting your front door red creates welcoming energy. In early America, if a family had a red front door tired travelers would know that home was a welcoming place to rest and they would be able to spend the night there. In Scotland, homeowners would paint their front door red to signify that they had paid off their mortgage, so overall Red is a happy color and a good way to enter your home. A trending color for front doors has been coral, which is really a shade of red. This can really pop your front door especially if the house color is a gray tone.

Blue represents water and abundance in Chinese philosophy and is often associated with calm and peace. It is also linked with thoughts and feelings of safety and security and can signify that your home is your safe haven. To some, blue represents trust, loyalty and stability. It is such a flexible color with many hues ranging from light blue to blue green and navy. Blue doors are a good choice in that they evoke positive feelings and create a sense of calm for all those who enter through them.

mage from

image from decorpad

images from,, and

Black front doors command attention and look great with most exterior home styles. Black is a formal, elegant, and prestigious color associated with authority and power that projects strength and sophistication. A black door is conservative and reserved and gives the impression that the home is a serious no-nonsense place. You can’t go wrong with a black door as it is classic and timeless.

Your front door sets the tone for your whole house from the outside to the inside. So let your personality and personal taste shine through. All it takes is a little thought and a coat of paint!

Fun with Front Doors

Get ready for the holidays

Get ready for the holidays

Did you know that kellydesigns can decorate your home for the holidays? We can create a sophisticated and festive space to your specifications. We can use what you have or buy all new, the best part is that you can entertain and live in style this holiday without all the hassle. For more information and to book your appointment call 203.258.5709

Get ready for the holidays
Get ready for the holidays


Hot Trends in Bathroom Design 2017

If you are thinking about renovating your bathroom, before you begin, let’s take a look at the latest trends in Fairfield and Westchester Counties. Not only are today’s bathrooms big on style, they are designed with functionality in mind too. These ideas will help you create a beautiful and peaceful space that will feel rejuvenating and can turn the task of getting ready into an enjoyable one.


One of the most interesting bathroom trends is ‘the tub is back.’ After years of getting yanked out in favor of larger showers, freestanding bathtubs have been making the scene. These can be placed up against a wall or if you have the space, in the floating in the center of the room for a wow! These bathtubs make architectural statements and are found in a multitude of shapes including square, oval, round, asymmetrical or rectangular. The new tubs are more practical in size (they do not need a long time to fill) and most people find them more comfortable. So if you have the space, keep the tub. With today’s shapes, you’ll be more inclined to take a bath and it will add drama to your room too.

Showers have become larger (often accommodating two people) with fixtures ranging from a simple rain shower head to elaborate sprays and jets. Frameless glass enclosures are one thing you don’t want to skimp on. They make any size shower and the whole bathroom feel more spacious and allow you to see the pretty tile inside the shower space as well. Trending now is the use of different tiles to accent built-in spaces.

Something else is back and that’s brass fixtures and hardware. Flashback to the 80’s….no not exactly…… because today’s brass is not as shiny. The sheen is more muted so it’s not so overpowering but rather blends into the room as a warm and delicate highlight. Todays brass fixtures look good in a room with other metals so there’s no need to replace all your fixtures to add this hot new trend into your bath.


When it comes to tile, there’s no need to sacrifice looks for practicality anymore. While natural substances will always be a classic and excellent choice for any bathroom, today there is also a wide range of gorgeous look-alike materials to choose from too. New technology in ceramic production has enabled designers to imitate higher-end materials like wood, marble and even concrete. Trending now is cement and slate look tile and the ever popular wood plank tile is still hot! The beauty of these ceramic tiles is that they can be used anywhere (floors & walls) and can be mixed and matched for high style. Use smaller tiles to create patterns like herringbone and chevron. If you want a pattern but something simpler to install, new tile designs include various geometrics, tone on tone, multi-colored, and even patchwork. Mix tiles to create borders (still in!) and to define individual spaces in larger baths.


Bath cabinetry today is not only stylish but functional too. Think closet organizers in cabinet form with special drawers to hold small appliances like your blow dryer and curling iron in a space efficient and handy way. Even fixtures are getting in on the high style and functionality trend with deeper bowls perfect for smaller spaces.

So here’s my window into some of the new trends kellydesigns has been incorporating into the bathrooms we’ve been designing with functionality, aesthetics and resale in mind. I’m happy to say that overall the bathroom has come back stronger by being more beautiful, more comfortable and offering more space for ultimate relaxation.


All images are from Houzz. Check out my ideabooks for things I love in interior design and incorporate into my client’s homes.


Let’s face it, while choosing tile is a lot of fun, it can also be daunting as there are so many options in design, shape, color and texture. Tile is the finishing touch on a remodeling project and can make a big impact on the overall look of an existing Kitchen and Bath. Since tile can make or break the appearance of your room, many people in Fairfield and Westchester County turn to kellydesigns to make the right choices that are both functional and style conscious. In the meantime, let’s have a look at some of the current trends in tile for the Kitchen and Bath.

image from kbgblog
image from houseofhome
image from houseofhome

Wood-look tile is a great choice if you like the look of hardwood floors in the kitchen because they will always look perfect without having to refinish them on a regular basis. They also are a popular choice for bathroom floors and mudrooms. Today there are expansive options ranging from rustic to modern, making wood-look tiles a suitable choice for every style home from a traditional Colonial to a clean contemporary.


Choosing a wood-look tile is only the first step. You’ll have to make decisions on size, shape, type of wood and finish. Some of these include narrow plank (great for mid century design), regular width (suitable anywhere) or wide plank (great for a country home or with any modern design). Look for tiles in varying lengths and randomly stagger to give the appearance of real wood. Colors range from whitewashed to grey to shades of brown, all coming in varying contrasts. Textures include chipped edges, saw marks, smooth and hand scraped. When it comes time to purchase and install, look for tile and a contractor that can accommodate thin grout lines for the most authentic look.

Marble tile has lasting style with white and grey Carrara being the ultimate classic. Carrara’s pristine whiteness makes it a clean choice for bathrooms and especially kitchens of beach area homes. Marble tile come in a wide variety of shapes enabling you to meet a rooms particular style and your individual taste. Placing different sized tiles in varying places and combining these tiles to create unique patterns is a great way to give depth and interest to marble’s neutral palette. Marble tile looks beautiful on floors, in showers, around tubs on bathroom walls and on kitchen backsplashes. While Carrara is still the most prevalent, 2017 will see many more colored marbles gaining popularity including grey, beige, black, and even brown. Today they are many tile offerings that give you a Carrera marble look but in a porcelain tile, which gives you greater wearability and is more cost efficient as well.

image from HGTV
image from HGTV

It is not just the material that is getting more interesting it’s the shape, finishing and patterns too. Traditional shapes like subway can have standard straight edges or for a more interesting look get beveled edges or a texture throughout (i.e. waves). Tile designers are getting geometric with the hexagon (a.k.a. honeycomb) shape being the most popular. You’ll find these in traditional mosaic sheets and as larger tiles now too.

Geometric tiles can be used on a large scale on the entire floor, as an accent wall in the bath and as a kitchen backsplash. In small bathrooms, they help improve the perception of space and in large bathrooms, they form distinctive accents. Another popular trend is artfully arranging smaller tiles of varying shapes and colors. Recently we’ve seen this as borders in bathrooms and as kitchen backsplashes. Today interior designers are using them to create dramatic large scale designs. Either way, the result is tile that makes a bold statement rather than blending into the background.

image from @beaumont.tile
image from @beaumont.tile
image from insideeffects
image from insideeffects
image from designsponge
image from designsponge

This year brings so many options including fish tale designs in varying sizes and neutrals with texture, with patterned tiles coming back into vogue as well. In the end, deciding on tile is a form of personal expression. Don’t settle when it comes time to design or upgrade your kitchen or bath tile and make choices that you will love for years to come.

How To Pick The Perfect Sofa

We decorate our homes based on style preference but also and even more importantly how it supports our lifestyle. In the end, our homes become a reflection of our personalities. The space that divulges the most about us is the Family Room because it’s the one we use the most. Likewise, the piece of furniture that we use the most is also very revealing, and that is the sofa. So what exactly does your sofa say about you and how do you go about choosing a style?

How To Pick The Perfect Sofa

These are some of the basics that I review with my Fairfield and Westchester design clients. Specifically, the best way to go about choosing a sofa and what exactly the various styles are. This way when it comes time for you to redecorate you’ll already have a head start, not to mention more confidence in making your decision. Here are steps to take (in order) to end up with a sofa that will look fabulous and one that you’ll love for years to come.

First, choose the frame based on your overall decorating taste. Do you prefer Traditional, Classic or Modern? Do you like cushions that are “to the front cushions” (above white sofas) or “t-cushions” (they sort of wrap around the arm like the gray sofa to the right). Do you prefer a cushion back pillow or a tight back with no cushion?

Next, decide how comfortable you need your sofa to be by thinking about who will be using the room and what will be doing there. Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Is it mostly your immediate family that will be using the room?
  2. Will you be using the space to entertain and if so do you have people over to watch the big game or doing more formal entertaining?
  3. Does the seating need to be in a good position for you to read?
  4. Does it need to be comfortable enough to lie down and watch tv or take a nap?

…… If you are like me, it might be all of the above. 🙂

Sofa Style

Next, choose your fabric. Looks are always important, but you also must consider how long your fabric will look good based on who will be using the room. Do you have young children? Do you have pets? I always recommend getting something you love but also a fabric that will be durable. With all the newer fabrics being performance fabrics and great looking the choices are easy!

Finally, after the sofa is delivered and placed in your room, make it uniquely yours by adding pillows and throws of varying colors, patterns, and textures. I’ve been posting on my Facebook page tips on mixing and matching fabrics for pillows, and you can check out my shop kdHOME for some high style and quality options to purchase for yourself or Holiday gifts.

How To Pick The Perfect Sofa
Sofa Style
Sofa Style
Sofa Style
Sofa Style
Sofa Style
Sofa Style
Sofa Style
Sofa Style
Sofa Style
Sofa Style

TV Placement Tips

It used to be easy to figure out where to place your TV because in the old days, back in my youth, they were built into furniture and were proudly displayed in the center of the living room. Then in the 80’s, TVs became cabinet-free and were placed on top of stands that could accommodate their large depth or behind armoire doors that could open and close. Today’s thinner TVs provide many placement options but also challenges as the screens have become quite large. So let’s explore some design choices that will allow you to enjoy wide screen entertainment yet not take away from your beautifully designed room.

First of all, lets get the technical details out of the way. The optimal viewing angle is at eye level meaning that your head is even with the middle of the screen. This will never be possible for all viewers and for all viewing positions (both lying down and sitting up) and that’s okay. Just use this as a guideline and make sure viewers don’t have to have to actually tilt their head to see the screen. Second, the TV size should be relative to the size of the room so the screen can be viewed comfortably. Avoid getting one that is so big that it causes eye strain or one that is too small and becomes dwarfed by a large space. To help out with that here’s a loose guideline on appropriate screen sizes and viewing distances.

from kellydesigns design project

  • 26″ screen = 3 to 5.5 feet
  • 32″ screen = 4 to 6.5 feet
  • 37″ screen = 4.5 to 7.5 feet
  • 40″ screen = 5 to 8.5 feet
  • 46″ screen = 6 to 9.5 feet
  • 52″ screen = 6.5 to 11 feet
  • 58″ screen = 7 to 12 feet
  • 65″ screen = 8 to 13.5 feet
  • 70″ screen = 9 to 15 feet

Third, you will need to decide whether or not your TV will sit on top of a piece of furniture or mounted on the wall. This may depend on how you want the room to look.

Often in Fairfield and Westchester County we see the TV mounted on the wall above the fireplace. This is primarily due to the fact that the fireplace takes center stage and is also the location where it can be seen by the most people. Aesthetically this is a good choice in that the fireplace is most often the best architectural feature of the room. Other advantages of mounting the TV over the fireplace is that it keeps it out of reach of children and most importantly it creates more floor space for additional seating, furniture and artwork. You must also consider the code for the TV over the fireplace, in Fairfield County it is 12″ above the firebox. If you have a mantel that is very high, placing the TV above it could cause neck strain. One way you can work around this is to lower the mantle, usually not as costly or time consuming a project as you would expect. To avoid this you may opt to place the TV next to the fireplace, on another wall or mount the TV with hardware that allows you to point the screen downward so it is comfortable to view.

TV with art wall
from kellydesigns design project
from kellydesigns design project

WhileTVs have become easier to install they have also become greater decorating challenges. Don’t let your TV diminish the beauty of your tastefully furnished room. Hide all the wires and make sure the TV is optimally placed for looks as well as function. With today’s technology you can choose to do it all wirelessly or use infrared equipment that can “see” through doors, so all cable boxes and wires can remain hidden. The best looking rooms have a proper balance between the TV and the decor.

image from houzz

If your room does not have a fireplace, the TV will naturally become the focal point, so here are some ways that you can avoid having it over power your room.

  • Build bookcases and shelving around the TV so it becomes part of the wall. When doing this it is important to not have the TV deeper than the walls of the built-ins, as this will create a tunnel effect.
  • Create an art wall around the TV.
  • Have another wall as an accent wall with wall paper to create a focal point so that the TV is not the main focus.
  • Place the TV directly on top of a media cabinet. Then artfully arrange objects on top and/or on floating shelves.
  • Create a dark accent wall and place the TV on it so it blends into the background.
  • Deliberately arrange some seating so it is not facing the TV so it is no longer the sole focal point.
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kellydesigns, LLC
10 Patrick Drive, Fairfield, CT 06824
Phone 203.258.5709
Fax 203.256.2791

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