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Gray: The Elegant Neutral

» 15 March 2017 » In Planning, Uncategorized » No Comments

Gray Paint Samples, Photo Credit: Unknown

Gray Paint Samples, Photo Credit: Unknown

Choosing the perfect gray can make your head spin – brown-ish gray, blue-ish gray, black-ish gray. You only have a few thousand options at your local paint store, so how do you choose?

Gray remains a popular color for interiors. As one of the elegant neutral color options, gray is a fan favorite because it can warm up or cool it down your space. Therefore, when selecting the perfect gray we like to focus on the color temperature. If you prefer warmer tones look for a yellow or beige based gray, or greige, as the trade likes to call it. If you prefer cooler tones you may opt for a blue or green-based gray.

Remember, lighting plays a large role in how your color will look in your room. Do you have a lot of natural lighting? Which direction does the light come from? North, south, east, or west? Do you use lamps in your space? What color is the shade? A colored shade may need to be transitioned to white. All of these elements can impact how the color appears in your space throughout the given day, and being mindful of these elements is half the battle to selecting the right color.

The best way to evaluate any paint color is to live with it for a few days. Paint a sample wall and then determine how you like the color at various times throughout the day. How does the color change when the lighting in the room changes? How does the color change when switching out lamps or lamp shades? When you find a color that checks the box from sun up to sun down – you have found your winner!

Ready for a couple more tips for selecting the perfect gray?

  • Gray can absolutely be paired with an accent color – the undertone of your selection will help you determine the best color partner
  • Flat paint may be your best option for gray walls. Flat paint also helps to hide flaws & smudges
  • Gary walls – Cream trim. Sometimes stark white can be too bright when paired with your gray. Evaluate cream colors that have either a brown, yellow, or red tint and see how that pairs with your gray selection – it may provide just the right amount of warmth and color balance

Lastly, don’t let selecting a paint color stress you out…have fun and enjoy the process! Remember a paint color can always be changed!

Happy painting!

Kelly Kirkpatrick

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Preparing for Your Next Big Move

» 03 March 2015 » In Organization, Planning » Comments Off on Preparing for Your Next Big Move

I know that feeling:  the feeling of anxiety, stress, apprehension, no sleep, no eating (or eating depending on how you react to stress), sadness, happiness, etc. It’s the feeling of selling your home. The one you have so many memories in, you love the location, you have it renovated to perfection, you have meticulously taken care of it for years. So why are you selling?

Possibly for several reasons:  real_estate_sign_sold_800_wht

  • Your family is getting bigger and needs more space.
  • Your family is getting smaller and you need less space.
  • An opportunity to have your “Dream Home” suddenly came up.
  • Sadly a divorce, death, loss of job, or other hardship has forced you to make a change.

Whatever the reason, it is an emotional time. There are so many decisions:

 You put in an offer on a property, with the hopes of it being accepted. You play in your mind 50 million scenarios of selling your property. What can I get for it? How much will it cost me to sell? What do I have to do to get it ready? Do I want to sell my furniture, items, etc.? What will I need for the new home? What’s the best way to save on taxes?  What type of financing can I get? How much will I need to put down?

 What you need is a great team of experts. Within this team is where Home Staging Specialists can come into play. WE are the experts in making recommendations on the condition of your property. We can also stage your property READY to SELL. A seller can only control two things when selling their property: The condition of the property and the sale price. Home Staging Specialists can help you have your moving-boxesproperty looking its best with staging BEFORE you put it on the market. “A picture is worth a1000 words.” Your photographs need to look like a magazine spread. We can help alleviate some of that stress in the selling process. As part of your selling team, we work together with your agent, to help you get top dollar and to sell quickly. 

So, with the emotion of selling, let us help you and be a part of your team in the process of selling your home.

 Give us a call to further discuss.

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What’s Your Theme for 2015?

» 22 January 2015 » In Decorating, Organization, Planning, Style » Comments Off on What’s Your Theme for 2015?

Well, I don’t know about you, but the end of 2014 went by with a flourish.  So here we are, January of 2015, a new year, new beginnings, new promises, new resolutions.

New Years ImageYes, it’s the month of People Magazine’s biggest losers. I’ve posted articles about organizing, staging, and new design projects.  As I have been researching new trends for 2015, I came across a great article from Forbes by Kathy Caprino.  So for this blog, I’m adding her seven questions to ask yourself for your theme you would like to focus on for 2015 (myself included).  Other than eating healthy, diet and exercise (which is a given and a struggle for me every year after coming down from a sugar coma over the holidays).

Not that I consider myself a “deep thinker”, but no matter where you are in your life, age, etc.  I don’t think it hurts to have a plan (for those who know me, I’m all over plans!).  This especially hits home for me as I watch our children moving forward onto different phases of their lives:  first jobs, grad school choices, under grad choices, major choices, (can you sense a theme here?) and lastly our “Empty Nest Syndrome”, which is getting closer.  Whether it’s your career, where you are in life, family, etc., I think these are great questions to come up with a great theme/plan for the year.

Here are seven critical questions to ask yourself that will help you choose the best theme for your life going forward and identify clearly what you want to focus on in 2015:

1. What do you care about the most in life – from everything you read, hear, watch and attend to?

2. What agitates you most in the world that you desperately long to transform or improve?

3. What do you want to accentuate, amplify and build on in your life?

4. What key words describe the people you find most inspiring, impressive, compelling?

5. What do all your dreams for the future have in common – the critical threads and recurring patterns?

6. What is the most outlandishly wonderful fantasy you have for your life, and why would that bring you so much happiness?

7. Now, who do you really want to become in 2015?

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What’s Your Fall Color Palette?

» 20 October 2014 » In Decorating, Planning, Style » Comments Off on What’s Your Fall Color Palette?


I don’t know what happened to September, and now it’s mid-October!  The crisp mornings and colorful foliage are a welcome sight.  To me, it’s also the beginning of the holiday season.  As I cleaned out my closet and moved my summer clothes in storage and my winter clothes in, I took a look at my color palette. 

I was heading for an out of town wedding and wanted to see what I had to wear for a fall wedding.  However, most of my winter clothes are 50 Shades of Black!  I decided that I needed to add color to my wardrobe!  With the grey days of winter ahead, I feel it’s necessary to add a pop of color to my basics.  It’s just that one small pop that can change your mood, and make you feel a little better with the winter months ahead.

fall trees

Just as in your wardrobe, I feel a little pop of color is necessary in your home.  Whether it’s a new throw, colorful dishes for the holidays or a fresh arrangement from the grocery to add to your color palette.  Thoughts go directly to the colors of autumn:  Various shades of orange, red, yellow, green, brown and even purple!  Simple ideas for arrangements for the holidays can brighten up any grey day ahead.

As we begin our fall and winter season, changing out our clothes, mattress flipping (don’t forget!), preparing our yard for winter, enjoying the last bit of warm days to breaking out the evening wood fires, crock pots and our comfort food recipes, all involving glorious shades of color…What is your favorite fall color palette?

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Time to Celebrate!

» 14 May 2014 » In Organization, Planning » No Comments


Horses, hats, Mint Juleps,  Lillys, Mother’s Day, Graduations, birthdays…May is an incredibly busy time for us in Kentucky.  It seems like in the rush of this month there are celebrations every weekend!

For those of you who don’t know, the First Saturday in May, EVERY year, is like Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa all rolled up into one.  There are events beginning two weeks before the blessed day, and a constant party, flutter and focus on fashion from shoes to hats/fascinators for both men and women.  It’s like the Oscars and Academy Awards wrapped up into one. I’ve never been so coiffed, buffed, polished and groomed for this favorite weekend in our home.

This is also the time to motivate me (actually it started in March, when it was still cold and grey, wishing for spring) because we have guests that arrive and stay for this event along with hosting a dinner party. Think spring house cleaning on steroids.  Those projects that you have put off are now front and center.  New lighting to replace the old, turned pink lighting?  Check! Landscaping completed in a timely manner, replacing all things dead that did not survive this past winter? Check!  Guestrooms…new bedding, sheets, mattresses, Derby themed soaps, etc….Check!  Cleaning out closets in the guest rooms that held all that “stuff” to use for another time? Check! And don’t forget food, hydrate, food, hydrate and more food!

bed for blog

To me entertaining is so much fun.  It is important to me to make sure that guests feel at home and have everything they need.  Make sure the beds are comfortable, because how often do you sleep in your guest room?  I tweeted earlier about an article I read on tips for your guest rooms.  Doesn’t hurt to check it out!  Also, cleaning out makes me feel better that that lovely chore that’s been put off for forever is now complete.  I feel like I am “nesting”.  Good thing as our third one heads off to college in the fall, my husband knows that we will be cleaning out again!  He made the comment the other day that there is nothing left to clean out…au contraire mon mari, there are still more closets to conquer!

So as we push on toward graduations, end of the school year and the transition into summer, now is the time to get organized, regenerate and make ready for those lazy hot days poolside, on the beach, at a ballpark or wherever this summer takes you.

Cheers to the rest of this month and Happy Belated Mother’s Day to those well deserving mom’s out there; congratulations and best wishes on your future endeavors to all of our graduates; and Happy Birthday to those Taurus’ in my life!


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Top 10 List: Items to Have in Your Home by Age 30

» 07 April 2014 » In Planning » Comments Off on Top 10 List: Items to Have in Your Home by Age 30

I recently tweeted, face-booked, etc., a reference to an interesting article from Elle Décor.  It was a list of “10 Things You Must Have in Your Home By Age 30.”  I thought they were good suggestions.  As I try to look back to when I was 30, what I was doing at that time in my life, I’d like to add a few comments to the suggestions:



1. Art You Love:  I think this an ongoing investment and tastes change over time.  I do feel that art is an investment and when you DO find something that you absolutely can’t live without, then it’s a purchase.  I still have art in our home that has meaning or it’s something that is timeless.  Mixing styles in a home can be a great conversation piece.


2. An Organized Book Shelf:  I think a bookshelf can be personalized with not just books, but items you love and have meaning as well.  Do I think we should stuff the bookshelves?  Not necessarily (this is the staging side of me) but your shelves could include a special piece of artwork, along with your favorite all time books.


Newmarket Bathroom After

3. Matching Towels:  I don’t think I had matching towels, nor did I realize how ratty my towels were until I decided to hit Bed Bath and Beyond.  I remember speaking with a friend one day and she referenced “Guest Towels”.  At the time, we had at least 2.5 children and “Guest Towels” didn’t exist in our home.  Needless to say, when you are at the point where your brown towels all of a sudden start to have bleach stains and look like a leopard or you are using your towels to dry your car, it’s time to invest in some nice ones.  You can always find some good deals.  Just remember to CUT UP the old towels for rags.  I still seem to find some “rag towels” in my closet. 


4. A Plant:  Depending on your lifestyle, not all of us have a green thumb.  However, a little green in your house can brighten up any spot in your home.  If you don’t have a green thumb, or you forget to water the “Love Fern”, then just picking up some “thanks for being you” flowers can brighten up your week.  You can find them for a decent price at a farmers market, or your local grocery.  Another thought is having potted herbs in the kitchen to use for cooking. With spring trying to make an appearance, a handful of colorful tulips, some simple roses or a small pot of rosemary or basil can definitely bring a positive change.


Bedroom After (use)

5. A Nice Mattress and Headboard:  Yep, college days are over!  Yes, you might have a mattress that could be leftover from college or your first apartment and just a bed frame.  It’s time to upgrade to that Pillow Top including a headboard! Time to finish your room!  A neutral headboard can go with anything and help complete your serenity room…yes, after a long day of work, travel, maybe tucking in the kids, it’s nice to invest in a headboard, and I will go one step further – really nice sheets.  I didn’t think there was a difference, but au contraire, mes amis, there IS!


6. A Collection:  Ok, I’m a little hesitant on this one.  (Yes, this is the staging side of me coming out again!).  My husband has a collection of golf flags from courses he has played that I have framed and have hanging in the basement.  I’m not sure how I feel about bobble heads, or school flags or license plates, (no offense); I can’t help but thinking of them as dust collectors (more work).  What collections do I have?  Hmmmm, I don’t have any! 


7. Bathroom Accessories that Aren’t Plastic:  This goes with #3, having your spa-like area.  Nothing is better than coming home after a long day to a space that feels like a resort.  You don’t have to have a lot of accessories; however, investing in nice ones definitely creates a better look. 


8. A Favorite Candle (or the knowledge that you are not a Scent Person):  I’ve never personally been a big candle or scent person.  I don’t like heavy, overwhelming scents, perfumes or colognes.  I’m pretty simple, liking the smell of fresh laundry and soap.  However, the older I have gotten, I have found a few favorite candle scents that I like and use when I am working or when I need to decompress. I usually stick with beach scents, or some light, spring scents.  So, find what your style or level of scent is, if any! 


Crooked Lane bedroom after

9. Two Bedside Tables:  Once again, we are back to the bedroom.  Two bedside tables (no they don’t have to match, but same height would be nice) complete the balance in your room.  It can provide more storage and a great place for all of those stacks of books, magazines and papers and notepads. 


10. A Luxurious Throw:  As we are beginning to thaw out from one of the worst winters I can remember, investing in a wonderful soft throw can be just the ticket when it is bone chilling cold. You can hunker down and watch that movie with your bowl of popcorn.  It can be textured (I love that) or have a pop of color that can add a lot to your den or bedroom.


This is a great starting point. What would you change/add to your list?  A Keurig? A Kitchenaid Mixer? An Apple TV?  I would love to hear from my 30-something and under clients their thoughts or wish list by the time the big 3-0 hits.


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April 2013

» 10 April 2013 » In Planning » No Comments

Ahhhh, the signs of spring!  In Kentucky this means a lot of vibrant color and of course, the count down to the Kentucky Derby with all the festivities leading up to the big race!  Whether you are planning a party, trying to find the perfect outfit to wear, squeezing in some home projects before the big day, or finding that famous Southern Recipe for the event, may I suggest turning to Pinterest or Houzz, my new best friends!

For those of you who don’t know what Pinterest or Houzz are, they are addicting tools that save a lot of time (and money) for whatever project you are planning.  They are virtual bulletin boards AND they are FREE!

PInterest for Home Decor IdeasThat’s right, instead of buying all of those magazines and pulling out pages, creating a file and more paperwork, this is a paperless, easy way to communicate what your likes are for any project.  You can make the bulletin boards private (if you just want to share your ideas with certain people) or open for anyone to see your creativity and interests.

Yes, I do have Pinterest boards.  Many.  They vary from personal tastes in clothing, jewelry, wedding ideas (not that I am planning any at the moment), and party ideas. I especially love the accessibilty of Pinterest and that anyone can use it! I can get ideas anywhere from my best friends, family members, or someone halfway across the world! Houzz for Interior Design Ideas

Houzz is geared toward more interior design, staging, etc. Think of Pinterest as the Facebook of pin boards, and Houzz as the LinkedIn. Houzz is more professional in that it deals with multiple aspects of home make-over – building, decorating, interior design, etc. This is where you will find some great ideas from people that know this trade inside and out!

In honor of the Kentucky Derby, I’ve begun a Pinterest board of things I like for the Kentucky Derby festivities.  You can follow me on one or all of my boards, if you wish.

Go on, give it a try!  It’s fun, easy and a great way to communicate what you want for any type of project!

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