Sunday, November 14, 2010

Dividing An Open Space - Question #5

Hi Medina,
Love your Blog! I have a question for you: Victoria tells me that in your first apartment, you had curtains that were on moveable brackets. My daughter, Lindsay, has a room in her condo, just as you enter the apartment that requires some kind of separation from the hallway (there are no doors).  She also uses this room for her friends when they stay, so some kind of privacy division is needed there too. Any advice/help you could provide would be most appreciated. 
                                                                               Thank you! Jackie

Hi Jackie,
I did indeed have moveable curtains in my apartment and I have since taken them with me to the next apartment! We just put curtains on these brackets that can swing out... The rod is extendable from floor to ceiling so it can be adjusted to any height. It's made by Umbra (  Here is an idea of what it looks like...

Another option are these "Adjustable Arm Swings" by Finishing Touch...

She could also just use a curtain rod w/ curtains and tie backs. The Designer says curtain separations are coming back in style and can look so cute!  Check these out...

Easy Headboards - Question #4 (Part 2)

Here's another quick example of  a headboard idea... Using a piece of art!

PS I found the painting at an auction...

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Easy Headboards - Question #4

How do I make a headboard that is easy, cheap and looks great? Help!

I find that the easiest and cheapest way to make a headboard is with fabric and curtain rods... You can buy ready made curtains at Ikea or you can make some with your fabric of choice - just sew a pocket on top and on the bottom so that the curtain rods can fit through... Slip the fabric on the rods, arrange them pleated or smooth, and hang them.

Or you go to Home Depot and get garden lattice that is already framed...

Just paint it, turn it on it's side and hang it!

Another option is to use already made stencils. They have great ones at

A canvas is good, but very expensive! Unless of course you can find a huge piece of canvas or art at a flea market or second hand store...

Good luck! Have fun!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Ikea Building Mistake - Question #3

Designer Mom,
My dad just built my new television cabinet from Ikea. It took all day... We just realized he put the back panel on backwards! So now you can see the four screws in each corner and the seam in the middle can be seen from both sides...

Is there a way to cover them up or do we have to take it apart?

Hi there,
Unfortunately, the only thing to do is to take the back panel off and do it right...

It will always drive you crazy if you just try to "cover" it... Sorry!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Wedding Ideas - Question #2

I am getting married! And I want my reception to be a mix of an English rose garden and Alice's Adventures in Wonderland - so far I have pink lanterns and tea cup candles. Other pretty and simple ideas?       
                                                                    Thanks, Sarah
Dear Sarah,
Congratulations! I want to know who is going to be the Mad Hatter!!? Truth be told, the design depends on the location of your wedding... Once you decide that, plus chairs and tables, it will be easier for me to be of more specific help! For now, some whimsical ideas for your concept would be...
*Lots and lots of it bunched up to look like a puff with white mini battery operated lights   under so the light shines through...
*Tied in bows on chairs with a flower (roses for yours!)  
* Rose heads put into little water holders and lay them over tulle on the tables.
* Rose petals strewn all over the place - on tables, the floor, etc... and I'm talking lots not just a few pedals on the ground...and not just the flower girl with the little basket throwing it out!
*Lots and lots of candles
*Lanterns hanging in the air
*Little lights under tulle or hanging
    ... ivy and satin ribbons...


Hiding Cables - Question #1

Dear Medina's Mom,
How do I hide ugly bunches of electrical cords? AAAAH!
                                                 Thank you, Sarah
Dear Sarah,
#1- Take any kind of tube - a toilet paper roll, saran wrap tube, etc... Cut it into the right size. You can get all kinds of hockey tape in different colors  or ribbon and wrap it around the tube. Hide the wires inside!  
Below, I used a plastic bottle  from the dollar store and cut the top and bottom off to make a tube...

#2- You can go to IKEA and pick up this Montera cable organizer to condense all your cords into one tube rather than a bunch going in all directions... Unfortunately, the only options there are black and grey.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Ask My Mom

I am the daughter of an interior designer and a realtor. Growing up, we often moved from one house to another as my parents bought, fixed and sold many a home. When I moved out on my own, my apartments were often the envy of my friends. It kinda helps when your mom's a designer! My mom has come to help every time I've moved. She teaches me how to make small, inexpensive changes that always seem to make a huge impact. She can make beauty out of nothing. 

After years of friends and family constantly asking my mom for design advice, I thought I'd create a place to share all her amazing tips. Here's to my mother's amazing talents and her ability to think outside the box. Interior design is in her blood. She has been doing it since I can remember. As a kid, I remember spending a lot of time in the car as she ran errands to hardware stores, paint stores, furniture stores - you name it. At the time, it was so frustrating! Now, oh how grateful I am... I know how lucky I have been to have the free advice. Now you can have it too! 

Go on, ask my mom...