Renovation-Free Transformations

Hello, my MARtians. Exciting news for you! This Saturday at 1:00 p.m. on WTNH is our third installment of LIFE ON MAR’S: The Home Makeover Show. This time we are focusing on transforming the living room and family room spaces. You will be absolutely shocked to see how I use my Casual Luxury principles to change these spaces from ‘nice’ to ‘phenomenal’!

As a special preview gift – and sneak peek to my viewers and fans – I am sharing five of my quick tips to making your living spaces special, as inspired by what I’ve done at Green Isle, the home at the center of LIFE ON MAR’S: The Home Makeover Show. Follow these simple tips and you will be well on your way to Casual Luxury living – without a renovation.

High-Gloss White Paint

A room’s trim, or millwork, defines the nature of the space. Although leaving the wood natural or staining it can conjure a feeling of woodsy informality, it is a strong statement to make, particularly if the wood is deeply grained. My favorite treatment for trim and molding is to use a high-gloss white paint. There are many shades of white, and I favor a bright, true white that contrasts with wall treatments beautifully. The luster and sheen is completely Casual Luxury, and it only costs the price of a gallon of paint.

Wallpaper is Back

For years now, the design world has focused on clean, smooth, painted walls with little to no texture. Well, wallpaper is back, baby! Grass paper is an option; it lends a textural quality that is fun and useful when creating contrast. By using inspiration from Mother Nature, wallpaper can bring the outside in brilliantly.I also love the instant designer feel that bold geometric patterns can make. Fabric wall coverings can add a touch of sophistication to a room that paint simply cannot.

Dark Floors

The mid-century brought a lot of cookie-cutter design elements to home interiors. With this influx of building came simple hardwood floor treatments. Most commonly, hardwood was installed unstained and protected with a clear coat of varnish or polyurethane. The floors were light, drab, and over time they faded to an unflattering shade of orange. I adore the elegance that a dark stained floor brings to a home. It is so Casual Luxury.

Books are Beautiful

Books are wonderful things. You read them for education, fun, and information, but they are also beautiful in themselves. One of my not-so-secret tips is to take the dust jacket off of hardcover books and let the glorious cloth bindings show. Most books are bound in a richly textured cloth and maybe a truly beautiful color. This is a great opportunity to bring interest into a room; use books you already have or you can source elsewhere. I love to go to library sales, and for pennies on the dollar have found many amazing and beautiful titles. Lined up on a shelf in varying sizes, and interspersed with special objects with their own inherent beauty, the books bring great designs up the wall, giving some verticality that is so important for a well-balanced room.

Recycle From Your Own Home

Again and again, you will hear me say, it does not have to cost a fortune to put my design principles into play. I am a huge fan of tag sales and flea markets, but one of the very best sources of great design pieces is already in your home – your own items. When placed or grouped according to my principles, your things can create a completely updated, beautiful new space brimming with MARvelous Casual Luxury.

I hope you try my simple renovation-free transformation tips. With a little thought and effort, you can enjoy your home, not just as a place to be – but as a place to live. That is what I am all about, and why I do what I do. Don’t forget to tune in and see all of the above in action this Saturday at 1:00 p.m. on WTNH.

See you on MAR’S!