I'm sure we've all had visits from those unexpected guests...the in-laws, next-door neighbor, etc. Or maybe you forgot you were going to get a visit from an old friend! Let's face it - with everyone's busy lives nowadays, we don't have a lot of time to spend cleaning all hours of the day. Working full-time (and, in my case, having a side job as a makeup artist), 3 kids, running errands, and getting meals ready on a daily takes a lot of our time!
Blessed with busy weekends [enter sarcasm here], and being the neat-freak I am, I want to at least appear that we've got our act together! I constantly have people coming in and out of my house for makeup application so I can honestly say I am now an expert.
So here it is...my tips on how to get your place spruced up when you have an hour or less...BONUS if you have children that can help!
ONLY PICK UP AREAS PEOPLE ARE GOING TO SEE (OR POSSIBLY SEE).
This means areas like the entry way, living room, kitchen and dining room (if you have an open concept living situation) and guest bathroom. You don't have to do everything I say here especially if you don't think you'll have time so pick and choose what's most important. Do what works for you! And if you have tips for me, leave me a comment - I'd love to know your secrets as well!
1. Entry Way
2. Living Room:
4. Dining Room:
5. Guest Bathroom (wear gloves if you have them):
If you have time, light some candles or pop in a wax warmer, scented plug-in, or whatever it is you have to quickly scent your room(s) - preferably something not too overpowering and pleasing to most.
Now don't get me wrong - I sometimes can't do all this myself especially if I have less than a half hour or I'm home alone, for example. But my 3 children are all trained in what to do and such a huge help when the time calls for it! ; -) When they're done, they'll go back to playing in their rooms or out with friends.
So there...these are my secret tips on how I appear organized and put-together. Everything I've mentioned above looks like a lot of work but, trust me, once you spring into action, it goes super fast. Just have a system down and do what works for you.
~ XOXO Mari
Now some of you may have missed this in a previous post but I actually graduated with an Interior Design degree at the International Design Academy of Technology (IADT) - Seattle. I graduated in 2010...also right about the time the job market was at an all-time low. Awesome timing because I was told by one of my Architect buddies that the first of the jobs to disappear was anything art or design-related. WHY, OF COURSE..
I was about 25 when we owned our first home - a new development in a corner lot and we were the house everyone went to - poker and karaoke almost every weekend with our 3 year old and 1 year old boys. Guests frequently commented "Wow, you did a great job decorating!" I was so proud then but when I think back, there was no real cohesion and most of the decor was traditional with some global and contemporary elements mixed in. Each room was painted a different color because I couldn't bare looking at white walls...I grew up only knowing white walls with one gold, glittered wall (in our suh-weet 1970s entryway that was popcorn-textured which my brothers and I frequently picked at...I wouldn't be surprised now if it contained asbestos!).
It was when we moved into our 1st home that I decided to go back to college (and did I mention I had 2 little boys?!) Photos below were taken by a selling agent...sadly, we've lost our original photos:
The location of our home was beginning to take a toll on us being that we worked in Downtown Seattle - about 30-40 minutes away. We then moved into another new "cookie-cutter" home in the Kent Valley. I wanted to stand out from the rest of our neighbors but we could only do so much since the HOA was very particular about "home improvements."
Again, we used a lot of warmer colors and still had the traditional and global thing going on but then I started to learn more and more at school. It was at this house I had my 3rd child - a girl - and her nursery consisted of bright, fresh colors (a very light sage-mint green) and lots of natural light. It was then that I realized that cooler colors were more my "cup-of-tea," But, the rest of the home had copper, red, or tan tones!
Shortly after our daughter turned 1, we ended up moving to our current home - a 1970s split-level in the upper Renton area. We moved because we wanted to get the boys into a good school. We found our home in the same neighborhood as the elementary school my boys would eventually attend. By this time, I had already graduated from school but I was in design heaven! The house needed work and, with the real estate market being down, we got it for a good deal. The possibilities were endless in our new home and I could finally put my design chops to the test...BTW, the following photos are BEFORE shots and taken by the selling agent's team:
It is at this house my design sense started coming together. I finally was honing in on what I liked, style-wise. So, my friends, this is a good way to end my blog here and hope you stay tuned for my entry coming soon on our home remodel!
~ XOXO, Mari