Flip! For Decorating

A page-by-page, piece-by-piece, room-by-room guide to transforming your home.

Flip! For Decorating by Elizabeth Mayhew

This week, you MUST check out Flip! For Decorating by Elizabeth Mayhew. It’s a wonderful book that illustrates great design ideas for transforming spaces in your home! The motivation behind the book is using inexpensive and already existing items in your home to create the room of your dreams. We use this same philosophy in every home that we reshuffle, refresh, and organize. The book also features great before and after photos, time-saving reality checks, handy shopping tips, and easy informative sidebars that provide quick solutions for a jolt of style.

So do yourselves a favor and CHECK THIS OUT! And if you already have, let us know what you think.


Savvy Spring Decor!

Spring is not just the time to clean and purge the old, but it is a celebratory time of year:  Graduations, Holiday Brunches, and other celebrations!  So, why not rejuvenate your home?  Welcome spring by checking out these helpful tips and ideas that won’t cost you a bundle.

At Sweet Abode, one of our services is “Room Reshuffle/Redesign”.  Developing a more flexible floor plan by aligning and shifting pieces can often open up the space and create better flow, without buying anything!

Delight in de-cluttering
With the new season comes the inspiration to cleanse and purge items that you no longer need. Replace heavier accent objects, such as ceramics, with lighter pieces, like baskets. Reposition artwork and add mirrors whenever possible as they open up a room and give the illusion of more space. Of course, when in doubt, recycle it out.

Shop and swap
As the focus on sustainability becomes more widespread, so do your options for eco-friendly products that do not deplete the earth or your pocketbook. Some options include swapping with a group of friends to changing out items that no longer fit your space, or shopping in thrift stores and consignment shops. Of course, when those options won’t do, we suggest purchasing eco-friendly, simple selections such as bamboo rugs, organic cotton sheets or recycled glass.

Bring on the colors of nature!  Get rid of the silk and dried flowers and add the beautiful textures and colors of green vegetation. 

Even just new throw pillows can add a fresh look to your home.



When you lighten the landscape, you lighten the mood!

Lighting is another simple, affordable and eco-friendly way of sprucing up the home. We suggest converting all task lighting to compact fluorescent bulbs. The reduction in energy consumption translates into a lower monthly bill and an overall reduction in your carbon footprint.


Let spring bloom inside your home!  With fresh colors and a bit of reshuffling, your home can be ready to welcome your guests for any celebration.

Curb Appeal

March is here!  Did you know it is “National Procrastination Month.”  Don’t let yourself or your family get caught in that chaos; instead, be part of the progress!

If you don’t have time to donate the things that you no longer need or want, consider taking them to your curb.  It will give  whole new meaning to the words “curb appeal.”  One man’s junk is another man’s treasure for sure!  It is so true.  Something you have been hanging on to for years and want to get rid of could be the very thing your next door or down the street neighbor wants or needs….and your next episode of entertainment.

Just wait and see; take something that you don’t mind parting with to your curb, go back inside your house, pull up a chair to your window and check out all of the “rubber neck-ers” who go by!  When I moved a few years ago, I vividly remember taking a silver serving tray out to our curb (I had only gotten about 20 as wedding gifts).  It was still in the box and quite nice.  It is not very often that brand new items are taken curbside, so it was a blast seeing who took home the prize. 

A middle-aged lady in a white minivan swooped it up and I got a kick out of visualizing her taking it home and enjoying it.  A few months later, I was at a potluck supper and saw a familiar face and silver serving piece.  I made a comment about how much I liked that particular piece and the lady told me that she made a point to use it daily because it was almost thrown in the landfill and had a greater purpose. 

Small World

….a small green world it needs to be!

Single Mother of 3 Yearns for Fresh and Modern

This home was a great example of how we reshuffle furniture, repurpose artwork/accessories and selected new finishes to make a home warm and happy!  We were able to update the space while maintaining the character that reflects what is important to this family.
It is amazing how a fresh new paint palette and a new dining room light fixture can add more light and warm up the space.

There are so many granite choices these days it is worth going to the granite showroom and picking out your slab.  There are also a variety of edge and finish options that add even more interest. Our client chose an antique finish, which gives an unpolished and refined look, while introducing a unique element to the space at no cost.  In addition to the new counter we accessorized with a new undermount sink adding the final touch of a seamless, elegant design.  It overall look was tied together by a sleek and simple subway tile backsplash.
The children needed a place to be together on the computer in the living area, so we pulled up a couple of timeless leather cubes that can be used for storage as well as seating, making this area work for kids playing and for an adult gathering.
Our homeowner’s budget did not allow for new furniture, but she actually did not need new furniture we just needed to be creative and reuse what she had to offer a fresh look. Adding French inspired pillows, framed black and white photographs and a couple of rugs gave the space the finishing touches it needed. The outcome was great!  Our client was very happy, her children love their new space and she stayed within her budget.  
 This is what our busy client had to say about her new space:
“My whole kitchen/dining room look great now. I had my sister-in-law over last night to see it, and she was amazed! Thanks again so much for my sweet, new abode!! I am very grateful for all of your help”

What does Reshuffle mean to you?

To Merriam Webster, Reshuffle means to reorganize usually by the redistribution of existing elements.  To Sweet Abode, Reshuffle means to find something in one place of your home and make it work somewhere else.  It is so important to keep in mind: what does it mean to make a change to a room, a space or your whole house? 

Reshuffling is a simple concept where you use existing furnishings and shop in your home for hidden treasures.  It is also a transformation of your space within 1 day and at no cost to your wallet or the environment. 

1.  Start by thinking of how much better the traffic and light can flow in the room.  Is there balance and functionality in the space?  If not, how can you mix the different pieces you have so there is a better stability.  When there is an imbalance in the room you have too much lumped together on one side and a blank wall on the other.  If you have too many pieces in one room there is probably a new, happy home for it in another room.

2.  If you are just tired of looking at the old, dingy sofa or chair why not just recover or refurbish it?  There is not always a need for new.   There are so many fabric stores open to the public these days with tons of price options.  If you are crafty, you can make your own slip covers and if you are not you can have your local upholsterer do the work.

3.  Another great way to add new life to a space is by using your photos and art.  It can be as simple as framing a favorite artwork or photo.  You can even frame a piece of really cool fabric, wallpaper or wrapping paper.  Hang a group of pictures together or blow up a favorite picture and hang it as the focal point of the room.  Don’t be afraid of framing!  You can find used frames at  local thrift shops or be on the lookout for craft store sales.

4.  There will come a time when you will need new pieces to mix in with the old.  At that time, just look for green choices first.  Secondhand stores like e-bay, Craigslist, freecycle.org and thrift stores are a great way to find unique additions to your home.  There are also many eco-friendly materials being offered by sustainable vendors.

Change is good!  If you want to spruce up your space don’t be afraid to reshuffle and redesign!  All it takes is what you have and a little creativity.  In the end your home, wallet and the environment will thank you!