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A couple of weeks ago I shared some of my “Best of Staging” photos from 2017 (you can see them here).  Normally, directly following my “Best of Staging” Blog Post each year, I will post my “Best of Decorating” from the same year, as I provide both Staging Services and Decorating Services and usually have tons of photos from both.   However, it seems this year, I took on some larger interior decorating  projects, which take longer time periods to complete — and quite frankly, I just never got around to photographing some of my smaller projects!  Plus, and more on this in a minute, I often do not get to see the end results of some of my smaller projects!

NOT that the smaller projects aren’t important, and very fun for me!  I love helping a client get the ball rolling with a room redo, maybe putting together a Vision Board for them with paint colors and example pieces of furniture, and then allowing them to take off with it.  Or helping a client who is simply ready for a new sofa, or just needs her chairs reupholstered, or just a couple of updates.  OR, sometimes these smaller projects involve homeowners who have begun a project, but then just got stuck – either they ran out of time or energy, or they just couldn’t seem to make a decision.  (By the way, if you find yourself stuck for any reason, please contact me or another professional to help you, before you spend big money on a big mistake!)  But many times, when I help with just a piece of a project, or if I help with the selection and ordering of only a product or two, I consequently don’t get to see the final product when it’s all put together, and therefore don’t get any pictures!

A renovation project in which I specified colors, finishes, and helped with furnishing … but never got to see the final product!

A Vision Board from this summer that has yet to be completed … because it’s for new construction that is still being built!

My point is, please invite your decorator back in after you have completed your project!  Even if you don’t follow all of the recommendations, we still want to see!  Sometimes clients change their minds, and sometimes they run out of money and have to go for cheaper options.  Sometimes their changes are fine, other times they sort of change the whole look of the project and it’s not wonderful — but EITHER WAY, I SURE WISH I WAS INVITED BACK to take photos and see how it turned out!  Please please pretty please!  I want to seeeeeeee! 

If you can’t invite me over, at least send me pictures when it’s complete.  I honestly want to see and enjoy the fruits of your labor, and I may want to come have it professionally photographed and blog about it — you never know!!

You see, dear clients, I truly love to share in your joy and excitement as the project comes along, and as it is finished!!  Let me be happy for you!

But for today, I’ll share a few photos that I did get taken, sharing some of my work from last year.  Maybe one of these rooms will inspire you for YOUR home!

Long narrow room as you enter the home required creating a foyer area and a sitting area within the same room.

Retro inspired kitchen re-do! Everything is new except for the table and the light fixture!!! (yes, even the floors and chairs are new!)

Traditional Dining Room. New paint, rug, window treatments, no new furniture pieces added.

Painted rocking chairs give pop of color to this charming front porch.

Retro pieces + new!

Sunburst mirror is classic!

In this Master Bedroom Suite, I simply added a few finishing touches — hung family photos, added decorative items to the bathroom and over the bed.

And now a few Befores and Afters, many of these were taken with cell phones so not professionally photographed (so photos will be smaller, sorry!):

BEFORE Living Area with dark fireplace

AFTER fireplace, paint does wonders! For more fireplace renewals and ideas, see my post on Fireplace Facelifts!  Tons of ideas!

AFTER Same Living Area, paint really freshens the space!


AFTER — new paint, new window treatments, new light fixtures

AFTER — same kitchen, new paint, new light fixtures

BEFORE, this was the front room next to the entry of a grand house. The homeowner bought the rug as our inspiration piece, and we took it from there!

AFTER, same sitting room. Walls painted Wedgewood Gray by Benjamin Moore.

AFTER Beautiful, elegant, cheerful!

A closeup of the pretty blue and white jars and vases with yellow accents. We also painted her wooden cart with a General Finishes navy color.

Another client liked navy!  Before and After:

BEFORE — deep red, gold, green

AFTER — sectional by Thomasville-Bassett, coffee table by Crate & Barrel, rug by Chandra. We have since updated the window treatments, but I don’t have a photo of that yet!

And I couldn’t close out last year’s “Best of” without a visit to my volunteer project, Meaningful Makeovers (please read about it here)!  My local RESA (Real Estate Staging Association) chapter decided to give back the Tennessee Baptist Children’s Home, by completely re-decorating 2 of their group homes.  My fellow staging friend Shelley McCoy and I were partnered to transform a teenaged girl’s bedroom, and the front porch of the group home.  Here are some pictures to tell the story!

BEFORE (hopefully obviously before! hee hee) Typical teenage room in many ways. Two girls shared this room, painted a skin-colored beige color.

AFTER. New paint (Malted Milk by Sherwin Williams), new bedding, new dresser, new fun accents. More storage will be spotlighted in the photos below.

AFTER. More storage was added when we found these two used pieces of furniture and painted them this happy green!!

AFTER TN Baptist Children’s Home Meaningful Makeovers

Fun details to share; we added lots of inspiration quotes and happy feelings!

Some bookshelf inspiration.

A girl’s gotta’ have a place for her jewelry!! And we couldn’t resist these light-up boxes with inspirational messages, found at Target. We put one on the dresser, and hung two on the wall — all with different messages!

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If you are reading this, congratulations!  You just made another trip around the sun on our big, crazy celestial ball we call Earth!  Happy New Year!

With the new year comes a slew of predictions of the “new trends” designers and other experts say we will be loving in 2018.   Here are some of the Colors of the Year, chosen by the paint companies:

Three of the Colors of the Year 2018: Sherwin Willliams Oceanside, Benjamin Moore’s Caliente, and Pantone’s Ultra Violet

Behr paint’s 2018 Color of the Year, In the Moment

Glidden Paint’s 2018 Color of the Year, Black Onyx

As your friendly neighborhood decorator, I try to stay on top of the trends and colors.  I continually read design blogs, watch which Pins are being pinned to Pinterest, peruse Houzz, watch HGTV, research sources and how-tos, subscribe to magazines, and I also get to tour lots of new builds and a few Design Houses each year!  Throw in the occasional Trade Show or Market for good measure.  So I feel fairly certain of  what is trending in both the design world, and what people are really loving these days. Real people.  Not Ralph Lauren and others who can re-decorate every 6 months, but us “normal” Tennesseans who love our sweet tea and our Predators hockey all at the same time.

I’d like to share two things I have noticed about choices and trends and what we’ll be seeing in 2018, here in Middle Tennesse:

1) No one I know is requesting Ultra Violet purple paint on their walls (Pantone’s 2018 Color of the Year!)

2) White is the “new gray”

2b) No one in these parts seems ready for these saturated Colors of the Year… yet

We’ll get to that purple in a minute.

Remember when everyone felt they had to “convert” to gray in their home?  Well now the new “neutral” seems to be white. White is ALL. OVER. THE. PLACE.  And for good reason, it is bright, white, and about as neutral as you can get!!  Designers love it, and stagers love it even more because it makes the house bright and happy.  I have just redesigned my entire office, adding in whites and creams (along with touches of blush pink and moody blue).

Snapshots of my office in the works (taken at Thanksgiving) …. I’ve been adding white and blush pink, but have kept my wooden writing desk.

If all you have is white in your entire home, I think that would get rather boring, but I have seen some really gorgeous rooms done almost entirely in various shades of white, and I find them quite relaxing, fresh, clean, happy.  Simply White was Benjamin Moore’s 2016 Color of the Year, and as with most Colors of the Year, it’s taken a while to become mainstream here in the middle of America.  Plus, you sort of have to know what you’re doing to make white work in your home, and layer in color or texture somewhere, or you’ll end up with a very generic house.

Beautiful white living room by Driven by Decor

All white kitchen and living area, from Decorpad

Personally, I prefer my whites with splashes of color, as in this restyle I helped a client with last year:

White sofa, creamy walls, blue and natural accents, by Home by Hattan

Or this, found in Caitlin Wilson’s home:

Onyx,  Glidden Paint by PPG’s Color of the Year, is similar in that it is trending, and is treated by designers (who know what they are doing) as a neutral.  Again, sometimes this is hard to pull off, but can create feelings of privacy or of masculinity, especially if you are over the white trend.  It can also make a striking, elegant contrast with the whites that seem to have taken over.  I like Onyx and other black-ish paint colors as accents on doors, lamp shades, metal legs on furniture, or in art pieces.  But others prefer the whole room dark and moody — check out the gorgeous dark rooms in this slideshow by HGTV “Black is the New Black“,  you may just get inspired!  (or not)

Black Onyx by Glidden Paint

So …in terms of color trends … if you turn on any makeover show, or even go to the trendy new shops and restaurants in our area, you will probably see lots of white, lots of wood, and a big resurgence of live plants!  Shiplap, macramé, greenery, rattan and raffia.  These have all been around a while in the design world, but really are just being incorporated in full force here in Tennessee.  Most of the restaurants that have opened recently go either really light (white) or moody dark (black) in their feel or their decor. Another popular look is white with black trim accents.  And they all have lots of wood.  (But funny enough, none of them go ultra-violet purple!)

Here’s one that incorporated both black and white!

Pinewood Social in Nashville, TN

HGTV’s Dream Home 2018 …. great example of white with black and rattan accents and lots of plants!  Trend City.

So now let’s discuss the purple, Pantone’s Color of the Year 2018, Ultra Violet. OK, so let me get this straight … they want to paint my walls Ultra Violet?  Welllllllll ….. while we all love and miss the artist Prince, I for one do not miss him enough to paint my walls bright purple!

I find it very funny that just this week I got called in to help stage a house that has sat on the market for months, without one single showing.  Here is a picture of the main Living Room.

Guess what I told them to do?  Paint over the Ultra Violet Purple, for the love of Prince!!

(And then, of course, we need to address the 2 styles of furniture within the same room …)

Now hear me out, I actually do like the color purple.  I recently bought a dress that is solid purple, and I love it!  I really don’t have an issue with the color purple, or any of the Colors of the Year, we just need to take these as color trends, not paint trends.  And I think it may be quite a while before they make their way into home fashion.

Laurel Bern, genius Interior Designer and Blogger, put together an image with all the major paint company’s picks for the 2018 Color of the Year.  I hope she doesn’t mind if I borrow it, just so you can see all the paint colors at one time. And also because you really should subscribe to her blog, she is BRILLIANT and shares tons of information that she researches for her blog!  Here is Laurel’s image:

Interesting choices of colors, aren’t they? There’s saturated, almost primary colors, very very dark colors, and then there are muted colors and that one sandy cream thrown in there.

The only one I really love for a wall color is number 8, Behr’s In the Moment.  Ok, and maybe a navy-ish or the creamy-tan.

So what does this teach us?  Color preferences are just that, preferences.  And paint color companies pick some weird stuff sometimes.  If I came in and wanted to paint your entire room in Sherwin William’s Oceanside, I have a feeling you might balk a little.

AND you must know that turquoise/teal is one of my most favorite colors in the entire world!  I mean I have 2 turquoise chairs in my Living Room!

Snapshot of my Living Room a couple of summers ago … I love teal and turquoise! But my room isn’t covered in it.

So this also teaches us that the paint colors of the year do not have to be placed on your wall!  A better way to embrace some of the Colors of the Year is to incorporate these colors in your home accessories or furniture.  Or you can wear these colors on your body — oftentimes these colors of the year are much more popular in fashion than they are in home fashion.  You can buy some art with these colors, a fun pair of shoes, or even buy a phone case with your favorite color!!  Pantone offers a “Shop Ultra Violet” page, full of fashion and objects available in the Ultra Violet color.

My concluding thoughts on these paint company’s Colors of the Year:  I am just not seeing them anywhere around here yet.  They seem a little heavy in our part of the world that still is in love with white and gray, huh?

But if you are digging these vibrant saturated colors, we can make it work for you!  I have a few design tricks up my sleeve, and if you can trust me that the neon raspberry color you love should not be painted on a 2-story accent wall, but rather incorporated in other ways, we’ve got a room to design!

Before I end this post, I’d like to make a couple more observations and/or predictions for 2018 that seem a little more realistic.


The color green, in all its shades, is having its moment again.  Not that green has ever been out of style, really.  There are so many shades of green, from earthy sage greens to the more saturated emerald greens, kelly greens, and even yellow-y greens, that you can almost always find a green that works for you.  The saturated greens, however, are the greens in the spotlight these days.  Take a look at this chair from Anthropologie:

Velvet Julienne chair from Anthropologie

And this chair I bought a year or two ago, from World Market, that resides in the playroom because it’s so fun:

And this gorgeous office I found on Pinterest:

Image found on Pinterest, linked back to Katie Kime’s website. Green plays well with black, with white, with pink, with navy ………

And think about all the greenery we’ve been seeing lately.  These greens have been trending for a while and will continue to do so, in my opinion.  Green works well with our beloved white, black, gray, and navy.  The more earthy greens look fabulous in a room with lots of natural elements.  Go Green!


I am also seeing more and more pops of mustard-y, sunny yellow as well – not brown Dijon mustard, but a deep saturated dandelion yellow.  Look at this lovely room by Max Rollit!

Image from Laurel Bern’s blog. Love that this is an otherwise moody dark room, but then this fabulous saturated yellow sofa adds a little life!

Here’s a room I staged, gathering the homeowner’s yellow pillows and accents and moving them to the living room to give happy pops of color:

Staged by Home by Hattan

Even in my own living room with turquoise and navy and cream, I also have added touches of sunny yellow.  I think we’ll be seeing more and more of it, along with the saturated greens.  (not purple and not red …. not for a while yet)


And my final observation/prediction for 2018:  house plants!!  Not the random collection of 7 different pots and plants that don’t match sitting on a wire etagere, but more purposefully put-together containers for the plants.

Modern planters grouped together. West Elm is a great source for these. This image found on Pinterest.

Remember the HGTV 2018 Dream Home?  Lots of live plants and a huge fiddle leaf fig tree.

Notice all the live plants! Take a virtual tour of the Dream Home by clicking here.

Note:  if you have a fake ficus, throw it out now.  It’s probably covered in dust anyway.  Time to upgrade to a fiddle leaf fig tree or an olive tree, and yes, those can be fake if you want!  Pottery Barn sells a great faux fiddle leaf fig, as does Crate and Barrel.

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Hello dear friends, and Season’s Greetings to you all!

Yesterday I toured some lovely homes decorated for Christmas as part of Ravenwood High School PTA’s Holiday Tour of Homes, and it really helped get me into the Christmas decorating spirit!  The tour included 5 beautiful homes and many inspiring Christmas ideas! One of my favorite trees, simply because it was so unique and fun, was this “Movie Night Christmas Tree” that was in one of the home’s theater rooms!

Movie Night Themed Christmas Tree

And we got to visit SANTA!!!!!!!

Santa says we are on the “Nice List!” (I hope … )

Back home, as I was finishing up my own decorations, I remembered my “Twelve Days Of Christmas Decorating” blog series I posted last year.  I thought it might be fun and/or helpful to revisit some of the topics, especially as we are all working to decorate our homes this season!

But rather than post a link each day, I am going to simply list all the topics with their links within THIS blog post.  That way, if you have a particular Christmas project you are working on, or want/need inspiration, you can simply click on the titles that are of interest to you, and it will link you directly to that post!

One last little thing … if you think you might want to update or redo your own home in the future, consider asking for a Home by Hattan GIFT CERTIFICATE as a Christmas gift this year!!  Easy to give and to receive!  And I would love to help you!


Day One:  All that Glitters and Shines

Day Two:  Cozy up with Winter Fur

Fur Wreath from Pier 1

Day Three:  Hanging of the Greens

Including a step-by-step instruction for hanging garland on stair rails and how to decorate it!

Boughs of Holly

Day Four:  What Colors to Use and Where?

From Google Images

Day Five:  Ribbon

Including some ideas of new ways and places to use it, and how-tos!

Day Six:  Gift Wrap (and the rest of the Grinch’s list from image above!)

Day Seven:  Vignettes

{Side note:  this is my favorite post!  I love creating vignettes!!}

I created this symmetrical vignette on top of my bookshelf in my more formal living room. The two trees frame the vignette, with the deer head as the center or most important piece.

Day Eight:  Christmas Memories and How to Decorate with Them

{OK, maybe this one is my favorite!}

Day Nine:  Christmas Card Displays

This mom made a Christmas tree shape on a blank wall using washi tape. Then she strung small garland and hung her cards on the garland and wire! From Thyme is Honey.

Day Ten:  Christmas Lights

Clarke W. Griswald’s house from the movie National Lampoon’s “Christmas Vacation.” Always a favorite.

Day Eleven: Including the 5 Senses; Sights, Sounds, Smells, Textures, and Tastes of Christmas

Holiday Joy is a blend of essential oils that I love to diffuse aromatically at Christmastime … or you can use it to add scent to your pinecones and greenery! Offered by DoTerra, of which I am an Advocate (this means I can order it for you)!

Day Twelve:  The Nativity

I sure hope these posts will inspire you, help you, and give you permission to really enjoy this beautiful Season of Hope, Love, Joy, and Peace.  And please, feel free to reach out to me for all your decorating needs.  Love to you all, and Merry Christmas!

~ Karen@HomebyHattan.com

The post Christmas Decorating Inspiration! appeared first on Home By Hattan.

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Dear readers and friends,

My apologies in getting this out a month late, but, you know …. LIFE.

Anyhoo, I am very excited to share with you all the Befores and Afters of our RESA Meaningful Makeovers project, in which a group of 12 members of Greater Nashville RESA (Real Estate Staging Association) combined our efforts, talents, and money to completely redecorate a couple of the girls’ residential homes on the TN Baptist Children’s Home campus!  There were several bedrooms with adjoining bathrooms, the main living room and kitchen, and the front porch that received some TLC and home decorating magic! In this post, I will share the Befores and Afters from the home I was a part of redecorating, but will share photos from the other home in a following post!

I’ll start with the rooms I helped design and work to complete, along with the very lovely and talented Shelley McCoy (Shelley McCoy Artful Homes).

Shelley and I were asked to improve the front porch, where the family truly lives, eats, plays, and does homework together!  Here’s the Before:

Porch Before

You can see in the photo above, their only table was a small round table that could seat 5, but there can be up to 12 people living in the home!  The House Parents needed a larger table, so everyone could sit together.  The space felt a little dark and dingy as well … so we helped them out with that!


Porch After

We replaced the round table with a larger table that has a homework-friendly table-top, and we bought them a bench for seating along the backside, so several kid-sized bottoms can all fit along that side!  Now it can comfortably sit 7 or 8, and there is still room to pull up a chair or 2 if needed.  Right now, there are only 8 people in the home, so the House Parents were thrilled!  We cleaned up their grill for them (cleaned the whole porch actually!), bought them cheery new cushions, pillows, candles, lanterns, and flowers and 2 extra wicker chairs.  I scored big time on this outdoor rug, picking it up from a Buy, Sell, Trade site for a great price!  Shelley up-cycled the metal flower artwork she already owned and just repainted it with colors from our rug, and now it hangs happily over the wicker bench!  We also added a light kit to the existing ceiling fan, to bring in more light to the space, but we kept the fan spinning for comfort and enjoyment.

We were thrilled with the porch, and the family was as well!

I would like to give a big shout-out to a few others who helped us with this porch, one of whom is my handsome, helpful, TALL husband who installed the light kit onto the fan for us!  He also got roped in to painting the edges in our bedroom and bathroom — lucky guy!  THANKS MARKIE!  Here he is, with paint bucket and brush in action:

Also stepping out to help were these lovely ladies, who simply volunteered just because they wanted to be of service!  They cleaned and scrubbed the porch like nobody’s business!  Thank you to Claire Carrico, Nicole Boyd, and Shelia Story!

Me and my Volunteer Worker Bees, Nicole, Sheila, and Claire. Thanks for having a servant’s heart!

And now onto our next project, a teen girl’s bedroom and adjoining bath.  Here is the chaotic room before:

Teen Bedroom Before

And After:

Teen Bedroom After

Kristie Barnett, a.k.a. The Decorologist, chose the soothing color scheme for the whole house, and our bedroom was chosen to be painted Sherwin William’s Malted Milk, what I would consider to be a warm pink.

Sherwin Williams Malted Milk 6057

We used the existing room’s headboards, the bookcase, and the mirror from the old dresser, but most everything else was new (or new to the room!).  The dresser that was in the room before was a wonderful size, but the drawers didn’t operate and it … well, it didn’t work … so we bought a new dresser by Ashley Signature, and just reused the old dresser’s mirror by painting it white.  We bought a chest from ReStore, which had 2 large drawers for more storage, and painted it a cheery green that coordinated with the new comforters.  We used that painted piece as the night stand.  We painted another smaller cabinet that was placed on the far side of the beds in the same cheery green.

{Sorry for the drapes being closed … the sun was streaming in during photographing, so to get the best pictures, we needed to close the drapes.}

Speaking of drapes, my bestie Lisa Uiberall helped with the drapes for this project!  She picked up an extra set that was needed, and helped my husband Mark install the rods.  Lisa also painted the white bookcase for us!  Thank you, Lisa!

Here are a few more fun pics of the room.

Shelley made the little yarn decor pieces over the beds, following an inspirational Instragram post by Sabrina Soto ( @sabrina_soto). The artwork over the green nightstand is Shelley’s work as well!

Here’s a shot of Shelley and I figuring out where to hang some of our fun stuff for the room:

And here’s some of our “fun stuff”:

YES, these inspirational quotes are also LIGHT BOXES, which lit up with the touch of a button …. You Go Girl … Dream Big! Choose Happy!

When is this room ever going to be this clean again? When PIGS FLY! (Sorry, I couldn’t help myself! I have two teenagers living in my own home, so I speak from experience!)

OK, enough about our rooms!!

(You can tell we had fun, though, can’t you?!)

There were other rooms in the house receiving INCREDIBLE makeovers as well!!  Here are the beautiful results in other areas of the house …


I mean, who WOULDN’T want this room?!  The headboards came with USB ports, for all your electronic needs.  A teenager’s dream, this room was completely furnished and decorated by Anthea and Cory Click of Fresh Perspectives.

One more look:

Down the hall a ways …. another beautiful room ….

Glamorous and calm and sweet … ahhhhhhhhh.


This fantastic room was designed and completed by Carol Lindsay of Mint Home Staging and Jamie Watford of JW Nash & Co.   Classy and sweet, simply lovely.

So sweet!

Next door is one more gorgeous bedroom!  Take a look:

Sophisticated and fun all at the same time!

This room was completely transformed with lots of hard work and vision by Kristie Barnett, The Decorologist, and  Elizabeth Scruggs of Superior Construction and Design.

Don’t you just LOVE what they did to this chest of drawers!? So creative and pretty!

I need to show you one more photo from this room, because the other dresser in the room also received a little “somethin’-somethin'”!

Gold knobs! So haute couture for furniture, to go with all their fashionable jewelry! And the fun pom-pom ball! LOVE!

Just for the record, each and every bedroom came with an adjoining bathroom.  These were not ignored in our redecorating project, and also received LOTS of paint and updates and love, but I thought you might not be as excited about the bathrooms as you would the bedrooms and the living areas … and so … if you are just dying to see the bathroom makeovers, please let me know and I will share the photos with you!

And now for the largest undertaking … also completed by Kristie Barnett and Elizabeth Scruggs, the main living area!


Wait!  Oh darn it all, I don’t have a Before Picture!!  You’ll have to go Elizabeth’s post to see the Before Photos!  Sorry, folks!

But suffice it to say that I could summarize the main living area BEFORE the makeover with two words:  1) DARK, and 2) BROWN.

The lighting was dark and brown, the walls were dark and brown, the fireplace was dark and brown (almost black), the furniture was dark and brown, the bookcases were dark and brown (the backs of the bookcases were painted the same brown as the walls).  I mean seriously, y’all, I don’t know any young girls who want to live in a house that is described as dark and brown!!!! Especially girls who are coming from dark and hard places in their own lives.  They need light!  And love!  And peace!  And comfort!  And happy!  And NOT dark!  Which is the reason why we were doing this project in the first place!

And so, with the help and generous donations of Ferguson Lighting in Lebanon, TN and also Elizabeth’s favorite painters Guierllmo and Hector and Antonio, Kristie and Elizabeth whipped this area into fabulous shape!!  Here are the AFTER shots:

Kristie Barnett spent hours hand-painting the fireplace. Elizabeth tackled the bookcase and many other jobs. New rug, pillows, lights … even the ceiling got a splash of color!

Here you can see some of the beautiful light fixtures donated by Ferguson Lighting!

Bookcases painted and staged by Kristie and Elizabeth. Many more books and games are stored in the cabinets underneath.

The family kitchen also received new lighting and a..

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Hi everyone, on the blog today is Guest Blogger Stacey Bailiff, from Canvas Press, Inc.  Enjoy the article!!!

Canvas Art piece over lucite console table. Image from Pinterest

4 Effective Home Decorating and Staging Tips

Decorating a home, whether it’s a new home or a refresh to make your home feel new, or even when trying to sell a home, is a fun activity. But, like many fun things, it can also be stressful, especially when it’s on a budget, or a timeline. Here are a few tips for making decorating your home enjoyable, easy, and stress-free!

  1. Pick a neutral color and accessorize around that color, making it easier to change smaller pieces of décor more often. No one wants a completely beige or grey house, but choosing neutral wall colors or large pieces of furniture can make decorating easier. Not convinced about the bright pink pillows? Try them out! With a neutral background, picking bold or seasonal pieces, or even just something you love but you’re not sure if it will work, is much less stressful, because you can change them later if you want to! Bonus: If you buy something and don’t love it, you’re buying a throw pillow, not an entire living room set.
  2. Remember that scale is important. Sometimes, a piece of furniture is just too large, or too tall, or too wide, and it just won’t work. But if you love it, a great way to bring that piece you love into your home is to find something in a similar style. If you are set on a large dining room table, look at a drop-leaf table that can be smaller when not in use but fold out to host all those fabulous dinner parties you’re planning.
  3. Forget the rules! Sometimes a rule makes sense in theory – floor to ceiling curtains make a room look taller – but it just isn’t working in your house. That’s okay, rules were meant to be broken! Do you love no curtains at all – be you! If something doesn’t work for you, do something different, especially if it makes you happy and works in your space!
  4. Choose art wisely. Art is one of the most stressful parts of decorating. One great way to choose art wisely, making sure it fits your style, is budget-friendly, and easy to work with, is to decorate using canvas art. Canvas art – art, photos, drawings, or even a famous image printed on high-quality canvas, with gallery-style wrapping – is an easy, affordable, and stress-free way to decorate, plus it allows you to follow the first three tips with ease! Neutral background? Bring in some colorful art, like a favorite landscape or piece of modern art. Small apartment? Large blank wall in a loft? No problem! Canvas art can be customized both in the image and the size, making small corners easy to decorate while still being useful for large areas that would be too cost prohibitive or large to find an original painting for. Think you have to frame your art, but really hate framing, or have thin walls that don’t hold frames well? Canvas art is already gallery-quality, with wrap-around images and the option to have it delivered ready to hang! Plus it’s affordable and easy – and fun! – to order, so when the couch delivery is late, or the curtains just aren’t working, you can rest assured that one part of decorating is coming in under budget, without stress, and as a beautiful addition to your home.

Making a house a reflection of yourself, and of your style and life, is exciting, just like a blank canvas – full of possibility and fresh, waiting to have your personal style and interests painted on it. But it can be hard and stressful too. Take some of that stress away with these tips and suggestions, like compromising on a piece or ordering a beautiful canvas print to personalize and decorate your home, and happy designing!

Stacey Bailiff
Canvas Press

The post 4 Effective Home Decorating and Staging Tips (Guest Blog!) appeared first on Home By Hattan.

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I am a lucky girl! I belong to a wonderful group of professional Home Stagers (RESA = Real Estate Staging Association) who are talented, witty, fun, creative and caring. We support one another, help each other, give guidance and professional growth opportunities to one another, and we challenge each other.

Here are a few of our Greater Nashville RESA ladies in Las Vegas this January!

At one of our recent meetings, fellow RESA member Amy Greenman was sharing with us her involvement with the Tennessee Baptist Children’s Home, which is a residential facility just outside of Nashville. The TN Baptist Children’s Home (TBCH) provides housing and loving care to children who cannot live with their own family for whatever reason, but cannot be placed with a foster family or forever family due to extenuating circumstances. In short, these kids have known some rough times. We all felt compelled to help. What could we, as Home Stagers (and many of us Home Decorators), do to help? You guessed it!! We are giving two of the girls’ group homes MAKEOVERS on the TBCH campus! (Next will be the boys’ homes, don’t worry!)

We are using our talents and time to create more beautiful, functional, happy environments for the residents of TN Baptist Children’s Home, and just give them a makeover! We want the children and House Families who care for them to know they are important and loved and not forgotten!

Here is a sneak peek at the room colors that will be used in the Girls’ Homes.  This color palette was created by Kristie Barnett, aka The Decorologist, specifically for this project.

Each home consists of a large open living and eating area (which will be painted one of the above neutral colors), a kitchen, and several bedrooms, as well as a large front porch. Our RESA volunteers have divvied up the rooms, so we can divide and conquer it all.

My fellow RESA member, home stager, and partner for this project, Shelley McCoy, and I are undertaking one bedroom and adjoining bathroom in a group home AND the community front porch.  Our bedroom color is …… drumroll please …… Malted Milk!!

Malted Milk by Sherwin Williams

Shelley and I are painting walls and furniture, buying more furniture as needed, adding bedding, storage, light fixtures, and window treatments – anything needed to create happy, cohesive, peaceful and functional spaces for the kids and the House Families who live with them and take care of them. And in our case, we will address some outdoor needs as well.

We will be busy the next 5 weeks or so!!


You can be a part of this in several ways! You can:

1) Donate money to the project
2) Donate time and energy during the Installation and Painting Week, September 1 – 8
3) Donate new or gently used books, preferably chapter books, for the home libraries

Please click on this link to donate to the cause – ANY AMOUNT WILL BE APPRECIATED, as this is strictly volunteer generated!

Here a few BEFORE pics of the areas Shelley and I will be making over:

Well-loved is a great adjective to describe these homes and everything that is in them, don’t you think?
We are so excited to be doing this! And as you can see, we have our work cut out for us.

When I took the above photos, I got to chat with one of the residents in the home — a bright, charming, lively teenaged young lady. She was amazing and creative and had lots of ideas, lots to say, and lots of love to give. She has been through so much, y’all, and still has a smile on her face. I can’t wait to brighten her world!

Please click on this Sign-Up Genius link to sign up a donation of either time, money, or books … I will contact you to iron out the details. Thank you so much!

Be on the lookout for more “Meaningful Makeovers” sponsored by our RESA group in the future …. !

The post Meaningful Makeovers for Children at TBCH appeared first on Home By Hattan.

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{The below article is a slightly edited version of an article I wrote for Real Estate Agent Jane Campbell‘s newsletter.  Enjoy!}

Image from Pinterest

Selling your Home During the Summer Months

By Karen Hattan, Home by Hattan Interior Decorating and Home Staging

Staging your home sells!

Staging to sell is one of the most important things you can do to get your home sold quickly and for the highest price, no matter what time of year, or what kind of market you are living in.

Did you know:

  • A staged home will sell, on average, at a 17% higher price point than an unstaged home.  Recoup many times your staging costs.
    • Source: US Housing and Urban Development
  • 63% of buyers are willing to pay more money for a house that is move in ready.
    • Source: Maritz Research Staging Polls
  • Staged homes spent 90% less time on the market than non-staged homes.
    • Source: Real Estate Staging Association 2016
  • The top three interior features for selling were freshly painted walls, organized storage space, and current flooring.
    • Source: Maritz Research Staging Polls

While each buyer comes into the home shopping arena with his/her own shopping list of must-haves — such as 3 bedrooms and a large yard, or 4 bedrooms and no yard, or whatever their individual needs may be — EACH and EVERY home buyer wants a home that has been taken care of.  Buyers feel drawn to homes that are well-maintained, seem happy and peaceful, and are a “step up” from where they currently live.

Yes, even buyers who are downsizing are looking for something special in their new home, something that is better than where they are now.  Staging Consultations by an Expert Psychological Stager ™ such as myself help pinpoint those areas of the home that should be emphasized and highlighted to appeal to the most buyers.

Staging your home in the summer months is the most fun time of year to stage and bring these happy feelings to life!   Summertime in of itself carries visions of sunny days, starry nights, vacations, and other happy memories – so play on these feelings!  My best advice for staging your home in the summertime is to stage it as one big sunny vacation!!

Outside the home:

  • Play up back porches and other outdoor living areas! Clean and refresh cushions, sweep away cobwebs, and remove furniture that has seen better days or does not get much use.
  • Remove any “sad” plants, and “sad” pots and planters. Remove any collections of yard ornaments or other  little objects,  as they do not photograph well.
  • Add some colorful new pillows to patio chairs on the front porch or back deck.
  • Add lanterns and/or rope lighting.
  • Trim bushes, weed like crazy, add new mulch and happy flowers along the front sidewalk.

Happy porch paint and bright new pillows make this area feel special and welcoming.  Image from Lolly Jane.

Feels like a vacation, yes?  Rope lights, potted plants, happy colors…  Staged by Home by Hattan.  Home offered by Jane Campbell Keller Williams Realty.

Inside the home:

  • Trade dark heavy drapes for light and airy sheers – or no drapes at all!
  • Open the blinds and windows and let the sun shine in!
  • Replace old, worn pillows on your sofas and beds with fresh and happy pillows.
  • And your best bet – paint your home in fresh, light colors. You will be surprised how big of a difference a few gallons of paint can make!
  • … and while you are at it, paint the front door a happy welcoming color. First impressions are everything when selling your home.

Before …

After … lighter and brighter and happier! New paint, coverlet, and lamps, and the dark window treatments have been simply removed. Staged by Home by Hattan.

Master Bath Before ….

And After … which would you rather bathe in? Or buy?  It’s crazy what just a little paint will do!  Staged by Home by Hattan.

Painted front door and entry say welcome … Colors by Home by Hattan.

When your home is staged well, you open that door for buyers to fall in love with your home! (Or should we say former home??)

This door did NOT need painting!! (But the addition of a happy pillow was needed for the glider rocker chair!) Staged by Home by Hattan.

Remember, you are creating visions of a lifestyle buyers will want!  And who doesn’t want a happy, light, “vacation-feeling” home that meets everyone’s needs right away?!

If you hire me for a Staging Consultation, you will find out even more specific recommendations — which repairs and updates are necessary, which new paint colors will best freshen and update your own home with your own furnishings and flooring, and which jobs need to be done in order to showcase your home in the very best light possible.  Following through with the recommendations in your Staging Consultation will help your home to evoke feelings of peacefulness, organization, and beauty.  And your online photos will look fabulous!

Staging in the summertime is fun and easy, many of these happy updates can be found at your local hardware or décor store, for only a few dollars.  So invest in the needed repairs, and then freshen up!

Hopefully, you will let me guide you in this process!  I am available not only for staging, but also redecorating and redesign and color selections … and if you are listing with Jane Campbell as your Real Estate Agent, my Expert Psychological Staging Consultation ™ with Recommendations Report specifically written for YOUR home is courtesy of Jane!  (Jane is the Real Estate Goddess of the Universe, after all!)

Happy Summer!

~ Karen@HomebyHattan.com

The post Staging Your Home During the Summer Months appeared first on Home By Hattan.

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Are you ready for a fresh new look but don’t have the funds saved up to completely redecorate your house?  You would end up in debtor’s prison if you bought everything you wanted, right?  So you can’t redecorate your whole home, but there are things you CAN do for not much money that will make a big impact! While I do have a few clients who are working on remodels and entire home redecorating projects (which is REALLY fun, but also REALLY costly), most of my clients are looking to simply refresh a few things, so I am going to share with you several ways you can redecorate on a budget.  We’re talking $0 to $100 range, EXTREMELY low-budget!

If you find that you are in this group that I like to call “Restyling on a Budget” I have some tricks up my sleeve to help update or restyle your home, with no dumpster diving involved!!

  • PAINT  

$50 for a good can of paint can give you an entirely new feel and look for your room!  Lighten, brighten, accent, or freshen by changing the color of your walls, or your trim, or your bookshelves, or even your front door.  Think color doesn’t affect mood?  Read here: Room Color and How it Affects Your Mood   by Fresh Home.

In general, today’s style leans more fresh and clean, rather than gloomy and earthy — even when incorporating wood and leather and coziness.  You can have a warm feel even with today’s “fresher” updated wall colors, as Joanna Gaines accomplished in the photo below:

From HGTV, a 1968 Fixer Upper

From Home by Hattan, a fireplace facelift for a dear client

If you are unsure about what color walls or what neutral would look good in your home to give you the look  you want and best complement what you already own, I can certainly help with that — it is one of my loves and I’ve had lots of training in color undertones and complementary color choices.

Whether you consult with me or not, for a can of paint and a day’s work, you will certainly change the look and feel of your home, without changing a stick of furniture — using the magic of paint!


Don’t underestimate the power of spray paint either! If you have an item you really don’t have the money to replace, but you know the metal finish is out of date, or the base color is wrong, or you are just plain tired of it … take it outside on a tarp or old sheet and give it a few coats of spray paint.

Hattan’s Helpful Hint:  Be sure and research how best to spray paint the item you are planning to spray paint.  Practice spraying evenly – there is an art to it, in my opinion – sand it, give it 2 to 3 coats of spray paint, give it time to dry, and seal it to make sure it doesn’t rub or flake off easily.

So if you have a light fixture you no longer love, but you really can’t afford something different?  Spray paint it!

This light fixture was once 1980’s brass. My client loves a beachy, vintage look … so she spray painted it antique white! Now she can live with it, and it cost her about $5!

Metal benches or metal legs on furniture, lamp bases, even wood furniture!  Spray paint it!  We used spray paint to change my son’s bunk bed from red to dark gray when he was ready to change his room from primary colors to blues and greens (and we lofted it).  Even though this paint job probably won’t last until he is out of the house and has a family of his own, it certainly will last a few years until he wants a different bed!!  And it cost less than $30 (3 cans of spray paint and a sealer)!

This bunk bed loft used to wear a barn red color, now it’s stony gray.

If you follow my blog, you will already know that you can spray paint your brass fireplace surround to instantly transform your fireplace!  Read more about this and learn other tricks to update your fireplace here.


This little updating trick is FREE.  It costs nothing. Nada. Zip.  Simply get rid of one or two pieces of décor or furniture.  You will be surprised how much bigger, brighter, and fresher your room looks by simply removing one extra chair, or the ficus tree in the corner, or the fake plant sitting on top of your entertainment center, or the sixteen thousand items in your built-in shelves. Other ideas of what to remove — remove the top cabinets of your dining room hutch, leaving the base as your console in your dining room.  Try displaying one large piece of art on your wall, where several small pieces were (or where your dining room hutch was), leaving some empty wall space.  These tricks will open up your room and help you love your space again.  How do I know?  Because almost EVERY time I’ve staged a home by removing (or transferring) a piece of furniture, the response is, “OH MY GOSH, that looks SO MUCH BETTER! I can’t believe it!”  Yes, seriously.  Downsize your furniture collection and/or décor collection.  You will feel so much better.


This one is similar to the above trick, especially in that it is FREE.  The act of simply rearranging your furniture can be an answer to prayer.  If your room feels “wonky,” unbalanced, or doesn’t allow good flow, you probably just need to re-position your furniture. Sometimes this involves removing a piece of furniture as well, sometimes it’s just moving items around.  Finding your focal point of the room, creating harmony and balance and “fit”, and allowing flow are all pieces to consider when placing your furniture, art, and décor.  Don’t know how to arrange it to make it work AND look peaceful?  Please ask me for help!

Below is an example of re-positioning and removing to make a room feel better.  This client had recently moved into a MUCH smaller home.  She had lots of stuff.  I helped her figure out how best to use the space, furniture and art that she felt was necessary in the room, without costing a dime.  These photos are just snapshots — one I took when I went to her house shortly after she moved in, and the “after” photo she sent me via email — but you can see how we re-positioned and removed to make the room feel more peaceful and usable.

BEFORE — Walls painted but needed help positioning and arranging and making it home

AFTER (client snapped from cellphone, so real living here!!)


I believe the only new items bought were the simple drapes.  Everything else the homeowner had and loved and needed in the room.  Now her whole family, even the dog, can enjoy this happy, cozy family room!


Have some sentimental photos or pieces of art that you love, but they look dated?   Add instant style to your home by having these reframed!  I have a great framer I love to use, and she always knows the perfect frame and mat to use to make your art look great!

You can even pull out old snapshots taken from your family photo albums, have them matted and framed in similar fashion, and they become art that looks fresh, interesting, and makes you smile!

A little gallery wall I recently installed in a previously empty spot over the bed ….

And if your budget won’t allow reframing, consider painting your frames!


Nothing like an old raggedy window valance or heavy, drippy drapes to date a house.  Spruce up and let the light shine in!  Clean or replace your broken and dirty blinds, clean your windowsills, and then buy new window treatments! Lucky for us homeowners who must decorate on a budget, straight, floor-length, no-frills drapes are totally in style.  And Home Goods has rows and rows of them, in very on-trend colors and styles, for $30-$50 a pair!!!  To get the most impact from straight drapes, hang them high (at the ceiling or close to it) and just outside of the window, so that your window looks larger and allows more light in when open.

Pretty much all my window treatments have come from Home Goods or Target or other discount store, and none of them were more than $50 a pair — and many are name brand!  Awesome update and very much within my budget!

Need less light or more privacy?  Buy black-out drapes — even Target sells some nice ones right now (so does JC Penney, Home Goods, Bed Bath and Beyond, pretty much everywhere)!!  I also have several seamstresses and custom drape companies that can make most any window treatment you would like, such as Roman shades or valances, and with as much lining as you would like.  But for the most budget-friendly solution, try off-the-rack drapes that hang from above the window frame and flow all the way down to just skim the floor (like a long dress).

Style alert:  ornate, frilly, tasseled, busy, swoopy valances and window treatments are hard to pull off and still look in style.  The look in most magazines for the past 5 – 10 years has been straight, floor length drapes.

Simple, elegant drapes, photo from Homedit.

Roman shades are a good solution if drapes are not able to fit your space.  But the days of heavy, ornately busy valances and scarves are long gone.


Most people have lamps that look tired and time-stamped,or may be too small for their space, as they’ve either inherited them, or bought them when they got their first apartment … and they’ve had them forever.  The lamps work — in that they give out light when turned on.  But if you have a floor lamp that you bought at a discount store for $10 about 15 years ago, it may not be doing much for the style or feel of your room.  However, by simply updating your lamps and/or lampshades, you will give your room a facelift that will make your room appear 20 years younger!  Once again, a very reasonable place to buy lamps is Home Goods or Target or even online from Wayfair or Amazon.

Hattan’s Helpful Hint:  buy lamps in pairs whenever possible, to create feelings of symmetry and balance and cohesiveness in your room.

Pair of lamps from Amazon.com, approximately $100

These 7 tricks listed above are the most low-cost way to freshen up or change your space  — ranging in price from free to $100!!

Stay tuned for my next post, where I will share 7 more budget-friendly decorating tricks, with a slightly larger budget.  I will highlight several options that range in price from $100 to $2000 (still way cheaper than a whole house re-do!).

Thanks for reading, and if you’d like my help in re-positioning or shopping, I am so very glad to do so!

Stay tuned!


The post Redecorating on a Budget, from $0 (as in FREE) to $100 appeared first on Home By Hattan.

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