Category Archives: Before_and_After

Resolution: Organize

My goal? Not quite, but it is a beauty! Photos via Domino unless otherwise noted. 

Who hasn’t let out a sigh of frustration at the sight of their closet? I recently took a look at the state of mine and wanted to throw everything out and start over! Though on my budget, that’s not an option. Since adding all of my new husband’s clothes to my large, but full, closet, we haven’t done any organizing. But now it’s a new year, and I am determined to make the time. Often, we have an idea of what we’d like the end result to be: A copy of the impossibly perfect closets we see in Martha Stewart Living, but usually I can’t get there because I piddle out halfway through the process lacking the necessary inspiration and direction. This time, though, I’m going in with a game plan with a little help from the masters: Domino, House Beautiful, and Martha Stewart.

A mirror or framed picture can spruce up an otherwise bland space.

Step One: Where to begin? House Beautiful had a great tip for that question (and a fantastic article that must be read in full): “Ask yourself: If all of this were gone tomorrow, what would I miss?” Refer to that answer as you clean out the overworn, the ill-fitting, and the uncomfortable pieces. It amazes me that I probably only wear about one-third of the things I own. Every time I purge I still hang on to some things that should have been donated ages ago. With that thought in mind, I can get rid of the things that are just taking up valuable space and make room for some shiny, new things I’ll really wear!

Labelled baskets are a closet’s best friend!

Step Two: Prepare for the New! Out with the old, in with the new, but not before the closet is prepped and ready for some much needed additions. This is the part where you get inspiration from photos and magazines! I’ve come up with a few goals I’d like to accomplish: First, to add shelving to the floor space for our shoes and boots. They’re closer to my feet that way and easier to see, as opposed to using the over the door rack I have now. Second, I want to use baskets on the top shelf to group items like purses, gloves, hats, etc. keeping them out of sight. Third, I want to remove the extra rod we have and install several hooks to hang belts and bags. Martha Stewart has an article on her website that gives lots more great closet outfitting ideas.

Utilize floor space, because what else will you do with it?

Step Three: Get what you need. For this task, I took some guidance from The Lucky Shopping Manual, tailoring it to my needs. For instance, my job does not require me to wear suits, and I rarely don a cocktail dress, but I do need lots of comfortable flats and dressy jeans. Take a look at what you have and fill in the blanks, but be tough. Don’t just buy something to fill a wardrobe hole. Buy it because it looks good on you and makes you feel great. Of course, this can’t get done in one weekend. It’s an ongoing process. Keeping a list of your needed items handy will make shopping easier when you can get around to it.

The shoes! Oh! The shoes!

Step Four: Organize what you have. Everyone agrees: group your clothes by item, season, and color. My husband’s side will be a breeze. Dress shirts, sweaters, slacks, jackets. My wardrobe will pose more of a challenge. I figure I’ll begin by separating by season, then item, then arranging by color. I love the look of a color organized closet!

A good wardrobe doesn’t have to be big, just versatile.

Step Five: Maintain it! All that hard work will be for naught if I let it fall by the wayside once again. So step five is to clean, reorganize, and, if need be, purge every couple of months. The result? A beautiful closet, an easier morning routine, and a happy husband!

Oops! She’s done it again.

Kelly Wearstler, the ultimate trendsetter, has managed to land on the cover of this month’s Domino (big shocker!). I just can’t get enough of Kelly, so here are some nice pics from this interior design diva:

The vintage brass lamp screams sophistication.

That wall panel is ridiculously awesome. The blue leather chair provides some serious pop!

Most people play it safe. Ms. Wearstler is not afraid to incorporate modern prints.

Kelly’s twist on black and white design that comes off warm, not cold.

Before and after proof positive that she can turn any bland room into something glamorous.

The HF List: Five Trends That Make Me Cringe (and five that I’ll always love)

All things fashion come and go. Remember Madonna’s major cone bra? And those platform boots with the goldfish in them? So, maybe we’d prefer not to remember some things. Interior design is just like fashion design. There are trends that come in and out of style. Just like you might cringe when you see someone in a hideous outfit, you may also cringe when you step into a home that you think is tacky. I’ve watched a lot of people decorate homes, and through that I’ve seen a whole lot of good and a whole lot more bad. Here are some of the highlights:

Bad Trend #1: Chocolate and Aqua

Just. Plain. Tired.
Stick a fork in it, this color scheme is done. Over. Finished. About five years ago, this color scheme became really big, and for some reason, no one ever adopted another idea! The chocolate just shrinks a room to almost nothing, and the bland, muted blue that accompanies it does nothing to remedy that. Please, resist the urge to do the Brown & Blue and pick somthing lighter like…

Good Trend #1: All White

Good morning. From Garnet Hill.

This is a look that will absolutely never go out of style. There is something about an all white room from the walls to the sheets to the drapes that always looks crisp and clean. But an all white color scheme doesn’t mean your room will lack personality. It just makes it easier to incorporate different textures like silk with cotton eyelet with linen and so on. Consistently chic.

Bad Trend #2: Bedroom or Dining “Suites”

So busy and yet so boring.

Just because a furniture company makes matching furniture does not mean you are required to buy it all and stick it in your room. Where’s the personality in that? It may be more difficult to mix and match pieces yourself, but the result is so much more interesting. Leading me to…

Good Trend #2: Mix and Match Dining Chairs

Now it doesn’t matter if they don’t have 6 matching chairs! Picture from Domino.

I’ve seen a lot of this trend in magazines lately and it has totally inspired me! Rather than buying 6 or 8 of the same dining chair, scout out flea markets and antique shops for single chairs. You can get some that are all wood, some that have upholstered seats, some with wicker backs, whatever you want. Paint them all the same color and upholster the seats in the same fabric. Voila! Unique chairs that are unified.

Bad Trend #3: Elaborate Drapery Treatments and Bedding Sets

Hey honey! You in there?!
Too far. Just too far.

Here is my problem with the window treatments that have the panels + a swag + cascades, etc. The window disappears beneath the whole mess. Windows are there for a reason! To see out of! Now, here is my problem with matchy bedding sets. Don’t you get tired of making a bed every morning with sheets + comforter + blanket + shams + pillows + throw pillows, etc.? I’m tired just thinking about it! It’s time to simplify…

Good Trend #3: Simple Panels and Bedding Sets

So easy you could make them yourself. Or Pottery Barn could do it.

Now, isn’t this a tad more inviting? From Dwell Studio.
At the very least, your husband will thank you for simplifying his sleeping process. Ditch the fringe trimmed pillows and dry clean only silk duvet. Go for some high thread count sheets and a cotton comforter. Throw on a couple pillows and you’re all set. That is all you need! As for the drapes, why not put up a couple linen panels. Linen looks lovely in a drape, it’s easier to clean than silk, and it doesn’t rot in the sunlight like silk does. Your bedroom with go from frou-frou to casual chic in a flash.

Bad Trend #4: Silk Bedding for Baby

That’s just wrong.
There are so many things wrong with this and I see it all the time. First of all, babies don’t remember anything before age 4, so they won’t appreciate the fine fabric. Second, silk bedding needs to be dry-cleaned. Babies get things dirty. Indiscriminately. A babies room can be adorable and functional at the same time…

Good Trend #4: Modern Baby Bedding

Your little princess would be more comfy in this. From Dwell Studio for Target.
You can move beyond the ducks and bunnies without upsetting the baby. I assure you of this. Dwell Studio for Target has proved it! They offer cute, modern printed cotton bedding for affordable prices. Truly a win-win situation. Except for the dry cleaner.

Bad Trend #5: Ready-made Slipcovers

Just as unflattering as wearing a burlap sack would be.
When you are in college and you need a solution for the ugly sofa that comes with your apartment, ready-made slipcovers are an acceptable option. When you are out of college, they are not. Slipcovers that aren’t made for your sofa specifically are just sloppy. Not to mention the fact that they shift around everytime you sit on them. It’s about time for an upgrade…

Good Trend #5: Upholstered Sofas That Can Be Slipcovered

Slipcovered and stylish. From Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams.
This is the best of both worlds. The slipcover can be thrown in the wash and protect against pet paws and kids’ spills. The slipcover can then come off to show off a completely different sofa- free of stains. Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams will soon offer that option with their Tyler collection. The options are endless!

Undercover Decorator: Julianne Moore

Julianne Moore is a pretty good actor! Her body of work is quite diverse and highly acclaimed with four Oscar nominations to prove it. But her most unexpected role might just be “Interior Decorator”. She’s been featured in this month’s Domino magazine. It highlights her working with a very modest $15,000 budget (at least for celebrity).

Before and After: Adding punches of color transforms the room from boring to chic.

Amazing what blue flooring can do for a space. Adding books always helps.

For some reason, everything becomes a little more glamorous with fur.

The Rochelle Sofa is a great mid-century modern furniture piece!

Before and After: Went from an Ikea Sofa to the Rochelle Sofa from Crate and Barrel.

When your acting career consists of over 50 movie roles, you’d be smiling too!

Before and After: Divine Eco Bedroom

Divine Design is definitely my favorite thing to watch on HGTV. Candice Olson has great ideas to make a bedroom look sophisticated and at the same eco-friendly. By using chemical free paints, recycled tile carpeting, and good old fashion fans instead of a central air system, you too can go green!


You have to love the swanky armed, leather tufted, head turning accent chairs! They are available at High Fashion Home: Pierre Chair in Leisure Cream, $799

How To: Give Your Furniture A Facelift

Let’s face it- furniture is expensive. I’m sure we would all redecorate annually if we had the time and money, but who really does? With that in mind, when your armoire gets a bit stale, don’t toss it- give it a facelift (without the nasty recovery). A few tweaks and a couple of weekends will take your formerly blah piece to Ooh la la!

Don’t give up on it just yet! Even this can be saved!

Step One: The easiest way to change the look of wood furniture is to either paint or stain it. Paint is the simpler of the two, but staining is best when the wood has great texture that you want to show off. Resist the urge to match the paint to something else in the room and pick a completely different color. High-gloss black or white adds punch to a piece. Any paint store can hook you up with the paint you need. Give the piece two coats and let it dry for about a week before you put anything in or on it. Otherwise, you will have some very sticky knick knacks.

More than meets the eye with Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams pieces.

Step Two: I love when there’s more to a piece of furniture than meets the eye. Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams is great at putting in cool little touches like contrasting paint or wallpaper in drawers of their casegoods. Take a page from their book (and they literally do have a book), and add some hidden extras.

Belle Fleur Knob $8, Diamond Gal Knob $6, and Zinnia Large Knob $8- all from Anthropologie

Step Three: Don’t forget the hardware! My favorite place to get hooks and knobs is Anthropologie. They have a terrific selection of knobs in every color imaginable. And, feel free to go nuts- knobs are inexpensive and easy to change! Also, if you are revamping a piece that will be used for media equipment, it is always handy to have a hole in the back for cords and ventilation. Hunt down a friend with a drill and cut out a circular hole.

There you have it. Just three easy steps and your furniture is getting a new lease on life. Not to mention your wallet hasn’t suffered one bit! Fantastic!

High Fashion Home Story

Often at High Fashion Home, we believe that a day in the life at High Fashion would make for great reality TV. Well, creating a community of High Fashion bloggers might be the closest thing.

This was our home a few short years ago. Yes, our building was plain Jane back then. Our vision was to create a home furnishing emporium that would become a haven for people aspiring for the modern, eclectic lifestyle. So we thought, “Let’s take this 4 story, 125,000 square foot building and create a shopping experience like no other.”

We needed to find the right architect. Our interview process lasted for weeks with several architecture firms coming up with lackluster, unimaginative ideas. Through a couple of referrals, we finally found architects that were actually like-minded. Gensler was the choice. They happened to do a couple of cool concepts. Maybe you’ve heard of it? Apple.

Then came the months of trying to unearth the High Fashion brand and translating it into great architecture. That’s when we came up with this.

Gensler had designed such an impressive looking building that we had to find the products to do it justice. So we set out to find the hottest and most exciting manufacturers in the home fashion world today. Products that represented high style, high design, high quality furniture at great prices.

This is how the finished building turned out: