August 11, 2014

Dear Debbie,

We have ordered a new garage door that comes primed but not painted. Our 40-year-old house has natural cedar siding and some brown trim, somewhat arts and crafts style. The garage takes up approximately 50% of the front façade. Do you have any colour suggestions? Think fun. We are in our 70s, and want fun/tasteful/pretty. Many thanks.


Dear Sue,

Colour is an individual choice, but it also needs to work with the colour of your home’s exterior cladding. What could look fabulous on your garage door is a smoky grey/green-blue colour. Think turquoise that is softened with grey. Any shades of blue go well with wood shades, and this choice has lots of life to it. Although front doors and trim look good in a high gloss finish, because the garage door is so large, use a satin finish. ...(read more)

August 4, 2014

Gingham cottons are inexpensive and readily available as yard goods in palettes of yellow, blue, red, green and black, making it easy to sew up curtains, pillows, bed linens and upholstery. This jaunty pattern also decorates crockery, glassware, cutlery and numerous accessories from lampshades and carpets to thumbtacks.

If you’re taken with the design, it may be hard to rein in the temptation to decorate the walls in gingham. And that’s exactly what I did in this special guest bedroom. The homeowner was surprised and elated with the results. Who knew gingham walls would be such a hit?

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July 28, 2014

Dear Debbie,

Have you got a quick fix for updating doors without replacing them? You advise switching door pulls and handles in your columns. Do all interior door knobs have to match?


Dear Frank,

This is a good question. We don’t often think about door knobs as part of the decorating process, but they can be a major design element in your home if you so choose. There’s a huge choice of door knobs available. First look at the finish you would like. Knobs and handles do not have to match other hardware in your kitchen and can be an inexpensive way of restyling without the cost of new cabinets.

 ...(read more)