365 Days of a Happy Home

I just recently finished the #100happydays challenge.  This challenge was to post (on my personal Facebook timeline) 1 post a day for 100 days  something that made me happy. I received great feedback and have decided to tweak this challenge for MJG Interiors.

Who doesn’t love a Happy Home? Starting today, we will post every day for 365 days, 1 thing that contributes to a Happy Home. Check back often for ideas and ways to make you feel happy in your home! As always, leave us comments! Agree or disagree, there is no wrong answer. However, there is lots to learn!

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Day 139: Well Equipped Kitchen!

by MJ Gourd


Day 139 of 365 Days of a Happy Home!

Important elements in the kitchen include cabinets, flooring, appliances, faucets and lighting.  Once those are determined, people are looking for more to make their kitchen "well equipped".  Here are a few items to not only make your kitchen "well equipped" but also make it part of your Happy Home!

If you can handle open shelves, make sure they are securely installed.  Our builder installed steel posts in the wall that the shelves slide onto.  They can carry the weight of almost anything!

If you can handle open shelves, make sure they are securely installed.  Our builder installed steel posts in the wall that the shelves slide onto.  They can carry the weight of almost anything!

Thinking of adding under cabinet lighting?  Legrand has many options that can include docking and charging stations. 

Thinking of adding under cabinet lighting?  Legrand has many options that can include docking and charging stations. 

Want to convert a drawer to a charging station?  Here you go!  You can get it on line or at local office supply stores.

Want to convert a drawer to a charging station?  Here you go!  You can get it on line or at local office supply stores.

If Rex or Fifi are part of the family, maybe there is space in the kitchen for a food drawer!  

If Rex or Fifi are part of the family, maybe there is space in the kitchen for a food drawer!

 

If a new sink is in your future, consider this workstation from The Galley.  All stainless with cutting boards, drain racks and colanders that slide to make a perfectly functional and asthetically pleasign work area.

If a new sink is in your future, consider this workstation from The Galley.  All stainless with cutting boards, drain racks and colanders that slide to make a perfectly functional and asthetically pleasign work area.

Samsung's line of Family Hub refrigerators have a large display screen that enables you to see your calendar, play music and order groceries.  Inside are cameras you can access with you phone to see what is inside.  Then you know when you are running low on milk if your at the grocery store.  

Samsung's line of Family Hub refrigerators have a large display screen that enables you to see your calendar, play music and order groceries.  Inside are cameras you can access with you phone to see what is inside.  Then you know when you are running low on milk if your at the grocery store.  


Day 138: Stencils!

by MJ Gourd


Day 138 of 365 Days of a Happy Home!

Stenciling dates back to Egyptian times.  Think the pictures on the walls of ancient tombs!   In the 21st century we have moved beyond the primitive stencils to create back splashes, ceiling accents, focal walls and even creating a checker board on a floor!  Here are some fun, colorful ideas for your next project.  Which is your favorite?

This Calista Tile stencil from Cutting Edge Stencils creates a great back splash in this kitchen.  

This Calista Tile stencil from Cutting Edge Stencils creates a great back splash in this kitchen.  

HGTV featured this stencil project in one of its blogs. This really transforms the ceiling in this room! 

HGTV featured this stencil project in one of its blogs. This really transforms the ceiling in this room! 

This checkerboard design was created with a masking technique,  but it could be achieved with a stencil, too.

This checkerboard design was created with a masking technique,  but it could be achieved with a stencil, too.

I just met the stencil artist, Judy Potter who did this 2 tone floor stencil.  This red and pink combo really transformed this mudroom.

I just met the stencil artist, Judy Potter who did this 2 tone floor stencil.  This red and pink combo really transformed this mudroom.

Raechel Meyers shared the transformation of this room on her blog.  She makes it look so simple and easy!  

Raechel Meyers shared the transformation of this room on her blog.  She makes it look so simple and easy!  

This stencil within the arch mimics a tile pattern

This stencil within the arch mimics a tile pattern


Day 137: Removable Wallpaper!

by MJ Gourd


Day 137 of 365 Days of a Happy Home!

Years ago there was a serious fear factor regarding wallpaper.  It was a fairly permanent endeavor! You had to like the image on the paper enough to look at it every day for a very  long time!  Welcome to the 21st century where wallpaper has morphed into an accessory.  It is now easily removable with many options available as "peel and stick"!.  Now wallpaper can be changed with the seasons.  It can be removed from a rental home and reinstalled in a new home!  You can even design your own!  Check out some fun ways to use "peel and stick" wallpaper:  

I found this adorable removable wallpaper on Etsy in a store called Water Color Workshop.  This little nook is so adorable with the water color carrots that you don't mind that its a bit tight in here!  

I found this adorable removable wallpaper on Etsy in a store called Water Color Workshop.  This little nook is so adorable with the water color carrots that you don't mind that its a bit tight in here!  

I found this image on One Kings Lane; whomever staged this did a great job!  They will be able to remove the wallpaper and replace with something else for the next photo shoot!

I found this image on One Kings Lane; whomever staged this did a great job!  They will be able to remove the wallpaper and replace with something else for the next photo shoot!

I often find inspiration in other designers work. Here, Mayme Baker Studio has not only added this fun wallpaper to the vestibule, they've adorned the 5th wall (the ceiling) with a coordinating paper!  Bravo!

I often find inspiration in other designers work. Here, Mayme Baker Studio has not only added this fun wallpaper to the vestibule, they've adorned the 5th wall (the ceiling) with a coordinating paper!  Bravo!

The Wall Sticker Company has produced a removable paper that looks like an old brick wall.  Pretty believealbe! 

The Wall Sticker Company has produced a removable paper that looks like an old brick wall.  Pretty believealbe! 

Lastly, Water Color Workshop (on Etsy) has re imagined a vintage wall paper with fresh colors and as "peel and stick"! Where will you use removable wallpaper?  Share your creations with us! 

Lastly, Water Color Workshop (on Etsy) has re imagined a vintage wall paper with fresh colors and as "peel and stick"!

Where will you use removable wallpaper?  Share your creations with us! 


Day 136: Cathedral Ceiling!

by MJ Gourd


Day 136 of 365 Days of a Happy Home!

Designers often refer to the ceiling as the 5th wall.  It is just as important as the other walls in the room, but often overlooked.  Cathedral ceilings are defined as having equally sloping sides that meet at a ridge in the center.  These ceilings can be tricky.  It's important to remember the scale of the whole space when placing furniture, window treatments and art.  Take a look at a few homes that we have had the privilege of designing.  

The old beams were added to this addition to make it appear like an old barn.  Very effective!

The old beams were added to this addition to make it appear like an old barn.  Very effective!

Here is another view of the same room.  The cathedral ceiling helps define the dining area from the kitchen while the wall space is open.

Here is another view of the same room.  The cathedral ceiling helps define the dining area from the kitchen while the wall space is open.

We had the good fortune to work on this project from the ground up!  This dining area not only has the cathedral ceiling, but a bay area as well.

We had the good fortune to work on this project from the ground up!  This dining area not only has the cathedral ceiling, but a bay area as well.

This is the same house as the previous picture.  The dining room is off in the back right.  Here the great room also has a cathedral ceiling.  The beams help to define the space.

This is the same house as the previous picture.  The dining room is off in the back right.  Here the great room also has a cathedral ceiling.  The beams help to define the space.

This was such a fun project to work on.  This pool cabana is made of all natural elements:  wood and stone.  The ceiling is painted structural components. 

This was such a fun project to work on.  This pool cabana is made of all natural elements:  wood and stone.  The ceiling is painted structural components. 

If you are fortunate enough to live in a house with a cathedral ceiling, work it to your advantage!  Paint and lighting can go a long way!


Day 135: Decorating with Wreaths!

by MJ Gourd


Day 135 of 365 Days of a Happy Home!

It's getting to be that time of year where wreathes are everywhere.  They can be simple and elegant or big and bold.  Here are a few ideas to adorn your Happy Home:

I saw these simple, beautiful wreaths on Houzz.  What a nice addition to this clean sun room.

I saw these simple, beautiful wreaths on Houzz.  What a nice addition to this clean sun room.

Who says wreaths have to be round?  These preserved boxwood wreaths are available from Mills Floral Co. a family run business in GA.

Who says wreaths have to be round?  These preserved boxwood wreaths are available from Mills Floral Co. a family run business in GA.

Good Housekeeping presented this colorful wreath recently.  I like the sprigs of greenery.

Good Housekeeping presented this colorful wreath recently.  I like the sprigs of greenery.

This wreath could hang up through the fall.  A DIY project I saw on line and was inspired!

This wreath could hang up through the fall.  A DIY project I saw on line and was inspired!

Another DIY project I found on line, this one came from Hometalker!  How fun is this!  You could even scale it to be around a candle or hang from a cabinet...

Another DIY project I found on line, this one came from Hometalker!  How fun is this!  You could even scale it to be around a candle or hang from a cabinet...

This image gave me the idea to remake the burnt out light bulb wreath a bit smaller and hang from the cabinet.  These boxwood wreaths are beautiful and came from the blog Between Naps on the Porch.  

This image gave me the idea to remake the burnt out light bulb wreath a bit smaller and hang from the cabinet.  These boxwood wreaths are beautiful and came from the blog Between Naps on the Porch.  

Last DIY wreath, I promise!  This one came my way from the blog Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons.  What do you think?  Fun!  And fun collecting all the corks!

Last DIY wreath, I promise!  This one came my way from the blog Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons.  What do you think?  Fun!  And fun collecting all the corks!


Day 134: Lamp Finials!

by MJ Gourd


Day 134 of 365 Days of a Happy Home!

A finial is the little threaded bit that holds your lamp shade on the harp of your lamp.  This small decorative item is a perfect place for some pizzazz.  I am not an advocate of going over the top with seasonal finials (think jack o'lantern, Father Christmas or a football) but something tasteful that fits with the decor.  Check these out...

These agate finials from Ballard Design can add soft color and sophistication for as little as $19.

These agate finials from Ballard Design can add soft color and sophistication for as little as $19.

In the proper setting this Maine Pine Cone Finial found on Etsy could be fun and playful!

In the proper setting this Maine Pine Cone Finial found on Etsy could be fun and playful!

These are a few typical finials that are commonly used, also from Ballard Design. 

These are a few typical finials that are commonly used, also from Ballard Design. 

This "Dynasty" Collection (yes, named after the 1980's TV show) from the Hillary  Thomas collection, can add just the right amount of color and height to a blah lamp.

This "Dynasty" Collection (yes, named after the 1980's TV show) from the Hillary  Thomas collection, can add just the right amount of color and height to a blah lamp.

Last, but not least, these coral finials would be right at home by the sea!

Last, but not least, these coral finials would be right at home by the sea!


Day 133: Wabi-Sabi!

by MJ Gourd


Day 133 of 365 Days of a Happy Home!

Wabi-sabi is the traditional Japanese aesthetic of imperfection.  Leonard Koren in his 1994 book Wabi-Sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets and Philosophers describes it as "imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete." How liberating it would be if your Happy Home could be imperfect, impermanent or incomplete!  We have taken this idea of imperfection, labeled it and shown it here.  Would you agree these are beautiful?   

The checkerboard wood floors in this 1800's farmhouse show the patina of lives well lived. Imperfect, yes!  But beautiful!

The checkerboard wood floors in this 1800's farmhouse show the patina of lives well lived. Imperfect, yes!  But beautiful!

I picked up this table for my shop at a local antique fair.  The wear and tear on the claw foot legs is what caught my eye!

I picked up this table for my shop at a local antique fair.  The wear and tear on the claw foot legs is what caught my eye!

We used this Dash and Albert runner on top of 200 year old floor boards.  Without the brightly colored runner the boards screamed to be refinished.  But the beautiful runner muted the imperfections in the boards.  They work well together.

We used this Dash and Albert runner on top of 200 year old floor boards.  Without the brightly colored runner the boards screamed to be refinished.  But the beautiful runner muted the imperfections in the boards.  They work well together.

We like to add custom boot trays to our mudrooms.  This one is made from galvanized sheet metal and filled with rocks from locations important to the owners.  The rocks can handle all the mud and salt cast off from the boots while serving as tokens from past adventures.

We like to add custom boot trays to our mudrooms.  This one is made from galvanized sheet metal and filled with rocks from locations important to the owners.  The rocks can handle all the mud and salt cast off from the boots while serving as tokens from past adventures.

The paneling in this room dates back to the early 1800's.  The pearl finish of the paint mutes the imperfections but doesn't eliminate them. It allows your imagination to wonder how those imperfections came to be.  If allowed, the wood can reveal the secrets of the families that have lived here.

The paneling in this room dates back to the early 1800's.  The pearl finish of the paint mutes the imperfections but doesn't eliminate them. It allows your imagination to wonder how those imperfections came to be.  If allowed, the wood can reveal the secrets of the families that have lived here.

Here is another piece I picked up at an antique show.  It most likely dates back to the first half of the last century.  A house filled with pieces like this could be overpowering.   But one piece as a bedside table can be all you need. 

Here is another piece I picked up at an antique show.  It most likely dates back to the first half of the last century.  A house filled with pieces like this could be overpowering.   But one piece as a bedside table can be all you need. 

Would you allow your home to have the imperfections like we have shown here? We think the beauty is in the nooks and crannies of every Happy Home.


Day 132: Light Bulb Moment!

by MJ Gourd


Day 132 of 365 Days of a Happy Home!

We are frequently asked "What is the best light bulb to use?"  I thought this would be a great opportunity to show you how the proper light bulb can change your mood from sad to glad, thus making a Happy Home!  

Thank you House Logic for posting this great graphic on when to use different bulbs!

Thank you House Logic for posting this great graphic on when to use different bulbs!

Just because a light bulb is on sale doesn't mean you should buy it!  Thanks to the FTC the mystery surrounding the wattage of the new light bulbs has been solved and is printed on the bulb packaging!  The new jargon for light bulb brightness is "lumens"!  The higher the lumens, the brighter the light!

Another important term to know is "kelvins" (K).  This references the color temperature.  To me, there is an inverse to the number of kelvins.  The lower the number the warmer the light!  Where candlelight is around 1000K and natural daylight is around 5500-6500K.  A clear blue sky would be 10,000K

Still another term to look for on the packaging is CRI for color rendering index.  This will tell us how well you will experience color and texture on a scale from 1 -100.  In other words, how satisfied or happy you will be in the space.  That will depend on using the right bulb for the space!  Here are a few suggestions:

  • LED's are good to light a path (think hallway!) or for task lighting (under your cabinets in the kitchen).  If you have an opportunity to light your ceiling with cove lighting, this is a good place for them, too! 

This chandelier is using halogen Edison style bulbs.

This chandelier is using halogen Edison style bulbs.

  • Looking to dim the lights and create a soft mood?  Think about a halogen bulb.  It renders color and texture beautifully.  Think about using them in your recessed lights in the ceiling of your great room or your dining room chandelier! 

West Elm Pelle table lamp

West Elm Pelle table lamp

  • Table lamps are a great place to use CFL's.  If you are just looking for light, try these.  But quality varies by brand. You may have to try a few different manufacturers before you find the one you like. 

  • The best light in a bathroom is "cool white" or "day light" 3500K – 6500K.  We used Pullman style vanity lighting above with cool white bulbs in this bathroom. 


Day 131: Stair Runners!

by MJ Gourd


Day 131 of 365 Days of a Happy Home!

Is there a set of stairs in your house screaming to be noticed?  Or perhaps you have slipped off the wood treads one too many times.  Maybe it's time to bring these spaces to the next level.  MJG Interiors happens to like stripe runners A LOT!  Check out how we have "stepped up" these spaces: 

Before the renovation of this house, these wood treads leading to a play room were a hazard for the 3 active boys that vacationed here.  By painting the treads and adding this bound runner from Weave Tuft we not only added stability but FUN STRIPES! 

Before the renovation of this house, these wood treads leading to a play room were a hazard for the 3 active boys that vacationed here.  By painting the treads and adding this bound runner from Weave Tuft we not only added stability but FUN STRIPES! 

This cotton runner from Dash and Albert was a great way to liven up the stairwell.  We ordered 2 8' runners and had our installer run them up the stairs ending just below the top landing.

This cotton runner from Dash and Albert was a great way to liven up the stairwell.  We ordered 2 8' runners and had our installer run them up the stairs ending just below the top landing.

Our installer graciously stepped out of the way for the shot!  This Prestige Mills carpet was bound by the installer who also added the mitered corner so the stripe could flow up the stairs.  A nice touch in this antique home.

Our installer graciously stepped out of the way for the shot!  This Prestige Mills carpet was bound by the installer who also added the mitered corner so the stripe could flow up the stairs.  A nice touch in this antique home.

The back stairs at this mountain home is jazzed up by this Fleetwood Fox wool runner.  We like to leave about 5"-6" on either side of the runner to show off the tread.

The back stairs at this mountain home is jazzed up by this Fleetwood Fox wool runner.  We like to leave about 5"-6" on either side of the runner to show off the tread.

We finished this project a few years ago, but we still love this runner!  Too bad Karistan doesn't sell it any more.  We'd use it again.  

We finished this project a few years ago, but we still love this runner!  Too bad Karistan doesn't sell it any more.  We'd use it again.  

We like this Weave Tuft carpet, too.  It is the same style and colorway as the first image in this blog!  See how different it can look in this application?  These are "carpet grade" stairs (for the budget conscious) so the carpet is installed "wall to wall: And we have accented it with a gray painted trim.

We like this Weave Tuft carpet, too.  It is the same style and colorway as the first image in this blog!  See how different it can look in this application?  These are "carpet grade" stairs (for the budget conscious) so the carpet is installed "wall to wall: And we have accented it with a gray painted trim.

We would love to see your stairs!  Have any interesting installations to share?  Send them to us and we'll post on our Facebook page (with permission of course) and give credit to manufacturer, installer and photographer!


130: Silhouettes

by MJ Gourd


Day 130 of 365 Days of a Happy Home!

We've all seen them, the image of a person or an animal as a solid shape, usually black, with its edges matching the outline of the subject. The interior of a silhouette is featureless, and the image is typically presented on a light background, usually white.  Silhouettes have been used through the years as remembrance of family members and even as art.  They have been in and out of fashion for centuries.   They are back in favor and can add a bit of whimsy to almost any room in the house.  Here are some examples:

Man's best friend is depicted by Ramsay Gourd Home in the fresh take on the traditional silhouette.  This pattern is available as a wallpaper and fabric. 

Man's best friend is depicted by Ramsay Gourd Home in the fresh take on the traditional silhouette.  This pattern is available as a wallpaper and fabric. 

Katie who writes the blog Little House of Four recently shared this hallway update she did.  It includes matted and framed silhouettes of her children.  Charming and timeless!

Katie who writes the blog Little House of Four recently shared this hallway update she did.  It includes matted and framed silhouettes of her children.  Charming and timeless!

Malva wallpaper by Scion takes artistic license with the repeating image of the leaves and branches, then punches it up with the color.  Shown here is "cinnamon" but available in yummy colors like "Mist" and "Licorice".

Malva wallpaper by Scion takes artistic license with the repeating image of the leaves and branches, then punches it up with the color.  Shown here is "cinnamon" but available in yummy colors like "Mist" and "Licorice".

The "Tree of Life" silhouette as seen here in the curtains from Country Curtains can add a bit of whimsy to almost any space.  

The "Tree of Life" silhouette as seen here in the curtains from Country Curtains can add a bit of whimsy to almost any space.