Top 5 Mistakes of DIY Homeowners

There are issues we see over and over when we are staging or redesigning someone’s home. Here is a list of the most common, along with ways to address those issues and make your home look its best!



1. Dull color palette
Beiges and creams are a fallback for people who feel unsure about how to use colors in their homes. Too much of these dull colors can feel both boring and oppressive. Neutrals are fine and are certainly colors, but if you keep the walls neutral, be sure to not go too light in shade. Also remember the room will need to be brought to life with color in accessories. Don’t be afraid — it’s your home, and you should experience the joy of color!!



2. Too Much Faux Greenery
Some is good, too much is bad, and the style of faux greenery you are using makes a difference as well. The style of faux greenery has changed in the past few years, and large ficus, palm trees, and excessive use of ivy date your home and need to go. Live plants and real sticks that are clean and simple are much more inviting. That fake ivy above your kitchen cabinet is just a dust collector — take it down now!




3. Visual Clutter
Unfortunately, this is one thing It’s Simply Yours sees in home after home! If there is one thing that really puts a damper on a beautiful room, it’s clutter. It’s the stuff that should just be put away, like magazines, books, projects, toys, and shoes. If you want these items in the room, create a storage piece for them. We realize your home needs to function, and we will help you find creative ways to keep your projects, papers, and necessary items accessible without hindering the beauty of your space.



4. Incorrect Scale for Furniture and Accessories
Sometimes we visit homes where the owner just cannot figure out what they don’t like about their space, and 9 out of 10 times it’s a scale issue. The scale of your furniture and accessories needs to create a balanced feeling in your room. Furniture tends to look larger in your space than it did in the store. Conversely, accessories that look so large in the store shrink in your bookcase or niche. Lamps, artwork, and every piece needs to be in scale to the room and the furnishings around it. Look around — do you have a thin candlestick lamp on a large chunky table? Chances are it doesn’t look quite right.



5. Hanging Artwork too High
The basic rule of thumb for hanging a picture is to put the middle of the picture at eye level. In a dining room, your eye level would be while seated, since you spend most of the time in that room seated. Above furniture and mantles, the distance from the artwork to the piece it is hung over is more important than eye level. In a hallway, items would be higher because the artwork stands alone with no furnishings underneath. In a child’s room, eye level is low, so hang their artwork lower so they can enjoy it! And remember if you are petite or tall, your eye level may not be the best height. Consider an average 5’6″ person’s eye level when hanging artwork.


One Room At A Time, Sweet Shopping!



Thanks to a referral from another client we got a call from Cassie who needed help getting settled in a new house after moving a few months ago.  This sweet, busy mom of two little ones is also pregnant with her third, and works full time which leaves her without the time and energy to make her new house feel like home.  She and her husband purchased a great new sectional for their family room, which left us with some of their old furniture to create a cozy sitting room for them in place of a formal dining room they would not use.  At our initial consult we rearranged furniture and discussed some ideas for this room and the rest of the home.  Since Cassie doesn’t love to shop, nor does she have the time or energy she sent us off to do the shopping for her.   Yay, shopping!!

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Pillows, pillows, pillows!  She mentioned loving the plum color, and golds and there were so many fun pillows that would work with her fabulous turquoise chairs that we just had to bring the stores to her with lots of options to play with.  We always over shop and bring options to our clients…so they can have a say in their choices.

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Here is the winner!  Beautiful rich plum with gold details.  Also, in our initial appointment we suggested re-purposing curtains that were not working for her in the kitchen to this room, and her awesome hubby did his homework and hung them for us before we arrived today.

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We also brought two options for art work over their bar area.  They both wanted something industrial for this wall, and we even found the exact one that Cassie had pinned on her Pinterest board (the one on the right), but the circles on the left won her over, and the combination of gold and silver with the round detail really was the perfect addition to the room.

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On the opposite side of the room we hung their a collage of family photo canvases over their coffee area.  They are the perfect view from her cozy chairs when she is enjoying a much needed cup of coffee.



So after 2 hours of our shopping time (for this room and others), and 1.5 hours to install and consult on her next project (the entry and family room), we left Cassie with one finished room to enjoy.  A place to relax and put her feet up. Other than the two pillows, and metal art we used all her own things to create this space.


During today’s visit we also planned her entry/foyer and niche area and left her with some ideas for shopping and browsing on Etsy to complete those spaces.  And we decided on art, decor, and curtains for her family room all using ideas from Pinterest and Etsy that she can easily order while sitting in the comfort of her new beautiful room.  And now we are off to shop for the rest of the family room list for her:  pillows, picture frames and throw blankets.

One room at a time.  Make your house a home.

 Need shopping? Call us!  We love to shop!  Let us bring the stores to you!

It’s Simply Yours Explores Nebraska Furniture Mart…

So…let’s see what this place is all about.

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Excited about our first visit to Nebraska!













A couple weeks ago Dawn and I made our first visit to Nebraska Furniture Mart, America’s Largest Home Furnishings Store.  After watching this massive store being built for months, we were anxious to see what it was all about.  I know many of you have already been there.  Some of you already knew of this WONDER of the world from living in other states.  But here in Texas, this is a new phenomenon.  So we thought we would give those of you considering a visit there our review…

We found our way there easily following the signs leading us to exit onto Nebraska Furniture Mart Drive (what, they have their own road too??).  It was a weekday morning, and parking was easy – which led me to first think, “why do they need a parking garage?”, but I guess there is “more to come” in this area all in the same complex.  Or maybe its for the employees needed to staff their warehouse which equates to approximately 27 football fields of storage.  (Wow!)

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As the door indicates – they truly have it ALL.    It’s like Best Buy, Furniture Store, Home Goods, and a flooring store all in one.  With a bonus – See’s Candies in the corner.  (It took great self control to not buy a piece of dark chocolate with almonds, but I am proud to say kept myself away from the sweets).  Next time might be different.

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At the entrance there are directories on large screens, as well as paper maps to pick up to guide your way.  The lower level is full of accessories, lighting, wall hangings, outdoor furniture, flooring, fitness, game tables, as well as appliance ranging from the largest number of refrigerators I’ve ever seen, down to vacuum cleaners.  Oh, and computers and cameras too.  The furniture is mostly upstairs, along with a clearance center, and custom Design Gallery for those ambitious enough to take on custom designing their furniture.  Throughout the store,   we were kindly approached by sales people, in a “I’m here if you need me” non threatening way, which I greatly appreciated.  Because no one likes sales people that stalk you!

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Holy Accessories!!  We were blown away by all the home decor right inside the front doors.  Prices seemed very fair too!  Dawn even picked up a couple of fun items for her own home…but then we had to get back to the task at hand.  Scouting out the store, and finding a headboard for our client.






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Lamps and pillows galore!  Two things I LOVE, Lamps and pillows.  Bold colors.  Unique designs.  LOVE.  LOVE.  LOVE.  Their selection was incredible.  I will say these two departments seemed a little pricey…but I would totally splurge on a lamp from here.   I just might have to buy it when the husband isn’t looking.  ‘You paid what for that lamp???”  Never mind dear, carry on…just leave the shopping to me.

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The pillows were grouped in a variety of locations…by color.  Which I found very helpful, if I had been shopping for a pillow that is…but remember back to the task at hand.  Checking out the entire store, and a headboard.  Focus Kristi, Focus.  Sometimes I get a little ADD in stores (and in client’s homes too) and Dawn is so good about keeping me on task…this is one reason we bring TWO of us to all appointments.  Two are better than one.  Especially when one is easily distracted.

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Time to head upstairs.  We took the stairs because Dawn and I were both wearing our Fitbits, so we wanted our steps to count…but there are escalators, and elevators available.  Just like downstairs, this level is well marked and easy to get around.   There are also 4-5 restrooms on both levels – so one is always nearby.  Just in case you have little ones with you, or maybe you drink too much coffee and tea, like I do.

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The furniture is organized like many other furniture stores – by departments which include:  Bedroom Furniture, Youth & Baby Bedroom (oh my gosh, such cute nursery stuff that I almost want a baby, almost), Youth Bedroom, Day beds, Metal and Upholstered Beds, Mattresses, Linens, Traditional Living Rooms, Contemporary Living Rooms, Living Room Packages, Motion Furniture, Home Theater, Dining, Leather Furniture, Clearance Center, and of course the Design Gallery.  So if you know what you are looking for…you can go to the right department and browse a variety of price ranges all in one place.

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The youth section has a great little hang out area for your little shopping companions, complete with a movie playing, and a “treehouse”.  I almost got sucked into watching the Little Mermaid.  It’s the music that lured me right to it.   I, however, cannot bring my 9 year old daughter here, because she is currently obsessed with Owls, which were abundant in the girls’ rooms decor, and this would prompt a redesign of her bedroom. Maybe this summer.  Shhh…until then don’t tell her about this cute Owl stuff I saw.

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The custom design center was well staffed with those ready to assist you in creating something beautiful.  You can choose not only your style of furniture (leg type, arm style, cushions, what shape you want your sectional, how long, etc) but choose from an array of custom fabrics to make your room a dream come true.  This is not for the faint of heart or those who struggle with decision making…but for some, this could be a great tool.

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And then…after our exploring of every corner of the store.  WE FOUND IT.  The perfect headboard for our client…very similar to her Pottery Barn inspiration piece, but at a fraction of the cost.  (No disrespect to Pottery Barn – LOVE THEM, great store, great products…just not everyone, myself included can afford to furnish an entire house, or even one corner of a room from there…)

It did take a minute to find a sales person at the moment we were ready to make our purchase – but, once we found him, he was tablet in hand ready to process our order right on the spot.  He was knowledgeable, and able to sell me the headboard and footboard for a lower price, without the bed frame (since my client had wanted a headboard only).  And of course it was in stock and ready to go home with us that day (this is where the 27 football fields of storage comes in handy – no waiting!)

Within minutes we were on our way to customer pick up with our order number.  The entire process was AMAZING, and fast.  I drove up to the bank teller like drive thru and the lady somewhere inside the voice box asked for my order number, then directed me to park in a specific bay number.  Before I could even get my van in park two guys were rolling a cart my way and putting the king size headboard & footboard in a box into good ole’ Sylvia the Sienna minivan – who never ceases to amaze me with the things she can fit in her and haul.  (Saved my client the $70 delivery fee, which wouldn’t be bad for a large piece…but for a $250 bed frame…I was all for the pick it up myself method).


Two days later we were able to install the bed (along with curtains and a lamp purchased elsewhere), and transform our client’s room.

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She actually loved it so much, she even decided she wanted to add the foot to her bed as well.  So, I just called Nebraska Furniture back, they quickly processed the order for the rails needed to connect the headboard with the footboard, and it is ready for us to pick up tomorrow!  Customer service…we rate EXCELLENT.  After just this one experience.

Overall we LOVED this store from the moment we entered, to the smile on our clients face when she saw her bed.  It wasn’t really as overwhelming as I expected.  We had planned a day where we could be there for a long time, but really we saw it all (in quick browse mode) in less than two hours.   We will be back, Nebraska Furniture Mart.  And not just for the bed frame we are picking up tomorrow.  We will be BACK often…I hope an occasional trip will be shopping for myself, and not always for clients!

This is Dawn and Kristi…of It’s Simply Yours, giving Nebraska Furniture Mart TWO THUMBS UP!!

We definitely recommend you check it out.  And call us, if you need our help…we will meet you there!  We ♥ shopping!

Above The Cabinet…Before and After

We are often asked to rearrange accessories above kitchen cabinets.  This seems to be an area where many homeowners struggle.  Here are some before and after photos from a kitchen redesign we did recently.  We were able to give the client a new fresh, cleaner look using all her own items!  Simply rearranging!


Before… there is just a lot going on in this arrangement and it is too spread out. This is distracting and your eye doesn’t know where to focus on.   And there is WAY too much greenery!




After: the round platter is the center of one focused arrangement with a variety of height, shape and colors. A small amount of greenery softens the arrangement.


Before: Again, way too much greenery and items are too spread out. That one wine bottle is so lonely!


After: Grouped together closer, less greenery, and we added height to the lonely wine bottle which is now part of a group.


Before: Overloaded greenery (again)!


After: No greenery needed, these pots are a perfect trio. A variety of textures and heights with a pop of color. Less is more!

Here are a few things to remember when working above your cabinets (you know you are dying to go rearrange things RIGHT THIS MINUTE):

1.  Less is more.  Don’t feel like you need to cover the entire space.  Leave empty space and group accessories close together to create focal points.

2.  Scale to fit.  Fewer larger items are better than a ton of little things.  Fill the height!  Use hidden items (books, old boxes to raise things up so they show if the cabinets are recessed above).

3.  Variety is key.  Choose accessories in a variety of size, shape, texture and color to create visual interest in groupings.  I especially love to add at least one SHINY object!

4.  Greenery be gone.  Seriously, please take down the old dusty ivy, you know its a dust collector, and it’s dated.  No greenery at all is totally OKAY (and usually my preference)  If you feel like you need some greenery try just a few little pieces of something grassy, or fern-like…but “few and far between” is the rule!

Here is one more little nugget for you:

Did you know if you have less than 12″ above your cabinets its actually best to do NOTHING AT ALL.  That’s right, you don’t HAVE to decorate above your cabinets.  I have NOTHING above my own in fact…and I love that I don’t have to get up there to dust things, which by the way you do need to dust up there if you accessorize above your cabinets!

Happy rearranging…remember you can always call us if you need our expert touch!

Go bold in your kids’ bedrooms…showcase their treasures, and reflect their personality!


If there is any room in your house that it is okay to go BOLD in your design, it is definitely your kids’ bedrooms.  When I was growing up, we moved frequently, and I never ONCE got to paint my room anything other than boring beige.  All I ever wanted was a “pretty” BLUE room but my mom was an all neutral person and of course worried about “resale” of our home.  So here’s my thought on that: first of all, a typical size kid bedrrom can be repainted in a few hours, with one gallon of paint,  if needed, when it comes time to sell.  Second, the teenage boy’s room pictured above…well, that house sold the FIRST day on the market, dark blue bedroom and all.  So, I say…go bold.  Let them have color.  Let them display their posters, and trinkets.  Be that fun mom.  Let the kids’ rooms be kids’ rooms.   I especially love creating spaces that reflect the personality of the child… after all, they are the one who spends the most time in there.  I’ve never met a child who’s personality fit “boring beige”.


Let your sports lover hang his pennants, and display his trophies.   These wall ledges were repurposed from another room in the house, originally meant and used for photos, but perfect for a growing boy’s trophy collection.  Which these days…you almost need an entire room for since they give each kid a trophy for just about everything, but I digress; that would be another totally unrelated blog post, so back to my intent for this post.

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You might even be the SUPER fun mom who let’s the teenage boy hang his hammock in his room using HUGE hooks anchored into studs in the walls.  Maybe, it is my lack of having a fun room growing up that makes me say yes to these things for my own children.  Yes, that’s my son.  And yes, the walls will have to be repaired, if and when we ever move.

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Here is another boy’s room we did for a client.  She already had the walls painted blue, and wanted to upgrade his “baby” theme (fish/ocean) to something he could grow with and liked the idea of a surf theme.   Kids’ rooms are also a fun place to “think outside the box”.  Can you use a REAL surfboard for room décor?  Sure you can.  That was our suggestion for the up high niche and we found an affordable one on EBAY that filled the space perfectly.  Also, we were able to reuse some of his baby décor such as this whale sign that mom loved and wanted incorporated into the room.  It was not quite large enough scale to fit the wall on its own.  Simple solution – adding an empty frame around it painted in a bright red – now it is showcased.


 Girls rooms are even more fun (if you ask me).  This room was done for a “tween” girl, and the tone on tone subtle stripe on the wall is beautiful.  The contrast between the soft ocean blue wall color and the bold black furniture and accents really makes a statement.   The other elements I love about this room is the mix of prints in the fabrics.  And notice the giant tapestry behind the bed…it is hiding an awkward attic storage door (sometimes builders really baffle me with the things they do).  Camouflaging the door opened up that wall for better furniture placement…besides hiding the eyesore of an unused door.

Want to try the tone on tone stripe?  Learn how here:


The paint color for this little girl’s room is SW6708 “Springtime” which is a super light green that can be used with many combinations of colors.  But I especially love it with the teals and oranges.   The inspiration (besides a little girl’s love for GREEN) for for this room was the two prints from Pier 1 hanging above the white shelf.  Every room needs an inspiration piece, or starting place…even children’s bedrooms.

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At the end of the bed we created a little reading nook complete with a dry erase board and cork board HUNG AT CHILD’S height.  That is definitely something to keep in mind for kids’ bedrooms.  Get down on your knees and look at the room from their perspective.  Create storage solutions that they can reach and you will have a much more functional space, and the odds of them putting things back in their place will be greater too.

I love doing vinyl wall words in children’s areas.  I actually love them in any room.  This one is especially sweet for a little girl.   These can be tricky to apply to heavily textured walls.  A great alternative is to use a canvas instead of applying directly on the wall, which then gives you the option to take it with you when you move.  If you are applying directly to the wall…this would be an exception to the “hang at child’s height” rule – because you don’t want them to pick and pull it off the wall.  So, choose an up high focal point – such as above a door or over the headboard.


Open frames can fill a large wall and create a unique and fun display.  Another bold choice, this color is SW6938, Synergy.    If you are nervous about such a bold color, and your girl loves turquoise, just reverse things.  Paint the walls a light neutral and bring out the bold colors in bedding, and accessories.


That’s exactly what we did in this tween’s room.  We created a bold look with the black headboard, and bright bedding and coordinating window treatments.


Or…create an accent wall using curtains.  That was the perfect solution for this little girly dream room.  And what kid couldn’t use these wrap around shelves for all their treasured furry friends or keepsakes that can’t be parted with.  Stuffed animal horder?  Problem solved.

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Speaking of stuffed animals.  Another thing we often find an excess of when it comes to kids’ stuff is art work.  What to do with all the pesky artwork?  It multiplies before your eyes, but yet you can’t bring yourself to throw it away because after all your child MADE it.  (by the way I do throw mine away, I just keep the “best”, so I give you permission)  In this play room we created a showcase wall for the two children.  They each have their own personalized empty frame to display their chosen favorite piece of art, which can be easily changed as often as wanted since there is no glass.  And we added the extra cork board in the middle just for good measure.  Why would you buy artwork for your play room when you already have a sea of masterpieces your own child has created?


This client called us perplexed on what to do with all her daughter’s paintings, and she had quite the collection.  She also had an entire upstairs game room of empty wall space…so voila!  Two problems solved.  Happy client.  Happy little girl,  with her masterpieces showcased.


If you have one of these little artists in your home, they need a work space.  This loft area is a perfect place for a kid work station.  Just outside the two kid bedrooms in this home, and for less than $400 at IKEA we created this large desk area complete with plenty of drawers, lamps, two chairs, and my favorite piece the buckets hung on wall for pens and pencils.  This is a versatile kid space, great for homework, arts and crafts, and even laptops.  (**warning consult with your husband before purchasing any IKEA projects.  Building IKEA furniture can be hazardous to marriages…)  I know one friend who has been banned from purchasing anything with assembly required, but the price is right, especially for kids spaces!  Also notice, the canvas with vinyl words hung above the wall arrangement…as we suggested earlier in this post.

So, what do your kids’ rooms look like right now?  Are you going to be a boring beige mom like mine…or have I inspired you to create a fun, vibrant space for your special ones?  And of course, you can call us for help, anytime…

If you need more inspiration, check out our “Kid’s Rooms” idea board on Pinterest:

Like a brand new home…

Kristen, in Frisco, was referred to us by a co-worker.  When she called to schedule an appointment her main concerns were working around her husband’s deer heads on the walls (not the first time we’ve done that), and adding color to her home which she felt was dull and boring.  The focus of our redesign would be her common areas – Foyer, Dining, Family and Kitchen.   Kristen is a working mom with three “littles” at home and she simply had not found the time to make her house a HOME on her own.  We were thrilled to come to the rescue!


When we arrived, Kristen enthusiastically greeted us at the door and walked us into the front room of her home, the formal dining room where she had an array of home accessories and wall hangings at our disposal.  It was a mix of things she already owned, and recent shopping she had done in preparation for our redesign day.

The first thing we did for Kristen’s home was relocate this large hutch which was overcrowding her foyer to the wall shared by the family room and breakfast.  Her sweet toddler boy jumped in using his muscles to “help” us push it on our sliders.    We then accessorized it using items she already owned, rearranged in a new way.



To accommodate the hutch, we brought the family’s sofa out away from the wall at an angle, facing the focal point of the room (the fireplace and TV wall).  This made her family room feel much more intimate and cozy and provided a distinction between the family room and breakfast table.


These fun pops of color warm up the space.  Kristen knew what colors she loved, so the shopping was easy and fun for her.  But she needed our help placing her new treasures in just the right place!

IMG_4775[1]This fun niche above the TV is a focal point in the room and was begging for a nice arrangement to fill the entire space.  Our designer Amy, did a fabulous job mixing textures, colors, and shapes to create interest.


We ended up with enough time to accessorize the little niche outside of Kristen’s Master Bedroom, and even discussed a future plan for her bedroom and bathroom.  Since the Master was not her top priority, we simply pulled a few things that would work in there from her assortment of home décor for her to play with later.



To maximize our time, we also left Kristen’s hubby with homework, such as hanging a few things.  Kristen found this ledge perfect to hold their family rules sign…we placed it right by the breakfast table (what better place for kids to see the rules every day), and her husband installed it to perfection that evening!



Kristen already had a great start on this ledge in her foyer.  The lanterns and folding screen she placed herself were a great combination and the perfect scale for this high area.  We suggested adding the two wood carved pieces on this grouping of 3 a grouping of 5 which filled the space more (think odd numbers for your groupings).   We left her husband with the brave task of hanging art on that high of a wall!


We also gave her some homework for more shopping after we left.  With our detailed list she rushed out that night to finish the job buying everything we suggested such as this tray for under her coffee table accessories we arranged.  (This is a helpful hint for you moms of little ones who may need to easily clear your coffee table for practical purposes day to day).

Amy and I truly loved working with Kristen, and it is always heart warming to help someone fall in love with their home again.  Especially a young busy mom who deserves to enjoy her home!

Here is what Kristen had to say when I checked back in with her after she had added the finishing touches per our suggestions…

“I feel like I have a brand new home after y’all left.  I LOVE everything you did.  My only regret is that I didn’t call you sooner”

Another house…made Simply Home.