Habitat Muse: Home Staging & Decor Staging your home to sell? Tips on how to Dress a Bedroom?

Home Staging Colour Consultation & Décor
When it comes time to sell your home, first impressions count.
Your goal is to sell your property quickly at the best possible price. The goal of the potential buyer is to visualize living in your property with their own belongings around them.
Home staging is all about making the best of the space you have by enhancing its good points.

1. Start at the highest point first, that maybe the attic or the bedrooms.

2. Be ruthless, those heavy drapes that you have had in years, need to be boxed up, windows should allow natural light into the bedroom so clean them. Add sheers instead of drapes.

3. Clean thoroughly and vacuum the carpet or wipe over hardwoods.

4. Remove personal objects from the walls and night stands.

5. Repainting is an option if it hasn’t been refreshed in a while.

6. Identify the focal point of a room, it is usually the bed, although a master bedroom may have 2 focal points such as a fireplace and a bed or even a picture window. The eye should be drawn to the focal point in the room.

7. The bedroom should be clean, fresh and inviting.

You don’t have to invest a lot of money on a new bed set. Use plain white sheets and tuck over a duvet or comforter. Add a throw and a couple of pillows. These lamps were Ikea and very inexpensive. Repurpose from another room. Remember less is more. Accessorize a dresser or drawers with a table runner, a vase with fresh flowers.

Guest BedroomMaster Bedprod_1741810112

Habitat Muse – Home Staging and Decor

How to stage a bedroom.


website coming soon

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The Markay Gallery – Marietta Square. Home of Art & Design. Part Two

Luminaires of Art & Design. The Markay Gallery in Marietta arranged a Discussion panel to talk about Interior and Home Design, influences and trends. The panelists shared their perspective on each of their industries, how they connect and how we can use these concepts to LIVE SIMPLY IN 2018.

Expert Tips for Simplifying, Beautifying and Redefining at Home

Panel Amber Markay Byrd – Gallerist

Chris Lafaive -Rezide Properties

Cassandra Buckalew – Interior Designer

Lori May – Interior Designer

Stacy Milburn – Artist

Mary Jane Huegel – Artist

Lets take a look at the  artists and their unique creations.

First Stacy Milburn

She gravitates towards using mirror as her canvas. Stacy has mastered the art of using color within a mirror to ground a space and complement any interior. Designers and millwork artisans have also incorporated her works as paneling and backsplash elements. She also collaborates with photographers to create layers of silver over black and white abstract portraiture and architectural elements that etches the present over an image taken from the past. The effect is unexpected and timeless. She calls her pieces Mirrored Art.




Absolutely stunning .   The process is so intricate – removing the back of the mirror there are 3 layers of silver, copper and tin finer than a stand of hair! using etching, watermarking and complimenting patterns found in marble.

True statement pieces that bring light and weight into a room.

Mary Jane Huegel

Mary Jane pours her passion for beauty into her peaceful and colorful creations. She spent her childhood exploring the beautiful mountain scenery of Eastern Kentucky and her summers on the marshlands and seasides of Amelia Island, Florida. Her paintings reflect her vivid memories and impressions of how her mind made emotional connections to these wonderful precious memories. Mary Jane is continually captivated by the beauty of nature before her. Electrifying terrains, with such warm and vibrant colors, became the inspiration for her artistic expressions.

Her Portfolio of works include

  • Landscapes
  • Waterfalls
  • Still Life
  • Abstract
  • Figurative
  • Giclee Prints


Huegel shows her art work exclusively at Markay Gallery in Marietta, GA. and High Country Art and Antiques in Blue Ridge, GA. and Fern and Dina’s in Fernandina Beach/ Amelia Island, Florida.

“I find myself dancing between two worlds: a desire to show what I see … and or an emotional response to what could be in the spirit!”

MJ. Huegel

Amber Markay Byrd -Gallerist – Functional art for the home. Thinking off the wall.

Markay Gallery is the uptown gallery of Historic Marietta Square. This cozy corner has been energized by artistic variety.
A new gallery experience awaits, with a masterful mix of original fine art, functional art and luxe gifts for the home.

Markay Gallery

Stop by, its worth a visit.

Look out for Markay Masterclass, a series of workshops led by Markay Gallery artists. Learn different techniques with a variety of mediums. All experience are welcome.

The Markay Gallery – Marietta Square. Home of Art & Design. Part Two






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The Markay Gallery – Marietta Square. Home of Art & Design. Part One

Luminaries of Art & Design

Last weekend I had the pleasure to accompany my lovely friend Kathy Phillips of Project Style Interior Design to A panel Discussion at the newly opened Markay Gallery.

The topic. ‘Expert Tips for Simplifying, Beautifying & Redefining at Home”

The expert panelists shared their perspective on each of their respective industries to include; How they connect and how the concepts discussed can help us all to “Live Simply in the New Year.”

Panelists and Topics for Discussion:-

Chris Lafaive – Rezide Properties, (Home Builder)

Innovative home design. Fresh home trends with lasting power. How interior design & home design work together.

He explained about how new constructions were changing to “zero lot line”

Definition: A residential property built with at least wall of the structure adjoining the property line. In doing so, builders are able to create more livable space, either inside the house or in a patio area outside. Found in developments where neighborhoods clustered around larger common areas that replace the need for larger yard space. Also called narrow-lot homes. Creating the illusion of more space by using simple design and maximizing space without clutter and importantly keeping the cost down.

Building to a maximum of 2,400 sq ft. The use of glass, skylights, flooding the home with natural light, creating a small courtyard space, bringing the outdoors in including efficient under stairs storage.

Key Home Design Trends.

  • Smaller living spaces
  • Raised Ceiling height of around 10ft
  • The use of multiple textures – reclaimed wood, tile, stone, brick, open shelving, barn door
  • Colour of choice – White, Exterior & Interior.

How do Interior Design and Home Design work together? Start with an Interior Designer, then design the floor plan and furniture layout.

(obviously thirsty work presenting – bottles of water!)

Barn door



Cassandra Buckalew – Cassandra Buckalew Interiors, (Interior Designer)

Living with less to bring you more joy. Living with colour.

What needs to stay and what needs to go.

Recommended reading “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Maria Kondo. The Japanese art of decluttering and organizing. If it doesn’t create a space, get rid of it.

Elements and Principles of Design. Human factors and ergonomics. How are people viewing their environment?

Visual Volume Objects need space, less is more.

Create balance by object size, weight and colour, look for contrasting materials, their shapes and height. When it comes to redefining space in your home reimagine the rooms purpose, function and form.



Lori May. Lori May Interiors. (Interior Designer)

Redefining your space by reimagining its purpose. Fresh interior design trends with lasting power. Lori May is inspired by modern living, blending classic elements with modern elegance and chic style, she works hand in hand with Builders, and Contractors on new Construction as well as remodeling projects. Its all about the floor space, its function, form and purpose.





Chris and Lori have worked on many interior and home designs together, utilizing space effectively and creatively.

2018 is the year of colour but also space. redefining and refining.

The Markay Gallery – Marietta Square. Home of Art & Design. Part One

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A staple wardrobe piece. A Fashion Statement part 2

Fact: Every woman should have a few statement items in their wardrobe

Staple wardrobes pieces would include:-

The little black dress – so beautifully worn by Audrey Hepburn.


A mid heel Black patent court shoe

A tailored coat

A pair of black or pin striped tailored trousers

A crisp white blouse/shirt

A statement necklace or Pearls

A beautiful scarf, that can be worn with many outfits

A Black Leather handbag/shoulder bag.

A pair of Black Leather gloves

Timeless pieces that will work whether a casual outfit or dressed to impress.

What is missing?

How about A Kilt?

Subtle tartans or bold plaids. A perfect partner to add to your list that will fit in so well with other pieces described above.

Shopping for a kilt.

On a recent visit to Windsor, just opposite Windsor Castle (The Queen was not in residence), we found The Edinburgh Woollen Mill Shop

I had already looked online for a kilt, but decided that I really needed to try one on. Plus, there are so many variations in colours from the bold and vivid to the soft and warm.

I chose a below knee kilt that I can wear with a variety of tops and accessories. An added bonus – a reduced price.

Whether worn with flats, Heels, ankle boots or riding boots. Kilts are so stylish


Dress Shirt Style.

Shirt TK Maxx. Double side zip Boots – Vince Camuto


Smart and Sassy Style.

Boots as above. Shirt White House Black Market

dress up

Hunting bling Style.

Sweater with back tie detail, Banana Republic. Black Suede and Leather Riding Boots Anne Klein


Highland Fling style.

White shirt Marks and Spencer online, Shoes Clarks. Handbag Aspinal of London. Necklace Park Lane Jewelry. Velvet scarf/shawl vintage!


Fashion Statement Style.

Jacket Ann Taylor, Shoulder bag ASOS, Ladies Tweeds cap Edinburgh Woollen Mill. Suede Mink Boots Marks and Spencer

I chose this colour kilt as I was drawn to the muted colours. What could I pair it with that I already had in my closet?.

Lavender, grey/green, black and white are very sophisticated and warm colours that suit my style. So versatile and very appealing on the eye.

The clothes mentioned above that I paired in these photographs I have had in my closet a long time. Classic pieces that don’t date if treated with respect.

Which is your favourite outfit?

A staple wardrobe piece. A Fashion Statement part 2





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Tartans and Kilts. A Fashion Statement? Part 1

How do you view a kilt?

What comes to mind when you think of a kilt?

Is it the tradition, the clans, the history? or a vision of Sean Connery (below in full dress) or Mel Gibson in Braveheart to send your heart fluttering?

There is no doubt in my opinion that a kilt on a man is sexy, it exudes rebellion, masculinity all the while being somewhat feminine, it is a skirt after all. Add to it other components such as the sporran and a dagger, well who wouldn’t swoon at the thought?


According to Wikipedia

The history of the kilt stretches back to at least the end of the 16th century. The kilt first appeared as the belted plaid or great kilt, a full length garment whose upper half could be worn as a cloak draped over the shoulder, or brought up over the head as a hood. The small kilt or walking kilt (similar to the ‘modern’ kilt) did not develop until the late 17th or early 18th century, and is essentially the bottom half of the great kilt.
The word kilt comes from the Scots word meaning to tuck up the clothes around the body.

Vivien Westwood was one of the architects of the punk fashion phenomenon of the 1970s. Essential design elements include the adoption of traditional Scottish design such as tartan fabric. Queen Elizabeth II’s Royal Stewart Tartan was appropriated by the punk movement in the form of ripped layers and shredded shirts. The look was famously intended to give the fabric, associated with the monarchy, an anarchic spin. Spurred by the cultural phenomenon, Vivienne Westwood began to popularize her famously punk-inspired plaid on the coattails of the movement. Plaid was about to become a symbol of rebellion once more.

Tartan is as popular as ever, Look at the catwalk year in year out for inspiration.

Designers can’t get enough of tartan whether on belted coats or structured dresses. Plaid shirts aren’t just the uniform of a Lumber Jack. Whether, hats scarves, skirts, shirts, trousers, tee shirts. It is clear Tartans and Plaids are here to stay.

The epitome of fashion Princess Diana added numerous pieces by different designers to her vast wardrobe.

I am in love with Tartan, whether worn with style, grace, elegance, or oversized and outrageous, it certainly wears the label “Attention Seeker”

We haven’t even touched on Interior Fashion – Home Décor.

More to come in Part 2. My recent purchase whilst in Windsor

Tartans and Kilts. A Fashion Statement? 




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Out With the Old, In with the New

The Christmas decorations have been packed away. The glitter, tinsel and fairy lights are no longer adding a little sparkle to our homes.

Its still very cold outside, too cold to be tidying up the last of the fallen leaves and debris from the recent winter storms.

What next?

January and February are generally seen as cold, dismal post Christmas months. Did you start your detox,? make any New Years resolutions? I have to say I did neither! And I don’t feel the slightest bit guilty. You see I would rather make a daily list of things to do or take time out in front of a log fire, cozying up, reading, writing, planning, new ideas, birthday celebrations, (yes, both of our birthdays are in February – 2 Aquarians under the same roof). Looking forward to a couple of short break vacations, even binge watching a couple of TV series we never caught up with.

Time out to enjoy some much needed R & R, after my recent health issues.

One thing I am not very good at is balancing my day. Taking time out is important as there will always be a job to do, a meeting to go to, connections to be made, the list is endless.

Today, is the first day I have sat in my office, catching up on emails etc.  as I look around my space, its become cluttered again, in fact its a bit of a bomb site! Time to have a bit of a clear out I am thinking.

This may lead on to other tasks no doubt, it’s easy to get distracted. A priority is to address storage and sort out our ever growing closets, which are bursting to capacity before the rails collapse.

In my defense, some of my clothes and accessories I have had for years and they are still in good condition. My problem is that I am not very good and throwing out clothes I haven’t worn in a while or that cost too much to give away. I start off well and then doubt creeps in. Clothes I bought and hardly worn, clothes that I shouldn’t have bought in the first place.

However, I must be more ruthless, that dress that hasn’t been worn in 3 years. that blouse that you never really took to, those trousers that don’t fit properly, I saved them just in case…. the time has come to purge.

I feel an early spring clean coming on. How about you?

I can now sit at my desk and be more creative and not surrounded by clutter.

One mans clutter may be another mans treasure, so next stop Goodwill.



The Victorian Lady lamp was left to me by my grandmother. A special piece and a memento.

Creating space, makes it a pleasure to sit, work and enjoy.

So which room or cupboard needs my attention next?

Out with the old and in with the new.





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Airport Power Outage

The last few days have been somewhat challenging in terms of travelling.

I tried so hard this trip not to over pack as we were taking Christmas gifts overseas.

We set off early to make sure we arrived at the airport in plenty of time.

On arrival it was evident that something was not right, there were people everywhere, yes I know it’s an airport but I have never seen anything like it. We found out pretty quickly that there had been “A Power Outage.”

No power at the airport at all, planes could land, but passengers could not disembark into the airport. Some passengers ended up on planes for over 7 hours.

We had to then cross over to the International part of the airport, unfortunately, trains were not running, and we were told that shuttles to the International Check In were not been given priority. However, we managed to find a taxi only to be faced with the same problems there, nothing was moving, the lines to check in were phenomenal and nothing was happening due to the power outage.

Nowhere, to get a drink or food, TSA affected and closed.

This was the case into the night and beyond. Communication from the airline and staff left a lot to be desired. The website still showed our flight was on time! Needless to say that was not correct.

The camaraderie between passengers however, was something I have never experienced before, everyone pulling together, helping each other with any information they could find. There were literally thousands of people stranded and more arriving by the minute. It was sheer chaos.

When partial power was restored the queues to the check in desks were endless. No separate queues for people who had checked their luggage in before the outage who wanted to retrieve their bags stuck on the conveyor belt waiting to go out. Bags already waiting outside to be loaded on to planes. There were people who had missed flights who wanted to reschedule. We found out late into the evening that all flights had been cancelled.

Fortunately for us, we eventually managed to get to reschedule and today is the day we try again to see our family for Christmas.

I guess this incident will go down in history. The largest airport in the world brought to a standstill.


Hartsfield Jackson

What are your travel plans for Christmas and the new year?

Lets hope that when you read this post we will be with our families.


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Let it Snow

A Picture Postcard.

Last Friday, it arrived here in Georgia in abundance. Over the weekend between 7 & 1/2 i to 12 inches of pure white snow.

Christmas scenes worthy of a picture postcard. A winter wonderland of snow.

snow 3

Snow 2

snow garden

snow view

Beautiful scenery, the sunlight on the snow making it sparkle. Wrapping up warm. children throwing snowballs, building snowmen and sledging. Reminiscent of childhood winters in England.

Catching your breathe…..the air is so cold.

The downside of course, the weight of the snow on trees and overhead power lines caused issues, fallen trees, power lines down. Cars abandoned or stuck. Black ice.

Slipping and sliding.

All is recovering from the shock of snow in Georgia! Slowly the snow is melting, the snowman has lost its carrot nose, the sun is bursting through, the sky is blue.

Share your wintery scenes.

Let it snow



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Habitat Muse: Interiors: The Hottest Trends 2018

Habitat Muse: Interiors: The Hottest Trends 2018

We have already seen the influences from Sherwin Williams 2018 colour palette.

Sincerity, Unity and Connectivity and the depth of the chosen colour for 2018 Oceanside.

Whether your tastes are bold or serene, influences from around the globe will be present in the stores. This is Thanksgiving week, therefore all the autumnal warm colours are still evident.

Make way then for the vibrancy of Christmas, traditional colours of Red, Green, White are all on show.


Looking ahead into the New Year, 2018 brings colour combinations that will add energy and vibrancy to a room.

2018, home décor colors will take on a more wellness-oriented approach, with nature and sustainability coming into the picture as well. There is a strong desire to bring nature into the home. Green is the colour of life, renewal, nature and energy, it is also associated with healing.


There is a backlash against bland!

Be bold with colour and patterns such as geometrics, paisley, Ikat, batik and quilting. Fringing takes on an identity of its own.

Tactile textiles and fabrics, satins, sequins, leather, suede, lace and velvet.

Pink was all over the catwalks this year it made a dramatic appearance in menswear in all hues.

Pink has turned from a fashion colour to a basic core fashion shade in the homeRose-and-earthy-tones-Interior-design-trends-2018-home-decor-2018-new-decoration-ideas

Pink has the aura of warmth, love and vibrancy.

Art Deco – Timeless

Metallics are one of my personal favourites, adding glamour to any room

Artisanal inspiration is the trend for 2018. Timeless pieces, true craftsmanship in hand carved tables, book cases and beds.

Think of a rustic farmhouse style but with a twist, reinvented for 2018, moving from rustic, basic, and handmade to chic. Traditional décor takes on a whole new look – modern designs, colour and accents. An eclectic mix of woods, metals interwoven together, something unique and personal for you.

With so much inspiration around, are you itching to start decorating or sprucing up a room with colour?

Habitat Muse: Interiors: The Hottest Trends 2018


Dulux paint inspiration

Paint Colour Trends

Elle Decor

Magnolia Home

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Cozy Up on a Chilly Autumn Day

It isn’t often that I wake up here in Georgia to a bleak, dismal chilly Autumn morning. However, it would seem that today will be one of those rare days.

The leaves have already turned and the trees are almost bare. Our back garden looks like a leaf landfill site and now its raining. Blowing and raking the leaves will have to wait for another day.


No we don’t have a large snake in the garden (well I hope not), Its  semi-permanent drainage! As we progress with our back garden redesign, this will be addressed.

thumbnailToday is Sunday. Sundays were always said to be “A day of rest,” therefore, on this  Remembrance Day I am going to cozy up in my little Geraldine Nook in front of our log fire.

log fire

cozy nook

With a cup of tea, a light lunch, and the obligatory good book. I may even get my knitting project underway.

Cozy Up on a Chilly Autumn Day. How are you spending your Sunday?



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