The Latest with ADE

Interested in what’s going on with Association of Design Education? Check out our newest newsletter. It’s filled with information about upcoming classes, our February webinar, our Houzz winners . . .  you get the idea. Check out our February 2016 Updates.

Hack Your Home

mannequin 4Remember when our dad’s could fix almost anything with a roll of duct tape and some chewing gum? I think some of them still can, but now we don’t laugh at them carefully wrapping silver tape around anything that doesn’t move; we call them hacker’s, and they are probably laughing all the way to the bank, as they sign their second million dollar book deal telling us all about even more ways to use that five dollar roll of duct tape.

Maybe it’s because we are so busy, or maybe it’s a small nod towards saving money, but life hacks are one of the biggest trends right now. For some reason, a hack sounds far more fun than a short-cut, and while we can’t wait to try a hack, no-one exactly jumps up and down in anticipation of a new short-cut.

Regardless of the name, there are definitely some wonderful ideas out there, and if they don’t work, all we have lost is a little bit of time and something to laugh about.

Recently, I was so inspired that I really thought that putting duct tape on my bra was a good idea. As I ran out the door, I felt the wire from my bra poke through, and I grabbed the roll of duct tape sitting on my counter (it was black, and so was my bra – it seemed perfect). Strangely enough, the wire had poked through by the time I had got to work, and I was left with the disturbing realization that instead of doing what I had asked of it, the tape had firmly attached itself to my skin and my clothes. Apparently, duct tape can stop a five hundred pound air conditioner from falling out of my window, but it is no match for a tiny wire and some stretchy fabric.
Needless to say, I would not recommend this idea to anyone, but for all the other quick fix fans out there, here are some of my favorite (tried and true) home design hacks….

  • Fix small nicks on appliances and tile with Nail Polish – it comes in a million different colors, and you can usually buy a cheap one for less than a couple of dollars.
  • Use a shoe organizer for storing toys, make-up, household cleaners, gloves and hats, snacks – anything but shoes (unless you are a perfect Women’s size 7, and have exactly twelve pairs of shoes).
  • When you’re done painting a room, store some extra paint in a screw top jar (label with the name, number, brand, date and room that you used it in). This is perfect for quick touch-ups, and will keep for much longer than if it is sitting in a paint can.
  • Update your old brass lamp stands (and accessories) with black chalk board paint for a gorgeous, matte black finish that is durable and looks like cast iron. No primer needed. (I have also painted shoes, walls, cupboards, picture frames and glass storage containers with chalk board paint).
  • Use old necklaces and costume jewelry as tie-backs for your curtains, and decorative shower curtain rings in place of curtain hooks.
  • Turn your window into a seasonal headboard – center your bed in front of it, place some nice curtains either side of it, then decorate the rest of the room. Your room will feel larger, and you will automatically have an ever-changing focal point.
  • Or, use a bookcase as your headboard – it looks great, and so practical!
  • Remove cupboard doors in your kitchen for instant open shelving, and take out a drawer or two to store and display cookbooks horizontally.
  • Use self-stick hooks to hang a light curtain rod, or, ditch the hooks altogether, and use a shower curtain tension rod to hang your curtains (which might have been made out of a pair of decorative sheets).
  • Update lamp shades by decorating them with paint, sharpies and decorative fringe etc. Tape off areas to create stripes, use heat safe glue to add decorations, and let the children draw all over them with sharpies.
  • Store necklaces, belts and scarves on an old tie rack, keep small pieces of jewelry in old tea cups, ice cube trays, plates and saucers, and stack bracelets on an old paper towel holder (which can also be used to store spools of ribbon if you like to wrap presents).
  • Add metal coat hooks to the backs of almost every door; ideal for keys, coats, bags, jewelry, organizers, brooms and mops (just attach a ribbon to the end of the handle – drill a hole if you need to – and hang them upside down).

Wendy E. Wrzos http://wendyandthebluegiraffe.blogspot.com/

Photograph of Mannequin from The Vintage Rose Tasmania and the Duct Tape from Pinterest


Do you have a pretty jar at home? Fill it with memories. Write down something you did that made you happy, proud, loved… and place it in the jar. Use scrap paper, tiny note cards, or get creative and make mini paper hearts that you can tuck right in.

You might not have time to write down everything you did in your journal that day, or you may prefer to journal only on occasion, but you can certainly find a minute to write down a simple declaration of love; anything smile-worthy. Just a moment in time captured in a few words. 

At the end of each week, take out your notes and read them. Put them back in the jar and keep going. If you prefer, you can read your notes on a special day, each month, or after so many weeks. Once your jar is full, find a new place for your notes, but don’t stop filling your jar.

This is a great idea for Valentine’s Day, too. Have everyone in the family decorate a jar to leave outside their bedroom door, in their room, or tied around their doorknob. Leave notes and candies in their jar all February long. I made felt heart pockets when my children were little. I think I’m bringing back the tradition this year.

P.S. Don’t forget to date your memory :)

Kimberly Merritt – http://www.BeautifulLivingBlog.com




To our Association of Design Education members and approved Trainers who are also 2015 Houzz winners! We couldn’t be more proud!

Debbie Correale, ADE-approved Trainer and Professional Member
Evangeline Bates, Professional Member
Linda Green, Professional Member
Kelly-Anne Sohigian, Professional Member 4th Year Winner!
Susan Sparks, Professional Member
JoAnn Berkoff, Associate Member
Jan Poulain and Liz Larson, Associate Members
Christine Spitale, Associate Member

Living and Layering


Removing Christmas from my house requires a lot of loud music, comfy clothes, and perhaps the occasional glass of something sweet. While I love my home, the spaces are small, so I have to rearrange everything to accommodate the Christmas tree; furniture is forced to move around like some bizarre game of musical chairs, and I find myself almost apologizing to the over-sized, vintage radio as I decide to wiggle it awkwardly into the coat closet for the month.

Ever the decorator, I am not content to just jam it all into place, so it takes me hours to basically redesign my home just for the sheer joy of having a Christmas tree in the front window. So, this last weekend was spent taking down Christmas, moving furniture and pictures back to wherever they came from, and freeing the old radio from its hiding space.

Ironically, my music of choice was David Bowie‘s, “The Singles 1969 – 1993“; songs that I grew up on, and could easily belt out the lyrics to in my sleep. I mention this only because he passed away the very next day, and I had no idea that he was so ill while I was singing along to some of my favorite music and chasing pine needles around with the vacuum cleaner.

At the end of the day, my home was pulled back together, and I started futzing around with the table by my front door; playing with shapes, and layering photographs that I had decided to relocate from another room. I spent at least twenty minutes on that tiny space, and as I did, I thought, that as designer’s, we often forget to mention the details that really matter in an effort to make decorating appear as simple as possible.

Layering accessories is one of those details that can make or break a home. We see it done so beautifully on mantles and bookshelves, but the truth is (don’t laugh) that if you just put several things in front of each other, with no thought at all, it could probably be called a mess, and the difference between a mess and the art of layering is all about taking a moment to find a common thread, and taking even more time to play with what you have.

So, if you love the look of layering, and want to add a bit more personality to your home, try grouping things together before you begin (by color palette, shape, theme, style, or texture). Forget about using matching things, the more eclectic the better (and often the easier it is). The goal is (essentially) to have designed clutter; to just teeter around the edge of it looking undone, and almost accidental in appearance, but in a very deliberate way.

I always start with either the largest piece, or my favorite, and then add the other items around it. Books are a great way to add a layer, and they automatically provide a shelf for something else to sit upon. Mixing old and new gives us a feeling of warmth, and a curated layer is the perfect spot to put the occasional, quirky doodad that you just can’t do without.

The magic of layering is that it allows us to take the ordinary things that we have, turn them into what we love, and relax them into a casual, decorative story. So, when you have a moment, turn up the music, grab your drink of choice, and start playing.

Wendy E. Wrzos http://wendyandthebluegiraffe.blogspot.com/

Photograph from: Note to Sarah


Please join us on Tuesday January 12th from 7-8 pm when Liz Dederer will be speaking to us on “Craft Your Sales Script – With the 8 Languages of Money”.

According to Liz, business doesn’t have to be so hard! You’re out there marketing, networking, connecting, and following up. Then you finally get someone on the phone with you and you hear “Let me think about it” or “I’ll get back to you”. That’s all about to change! In this lively and engaging presentation Liz will give you the exact formula she uses so you’re able to easily guide  your prospective clients to commit to a decision, right then and there!

And the best news? This is free for Association of Design Education members! Not a member? The fee is only $24.95!

If you’re interested in attending, send us an email at ade@associationofdesigneducation.com and we’ll get you set up. But don’t wait! Sign up ends at 5 pm on Monday January 11th!

We’re Ready for the New Year!
It’s been a wonderful holiday season for us at Association of Design Education. And the good news about slowing down and taking a break is that once January rolls around, we’re ready to go! And what better way to kick off the new year than with our fabulous presenter for January’s webinar with Liz Dederer!
And speaking of the new year, 2016 is conference time! We’re in the early planning stages, so stay tuned . . .
In 2016 we want to hear more from and about YOU! That means we want you to share what’s going on so we can share it with our readers. Read below to find out the many opportunities you have to share your good news!
Want to know more about what’s happening with ADE? Then keep reading

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