Decorate Responsibly and Feel Good About What You Put In Your Home

It is easy to get caught up in designing our perfect home and forget to decorate responsibly. When selecting our plush rugs, designer fabrics, and other home furnishings, we should be mindful of the business practices of the manufacturers and stores that we are patronizing.

Decorate responsibly buy buying goodweave certified rugs as shown in photo
Photo by Oliver Lechner on Pexels.com
Buy Rugs that are GoodWeave certified

Decorate responsibly by being an educated consumer

Fair trade Certified ™  and GoodWeave Certified ™  rugs are two great labels to look for when shopping. They often tip the scale for me when making decisions. When I see those labels on products, I know I can feel good purchasing them.

shoppers lined up with shopping bags
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Fair Trade Certified 

Fair trade is a global movement made up of a diverse network of producers, companies, shoppers, advocates, and organizations putting people and planet first.

quoted from https://www.fairtradecertified.org/why-fair-trade

One thing you can do to decorate responsibly is to shop Fair Trade Certified ™  products. Fair Trade ensures that companies pay workers fair wages, and that they have safe working conditions. In addition, Fair Trade means that the company is environmentally friendly. You can check out stores, brands, and products before you purchase from them by using this link. When you purchase a home product that is Fair Trade Certified ™ you can feel good about putting it in your home.

GoodWeave Certified  

When purchasing rugs, look for ones that are GoodWeave Certified. GoodWeave is an organization that is working towards ending forced and child labor globally. A business has to meet specific criteria in order to become GoodWeave Certified. Furthermore, GoodWeave makes regular surprise visits to all production facilities to verify the company’s compliance. I have noticed that Target sells GoodWeave Rugs. Knowing that their store is ethically aware, makes me more comfortable purchasing any product there, in addition to rugs.

look for goodweave  certified rugs to decorate responsibly
GoodWeave labels can be found on the bottom side of area rugs

If you read Design to be Happy, you know that this site is all about creating look-good and feel-good spaces. Now taking care to decorate responsibly we can also feel great about what we put into our homes.

Additional Resources To Learn More

I was first made aware of some of the unethical business practices that take place around the world by attending a Human Rights Lecture. Follow the link to view it. I had no idea that child labor, forced labor, and bonded labor still occurred. These labor practices are all considered a type of modern day slavery.

The sad truth is that slavery is in every industry, and we may be unknowingly supporting it. To learn more about this, go to slaveryfootprint.org. They have a survey that you can take, which asks you about your purchasing habits and in the end, will let you know your impact and slavery footprint.

Another good resource to help you buy slave free products can be found at http://www.endslaverynow.org/act/buy-slave-free . They have a product guide that can be downloaded. You will also find links to companies that produce products made from slave survivors. Supporting these companies will keep slave survivors employed and prevent them from becoming victims again.

The first thing you can do to help is to spread awareness. I believe many people have no idea about these issues. Use the social media buttons below to share this post on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram because together we can make a difference.

Upholstered headboard and bedroom

Essential Bedroom Design Rules

There are five essential bedroom design rules to remember when aiming to achieve a bedroom that is your sanctuary. In addition to being a personal space for sleep and private time, you should be able to relax there and unwind at the end of each day. In other words, it should be your ultimate retreat.

Picture shows #1 of 5 of the Essential Bedroom Design rules which is don't forget about the bedroom.
Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

#1 of 5 Essential Bedroom Design Rules: Don’t forget about your bedroom!

This sounds crazy but, the bedroom is often forgotten about. I have found that people pay a lot of attention to the parts of the home that are visible to company (kitchens, living rooms, dining rooms) and then fall short when decorating their own bedroom. So this is my public service announcement, “DONT FORGET ABOUT YOUR BEDROOM.” It is a vital space that can provide something we all need; a place to de-stress!

Photo by Sidekix Media on Unsplash

Rule #2: Remove stress from the bedroom

Photo of desk in bedroom.  Desk in bedroom breaks bedroom design rules because it can bring stress into the bedroom.
Photo by Gabriel Beaudry on Unsplash

Remove anything that can give you stress from your bedroom. To be clear, I am not suggesting to kick your spouse out. However, desks and computers often end up in bedrooms. I strongly recommend finding a different location for your home office needs. The computer or any other business hub does not belong in the bedroom. Nothing can kill the tranquil mood better than a stack of bills staring at you!

It is a good idea to keep all technology out of the bedroom, including televisions. The blue light emitted from electronic screens can have a negative impact on your sleep quality.

Rule #3 Make sure you organize your bedroom

Get a handle on clutter. You don’t have to throw everything out, instead, organize it. If it doesn’t belong in the bedroom, find a different home for it. Make sure that your bedroom is not being used as a dumping/hiding place to collect overflow from the rest of the house. Because if you want your bedroom to be your sanctuary, treat it like a sacred place.

Rule #4 Privacy is a must in the bedroom

Horizon’s window shade with operable lining

Obviously, make sure you have a locking door and privacy shades on your windows. However, there are less obvious things to think about as well. When determining the furniture arrangement for your bedroom, think about whether you gain or lose privacy when placing the bed on different walls. For example, if the bed is opposite the doorway that opens onto a hallway, it may be on display when your door is open.

Take into consideration what is located on the other side of the wall that your bed is on. Feng Shui warns against putting your bed against a wall with plumbing in it, stating that it is bad energy. I am not sure about that but, you may not sleep well. If your bed is on a wall with plumbing in it, you run the risk of being woken up every time the toilet is flushed during the night.

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

#5 of 5 Essential Bedroom Design Rules: Make your bedroom irresistible

The most crucial piece of furniture in a bedroom is the bed, of course. Make it irresistible. Selecting a mattress is an important decision, that should be researched and tried out prior to purchasing. Avoid falling victim to online mattress marketing. How are you going to get that mattress back in the box to return anyhow? You spend a third of your life sleeping. Decide on a mattress carefully.

Another way to make your bedroom irresistible is to use soothing textiles. A bed with layers of beautiful bedding is so inviting. The addition of a throw blanket on top of a fluffy comforter can help. Use cozy materials on the bed and a plush rug that is a treat for your feet.

Lighting also adds to the atmosphere of your bedroom. When trying to create a retreat, avoid stark lighting. Experiment with different light bulbs to add tranquility to your space. A bulb with a pink cast can make a room feel romantic. Dimmers are also a surefire way to make it irresistible.

Another great post to read before starting a decorating project is Design 2B Happy, what does that mean? Last week’s post was about reupholstering, I hope you had a chance to read it.

5 Excellent Reasons to Reupholster your Furniture

If you are considering getting your furniture reupholstered but aren’t sure if it is a good idea, you are in the right place! When should you reupholster your furniture and when should you buy new? Here are 5 excellent reasons to reupholster your furniture that explain when it makes sense.


Reason 1: If the furniture piece can’t be replicated, choose to reupholster it.

Before and After of Antique Chair that was reupholstered in Blue Toile Fabric.
Antique chair reupholstered in a Kravet’s Toile Fabric

When a furniture piece can’t be replicated, reupholstering is an excellent choice. For example, it has sentimental value or is unique in some way. Furniture with sentimental value may have belonged to a loved one or was a gift from someone special. It may be unique because it is exceptionally comfortable, and nothing else can measure up. In other instances, it may be unique because it has unusual dimensions, that work in the space particularly well.

The toile chair shown in the picture above is a chair I had reupholstered. When renovating a bathroom, my client and I searched for a chair that would fit in the small space between the tub and vanity. It is difficult to find a petite chair in modern furniture. We opted to reupholster an antique chair because of its small size. The fabric was shirred around the wood frame giving it a new fresh look. The toile is a Kravet’s Fabric.


Reason 2: Reupholster if you wish to create a custom look in your home.

Before and After of a love seat that was reupholstered.

Reupholstering allows you more fabric options. You can easily coordinate the upholstered piece’s fabric with the colors and patterns already in the room. It also gives you the flexibility to repeat the fabric you are using on the furniture in other ways. An example of this would be to use it for window treatments, resulting in a high-end look.


Reason 3: Reupholster your furniture to add special details

Chair with damask fabric on back and velvet on the seat. Cording is added illustrating 1 of the 5 Excellent Reasons to Reupholster your Furniture, which is to add details.

When you reupholster a piece of furniture, you can customize its design. The chair featured above is an excellent example of that. Notice the back of the chair is a beautiful damask, while the seat, is a more durable velvet. The cording adds interest while finishing the piece nicely.


Reason 4: Reupholster to be able to control the quality of the fabric

Before picture of a leather sofa and after photo of it reupholstered in cream fabric.
Leather sofa reupholstered in high-performance fabric. Tufting was eliminated from cushion for an updated look

There are numerous ways to determine if a fabric you are considering is of good quality. Fabric manufacturers rate their fabrics’ durability in terms of “rubs.” When a fabric is rated over 30,000 rubs, it is considered to be heavy-duty. That means the fabric did not show signs of wear until it was “rubbed” 30,000 times. Some commercial fabrics have ratings of 100,000 rubs. Fabrics with this rating would be a great choice for a piece of furniture that receives a lot of use.

You also want to consider the fabric’s stain-resistance features. Some fabrics are treated by the manufacturer and will resist stains. If the fabric is labeled as a “performance fabric,” it is most likely treated. One way to tell for sure is to drop some water on it. If the water beads up, the fabric has been coated for stain resistance.

Working for a commercial establishment, I choose a “hospitality” grade, high-performance fabric for their sofa because it is in a high-traffic area near their bar. I wanted to make sure the upholstery was durable. For peace of mind, I tested the durability by spilling red wine on my fabric swatch to see if it stained. The red wine beaded up and was quickly blotted clean and therefore passed my test. The fabric used in the above photo was a Duralee Fabric.


Reason #5: Reupholster to own a piece that no one else has.

Fabric showrooms have endless choices of fabric types, patterns, and colors. Also, they have many different types of trims that can be used in your design. You are only limited by your imagination! To see some delicious trims that are available browse Duralee’s collection.


To save money is not 1 of the 5 Excellent Reasons to Reupholster Your Furniture

Many clients have asked about reupholstering their existing sofa because they think it will be less expensive than buying a new one. However, this is seldom the case. It may cost more. Are you surprised? When you break down the costs, it is easy to see how the price of reupholstering can add up.

First, consider the pick-up and delivery charge for the piece to be transported to and from the upholstery shop. Next, there is the labor to have the upholstery done. If the chair or sofa is old, it may need new foam cushions, which is a substantial cost. Last, there is the price of the fabric. Fabric prices can vary. If you are making an effort to reupholster a piece, you want to make sure that you have a high-quality upholstery fabric that will hold up. In general, fabrics of higher quality cost more, sometimes substantially more.

I hope you found 5 Amazing Reasons to Reupholster Your Furniture helpful and are now able to make a decision whether you should reupholster or buy new. For inspiration for a color scheme checkout Room Color Inspiration and Decorating. Also, don’t forget to Incorporate Good Mood Influencers into your Decor because it is all about designing to be happy.

How to fix a dented lampshade the easy way!

Showing dents on lampshade
I am crushed and so is my lampshade!

Did you ever search “how to fix a dented lampshade the easy way?” Lots of advice comes up. How do I know?

How do I fix a dented lampshade?

I hunted for the perfect lamps for my bedroom for what seemed like forever. The room called for elegant lamps. Ones that would make a statement. They had to be timeless and classic. I finally found them. But, sadly dented one of the lampshades on the way home from the store.

My carelessness made me so mad! After beating myself up, I googled “how to fix a dented lampshade.” I was surprised at all the results the query returned. After reading through a handful of people’s success stories, I decided it was worth a try to save them. These particular shades would be difficult to replace because of their size and shape. More importantly, I liked them a lot!

How others fixed a dent in a lampshade

My lampshade is linen and has a plastic lining. All of the websites I visited offered the same advice to fix a dent in this type of lampshade. First, place something rigid inside the lampshade to help manipulate it back to its original shape. Next, hold an iron up to the dented area and steam it for a few seconds. Last, allow it to dry. The advice came with the warning against touching the lampshade with your hands.

lampshade dents being fixed
Rigid clear plastic placed in the lampshade to force the dents out.
showing steps to fix a dented lampshade the easy way!
Steam iron held over the dented area.

After drying, the tutorials promise a dent free lampshade. However, my lampshade results were disappointing. The lampshade was better but still more worthy of the garbage can then sitting on my beautiful porcelain lamp base.

How to fix a dented shade
The dents are better but still visible

How I saved my lampshade

I was determined to save the lampshade. It was close to becoming trash. With nothing to lose and everything to gain, I did exactly what I was cautioned not to do. I touched it with my hands! Pulling out my hairdryer, I tossed the iron aside. First, I used the heat to warm up the plastic lining. I used my hands to stretch and smooth out the dented areas, while the lining was hot.

cream lamp with tan lampshade

It worked! The dents have vanished. It took me twenty minutes, which is less time then It would have took me to find replacement lamp shades. Amazing!

If you read my blog, you don’t have to live with things you hate, you know I would not just keep the lampshades with the dents. It is all about “design to be happy!

I would love to share more decorating help with you. If you enjoyed this blog and would like more sent to your inbox, subscribe below.

Room decorated in soft greens and blue taken from forest picture

Decorating with Colors Inspired by Nature

Decorating with colors inspired by nature can help you develop a color scheme for a beautiful room. Mother nature has already perfectly coordinated color palettes for us to choose from.

Colors inspired by nature


Blue Rooms Inspired by the Sea

shows how to use the sea to pick colors for decorating a home.  Decorating with colors inspired by nature.

How awesome is this living room inspired by the sea? Just like the sea, the room is full of energy. The soft grays and whites are the perfect balance to the numerous shades of blue. However, if you are more of a warm color person, a sunset may be a better source for inspiration.


Orange Rooms Inspired by a Sunset

A living room created with colors from a sunset.

When decorating with colors inspired by nature think of a sunset. This sunset reflecting off the dark color of the water inspires a room which is cheery but also well grounded by the color gray. The result is a warm, relaxed atmosphere. It is important to realize that changing the proportions of the colors would alter the feel of the room dramatically. In other words, more orange and less gray would make a bold statement. A bold color palette creates an exciting and adventurous atmosphere.


Blue and Green Rooms Inspired by a Forest

Shows how to use nature for room color inspiration.  Room inspired by a forest.

Another example of decorating with colors inspired by nature is this beautiful blue-green room. This inspiration picture of trees and water boasts a variety of cool greens and blues. The palette shown could easily be warmed up with the addition of some warm green. Decorating using the forest as room color inspiration has many wonderful possibilities.


Neutral Rooms Inspired by Snow

Shows how to use nature for room color inspiration. Room inspired by snow.

Turning to snow for inspiration is so fun! This palette incorporates different shades of gray, cream and white. The grays found in snow sometimes have a subtle purple undertone which can add a elegant feel to a room. Using metallic gold or silver is a great way to pop these neutrals. You can see this illustrated in the picture above with the use of mirrored furniture and the silver plate leaning against the wall as decor.


Muted Pastel Rooms Inspired by the Beach

Shows how to use nature for room color inspiration. Room inspired by the beach.

In the last example, the soft coastal colors of taupe, ice blue, and soft shades of green are muted and quiet. Many find this palette to be calming and tranquil. It can also lend itself quite nicely to a look of whimsy or one that is romantic.  I want to be sitting at the table in the picture in a white dress and a glass of champagne.


Picking colors to live with is such a personal choice. The colors you select for your home should be ones that make you feel good and are soothing to your soul. If you are starting a decorating project, check out my post Get Started Creating Your Happy Place At Home. Also, if you are venturing out to the paint store reading Why Is Picking A White Paint So Tricky? will give you some great basic color theory knowledge. If you need help, you can always hire me.