Happy New Year!

“A very happy new year to you and your loved ones. May it be filled with happiness and many blessings.”

Warmest Regards, Barbara Rose

What a crazy ride this past year has been. Aside from the pandemic, 2020 had numerous challenges for both myself and my family. During these difficult times, I practiced what I preach, and my home was my sanctuary. My home designed to bring me happiness, also brought me comfort and helped me cope. Blogging had to be put on the back burner, but I am hopeful that 2021 will allow me to get back to sharing my passion for creating beautiful, comfortable homes (A.K.A sanctuaries) because that is what I love to do.

Although 2020 was not a typical year, the design world has been flourishing, providing me with much to share with you in 2021. Behind the scenes, designers have had more opportunities to fine-tune their skills made possible by online professional development courses and webinars’ vast offerings. Additionally, many homeowners have decided it is time to redo and freshen up their homes. I am receiving calls from past clients, saying, “it is time to redo the whole house.” I hope you share my optimism and that you also feel that 2021 is going to be a great year.

It has been a while, and I am looking forward to reconnecting with you in 2021. Meantime browse around www.design2bhappy.com for design inspiration and refreshers. Learn what design2bhappy is all about by visiting these links: Design 2B Happy what does that mean?Incorporate Good Mood Influence into your decor.

THANK YOU to my subscribers. I hope you have enjoyed my past posts and have enjoyed what I write about. As you know by now, I am all about helping others create a look good, FEEL GOOD home because I truly believe our home environment has a significant impact on our life and happiness.

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Make your living room design the best by avoiding these ten most common livingroom decorating mistakes. 

Mistake #1 Creating a rarely-used room.

Think about your needs to make sure you design a living room that will be used, loved, and enjoyed. In the past, living rooms were used for formal entertaining. Continuing this tradition sometimes results in a room that not used often. If this is the case for you, consider additional ways the living room could function, such as a cozy place to read, play a game, or a comfortable place for families to talk at the end of each day. 

Blue and white living room
Photo by Sidekix Media on Unsplash

Mistake #2 Not paying attention to scale.

It is crucial to select furniture that is in proportion to the room. A large, overstuffed sofa looks plush and comfortable, but it will overwhelm a small space. A sofa with a petite appearance would be a better choice and can even help to make it the room appear more spacious. 

Mistake #3 Creating a room you are afraid to use

It is imperative to choose the best fabrics for the use of the space. Be careful not to get caught up in the “pretty.” For pieces that will be well used, select high-performance fabrics that can withstand it all; children, pets, and wine spills. If the room gets a lot of substantial sun exposure, the fade resistance of the fabric becomes a factor. The good news is that there are many options available in high-performance fabrics that are both beautiful and durable. You don’t have to block off the living room with velvet ropes anymore.

Photo by DeMorris Byrd on Unsplash

Mistake #4 Forgetting the ceiling

All surfaces are game, even the ceiling. Make it contribute to your design scheme by adding trim, wallpaper, beams, or just by painting it a color other than white. Treating the ceiling adds drama and has a huge visual impact on the room.

Mistake #5 Hanging wall decor too high

The best placement for art and other wall decor is for the middle of the piece to be at the eye level of an average height person, which is 60″ off the floor. This height is standard for rooms with an eight-foot ceiling. If you have high ceilings, hang a few inches higher. So remember, If you are looking up, the artwork is too high.

Mistake #6 Missing the opportunity to use decorative trim

It’s all in the details! Think well-coordinated trims, decorative tapes, and nail heads to embellish drapery, pillows, and furniture. In the end, these little details add to the custom look and make a lasting impression.

Mistake #7 Not planning for different needs

Good design is flexible and can accommodate changing needs. Swivel chairs and furniture with casters can be moved quickly and easily. Ottomans can be stored under a sofa table for extra seating when needed. 

Cream living room
Photo by Minh Pham on Unsplash

Mistake #8 Not incorporating multiple types of lighting sources in your living room design

Incorporating multiple sources of lighting adds atmosphere and interest to a room. Recessed ceiling lights provide balanced illumination. Lamps add visual appeal and bring light to specific areas. Sconces and other forms of accent lighting highlight artwork or displayed items in a space. 

#9 Making every piece the star

One of my favorite design expressions is, “not every piece has to be the star.” The pieces in your room should not all be competing for your attention. Pick one or two that are unique to be highlighted and let all other selections play a supporting role. 

Photo by Sidekix Media on Unsplash

#10 Not personalizing the room

Your living room should reflect you and the others that live in your home. Don’t get so caught up in creating a magazine-worthy living room that you overlook adding your personal effects. Incorporate the things you love, and what makes you happy. After all, making it a home that is perfect for you is what it is all about!

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The cause and effect Covid-19 will have on interior design and home trends.

This pandemic will influence Interior Design and home trends sooner rather than later. We can say this with 100% certainty because we have changed, and the way we live life today is different. This change isn’t bad news. I am optimistic that we will land in a better place even though we were forced there in a rather unfortunate way.

Here is what I believe
we can likely expect and why:

Cause: Staying at home
effect: greater importance put on “home”

“Home” will Become more critical than ever before. More people will view it as their sanctuary and safe place. This realization will trigger a nesting instinct to mold it to be a custom haven. For some, this will translate to freshening up with a coat of paint and updating decor while others will look to relocate and move to a new home.

Cause: working from home
effect: home office and housing boom

We have already seen the rise in attention the home office has received because of the pandemic. There is a need to have a comfortable function-able workspace that is appealing to work in. I am sure that every manufacturer, that has a finger on the pulse of consumers, has already begun expanding their home office product line. I bet we see some clever “fit anywhere” home office solutions coming to market in record time.

A boom in home office design and furniture is only the beginning.
If businesses decide that their company is just as efficient with their employees working from home, they may determine the physical office is an unnecessary expense and opt to make the work from home business model permanent. Not having to commute to the office would give workers the freedom to relocate, possibly resulting in a housing boom.

Cause: Desire to avoid crowds
effect: surge in entertaining and recreational activities at home.

We have learned that crowded public places may be risky for our health, and I believe we will continue to avoid them until people feel safe again.
We will entertain more at home, making dinner parties a popular social activity again. Entertaining outside is a safer choice and will have people concentrating on their yards, outdoor rooms, and barbecue areas. Our home will have to meet our social and recreational needs. We will do this by installing pools, home theaters, bars, and home gyms and state of the art kitchens compete with luxury upgrades.

CAUSE: Diminished travel
EFFECT: More money to spend on home projects

Design trends in 2020 were largely influenced by travel trends so it is ironic to say that the global influence on our trends will come to a halt. Lavish vacations are costly and we may see that money redirected into home projects.

It would be reasonable to say, in addition to the home projects being geared to meet social and recreational needs. We also will have new needs to meet that are more basic. Scares of shortages such as meat and toilet paper have heightened the need for storage/pantry solutions to accommodate our stockpiles.

Cause: awareness of our footprint on the environment
effect: love for earth

The shut down of factories have shown industrialization’s effect on our earth. We have now witnessed air get cleaner, water become clearer, and wild life thrive. We can no longer turn a blind eye on our neglect to the earth. Consumers will care more about patronizing brands that make “good for the planet” choices when manufacturing.

This love for earth will translate into the colors, patterns and textures that we begin to see in 2021. I predict “inspired by nature” design trends that translate into natural products become widely preferred over man-made; Cotton, wool, silk, natural stone, bamboo, and eucalyptus, just to name a few.

cause: recognizing usA should be self SUSTAINABLE
effect: buying made In The USA

We are a country used to getting what we need easily. When things become unobtainable such as we saw with PPE throughout this health emergency we begin to see the importance in being self sustainable as a country. We will likely experience a renaissance in USA manufacturing as consumers look to buy American made products. One can hope that this will lead us away from the mindset of buying inexpensive goods and cause us to demand higher quality even if it means having less. A shift away from the disposable society we have become would be progress.

What changes to your home has this pandemic caused you to make? I would love for you to let me know by commenting below.

I truly believe our home plays a role in our happiness. It is the core of my design philosophy and I want to help others create their perfect home. If you enjoy getting these tips and seeing what is happening in the design world, be sure to subscribe.

outdoor room

Five Tips for Creating an Outdoor Room That You Will Love

An outdoor room can be a beautiful extension to our home to relax and entertain in. Outdoor rooms should receive the same amount of thought as inside spaces when designing and creating them. Here are five tips to help you create an outside room that you’ll love.

outdoor room with pavillion
Curtains, throw pillows, lighting for ambiance; YES PLEASE!

1: Plan carefully And Pick The Perfect Location For Your Outdoor Room

Planning is an essential step in every design project and outdoor rooms are no exception. Think about your expectations for this space and how are you going to use it. Is this a grilling and eating space or refuge to unwind and relax? Or is it both of these things?

Determine the perfect location for your outdoor room. In a small yard, you may have limited options making this an easy decision. In larger yards, you may have more options to consider.

Grilling and eating areas work best near the house so that you don’t have to trek dishes a distance. Barbecues and outdoor kitchens located near the eating area keep the Cook part of the party.

Refuge areas don’t necessarily have to be close to the house; however, I recommend creating it where you can see it from the house. Having it in an eyeshot will lure you into using it more often. Also, if it is close to the house, trips to the kitchen or bathroom are quick and easy.

Other considerations are view and privacy. Both can be created if need be, but they should weigh in when choosing your location.

2: Define the space

Area rugs help to define a space.

Your space won’t have a “room” feel if you don’t define it. The simplest way to do this is with an outdoor area rug. Area rugs not only give the room definition, but it is an opportunity to add color and pizazz. Check out Loloi’s outdoor rugs for a great selection.

Another way to define the space is with a structure such as a gazebo or a pavilion. You can have one built or purchase one of the many great pre-fabricated ones available on the market today.

3: Keep it Easy

As a rule of thumb, keep it is easy so it will get used more often. An outdoor room that can remain set up all the time is optimal because you can steal a few minutes here and there to use it. If it is an ordeal to set up, you won’t do it if you only have a short time to enjoy it.

Outdoor structures are a great investment because they protect from light rain, intense sun and can also help to keep your furniture clean. If you have to wipe the seating down every time you sit outside, you may shy away from enjoying time out of doors as often as you could.

Many outdoor structures have electricity, allowing for a ceiling fan to be incorporated. Fans are a great way to keep your outdoor space free of pesky mosquitoes.

4: Choose comfortable AND Durable furniture

outdoor room
All guests are comfy on this sectional.

Let’s face it if your furniture isn’t comfortable you won’t want to use it. If only some of your outdoor furniture is comfortable someone will get the “bad chair.” The good news is manufacturers are making outdoor furniture that resembles our inside furniture and that is equally comfortable. Pay attention to the quality of the foam used as well as the thickness of the cushions to make sure you are purchasing quality furniture.

5: Don’t Forget To Add Your Personality

Don’t forget to put your stamp on it. Incorporate the things you love, and what makes you happy. After all, making it a home that is perfect for you is what it is all about!

I truly believe our home plays a role in our happiness. It is the core of my design philosophy and I want to help others create their perfect home. If you enjoy getting these tips and seeing what is happening in the design world, be sure to subscribe.

Read more about Design to be Happy. I hope you got to read last week’s post on fixing damaged wallpaper.

damaged wallpaper

How to fix damaged wallpaper The Easy Way

Wallpaper adds interest and texture.

Any designer will tell you nothing can add interest and texture or convey a mood of a room like wallpaper. It is a bit harder to patch and repair damaged wallpapered walls than plain painted walls, but in my book, it is worth the little extra effort. I will share three methods to repair wallpaper quickly. The best part is you probably already have the materials to do the repairs.

Material list To fix damaged wallpaper:

DAP or Sheetrock Spackle and spatula- to fill holes or damaged sheetrock. I use DAP DryDex.
Glue- wallpaper glue, flour and water paste mixture or gluestick
Pastel pencils, paint markers or paint – anything products that will work in the colors of your wallpaper.
Color printer, camera, scissor and tape measure- for method three

DAP for wall repair
Pastel Pencils
Glue Stick

Method 1: Tears

Fill, glue and color to fix damaged wallpaper.

If your wallpaper tears, don’t panic. Tears are very easy to fix. The picture above shows a tear that happened when I was rearranging the furniture, and a sharp edge of a cabinet hit the wall. I not only tore the wallpaper but also damaged the sheetrock below.

I first had to repair the sheetrock. My go-to product is DAP. I find it very easy to work with, and it dries fast. To fix the sheetrock, use a spatula to apply the DAP to fill the damage. Once you have built the wall back up, the wallpaper can be reapplied.

In this instance, it was such a small area, I let the wallpaper stick to the DAP. Then I used a wet cloth to clean the excess off. If it were a large tear, I would have been more concerned about removing it in the future and would have let the DAP dry and used wallpaper glue or a flour/water paste to reapply the wallpaper.

When it dried, I used colored pastel pencils to recolor any areas that the paper didn’t cover. It is important to note that pastel pencils are very soft and are easy to blend colors to be camouflage the damaged area. Colored pencils are hard and do not work well for wallpaper repair.

Method 2: Scrapes and scuffs

Fill, glue and color to fixed damaged wallpaper

Scrapes and scuffs are also easy to fix. I usually use pastel pencils to camouflage the damaged area. Markers and paint can also be used successfully, although they are less forgiving. If you choose to use paint, make sure its finish matches the finish of your wallpaper. In other words, do not use glossy paint on a matte wallpaper.

The picture above shows some scuffs. I simply colored in the damaged area and used my finger to blend the color into the wallpaper. I keep “playing with it” until I am satisfied. My goal is to make it so if you don’t know it’s there you won’t see it.

Method 3: Nail and molly holes

You can make a photo print of the wallpaper for a patch

When you wallpaper a room, it is a good idea to save an extra roll in case you need it for repairs. It would have been so handy to have some extra wallpaper to fix the damage shown in the picture above. I could kick myself for throwing out my extra roll.

I thought I was going to be replacing the wallpaper in this room soon, so during my last manic cleaning of closets, my spare wallpaper roll got tossed in the garbage. When I brought up redecorating, my husband told me that he loved the wallpaper and would be disappointed if we changed it. Ugh, now I had to get creative because I switched things around, and now I have a few giant molly holes in my wall.

The first step is easy. I filled the holes with DAP. I used the spatula, made sure it filled nicely and cleaned the excess DAP off with a sponge. If I had a spare roll of wallpaper, I would just have to cut out a small piece matching the pattern and glue it over the whole. It would have been fast and easy.

Ok, so now what? I tried just coloring it. It was a big area with a distinct pattern, difficult to reproduce. It would take me forever to disguise it to a point where I was satisfied with it.

I did not save a spare wallpaper roll for repairs

This is what I did and it worked awesome! I took a picture of the paper and printed it. I essentially produced my own wallpaper. It was a little tricky until I figured out how to get the right scale. What worked was using a tape measure to give me a ten-inch reference. When I took the picture, I made sure that the ten inches filled the frame of my camera. Then, I printed the picture out using the 8 x 10 format on my printer. Wo-lah, the photo printed scaled perfectly for me to use for my repair.

I cut out the piece of the pattern that I needed. I did have to fix the color a bit because my printer’s color was off a bit. I used my pastel pencils to shade it slightly. The texture and design was there, which was what would have been difficult to reproduce without the computer print. Once the patch was perfected, I glued it in place.


This wall has five repairs made on it.

I am thrilled with the end result of my repairs. Even I forget where the repairs are and when looking, it takes me a bit to find them. So, the moral of the story is don’t be scared of wallpaper. It can be repaired. And to those who are afraid of it because of past taking it down nightmares, the truth is if you purchase high quality wallpaper and the walls are properly prepared before it is hung, removing it will be easy when the time comes.

Favorite Wallpaper Brand

I love Thibaut,York and Brewster Wallpaper. You get a great quality paper through both of these companies. Check them out! There are so many great patterns available. Remember to choose with your heart. It is all about surrounding yourself with the things you love and creating your perfect home.


I love sharing my design world with you. If you enjoy learning about Interior Design and receiving tips to create a warm and welcoming home, please subscribe.