virtual design living room picture

Virtual Design Consultations: This is so exciting!

Virtual Design Consultations have been amazing and have allowed my clients and me to stay safe, which is the absolute most crucial thing now. In a few short months, many things have changed. Business is different, but that doesn’t mean bad, quite the contrary.

Virtual design and technology

Virtual design consultation rendering sample

I once used technology to make things easier. Facetime allowed me to meet with a client when physically, I was unable to. However, currently, it has taken on a whole new incredible role. Technology has made it possible to continue projects in progress and START NEW ONES during this stay at home time. I have new clients beginning new projects, and all virtual. What a happy twist that I was not expecting.

interior design rendering of a living room

Facetime and Zoom make it possible for a face to face discussion and for me to view their home. Zoom also has an added benefit. I can share my computer screen so that my client can see floorplans and sketches that I have done for them. While viewing, we can go over everything and discuss them just as if I were sitting alongside them. Dropbox is terrific for sharing photos. It allows comments and questions about each picture, which makes it a valuable and efficient tool.

These technologies help me provide an authentic design experience for my clients. Although I have used all of these technologies before the stay at home order, during the last two months, I have relied on them to do everything, including picking paint colors, and it has been AWESOME! Even after the stay at home order is lifted, I will continue offering virtual services in addition to my regular design “in-person” design services.

Curious about Virtual design?

If you are interested in finding out more about virtual consultations and other virtual design services, contact me using this link. I will be happy to answer your questions.

Here is some links to some favorite past posts, in case you missed them.

Thank you for reading. If you enjoy being in touch with the interior design world please subscribe.

Feel Good Ideas For Your Home

Hello all,

I hope everyone is doing well despite that life is very different these days. This week I am re-posting one of the very first blogs I wrote. I decided to share it again because It is much more meaningful today than it was six months ago when I first posted it. I hope you can find some ideas that will put a smile on your face, even if it is just a temporary distraction. Stay home and stay safe!

Best, Barbara Rose

How is your New Normal Going?

I hope everyone is well and staying safe. It’s week three of staying at home, and I am wondering how you all are doing. I am hoping you all are using “Design to be Happy” ideas as a coping strategy because it has never been more timely and appropriate than right now. Design to be happy” is all about creating a home that is your sanctuary. A place that is a safe-haven and helps to counterbalance the stress life throughs at you.

girl with mask.  This is the new normal.

What does that mean to us today? It means we should be looking for ways our home can help us cope with today’s new normals. It may mean temporary re-designs for some areas in our home. These temporary re-designs can elevate our mood and make us more comfortable for the time being. Having my daughter and husband home 24/7 changed the way our home needed to function. From speaking with family and friends, I know that this is what is going on with many right now.

New Normal #1: Staying Home

Working from home – If you don’t have a separate office space or perhaps share an office with others that are also working from home now. Consider taking over another room temporarily. Re-design a room so that you can be comfortable. Dining Room tables can make a perfect temporary desk.

No separation from others in the home – If you are not used to being with your family 24/7, it may present some challenges. Carve out space for yourself that you can enjoy some solitude. It can be a place to craft or read. Even taking a bath, can give you some solitude and relaxation time.

No exercise – Staying home can make us less active. Be conscious of this and make a plan to keep you healthy and active. All types of exercise classes are being offered free of charge on the web.

Cabin fever – It may be a little earlier, but consider setting up your patio as an additional outside room. Spending some time outside, even if it is still at your home, may help with the cabin fever.

New Normal #2: Social Distancing

Social distancing is causing us all to miss our family and friends. Zoom and Facetime are wonderful ways to feel connected and less isolated. Scheduling zoom parties gives you something to look forward to and keeps one day from blending into the next. Also, organizing and looking at family photos could be uplifting. For more ideas on this checkout weeks blog on how to create a gallery wall with family photos

New Normal #3: Loss of Control

We are experiencing things that we never thought we would, and we can’t change that. But there are things you can do to feel still like you have a sense of normalcy and control. You will have to find what works for you. For me, I need to keep a modified routine, complete with to-do lists and daily goals.

Stay safe my friends. If you are enjoying my posts be sure to subscribe.

Creating gallery walls

How to create an amazing gallery wall with family photos

A gallery wall using family photos is just what the doctor ordered to bring a smile to your face during this time of uncertainty. It is also a fantastic project that the whole family can work on together while “staying home.” So pull out the bin of pictures or USB drive of digital pictures and start going through them. After all, aren’t you getting bored at staring at the same four walls?

You can easily turn a blank wall into an awesome gallery wall with your favorite photos by following the steps below.

Corner gallery with photos

Step one: Determine where to hang your gallery

Old family pictures are a welcoming addition to a guest room

You can create a gallery wall of family photos in any room in your home. I love creating them in family rooms and dens because those are spaces that tend to be where the most time is spent, and the photos get enjoyed regularly. Staircases and hallways also lend themselves well to gallery walls. Once you have selected where the photos will hang, you can start to visualize what you would like to see there.

Step two: Select your photos

Start to go through your pictures and get a general idea of the ones you would like to use. It is a good idea to select more than you need so you have some flexibility when figuring out your gallery layout. Don’t forget to double check and make sure all important people are represented. Hurting grandma’s feelings would not be good. You won’t be able to finalize your selections until you know what the design of your gallery will be.

Step three: Design your gallery

Two different colors were used for frames

There are three things to consider when you are designing your gallery wall; frame type, photo size, and layout. I will go over each of these design elements separately but all of these decisions hinge on each other and should be thought of together.

Photo frames

Determining what kind of frames to use is a matter of personal taste. My advice is to pick a theme and stay consistent. Also consider the pictures that you are framing. Are they formal or casual? Are they black and white photos? What color frame makes them pop on the wall?

Examples of themes that I have found extremely successful

  • All the same frames
  • All different frames painted the same color
  • Two different types of frames which coordinate nicely (Mixing more than two color frames on a gallery wall can start to look messy and actually take away from the photos).

photo size

When you begin to think about photo sizes think about where you are hanging the pictures. If you are placing them over a sofa, they will be viewed from a distance which means a very small photograph will be difficult to see. In a hallway, a small photograph works just fine because you can view it in close proximity.

Also determine if there will be one picture which will be the most important on the wall. It could be a wedding photo or a family portrait. This gives a great starting point to build off of when creating a layout. I recommend this photo being the largest and central photo one the wall. Do you see how one decision is connected to the next?


symmetrical layout for photo wall
Symmetrical Layout Example for Gallery Wall
Asymmetrical Layout Example for Gallery Wall

Determining the layout is the best part of the whole process because you can get creative. If you are someone who has to have things perfectly straight and orderly, you should probably only consider an symmetrical layout design. If you prefer organic and artsy experiment with an asymmetrical design. Below are some examples of layouts for each. You can also add some other elements into your design to add interest. Shelves and quotes work great!

By now you should have some general idea of the look and feel you would like to create. You can sketch them out on paper or buy a variety of frames based on what you are thinking you want and play. I come up with my best layouts by laying the frames on the floor and arranging them. I just keep moving them around until I find I find a configuration that pleases me. I find it easiest to begin in the middle and work outward. Once I have determined their best placement, I choose what photos are going in which frame.

Step four: Choose photos for frames

Once you have decided on a layout, you can finalize your photo selection and determine which photo is going in each frame. For some you may need a landscape orientation and others you may need a portrait orientation. The main photo is usually the largest and centered. Once you have it perfect transfer it to the wall and hang. If you can’t hang them all that second, take a picture of them so you can remember the arrangement you decided on. If I had a dollar for every time I thought I didn’t need to do that because I would remember, …

Step five: Hang your photos

Hanging arrangements is the part that many people are afraid of. But don’t be because any nail holes that are made by error can easily be filled with DAP. Most of the time mistakes are hidden behind the picture anyhow.

Tips for hanging:

  • Start hanging from the center and work your way out.
  • The center of your arrangement should be eye level.
  • Keep the spaces between frames consistent. Generally speaking 3 inches works well.
  • Command strips help pictures stay straight.
  • Use a level

You now have all the tools you need to create an awesome gallery wall from family photos. I hope you were able to read last weeks post, Home Safe Home, which gave additional ideas for projects to do while “staying home”.

I hope that you all are doing well,are safe at home, and doing your part to flatten the curve. Thanks so much for stopping by and reading this post. I would love to share more design ideas with you….

Home safe Home

My home has always been my safe-haven, but now the Corononavirus Pandemic and flattening the curve, gives that a whole new meaning. I have been staying at home as much as possible. Like most people, I have been listening to the news way too much, with the need to be informed. I have found it interesting to hear how others are coping. Mostly the tone is dismal. But yesterday a man interviewed said something different, and I can’t stop thinking about it.

He said his wife felt blessed to have been given the gift of time at home. Some people were probably put off by that statement. I didn’t take it as a selfish comment that was disrespectful to those who will become ill, lose loved ones, or perhaps lost their livelihood. For me, it was her coping mechanism and need to find the silver lining.

I understood her because it is my coping mechanism too. Believe me; I am heartbroken to see our country shutting down and by the global loss of life. My family has been impacted, and it is not business as usual. If I only think about the Pandemic and allow my worry to consume me, I will crumble. I am trying to focus on the silver lining because it is the only thing I can control in this world that is out of control.

My first blessing is my daughter, who works in the theater industry is home. She is not feeling blessed with the disruption, loss of wages and change to her everyday life. However, I am thankful she has chosen to stay home with us, fleeing her NYC apartment for the time being.

Next, I am looking forward to conquering the many projects on my to-do list that I have been unable to find the time for. I am sharing and expanding my list just in case you need some ideas on how to pass the time. My list is long. I may not get to it all, but having goals and being productive feels good right now.

Spring clean while staying home to flatten the curve

Finish spring cleaning

Last week in my “Spring is Coming” post I spoke about spring cleaning. Clean what doesn’t get done every week. For example, ceiling fans, high shelves, and ledges, and lighting fixtures. Seeing the crystals on your chandeliers sparkle will make you happy.

Organize Closets and Drawers

Throw out, give away, and donate. I think feeling organized can help you feel in control, which may be helpful right now.

Go through old photos

Organize family photos. Write who is in the picture and when it was taken on the back of the photo. Scan important ones and make photo books. Update the photos hanging in your home and in picture frames placed through your home.

Spruce up your home gym

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

Since gyms are closed, it is an excellent time to dust off the treadmill and spruce up the room its in. If you enjoy being in the space, the likelihood that you will continue your exercise regime is greater.

Refinish a piece of furniture

Try out chalk paint and give a piece of furniture a new look. I have a few pieces that I am hoping to makeover. I’ll share if I get to it.

Paint a picture

Knowing that I was going to be staying at home, I stocked up on art canvas. I have some ideas for art I would like to create, but I am making myself finish cleaning and organizing first.

Rearrange a room’s furniture

If you are tired of being in the same place, switch the place up, so it seems different.

Make Pinterest Boards

Pinterest is a great resource to create boards for future decorating projects. Connect with me at There we can dream about the time when things return to some kind of normalcy.

If you have other ideas for home projects that would be good to accomplish now, feel free to add them by commenting below. I hope everyone reading this is in good spirits and health. Stay safe, my friends, and as always, thanks for reading.