Does your closet make you feel guilty? Yes, I said your closet…I feel like my closet glares at me and says, “Seriously, are you just going to ignore this mess? Bet you’d like to know where that little black dress is hiding!?” I grab my clothes and run out. The latest blow came when my teenage daughter, home from college, actually complained she couldn’t find the clothes she wanted to “steal” from me!Yep, it’s time for a cleanout. (I swear I heard the closet cheer!) Needing some inspiration, I stumbled upon Ziploc’s 180 Fresh Feats. “Closet Showdown” with a friend sounded like a fantastic idea, but instead of a critical gal pal, I called upon the two biggest critics who happened to be right under my own roof, my teen daughters, to help me purge and organize.Closet Clean SweepYou would think that after taping an entire season of an organizational TV series, my closet would look like the “after” beauty shot. You’d think! In reality, my closet is a classic case of “the cobbler’s children have no shoes!” (Side bar: The story of the cobbler’s kids is a reference that one doesn’t always do for themselves or their family what they get paid to do by others.) I typically give away clothes when my closet gets cluttered to make room for the new. Problem is, the new stuff is just as cramped in my closet. Let’s face it: If there’s a sale, I’m bringing home some extra goodies.
Do It by Design
To get started, my daughters put me through the same question-and-answer session I would do with my clients (crazy, huh?). Question: “How does this closet function for you?” Answer: “Thanks for asking, Sophia: It DOESN’T! I often buy new clothing for taping shows or speaking engagements. I end up having to get rid of things I like just to make more room, silly!” Question: “How much time or money are you willing to spend on your org?” (That’s industry slang for “clean out.”) Answer: “I have three hours and a giant list of gifts to buy for the holidays (that includes you Alexa!), so let’s do this as inexpensively as possible!” After making a quick organizational must-have list and shopping trip, my “organizers” and I are ready to go.
I’ve learned via my two teenage daughters, who will be hitting their closets next, that anything laying on the floor will make the room look messy. A pile of cute stuffed animals and decorative pillows are no exception. A closet, no matter how large, will look unorganized with piles of clothing or shoes lying about. My shoe collection, although small, has outgrown my allotted number of cubbies. Problem: I need more cubbies. Answer: Get more cubbies. Since I do not feel like sawing, nailing or painting (or waiting for anyone else to do it). I will buy them. Problem: I need more rod space. Answer: Find more rod space using Ziploc® Space Bags® to store rarely used items. Add a scarf holder and voila! I even unearthed an ironing board and hat holder that I swore had been stolen. Not mention the little black dress my daughter was looking to steal!
Stand up Straight!
I love my boots…riding, cowboy, fashion, biker…I love them all! What I do not love about them is that I cannot see how they look because for years, they’ve sat in my closet flopped over on top of each other like puppies. A quick and inexpensive fix is to take rolled up magazines, and insert them into your boots to make them stand tall. TIP: Maximize space by placing one shoe or boot facing in and one facing out. Now you can see the design and detail on the heels and toes.
Half the fun of the holiday season is checking out the homes of friends and neighbors to see how they’ve decked their halls. When it comes to holiday décor, we all have different tastes and traditions.
That’s one of the reasons I enjoy so many of the holiday shows we film each year. But I think one of my favorites has to be “Celebrity Holiday Homes.” In this hour-long special (which premieres Friday 8/7c), HGTV designers visit the real-life homes of celebrities and decorate them to the tee with a complete holiday makeover.
Not only do we get to see the designers work their magic, it’s always amazing to see how thrilled the stars are to have their favorite HGTV hosts decorate their homes. And I’m especially excited that one of this year’s featured designers is the incredibly talented, Kelli Ellis.
Designer, Kelli Ellis
Kelli is an award-winning, internationally known celebrity Interior Designer and Design Psychology Expert. She splits time as an author, brand ambassador, educator, life coach, speaker, professional blogger and on-camera Designer. Co-creator of Interior Design Camp, Design Campus and Design Glamp home goods. Her new book, “Do I look skinny in this house?” debuts next spring.
I recently caught up with Kelli, while she was taking a short break from her hectic media schedule, to get the 411 on decorating the home of Lorenzo and Shawna Lamas for this year’s special. Here’s the dish……….
Pleased as punch to be on this years HGTV hit show, Celebrity Holiday Homes, I love the production crew so, so much (We did Haylie Duff’s together last year) and enjoyed every minute! To my delight I was welcomed into the home of Lorenzo and Shawna Lamas (including darling daughters, Alex, Victoria and Izzy)
Most of us know and love Lorenzo from his hit TV show, Renegade.
After a scout and several meetings, I choose their theme (gotta tune in to see, but enjoy a mini preview – airing December, 2013)
Getting ready for my first interview – helping camera, lighting and sound get it perfect! After all they are you best friends in the production world. Except for my super fab makeup and hair lovely – Ashley! Love you miracle worker, you. Wanna keep her with me always
Being dramatic as always – on set photographer enjoying our impromptu shoot.
Had to take this one – Great ending to a fabulous shoot. Thank you again to Al Roker Entertainment, Dawn Smith, The Lamas Family, Ashley Cordova and of course, Ron Starrantino. Tune into this blog and HGTV this December.
Before starting any room remodeling project, you have to address the bones of the room. These are the foundational aspects of the room, including the floor, walls and ceiling. As with an art project, you need to get the background down first before you can lay down each layer, and, like a choir, your walls can be the strong soprano soloist or they can be the gentle chorus keeping tone of a room’s decor!
Designer trick — ask yourself the questions a designer would ask you:
Do I want traditional, contemporary or transitional decor?
Do I have interesting, prominent or oddly placed walls?
Once you’ve answered those questions you can begin to create wow walls. The first question primarily addresses color choice. Generally speaking, most traditional or transitional looks stick to a neutral color palette: beige, brown or gray tones. Question two asks you to address the structural qualities of your walls. Instead of trying to hide odd walls, do what designers do — accentuate them! Support posts, curved walls and high ceilings all create welcome challenges for a designer, and you can face these design problem, too.
Notice the transitional spaces above feature walls that are interesting and difficult to address. The curved stair wall is not only eye-catching, but it’s also tied into a large, hard-to-decorate-wall. How do you make this area visually appealing and interesting? Panel moulding is simple to install and creates smaller, useable spaces. It creates texture and interest on large and small walls alike. Moulding made of rubber makes wowing up rounded walls a cinch. An entire wall of bronze ribbon glass tiles, brightens and deepens a kitchen wall. Light reflects off the tile and creates a modern feel, yet the color brings it back to the traditional decor realm.
For a strong contemporary look, wall treatments have come a long way. Wall murals applied like wall paper have quickly become my favorite bang-for-your-buck solution. A statement wall in the middle of a high-rise condo becomes a fantastic theme feature in a living room. Tall ceilings are accentuated by a mural of vertical newspapers stacked wide on the headboard wall. No art necessary with these walls!
Don’t be afraid to create wow walls in your home. You can choose to make one wall a statement wall or go all out and decorate all of the walls in a room. The bold choices designers make are the one’s that “wow,” now it’s your turn!
So I took my own best organizational advice — go vertical and get hooked! Doing television home makeovers I have learned some important lessons. I try to use vertical space whenever available while using tools that will not damage homeowners’ walls, especially when working on designs that may not be permanent. The very best tool in my arsenal is the removable hook! Sold in many styles, finishes and strengths, you can hang almost anything easily and remove the hooks when you no longer need them. Especially the teen things that tend to get dropped on the floor! I chose a selection of hooks for my different items — big and small.Simply stick the adhesive tape on the back and hold the hook to the wall. My blood pressure was lowering with each hook I stuck to the wall!
TIP: Be sure you hold up each item you want to hang so you know exactly how much space you need in between each hook. Be mindful of what each hook will be holding and choose the hook size accordingly.
Once the hooks have set (meaning the adhesive has had time to stick) let the smiling begin! I was giddy with each item I hung up — organization feels good! Figure out what items need to be within reach in any room; the bathroom, the closets, the laundry room…and get hooked!
I’ve had the great fortune of working with some amazing professionals in my career. Peter Walsh of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” fame was also my partner on two amazing seasons of TLC’s “Clean Sweep.” Every week, we transformed “two rooms, in two days with $2000!” We also contributed to the book “Conquer the Clutter” entirely dedicated to organization and design. Over the years, I have found some tried and true products I love for quick, inexpensive organization projects that merge beauty and function.
Many of us are tired of the same old organizational supplies when it comes to setting up our offices. We already know that a productive office is a functioning office, but we also want style! The kitchen and laundry departments of home goods stores are my go-to office organization stops! My teen daughter’s room is a great example. Although a small workspace, these tips can be used to organize a room of any size.
Sophia, a fitness junkie and professional blogger, needs to have all her favorite articles and inspiration at her fingertips. While shopping, think of what the ideal “contraption” would look like for your organizational needs. For us, it was something that had many slats that allowed the ability to see each individual periodical. Voila! A laundry drying rack became our perfect magazine storage and display system.
Perk Up with Pops of YellowTo me, nothing says spring like the color yellow. A large white bowl full of lemons or a glass pitcher filled with flowers and lemon slices can bring instant and simple style to a kitchen.In the kitchen, I love natural objects that serve double duty as inexpensive accessories and ingredients. Lemons on display are cost effective style accessories and ready for any dish or drink!
Yellow sunflowers will make anyone smile. Add them to any space for an instant decor pick-me-up. When possible, buy potted plants. They are more cost efficient, as last longer than freshly cut flowers and can be planted in your garden once they’re grown. Be sure to choose plants that will withstand your climate.
Play With Your Pillows
Get bright! Replace the throw pillows on your sofa or bed with brightly colored ones, and don’t be afraid to mix and match colors or bold prints. Browse the aisles of one of your favorite discount stores to find the best bargains. Don’t forget some of the fabulous online sources for pillows like Jossandmain.com. I like to mix unexpected colors and textures for the biggest impact and change. Have fun with it!
Cacti and Succulents are Your Friends
Bringing the outdoors in is the quickest way to get into the spirit of spring. Most people fear that plant decor will inevitably end up costing them quite a bit of money, as the plants might need to be replaced over time. To avoid this, I love to get a variety of fuss-free cacti and succulents and plant them in simple, bright containers to add life to any room.
Stir Up Your Settings
We love a departure from our normal everyday surroundings and, especially after a long winter, we can’t wait to freshen our gardens and outdoor spaces. But don’t forget the day-to-day indoor spaces! Changing the things we use everyday quickly makes us feel like we’re on vacation or expecting company. It’s amazing how much effort we’ll put into our home decor when we’re entertaining guests, yet we don’t update and make changes for ourselves! Add a few new herb and flower themed dishes, glasses and placemats ….Viola! Spring has arrived!
Grab a can of spray paint and update an old frame, or hit your local discount stores to look for inexpensive colored frames. Making a small change to the items you look at everyday can have a big impact when freshening up your space. Take everything off one table or ottoman in your home and replace, change or paint 1 or 2 items with something bright and colorful. You will be blown away at how easily you can freshen your space.
Off to sponsor, Sub Zero Wolf’s, gorgeous showroom in Seattle!
Looking Springy in Seattle – Design Camp Seattle sponsors Sub Zero Wolf show Kelli and Lori how they eat in the NorthWest – Fantastic Food!
Design Camp Seattle brought together over 120 of the top interior designers in North America.
First stop:Sub Zero Wolf Kicked off camp with a party on Wednesday night. We’re still getting rave reviews about the food!
Thursday:Camp is in session at the Seattle Design Center. Topics: Social Media strategies, trends, how to design a line and take it to market, getting your projects and a book published, lighting, Universal Design,and much more including book signings by celebrity interior designers and a soiree by Currey and Co filled the 9AM-9PM schedule.
Happy Campers with presenter Phil Pallen and Cassandra LaValle of Coco+Kelley blog at Design Camp Seattle!
Author Ronda Carman and editor Leslie Newsom Rascoe wowing the Campers at Design Camp Seattle!
Leslie Newsom Rascoe, Kelli Ellis, Bradley Clifford, Ronda Carman and Lori Dennis Mitra Morgan of Joss and Main and Jillian St. Charles of HGTV.com
Greats like business coach Kimberley Seldon, author Ronda Carman (All the Best and Designers at Home), top blogger Cassandra La Valle (Coco+Kelley), social media gurus Phil Phallen and Adam Japko (Design Bloggers Conference), leading editor Leslie Newsom Rascoe (Veranda), industry power house Jillian St. Charles (HGTV), Entrepreneur Mitra Morgan (Joss and Main Founder), Interior Design Sr. VP of Williams Sonoma, Katherine Rice and famous interior designer Nathan Turner shed some serious knowledge about how to succeed in the interior design biz, while being charitable and having a blast!
Adam Japko – of NCI Publications, Digital Sherpa, and Design Bloggers Convention Fame!
The list of top notch speakers went on and on and kept us engaged for 16 hours of invaluable content. Whether you were a seasoned interior designer like Bradley Clifford, Mike Ragan and Jennifer Convey , new to the business or somewhere in between, you learned and connected with A-list people and places of your brain that you forgot existed! There’s a reason we get the reviews we do about people lives being changed by Design Camp.
Reunited on the stage and still besties – Kelli Ellis, Nathan Turner and Lori Dennis at Design Camp Seattle!
If you haven’t made it to Design Camp yet, come see us in Philadelphia on October 9-11 or Orange County February 5-7, 2014 and see what all the fun is about! See you soon!!
As usual, High Point did not disappoint! To start our market we hosted “the Taste of Design Camp”, inspiring interior designers across the country with our Design Camps, we couldn’t pass up the chance to meet and greet at High Point Market. Camp Counselors Leslie Newsom Rascoe (Veranda Editor), Lisa Newsom (House of Veranda), Bill Indursky (VandM), Lisa Mende, Helene Hollub, Katy Garrett, Traci Mende, Kelli Ellis and Lori Dennis gathered on stage at the Antique and Design Center to share formulas for success and design know-how for the standing room only crowd.
We were joined by 400 of our closet friends for Taste of Design Camp Gourmet Hot Dogs and S’More party! Thank you Troy and Sons for coming out and bring your spirit and spirits!
I found so many gorgeous items that I had to have but found restraint after I satisfied my shopping hunger with this GORGEOUS lamp by Thumbprints.
And Market is never complete without tea at Halo and their divine wall art by our new friends Raoul and Danielle – Cheers to you!
I am very honored and delighted to have been featured in the premiere issue of the OC Home Magazine! “At home with Kelli Ellis” Thank you Leonard Ortiz for the fantastic pics and fun!
The article highlights my Design Psychology interests and new show endeavors based on it. For more information on my Certfied Design Psychology Program through the acclaimed Spencer Institute, please click here. Cheers!