Happy Anniversary to ANI!

We’re starting our 12th year at ANI! I cannot believe it. What a ride. It has been such a joy working in this community. Thank you all!

And because it is the start of a new year as well as our anniversary, I having been ruminating about the decorating tips that I have been asked about the most over the years. So I’d thought I’d share a few with you:


Where to spend money and where to save? My advice is to buy the best you can afford for the pieces that need to withstand a lot of wear and tear, like sofas and mattresses. I hear from lots of parents with young kids and pets: I don’t want to buy something that will just get trashed in a few years; I will buy nicer pieces when the kids are older, the pets move on, etc. But an economically priced sofa will set you back at least $1000, and could easily start to show its wear and tear after a year of steady use. Do you want to throw $1000 at a sofa every couple of years? Invest in a well made piece of furniture that will last and still look good. The cost will be reflected in the quality, but in the long run it will be the better value. And if you throw a performance fabric on it your sofa will give you even more protection and satisfaction!

We all know the importance of good sleep. Invest in yourself. Buy a good mattress.

And a small note to rugs: please buy rug pads. They do make a difference. They will save the life of your rug, protect your floors and make even the thinnest of rugs feel divine under your feet.


It’s just paint - I can repaint it, right? No! Painting is expensive! It is not easy to change, even if you’re doing it yourself, what with the materials, prepping the area, moving furniture, etc. Hiring a good painter costs time and money. Spend time thinking about your colors before you take the plunge. No one wants to go through repainting a room right after it’s done. And remember to paint an actual sample on your wall - don’t just tape the color swatch to the wall. The paper swatches from the paint store are ink. Paint is paint. There’s a difference!


Does the type of light bulb really matter? The way we see color is through light, so select your light bulbs with care. Paint looks drastically different under different lighting situations. You’ll want to think about what need from your light source: do you need general lighting, lighting to complete a task such as reading or cooking, or ambient lighting to create a mood? Once you decide on that then you’ll want to pay attention to two things when choosing a light bulb: lumens (brightness of the bulb) and kelvins (the temperature ie warm versus cool). As of 2018, all light bulb packaging must now contain a Lighting Facts Label, similar to the nutritional label on a box of cereal. So now it’s easy to compare lumens and kelvins from one box to another. For a warm daylight look keep your kelvins to about 2700-3000k. A 60w bulb will emit at least 800 lumens, a 75w 1100.

Hanging pictures

How high should I hang my picture? Hang pictures so that the middle is at eye level. You may need to tweak it a bit if you have people in the home that are different heights, but keeping them at about eye level helps them from being hung too high on the wall.


I'm afraid to pick something that won't be on trend. Don’t worry about trends! Unless you’re planning to sell your house in the next year don’t worry about what will be “in”. No one can predict what the trends for countertops, colors, finishes will be in 5 years time, so don’t worry about it. It’s your home - do what you love!

Happy New Year everyone! Lexi

PS The photo was from one of our kitchens done 12 years ago!

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