Monday, December 21, 2009

Readers Projects

I love to get e-mail and pictures of the decor projects from the readers of decor blogs. It's fun to see how everybody else manifests the healthy obsession of serial decorating.

Up first is Melissa Lewis, and old friend from the days when I first discovered kindred souls on the site Rate My Space. Though I don't post anything there anymore, the original RMS group formed the base of the readership of Visual Vamp nearly two years ago, and they continue to stay in touch.
I'll let Melissa tell us about her lovely rooms:

The Dining Room of Melissa Lewis designed for HGTV

Hi Valorie! I have been a fan of your blog for the longest time and just wanted to thank you so much for doing it. It is such a design inspiration to me! I have been a stay at home mom for 10 years and my daughter just started kindergarten, so I am trying to figure out what to do to get started in the design business. I have no formal background and am completely self taught but I have an absolute passion for design. I think doing displays in a store or maybe accessorizing homes is what I am best suited for. I don't think I could do a complete redesign job!! Wondering what you think is the best way to get experience.

The office designed by Melissa Lewis

I have been on Rate My Space and a couple of years ago I was honored to have you comment on one of my rooms! :) Then last year, I was lucky to be picked as one of the shoppers on HGTV's Endless Yard Sale 2008. My husband and I shopped together...I was the crazy girl running for the chandelier if you happened to watch it!! :) Anyway, I have attached a picture of my dining room that I redesigned for the show and wanted to get your opinion! I also am sending a pic of our home office...I think you commented on this one a while back! :) I know you are so busy and everyone probably tries to get advice from you!!! :) So, no worries if you can't answer back, just wanted you to know that your blog is fantastic and you are a huge inspiration to me! Kindest regards, Melissa Lewis

Another view of the office of Melissa Lewis

Melissa Lewis decorated her daughter's bedroom
with a the winning combo of vintage, flea market, and contemporary elements

Next up is my friend Peg DeFilippis. We met many years ago when I did the design work for her wedding. A client became a friend. Peg is one off those people gifted with natural skills. She's a great shopper, and can put togehter a room (or an outfit) that looks wonderful. I posted her New York apartment HERE and her East Hampton cottage HERE.
She is now embarking on another career (her background is in the financial world). Peg recently completed a course on staging from Haverhill, and is trying to land her first jobs. Staging has not caught on in New York, so Peg is a bit of a pioneer. Recently I asked her how her endeavor is going:

Peg writes: Staging is good. I completed my first official staging job in NYC a couple of weeks ago to rave reviews! I will attach a couple of before and after photos for you.

Peg DeFilippis stages a modern look for a vacant studio apartment in NYC

It was a crappy vacant studio and the broker wanted a very modern WOW look to get it to stand out from the rest of the gazillion apts on the market right now. I had it repainted and the windows washed but the owner wouldn’t pay for anything else so the broker is paying me monthly until it sells.

The crappy vacant studio apartment before Peg worked her magic

The after bedroom photo was taken before I added a mirrored side table and floor lamp on either side of the bed...the photo looks too dark without the extra lighting.

It seems in NYC the brokers are the ones who pay for staging right now as in most cases the homeowners can’t be persuaded to spend the money. The brokers however know it will get the place sold so they get the money back and then some with the sales commission.

The bathroom staged by Peg DeFilippis

What I want is to stage homes that are occupied. It is much more of a challenge. I have a broker friend who has two jobs for me coming up after the holidays. Both have the owners living in them so I am excited for that. I need to take my accreditation test next week so I can start marketing myself here and in the Hamptons. I am already passing my card out all over the place! Looking forward to visiting you at some point over the winter! Miss you! XO, Peg

Please send me photos of your projects! We all love to see what each other is doing. I think design bloggers and readers are very talented and the passion we have for decorating is fun to share with one another.

My e-mail is:


Kristin said...

Love the photos. I'd love to see more of your reader's rooms. Perhaps when I move (in the next few weeks) and get settled, I'll submit my own space!

Cote de Texas said...

that rms is unreal. i'm off to check it out. and the nyc - amazing how you can make such a small space look great!!

NYCLQ said...

LOVE the blue office!! GREAT post!
:D Lynda

High-Heeled Foot in the door said...

Love this post. Such fun to get a glimpse into what some of your readers/friends are doing.

Bravo to both of them!

Gwen Driscoll said...


Love all these images. Thanks for the great post. I still trying to figure out what is best to send you from me. Working on it....rolling it around in the pea size brain I was blessed with.

Talk soon,

Ragland Hill Social

C.J. said...

Hi! I too went through Haverhill and would love to show you some of my recent projects. I have started my own staging business and love it!!!! Did I mention I love it? lol In fact I know the gal that did the last project (as all of us were pretty tight in HH with face book.

My business name is Designs for You and I am in the Buffalo, NY area, here is my blog, stop by and take a look please. Merry Merry Christmas to you.

C.J. said...

OK, my mind is somewhere, certainly not present. :( I wanted to tell her what a lovely job she did. The place looks pretty glamorous, just what the broker was looking for. Please forgive my forgetfullness, ( I am quite sure that is not one word).

Amy said...

Melissa Lewis's daughters' bedroom....that bedding set is simply gorgeous!

Kwana said...

What great spaces and so much talent and inspiration.

Renee Finberg said...

i am not incredibly fond of blue.
but that office is divine.
with the corner piece displayed in that way is a stunner for sure.

merry Christmas to my sweet friend

Rebecca@Harmony and Home said...

That dining room is beautiful. I love the spaces that Melissa has designed. Wonderful post. Happy holidays to you and your family!

my favorite and my best said...

staging seems cool.

Linda in AZ * said...

* Val~ Would LOVVVVE to see more readers' homes~~~ what a delight!!!

And that DR & Study of Melissa's???D*I*V*I*N*E!!!

Thanks sooooo much~ you always make things sooooo fun!

Linda in AZ*