Simplified Bee

http://www.simplifiedbee.com

As a busy mom & interior designer, I understand the need for functional design & know homes can be orderly without sacrificing beauty. Advice? Purge often & display what you love.

Cristin is a winner of Top 25 Home Design Moms - 2013

Of all the DIY projects you've done, which was your favorite?

It’s been a couple of years, but still my favorite DIY project was a ribbon chandelier. Created for a special event for my daughter (who LOVES purple) the chandelier hung above the dining table and pulled the color scheme together. Using three colors of satin ribbon – lavender, purple and white – I created a pattern by knotting cut pieces of ribbon around a metal wreath. It was quite simple to do, yet added so much to the space. Here's a link to the post: http://www.simplifiedbee.com/2011/05/diy-ribbon-chandelier-in-shades-of-purple.html

What's your advice for moms who want to decorate their home on a budget?

Decorating a on a budget can be a challenge, but not impossible. Start by painting the walls because it's inexpensive and will transform the space immediately. As for furnishings, start with what you already own. Some pieces of furniture, like a dresser can updated with a fresh coat of paint and new hardware to coordinate the room's decor. I also advise my clients to search Craiglslist, yard sales and furniture consignment shops for great deals on furniture, lighting and rugs. For a custom look, find designer napkins in patterns and colors that coordinate with your space and have them made into throw pillow covers. (do it yourself if you can sew!). Most importantly, think creatively and have fun! Decorating should be an enjoyable process. Don’t stress about getting it all done in 72 hours. Many of my favorite rooms evolve with time.

Where do you find inspiration for keeping your home stylish?

In so many places! Shelter magazines (both traditional and digital), décor blogs and Pinterest (my daily addiction! http://pinterest.com/simplifiedbee/) inspire my design work both in my own home and with clients. I also find inspiration on trips to the showrooms at the San Francisco Design Center, flower mart and local consignment shops. You never know what will spark the inspiration for a space!

How do you decorate a shared room for opposite sex siblings?

Cristin Bisbee Priest

Keeping a neutral color scheme as a starting point is key when decorating a shared room for opposite sex siblings. Next interject accent colors for each (i.e. purple for the little girl and green for the little boy}. I also suggest that each child has their own designated space other than their bed. It could be a desk, bookshelf or dresser. Keep the furniture items the same or as similar possible to achieve a uniform look while letting the accessories reflect the kids different styles and personalities. The closet space should also be divided evenly and can be color coded {i.e. hangers, bins, etc.} in the room's accent colors.
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What tips can you offer for closet organization?

Cristin Bisbee Priest

If you have a large or walk-in closet it's best to organize it into zones by season or garment type (i.e. work, casual, formal). Next arrange the clothing into sections for each category (i.e. blouses, dresses, pants, etc.). Then arrange the clothes in each section by color from left to right (i.e. black, blue, brown, red, orange, yellow, ivory and white). This makes it much easier to find outfits and is more pleasing to the eye.
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Do you have a recipe for a useful homemade cleaning product (detergent, soap, or other product)?

Cristin Bisbee Priest

Recipe for Non-Toxic Silver Cleaner What you will need - aluminum foil, boiling water, baking soda and salt. Line your sink or a bucket with aluminum foil, and drop in tarnished silver. Pour in boiling water, a cup of baking soda and a dash of salt. Let sit for a few minutes. The tarnish will transfer from the silver to the foil. It's that simple! Here are some pictures of some silver pieces I cleaned using this method: http://simplifiedbee.blogspot.com/2009/10/inexpensive-nontoxic-and-diy-way-to.html
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What are some creative ways that a bride can involve children in her wedding day?

Cristin Bisbee Priest

Kids can often feel out of place at weddings. Setting aside an art or game table with activities to keep kids busy is a great way for brides to involve children in her special day. I also adore this diy activity book found here: http://www.lovelyindeed.com/2011/diy-activity-book-free-printable/
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Please share a link to a photo of the most organized space in your house -- whether it's a closet, drawer, toy shelf, etc.

Cristin Bisbee Priest

I'm proud of our organized linen closet. Not only is it functional, it's pretty to look at! The labeled baskets & bins really help corral supplies, linens and other closet odds and ends. I share the before and after images in the linked blog article. http://simplifiedbee.blogspot.com/2011/06/stylish-organized-linen-closetbefore.html
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