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Welcome to my blog. I hope to share information and ideas that you will find informative, valuable and entertaining. If you would like information on something specific ( or you just have a question) be sure to e-mail me at (, you can also visit my website at Otherwise, sit back and enjoy!!!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Interior Design--Get It Right The First Time

By appt.  360-687-5076 |
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Walls too Windows, Interior Design

Do you know?

You don't have to get rid of those pieces of furniture that no longer fit your decor. Instead have them refinished.  The pictures here, show an Armoire that was in knotty pine (pic. #1) and didn't quite fit the clients new home.  With some careful thought as to the original style of this piece, a black distressed look was chosen (pic.#2).  It will now fit nicely into any decor and has a timeless quality about it.  Keep in mind, this look can also be accomplished with most  kitchen/bathroom cabinets at a fraction of the cost of replacement.  It also is a great way to update the look of a front door.

Do you know?

Exterior Painting season is here.  But finding a flattering color scheme can be a daunting task. To help reduce frustration when planning your exterior house painting project, here are some of the "ins and outs".  The beauty of your home begins with the right exterior color scheme.

     1.  Take into account objects that will not change, such as stonework-bricks-roofing

     2.  Take into account the color of your neighbors homes. You don't want to have the same color as the house across the street.  Also check with your neighborhood HOA, to see if there are any restrictions
3.  Evaluate the style of your home,  stay true to it's roots, you can't  turn a traditional home into a craftsman style with just paint.

     4.  Have a general idea as to the overall color, i.e.  Blue/green/browns/golds/grays

     5.  Generally go for 3 colors.  Choose between a light or dark base color.  Light color schemes tend to make a house stand
out from it's surroundings, while darker colors sometimes blend in better with nature.  The trim color is usually opposite the base in intensity      
      6.  Next decide if you want warm or cool tones.  Know that some colors fade more than others.
      7.  Choose an accent color.  Make sure it contrasts well with your base and trim color. Doors, shutters and architectural
details  look best with a well chosen accent color.

      8.  Don't be afraid to ask for professional help.  It's a small investment to make for something that you need to live with for a
  long time.

Do you know?
The Hunter Douglas "DRESS UP FOR SUMMER SALE"  is in full swing and the $500 tax credit is available through Dec. 2011 on Duette Architella. Keep your heating and cooling energy under control.
The more you buy,  the more you save!

-Save $100 on the purchase of 4 Duette Architella Honeycomb Shades ; Plus $25 off each additional unit.

-Save $100 on the purchase of 2 Silhouette Window Shadings; Plus $50 off each additional unit.

-Save $100 on the purchase of 1 Luminette Privacy Sheers or Modern Draperies; Plus $100 off each additional unit.

Hope this helps.
Patti Marvitz
Walls too Windows, Interior Design

 By appointment  360-687-5076

Friday, April 1, 2011

Newsletter, "Do you know? Lighting Tips

Interior Design--Get It Right The First Time

By appt.  360-687-5076 |
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Walls too Windows, Interior Design

Do you know?

The Recipe for the "Best Kitchen Lighting"

The Kitchen has morphed into a multi-tasking room that serves many  functions and life styles. For that reason it is more important than ever to incorporate flexible and appropriate lighting options that fit it's many needs.  So what is the best way to ensure the kitchen is adequatley lit?

It's all about layering and the "Power of Three".  Use a minimum of three types of lighting:
  • A central fixture or fixtures
  • Recessed
  • Undercabinet (task lighting) 
 For dramatic results put each on different switches or dimmers. Having only one of these components creates a static and sometimes "one dimensional" effect.   You need a combination of recessed cans, undercabinet task lighting, toe kick or covelighting, with the additional element  of decorative pendants over an island area and/or a decorative shading over  the breakfast nook.

Placement  of the proper lighting is also paramount.  By placing your undercabinet lighting at the front of the undercabinet instead of against the wall, the light will be distrubuted evenly over the area below.  You can even use diffusers to eliminate the reflection of undercabinet lighting, often seen in glossy countertops.

The ALA (American Lighting Assoc.) also  recommends installing recessed fixtures 30 inches from the wall to illuminate the countertop without casting shadows.

Indeed, many of todays popular kitchen materials can create unique lighting challenges. However, a well thought out lighting system can prove to be a very valuable asset for many years.

Do you know?

The two most common mistakes homeowners make when installing pendant lighting in the kitchen.
  1. Not placing them at the proper height.
  2. Not installing enough.
Height --  Each pendant should be mounted so that the bottom of the shade is approximately 66 inches above the floor.  At that height, it is possible to look across the room, below the pendants, and still create a dramatic focal point.

If the shades are not very deep and there is seating at the kitchen island or peninsula, install the pendants a few inches lower, say about 60 inches.

Quantity-- Place one pendant for every two feet of counter space.  For example, a six-foot island requires three pendants, one in the center with another 20 inches on each side.  Usually, an odd number of pendants over a counter or island creates a better visual balance.

Size also matters when determining spacing and the  amount of pendants.  Thin, narrow pendants might look better with the addition of one or two extra fixtures.

April Special Deals

$50.00 off in-home Color/Design Consultations
by. appt 360-687-5076

Do you know?

How to choose the right size chandelier for your room?

If mounting the chandelier above a dining room table, the diameter of the chandelier is based upon the width  of the table itself.

This is calculated by subtracting 12 inches from the total width of the table.  In addition, for 9 ft. ceilings, the chandelier should be mounted roughly 30-33 inches from the top of the  dining room table.  For taller ceilings, add 3 inches for every one foot increase in ceiling height.  So for a 12 foot ceiling, the chandelier should be 39-42 inches above the dining room table.

When the chandelier is not being used in a dining room, the size is determined by the room dimensions.  There are two basic ways to calculate the diameter of a chandelier using room dimensions. 

  1. The diameter is calculated by multiplying 2 inches by the total width of the room in feet.  Thus a width of 12 feet would require a chandelier with a diameter of 24 inches.
  2. The other method is to add the dimensions of the room together and convert into inches.  In other words a  10 ft x 12 ft. room would have a chandelier with a diamter of 22 inches.
These are both good "rule of thumb" calculations, but some judgment will be necessary. It is usually best to err on the small side when you have more elaborate and traditional chandeliers and bit on the larger side with more modern and contempory designs.

Hope this helps.
Patti Marvitz
Walls too Windows, Interior Design

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Brush Prairie, Washington 98606

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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Cost vs Value Remodeling report

Remodeling 2010-2011 Cost vs. Value Report

Continued slumping home values pulled the overall cost-to-value ratio down again this year, extending the downward trend that began in 2006.  But whether you are buying or selling “First impression matters” These results are still showing us that history is our best teacher and overtime it has taught us that our home is still the most valuable investment most of us have.  So how do you get the most “Bang for your Buck” when it comes to supporting, maintaining or increasing your homes’ value?

     First of all, there are two types of remodeling projects.
#1.  Those we have to do such as:
a.      roofing
b.      siding
c.       window replacement
d.      energy conservation

#2    Those we want to do, such as:
a.      The need for improved space
b.      The need for more space
c.       The need for different space
d.      The need for just better looking space.

 Since Kitchen and Baths are high on everyone’s priority list, let’s take a look at the cost versus value of these projects.  The following numbers were compiled by the “Home Tech Information “systems and published by the National Remodelers Council.
A major kitchen remodel would most likely entail structural changes, new cabinets, lighting, flooring, counter tops, plumbing and new appliances.

National Averages             Cost                       Resale Value              Cost Recouped
                                           $58,367                       $40,126                             68.0%

Portland/SW Wa             $60,092                        $41,474                            69.0% 

A minor kitchen remodel would most likely be keeping the existing cabinetry, but updating with paint, faux finishes, new knobs, improved lighting, replacing dated counters and flooring.  Generally bringing the space up to date and visually pleasing.

National Averages            Cost                        Resale Value                 Cost Recouped
                                         $21,695                         $15,790                               72.8%
Portland/SWWA           $22,095                          $16,802                                76.0%

A midrange bathroom remodel:

National Averages           Costs                       Resale Value               Cost Recouped
                                         $16,634                         $10,668                            64.1%

Portland/SWWA            Costs                       Resale Value                Cost Recouped
                                         $17,598                         $10,067                            57.2%

If your thinking of creating more of the luxurious spa atmosphere in your master suite, complete with steam shower, multiple body sprays, dual vanities and radiant floor heating, the returns on  an upscale bathroom remodel would be as follows:

National Averages            Costs                     Resale Value                   Cost Recouped
                                         $53,759                         $30,738                               57.2%

Portland/SWWA             Costs                    Resale Value                    Cost Recouped
                                         $56,238                         $28,894                               51.4%

Savvy homeowners are using this time and information to give them an edge.  They are updating their homes, enjoying the new amenities, while building value and sell-ability into their homes.
For a complete list of remodeling projects, go to

Patti Marvitz, NWSID assoc member
LEED AP (Green Building)
Walls too Windows, LLC

Monday, January 17, 2011

Energy Savings, Smart Styling, Innovative Designs, Unparallelled quality.  Just a few of the many benefits of  Hunter Douglas Window Coverings.  If you missed the last promotions, it's not too late to start harnessing the energy escaping from your home.  The new promotions start Jan 14th and run through April 14th.  Call today for you free in home consultation and start saving $$$.