Jill Finkelstein - Compass



Posted by Jill Finkelstein on 7/20/2020

Image by Ernest_Roy from Pixabay

When putting together a room’s design, there’s one area that often gets overlooked above all others, and that’s the ceiling. There are a variety of interesting things that you can do with a ceiling to bring life and add interest to a room. Some ideas will add a sense of height or give the space an elegant look while other things will even help enhance the room’s lighting—without the addition of new light fixtures.

If you’re looking for design ideas, don’t skimp on the ceilings. Instead, try one of the following!

1. Gloss Finishes are Fashionable & Brightening

People don’t normally think of high gloss finishes when they think of ceilings, but this is a trend that is taking off for two good reasons. Gloss, whether it’s glossy paint or a gloss wood finish, draws attention upward while also reflecting a lot of light. Lamplight or sunlight streaming in from windows—either way, the reflection helps make the room look much more spacious.

2. Wallpaper isn’t Just for Walls

Looking for an unusual way to make a statement? More and more, interior designers are turning to wallpaper as a creative way to change up the look of a ceiling. This is another technique that draws a lot of attention upward, and it has the added advantage of making a bold statement.

3. Choose Bright Colors for Low Ceilings

Low ceilings can make a room feel cramped even if it isn’t—and this is an effect that can be heightened if the room has a dark color scheme on the walls and ceiling both. Brighten things up and give the ceiling a little lift by choosing light shades to contrast dark walls. This also helps brighten the room, which is another way to make it feel a little more expansive.

4. Try the Beamed or Coffered Look

This idea will help you add loads of style to interior spaces. Beamed ceilings and coffered ceilings both, whether the style is rustic or elegant, lend a seriously high-end feeling to a room.

There’s lots of ways to get this look, too. Coffered ceilings can be created with lumber or even with moldings repurposed to lay out the ceiling’s pattern. You can just do simple, clean lines, or you choose lumber with intricate edge profiles for a more classical look. And then there’s the layout itself. Coffered ceilings are typically done in square patterns, but there’s nothing stopping you from making hexagons or using squares and rectangles in differing sizes.

Beamed ceilings work similarly in that you’ll use lumber to give the ceiling depth and texture. Here, however, the designs are usually simpler, as if structural beams have been left exposed. Because of that, this style often works well with rustic themes.

Even though ceilings are sometimes left out of the design process, there really are many ways to turn them into a thing of beauty. Your ceilings don’t have to be flat or understated. Use one of these ideas or come up with your own to draw attention to this key piece of the room.





Posted by Jill Finkelstein on 6/7/2020

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

Most everyone would love to gain some extra room, especially those in small homes with limited space options. Here are three home interior DIY projects to help you maximize your space.

1. Transform a Closet into Workspace

If you’re lacking the room for a home office, transform one of your closets into a mini-office. This is a relatively easy and inexpensive way to give yourself a dedicated workspace.

  • Remove the door and hinges.
  • Empty the closet and give it a good wipe down.
  • Disassemble hanging rods.
  • Touch up or repaint the closet’s interior.
  • Add two to three shelves—a deep one to serve as your desktop and additional ones for storage.

If you prefer a traditional desk and your closet is wide enough, slide one in and eliminate the need for a deep shelf.

2. Mount Your TV

Modern styles are all about minimalism and entertainment centers don’t exactly fit this look. Besides, media consoles take up a ton of floor space. An easy way to reclaim this useful space is to mount your TV to the wall or above a fireplace.

  • Choose a mount for your TV—this will be a tilting mount, low-profile mount or full-motion mount.
  • Select a location and determine the best viewing height—be sure you have sufficient outlets and access to cable connections you need.
  • Cut out a piece of TV-sized cardboard or poster board and tape it to the wall to get a “visual” of your TV’s position.
  • Locate a stud and mark it. (If mounting to a fireplace use masonry anchors.)
  • Before you drill, use a level to ensure the wall mount is even.
  • Drill holes, attach your mount and secure it so it doesn’t collapse.
  • Add a cord cover to hide unsightly wiring.

Media consoles were useful before flat-screen TVs became the norm, but most people today can easily get by with a wall-mount and a shelf to hold cable boxes, media players or game consoles. If you need additional storage, add a small table with cabinet space.

3. Build Window Seats

Adding window seats to any room eliminates the need for extra seating on the floor, gives a cozy look and offers additional storage space.

  • Buy two wall cabinets about 30 inches wide by 15 inches high. You can purchase new or, to scale back costs, check secondhand stores, such as Habitat for Humanity’s Restore, for used cabinetry.
  • Use plywood (2x4 or 2x6) to serve as a perimeter base, nailing these pieces of wood into the floor to create a toekick. Be sure your outline’s depth is large enough to hold your cabinets, and leave a little extra room to pull your cabinets away a few inches from the wall beneath the window to save space for your seat.
  • Place cabinets on top of the toekick and clamp the two cabinets together. Be sure your screws are strong enough to hold the units together.
  • Clamp and screw cabinets to the toekick.
  • Place hardwood plywood on top of the cabinets to widen your seating area. (Sand and paint, if necessary.)
  • Add cushions and pillows.

Tip: Be sure to avoid positioning your seat over an HVAC vent or baseboard because you don’t block out your heat or A/C.

If you’re working with some tight spaces, you can better utilize it by transforming your existing space.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Jill Finkelstein on 9/1/2019

For frequent hosts owning your own home is an exciting upgrade to your hospitality skill set. A home large enough to include a guest room for friends and family to stay the night allows you to provide a homey overnight stay that trumps a hotel experience every time.

To create the perfect home away from home guest room for visitors just follow this guide.

First things first, keep it tidy over time. Donít fall to temptation and use it as a catch-all storage room. This will just lead to more clean up before guests arrive and detract from the home away from home experience if they feel like they are staying in a glorified storage closet.

Before guests arrive freshen up the room by dusting, cracking a window for fresh air, spritz linens with a spray, and vacuum the floors.

Stock your guest bathroom well with toilet paper, tissues, q-tips and cotton balls. Keep two full matching sets of towels folded up nicely and in the open for guests to easily grab. Take a page from the hotel room playbook and have decorative shelving for this very purpose. Either mount shelving to the wall or find a standalone unit that matches your decor.

Have toiletries on hand in case guests have forgotten any while packing. Include new, individually packaged toothbrushes, a tube of toothpaste and travel size deodorants for example. It is always thoughtful to stock the medicine cabinet with the basics.

Stock up on luxurious soaps, lotions, and shampoos to keep on hand in your guest bathroom. Itís best to also keep these out in the open so it is obvious to guests it is for their use. Tiered cake stands, catch-all bowls and clear jars are a great way to put these stylishly on display.

Offer the perfect sleeping experience by including a light bedding option and a warmer one - no matter the season. An ottoman at the foot of the bed with extra blankets and pillows will help guests feel at home to set up the bed their way.

Lay down on the bed to get a feel for how it would be for your guests. In fact, interacting in the room as if you are your guest is a great way to discover what your room is missing. Offer plenty of lighting. Bedside lamps in addition to the ceiling light allow guests to create ambiance or stay up reading while their partner snoozes.  

Decorate the room to keep it cohesive with and as homey as the rest of the house. Hang pictures of friends and family. Frame a decorative image that has your wifi network and password readily available for guests to log in. Include fresh cut flowers and seasonal decor.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Jill Finkelstein on 10/29/2017

When we decorate and organize our homes, few of us give more than a passing thought to the way our choices will affect our mood and behavior in our home. Most of us simply organize and decorate based on what we like on a whim.

There are, however, entire fields of study devoted to the way our environment affects us (environmental psychology), and ways we can engineer and design our environments to change our moods and behaviors.

If youíve ever visited a big city like New York you will likely have noticed an example of this firsthand in city parks.

When you sit down on a park bench, youíll likely find that it isnít the most comfortable place to sit. Thereís more than just a tight budget at play here. Many engineers who plan parks use the idea of ďunpleasant design.Ē They create benches with the intention of dissuading people from lying down  the benches by making them curved or putting arm rests in the middle of them.

In the same way that a city park can be designed to affect your behavior, your home can as well. In this article, weíll give you some tips on how you can better arrange and decorate your home to have a positive impact on both your mood and behavior.

Organize to your advantage

Many of us think of our homes as the opposite of work--itís a place we relax after a long day. However, there are a number of chores and tasks youíll complete at home that can be optimally engineered to save you time.

One simple example is to think about the placement of the items you use in the kitchen. Is your trash can far from the countertop, requiring you to constantly walk away to toss out scraps?

A good way to find out the needless extra work youíre doing around the house is to take note of how you go about your daily routine. This will give you insight into areas where you might better use your time.

Declutter for productivity

Whether you work from home frequently or you just need a quiet place to do taxes or pay bills, a home office can be a good way to avoid distraction. That is, until you fill your home office with distractions.

When organizing your office, think about the content of it. For most people, a decluttered minimalist environment is most conducive to work. Leave out the television, keep your cell phone at bay, and donít cover your desk in papers that youíll constantly be rearranging.

Similarly, your computer needs to be tailored to productivity as well. We all know how tempting it is to head over to Facebook or Reddit when we should be focusing on work. A good way to help break this habit is to utilize a time tracking app that lets you know when itís time for a break. Alternatively, you can use an extension or add-on for your browser that blocks sites like Facebook during the time you specify.

Colors matter more than you think

Each room in your home serves a different purpose. The kitchen is a place of activity and conversation, the bedroom is one of relaxation, and the home office one of focus.

Studies have shown that there is a correlation between the colors and brightness of the room we are in and our moods.

So, when youíre decorating a room in your home, think about the type of colors that fit how you would like to feel in that room.




Tags: home decor   home design  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Jill Finkelstein on 10/22/2017

You may take your front door for granted. Maybe you only use your front door occasionally when company comes or you have a gathering at your home. Itís amazing how much more curb appeal you can give to your home with a properly lit front door. Below, youíll find some tips to help you brighten your front door and the overall appeal of your home. 


Make Your Front Door Shine Through The Night


If you want your home to have curb appeal, you may think of the daylight hours. Sure, you want your home to look good during the day, but there are 24 hours! You can find plenty of ways that you can add nighttime curb appeal to your home with correct types of landscape lighting. Some ideas to help you highlight your front door can be found below:


Put a spotlight on the entryway


Using bold lighting like this can help you to enhance the features that are already present on the front of your home.     


Use sconce lighting

This type of lighting is easily mounted onto the side of walls or the side of your home. You can use these types of lights to add to the style of your home as they come in many different kinds from the stately to the fun and whimsical. These lights also provide quite a welcoming touch to the home.


Consider Lighting Your House Number


Wherever your house number is present, you should try to light it. This way, after daylight hours, guests can clearly see what house number is yours. You can do this with a lamp post or a spotlight depending on where you have your house numbers mounted. 


Use Lighting Variations


Just as you would on the inside of your home, the outside of your home should use variations of lighting. Use sconces for overhead lighting. Think of the lighting on the outside of your home based on the main types of lighting: task, decorative, ambient, and accent lighting. Using these basic design principles can help you to find where the need for light is in your yard.


Highlight Your Landscape


Your hard efforts at landscaping arenít just for the daylight hours. Use lighting in your yard as a way to highlight the beauty of your yard the whole day and night through. If you have particularly unique trees or bushes, or a nice statue in your yard, use lights to brighten the space and show off the best features that your yard has to offer.

When thinking of lighting your yard keep safety as your first priority and design as your second for a great outdoor lighting scheme.    





Tags: lighting   home design  
Categories: Uncategorized  




Jill Finkelstein