Open Letter to Designers in Retail: Get Off Your High Horse

I have always known that I don’t quite fit in with the typical interior design crowd.  We have common interests, obviously, but there’s a snobbery there that’s difficult for me to stomach. I’ve always wondered if there are some courses offered in design schools that teach you to relate to people in a way that purposely condescends.  The seems particularly common in designers who work in retail establishments. I know this may be a generalization, but I’ve had several personal experiences lately that lend credence to my seemingly sweeping judgment.  If this is you, I’m calling you out on it.



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Should Your Art Match Your Sofa?

I’ve often heard said that art doesn’t have to match your sofa (or your room, for that matter). The thought is that the la-tee-dah art is so much more important that your furnishings and other decor that making sure it matches is an insult.  I believe it’s an insult not to consider the size, shape, and colors of the art when choosing it for a space.  Don’t you want the art (and room) to look as good as possible?

matching art to sofa

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How to Take “Country” and Make It “Arty”

As promised, I’m sharing another before and after from the Nashville home featured Monday.  

primitive table

The Decorologist

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Why the Downton Abbey Premiere is MY Superbowl

In honor of the Season Four Premiere of Downton Abbey, I am sharing some tips  about incorporating the best bits of Downton into your home.  Because I attended a special preview party several weeks ago, I’ve already seen the first hour of the premiere.  I can’t wait to see what else happens tonight.  This is MY Superbowl, people!

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The Power of Paint – Amazing Wood Paneling Makeover

My online home staging client, Jessica, was overwhelmed with getting her home ready to go on the market.  The dark wood paneling sucked out any light and made the space feel smaller than it was.  Her husband had resisted lightening up the house for several years, but when it came time to think about selling the house, they both knew they had to do something drastic to get top dollar so that they could build their dream home.

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paneled living room before

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Light and Happy Living Room Reveal

I’m sure I’m not the only one, right?  I change up my furniture, art, and accessory arrangement in my living room at least every six months or so.  I like things to stay fresh, which means tweaking from time to time. Or you could just call it a serial furniture rearranging disorder. Whatever. This is my living room right now:

mint green living room

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Television Taking Center Stage? Make It Disappear!

It’s a common problem in most living rooms.  How do you address the desire for a television in the living space without making it the focal point?  Flat screen televisions can sometimes fit into a bookcase unit, but the big black screen can still stick out like a sore thumb – mainly because it’s big and black!




A good solution in the case of the television in my client’s white bookcase was to paint the backs of the bookcases a dark paint color.  Just watch how the television virtually disappears!

dark bookcase paint color

Benjamin Moore’s Knoxville Gray 


What you really notice now is the fireplace, right?  The dark paint color in the back of the bookcase really ramps up the level of sophistication in this room.  Of course, there are also some new furnishings.  Here’s another before from a wider angle:




Working together, my client and I were able to take a rather dull space and make it spectacular.  This is what she recently said in a review she wrote on  

“At the initial consultation with Kristie Barnett, I’d describe my design needs as undefined. I knew there were aspects of my home that I didn’t like but I was at a complete loss on how to pull it all together cohesively. Kristie brought energy, enthusiasm, and so much creativity … I don’t have a defined style other than when I see something I like I just get it whether it is contemporary or traditional. I also love to incorporate family pieces/antiques into my home. Kristie helped me to pull all of those pieces into a stunning look that I am sure I could not have done on my own despite hours on Pinterest and Houzz and looking at years and years of Traditional Home and House Beautiful magazines. Not only do I love walking in my home every day but my family also enjoys all the touches she has made to their personal spaces as well …”

kristie barnett design

living room design after


Of course, one of my favorite parts of this design is how we were able to downplay the television with good paint color selection and placement.


Fido says, “Where’s the television?”


And speaking of good paint color selection and placement, don’t forget that Fall Front Door Friday is a week from today!  If you want a beautiful new front door color that is professionally chosen to work with your specific home’s exterior, contact my lovely assistant, Allison, to register for one of the last remaining spots on my schedule that day.

front door paint colors


And if you want to learn how to choose just the right paint colors and paint color placement, order my Color Workshop Video now!