How to create a beautiful and functional space

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Real Estate

Mixology - creating a more beautiful and functional space - the basics 

by Katrina

Photos are the property of Little Black Dress Home Staging & Decor

Myth:  Don’t mix your woods

Katrina’s theory:  Mix it up all you want.   I included a picture of a cool grey driftwood flooring mixed with a warm golden toned buffet.  The results are pleasing.  Take a cue from nature on this one.  


Myth:  Wallpaper is a big style commitment 

Katrina’s theory:  Not true, adding wallpaper today can be very easy if you use the new products available that offer a peel and stick backing.  You can change it as often as you like, without damage to your walls - and it is a low cost way to introduce a bit of trending style to your home with confidence. 

Myth:  Don’t mix styles or eras 

Katrina’s theory:  Done correctly, mixing is the best way to make your home a stand out.  There is a skill to this, but try it anyway.  

Myth:  Take out older features to your home - they will take away from the home's value at time of sale. 

Katrina’s theory:  Half and half on this one.  Each home is unique.  I included a picture of a dining room that had a tired looking built-in shelving unit.  With a bit of deconstruction and some new paint, I was able to make this a stylish and functional part of the space that added value.  Don’t be in such a hurry to just tear things up and out.   It could be just what you needed to make your style complete.  

Myth: Whimsy is childish

Katina’s theory:  True, but don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.  Adding just the right piece is key - too much will seem childish.  

Myth:  Don’t use furniture for what it is not intended

Katrina’s theory:  I look at every piece I buy and ask myself, when I am tired of this piece can it offer me any other options of how to use it.  I often use dressers for buffets, and night stands for storage in living rooms - just a few examples.   Again, it is all about how you incorporate it.  Be creative! 

Myth:  Furniture needs to live up against the walls - to create more space

Katrina’s theory - not true at all!  Even in a small space I will use furniture to carve out areas.  It needs a bit of thought, but liberate your furniture and explore your space.  Sitting areas do not need to be connected - just fluid and inviting.  While space is always a concern, remember that you can use larger pieces in smaller spaces - done correctly it can be very beautiful and actually feel larger. 

On behalf of Steve Martin Homes Group,


Katrina Smith is owner/operator of Little Black Dress Home Staging in Sarasota County. She is also a licensed Florida Realtor with Steve Martin Homes Group and RE/MAX Platinum Realty. A home décor specialist from the Grosse Pointe Michigan area, Katrina has been professionally preparing and staging homes in and around Sarasota County since 2007. Katrina has also held a full cosmetology license since 1997.