Back to Basics 

How Viewer Mail Works


First, enter your question in the form below.  From there, it goes to our mailbox where we do our best to find the more “universal” questions that we know will interest the majority of those of you who are reading this.  Having sorted through literally mountains of viewer mail over the last years, we know it’s hard for you to get to your “Verb” when it comes to asking the right questions.  No worries.  We’ve gotten good at getting to the core of the key information you need.   Nevertheless, try, best you can…to be brief.  

Still, we may not get to your question in the time you need answers so check below.  Chances are if you have a key question on a certain design issue, then hundreds of others do too so it might already be answered. 

Remember, my primary goal is to teach the basics principles so you can do it yourself in a way you can more easily understand as you’re no doubt roaming the aisles on your own anyway. 

So, I’ll do my best not to throw design terms at you that, in the end, will only be confusing and create anxiety.   You don’t need fabric terminology if you have a photo (which is why I’ve taken the time to do the Room Recipes in the first place).  I mean, what will knowing what a “2-point interweave, brushed nape, stable-backed jacquard”, is?   Seriously?

You also don’t need me to tell you “what” to buy or what you should like.  My job is to make sure that what you DO purchase is worth it, and more importantly will last you a long time as you slowly grow into your new lifestyle.  So, If I play it safe, that’s because I want not to throw your money out the window.  I know what “stuff” can become a nightmare in the hands of the armature “do-it-yourselfer”.  It’s so easy to make decisions that are totally over-kill, might ruin your investment, could destroy a relationship or get you so overwhelmed that you don’t do any at all.  

Today there are hundreds of great design resources out there. There are also thousands of sites full of designers who would be more than happy to help. And now there’s google too.  


So, my job here is to get you started with the hard stuff, tell you what NOT to attempt yourself, and more importantly get you in the right headspace to know exactly what to emotionally expect as you move through the various levels of design.  In the end, it doesn’t matter what you buy, it’s why you’re buying it.  It’s of no importance what you paid for it as long as you can afford it.  It also doesn’t matter where you found it as long as it makes you happy and suites your needs.  My own home is furnished with stuff I found in consignment store, thrift shops and mass market big box stores.  The only thing that matters is using your God-given creativity, learning how to be a bit cleverer and lastly…having the courage to make your home function for you (and your family) on a day-to-day basis the way you need it to, no matter how unconventional.  Period.  You can do it! 

Answers & Reflections


QUESTION: Is my sofa worth reupholstering? Plus, any tips for buying a new one? 

QUESTION: Why do we have to paint our ceilings.  Plus, how do you chose a good ceiling color?.

QUESTION: Will you be doing makeovers on this series? 

QUESTION: Should kids have (the ultimate ) say in how their bedrooms look?

QUESTION: Any tips on window treatments? Hanging curtains and blocking a bad view?

QUESTION: How does one increase seating in smaller spaces.  A CL field trip! 

QUESTION: How can I increase storage in my tiny Manhattan studio that has no wall space?

QUESTION: How can I engage my husband in the design process, better?

QUESTION: Why is choosing paint color so hard?

QUESTION: What's the best bed size for a guest bedroom?

QUESTION: What's the best way to work with a designer especially if you're on a tight budget?

QUESTION: Christopher, do you shop (for home goods) online? If so, do you have any tips? 

Questions & Comments



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