Friday Finds: Trays

Once in a while I'll post a favorite "Friday Find". A Friday find is a home decor item that was purchased second-hand, and is a smashing hit for accessorizing the home!  These second-hand gems (aka "thrifted finds")  have so much potential, and are waiting patiently to be snatched YOU! 

Today's find:    TRAYS

Trays are a simple home accessory yet can be used in SO many ways.  Here's why trays are so love-able in our home:

1.  Trays serve many uses (for remote controls, perfumes, lotions, candles, books, and the list goes on) 

2. They can be easily updated and customized to match your home (paint them, line with your favorite fabric, or contact paper)

3.  They are dynamite gift ideas for friends & family 

4  They add an extra decorative touch to any surface like a kitchen table, dresser, or buffet. 

Let's look at some brand new ones shall we? 

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Now, let's take a look at some "thrifted" trays......


"Wait. What? These trays aren't new?"  Nope! The best part is that they were $4.99 a piece".  


The trays in the photos below were all updated with paint and fabric.   I WISH I had photos of what they looked like before!  I love a soft furry animal as much as the next person, but not on trays!!  Using paint and fabric, it was time to say good-bye to stenciled kittens, and hearts, and hello to funky patterns and colors.....

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Notice the extra touch on the tray below.... gold drawer pulls.   I used carpenter grade "liquid nails", to attach the pulls to the tray.  I found the handles at the ReStore for $1.  

Look at that combination of gold and plaid.....

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I found a great tray. Now what? 

Not all trays are created equal.  Some trays can be left as is, right off the thrifting rack (like the first wooden tray you saw above).  The only care they need is a good washing.  Just use warm soapy water. 

Other trays need some TLC.   Here's how:

  • Wash it 
  • Paint it
  • Line the tray (use fabric, contact paper, or decorative scrapbook paper)
  • If using fabric, or scrapbook paper to line the bottom, "paint" on some mod podge to the surface, and lay your fabric. Smooth out creases.  Let dry. 

 Trays: great home accents

Trays; perfect accents for any room in the house.  They are also multi-functional, easy to update, and customize to your color scheme and style. 

On that note.....

Be sure to check in next week for my tutorial on how to make one of these delightful little home accessories for yourself! 

Enjoy your weekend!


See more blog posts on Thrifting below......






4 essential elements to a refreshed room

Refreshing a room can be accomplished by bringing in key decorative elements.   By bringing these 4 elements into your space, you've got a fresh new look, instantly! 

The 4 elements:  

1.  Metallics/bling

2.  Texture

3. Color & Pattern

4. Greenery

Whether you want to refresh your master bedroom, create a reading nook, or update the busiest room in the house, using these 4 elements will help you create a room that inspires!

1.  Metallics (gold, silver, copper).  

Metallics just don't "go out of style".   Even the "brassy" hardware on our dressers or doors, has made a comeback.  Here are some examples of metallic decor that will instantly give your room style and "bling". 

Copper Accents

Copper is all the rage in the world of interior design and home decor.  Go to a home decorating store and you're sure to find this metallic!  Copper is everywhere.   

Where to find great copper accents:  Pier One, Cost Plus World Market, Target, Marshalls

Gold Accents

Gold is a classic way to add zip and elegance to any space.  It has become popular once again, but for some of us, it never went out of style!   Gold is timeless, and when used in healthy doses (not too much), it never "runs its course".  Try gold! 

Where to find gold accents:  ANY home store.  For starters: TJ Max, Target, Pier One, West Elm, Marshalls

Silver Accents

Incorporating silver is easy.  Some favorites of mine include lamps and vases.  Don't want to spend money on a new silver lamp when yours works just fine?  Get some silver spray paint and spray away.   In fact, grab some metallic spray paint in any one (or all 3) of these metallics and you've got an instant update to your dull decor.  

You can find silver accents at pretty much any home store: Target, World Market, TJ Max, Marshalls, Pier One

2.  Texture

The sky is the limit with texture.  Texture includes throw pillows, rugs, throw blankets, window treatments (panels or curtains). Even decor you put on your shelves and walls can contain texture, like baskets.  Here are some examples: 

Throw blankets can be draped on your sofa, or even hung on the wall!  This El Paso blanket is a GREAT example of texture (and pattern!) that is highly versatile in any room or space. 

The curtains you choose play a huge role in incorporating texture.  Additionally, any natural materials like wood and wicker, seagrass, or jute all fall under the category of TEXTURE: 

3. Color & Pattern

Color and pattern go hand in hand.  Every room needs color.  Even if just a hint of it, color makes an impact.   Pair color with pattern and you've got a home run!  Here are some examples: 

Rugs are an effective, simple way to incorporate color and pattern.  And did you know that if your room is large enough, you can add more than a single rug to the room? If your room is small, you can also try the art of layering your rugs!  See this example: 

 Image from    (pinterest/instagram) 

Image from    (pinterest/instagram) 

Along with rug layering, pillows, blankets, and natural wood furniture add rich texture.  Texture adds visual interest and comfort to a room.  Doesn't this picture make you want to curl up on that sofa with a good book? 

And don't forget pattern.  Here is an example of using multiple patterns in the same space....

If mixing pattern scares you, I've created a Pattern Guide for YOU.  Just contact me below, for your FREE guide: 

And, if you love fresh new ideas for your home, SUBSCRIBE to my mailing list! You'll get regular updates loaded with tips, tricks, and special events/offers!!!!

If you are already on my mailing list, and would like a copy of my FREE pattern guide, just click below to reach me, and I'm happy to send you one!  

4.  Greenery

Greenery is a key piece to any room.  If you have a green thumb and enjoy the "real deal" in your house, even better.   I happen to be terrible at keeping plants alive, so I am biased toward artificial greens.  If you can do "real" by all means do!   

A splash of greens completes the space.  It can be as simple as a small wreath, or small plants on a table....

And that's a wrap for the 4 essential elements in any room of the house!  Adding these pieces to a space can take a room from nice, to amazing.  Experiment with texture, color, and pattern and your well on your way to a "designer" home interior!  

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Decorating with Novo Decor: What's right for you?

There is a lot of talk about decorating at Novo Decor this week.  Today, I'm outlining the decorating services I provide.

Up until now, I've provided two main services:

1.  Furniture painting

2. Decorating (partial or full room plan)

I heart decorating

Designing and re-creating a space is truly where my heart is, and that is where I will be focusing my services.  Though I will continue to paint furniture, these types of projects will not stand on their own, but rather, will be part of a room design/decorating project (if the room design calls for it). 

Decorating: Thrice the joy!

Novo Decor offers three decorating packages.  Each package is tailored to the customer, and starts with a home consultation.  The home consultation is an opportunity for me to see the customer's home, and get to know his/her style and needs for a particular room.  There is no fee for the initial home consultation. 

Keeping it simple: Three options

1. Design Board:  

A design board is a digital room plan that I design for the customer.  The board includes pictures of all the necessary decor, accessories, and furniture for the space.  A convenient product where-to-buy guide, and potential cost is also included.     

This option is for the home-owner who: 

  • Doesn't know how to choose decor, accessories, and/or furniture
  • Lacks time, and/or desire to come up with a plan
  • Is fine with the shopping part (on-line or in-store), if they have a plan to follow/where-to-buy guide.  They may say something like this.......

"Just tell me what to buy, and where to buy it, and I can do the rest (style the room)" 

This option is recommended for the those who, once they've got what they need for the room, WILL tackle the job AND get it done on their own by styling the entire room..  

Cost:  $59

Here is an example of a design board: 

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2.  Design Board + Styling: 

This option includes a Design Board (see #1), and a full styling service.  

This option is for the home-owner who:

  • Wants someone to put the room together FOR them. So many home-owners struggle with putting a room together. They browse Pinterest, or look in magazines and see plenty of looks they love, but they can't achieve the look they love on their own.  
  • knows they won't put the room together on their own time

They may say something like this.....
"Tell me what to buy, and where to buy it, but I want you to put it all together for me please!"

With this option, the customer obtains all the items that I recommend on their design board, and then I come in and put it all together; the "style" part. 

Cost: Pricing varies. An estimate is provided following consultation. 

3.  Full room design + Styling: 

This option includes full room design plus styling, which means that a plan is devised for the customer, decor and accessories are brought in, and the room is styled for the customer. 

This option is for the home-owner who

  • Prefers the convenience of having someone else do it all for them (shopping AND installing/styling the room)
  • Has limited time or skills to get it done themselves

Cost:  Pricing varies depending on scope of project.  Estimate is provided following the consultation. 

Which one is right for you? 

Whether you're not sure how to get started, or can't seem to get those finishing details quite right, Novo Decor has a service specifically tailored to your needs. 

Take advantage of my FREE home consultation and get instant ideas for your space.   So easy.  So smart!  

Do you have a room you just can't done?  How about a room you don't like?  Get your FREE consultation. I'd seriously love to help.  

Do you have teenage daughter who needs an updated bedroom for the upcoming school year?? Book any service with Novo Decor and get %10 Off your order. 

Have a great week!






Room REVEAL: Pulling the ("thrifted") pieces together for a room that POPS!

When we think about starting over on a room for a fresh new look, we tend to think it ALL has to be new.  That's simply not the case!  Mixing the old with the new creates a room that appears "pulled together", yet still has a bit of the "collected" look (meaning, not everything matches perfectly, and the room appears to have been put together over time).  

Today, I'd love to re-visit a space I decorated a few years ago.  My style has evolved in some ways (which you will notice), but overall the concepts I use to refresh a room have, and always will.....remain THE SAME!  

What are the concepts?  Using what you've already got, throwing in some "old" refurbished furniture and decor, and adding a bit of something NEW.  

Let's get to it......

This was a "double" space; meaning, there were actually two adjoining rooms that received this make-over.  First, a color scheme was chosen: 


Then, the shopping began. Certain items, like pillow covers, were purchased new for this space. Pillows are one item that I typically do not purchase second-hand (unless they're still in the package, or still have tags on them!)....

Above you see colored canvases.  Old canvas pictures are plentiful at thrift shops. Find a collection of them, and cover them with fabric.  I used bold colors to accent a wall. 

And of room would be complete without a globe.  I am obsessed with them! They add color, and whimsy to a home. 

Here's a look at one of the rooms BEFORE the "refresh":


I had a blank slate to work with.  After selecting color scheme, the next step was to collect all the necessary accessories and decor 

 Sorry the photo is blurry. Darn! 

Sorry the photo is blurry. Darn! 

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The black table, "bike" figurine, rocking chair, bins under the black table, and large picture on the wall belonged to the home-owner already.  Move them around, pull them out of hiding, and together they work.  

New items for this room?  The geometric rug, and the throw pillow!  THAT'S IT.   

Used items?  Oh there are plenty.....

 The tables were painted lavender 

The tables were painted lavender 

 The wood chairs were painted and re-upholstered with fun, colorful fabrics

The wood chairs were painted and re-upholstered with fun, colorful fabrics

Old artwork was revitalized with design....and paint. Lots of paint! 

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Okay. Time to move on to the adjoining room..... BEFORE: 



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Now, with walls adorned in colorful accessories, and additional seating, the room appears more balanced.  Curtain panels were hung on each side of the opening between the rooms, for warmth and subtle division of the spaces. 

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 The shelving unit belonged to the home-owner, and wasn't moved at all.  Items on that shelf were re-arranged, or moved to other areas of the room.  

The shelving unit belonged to the home-owner, and wasn't moved at all.  Items on that shelf were re-arranged, or moved to other areas of the room.  

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Thrifted Success Story

Today's post illustrates the effect of pulling together the "old" and the new (but mostly old!) to re-create a space into one that inspires.   Knowing where to look, how to find the right pieces, and what to do with them is the key.   If you have the time and desire for the "hunt", that's great.  I hope you use some of these ideas!  If not, I'm rooting for you, and I'm here to help! 

Do you have old items that could potentially be used in your "new" space?  Not sure where to begin, or how to finish that room? Contact me for you FREE consult!   

What are you waiting for? 




DIY rustic wall letters

If you like the rustic, farmhouse style, then you'll LOVE this tutorial.   And, you don't have to be a wood working expert to make this happen!  

The letter I made happens to be "L", which only required two, simple straight boards. I used a circular saw to cut my pine boards for this project.   Not all letters are this easy to make using wood boards......

Letters that have curves and points, CAN still be made using straight cuts.  You just have to experiment a bit with how you can make it work.   If you have a saw that can cut curves (jig saw), that's an even easier solution. 

The easiest letters to make using simple, straight wood cuts include:  L, T, E, F, H, I

For this project, you can use any type of wood board.  Pine wood works great for this type of project.  Pine takes stain well, and it is very low cost. I like the simplicity of pine, and how it looks when stained.  

Below is what plain pine boards look like right off the shelf at Menard's. 

Letter Size

Your letter can be ANY size you want!  Using wider boards will result in a bigger letter. My boards were 1x6 inch.   You can go narrower than that (1x4inch), or wider (1x8 inch, 1x10 inch, and so on).    To make an "L", like you see in the picture here, I only needed to cut two pieces of wood.  One longer piece, and one shorter piece (I eye-balled that part).  

Once you have your boards cut, then it's time to stain them.  I used "Dark Walnut" by MinWax: 

There is no need to stain both side of your boards! Just stain the side that will be exposed when hung.      

Hanging your Giant Letter

I took the easy way out and pounded two nails through each board, right into the wall.  You could attach hooks on the back of your letter for easy hanging.  Or, don't hang your letter at all; set it on a buffet, or dresser and lean it against the wall.  

And that is one easy tutorial on how to make a giant rustic letter for any wall in the house.  The "L" in these pictures hangs in our son Luke's room.  He likes it  We like it!  

Browse the blog and see more home decorating tutorials......

5 Tried & True Thrifting Rules to live by

Over the years, I've learned quite a bit about how to shop at second-hand stores (aka "thrift shops").  Thrifting can be your best weapon against over-spending on home decor; and believe me, I see this all the time with home owners as they begin decorating a room in their home!   Here's a taste of my tried and true thrifting guidelines....starting with patience.....

Patience is a virtue

If at first you don't succeed, keep going back to thrift shops!   You won't find something you like, every time.  Be patient!  

5 Rules to Live by (when thrifting):

1.  Condition:

Always consider the condition of the piece. No matter what it is, consider whether a "flaw" is fix-able, and even if fix-able, is it worth your time?  When that question takes you too long to answer, it's not the right find.   You'll probably see that exact same piece next week, without any flaws at all (and for half the cost).     

2.  Price:  

If you're a first-timer in thrift shops, you might think something is a "steal" but if you visit these stores enough, you will discover that what you thought was a steal, actually wasn't!   As you become a more seasoned thrifter, you will start setting your own max price limits for certain items.  Yep.  

3.  Usage:  

Ask yourself if it is something you'll use now, or at some point.  If you think something looks cool, don't just buy it because it's $1.99.  will you REALLY use it?  Though this stuff is low-cost, it does add up quickly and soon your home will be overcome with items you don't need!    

4.  Cleanliness Factor:  

Is the piece "clorox-able", or machine washable?  This is a biggie for me. If it is something that cannot be easily cleaned than I may shy away from purchasing it.  Used items are great, and even greater when clean!   Consider the "clean-ability" of the piece, and the time factor in getting that item clean. 

5.  Multi-purpose Items:   

Consider whether an item can be used in a number of ways.  For example, use a cute hand-made ceramic bowl for jewelry, instead of spinach dip (that was a weird example but you get the point).  I have seen some of the cutest accent pieces when used in non-traditional ways.

Thrifting really is an art.  You have to know what you like, and why you like it.  It also helps to know how you'll use it!!!  Happy Thrifting!      

Have you ever found a home decor item at a second hand store? Show us at

See these other posts related to Thrifting.....

4 ways to decorate with pink

Greetings!  Pink isn't just for little girl nurseries anymore! Pink can be the most striking home accent color when used strategically!   You're either a lover of pink, or simply just don't think about it when decorating.  

From its subtle hues to its striking bold fuschias, I would bet most everyone can find a pink they really like. 

Not just for baby girls' nurseries

Pink has evolved into a gender neutral color, and home decor is no exception.  No longer is pink limited to the little girl's nursery, or bedroom!   Today I am sharing ways (big and small) that it can be incorporated into a room..... 


Rugs are statement pieces.  They help pull rooms together and are a great way to add pops of color.  No matter what your style is,  I guarantee there exists a rug for your home.  How about some pink in that rug?  See these examples from 

So many different patterns and styles can make finding a rug overwhelming.  While it's a good idea to incorporate your accent colors in your rug choice, your rug doesn't have to match your decor perfectly. In fact, rugs can enhance the beauty of a room if they DON'T match perfectly. A rug with a splash of pink is a good start.  


Throw pillows are a simple way to add a punch of pink to any room.  If you are trying pink for the first time, pull it in with pillows.  On that note, look for pillow covers containing pink and cover your existing throw pillows.  You can find pillow covers on Amazon.  This is a low-cost alternative to spending $30 on a new pillow!  

Take a look at these fun pink throw pillows from Target.....


When you think of pink curtains it may create visions of your childhood room, daughter's room, or your baby girl's nursery, but pink curtains can be classy in an adult living space.  Seriously!

Dressing up your windows in rich hues of pink is sure to create an impact.  Here are some great examples....

Pink curtains don't have to take center stage either!  See the panels below with a splash of pink in them....

Use caution with Pink

When trying any new color for the first time, be careful not to incorporate too many larger pieces in that color (example:  large pink rug and pink curtains, or a large piece of pink furniture, and a pink rug). While pink accents are great, it can be overdone, and all those larger accents will compete with one another.    

Pull in your pink accents strategically, and perhaps start with one larger piece, or a few smaller accents. 


Equally important as a large statement piece, are the smaller accents throughout a room.  Here are some examples of smaller accents that don't scream pink,  but have the potential to carry the color throughout a room.....

Who doesn't love a pink elephant?  And a pink Target! 

You can also pull in subtle pink accents with your wall art, and even in your lamps...

Whether you choose subtle hues, or bold shades, pink can be a fun color to experiment with. 

Cheers to Pink! 


See more decorating posts below... 





Chic home decor under $5

Hello and welcome to the blog!  Here you'll find all sorts of tips, tricks, and behind-the-scenes on projects I am working on.  Today I'm sharing a great thrift find that set me back.....are you ready?......$5.    

The search

Miscellaneous racks at thrift shops can look crazy, and overwhelming, but can be gold mines. This vase was hidden (the best finds almost always are!), and caught my eye for several reasons:  

1.  Color

2. Size

3.  Shape.    

I don't think I know anyone who dislikes the color green!  Green is so versatile. There are tons of shades and families of greens.  It's a great accent color for any room.  This green caught my eye. 

The larger size of this vase is perfect for a mantle accent. A common mistake when decorating mantles is to place many smaller pieces on it.  Solution:  Choose a few large items to place on the mantle!  Larger pieces catch the eye, and make a statement. 

The unique shape of this vase is also a winner.  When I'm out shopping at second-hand stores, I'm always looking for items that are unique in shape. 

The deal

Let's do some comparison shopping.  The vase on the left is my thrifted vase. Cost: $3.99.  The vase on the right is from Pier 1 Imports.  Cost:  $59.95.  I saved $55.96.  Not bad! 

The vases share common characteristics, making it almost impossible to discern "thrifted" from brand new. I'm certainly no glass expert, and would be interested to know the difference in quality (or maybe there is no difference!).  Either way, the green vase is a gem. 

Displaying Vases

Got vases?  Going "thrifting" for some?  Here are some quick tips on decorating with them: 

1.  Display them in groups of odd numbers (like 3 or 5 vases)

2.  Use them for fresh flowers from the yard

3.  Display one large vase alone (remember, the bigger the accent piece, the better; especially if you have a mantle, or a larger area to accessorize)


Decorating with accessories of varying sizes, shapes, and colors can really make an impact.

Vases are EVERYWHERE, in every single thrift shop I've ever visited.   Embark on your vase search and you will be pleasantly surprised at the great pieces waiting for you! 

Do you have vases or unique decor on your mantle?   

Show us your finds at

Thanks for reading the blog today!    

Looking for something?  Search Novo Decor's website below: 




3 Decorating Myths Debunked

I wrote this original post in early January to kick off the new year, and today, I'm re-posting it!   Don't succumb to the myths....learn them.......AND see them get DEBUNKED right here, right now!   

Join I debunk them one by one!! Woop! 

Myth #1:  "If I do it myself, I"ll save money"

Decorating a room to completion does NOT have to cost an arm and a leg. In fact, some of the most beautiful rooms I've seen, were completed on a very reasonable budget (but you'd never know it!).  The thing is, these rooms were done by a professional.   
A decorating professional knows the ins and outs of putting together a room.  Everything from where to find pieces, to color combinations, and achieving a certain style....all the elements work together, and follow a specific plan.   An all too common roadblock to starting a room, (and finishing it) is the lack of know-how for pulling together these critical elements.   What happens then? 

Cost INCREASES.   Cost increases because the "parts" are being purchased without an established plan.  The result is "impulse" purchases.  And these add up, my friends!   The home owner isn't satisfied, because the room never seems to get done. And now, money has been spent.....more than expected.  
PROBLEM with "Doing it myself":  Budget is exceeded  The desired outcome isn't achieved.   

SOLUTION:  Hire a professional

OUTCOME:  A room that is pulled together and DONE!   The amount spent hiring a professional WILL remain within the budget set from the very beginning of the project.  No surprises!  

Myth #1   "If I do it myself, I'll save money"    ..................................DEBUNKED

Myth #2:  "Decorating professionals have specific styles.  If I hire a professional, he/she will create a room that isn't consistent with my own personal style/or my family's lifestyle." 

Re-creating spaces that are consistent with a home-owner's style is what makes a decorating professional, a professional.  Professionals know what makes up a particular style. They also have knowledge of how to create a particular style.  Working with a professional ensures that a home-owner gets what they want.  No hassles.  No headaches.  No guesswork.  

PROBLEM with "they won't do it in my style":   This is simply false!  Professionals make every effort to achieve the look the customer wants and loves.  Believing this myth won't get the job done. 

SOLUTION:  Hire a professional

OUTCOME: A completed room that is consistent with the home-owner's style

Myth #2:  Decorating professionals have specific styles. If I hire a professional, he/she will create a room that isn't consistent with my own personal style/or my family's style."    ............................. DEBUNKED. 

Myth #3: "It's too costly to hire someone"

This myth is relative.  Cost depends on many factors like the........  

  • Home-owner's goals or needs for a space
  • Desired style
  • Size of the space
  • necessary elements to achieve the desired look

Additionally, we're back to myth #1.  Not only does hiring a professional save saves time and hassles.   A professional will plan a space according to the home-owner's budget, and will adhere to that budget.   

PROBLEM with "it's too costly to hire someone":  Impulse buys, exceeding budget, time suck, hassles, unfinished room. 

SOLUTION:  Hire a professional

OUTCOME: A room completed within a set budget.  The room is done, and done well.  That simple. 

Myth #3: "It's too costly to hire someone"........................................ DEBUNKED


Hiring a professional to help you decorate your home is cost effective and smart.  Not only will it save a home-owner money in the end, it will save time, hassles, and the guesswork involved with FINISHING that room!  

Here's to finishing that room, and finishing it RIGHT.  



Need help decorating your home? Try a FREE home consultation!

Did you know that my home consultations are FREE, always?  They sure are.  And it's time to schedule your FREE home consult. 

What are home consultations? 

These are 30 minute, no-pressure, home decorating sessions that will give you tips on what to do with that room you want to "re-do", or freshen up!   Though I am passionate about decorating spaces, it's also about how these spaces inspire home-owners (you!) and evoke an even stronger love for home! 

Each home-owner is unique, just like each design plan.

How do you know if a home coaching session is right for you?

If you own a home, you are a candidate!   The best part is, IT'S FREE.  

Here are some common scenarios I hear.....all the time.....

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Sound familiar?  Whether you need tons of help, ideas for finishing touches, or an answer to that one annoying decorating challenge, a home consultation is right for you! 

And, because each home-owner and home is unique, customized suggestions will ensure that home-owners get actionable ideas, and real solutions tailored to their home!  My home consultations are designed to do just that.  I hope you schedule yours! 



Are you on Novo Decor's mailing list?  Join below and get my "Smart 7" guide to shopping second-hand LIKE A PRO: Rock your home interior with these top 7 second-hand store finds for the home!