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PrattTribune - Pratt, KS
by Jan Colvin
Highland House - my new home and adventure!
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About this blog
By Jan Colvin

I have been a professional interior designer for over 25 years (Allied ASID). I credit my mother Pat Robinson and Lucille Chase for my intense interest and love for design.
I've taught interior design at the college level and operated a ...

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Through the Front Door

I have been a professional interior designer for over 25 years (Allied ASID). I credit my mother Pat Robinson and Lucille Chase for my intense interest and love for design.
I've taught interior design at the college level and operated a private design business since 2001. Today I spend a majority of my time completing a new book which will be available in the first quarter of 2013.   

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Spruce up your cabinets with an amazing design element.
Courtesy photo Francie-Chic Shelf Paper
Spruce up your cabinets with an amazing design element.
By Jan Colvin
Sept. 3, 2013 8 a.m.



Good morning all my lovely readers! I am tackling the same scenario I recently guided you through—downsizing! My goodness a lot of blood, sweat and tears goes into accomplishing this new journey in life. My husband and I have made this move for personal reasons. Caring for and being more involved with a member of one’s family sometimes requires you to make some changes. And that is just what we have done—we have relocated to lend a hand.

I must admit that I have always wanted to take on the delight of putting my design touches on this lovely older home, which has been in our family for more than 35 years. By European standards, this might be viewed as a relatively new home, but in my family this is a house with some history! And, as Europeans do, I am naming my new home: Highland House! Remember when I told you about naming rooms to give them a personality that can literally guide the design concept? Besides, naming things is just fun, and I like having fun—don’t you? I have never in all my 61 years lived in an older home, so learning to understand the joys and sometimes bad behavior of my new Highland House will be a wonderful journey for me. I hope you will read the undertakings and growing pains the two of us have with one another and maybe even pass by on occasion to see our changes.

Let me start off by sharing one recent treat that literally warmed my heart! I was at Highland House and my dearest friend from childhood stopped by for no real reason—she just wanted to check on me. This may not seem unusual as it is common practice in this lovely community. But for me, I haven’t had someone just “pop over” to my home since living in a small neighborhood in Lenexa, Kansas, in the late 1970s. I’ve spent a good portion of my life in larger cities, so popping over just did not happen. After a quick look at the changes I had made so far, we went out on the porch to visit. Within about an hour another friend popped over for a visit! She too had no real reason for the visit—just came to talk.

Now, for some of you, this may seem silly that it’s such a big deal to me, but it is a big deal to this designer. Friendships are wonderful “designs,” even though some friends need more “fluffing” than others, and some are literally part of your “foundation,” like my dear friend from childhood! So we all lingered on the porch, which by design standards is in need of some TLC! I plan to handle the porch sometime soon, but for now putting things away and learning to handle a cranky plumbing problem has my focus. I do invite you to pop over, though, if you have a design question or just like to visit. I promise to bring lemonade or ice tea out to the porch for you on a tray! Gracious living can happen absolutely anywhere! And don’t we owe this to ourselves—to live graciously!

So, enough about me and Highland House. Let’s talk about some really really simple design changes that will have you humming! Recently I had the need to put shelf paper in cabinets and drawers for the first time in my life. I am not sure how I missed this brilliantly beautiful product, but my new attraction to it is now grand. (Although I’m not sure why it’s called shelf paper—I think it’s more of a rubber product.)

Consider sprucing up your cabinets with this amazing design element. Opening a cabinet door and seeing a wonderful plaid paper under glasses is just a delicious little gift to yourself. Let me share with you a few reasons why I’ve decided this product is the cat’s meow!

Shelves with some wear and tear look like they have been upholstered in lovely fabric. Open the cabinet and the interiors become a magical treat!

Shelf paper protects the painted finish and discourages paint damage.

The padding completely eliminates the clanking of crystal on a shelf.

It just looks so clean and pristine! If you are in an older home, placing your utensils in the old drawers surfaces can be a bit icky, so a shelf product gives you a sanitary peace of mind.

If things get spilled, it is an easy clean up. Be sure to read the instructions on the packaging to check the possibility of washing by machine. Or, merely spray it off in your sink, let it dry and put it back in your cabinets.

Brands such as Easy Line and Duck are easy to find at Walmart, The Home Depot and even some grocery stores. Finding wonderful designs at the dollar stores is a simple treat—and an inexpensive one, too! I also found an online store, www.chicshelfpaper.com or 877-333-4181, and, oh my gosh, it will make you mad for shelf paper! This company is actually a printer and can do custom coloring to match fabrics and paint colors as well as reproduce logos. They can also custom cut your paper so that you simply pop it into the drawers and shelves when it arrives—how easy is that? A nifty calculating tool on the site provides assistance. You might consider applying one of their four types of shelf paper to the backs of bookcases, cabinets or even entertainment centers for an unexpected touch of refinement or a contemporary edge. Now we are talking taking shelf paper to the most elegant level of design.

For a pretty edge treatment on the paper in perhaps a Shabby Chic design or even Grandma's lovely world of lace I have another web-site for you to visit. Check D. Blumchen & Company est. 1985,  HYPERLINK "http://www.blumchen.com/"www.blumchen.com, which offers the most charming doily/lace edging to add to shelf paper. So delightful! According to their website: “The classic white doily border was a popular edging for kitchen shelving and china and linen closets during the early to mid 1900s, and is still a much-requested item. Each strip of border trim is 40″ long and 3″ wide.”

As I often say, it’s attention to the small details that makes our lives a bit more wonderful! Who would guess that I would, after so many years in the design world, be absolutely goofy over shelf paper?! But here I am indeed, goofy over shelf paper. Buy yourself a roll or two or thirty, and suddenly all your drawers and cabinet shelves become masterpieces of organization!

See you next week for coffee on the porch!

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