Home style. The idea of it gets me all excited! I don’t have a degree or certification in interior design or anything like that, but I do love wrapping my head around interior style and spatial design. I have a knack for arrangement, symmetry, and color play.

For many years before my real estate career, I worked in the digital design space in many capacities. The string that tied each together was the goal of creating engaging products based on thoughtful design decisions that would mirror typical or even influence user behavior. It was a great way to hone my inner home stylist.

The similarities for great home style and spatial design are many. For instance, the minute you arrange furniture in a certain configuration, you are setting the stage for how the room will be used, how folks will chat and interact with each other…or not. Design calms in your bedroom, sits comfortably on your patio, warms up around your firepit, plays safely in your garden, and feels homey in your summer beach rental.

While I’ve always enjoyed interior styling, like pairing different fabric colors and textures and pasting them to my college dorm room walls, there was something about becoming a homeowner that made my passion blossom. My home was mine and I suddenly had all these rooms, canvases, if you will.

Here, I share some thoughts, inspirations, project successes and even disappointments.

How to Hire a Contractor Part One: Ready for Your Kitchen Remodel?

If you ask me, a proclivity for the managing of projects, a.k.a “project management” should be recognized as a trait – you either have it or you don’t. And yet, if you are a homeowner keen on renovation projects, this trait can certainly come in handy.

What if project management isn’t one of the traits that makes you, fabulous you? And what if you just have to remodel your avocado-green kitchen,

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Inside Stories | An Outdated Colonial Goes Glam in a Stunning Home Makeover

Alexis Goldstein is an artist by nature. A successful Director of Sales at a major digital property by day, her art hangs from the walls of her Maplewood NJ home and displays itself through the flow, fabric and distinction of her interior design. When she and her husband, Justin Goldstein, a Brooklyn-based Realtor at Halstead, set out to purchase a home, their priorities were solid bones, walk to town,

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Holiday Tipping Guide

It’s about saying thank you. 

Those of us who live in the Northeast of the United States have a wonderful holiday tradition – saying thanks to our year-round service providers by giving holiday tips.  Recently I’ve learned that in many places in the U.S., such as the suburbs of the Midwest, this isn’t a regional custom. Yet in their major cities, like Chicago, it’s done often. And it’s almost unheard of in the EU and in our neighbor to the north,

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Inside Stories | A Menagerie of Curiosities Finds a Home in New Jersey

A Collection of Natural Curiosities, Textiles, and Victorian-esque Oddities That Wes Anderson Would Adore.

Margot Tenenbaum greeted me at the door, as she so often does when I visit, and treating me like anything but royalty chased me from the mudroom and to the kitchen where I was greeted by her humans, Zoe Bean and Sweety.

Zoe Bean and Sweety, married with one son, live in a 1924 center-hall colonial in South Orange,

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Great Interior Design is An Expression of Who He Was, Even Harvey Keitel Thought So

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Carla Labianca


I live in a gorgeous 1895 Victorian otherwise know as No.139, with my husband Gary McDaniel, who is a frequent foodie contributor to this blog,

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FOUNDER & LEAD CONTENT STRATEGIST I live in a gorgeous 1895 Victorian otherwise know as No.139, with my husband Gary McDaniel, who is a frequent foodie contributor to this blog, and our three kids. While only four other families have called this place home, some of them made really bad choices that altered it’s classic design. And there was a cheapo flipper in the mix too. Now, we’re cleaning up their messes. This blog is a creative outlet for the love of home design and art, doable DIY, indulging in good eats, and throwing a good party. While I write many of our articles, I’m not the only voice. Tradespersons, small business owners, or our good neighbors with special talents will share what they’ve learned through posts, photography, and video. Think about it. Who better to give you advice on landscape design, a well-stocked bar, or how to hire (and fire) the right contractor for your home reno than those who do it for a living or simply a passion to give voice to their hobby? My day (and weekend) job as a REALTOR®-Salesperson for Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Maplewood, NJ, gives me a unique opportunity to peek inside homes. Whether a it’s a sparkling or still-in-the-rough kind of diamond – all are dream worthy. I manage my real estate biz through my brand, INHABIT SOMa by Carla Labianca.

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