Some Important Changes At Laurel Home



It’s a different kind of post today.

I need a little favor..

While I explain what’s going on, I’m going to intersperse a few exquisite gardens for you to enjoy.

tumblr_m85jeeJXaj1rt4krso1_1280Maze Gardens at Ruspoli Castle Northern Lazio, Italy

 I began this blog well over three years ago. After a very rusty start for the first two years, little by little, its readership has grown far larger than I could’ve ever imagined it would. And for that I’m very grateful.

You guys are the best. I’m totally enjoying all of the long-distance (and local) consults I’ve been doing and the best part is your responses back to me.

howard-design-studio-hydrangeas-poolHoward Design Studio

If I could, I’d just sit here all day and solve your decorating problems and write the blog. But it’s not enough to live on and it’s definitely not going to get me an office on a tropical beach with my entourage of handsome buff dudes. ;]

I’m torn, but if I’m going to fulfill any of those dreams, something needs to change with the laurel home blog.

brooke-steve-giannett-patina-farm-gardenBrooke and Steve Giannetti Patina Farm

The upshot is that I’ve decided to cut back my blogging schedule from twice a week to once a week for the time being. If I find myself with a quieter week, I’ll add back the second post, but for now you will only hear from me on Sunday.

That will free up at least 12-15 hour of time, because it’s not just the post, but the follow-up. I feel duty-bound to respond to everyone who has taken the time to write me. And don’t get me wrong. I LOVE hearing from you. Your comments mean so much to me. Some of them make me cry. The good kind of crying.

Therefore, instead of the mid-week post, I’m going to be working on some new things to make the site better. I think that you’re going to appreciate all of this as well.

  • I’m also going to be putting up a better fee schedule. The fee schedule will be a guideline because each situation is unique and the fee might end up being a little more or a little less depending on your specific needs.
  • This change will also allow me to work on some rockin’ interior design products. The problem there is… I love them all. But they are not for me, they are for you and I want to develop the ones that you really want. Otherwise, what’s the point?

castlesandmanorhouses.com_beautiful-boxwoodCastles and Manor Houses

To help facilitate some of my future endeavors, there is a very brief (only 5 items to answer multiple choice) survey below. I’ve listed a summary of five interior design products and all you need to do is rate them from 1 – 5. (very simple). There is no obligation to take it, but I would love it if you did!

The survey is completely anonymous and unspammable. (hmmm… that really should be a word). But if you don’t know what that means, it means that you won’t get any crap email. Not from me, anyway or anyone that I’m associated with. There’s nothing that irritates me more and I’m sure you too!

Thank you in advance! ugh. I just found a dumb typo on the survey after I hit send. Also, it’s 7:15 on the 12th, here’s a link that might work better for you than the embedded survey.




Create your own user feedback survey

5th edition rolodex-post-graphic - November 2018 - A unique shopping guide with hundreds of sources created by Laurel Bern

  • Eileen - August 19, 2015 - 12:56 PM

    I’ve learned a lot from you. And I’ll be asking for a paid consult, in part as a way to support this blog.ReplyCancel

  • Jen - August 14, 2015 - 1:44 PM

    You go, girl! (I think the saying goes:) Found your blog a month ago and I have never loved a blog quite as much! Expertise + humor = a winning combo!!ReplyCancel

  • Teri - August 13, 2015 - 9:55 PM

    Laurel, I would love if you did an article on how to make up a bed. I really suck at it. My main problem is always the bed skirt. I hate them. I want alternatives. One of my beds has a wood railing, and a skirt won’t fit anyway. I would pay someone to fix this problem on all my beds if I knew whom to hire.

    I can’t be alone in this, can I?ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 16, 2015 - 12:15 AM

      Hi Teri,

      Me too! No really. I’m the worst at making a bed. My bed has a wood railing and I love it. It’s from Serena and Lily. No skirt. I’ve done them for clients but not in a while.ReplyCancel

  • Dawn - August 13, 2015 - 6:32 PM

    I am not a decorator, just stumbled upon your blog one day. I love your blog, really enjoy your sense of humour (not a typo, that is the Canadian spelling). I am also an addict when it comes to looking at design and pictures of spaces. I appreciate whatever time you can give to your blog and will now look forward to Sunday (usually not a fan as it is the day before the work week begins.)

    • Laurel Bern - August 18, 2015 - 12:18 AM

      Hi Dawn,

      My wasband (also not a typo, lol) is from Zimbabwe, so I am exceedingly familiar with all sorts of Anglo-Saxisms including “Jersey” (sweater) “Cloakroom” (washroom, lady’s room, John) “Biscuit” (cookie) and much more of course, as well as a plethora of redundant U’s. lol Thank you so much!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 16, 2015 - 12:27 AM

      Hi Dawn,

      My Wasband is from Zimbabwe and waslaws are in Toronto, so I’m familiar with all sorts of Anglo-saxisms.

      Yeah… when I was a teen-ager often moped around on Sunday. My mom called it Sundayitis. lolReplyCancel

  • Diane Stewart - August 13, 2015 - 6:27 PM

    Do whatever you need to do to be happy! Best wishes!!!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 16, 2015 - 12:28 AM

      Thank you Diane! I wish there were two of me but I guess we all wish that sometimes!ReplyCancel

  • Claudia Joyce - August 13, 2015 - 1:41 PM

    I found you when googling paint colors. Yes, I’m that woman who paints a room three times to get the right shade of white! I may not “see” it in a small paint chip, but definitely “feel” it when it’s right. Your taste and suggestions have been greatly appreciated. I look forward to your blog in my in box whenever it arrives.

    • Laurel Bern - August 16, 2015 - 12:30 AM

      Hi Claudia,

      I do think that some rooms tell us what color they want to be!ReplyCancel

  • Sherri Perry - August 13, 2015 - 10:13 AM

    I always look forward to reading your blogs, but you must follow your dreams. You can never go wrong when your sixth sense tells you what to do. I wish you the very best!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 18, 2015 - 12:10 AM

      Hi Sherri,

      Thank you so much! I don’t know if it’s a sixth sense so much as some professional advice I received. But changes need to be made. The truth is… I love blogging so much, so we’ll see…ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 16, 2015 - 12:33 AM

      Hi Sherri,

      I think for me, it’s the pressure I was putting on myself. I don’t know if four posts a month is enough, but for now, it’ll free up an entire day+ to focus on my projects.ReplyCancel

  • Laurie - August 13, 2015 - 7:54 AM

    Good for you. Follow your dreams. This just gives me something to look forward to on my Sunday mornings. I love reading your blog.ReplyCancel

  • Patricia Freeman - August 13, 2015 - 7:32 AM

    Happy that you are exploring your new pathway….exciting new journey awaits you and us!……Keep blogging…..appreciate your insight about all things “interiors”!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 18, 2015 - 12:06 AM

      Thank you so much Patricia!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 16, 2015 - 12:35 AM

      Hi Patricia,

      I’m overwhelmed by how many kind people there are and appreciate the support! Thank you so much!ReplyCancel

  • Geoya - August 13, 2015 - 7:28 AM

    Everything you post is valuable and I treasure it and you. You are gifted and that is certainly a blessing to all of us. Whatever you need to do next will be great! I can certainly live with one day a week blogs! Excited to see any changes!

    • Laurel Bern - August 18, 2015 - 12:02 AM

      Thank you Geoya! I can’t seem to keep up with the comments and I had missed you! Hope all’s well with the family and your new little one!ReplyCancel

  • Bonnie - August 13, 2015 - 7:16 AM

    Are you doing any design consulting in Canada? Also, you are by far the best design blog out there. Follow your dreams 🙂ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 18, 2015 - 12:05 AM

      Hi Bonnie,

      Sorry, I missed your sweet comment! I do long-distance consults but right now am a bit inundated. It’s kind of like my cup runneth over… and what I really need is a 5 gallon bucket! (okay, litre!) :]ReplyCancel

  • Elan Durham - August 12, 2015 - 9:34 PM

    Thought I’d share my Interiors/Exteriors Pinterest page with you, as you’re there already!



  • Kim - August 12, 2015 - 9:24 PM

    Lauren, I can’t click fast enough when I see you in my email. Thank you for sharing your wealth of knowledge in such an informative and entertaining manner. I have decorating paralysis for fear of making a mistake, and I find your bluntness and decisiveness inspiring.

    P.S. I successfully completed the survey on my ipad through the link you posted.ReplyCancel

  • Antonia - August 12, 2015 - 9:22 PM

    Twice a week is too much work, although I do love reading the blogs. It’s summertime you cannot burnout go out and enjoy our beautiful NY weather, one of the best summers so far.ReplyCancel

  • kathie - August 12, 2015 - 9:16 PM

    I just recently got addicted to your blog and I will tell you it makes my day when I read it. Your insights and knowledge are wonderful and the way you present everything is delightful. Looking forward to your weekly blog more then ever.ReplyCancel

  • Teri - August 12, 2015 - 8:16 PM

    I think I hyperventilated three times! I am dizzy now, thank you very much.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 13, 2015 - 9:10 PM

      Hi Teri,

      haha! I’m so sorry to do that to you! Hope it’s better now!ReplyCancel

  • Debbie - August 12, 2015 - 8:02 PM

    Yes, follow your dream!! I’m turning 65 this year, and am realizing I did too much of putting my dreams on the back burner. So, I say go for it!!

    Love your blog, your sense of humor/irony…’re good, and it’s obvious that you love what you do.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 13, 2015 - 9:08 PM


      It’s not too late! My mom is 92 and had her first book published at 74. Her second book, at 84. And look at Furlow Gatewood. He was building his compound of gorgeous homes well into his 80’s!ReplyCancel

  • Susan from Chicago - August 12, 2015 - 8:02 PM

    I enjoy your blog and really appreciate your frankness and your eye for design! I couldn’t do the survey on my iPad so switched to my Dell and filled it out. So excited to learn about your color collection! Also, I had just done my own pairings of Farrow & Ball to Benjamin Moore colors but only with the few colors I was interested in so I certainly appreciate the ginormous amount of time and effort that went into that project! I just discovered Ben Moore’s Williamsburg collection and Harwood Putty which is making my heart go pitter-pat!!! Will be painting my horrible brick fireplace that color. Yes, it’s going to be exhausting painting over brick but I’ll ice up my arm while staring at it from my bed!! I’ll enjoy your blog any time you send it out so go ahead and get some balance in your life! Blessings!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 13, 2015 - 9:06 PM

      Hi Susan (from Chicago). I was born in Chicago but we moved when I was a baby. Somebody else was just telling me about Harwood Putty, so I’ll have to take a closer look at it. I love painted brick!ReplyCancel

  • Jo - August 12, 2015 - 7:25 PM

    Laurel, I had a blog for two years and it sucked the life out of me, so I gave it up. As a decorator myself, I think all you’ve offered above are tremendous tools for anyone, and even I learn a great deal from you because you have a fresh approach and fabulous talent. I also feel you’re a designer of good taste, which is paramount to your success — so much design now is scattered and all over the board, but you have the knack for blending the old rules with the sense for where and when to break them to put your own stamp on everything you do. Be true to yourself. It’s all that matters. Kudos.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 12, 2015 - 7:35 PM

      Hi Jo,

      Yes, I’m verging on burnout. And I really don’t want that to happen. And I definitely don’t want a ghost writer! haha! Someone once told me that I needed someone who could write “in your own voice.” Well, like Big Bird said, “There’s Just One You…” :]

      But thank you so much for all of those kind words. Means a lot to me! xoReplyCancel

      • Jo - August 13, 2015 - 10:53 AM

        Big Bird is smart. Also, a wise columnist once said, “The great thing about being a columnist is you get paid for all those fascinating ideas swirling around in your head. The bad thing is you have to write them all down.” Smiles.ReplyCancel

        • Laurel Bern - August 18, 2015 - 12:12 AM

          Hi Jo,

          The problem is… I’m not getting paid. If I could just write the blog and make x a day, I’d be fine with that. Just growing pains I think. The reality is that I’ve gone from zero to sixty in a very short time and need more help! Thanks so much for the support!ReplyCancel

        • Laurel Bern - August 16, 2015 - 12:31 AM

          Thanks Jo. I actually find it relaxing most of the time to do the blog. But alas… it’s not the only thing on my agenda!ReplyCancel

  • Michelle - August 12, 2015 - 7:13 PM

    Hi Laurel!
    I’m an enthusiastic newbie…as in: I discovered your blog less than 48 hours ago and, as a result, now have nothing packed for our annual week at the beach : )
    I’ve loved (understatement) exploring your posts and am just soaking up your incredible advice. Of course, I now MUST repaint our home the second school starts!
    Just wanted to say hello and thank you for sharing your knowledge with a side of (really, really funny) humor. I hope you will continue educating and entertaining us but, more importantly, wish you great success and happiness.
    PS–(Would be happy to complete your survey but I’m having the same issue a couple of your other admirers have mentioned.)ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 12, 2015 - 7:28 PM

      thank you so much Michelle! What a sweet comment. If you’ve read them all, that would be quite something! Sometimes I look back and I can’t quite believe it! The link should do the trick. It looks better too! I figured that since it was working for me, it would work on all devices. I must complain to survey monkey! ReplyCancel

      • Michelle - August 13, 2015 - 3:25 PM

        Thanks Laurel!
        Haven’t gotten through them all just yet — had to actually start packing. Decided I’d enjoy them even more while watching the waves.
        Hopped on to my laptop and the survey worked perfectly. You have some clever ideas there…although that’s not exactly shocking.
        Just thought I’d let you know.ReplyCancel

  • Jane - August 12, 2015 - 7:04 PM

    Using a iPad and can’t get to survey eitherReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 12, 2015 - 7:25 PM

      There’s a link now Jane. Learning curve since this is the first time I did this. I have an ipad, so I can see the issue now. how weird!ReplyCancel

  • Christine - August 12, 2015 - 6:55 PM

    Survey does not work. But good for you. Do whatever it takes to get your vision realized. Just a question though. Will you be removing any old content? I continually refer back to older posts and would be lost without them. Good luck!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 12, 2015 - 7:24 PM

      Hi Christine,

      There’s a link now which should work. It works on my ipad which i rarely use. And no, not removing old content. That’s actually bad for the search engines. A few of the really old ones were taken down and occasionally they get reworked to be better but not removed.ReplyCancel

  • Dolores - August 12, 2015 - 6:50 PM

    Did the questionnaire without a problem; you are just too generous with your time and expertise, so whatever works for you will be just wonderful! Thank you as always..ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 12, 2015 - 7:32 PM

      I think people on desk tops are okay, but there’s a way to add a link instead of the embedded post. Thanks so much Dolores!ReplyCancel

  • Donna - August 12, 2015 - 6:41 PM

    Had the same scrolling problem with my iPad.ReplyCancel

  • Carol DeGraeve - August 12, 2015 - 6:41 PM

    Hi Laurel, i love your blog along with all your wonderful design advice! Is it just me or are others having trouble too…the questionnaire isn’t showing up correctly. Just have the first question and doesn’t show whole line?? I didn’t see a click thru either. Wishing you the best!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 12, 2015 - 6:57 PM

      Yes, lots of problems on Ipad and maybe other devices. I tried to make it more narrow to see if that would help. I’m not having any issues with my macbook.ReplyCancel

  • Roberta Heider - August 12, 2015 - 6:32 PM

    I would love to take your survey, however, it won’t let me scroll down past the first question. Also, part of the right hand screen is not showing.
    Maybe it’s my iPad, who knows. I must say I enjoy your blog immensely, and hope it goes on forever. I do like your feisty and down to earth tone, it makes the blog so much more fun.

    Best wishes,

    • Laurel Bern - August 12, 2015 - 6:58 PM

      thanks again Roberta. Hopefully, it’ll work for you nowReplyCancel

  • Ann - August 12, 2015 - 6:30 PM

    Was there a schedule? I didn’t realize that, I’m just happy when the email from you arrives. If it helps you out, less blogging is fine– but you’ll be missed! I don’t know how you get as much done as you do.
    Please try to continue the “help line” though; your spot-on advice was invaluable to us when we wrote you about our new house (still working on it), and it’s great to hear your solutions to the real life decor issues of the others who write in to you.
    Good luck!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 12, 2015 - 6:54 PM

      Hi Ann,

      haha! Well, for me. Yes. I think for the last six months or so, it’s every Wed. and Sunday. Occasionally Thurs and Sun. That’s the problem. I’m not getting other things done. Of course, I’ll still do consultations. Love them! The nicest people write in! The ones on the blog are almost all fictitious. If not, then I say so and have asked permission to use their situation!ReplyCancel

  • Tricia Heliker - August 12, 2015 - 6:17 PM

    I understand the need to be compensated for all the time and work that produces such a great blog. I’m a little nervous knowing a blog I only found recently is going to change, but based on what I’ve seen so far, I’m sure I won’t be disappointed. Wishing you much success.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 12, 2015 - 6:51 PM

      No worries, Tricia. You probably won’t notice a thing because once a week will come by quickly. Twice a week has been preventing me from doing anything else! I guess I’m incapable of just putting up something short and fluffy. ReplyCancel

  • TKraft Art & Interiors - August 12, 2015 - 6:16 PM

    Totally get where your coming from. This will just make reading your Sunday Blog that much more enjoyable. Breathe!ReplyCancel

  • Marcie - August 12, 2015 - 5:53 PM

    Follow your dreams! I am sure those of us who follow you want only the best for you.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 12, 2015 - 6:49 PM

      Thank you so much Marcie! I appreciate the support!ReplyCancel

      • Mia O'Kane - August 13, 2015 - 6:54 AM

        Laurel good luck with whatever you decide to do in the future, I only wish you the best. You have taken a lot of time and effort for us readers and I would like to thank you. God bless xReplyCancel