Curating Your Space—Part 2

Welcome to part 2 of Curating Your Space! First, read Part 1 for our thoughts about Art Selections, Furniture and Textiles. Today we’ll talk about Lighting, Accessories, Finishes and Flooring.

If you think of your home as a carefully curated space, not solely for the purpose of being appealing to other people, but for the purpose of offering you rest and peace, this will help guide you as you decorate. Whether decorating is a one-time project for you, or an ongoing hobby, carefully choose the furniture, finishes, art, and items that fill your rooms, based on what is meaningful to you.

 

Lighting:

Don’t forget that lighting plays a big role in the atmosphere of your space. A room lit only from above has a different feeling than one lit with a few lamps in various parts of the room.

TIP: Instead of buying new lamps, think about repurposing the ones you already own in different rooms. Play with different locations and test out how the light feels in the room in different arrangements.

 

Accessories:

Accessories can be the most fun and dynamic part of decorating. Change up the arrangement of things as often as you want, add new items here and there as you find them. Pile on, or go minimal! Your selection of accessories is one of the easiest and most flexible ways to express your unique style.

TIP: Look online for styles of vignette arrangements you like to maximize the aesthetic appeal of your décor.

 

Finishes & Floors:

Just the opposite of accessories, the floors and hard finishes in your home are not changed often, so decision making can be harder here. Sometimes visiting a wide variety of places that inspire you, and looking at their finishes, can help direct your choice. They carefully curate their spaces so their locations look as appealing as possible—just as you want your home—appealing to you and your family for the purpose of rest and retreat.

TIP: Work with a designer if you’re not confident about the style you want, and they can help you find something you’ll like for years to come.

Curating Your Space- Part 1

 

Just as a museum or gallery curator carefully selects every sculpture displayed and canvas hung on their walls, so you too, are the curator of your home. A curator’s selections, in large part, determine the success of their business. The way your home looks isn’t connected to business success, yet a well curated living space can uniquely express who you are and provide sanctuary from the world. This takes some conscious effort and thought to achieve good results.

As you make selections for your home, think about not only the initial appeal to your senses, but also what speaks to you about your passions, desires and unique personality. You’ll find when you think deeply about what goes into your home, your personality will be reflected in your design and you’ll find more rest in your space.

In this two-part post, we’ll first talk about selecting art for your walls, furniture and textiles. Next time, we’ll discuss lighting, decorations, flooring and finishes.

Walls:

Art selection may be one of the most subjective and personal parts of any items you purchase. Since the selections are endless and tastes vary so much, be sure to choose works that you really like, not just what’s popular for the moment. A large painting you love, can be something you keep for decades. Where furniture, rugs and accessories might come and go, good art is enduring.

TIP: Look for one big statement piece and then create a gallery wall with more affordable prints from artists you like, going with smaller sizes and less expensive frames. These you can change out more frequently as you find new art you like.

Furniture:

Even if you have big money to spend, furniture can be a challenge. Finding furniture that you like, that’s comfortable and durable can take a while. If you’re looking at vintage shops, scouring Craigslist and thrift stores to keep the budget low, sometimes you can find pieces that have that perfect mix of style, personality and quality. High on personality, low on price—win win!

TIP: Even if your style is very clearly defined, add a little something that breaks your style mold to add an extra element of interest. For example: if you love sleek modern, add a side table that’s ornately antique, or if your style is rustic vintage, add a small piece or two with a high glamour to break up the rustic textures throughout your home.

Textiles:

The fabrics we include in our home offer us not only the pleasure of visual experience but tactile as well. Keep this in mind when choosing throw pillows, bedding, throw blankets and rugs. Part of enjoying the comfort of your home is enjoying snuggling in soft blankets, resting on pillows that aren’t just pretty.

TIP: Make textiles throughout your home represent a variety of pattern, color, texture and size. The variety will add interest and personality to your space! You can even do this within a monochromatic color scheme.

 “Allow yourself the patience to know it will all come together in time and enjoy the process! For me home décor is not a goal, but a continually evolving and kinetic art project.” –Amy Butler, designer

As you look at your home as a series of blank canvases, a gallery of who you are, be thoughtful, educated and brave as you make your home into a place of rest and enjoyment for you and your loved ones. Embrace your inner artistry, have fun and take charge as you curate your space.

Why Walk in Pantries Work

Having a walk in pantry instantly makes your life more organized and easier, if they are kept tidy and clean. Find out how to make the perfect pantry and how to use it more efficiently.

Often there is a closet near a kitchen used to store brooms and mops. It makes perfect sense to turn it into a pantry. If you want a walk-in pantry but lack the closet, you may want to have one built. It will be worth the effort and may add resale value to your home.

Install shelving, racks, and organizational products that are right for your needs. All pantries need ample shelving. Make sure to add as much shelving as you can comfortably fit into the space. This will help you neatly organize food and dry goods. The pantry is also a great place to store extra dishware and kitchen equipment.

Paint the interior a fun color. A nice earth tone green is the perfect paint color for this space. Simply leaving the walls white can brighten the area, but it tends to make the space feel utilitarian. Painting it a fun color will make you want to keep it neat and organized. The paint color can also inspire you to whip up healthy meals. Green seems to inspire one to cook healthier meals that include delicious veggies.

Don’t forget to utilize the space on the back of the door. This is a perfect place to install shallow shelving where all types of spices can be kept. It is best not to hang items on the back of the door, for the simple fact that they will be knocked around as the door is opened and closed.

In order to know what types of storage organizers to install, first write down exactly what you plan on keeping in the pantry. Make a quick sketch and plan out what items you need to store. This will get the ball rolling so you can research the type of organizers will be best for your needs.

Good luck with your new space!  It is sure to add quite a bit of enjoyment to your kitchen.

Easy Tips for the Home

 

Attempting to arrange your home using some of the principles of feng-shui can seem challenging and at times counter intuitive. Here are several easy tips to make the spaces in your home more balanced.

In the living room the goal is to create a comfortable, nurturing environment that promotes relaxation. This space should also be an intimate spot for family to spend time together. Place the sofa right against a wall. Place other seating elements, such as lounge chairs and love seats by windows. The paint choices should be neutral with pops of color achieved by using accents and accessories. Make sure the clutter is kept to a minimum, by housing storage that hides toys and other items, when not being used. There should be life within the room.  Keep a live plant as well as cut flower arrangements. The space should also be light and bright. Use mirrors on the wall to reflect the light and help make the area feel more open.

The kitchen is a very important room to the home. This space should promote nourishment and happiness. Keep the counter tops free of clutter. Make sure there is plenty of storage to mask kitchen equipment and other items that can clutter the space. The paint color should remain neutral, paired with warm accent colors. A warm yellow is a great accent to help promote cheer and warmth. This space should be well lit to promote energy and positivity. Use several different types of lighting to keep the space bright.

Bedrooms should be a place to rest and find peace. Keep computers and TVs out of this room. Make sure the bed is not placed across or adjacent to a door. Two night stands or bed side tables should be placed on either side of the bed to anchor it and provide balance. Do not use the space under the bed for storage. This blocks energy flow; therefore it should be free of obstruction. Paint colors need to be calming. A subtle mint green or lilac purple color is perfect for accent walls or accent colors. Paint the walls a warm color, like dark tan to create a warm and restful space.

Interior Design is All About the Details

 

Interior design truly is all about the details. Find out what details to use when making improvements or when building a new home!

Doors are noticed by all. The front door should be interesting as well as the interior doors. Do not try and save money by using the least expensive doors. Look for doors that have details that will incorporate well with your home. Raised panel doors or doors with applied molding make a space feel welcoming.

Trims and moldings are an excellent finishing touch to any interior or exterior. Paint the trim or moldings a color that will contrast the wall. White always looks clean and crisp. White moldings also have a classic appeal. Dark moldings are used to make a statement. Make sure when doing this method that you are highlighting a feature where you want to focus the attention.

Select interesting lighting fixtures. People always notice if lighting is upgraded in any home. Choose lighting that is right for the space and fits in with the interior and exterior styling. It is always a benefit to add light kits to ceiling fans. A room with no overhead lighting can feel incomplete. Place wall sconces and pendant lighting in appropriate spaces. A hallway lined with attractive wall sconces is a treat. Pair can lights with chandeliers and pendant lighting. Lighting is like adding jewelry to any space.

Hardware is a finishing touch detail that should not be taken lightly. Attractive hardware makes or breaks cabinetry and doors. Make sure to select an attractive hardware that fits your style and the style of the item where it will be installed. Hardware does not have to be ornate to be attractive, it just has to be a little different than the expected.

When designing a space keep in mind the details. Do not leave this process of selections as an afterthought. Therefore plan the details during the entire selection process for your home. You will be glad you did!

Refresh Your Look for Spring

Spring brings new life and growth and many of us get an itch to redecorate during this season. Yet sometimes our budgets aren’t ready to work with our blooming inspiration! Getting your wardrobe ready for spring and summer is easier in a sense because you can inexpensively change your look each season with a few new pieces. But in the home, all the finishes, furniture and walls are so big and expensive! You’ve probably heard it said repeatedly that the most inexpensive way to create a fresh new look is wall color. We agree, and we also have a few more ideas. Here are some ways to inexpensively refresh your look this Spring.

Bring the Spring Inside

Give some love to those houseplants by repotting them in new pots. Buy new floral arrangements for a couple different rooms. Maybe now is the time to buy that big vase you’ve been eyeing and fill it with tall branches to make a statement in that empty corner you never know what to do with.

Rearrange

Sometimes buying nothing and using what you already have can be the most fulfilling way to redecorate. Collect all your throw pillows, decorations, lamps, art, everything you can move easily, and put it all in one room. You’re essentially creating a little store of all your own things and repurposing from there. Switch area rugs, rearrange furniture. It’ll be fun and everything will feel new!

The Obvious

If you feel like shopping for new things—go for the obvious and most impactful. Throw pillows, lamps, area rugs! Then change the wall color in a couple rooms and you’ll feel a big impact with only a few changes!

Go for a New Look

This one could take some spending and planning over a longer period of time, but if you’ve been wanting to change your home décor style, what better time to start than now! Start small by searching online and in stores for one or two key pieces that reflect the new style you’re going for. Then you can use those items to fuel your inspiration as you plan for bigger changes later. For example, if you’re changing from traditional to modern, look for a bold graphic painting (or whatever reflects your modern tastes) to replace with a more traditional piece you already have. You can change a few lamps and area rugs. Maybe find a couple small pieces of furniture that will coexist with your old style until the style change is complete. Just remember to take your time and find the right pieces that will help keep the momentum of change going for you.

 

Enjoy the new season! We’d love to hear from you in the comments if you decide to make some changes this Spring!

St. Patrick’s Day Fruit Skewers

As small children are learning their colors, the discovery of each color is fun and exciting. Encourage their exploration of each color on a different day. They may have a favorite color – use that color to spark their imagination and grab attention. Use the color of the day to teach your child the name of the given color in several different languages! 

Along the theme of a color of the day, use this healthy snack (this one is themed for St. Patrick’s Day). On a side note any food on a skewers is not a good idea to give to young children.

Creating this themed snack is all about using the appropriate colors. For this particular holiday, use different shades of green. Then create a shaded effect, using the different shades of the fruit.

This snack is super easy and fun to make. First you will need to select green fruit. Once you have your produce, cut it into bite size chunks. Make sure to cut each fruit a little differently. This adds interest to the presentation.

Lay out fruits from darkest to lightest. This will create the shading effect on the skewer.

Things to use:

Wooden Skewers

Honey Dew

Granny Smith Apples

Kiwi

Green Grapes

Green Pear