Color Scheme — Black

Decorating your home with a focus on the color black is a sure way to add drama, sophistication, or a little edge to the design. It can also be a challenge because too much of it can be overwhelming, making a space feel too dark and closed in. Visit any design gallery or home furniture store and you are sure to find a million options in black, but the trick is to use it in smart measure.

The modern take on black is typically to make it the least prevalent color. In other words, use less black than any other color. Think of it as an accent color rather than a focus color. This is a great way to add emphasis to important features in a room. Make them black and they’ll stand out beautifully against the backdrop of the other colors in the room. Ready to get started? Enjoy our guide to the very best combos!  

  1. Black, White, Lime
  2. Black, Red, Purple
  3. Black, White, Tiffany Blue
  4. Black, Pink, Pale Pink, White, Grey
  5. Brown, Black, White, Kelly Green
  6. Classic Black & White

Once you’ve chosen the color scheme you like best be sure to make a list or sketch of the color layout of the room. Decide what will be black as opposed to the other colors you’re using. Switch it up until you’ve settled on a plan that ensures black will look its best. Don’t forget to consider electronics. Many of them are only sold in black!

Color Scheme — Gray

If there were a race to be the color of prevalence in home design in 2015 the clear winner would be gray! Visit any design gallery or home furniture store and you are sure to find oodles of items in gray. Not just furniture though! We’re seeing it in flooring and cabinetry too.

The challenge of incorporating gray into your home has to do with avoiding anything too dreary or institutional looking. If done wrong you might end up with a room that lacks a sense of energy or life. However, the modern take on decorating with gray relies on one simple difference. In 2015 gray is nearly always featured alongside a bold pop of color! It’s fresh, it’s fun, and it’s an entirely new way to do gray. Ready to get started? Enjoy our guide to the very best combos.

  1. Black, Gray, Cream Mustard
  2. Navy, Coral, Gray
  3. Gray, White, Pink
  4. Purple, Gray, Cream
  5. Beige, White, Gray
  6. Powder Blue, Pastel Pink, Lavender, Gray
  7. Gray, Cream, Mandarin Orange

Once you’ve chosen the color scheme you like best be sure to try it in various combinations before settling on one. For example, try gray in unexpected ways like artwork, lamps, and wood flooring! In all of these examples, however, the pop color is intended as an accent. So use it mainly on soft furnishings and accessories. 

Color Schemes — White

White might seem like the easiest possible option when it comes to decorating your home. In theory it coordinates with everything. It’s basically a blank canvas. However, the difficulty level sometimes increases if you want it to be the most prevalent color in a room. If you’re ideal room is large expanses of white it’s important to ensure that you balance it well.

If not, your home will look more like an institutional structure than a place you’d love to live. Which isn’t to say you can’t feature more white than any other color. In fact, we think it often works best to tip the scale in favor of white. To use it like a pro just be sure that you combine it with colors that are equally eye catching. This will ensure the room looks well coordinated instead of un-unified. Ready to get started? Enjoy our guide to the very best combos!  

  1. White, Beige, Gold
  2. Tiffany Blue, Pink, Yellow, White
  3. Aqua, Fuchsia, Lime Green, White
  4. White, Silver, Gold, Dark Brown
  5. Warm Yellow, Coral, Dark Orange, White 
  6. Red, Fuchsia, Black, White
  7. White, Purple, Grey
  8. White, Beige, Brown, Gold

Once you’ve chosen the color scheme you like best visit the paint store and pick up paint chips. Get a few of each color so you can experiment. Take them home and lay them on a large piece of white paper. Use scissors to trim them to different sizes and combine them in various ways. This will give you an idea of how much of each color needs to be used to achieve the effect you want!

How To Stage Your Home So It’s Ready To Go On The Market, But Not Stay There For Long

Part 3 – Final Touches

  • Freshen up. It could be argued that of the five senses smell is the most influential on our kneejerk response to something. Open all of the windows, and then set floor fans in each of the rooms, and let natural airflow help carry away that lived in olfactory presence. Then, close all of the widows and make plans to be out of the house for an hour or so. Before you leave use an air sanitizer and go bananas with it. Spray every room in the house thoroughly. Also use a fabric scent sanitizer for curtain, couches, etc. Follow up with plug-in air fresheners that will keep the house smelling pleasant on a daily basis. 
  • Have the carpets cleaned. Doing so will not only make a huge difference is the appearance of the house, it will eliminate odors as well.
  • Deep clean shelves and the interior of appliances. There is the possibility that someone will take a quick moment to peer inside the oven or pantry cabinets. If either of these is dirty it’s a major turn off. Scrub things thoroughly, and if necessary use fresh shelf liners.
  • Un-clutter the kitchen. Visit any home and you’re likely to find the kitchen overflowing with stuff. Unread mail, homework assignments, blenders, coffee maker, utensils. Try the 80/20 rule. Remove 80% of these things from sight and leave 20% so the space still looks a little lived in.
  • Appeal to people’s sense of taste by displaying a container of seasonal fruit and vegetables on the countertop or table. The human eye will make a quick connection with the space being a great place to eat.
  • Light it up. Turn the lights on in any and all spaces that benefit from it while guests are touring. Even if it’s daylight outside, people will respond best to well lit areas. For example, a bathroom with a window should still be shown with the light on. Also, as soon as dusk sets turn on outdoor accent lighting.

 

How To Stage Your Home So It’s Ready To Go On The Market, But Not Stay There For Long

Part 2 – Simplify

  • Sweat the small stuff. As homeowners we all get comfortable enough in our space to let the little things slide. Things like a shoddy screen door, cracked base boards, or un-retouched holes in the walls can be easy to ignore if you are around them on a daily basis. However, these details will make a big statement to someone who has never seen your house before, and the message will be “Neglect!” Time to make that nit-picky list and get to work on the small stuff.
  • Sweat the big stuff. Clutter is a sure way to make your house seem small and unwelcoming. It also makes it very difficult for a potential buyer to envision what their stuff might look like in the space. Make it easy for them by getting rid of everything you can. When it comes to selling a home less is DEFINITELY more. Do this in as many spaces as possible. Don’t skip the pantry, closets, or garage. How does one do this with limited space? In an ideal scenario rent a portable storage unit, known as a pod. You’re going to move anyway so why not start the packing process right away? If this isn’t an option, still start packing and neatly stack boxes in the garage.
  • Create simple unity. Paint over any area in the home that features odd or bold colors. People aren’t very good at seeing something other than the way it is. So if they see a purple wall they won’t able to envision it in beige.
  • Take you out of the equation. By this we mean pack away any personalized items that are expressive of your life and interests. For example, a wall-collage of family photos or a collection of magnets on the fridge. Make it so they can envision their own family in the house.

Next read Part 3 – Final Touches

How To Stage Your Home So It’s Ready To Go On The Market, But Not Stay There For Long

Part 1 – First Impressions

Ready to sell but not exactly ready? Grab a cup of coffee and read this three part guide to staging your home. Check of everything on this to-do list and watch your home go off the market fast!

  • First impressions are everything. Before concerning yourself with the interior ensure the exterior is appealing. Otherwise, people might not even bother to see what’s inside. The trick to a quick exterior improvement is to do things that have the most impact. No one wants to reinvent the front yard, but a few changes will do the trick. Try planting fresh flowers if the season allows for it. Spruce up the grass with a couple of pieces of sod. Add new mulch or a sprinkling of new rocks to worn areas. If you have the funds consider doing any necessary work to the garage door. It frequently accounts for much of the outside visual space seen be a potential buyer.
  • Make a statement when people make an entrance. Beautifying the front door area of your home is a smart and easy fix. Yes, curb appeal will get them out of the car, but you want to build a sense of anticipation when they are waiting for you to open the door. Set out a new welcome mat, hang a wreath, and sweep away dust and cobwebs. If there’s space, add a chair or two, as well as potted plants and flowers. If the door itself has seen better days repaint it or replace it. Don’t forget clean up any glass as well. Nothing says ho-hum like old, dingy glass in a door or entry-way window.
  • Go crazy with cleaning or hire a maid service. There is a big difference between the quick cleanup job we do on the weekends and an actual deep cleaning of the entire home. Pay attention to things like grout, baseboards, doors, etc. Get out the strong cleaning supplies and put in some solid Cinderella time.
  • Create visual space by removing unnecessary furniture. If you can’t store it, try reconfiguring the layout. Experiment and move things around until you find an arrangement that consumes the least usable space.

Next read Part 2 – Simplify

How To Prepare For Guests and Be the Ultimate Hostess Part 2

Part 2 – Kitchen, Guest Bathroom, Pets

Moving right along let’s continue with more guidelines as to how to be the best possible hostess when guests come to stay in your home. The goal is ensure that they feel appreciated, relaxed, and a little bit at home.

Kitchen

  • Set out everything your guest might need for morning coffee or tea. You’ll get extra points if you arrange it prettily. Fold a napkin, place a spoon on it, and set an empty mug next to it. In the morning set out the cream, sugar, and tea bags.
  • Ensure that your guest is comfortable and well taken care of by also preparing your refrigerator ahead of time. Before their arrival ask what they like to eat. Not just for a formal meal. Ask what they like to snack on. It will be much easier to keep them satisfied and save yourself excessive food prep time if tasty, easy-access food is in the house. Such as fruit, nuts, sandwich ingredients, etc. Plus, nothing says guest of honor like a spread of food that was clearly purchased with your guest in mind. 

Guest Bathroom

  • Prepare the guest bathroom by overstocking it with clean towels. Even if your guest only uses a few of the towels, there is something about extra towels that make a bathroom feel luxurious. Make sure to stock all the necessities of bathing. Even if your guest brings their own, they won’t have to ask for anything they forgot and they’ll realize how thoughtful you are. Things to include are shower gel/soap, razors, shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, extra toothbrush, q-tips, cotton balls, and lotion.

Pets

  • If you are allowing pets into your home everyone will have a much better experience if you plan ahead. First, remove or block off anything in the home that absolutely cannot support the presence of an animal. Next, create a space on the floor for the animal’s food and water. By deciding ahead you can avoid the inconvenience of randomly placed pet dishes under foot. Give your guest an extra house key if they will need to leave for a short while to walk the dog when you’re not home. Provide doggy waste bags to ensure your guest doesn’t upset your neighbors. Last, ask you guest to bring along a pet carrier or crate if you aren’t comfortable with the animal running loose in your home when everyone is out for the day or night.

How To Prepare For Guests and Be the Ultimate Hostess

Part 1 – Guest Bedroom

It seems that in nearly every facet of life society has become less formal. Day-to-day clothing has become more relaxed, our words have become less rigid (the word “jeggings” is now in the dictionary!) and we eat rather than dine, often in the car.

Some people are huge fans of this relaxed way of life, yet others miss the controlled and deliberate way of conducting one’s self. In either case, when guests come to visit your home, you have an excellent opportunity to excel in the area of good manners and conduct.  No matter how kicked-back you are, guests bring out our more formal entertainment skills.  No one wants their guests to wander aimlessly trying to figure things out.

Help your visitors by following this guide to being the most welcoming and thoughtful person with whom your guest has ever stayed. 

Guest Bedroom

  • Wash all bed linens. Even if no one has used the guest bed in a long time, at least rewash the pillow cases. Otherwise the bed may feel or smell dusty and musty. You want your guest’s olfactory experience to be pleasant and relaxing.
  • Speaking of pillows, spend a few bucks and buy new ones if needed. Replace them if the ones on the guest bed are poor quality older pillows that were banished from another bedroom. Pillows can be found at very low cost and a fresh bit of poof will feel lovely under your guest’s head.
  • Add extra blankets at the foot of the bed. People’s bodies operate across a wide scale when it comes to temperature. Even if you feel like you are always hot, a person who usually feels cold will really appreciate those extra blankets.
  • If possible, have a TV and/or white noise machine in the room. Some people fall asleep well while watching television, and others are very sensitive to sound and will sleep better with the hum of a fan or something similar.

Next read Part 2 – Kitchen, Guest Bathroom, Pets

Happy Memorial Day

Today we remember and honor every man and woman who has given everything for our country.  Thank you. 

The 60-30-10 Rule

When you set out to decorate your home it usually begins with a million and one ideas about what colors to use, all of which can overwhelm you and leave you feeling like you have too many to choose from. This can make deciding on your final color scheme seem like an impossible task but there are great tools you can use to narrow down your thoughts and inspiration and channel it into the design you envision.

 

There is a golden rule when it comes to decorating a room and it holds true for any room, no matter what. This is the 60-30-10 rule and this is a great way to begin organizing your ideas and color schemes. What the rule means is this—about 60% of the space you are decorating should be the dominant color. This means that the dominant color in your room will be the walls, and a general rule of thumb is to keep this dominant color a neutral color. This way if you decide to change color palette elsewhere in the room, the walls will always match.

 

The next 30% of your room should be your secondary color. This will account for much of your upholstery on your furniture. You can get a little more creative here, but it is a good idea to not stray too far from the neutral color family for the same reasons you want your walls to be neutral as well. It makes it easier to reinvent your color schemes down the road if you don’t have to repaint your walls or replace your furniture.

 

Finally, the last 10% will be your accent color. This ten percent is where you get to play with your color scheme. Add a pop of color with a bright area rug or a statement piece of art on your wall. Choose a color family and stick with that in your accents throughout the room. The colors do not have to match, but they should go. For instance, you might have artwork hanging that contains varying shades of the red family. You might then use a coral throw pillow on your couch to add another touch of color to your room.

 

This golden rule of interior design is a great rule of thumb for those who are starting from scratch decorating a room. It is a useful and easy to remember concept that helps regulate color schemes and results in a balanced result.