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!

Ways to Create a Timeless Look

Fancy a classic interior that will look beautiful for the upcoming decades? There are ways to achieve this and preserve beauty for years into the future.

Preserve elements of an older home that can be appreciated for years to come. For example, save bronze hardware, interesting lighting and claw foot tubs. By keeping original elements, there is a feeling of preservation that resonates within an old, yet upgraded home.

Select classic looking cabinets with clean lines in style and simple hardware. This will ensure you maintain a classic look the never goes out of style. Classic styled cabinets have white or cream painted finishes or wood stained with a dark finish.

Take advantage of anything with clean lines. Use lighting with very clean lines stay away from ornate or elaborate decorative hardware. Select furniture pieces that have tapered legs and clean edges.

Select warm and light neutrals for paint colors, which will never feel too bold or overpowering. Soft cream, light grays and very light blues can also achieve this classic look. Stay away from bright or bold paint colors, which inevitably will go out of style. Also avoid wall paper, wall paper grows old at a much faster rate than a stylish paint color. Make sure to incorporate classic styled crown molding with dental moldings or tongue and dart details. Do not forget to add base board moldings as well. This will frame out the spaces and add classic details.

Understated neutral draperies are important to achieve timeless design. Stay away from highly decorative trim and use clean attractive tapes with geometric patterns that are not fighting with the pattern of the drapery itself. Use pinch pleats and other types of classic pleats as the headers for draperies.  Simple draperies with clean lines help polish off a timeless interior.

Stay away from bells and whistles. Technologies are ever-changing and become outdated very quickly. If you must use high-tech gadgets make sure they are hidden from the sight.

Tile and wood flooring are more formal and never seem to go out of style. Make sure you’re using neutral colors that will maintain a classic look.

Color Pallet: Ice Pastels – Cool Candy Pink, Lavender, Deep Blue Violet, Light Gray, Icy Iris

Are you looking to create a room that evokes softness and femininity? Look no further than the photo below. While it’s often tempting to refer to the pages of a magazine or an online website to find an room you like and copy the design, you can often have better luck with decorating if you think outside of those sources.

Using a photo that you find beautiful is a great way to generate creative ideas for décor, even if the photo isn’t of an interior space. It requires a lot more imagination of course, but isn’t that the fun of home design? You don’t have to go it alone though. We make it easy by giving you easy reference points based on this photograph. Read on to learn how this image of winter’s wonderful pastels can be translated to a lovely space.

If you’re a newbie in the world of self-guided home design, this will make learning this inspirational technique a breeze! Just read the bullet points and extract what works best for your personal vision. Or go for it, and follow it all the way!

 

The color pallet: Cool Candy Pink, Lavender, Deep Blue Violet, Light Gray, Icy Iris

 

What makes the color scheme work?

  • All of the tones are light, cool and icy
  • It’s an analogous color scheme, which means that the pink, purple and blue are next to each other on the color wheel. This is the most harmonious color scheme on the color wheel.
  • The only neutral base is the color white, which allows the pastel tones to read crisp and clear.

What is the tone and vibe of a room with this color scheme?

 

  • Soft focus, nothing stark or garish
  • Soothing and peaceful
  • Quiet and reserved
  • Elegant and refined
  • Feminine
  •  

What rooms might be well suited to this color scheme?

  • Nursery
  • Powder room
  • Bedroom
  • Rooms with a shabby chic aesthetic

What sort of furnishings would work well?

  • Distressed wood painted white
  • Mirrored surfaces
  • Metallic surfaces
  • Floral arrangements
  • Sheer curtains
  • Fuzzy rugs
  • Cashmere throws

Essential Steps To Make The Perfect Bed

Oh how beautiful the beds in catalogs are! You know, the catalogs they send that feature page after page of the perfect looking bed. The one that is so inviting you wish you could jump right into the pages and land on the glorious pillows and covers. But once you’re done perusing the photos, and you walk into your bedroom you think, “Well, at least the sheets are clean and the bedspread isn’t wadded up on the floor!” It’s time for a change. Take that ideal bed out of the pages of a catalog and make it your own. We’ve got the few tips you need to pull it off like a pro. Here’s how:

  1. Buy good sheets! Yes, we know, they aren’t flashy and fun like a new comforter, but you simply cannot have the perfect bed without good sheets. You likely already know about thread count, but it’s not the only important factor. Buy high quality, natural fibers. No synthetics. Find a cotton blend that is excellent quality, such as Egyptian, and combine that with a decent thread count. Your bed will feel just like a fancy hotel, and the bonus is that good cotton sheets will also wear in and get softer over time.
  2.  Own at least two sets of sheets for your bed, when you’re budget allows for it. They’re like clothes for your bed and you don’t own just one outfit right?
  3. Purchase three more layers: quilt/coverlet, bedspread/comforter, duvet. It’s so fun to do this part of the shopping!
  4. Once your sheets are on the bed, lay the quilt or coverlet on top.
  5. Then, fold the top sheet and quilt back, 1/4 at the top.
  6. Next, fold the duvet in thirds and lay it across the bottom of the bed. Pretty!
  7. Buy pillows. Don’t hold back. Buy good ones, and buy pretty ones. It’s a bedroom for goodness sake! You need: Pillows in pillow cases, euro shams, and decorator pillows. Stack from back to front – pillow case, sham, decorator. Two rows for a queen bed and three rows for a king bed.
  8. Mix up textures and patterns. Give your bed a 3-D look by using obvious texture. Such as, a faux fur pillow and a ruched bedspread. If you mix patterns, use different scales. So, for instance, mini gingham and a medium scale paisley. One is a smaller pattern than the other and this makes it look interesting!

How To Use the Elements and Principals Of Design To Decorate Like An Interior Designer, Part 9

Part 9 Color

Color is arguably the most impactful tool you have when decorating a room. All of the elements of design we’ve discussed thus far are critical components of a room, but color offers immediacy unlike any other. The moment you enter a room color demands your attention and evokes a strong influence over mood and style. Indeed, it even influences your behavior in a room. So, what is color, actually? From a home design perspective it is a sensation produced by visible wavelengths of light. It is one, or any mixture, of the constituents into which light can be separated, as in a spectrum or rainbow. Sounds lovely, but let’s get a little more practical with it.

The easiest way to become an overnight master of color is to invest in a color wheel, and then study the rules it represents. There are endless variations but you can decide how far into color theory you wish to delve. Short on time? Learning just a few of the basic color schemes will be plenty of knowledge to get the job done! 

Complimentary – Colors opposite each other on the color wheel. For example: pink and green. Complimentary colors are typically well suited to creating bold effects or vibrant color harmonies.  

Analogous – Colors that are next to each other on the color wheel. Typically you’ll find three of them being used and they are great for creating a sense of harmony in a room. Be sure that there is enough contrast between them to ensure the effect is obvious. A good example is the use of red, orange, and yellow.

Tetrad – Four colors used in complimentary pairs. For instance red, orange, blue and green. Typically, it works well to let one of the colors dominate, and the other three to support the overall effect.

As mentioned, there are far more combinations than these three but they are a great way to start. Don’t feel like you have to use full saturation hues to accomplish the goal. The example shown above uses very bold and impactful colors. However, you can adjust the technique to include medium or pale shades as well!

Next read Part 10 – Balance

Don’t forget to go back and start by reading Part 1

How To Use the Elements and Principles Of Design To Decorate Like An Interior Designer, Part 7

Part 7 Pattern

We know, we know! Pattern is one of the toughest elements to incorporate into decorating. There are so many choices that picking just one is a huge task. Forget mixing them! Who knows how to do that without creating a circus atmosphere? Well, actually, you! Simply follow these basic guidelines to get a grip on pattern.

As with our previous posts, let’s start once again with the definition of the word pattern. As it relates to interior decorating, pattern represents a change of shape or organized set of shapes wherein the parts of the series mimic the original in one or more attributes. Pattern is also predictable by nature, though it usually appears periodically in a room rather than throughout. When used properly it’s also proportionate to the other elements of design in the room.

So, what exactly does all of that mean? Let’s break it down. The fact that it mimics itself is obvious, but have you ever given thought to the fact that it evokes a sense of predictability? This is sometimes very effective for establishing a sense of continuity in a room. When complimentary elements of design like furnishings and textiles are combined, it creates a relationship between separate parts. When your surround it all with pattern, though, the room has a feeling of completeness because it’s as if it’s encased. The mind can settle into the oneness of the space by relying on the sense of predictability that causes us to feel as if all things important have been considered.

 For it to be executed expertly, however, pattern must be proportionate to everything else. One way to accomplish this is to use it periodically, for example, featuring a pattern on just three walls. Then, perpetuate the effect by incorporating additional patterns that coordinate. To do so you can use similar colors and/or smaller or larger versions related to the main pattern. This way they won’t compete with each other. Notice in the example photo that the three patterns are all a different scale. The floor is a large scale checker pattern, the wallpaper is a medium scale stripe pattern, and the pillows are a small scale geometrical patter. The harmony is completed by a consistent shade of green throughout!

Next read Part 8 – Time

Don’t forget to go back and start reading with Part 1

How To Use the Elements and Principles of Design to Decorate Like an Interior Designer

Part 1: Intro

The scene: You, standing inside a fabulous model home with your mouth agape. This particular home happens to be the third you’ve seen on a walking tour of some of the most beautiful homes in the region where you live. At the first house you found yourself innocently admiring everything. “Oh, isn’t this lovely!” At the second home you found yourself absorbing the immense creativity that was required. “Wow, this is really impressive. Like, really, really impressive!” By the time you reached the third house you’re in full blown wonderment, accompanied by a sense of dismay because you are certain you’d never be able to accomplish anything like it. “How do they do it,” you think. “HOW IN THE WORLD DO THESE DESIGNERS PULL THIS OFF? IT’S INCREDIBLE!”

Then you go home and wish for the lifestyle of the rich and famous just so you can hire an interior design magician! “Wouldn’t it be marvelous?” you say to yourself. “Positively dreamy!”  

While you may never be a professional interior designer, unless you go to school, there is hope. There exists a set of elements and principles of design that guide any skillful designer. Yet, they don’t necessarily rely on innate creativity, so even if you consider yourself a bit lean in the area of artistic inspiration, you can apply these fundamentals. They’re not terribly difficult to learn either. It may take you some time to master them as a whole, but little by little you could certainly create a knowledge base that would elevate you from, “My house looks like I just moved in and I’ve been here three years,” to “Gee, this looks pretty darn good if I do say so myself!”

If you’re tired of dreaming and ready to start doing, grab a pen and paper, get comfortable, and prepare to take notes! We aren’t going to turn you into and interior designer, but we’ll help you get by until you have an opportunity to work with one. Which we highly recommend! The depth and scope of their knowledge is marvelous.

Next read Part 2 – Space

Great Items to Bring When Trick-or-Treating

5823969_SA quick checklist to help your Halloween night go a little more smoothly:

• Glowsticks – There’s no end to how these little gems can help you on a dark night! Attach a glowstick to each child in your group to make everyone a little easier to see. Use matching glowsticks for the whole group or assign everyone a different color!
• Bottled water – Most kids will test their candy before arriving back home. Water will help wash it down and keep everyone hydrated.
• Sturdy bags or buckets – No one likes picking candy up after it has fallen on the floor! If you are traveling with multiple trick-or-treaters, an extra bag or two might save the evening!
• Flashlights and extra batteries – No need to explain this one!
• Jackets – In many locations, the temperature can change quickly once the sun sets. Also, don’t forget hats and gloves if the night might get super chilly!
• Camera – don’t forget this one so you can capture the moments for the years to come.
• Kleenex – Cool nights can come with noses that leak!
• A great sense of fun – Make sure to enjoy the time with the kids. Halloween is a fun night for everyone!

We hope your night is one filled with fun, sweets and safety!