Merry Christmas!

May your Christmas be filled with family and friends!

Merry Christmas!

How To Combine Color, Energy, and Nature To Create a Happy Home — Part 3

Part 3 – The Bathroom, Living Room, and Dining Room

The Bathroom

Color: Brown

Feng Shui dictates natures fundamental elements are balance in each room. Because the bathroom is dominated by the water element, a nice way to create energetic balance is to include earth elements. Accomplish this by including a variant of brown by way of paint, flooring, towels, or accessories.

Energy:  Reduce unpleasant energy in a bathroom by keeping the toilet lid shut when it’s not in use.

Nature: Aloe Vera is an ideal plant for a bathroom. It’s well known of its healing and restorative properties, and it requires minimal sunlight.

The Living Room

Color: Green encourages a sense of freshness, serenity, and recuperation which makes an excellent choice for a living room. It will make the space feel free of heavy sensations such as stress and fatigue so you can enjoy the company you’re in.

Energy: If you like the idea of the living room being low key, avoid the use of mirrors because they are associated with creating energy. Instead include soft textures because they help reduce strain on the nerves.

Nature: Reed and Areca Palms work well in living rooms because they are lively and grow well in low-lit rooms.

The Dining Room

Color: Red is a stimulating color that promotes social interaction, appetite, and alertness. These are ideal for a space where food and good company are enjoyed simultaneously.

Energy: This one is a no brainer in a dining room. The table is the center piece and the chairs are situated on the perimeter so that guests are all facing inward. It might also be advisable to keep peripheral furnishing to a minimum so that the focus remains on the center of the room.

Nature: Excessive plant life could make a dining room feel too busy. The best approach for including nature is at the dinner table through the use of a well designed centerpiece. It’s important for it to have a low profile so it doesn’t obstruct the view from across the table and make it difficult for people to converse. 

How To Combine Color, Energy, and Nature To Create a Happy Home — Part 2

Part 2 – The Bedroom and Office

The Bedroom

Color: Blue evokes serenity, reassurance, and calm. It’s been shown to help reduce blood pressure and heart rate.

Energy: Electronics and Bed Placement

Electronics are the most energy zapping things one can have in a bedroom. If possible eliminate them entirely. The light and frequency they emit can disturb sleep no matter how subtle or strong they are. Even the “battery charging” indicator on your phone can cause mental disruption. If you aren’t able to remove them from the room then make sure they are at least two feet away from the bed and turn off any that aren’t in use. For example, if you must have a television in the room, don’t fall asleep with it on. Watch your show, turn it off, and call it a night.

Feng Shui dictates that a bed should be placed diagonally across from the door, as well as allow for a clear view of the room and décor. 

Nature:  Lavender. The lavender plant is fragrant and colorful in a soft way. It is also effective for keeping the bedroom air fresh rather than stuffy.

The Office

Color: Purple is a bold color that stimulates creativity and evokes a sense of financial stability. This makes if perfect for a space that is focus creating the best version of talents and making money in the process.

Energy: Shape and Placement

In general stick to distinct lines and angular shapes in a place of work. They’ve been shown to increase productivity and reduce fatigue.

 Feng Shui dictates that a desk should face away from a wall because when it faces the wall they there is a negative effect on concentration levels and inspired thinking.

Nature: Plants that have simplistic designs and require very little care are ideal for an office. A work space is most comfortable if it feels like a “no fuss” area so plants that are delicate and require special attention would be distracting. Try a simple orchid.

Next read Part 3 – The Bathroom, Living Room, and Dining Room

How To Combine Color, Energy, and Nature To Create a Happy Home

Part 1 – Introduction

Humans are sensitive beings that are easily influenced by their surroundings. Our ability to reason and feel emotion makes us susceptible to an infinite number of influences that affect the way we experience the world. It’s safe to say that our primary drive in life is to be happy, so anything we can do to that end is a highly beneficial activity.

Although it’s estimated that we spend far more time at work than anywhere else, it’s a safe bet to assume that the second most frequented place is the home. While you can’t necessarily control your work environment or that of the rest of the world, you can certainly be the boss of the amount of happiness you get to enjoy at home. To that end we highly recommend spending time and energy on making your home your happy place.

Without a doubt that are myriad ways to accomplish this goal, but we are going to focus on three of the most effective techniques. They are: color, Feng Shui, and plant life. Focusing on these three methods in every room in your house will transform it into a very happy home. We’re going to break it down with room by room suggestions so you have a starting point in each space.

But first, the basic definitions of the influential factors:

Color – Color is proven to have a significant effect on the way we experience a space. Certain colors are well suited to specific rooms, whereas other colors would be ill advised choices in particular spaces.

Feng Shui – An ancient Chinese method for controlling intangible energies. In home design it dictates that the energies of house must be balanced in order to promote good health and fortune for its inhabitants. More specifically it has a psychological effect on our sense of ease and well being in a room.

Nature – It’s been proven that nature has an exceptional influence on the human experience. Perhaps because we are mammals we are inclined to feel most whole and content when aspects of nature surround us. At a minimum plant life has been show to decrease stress and promote good health.

Next read Part 2 – The Bedroom and Office

Family Time – Spend the Day Planting a Flower Garden

Planting a garden is a great way to spend time with family and enjoy the outdoors. Here is how to start a simple flower garden and have a fun time!

 

First, look in your back yard. Is there a patch of good soil to use? If not, do some research the night before and find ways to create a patch in your yard. This should be easy and won’t take that much time. And when you go to the nursery, make sure to get fertilizer for your soil to keep the plants growing and healthy. Next decide on a color scheme for your garden. If the flowers are color coordinated the garden will be twice as pretty. Deciding the night before provides you with a plan to help you choose the right flowers when you go shopping. A good color scheme should include around 3 colors. You should also choose flowers that look different than each other to add definition and sophistication. A garden of 3 different shades of petunias is a lot less interesting than a garden of yellow sunflowers, orange marigolds, and red roses.

 

Next, try to locate a nursery that is within walking distance of your home. This experience will be most ideal if you can include a family walk. Have the kids take a wagon to bring the flowers home in. If you do not own a wagon, most nurseries have them and you can either rent them or borrow them to take the flowers home. Otherwise just drive there and leave the windows in the car rolled down to enjoy the fresh air. While at the nursery consult with the experts as to which flowers on your list are actually best suited to your particular garden environment. Also ask about the ideal way to plant them and care for them. Take along a little notebook to take notes so you’re sure to remember all of the important facts.

 

Once you’ve brought your flowers home spend quality time with the family and plant them! In general there should be distance between each flower to make sure it has room to grow or bloom. Also remember to pay attention to whether the flower needs shade or sun. Once everything is planted, create a watering schedule to keep your plants healthy and hydrated. Last, don’t fogey to place a few chairs near the garden so you can sit outside and enjoy it.

5 Habits to Keep a Consistently Clean Bedroom

Because bedrooms are our personal spaces, they often become quite messy and unorganized. However creating habits can keep a bedroom tidy. Here are 5 habits to do just that!

 

1. Make Your Bed

Every room looks cleaner when the bed is made, even if the floor is messy. The best way to do it is to make your bed every single day as soon as you wake up. Not only will this help your room look and be cleaner but it will also be rewarding every night when you crawl into your nicely made bed.

 

2. Put Away Clothes You Didn’t Wear

Often bedrooms will become messy because when we are picking out an outfit, we don’t put away or rehang the clothes we chose not to wear. If you don’t do this, you will have a mess of both clean and dirty clothes on your floor that will create chaos. Simply putting away the article of clothing as soon as you decide against it will save you lots of time.

 

3. Use Your Laundry Baskets

If the laundry bin is out of reach and hard to access, then you will be more likely to simply throw your dirty clothes on the floor after a long day. Put the laundry basket somewhere easy to access and close to where you usually get undressed. This will encourage you to put your clothes in the bin as soon as you change.

 

4. Take Dishes Down

Although it’s unconventional many of us do enjoy food and beverages in the bedroom. It’s easy to cast the dishes aside and forget about them because they aren’t in the kitchen. However these items will make a room look very dirty and unorganized. As soon as your finished eating or drinking, immediately take your dish to the kitchen.

 

5. Keep Work Out

Another way bedrooms tend to get messy is because of work papers, books, etc. Not only does this make the room messy but it also brings the stress of daily life into a place of rest. If possible, store papers and books in your office or kitchen. If not, organize your papers either into your briefcase or closed drawers. So long as it’s out of sight and out of mind.

 

Easy To Follow Schedule: How To Keep Your Home Clean

Cleaning the house is a daunting and endless task. It seems like no matter how much you try to stay on top of it, one day not paying attention and the whole thing falls apart. It’s also a challenge to manage a schedule. No one has time to deep clean their home every weekend, and some chores only require your attention a few times each year. Others need regular attention, and some daily. Here is a simple, straight forward guide for emerging triumphant from the game of ‘you versus the house!’

DAILY

  • Wipe down countertops and high traffic surfaces (tables, kitchen, bathroom, microwave)
  • Wipe clean sinks and mirrors
  • Sort things and send them to their home room (toys to the nursery, bills to the desk, etc.)
  • Take out trash

WEEKLY

  • Deep clean bathroom (tub, toilet, floor)
  • Clean and sanitize kitchen (countertops, floors, appliances)
  • Vacuum all of the carpet
  • Do laundry
  • Sweep floors

BIWEEKLY

  • Dust
  • Change bed linens
  • Sweep and mop hard surface floors
  • Open windows, turn on fans, spray house with air sanitizer

MONTHLY

  • Clean baseboards, window sills, door jambs
  • Remove items from cabinets and drawers and clean inside
  • Remove items from refrigerator and clean inside
  • Clean oven
  • Clean rugs
  • Replace fragrance plug ins

SEASONALLY

  • Wash the windows
  • Organize the garage
  • Go through everything and get rid of stuff no longer needed or used
  • Redecorate for the approaching holiday or season
  • Clean throw pillows
  • Wax floors

An easy way to manage this is to purchase a calendar that you can hang in a main area in your home and use it strictly for marking up the cleaning schedule. This way, everyone will see it on a regular basis, and it won’t be cluttered with all of the other information that consumes calendars. Assign tasks each week, and you’ll be amazed at how a simple plan can turn into a space you can be proud of at any time!

Color Scheme — Complex Combinations

When decorating a room it is often easiest to use just three colors as the pallet. It most definitely simplifies any decision that happens along the way. But if minimalism or starkness is not really your design cup of tea, then having only three colors in a room will be a bore. Some people just feel much more at home when there is an array of hues surrounding them. The more colors you incorporate though, the harder it is to coordinate.

Although you may want an explosion of color to be the emphasis in a room, it’s never a good idea to let it appear to be mismanaged. Controlled chaos is the key to using multiple colors in design! If you like the idea but have no idea how to go about it, you’ll love this quick and easy reference. We are featuring our top eight suggestions for complex color combinations. Ready to get started?  

  1. Pastel Green, Bright Pink, Brown, White
  2. Celery Green, Plum
  3. Silver, Teal, Purple
  4. Indigo, Teal, Yellow, Magenta
  5. Red, Brown, Gold, White
  6. Brown, Coral, Green
  7. Orange, Yellow, Black, White
  8. Lavender, Blue, Dark Green, Light Green, Beige, White

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 out on a table or large sheet of 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 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

Color Pallet: Zebra Candy – Gray, Lavender, Plumberry, Onyx, Aqua

We love this look because it accomplishes something that’s quite challenging. It manages to look refined and classy while still being oodles of fun! The trick is balance! With too much of the fun stuff, such as the zebra pattern and the candy colors, the space would feel more like a teenager’s bedroom. With too much of the staid gray and traditional molding, the space would seem stuffy and boring. The lighthearted details would become irrelevant if they there less predominate amidst the gray. 

To help you accomplish this look we are going to break the elements of the room down in sections because it’s often easier to understand them that way. If you happen to be a novice, this approach will make learning our design a breeze! Just read the bullet points for each aspect of the décor and extract what works best for your personal vision.

The color pallet: Lavender, Light Steel Grey, Plumberry, Onyx, Pastel Aqua

What makes the colors work well together?

  • Plumberry and aqua are complimentary because the Plumberry has a red undertone and the aqua has a green under tone (red and green are complimentary.)
  • The lavender also hints at a Triadic color scheme. This is three colors on the color that coordinate nicely because they equally spaced apart on the wheel.
  • The onyx and light steel gray are a perfect base for the candy colors because they are bold and straightforward. Thus they don’t muddy the overall effect.

What makes it classy and refined?

  • Straight lines
  • Geometric shapes
  • Limited use of pattern
  • Simplicity
  • Fresh flowers
  • Traditional molding
  • The light steel gray

What makes the room fun and whimsical?

  • The zebra pattern
  • The spunky floral arrangement
  • The pop of candy colors

What makes the room glamorous?

  • The shiny, onyx furniture
  • The grand gray walls with detailed, traditional molding.

What gives the room some edge?

  • The shiny, onyx furniture with sharp corners