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

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!

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!

A Country Kitchen

When you think about reimagining your kitchen, do you imagine it a place full of warmth and comfort? Is it where you go to cook your meals for your family and it fills up with the smells of cooking and laughter? If you are thinking about redesigning your kitchen and that is how you would describe your vision you may want to consider looking into your options for country kitchen design.

 

The focus for country-styled kitchens is to use natural, hand crafted materials to create a lived-in feel to the room—a place where your guests will feel comfortable pulling up a chair at the table and chatting while you cook dinner or a place where your family comes to gather and share their stories. The focus here is to use uniquely designed wood for your cabinets, chairs and tables to create a rustic look. You might even add paneled glass to the front of some of your cabinets so that your dishware and stemware show through.

 

Speaking of, these utensils, dishware and home appliances are a great way to give your kitchen that lived-in country feel. Mixing and matching different glazes and designs on your plates and bowls can add character to your kitchen. It harkens back to when most people had a mix and match of dinnerware, and can look as though you might buy one here and there at the local farmer’s market. If you used that glass paneling in your cabinets then your efforts will always be on display. Consider using mason jars as glassware as well, as they can also add to the overall design.

 

There are certain design patterns as well as color schemes that are more common in a country kitchen as well. Warmer colors are a must although blue is also commonly found, usually within a pattern or as tiling. Plaid and gingham patterns can be used as dishtowels or tablecloth to add a touch of pattern. If you are unsure about the color or pattern you want to use, imagine if you think it would fit in to a kitchen you would see in a traditional farm setting.

 

One of the most powerful statements in a country kitchen is the floor.  The right choice of flooring material can pull the room together and set a tone of cohesiveness in the space.  Think about the materials that would be used in a farmhouse setting: wide plank hardwood or large stone tiles are great choices. 

 

A country inspired kitchen is a place where your family and guests can congregate and spend quality time together in a space where you have intentionally created an ambience of warmth and invitation. It is a great way to add life into your kitchen!

Color Pallet: On Vacation, Baby!

Have you ever considered decorating a space based on inspiration from something other than a photo of a room? How about referencing a whimsical photo, such as the one below? We adore the jewel tones in this image of a baby girl who appears to have landed on the beach after an ocean journey in a suitcase! Most people would simply frame the photo and hang it on the wall. Instead, we suggest making it your primary guideline for designing an entire room!

How, you ask? By using our easy to follow bullet points for each style aspect of the décor. We’ve found that it’s often easiest to use our style advice if we offer it up in quick snippets that you actually have time to absorb before running off to the next thing on your to-do list. Simply extract what works best for your personal vision, or rely on it all to make your decorating project super easy.

 

The color pallet: Pure Sunshine Yellow, Seaside Teal, Nature’s Burgundy, Mocha, Punchy Pink Lemonade

What makes the colors work well together?

  • They are all jewel tones (with the exception of the neutrals.)
  • Jewel tones play especially well off of each other, compared to other color combinations, because their beauty is greatly enhanced when there are multiple shades of with equal vibrancy. In other words, it never seems as if they’re competing.
  • The browns are warm and rich, so they work exceptionally well with jewel tones.

What themes within the color scheme set the tone?

  • Yellow – joy, optimism
  • Teal – fresh, vibrant
  • Brown – earthy, stable
  • Pink – fun, spunky

What furnishings might work well in a room based on this inspiration?

  • Mahogany wood furniture
  • Wicker and rattan
  • Linen textiles
  • Life sources – aquarium, terrarium, plants
  • A water feature such as a fountain
  • Maps and globes
  • Designer ceiling fan

What spaces might best benefit from this design inspiration?

  • Beach house
  • Sun room
  • Spa or bathroom
  • Family room
  • Indoor porch

How To Use the Elements and Principles Of Design To Decorate Like An Interior Designer, Part 8

Part 8 Time

This particular principal of design may come as big surprise. However, it’s a critical component of decorating a room, because its effect is inevitable. Think about it. At any given time of day or year a room can transform and be quite different. Let’s examine.

You inhabit certain rooms in the house according to what time of day it is. Thus, light becomes an element of time in design. How does this effect decorating decisions? Many ways, but one of the most influenced factors is color.

Let’s say your bedroom is painted lavender. In the early morning it will have a softer tonality, diffused by the pristine, crisp morning light. By midday the light is perhaps a bit too harsh because bedrooms don’t generally feature excessive direct daylight, and this makes the lavender less appealing. You can control that element of time by installing sheers and possibly leaving them drawn through the rest of the afternoon!

Another way that time relates to a room is with regard to season. When designing you home it’s fun and effective to consider what a room will look like in any given season where you live. Maybe when it’s cold outside you just want to stay in bed, and so choose soft, warm furnishing. Perhaps when it’s warm you can’t wait to leap out of bed a go outside. Time to change the linens and textiles to something that feels cool and fresh! 

You should also consider long periods of time in your home such as months and years. Look at the photo above. One of the most beautiful attributes of real wood is that it gains character over the years. If you wish to preserve the original color as much as possible you can install drapes to completely protect it from the sun. But you’d be sitting in a dark room most of the time so it needs to be the right space for that. On the other hand, wood responds beautifully to natural light by slowly changing in color over time. Another time focused feature of the room is the fireplace. It’s merely a fixture when no fire is lit, but when there’s a fire burning it becomes a fabulous focal point. If it’s using during cold weather its role in the room is once again changed by time, because the fire is there for more than just beauty. It’s there to keep you warm!

Next read Part 9 – Color

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