Category archive - Redesign and Decorating Ideas

Update Rooms with Color

Update Rooms with Color

Fall great time to update a room. But where do you start? I have decided September to be the month to blog about how to re-think a room and how to develop a color pallet in a room. Colors have an impact on us, they can’t necessarily be felt but they can change the way we feel. The visual clues define a space and speak to us creating a mood of the room. Each season paint companies develop pallets that work with home fashions and textiles to create a mood, update a room and bring freshness to our spaces we live in.

wyeth blueYou may say, my wall paper I hung in 2001 is great, it might be…but it may also be outdated and dark. Think of it this way, you purchase one or two new items of clothing each season, right? You have to admit you love something new to wear.  Updating a room can be looked at as a gift to yourself by refreshing the old, bringing new light in your space. You feel better about the space because it feels new. This year’s color pick by Benjamin Moore is Wythe Blue; it is such a classic- not over powering and actually a calming neutral. Blue isn’t you? There are so many other pallets to work from, so where do you begin…

 

pop of orange

 

What are the color trends this season? The combination of neutrals such as light grey to something darker like charcoal, browns like mocha and cinnamon, creams and whites then mixed with bright pops of honey gold, rich blue, bright orange, and even pink “the colors of causes” brighten up rooms and spaces. The balance between the neutral and pops of colors are important to create the character you are looking for.

 

So how do you begin? Follow along this month and I will help you define the ambiance and colors needed to create and update your room!


Can’t Paint? Idea to Decorate Plan Walls

Can’t Paint? Idea to Decorate Plan Walls

As I helped unloaded all the “necessities” into the college apartment I noticed how cold, sterile the white plan walls are.  I thought aside from inexpensive posters what else could be used to decorate plan white walls to spice up the room? You can’t paint the walls in most college apartments, dorm rooms or in some apartments that you rent, so what else can you do???

There are many companies now that offer wall “stickers” that are removable and add just that pop that a room might need... How about adding a tree of knowledge to a college dorm room to inspire …Tree of knowledge

Just search the internet for sticker wall art, wall stickers, sticker wall paper and you can find a ton of sites and companies that have very cool designs. You can even have a custom design done- maybe the college mascot, a favorite animal, or just shapes. I am also seeing these at stores such as Ikea, Target and Home Goods- although the breath of designs not as wide.

These are completely removable and do not damage the walls. They will add whimsy and style to those plan white walls. Experiment, be imaginative have fun! Great idea for any room. Let me know what you tried!

 


Designing By Numbers

Designing By Numbers

I am often asked  how far, high, amount, etc. things should be placed in a room.  There are some general guideline to use but many factors go into creating a perfect space. The contents in the room, the placement of objects in a room, size of room,  architectural details etc. all play together to make a space perfect.

These tips might help when you are not sure, or find something is not looking quite as you expected.

ART

When hanging a piece of art on a blank wall (no furniture around) the center of the frame should be at eye level- approximately 50-60 inches off the floor.  Above a couch the bottom of the picture is typically hung 6″ above the back of the couch. When grouping pictures of different sizes and shapes in a room on different walls, keep the top of the frames or bottoms level throughout the room depending on objects within the room, and sizes of frames. This allows the eye to easily move around the room. Of course these are only general guidelines but it’s a place to start if you are totally confused.

LIGHTING ABOVE A TABLE

Light fixtures should hang about 30-34 inches above a table for a standard 8 foot ceiling. If the ceiling is higher add an inch for each additional foot beyond the standard 8 feet. You do not want to be sitting at a table with the light fixture obstructing your view.

 BHG.com

ACCESSORIES

Although symmetry can create a calm space within a room, the best way to achieve balance other than symmetry is to work in odd numbers (3, 5, 7 etc. of something) The eye finds this more pleasing.

Speaking of odd numbers, when designing window treatments break the height into thirds also. For instance if you want your curtain to swag on the side of a window have it come either 1/3 or 2/3 down the side of the height of the window.

OTHER ITEMS

When putting down an area rug you should consider to have at least 18 inches between the edge of the rug and wall. There are exceptions such as entry ways.

When grouping furniture so guests can comfortable sit and talk place the couch and the armchairs 4-9 feet apart.

Shelving should be open, less is more. Try to keep 30% of the space as open space when adding items. Baskets are a nice way to reduce the cluttered look on shelves.

Kitchen counters… the maximum appliances left on countertops should be no more than 3. Countertops are work areas and they should be kept clear.kitchen

Let me know how you have used numbers in helping achieve the perfect room!


Hand-Me -Down / Inherited Furniture- What To Do??

Hand-Me -Down / Inherited Furniture- What To Do??

Many times I go into a house to do a consult and I hear “oh, that piece was my parents”, or “I inherited that.” Followed by “it really is not my style or, it does not fit the space.”  When people downsize or unfortunately pass away, we  inherit furnishing. Many of these pieces are usable in the home spaces, but most people just don’t know how to incorporate them.

floor planWhat to do when the newly brought home piece “does not fit” into the space? If you really love the piece and you cannot find a place in your space, it would be well worth your time and money to call in a professional stager. For a minimal cost they can help you with placement and flow in your rooms.  When the flow of a room is not quite right, subconsciously it can play as a discord  in our minds every time we enter into the room. We forever feel like the newly acquired piece is a misfit, when actually it might enhance the space.

 

Consider the condition of the piece. For upholstered furniture ask yourself does  the fabric work, does it look tired and worn, are the cushions in good shape? The fabric may looked tired and used, not coordinate with other items in the space, sometimes the seat cushions need to be replaced. The finish on the wood or metal might need some “help.” You can find many products to restore the wood and metal at hardware stores, there is a wealth of fabric on line, or in nearby stores to help get the look you desire. Find a good professional upholster that can help with fabric selection and cushions to reupholster and revive  and harmonize with what you do own.

 

orginal chairrefurbished chair

Here is a great example from  myhomeideas.com

 Wood pieces can be refinished with stain, wax, painted, varnish, lacquered,  new hardware can be added. Metal pieces can be refinished and painted. Home design stores, magazines, furniture stores can be a wealth of inspiration. The best thing with hand-me downs is the cost- typically they are free, and sometimes better quality .  If you lack the do-it-yourself confidence, call in the pros to help. For minimal cost you will have a treasure to pass on to the next generation.

 


Money/ Earth Day

Money/ Earth Day

Earth Day is here, we try hard to save energy, be green , recycle, try not to pollute our Mother Earth.  Sometimes it is easier to talk about, think about then really do. Here are some facts about going even a little green in your home to help save some money.

For every $1 you spend on home improvements to decrease annual energy bills, the value of the home increases by $10 to $25 dollars.  So you say big deal, but if you translate this to a 3000 square foot home these numbers can translate to a $8,000 to $25,000 increase in the market value according to The Appraisal Journal. Utility bills are one of the higher expenses in most houses. Some green improvements can lower those bills by as much as 20 to 30% that could be a considerable savings for anyone.

dollar sign

Simple things like insulating your pipes, adding insulation to your attic, weather stripping windows and doors can start saving you money. Of course if you own an older home doing more aggressive up dates like tankless water heaters, and more efficient air conditioners can help save a lot of money. It’s something to consider if you are feeling the pinch of escalating utility cost of your house. It’s also wise because when you decide to sell your home, these improvements will be looked at quite favorably.

Now that’s money in the bank, for being Green- I like that, don’t you?


Color Trends | Spring 2012

Color Trends | Spring 2012

Looking to update your home but not spend a ton of money doing so? Paint is an inexpensive way to give any room a fresh new look. Adding pops of color that are suggested in the pallets below with accessories can add that special touch to complete a desired look in any room of your house.

Spice Life Room

Benjamin Moore room design using Spice Life color pallet

 

Benjamin Moore have separated out the colors in categories by Earth and Sky, Eclectic Elegance, Spiced Life and Sense and Sensibility. Check out their web site  to view the beautiful palettes and how to create a room with the colors suggested.

 

 

 

Sherwin-Williams 2012Sherwin-Williams uses Mother Earth to create their color pallet of Neutrals, Reds, Blues and Greens. They tell a story in their videos that explain how these fabulous colors can work in any room to evoke emotional responses that we all look for. Click on their link to see what I am talking about.

 

 

Pratt and Lambert 2012Pratt and Lambert relates to our feelings using color through shades and hues that create a mood we desire in rooms. Their Essence, Instinctive, Enough, Echo and Expressive color lines each address a way to create a different look that you can convey in a room. Visit them to get inspired.

 

The color trends created by these company experts start to give you ideas, getting your creative juices flowing and narrowing down the huge range of color. I love the neutrals mixed with the different saturation’s of blues, greens and reds. I would love to hear what inspires you this season to update or change a room.


Home Improvement Projects | Inexpensive Updates

Home Improvement Projects | Inexpensive Updates

Home improvement either you love to do it, or hate it.

After being in your home for a while you start to look around and see things that might need some updating or just need a change. Then comes the question of how much is this going to cost me…Here are some ideas to help save you some money or inexpensively get an updated look in your home.
paint canThe biggest change and least expensive thing any homeowner can do is paint (but not necessarily this color!). A fresh coat of paint in a room can make all the difference. If you have done some renovations and you may have imperfections on the wall, go with a flat or matte finish it will hide some of those. When using color or deciding on what color to use, find something in your home to give you inspiration. Maybe it is a color in a printed pillow, a shade of color in a picture, rug, throw or an accessory you have.  Use those bits of color to develop a color scheme to update the room. I suggest to clients that are looking to redecorate a room, or those that are thinking of putting their house on the market to paint at least once every 5 years.

The accessories in a room are also something to think about for an inexpensive update. Get some new accent pillows, maybe a new throw or lamp, those small inexpensive purchases can give a big impact most of the time.

If you feel that your kitchen is in need of an update, and you don’t want to do a total renovation, see if you can use the existing layout and possibly just update the cabinet doors, maybe your budget will then allow you to splurge for the granite you love. Maybe a new floor is all your kitchen needs. Objectively look at the space and see if you can work with much of what you have.

Bathrooms are another room that can get expensive to update. Again, can you leave the layout- big savings. Possibly put down an updated tile floor with a larger tile say 12×24 to achieve an update look. Possibly you can find floor models of sinks, faucets, tubs that you have in mind which can save you money. Even just updating the light fixtures can change the feel of the room- especially those builder “Hollywood” light fixture so popular in the 80’s and on! When updating  think of the feeling when you go to a luxurious  spa. The bathroom is a new “retreat” room for many people today.

Keep the 5 year mark in your mind when owning a home. If you have the same window treatments, bedding or pillows, your walls are a little scuffed up, or you still have those posters you hung in college as art, maybe it is a time for a change. These fixes can be inexpensive and make a huge impact in a room. If you have some other idea’s I would love to hear about your home improvements!


Redesign- What is it?

Redesign- What is it?

Redesign can be considered the  green way of decorating.  Redesign professionals love to work with educated , savvy homeowners that have a passion their belongings, and have style, but struggle how to put it all together to achieve the look they desire.

A redesign professional will evaluate a room, understanding what the client is hoping to achieve.  The redesign can be as simple as rearranging furniture within the room or home, or adding accessories. The key to a fabulous house is not necessarily expensive items, it’s about the perfect mix of old and new, with an infusion of color and fabrics, and textures.

Redesign professionals have multiple talents and can advise a client on every aspect of interior design.  We can help by doing a one-day room makeover, setting the home up for special occasion, help stage the property for getting it sold on the market or assist in finding the right window treatment or picture that will make the room come together. We know what details are important to add to a room. We are the “go to” specialists when it comes to decorating on a budget and getting the biggest bang for that budget.dining before and after

This dining room looks completely different! By simply using what the client had on hand we transformed the room into a place where anyone would be proud to dine with friends and family! What do you think?


Renovations Dos and Don’ts

Renovations Dos and Don’ts

Once you have your own place to live, we all eventually do some type of renovation or another. They usually turn out successful and we love the end results, although getting there can sometimes be a struggle.

I came across a post by Martha Stewart that I liked with a list of things you should keep in mind when you take on any project. It has some tips that can really help in the long run.

Remember to be realistic about costs plan on the renovation to end up being 30% more than you planned and to take about 25% longer than you expect.

Your purchases on more expensive items can be overwhelming, but once you see an item and know it s right, go with it, don’t second guess yourself, you will be happier in the long run.

Measure and have an accurate drawing of the floor plan of the room you are working on. Include windows, doors etc.

Be prepared to clean, dust, vacuum, and clean some more. Renovations can be messy but they don’t have to drive you crazy, keeping things neat and organize help.

Do your floors first, last is painting the walls. Don’t forget important details like lighting and window treatments to complete a room.

Once you have it all done, after all the planning and hard work that went into the space relax and enjoy!

 

 


Why Stage a Vacant Home?

Why Stage a Vacant Home?

Why stage a vacant home? Simple reasons:

  • To make it easier for buyers to envision how they could live in the home
  • Add warmth and personality to a home
  • To create a longed for look vs. a lived in look
  • To arrange an unusual layout flow and bring logic to the spaces

If a property is worth selling then it is worth doing everything you can to appeal to potential buyers in order to sell the property. Vacant staging can be done in a few rooms or the entire home. Hiring a professional that can create the ambiance that needs to be conveyed to the buyer, is important. Having an agent that understands the importance of staging and how it can impact a sale, is also essential. Experience agents that walk into a sellers home and suggest staging, should be listened to. They know their market, they know what buyers want.

This vacant home In Cornwall NY had beautiful bones but it had nothing to “speak to a buyer.” After a few rooms were staged, buyers could then connect, visualizing how they could live within the house.  When a buyer enters a home that has no furnishing and just empty rooms they are welcomed by blank walls- not so intriguing.

DSC_0024Vacant entrance

 

 

 

 

 

After staging, the empty rooms become warmer giving the buyer the ability to easily see how they can make this house their home.

staged entrance in Cornwall on the Hudson staged living room in Cornwall NY

 

 

 

 

 

By adding furniture to the rooms, creating warmth and ambiance is what helps sell a home. This house had been on the market for over a year and no one purchased it. After it being staged it received an offer in the first month. By allowing buyers to see how rooms can be utilized, and furnished with items that create value for the space the vacant home becomes more appealing. Do you think it makes a difference?

Let me know your thoughts……