Category archive - Redesign and Decorating Ideas

Room Arrangement Done Right

Room Arrangement Done Right

Arranging furniture right in a room can sometimes be a challenge, especially if you are moving into a new house and all you have are vacant rooms. But arranging the furniture can be easy if you follow a few basic rules.

  1. Find your focal point. A focal point can be a view from a window, or fire place, it can even be a piece of furniture such as in a bedroom the bed can become the focal point.
  2. Arrange the furniture with

Balance

Flow

Size

all in mind.

The balance of the furniture should sit proportionally in the room. Balance is pleasing to the eye. So when you have a bed as a focal point, it looks best with two bedside tables on either side. Think of a fireplace, if you can place the furniture on either side, it will create balance and frame the focal point, your fireplace.

Bedroom

Flow is important, being how people can move through the room. If you have a chair, table or something in the way of the traffic flow it can be terribly annoying. Also small spaces can be troublesome to move through, so keep the furniture in proportion to the room.

This brings me to size. It is important to keep in mind the proportions of a room when you are arranging furniture. Although the room may feel large when it is empty, measure it, lay it out on paper if needed so you have a good idea of the furniture in proportion to the room, and allow enough space so that it is easy to move around the room. Likewise you do not want the proportion of furniture to overwhelm the space, meaning adding a big overstuffed sofa to a room just because it is comfortable.

living room

  1. Consider Light. Many times people are not satisfied with their rooms because of the above reasons but also because of the lighting. Having a mix of natural light along with overhead, floor and table lamps are important to balance through the room to keep the lighting balanced.
  2. Size of Rugs. Make sure they are the right size for the space. Regarding rugs try to get the legs of all the large piece under the rug. You also do not want a rug so large that it does not fit in the space. A rug can anchor a seating area and if it is the right size it makes a large room feel warmer. If only the front legs can be on the rug that is ok too provided that the rug is big enough for the space, not looking like a little postage stamp in the middle of the room.
  3. Art and its position: Sometimes a wall is so expansive that you hang a piece and it does not look right. If you are hanging a piece behind a sofa make sure it is about two-thirds the length of the sofa, similar to a bed. Sometime a group of art pieces might do the trick because one piece may be too small. In this case create a wall that has similar elements to make the pieces work together. I suggest to clients either think of a color, theme, or even the same frame works.

The key to arranging furniture is measure the room, and play with the above suggestions of balance and proportion. Keep in mind the traffic flow through the room. Try and keep some of the pieces away from the walls too. By rearranging some of the pieces you already have can make a room look completely new again! Send me some pictures of your “new” rooms after you give this a try!

Other great reads:

Piecing a Room Together That Works

Things Your Home Does Not Need


What Is The Greige Rage?

What Is The Greige Rage?

Greige is a color that was introduced or identified when grays were coming onto the decorating scene after browns were the popular neutral. Although greige has been around for a while, some people, after all the browns were feeling gray was too cold, hence greige. Why and where would greige be a good color to use in a room? Let me explain so that you understand why it might be a great neutral for a room, or for selling.

Greige is that bridge neutral to help take rooms from the 1990’s beige and brown colors into the 2000’s gray trend. If you are one of those people that feel gray is “too cold,” greige is a good bridge for you. Paint is an easy inexpensive way to update any décor. When you have a kitchen that has travertine marble, and lots of brown, a greige can help you make the room look a little more updated. If you decorated last in the 90’s take a look at some greige’s because they can give your rooms a totally new look without breaking the bank.

Of course I have to talk a little bit about buyers today, they expect homes to be pretty much ‘turnkey’ they do not want to do a lot of updating. So in comes paint color to do the trick. Neutral is important when selling because it allows buyers to look at the room, not the color on the wall, or the stuff in the room. The color can actually help accentuate the architectural details that you want to emphasize when selling.

So back to why greige can be the ideal color;  identifying some ‘ideal’ greige tones that could help you update your rooms from the 90’s to what is trending is a great way to use greige. Keep in mind it’s hard to choose just one because of the undertones in floors and counters.

Although Benjamin Moore’s Manchester Tan (HC-81) has a bit of a green undertone, it is a great neutral to bridge that gap between being too brown to updating toward gray. The color works well.HC-81 Manchester Tan

 

machester tan

As you can see it can take a traditional space and make it feel more modern. Note the colors of the slate floors, dark gray, gray and greige. Of course using Benjamin Moore’s Simply White for the trim give the pop to the walls, taking it from “boring beige” to simply sophisticate.

Sherwin Williams identified one of their greige as Perfect Greige SW6073, it too closes the gap between the browns to a warm gray feeling, making the room feel more modern and updated.

SW 6073 Perfect Greige
Perfect Greige

This beautiful dining room is a great example of how the warmth of the color also adds sophistication.

natural cream

This traditional kitchen the granite appears to have gray in it, the cabinets were painted in a Natural Cream Benjamin Moore OC-14 which gives the room a warmer feeling then a gray which tends to be on the cooler scale of color.

Greige continues to be popular going forward into 2017 as Sherwin Williams choice Poised Taupe, but it really is a cross between gray and beige.

So if you are considering updating your rooms, but are not ready to rip out tile, flooring, or spend an arm and leg updating; consider color as a way to bridge the gap. Sometimes just changing your color on the walls to a more updated trending color might do the trick. Send me some pictures of your color changes and the difference it made in your rooms!

Other good reads:

Which Paint Color Is the Right One?

Eight Biggest Selling Offenders


2017 Predicted Popular Colors

2017 Predicted Popular Colors

It’s that time of year when the paint manufactures announce what they believe will be the popular color for the upcoming year.  They predict these colors based on trends they see not only in the design world but also what people are navigating towards. Color is like fashion, it will be cyclical but when the color comes back it will have a different fresh twist to it. You may have seen the predictions on my Facebook feed already, but I think it’s nice to see them altogether in one place too.

I noticed that the colors seem to leaving the neutral ‘clean’ trend that we had seen in 2016 with Alabaster and Simply White being the big news from Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore. The colors this year have purple undertones, and have a relaxing feeling. Isn’t that what we all want at the end of a busy day, to just sit back and relax? Having these colors in your rooms, if you like them, will allow you to do just that.

Sherwin Williams says Poised Taupe will be the color for 2017. Interestingly enough I have seen the trend to more beige than gray lately in décor,  and articles about décor. So this one is not too surprising to me. It is a cross between gray and beige but with purple undertones. Being a versatile color for those that were not enamored by the gray’s that have been so popular for the past ten or so years.

 

bedroom poised taupe

Notice how the room has the gray and beige in the rug, lots of light neutrals also, giving the room a relaxed feeling.

poised taupe kitchen

Instead of the gray trend for cabinets, taupe looks beautiful in this kitchen. I especially like taupe with black it makes it look so rich.

Those that like to purchase their paint at Home Depot, and now Walmart I understand; Glidden chose Byzantine Blue (50BB 32/117). It is a purplish blue. PPG the manufacture of Glidden said “Byzantine Blue is truly a purple in disguise. It stretches the boundaries of purple to borrow all of best qualities of blue and gray…”

byzantine blue bed

Soft purply blue mixed again with neutrals is such a relaxing combination. So I wonder is gray slowly fading or just morphing into a softer feeling…

What do you think of the predicted colors for 2017? We still need to see what Benjamin Moore (October 2016 they announced Shadow as their color for 2017) will come out with, which I am sure will be soon. Do you think you will be jumping on the trend, or have you been using similar colors in your decorating all along? I love to hear your feed back

Other good reads:

The Right Color for a Room


Color How They Work Together

Color How They Work Together

Maria Killam wrote a blog Introducing the Understanding Undertones® Colour Wheel  yesterday, which is so simple to see how and what colors work with one another. For those of us in the decorating industry we are all gaga about it. Back in May I took her intensive three day course; let me tell you it was chock-full of information and how colors complement one another. mkillam color wheel

She easily breaks down how colors work with one another by their undertones. When you look at a room and it’s fixed elements i.e. the floors, cabinets, stone on a fireplace… they all have a color right? The area to concentrate on is what the predominate undertone in those elements are. Some people can see it, others can not, and if you are in the can not group then it is worth every penny to have a certified True Colour Expert™ help you out.

You may think that a builder for a new home knows what they are doing when they paint the walls, but I have seen many new builds that have cooler toned fixed elements and the walls painted in warm tones. They do not work together. Color not only translates to what is on the walls, but also all the other elements throughout a space in a room. When we see a room pulled together correctly we drool over the space. The design is complementing the colors through the space. There are many professionally designed rooms that do not have the colors correct, but when it is done right it is harmonious.

So if you want a home that is coordinated and balanced, one room flowing into the next without jarring feelings, color can be the element you have overlooked. Not sure how to pull it off? It is worth every penny to have a True Colour Expert™ come and help you out. Think of it this way; an electrician, plumber, or lawyer – they all have skills that you do not embrace, pay for the help it’s worth the small expense.

Here is my testimonial on Maria’s class I took this past spring:


Exterior Color Amplify Your Curb Appeal

Exterior Color Amplify Your Curb Appeal

House color has a big impact on curb appeal. Have you ever looked at your house and felt that it could use a change, or that it might not be the right color? There are several factors to consider when you are choosing colors for your house.

First, take a good look at your house. Details like stone work or your roof are features that typically would not be painted. So use these as a place to get your inspiration for your new colors. Typically I suggest choosing two or three colors whereby the main color is going to be the siding color that will coordinate with your roof and stone work. Keep in mind that the color you choose due to all the light reflecting on it from the outdoors will probably appear lighter than the tiny chip so get a few sample pots to compare. Apply to the different sides of your house to see in various light.

modern monochromatic

Next consider the style of your home. For example, a Victorian style home can have earthy tones or vivid energetic colors, while a Farm house style is classic in white with black shutters, which would not necessarily complement the details on a Victorian style house. A modern style home looks good in a monochromatic color theme, whereby a craftsman style home would look best in colors relating to nature. Research different color combination on Pinterest and Instagram for images and ideas.country home

The next color to consider is for the trim. Typically trim is done in a white; but when I say white you have to pay attention to the undertone of the main color you have chosen. If you have picked a brown toned paint for your house, you will want a more cream colored trim. If you have picked a gray toned paint you will want a whiter, cool toned trim.

Last are the shutters, and/or doors. Again they need to relate to the elements that you cannot change with paint. Here I typically will suggest a dark color that relates to the undertone of the main house to give these detail a little pop. The door can be the same as the shutters or trim, or all together different but be sure to relay it to the main color of the house.

Stone wood and paint all coordinate

As for the finish of paint flat or eggshell are good choices for wood or textured siding. The more texture the more flat your finish should be, sheen enhances the lumps and bumps. Hardie board and vinyl are good looking in eggshell or satin. Trim and doors look best in satin giving the features a rich look.

Have more questions? Feel free to contact me. If you do change your exterior and love the results shoot me a picture!

Other good reads:

Try Out Your Room Colors Virtually


Minimal Interior Design | Why Staging Works

Minimal Interior Design | Why Staging Works

Looking at beautiful home interior designs is an enjoyable past time of mine. The combinations of furnishing, layout, and composition of the room are intriguing. You might think “oh bore!” What I do find interesting are the minimal looks that appear in interior design magazines apply to successful home selling. 

While minimal interior design to some might feel like there is no life in the room, what it does do is show cases the room’s features. In home selling that is exactly what you want to do, show case the homes interior not the “things” in the interior. The “things” in the interior if complementary, add to show casing the house.

white sunroom

When selling a house it is very hard to look objectively at your home and make it into a house that many buyers would want to have. In order to have a high success rate in selling that is exactly what you need to do, minimize, look objectively at what you have and then selectively choose what to leave when you are ready to sell.

master bedroom

I know many client will say to me, “I love watching HGTV and the way they make the homes look on the shows.” Yes, keep in mind those that are creating the look you love are professionals in the field of decorating and design. They know how to selectively and objectively look at items that when put together create a universal look that buyers will want. Why do so many viewers enjoy watching the shows? Because you can get some good ideas and see, right there, you are just like me enjoying looking at beautiful interiors!

So what are the parallels and essentials of minimal design and staging? Having neutral furniture is essential, neutral meaning solid key piece in the room. If we are working with a living room think of a neutral couch since that will be the key piece. Adding simple tables, updated lighting and a few accessories is all the room will need, if you don’t have those, then get a hold of a professional stager and rent them. In a bedroom the bed is the key piece of furniture, make sure the bedding is luxurious and the feeling is relaxing. The bathroom(s) keep the color on the walls a soothing soft blue, green, or neutral color, white add fresh, fluffy white towels and you will have a winning combination.

master bath staged1

To make a house “flow” and feel pulled together use a common color in your accessories throughout the rooms. By doing this it also gives the house the feeling of minimal but pulled together with “life.” By neutralizing the furnishings, using accessories that coordinate the spaces together you will have a minimal, but appealing house that today’s buyers will love.

Other good reads:

7 Simple Steps to Staging

Advantage of Home Staging

Piecing a Room Together That Works


Your House is The Boss When Choosing Colors

Your House is The Boss When Choosing Colors

Say What!?! How can a house be in charge of choosing colors, you ask. It’s simple really, if you are in a home that has it’s floors, cabinets, counters, tiled walls, and back splashes installed the colors and undertones within these fixed elements are going to dictate what colors will work well in the space.

After taking a class with Maria Killam this past spring, she confirmed my belief that home owners believe they know what they are doing, but typically get it wrong.  Many times I will be asked to come to someone’s house because they feel the color they chose is not exactly working as they expected. Most likely it is because they chose a color they liked, not one that correlates to all the fixed components that make up a room, that are already in a space. I have seen and compared many colors in various spaces over the years. Clients tell me “but this one is my favorite color” even though it does not relate to the space, they want to believe it works but deep down they know it does not, hence the call.

So here are some tips along with an example that I feel might help others when they are trying to choose a color for a room. First look at the fixed elements. Those are floors, stone on fireplaces, back splashes, counters, cabinets, or millwork- things that will not be changed or will be easily changed. Second, take note of what else is going on in the adjoining rooms. By doing so this will start to create the “flow” or continuity throughout the house that professionally designed homes have. Next, study those fixed elements in the room you want to add color to.

Here is an example, a friend of mine decided that changing the counter top in the kitchen would update it’s feel. Recently she had installed a Uba Tuba granite counter. Pretty, in the light, greens and gold could be seen.

uba tuba

In her kitchen the counter top “played” on the black side but you could see the movement and a hint of the undertones. She was asking my advice on picking a back splash and really loved travertine.

Travertine

OK, so when you put these together some might say when studying the stone up close, travertine has gold and black flecks throughout so it could work…. I know because this is what clients say to me all the time, but what color “plays” the most in the travertine? Pink. The travertine she was choosing was similar. Unfortunately the pink is so dominate that it does not compliment the greens and gold undertone in the granite. My suggestion was to go with something more solid than the travertine, she really wanted something that would “pop” like the travertine and did not want “boring” white subway tiles. We looked a various solid glass tiles as an option, which she was not interested in, I then suggested just painting the walls with a color such as Benjamin Moore Dill Pickle, and do a boarder of Uba Tube.

dill pickle 2147-40

This way the counter would be the star of the kitchen and pulling the color of the counter and cabinets together. Unfortunately she did not like that idea either, and even said she did not see the green at all in the granite! Instead she decided that the travertine was what she really wanted and had it installed. She has not said that she is loving it, and I think too afraid to tell me she now sees it was not the right choice.

Moral to the story: Listen to your house and it’s fixed elements, pay attention to what they are saying concerning color. If you do, and work with those elements you will find that your rooms will feel cohesive and put together.

Other reads you might like:

Can the Colors of Your House Affect Your Mood?

Choosing Colors for a New House

Try Out Your Room Colors Virtually

 


Love, Money and Organizing

Love, Money and Organizing

Organizing does not really necessarily fit with love and money right? I dabble here and there with Feng Shui, because many of their principles apply to good design. Clutter is the number one thing they tell you to remove from your spaces. Here are some ideas and principles that might just get you to organize and who knows, gain you some love and money.

To bring in more prosperity it is important to have a clutter – free home. The clutter can lock up good energy and can lead to procrastination. If you have a lot of clutter in a room you get lost, you get side tracked causing you to become unproductive. That obviously is not good for prosperity, and with the clutter it can bring anxiety which is defiantly not good for love.

Each and every room throughout the house can be a positive energy center, but first removing the excess and minimizing what you have in the room will help bring it forward. By removing the clutter you can then hold a yard sale, or sell some of the items that you don’t use, love or need. Space brings opportunity.

Some areas I would suggest to concentrate on when thinking of improving your home so that love and money can begin to flow forth are:

The Front Door

front door with clear path

It is the place where the flow of energy enters. If there is not a clear path; or plants, debris, and other detritus is about, it will block the positive flow. If the path is clear to your house it can bring you opportunity. Make sure the door is painted in a color that you like, obviously if you paint it red, and you dislike red you won’t feel invited into your own home. Choose a color that you like and is inviting to others. Fountains stimulate prosperity and energy, so if you have space consider adding one.

The Kitchen

soft yellow kitchen

If you have an organized pantry and refrigerator with fresh food you will save money because you will know what you have and only need to purchase what you don’t. Create a dining space that includes every member in the house, even if they do not eat with you every night, symbolically this shows love. If you can situate a round table where you eat it’s even better because everyone can share in the conversation better. Isn’t food typically a way to a man’s heart? Hmmm some love going on there!

The Master Bedroom

master bedroom

First off, treat it as your escape from the day’s stress, it’s your area of solitude, and relaxation. It should feel cozy to you, if not arrange it so it does. Your bed should be in full focus when you enter the room. Since it is the focus make sure it is made with bedding you LOVE. Remove the exercise equipment, TV, computer, and all the things you deal with throughout the day. If you are single, leave room for someone else, add an extra nightstand, leave room for opportunity. Add something that makes you smile so when you enter the room it puts you in a good mood.

If your spaces are organized you will begin to spend less time dealing with the “stuff” that isn’t important, and more time on the “stuff” that is. So by organizing your area’s you have nothing to lose and everything to gain, even money and love!

Other suggested reading:

Organizing and Decluttering a Closet

Being Organized Do I Have to Be OCD?


Eight Biggest Selling Offenders

Eight Biggest Selling Offenders

First ask yourself, when was the last time you updated your décor? Was it in 1990? Before?

Decorative fashion trends come and go but some of the choices we made then, could be the biggest selling offenders now, if you are trying to sell. I have said it before, and will say it again, you need to be objective when marketing a house for sale. Here is a list of the biggest offenders to buyers and how to correct them making your home look like it is in this century.

The biggest offenders to buyers now are:

Dense floral wallpaper and fabrics. Look at your walls, furniture, and drapery this was a big trend and nothing screams outdated more than seeing these. Remove the wallpaper and slipcover the furniture if you cannot replace to remove these offenders.

dated floral couchesWallpaper boarders around the ceiling or as a chair rail. These were an inexpensive way to add detail to a room because the finer details of crown moldings dissipated. Remove these and simply paint the walls one color.

Shiny brass hardware, unless high quality, do not stand up to time and start looking pitted, discolored and rusty. Today the choice is matte if you still love brass, or replace with nickel or chrome. Replace door knobs, faucets, lighting fixtures and handles on cabinets to something more desirable and with trend today.

Overstuffed furniture; I get it “it’s soooo comfortable” but 9 times out of 10 it is too large for the space it occupies and is not in style today. Buyers will see this cumbersome furniture literally as the “elephant in the room,” remove and update.

Lots of color and texture – think bright tiles all those mixed patterns, sponged walls, lots of color all very visually stimulating which is not what you want when selling. Tone it down to neutral colors, use the texture and color as accents in the room in pillows, art etc., not throughout the room as the feature.

too much pattern and dated tile

Carpeting in bathrooms; one word, YUCK! When selling you want to create the spa like feeling in the baths. Spotless clean bathrooms are what a buyer wants, so lose the carpet and invest in a tile floor if you need to, but remove the carpet. While we are talking about carpets, remove area rugs too for photos and when you are showing. Clean fresh open space is what buyers love.

Wall to wall mirrors on slider closet doors are no longer in fashion. Remove and paint the doors or replace if needed. Mirrors do help a room look larger, but today mirrors are decorative accent pieces. Even in the bathroom the trend is to have a decorative mirror with a nice frame versus the large piece. Look at something like Mirror Mates to improve yours.

Tiffany style glass hanging lights. If the furniture, walls and overall ambiance are updated these might work, but if the furnishing through the space are from 1990’s or earlier they will look really dated. Either remove and update with a more current style light fixture, or time to purchase new furniture. The light fixture might be a little less expensive when selling.

decor faux pas

As you can see in the picture examples these are houses did not sell quickly because the overall image they projected was dated. Buyers could not see themselves living in these dated homes and moved on to ones that were updated and felt fresh. Keep this in mind when you put your house on the market, it can make a difference of lingering or selling.

Should a Seller Waste their Time and Money on Staging

Staging, Why Bother, Who Needs It?

8 Reason Why Your House is Not Selling

 


Which Paint Color Is the Right One?

Which Paint Color Is the Right One?

When it’s time to paint a room, do you agonize over which color will work? Have you painted a room you chose from a chip and through “this will be it!”; only to find it is not the one? Paint color can be tricky but it does not have to be.

I recently attended a conference in Toronto to learn how to make sense of it all. There are many blogs, websites and tons of information on color, but they are typically just that, information on color. When it comes to finding the right paint color it can be tricky because there are so many elements in the room to consider. If they are not being considered, you will feel like the room is not “quite right,” but not knowing why it is not “quite right.”

A great example I have, when I first moved into my house I chose fabric for drapes in my dining room because I liked it. Similarly, I found wallpaper that I thought would look lovely giving me that beautiful airy tone on tone look I was trying to achieve. Low and behold once the room was completed it was OK but not “quite right.” Yes, everyone said they “loved” the room but something was off. One day my daughter said “Mom, I think the drapes are faded or something,”  they looked dirty compared to the wall paper! When choosing fabric for the drapes and the wall paper they looked ok together from the samples I had, but the beige’s were “not quite” right. That’s when I fell upon Maria Killam’s blog and discovered it’s all about the undertones.

beige colors

The yellow/beige in the drapes was not working with the pink/beige in the wallpaper making the drapes look dirty. Needless to say it became a huge project (info for another blog) to remove the wallpaper and paint to make everything work together; an expense I could have avoided if I only knew then what I know now!

Through Maria’s course I learned to distinguish the difference in colors, and why they work or do not work within a room. You see you need to take all the element in the room, distinguish which undertones are going on, if the color is on the warm or cool side of the spectrum, muddy or clean and then you can start to eliminate some colors to consider others. I truly believe either you are born with this instinct or you need to learn it. Not all is lost, I mean 90% of the time I was getting it right but did not know why. Now when I have a client say “but I really love this color, can’t I use it instead?” I have the facts and ways to show why a color is the correct choice over another so that the room looks great, not that “not quite right look.”

Other posts you might enjoy:

 

Try Out Your Room Colors Virtually

The Right Color for a Room

Can the Colors of Your House Affect Your Mood?