Category archive - Redesign and Decorating Ideas

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?


Bathroom Window Dealing with Privacy Issues

Bathroom Window Dealing with Privacy Issues

The humidity in a bathroom can cause havoc on any window treatment. Although a window is a great feature because it lends light in a small space it can cause privacy issues. A few of my clients have just this, and know others could be in the same situation, so this is to help you look at some different options.

bath with window wm

If you are building a new home you can think about the placement of the window in the bathroom; but if you are moving into a home that has a window placed above the bathtub/shower you need to deal with the privacy issue unfortunately.  The challenge of the size, location or conditions of a room need to be addressed.

You may be familiar with glass film, it can cover the entire pane of the window giving soft filtered light. It is similar to frosted glass but a little less expensive. There are many manufactures of vinyl film it is applied directly to clean glass that can gain you privacy during daylight hours. They are easy to apply, you just need to have patients. The direction to go with these would be to coordinate with the style of the home, but keep the design of the film simple due to the size, and elements in the bathroom to allow the light to pour in, but gain privacy.

If you have the need for more privacy, Hunter Douglas has waterproof shutters that can be opened to allow the sun to come in, but closed when needing privacy. Due to being a solid material these would provide privacy anytime throughout the day. They are simple and classic that would complement many styles of décor.

If you are a DIY type of person, you could sew up a café type curtain put up with a spring type rod made of a fun shower curtain. This would give you the privacy but may not last as long as the two options mentioned above.

Last if you are building or willing to do renovations, think of add a window in ceiling versus the wall. This way you gain the light and keep the privacy. The disadvantage of these are that due to the humidity liking to rise, it’s best to insure the surrounding area of the window is durable in those types of conditions. A smaller window know as an eyelash window is another option allowing light but maintain privacy. Another idea is to put in glass block that can admit the light through but also provide discreet privacy. These options are something to consider with the décor of the home.

skylight

The factor to think consider is allowing light to pour in, while maintaining privacy. There are various solutions for window problems, keeping in mind budget and style. Natural light is great to have in a small space.


Things Your Home Does Not Need

Things Your Home Does Not Need

Spring cleaning involves removing clutter. Probably you never gave it much thought when you purchased or thought you needed something for your home. Then you begin to realize items you have added really don’t serve a purpose or enhance your spaces, cluttering and taking away valuable space in your house. Here are some suggestions of things to look at through your home that could be removed and improve your spaces

Small Pieces of Furniture

Many times I will review clients’ spaces to see they have a lot of little pieces of furniture that really do not serve much of a purpose other than cluttering the space. Sometimes it’s a lot of small chairs, tables, or pieces that really do not do much other than take up valuable space. Make sure the items you have throughout a room serve a purpose. Possibly some of those smaller pieces can be re-purposed or given a new home.

“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”
William Morris

 

Bench at The Foot of The BedBedroom bench

It is an accent that many people feel they need, but then find it becomes a dumping ground for the day or maybe a weeks’ worth of accessories and clothing. If your bench is just doing that, maybe it’s time to re-purpose it to another room where it can be used as seating.

Wall Paint

Color on walls can add to the space but having neutral walls has huge benefits. Bold colors are a statement of choice. Many times you can do a room with a neutral wall color and the pops can come from the art and accessories you place in the rooms.bold art

Nightstands

If the room is small there is no need to have a whole piece of furniture next to the bed. Use a simple shelf instead to hold those essentials you may need through the night. Using a shelf also will make the room feel larger too.

Bedside Lights

Get rid of the table lamp and replace with a hanging wall or ceiling light. These not only free up the space on either side of the bed they also will give the room a refreshed newer feeling.

Matched Set of Furniture

When you go shopping for furniture is your instinct to purchase the couch and all the tables – coffee and sides that they display only to find they do not work in your space? Slow down, measure your space first. Draw a layout as to what will fit in the space. Maybe you need a smaller table to serve in front of the couch or maybe you don’t need one at all but a side table. Plan first before purchasing unneeded pieces of furniture.

TVold TV

What??! You say. With streaming, many of the things you watch can probably be viewed on your computer or smart device so why not skip the TV. Along with that it will also eliminate the TV consult or big piece you need to store it on. Big space saver!

Open your eyes and take a critical look at your rooms. If all you see is “stuff” it’s time to re-evaluate what is in them. Let me know what you have found to be unnecessary or have found another use for that works better in your rooms.


2016 Spring Show Trends

2016 Spring Show Trends

Shows are great to see what is new, trending and inspirational. This spring being in NY I attended the NYNow show which is chock filled with consumer goods, and the Architectural Digest show where vendors show off the latest and greatest for living in your abode. What trends showed up, and what will we be seeing more of in the future? Here are just a few of the things I noticed.

Kitchens

The look on appliances is out but stainless is starting to trend downward. I continue to see more and more streamline looks with integrated appliances  with the cabinetry. Jenn-air when I visited them, they agreed and demonstrated how the home is going to be more and more automated. Using systems that tie to smart devices making life simpler to control our cooking when we are not there in the home, or even when we are. The controls make it so simple that anyone can become a chef- well, pretty much, in the kitchen. For two years now I have seen the ‘obsidian’ interiors and was curious why the change. The answer was that the colors of food pop more when shown against black. Studies have been done to prove people find food more appetizing when presented on a darker surface than lighter. I might try this experiment myself at home to see if it is really true. integrated appliances obsidian refridgerator

Lighting

This is always interesting to me and at the AD show they have vendors that come out with such unique ideas. I thought this rope light was quite interesting done by Luke Lamp Co. Might not be something you can see in your abode but to me it was new fresh, and of course the use of LED lights intrigued me. Of course there were other vendors with fabulous lighting and beautiful designs also. The glass and metal work of some of the artist is incredible.LED rope light

Decor

Metal is in big! Not just in decor but in furniture as well. I believe this trend is here to stay a while. Mirrors, vessels, containers, furniture, fabrics it is everywhere. Seems the bling is the thing.

I found these beautiful lace like vessels at the NY Now show so delicate,and intriguing

metal lace bowls

Outdoors In

Plants, green walls, bringing the outdoors inside is big both at NY Now and at the AD show. With the weather becoming warmer this might be the time to start creating and thinking of outdoor plants that can easily adapt to indoors when the weather is not so nice. The green walls are fantastic, just not too sure I have the wherewithal to do one my self but I love them. I will keep right now, to the two stag horn ferns Dwell so kindly gave me at the end of the show.

stag horn ferns

I know not everyone jumps on the newest that is being shown, but seeing it can allow you to start thinking and understanding what’s to come as more and more consumers start to embrace the trends that the industry sees.