Category archive - Redesign and Decorating Ideas

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.

 


Flooring Pros and Cons

Flooring Pros and Cons

Flooring can be one of those things you might think what does it matter? But it can and does depending on what room and how you live in your home. Some flooring can be fabulous for one home owner and horrible for another. Know the pros and cons before you purchase and ask a reputable dealer questions to decide what will be best.

Solid Hardwood– Is solid wood that properly sealed is easy to care for. As it wears over time it can be refinished which is a big plus. It is softer on feet than tile so it would be a wise chose in an open kitchen concept type plan.hardwood through bedroom

Engineered Hardwood – The top layer is hardwood with a tough core of fiberboard. The plus of engineered hardwood is that it is more stable then solid hardwood that expands and shrinks due to humidity. The downside is that the top layer when marred can only be refinished a few times over the life of the product. If in a low traffic area it could be a perfect choice.

Laminate– It is a multi-layer synthetic flooring fused or laminated together to simulate wood or stone. This is an affordable, durable and easy to install flooring, unfortunately it will not help your resale value through, therefore not necessarily the best choice for some rooms.

Tile– it comes in many materials cement, Porcelain, ceramic and stone which allows you to be quite creative with all the options. Tile even now comes in a wood look so if you have a very high traffic area such as a hall it could be a great options for durability. The installation could get pricey and inexpensive tiles can be prone to chipping. Tiles durability and ease of care makes it an excellent choice for high traffic areas.

Vinyl flooring-it comes in sheet or tile form and is inexpensive flooring option. It is a little softer than wood or tile and wears well. Purchasing higher quality vinyl tiles will hold up better to a lot of wear and tear look for LVT or LVP (luxury vinyl tiles or luxury vinyl plank). They can be easy to install, but ensuring the subfloor is free of any particles is essential. The down side of vinyl is the use of PVC in the manufacturing that emit VOC (volatile organic compounds).vinyl floor

Cork– made from the bark of the cork oak it is a sustainable flooring option. It is softer underfoot and is resistant to stains and mildew. But if it is not finished properly it can absorb moisture. It also tends to be a more expensive flooring than other options.

All of these flooring options have pros and cons, it’s important to understand them when choosing the material and the area you plan on installing it in.


Tile Floors

Tile Floors

Tile floors are great for high traffic areas. The beauty of using tiles are the different looks that can be achieved, but it is also important to know and understand the different properties of tiles. Understanding what the different materials are and the advantages of each helps choosing the proper material for a job.

Ceramic and porcelain tiles are affordable and stand up to heavy traffic, although there is a difference in the material that they are made of.

Ceramic Tiles – These are made from clay material formed into a mold. Traditional ceramic tile is non- porcelain tile made from white, red and or brown clay and other minerals

Porcelain Tiles– These are made from clay and minerals as ceramic but contain 50% feldspar that acts like a “flux” in the kiln drying process, melting into a glass like material and bonding all the molded ingredients together. Porcelain tiles are more expensive than non-porcelain and can be harder to work with. They do have greater durability than ceramic tiles and are highly stain resistance. They also have through-bodied color so in a situation of a chip, the color is throughout the tile not on the surface.tile bath

Finishes on tiles are typically glazes that increase stain, scratch, moisture resistance and help with traction.

Natural Stone Tiles are another option, these tiles are beautiful and vary due to the characteristics of the natural stone. Some natural stones are more dense and harder than others, allowing them to be better for different application.

Granite- very dense and hard comes in array of colors and patterns

Slate – very dense and durable naturally textured

Marble- more porous than granite therefore it needs to be polished and sealed more frequently.

Limestone – less dense than granite or slate, and can be easily stained therefore not a good choice for a high trafficked area

Travertine – type of limestone that is warm in color, has pitting or divots. Special care for sealing is recommended

slate floor

The polished finish can give each stone a difference appearance so the beauty of the stone can shine through. The surface can vary from natural which appears dull, to honed that looks more like a matt finish, and polished which is the highest gloss finish on the stone; the more polished the surface the less impervious the natural stone becomes. Stone can be sealed which also helps with the resistance to stains, scratches and moisture. Natural stone is a beautiful choice but can be a little pricier compared to ceramic or porcelain tiles.

Depending on the look you want to achieve, tile is a fantastic flooring surface for high traffic areas because they come in various colors, sizes and finishes to set the ambiance in the room.


Meaning of Colors

Meaning of Colors

Color can have a significant impact on how we feel, perceive something, and react to things. Because of emotions, different colors can elicit feelings throughout the house subconsciously. The questions comes to which colors are best for some rooms and not others, and why.

For example yellow is associated with joy, happiness, intellect and energy. Because it evokes a pleasant, cheerful feeling it is a great color to use in spaces that you want to be uplifting. It is a color that would be good to have in an office, child’s room, kitchen or even a family room where there is a gathering a friends, family and acquaintances.

soft yellow kitchen

Blue one of the most popular colors maybe because it is considered with stability providing a calming and serene feeling. In home décor it can be used as a neutral (think blue jeans), to combine other colors within a room. Blue of course is associated with water so it is a perfect color for bathrooms, due to the calming effect. It is considered to suppress appetites I think because, we have very little blue food, but if that is the case it would not be choice then for a kitchen or dining area.

Blue bath

Red is a very popular color in décor because of the energy it gives off, its stimulating visibility is full of ego. It would be a great color for a child’s playroom, or an exercise room. Red, orange and bright yellow are two very subjective colors though when used in home décor so they should be avoided as a paint color on walls if you are trying to sell your home.

When we think of the outdoors green comes to mind because of trees, and grass. Green is associated with newness, nourishment and a fresh start. It is believed to relieve stress and is easy on the eyes- probably why you see shades of green in places of healing.

green living room

But when choosing colors for your home do not rule out what are considered neutral colors- gray, whites, browns. These are great for connecting spaces with color, but they are also great for spaces to play up color. Both Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore picked neutral whites for 2016 Color of the year for the serenity  and calmness they can create, but also giving individuals the ability to off set other colors if one so chooses.   Neutral colors also help highlight architectural details which is important when selling a house; you want buyers to be looking at the house, not at the “things” within the room.

Color does play a big role in the feeling of rooms, so when choosing, it is usually the last design element to go into the room, but one of the important details to set the entire mood. If you are thinking of changing your colors, feeling something is not quite right in a room, consult a professional to help you ensure that what you are painting will convey exactly what you intend. Do you have a color story you can share? I would love to hear.


Can the Colors of Your House Affect Your Mood?

Can the Colors of Your House Affect Your Mood?

Winter the days are shorter, colder, making us feel cooped up. Spending more time indoors can effect your mood, but so can the colors you use in decorating your rooms. If the colors in the rooms are not quite right they could be causing you to feel depressed, lethargic, and sluggish. By simply changing out colors in a room it can lift your mood significantly.colorand feeling

Color plays a role in how we feel about a lot of things consciously and subconsciously. Think of food, if the color is a little off we won’t go near it. Would you want to dig into a juicy green steak? When looking at products manufactures know which colors will out preform in sales over others. They might throw in a “pop” color just to test but stores will most likely invest less in that different color over the tried and true they know will sell.

Think of your home, the color in some rooms can affect your mood. Do you have a favorite room in your house? Think of the colors that are in it, they probably play a big role in why you love that room. Let’s face the fact, color is personal.  Colors evoke emotions, look at the 2016 colors that Pantone selected this year; a soft pink – Rose Quartz and soft blue- Serenity. Some designers are excited to embrace while others absolutely abhor them. They feel that the colors are too passé from the 80’s when they were popular. But like fashion everything is cyclical. So how do you pick colors that you will love in your house?

pantone 2016

I advise clients to find a color that they love to use as a base color, this is one that you will have the most of throughout your home. How do you find a base color? Look in your closet and see what colors of clothing you tend to navigate toward, or try creating a collection of things you love on Pinterest board and you will start seeing a reoccurring color.

The main color that you love should be on the walls of rooms that are visible to one another. If you get stressed picking colors choose a lighter tone of the color or softer feeling which will play a little more neutral. To amp it up add accessories in darker shades of your fav color. As a simplified rule, choose three colors per living floor space i.e. upstairs can be treated differently than downstairs. Use a neutral but complementary color to connect spaces such as hallways. If you are using more neutrals for the main areas of the house, you can use bolder color in the connecting area that complements too.  If choosing a color freaks you out, get a base idea of what you like, gather some pictures that inspire you and contact a local professional to help you with a paint consult. The time spent will be well worth the minimal cost and save you time and money in the long run.

pop of color

If the color you love is in the majority of the space in your home, it can significantly change your mood and feeling about rooms that you think are not that great. I would love to see your transformations of your spaces that lift your mood!

Other good reads:

Your House is The Boss When Choosing Colors