Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Making your House a Home

Have you fallen into a rut? A decorating rut that is... It happens. Life happens. If you're overwhelmed by clutter at home, chances are you feel disorganized in other areas of your life as well. In our post on feng shui techniques for the home, we touched on the idea that your home should be a reflection of who you are. Today I want to share with you some more detailed ideas and quick tips that can turn your house into a home.

Change your color scheme. Select one color to be the focus in each room and then use highlights and accents in a similar hue to add contrast. Generally, you would think that too much color can be distracting, though if you fall into the rising category of people who love an eclectic style, it may be for you. Pick complimentary colors, add your accents in smaller interchangeable decor pieces and don't be afraid. We've seen a large trend in painted closets and pantry spaces. Paint the bookcase or media center the same color as the wall behind it — it will blend in and seem to disappear. 

One. Step. at. a. Time. Don’t feel like you have to remodel or redecorate the entire house to make it your own. If money or time is a constraint, concentrate on one room at a time. One piece of Artwork or even some framed photos can make a dramatic difference. Start small, and build upon that for inspiration.

Bye, Bye clutter. Chances are that if you're surrounded by physical clutter, you're mentally cluttered as well. You might find that you'll feel more in control of your thoughts and your time will be managed better if you can conquer the chaos that's occurring in home. Consider your morning routine. What type of tone are you setting for the day ahead? If you can't find everything you need to get out the door within a couple of minutes, you're likely leaving the house feeling flustered and rushed. Likewise, make sure you've created traffic patterns for easy flow from room to room. Take a breather, and read this article on how to get a Fresh Perspective in Just 10 minutes by Apartment Therapy. 

Getting rid of things we no longer use helps us find what we have. It also strengthens us emotionally. Releasing old possessions helps us release the past. Old griefs, guilts, grudges, and regrets disappear, enabling us to live more fully in the present.

- -from The Tao of Inner Peace

Balance, folks. Balancing light is a necessary concept, but balancing color is also important. If you’ve painted your walls a dark color, use touches of white to brighten the room. Lampshades, artwork, and throw pillows are all good options. 

Adjust the light. Good lighting doesn’t mean bright lighting. Balance light and dark to focus light where it should to be. Light fixtures are easy and inexpensive to change but can make a dramatic difference. A tall floor mirror adds height and captures light from around the room. 

Work with what you have. Instead of tearing down kitchen cabinets, change the facings and add new hardware. It's amazing what new knobs and pulls can do. Change the countertop or paint your existing one. Add an island if space allows and consider one that contrasts existing cabinetry for visual interest. We love the pop of color in the kitchen pictured above. Properly arranged accessories can also also make a room more visually appealing. Read Mandi's tips on staging shelves here

Not ready to buy? Repaint or re-stain your existing furniture. Add one new piece, like a coffee table or end tables. Little changes can make a big difference. Lucite is popular right now. The clear acrylic allows your space to feel larger, but the function of a lucite coffee table may be a necessary addition for storage.

Windows get the treatment. What's not to love about curtains?! They add color and texture, control sunlight, add height, and so on. If there’s not enough light, consider sheers to let in more sunshine. If there’s too much light, use darker, lined panels. Blinds have also come a long way in materials and design.

The bees knees. Imagine a place, a space, or a location that inspires you. Adjust the d├ęcor of your rooms to evoke the feeling that you get from being there. It can be in the artwork, in the furniture, in the accents… whatever it takes, do it, so you’ll feel like you’re living in paradise.

Invest… In the flooring. Add a new rug. Paint the floor. Change the flooring in a central room, and it can affect your whole house.

Still not sure where to start? Stay tuned for some upcoming posts that will inspire you to find your style. Take a look at Lauren Conrad's article on decorating for couples to find a niche for you and your spouse. Follow us on Pinterest for continuous shared tips & tricks. And as always, feel free to contact us if you have design specific questions. 

Written by: Samantha Palacio

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