Monthly Archives: September 2010

Interior Decorating 101 – A Dozen (Quick) Tips for Choosing the Right Wall Color

Ready for a fresh look and feel in your home?  Painting is the quickest and easiest way to change the look and feel of a space.   And don’t worry, choosing wall color is the least expensive design “mistake” you can make, so make your choice unfettered by fear.  Painting with abandon makes the process fun!  The worst case scenario is that you’ll have to repaint. 

Tips to help you get started

1-  Test a color before committing to it.  Find three to five color possibilities from which to choose.  Paint a 2 x 3 box of each color on different areas of the room, or on a piece of poster board and move it around the room.  Sit with the colors for a couple days to see how each one  looks at different times of the day or night and how each one makes you feel.

2-  Pick colors using objects as your guide.  Flowers in a landscape, piece of artwork, a ceramic plate, or a piece of fabric can be the palette from which you choose your colors.

3-  Colors look darker on a wall then on the small swatches.  It’s safest to pick from the top two colors on a paint card unless you want drama.

4-  Using different shades of the same color in different objects is a harmonious way to pull a room together. 

5-  Follow the Rule of Three: when you pick a color, use it at least three times in a room.

6-  In a small room, if the walls are the same color as the primary upholstered piece of furniture the room will seem larger.

7-  Use off-white rather than pure white which can be harsh.  When you put a warm white next to color, it still looks crisp and bright.  Trim rooms in off-white.

8-  Use neutrals to harmonize colors and help them blend with each other.

9- Using a high-quality paint spreads easier and often makes only one paint coat necessary.

10- When purchasing paint, it’s best to buy a little more than you think necessary rather than too little. When paint is blended, each batch is apt to be a little different.  The paint you buy on Tuesday may be a little lighter than the paint you buy on Friday. It’s better to get all the paint for one room out of one batch.

11- If you’re hesitant about painting your entire home in just one color, rest assured that the color looks different in different rooms and at different times of the day.  The beauty of creating a one-color palette is that the rooms in your home will relate to each other and feel harmonious.  You can use different accent colors in each room to create interest.

12- Lots of paint stores offer $3.00-$4.00 samples but not all colors are available.  If your color isn’t offered in a sample, you’ll have to invest in a small can of paint. 

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Eliminating Clutter Creates Better Focus

The most prevalent issue I see in clients’ homes is clutter and its partner – disorganization. Simply put, most people have too much stuff.  And the more stuff you have, the more difficult it is to keep all the stuff organized.  Couples with children suffer from trying to organize lots of “kid-stuff”.  Clients without children are prone to accumulating too many books, accessories, clothes, shoes, paperwork, collectibles, and/or things they just can’t part with on an emotional level.  

It’s important to understand that creating order and simplicity in your environment allows you to better focus and feel centered. Clutter produces chaotic and draining energy. 

For example, take a look at these photos and notice how you much peace you feel ~

There’s harmony and symmetry in nature which creates a peaceful experience.  The same principle translates to your home.

The biggest negative about clutter is that the more stuff that fills up your home, the more emotional energy you’ll spend in trying to live around the clutter.  Clutter keeps you unfocused.  And with the unpredictability of the world “out there” it’s important now more than ever that you feel centered at home.  Being organized allows you to experience a healthier quality of life.

Here are Easy Tips for Preventing Clutter in your Home

1.  Avoid places that may activate your particular clutter “trigger”.  These could be thrift stores, bookstores, outlet stores, garage sales, and sales in general.

2.  If you can’t stop a “clutter craving,”  make sure that you buy something that you can return.  Keep the receipt. Sometimes, just driving around with the item in your car for a couple days will enable you to see that you don’t really need it and then you can return the item but DON”T use it as an opportunity to do more shopping.

3.  Be proactive and dispose of clutter on a daily basis.  Don’t let mail, laundry, dirty dishes, shoes, or paper on your desk pile up.

4. Stop your unsolicited extra postal mail. Stop by  http://www.newdream.org/junkmail  to opt-out of email lists.  Virtual clutter is still clutter!

5. Stop accepting freebies.  Don’t take home everything you’re offered from party, a trade show, or a grocery store.  Don’t bring home travel samples from hotels or events.  Leave them there! 

Hope this helps and I’d love to hear your suggestions for keeping clutter in check.