Category Archives: Interior Decorating

How Feng Shui Impacts Your Life

Feng Shui (fung schway) is a system of living in harmony with your environment.  Environments that use Feng Shui look beautiful and serene. Moreover, Feng Shui can lead to better health, wealth and relationships.

In recent times, Feng Shui has grown in popularity. Corporations such as Coca-Cola, Bed, Bath & Beyond and Proctor Gamble use Feng Shui in their corporate buildings.  Many celebrities, including Oprah Winfrey, have their own personal Feng Shui consultants.

What’s it All About?

Fundamentally, Feng Shui is about chi or life force energy. It’s the invisible force present in everything. Chi is energy, and when it’s blocked in your home, you may feel stuck in a rut.  In order to live a healthy and happy, it’s best to have a  flow of chi in and around your home.

Employing the basic principles of balance and flow in your environment not only creates a visually and emotionally appealing space, it allows you to feel grounded and comfortable.  It’s like acupuncture for your home, unblocking stagnate energy and revitalizing your environment.

Feng Shui is based on the principle that people lead healthier and more abundant lives when their environment is in balance.  When when you increase your enjoyment of your home, you’ll increase your enjoyment of your life!

A Few Basic Tips

Create good energy in all areas of your home.  If you are uplifted when you look at an object in your home remove it. Fill your home with things you love and uplift your spirits.  Love is a very powerful emotion and creates good energy.

  • Open the windows throughout your home and let fresh air in!
  • Let the sunshine in.  Don’t keep your home too dark.  This creates stagnation.  Too much darkness is like too much clutter – it weighs you down.
  • Fix everything in your home that is in need of repair or is broken or chipped.
  • Remove dead plants outside and keep plants inside trimmed and healthy.
  • Declutter your home.  Clean out your closets. Clutter prevents the flow of energy.
  • Because your bedroom is very important in supporting your health it is important to ensure that it has good Feng Shui.  Generally speaking, it’s best to place your bed along the longest wall of the room.  And don’t put your bed against a wall with a toilet directly behind it because it creates negative energy.

Interior Decorating 101 – Connecting to Inspiration

Interior decorating can be frightening to many people.  It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the number of decisions that need to be made when designing a new space. Many of my clients run successful businesses and juggle daily home and career responsibilities yet when it comes to choosing paint-colors they freeze and get into overwhelm.  They’re afraid of making a wrong decision.

The truth is that there is no right way or wrong way to decorate. The most important goal is to create an environment which you feel good in. You can do this in a number of ways such as repurposing what you already have, shopping in thrift stores or buying expensive things. The things don’t matter, the feelings do.  

Have fun. Let things evolve. Not all designs decisions can be made at one time. Take the process one step at a time and make the biggest decisions first and you’ll be amazed at how other decisions magically fall into place.  

The key to creating anything is to act from a place of inner stillness.  When you are still, you can connect you to universal inspiration ~ the goldmine of ideas.  Get quiet, journal, sit in nature, or do whatever works for you in order to get clear about a decision.  Any thoughts about not being creative enough or not being able to do things perfectly are simply not true. You can create an environment that shines your light.   

An easy way to know if something is right for you is to get still and notice how you feel when you look at a color or a piece of furniture.  If you don’t feel happy, it’s not the right thing for you.  If you’re selecting something because you just want to be finished but don’t love your selection you’ll miss out on creating the a space which nourishes and comforts you.  Instead, take your time and fill your environment with things you love.

Anything you want to do in life is possible if you’re open to inspiration.  Inspiration comes from the root “Spirit” and Spirit is truly the root of inspiration.

Feng Shui 101 ~ Seven Inexpensive Ways to Revitalize Your Home

The New Year brings new beginnings and what better time to revitalize your home? Your life begins at home. Creating balance and flow in your home positively affects your life. Using Feng Shui, the Eastern Art of Placement, helps revitalize your space and can be tailored to any budget. If you’ve been putting off getting started, why not use the New Year to boost your motivation?  Most people are encouraged when they see the results of even a small change, odds are, you will too.

1. Rearrange furniture.  Moving things frees stagnate energy and creates a change in how a room feels. Try a different furniture arrangement.  Exchange furniture between rooms. Think outside the box. If you’ve already tried a bazillion ways to rearrange a small room, eliminate a piece of furniture and get something that’s stylish, functional and within your budget to add new energy.

 2. Along with furniture, rearrange your “stuff.” Moving things around moves energy and gives you a new look without spending money. I’m talking about bookshelves, artwork, collectibles, and accessories.  Put things away for a few months and then change the scenery as the season or your frame of mind changes.

 3. Find 11 things (or more) in your home that you can re-gift, donate, or throw away.  Then do it!  As you create space new opportunities will enter.  Remember the adage, “Nature abhors a vacuum.”

 4. Does your home lack color? Take stock of the rooms you spend the most time in – are they in need of warming up?  Warm colors in Feng Shui are all shades of red, orange, pink, purple and yellow.  These colors emanate energy and in Feng Shui where there’s energy there’s life and opportunity. Decide on your favorite warm color and use it at least three times in the room to create a cohesive feel.

5. Building on the suggestion from #4 above, here are easy, affordable ways to add color. Spray paint items like electrical switch-plates, small tables, or an accessory. Spray paint creates immediate change to an old or worn-out item.  Purchase small pillows and/or a throw blanket.  Add an area rug.

6. And for immediate change with low expense, paint a room or paint an accent color wall in a room.  Changing a wall color not only creates a different feeling – it also changes the colors of other items in the space as they reflect back the new color. For example, a red wall will make pinks appear pinker and blues appear as violet.

 7. Treat yourself to a thrift-store shopping spree and find one thing that you really love for your home.  Don’t buy anything if it’s not “you.” Place it in a prominent place so that will make you Smile

Questions? Post here and I’ll be happy to help!

Interior Decorating 101- Creating Good Feng Shui with Accessories

You can make inexpensive accessories for any room in your home.  When you’re redecorating a space after you select the “big” stuff  like furniture, window treatments, and flooring, you’ll need the right accessories to complete the room and add warmth.  When a room feels warm and appealing, it has good Feng Shui.

Here are five easy, affordable and fun ideas to create good Feng Shui.

1.  Fill a pair of glass jars or bottles with layers of dried white rice, red lentils, black beans, and green peas.  These accessories look great on bookshelves, on either side of a large television, or anywhere the room needs more energy.

2.  Spray-paint accessories, either old or new, to match one of the brightest colors of your room.  Painting two or three items will create a pulled-together look and add visual interest.  You can create a designer look by spray-painting large sea shells gold or silver and placing on top of a pile of books or on a coffee table.

3.  Add character to lamp shades by glueing ribbon around the bottom and top of the shade.  Select colors that contrast and blend with the room’s color palette.

4.  Create your own contemporary artwork.  Buy sheets of decorative art paper from a stationary store or hobby shop and frame in a poster frame from a craft store.  You can use a couple of the same pieces of paper and hang them side by side, or pick three different sheets which relate to each other.

5. Buy a large, colorful vase at a thrift shop and add dried ornamental branches or silk flowers.  Place in a corner or on a fireplace for instant visual appeal.

Have your own ways to create accessories on a budget?  I’d love to hear about them!

Redecorating Your Home for the Holidays?

If you’re feeling like your home isn’t quite ready for the Holidays and house-guests, you’ll benefit from these 10 quick decorating tips. 

Thanksgiving is just a week away and Christmas is right behind it so time is of the essence.  You need time-tested interior decorating tips to use immediately so you’ll feel confident about entertaining.  The key is to accentuate the positive and keep your guests’ eyes away from design or repair issues.

1.  Painting makes an immediate impact and is affordable. Repaint a room to instantly give it new life.  Select a dependable neutral color like these from  Benjamin Moore ~ Barely Beige, Bleeker Beige, Happy Valley or Monterey White. 

2.  If there’s no time to paint an entire room, pick one wall and paint it with an accent color that relates to the rest of the walls.  Try a rich red like Benjamin Moore’s Moroccan Red, or Georgian Brick,  Hawthorn Yellow, Van Cortland Blue, or Georgian Green.

3.  To add a focal point, purchase a large floor rug at Lowe’s or Home Depot for under $300.  Pottery Barn‘s rugs work beautifully too but they’re priced higher.

4.  Have bare windows? Or have your drapes turned shabby but not chic?  Get new pre-made lined drapes that fit your budget from Target, Bed Bath and Beyond, JC Penney, or Pottery Barn.  Simply adding an area rug and changing drapes quickly refreshes a room.

5.  Add interesting fresh flower arrangements in different size vases throughout the  house.  Every try succulents? If you live in Austin, Texas, try for colorful and unique arrangements that will sure to get people’s attention off the peeling paint or the water stain on the ceiling.  They’ll even deliver!

6.  Declutter.  It’s not sexy but it’s cheap and effective.

7.  Buy a large budget-friendly piece of artwork to give the space a new focal point.  Try Bed Bath and Beyond or Target for large-scale art work.

8.  Rearrange the furniture.  Try an arrangment you haven’t tried before.

9.  Add decorative pillows and a throw blanket in updated colors on couches or chairs.

10. And put up your Holiday decorations to add light, sparkle, and warmth.

Interior Decorating 101 – Things to Consider when Selecting Wall Color

Selecting the right paint color for a room can be challenging.  Here are six easy tips to make your decision easier.

1. Understand that the paint chips you select from the store are just the first step to selecting the right wall color for your room.  They’re too small to give an accurate reading of how the color will look in your room.

2. It’s best to bring home samples of the paint chips you like best and paint them on at least three walls of your home.  Two things influence paint color: the amount of natural light you have and the color of the surrounding furniture, flooring and accessories.  For example, a cream wall can seem pink when combined with a red carpet.

Metamerism is a phenomenon in which colors seem to change when viewed under different light sources.  Some colors are particularly prone to metamerism including tans, taupes, grays, gray-blues, mauves, lilacs and grayed yellow-greens.

3. Plan on sampling three to six colors on your wall to get a good selection but not get overwhelmed. 

4. View the samples in morning, afternoon, and evening light. If you can sit with them a few days, you’ll also be able to see which color appeals to you as your mood changes.

5. Remember that although it’s an investment, paint can always be changed so paint with confidence.  Until you finish painting and move your things back into the room, you really won’t know the full effect.

6. And most importantly, have fun!

Interior Decorating 101 – Choose Wall Colors to Create Good Feng Shui

Creating a fresh feel and tone in a room can be easily accomplished by a change in color.  You can create warmth or coolness, expansion or contraction, and formality or casualness with your color selection.  The right wall color positively influences the Feng Shui or energy you feel in a space.  

Taking an inventory before you get started will help you pick out the color(s) that will create the feeling you want in the room.

Here are the First Steps:

1 – Determine your budget. If you’re on a tight budget, consider which changes will have the most impact for the least investment.  Generally, these are paint, accessories, and simply re-arranging furniture.

2 – Make a list of the key elements that will stay in the room such as flooring, rugs, furniture, and window treatments.  You’ll want to pick colors that tie these elements together.

3 – Ask yourself, what is the room’s purpose and how do I want to feel in the room? In Feng Shui terms, the question is “Is it an active area (Yang) or a quiet area (Yin)?”  Select colors that support the room’s purpose.  Warm colors support activity and cool colors support rest.

4 – What are your unique color preferences at this time?  Preferences change with time.  Honor your preferences at this time because they’ll make you feel good in the space.

5 – Look at photos in magazines and cut out colors that inspire you – from nature, from interior décor, and from anything else that gives you energy (energy is a key to knowing when a color is right for you).

6 – Stand back and view the room from another room.  Remember that the color you choose should relate to the rest of your home so your space feels connected and flows easily.

 Next time – where to go from here – Creating Your Color Palette!

Feng Shui 101 -Three Ways Your Home Affects Your Health

Your home directly influences your health. Like vitamins, annual exams, and exercise, a home has a significant impact on your health. Addressing the following three attributes of a home can act as insurance against ill-health.

1- Too much clutter. Clutter creates a blockage which restricts the flow of energy in your home. Clutter is life-deadening rather than life-affirming.  It inhibits your ability to feel vibrancy in your life. Like “too much clutter in your head,” too much clutter in your home weighs you down physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  Clutter comes in many forms – too much furniture, accessories, paperwork, and clothes. 

The solution?  Clear the clutter!  Take to a thrift-store, give away, donate, dispose, or re-purpose.

2- Inadequate natural light in your environment.  The quality of light affects the quality of life you feel in your home.  When a space is dark, it creates Yin energy. Yin energy translates into quietness, constriction, and lack of movement. (Its opposite is yang energy which creates movement). If your home is too dark you may suffer from a lack of energy and/or motivation to engage with the world.

The solution? Open your drapes and/or blinds, install a skylight or a French door, place mirrors in dark corners facing windows to reflect light, paint walls in soft white or yellow, remove outside screens, and ensure you have enough man-made lighting in each room.

3. Lack of a balance of colors in your home.  Having too much of one or two colors creates imbalance. When energy is imbalanced, you can feel the results both immediately and long-term. Short term, you may feel irritation. Long term, irritation can develop into disease.  A balance of colors and shapes will create Soul, the key to feeling comfortable in a space.  And when you feel comfortable, you are naturally more relaxed and focused.

The solution to bringing balance in a space is to ensure there’s a variety of colors and shapes. (You may not realize it but shapes, like colors, transmit energy.  For example, a triangular shape creates a vibrant, fire energy and a square shape creates a more grounded, earth energy).

You can paint the entire space just one color as long as you balance it with by adding color in other ways. Think of how you’d feel in a beige and white space and then how you’d feel in a beige, white, green, and red space. Odds are you feel more comfortable when imagining a space with a variety of color. To create a space which supports health, use a moderate amount of fire colors such as red, orange, terracotta, or pink in your color palette.

The one key to maintaining good health through your home, is creating Balance!