Tag Archives: Interior design

Feng Shui – It’s Working Whether You Know it or Not

Have you wondered why you feel more comfortable in certain areas of your home than others? Have you ever rearranged your office and had more energy afterwords?  Do you know why you choose to sit where you do in a doctor’s office?  You may not realize it, but you are experiencing the effects of Feng ShuiFeng Shui is the ancient Chinese practice of arranging the physical environment to ensure energy flow and balance.

You can feel the effects of Feng Shui whether you believe in it or not.  Environments with good Feng Shui naturally feel more comfortable.  For example, homes with lots of natural light sell faster than homes that are dark inside.  A bed positioned against a wall rather than in the middle of a room allows you to sleep better.  And you may be unable to relax in a house on a busy street than one located on quieter, winding street. 

Feng Shui works with qi (or chi).  Qi is the underlying essence of all things.    The goal of Feng Shui is to enhance good qi in your space while keeping out detrimental qi.  According to Chinese principles, Qi has direct impact on your health, wealth, and relationships. 

Feng Shui will help you feel more relaxed and peaceful in any environment.  Applying the principles of Feng Shui can ensure an optimum environment which will support your health, wealth, relationships and over all well-being.  It’s already working in your life, why not make it work for you?

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Home Staging 101 – Fresh Staging Ideas that Work

If you’re selling your home you need tools to present the best product possible. Attention to every detail is crucial if you want to sell your home quickly and for potentially higher profit.  You need home staging that goes beyond cleaning windows and putting out a welcome mat.

Home Staging is marketing. It’s about detaching from your home so that buyers can see themselves living there. In order to appeal to the most home buyers, you’ve got to de-personalize your home and present it in an appealing manner.

Picture this: You need to buy an automobile. You found the model you liked but when you went to see the car it had bumper stickers on it that you didn’t agree with, baby’s toys in the backseat, and fast food wrappers (from a restaurant you disliked) on the floorboard. Would you be drawn to that auto? The same principle applies in selling a home. 

Ten Fresh Staging Ideas that Work

1 – Make sure there are no visible nicks on your furniture, especially in the living room, master bedroom, and entryway. Paint or replace it if so.

2 – Outdoor furniture should be as appealing as indoor furniture. Repaint, clean and/or replace worn-out cushions as needed.

3 – Remove all family photos except two or three. Buyers like to see who they’re buying the home from and if they see a happy photo of your family, they’ll feel more confident that they’ll be happy in the home.  But too many photos will make the home feel like “your” home and buyers won’t see themselves in it.

4 – Ensure the first thing a buyer sees when they open the front door is high-quality, in good repair, and colorful. Fresh flowers are good -droopy plants with brown edges aren’t.  Place your most appealing artwork, rug(s), and/or furniture here.

5 – A few potted plants around the house is good as long as they are trimmed – no unruly ivy! Plants must be healthy.  No plastic pots either – transplant them to ceramic pots.

6 – Remove all outdoor flags. Many of my clients have resistance to doing this. “It’s the American flag after all!”  Remember, you don’t want to cause a negative reaction in buyers. Some home buyers may have judgment about home owners that fly a flag outside. And some buyers may have a judgment about flying a particular flag outside.  Why risk it?

7 – Don’t display too much of one thing. If you love cats and have a lot of cat memorabilia remember that not all buyers will have a positive reaction when they look at cats. Limit memorabilia to one item in each room, three items total throughout the house.

8 – Ensure every bed in the house has lots of pillows on it. Ideally, each bed should have two rows of pillows and a decorative pillow in the middle.

9 – If your garage is the messiest area of the home, warn buyers by placing an attractive note card on the garage door saying “Please overlook the mess, we’re getting ready to move!” or something similar. Prepare them.  Avoid giving buyers any negative surprises.

10 – Place candy or sweet treats for buyers in large bowls and make sure to refill before buyers arrive. You want to create a feeling of abundance and comfort.

Need personalize help? I offer Long Distance Staging Consults which are remarkably effective!  Check my website at Feel Good Home Design.

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 http://www.succulentpots.com 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!

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!

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.