Smart Ways to Get Rid of Clothes After You Do a Closet Purge

Sure, we’ve all donated clothes at some point, or had a garage sale and parted ways with old garments for a few bucks. If you’ve recently cleaned out your closet you might have discovered that many of the items you no longer want still have a lot of life left in them. Perhaps you even paid a lot of money for them and you can’t stand the thought of them ending up in a garage sale box. If so, consider these great suggestions.

Donate

“Old-reliables” such as Goodwill and Salvation Army* are always a great place to start. But there are some more specific organizations out there that would find women’s clothing especially beneficial. Look for career development organizations that empower underprivileged women to find stable, well-paying jobs. They need career wear to help these women look their best on interviews and at work.

If you have beautiful gowns or dresses hanging around, look for organizations that serve underprivileged teens who have hopes of attending formal dances in high schools. Even if the dress isn’t the exact style they have in mind, it might be a great starting piece that can be reinvented at the hand of a crafty seamstress who donates her time.

Also, consider women’s shelters in general. They often provide a haven for women and children who had to flee without the opportunity to bring along personal belongings. If you’re not sure where to find these organizations try online resources such as Charity Watch or Charity Navigator. Not only will you feel great about taking the time to find someone truly deserving, but you can also keep a record and report them as a write-off at tax time!

Host a fabulous swap party at your home or a local restaurant

The only imperative part of this is that you give everyone plenty of notice. Think about how much work it is to clean out your closet! Your guest will need enough time to get their closet purge project done before attending your party. Other than that, this is a super easy and fun way to de-clutter your closet. Simply invite everyone and serve a few goodies and beverages. Devise a basic system for the trade process and let the fun begin!

*Fulton Homes is not affiliated with or suggesting any particular organization. These are ideas to inspire you to do the most good.

There’s Still Time to Refresh Your Design for Summertime!

Whether you are just moving into your new Fulton Home or planning on sprucing up your current home’s design this summer, there are thousands of avenues to take for home improvements.  Some projects can help improve your space with simple décor pieces and other smaller investments, whereas a full-out remodel can really allow you to let your home shine.  Whether you are redecorating, remodeling, or renovating your home, we gathered some different projects to help refresh your design and embrace the effortless look of summertime. Let’s take a look!

Focus on Flooring

To quickly spruce up your flooring, you will want to invest in an area rug.  You can find all kinds of patterns and colors to match your home’s design.  If you are looking for a specific sized piece, you can order or select a carpet that can be bound into the perfect sized rug for your home.  You will be amazed by how effective an area rug can change the dynamic of any space.

Count on Countertops

Do not miss out on the opportunity to style your gorgeous countertops with decorative pieces. By adding decor to your countertops, you can highlight their beauty without taking away from them. Add colored fruit (real or faux) in clear jars or a bowl for a refreshing look and pop of color. Use trays or slabs to display groups of decorative items. Remember the decorating rule of three’s – and don’t forget to create different heights.

Color Me ‘Refreshed’

Another powerful tool you can use is paint.  Color is one of the most effective ways to convey a feeling or mood into an atmosphere.  Consider using wall colors that will keep a neutral feel and pops of color as accents while helping to brighten up your home. They will reflect natural light and help your atmosphere to feel soft and open.

Refresh Your Atmosphere

Refreshing your home’s atmosphere can include simple tactics to spice up your interior design. They do not need to be elaborate investments or changes to the blueprint of the house for them to be worthwhile.  To help you find the perfect balance for your own home, we broke it down into several categories to look at when refreshing your space.  Try adding some of these to your home to enhance the summer appeal.

‘Wall,’ Hello There

An easy way to refresh your space this summer is by adding pictures to your walls.  Pictures can say a thousand words and can help enhance a theme in a room. If you already have images, you can swap them out with summertime classics to captivate the free-spirit, effortless vibe we admire about summer days. Simply store your winter/fall photos in a bin, and swap them out with light and airy artwork for a fresh look.

Delightful Décor

Let’s be honest; we all love décor.  Whether it is scented candles or soft throw blankets, every homeowner leans more towards a particular piece. But if you find yourself limited, try adding flair to a space with homey decor pieces. Curtains, throw pillows, and shelving décor can give a room a theme and make the design feel deliberate.  Just be sure to find a common theme and allow your décor to complement each other.

With all of these design elements, your home can embrace the light and airy vibe that we admire about summertime while encapsulating the homey attributes you always wanted. Thanks for reading! Check out our Summertime Pinterest board for all things related to Summer including yummy recipes and activities.

The Positive Psychology of Color – Part 4: Natural Colors

How to use color to convey in interior design

We are wrapping up our series on the psychology of color with this post about natural colors. In Parts 1-3 we discussed dark, light, and bold colors. Our feature series wouldn’t be complete of course without hues that remind us of Mother Nature. To review, we’ve been chatting about the ways that color affects the way people experience a space.

It is not a must that you give this consideration when deciding how to decorate. But, if you want to create a space that has the wow-factor you experience when you enter a room designed by an interior designer, considering color psychology is highly recommended. Especially if you love natural color because you can create an exquisite space that feels grounded and lovely, but also invigorating! Enjoy!

Chartreuse – artsy, bold, trendy

Coral – life force, energizing

Dusty Pink – soft, subtle, cozy, dusky, gentle, composed

Earth Brown – earthy, grounded, steady, solid, rooted, wholesome, sheltering, warm, durable, secure, reliable, natural, traditional

Gold – rich, glowing, divine, intuitive, luxurious, opulent, expensive, radiant, valuable, prestigious

Mauve – wistful, sentimental, thoughtful

Neutral Grey – classic, corporate, practical, timeless, quality, quiet, neutral, logical, deliberate, reserved, basic, modest, efficient, dutiful, methodical

Olive Green – military, camouflage, safari, classic

Periwinkle – genial, lively, sprightly, convivial, cordial

Silver – sleek, classy, stylish, modern, cool

Sky Blue – calming, cool, heavenly, constant, faithful, true, dependable, restful, content, tranquil, reassuring, trust, serenity, expansive, open, transcendent

Tan – rugged, outdoor, rustic, woodsy

Tangerine – vital, fruitful, energizing

Taupe – classic, neutral, practical, timeless, quality, basic, organic, inconspicuous, understated, modest

Terra Cotta – earthy, warm, country, wholesome, welcoming, abundance

We hope you enjoyed this series on the Psychology of Color!

The Positive Psychology of Color – Part 3: Bold Colors

How to use color to convey in interior design

Now that we’ve discussed both light and dark colors it’s time to step up the excitement and learn how to use bold colors to create a mood in a room! As mentioned in Part 1 and Part 2, color has a dramatic effect on space. It influences energy, emotional response, and overall enjoyment. Perhaps you’re already savvy or perhaps this is your first exposure to this method. Either way, our series of guides to the power of specific colors is sure to aid in creating a space that you adore. If your goal is for others to adore it as well then all the better!

An important consideration is to think about the way combining colors changes things. For example, if you use just bright red and bright pink in a room it might feel energetic and festive, but after a while that could seem like too much. So, try incorporating golden yellow so it also feels comfortable. You can control this even further by minimally using the colors that evoke stronger responses, and liberally using colors that are inherently mellower. 

Blue Purple – contemplative, meditative, spiritual, soul-searching, intuitive, mysterious, enchanting

Bright Red – exciting, energizing, passionate, hot, dynamic, provocative, dramatic, powerful, courageous, assertive, impulsive, adventurous, spontaneous, motivating

Bright Pink – exciting, playful, attention-getting, high energy, wild, tropical, festive, vibrant

Bright Yellow – illuminating, joyful, hot, lively, friendly, luminous, enlightening, energetic, sunshine, innovative, aware, surprising

Ginger – spicy, flavorful, tangy, pungent, exotic

Golden Yellow – nourishing, buttery, tasty, sun, hospitable, comforting

Lavender – romantic, nostalgic, fanciful, light

Lime – fresh, citrusy, youthful, refreshing

Red Purple -thrilling, intense, exciting, dramatic, creative, expressive

Tangerine – vitality, fruitfulness, energizing

Turquoise infinity, compassionate, protective, faithful, water, coolness, sky, gemstone, tropical, oceans

Stay tuned for Part 4!

The Positive Psychology of Color – Part 2: Light Colors

How to use color to convey in interior design

In Part 1, we began our discussion about the psychology of color. Using color to expertly influence the way people experience a space is a very powerful tool. Have you ever visited a model home and been stunned by how serene the bedroom is or how welcoming the family room is? That’s because professional interior designers know exactly how to use color to create a room that makes you say, “This space is absolute perfection!”

Now you can give it try too, by using our handy guide to what colors mean. Have fun with it, and try to get creative by thinking of ways to combine colors for an overall effect. For example, rather than just choose light pink because you want a room to feel youthful, combine it with aqua so it also feels dreamy! The possibilities are endless, have fun!

Light & Medium Colors

White – innocence, purity, clean, new

Amethyst – restorative, protective, peaceful

Aqua – water, refreshing, cleansing, young, cool, dreamy, soft, light

Ivory – classic, neutral, soft, warm

Light Blue – calm, quiet, patient, peaceful, cool, aquatic, clean

Light Pink – romantic, affectionate, compassionate, soft, sweet, tender, delicate, innocent, youthful

Light Yellow – cheery, soft, sunny, warm, sweet, easy going, pleasant

Light Green – calm, quiet, soothing, airy

Peach – nurturing, soft, funny, delicious, fruity, sweet, fragrant, inviting, warm, comfortable, modest

The Positive Psychology of Color Part I

How to use color to convey in interior design

Have you ever thought about deciding the color scheme of your home based on the psychology of color? Certainly, it’s perfectly fine to go with your favorite colors, but one of the great things about knowing how color affects the way people experience a space is that you can create an ideal setting.

This doesn’t mean you have to forego colors you love, but the meaning of color is so effective that it actually changes with the intensity of the color. For example, the color blue can be light, dark, bold, pastel, etc, and each of these is a little different. Selecting a certain shade allows you to create a very specific effect! Intrigued? Keep reading Part One – Dark Colors. Then check out our other blog posts that explain additional options!

Dark colors:

  • Amber – multi-cultural, mellow, abundant, original
  • Black – powerful, elegant, sophisticated, mysterious, bold, basic, classic, strong, expensive, magical, night, prestigious, stylish, modern
  • Brick Red – warm, earthy, established, strong
  • Charcoal Grey – reliable, responsible, accountable, conscientious, resolute, restrained, conservative, professional, classic, sophisticated, enduring, mature, business
  • Chocolate Brown – scrumptious, rich, robust, appetizing
  • Deep Blue – credible, authoritative, basic, conservative, classic, strong, reliable, traditional, service, nautical, loyal, confident, professional, clarity
  • Deep Purple – visionary, wealthy, royalty, prestigious, subdued
  • Dark Green – nature, trustworthy, refreshing, cool, restful, stately, mountains, hushed, woodsy traditional, reliable, money, prosperity
  • Foliage Green – natural, fertile, healthy, balance, life, growth, soothing, harmony, restful, restoration, lively, spring, renewal, lush
  • Teal – serene, cool, tasteful, sophisticated, confident
  • Vibrant Dark Orange – fun, whimsical, childlike, happy, glowing, sunset, hot, energizing, active, gregarious, good natured, spontaneous, optimistic, talkative, jovial, sociable, self-assured, persuasive, animated

Making Your Home Lovely: Part II

Once you start getting a handle on clutter, it’s time to dive into your housecleaning patterns. Do you have a regular schedule for your efforts or just move in when you notice things are going downhill? Most people don’t enjoy cleaning enough to spend the time to organize their efforts, but it’s really worth the investment up front. The following tips will help make your house cleaning easier, faster and more pleasant.

Buy the right tools. Purchase buckets or plastic containers with a handle to hold your cleaning products. You may want to assign one container to bathrooms, a second to the kitchen and a third to the rest of the house. Include the necessary brushes or cloths for each bucket. That way you’re not wasting time finding all of the supplies you need with each cleaning project. It also encourages you to notice when you’re running low on something so you can add it to your shopping list.

Buy a package of shop towels. These are inexpensive and available at warehouse and hardware stores. These are sized at just a bit larger than a washcloth and are made of white terry fabric. You can use these for anything you need to clean. Shop towels are also terrific for picking up spills and wiping up grime on anything from shoes to the car’s dashboard. They’re nicer to use than paper towels and last for years. Expect to use a lot of them, but when you run low just dump them in the washer with some soap and bleach and they’re ready for next time. 

 Your life will quickly become easier and tidier if you include several daily requirements such as cleaning up the kitchen every night before bed. This includes a quick sweep or mop of the floor. Some who batch it might be tempted to put all this off till the weekend, but no one really wants to start Saturday with a cleaning marathon. 

Instead of taking an “all or nothing” approach, how about just throwing in one load of laundry before you leave for work or after you get home? Folding clothes is so much more appealing while watching television. Run through the house with an empty trash bag the day before garbage pick-up and add the kitchen trash bag and you’re finished for another week.

Take one of those shop towels into the bathroom when you get ready for bed at night, and do a quick wipe down of the surfaces. This will make the weekly cleaning less unappealing and faster. A squeegee in the shower can be used to clear the water spots at the end of a wash up, making water spots less of an issue.

Take a close look at what gets in the way of regular cleaning. Do you need to get up fifteen minutes earlier in the morning to put some projects into play before the rest of the family gets up? Do you resent being the one who does all the household chores? Do you just hate the process? Sometimes figuring out your resistance allows you to work past it.

One final tip – build in some rewards and incentives. Pay yourself for every day you meet your cleaning goals. From a luxurious soak in the tub to that new purse you’ve been eyeing. Figure out a reasonable reward for your efforts. With the right combination of carrot and stick, you may soon develop the habits you want to keep your home as lovely as you wish it could be.

Making Your Home Lovely: Part I

Would you like to be one of those people who never minds if neighbors or friends stop by because your home always looks fabulous? You can make that happen with just a few changes to your routine. Here are some suggestions to creating a fresh and inviting home free of clutter and dirt. Let’s start with clutter.

A place for everything: Now, getting here is not easy or fast. It’s up to you to make a commitment to organizing and creating systems that everyone in your family can handle. You might want to start by thinking of your home as a retail store. For example, put all of the office/school supplies in one place, all bed linens in another. Also, invest in a little label maker. You can then label the inside of every drawer and cupboard with a description of its contents, and even label some items – such as the scissors – with their category so it’s easy to remember where to put them back after using them.

Buy and use a put-away basket: Every evening walk through your house and put everything that’s out of place in the basket. Then walk through a second time and put it all where it belongs. This is also a great project to delegate to your kids. You can even charge a fine – a nickel for anything that any family member forgets to put back in its place. Save the money for a family dinner out in the future.

Assign standard chores: These can include everyone – you, kids and spouse – making their own beds, rinsing and putting their own dishes in the dishwasher, choosing their clothes for school the next day, and whatever else you want to see happen daily. Once these habits develop your responsibilities will diminish. This also provides a good discipline for their future lives. 

Understand that none of these steps will happen overnight. This is a work in process and you will always have to make adjustments over time. But the best time to start is now. And maybe every week you’ll see signs of progress.

Be sure to come back tomorrow for Part II!

Decorating the Nursery

Most parents-to-be today find out the sex of their baby before the baby’s arrival.  However, there is a strong minority who wait to know if they are having a boy or a girl until he or she arrives. Whatever camp parents-to-be fall into, decorating the nursery for baby is an exciting process.  And with all exciting projects, it can also be a little daunting.  Do you choose classic pink for a girl? Blue for a boy?  Or do you decorate in a more gender neutral color like yellow or green for future babies who may occupy the nursery? What if you have fraternal boy/girl twins?

While pink for girls and blue for boys continue to be the most popular choices for nurseries, there is a rise in gender neutral decorating in the nursery.  Princess pink can be replaced by yellow with gray and white accents.  Baseball blues might be exchanged for purple and apple green.  There is no limit to the colors you can choose for a baby’s room.  Keep in mind that it is easier to change paint color than replace flooring so you might want to stick to neutral carpet colors or wood floors for the nursery.

If you go neutral on the walls and floor, you can always bring in feminine and masculine touches with the crib bedding, curtains and accessories.  Toys and games as well as art are great ways to personalize a space to fit baby’s personality as well as gender. Neutral will also allow the room to grow as baby grows into a big kid.

Tips for Hanging Artwork

  • Has the time come for you to hang artwork in your beautiful home? Maybe you have even been avoiding it. The process of hanging artwork can seem frustrating and very time-consuming. To help put you at ease while hanging your artwork, we have composed a few tips and tricks to assist you. Let’s take a look! 

Placement:

  • You may find yourself standing there staring at a blank wall and find yourself unsure of where to hang your artwork. If you have only one or two pieces to hang, stand back and visually place in your mind where you want the artwork to hang.  Often people hang art too high; experts recommend hanging your art pieces at eye level. To help, you can physically take the art piece and place it on the wall in your desired spot. With a pencil, draw a short, centered line on the wall at the top of the frame. If your frame has a wire on the back of the art, simply measure from the top of the wire in the center to the top of the frame. Go back to your line on the wall and measure down from the top line to the distance of the centered wire hanger and mark. Erase the original top line, so you do not get confused about the proper placement mark. 
  • If you have multiple pieces of art, start out by placing the pieces on the floor for a symmetrical or asymmetrical look, whichever fits your taste. As you stand back to look at the items on the floor, you can visualize how they will look once hung. You can also move and mix until you get your desired look. 

Techniques for Strength:

  • If possible, drive the nail into a wall stud for the most strength. If you do not already own one, experts recommend investing in a stud finder.  Although in most cases, where you want to hang the art, a stud will not be present. For small and medium artwork, a 1 ½ or 2-inch nail in the sheetrock will suffice and hold securely. Always drive the nail into the wall at a 45-degree angle. This technique ensures a stable and secure hold. 
  • For large pieces of art, purchase hollow-wall anchors with screws.  Anchor sets will match the weight of the artwork. Use a small drill and choose a drill size to match the size of the anchor. Once you drill the hole, tap the anchor into the sheetrock and screw the screw into the anchor.

Straightness:

  • If your artwork is not hanging level and straight, you can purchase some small plastic bumpers that attach to the back of the frame with self-stick tape. What a simple fix for a challenge that will arise now or in the future. 
  • We would love to hear from you regarding any ideas and tips you may have for hanging artwork. What tips and tricks have you learned over the years that could be helpful for other readers? You can leave your responses below in the comment section.