What do color choices say about your home? Part II

Your color choices in your home can say a lot about you and the overall environment. Therefore, knowing when and where to use colors can help you master how each room feels. Combining colors can help influence different feelings as well. As we explored in five colors in part one, we saw how different colors can have significantly different impacts on an environment. Today, we will look at several more common colors used in design themes. Let’s get started!

Purple

Purple is known as a mysterious yet spiritual color. It is a compassionate color; however, it can make for a more calming atmosphere. Using purple is a perfect way to create a luxurious or imaginative environment while being very versatile.

White

This crisp color can make any room feel clean and spacious. White is a heavenly color that is pure and feels very refreshing. It pairs best with cool tones more than warm tones, which is vital to know when designing your space.

Green

If you are trying to add more life to a room, green is the color of choice. It can help revitalize and energize a space. Also, it subconsciously reminds us of plant life, which can help invigorate any atmosphere.

Gray

Gray can steal benefits from both white and black. While sophisticated and classy, it can also keep a room feeling more open and spacious. It is still neutral and leans toward black for more benefits, or you can go light to explore more white inspiration.

Yellow

Yellow is a creative color to use in a room. It is very eye-catching as it is used to capture attention. It will radiate throughout the room, making it feel more optimistic and charming. In essence, you can add more energy to a room by using yellow.

What colors do you use in your own design? There are so many ways we can add color to our homes to help give them life. Knowing these characteristics can help you tailor a room to your specific needs.

What do color choices say about your home? Part 1

Today’s interior design is ever-changing. Many homeowners are being more expressive in their design by adding more personal touches to their homes. In fact, designers believe that our homes are an outlet in which we can express ourselves. The music we enjoy, the way we dress, and even our interior design styles can say a lot about us. However, did you know color has psychological references as well? The colors we are adding to our homes all have meaning. Today, we are going to take a look at some of the most popular colors in homes to analyze what they say about you.

Pink

This color is a compassionate tone. It can be associated with femininity but is slowly becoming more gender-neutral. It evokes kindness and empathy into the atmosphere, and it is known as an innocent color that does not feel aggressive in a room.

Brown

From walnut, coffee, mocha, and even woods, this earthy tone can be expressed through many shades. It feels organic, which makes a room feel more secure and grounded. Being a neutral-based color, brown feels approachable and wholesome in any room.

Red

Red is an extremely bold color! It can make a room feel warmer and add more energy to the space, making for a more exciting environment. However, if it is used too much in a room, it can feel aggressive. Using this color can be great for stimulating a passionate atmosphere or used in another area to make a daring and dynamic statement.

Black

Pure black can feel quite sophisticated. It makes for creating a strong and authoritative atmosphere. It can absorb light, making a room feel darker, which makes for a more mysterious-feeling environment as well.

Blue

Feel confident by adding blue to a room and make a cool-toned space. It is very soothing and evokes calmness and serenity. This peaceful color is perfect for reducing stress and makes for a great area to reflect and relax.

While color psychology is subjective, these expressions are general ideas. Did you know these colors’ psychologies before you read this article? If not, what do the colors in your home say about you? Remember that combing colors or using more versus less of specific colors can influence different thoughts or feelings about your environment. If you are looking to add more color to your home, consider some of these color psychologies. They can help you personalize your space and tailor it exactly how you want it to feel. Make sure to check out the second part of this series to explore even more colors!

Creating a Functional Closet Space

When it comes to keeping your home organized, there’s a long list of items to take care of. While you may have a handle on all of the obvious spaces a guest will see when they enter your home, the closet may be a little neglected. It’s easy to understand why this part of your home would be put on the bottom of the priority list: no one is coming over to snoop around your storage space. That’s also why it’s so easy to just throw items in there when you’re cleaning up and just need to get on with your day. It’s time to stop hiding the mess and get it organized!

There are multiple reasons your closet may look the way it does: its size is too small, there is insufficient space for special occasion or seasonal items or you may just not have a good system for the items you currently own. No matter what the case is, take everything out and assess the empty space in front of you. You will be unable to visualize what is best for your closet space if you cannot see what you are working with.

Your first step is to de-clutter your current items. Create different piles for items you need to access often, special occasion items, seasonal items and items you no longer use but haven’t gotten around to removing from the space. You know what to do with your out-of-rotation items: can you say donation bag? Whether it’s clothing, shoes or assorted accessories, there is always someone in need who can benefit from your contribution, so delay no further! If you don’t love it, leave it out! For your remaining items, it’s time to come up with a game plan.

This is where your creativity comes in. Look at your remaining items and think about whether you would like them to be hung up, folded, placed on open shelving or racks. Now make the space work for the items you have. This may mean going to a home improvement store and purchasing closet organization units or removing and adding racks and shelves to customize the space to your specific needs. Or get creative and look around your home for small furniture pieces that could be used in your closet for storage and decoration. Why not make your closet look like a boutique that you get to shop in for free every day!

Your closet might not seem like an important space, but you generally start and sometimes end your day in your closet. If the space feels clean and organized, perhaps you might start out your day a little less frustrated because you can quickly and easily find what you’re looking for.

Be sure to place your heavily used items in the most easily accessed part of the closet and the rarely used pieces more out of your way. If you find that some things still do not fit the space, relocate some of the lesser used items into a different closet space or purchase storage bags to be used under the bed. Once finished, enjoy your beautifully organized closet and keep the space clean!

Creating a Focal Wall Behind the Bed

Do you want your bedroom to make a statement? In a bedroom the focus should be on the bed as it is the feature of the room.  When designing a master bedroom, builders often create one long wall to accommodate a king size bed and nightstands. If you tour older homes there may not be such an obvious place for a bed in the room. This is also the case for standard bedrooms.  Creating a focal wall in a bedroom will anchor the bed in the room.

This bedroom has a decorative wall of wallpaper behind the bed. This creates visual interest for your eye to focus on. The pattern in the wallpaper behind the bed adds a design element that gives the room some interest and personality. Neutral bedding and carpeted floors keep the eye on the feature wall.

When it’s time to change the look and feel of the room, changing out the focal wall can be a lot less expensive than replacing the furniture in the room. If wallpaper is too strong of a design statement for you, consider using paint to create a focal wall behind the bed. You can coordinate the wall and linen colors or use a contrasting color for the walls to help it really stand out. Pattern, color, and texture can all be used to create a fantastic feature wall.

Sometimes the best place for a bed in a room is in front of a window. The old rules of design said you should put a bed in front of a window, but today’s design rules are more adaptable.  If you do put a bed in front of a window, use the curtains to frame out the bed and window to create a focal wall.

Organizing Your Home in the New Year

The holidays are over and now it’s back to the daily grind. After the chaos of houseguests, parties and shopping have you overlooked dealing with basic housekeeping and clutter that has accumulated over the past month? Remember everything you shoved into a laundry basket and hid from view? You promised yourself you would deal with that in the New Year. Now is the time, my friend! Let’s get organized.

Don’t try to organize the entire house in one day. Instead focus on the rooms that need it the most. For right now let’s talk about your garage, home office and your closets.

Closets

If you haven’t worn something in a year get rid of it. Have a box or bag ready for charity as you go through your clothes, or host a clothes swap party with girlfriends. Your cast-off may be another’s treasure.

Group clothes together by color – now you won’t have to spend hours looking for that one white blouse. Consider grouping clothes together by season as well. Store seasonal items in garment bags and boxes that can be kept under the bed or in the guest bedroom closet if you are short on space.

Home Office

Only keep items on your desk that you use every day. Put everything else in a storage closet or filing cabinet. Sort through mail daily and immediately toss or recycle junk mail. Deal with bills and other correspondence right away. Don’t make a pile to deal with later, these tasks just add up. Shred anything that you don’t need and file everything else. Remember we want to avoid all kinds of piles – file piles, bill piles, documents to shred pile. You get the drift.

Garage

Invest in wall panels with hooks and baskets. Your goal here is to keep the floor of the garage as uncluttered as possible. Hang garden tools, bicycles, ladders and sports equipment. Buckets are another good organizational tool for the garage. Have one bucket for paintbrushes and rollers, one for rags, and sponges and car care products.

By taking time to focus on these three areas you can quickly and easily keep your home as organized as possible. After all, it is much less stressful to arrive to an organized home than one that is chaotic and cluttered.

Winter Crafts for Kids

As the days start to get shorter, kids can start to feel bored and pent up indoors, particularly when the holidays end and schedules return to normal. When this happens, consider making some fun winter crafts that you can use to brighten up your house and make it a little more cheerful inside. Depending on when you start, you can even use a few of these as decorations over the holiday, or save them for next year to put them out and get some additional use out of them.

Painted Pinecones

Create some beautiful winter decorations with pinecones and some iridescent paint medium. Iridescent medium can be applied to the pinecone spines just like paint. When it dries, however, the medium becomes transparent, leaving behind only a sparkling shine that makes it look as though the pinecones have been left outside in the frost. You can also add the medium to any paint to make your blues, reds, and greens sparkle as well. Tie a ribbon onto the ends of your finished pinecones and use them as ornaments, or hang them in the windows to catch the light.

Salty Snow Scene

This is a fun craft for with children who enjoy the process of watching an almost magical change in their handiwork.  Have your kids draw a snowman or other winter picture on a piece of heavy construction paper. Make sure that they do not cover all the areas of the paper with crayon; some of the paper needs to stay bare for the effect to work.

Dissolve a cup of Epsom salts into two cups of warm water; this needs to be fairly thick and heavy when you are done mixing. Have your child paint the salt water over the finished drawing. When the water dries, it will leave behind salt crystals on the paper that will make it look as though it has been snowing in their scene. If you’d like, you can also add a drop or two of blue food coloring to the water to give the entire picture an icy blue sheen to it at the same time.

Thanksgiving with Style: Part 2

Planning for Thanksgiving involves more than a trip to the grocery store. Many stressful holidays occur because only the food is planned. By taking the time the day before to handle the other aspects of the holiday, you can have more time for your last-minute food preparations.

Thanksgiving is often the one holiday when people bring out all their best china and silver. It’s also a day when you may have many dinner guests. The best way to plan for this is to set the table early. If you have silver that needs polishing or you can’t find Aunt Lavine’s cranberry compote dish, Thanksgiving morning is not the day to discover these problems. Spend today pulling out everything and setting the table. (You can eat in front of the TV tonight!)

Prepare for any potential problems or accidents. Your dining room floor and table linens are at risk with a Thanksgiving dinner. Pre-plan for spills with a good collection of white towels and your favorite spot remover if needed. Quick attention fo spilling protects your rugs and tablecloths without unduly embarrassing your guests.

You may want to serve food buffet-style, reducing the demands for passing everything and allowing more space at the table. Plan which serving pieces will be used, and layout your buffet ahead of time. Then just add the food on Thanksgiving day. This will leave room for decorative elements on the table itself.

Finally, plan ahead for the meal itself. Check your recipes when you make your shopping list and prepare anything you can today. Are there any bakeries or stores that make great pies? Consider buying them and saving yourself some time and trouble. Make a plan for Thanksgiving morning that factors in any oven or stove-top space limitations. Give yourself a spare half-hour to hour in your calculations to cover the unexpected.

With these plans you have a good chance of experiencing a fun and lower-stress holiday. Maybe you’ll even be able to watch a little football!

Thanksgiving with Style: Part 1

If you want to decorate your home for Thanksgiving, your best resource is your local grocery store! Pumpkins – generally half price or less after Halloween – can join with pomegrantes gourds, squash and Indian corn to make your home inviting and seasonal.

Start by browsing through your collection of accessories. Do you have any antiques that would go well with autumn moods and colors? Baskets and pottery or metal bowls look inviting when filled with smaller fall products. If you purchase a nice selection of various squash, they will hold up throughout the season and are excellent roasted after their decorative use is over.

Once you’re finished rummaging through your home and local grocer, step outside and take full advantage of fall’s bounty. Do you have any trees with turning leaves? These can make for beautiful decorations on Thanksgiving day. Also look for dried grasses and berries on your property or along the roadside to add color and personality to your displays. With a little imagination and effort, you can create a fall environment in your home that will take your guest’s breath away.

Now, close your eyes and imagine how wonderful your house will look. Do you have any ideas or tips to make our vision of your home even better?

Crafts with Kids

After Halloween is over and the spooky decorations come down, kids can often feel as though all the fun has gone out of fall and early winter. If this has happened in your household, don’t worry; there are plenty of Autumn and Thanksgiving-themed crafts your kids can make to decorate the house with and feel as though the seasonal fun is still continuing.

Fall Stamps

Stamping is a great way to liven up plain paper and crafts from scrapbooks to banners. Take it a step further by gathering up some typical fall items to use as your stamp, rather than using the expensive rubber stamps you can find at the craft store. Autumn items that make great stamps include:

  • Apple halves, which showcase a star on the inside
  • Leaves
  • Pinecones, which can be rolled across a page for a unique pattern
  • Acorn caps
  • Pine needles

Leaf Rubbings

Have your kids gather a variety of different fall leaves and arrange them on top of a sheet of paper. Encourage them to create leaf scenes, leaf animals, and leaf people out of them, and then lay a second sheet of paper on top. Tape down the edges of the second sheet so it doesn’t move, and have your kids rub the side of a crayon over the entire sheet to reveal the images of the leaves underneath. Once you’ve made one or two, experiment with using different colors on the same sheet to create various effects.

Pinecone Turkeys

Gather the largest pinecones you can find (these are also available at craft stores), along with a range of different found objects and craft items you already have on hand such as felt, buttons, wire, feathers, glue, and paint. Now decorate the pinecones to look like a fat Thanksgiving turkey. Paint the spines of the pinecone to look like feathers, glue bunches of feathers onto the back for a tail, and use the buttons, felt, and wire to create details like feet, eyes, comb, and wattle. Display your finished creations as the centerpiece of your Thanksgiving table, or pop them around the house in unexpected places so that guests can catch their eyes when they come to visit.

Decorating For Fall

Put away the white linen, beach towels and cool toned accessories. It’s fall and it’s time to breakout the corn husks, pine cones and other harvest decorations. Here are a few simple ideas:

Decorate a bookshelf with pressed leaves and pumpkins.

Hang a corn husk wreath.

Display green apples and acorns in apothecary jars.

Spray paint pumpkins silver and white. Make sure you use a variety of sizes. Display them on your mantle with pine cones. This is a very elegant look.

Decorate your dining room table by placing a row of pumpkins and gourds. Add a tall vase filled with wheat.

Fill your votive candle holders with pumpkin or squash seeds.

Make leaves out of decorative scrapbook paper. Glue them to branches for a whimsical look. Display the branches in tall glass vases.

Fill an old tool box with candles, clementines and pine cones.

Hollow out gourds and use them as vases for fall flowers.

Put single leaves, either pressed or fresh, in small glass vases or use old lab beakers — look for them at antique stores. Replace leaves as they brown.

Put together a colorful outdoor fall display using a sturdy wheelbarrow as a base. Fill the wheelbarrow with ornamental cabbage and peppers, grasses, chrysanthemums, flowering zucchini and other seasonal plants. Fill the wheelbarrow with soil and insert the plants loosely, or tuck containers into the wheelbarrow, making sure to fill in the gaps with more plants.

Nuts are as easy to decorate with as they are good to eat. Anchor a candle inside a hurricane lamp. Experiment with different varieties of nuts and a selection of clear containers.

Nestle a candle in popcorn kernels or other seasonal materials such as candy corn or colored clear round stones.

Don’t forget to break out the rich, warm colored throw rugs, pillows and rugs. Light a fire, pour a glass of wine and enjoy autumn.

Happy Fall Decorating!