Pick a Palette, Any Palette

July 18th, 2012

Similar to people, homes and rooms can reflect different personalities. Specific color schemes compliment different styles of homes. While there is no right or wrong color choice, sometimes a starting point can be extremely helpful. Below are examples of suggested color palettes for various architectural designs that can be the motivation you are looking for:

craftsman

Craftsman:Known for emphasizing the natural beauty of craftsmanship, this style does not have lots of ornate details, so naturally choose a warmer color scheme, including palettes such as: Fading Frost, Dusty Day, and Country Heather.

Fading Frost 132-2 Dusty Day 130-6 Country Heather 131-5

Fading frost

Dusty Day

Country Heather

132-2
130-6
131-5
federal

Federal: With solid and symmetrical styles, homes built in this design thrive with contrast and pops of color. Palettes such as: Bon Voyage, Spring Cosmos, Tomato Soup, and Peas in a Pod.

Bon Voyage 137-6 Spring Cosmos 115-6 Tomato Soup 111-1 Peas in a Pod 060-6

Bon Voyage

Spring Cosmos

Tomato Soup

Peas in a Pod

137-6
115-6
111-1
060-6
second-empire

Second Empire: With subtle French elements, this style of home compliments a Parisian inspired palette: Cripple Creek, Earth Henna, Elmos Fire, and Pink Sunset.

Cripple Creek 033-5 Earth Henna 108-6 Elmo's Fire 107-1 Pink Sunset 122-1

Cripple Creek

Earth Henna

Elmos Fire

Pink Sunset

033-5
108-6
107-1
122-1
Victorian

Victorian: One of the first styles of American homes, ornate details were brought to the masses and bright colors were the perfect thing to set them off. Find inspiration in this palette: Natura, Graces Smile, Inniswood, and Little Darling.

Natura 067-6 Grace's Smile OW3-2 Inniswood 141-5 Little Darling OW7-4

Natura

Grace’s Smile

Inniswood

Little Darling

067-6
OW3-2
141-5
OW7-4

Make your room bigger!

June 29th, 2012

You don’t have to be an interior designer or stager to make a room feel bigger. Almost everyone has run into that room in the home that feels way too small or impossible to decorate. Usually called the junk room, right? Take back that space with a few changes to create big impact!

Color schemes play a huge role on the feel of any room. To increase space, use light cool colors on your walls and ceilings to create an airy feel. Using soft pastels or neutral color can be a good place to start. Keep in mind the colors you choose should remain in the same color family as your furniture. This will help furniture blend into the room instead of sticking out like a sore thumb.  Add a monochromatic color scheme in your use of fabrics, textures and delicate drapery fabrics. The use of cool against warm colors will help with the effect.  Ceiling and floors are often overlooked, but they need to be considered. Light colored flooring such as bamboo and light colored or white ceilings help lighten the mood of the room even more.

Rooms are often jam packed with way too much furniture, accessories and clutter. Less is more when opening up a space. These items tend to weigh down a room making it feel cramped. The scale of furniture can also work against your room because not all sofas or even California King beds work in every space.  Try changing their location to unblock views into open spaces, making the room feel more open. Larger pieces should be pushed against the wall creating as much floor space as possible.   Moving furniture around or out of the room entirely will open things up making the room appear larger.

The use of lighting is key to making a room feel larger. Natural or artificial light? Whether it is pop lights, floor lamps that bounce light off the ceiling, unique track lighting, or just removing heavy drapes to let in natural sunlight will all create an impact.

Lastly, décor should have the mentality of less is more. Avoid the need to over decorate the space, but rather use one larger picture or piece as a focal point in the room.  If possible, add a large mirror or wall of mirrors to make the space look bigger. Mirror effects help extend the size of the room.  Also, if they are faced toward an open window, mirrors will help pull the outdoors in. Additionally, the use of clear items such as glass tables and sheer drapes will add to the illusion, giving the depth and space needed to make a small room big.

 pict-room

How to improve Indoor Air quality

June 22nd, 2012

We spend a large majority of our time in our home.  Some reports show that indoor air can often be more polluted than outdoor air. Below are some important tips to help improve indoor air quality, making your home as safe and clean as possible.

 air-filter_blog The air filters on your furnace sometimes go unnoticed, especially if they do not look dirty. You will occasionally find, on closer inspection, that they are unclean. They should either be cleaned or replaced depending on the type of filter you own. Filters can become dirty very quickly especially if animals are present in your home. Changing or cleaning your filters regularly will not only help with air quality, but creates a more efficient, longer lasting air system.
dryerVent Dryer vents can lead to poor air quality and lack of efficiency in the home.  Ensure a proper fit to the hose pipe leading out of the house and the vent housing outside. The flaps should swing freely when in use and close when the dryer is not running. Lint can become trapped on the flaps leaving your home open to outside pollutants. Check this regularly to ensure proper air flow out of the house and clean as necessary.  Regular inspection will also reduce the chance of a dryer lint fire in your home.
smoke-detector You may find some, or all of your appliances burn some type of fuel (natural gas or propane). If so, have a professional inspect them periodically. Appliances such as air systems, dryers, hot water heaters, fireplaces and ranges should be checked.  This will ensure they work at optimum performance and no leaks are found that could be harming air quality. Checking the batteries in smoke detectors is another way to detect harmful pollutants that might come from these units. You might be saying this takes time and money; however, checking your system will give you peace of mind and pay you back over time through a more efficient unit, reducing your overall energy bills.

One way to make your appliance run more efficient is to pull them out and clean behind them. Seasonal cleaning can help the units run better and help to keep the professionals at bay. These areas are often overlooked in your home, but using your vacuum hose can make quick work of this chore. Areas of interest should be refrigerator coils, lint catcher on the dryer, dust inside light fixtures and on furniture.  Regular cleanings of these areas can reduce overall allergens within your home and help to increase air quality.

Using the right types of cleaners, solvents and paints can dramatically change indoor air quality. Look for products that not only work but reduce pollutants in the environment. Making these changes can help you breathe easier and provide a safer environment for all.