Wednesday, April 25, 2012

How to compromise on colors in your home

Deutsch: Buntstifte, Farbstifte العربية: أقلام...
Deutsch: Buntstifte, Farbstifte العربية: أقلام تلوين Česky: Pastelky English: Colouring pencils Français : Crayons de couleur Español: Lápices de colores Nederlands: Kleurpotloden Italiano: Matite colorate ไทย: ดินสอสี ‪中文(繁體)‬: 彩色鉛筆 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do you have a spouse or significant other that has completely different tastes with regards to color and decor?  It is somewhat unnerving to try and find a compromise when you have two completely different tastes in colors working against each other.  Then end result can be a mixed batch of colors that each clash the same way you and your partner do.  Don't fret though, there are ways around this problem. Try these ideas below:

Merge your tastes into one. Sometimes the compromise can involve blending the two loved colors to create a new middle color you can both appreciate. For instance, he may love orange and she may love pink, a blend of these two colors will result in a peach or coral. Can it work? You can certainly play around with the possibilities. 

Meet in the middle with accessories. Additional compromises can be found in the form of finding décor that merges the two colors together. While this can be challenging, it may well be worth the effort. Area rugs, lamps, wall art that embrace different colors that appeal to you both can be a way to bridge the gap in your design problems. Finding these items can be hard, however if you are crafty, you may be able to do custom pieces yourself. 
Go neutral first. One way to play it safe is to make sure your largest surface areas in the space remain neutral. Adding custom pillows for a sofa that have colors you both love are great way to get both of your personalities on the same design page. You can also have drapes custom made, or do simple ones yourself. The idea is not to shut down and always give in to the other person, but to continue to find ways to meet somewhere in the middle with décor and design. 

Colors are changeable, and so they should be represented in décor that is less permanent as well. By keeping the strong color choices in the smaller details and the neutrals in the background we can always find ways to have our design voices heard and displayed without feeling like we got left out of the design choices.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Ways to feel comfortable in a new home and life

Vase of peach blossoms
Vase of peach blossoms (Photo credit: Dawn Gagnon)

If you've suddenly gotten married and moved into your new spouses home, it may take a lot of getting used to. There may be a lot left over from the other relationship, especially with widows and widowers. You new partner may not be ready for a great deal of changes in their home right off the bat.
It may have been a big step for them to find a new partner to begin with so slow and steady is the way to go. The best way to change the old energy is with new energy. If you can't get rid of a lot of items in a home, you can certainly rearrange, and add to the existing space to give it a different “feel.” Address all levels of the senses. Take a look at the five senses and examples of what you can do:

Rearranging furniture gives old spaces a new look and it also changes up the flow and feel of a room. Seeing a different layout that you have conducted help you feel like you have made the home yours.

The sense of smell is one of the most powerful memory triggers in human beings. Naturally we are most comfortable smelling familiar scents over new ones. Homes all have smells that are different than what you are used to. By adding familiar smells with favorite air fresheners, fabric fresheners, candles and fresh flowers you subtly bring your energy into the space and once a home starts to smell familiar, it more welcoming.
Whether you love the feel of suede, velour, or velvet you can improve your comfort level a great deal by adding soft textures you enjoy to a new space. Things like adding new pillows to a sofa, a favorite throw, or an area rug on the floor, can all give you a sense of belonging and we all need a certain amount of creature comforts to help us merge into a new experience.

Music, wind chimes, or small table fountains all help change the energy in a room by replacing the ambiance. Soothing and familiar sounds are great ways to relax, relieve tension and stress as well.

Keep favorite candy in candy dishes in the new home that will give you a sense of yourself and your existing pleasures. You'd be surprised how a little thing like having your favorite hard candy on hand can make a big difference in how you adjust to a new space.

Once you have done these little changes, in time you can move on and integrate your tastes in things like furnishings, colors and decorative items. Like Rome, a home can not be built in a day, patience is the key to harmony in a new space.
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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Open concept design pros and cons

Great roomGreat room (Photo credit: Dawn Gagnon)

Most of us hear this phrase constantly on television. Whether it is a real estate show, or a home improvement or renovation show, the phrase is out there. Most of us tend to place a great deal of stock in the words of the hosts of these shows and you can see it now like never before. I am almost positive home buyers were not walking into houses in the 1950's requesting "an open concept" design.

You will no doubt hear words like "great for entertaining, " from people that are house shopping. The question is, do you entertain as much as you think you do to justify the open space? Some may say they will entertain more with an open concept living space, however, this is usually not the case. Frequent entertaining of guests requires a lot of time, effort, and money.
If you are living a busy lifestyle already, that probably isn't going to change just because you have an open concept home. Entertaining may pick up in the beginning because we are anxious to show off our new home, but the time, effort and expense of hosting big parties will typically die down over time.

Not to mention more and more men are adding their input into the design aesthetic of home design and decor these days. I can't even begin to imagine  Ward Cleaver saying, I don't like those "window treatments" as opposed to "drapes." I still chuckle a little at this considering many men still need their wives to pick out their clothes for them. However, they are finding their voice in home decor and design, and many have very strong opinions now. It may be in part to the fact that a home purchase today is a risky investment in the short term.

All in all society has  been well educated in decor and design to a degree. However, open concept designs do have some draw backs. These draw backs should be considered if you have a lifestyle that tends to be short on time and big on activity. However, that being said there's different types of open concept designs and some work better for families than others.

You don't have to feel quarantined from the rest of the family while cooking.

Open concepts give the illusion of more space.

Easier for some parents to keep an eye on little ones.

Popular design for resale. Homeowners tend to follow trends and make many choices by what they believe to be popular with the general public. This is often given in large doses to the public via television shows that talk about real estate and home improvement. The media influence is everywhere.

If your open concept includes no barriers between your living area and your kitchen,  you may have to work harder keeping that area of your home clean.

The smelly side of things. An overflow with the dishwasher or a plumbing issue can seep into your living room, and can cause damage to flooring, odors from a backed up sink or garbage disposal can travel throughout the living space.

Not always safer and easier to watch little ones. Homes with small children will have to be a little more cautious of children getting into the kitchen and handling dangerous utensils, touching a hot cook top or even grabbing a pot on the stove. Of course this can happen in any home, but a kitchen that has some barrier between itself and a living space is easier to block off with child gates etc. You will certainly need more cabinet locks, etc.
Big open spaces may take longer to warm up or cool down. Depending on where you live, large high ceilings and open floor plans may be more expensive to heat and cool.

Other ideas on floor plans
Alternative designs that offer some open concept. Great rooms are still a popular facet in home design. These rooms are typically the merging between a dining space and a living space. Some times the kitchen is viewable, sometimes only the dining space is from the living area. Some may prefer not to have a kitchen that is instantly viewable by someone just walking into my home. While the foyer is slowly disappearing from homes today, they do offer some privacy between your private home life and those entering the home. Some homeowners may prefer the idea of someone not walking directly into the living area of their  home.  A  foyer seem to provide that small measure of privacy.

The bottom line is to chose homes and renovations with great care. What works today may not work in the future so give things a lot of thought. A skilled interior decorator or designer will take into consideration your lifestyle needs and family activity. Do you have a lot of visitors? Do you entertain frequently?  Don't just follow what you believe is popular in mainstream society. Design what works for you specifically. In some cases open concept may not offer you the greatest comfort or practicality, and isn't that what a home should be about? A comfortable space that suits your lifestyle and your individual needs?  Don't be afraid to make your space your own.

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Thursday, April 12, 2012

HGTV's ' Green Home 2012 Sweepstakes' is on

If you love the idea of going green and living in an Eco-friendly dwelling, then you will love the latest HGTV sweepstakes green home. The latest sweepstakes will allow you not only to win the home of your dreams but live an environmentally friendly lifestyle too. Located in Serenebe, Georgia, the latest green home offered up for grabs has a southern flare and the architect describes his inspiration for the design as “modern farmhouse.”

Architect Steve Kemp along with residential designer Georgia Muncaster both wanted a great representation of southern home design with the “perfect balance of old architectural details and new home systems.” This design aesthetic is an ever growing popular scheme and will appeal to many of those wishing to have the best of both worlds. For a chance to enter this sweepstakes worth $800,000.00 enter the link below.
You can enter through June 1st twice daily, so bookmark this article and return each day simply by clicking the links below:
HGTV Green Home 2012 Sweepstakes Entry
HGTV Remodels Green Home 2012 Sweepstakes Entry

For more home inspired articles see:
Dawn's Interior Decorating Solutions

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