Every now and then as an interior designer I'm asked for advice on how, when, and/or whether to downsize. At any age, this can be a difficult decision. Often times it is the adult children helping their senior parents work through that decision. Lydia Chan has provided some advice in the following article written for my blog this month. For additional information and resources especially for caregivers of Alzheimer patients please visit her website at https://alzheimerscaregiver.net/. The article itself has several links to great information! Thanks, Lydia.
Let's start the new year out with two topics that when addressed can bring you a sense of calm and order - Creating a focal point and practical, beautiful storage ideas.
I set out to write up all my ideas on these topics, but decided no one really wants to reinvent the wheel, including me! So here is a link to a brief article on finding a focal point which is the first step.
I'd like to add to that list! Adding a great light fixture over a counter, a bed, a desk, a seating area, or in your hallway can provide that eye catching item that is both functional and fun. Here is my collection of lighting that I hope inspires you.
And now for your storage needs! I love a good IKEA hack, don't you?
Take a look at these ideas from House Beautiful.
I'll be keeping my eyes out for unique storage vessels.
I love the variety of basketry shown in this pic.
Stay warm and, as usual, I'd love to hear your ideas on the topics presented.
When you have been using your space 'as is' for a long time, it can become outdated and messy. No matter what the reason you've left it that way, whether it be a lack of funds, priority, or time, it can become a surface to collect clutter rather than a destination. Let's change that by re-imagining the space using items you have in other areas of your home.
Start by searching your home for unused items or items that you think you may want to change out and gather them into one area to see if a theme evolves. You may decide to put them right back, donate them, or move them to the space you are trying to re-imagine. Do what works for you!
The biggest change to re-imagining a space starts with a clean up, of course. If you can start with a blank space, great! If not, look critically at each piece and imagine replacements that might be possible or pieces from other rooms that will compliment what you have. Changing out the slipcover on furniture is a quick fix. If you don't have a slipcover for an existing chair, perhaps a chair pulled in from another room will add brightness to the space. Add a cozy throw over the back of it to invite you to sit and relax.
An under utilized woven storage box from another area of the home can help keep clothing, books, DVDs, etc. hidden away, but close at hand when needed. Add "bun" feet to the storage box to raise it to table level. They can be purchased online or from your local big box hardware store and stained to match other décor. Add a tray on top to corral books, a vase of flowers (or other plant), and to provide a level surface for your favorite beverage.
Add a light over art (not shown) to eliminate the need for a floor or table lamp which both take up valuable surface space. Finally, add a softly textured area rug for comfort and a touch of luxury.
Room Re-Imagination! is a service I offer to help home owners and renters get a designer look without purchasing new furnishings and décor. Purchase a Streamlined Room Re-Imagination service by clicking here.
Bring the warmth and timelessness of Cozy Vintage Cottage décor to your space. Add texture by layering in colors from nature (moss, mushroom, and wood tones) along with plants, brass accents, and soft furnishings. Crown molding in a dark stain frames the room just like you would frame a picture capturing a special moment in time. Repeat patterns for a sense of familiarity as shown in the curves in the chairs and side tables, basket, wall art, and floor lamp. Also repeated are the squares in the boxy check of the valance, the chair structure, and the art over the mantel. Finally, cottage décor would not be the same without adding whimsy as I did with our brass duck sculptures enjoying the warmth of the fire!
Texture is key to creating a rustic look. Use natural textures of varying woods to make the room warm and inviting. Large scale art and bold colors add a modern touch. Soft fabrics on the upholstery and the faux fur throw bring a bit of luxe playing nicely with the underlying rustic mood of the space.. What a great place to read a book or have a conversation!
I've been exploring the meaning of color for interior design by giving you small snippets of decor in separate blog posts for each color of the rainbow since February 2021. I've gone through Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, and Blue. Today, let's explore the last two colors which often get confused - Indigo and Violet.
Some of the confusion between the colors is explained with a quote from this article BY OBINNA APRIL 9, 2021:
"The color indigo and violet are very close to each other and it is easy to mistake one for the other. This arises from the fact that in the ROYGBIV color arrangement, they follow each other after blue. In fact, the deep color indigo that a computer screen can produce, is also called blue violet.
Both colors appear to be inseparable and there are hues of indigo that are closer to violet than they are to indigo. Additionally, the imperial blue color is regarded as indigo as well. Indigo really threads a thin line of existence that has led many in past to call for it to be erased and just be left with blue violet color."
What do these colors mean for our interiors?
Impressive Interior Design states "...indigo color speaks to inward examination and self-reflection. It is shading for calm consideration."
InteriorDezine gives us a large list of adjectives for violet/purple: "Well Balanced, Restful, Promotes Peace And Calm, Serene, Regal, Dignified, Elegance, Day Dreaming, Spiritual, Royalty, Supremacy, Quietness, Reverence, Lowers Blood Pressure, Quietens Overactive Glands And Organs, Internal Dialogue, Philosophical, Lateral Thinking, Creativity."
Here is my inspiration mood board showing a blend of indigo and violet with furnishings and art that can make your home beautiful, restful, serene...oh so many good things!
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Are you thinking of moving in the next 5 years? Does your home need a long awaited upgrade to appeal to today's buyers? Why wait! Start the process now so you can enjoy it before you sell.
Start by assessing where your home needs the most help. Curb appeal should be your primary focus along with decluttering no matter how much money you have to invest into transitioning your home to be sold. Assuming you are not planning to move for a few years, here are some ideas to set you in motion on the interior depending on your budget:
Enough funds for a simple refresh
A stash of funds for a serious upgrade can be available if you dip into your home's equity or you've been saving for an upgrade for some time
Here is where an interior designer can help
There is no more of a serene, calming color than blue in my opinion. Okay, maybe green, but I'm talking about blue today! This color is so easy to work with as an accent, in a monochromatic scheme, or as a statement color throughout your home. From the lightest of blues to shades of gray blue to the darkest of blues, there is a shade or tint that conveys every mood. There are products in every form that will help you pull blue into your interiors (and exteriors). Fabric, wall coverings, appliances, cabinetry, cookware, furnishings, lighting, art, ...you name it!
In the last 2 years, blue has been the basis for the color of the year as named by a few top color organizations in one shade or another.
If you haven't been convinced this color is soothing, click on this link to be mesmerized by Valspar's interpretation of the sound of blue - CLICK HERE.
I've reached the middle of R.O.Y. G. B.I.V in my exploration of color - Green.
It's summer here in Wisconsin. The heat is on and the grass and trees are displaying all shades of green. The American Psychological Association says green is good for us. This is true in more ways than one. The color green gives us the feeling of tranquility with its association to nature and with the ease our eyes have in viewing it as they don't have to adjust to the wavelength of cool colors as they do for warm colors. Going green is also a way of helping our environment, living sustainably, and being ecologically responsible. All good, right?
When you meet your designer at the start of a project, so many questions are asked to get an idea for the look and feel you want for your room. Water, landscapes, food, metal and other materials we see evoke a certain feeling. Creamy ice cream, fun confetti, rich landscapes, lazy rivers, rusty pipes... Just adding the adjectives starts the story that can lead to the look and feel you might want your room to have once it is transformed from inspiration to a finished space.
Here are a few examples of rooms that reflect the inspirational items shown in the mood boards I developed.
Party in Pink
The roaring 20 attire, confetti, ice cream, and cotton candy all say LET'S PARTY! When we ground it in the beauty that nature brings with the mountain side and the pearls from the sea, we get a room that is ready for entertaining as well as relaxation.
Grounded in the Sky
Who wouldn't want to soar in the open airy space of the sky, then come down to earth for a warm latte in a comfortable modern room. The geometric patterns of the area rug and the low furnishings ground the room. The hot air balloon inspired lighting brings your eyes up providing continuous visual flow.
This mood board brings spice and elegance paired with color and texture that say nothing less than "Let's spend the day in the sun, then join me for a romantic night under the stars". There is formality in the furnishings combined with whimsical art and animal print and tropical inspired toss pillows. The jewel toned wall color and furnishings coordinate with the sparkling chandelier and gold on the tables and credenza.
I hope you enjoyed the inspirations for these rooms. What inspires your decor? Let me know if you need help translating your inspiration into the room of your dreams.
Meet Your Designer
I, Brenda Szarek, am the founder of Autumn Light Interiors. I have immersed myself in home design and problem solving for years and have creative solutions for all kinds of interior design dilemmas. I hope you enjoy my tips, tricks, trends, and inspiration to help you find your way to a well-designed, comfortable, and functional home you can be excited to live in and welcome others within.