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D&Y Series:  Make Room for Joy by Downsizing, A Step-by-Step Guide. Part 4:  Make it Real, Celebrate and Review

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Congratulations! You’ve made it to the fourth and final phase of our Downsizing Guide. We designed this step-by-step guide to assist in making the process both manageable and efficient. Downsizing requires careful thought and planning, but we promise the renewed joy you will experience in both your home and life will be a welcomed reward after all your hard work.

Here’s a quick look back at parts 1 through 3. Please feel free to refer to the links below to refresh your memory, if needed.

·     Part 1: Focus, Plan & Evaluate. You gained focus by visualizing your end goal, created a plan to determine how to bring your vision to life, and evaluated your existing furnishings and belongings.

·     Part 2: Tackling What’s Missing. Here you completed Your Styleprint Specifics worksheet to create three different, well-rounded decor plans from which to choose. Then, you selected one of those plans to bring to life.

·     Part 3: Your Action Plan.  In this phase you utilized the Action Plan Worksheet to compile a shopping list, order information, delivery and installation details.

Welcome to Part 4 – Make it Real, Celebrate and Review!

If you haven’t yet guessed, now it’s “go” time!  You’ve completed all the steps to ensure that you are well prepared and organized. Now the day has come to make it real!  I’m sure you are excited and possibly, a bit nervous.  Rest assured, the following checklist will assist in making it a real breeze!

1.    Gather all your worksheets from Parts 1 through 3.

2.    For anyone assisting with your move, determine the following:

•      What are their responsibilities?  

•      Are you ready to give them access to your items to be moved?

•      Do you have a plan ready to show them where in your new home they will be placed?  

•      Having items and boxes set in the right place makes unpacking so much easier!

3.    Has all pre-move work been completed? Such as:

•      Cleaning

•      Carpet cleaning

•      Replacing floors, appliances, etc.

•      Painting or wall papering

4.    Are you moving some personal items—clothing, etc.?  If so, decide when you will do it.

5.    What is scheduled for delivery or installation and when?

•       Don’t forget items like your cable and internet service!

•       Make sure that someone will be on-site for those items.

6.    Be sure to keep things that you will need immediately accessible. You may want to label a box or two with “Open Me First”. You will be glad you did when you are in the kitchen and wanting to make a cup of coffee or find a favorite snack, when you need your toiletries in your bathroom and when you are ready to make your bed for the first night.

7.    When unpacking, leave your artwork and accessories last—get the big stuff in and arranged. Unpack what’s most important to function and then tackle the other items a room at a time.

8.    Artwork should be the very last item placed. Why? Once everything else is in place it will be easier to see where you want to put it.

Once everything is in, placed, opened, and hung, it’s time to celebrate and survey your accomplishment. Even if it is not totally perfect or finished—it’s important to sit back and reflect on all that you have achieved. This may mean sitting down with a cup of coffee or glass of wine with your spouse, friend, or even by yourself.  Take a look around - WOW!

Next, if you have anything left to do—create a short list—and then you can get it scheduled.  Or, maybe nothing needs to be done!  In that case - HURRAY! Now’s a good time to simply enjoy yourself and perhaps plan your first gathering of friends and family in your new home!

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Posted 2 weeks ago

Revitalize Your Home - Part 4

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If you’ve been following our series on Revitalizing Your Home, congratulations, you’ve made it to the fourth and final stage! For those of you just joining us, or if you need a quick refresher, here’s an abbreviated synopsis. We started this journey in Part 1 by guiding you to complete a quick evaluation of your space and giving you suggestions on implementing quick fixes with impact.  Part 2 focused on color schemes, flow, walls, floors and ceilings and in Part 3 we discussed floor plans and room arrangement with a focus on functionality and accessibility. In Part 4, our final stage, you will critique your wall art, accessories, and storage.

Let’s start with art.  

Throughout our lives we collect pieces of art. Some pieces you will love for a lifetime, others may capture a moment in time or place, and yet others may have been selected to complete a room and have no emotion attached to it. All of these are good! But, from time to time it makes sense to take a look at all of it to to see if changing the art might have an impact that helps us feel refreshed and excited about our home.

Sometimes, simply moving the art around your home makes it feel fresh and different—it adds a spark—almost as if it is new.  Other times, we may have lost the love for certain pieces and are now ready to bring in something new. If you designate art that you are going to retire, give away, or donate to a good cause, the next step is to investigate sources for new art.  Determine a budget for this investment.  Are you looking to invest in a piece you will keep for years or do you just need to finish off a gallery wall with a simple wall hanging. There are lots of sources from online, galleries, and stores to asking another professional for advice as to what will really spice up the space.

Next up are the accessories.

The same attachments hold true when we talk about accessories.  Perhaps you picked it up on a special vacation, maybe you had a favorite color for years and carefully selected items in that hue, or you may have even curated a very specific style of accessories to decorate a room. Sometimes we hang on to something because someone special gave it to us, which is admirable if you really love it.  But after a time, as you are looking to update or refresh your home, you need to take an inventory of these items and consider what to keep or donate.

With accessories, sometimes less is more. It is also useful to use odd numbers when placing them. This is another area where a professional can come in and help.  A professional will look at your space with a different eye than you do, and if you give them permission, they will move things around, take things out and it can almost seem like magic!  You will be amazed at the difference this can create.

Lastly, don’t forget the storage.

Approach this area with some caution—be careful not to overdo it.  Space for storage can become costly, so think carefully about what you truly need to store and why. Just because you have an item doesn’t mean that you still need or use it.  

Ask yourself these questions:

·      Will you be using it again?  If so, when?  

·      Will you be donating it in the future?  If so, when and to whom?  

·      Will you be gifting it to someone at some point in time?

·      If you are not sure, then put it in a place that you will revisit in 6 months to a year (and mark your calendar!) and make a decision about it at that time.  

This is great advice that I don’t always follow myself, but would be great if I did!  For all of those items that make the cut for storage, you then need to figure out your options, which can include closets, built-ins, open shelving and cubbies, ottomans, armoires, cabinets or dressers. Don’t hesitate to enlist a professional to help you whittle everything down and get suggestions on the best options for storing what you keep.

Whew! At this point you have thoroughly reviewed all aspects of the rooms in your home and covered all the important areas. Hopefully you feel good about what you have done. You made some changes. You have decided on some areas that need more attention and have determined when you will attack those. You are on your way to a revitalized home! Now it is time to relax, enjoy and “Love the space you are in!”

As always, your local Decor&You decorator would be happy to help you through any part (or all) of the process. Simply click on the Find Your Local Decorator button below to find a pro near you.

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Posted 2 weeks ago

Revitalize Your Home.  Part 3

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Welcome to Part 3 of our series on revitalizing your home. If you recall, in Part 1, you completed a quick evaluation of your space and began looking at quick fixes you could implement. Then in Part 2, we focused on color schemes, flow, walls, floors & ceilings. In this segment we will be honing in on improving the functionality and accessibility of your home through floor plans and room arrangement.

So, let’s talk a little bit about functionality and accessibility.

These two terms go hand in hand. Function = What you need to do in a space. Accessible = The ability to perform functions in a room for all that need access.

Every space in your home should accommodate specific functions or activities.  The objective is for the space to have the proper setting and furnishings that allow you to do so. Accessibility comes in to play when the individuals who need to use a space are able to do with ease.

How do you evaluate the functionality and accessibility of your floor plan or room arrangement?  Review the following list of questions and if you find you can’t answer “yes” to the question, you need to make some adjustments.

1.    Can you perform all the activities that you wish to in this space?

2.    Is there enough space for those activities?

3.    Are the walkways adequate and free of obstructions?

4.    Can everyone who needs access to this room utilize it with ease? Consider things such as walkers for adults or children learning to walk, canes, or wheelchairs.

5.    Is the existing layout balanced?

6.    Are focal points clearly identified?

7.    Are conversational groupings easily accessible and identifiable? Do they make sense for the overall use of the room?

8.    Does the room look and feel organized?

9.    Does the room appear to be finished?

10. Does the room invite you in or push you away?

After you have reviewed your space for function and accessibility, it’s time to review the furnishings within the space. Review this next list of questions and when you answer with “no” this will help you identify where you need to focus your attention.

1.    Overall, does the room feel and look cohesive? Everything does not have to “match” but there does need to be a theme either of style, finishes, or color that is unified. And look at everything, floor to ceiling, carpets to lighting.

2.    Take a look at each piece—is it in good repair? Or, are there things that need to be replaced, fixed or cleaned?  Keeping up with maintenance on your furnishings will help them last longer and assist in keeping your space looking nice.  

3.    Review your accessories - maybe there are some items that just need refreshing such as a few new pillows, changing out an area rug or moving art into different locations.

4.    Look at your personal photos—is time to add some new ones into the mix?  Save some of the older ones that are special memories, but make room for new people, events and shared times together.

Once you’ve completed your review, here’s what to do next.

With a critical eye, make 2 or 3 quick changes that will enhance your room.  Many times it is the simplest and smallest adjustments that can bring you a fresh feeling and look to your home.  Additionally, if you decide you want to change out a furnishing or accessory, if you move or remove it first, it will be easier to find something that you love and will add to your décor rather than simply adding in more “stuff.”  Keep in mind, you don’t just have to throw things away—there are consignment shops, thrift stores, church rummage sales and other opportunities to donate gently worn or used items so that someone else may benefit.

We promise, this process in the end will be invigorating for you and your home.  And remember, you don’t have to go at it alone. One of our local Decor&You decorators would be happy to help you with the process. Simply click on the Find Your Local Decorator button below to find a pro near you.

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Posted 10 weeks ago

D&Y Series: Make Room For Joy by Downsizing, A Step by Step Guide. Part 3: Your Action Plan

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Welcome to Part 3 of our Downsizing Guide.  This easy to follow guide is designed to help you take on the task of downsizing in simple, manageable steps with a goal towards creating more joy in your life and home.

As a quick review, in Part 1 we discussed how to gain focus, evaluate your needs, and create a plan. Then in Part 2 we took a deeper dive into creating possibilities for your new spaceusing a mixture of furnishings and decor that you already have combined with new items that you need to purchase.  You were encouraged to create 3 complete plans for your new space and select the one you really like. Now we are on to the fun part - how to complete yourPossibility Creation for real!

Let’s get started!

We imagine that you have a list of items that you need to shop for to create your ideal environment, but where is one to start? That’s a very good question. There’s certainly no shortage of options for shopping online or even by catalog. We encourage you to utilize these options to find inspiration, research, and perhaps even make purchases, but there are a few important things to consider about ordering furnishings before inspecting or touching it in person.

What do I need to consider before buying online?

·     If it’s possible, go to the store or showroom and see it before buying. Take a close look at the materials, fabric and construction.  

·     Get a sample of the fabric. Is the weight, feel and color what you expected? What is the material made of? Consider how it will hold up in your household, particularly if you have children or pets.

·     View as many photos of the piece as you can. Look for details in the finishes such as texture, distressing, or polish.

·     Make sure you understand how to clean and care for the piece.

·     Never purchase a piece without knowing the full dimensions. You need to be sure that it will work and fit in your space.

·     Is it going to be delivered assembled or will you have to put it together? Are you prepared to do that on your own?

·     Are your doorways or stairways wide enough to accommodate delivery? Larger pieces sometimes will not fit and require some creative thinking.

·     Can you return it? The last thing you want is to be stuck with something that you don’t like or doesn’t fit.

·     Read the customer reviews for any item you are considering purchasing.

If online or catalog shopping isn’t for you, visit furniture show rooms or work with a decorator to order pieces for your space.  You may find that this takes some of the mystery out quality expectations, delivery and set up. Take your time to shop around and round up a few options from which to make your final selection.

With so many details, how can I stay organized?

Utilize our Action Plan worksheet to help you manage the process.  This will enable you to create a complete list of what must be done in order to have your new home ready to live in and love!  We encourage you to be extremely thorough with this list—no detail too small to be put on the list to be choreographed and checked off.  

Once you have the list, prioritize and give yourself some deadlines. Some items may need to be ordered early, but won’t be delivered and installed until later.  Take care to attend to this level of detail so you won’t have any surprises. It would also be wise to assign actions to someone so that they have the accountability for getting it done and done well.

When the list is complete, reviewed and accountability assigned—it becomes “go time!” and you work from the list to accomplish the tasks according to your timeline.

Wow!  Can you see the end insight?  You are almost there!!

Stay tuned for the final step in this series next month – Make it Real, Celebrate and Review! Need a helping hand?  Click on the Find Your Local Decorator button below and reach out to your local pro who will be happy to help you with your Downsizing Project.

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Posted 10 weeks ago

D&Y Series: Make Room for Joy by Downsizing, A Step-by-Step Guide.   Part 2: Tackling What’s Missing

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We’ve helped many clients though the downsizing process and some of us have gone through it ourselves, so we know how daunting it can be.  That’s why we created the Make Room for Joy by Downsizing series, to provide you with an easy to follow, step-by-step guide.  

As a quick review, in Part 1 we discussed completing the first steps:

·      Focus:  Using our downsizing worksheet 1, consider your motivations and define your vision for the end result.

·      Plan: Review your options regarding location and types of housing available.

·      Evaluate: Plan out your room arrangements and using our downsizing worksheet 2, determine what you already have and want to bring and what needs replacing or is missing.

Welcome to Part 2: Tackling What’s Missing. 

At Decor&You, we refer to the process of addressing the needs for your new home as “Your Possibilities Creation”. This is your opportunity to create a space you will love!

You may have some ideas about how to “create” your ideal environment or you may not.  The important part here is to think outside the box.  Come up with your own ideas, but do some research for inspiration and ideas. This can come in the form of reviewing magazines or utilizing online resources such as Houzz, Pinterest, or Instagram. Additionally, ask for ideas from others. You may have a friend or family member who has a good “eye.” And of course, don’t overlook the opportunity of working with a professional who is trained to see space through your eyes and make suggestions that you may not even think about.

Our worksheet, Your Styleprint Specifics, will help you consider all the important elements of creating a well-rounded decor plan. These elements include:

·      Aesthetic & Functional Preferences

·      Lighting

·      Color Theme

·      Room Arrangement

·      Furniture

·      Walls

·      Flooring

·      Ceiling

·      Window Treatments

·      Artwork

·      Accessories

·      Storage

We suggest that you come up with three different plans for your space and select the one that appeals most to you.  Why three? Three is a powerful number and it is always good to have one option that you can say “no” to.  That will give you more confidence in your final choice. Before making your final decision, present your three options to someone.  The act of doing this enables you to take another look at your motivations behind each plan and may result in you having some “ah-ha” moments. Sometimes something you originally thought “oh no, that’s not for me” will grow on you.

One you’ve made your final selection, identify what you already have that will work within that plan and create a shopping list for the items that you will need to get. And don’t forget to congratulate yourself - you’ve completed Part 2 of the Make Room for Joy with Downsizing Series! Next month we will coach you through Part 3 – Your Action Plan

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Posted 21 weeks ago

Revitalize your Home for the New Year! Part 2

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Earlier this year, we encouraged you to focus on a new kind of resolution for 2018: revitalizing your home! We understand that taking this on might sound like a major project, so we decided to create a series of blogs to guide you through the process. In Part 1, you completed a quick evaluation of your space using our handy checklist. Then we asked you to select the top three lowest ranking areas and begin making quick fixes that would have a big impact.  You may have guessed that Part 2 would involve moving on to the next three areas by lowest ranking score. If you did, you are right!

Take a look at your checklist and select items 4-6 and begin making quick fixes that will have a big impact in those areas. If you find that your Walls, Floors, or Ceilings are lacking, you’ll find the following suggestions very helpful!

So without further ado, let’s talk Walls, Floors, & Ceilings. These areas create the foundation upon which everything else is placed. But before we do that, we must discuss Color Scheme and Flow!

Color Scheme & Flow

How do you feel about the colors in your space? Do you love them? Maybe just the one shade in the bathroom…ehh…not so much. Now that you really consider them, do they all feel like they were “safe” choices? If you need a fresh perspective, look at paint websites like Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore. Have an open mind to colors that you may never have considered. Remember, you can always test them in small doses.

Looking at your space, consider the size and shape and how it connects to other rooms in your home. Do you want to make the room feel cozy or expansive? Think about what you will be doing in the room and how color can set that tone, whether it’s relaxing, stimulating or whimsical. How will the shades in one room transition to another?

Walls

Did you know that your walls and floors represent 60% of the color within a room? Here are a few tips for choosing color for your walls:

·      Typically, the color or colors used here will set the stage for a room and more often than not, are muted and softer tones, though not necessarily light or pale.  They will become the anchor colors and the size of the room will dictate the depth of the color.  

·      If you are using darker colors, you can lighten the look with an area rug, window treatment or art for the walls.

·      The natural light coming through windows will always play a role in your color selection and must be carefully considered.

·      As an alternative for your walls, consider wallcoverings. There are some gorgeous patterns and textures that add a dimension to the room’s ambience that you cannot achieve any other way.  And—it will last longer than paint.  Don’t be nervous—we’ve come a long way since your grandmother’s wallpaper! It will come off easily if applied correctly and the updated colors and patters can truly be what will add the “wow” to your room.

Floors

Take a good, hard look at the current condition of your floors and ask yourself these questions: 

·      If they are hardwood, are they in need of refinishing or simply a good buff and polish?  Or are they beyond repair and need to be replaced?

·      If there is carpet, have you been keeping up with annual cleaning?  If not, get them professionally cleaned or if it is close to 10 years or more in age maybe it’s time to replace it.  Carpet is a textile and as such, it was never designed to wear and last as hardwood. And, if there has been an active family in the home, 10 years or more is a good benchmark for replacement.

Ceilings

Typically, ceilings are white…but not always.  Here are a few other options to consider: 

·      If you have a tray ceiling or an unusually high ceiling, other colors are often used to accent or create warmth. You may even see some black ceilings where the room is so large that a more cozy effect is created by giving the illusion of a lower ceiling.

·      Take a look at restaurants or hotels for inspiration … you might be surprised at what you never noticed before.

·      And, then there is the use of wallcoverings on the ceiling—a great effect.  Can create an atmosphere of luxury and solitude or great drama.

In closing, we encourage you to think outrageously—at least THINK outrageously - and consider something you would normally have said no to before.  You don’t have to do it if you don’t like it—but I have found many times, given the opportunity, many people warm up to outrageous and realize that’s what’s been missing in their décor!

Stay tuned for Part 3 on Revitalizing Your Home and in the meantime, if you want to reach out to your local Decor&You decorator for a color consult or assistance with a specific project, we’d be happy to help!

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Posted 21 weeks ago

Help! I would love to refresh my home with color, but I don't even know where to begin!

When it comes to interior decorating, few decisions cause as much anxiousness and over-thinking as selecting paint colors or wallpaper.  And we understand, you are making a commitment to placing color or print on the largest surface in your home.  For many, the fear of not liking your choice results in taking the safe option or putting off the project altogether.  As interior decorators, we love color.  We like to make bold choices to enhance the mood in a space and create “WOW” focal points.  What we hope to do in this feature is provide you with some tips that will give you the confidence to bring some color into your home with paint or wallpaper.

 

First things first, how do you pick a color?

·         Consider the mood and atmosphere you want to create in the room.  Every color is known to evoke certain emotions. Greens and blues are relaxing and restful and both are perfect for bedrooms.  Orange promotes creativity and energy, which can be useful in a home gym, office or playroom. Yellow is warm and inviting making it a nice option for kitchens and living rooms.  To learn more about color and mood, we recommend reading A Glimpse Into the Meaning, Symbolism & Psychology of Color, by Kate Smith.

·         How is the lighting in the room? Before painting or wallpapering, you will want to make sure your lighting plan is functional. Does this room get a lot of natural light? If so, think about when that light is the strongest and which section of the room is most affected. Examine the sources of artificial light. Are there adequate overhead, task, and accent lighting? Do you have a good balance between natural and artificial light? Correct the deficiencies before you continue with your color refresh.

·         Consider the physical characteristics of the room. Is the room large or small? What shape is it? Is it open to other rooms or closed off?  Dark colors have the ability to bring a space together and conversely, lighter hues can create a sense of openness and add height.

·         Look around your home for inspiration.  Do you have a favorite chair, area rug or piece of artwork? Take note of the hues that stand out to you in these items. Another place to look for inspiration is in your closet. What colors jump out at you? These are shades that you are naturally drawn to.

Test it before you commit.

·         For paint: Paint a large section of your wall, at least 2’x2’, to get a sense of what the color will look like at different points in the day.  

·         For wallpaper: Buy one roll and pin or tape a large piece to the wall. Allow yourself a few days to live with the pattern and examine in both daylight and at night.

·         Try an online paint visualizer.  Sherwin Williams’ ColorSnap® allows you to test out paint colors by uploading photos of your room!  Benjamin Moore has the Personal Color Viewer, a similar program where you can do the same thing with their paints.

Now, where should I put it?

·         Cover all the walls. This is an obvious choice with more subtle or neutral colors or patterns, but it can also work with bold ones as well.

·         One wall. To create an accent or focal point, cover only one wall.

·         The door. Want to create a pop of unexpected color, paint a door.

·         Shelves or built-ins. This is another unexpected spot to add a pop of color.

·         The ceiling. This may sound like a bold choice, but it doesn’t have to be. You can just as easily add a little bit of glamour as you can drama by adding wallpaper or paint to the ceiling.

Ready to get started?

Have your paint and wallpaper anxieties disappeared? We hope our tips have helped you to feel more prepared to make a color change in your home.  If you have a big project in mind or would like a color expert to make recommendations for your whole home or a few rooms, please reach out to us. Paint and wallpaper selection and installation is one of our most popular services and we would love to help bring some color into your life! 


find a local Decor&You Decorator.

Posted 26 weeks ago

Which of these four 2018 Colors of Year is your favorite?

It seems fitting that experts make their selections for the annual color of the year in fall. Simply step outside your door and beautiful ambers, cinnamons, mangos, and mossy greens surround you; you can’t help but be inspired. Fashion and decorating enthusiasts anxiously await the announcement of the color of the year and this year, the selections don’t disappoint.  The winners for 2018 are all over the rainbow!  Often there are some similarities between at least two of the top picks, but not this time.

Today we are going to show you the color of the year selected by four different paint companies. Each group looks at slightly different influences to determine their color choice and provides some insight into why they made their choice.

AkzoNobel/Dulux Paint – Heart Wood

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Heart Wood is the quietest shade of the bunch. AzkoNobel calls it a “grown-up pink” that echoes the look and feel of natural wood and leather.  If you aren’t familiar with AkzoNobel, they are a paint and coating company headquartered in Amsterdam.

The firm’s Global Aesthetic Center works with design and color experts around the world who look at technology, art, design, nature, architecture, and even fashion and music before selecting a color of the year.  This year they felt that people around the world are looking to escape the noise of everyday life when they are at home. Heart Wood brings that sense of calm, relaxation and solace.

PPG Pittsburg Paints – Black Flame

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To select PPG’s color of the year, the global paint company has their top 20 color experts from all over the world meet together for 3 days to present and debate their selection. This year, they crowned Black Flame and claim it will be the “new neutral”.

Black Flame is black with a hint of deep indigo. This shade was selected to satisfy consumer’s need for privacy, optimism and a search for things classic yet modern.  This color fits the bill. It’s timeless like the little black dress; it looks great on everyone and provides a great canvas to highlight other colors and accessories. This idea translates perfectly into interior decorating.  

 

Benjamin Moore - Caliente

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Caliente is the wild card of the bunch.  This bold, energetic red is a bold choice. Benjamin Moore takes months to examine research from industry shows, fashion, and architecture seen around the globe.  Red was seen prominently; in January’s Women’s March in Washington DC, in popular TV shows like The Handmaid’s Tale, and in Stockholm Royal College of Music’s concert hall.

Caliente has a slight brown undertone, so it’s not a simple primary red. It evokes a sense of change, strength, and confidence.  Use it to create a strong focal point or a lasting impression.

 

Sherwin Williams – Oceanside

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Oceanside is a gorgeous deep teal, almost a jewel tone.  Reminiscent of the ocean and inspired by global travel, Sherwin Williams believes it will satisfy a homeowner’s search for adventure in a shade that is a balance of old and new.  

After examining influences from all over the world, their experts selected Oceanside for its versatility. It’s suitable for traditional spaces as well as modern and invites a sense of clarity and is known to boost creativity.  This is a color you can bathe your walls in or use more deliberately for pops of interest.

Which one is your favorite? 

As you can see, there is no shortage of options and there’s certainly a color for every mood. Are you inspired to bring some color into your life?  Can you picture it in one of your rooms?  Envision Heart Wood in your living room creating a cozy and warm space to relax or perhaps an Oceanside accent wall in your home office to keep your creative juices flowing.  If you’d like assistance navigating the color rainbow, we invite you to call us to schedule an expert color consultation. We would love to help! Call 203-405-2126 to find your local Decor&You or go to www.decorandyou.com  

Posted 26 weeks ago

Revitalize your Home for the New Year! Part 1

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The start of a new year gives all of us of a clean slate. It’s an opportunity to start fresh and set a few resolutions to improve your quality of life. Most people set goals around eating well and committing to an exercise program or maybe even finding a new job. We’d like to encourage you to think about revitalizing something that surrounds you every day ­– your home! Updates to your home, whether big or small, will bring you joy and comfort you will enjoy every day.

You don’t have to do it alone. Decor&You is here to help with our new series of tips for Revitalizing Your Home.  In this first blog, we will get you started with evaluating your existing space.  Use our handy checklist  as a guide; score each of the major areas of your home’s decor.  Once you have finished, select the top three lowest ranking as your first areas to revitalize by making quick fixes that have a big impact.

If you need some inspiration, here are some examples:

Improve the Impression of Your Room

Sort through and select only your favorite items.  Toss, donate, or store others to be rotated out for seasonal display (but, make sure to schedule your rotation).

Wall Color

Can you clearly identify the dominant, secondary and accent color? If not, you may need to “rearrange your colors” so that they do the work intended to highlight your space. If your colors are just washed out or tired, revitalize them with a splash of color in your accessories such as art, pillows, throw, area rugs, an upholstered bench, or pouf.

Floor Planning & Accessibility

If your traffic flow is awkward or undefined, look at what is causing the problem.  Rearrange or substitute pieces of furnishings to achieve your desired effect.

Lighting                                                                        

If you lack a lighting plan, create one. Layering is a great way to plan for a variety of uses. Add light fixtures such as wall sconces, pendant lights or lamps. Add dimmer switches to create even more flexibility.  

If it’s style that is off and your lighting fixtures don’t create your intended look and feel for this room, make some updates to enhance your design aesthetic and the mood you want in the space.

Window Treatments

If they aren’t performing the appropriate function - diffusing light, offering privacy, framing your outdoor view or are just simply outdated or worn - update them!   Look on Houzz or Instagram for inspiration or ask a professional for an unbiased opinion on options.  A fresh perspective can shed a wealth of options and some of them don’t have to be intricate or costly.

Stay tuned for next month’s tip on Revitalizing Your Home and in the meantime, if you want to reach out to your local Decor&You decorator for a color consult or assistance with a specific project, we’d be happy to help!

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Posted 30 weeks ago

D&Y Series: Make Room for Joy by Downsizing, A Step-by-Step Guide.

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Part 1: Focus, Plan & Evaluate

Have you found yourself at a point where you’d like to downsize your household? Many situations can become the catalyst, whether it’s becoming an empty nester or you’re just tired of having “stuff” that you don’t use anymore.  Or, maybe you have decided to downsize, but don’t know where to start.

At Décor&You, we are all about systems to simplify processes to make something real—especially those things that we do not do all the time.  Rather than make it a dragged out affair, we like to put our energies into focusing, getting to work, and getting it done so that we can go on and do other things that we choose to do that are more enjoyable!  Our Downsizing Series will do just that by breaking down the process into manageable pieces. Plus, we provide helpful worksheets to spur you into action.

Step 1: Focus.

We love Steven Covey’s # 2 habit from his book, 7 Habits of Highly Successful People, which isBegin with the end in mind”.  Having this visual of your end goal will keep you focused throughout the entire process.

Here’s where our first worksheet comes in handy. It walks you through defining your vision and asks you to consider your motivation and goals behind downsizing.  Don’t overthink your answers; let the visual of your streamlined household guide you. Close your eyes, allow those visions to sink in and the answers will come easily.

Step 2: Plan.

After completing the focus checklist, moving on to the planning phase will be easy.  In our planning step you will determine the specifics behind where you will be bringing your vision to life.  Ask yourself these questions and compile a list of your requirements based on your answers.

1.     Where do you want to relocate?  Some downsizers like to stay in their local area while others prefer to move to different location to be closer to family, friends, warmer weather, etc.

2.     What type of housing do you prefer? A small home? A condo?  A gated community? A retirement community for 55 and older?  

3.     What size home do you need? List how many bedrooms, bathrooms, and other rooms you need and be specific.

4.     Do you have any special requirements of your new community? Consider amenities you may want within walking distance such as a health care center, central eating options, activities and entertainment, pool, spa, fitness center.

5.     What is your budget for your new home? What investment are you prepared to make? Are you going to purchase or rent?

Now you are ready to begin your research. Contact a local real estate professional for assistance and when you are ready visit the top 3 – 5 on your list to narrow your options and ultimately select your new home!

Step 3: Evaluate.

Once you’ve selected your new home, you are ready to evaluate your existing furnishings and belongings. To start, realistically plan out room arrangements to scale for your new space.  What will fit that you already have and want to bring with you? The key here is have and want!  If what you have does not fit, then don’t bring it.  If it fits, but you no longer want it—don’t bring it.

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The remainders are to be split into three piles: Donate, Retire, and Store.

1. Donate to family or other good sources.  There are so many people in need of furnishings and other household items.

2. Retire it. Throw it out if it no longer works, has missing pieces, or is badly worn.

3. Store it.  Be sure to only store treasures that have meaning to you or someone else in your family.  

Next, take a look at your room arrangement plan.  This is where our next worksheet comes into play.  What’s missing?  Create a list and this is what you use to shop with for your new home.

Starting with these first three steps is the most effective way to approach your downsizing adventure! Once you have this tackled, the rest is details and will move along nicely—but only IF you have done your work on the front end.  A word of caution:  if you do not invest the time in these first 3 steps, the rest can get complicated, messy, and produce a result you won’t be happy with.

Need a helping hand and objective opinion? Consider working with an professional who will ask the tough questions and provide unbiased guidance so that you truly end up with new space that you will love!

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Posted 30 weeks ago