Tips for Welcoming Spring into Your Decor

Tips for Welcoming Spring into Your Decor
Tips for Welcoming Spring into Your Decor

Monday, April 21, 2014

Tips for Welcoming Spring into Your Decor

Are you ready for Spring?  I know I am!  I’m happy to see the sun and some warming temperatures.  Here in Seattle, we are far from heat waves at this point in the year, but it’s exciting to see the temperatures back in the sixties and seventies, and the days getting longer and longer.  Hopefully you had an opportunity to read my last entry and be inspired to do some Spring cleaning this past week.  If not, you might want to try doing that with my current entry in mind.

Open up the Window Treatments
We often shut our windows and treatments to preserve the warmth within during Winter, but it’s time to add some needed light- open those blinds/drapes/windows and let some beautiful light into your home.  Wash the windows on the interior, and if you have a spouse/roommate/significant other, have them clean the outside window simultaneously.  Then you’ll be sure not to miss something stuck on the window or have streaks.  (If you can afford it, have a service do the outside cleaning for you.)
Add Some Brighter -Colored Accents:

Whether its place mats, table runners, prints of flowers or your favorite activities, or decorative pillows add some pops of color throughout your home.  Put away the darker, warmer throws on the couch.  Replace your crème colored candles with bright white one.  Mix in some floral patterns in the mix for even more pizazz.

Add Color to Your Bedding:
Sheets are easy and can be less expensive to change out than the comforter, so think about an accent color that will complement the current colors within your bedroom.  Violet and pastel blues are popular new colors for 2014, as are pastels.

Ready Your Outdoor Spaces
If you’re lucky enough to have a deck, patio or other outdoor space, it’s a great idea to prepare the space for future entertaining now.  Start with a power washer on your flooring, whether it’s a deck or a concrete floor.  Determine whether  further work is needed (like a new stain or coat of protectant) on the floor before you do anything else.  Then pull out the outdoor furniture, wash it off as needed, and clean off the cushions.  Take a trip to your local nursery to purchase some new annuals to brighten the space- it will lift your spirits to see it regularly.

In conclusion
What questions do you have related to this?  I’d love to receive your photos of your refreshed bedroom, living room, or a flower-adorned deck that you completed- ideally before and after.   Check out my website at if you need help with your space.  I always have time for my readers.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Spring Cleaning and Organizing

I’ve had several friends ask me to share some tips about organizing your space and Spring cleaning, so here goes:
First of all, it isn’t easy for many of us.  Sometimes we’ve let it get away from us, and we’re looking at years of accumulated stuff stuck in closets, drawers, under the bed, or covering a countertop or desk.

·         Make a list of small tasks that need to be done.  If you have lots of do prioritize the list by asking yourself what negatively impacts your daily life the most and do that first.  If you have a laundry room, office and several closets to clean and organize, make your list about the space you’re tackling first. 

·         Think about your most productive time of day.  For some of us, it’s first thing in the morning, but for others, it is late morning, early afternoon, or evening.  Utilize that time so that you’re at your most productive.

·         Get some fresh air into your space by opening a door or window to outside.  If it’s not practical because you have allergies (ah-choo!) or it’s too hot or cold outside, at least give yourself a bit of air by opening a window 10 minutes before you begin.

·         Make sure the area you’re working has good lighting so you can easily see what you’re doing.

·         Wear a bright color: fushia, red, orange, yellow, or bright pink infuse a person with more energy.  Wear something short-sleeved so your sleeves don’t get dirty or get in the way.

·         Start small: One drawer, or one cupboard rather than the whole garage or the whole office!  When you’re done, check your time and see what’s remaining. Do you have time for another?


·         As you complete each small task, check it off your list.  (I sometimes add some things I’ve done that weren’t on my list that I realized needed to be done- helps me feel a sense of accomplishment!)

·         Clean as you go, so have your rags, cleaning products, vacuum, and such close by so you can easily grab it when you need it.

·         Get a garbage bag ready for trash and another for a charity that takes gently-used items, whether it’s products from the bath, clothes you no longer wear, etc.

·         Put on some up-beat music- something that makes you feel like dancing!

·         Get a giant bottle of water to re-hydrate.

·         As you work, take everything out of a drawer or cabinet and clean the space.  Then assign each item to go back into the original space, go into a different appropriate space, the garbage or donation bag.

·         Sit down for 10 minutes when you’re feeling tired.  Drink some water.

·         Eat some protein and a piece of fruit if you need energy and are feeling hungry.

·         When you’re done with your small task, ask yourself if you feel better for accomplishing this task.  Are you ready for more?

·         Keep one more thing in mind:  you will find that over time, you will have to repeat this process, just like when you clean your home, it won’t stay clean and organized forever.  It’s normal, and just knowing that you’re not uniquely just messy helps me accept that I’m not a pig!  

The Ch'i (or energy) in your home can flow more naturally and freely without clutter in your spaces.  It helps you be more productive, think more clearly, and feel more... energetic!  Once you start this process and can see your progress, see if you don't feel more like doing more organizing and cleaning within your space.  I know I do!
I want to credit Karen Kingston, author of Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui for some of these ideas.  I’ve kept my list of things to do to clear your clutter for several years, but was inspired by Karen in an online conference interview with her.  If you want more info on her, just input her name into your internet source- she’s well-represented on the web.

What questions do you have related to this?  I’d love to receive your photos of your organized drawer, closet, or a purged desk that you completed.   Check out my website at if you need help with your space.  I always have time for my readers.


Monday, April 7, 2014

Adding an Accent Wall

Ready for a décor change, yet are short on time or money? Adding an accent wall enlivens a room's style. Often the wall is chosen because of its features, such as a fireplace or window. An accent wall can help bring together the colors of other walls and furnishings, enhancing a room's character and charisma.

What is an Accent Wall?
An accent wall is one wall within a single room that is markedly different and more interesting than the other walls in the room. It’s probably the color you love but would be afraid to use throughout the entire room because of its intensity. It’s also possibility the color that your spouse, roommate, or significant other would never use throughout the space, but will accept as a part of the color scheme.

Big Statement with Little Investment
The accent wall is an easy painting project. It seldom takes more than a couple of hours; it requires only requires paint, a roller, and painter’s tape; and can even be done in apartments because it’s easy to undo when you move. Unless you’re planning on purchasing a myriad of new accessories and home goods, try to find a bold color that already exists in your rug, window coverings or pillows to use. Bring the paint sample home and look at it in the light that exists in your space to get a true idea of what the color is going to look like once on your wall.

Why Paint an Accent Wall?
Since this is usually the first wall that you see when entering a room, this wall can help to draw the eye to what you want noticed. In an open concept dining and living room combination, it can help to anchor or define a separate area. The accent wall almost always highlights a large focal point such as bed, fireplace, or window on or near that wall. Be sure that every other element in your room coordinates, but isn't "matchy-matchy". Supporting elements should carry out the accent color's hue and value. If there is no thought of coordination and balance of color throughout the room, your accent wall will look like an irrelevant, disconnected color. Think about coordinating pillows, upholstery fabric, drapery, and a rug that pulls the color together. If possible, try to find these items before you buy the final accent wall color. Trying to find accessories and home goods to coordinate with that very specific shade of turquoise you selected will prove to be a nightmare. Again, this goes back to a color's undertone. Color matching paint value to a shade from your rug or window covering fabric is easy, but nearly impossible when it's the other way around.

Selecting Colors for an Accent Wall
In most cases, an accent wall is a bold color against neutral walls. A different version is a vibrant shade against other walls of the same shade. For example, a rich brown against other, very pale tan walls. An accent wall doesn't mean you throw color coordination out the window. Tying the room into the accent wall, with coordinated pillows, drapes, and upholstery is vital when making an effective decorating scheme. Remember, too that wallpaper, which is back big time, and that tile in a bathroom can also make an accent wall, not just paint. The main point is that the accent walls color should attract the eye, and therefore be bold.

Selecting The Right Wall
Remember, an accent wall needs to be clustered around some kind of dominant focal point. There is nothing more dominant than a fireplace. After all, beds move, bookcases move, TVs move--but fireplaces, and windows, are there to stay. Look for a wall seen from an adjacent room. The color will perform double duty if you can also see it from other rooms.

 A great way to make a change in your home is to infuse color into your home. Think about an accent wall. It’s quick and easy! Questions? Write back and I’ll try to assist you with some more ideas. If you need more design help, check out my (newly designed) website at for more ideas and inspiration, or to contact me for an appointment.