several friends ask me to share some tips about organizing your space and
Spring cleaning, so here goes:
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.
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
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
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.
sure the area you’re working has good lighting so you can easily see what
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.
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?
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
as you go, so have your rags, cleaning products, vacuum, and such close by so
you can easily grab it when you need it.
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.
on some up-beat music- something that makes you feel like dancing!
a giant bottle of water to re-hydrate.
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
down for 10 minutes when you’re feeling tired.Drink some water.
some protein and a piece of fruit if you need energy and are feeling hungry.
you’re done with your small task, ask yourself if you feel better for
accomplishing this task.Are you ready
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.
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 http://TransformationsforInteriors.com if you need help with your
space.I always have time for my
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
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 www.TransformationsforInteriors.com for more ideas and inspiration, or to contact me for an appointment.
ever been inside a stunning hotel lobby, a fashionable meeting room, or perhaps
some other interior space that really felt just
right for its purpose? Do you think all of the design elements of the space
occurred accidentally? Doubtful - in almost all instances a professional interior designer was hired to create the space, select
the furniture, finishes and fixtures as well as to determine the color scheme.
We have all been inside someone's home that was a design nightmare. Maybe you even consider your own home the
"Design Disaster" poster child! You might be saying, "Not
everyone has the ability to spend tens of thousands of dollars on interior
design." Often you can often spend less and get highly desirable results. Think:
it is worth $200-300 to find out what it might cost to redo a room or perhaps
an entire house? You might be able to get an interior designer to come and
consult with you for just an hour or two for this amount of money. You might be
surprised by what you can do! There are affordable alternatives that many
designers know about.
Are you thinking of building a new home soon? If so, you really need to
get an interior designer involved early in the planning process. This
individual will add lots of expertise to your design choices, and the result
will be worth every penny you’ve spent.
Designers often work with architects. The combination of talents can
produce spectacular results. Interior designers can offer much with respect to
the final fit and finish of rooms and how they relate to each other with
respect to color and texture. Try your best to budget in some money for the
services of an interior designer on your upcoming new home project.
- Not the Same as Designers
Be careful to make a distinction between decorators and designers.Decorators can be very talented. Many have
experience with colors, wallpapers, and other finishes used to decorate a
house. These are fine qualities.
Interior designers take these talents and enhance them using their
training, usually having college degrees in design. A decorator rarely - if
ever - has the extensive training that accompanies an interior design degree. If you just want help selecting throw pillows
for your sofa, then you might do fine working with a decorator. However, if you
want to make structural changes, or even create a balanced and inviting space
for your flooring, furniture, wall treatments, lighting, paints, interior trim,
etc. into a cohesive space, you’d better hire a designer!
Lighting is often an afterthought- we expect light, but it’s certainly
not a given.Light fixtures and the quality of light they produce have
a direct and dramatic impact on the rest of the room. The lighting of items in a room is important. Lighting can
make or break a design, so be sure to look at a project at different times of
day. Some of the basics of lighting is considering the foot-candles, the beam
angle, the CRI (color rendering index) and lumens.All of this takes the professional advice of
a good designer, in cooperation with lighting professionals.
When you get ready to work on a project, be honest with yourself and the
designer. If you don't get along or feel that the designer's approach is too
radical or too conservative, then speak up! After all, it is your space and
your money, and you’re the one who will reap the result of the interior that
you are changing.
You need to respect the designer’s education and experience, but you
don’t have to feel like you have to “go with” every one of the designer’s
selections if you don’t share the same opinion of those choices. Go slowly at
first to make sure you have the right pro on your team. Once you feel
comfortable and everyone knows the plan, move ahead!
Questions?Respond and I’ll try
to assist you with some more answers. I’d
love to hear from you in writing about your design successes, (ideally with
pictures) as well as your challenges!Check out my newly designed website at www.TransformationsforInteriors.com if you need professional help in
designing your space.Remember, we
convert ordinary spaces into extraordinary places!
you’ve been considering downsizing into a smaller space, you’re buying a condo
in the city, or you are renting an apartment to be close to all the action,
furnishing a small space can present challenges.
Accompanying the new season of Spring, that
brings with it warmer days and nights, you may be wanting a new look for your surroundings.Here
are some suggestions for all of us to consider in order to create a new feeling
in our spaces.If you’ve downsized into
a space that’s smaller than you imagined it would be, here are some ideas to
make it feel lighter, more spacious and welcoming.
Set Your Priorities:
small spaces are very limited, you need to figure out your priorities and
allocate accordingly. Some people need a desk area, but not a dining area. Some
people want a living area and would prefer a media room to a dining room.Make the space work for your needs and don't
hold yourself to what is traditional in a home. It's your home.
Think in Terms of Zones:
yourself which activities need to happen in a room (weighing their relative
importance), and then allocate an area- sometimes separate, sometimes
overlapping other areas- for each activity. Say your family room will serve as
TV lounge, casual dining spot, homework center and craft space (in that order
of importance). To create a feeling of separation between zones, erect visual
barriers between them.A long, low
cabinet, a sofa or a set of chairs, or even a row of tall potted plants can
create a border between spaces without blocking light or making a room feel
carved up.Open shelving, decorative
screens, carved wood panels and salvaged windows suspended from the ceiling can
break up a space without totally closing it off.Folding screens act as mobile partitions to
hide a messy corner workspace or obscure the view of your exercise gear, and
they can be folded flat and set aside when you don't need them.
Strive for Stylistic Unity
Stick to a
unified vision for an entire room. A cohesive color palette, design style, wood
tone or fabric can pull everything together and preserve a sense of
spaciousness in a room that serves multiple functions. Look for furnishings
that allow rooms to transition from one function to another: a coffee table
that raises to dining height; a lidded ottoman that pulls quadruple duty as a
coffee table, footrest, storage bench and extra seating; a shapely stool that
also serves as a side table; a handsome secretary with a fold-down work surface
for your laptop.Portability is
important, too: put double-duty pieces on casters so you can move them around easily.
Use Your Wall Space
bookcases, cabinets and open shelving to the ceiling to supersize storage space
and visually enlarge a room without cutting into its footprint. Vertical
storage also helps maximize floor space, so affix slender shelves or display
cubes to walls instead of using floor-hogging furniture, and don't overlook the
storage potential above a door or a window, which can be a perfect spot for a
space will probably feel and look better with moderately-sized furnishings, as
it's all about scale. The apartments that actually look bigger with the
furniture in them are those where the furnishings fit the space and
yourself.Just as you want to avoid
furniture that's massive and overstuffed, avoid furniture and accessories that
are too small. Even in a tiny space, it's important to consider functionality
and good looks. To make a realistic furniture plan, use masking tape on the
floor to lay out the ideal size of each piece, and then buy.
Add Some Curves:
most small abodes are made up of a series of boxes, it's great to add some
curves. Round tables, chairs with a curve and rugs that are either in shapes or
adorned with shapes like spirals and dots help to soften the box-like feel of
lights, down lights, and all around to create interest and the feeling of
space.Lights are the most amazing way
of making a space feel warm and hospitable. Using several lamps throughout a
space creates a warm glow in the room.
Combat Clutter With Hidden or
lucky enough to have a closet or a pantry, invest in an organizing system that
will eke every available inch out of those spaces.(Remember that clear/transparent storage in
closets or a pantry help you see what’s in the bin without having to open it.)If not, purchase furniture that will house
all your needed supplies in style. Coffee tables, ottoman pieces and other
double-duty items offer hidden storage options. Attractive baskets, bins and
cloth-covered boxes on shelves or in cubbies keep everyday supplies handy
without adding visual overload for the eyes.I can’t emphasize enough the importance of this paragraph to help your
space feel and look more spacious.
Dress Up Utilitarian Fixtures and
clever disguises for unsightly but essential fixtures such as a water heater,
utility boxes, a washer and dryer or a mountain of computer equipment.Hang a homemade art canvas in front of an
electrical panel or fuse box, or use a folding screen to cordon off a utility
or exercise area. Hide the washer and dryer behind a curtain or a set of
bi-fold doors.Drape decorative cloths
over office equipment in a guest room when visitors come to stay.
to add to these nine guidelines?Have
questions about what I’ve shared?I’d
love to hear from you in writing about your design successes, (ideally with
pictures) as well as your challenges!Check out my newly updated website at www.TransformationsforInteriors.com if you need professional help in
designing your space.Remember, we
convert ordinary spaces into extraordinary places!