Tag Archives: home design

Five projects to tackle when you are stuck at home

Take advantage of social distancing with some small changes that can make your time at home more enjoyable.

Set up a home bar. Your probably beginning to limit your public interactions now and that includes trips to the local watering hole. Treat yourself to a “quarantini” from a stocked home bar. It doesn’t have to be a large dedicated space as a bar cart can serve the same purpose. Check out our bar cart tips here.

Bar cart
Hurtado

Clean out your closet. With endless days at home, now is the perfect time to tackle your closet. Begin by taking everything out and sorting into three piles: keep, donate and toss. Return the “keep” items by following these tips from the experts at California Closets.

Create an accent wall. While tackling an entire room redo may seem overwhelming at this time, highlighting one wall can transform a room as well. Either with a splashy paint color, removable wallpaper or a gallery wall, creating an accent well can be achieved in a matter of hours.

Sherwin Williams

Organize your spice cabinet. You’ll most likely be preparing more meals at home so now is the time to get your spices in order. Spice bottles are tricky to store, especially in a cabinet, where you spend a time digging around in search of the cumin. If you have a drawer to spare, consider fitting it with a spice organizer to keep your herbs in easy reach. Shelf risers or over the door organizers are a must if they must stay in a cabinet.

KraftMade

Update Your Bathroom. Bathrooms are the work horses in most homes. Besides the germ factories they are they tend to look shabby fast. After you’ve given it a good scrubbing update the cabinet hardware and towel bars with a modern look. Install a new shower curtain and replace the towels and rugs with a fresh color.

Designers Guild

Mr. H says: Home is the place we love best and grumble about the most-Enjoy!

Top ways to love your home

The places we inhabit on a regular basis, impacts our mood and well being. From it’s efficiency to it’s appearance, your home can make you feel either energized and inspired or depressed and tired. We’ve found that these three obstacles are usually what keeps our clients from loving where they live.

CLUTTER

Multiple studies have shown that clutter increases your stress level, making it difficult to focus and may lead to exhaustion. Piles of stuff make it harder to clean, allowing dust and pet dander to go unchecked, causing allergic and respiratory problems.

Clutter makes us feel anxious, guilty and sometimes embarrassed that we let it become a problem. The best solution is to create a schedule to tackle your clutter. Start with one area at a time and finish completely before moving on to another. Be sure to celebrate your success with each space you conquer.

Uncluttered shelves
Pottery Barn

ORGANIZATION

Clutter and disorganization go hand and hand. Clutter develops because there is no place or plan for dealing with your stuff. Spending the energy looking for your keys or that important bill is both frustrating and huge waste of time. Stress and physical ailments such as headaches and backaches affect the unorganized. Your home should be a sanctuary and I’ve given tips on getting organized in the past to help you get there.

Organized living room
California Closets

BUDGET

Don’t let your budget prevent you from having a home that works for you. A space can be transformed with a new wall color or by rearranging your existing furniture. It is possible to improve the function and appearance of your home with any size budget.

Besides moving the furniture around or painting a room, other ways to improve your home’s appearance on a budget is with the lighting, window treatments and artwork to name a few. Click the links for in depth advice on all these subjects.

Organized dining room
J. Rhodes Interior Design, Inc.

Mr. H says: Any home can be a castle when the king and queen are in love-Enjoy!

Best flooring for pets

Designing for Pets

We all make accommodations for our pets in our homes. After all they are more than just four legs and a tail, our furry friends play a huge role in our families. Since almost all our clients have pets we are often asked to design around them as well as other members of the household. You don’t have to sacrifice style in order to accommodate your four legged friends.

Pet Friendly Fabrics

Carefully consider the cleanability and durability of your upholstery fabrics for the areas your family and pets will gather most. Denim, canvas, ulstrasuede and synthetics such as Crypton are all good choices. Outdoor fabrics come in numerous colors and textures while resisting most stains, moisture and odors. Leather is a durable choice though it can be punctured and scratched by big claws. Look for top grain, semi-aniline leathers whose hides are dyed through and treated for additional protection.

Sunbrella Pure Collection Fabrics
Sunbrella

Smart Window Treatments

Avoid long drapes that puddle on the floor that will collect pet debris. Consider Roman or roller shades and wood blinds that can be easily raised up so as to not spoil your pets view of the outside world. Keep dangling cords in check with cleats or opt for the cordless models.

Hunter Douglas Provenance window shades
Hunter Douglas

Their Own Space

Cats love to perch and climb and dogs like to retreat to their own “room”. Treat your pets by incorporating those features into the design of your home. Dog beds can fit into a cabinet or under a window seat and cat perches can become an architectural element.

Pet Hays

Dog Bed Decor

Be sure to choose a dog bed that’s large enough to accommodate the size of your pet. There are many stylish options available on sites like Etsy, so find one that complements your décor and is easy to keep clean.

Designer Dog Bed
Lion + Wolf

Pet-Friendly Entry

Create a pet friendly entrance that keeps dirt from being tracked through your entire home. Place an easy clean mat or rug at your pet’s main entry point to catch mud or debris as soon as they enter. Wall hooks reign in leashes and some type of cabinet can hold pet supplies such as collars, bags and treats.

Pet Friendly Entryway
Paper Riot Co.

Easy Clean Floors

Top choices for easy clean, durable flooring include porcelain or stone tiles. Some laminate and vinyl flooring come in second. While beautiful, hardwood floors, are a design statement, they can scratch easily and require diligent cleaning should an accident occur. Harder woods such as oak or mahogany are the best species bets, however avoid highly polished flooring that can pose a slipping hazard. Trim your pet’s claws regularly to keep scratches at bay.

Best flooring for pets
Armstrong

Slip Proof Rugs

While rugs can enhance the look of a room, they can also protect your floors from claws and stains. There are many easy care options to choose from with a multi color pattern being best for hiding dirt and pet hair. Wool rugs are naturally stain resistant and many synthetic rugs can be taken outside and easily hosed clean. Whichever rug style you choose, use a good quality non skid pad beneath to prevent slipping especially in open areas such as hallways.

Slip proof rug pads

Washable Bedding

Admit it, we sometimes snuggle with our pets in bed. Inevitably hair and dirt come with your furry friend. Opt for duvets and shams with removable covers over coverlets and quilts. The covers can be removed and laundered regularly with the rest of your sheets keeping your bed somewhat fur free.

Washable bed linens
SDH Linens

Display Breakables with Care

Keep glassware, porcelains or anything else that can be easily broken out of reach of your pets or better yet behind doors if you have cats. Shards of grandma’s tea set on the floor will not only break your heart but can cause serious damage to your pet’s paws.

Display Cabinet
Wayfair

Mr. H says: Animals share with us the privilege of having a soul-Enjoy!

Open floor plan design

Must have valuable home upgrades

Are you thinking of making some changes to your home to elevate it’s livability and value? Modern amenities that focus on functional luxury are key to making a home more user friendly. How much you spend on these upgrades a determined by the options and choices you make so having a plan and a budget in place before you step into the first showroom is a must.

An Open Floorplan

Even though this lifestyle movement has been around for decades, there is still immense value in an open floor plan. By connecting kitchen and living spaces, open plans create spacious and informal interiors for homeowners of all ages. Taking down a wall or reconfiguring some rooms should be done by a pro since beams or supports may need to be incorporated into your design so that the second floor does not come crashing down.

Open floor plan design

An Updated Kitchen

Every realtor will tell you that this is a home investment worth every penny. The kitchen is the heart of every home and the spot where you will spend a lot time. Give special attention to cabinets and appliances since no kitchen can be overly well equipped. A well designed, organized kitchen is the key to creating a home you love and will interest future buyers. Open layouts, center islands, and pull out pantry storage are must haves in every kitchen.

Luxury-kitchen-design

Spa Baths

With today’s busy lifestyles, we all want a space to relax and unwind in our homes. Large showers, good lighting, storage, and smart toilets are features that homeowners have on their wish list. Adding accessibility features to your bathroom can add a lot of value to your home and can make life easier should you choose to age in place. Upgrades to consider, curbless showers, grab bars and wheelchair height light switches and outlets.

Luxury-spa-home-bathrooms

Easy Tech

Technology dominates every aspect lives. Smart equipment has become more accessible and affordable.  User friendly, tech conveniences such as security systems, temperature settings and lighting controls can make your home more attractive to potential buyers in the future.

Nest-thermostat

Outdoor Spaces

Finished outdoor spaces that feel like an interior room with comfortable seating, thoughtful landscaping and lighting, fire pits and outdoor cooking areas are a worthy home investment. Finished outdoor areas expand the living area of your home and depending on your approach can be utilized year round.

Lloyd-Flanders-Tobago-Chat-Set

Mr. H says: Home should be your happy place-Enjoy!

Uncluttered kitchen

5 things that are making you tired at home

Are you sleep walking through your day without knowing why? Your lifestyle and design choices you’ve made at home may be the culprit. Here’s a checklist of all the things that may be negatively affecting your sleep and making you unproductive.

Bad Lighting

I’ve talked about this before: poorly designed lighting affects the mood of the occupants and can create either a restless or restful feel to a space. Access to natural light is critical as researchers have found that exposure to more natural light actually resulted in a more restful sleep at night. Sunlight first thing is morning has been linked to sounder sleep so be sure to open your shades as soon as you rise.

Electronics

Study after study have found that those blue wavelengths from your cell phone, tablet and TV suppress your brain’s production of a critical sleep hormone-melatonin. Without sufficient amounts of melatonin, not only are you more likely to have a restless night, but melatonin suppression has also been shown to increase the risk of cancer, impair the immune system, and possibly lead to diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. Using filters on your screens at night or amber glasses should help with your sleep without having to toss your devices.

Wall Colors

The color blue has been shown to slow down your heart rate, reduce your blood pressure, and make you feel sleepy. While a great in the bedroom, it’s not an ideal color in the active spaces in your home. Colors with yellow undertones, think green and peach, give rooms a mental boost by promoting conversation and social interaction.

Brian Dittmar Design, Inc. photo by David Duncan Livingston

Sitting Too Long

We’re all guilty of being a couch potato while binging on Netflix. Sitting for long periods of time though can deplete your energy and can actually make your body equate that inactivity with going to sleep. Frequent breaks are important so stretch often, get up and walk way from your sofa. Better yet, get outside and enjoy some natural light

Inefficient Overall Design

Dysfunctional kitchens and baths, lots of clutter, and an unorganized environment causes your brain to be overwhelmed and unable to focus increasing your fatigue. Set a goal to clear out and organize at least one area of your home to see how it changes your mood and energy level. Once you see the effects challenge yourself and your family to tackle the rest.

Mr. H says: Tired minds don’t plan well-Enjoy!

Five Luxe Living Room Tips

When it comes to designing your living space, you don’t have to spend a fortune to make it appear like you spent a lot of money. Here are some shortcuts to creating a luxurious living room without breaking the bank.

Layered lighting

Lighting up a space the right way is important and a topic that I have written about before. Having a variety of light sources adds depth to a room. Utilize a combination of ambient, accent and task lighting that can be adjusted based on the time of day or mood of the occupant.  Dimmer switches allow for complete control of lighting levels.

Bernhardt luxury living room
Bernhardt

Beautiful Textiles

Toss some pillows in an opulent velvet or an exotic print onto the sofa for a luxurious update. Custom pillows can be found in designer fabrics on Etsy and many other online sources. Reusing old pillow forms saves money too.

Eastern Accents

Drapery to the floor

Curtains that do not go to the floor look skimpy. Hang rods as close to the ceiling as possible so that windows appear tall. Choose a fabric that blends with the wall color and doesn’t create contrast if you are concerned about overwhelming the space.

Large Art Pieces

Oversized art makes a daring focal point in a space. Large artwork somehow just looks so much more expensive than smaller pieces. Keep the colors and patterns of the piece subtle so that it seamlessly blends with the rest of your decor.

Renwil Artwork
Renwil

Moldings

Improve a rooms interior architecture with applied wall and crown moldings. While adding a visual presence, upscale moldings, make a home feel substantial and well built.

Daniel Island Interior Design
J. Rhodes Interior Design

Mr. H says: The living room is where we come to slow down the world for just a second-Enjoy!

He Said, She Said

An informal survey of men and women and their home wish list was conducted recently by home builder Tony Crasi, architects Anne Postle and Jerry Gloss and interior designer Doris Pearlman.  They revealed the results of their survey of 500 clients, friends and colleagues at the International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas during a session called “He Said, She Said”.

They found that ” a great kitchen” topped the list for both genders in the over thirty crowd

Classic Kitchens of Charleston

While the men and women seemed synced up in home priorities in the thirty plus group there was a much bigger disparities in the younger set.
He Said She Said
For instance, a wonderful master suite was most important to women under 30

Signature Kitchens & Baths of Charleston

While young men desired an entertaining space
Take the quiz with your spouse to see what is important in a home
Priorities to rank:
Mr. H says: Every woman is wrong until she cries, and then she is instantly right-Enjoy!

Fat Free Home

Is your home making you fat?  While you may blame the holiday eating for packing on the pounds take a close look at your house for these weight gain culprits.

Open Floor Plan-Combining the kitchen, dining, and living room into one large space has become a big trend in home design.   The downside is having easy access to the kitchen and all the food temptations that are readily available in plain sight.

Big Dishes-At an early age, we were conditioned to eat everything on our plate which has led many to overindulge as an adult.  Swapping your standard 12″ dinner plate to a 10″ plate will help you eat less while still making mom proud.

Plate size matters

Sleep Deprivation-Getting the recommended 7 to 8 hours of sleep will make you less likely to gain weight.  Being sleep deprived increases levels ghrelin, a hormone that stimulates appetite.  Make your bedroom a dark, cool sanctuary with no electronics to hum and blink disturbing your sleep.

Red Dining Room-The color red is a powerful stimulant and dining in a red room will make you eat more.   Painting the walls aqua or light blue room will slow down your metabolism keeping you from gorging yourself with food.

Dim Lighting-People feel less inhibited in a darker room possibly causing one to overeat.  Bright and natural light is optimal for dining however very bright light will amp up your energy causing you to eat faster and consume much more.

Dim lighting in dining room

TV Viewing-If you consistently eat meals while watching television you’ll associate the TV with eating even if you’re not hungry.

Mr. H says: Strange but true…fat chance and slim chance mean the same thing-Enjoy!