A Design Blog of Feng Shui Designer Sherry Burton Ways

Archive for the ‘Decluttering’ Category

Four Quick & Easy Ways to Zen Your Space

Unlike what most people think, introducing a Zen sensibility to your space is quite easy.  Zen interiors mean living a simple lifestyle and design aesthetic that lends a calming effect to your home.  It does not require extensive remodeling of your home, just a few changes can create a huge impact.  Imagine bringing the serenity of your yoga class home!

dreamstime_s_16117859

Here are four quick and easy ways to Zen your space:

1) Live a clutter free life–  The first and probably most important rule of Zen decorating is getting rid of clutter.  The Japanese art of home decoration believes that clutter creates chaos and will not let your mind be at ease.  Clear everything that disturbs your line of sight.  Open spaces enhance the free flow of Chi-energy and it will instantly have a positive effect.  You will quickly realize the importance of a clutter free home.

2) Spare the bright colors– Zen decorating emphasizes the use of earth tones.  Your Zen home should be like a retreat where you can relax and feel at ease.  Bright colors disturb the balance.  Look for invigorating and fresh earthy tones like greens, browns and blues.  These are subtle yet soft making your home feel close to the outdoors.  Painting is the easier and most inexpensive solution to bringing in the Zen energy.

ZenElements

3) Use the Five Feng Shui Elements for your decor-  Zen decorating does not mean having a sparsely decorated, boring home.  In fact decorating with details is an interesting aspect of Zen principles.  Borrowing from the ancient Chinese art of placement, Feng Shui, the use  the the five elements earth, water, fire, mental and wood in your decor.  Bring in the wood element of a house plant which will add wealth as well as vibrancy and cheerfulness into your space.  Consider a mix of metal and wood for furnishings, accessories and  wall treatment inspiration.  Decorate your bare walls with serene paintings and photographs.  Limit your decor to one painting per room.  Use objects found in nature like rocks, shells and tree branches to creatively decorate your space.  You can also fill a glass bowl with shells for display on a mantel or shelf.

4) Organization and storage– Organization is another important aspect of Zen design.  An organized home will help you keep calm and feel at peace.  Take time to organize your closets, the kid’s room, drawers, refrigerator and the pantry.  These are some of the places where clutter tends to build up quicker than you think.  Make use of storage binds and boxes, label them neatly and create a place in the home for them.  When everything is neatly stacked and labeled, it will free your mind from small issues like finding birthday candles at the nick of time and will give you the opportunity to be at ease.

Here is another Zen Decorating Tip:

If you would like to create a Zen Decor and do not know where to start, contact me at Kreative Ways & Solutions, LLC and I would be happy to provide you a free phone consultation to get started.

An Introduction to Zen Decorating

ZenDecor2

Zen decorating is a Japanese style of interior decor that embodies the values of minimalistic and simplistic living.  Does the word Zen transport you to a dreamy land of peaceful Buddahs and stress free living?  Then you are on the right track.  Applying Zen principles can help you break the stress and relax in familiar surroundings like your home or office.

A few basic principles can help convert your home or part of it into a Zen inspired space that feels like a retreat.  Here are four aspects of Zen decorating to get you started:

1) Minimalism- Decorating your home with Zen sensibilities means that you have to clear your surroundings of clutter down to the bare minimum.  Do away with knick knacks sitting on the console table, ornate displays of decorative pieces and even intricate wall papers.  The interiors must be unobstructed and filled with abundant natural light.  Think simplicity and open spaces.  Swap your exotic Victorian style furniture and upholstery with intricate patterns for simple textures and clean, straight lines.  Hide any disturbances in the room like electrical wiring and electronics that can cause stress.  This does not mean that you stop watching TV but simply place the TV in a cabinet with doors that can be shut when not in use.

2) Color Palette- Zen decorating takes its inspiration largely from nature.  Use warm, neutral colors to paint your walls.  Avoid any pops of bright colors as these will clash with the Zen style of design and disturb the balance.  Choose a muted, earthy color scheme for your upholstery, carpets and furniture as well.  Some of the most commonly used colors are creamy whites, coffee browns and shades of green.  Avoid stark colors like white and black, your palette should be warm and subdued.

ZenDecor

3) Nature Inspired Accents- Use minimal accessories to personalize your home.  When choosing accents, look for ones that represent the Zen elements of Feng Shui like earth, water,  fire, wood and metal.   Potted plants like bonsai and bamboo tend to create a tranquil atmosphere in the room and do not need a lot of care.  You can also place an indoor waterfall that creates a soothing trickling sound.  Fabrics made of natural fibers like wool, linen, and jute will ensure that your interiors are comfortable, warm and inviting.  Keep your walls free of intricate paintings and pictures.  If you want to hang a Zen inspired painting, limit it to only one per room.  Remember the rule of thumb- keep only what you really love, and harmonize with nature.

4) Lighting- Light is an important aspect to the Zen style of decorating.  Don’t block any natural sources of light like windows and sunroofs.  Avoid using drapes, instead you can opt for translucent screens that fill the room with abundant natural light.  For the evenings after the sun goes down, opt for wall sconces or pendant fixtures.  Instead of using only overhead fixtures that cast dark shadows, enhance the lighting by adding simple but modern wall sconces.  Dimmers can be used to set the mood.  Soft light and the scent from aromatic candles made of soy or beeswax will help you relax after a hard day of work.

In the next few weeks I will be focusing on Zen Decorating through a several videos.

Here is the first on how to accessorize a Zen inspired console:

 

Four Ways To Prepare Your Interior for the New Year

End of the year is symbolic of new beginnings and fresh resolutions.  Preparing your home of the New Year is akin to creating space in your life and home for new opportunities and leaving behind anything that you do not want to take forward with you.  It is a great idea to make your home feel warm and welcoming during this time of year.  The New Year celebrations are all about cheer, laughter, and most importantly being close to the people you love in a warm and nuturing environment.

Here are four easy ways to prepare your space for the New Year:

Clutterfreespace

1. Cut the Clutter:  The most important aspect of preparing your home for the New Year is getting rid of clutter.  Clutter tends to add a choking feeling and can make your home feel chaotic.  Clutter does not only mean clearing out the mess that you can see, but also pay attention to hidden areas like drawers, boxes and closets.  Start the process of de-cluttering by creating two separate labeled bins.  One for the stuff that you do not need and can be donated the other for garbage.

Accessories

2.  Add warmth to the home- Once your living space is sorted and decluttered, it is time to add some warmth, coziness and make the home feel well-lived in.  The easiest way to do this is by adding accessories in your living room, dining room, and bedrooms.  Accessories add depth and texture to the space thus adding warmth and making it feel good.  Choose from fur, felt or wool pillows, intricately woven rugs like kilims and cable knit throws.  Faux animal skin with or without fur can also help in making a room feel cozy.  Pick warm colors like shades of oranges, reds and yellows for your accessories.  Decorate in layers and add a few statement pieces to create a focal point in the room.

Photo11

 

3.  Personalize your space:  If you have been thinking about printing photos from family holidays and landmark events over the past year then now is the time to put thoughts into action and head to a photo printer.  Usher in the New Year by reminiscing the happy moments and memories from the past.  You can create a gallery wall with photographs, souvenirs and mementos.  Make your gallery wall meaningful and personal with photos that everyone in the family can relate to.

CozyCorner

 

4. Create a cozy corner:  The great thing about winters is that it forces you to stay indoors and indulge in activities like reading books, crafting with the kids and spending time with the family.  Take some time to think about adding a cozy reading corner in your home.  Work with your family on identifying the perfect corner and place an arm chair there.  Keep a rug under the chair and stack some interesting books on the floor or in a small book case.  This corner will soon become a favorite in the family.  Instead of an armchair, you could also place a few floor cushions on a rug for the kids.

If you are ready to start 2014 right in the New Year, contact us to help you start your space off on the right foot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Clock is Ticking: Remember to Organize Your Home for the Holidays

With the holidays just around the corner, it is now time to look at organizing your home before you can sit back and soak in the holiday fun. Most people squirm at the thought of spending hours organizing and cleaning but the trick is to create a plan before you set off and tackle one part of your home organization before moving to the next. Organizing now will help ease the stress during the holidays.

OrganizedSpace2

Here is a quick guide to help you organize the most important areas of your home:

1. Organize the pantry – Holidays are all about the joy of baking, cooking and eating. Organizing your pantry will ensure that it is well stocked and sorted. Start by removing everything from the pantry and giving the shelves a good deep clean. Weed through the food stuff and remove anything that is expired or spoilt. Next, divide the pantry into sections like organic foods, baking goods, sauces and spices, etc. and rearrange the groceries. Place your bulk purchases like soda cartons or anything too heavy on the bottom most shelf. Label the jars and canisters clearly. Finally make a list of things you need to re-stock the pantry.

2. Organize the guest room – For most part of the year guest rooms are often treated like extra storage. Organizing the guest room to ensure a comfortable stay for your guests will make them feel welcome. The first step is to clear out the clutter from closets and drawers in the guest bedroom. Make space for them to keep their belongings. Change the linens and place extra blankets in the closet. Take time to clean the guest bathroom and put out some freshly laundered towels and toiletries. On the day of their arrival, make the room feel special with flowers and some small snacks. Don’t forget to leave a jug of water and glasses.

OrganizingSpace1

3. Organize the living room – Your living room will cater to the heaviest traffic during the holidays and is a reflection of your style and personality. Choose a theme for the holidays and decorate accordingly. Put away all the usual, year –round decorative pieces in the living room to make space for the holiday themed ones. Dust and clean the shelves, mantel place and side tables. Clean out your fireplace if you have one and get it professionally serviced if required. Is there enough space for everyone to be seated comfortably? Make arrangements for extra seating to avoid any last minute hassles. Finally vacuum the carpet and change the pillow cases.

4. Rev up the exteriors – The exteriors of your home should be just as beautiful as the interiors. The house should look warm and inviting to the guests coming to visit you. Rake and clean the entry way and if possible give it a good power wash. Re-paint the front door and the fence. Hang decorative planter baskets with perennials on the porch. Make sure that the house is well lit from the outside and replace any fused bulbs or broken fixtures. Decorate the exteriors with ornaments and wreaths close to the holidays.

DeclutterYourLife-Cover

Need to declutter before the holidays?  For just $4.50 you can check out some strategies in my new e-book: Declutter Your Life, Space & Prosper

Tag Cloud