A Design Blog of Feng Shui Designer Sherry Burton Ways

Archive for the ‘Design Elements’ Category

Understanding Your Favorite Color and How to Reflect it In Your Interior

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Colors can have a profound impact on our emotions and everyday behavior.  Your home should be one that reflects your personality and taste, therefore, don’t be afraid to incorporate your favorite color in your interiors.  Here is a small guide to understanding some of the common favorite colors of my clients, what it says about them and how these can be reflected in an interior:

Courtesy of Pinterest and Corbett Lighting

Courtesy of Pinterest and Corbett Lighting

1) Yellow:  Yellow is associated with a sunny personality.  You are an outgoing person with a great senses of humor.  When using yellow in your interor, pair it with neutral color or a cool color like blue.  Too much yellow can lead to heated arguments, thus it is best to use it in small amounts, more like accents.  You can tone down yellow with beige or white for a warm glow in the bedroom.  Use a strong shade of yellow for dark hallways.

Courtesy of O Magazine

Courtesy of O Magazine

2) Red:  Red is an intense color and reflects a passionate personality.  A person who loves red is outgoing and ambitious but can very quickly change their mind.  Red in home decor should be muted to avoid negativity.  Choose a shade of red like brick or terracotta which is elegant and sophisticated and not too intense.  If you do love a bright red shaed, then use it as an accent.

 

Design by Cecil Hayes.

Design by Cecil Hayes.

3) Orange:  Orange usually appeals to people whith a penchant for luxury and opulence.  Such people live their life king size and love social gatherings.  Orange is the color of youth and vitality.  Use a bright shade of orange to create a focal point in your home.  It is a great choice for dining rooms as it stimulates the appetite.

 

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4) Green:  Green is associated with the outdoors- grassy landscapes and lush forest.   Green relfects a personality that longs for peace, quiet and belonging.  It is a harmonious color and can be used throughout the home.  Mix green tones with shades of blue to create a natural, outdoor environment indoors.  Brighten up a dull room with shades of citrus green and white.

 

Courtesy of Yolo Color House.

Courtesy of Yolo Color House.

5) Blue:  Blue is a fresh color with a soothing effect.  Someone who loves blue is compassionate and level headed.  Blue is a versatile color and can be used as a core color in your interiors.  Try painting your ceiling a shade of light blue to make the room feel larger.  Combine blue with yellow to create a cheerful space.  Add a dash of green to a blue decor for a calming sensation.

Courtesy of Yolo Color House.

Courtesy of Yolo Color House.

6) Pink:  In Feng Shui, pink has been associated with love and romance.  It is a great color to help reveal your inner poetic self.  Those who love pink want to feel good about themselves and have a romantic outlook in life.  Pair your favorite shade of pink with a masucline color like brown, grey or black to achieve balance.  Add grey to pink to make a bedroom feel sophisticated and romantic.  Use bubblegum pinks for girl’s bedrooms.

Interested in learning more… try my 21 Day Color Challenge E-book for only $4.95.  Email me at interiors@kreativeways.com  to get yours!

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How to Decorate a Multi-Functional Space

I have often come across people who are confused about decorating a large room in their home.  They end up buying very large furniture that does nothing to make the room feel cozier or functional.  When you have a great room, it is a good idea to make it multi-functional and take advantage of the large spac.  Without adding walls, you can make the space serve different purposes for the entire family.

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Here are a few ideas to help you get started:

1.  Make a plan.

It is important to understand the function of the space around which you will be designing before you get started.  On a piece of paper, draw a rough floor plan.  Decide the areas you would like to create in your great room.  Correct placement of the furniture can help you divide the space without actually putting up walls.

2. Create conversation areas.

In your plan, chalk out areas where the family can sit together and spend time.  These can be areas to watch the television, to play video games or board games.  Use easy and comfortable furniture like sofas, ottomans, and recliners to create distinct conversational areas.  Use a day bed to visually divide the large area into two distinct functions.

3.  Create a cozy corner.

Once you have created conversational areas, also plan for a cozy corner for some quiet time.  In a corner, place a small area rug and an armchair or two.  Stack books in a book shelf behind the armchairs and install a floor lamp.  Drape a throw over the arm chair to make it appear warm and inviting.  Finally tie the cozy corner together with a small coffee table.

4.  Separating the functional areas.

Demarcating specific areas for specific functions is not difficult.  Make use of interesting area rugs to visually divide the room.  When you place furniture around an area rug, it behaves like an anchor and ties everything around it quite distinctly.  You can also make use of wooden screens to divide the room without compromising on the design aspect of the room.

5. Space to move around.

Always remember to leave adequate space to move around the furniture easily.  People navigating in the room should be able to walk with ease without bumping or having to move the furniture around.  The walkways should never be blocked with small decor like floor lamps or side tables.  As a rule of thumb, keep a three feet distance between the furniture to create easy flow.

6. Make use of circular patterns.

Finally, make use of circles.  Circles depict flow and are much easier to navigate around.  Instead of a square center table, consider using a circular one.  Choose patterns on the upholstery that have a circular pattern or curves that makes the multi-functional room easy on the eyes as well.

Here is a quick video on some other multifunctional decorating ideas.

Decorating with Pantone’s Color of the Year- Radiant Orchid

Whether you are someone who seeks inspiration from trends or someone who believes in creating their own trends, you cannot miss Pantone’s color of the year- Radiant Orchid.  A gorgeous mix of purple and pink, Radiant Orchid will require you to stretch your creative thinking abilities.  It is a charming color that is packed with energy and luxurious charm.

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Here are a few ideas to introduce Radiant purple in your home decor:

1.  Splashes here and there-

If you are afraid to incorporate the color of the year in your decor, the easiest way is to introduce splashes of the color here and there.  When you “grow into” the color, you can choose to move to the next level or eliminate it all together.  Next time you visit the florist, pick a bunch of purple orchids and voila, you have just added the trending new shade into your home decor.

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2.  Use as a luxurious accent-

Although Radiant orchid is a bright and vivacious color, it will be a bold decision to cover your entire room in this shade of purple.  The color can get boring very easily, therefore it is best to use it as an accent.  Radiant orchid radiates a royal feel and luxurious fabrics like velvets and damasks that incorporate this shade of purple will work well for upholstering ottomans and dining chairs.  You can also drape your armchair with a mohair throw in radiant orchid for a touch of opulence.

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3.  Not so feminine-

A lot of people are afraid of the pink undertones in radiant orchid.  It is being touted as a feminine color for interiors.  But the great thing about Radiant orchid is that is can easily swing between feminine and very masculine.  Use radiant orchid in conjunction with reds, yellows, and oranges to bring out its charming, feminine side.  But the color becomes very masculine and bold when paired with glossy blacks, grays and dark browns.

4.  In the kid’s bedroom-

If there is one room in your home that can pull off a coat of radiant purple from ceiling to floor, it is the kids’ bedroom.  The color is bright and will bring energy to the room.  When painting the entire room in radiant orchid, it is important to keep the other decor muted.  White works best with radiant orchid in the kids’ room.  Remember, too much of color can be disturbing for the child.

5.  Cool off the kitchen-

Radiant orchid is a beautiful mix of blue and red.  The blue hue in the color has a cooling effect, therefore it is very well suited for use in the kitchen.  Consider using cabinets with a glossy Radiant orchid finish paired with black and white.  You can also paint an accent wall in the kitchen in this shade to add a punch.

Interested in learning how to incorporate the 2014 Color of the Year in your home?  Contact us today at interiors@kreativeways.com and we will set up a free 20 minute phone consultation!

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!

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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.

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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

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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.

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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:

 

Sustainability: A Design Trend for 2014

Sustainability in itself is a trend for 2014.  With a lot of focus on green design and living an Eco-conscious lifetyle, interior designers like me are moving towards using recycled and sustainable materials at every step of the design process.  By contributing towards an eco-friendly environment, you will be able to live peacefully without the worry of leaving a carbon footprint on the environment that your home remodling will generate.

Here are five great eco-friendly trends to look forward to in 2014:

1.  Bamboo cabinets-

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Bamboo is technically classified as grass and hardly requires water which makes it easy to grow.  It is durable, resistant to insects and sustainable because it grows quickly.  Bamboo is being widely used for flooring, backsplashes, and even fabric.  The light color of bamboo cabinets in the kitchen will create a sense of airiness and openness.  It lends a minimalistic feel which is chic and suave.

2.  Recycled glass tiles-

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The great thing about glass is that is recyclable, not once but can be reused many times over.  The use of recycled glass helps in limiting the waste that goes into landfills.  From translucent to creatively textured, glass tiles are like jewelry for your home.  Due it its reflective surface, glass tiles can help add a luxurious look to your bathroom or kitchen.

3.  Organic cork flooring-

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Cork is gaining popularity as a material choice for flooring because of its natural and eco-friendly origins.  Natural bark is produced from the barks of cork trees.  The trees regenerate their back and therefore it is a renewable resource.  Consider cork flooring because it feels great to walk on, is naturally warm and is a great shock absorber.  It is especially good for homes with children because it does not collect dust and has a natural substance saves the cork from rot, mildew and pests.

4.  Paper composite counter top-

An interesting development in the area of Green living and eco-friendly designs are recycled counter tops.  Made with a combination of waste paper and non-petroleum based resins, these are much sturdier than you can imagine.  Durable and easy to maintain, paper composite counter tops are lighter than stone making them easier to install.  These are available in medium to dark colors in a matte finish that will give your kitchen a stylish character.

5.  Reclaimed wood furniture and accessories-

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There is a growing appreciation for reclaimed wood that is slowly finding home in modern design.  The imperfections and rich patina that forms on the wood as it ages is a testament of its fine character.  Reclaimed wood radiates a feeling of warmth and is being used to create dining tables, beds, benches and even wall decor.  Reclaimed wood from deconstructed buildings is being mixed with a variety of modern elements to add texture and layers to the interiors.  It works well with metal and adds chic industrial look.  You can also place an antique cabinet to bring in the time honored feel of reclaimed wood.

If you need some ideas or looking for ways to incorporate eco-friendly design into your home for 201, contact us today at interiors@kreativeways.com.

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:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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