A Design Blog of Feng Shui Designer Sherry Burton Ways

Archive for the ‘Design Style’ 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!

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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.

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.

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Feng Shui Design for Abundance and Prosperity in 2014

We are just a few days away from the New Year and it is time to look forward to a prosperous and fulfilling 2014.  According to the Chinese calendar, this is the Year of the Wood Horse and the age old practice of decorating your home according to Feng Shui can help fill your home with abundance and prosperity.

To create good Feng Shui, base your interior design on the wonderful characteristics of the horse this New Year.  Horses are active and have abundant energy, they are bright, friendly and high spirited.  Horses are gentle and have a pleasing aura that is attractive to everyone around them.  Wild and carefree, horses are the epitome of elegance and sensuality.

Here are four Feng Shui ways to create abundance and prosperity for your home in 2014:

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1.  Color- Since this is the Year of the Wood Horse, decorate your home in earthy shades of green and brown to bring good luck and prosperity.  The colors you use in your home should be in harmony with the element for the year, in this case, wood.  The shades of green and brown are both modern for the interiors and soothing for the eyes.  Use touches of blue and black to enhance your color scheme and add elegance.  Blue and black represent the element of water which supports the growth of wood.

2.  Material- Use natural materials to design the interior spaces of your home.  Look for wooden decor like wooden wind chimes, solid wood and bamboo furniture.  The natural grain and texture of the wood reflects the carefree nature of the horse that is adventurous and cheerful at the same time.  You can also use other natural decor like fur, feather and fabrics made with natural fibers like jute and linen.  You can also install stone sculptures to fill in awkward corners.  Natural materials will add depth to your decor.

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3.  Decorating ideas- The regal horse teaches us a thing or two about luxury and elegance.  Design your interiors to reflect prosperity, luxury and opulence to Feng Shui your home for wealth and abundance.  Look for high-quality fabrics with rich textures for your upholstery.  Decorate your home with crystals like turquoise, pearls and lapis lazuli.  Opt for unique shapes and unleash your create side.  Decorate in layers of similar colors to create a plush look.

4. Feng Shui area for 2014- The South- west area of your home is considered to be auspicious in the year 2014.  It is the area for Good luck, wealth and career.  Free this area of any fire element and Feng Shui fire decor.  Water elements in this area will energize the space and create good Feng Shui.  Decorate the area with water fountains and dragon turtles.  You can also place pictures of energetic horses.  Use this area of your home to strengthen your career and personal goals by placing a board that displays your vision for the future.  Certain Feng Shui charms like Chinese gold coins, money tree and wealth symbols like water and plants placed in this area are considered good for wealth and prosperity.

If you would like a Feng Shui and Design service to prepare for the New Year contact us today at interiors@kreativeways.com to schedule an appointment.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Creating Continuity of Design Through Collections

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Collections Create Continuity Of Design Creating harmony and flow throughout the home can be one of the greater design challenges. Without it, the home can appear to be a patchwork of elements that don’t coordinate, complement or appear as if they belong in the same room or home! Increasingly, interior designers are using collections to create continuity from room to room. What’s a collection you say? A collection consists of design elements that complement each other and when used throughout the home, can tie the whole space together. Below are several tips on designing collections that create continuity.

1. Select elements that coordinate via one common element. Popular common elements include shape, color, finish, use, etc. A collection of art on a wall, with black frames in varying sizes, grouped together is an excellent example of a collection. The common element is the black frames, despite the fact that the sizes vary.

2. Coordinate your design elements from room to room. Not only do you want the design elements to work well together in one room, but you’ll also want to them to coordinate from room to room. While some design elements offer an overall sense of unity, other elements have plenty of “wow” appeal just on their own. Be sure your elements work well when going from from one room to the next.

3. Be specific with architectural designs and finishes. The finishes you select could be anything ranging from distinctive metallic, fashionable wood elements, beautiful paint textures and the perfect color scheme. The absolute best way to create harmony from room to room is by selecting the correct color scheme.

Selecting the perfect color scheme for a home is an art in and of itself. Many factors come in to play that can either make or break the design, harmony and style of a space. This design strategy alone, selecting colors, provides plenty of options for beautifying your home. Today’s homeowners are looking for residential synergy, attempting to coordinate a wide range of products for their homes that blend a single theme.  Fortunately, collections are most helpful when creating the sort of harmony that homeowners desire. For more information and help with adding continuity to your home, or selecting the perfect color scheme, contact Kreative Ways & Solutions, LLC at http://www.kreativeways.com.

 

Building Your Outdoor Space For all Seasons

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Building an outdoor space is one of the easiest ways to create a space where you can enjoy the changing seasons and moods of the day.  Decide how you want to use your outdoor space.  Is it a space where you want to sit and read quietly?  Do you want to create a place for children to play or an entertainment area for family and friends?

Considering the location is important too!  You don’t want to create a space where it is exposed to extreme elements or a place where there is little access or exposure to the sun.  The secret is to locate your space where you and your friends naturally gather.  Even if you use your outdoor space during the warm weather months, a natural feature such as pond, lake, or other ornamental features such as few beautiful pottery placed carefully can provide an inspiring feature during the cold wintry days.

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The size of your space is very important and should be in scale with the size of your home.  Integration is the key, and an outdoor space next to the home should extend the rhythm and feeling of the inside of your home.

How can you create or mimic the interior of your home outside?  Try using the similar plant containers that you are currently using on the inside of your home.  Another idea is to use consistent colors of your flooring used in your house with an outdoor flooring material.

Use evergreens to screen unpleasant views and provide privacy.  I think attractive walls and trellises are also great decorative enhancers as well.   Also the water element using a pond or fountain is always a welcome attraction.

If you need other ideas call us today at 1-888-280-8318 or email us at interiors@kreativeways.com.

 

 

Decorating Your Home In Style

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Creating a cohesive design for you home isn’t difficult if you know the basics. In fact, decorating your home so that all the various elements combine to create the look you’ve always wanted can be a lot of fun. Following are some proven tips to get you started:

Take the first step

As they say, let’s start at the beginning. Chances are good that your home is a mish mash of furnishings, art, accents and accessories that have been collected over time. To create the perfect designer look, you want to first consider the purpose for each room, how you want it to look, your personal tastes, features that can and can’t be changed, and finally, the budget you have available.

Start with the key elements

The success of a room’s design lies in the balance you create. The basics of good design are proportion, balance, contrast, rhythm, pattern/texture and harmony. Knowing how these elements work together will help you design your space so that it’s not only beautiful, but comfortable and functional as well.

 

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Proportion

Scale is one of the most important things to consider when creating the look of a room. A room that is proportioned correctly will feel welcoming while an incorrectly portioned room will just feel crowded and unfriendly. The trick is to match pieces in terms of their scale. A large overstuffed sofa needs an equally large end table or coffee table; otherwise, these accents simply disappear as the sofa dwarfs them proportionally. When considering scale, look to the other rooms in your home for furniture that may be a better fit with the focal pieces you have in your room.

Balance

When creating balance, there’s two ways to go here. The first is symmetrical design, where everything is perfectly balanced. With symmetrical design, there’s roughly two of everything or items are mirrored in the room. For instance, one chair is placed exactly opposite another one just like it. While this creates balance, it can also make a room look static and lacking any visual interest or energy. Experienced designers use asymmetry to create this interest. Objects balance well because they are judged by their visual weight, not pairings. For instance, you may have a large sofa on one side of the room that is balanced by two large overstuffed chairs with an accent table in the middle and floor lamp behind. These pieces balance the sofa visually, even though they aren’t equal in size or shape. The design works because there is balance in the asymmetrical layout of the furniture.

Contrast

Imagine walking into a white room with white carpet and white furniture. Pretty boring, huh? Contrast helps draw the eye around a room through the intelligent use of color. Bold use of color creates energy while the use of muted shades in complementary tones creates calm. The more contrast you create, the easier it is for the human eye to follow the intended design of the room, moving visually from one space to another, guided by the use of color and contrast.

 

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Rhythm

While creating contrast with the use of light and dark tones can be effective, it can also create boredom. To keep the room connected, you want to use rhythm. This means reusing specific colors, patterns, textures or themes throughout the room. Pick a couple main colors and repeat them in different ways in your paint scheme, fabrics and accents.

Pattern & Texture

As the eye moves about a room, it picks up specific patterns. These are grouped together, so a blue wall is combined with a striped piece of fabric that has the same blue in it. Patterns that don’t fit create conflict in the mind, compromising the appearance of the space. Again, you want to pick one or two primary patterns or textures and vary them within the color palette you’ve already created for the room. Right alongside the elements of contrast and rhythm in home decorating is pattern/texture.

Harmony

If you’ve ever heard three singers sing different parts that sound amazing together, then you already know what harmony is. The same is true for the harmony in your home. Different colors, different designs and different proportions combine to create a new look that was never there before, just as new notes are created by singers singing three different parts. The room is suddenly complete. It has a look that if you remove just one element, won’t have that harmonic feel to it any longer. When you’ve achieved harmony, you’ve achieved your design goals.

If this feels overwhelming or you’d like help with this process, please contact usl.  KWS is experienced in this process and would enjoy working with you. Don’t wait! Call today! – 1-888-280-8318 or interiors@kreativeways.com!

 

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