Archive | January, 2015

Mustard Is Not Just For Sandwiches!

28 Jan

Mustard is not just for sandwiches.mustardColor2
It’s a warm, rich interior design color that adds tang to your home environment.
Mustard as an interior design color has a very similar role as mustard on a sandwich. Just a dollop adds a lot of flavor and pizazz, but too much can spoil the sandwich! If you don’t like the mental image of a sandwich condiment in your home décor, you can also call this vibrant hue goldenrod or egg yolk.
Mustard is a rich and warm color – and just a little bit daring! It goes well with black and white or with brown and white; and is very sophisticated when used with a gray and white color palette. Other accent colors that play well with mustard include deep reds, navy blue and lighter blue tones.
MustardColor1Because mustard is bold and dramatic, it’s best to use it in small quantities as an accent and not as a primary design color. It’s especially effective to use mustard in the kitchen to add brightness or in a powder room to add drama. Consider these design elements to get your mustard fix:
 A piece of painted furniture or the fabric on an upholstered piece of furniture
 A picture frame or artwork featuring mustardmustardColor3
 Rugs and throw pillows
 An accent wall
 Window fashions and wall coverings
 Linens on the dining room table, atop the bed or in the powder room
 Lamps
 Flowers and plants with mustard blooms
 Even your front door!
Think outside the refrigerator this season and use mustard to space up your decor!

 

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January Is National Organizing Month

21 Jan

Organizing Is a Never-Ending Story

Earlier this month we talked about de-cluttering after Christmas to start healthy habits for 2015. January is National Get Organized Month and there are multitudes of ways to revamp your home.

Top areas in a home where organizing gets haywire are: office/den, kitchen, closets, master bedroom and the garage/attic/basement. We can help you get organized this year!

  1. Decide where to start– Which area of your life is the most chaotic? Is it your desk? Is it the stack of mail, bills, and reading material that has taken over the dining room? What things are you always looking for? Find the area in your life that is really causing you the greatest stress, and start there.
  2. Be brutal – What really makes sense and what doesn’t? What belongs under the kitchen sink and what belongs in the cleaning or laundry closet?
  3. Go vertical –Look for shelves to maximize your vertical space in cabinets. In a closet add extra rods, hangingstorage column bags or drawers for instant space. Move up not out!
  4. Use doors – The backs of your doors are often an underutilized gold mine of storage!
  5. Surfaces that collect clutter– Put away appliances you don’t use, file papers you need to keep, and process mail at least twice a week.
  6. Repurpose-Use household items to help clear clutter. Mason jars store pins, tacks or coins easily; Velcro tape helps keep wires tidy and organized; and clear boxes or storage containers are perfect for art and craft supplies.
  7. Get creative– If you have the space and ability to build, here are some fun ways to get some storage in already usable space.underbed storage

There are lots of great ideas on the internet for building your storage to fit your needs: 10 Sly Spots to Stash Your Stuff

     8.  One thing at a time– And last but not least, start small. Don’t plan to organize the whole house this weekend. Start with one drawer, one desk or one closet.

Good luck!

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Pantone Color Of The Year- What Do You Think?

16 Jan

Pantone Color of the Year 2015-Marsala…Yay or Nay?

“Much like the fortified wine that gives Marsala its name, this tasteful hue embodies the satisfying richness of a fulfilling meal, while its grounding red-brown roots emanate a sophisticated, natural earthiness,” Leatrice Eiseman, the executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, said in the company press release.PantoneMarsala1

“This hearty, yet stylish tone is universally appealing and translates easily to fashion, beauty, industrial design, home furnishings and interiors.”

Every year, twice a year, Pantone hosts a secret meeting of representatives from various nations’ color standards groups. After two days of presentations and debate, they choose a color for the following year to be the Pantone Color of the Year. This color is then featured with multiple palettes for all seasons, in all design markets. From fashion to graphic to interior design, Marsala will be finding its way into all of them.

You may love it or hate it,  but Marsala will be an easier color to work with than last year’s Radiant PantoneMarsala2Orchid. With its red-brown deep tone, it is warm and inviting and gives a richness to the space. Whether you use it as an accent to other colors or use it to establish a strong statement, it will give an elegant feel to your room.

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Seasonal Affective Disorder Can Be Helped

14 Jan

Get Happy…Light

HappyLight5 Are you tired of all the grey outside? It’s not just the winter blues or postpartum from the holidays. It’s a real condition that is called seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, and is estimated to affect 10 million Americans. It generally starts after Daylight Savings, when the days get shorter and we get less sunshine, all the way through winter until spring. SAD is often classified as a mood disorder for those who exhibit good mental health throughout the year and then show signs of depression in the winter months.

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It’s believed that hibernation behavior still is a part of our animal makeup and that in the winters long ago, there was low calorie intake and less reproduction occurring so it was harder to survive. Now with more scientific research being done, we have also found out that winter also changes your circadian rhythym due to the light difference, which can also alter your brain chemistry.
SAD can be very daunting to deal with and can seem to last what feels like forever.

And there are many symptoms that can pop up along the way for SAD:

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However, one thing that you can do to help with this is phototherapy. It has been the most common antidote for those affected by SAD. Phototherapy (classically referred to as heliotherapy or light therapy) consists of exposure to daylight or to specific wavelengths of light using light-emitting diodes (LEDs), fluorescent lamps, dichroic lamps or very bright, full-spectrum light. The light is administered for a prescribed amount of time and,
in some cases, at a specific time of day.HappyLight3
And in the past, these light boxes and lamps looked very utilitarian…

But now you can find them with a modern twist so that they enhance not only your mood but the decor in your home…Check them out online, or locally at Gross Electric.

 

HappyLight4

 

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Decorating For The Winter Blahs

7 Jan

Easy Decorating in Winter

Picture it: the holidays are over, it’s a little gloomy outside, the decorations are all put away and now what? Your home may look a little bare and unexciting so why not do some winter interior decorating? There is always a surge of decorating during spring cleaning but it is good to change things up a few times a year. It will keep your home looking fresh, new and comforting. If you are wanting to change things up a bit, here are some easy tips to get you started:

Quick Change Accents-switch out toss pillows, throws, rugs, draperies. A heavy drapery instead of the lightweight curtain will add warmth to the home.

  • Fabricut PillowsA soft shag rug will keep your feet toasty when the cold creeps into the floor. And having toss pillows and throws to curl up with will keep you comfortable with your hot chocolate in the winter months. Look at lush fabrics like chenilles and velvets for your accessories. Warmth by Color-reds, yellows and oranges are all warm colors; start introducing them into your space with the quick change accents previously mentioned. Just looking at vivid colors will keep your spirits up when it’s dark outside.
  • WinterDecorate1.jpegWinter Light-speaking of dark, let’s add some light! Not everyone has a fireplace so let’s improvise. Candles placed all around the room will help more than you know with light. Also, if you have a good shelf for it, place a full-length mirror behind a row of candles and you have doubled you light output. Find some small, low-watt lamps and place them around the room in dark corners that don’t get as much light
  • Making Nature Welcome-bring the outside in. Bring in some pine cones, or branches and put them in large vases with a string
    WinterDeocrate2of LED lights. Or if you are in need of some green but don’t have the thumb for it, pick up a snake plant-often called Mother-in-Law’s Tongue.

They require little light and little water to survive. Perfect for small spaces and the busiest of people.

Decluttering After The Holidays Can Help You Next Year

2 Jan

How to De-Clutter after the Holiday Madness
“Clutter is nothing more than postponed decisions.” -Barbara Hemphill

Holidays are over and now it’s time to pack it all away for another 11 months. All that work for just a few weeks of joy. And how did you acquire so much stuff?!

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Well, here are some quick and easy ways to de-clutter and store so that next year you aren’t sorting through it all when it’s time to decorate. Also, this will help you in the New Year to keep your home clutter-free with all those new presents to put away.

  1. Keep one, toss two-whether you donate or throw out…this includes white elephant gifts. And by all means, if it is broken-throw it out!
  2. Leftover mailing boxes-pack up donations to reuse them and get them out of the trash and the house.
  3. Sort as you stow-this helps with space saving. Keeping things grouped together makes it easier to stack in the attic or closet-this is also how decorating next year will be a breeze. You won’t be tearing through the 8 places you put the Christmas stuff trying to find the star for the top of the tree. Also pack to move-we often overstuff storage so that it’s difficult to move and put away, which means it can be left behind collecting dust because no one wants to move it.
  4. Re-gifting gifts for next year-wrap and store with decorations…again this also includes white elephant gifts. If you don’t get them ready now, you’ll forget about them and come across them in the middle of summer next year when you could have given them away.
  5. Don’t wait til spring to get rid of what you haven’t used in 6 months-get rid of old toys and clothes now to make room for the newly acquired gifts. Let the kids be involved with it too. You may be surprised how quickly they are willing to give away their toys and clothes once they have new ones.

Make sure you have the proper storage for what you have:

This is critical. Don’t just throw things in random cardboard boxes if they are delicate. We all want to just tear everything down and get it out of our living rooms, but that is how we end up with broken items at the beginning of the next season.

Declutter3For example, get a storage bag or box for your wreath, divided storage for ornaments, and clear plastic bins (so you can see what is in what bin) that are easy to stack.Declutter4
This is a great way to start the New Year, with a neat and de-cluttered home to hibernate in for the next few months while winter rages on outside.

If you are looking for a few ideas to keep the momentum going, check back with us throughout the year for more tips. But for now here are 2 tips to keep you going into January:

Trash Bag Tango:

  • Take two bags, set a timer for 10 minutes and go through the whole house. One bag for trash and recyclables, one bag for things not being used, wanted or needed.
  • Always finish what you start-whether it’s putting the laundry in the hamper, getting rid of the junk mail once you’ve gone through the mail, put away things after you get them out.

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