Small space? No problem! When you have a cozy space, your furniture needs to work twice as hard.
Instead of having each and every piece of furniture only perform a single function, let’s have furniture that does double duty. We love this oft-pinned image (above) of a bench / filing cabinet. How can your furniture do double duty for you? Perhaps your old steamer trunk could be your coffee table. Inside the trunk you can store out of season decorating items, extra linens, artwork you’re not hanging right now, and so forth. It can serve as very effective storage. Pop a piece of beveled glass on top and you have a double duty hard-working piece of furniture. We also love this bookcase / crafting table combo (below). When your space is limited, let all the pieces of furniture work as hard as you do.
DOUBLE DUTY SPACES. Remember the old murphy beds? If you have need for an occasional guest room, but don’t want the space dedicated 100% of the time to something that only happens twice a year, consider the updated Murphy bed solutions. There’s a company in Denver called BREDA BEDS that offers a murphy style bed that also contains an IN LINE sofa. It’s less than $3K at the time of this blog. This would allow you to have a sofa AND a guest space. .
We love furniture (and spaces) that do double duty.
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One of our favorite small space solutions is to use mirrors.
Wherever we see light, whether it’s from a window or from a mirror reflecting light, we have a sense of AHHHHH – a sense of spaciousness. If you have a dark spot in the room, use mirrors to reflect light back into the space. I love to hang a mirror behind the occasional table for that very reason. In our own home we have a dark hallway adjacent to our offices. Each of the offices are bright but this hallway is not. Solution? I hung a large mirror vertically in that hallway, which bounces the offices’ light back into the hallway. Now we never have to turn on the light, and it feels much more spacious.
Where can you hang a mirror to bring in more light? How does your entry way look? Could you use a mirror opposite the doorway? Does your Living Room have a wall of windows? If so, consider putting mirrors opposite the wall of windows, doubling the amount of light, and doubling the space visually.
One of my favorite mirrors is the IKEA Mongstad mirror – it’s 37” x 74” and it’s less than $100. (pictured at left). I've also seen the mirror hung vertically on barn door sliders over a doorway in a luxurious spa in San Diego. Now you know the secret... it's less than $100.
Let there be light, lots of light! Let mirrors help expand your space with light. Let us know how you used mirrors to expand your space in the comments below.
2017 Pantone color of the year
We love the color green because it is richly symbolic. First, green is the color of prosperity. I remember a well-heeled woman from Laguna Nigel CA. She came in and bought everything we had that was green. She informed me in no uncertain terms that green is the “Color of money honey, so you can’t go wrong with green in your home.” I also like green for another reason. Often times hospitals and doctors’ offices are painted in a soft green – why? It is known to have healing properties. Archangel Raphael is also associated with the color green. Color has a profound effect on our physical, emotional and mental well-being. In addition to healing and abundance, the color green activates balance, harmony, and hope.
Pantone announced the 2017 color of the year. It’s a beautiful shade of green called appropriately enough, GREENERY. Bloggers are commenting on the fresh, spring like feeling with this shade of green. If you’re interested in this revitalizing bright shade, visit www.pantone.com/color-of-the-year-2017. They have suggestions as to what colors would also work with this vibrant green.
Yellow green vs Blue green
You may have already found the perfect color. Check out your Pinterest boards and play detective. Do you tend to choose the yellow-greens or the blue-toned greens? Look at your accessories.... you may have the perfect green color hiding in your favorite scarf. Look for clues in a favorite picture hanging. Play detective. Subconsciously you already know what colors are right for you.
Whatever green you choose, integrate green into your decor. Remember, in the Lord's Prayer David said, "He maketh me to lie down in GREEN pastures." Notice he didn't say grey or greige pastures. Green is good.
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It's a New Year, and time to refresh your home: 3 easy steps that cost you $0
Sometimes when we take down the holiday decorations, the house feels a little sad. We loved the festive decorations and there’s a little feeling of loss, when we take it all down. It’s not a letdown – but it’s a set UP for you to make some positive changes in your home. Let’s give your home some new life. You need a box, a towel, and a hammer.
Step 1: Let's go boxing
Look around your room right now. Is there anything that does not spark joy in your heart? For instance, if you’re in your home office – are there any books that really are not you anymore? If so, grab that box and gather the books you are going to donate. Move to the next room and repeat this process. Someone will appreciate these books – whether it’s the library, or the local thrift shop that benefits your favorite charity.
"HEY CLOTHES, COME OUT OF THE CLOSET". If your clothes are so jam packed into the closet that you always have wrinkled clothes, chances are you can let go of a few items of clothing. If this is you – get the grocery sack and pull out all the clothes you haven’t worn in the past 12 months. Pull out all the clothes that still have the tags on them that you never got around to wearing this past year. Eliminate all the clothes that don’t fit. Ladies, if you have a dress that’s a few sizes smaller than you are, clothes do not exist to shame you. Put all these items in the donation box. Guys, if you're in your 30's and still have high school tees, time to let them go. It’s a win win - Every time you walk in your closet, only have clothes that fit you and make you smile when you wear them, and the clothes reflect who/ what you are today. And you’ll donate to organizations that will benefit others with your old clothing. That is the first step - fill up a box (or two or three! ) and donate them.
STEP 2: Grab a towel. We're going to move some furniture.
Think about the room you had your Christmas tree, or your holiday decorations. Could that room use a bit of a refresh? You can easily do this by rearranging your furniture in a more conversational set up. If your furniture is pushed up against the walls, pull it out a little – ‘no wallflowers’. The towel under the furniture make moving furniture easy. (Or you can use Super Sliders, available at most stores. During January I'll have these on the Links page.) If you always have the recliner in that one corner, switch it up a little – and see how the room feels. If you have always had your room arranged straight on, with sofa parallel to the wall, consider changing it up by putting the sofa on an angle.
We were celebrating our anniversary at the Inn of the Anasazi in Santa Fe, and I noticed the little living area adjacent to the concierge was arranged on an angle. Something as simple as shifting the arrangement to be on an angle can dramatically change the look and feel of a room. Or if you have a kitchen table that’s square to the wall, try turning it 45 degrees. I encourage you to rethink your rooms, and rearrange – change it up. This step costs nothing, but can make the room feel brand new. That was fun. What's next?
Step 3: It's hammer time.
When refreshing a room, I like to take down every piece of art and reconsider where they are placed. Could you regroup your pictures / artwork in a new way so it’s more pleasing to the eye? Go ahead – take down all the artwork in a room, and look at your walls – it’s a blank canvas! Rearranging your artwork can completely revitalize a tired room, and again – it costs you nothing to do that. So many times we just throw artwork up to fill empty spaces. But if you’re more thoughtful about it – you will love the results.
The key is to group like with like – such as landscapes all together, or a certain colorway together. Perhaps you have different pieces all framed in a similar fashion – that’s your common denominator. Group like with like items together and you will be pleased with the new arrangement. (The example above shows how brightly colored art from different artists and genres can effectively coexist.)
Play with the artwork arrangement over your bed – try something different behind your sofa – and change it up. All you need is a hammer, and an adventurous spirit. If you have lots of family photos, instead of having pictures here there and everywhere scattered throughout the house. Gather all the family photos and create a hall of memories. I was at someone’s home recently who did exactly that and it looks fantastic. It’s a nice reminder of our loved ones every time you pass through that hallway.
There’s a medical bonus to this work. If you’re over 50, studies show that rearranging your artwork and furniture can help stave off Alzheimer’s – giving your eye a new arrangement to look at is good for you.
REFRESH YOUR HOME this New Year. All you need is a box, a towel and a hammer to refresh your space. Fill up the box with donations of that which you don’t need any more and know that you’ll be blessing someone else with your donations. Use the towel to slip under heavy furniture when rearranging for better functionality. And the hammer is for rehanging your artwork in a new way.
Here's to your New Y.E.A.R., Your Easy Affordable Refresh. It's not a let down, it’s a SET UP for you to give your rooms new life, at no cost.
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