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beautifying, loving, organizing & good things
for your home & life
for your home & life
Small Space Solutions
Pop quiz! What does the number 2,467 have to do with your home? Is it:
a) the dollar amount of the average mortgage payment
b) the average number of times a homeowner visits a home improvement store in a single month
c) the median square footage of new-construction homes built last year.
If you guessed 'c' - you're right. Nationwide our homes have plenty of space, much bigger than other countries. In fact, 11.2 Chinese houses would fit into the average American House. On the opposite side of the spectrum we have a growing trend towards tiny houses. If you’ve watched any home related shows you’ve noticed these tiny houses. Tiny House Nation. Tiny House Hunters. The tiny house trend has been growing every year. Architect Sarah Susanka is credited with starting this change of heart with the publication of her Not So Big House in 1997.
No matter what size home YOU live in, there are a few lessons learned from these tiny spaces that we all can incorporate into our homes.
REUSE EXISTING PIECES: Take an existing wine cabinet – you know the type – the one that used to house your collection of fine wines before you went to Celebrate Recovery. What do you do with it? For your nifty knitters, it’s an ideal place to store your yarn, one skein per wine slot. I’ve also seen old CD cabinets used in the same way. Before the iPod changed how we listened to music we purchased those CD cabinets. Look at those CD cabinets as storage! I can see them used as a place for storing your fabric fat quarters, organized by color. Crafty corners, nifty nooks, cozy cubbies.... make them work for you now.
BE AN EDITOR: We talk a lot about letting go the excess stuff that clutters our homes. When space is limited, this is even more important. Keep the most important items and donate or sell the rest. Think of it this way – you’re blessing someone else with your extra items. Everything you have in your home, supports how you live today. No extra storage needed
No matter what size home you live in, incorporate these small space solutions to make your home work for you.
Color Your World
I propose a new attitude towards our interiors. Here’s a test for you: When you walk into a room, what is your instinctual response to the color on the wall? Be honest, now. Does the colors in the room make your soul sing, or are the colors “safe”. If you have boring beige, my favorite mantra in teaching my workshops is “Ban Builders’ Beige”. A gallon of blah beige costs the same as a gallon of the color of a soft peach sunset. A gallon of Arizona white costs exactly the same as a gallon of tranquil ocean blue that remind you of that great vacation on the Cinque Terre in Italy!
Color has a tremendous impact on your mood and your spirit. For example:
RED: The color of fire and passion, red is also a sacred color. Many of the great masters' sacred artwork contains red. Hopefully you visited the NM Museum of Folk Art exhibit at last summer: The Red that Colored the World. Being a color of action and movement, you’ll notice many hotel lobbies will have red décor to subtly help you to move along. Interesting! If you have a young one at home, resist the urge for bright red in the nursery – unless you like being up all night with a baby that cannot sleep! If you’ll notice many fast food restaurants have red décor – why? Red is an appetite stimulant.
PINK: Think of the rich, luscious color of watermelon pink. Inside, if watermelon is too strong of a paint color, then cut it in half with white and you have the most beautiful, skin-flattering shade for a bedroom or home office. The Pantone institute named Rose Quartz one of the colors of the year. No, you don’t have to deck out an entire room in pink – but you can acknowledge the gentle pink color by choosing some beautiful roses for the coffee table I recently decorated a birthday party entirely in pinky peach roses.
PEACH: There’s something so soothing about the color of a ripe peach, juicy and ready to enjoy on a hot summer day. The color of peach is most associated with the feeling of Joy. There is evidence that painting a room rosy peach will help with depression. Peachy gold is linked with happiness, and it’s said that it is the color of an angel’s smile. Peach is one of the most flattering colors in the kitchen – it makes your food look more appetizing and you look marvelous by candlelight in a peach room. If your kitchen walls are a little tired, consider painting Behr’s Kansas Grain, available at Home Depot.
YELLOW: Soft buttery yellow is also very good in a kitchen. Another way to bring yellow into the room is to gather several blue glass bottles and put one sunflower stem in each – wouldn’t that be delightful on your kitchen counter? Or a row of vases with yellow Peruvian lilies down the middle of your kitchen table. The color yellow is known to quicken the mind, and heighten your reasoning ability. So it’s a good choice for your office. (To get you in the mood for yellow, scroll down to "Mellow Yellow.") You're welcome.
GREEN: We love Kelly green, the color of freshly mowed grass. No surprise – green is associated with prosperity! Green is also an appetite suppressant, so it’s probably not the best color for the kitchen. Unless you’re trying to lose weight. But green is known as a very soothing healing color. That’s one reason why so many hospitals, health clinics, and doctors’ offices have soothing green walls. Bring in this healing green to a room wherever someone is recuperating. You’ll notice paintings of the angel associated with healing, Archangel Raphael, those paintings are often are done in green. Recently I hung some water colors above the guest bed, and put a green watercolor pillow on the bed. It’s beautiful!
Moving along the color spectrum, now we come to blue/green.
BLUE / GREEN: A tranquil turquoise can do wonders for a room. A recent post on Trulia.com specifically named Sherwin Williams Hazel paint color, and how it helps a small space feel larger. The article said, “It’s like being in the middle of an expansive ocean sparkling in a lovely mix of blues and greens.” If you have an entrepreneurial spirit, or want to foster resourcefulness in your kids, bring in the color turquoise.
BLUE: Think of the gentle blue of the world just waking up. Moody blue of mountains before a storm. Then of course there’s royal blue. Whichever blue speaks to you, bring in blue to your décor to promote relaxation and a sense of peacefulness. Sounds like the perfect color in your bedroom. Whether it’s a blue wall, a cozy blue throw for chilly evenings, or some blue in your artwork, you can’t go wrong with blue. (One of my favorite colors deserves a great song. Scroll down to hear "Blue Moon". Yeah, I'm singing it too now.)
PURPLE: The color of royalty, nobility and luxury, there is something about purple. The gentle color of a lilac makes you smile, doesn’t it? Then there’s the deep rich plum we see so often in the wintertime. Whichever purple speaks to you, see if you can place a touch of purple at home.
WHAT ARE YOU WEARING? Here’s another tidbit just for fun. If you’re feeling listless, wear these colors: Red, coral, rose, aqua, turquoise, or bright green. It’ll perk you up in no time.
BE BRAVE: Whatever colors you choose, I encourage you to be brave. Be brave in choosing a new paint color. Go to the paint store – get yourself a small sample of a new color. Move beyond boring beige. Be brave and get joyously colorful bath towels or a new throw pillow in a vibrant color that makes you smile. It’s spring! Let’s get some color in your home!
Just like the song, I want to see you be BRAVE. (Cue Sara Bareilles music.)
Be brave with color. It will lift your spirits and transform your décor.
Blessing for a New Home
The most beautiful home blessing by Celtic priest / poet John O'Donohue. Enjoy.....
May this house shelter your life.
When you come in home here,
May all the weight of the world
Fall from your shoulders.
May your heart be tranquil here,
Blessed by peace the world cannot give.
May this home be a lucky place,
Where the graces your life desires
Always find the pathway to your door.
May nothing destructive
Ever cross your threshold.
May this be a safe place
Full of understanding and acceptance,
Where you can be as you are,
Without the need of a mask
Of pretense of image.
May this home be a place of discovery.
Where the possibilities that sleep
In the clay of your soul can emerge
To deepen and refine your vision
For all that is yet to come to birth.
May it be a house of courage,
Where healing and growth are loved,
Where dignity and forgiveness prevail;
A home where patience of spirit is prized,
And the sight of the destination is never lost
Though the journey be difficult and slow.
May there be great delight around this hearth.
May it be a house of welcome
For the broken and diminished.
May you have the eyes to see
That no visitor arrives without a gift
And no guest leaves without a blessing.
From To Bless The Space Between Us, by John O'Donohue.
Beyond Builders' Beige
Why live with blah, boring beige walls? Grab a paint deck and head outdoors to see what glorious colors you can choose for your walls. Watch this brief video for inspiration.