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Revitalize your Home for the New Year! Part 1

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The start of a new year gives all of us of a clean slate. It’s an opportunity to start fresh and set a few resolutions to improve your quality of life. Most people set goals around eating well and committing to an exercise program or maybe even finding a new job. We’d like to encourage you to think about revitalizing something that surrounds you every day ­– your home! Updates to your home, whether big or small, will bring you joy and comfort you will enjoy every day.

You don’t have to do it alone. Decor&You is here to help with our new series of tips for Revitalizing Your Home.  In this first blog, we will get you started with evaluating your existing space.  Use our handy checklist  as a guide; score each of the major areas of your home’s decor.  Once you have finished, select the top three lowest ranking as your first areas to revitalize by making quick fixes that have a big impact.

If you need some inspiration, here are some examples:

Improve the Impression of Your Room

Sort through and select only your favorite items.  Toss, donate, or store others to be rotated out for seasonal display (but, make sure to schedule your rotation).

Wall Color

Can you clearly identify the dominant, secondary and accent color? If not, you may need to “rearrange your colors” so that they do the work intended to highlight your space. If your colors are just washed out or tired, revitalize them with a splash of color in your accessories such as art, pillows, throw, area rugs, an upholstered bench, or pouf.

Floor Planning & Accessibility

If your traffic flow is awkward or undefined, look at what is causing the problem.  Rearrange or substitute pieces of furnishings to achieve your desired effect.

Lighting                                                                        

If you lack a lighting plan, create one. Layering is a great way to plan for a variety of uses. Add light fixtures such as wall sconces, pendant lights or lamps. Add dimmer switches to create even more flexibility.  

If it’s style that is off and your lighting fixtures don’t create your intended look and feel for this room, make some updates to enhance your design aesthetic and the mood you want in the space.

Window Treatments

If they aren’t performing the appropriate function - diffusing light, offering privacy, framing your outdoor view or are just simply outdated or worn - update them!   Look on Houzz or Instagram for inspiration or ask a professional for an unbiased opinion on options.  A fresh perspective can shed a wealth of options and some of them don’t have to be intricate or costly.

Stay tuned for next month’s tip on Revitalizing Your Home and in the meantime, if you want to reach out to your local Decor&You decorator for a color consult or assistance with a specific project, we’d be happy to help!

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Posted 48 weeks ago

D&Y Series: Make Room for Joy by Downsizing, A Step-by-Step Guide.

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Part 1: Focus, Plan & Evaluate

Have you found yourself at a point where you’d like to downsize your household? Many situations can become the catalyst, whether it’s becoming an empty nester or you’re just tired of having “stuff” that you don’t use anymore.  Or, maybe you have decided to downsize, but don’t know where to start.

At Décor&You, we are all about systems to simplify processes to make something real—especially those things that we do not do all the time.  Rather than make it a dragged out affair, we like to put our energies into focusing, getting to work, and getting it done so that we can go on and do other things that we choose to do that are more enjoyable!  Our Downsizing Series will do just that by breaking down the process into manageable pieces. Plus, we provide helpful worksheets to spur you into action.

Step 1: Focus.

We love Steven Covey’s # 2 habit from his book, 7 Habits of Highly Successful People, which isBegin with the end in mind”.  Having this visual of your end goal will keep you focused throughout the entire process.

Here’s where our first worksheet comes in handy. It walks you through defining your vision and asks you to consider your motivation and goals behind downsizing.  Don’t overthink your answers; let the visual of your streamlined household guide you. Close your eyes, allow those visions to sink in and the answers will come easily.

Step 2: Plan.

After completing the focus checklist, moving on to the planning phase will be easy.  In our planning step you will determine the specifics behind where you will be bringing your vision to life.  Ask yourself these questions and compile a list of your requirements based on your answers.

1.     Where do you want to relocate?  Some downsizers like to stay in their local area while others prefer to move to different location to be closer to family, friends, warmer weather, etc.

2.     What type of housing do you prefer? A small home? A condo?  A gated community? A retirement community for 55 and older?  

3.     What size home do you need? List how many bedrooms, bathrooms, and other rooms you need and be specific.

4.     Do you have any special requirements of your new community? Consider amenities you may want within walking distance such as a health care center, central eating options, activities and entertainment, pool, spa, fitness center.

5.     What is your budget for your new home? What investment are you prepared to make? Are you going to purchase or rent?

Now you are ready to begin your research. Contact a local real estate professional for assistance and when you are ready visit the top 3 – 5 on your list to narrow your options and ultimately select your new home!

Step 3: Evaluate.

Once you’ve selected your new home, you are ready to evaluate your existing furnishings and belongings. To start, realistically plan out room arrangements to scale for your new space.  What will fit that you already have and want to bring with you? The key here is have and want!  If what you have does not fit, then don’t bring it.  If it fits, but you no longer want it—don’t bring it.

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The remainders are to be split into three piles: Donate, Retire, and Store.

1. Donate to family or other good sources.  There are so many people in need of furnishings and other household items.

2. Retire it. Throw it out if it no longer works, has missing pieces, or is badly worn.

3. Store it.  Be sure to only store treasures that have meaning to you or someone else in your family.  

Next, take a look at your room arrangement plan.  This is where our next worksheet comes into play.  What’s missing?  Create a list and this is what you use to shop with for your new home.

Starting with these first three steps is the most effective way to approach your downsizing adventure! Once you have this tackled, the rest is details and will move along nicely—but only IF you have done your work on the front end.  A word of caution:  if you do not invest the time in these first 3 steps, the rest can get complicated, messy, and produce a result you won’t be happy with.

Need a helping hand and objective opinion? Consider working with an professional who will ask the tough questions and provide unbiased guidance so that you truly end up with new space that you will love!

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Posted 48 weeks ago

The Secrets to Creating An Outdoor Living Room

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There’s a new movement in outdoor living and it’s bringing the indoors outside. When we are inside we like to enjoy the view and the natural light from the outdoors.  But when we are outside, we want to bring the comfort and style from inside our homes to our outdoor spaces.  In recent years,we have worked with many Nation wide homeowners who are looking to create outdoor living rooms.  This is a far cry from a simple weather resistant dining set and umbrella.  Careful thought and planning goes into designing a great outdoor space and we have a few secrets to making it a success.

Keep reading

Posted 82 weeks ago

This Year, Why Not Make a New Kind of Resolution?

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Each New Year is a fresh start, a blank canvas that you can use to create something new and exiting.  Now we know there are all sorts of resolutions you can make, but we have a suggestion for 2017. Why not make your home the focus this year and take on a few decorating projects to create spaces you will love? We bet you will be amazed at how much happiness having a home that reflects your own style will bring you.  Make 2017 the year to love your home! Take a look at our list of decorating resolutions and pick a few to try.  

2017 Decorating Resolutions

1.    Create an accent wall.  Choose a room you spend a lot of time in, like your bedroom or living room.  Create an accent wall with paint or wallpaper.  Look to the other items in the room for color or pattern inspiration and select something that will provide a focal point.  If you need help, check out our tips for choosing paints colors.

2.    Incorporate color.  Step outside the neutral zone and bring a bold hue that you love into your décor.  Simple ways to do this include paint, accessories such as pillows and throws, hanging new artwork, or a vibrant new area rug. For tips on finding your color confidence, click here.

3.    Accessorize.  Bring personality into your space by accessorizing.  Start with a coffee table or bookshelf if you are just getting started.  If you aren’t sure where to begin, read our blog on artful accessorizing here.

4.    Spruce up your window treatments. Take a walk through your home and take note of the window treatments in each room.  Are they providing enough privacy, allowing enough light in or blocking it out as needed? Pick a room or two that could use some updating and follow these tips.

5.    Create a cozy outdoor space.  Your deck, porch or patio should be natural extensions of your home. Too often these spaces don’t get as much decorating attention as our indoor spaces.  For some great ideas, read our blog on Creating an Outdoor Living Room.

6.    Replace worn or outdated furnishings. Take a quick inventory of your older pieces and determine whether they are ready for replacement. If you have a piece that still has good bones, consider reupholstering it.

 If you feel your home is ready for a major decorating project or you’d like assistance completing one or more of your resolutions, please give us a call at 203-405-2126 to find a Decor&You near you!

 

 

 

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Posted 97 weeks ago

Purple Reigns in 2017

It’s that time again when color experts are announcing their top color selections for the coming year. Earlier this Fall,we reported Sherwin William’s pick of Poised Taupe http://decorandyoublog.tumblr.com/post/151375897691/move-over-gray-theres-a-new-taupe-in-town, a combination of earthy brown and conservative gray. Recently we learned that Benjamin Moore and PPG Pittsburgh Paints both chose shades of purple for their Color of the Year, Shadow and Violet Verbena respectively. The two are very different, though both firms noted their decision was based on their hue’s ability to evoke a sense of nostalgia.

Benjamin Moore’s Shadow is a rich amethyst with the ability to reinforce shadow and light.  When used in decorating, this dramatic Renaissance purple can become the star of the room or work to stabilize other shades found within its surroundings.

 The selection committee, an assembly of designers from diverse backgrounds, found inspiration from art exhibits, fashion, architecture, and other cultural influences both domestic and abroad. This year, they were highly affected by what they saw happening in the arts around the globe.  

PPG’s Violet Verbena, a grayish purple has been called a chameleon for its ability to work well in different settings and design aesthetics.  A total of 26 color experts from six different countries debate the options for three days before making a decision. Representatives from diverse industries such as architecture, automotive and consumer electronics study everything from fashion blogs and movies to the latest technology.

Violet Verbena was selected by PPG’s group to bring a sense of calm and enable our collective desire to lead an uncluttered lifestyle and disconnect from our ever-present cell phones, laptops and other electronic devices.

So, 2017 could be the year of purple.  What do you think? Do you like one of these shades better than the other?

When choosing color for your home, we always recommend first considering the palettes you gravitate toward and the existing furnishings in your home.  Beyond that, you should also look and how existing and new colors will flow throughout your home.  Need help? You don’t have to tackle it alone. Simply contact us

203-405-2126  or www.decorandyou.com  to find a local Decor&You and request to schedule a color consultation in your home.

Posted 102 weeks ago

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Insights from Karen…

Founder, Decor&You

Author, The Styleprint® Design System 

Dear Decor enthusiasts … 

Comfort comes from three things: construction, scale, and personal preference. This month you will find our expert tips on all three, plus how to make the right selection for not just your decorating scheme, but your lifestyle. As far as personal preference, well, that part is up to you - it’s like goldilocks and the three bears - you will know when it’s just right. But, let these other tips guide you as well so that you don’t overlook a key component or fall in love with an impractical piece of furniture

Our goal is to always provide value to you in some way so that you “Love the space you are in!” 

Let me know what you think!  Email me at: kpowell@decorandyou.com   

Enjoy! 

Karen   

Adding Punch With Area Rugs

What’s a major finishing detail in a well-appointed room that often gets short shrift in the planning stages of decorating? Area rugs! Too frequently when we’re pulling together a room, what’s underfoot is seen as a merely practical addition or an afterthought to the overall plan, without much consideration going into either its design or function. But a well-chosen rug–one that complements and ties together the color palette and other elements at work in your room’s decorating plan–can serve a far larger purpose than it’s usually allotted. In fact, it can do as much as a well-chosen piece of art to tie it all together and to bring punch and cohesion to your plan.

 The right rug will serve several purposes:

  • It’s art for the floor Whether it’s a colorful antique Persian style rug, or     a more modern abstract-style composition, a rug chosen with this in mind     draws the eye and makes a powerful statement.
  • It creates a conversation area in a larger space. An area rug creates a visual boundary that visually     ties your furniture grouping together, almost like a room within a room.
  • About that water stain on your hardwood floor… A high-traffic area of your flooring may have lost     some of its finish, or a stain or other damage might need to be hidden. An     area rug solves the problem without potentially expensive refinishing.
  • Does your room feel a bit chilly? A tile floor, for instance, can be beautiful and     durable–but hard on the feet, and cold in the winter months. An area rug     warms it up visually and tactilely.    

Get out of the echo chamber.

A room without an area rug can  sound  like an echo chamber to those in it–and the constant patter of footsteps     on hard surfaces can be irritating to whoever is in the room below. There are a multitude of area rug constructions, patterns, styles, and durability levels to choose from. Some come in standard sizes, and others can be customized. The following factors will contribute to the investment level and longevity of the rug. Consider them when determining your criteria.   Is it in a busy spot in your room’s traffic pattern? Will it get a lot of outdoor/indoor traffic, or is it     in a room less often passed through? More delicate fibers and lighter colors     may soil or show wear if they see a lot of traffic. Make sure you go with     a fiber that withstands dirt and stains. Is there direct sunlight? If so, go with a rug fiber that resists fading. Are there kids?     Plan ahead for spills by choosing an area rug that allows for quick and     easy cleanup. Are there pets?     Even the best-behaved pet may have an accident. Choose a rug that’s     stain-resistant. Other considerations?     If you’re designing a room for elderly or disabled inhabitants, area rugs     can present a dangerous tripping hazard, or can hamper the use of walkers     and wheelchairs. Don’t let your area rug be an afterthought. Plan ahead – for size, construction, and color – to get the most out of this very important design element. 


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Call to find a Decor&You near you…203-405-2126


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Magazine Article: How to Chose the Right Sofa For Your Room and Lifestyle

What’s the most functional piece of furniture in your living room? In most homes, it’s the sofa. A great sofa provides comfortable and intimate seating - or a place to sprawl and read a book.

Click the  below link to download the full PDF article

https://mj286.infusionsoft.com/app/linkClick/2836/8f50bbaa49605a5e/11552/daf32f740275b82f

Posted 107 weeks ago

Move Over Gray, There’s a New Taupe in Town

We always enjoy following the predictions for color of the year and there are a few
authorities on the subject who start announcing their winners in the fall. For 2017,
Sherwin Williams has selected Poised Taupe as their trend setting shade, a marriage
between an earthy brown and a conservative gray. For years gray has been a staple
in interior decorating, and we still love it, but we are happy to see
something with a warmer tone to use for a rich, neutral backdrop.
Color experts take their cues from a variety of sources before making their choice
including fashion, the economic environment, and architecture. Poised Taupe is
quite a contrast from last year’s selection of Alabaster, a creamy white and Benjamin
Moore’s pick of Simply White, a crisp and clean white. It will remind you of a
beautiful weathered wood, which will create a perfect backdrop or compliment to
pastel, bright or jewel tones, making it an ideal neutral.
Here are a few photos that demonstrate Poised Taupe’s versatility in different
rooms and design aesthetics.
In this In this kitchen, Poised Taupe lends warmth to the modern dining table and chairs and white lacquered cabinetry.

If you need help choosing paint colors, call decor&You today for a color consultation at 203-405-2126 or go to www.decorandyou.com to find a location near you

Posted 110 weeks ago

Wow Décor: The Art of Accessorizing

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Accessories play an important role in your overall décor plan. They bring color into a space, insert texture where needed, add shape, depth or height, provide focal points, and last but not least, they reflect your personality and style.  Simply put, a room without accessories can feel generic and uninviting. That being said, there is an art to accessorizing well and it requires a bit of planning.  It’s one of our favorite parts of designing a space because it completes the room and gives it that finishing touch. 

Here are the key elements to artful accessorizing:

1.      Take cues from the existing color palette in the room.  The job of your accessories can either be to enhance the existing shades or to bring color to an otherwise neutral canvas.  

2.      Be aware of access points and make sure your accessories won’t hinder the traffic flow. With that in mind, an accessory can also be a guide in defining an area or directing traffic.

3.      Never overcrowd a tabletop or shelf with too many accessories. Make sure you are able to pick one up without disturbing anything else.

4.      Allow your personality to shine through and don’t be afraid to include personal items that have sentimental value.

5.      Pay attention to the height, weight and shape of your accessories and place them where they will enhance the surrounding décor.

6.      Display accessories in groups.  Odd numbers are more interesting to the eye.

7.      Vary the size and height of accessories in a grouping.

8.      Experiment by moving things around to find the best placement.

So where do you start? It’s good to know all of your options, so here’s a short list of what to consider when accessorizing your space:

·         Framed artwork or photographs

·         Sculptures, figurines or other art objects

·         Vases

·         Candleholders, candles

·         Lanterns

·         Pillows or Cushions

·         Throws

·         Bowls

·         Baskets

·         Floral arrangements

·         Urns

·         Books

·         Clocks

·         Trays

·         Mirrors

Still stumped? Simply call us today to schedule a consultation 203-405-2126. We would love to help you finish your space with accessories!  

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Posted 114 weeks ago

Wow Décor: Incorporating Existing Furnishings & Art Into Your Decorating Plan

Most  homeowners have a few treasured family heirlooms they can’t bear to part with whether it’s a chair, piece of art, or an accessory. Would you be surprised to know that it is possible to incorporate them into a new decorating plan without compromising style?  It has to be done creatively and carefully, but it can be done and it can look absolutely fabulous.

Here are our tips on how to work your existing furnishings and art into your decorating plan.

1.      Balance the old with the new.  When you bring an antique or dated piece into your scheme make sure you balance it with at least one other item from the same period. When mixing in new items, keep your colors cohesive and patterns complimentary.

2.      Re-upholster or refinish it.  Doing this can breathe new life into an old treasured piece. You may love the shape of your grandmother’s old sofa, but the fabric is not your style, so change it!  Or, take an old antique table or dresser and paint it or put a completely different stain on it for a completely new look.

3.      Create a gallery wall.  When you have several pieces of existing artwork a great way to make visual impact is with a gallery wall.  The key is to group them together by similar types of art or photographs. One way to create harmony is to change all or some of the frames.

4.      Repurpose it.  Think beyond the item’s original purpose and how it might be better put to use in your current environment.  Some great examples include repurposing and old table or dresser as a bathroom vanity, a bookcase as a bar, or a chest or trunk as a coffee table.

5.      Accessorize.  Select your favorite books, trinkets and other art pieces and create a display on a table or bookshelf.

6.      Hire someone to help. A professional decorator can provide you with ideas you may never have considered. They can also offer unbiased advice since they don’t have any emotional attachment to the furnishings.

Are you experiencing a decorating dilemma?  We are here to help! Please contact us today  at 203-405-2126 to find a Decor&You near you and set up a design consultation and let’s create a space together that you will love.

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Posted 119 weeks ago

WOW Décor: Layered Light Plans

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Creating a beautiful layered light plan is really an art form.  When done correctly, lighting will evoke a certain mood in a space. Think of your favorite local restaurant or spa and how you feel when you visit.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful to create spaces like that in your own home?  It can be done with a layered lighting plan.

Layered light plans include multiple sources and types of lighting to maximize functionality and enhance ambiance. It simply isn’t possible to achieve both of these with one light source in a room. There are four main types of lighting that must be considered to build your plan: natural, ambient, task, and accent.

Natural light

All lighting plans begin by looking at the natural light in a space.  This creates your canvas, so to speak.  You want to understand how the natural light affects the room during the day so you can direct it appropriately and compliment it with other light sources during the day.  

Ambient light

Ambient light has the important job of setting the mood by providing the main source of overall lighting. Its main function is to deliver enough light to safely maneuver in the room.  The color and intensity of this light is important as it sets the tone and creates the base from which the rest of the lighting plan will be built. Ceiling mounted lights such as chandeliers, recessed lights, wall sconces and table or floor lamps are common sources of ambient light.

Task Lighting

Just as it sounds, task lighting serves the specific purpose of providing light do perform specific tasks. This could include reading, food preparation or shaving for example. Pendant lights, vanity lighting and under cabinet lighting are all great sources of task lighting as they offer very targeted illumination.

Accent lighting

Last, but certainly not least is accent lighting. The purpose of this layer is to highlight specific objects or features within a room to create focal points or provide direction. Track lighting, interior cabinet lighting, or wall-mounted fixtures are good sources for accent lighting.

One of the services We provide for homeowners is lighting plans.  Our lighting plans incorporate beauty and function and create the appropriate mood or feeling for a space.  Please call 203-405-2126  for more information or to find a Decor&You near you.

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Posted 121 weeks ago