Spring Colour Trends in 2014

Spring Colour TrendsAUTHOR:

Fashion and interior design sometimes go hand in hand, so just as fashion week colours and styles change with the times, home-staging trends evolve, as well.

Spring colour trends 2014 are all about finding the right balance of bright and pastel to draw attention and pair perfectly together. Pastels are a great way to balance out an extremely bright or drastically dark look without immediately deciding to use a neutral beige or cream colour.

Blues, Purples and Mint Green

Tranquil blues and purples are a definite pairing for the upcoming spring season, and mint green is a growing trend. Pastels always give off the feeling of approaching spring life, and this season is no different with these three colours playing major roles on the runway and in recent décor, inspiring new springtime spaces.

These colours are great to pair against neutrals to help softly add colour, but this season, pastels are also being paired against bright, bold hues for a really full-bodied look.

Royal Blue

Royal blue is one really flush colour that has come back on the scene recently, playing a role as both a neutral in furniture and fabrics, but also as a great accent colour-up against most any other hue. Pairing the tranquil, soft pastels against the bold, royal blue creates a beautiful and welcoming compilation for any social gathering area. This blue is a great colour to accent a room with throw pillows and shelf objects, or to design a room around with a chic lounge chair or a plush bedspread being a main focal point.

Red and Orange

Other bright colours that are really popular this season are fiery red and orange. These two aren’t typical spring colours, but when paired with the royal and tranquil blues, they help round out the palette with a punch of something special.

Golden Yellow and Orchid

Finally, to finish off the spectrum of colours, golden yellow and a wildcard – orchid – help complete the colour trends 2014. Yellow is fresh and optimistic, providing a great source of power to the bright colours that complements perfectly with almost all pastels and encourages attention when partnered with other bright hues.

Orchid is a really unique shade that can stand on its own against the other bright hues, but it also pairs really well with blues and violets, adding some pop while also complementing the pastel colour group. Pair orchid with the bright yellow or rich blue, and the colour combo is one that can’t be ignored, inviting comfort in any space.

Orchids and sunflowers add a natural impact to interior rooms, helping bring the feeling of outside in. So in addition to using the colours of yellow and orchid in fabrics and paint, consider accenting with a vase of bright fresh flowers.

It’s important to keep recent trends and colours in mind when decorating a space, especially if you think that you might be in the market to sell soon. The colour trends 2014 are crisp and bright, a great addition to any home, and designing dynamic rooms helps not only the aesthetic value rise but also the monetary value. To learn more about recent design trends and how to use them in your home-staging design, call Showhome Presentations at 279 7333.

How to Create a Feature Wall

feature wallAUTHOR:

Injecting style and colour in a room doesn’t mean that the entire space needs a design overhaul. Whatever the area, a feature wall is a fun and impressive way to add a chic pop of colour without breaking the bank or overpowering the look of a space.

Whether the area of your home is in the bedroom, living room or even in a hallway, a feature wall is a great opportunity to add some attention-grabbing appeal. There are many different ways to add a focal point to the area, whether it is a large room or a small shelving nook above the stairs, and many stylish homes have started to incorporate this contemporary look.

Why Use a Feature Wall?

The first step in creating a feature wall is determining why to use a feature wall in the first place. If you have important artwork to display or a hobby to show off, or if you just want to add some personality to a space without redesigning the entire area, a feature wall might be perfectly suited to your design needs.

The next step in adding a focal point is deciding what colour scheme is in play. If the walls are already painted and the room is furnished, it’s easier to choose a colour to help accent or add a pop of contrast, but patterns and hues can create an endless number of colour options.

Once you have a colour or pattern in mind, you can move on to choosing materials. Wallpaper, tile, paint and different styles of showcasing artwork can all create an interesting and important focal point to showcase paintings, artwork or some personality to the natural line of sight.

Consider Adding Wall Stickers

Wall stickers are one material that has really become popular in interior design over the last decade. These stickers are easy to remove and provide many different looks for your room that you can move and replace. Adding a daring, life-size retro sticker, or creating your own pattern of smaller wall stickers, adds a unique touch to help show personality.

For a more ornate look that can add utility—as well as style—to your home staging, create a wall of storage with different shelving units. The storage shelves can be all different shapes, sizes and colours to be the focal point, or the shelves can be uniform to boldly stand out against the wall colour and showcase the items that sit atop.

Shelves aren’t the only item that can be grouped to create a focal point. Polaroids, empty picture frames, artwork, mirrors and plates can all combine to create stunning feature walls.

Getting Your Wall Noticed

Once the colour and materials have been chosen for the feature wall, the idea is to make the wall really stand out from the rest of the room and maximize the attention. Opening the area around the wall and using simpler accents in the immediate area will add punch and make the statement that you are intending.

If you are interested in creating your own feature wall but aren’t sure about the look you’re after, call Showhome Presentations at 279-7333. Our interior designers specialize in home staging and can help convince you that bare walls are boring. When it comes time to sell, captivating design can make a big difference.

Best Use of Colour to Invoke Positive Emotions in a Room

Positive EmotionsAUTHOR:

The way that colour affects emotion varies throughout childhood and into adulthood, but there is absolute evidence backing the psychology of room colour and how it affects feelings and behaviour on a daily basis.

In preparing to paint a space, whether it’s an office or a home, make sure you understand the science and psychology behind colour and its effect on emotional reaction. And remember: The right colour for one room may not be ideal for another.

Choosing Room Paint Ideas in the Bedroom

When choosing a bedroom colour, the most important factor to consider is relaxation. A bedroom should be an escape from stress.

Like many yoga studios and spas, blues and greens in a bedroom can promote calmness and restoration. Blue has been noted to lower blood pressure, while red has been shown to raise it. Both colours have positive impacts; the colour red is just associated with alertness and high-energy, better concepts for social areas of the home and feelings that aren’t necessary when trying to unwind before going to sleep.

Using an ideal balance of blue and green helps ward off insomnia and encourages restful, deep sleep. One clever way to incorporate these colours in addition to paint is through houseplants and natural art accents.

Bright and Dark Colours

A bright yellow is very effective at promoting happiness. The sunny colour invokes optimism and a cheery attitude, as does orange. Both can encourage interaction and laughter.

The darker the colours, the more heavy they start to feel within your space and on your attitude. Darker hues of any colour may start to solicit negative feelings.

Negative and positive reactions aren’t just influenced by the colour; sometimes, it comes down to personal tastes. Before beginning to paint, consider how you feel about the hues based on prior interaction and knee-jerk response. Create a list of colours organised by personal preference, or you could just close your eyes and envision the room in different hues, noting how each makes you feel.

While the final choice for paint colour is important, there are also many ways to intentionally include different hues into your home apart from the main wall colour. Each room serves a different purpose and should evoke different feelings based on the actions taking place there. Adding accents, such as painted furniture, feature walls and art, are great ways to balance out the colour of the walls and incorporate more than one feeling into a space.

When beginning your journey of thinking about room paint ideas, it is important to research the psychology behind the colour choices, as well as your personal preferences. Choosing the right colour can have a tremendous impact on mood and relationships, so before you make a final decision, be sure that you are promoting positive energy and a healthy, happy space.

To discuss how hue affects mood, or to learn more ways to make your home more inviting with an interior designer, call Showhome Presentations at 279 7333.

5 Tips to Impress Homebuyers

Home buyersAUTHOR:

If you are in the market to sell your house, there are many important factors to think about when hosting potential buyers. The number of ways to improve your home’s marketability is extensive, but there are five sure-fire tips to sell home that will impress any homebuyer.

1. Create Curb Appeal

When a buyer pulls up to a potential new home, a good first impression really makes a difference. This is called “curb appeal.” Taking the time to power wash the driveway and patio creates the look of cleanliness that every homeowner dreams of for their house.

Planting flowers, edging and adding mulch makes the outside of the home look picturesque, and adding in small details, like a garden or a hammock, helps stage the yard to meet the fantasy of relaxation that might be just exactly what a homebuyer is looking for in their new abode.

2. Make It Easy to imagine

The home-staging begins outside, but it definitely doesn’t end there. Setting up your home to showcase its best attributes is a sure way to keep buyers interested.

Removing clutter from shelves and tables and leaving more open space will help buyers imagine their items in the area and get them more excited about the possibility of their lives in the house. By creating a welcoming environment sans clutter, buyers will feel more confident about making the house their new home.

3. Brighten Up the Space

Lighter colours are more positive and welcoming than darker shades, so to help create a more inviting space, try to brighten the rooms. Switching out accent art, pillows and rugs with lighter colours, using lighter lampshades and removing drapes will emit a more optimistic vibe.

4. Use the Sense of Smell to Your Advantage

A great way to help sell your space is to appeal to your buyer’s sense of smell. This is often one of the tips to sell a home that is overlooked because it can’t always be seen, but it has a huge impact on buyer moods. Adding coordinating potpourri and scented candles throughout the home or placing a fresh plate of biscuits out in the kitchen is pleasing to both the eye and the nose, making the entire space seem even more charming.

5. Keep the Space Tidy

To avoid last-minute major cleaning overhauls, try to keep the space as tidy as possible. Staying on top of the dusting and vacuuming, and keeping dishes out of the sink will make your home even more appealing. Sometimes, it’s the small details that set one property apart from the rest.

There are countless tips out there for helping to sell your home in a down market, but these five are sure to help you create a pleasant, appealing home for any potential buyer. To learn about professional home-staging services, call Showhome Presentations at 279 7333.

Designing By Numbers: Six Easy Tips to Give Your Home a Makeover

The paint-by-numbers kits of childhood had a wonderful concept: by following clear and simple instructions, any child could create a well-done and coordinated color picture. Wanda Colon, the interior designer host of TLC’s Home Made Simple, took the paint-by-numbers idea and made it grow up. Knowing that many people are intimidated or just unskilled in interior design, Colon set out six steps to renovating and reenergizing the design of a home that are as easy as painting anything with a little number one blue.

Step 1: Focus on the Foyer

The foyer is the first entrance to a house, and thus the first impression that any guests will receive when they arrive and the final memory when they leave. Colon’s solution won’t break the bank at a mere $25-50, but it will have a rich impact. Invest in a console table that really makes a statement and top it with personal photos and a fragrant candle (just make sure that the scent matches the season; no cinnamon in May!).

Step 2: Pillows and Throws

There is no need to purchase new bedding with every changing design trend. Simply replacing the throw blankets and decorative pillows will freshen up the bedroom. Bedrooms are often neglected in the design world according to Colon, but as this is the room that is the most personal, it should be the most important instead. Occasionally changing up the color of the pillows and blanket will rejuvenate a room intended for winding down, without buying a whole new bedding set.

Step 3: Dress Up the Lights

Plain lampshades are only $10 and can easily be dressed up with unique and inexpensive fabrics. Apply the fabric to the lampshade with a hot glue gun, and decorate it with beads or maybe fringe to completely customize it. A custom piece not only a one-of-a-king treasure, but it is also a statement about the personality and creativity of the person who lives there.

Step 4: Don’t Fear the Color

Whether painting an entire room with a color, or following the trend of neutral walls and one colored accent wall, a hue is no longer taboo on the walls. Colon suggests picking up at least three different paint color samples and trying them out on a 3×3 ft square on the wall before committing to a gallon of paint. This way, the color can be seen at all hours of the day, which is important because light will reflect differently every hour and the best decision can be made.

Step 5: Mood Lighting

Stark white light is rarely flattering for a person nor a room. Match the lighting to the space based on the desired atmosphere; for example, Colon has used amber tinting lights in the dining room to create a warm and cozy glow for mealtimes.

Step 6: Remember the Memories

A home can be a travel journal of all the different places a family has visited. At each location, bring back something really personal or cultural. Stay away from the typical tourist fare. Decorating a room with items from around the world or around the country or even just around the state will tell a story of where the family has been and the possibilities for where it will go in the future.

Sisal Rugs: Agave Is Not Just for Tequila Anymore

The agave plant has a rich history in relation to food: it is the mother of the popular alcohol tequila and recently has become the base of many natural sweeteners. But agave’s use goes beyond food, it extends to interior design.

Sisal is a natural fiber extracted from the agave plant and is used to make area rugs. Its use is actually older than tequila and sweeteners, beginning back in Ancient Egypt. In the 19thcentury sisal cultivation expanded into the Caribbean, Florida, and South America as well as parts of Africa. Nowadays, Brazil is the world’s largest producer of sisal fiber and rugs.

The plant fibers are very durable yet soft, making it a natural choice to weave into area rugs and broadloom.  It is naturally fire-retardant, sound absorbing, and antistatic. Sisal is also a stronger fiber than flax, jute, and hemp, other materials commonly used in rugs. But its superior qualities make sisal a better and longer lasting material for rugs.

Sisal has been making a comeback in popularity because of the green movement in interior design. It is considered environmentally and architecturally neutral, meaning that production of sisal products does not leave a carbon footprint on the atmosphere. Rugs made from sisal are also naturally colored because of the differences in the fibers, which reduce the need for artificial dyes.

Area rugs made from sisal are an excellent design choice for an environmentally conscious client. As it has grown in popularity, it also has been dropping in price, so right now is a great time to find deals on sisal-based textiles. With its durability, environmental benefits, and design possibilities, a sisal area rugs is a solid investment for your client’s design.

3 Tips for Decorating Your Office for Home Staging

The home office: The most cluttered and disorganized room in your house may tempt you to just close the door when showing around potential home buyers. You had the best of intentions when you converted that extra building into your office, but it rarely stayed clean and it was subjected to your ideas of organized chaos. But walk-throughs of your for-sale home are not going to avoid the office space just because it’s messy, they are going to view it anyway, and therefore it is up to you to stage it to best sell your house.

Furniture

Keep the furniture simple and ergonomically designed. Your desk, chair, computer, and keyboard should be positioned to look comfortable, but also functional. Keep the surfaces clutter-free by using organizers and proper storage systems. The craziness may work for your own time, but for your potential buyers it just looks messy and detracts from the overall quality of the room. Simple furniture and clear counters also highlight the size of the room, making a big room look even larger and a small room look spacious.

Lighting

Home buyers always look for sources of natural light, so enhance any windows with decorative window treatments. If the office doesn’t have any windows, install a source of overhead light. Add one or two other light sources such as floor lamps and a desk lamp near the computer.  Stores carry a variety of fixture styles, so make sure that the light fixtures tie in with the style of your furniture.

Wall Art

Filling empty wall space with family photos or artwork will add a personal touch to the office. But as with any wall décor, there is a balance. Arrange one or two pictures in a frame on the desk and then add a few to a long wall to break up any emptiness. Beware of overloading your side surfaces; a wall can become just as cluttered as a desk.

With a coordinating theme and style of decorating used consistently through the room, the home office can be a highlight of a house showing. But neglecting to put the same effort into the office as you put into the rest of the house can be detrimental to your possible offers.

What is your Decorating Personality?

Take the following quiz from Bernhardt Furniture to see if you prefer traditional, country, eclectic, or contemporary furnishings. Do not be surprised if your answers include more than one style.

Which colors do you prefer for the living room or bedroom?

A-    Rich deep reds and greens, berry, carmel, tans

B-    Soft muted reds and blues, earthy browns

C-    Vibrant blues, yellows, reds, greens, white

D-    Off white, black, sienna brown

Your favorite fabrics include:

A-    Damasks, silk brocade, and chintz

B-    Patchwork, gingham, and floral mini- prints

C-    Plaids, prints, and textured colors

D-    Hand Loomed ethnic textiles

Your perfect sofa would be:

A-    A tailored sofa

B-    A plump sofa with lots of pillows

C-    A rolled arm, skirted sofa

D-    A leather modular sofa

What type of rug or carpeting do you prefer?

A-    Oriental rug

B-    Bare floors

C-    Sisal rug

D-    Wall to wall carpeting

What would you most like in your dining room?

A-    A wood sideboard with a carved marble top

B-    A pine hutch with glazed pottery

C-    A contemporary sideboard displaying a Victorian tea set

D-    A sleek buffet with clean lines and minimal hardware

Scoring: Tally your answers to find the letter you picked the most often. If you choose:

Mostly A’s

Traditional style combines period furniture , sumptuous fabrics, and rich colors that reflect good taste. Heirlooms, art and antiques, the hallmarks of traditional style, breathe luxury that defies trends and time. Traditional furniture includes such classic 18th- and 19th- century styles as Queen Anne, Chippendale and Victorian.

Mostly B’s

Country style- American, English or French- is warm, charming and unpretentious. Stripped pine, painted chests, stenciling, needlepoint pillows, and old quilts with soft, muted hues define this relaxed style. Deep, comfortable sofas in natural fabrics or flowery chintz and linen beautifully updated country decors.

Mostly C’s

Eclectic (Which literally means “Borrowing from many sources”) style integrates old and new, mixed prints, and florals, different, different types of wood finishes and also different materials, like iron  and stone. This mixture of textures, colors and patterns creates a vibrant layered look with plenty of warmth, interest and personality.

Mostly D’s

Contemporary style is sleek, stark and spacious, favoring simple uncluttered designs with clean lined and minimal detailing or trim on furniture. Some people add a touch of traditional design with deeply cushioned sofas and chairs in an otherwise spare room. The emphasis: A new vision of luxury based on high-quality materials and exceptional craftsmanship.

 

Top 5 Colors Mistakes Designers Make

Colors—both for paint and furnishings—trend in and out almost yearly (helped along by companies such as Pantone and Sherwin-Williams (who release a “Color of the Year” that designers are recommended to incorporate).  Because the trends are constantly shifting, it is tempting to revert to neutrals, yet even neutrals go through phases. For some time it was browns and tans and now it appears to be grays and charcoals. Working with colors can sometimes feel like walking along a color wheel studded with land mines. Here are the five most common mistakes that designers make when they work with color. Recognize when you or your client is making one of them, and soon feel more confident and less hesitant when working with the plethora of amazing colors at your design disposal.
#1: You didn’t test the color in the actual room.
Working with color necessitates testing; lighting alone can make a color you and your client loved suddenly turn into a color that makes you and your client want to scrape off the walls faster than you painted it on. And then there are the furnishings and fabrics that will be used in the room as well. Testing in an empty room is not going to be effective when the couch clashes with the walls. Thorough testing with both the correct lighting and the correct décor will prevent the color from being an eyesore rather than a pleasant element.
#2: You were overzealous with the chosen color.
It is easy to be swept up in a whirl of trendiness and unintentionally over-incorporate a color. Sometimes an accent wall—no matter how fashionable or creative it feels—is just not appropriate. A colorful backsplash in the kitchen is not the right design 99% of the time. Too much mixing of old and new design trends will end up chaotic and rarely attractive. Learn to recognize when simplicity is king, and find other less permanent ways to use the Color of the Season than painting the entire wall.
#3: You don’t stand firm with your color recommendation.
You hear the dreaded “I hate that color” comment from a client, but you don’t take the time to explain to him or her that the color they do like will clash. You are the color expert, hired because you have the knowledge and the eye for what will and will not work in a space. If your client wants to paint the walls of the living room a cool blue gray, but the granite fireplace has warm yellow and pink undertones, the blue gray will stand out in an unflattering way. Comparing his or her choice to your recommended warmer gray (and explaining your reasons behind the recommendation) is entirely within your rights as a designer, and will prevent an inevitable repaint when the colors don’t relate to one another.
#4: You didn’t pay attention to the most important elements.
No two rooms are alike, and therefore every design color problem has a custom color solution. But there are some general principles regarding which elements require your attention the most. You need to work with the fixtures in the room that are not going to be altered whether it be the carpet or the furniture or something else entirely. Trying to incorporate browns into a room with no other brown elements is not going to work unless you are completely redoing the space. The brown throw pillows that match the chosen paint are not going to blend with the furniture still in 1980s color scheme. You cannot replace only two chairs of an eight-piece dining room set. Recognize what elements you need to be conscious of when making your design’s color decisions.
#5: You were too timid with the exterior’s color.
As previously said, neutrals go through trends just as frequently as non-neutral colors do. Therefore replacing that out of date brown with a currently in vogue charcoal is just going to continue the outdated cycle in a few years. So don’t be afraid to choose an actual color for your exterior designs. Your choice will be more likely to outlast the typical 10-year trend, particularly important as the paint itself will be outlasting that decade.
Using color can be worrisome, but it is also one of the best ways to incorporate uniqueness and style. Just use your expertise to avoid these five color mistakes and work with color without fear.

Top Design Colors of 2013

Just like fashion, health claims, and the economy, colors follow trends. Each year brings new attention to a portion of the color wheel, and it is important to stay abreast of these trends as an interior designer.  After all, being trendy is highly valued by consumers and entire rooms are redecorated to reflect what is “in” versus what is rapidly becoming “out.” A major challenge in design is predicting the trends and recognizing what may become a classic and timeless design, and what will be dated before it is even finished being implemented in a design.

So what are the colors of 2013 and why were they chosen? Each color evokes its own mood, energy, feeling, and overall vibe intended to be played out throughout the year. They are a prediction of sorts, but whether the predictions are accurate has very little bearing on their popularity in the design world.

Pantone’s Emerald

Pantone is considered the leading color trend creator in all color-based industries: design, fashion, makeup, etc. For 2013 the Color of the Year is Emerald. Intended to represent liveliness, radiance, and lushness, Emerald brings elegance and a sense of luxury to a room. As for the intended feelings associated with Emerald? A sense of well being, harmony, and balance will supposedly follow utilizing this jeweled green.

Sherwin-Williams’ Aloe

Also a green—though a less vibrant shade—this Color of the Year softens the mood to simplistic prettiness. More mid-century modest rather than modern flashy, Aloe is intended to mimic its plant inspiration by soothing and calming a room’s energy. It also nicely complements neutrals and pastels, making it a versatile choice in the design scheme.

 

Benjamin Moore’s Lemon Sorbet

Lemon Sorbet’s selling point as a Color of the Year is its role as a “transitional” color. Benjamin Moore has predicted that 2014 will be the year of the pastels, and as such Lemon Sorbet is a perfect bridge from the current saturated color tones.  The color brightens an atmosphere without overloading the senses, akin to tea’s mild compared to coffee’s powerful dose of caffeine.

Color trends are fun to incorporate and really make a space feel trendy and fashionable. Even so, when designing a room, it is important to keep in mind that trends fade and the colors of today will be replaced a year from now. Thus it is a good tactic to use Colors of the Year primarily as accent pieces such as lamps, clocks, throw pillows, and such or as part of a more overall color scheme (for example Aloe lends itself well to pastel yellows, blues, and browns that can characterize a child’s room or nursery).  Knowing the color trends is exciting and inspiring, and integrating them into your designs will keep your work fresh and your clients happy.