Patricia M. McCorry, JD, CRB, GRI's Blog
Buying a new home is a commitment. Not just to a mortgage but to the house itself, the neighborhood and your local community. And for many, this is part of what makes purchasing a new home so rewarding. To have a place to truly settle into and call their own. Part of that settling in includes crafting a timeless interior that will welcome you home for years to come.
But going about creating a timeless home can feel intimidating. Magazines and television shows focus on the trends and how to keep up with what’s current. Following these cues will only leave you with a home that will become quickly outdated.
The key is to mix a variety of styles both old and new. Resist settling for one particular style for a home that seamlessly transcends the decades to come. And while you don’t want to fully jump into any one trend, adding a few accent pieces will keep your home fresh and modern. Art, throw pillows, and small details are the perfect decor pieces to take advantage of trends with. Large investment pieces, however, are best kept neutral and in a style that has already proven itself to be classic.
Styles that earn the title of classic are usually simple with just one element that reflects the era of its inspiration. Think a couch with tufting but in a warm beige or a table with ornate millwork that boasts its natural wood coloring. Whereas a tufted couch in a print or ornate millwork painted a color from a trend that has come and gone will date the look of your whole room.
Neutral colors are best used for the majority of your color palette, leaving color for your accent pieces. That doesn’t mean your home needs to lack depth, however. Choose different tones for your paint swatches and reach for a variety of textures when adding fabrics. Having a diverse range of tones and textures will add visual interest without depending on color to do the job.
Natural elements such as wood, stone, and glass also help to bring depth to your neutral color palette and maintain a timeless look. Wood flooring is well worth the cost in the long run both in terms of maintenance and style. An exposed brick wall makes a statement without becoming dated. A leather couch or armchair adds warmth and sophistication. While cotton, linen and wool textiles add natural texture to your furnishings.
Homebuyers often dream about the decades to come spent in their new home’s rooms. They want to spend time living life’s moments to the fullest and not fussing over decor every ten years. Creating a timeless look for your home doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. Keeping to a neutral color palette and natural elements guarantee a classic home that you will love coming home to for years to come.
One decorating principle that’s a huge help for any homeowner is that of layered lighting. This is the different aspects of lighting that you’ll use in different rooms of your home to complete your lighting needs. The layers of light create a basis for the design of the room. These three main aspects of lighting also have a practical purpose which is nice as well. Below, you’ll learn more about the three main components of lighting for any room of the house and how to best use them.
Ambient lighting is often the base of where people start with their lighting design in a room. This type of lighting allows you to get the overall feel for a space. The brightness level should be good enough for anyone to walk through the room without walking into things. The illumination may not be bright enough for activities that require a lot of focus like reading or chopping vegetables.
If you think of a retail store and how the shiniest things have the brightest lights focused on them, you’ll discover that you can use this type of lighting right in your home. Think of a chandelier hanging over a massive dining table. Accent lighting is usually for decorative purposes. The lumens that are given off are typically not enough for any other purpose than to attract attention to the item the light is shining on. This type of lighting is best used for things like display cabinets, statues, and china closets. The bottom line is that the accent light will add some drama without actually adding much practical use.
This type of lighting is important because it’s what ensures that you won’t chop your hand off while you’re chopping up vegetables in the kitchen. Task lighting varies widely from room to room and can be anything from a desk lamp to a reading lamp to lights on the vanity for shaving and putting on makeup. Task lighting is all about being functional. When you’re trying to decide where to put your task lights think of everything from safety to convenience. The last thing you should worry about with task lighting is the look. While these lights are great under cabinets, for example, so the more creative you get with where to place your task lighting the better the look will be.
Using this simple yet useful design principle can help you to light your entire home correctly. The right lighting can truly transform a space and give it the depth that it needs.
Anyone who’s ever been in an outdated house or hotel room can tell you that the way we decorate can have an effect on our mood. Certain colors, lack of lighting, and cluttered rooms are all things that, whether we realize it or not, can have a negative effect on our mood and productivity.
These concepts aren’t recent realizations. In ancient China and India, concepts of architecture and decorating have been teaching proper design techniques for thousands of years. Today, these schools of thought are often lumped into the field of environmental psychology.
In today’s post, I’m going to talk about a few design techniques that will help you and your houseguests feel more welcome in your home and create a tone that matches your desires, whether that’s relaxed or energized.
The effects of color
With a quick Google search, you’ll find hundreds of articles discussing the psychological effects of colors. What many fail to mention is the way these effects are based on things like the culture and time period we grow up in.
However, you may find that guests to your home will feel more comfortable in light, neutral- colored rooms than they will in a room that’s painted bold colors.
On a room-by-room basis, there tend to be certain colors that Americans associate with the “right” colors for the occasion.
However, this is often influenced by the architectural style of the house more than an internalized idea about specific colors.
How much is too much?
It’s easy to accumulate home decor and find your walls and surface becoming a little too cluttered. However, bare walls and sparsely decorated rooms can feel a bit too sterile and unlivable. Is there a balance between the two?
Oftentimes the best solution is to follow one simple decorating principle:
Rather than using several small items to decorate a room, choose just a few larger items. This will prevent the room from appearing cluttered but still give it a sense of character.
Taking advantage of the full area of a room
So far, we’ve been talking about how colors and decor can make a room feel more spacious and welcoming. But, even if you have a small room, you can still often achieve this effect.
One solution is to add brighter lighting to the room. Increasing the light makes to room feel more open. And, if possible, natural lighting is the best option, as it can reduce any feelings of claustrophobia.
If better lighting or windows aren’t an option, many homeowners turn to mirrors to make a room feel larger. Larger, wall-hanging mirrors are an excellent way to give the illusion of spaciousness in a small room.
Using the psychology behind these three decorating principles, you’ll be able to make you and your houseguests feel more at ease within your home.