February 29, 2016

Five Ways for Homeowners to Create a “White Done Right” Bedroom!

An emerging decorating trend for homeowners in 2016 is white and shades of off-white. But according to Houzz, even though white goes with anything and everything, it can still be tricky!  Be sure to highlight architectural details, use charming furniture, and add funky accessories.  Here are five of our best tips:

1.     Emphasize architectural details. Texture, interesting architecture, unusual nooks or alcoves. Highlight rustic exposed wood framing or painted wood walls & ceilings. Create a handful of focal points that create ambience. Use organic materials, such as a natural-fiber rug.

2.     Lighting. While it’s true that all white or mostly white rooms will feel lighter, and airier, they still need light — preferably warm white light in order not to feel sterile.

3.     Sheen.  Often overlooked in design choices is sheen, the reflective quality of a surface. Adding shiny metallics or other sparkly finishes to a bedroom can help jazz up plain white walls or ceilings. A little bit goes a long way, though.

4.    Layers of off-white. An easy way to break up an all-white space is to layer in off-white hues. If you prefer a warmer palette, use light tans. For a cooler palette, incorporate light grays. For those who want a little more color but want to keep it neutral, try mixing whites, darker grays and browns. It’s visually interesting and warm, without going over the top with color.

5.     Accessories. If your room isn’t blessed with charming architectural details, you can add appeal with funky furniture and interesting accessories. Vintage chairs, mismatched tables, velvety pillows, chenille throws, modern artwork, burnished mirrors – it’s all about the little details.

February 16, 2016

9 Ways to Bring Even More Happiness to Your Home!

Get and stay happy at home!  According to a variety of scientific studies, there are colors, scents, and accessories you should have in your home to improve your chances for complete and utter happiness.  Take a look, and see if one, some, or all of these items are part of your home!

1. Fresh flowers
Research conducted by Rutgers found that being in the presence of flowers triggers happy emotions and heightens feelings of life satisfaction.  Consider a bunch of posies an investment in your happiness.

2. Sentimental photos
If your nightstands or end tables are purely functional, you may want to change things a little. Swap in some family photos ASAP. A study at the University of Portsmouth found that looking at old photos results in positive feelings and a sense of calm.

3. Vanilla candles
While it may not be your favorite ice cream flavor, vanilla is apparently a kick-ass mood elevator! A Chemical Senses study found that vanilla beans are super uplifting. So go ahead and light up a vanilla scented candle after a stressful day — it'll help you relax.

4. Green or yellow walls
Out of the entire rainbow, a study from Vrije University in Amsterdam found that these two hues evoked the most feelings of happiness. They're bold color choices, though, for every wall in your home, so maybe try a few statement walls instead.

5. Furry friends
This one’s a no-brainer. Research published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that pets provide meaningful support for owners, helping them with social isolation and ultimately improving their lives. In other words, having a pet makes us happy!

6. Floral scents
The next time you pick out a new perfume or air freshener, try one that’s floral. The scent receptors in your nose are linked to the part of your brain that determines your emotions. And according to research from the Association for Psychological Science, floral scents can boost your feelings of happiness.

7. A journal
While exercise or therapy can contribute to your current state of mind, writing in a journal contributes to your future mood. Research published in Psychological Science found that re-reading old entries (even if they're short) can make you feel happier.

8. A made bed
Never underestimate the power of making your bed every morning.  According to a survey by Hunch.com, 71% of people who make their beds consider themselves happy — while 62% of non-bed-makers say they're unhappy. Wow! Totally worth spending two extra minutes tucking in your comforter.

9. And remember: Less is more

According to UCLA's Center of Everyday Lives and Families, there's a link between high cortisol (a stress hormone) levels in women who own homes with a "high density of household objects." In other words, the more stuff you have, the more stressed out you feel. So cut the clutter for a better chance at a calm and happy life.

February 11, 2016

Spoil yourself at home this Valentine’s Day!

Valentine’s Day is all about indulging yourself… and we have a variety of dreamy suggestions for a romantic holiday right in your own home. Some of these might take some planning, but they’re worth it!   

  1. What’s the most romantic spot in your home? In front of the fire of course! So light it up and actually relax in front of it! Grab your significant other and enjoy the warm glow.
  2. Share a quiet meal with your partner. Whether you cook from scratch or order take out to eat at home, it doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive, but something you can enjoy together. 
  3. If you don’t already have one, invest in a good stereo system. Connect it to your wi-fi/Bluetooth, and you can listen to your most romantic tunes all over the house!  This is a great way to tap into one of the five senses and really set the tone you’d like for the evening.
  4. Take a “Spa Day”. Relax in a bubble bath. Give yourself a mani-pedi. Wear your PJs all day and veg on the couch. Unplug your technology and enjoy the quiet.  You don’t have to have a scheduled appointment at a salon to reap the benefits of a spa day.  Not having to leave the comfort of your own home makes it that much more relaxing!
  5.  Go to bed early. It’s a fact that we live in an “always-on” world. Pamper yourself with some extra sleep. Cuddle up with your sweetie, and decompress. But first, splurge on some new sheets, fluffy blankets, or new sleepwear.  Investing in a clean and comfortable bedroom is a great way to ensure a good night’s sleep, whether you’re celebrating Valentine’s Day or any other day of the year!