Using Lighting and Colors

67Continuing with the second installment in our five part series on Feng Shui tips for your home office space, this week we’re talking about light and color.

Practicing Feng Shui can be a great way to keep a happy balance in your office space. The key elements of water, fire, wood, and earth can help you find a calm balance and lead to more energy and productivity.

Part Two – Using Lighting and Colors

Use Warm-Toned Bulbs

It’s important to choose light bulbs that spread feelings of warmth throughout your space. Warm-toned or full-spectrum lights can make a huge difference to your room. Always avoid using noisy fluorescent lights.

Have Natural Lighting

If you have a choice, always choose an office space with at least one window. Make sure that you install curtains or blinds so that you can adjust the light as needed. Glares or painfully bright light should be avoided, but letting in natural light will help you to keep track of the day and stay tuned into your environment.

Focus Your Lighting

Depending on the overhead lighting that you have in your office space, you may have to rely heavily on natural lighting and lamps. Desktop lamps allow focused control of lighting and can reduce harsh glares from natural or overhead lighting. Lamp lighting can also increase visibility and increase concentration simply by directing your attention to whatever the light is shining on.

Reds – Brighten Your Mood

The bolder shades of red are believed to create feelings of happiness and abundance. Using too much strong red can create a negative energy full of agitation and anger, so try to use red as an accent color. Brightening up a room with red accents might even bring you good fortune.

Blues – Incorporating Water

Using the color blue is an easy way to add the element of water into your space. It’s a soothing color that improves your productivity and helps to promote good energies. This color is best used on the ceiling, the southeast area of a room, or the east area of a room.

Greens – Soothing Energy

As well as adding a little bit of personality to a room, greens add growth, freshness, and a sense of peace. By adding a pillow or two of one of the softer hues you will also add a soothing energy.

Use Earth Tones

When using green, yellow, or brown, stick to the more subtle or soothing shades known as earth tones. Their close association to nature will make people feel more at ease and comfortable. Consider using these colors for curtains or rugs.

Incorporate Metals

Not only will metal help you to use one of the key elements, but it will also allow for reflection of natural light. Metallic surfaces or accents will subtly brighten up a room.

Maximize with Mirrors

To make your office feel less cramped and more open, make sure you have mirrors on the walls. Rooms will appear larger than they are and positive energy and light will be able to move from room to room. Mirrors also help you see areas that you wouldn’t normally be able to see, like what’s behind you while you’re sitting at your desk.

Keep Color Balance

Too much of one color will create an imbalance in your Feng Shui, leaving your space vulnerable to a particular element. There must be a balance of color in your office, and this can become a fun experience in interior design. Try to use accessories to gain your balance.

How To Choose Shutter Colors That Accentuate Your Home

76Are you looking for the best way to change the look of your home? Selecting new window shutter colors is a great way to make your home stand out and give it a major facelift. However, figuring out the best colors to use can be overwhelming. Here is a guide to help you learn how to pick window shutter colors that properly compliment your home.

Exterior Style

The appearance of your home will have a major part in choosing the right color. What does the exterior style of your home look like? Is it modern or contemporary? If your home is a traditional design, you want to choose something that is more of a classic style. A lot of people like to choose colors that are bright and bold. There is a lot of bright red, blue, and yellow paint options that will make a home stand out.

The Color of Your Home

Your home will have a certain exterior color that you need to compliment with the right window shutters. If the color of your home has a variety of colors, you can compliment it with just about any color scheme on the market. A great way to figure out which color is best is by getting a color pallet and watching your home throughout the day. The sun will highlight different colors and this can help you decide what you like best on your home. Take pictures of your home throughout the day to compare the colors as you take it to stores to compare it with the shutter paint options.

Plan Around the Home

How much renovation work are you planning to do to your home? When you are hoping for a basic paint job, you want to plan around the way your home already looks. You are not planning to change the shingles, siding, and other colors. The best thing to do is select a color that compliments all the colors you are already using on the home.

Determine the Visual Effect

Do you want the shutters to really stand out when people come to your home? If the home is white, it is easy to change your shutter color to red, green, and blue as they do stand out. Colored homes often end up with white shutters as they create a great visual effect. You must determine how you want your home to look when you are comparing different paint color options. When you take the time to compare multiple paint colors, you will have an easier time selecting a paint color that is ideal for your needs.

Home Decor – Picking Paint Color Part I

74One of the easiest ways to change the entire look of a room is to paint it or change the current paint color. Most people leave their walls white, because they have no idea what color they want to use in a room or which walls they should paint. There are so many different ways to apply paint to a room. You can paint this wall but not that one. Paint this wall a light color and that one a dark color.

Paint all the walls dark and use white for the trim. Maybe you want to paint the ceiling. There are a lot of decisions to make. When it comes to paint you don’t have to know exactly what you want to do until you know what color(s) you want in a room. What walls or ceiling you paint depends entirely upon the mood you want for that room, and if you have a dark color or a light color.

The first thing to think about when picking a paint color is to choose what room you are going to start decorating. Starting with a smaller room is a good idea just in case you don’t like the results. If you don’t, you can always start over. Bathrooms are usually a good place to start because of their size. Applying new home decor to any room where you are changing the entire look, can get expensive if you choose a room that is too big. Focus on one of the smaller rooms in your home when just getting started.

The second thing to think about when picking paint color is to determine the mood you want to set for that room. What room are you planning to decorate? The bathroom, kitchen, or bedroom. How do you want to feel when you walk into the room. Do you want a soothing and relaxing room to go to when you’re tired or stressed out? Do you want a bright and bold room with a lot of pizzazz What type of feeling do you want portrayed inside the room? If you already have decorations and don’t want to replace them, you will need to choose a color that compliments the current home decor. If you are planning to replace everything and can start over fresh, you can choose a color you like or one that portrays the mood you are looking for.

Tips for Selecting the Right Paint Colors for Your Home

Painting and decorating

Do you think that your home has become dull? Do you think that the faded walls are casting a gloom over the entire home? Well, you can make your home bright and new again. And, that too with just a little bit of investment.

Painting the walls will brighten up your home and provide it with a renewed sense of energy. But, to achieve the desired results, you must choose the paint colors wisely. The color of walls has a major impact on the entire design of each room. It also affects the emotional reactions that you and your visitors experience in the home. Here are a few basic tips to consider before buying the paint colors at a local home improvement store:

· Creating the Right Atmosphere

Different color combinations elicit different emotional responses. If you are painting a room where you plan to host guests and encourage lively conversation, consider bold, bright and contrasting colors. If you are more interested in creating a relaxing atmosphere, choose light and neutral tones. For a more elegant feel, choose deep and rich hues.

Think carefully about how you will feel about these colors over the long-term, especially before you choose more extreme color combinations. For example, you might be tempted to use bold and contrasting primary colors in a child’s playroom to inspire imagination and creativity. But, it may prove to be overwhelming and distracting for your child in his teen years.

· Consider Existing Furniture and Accessories

If you are not planning to purchase new furniture and accessories, you must ensure that the color combinations complement the existing items. A common approach to coordinating is to choose a contrasting paint color that will allow the furniture and accent pieces to stand out against the backdrop of the walls.

· Experiment with Varying Paint Finishes

Choosing a paint color for the walls of your home is not just about color. You can add originality, design, and uniqueness to a space by changing the texture and finish of the walls. While many homeowners choose a matte or satin finish for walls, you can also add a bit more sheen with a gloss finish. With the help of skilled painters, you can apply textured finishes that require more complex techniques. Textured finishes are often used to hide imperfections on ceilings, but can also add interesting visual elements to walls.

· Experiment with a Small Space

Before you fully commit to a paint color, you can experiment with a small area in the room. Before having painters complete the entire space, you can paint a small sample area. Give the paint color plenty of time to dry completely, so that you can take a look at the actual color. If there are artificial lights in the room, be sure to view the color in sunlight. If you are still happy with the color after living with it for a few days, it is a sign that it will be a good choice for the rest of the room.

Choosing the right paint colors is essential because a wrong decision can ruin the beauty of your home. So, it is essential that you make a decision after understanding your requirements and exploring different paint colors.

The Differences Between Effective and Ineffective Home Staging!

66Do you know the difference between a “good” and “bad” home staging? Unfortunately, many sellers and investors do not, and they end up wasting money on poorly done stagings that fail to achieve the desired goal of maximizing their home’s value and offers.

Here are some common mistakes that diminish the quality of the staging or — worse — fail to improve the home’s value at all:

1) Too many pieces of furniture, furniture that is too large, or out-of-date styles, patterns, and colors. Crowded and unattractive rooms defeat the whole point of staging to sell — making rooms look larger and more appealing to buyers so they can better imagine living in and enjoying the home.

2) Art that is hung too high or is way too small or the wrong color for the room or wall. Small art ends up looking like clutter in photos. Art should dramatize and enhance a room.

3) Poor accessorizing using out-dated items, small items, too many different colors, or the wrong number or size of items, which tends to make a room look unbalanced and messy to buyers. Alternatively too much white in a room with no contrast to add interest will not emotionally appeal to buyers.

4) Too-small area rugs that look like scatter rugs under coffee tables or dining tables — the legs of tables and all the chairs should sit comfortably within the outside margins of area rugs. For living rooms, the rugs should meet up with sofa and chair legs or go completely underneath furniture.

5) Lack of lighting which makes rooms look visually colder. It’s surprising how many homes lack table and/or floor lamps that both serve to dress up the space as accessories and most importantly, light up rooms to make them look better! A common saying in staging is “light and bright sells”!

6) Heavy or frilly/fussy window treatments. I generally suggest removing these to both reflect current trends and lighten up rooms. The one exception to this is leaving panel drapes if the colors are neutral or at least work well with the colors in the room and are kept to the side to let in as much light as possible.

7) Too-small or out-dated accessories (like cute plaques, roosters, and dish towels in kitchens, tiny soaps or florals in bathrooms).

8) Small plants plopped in corners of rooms. Greenery — faux or real — is great to add warmth and fill in empty corners, but the plants or trees need to be large to make a design statement in the space and not look silly.

A good home stager has:

1) A solid knowledge of furniture and accessory scale and number of pieces appropriate to each room that will help buyers visualize the best use and maximize the space at the same time.

2) A good design eye for colors — what colors play well together and in what amounts, the best color scheme that works with existing items and finishes in the house but also that will appeal to buyers, keeping in mind not only trends but the geographic area and seasons. For example, warmer or deeper colors in accessories like orange, red, navy, dark gray, bronze work better in colder months. Lighter greens, blues, teals, yellows are great summer colors IF They work with what’s in the home already.

3) Knowledge of design trends. An effective home stager needs to know the “hot” colors, furniture styles to use in vacant homes (transitional for many areas, more modern styles for many cities), and trends in accessories and bedding.

4) Experience in knowing how and where to hang art as well as the appropriate sizes for each room and wall, and the best colors to use in each room to achieve the desired emotional response.

5) Education in home staging (and ideally interior design as well), and membership in a staging association like RESA (the Real Estate Staging Association) or staged homes.com