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Bring The Colors Of Santa Fe Home

Bring The Colors Of Santa Fe Home

 

I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way – things I had no words for. – Georgia O’Keeffe

When I think of Santa Fe, I think of Pueblos and pottery. I think of art. But mostly, I think of the beautiful colors of the earth, sky, and mountains at Ghost Ranch and the surrounding area. Each time I visit, a sense of calm washes over me and I feel at home walking around looking at the turquoise and blues, the corals, purples, and tans. They remind me of Fall…my favorite time of year.

                                                                   

So it was no surprise to me, when we moved to our last house and I discovered that everything I unpacked was turquoise, coral, blue or tan! People who know me best could see it, but it took starting fresh…with a clean slate…to make me see it. Now I realize, that except for the years of trying to follow the latest color trends, I always seem to go back to the colors that make me happy. Maybe this is why I get so excited to decorate for Fall. It’s the time of year when everyone wants to make their home a little cozier by adding deeper, richer colors and textures.

                                                                                     

                                                                                     

Here’s a checklist of some favorite ways to bring the colors of Santa Fe home this Fall:

  • Add a bit of nature by collecting pinecones, acorns, or wildflowers and placing them in bowls or vases.
  •  Visit your local craft store for dried or silk flowers to add to your favorite piece of pottery.

  • Change your pillows from summer colors to fall colors and patterns.

  • Mix and match your dishes by adding salad plates with beautiful Fall colors. If you’re lucky enough to find 2 or 3 patterns with the same colors, your table top will have more interest. I found a really nice collection at Pier 1, but it’s even more fun to search flea markets for the perfect plate.

  • Coordinate your new dishes with colorful, Fall placemats and napkins.
  •  Add a textured throw to your sofa or favorite chair to snuggle in on a crisp Fall evening.
  • Bring in nature’s own with heirloom pumpkins and squash. I love the new colors of heirloom pumpkins ranging from sage to deep greens, white, and deep orange.

  • Remember that anything you add to your home should be more about being true to your lifestyle and budget than trying to out-decorate your friends…it’s all about Authentic Living Interiors!!!

 

Fall Table Tops That Set the Mood:  How To Do It Yourself

Fall Table Tops That Set the Mood: How To Do It Yourself

 

I have to admit that Fall is my favorite time of year.  Why do I love it?  Because, finally the temperatures begin to cool down and the leaves change to vibrant gold, orange, and red.  I love spending time on the porch having a glass of wine with my husband in the evening, enjoying our tree house view that changes daily with different colors.  But most of all, I love entertaining and creating Fall table settings that set the mood for the evening.

The moods you create can be endless…completely your choice!  One mood might be warm and cozy like the table setting above.  I loved it the minute I discovered it on One Kings Lane.  The swag draped down the center with glowing candles and fresh flowers make me want to pull up a chair and sit there all evening!

Have you ever gone to a dinner party at a friend’s home and they’ve really taken the time to create a beautiful table setting?  How does it make you feel?  I hope that it makes you feel as if you’ve entered a special place that welcomes you, because they want you to feel special.

Remember that you don’t have to hire a professional floral designer to create it for you when it’s so easy and so much fun.  But there are a few things you need to keep in mind if you want to learn how to do it yourself.

MOOD:  Do you want your dinner party to be formal or casual, rustic or festive, simple or elaborate?  The food that you plan to serve for the evening may be the deciding factor.  Don’t you love how the rustic setting above uses food in fall colors as part of the setting?  Even the use of fresh herbs in a vase adds to its farm-to-table appeal.  But I especially love how this table setting makes me want to sit down with friends, share a delicious meal, and have great conversations.

The table setting below, shared from Better Homes and Gardens, takes the opposite approach from the traditional settings above.  I call this “opposites attract” with its use of the sky blue tablecloth pared with a simple arrangement of autumn leaves.  Doesn’t it make you feel a little more festive and ready to party?

FOCAL POINT:  It’s important to have a focal point to your table.  And it’s a lot more fun to ditch the traditional floral arrangement to be a little more creative.  That’s right!  It’s time to think outside the box.  Take a walk in the woods.  Shop your pantry and cabinets.  Stretch your imagination!!!

Keep placement in mind when you create your focal point.  Remember that guests like to see your face when they’re talking with you.  Arrangements that are too high or too wide are beautiful to look at when you enter the space, but not so practical during dinner.

INDOORS OR OUT:  When the weather is beautiful and the air is crisp, it’s nice to have the option of setting your table outdoors.  My friend, Donna, has a lovely front porch that’s perfect for a long table to fill with friends.  Tom and I love serving cocktails and appetizers on our porch since the table there is too small for a large dinner crowd.  But that doesn’t stop me from creating a Fall table setting that sets the mood for the evening!

Each time I see this Southern Living outdoor dining space, my heart sings!  I love the lights, the pots filled with mums and grasses, and the rustic setting.  What a fun way to spend an evening with friends!

Planning your table setting can be fun.  But if the rest of your holiday is beginning to stress you out, or you feel like your being pulled in a million directions, be sure to check out this post.  9 Easy Tips to Avoid Holiday Stress and Distractions  offers ways to help you get out of overwhelm and into action. 

In the end, when all is said and done, the table you set and the food you serve is never as important as the people who share the table with you.  Remember that life is about the moments spent with people you love, the laughter shared around the table, and the memories you create when you’re together.  Happy Decorating!!!!

 

FRONT PORCH ENVY

FRONT PORCH ENVY

 

I have porch envy!  Even though our home has a very cozy, spacious screened-in porch with peaceful views of the lake, I would love to have a front porch.  Not the kind of porch that only has enough space to decorate for the seasons and greet our guests.  But a front porch where you can sit on a hot summer afternoon with a glass of lemonade and greet your neighbors as they pass by.  A front porch that evokes small town life.  Because to me, warm weather bliss starts on your front porch.  It’s a way of life.

Do you have certain feelings that bubble up when you hear the words “front porch”?  Maybe you think cozy, comfortable, welcoming?  What about neighborly and community? There are so many things that make a front porch appealing and bring back memories of days gone by.  But for me, the secret ingredient is to choose your function first.  If you love hosting parties, set up your porch as a second dining room.  If you love to spend the afternoon curled up on a porch swing with a good book, then cozy seating is for you.

Here are my 5 ways to give your porch a country-style update this summer.

Plant flowers in re-purposed vases and containers Before you run out and buy something new, shop your basement, attic, or cabinets.  And then visit flea markets and antique shops where you’ll almost always discover the perfect treasure for your porch.

Display some unique flea market finds. – Here’s an example of a uniquely re-purposed oil can.  Filled with LED string lights, it’s the perfect element to  brighten evenings on your porch.

This colorful front porch is filled with flea market treasures.  Everything about this porch invites you to come sit for a while and enjoy the day.  And, of course, who doesn’t love hydrangeas?

Use a vintage signs as wall art. This one, though not exactly vintage, was handcrafted and made to look old.  Do you have old wooden tennis rackets or canoe paddles?  Hanging a grouping of old things that are special to you is another way to make your porch your own.

Add mirrors to reflect light and bring inside elements outdoors. Our outdoor living spaces have become extensions of the inside of our homes.  So adding elements like rugs, lamps, and mirrors make us feel right at home on the porch.

Add a cozy place for dining – Who doesn’t enjoy having morning coffee on the porch watching the day come to life?  Or maybe sitting with family at the end of the day sharing stories.  Do you notice the blue ceiling?  It’s often referred to as Haint Blue, a color to ward off evil spirits, especially in the South.  If you’d like to learn more about it, click on the link to my blog post.

Even though I get a little bit of house and porch envy when I tour a home show or visit my friends, it’s always nice to come back to my very own happy place.  Because… 

 

THE COLOR ORANGE:   How We Use It and What It Means

THE COLOR ORANGE: How We Use It and What It Means

 

For those of us who love the color orange, we see it everywhere and want to use it all the time.  But how we use orange at home and when we use it requires a little bit of information about color psychology.

 Orange is the perfect mix of red and yellow.  And because it combines the energy and stimulation of red with the cheerfulness of yellow, orange radiates a warmth and happiness that draws us in.  Have you ever taken a walk down a path that’s covered with red, yellow, and orange leaves or watched a sunset with shades of reds and oranges?  That is happiness!

orange pumpkin with succulents

What We Know About Orange:

  • Offers emotional strength in difficult times
  • Optimistic and uplifting, rejuvenating our spirit
  • A great color to use during tough economic times because it keeps us motivated
  • Helps us to look on the bright side of life
  • Promotes enthusiasm for life, relating to adventure, risk-taking, independence   The person who loves the color orange is always on the go!
  • It stimulates two-way conversations and social communications
  • Because it’s a warm and inviting color, it’s both mentally and physically stimulating. It gets people thinking and talking!
  • Stimulates our appetite
  • Helps us assimilate new ideas and frees our spirit of limitations…let’s us be free to be ourselves.

How We Use Orange at Home:

Because Orange is such a sociable color, and mentally stimulating, use it in rooms where you want to get people thinking and talking.  A dining room or living room would be the perfect area to paint an accent wall in orange.  If that’s just a little too bold for you and out of your comfort zone, try orange pillows, placemats, napkins or dishes.  When it comes to paint, tinting orange to a soft peach will also have the same effect.

orange dining room accents

If you love Life In the Kitchen as much as I do, enjoying family and friends sitting around the kitchen table, orange will keep them talking and eating for a long time.  Many restaurants use pastel versions of orange like peach or apricot, or deeper versions of terracotta for their décor.  When guests are having a good time talking and connecting, they’ll eat and drink more…and spend more money!

orange accents in a bay window

But the one room in your home that you don’t want to have large amounts of orange is the kitchen.  It’s the worst color to be surrounded with if you’re trying to lose weight!!!!

Your Design Homework:

  1. Take a walk through your house and make a list of how you can use the color orange in a room or two.
  2. How can you incorporate orange to red accessories for Fall?
  3. How can you use lighter and/or brighter versions of orange for Spring and Summer?

Want to learn more about using color in your home?  Call us today and schedule your personal interior color consultation.  (404)213-8571

5 Ways To Have Great Design On A Budget

5 Ways To Have Great Design On A Budget

 

Most of us have been here before.  You’ve stretched your budget to buy the perfect new home in a great location.  It has the space you’ve been craving for family visits and that new craft room you’ve always dreamed of.  But there are still some things about it that need to be updated to make it your own.  Unfortunately, the amount of money you have left to invest in this makeover isn’t as great as you hoped.  Don’t worry!  You can still have great design on a budget if you follow the 5 ways listed below.

Whether you’re downsizing or up-sizing, have more wall space or less, design can (and should) be good at any price point.  Your new home design should always keep your needs and lifestyle in mind.  And it should always speak to your personality and your approach to life.  This is always how you get started…even when you want great design on a budget.

The WOW Factor

decorative tile backsplash

Choose that one luxury feature or item that will make the most impact and become the focal point or memory detail in your home.  This could be a treasured antique piece that’s making the move with you.  Or you might want to spend a lot of your budget on a gorgeous vent hood and range. 

No matter what you decide on for a luxury focal point, the rest of your design elements will need to be adjusted accordingly.  We all place different values on certain things.  For some, a blow out kitchen is more important.  And to get there, they’re willing to pinch pennies in other areas.  It’s important to spend some time thinking about your lifestyle and your values.  This will help you decide on your luxury item.

Less expensive materials used in unique ways

Subway tile in different patterns

The tile in your shower is simply too dark for you.  Not your style, and it’s dragging you down. There are so many gorgeous tiles on the market, but you’re really committed to staying within your budget.  Some simple 2×3 subway tile would work.  But what about a 4×8 subway tile installed in a herringbone pattern?  That simple change will make a huge impact.  And you haven’t blown your budget.

Hardware and Lighting

I want you to think of hardware and lighting as the jewelry for your home.  Updating your cabinet hardware to a new finish or different shape will make a world of difference in how you feel when you look at your cabinets.  Consider different hardware for a bar area or hutch area…just to be different.

One area to make a big impact is with pendant lighting over an island.  If the “new” home your moving into hasn’t been updated in years, it’s probably time to make that investment for yourself.  Keep in mind the size of the island and how dark it gets in the kitchen.  That will determine the size of the light, the color of the shade, and the type of bulb that you use.

Color, Pattern, Texture

color fan decks

Each of these three design elements can be applied with very little added cost.  A fresh coat of paint on walls or cabinets will make a world of difference.

Pattern and texture can be added with wallcoverings.  They’re back in a big way right now!  But if wallcoverings are still not your thing, casually drape a throw over a sofa or chair to bring in new colors and textures.  Accent pillows are another way to update your new space.

Use Only What You Love

use only what you love

Moving to a new home always brings the dilemma of “what should I keep?” “What should I take?”  The number one thing to do is only keep what you absolutely love.  And when you’re making a purchase, only buy what you love.

When you’ve finished this list, you can start a second list of things that you absolutely know you don’t want in your new home.  This can also include furniture pieces that you know won’t fit in the new space.  This always requires measuring walls and furniture.  Sometimes it means moving pieces to different rooms than you had them in before.  Furniture and colors that can flow from one room to the next give you the option of moving them around to suit your needs.

Moving to a new home is an exciting time.  Sometimes you have the luxury of completing your makeover before you move in.  Other times you’re moving in on the tails of the last homeowner.  But whatever your situation, always remember that you CAN make this work if you take your time, don’t panic, and follow the 5 ways to good design on a budget.

If you find yourself overwhelmed and stressed about how to make it all come together when you move, call Randi today at (404)213-8571

 

THE BIG MISTAKE MOST DIY’ers MAKE And How to Avoid It

THE BIG MISTAKE MOST DIY’ers MAKE And How to Avoid It

 

Most of us love a good DIY project every now and then.  I mean, who doesn’t love the challenge of planning a project and seeing it through to the end?  And then there’s the added bonus of saving a little money.  But lately, I’ve been hearing from a lot of Design-It-Yourself’ers that they’re disappointed in the way their remodels are turning out.  As I listen to their concerns, one common thread stands out loud and clear.  The biggest mistake they’re making is not communicating EXACTLY what they want to the people who are helping them. 

Being over-the-moon excited with your finished design project is what you dream of.  The vision you have in your head is sometimes the only thing that keeps you going when the dust and drilling is getting on your last nerve.  But unless you get that vision out of your head and onto paper, you might be headed for disappointment.  No one can read your mind, so communication is the key to your project’s success.

Somehow, in the rush of our crazy lives, the small details seem to get lost in the shuffle.  We assume  “they should know that”.  But they don’t.  Everyone working for you has their own idea of how something should be installed.   It might be standard in their industry, but not how you want it to look.

Here are just a few of those little details you need to consider:

 1. The height of your shower head.  Where do you want it?  Be sure to tell your plumber or contractor.

2.  The height of the tile in your shower.  Do you want it to go to the ceiling?  Is there crown molding?

3.  Garbage disposer…Do you want it on the small bowl side or the large?  On the left bowl or the right?  There is no right or wrong answer here, but you need to communicate this with the plumber.  If you think about how you like to work at your sink, and plan accordingly, incorrect installations won’t happen.

4.  Counter top overhang.  Standard is 1 1/4″ – 1 1/2″.  Make that clear with your counter top people.  Check it for consistency once it’s installed.  In my own kitchen, the first installation had different overhangs all around the island and had to be re-done.

5.  How high do you want your window treatments hung?  To the ceiling?  To the top of your trim?  Somewhere in between?  You need to decide this before they’re constructed and then communicate this to the installer.

6.  Placement of pendant lights.  Size of the pendants and size of the island usually determine how far apart they should be.  Your installer may have a different opinion than you do, so make it clear ahead of time.  Also, ceiling beams or joists may throw a wrench into the plan.  Keeping an open line of communication with your installers and contractor will make these last minute changes less stressful.

7.  Exact placement of mirrors and vanity lights.  This is determined by ceiling height, backsplash height, size of the lights, etc.  Plan and ahead and then communicate this plan to everyone involved, especially if you can’t be there when they’re installed.

To avoid miscommunication on your design project:

  • Ask a lot questions about the little details so you know what to expect.
  • Understand that, if the details aren’t spelled out in advance, you’ll get calls for last minute decisions.  If you’re not available to answer, something might get installed where you don’t want it.
  • Plan out every detail of your project before construction begins and make sure your contractor and subs are on board.
  • Arrange to have daily or weekly updates on progress.
  • Hire an interior designer to handle these details for you.  A designer will make sure they’re installed according to your vision.

Always remember that how well you communicate your design vision determines how happy you’ll be in the end.  And that’s exactly what everyone wants for you!

If you’re finally ready to begin your own home makeover, contact us today to schedule a Design Success call and get your project started in the right direction .  Info@RandiDestefano.com