Design Advice – Spring Edition , April 2014

Lately I have been reading a great deal about spring cleaning and selling homes.  This makes sense, after all  spring is in the air and the housing market is picking up. Whether you are getting ready to sell your home or  have determined it’s time to unlock the windows and let the fresh air in, there are a few inexpensive things you can do which can make your home feel and look better.  Two simple changes you can make for your home are in the color and lighting realm.

If you read my last blog, “Design advice for 2014”, I mention the concept of a homes “VISION”.  Your homes vision encompasses the continuity, “the flow” of the rooms, which includes its color palette.  Determining a color palette for your home is one of the first steps you can take in creating an inviting space.  This doesn’t mean that every room needs be a different shade of beige or gray.  It does mean that each room should complement the other or should have  a consistent color element throughout.  This is especially true with todays open floor plans.  There are many ways to bring both warmth and continuity throughout these spaces via  the use of color.  We’re especially lucky today with all of the paint and finish options available.   Now you may think you have to go with the latest fad, but that’s not the case. There are warm whites like Sherwin Williams Fragile Beauty or the cool whites , a favorite of mine – Sherwin Williams Pediment.  These are no ordinary whites , they have depth, feeling and complexity.  So, if you haven’t painted your home in several years and your walls could use a fresh coat of paint, check out all the new paint options. Prior to painting any room, be sure to create a few sample sections and see how the paint FEELS in the room.  Live with it for a few days and make sure to take note how the color looks during the evening (artificial light) versus day (with sunlight).  Are the hues where you want them to be , does the color change and not work with its surroundings?  These are the types of questions you should ask yourself prior to moving forward with any painting job.

A second change you can make for your home is in lighting.  Two lighting options to consider – natural and artificial light.  While the paint color you choose will definetely affect the ambience and weightiness of a room, there are other ways to naturally boost lighting. A great start is by simply cleaning your homes windows!  This is an inexpensive, albeit labour intensive way, to let the light in.  It always surprises me after I clean my homes windows each spring –  how much brighter and fresher my home looks.  Secondly, take into consideration the artificial lighting.  Are all of your lights  original builder grade lights that came with the house when you first purchased it?  You don’t have to break the bank to upgrade a few light fixtures throughout your home.  Don’t overlook energy efficiency when your revamping your artificial lighting. Spring is a great time to boost your homes energy efficiency by replacing old, electricity-guzzling incandescent light bulbs with energy-sipping CFL’s and LED’s.  While these light bulbs may cost more to purchase, you’ll save money over their usable life.  That, plus the fact that the level, quality and color of light they give off far outweighs the small price tag.

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