We have some inspirational ideas to share…
Fresh Paint and Color
Consider a fresh coat of paint – and maybe even a new color – for your walls and trim. Perhaps you’re dreaming on the idea of an accent wall or the addition of color above and below chair rail molding or wainscoting?
When trying to make design decisions, you’ll want to focus in on the look you’re hoping to accomplish, your personal tastes and the design and decor of your home overall… Bold. Elegant. Chic. Trendy. Traditional. Serene. There are so many possibilities and resources for ideas and inspiration.
As you’re developing ideas or even refining them for selection decisions… Audition colors and ideas using paint and cloth swatches, and do this from within the room and outside with the benefit of natural light. You’ll want to be sure your colors work well together since these will influence the way you experience the living space. If you’re challenged in the arena of color coordination or color compliments, ask for help!
This is also a great time for a reminder: when you go to paint, carefully and with restraint, freshen your caulk too. Caulk can be an excellent finishing tool when patiently applied.
If lead-based paints were used in your home (most often affecting homes built prior to 1978), and you’re doing any type of work involving the removal of walls, molding, windows or any other renovations that affect areas where this paint is found, it is critical (and required by law) that a lead-certified contractor complete the work. Here’s a helpful link available through the EPA on Lead.
When you’re shopping for your paint products, always request Low-VOC or (even better) No-VOC paints. VOCs are volatile organic compounds and may pose respiratory health risks. While you’re painting (or having your home painted) and after the fact, be sure to ventilate the space.
Remember Your Ceilings
We don’t tend to think about our ceilings when it comes to the look and design of a home, but it’s a great idea to do just that! It may be time to remove the old popcorn-style ceiling in favor or a classic smooth look with paint to match the walls, or maybe you’re hoping for the commanding presence of a coffered ceiling, the modern sophistication of a cove ceiling or the traditional elegance of a tray ceiling. Tin and copper tiles are attractive accent options as well.
Lighting is SO Very Important
It’s always a good idea to update lighting as part of the larger improvement project planning. Update your fixtures and dream on the addition of recessed accent lighting, gallery tracks for your art displays, under cabinet lights for your built-ins or even wall sconces. Remember to add dimmer switches to your fixtures for the greatest flexibility in lighting your living space.
Floor or table lamps are lovely design appointments too. If your floor plan is open, and you’re hoping to place the lamp within that open space, consider the placement of in-floor outlets.
There is an energy saving option too. Next generation LED bulbs will likely last longer than you’ll own the home, have come down in price, and use a fraction of the electricity required by traditional incandescent bulbs. The light spectrum quality is also superior and LEDs do not come with the risks of mercury exposure from breakage associated with compact fluorescents.
Windows are a Natural Extension to Green Spaces and City Views
Enjoy the delightful beauty of natural light in your home, and the ways your windows extend your visual living space to green views including parks and city skylines.
Be sure to keep your windows clean and replace those that have fogged or are otherwise in need of repair. Fogged windows are no longer providing the same level of insular benefit and they’re unsightly too.
You might also want to explore the possibility of window seats or creative window gardens. Winter is upon us, but spring and summer aren’t all that far off now!
The Floors! The Floors!
Our floors are overworked and all too often under appreciated, but they are so important to the look and feel of a home. If you’re ready to update your carpet, consider improving the product grade of the carpet and the pad for look, feel and longevity. Are you thinking about a loop pile carpet like Berber? Or maybe a cut pile carpet like a Saxony, Plush, Textured or Frieze? For homeowners with allergies or other respiratory concerns, there are natural fiber carpets including those made from wool which may make a good alternative.
Tile is a handsome option for style, color, look and wear – often flowing from a kitchen through to the living space in an open floor plan. These can be placed on-the-square or the diagonal and can include decorative insets and designer lines. If you place tile, be sure to consider carefully the selection of your grout color for wear and seal it.
Concrete floors are popular in authentic industrial loft homes. Contrary to the idea that they’re always a drab gray, these floors can be stained or painted, adding lots of design flair to a fabulous loft space. They can also be polished to a high sheen for a look similar to that of marble or another stone.
If you’re hoping for hardwood flooring, do your homework! You’ll want to consider the type of wood floor, your wood selection and your finish. Are you hoping for site finished hardwoods or an engineered hardwood product? As is the case with paint selection, consider Low-VOC or No-VOC stain, varnish and sealing products.
Among the alternatives to wood – bamboo is a durable, environmentally sustainable flooring option. It may, like other flooring products, emit formaldehyde. Again and in every case – do your homework.
Consumer Reports published a helpful article on flooring which is information-filled and educational: Breathe Easier About Your Flooring
If there is any asbestos (most often in historic homes), be sure you’re working with a qualified contractor who can properly and safely handle encasement or removal. Asbestos might be found, for example, in floor tiles, insulation, duct-work taping, and exterior cladding.
Fun, Functional Updates and Accessories
Fun, functional updates and accessories will add tremendously to the ways in which you enjoy your living space.
Consider updating your blinds for color, style and the convenience of high tech features like remote controls. Window treatments to match or compliment the fabrics found in your home furnishings are important too.
Install built-ins to add display casing and cabinet-style storage. Perfect for your favorite photographs, art and books, built-ins are both decorative and practical.
Open the space between your kitchen and great room to include a pass through buffet or breakfast bar. You’ll love this for the convenience it creates in serving work week dinners and for ease of entertaining family and friends.
Lift the television up off the table with a wall-mount to create floor space or enclose it in a handsome armoire that will add drawer storage.
Wire your living space for sound – you’ll love this feature whether you’re enjoying enjoying quiet classical, fanciful jazz, your favorite movie or sports event.
Add gas logs to your gas starter fireplace and update your mantle and surround. A lovely hearth is truly charming, and may even be the center piece of your sitting area.
The ideas and options abound!
Consult Community Governing Documents and Your Property Manager
For all homeowners living in multi-family developments like garden-style condominium homes, townhomes and lofts, be sure to consult your governing documents, your property manager and your homeowner’s association for restrictions, permissions and approval or process requirements.
We hope, most of all, that you will really enjoy your home!
If you’re ready to find your home or to resell your current home in search of your next great place? We’re here to help, and we look forward to speaking with you!
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All information contained herein is believed to be accurate, but is not warranted.