Four ways….

I don’t know about you but I am looking forward to Spring in a big way! I’ve always found when you’ve got the blues, winter or not, it is important to focus on the positive! I know some peeps might find this concept annoying, especially when it feels like everything is going wrong in your life…But it was (and is) what truly got me through the tough times. When I was living alone, as a newly single mother with a new born baby and three year old in a big old house I would repeat: “Focus on the good, Julie”… As my life changes, I still repeat this mantra when I am feeling overwhelmed.

To combat my winter blahs this year I am going to think about what I can do to my home and yard to update it! Today I’ve included “4” ways to update your home on a budget.
1. Painting your front door a fresh color is a quick and inexpensive way to brighten your home. This winter warm aqua doors have been catching my eye. I love this shade (aptly named): Happy Dance – 31C-2 by Clark+Kensington paints
2. Switching out or purchasing new pillows is a great way to enhance your home. Furbish Studio is taking 15% off all of their pillows right now! Jamie has a great selection on her site. **Designer Trick: fill your pillow with an insert one size larger than the pillow dimension. This will make for perfectly plump pillows!**

3. I love this kitchen revamp by Sarah Sherman Samuel of Smitten Studios. Changing your hardware will give your kitchen cabinets an instant update. I’m loving this brass pull Sarah used – find here.

4. Matty and I did quite a bit of yard work at my home last year but I still have lots to finish up. It’s always a good idea to devise a plan before you make your purchases. A simple sketch or water color painting is a great way to organize your ideas. BHG has a link to a number of images and free design plans. 

I’m certainly ready to roll out some fresh new designs this year but my design magazines haven’t been inspiring me much lately.  One trend that I am still holding on to is stripes! I especially love them when they are layered! I must own five striped shirts, I mix them with everything! {I also HAVE to use that pinstriped closet door idea above –  maybe if I move, I’m thinking girlie boudoir??}
scanned image top right: Material Girls Blog, bottom right: Domino, Jessica: InStyle

Consistency is key – Urban Refuge

Small digs? No problem. A tiny space can still look amazing and function well. This adorable condo beautifully proves that point. Let’s look at what they did to visually enlarge their place….

1.  Limit your color palette. The use of cream, copper, brown, white and coral is repeated throughout. The punches of color add interest and tie all the rooms together.
2. Varied Texture. They’ve mixed old and new, shiny + rustic, modern + classical. It helps to warm up this home and prevents the “one stop shopping” look.
3.  They’ve varied scale. One of the biggest mistakes I see when visiting a client’s home are issues with scale. More times then not homes are filled with a bunch of mid-sized things, they are usually the same scale, so the place just looks cluttered. Be sure to keep your eye bouncing around the room. Larger objects in a small space ALWAYS make the space feel bigger, just don’t forget to layer in smaller pieces!
4. Create points of interest, the entire space can’t scream for attention. I’m loving their unique finds; like the small wooden stool and gorgeous Suzani blanket.
5.  Both vertical and horizontal planes have been considered here! 

All images via: Golden Cage blog.

Super-sized

Proportion plays a huge part in my work, great design is all about balancing the elements. Over scaled artwork is the perfect way to add interest and drama to your home. My client art install went great last week, the large scaled painting by artist Elise Morris perfectly finished off the room! It’s almost photo-ready! 

images: Martha Stewart, Miles Redd, Atlanta Homes Magazine, Veranda, House of Turquoise, via Pure Style Home, Angie Hranowsky, Hamilton Design Associates.