Maintain Your Home
10 Design Trends to Refresh Your Home
By Wendy Albee, Albee Interior Design
As the days get longer, you may notice that some things in your home need refreshing. Here are simple solutions for a refreshed home:
As we spend more time at home, make it comfortable by incorporating lots of textures, pillows, and items that you love. Oversized furniture 'invites' you to sit down & relax. Surround yourself with special items that mean something. Consider your entry as it should feel welcoming.
The kitchen is the new family room: Since most of our lives are hectic, the kitchen is really where we spend much of our time together. Consider changes such as a larger island that allows families to cook together or multi-task with computers, TV, and homework. A large table can work too.
Eco-friendly and Energy-saving Products
If you want to start simple, replace faucets & toilets with low water flow models. Replacing carpets with hardwoods is great for improving air quality. Cork flooring is a wonderful solution for kitchens and family rooms because it's warm on the feet and easy on the pocket.
Color Derived From Plants, Minerals and Dirt
Bringing the outside in is what one of the new color palettes is all about. Shades of green are expansive as they make a room feel larger. Add a splash of color on one wall or in your powder room or indulge an entire room in color adding interest with textures.
Simple things you can do today include changing the placement of your artwork (you'll notice them more), re-arranging furniture and perhaps angling a sofa or indulging in new throw pillows. Installing a new light fixture can be inexpensive but a dramatic change to a room or something as effortless as adding knobs to blah cabinets.
The Brilliance of Simplicity
We are constantly bombarded by life so make your home a refuge from the chaos. It requires rigorous editing by gifting things you don't really need or use or donating to a worthy cause. If you must keep things, store them away in creative places like a decorative storage bench, armoire desk, or under-bed drawers.
Maximize the Space you Have
Transform a formal dining room or guest bedroom into a multi-purpose room that you really use. Create a 'great room' by removing unnecessary walls or hallways. Rooms become larger just by lighting dark corners.
You can paint almost anything with the right primer, from your bathroom vanity to ugly marble on your fireplace. An old chair can be reupholstered into something whimsical. Transform a dresser into a bathroom vanity or add legs to a piece of furniture for an interesting kitchen island.
Stay Plugged In
Technology has spilled into appliances with multi-functional ovens that combine cooking strategies like baking, defrosting, grilling, microwaving, roasting, as well as steaming and convection capabilities all in one. Even if you only have room for one oven, you are no longer limited in the kind of cooking you can do.
Universal Design for Everyone
Bathroom fixtures have improved a great deal with single handle faucets that are great for kids, older adults and anyone disabled. So are designer grab bars. Put your lighting on dimmers to create the ambiance you want and assure that everyone has the right amount of light.
Wendy Albee is a contributing writer to HomeMatters, a consumer publication of the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties.