Posts belonging to Category Balance & Harmony



HOW TO BOOST YOUR HOME’S ENERGY IN 2013!

This isn’t a post about energy consumption.

Not in the typical sense of the word, anyway.

Instead, this has to do with the energy in your home – in terms of the positive or negative vibes contained between the walls.

In other words, you may have heard that people emit either positive or negative energy.

Well your home exudes a certain energy, as well.

It may be closely related to your own mood.

More specifically, if you’ve been neglecting yourself lately and are feeling tired and overwhelmed, this might have rubbed off on your surroundings.

And chances are your home is feeling the same way.

Take a look around you.

Is your furniture looking a bit worn and tired?

Are the walls faded and in need of a fresh coats of paint?

Do the carpets need replacing?

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THE ELEMENTS OF DESIGN – PART 2

This week’s article is a continuation from last week. 

(If you missed that article, you can find it here.)

And as I said before, it’s a bit of a teaser.

I say this, because I’m using various elements found in Nature to illustrate the Elements of Design – the so-called building blocks used to create just about any work of art – and  therefore the principal tools that designers, architects and all creative types invariably use in their craft.

So far, we’ve explored Color, Balance, Pattern and Rhythm.

Still to come?

Space, Line, Proportion and perhaps my favorite – Harmony.

So here they are….

 

Space

See that wide expanse of sky?

If that endless space was filled with stuff, this scene wouldn’t look nearly as tranquil.

Which means Mother Nature got it right again, knowing exactly when to stop.

In home design, this translates to “Less is More” an oft quoted remark from one of the 20th century’s foremost architects, Mies van der Rohe.

When it doubt, a good rule of thumb is to edit the finished design by removing one item.

That’s when you’re done.

 

Line & Proportion

In Nature, line and proportion are pretty much perfect.

After all, who’s to say a maple leaf should have a different shape, or that a bunch of grapes should be less round?

We accept them for what they are.

A mix of lines and shapes is always a good idea for interiors, as well.

And knowing when to place a large sofa in a smaller room, or vice versa, is just as helpful.

Is the coffee table the right size for the nearby chairs?

What about the bed?

Understanding the relationship between all these different elements is key to a successful project!

 

Focal Point

This is your immediate field of vision.    

With a view like this, it’s easy to see what that might be.

The Focal Point is the one thing that captivates you, that is so spectacular, interesting or inviting that people can’t help but notice it.

It’s what we situate our homes to take full advantage – especially when there’s a gorgeous view.

Inside your home, this translates to either the fireplace, a bed or seating area, or even the television.

Hmmm.

Which would you rather look at?

 

Harmony

This is an easy one.

It’s what we achieve when ALL the Elements & Principles have been used together – well, harmoniously.

Just like in Nature.

If your home is feeling a bit flat and un-inspired, you can be fairly certain that one of these key elements is off, or missing altogether.

THE ELEMENTS OF DESIGN – WITH A NATURAL TWIST

Today’s post is a bit of a teaser.   

While vacationing a few weeks ago in Eastern Washington, I spent a lot of time outdoors.

And on my bike.

While riding the scenic back roads, it occurred to me that much of what we see in Nature mirrors the Elements of Design – the principal tools that designers, architects and all creative types invariably use in their craft.

These Elements of Design include everything from color, space, balance, shape, line, proportion and much more – while lending interest and excitement to a space.

Just as they do in Nature.

Let me explain.

 

Color

Imagine the natural world without color!  

It’s almost painful to think of.

Everywhere we look, on any given day, we are welcomed by a riot of color in our surroundings – both indoors and out.

Sometimes it makes sense to balance the colors of Nature outside your windows, with a soothing palette inside. A neutral palette can make strong colors pop – just as you see in the vivid sunsets shown above.

Other times, a desert landscape might call for bolder colors within.

Different colors dictate a different mood, and can lift our spirits.

In Nature, the most soothing colors are green and blue.

 

Balance 

Balance in a room is achieved through Symmetry or Asymmetry in the basic layout of your furnishings.

The essence of Symmetry is this:

If you were to draw an imaginary line down the center of a room, dividing it in half – each half would be a mirror image of the other.

In Nature, we can find a perfect mirror image reflected in a lake, just like in this picture!

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5 WAYS TO SHIFT THE ENERGY IN YOUR OFFICE

A recent article on creating Harmony in ones’ work place, has inspired today’s post.

Perhaps you’ve wondered how you might improve the energy in your workspace.

Whether or not your office is in your home, these simple design suggestions will give you something to think about.

By no means are these ideas limited to just your office – you can apply this to any place in your home.

 

Do Aim for Clean, Uncluttered Surfaces

We don’t always realize how important it is to have our work areas impeccably organized, with a designated place for everything to be stored.

The tendency is to have little piles on our desk, each one representing a portion of our To Do list for the next day.

Do you really tackle each of those little piles on a daily basis?

I know I don’t.

And yet, I’m fearful of storing things away, being very guilty of an “out of sight, out of mind” mentality.

Here’s the thing, though:  according to Chinese Feng Shui, having too many things on your work surface can impede the flow of energy, or chi.

There is a lot of truth in this ancient wisdom, so take heed.

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A SUMMER QUIZ

“Your home is your personal canvas – a place for celebrating Beauty”.

 

Here’s a little quiz I’ve put together, to re-vitalize your home decorating skills during these hot, lazy summer days.

Please note, this is intended to be fun!

Even better – your answers will not be graded.

 

Question #1:

Summer is the worst time of year to even consider an interior design project.
T or F

False. If you are thinking of re-decorating, or having a picture perfect new dining room by the holidays, NOW is the time to kick things into high gear!

Especially if your plans involve anything custom, or lining up vendors and/or contractors – you need to plan several months ahead.

Why?

Most workrooms and manufacturers have a cutoff date for the holidays. If you wait too long, your dream project simply won’t happen in time.


Question #2:

The best, and most obvious, reason to hire an interior design is because you can afford to do so. T or F

False. The best reason to hire an interior designer is when you’re feeling completely overwhelmed, and short on time & ideas.

Not to mention having access to a much broader scope of resources, for whatever your heart desires.

By the way, if you love interior design and are always re-arranging things in your home, check out this link – especially if you frequently worry “Am I doing this right?


Question #3:

Working with an Interior Designer can sometimes lead to bargains. T or F

True. Some designers will pass along showroom discounts; other times, you might be lucky enough to score exactly the item you are looking for – on Sale – at an exclusive designer showroom.

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YOUR HOME AWAY FROM HOME

You know that sterile feeling you get in a hotel room?

There’s that sense of expectation – wondering what you’ll find beyond the closed door, before you’ve even stepped over the threshold.

At that moment, your bodies is in full “perception” mode, instinctively taking in everything about your surroundings.

In the end, though, it might feel inviting but completely generic – with no trace whatsoever of the previous occupants.

Last week’s trip to Atlanta was no different.

I did the usual quick assessment of my room, which seemed to be comfortably furnished and attractive.

After I few minutes, I noticed the room was actually speaking to me.

I don’t mean that in a ‘woo woo’ kind of way – it really spoke!

There were messages everywhere that said things like “Drink Me”, “Refresh” or “Need Something?”

Even the bath mat said “Step” – as in “step into the shower”.

It was fun and a bit quirky.

Did it make me feel more at home?

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LISTEN TO YOUR HEART

The dental assistant had a question.

“Is Teal in?”she wanted to know.

She went on to explain that she wanted to repaint her Master Bedroom and the color teal really appealed to her.

She just wasn’t sure it was the “in” color to use.

While I generally don’t hand out free advice, I couldn’t resist this one.

I told her to forget what colors are “in” and paint her bedroom whatever favorite color she wanted.

It was her bedroom, after all!

A few days later, another acquaintance was lamenting the large amount of dark wood in her home – dark oak floors, kitchen and bathroom cabinets, and walls.

Her husband had suggested painting them.

“But,” she wondered aloud, “What happens if ten years from now dark wood is again back in style?”

She wasn’t asking my opinion, so I didn’t provide it, but here’s the thing.

Fads are just that.

They come and go.

What your heart and your gut are telling you – that’s what you want to pay attention to!

Your home needs to be about you and the things you love.

Whether you love teal, or your home is too dark and you want to lighten things up, I say – go for it!

Here’s another example.

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HOW TO WRITE YOUR BIO – WITHOUT USING WORDS!

Did you know that your home is a reflection of who you are? 

Yes, it’s literally like looking in a mirror.

Except that, you won’t see your face staring back at you.

What you WILL see is different aspects of your personality and all phases of your life – up until this point in time.

Pretty cool, huh?

The way you furnish your home, it’s like writing your bio.

But instead of words, you’re using color, texture, and various materials and furnishings to tell the story of who you are.

It is a story, by the way.

And it’s the perfect Bio.

Who better than you to tell it like it is?

Keep reading to see how you can write your story.

 

Look to the Past

It’s hard to escape the past.

We have memories –good and bad – that follow us wherever we go.

The secret is to delve into those memories and recapture moments from your past that complement how you live today.

If something no longer serves you, remove it.

Whatever resonates – keep it.

Like it or not, your home reflects all the different stages of your life.

It’s what made you who you are today.

 

Embrace the Present

Good design tells a story and it’s one that engages and envelops you.

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HOW TO ACHIEVE ‘TOTAL ZEN’

We were standing in the living room of my client’s home.

As we looked around us, taking in the handiwork of the previous owners, it was clear that my client wanted to make this house her own.

That’s when she declared “I want to have an absolute Zen-like space to come home to.”

That one statement set a very clear vision for the project.

Sparsely furnished, this particular home would be clean-lined and minimalist, with Asian overtones in the bamboo floors and accessories.

Plus, there would be plenty of built-in storage to avoid clutter.

It was the sort of project that took an entire team to pull off.

Well, you might not be in need of an entire team.

But, perhaps you’re drawn to the idea of a peaceful, Zen-like space to come home to.

You may also love the idea of having someone to bounce your ideas off of and help you pull the project together – from start to finish.

That’s what I call Total Zen.

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HOW TO ACHIEVE INNER ‘SERENITY’

“TO:  The Supreme Pontiff Julius II           

FROM:  M. Buonarroti, artist

RE:  Interior Decorating

Most Holy Father,

It grieves me that your Holiness is unhappy with the progress on the Sistine Chapel.

Admittedly, it’s taken a little time and we’re into a slight cost overrun, but Your Holiness must admit this isn’t something that can be done with a numbered kit.

It’s hard on the neck, too. And, while you don’t do the shopping,You must know the price of fresco colors is out of sight! A couple more years should do it.

Your obedient servant,

Michelangelo

P.S. I beg to point out to Your Holiness that there is nothing in the contract about scraping the sash in the Vatican Refectory. As I’ve said before, I don’t do windows.”

(From an ancient account in Rome’s Vatican Library. Date has been effaced, but is believed to be circa AD 1510)

 

Yes, you read correctly.

This excerpt was written by that Michelangelo, the one of Sistine ceiling fame.

I happen to love this quote!

It’s a page straight out of history, yet – despite the passage of 500 years – not a lot has changed.

It could just as easily have been written yesterday.

Truth be told, the first time I heard this was at a meeting, where the speaker read it aloud before a room full of interior designers.

You can be sure it got a good laugh.

However, I think just about anyone can relate to Michelangelo’s words.

For example, if you’ve ever taken on a project that ran into cost overruns, or was not completed on time, this letter will sound painfully familiar.

Then there’s the part about the “numbered kit”.

Did such a thing even exist back then? (Apparently so).

What Michelangelo was basically saying, was that painting the Sistine ceiling was not just any old work of Art.

His letter makes plain that this was part of a very involved process – one that could not be rushed.

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