For many of us, our spare bedroom is a far cry from the peaceful escape we all want for our family and friends who stay overnight in our homes. Guest rooms often become dumping grounds for storage items and seasonal clothing. With some well chosen pieces of furniture, decorative accessories and, of course, the right color paint, your guest room can be transformed into a cozy retreat for family and friends. Here are a few things to consider when making that “spare” room a home-away-from-home.
- Paint Choices – The color palette of the walls, trim and doors should be inviting and soothing. To do this, pick colors that coordinate and will work with the theme or effect that you are going for. For example, if you want your guest room to have a beach retreat feel, choose earth tone or varying hues of blue to showcase the light and airy feel of the seashore. Work with our professional color consultant to create the mood you desire in your guest room.
- Furniture Choices – Before choosing what furnishing to use decide whether the room will be a multi-purpose space or a dedicated guest room. If your guest room needs to be a multifunctional space, say an office and spare bedroom, then you will want to carefully consider the furnishings. A Day Bed or Modern Murphy Bed can double as both a cozy sitting area and a sleeping area. Cube storage can serve as both a coffee table and a night stand. A small desk can accent the area and be a great work space. If, on the other hand, you have a dedicated guest room, then choose furnishings that mesh with your personal style, theme and color choices for the room.
- Ensuite – If your guest room has a bathroom attached then your guests will have added comfort and privacy. Think about kicking your decorating up a notch by having the ensuite bathroom decorated in coordination with the guest room. Choose colors that complement each other and flow from one room to the next. Choose decorative accents such as fresh towels and linens that balance out and compliment the color choices. Plush pillows and fresh flowers can give it a spa-like feel. Your guests will feel like they have checked into a resort and may never want to leave.
What is the most forgotten area of your home when it comes to design and color? Chances are that your answer includes hallways and stairwells. These areas tend to lack design, color and proper lighting. In fact, most homeowners see stairwells as only a utilitarian part of their home – a way to get from point A to point B. But they can be a part of your overall design rather than serve as a boring passageway!
Here are five ways to help your stairwell or hallway stand out.
- Use Architecture – If your home has architectural details such as an archway, a detailed banister, or even a stain-glass window in this area, emphasize those features. Choose a color that makes the detail stand out or color coordinate so that the detail is spotlighted. If the home has high ceilings that you want to play that up by choosing a paint technique that shows off the architecture.
- Brighten Things Up – If you have a stairwell that is dark or gloomy, brighten things up instantly by choosing lighter colors, new light fixtures or an interesting arrangement of your favorite family photos. Mirrored frames or accents can add light to any dark space.
- Consider the Kickboard and Treads – With every staircase there are kickboards and treads. Instead of going with traditional wood, carpet or plain white stairs, shake things up a bit by painting patterns designs or textures on either the tread or kickboard. Choose a design that shows off your personality or one that harmonizes with your home’s decor.
- Create an Illusion – Older homes tend to have either wide, airy stairwells or steep and narrow ones. To create the illusion of a larger space (for cramped stairwells), paint the walls, stairs and adjacent areas monochromatically. For stairwells that are oversized, break up the space by adding a color combination.
- Create a Theme – Homeowners have a blank slate in each stairwell or hallway. Choose to decorate with paint or decorative accents that tells a story or creates a theme. If you love the great outdoors, use earth tones and display your favorite nature photos. If you enjoy travel, create a souvenir wall from your trips. Paint the walls to match your favorite destination whether it is in the mountains or at the beach. Each time you go up those stairs you will remember your past adventures. Use a landing area as a showcase of your favorite items no matter what your theme might be.
Are you craving walls that have added detail, visual interest, rich textures or perhaps interesting patterns? Whether you are looking to make a bold statement or a subtle change, decorative wall techniques may be just the design feature to create that “wow” factor. Here are a few key techniques that are sure to take the color you have chosen for your walls to the next level. Talk to us about your space and how one of these may look in your home.
- Geometric Shapes – Diamonds, Polka dots, stripes, squares and circles are just a few of the design patterns that can help your walls pop. Each shape has its own personality and requires careful planning to coordinate with your decor, architecture and style, but once you select a shape it will become a focal point and talking point in you home. Talk to our professional color consultant who can help you design a space with the right shape or pattern for your space.
- Distressing – Creating an illusion of age can be done using several techniques but the end appearance is that the wood/wall is older than it really is. Many homeowners choose this aged-look on cabinets and furniture.
- Stippling – By using a specially designed stippling brush on wet glaze, you can create a very finely textured, almost velvet-like finish. Patting the brush onto the wall without any drag can create a look that is unique and eye catching. Guests in your home will find it irresistible to touch!
- Marbling – By using paint and glaze homeowners trick the eye to create the appearance of marble on the walls. This is not an easy technique to master so play around with base coats and top coats to match the textured effect you are going for.
- Streaking or Strie – This technique allows homeowners to choose two different colors or differing hues of the same color family to create highlights and lowlights. By stroking or wiping away the glaze an exceptional look can be created.
- Color Blocking – A dazzling effect that can transform a room is color blocking. This technique takes several colors, usually three that coordinate well with the decor, and paint “blocks” on the wall. Many homeowners use this in place of artwork on a wall.
When a visitor walks into a home, they immediately get a feel for the owner’s personality, style and what they value. Likewise, when a client walks into a business they glean that same information by the decor, color palette and accent features. Workspaces can tell clients quite a bit about the brand and company by looking at things like whether the furnishings are contemporary or traditional, whether the color scheme conveys a positive image of the business and, overall, whether the environment is warm and cozy or more like the fluorescent lit commercial spaces of the past several decades. In this modern day and age, industry leading companies are embracing the fact that color, furnishings and amenities can greatly improve your commercial space environment both for clients and employees.
A well branded space is an effective way to consistently communicate valuable information about a company to existing and potential customers. When you brand your space, it helps to educate visitors about your products and services in an engaging environment, without being obtrusive. Here are some suggestions to have your walls and workplace environment start telling the story about your company and your brand:
- Choose Brand Colors – When painting your office choose colors that not only represent your service and product but also reflect your specific brand. If the hues of your brand are not conducive with painting an entire office, then choose an accent wall or accent items.
- Create a Timeline Wall or Wall of Values – Use your branded color palette as a background for a wall that displays the history of your company with images, awards, or a timeline of the company’s history. This personal touch will allow clients to see your values. Some companies use words such as integrity, innovation and/or teamwork as decoration to showcase the brand image.
- Create a Space that Reflects your Brand Values – If you want to portray your workplace as warm and inviting then arrange an entry area, waiting room and employee workspace that represents that. Choose comfy chairs, an open work area instead of cubicles, or possibly a community area that encourages teamwork or communication.
- Create a Mural or Design – Striking images or designs in a commercial environment not only creates a stimulating environment, but it helps improve morale, company identity and branding. It has the power to enhance a person’s experience with your brand.
Deciding on a color palette for the exterior of your home can be challenging. There are multiple factors to consider including taking into account: the landscaping, surrounding materials, architecture, and style of the neighborhood. Unlike selecting interior colors, which is mainly based upon the homeowner’s personal tastes, exterior hues need to show off your biggest investment. This puts quite a bit of pressure on homeowners to choose the right color scheme that will work for both their personal style and for the home’s surroundings. With these things in mind here’s our list of top six things to consider when deciding on a color that will last many years.
- Existing Elements and Permanent Materials – Do you have existing brick or a stone foundation, patio, or accents that would not be cost effective to replace? Some colors in the immediate surrounding of the home are already established such as the roof color or asphalt hue. These colors need to be taken into account before choosing a palette for the exterior of your home. While the colors do not need to match, they should harmonize at the very least. In these instances look for undertones of existing elements that might work. Consider paint colors that will tie these fixed elements together in a harmonious way.
- Consider the Architecture – Do you have a Victorian, Craftsman bungalow or a mid-century modern ranch? Use colors and accent colors that highlight the architecture of your home. Just as with interior painting, the exterior paint scheme should feel appropriate to the style. Research online or talk to our professional color consultant to help you determine the best exterior color for your home.
- Tour the Neighborhood – As you prepare to make your color selection, take some time to tour your neighborhood and look at houses that have colors that catch your eye. Pay particular attention to homes that have your similar architecture, size and distance from the street as your home. Note, as well, color palettes on either side and across from your home. You really don’t want to pick a color that is exactly the same as your neighbors or, worse yet, clashes with your next-door neighbor.
- Work with the Landscape – Take your cues from the natural environment around your home. If you live in a woodland area, you may want to play up those colors and go with natural colors like greens, yellows, and natural Earth tones. If you live in a sunny beachy area, colorful pastels may work well.
- Consider the Size and Location of the Home – Your home’s relationship to the street and its size should be a consideration. For example, does your home sit back from the street and need a brighter color so that it stands out. Or does it sit closer to the road so it may need a darker color to help it recede a bit?
- Consider Homeowners Association or Historical Home Bylaws – If your home is on a historical registry or you live in an area where there is a homeowners association, there may be rules and regulations that dictate exterior paint colors. Always ask before beginning any exterior project.
When you have narrowed your color scheme choices down to a few of your favorites, try out the colors on the house in small swatch sizes so you can see the color and how it looks in varying degrees of light from sunrise to sunset. It will also give you a chance to see how the colors coordinate with existing elements, landscaping and architecture of your beautiful home.
You only get one chance at making a first impression. This is especially true when you are trying to sell your home. In the real estate world a warm, welcoming and attractive exterior can make or break a home sale. According to Mary Harker, an associate realtor with Keller Williams, “People who prepare their homes both inside and out before they put them on the market are the ones who have quicker sales and who receive top dollar.” With over 88% of home buyers starting their search online, it is more important than ever that the exterior of the home be as close to picture perfect as possible. It is far too easy to “click” right by a home that looks run down or in need of painting or landscaping. Here are some tips from real estate professionals about painting and upkeep to get you optimal curb appeal.
Clean it Up – Get the grunge, dirt and mildew off your home with a professional powerwash of both your exterior facade, decking and driveway. Realtors Online reports that washing a house can add $10-$15 thousand to the sale prices of some houses. Jerry Enos offers power washing that actually rejuvenates wood, concrete, vinyl, brick, and other surfaces by removing entire layers of built-up dirt and particulates, oil, gum, and other gunk. Stripping away the grunge to reveal the unsullied surface below actually protects that surface from future rot and UV damage.
Give the Paint A Face Lift – The most commonly offered curb appeal advice from real estate pros and appraisers is to give the exterior of your home a good paint job. Buyers will instantly notice it, and appraisers will value it. A freshly painted exterior sends a signal that the house is well maintained and that home buyers won’t have to shell out money to paint the exterior any time soon. Newly painted trim, facade, accents and front door can make a house pop and really wow the buyers at your open house and home viewing appointments.
Freshen the Entry – The front door and entry way can be a pivotal moment that leaves a lasting impression. Make sure all fixtures including the mailbox, lighting fixtures, door knocker and doorbell are clean and well painted. Spruce things up with plantings or new house numbers that can give the home a newly updated look.
According to a recent Zillow survey, real estate agents named curb appeal as one of the five most important factors in selling a home. Homes with strong curb appeal including fresh paint, fixtures, and plantings can fetch prices about 10 percent higher. Call Jerry Enos today if you plan to put your house on the market this spring and are looking for a facelift.