Can you believe the Superbowl of Love is just two weeks away?
I know it's sappy...but I adore Valentine's Day! I see it as a day to take time out and tell my friends, family, honey and clients how much I truly appreciate and care about them. Because if you get right down to it, isn't that what life is REALLY about? Relationships. Connection. Love. Fabulous wine. Ok, ok, I digress. You get my point.
So with that in mind, I'd like to share "7 Design Tips to Create a Home That Attracts More Love and Fosters Connection." I truly believe that by designing spaces which encourage connection, express your individuality and help present the BEST version of YOU to the world, you'll enjoy a more expansive life on many levels. So let's get started!
"be (love)d red" by Los Angeles artist Michael Hale features a charming verbal pun on the important emotion. www.Halearts.com.
Tip #1: Color
Selecting paint colors based on how you want to feel in a space is much more important than choosing hues based on current design trends.
Yes, yes, the East Coast Pantone Color gods predict what's "in" each January but if those hues don't resonate with you, you won't feel comfortable living in, or wearing them, for that matter. You want to be surrounded by colors that are in alignment with your personality and culture.
Numerous scientific studies show our bodies have a physiological reaction to color. Have you ever noticed how your energy level, pulse rate, mental clarity and mood are different in a red room, than say a grey-blue room?
When you're in a space painted a warm color such as red or orange room, you're activated and move faster. And when you're surrounded by soothing greens or blues, you relax and typically feel more centered.
I recently refreshed a client's master bedroom from a sunny yellow to a deep marine blue. Now she says she sleeps deeper and feels more calm in the space. I love hearing testimonies about the power of color!
Now if the idea of painting your four walls anything bolder than "beige-a-licious" scares you, (don't worry a lot of clients tell me that at first), try incorporating color on only one focal wall to start such as your headboard, dining or fireplace wall and have the flanking walls painted a neutral. This will give your home personality and a pop of color without being overwhelming.
With any of these color visualization tools you just upload a picture of your room, pick a color, "paint" your room virtually and voila! You have a transformed space.
Quick Tip: ONLY use these virtual tools for "concept" as computer "paint" colors look slightly different than actual paint colors. Once you've narrowed down the hue you like, buy some small sample pots and paint out swatches in your home. Live with the swatches for a few days and notice how color changes throughout the day.
Dunn-Edward's on-line, complimentary color visualization tool InstaColor helps home owners virtually "paint" their room before purchasing. Photo: Dunn-Edwards Paints.
Tip #2: Furniture Layout
Furniture lining the perimeter of a room like a campfire circle doesn't promote connection. Let's leave that to the girl scouts! Rather, think about creating furniture groupings which will encourage intimate conversation and connection. I recommend about 18"- 24" inches in between sofas, side chairs and coffee tables for comfortable circulation and easy conversation. With challenging spaces such as long and narrow living or family rooms creating "zones" by activity such as reading, TV watching or game playing is a great way to break up a big space while keeping everyone together and connected.
A thoughtful furniture grouping of various furniture styles fosters conversation and connection.
Tip #3: Style
Ladies! Try not to make your home too "precious", meaning it's so formal that a man can't see himself relaxing there for fear of spilling beer on your hand-tufted silk area rug. I have to admit, I am guilty of this one (big surprise, right?!).
And gentlemen, save the man-cave look for the spare bedroom or converted garage, not your primary living space. You don't want to communicate, "I'd rather be an eternal bachelor or fraternity member", and alienate your woman to another room. (Ok, unless of course you really do!)
If you need help defining your "style," create an idea book of favorite images on the home enthusiast website Houzz or popular site Pintrest. After gathering your images you will begin to see some favorite repeated design elements such as color, texture, scale, and finish. These cues will guide you in creating your signature look.
Tip # 4: Texture
A beautiful cashmere throw, textured accent pillows, a soft leather couch all communicate coziness, warmth and "Hey baby, come snuggle with me." The goal is to have a variety of tactile touch points in your environment to add warmth and visual interest. Look around each room and see where you can add more texture.
Remember, texture doesn't always have to be "soft" per se. A split-face stone on a fireplace hearth, a leather-wrapped side table, or textural wall-coverings all add dimension to a space.
Creating a sumptuous space is easily achieved with velvety upholstery, a soft rug and chic pillows. Photo: Mitchell Gold and Bob Williams
Tip #5: Sound
I always ask clients "What do you want to hear in your space? Your favorite music playlist? Trickling water from a fountain? Wind chimes from the outdoor patio? A well designed room should engage ALL five senses for a layered experience. Choose what kind of "sound experience" you and your partner would enjoy together in each room.
Tip #6: Accessories/Artwork
What you surround yourself with says so much about who YOU are and what passions you enjoy. Think about displaying unique mementos from your travels, eye-catching artwork or a favorite collection to spark conversation. Then, add a few nice plants or (my favorite) a beautiful orchid to soften your environment.
Ethnic accessories purchased while traveling or antiquing add visual interest and depth to a space, as well as spark memories and interesting conversation. Photo credit: Soul Interiors Design, LLC
Tip #7: Books/Magazines
Edit your bookcase. Your guests or family don't need to see all your self-help books! Keep them shelved waaay below eye level, or better yet, put them in a closet. Enough said.
Bonus Tip: Cleanliness and Organization
It goes without saying all of the above is moot if your home is messy, dirty or disorganized. You can be engaging, smart, handsome/beautiful, but if your home looks like it should be featured on TLC's Clean Sweep people will want to leave!
Clutter drains your energy, leads to procrastination and wastes your time. Investing in a professional organizer is well worth the money and time saved. I recommend Get Organized Already in Los Angeles to my clients.
I hope these "7 Design Tips to Create A Home That Attracts More Love and Fosters Connection" have inspired you to design an more intimate interior.
Now go make sure your doorbell works so more love can come through your door!