Backyard Bliss

Getting outdoors and being in nature has shown to have many positive health benefits.  So why not embrace and enjoy the warmth of the season while it is here?  Extend your home from the inside and utilize your outdoor space.  Why can’t it be beautiful too?!

When creating that oasis these are some things to consider….

Function

First deciding how you want to use your space and WHO will be using it is an important step.  Just as designing the interior of your home you need to consider the outside in the same way.  This will help you create zones and a layout just as you would a floor plan (taking into consideration any fixed or permanent structures).

 Lighting

YES! Vitamin SUNSHINE… but is it in the right location at the right time of day?  This can come into play when deciding the function of your space.  Perhaps - you have too much sun and need to incorporate a structure for some shade.  

Aside from natural light, consider some artificial lighting as well.  There are many great options available in both solar and electrical today and it will help with not only the practical aspect, it will enhance the beauty of your oasis.  Twinkle lights, sitting by the fire as the sun goes down with a glass of wine can be very relaxing!

 Color

Color is essential, seductive and pervasive. There is also an inescapable emotional aspect to color.  Wether you are planting flowers, a garden, trees, deciding on pillows and furniture, paint or stain colors, take into consideration what is already in place.  What color is the exterior of your home?  Is there a connection to what you have on in the interior of your home?  Now, I'm not saying your exterior needs to be identical to the interior, but creating a harmonic flow from one space to the next will have a much greater impact.  

 Smells

Aromatic trees, shrubs, flowers and herbs can make stepping out into your oasis that much more special.  Take some time and put a little thought into what smells evoke that feeling of relaxation or sense of wellbeing for you.  You can also use smells to keep pesky bugs away!  Lavender can be wonderful to plant in pots on your deck to keep the mosquito’s from buzzing around.

 Sound

Nature brings us many sounds on its own when enjoying the outdoors but we can expand from that.  The sound of flowing water trickling along can be soothing and calming, adding a water feature to your oasis brings relaxation and beauty.  

Do you love music?  I DO!  Outdoor speakers are a wonderful addition when dining or entertaining outdoors.  There are many available that can fit naturally into your landscape or decor - even speakers that look like stones!

Going beyond visual when designing your outdoor space and considering all your senses will enhance your oasis so you enjoy it even more and reap the benefits of the great outdoors!  Happy Designing:)

 

Family Living

The living room is that wonderful place that families spend time together.  Creating a space that is warm and inviting versus fancy and off limits can still be beautiful and designed for everyone to use.

Reflecting on your lifestyle and how you want to use that space is a great starting point to designing a room that can be enjoyed everyday.  Regardless if it’s a new build or you are wanting to freshen up and revamp what you already have, the function of the room will help in creating the overall design.

These are some things to consider…

  • Will there be a television?  
  • Fireplace -  either fixed or placed?
  • Specifically how much seating are you looking for?  Daily family use and social gatherings?
  • What type of storage do you require?  
  • Is what you are storing aesthetically pleasing or do the items need to be tucked away?
  • Where are your outlets and switches located?  
  • What is the lighting situation?  Is it sufficient?  Do you require more? 
  • Is the space directly connected to other rooms or is there division?  

Once you are able to make some decisions spend some time in your living room and pay attention to the lighting and how it changes throughout the day.  If you are choosing to repaint you will want to buy or make large paint samples and place them on the walls to see how the light reflects at different times of day.  Determine if that is the mood you are wanting to create with your selections. 

Next think of the larger items that you want to include within the space as a base to begin the layout.  Keep in mind how the traffic will flow, you want to make sure you have sufficient room to comfortably walk around furniture, coffee tables, and such. 

If your living room is larger, creating multiple seating spaces for different activities is a good way maximize the use of the space and gives you a different experience depending on where you sit.  Think tall when you are working with small.  Emphasizing the vertical proportions of the room will trick the eye and make the room look bigger than it is.

Only bring items that are necessary into the room to avoid clutter.  Be creative with storage solutions.  Personalizing your living room with family photos or older pieces helps create a story within the space.  Some rooms are gifted with character and others it is something you will have to create.  Don’t be afraid to add some glam!  Just because it is for a family to use doesn’t mean it can’t feel elegant.  Although there is structure to designing a room you can break rules and have some fun! 

Creating a living room that is aligned with your lifestyle and surrounded by your favourite things and the people that you love is surely something to be enjoyed for years to come! 

 

 

 

 

Bringing The Outdoors In

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Interior Design is the art and craft of creating beautiful and functional environments.  It’s about finding harmony in a space, this comes from the fusion of all senses, smell, touch, hearing, and sight.

During the winter months many of us crave the fresh sights of warm weather, green leaves budding on trees, flowers blossoming and the scents that come along with it.  Bringing the outdoors in, (so to speak) is a great way to help us get through those last few colder months.  

Plants have scent characteristics that can invoke specific emotions and have wellness properties.  Walking into a home with some fresh cut flowers on the table not only brings in something beautiful to look at but also the aroma of the wonderful fragrance that the flowers give off.

Growing herbs in pots in your kitchen is a great way to bring some life into your space and can become part of your decor as well, many herbs have mood evoking properties.  The fusion of sight and smell into your home can make it feel more alive and it’s an easy way to play with color and change the look without a big decision or investment.  Have some fun with it!

Diffusing scents throughout your home is another great way for it to smell heavenly!  Think of the type of mood or feeling you are wanting in that particular space, then choose something appropriate to evoke that experience.  

  • In the kitchen you may want to choose something fresh and energizing.  
  • In the bedroom and bathroom a scent that is soothing and relaxing.  
  • In your home office space a scent that is invigorating and enhances a sense of focus.
  • Perhaps in a child’s play area something grounding and calming.

You can also use this concept when cleaning so your home smells fresh and cleansed.  Making home made cleaners with Essential Oils is easy and a great way to leave your house smelling amazing instead like a chemical cleaner.  

Of course there are always spice scents that can be used as well, there’s nothing like the smell of an apple pie baking in the oven, making your house feel warm and inviting.

So the next time you are out at the market don’t hesitate to pick up some beautiful flowers or some fresh herbs!  It is a great way to bring spring into your home while we wait for it to arrive.  Live Juicy!

Let Your Home Be Your Sanctuary

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I’d be the first to jump and tell you I love adventure, to travel, and experience anything new.  However, that excitement might only last a few days, or a week or two.  Maybe you can get away several times a year, and that’s wonderful, but having one place that you look forward to being each and everyday is something that shouldn't be overlooked. 

Since becoming a mom with a designer deep in my bones, creating a space that is beautifully tranquil has always been a pleasure.  Although that’s nice in itself, without all the laughter, joy, the good and the not so good, what exactly does it all mean?  My children are my world and their lives, chatter, and laughter are what really makes a house a home.  Even if it were to be the ugliest one on the block before you get your hands on it!  LOL!

Since I love design, the trick is creating a space and making it work with all the chaos good or bad.  I believe making your home your sanctuary will give you and your family a space to enjoy each and everyday.  Not just occasionally throughout the year!  

Now at first maybe it just starts with a single space or room.  Maybe it’s a bedroom with the coziest sheets and fluffiest blanket that you can nestle into and read a book for a few moments before bed.

Maybe you focus on a spa like bathroom that you can retreat to once a day to take a moment out for yourself to relax with some lavender and epsom salts and reflect at the end of each day.  

Is it possibly that home theatre family room where you can gather and snuggle watching movies on occasion that bring you joy, laughter and heartfelt memories?

Or, maybe it’s creating that outdoor space with a playhouse, garden, place to dine outdoors or warm fire to sit by gazing at the stars.  I love my big comfy swing out back under the trees where I can enjoy a cup of tea and watch the kids play in the sunshine!

Perhaps it’s your eat in or dining space where you gather for meals, enjoy being together and talk about the highlights of your day. 

Wherever creating your sanctuary begins, over time your home can truly become that in form.  Create an atmosphere that is beautiful and practical where your family can spend time and be together.  It is completely amazing when you can design your home as a sanctuary, and you don’t need to travel far to find that place of bliss!

If you are just starting out, I encourage you to think of the one place you would like to transform into that sacred space.  How can you personalize it, make it practical and functional all the while absolutely stunning and a place to retreat?  Over time it can all come together.  No matter where your travels and ventures might take you, at the end of the day, there really is no place like home.