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Yes! A look AND a feel!
Doesn’t everything you “see” evoke a feeling? Think about it…the state of your husband’s shoes, the color of your wife’s blouse. The color of the bus line in a city you visit, or the design of the menu at your favorite restaurant.
Now…I’m all about the look and feel at home. When you walk through that front door, you want to feel happy, comfy, safe…
How do you factor trends into look AND feel?
People ask me all the time what’s in style, or what are the latest trends, or “how do I make my home timeless,” or “we’re going to sell in the future and I want to appeal to everyone…”
Let’s start with that last one. You are NEVER going to appeal to everyone! Your home can appeal to many, but in the end, you need to evoke a FEEL when they walk in. They’ll like it or not, but it starts with taking a stand. By trying to appeal to everyone, your space will be so neutral that no one will feel anything!
So…how to you attain a look and feel? More importantly, how do you get to the look and feel that you really want to live in?
Let’s start with the question of “how to make a space timeless…”
Timeless to me means that you can’t tell what period your home was decorated, remodeled or built. Recently, we’ve been through the “old world” phase, which was just way too dark and heavy for me…many still have that look in their homes, and are NOW trying to make their home feel lighter and brighter.
With this remodel, for example, just lightening up the cabinets and adding COLOR made the biggest difference!
For “timeless,” think of styles that have been “in” for a long time:
- Subway tile for kitchens
- Shaker style cabinets
- Clean lines
- Neutral colors
The two kitchens below are GREAT examples of timeless…one we remodeled during the middle of the “old world” phase, and the other a couple years later…but they’re STILL on trend—and you really can’t tell what “trend of the time” they came from!
With both these kitchens, let’s say the homeowner was thinking about selling today…the only thing I’d suggest they do is change the paint color on the walls. Otherwise, there isn’t anything that screams 90s, 00s or teens!
How to design for the home you’re staying in for a while…
OK…so you’re going to stay in your home long-term or forEVER! I’d suggest making the main parts of your home neutral.
One of my favorite examples for neutral coloring is Maria Killam…she is ALL about the look and feel, and knows how to deliver an experience in any space.
Let’s take her bungalow here…the walls, floor, rug…everything is VERY neutral. Her “feel” is in the accessories and the COLOR they sport! These bright colors evoke HAPPY, warmth and fun! Now, this might not be for you, but I’m sure you GET how easy it is to change the look and feel of any space by accessorizing. It would be super easy here to add in gold, silver and blue accents and create a much more elegant feeling…or, if you brought in more greys, how “TRENDY” would that be today! And it’s all super easy. But ten…when we swing back to that BEIGE accenting, having neutrals will make it easy to adapt and sell later.
When looking at this living/kitchen area, everything is super neutral. It would be easy to change out the chairs and the rug, and change the look and feel all over again. This space gives you a neutral backdrop that allows you to do anything…
Another great example is this kitchen that we did a decade ago…it is VERY much still “in style…” But if you didn’t like the walls, it’s easy to change the paint and you could go SUPER neutral or dramatic like this client choose…again, it’s all about the look and feel!
So…where do you start?!
I’m sure you’ve seen, heard and read EVERYTHING about decluttering, “tidying” the Marie Kondo way and downsizing…and yes, it starts there. If there’s any stuff you’ve had in boxes for YEARS, pull it out, decide if it makes you FEEL anything when you look at it…and if it doesn’t, then why are you hanging on to it? If it does make you feel something, then figure out what you could get rid of to put it in its place. And if you don’t have anything in boxes (I’m so jealous), then do you really NEED everything you have? Does everything evoke a FEELING when you look at it?
The real test: if it doesn’t make you happy, decide if it needs to stay.
If you’ve got a lot of stuff, you can categorize everything into the different seasons…in the spring, pick everything that looks FRESH, bright and joyful! For the summer pick items that are light, fresh and cooling. In the fall, pick items that are warming and comforting. And in the winter go for items that bring you peace and euphoria…since the chances are you’ll be inside quite a bit…so even adding a little extra light could give you a FEEL that you’ll be thankful for later!
Next, after you go through what you have, decide if it’s time to neutralize the main parts of your home: the paint colors, the flooring…then move on to the FURNITURE. Are there pieces you could change out to evoke that “FEEL” when you look at them? Start small. Maybe that room you spend the most time in has to adapt to make it YOUR happy place! Or maybe it’s the area where the whole family hangs out that needs some TLC.
If you need help in getting that “feel” AND look…reach out! I’d be thrilled to answer questions or work with you to get “THAT” feel and look you’ve always dreamed of.
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