13 Downsizing Designer Tips, (How to love your next home as much as your last!)

These 13 downsizing designer tips will let you love your next home as much as your last. So if you’re an empty-nesters, or semi or newly retired you don’t have to give up the quality and designer touches you’re used to in order to downsize into a simpler home! 

AND none of these tips require major renovations like moving walls. But instead they are all designed to transform your home by updating and upgrading the finishes and fixtures like paint, flooring, window treatment and light fixtures.

Even your kitchen and bathrooms can be transformed this way by painting, re-facing or replacing cabinets, and replacing countertop, tile, sinks, etc, while keeping the layout.

Downsizing done right will give you the designer looks you love, and without the mess, cost and time of a major renovation.

sw-img-diy-reasoned-hdr-Sherwin Williams
#1 PAINT UPDATE
– Keep the Walls Light
Light walls (neutral or pastels) will automatically make your rooms feel bigger.

– Paint the Same Color Throughout
Have one fabulous wall color flows from room to room without a color change to break up the spaces and making them look smaller. (The above is a gorgeous neutral that just keeps flowing from small space to small space all the while making them all look larger!)

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#2 FLOORING UPDATE
– Similar Flooring Throughout
Flooring that is the same, or similar in color will make your floor space seem larger by not breaking it up with color changes. (This small kitchen looks so much bigger because visually there’s so much “borrowed” flooring from adjoining areas.)

22069685_671962426341553_809436915357974528_n-Sophia Paterson Interiors
#3 WINDOW TREATMENT UPDATE
– Keep It Similar to the Wall Color
Window treatment that is similar to the wall color will make the wall look bigger by not breaking it up with a color change. (I also like how this treatment goes almost to the corner so it doesn’t break up the wall space into part drapery part wall. )

– Hang Them High 
If you want your ceilings to feel higher hang your draperies at the top of the wall like this room.

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#4 LIGHT FIXTURE UPDATE
–  An Instant Improvement
Light fixtures are so noticeable that updating them will add an immediate designer touch to your spaces. (One reason they have become such a popular design element for any room.)

– Adequate Lighting
When your spaces are well-lite, they will not only look bigger but they will feel cheerier.

– Add Dimmer Switches & 3-Way Bulbs
The multiple light levels dimmer switches and 3-Way lamps will give your spaces means you can vary the mood as well as the light for different activities. Dimming for watching TV and conversation or brighter for reading and hobbies.

BONUS:
HOW TO DECORATE SPACES TO LOOK BIGGER!
Maximize your space to make it seem bigger than it is just by decorating!

small-bathroom-vanity-Jenna Sue Design Co.
#5 COLOR SCHEME
Use a light neutral and/or pastel color scheme for the major surfaces (walls, ceiling, flooring) and for the large furniture or cabinets and vanities.  You can then accent with:

COLOR:         Accessories. art work, plant and flowers.
TEXTURES:   Fluffy towels, woven baskets in bathrooms. In other rooms consider faux fur pillows or rugs, nubby woven ottomans, velvet fabrics or tall sticks in a floor vase.
FINISHES:    Matte or shiny metals, and mirrors, glass, various wood finishes, and glazed or unglazed pottery.

1400973388436-Jen Bekman, 20×200 online art shop
#6 GALLERY WALLS
Group your art or framed pieces together. They will not only look better but they won’t break-up the wall space by being scattered around the room.

big-circle-mirror-36-inch-round-mirror-round-wall-mirror-with-thin-black-frame-beside-of-window-with-a-gray-vase-for-plant-and-brown-sofa-chair-with-two-ball-chair-and-poly-davidparrryracing.com
#7 MIRRORS
Even though we know a mirror create the illusion of space, it still works! (In modern spaces I like over-sized, decorative mirrors with narrow frames, so there’s lots of mirror with little frame to distract from the illusion.)

Small Living Room Design Ideas 2017 2-Hilma Liederbach
#8 FURNITURE WITH LEGS
The more floor space you can see the bigger your room will look so “Leggy” furniture is perfect for this effect.

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#9 SAME COLORED WOOD FURNISHINGS
You can decorate with different kinds of wood furnishings but if you make them all the same color they won’t break up the room with color changes. (Plus you’ll get a more “pulled together” looking space.)

gallery-1464892326-interior-designers-waldo-fernandez-and-tommy-clements-Waldo Fernandez  & Tommy Clements
#10 USE PAIRS
Use pairs wherever you can: lamps, chairs, art, side tables, bedside tables. Your room will feel bigger with coordinated pieces. (The two sets of paired chairs above balance a space with a number of individual pieces.)

54c144e41667d_-_07-keri-russell-bedroom-lgn#11 AREA RUGS
Keep your area rugs small because the more the floor space you see the bigger your room will look. And make them similar in color to the flooring so they won’t break up the flooring with a color change. (It may be small but this rug adds so much to this bedroom… texture, comfort and luxury!)

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#12 COVERED STORAGE
Use furnishings that will also give you covered storage any opportunity you get:  Bedside tables, side tables, entry and dining consoles. (I especially like this one as it gives lots of storage but has legs so we see more floor space!)

c64fe6ffb611c99b9cf12a8b4d75e36a-Marie Flanigan Interiors

#13 AVOID CLUTTER & FILLERS
The less little things you see in your spaces the more open, airy and bigger your rooms will feel. Likewise, any non-essential “chotchkes” that aren’t your best pieces (that you would use or enjoy the most) are better edited out. (I like this room because the best pieces all stand out: dining room furnishings, chandelier and art work; without a lot of small things vying for the attention.)

Keep these 13 “downsizing designer tips” in mind and you’ll have the home everyone loves… including you!  Read More

How to Update Your Lighting (Like a pro!)

lighting-Kriste Micheline Interiors

Updating your light fixtures will have an immediate design impact on your space because they are so noticeable. It is a design touch that is well worth the investment, and with such a wide range of price points, there is something for everyone.

And with chandeliers being so popular, the right one will be the jewel in the room (like above) and absolutely make it. It’s what will get noticed and remembered by guests and enjoyed by you everyday.

Jonathan-Adler-Living-Room-58c44b7c5f9b58af5c6b2044                                                                 -Jonathan Adler
LAYER YOUR LIGHTING
There are three WAYS to light a room and when you can use all three it will not only add interest but lots of lighting choices for mood and activities. The room above has done it beautifully with an overhead ceiling light, lamps and a plant up-light.
Ceiling fixtures
Lamps
Up-lights

RIGHT LIGHT IN THE RIGHT PLACE
There are three TYPES of lighting depending on what your needs are in a space. Using them well will make your rooms easy to navigate, easy to do activities in, and best of all… beautiful!

General/ambient lighting is the main lighting and provides about 75% of the room’s light. It’s job is to make it easy to walk into a space and navigate around it.  For larger rooms, it may it provided by several ceiling fixtures.

Task lighting helps you easily have the light you need for everyday activities – like reading, meal prep, or grooming. So plan your rooms to give you the lighting where you need it for the things you do daily.

Accent lighting brings beautiful things to life in your room from architectural details – like arches, wallpapered ceilings to decor such as artwork and collections.

Here are 4 ideas for adding lighting to your home to decorate, create a mood and light the way for daily tasks!

romantic-bedroom-lightingDIMMER SWITCHES, (Ambient Lighting)
The first thing that people respond to in a room is the mood created by the lighting. So dimmer switches will give you spaces with many moods and uses so take advantage of them everywhere you can. For instance, have a brighter light level in the bathrooms for “mirror time” and low, spa-like lighting for tub soaking time. Brighter lights in bedroom for dressing or reading and lower lights for a romantic feel. Overall, lower light levels make a space feel intimate and cozy and brighter ones more spacious and alive. (And to get practical for a moment,  they are energy saving as well!)

2017-leaving-with-the-best-kitchen-ideas-excellent-best-kitchen-most-efficient-kitchen-island-most-efficient-small-kitchen-design-970x728UNDER CABINET LIGHTING, (Task Lighting)
For such little light source it does so much! Puts light right where you need it on work surfaces in kitchens and workrooms and leaves a handy glow in the room for quick errands in and out. AND makes it gorgeous at night instead of flat with just overhead lighting.

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LIGHT YOUR ARTWORK, (Accent Lighting)
Your major artwork will come alive at night when it is lit instead of receding into a shadows around the perimeter of the room . The most effective accent lighting is a small can fixture attached to the ceiling that points right on the art. You will be unaware of the light source and only see your art beautifully highlighted.
Lighting… one more design element to be used to create the rooms you’ll love!
Find out ways we can also help you love your home without doing any major renovations by clicking “Curated Options” and “Collaboration“. Or call Mary for a free 15 minute consultation at 760-84-1200 or by connecting online.

New Years Home Improvement (Designer ideas to make your new year bright!)

Once the holiday decorations are down, its amazing how easy it is to see your space with new eyes. How, without all the tinsel and lights it’s seriously hoping for a fresh start in the new year. Besides, this is a great time to get an indoor home improvement project done because you get to enjoy it while you wait for spring, and beyond!

Here are designer ideas that will give your space a face-lift you’ll love:

GIVE YOUR ENTRY A FRESH START
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Paint your entrys ceiling! It’s a grand way to add style without taking up any valuable floor space. Perfect.

GIVE YOUR LIVING ROOM A FRESH STARTBYROOMAMIELLIVINGROOM_main
Find a large, showstopper piece of art you love, add a gorgeous chandelier, a floor plant (and a several smaller ones) and your room will come alive.

GIVE YOUR BEDROOM A FRESH STARTBedroom-Accent-Wall-applicationGet fabulous new bed linens, pull out the accent color and paint it on the wall behind the bed. Done and done! Love it.

GIVE YOUR KITCHEN A FRESH START
kitchen-cabinet-refacing-before-painting-wood-standard_48cfdd869142e1d6fe6ee9b4bde7eb6e_680x473_q85-Nicole Duff
Does your kitchen seem like too big a project to even seriously think about re-doing it? But look what can happen by updating it while keeping the same footprint.

kitchen-cabinet-refacing-after-painting-wood_afa4548809f42e17b1c730b20d5e2fc5Nicole Duff
Cabinets were updated with paint and hardware, and an updated countertop, backsplash, range hood, dishwasher, sink, faucet and window blind were added to complete it. Since no walls were knocked out and the room wasn’t gutted no utilities were moved. All that meant a lot less mess, time and expense making a kitchen refresh do-able!

GIVE YOUR OFFICE A FRESH STARTgallery-1508795565-accessoriesAdd new accessories!  This brass lamp, waste basket and paperweight plus a pencil holder and plant make this mini office feel new and fresh. So simple, so classy.

Get inspired and get going on that room you would love to love!

Find out ways we can also help you love your home without doing any major renovations by clicking “Curated Options” and “Collaboration“. Or call Mary for a free 15 minute consultation at 760-84-1200 or by connecting online.