Tag Archives: #interiordesign

5 Ways to Make a Personal Statement at Home

White flat interior with simple storage unit, desk, computer, chair, armchair, commode and decorative houseplants
White flat interior with simple storage unit, desk, computer, chair, armchair, commode and decorative houseplants

There’s so much advice out there about neutralizing your home design for maximum resale value that our personalities are in danger of getting lost in the shuffle. Unless you’re getting ready to put your home on the market soon, go ahead and let your individuality shine through with interior design that reflects your tastes and interests. Here are five easy ways to do so:

1. Make it a grand entrance. Maybe it’s an unusual door knocker or a doorbell that plays Beethoven’s 5th—or a whimsical piece of statuary or planter filled with something unexpected, like a well-stacked group of beach rocks. Try hanging a small sign with a favorite saying that welcomes guests. Whatever you choose, small touches like these make a personal statement before anyone even gets inside.

2. Put furniture in the ‘wrong’ room. Remember when Joey and Chandler opted for a foosball table over a kitchen table? Maybe something similar will work for you. Perhaps there’s a spot in your kitchen for a chaise lounge? Add a loveseat to a bedroom instead of the requisite side chair, or an antique, full-length mirror in your living room. When done tastefully, furniture in unexpected places can work wonders by making a very memorable impression.

3. Make your walls a self-expression. Don’t play it safe when it comes to wall décor. Go beyond the usual framed prints and accent mirrors and do something that reflects your personality. Music lover? Frame and hang beloved album covers or concert posters. Traveler? Turn a wall into a collection of photographs and framed objects that reflect your favorite destinations. Poet? Use stencils to inscribe your favorite quote right on the wall. Artist? Go a step further and add a mural.

4. Put your passions on display. Whether it’s comic books or collectible snowmen, weave your collection into your interior design with creative and tasteful shelving or a display unit. The key here is to choose one area—don’t let your collection take over your entire home.

5. Show off your green thumb indoors. If you’re a plant lover, don’t refine your passion to the garden. Incorporate more indoor plants and flowers within your home and keep your hobby going year-round. Select a sunny spot and start cultivating an orchid or African violet collection. Or choose strategic locations for hanging plants, using attractive planters made from copper, ceramic or other finishes of your preference.

Remember, one of the many benefits of owning versus renting is that there are no restrictions when it comes to design. So make a personal statement and make your home your own.

Learn more about making a personal statement through home décor by contacting me today.   206-276-3289

7 Things to Remove From Your Home When We List It.

7 Things to Remove From Your Home When We list It
When listing your home, there are a lot of things to think about. How you stage your space should definitely be at the top of that list. While you may not have the means to bring in a pro stager, you can put your best foot forward by removing the following from your space.

Family photos. While these treasures may mean the world to you, personal items like this make it difficult for a potential buyer to imagine themselves in your space. Pack up these photos for the move—you’ll need to do this eventually anyway, so consider it a head start.

Odors. From a musky basement to the closet where the kitty litter box is kept, odors in your home are a huge turn off. Rip up mildewed carpet, open windows, light candles–whatever you need to do to keep a buyers nose from wrinkling.

Clutter. While you may love your corners stacked high with books and your shelves piled with mementos and knick-knacks, clutter can be distracting for buyers. Pick a few key items to leave out on shelves and pack the rest away.

Non-neutral design elements. Black lights in the basement or lacy, frilly curtains in the sunroom may seem fun to you, but these bold design elements can throw a buyer. Create a neutral atmosphere wherever possible.

Junk. Clear any old, unused items from your closets, storage spaces, basement and attic. You’re going to have to get rid of these items when you move anyway, so you may as well do this now so your buyer can envision their own items filling up these spaces.

Pets. While it may not be possible to banish your furry friends while your home is for sale, you can make sure they’re out of the way when a buyer is visiting. You never know what allergies or fears buyers may have, so put the animals outside or bring them over to grandmas for an hour, if possible.

Worn-out furniture. That sagging, stained couch in the basement may not be a big deal to you, but it can be an eyesore to an outsider. An empty space is better than a poorly furnished space, so adjust where needed.

When listing with me, I provide a complimentary stager, who will go over the items that need to be taken care of prior to staging and sale to help get you top dollar for your home.

Contact me for more details. Judy Gratton 206-276-3289

How to Decorate for the Holidays, Hollywood Style

How to Decorate for the Holidays, Hollywood Style

By Gabrielle van Welie
Now that December is here, the pressure over who’s going to have the best holiday decorations is on. I’m going to let you in on a little secret: everyone else knows about the existence of Pinterest. So if you really want to win this contest, take a look at the often overlooked (possibly because of its impracticality) Hollywood-style Christmas.

Here’s how some of your favorite films decorated their homes…I mean, sets.

Just Friends

While you were distracted by Ryan Reynold’s fat suit, and later by Ryan Reynolds himself, Mr. Palomino was busy setting up those Christmas lights just right. While they definitely went down with a bang, his Hollywood-style home was definitely the best dressed in all of New Jersey.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

In Whoville, Christmas decorating is an Olympic sport. They are so good at setting up shop that even after the Grinch went ahead and stole all their decorations, they were able to get it all back up and running the day of. It does help that they had that Christmas light power machine or whatever. Definitely worth it.


Everyone thinks Buddy is crazy, but boy is that elf efficient. Look at how magical Gimbels looks. That’s just printer paper! His home decorations were top-notch, too. I guess they do teach a thing or two in the North Pole. Granted, dressing up as an elf might really help validate this whole setup.

Home Alone

The view at the McCallister residence is beautiful both inside and out. It balances perfectly between quaint and ready-to-invest-some-money. Of course, a house so elegant does land it on the burglary radar. That being said, as long as you don’t leave your kid home alone, it should all be fine.

Harry Potter

Now, if what you want is a magical Christmas, then Hogwarts should be your model. You won’t have spells to hold everything together, so some extra hands will be needed, but the outcome will be truly mesmerizing. Whether you just want to decorate your dining hall or host a ball for your guests, Hogwarts has just the thing for you.

Love Actually

All jokes aside, the best holiday decoration is the sight of your loved ones gathered around a Christmas tree. If you ignore how heartbreaking this scene actually is, and the fact that Alan Rickman…oh, man. I really set myself up for disaster here. Anyways, the point is: be inspired, but don’t sweat the holidays.

I’m going to go sob now.

High Tech Homes

It’s High Time for High-Tech Homes

More houses are turning into high-tech hubs of connectivity and convenience. Technology, in fact, has become one of the improvements most requested by homeowners, reports the Remodelers Council of the Greater Houston Builders Association (GHBA).

According to Matt Sneller, owner of Sneller Custom Homes and Remodeling in Spring, Texas, a low-voltage cabling and wiring infrastructure is the core of a connected home. The infrastructure supports everything from the alarm and audio systems to the HVAC and telephone.

Cameras are also a component in the connected home, says Bill Riley, owner of Bicycle Bungalows in Houston, Texas. Riley reports more of his clients are replacing costly security systems and monitoring services with self-controlled cameras.

LED lights are another sought-after, high-tech feature, due to their energy efficiency. Sneller recommends consulting with a cool lighting system company that offers products with geo-fencing technology, as well as smartphone control capability.

Appliance manufacturers have also joined the connected home club, now producing apps that allow homeowners to wirelessly control their appliances, and even take stock of the items within them, adds Riley.

According to Rob Douglass, owner of Texas Custom Patios, no high-tech home is complete without a connection to the outside. Douglass suggests installing a universal system that controls both indoor and outdoor features, such as a flat-screen television or surround-sound.

Source: Remodelers Council of the Greater Houston Builders Association (GHBA)

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2016. All rights reserved.

Design ideas from around the world

Get Inspired by These Design Trends from Around the World

A great way to add character and individuality to your home is to look beyond the United States and incorporate international interior design trends. It’s also a wonderful way to pay homage to your roots if you have ancestors or relatives from another part of the world.

Each culture has its own interior design flavor that stems from the area’s history, lifestyle trends and the materials available in the region. There are way too many beautiful trends from around the world to list them all here, but I’ve compiled a few of my favorites. From Mexico to Italy to Indonesia, get ready to take a trip around the world and get inspired!

Russia: Old World Elegance

Moscow, Russia

According to Aleksey Dorozhkin, editor-in-chief of ELLE Decoration Russia, in many contemporary Russian homes, “you will see owners dreaming about the faded grandeur of old estates, dachas and bourgeoise apartments of [the] Belle Époque.”

Opt for modern comforts, like new kitchen appliances and lighting fixtures, but incorporate vintage or vintage-inspired finds, including art, fabrics, and maybe even an old-fashioned bust, like the one you can see at the back of the entryway in this Moscow home:

The trick is a mix of old and new. “We are quite sentimental about the past,” says Dorozhkin.

Italy: Industrial Materials and Traditional Charm

Brugnera, Italy

This is a big trend in Italian interior design. It’s a mix of modern and traditional, hard and soft, metal and wood. Wood, stone and textured fabrics hark back to Italy’s traditional roots, while the glass and metal elements add light, structure and intensity.

It’s hard to go too wrong with this concept — just make sure the different elements are in balance throughout your home. For example, the home above contrasts sharp corners and metal with softer elements like:

  • A soft blue color scheme
  • Plants
  • Textured rug and walls
  • Artwork

Mexico: A Personal Touch

San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
Over the years, Mexican interior design has been heavily influenced by Mediterranean styles. Many homeowners in Mexico choose to embrace that influence, but also pay homage to the traditional history and culture of their own region.

How? Incorporate traditional Mexican art, patterns and potted plants or flowers. Light fixtures and tiles are a great place to make the distinction.

Here’s what I love about this San Miguel de Allende home:

  • The big, traditional painting is front and center.
  • The rug and tapestry are patterned, but the rest is simple.
  • The room lets in plenty of natural light.
  • The gentle, brown color scheme fits both a Mediterranean and traditional Mexican vibe.

South Africa: Light, Bright and Sustainable

Houghton, Gauteng, South Africa

Most people don’t know a lot about South African interior design trends, which is a shame because it’s beautiful! It’s all about bright spaces and sustainable living. Homes in South Africa often incorporate:

Japan: Simple and Clean, Not Sterile

Meguro-ku, Toyko, Japan

Many contemporary Japanese interior designers have perfectly mastered the art of creating simple, minimalist spaces that are also livable and inviting. That means goodbye to stark whites and hello to warmer elements like light wood and off-whites. In the kitchen above, both the table and cabinets get their color from a melamine material.

Many Tokyo dwellings are too small to have their own gardens, so indoor plants are a welcome touch.

England: Victorian Era Traditional

London, England, U.K.

Trends in the U.K. are often pretty similar to U.S. trends, but this is one distinctly English trend I love. A classic Victorian era space can still incorporate many modern elements, but if you’re going for this look, build your design around dark browns, leather (or faux leather), wood elements and lots of books.

Just keep in mind, that a few traditional elements can go a long way. For a minute, imagine the room above without the big brown couch. The space would have a much different feel! That couch really completes the room.

Denmark: Mid-Century

Copenhagen, Denmark

Mid-century modern is a term used to describe sleek, geometric, Danish-inspired designs from the 1930s to mid 1960s. The design movement has been popular for decades and has seen a resurgence in popularity in recent years all over the world, but no one does it better than Denmark.

Just make sure to bring the look into the 21st century with more contemporary elements like modern appliances or art you love.

India: Fine, Detailed Craftsmanship

Photo taken in India by Selmer van Alten

Because interior design has become so modernized in India over the last century, many homeowners and designers are making a concerted effort to use handcrafted materials in their designs, according to Sonia Dutt of ELLE Decor India.

You can incorporate traditional Indian craftsmanship in your wall treatments, accents, rugs, cushions, towels and even bed linens. To create a balance, it helps to stick to one color palette, like the reds in the photo above.

Greece: Cement Mortar

Kythira, Greece

Covering walls in a cement-like mixture isn’t just an old Greek tradition, it’s actually a big trend in Greece today, according to Flora Tzimaka, editor of ELLE Decoration Greece. It can make “any space or room look like a sculpture,” she says. It’s easy to get the look, because cement can be painted as a thin layer over most wall surfaces.

The walls in the home above used cement painted with white washed lime.

Ready to Try a New International Trend?

Incorporating an international design trend is a great way to embrace your family’s roots (or just a different culture that inspires you)! I hope this post gave you some ideas to get started. If you’re interested in design trends from a different area that I didn’t get to here, there are plenty of places to research! ELLE Decor has websites for many different countries around the world. Pinterest and Google Image searches are also great research tools.

Erin Davis is owner of Mosaik Design & Remodeling in Portland, Ore. For more information and tips visit mosaikdesign.com/ or contact her at erin@mosaikdesign.com.

This post was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. Check the blog daily for top real estate tips and trends.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2016. All rights reserved.