When decorating, we generally think “pops” of color means adding brights to an otherwise neutral room such as beige, greige, creme, taupe, gray, etc.
However, consider using a powerful contrast color like white. It’s crisp, clean, refreshing, and soothing to the eye.
White can keep darker colors from feeling too heavy, and brighter colors feeling overwhelming. It can also keep a color like beige from feeling, well, too blandly beige.
Take a look at these photos and imagine if white hadn’t been used as the accent color. The rooms wouldn’t have the same visual impact and the design element would be diminished.
Remember, too, as with any accent color, spread it around the room so it’s integrated and feels balanced.
It just might be that using white as a contrast is the best “pop” of color of all!
(PHOTOS from HOUZZ)
Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
Can you imagine any woman saying she has too many shoes?
Not gonna happen.
A bigger concern is storing our shoes so we can easily see what we have and not have a disorganized jumble on the closet floor.
Take a look at these suggestions for storing shoes  that can make your life easier and,consequently happier.
SIMPLE MOLDING AS HANGERS

Use molding as a “hanger” for shoes that have heels. They easily hook on making your shoes easy to store and see.

HALLWAY STORAGE

Particularly good for shoes that you put on and take off as you’re leaving and entering like walking/running shoes.

CUSTOM SHELVING

SHOE CUPBOARD
Transitional Closet by Acastrian Bespoke Fitted Furniture

Slanted shelves built into a linen closet is another way to neatly store shoes and keep them from being underfoot (pun intended!)

SIMPLE BOXES
by 2 Ivy Lane

Whether it’s the boxes your shoes came in or any sturdy box, take a photo and place on the front. A quick and efficient way to store your shoes and know at a glance which shoes are in each box.

CLEAR PLASTIC BOXES
Traditional  by Truorder

If you don’t want to take photos, clear acrylic boxes are another choice to house your shoes and clearly see what shoes are where.

HANGING BOOTS

Tall boots are difficult to store as they flop over and you have a jumbled pile to contend with. A great way to keep them organized is to hang them using trouser hangers.

TIP: Place a piece of foam between the hanger clip and the boot to prevent damaging the leather. Or, order from www.bootbutler.com a hanger designed especially for boots.   Available online or Bed Bath And Beyond.
Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
Photos via HOUZZ
This week I want to share a post written by blogger Elizabeth Pullman, www.LiveLovely.com. She wrote this article for HuffPostHome.com.
One thing I know for sure is that aromatherapy does work and there is a lot of science to back it up. Read the article and give it a try. Who among us doesn’t love feeling in a good mood?

Your sense of smell is one of the most powerful things you can experience. Not only do certain smells bring back distinct memories, but they can also heighten or alter your mood. It’s pretty amazing how the human body adapts and responds to certain changes, and scent definitely influences this.

Aromatherapy has been around for a long time, but it seems to have hit its stride in recent years. Today, it seems like essential oils, candles, and other scent-producing products are very popular with renters. It makes sense: These agents have the power to put you in a better mood within minutes, something we all need from time to time.

What’s more, these smells could even allow you to stay healthy.

One of these influences is keeping grumpiness at bay. If you’re curious about which scents can positively impact your mood and focus, read below:

Jasmine

This beautiful flower isn’t just nice to look at, it can also give you the ability to enjoy a sense of calm, as it has proven to relax nerves and alleviate tension. We all know that stress is a direct result of a bad mood, and vice-versa.

According to BrightNest, research has shown that jasmine can allow you to get a better night’s sleep, too. More sleep and less stress? This one’s a no-brainer.

Peppermint

Because mint is so refreshing in desserts and cocktails, it should come as no surprise that peppermint essential oils and candles have been linked to invigoration and more energy. This is why a lot of people tend to use peppermint oils in soaps and shampoos, as it’s a great way to wake up in the morning and get ready to take on the day.

Lavender

This beautiful purple plant has been linked to calm and tranquility for centuries. In fact, smelling lavender is connected to a decreased heart rate. If you’re having one of “those days,” a few drops of lavender-infused essential oil or salts in your bubble bath can melt away the stress of the day instantly. Lavender essential oils can also be added to your laundry, meaning you can carry the calm-inducing scent with you all day long!

As an added bonus, lavender is a beautiful plant for decorating, so putting a vase of lavender flowers in your bedroom or living room could help you feel a sense of calm as you wind down for the evening, too.

Cinnamon

This tasty spice is usually associated with sweet baked treats and the holidays, but cinnamon has been used for medicinal purposes for quite some time. In fact, a study conducted by Wheeling Jesuit University showed that cinnamon positively impacted memory skills, attention spans, and visual-motor response. Adding some cinnamon in your morning coffee could be just the thing to get you ready for work in the morning.

Pine

As another holiday-time scent, pine is known giving us that sense of comfort and warmth once the weather gets cold and icy. It’s no wonder either, as the scent has been linked to reduced levels of anxiety, depression, and stress. This means you should light that pine-scented candle not just during the holidays, but year round as well!

Vanilla

Is there anything more comforting (and hunger-inducing) than the smell of fresh vanilla bean? Vanilla is a wonderful, all-natural addition to your favorite sweets and breads, but it’s also known to boost happiness.

In fact, according to a study published in Chemical Senses, vanilla is linked to joy and relaxation. Whenever you’re throwing a party or getting some friends together, vanilla essential oils or candles could be the perfect addition.

Rosemary

This herb is used in a plethora of recipes, but it’s also a known mood booster. According to Entrepreneur, rosemary has been connected to pain relief and can battle mental exhaustion and fatigue, and even headaches. When the workweek gets the most of you, rosemary could be the perfect all-natural solution.

Citrus

Whether it’s lemon, orange, or grapefruit essential oils, adding these to your daily routine can work wonders for your immune system. Citrus has long been an all-natural fighter of viruses and bacteria — especially for colds and sore throats — so this could be just the thing for those times when you’re feeling a little tired or run down.

Until  next time…
Blessings from my home to yours…
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
If you enjoyed this article, you’ll enjoy reading 9 SCENTS THAT CAN AFFECT THE QUALITY OF YOUR LIFE IN YOUR HOME
It’s the height of summer and that means vacation time.
Traveling to new or favorite places.
Visiting friends and family, or entertaining in our own homes.
And what is an important part of this?
Photographs—many, many photos.
And where do these captured for all time special moments live?
You guessed right if you said they hide in our smart phones. Hundreds of them that we forget about.
That’s why I’m strongly in favor of printed photos. This week’s article is from ELLEDECOR.COM and gives some great ideas on ways to share your treasured memories.
Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
Don’t you just love summer?
Long, light filled, sunny days and warm nights with a soft breeze wafting through windows.
Flowers wearing their full summer blooms; tall shade trees like sentinels protecting us from heat; and the sweet sounds of birdsong
This is how I always think of summer, although I realize this is not universally true. Climate in many areas of the country and world is just plain hot.
However, whatever your climate, it’s nice to have a bedroom that evokes summer and allows you to feel cool and comfortable; everything light feeling and nothing that appears heavy.
Here are some photos with  simple ideas that you can easily do to summerize your bedroom.
PUT AWAY THE HEAVY DUVET. Replace with lighter weight sheets and a coverlet. If you love florals, bring them into your design with pillows and add a light colored throw. While fresh flowers work anytime of the year, they’re especially welcoming in the summer.

THE BEAUTY OF NATURAL LIGHT. Make the most of what you have. The light colors and sheer window coverings in this beautiful bedroom will make you feel like it’s 10 degrees cooler. It’s especially nice if the view opens onto a patio or any green outdoor space.

BLACKOUT SHADES. Unless you want to wake up to sunlight at 5 A.M., blackout blinds are a necessity. The light-colored ones in this photo still keep everything looking light and airy.

FLOWERS INSTEAD OF FIRE. My favorite way to decorate the black hole of a fireplace, is to add flowers or a green plant. Instant summer.

PUT AWAY THE WINTER RUG. Unless you have wall-to-wall carpet, either replace a darker area rug with a lighter colored or natural fiber one. Or, you could have nothing at all. Bare floorboards feel wonderfully cool on bare feet. Photos via HOUZZ

Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
What is the Wabi-Sabi Principle of design?
“You don’t need the latest high brow designer couch, and you don’t need to revamp your entire home with the trendiest colors. Instead, the treasures already in your home that symbolize your life, emotions, and personal history are perfect. In fact, the only elements in your home should be ones that you absolutely love, undoubtedly need, or ideally both.”   – Poetichome.com
Another translation is Wabi-Sabi, which has its roots in Japan, loves imperfection. In fact, imperfections are perfection in a sense because life is imperfect.
We spend so much time striving to have the “perfect” home, that we never take the time to look around and relish what is absolutely great.
We tend to concentrate on what we perceive as the negatives instead of embracing all of the positive aspects of our home.
What a concept to actually celebrate imperfection. Doesn’t that give you a feeling of freedom and a different perspective of how you live in your home?
Maybe it’s time to toss many of those to-do lists, enjoy what we have, and realize our home is good enough just as it is.
Here are some suggestions that can help you live a Wabi-Sabi lifestyle:

HAVE NOTHING IN YOUR HOME THAT DOESN’T MAKE YOU FEEL GOOD. It’s your home and not someone else’s, so you get to choose.

ORGANIZE and remove anything that isn’t used or loved. It’s just taking up space.
TAKE A PHOTO of anything and everything in your home that makes you smile.You may very well be surprised at what you see. It could be the smallest things that grab you
USE YOUR KITCHEN MORE. It’s the one place in your home that illustrates how much your home supports you.

KEEP A GRATITUDE JOURNAL. You’ll quickly see how many things there are about your home that you love—just as it is.

GET RID OF anything in your home that no longer serves you. You’ll immediately feel lighter.

RE-ARRANGE YOUR ROOMS. It’s amazing how you’ll create a whole new space by changing furniture around. Or, you may decide to change the function of a room like a guest bedroom that is rarely used into a study.

TAKE TIME TO UNPLUG. We’re constantly being barraged with all things electronic. 24 hour news cycles, social media, constant emails can affect our soul. There has to be in our day, time when we can take a deep breath and just be without these kinds of distractions. You’ll enjoy your home and your life so much more if you do. Photos via HOUZZ
Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
Your bedroom is the one room in your home that should be a sanctuary. The place where you rest and restore mind, body, and soul.
Too often, this is not the case. It becomes the room where you keep your exercise bike or it gathers excess “stuff” from other areas of your home. Before you know it, this space looses all the benefits you should be enjoying from this very special space—namely, restful sleep; a place to read; daydream; to just be and gather your thoughts; and where you share intimate moments with your significant other.
Here are 8 design mistakes that avoided can give you the bedroom of your dreams:
1)  MATCHING FURNITURE PIECES
    You don’t want your bedroom to look like it was lifted from a furniture store showroom. Using
    different but complementary pieces is not only more interesting to the eye, but you’ll tire of
    it far less easily.
2)  BED PILLOW OVERLOAD
     Bed pillows add interest, texture, and/or color to the bedroom. However, too many and you
     loose the impact that a few carefully chosen ones can give you. Plus, removing and placing a
     gazillion pillows every morning and evening is a major pain in the-you-know-what.
3)  THE WRONG LIGHTING
     In a bedroom, you want adequate task lighting for reading or writing and also soft mood-
     lighting that soothes and relaxes you. The best way is to have non-task lighting on dimmers
     to control the light.
4)  A TOP QUALITY MATTRESS
     We all want a pretty bedroom but one area you don’t want to skimp on is the mattress. Buy
     the best you can afford.. It absolutely directly affects the quality of your sleep which affects
     your health. Be sure to try it out out before purchasing. Lay on the mattress in all of
     the various sleeping positions and for more than just a few seconds. For most people, a
     firmer mattress offers the best body support which gives you a better night’s sleep.
5)  BRIGHTLY COLORED WALLS
     Orange or fuchsia may be your favorite colors, but might not work well in the bedroom. Colors
     affect us psychologically and soft, soothing hues generally create the mood we want in this
     most intimate of spaces.
6)  BEHIND THE BED WALL
     Avoid a tiny art piece. Better to have a large (solidly attached) piece. Or, other alternatives
     are wallpaper, a tall headboard, or hanging fabric. Then you don;t need anything else.
7)  TOO MUCH DAYLIGHT
     You need a dark room in order to sleep well as any light affects brain chemicals. Either have
     blackout lining attacked to your window coverings or even blackout roller shades when you’re
     ready to sleep.
8)  NO DISTRACTIONS
     This is a hard one, but this isn’t the room for electronics. T.V.’s, computers, and cell phones
     should not be in this space. They really do affect the quality of your sleep. I said it was hard
     and I fall victim to this as well, but try, if you can, to at least limit the use of what has
     become such a large part of our modern, daily living in this room.
Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
Your style of design is soft, soothing, and sophisticated. It’s not trendy. It lasts;you don’t tire of it.
But every once in a while do you look around a space and wonder if it could use some zing? Something that might amp up the energy?
Not every room in your home, but maybe just one space.
One way to do this is choosing a bold rug that is anything but “quiet.” Bold colors or geometric designs can be the perfect solution.
They work with any design style from country to contemporary and they don’t reduce the impact from the rest of your more subtle design elements.
Take a look at these photos for some examples. You’ll see everything from herringbone, diamond, Aztec, chevron, Greek key, honeycomb, and fret patterns. You may very well decide it could be your solution to giving a room a whole new feel and upping your energy quotient at the same time.
(Photos via HOUZZ)
Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
Have you ever looked at a blank wall and wondered how you’re going to fill it?
Or, you’ve thought how can I leave it unadorned; shouldn’t something go there?
The answer is that maybe it would be better to leave it as it is—place nothing and leave it blank.
A few reasons why:
  • The eyes need a place to rest. Too much visual noise can be distracting.
  • You are able to focus on other design elements in the space.
  • Unadorned spaces allow a room to breathe and give you a place to focus on your own thoughts and dreams.
Take a look at the photos and the explanations given by interior designer, YANIC SIMARD. You’ll see how this can successfully work and and it’s a freeing feeling that its o.k. to have blank spaces. It can be Mindful Interior Design at its best.
Images courtesy HOUZZ
Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
What words come to mind when you think of or see white bedding?
How about simple; beautiful; crisp; clean; and refreshing.
There’s something about white bedding that makes you want to nestle under the sheets for the best sleep ever—like resting on a bed of fluffy, white clouds. ow delicious!
  • There are many reasons why white bedding is always a good choice. ere are a few:
  • It’s an easy update wen you want to make a change in your bedroom. Sort of like changing   the paint color.
  • White works with any other colors you use in the room. Neutrals will even stand out more.
  • Its easy to accessorize. White doesn’t compete so your choices are only limited by your imagination.
  • White is not limited to the bedroom. It can be used equally well on window seats and day beds.
  • White works with any design style. It’s never trendy and always feels current.
  • It can balance both the feminine and masculine.
Take a look at these photos for some examples of how beautifully white bedding can be used. You just may want to dive into white bedding in your own bedroom.
TIP: One concern of choosing the color white is how to keep it white and fresh-looking and not dingy or yellow.Check out a link to a video that will give you a way, using products you already have in your cupboard. https://youtube.com/watch?v=R-eMmpQeoQ
Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
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