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Water-based Wellness: Dornbracht LifeSpa

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Designing for the Human Experience

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Reduce, Re-use and Recycle in Your Home

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How Your Color Energy Impacts Your Home Design

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Monogamous Relationships

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How to Create Positive Energy in Your Home

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How to Use Color Psychology in Interior Design

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Color is a fundamental building block of interior design. But beyond imagining how colors will look together and work in your home, it’s important to consider how they make you feel.

Color psychology is the theory that colors can affect how you feel, think and act. For example,  deep red hues are associated with passion and energy, whereas cool blue shades are considered calming and serene.

Below are tips for how to use each color to set the right mood in your home.

Orange:

Orange hues are bright, fun and energetic. Since orange is a combination of red and yellow, it makes sense that it would have all the vivacity and warmth of both. Used in large quantities, orange can feel overwhelming, but softer peachy or terra cotta shades can be cozy and calming.

Red:

Red can be bold and dramatic or warm and earthy, depending on the tone. Deep crimson hues create passion and drama, while rusty shades can add a cozy ambience. Red is best used in areas where energy should be high, like a family room or entertaining space.

Yellow:

Yellow is usually associated with sunshine, energy and happiness. It reminds me of my last vacation to Mexico. It also can spark creativity and encourage communication, which might help if you have teenagers at home! But if it’s overdone, it can cause anxiety and stress.

Green:

Green brings to mind nature, balance and harmony. Deep emerald or hunter green can add intensity and elegance, while light spring or sage green is soothing and helps stimulate focus and creativity.

Blue:

Blue tones are typically associated with calm and serenity. It’s a great color for spa-like bathrooms and peaceful master bedrooms. Deep navy or royal blues add a masculine feeling, while light powder or sky blue hues are versatile anywhere you need a bit of relaxation.

Purple:

Purple has long been the color of royalty, and can inspire creativity and spirituality. Deep rich plum or violet can add a bold, exotic flair, while light lavender hues are calming and pair well with grays and oranges. It’s also a popular choice for kids’ rooms – studies have shown that nearly 75% of pre-adolescent children choose purple over any other color.

Pink:

Pink can add a touch of feminine flair, and it has seen a huge increase in popularity over the past few years, with blush and ‘millennial pink’ shades being in vogue. Muted blush or grayish-pink hues can instantly soften any room, and darker shades of magenta add a punch of drama.

Black:

Just like my favorite little black dress, this color has always been associated with sophistication, elegance and luxury. It’s most often used as an accent in the home, as all-black interiors can become dreary and overwhelming very quickly. Glossy or matte black accents, furniture and appliances are timeless and chic.

White:

White is the color of purity and cleanliness, and often is regarded as a blank palette. With the rise in popularity of Scandinavian design in recent years, more and more designers are leaning towards all-white walls and sparse white furniture. White interiors can feel fresh and modern, but can also be very cold and barren without the proper accent pieces.

Brown:

Brown accents such as wood tones, leather, and natural elements are a great way to warm up a space and make it feel homier in an instant. Brown shades are truly versatile, and go with any design style and mood.

At the end of the day, it’s important to choose colors in your home that speak to you. Be sure to consider the purpose of each room and how you want people to feel while they’re in it.

Susan Brunstrum

Using the Swedish ‘Lagom’ in Interior Design

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Last year was all about hygge (pronounced hoo-gah), a Danish word enveloping the concept of all things cozy. But this year, we’re leaning more towards lagom, a Swedish word that translates to “just the right amount.”

Lagom as a lifestyle is a bit more mindful and reserved. Everything has a purpose and a function. Not too much, not too little.

In a culture that embraces constant noise, social connectivity and tons of stuff, lagom is a way to be more mindful and intentional about your lifestyle, knowing where to draw the line with your time and your belongings.

There are plenty of ways to go about embracing a more lagom lifestyle, but one of the easiest is with your interior design. Here are a few ways to use lagom in your home.

Image via Coco Lapine Design

Keep it simple.

As Marie Kondo’s now-infamous decluttering advice asks, “Does it bring you joy?” If not, then get rid of it. A similar concept is true when it comes to lagom. Everything in your home should serve a purpose or bring you joy. That doesn’t mean you have to live a completely minimal lifestyle, but opulence for the sake of opulence is not the lagom way.

Similarly, your home design should feel comfortable and livable. It’s the core theory of our LivableLuxe™ lifestyle – a home should be as functional as it is beautiful.

Incorporate some history.

Antique and vintage pieces are a cornerstone of lagom design. Whether it’s a family heirloom or something you found at your local antique store, furniture and items with a rich history and deep connection add a bit more of you to your home.

Anyone can buy a ready-made piece, but waiting to find something truly special that you connect with, whether new or vintage, is much more rewarding in the end.

Use neutral color palettes.

For everyday simplicity, use neutral or monochromatic color palettes for walls, floors, window treatments and large furniture pieces. Then find accent pieces, whether furniture, art, rugs, or other accessories that will really make a splash.

Image via the Everygirl

Bring the outdoors in.

Include natural elements like wood, stone, flowers and plants in your home to brighten up the atmosphere and make it feel more peaceful and serene. Natural finishes and organic elements are huge in Swedish design. Plants also help filter the air and can improve mental health and wellbeing.

Will you be embracing the lagom lifestyle this year?

April 2018 | Blurred Lines

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How to Use the Five Senses in Your Home Design

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Your home should reflect who you are. It should feed your soul and provide you with inspiration. Don’t just consider how something will look in your home, instead consider how it will engage all five of your senses.

Touch

Touch is one of the most important senses when it comes to creating beautiful and functional interiors, and is a perfect jumping off point for an entire room. We often start our process by considering what textures we want in which space. A room needs to be touchable; you want to be able to reach out to it. That’s what our LivableLuxe™ style is all about – elegance and beauty that still feels like home at the end of the day.

The options for texture are numerous – sleek marble countertops, rough-hewn wood benches, polished metal hardware, coarse hair on hide rugs, velvety pillows, silky sheer drapes or soft down bedding. The possibilities are endless, and you’ll want to layer lots of textures in your space.

Smell

Our sense of smell is one of the most powerful – the slightest scent can evoke strong emotions or conjure up a long-forgotten memory. It’s important to harness this sense in your home. You can always opt for scented candles, oils or diffusers to help freshen your space, but even the subtle actions of opening a window to the fresh summer breeze or deep cleaning your house can make all the difference.

When entertaining, pay special attention to the way your home smells. It’s easy to become used to a less-than-fresh atmosphere day to day, but guests will notice any odd or unpleasant odors immediately. One of the best ways to make your whole house smell wonderful is to have something cooking or baking. Who doesn’t love the smell of cookies baking in the oven or homemade soup simmering on the stove on a chilly winter evening?

Taste

While you probably won’t be tasting your home in a literal sense, it might surprise you how much your favorite flavors can play into your home design. Consider your favorite foods: do you like the bright and spicy kick of curry or the warm comfort of homemade soup? The culinary flavors you gravitate to can be a great jumping off point for your home.

Use bright colors and bold patterns to add a little Moroccan spice, layer luxurious textures and rich jewel tones to evoke the decadence of tiramisu, or add plenty of warm tones and plush pillows to mimic the homey comfort of traditional mashed potatoes.

Hearing

The sounds in your home can set the atmosphere more effectively than any other sense. You can easily change the setting by adding music in the background or the gentle trickle of running water nearby. Consider how you want sound to play into your lifestyle. Do you want a quiet and peaceful sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life? Are you looking forward to the chaos and clamor of entertaining friends and family?

It’s also important to consider external noise when purchasing or building a home. Are you someone who prefers to hear the sounds of city life outside, or would you rather be on a quiet suburban street? Is your home near anything potentially disruptive, such as train tracks, an airport or a busy road? It may not seem like much at the time, but put thought into how it will affect your day to day life in one, five or ten years.

Sight

The way your home looks should be an extension of yourself and your personality. Consider how it looks through your eyes vs. someone else’s. What does your home say about you? Does it accurately reflect your personality and where you are in your life? If not, it may be time for a change.

Clients often come to us because they feel they’ve lost the vision of their home. As the place you spend most of your time, you want your space to offer inspiration and comfort, not be an eyesore. It’s only natural that your interior style and tastes will change as you grow and change throughout your life. If your home style is feeling stale, try repainting a room, rearranging your furniture, purchasing some new pieces, or going for a full overhaul.

Your home design should be a total sensory experience. Take time to curate and choose pieces that engage the senses, evoke strong emotions and make you feel truly at home in your space.

Susan Brunstrum

Possibilities