10 Ways To Cozy Up Your Home For Fall

10 Ways To Cozy Up Your Home For Fall

The days are getting shorter, the kids have gone back to school, and there is a slight chill in the evening air. All signs of early Fall. Soon the landscape will be painted with broad strokes of Autumn color and before you know it we will start spending more time indoors as fall ushers in the cooler winter air.

This is a great time to start to cozy up your home. Here are a few tips to make your home a little more warm and welcoming:

10 Ways To Cozy Up Your Home For Fall

Add a mix of textures.

Change out the throw pillows by adding tactile soft textured pillows to your sofa or bed.

 

Change out the throw pillows by adding tactile soft textured pillows to your sofa or bed.

Change out or layer area rugs. By adding area rugs you are able to soften up the look of your rooms. This also provides an additional layer of warmth on those cold evenings. Choose textured rich colored rugs to define and warm up the space.

Change out your bedding. Add flannel or fleece sheets for extra warmth. Add a big fluffy down (or down alternative) comforter. This is a great time to upgrade or replace your bed pillows.

Add a few cozy throw blankets to the living room or any area in your home where you might use them.

Re-arrange the furniture or plan to makeover the living room with a new design. This is a great time to makeover the living space. The winter will bring holiday entertaining and you will most likely be spending more time indoors, so you will be sure to enjoy your new space.

Add rich color.

It’s all about color.

Add rich color. Rich vibrant color can surely warm up your home for the fall and winter season. A punch of color in fabric or accessories can add a cozy warm feel to your space and can help you transition your decor come holiday decorating time.

Change out accessories. Move your existing home accessories around to freshen up your space. Add a few accesses that tie in any added color that you bring in with fabrics and area rugs.

Switch out your window treatments. Transition into the cooler weather with heavier window treatments.

Add scented candles for a little added ambiance.

Start thinking about your holiday decor (I have certainly started planning my own holiday decor as well as the holiday decor of some of my clients). The holidays will be here before you know it. Start thinking about your holiday decor now so you can have an idea of what you would like to do when the time arrives.

Until Next Time,

Gia

From The Blog

Designing Your Home To Reflect YOUR Personality

Your home, it’s the place where your life happens. The good times, the bad times, the family gatherings, quiet times, celebrations with family and friends. Rest, relaxation, and sometimes healing. This is where it all happens. Your home can be a place that rejuvenates you and restores your energy, welcomes you with open arms at the end of a long day or a place that drains you and causes you anxiety.

Designing your home to support fitness and wellness

The interior design of your home can affect many aspects of our daily lives, especially in the area of health and wellness. With all the planning that goes into a well-designed interior, a conscience effort can certainly in designing a home that supports a healthy lifestyle. Here area few ways to set yourself up for success in the area of designing for a healthy lifestyle:
The Kitchen

The Kitchen

Set yourself up for success by designing your kitchen so that you can easily prepare healthy meals.

  • Add plenty of countertop area for prepping fresh food like those fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Include appliances like a steam oven, or a refrigerator with lots of space for all those freshly prepped meals.
  • A large deep sink and a faucet with a sprayer make washing those fresh vegetables easier.
  • Be sure that your range hood is properly venting the space.
  • I kitchen that feels good to be in will encourage you to cook those healthy meals instead of a quick call for take-out meals.

Fitness Area

Include a fitness area in your home. A complete designated home gym space would definitely encourage you to stick to your work out goals, but squeezing that home gym into a dark, cramped, damp, and unfinished basement area will not encourage you to spend time in the space. Create a pleasant area for those workouts. If you don’t have a designated room to create a fitness area, carve out small spaces in areas where you spend most of your time. I always keep my yoga mat under a small area rug at the foot of my bed. When it is time for yoga, I just pull back the area rug and I am ready to melt away the day’s stress. Put your equipment when you can access it easily and where you will really use it.

Fitness Area
Fitness Area

Flooring

The floors of your home harbor can harbor numerous germs and toxins.

  • Older carpets and flooring can house decades-old dirt, grime, and toxins. Install new easy to clean flooring to promote a healthy environment. Greener options are now available for flooring, using fewer chemicals than in previous decades.
  • Remove those shoes. Creating a mudroom or entry area in your home can encourage your family to remove shoes and coats when they enter the space. This keeps germs, dirt, and toxins from being spread throughout your home
  • Use area rugs over wood floors or tile. When these area rugs get dirty they can easily be sent out for cleaning or replaced when necessary. Wall to wall carpet usually stays in place for decades.

Rest

Create areas in your home that are conducive to rest, relaxation, and your overall wellbeing.

  • Keep clutter to a minimum, clutter creates anxiety and restlessness. A well-organized space will be a great step to overall wellness
  • Comfortable seating. We have all heard that extended sitting is bad for our health. We know we must move our bodies as much as possible for our overall health. When you are seated be sure you have comfortable seating and maybe a properly sized ottoman to take the pressure off your back when you are seated. Sitting in uncomfortable chairs in your living room, kitchen or home office area can certainly aggravate back and neck issues. These issues can certainly hinder your fitness goals and overall wellbeing.
  • Design your bedroom sooner rather than later. Many people design their living spaces first and leave their bedroom spaces for last, figuring that they are the only people that see these spaces. Create a bedroom retreat that welcomes and comforts you at the end of a long day. Use colors, fabrics, and materials that you love. Add layers of comfort including lighting, furnishings, pillows, blankets, and sheets and a great mattress. All of these elements will work together to create a relaxing environment. A restful bedroom space will do wonders for your overall health and so will a great nights sleep.
Rest

Until next time,

Gia

The Importance Of Having A Realistic Budget For Your Design and Renovation Project

As an interior designer and renovation specialist, I love working with all of our clients, whether that be our full-service clients, our consulting clients, or our social media followers and email list subscribers for whom we provide free resources like our information-packed blog articles. I love helping all of our clients by providing services that meet all of their design needs.

When I first meet with a client they may or may not have a budget for the project that they are desiring, or be willing to share their thoughts about the budget. If they do have a budget, that budget may or may not be realistic for the project that they are thinking about completing and the desired scope of work. Homeowners may look into the cost of cabinetry, fixtures, and counter-tops and then make a guess as to what the overall project might cost. This is a very inaccurate way to determine what the cost of your project might actually be.

When looking at what is actually involved in doing your project the cost of professional services is not usually talked about much on television design shows or in publications, but it’s a big cost when it comes to your project. Professional services include everyone from the designer or architect, structural engineer, contractors, plumbers, electricians, installers, and painters. Additional costs may include all building permits and delivery on all products. So much is involved in putting a project together and there is a cost to that above and beyond products and materials purchase cost.

So in the beginning stages of a project,  I try to discuss budget early on to be sure that my client’s budget and scope of the project are in alignment. If the client is prepared with an idea of their budget for the project that they’re looking at doing, this gives us the ability to know this early on and to prepare design elements or suggest a scope of work that’s more reasonable for their particular goals and budget. Or to determine the costs of the projects that they desire and then schedule the project when they are thoroughly prepared for the cost. This helps the homeowner be more prepared later when estimated costs and quotes for projects are higher than with the customer thought they might be.

Couple managing the debtThis is very successful when being lead through this process with a professional. Sometimes when homeowners attempt to go through this process on their own they quickly wind up in trouble by underestimating expenses or even starting a project before totally figuring everything out with regards to design, professional services, and labor cost. Another issue might be not having planned any contingency funds available for unexpected construction issues, or for things that you might want to add to the project scope. The end result is always spending more money than planned and putting the client over budget.

Preparation and planning is the key here. Just because you think a kitchen might cost $20,000 doesn’t mean that this is realistic considering the desired scope of work, the condition of your existing home and it’s systems, the desire to take down several walls to expand the space, and the professional services needed to accomplish to your finished project. The biggest way to control the cost of your project is to prepare the scope of work that you can afford after accurately investigating costs.

Until next time,
Gia

11 Ways To Create Spaces That Spark Joy

One of the questions that I ask when designing a space, after reviewing my client’s list of wants and needs for their new space, is “how do you want this new space to feel?” The answers vary between peaceful, restful, a place that the whole family can gather, and an exciting space to entertain. What most people want is a home that brings them joy.  A space that is intentionally designed to make its homeowner feel joyful. This requires getting to know our client’s likes, dislikes, and lifestyles so that we can personalize their spaces to bring them a feeling of joy when they spend time in these spaces.

Here are some general ideas that will help you create a joyful environment in your home.

1. Bring Some Color into Your Space
First, color has an enormous emotional impact on individuals. Using colors that you love can be a great way to make your space feel joyful. Even using small splashes of color can have a dramatic impact on the “feel” of the space. Using a color that you love will make an even greater impact on the way you feel when you enter this space.

2. Make sure your space plan works
The way that your space is planned will have an impact on the way you feel when you are in your room. If you stub your toe every time you try to maneuver around that over-sized coffee table, you might want to take another look at the furniture and traffic patterns in this room and create a space plan that works. Most people underestimate the amount of space needed for function.

3. Choose Textures That You Love
Textures have a huge role in making spaces feel cozy and comforting. Use items and finishes that use textures that you love. Whether it’s a velvet pillow or a sleek glass sculpture, if you love it, seeing these items when you enter a space will create a feeling of joy and comfort.

4. Get Your Space as Organized as Possible
Organize your space. This starts with eliminating anything in the space that you do not need. Then creating an intentional place for all of the necessary items included in your room. Getting organized creates a great sense of peace, allowing you to feel like you are in control of your environment.

5. Choose Lighting that Brightens Your Mood
Lighting can influence your mood and can make us feel either inspired and joyful, or sad and lethargic. The right lighting for the use of space is what is important. Dim lighting in the bedroom can be relaxing, but dim lighting in the kitchen or family space can be uninspiring.

6. Less can be more
Crowding a room with furniture that you do not necessarily love doesn’t create a great feeling in your space. If you really don’t love that end table, remove it and make room for something that you really love. This might take some time but start with pieces that you know you could do without for a while. This will allow your mind to imagine the possibilities instead of focusing on that table that you don’t like.

7. Create a Technology-Free Zone
We love our technology as it’s now helping us manage almost every area of our lives. But it’s important to allow our minds to re-charge and retreat from information overload and overwhelm. If we are intentional about creating a technology free area in our homes this will allow us to experience joy, as we retreat from the compulsion to jump into action every time we hear a notification on our phones or computers.

8. Have Only Items You Love
Surround yourself with items that you love. For everyone this is different. What items in your home are important to you? Are there items that you love that remind you of people that you love or happy times? Are there items in your home that bring back bad memories or bring up negative feelings? Keep what you love, and use it so you will see it daily. Get rid of anything with negative memories, or share it with someone who might look at it differently.

9. Find Art that Inspires You
Art plays a large role in the way a room feels. Artwork should be a very personal choice. A piece of fine art purchased on your last trip to Europe or last weekend’s flea market find, it doesn’t matter, if you love it, use it, it will create a great emotional impact on you as you enjoy your space. My grandson’s first finger painting makes me smile every time I see his framed artwork on my kitchen wall. The artwork is a great way to pull color into a room.

10. Harness the Emotional Impact of Your Favorite Scents
Introduce your favorite scents into your home. All of our senses absorb information that helps us experience a feeling of joy. Seek out a scent or two that fills you with a feeling of bliss. This is a small thing that will help to create a joyful atmosphere.

11. Use Greenery to Liven Up Your Space
Live greenery used in your home creates a life-giving effect. A small arrangement of fresh flowers or a live plant, My arrangement of fresh lilacs is currently bringing me lots of joy and the scent is heavenly.

Just a few small changes in your home or space can bring you lasting joy. We are will benefit if our spaces and homes fill us with joy. Try implementing a few of these steps to create a joyful feeling indoor home.

For more advice and design inspiration, don’t forget to subscribe to my email list!

Happy Decorating!
Gia

Selecting Appliances For Your Renovation

Choosing appliances for your renovation.Designs by Gia Interior Design. Web Site Design by inConcert Web Solutions.

One of the issues that often gets a renovation started, is when older appliances start to fade or stop working completely. At that point it’s a good time to consider the entire kitchen and whether or not it’s time for a full renovation, before trying to just replace that old appliance.

Older appliances that are built into an existing kitchen are sometimes hard to replace with appliances of the same dimensions, years or decades later. So replacing an appliance might not be as easy as just replacing a refrigerator or a built-in oven into an existing spot in your current cabinetry. So before purchasing a new appliance, check those measurements, trying to retrofit a new appliance but making changes to existing cabinetry often is costly and usually never looks quite right. Also, if the flooring was installed in front of and not under your dishwasher, removing that dishwasher might require opening up that flooring.

If you decide that you are going to take a look at doing a full-scale renovation of your kitchen, then looking at the age of the remaining appliances. That brand new freestanding refrigerator might be able to be incorporated into the new kitchen design, but I would hesitate to re-install a 20-year-old wall oven with its older dimensions, into a new custom sized cabinet, only for that appliance to reach its lifespan a few years after the renovation. If you are ready to do a full renovation with new appliances, the selection of those appliances is done very early in the kitchen design process as appliance selections dictate the placement of the appliances in the new layout.  There are so many options to choose from when it comes to new appliances for your kitchen.

For cooking, there’s gas, electric, and induction, the selection of what system to go with should be done first and will be determined by many factors.

Designs by Gia Interior Design. Web Site Design by inConcert Web Solutions. Do you currently have natural gas or propane in your home? Or are you willing to bring in propane if you really desire a gas range Induction is a newer magnetic technology and performs a lot like gas in that it gives instant heat, this technology might be worth exploring if you like the control of a gas range. We use it often for projects and I enjoy using it in my own home.

Wall ovens, steam or speed ovens, convection ovens, warming drawers, grills, griddles… these are just a few cooking elements that could be purchased as separate units or could be features included in a range.  Also, the size of the range should be determined early on in the design process as it dictates the cabinetry layout and the ventilation needed for the range hood as requirements are determined by the range.

There are so many options for refrigeration as well, There is a French door refrigerator with refrigeration on top and a freezer on the bottom, allowing these units to be placed wherever needed in the kitchen. A traditional side-by-side refrigeration and freezer. Also, these elements can be purchased in separate columns freezer and refrigeration and added wherever desired in the layout. There are also drawers that can be integrated for refrigeration and freezer. The size of the space and the configuration of the space will help you determine what appliances look proportioned to your space. Determine what features you are looking for, then depending on the size and layout of the space, keep your mind open to some items that might make better sense for your kitchen design based on suggestions from your kitchen designer.

Appliance styles range from a very industrial commercial look to a super-contemporary sleek look, to a retro looking appliance with today’s modern features. Stainless steel is still the most popular finish in today’s kitchen, experts predict that this will continue.  But we are seeing some stainless finished with a brushed look or a tinted look, as fingerprints are a little less visible on these newer stainless finishes.

We are also seeing some manufacturers introduce colored appliances, which visuallyDesigns by Gia Interior Design. Web Site Design by inConcert Web Solutions. is a nice change from all the stainless, but is very taste specific.  Its impossible to predict what we are actually going to be seeing in appliance 10 years from now, so I advise clients to go with the look that they really love, unless they are getting ready to sell their home, in which case you might want to update a little more generically when it comes to appliance choices.  Choosing your appliance is one of the many steps involved in completing a kitchen design and renovation. Be sure to involve a design professional from the beginning of the process to ensure that you are creating a kitchen space that you will enjoy for many years to come.

Adding luxury to any bathroom

Designs By Gia Interior Designs. Award Winning Interior Designer. Web Design by inConcert Web Solutions.If you’ve ever imagined a luxurious master bathroom in your home, you might enjoy this classic master bathroom that we recently designed for one of our lovely clients.  This bathroom was part of a large design project involving a kitchen, butlers pantry, mud room, several bathrooms, and of course this beautiful master bathroom. This long narrow space designated for the new master bathroom created several design challenges, but it also allowed us to use the length to create a dramatic focal point in the back of the bathroom featuring a freestanding tub with classic lines.

We designed a custom shower with dreamy white tile, seating, rain head, and a custom glass enclosure.  We also included 2 separate vanity areas which we topped with beautiful gray and white stone. The homeowner’s beautiful chandelier was the starting point for this elegant bathroom.  The black and white color scheme really gives this bathroom a timeless feeling, with the drama of an old classic black and white movie.

There are many ways that you can add luxurious, classic touches to any bathroom.  If you are ready to undertake a renovation or new build project, it’s best to work with a design professional as the bathroom is one of the most difficult rooms to plan and design, issues involving space planning, safety, and comfort as well as aesthetics must be addressed when designing any bathroom.  There are a few easy ways that you can add a bit of luxury to your existing bathroom if you are not quite ready for a renovation.

Designs By Gia Interior Designs. Award Winning Interior Designer. Web Design by inConcert Web Solutions.

1 – Add Artwork

Black and white artwork can look great in a bathroom. With a few complimentary pieces of inexpensive art, you can create a classic or modern look in your existing bathroom. Expensive art should be placed strategically to avoid moisture damage.

2 – Add Plush Cotton Towels

Plush towels create a filing of luxury. Choose solid black and white and mix stacks of towels together. This gives a clean look without adding more patterns to the room.

3 – Add Unexpected Storage to the Vanity

Use a mirrored or glass tray or collection of small vases to store makeup and organize other small items. This looks better than plastic make-up organizers.

4 – Storage

Store larger necessary items in baskets, vases or cabinets. If an item is going to be visible and necessary, be sure it looks nice and is stored in a way that complements the space.

5 – Add Candles and Fresh Flowers

These small touches can bring a touch of luxury to any space especially the bathroom.

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