Helping you DESIGN the Life of Your Dreams DeAnnaRadaj...Helping You Design the Life of Your Dreams From the Outside In
For those of you who are regular readers of this blog, you will know of the journey I've been on the past year of moving across the country to my new "dream" home which turned out to be anything but. The decision was made almost immediately that I would stay until I could fix up the home & then cut my losses & move on...hoping I had at least made the right decision in the city/state I chose to move to (answer: yes). I finally finished the work on the house in March of this year & (after some more realtor issues...seriously, what is it w/Charlotte real estate agents?) put the house up for sale mid-May. It went up on a Fri morning & the first offer came in that afternoon. After 5 showings, 4 offers & a bidding war that brought the price of the house up OVER the asking price, I accepted an offer 4 days later....Now the fun was to begin...
I thought I had a home picked out...ahhhhh...too many choices, 3 very different neighborhoods I'm attracted to living in...& a quick closing date...Seriously, nothing like living on the edge! Right now I've got the choices narrowed down to 3 homes, although my 1st choice is a HUD home (THIS will be an upcoming topic of discussion) & there are very strict requirements before you even QUALIFY to put in an offer on the home...2 of which I don't qualify for until AFTER my house closes....Therein lies my current situation...Do I wait, roll the dice that the home I want will still be available & THEN will they accept my offer. OR do I go w/a lesser choice (which I did w/my current home...it was choice #4) to have the security & knowing that I will in fact have a house upon closing & an easy (?) transition...NOTE: I can stay in my current home after closing at a reduced "rent" rate so I do have a place to live...I'll keep you posted.
Some more before/after pics...quite the difference some cleaning, paint & new flooring can make!
Today's topic will be some quick tips on how to make a SMALL space appear larger... Here are my tips for making a space look bigger:
What's DeAnna up to?...
I'm still continuing my work w/Linda Hunt on our Healthy Down-Sizing project...We are working on a book & have just complete 2 more radio/audio episodes further describing our missing/vision & explaining in more detail what Healthy Down-Sizing is & how to clear up the negative connotations associated with "down-sizing"...it's NOT a dirty word! Click on the Healthy Down-Sizing link to be taken to the page & listen to new episodes.
I've also been asked to write an article (my annual!) for Animal Wellness magazine on designing for the senior pet. As this is a topic close to my heart as the doxie duo approach their 12th birthday AND I'll be remodeling a new house...this is timely.
I'm also working on a series of workshops for a wonderful grief & counseling center here in the Queen City which offers services for those who've lost ones due to death, were abused & returning military women trying to integrate back into the community after being deployed overseas. It's a wonderful sanctuary for those who need some healing & support & I look forward to working w/them & doing whatever I can to be of service.
Until next time...happy Feng Shui-ing!!! DeAnna
The above pictures are the before/after of some of the remodel/redesign work I've done on my current house. This smaller, guest bathroom was the least of my projects...& worries! As you can see, this was a fairly simple remodel: new flooring (I have a spectacular Armstrong Long Barrel Oak-dark throughout my entire home getting rid of the horrid vinyl & ruined carpeting that was left for me), Sherwin Williams Harmony paint on the walls (Honeydew), white trim, Kohler fixtures in polished chrome for updating & greater water efficiency, & what you can't see is brushed chrome light fixture w/2 lights & clear glass shades over the mirror. This room gets lots of light & these nature inspired colors make this a happy room to get ready in for guests.
From a Feng Shui standpoint, this bathroom is in the FAMILY Life Area (wood element, rectangular shape, color green to activate). This is one of the main reasons I chose a color scheme of green, blue & white (wood, water & metal). The shape of the rectangle is represented by the towels, shower curtain, shape of the vanity countertop, elongated (wide/long) flooring planks & rugs. The abstract (fire) floral pattern on the shower curtain also helps to amp up the wood element of this space. The earth element is represented by the tub & stone countertop. Metal is brought in w/the new metal accessories & fixtures, as well as the color white. The fire element (which is always the hardest in bathrooms) is brought in by new, brighter lights, another mirror to disperse more light in the space, a crystal display (also earth!) on the shelf of the high transom window above the tub & a single candle (held by a flower stem (wood) metal (obvious) holder). All making a bright, comfortable, healthy & balanced guest bathroom.
***To do a TOTAL transformation, & if budget allows, replacing the vanity w/a white vanity OR a white pedestal sink would complete the design & Feng Shui transformation.***
OK...on to KBIS! What fun this year's show was. New Orleans definitely knows how to host a trade show! First off, the weather was cold & rainy, but the food & parties were anything but. I went to the New Orleans Glassworks Gallery for a networking event on Thursday night & was so inspired there...This is a working artists studio & retail shop. There was demonstrations from glassblowers & print makers. All was interactive & I got to do a demo w/the glassblowers! (this was a theme that went throughout the show...hey, if no one else is going to volunteer I sure will!). I made a pretty cool paper print using cornstarch & ink...See below. I was rethinking my choice in careers!
Friday brought the Opening Ceremony w/a keynote speaker who spoke about marketing & trends. Then the opening of the showroom floor at 10a!!! KBIS is an extraveganza for all senses. It's totally over-whelming at first & all you can do is walk up & down the aisles trying not to run over someone & still keep your eyes on all the booths & what they have to offer. While there was no appliance booths there as in year's past (was very bummed about that!), there was much in terms of bath fixtures, tubs & sinks.
A shout-out to Kohler for letting me be in not 1 but 2 videos! I "volunteered" (thx to the cameraman) to do a demo w/HGTV's Monica Peterson & Dr Mixology from the Cooking Channel for the SENSA faucet as well as my own testimonial on the SENSA. The Kohler booth is always incredibly interactive & fun & exciting!
The HOT trends from KBIS were:
- the color GREY was used as this year's neutral. Paired w/silver, chrome, brushed nickel & pops of brighter colors, I loved this for bathrooms. Paired w/some earth tones & warmer colors, I'd use as a secondary or accent color for the kitchen OR use instead of white.
-aging in place items were incorporated in many vendors offerings. This was an increase from years past. Think walk-in showers & motion sensored faucets. Some universal design products, but most of the focus was on the elderly & aging population.
-making cabinet fronts artwork was also introduced by a new vendor that was very cool. Laser engraving, color blocking in a contrasting color (really liked this!) & actually artwork being applied to cabinet fronts was seen. I think this could really add to your kitchen design & can personalize the space. I would NOT do this if you are going to sell home in near future though.
- creating a spa & total sensory experience in the bath was a focus of Kohler & TOTO. TOTO focused on making sinks a focal point with gold-leaf & unique patterns, while Kohler added music to their showerheads & tubs! You may never want to leave your bath.
Here's more from the DeAnna On Design radio show:
After walking the show floor & giving my feet a bit of a rest, I was off to the HGTV party at the Little Gem Saloon. I must say that the LGS offered some fabulous food (try the risotto cakes!) & a great NOLA ambience. The band was excellent & the people even better. I got to hang a bit w/my design drivers from the Miami Broward Co Home Show (5/12), John & Anthony the Kitchen Cousins (hysterical story) & shared stories & networking time w/fellow designers from around the country. Thanks HGTV for a great event!
Saturday was my last day in NOLA as I was leaving right after my talk. I had the honor of being one of the Voices of the Industry & was speaking on Making Small Talk BIG Talk! This is my most popular workshop in the Designing the Business of Your Dreams division of classes based on my column, The Business of Design, from my editorial days of the WI ASID newsletter. I spoke to a wonderful group who were all attentive & "eager" to interact & practice all offered networking techniques. Then it was off to the airport to relieve my Mom of her dog-sitting duties! (Thanks Mom for flying in to watch the puppies!!).
DeAnna's FAVE products:
- Cosentino's SUEDE countertops on Silasstone products. I love, love LOVE these products!
- Kohler's SENSA faucet for the kitchen. I even did a "guest spokesperson" video for Kohler on the coolness of this product!
What's DeAnna up to?...
As I've posted before my current home is going up for sale in the next few days & I will be packing up to move again...I'll be posting pics, videos & more about experience & future projects.
SisNSpirit radio show: Outdoor Feng Shui
Blissful Living: Integrative Lifestyle Design
Also...if you have a design, Feng Shui, color or clutter-busting question, submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org & put Ask DeAnna in the subject line for a new feature!!!
Until next time...enjoy life & remember: Stay Calm & Eat a Cupcake!! DeAnna :)