DeAnna’s comment points out a number of things homeowners often don’t think about when they are planning a home. As you get older, your senses will change, and it’s important to ensure that your house is built to accommodate that. Lighting is the most important such consideration, because if you can’t see, everything else becomes exponentially harder, and you’re more likely to fall and hurt yourself as you age.....
DeAnna is awarded "most insightful" for the 4th time on eLocal! Click on the picture below for more on the most recent comment on some Universal Design & Aging-in-Place tips.
The above from eLocal.com is the comment & link to my contribution for my Most Insightful Award regarding how to make changes to your home to take into account aging & any physical/mental illnesses that may come up & how to prioritize. Many people don't realize just how much INTERIOR DESIGN can impact life quality & increase independence. It CAN & DOES. In fact, depending on injury/illness, a health care worker will have to come to your home before your family member can even be released to return home. When undertaking any remodel, it's always a great idea to incorporate some universal/aging-in-place principles into your plan to help increase your home's value and/or help you STAY in your home longer if that's your plan.
Now, on to FALL & some design tips to help you get in tune w/Mother Nature! So, first off, here are some tips I offer my clients as a primer, to see if their home is "winter ready":
- Clear out all dead plants/flowers, especially away from the house, as this provides shelter for many a critter/pest that can make its way INTO your home as the cold weather approaches
- Make sure your home is properly insulated, caulk around windows & vents
- Make sure that the weather stripping is in good shape around doors/storm doors to prevent drafts
- Get your HVAC system inspected to ensure all is in good working order & change filters
- Make sure that gutters/drains are flowing properly & to help prevent ice dam-s (for those of you living in the northern locales).
Alright, you've done an inspection & your home seems good to go, now what about some easy-to-implement design tips for FALL & upcoming holidays of Halloween & Thanksgiving...& as those of you who've followed me & this column, you know that the tips given here will help you make a smooth transition for each event so time & money is kept to a minimum.
To help people change the INSIDE your space:
- Use autumnal colors to replace the summery pastels in your color scheme in any accessories (pillows, throws, curtains, accent rugs/carpet tiles-which is a GREAT way to change up a room!). This includes: gold/bronze, evergreen, deep orange (pumpkin/squash), purples (aubergine), deep earthy reds (brick).
- Flowers (mums are a great choice!), pinecones, "fall" vegetables (gourds, squash), corn stalks for center-pieces or mantel arrangements.
- Heavy textile weight in all textiles for chair cushions or slipcovers on porch/deck.
- Place mirrors at 45 degree angles to windows-that have a GOOD VIEW-to help disperse light in the space
- Use essential oil Environment Sprays in earth/root scents: Ylang Ylang, musks, heavy floras (jasmine)
- Change out pictures/photos of FALL landscapes: harvests, haystacks and/or family pics from FALL, back-to-school time to help lighten the mood
- Use autumnal colors to replace the summery pastels in your color scheme in any accessories (pillows, throws, curtains, accent rugs/carpet tiles). See above for some color suggestions
- Hay bales, pumpkins, gourds, cornstalks & scarecrows are great ways to set a FALL/Harvest vignette. Even tying some cornstalks to the side columns/railing on the side of the door helps to set the proper mood.
- Hanging baskets or containers of mums is the perfect fall flower choice
- Change out your Welcome mat at each door to reflect the changing season-this is a super simple & inexpensive way to "decorate" for the season/holidays
Here in the south, tomorrow is the 1st Day of School. Here are some Feng Shui tips to help ensure a happy, healthy & scholarly school year for your child/teen:
First, look at the Knowledge area of your bedroom (the CLOSEST LEFT CORNER from the entryway looking INTO the room). Is the desk and computer there? Is it clutter free or a mass of books, notebooks and paper? If this is the case, re-visit previous clutter articles. If not, here are some tips to help you:
· At home, hang a crystal over your desk to increase the chi.
· Place a piece of amethyst on your desk to increase your concentration when you study. You can even use a larger piece as a paperweight!
· If organization is an issue, color-code each class. Match up notebooks and folders to each subject-maybe match them to the book's cover to help.
· On your computer, delete old emails, files and folders that you are done with. It will lessen the "clutter" you have to wade through to get to the file that you need.
· If your desk is by a window, make sure that there are curtains to close when you study, so you aren't compelled to go outside and play when you need to concentrate.
· When choosing your seat in class, avoid sitting by the window as well. This will cut down on daydreaming and force you to pay attention to what the teacher is saying. Instead, try and sit front and center.
· Stay away from the back row in a classroom, as there are too many distractions and it's too easy to "hide."
· Sit under a light. Dim lighting can make you drowsy and is bad for your eyes as it causes eyestrain.
· Use color to keep you in the scholarly mood: choose light green notebooks for subjects that stress you out, decorate your locker with yellow to keep you upbeat throughout the long school day, dress in navy blue to look smart (and for when you have to give oral presentations) and use rainbow stickers on school supplies or in your locker to keep in harmony with your surroundings.
Make sure the KNOWLEDGE area of the bedroom/dorm room is clutter-free (!) and organized. You want to be able to access books, notebooks, folders/files, pen and computer when you need them and make the most of the time when you are in "that study mode." The color blue should also be used here. If blue isn't in your room's color scheme, bring in blue with fresh flowers, picture frames, or better yet, a blue area rug under your desk and chair!
And lastly, while we/I are no longer doing hourly or in-person design/color/Feng Shui consultations anymore, consultations via email are still being offered. Contact us here for more info.
Until next time...Happy Feng Shui-ing....DeAnna