Helping you DESIGN the Life of Your Dreams DeAnnaRadaj...Helping You Design the Life of Your Dreams From the Outside In
Yes...2 postings in a week! I got these great articles/links with some excellent "get your home ready for the colder weather" tips.
Here you go:
7 Energy Saving Tips To Help Your Budget Survive The Coming Winter from SurvivalLife
From Roto-Rooter plumbing professionals:
Fall Maintenance Tips for Your Home
Fall has arrived and cooler temperatures are upon us, which means winter is just around the corner. A few quick and easy preparations now can help prevent the need for unexpected repairs throughout the upcoming winter season. The skilled plumbers of Roto-Rooter are available to assist you with any of the following suggestions. Tips to help you prepare your home's plumbing system for the Fall:
This is THE perfect time to work on these projects BEFORE the weather turns for the worse...no matter where you live (unless it's in the SOUTHERN hemisphere for my global peeps...then refer to our SPRING tips!). Have fun! DeAnna :)
OK...I couldn't resist posting this pic of the evil clown for this blog post! This is a pic from a talk I gave at the a special effects conference on utilizing eco-friendly, sustainable design techniques in amusement parks, haunted houses & other themed events. To say it was a different venue for me to speak in is an understatement!
In the following article I've offered up some easy-to-implement & find tips for you to incorporate GREEN into your Halloween & FALL decor for you interior or exterior!
GREEN is the New Orange for Halloween
A chill is in the air. Everywhere you look leaves are falling, jackets are being donned and pumpkins, cornstalks and scarecrows are making their appearances on porches and homes…It’s FALL and almost time for celebrating Halloween. In a holiday that isn’t known for its GREEN & eco-friendly qualities, what’s a socially conscious homeowner to do?
It’s quite easy to institute simple GREEN and eco-friendly principles into your Halloween design-whether you’re just decorating or setting up a haunted house for the kids.
In the garden, Autumn is, indeed the crowning glory of the year, bringing us the fruition of months of thought and care and toil. And at no season, safe perhaps in Daffodil time, do we get such superb colour effects as from August to November.
FALL Design Tips for Your Front Porch...read here...
Make sure to listen to DeAnna On Design on blogtalk radio! Listen LIVE (make sure to subscribe) or to any of the archived shows here. DeAnna's FALL/Halloween show is available here.
Happy FALL!! DeAnna :)
OK...while it's NOT officially FALL just yet, we are experiencing a BLUE MOON tonite so hey, that's close enough!
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":
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:
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
Well...you guessed it by the picture that I DID move...to a home I bought. After much consternation & some fabulous advice from one of my loa/energy groups (thanks everyone!), I bought the 1st house I originally looked at back in March! All the signs were there that that was the house, I chose to keep second guessing myself, but luckily got out of my own way & put in an offer. Albeit the offer was 10 days before I was closing on my then current house & I wanted them to vacate in the aforementioned 10 days so I had some time to remodel before moving my furniture & the doxie duo in....Luckily, they said YES! Hey, when it's meant to be it's meant to be.
So, in those 10 days upon offer acceptance I finished packing, arranged for the dogs to be at the vet for their annual senior exam (more on that later), got the home inspection, RE-negotiated the offer based on the inspection & scheduled contractors for an HGTV-style 5-day remodel before moving day....which was the day before my birthday & 2 days before my Mom's visit. Stress how I love thee (apparently).
***A HUGE shout out of thanks & appreciation to Joel & his crew at All My Sons Moving & Storage!! They were professional, efficient, & moved quickly through the house packing & securing my belongings in the moving truck. Thanks guys for being the stress-free part of this experience!!***
I closed on both houses on 6/13 & took possession of the new SC home on the 14th....just in time for the flooring contractors to arrive. This go-round I used Empire Today due to the time constraints of the move. Again, Josh & Marvin (installers) were incredibly professional & courteous. Empire had fabulous color & flooring options & I'm loving the new floor! If you decide to check them out for your upcoming flooring project-tell them DeAnna from DeAnna On Design sent you!
A last minute decision was to gut the guest bathroom due cleaning & code issues...It would have cost almost as much to fix the code/plumbing issues than to gut it & start new. I chose new. I'll post b/a pics as soon as the painting is finished. The master bathroom was a 90% gut...the structure of the shower stall is still there & the vanity (for now) is still there. Everything else is new & now up to code.
***One of THE most important things when moving to a new home is to go through the Home Inspection step by step & FIX the issues that came up to bring the home up to code, safe & healthy. In most cases, you can a) ask for a price reduction based on the inspection if there are a lot of concerns that come, or b) ask that the seller fix before closing. I always choose option A as I like to have MY people &/or myself fix the issues so I know the quality of the work is done is up to my standards. The choice is yours depending on your comfort level w/maintainence & contractor contacts.***
So, all of the plumbing has been addressed w/all fixtures replaced. Now on to the electrical. Like plumbing, this is imperative to a home running smoothly & efficiently. Any of these issues that go unrecognized and/or broken will only get worse causing you to spend more money on utility bills & increased repair costs. Fix them when you recognized them! I had to have the whole house re-wired as it wasn't up to code & would have blown circuits on new appliances. Appropriate outlets were made GFCI (outlets w/in 3' of a water source MUST be GFCI! This includes exterior, garage & basement outlets.), all ceiling/lighting fixtures were changed & properly braced (yea, THAT was a disaster waiting to happen! Not so good Feng Shui to have a ceiling fixture fall on a guest's head...).
Bill the fabulous painter from Island Painting did an incredible job taking down wallpaper border (which ended up being 2 layers of border that were glued & then stapled on top of each other...seriously people, if you must have wallpaper &/or border PLEASE apply it properly! Not only do you add more work when you or new homeowner decide to take it down, but you can damage the walls & increase expense when trying to change/paint).
All interior work is done now except for the living & family rooms. The family room is a total throwback to the 70/80s & has dark wood paneling. I'm living w/it right now until I decide if I'm going to take down or just paint over it. And as I'm going to be installing a fireplace in this room, I'm going to just do all at the same time to minimize my stress & mess.
It should be noted that 2 of the big changes I wanted to make in the house I will no longer be doing. One was due to cost as some spindles I wanted to take down are actually part of the structure of the home & a load-bearing wall. As this isn't my "forever" home, the cost of doing this for aesthetic reasons is a budget buster. The 2nd project was going to be taking down a 1/2 wall to open up the entryway into the family room. The previous owners even had old track lighting fixture w/old commercial spot lights for "light in the living room"...yea, it was a BIG DON'T! I took down the spotlights & installed new track PENDANT lights w/beautiful glass globes. This "fix" adds beauty, light & instantly updates this homage to the 70s architectural feature.
Before you start ANY major remodeling project or project that requires demo or re-working of electrical or plumbing work that isn't required by code, LIVE in the home for a couple of months to see how you actually USE & LIVE in the home. Even though I've lived in many homes & remodeled/designed even more, sometimes what looks good on paper doesn't work for how you actually live in the space. I've made the 1/2 wall work now & the new lights help to update & separate the space while still being open.
Well...I'm off to pressure wash the house in anticipation of Bill the painter arriving to work on the home exterior. I'll be posting more before/after & commentary as work progresses & I settle in more. During my Mom's visit, I got some bad news on one of my dogs, Libby, from their vet visit. She was diagnosed w/liver cancer & had a large tumor growing on her liver that was the size of an orange. She had surgery 2 weeks ago & thanks to the fabulous surgical team & lots of prayers, Miss Libby is now cancer-free as they were able to remove the tumor & 1/3 of her liver leaving only healthy tissue. She is recovering like a champ & one would never know that she (& Ossie) will be celebrate their 12th birthday in 2 weeks. So, in the midst of moving, remodeling & my Mom's visit, the new house also has been a triage center.
Lastly, the decision was made to close Bante Design LLC & doing any more design/clutter/Feng Shui consulting. So anyone looking for the Bante Design website will no longer find it as I did not renew the domain/website. All info on any appearances, classes, books...will all be here at www.deannaradaj.com. I will still teach & offer workshops, write & contribute to teleclasses & other media, however, I will be refocusing my efforts on doing what I love which is rehabbing neglected, foreclosed and/or unmaintained homes to bring back to health, safety, security & beauty for owners to enjoy.
Until next time...:)
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 :)
Courage is the power to let go of the familiar.