Monthly Archives: February 2016

Swedish-Cozy-HomeWhile the phrase "home is where the heart is" may seem cliché, in so many ways it's true. Homes are typically full of life, memories and love.

If you're looking for ways to make your home even homier, there are some simple things you can do. And this doesn't have to involve purchasing tons of expensive décor. Follow along for some simple tips to get started today:

    1. Decorate with Pictures: Adding personal memories and mementos to your tabletops and walls will help personalize your home. This gives your home the look and feel that someone is actually living there, rather than looking like a model home, sterile rental or hotel room. This is also a way to finally get those pictures off of your phone or camera and give them a real purpose.
    2. Create Comfy Seating: Your home will automatically take on a homier feel when you decide to create comfy couches and chairs for guests and family. Having enough seating for all of your guests will make your space feel more inviting and decorative.
    3. Make Your Bedroom a Sanctuary: A good night's sleep is a priority for people of every age. Ensure sound sleep by making your bedroom as comfy and cozy as possible. This may include coordinated pillows and bedding, soothing lighting, and light blocking shades, to promote high quality sound sleep in your peaceful bedroom sanctuary.
    4. Throw Blankets: Incorporating throw blankets and decorative pillows into your seating areas makes this space more welcoming and homier. This is a simple and functional way to make your space more inviting.
    5. Candles: Adding natural light and scents from candles will improve the ambiance of your home. Candles add another dimension to your senses, while making your space visually appealing as well.
    6. Eliminate Overhead Lighting: Instead of turning on those industrially-designed overhead light fixtures, try switching on a tableside lamp! This will eliminate harsh lighting and provide a warmer glow to your space. Even better, recessed LED lighting with a dimmer switch can give you maximum control to create just the perfect brightness for your space.
    7. Add Seasonal Decorations: Keeping up with current holidays and weather trends will help update your home every season while also getting you and your family into that holiday spirit!
    8. Clean Out the Bathtub: Making your bathtub suitable for bathing will dramatically transform the feeling of this important room in your home. It may seem odd, but having the space for a calming bath will actually give your house a homier feel. While a warm bath decorated with candles and bubbles may be visually appealing, it can also work wonders for your stress levels.
    9. Hang From the Walls: While hanging pictures was already mentioned above, adding decorative wall hangings or paintings can transform your walls. This can also eliminate the need to repaint your walls.
    10. Use the Kitchen: The kitchen isn't just a decoration. Use this space to your advantage by entertaining, creating and designing a functionally appealing room! Plus, the wonderful smells emitting this room will act as an added bonus!

Now that you have read 10 ways to make your home homier, it's time to roll up your sleeves and get started. You can transform any room, or the entire house, by practicing one or all of these tips. And if you're in the market for more dramatic changes, consider a kitchen or bath remodel. Transform your bathroom into a home spa or your kitchen into a place for fine cooking, dining and entertaining. Updates to your home, whether big or small, are sure to bring you and your family an enormous amount of pleasure and comfort in the days and months ahead.


humphreys-bedtime-curtainsChoosing the right colour for your soft furnishings and window dressings seems a challenging task to many. Understanding what goes with which colour and how to get the best out of your interior through the use of colours in your soft furnishings is fundamental to your dream space.

Many people make choice and combination of colours so complicated that average person is either put off or too afraid to experiment. Well at the very basic, choice of colours and what they mean to you is very personal. Experiment with colours and be bold to test your imagination.

Brighter living spaces bring life to the interior and what can be better than a touch of bright blooms in the living space. Mixing colours with neutral base. Treat your walls as canvas and your choice of interior colours as your art work. Fresh blooms, yellow, pinks, blue can brighten up the space.

Your window treatment plays a significant role in the setting up the mood for your interior. Floral curtain fabric are the best way to bring in that lively feel to the interior. You can mix them with stripes or plains to create a coordinated look to your interior.

Another tip for modern interiors is to use a mix of grey with bright colours to create a spacious elegant feel to the interior. Consider a curtain or blind fabric with grey pattern on neutral colour or mixing grey tones with blue, red or yellow to create a contemporary spacious interior with bold use of colours.

Use colour wheel to assist you in understanding which colours compliment each other and what are the colours that coordinate with each other. It is very helpful particularly if you don't trust your creative instincts. Use of dark colours in a large space creates a pull together effect. Use it to the advantage. Where as smaller spaces may benefit from more neutral and bright choices of colours. Your window treatment plays a pivotal role in your interior statement. Use longer curtains to create a sense of height. Mix coordinating colours to create depth in the interior.

There is a popular misconception that you have to be an expert to add colour to your home. Colour is personal and as good as the way you like it. The key is being confident in the use of your choice of colours. Never be afraid of trusting your instinct about a colour for your interior, besides, you make choices based on colours every now and then anyway.


course-for-interior-design-interior-design-minimalist-remodellingTrends in the art world are changing rapidly. The rapid expansion of modern media and information has now also filtered into interior design. As a consequence, the interiors of offices, homes and apartments are now designed with infinite care and attention. The need for excellence in the design of these room spaces has led to a huge demand for interior designers and individuals are unsurprisingly concluding that it is rewarding to learn about this subject and are looking to join the best courses available. Given that our lives have only got busier in recent times, it is imperative that someone wishing to study for a diploma in interior design can do this within a flexible programme. Because of this rapid growth in the field of interior design in the last decade, there are now so many permutations of study and the number of organisations to join so numerous, that the question of which course to be chosen is difficult to answer at the outset.

There are interior design courses that are designed to fit into a busy schedule. Some have rotating schedules that ensure all options on the programme can be accessed at a later date if they are missed and one to one attention means that students are able to complete their coursework at the highest level so that they are properly prepared for their future careers. The main purpose of such courses, after all, is to provide students a gateway to become interior designers. These kind of organisations offer courses to students from all over the world. Hundreds of students will have had their skills grooved through the programme and will now be having a successful lifelong career in their chosen subject. This framework provides a flexible, personal and friendly atmosphere so that individuals can put all of their efforts into their work to produce the best effects. Research is encouraged and information is provided about the best suppliers, so that individuals can practice before embarking on their future careers. This type of environment is congenial to study and students can explore whatever ideas they want. Professional tutors assist individuals to polish their talents and skills and students can learn subjects as diverse as how to combine different colours, how to dress the walls in homes, to the finer details of, for example, what lighting to choose to fit a particular room. In addition to this, they can learn how to choose curtains and furniture amongst other subjects. All skills are moulded beforehand so that once they have been learnt in this supportive environment, candidates can be free to have a successful career in interior design.

These types of Academies provide a wide range of courses and their flexible timetables allow individuals to fit in those sessions that they think are most valid at the beginning and they can dip into others as their interest in those subjects grows later on. This flexibility means that candidates can gain their interior design diploma within the shortest possible period of time.


images (9)That's the question, and it applies to both interiors and exteriors of homes and other buildings.

What's the answer?

I remember reading and enjoying an article in the New York Times from a while ago by one of my favorite authors, Lee Child, a master in creating compelling characters and situations in the "action" genre. If you're looking for entertaining, fast-paced reading his work is a lot of fun to read.

His article, "A Simple Way to Create Suspense" is essentially about his process in creating suspense in his writing.

How can that possibly translate to selecting the best colors for our homes or workplaces? Ask yourself the right questions! Since just about every question you can ask about color will have some kind of answer-and ideally help direct you to a useful solution-try starting with these:

  • Where is the place?
  • Is your subject the interior or the exterior?
  • What do you, or others using the space, want to do there?
  • Do you have specific goals, or is the need a more general one?

But naturally there are some guidelines that will help direct you to the best combinations of colors for your purposes. Qualities of space and use like wall size, texture, lighting (natural and artificial), and surroundings in general are some of the considerations.

Begin each project by defining a sense of purpose and goal, which is where the questions and the guidelines come in. a client's personal preferences play a role as well but typically are just part of the picture. Color trends, while interesting, often inspiring, and fun to follow, really have little to do with arriving at the most effective and supportive color palettes.

The excitement and "suspense" is in the process and the evolution of results; testing accent colors, for example, will lead you to transform a simple, earthy color into an interesting environment. Using colors that are just a little too bright can make a space uncomfortable and stressful instead of enjoyable and nourishing. A one-inch color chip is never a reliable indication of a whole room or even one wall!

So, a few tips

  • Overestimate the impact: Use your favorite super-bright colors as accents in furnishings, accessories, or smaller wall surfaces
  • Textured wall and ceilings tend to "absorb" more color, while smoother surfaces reflect more color.
  • Lighting will affect your results, whether inside or outside. So be sure to see what colors look like in different times of day and evening.
  • Consider less vivid colors for your larger surfaces
  • Consider using the same color on walls and ceilings to minimize distraction, especially in smaller spaces.
  • Remember that your floors are large surface areas so consider floor color, including carpeting, when you're thinking of wall colors.
  • Exterior: considering the roofing color (I'll explore this specific subject later in a separate article)
  • Balancing warm and cool colors, and bright and soft colors, is important to create a comfortable and interesting space.

One of the most important parts of the process is Testing! Use a roller and be sure to apply two coats to get the most accurate color representation, just as you would do when painting your walls.

Then, Enjoy the Process!

Providing color consultation services to homeowners, business owners, and design/build professionals, color specialist Barbara Jacobs focuses on the needs of her clients for places where they work, play, study... and more. An IACC accredited color consultant, Barbara will consult on the best colors for your interior, exterior, and even product colors.