Home Oasis Article 2
Simple Steps to Creating a Home Oasis
It doesn’t take a big remodel to make your house a welcoming retreat. Simple changes can translate into stellar results, satisfying the soul, while going easy on the pocketbook. In the last issue we explored creating a home oasis primarily from the outdoor perspective. Investing in a few outdoor amenities like a water feature, patio furniture, outdoor lighting or a privacy screen- will make your home a destination for summer enjoyment.
In the Northwest, our summer days are just too precious to waste. We crave the beauty of nature and the ease of stepping out our back door to really enjoy it. Intimate gatherings with friends and family at home, are increasingly popular. What’s more satisfying than dinner at home on the patio enjoying a warm summer evening? But as summer fades, we move back inside again and in turn, with a few simple steps, your home can become your oasis.
Inside or out– home is definitely where the heart is. And it should be. Life is too short to exist when you could thrive. A great living space is much like a great haircut, book or vacation, it rejuvenates, renews, restores, inspires- but for longer periods of time. Dark corners, bland colors, tired accessories will not motivate your mood in the right direction. A few simple touches will bring your home to life and set your heart singing.
The biggest boost any home can receive is a new coat of paint. Changing the paint color causes an almost magical transformation. And, in the world of creating great spaces, a new shade of paint will give you the biggest bang for your buck. Choosing the right paint color can be tricky. Paint companies make color cards which you can take home and ponder, but there are a few tips to consider before you go to the time and expense of repainting. Remember the lighting in your home is different from that of the paint store, so don’t expect that what you see there is what you’ll get at home. To avoid several trips to the store, be sure to take several color cards in the tones you are considering. And as a final insurance step, purchase a small amount of the chosen color/s (most paint store sell them for around $5) and paint a section of wall, then live with the color a few days. As magical as the right color is, the wrong color can really drag you down. So don’t be surprised if you have to try out several colors before you find just the right one.
These include, greenery, flowers and branches and they can be artificial or real. Every room should have at least one botanical accent. From a small pot of ivy to a large ficus tree, greenery adds life without taking center stage. Silk florals are great substitutes for living color. Live blooming plants are luxurious, but temporary color accents. Yet while their effect is fleeting—blooms usually last from a few days to several weeks—they add that special something only nature can provide. For the longest lasting live color try potted orchids, bromeliads, mums or violets. Spathphylum or “Peace lily” is a popular, easy care green plant that produces a lovely white flower several times a year. Other favorites are Pothos, Chinese Evergreen, Dracenas, and certain palms and ivys.
For a quick lift try changing your accessories. Seasonal shifts in color or style with pillows, rugs, candles, bed linens and even art will keep your décor looking fresh year round. Start with a few items each season and in time a refreshing transformation will await you as the yearly cycle unfolds. This method is cost effective as well. Opt for changing your décor with a few key seasonal pieces and you’ll avoid the humdrum feeling that inspires extensive and expensive home make-overs.
Lighting was discussed in last months’ issue, but it is so important it is worth mentioning again. Cast away those dark corners!! A lamp will create coziness instantly and every room should have at least one in residence– another ‘must have’ decorating element.