Chinoiserie, from the French word chinois meaning Chinese-esque emerged during the Rococo period and became a very popular motif which still is prevalent in design today in porcelain pottery, textiles and wallpaper. The Chinoiserie style features Asian landscapes, pagodas and pavilions, elaborate birds, dragons, and Chinese figures.
Images from Period Styles Victoria and Albert Museum and Metropolitan Museum
According to the Census Bureau, the average single-family house built in 2016 boasted a footprint of over 2,400 square feet. Yet many real estate experts say that most families spend 80 percent of their lives in just 20 percent of their house. If your kids are out of the house, and it’s just you and your partner — or you and the dog — it might be a great time to downsize.
Think about it: Big houses cost a lot. Between the utilities, property taxes, HOA fees and homeowner’s insurance, you can benefit financially from downsizing. If you’re still 20 years or more away from retirement, what better way to feather your nest egg than by shrinking that mortgage payment, lowering your property taxes and insurance and reducing those utility bills.
Benefits to smaller homes
Less to clean
A smaller house means you don’t have to dedicate an entire day a week to cleaning.
Less focus on stuff
Many people balk at downsizing because of the amount of stuff they accumulate over time. Less storage space means less room to accumulate stuff you probably don’t need. And less stuff means less to dust, which means less time to clean. #Winning!
Let’s say you married when you were 23, had your kids by 26, bought your “forever home” at 28; now you’re 44 and the youngest is off to college and while the idea of downsizing appeals, you have so much stuff. US News and World Report has a great list decluttering tips.
Improve your health
Attacked by allergies? Despise dust? See above! If you have less to clean, it’s easier to really deep clean and eliminate dust, pet hair and dander, which means you’ll suffer from fewer allergic reactions.
More free time
Smaller houses generally have fewer upkeep demands. Whether it’s fewer rooms to clean, less stuff to maintain, or a smaller garden to weed, you’ll have more time to hike or binge watch your favorite Netflix show.
More family time
While it’s true that bigger homes mean everyone gets his (or her) own space, families who retreat to their own places spend less time together. People who inhabit the same space more frequently interact more, which is a good thing if you only see your kids on the occasional weekend or holiday break.
Reduce your environmental footprint
Worried about the environment? Smaller houses consume less energy, use fewer materials to build and are often located in more walkable areas.
OK, let’s talk about the bottom line. If you reduced your monthly mortgage payments by $500 a month and used that cash in other ways, such as pay off debt, add to retirement, or pay off the mortgage early, you’d be far ahead!
Home improvements to boost your home’s value
You’ve taken the plunge. Checked the local real estate market. Booked an appointment with a realtor. But, now you have to sell your home.
Don’t incur a massive debt preparing your home for the market. Bankrate offers 10 cheap fixes to boost your home’s value, including:
Whether your house is old or new, veteran real estate professionals suggest:
With the end of the McMansion era, people have concluded that bigger isn’t always better, especially those who seek a less stressed, debt-free lifestyle. For many, including empty-nesters, downsizing living spaces and redirecting financial resources to pay off debt or boost retirement funds makes sense.
This is a guest post by DIY Blogger Seth Murphy who first got into doing DIY projects to save money, but over time he developed a real passion for hands-on, intensive work. He knows DIY can be intimidating so he created his DIY blog to share tips and help others with their own endeavors.
Photo Credit: pexels.com
The color pink is oh so pretty. Pink is synonymous with beauty and femininity. Valentine’s Day, romance and love are represented by the color pink. The color pink is a tint of red and its complementary color is a mint or pale green. The warm and embracing shades of pink are gentle and soothing. Pink is similar to green in that it is represented by the heart chakra for its protective and healing properties. Flowers and flowering trees embody the color pink better than anything in nature as carnations, celosia, dahlias, dianthus, Gerber daisies, hydrangeas, orchids, peonies, rhododendrons, roses, snapdragons, sweet peas and tulips to name a few.
The gemstone rhodonite is known for its balancing effects on the emotions and is known as the rescue stone. Rhodochrosite is thought to relieve stress and is used by healers to cleanse the aura. Ancient legend says that the gemstone tourmaline is found in all colors because it travelled along a rainbow and gathered all the rainbow's colors. Tourmaline is believed to strengthen the body and spirit, especially the nervous system. It is also thought to inspire creativity and was used extensively as a talisman by artists and writers.
The pink ribbon is globally recognized as the symbol for breast cancer awareness. Little girls and babies are adorned in the color pink. Ballerinas wear pink slippers and tutus. When I made my Catholic confirmation as an adolescent I wore a beautiful shell pink dress with matching pink shoes with a French heel. I was giddy over those shoes! It has become fashionable for men to wear pink and it looks particularly stylish on a man with a dark complexion.
If you want to look at the world through rose colored spectacles, dazzle yourself with some pink. Get in the pink—it’s pinkalicious!
I realize having white furniture is only a dream if you have small children and pets. What about your tabletop and holiday decorations? It should be safe to have a winter white theme with those decorations. Well maybe not the tablecloth and napkins. Here's dreaming of a White Christmas . . .
Chartreuse and pink are two vibrant colors that pair well together. You will see the colors together in nature. Admittedly, most people cannot live with this much color but wouldn't it be tremendous fun to try!
This is a gender neutral nursery design using furnishings found on Project Decor and paint color Lily Lavender by Benjamin Moore.
This is a bold and colorful design inspired by Farrow and Ball paint color citron.
Decor found on Project Decor
Color theory is a set of rules for mixing colors and how they interact and influence each other to get a desired result. The standard color wheel supplies a system of color identification. Color hues consist of three primaries: red, yellow and blue, three secondary: orange, green and violet and six tertiary: red-orange, yellow-orange, yellow-green, blue-green, blue-violet, and red-violet.
Analogous schemes are hues which are adjacent on the color wheel creating a harmonious scheme. Look to nature to discover analogous color schemes abundantly displayed in plants and flowers.
Complementary colors are on the opposite side of the color wheel; these colors generally enhance and intensify each other. Complementary colors can create a sense of enthusiasm and excitement based off their contrasting tones. Complementary color schemes work well when you use a warm color against a cool color. This color scheme offers a higher contrast than the analogous color scheme.
I created these visual rooms five years ago as part of a showcase of dorm decor with several other interior designers on the site Oliboard and posted it on my blog. At the time, I spent several hours researching, finding dorm decor and creating the perfect rooms. Here they are again along with the poem I wrote.
Living in a Dorm by - Charisse Colbert
You might live on the top floor at the end of the hall
You might have a roommate who pins pictures on the wall
You might study and cram until the wee hours of the night
You might have to do homework with a tiny flash light
You might find someone you don’t know sleeping in your bed
You might discover socks turn pink when washed with red
You might learn your roommate took your last dollar bill
You might see a student sitting naked on a window sill
You might realize one more shot of tequila is a mistake
You might fall in love and know the depths of heartache
You might wish you could get one peaceful night of sleep
You might make a friend for a lifetime you will keep
You might appreciate all the things your parents did for you
You might grow up one day and think they knew a thing or two
You might struggle with curfews and rules to conform
One day you will appreciate your experience of living in a dorm
1. Juliette Tufted Bed
2. Rectangular Blue Velvet Pillow
3. Jonathan Adler Pillow by Layla Grace
4. Lamps Plus Retro Pendant
5. Ginger Blue Side Table
6. Desk Chair
7. Acid Etched Letters by Urban Outfitters
8. Eleanor Table Lamp and Lamps Plus Shade
9. Galactic Sculpture by Chiasso
10. Scooter Mirror by Chiasso
11. Ashmolean Bookshelves
12. Lamps Plus Navy Leather Frame
13. iPod Lamp
14. Cosmetic Bag
15. Butterfly Wing
16. Metro Basket
1. Bar Table
2. Loft Bed at Ikea
3. Lamps Plus Pendant
5. Square Pillow by 2Modern
7. Desk Chair
8. Zig Zag Dhurrie Pouf by West Elm
10. Trolley by 2Modern
12. Spider Picture Holder by Kikkerland
Eat - Invest in a coffee maker so you don't waste money running out to buy coffee and buy a decent thermos to keep your coffee hot. The single cup coffee makers are also a good option.
Live - Decorating your chill space with furnishings and inspirational accessories that make you feel good is crucial. You will need a place to sit other than your desk chair incase you have a guest. A decent sofa can also be used as a place to sleep. There are places to find art and accessories all over the internet. While researching for this article, I found Society6 which I used in the men's dorm room board.
Learn - A floor lamp that is moveable around the room and used as task lighting is a good idea. An ottoman can be used as a place to put your feet up, as a seat and as a coffee table. Bring a good flashlight for emergencies and to study with.
Sleep - A third of the day is spent sleeping. Purchase high thread count sheets made of Egyptian cotton. They will wash and wear without piling and in the end will last twice as long as low thread count sheets made with polyester. Bring a feather pillow made of down feathers. Getting a good night sleep will make all the difference in your attitude and health. If you have the option of purchasing a bed, a loft twin will give you the space to create a sleeping nest above and a study cove or eating area below. Bring a sleeping bag to use as an extra blanket and if there is a guest spending the night.
Tidy- When occupying a small space, organization is the key. You must live like the Amish whose credo is "a place for everything and everything in its place". Purchase organizational items at stores like Bed, Bath and Beyond, the Container Store, Target and Ikea. Let me introduce you to Mrs. Meyers Clean Day. The amazing scent of these cleaning products will make you want to clean--seriously try the geranium scented laundry detergent.
Play - Taking time to recreate, relax and enjoy your time will help you be more productive and will relieve stress. Practice yoga since it is the panacea for your body, mind and soul. Savor the time you spend in college--it will go by in the blink of eye.
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.” ―Dr. Seuss
More than anything, I must have flowers always, always
f you want a golden rule that will fit everything, this is it: Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe beautiful." these words by English designer and brainchild of the British Arts and Crafts movement, William Morris.
The Arts and Crafts movement was an aesthetic movement occurring in the late 19th century and early 20th century inspired by writings of author John Ruskin in his book, The Seven Lamps of Architecture. The philosophy of the movement advocated hand fabrication of products in place of machine fabrication. First and foremost was the idea of truth in materials, the use of simple forms, and no unnecessary decoration in the designs. Nature was an important source of the motifs inspired by plants, birds, organic shapes and patterns.
William Morris founded the firm of Morris, Marshall and Faulkner, which decorated churches, designed stained glass, textiles, tapestries, and furniture. Morris insisted that art and design be part of normal daily life. Another quote by Morris, "the true secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life" illustrates his passion.
Morris was a visionary who believed art should flourish in a free and equal society. In a lecture, The Lesser Arts of Life he said, "I do not want art for a few, any more than education for a few, or freedom for a few . . . art will make our streets as beautiful as the woods, as elevating as mountain sides: It will be a pleasure and a rest . . . to come from the open country into a town; every man's house will be fair and decent, soothing to his mind and helpful to his work: all the works of man that we live among and handle will be in harmony with nature, will be reasonable and beautiful . . . in no private dwelling will there be any signs of waste, pomp or insolence, and every man will have his share of the best."
Contributions to article included:
William Morris by Christine Poulson, Victoria and Albert Period Styles by Anna Jackson and The Style Sourcebook by Judith Miller.
Color forecaster Pantone chose the color greenery as the color of 2017. I thought it was a brilliant choice since we need a healing color at this time. The color green has been associated with health, good fortune, luck, jealousy and of course the color of money. Green is known for the calming effect it has on the psyche, which is why it is used in hospitals, as surgeon’s attire and in waiting rooms known as green rooms. The color green is linked with nature and all of the many forms we see in landscaping, plants, vegetables, fruits and gems. Ireland is known as the Emerald Isle because of its lush green landscaping. The city of Seattle is also known as the Emerald City because of all the evergreen trees in abundance there. Green symbolizes St. Patrick's Day and the Irish clover known as the shamrock.
Throughout history the color green has many different associations. The Egyptian’s depicted the God Osiris with a green face representative of the color of plants and new life representing their belief in the afterlife. They also used the green stone malachite in their ornamentation. The architect, Robert Adam used a muted shade of green in the walls of his interiors. The Aesthetic Movement of the 1860s and 1870s used paint color schemes of green, gold and gray prominently in their peacock motifs. Similarly, the Arts and Crafts movement of the 1860s, which was a statement against the commercialization and industrialization of industry during the Victorian era, used green in their natural motifs of plants inspired by nature and simple materials.
The heart chakra which is located in the chest is governed by the color green making it an excellent color for improving well being and health. Bathrooms, bedrooms, libraries, and offices are spaces that will be enhanced by using the color green. Some of the names used to describe the color green are apple, avocado, bottle green, boxwood green, celadon, eucalyptus, emerald, fern, forest green, jade, lime, mint, olive, and sea green. The complement or opposite color on the color wheel of green is red. Color combinations which are pleasing are green and purple, green and yellow-green, lime green and pink, and green and white and/or cream. Rather than be green with envy, get lucky and add some green to your decor.
I started my holiday baking early this year. The first batch of cookies I made are a favorite of everyone who has tasted one. They are chocolate chip, toffee chip hazelnut cookies.
This past weekend I made roll out sugar cookies. This was the first time I decorated the cookies with gel color by painting on the details. The process was much quicker than embellishing them with different colors of royal icing. My favorite cookie out of this batch are the angels adorned with edible gold glitter.
Cherubs or putti, Italian for small boys is a design motif which originated in Italy during the Baroque period. The chubby infants are seen in paintings, sculpture, giltwood carvings, vases, tapestries and textiles. One of my teachers in design school referred to them as "fat flying babies." Here are some examples I found today of this lovely design. Cherubs are often seen adorning cards and ornaments during the holiday and Christmas season.
Tabletop arrangements found on Pinterest.
It's that scary time of year when you see Christmas decorations out before you had a chance to change your calendar to October. October is one of my favorite months in Arizona. Today it was time to get out the fall decorations.
Jack O Lantern
My presence is bountiful from fall through the end of the year
When I am sure to bring joy and feelings that endear
My favorite holiday is October 31st—better known as Halloween
When my glowing face at night is seen
The hue of my skin suggests a leaf turning color on a fall day
Or a field of poppies around the month of May
My body is heavy, thick and dense in mass.
With a shiny, smooth finish that appears polished in wax
I have deeply ingrained ridges all over my exterior
With an oval round body shaped like a sphere
When you take off my top, I am heavy with a thick, slimy flesh
That is stringy and sticky forming a squashy mesh
This can be mashed with sugar and spice and made into a pie
Or sold at your bakery and is plentiful to buy
My first name is Jack; middle initial O., and a last name of Lantern
Which you call me when my face has been carved into a pattern
I enjoy bringing joy in the autumn of the year
However, I will tell you my greatest demise and fear . . .
When I am smashed and thrown tumbling down the street
By tiny figures in bright colored costumes brimming with trick or treat
It is far, far more suitable and a satisfying feat
To make a warm and savory pie covered in whip cream to eat
Posts by Charisse Colbert