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April Blog – Expanding the Home Beyond Walls

Composing Outdoor Spaces

What does the word home really mean and what does it constitute? What is the meaning of home? Our Old English roots define “home” as a village or place where many souls gather. It implies there’s a physical dwelling involved, but the main idea is that it’s a gathering of people. Walls do not define a home or space, it’s place amongst people and its purpose does! Taking that into consideration, we can expand our home beyond walls. We do not have to limit our gathering spaces to the confines of our home’s built footprint. Exterior spaces can certainly be composed to give more space for you and your loved ones to gather and make memories. And there’s plenty of ways to accomplish this!

Whether you’re adding a new outdoor space, updating an existing one or looking for clever ways to add on some fun features, we’ll talk about the different ways to expand your home beyond walls. Let’s dig into each one and the best methods.

Begin by evaluating the space you have to work with. Is it a patio, green space, deck, porch, covered, uncovered, etc? Your design direction will first be determined by what kinds of ground surfaces you’re working with. Make sure to grab some measurements of the area you want to develop, this will aid in what kind of furniture or amenities can be used, and overall how the space can function. And know your aesthetic! Knowing what you want your outdoor space to LOOK like will guide the composition through completion. 

For good measure, we’ll give you some fun design idea starters to inspire your space

Firepits and game areas are great for entertaining

Sturdy, weather proofed outdoor furniture is best for durability and longevity

Thrifted furniture works great for uncovered areas and as a budget friendly option

Create a cozy corner or nook for conversation spaces or to enjoy your morning coffee

Creating an outdoor cooking and dining area takes entertaining to the next level

Once you’ve determined what you want to use the space for, then it’s a matter of designating the area without “walls” and there’s so many creative ways to do this. Existing patios and decks will be a good start. But even if you don’t have either, or want to take the up a notch, here’s some of our favorite ways to go about it:

Create a paver grid or flagstone floor

Use a pergola or canopy, these will also provide shade

Outdoor rugs, they come in all sizes and can be anchored with tent stakes

Configure your outdoor furniture to assign the area a shape

Add a lattice panel or a living arch along a wall or fence to establish the space

Install a firepit and Adirondack chairs, an easy and lowkey option

For covered decks or porches, add hanging plants around the perimeter for privacy

Place tall landscape stakes and string lights between them generate a footprint

Play with levels, if you’re installing a new deck or patio, raise it up a little

Add in some landscape lighting, this designates the space and adds style

Your home is a place to gather, to come together and make memories, to rest and relax. With so many ways to compose outdoor spaces, there’s no reason not to expand your home beyond the confines of its walls. Why not have that cozy morning coffee nook, the firepit to sit around and laugh with family and friends, the dining spot to enjoy a meal with some beautiful weather? Enjoying the great outdoors doesn’t require you to leave your home, create those spaces and bring your home and its purpose to its full potential!

March Blog – Spring Has Sprung! The Declutter Expose!

Organization can bring a sense of health and well-being to your home and heart. Thinking of “spring cleaning” can be daunting and just be an added chore that we don’t want to do. It doesn’t have to be a nuisance though! Let’s switch the mindset by first learning about the benefits of decluttering and then learning the best methods to sorting, tidying and organizing your home. Read on for our Declutter Expose!

So how does decluttering and organizing your home help? It’s more than just making it look nice and clean. Having order to your home benefits your mind and body as well. Here’s a few ways that this practice will improve you and your families overall well-being and happiness

Excess clutter can cause adverse physical health. The more stuff you have, the more surfaces you have for dust and allergens to collect on. This can decrease the overall air quality in your house. Reducing clutter makes your everyday cleaning needs easier, quicker and promotes a peaceful, stress-free environment. It is also an opportunity to donate what you don’t need to those who do! These all  lead to an increase in self-esteem. When you struggle staying organized, you can tend to feel out of control, your physical environment has a significant impact on your mental health. Having less clutter means less anxiety, there’s less worries around finding things, safety in your spaces about how your home looks to visitors. Bringing positive habits and practical solutions into your daily routine will enhance more areas of your life than just your home. 

Additionally, here’s a list of even more benefits to decluttering and organizing!

  • Increase your living space, your rooms will feel and look bigger
  • Focus on your favorite things more without the distraction of the things you don’t need
  • A sense of accomplishment on a daily basis
  • Helps you to let go of the parts of your past that no longer bring positivity to you life
  • Improved financial responsibility, when you’re mindful of what you bring into your space, you’re more mindful of what your spending your money on

Now that we understand how much good decluttering can bring to your daily life, let’s get into the best methods for your declutter and how to keep up those practices.

No matter which room of the house you’re going through, there is a rule of thumb to follow when determining what you should keep. Just use these three simple questions when determining what should stay and what should go:

As you move through each area in your process, apply these questions to the items you’re going through. With those questions as your foundation in organization, start in the area of your home you spend the most time in. This tends to be the living room and the most difficult to keep neat since it is the most often used. Coffee table / ottoman trays offer up easy organization for  magazines, remotes, etc. They also add a nice decorative elevation to the room (see our February blog “Decorative Accessories That Invigorate Your Home”). Place a basket near the couch for throw blankets and a stylish trunk to keep toys or anything else out of sight when you have guests. Cut down on the amount of books or trinkets you keep in your bookcases, shelves, mantles and sort them by height or color for a neat, uniform look. Being proactive in your day-to-day tidying of this room will keep it looking great, with minimal effort, just like in our next room, the kitchen!

The kitchen can get crowded quickly! There’s plenty of awesome options for this room to provide order and cleanliness. Here’s a few of our favorites:

Another area of importance in the home to focus on, the entryway. This is the first thing you’ll see when you’re entering your home and will set the stage for your mood. You want to make this space inviting and functional. Designate a space for keys and mail, add a shoe organizer, maybe a stylish bench for bags and backpacks. Add hooks on the wall for coats and a rug or runner to catch any dirt from outside that would otherwise get tracked through the house – an entryway is easier to sweep than a whole house!

We’ll touch on one more considerable space that is much less visible but can be the most problematic for storing junk and clutter. Closets! First and foremost, evict, depose of, weed out, eradicate anything in any closet that does not currently or in the near future serve a purpose. A good consideration during this process – has it been used (or looked at) in the past 6 months, will it be used in the upcoming 6 months. If the answer is no either way, get rid of it. Install drawers, shelving, baskets. Like in the kitchen, categorize everything and give it a home. Allocate space by length and size, this will help you to maximize every inch. And if something doesn’t have an intentional home in the closet, don’t just shove it in there to hide it away! 

A gentle reminder, everything in your home should have its own home. Give everything a place to live – and keeping your spaces clean, decluttered and organized will be a breeze. Here’s our last helpful hint in The Declutter Expose, keep a specified “put away” or “return” bin. If you find something around the house in a space it doesn’t belong, bring it to the “return” bin. Once a week, take the bin throughout the house and put everything in it away, where it belongs.

Bella Home Interiors offers services such as Designer By Your Side and One Day Decorating to bring the designer’s eye and expertise into providing organization while making it look good. Schedule a consultation!

February Blog – Decorative Accessories That Invigorate Your Home

Furnishing your home isn’t just about the major pieces for each room, accessorizing is the moment when a space reaches its full potential. Decorative accessories come in all different forms and have the ability to really make a statement. Let’s look at the most impactful (and sometimes underestimated) accessories that will invigorate your home and provide layers of style!

A few of the more widely used accessories are wall art and mirrors, both of which can be used to fill out a large wall. Wall art can provide more color to a space while mirrors can be utilized to make a room feel bigger. The trick is to get creative with your selections. Choose a mirror with an elaborate frame or a funky shape. Support local artists and shop small for your wall art, their work is unique and usually one of a kind, this also adds an element of connection in your home and makes for a great conversation starter.

Plants, plants, plants! A sturdy floor plant can breathe new life into a room, quite literally. Aside from adding a natural feel, many house plants provide benefits such as improving indoor air quality, reducing stress levels and boosting productivity. Having some green in your home can never hurt and there are plenty of options that are low maintenance and easy to take care of. Visit your local nursery and ask for some pointers on which to choose.

Coffee table trays are great for so many reasons. Let’s talk about a few of them! Trays offer up easy organization, they keep your coffee table or ottoman neat while looking elegant. Tuck the remotes and coasters into the tray and add your favorite book or a nice small vase with fresh flowers. Trays are also a great chance to add extra style to the room, they’re available in a variety of sizes and finishes, choose one that pops against the surface it sits on. They’re also a great spot to create vignettes, which we’ll talk about soon, so keep reading. A nice coffee table tray brings another layer to the room that is small but packs a big punch!

Books and bookends, timeless, classic. We all have books, right? At least a few. Maybe some are treasured, ones you haven’t read yet, or ones you don’t quite know what to do with. Don’t stash them away on a bookshelf, use them to accessorize. Group by color or genre, play with stacking the sizes. Use 3-5 books together, lay them on their side and top them off with a nice trinket or a photo. Pairing books with a decorative globe or, the ever ageless hourglass sand timer is a beautiful way to fashion a fireplace mantle of sofa table. And don’t forget the option of using bookends, there’s an abundance of options to choose from to fit any design taste.

Vases, jars and bottles, you just can’t ever go wrong with adding a few of these throughout your spaces. They’re great for adding height and pulling focus. And of course, for adding some plants and flowers to your home. Thrift shops and antique stores are the perfect places to hunt for a wide variety and selection. 

Creating vignettes can add character and tell stories throughout your home. When designing your vignettes, consider arranging items with similar colors and themes and mix it up with shapes and heights. Try to keep your groupings to no more than 4-6 items, we want vignettes, not clutter. Use pieces that speak to you on a personal level, but don’t be afraid to add something that’s unique or imaginative.

There’s a few do’s and don’t to accessorizing your spaces. Follow a few guidelines and the process will be easy! Do apply balance, weight and scale. Understand that the visual weight of accessories should be consistent throughout a room. Don’t depend on chain stores for all of your accessories, try to shop small and local. This allows you to have more unique items in your home and support your community. Do make use of a variety of colors, patterns and the types of accessories you’re using, mix it up and make it your own! 

Accessorizing your home should be fun and exciting, but not everyone has an eye for design. Bella Home Interiors offers services such as Designer By Your Side and One Day Decorating to bring the designer’s eye and expertise into pulling your spaces together. Schedule a consultation and learn more about how to invigorate your home!

January Blog – A Window Treatment for Every Room

New Year, new window treatments! Creating change and updates in your home can be as simple as investing in new window treatments. There’s no need to do a complete overhaul of each room in your house, the right look on your windows can go a long way to improve the feel and comfort at home. Let’s talk about the best methods and how they enhance your space using just your windows.

The main living areas in your home need to provide the most versatility and aesthetic. Personal spaces can be given more specific needs on an individual basis. Regardless of the room, there’s some rules of thumb to follow. Read on to find out!

Kitchens, dining and family rooms should offer the most aesthetic value and as much ability for natural light as possible. How do we do this? We apply form to function! Dining and family rooms typically will have the largest windows in the house and for this, we want to feature them. Combining styles in these rooms is a great approach, a mix of roman shades and layered drapery can bring the area to life, allowing natural light while still providing the functions for privacy. 

Now we look to the kitchen, much of which will have reflective surfaces between countertops and appliances. Solar shades will provide anti-glare, privacy and sleekness. Add a custom valance to each window to really complete the look!

When it comes to bedrooms, roller shades are an adaptable and sophisticated choice. This treatment can accommodate the design of a room by blending in quietly while still looking timeless. Cellular shades are also a good option for bedrooms as they add insulation. If you have north facing windows, these will add an extra layer of heating and cooling with energy efficiency. Both style shades can be found in an array of colors and of course, you can add some nice curtains to take them up a notch. 

Last but not least, the bathroom. How do we achieve ultimate privacy when needed without sacrificing the look? Shutters! They’re attractive, durable, allow for good air flow and are easy to keep clean. All the necessary elements to make for the right window treatment in your bathrooms. 

The way you dress and treat your windows will make all the difference in the feel of a room. Without much effort, you can breathe new life into a space with a fresh window treatment. Check out Bella Home Interiors window treatments on our website and request a consultation today!