{friday finds: don’t make these interior design mistakes}

Design inspiration is everywhere. Watch TV, read this blog, or pick through Pinterest, and you’ll find plenty of  exciting design ideas. But sometimes that’s a problem. How you put them together is where you really make the magic — or make a mess.

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So, in the spirit of “putting it all together,” our Hirshfield’s professionals put together a list of interior design mistakes you shouldn’t make.

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{friday finds: how to paint for an open floor plan}

Choosing a color scheme for an open floor plan

My friend Melissa knocked out a wall in her home that used to separate the kitchen from the living and dining rooms. Her new open floor plan allows her and her husband to keep an eye on their young children while they’re in the kitchen, paying bills at the dining room table or working on a project. There are many advantages to an open floor plan—but figuring out how to paint such a large space can be a challenge.

When you’re choosing a color scheme for an open floor plan, start by thinking about the colors that you love—what speaks to you and makes you happy. Next think of the space and what atmosphere you’re trying to create—cozy and warm, cool and clean or fresh and light. Think about the furniture, floor coverings and other items in the room and your purpose for the space. Choose your color so that it will complement existing furnishings. Read the rest of this entry »

{how lighting affects design}

Visual Comfort & Co.

You saw our post yesterday on the different types of lighting, now it is time to consider how those different types fit into your home’s design. According to Greg Yaghsezian of Hirshfield’s Design Resource, lighting sets the attitude for a room. You can have a beautifully designed room, but without the proper lighting you won’t be doing it justice.

First off, you need to make sure you have adequate lighting to properly use your space. A kitchen, for example, will require a good source of general lighting as well as task lighting, whereas a family room leaves you more room for accent and decorative lighting.

Secondly, you need to make sure your paint color and lighting play well together. The type of light under which color is viewed can make a huge difference in how we perceive the color. In this video, Pat Verlodt, president of Color Services & Associates, Inc., explains how light is possibly the single most independent factor that influences color in a room.

Consider the amount of natural light your space gets. Natural sunlight maintains a neutral balance between both the warm (yellow cast) and cool (blue cast) ends of the light spectrum, providing you with the truest rendition of color.

Visual Comfort & Co.

Artificial light also affects color. Under incandescent and halogen lights reds and yellows are enhanced, but under the cool cast of fluorescent lights blues and greens are brought out. For more information on how sunlight and artificial light affect color, click here.

Overall, lighting affects just about every aspect of a room’s design; from how you use it to how you view it. Greg recommends starting with lighting when you are building, remodeling or redecorating as it can pave the way for the rest of the design.

{best basement remodels}

In my family, basements used to be referred to as dungeons – dark, musty and old! It was all we knew – both among friends and family.

Then, with the onset of a new century, two kids and a promotion, most of our friends moved from their starter homes to bigger houses with walk-in closets, built-in cabinets AND an unfinished basement.

What opportunity, I thought as I looked around my own unfinished 1,000 square-feet of untapped dreams. The kids were little back then so naturally the space became a playroom — the place for large toys, loud kids and scratches on the wall. But I itched to make it something more; something that beckoned guests to sit a while.

And with the passing of time, my basement transformed from a messy playroom to a gameroom with a pool table, big screen television, a spot for the Wii and a refreshment area complete with a fridge, sink and microwave. And just like the playroom worked with our lifestyle a decade ago, this area is now a welcoming and inviting space for our teenagers to entertain their friends.

But after visiting basements in this year’s Remodeler’s Showcase, I realized that my own basement is lacking in a few areas. If I could do it all over again, these are the elements that I would include for a perfect remodeled basement: Read the rest of this entry »

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