Dealing with commitment issues in your home

By
Home Stager with Claudia Jacobs Designs LLC, Goshen, NY

By Claudia Jacobs For the Times Herald-Record Published: 2:00 AM - 01/16/11

 

Making selections within your home can be challenging. Selecting comes naturally to me as a professional decorator and stager, working with clients and their personal taste and style. When it comes to my own home, however, I have commitment issues. It really is tough to be objective in your own space. Sometimes what you think you want you really don't want, so it is best to have a clear vision.

 

A few years ago I worked with a couple moving into the area. I met with them in the home they were selling for a staging consultation. They hired me to make selections as their house was being built, and then again for a color consultation of their entire new home. The husband kept saying whatever his wife wanted was fine as long as it was warm and inviting. We started in the front entry, and he was not happy with the color selections. She loved them.

 

There I was, right smack in the middle of designing for the sexes. It was time for couples counseling. As I sat on the floor in the middle of the entryway floor in a sea of color cards, I started asking him questions. The husband announced he wanted the house to feel like Bermuda. Aha! His idea of warm and inviting was totally different from my idea. Bermuda can be a very warm and inviting location; the colors of Bermuda are actually quite cool and tropical. We were now in search of peaches, corals and blues. Perfect! When we got up to the second floor, he even showed me prints he and his wife had picked up in their travels of Bermuda architecture that matched the colors we selected on the first floor.

 

You need to have a clear vision

 

If you are looking for a change, start collecting images of things you love. Search through magazines, catalogs and the Internet. Create your own "Style File" of these images. This will give you ideas and direction you need to start making selections.

 

Look for inspiration within your space. It could be from a piece of artwork or a rug. There are little trade secrets such as selecting a lighter color from your inspiration and then accenting with a darker color. It all depends on how you want the space to look and feel.

 

If you plan on selling, don't do anything outrageous. The competition is tough in real estate. With real estate staging, neutral is best — but not mandatory — if it works within the space. A boldly accented wall in a well-staged room will generate more interest from potential buyers than a neutral, cluttered, unkempt space. Want proof? Take a peek at online listings to see what I'm talking about. What house can you see yourself living in?

 

Think 'fashion' in color choices

 

A few months ago I had the honor, thanks to a few decorating friends in New Jersey, to see Candace Olsen from HGTV's "Divine Design." She put on a great presentation and shared stories and photos from her show. Throughout her talk I kept tapping my friend with excitement. Olsen was making the same comments I had just made during our pre-event dinner. Great minds think alike! Actually, good design is universal. You need to understand the basic concepts to make the space cohesive and comfortable.

 

Candice compared color selection to fashion. Think of dressing up a basic black dress. That one same dress can be styled with different accessories to give it a different look repeatedly. How does that translate to a room? Keep the major elements — wall, sofa — classic. Accessorize to suit your style, change with trends, seasons and mood. Your major investments will last, and the other pieces can be swamped out without breaking the bank. Now that's divine design!

 

A reader asks

 

Q. Dear Claudia: I need to redo my bedroom. It has been 15 years since I painted it. It was supposed to be peach, but they didn't mix it right and it ended up being more beige. I have always wanted to redo it, and I did take a big step in the right direction and did major cleaning. I was thinking about what keeps me from just doing it and thought maybe you know some of the answers. Maybe it is trying to pick the right color. Is it OK to paint two different colors? Should the ceiling be a different color? I think lighter or darker makes a room look bigger or smaller, but I'm not sure which.

You mentioned in another column how different colors give different "feelings." I have a nice-sized room that could look great, but I'm not sure what to do, so I do nothing. I just HAVE to do something. Any advice would be great. — Janeen, Campbell Hall

 

A. This is a perfect example of what I just wrote about. You have commitment issues with your room! You already got rid of the things you don't want. That is terrific start and part of great design. Instead of trying to select paint first, pick out your bedding for inspiration. It once took me more than a year before I found the perfect comforter. From there I was able to select the drapes, artwork, lamps and pillows. It all came together once I had my inspiration and focused on the details. All four walls were already painted a very neutral light cream color. I was inspired to paint the wall behind my bed a dark accent color. I love my room!

 

The master bedroom is usually the most neglected yet most important room in the house. If we don't sleep well within our space we will have a difficult time functioning in life. It's important to create a space that you love. Start a style file, look for bedding and make selections from there. As far as color, anything goes. If it is a decent-sized space it doesn't matter if you select light or dark colors. Ceilings tend to be light neutral colors, but that does not mean you cannot select a darker color or even bring the wall color up to the ceiling to create an envelope of color.

 

Of course, if you can't find your inspiration, you can hire a professional decorator for direction. Over the years I have helped clients with anything from one room to the entire house. Painting is a big investment of time and money whether you do it yourself or hire a professional. You don't want to discover the wrong selection once the paint is up — or have to live with it for many years, as you did. Good luck!

 

Color tips

• Bold and bright colors add visual weight, while neutral colors reduce visual weight.

 

• To make a small room appear larger, choose a light paint color.

 

• Light-colored ceilings will attract attention. Dark ceilings will direct the eye back to head level, allowing the focus to be on the walls, furnishings and accessories in a room.

 

Claudia is a decorator, professional stager, owner of Claudia Jacobs Designs in Goshen, www.claudiajacobsdesigns.com. Call 845-294-8993. Send questions and photos to info@claudiajacobsdesigns.com. Follow her on Facebook & Twitter.

 

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Rainmaker
906,490
Doug Dawes
Keller Williams Realty - Topsfield, MA - Georgetown, MA
Your Personal Realtor®

Proper staging results in higher prices. Every homeowner should have their home staged prior to selling

Jan 17, 2011 02:14 AM #1
Rainmaker
15,029
Claudia Jacobs
Claudia Jacobs Designs LLC, Goshen, NY - Goshen, NY
Decorating, Staging

Exactly Doug! You are so right!

Jan 17, 2011 10:14 AM #2
Rainer
83,279
Connie King
Sevierville, TN

Great post.   I always tell folks to start looking thru magazines, books, etc and make note of what they are attracted to,  even if they don't know why.   It speaks volumes.    Love the bedroom you pictured,  did you do this work?   It's very beautiful.

Jan 17, 2011 10:27 AM #3
Rainer
98,496
Tori Toth
Tori Toth, International - Howard Beach, NY
888.667.6643 NYC & Beyond, HSR, SAR, RESA, LIBOR

yeah love the bedroom pic so light airy and crisp, i definately tell clients to add tons of color to spaces ones they like and enjoy.

Jan 18, 2011 04:14 PM #4
Rainmaker
15,029
Claudia Jacobs
Claudia Jacobs Designs LLC, Goshen, NY - Goshen, NY
Decorating, Staging

Thank you all. As I said in my column, the master bedroom is the most neglected room in the home. It is important to create a sanctuary. 

Connie...the photo is from istock.com. I have done similar looks with clients but the photos were not as nice for print. The room is gorgeous!

Jan 19, 2011 08:14 AM #5
Rainmaker
915,800
Debbie Walsh
Shahar Management - Middletown, NY
Hudson Valley NY Real Estate 845.283-3036

I love that bedroom picture.  I want a bedroom that looks like that!  :D

Jan 23, 2011 09:48 AM #6
Rainmaker
15,029
Claudia Jacobs
Claudia Jacobs Designs LLC, Goshen, NY - Goshen, NY
Decorating, Staging

You can have a bedroom that looks like that. Use it as inspiration Debra!

Jan 29, 2011 08:01 AM #7
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Rainmaker
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Claudia Jacobs

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