Spring Cleaning: 6 Ways De-Cluttering Improves Your Life

With winter warming up and the sunshine making its yearly debut, it’s time for spring cleaning. A clean sweep of your home can work wonders not just for drawer space and interior aesthetic, but for your health and wellness in general. Renz_228

Here are six ways that de-cluttering can help improve your life:

  • Shifts focus to what matters most. Less stuff means that you can focus more on the task at hand, or more important matters than the inanimate objects around you. Cleaning your space will bring clarity and allow you to trust your intuition as you realize what is and is not necessary in your life.
  • Resolves personal issues. Digging through old stuff is like sorting through your past. Clutter can bring up emotions and memories that have stuck with you, and each one you confront will make room for new beginnings.
  • Brings balance. Clutter is like a blockage in your home’s feng shui. When it’s removed, positive energy can flow more freely, making room for re-arranging and fresh thinking.
  • Gives you more time. One mass cleaning will eliminate to do so again in the future. Less stuff means less things to tidy up, allowing you to run your household more efficiently. You’ll be able to get things done rather than getting distracted with unwanted clutter in your way.
  • More space. This one is obvious but one of the best reasons to spring clean—create more room! Make the most of the space you have by ridding it of unnecessary items. Re-arranging and re-decorating will give your home a fresh, clean feel before summertime.
  • Makes you happier. Don’t become a hoarder. Letting go of things you don’t need in your life will feel like a weight off your shoulders and help you breathe easier. De-cluttering also sets a great example for your children to show that material items are not crucial to a happy life.

Bright Ideas: Keep Your Home Feeling Warm This Winter

The cold, dark days of winter are upon us, but that’s no reason to feel dreary! With many months of “brrr” ahead, it’s important to keep your home feeling warm and fresh. A happy, cheerful household will help keep spirits bright during those dark winter days. Here are some simple ways to maintain a positive mood in your home this season:

GR Lifestyles Orange and Blue Bedroom

GR Lifestyles Orange and Blue Bedroom

Pops of color. Bust the winter blues with bursts of warm colors. Incorporate sunny hues into your décor with bright pillowcases, accessories, artwork and rugs. Color evokes mood, so it’s a simple way to instantly make a space happier.

Capture the sunlight. Keep blinds and curtains open during the day to welcome in the little sunlight that might shine through—white or light-colored curtains are your best bet.

Keep it cozy. Layer your couches, chairs and beds with pillows and oversized blankets. A snuggle-ready room will keep you and your family cozy all winter long, no matter how cold it is outside.

Summer scents. Light candles that smell of coconut, an ocean breeze, or tropical fruits. A strong scent can immediately trigger thoughts of a faraway place or summery scene.

Use patterns and texture. A room that is busy with bold patterns and interesting textures feels fuller than one that is stark and white. Bedding, rugs, and shams with pattern will aesthetically fill a space, making it look and feel cozier.

Flower power. Pick up some eye candy at the farmer’s market or grocery store. Fresh flowers bring life to any space, especially when your garden is asleep for the winter. Bonus points for bringing them home to your wife or husband—something you both can enjoy!

Check out some GR Interiors projects for some sunny décor inspiration, and contact us for an interior design consultation that will help your home beat the winter blues!

Top Home-Sprucing Projects to Do Before the Holidays

We are about to enter that time of year that, while full of all of the wonderful holiday things, is also quite busy. Now is the best time to address some of those home-sprucing projects that you put off all summer, and may need to do to prep for the season ahead…Renz_083-01

Rearrange with entertaining in mind. This is the time of year when you’re probably going to have the most foot traffic. Even if you aren’t hosting several holiday parties and events, you will likely be hosting at least one relative or guest. Look at the main areas of your home where guests will be (such as the living room and kitchen), and rearrange furniture to be more conducive to foot traffic.

Give your house a good deep clean. Before the holiday craziness arrives, now is an excellent opportunity to give your whole home a deep-clean. It may take some time, depending on the size of your home, but you will feel accomplished and ready to take on holiday entertaining and busyness with completely fresh, clean living spaces.

De-clutter and organize. With all of those holiday decorations about, your normal décor is probably going to make things look disjointed and cluttered. Put away the extra tabletop accessories and accents to make room for your holiday decorations, while clearing up as many surfaces as you can (tabletops and dressers).

Spruce up the guest space. Houseguests can be a joy and a hindrance, but they deserve to feel welcome and comfortable throughout their stay. If you have guests coming to stay with you this holiday season, go a step further than merely tidying your guest room and making the bed with fresh sheets. Make them feel all the more special with some personal touches, such as a candle in their favorite scent, storage space for them to unpack, and maybe a little spa kit to relax.

Clean, dry and store your outdoor furniture. It’s only going to get wetter, so it’s best to bring your outdoor furniture into your garage or storage area to prevent the damage that leaving it out all winter will bring. This is particularly important with wood furniture, which can warp, split or decay if left out in the elements.

The Magic of Mirrors: 10 Tips for Decorating with Reflection

Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all? Forget the fairytales— mirrors have much more potential than being a tool for the vain. A mirror can enhance a space by reflecting light, creating an illusion of openness, and working with other design elements in adornment of the room. Follow these tips for decorating with mirrors to add some reflections to your room that are anything but random:Lake WA home

  • Be mindful of the reflection. Don’t place a mirror somewhere that will reflect clutter or a dead space, but rather a nice feature or piece of furniture. Placing a mirror on the opposite wall of a beloved work of art creates double the view!
  • Don’t put mirrors on the ceiling. It’s tacky.
  • Keep mirrors limited in the kitchen, where there are many shiny appliances and generally plenty of light.
  • Horizontal mirrors work well in staircases or hallways, creating a nice flow between rooms and widening the space.
  • Make a mirror the focal point of a room with a bold, decorative frame.
  • A long, thin mirror makes for a great table runner in the dining room. Set candles, plants and vases on top for a unique centerpiece.
  • The classic mirror trick is to make a room seem larger. Use a sizeable mirror in a small area, either nailed into the wall or propped against it, to instantly open the space.
  • Setting a mirror behind candles will create a nice, soft light.
  • Let a mirror act like another window. If a room has great natural light, show it off with mirrors that reflect it throughout the space.
  • Mix and match mirrors on the same wall. Use various frames, shapes and sizes to make an interesting pattern for the eye.

Is decorating with mirrors still a mystery to you? Let us help with your next interior design project!

Trending Colors for Fall 2015

Your home is your refuge, your delight, and another way to showcase your personality. Wall color is the foundation for all of the things that create a comfortable, cherished, and representative space. It can totally transform the mood of a space, and give a room exciting energy or relaxed bliss.

Color authority Pantone released their predictions for trending colors for fall 2015 a few months ago, and we’re excited about the mix of bold and rich tones that they forecasted. Elle Décor recently shared an infographic about Pantone’s 10 predicted ‘down to earth’ colors for fall 2015, which described the fall color palette as “[weaving] earthy neutrals with a range of bold color statements and patterns to reflect a landscape of hope, fun, fantasy and all things natural.”

Pantone Fall 2015

We are all about these beautiful hues, which bring back the fun, optimistic sentiments of the 1960s and ‘70s. The softer pastel colors of Cadmum Orange, Cashmere Rose, Desert Sage, and Oak Buff compliment the darker, duskier Dried Herb and Stormy Weather. Richer, vibrant hues such as Amethyst Orchid, Marsala, Biscay Bay, and Reflecting Pond round out the palette with some gusto.

These predictions are far from random – Pantone polls designers from many industries to learn the colors they plan to use in their products for upcoming seasons. Then, they update the rest of us with the results so that we can all get excited about color!

As we near the end of summer, it’s a great time to give your home décor a second look. Is it time for a little update (or a big one)? Now is the time to get started, so that everything is finished before the holiday craziness hits. Visit our store near the University Village to get some inspiration and some beautiful pieces, or contact us if you think you could use some professional consultation or assistance!

How To Protect Your Home’s Interior From Sun Damage

It’s hot out there! The sizzling summer sun can have lasting effects on your home’s interior as it beats down on furniture and décor throughout the day. Carpets, drapes, hardwood flooring, artwork, sofas, chairs and more that are exposed to direct sunlight are susceptible to sun damage such as fading, drying, and cracking. Fabrics and leather are strong, but UV rays are stronger, and can even shine through windows on cloudy or rainy days. As longer and hotter days approach, here are some tips for protecting your home’s interior from sun and heat damage:

Play musical chairs. Move things around so that any one item is not constantly soaking in direct sunlight. Switch similar furniture or art pieces between sunny and dark rooms a few times throughout the summer to reduce sun exposure.

Window tinting. No need to be completely in the dark—even the slightest shaded window film can significantly protect interior items from fading. Tinted windows still allow plenty of natural light in, while blocking harmful UV rays to significantly reduce heat and sun damage. Solar Control window films can also block up to 79% of incoming solar energy, reducing the amount of heat coming into your home and therefore saving you money on air conditioning bills.

Add protective layers. Just like we apply sunscreen to our skin, fabrics and upholsteries should be protected from the sun. Cover couches with blankets during the day, and coat outdoor furniture with protective sealants (check out what products are best for specific materials here).

Draw the shades. Before leaving the house, you should create as much shade as possible. Close blinds and drapes, which will sacrifice the sun’s heat to protect the rest of the interior space. Keep windows cracked to allow a breeze.

Communicate with your designer. When designing your interior space, we are here to help! Ask questions, create a flexible space that can be rotated during the peak of summer sunshine, and work together to organize furniture and décor with fading in mind.

Patio Design

Summer is here, and that means we’re spending our days, evenings, and nights outside as much as possible. What better way to enjoy the season than by making the most of your patio? Whether you’re grilling with your family, drinking sangria with friends, or relaxing alone with a book, a nice patio has the capacity to enrich your whole experience of summer.

Here at GR Home, interior design isn’t just for the inside! Here are a few style ideas for summer patio looks that will make the most of the season.

Contemporary European Cottage

The classic image of a family sitting together enjoying lunch in their picturesque country-style patio is an excellent influence to channel, and can bring elements of European heritage to a patio that might otherwise be quite modern. Sweet, subtle flowers like roses or baby’s breath, or sophisticated climbing plants like ivy, are key for this design inspiration. Wrought iron furniture, brickwork walls, and stone planters or statuary will help bring out nostalgia in your contemporary setting.

Bring Your Living Room Outside

Not literally, of course, but it makes sense to have a patio that’s cohesive in design with your indoor living space. Choose patio furniture similar to the lines of your other decor. If you’re drawing inspiration from mid-20th century modern design, maybe choose patio furniture with long, large seats and low backs, and a glass-top patio table. Steer away from the tropical and more toward the primary, but don’t be afraid of bold, strong colors. These can come across in flowers you plant around your patio in either movable pots or the soil itself, and you might want to add decorations like durable pieces of outdoor art. Intriguing vases or planters, abstract sculpture, or weather-resistant mirrors are great choices.

Add Zen Inspiration

You want your patio to inspire a sense of serenity and natural peacefulness in you and your guests. If you want your patio to act as a kind of refuge, incorporate some Japanese or Asian design principles. Low, wooden benches or levels surrounded by a sand or a rock garden is a lovely choice. Try installing a small Japanese maple within eyesight for a pop of natural color, and incorporate a water fixture that will add an element of relaxing auditory stimulation. Sliding paper doors leading from your home to the patio will complete the look, or perhaps a pergola as the roof, which is a structure or archway with a slatted framework that allows creeping plants to drape over the top and form a kind of canopy. The clean lines of this kind of design will compliment any interior.

Come into GR Home for more design ideas!


Fresh Decorating for Spring

As winter begins to wind down, everyone is getting a bit of spring fever. Naturally, thoughts and inspiration turn to the home and ways to breathe life and freshness into your décor. There are some fabulous ways to create almost a makeover without actually going to all that effort. All it takes is a few changes, some creative inspiration, and you are on your way!

GR Lifestyles Turquoise Tulips

GR Lifestyles Tulips and Turquoise

  • Get a new coat. Of paint, that is. Any room gets an instant brightening face-lift with a new, lighter color.
  • De-clutter. It’s amazing how de-cluttering can not only give your home a fresh lift, but your mood as well. Make sure to choose storage bins that are light and fresh and add a design element all their own.
  • Reflect on it. Mirrors are a great way to not only replicate your existing light, but also to make even the smallest room open up and appear more spacious.
  • Color it! Chase away those winter drabs with some new throws, pillows, or a brightly colored vase to sprinkle subtle, but eye-popping color to your room.
  • Open it. Your windows, we mean. Start with the old-fashioned spring window cleaning inside and out to wash away that winter grime. Finish up with simple, airy window treatments and give your eyes a window on the world.
  • Quick art. Update your walls with the aura of spring and create some easy, new art to dot throughout your home. Just a few new pieces can really transform a room.
  • Shine a light on it. Add lighting to dark corners, or illuminate and highlight artwork. Adding hidden strip lighting under cabinets and within bookshelves opens up those dark “holes”.
  • White out. Pack away those deeper, dark linens from winter and brighten up your bedroom with crisp, white ones.
  • Center it. A simple floral centerpiece on the table will freshen up the entire room. There is no need for expensive arrangements from the florist with these elegant ideas.

As you can see, it doesn’t take an extensive overhaul of your home to create a whole new look. Think bright, simple, and bold pops of color for spring!

Accessories to Make Your Dining Room Distinctive

It is a fun and creative process as you work with your designer to make your home a beautiful place that reflects you and your lifestyle. However, all too often, much time and emphasis is placed on the living, kitchen, and sleeping areas in a home, leaving the dining room as almost as after thought.

The dining room is a key player in your entertaining schedule, so don’t leave its look to leftovers. Check out our gallery for some fun, classy, and exotic ways to accessorize the space with not only beautiful pieces, but ones that serve a purpose for entertaining and meals.

  • Plum Table Setting

    Love this Plum and Turquoise table scape for Spring

    Platters and Plates: Not only are there endless possibilities of wonderful service pieces to help you in your entertaining events, but these are truly pieces of art and too lovely to look at, that it would be a shame to tuck them away in a hutch when not in use. Rather than adorn your surfaces with knick-knacks, pull out some of your beautiful service pieces and put them to work as a part of your room décor.

  • Glasses and Goblets: At GR, we have them in a multitude of hues to add a play of light and glow to your dining space. These are wonderful holding votive candles, glass beads, or beautiful stones to complement your style and colors.
  • Home Vanity: Often times relegated to the bedroom, this piece is wonderful to not only put to use housing your dining room linens, but it’s top surface provides a great space to use to tie in your accessories, framed photos, or top with a beautiful lamp.
  • Home Tea Set: this lovely set and others that we carry in GR Home is perfect for bringing out of the china hutch and setting on the home vanity on a tray. It is just begging to be used and has beautiful lines that would complement either a classic or contemporary home style.
  • Porcelain Dishes: These footed bowls are lovely for storing and displaying your beautiful linens while at the same time, drawing your accent colors into your dining space. GR Home has a wide selection of sizes and shapes to fit your need.
  • Candle in a Jar: These are perfect clustered on a tray, ready to add soft ambiance to your entertaining. The jars catch and reflect the light beautifully and add warmth.

Remember not to neglect your dining space and have fun accessorizing. Look at your utilitarian pieces in a whole new light, pull them out of hiding and put them to work around your room so you can enjoy their beauty and the reasons they caught your eye in the first place.

Modern Updates to your Holiday Décor

‘Tis the season to get festive and dust off those Christmas decorations—the holidays are here! Are you tired of looking at that set of nutcrackers from the ‘90s? Have you exhausted all possible arrangements of those worn out Santa figurines? Try these modern updates for traditional holiday decorations to spruce up those outdated adornments:

Leave the leafy wreath behind

A wreath made of tree branches has so much more potential than the traditional green circle. Give a wreath some love with extra ornaments or holly berries, or try a new technique all together. Think outside the box (or rather, circle) for materials—pinecones, wine corks, rolled paper, candy canes, colored paper clips, round ornaments, all can come together to make a unique, modern wreath.

Ornaments don’t just have to be for the tree

Have you accumulated so many ornaments over the years that they no longer fit on the tree? No need to pack away your favorites due to a lack of branch space—these little figurines can be used throughout the house as added adornment. Hang from large plants or decorative branches, use in table centerpieces, place on the mantle, or fill a glass bowl as an easy tabletop decoration.

Play with color

If you’re not a big fan of literal Christmas decorations such as stuffed reindeer or Santa statues, let the colors of the holidays do the work. A table setting of green and gold, a mantel filled with silver pieces, or a room with pops of red does the trick without the need of Christmas characters smiling throughout your home.

Keep it simple

Less is more in home décor, and the same goes for dressing your house for the holidays. Spread the Christmas cheer throughout the entire house by keeping displays minimal in each room. A simple garland or arrangement of festive candles go a long way and create a focal point in the space.

Happy holidays from all of us at Graciela Rutkowski Interiors!

Featured photo found here.