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.

Wallpaper: Is It Out Of Style?

Interior design trends come and go, but wallpaper is one that continues to stick around. zebra scalamandre

The popularity of wallpaper reached its peak in the early 19th century with the invention of machine printing. It began, as most hot new items do, as a quite luxurious product for wealthier homes, but soon became mass produced and widespread in interior décor. Classic wallpaper styles were generally elaborate and almost gaudy, like a paisley pattern that would be in your grandma’s house. Once it became commonplace in working class households, wallpaper was no longer all the rage, and its popularity began to fade along with its physical lifespan.

Applying wallpaper is difficult. Aligning patterns, wrestling with rolls of sticky paper, and pressing onto the wall without lumps is nowhere near as simple as painting a wall. Perhaps the tricky application process contributed to wallpaper’s decline in home design, or perhaps it was the out-of-date patterns that turned people off. But like most lifestyle trends, wallpaper has made a comeback with a modern twist.

Back in the day, wallpaper was used as a background to a room, whereas it is widely used as a foreground now. Bold colors and patterns can act as the focal point of a space with little need for more wall adornments. Today’s wallpaper styles are less about looking luxurious and more about working with other elements in the room. It also doesn’t have to be so bold that it takes over a room—many interiors utilize wallpaper with subtle patterns and neutral colors.

So, is wallpaper out of style? While the medium itself has re-gained popularity, the old fashioned patterns seen in many mid-19th century homes are no longer all the rage. Depending on how you use it, wallpaper can be contemporary and stylish.

Check out our work to see how we’ve used wallpaper to create beautiful spaces!

Interior Design Trend Forecast for 2016

A new year brings new trends. As interior designers, it’s always exciting for us to anticipate what’s on the horizon in our industry, from colors and room themes to furniture and popular products. Design is ever changing, adapting to advances in technology, cultural influences, and what’s currently “in.” Here’s our forecast for 2016 interior design trends:Spot-On SideTable-Gold

  • Minimalism. Nothing is the new something when it comes to decorating. We’re constantly seeing blank walls and empty corners rather than full. The minimalist trend allows a space’s natural curves, architecture and lighting speak for itself, ridding the need for excess embellishment.
  • Geometrics. Triangles and polygons are everywhere in design at the moment. We’re seeing geometric shapes in everything from a single piece of wall art to patterns in backsplashes and flooring.
  • Leafy greens. House plants have long been a finishing touch in interior design, but the popularity of these potted life forms significantly increased in 2015. Plants are integrated into so many photo spreads, catalogs and inspiration boards that they seem almost second nature in modern room design. A simple vase of flowers is no longer enough—think small trees, large palm leaves and hanging pots overflowing with leaves.
  • Warm metallics. The popularity of copper, brass, and rose gold will continue into this year. From Moscow Mule mugs to bathroom shelves, these warmly toned metals are a stylish juxtaposition to natural materials like wood and stone. Metallic materials are a great investment because they’ll last—both in quality and style.
  • Retro style. Furnishings are dipping back to decades ago with 1960s-70s design elements. Perhaps it’s a nostalgia for the quirky mid-century design era or an escape from today’s increasingly digital world, but whether we like it or not, the ‘70s are here to stay. 

What interior design trends are you excited to see in your home this year? Leave us a comment to let us know!

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.

7 Fall Interior Design Trends We Can’t Get Enough Of

Fall is here, and it’s time for a décor update! There are some pretty wonderful fall interior design trends that we simply can’t get enough of, and want to share…

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White on white. Fresh, clean, and sophisticated to boot, the white-on-white look is brightening up spaces everywhere. And with the gloomy winter season upon us, there’s no better time to illuminate your living space with refreshing white tones.

Glamour. Sofas and chairs with curvy lines and upholstered with luxurious fabrics, and elegantly sleek furniture pieces with a tuxedo-like color combination are on-point. Malachite is also a fabulous material for jazzing up a space with glamour.

Metallic leather. Chic, eye-catching and fabulous, furniture that is upholstered with metallic leather is on everyone’s radar this season! It’s that extra kick of shimmer that any room could use to brighten things up and get some glam going.

Bold patterns. With audacious appeal and stage-setting panache, bold, graphic patterns are making a statement this season. Deck the walls with zebra, ikat, Asian prints, and quirky graphic wallpapers for a stunning setting.

Bright with black. If you’re at all familiar with GR Interiors and Graciela’s style, you know how much we love using black as a bold accent – on a wall or otherwise. For Fall 2015, it’s becoming more and more fun to contrast vivid bright colors on a sleek black backdrop.

Chunky accessories. It is the season, after all, for cozy throws to keep you warm. Get comfy with fashionably chunky knit throw pillows and accent blankets for a look that’s textured and modish as well as cozy and welcoming.

Pleats. Whether they’re in the force of stacked creases or complimenting a sofa’s simplicity with discreet box pleats, these fresh, cute tucks and gathers are just the thing to add a bit more stylish flair. Ribbed accents such as throw pillows are also totally vogue.

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!

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.

Color Theory for Interior Design

Color is powerful. It is emotional, representative, and evokes a mood. The use of color in interior design is one of the most important elements when configuring a space, setting the scene for the room’s function and feel. All GR Interior designs are carefully thought out when it comes to the color palate and how it will affect the purpose of the space.

GR Lifestyles Zebra Living Room

Zebra Living Room

Some color meanings are obvious: greens for earthy tones, reds for warmth, yellow for sunny rooms. The way we use colors to compliment or contrast each other can create a specific mood, drawing from the following basics of color theory:

• Red: passion, daring, intimate, comforting, stimulates appetite
• Orange: creative, warm, friendly, inviting
• Yellow: welcoming, sunny, thoughtful
• Green: tranquil, restful, balancing, healthy
• Blue: productivity, clarity, calm, meditative, tranquil
• Purple: royal, regal, mysterious, cooling, spiritual
• Pink: feminine, positive, fun, playful
• Brown: sophistication, masculine, complimentary, earthy

Black, white, and grey are used as complimentary or neutral colors in interior design. Their purpose is often to enhance the other colors in the room by providing a subtle background for bolder hues. Accents of bright green or blue can brighten darker color tones, and warm colors such as red or gold can be used to warm a bland background such as grey. Rooms with mostly white or a light color exude open and airy space, while rooms based around blacks or browns create a warm, intimate feel.

At GR Home, we aren’t shy when it comes to color! Playing with different palates and compositions allows us to bring a certain personality to a room through furniture, décor and paints. No matter what types of objects occupy a room, the first thing you notice is color. Our expert design team uses and executes color theory in each project, creating an appropriate mood for your living space and preferences.

Contact us to get started on your next interior design project!

We Love LEE Industries Furniture!

With great design comes fabulous furniture. At GR Home, one of our favorite parts about interior design is working with amazing products that we are proud to present to clients. A beautiful piece of furniture or art will often inspire the overall design of a space. We know that choosing a new couch or table can be overwhelming with the abundance of options out there, which is why we’ve carefully selected our favorite brands to be showcased in-store and recommended for your home.

One of our best selling items is LEE Industries furniture. It’s a consistently great product that we’re proud to offer to our clients. LEE offers products for the whole home, from headboards to room accents to outdoor items. We have used this furniture in many of our interior designs along with selling it in the GR Home store.

LEE furniture began in 1969 with the mission to manufacture quality, American-made products. The family-owned company has built every one of their items in the USA since then. 98 percent of the parts in LEE products are supplied domestically including packaging, fabrics, frames, foam, etc. From the website: “We are committed to the good of our customers, our associates, our vendors, our community, and our environment. Through diligence, foresight and perseverance, we have become a leader in upholstery manufacturing with outstanding products, superb customer service and cutting edge technology. Thanks to the craftsmanship and team spirit that is the hallmark of LEE’s success, every masterpiece is built with pride in the USA.”

It’s wonderful to see beautiful furniture and home products that are ethically manufactured. When we design with LEE furniture, we are supporting the company’s mission along with creating a fresh living space in your house. GR Home is proud to provide these American-made products to our clients, and excited that this is one of our best sellers! Contact us or come on in to the store to get started on your interior design project.