Why Hire an Interior Designer?

A well decorated home goes far beyond the right lampshades and throw pillows. Finding proper home décor is a process that combines functionality and livability with aesthetics. Decorating is harder than it sounds—it can be overwhelming, frustrating, and expensive. Hiring an interior designer can alleviate these complications and bring your dream home to life.

Photo credit: ReStyle Source.

Photo credit: ReStyle Source.

At GR Home we believe that designing your home should be collaborative and exciting, and that process begins with the expertise of a professional. Here are some benefits of hiring an interior designer:

Saves time and money

Hiring a professional may initially seem out of your price range, but it will save time and dollars in the long run. Interior designers bring the material to you so that you can visualize how the elements will work in your home and skip all the trips to multiple furniture stores. The help of a professional decorator will ensure the quality of items and the visual aesthetic you’re going for so you can stop wasting hours and money on returns, replacements, and changing your mind. A designer will work within your allotted budget to keep everything at a cost that works for you.

Brings your vision to life

Even if you think you have a clear vision for an interior space, sometimes you don’t know what you want until you see it. An interior designer can help you achieve the look you’re going for and bring it to the next level. With an array of resources, a trained eye and knowledge of current trends, the expertise of a designer can transform your house into a stylish living space that you’re proud of.

Home value

An interior designer will maximize your home’s potential. A professional eye will bring a fresh perspective to overlooked spaces to create things you never thought of. Stylized, chic home interiors will increase market value if you’re thinking to sell in the future. Otherwise, the help of an interior decorator will give your home a makeover that you’ll be proud to show off.

Hiring an interior designer is the best way to achieve that home makeover you’ve been dreaming about. Contact us at GR Home to begin a collaborative, valuable relationship with a professional interior designer!

Feng Shui for Beginners

Looking to spruce up your home without undergoing a total remodel? Using feng shui, or even just drawing from some of the philosophy’s principles, is a great way to freshen up the feeling and visual appeal of your house. Our work at GR Home blends livability with great style, always utilizing the best feng shui for the space.

Photo credit: LushHome.com

Photo credit: LushHome.com

Feng shui is a Chinese art and science that was developed over 3,000 years ago. It focuses on synchronizing peoples’ health and well being with the energies of their surrounding spaces. This Taoist philosophy incorporates the principle of five elements—wood, fire, earth, metal, and water—to create energy and harmony in your home. The deeper ideas of feng shui get complicated, and whether you believe in these energies or not, using its basic guidelines can create a noticeable difference in the arrangement of your living space. Follow these basic feng shui tips to freshen up your home for summer.

  • Identify the areas of your home that need the most attention. Try to focus on spaces that aren’t already styled, such as the garage, laundry room and closets.
  • Get colorful. Each of the five feng shui elements corresponds to a color, and utilizing these palates is the easiest way to bring harmony to your home.

o   Wood: green, brown

o   Fire: red, dark yellow, orange, purple, pink

o   Earth: light yellow, light brown

o   Metal: white, grey

o   Water: blue, black

  • View your house as a whole space rather than separate rooms that are connected. Understand that your home is a system and each area works together to create energy—one neglected area will spread negative vibes throughout the house.
  • Always keep good lighting and air quality. Open windows to invite a fresh breeze and natural light. Introduce plants or an air-purifier. Good air and light are essential for feng shui energy in your home, known as “chi.”
  • De-clutter. Unwanted stuff clogs your home from harmony and clean living. Getting rid of unnecessary items can be refreshing for both your house and your spirit.

Feng shui for beginners: Try these basics from the ancient philosophy to freshen up your home for summer!

Spring Cleaning Made Easy

Yep, it’s that time again. With spring comes cleaning, but don’t sweat it! You can still refresh your home without a complete sweep of all your belongings. The first step to sprucing up your living space is a good de-cluttering session. You’ll notice that our work at GR Home produces clutter-free environments for home. Here are some easy ways to simplify for spring:

1. Fill one trash bag

Whether you can donate it to Goodwill or need to just dump it, one bag of items to get rid of is a productive start on your journey to cleanliness.

2. Pick a shelf

Pinpoint one area and eliminate all non-essentials. Once this zone is neat, move on to the next one. You’ll establish a flow and freshen up one cluttered corner at a time.

GR Lifestyles Capitol Hill Home

GR Lifestyles Capitol Hill Home

3. Change your perspective

Rearrange a room to see how things fit best and what isn’t needed. Have another pair of eyes look at your space and get their thoughts—a fresh perspective always amounts to new ideas.

4. Junk Drawer

Those extra buttons you may never use, that deck of cards from that one place, the box of crayons from your school days… if you can’t bring yourself to get rid of some random items, allocate a space for them. Maybe one day you can bear the thought of parting with your junk.

5. Designate spaces

Everything in your home has a place, or at least it should. Assigning spots will decrease the likeliness of loosing things and therefore buying new versions of what you already have. You’ll never have to search for the remote again.

6. When in doubt, put it out

Running low on cabinet space? Place your items on the counter. When you can visibly see your stuff rather then shoving it in a cupboard corner, you can distinguish between the necessary and the unnecessary.

7. Give away one item a day

If you notice something in your home that you don’t use on a weekly, monthly or even yearly basis, it’s probably unnecessary. Eliminating one item a day will prove to yourself how much you really don’t need.

8. Get Organized with Oprah

Even Oprah Winfrey has to declutter. Check out her 13 Organizing Strategies and Clean Up Your Messy Home! project.

Decorating the Patio: Get Ready for Outdoor Dining!

It is THAT time of the year again—the time we all dread cleaning off our patio or deck, patio furniture, and making our outdoor dining areas into something that feels magical. Spring cleaning work can be hard—but it’s absolutely rewarding in the end! With the right furniture, fabrics, lighting & decorative pieces, your patio or deck can host the highlights of the summer!

Here are a few things to consider as you start getting ready for patio season:

  • One of the biggest decor factors to a patio is the house it abuts. Think about the colors of the house, and the natural flora & fauna around it, that may be good spots to pull texture & color inspiration from.
  • patio decor

    Photo from here.

    If its time to invest in new patio furniture, consider the size of parties you anticipate having. A four-seater table may be perfect for a family, but it gets a bit cramped when you want to have some friends over for a good cookout. Of course, the size of the patio or deck is an additional limiting factor—but you can change the arrangement based on how many people you’d like to be able to fit!

  • Consider patio furniture an investment. All too often, people find the best sale for a decent set of patio furniture, cushions, or decor without really considering the longevity of those pieces. Deals are great—but a quality product made out of materials that aren’t going to rust, fade, or bleed will last for years. Your outdoor furniture will face a LOT more wear & tear than your indoors stuff—so plan accordingly!
  • Decorate with living things! One of the wonderful things about outdoor decoration is that there’s a much bigger opportunity to plant, garden, and decorate with flowers, bushes, trees & more.
  • Consider the path of the sun—and adjust accordingly. It is wonderful to have space to have a sunset dinner or a late morning brunch on the patio—but the sun can be too hot & too bright for some! Invest in an umbrella that’ll fit the table size that can be tilted to move with the sun. Trees & ivy-covered lattices are an excellent way to provide shade on a hot day, too!
  • If you’re a summer nights kind of person, consider ways to illuminate your patio—both overhead and at the feet. There are lots of really fun & eco-friendly ways to light up your patio! Check out your local home improvement store for solar powered pathway & string lights!

There are endless possibilities for the look & feel of your patio! As you get ready to do the spring cleaning, remember last year’s memories & look forward to the ones you’ll make this summer!

A Color for Every Season: Four Colorful Decorating Tips

Seasonal decorating is a superb way to refresh your home decor without totally overhauling your look, taking too much time and/or effort, or breaking the bank. Adding a splash of color (or two) to your home might be just what your living space needs to make the transition from winter into spring and then spring into summer. If you’re getting ready to spruce up your space to match the season, take a look at these four decorating tips for colorful, seasonal spaces!

Renz_054-011. Before you choose your colors, consider the new season’s changes in light that will affect the room. Take into consideration if the light is going to be cool (winter) and add a blueish hue, or warm (summer) and add a yellowish tone. In high-rain seasons up here in the northwest, light tends to be well-diffused and neutral which works well with high-saturation colors. If there’s a lot of bright light in the room, think about avoiding super-bright colors & whites that will be uncomfortable to look at when they reflect the sunlight.

2. As you’re evaluating WHERE you can add a splash of color, think beyond adding a bouquet of flowers to the room. (Of course, we LOVE using flowers to decorate!) Think about swapping out throw pillows, blankets, curtains, and lampshades—or adding color accents to shelves (flowers, carefully selected books, decorative accents, etc.). Without committing to a major overhaul, there are a LOT of areas you can add or swap out colors!!

3. Think about how patterns or plain may influence the appearance of your space. If your current decor is mostly patterned, consider accenting with bold single-colored pieces. If your decor is mostly flat colors, think about how some patterned curtains or throw pillows may add to the feel of the room! Especially in the spring, a tasteful floral pattern or a bold geometric pattern might be just the thing!

4. Research trends & this season’s colors. For example, Pantone’s color of the year is Radiant Orchid (18-3224)—which is a light orchid purple color that compliments nearly any neutral theme well. Take into consideration whether you want to go with the trends, or fight against them!

At the end of the day, choosing colors to decorate with is all up to you. It’s your space—do you love how it looks? Have you refreshed your decor lately? What colors did you use?

The Perks of Pillows: Why Throw Pillows Are A-mazing!

If you clicked on this blog based on the title, you’re probably in one of two crowds: the people who are already in love with throw pillows, and the people who haven’t yet fallen in love with throw pillows. Whether you’ve experimented with them, or are considering buying your gateway throw pillows, we guarantee once you start using them you’ll never want to stop.

Throw pillows are the perfect multi-functional spruce-up to… well… everything. From bedrooms to living rooms, and from patios (yes, outdoors) to foyers, pillows are an easy, quick, and inexpensive way to “redecorate” a space or a piece of furniture. With a little love from the pillow department, you can revamp the look & feel of a couch, chair, room, or whole home.

Photo Credit: Geoffrey Sokol

Photo Credit: Geoffrey Sokol

When selecting your new throw pillows, it’s best to start with an understanding of the feel you’re aiming for. Perhaps start with a window shopping trip to your favorite purveyors of pillows to understand what’s out there, but before purchasing, establish something of a “plan of action”. Know the color scheme you’d like to achieve, the overall feel (modern? classic? eclectic?) you’re after, if you want a simple (1–2 pillows, or a throng of them) and know how much space you have at your disposal. Be sure to also take into consideration the environment the pillows will be in—seek out weather & sunlight appropriate fabrics for pillows that will make their home outdoors or in rooms with a lot of natural light.

Once you’ve established some guidelines, head out to find the perfect pieces! Selectively mix colors, patterns, fabrics, sizes, shapes & styles to achieve your desired look. If you’re going for functionality as well as visual appeal, we highly recommend giving each pillow a good squeeze to ensure it’ll be a good scary movie partner.

How do you use pillows to decorate in your home or office? Share with us in the comments!

GR Interiors on Luxe Magazine’s Gold List & Other News

We’re Golden.

photo 2At GR Home, we’re ecstatic to announce that we’re on Luxe Magazine’s 2014 Gold List! Luxe Mag’s Gold List is a coast-to-coast compilation of over 600 of the best design professionals—including home builders, kitchen & bath designers, interior designers & architects, landscape architects & more. It is wonderful to earn such high accolades from one of the most popular home & space design magazines in the nation.

In addition to our wonderful news from Luxe Magazine, we’re excited to see Restyle Source, an online community that we’re a part of, partner with Lee Furniture, one of our top vendors, to encourage local shopping & locally sourced product. Restyle Source’s “Local Love” section lists Washington companies so you can support your local economy while making your environment beautiful & functional. Restyle Source & Lee Furniture are making it possible for you to see something you love & connect with a local business to make your vision for your space come to life.

We love that these big, national companies are supporting local companies like GR Home. It’s thrilling to to be receiving this amazing honor from Luxe Magazine, but it is, in some ways, more exciting to see companies like Luxe, Restyle Source & Lee Furniture hone in on smaller companies that are the lifeblood of local economies. This national-level support for local business will help ensure that local businesses will be able to continue to be an integral part of their home economies.

We’d like to say a big thank you to Luxe Magazine for choosing this Seattle-grown business for their Gold List; and to Restyle Source & Lee Furniture for focusing on local shopping & sourcing. And—a HUGE thank you to the family, friends & local businesses that have supported us along the way!

We look forward to being a part of the national design community & local economy for years to come!

Bring the Outside In: How to Spruce Up Your Home with Outdoor Inspiration

One of the great things about using the outdoors as inspiration for your indoors decor is that it can help a space feel… natural. Utilizing themes, textures & colors from an outdoor environment can create a comfortable & timeless look that invites & welcomes people into your home. We find these little tips to be helpful when creating a natural outdoor-inspired space indoors!

1. Start by choosing an outdoor “theme”.

Choose an outdoor environment that you want to emulate. This may be as broad as something like a Caribbean beach, the forest, a sunset, or mountain river. It might also be as specific as a type of flower, a fall day in your favorite park or that beautiful mountain lake you took a picture of on your last backpacking trip. Starting with the theme can help you establish a color palette, some textures, and a general feel (open & bright? warm & cozy?).

Photo from ElleDecor.com, credit Simon Upton.

Photo from ElleDecor.com, credit Simon Upton.

2. Simplify the palette.

Once you’ve chosen your theme, think about a handful of colors that can help you achieve that. For example, if you’re going with a Caribbean beach, you might choose a warming sandy color, a palm-tree-trunk brown, a bright emerald & a light blue. Decide off the bat which colors will be the main colors & which will be supplemental or accent colors.

3. Decide on some natural textures.

Natural environments are filled with textures from subtly tactile riverbed rocks to intensely layered cedar trees. Nearly every natural environment will have some sort of wood texture you can adopt for furnishings! (Unless of course you chose the Arctic…) Look to the ground, trees & plants & animals for cues on textures!

4. Bring the outside in. (Literally.)

Use items from nature as accents! If you can’t actually GO to your chosen environment & pick up a few items, many boutique shops & outdoor markets may carry items that fit your theme. Even bringing in a bouquet of flowers can add a natural feel (and smell!) to your home. And if you don’t have the time to go hunting for the perfect environmental accent—head to the internet!! With the burgeoning world of eCommerce, it’s likely you’ll be able to find what you’re looking for on the internet.

Whether you’re doing a bigger redecorating “spruce up”, or just adding some new life to your home, or even just decorating for the season, taking cues from the outdoors can help create a relaxing & warm environment!

 

5 Musts for Tabletop Décor

The holidays are here! As you get ready to set your holiday table, make sure you’ve got these musts for tabletop décor in mind…

  1. Holiday-table-decorationKeep it simple. A busy table can cause more problems than just serving difficulties. It’s easy to go overboard on the centerpiece, dishes, utensils, linens, accents, and so on, but avoid doing so! The table should be your presentation of the meal, and not the other way around. Keep it simple by starting from the necessary elements (like the serving dishes and cutlery), and then slowly add the extras. As a helpful tip for decoration, plan your centerpiece to take up a proportionate amount of the center of the table, so as not to crowd the place settings. Then add the candles and smaller table accents if there’s space that needs filling.
  2. Set it before you sit. Put out the empty serving dishes and utensils, as well as all of the dishes and décor before the big day. This way, you can make sure the table isn’t over-stuffed, and that it will look nice once everyone is seated and enjoying the meal.
  3. Add colorful accents. You can’t go wrong with a bright pop of color around the holiday table to spice things up. Choose colorful goblets or drinking glasses to stand out against neutral place settings. Or select a brilliant bouquet to use both color and texture to cheer up the tabletop. A colorful surprise here and there is sure to delight.
  4. Insert natural elements. ‘Tis is the season for pumpkins, pinecones, and evergreen boughs! Add some elements from outside to your tabletop, for a refreshing, traditional touch. Paint them, mix them in with man-made accents, or embellish them with ribbon, lace or string for a unique twist.
  5. Don’t go too high. Remember that the point of the meal is to gather and share a meal with family, friends, and loved ones while having conversation. Décor that goes too high will make that objective difficult, since it blocks views and dampens dialogue. Keep your centerpiece and decorative tabletop accents shorter than your guests’ average chest level if the décor is thick and hard to see through. If it’s tall and skinny (like an elevated candlestick), it won’t impede the conversation.

Happy Holidays from the team at GR Home and GR Interiors! We wish you a safe, warm holiday season.

 

Hassle-Free Holiday Decorating

You’ve got family coming into town, meals to plan – including the big one – and way too much to do! How are you going to decorate for the holidays too? To help lighten your workload and shorten your to-do list just a little bit, we have some helpful, hassle-free holiday decorating tips:

chandelier_gal

Use a natural touch. Bring on the gourds, be-needled branches, holly, and pinecones! Decorate your mantle, shelves, and tabletop with the items au natural, or spray-paint, glitter, or be-jewel them for color or sparkle.

Keep it simple. You’re spending all of that time cooking, baking, and hostess-ing away, don’t let your holiday décor take over. Give your overhead lighting some simple accents by hanging ornaments or ribbon, or deck the ledges with sleek pillar candles in seasonal shades. For a colorful, dramatic look, fill hurricane vases and glass jars with bright ball ornaments.

Add a feathery flourish. Feathers are the stylish accent for just about anything these days, so don’t forget about them in your holiday decorating! They bring instantaneous texture and contrast wherever they are applied.

Embellish with metals. Metallic finishes are trending in design right now – don’t miss a chance to bring on the shimmer with your fall and winter décor! Catch eyes and start conversations with shining gold, glittering silver, polished bronze, or gleaming copper.

carolyn-roehm-fall-tablescapeUse seasonal hues. In your dishes and tabletop decorating, look for colors inspired by the season: olive green, cozy burgundy, glowing orange, butternut gold, etc. Contrast them against something surprising, like the blue and white tablecloth shown in the photo above.

Color with candy! The sweet stuff can make a spectacular statement when you use it for decorating instead of eating. Fill up vases and clear bowls with layers of colored candy, or string wrapped sweets together by stapling them end-to-end for vibrant garland swag.

Happy holiday decorating! We wish you the best from GR Home this holiday season.