Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Living Large in Smaller Spaces

Hello everyone,

When you finally make that decision to downsize your home or move to a retirement community, the first thought is, “what am I going to do with all of my stuff?” Applying simple feng shui principles along with careful planning can help you through the process of sorting through your possessions and taking only those things that bring you joy. Think of it as room-by-room editing.

We need to view our living environment as our sanctuary that is stress free. Research shows that creating a clutter free, clean and organized home makes a huge difference in your ability to weather stress in the outside world. Put safety and comfort first when selecting the furniture for your new home. If you sit in an uncomfortable chair for any length of time, you can expect your health to suffer. A room filled with cozy furniture will contribute to you feeling calm and peaceful in your new surroundings.

Begin selecting furniture that you truly love and will foster an atmosphere that is both welcoming and warm. Before you move, you can measure all the furniture and plan the arrangement according to the new floor plan. For your main living area, choose a sofa or loveseat and two upholstered chairs to create a conversational area arranged in a U-shape. For smaller scaled rooms, select armless chairs. A swivel chair gives you more options to easily watch a TV, enjoy a view, or join into conversation around the room. You will create a room that is balanced and symmetrical if the height of the sofa and chairs are all within one or two inches in height. Avoid sectional or modular seating, as it is not as versatile in smaller spaces. Now you can add chairs from the kitchen or dining area to the conversational living area any time you have additional guests. Ottomans are also versatile to bring in extra seating or prop up your feet, without adding bulk to a room.

If space is an issue, a round coffee table or stacking tables can contribute to a spacious environment. Choosing lamps with 3 way switches will contribute to the mood you want to set without having to add dimmer switches in each room. For cheerful lighting, select white lamp shapes, and light bulbs that simulate natural sunlight, such as GE’s Reveal. They are made to filter out yellow rays that hide life’s true colors, and produce cleaner, whiter-looking light.

Since you spend a third of your life in your bedroom, just by sleeping, the quality of your mattress should be of primary importance. If you have a mattress you are satisfied with, don’t forget to flip the mattress often, as your body impression becomes memorized in the bedding. Pillows can make or break a good night sleep, and most only hold their shape for a few years. You can fluff up your pillows once a week by tossing them in the dryer with 3 tennis balls. The battering of the tennis balls fluffs the pillows back to their original shape. You want to have a full night’s rest in order to shape the quality of your day. Select end tables for either side of your bed of a similar size and finish, with lamps suitable for reading. For additional space saving, you can attach matching swing-arm lamps to the wall If square footage is still an issue, avoid a bed frame with a footboard or any frame that has curved headboard and footboards as this can take up an additional 10-15 inches of space.

Set up an area for your TV viewing outside of your bedroom. You can establish a great habit of enjoying your favorite TV programs and going to bed at a consistent time each evening for a quality night of sleep. You’ll wake up rested and ready to start your day.

Storage is always an issue in smaller spaces. You can find furniture and accessories that also serve as unique storage hide-a-ways by choosing a trunk, end tables with shelves or drawers, and decorative boxes to store off-season items. A living room sofa bed can double as a guest room sleeping area. A truck used as a coffee table can double as a place for linens and pillows, and can be easily is moved off to the side when guests are present.

Finally, add color every chance you get to create a mood and personality in every room. Carefully choose the artwork that will fit in your new space and not just add visual clutter. Feng shui is the art of intentional design, so your selection of art takes on greater meaning when you select it for its ability to bring you joy, inspiration or fulfill your destiny.

For money saving decorating ideas for individuals who are downsizing or moving to a retirement community, contact Cheryl Grace at (941) 400-3816 or visit www.ggRedecorating.com for a consultation.

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