After a tough week of dealing with the personal and professional stresses that this COVID-19 situation has imposed, I am determined that I will be a catalyst for positivity. With so much fear, uncertainty, and sadness in the world and in our communities right now, we all need a counterweight to all of that. Human beings are a highly resilient and adaptable species. We will get through this. My goal is to provide you with some funny and some pleasant possibilities to occupy your mind and your time in the coming weeks. As we are spending a lot more time in our homes, this may be the ideal time to take on a home project or two.
In the spirit of sharing the good stuff, I’ve gathered, here, a video of one of my all time favourite musical performances, some personal happy highlights, and steps that you can employ to solve a narrow foyer or hallway dilemma.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve been going for a lot more walks, lately, so I’ll share good stuff that I saw along the way. Check out these Guinea Fowl in a front yard on Main Street in Berwick. It’s a joy to see this example of sustainable living right in the center of town!
A Beauty in All Seasons
This fabulous colour palette captured my attention and is worthy of approving nods. The colour hues, values (lightness vs darkness) and saturations are spot on. These colours make this home a beauty in every season. The architectural elements have all been emphasized with colour in a balanced and flattering way. I know home owners are often advised against painting vinyl window frames, but paint technology is evolving and Sherwin-Williams has an exceptional paint for exterior vinyl. If these were my clients, I would recommend painting the white frames in the ochre accent colour. I love that the porch windows have been painted red to help recess that area back from the facade. And painting the brackets so they look like they pierce the fascia? Priceless! It’s all in the details, folks. Bravo, home owners!
Best of Houzz x 2
I had some good news this week. I’ve received a Best of Houzz award for a second time! Many thanks to those who found me worthy. I’m honoured and touched.
Design Enhances Life at Home
I reached out to clients, past and present, this week and received so many lovely emails in reply. I so enjoyed reconnecting with folks and hearing how they and their families are coping during this challenging time. There were many shares that reminded me of how deeply and positively my design work touches peoples lives and enhances their day to day enjoyment of their homes. I simply have to share this from a client who did a whole-home re-design:
“… what a wonderful experience it is to enjoy my beautiful and functional kitchen with my kids – we can each work in an area and do our part. It is such a pleasure to enjoy the living room space and our meals at my lovely table – truly has made this staying at home a wonderful experience with literally no sacrifice! I laughed last weekend when I was sitting at my dining table, I realized on the backside of the island there is a cupboard and a drawer that I had assumed to be for “looks only” – you can see that with this discovery, I am not even yet totally moved into my kitchen. Had to laugh to myself! My house just seems like an ongoing Christmas celebration with new uses, efficiencies and discoveries all the time! The cats love having the kids home and yes they have developed more normal routines since the construction. They all enjoy the cat condo, Hughie in particular is clawing the heck out of it – and when the kids are home we all snuggle on my lovely big sofa. Dooey takes up the arm of the sofa while Hughie and Louie manage to drape across whichever one of us they can – generally rotating so they don’t show too much preference!” (Cat names changes to protect the identity of my client.)
The new design and renovation of this home, made this lifestyle possible for my client. I’m so honoured and grateful to her for inviting me and trusting me to guide her in creating a home with ample room, furnishings, functionality and beauty that allows this family to enjoy their time together. 🙂 Follow this link to see the more portfolio of this project.
Solutions for a Narrow Foyer
When we’re all be able to visit one another again, I plan to be ready to receive guests with our (finally) completed foyer. I’ll share this project as I go along. But, first, allow me to bring you up to date on where I started and what’s transpired, so far.
I designed our new-build home 5 years ago, incorporating elements that would make the foyer feel inviting, functional and wider than it actually is. Our home is intentionally small so every inch counts. At 46″ wide that’s about as small as a foyer can be while allowing enough space to welcome guests. You may have a small foyer or another area in your home, where you could make use of some of these design solutions. Here are the solutions I employed to make the most of our narrow foyer:
1. Create a focal point opposite your front door that indicates where to go next. It could be artwork, a furniture item or a light. Here, I’ve located a tall window that creates a focal point here in two ways: a frame (the window) within a frame (the walls, floor, and ceiling of the entry-way) and with light – natural light during the daytime and a spotlight that illuminates the window shade, frame and sill, and makes a pool of light on the floor after dark.
2. Use open space to guide people. In our foyer, I’ve used three architectural elements to encourage visitors to continue through the narrow space to avoid a bottle neck at the door. The ceiling slopes up away from the front door, the second closet on the left is open at the top, and a turn to the left and to the right at the end of the foyer – all serve to invite visitors to continue towards the relatively open space.
3. Select a light fixture for your foyer that not only begins the story of what visitors can expect to see inside, but also directs the visitor to take an action. Here, the modern beaker-shaped glass says clean lined, whimsical style coming up. The fixture is minimal and see-through which single continue on through. Imagine this space with a darker fixture – it would stop the visitors and say stand here. And an ornate traditional style light fixture would start a completely different story about what’s to come.
4. Choose your doors wisely. If lighting is the jewelry of the home, then doors are the shoes. The wrong shoes will ruin any outfit. Be sure your doors convey the look you want for your home. Here, the horizontal grooves in the otherwise flat doors, say modern minimalism while visually reducing their height to a friendly scale.
Listen and Smile
In the next post, we’ll look at how you can use paint to positively affect your visitor’s experience. And now for this delightful video that I hope will put a smile on your face. This is brilliant and timeless. Turn up the volume, sit back and enjoy. YouTube Video.
Until next time, keep safe, healthy, and happy.