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Make your living room appear larger SMART HOMES OCTOBER 2016

Money Mindfulness in the home

Preparing Your home for sale

Fire safety tips



From The Editor

ON THE COVER: Ocean Mist PHOTOGRAPHER: Amery Butcher


Publisher: M. Anthony Shaw

Editor: Tyson Henry Advertising Manager: Paulette Jones DEPUTY BUSINESS MANAGER: Lyle Jones WriterS: Nick Nunes, Camille Alleyne, Cherita Odle, Cara Briggs, Natalia Nunes, David Hinkson, Rosemarie Layne Photography: Amery Butcher Design/layout: Imageworx / Brian O’Neale Advertising Executives: Asha Jones - Tel: (246) 430-5519 Email: Danielle Beckford – Tel: (246) 430-5495 Email:


othing can compare to a living space that reflects your personal style evolving over time, put together with love. If you’re like most house-proud Barbadians, your home already has an authentic magic that no interior designer can recreate, unique and packed with solutions to your everyday challenges. With this in mind, we decided to use this issue of Smart Homes to help you give your home the continued care it needs, without busting the budget. Whether you’re looking to renovate, do some pre-holiday cleaning, or figure out how to increase the openness of a space to make it multipurpose, there is something in this magazine for every facet of the home. Do yourself a favour and avoid the usual last-minute dash to get everything ready for the upcoming festive season. Celebrate the New Year with friends and family in the home you love, and remember, if the days are rushing past and the budget’s looking stretched, don’t worry! All you have to do is channel your inner stylist (with our help of course) and make a few tweaks to create a look that’s perfect for you. We’ve only got a couple months left in the year, so let’s make the most and enjoy every moment! Instead of straining yourself to reinvent your home with the latest trends, use this issue to discover smart, simple and inexpensive ways to refresh your abode.

nry Tyson He EDITOR

Stephanie Barnett – Tel: (246) 430-5515 Email: Index Page Alison Licorish – (246) 430-5552 Email: Printers: Printweb Caribbean Ltd. (246) 434-6719



Smart Homes is produced by The Nation Publishing Co. Limited; a subsidiary of The Nation Corporation, which is a member of the One Caribbean Media Limited (OCM) group of companies. For general info email: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information contained within this magazine is accurate, however, The Nation Publishing Co. Limited cannot be held responsible for any consequences that may arise from any errors or omissions. This publication cannot be copied in whole or in part without the explicit permission of the Publisher. ©2016 NATION PUBLISHING CO. LIMITED

Contents OCTOBER 2016

Conquering Clutter 6 Add Style To Your Laundry Room 8 Keep a Fire Blanket in your Kitchen 10 How To Prevent Electrical Fires 12 Gas Bottle Safety Tips 18 Renovation Checklist 20 Key Decorating Tips 25 How To Prepare Your Home For Sale 28 Integrating Your Outdoors 32 Improving The Air Quality Of Your Home 34 Simple Remodeling Touches 36 How Much To Spend To Sell My House? 38 What’s Your Style? 40 Money Mindfulness In The Home 42 Make Your Living Room Appear Larger 46 How Purple Affects Your Mood 50



Conquering Clutter In Your Home Office and More about what to keep and what to toss, start by making room for the things that are most important to you, and then fit everything else in. The things that don’t find a home may be good candidates for the Salvation Army, Facebook buy & sell groups or a garage sale.


’m sure that it isn’t a stretch to say that most Caribbean people have lived most of their lives in a cluttered home. Closets were full, drawers wouldn’t shut, things weren’t put away, and unfinished projects could be found in most rooms. That was, unless somebody was coming over. Then, the entire family would pitch in to make sure the house was presentable. Looking back, the problem with clutter wasn’t that we didn’t notice or care. Instead, the problem was we could never get ahead of the mess or ever seem to develop a system that would keep our spaces clutter-free. There’s something so refreshing about an empty, cleaned out home office, bedroom, living room or where ever your workspace is. Keeping clutter from multiplying and knowing what to do when it starts to grow are essential for maintaining a peaceful working environment. If you look at a lot of Caribbean homes, especially traditionally designed ones, you’ll notice that a lot of them look and feel disarranged. The truth is that clutter is a challenge for anyone who lives in a house for an extended period of time and owns things, but it seems to especially be a problem for Caribbean homes with whatnots and display cabinets (for hundreds of forgettable ornaments, both ceramic and glass). Hold on to less stuff While this is kind of obvious, it’s worth stating again: half of the battle against clutter is keeping (or hoarding) less stuff to begin with. If you’ve been occupying a space for a while, a big purge may be in order. If you’re just moving in and feeling a little overwhelmed 8


Start from scratch Chances are, you’ve tried to declutter before—but it just hasn’t worked out. If removing the clutter little by little doesn’t work, you may be better off starting from scratch and adding the stuff you actually need little by little. Take everything off your desks and out of your drawers, put them in a box, and go back to work. When you need an item, you can put it back on the desk. If there are things you don’t use after a few days, you probably don’t need them. Find Your Trouble Spots It can be hard to look at your workspace objectively and identify how cluttered it is. If you take a few pictures of your office, though, you might be surprised at what you find—from a different perspective, clutter will pop out at you in a way the real world doesn’t always allow. If you can’t find your clutter trouble spots, snap a few photos to find them. Use the walls Wall-hung organizers and shelves can be your best friends. Don’t forget to look for storage space like shelves and cabinets above existing things, such as dressers and desks, or pot rails above sinks or countertops. Work clockwise When faced with a space you want to declutter, staying focused is key. By working through the space clockwise, you direct your energy to one area at a time, and you end up sweeping through a room with thorough precision. For instance, if you want to declutter your kitchen counters, start in one corner and work your way around the room. The fresh space you create in the beginning will motivate you to keep going. Practice one in, one out Once you get a space breathing again, so to speak, you’ll do almost anything to keep it that way. To avoid a relapse of clutter in any given area, make it a habit to let go of an old item if you acquire a new one. Think magazines, clothing, etc. When uncluttering, stay in one spot. Decide which space you want to clean out and don’t move. Get three laundry baskets or boxes, one for garbage/recycling, one for donations/giveaways, and one for putting away elsewhere in the house. This way, you won’t get distracted by the mess in the bathroom when you go to put away an errant comb. Focusing on one space at a time rewards you with a finished project — or piece of a project — that will get you addicted to uncluttering.



Add Style To Your Laundry Room

U • • • • •



tilitarian spaces such as laundry rooms seldom receive the attention they deserve. However, with just a little bit of planning and effort you can make your favourite laundry room ideas come to life. The addition of storage, a sink or even some simple decor can turn a utility room into an enjoyable multipurpose space. Far from the laundry room being dull, it needs to be comfortable, cool and at the same time, highly functional. If you’re looking for design ideas to decorate the perfect laundry room, these tips should be of great help to you. If a laundry loom is too small, you’ll have to make it look larger. It’s the same with all your other areas. So how about stacking the dryer on top of the washer and save some space for a narrow cabinet to store your stuff? Consider using the space behind the door. It gives you more space to move around and it allows to hang your clothes, rubber gloves, or to hide your detergent, for example. Keep things clean. That’s easy to understand. A cluttered room makes it difficult to do laundry work which is possibly why most people view it as a time-consuming and frustrating chore. Colours: Smart Homes’ advice is to use light colours for the walls as well as any other laundry room furniture that you may have. For better space utilization you may also want to consider pulling out hamper or a narrow sliding cart between the washer and dryer, install a countertop above the washer and dryer to create a smooth surface (if there’s no space for a separate table for folding clothes, that is). Backsplash and floor tiles do a great job in creating a cool environment for your laundry room. The same goes for some of those throw rugs that you could place on the floor. One last thing to consider is if you have enough light in your laundry room. It is ideal to have at least one window for natural lighting. For night use, in addition to the ceiling light, consider installing under cabinet lighting.

Keep a Fire Blanket in your Kitchen


by David Hinkson

he kitchen is one of the most important rooms in your home, but it can also be one of the most dangerous when it comes to potential fire hazards. Experts recommend having a fire blanket handy for such emergencies. A fire blanket is a fire-resistant sheet normally made from woven glassfibre. They come in a variety of sizes, but one measuring 1 m x 1 m is usually all you need for household use, and they can be purchased from any hardware store or safety equipment supplier. They can withstand temperatures up to 500°C, and are compact, portable and easily stored. Fire blankets are considered a quick and effective way to put out a fire, as they cut off the blaze’s oxygen supply. Fire blankets are mostly recommended for putting out grease fires or electrical fires; these are the most commonly occurring fires in a kitchen, and you should never use water to extinguish them owing to their nature. If you add even a small amount of water to a grease fire, which contains cooking oils or fats, you may end up creating a fireball explosion that can quickly consume the entire kitchen and seriously injure anyone caught in its path. In terms of electrical fires, water, when mixed with electricity, can cause electric shocks that can be very severe and even fatal. To receive an electric shock, you do not even have to be close to the flames as electricity can travel through the water and into the person who is trying to put out the fire. Fire blankets should be kept on a kitchen wall where they are easily accessible. They should never be stored in the cupboard, or too close to any cooking elements. If you have to use a fire blanket, proceed with caution as you have to get close to the source of the fire to use it effectively. If you are unsuccessful on the first attempt, trying to retrieve it may be dangerous, and normally you cannot reuse them. If you do manage to put out the fire with the blanket, please note that surfaces can remain very hot after being extinguished and need time to cool before you can touch them again.



How to Prevent Electrical Fires by David Hinkson


ith all the modern technology in our homes these days, we are using a lot more electricity than before. And given that electrical issues are one of the main sources of domestic fires, we should try to ensure that this aspect of

our homes is in good working order. First, make sure all electrical outlets are tight and fitted to the wall, as loosely fitting plugs can be a shock or fire hazard. If any of the wall plates are missing or broken, replace them so there is no exposed electrical wiring. Do not tamper with plugs; for example, do not try to remove the third prong on a plug so it can fit into a two-pronged outlet. Never



bend or twist any of the prongs either. And when you plug in a device, do not try to force it into the outlet, and do not pull on the cord, as this can wear it out and increase the risk of an electrical fire. If any of your electrical cords are frayed or cracked, replace them with new ones, and make sure the plug is properly attached to the cord. As for extension cords, these should only be used as a temporary ‘fix’, as they can become an electrical hazard as well. Overloading an outlet with too many plugs is one of the main causes of electrical fires. If you have a lot of devices in one particular area, get surge protectors or “power strips” and plug them into the wall. Also, do not plug any more than three devices into the power strips at a time. Ensure that your power strips have an internal overload protection feature, which will shut them down automatically if they become overloaded. Try not to place electrical cords under carpets, furniture or rugs, as they could cause a fire if they become frayed and come into contact with the material in these items. Place cords in lightly trafficked areas as well so that they are not stepped on or otherwise tampered with on a regular basis. Avoid using electrical items near

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Overloading an outlet with too many plugs is one of the main causes of electrical fires. If you have a lot of devices in one particular area, get surge protectors or “power strips” and plug them into the wall. any source of water, and do not nail or staple cords to floors, walls or other objects as this can interfere with the electrical current. In terms of using electrical appliances, follow the manufacturer’s instructions and only use them as the manufacturer recommends. Do not use the appliance if it is not working properly; have the manufacturer’s representative or a qualified electrician examine it. Disconnect all small appliances such as toasters, hairdryers and electric kettles when they are not in use, and unplug them before you clean them. When it comes to light bulbs, ensure any bulb you place in a lighting fixture matches the wattage on the fixture; that is, do not put a 100-watt bulb into a socket that can only accommodate 60 watts. Also, ensure the bulbs are screwed in properly, because if not, they can overheat, which may lead to an electrical fire. If you have not already done so, it may be a good idea to install wall outlets with Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs). These



can help to prevent fires by shutting down automatically if a circuit is overloaded or at risk. These outlets normally have a small black “test” button and a small red “reset” button on them. Ideally, you should have a qualified electrician test them every month to ensure they are in good working order. If you live in an older home or apartment, you should note the following signs of faulty wiring: Flickering light bulbs and bulbs that dim when using certain appliances. Light switches that are hot to the touch. Plugs that spark when you try to plug them in. Outlets that sound like they are hissing, buzzing or crackling. Circuit breakers and fuses that trip or short constantly. Electrical wires and fuse boxes that are hot to the touch. It is also recommended that you upgrade your wiring every ten years to prevent potential fire hazards.



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Redesigned to impress, stocked to please By Camille Alleyne

Revamped just for you is the stylish Housewares, Gifts, Home Accents and Personal Care Department on the top floor of Cave Shepherd’s flagship branch on Broad Street in Bridgetown. The trendy pieces found here are eye catching no matter your taste, and the style and affordability are sure to draw you in. The first thing that catches your eye as you step onto the top floor, will be the electrical small appliances section, featuring the very popular Hamilton Beach brand. Also found on display is the Elite brand, among many others. So, if you are searching for small appliances such as irons, blenders, hand and professional mixers, kettles, barbecue grills and deep fryers…look no further. Shoppers have been very impressed with the high standard and range of items and so will you. This recently renovated area also boasts of top brand cookware, such as the Judge Vista’s range of saucepans, deep fryers, steam pots, non-stick grill pans, pot roasters and more. For items that transform your house into a home, this is where you need to be. Browsing for gift and décor ideas will be a pleasurable experience since everything you can think of is likely to be right



here - aromatic and bamboo vases, exquisite antique and natural clocks, scented candles, lamps and absolutely beautiful African figurines. Make it a point to stop by and take a look. Rest assured you may never want to leave. Sophisticated and trendy to the eye, the Housewares and Gifts Department is filled with upmarket items at affordable prices. It is no wonder that here is where the soonto-be-married choose to register their wedding gift list. So many people are talking about the wow effect of this new and spacious area on the top floor of Cave Shepherd. Some even say that it has an international department store feel. Top Floor shopping also includes toys from Tasha’s Wonderland, “As seen on tv” items from Carib World Home Shopping, books linens and even a tasty meal from the refurbished avant garde food lounge. Shopping will be made even easier if you use your Cave Shepherd Visa credit card. Make a point to visit the unforgettable Housewares and Gifts Department at Cave Shepherd Broad Street – elegantly redesigned to be a place that everyone will love.

Tips for using your gas bottle safely


ost Barbadians use liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) cylinders for cooking purposes, but these can be very deadly if not maintained properly or used in an unsafe manner. First of all, treat cylinders properly so that the valve does not sustain any damage, and always use them in an upright position. Return the cylinder when it is empty or not in use for a prolonged period of time, and keep your stove or barbecue grill clean and have it serviced regularly, so that the cylinder can work more effectively. Also, ensure the appliances are in a room with an adequate supply of fresh air, and if a room becomes stuffy, open a window or door immediately. Do not subject a cylinder to heat as the pressure inside it may rise to unsafe levels, and do not attempt to disconnect or unscrew a regulator from the cylinder if a flame does not go out after it is switched off. Do not store cylinders in a basement or below ground level; LPG is heavier than air, and if any gas escapes, it will collect at a low level and can become dangerous in the presence of a flame or spark. For that same reason, store cylinders at least two metres (7 feet) away from un-trapped drains, unsealed gullies or openings to basements. Ensure that your regulator is compatible with the brand of cylinder you are using, since there are slight differences between the two available in Barbados, and when a regulator shows signs of wear, replace it. In terms of the hoses that connect the regulator to the appliance, use hoses that bear the name of the manufacturer and the date of manufacture, since LPG erodes natural rubber. Keep hose lengths as short as possible and inspect them regularly for signs of wear such as cracks or tears. If you suspect a leak, turn off the gas, open all the doors and windows in the house and turn off your cell phone as this could set off a fire. Examine all pipes and connections, but NEVER use a naked flame to detect the source of a leak. In the event of a fire, call the Fire Service, shut all valves on the cylinders, and keep cylinders cool by spraying water on them if possible.





Renovation Checklist

S 22

o Christmas is fast approaching and you have a limited amount of money that you are planning to invest in your remodel, and you want to be smart about the money you spend. There are many aspects of a house that could be upgraded, and often people do not consider them all until after starting the remodelling process. Use a renovation checklist to make sure you don’t forget about anything. It doesn’t matter how financially stable


you are; starting a remodel is always a daunting process. If you have never been through it before, you should prepare yourself for some stress and bumps in the road. With the right planning and measures in place, renovation can be incredibly rewarding. Cost and time efficiencies can be captured when coordinating improvement projects to happen in one round. If you haven’t thought through all of the systems in your home all ahead of time, the items you identify later will blow your initial budget. Thinking through all of these systems in your home will help you plan efficiently. Don’t be afraid – the idea of compiling this list is not to add unnecessary items to your remodelling plan, but rather to consciously rule them out up front, so that you will be less likely to

spontaneously add them on later. When you’re done, your list may seem daunting and overwhelming, but the key is to understand the full makeup of your home and consider all possibilities up front instead of as an afterthought. From there you can set your budget and prioritize. Once you have a good idea of the scope of your project, think carefully about who you need to hire. It can be confusing to know who you need to hire for your remodelling project. Depending on the scope, you may need to hire an architect and general contractor, or you may want to recruit the plumbers, electricians, masons, labourers and/or carpenters yourself. Once you have a short list of people to contact, how do you choose the right one? As always, there are a number of factors to consider: Experience It is best to choose someone that has completed similar projects to yours, hopefully with several years of experience doing so. You also want to make sure your architect is familiar with our building codes and building permit requirements. Price Price is often the driving factor, though you must be careful not to select on price alone. Price can also be very difficult to compare.


Depending on the scope of your project, you may get bids that each include different things or are based on different assumptions. Quality It’s not a cliché that there is often a trade-off between price and quality. You want to be sure that the person you select will deliver the quality results you are looking for. Timeliness The longer your project takes, the more it will cost you in terms of inconvenience, expenses or both. Find out how long the work is estimated to take. You also want to evaluate if the person you choose has a track record of delivering results on schedule. Communication For a large scale project you will spend many hours speaking with your contractor on the phone and/or meeting in person. Make sure the person you hire is one that you feel you can communicate with well. Dependability & Honesty One of the most important qualities to look for is if you feel like you can trust this person. They will have the fate of your home in their hands, and you need to know they are working towards your best interests.

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Be sure you are both clear about the scope and expectations up front, and document shared understanding in writing. Here are some tips for a smooth working relationship with a contractor or workman: Be sure you are both clear about the scope and expectations up front, and document shared understanding in writing. This can take many forms, but should be reflected in the contract provided to you. You want your contractor to understand your expectations. You also need your contractor to explain what you should expect through the course of the project, and what kind of outcome is realistic given your budget. Be prepared for changes and additional costs. Implementing a design in the field is never as clean and straightforward as creating a design on paper. Unexpected obstacles often emerge, and you will need to rely on your contractor’s guidance. Establish your communication channels. Make sure you know the best way to get a hold of each other for timely responses. If your contractor needs to wait for you to make a decision, it will delay the completion of your project. Living in the home during the remodel has some obvious advantages and disadvantages. On the plus side, you can see the progress (or any lack of progress) every day, and you can catch any issues early. On the downside, you have to live through the inconvenience every day until the project is complete. Here are some tips to make the experience a bit less painful: Establish an agreement about parking. Is it ok to block your



driveway? Will you need street parking during the day? Make sure you know when delivery and debris trucks will be there to avoid unexpected frustrations. Think about the work hours. If the members of your household are out of the house all day during the week you can set the time you are out as the work hours. However, allowing longer days and occasional weekend work will speed up the completion of your project. Find a way to keep any kids and pets situated out of the way of the workers. Protect your floors. Contractors usually take care of this, but make sure the floor in the frequent paths of travel is covered up. Decide if you are going to share a bathroom. An outhouse will add to your project costs, but you might not want the messiness of workers using your facilities every day. Clear the rooms being worked on of as many personal items as possible, both to protect them and to create more space for working. Talk to your contractor about how best to minimize dust and odor from spreading to the lived in parts of your home. They will likely want to tape off some areas with plastic during certain phases of the work. On occasions (weekends especially), offer them drinks, snacks, and compliments now and then to create goodwill. This will get workers to do their best for you.




Key Decorating Tips to Make Any Room Better


et a great result even without an experienced touch by following these basic design guidelines. This may be hard to believe, but designers don’t follow a secret rule book. There are no hard and fast laws governing what they do. That said; there are some rough principles that they do follow to ensure a great result every time. After all, there are simply some tried and true things that always work. And even better news! These aren’t tricks or skills that will take years to master. Anyone can do them from day one. Consider this as a foundation for developing your own unique and creative design style.

Pick the paint colour last There are thousands of paint colours with various tints, tones and shades. And each one looks different from home to home, because light sources vary, meaning what looks good in your current home might not in your new one. You want the colour that best complements your upholstery, artwork, rug and whatever else. You can pick that colour only if your stuff is actually inside your home.



Give your furniture some breathing room Resist overcrowding a room. Gracious living means space to manoeuvre with ease. This is really great news if you are working with a tight budget. You don’t need to fill up a space with lots of furniture. Spend more of your budget on fewer but better-quality pieces, and your room will look better than if it’s stuffed to the gills with flea market finds. The high-backed chairs shown here, for example, stand out because they don’t have to fight for attention. Hang artwork at the right height Galleries and museums hang artwork so that the centre of each piece is 57 inches to 60 inches from the floor. (The average human eye level is 57 inches.) And you should do the same. If you’re not sure, take a picture. It’s remarkable how much a photo can reveal. Print it out or use Photoshop or an app to draw on the photo. This can give you a sense of whether a larger or smaller piece of art is needed or a tall plant might be best to fill a vacant spot. Know how to arrange furniture on a rug There are basically three ways you can arrange furniture on your rug. All on: The rug is large enough to place all of the furniture legs on top of it. This creates a more luxurious feel. For this, bigger is better. Just be sure to leave at least 12 to 18 inches of floor surface on all four sides of the rug’s borders. All off: If you have a small room, keeping all legs off the rug is a great cost-effective choice. You don’t want to pick too small a rug, though, or it may look insignificant, like an afterthought. The rug should appear as though it could touch the front legs of each of the seating pieces. This approach is best suited when you’re layering a pattern over a larger solid or textured rug. Front on: Put just the front feet of all your seating pieces on the rug to tie the arrangement together visually and create a welldefined space while lending a feeling of openness. Create a focal point There are leading roles and supporting cast members in any production. The same holds true in design. Choose your star and



make it the focal point to anchor a room. Allow other items to take a secondary role. Don’t ask everything to have a leading role; it will just result in visual noise. Your focal point might be an art piece in the living room or a headboard in the bedroom. Whatever it is, choose something that will draw attention. Consider sight lines Your focal point should be free and clear from one room to the next, so that it feels like you’re being drawn between them. That’s why the best spot for a focal point is usually directly across from the entrance to the room. Vary the scale What looks good in the store may look like an elephant in the room when you bring it home, or it’s too tiny to be of any significance. So always be wary of scale and proportion. *Tip: Threes and fives make for more pleasing arrangements than even numbers. Be bold Personality is what makes a space great. Make your own statement and have fun. The more you try, the more you will begin to see what works and what doesn’t. Incorporate unexpected elements like unconventional ottoman seats, bookshelves or an oversized chandelier in a conventional living room to add drama. Go with something personal that makes you smile and, above all, is comfortable. Overly designed rooms don’t really translate in modern life. In your living room, a nice collection of seemingly haphazard throw pillows and an art arrangement creates a casual look with plenty of style. No matter how much you love a room or your entire house, sooner or later you will get a little bored of the same things. Before you go overboard and start planning a whole redesign, even if you can afford it, consider small changes. When that time comes, it’ll be easier to start with the areas or corners you like the least or the ones not working with your everyday flow anymore. A little moving around, stacking, rotating, adding, or subtracting can result in desirable results.

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How To Prepare Your Home For Sale From Top To Bottom


Read our story about clutter in this issue for more

ake heed, home sellers first impressions really are everything. We understand - no one wants to spend money on the home they are getting ready to sell, but it can be crucial if you want to sell the house quickly and for the price you want. Along with basic decluttering and cleaning, there are areas where some money may need to be spent. While there are some areas that aren’t necessary to spend money on, you may need to spend a little cash in order to get your property sold.

Speaking of clutter Get rid of it. If you’ve accumulated a lot of bits and pieces over the years (and you definitely have), now’s the time to either a) throw them out, b) give them to charity or c) find proper, neat places for them in a closet or cupboard. You might even consider having a garage sale to purge your house of all that unnecessary ‘stuff’. Do whatever you need to so that your buyers never have to lock eyes on it.

Exterior appeal Stand outside your home and compare it to your neighbours’ properties. If you do this and it makes you feel slightly mortified, it’s likely that you’ve already failed to impress your potential buyers. Ask yourself: •When was the last time the lawn was mowed? •Have I ever cleaned those gutters out? •Could those window frames use some fresh paint? •Were those concrete paving slabs always that uneven? •Don’t those children’s toys have somewhere to be?

Tara says: 3 “Rules” To Break 1. Don’t mix style and design - Wrong! Traditional rooms with contemporary details are more current, and contemporary rooms with traditional accents have more character. 2. Play it safe in small spaces - I also disagree. Incorporating colour, large scale furniture and bigger prints can add a bit a drama and dimension to the room. 3. Furniture should match - Quite the contrary. Adding an unexpected accent chair to a sofa set or mix-matched dining room chairs are great conversation starters.

Depersonalise Those photos of your loved ones and places you visited that adorn the walls throughout your home? Take them down. Don’t forget the magnets and anything else that is stuck on your fridge, either. Your buyers don’t want to see the lovely life you’ve made for yourself in your beautiful home. They want to imagine the lovely life they could make for themselves in their beautiful potential new home. Don’t allow anything to clutter that vision.

Thoroughly clean it •Dust the skirting boards or tiles •Clean the windows (inside and out) and then polish them for extra shine •Dust light fixtures and furniture •Mop and vacuum like there’s no tomorrow •Get rid of cobwebs •Polish taps and mirrors •Clean out the refrigerator and deodorise it by placing an open box of baking soda inside it to soak up odours

Pay specific attention to: •Books, CDs and DVDs •Ornaments and knick-knacks •Kitchen tools and appliances that currently live on the counters •Potted plants •Posters on your children’s bedroom walls



and wiping down the inside surfaces with vanilla extract •Bleach tile grout (or fill a spray bottle with a half-and-half solution of vinegar and warm water. Spray on the grout, let it stand for five minutes, and then scrub with a stiff brush. To bring even more cleaning power to the party, make a paste of baking soda and water, cover the grout lines with the paste and then spray on the vinegar solution.) •Scrub the oven clean - it may sound excessive, but prospective buyers are notoriously nosy and judgmental

Control your pets Not every buyer will want to be greeted at the door by your pet, no matter how charming the animal may be. If possible, remove pets altogether when you’re showing your property.



Painting Interior Walls There are certain trends that come and go in interior design. Buyers can interpret a white-walled home as being boring and devoid of character, while the right colours can be exciting. However, it’s important to take care with your paint choices, as something too outlandish may hinder the potential buyers’ ability to see themselves in your property. If you’re using colour, be sure that all the colours blend well together and match other design aspects of your home. Accent walls and textured brush techniques can add visual interest to your property, but consult with an interior designer if you are unsure. Tara says: For interior paint colours, I would recommend creams, whites and soft greys. These are colours that play well with natural light so the

If you’re using colour, be sure that all the colours blend well together and match other design aspects of your home.

•Fix doors and drawers that don’t open or close properly •Repair cracks in the walls •Touch up paint and repaint altogether where necessary (in a neutral colour) •Hang up fresh towels in the bathroom •Get a new shower curtain and bathmat (again, choose neutral shades) •Eradicate odours. Open the windows and air out your house. Simply masking bad smells with a perfumed air freshener won’t do the trick •Replace cushion covers, bedspreads and curtains that are worn or have garish colours and patterns

room feels spacious and the new home owner can start with a canvas that gives them the room to design their own space. Repair, restore, revamp The devil is in the details, and the sale of your home could be hampered by simple little things that you’ve stopped paying attention to. Try to look at your home from the perspective of your buyer, and think about the details that would impress or dismay you if you were in their position. Then take care of those details immediately. •Replace blown light bulbs •Fix leaky taps

Let there be light Lots of natural light usually tops the list of things people are looking for in a home. This is great news if you own a home on a barren cliff top with ceiling-to-floor glass facing the afternoon sun, but that’s not always on the cards, is it? Fortunately, there are other ways to maximise the light in your house - natural or otherwise - and give the impression of having plenty of bright, airy space. Replace dim light bulbs with brighter burning, low-wattage LED lights Don’t just pull open those heavy, dark curtains – take them down altogether In areas of your house that are particularly dark, install some extra light fixtures Repaint darker rooms with light-coloured and light-reflecting paint Prune any trees or vines that are casting shadows inside the house Tara says: 1. Wooden floors don’t have to be pristine. The scuffs and marks that appear with time make a home feel lived in. 2.The floor can connect or distinguish rooms. Using a consistent floor finish throughout the home easily connects rooms. Changing the floor finish in special rooms can create a sense of escape in that room. 3.Think of the floor as a fifth wall. You can add colour and pattern to create more visual interest. INSPIRATION & INNOVATION


Integrating your outdoors


by Nick Nunes

mart homes are not the home of the future anymore, it’s the home of the present and it brings the ability to totally integrate and improve business and entertainment capabilities,” said Teddy Hinds of Genzai Tech. Today’s home can become nigh indistinguishable from the world of science fiction without intrusive appearance. The world of communication has gone far beyond even just a decade ago.

Going beyond the integration of the home and office, Genzai now brings the ability to “focus on the outdoor living experience,” according to Hinds. “Integrating audio and video, and integration of all your outdoor mechanism like a pool controls and lights is very easily accomplished today.” Hinds continued. The ability to transform a backyard into a fully functional entertainment area has become easier and more compactly controllable within the 21st century. From pool pump controls, to weather proof television arrays and surround sound hidden in decorative rocks or plant pots, Genzai can help transform your deck or outdoor living space to the completely integrated living and entertainment experience of the indoors. “The modern home owner has the capability to work with all the smart features that all-inclusively control the entire house, office, and outdoor living and entertainment areas remotely at a distance. You have access to everything. This is total integration. All the technologies for home can be married to streamline your modern life,” said Hinds. Everything can be made waterproof and can be integrated with your pre-existing system and requires no great renovation to bring your home into the future. For several years, home automation has been around with the



ability to control your household environment from a smartphone or tablet. Now, the market is already available not for the luxury home owner but for every market tier out there. Enjoying a cool evening with the highest quality of music entertainment and accompanying lighting outdoors is a touchscreen away from transforming your backyard into an unparalleled home experience. Genzai Tech is the Barbadian company that offers solutions to a more streamlined and efficient lifestyle that can make you feel like you’re a part of a more advanced age without invasive changes. The ability to remotely control lights, control music and pool functions, lock, arm, and monitor security systems, as well as keeping track of energy expenditure and running an efficient home environment well within everyone’s grasp. Affordable and without the need for major renovation, Genzai Tech has solutions to bring your life up to a comparable age of integration and control over your important systems. Today, it has become increasingly simpler to retrofit homes to technology as the tech is the one that adapts at lightning pace. Installing solar outdoor lighting and automating all the aspects of your technologically connected life are easier and more affordable than you would imagine since technology is both shrinking in size and growing in potential. Right now, you can call 246-625-1400 or visit www.nettechbb. com for consultation and be living a more efficient and even ecofriendly entertainment-centred lifestyle through the world of automation. The world is a vast place moving at an unbridled pace. It’s important to keep up with the emerging technologies and stay afloat on the always evolving wave to the future and the limitless possibilities of entertainment.



Improving The Air Quality Of Your Home

Steps for healthier air




hough it’s tempting to put off chores, it’s important to clean your home often to reduce allergens and irritants. If you’re like me and you live near a busy road or construction site with as much dust in the air as there is oxygen, dust furniture and appliances with a damp cloth rather than a feather duster, and don’t neglect hard-to-reach areas such as ceiling fans and the top of the refrigerator. To avoid potentially harmful vapours, purchase non-toxic, unscented cleaning products (or make your own using regular pantry items like vinegar and baking soda). And use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter for the best results.

To avoid potentially harmful vapours, purchase non-toxic, unscented cleaning products (or make your own using regular pantry items like vinegar and baking soda). And use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter for the best results. Even if you’re blessed to have air conditioning, open the windows regularly to let in fresh air (especially while you’re cleaning, cooking, or painting). If you’re like most local homeowners with a ceiling or standing fan, use them when the windows are open, so as to keep fresh air circulating. For most Barbadians, the final quarter of the year almost always signals the start of remodeling season. If you’re planning a remodeling or redecorating project, take air quality into consideration when you choose products. If you must use a rug, opt for a smaller one, to simplify cleanup and reduce chances of trapped dirt and pet dander. Change and wash curtains regularly to avoid the buildup of dust (or use blinds instead). Note that large pieces of fabric harbour dust mites and other allergens, so wash drapery, fabric shower curtains, and bedding frequently. Also, be sure to wash all new fabrics (including clothing) before using them, because they can retain chemicals from the manufacturing process. *Tip: Add houseplants to help fight air pollution and lend natural beauty. Candles, incense sticks and cigarettes may be common scents around some households, but all are guilty of releasing pollutants that worsen air quality and can even trigger health problems. To help keep your home’s air clean, buy only nontoxic candles (such as unscented soy varieties), and don’t allow smoking indoors. Even more common in households, are commercial air fresheners! These mainstays can contain harmful pollutants, so a better alternative would be to simmer a pot of cinnamon and cloves or consider natural alternatives such as diffusers and vaporizers that rely on essential oils instead of chemicals. Look for pure essential oils – not “essential fragrances” or “natural perfumes.”



Simple Remodeling Touches Which Make Life Easier


hen doing a remodel, any contractor worth their fee may suggest some additions to your requested design that you may not have thought about. These suggestions shouldn’t necessarily be considered as subtle attempts at project price increases; they may actually be sound quality-of-life considerations — little things you didn’t know you were missing until you had them. Here are some of the most overlooked, yet ultimately invaluable pieces which make the whole project come together seamlessly. Complimenting Door Hardware Often when someone is remodelling a single room or section of the house, he or she will only focus on the part that’s being remodelled. This is not surprising and is totally fine. But say the person installs new doors and selects new handles for that project only, failing to consider styles found elsewhere in the home. Matching your existing door handles or selecting handles for the entire house helps to avoid that glaring remodelled appearance and create more of an well-thought-out and seamless look.  Don’t you just hate it when someone shuts a cabinet door too hard or closes a heavy drawer, like a silverware drawer, and it causes a ton of hits its frame? Soft-close hinges and drawer slides eliminate that entire ruckus by catching the cabinet or drawer mid-swing, usually about two inches away from fully being closed, and then slowly shut it the rest of the way. After you’ve grown accustomed to them, you’ll probably find yourself accidentally slamming ordinary cabinets when you visit family and friends who haven’t updated their cabinetry.  38


Custom Cabinetry Organization The ultimate in-drawer organization comes during the design phase of cabinetry. Take inventory of everything you have or want to store, and see if there are storage options that can be integrated into your cabinets.  Common customisation examples are built- in knife holders in drawers, along with built-in spice racks, trash and laundry bin holders and hair dryer holsters. Custom cabinetry organization is the embodiment of “Mise en place” and it makes life much easier and organised. Protective shower glass treatment  I can’t stress enough the value of adding protective sealant to glass shower doors. Yes, it protects the glass from water, heat and mineral deposits, but more importantly, it stays clean longer! On top of that, when it’s time to clean, it is extremely easy to do. Sealants also prevent glass from getting that slightly opaque, scummy look that comes from regular use.  Under Cabinet Lighting  This may seem like no-brainer, but you’d be surprised at how useful under cabinet lighting can be, and how often it’s forgotten during kitchen remodelling. This type of lighting can be used to illuminate during small tasks that don’t necessarily require the amount of light provided by full-room lighting. Under cabinet fixtures can also be used for mood lighting. Wherever possible, choose LED compatible fixtures. LED lighting is more costeffective long-term and also doesn’t tend to emit as much heat as other types of bulbs. Motion-Activated Lighting  You will never fumble in the dark for your keys again. This renovation feature can add convenience as well as an extra layer of security to your home. LED sensors are very inexpensive to set up and can be used practically anywhere in and out of the house. Upgrading to motion-sensitive lighting also can remove the need for wall switches since the lights automatically switch on with movement. This type of lighting also can lead to a reduction in electricity costs, since the possibility of lights being accidentally left on is completely removed.



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How Much Should I Spend To Get My House Ready For Sale? by Cherita Odle


ust like the mad scramble to tidy up your house when you know guests are going to drop in, so should the same attitude apply when you are about to place your house on the market for sale. You should try to present it at its best, spruce up the interior and make the exterior pleasing to the eye. So, what does this all really mean? How much will it cost you? Many prospective sellers think it means that you now have to pour tons of money into your house to make it shine, to ensure that it stands out. In a regular market it is the



enhancement of the bathroom and the kitchen in particular which add value to a property, sometimes by as much as $9000 and $12,000 respective. However, we are not currently in a regular market. You may be very disappointed to know that a prospective buyer does not care how much you spent to remodel these rooms. All a buyer in today’s market cares about is “What type of property can I afford based on my bank’s pre-approval?” They are willing to offend you with an offer which suits their pockets, so now all of your hard work has gone down the drain. That callous approach to shortlisting property can get many an owner feeling dejected and disrespected after spending $20,000 to remodel his kitchen and bathrooms then hearing a prospective buyer ask for as much as $20,000 off the sale price. Hurts, doesn’t it?

In a regular market it is the enhancement of the bathroom and the kitchen in particular which add value to a property, sometimes by as much as $9000 and $12,000 respective.

So, where should you direct your money when you’ve decided you’re going to sell your house? Since the aim is to sell your house in a timely manner and make a profit, wisdom dictates that you direct your money into the following projects which are of the most common concern:Cracks Nothing will scare a buyer away more than major cracks. You may have lived comfortably with that fork lightning crack on your dining room wall but now that you are trying to sell the house, you need to make it disappear. Have an engineer investigate and see how that eyesore

can be reinforced, filled and beautifully faded into the surrounding wall. Remember, if a coin can fit into that crack you have a major problem. Fix it and fix it fast! Water Damage Another deterrent to a prospective buyer is any sign of water damage. Think about it, when they see a water stain, they dread how long that leakage was ongoing. Is the water still in the wall? Is the structure eroded? Is the stability of the wall compromised? Have your contractor ensure that the leak has stopped, identify the nature of the damage and repair, repair, repair. Pest Infestation A buyer’s eyes are sharp. Remember, anything that looks like a dirt trail along the wall in a buyer’s eyes means termite infestation. It doesn’t matter how it got there, a buyer now envisions the walls crumbling down around him in just a matter of days. Bring in the professionals, get them to do a thorough inspection of the house and spray it down. Kill ‘em, kill ‘em all. Clutter Get rid of it! If a buyer can’t visualize themselves living in your house, the deal is over. De-clutter the stuff in your domain, the junk that’s been sitting in corridors, the excess containers sitting on your kitchen counters and the clothes lying on the furniture that you

keep promising to throw away. Use this time to purge. You will be surprised at the number of large garbage bags of stuff you’ll discard. You didn’t know you were a hoarder at heart, did you? A de-cluttered house actually looks more spacious and helps the buyer focus on the property’s focal points as opposed to your ridiculous living conditions. Curb Appeal The first impression of your house will dictate the buyer’s emotions from the beginning to end of the viewing. If the entrance and environs of the house are attractive on arrival, the buyer will be open minded, regardless of what he sees on the inside. However, if your curb appeal is as attractive as the entrance to the public dump, you’re in trouble. He’s already turned off and his zeal for the house will surely fade thereafter. So, be reminded, don’t go and overspend when it’s time to sell. Put your money where it matters the most – in the areas that will detract a buyer from seeing the true value of your prized possession. They will want to configure the house to their own taste anyways, so let them. Who’s to say that they will love and cherish your new blue & white Mediterranean style bathroom? Present a canvas that they will be proud to call their own and take pride in transforming into home sweet home.



Make Your Living Room Appear Larger Money Mindfulness In The Home Preparing Your Home For Sale Fire Safety Tips Conquering Clutter

What’s your style?




t has become the fad in home style that we loosely throw around words like contemporary, modern, classic, etc. when trying to define our individual style, but very often we really don’t know where we stand and can find ourselves dissatisfied at the end of a project. In the design world I sometimes run into the situation where a client may request a design for a new kitchen in a particular style, usually Contemporary or Traditional, yet in the course of our meeting when he/she is presented with samples of door styles, colours, hardware etc, a totally different style can emerge. So, how can we be sure that we are making selections that are as individual as we are? Simple, just ask yourself these questions: • Does it fit in with my lifestyle in that will I have the time, energy and resources required to maintain this look? • Will I love it every morning, or will I become bored with it in no time? • Will it stand the test of time or will it go out of fashion by next year? Sounds like a marriage doesn’t it, but when styling our kitchen or any part of our home, we will have to live with our choices for a long time. I tell my clients that you can easily change the colour of a wall, but changing countertops is a whole different ball game. Here are a few guidelines to help you arrive at “your” style:

• Make a list of the things you would like to have in the project, whether it be a new kitchen, bathroom or a list for each room if it’s a whole house. Make sure to include colours, textures and finishes. • Collect pictures of things you like as well as images of rooms that are relevant to your project. As they say a picture says a thousand words, and will help you or your designer to grab a sense of your style. • Consider your budget, so that you can have realistic expectations. Remember diamonds may be a girl’s best friend but crystal can do the job just fine. • Avoid planning in a hurry, sometimes your style and design can change or evolve over time, so take your time. • If you find you are drawn to carved details, mouldings, patterned fabrics, symmetry in placements and if you like accessorizing everything in pairs, chances are you lean toward to Traditional Style. • If you are drawn to clean geometric forms where it’s all about lines and shapes, you prefer balance rather than symmetry, and few accessories each piece making a statement, then you might find that Contemporary Style is your preference. • But if you find that you are sometimes drawn to a little of each style, in that you like a little detail in your woodwork, but yet you prefer crisp and clean, adding texture rather than colour to add impact, then you could be Transitional Style. And the list goes on, but whatever you do the most important point is to take whatever style you like and make it personal. My motto is “a dash of creativity, and a splash of you, adds your style in the mix”. Happy styling!

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Money mindfulness in the home


by Rosemarie Layne

e know only too well that management of our finances is integral to a well functioning household. Therefore, one of the important responsibilities parents are entrusted is teaching their children to feel comfortable with money. Indeed, instilling financial health at an early can help put children on a path to success with far reaching spin-offs beyond money matters. Having a positive feeling about money can foster a broader sense of confidence that brings happiness and wellbeing in their future.



With this in mind, here are seven important money skills for parents to inculcate in children from age three or four right up to the pre-teen years recommended by Kimberly Palmer, author of Smart Mom, Rich Mom: How to Build Wealth While Raising a Family. 1. They can’t have everything Fundamental to prudent financial choices is having to sacrifice certain things, such as expensive new clothes, in order to save for other goals, such like a family vacation. Even a toddler can begin to grasp this concept when we explain why he/she can’t get everything at the toy store. (It’s best to have this dialogue beforehand in a neutral environment to avoid a scene at the store when he’s stimulated by, and fixated on, a widely advertised toy!) 2. Saving money as a family Saving is always more fun as a family project. If your children enjoy a particular restaurant meal, for instance, try making it at home together. You’ll save considerably over time, and can also add to the health content with fresh ingredients. 3. Awareness of big family goals Although children may not be able to appreciate the expense involved in running a household or putting money aside for tertiary education, if you’ve opened up a junior savers account or an educational fund, it can be helpful to explain this to them. By doing so, they can begin to grasp the importance of saving for distant events, and as time passes, they also will begin to appreciate your efforts. 4. Using skills to earn money later Children can gain experience with small projects such as baking cookies and car-washing, so when they get older, they can take this their entrepreneurial spirit further. If they are good at art or building things, you can help them set up a home-based micro business, or showcase their work online or at a school or community exhibition. (At this stage, the goal is less about making money than about feeling good about their efforts.) 5. They are fully capable of wise money decisions To avoid perpetuating a gender bias, make sure you discuss smart saving, spending, and earning practices with your daughters as much as sons from an early age.



6. Managing family finances takes time Allow children to see you paying bills or managing financial accounts, so they don’t the false impression that these necessities happen automatically. Take them with you when you pay the electricity bill or if you do online banking online, let them sit next to you when you do this. This way, they will start to see it as a regular activity that time needs to be set aside for. 7. Appreciate what they have and share it with others A feeling of abundance often starts with being grateful for what we have. Just taking a few minutes before meals or other family occasions to express thanks can help inspire a feeling of satisfaction - rather than the desire to always want more. Setting up a family practice of jointly contributing to a deserving cause on a birthday or holiday can be a good support for this.



Of course, teaching children to have a healthy relationship with money is largely dependent on parents’ own behaviour - not just on what their charges hear from them. So, if we really want our teachings about smart money habits to sink in, it’s imperative that we practise them ourselves. This includes setting long-term savings goals and carefully monitoring spending so we can put money towards these goals, and, in so doing, ultimately invest in our children’s future. Undeniably, financial security provides the freedom to spend our lives the way we want, and, implicit in this achievement, is having more meaningful family time and a happier home. *Rosemarie Layne who holds an Associate Degree in Mass Communication is a wholistic health advocate and is certified in 2nd Degree Reiki.



How to Make Your Living Room Appear Larger than Life by Nick Nunes


ven if you don’t have room for expansive chaise lounge chairs, 6-seater sofas or that state-of-the-art media centre, it is more than possible to make your main living area seem spacious, even with square footage restrictions. Space restrictions especially apply to those of us who live in an apartment or in urban neighbourhoods. If this describes your experience, you can choose to look at your limited living space as a creative design challenge. The key to living contently in small quarters is combining multifunctional, space-saving solutions without skimping on expressing your personal style. Smart decisions will give you the space you need while making your room extraordinary and welcoming. These tips can help you make the most of an all-important room: the living room. Use built-in furniture and shelves It’s a good idea to invest in built-in solutions and appropriate shelving to fit your space and needs. Custom built-ins are ideal in a small room because you can size each piece of furniture for you space and tailor a feature or two to your space, which allows you to completely maximize the available space.



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For example, consider getting a built-in sofa, which can also have useful storage hidden underneath. If hiring a carpenter or buying a custom piece isn’t in your budget, get creative and make your customisations a DIY project. Maybe you’re handy enough to place an attractive rollaway drawer underneath your sofa for storage of cushions, magazines or seldom-used electronics. How about constructing a floating shelf with brackets on a wall that can be used as a desk for a small homework or office station? Instead of a custom-made wall unit, consider arranging shelves in an artful pattern on a wall to create a media unit, or place them all the way up a wall to create a vertical pattern. Higher placement of design features like shelves and photos helps create the feeling of volume and by extension more space, in the room. Let the sun shine in Emphasize your natural light sources to make your room brighter. A sunlit room feels more open and helps eliminate shadows that can make an enclosed area feel smaller. The simplest way to enhance natural light in a room is to place a mirror where it will reflect the light from a window. This will not only reflect light but also create the illusion of more depth in the space. When possible, arrange your most-used pieces of furniture — such as the sofa or your chair — so that they have a view of the outdoors. If natural light is minimal, consider installing track lighting on the ceiling. While not taking up valuable table or floor space, its bright light and flexible track heads can be the next best space-saving light source after direct sunlight. Open it up to other rooms If you have limited living area, you may want to view your living room as a flowing space and, when possible, open up doorways or walls so adjacent rooms blend smoothly.  50


A living room can be a larger combination of a living, dining and kitchen space if you remove the walls that separate them. Widening doorways and opening them up to the ceiling will also create a larger, more open feeling. If making major structural changes is not possible, try simply removing the doors to each connected space. This not only will improve the sightlines and light in each room, it will allow for an easier flow of movement. Paint strategically  The classic tip of using white or paler hues is still spot-on advice for painting a smaller space. Painting the trim and walls in the room the same colour draws the eye up and highlights the ceiling. Darker colours can also be used strategically to increase the apparent size of a room. Neutral hues such as navy or charcoal grey make a smaller space stylishly inviting when paired with lighter colours. The trick in a small room is to balance a darker wall with lighter elements to create depth and brighten the room. For example, placing a lighter-coloured couch against a dark wall and pairing with light-coloured cushions, accessories or carpeting helps give the illusion of tons of space. Create a focal point  Take advantage of your living room’s diminutive size to easily create a design feature. Specifically, choose one aspect of the room to highlight with something visually interesting. The eye will be immediately drawn to this standout feature, with less emphasis on the room’s challenging size.  A tried-and-true example is to design a feature wall behind a sofa with colour, texture or wall decor. Use a wall covering such as grass cloth, feature a mural or place different framed artwork and mirrors on a brightly coloured wall. Other options can include eyecatching rugs or table centrepieces. The choice is all yours and the possibilities are endless.



Purple As A Room Room Colour and How it Affects Your Mood


et me start by saying that lavender, mauve, lilac and purple are not colours I gravitate to naturally when it comes to interior decorating. In fact, if I must be honest, I never cared much for these colours at all in any aspect of my life. I always associated them with little girls and their bedrooms. However, of late the colour has had a bit of a renaissance and been seen around in some particularly sophisticated and



elegant applications which have piqued my interest. It was this family of hues which this issue’s feature designer Tara Wilkinson turned to for the bedroom makeover (pictured) that earned her first place in Smart Homes Magazine’s Interior Design Challenge. The colours of the rooms in your home are a direct reflection of your personality. While most of us may not spend a lot of time thinking about room colour, it affects us every day. Room colour can influence our moods and our thoughts. Purple, in its darkest values (eggplant, for example), is rich, dramatic and sophisticated. It is associated with luxury and creativity; as an accent or secondary colour, it gives a scheme depth.



Purple is the symbol of royalty and wealth. In ancient times, creating dyes to colour fabric often required a great deal of effort and expense, especially for certain colours. Lighter versions of purple, such as lavender and lilac, bring the same restful quality to bedrooms as blue does, but without the risk of feeling chilly. The Colour Psychology of Purple Purple is the symbol of royalty and wealth. In ancient times, creating dyes to colour fabric often required a great deal of effort and expense, especially for certain colours. Because purple is less common in nature, the resources needed to create a dye in this colour were much more hard to come by and much more costly. For this reason, the colour purple became associated with wealth and royalty, because those types were the only individuals who could afford such expensive items. This connection with royalty has existed since, but is not restricted to ancient times. Purple was the colour of choice for tickets to Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation in 1953. Purple also represents wisdom and spirituality. Its rare and mysterious nature perhaps causes it to seem



connected to the unknown, supernatural, and divine. Purple does not often occur in nature, as stated earlier, so it can sometimes appear exotic or artificial. For this reason, it tends to be quite a polarizing colour. People tend to either really love purple or really hate it. It has the strongest electromagnetic wavelength, being just a few wavelengths up from x-rays and gamma rays. For this reason, it is often used in visual illusions such as the lilac chaser illusion. Colour affects people in many ways, depending on age, gender, ethnic background and climate. Certain colours (or groups of colours) tend to get a similar reaction from most people; the variations come from the shades or tones used. This is why it’s so important to choose colours wisely when it comes to decorating. Proud and regal or soft and sweet, purple ranges from vibrant violet to pale lavender. Whether you blanket a whole room with the colour or just use it as an accent, this mystical hue is bound to make a statement.






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Smarts Homes October 2016  

This dynamic, contemporary magazine highlights the best in home design and décor.

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