If you follow my blog, you all know how much I love Hawaii. The islands, for me, hold a very magical place in my heart. So much so, that I wrote a blog about how the aloha spirit and how I embrace it in my business. So what does Hawaii and creating flow in your home have to do with one another? What has me thinking of Hawaii?
This past week, I was in three homes and each home was made up of tiny islands. The front entrance was one island (for example, tile flooring), the back entrance was one island (a different tile and a different colour palette), the kitchen was one island (different flooring, different trim, cabinets not working with the backsplash), the main floor living space was one island (different baseboards, different flooring), and on, and on. It looked like areas of the home were renovated in distinct trends. So how do you know where to start when thinking of doing some updates to your home?
Creating Flow In Your Home: Tip 1
This first step in creating flow to your home is to decipher what foundation palette your home falls into. Your home will fall into one of two categories: white (including blue white and true white) or cream (off-white and ivory/cream).
All of the fixed elements in your home (and a fixed element is any hard finish(es) that are staying in place) will tell you if your foundation palette is white or cream. Please note: only consider the fixed elements that you know will be staying.
White Foundation Palette
If your home has fixed elements (carpet, hardwood, tiles, countertops) that are primarily grey, white and black, your foundation palette will be in the white or off-white category.
Cream Foundation Palette
If your home was built during the trend that has you with a lot of brown in your carpets, tiles and countertops, and /or you have a lot of beige, cream and brown throughout your home, your foundation palette will be cream.
Creating Flow In Your Home: Tip 2
When it comes to updating your home, many want to move away from the cream foundation (the 1990’s brown, Tuscan trend) and move to the more clean and crisp whites (the grey trend). I see that all the time. What you need to do to ensure you are creating flow to your home is to make a decision (stay with a cream foundation or move to white). Once you make that decision, then you stick to it. Period. Every renovating decision you make must be made with your foundation palette choice in mind. It is THE driving force for all decisions moving forward.
Creating Flow In Your Home: Tip 3
My third and final tip is to please, please, please, do not ignore the big items in your home. By big ticket items I mean the ones that take up a lot of real estate inside. Moving forward and updating a home, especially when it comes to flooring, can be expensive.
Let’s say your home falls in the cream foundation palette but you are DYING to have that clean, crisp, white kitchen. You spend money on new cabinets (perhaps you paint the cabinets), you spend money on new counters, backsplash and wall colour. What you fail to do is take into consideration of your flooring. And yes – I said fail. Because in my opinion, it will be truly a waste of money and a big fail (capitalize the F). Now, before you get your panties all in a knot, IF you are planning to change your flooring down the road when you have money saved – perfect! However, like many homes I’ve been in, they leave the flooring out (as it typically is a big ticket item) and they have no plans on ever changing the floor. What do you end up getting? A new space that partially falls in the white foundation palette and the cream foundation palette. Don’t believe me?
This is a great example of wanting to move to a more crisp, white feel without taking into consideration the creamy flooring. Look at how crisp and white the baseboards look against the creamy floor. I’m not even going to draw your attention to the creamy counters. Please – look away. A great example of mixing clean with dirty.
This illustrates the same thing. The paint colour and screaming white trim do not go with the creamy flooring (which is a fixed element). Another great example of mixing clean and dirty colours. By using such a crisp, clean white, the cream floors look extremely dirty (muted).
Creating Flow In Your Home: Final Thoughts
I am going to share some brutally honest thoughts here (and prepare yourself for the Dr. Phil, honest approach).
- If you wish to have your home full of little pockets of islands – then go right ahead. What you need to know is that when you go to sell your home (and eventually one day you will), you will either need to spend a shit-load of money ensuring your home flows OR be prepared to take a major hit with the money you plan on getting out of your investment because every potential buyer will be knocking down your price based on all the renovations they will need to do to your home.
- You need to decide on ONE foundation palette. Every renovating decision made down the road will need to be in line with your foundation palette. If you plan on doing your renovation over 10 years, know that trends come and go roughly every 10 years. You may find yourself never getting the flow you desire in your home as you’re always many steps behind the trends.
- Sometimes the truth hurts. Sometimes, I have to tell clients: you can’t have ‘X’ and ‘Y’ because they just look plain shitty together. Remember, when I work with clients, they are hiring me for my expertise. They pay me for my advice. If you want to pay me to tell you everything you want to hear, then I’m not the girl for you or your project.
- There is a way to have it all but know that in many instances, you may have to compromise. If you really love the cooler greys but you flooring is dictating a warmer greener grey, then go for the green-grey. In the end, you will have created flow in your home and you will have every room feel like they belong together.
Are you feeling like there are too many choices to make with updating your home? Contact me today to discuss how I can help you plan out a house that flows and is designer worthy!
Renovate like a Designer: Start With Your Foundation Palette
Refresh a Space: Where to Start?
Pulling a Design Plan Together