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Feng Shui Your Way to Back-to-School Survival

Posted by on Sep 9, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Feng Shui Your Way to Back-to-School Survival

Textbooks, uniforms, lunch bags to buy, keeping up with sports and school activities – oh my! Use these five feng shui tips to keep calm and survive back to school chaos. 1.  Set a specific time for homework and arrange a “quiet place” with no TV, computers, music, cell phones or distractions to keep children focused on doing their homework.  Preferably, each child should have his/her own work area with a desk or table, chair and lamp.   Properly light the space – bright lighting may cause headaches, while dim lighting may result in eye fatigue.   When children enter this “quiet place” they will be able to concentrate on their homework. 2.  Schedule time to use cell phones and computers.  When children spend too much time on recreational technology, they are too wiped out for homework and too hyped up for bed. 3.  Ensure your child gets a good night’s rest and keep the computer or TV out of their room.  Easy access to a TV or computer will encourage children to stay up late watching programs and playing games.  If there is a TV in their room, cover it at night with a towel or blanket.   Close the curtains.   Children need consistency, so be sure to set a specific bed time. 4.  Pure and organic essential oils are known to have physiological and psychological effects.   Rescue workers carry peppermint to help them stay alert and motivated when working long hours after a disaster.  Diffusing peppermint in a child’s work area will help with concentration.  Chamomile or lavender have relaxing and soothing effects and is good for restless children.  Make sure you buy therapeutic-grade essential oil. 5.  Place family photos in your child’s bedroom to give them a sense of security and a feeling of being loved. These five feng shui tips will put your child on the right track for the school year, and you will enjoy your sense of calm. If you want to transform your home from “Ordinary to Extraordinary” using what you already own, consider becoming a client of Élan...

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Downsizing – Big Solutions for Small Spaces

Posted by on Sep 9, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Downsizing – Big Solutions for Small Spaces

Has your youngest child graduated college and left your nest for good?  Has life left you with some unexpected plot twists and you are on your own again not needing all the space in a larger home?  Do you like your home but not the cost of the upkeep, or you want to retire and just not worry about the responsibilities that accompany home ownership?   These are some of the primary reasons people choose to downsize.  But in all the years you’ve lived in your home you have accumulated lots of furniture – and the space of your new place may not accommodate it all.  That doesn’t mean you have to sell everything.  Here are some ideas on how you can use as much of your furnishings as the space dictates and perhaps simply re-present the arrangements to create your sense of familiarity and give your smaller space an open, warm and comfortable feeling. (1)  Create a cozy place for conversation by placing a loveseat or small sofa across from two club chairs.  Use of glass, metals, acrylics and gilt pieces can open up the room. (2)  Some apartments do not let you paint the walls, but if you own a condo you can be more adventurous.  While neutral colors will make the room appear bigger, you can achieve the same effect with darker walls and lighter furnishings. (3)  Chairs and tables with longer legs will make the room feel less “heavy” but do keep one piece that sits closer to the floor so your room will feel grounded and the furniture will not look like it wants to “walk away.” (4)  Go vertical.  Bookcases will add height to a room and help eliminate clutter. (5)  Don’t be afraid of using large art or wall hangings.  Keep your walls visually interesting.  Hanging mirrors as wall art in small spaces can give the illusion of having more space. (6)  Don’t hang on to what you’ve got “just in case….” Once you have made the commitment to scale down, get rid of old furniture, accessories or artwork you no longer need.  Letting it go will make you feel free and less overwhelmed. If you want to transform your smaller home from “Ordinary to Extraordinary” using what you already own, consider becoming a client of Élan...

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Beetle Kill to Beetle Chic

Posted by on Sep 1, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Beetle Kill to Beetle Chic

A Crafty Solution for an Environmental Problem California and Colorado, along with many other Western states have experienced an unprecedented number of forest fires over the last several years.  Dry weather caused by unusually warm temperatures and abnormally low precipitation have lured the insect population and in the case of pine trees, bark beetle infestations have already destroyed hundreds of thousands of trees in the forests.  From Canada to Mexico millions of acres of trees have been killed by this unstoppable bug with the Rocky Mountain area being hit the hardest. When a tree dies in the forest, it becomes tinder.  It is nothing more than kindling wood for the next fire.  Some eco-conscious furniture craftsmen are finding ways to salvage the damaged wood from trees once infested with beetles by making them into furniture, cabinetry and wood paneling.  By harvesting these pine trees within a season after the tree dies, the wood is still useable.  The beetles carry a fungus that stains the wood a bluish gray, so from an aesthetic view the wood takes on interesting shading, and sometimes the wood can even look totally blue.  The wood is not harmful because the beetles either die or move on before the trees are cut down.  The trees must not sit too long after being killed or they can lose their structural integrity.  Builders are reluctant to use beetle kill pine in framing a house or commercial building. Today this significant environmental problem is being turned into a chic interior design trend.  The result is a rustic look that can cross over to both traditional and contemporary decor. Utilizing the wood from beetle-killed pine trees for furniture allows for a natural regeneration of our forests. Through use of beetle-killed pine, no additional “live” trees are cut down for furniture production.  When a forest has been cleaned of dead undergrowth, the natural growing cycle has the ability to take place once again creating a bio-diverse environment thereby reducing the effects of naturally occurring forest fires.  It is a win-win for everyone. If you want to transform your home from ordinary to extraordinary using what you already own, consider becoming a client of Élan...

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Geometry Takes Center Stage in Interior Design

Posted by on Jul 10, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Geometry Takes Center Stage in Interior Design

Don’t Know Much About History, Don’t Know Much Biology… But Geometry – We Understand! Squares, circles, triangles, zigzags and most definitely chevron stripes!  Use of geometric patterns in interior design is one of the key trends for 2013-2014.  These patterns are easily incorporated in the design of any room in your home with bold hues and statement designs.   This year chevron stripes will be one of the most utilized geometric patterns.  Ideal as wallpaper, chevrons will also be incorporated into area rugs and hardwood flooring. When utilizing geometric prints in your interior décor, it is essential to maintain a balance between bold hues and subdued shades, as well as being mindful of prints that are similar to one another making them easier to mix. If you have a large room with light-colored walls, you might choose a bolder geometric wallpaper print for one wall, or in an area rug.  If your room is smaller and not brightly lit, you might consider limiting use of geometrics to small prints in earthier shades. There are subtler ways to embrace this trend and still enliven your room by using small geometric patterns in chairs, area rugs, or accent pillows.  If you have solid-colored chairs, you could use a geometric pattern in a sofa. Use of geometric prints can also help enhance bedroom décor or make a statement that reflects personality.   Depending on the room size, geometric accents may be used in pillows, window treatments or area rugs for smaller rooms; and for larger rooms, a coordination of small, compatible geometric prints may be used throughout – in bedding, wall covering, window treatments and accessories.   If using more than one geometric print in room décor, you want to make certain that the patterns are compatible and that the room appears open, as illustrated in the picture below.   When determining the use of multiple prints, the most important thing to consider is that the print(s) should not overpower the room. If you want to transform your home from ordinary to extraordinary using what you already own, consider becoming a client of Élan...

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Brown Thumb? No Matter!

Posted by on Jul 9, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Brown Thumb? No Matter!

Some people stay away from live plants because they tend to have a “brown thumb” – bad luck keeping them alive. But if you want to improve indoor air quality, provide a vibrant energy, or Chi, into a space, you should consider having one of these hearty plants in your living room and/or bedroom. Generally low maintenance, these easy-to-care-for plants should be considered in home decoration. The following are decorative greeneries that purify the air and make a beautiful impact to your living area: The Ficus Tree is a large plant that removes most pollutants, particularly formaldehyde, one of the most common allergens found in many household products and carpets. Ficus trees are ideal to use when decorating a large room, such as a living room, dining room or great room as long as it receives natural light. This plant provides a dramatic presence and can be used as a room divider. Buddha is said to have sat under a ficus tree and achieved enlightenment. English Ivy is also a plant that removes formaldehyde. This hardy plant is easy to grow and is very adaptable except in high temperature locations. To grow properly, this plant needs to be placed in an area where there is bright to filtered light. English Ivy is ideal in a hanging basket. The Peace Lily is beautiful and easy to maintain. It bears lily-like white flowers and neutralizes common pollutants such as formaldehyde found in carpets and paint. The dark green leaves contrast with the pure white flowers. This plant does not like sunlight and requires a fair amount of water. Placing Peace Lilies next to or near electronics such as TVs, DVDs, computers, microwaves will reduce the positive ions in electrical equipment. Fragrant flowers are strong activators of Chi. The round-head Chrysanthemum is highly regarded by both the Chinese and Japanese. The yellow Chrysanthemum is most associated with a life of ease. This plant has been found to remove benzene, a pollutant found in paints, inks, detergents, dyes and pesticides. The flowers last about six weeks and thrive in bright, indirect light. The Gerbera Daisy is an ideal plant to use in decorating the bedroom. Because they release oxygen through the night, you breathe and sleep better. This plant is especially helpful to those with sleep apnea or breathing disorders. Silk or faux plants have eye appeal, but do not provide the benefits of living greenery. Consider using these easy to care for air-filtering plants in your room décor. If you want to transform your home from Ordinary to Extraordinary, consider becoming a client of  Élan Redesign....

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Use Feng Shui Principles to Enhance Your Baby’s Room

Posted by on Jun 9, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Use Feng Shui Principles to Enhance Your Baby’s Room

Welcome Your Newborn Baby With a Happy and Healthy Nursery You are expecting your first child and as the months pass it is time to consider setting up the nursery.  You want your child to be happy and healthy and how you arrange the nursery can contribute to those good qualities.  Good feng shui energy creates a nourishing, supportive environment where a child can flourish from the beginning. Good feng shui can be created through the placement of the crib, lighting and the colors in the room.  The primary purpose of a baby’s room is to sleep and be nurtured.  To achieve this you will want to consider the following: Place the crib in the spot where the child has the greatest visual control over their space. One side of the bed should be against the wall to provide security.  Your child should have a view of the door, but not be directly in line of it. Yin/Yang is the masculine/feminine energies in the world. The Yin provides a sense of nurture and security and is achieved through low lighting, soft color and textures. For room colors, use a low-odor zero VOC paint that is easy to wash. Light blue is most soothing Light green for growth Pale yellow for intellectual stimulation; and Light pink, the universal color for love Yang colors are bright and are best used in a play area where the child is active. Do not use bright colors in a baby’s room because it can lead to sleeplessness, irritability and a tendency for baby to become sick more often. Keep electronics to a minimum.  Baby monitors, video cameras and the like emit electromagnetic energy that may be damaging to your child’s health.  Make sure there are no electronics near your child’s head or feet when they sleep. Use natural materials for baby’s furniture, rugs, linens, bedding, and toys.  Choose wood over plastic.  Look for baby furniture and products absent of toxins and use no Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) finishes as they release toxic gases that can cause health problems. Using rub-on transfer patterns is an easy, inexpensive way to decorate a baby’s room.  They are easy to put up, easy to peel off and will not damage the walls.  You can purchase stock letters and words, or design your own. Use rounded shapes and curves for accessories because they are soft and soothing. Stuffed animals, such as teddy bears and other cuddly toys, are prone to collect dust and promote allergies.  Purchase washable toys and clean them regularly. Creating a good feng shui environment in your baby’s room is more than simply good decorating– it is your expression of love, adoration and care for your newborn.  It gives your child a sense of reassurance and comfort of your love and support. If you want to transform your home from ordinary to extraordinary using what you already own, consider becoming a client of Élan...

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