How To Make Your House Feel Less Depressing In Winter

Room design by Erin Gates Design // photo by Michael J. Lee

This probably isn’t an issue for those of you who live in warmer areas of the country and world, but where it’s cold and snowy like New England, winter can make our houses feel like a complete cave of dusty, soul-crushing grossness. So here are my tips to help turn your cabin-fever riddled space into something a BIT more happy.  (Oh, plus a stockpile of Clorox wipes because it seems like the entire world is sick and germs are everywhere.)

(Click images for specific links)

NEW SHEETS

We just got all new sheets at Christmas and it makes our bed feel SO much cleaner and nicer.  I personally think Matouk makes the best sheets (so light and crisp) and worth the investment (they last a LONG time). And when you have illnesses circling the family, it’s nice to feel like your bed is a haven.

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Our Most Used Retail Items

Although we do a lot of custom work for our clients, what people like most about working with us is that we are more than happy to work in retail items into our plans as well. When you have kids or are trying to stick to a certain budget, it’s great to be able to get good quality items without the cost and wait time for custom made. Even people with HUGE budgets don’t want to spend zillions on a sectional for their family room– even if they can afford it. So over the years we have developed a list of “go to” items that we find ourselves using over and over again in projects. Not because all our projects look alike, but good basics are trendless and timeless and can work with just about ANY style decor!  I thought I’d round up a chunk of these items and share them with you!

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Inspired By: Allison Allen’s Home

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I’m on a quest to complete my house in the next 2 months. So I’m still looking for inspiration for the finishing touches in my spaces and came across this wonderful spread in Southern Living of designer Alison Allen’s home in Atlanta.   I adore the mix of about 80% traditional items with 20% modern touches.  And the use of neutrals in such an interesting way. There is nothing boring about this living room, and yet there isn’t much color beyond the greenery and some blue and white pottery! I want to be here, don’t you???

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Decoding Inspiration Images

Nothing is more helpful for us as designers than a client who comes armed with loads of inspiration images. But sometimes people get intimidated by how to choose imagery that accurately reflects what they are hoping for in a space. Many feel that the images they show us have to be of the same type of room we’re working on, but that’s not true at all.  It’s all about certain aspects of a room, or a feeling conjured by the space, that’s important- not that the sofa, rug and wall color are all what you like exactly. Perhaps it’s the overall mix of antiques and modern pieces, or the way a certain color combination feels to you.  Being literal is not necessary, and it may just be “I like how this room makes me feel”.  We can work with obtuse emotional reactions to a space the same way we can use an inspirational antique to find something more affordable.

Here’s a good example- I saw this image the July issue of Architectural Digest and  I LOVE this situation- the bold color mixed with neutrals, antiques and modern pieces combined and the use of accessories (I, however, cannot explain why this girl is sitting like this …)

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