A Client with a story...
When I first met my client, he told me about the history of his home, the family members that worked on it, built it, lived there, and cherished it. He told me about the memories he had as a kid, the parts of the home he wanted to honor, and the longevity he wanted to create with it for future family members to pass on to. This wasn't just a remodel intended for resale, or personal flair! This was a house that was truly a home, and it needed to remain that way.
It started as usual.
We started as we do on each project: with a schematic plan and options to discuss. Once we finalize a set layout, we move on to 3D drawings of key spaces and interior material selections. These drawings help the client visualize the space, and gain trust in us; that we will think through every detail and provide the needed information to make sure the contractor builds & finishes as intended.
It finished with more.
I could say this home project finished as usual, but I think I'd be selling it short. It ended with a thrilled homeowner excited to make the best of every penny spent. More importantly, he was determined to eventually pass it on for the next generations to enjoy, and preserve the historical significance it holds for his family.
EXTERIOR PLANTING DESIGN TIPS:
1. Tips for creating striking planting arrangements
If you've seen this before - it really is true:
ALWAYS GO BY THIS RULE FOR INTERESTING PLANTERS:
1. A thriller for height
2. A couple of fillers for color/texture
3. A spiller for drama/interest
My mom and grandma already basically did this before it was a "pinterest trend." I learned from them, so I guess that's a good thing that we already had the instinct to do this.
2. Colorful plants to add to your planters and pots [we are in zone 6]
Some of my favorite annuals for varying textures, heights, and a rainbow of colors are:
- Coleus (thriller/filler) [lime, lime/magenta, purple, purple/red, red, burnt orange]
- Kangaroo Paw (thriller) [red, orange, & yellow]
- Divine New Guinea, Sun Patients & Impatients (filler) [purple, magenta, pink, orange, white, & red]
- Waterfall & Bonfire Begonias (filler/spiller), Rex, Richmond, Non-stop, Begonias & Double Begonias [orange, red, & white]
- Purple Heart (spiller] [purple]
Favorite Perennials you can add to your planters and pots:
- Dusty Miller (filler) [blue green]
- Blue Fescue Grass (thriller) [blue green]
- Creeping Phlox (filler/spiller) [magenta, pink, lavender, white]
- Hostas (thriller/filler) [lime, green, variegated with white or lime edges, blue/green]
- Wandering Jew (spiller) [purple/green]
- Creeping Jenny (spiller, will spread) [chartreuse green]
3. How to split Hostas
[Best done early spring when they are sticking out of the ground, but haven't leafed out much yet]
- First, dig a circle around the base of the hosta plant
- Pull out the whole root ball and plant you've dug up
- Take a large sharp knife and cut straight through the root bulbs in between stalks
- Re-plant the pieces wherever you'd like
[Depending on how large your hostas are to begin with, you can split the hostas into halves, thirds, quarters, or more for desired fullness]
Hostas are such an easy low-maintenance plant that can almost live anywhere [prefer more shade than sun] and in any soil. They really are one of my favorites because they come in so many different colors and sizes, they are sculptural, and they take such little effort!
During this time at at home, we're seeing lots of your kitchens being used with more home-cooking and family time, bars getting lots of love and attention, and big comfy chairs & seating serving the the whole family well while watching Netflix. We've been hearing more questions from you about home offices, paint colors, and furniture arrangements. So let's dig into your most pressing questions...
1. Making a home office work for you:
The key is in separation of spaces. Separate where you work and relax so that your body automatically switches gears when you switch locations. Just as they say to separate where you sleep and watch TV so that your body is trained to shut off when your head hits the pillow, ease the mental effort of having to switch gears by using separate spaces to train your body to do it for you.
Natural light is really important for our well-being and connection to the outdoors as well. If it's not possible for your desk or work space to be near a window, try putting a daylight bulb in a lamp or two. What you surround yourself with in that space has a big influence as well. Without adding distracting items, maybe hang artwork that inspires you or brighten up the space with lighter colors if the walls are gloomy. A comfy chair (that doesn't put you to sleep or hurt you back) is important, diffusing essential oils or lighting a candle can help, and sounds such as music, a podcast, or nature sounds played on your computer are also great for added focus.
2. Paint Colors
If you're tackling a home project with some paint, many are scared they will make a mistake with choosing a color. I offer virtual paint consultations, and it seems like a wise investment for the time, effort, and money you put into re-painting a room, or especially the exterior of a house. Here are my favorite go-to neutral colors for those that need some generic help:
SW 9166 Drift of Mist
SW 9165 Gossamer Veil
SW 7015 Repose Gray
SW 7065 Argos
SW 7004 Snowbound (whites)
SW 7008 Alabaster (whites)
3. Furniture Arrangements
In times like these, when it feels like groundhog day every day, it's important to change things up a bit in ways that don't add anxiety, but instead add some spice and fun to life. It's so easy to rearrange your existing furniture to see if there's another way to lay things out in a way you like. It's fun, easy, free, and you can involve the family as well. Everyone can have input, and you can view it as an experiment... even if it's just your basement, or your kid's rooms. I used to unleash my creativity in this way all throughout my childhood. Switching up my room was one of the ways I could gain control of my surroundings while also learning how to use the space better. Let your kids have some fun trying out different layouts... you never know, they could become a designer one day too! If you know you need help, and don't know where to start, we also offer virtual furniture consultations as well. Fear not, this is something you can do on your own or with help, but regardless - do it if you know you need it! It can make a world of difference in your appreciation of your everyday space.
Designer: Kara Kersten [Kara Kersten Design], in collaboration with her family during the COVID-19 situation decided to bring all of their strengths & skill sets together to help people feel more happy in their homes.