Home Design Inspiration

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Real Estate

Looking at the same four walls for months on end? All this sheltering in place, working from home and dining al fresco in the same back yard has me thinking about the atmosphere of my home and garden.  I've decided we've had the same look far too long. I remember being so excited when we finally landed on the perfect paint color for our living room....12 years ago! Benjamin Moore HC79. It's basically a beige khaki color that, now that I've paused long enough to to really look at it, reminds me of a slightly muddy creek. Nice in nature, but I no longer want it on my walls. So that's item 1 - fresh paint. Next on the list is the guest bath. The tile is the flesh-tone with gold sparkles of the 1950's that we made work with vintage details and accessories but I'm over that, too. And a scrutinizing look at the back yard revealed a very monochromatic pallet: green. Green laurel, green magnolia, green privet, green cactus....all green and no added color. So a trip to the nursery will include a load of drought tolerant flowers to plant in the ground and in pots on the deck. 

I am turning to design books to get ideas, then make whatever changes seem like fun and are within my wheelhouse. Beyond that, I will hire landscape and interior designers to source lighting and make final paint color decisions. A fresh eye can see a space so differently and offer some small options that absolutely transform a property. I see it with every listing I sell when the stagers come in with a whole new look of furniture, window coverings, lighting and paint choices. Every single time sellers say "I never knew my house could look like this." It's so much fun to see the transformation in these homes, and now I am in the mood to to see it in our house.

My favorite design books are included in the photo above. And of course and Pinterest is full of fantastic ideas for every design category. 

A great way to test paint colors without investing in more than you need is to buy sample sizes.  Benjamin Moore sample size paints has a site specifically for that purpose.

I asked Diona Polito-Rubin for her suggestions on tile sources and she shared some fabulous sites offering unique designs and color choices appropriate for everything from a bungalow cottage to a modern mid-century and beyond. Perusing the shape and color choices is so inspiring. A California classic that remains current offering special textures and unusual pigments is Heath Ceramics.  For additional unique shapes and textures, check out Cle Tile and Fireclay Tile . Modwalls offers a great selection of mid-century designs - I particularly like the Rex Ray Studio for something really fun and unique . These are all beautiful designs you don't see "off the shelf" and will help to create a design individual to your home.

Updated lighting is an important feature to complete your new look. Check out Build.com.


New paint colors, lighting and a splash of tile with a style totally different from what you currently have will make you feel like you're in a new house.  I hope some of these sites will give you fresh inspiration. I appreciate Diona's tile sources that offer a new approach to color and texture and also some unique ways to install the tile as you can see in the "show room" photos on each site. Let me know if you come up with any fantastic new looks - maybe take a before and after and email the photo's. I love to get inspired by new ideas!