Five tips to invest in your nest and live well for less
Published Thursday, 22-Oct-2009 in issue 1139
Mitchell Gold and Bob Williams believe that, in any economy, your home is an incredibly smart investment. Its value goes well beyond what current real estate prices may say. A beautiful, serene, and organized house truly has the power to change your life. And investments can be made on any budget. Here these design experts offer are five tips to get you started:
1.) Plan to save money. Before you buy anything, do two things:
Think about how you want to live in each room – make a list of what activities will go on there. Then get familiar with each room– best features, views, traffic flow – and measure it thoroughly so you have a full list of dimensions. Knowing what you need and why, plus what will fit, make decorating decisions easier and helps you >get it right the first time – which saves money.
2.) Re-prioritize your spending. Be conscious of what things like a new pocketbook, a watch or even a car cost, and consider the benefits of reallocating those funds to making your home more comfortable. One way to furnish a whole room: Try a “staycation” instead of a vacation. Make it the family room, get the kids involved, and create a new kind of family memory – get a space that will give you years of enjoyment.
3.) Use color to get a great look affordably. When people tell us they “want our look,” a big part of what they’re responding to is our sense of color. To make a room feel calm and warm without being the least bit bland, we use soft, subtle, solid-colored hues and then enliven with accessories in patterns and stronger colors. We also limit the number of colors in a room to no more than four, with two used as accents.
4.) Invest in a few good pieces. Some things not only “say” quality, but also help insure quality of life. For you, it might be a beautiful dining table that will let you entertain the way you’ve always wanted, or a rug with colors to set the theme of the whole room. It might be window coverings – beautiful linen draperies that add warmth and texture. Or it could be an antique chest you buy for one room knowing you can repurpose it by moving it to other rooms over the years—an environmentally intelligent way to decorate.
5.) Get finished (at least for now). We often see people invest in decorating a room, but then stop short of the finishing touches that will give them the look they want. Adding accessories, pillows, throws, flowers, photos, and collectibles – without cluttering things up – can be done affordably, giving rooms that “finished” look you see in magazines and making them easy to update by regularly switching out and rearranging items.