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Advice, tips, and tutorials from our pros.

5 Fresh Living Rooms Inspired by Spring

We are crushing on the use of the terracotta-pinks in this room by Shades of Blue Interiors. Keeping the accent color on throws and accessories makes it easy to swap with the seasons.

Even if your room is dark and moody, you can still inject some springtime lightness with art and a bright colored sofa as seen here in this gorgeous room by Studio McGee.

Minty walls and the use of well-placed color definitely feels fresh in this incredible eclectic living room by Fawn Galli. The brass tree branch side table is a lovely nod to nature along side the vibrant patterned chairs.

This new-traditional room by Mike D. Sikes showcases superb pattern mixing with granny florals and modern ikat geometric designs. The lovely floral sofa is stunning and a far cry from the plastic covered one at Gran’s.

Simple Ideas to Liven Up Your Home this Spring

Spring is just around the corner and it is just the boost we all need after a very LONG begining to 2020. Even if we are all tired and worn out by the events of the year, it doesn’t mean our homes need to look that way. As a matter of fact, what better way to inject LIFE back into life than with some simple spring inspired home updates.

Likely, by now you’re sick of the winter dulldrums and would love nothing more than to light a match and burn it all to the ground, if not to feel the freedom of starting over, than at least to feel some warmth and comfort after the seemingly longest winter of all time. But before you dig up those matches, read on and discover some simple yet effective ways of refreshing your space clean and cheap, without the need for a fire-extinguisher.

 

Embrace Biophilia

No, this isn’t something pervy. As a matter of fact biophilia is one of the least pervy things about us. Biophilia is the innate tendency all humans have to connect to nature. It is something that comes from our deep down ancient roots (ahem…#mompuns) and it has been proven to be a driving force for many of the ways we choose to live and play. Science has shown that being in nature, even manmade “green spaces”, boosts our seratonin, increase productivity, and reduce our stress. Furthermore, bringing nature into our interior spaces, particularily in the form of house plants can have the same affect as well as the added bonus of purifying our air.

And guess what, Biophillic Design is trending hard and fast right now and with good reason. As we spend more time on screens, in cars, in offices, and have ever increasing anxiety, it is no wonder the ache for nature is being answered by the home design pros.

Add a houseplant, or a dozen. Buy yourself some flowers while grocery shopping. Incorporate more natural materials into your space, like jute, rattan, raffia, and bamboo. It is literally like Xanax for your house.

 

Paint a wall PINK

Not only is pink a color that completely feels like SPRING, it is also a color that Color Pyschologists refer to as the most “loving” color. Unlike its counterpart RED, which is aggressive, passionate and heated, PINK is harmonious, friendly and neutral. And couldn’t we all use a little more of that in our lives these days.

Unlike the former “Millenial Pink”, the bubbly-sweet color that we saw loads of in 2018-2019, the new picks for pink are more subdued and calming. In line with the return to nature vibes, light earthy pinks with warm undertones are sure to simultaneously freshen up and calm down your space.

“First Light” by Benjamin Moore is one such color we wholeheartedly can get behind. A soft and comforting color that will pair well with the natural textures and materials that you’ll be snagging in the coming months.

 

Lighten up with natural textures

What better time to lighten up than when the sun starts shining again and the butterflies start flitting around the windowboxes. Indoors, take this Springtime cue and lighten up your furnishings by switching out heavy upholstered pieces for those made of airy natural materials.

Rattan and wicker are making a massive comeback and we couldn’t be more thrilled about it. At Nest Refresh, we strive to be concientious of the massive furniture dumping and have seen countless gorgeous vintage woven pieces be tossed away like yesterdays Starbucks cup.

Scour the online buy/sell sites and Spring Cleaning garage sales and don’t let those old beauts go unappreciated. With a little work, you can easily make a wicker chair look cool again and you can brag to your friends that you’re like, so totally on trend.

 

 

Open the windows

Yes, you can literally open the windows and get the old winter stank of Netflix and sorrow out of your house, but ALSO, you can visually open up the windows by taking down heavy curtains and drapes or removing old dark blinds.

Now that you have newly painted walls, and cool repurposed caned furniture, wouldn’t you like to see it? I know your new houseplants would. So spend a weekend removing the heavy window treatments and replace them with woven roman shades. Or if privacy isn’t too much of a problem, replace them with airy, light filtering curtains in linen, hemp, or ramie. The trick is to bring in as much natural light as possible and if you do, you’re space will instantly feel refreshed and alive.

Are you convinced? Have you dropped the box of matches and picked up a paintbrush, We hope so. And we would love to help. Nest Refresh offers design help to get your place feeling alive again. Let us know how we can help. 

How to style a shelf even if you’re not stylish

One of the most common questions I get as a designer is, “What do I put on my open bookshelves? And how do I make it look good?”. Staring into a blank shelving unit can be totally overwhelming. I get it. All that EMPTY SPACE. You wonder how the design blogs and magazines make those built-ins look so damn good?!! Well, its actually easier than you think if you know the secret tricks. In this post I’m going to show you in 5 different styles (yes FIVE!) how to style a bookshelf, even if you’re not stylish.

Click the + sign to see how each display came together.

5 Impressions Your Entryway is Giving Off

Ah the entryway. We all have them. Even if yours is small and barely there, you have one. Its like the mouth of the home. Its the tiny room-like opening through your front door that imprints the very first impression upon a visitor. Like a warm smile it can say, “Hey! I’m genuinely happy you’re here! And I’m going to be open and inviting and comfortable for you during our interaction!”. Or it can say something totally, cringingly different.

So what, my friend, is your entryway saying about you? What impression is your House-Mouth giving your visitors? Read on, and see if you can spot yours below in one of the 5 Impressions Your Entryway is Giving Off.

 

1: The Resting Bitch Face (RBF) entryway:
Even “at rest” it looks judgy and hostile. It should have some kind of disclaimer on display; “May not accurately reflect those living here”. The area deters visitors by making them feel uncomfortable and like they aren’t worthy to grace the pristine marble floors with their imperfect pedicures and bargain-bin flip-flops.

2: The Manic Panic entryway:
Like Kanye kickin it with TMZ, no one can tell what the hell is going on here. The clothes and shoes strewn about suggest a closet perhaps? Wait, nope, there are rollerblades and a bike under there, and is that a lacrosse stick? So maybe a garage? But what is that? A laundry basket full of blankets, oh ok, its a laundry room…??? Visitors don’t know whether they should start folding, or call your therapist.

3. The IDGAF entryway:
Basically an exaggerated eye roll and lazy sigh, there’s nothing to suggest that any care or thought was put into this space. A paper bag from Whole Foods sits as a catch-all by the door and one solitary piece of confusing “ironic” art hangs on the wall. The light above dangles lifeless, for the bulb went out ages ago. But don’t worry, the glob of Christmas lights in the corner still works. Visitors will know immediately upon entry to lower their expectations.

4. The Eager Beaver entryway:
Pretty much the sibling-rival of IDGAF, this space wants to make mama proud. But in the effort to prove that it is nothing like its older sis, boy does it overshoot the mark. Full of ALL the latest decor trends, this entryway is just a Pinterest explosion, anxiously awaiting approval. Visitors will not know what to compliment first, the list is soooo long, and because EVERYTHING is a feature, nothing is..

5. The Overjoyed and Overrun entryway:
Who runs the world? Kids. That’s really how Beyonce should’ve sung it. Anyone who has them knows, they can and will take over any space they’re in. And man, the evidence is clear. Toys, ride-ons, shoes, jackets, books, macaroni art, homework, backpacks, sippy cups, photos from infancy on… this place is packed with it all. Visitors will wonder if they’ve stepped into Neverland and may call CPS for fear that the supervising adult has been hog-tied with Barbie hair and is locked in the playhouse.

Sounds like a hot-mess right? These less-than-desireable impressions smack your guests in the face before the door closes behind them.

Alright I tease, I tease… but for real,
don’t despair if you find your entryway fits some of the characteristics listed above. Honestly, we could find a tinge of these in even the most expertly thought-out entries. So no worries! Sleek and chic can still feel welcoming and warm. Multi-use spaces are just SMART, and a must in most of our homes. A cool, carefree space can still look put-together. Showcasing your favorite trendy decor is FINE in doses. And a family home SHOULD look like a kid-friendly place. Phew! So stop, blow that match out, we can help. We can bridge the gap between the impression your entryway is giving and the impression you WANT it to give. Just contact us and we will whip it into shape in no time. Your visitors will never want to leave. 🙂

Do I Need to Hire a Designer?| How to Know

I get it. You’re a DIY-er. You pride yourself on being able to roll up your sleeves and get that shit done. If you don’t know how to do something, you hit up YouTube, blogs, Google, etc. until you do. You’re not scared to fail because you know you can keep trying until you figure it out. I ADORE you. I AM you. You’re my kind of people.

And sure, you could probably eventually decipher the ins-and-outs of Interior Design the way you have figured out how to fix your sink or refinish your bedroom set. Your space might even turn out looking pretty good too. But you and I both know “good” isn’t what you’re aiming at. “Good” isn’t what is going to make you actually WANT to make your bed or straighten the pillows on the sofa. “Good” can get you 90% of the way, but you may need a little help to snag that other 10%, and convert all that goodness into drop-your-pants throw-off-your-bra oh-my-god it feels so GREAT to be home.

Still not sure if you need some extra help? I’ll break it down for you and you can decide for yourself.

How to know if I need to hire a Designer

 

1) You’re overwhelmed. Even the smallest 10×10 room feels like a freakin palace when you think about trying to decide what to put in it. You have 12 different paint splotches on your walls where you’ve been testing colors for the last 4 years. You’ve visited so many stores and websites now that you can recite their inventory SKU numbers. Yet your room remains empty, save the hand me down chair with the broken arm and that weird art your intense college roommate made for you for your birthday one year.

2) You hate your space. Despite the advice from your most stylish friend and spending countless hours watching HGTV, you hate how the room you’ve been working on makes you feel when you’re in it. Like a boyfriend who “is just soooo great” but you can’t seem to commit to, you’re frustrated by your own discontent. You have all the “right” things. The wall-color-of-the-year, the Moroccan knock off ivory and grey trellis rug, the sleek mid-mod style sofa, the oversized non-functioning clock you grabbed in Waco… You don’t know why you hate it all together. Butcha do. Because deep down, you know its not a fit for YOU.

3) You’re ready to roll up your sleeves but don’t know where to start. You feel like you have a handle on your style, you’re great at making lists, your Pinterest Boards are legit, and you aren’t afraid to get down and dirty to get it done. But you’re not quite sure what to salvage and what to replace. I mean, you’ve got tons of great stuff and you’re a recycling queen, but does that vintage highboy really fit the overall end goal? And if it doesn’t, is there a way to spruce it up so it does? What about that big round mirror? Would it be dumb looking to flip in on its back, add some hairpin legs and use it as a coffee table? You have ideas. LOTS of ideas, but you fear you’re getting lost in the weeds and need someone to wade through with you.

4) You’re out of goddamn time. You’d LOVE to have a room that would make you feel like you stepped into an Instagram Story. And you keep telling yourself that as soon as you have the time, you’ll get it together and get it done. But time is a fickle little turd and you and I both know that as soon as you acquire more of it, something or someone steals it away again. Job, kids, spouse, house, school, friends, family, taking a real bath at some point… you have priorities and designing your own space just isn’t one at present. But HEY! Just because you don’t have the time, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be able to love where you’re coming home to every day. After all, you totally deserve it after you’ve spent all those long hours being AWESOME.

5) You’re on a budget. I know. This seems counterintuitive. After all, hiring a designer does indeed cost something. Unless you work out some kind of bartering deal (I’m just putting it out there, but I’d totally be willing to design for dinner. Trying to figure out what to eat and feed my people every day is the bane of my existence). But most likely, you’ll have to hand over some real dollars if you want the job done right. But, be heartened my friend. Your fabulous designer could likely end up actually saving you money. Especially here at Nest Refresh, we pride ourselves on being able to come up with creative solutions that will keep you within your budget. This means guiding you through thrift-stores and flea-markets, showing you how to DIY your own artwork, and listing out for you where and when to shop online for the best deals on new furniture. Without your design wingman by your side, its plausible that you may end up buying a bunch of stuff at unnecessary prices that will blow your budget and leave you resentful and insecure in your newly furnished space. And, whats worse, you may not even like what you ended up with (see point 2).

So, what do you think now? I nailed you in there somewhere right. Its cool, we all need help sometimes. Lucky for you, you’re in the right place to get it. Nest Refresh is ready to help solve whatever design dilemmas you have. We have several options on how we can help that range from full-on room takeover to simply supplying you with an experienced design wingman to bounce your ideas off of. Visit the Packages page to learn more and choose what services will suit you best.

How Your Home is Stifling Your Creativity

We’ve always had a hunch that what an environment LOOKS like can have a huge impact on how we FEEL inside that environment. As Interior Designers we’ve been fighting the good-feeling-spaces-only fight for decades, if not centuries.

Recently though there have been actual studies done to back up our hunches. I mean like real science and psychology here people.

The findings are clear, where we are, the things, colors, lighting, textures, around us definitely affect our inner selves. There is even a whole subcategory of Environmental Psychology emerging, unsurprisingly tagged as the Psychology of Interior Design.

 

I’ll leave it to you to do the research on this if you don’t believe me. But really, there is a simple test.

 

Just walk from room to room in your home and notice, like really NOTICE (channel your inner Yogi), how each space makes you FEEL.

 

Does your sunflower yellow kitchen, with its cluttered countertops, dirty coffee maker, random mail scattered about, and old curtains, hanging stained with spaghetti sauce and Cheeto dust, make you feel anxious?

 

What about your office? Does the grey wall color make you cringe, even after you tried 12 samples and cried yourself to sleep in a heap of paint swatches before settling on one? The piles of old forms, broken pens and miscellaneous snack trash mock you as you sit down to the computer. And that hand-me-down desk feels like a mirror, you see yourself as old, worn out, a little broken, and too tired to continue functioning as planned.

Imagine your home suddenly morphed into a PERSON. Like the villain in a Marvel film who has been abused and neglected and finds himself suddenly transformed into a physical representation of that abuse and neglect.

 

Let’s call him “Homer”. Homer hates when you succeed. He hates when you get to relax. He can’t stand when you suddenly get a brilliant idea and creativity strikes. Homer comes barreling in, fists flailing, and grabs your creativity by the throat and strangles it.

 

Homer is an asshole.

 

No one wants to live with a Homer. So how does one vanquish this villain? This anxiety inducing, creativity strangling, red and yellow, putrid grey, tattered, angry, in-your-face, bully?

 

We treat him WELL.

 

Even the worst villains soften and change when they are shown love, concern and care. There is hope for Homer. And there is hope to revive your creativity and flourish inside your most important environment.

 

Walk around your home again. See your space as a person. See it as your FRIEND. Clean your friend up. Get your friend a haircut, a new color, something less manic than the frizzy bleached multi-colored mess they have had for years. Get them a mani-pedi, hell, get them a Brazilian. Dress them up in something comfortable that reflects their lifestyle and personality. Take them to dinner. You want them to feel as good as new so that you can stand to be around them, so that you WANT to be near them and so that they send that love and support back to you.

 

Ok, enough of that hypothetical. What I’m saying here people is that when we neglect our environment, our homes, our workspaces, we can’t help but feel that neglect circling back to our subconscious minds. When the colors, light and stuff in our homes is overwhelming or chaotic or just a little “off”, we will feel overwhelmed, chaotic, and “off”.

 

Creativity cannot flourish inside of an overwhelmed, anxious space.
So, make your space a place where you can clear your mind, feel at peace, and let the creativity flow. You’ll be amazed at what some simple home decor changes can do for your psyche. When you’re ready to get started, contact us at Nest Refresh. We can help you design a home that INSPIRES you every day.

Nest Refresh Testimonials

  • There are no words to express how talented Cate at Nest Refresh is. Cate has changed my cluttered, hodge-podge bedroom into a beautiful sanctuary. Having no idea how to design a room we contacted Nest Refresh and asked for help. My husband and I met with Cate and looked through Pinterest to tell her our style. From there the magic happened. Its like she reached into my non-design mind and pulled out exactly what I wanted. She worked on ideas and would confirm with us on the styles and beautiful finds she would find at stores and a thrift shops. The result speaks for itself.”

    Holly

    From Blech to Brilliant
  • “Working with Cate, at Nest Refresh has been such a joy! We loved working with her to design and execute our dining room and living room. She has taken our historic home and from dark and dated to modern and sleek, all the while staying true to the historic nature of the project. I highly recommend Cate and can not wait for our next project!”

    Cece

    Historic Home Made Modern
  • “Discovering Cate at Nest Refresh was just what I needed to get through a stressful home renovation after purchasing an older home in the country. She helped hone in on the needs of each space and helped me make decisions about paint colors, flooring, light fixtures, furnishings, and pretty much everything else. My home is now full of all the things I love and collect, and looks current and comfortable. ”

    B.

    Collected Country Charm