Interior Design-Colors, Textures & Materials For Stress-Free Living

A couple of years ago I was graciously invited by some friends to spend a summer holiday in their Maui village. Their generous invitation came with a caveat that I found both peculiar and interesting. The invite read as follows: “Due to the white-on white décor in our villa we ask that you arrive with no children, refrain from dark clothing that may link or shed and abstain from bringing red wine or other colored beverages”.  Their warning did not deter us from joining the group for a fun-filled but also life-lesson filled week. The villa was fresh, gorgeous and sunshine filled yet, the stress-level remained high as everyone walked on eggshells making sure the catalog look of the residence remained pristine.  As an interior designer with numerous assignments for vacation homes I took note and make it a point to always remind myself that the central purpose of living environments is to convert a building that is otherwise lifeless into a place full of life and joy. A home should be a place where people wish to be as they enjoy the company of others. If you are in the process of decorating and furnishing a home here are a few tips to remember.

Carpets can bring warmth to any home and a good quality well padded clean carpet is a delightful addition to both winter and summer homes but cleanliness and maintenance can be a hassle. If you must have carpet as your choice of flooring pick one that has been pre-treated or designed to be stained resistant. Select a carpet with a tight weave to avoid creating a setting where dust and other dirt particles will accumulate. Select a family-friendly color that will gently disguise stains. This means your carpet cannot be too dark or too light. A carpet that is too dark will show lighter stains and dust and will not positively contribute to the overall sense of relaxation and illumination of the home. A carpet that is too light will show all stains and defects. If you can, opt for hard flooring options and accessorize with rugs. This approach will give you the best of both worlds.

Walls & Surfaces
Get your inspiration from nature and seek out colors that compliment your flooring and furnishing selections. Again, picking a neutral earth tone may be your best bet. While many interior designers would suggest that you go for a washable wall surface I would like to remind you that paint is affordable and easy to reapply. Pick a matte color. Textured wall surfaces hide defects and stains; seek to have a mild texture such as orange peel. As for horizontal surfaces such as counters in kitchens and bathrooms go ahead and splurge. Select when possible natural surfaces in single slabs that are easy to clean and maintain. Granite, quartz and artificial surfaces such as Corian are excellent choices.

Regular maintenance of your home will enhance the sense of relaxation and help you foster a welcoming environment. Schedule regular professional cleaning of carpets, rugs and upholstery. As for hardwood flooring you should be able to maintain it with light cleaning. If your surface selection for kitchen and bathroom requires sealing try to schedule sealing at least every third year.

Shannon Lewis is an interior designer living in TX, she writes for Master’s Touch a lead provider of carpet cleaning services in Mckinney TX.