Here in the Pacific Northwest, sometimes it can seem like people… for lack of a better word… let things get a little sloppy.
Unlike some areas that I have lived and visited, where people put a strong emphasis on personal appearance and the appearance of their home, that quality seems to be a little bit lacking in the Seattle culture.
However, I have found that people feel calmer and more successful and powerful if they surround themselves with beauty, inside and outside their homes.
That’s why good landscaping and interior design can make such an impact on the way you feel when you live in your home and spend time there. People spend big money on interior designers and even Feng Shui consultants to help give their home the right “feel” – so what can you do to make your house or condo feel more like that comfy, fancy, or farm-house-style home you’ve always wanted?
See The Impact Interior Design Can Make On Your Home
Want to see what a big difference interior design can make? Check out this quick video on home staging, where I take you through a vacant house that we were going to be putting on the market in Bothell, and see how it comes alive with wonderful home staging!
Decorating For The Seasons
There’s a certain amount of work that goes into keeping your home’s interior design feeling fresh and new. There are lots of trends and “hot colors” of the year, but most people don’t want to go through the expense of updating things every time, just to stay on trend. While that may be the bread and butter for professional interior designers who must always dispense fresh interior design tips for homeowners in Seattle, WA, for most owners, we want to settle in with good materials and a nice look that will stand the test of time.
In order to freshen and update throughout the year and during different seasons, one great way to go is with rotating a few items of seasonal decor. Many people are accustomed to decorating their home for Christmas – with a Christmas tree, lights, and maybe some Santa Claus statues or a nativity scene. You can take that idea and apply it for the four seasons of the year. Autumnal harvest-themed throw pillows in autumn, or some Spring flowers, linen-scented candles, and bright wall-hangings in Spring can give you the feeling of a “change of scene” and “passing of time” without an extraordinary effort. One tub of decor for each season, tucked into the garage or attic, should provide an easy and affordable option for most home owners to feel like they’re doing a great job of “home making” without an extraordinary effort.
Getting All You Can Out Of All You’ve Got
At the top of our list of interior design tips for homeowners in Seattle, WA is the idea of “multifunctional utility.”
Multi Purpose Spaces
Here in Seattle, many people feel like they are “crunched for space” and “bursting at the seams” when it comes to having space in their home for all the activities they’d like to do, much less the “stuff” they need to store to go along with those hobbies. Using your space as multi-purpose rooms and nooks is imperative to do all the living we want!
Home Office Options
We’ve recently seen the importance of a home office. But few have a dedicated spare bedroom “just” for a home office. What about combining the guest room into a home office space, or tucking a computer desk, with a tiny laptop into the TV room, or a corner of the kitchen? Most experts recommend keeping the office equipment out of the bedroom if at all possible because it can create a feeling of stress that is not conducive to a good night’s sleep! (Plus, it’s awkward to have your bed in the background on a zoom call!)
Therefore, pulling together a room design that allows for multiple functions—such as a living room/office or dining room/workshop—can ease transitioning if the need should arise. Rather than focusing your design choices on creating a room that will serve as one singular type of space, you may get more mileage from crafting multifunctional rooms.
Repurposing Has Been Cool In Seattle For A Long Time
Something that has been growing in popularity over the last decade or so has been the repurposing and salvaging of older building materials. I think here in Seattle it caught on earlier than in most other places. I remember my grandfather working on his garden in the backyard of the old house in Windermere, and using broken blocks of concrete, now called “urbanite” to build a retaining
Other ways to repurpose building materials can include aggressive e-bay shopping to re-create period-pieces like chic retro stoves, light fixtures lamps or an old claw-foot tub. I have also seen barn wood and other salvaged wood products that can be used for hardwood flooring, wall paneling or art.
If you are creative, artsy, or on a budget, contact your local dedicated salvagers and scrap yards to see if they have anything that could fit your needs. Getting many additional years of use out of salvaged and repurposed materials can add a lot of character to a room, save some money during the update process, and prevent these gems from being forgotten and wasting away. And – as we always like to mention here in Seattle – it keeps these items out of the landfill!
Bring the Outdoors In
In the Pacific Northwest, our area is renowned for its natural beauty. Designing your interior to complement and incorporate elements of the outdoors is extremely common. Whether this means decorating with woods, painting rooms gray or featuring mountain or lake themed art, one of our best interior design tips is to make your interior decor reflect the place you are in.
Here’s a tip: One of the big interior design trends to emerge in the last few ideas is the idea of BioPhilic Design. The biophilic design (Bio = Life, Philic = Love… Biophilic design involves incorporating a love of the outdoors or growing things) could be as simple as incorporating house plants, a fish tank or terrarium to your indoor world. That can feel like a lot though, so smaller steps are certainly acceptable.
A Living Wall – Indoors Or Out
You’ll see biophilic design in many high-end luxury corporate office buildings in downtown Seattle. Think of huge living walls in skyscraper lobbies or the big amazon domes downtown that feature exotic trees and plants. You could replicate this idea with a series of pots or planters and a pegboard or chain link fence then provide space for the greenery in the planters to grow vertically. This is also a great way to conserve space. Even if the plants are outside, put them somewhere you can enjoy the view from indoors.
Some owners will use their living walls as a small home garden area to harvest fresh herbs or vegetables, depending on their needs. As always, plants need light and water, both of which can be scarce in their season. Southern exposures will bring a lot of sunlight, but a living wall on the north side of your house may be better suited for ferns and mosses. Bringing the outdoors inside is one of the most classic interior design tips out there, but intentionally incorporating greenery is a modern twist on this trend.
The Usual Color Shift
What’s your favorite color?
It doesn’t matter – it’s almost never the right color for the interior of your home!
Although bright and colorful accent walls were popular a decade or two back, now color preferences are shifting again toward neutral.
One of the normal interior design tips you’ll get when prepping your home for the market is to paint over any existing colors with neutrals. Conveniently, neutral tones continue to be in line with current design trends.
My parents had a color-consultant take a look at their Lake Forest Park house and suggest painting the interior gray. Although we don’t like gray skies, she suggested that gray was going to move the view toward the windows and help bring the outside in, when it comes to incorporating their “tree house” views – which we love here in the Seattle, WA area.
They didn’t try it, but here’s a client’s house which did get repainted and refloored with grays… what do you think?
Besides white, the primary alternative to gray is “tan.” Or what we would professionally call “warm tones.”
Warmer neutral tones help contrast the accent colors from your choices of plant life and other, more vibrant, decor. If you want a splash of color, some new throw pillows or an area rug will do the trick without overwhelming potential buyers.
Take the time to explore your color options thoroughly before committing, and you’ll be set to enjoy the richness it brings to any room for years to come. Talking with a professional color consultant is a great idea if you’re not sure what you want. Also take a look at other people’s houses, but consider their surroundings, different light at different times of day can make a big difference to a house that feels great or gloomy.
Interior Design Tips For Seattle, WA
Although I am not an interior designer, as a real estate professional, I work with a long rolodex of people who can help you make your house look and feel like a home when you’ve moved in.
If you’re looking for more interior design tips to make your Seattle area house feel like a home when you’re ready to put it up for sale, what you need is professional staging, and that’s what we offer – included for you, in our home sales packages. Contact our professional real estate team at (206) 578-3438 today! We can’t wait to help your house shine!