Francesca Volpe - RE/MAX Alliance



Posted by Francesca Volpe on 9/10/2018

There’s a lot more to interior design than simply picking out the latest trends in home decor. Design principles are also used to make the atmosphere of your home spacious and welcoming, and to make your home livable in a practical way.

 In spite of the fact that most people will own a home someday, no one is ever really taught interior design. So, it comes as little surprise that so many people are missing out on simple techniques that can drastically improve their home.

 In today’s article, we’re going to share with you some of the best interior design and decorating secrets to help you spruce up your home and make it more practical at the same time.

Low ceiling? No problem

Having a low ceiling can make it difficult to decorate and make your home seem spacious. One great workaround is to avoid tall furniture and seek out chairs with low backs, and bookcases that are wide rather than tall.

Omit hanging lights and ceiling fans and used recessed lighting instead to maximize your space and avoid having taller guests having to dodge objects hanging from the ceiling.

Finally, paint the ceiling white and remove crown molding to give the impression of openness.

Making small rooms feel larger

If you have a small home it can feel difficult to keep things uncluttered while still making sure you have everything you need. There are a few ways to make rooms feel more spacious that don’t involve throwing out your belongings.

First, add mirrors to give the illusion (literally) of space. A single or group of mirrors can be a nice decorative touch that makes a room seem much larger than it is.

Next, paint and decorate with mainly light colors or white. Dark colors will make a room feel smaller.

Lastly, take advantage of hidden storage space, such as tables with drawers underneath, and avoid putting decorations on too many surfaces. Filling the room up with objects will make it appear smaller.

The size of decorations matter

There’s a rule in interior decorating called the “cantaloupe rule.” It states that you should avoid using decorations that are smaller than a cantaloupe.

However, that doesn’t mean this rule can’t be artfully broken. A better description would be that you should omit several small decorations in favor of just a few large ones.  

Create a color palette

When choosing the color of your furniture, walls, and decoration it can be easy to just choose whichever color you like for that object rather than what works well in your home. Try making a color palette to adhere to when shopping for these items.

Create a house-wide palette and a palette for each room. Stick to three or four colors that complement each other well for each room, and make sure they aren’t too starkly contrasted from other rooms in your home.

If you aren’t sure about how to design a color palette there are several free online tools you can use to help.





Posted by Francesca Volpe on 1/1/2018

Anyone who’s ever been in an outdated house or hotel room can tell you that the way we decorate can have an effect on our mood. Certain colors, lack of lighting, and cluttered rooms are all things that, whether we realize it or not, can have a negative effect on our mood and productivity.

These concepts aren’t recent realizations. In ancient China and India, concepts of architecture and decorating have been teaching proper design techniques for thousands of years. Today, these schools of thought are often lumped into the field of environmental psychology.

In today’s post, I’m going to talk about a few design techniques that will help you and your houseguests feel more welcome in your home and create a tone that matches your desires, whether that’s relaxed or energized.

The effects of color

With a quick Google search, you’ll find hundreds of articles discussing the psychological effects of colors. What many fail to mention is the way these effects are based on things like the culture and time period we grow up in.

However, you may find that guests to your home will feel more comfortable in light, neutral- colored rooms than they will in a room that’s painted bold colors.

On a room-by-room basis, there tend to be certain colors that Americans associate with the “right” colors for the occasion.

However, this is often influenced by the architectural style of the house more than an internalized idea about specific colors.

How much is too much?

It’s easy to accumulate home decor and find your walls and surface becoming a little too cluttered. However, bare walls and sparsely decorated rooms can feel a bit too sterile and unlivable. Is there a balance between the two?

Oftentimes the best solution is to follow one simple decorating principle:

Rather than using several small items to decorate a room, choose just a few larger items. This will prevent the room from appearing cluttered but still give it a sense of character.

Taking advantage of the full area of a room

So far, we’ve been talking about how colors and decor can make a room feel more spacious and welcoming. But, even if you have a small room, you can still often achieve this effect.

One solution is to add brighter lighting to the room. Increasing the light makes to room feel more open. And, if possible, natural lighting is the best option, as it can reduce any feelings of claustrophobia.

If better lighting or windows aren’t an option, many homeowners turn to mirrors to make a room feel larger. Larger, wall-hanging mirrors are an excellent way to give the illusion of spaciousness in a small room.


Using the psychology behind these three decorating principles, you’ll be able to make you and your houseguests feel more at ease within your home.





Posted by Francesca Volpe on 11/6/2017

A home with a small bathroom is a major turn-off for some potential home buyers. However, the reason they are displeased usually isn't about the size of the room itself, it's not being able to fit the features they want inside the room. Considering how many large objects are usually in bathrooms, you would think they would contain a lot of square footage. That's not the case, however, with many smaller homes. In this article we'll go over some tips for making the most of the space in your small bathroom, allowing you to fit more inside without making the room a claustrophobic nightmare.

Vertical space...

Use it. Most people forget that they're only using about half the the space around the perimeter of their bathroom. You can install shelving that extends over your toilet or along the top of one of the walls to store things like towels and extra rolls of toilet paper. Installing a large mirror with storage cabinets is another great way to take advantage of vertical space. You'll get extra storage, save floor space, and create the illusion of openness by having a large mirror in the room.

Sink space savers

The space around bathroom sinks is seldom used to its fullest potential. If you have a wall mounted sink you can install a rack underneath to hold towels, mouth wash, or other bulky items. If possible, use a rectangular shaped sink and mount it in the corner of the room. Narrower sinks open up more floor space, as does keeping it off to the corner.

Omit the tub

I've had an unopened container epsom salt sitting in my closet for years. I've been saying that I'll use the next time I take a bath, but who knows when that will be. If having a bath tub isn't necessary for you, go with a bathroom design that utilizes a stand-up shower instead of a bath tub.

Reach deep with sliding drawers

Instead of reaching behind boxes of Q-Tips and bottles of shampoo just to get your mouth wash, install sliding drawers that bring everything within reach. You can utilize a sliding drawer in any vacant corners or spaces in your room. Are there a few inches between your toilet and the wall? It might be a good place to install an extra storage unit that slides out.

Prepare your battle station

Kitchen design takes advantage of several space-saving and convenient decorating techniques that are often left out of the bathroom. Instead of stuffing your hair dryer and curling iron into a drawer or leaving them on the counter, install a holster rack designed just for those tools. Many good chefs keep their knives stuck to a magnet over the counter. You can utilize this technique in the bathroom as well. If you don't want to have your tweezers hanging on your wall for everyone to see, install the magnetic strip behind your mirror to keep them out of sight.    





Posted by Francesca Volpe on 7/24/2017

When it gets to the thick of the summer season, everything moves at a slower pace. You can literally feel the change in the world around you. People feel more relaxed, and there’s a carefree feeling in the air. Here’s some of the trends for summer that you should consider incorporating into the interior design of your home. With these tips, you’ll have a fresh and colorful home that screams “it’s summer” all season long. Stay Away From Patterns And Keep It Simple Have you ever looked at something that was so busy that it gave you a headache? When you have too many patterns in your home, there’s nothing for the eyes to focus on. That’s one of the biggest design mistakes- not having a set focal point in the room. You should trade in your pattern laden items for solid colors. That pillow with the crazy pattern can simply be switched out for one with a solid base. Simple changes like this can make all the difference in your home’s interior. Be Playful Summertime is a fun season. You should add some fun to your home to represent the times. Place games and whimsical figurines around your home to add the fun and light feeling to your home. Everyone who enters your home should have the sense that your home is ready for summer. Summer Is The Light And Airy Season The summer is a time where people are attracted toward bright, clean spaces. Usually people think of white as a clean color. White is a refreshing color which makes it perfect for the summer, which can sometimes be hot and sticky. You can work with white that already exists in your home, finding colors that contrast well like shades of blue. Adding white pieces works as well. Tile and cabinetry are the most common items that you’ll find in your home that are white. While you may not want to bring out a paintbrush for the season if your cabinets are a different color, there’s other things that you can do. Swap out your bathroom accessories for a lighter, more airy color. Change up the set of dishes that you use in your kitchen to a set that feels more summery. Color Pops Can Make Any Room Bold  Summer brings out everything that is bold in the world. The sights of summer are more vibrant, the sounds are more crisp and the flavors are more intense. If you’re often afraid to try something out of ordinary or to use color in a new way, give the idea of adding pops of color a try. You can do anything in a room to add some color. You might consider painting a piece of furniture. If you want to keep it simple, think of getting a throw pillow or an accent rug that is bold in color.





Posted by Francesca Volpe on 5/29/2017

One to two guests visiting you at your home probably won’t cramp your rooms. However, depending on the size of your home, three or more visitors easily could. If you have young children, you could send them out of their bedrooms to sleep downstairs on the sofa. But, that may not work for many more years. Your guests also may not feel comfortable knowing that, because of their stay, your children had to give up their bedrooms. A few simple, temporary designs (these are easy to implement) could keep your children in their bedrooms and your guests comfortable. Pull out a sofa bed – This bed has a long tradition of meeting the extra sleeping space needed. Sofa beds come in leather, fabric, sectionals and three to four-seater styles. The range of colors is as broad as with a traditional sofa. A sectional adds seating and sleeping room. Pull the bed out at night; push it back in the morning. Add a daybed – Daybeds have improved over the years. They’re designed with storage drawers at their base. You could keep a daybed in your basement or attic. You could also keep a daybed on a screened in porch. Border the daybed with tall framed pictures or potted flowers when guests aren’t visiting to enjoy the furniture with your family. Get the rollaway bed out of the basement – Be especially kind to your guests if you opt to let them sleep on a rollaway bed, as these beds are not well padded. You may want to add a layer of foam beneath the mattress and the springs for added comfort. Give up your master bedroom – Add a sofa bed to your master bedroom for permanent design and temporary sleeping space for guests. If your guests are only going to be staying with you for a week or less, consider giving them your master bedroom, and you sleep on the sofa bed in the living room. Place bunk beds behind curtains or room dividers – This option offers privacy. Decorative privacy screens with a tri-fold design also work well. Another option is to place bunk beds behind sliding doors. When guests aren’t visiting, simply close the sliding doors. Make good use of your attic – Don’t forget your attic. Place a queen sized bed, dresser, mirror and chair in your attic and you have a full sized bedroom. Before you let guests stay in the attic, make sure that insulation is good, so your guests stay warm during winter and cool during summer. Hooray for the finished basement – You could add an office, bathroom and a full sized bedroom with a seating area in your finished basement, depending on how large the space is. Regardless of which options you choose, give your guests two pillows, fresh folded sheets and fresh towels to make them feel welcomed. Show your guests where stores, public transportation, restaurants, parks and bookstores are if your guests are going to be staying with you for an extended period. It’s a great way to help make them feel at home.




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