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5 Design Questions Answered

Owning a home comes with its own set of problems and questions. If you're lucky, it's move in ready and you don't need to change a thing. But most people aren't that lucky and changes need to be made.


You live in a home that once had everything you needed, wanted and more and is now not quite your style and changes need to be made to stay current. And if not current, at least in the modern century.

Do you feel me?

This monthly design Q & A comes to you from the girls in my Facebook Community. They have questions and I have answers.'s the scoop. When my girls ask in the FB group, I go LIVE to answer. I provide lots of additional details and nuance that I could add here, but don't because I don't think anyone is interested in reading novels when they stumble across blog articles. get the abridged version. Should you want the nuance...join the community. There's always more room at the table.

  1. How much impact does flooring make in a home? Can you change the feel of the home by changing the color of the flooring?

Love this question...

Let's talk foundations for a minute. Foundations, by their very nature are important. Generally speaking, growth comes using the foundation as an important base. Right? Right. With your home,

if you think of walls and floors as foundational pieces, making changes to either one of those foundations will DRAMATICALLY change the way your room/home looks and feels.

Now, a couple points to ponder.

* Changing out one or the other, and sometimes both, can drastically change the look and feel of your home. But what if you just started with the walls? Can changing the wall color change the way the floors represent themselves? The short answer is YES! If your floors are functional, in good shape and you just aren't quite liking the vibe...try changing the walls first. You'll save thousands of dollars and may end up liking the flooring after all (which is what happened to me when I was re-decorating my boys' bathroom).

* Should you decide to change out just the flooring...that change is going to act like a game of dominoes and those dominoes could spill over into unwanted or unintended areas. Speaking plainly...don't change the floors without thinking through the ENTIRE plan and how they will affect the aesthetic and cohesive feel to your ENTIRE home.

2. How do you decide what's worth putting money into when it comes to updating your house?

This one's tricky. Determining this isn't as easy as saying - paint everything. Asking yourself why you want to make changes is critical.

* Are you wanting to make changes because you just don't like it or you want to update it?

* Are you wanting to make changes because of the way your home does or doesn't function?

* Are you wanting to make changes for re-sale value?

If the answer is for re-sale...consult a realtor. One that you respect and trust - s/he will likely guide you in the direction you should go. Don't be afraid to get a second opinion.

If the answer is function...speaking with a contractor or a designer can help guide you with creating a more functional (and beautiful space) in a timeline that works for the two of you.

If the answer is because you want to update the look or you just don't like it...I want you to listen to my podcast series, But Where Do I Start? This is a three part series starting with identifying which room you should concentrate on. Understanding the anatomy of the room is important as well as identifying the purpose you have for the room. Then, we dive into defining your aesthetic (or style) by using Pinterest. After that, we dive into understanding the changes you should be making first to bring about the biggest amount of change first.

3. What's the best finish to get when painting kitchen cabinets for easy clean-up?

The quick answer...

Something with a sheen. Basically speaking, the lower the sheen (or gloss) the harder to clean.

This question is just asking about cleaning, but if you're attempting to paint your kitchen cabinets by DIYing them, then the broader answer is, of course, more nuanced. Become a student of paint before attempting this. What do I mean? Ask questions. Read articles. Hang out at the local paint store. And I mean paint store, not the paint section of a hardware store. Workers at paint stores, as you can imagine, are a bit more in-tune with the way the paint works, which tools are needed and have a broader understanding so they can ultimately help you better.

4. Throw rugs...thoughts on adding it to a carpeted living room? And, if yes, does it go under couch legs or away from the couch?

I'm going to answer a question with a do YOU like the look of an area rug layered on top of carpet? Personally, I don't really care for the look other than in a bedroom. But what do you think? If you like it, go for it.

A couple points to ponder:

* When choosing an area rug to layer over carpet be sure to add a sticky backing so the rug won't buckle, shift or bend.

* Think about the pile (the height of the rug): If your carpet has high pile, your area rug on top may be too shifty and may not work quite so well. But if your carpet has low pile, think about contrast for the are rug on top. Choosing a rug with a higher pile will contrast the carpet and look like an intentional layered choice.

* Think about color: if your carpet is one color, you can play a bit more with pattern for the area rug on top. Think about using complimentary or tonal colors. Make sure the color(s) you choose are repeated somewhere in the room (throw pillows or blankets could be a good choice) so the area rug doesn't act like a bully in the room.

5. What's the rule for adding wall art for a wall with a stripe or stripes?

I love chatting about rules in home design! Why? Because, although I'm a perpetual rule follower, when it comes to living the life you want to live within the walls you call home - I don't mind breaking some rules here and there. You can read about that here. But, there can be danger there too - if there are no rules, how do you know that florescent yellow rooms and bedazzled furniture should be avoided? You use guidelines and those guidelines act like, well...guides to help you along the way. So, my guidelines...layering art on top of walls with stripes can be done and done well. The art looks more intentionally placed when the frame or outside edge doesn't align with one of the straight edges of the stripes. So...layer it. Hang your art as if you are layering the art atop the stripe making sure to have some overlap.

If those answers didn't satiate you, join the group...where I chatted for a whopping 38 minutes in order to answer these questions. And, if YOU have a question that you want answered, ask away. You can DM me on Instagram @figandfarm or email me.

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