Tips and Trends to help you plan the perfect room

Find your jumping-off point

Having a jump-off point or inspiration to get started is a must, a photo depicting your dream room, the perfect piece of art or area rug to define the style or period, you desire to create.  Collect fabrics and wallcovering samples that set the tone, then we can start building the color scheme

I typically choose three colors in a room. Select one as the primary color, another for the secondary color and then the accent.  The accent should be used at least three times in small amounts, but don’t make it too obvious. 

Have fun with walls and ceiling

Adding interesting details to a wall can easily transform a bland space that lacks built-in character into something unique and amazing. Just like raised panel or Shaker kitchen cabinets add charm and beauty to a kitchen, interesting details on the walls can do the same elsewhere in the home.   Wainscoting or paneling can easily be planned into the project during the design phase. Think about different and unique wall and ceiling textures, and did you know wallcovering is back, I’ve seen it recently used in bookcases, large format images in bedrooms or add a bit of texture in the entry.  

Flooring trends for 2019 and 2020 

As we all know natural wood, wood look vinyl, tile and eco-friendly products have really taken over the market.  The newest trend is Blonde Flooring, light and airy it makes your room look bigger and works with any décor. Wood-look and textured flooring mimicking classic hardwood in laminate, vinyl and ceramic tile continues to be very popular.  Waterproof vinyl, laminate and carpet is here to stay and very popular for kitchens baths and more.  

Arranging your furniture for conversation and movement 

Create comfortable conversation areas with your furniture groupings around the fireplace or other feature in the room. Avoid placing furniture up against the wall.  An interesting room might be eclectic in the furniture choices, there is always an inherited antique that must be part of the arrangement. Think in terms of the Seven Principles of Design:  Balance, Rhythm, Pattern, Emphasis, Contrast, Unity and Movement.

Window Treatments

Some say that a room is not complete without window treatments, but today’s society many of us are very casual, installing only hard window coverings with a simple soft fabric covering for more privacy.  Depending on the style you choose window treatments can add rhythm and movement to a room and be the star attraction. A fabric color different than the walls will break up the space, and your eyes will stop to look.  A drape or window treatment that blends with the walls will expand the room, making it look bigger.  

Window coverings will insulate the space, provide filtering from the harsh sun and can be automated to work by control.  Mounted on the outside of the window, window coverings hide ugly imperfections.  

Contact GreenEastman for a Free Interior Design Consultation

Bring light to your space 

By strategically placing light in the corners of a room, even a small space is visually enlarged. Using lamps in unusual places, maybe on the bathroom vanity to add a surprise element.   

There are three different kinds of artificial light, plus natural light.  

Ambient Lighting:   A soft glow that blankets your space just enough for you to relax without glare.  Different types f this light are recessed lighting, track, chandeliers and pendants fixtures.

Task Lighting:   A smaller more concentrated light. Task lighting is meant to help you see when you’re doing projects in which you need a finer light, such as, reading, cooking, writing, sewing and many other things.  Table lamps, floor lamps, swing arm, undercabinet and vanity lighting.

Accent Lighting:  Concentrated light with the intention of adding style and drama to your home.  You can illuminate the pieces you want to accentuate while shadowing dull areas. People use accenting for wall washing, artwork, bookcase displays, pieces of furniture, collections and the general architecture of their homes.

Make the space your own, accessorize!

interior design ideas from GreenEastman

Use design trends as a guide to accessorize the space, but make sure that you and your family’s personality shine thru.  Mix soft accessories such as silk flowers, pillows draperies, and plants in to create that balanced look Rhythm and Contrast.  

When placing artwork, mirrors and photos above the sofa start your arrangement about 7” to 9” above the furniture.   The arrangement should span the space horizontally about 2/3 the length of the furniture item. Place larger, darker items at the bottom and smaller, lighter pieces at the top to give the feeling of Balance and Unity. 

Have fun with your project and please send us a photo or two of the finished room. 


Universal Design Concepts

Creating Accessible Homes For All Ages & Abilities

Our goal is to help people live more comfortably in their home for as long as they want.

We work together with you to make staying in your home not only a possibility but a reality. We deliver personalized service tailored to your unique needs and budget. No project is too small for us.

How Universal Design Can Help You

If you are a Case Manager, Discharge Planner or someone who coordinates care:

  • We provide a managed service to facilitate your client’s return home and ability to stay at home.
  • We handle the entire process from initial home assessment to completion of all work required.

If you are a Family Member concerned about your loved one’s safely and independence:

  • We give you peace of mind by introducing features into the home that improve accessibility and optimize your loved one’s functional abilities.
  • If you are an individual facing difficulties managing your normal routines due to aging illness or disability:
  • We provide adaptations customized to your immediate and future needs, that will improve your quality of life at home.

10 Things To Make your Home/Remodel Greener

Posted on November 13, 2012

  1. Design to maximize natural daylight and passive ventilation. Daylight makes a dramatic difference, especially in our climate. In addition to making you feel better, daylight can cut down on electric bills. Well-placed operable windows circulate fresh air throughout your home.
  2. Choose deconstruction and construction site recycling. The demolition debris from a typical residential kitchen or bathroom remodel equals by weight, four years of curbside recycling from an average household. Deconstruction is the selective hand-disassembly of building structures to maximize salvage for reuse. Minimize the impacts of your project, keep reusable and recyclable materials out of the landfill, and save costs, too.
  3. Weatherize. Adding insulation and new, energy-efficient windows to an older home not only saves money in fuel costs, it improves comfort all year.
  4. Buy energy-efficient kitchen appliances, furnaces and water heaters. All appliances with an “Energy Star” rating are a good choice. You can claim tax credits on some appliances.
  5. Choose water-efficient fixtures. On average, toilet flushing, showers and faucets account for 60% of all indoor water use. Installing efficient toilets, faucet aerators and showerheads can save a typical household up to $200 annually in water and energy bills.
  6. Use low-VOC paint (50 grams/liter or less VOC content). Insist on solvent free or low-VOC (volatile organic chemicals) paint. Low and no VOCs will make painting a healthier and more enjoyable experience. If oil paints are being used, relocate until you home is free of fumes.
  7. Choose formaldehyde-free products. Formaldehyde is a suspected carcinogen and is commonly found in carpet, cabinetry, insulation and other building products. Consider installing a hard surface floor instead of carpet. If you do install carpeting, install a green rated product.
  8. Buy used, recycled, certified or regraded wood products. You can purchase used and regraded wood from a ReBuilding Center. Certified wood producrts are cut from sustainably managed forests, and affixed with a seal to help you indentify them.
  9. Harvest your rainwater for irrigation and toilet flushing. A well-designed rainwater harvesting system that capturees rainwater from rooftops for use in irrigation and toilet flushing can reduce annual water consumption by 50%.
  10. Landscape using native and drought-tolerant plants. Native plants are naturally adapted to our environment, so they require minimal care and watering, they also provide valuable habitat for birds and wildlife.

Wondering about the cost of a new bathroom?

Wondering about the cost of a new bathroom?

Click on the highlighted title above to link to the Houzz article.

The author explains a multitude of options for choosing how much you want to do in a bathroom remodel. Is it budget, age of house, or how long you are planning to stay in your house? Here are some, but maybe not all, answers for you.


Too young for Universal Design? Not really.

Click on the link to see an article about incorporating Universal Design – I like to call it Adaptive Use.

We tend to think of ourselves as forever young, but the years catch up with us surprisingly fast and, before you know it, the stairs take longer, the microwave seems to be higher, and door knobs seem to be harder to open. A remodeling project to get your house ready for aging can be simple and planned. It can be as simple as changing door knobs to levers and light switches to rockers or you can start thinking of changing door widths and entries. There are a myriad of changes you can make to be able to stay in your house as long as physically possible. Why not enjoy life for a very long time!


If buildings could talk, what would they say?


“The Treasury” is carved out of a sandstone cliff in Petra, Jordan. It is best known as the secret temple that Indiana Jones rode out of in the last scene in the movie, Indian Jones and the Last Crusade. But it is not a secret temple, it is one room carved into the cliff with an amazing facade many stories high. History tells us that it was originally a mausoleum, carved into the sandstone in the late 1st century. Lore tells that later it was used as a place to hide stolen goods high up on the facade, which would have only been accessible from the outside – hence the name “The Treasury.” So, what is the real story? If only it could talk – the people that were buried there, the footsteps in the single room, the stolen loot found.

Traveling to archeological sites, I often find myself wondering about the people that lived, played, worked there. It’s wonderful to walk in their footsteps, but, what were they thinking, saying, hoping? The buildings (or parts of buildings) can show us what they built and give us a peek into their lives, but there is so much more. If only the buildings could talk.

In remodeling projects, I have found old newspapers inside walls and uncovered old wallpaper behind kitchen cabinets. It gives us an insight to the people that lived there, maybe generations ago.

Maybe putting together a memory box and leaving it inside a wall will give someone, later on, a view into years past. What will you leave for future generations to find? What would you put in that box?


The Cost of Remodeling

NE Kitchen

Everyone wonders what their project will cost. Will I be able to afford what I want to do? If I have a budget, what can I get for it? Will it cost more? Remodeling Magazine provides a great Cost vs. Value report every year that can give you a very good idea of what remodeling projects cost in every area of the country. For instance, a midrange, major kitchen remodel in Portland can easily cost $55,000 according to the Remodeling 2012–13 Cost vs. Value Report ( Take a look at their charts to get an idea of costs vs. what you might recoup at resale. You can also compare your city to the area or the national average.


COLOR – where and what?

It’s so hard to choose “the right color”, that many default to a version of off-white (including me.) Then I find a color – but is it right? – will I like it? – will it provoke the right feeling for the room?

I found a great infographic on one of my favorite websites – – from Design55, that shows the emotions of color.

It seems to be a wonderful guide to the use and choices of color in the home. Go to Green Design and Remodeling’s facebook page to see the article:

And remember (even though it requires more work) – the color can be changed.