Ingrid Fetell Lee, artist and columnist of ‘‘Joyful: The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Actualize Extraordinary Happiness,’’ abutting Jura Koncius aftermost anniversary for the Washington Post’s Home Front online chat. Here is an edited excerpt.
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Q. I am planning to advertise my abode in the spring. Besides decluttering and putting flowers in vases, what do you suggest? What colors should I acrylic the walls? What colors should be in the bedfellow bedrooms?
A. One affair I’ve heard is that new buyers about approach against white walls. There ability be some exceptions — if you accept a celebrated home, for instance — but if you’re painting, try to alpha with a apple-pie white canvas and add blush through accoutrement and art, so a client can feel the joy you’ve put in but additionally brainstorm a abode with their taste. Additionally accede some houseplants and pay absorption to lighting, because that’s article attenuate that bodies may not notice, but it will accomplish a big aberration in how they feel about the place.
Q. My bedmate and I are in our aboriginal 30s, and we alive in a ample one-bedroom address with a dining allowance that seats six. I can calculation on my easily the cardinal of times we’ve formally sat for banquet in it. We’re assured a babyish abutting year and intend to transform the home appointment into a nursery. My bedmate has been blame to accomplish the dining allowance into a added anatomic amplitude because the allowance is around unused. Any ideas?
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A. I’m a big accepter in authoritative your amplitude assignment for you, rather than adhering to any specific rules. If you’re not application a amplitude as intended, the amplitude stagnates, and that’s absolutely not joyful. I aloof accept one question: Where do you plan to eat with baby? Do you accept an eat-in kitchen or a counter-style setup? I ask because I apperceive so abounding bodies whose lifestyles absolutely afflicted back they had a baby, so authoritative abiding that you’ve advancing these changes afore you adapt a amplitude feels account considering.
If you’re accessible to booty the plunge, accede how you appetite to alive as a family. Do you charge added workspace so you can accept added adaptability in your career? Do you appetite to host added families and accordingly accept a absolutely amazing atelier that added people’s kids can use, one that will abound with baby? Do you appetite a added adjustable ancestors amplitude that accommodates relaxing, reading, amateur and a bit of play? One affair is that analysis has apparent we accept a addiction to actualize assorted desk spaces in a home: TV rooms, alive rooms, etc. If there’s a way to accomplish it added active, it ability be added blithesome — and actualize added absorbing possibilities — for you and your family.
Q. Do you anticipate alignment your home application the attempt of feng shui is acceptable to accomplish you happier?
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A. I was absolutely agnostic about feng shui at first, but it is a arrangement with bags of years of history, so I ample there charge be article to it. As I dug into it, I begin that abounding of the basal attempt of feng shui accomplish a lot of sense. One key abstraction is that you shouldn’t accept doors that stick, because it agency the chi can’t breeze properly. Well, if you accept doors that stick, that agency you can’t breeze properly, either! Little frustrations add up and access your mood, which influences your interactions with others. The capital abstraction that resonates with me from feng shui is that aggregate is connected, and acutely simple changes in your home can accept big furnishings because you’re interacting with them all the time.
Q. I alive in a actual small, two-story rowhouse. If I don’t appetite aggregate to be the aforementioned color, how do I accept colors that will breeze able-bodied in spaces that are in the afterimage band from appealing abundant everywhere on anniversary attic (unless a aperture is closed)?
A. Assignment on allotment a ancestors of colors that feel acceptable together, and again analysis in the amplitude with your light. I adulation to alpha with a allotment of artwork — article checkered that brings me joy and has the activity I appetite for the space. Abstracts are acceptable for this affectionate of thing: anticipate Matisse, Helen Frankenthaler, Sonia Delaunay, etc. You can authority acrylic chips appropriate up to a painting in a arcade or in a book and accept a set that works together. Next, I usually get a few strips of agnate hues and adhere them in the amplitude I’m painting and attending at them a few times a day. Once I accept a faculty of the best ones, I get sample pots and acrylic a big swatch on the wall. Try to acrylic on a brace of walls so you can see how the ablaze hits it and how the colors harmonize.
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Q. We’re redoing our eat-in kitchen and befitting the footprint. We’ve already upgraded the accessories and now appetite to alter cabinets and countertops. We’re attractive at Shaker-style cabinets. What is archetypal vs. trending in appearance and blush for cabinets?
A. I’m not a kitchen trends expert, but I accept noticed added bodies allotment blush cabinets instead of apparent white or gray — maybe fleet or green. These colors add a little article but are archetypal abundant that they won’t attending dated. I’ve additionally been seeing added adorning backsplashes, such as with blooming Moroccan tiles. Accept fun with it.
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