So you think style and fashion are just about clothes? Of course not. Unless your entire house is one big closet (lucky you), you have a nest that needs feathering or fluffing. My friend Adele Segel, a particularly stylish gal herself, is a professional mistress of the three R's— Renovate, Redecorate, Revive. She's also a relocation specialist and works with clients who find themselves in a strange city with a houseful of furniture from another lifestyle. Adele believes the goal is to make your house your home. With the emphasis on both you and home, she analyzes her clients to discover how they really live. As any good consultant knows, the more understanding you have of the client the more successful the result.
Look at your surroundings with the same eye you use to inventory your wardrobe. Are there items that simply "don't fit" anymore? Have you put off repairs for too long? Do you long to renovate an unusable space to fill a need/want? Most importantly, is your house really your home? Adele has a series of questions she puts to potential clients with that emphasis in mind.
By the way, even if Adele were not my friend I would hire her as she presents herself in the most lovely, professional, feminine way. She is impeccably well-groomed (Adele— how do you keep your manicure looking so good?), beautifully coiffed, everything tailored to fit. And this is whether meeting for lunch at Neiman's or hostessing one of her many get-togethers for friends and families. Adele being herself reinforces her work.
Is Your House a Home?
Many of us inhabit our spaces but don't feel totally comfortable there. Take this quiz to check your cozy quotient.
1) Do you use the back or side door more than the front?
2) Is there a room/rooms you never use?
3) Is there a room where the door stays shut because of the jumble inside?
4) Do you only light scented candles, have fresh flowers, play background music when company's coming?
5) Is there no established place for mail or messages to other family members?
6) Do you forget to try different light bulbs (color and wattage) in your lamps?
7) Do you save the good china, glassware, silver, towels, soap for when you have guests?
8) Are there rooms where you are never warm/cool enough?
9) Is it difficult to name the focal point in each room?
10) Is there somewhere you won't sit because it will mess up the pillows?
O Yes answers: Your home is your castle/palace/love shack.
1-3 Yes answers: You know the little extras that make a house a home. Time, energy, guilt or habit are holding you back.
4-6 Yes answers: You're stuck in a rut or don't know where to begin.
7-10 Yes answers: You're clueless and probably wonder why you'd rather be anyplace than home!
Colorful Tips from Adele
> In the same way color in your wardrobe affects the way you look, the colors in your home contribute to the way you feel.
> Take a look at your favorite scarf or tie, plate, painting and identify the colors you like best. Chances are they will be the same.
> If you are a high energy person who finds it difficult to unwind, choose calm colors (blues and soft greens) for your bedroom.
> Likewise, if you need an energy boost choose bright colors for your kitchen and bath.
> Avoid trendy colors on investment pieces like a sofa. You can achieve this with pops of color with pillows, accessories, area rugs, flowers, etc.
> You don't have to stick with neutrals on investment pieces. Certain colors defy trends, such as red. But choose a clear red, not the trendy brick, fuchsia or burgundy.
> Remember men see color and pattern differently than women. Many men like a sense of order and don't recognize subtle blends. Paisley in particular may not relate to their need for clarity and contrast.