Karen Adelson - Barrett Sotheby's International Realty



Posted by Karen Adelson on 5/23/2017

Humans have been thinking about the way they decorate their homes for thousands of years. In ancient India, Vastu shastra (literally, "the science of architecture") has been informing decorating techniques since as early as 6,000 BCE. The more commonly known influence for home decorating, feng shui, has its roots in ancient China where practitioners were inspired by astronomy. In the early 1900s, however, a modern science was founded that attempts to solve some of the problems that arise based on our environments. Environmental psychology is a field that focuses on the interplay between humans and the environments they live and work in. Scientists have studied the way humans (and other animals, like rats) are affected by their environment. Their findings help to inform us of how we can live more relaxed or focused based on how we decorate our home and workplace.

A place to call your own

As society becomes increasingly urbanized, many psychologists are studying the problems that arise from being in constant contact with one another, both physically and in the digital world. One thing that scientists have discovered is that it is important for humans to have a place of sanctuary during their day. Whether this is your cubicle at work, your home office, or your tool shed, everyone needs a place they can be alone. Ask yourself if your home setup provides you with a space that you can go to be alone.

How colors can affect mood

Have you ever been in a school or hospital that was painted an awful color that just made you uncomfortable? Many of us have trained ourselves to adapt and live with environments that aren't ideal for us. For example, the bright red walls of McDonald's or the blinding fluorescent lights in a department store probably aren't conditions we'd pick for our homes. Scientists have discovered that there is a correlation between colors, brightness, and our mood. Try to match the colors of your rooms with their functions. For example, you wouldn't want to paint your bedroom bright red, as your bedroom should be a place you can relax to fall asleep. Instead, go with a less-pronounced color for the bedroom.

The balance between cluttered and sterile

Much of the way we choose to decorate our homes is informed by our childhood. If you learn meticulous cleaning habits from your parents, you might carry on with this into adulthood. As a child, you probably went to a friend's house and marveled at how differently they did things. Part of that lesson is learning that the way someone chooses to decorate and clean their home is part of their personality. But like most things in life, it's important to find a balance. If you find yourself restless or distracted you should ask yourself if the room is too cluttered or messy. Maybe it's the opposite; you could just as easily become distracted or uncomfortable by an environment that is too sterile looking.

Listen to yourself

The most important thing to remember when decorating your home is to follow your intuitions. Decide if you decorated a room a certain way because that's what everyone else does or if it actually makes you feel more at home.





Posted by Karen Adelson on 7/12/2016

Does your house need a new look? Do you think changing the look will take too much time or money? Using small changes can often have a big effect. Here are some low-effort and low-cost ideas that can quickly transform your space: 1. Switch out lampshades and/or finials or change a chandelier 2. Reframe or rearrange artwork 3. Have favorite photos printed on canvas and hang them front and center 4. Swap throws and/or pillows 5. Change a rug or pull it up to expose hardwood or tile floors 6. Take out "high-hat" light in living room for a more ambient atmosphere 7. Give your bookcase a makeover 8. Clear the clutter 9. Switch out bar stools 10. Change drawer knobs and/or cabinet handles 11. Put new towels and/or mats in the bathroom 12. Add a hanging pot holder in the kitchen 13. Sew a fabric band to bottom of shower curtain 14. Change the draperies 15. Add flowers or plants 16. Add accessories like vases, sculptures, candles or photos 17. Lean your artwork rather than hanging it for a way to easily move it later 18. Change slipcovers 19. Use sisal rugs, which are inexpensive and in style 20. Put a decorative plate or bowl in the corners of kitchen counters (where tile meets wall) to increase flow and tie a space together




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Karen Adelson on 7/1/2014

Is your kitchen a headache for you?  Thinking on a style upgrade?  Many people want to make their kitchens more comfortable to be in, but don't have the first clue where to start.  Here's a few ideas. Hide your garbage can - One of the first projects that you can undertake is moving your kitchen garbage can to an out-of-sight place, like under your sink.  This is a simple project that you can undertake yourself, and will help simplify your kitchen's look, on top of increasing your floor space.  You can also take this as an opportunity to consider whether or not you'd like to try your hand at going green.  Consider making a separate hidden bin under your sink for recycling. Under-cabinet lighting - Under-cabinet lighting is an easy way to add some ambiance to your kitchen.  You can install strip-lighting under your cabinets yourself, or hire a contractor to install a few.  This will serve to highlight certain aspects of your kitchen, which can't really be done by relying solely on overhead lighting. Tile backsplash - Installing tile in the area between your cabinets and cupboards will make cleanup nice and easy, while adding a bit more style to your kitchen. Solid surface countertops - This is one of the big remodels, but it is also one of the most beneficial.  If you live in a home with laminate countertops, then it may be time to consider upgrading to something a little more style-conscious and useful, like granite or marble. For more ideas, visit http://www.houzz.com/photos/kitchen.





Posted by Karen Adelson on 2/11/2014

Not everyone decorates for this romantic holiday but why not spread a little love throughout your house this Valentine’s Day. It is not necessary to spend tons of money on Valentine decorations to get a romantic feel in your home. With just a few simple touches you can spice up your space, and create a romantic atmosphere for your loved ones. Nothing says romance like the flicker of a candle. Candles help make a space feel cozy, soft and inviting. There are so many ways to bring romantic candle lighting into your home. The safest way is to use LED flameless candles, which look like real candles without the pesky smoke.  Candles look great when grouped together on a mantel or even placed inside a non-working fireplace. Strategically placed candle holders with red and pink candles around the house will certainly give that romantic feel. Heart shaped floating candles in a variety of clear glass dishes and glassware look beautiful on a table, or mantel. A few pillar candles placed on a decorative plate surrounded with rose pedals makes a simple and easy centerpiece. Valentine's Day candies also make nice decorations. Fill clear glass jars or vases with your favorites, like Hershey Kisses or Conversation Hearts. Get really creative and make a sweet arrangement that is simple to make without emptying your pocketbook. Silk flowers, such as roses or tulips can be added to give a flora touch. Cut red hearts out of construction paper and make a garland, or tissue paper hearts for your windows. Display a Valentine’s Day love quote in a frame on your table. The point is that you don’t need to spend a ton of money or time to bring a little love inspired decoration into your home.  




Categories: Holidays  


Posted by Karen Adelson on 10/29/2013

Candles can make a home look inviting, cozy and warm. They can also give a glow to many people’s skin tones. Candles come in many sizes, shapes and scents. Burning of candles during a showing can make the home feel warm and inviting making the buyer feel relaxed and calm. Try to pick out colors like maroon (cinnamon) orange (pumpkin) these scents are soothing and relaxing scents and will help make the potential sellers feel like home. The placing of the candles is very important. The best places to put them are in the bathroom, bedroom, kitchen table, window sills, and fireplace mantel. If you have a fireplace, lighting a fire is a sure way to give that room a warm and welcoming feeling. Everybody loves a fireplace and your buyers will too. Bake something delicious smelling. The Real Estate experts swear by the just baked smell when showing a home. It makes your potential buyers feel right at home. Things like Apple pie; chocolate chip cookies or fresh baked bread all will create that warm and inviting feeling. Family photos in the home make your home feel like a house full of love. Potential buyers who see photos of a family having fun, and enjoying life in their home will create a sense of a home that has a lot of memories and love. Bottom line, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere can help you sell your home.