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 9/16/2014

We are all guilty of it, some worse than others. Homes all over America are brimming with clutter. Do the closets in your home trigger a small avalanche every time you open them? Are your basements and attics filled to capacity with boxes of your adult children’s baby clothes and toys? Do you have holiday decorations from 25 years ago tucked away in corners of your home? The typical American has the tendency to hoard objects and it is becoming an epidemic. Most of us have more objects entering the house than we have exiting the house. It does not take long before all this stuff over burdens the storage systems in the home. We just keep shopping and bringing in more stuff than we are getting rid of. Eventually our counters are muddled with papers, our cabinets are stuffed to the max, and our garage is no longer a place we can store the car. Instead the garage is just another room filled to capacity with boxes and bins of junk. All this clutter is suffocating us and stealing our time and energy. It complicates our life and causes stressful situations when we spend our time searching for missing items. Clutter can impact our social life as well, making us afraid to let our friends into our home. It's time to simplify our life and get rid of the clutter! By clearing out the clutter in your home you begin to reclaim your space and your time. Living a simplified life with less stuff will allow you to live in harmony with out all the chaos. Own less and live more, keep it simple.





Posted by Karen Adelson on 8/21/2012

Closet space is one thing that you never seem to have enough of. Especially is you live in a smaller or older home. If your belongings are spilling out everywhere, then you most likely need a closet makeover. Some planning and a few changes will net you some prime storage real estate and help you finally get organized. Think vertically Stand in your closet and look up. If you see empty space, you have an opportunity to take advantage of it with hanging racks, pegs or hooks. Use adjustable shelving Why use a tall shelf when a shorter one will do just fine? When you have shelves that you can customize, you might be able to salvage enough wall space for a whole new shelf. Separate the seasons If you live in an area that experiences cold winters, you may be able to split your wardrobe and store items in another location when you're not using them. Declutter and purge If you don't have enough room, something may have to go. Just think of it this way, if you haven't used that bowling ball, pair of mittens or electric blanket in a while, it may be time to share the bounty by donating to Goodwill or your local shelter. Someone will benefit from your generosity, and you can console yourself with the tax write-off. Go with baskets Wicker baskets are an inspired storage solution that will corral your small items and organize your larger ones. They'll streamline your shelves and liberate your floor space, too. If you don't remember the color of the carpet in your closet and your shelves are prone to occasional accessory avalanches, baskets will save the day. Organize You knew this part was inevitable: having to pull everything out, sort it into piles and put stuff into some logical order. Organization will help you maximize a small closet by encouraging you to keep like items together. Shoe Storage Over the door, on the floor, on hangers or under the bed, shoe racks can be lifesavers. Properly stored shoes will look better longer and you won't be wasting time with one shoe in your hand and the other, well, who knows where. Specialized hangers When you use creative hanger solutions, like tiered hangers that let you stack clothes conveniently, you can sometimes double or even triple your useful space.





Posted by Karen Adelson on 1/3/2012

Garages aren't just for parking cars and storing all of your stuff. The garage could just be the key to selling your home. Homeowners don't typically think of putting much effort in the garage when preparing a home for sale. Investing a little time and effort into staging your garage could just be the difference from for sale to sold. Follow these quick and easy steps to a garage home buyers dream of. 1. Get organized. Everyone loves storage. Show off your garage and make it a selling point. One of the best ways to showcase your garage is an organized place where buyers can picture their things. Shelves, bins and storage closets are available at any local hardware store. When your garage looks spacious and organized it is more appealing and may even result in the buyer feeling like they are gaining square footage. 2. Light it Up Lighting can make all the difference. Replace dangling, plain bulbs with fixtures or strip lighting. Adding an eight-foot fluorescent light strip can turn your garage from dark and dreary to open and inviting. 3. Finishing Touches Garages that have appealing floors and walls go a long way in the buyer's eyes. Concrete garage floors can be coated with an epoxy resin-based paint or rubber mats and tiles. This hides spills and makes cleaning a lot easier. Don't forget the walls. Adding sheetrock makes a very clean surface and makes the garage feel more like a finished space. The sheetrock can also be painted to create a warmer atmosphere. 4. Properly working doors There is nothing worse than a garage door in disrepair. Garage door openers should be quiet and have safety mechanisms in place. Have the garage doors evaluated by the garage door company that installed it or sometimes all it needs is a good oil job to lubricate it.