Hi... my name is Gregory Allan Cramer and I'm an interior designer. My job is to help people realize their visions, bringing them to life through design. Helping divorced clients reinvent themselves is a special talent. Of course listening is one of the key components. After careful consideration of the decorating options and once the practical discussions are over, that's when the real fun starts — shopping!
Starting over is hard enough, but when faced with an obstacle like divorce, a person can become very overwhelmed. People who try to tackle too many problems and projects at the same time tend not to get much done except think about all they have to do. I suffer from the same problem except I'm not getting divorced — I'm just trying to do too many projects at the same time!
Hiring an interior design professional is a step forward in starting your new post-divorce life. Having someone you can trust and confide in to make your home a sanctuary, a place to feel safe and relax in, will help you start the recovery process.
COLOR: One of the easiest ways to transform your space and one that has the biggest impact is color. Color is the soul of the space. Different colors can transform a blank canvas into an artistic vision. I'm very passionate about the use of color.
I've tried to do entire rooms and homes in beige but let me tell you, fuchsia is the new neutral in my book. Now, that might be a little too bold for some of you, but there are other alternatives.
Choosing the correct color to reflect your style is a very simple task. Think about what you love. It may be the hot sand in Miami, the winter snow in Colorado or the crisp, cool feel of the air on an autumn day in Vermont — each of these has a feeling of color associated with a place and time.
People have different colors they respond to, colors that bring their passions to the surface. The same goes with makeup, clothing, wine and other pleasureable things. My goal is to make you feel at home in your own space, whether it's a house, a one-room studio apartment, a loft, a ranch or a 176-foot yacht. No matter where you call home, that place is important to me and it should be to you as well.
Each color can represent a specific mood. You can create many different atmospheres by using different colors for each specific space. Let's say your goal is an extremely peaceful setting for your bedroom and master bath. Selecting a soft, pale, muted green or taupe with a hint of lavender is an appropriate choice. This color combination is serene and restful, representing a place where you can relax and escape from the world.
On the other hand, you might be a person who needs a jolt of color in the bedroom. For example, a lightning bolt of orange with a dash of cerulean blue. Sometimes, people who are afraid of living with a brilliant color on the wall can express themselves with bold art work without having to commit to the entire space in a certain color.
Let the color party begin!
SCENT: When I arrive at home after a long and stressful day, the first thing I do after making myself a very large Grey Goose martini with three olives, is to light multiple lavender candles. This simple act is a relief.
Within a short time, the air in my home is filled with that wonderful, romantic and relaxing scent. It reminds me of those expansive, rolling lavender fields in Europe. I have a friend who raises botanic quality French and English lavender for the cosmetics industry. The highest quality lavender that's produced goes to the cosmetics industry. The balance is used to make one of my favorite things — candles.
No matter what your financial situation is, the one essential item every woman (and man) needs is candles. Nothing so small and inexpensive can change your attitude in such a short time. It's the easiest way to transform any room of your home.
Scent is a basic. Scented candles are available in such a variety of fragrances, one could have a different scent in every room of the home. I prefer to use one fragrance throughout the home to really envelop the space and make it cohesive.
Shopping for candles is easy. Every retail store from TJ Maxx to Neiman Marcus sells a wide variety of scented candles. Selecting a fragrance is a very personal choice. A scent can spark memories and stir long dormant emotions. Magnolia, orange blossom, freesia, honeysuckle....let the scents envelop you!
Apart from their fragrance, candles offer a change in the quality of light. Candlelight is very romantic. No one can resist the effect that candlelight produces. This quality of muted, low light can also be achieved by adding dimming switches to your home.
Another simple touch that anyone can afford is to purchase fresh flowers. A beautiful bunch of English lavender can enhance your bedroom or bathroom while also bringing color into your home.
If you live in a major city, purchasing flowers can be as simple as a walk to the corner store. If you're in the country or suburbs, you can find fresh flowers at local farmer's markets and grocery stores. Make the purchase of flowers a weekly event. Don't underestimate the effect a bunch of bright, golden sunflowers can have on the table and your mood.
BEDROOM: Your bedroom says so much about your personality. As you move on with your post-divorce life, you have a number of options in creating a new mood. The bedroom should be a place where you feel most comfortable and it should reflect your true essence. Romantic or serene, frisky or reflective, steamy or exotic — each mood can be created with some imagination.
Your marriage was then. Now is the time to make a change. Choose a design style that will enable you to move forward and become your own person. Moving into a new space regardless of the size, is a challenge. If you have budget constraints and hiring an interior design professional isn't an option, you can easily work with my ideas on color, candles, lighting, scent and flowers to achieve a lovely space.
Little changes can work small miracles. Let your conscience be your guide, open your eyes and follow the beat in your own heart and you will begin to create the new you.
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