The Science of Decorating Your Home

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.

Purple Sweet Potatoes

UnknownOkinawan Sweet Potatoes Compliment Summer Cookouts
Have you tasted purple sweet potatoes? Featured in area Asian markets and local neighborhood fresh markets, purple sweet potatoes, also known as Okinawan sweet potatoes, are quickly gaining in culinary popularity. Native to Central and South America, purple sweet potatoes were introduced in Asia and from there spread in popularity all around the world.
If you are lucky enough to find organically grown purple sweet potatoes: you are in for an incredible taste treat. Like other types of sweet potatoes, purple sweet potatoes can be baked, grilled, broiled, boiled, steamed or fried. Children of all ages love them mashed and seasoned to taste with butter, honey, maple syrup or brown sugar. Prepared this way, they are a fine side dish to serve with barbecued pork ribs.
A dicotyledonous plant in the family Convolulaceae, the purple sweet potato is a sweet-tasting, starchy root vegetable. All varieties of sweet potatoes grow from herbaceous, perennial vines. The sturdy vines exhibit large heart shaped leaves and trumpet-shaped flowers. There are dozens of different varieties of sweet potatoes. The smooth skinned tubers range in color from pale beige, brown, yellow, orange, red and purple. Sweet potato varieties that present pale colored flesh are not as sweet or moist as those with vibrantly colored orange, red or purple flesh.
Purple sweet potatoes obtain their brilliant coloration from anthocyanin compounds, the same heath boosting pigment that causes the purple coloration of red cabbage, blueberries, strawberries, cherries, and grapes. Over the past 40 years, Japanese sweet potato growers have developed several different varieties of purple sweet potatoes, primarily for use in the nutraceutical market and as a natural replacement for synthetic red and blue food dyes.
Exceptionally rich in natural color and nutrients, purple sweet potatoes are an excellent addition to a healthy diet, providing a good source of:
• Iron
• Calcium
• Dietary Fiber
• Complex carbohydrates
• Vitamin A
• Vitamin C
• Antioxidants from polyphenolic and anthocyanin compound
A 4 ounce serving of purple sweet potato contains only 130 calories yet offers 2 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber: nutrients and color are retained after cooking.

Savory Apple, Sweet Potato, Cranberry Compote
This sweet and spicy compote is a perfect accompaniment to grilled pork chops or barbecued ribs. The compote can be served alone, over ice cream or used as a delicious pie filling. Serve hot or cold.
Ingredients:
• 2 pounds purple sweet potatoes
• 2 pounds cored and peeled cooking apples
• 1 cup fresh washed and culled cranberries
• ½ cup honey
• ½ cup brown sugar
• 1-teaspoon cinnamon
• ½ teaspoon nutmeg
• ½ teaspoon cardamom
• 2 cups apple juice or non-alcoholic apple cider

Pre-bake sweet potatoes for 45 minutes at 325 degrees F.

Allow potatoes to cool. When cool, peel and cut into 1-inch cubes.

Combine sweet potatoes and remaining ingredients in a heavy saucepan. Cook at low heat until all ingredients are soft and tender, and liquid is reduced. Stir regularly while cooking to keep from burning.

Open house on 9/11/2016 at 36 Upton Rd Westborough, MA 01581


Date: 09/11/2016 Time: 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM  
For Directions: feel free to contact me.  
For more information: click here for the full details  

Welcome. A rare opportunity to own this custom built contemporary A-frame home. Features include a two story floor to ceiling wall of glass overlooking 3 picturesque acres. The exceptional open floor plan with high, wood beamed ceilings, new kitchen with white cabinets, island with seating, beautiful granite countertops, hardwood floors and stainless steel appliances opens to the sun-filled family room with glass sliders to the wrap-around deck. Perfect for year round entertaining. This home also offers the flexibility to have a first floor master. You won’t want to miss this home!

Four Tips for Maximizing Space

Feel as though you are losing space with every additional item that enters a room? Knick-knacks, electronics, toys and accessories piling up? Take a look at the tips below to maximize space in living rooms, dens, bedrooms, and extra rooms such as craft and laundry rooms.

Built-Ins: Built-ins are a great space saver. They create storage without taking up too much space in a room. They are customizable so you can pick what type of storage will work best for you. Built-ins are especially effective in living rooms and toy rooms.

Wall Storage: Wall storage is a great option for saving space in smaller, functional spaces like craft rooms, laundry rooms, and even kids rooms. Entryways will also benefit from wall storage where coats and keys can be hung up instead of flung on the nearest surface. It provides storage without taking up floor space. There are so many options for wall storage that range from shelves, hooks and cabinets of all sizes.

Hidden Storage Furniture: Furniture with hidden storage is great way to maximize space. These pieces include ottomans, coffee tables, and end tables. Storage ottomans are great for storing extra blankets and pillows. Storage coffee tables and end tables are perfect for storing books, magazine, extra remotes, DVDs, coasters, and electronic accessories. If these pieces did not have storage then those items would be lingering on the tops of tables or around the house causing clutter and dysfunction.

Multifunctional Storage: There are endless options here, some more functional than others. Under the stairs storage or stairs that have drawers and/or shelves, sofas that turn into beds, mirrors with jewelry storage, fold-down tables with storage, food/water bowls for animals incorporated into drawer storage, and litter boxes hidden in coffee tables (although I’m not sure who would want this). The type of home and room will determine whether or not some of these are practical options, but nonetheless, some are pretty unique.

Incorporating one or more of the tips above will be determined by the type of room and home. A tip that works for a bedroom may not work for a bathroom and the same for a home compared to an apartment. Be cognizant of this when considering adopting these approaches for functional and spacious rooms. Hope these tips help maximize space in your home!