Expert Interview Series: Danica Silver Gladen of Buckeye State Blog

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Great design

With years of experience in home design and with an incredible creational spirit, Danica Silver Gladen is dedicated and prolific designer. Through the help of BuckEyeStateBlog, she wants to take her passion for innovative home design and share it with the world, helping more people create their dream homes.

We recently checked in with Danica about the home design trends she’s most excited about and how homeowners can incorporate great design with great functionality. Read on:

Can you talk to us about your interest and experience in interior design?

Well, I’ve always liked a pretty home, since I was a kiddo and played with my dolls, I guess it’s in my blood. I can say I have an inner drive towards the pleasant things and this includes interior design. I want to love the place where I am spending most of my time and for this I am willing to make a lot of effort. Sharing my love for design with the rest of the world was the next step. As for experience, I tackled all kinds of projects from modern ones to classical ones. I personally believe that if you love what you do, you’ll always find a solution.

What makes for great home design in your opinion?

In my opinion is the mix between vision and utility. After all, it’s a house – so we need to live in it and love it at the same time. Large spaces are something I would always opt for because they give you that feeling of freedom we all crave.

What are the most exciting home design trends you’re following right now?

Well I would summarize it in one word: “Diversity” (or you may call it boldness). There’s one specific trend – because nowadays people want to stand up in their community and impress people with their houses – the new “thing” right now is driven by color mixtures and daring shapes both in the outside and inside.

People are becoming more and more courageous and that’s something I like because this new creativity creates something wonderful in the industry. Now we have people who don’t just want a simple roof over their heads and four walls to stop the wind; they are basically creating art with their homes. I know we are talking about real-estate, but I love those irregularly shaped houses with modern lines … it’s pretty exciting.

Aesthetics are important to homeowners. But how can they approach less showy aspects of the home – things like HVAC, plumbing, gutters, etc. with an eye toward great design?

If you can’t hide these things, you don’t need to see it as a tragedy. There are lots of ways to mask these utilities or blend them in with the environment by using special paints or even designs that will make them blend with the overall aspect of the house. You can turn a necessity into art if you really want to – and I’m saying this from experience. For gutters and even AC, for instance, you can use different plants to draw attention away from them, making the utilities less obvious. There are millions of solutions, you just need to be innovative.

What home improvement investments offer the best bang for their buck today?

Well for long-term investments and resale, people care a lot about baths and kitchens. Investing in a lavish bathroom with all kinds of things, maybe even a jacuzzi tub, will most definitely pay off. The overall preference is definitely for a good kitchen (with granite elements) and a bathroom that you never want to leave.

How should homeowners go about prioritizing their home improvement projects?

Well, first of all, everyone should verify the foundation of their home because this is what holds everything. It’s no use to spend thousands on new floors or a heating system when your home is about to fall over. Everyone should start with the basics and then go on according to their own preferences. A new trend in home building is independence and low-energy costs, thus if people are into this, they can invest into renewable energy for their homes.

Where do you find homeowners become the most overwhelmed or frustrated during a home improvement project?

People are always excited about their homes and want everything to happen overnight. I don’t see this as something bad, but all that excitement can turn into frustration and useless stress.

Another thing is seeing their home basically “trashed” – looking like it’s beyond repair during the remodel process – and they freak out that it will never look the picture in the brochure. They are not experts, so we try to explain the steps to them as clearly as possible and make them understand that the actual work stage has nothing to do with the final product … patience, always patience.

What should homeowners do to make a home improvement project go more seamlessly?

Well, the simple thing is to let professionals handle the situation. Working with certified companies guarantees both speed and quality. There’s no need for the owner to intervene if they hire people who are capable of handling the project.

What’s one piece of design and/or home improvement advice you find yourself repeating over and over?

Going beyond design, I’d say people should always check the insulation of their home. This can save a lot of money and energy to invest in later design upgrades. Large windows to trap sun’s heat and a perfect insulation that will keep that sun inside saving you a lot of money… that’s it!

We all know how money is tight now, and finding ways to save money wherever you can might prove to be the best investment you make in your home. The sun is our source of life and energy and we run on its energy ourselves, that’s why I say everyone should give it plenty of opportunities to allow it inside the house. This should always be combined with a light-colored nuance inside the house to give a natural vibe to the whole environment.

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