How To Organize Your New Home

When moving into a new home, there’s one thing that many people dread: unpacking. All of those boxes of stuff seem like an unending, daunting task. However, it’s the perfect opportunity to take some time to organize everything you have. It’s much easier to do it now and you’ll be so glad you did it later down the line. We have some tips for you that will make your organizing go quickly, smoothly and easily.

  • When you’re first starting out, you need to make sure that you have a game plan. Make a list of all the stuff that you have and where you would like them to go. The more planning that you do before hand, the easier it will be when you’re actually doing it.
  • While you’re in the planning stages, take some time and go from room to room to plan out where you want everything. This will make it easier to figure out where stuff goes  when you start actually unpacking your boxes.
  • Organizing is a great time to go through your things and see all the things that you need. If you find something when you’re going through your stuff that you don’t think you’ll use or don’t really like, just get rid of it. You probably won’t miss it.
  • When putting stuff away, try to make the most effective use of your space that you can. Areas such as your closet and the space under your bed can be your best friend if you use it wisely.
  • When organizing, remember that you have to use different methods depending on what room you’re in. You wouldn’t organize kitchen utensils the same way you would organize your clothes would you?
  • If you’re having trouble figuring out where to put everything, lay out everything you have in a large space and first organize it by type. When you see everything you have, it’ll be much easier to figure out where to put it.

Organization doesn’t have to be hard if you do it properly. By following these tips, you’ll have your house turned into a perfectly organized paradise in no time!

Upcoming Summer Events at Embrey Mill

Ready to cool off, hang out, and turn it up this summer? At the stunning new home community of Embrey Mill in Stafford, Virginia, there’s a summer full of hot happenings -Check out the following great events coming up at Embrey Mill this week:   

Tuesday, July 7, 2015:

  • Taco Tuesday @ Before ‘n’ After Café

Wednesday, July 8, 2015:

  • Wine Down Wednesday @ Before ‘n’ After Café

Thursday, July 9, 2015:

  • Family Yoga (geared toward kids 2-10) – in the morning @ the sports court by the pool
  • Café Cookout @ the Embrey House patio

Saturday, July 11, 2015:

  • Yoga in the Park – in the morning @ Embrey House lawn
  • Concert in the Park @ Festival Park

Sunday, July 12, 2015:

  • Movie in the Park – The Lego Movie @ Festival Park

More of the details can be found at #SummerofEmbrey. These events are all open to the public so feel free to invite your friends and family to come out and experience the wonderful community of Embrey Mill in Stafford, Virginia!

Styling Your Bedroom For a Better Night’s Sleep










When moving into your new Miller and Smith home, you have the opportunity to decorate just the way you’d like. Arguably the most important room is the bedroom. It’s where you start and end your days and it’s where you go to relax. Getting enough sleep is very important when we all live such busy lives. Who knew that the way you decorated your bedroom could depend on how much sleep you get at night? When styling your bedroom you have to make sure it’s the perfect place to recharge your batteries. Here are several different ways to style your bedroom for a better nights sleep.

Clean up the Clutter

Clutter in your bedroom will affect your sleeping habits tremendously. Put away things like lotion bottles, perfumes, deodorant, etc. that tend to sit on the tops of dressers. Instead, organize these things in a bin and place them inside of a drawer. If you like having things like tissues or books near your bed, get a closed nightstand to keep these useful items from being seen. Storing things under the bed should always be a last resort, but if you need to, use large bins or drawers that can be easily pulled out and protect your things from dust. Also, bringing in items unrelated to sleep such as a laptop or TV can be distracting and interfere with a good nights sleep.

One Loudoun Master Bedroom by Miller & Smith









Lighting is Key

Lower lighting sends signals to our brains that the day is coming to a close. Create mood lighting with matching bedside lamps, hanging modern sconces or installing a dimmer. Harsh overhead lighting can keep your body from transitioning into sleep. Also releasing relaxing signals to our brains are smells. If you add calming aromas in ways such as fragrant plants, diffused essential oils or scented candles it will help you feel calm and relaxed. Fragrances such as lavender, vanilla and jasmine have been known to promote sleep.  

Finding the Perfect Paint

Painting your bedroom a “cool” color will help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer! Studies suggest a muted blue is the best color to paint a bedroom. If you’re not a fan of blue, other cool colors such as greens or greys and silvers can also make a difference. On the contrary, the worst colors to paint your bedroom walls are shades of purple.

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Bedding You Love

Another important tip is to cover your bed in bedding that you love. The comfortable feel of sheets and bedding is just as important as getting a good nights sleep. You should buy new bedding every 18-24 months because repeated washing can ruin the feel of it. If that doesn’t fit into your budget, just buying new pillowcases helps too! Also, having a pet sleep with you can be very disorderly- include a décor-friendly pet bed so they can sleep in style without disrupting yours.

These helpful tips will make your bedroom into a peaceful, clutter-free place where you can relax and get the full 7-8 hours of sleep you need!

Importance of Layered Lighting in Your Home

There has been a noticeable trend among designers and builders when it comes to lighting design. It seems as though everyone is talking about the importance of layered lighting and asking how to do this well in residential interiors. But, what is layered lighting and why is it important? Today, we are going to address both of these questions.

What is Layered Lighting?

Just as interior designers use pattern, color, and texture to create visual interest within a space, the same layered approach is used in lighting design. The term “layered lighting” refers to combining different lighting elements to create a harmonious and visually comfortable space, which is achieved through the use of three important types of lighting: ambient, accent, and task lighting. 

  • Ambient Lighting: The first important layer of lighting to have in your home is ambient lighting. Also known as “general lighting,” ambient lighting evenly lights the space, mostly avoiding dark corners while also putting some light on the walls. Ambient lighting is usually attained by ceiling-mounted light fixtures and provides light mainly for general vision and orientation. Examples of ambient lighting include pendants, cove lighting, down lights and wall washing. Since ambient lighting is usually uniform and diffuse, it can come across as bland, which is why the next layer of lighting, accent lighting, is needed.  
  • Accent Lighting: The second important layer of lighting needed in a space is accent lighting. This type of lighting is most commonly used to highlight certain features in the space such as interesting architectural elements, floral arrangements, and artwork. The main goal of accent lighting is to draw attention through contrasts in brightness. Examples of accent lighting included track lighting, wall washing, amiable down lights and directional luminaires. Other accent lighting elements, such as a starry sky effect using points of light, decorative light fixtures, color and silhouetting, can also be used to create visual interest and balance in a space.  
  • Task Lighting: The third important layer of lighting to have in a room is task lighting. Task lighting provides supplemental illumination for specific tasks or activities that would typically require more light such as reading, personal grooming and preparing meals. Task lighting can be included as part of the general lighting system in a space or as additional localized lighting. Examples of task lighting include a portable desktop lamp, table lamp, floor lamp and reading lights. 

Why is Layered Lighting Important?

Layering light in a space is the key to effective lighting design and is important because it provides functionality and visual interest to every room. Here at Miller & Smith  we are proud to offer stunning new homes with gorgeous interiors that include high quality and professional lighting options. Come visit any of our new home communities and tour our model homes to see an exemplary display of layered lighting and get some ideas for your own new home!  

Sources: Lighting Design 101: Layering with LightProgress Lighting Blog