Category Archives: Interior Decorating

6 Pro Tips to De-clutter your home

6 Pro Tips to De-clutter your home

When you look at your home do you see piles of clothes on the floor, stacks of mail on the counter, and toys strewn all over the floor?

Messes make stresses. 

It happens to all of us, whether you are a parent, have a home office, or have just a busy lifestyle.  The truth is stuff we collect many things in life.

If your house is getting out of control, then it’s time to de-clutter.

Here are some tips to help you tackle the clutter and reclaim your space.

Start small with one room or even one space.  This could be as big as the entire back room or as small as organizing your makeup drawer.

With each item ask yourself: “Keep, Toss, Store, Donate, Sell.” And make a separate pile for each.

  1. Keep Items: Ask yourself if you really need it; do you use it on a regular basis? Does it have emotional value?  Have you used it in the past year?

    You might be surprised how much you have that you don’t truly need.  Sort these items into like piles such as clothes, shoes, belts etc.  Find a way to containerize them; you can use simple plastic or cardboard boxes.

    Plus if you shop online, stores like Amazon.com and The Container Store offer every kind of organizer, shelf, or container you can imagine. Clearly label all containers and find an accessible spot for them.

  2. Toss Items.  Get a big garbage bag and be honest about what you need.  Get rid of anything old, broken, empty, or expired.

    If you are de-cluttering a major space you can call to get a waste removal service to haul it away.  Many local cities will take larger pieces in the garbage on certain days.  Check your city website to find out the rules for your site.

  3. Store Items.  There are items you probably need, but don’t use frequently.  These are items you can store.  This can be everything from summer clothes to holiday decorations to fine china.

    Containerize it and find a spot that is out of the way to store them.  There may be a space in a closet, the back of a cabinet or under the bed that is out of the way, but easily accessible.

  4. File any papers.  Creating a filing system with tabs can make it easy to find items quickly. This is a great way to organize bills, documents, coupons, restaurant menus, related project items and more.
  5. Donate Items.  Always donate items when you can.  You can drop items off at Good Will, Salvation Army and other thrift shops.  Other items can be listed at Craigslist or Freecycle.com.

    Plus, you can always post a picture of the item on Facebook and let friends know it’s FREE to anyone who needs it.

  6. Sell Items. Why not turn your unused items into cash?  It’s so easy to make a little extra money selling your items such as by holding a garage sale. Another idea is to sell it online at Craigslist or Ebay.

    Plus, many neighbourhoods are now offering Virtual Garage sale groups on Facebook. Just list the item and everyone in the group will hear about your offerings.

Here’s Further Organizing Tips:

  • Go from Room to Room. De-cluttering one room at a time helps you stay focused and keeps the process from feeling overwhelming.
  • Make De-cluttering Fun! Put on music and enjoy the process.  Dance.  Enlist the help of a friend.  Consider offering yourself a reward like lunch with a friend for completing the project. Plus, having friends can help you decide if you truly need an item.
  • Maintain your space. Once it’s organized, cleaning is so much easier.  Everything has a designated place.  Set aside a little time daily or weekly to sweep thru the house, gather any that has piled up, and to return it where it belongs.

    Keeping your home tidy doesn’t have to be all your job.  Tell your spouse or family members where things go and show them the systems you have created too.  Everyone can work together to keep your home organized.

Need Help?

Call a professional. If your home is out of control and you want to organize your space, an interior designer or organizer is skilled at helping to determine your needs and creating systems to store your items neatly.

They can help you create your dream closet, tackle the toy room, design your dream home office and more. The result is a beautiful, organized home that you can sit back and relax in.

4 Signs it’s Time to Redecorate

Time for a Change

If watching HGTV has you dreaming of a new decor, perhaps your home is in need of an update.

While most experts recommend that you should redecorate your home every 7 years, many of us are overdue for some redecorating. In fact, nearly half (47%) of North Americans haven’t updated their home decor in the past five years.

How do you know if your home is out of date? Here are four reasons to consider updating your home.

  1. Everything is White

    If all the walls are the same colour as when you moved in, it’s time to personalize your space. The white space is a blank canvas.

    Now it’s time to jazz up the place with some colour on the walls. Add furniture and new accessories to make the space truly your own.

  2. Feel Good Factor

    Do you feel bored when you are home? It should be a place that inspires you and renews your spirit.

    If your space isn’t giving you the right energy it may be time to freshen up your space. Choosing a paint colour isn’t just about personal taste — it’s about creating a mood. Soothing, calm colours will help you feel rested while bright colours can be energizing.

  3. So Yesterday

    Styles and trends change, but so do our tastes. A colour scheme that was so chic a few years back, may be dated now. While you may have been a “traditional style” person, you may feel drawn to more contemporary designs now.

    Allow yourself the freedom to engage in different designs that suit your personality.

  4. Lifestyle Changes

    Changes in your life may trigger a need for change. For instance maybe you have taken up an interest in fitness and need a workout room.

    Are you expecting? It’s time to create a nursery for the new bundle on the way. Perhaps the kid’s Power Rangers room is too “young” for them now that they are teens. Are you a newlywed? Your new blended style will reflect both your tastes. Or as a newly divorced person, you may want to indulge in a “uber feminine” style.

    Do you entertain a lot? Maybe it’s time to create more of a new, modern, open concept dining/living room that allows you to feel more connected when you are sharing food and conversation with guests in your home.

    If your son/daughter has left for college, you can use that newly empty room as a hobby room for painting, sewing, scrapbooking, or mediating. Or perhaps you or hubby want to live it up a bit with a new man cave, diva den, or spa bathroom.

Try A Mini-Redesign Refresher

If you don’t have the time or budget for a major design, there are lots of tiny things you can do to make a big impact.

  • Try a new paint colour.
  • Add a few new decorative pillows.
  • Rearrange the furniture.
  • Create a new decorative vignette with vases, pictures, or other accent pieces.
  • Sometimes something as small as a new shower curtain or accent rug can do wonders to freshen up a room.

It’s time: Treat yourself to a design makeover. You SO deserve it!

Our physical surroundings have a huge impact on how we feel. It feels amazing to transform your space into something that is comfortable, classy, and expresses your unique style.

If you feel stuck, hiring an interior decorating professional may be a smart move to save you time, money, and frustration. They are experienced and will work closely with you to create the look you are going for.

Happy decorating!

Choosing the Right Paint Sheen for Your Decorating Project

Paint Rollers

One of the easiest ways to change the feeling of a room is with a new coat of paint.

But with all the choices available, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed with all the different types of paints available at the home improvement store. Do you select matte, flat, eggshell, satin, semi-gloss, or high gloss?

Generally, the more sheen a paint has, the more durable, shiny, and washable it is.

Here’s some tips to help you determine the right finish of paint for your needs.

Matte or Flat paint is a good choice for low-traffic areas like interior walls and ceilings. This paint finish has a flat, non-reflective finish.

It’s also a good choice for hiding minor surface imperfections like bumps or cracks. It’s ideal for use on new drywall for new construction; however, matte or flat paint needs very careful treatment when you are washing it. It’s important to clean matte surfaces with soft materials and gentle solutions so you don’t damage the paint.

Eggshell has a slight hint of shine to it. This finish resists dirt and grime as well as mildew. It’s good at hiding imperfections and is more washable than a matte finish. It’s a good selection for interior walls.

Satin has a bit more glossy shine than eggshell. It’s well suited for high traffic areas such as kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms or children’s bedrooms. It will allow for light scrubbing.

Semi-Gloss features a lot of sheen and is highly resistant to mildew, moisture and wear. This makes it a smart choice for any surface that will require a lot of scrubbing. It also holds up well to moisture, making it a great choice for kitchen or bathrooms.

Glossy has the highest amount of sheen and is the most durable finish. This sheen is an excellent choice for trim, woodwork, molding, doors, and cabinets.

Choosing The Right Paint Sheen By Room:

  • Kitchen: Semi-gloss for kitchen walls is durable and easy to clean. Gloss is a great choice for kitchen cabinets.
  • Dining Room: Eggshell will cover any “dings” from chairs bumping up against the walls.
  • Family Room/Living Room: Satin will handle the high traffic of the busiest room in the home. Satin finishes are easy to wipe clean and very durable.
  • Bedroom: Eggshell works nicely for bedrooms. It holds up well and with a hint of shine. Eggshell has a stylish look to it.
  • Bathroom: Satin is best for bathroom walls while semi-gloss works nicely for trim.

Ready to Tackle Your Next Painting Project?

Hope these tips make it easy for you to choose the right sheen for your room based on the level of activity in the room and how washable that finish is. Happy painting!

How to Create a Balanced Colour Scheme for Your Whole Home

colour coordinated dining room and kitchen

Have you ever finished redecorating a room only to notice that it doesn’t match the rest of your home?

Whether you have an open space design or separate rooms, choosing a whole home colour palette can create a feeling of harmony that makes your space work together visually.

Here are some tips to help you create unity with colour in your home:

Start with what you have 

Although selecting a starting colour can seem intimidating, it doesn’t have to.  The reason a colour from your friend’s house that looked fantastic over there can look horrific in your home is two-fold; the starting base and lighting.

Paint must be selected in the home with the natural light so you will see how it actually looks at different times of the day. (Depending on the undertones, it will take on many different shades at different times and you need to like all of them).

As well as the starting base, this is made up of the things in your home that are “static” or non-changing such as flooring, cabinets, tile etc. You may very well want to follow the trend and desire to paint grey walls in your house, yet all of your flooring is brown.  If you choose the same grey paint that your girlfriend down the street used (but she happened to have concrete tile flooring) you are going to wonder why it doesn’t look the same.

This doesn’t mean you can’t have grey paint, you simply have to select a grey paint with a warm or beige undertone rather than a cool blue undertone.

Don’t panic, if this is making you want to run and throw yourself under a bus, that’s why we do in-home colour consultations… we’d like to avoid the messy stuff.

Lets move on… the easy stuff is next

Limit the main body of your home to no more than 2 colours plus trim.

Choose main colours for your home that you love living in.  You can find a colour scheme you like by looking in a magazine, matching or complimenting colours from a pillow, rug, art piece, or working with pre-designed colour palettes available where you buy paint.

It can be helpful to start with a feeling you want to create in your home like beach or modern/metro.  Find an inspiration piece or picture that captures that feeling and note what colours are there.

Bedrooms should be all about personality, this is personal space and these rooms represent you differently than the rest of the home.  I personally prefer to see the palette compliment each other when doors are open, which simply means keeping the colours from the same family of undertones.

Please, don’t go running for that bus again… remember it’s still just paint!

Build your whole home palette with shades of the same hue.

If you are using a shade of grey for instance, you may choose the dark grey for the living room, and a softer hue of that grey for the kitchen.  Watch where the light changes during the day to night on the walls throughout the house, these are the areas that will give you natural colour variations from the colours being used as light will play differently with these areas.

This is my reason for not using more than 2 colours throughout the main body, especially if there is a lot of architectural detail, it simply gets too busy and you will lose the flow.

Tie it together by using one colour in different ways from room to room.

For example if you choose red for the accent wall in the family room, consider using decorative plates in the kitchen that have that same colour of red, tying the rooms together.  Then use that same red in decorative accents for the formal living room in pillows, the fabric for the drapes, or vases.

Mindfully select colours for adjoining rooms or visually connected spaces.

Even if you have separate rooms, if you can look from one room and see to the other, it’s important to choose colours that create harmony between the two spaces. I like to choose my accent colours out of my art.  I typically choose 2 accent colours: one major and one minor so that I’m working in 3’s, and won’t feel so perfect.

Have some Fun with the powder room. 

This is the space that is for the guests where small powder rooms can be “glammed”  up with pretty crystal light fixtures, deeper toned wall colours, or better yet stunning, shimmery wall covering.

Remember to follow the same rules for selecting the colours from the flooring etc. as with paint.

Choose the right white.

All whites are not created equal.  There are warm and cool whites.  Choose a white with the right undertones to work with your colour palette.  See, that bus is driving away and you’re no longer intimidated by all this undertone talk…

Say goodbye to boring all white walls… Bring warmth into your home, be it with colour, mid-tone neutrals or cool whites with exotic colour accents!

These simple design tips will help you to achieve a balanced, harmonious look you love! Have fun creating a sense of continuity and harmony with a colour plan throughout your home.

Do you have any questions about colour we can help you with? Leave a comment below!

7 Biggest Interior Design Mistakes that Newbies Make

Pink flower chair against bright green wall

Are you ready to step up the style in your home?

When diving into a design project, there’s a lot more to consider than just picking the right paint colour.

In addition to having a good sense for colour, pattern, and scale, there are some design basics to keep in mind.

As a designer, I have seen some home owners make pretty big mistakes so here’s seven design faux pas you’ll want to avoid when decorating a room:

  1. Forgetting Comfort –  When selecting furniture for a room, don’t forget that it has to be a space that you will live in too.  Comfort and durability are key when selecting a piece.  If it’s a heavy traffic room that will have kids, dogs, and a lot of use, get fabrics that can be easily cleaned.  Try sitting on the piece in the store.  A great piece is something that not only looks great, but functions well too!
  2. Not Trying a Paint Colour Out First – There’s nothing worse than spending hours painting a room to find out that it’s not the shade you were hoping for.  In-store lighting is the worst to determine what a paint colour looks like.  Instead, buy 2 or 3 paint samples you like.  Paint a few squares on a wall at home.  With a bigger sample of the paints on the wall displayed in the lighting of your home it will be easier to select a colour you love.
  3. Hanging Art Pieces without a Plan – If you are creating a grouping of wall art, lay it out first on the floor to see how it will all fit together before hanging it up.  Also refrain from hanging art too high.  As a general rule use the rule of thirds.  Hang art about 2/3 the way up the wall.  Also take into account if it’s a room where people are generally standing or sitting so you can hang it at the height it is likely to be viewed most at.
  4. Fuzzy Contoured Toilet Rugs – These contoured toilet rugs and matching lid covers may have been the rage a few years back, but today are considered outdated.  Instead, choose a rectangular shaped bath rug to set in front of the toilet.  When selecting a bath rug, look for one that is washable so it can be cleaned regularly.
  5. Buying Something Too Trendy – While having this year’s latest fashion might be flashy, it also puts you at risk of being out of date soon.  Select themes and styles that you will enjoy living with for many years to come.
  6. Skipping Window Treatments – When decorating a room, don’t forget to add window treatments.  They add colour, style, and texture to a room.  With so many styles to choose from (valances, drapes, curtains, and blinds) there’s something to add the right wow factor to your space.
  7. A Bare Foyer – The foyer is the first thing you see when someone steps into your home.  That’s why it’s so important to make this space feel welcoming.  Start this space off right with a carpet or runner.  Next add a furniture piece like a bench or hall table.  Then give it a flourish with an art display, mirror, or plant.

Hope these tips help you steer clear of these decorating dilemmas.   

Wishing you inspiration for your next design project!

Do you have any design mistakes you wish you hadn’t made? Leave a comment below!