Tag 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.

What to Consider When Remodeling or Renovating

Remodeling

Are you thinking of remodeling your home? Home renovations not only can update the look of your home, but it adds personality that makes your space feel like home.

Investing in renovations can also increase the value of your home.

So what should you keep in mind when making plans to remodel? Below are some expert tips to simplify the remodeling process.

Are you Remodeling to Stay or to Sell? If you are remodeling to sell, it’s important to find the value of comparative homes in the neighbourhood and the level of amenities they have.

For example if most homes in the neighbourhood feature hardwood floors and granite counter tops and you have laminate counters and vinyl flooring, you should consider upgrading those.

Get the Most Bang from your Renovation Buck. If you are going to spend money on remodeling, spend it in the rooms that add the most value to your home. Typically the kitchen and the master bedroom and bath are the biggest attractions for buyers.

There’s nothing like an updated kitchen and sparkling designer bathroom that says “move-in ready” to buyers.

Finding Your Personal Sense of Style. It is so rewarding to get rid of the carpet, colours, and fixtures in a home that don’t suit you. But what style do you choose? Do you stick to your same choices or try something bold and new?

It’s easy to watch a design show and say “I want that for my room!” But what looks great on TV might not be a fit for your home.

For example an ultra modern design would not fit in a 40’s cottage style home. Plus, you can’t simply shift from Country Chic to Urban Contemporary by painting without changing the furniture to match as well.

Find an inspiration piece with the colours and feel you like and use that to guide your selections. It could be a rug, piece of artwork, favourite furniture piece, or even a scarf.

Don’t try to force a designer magazine picture to work for you; most photos don’t show the regular “stuff of life” like toys, papers, remotes, pet items, etc. A good interior decorator can help you strike the right balance of style that fits your lifestyle.

Function always comes before form!

Creating a Harmonious Look. Sometimes DIY designers get a little crazy trying something new in a room. While that can make for a really unique space, it may look “off” as compared to the rest of the home.

The biggest mistake people make, is they don’t visualize their entire project as a whole.

Sometimes they buy single furniture pieces without truly knowing how it will look together in a room. For example in the kitchen, start with the major items such as cabinets and flooring first.

Next, select your appliances and counter top, followed by tile back splash and cabinet hardware. Then select the lighting. All selections should work from a complementing palette.

Paint Creates Big Impact That Won’t Empty Your Wallet. There’s nothing like a coat of paint to add a fresh feel to a room. A good colour scheme will complement the elements within the home (hardwood, carpet, cabinets, fireplace stone etc.).

You don’t have to settle with boring white, gray, or beige.

If you struggle with choosing a paint colour, hire someone to do a paint consultation. If you are remodeling and plan to stay in the home, you can try some richer colours to add warmth.

But, just because a paint colour looks great in your friend’s house, doesn’t mean it will look great in yours. Base elements like lighting changes everything!

If you are selling, stick to neutral tones that will appeal to most buyers.

Keep Function in Mind. Remodeling can transform a room into an inviting space that  meets your lifestyle needs. Ask yourself how do you plan to use the space? What needs do you have that the room is not meeting for you now? Do you need more space, more light, more storage, a better layout?

All these can be changed with proper planning before you begin your project.

Saving Money with Smart Choices. There are many affordable ways to save money on renovations. If the cabinetry in the kitchen can be painted, re-surfaced or re-stained it can modernize the whole kitchen and save thousands of dollars.

Other small kitchen updates like a tile back-splash or a new counter top can add a big wow factor yet are very affordable.

Same holds true in the bathroom. Often a tub can be re-glazed, rather than replaced at a fraction of the cost. If the glass shower doors are dingy, replacement doors make the bathroom look fresh and new.

Leave Some Buffer Money in Your Budget. Detailed planning can help you create a budget and timeline that makes the remodeling project go smoothly.

But once renovation begins you may be surprised by something you find structurally that needs fixed. By leaving yourself some wiggle room you can handle any “bumps” that occur during the process.

For instance you may decide to change the oak baseboard in your home to an updated 4″ white. But how is that going to affect the casing around your doors and windows? You may be surprised to find out it doesn’t match and those need to be replaced or painted white as well.

Or you may plan to knock out a wall only to discover that wall has a supporting beam that is critical to the home.

Surviving the Remodel. How long will the remodel take? How will your family “function” in the home while certain rooms are under remodeling? What will you do with your children and pets to keep them safe and out of the way?

Will you have to move out during part of the renovation? Is it better to do this project in the spring or summer? Is there a certain order that projects need to be done first? These are questions that consulting with an interior designer can help you to answer.

Expert Advice Can Save Time, Money, & Headaches. Remodeling your home is a major undertaking. That’s why consulting with an interior designer will take the stress out of remodeling and prevent some costly mistakes.

Experience has taught them how to plan, be able to implement basic design principles, and how to make the process go smoothly.

Before starting a project, it is smart to seek the advice of a pro to determine your personal style, talk about goals, your needs for the space, and your budget.

An interior designer can help you make selections that improve function, add beauty, and increase the value of your home. Plus, they have connections to skilled contractors and resources for getting quality materials and the best rates.

If you dream it, an interior designer can help you create it. Hope these tips help you create a space you love!

Renovating or remodeling can make a huge impact on your home’s value and on how much you love to live there so if you need help with your renovating needs and live in the Calgary area, give us a call for a free consultation!

5 Biggest Home Staging Mistakes That Cost You the Sale

House For Sale

Are you putting your house on the market? As I’m sure you’re aware, first impressions are vitally important to prospective buyers.

From the moment people walk in, they start making a decision about your home and what it would look like if they lived there.

So how can you make your home an inviting space that buyers love? The answer is home staging.

There is a big difference between a staged home and one that is on the market that hasn’t been staged.

Here are some of the biggest mistakes that homeowners make when trying to sell a home without the benefits of staging.

  1. Cluttered Space

    Clutter gives the buyer a feeling that there is not enough storage space in the home. So it’s really important to put away unneeded items while you are showing your home.

    Everything from countertops and tables to bedrooms and even the garage needs to be cleared away of clutter and unused items.

  2. Dirt and Grime

    No one wants to move into a dirty, poorly maintained home. Taking the time to make every surface sparkle is critical. Bathrooms should be spotless, free of mold, mildew and stains.

    Give some extra attention to the kitchen too by paying close attention to the appliances, especially the fridge, garbage area and cupboards.

  3. Unpleasant Odors

    One whiff of a foul smell can make a buyer turn their nose up on a home. Sometimes we are so used to the way our home smells that we don’t recognize odors. Sometimes sellers try so hard to make their home smell nice that strong candles or air fresheners can offend buyers too.

    Making a home have a neutral, clean scent is the best way to go. Worst offenders are pet smells, musty/stale air, and cigarette smoke. Other offenders can include mildew or even strong food smells such as fish. If in doubt, have a friend walk through your home and give it the sniff test.

  4. Too Hot or Cold

    Buyers want to know that the home will be comfortable. This includes knowing that it’s warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Be sensitive to this and set the temperature accordingly when you are showing your home. Fans can help keep air flowing through the home.

    If windows are drafty, make sure to seal them with caulk or replace them if budget allows. If it’s summer, keep it pleasantly cool but don’t blast the AC and freeze your buyers out. You want buyers to linger and feel at home in the space.

  5. Keeping it Too Dark in the House

    A dark and dreary home doesn’t show your property off in its best light. Take time to walk through your home and see ways you can add more light. Keep the lights on in the house and consider adding extra spotlights or lamps. Make sure the windows are clean so the sunshine comes through them.

Avoid these pitfalls when selling your home by hiring a home staging professional that can take care of all the details so you don’t have to frantically try to remember everything during this stressful time.

Having a staged home sells fast with offers that are sure to make you smile. And if you need help with your staging needs and live in the Calgary area, give us a call for a free consultation!

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!