Tag Archives: painting

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!

Low Cost, High-Impact Staging Ideas that Work

Staged Dining Room

Are you looking for affordable ways to spruce up your home to sell fast?

The right home staging can make your home ‘pop’ with potential buyers and bring top offers.

Here are some small things that will make a big difference when staging your home.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS – Curb Appeal

  • Light the way to fast sales! If your porch light looks dated, replace it. Be sure that the bulbs are replaced; often this is the first thing buyers see when they pull up the driveway of your home.
  • Crank up the curb appeal. Take a look at your front door, a new layer of paint can give it wow appeal. Trim the bushes; brighten up your landscaping bricks with a power washer; add fresh pots with flowers on the doorstep; and finally crown with an eye-catching welcome mat.

BIGGER OFFERS ARE AN INSIDE JOB

  • Neutralize. The first impulse when buying a home is to personalize a space. You want to do the opposite to sell your home; look around and try to neutralize the space. Remove family photos; take the kid’s pictures off of the refrigerator; paint over those marks on the door showing how tall your kids are. You want the buyer to envision that it’s move-in ready and they fit right in.
  • Clean up the clutter. Buyers want a feeling of space. Visually do an inspection of your home. Clear off countertops; tidy up the inside of cabinets; clean out the closets; put extra items in storage, donate, sell or toss them.
  • Pour on the elbow grease. Now’s the time to really make your home shine. Scrub baseboards; polish stainless steel; clean, scrub, shine, and make everything sparkle like new.
  • Cash in by dressing up cabinetry. A budget-friendly way to instantly brighten up your kitchen is to paint wood cabinets and add knobs and handles. A new coat of paint can make worn, tired kitchen cabinets look new again.
  • Beautify your bathroom. If your tub or toilet is dingy looking, you’ll turn off buyers fast. An inexpensive way to fix this is with an acrylic tub surround and liner. Clean the grout between tiles and remove debris in drains. This will give a fresh, clean look to the bathroom. Also, if you have bathroom carpet, remove it and replace with new vinyl or ceramic tiles.
  • Light it up. Set the mood with lighting. Make sure there is enough light flowing through the home. This doesn’t mean turning on every light in the home. Instead use floor and table lamps and open curtains to create a soft, warm ambiance.
  • Odors STINK when it comes to selling your home. The biggest culprits include stale air, food, pets, mildew, and smoking. Open windows to air out your home and use air filters to break up and neutralize odors in the air. Products like Febreeze can freshen up curtains or furniture. Then remember to light a softly scented candle on the day of showing. Be cautious about this though, sometimes strong scents can be as big a turn off as bad odors; you might want to consider using an “air sponge” which will neutralize the offensive odor.
  • Add eye candy. When your home is ready, adding little touches like bowls of fresh fruit, a vase of flowers or plants can add warmth and colour to any room.

Finally, consulting with a home stager can provide a wealth of ideas. A home stager can recommend more effective furniture arrangements, paint colours, and tips/tricks to make your home visually appealing.

Follow these tips and you’ll be on your way to selling your home fast!

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!

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!