Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Learning and Education never stops.... or it shouldn't!

This year our GTA West Chapter embarked on another fantastic Professional Development Day for the members in this area.  Once again Willis, a very supportive affiliate of ours donated their space and refreshments for this 1/2 day event.

We followed this up with our annual Summer Luncheon held at the Millcroft Golf Club in Burlington.
A great day of learning, networking and eating was had by all!

Special thanks to  Jason Bouwman , Principal & Creative Director of Compass Creative in Stoney Creek, Ont., a marketing agency that specializes in serving contractors in the landscaping and home renovation industry.

Mike Hetherman, President, owner and CEO of Willis - a North American distributor of world class building materials including DuPont™ Corian®, DuPont™ Zodiaq®, Arpa Italian laminate and Artisan sinks and faucets

Friday, May 2, 2014

Hamilton potters Guild Spring Sale

It's that time of year - the annual spring pottery sale which is being held in the Dundas LIons Memorial Community Centre, 10 Market St. S., Dundas, ON.
Friday, May 2nd - 3 pm - 10 pm
Saturday, May 3rd - 10 am - 8 pm
Sunday, May 4th - 12 noon - 4 pm

Free Parking, Free Admission and the most gorgeous work by local artisans.

Check out the web

There is a wide variety of beautiful hand crafted items available from jewellery to dishware and everything in between.

Carol Rossman is the creator of this lovely bowl.

What does an Interior Decorator offer - part 2

How do Interior Decorators create that perfect space?

There are many variables involved  to creating the perfect space  - from the correct use of colour, textures, lighting to space planning and creative furniture placement,.  Many things have to come together in order to maximize rooms to their best potential. 

Colour and lighting; whether natural or artificial can impact on how we feel in a space.  By using cool or warm hues we create a feeling for a room.  A variety of textures add interest and depth to the space.  There is no right or wrong opinion about neutrals vs. colour; it’s all a matter of applying the colour in an appropriate manner.

Interior Decorators are able to create fabulous designs while offering a functional space.  Great design is only great if it is functional.  A decorator can create that polished look through attention to details, creative lighting, custom millwork and window treatments.

An Interior Decorator creates innovative designs by manipulating the scale of furnishings and prioritizing features for both function and style, especially in small spaces.  A decorator can transform your space into the dream you have always envisioned. A decorator can take your ideas, make suggestions and in the end pull it all together and transform the vision into a perfect space.

An Interior Decorator can offer a full range of residential design options such as Color Consultations, Space Planning, Furniture Selection, Custom Draperies, Soft Furnishings, Flooring, Wall Coverings, Kitchen and Bath Planning, New home specifications and preparing the home for Resale, as well as Selection of Artwork and Accessories.  An Interior Decorator can assist in the Refreshing of a room by Re-purposing and Repositioning pieces to create a new look.

There is great deal of flexibility when working with an Interior Decorator.

A decorator will work with you to develop a decorating plan and establish a realistic budget.  Any project can be broken down into manageable pieces to be completed at a later date.

Ultimately an Interior Decorator’s job is to create a personal and livable space and add the icing to the cake.

Why Hire an Interior Decorator

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Stephen and Chris Show

Once again our CDECA group of Interior Decorators headed down to the CBC studios in Toronto to be guests at the Steven and Chris Show.  What a couple of humourous and friendly guys, not to mention their talent.  The kept us laughing through a lot of the show. Catch them on CBC weekdays at 2 p.m.

So You have decided to Hire an Interior Decorator..... Now What??


After you have made the decision to hire an Interior Decorator for whatever project you are undertaking, you will now be asking yourself and the decorator – what now?

There are many different approaches to working with a decorator.  You, the client, should have continuous input and, in the end, the final say.

Usually when you first contact a decorator there are questions asked about the type of project you are undertaking, the scope of it, with discussion relating to your preferences, lifestyle, and ultimately the cost involved along the way.

Your decorator will discuss their fee, which is usually an hourly rate or depending on the type of undertaking, could be a total project rate.  For example, if you were having an entire basement renovation and finishing, there could be a project fee based on the total amount of work involved.  For obvious reasons, this is best discussed at your home when outlining the scope of the project. Having discussed fee, the next step is an in home consultation for which payment of said fee is due at the end of the consult.

Now comes setting up a meeting at your home with the decorator.  Many decorators offer the flexibility of evenings and weekends, however you may be required to meet during the daytime, much as you would if you had a repair person coming in or if you were going to the dentist.  This is something based entirely on your decorator’s schedule and method of work.

At the time of the consultation the decorator will sit down in your home with you and discuss your plans.  If you have ideas, these will be noted along with a brief outline of what ideas the decorator may be able to put forth at this initial meeting.  Depending on how much work is to be done now or in the future, the decorator should also be taking a walk through your home to get a feel for your lifestyle and how you use your space.  This is particularly important so as to be able to mesh the newly decorated space with the current surrounding spaces. 

Ultimately an Interior Decorator can take you from discussion and ideas through space planning, sourcing furniture, fabric, floor and window coverings, accessories and art, paint selection, kitchen and bath plans & renovation ideas, appropriate lighting, contracting trades, to managing the project.  You have the choice as to which part of their expertise you can utilize!

Your decorator will give you ideas of their own on how to approach any project.  Depending on your budget you do have much flexibility here.  Some of the different methods of working with a decorator are as follows –

  • The decorator can take over the entire project from start to finish.  They will do up a floor plan, source furnishings, fabrics, window coverings, paint samples, arrange for trades to do any work involved and present this to you for your input and approval.  It will also be the responsibility of the decorator to act as the project manager.  This method works well for those who do not have the time to go about the business of “sourcing” and “managing the project with trades”.

  • Another method of working with a decorator is more hands on for the client. If you have the time and wish to be involved in the sourcing, etc. you can pay your decorator for their time to take you to different suppliers, especially those which are “trades only”, where you are able to find items which are not available through retail available to you the consumer.  Your decorator can either arrange for trades or offer you some options, or you may in fact have someone you wish to use.

  • A third alternative is to have the decorator compile a selection of ideas for the space along with some samples and retail sources available to you, and then you can in turn,  take it from there.  This method works especially well with the “Do-it-Yourself” type client; someone who enjoys the entire project and wants to tackle it themselves, however they may require a little professional guidance from the decorator.
The above are only three ways of working with an Interior Decorator.  Everyone has their own business style.  The most important part of this entire process is to find someone you feel comfortable with; someone who listens to you and your ideas; someone who respects what you have to say; and can understand the type of look you would like, even if you cannot actually verbalize it in “design speak”; and ultimately someone who can offer cost effective alternatives to décor solutions.  After all, this person will be re-creating your personal space,  which will be a reflection of you, so it really is essential to have a “good fit”.

Creating incomparable interiors with Eric McClelland At SOFA

I wanted to share my thoughts on this event which I attended a month ago but have been very busy in a good way - clients, working a little on my own home and getting ready for spring.

I attend many seminars, events, showrooms and trade shows in order to keep abreast of new and great ideas in the Interior Design and Decor industry.  We can always learn something new and sometimes we just need a little refresher to bump it up a notch or get inspired.  I have met and listened to many of the local celebrity designers and come away with the knowledge that they are all very approachable and willing to share what they have experienced.

I recently met Eric McClelland at a SOFA event and found him to be an engaging speaker with much to share on the topic of "Creating Incomparable Interiors" so that you stand out, not to mention how amenable he was to chat after and pose for pictures.

I, along with everyone else in attendance came away feeling uplifted and ready to 'get creative' and do marvelous things.  If you ever see Eric's work you will understand what I mean as he has an innate way of creating amazing spaces.  Eric is co-owner of Fleur-de-lis Interior Design in Toronto.

Of course I had to have photo with Eric

Beautiful Porcelain

I recently had the opportunity to see some of the fantastic porcelain created by Bill Reddick who had a display at SOFA, one of my favourite haunts for design inspiration.  Bill  is known for his ceramic and pottery which takes inspiration of the Song Dynasty with a contemporary look.  He is the creator of Canada's official state dinnerware, which resides in Rideau Hall in Ottawa..  Check out his website to see the lovely pieces already completed.

Monday, March 31, 2014

A few 'rules' for creating a great dining room

Top Ten Tips for Designing a Dining Room

1.      The table size should be determined by the size of the room and the other furniture in it. Absolute minimal clearance between the table edge and any facing wall or buffet is 30-36” but this will not allow for circulation behind a seated diner, or allow access to the buffet during a meal. Ideally, you should have 48 - 60” of space between a table and facing obstruction.

2.      Each diner needs his own dining space of 24-30”wide by 16-18” deep. Generally there will also be a shared space between facing diners of

3.      When buying any area carpet to go beneath the table, all chair legs should sit on it firmly when pushed away from the table. Always buy an under pad to protect the rug fibers from the hard floor. Rug under pads should be about 2” smaller than your rug on each side.

4.      To determine furniture quality, check the details. For example, look for dovetail joints in drawers. ( Fan-shaped tendons that interlock with a corresponding notched mortises) Also, look for a piece of wood that provides a dust proofing layer between drawers.

5.      In a room with an 8 foot ceiling, chandeliers should be hung with 30 -32” of space between the bottom of the chandelier and the table surface. Increase the space by 3” for every foot if you are lucky enough to have a high ceiling.

6.      The width of the chandelier should never exceed the width of the table. Ideally it should be 1/2 to 2/3 the size of your table width. When in doubt, go smaller but not too small.
7.      Always use dimmer switches.

8.      Wall sconces should be mounted 60” from the floor.

9.      Centre pieces should never block the view of diners. Average eye level for men is 27”from the table top and for women it is 19”. 

10.  Finally, have fun and be dramatic when decorating this room. Often it is a separate, more formal space, giving you the freedom to make it different from the other areas in your home. It can be decorated with deeper, richer colours that complement candle light, sparkling crystal and gleaming white dishes.

Sources:    Human Dimension and Interior Space by Julius Panero and Martin Zelni,  Furnish – The Home Furnishings Experts; Winter 2012, Furniture Today Media Group                10 Principles of Good Interior Design by Vinny Lee

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Design and Decor Styles over the Years

I have recently been trying to walk the talk with my home.  I am working at 'de-cluttering'. It is mostly the magazines and brochures collected over the years that go back way too many years and are not really looked at again.  I decided to flip through the magazines and if something caught my eye I could tear it out.  This will be an on-going project since there are at least 14 years of magazines.  I have been focusing on my Canadian magazines recently and must say we have many talented designers and decorators. The brochures & catalogues are only a few years old but I figure between them and the magazines, I should be leaving a very nice beverage for the folks who pick up my recycling.  I will keep the amounts down each week but it really looks like I am emptying a store.  

We then get to my tschatkas and it will be like Christmas when I hit Goodwill with the many I simply cannot store in my home.  I used to change them up regularly in order to not get tired of them and of course they all could not be displayed unless I wanted to re-create a store in my living area. I have hit a stage where I want less 'stuff' around me so out it goes.

Back to the title of this post - Design and Decor over the years.  I found in flipping through some of the magazines that our design aesthetic has not changed much in the last decade. When we hit year 2000 we seem to have hit on some fantastic liveable styles that for the most part have lasted through the years.  Of course these are also all created by professional decorators and designers which speaks to the value of working with them in the first place. It also helps the landfill as well as your pocketbook since you are not discarding your possessions so fast.  Changing up accessories and smaller pieces brings new life but the main pieces and foundation of the space can remain the same and look like it was created this year.  Sure, I have to say there are definitely some things we do not want to see again - balloon curtains; borders; too many silk or plastic flowers; and I think you know where I am going.  We have moved to a more natural look in our furnishings and accessories.  I was recently at a seminar by a well known celeb local designer and he was showing us photos of work he had done 10 years ago and it looked fresh and totally current as if he had just completed it.  Now that is a good thing!!

In checking out the bathrooms I noticed we were showcasing stand alone tubs and vessel sinks way back.   Wallpaper is back but in a more user friendly way and great design. 

I can't wait to see what comes next in Design and Decor, but one thing for sure is that I am not keeping this much 'stuff' around in future.