Monday, April 27, 2015

Let's take it Outside....

Spring has finally arrived and with it hopefully some warm weather soon to be followed by summer!  Everyone is moving outside to enjoy the months of warm weather.  How nice to be able to enjoy your outdoor space as much as your indoor space.  Over the years we have greatly changed our way of looking at our outdoor spaces.  We now invest in furniture, which is comfortable and aesthetically pleasing, and create wonderful outdoor rooms.

There are so many options available on the market today from very moderate pricing to very high end.  We can select everything from dining furniture, living room style banquets and settees, chairs with ottomans, coffee and end tables, outdoor lamps as well as outdoor kitchens.  Gone are the days when a couple of discolored plastic chairs and the small charcoal barbeque sufficed.  We have evolved!  We want to relax in style!

How can a decorator help you?  Well, sometimes it is difficult to sort out just what would work best in a particular outdoor space.  You have to decide how you want to use the space – will you be relaxing, entertaining, gardening? What exposure do you have?  What type of green space is currently in place?  What about your hard scape?
Furnishing your outdoor room can be a lot of fun and there are certainly a lot of whimsical as well as elegant items on the market these days.  You do not have to spend a fortune to have a good looking and comfortable outdoor space.

Some of the main functions of a decorator when working on an interior space carry over to the exterior space.  Decorators are skilled at placing furniture; making colour choices; fabric selection as well as carrying out the indoor theme and style to the exterior.  For example, the interior of a home could be very ultra modern and streamlined, the transition to the outdoor space would flow better if the outdoor furnishings were also on the modern side, rather than rugged cottage style twig furniture.

Decorators can also help you with planning how your garden flows and the plant material, which will work well with your choice of furnishings and colour scheme.
When working on an outdoor space, it is definitely important to recognize that the plantings are best specified by a professional landscape gardener and not the decorator, however, decorators have been trained to know what works well together and can unify the overall look.
So let’s get outdoors and enjoy the summer in style!
•             remove heavy draperies and let the sunshine in, try some matchstick or bamboo blinds
•             roll up your dark, heavy area carpets and let your floors shine or add a light summer weight area carpet

•             add lots of fresh flowers to your rooms - all the spring blooms look and smell fantastic
•             change the covers on your toss cushions for something e lighter in color and texture
•             do a little de-cluttering by removing some of your accessories to lend a more relaxed & light feeling for spring
•             add a ceiling fan for that southern feeling as well as comfort
•             pack away any thick wool or faux fur throws and save for fall and winter
•             change bedding to something light in colour and weight, pack away that heavy duvet

•             purchase a few glass dishes to mix with your everyday dishes for a summer feel
•             open up your windows and let the fresh air in

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

50 shades of Gray.....

Interior designer Vicente Wolf dives into the gray spectrum, bringing modernity, harmony, and comfort to a traditional Westchester home.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

2015 Interior Design Trends

2015 will be a year for bold colours, oversized canvases and eco-friendly designs. The home décor trends of the year will provide you the opportunity to express yourself through creativity, extravagance and versatility. 

Let the bathroom makeover be your focus in 2015: 

You can expect the bathroom to see the biggest changes out of any room in the house in 2015. Bathrooms will be moving toward a more clean and contemporary look. The National Kitchen and Bath Association’s style report says they won’t completely lose their cozy, rustic charm, but they will transition to a more minimalist modern vibe in the New Year. You can expect
 • Quartz countertops replacing granite. 
• Soaking tubs replacing rain showers. 
• Shades of grey replacing white walls. 

Be inspired by these colour schemes for 2015: 
• “Gray will be the hottest neutral of 2015 because it sets a great backdrop.” Jeff Andrews, LA Interior Designer. 
• Paint your bedroom olive green, a warm and organic neutral. Use white or cream accents in the room. 
• Bring in colours from the outdoors. Embrace the organic colours that feel right in your home. 
• Use a colour from a frosted pastel on the bathroom walls and choose a colour from a bright palate for your vintage tub. 
•Other areas: 
• Try a combination of greens, plums, cerulean blue, beiges and whites in your living room. Don’t be afraid to throw in lots of pattern. 2015 Interior design trends 8 9 It’s important to create balance when selecting the colors in your home. Choose a colour palate you like and then use the more decorative, bold colours on the furniture and other accessories. Don’t be afraid to have fun with colours from different palates, you may be surprised what works together. 

Other Trends to Watch For: 
• Oversized paintings on canvases 
• Eco-friendly materials 
• Animal prints and textures will be popular on couches, pillows, chairs and more 
• China dinnerware will be a must-have 
• Stand alone mirror in the bedroom 
• The mixing of patterns and textures, as seen in many Renaissance paintings 
• Expect combinations of rustic, contemporary and traditional in the same space 
• Accent features such as furniture or light fixtures that work both inside and outside will be popular 
• Metallic or gray kitchen cabinets 
• Warm metal kitchen fixtures Remember to be bold, resourceful and imaginative, but most importantly, be you. If you see a piece of furniture that inspires you, buy it and build a room around it. Don’t be afraid to take risks and to be unique. Which trends will you incorporate into your home decor for 2015

article courtesy of Improve Canada Magazine

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Go from bland to beautiful by Jane Lockhart

How to go from bland to beautiful with colour in just a few hours!

Here are five quick tips to take your family room from bland and boring to beautiful in just a couple of hours!

1. Paint

The quickest and most effective way to add colour in a new room is to paint! If you are too afraid to paint your whole room a new colour, consider painting just the focal wall. Remember, this is the first wall you see when you walk into the room; this is your ‘money wall’.

2. Switch out tired pieces of furniture

Most of us have a living room composed of a few pieces of furniture with great bones and then those ‘other’ pieces we have picked up along the way. If you want to makeover a room, but don’t have a large budget, keep the solid pieces and update the others that are looking tired and worn.

3. Accessorize

If you are adding a new colour into your décor, this can be easily done with accessories! Choose three colours you want to use. Make sure one is bolder and stands out against the others. Buy blankets, throw pillows, maybe a new rug and smaller accessories to carry this colour theme right through the room.

4. Art

Art will make or break any room. I find sometimes people will get 90% of the way through a makeover and then drop the ball when it comes to the art. Art is just as important as the rest of the room. Decide what look you are going for and choose artwork that fits your theme. In this room, we did a gallery wall and combined both canvas art and framed art.

5. Everything doesn’t need to match

In the picture here, I choose a couple different wood types, in a pretty similar colour and put them together. This creates a theme called ‘found Object’, which basically means it looks like you picked really eclectic pieces from all over and put them together to create the perfect room! I also did this with the artwork, the frames don’t match, but still look great together!
These 5 simple and easy tips will help you take your room from ordinary and make it extraordinary!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Nice Living Rooms

 A few nice living rooms by famous designers
 Victoria Hagan
 Martin Lawrence-Bullard
Darryl Carter
Suzanne Kasler
James Huniford

Which is your favourite??

Updating your kitchen on a budget - courtesy of House Beautiful

1. Update hardware. Hardware can completely change the look of a piece of furniture and it can do the same for your cabinets. Replace drawer and cabinet pulls for an new unique look that instantly updates your entire space.
2. Paint a lighter color. A light color on the walls and cabinets instantly brightens a space making it look larger and in turn, more expensive. Light colors reflect light and hide a multitude of sins, including those scratches, dings and dents in your old cabinets.
3. Replace Cabinet Doors. Replacing old worn out cabinet doors with new ones or sanding and refinishing your old ones will give your kitchen a sleek new look. Bring in glass, or high-gloss doors for a dose of glam or forgo the doors in some areas and create open shelving to show off your nicest pieces.
4. Change lighting. Chandeliers and pendents are the perfect accessory to not only brighten your kitchen but change the mood of the space. Standard lights that come in most homes and rentals are uniform, change it up and give the most used room in your house some personality or an unexpected element.
5. Use artwork. Artwork is a great way to elevate any room and it will do the same in your kitchen. Don't be afraid to go big and bold—it will give the illusion of a bigger space. Art is also a great option for renters who don't have the freedom to change everything they'd like to.
6. Paint Your Appliances Stainless Steel. Don't have stainless steel appliances? No problem. Use a paint-on stainless steel finish to update your appliances that still work well but are giving your kitchen a dated feel. Be careful, companies make different types if this liquid stainless steel depending on the appliance and its use.
7. Window treatment. Dress up your bare windows to instantly dress up your kitchen.
8. Style your breakfast nook. Add throw pillows, a centerpiece and fresh flowers to give your breakfast spot some style.
9. Replace an old bowl or decorative elements. Change out your fruit bowl with beautiful chinoiserie or a bowl or tray for a subtle change that makes a big difference.
10. Hide small appliances. A no-cost trick! Nothing brings down a space more than clutter. Keep your counter space clear of small appliances like toasters, blenders and coffee pots— They are easy enough to take out when you want to use them.
This article originally appeared on House Beautiful.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

There are so many beautiful buildings, museums and cathedrals in Paris, it will take another visit or more just to see them. I love the old architecture and the many carved and rustic doors....

Friday, March 6, 2015

The Bathroom Reno continues....

I posted a long while ago that we commenced to renovate our master ensuite but didn't get around to posting any of the finished work.  I will go back to the beginning when the shower wall collapsed, thus requiring immediate resusitation.  I didn't have the time nor the cash to completely overhaul the entire space as I did require a working shower asap so it was done in a couple of stages.  New shower, new toilet and then the major portion of the labour finally completed to include all new floowing, upgrading the tub tile and fixtures, the dressing room flooring, cabinetry and all the fun things that follow.  We are still not entirely finished as I am in the process of selecting a heated towel rack.  Have a look at the before, during and after pics.....

               The old shower was completely removed and reconstructed
Before was not too bad but not functional with carpeting and only one sink
During this reno everything was moved into an extra bedroom.... what a mess!!
Great tilers working away