Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Meagan over at Sunshine & Sippy Cups is giving away one of my Virtual Room Reviews here:
Click here to enter the awesome giveaway!
(and remember, if you don't want to wait to win, you can buy one in my Etsy shop for $10!)
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Here's a simple formula for figuring out whether or not you have enough lighting in a room:
First, measure your room's length and width, then multiply to get the square footage.
Next, multiply that number by 1.5 to get the amount of wattage needed to properly light the room.
For example, a 10' by 12' room is 120 square feet...multiplied by 1.5 gives you 180. So in that room, you would want at least 180 watts.
In an area that's meant for specific tasks like a kitchen island or an area for homework, multiply by 2.5 instead of 1.5.
Easy as pie!
Monday, August 22, 2011
- Create zones -- one area for food preparation, one for storage, one for eating, etc.
- Store items near where you use them. Don't worry about whether it makes sense for someone else -- I keep plastic kid cups in the fridge beside the juice.
- Free up drawer space by using a decorative canister to hold often-used utensils, such as spatulas and spoons.
- Storing small appliances in cupboards will free up counter space and keep the room looking less cluttered. The ones you rarely use can be stored up high or in the back of the cabinet, and the ones you use often in easy-to-reach areas.
- Inexpensive baskets or plastic containers are great for storing bottles of vinegar, oil and other sauces. It's easier to pull a basket out of the cupboard than it is to root around for the right bottle.
- In a small kitchen, putting the sink in the corner creates more usable, uninterrupted counter space.
- If you have space in your kitchen, an armoire is a terrific organizer. It can hold your microwave, freeing up counter space. You can use the shelves and drawers for anything from cookbooks and tablecloths to mixing bowls and baking needs. Paint the inside of one of the doors with chalkboard paint and you have space for quick notes and lists as well.
- Baskets placed in the area between cabinets and the ceiling are great for storing seldom-used items.
- If you're really short on space, add a shelf above the window or door.
- Hang tablecloths on a towel rack attached to the inside of a cabinet or closet door.
Friday, August 19, 2011
Thursday, August 18, 2011
I am so happy to be guest blogging here at Stylish Solutions today. Heather was kind enough to allow me to try my hand at a "5 Free Decorating Changes You Can Make Right Now" post. She had such great ideas (like shopping your own home) in previous posts, I hope these are equally as helpful. Enjoy!
Better Homes and Gardens via
Centsational Girl via
Apartment Therapy via
This content comes courtesy of†Design Shuffle, where you can find and share talented interior designs from from New York interior designers, Los Angeles interior designers, and more, check out the latest at Design Shuffle.
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Monday, August 15, 2011
This week Heather at Thrifty Mom Spot is giving away my Virtual Room Review!
Head on over and enter for your chance to win an interior decorator's FREE advice and get some quick & easy help with that problem room:
Win a FREE Room Review at Thrifty Mom Spot!
If you haven't heard of a Room Review, you can you can see what I mean in my Etsy shop here.
(And if you don't want to wait to win, you can always buy a Room Review in my shop for only $10.)
Saturday, August 13, 2011
Saturday, August 6, 2011
Two new giveaways start today - Angie at Country Chic Cottage and Kari at Alas 3 Lads are each giving away one of my Virtual Room Reviews.
Who couldn't use a FREE interior decorator?
It's a great way to get advice on what to do with those problem areas in your home - that one room that just doesn't look quite the way you want it to...
Win a Free Room Review at Alas 3 Lads
Win a Free Room Review at Country Chic Cottage
Go check them out - enter one, enter 2, enter them all...improve the look of your home and discover some great blogs at the same time!
- An affordable way to get the look of custom-made draperies: simply add fabric borders to the bottom of your existing drapery panels.
- You can also enhance your throw pillows by adding some fringe, buttons or beadwork.
- Plain bed linens can be given a new look by sewing a band or 2 of satin ribbon or braiding a little way in from the hems of the pillowcases and sheets.
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Congratulations to the winner of Giveaway #1 - Gale over at Such Fun to Give!
The next 2 giveaways start today (and run until August 9th). Check them out at Frantically Simple (there's a hooker-boot wall involved!) and One Mama's Daily Drama - and enter for your chance to win :)
My plan was to have a giveaway each week over the summer, but apparently scheduling isn't one of my talents...I somehow scheduled 2 for most weeks. It works out well for you guys, though - more chances to win and more great blogs to discover!
Super Awesome Giveaway You Should Enter at Frantically Simple
Another Super Awesome Giveaway You Should Enter at One Mama's Daily Drama
Monday, August 1, 2011
Home Grown - Issue #2
Take a look and let me know what you think!
Sunday, July 31, 2011
Friday, July 29, 2011
Monday, July 25, 2011
The first giveaway starts today (and runs until August 1st) over at MamaZen Blog - go check it out and enter for your chance to win :)
Super Awesome Virtual Room Review Giveaway!!
You might remember my post about my own budget kitchen makeover - the cabinet hardware made a huge improvement:
|Before: Ugly handles that don't fit|
|Before & After side by side|
|After: Way better!|
Take a look around your home - are there any pieces that could benefit from new hardware?
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
- dried fruit (cranberries are a great colour)
- dried beans/legumes (black beans are great for filling the bottoms of vases)
- coffee beans
- cinnamon sticks
Pretty much any of these can be put in an apothecary jar or clear vase (ok - maybe not pumpkins - use those more for centerpieces!).
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
I'm in the middle of updating our dining room chairs right now. The original seat covers are an off-white cotton - nice because they're washable, but they do nothing for the room.
F is also for facebook - where you can head on over and "like" my page to get even more tips :)
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Sunday, July 10, 2011
Saturday, July 9, 2011
This means I'll be able to offer my clients better pricing than before for quality custom window treatments.
If you're in Timmins & area, contact me for your FREE quote on shutters, blinds, cellular, roller & roman shades.
Thursday, July 7, 2011
One thing that's important to remember when choosing a colour - from the time the selection is made until the room is complete - is that the colour means nothing without context.
Many colours look great alone, but look awful when paired with other items. Some colours look fabulous in one setting and ugly in another (one common reason people call me to choose a colour is that the colour they chose because they liked it at a friend or neighbour's looked completely different on their walls with their furniture!)
It's important to consider the whole picture when putting together a room - quite often a colour can give you that "what were you thinking?" moment while you're painting...because you're seeing it on the wall alone, not surrounded by the items it relates to. I often remind clients to wait until the room is put back together before they make a final judgement on whether they like the colour.
I've specified a couple of bolder colours this month (these 2 above...going in 2 different homes) - and when I look at the paint chips they can seem pretty "out there", especially for living room walls...but once they're put beside the furniture and accessories that have bits of the wall colour in them, they end up looking exactly as they should.
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Moose FM website
We're also talking to our CTV contact about a story, so stay tuned!
Monday, July 4, 2011
Sunday, July 3, 2011
|image from Pottery Barn|
Group your accessories in odd numbers (three or five work nicely!).
Group together items of various sizes - avoid putting all one size together. Mix it up by putting tall with short, wide with narrow, etc.
Try grouping items of the same colour together.
Displaying collections against a contrasting background makes them stand out.
Try grouping like items together as well. A seashell on the table, one on the mantel and one on the floor are "3 seashells in a room". Put them together and they're a "collection".
If you have a huge collection of something particular, display some and put the rest away - then rotate the pieces every few months to change things up a bit.
On a bookshelf, add some accessories so it's not just books - mixing together books and accessories adds a bit of interest and variety.
If you have mismatched or ugly accessories that you can't bear to part with, try painting them. A can of flat white spray paint can fix a lot! A group of mismatched accessories become a collection when they're unified by white spray paint - try vases, ceramic birds, pumpkins, etc. Anything you find can be painted to tie together.
Try one or all of these tips and see how your accessorizing improves. Let me know how it goes!
Saturday, July 2, 2011
Home Grown - Parenting in the North
Click on the link to check it out (and let me know what you think of my summer decorating tips)!
Friday, July 1, 2011
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
I can't wait to get started - this is my absolute favourite project of the year!!
Monday, June 27, 2011
I'm super excited to be featured over on the Wilde Designs blog today...go check it out (and enter the giveaway while you're there!!).
Manic Monday at Wilde Designs
Check out the rest of Beth's blog while you're there - lots of great stuff!
Saturday, June 25, 2011
Seriously, what child needs a $7000 light fixture?
After watching the video, I think the parents have a few issues...
You can check the article out here : Over the top kid rooms
Feel free to let me know what you think in the comments!
Thursday, June 9, 2011
Third on the "outdoor decor mistakes" list is ignoring the landscaping. A little bit of landscaping can go a long way toward giving your home curb appeal. You don't necessarily need a huge garden full of a variety of flowers - if you don't have a green thumb, an urn on either side of the door adds colour without taking a lot of work. Hanging baskets of flowers can be another low-hassle option. Stones and shrubbery can look great as well. A small fence can also add curb appeal - as long as you choose a paint or stain colour that works with the rest of the house.
And the last mistake, on the opposite side of the spectrum - excessive lawn ornaments! While one or 2 decorative items can add a bit of pizazz to your yard, an entire family of gnomes paired with a well (or 2!), a collection of pots, wooden cutouts, and multiple sets of windchimes detract from your home's look. A smaller number of well-chosen items will have more impact.
Monday, June 6, 2011
Another outdoor-decor problem? Not considering the more permanent fixtures when choosing a decor scheme.
I've been watching a home reno near my mother's house with interest - the owner chose a stucco colour that they thought would be a neutral: grey. Undertones are a tricky thing, though - the grey chosen has very strong purple undertones, which are brought out even more by the sun (the way your house faces has a big effect!)...so the house actually looks purple. Not necessarily a problem, and it can actually look great depending on what you put with it...but this particular house has a warm brown roof, and this particular roof does not work with the shade of purple on the house. The already-there colour of something permanent like a roof (which is generally not changed for years) needs to be taken into consideration when choosing everything else.
Aside from the roof, pay attention to brick, stone and siding colours.
Saturday, June 4, 2011
A while back I talked about the most common decorating mistakes people make (if you missed it you can read the article online here). Now that the warmer weather is here (I think!), it's time to focus on the outside of the home too.
Many people focus on their home's interior and ignore the outside - but it's the first thing people see. And unlike the interior, everyone can see it, not just the people who come inside.
The most common outdoor decorating mistake starts at one of the most important areas in terms of making your home look attractive - the front door.
Many people either ignore it or paint it a colour that does nothing for their curb appeal (or worse, works against it!). The front door is a big part of how your house looks. For such a small surface area, it has a huge effect! The wrong colour on the main door makes the colour of the house look "off". The right front door colour can pull everything together and make your home look inviting.
You want to choose a colour that stands out but that works with the rest of the home - brick, stone, trim, accents, etc. (And this colour is very rarely, if ever, white - don't be afraid of colour here!) Take into account the different colours found in the brick, whether the colours are warm/cool, dull/fresh, etc.
A small can of paint and a few hours will make a huge difference in the look of your home!
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Sad confession: I'm starting to get used to the smell of wet wallpaper. Special thanks go to the previous owners who wallpapered my dining room ceiling over the years...I guess I should be glad they stopped at 6 layers, right? DIF gel wallpaper remover to the rescue!
Over the past few years, we've used a number of wallpaper-removal methods...different chemicals, fabric softener, steam, and a variety of tools. This one is by far the best we've found. Just spray it on, scrape it off. It's a no-drip gel, so even on the ceiling it doesn't make a mess.
Wallpaper removal still won't be a fun job, but it will definitely be less hassle!
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
I'm trying to find this dress, any size, new or used...as soon as possible. If anyone has any idea where I could even begin to look, please let me know in the comments!
It's purple, by Oasis, from Sears. Manufacturer and Sears are both a dead end.
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
|My area of the booth...unfortunately I forgot to take pictures until we were already taking the booth down.|
One thing we did find kind of odd is the number of people that would walk quickly down the aisle, trying desperately not to look at anyone and ignoring every booth - most of the time with an angry "don't talk to me or look at me" expression. It takes some effort to go to the show - you have to decide to go, get ready, drive to the arena, find a parking spot, stand in line, and pay to get in...it seems funny that people would do all that (the "paying to get in to something you don't want to see" part is what I really don't get!) and then try so hard not to look at any of it.
Other than that, it was great - I can't wait until next year! We've already started talking about the 2012 booth, and have some great ideas :)
Sunday, May 1, 2011
Here are the original before shots - busy backsplash with dark grout lines, orange wood, ugly brass handles...
And the in-between fix - painted the busy backsplash to get rid of the headaches, added a valance (made with $4 placemats!).
I still didn't want to spend a lot of money, and the cabinets and counters were in good shape. We painted out the wood trim, changed the cabinet hardware (29 handles...), painted the walls and backsplash, and added some new accessories. The entire thing was done for less than $200.
Now I actually don't mind spending time in the kitchen - it feels much cleaner and more open!
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
This bedroom was a blank slate - the homeowners wanted to buy new furniture, bedding and accessories after moving into the empty room.
They found a bedding set they liked, then called me to choose accessories and accents and a paint colour to tie it all together....
The result is a restful room where the homeowners can relax after a busy day.
A soothing palette of greens and blues makes the room a peaceful place to curl up with a book or get a good night's sleep.
The homeowner also decided to replace their smaller window with a set of doors opening onto their back deck, which makes the room seem more spacious and allows them a great view of the backyard.
In other news, I now have an Etsy store - a place for my online consultations and handmade home decor items - and miscellaneous crafts made from leftover decorating materials.
Take a look and let me know what you think :)
Friday, April 8, 2011
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
I finally had enough of my kitchen last week and decided to paint the wood trim above the cabinets white (which of course led to painting the backsplash and walls!).
It's no secret how much I dislike painting (and how awful I am at it). Clients often ask me if I paint as well, and I always tell them I would have to pay them to let me paint, that's how bad I am...
I especially hate taping - it never seems to help me anyway, and I end up with rough edges and with paint everywhere. This time we used Frogtape ("the only tape treated with Paintblock", according to the package)...and I have to say, I love it (well, as much as someone can love painter's tape...). Peels off easily and leaves a nice, straight edge - it's like someone else painted :)
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
For the last of my 5 free decorating tips, you can also try shopping at my favourite decorating store –- the great outdoors. The home accessories you can find outside are pretty much endless: branches, shells, sand, wood, rocks, pinecones, nuts, acorns, leaves, and more. Grab a vase or bowl and you have a simple but attractive free display.
Any of these ideas can quickly and easily update the look of your space – at no cost!
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
If you just can't find anything you like in your home, or you've grown tired of your accessories, try a trade with friends (either permanent or temporary). Gather up all the decor items you'd like to replace, while your friends do the same. Then get together and make a trade. Items that seem tired to you are fresh and new to them, and the things they're ready to part with look completely different in your home with your other belongings.
Saturday, February 19, 2011
The next step is to go shopping –- in your own home. Go on a tour of your house, from room to room, and see what furniture and accessories can be used in other spaces. Maybe the lamp from your living room would look better in the bedroom. The picture hanging in your bathroom might work in the hall. The vase on the piano may look great on the fireplace mantel. Dig around and see what you can find to use in a different room. This one is especially easy when your home has decor that flows –- when all your rooms work together, more often than not you can use your furniture and accessories in any of the rooms.