Wednesday, April 22, 2015

We Answer Wednesday - Bedroom decor: mixing and matching items

“I just moved into a new home and will need to purchase new furniture. I wonder about piecing different things together and worry it will look too ‘eclectic’. Whats the trick to making all my selections work together?” – Cathleen in Calgary

We know how easy it is to go to IKEA and buy the entire room in one trip and just like that – a decorated bedroom! Now, of course there’s nothing wrong with that… but with a tiny bit more time spent, you can personalize your bedroom and make it unique and stylish with just a few extra steps. Don’t worry about ‘eclectic’, there are many tricks to adding pieces harmoniously in your space! Mixing and matching the right pieces and d├ęcor items will make your home feel luxurious and professionally decorated. We know that having an interior decorator isn’t a reality for everyone so here are some tips to get that designer bedroom look easy!

Try not to get the bed, night stand and dresser all in the same colour and material.
As easy as it may be, try to refrain! You’ll thank us in the end. For a simple solution, try mixing light and dark pieces. Its an easy way to get that designer look. Having a white dresser mixed with a glass end table and a dark headboard would give the room interest. Or choose whatever combination speaks to you.  The mixture light and dark pieces gives the room the balance it needs. Having all dark wood pieces makes a space feel dark and masculine, and often having all light pieces doesn’t add the personality a space needs. Incorporating a variety of textures and tones makes a space feel personalized. 

 Bedroom decorating

Colours and Patterns
Choose a common theme, even if its subtle
You don’t have to have everything in your room in the exact same shade of red, but having some commonality will pull the space together.
Perhaps adding red lamps to your night stands and then a patterned pillow with some red in it as well. This is visually pleasing and without being too matchy-matchy. We’re all about mixing colours and patterns. Some people are intimidated by the idea of this but we say bring it on! Of course, we recommend colours that are complementary to one another, nothing too crazy! There are many colour combinations that suit one another.. If you are stuck on what goes 

with what, we recommend checking out our blog on choosing ‘combinations for colourful spaces’ …

Bedroom decorating

Bring in beautiful!
Create a focal point for your space.

Decorate with things that are beautiful and make you happy. Having a focal point in a bedroom is important. Whether it’s a stunning headboard, or a beautiful art piece or bold bedding, decide what you want the show stopper to be and build around that. This is often a great starting point for your bedroom. Having that first piece that you love is a fantastic way to pull your room together.

 Guess Bedroom : A luxurious, indulgent bedding collection from Hudson Park Luxe, Athena features embroidered and quilted fretwork with a touch of luminous metallic threading in crisp white. Guess room remodel still in progress. Enhance your home decor with this elegant Celine 5-piece mirrored and upholstered tufted queen-size bedroom set. This set features mirrored panels and includes a queen-size bed, #MercerChandelier #chandelier #bedding #zgallerie #Masterbedroom #luxuryroom #bloomingdales

Add Accessories
But not too many! We don’t want to encourage clutter.

Having lamps is a must have, provided you have the space.. Either floor or table lamps add a layer of lighting, as well as being pretty!
Incorporating fun touches add personality. The options are endless, and accessories are a great place to add colour. Choosing fun throw pillows in various colours, patterns and textures make a space unique.
Mirrors are another great accessory that really add another dimension to your room. There are so many great shapes, styles and colours available for a variety of price points… you’re practically obligated to choose a fabulous mirror for your room! Area rugs are great in bedrooms as well, everyone loves cozy toes in the morning, and depending on the size of your room, the type of rug could be anything! We love the look of small shag rugs these days – they’re a super hot trend!

 Whether draped over furniture or gracing the floors, shearling’s lush pile mixed with a serene color palette may result in an almost dangerously cozy space.

Monday, April 20, 2015

House Rules: How to Hang Art Work

Sure anyone can bang a nail into a wall and hang their art but to get the perfect look in your space, these are the tips and numbers you want to remember next time you are hanging your art

What’s the best height to hang artwork?
  • Art should be hung at eye-level with the center of the picture positioned between 56 – 60″ from the floor.
  • When hanging one picture directly above another, treat the two art pieces as one large picture with the center point between them being 56 – 60″ from the floor.

Height to hang art

How many inches apart should I place pictures in a gallery wall?

  When hanging multiple pieces of art in a grouping, use a spacing of 1 – 3″ between pictures. Smaller pieces of art can be hung a little closer together (1 –  1½”) than larger pieces.

Home Office Gallery Wall

 How high should I place pictures and other art when hanging it above furniture?

 When hanging artwork above a piece of furniture, leave 5 – 9″ of space between the top of the furniture piece and the bottom of the frame. This rule of thumb can be used for hanging art over a console or chest of drawers as well as a sofa or headboard.


 How high should I hang other wall decor?

 Whether it’s a decorative plate wall or a wall display of a favorite collection, a good rule of thumb is to treat the grouping of wall decor as one item and center it at 56 – 60″ off the floor.

Our Dining Room

 Of course, the most important rule of all is to not be afraid to break the rules! These rule of thumb measurements are great to use as starting points and will help you develop your own eye for hanging artwork at a height that’s perfect in your space. But if something looks and feels right to you but doesn’t fit with these rules, by all means go with your gut and try it out!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Home For Sale? Open House Tips

If your home is up for sale on the market - this is a busy and possibly stressful time for you.
On top of your everyday responsibilities you also have to deal with the showings and open houses at your home. You have your next property in mind and you have prepped and staged this house for sale.  Getting ready for every showing is work!

You want to sell your house and you know in order to do that buyers need to see it but prepping for a viewing can be very stressful and a bit hectic - so much to do!  You want your home to look it's best -  Here is what you don't want to happen. A showing is suddenly scheduled for that evening and you realize you have zero clean towels in your house. So now, not only do you have to pick up, wipe down surfaces, etc -- you also have a load of laundry to do as well.

 Open House Checklist. Ready, Set, Go! | DIY Home Staging Tips

Have an open house box!

Sounds easy, right? It is!

Here's what you need:

- a box, like a Banker's box is a perfect size and it has a lid
- a set of clean, fresh white towels (one set for each bathroom)
- small (cutlery size) baskets (one for each bathroom)
- clean tea towels
- a mason jar for counter clutter like coins, small pieces of paper, elastics etc...
- a large envelope to store papers from the counter like school news letters, mail etc...
- Clorox wipes or Lysol wipes for quick counter top cleaning

Before you begin showing your home, take an empty box and fill it with clean bath, hand and dish towels. When you have a showing scheduled, walk around to each bathroom and the kitchen grabbing all the dirty linens, and putting out the clean linens - get the kids involved and have them grab the 'dirty' towels. Just throw the dirty towels in this box to pull back out after the showing is over. So the clean towels in the Open House Box never actually get used, only shown.

Store the box in a closet that isn't a huge feature like a guest room closet - once the show is over.  Collect all of the 'showing props' like the clean towels, tea towels etc... and put it all back in the box.

So easy!

Here are some other easy tips for managing your personal items when living in the house that you are selling

1 - Containers.  Small and big are needed to just keep things tidy.  This is especially useful in the bathroom for make -up, tooth brushes, personal care items and toilet paper.  If leaving your items out, having them in containers looks much better but if you want to tuck them away, having them in containers makes it easy!

"Step 4: Embrace simplicity." Assign a home for items where they are used. Organize and store your favorite everyday makeup on the bathroom counter.

Don’t Hide the T.P.  Two conundrums you’ve probably experienced: (1) You’re in your bathroom and you realize you are out of toilet paper. (2) You’re in someone else’s bathroom and you realize they are out of toilet paper. (Do you uncomfortably search your host’s cupboards or sheepishly go interrupt her?) Skip scenario one at least and always keep ample rolls in a nearby urn, bin, or basket.

2 - Keep the office tidy with boxes for loose papers and other documents you don't want left out in the open. Keep pens and pencils in a holder too - a messy office can send the message that there isn't room for everything and leave a bad impression

 Studying the BluesA few key pieces (desk, chair, floating shelves) can transform a quiet sleeping space into an efficient work area. If space permits, try and keep the zones distinct from one another by setting the work area away from the bed. The trick is making sure all of the decorative elements (color palette, furniture finishes) play well together.

3 - Keep the lights on!  Even on a sunny day but especially for evening showings - the light will make everything look bigger and brighter

Eight tips for Renters (or for anyone) That won't break the bank! I LOOOOVE this soooo much. it looks so classy even in this small space!

4 - Big baskets are your best solution for showing a family home.  Just toss all of the toys in some baskets,try not to have too many just a few that are big enough to fit the kids' things.

5 Ways to Create a Kid-friendly Family Room

5 -  Please take the pets out!  Not everyone loves your pets and even if they are friendly, the presence of pets can be distracting and uncomfortable.  So make arrangements for your pets - maybe during the day a neighbour could help out by taking them or maybe you can take them with you while the open house is happening.

Turquoise, gray, cream. Lovely-could dash with either silver or gold accents. This could work for a beach house too...

Saturday, April 18, 2015

What to do with that awkward space above the kitchen cabinets.....

In some kitchens you will notice that there is an awkward open space between the ceiling and the top of the kitchen cabinets. Other than building in a bulkhead to meet the top of the cabinets - what can you do?

Depending on your style or your situation this can be usable space.  It can be used for storage or decor, ideally both. 

If you are selling, we strongly suggest not displaying it as cluttered storage packed with various things like large Tupperware, platters and small appliances -as that sends out a message to buyers - this kitchen doesn't have enough storage (which is a negative)!!

If you are selling and staging, try painting that open space.  We recommend the same tone as the cabinets (or at least something light that works with the palette or the same wall colour as you have in the kitchen already)  That will keep an open feel in the kitchen- a bright or dark paint tone will draw attention to the awkward space and give an odd striped effect

Ideas if you are staging:

...The key is to choose a color that pops against the color of the cabinetry, the ceiling and the backsplash, for maximum impact.
Design by Laura Stein Interiors; Photography by Brandon Barre via Dering Hall

This kitchen shows a lighter tone that works with the colour palette

Ten Ways to Add Farmhouse Style to a Suburban Home by The Everyday Home
 This image shows a kitchen where the gap is painted in the same tone as the cabinets you can see how the awkward gap just disappears.

 Lots of houses have it — that awkward space between the top of the kitchen cabinets and the ceiling. In my house it's a favored cat hangout (no lie, my roommate's cat is quite the climber), but in most homes it just collects dust. Here are seven ideas for what to do with that awkward gap.

 Clean and uniform storage....wicker baskets are a great way to add some natural material to your space - this looks great in a rustic or country style kitchen plus these baskets hide items that maybe are not suitable for display like cooking magazines. This would work for staging as it is clean looking and practical not cluttered and junky.

Decor for your everyday living there are some easy and interesting display ideas....

Try adding some cute and fun messages like Eat, Laugh, Family.....

Looking to bring in a touch of pattern in an unexpected way? Check out The Handmade Home's tutorial on making these fabric-topped letters and create your own decor to spell out your choice of message (we prefer the cheerful "enjoy" to the timeworn "EAT"...but ultimately, whatever makes you happiest.)
Photo via The Handmade Home

Layer some decorative pieces but keep to a tight colour palette  - seen here there is a mix or shiny metallic and white - that gives a streamlined look

Displaying one tabletop collection? Fine, yes. But two, together, is twice as nice (and far more original.) This is an especially good trick for making use of a deep overhead space.
Design by Craig Schumacher; Photography by Nathan Schroder via House Beautiful

 What about wall paper? This works is you have some wall space covered in the same wall paper...

Another of our favorite twofer solutions: Wallpaper is an obvious choice for the space, but increase the oomph substantially with a similar-hued collection (and you know you can't lose with ginger jars and Ming vases.)
Design by Christina Rottman; Photography by Mikkel Vang via House Beautiful

 Take advantage of high ceilings by using the space to display bold pieces of art

Gallery walls are nice, sure, but let's go ahead and coin this the "gallery loft" and start coveting it now. If your kitchen, like this one, has such an expansive space to fill, we especially love this solution. Dealing with a shorter gap? It can still work! Just make sure to copy the best part here: The two rows in different heights.
Design by Jeffrey Grew; Photography by Pablo Enriquez via Apartment Therapy

Love that cafe look and feel? Bring it home with chalkboard paint and some fun messages, inspiring quotes, recipes and more....

The only method that easily gives you flowers one week and your calendar the next — chalkboard paint turns the awkward spot into a blank canvas in the best possible way.
Design by Shaleah Soliven via Design Mom

 Are you a collector or cookbooks? This could work for some great book storage but make sure to style the space so it doesn't look cluttered

Why should cookbooks take up precious space in your living room bookshelves when they can enjoy a designated spot in the room you actually need them. Note: This one only works if you have a step ladder so you can access them easily!
Design by Trudy Gould and Seamus McCartney; Photography by Eve Wilson via The Design Files

Get a little retro with some wire baskets that can hold practical items that will also add some pops of colour

Uniform wire baskets, that is, elegantly displayed with necessities inside. Who knew those extra coffee grounds could look stylish? 
Design by Elsie Larson; Photography by Janae Hardy via A Beautiful Mess

 Be unique - display a cool collection that symbolizes your passions - love to travel? Try this interesting yet simple display....

There's no better way to bring this much color and conversation to the kitchen with only a single, repeated, object. Long live globes — new, vintage, whatever! As long as you love 'em.
Design and photography by Ashley Ann Photography via Apartment Therapy

 But no matter what you have up there be sure to dust it regularly as it can collect a lot of dust over time.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

We Answer Wednesday - Missing Mudroom

I am a busy mom with 3 busy kids.  I love my home but it is missing a mudroom - it is a space I desperately need but moving is not an option, neither is a costly renovation.  I really need a space for their school stuff, sport equipment and items for other activities and even a spot for the dogs leash. Any suggestions on what I can do? Please help me!!

No need to stress - life with kids is very busy and do they ever come with a lot of stuff!

But you definitely have options.  It just depends on the layout of your home.

If you have a garage entry door into the home you could try using some of your garage space for a 'mud room'  without renovating.

Try this....

Right in the garage add some hooks, shelf and baskets for kids coats, mitts, hats etc....Add an affordable shoe rack for shoes (outdoor and indoor) and in the spring months add an umbrella holder.  To keep organized add a bulletin board for notices, calendars etc....Plus add a few art pieces to keep it decorative and looking like a part of the home.  Need even more storage? Try adding a slim bench like the Kallax from IKEA and add baskets to various items plus you can sit on it to put on shoes and boots and the surface space can be used to 'hold' other items like back backs and other items you need to grab and go

This is supposed to be for kids org but would like it under our windows in the bathroom

Many great tips for organizing a garage. IHeart Organizing: Getting Our Groove On in the Garage!

Additional shelving, hooks and a bench for seating makes for a simple and functional 'mudroom' in the garage and don't forget boot trays and a hook for the dog!

This is very easy and affordable - you could do this in a weekend! And if you are ever selling your home this is a great way to show life without a mudroom

Another option.....

door off of kitchen - across from bench - hooks for backpacks - calendars - kleenex box - clock - mail basket - organizer for keys

So this is an example of what you could do in the entry. Hooks for bags and coats, calendars, a clock and some shelving.  These plastic shoe mats with a slight lip are great for catching (and keeping slush and dirt).  A small chair or a slim bench could also be added to this arrangement to offer up some seating.

Another option, if you have a small entry ...try the hallway

Chores  backpacks - great idea! Also cute to pin report cards and other achievements, artwork etc. #entryway #backpackstation

These simple frames bulletin boards for each child is a way to keep papers and schedules organized plus a hook for the back packs. we would suggest additional hooks for coats.  This could be set up in a hallway near the bedrooms or a high traffic area like the kitchen

Just remember to think bout what you need and incorporate that into your 'mudroom' set up and it will be useful and because these solutions are easy and affordable, you can make adjustments as your needs change.