Wednesday, February 15, 2017

We Answer Wednesday - What is Ship lap?

"I have been hearing this term a lot lately and I don't know what it is ....what is shiplap?"

You are right!  This is a term that we have been hearing a lot these days especially if you are someone who watches a lot of Home design and Decor shows on TV or reading magazines. 

So what is it - you ask, well there is a little bit of debate on what some TV hosts are calling shiplap. 
 shiplap is essentially a style of wood paneling - no, not that 70's style that you may have lived with at some point in your life - this is different....

Shiplap Fireplace Wall with Slate Tile Surround:

Shiplap are long and smooth plain wood boards that are installed on a wall adding a slight texture, a visual interest and with the spacing between the boards you get a strip effect. We are definitely seeing this in the design shows especially the ones that have a slight country influence.

The debate in really on the install of these long and smooth wood panel boards.

In some cases we see these long wood straight panels that are nailed to the wall adding a slight bit of texture and a stripe effect in a room.  These boards are often painted in almost a chalk paint consistency.  We are seeing this a lot in homes that want a bit of a country or farmhouse look (this can also work with a home that is after a nautical feel). 

 286 Pine Needle Way, WaterColor, FL |  Borges Brooks Builders:

Now 'actual' shiplap looks very similar (which I would say is why the term is being used) but the install is different.  This shiplap is like a tongue and groove system giving the boards self-spacing - to get that striped look. the idea with this installation was to get a water tight 'seal'.

If you didn't see the install of the wood panels you likely wouldn't be able to tell the difference.

Shiplap is a great way to add some texture to a space.  It looks great painted in any tone (the paint colour choice can really help determine the style you want in the room).  You can opt for a flat finish paint in a warm white, soft grey or even a light blue for a country look but if you chose a darker paint like a charcoal or even a deep navy you could get a bit of an industrial feel.  Of course the items like accessories, textile and lighting will also help with the overall look.

 Adding shiplap and painting navy would make a beautiful powder room and make a…:

Shiplap can also be used as a great feature wall in a family room or even a bedroom.  It's a wonderful way to make an impact without over whelming the entire room.  For those of you that feel reclaimed wood walls are just a bit too much this is a good alternative. 

If you are looking for some subtle texture and visual interest, consider shiplap.


Wednesday, February 1, 2017

We Answer Wednesday - Front Door and Garage Door paint

"I'm going to paint my front door a new colour something with some pop but do I need to paint my garage door in the same colour, so they match?"

Great question and a bit of a tricky one....it really comes down to how bold you want to be with your exterior's statement, the architectural style of the home, the colour you choose, the exterior materials and overall personal preference.

For instance, if you are choosing a classic paint colour like black - this looks great on the front door and garage door - it's a more traditional style but a classic never goes out of fashion. This also works with a a minimalist or modern home- clean lines and simplicity are key and generally that style isn't about being overly colourful.

Gray/Black and stone. Contemporary with such traditional flare.:
Photo from Bright Green Door

If you want to be a bit more adventurous with your front door colour, we suggest keeping the garage door more tame.  The garage door colour should match another colour on the home's exterior.  A good idea is to have it match the framing around the door and windows. If the house has shutters, we like the shutters to match either the garage or the front door - this gives consistency to the exterior. Too many colours on a home's exterior is distracting and it is confusing for the eye!


Not a fan of visible garages on facades, but the rest of the house is pretty!:
 Photo from Home Bunch

 For homes that have a lot of texture like stone, brick, shingles, beams etc...we like to see a wood front door and garage door - the allows the materials to shine. In this case. a home exterior with a lot of natural materials we suggest making a statement with a beautiful wood door (the garage doors can also be wood or they can coordinate with another colour on the exterior). When it comes to picking your front door colour - be sure to pick a colour that is flattering with your exterior materials. 

Exterior, Stunning Wade Hampton Golf Club Exterior Classic Architecture ~ Unique Rustic Home Exterior Design:
Photo from best-home-decorpictures.us

You don't need to match your door colours but you want to take into consideration a few factors (mentioned above) and also the statement you want to make.  If you want a really bright and bold colourful door - let that be the focal point and let the other elements including the garage door play a complimentary role.

Exterior Doors | we have this one!  and many others that would look great in this color... | Bayer Built Woodworks, Inc.
 Photo from Design Once

With a garage door in a complimentary tone this really allows for your front door to be the WOW factor!

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The Best of IDS 2017


One of my favourite weekends of the year is the weekend of the Interior Design Show in Toronto. This year, after a quick last minute decision to go, I was on my way Friday morning to IDS Trade Day.
Compared to last year – I thought the show was fantastic. That’s not to knock last year, but this year was beautiful. So much colour and pattern and new textures… I couldn’t wait to take it all in!
 


I noticed some new trends for 2017 that I instantly fell in love with and of course, snapped tons of pictures of!
Colour was everywhere! Faucets, rugs, light fixtures, pillows – you name it! It was everywhere! I loved it. There were so many companies that bright colours were prominent, Weavers Art Rugs, Grohe Faucets, Urban Barn's Spring Collection (coloured chandeliers – amazing!)




Flooring is getting lighter again. The past few years we’ve been seen a lot of darker flooring, whether it be black, darker greys or a classic dark brown. This year – light was everywhere! Light flooring with wider planks, in a herringbone pattern, with a grey wash. I LOVED IT. I love the lighter floors, its such a fresh contemporary look that goes well with so many different colour palettes.

Lighting is always such a hit with me. I love the beautiful, interesting fixtures with all the interesting shapes, colours, textures and everything in between! This year, a new lighting retailer was there from Minnesota and I just couldn’t stop staring! They carried such amazing products, I immediately added to my ‘must have’ list.  



Cambria is always one of my favourite booths to visit. For the past few years they have brought in slabs of their newest product before its even available to the public. This year – the new products didn’t even have names yet (so fresh and exciting!!!) Last years ‘feature’ was back again, and I loved it just as much as I did last year. Cambria had built there booth desk out of it and it was like looking at art. I cant imagine if that was in my kitchen – I’d never want to use it, it would only be for show!! 




Here are some more photos of some of my favourite products…








Wednesday, January 25, 2017

We Answer Wednesday - 10 Classic Colour Combinations

"We are looking to update our space.  It's very neutral and we want to add some colour.  We have a medium sized budget and are willing to spend on some quality pieces but we want to make sure we have colours that aren't too trendy.  What would you suggest?"

When it comes to updating your space, accessories is an easy and affordable solution.  A new pop of colour can really transform the look and feel of a space. When it comes to updating your space - don't worry too much about trends, if you love something (a colour, texture, print etc...) than bring it into the room.  The great thing about having a neutral palette to start with is that it will work with anything! Colour can really set the tone and the mood of a space - so take a look at colour and think about how it makes you feel as it will bring that feeling into that room.

We definitely have some classic colour combinations that will never go out of style. Take a look at these combinations and see how they make you feel.

1. BLACK AND WHITE - of course this is top on our list, it is a classic like no other! black and white can be too much contrast for some but you can add to it to soften up the look - in this image we love the addition of the natural elements and textures.  But this combo is so incredibly versatile, it really depends on the pieces you choose.  This can be super glam, it can be country and everything in between! This is really about the pieces you choose.

Collection of pillows on same theme:
Photo from Homedit.com


2. TURQUOISE, COBALT AND SKY BLUE - These colours work with all neutrals and any style.  Just because we are working with blues doesn't mean you have to have a coastal look.  We love these fresh blues paired with a glass table with clean modern lines. We also love mixing the various tones of one colour.

divalocity:    D├ęcor Chic: LOVE the modern lucite table with traditional chair:
Photo from 57sparklegirl.tumblr.com



3. BEIGE, BLUE, GREEN AND GREY - mixing soft neutrals and then adding some pop of colour is a great way to liven up a room! Forget the old rule of not mixing green and blue unless it's in the washing machine - these hues look great together! We also love to see these colours in prints - it really gives the room a designer feel.

Eye For Design: Decorating With The Blue/Green Color Combination:
Photo from Eye for Design



4. CHARCOAL, CREAM AND BEIGE - you cannot go wrong with neutrals! Some think that beige and grey cannot be mixed together but they absolutely can! This room is full of neutrals but mainly a deep charcoal, white and beige.  To keep it from being boring this room has some great texture (see the decorative twigs, the sisal area rug, marble fireplace surround, mirrors and the matching rattan ottomans). The pattern pillows also add some great visual interest to keep the space from looking boring.

 :
Photo from renoguide.com.au


5. WHITE, BROWN AND GREEN - Green is a very fresh colour and adds instant life to any room. Paired with white and brown it adds a nice pop to a simple palette.  We love how it is versatile with styles. In this image we see a modern eclectic spin but this would work so well with a country decor style.

palm print curtains in a white room with stripy black and white (ikea stockholm) rug:
Photo from Remodelista

6. GREY, BLUE AND WHITE - Colour is great in the kitchen too! Such a fresh and clean combination! Look at this fabulous kitchen with the grey/blue island and soft white/grey cabinets, white stools, white walls and those blue and white pattern stools make this whole kitchen space and eating area look welcoming and chic.  This is a great colour palette for any room and we love how the wood adds warmth and character, too!


UPDATING THE KITCHEN – CITRINELIVING:
Photo from Citrine Living by Tamara Anka

7. WHITE, ORANGE AND  NAVY - this is a fresh combination and it really works with any style.  If you like a nautical vibe try adding some natural elements like sea grass or sisal on the floor, some wicker pieces too.  We alos love this colour combo in a boys' bedroom. But this also works with a classic contemporary look like this image.  This is a very clean look.

Navy upholstered headboard:
Photo from Pottery Barn


8. WARM GREY, WARM WHITE AND BURNT ORANGE - we love this gender neutral palette and it is perfect for every room including nurseries! We have been seeing a lot of orange in home decor but we love it in nurseries.  We are seeing more and more gender neutral rooms for babies, so that mom, dad and baby (and future babies) all feel great in the space.  The burnt orange is a bit softer than a true and pure orange. The warm white and warm grey are still very popular neutrals as well.

baby nursery- I like the barn wood wall- thinking maybe in our new kitchen when we remodel and in the stairwell going to the basement?:
Photo from Apartment therapy

9. SILVER AND AQUA - you may think that aqua is on the trendy side and yes there have been years where we have seen a lot of this hue but it never seems to disappear completely, which is why we are including it in our classic combinations.  Blend this soft aqua tone with silvers and grey, this is so soothing and stylish.  This is perfect for a bedroom, we love it in a guest bedroom but it is wonderful in main living spaces too.

So many greats in this room:  chandelier, graphic drapery fabric; dining chairs, color, wallcoverings:
Photo from COCOCOZY

10. GRASS GREEN AND YELLOW - this is a fresh colour combination that also has a lot of warmth.  If you are a nature lover, this is a great palette for you as it really combines those lovely spring tones.  If you feel this looks a bit country but you like the colours....think about opting for some gold and glass accents like lamps, coffee and end tables.  Add some more classic pattern as well.  These colours work with any style.

yellow, green and white with a touch of blue .... I love this room, it makes me feel sunny!:
Photo from Brabourne Farm

When it comes to adding colour to your space, you can add a much or as little as you like.  We suggest starting off slow - especially if you are trying a new colour and you aren't a risk taker.  Take a look at these classic combinations and pick the one that really 'speaks' to you and go for it - it only colour!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

We Answer Wednesday - How to Improve the lighting look in your room (any room)

"I have overhead lighting in my living room but it still looks and feels dark most of the time.  How can I improve the lighting in my living room?"

This is a great question and actually a very common concern. More often than not, homes are not designed and built with a lighting plan in mind.  Some builders are now offering that opportunity to buyers who have purchased from plans, to meet with an in-house design/decor consultant and review the lighting plans and they can make adjustments and some additions (at an extra cost).  But what about someone who has purchased an existing home? What can you do?

You still have options.  You could meet an electrician and see where you could add some extra ambient lighting sources such as pot lights.  But that can be costly.

What you want to do and can do quite easily is layer your lighting. Think of your lighting plan a having 3 layers.  Each layer plays a role in the whole plan. Layering your lighting means to have different sources of lighting in one room.  Each source has a different function but they each contribute to the look and feel of the room. This way you can change up the lighting scheme throughout the day and to set the mood you like.  This is also a great idea for a room that serves multiple purposes (which is the case for most of us).

 Light blue & white home decor with different patterns and textures create a calm and serene mood in this stunning living room.:
Photo from tumblr.com
This space uses different types of lighting - the ambient light from the ceiling fixtures and task lighting from the kitchen island pendants and the table lamps.  Look closely there are some candles on the coffee table too.

So what are the 3 types of lighting that should be in a room?

LAYER 1- Ambient lighting: this is the room's overall light wash, this could be natural light streaming in from a window or it could be from overhead lighting.  This is your basic layer of lighting.  This type of light illuminates open areas, walls and main furniture pieces. For overhead ambient light, a dimmer switch is a great idea as it offers you options throughout the day to change it up with your mood. Examples of Ambient lighting include: overhead fixtures, pot lights, natural light beaming in from a window, and torchiere.

LAYER 2- Task lighting: this type of lighting is designed to help you perform activities at close range.  This type of lighting is more area specific.  For example, wall sconces or a swing arm floor lamp behind a chair is great for reading or a hanging pendant over a kitchen island are some examples of task lighting.  Task lighting is another layer in your lighting plan. Examples of task lighting include: table lamps, floor lamps, wall sconces, and swing arm lamps.

Swing arm sconces instead of bedside lamps - save room on the nightstand eclecticallyvintage.com:
Photo from eclecticallyvintage.com


LAYER 3- Accent lighting: this style of lighting adds a touch of drama to your space. This really allows you to change up the mood in your room quite easily.  Accent lights really let you direct the eye to objects you want to draw attention to, for instance picture lights or candles.  This type of lighting adds warmth (as well as drama) to a space. Examples of accent lighting include: picture lighting, library lights, spot lights, track lights, mini chandeliers and candle light.

Master bedroom: I like the large mirrrors on one wall. Great idea!:
Photo from Mattamy Homes
Another great example of layering your lighting.  We see here the overhead lighting from the ceiling fan (double duty piece) and the pot lights.  The table and floor lamps add some great task lighting, perfect for reading.  And the wall mounted candle sconces add some accent lighting when needed.

Playing with the 3 layers of lighting helps create the mood in the room.  So for a gathering of friends and family, to create a cozy mood use layers 1 (on a dimmer) and 2.  For a more romantic mood, try blending various types of layer 3 (only spotlights mixed in with some candle light is very seductive).

When you are making your lighting plan you can mix up the styles of lighting from one category.  So a room could have a large picture window letting in lots of natural light (depending on time of day) with a beautiful overhead fixture and a few pot lights in the bookcases with a matching pair of table lamps flanking the sofa and a floor lamp or wall sconce behind a reading chair.  Add in some candle light or even twinkle lights by the fireplace and you have a room with a layer lighting plan that allows you to set any mood you like.  Plus this way you have light throughout the entire room, so it will never feel dark.

Transitional Living Room with High ceiling, metal fireplace, Carpet, Pendant light, Exposed beam, Hardwood floors:
Photo from Zillow

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

We Answer Wednesday - 6 Best Trim Paint Colours

"My house needs a fresh paint job.  I feel good about picking a wall colour but do you have any suggestions for the perfect white trim paint colour?"

You are so right, picking the right white can be tricky.  The look of a fresh coat of paint is spectacular and painting that trim really completes the feel. But like every other colour - there are many qhites to choose from.  Not knowing which paint colour you will choose, your safest best is you use a pure and true white tone, you can't go wrong with that. We have a few favourites to share with you.

1. Simply White by Benjamin Moore - this was BM colour of the year for 2016. 

Simply White by Benjamin Moore.  Crisp, clean, but not too stark a white.  No surprise undertones.:

2. Cloud White by Benjamin Moore - this is a designer (and painter) go-to.

Benjamin Moore paint by Candice Olson CLOUD WHITE OC-130.  This is my go-to neutral wall color. #paint #cream:

3. Decorator's White by Benjamin Moore -just like the name, it is a decorator's (and painter's) favourite.  It's clean and crisp.
Best White Paint Who: Jeff Andrews What: Decorator’s White, CC-20, Benjamin Moore Why: “I love this white for ceilings and woodwork, or in any room where I want a bright, clean white. It works well in all applications and with every kind of light source. Some whites can be cold and slightly blue, while others can have a creamy, yellow tone, but Decorator’s White is a true white that is both warm and modern. It’s been my go-to paint for years.”:


4. Ultra Pure White by BEHR - so clean and so crisp -this is one of the purest whites you will see.

Behr Ultra Pure White:

5. Extra White by Sherwin-Williams - a great white trim choice, bright white!

sherwin williams extra white - trim & ceiling paint color:

6. All White by Farrow & Ball - a perfect white

Farrow & Ball Modern No.2005 All White - Emulsion Paint - 2.5L


 Other trim painting tips:

Caulking - be sure that before you start painting that trim to caulk any gaps

Order - paint the trim first and then the walls

Finish - be sure to use a semi-gloss  when it comes to choosing a finish for your trim. A semi-gloss adds even more brightness but also when it comes to cleaning, the dust doesn't stick!


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

We Answer Wednesday - Lightening up a dark wood kitchen

"We renovated our kitchen about 10 years ago.  We chose a dark espresso stain cabinet.  Even though we have decent natural light, we feel the kitchen looks a bit on the dark side.  How can we lighten up the kitchen without replacing the cabinetry doors?"

The lighter and brighter kitchens are definitely trending right now but the espresso look is still a choice that people are drawn too, not everyone likes the airy feel of a white kitchen.  But if you want to lighten up your darker kitchen there are some easy and simple changes you can make (or hire someone to install for you) that won't break the bank!

Try adding a backplash tile that is light in colour and even explore the idea of a glossy finish (this will allow light to bounce off of the tile and into the room).  even a glass tile can do wonders - it's like adding jewelry to an outfit....Another tip, try installing (or have a professional) install some under valance lighting - this will add more light to your kitchen.


Chic butler's pantry design with espresso stained kitchen cabinets, white & gray glass tiles backsplash, hammered sink, polished nickel faucet and marble counter tops.:
Photo from DecorPad

 Try replacing your counter top with a stone counter top in a light tone.  This is also a popular trend for 2017.  With a lighter counter top the whole kitchen will look lighter, think of all of the surface space in a fresh and lighter tone....

Amazing contemporary kitchen design with espresso stained kitchen cabinets & kitchen island, white stone counter tops, gray glass tiles backsplash and brushed nickel faucet.:
 Photo from DecorPad

 Try brightening up your kitchen with some lighter paint - you will be amazed at the low cost and the big difference it can make.

Pictures of Beautiful Kitchen Designs & Layouts From HGTV : Page 10 : Rooms : Home & Garden Television:
Photo from HGTV

 Consider a partial kitchen update...yes this is more expensive but it might be worth it if you feel your kitchen is just too dark.  this might also be a good idea down the line if you are looking to make updates for resale...replace or paint your upper cabinets in a lighter paint.  some call this a two tone kitchen other call this a Tuxedo kitchen and we will be seeing more of this look in the coming years.  this can really open up and brighten up the look in your kitchen.

 Two Tone Tuxedo Kitchen:
 Photo from Bright Green Door

Other tricks....
- take a look at the wattage of your light bulbs and go brighter!
- burnt out light bulb? be sure to replace them!
- do you have pendant lighting? Maybe swap out our pendants for something with a glass or chrome finish to allow more light in the room
- if you have dark stools, swap them out for a lighter colour or even a chrome
- opt for appliances with a reflective surface
- can you add more pot lighting to your kitchen?
- lighten up that floor, whether it is wood or tile a lighter tone will make a big difference