Kiki Interiors - Decor and Staging

Monday, July 20, 2009

The staged home - benefits for the buyer

In today's world, everyone is getting what they want when they want it. Things move quickly and it's important to keep up. The real estate world isn't any different! Today's buyer wants to view the house Monday, inspect it Tuesday, do the paperwork Wednesday, close on Thursday and move in on Friday! The benefits of a staged home for the seller are quite obvious but what are the benefits for the buyer?

1 -- The buyer can easily see what they are buying rather than looking past clutter and other issues with the home.

2 -- Buyers can easily fall in love with a house that they see because it has everything they need.

3 -- A professionally staged home gives the buyer excellent ideas on how to place their furniture and use certain areas of the home to maximize space and use.

4 -- Buyers have absolute peace of mind that all of the repairs have been attended to.

5 -- Buyers do not have to spend additional money on repairs and updates, because those have already been taken care of.

6 -- Buyers can move in and settle back into their routine more easily because they do not have to deal with the annoying challenges that moving typically requires, such as cleaning, repairing, painting, and updating.

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Monday, July 13, 2009

Favourite things - Anywhere Recycled Beanbags

One of my favourite stores and the one store I have to visit when in Toronto is POTTERY BARN! I love the colours, fabrics, timeless furniture and the overall style!

They are also carrying a product right now that is just perfect for anyone with children. It's the "Anywhere recycled beanbag"! They are beanbags covered in colourful cotton-canvas slipcovers that are machine washable, oh and the insert is 100% eco-friendly. They come is two sizes - 31" or 41" (diam.). You can choose your colour - solids: denim, green, red, hot pink or light pink or dots: light pink, green, or lavender. Another service from Pottery Barn is embroidery, you can have your child's name embroidered on or have inspirational words instead.

You can also get these beanbags in fabric that is suited for the outdoors - these are great to have near the sandbox or in the yard.
The prices range from $109 - $169. They are very durable and they will last longer than you'll probably need them.

These are so great you'll want to get more than one and your child will love them!

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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Coffee table - not just for coffee anymore

The Coffee table has really come a LONG way! There are so many options to suit price points, lifestyle and your personal style. There is no right or wrong when it comes to choosing a coffee table but be sure to take a look at all of the selection out there, you'll be very surprised!

Here are some options out there:

Glass - the glass coffee table is great for small spaces, as it becomes invisible yet still useful. Glass coffee tables do not have to have sharp edges either, check out Structube ( their "visio" tables (coffee, end and nesting tables) are gorgeous, reasonably priced and have a sleek smooth line.

Upholstered - the ottoman/coffee table works with most styles and it is great for families but can also work in an urban loft. This option has so many choices because you are dealing with fabrics, but personally I feel leather is best. Leather is super easy to clean and always looks great! Another great feature about ottoman/coffee tables is that they are multi purpose - extra seating when hosting a party or additional storage if you purchased one that opens.
EQ3 is a great store for ottoman/coffee tables ( In my home, we have the Morten ottoman in a Merlot coloured leather and it looks great and is so practical but EQ3 has a wide range of sizes and style for your ottomans and not to mention a wide variety o fabric choices too.

Wood - This tends to be a more traditional route, however, you can still find some wood options that have a modern vibe. This options tends to work a bit better in a more formal living space (one where people do not have a tendency to put their feet on your furniture). Depending on the colour of stain you choose can also change the look of your room - dark mahogany is dramatic and formal, dark espresso more modern and light honey or natural is more casual. This option can also have a lot of practical features such as storage shelves for books or magazines which keeps the main surface clear and ready for display or drinks!

The coffee table is often placed in the centre of your living space so feel free to use it for some small displays. Just don't clutter it with all of your stuff - especially if company is coming over. A bowl or fruit, photography books or even a sculpture add a feel of who you are to the space.

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Sunday, July 5, 2009

Colour blind

Do these colours work together?

Does this match or coordinate?

Do you find yourself asking yourself these questions? Or, questions similar to these? Whether it is your wardrobe, your furniture or your home's exterior many people find creating a colour concept very challenging.

A fool-proof tool for facing this challenge is the colour wheel.

The colour wheel is used in all art fields including interior design.

On the basic colour wheel there are two families of colours - the primary colours (red, yellow and blue) and the secondary colours (orange, green and violet). If you want to coordinate your colours to have a punch in your room like a pro, use this tip - the colours that are opposite to one another on the colour wheel are called complementary colours and they always work well together.

Take a look at the image of the colour wheel above, the complementary colours are yellow and violet, orange and blue, red and green. You'll see these colours in a lot of team uniforms, look at the LA Lakers and the Edmonton Oilers for example.

When choosing your colour concept you do not have to be so literal and follow the colour wheel to the tee. Any variation of the complementary colours will also work, for example - a navy sofa with terra cotta pillows looks really rich, a red brick house with an olive green door - these are some ways to add a splash of colour to your surroundings and pull it off like a pro.

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Saturday, July 4, 2009

Design shouldn't just look good....

Ultimately the the main goal of design is the esthetics - it should look good, but it is also very important to think about the practicality. Yes, being practical is not exactly glamorous or sexy but taking your lifestyle into account will save you some time, energy and hassle.

I remember when my husband and I moved into our first home, a designer friend of mine (yes, I do ask for second opinions) did a walk through and made some suggestions. One of her suggestions sounded like a great idea, at the time - she wanted us to remove the door from our front foyer closet and have a dramatic curtain installed instead, "this would add a real rich feel at the front door" she said - it was a unique idea but when I sat down and thought about it...custom curtains are expensive, at the front door it would get awfully dirty from salt, snow, mud etc...from front door traffic, my dogs would have a field day running their hairy bodies up against it and it would have to be out for dry cleaning constantly to maintain that beautiful look (which is both time consuming and expensive). I suppose we could put police tape around it to protect it from all of the above ....but that's not practical! In the end, we opted for the traditional door for the front foyer closet.
What I am trying to say from my personal experience is that design needs to look great and fit into your lifestyle. And, it is absolutely possible to have both style and smarts!

Right now, white furniture is really en vogue. Personally, I would love to have a living room with dark hardwood floors, a white shag area rug and a white sectional couch - but when I think about my life right now (2 dogs, a baby, a husband, nieces and nephews, and a revolving door of family and friends). A white couch would just be a target waiting to be hit, with wine, juice, spit up - you name it! So we came up with an alternative, a compromise if you will - we went with the dark hardwood, we still have a sectional couch and a shag area rug but in a mid colour tone (a cappuccino colour instead), our decor pillows are not custom made but are slip covered in a washable fabric (with spares, if I am not totally up to speed on my laundry duty). The look is still there, it is still a fantastic entertaining space for everyone to share and it is low maintenance.
Still longing for that white couch? Think about the fabric - leather is a great option for people who need to wipe up messes (from kids, pets and even husbands). Hardwood is easy to clean and practical for anyone with allergies. For decor pillows and throws look into washable fabrics.

Some great ideas for when you purchase furniture - look for easy clean fabrics like micro suede or leather, look for items that have storage (ottomans, side tables, dining tables, even sofas), take safety into account (mainly if you have children) look for pieces that do not have sharp edges, a large upholstered ottoman is a great alternative to a coffee table, colour (light and dark hues often show stains and pet hair, mid tones or small patterns are the best camouflage) and look for items that are durable.

When you do meet with a designer or a salesperson be sure to let them know about your lifestyle - it is really important - otherwise you could end up making a costly mistake!

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