Kiki Interiors - Decor and Staging

Friday, April 30, 2010

Damaged goods??

If you are looking for a unique piece or maybe just a little something to liven up a room, try the clearance aisle.

I know it's a lot of junk, right? Wrong. Often the clearance aisle (in many cases) consists of items that were once floor models, items from 'last season' and pieces that have been on the show room floor for too long. Yes, there will be some damaged goods but take a close look before you buy you can find some really great deals.

Just last week at Home Sense, I purchased a beautiful, crochet-knit blanket in a sage green for $3.00. This week, I purchased some Italian glass vases for under $20.00

You can find art pieces and even furniture at IKEA. Their floor models always end up in the "as-is" section. A few weeks ago, they had a great chrome and glass kitchen table set with 4 chairs for under $100 and in great condition.

Clearance, sale or as-is shopping can be like a fun treasure hunt, you just don't know what you'll find. It is also great for anyone on a tight budget or shopping for your first home.

Labels: , , , , ,

Monday, April 26, 2010

Brighten up your bathroom without blowing the bank

We have all heard how kitchens and bathrooms are the hot spots in your home. These are the rooms that can get you top dollar when it is time to sell. But looking around at bathroom specialty showrooms can be overwhelming, so many choices and the price to do to a bathroom reno can spin out of control. So is there a way to brighten up the bathroom and not blow your budget? Of course. check out these ideas:

a -- Change up your hardware. A simple and easy makeover but wow it can really transform a room.

b -- Paint. Depending on what look you want to achieve will depend on your colour choice. If you LOVE colour, I recommend drama in a powder room but softer in an ensuite or main bath.

c -- New mirror. Adding a 'custom' mirror looks expensive and sends the message ' this home was loved and cared for' to potential purchasers. Look for a mirror with a unique frame, again, a special touch that you might not see in other homes.

d -- New towels etc.... Get some fresh guest towels, new soap dispensers, a small plant (real or fake) and perhaps, a piece of art. This can really spruce up a boring bathroom and won't cost much at all. I like classic white towels, very chic and timeless. A black and white photo is also a timeless piece that works with all colour palettes. This is a great idea to follow if you are looking to sell.

e -- New shower curtain. Get rid of the old and in the with new and don't forget to replace the plastic liner, too. A mouldy shower liner and/or curtain is just gross. A new curtain adds some freshness to the room.

f -- Change out your faucets, shower head, towel bar and toilet paper bar. Adding these shiny, new pieces can really change up your room and make it sparkle! Most hardware stores offer a package so all the items match. A mis-match of hardware in the bathroom looks like you went and bought everything at a discount, take the time to find items in the same finish and look.

Serious about selling?

Be sure to put extra time into minor repairs. Fix the leaky faucet, cracked tiles, touch up paint and remove the mould and mildew. These small details are not insignificant and do matter. Putting time and effort into making your home 'picture perfect' will not go unseen and the offers you receive on your home will reflect that.

Labels: , , , , ,

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Pain-free Painting

Paint, yes the colourful stuff we put on our walls, has changed drastically. The formulas always consisted of pigment (colour), binder (allowing the film to stick to the surface) and solvent (which ensures that it dries properly, flows and spreads). But now we have formulas that include a variety of additives such as antibacterial biocides to texturizers. So how should you choose? Is cheap paint the best way to go? A fresh coat of paint can do wonders for you and your home - liven up a room, get the most return when it comes time to sell and hide imperfections on your walls but cheap paint will result in poor results, they are not as washable, may require more coats and the consistency may be too thick or watery causing mess and spillage.

How to pick your shade

Decorating your home is a personally choice and so is your paint colour selection but when staging your home in preparation for sale - lighter hues are best as they make rooms feel, larger, brighter and cleaner. Lighter colours are also more neutral and will not reflect the homeowners personal style and therefore making it difficult for the buyer to see themselves living in the home.

But here are a few tips for selecting your shade:

1 -- Don not make your final selection in the store. Take the paint chip home and test it our in the room, see how the colour looks day and dusk. Sometimes day light can make colours looks too yellow or even pink.

2 -- Once you have narrowed down your choices, take home some test post (small samples of the colour) and paint some splotches on the wall, again to test out the colour at all times of day. Be sure to have done at least two coats to you give yourself the truest idea of how the colour will look.

3--Remember a bold colour can be very intense before the furniture, artwork and other accessories are in the room. Once the room is totally set up you'll see what an impact the walls will have. An empty room with a dramatic colour is not how one would live. Give the colour sometime to sink in (not into the walls but into your mind), change can be tough at first.

4 -- Colour is a very personal thing but I like to ask my clients about the mood they want to have in each room. If you want a calm and soothing master bedroom, I would recommend not painting it red or bright orange stick with lighter tones to reflect the mood you want to achieve.

Some tips for dealing with a painting pro:

1 -- Use the same guidelines as you would with any other professional doing work on your home. Get a quote in writing, get references, time lines etc...

2-- The price should include prep work too, such as priming, painting, cleaning, touch up work, patching and repair work, so be sure to ask what is included in the price quote.

3 -- Ask your painter to purchase the paint, he/she knows how much and what is needed for the job so they can ensure that it is done right. they are different types of paint needed for various projects.

4 -- Ask friends, family and neighbours if they can recommend anyone.

Hot trend in Hues

the hottest trend right now is green not the colour but green-friendly products and paint is not exception. They are several options in the eco-friendly paint aisle.

Natural paint

low odour formulas made of natural ingredients such as beeswax, plant based essential oils, water, clay, milk proteins and mineral dyes. These formulas are safe for the environment as well as kids and pets also with a low incidence of allergic reactions and sensitivities.

Zero VOS's (Volatile Organic Compounds)

are becoming more common. But they still contain up to 5 grams of VOC's per litre (still within government approved levels). They might also contain colourant biocides (to inhibit mould growth) and fungicides.


Paints, stains and varnishes that do not contain more than 50 grams of VOC's per litre.

Recycled paints

Still contains VOC's but because it is made of left over paint it is considered environmentally friendly since these cans would have been otherwise tossed into landfills.

Labels: , ,

Saturday, April 10, 2010

staging presentation in Ottawa next weekend

The Spring Originals show in Ottawa!

Come and see Marnie Bennett and Kristi Blok at the show on Saturday, April 17 at 3pm and Sunday, April 18 at 1pm for "Staging your home".

We will discuss the up coming trends in decor, benefits of staging your home, and there will also be a live staging presentation. Go to for more information on the show.

Labels: ,

Friday, April 9, 2010

Compact condo living

In order to make the most of your home you need to identify the activities that take place within it. Only then you can accommodate them in the most efficient and stylish way. By altering the function of each room or its storage arrangements, you can make a room appear larger and by integrating colour, light and texture you can make any space feel stylish and practical.

Clearing out the clutter is essential in smaller spaces as it can really alter the mood of the room. Try and find a place for everything. Hooks for hats and jackets, small baskets for keys and magazines and don't be afraid to use the vertical advantage for storage of items you may not need regular access to.

Look for furniture that will give you more room. Meaning ottomans doubling as seating and a coffe table. Slipper chairs and ghost chairs can be stylish, comfortable and create extra space in your living quarters. Make sure to have good flow and try not to block windows, the views will make a room feel more spacious.

When choosing colour opt for something lighter. Lighter colours make rooms feel brighter, fresher and larger if you really want to make a space feel big, go monochromatic (tone on tone) this is not only stylish but an easy way to decorate and it never goes out of style.

Let in the light. A well lit room, any size room, will always feel larger when there is light. Get rid of heavy drapes and let light in - natural or artificial. Heavy drapes might also make a room feel closed in opt for roman shades or blinds.

When it comes to your furniture, a few larger pieces is better than several smaller pieces. Many small pieces can make a room feel cramped. Larger, well placed pieces can make a room feel comfortable and easy.

Keep calm with the patterns. If you want pattern, either keep it minimal in the room or make sure to decorate with a tone-on-tone pattern. Busy fabrics in a small space can be very overwhelming.

Reflective surfaces allow light to bounce around a room making it feel spacious. Mirrors can also make a room feel twice as large if it used properly.

Get creative. Small spaces are beautiful and unique. Don't get frustrated get funky! Use those fun little nooks for unusual but practical storage. Look into multifunctional furniture and creative storage solutions. A smaller space has the opportunity to truly be your space so make the most of it!

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Incredible countertops!!

When it comes to countertops our selections used to be very limited, now we have plenty of choices. Here's how to choose the right style for your home.

When a buyer first sees a home, the kitchen is usually the first room they wish to overhaul. Whether you are an amateur chef or someone who prefers take-out, the kitchen is usually the most lived-in room in the home. It's no surprise that countertop options have evolved in recent years. Besides new appliances, countertops can be one of the greatest investments and one of the most dramatic changes you make in your kitchen. Speaking from experience, our most recent reno project was replacing our kitchen countertop. The results were astounding! Everything else stayed the same but the new countertop changed the look of our kitchen entirely. Choosing a countertop can be overwhelming, it is no longer a choice between laminate or granite. The factors to consider are durability, hygiene, style, cost, adaptability and maintenance.

How to start? Think ahead of the countertop qualities that are most important to you, how your kitchen will be used and how much you want to spend. An aspiring chef will seek durability, spill and heat resisitant surfaces, whereas a busy mother of three may be most concerned with hygiene and a single, condo owner might just seek a material that is stunning and achieves the 'wow' factor in the kitchen.
What are you looking for? Here is a list of counter choices with a brief descriptor including price per square foot, hygiene, maintenance and durability.

Wood (maple)$100-$150
Food safe but can absorb odours
Treat regularly with mineral oil and keep dry
Will look worn over time be careful with knives

Stainless steel$40-$80+
Extremely hygienic, seen in hospitals for this very reason
Clean with a mild detergent and dry thoroughly
Will show scratches but is heat-resistant

Use food-safe water based sealant to protect
Use mild soap for daily cleaning
Can be dented or gouged

Non-porous and extremely hygienic
Easy to clean but may show streaks
May be heat-resistant and may crack

Hygienic when sealed properly
Mildly reactive and a matte finish helps hide stains
Stains, scratches and may crack

Stain and mould resistant with sealant
Use gentle granite cleaner and seal regularly
Extremely durable and heat-resistant

Non-porous and food-safe
Can be wiped clean
Shouldn’t scratch or chip and it heat-resistant

With proper cleaning will resist bacteria
Clean with soapy water, rinse and dry
Use cutting board to protect

Hygienic if cleaned properly
Clean with mild soap
Protect surface and difficult to repair

So what about bathrooms? A bathroom can accommodate nearly any countertop materials you'd find in a kitchen, but beware of durability issues. Products such as nail-polish remover can damage many countertop materials also beware of access moisture caused by improper ventilation. The most popular bathroom countertop materials are: quartz, glass, granite and laminate.

Manifacturing and installation times vary, but typically the process from measurement and planning to installation takes one to six weeks, depending on the availability of material and manifacturer.

Labels: , , , ,

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Top 8 home staging mistakes

Love your home but it's time to move on. Listen to these 8 mistakes home owners make before putting their homes on the market. A staged home spends less time on the market so take this advice and although some tips may seem expensive or time consuming, it won't be too long and it will be worth your while.

1 --Just because you love it does not mean that everyone else will too. Ensure your property appeals to a broad market of buyers. In other words, keep it neutral, a bright colour reflects your personality and style which can be too much for buyers to get past.

2 --Edit your storage places too. Buyers will poke around, opening kitchen and bathroom cabinets and closets spaces too. Be sure to spend some time organizing those area too. A cramped spaces sends the message to buyers that there is a lack of storage.

3 --Be sure that items such as furniture, plants and other decor pieces are in proportion with the room. You are selling the house (the space) not the items in it. even if the rooms look somewhat empty, that is way better than over stuffed rooms. Story your larger pieces in a temporary storage locker or ask friends and family if they ave some storage space you could borrow.

4 -- Clean, clean, clean. I know this means something different to everyone so keep your self and your home on a regular cleaning schedule - if you have to contact a professional to help you out - do it, it will be worth the extra cost. Be sure your home is in 'showing condition' at all times. You may receive a call from your realtor about a showing while you are at work and your dishes from breakfast are still in the sink - that leaves a very bad impression.

5 -- Your pet may be your best friends but he isn't every one's. Some buyers are immediately turned off by any signs of animals in a home so keep pet hair to a minimum by vacuuming everyday, crating your furry friends or keeping them outside of the home while it is up for sale. When we were selling our home a few years ago, I went as far as paying my younger brother to "babysit" them during my open house.

6 -- Don't hide your flaws , either repair them before you go on market or have your price reflect that there is some work to be done. It is tough for a realtor to justify selling a house for top dollar when it is not in top condition.

7 -- Upgrade periodically. Change up your light fixtures, hardware, taps, faucets and drapery. You will likely get a better reaction from buyers plus it shows that the house has been maintained and cared for.

8 -- Don't rush. Get your house on the market once it is ready. Meaning get the little jobs done, listen to your realtor and home stager to help you get top dollar, an incomplete house is exactly that and buyers will not respond in a positive way. Any time of year is a good time to sell, but when there is a lot of competition on the market (such as the spring season) you must be in peak performance.

Labels: , , , , ,


This Page

has moved to a new address:

Sorry for the inconvenience…

Redirection provided by Blogger to WordPress Migration Service