Kiki Interiors - Decor and Staging

Thursday, April 26, 2012

What is modern decor?

I meet with clients regularly and most of them tell me 'I want a modern look', which is perfectly fine except most people do not know (when it comes to design and decor) what 'modern' actually means and looks like.

If you like streamlined, open, clutter free spaces than you are on the right track for a modern look. Think minimalist or Scandinavian, simple and functional forms.  so what are some of the elements that are frequently seen and included in modern decor?

Sleek:smooth and gleaming.  Hard yet smooth surfaces such as granite, stone, stainless steel, hardwood floors, high gloss cabinets with no detail work

Glass: large glass windows to really showcase the open feelof the space , glass pieces of furniture in the home, glass tiles

Neutral colour palette: neutrals are best displayed in this decor style.  They are clean and simple. think white or variations of white.  Tone on tone furnishing a bit of texture adds depth to the space but you won't see a lot of layering of fabrics and cozy elements in this style

Low and simple: the idea of using low and simple furniture is to not really notice it but notice the stunning view through the big glass windows (hence why this style is most often seen in condos). The furniture can still be comfortable but it won't look it!

So if you are super sensible, practical, efficient and all about function - modern decor is right up your alley!

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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

What is eclectic decor?

What is eclectic decor? Well, the easiest way to define this style is by starting with what it is NOT. Eclectic decor is NOT: rigid, expected or traditional. Eclectic decor involves a unique sense of what 'goes together'. It includes colour, texture, pattern, playing with function and shine but used in special and interesting ways. It combines total opposites or unusual pairings that shouldn't work but they do!

This is perfect for those you love too much! Maybe you love cool and calm contemporary looks but also love the arts of Mexico. By combining the two very different styles, you are creating a truly personal and unique look.

But it's not a jumble of things you love (that's what I call a garage sale). Eclectic decor follows the five elements of basic design - line, mass, colour, form and texture; to create a unified look.

This look is for those who embrace the unexpected, who love whimsy and freedom of expression. Where you that child who deliberately coloured outside of the lines? Then eclectic decor is your look!

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Monday, April 16, 2012

Gardening - an intro class to a perfect garden

Spring has sprung - can you feel it, smell it and see it! What a beautiful time of year, well almost - there is a lot of yard clean up to do, the lawns are transitioning from brown to green and there is so much to do....where to start? Well if you are like me (love the garden but need help with the actual act of 'gardening') check out these great tips:

- get to know your soil. is it sand or clay based? in Ontario, most soils are clay based so...that'll need to add some 'triple soil' as you plant. triple soil is a combo of peet moss, compost and top soil. you can find it any hardware store or gardening depot. once you have good soil, the possibilities are endless

- dig it! dig a plant bed for your plants about 40 cm deep and fill it with the triple soil. the 'crown' of your plant should be about 5-8 cm out of the soil. what is the crown of the plant? that's where the stem meets the top of the pot.

- mound it up! be sure to surround your planted plants with a mound of soil up to the crown, this helps to not over water your plants. just like with humans - too much of a good thing can be bad.

- wet and wild. we all know plants need water but in most cases plants die from over watering, so it's OK if your plants are a bit dry between watering. not bone dry and not for weeks on end (that's bad too) easy tip: put your finger in the soil and it should feel dry for a few centimeters and then moist below

- let there be light! partial shade means no more than 6 hours of light a day, full sun is at least 6 hours of sun a day. perennials are low maintenance and work very well in most regions.

There are so many options for gardens so check magazines, books and online for ideas that you like!

Spring is here so - let it grow, let it grow, let it grow!

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Monday, April 9, 2012

Decor 911: your rescue from decorating mistakes

1. Buying area rugs that are too small.

An area rug should never look like it is just floating in the middle of a room, so when selecting an area rug be sure to have a 12-16 inch border of flooring around the perimeter of the room.

2. Purchasing furniture BEFORE measuring a room.

This happens all of the time! Part of the excitement of a new place is the new stuff you get to purchase. Working off of a floor plan is very tricky (even for pros). A floor plan with images of furniture can help you out with placement but those images of items are not always to scale. Plus don't forget about the doorways - the furniture needs to actually be able to fit through the door, SO wait until you move in (or take possession) before you buy - not all return policies allow for returns.

3. Picking a pale wall colour.

A pale wall colour is fine especially if you have big and bold art pieces but if you have a large space to paint adding some depth with rich and sophisticated colour plan is a good idea to really show off your space. Ask a paint professional for some ideas, look at magazines or ask a designer for some assistance. Your paint colour should set the tone for your entire look.

4. Going without a headboard.

We are seeing more of this especially in the condo lifestyle. The headboard is the focal point of any bedroom but there are other ways to create the same impact. Try painting that wall in a dramatic or bright colour, or add an accent wall with wallpaper or have a huge art piece instead.

5. Decorating around something you do not love.

I say to all of my clients "if you love it you will always find a place for it". If you don't love an art piece or a furniture piece chances are you will not change your mind. Figure out if you made some modifications (like paint it or change the upholstery) would you love it. If the answer is no, then it's time to let go.

6. Too much accessorizing.

Accessories are fun and inexpensive plus they can really change up a look of any room but try not to be wasteful. You could spend that money on something of quality that will last much longer and still give you a big impact. Also, over accessorizing can cheapen the look of a space - keep it simple.

7. Hanging artwork too high.

This is a habit shared by many and it drives me crazy! When art is too high you don't get to appreciate it, you end up with a cranked neck!! Here's a tip - the bottom of the art piece should measure 8-10 inches from the top of the piece of furniture (headboard, credenza, sofa). If you are hanging art in a hallway or stairwell, hang the art so that the middle of the piece measures 66 inches from the floor or the step.

8. The garage as a focal point.

The garage door shouldn't be your main focus but there are a lot of designs out there where the garage is one of the first elements of the home that we see. So to avoid that add some attention to the front door - paint it in a richer colour tone, add some decoration like planters or a wreath or both, keep it clean and clutter free.

9. Wimpy trim and mouldings.

So traditional design highlights trim and moulding with bright and fresh white but if your trim is smaller that 3 1/2" do not highlight it - choose a colour that is close or identical to the wall colour to minimize the wimpy trim and mouldings.

10. Displaying your collectibles all over the house.

Your home should reflect your style and personality but somethings are just too much. when we stage homes we tend to see a lot of collectibles and some displays are fine but others are over the top. Keep them confined to certain areas - so if you collect figures have a shelf in a room dedicated to just that collection, if you love family photos create a gallery wall in a room dedicated to your memories. This will still reflect your interests but also keep the look clean.

11. Only one focal point in a room.

Most don't know what the focal point is in many cases it ends up being the TV but the focal point should be something like the fireplace, the view, an architectural feature, a headboard which ever you like best draw attention to that instead of the TV or other electronics.

12. Maintenance free gardening.

Some say it's tacky but I see why many opt for this type of gardening (it's easy and mess free) but that doesn't mean you can just let it go wild - keep it dust free by wiping it down with a feather duster and a damp cloth - that will keep it looking real plus why not update your 'fake' plants regularly? In the spring add some bright colour and in the fall, add those rich red, gold and orange tones

13. Don't be matchy-matchy.

It's a very unoriginal, cookie cutter look - true personal style takes time to build and develop, so take your time to find the pieces you love. Who says your room or entire home need to be fully decorated within a day? My family and I moved into our home in Sept 2011 and we are still putting rooms together.

14. Mixing too many wood tones.

Many people actually go the opposite way trying to match all of their wood tones - when you do that the result is a very washed out room but when you have too many wood tones the room becomes a confusing mess. So here's the simple rule - 3 wood stains, that's it - this includes, flooring, furniture, cabinets, tables etc...

15. Choosing the wrong colour hue.

This is why many homes are in basic beige. Here's a simple way to create a chic and timeless look - dark on the bottom and light on the top. So your floors can be dark, walls in a medium tone and ceilings light. I have been in a number of condos with dark floors, kitchens and walls it feels cave like and small, contrast is important.

16. Don't second guess your hired professional.

It's OK to ask questions and provide input but if you know how you want it done - just do it. Don't hire a team of professionals and ask for their input only to disagree with everything - it creates a frustrating work environment. Contractors, painters, designers have the education and experience to help you reach your design goals, so work with them.

17. Don't be a trendy Wendy.

I love a fresh patter, a funky floral and sassy stripes but not for a long term furniture item. Stick with a basic colour and fabric for long term pieces and add some visual interest with pillows, maybe a chair, art etc...You won't regret it!

18. Light fixtures that are too small.

Remember this formula - for every foot (width of the room) multiply by 2 for the diameter of the chandelier. So if the room is 12 feet wide, the chandelier diameter should be 24" (12 x 2= 24)

19. Too much stuff.

If you have lived in your space for a while and you don't tend to purge, you probably have too much (many people do) so the rule here is to get rid of 30% of what's in your room. Editing a room takes time and for many it can be very tough (especially if you are in the home you grew up in or the home you raised your family in) but you will feel better as clutter contributes to stress.

20. Positioning you furniture along the walls.

This is the easiest way to furnish a space but it doesn't create a welcoming room that encourages socialization and conversation. Try playing with furniture placement, it's OK to have the back of a sofa or chair showing. Create areas for conversation and areas for TV watching - you can find lots of furniture placement ideas online.

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