Kiki Interiors - Decor and Staging

Monday, August 27, 2012

Mirror, Mirror, on the wall...

Mirrors are a great trick to make any space feel larger but here are a few alternatives to making any space look and feel bigger.

1-  try reflective wall paper.  sounds tacky but look for a wall paper that has a sheen which helps reflect light around the room

2 - try mirrored subway tiles for a bathroom accent or a kitchen back splash

3 - try using glass. glass surfaces still give you the surface space you need without the heaviness and bulkiness of wood furniture.

4 - try light paint on the walls.  it doesn't have to be boring there is so much selection in the lighter tones.

5 - try to find a furniture layout that creates flow.  don't block off sight lines and pathways

6 - try lighter window dressings.  don't get fussy it adds bulk, keep it simple and light and for extra privacy try using blackout fabric.

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Saturday, August 25, 2012

Alternative Seating Arrangements

With everyone going condo crazy , now more than ever we need some great seating alternatives that are fun and functional.

Here are some of my favourites:

I'm IN LOVE with this BDOJA chair by Amaya Guitierrez.  It's kind of pricey but when you see how much handy work is involved you will understand why.  This chair is just the essence of slouchy comfort but it also looks incredibly cool.  Picture this in the corner of your condo...perfect on rainy days while you kick back and watch some old favourites on your flat screen.  This will be the chair that your guests fight over...

Another favourite of mine and it's great for kids too.  I'm actually looking to purchase a few for my kids' playroom. The Fatboy...  they come in some many colours - it's hard to choose.  Plus, another bonus for moms and dads they are easy to clean.  But these would also be a great alternative to the bedroom chair, a fun over sized bean bag.

The classic ghost chair is perfect for a dining room, it's elegant, chic and called a 'ghost' because it's invisible yet it offers seating.  the ghost chair comes in clear plastic and a few colours but also stainless steel.  It looks great with a very contemporary table or a rustic one of reclaimed wood.

Don't forget about stools - I love the utilitarian look of this stool, it's so industrial and functional.  This is great for smaller spaces too because it is backless it really takes up less space.  I added these in my sister's home and they look amazing.  Instead of using them at her breakfast bar, we put them aside in her living room - they can be used as extra surface space and when more guests arrive just pull them away from the wall.

Another incredible stool has a really functional look about it but it's high polished.  I used these not too long ago in a kitchen in a loft style condo and they are loved by everyone!!  And I know they look really uncomfortable but they are just the opposite.  If you love this stool but have no need for one, they come in a chair too.

If you are a lover of nature and want to bring the outdoors inside there are some many choices.  If you want a modern and natural look, I love the Denmark Chair.  It's so sculptural and curvy and the natural wood tone is just stunning.  This chair looks great with a rustic table or a streamlined one, and if you really want to show off these fabulous chairs go with a glass table.  It also comes in a stool model too.

what goes around comes back around...that goes for home fashion too.  This Supernatural chair is very 60's mod.  It's a white plastic and has a curvature about it.  It looks great with glass, black or espresso or a natural wood tone.  The price is fantastic, too.

What ever you choose make it fun and memorable.  There are so many options to choose from too.  So get creative and make your space really yours. 

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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Great Green Ideas for your Home

Looking to go green? I'm not talking colour here but being more environmentally friendly in your home decor.  There are a lot of options and even right here in Ottawa (online too if you are not from the Ottawa area)

- Bamboo bowls to hold just about anything from bathroom products to give the space a spa look or in the kitchen to hold fruit for an easy snack.  Available at and

- Serenity Stumps are perfect for a cool coffee table or end table

- Mythic Paint is easy on the environment and non-toxic.

- Morph recycled glass vases are so chic and the modern designs are so stylish.

- Furniture made from reclaimed wood.  Check out the Territorial Collection at the Emporium  or reclaimed wide plank flooring adds such character and warmth to any space

- Farrow and Ball paints are made with natural pigments and look amazing in any room. 

- DuPont Zodiac Counter tops are so unique and truly special.  The Terra Collection is made with 25% post consumer recycled glass content. 

- Check out antique or other consignment stores and find a way to bring life into an older piece.  Use it in a new and interesting way or change it up to make it your own.

- Nature driven wallpaper is another great way to bring life into any room in any home.

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Monday, August 20, 2012

D.I.Y - wallpaper your furniture

If you really want to transform your space you need to go BOLD!  Check out this great Do-It-Yourself project that will make any piece of furniture stand out from the crowd.

A fresh and vibrant pattern can do wonders on your wall but what about on your furniture?

Check out online sites for fabulous wallpaper options and breathe new life into an aging cabinet or a funky yard sale find. This is perfect for a cabinet, dresser or end table but nothing too ornate - keep it simple.

1.  Lightly sand the surface. Be sure to unhinge the cabinet doors and remove the hardware.

2.  Apply two coats of an oil-based primer, waiting an hour between coats.

3.  Cut the wallpaper to size using a straightedge blade. 

4.  Paint on a tin layer of mod podge and apply the wallpaper - starting in the centre and working to the edges, this helps to flatten out the air bubbles.

5. Wait 24 hrs before applying a coat of acrylic sealant.

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Friday, August 10, 2012

Fall Fashion to Home Fashion

So the Fashion runways are on fire these days.  Designers from all around the world are showing us what's hot for the fall season.  If you are a follower of fashion you might be wondering how to really maximize the fashion trends and how to incorporate them into your everyday life.

Well here are some of the 2012 Fall Fashion Trends as seen on the runway and here's how you can bring some of the fashion runways in your home hallways

It's hot and in any shade.  Red is bold, bright and hot.  This colour goes well with any neutral and you can get any look you like.  Red and chocolate has an ethnic feel, Red and Navy very New England nautical and Red and Grey is so urban. Use it as an accent in your accessories or maybe in some of your art.

Grey has been in for a while but the trend now is a softer and paler shade.  This is a great and timeless colour for furniture or for a wall paint colour.  Some of my favourite shades of Grey are: Benjamin Moore's 'Pashmina AF-100', Benjamin Moore's 'Wish AF-680', Benjamin Moore's 'thunder AF-685' and Benjamin Moore's 'eternity AF-695'.  If you are thinking of resurfacing kitchen or bathroom cabinets, a pale grey is another fabulous option - unexpected but still neutral and classic.

A classic combination and it's tough to call it a trend as it's never ever out.  On the runways there was a lot of black and white and in different ways.  there was of course the very mod-influenced black and white colour blocking this is a very urban look - great for bold and graphic art pieces to make a statement in any room.  There was also a lot of black and white patterns (floral and curvy) perfect for textiles - bed linens, pillows even drapes.  A very dramatic and glamorous look with a lot of femininity.

Who doesn't love a cozy over sized knit sweater? We all do.  so incorporating knits into your home decor is going to make you want to cozy up and cuddle.  Texture adds richness to any room.  Knitwear is perfect for throw blankets and pillows in a living room, family room or bedroom. 

Plaid always makes a comeback in the fall - it's so collegiate and varsity.  So how to use it? It's great as an accent in a boy's room - custom roman shades are sharp and clean, or an upholstered accent chair.  There are so many tartans to choose from, too - but if you can't decide here's a fun and fresh idea -  get some 10x10 samples from a fabric shop and frame them with a white matting and black frame.  Create a gallery look with these different plaid samples - for an easy and unique art display perfect for a rec room or guest room.

The Boho hippie chic look is back - I'm NOT suggesting you bring hemp candles and beaded curtains into your home - yikes!!  But if you like an easy and laid back hippie look try using lots of earth tones and layering different fabrics and pieces in a space.  so think throw pillows in earth tones and vary up/mix-match with lots of texture. 

This is the fun side of fashion - odd little elements that really personalize the space and make it yours!  Check out thrift or antique shops for interesting items and re-purpose them.  An old door hanging on a wall is an interesting piece or art or a door can easily be transformed into a table top.  Not crafty? No problem - local decor shops have lots of fun ideas.  One of my favourite piece now is from Urban Barn.  Check out this Owl Stool.  Even a coffee table book can add some unexpected flair to a room, I love photography books like the one of Lady Gaga by Terry Richardson

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Monday, August 6, 2012

Back to School Style

Ok, so it's already August and I know that parents and kids are already getting ready for back to school, some are more excited than others, too.  When it comes to back to school we all think of clothing and learning materials but what about getting our workspaces ready for back to school?

There is so much to balance and to take care of once the kids are back at school.  Homework, field trip forms, fundraising, activities etc...don't let it bog you down - get ready for it and soon!

a--Start with where you want your child doing their homework - kitchen nook, bedroom, it doesn't matter but keep the area consistent and create a space for them to work and stay organized.  Keep in mind that younger children will need more hlp and supervision, so think about that when selecting a workspace location

b-- Get the kids involved.  If they are not buying into the idea (or not understanding) it's not going to work.  Explain the importance, take them shopping with you (and let them pick some items out themselves).  Organization is an important tool in all areas and all stages in life- so let them get involved from the beginning.  This is super important with teenagers - give them some responsibility otherwise they will fight you on it because it feels forced on them.

c--Have easy access to supplies and have them organized.  A jar or box for pencil crayons, a flat surface for a laptop or just where to work, hunting around for supplies or having to clear a workspace can just add to the stress of homework.

d-- Make sure the area is well lit.  It helps to stay focused plus it is much better for the eyes.

e--Keep it clutter-free.  Keep everything in it's place - bulletin board, containers, shelves etc...and have a bit of time every month or every two weeks to clear the space - extra papers can pile up very easily and add stress to your child's workspace

f-- Visual Aids.  a large wall mounted or desk top calendar is a great visual tool to stay organized.  Write appointments and activities on the calendar.  You can even have a family calendar and colour code each person in the family (mom-red, dad-blue, etc..) Write in the activities in the correponding colour.

g--Be somewhat flexible.  Some days your child may want to read their assigned reading in a more cozy chair or work on their big science project at the kitchen table - that's ok - regular homework should be done in the regular spot.

h-- TV off.  while your child is working at home, have the TV off.  A bit of music can be ok if the volume is low and it is something like ambient or classical - not too distracting.

i-- Have a scheduled time for homework.  We have such busy lives and sometimes homework just doesn't fit.  It is best to do it right after school, but if you can't find a time that works for you and your family.  After dinner or while dinner is being prepped just try not to do it too close to bedtime

j--Keep it fun!  This is a child's workspace so let it be fun and whimsical. 

What about the other areas of the home??  The front entry or the mudroom can also be a huge organization nightmare.  Sometime having a place for everything does the trick but don't forget to teach/train your family in how to use these pieces.  Installing hooks at the child's eye level is a great way to ensure they can put their backpacks away.  A basket is a great spot for children to put their shoes (indoor or clean shoes).  If you have the space, a cloth envelope, or labeled basket for children's field trip forms, fund raising info etc is a great idea - all too often they get left at the bottom of the backpack.  But no matter what strategies you pick for your family - get a plan before they head back to school and practice (yes, this sounds silly) but in order for a routine to take hold it can take anywhere from 3 weeks to 3 months to really set in, so don't get too frustrated and try not to lose your cool.  Keep at it, keep consistent and it will work.

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Saturday, August 4, 2012

Cheap Tricks - easy fixes to transform and decorate your home

We are all on a budget - especially in these economic times, so take a look at my list of some simple and inexpensive ideas to update the look and decor in your home without breaking the bank.

1.  Declutter.  Makes organizing a breeze, feels good, eliminates stress

2.  Budget.  Plan and stick to it.

3.  Vacuum.  Not fun, but it will make your home feel so clean and fresh.  If your budget allows, try getting a professional clean once a year for all rugs and upholstery.

4.  Dust.  Every nook, cranny and appliance don't forget about the light fixtures and fans.

5.  Get a second opinion.  If you have a friend who has a fabulous eye, borrow it for an afternoon.  When we want to change things up in a room it can be tough for the homeowner because we are too familiar with the set-up and the room - a fresh perspective can do wonders.

6.  Rotate.  Rotate decor items like art and pillows from one room to another.  It can really give a fresh feel to the space even if everything else remains the same.

7.  Let there be light.  Clean your windows and pull the curtains back - sunshine is a good thing so enjoy it!

8.  Focus.  Start by decorating one room at a time.  Overhauling the whole house at once is overwhelming, stressful and unrealistic.

9.  Limit your time.  By having a time limit you are more likely to stick to a budget and get the job done.  When I was re-decorating my husband's office I had a start date and an end date - the job was done on time, it looks great and I didn't go over budget (I didn't have time to dilly-dally).

10.  Pick a star.  Aka a focal point in a room, every room should have one.  It could be a fireplace or a piece of art.  Revolve your concept around that star.

11. Odds are...stick with odd numbers (3,5,7) when it comes to grouping decor items together.  Combine objects of various heights together and when grouped together there should be little space between them.

12.  Love it!  Don't just pick items because they 'match' or because you need something in the space.  Love what you buy - you will not regret spending the money and you will always have a place for it in your home.

13.  Give it away.  Give your old items a new life by donating them or selling them at a garage sale. 

14.  Freshen up.  With a new paint job you will make the whole home or room feel new again

15.  Storage solutions.  We all need storage and you can never really have too much.  When re-decorating don't forget about the functionality of the space.

16.  Don't have a back splash? This simple addition is pretty easy and makes a major impact.  If on a very tight budget but this is on your must-do list check out the sales rack at your local tile store - you'll be surprised what you can find.

17.  Get creative.  Re-purpose and re-use items in a new way to make them seem new.  An armoire for a TV stand, make pillows out of old fabric etc...

18.  Paint.  Change the entire look of your kitchen by having you cabinet doors resurfaced and professionally painted - you can choose any colour you like and wow, what a difference!

19.  Mood lighting.  Install dimmers in the dining room, living room and the master bedroom.

20.  Get artsy.  Re-frame your art and make it current by using simple frames and extra large mattes.  this creates a sophisticated and gallery look in your home - I did this with my family photos and it looks amazing!

21.  C.P.T.S.  Colour, Pattern, Texture and Shine these 4 elements should be in every room.  This helps create a layered and sophisticated look in any room.

22. Blackboards are a great way to fill a wall space in a kitchen, playroom or mudroom. 
They are easy to do and a great way to keep organized.

23. Green-thumb.  Adding plants and flowers to a space adds life and good energy.  But think about the conditions the plant needs before placing it in certain rooms.  Bamboo is a great plant for bathrooms because it does well in humid places that don't offer a lot of sunlight.

24.  Counter space.  tuck away the items that are on your kitchen counter.  No one uses every small appliance everyday so just keep out the essential ones. Your kitchen will look cleaner and feel bigger.

25. Get fruity.  Use fresh fruit in a bowl to add some colour to your space AND nutrition experts say "if we see it we are more likely to eat it".

26.  Knit-whit.  If you are talented at knitting make some throws for bedrooms and guest rooms.  a cozy handmade blanket is perfect for naps or just getting cozy in front of the TV or fireplace (this is a great gift idea, too)

27.  Easy change-up.  By changing out the hardware on your kitchen and bathroom cabinets, you are able to update the whole look in little to no time and with spending very little money.  Look for polished or brushed nickel.

28.  Be a bargain hunter.  Sites like kijiji, Craig's list, ebay and so many more have some great and unique finds at great prices.

29.  Check out your mom's basement.  Not for your next place to live but there may be some great finds down there that may need some updating.

30.  Mirror, mirror on the could use some updating!  Changing out your bathroom mirror can make a bathroom look custom. 

31.  K.I.S.S - Keep It Simple Stupid.  When it comes to big ticket items like sofa, bed frames and dining tables look for clean lines and timeless design.

32.  Don't be afraid of big or extra big art pieces.  They can be great conversation starters and really make a room special.

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Friday, August 3, 2012

Go BOLD at home

So neutral colours are always in style and always work but if you are looking to add some excitement to your space that's easy and inexpensive - look no further.  Colour is back and it's BOLD!

Colour can do so much for a space but be sure to choose wisely. 

You want to start with having all of your items for your room, FIRST.  So if you are thinking of adding colour to your bedroom walls be sure to have your bedding, rugs etc...first.  You will want to take inspiration from those items to make your paint selection, so that it all works together.  Putting in some crazy bright colour that has no connection with your other items will just look wacky!

Take inspiration from another somewhat colourful piece in your room.  So you may want to use your drapes, furniture or bedding to help select the paint colour. 
So looking at the above image, I'd probably do a bold brunt orange or mustard wall (the wall where the headboard is).  And then, the other three walls in a neutral cream, taupe, tan or khaki. 

How do you know if it is the right shade? Test it.  So start by looking at the bold shade against white (a plain sheet of typing paper is perfect).  You will want to stick with colour that seems to have some black or brown in the base - that will keep the room looking sophisticated and classic but still with colour.  The tones that don't have brown or black in the base look like candy (too child like).  Now maybe you have a few colours and can't decide - go to your paint store and get some small sample bottles.  Paint large (24"x24") patches on the wall and look at those colours against your items and look at the colour in the day and night light.  and you'll fall in love with a colour in no time.

Scared?? Try going bold in a space like a powder room or a guest room. 

In my current home I painted our powder room in a rich dark chocolate colour.  I added some neutral cream towels and candles, a bold and colourful art piece and a very streamlined mirror.  It looks very sophisticated and we get lots of compliments, too!

You can have so much fun with colour and painting is easy (with the right tools) and inexpensive too

Have fun with colour and have fun in your home with bold colour!!

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