Kiki Interiors - Decor and Staging

Friday, May 29, 2015

How To Pick The Right Paint Colour

So you've decided to paint!  That's the easy part.  Picking the right paint colour is the next step and there's a lot to consider.  Sure, you could walk into a store, grab a paint chip you like, buy the paint and go home will likely end up with a colour that just doesn't work in your space.

So....if you are looking to paint - ask yourself these 10 questions BEFORE committing to a colour.

1.  Where am I in the decorating process?
If you are totally starting from scratch - so no floors, furniture, tiles etc...then you do have a lot of options.  Have a colour in mind, say grey tones, when it comes to make those selections and bring the paint fan with you so you can find a colour that works with everything. But if you have fixtures in place - flooring, sofa, other furniture, window dressings, wall paper etc... you will need to work with those items (unless you are doing a total room over haul).  So once the items you want to keep are in place start fanning through different colour options.

 painting fruniture - also I think most of us are a little overweight, so I am sharing this... I saw this on TV and I have lost 26 pounds so far pretty quickly too

2.  How do I know if it is a colour I love?
In order to know for sure if you are going to absolutely love a paint colour - you do need to see it on the walls.  When it comes to narrowing down your choice - trust your gut!  Don't let others tell you what to do - an opinion is fine as long as they have you and your taste in mind.  If you like deep colour or bold colour - go for it, it's only paint!

 Suzanne Kasler bedroom in Newburyport Blue

3.  Am I rushing into this?
Take a breathe and take your time selecting your colour or colours.  Sit in your space and think about the mood you want and how you want it to feel for yourself and others.  Then look toward colours that support that mood. Take the time to test colours and look at them day and night.

 Find ideas to bring patterns, prints, colors, textures, and more design elements together to create the ultimate living room.

4.  Have I looked at paint chips?
Going to a decorating store or a hardware store and seeing the walls of paint chips can be very intimidating - there is so much to look at.  Trying leafing through magazines before going to look at chips, and look at decorated rooms - that would help you focus on not only a decor style but a colour palette, too.  That way you have some direction and can easily weed out what you don't want.

 It all starts with the paint swatch

5.  Have I tried any samples?
Still uncertain? but narrowed down to a few options? Don't rely on just the chip - get yourself some samples.  Buy a quart or pint of paint and paint swatches on your walls - don't worry they will cover up when you actually start painting.   

 According to Martha, these are 18 go-with-everything, paint-anything, put-anywhere hues and projects that will work in any room.

6.  Have I looked at the sample more than once?
Now that you have painted a few swatches on your walls.  Keep the swatches up for a few days before totally committing.  For some, this new paint (especially if it is very different from the old paint) can take a while for the shock to wear down. Be sure to look at the swatches throughout the day as the light changes, the colour may appear different, too.  Make sure you like the colour day and night.

 Aubusson Blue  The colour is named and designed after the beautiful deep grey blue found on the classic 18th and 19th century Aubusson rugs from France. It is an elegant colour that works well with many colours as it is a dark neutral but in particular it works with Paris Grey . It is also a colour found in Scandinavian painted furniture

7.    What other colours am I using?
Likely your paint colour won't be the only colour in the room.  Be sure that the wall paint colour will work harmoniously with the other colours in the room such as flooring, furniture, and textiles, even wallpaper. 

 Personalize a bathroom or powder room with these creative ideas for mixing and matching your favorite colors.

8.  Have I considered the room?
Before you choose the paint colour, pay attention to the room.  How much light does it have? In south facing rooms, colours run very true.  North facing rooms tend to be darker so the colours will look different.  And, in east facing rooms, the colour looks a little blue. Do you have high ceilings? With high ceilings you can get away with going bolder and deeper than with standard ceiling height.

 Color Confidence: 10 Easy-to-Live-With Living Room Paint Colors | Apartment Therapy

9.  What's my sheen of choice?
So the sheen is very important - it affects how the light is either absorbed or reflected by the wall colour.  Higher sheen like a semi gloss or gloss will reflect more light from the surface so the colour will be deep and rich.  A flat or eggshell will absorb light creating a dryer looking colour.  If your walls aren't perfect, opt for a flat finish to disguise the imperfections. 

 Benjamin Moore Color..."copley gray." A warm-toned gray in the greige family. Popular color. Beautiful.

10.  Am I too hesitant?
Painting a room should take about a weekend of your time.  Compared to other projects it's straightforward and cost effective.  Plus it makes a huge impact and when you tire of the colour - it's an easy update!

These turquoise walls are the perfect shade for a serene bedroom & it  coordinates well with all of the natural wood in the room.

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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

We Answer Wednesday - How To Mix Patterns

"I love my home but slowly I have been making decor updates.  In Interior Decorating magazines and TV shows, I always see designers mix different patterns and prints.  I love the look but I have no idea how to mix patterns, can you help me get that "designer" look?'

Great question and yes, designers and decorators are always mixing different prints, patterns, textures and colours - by doing that you completely elevate the look of any room but it can be tricky! Adding pattern and print to your space is also a great way to add personality to your space.  Pattern is so versatile and can be added to any room - bedrooms, living room, dining room and more.  Pattern can be brought into a room using drapery, pillows, chairs and rugs but don't forget about wallpaper accent walls, head boards, bedding and even dishware!

Follow our simple steps, you be be able to mix patterns like a pro!

1.  Work with an odd number of patterns
Odd numbers tend to look best, so if you’re going to play with patterns, start with three different patterns in three different scales.  Once you’ve mastered the key to mixing patterns, try for five!

 Sophisticated Family Room Seating Area    Achieve a polished look with symmetry.      A skillful mix of patterns infuses this family room by Sarah Richardson Design with shades of blue, from soft to cerulean. A pair of printed armchairs face the main seating area, while two wing chairs upholstered in menswear-inspired fabric flank a games table.

2.  Use varying scales of pattern.
 Incorporate varying scales to the space so that the prints don’t compete with one another.  Sticking with the rule of three, pick one large, one medium and one small pattern to work with.  For example, try one large floral/organic pattern, plus one medium geometric, plus one small classic pattern.

 Pattern Scale Tidbits&Twine

3.   Large patterns work best on large pieces, small patterns work best on small pieces
When choosing the location of your patterns, keep in mind the space in which you are working.  A large pattern works best on a large item, such as a wall, window treatment or area rug. because the space is large enough to accommodate the pattern in its entirety.  A medium pattern is better suited to furniture and a small pattern to accent pieces.  (Note: Sometimes, small patterns can look busy when used in large amounts.)

 DIY for the Lazy: 6 Cute Projects That Don't Take A Lot of Work | Apartment Therapy

4.  Look for a large pattern that incorporates all of your colours.
 One approach to begin building your mix of patterns if your space has several colors in it, is to think of the large pattern as your anchor.  It should be the biggest, boldest and incorporate ALL of your colors in your color scheme.  From there, pick a different, medium-sized pattern (about half the size of your large pattern) that utilizes SOME of the colors.  Lastly, the small pattern can use just TWO or THREE of your colors.  One easy way to do this is to look for a fabric that has coordinating patterns available.

 Central Color Pattern Tidbits&Twine

5.  You can use pattern, even if you have a monochromatic room.
Alternatively, if you have a single color, play with different shades of the color.  So long as you still vary the scale and type of pattern, you can create a very cohesive look of mixed patterns this way.

 Gallery Wall

6. Consider adding a solid to the mix.
 Don’t be afraid to throw in a solid to soften and ground the look! A solid can also help anchor the whole room which will allow the eye to focus.

 Beautiful bedroom styling. Such a fun and unique color palette. Plus I'm loving all of these great patterns and textures!

7.  Group together patterns that have similar qualities
If you have a defined style in your home, also give some thought as to the types of patterns that you mix together.  Traditional patterns tend to mix easier with other traditional patterns, versus mixing them with bold, contemporary prints.  So for example, traditional prints such as florals, plaids, and damask don’t always blend easily with chevron or ikat.  This doesn’t mean you can’t mix patterns across styles – in fact, sometimes, an unexpected print gives a pop to the room – but if you’re just starting to experiment with pattern, it is often easier to stick within a style.

 .Carriage House Living Room by Brittany Zachos- love the use of yellow and turquoise with gray & the patterned curtains and pillows.

8. Be sure to balance your patterns in the space.
 Balance is key!  This includes not only balancing the scale of your patterns, but balancing them equally throughout the space to avoid a lop-sided feeling.

 Living room color scheme ideas

9. Stick with a consistent hue.
 Within your color palette, use colors with consistent intensities.  If your palette is pastel, don’t mix in a bold jewel tone and vice-versa.

 Pattern Hue 2 Tidbits&Twine

10.  Don't be afraid to break the rules!
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so break the rules if it looks good to you!  Sometimes, complementary patterns and motifs come together in an organic and unplanned fashion, so if it looks good to you, go for it and have fun!

 dining rooms | We can't get enough of these mismatched dining chairs with colorfully ...

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Monday, May 25, 2015

Why I love my year later

One Year Later….. A reflection post-grad by Maddie Clarke

This time last year I was ready to graduate and get started on my career. It was such an exciting transition from decorating student to an interior decorator with a fabulous company, KIKI Interiors. My first day consisted of helping new clients design their dream home by choosing the finishes. I can remember how excited I was for that first project and wondering if everyday would be like this…. To my surprise, it is. I’m excited by my job every single day, and that’s a pretty cool feeling.


Every single day has been different. I’ve had the opportunity to experience so many different projects, clients, and situations, I never expected to have such a wide range of work and learn so much. Everyday I go to work, I am experiencing something different which furthers my knowledge. And I’m very grateful for that.

 We loved mixing both colour, styles and textures in this space - the aqua, the tangerine, the prints and graphics and the wood, brick and glass all work together to create a perfect balance in this condo space

Working as a decorator has taught me so many things in such a short time. No one teaches you how to deal with difficult clients, how to handle situations that have gone terribly awry, or how hard it is to build furniture for a model. (I can’t remember ever being so emotional over a chair.) These are life experiences I will carry with me and be able to apply to my everyday life,
The various projects and clients I’ve been involved with is quite a wide range. 


I was fortunate to be able to do a lot of new things in a short period of time. 

Last November, we had the opportunity to style a photo shoot and stage the background for a new product campaign, I worked with so many different clients and their different styles (some wackier than others), I was involved in furnishing a model condo, staging and de-staging homes, advising clients on how to prep their home for the real estate market, as well as learning about blogging, updating pages and the importance of having a strong social media presence. I worked on my first commercial space and reaped the benefits of a blank canvas. I’ve learned that the best feeling in the world is seeing something you’ve worked so hard on come together in a beautiful space. Having a client LOVE what you’ve helped them to achieve in their home is so rewarding. I’ve learned to deal with suppliers who aren’t as organized as me, when it’s time to be “ruthless” and when to take a step back. 

 yes, you can having a real dining space in a smaller condo.  Just consider scale, size and placement - don't be afraid to get creative

I’ve learned that not everyone is rational and often tensions can run high. I’ve learned that “not today” is a phrase Kristi and I toss around quite often when we get frustrated, and when its time for us to just sit back and laugh at this crazy job. I’ve also learned how good a glass of wine can be after a bizarre day. (and those days do happen!) I have been lucky to experience working with someone you truly have a great time with. Enjoying the company that your in is a wonderful and rewarding way to spend your days.. I'm lucky to work with people who are like-minded and so much fun!!

 finding the right mix of accessories that won't compete with the product is incredibly important

This is the most fun career I could ever imagine doing. This year has been a lot of things, boring is not one of them.

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Friday, May 22, 2015

Best Props To Stage Your Home

When it comes to home staging - yes, there are a number of items that must be removed from the home such as personal photos, collectibles and of course, excess or bulky furniture.  But there are certain props that really enhance the look of the home regardless of the age or decor style.

These 6 DIY props can add memorable details and welcoming feelings to buyers and just help to set the scene and really make your photos stand out from the other houses for sale.

Books - too many books in a book case (or piles of them in office spaces and bedroom) can look junky and sloppy BUT sets of hardcover books can really complete the look of shelves or stacked on a coffee table. Check out garage sales or used book stores for affordable options be sure to check the condition of the spine (and check to make sure they don't have a musty smell).  Stay away from controversial topis and title.  We always look of books that are medium to large in scale, hard cover and in good shape.  Colourful spines can add a splash a colour to a bookcase or coffee table.

Bookcases are great for book storage but when it comes to staging you want every space to feel light and airy.  Full bookcases add a lot of bulk and heaviness to a room, so do a pre-pack of you books and leave your nicest ones on display.  Stack them creatively, play with colour and add some simple accessories

 9 Things All Insanely Stylish People Have In Their Homes via @domainehome

Bowls of Lemons - a big bowl of bright fresh lemons is a simple way to add some colour and a feeling freshness to a space like the kitchen or as a dining centerpiece.  Use decorative lemons - they last longer plus you get that brilliant yellow colour.  Why lemons? Well, no one is ever tempted to bite into a lemon.  And yes, I have found bite marks on several occasions in our decorative fruit especially apples but some pears too.  Use a bowl that works with your decor style - long, lean glass works well for contemporary spaces, wood or pottery looks great in a rustic or country home.

A low profile bowl with lemons really allows one to see that bright splash of colour.  this looks great in a kitchen, on a kitchen island, a dining table or even a coffee table like the image below

 Coffee table styling via a tablescape tumblr with many tablescape ideas

Plush towels - New towels always look amazing in a bathroom.  Towels like everything else age, they are fine for every day use but when it comes to show casing your home old towels will just make the bathroom look tired and stale.  Aim for that 'boutique' hotel look with clean, plush, white towels.  If your bathroom is already entirely white choose a grey or brown tone something that will give some contrast to the space but keep it neutral.

These white plush towels add a softness to this bathroom.  Bathrooms are full of hard surfaces like tile, cabinetry, porcelain and adding some softness gives the room some balance.  the white towels in this bathroom also give a spa like feel

 wenge small bathroom design idea

Large Painting - This is probably a bit tougher to locate but try home decor stores or even online - the results are incredible!  Choose a large painting with soft tones (colour is fine but aim for softer hues).  We recommend a simple landscape (they are soothing) or just abstract with soft and blended brush strokes.  This will certainly make an impact but it won't be alarming.

This living room with the large landscape art piece makes an impact but is still soothing and peaceful which is a great quality in a home.  The colours are soft and the blue tones are also used in the decor.  Large art pieces look great on big walls like the one here but they also look great above a fireplace or in a dining room above a sideboard

 Share Photos of Your Home!

A Pair of Matching Table Lamps - Take a look in any home design and decor magazine, you will always see matching pairs of lamps in a room.  You might be staging your home on a tight budget but you can't have it looking that way!  A pair of matching table lamps will give you a designer look without spending a bundle.  Place them in a room where they can both be scene - flanking the sofa in the living room or flanking the bed are easy  ways to do just that and it makes a big impact!

This image shows the impact of what some beautiful matching table lamps can do in a room.  The reflective surface of these lamps adds some great light in the room too. 

 Wall-Jand J Design Group - bedrooms - gray grasscloth, grasscloth wallpaper, gray grasscloth wallpaper, wallpapered accent wall, wallpapered hea...

Plump Pillows - Pillows really add extra dimension to decor and home staging.  Look for pillows with some colour, texture and even print.  But stay away from stiff or flat pillows and of course, going over board with too many pillows.  Pillows should enhance the look of the space!  Decor pillows look great on sofas, accent chairs and also beds and benches.  Be sure to 'pump up' those bed pillows too - volume from pillows adds a sense of luxury and comfort.

Seen here: there's a mix of colour and pattern.  The turquoise makes a statement in this neutral tone room.  some home stagers may disagree but this colour choice brings life and a brightness to the room but be sure to carry this colour into other rooms as well to keep a fluid feel

Love how the splash of turquoise lifts the cushions from the lounge colour. House of Turquoise: Highgate House

In summary...putting it all together...
This neutral bedroom has a great mix of neutral tones - white, black and shades of beige.  The bed looks fantastic with the layering of pillows that are plump - bed and decor pillows.  The lean bedside tables and lamps match and fit in the space beautifully.  This is a  great example how to stage a bedroom in neutral tones, some texture, matching pieces, art and even flowers.

 neutral bedroom theme

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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Baffled by the Bristles? See our Paint Brush Lesson!

Now that the weather is finally getting nice, we’re all starting to feel ambitious again about some projects around the house. I know for me, its paint that I want to tackle. Not just walls, furniture as well. When it comes to paint, I always have the best intentions, but trying to nail down which brush is for where, and what kind of paint is best on that surface … the list goes on. Here is a more ‘simplified’ version of the paint brush aisle for you!
Image result for paint cans pretty

The Square Cut Brush:
Best for large flat surfaces.
These brushes are most ideal for covering a large space in a short amount of time!
Sold in widths as large as 5 inches and are made with natural OR synthetic bristles.
Cost is anywhere from $8 to $16 dollars.
Image result for square cut paint brush

Short Handle:
Best for cramped spaces!
The 2 inch handle makes navigating into tight areas much easier.
These brushes are great for painting inside cabinets, tight corners on furniture etc.
This brush will cost you around $7 dollars.
Image result for short handle paint brush

Foam Brush:
Best for touch-ups.
I wouldn’t recommend using this brush for much more. It is a great option for covering any scuffs, but only on smaller spots. These brushes are great with any type of paint.
They are cheap option as well as a disposable option. No keeping these bad boys!
These brushes also come in a few different sizes: 1 inch, 2 inch and 3 inch wide.
Approximately $7 dollars for a 3 pack.
Image result for foam paint brush

Angled Brush:
Best for cutting in and painting along the trim.
The angled shape of this brush gives you more versatility and control than the square cut brush. This enables you to have cleaner lines along edges. (such as where the wall & ceiling meet!)
This brush comes in many widths and is made with natural OR synthetic bristles.
These brushes will cost you between $8 and $12 dollars, depending on the size.
Image result for angled paint brush
Finishing Brush:
Best for Lacquers and Stains.
This is a finer version of the square cut brush. It has softer bristles for applying finishes without having streaks.
This comes in natural OR synthetic bristles and will cost you about $30 dollars a brush. (make sure you clean & preserve this one!)

Image result for finishing paint brush

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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

We Answer Wednesday - How do I style my coffee table?

“I am an avid design magazine reader. I always try to mimic what I see in photos, but something I always struggle to get right is my coffee table. I love the look in magazines but I can’t seem to get it right at home. What’s the trick to styling a coffee table?”

Great Question! This is always a tricky one because while we of course want to have a beautiful table, we also use coffee tables in a functional way. So where is the balance?
Depending on what kind of coffee table you have, the options truly are endless….

 Styled coffee table with flowers and coffee table books, indoor plant, natural light

Using trays is a great option! Especially for ottomans. Since an ottoman is a fabric or leather surface, having a tray on top is a great functional additional, but also a great décor piece! Depending on the size of the tray, using beautiful hardcover books is a great décor item. Adding some greenery also adds a bit of colour to the display. If you have the space and it doesn’t look cluttered, add a beautiful candle or a bunch of candles. 

 5 Key Pieces For A Chic Coffee Table #homedecor #interiordeisgn #livingroom

Trays don’t necessarily have to only be used on an ottoman either. Using one on a solid surface is a great place to neatly have your decorative pieces together, while still leaving space for drinks etc. for your guests and family.
If your coffee table has a bottom shelf, don’t forget to add some decorative pieces down there. Hardcover books, magazines, and decorative accessories are great on the bottom shelf. 

 As seen on HGTV's "Fixer Upper."

Adding vases with flowers is a classic option for a coffee table. Having beautiful fresh flowers not only look good – but smell nice too! Using a colourful vase is a great addition to the space.

 <glam coffee table decor>

Depending on the size of your coffee table, try adding a few lanterns. They give the table some height while also having an interesting piece as an accessory.
Incorporating interesting objects are a great way to add visual interest to the space, as well as giving you and your guests a conversation starter! Bowls, vases, candles, abstract objects and even picture frames are welcome additions to a coffee table.

Now, the trick is to have items that are to scale with your furniture. If you are going to incorporate oversize pieces, make sure you don’t have too much stuff in addition to them. Having a cluttered tabletop isn’t going to achieve the ‘designer look’ you’re aiming for. It’s all about the right balance. 

 A blue velvet sofa brightens am otherwise neutral living room. Love the coffee table styling!

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