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Decorating for Christmas

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I am sure every child knows exactly how many days (maybe even hours) are left until Christmas. Me, I just know that it’s coming quickly and there doesn’t seem to be enough time. We’ve had a busy few days with Christmas activities and our middle son’s birthday. Throw in a Christmas concert, a basketball tournament and the normal getting ready for Christmas preparations and life gets fast. Plus, the weather was so lovely that we couldn’t resist going down to historic Inglewood to see the stores all done up for Christmas.

Today we hauled out a few little ornaments and found the Christmas stockings that still need to be hung. Some years I follow the Polish tradition of my father and we decorate the tree on Christmas Eve. Actually, it is rather nice because by then things have quieted down and we all gather and enjoy the day together.

Other years, I have grand decorating plans. Sometimes these come to fruition and other years they remain a beautiful vision known only to me. Those are the years I remind myself that the most important thing is that our family is together laughing, playing and feasting.

Below we have some beautiful pictures of Christmas decorating ideas. They may inspire you and you may want to use some of these ideas in your own home. Or maybe you’ll just pour a yourself a glass of wine to enjoy while looking over these holiday ideas.

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Hope you have a lovely week and enjoy your Christmas decorating.

If you would like to make good design a part of your life, email me.

Karen Fron Interior Design is a Calgary based design firm. We believe that a well functioning and beautiful home makes life better. It’s not about how much you have, it’s about using what you have to create beauty.

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It’s Holiday Season and Company’s Coming…tips for a mini-makeover

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There’s nothing like knowing that company is coming over to inspire a mini-makeover. Now that holiday visiting is starting, it’s like, OMG – where did the Fall go? All those little jobs that were suppose to get done and didn’t because living got in the way. Now it’s time to entertain and the house looks drab, the furniture looks old and it’s just not feeling comfortable.

The good news is  that there’s time for a re-fresh. In a few hours your place can look new and revitalized.  First order of business, give your place a good clean and a decluttering. Depending on how busy you’ve been, this might need to be done on day 1, and maybe day 2! Clean, sort and toss. Get 2 big black garbage bags, one for the Goodwill and the other for trash, and go to it. Now comes the fun part.

Rearrange Furniture

Moving the furniture around makes such a difference. Dare to be different. Go through your home and take furniture from every room and really think outside the box.

 

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Pile on the Cushions

I know I’ve said it before, nothing elevates a room like cushions. Pile them on sofas, chairs and benches. Toss some on the floor and put them in baskets. They bring colour and life to a room. Many times we’ve told clients to keep their existing sofas and cushion it up. Suddenly the furniture looks new!
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Layer Rug on Rug

We love to add pizzaz to a room by layering rugs. If you have ho hum wall to wall carpeting, pick up one or two great area rugs and lay them on top of each other.  They instantly add colour and texture and can make a space really cozy.

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Pop in a Few Accent Tables

If you have a super large square or rectangular coffee table, take it away. It makes a room look crowded, heavy and small. Instead, try using accent tables. We’re particularly fond of two or three tables grouped together as a coffee table. The nice part is that when entertaining they can be easily moved around as needed. Tables can be layered too. In my own living room, I have tables sitting in front of tables and it looks great because it adds depth.
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Have One Big Accent Piece

Sometimes going big really works. Don’t think because it’s a small space that everything has to be small. One oversized piece in a room can ground it all and really look spectacular.
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Hang Art Creatively

People often think that painting a feature wall is the way to add drama to a home. I think that moving around art and hanging it creatively is the easiest and most stylish way to change up a space. Go through the house and find all the art and pictures you can. Don’t be timid, just start grouping it and you’ll get that eclectic look. If you keep it balanced by weight,  it doesn’t have to be symmetrical. Although a few pieces stacked is a nice compliment in a room with a gallery wall. And did I mention that I love all original art – anything. Grandma’s watercolours, children’s finger painting, even framed leaves and rocks. It all looks great.
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Always Keep Fresh Florals Around

It’s important to always have some fresh in your home. Potted plants, floral bouquets, and even snips from an evergreen in your yard, all add that organic touch. A little bouquet of snipped evergreen in the powder room is an inexpensive way to bring holiday cheer.
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Lighting Sets the Mood

Dimmer switches are your best friend. And lamps…lots of lamps. Soft lighting can really set the mood. Lamps can also add great architectural structure. Plus we like that everything looks a little better with soft lighting.
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Sometimes it’s not about getting everything new, but more about using what we have in a new way. As you start to freshen up your home for the Christmas season, look with new eyes at your space. Cozy up the furniture, rehang your art, add some seasonal florals and suddenly your place looks new and pretty again. Now it’s time to start decorating for the season.

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Enjoy your ‘new’ home!


If you would like to make good design a part of your life, email me.

Karen Fron Interior Design is a Calgary based design firm. We believe that a well functioning and beautiful home makes life better. It’s not about how much you have, it’s about using what you have to create beauty.

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Easy Ideas for a Handmade Christmas

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What is it about Christmas that brings out the Martha Stewart in us all? It’s the time of the year when we want to make handmade gifts, festive recipes and beautiful decorations. In October, while still in the midst of pumpkins and leaves, it’s so easy to have all these great ideas for Christmas. By the time December comes, the reality is that life has gotten busy and all that glorious time has been gobbled up.

Worry not, because there are some easy ways to create a lovely handmade Christmas. Best part is, there’s still time.

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The most important thing I’ve learned about creating a handmade Christmas, is that it doesn’t have to be to Martha’s standards. There will be no grades assigned, and effort is everything. My kids have taught me that a little goes a long way. For them, it’s more about the process, the fun and the memories. When the kids were young, I used to put a little 4′ tree up in the kitchen. The kids would make all the decorations for this tree. We’d have everything from beaded ornaments to scrapes of paper hanging from paper clips, depending on the age of the child. They were always so proud of their handiwork.

little kids Christmas ornaments ideas

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We love making little handmade evergreen pots. It begins with a trip into the yard to clip a few branches off our big spruce and cedar trees. These are brought in and then we assemble our little clay pots that have been filled with oasis foam that was soaked thoroughly the night before.

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For colour, sometimes we’ll add a few pinecones, berries and ribbon. When the kids were little, this craft was foolproof. Stick in evergreen, put in red berries. Mom tied a big bow and they looked great. So good in fact that we made many for gifts.

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Making crafts from natural found objects is not only inexpensive, but it gives that organic feel that’s so nice at Christmas. It’s surprising what pretty things can be made with twigs, snips of greenery and garden twine.

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Another stress-free, fail-proof craft for all ages is rubber-stamping. As long as the little hand can clutch a rubber stamp and press, they are old enough to create cards, wrapping paper and gift tags. I used to buy card stock paper (my favourite was black), have the kids randomly stamp in silver or gold and then paste a small photo of them in the middle. Older kids can sign the back with a metallic pen and add a ribbon, and the card really turns out gorgeous. As kids get older, the designs get more and more creative.

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Sometimes it’s important to think about the end goal and figure out a way to time save without sacrificing that. I had my ah ha moment a few years ago when we wanted to make a gingerbread house and decorate gingerbread men. There was only so much time, and since the real fun is the decorating, I bought the kits. Yes I did – does anyone eat the gingerbread anyways? I think it’s more about the candy.

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My sister has always been the baker of the family. From her I learned that presentation of baked goods makes a huge difference. It doesn’t take any more time to wrap a handmade loaf in cellophane than tinfoil, but it looks a whole lot nicer. Add a bow (garden twine works well in a pinch) and suddenly it all looks gourmet.

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There’s nothing that says handmade has to be made from your hands. With all the craft fairs and Christmas Markets every weekend in November and December, it’s easy to pick up some gorgeous one-of-a-kind items.
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We love the Spruce Meadow Christmas Market and make that a yearly tradition. Not only are there pretty things to buy, there’s music, food and lots of Christmas lights.

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Sometimes it’s not an item that’s handcrafted, but a moment. Debbie decided a long time ago that she wanted to enjoy Christmas Eve with her family, but cooking for that day and cooking for Christmas was just a bit too much. Smart woman that she is, she started the tradition of Christmas Eve Chinese take-out. Every year they set the table, plate the food when it arrives, and all enjoy a relaxing time. Adding to this special evening, was her son Daniel. He decided that a great table decoration would be a blow up turkey…to go with the Chinese food, of course! And that’s how a sweet Christmas tradition gets even better, year after year.

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Happy December to everyone. Next Sunday, we’ll talk about some quick decorating ideas for Christmas. Some things that we think every home should have at this time of the year.

 


If you would like to make good design a part of your life, email me.

Karen Fron Interior Design is a Calgary based design firm. We believe that a well functioning and beautiful home makes life better. It’s not about how much you have, it’s about using what you have to create beauty.

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Mixing High & Low…we share our secrets

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Somehow we’ve been program to think that something nice has to cost a lot of money. While it’s true that quality does cost money, not everything in a beautiful room has to be best quality. We like to mix it up and combine quality new items with vintage pieces along with our favourite budget finds. The trick is to have a mix of items. We’re certainly not above shopping at Target, Bouclair Home or Ikea. They all have some great pieces. Our rule of thumb is, it’s important to have quality for pieces that get used all the time…for the others, maybe this is where you can save a little.

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One area where I never scrimp is cushions. Having a few luxurious cushions in a room sets the tone. When doing a grouping, there’s always the one or two cushions that are the stars and the others that are the worker cushions. For one client, we had two custom cushions made and the cost was just under four hundred dollars. Since we blew the budget on those, the rest came from Target and Ikea for twenty dollars each. Now we were back on budget and the entire grouping looked fab. Those two cushions made the room and tied it all together. Moral of the design story – look at your budget as a whole. Don’t get too caught up on the price of one or two items as long as the entire project stays on budget.

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Every home needs original artwork. It adds class and keeps a space original. I encourage clients to slowly build a collection and only have original pieces on the wall. Before you start thinking that it’s just out of the budget, consider some of these options. Check out yard sales and goodwill stores. You’d be surprised at the amount of original art you can pick up for a good price. Go to smaller art shows and support hobby painters and artists just starting out. Frame your children’s artwork – it really does look great. If custom framing is not an option, then use frames from Ikea. They’re simple and have lots of white matting that shows the art off beautifully.

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Sometimes a room really does need an entire redo, but it’s just not an option at the time. One way to elevate the entire look is with wallpaper. It adds texture, colour, movement and instantly brings a sophistication. It takes the eye right away from a not so new carpet, makes an older sofa look stylish and will help blend some mismatched pieces.

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Accent pieces make a room. They tell the story of the people that live there. But it’s important they have a curated look. These pieces need to look like they were collected over time. This is where splurge/save is most important. In every room there’s a spot where the eye is automatically drawn too – a large coffee table, the end of an island, a fireplace mantle. Put your best items there. Something unique, handcrafted or an heirloom piece. And we’re not saying it has to be your heirloom either – that’s what antique and thrift stores are for. Just make sure that it’s quality. Then all your accent pieces look good.

One last piece of advice for mixing high and low. Certain stores have signature pieces – those Ikea pieces that we all know are from Ikea, and likewise Bouclair and Target…don’t get those pieces. They’re too easily identifiable. The fun with mixing high and low is that it shouldn’t be easily recognizable.

I leave you with some of our projects where we’ve mixed it up. As you can see from these rooms, scale, proportion, balance, colour, texture and harmony are what make them beautiful.

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If you would like to make good design a part of your life, email me.

Karen Fron Interior Design is a Calgary based design firm. We believe that a well functioning and beautiful home makes life better. It’s not about how much you have, it’s about using what you have to create beauty.

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Before & After…Personalizing a New Home

New homes are lovely. They’re modern, clean, and everything works. The downside is that new homes don’t have a lot of personality. We think it’s a good idea to move in, live in the space for a while, and then figure out how to make it your own. That however, can be the tricky part. Sometimes it’s hard to figure out what we want and what we really like.

We received a call from a lovely young couple who wanted some help with their space. They are a couple that appreciates quality and likes traditional elegance. That’s where they stalled out. They knew that they wanted it to be more on the formal side, yet it had to be youthful.

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An important part of the design process is to evaluate how space in a home is used. It was determined that the main space was mostly used for cooking, eating and small group entertaining. They have a wonderfully relaxing space on the upper level and a great casual entertaining space in the basement, which is bright and airy. We suggested the piano be moved to the main level so that it would be easily accessible.

Tony + Sharon 2The upper living space was made into a cozy reading and television watching area. The grey area rug was  originally on the main floor, but we thought it would be better laid on top of the beige wall to wall carpeting. Having layers creates visual interest and gives a space coziness.

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Every space needs that mix of pretty and rough. Formal draperies add elegance, and we added in some organic and whimsical pieces. The eating area seemed to call out for a sparkly light fixture. We felt  the tear drop fixture kept it airy and glitzy, yet in a very modern way. The pewter finish of the bird lamp is classic, but the little bird is that unexpected treat. An organic element is brought in with the rough wood table and the faux fur throw.

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The basement area will be mostly used for gatherings of friends or quiet at home weekends. To give this space a focal point, we suggested hanging some Ikea cabinets. The wall was painted a brown colour to match and the result is stunning. It looks like built-ins and gives the room some strength and purpose. There’s nothing worse then a tv just floating in a space. The two sofas were older ones from a before-marriage apartment, but they look great down here all dressed up with cushions and throws. We have saved many sofas by loading it up with cushions. Again we threw down an area rug on top of the wall to wall carpet, as this takes the eye away from the not-so-new furniture. Now the space functions as a cozy sitting/tv area and the back half for games and food serving.

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Sometimes it’s hard to figure out the function and design of your own space. You know what you want, but it is difficult to bring it all together and create a home that really reflects how you live. That’s when it’s important to call in a designer. A good designer will asses how you use the space, listen to what you want, read between the lines, and create a look that functions for the way you live, while making it look beautiful.

Have a nice week. As evening settles in early now,  dim the lights, light some candles, and enjoy the warmth and coziness of your home.


If you would like to make good design a part of your life, email me.

Karen Fron Interior Design is a Calgary based design firm. We believe that a well functioning and beautiful home makes life better. It’s not about how much you have, it’s about using what you have to create beauty.

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Can a chicken coop be a home?…a favourite for Remembrance Day

Fred van Zuiden was a nine year old boy when his homeland of Holland was invaded by the Germans. The year was 1940, and during the two years that followed, he endured worsening conditions. Eventually Fred left his family and went into hiding. In his book, Call Me Mom, Fred recounts his experiences of finding safety in twenty-six different places.

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During the winter months, our family reads novels aloud. Fred’s book was on our reading list last winter. It affected us deeply, and like any good book, we were saddened when the last page was turned. After some lively discussions about Fred, we decided we had to meet our new hero. On a cold day in March, we headed out to our local Chapters and met with Fred and his wife.

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Fred’s unsentimental writing style allows for the horrors he experienced to speak for themselves. Although he writes about the worst of human nature, he also tells about  average people that stood up for what is just. This is why my seven year old was able to enjoy the book along with the rest of us.

When the same novel is shared amongst a family, it’s always interesting to see what resonates with each. What spoke to my children was the bullying that Fred went through. My husband enjoyed the chapters on the planes bound for Arnhem. For me, it was about the places Fred lived, and the idea of what makes a home.

Moving twenty-six times in the years between 1942 and 1945, Fred stayed in many places. Sometimes he was living with families and sometimes his dwelling places were a little more creative. From the end of summer 1943 to mid-January 1944, Fred stayed at the Poultry Palace. Upon seeing his new home, Fred commented,

“The old ramshackle building had probably been built as a shed. There was not a grain of paint left on it and the wood had weathered badly. The structure looked as though it was about to fall apart. I rationalized it would make a good hiding spot. After all, who would think humans could live in there?”

When Fred knocked on the door, he was greeted by a father who was about forty and his thirteen year old son. They spoke in whispers and their constant quest was to make sure their new home always looked like a chicken coop. They had a few crates to sit on and a rough wooden bed frame covered in straw, which they shared with the chickens. Fred’s world now consisted of this six by fourteen shack, two strangers and chickens.

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Although danger and lack of food were constants, Fred says there were many sweet times. They followed daily routines, kept themselves as clean as could be, and concentrated on treating each other with goodwill and civility. Joking, reading, writing and celebrating holidays and occasions filled their day. In such despicable conditions, these human beings lived life.

Upon meeting Fred, I was intrigued with how normal he was. As if he would be anything but normal…yet I kept looking at him thinking about his young self, living in a chicken coop, or sleeping in an underground dugout. For somebody that lived through such horrors, he wanted to talk about sailing, skiing and share a good laugh. I asked him about living in the chicken coop and he said that he concentrated on making the best of things.

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On this day of remembrance, I pause to think of the sacrifices so many made. We of the 3,000 square foot homes, iPads, electric heat and grocery superstores can hardly relate. Yet I think of Fred’s words, ‘concentrate on making the best of things’. Let us today find joy in simple pleasures and give gratitude for what we have.

If you want to meet Fred, check out his website www.callmemom.ca where he lists his book signing schedule for the Calgary area. And yes, I believe a chicken coop can be a home if those living in it have hope and faith and gratitude.

 


If you would like to make good design a part of your life, email me.

Karen Fron Interior Design is a Calgary based design firm. We believe that a well functioning and beautiful home makes life better. It’s not about how much you have, it’s about using what you have to create beauty.

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Remembrance of things past

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Our family takes Remembrance Day pretty seriously. We wear poppies, take part in school celebrations, enter the Legion writing contests and observe the two minute silence on November 11.
 

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My boys have always been interested in learning about WWI and WWII. We’ve taken almost every war book out of the children’s section in the library. They have this need to understand the past and connect it to their own lives.  A discussion about Hitler eventually turns into talking about bullying at school. It’s interesting to see them relate past events to their own lives.
 
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I believe that the past gives the present its value. It’s important to pause, think about what we really value and learn who we are. We all inherit a part of ourselves from our family and it’s important to always have pieces of our history around us.

 

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 Family treasures link generations in a very personal way. It’s important to select meaningful pieces and display them in creative ways. I have never been one for the cluttered look and I really can’t stand having knick knacks everywhere. However, I do believe that objects give off an energy and we should surround ourselves with positive energy and objects that bring a tickle-to-your-tummy.
 
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There are many ways to display items, and as precious as an item may be, I don’t think that anything is too special to use or set out in plain sight. If something is extra special or very small, consider framing it in a shadow box. The keys below really make an impact when framed together.
 
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One of my favourite items that I received from my grandmother’s home was her large cooking spoon. I use it every time I cook. It has a black ebony handle and fits perfectly in my hand. As I skim the fat off my soup broth, or scoop meatballs out of my tomato sauce, I think of all the meals that spoon has created. It was there when my mother and uncle were young, and now it serves my family. There’s a comfort knowing that my grandmother has a hand in nourishing my boys.
 
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Dishes and kitchen items are great to take as remembrances from family. I like the useful factor. Maybe a 12 piece place setting of Limoges china is just way more than you’ll ever use. That’s okay – take the bread and butter plates and use them everyday for snacks.
 
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If a silver tea set is a little over the top in your home, then display just the cream and sugar for some heirloom sparkle. The mix of modern and vintage gives a home an elegance.
 
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Enjoy your items. Don’t pack them away. What would be the use of keeping these vintage hats in a box at the back of the closet. Now every time this family walks by, they see these pieces, and if it matches the outfit, they have a hat to wear!
 
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One of our clients had the most lovely collection of teapots. When it came time to style her home we placed her collection throughout her home. The key to making it work is to do several small groupings rather than one overwhelming display.
 
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Vintage boxes are attractive and those that know me, know I love nothing more than putting everything in a nice box or basket. It keeps the clutter to a minimum and everything looks neat and tidy. Why use plastic when you can use a vintage item with some character.
 
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So many times our clients are looking for tables for a foyer or dining room. An antique pieces gives a room character. Don’t be afraid to mix an old piece with a current look. As a matter of fact, we think that every home needs an antique piece.
 
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Look around your home. Have you filled it with some heirloom pieces that mean something to you? Are you displaying your rich heritage? Staying connected to your past is important.
 
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This Remembrance Day, as we pause and remember the sacrifices made by so many, let’s make a promise to appreciate the simple things and celebrate goodness.
 

If you would like to make good design a part of your life, email me.

Karen Fron Interior Design is a Calgary based design firm. We believe that a well functioning and beautiful home makes life better. It’s not about how much you have, it’s about using what you have to create beauty.

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Favourite orange & black paint colours…not just for Halloween

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All the Halloween preparation this week has got me thinking about black and orange. When used together, we immediately think of ghosts, goblins and trick-or-treaters.

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Halloween aside, black and orange can be a very nice combination  for interiors. If using these two together, they have to be combined with a large amount of a neutral colour. As well, you have to pick either orange or black as the main colour, and then do a small amount of the other.

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Orange is considered an energetic colour. It is often used to draw attention, such as traffic signs or advertising. Orange is fun, flamboyant, dynamic and radiates warmth. Closely related to red, orange has a gentler and more restrained energy.

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Orange painted walls are a big commitment. They can look spectacular but may not be for everyone. A pop of orange, such as a chair, desk or front door, is a much smaller commitment and can really bring a room alive. Last week we discussed the general rule of repeating a colour 3x in a space, and how it’s okay to break that rule and have one stand out piece in a fun colour. Painting one thing in a room orange in a room will give you that pop.

Orange is made up of yellow and red, so look closely at the undertone and see whether it falls on the red or yellow side of orange. I find most people like orange when it is close to a pumpkin colour or the colour of the orange fruit. Don’t play it too safe or else you’ll end up with a wishy washy shade of peach. Taking orange too dark will give you shades along the line of persimmon, which may look more red. Hmmm….notice how orange colours all relate to food?

Some of our favourite orange colours are:

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Years ago when I was in design school, one of my teachers would always preach, “every room needs just a touch of black.” How right she was. Black adds some contrast to a room which gives life. Even though black is a strong colour, a touch of it allows the other colours to shine.
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Painting window trims or garden doors black is a great way to highlight the outside. Since huge tv’s on the wall always look like black holes to us, we like to paint out the wall black to help the tv disappear. Painting small rooms black is a way to create elegance and give a tiny space some presence. Front doors always look good in a dark colour, and we like the many hues that black comes in, such as blue-black, green-black and our current favourite, black cherry.
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Some of our go-to black paint colours are:

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Although now we’re in November and Halloween is so last month, don’t give up on orange and black. Whether you use them together or separately, these are two amazing colours and though they’re artsy and high style, they are not trendy.

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Even mother nature puts black and orange together. Notice how she keeps it fresh with bright green. This combination, with the grey-white fence as background, is stunning. And now in Calgary, we have a lot of white outside on the ground and covering all the trees. I was sort of hoping the snow might hold off for a while longer. I guess the only thing to do is to go for a walk and soak up the colours of Autumn and Winter intermingling.

Hope you have a nice warm week. Next Sunday, in honour of Remembrance Day, we’ll talk about the importance of having some pieces in your home that have a history. Photos, collectibles and furniture that are tied to your past and bring sweet remembrances of days gone by.


If you would like to make good design a part of your life, email me.

Karen Fron Interior Design is a Calgary based design firm. We believe that a well functioning and beautiful home makes life better. It’s not about how much you have, it’s about using what you have to create beauty.

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Fabulous Fabrics…it’s all in the mix

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Getting a new box of crayons in my Christmas stocking was my very favourite present. Carefully I would open the lid, breathe in that new crayon smell and admire those 64 gorgeous colours. It would take me about a week before I was actually ready to use them. First I had to make colour combinations. I would put the purple beside the red (daring), line up all the different shades of green (monochromatic), and decide if I liked pink better with blue or orange. There were so many colour combinations and I loved them all. It’s no surprise that I gravitated toward interior design.

Working with fabrics is probably the favourite part of our job. There is something so satisfying about putting different colours and textures together. When it’s done well, it immediately elevates a room from nice to show-stopping.  Many times we’ve made a ho-hum room fabulous by loading up with exquisite  cushions.

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It’s not just the colour combination that’s important, it’s also the textures. Rooms need differing textures, but they still have to blend. It’s especially important when working with whites and creams. Think smooth, chunky, small pattern, stripe, herringbone and tweed.  It’s also important to have different shades of white, ivory and cream for an interesting look.

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When putting a room together, we like to add a pop of colour. A look isn’t complete until we throw in that something extra, that bit of colour that doesn’t necessarily match, but really stands out. Sometimes it’s hard for homeowners to be that bold. A few weeks ago, Debbie and I were at Homesense getting some Italian sheets for a client. As I was talking to Debbie, I could see her attention focusing on the basket of a fellow shopper. Trance-like, Debbie whispers, ‘I can’t let her do it, Karen. I can’t let her buy those cushions and lamps because they’re just so blah. They won’t look nice in her home.” So off she went to make a new friend and get a pop of colour in that shopping basket!

Lately we’ve been using different shades of red. Scarlet, raspberry, coral, burgundy and carmine are happy colours and can be added to most colour schemes. A little red goes a long way though, so be cautious. Red feature walls are never a good idea for a family home. They may look okay in a restaurant or office, but are really hard to live with.

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Most times a colour should be repeated at least three times in a room. Sometimes though it’s okay to just put one stand out pop of colour. In the photo above on the left, imagine how great a few toss cushions in pumpkin orange would look. It’s just that touch of  “I’m not trying too hard!”

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As much as we like colour and pattern, I don’t mind using great neutrals for large items. The chair below is done in a beautiful textured work horse fabric. It might seem a boring choice when you consider all the options, but that’s the beauty of it. The choice for cushions, throws, draperies and area rugs is wide open.

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Beautiful fabrics can cost a beautiful price, but we think it’s money well spent. The luxurious feel of quality fabrics really is worth it. However, not every fabric in a room has to be best quality. It’s that old trick of mixing low and high. A few high end pieces will make everything look great.

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Most of the fall fabric collections have come into the showrooms now. What impresses me the most is that there is so much variety. If there is one look, it seems to be an ‘anything goes’ attitude. Colours are warming up slightly, but there really is something for everyone. I’m hopeful that this trend of not being stuck on one look stays.

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I feel colour affects us so much, that we absolutely need to surround ourselves with fabrics that bring out the best in us. Think of beautiful fabrics as a tonic for the soul.

 


If you would like to make good design a part of your life, email me.

Karen Fron Interior Design is a Calgary based design firm. We believe that a well functioning and beautiful home makes life better. It’s not about how much you have, it’s about using what you have to create beauty.

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From Dark to Light…A Before and After

What do you do when you find a home that’s the perfect size, on a perfect street, with a large yard, but not so perfect inside? You buy it anyways, and overtime, make it beautiful. This week we’re going to show you how one of our clients did just that.

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The home may have been outdated, but it was well kept and well built. Basically the layout worked for the couple and their two young daughters. The biggest issue for this young family was how dark everything was. It made the home look dreary. First thing they did was paint everything a beautiful warm white, and put a warm greige on the walls. They knew they wanted a brand new kitchen, so for a while they made do, and waited until they could get what they wanted. As the before and after pictures show, you’ll see how their home went from dark to light, and how pretty it turned out.

This is the Before…

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And this is the Beautiful After…

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Susanmore21Unlike an HGTV redo, this reno did not take a mere few weeks. This labour of love took about four years, as the homeowners wanted to do a lot of the work themselves. We were called in at the beginning and together we made a plan for the space. Little by little, the work was completed, and each phase brought the home closer to the final look. Last month we came in for a final styling day. Although there’s still window coverings and a few little touches to add, this home has emerged from the darkness. It’s a wonderful space full of light and laughter.


If you would like to make good design a part of your life, email me.

Karen Fron Interior Design is a Calgary based design firm. We believe that a well functioning and beautiful home makes life better. It’s not about how much you have, it’s about using what you have to create beauty.

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