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Before & After – Fireplace Edition

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There’s something about having a fireplace in a home - everyone loves it. Most of our clients have a fireplace and those that don’t, want to get one. There’s all kinds of research that says why we’re attracted to fire and why gathering and gazing into a fire makes us feel so good. It’s an evolutionary thing, dating back to prehistoric times. There’s even research out from the University of Alabama that details how watching a fire will lower blood pressure.

For those sensitive decorating types, like myself, gazing into fire won’t have a calming, blood pressure lowering effect, if the fireplace is unattractive. Seriously – for us decor sensitive types, our whole body reacts to colour and texture and form. If there’s something off in a room or if the room isn’t in harmony, a pressure starts building in my chest and my body can physically feel the unbalance. Those that have this same reaction know exactly what I’m talking about. Other people think I’m a little out to lunch, but funny thing is, after the changes are made, they can see and feel the difference too.

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Take the fireplace above, some people would say the wall colour is too strong, others might say the surround tile is wrong. What bothered me was the hole above the fireplace. My eye didn’t know where to rest, top or bottom, in the hole or at the fire. Where do you focus? Once the primary problem of balance was addressed, then tile selection and colour could be chosen. If these colour and tile changes were made without addressing the balance issue, the fireplace still would have looked off and felt not quite right.

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We’re all about making life easy and stress free. Many of our clients never know what to put on a mantel. Sure, styled mantels can look fantastic, but are they really necessary? Is it just another place to clutter up. We say if you don’t have a mantel, then the problem is solved. Very often a clean run of stone or tile creates a sleek and simple look.

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In the fireplace below, the balance was off. It’s not that the stone couldn’t be pretty, or that built-ins can’t surround a fireplace, it’s that the scale and balance were incorrect. The before fireplace is way too heavy, and the built-ins stick out past the fireplace. Not a good feel. The homeowner wanted to calm down the area, and since she had a chance to redo the fireplace, she chose to go with a traditional fireplace that she always liked. The insert is a 36 inch Town and Country design based on the Rumford style fireplace.

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Look at this fireplace below. What do you think the main problem is? Did you say wall colour, or green tile, or dated lighting? Mantle decor doesn’t count as we put all the little tchotchkes up there to get packed up. Well, the primary issue is the scale of the fireplace. The green marble is too wide for the scale of the surround. We also felt that the fireplace looked as if it didn’t quite belong, so we added some detailing to the wall, as shown below. Since code calls for 6inches of noncombustible material from opening, we were able to cover over some of the marble.

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Here is another fireplace we did. The homeowner said that for years she struggled to style the mantle, and she was thrilled with not having to worry about it any longer. Note the brass and black insert in the before picture. It’s the same insert in the after, just sprayed out with black high heat spray paint.

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This fireplace was unique as it was positioned in an architecturally busy area. We toned it down and brought in some calm by adding a heavier stone and mantle. This way your eye has a resting point and attention stays focused on the firebox.

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Sometimes budget doesn’t allow for a complete redo. There are always a few decorating tricks that can help. In the photo below we used white accessories on the mantle to bring some fresh and clean to the area. Notice how the curvy urn offsets the square of the fireplace and mantle.FP8

 

This fireplace was bright white with black marble. We asked the homeowner to paint it dark and she did. At this point, before the furniture and styling, it looks dark and heavy.

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Notice how the room all comes together and the black is repeated in the wall sconces and the coffee table.  The tufted sofa adds softness as does the Bergere chair just peaking out a little in the right corner.

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Below, the homeowner  didn’t like her fireplace at all, feeling it was too dark and heavy. Budget was a consideration, so we worked with what we had. We moved the sofa and love seat on either side of the fireplace to open it up and let it breath. We placed an airy rectangular bench to act as a coffee table. Notice how it doesn’t compete with the heaviness of the fireplace. Bright art was added on each side, as well as white accents on the mantle. The fireplace stone is grey and the wood has a red undertone. We suggested that she paint out the wood on the top of the fireplace to match the grey stone. This way the eye will read it as one, making the fireplace appear calmer and more soothing.

 

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Corner fireplaces always present a problem for furniture placement. There are only two ways to handle this. If the room allows, you can make it a secondary focal point. Set up the main living area away from the fireplace and have a strong focal point within the furniture arrangement. Then to tie in the fireplace, create a separate little area, perhaps with a chair and a basket of books. This only works if there is enough room and windows away from the fireplace.

The other way to handle the corner fireplaces is to set up the furniture so it relates to the fireplace. The before photo shows how we took the homeowners existing furniture and accessories and laid them out to sit in front of the fireplace.

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The after photo shows how fantastic it looked when completed. Notice how we used three round tables instead of one huge coffee table. Using round offsets the square lines of the fireplace. A hide was added so the area was not defined with a square shaped rug. Sitting directly across from the fireplace is a lounge chair. Again we kept this light and airy so it would play off the solidness of the fireplace.

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As you can see, there are so many different types of fireplaces. The before and afters show that anything is possible. But if budget is a consideration, then mindful furniture placement, paint and decor accents will do a lot too.

Since the weather is getting nicer and we’ll want to be spending more time outside, check out our blog showcasing this outdoor fireplace and cooking oven.

Enjoy the week and check back next Sunday for our new blog. Sign up below if you want to our weekly blog emailed directly.


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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Our 10 step process for kitchen selections

Lately we’ve been doing a lot of kitchen renovations. We usually spend a fair amount of time with our client figuring out their needs, how they use the space, and what they want out of their kitchen. All these things are important and these details matter a lot. It’s really satisfying to design a kitchen that works for each homeowner. Yet my very favourite part is coming up with the look of the kitchen and selecting the finishes.

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So many people freeze up when they are faced with choices of cabinets, counter, backsplash tile and paint colour. Then of course there are all the little details like door profile, hardware, faucet and lighting.

 

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It might sound daunting, but there is a method to this madness. I’ve come up with 10 steps to help make the process easier.

 

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1. Collect pictures of kitchens that you love. Take advantage of Houzz, Pinterest and all the magazines online. Or simply start tearing up magazines, and don’t think too much. Just collect images. You’ll start to see repeats of certain features and styles that attract you. We have a great Pinterest page here that you can follow for inspiration.

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2. Analyze what it is you like – white cabinets, dark floors, open shelving. Make a love it list of everything you’re attracted to. Write it down or make a collage…actually have something you can refer back to.

 

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3. Pick, yes this is going to be hard, pick the one thing you love the most. Yup, the ONE thing you want more than anything. This is your starting point.

 

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4. Repeat after me - You Can’t Pick Everything That You Love. Yes, you read that right. Picking selections is about designing the room, and that means choosing things that go together. There has to be harmony and balance. Of course you want to choose what you like, but it has to be carefully curated and not based on infatuation.

 

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5.Remember - there can only be one star in each room. Meaning, if you want a very busy counter, then the cabinets, backsplash and lighting should all defer to the counter.

 

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6. Be very very careful once you start shopping for selections. Too many times I’ve seen homeowners go into the lighting store and pick the prettiest light, then to the tile shop and choose their favourite tile and do the same with counters and cabinet profiles. This is how you end up with a hot mess. If you enter the stores without a firm idea of what you want, then it’s too tempting to pick what you like the best – not necessarily what goes the best.

 

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7. Keep going back to what you identified as your must have. If it’s all about the backsplash tile, then plot, plan and research what will enhance that tile the best. This is the time you can go back to your list of what you like. You can start adding some of  these items only if they enhance the overall look.

 

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8. Learn about undertones and realize that there is no room for error when doing selections. If your counter has a green grey undertone, then you can’t pick a backsplash with a violet grey undertone. It will look awful. All the undertones must co-ordinate. Don’t know what an undertone is? We have lots of tips and tricks here.

 

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9. Throw in the one wow factor. What is it that will make your kitchen unique? I like to always do something that sets each kitchen apart, something that stands out.

 

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10. Realize that you are spending a lot of money on your new kitchen. If you are unsure about layout and selections, then it’s time to call in a professional.  Paying for a few hours of design time will seem like a small investment, as opposed to a costly counter or tile mistake.

There are all kinds of statistics that prove that investing in a kitchen reno gives you the best return on your money. Because we’re mothers, Debbie and I know that the kitchen is the heart of the home. It’s where we spend good times eating and laughing, where important conversations take place while preparing meals. Snacks are eaten while the school and work day get discussed, and most importantly, problems are solved over a nice cup of tea.

If you want to update your kitchen, give us a call. We’re happy to help.

 


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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9 Things We Are Loving Right Now

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This week we’re sharing with you pics from our recent jobs and showing you what we’re loving now. We’ve picked 9 of our favourite things and had Taegan photograph how we’ve used them in our client’s homes. There’s definitely a softness emerging in residential  design. Traditional elements are becoming very popular and many of our clients are wanting their spaces to be soft and pretty. Read on to see 9 of our favourites.

 

1. Brass Hardware

This kitchen looks spectacular with brass hardware. After the highly polished brass of the 1980′s, we’ve stayed away from this metal, preferring polished or brushed chrome/nickel. Brass is back, but it’s softer and worn – more 1880′s style.

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2. Shaped Ceramic Tiles

Square and rectangular tiles are everywhere so we thought why not use a softer shaped ceramic tile. It lends just enough pretty to these fireplaces and balances their strong defined lines. Just in case you think this is for girls only, there’s been a lot of compliments from the guys too. Every room needs that perfect balance of masculine and feminine.

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3. Round Dining Tables

Tables aren’t just for eating on anymore. More of our clients are working from home and they like to work at the kitchen table. Round tables are just more inviting and easier to sit around. They work great in small spaces as there’s no sharp edges, so they look softer and more inviting. Unless it’s a huge space, we tend to recommend round pedestal tables. It’s fun to mix up the design styles like below. The traditional table and formal tufting gets a kick from the moulded plywood chair.

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4. Persian Rugs

It’s surprising how Persian rugs go with almost any decor. We put them in all styles of homes and they add a huge dose of warmth and interest.  Putting a Persian runner in the kitchen adds beautiful texture and pattern to play off all the hard surfaces. Plus these rugs don’t show the dirt as easily as you might think, because they have so much pattern. As for spills, the rugs are really durable and clean up with just a damp cloth.

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5. Pale Oak Paint Colour

Benjamin Moore’s Pale Oak OC-20 is a beautifully restrained colour. It has some presence, yet it’s soft and quiet. We love the way the wall colour quietly supports the beautiful draperies in this room below. Soft coloured furnishings are being added to make this a proper ladies sitting room.

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6. Wallpaper

If you haven’t looked at wallpaper in ages, you will be surprised at the sophistication of the patterns. Papering the dining room adds so much interest brings a softness. Below left, we painted out the oak wainscotting to a beautiful creamy white and did a large patterned paper above. We also love papering powder rooms, because in this room, anything goes. Really, how much time do you spend in there? It’s a room where you can go over the top. We used the floral pattern below in one of our client’s powder rooms and now it looks like a beautiful English garden.

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7. Chandeliers

The word chandelier is instantly synonymous with class. Throughout the ages, chandeliers have been as much about light as decoration. Below left, you can see how we have hung this one very close to the ceiling but still get a beautiful effect with the hanging crystals. The other photo shows how a tiny powder room gets instant glam with a chandelier. Instead of rewiring the room, we simply hung it from a cup hook in the ceiling.

 

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8. Antique and Vintage Items

No home is complete without something vintage. Whenever we go into a home we want to see the little treasures that get collected through the years. Usually our clients will say they don’t have anything special. As Debbie starts going through bookshelves and cupboards, we find all kinds of treasures that have meaning. This is what makes each home special and unique. Display your history with pride!

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9.  Florals

Flowers have burst into full bloom for interiors. It seems that for a long while everyone was avoiding chintz and floral motifs. Several years ago we started seeing large blooms show up in home decor. Now it seems we can’t get enough flowers. Below, we’ve done draperies for a formal living room, cushions in a family room, and a faux roman shade for a warm white kitchen. And there’s nothing like having a few fresh florals around the house. I’m even okay with artificial, as long as they’re good quality. One type of bloom per vase looks a little more realistic too.

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On the weekend we were downtown Calgary and they have the prettiest planters outside city hall. They’re faux of course, but it sure was cheery seeing the forsythia, pansies and primrose. I think I am going to do the planter outside my front door this week. Maybe add a few pussy willows too. It’s the little touches that make such a difference!

Call if you want help with your home. You can sign up below to receive our blog every Tuesday to your inbox. Have a happy week.


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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Colours of spring …pretty pastel interiors

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Pinks, mauves, buttercup yellow and pale purple have been popping up everywhere this weekend. Easter is a time of pastels - from the foil of chocolate eggs, to icing on cupcakes and frilly little girl dresses. Each spring I remember how much I like these soft feminine colours.

 

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It’s so nice after a cold dark winter to start wearing some of these spring colours. Pastel coloured clothing has an innocence and freshness about it. It feels light, airy and sweet. Pastel colours are not just for spring wardrobes, but they’re starting to make their way into home decor.

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If visions of 1980′s decor are popping in your head, kick them out quickly. The new pastels are a lot more sophisticated and not so Miami Vice. As most things, when trends come around again, they don’t come back exactly the same. Thank goodness, because I don’t know if I can stand anymore pink kitchens or rainbow coloured upholstery.

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But there definitely is a comeback of pastels and of pretty interiors. Colours are lightening up and interiors are looking more relaxed with the lighter colours. However, I don’t think Restoration Hardware has caught on to the trend yet. Have you walked through their store lately? It’s grey, dull and makes me feel absolutely choked. Debbie joked that we should bring our own flashlights.

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It’s true that colours affect mood and soft pastel colours can be very soothing and calming. Taegan has put together a beautiful collection of images showcasing some modern uses of pastels for interiors. You’ll see that they can look very current and fresh. Grey is a great neutral that works well with pastel shades. If I was in charge of Restoration Hardware, I’d get some decent lighting in there and bring in some of these gorgeous shades.

 

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As the images show, softer colours are more subtle but can look quite sophisticated. Use a light touch, because you don’t want it to look like Easter every day. When done right, pastels are really very nice.

Speaking of Easter, we hope you had a lovely weekend and enjoyed lots of chocolate eggs and bunnies. Next week we’ll show you pics of what we’re loving now and using in our projects.

Have a happy week.


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 and After…take a look at this lovely condo!

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We love before and afters and this after is stunning!! The client had been living in Ontario and renting out her condo. When it was time to move back, she decided to do a reno and her love of baking made the kitchen a priority.

We lightened the colours, incorporated a long run of counter, made a baking centre with fold back doors, and prettied up the fireplace with a small Moroccan tile. The hardwood was changed and new carpet was installed on the stairs and upper level. The railing was changed to glass so sunlight could filter throughout both levels. Don’t you think the banquette cozies up the eating area and makes a great place to sit and do paperwork?

Take a peek at the before and after’s.

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She loves her new space now. It’s full of light and looks spacious and airy. Best of all,  it works for her lifestyle. There’s plenty of room to bake, places to keep dog toys and leashes,  and nice comfortable seating for when family and friends come over.

We think it’s the details that make the design. Check out some of the pretties in this place.

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We’re so happy for our client. She is sweet and kind and her newly renovated place suits her perfectly. It’s functional for the way she  lives and really beautiful too.

With Spring here now, if you’re getting the urge to redo your place, give us a call. We can do everything from mini room makeovers to full scale renovations. We have a great team of trades that do quality work. My favourite part of the job is to assess the way you live so we can provide a design to make your place a home that works for you!

Next week we will show you how very pretty pastels can look in a home. There’s a feminine look that’s showing up in design now, curves, florals and soft colours. We like it – very ladylike.

Have a great week,


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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Dreaming of Spring…a peek at my little cottage garden

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Happy Happy Spring!! It’s awesome that spring has arrived – well, on the calendar at least. For most of us in Canada it’s still winter and will be for a few more months. Unless of course you live in Vancouver and post pictures of the cherry blossoms…right Aunt Bev??!!

At least it’s March and that means that the days are getting longer. We’ve had a great winter in Calgary, but I can’t stop thinking about spring, summer and gardening. We have a little cottage (or camp, if you’re from Northwestern Ontario) and I love to putter in the garden. When we purchased the camp several years ago, it didn’t have any gardens or even a deck out front.

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Each year we added a few gardens, planted some trees and put in a deck. We started small, but even a few plants made such a difference. The boys like having a little garden with some herbs, lettuce, and onions. We use our outdoor space all the time and love watching the bees and hummingbirds enjoy the flowers. Each year we add a few more plants and dig up a little bit more of the yard!

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If you’re like me and just can’t wait for gardens full of flowers, then you might just want to add some florals to your home and wardrobe. Last week I was at The Bay and saw so many pretty floral home accessories. Bluebellegray, an exciting young textile company from Scotland, has arrived and the bedding and furniture are gorgeous. Over in the China Department, there were beautiful floral dishes by Villeroy & Boch.

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And I’ll be chasing away the winter blues by dressing in pretty florals. Everything from blazers and pants to shoes and purses are bursting with blooms. I really like the floral top below.

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It looks like it’s going to be the year of pretty. I like it!! So there you have it, we don’t just have to dream of blooms, we can live with them everyday.

Enjoy the week and start planning those great outdoor spaces. Can’t wait until we can start living outside again. And I can’t wait to plant a few more blooms in my gardens.

 


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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St.Paddy’s Day Inspiration…a tip o’ the hat to green

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St. Patrick’s Day is coming up and so is the first day of spring. It’s the perfect time to celebrate the colour green. Green is the colour of hope, freshness and springtime. It’s one of the most restful colours and actually soothes and relaxes us. Green is a good colour to have around. It’s an ideal backdrop for interiors, whether you go minty or deep hunter green.

We’ve rounded up some of our favourite uses of green. From a little potted topiary to Kelly Wearstler’s green bathrooms at The Viceroy Santa Monica, you can see the many looks of green.

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And although not really an interior, I couldn’t help but include the next photo. It’s a 1959 Green Jaguar XK150 Roadster and I think that anyone driving it would feel pretty fresh and alive.

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Want a little more green inspiration? Here’s a link to last year’s blog celebrating green,  It’s all About GreenGet ready to celebrate spring with our post next week. We give you a little peak into a garden I’ve been working on for a few years.

If you like this blog, sign up below to get it emailed to you every Tuesday.

Wishing you a Happy St. Patrick’s Day.


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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Why Using Classic Elements is so Important

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Whenever we do a kitchen reno, we try to give our clients a design that will last for many years. We stay away from any finishes that are too trendy, because that will really date the kitchen. Same with bathrooms. Renovations are a lot of work, inconvenience and expense. Our job is to make sure it looks great for more than a few years. And we never want anyone to be able to say, ‘that kitchen was done in 2014-2015′ because of a backsplash tile we chose.

Take a look at the kitchen below. It was designed by Tommy Smythe. It’s hard to tell exactly what year it was completed in.

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Believe it or not, this kitchen appeared in House and Home magazine in 2005. Ten years later, it’s still awesome. Tommy’s use of classic elements makes him one of my favourite designers. His work is timeless because it’s classic with a twist.

Notice how he uses a simple dark floor tile, but lays it in a herringbone pattern. The backsplash is a classic Carrera marble. The overhead light is an exaggerated lantern. Strong, pleasing elements, that never look tired.

It’s easy to get caught up in trends. When everybody’s gushing about the latest trend in flooring, or tile, or counter tops, think long and hard about choosing that finish. It’s always best to go classic.

I like to collect pictures for inspiration boards that feature classic design. The game is, are these interiors new or from years ago? Good design should last…and whether 10, 40 or 100 years old, the inspiration pics below show beautiful design.

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I hope these pictures inspire you not to go chasing trends, but to look to the past for inspiration. Use classic elements for design that will last. Of course you can shake it up a little – throw in a twist for fun. Life’s too short not to have some fun!

As a tip of the hat to St. Paddy’s Day, next week we’ll be taking a look at the colour green. Have a great week.


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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Why Graffiti is Important and How to use it in Your Home

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Art or defacement? There’s a fine line that divides the art world on this topic. Some see graffiti as the most powerful art movement as it gives insight to what’s happening on the street. Others see it as vandalism, which I guess you might if it’s your fence or garage that was tagged. The interesting thing about graffiti is that this art form has existed since ancient times. In the ancient Greek city of Ephesus, the very first example of graffetti is an advertisement for prostitution. It shows a heart with footprints and a number. Graffiti has always been associated with a subculture that rebels against authority. Many have used graffiti to push a political and social agenda. It’s only been in the last 20 years that graffiti has moved more mainstream and become more legit through hip hop culture and mass media commercialization. 

We’re seeing graffiti and street art infiltrating fashion and interior design. Street artists, or vandals, depending on your point of view, are turning their hand to illustration and design and their work is showing up in the most unusual places.

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Pamela Bell, ex Kate Spade partner, didn’t want to create a Manhatten ‘trophy home’ so she invited her daughter’s 7th grade class to graffiti her muslin sofa with fabric markers. It works because of its imperfections. It’s engaging because of its flaws. And it certainly can’t be reproduced. It’s not the look for everyone, but it plays nicely off the Persian rugs and the traditional piano.

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If you want to bring a little of the street scene to your decor, it’s becoming easier as this trend gains respectability.

Ames Tile has come up with a line called ‘Word Up’ that incorporates graffiti and street art. We did interior walls of a creative office using this tile for an edgy look. http://www.amestile.com/wordup

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Timorous Beasties is a fabric and wallpaper manufacturing company based in Glasgow.  They are known for their edgy take on toile de Jouy fabrics of Napoleonic France. Their designs display a chic irreverence that resonates with those that appreciate classic design with a kick.  http://www.timorousbeasties.com

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Photographer Chris Vanderwees makes street photography in Toronto. He has a doctorate in English Literature, is an adjunct professor in the School of Liberal Arts & Sciences at George Brown College, has published many academic papers, yet takes to the streets to find what’s real. http://chrisvanderwees.tumblr.com 

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Calgary’s own David Brunning – TheKidBelo - is best known for his graffiti art and abstract work. One of the goals of David’s work is to influence the public perception of graffiti art. He wants people to take another look at an art form that is sometimes dismissed. http://www.thesweatlab.com http://thekidbelo.com

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Many restaurants are embracing the graffiti/street art scene in their decor. It creates a laid back vibe that speaks of youth and rebellion.  It’s fun, large and messy. It’s impertinence means that you can’t take it too seriously.

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Even Calgary’s own restaurant scene is exploring this design movement. Market, located on 17th Avenue in Calgary, is known for it’s fresh ingredients and unique decor. Above the bar is chalk paint and sketches of just about anything. Even the bathroom doors carry on this theme. http://marketcalgary.ca

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Una Pizza+ Wine is a great little spot for pizza. We like that they feature different local artists on their largest wall. http://www.unapizzeria.com

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The legitimization of graffiti art is evident in the places it’s popping up. From ancient civilizations to modern times, graffiti has been the  art of youth. If you want to bring an edginess to your decor, this is a surefire way to do it.

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So what do you think of the graffiti trend in home decor? Even if  big bold graffiti’s not your thing, it’s fun to try something new. How about a little cushion with some doodling on it? It’s wonderful thing to be open to new ideas.

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Have a great week.

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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The New York Design Scene…through the eyes of Taegan

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New York has long been the mecca of all things fashionable. Our Junior Designer, Taegan,  spent the last week being inspired by everything New York.  With  her keen design eye, she photographed her way through the city. The great thing about New York is that creativity breeds creativity. There’s inspiration around every corner. It’s fast paced and busy, and there’s no end to the possibilities.

Below are a few of Taegan’s images and her thoughts from this trip. New York may be loud and crowded and busy, but there’s no other city like it in the world. In New York, anything is possible.

 

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First stop whas the Museum of Modern Art. There’s a huge variety of work, but my all time fav is the Henri Marie Raymond De Toulouse-Lautrec, which you can see a close up of in the bottom right corner above.

 

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Above is a piece I had never seen before even when studying the artist and was the one piece I remembered the most days after leaving the MOMA. It is called ‘The Park’ 1910 – Gustav Klimt. He is most famously known for ‘The Kiss’.

 

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The art director of GQ is an ACAD graduate and welcomed all 33 of us to tour the head office that was located in the new world trade centre (World Trade Center 1).

 

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Here are the stairs up to the cafeteria at GQ. Gorgeous.

 

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BBDO is an advertising agency in NY …. probably best known for the ‘ You’re not yourself when you’re hungry’ campaign for Snickers. This was by far my fav experience. Multiple floors of various departments that all come together. Top level was the cafeteria with this signage (below) on the wall. Walk a couple steps forward to find a ping pong table, wii, and a secret bar that opens everyday after 5 o’clock.

 

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One day I walked to a yoga studio called Strala Yoga that I have been wanting to go to since I started practicing. When my interest for yoga first sparked, I would watch the owner of this studio, Tara Stiles’, free yoga videos on Youtube. Since then, my own yoga practice has grown and so has hers. She has written  a couple of great books including, Yoga Cures and Make Your Own Rules Diet.  

 

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This is a pic of a bar we went to in Brooklyn with a very industrial look. They had table games like Jenga for everyone to play. Love the copper sink with the shower-like faucets.  

 

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I am in love with the ABC Carpet and Home stores. There’s 6 floors full of extravagant unique wares. It’s really something to see. Such a magical place full of beautiful home design pieces.

 

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The Design Within Reach stores feature mid-century pieces, as well as cool items designed for  today. There  were several around, and each one was interesting to walk into for inspiration.

 

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My time in New York was unforgettable, intense, magical and utterly addictive. The energy of the city inspired me more than any other place I’ve been. Hope you’ve enjoyed a peek into my week.
 

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Our office is buzzing with talk of New York, stories of Taegan’s trip and a high enthusiasm level for all things design related. We’re all feeling that New York energy bouncing off our Taegan.

Tell us your favourite New York moments – we’d love to hear.

**Note- Top and bottom city scenes were taken by another local designer named Abrie Miller, you can view more of her work at abriennemiller.com.

 

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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