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Mixing High & Low…we share our secrets


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.








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.

Tony + Sharon

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.

Tony + Sharon 4

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.

Tony + Sharon 5

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.

Fred van Zuiden

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.

the boys meet Fred

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.

similar to Fred’s home

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.

Fred van Zuiden

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 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

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.

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.

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.



 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.


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…








And this is the Beautiful After…






















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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10 Things We Are Grateful For

It’s Thanksgiving weekend already. Wow, that crept up quickly. Where did September go?? We’ve had a beautiful Autumn season in Calgary,(except for that wicked snowstorm in what was technically summer), and the weather has been gorgeous. Debbie and I have been working on lots of projects and meeting a lot of new people. As we’ve been driving around Calgary, (she drives, I’m suppose to navigate, but get us lost), we’re just loving all the fall colours and we feel so blessed to have so much beauty around us.

Life gets crazy and life gets hectic, but we’ve learned that it’s often the little things that bring a smile. For our Thanksgiving post this week, we’ve decided to list 10 ‘decorator’ items that we are thankful for and think every home should have.


1.Cozy throws

Blankets are perfect on chilly days or days you need to feel safe and loved.

2. Lots of baskets

Baskets help keep clutter under control and stuff just looks better in a basket.

3. Reading lamps, dimmer switches and under cabinet lighting

Layers of lighting will transform a space.


4. Persian rugs

It’s like having a small work of art on your floor. A Persian rug instantly adds a level of sophistication and brings warmth to a room.


5. Books, books and more books…all kinds of books

There are studies that prove having books around the home means smarter kids. We think displaying books gives a home personality…and maybe helps make adults smarter too.


6.Down filled cushions…lots of them

Comfy to curl up in, great for lower back support and perfect for making forts.


7. Seasonal Florals…bring the outdoors in.

It only takes a few minutes to clip some branches and berries from outside and you have a gorgeous arrangement compliments of mother nature.


8. A comfy place to put your feet

Be it a stool, ottoman or a pouff, at the end of a long day it’s nice to have a place for tired feet


9. Pretty Linens…tablecloths, napkins, tea towels & dishcloths 

Bring some style into everyday living. Chores seem a little sweeter with pretty cloths. Dressing a table in seasonal colours makes any meal festive.



10. Fine china and crystal

There’s nothing like eating and drinking from quality pieces. When grandma or the great aunties are offering their dishes, say yes. Visit second hand stores and pick up some plates and stemware and mix in some old fashioned pretty.


Thanksgiving weekend is a good time to pause and enjoy everyday simple pleasures. I want to share with you what my youngest son said last night. With no prompting from anyone, and no clue what this blog was about, he told me that he loves it when we light some candles, make the house cozy and everyone is safe, warm and together.


He’s right. There’s nothing better.

Wishing you a safe and warm Thanksgiving.

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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How to keep Warm Colours looking Fresh


Autumn is such a pretty time. The landscape comes alive with such vivid hues.  It’s spectacular seeing the rich browns, oranges yellows and reds we associate with the season. The sheer beauty of it all can take your breath away.


Most people will tell you they like the Autumn colours and want to be outside in nature during this season. Men in particular will say they like to have these warm colours in their home. And they’ll say it out loud, because they don’t care that everyone seems to be adopting the grey trend. Most men don’t know that earth tones have a bad rep and are oh-so-1990. But I’ll say it too, I love warm colours.


Yes yes I know…you’re thinking brown leather sofa, red and gold cushions, burgundy feature wall…heavy, dark, choking colour. You’re also thinking massive, ornate furniture. Quick, open a window, we can’t breathe.


Yet nature get’s it perfect every time. It’s all about the mix of warm and cool. You don’t need to give up your favourite warm colours if you want to look current.



Brown is such a great colour…solid, lovely, warm, strong and much much softer than black. We work with a lot of brown and there are ways to make it look fresh. Mix it with cream. Mix it with a fresh blue grey, pop it with chartreuse. A lot of people still have their brown leather sofas…and yes you can make it look of-the-moment.





Almost everyone loves red…it’s been described as the colour of life. If images of heavy dark red dining rooms are popping into your head – give your head a shake. Instead, imagine red and cream, maybe a touch of navy or grey, lots of air and lots of light…suddenly red is fresh, current and breathable.










Warm finishes are showing up everywhere now. Pairing gold with cool tones like greys and blues bring an element of luxe to a room. Mixing finishes is okay too. Silver, gold, pewter and black all go perfectly together.










This hardwood floor and gold coloured rug look current when paired with the grey fabric on this chair.


Most people have finally replaced all their burgundy and green furnishings and we never thought we’d see this combination again. Burgundy and green are back…and it looks so modern. The burgundy is a bit more plummy and the green a bit fresher.






As you can see, it’s a combination that mother nature’s been using forever. Yet it looks so modern when done on the inside of a home.


To me, the colour of October is orange…beautiful orange pumpkins, leaves and berries. Orange and brown together may scream 70′s or A&W…although I noticed that A&W has a new logo and a new look, but orange is a fantastic colour. Again, just make sure it’s mixed with a cool colour  such as grey, blue or cream, so it’s not too saturated.








There are no bad colours…it’s just about the combinations. If you’re ever in doubt, take a look outside your window and you’ll see colour combinations that are perfect. Take your inspiration from nature and you can’t go wrong. Have a happy week and next Sunday, since it’s Thanksgiving, our blog is all about things in our home we’re thankful for.

Keep cozy,

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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How to Create a Classic Nursery

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We love babies. And we love children. We love the good things like little toes, cooing noises and that sweet after bath delicious smell. We also appreciate the hard times. Those moments that aren’t easy but are important learning lessons for child and parent. One thing we learned along the way is that kids are smart. And really creative. And they will rise up to meet expectations.

What’s this got to do with decorating a nursery you say? A lot actually. We believe that a nursery shouldn’t be too babyish. That’s right – a baby’s room shouldn’t be too babyish. It should be sweet, and clever, and inspiring. It also shouldn’t have to be redone in a year or two when baby becomes toddler and then little person. That’s just a waste of money. We all know that Karen Fron Interior Design hates to waste money. Spend it on quality – yes. Save it where you can – double yes.


We were lucky to work with a couple who shared our philosophy. This is their first child so they wanted a room that would suit a girl or a boy, and could either grow with this child or maybe be used for baby #2. They wanted a few quality pieces, and were fine with mixing the high and low.

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We found a beautiful persian rug and that was the inspiration for the room. This is a piece that will last for a lifetime. A good investment for sure. It is classic and edgy at the same time.

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Next came the wallpaper. We loved the black and white trees for the possibilities it offered. It’s an enchanted forest where the princess lives…it’s the secret passage way to find the Wild Things. It’s child-like and grown up at the same time. Creative types can even take a cue from the papers above and create decals to personalize their paper.

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The happy parents-to-be wanted a rocking chair in the room. We chose this custom made rocker in a soft cozy fabric. This was another investment piece. Eventually it will be used in the tv room to replace one of the chairs there. That’s what happens when you buy quality and have a long term plan. Maybe you put out a little more up front, but you get your money’s worth in the long term. Plus it’s pretty great looking and so comfortable. Wonder if daddy or baby will fall asleep first?

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It was time for art. It had to be cute, clever and not a Disney commercial. There’s nothing wrong with classic Disney but I have a real problem with making children’s rooms into an advertisement for the latest animated movie. Yuck. Kids deserve more breathing and thinking space than that.

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Accent pieces were added, feather-filled cushions that will be tossed on the floor,  jumped on and used for forts. A toy chest for secret treasures and a basket; great for the those quick toss-it-in-the-basket clean-ups.


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Walls were painted a warm white to match the wallpaper. The space is calm and soothing, yet has lots of interest. A few red accents pick up on the persian rug and provide a bit of colour.

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No nursery would be complete without books. If you want to raise a reader, then books need to be around and easily accessible. Own the classics and go to the library for the rest. Once baby is a little older, keep baskets of books in every room and reading together every day will be easy.


We’re excited for baby to see their space. We send out best wishes to this couple as they enter the world of parenthood. Years ago when my first son was born, someone wrote this quote in my card…I don’t know the author, but I want to leave you with these beautiful words,

Childhood is the world where ‘make-believe’ lives and dreams can be kept in a jar;

where time falls asleep to carousel music and lullabies drift down a moonlit sea.

Walk, don’t run, through this magical place, for in the blink of an eye and without a sound,

it will disappear into the years.

Take from its’ joy and welcome to its’ wonder, wee one.

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. Subscribe1






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