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Decorating on a Dime

Decorating on a Dime

Sometimes people think that to live in a nice house you have to spend lots of money. That’s not true at all. It’s more about creating a space that is comfortable, neat, and organized. Taking time to set up the furniture correctly, having baskets of books, keeping the space tidy and and most importantly, displaying items that are meaningful, is what counts.

Sometimes we don’t get to live in the house we want, or have the furniture we think we need. But life isn’t about stuff, it’s about living and doing and loving. I was very lucky because both my mom and my grandma made beautiful homes, and they certainly didn’t rush and out buy the most expensive things. They just knew that clean ironed sheets were special and that fabric napkins (even if they were made from sugar bags, as my nona did) made a meal special. It’s the little touches…and we can all do that.

Taegan’s put together a sampling of some great ideas for decorating on a dime.

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Decorating on a Dime4

DIY projects are not only budget friendly, but there is so much satisfaction gained from creating something.

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Keeping clutter organized is vital. I love this storage solution. Cute and easy.

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If you’re an avid fan of the Little House on the Prairie books like I am, you might remember Laura and Mrs. Boast decorating the what-not-shelves with cut out paper on the edges. Wasabi Tape is just a modern way of adding some pretty.

Decorating on a Dime7

Anthropology has done a really good job with their buying. They have a vintage vibe that’s really colourful and pretty. But if you like hitting the second hand stores, there’s so many pretty dishes on the shelves, that it’s almost a shame to buy new.

I really believe that everything we do gives off an energy. Spending the time to get your home feeling good means that you will feel good. And never ever feel bad if you feel you want to hire a designer or decorator. We can’t all be good at everything and women shouldn’t feel that they are less if they need help. Whatever it takes, just make sure your home makes you feel good.


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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Creative ideas for dorm decor

Dorm Decor
School’s started and for many students it means living in their own place - and it means money is tight. But  that’s no excuse to live in ugly. Our surroundings affect us in a big way. Everything you see, hear, smell, taste and feel impacts you more than you may realize. It’s important to put a little time and effort into where you live. Living in a home that is set up to function well and has some pretty, can make your life better. Honestly…it does.

Notice I said function well and have some pretty in it. I did not say that it has to cost a million dollars. Function comes first. Spend some time figuring out the best layout for the space. Use some creative storage tricks to keep clutter under control. Once this is looked after, then there’s lots of cute, inexpensive ways to decorate.

Dorm Decor2

Dorm Decor3Lighting really affects mood, so never ever ever use bright overhead lights. Keep it soft and use lamps. Have some fun with clear mini lights.

Dorm Decor4
Inexpensive curtain panels are a great way to add colour as well as hide clutter. Target, Ikea and Walmart have some cute choices.
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Dorm Decor6It’s all about the cushions. Load up on cushions…it helps disguise a not so pretty sofa or adds pops of colour and texture to a bedroom. When doing cushions, seek out different fabric types such as velvet, cotton, wool and even leather. It adds way more interest.

Dorm Decor7Be creative with wall decor. Snapshots of friends look like art when displayed creatively.

Dorm Decor8

Dorm Decor9
Secondhand stores, thrift stores and yard sales are great places to find treasures. Sometimes a little bit of paint takes something from yuck to beautiful. Right now we’re loving Benjamin Moore’s Advance paint. Imagine grandma’s orange oak dresser painted turquoise! Even doing part of a piece, like below, makes it look fresh.

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Make unique bulletin boards from frames found at yard sales of goodwill stores. All those loose pieces of paper will finally have a home. It’s impossible to get away from clutter, but putting everything in baskets makes it look better.

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Dorm Decor12
Whether you consciously realize it or not, our surroundings do affect us. Retailers know this and they spend a lot of time and money creating their stores so that we spend money. Workplaces are starting to realize that their environment affects employee’s productivity. It doesn’t take a lot of money to make a space pretty…just a bit of time. Invest in yourself and you’ll feel the difference.

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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Truly Canadian

To celebrate Canada’s birthday, here’s a short list of favourite Canadian decorating items.

1.  Hudson Bay Blanket

thebay.com
Hudson Bay blankets are a symbol from the beginning of our country. Originally valued for their warmth, even when wet, the Hudson Bay Blanket now holds iconic status in Canada. There’s nothing better than snuggling down deep in a bed made up with a Hudson Bay blanket.

2. Toboggans

woodlandcreekfurniture.com
todd falkowsky sled table

 

Before crazy carpets and steerable sleds, there was the toboggan. The thrill of going down the hill, made up for the chore of lugging it back to the top. Toboggans were the original mode of transporting goods for the Inuit and Cree. Today, they are not so commonly seen on the sledding hill, but have made their way into Canadian decor.

3.  Log Furniture

brentcomber.com

Whether it’s as simple as using stumps for chairs around the campfire, log furniture has been the Canadian way. It continues to be popular in fashionable interiors and Canadian designers such as Brent Comber are internationally known.

4. Canadiana

ebay.com

It’s not just moose antlers and Mounties. Canada is known for more than we give ourselves credit for. Throwing in a bit of Canadiana works for all decor styles. Repurposing bits of our heritage keeps us connected to the past and adds interest to interiors. Love this to hold books and newspapers.

5. Maple Leaf Forever

styleathome.com

If the days of hanging a Canadian flag in the window are long gone, then this patriotic cushions offers a grown up way to display your pride. The maple leaf is the quintessential Canadian symbol. Show yours with style.

Happy Birthday Canada. Cheers to living in one of the freest, happiest and welcoming places around!


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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Wallpaper is cool again

After a short hiatus, wallpaper is back in fashion. We should have seen this coming as wallpaper has a long interesting history.

via prestigioustextiles.com

In the middle ages the elite class hung tapestries on their walls. This added colour as well as much needed insulation. Less well off members of the upper-class turned to wallpaper to brighten their rooms.

via prestigioustextiles.com

Early wallpaper featured scenes similar to those depicted on tapestries. Some early wallpapers were even hung loose to mimic the look of a tapestry.

via prestigioustextiles.com
via prestigioustextiles.com

During the Protectorate, under Oliver Cromwell, the manufacture of wallpaper was seen as frivolous and was halted. Following the restoration of Charles II, the lure of wallpaper was as strong as ever and wealthy people all across England began decorating with it again.

via prestigioustextiles.com

The development of the steam-powered printing press in Britain in 1813 allowed manufacturers to mass produce wallpaper. Thus its price was reduced and wallpaper became affordable to working class people. It was a cheap effective way to brighten up cramped and dark rooms.

 William Morris was one of the most influential designers of wallpaper and fabrics during the latter half of the Victorian period. Although he believed in ‘art for all’, his wallpapers were expensive and there wasn’t much uptake. However, he has had a long lasting effect on wallpaper design and his papers continue to be popular. Charles Francis Annesley Voysey  was an Arts and Crafts architect who also designed fabrics, tiles, ceramics, and wallpapers. His style combined simplicity with sophistication. His wallpapers feature stylised bird and plant forms in bold outlines with flat colours. Many of his designs still remain in print.

via prestigioustextiles.com

During the late 1980’s, wallpaper fell out of favour in lieu of faux painting. Now we’re seeing wallpaper show up in stylish homes, often as a feature wall. The patterns are big and bold and the colour choices are simply beautiful.

via prestigioustextiles.com

Consider adding wallpaper to your home. Email me if you would like to see some of the newest and stylish patterns. Seems our love of wallpaper can only be suppressed for so long. So go ahead, enjoy this inexpensive way to bring colour, texture and pattern to your walls.



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

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An old fav…Over the moon

Yesterday at the fabric showroom, I found the most amazing fabrics. My client is going for a modern British look, yet still a bit clubby and menswear inspired. These fabrics by Abraham Moon and Sons have me swooning.

moon.co.uk
moon.co.uk

Moon has been making woollen fabrics in the United Kingdom since 1837. They still use many of their old patterns from the early 1900s. Tweeds, tartans, heather colours, checks and stripes are manufactured for both fashion and home design.

moon.co.uk

The colours are muted, yet the fabrics have such depth to them. Whether it’s a large upholstered piece, draperies, or simply a few toss cushions, they’ll add quiet luxury to a room.


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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Chaos to masterpiece.


It’s style day at our client’s home. The large pieces were delivered a few days prior, and now it’s time to put it all together. This is the part we love. At first it’s all bags and loads of accessories. It doesn’t look too good. It’s actually hard to move around in the space, and there’s stuff everywhere. But shortly the magic is about to begin.

All renovations have been done before today. We’ve made a floor plan and large furnishings, chosen for function and beauty, are sitting in place. Today is the day to do pretty. Sometimes our clients like to be there for the process, but many times they let us do our thing and come home once their space has been transformed. It’s always so fun to see their reactions.


Although it may look unorganized, there is method to the process. There are simple design principles that every space needs. Most important in a room is balance. It has to feel right. There has to be a balance between large and small, square and curvy and masculine and feminine. Scale and proportion come next. Furnishings and accents have to be in the proper scale or again, the room won’t feel good.


Colour is so very important. Every room needs some warm and cool. A room that is all warm colours will feel choking. All cool colours and it just feels frosty. Sometimes it’s fun to throw in a colour that’s just a little off so it looks interesting. Chartreuse or raspberry are good colours to add for a jolt.


Within every home, there must be harmony, a natural flow from room to room. That doesn’t mean it all has to look the same, but it certainly has to work together. Focal point, rhythm, repetition, these all must be considered when designing and styling a space. As the cushions get unpacked and the accent tables put in place, we’re following good design principles. There’s a lot that goes into it.


Because we love our client so much, we styled up her home and helped her bring in extra seating for the baby shower she was hosting the next day. So no after pictures right now. We’ll get some of those when the chairs and teacups and shower decorations are taken down.


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.