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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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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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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.

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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.

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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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Outdoor cooking and entertaining – a real life story

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It’s always a pleasure to get invited for an evening to Rod and Alexa’s house. Well, actually you don’t really go into the house, as all the entertaining takes place in their backyard.  Rod has built a wonderful stone oven and they’ve created a gorgeous outdoor living space. It’s absolutely fantastic. Spring through Fall, it’s dining under the vines. The space stays nice and cozy from the roaring fireplace. During the winter months, Rod still cooks in his brick oven and likes to tell the story of the New Year’s Eve it was -45 outside and he cooked pizzas for everyone.

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When you walk into the backyard, there in front of you is a long rectangle space that has a brick oven at one end and a fireplace at the other. It all sits on a concrete pad and has a vine covered pergola stretching over the entire space. There’s hanging cast-iron pans, cheese graters, rolling pins and other cooking utensils. Bottles of olive oil sit on the large wooden pizza board and there’s always a good supply of wine sitting on the rustic table.

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Rod is a stonemason and he created his own oven. He can tell you all the technical details about heat retention and ideal cooking temperatures. All I know is that when we took the internal temperature to cook the chickens, it was shooting up past 600 degrees. Once the oven gets to the temperature Rod wants, he scoops out all the wood and coals and deposits this into the fireplace at the other end.

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Rod is also a cook. He knows how to blend flavours and create dishes with seasonal ingredients. Rod pairs his wine carefully with the food he prepares. Alexa is the organizer and decorator. She plans out the evenings and sets the table to suit the meal. There’s always pretty linen napkins and tablecloths. She has the most beautiful serving dishes that make the table look so pretty. And as the evening gets going, there might even be singing and some tap dancing.

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What I like best about Alexa and Rod’s entertaining style is that it’s the real deal. They’ve put a lot of thought into the function of their space. It works for them to host from and it’s easy and fun for the guests.

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Now that harvest season is here, Rod is creating rustic, hearty food. They’re stoking the fireplace to take out the chill, and there’s a stack of cozy blankets. You’ve  got to love how they embrace the season and get so much enjoyment from their space. They truly understand the balance between function and pretty.

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I truly hope that your space brings you joy and good memories. It’s those sweet memories that remain with us for years. Enjoy the Autumn season and embrace the goodness of everyday moments.

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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Decorating on a Dime

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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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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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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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