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Before and Happily Ever Afters

The call came saying she was a friend of a client and she liked what we’d done and maybe we could help her. On appointment day we knew we’d love this job because the family was just so nice. The home was welcoming, well cared for and filled with happiness. It just needed some updates.

 

 

Addressing how the space functions and how each family lives is our first priority. It became apparent that there was a whole lot of space in the front living room that was rarely getting used. Having a museum room is never good, so this became our starting point.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After

 

We brightened and updated the space, giving this lovely young family a home that made them feel good.

Have a wonderful week before spring break!


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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Do White Right

Whiteright

White is hard to get right. It’s funny that such a basic colour can be so difficult. But it’s those sneaky undertones again. They can change the way the paint looks on the wall. If it’s too grey, it can feel cold. If the white has too much yellow, it could come across as dusty looking.

When done properly, white is great for trim, ceilings and walls. If you have fixed white surfaces in your home, such as cabinets or tiles, then you must match this undertone for trim. It is possible to put several whites together, but they must have the same undertone.

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PICTURE

So as you see, white is not white. It depends on the undertones and how much natural light a room receives. It’s also really important to have your decor relate to the white walls, otherwise, no matter what white is chosen, it will just seem out of place. The most important tip I can give you, is to always test your colour on the wall. Paint a bristol board and live with the colour for a few days. Make sure that the undertone in the white isn’t working against you.


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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Quote Round Up & Instagram Love

If you’re not on instagram already, download the fancy app here. You won’t regret it!

Why we love the insta –
1. It’s just that! Insta! Instant, quick, and easy to use.
2. Instagram is perfect for visual people like designers and artists because it’s similar to Facebook but with no silly posts, less words, and ALL images.
3. Thanks to those fab filters, everything looks beautiful. And who doesn’t like to scroll through some gorgeous snap shots while you’re waiting at the doc office or lounging around on your lazy sunday?

Don’t forget to FOLLOW us so you can keep up to date on our quotes and stunning snap shots.


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 Design Classics

What’s with all the ugly, cheap furniture on the market today? I know we live in a throwaway society that promotes new and shiny over long-lasting quality, but it’s always a good idea to buy the best you can afford.

If you’re going to invest in a few quality pieces, here’s a list of our 10 favourites.

These pieces have truly have stood the test of time. They always bring a classic elegance to any space, no matter whether you choose the traditional or modern version. Good design, unlike fashionable design, will last a long time. Good design is worth investing in.

And you know what goes great with a cup of tea and rearranging your furniture? Some good tunes to sing along to… remember this one? Fleetwood Mac Greatest Hits This is another must have. Enjoy the remaining of your weekend!


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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Dust off your hidden treasures.

We just came back home after being away for a few days. The boys always unload the luggage while I sneak into the house alone. Unlocking the door and stepping in to my own space always gives me the best feeling. It’s like getting a big long hug. It happens every time. There’s something so awesome about stepping into my space, and being surrounded by things that make me happy. It’s pure emotion. It’s about colour and texture and yes about things. Beautiful things,\.things that make me happy.


Let me say right now that I am not overly attached to any item in my home. Do you play the game? I play the game. If you had two minutes to grab what’s important what would you take? Me…nothing. Except the kids and husband. But because they’re so smart, they’d be waiting outside already. So there it is, I love my things, but I’m not overly attached to them. There’s so much beauty in the world that I know I could fill any space with stuff that makes me happy.


Is your home filled with objects that bring a smile? I hope your wall colour makes you feel good. When you look around do you see pieces that bring fond memories? This is what it’s about.

The rock you collected on your trip to Nova Scotia…place it on a stack of books. Your aunt’s teapot – put it on the coffee table. Every time you look at it you’ll remember that she let you use the good china when everyone else thought you were too young.


We can all admire good design and pretty decor, but your home must speak to you on a deeper level. It’s all about emotion. It’s about telling your story and having a place to display what makes you happy. What does make you happy? Figure it out.

I have a job for you to do before spring sets in. Clean out your cupboards and closets. That’s right…dig through all the stuff. Dust off those trip souvenirs, find your favourite books, frame that love note…if it brings a smile to your face, put it where you can see it. And never ever keep stuff just because you think you should. Someone gave you something, but you don’t like it…donate it. Be honest, be brutal and purge, purge purge.


And don’t buy ugly. Really. There’s beauty in everything…useful things. I love my coffee mugs, my fluffy bath towels, my cutting board. Creamers and bowls…I have a special weakness for these. They make me happy. Having exactly the right size and colour bowl gives me such a thrill. I have lugged bowls home from Holland and Germany that cost next to nothing, just because I liked the shape. They make me happy.

Now get cleaning and weed out the good stuff and quickly get rid of the bad and the ugly. Let someone else worry about it. You need to live in beauty.


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.

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Freshen up your space and fall in love with it again.

 

CoolCalm


January has come and gone already, so some would say the worst part of winter is over. Us Calgary folk know that we have a lot of indoor days yet. I figure if you’re spending a lot of time at home, it should be in a space that’s enjoyable. There’s no reason to live in ugly – none whatsoever. We always say, ‘ugly costs just as much as pretty’. So roll up your sleeves and let’s get the pretty party started.

First on the menu is a really good clean. Honestly, how can anything be pretty if it’s dirty. Get out the soap and water and scrub away. The added benefit is that while scrubbing, you’ll probably tidy. Sort through all the piles and put it away… in it’s home…out of sight. Now that everything is fresh and clean and sparkly, you can start doing pretty. Look out the (clean) window and see the snow filled, barren landscape. It’s time to surround yourself with something green.

 

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Fresh greenery will have your place looking alive. We’re using a lot of orchids to style with because they’re so elegant and really an easy flower to grow. We’re also using Boston ferns, ficus trees, English Ivy, cast iron plants, and umbrella trees. Adding greens to a space will make it look current and fresh. Warning…this is important. Do Not have ugly, half dead plants. Never ever. And remember the rule, Poinsettia plants must be disposed of by January 15 at the latest. Really…it’s true.

 

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What’s the difference between a show home and a real home? Show homes don’t have a soul. They don’t have important objects that give off good energy. We really believe that every beautiful home needs to have collections of rocks, personal photos, meaningful books and handcrafted items. Artfully displaying items that have sentimental value is so important.

 

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Don’t keep treasures hidden away. Group collections and display mementos. There’s a real art to arranging shelves and coffee tables. Last week in a client’s home we displayed their beautiful tea cup and saucers from Italy. To keep the collection from looking scattered, we contained them in a sleek black tray. For years the dainty tea set was tucked away at the back of a kitchen cupboard, now it sits in the centre of the dining room table.

 

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The easiest way to freshen up a space is to throw in pops of colour. Adding a few new cushions on the sofa will completely change the look of a room. Don’t go all matchy matchy either. Mix patterns, colours and textures.  It’s a good time to update bathroom towels and kitchen linens too.

Our homes need constant care and attention. Putting forth a little effort to keep our spaces looking good is so worth it. When we live in a space that feels good, so do we.


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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A Pair of Chairs

Adding a beautiful chair to a room is the finishing touch. It’s equivalent to adding a sculpture or an oil painting. It’s unexpected, personal and adds a layer that elevates a room from nice to simply stunning.

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Well if one chair can do all that, imagine what a pair of chairs can do. Chairs can be so much more than just seating. They are expressions of taste, and it’s their job to be the style maker in a room. Most living rooms have a sofa, but it’s the occasional chair that adds the flair.

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It’s an opportunity to be a little bolder. Because a chair takes so little space, it’s okay to go large with the fabric choice. Combining classic form with wild fabric is always a show stopper.

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elle décor

Whether the look is modern, classic or traditional, a pair of chairs will always work.

elle décor

Today the best looks are combining styles and mixing it up.  Check out consignment stores and antique markets for really interesting shaped chairs. Taking them  to a good upholsterer for a fabric change is usually required, but it’s what makes the pair one of a kind.

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Buying a matching sofa, loveseat and chair just isn’t the way to go. A sofa and a pair of chairs will give your room the designer look.


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 thanksgiving…give yourself a break

Thanksgiving weekend is upon us. The air has a crispness and the trees are ablaze with colour. It’s the weekend that we gather friends and family to celebrate life’s goodness. Visions of a beautifully set table brimming with handcrafted decorations and lovingly prepared harvest foods swim in our minds.

pottery barn
pottery barn
It’s also the weekend that we can drive ourselves crazy. Cleaning, shopping, making, baking…getting everything oh so perfect. Pinterest, Houzz, Martha…our standards are high.
pottery barn
pottery barn
I say screw it. Who cares? Don’t do it – unless you want to. Find the shortcuts. Holidays have always left me feeling uneasy. There are so many expectations and such big ones. Pizza is fine – bought pizza good too. I mean it. Sometimes I play a game in my head. What’s the MOST important part of this weekend to me. Easy answer – having my family all together in the same room and laughing. That’s it – period.
Now that I know what’s important, I can plan my weekend.
ontariopics.com
ontariopics.com
Laughing – key word. Not me screaming to get the boys to set the table or unload the dishwasher or whatever because we’re in a time crunch. It’s me laughing and being witty that they want to be near me and willingly share the fun of cooking and preparing and cleaning. Well okay fun and cleaning don’t really go together, but you get the point.

So now that I know that I don’t have to spend hours cooking, I’m one happy girl. And as for cleaning – well it’s just going to get trashed very quickly this weekend, so give the toilets a quick wipe and plan on cleaning on Tuesday, when everyone is gone and you can enjoy it.

nature's bounty
nature’s bounty
And of course, me being me, I have to decorate…just a little. But I use my fail proof always beautiful and oh so easy decorating tricks. Leaves. Get out a bunch of cheap glass vases – even mason jars or drinking glasses will work, go in the yard and start cutting branches to go in the vases. Do a really large splashy display and your place will look all marthay in no time. To get really fancy, throw a few pumpkins on the counter and you ARE Martha.
pumpkin and cinnamon
pumpkin and cinnamon
Take some time to get outside. The colours are beautiful, the sky is big and we live in the best country in the world. Breath in the fresh air, throw leaves up towards the sky, and what the heck, jump in a pile of leaves.
citytv.calgary
citytv.calgary
canadian flag leaves
canadian flag leaves
Do something else this weekend – give thanks for you. We don’t do that enough. Celebrate our awesomeness. And maybe wipe the pizza sauce off your face.
With 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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Staged to sell…before & after

Spring was a busy time for us. We were finishing up several large jobs and doing some staging too. Often with the staging jobs there’s a time crunch because they have to be done NOW. So we go in and move furniture, rehang art and bring in accessories and small furnishings that enhance the style of the home.

Fitch Realty Ltd
Fitch Realty Ltd

It’s usually not necessary to bring in all new furniture and accessories. What is necessary, is to create balance in a room. Out of all the design principles, achieving balance is probably the hardest. Really hard. And it’s really really hard for the person that lives there to do this. Because when we live in a space, we look at it differently than someone who just walks in.

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source

And when a room is balanced, it makes it feel pleasant and comfortable and homey. All the things that you want your potential buyers to feel.

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source

And take some advice from one of our staging clients who had tears in her eyes. She said that if she had known that her home could look this spectacular, she wouldn’t have waited until she moved. She would have lived like this all along.


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.