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Dreaming of Spring…a peek at my little cottage garden


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

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




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


















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


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



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

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


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

Karen Fron Interior Design is a Calgary based design firm. We believe that a well functioning and beautiful home makes life better. It’s not about how much you have, it’s about using what you have to create beauty.



Why Using Classic Elements is so Important


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

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


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

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

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

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










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

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

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

Karen Fron Interior Design is a Calgary based design firm. We believe that a well functioning and beautiful home makes life better. It’s not about how much you have, it’s about using what you have to create beauty.



Why You Need to Decorate for Your 5 Senses


After a long day out, it’s so nice to come home, kick back and unwind.  There’s nothing better then walking through the door and getting that deep down feeling in your tummy that says, ‘all is well’.  When someone tells me that their house doesn’t make them feel good, that’s when I say we need a design intervention.

Too many times we think it has to be the latest style or the most up-to-date appliances, when really,  it’s more basic than that. We crave certain comforts and they’re tied in to our senses. We react on a very deep level, often without even being consciously aware.




To make your house an inviting place that you want to come home to, we recommend you decorate with the five senses in mind.

Sight: Okay this is a big one, but let’s break it down to the basics. Our eyes see so many images that our home should provide a peaceful respite. Start with  lighting. Get as much daylight going as you can. When evening comes, skip the overheads and keep light soft and tranquil with lamps.

Personalize your space with meaningful objects, such as photos, trip mementos and family heirlooms. Not only are these pretty to look at, they evoke emotions of happy times.

Bring in colour that makes you feel calm and content. Don’t worry about the trends or the colour of the year. Not much good using these colours if they make you feel edgy. Choose colours that make you feel happy and make sure everyone gets to pick their bedroom colour.

Hearing: What sounds make you feel good? Soft music, no music, the washing machine going. My father-in-law loved the chime of clocks and he said it always made him feel safe and cozy. Think about the sounds you surround yourself with.

Smell: Lilacs, a newborn baby, basil, evergreens, apple pie cooking…Smell is so incredibly important, yet it is so overlooked as a decorating essential. Create atmosphere by adding scents to your home. Be careful though, using too much fragrance is simply gross. Do it naturally and in small doses.

Touch: Ask anyone who’s ever worn a scratchy shirt or had a tag rubbing how uncomfortable the wrong fabric can be. Comfort very much depends on the feel of things. Make sure your home has comfortable seating, fluffy pillows, good blankets, and cozy places to curl up in.

Taste: The kitchen is the traditional hearth of the family. A place where we feed and care of our families. Nothing makes a home more comforting than knowing that it’s full of delicious food and wonderful treats. It’s an important skill to be able to look at a pantry full of staples and know how to whip up a batch of scones, make a mac and cheese from scratch, or follow an easy recipe for molten chocolate lava cakes. Teach everyone in your family how to make a few signature dishes. Even young children should be given the opportunity to feel the pride that comes from feeding others.

Keep the pantry cupboard looking neat and tidy. Organize it so it functions well and looks pretty. Every time someone opens the door and sees the bounty, they’ll feel content and safe.





Rooms that satisfy our senses inspire feelings of comfort, joy and security. In my mind, this is essential for wellbeing. My middle son, he’s the artsy one, gave me the best compliment last week. We were back and forth on the idea of going away for Family Day Weekend, and finally I decided that maybe we should just stay put as we have been rushing around like crazys. I thought the kids might be a little disappointed, but middle boy looked at me with puzzle on his face and said, ‘Mom, you’ve set up the house so nice, it has everything we need. Why would we want to go someplace else?”.



Enjoy the holiday weekend… and most importantly, enjoy your home. If you’re not feeling the love, give us a call. Together, we can make your home a place that 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.



To Reno or Not to Reno


Last week we had you tag along on a day at work with us.  We were out to Priddis and Lake Bonavista to check on the progress of the construction work. Some of the pictures showed some major construction going on.



Often we get called in to help decide whether to do a major renovation or to do a smaller facelift. We don’t sugarcoat it. No matter how great the end result, going through a reno is always a lot more work and mess than ever planned. Daily life is disrupted and countless decisions have to be made.



In order to make the decision to reno or not, it’s important to know the answers to three key questions.

1. Are you planning to stay in the home? If there is a possibility of a move in the next few years, then the reno needs to reflect this. Now is not the time to make two bedrooms into one, or to put in lime green kitchen cabinets. Think in terms of updates that will please potential buyers. Sometimes even a fresh coat of paint will give enough of a lift.


2. Will the rest of the house fit the new look? It’s important to make sure there is flow throughout the entire home. An ultra modern      industrial looking kitchen won’t suit a 1960′s bungalow if that’s the only room being updated. Make sure the budget is enough to facelift the main living spaces in order to create unity.



3. The last question, and the one that needs the most reflection is, does this renovation enhance your lifestyle?  Function must always come first. As designers, it’s our job to not only make your new place beautiful, but to make it function well so life is better. Spending time and money to put in new wider baseboards is a nice idea, but maybe the money can be better spent to make a larger mudroom.



It’s important to think about how you want your home to feel and function. If doing major renovations doesn’t appeal at this time, there are a lot of tricks that can be done with paint, furniture placement and some great colourful accessories.

However, going through a little pain in the short-term will bring about some spectacular long term results.





It’s kind of like having a baby. Once that beautiful new space is yours, and you see how gorgeous it is, the memory of the discomfort fades and you can’t imagine life without it!

Have a great week and a Happy Valentine’s Day. Give yourself a little Valentine’s Day treat and sign up for our blog. Every  Tuesday you’ll have an email directly from us. It’s like getting a wee present every week.

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

Karen Fron Interior Design is a Calgary based design firm. We believe that a well functioning and beautiful home makes life better. It’s not about how much you have, it’s about using what you have to create beauty.



How to Style A Room

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Let’s face it – the beauty of a room comes from the details. And styling is all about the details. That’s why styling is so important. I can’t tell you the number of times we’ve been called to a home because the homeowner wants to get a new sofa to spruce up a room. We look around and think that there is no sofa on this planet that is good enough to spruce up this room. What the room needs is a style intervention. Usually we end up keeping the sofa and spending the budget on interesting styling accessories.
Debbie and I have styled many homes and although each one is different, there are some general accessories and guidelines that every home needs to have and follow. We want to share these with you in this weeks blog. If you like reading this blog, then sign up at the bottom to receive it emailed to you every Tuesday morning. If you know someone that could use a bit of decorating help, a subtle way to educate them is to sign them up too! We love sharing our stories and pictures with you.
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First thing to do is to arrange furniture so the room has a focal point and is cozied up. This is step one and can be a lot of fun. Debbie and I are from the generation where our moms would spring and fall clean the house every year. When we came home from school the house would be sparkling clean, smell like lemon oil and all the furniture would be changed around!!! Don’t overthink the moving – just do it. Try out configurations that break every rule you’ve been taught. Sofa in front of window, might just work. Furniture on an angle – why not? Change it up and figure out an arrangement that works for you. Once the furniture layout has been decided, then comes the pretty part – the styling.
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Rehang Art - For a quick change that makes a huge impact – rehang your art. Go room by room and mix it all up. Hang art low, it makes a larger impact this way. When grouping art, it’s about balance. It has to be weighted evenly, not necessarily symmetrical. As a matter of fact, we tend to use odd numbers of art when hanging gallery style. If you want some interesting wall art, consider framing stamps, comic books, and magazine covers. My eldest son is into music and we just found some frames at Ikea that are for framing record albums, which he collects. It makes for a much more interesting look than having a home full of mass produced art.


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Cushions bring in a pop of colour and texture. When doing a room we always think in terms of texture – do we have a good mix of rough and soft. Make sure the cushions have different textures – flannel, leather, linen, suede – as well as the right colours. And what are the right colours, you ask? Well you want the joiner cushions, the one that repeats the colour and ties it together. Then you want the wow factor – the cushions that knock it out of the park. A great trick to elevate the look is to introduce a colour that isn’t in the room and doesn’t get repeated. It looks bold and daring. Just remember, don’t do matchy matchy – it’s just too pedestrian.


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Area rugs can do so much for a room. Usually we go large enough so that the furniture is touching the rug. It’s important to have at least the front legs of the sofa and chairs on the area rug. Unless it’s a small rug that just sits under the coffee table or in front of the fireplace. Then it’s okay to have air around the rug. And like I mentioned last week, yes you can layer rug on rug. This is a cheap and cheerful way to dress up wall to wall carpeting that may not be the most current colour or in the best shape.


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Lamps are like jewelry for a room. There are so many types available – floor, table, sconces – as well as so many different shapes. Mix up the types in a room. Having a matching pair on each side of the sofa is old school, unless the room is modern enough to support the symmetry.


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Coffee table and dining table styling has really kicked up a notch in the last few years. What’s current now is to have a table styled with interesting objects. If it’s a large table, mentally divide it into zones and style each section. Again, go for balance over symmetry. Use trays to contain objects and hold groups together, like the candles below. Having a fresh plant on the table gives some life to the room. When decorating a table, it’s a great opportunity to use personal items and little treasures that give the room a sense of authenticity. We also like to include some round shapes on a square or rectangular table.


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Books don’t have to be relegated to the bookshelf any longer. Take out any pretty hardcover books and use them to style with. They look excellent under lamps, with a group of candles on them, or as a place to display small curios. And they look great just piled up…on the floor, on a table, anywhere.


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Throws add texture to a room and are great to cozy up in. We like throws because they offer a cheerful way to hide a not so pretty sofa. We also like draping a colourful throw over leather furniture to warm it up and break up the masculine look that leather furniture often has.  King size beds can also benefit from having a throw at the end. Beds are such a large solid mass, that layering throws and quilts help break up the solid look and provide movement. We like using a few different textures to add interest.


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It’s all the little details that combine to give a room the look. Styling takes time and lots of trial and error. It’s worth the effort though. In the end, if all else fails, call in a decorator for a few hours. You’ll be amazed at the difference.




We’ve been working on some big projects lately and been in construction mode. One of the homes is getting near the end, so I’m hoping we’ll have some pictures to show you in the next while. Remember, if you want to receive my blog direct to your inbox, click below and every Tuesday morning you’ll get mail!

Have a great week,

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

Karen Fron Interior Design is a Calgary based design firm. We believe that a well functioning and beautiful home makes life better. It’s not about how much you have, it’s about using what you have to create beauty.



Simple ways to make your home look expensive

Want your home to look like a million bucks? This week we spill on how to make your home look expensive without breaking your budget. These instant updates and simple solutions will give your home a high end look.

via house beautiful
via house beautiful

Simple Shelves

Those who know me, know how much I detest clutter. It makes me crazy. But today clutter isn’t on the list…simple shelves are though. This means if you have open shelving, it has to be thought of as art and not storage. If it’s storage you need, then do cabinets. Open shelving HAS TO BE PRETTY – otherwise it looks messy and cheap.

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 Bold Art

Don’t be afraid to have very large art, no matter how small the space. Going oversize is sophisticated and looks expensive. If you can afford an original, then go for it. If the budget is smaller, then consider painting your own or even having photos blown up large scale. Another trick is to hang frames in a grid pattern, as then it reads as one large piece.

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Fresh Arrangements

Adding fresh florals to a room will really take it to another level. Having a large floral budget isn’t necessary. We love using branches snipped from the yard ( or a kind neighbour’s yard) to add drama to a space. A single floral placed in individual vases also makes a statement for a fraction of the cost. Try forcing your own bulbs…even little potted plants will add a fresh appeal.

via elle decor
via elle decor

elle decor 2

Design Simply

We all want our space to exude comfort, luxury and sophistication and the best way to do this is to keep it simple. Don’t overdo it, don’t try too hard and don’t go all matchy matchy. Keep it clean, fresh and not cluttered. Design for function first and eliminate things that aren’t useful or beautiful.


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Camouflage TVs

Nothing sucks the life out of a room like a big black tv. It is so ugly that if I was designing just for beauty, tv’s wouldn’t be in a room or they would all be the kind that pop out of a cabinet. However…we have tv’s and most of us want tv’s in a room. I refuse to let the tv be the centre of attention. We like to camouflage it on the wall with art all around. Another favourite trick is to paint the wall behind the tv black. It looks dramatic and the television blends right in.

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Include Some Antique and Vintage Items

Adding an antique piece gives a space instant history and soul. One piece in a room can elevate everything around it. If you aren’t  in line to inherit any antique furnishings, then start visiting flea markets, auction halls and antique markets to collect your own. Don’t go overboard – follow the 80/20 rule. A room should be approximately 80 percent contemporary with 20 percent vintage or antique. This way it will look current and not old and mouldy.


Christine Mack NYC Home
Christine Mack NYC Home



Every room needs a variety of textiles for that luxurious look. When putting a room together think about the texture of the fabric as well as the pattern. And always have a high quality fabric somewhere in the room even if it’s only one cushion. That’s okay…as long as there’s quality textiles somewhere. Consider shopping vintage. For a high end look, the quality of the textiles are important.

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Area Rugs

Any room will benefit from an area rug and layering rugs has been a trick that top designers have used for years. Billy Baldwin (1903-1984) was known for layering smaller rugs on top of wall-to-wall carpeting. He liked the warmth and deep comfort level it provided. With clients like Truman Capote and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, he was all about luxury and sophistication. For a high end look, try layering carpets or even adding a runner in the kitchen.

via elle decor
via elle decor
via elle decor
via elle decor

We hope we’ve inspired you with our simple ways to make your home look luxurious. If you have any inexpensive ways to make your home look high-end, drop me a note and share your secrets.

Until next week, happy 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. Subscribe1


The Secret to Getting Organized


January is the month of organizing. It’s the time to clean out drawers, go through cupboards and get everything nice and tidy. We’d like to share with you our secret for getting organized.  There really is one big secret…here it is…drum roll…HAVE LESS STUFF. Yup, that’s it. Really. Have less.

And that perfectly leads into the next bit of wisdom -

When my boys were little, it seemed everywhere they went they were getting inexpensive little toys. The dentist, the doctor, restaurants, birthday loot bags…they were loaded up with cheap toys that would catch their attention for a bit and then usually break before too long. And they didn’t care if it broke, because they came to know these toys were disposable. I didn’t like the lesson that was being taught and mean mommy that I am, we stopped accepting these toys.

It’s so easy to get sucked in to the idea of disposable things. It shouldn’t be that way. We don’t need a lot, but we do need quality pieces that we treasure.

So this January as you go through your home, think about how much you really need. Start the downsizing process.


Go through your closet and keep only what you love and wear often. Treat these clothes with respect. Use good hangers, let them have room to breath. Bag up the extras and let them have a second life with someone who will wear them. From now on, carefully consider what clothes you buy and what type of quality you’re buying.


Since we’re being honest with each other here, I’ll let you in on my pet peeve. It’s when people don’t take care of what they have. When clothes are tossed on the floor, shelves are overflowing with stuff,  the kids have toys all over their bedroom – clearly there’s too much. And that leads to confusion in the home which is never good.

Life can be stressful enough. Homes need to be calm and orderly.  If having all this stuff is keeping you from doing stuff…then there’s a problem. Studies show that mess causes stress. Some stresses aren’t easy to control but mess stress is something that can be tackled. Below are some pictures of organizing ideas for the stuff we do need and want to have.









So take some time this January to carefully consider what you really need and tidy it up. And remember the motto, buy less but buy better. When you really love something, it never goes out of style. So enjoy what you have, use it, love it and keep it for a long time.

Have a productive week! Drop me a line with your best organizing tips. I’d love to hear from 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.



9 Fun Ways to Use Wallpaper


If you’re afraid  that wallpaper is just too trendy, don’t be. Since the middle ages people have been covering their walls. Originally tapestries were hung to help keep in heat. That set off a trend for decorated walls that hasn’t stopped.

There are so many great designs available that it’s hard to choose only one pattern. That’s okay – there’s lots of interesting places that can be papered. We’re going to show you some great wallpaper patterns along with some creative ways to use wallpaper in your home.

1. Do a Feature Wall

One wall in a room will really make a statement. And if you’re doing only one wall, go really bold and strong. For added interest, do one wall in a room and then one small wall of an adjoining room in the same paper.






2. Use Wallpaper to bring in a Texture

Sometimes you need to touch the wall to know if it’s paper or the real deal. That’s how good today’s wallpapers are. Always wanted a concrete wall, or reclaimed wood or raw silk? You can have the look with wallpaper.




3. Powder Rooms are Crying out to be Papered

A little shy to try out some paper? Start with the powder room. These small rooms can pack a big look when done in a fun paper. And just because it’s a small room doesn’t mean you can’t go big. Actually, the room will look better with a larger scale paper. Go wild, after all, nobody stays in this room too long.



4. Wallpaper the Fireplace

Not sure what to finish the fireplace in? Consider wallpaper! There are times when stone or brick just isn’t the right choice. Wallpaper let’s you go for a one-of-a-kind look.



5. Use Wallpaper in Place of a Headboard

A bed just can’t float in a room, so we automatically think headboard. Be a little different and use a fab wallpaper. If the space is large, try a mural wallpaper – it’s a showstopper. If you are a headboard person, pick a paper that co-ordinates.



6. Don’t forget to Paper the Ceiling

So often the ceiling of our homes is overlooked. Think of it as the fifth wall. Look up – surprise – there’s wallpaper on the ceiling. It’s a beautiful way to add interest and tie a room together. Subtle or bold, it really warms up a space.



7. Paint over Textured Wallpaper

Feel a room needs a little something but not a whole lot? Paintable textured wallpaper is a great alternative. It adds pattern and texture which can do so much for a room.


8. Use it to Brighten up Furniture

Why limit wallpaper to just the walls. Using it on furniture makes a lovely statement. Inside or out, it’s a great way to use up left over bits.



9. Frame Wallpaper and Use it as Art

Today’s wallpapers are like art – so go ahead and frame it! A cheap and cheerful touch that looks really high end.



We love wallpaper – and if you haven’t checked it out since the days of ducks wearing heart-shaped wreaths, you’re in for a surprise. January is a great month to add some wallpaper pizzaz. Happy papering!!

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.




2015 Un-Trendy List…10 ways to have classic decor

Good Housekeeping
Good Housekeeping
Every year at the end of December, all the magazines come out with the style lists for the new year. The lists of all the things that we need to have in order to fit in – the must have clothes, shoes, paint colours, furniture and hairstyles. It’s the ultimate list of what’s going to be hot for 2015. We prefer to stay away from fads and trendy items. These are the items that can be too easily dated – you know the saying…’that’s so 2014!’
At Karen Fron Interior Design, we LIKE to be stylish. We WANT the homes that we do be unique and interesting, but they need to stand the test of time. We like the quote by Coco Chanel,
 ‘Fashion changes but style endures’.
We have found that there are certain things that make a home beautiful, cozy and happy. And basically it has little to do with the latest fad colour or newest style of chair. It’s more about the feel of a space, and how it makes us feel. After all,  Good Design is not just what looks good, it also needs to perform, convert, astonish and fulfill its purpose.
So we present to you our 2015 Un-Trendy List…how to decorate so it lasts.

#1. Function and Comfort are Most Important 

Set up your space for the way you use it now. Make it as comfortable as possible. Ensure that there are lights where they are needed, little tables to hold drinks, footstools for tired feet. No matter how stylish a home, it will never feel good if it isn’t cozy and comfortable. We all know that older neighbour or aunt who hasn’t redecorated in 30 years, yet hers is the home you can stay in for hours. It’s welcoming, comfortable and pleasing. So lovely in fact, that the avocado coloured appliances don’t even make you blink.

 #2. Style of Home Must Suit the Locale

If you live in the mountains, then a lodge look is appropriate. Just like if you live near the ocean, then your home can look beachy. Decorating in a theme that is not relevant is never a good idea. It always looks out of place and contrived. Timeless design always looks easy and doesn’t have that “I-tried-too-hard” look.


#3. Natural Light is important – have lots of windows

It’s so important to have natural light in a home. There’s nothing worse then having to keep lights on during the day because rooms are so dark. If you are building, make sure you have as many windows as possible. When buying, take note of the amount of natural light, or you’ll forever be decorating to overcome the lack of light. Like moths, human beings are drawn to light. Ours just needs to be natural.


#4. Hardwood Flooring – A Timeless Choice

Wooden flooring has been used throughout history, first appearing as rough hewn planks and then graduating to elegant polished floors, often inlaid with handcrafted designs. Today there are so many types of wooden floors to choose from, and you really can’t go wrong with any wood you choose. For the Un-Trendy list, we recommend staying in the 3-5 inch size and staying away from trendy stain colours. 



#5. Marble – A Classic Stone

For thousands of years, marble has been used in architecture. From the richly coloured red floor of the Basilica of Saint Peter’s in Rome, to the walls of the Palace of Versailles, to the elaborately designed nave of England’s Salisbury Cathedral, marble can still take our breath away. And because of it’s ability for refinement, marble has been the favoured medium of choice for some of the world’s best sculptors. Having marble counters, backsplash or floor tile in your home is an affordable luxury that is steeped in history. Any material that’s been around for thousands of years can be called a true classic and makes our Un-Trendy List.



#6.  Fireplace – The Allure of Fire

Historically fireplaces were used for the practical purposes of heating, cooking, and warming water for laundry and domestic uses. Today we love everything about fireplaces: the warmth, the beauty of its flames, and the cozy feeling it brings. It’s a visible and tangible source of comfort to us. A sitting room with a fireplace offers comfort and creates an inviting experience. We recommend having a fireplace in your living room. From wood burning, to gas, to electric and now gel-fuel fireplaces, there’s an option for every room. 




#7. Original Art – Personalize your Space

Original art personalizes and humanizes the buildings that we live and work in. There’s a certain energy that a piece of art gives off.  When viewing a work of art, we are able to share with the artist their deep emotion that allowed them to create their piece.

All art is powerful

Whether it’s a master’s painting hanging in the Louvre, or a simple drawing done by a child, it’s a one-of-a-kind piece and that makes it special. Number 7 on our Un-Trend List is to surround yourself with original works of art. Photographs, painting, woodworking, weaving, pottery…any type of art that speaks to you.



#8.  Personal Items – Tell Your Story

It’s important to surround yourself with items that have meaning. It’s also important to display these items in a way that is pleasing and aesthetically beautiful. Each item should be placed with care and with attention to detail. The styling of room is not always easy. It takes time to collect items that are meaningful and it takes a flair to display them properly. Sometimes it is wise to hire a professional to attend to these details. I like to follow the words of William Morris,

‘Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.’


#9. Balance – The Most Important Principle of Design

There are seven principles of interior design and while all of them are important, I would place balance as the most important. If a room doesn’t feel balanced, it just doesn’t feel good. Balance is the equal distribution of weight in a room. There are three types of balance, symmetrical, asymmetrical and radial. Symmetrical balance is usually found in traditional interiors and one side mirrors the other,  asymmetrical is often employed today in interiors and relates very strongly to the visual weight of objects, radial is when all elements of design are arrayed around a central point, like a spiral staircase. Whichever form you employ, it’s important to have balance to make a space feel right.


#10. The Wow Factor – What Makes your Space Unique

Whenever we do a room, we think about all the items in numbers 1-9. Then comes number 10 – the WOW Factor. That something extra that makes a room unique and special. And it can’t just be anything, it has to be something that is authentic for the people that live in the space. Think about your wow factor and what you can do to a room to make it just a little bit special. Maybe it’s as simple as painting the garden doors black when all window trims are white. Or maybe it’s layering rugs, or using wallpaper or hanging an oversize piece of art. Always ask yourself…what can be done to make this room unique.



So now you have our Un-Trend List – and it’s good for years to come. If you follow these interior design principles and apply some basic human psychology, you will have a recipe for creating a home that has timeless appeal.

Wishing you a wonderful 2015 and a home full of love 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.


















Decorating for Christmas


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.















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.