A Visual Design Lesson…What’s good and what’s not

It’s so nice to come home. We live in Calgary now, and while I do love my adopted city, nothing beats the feeling of coming home for a visit. Every summer we make our way to Thunder Bay and get our fill of  Lake Superior, persians, Bay Street and Chippewa Park Melodrama. I love driving in this city because everything is so close. And I laugh when I hear people say, ‘Oh that’s all the way in Port Arthur and I live in Fort William’. I used to have a store on May Street, and it’s lovely when people remember me. Today when I was at Pier 1, the sales associate saw my name on the credit card and remembered me. Ha Ha…good thing the name’s the same as I probably don’t look the same as I did 15 years ago. She said she still has one of my Halloween wreaths that I made for her! How cool is that!!! When…

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How to Mix and Match Throw Cushions Like a Pro

Are you craving a change in your home? I’ll share a little secret, throw cushions are decorating magic. Add a few to a sofa or bed and you have an instant makeover. I can’t tell you how many times we go into a home and the homeowner is thinking of getting a new sofa to make the room prettier. News flash…a new sofa alone won’t bring your room from drab to fab. It’s all about the accessories…and throw cushions are the bomb. We’ve put together some images from homes we’ve decorated to show you how to cushion it up like a pro. Trim is making a major comeback…Did anyone else have a poncho with this type of trim on it when they were little?  My mom made my sister and I matching ponchos, way back when. For a current, fun look, add a cushion or two with some trim. There are many modern trims available now,…

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Fabulous Fabrics…it’s all in the mix

Getting a new box of crayons in my Christmas stocking was my very favourite present. Carefully I would open the lid, breathe in that new crayon smell and admire those 64 gorgeous colours. It would take me about a week before I was actually ready to use them. First I had to make colour combinations. I would put the purple beside the red (daring), line up all the different shades of green (monochromatic), and decide if I liked pink better with blue or orange. There were so many colour combinations and I loved them all. It’s no surprise that I gravitated toward interior design. Working with fabrics is probably the favourite part of our job. There is something so satisfying about putting different colours and textures together. When it’s done well, it immediately elevates a room from nice to show-stopping.  Many times we’ve made a ho-hum room fabulous by loading up with exquisite  cushions. It’s not just the…

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Update to timeless design – before & after

The decision was made and they were going to stay in the house. The kids were older, living at home only for the summers, but the space still worked. What was needed was an update. New flooring, furniture, paint and a redo of the fireplace. It was also a chance to set up the home to function for the way they lived now. The homeowners were eager to embrace some new ideas and move outside their comfort zone. They wanted a calm, neutral palette that would be soothing. The kitchen and living room receive a lot of sunlight, so it’s always bright and cheery. This allowed us to use a fairly monochromatic palette. On the first visit we discussed the necessity of three eating areas – kitchen table, kitchen island and dining room. It made sense to keep the dining room because the kids aren’t home all the time and when they are, meals turn…

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An old fav…High style for your headboard

This week I’m off to visit my favourite upholsterer. He’s making an 8 foot headboard for one of my clients. We want to create a luxurious feel in the master bedroom, and having a dramatic headboard will set the tone. My client likes clean lines and functional pieces, so there won’t be a lot of extras in the room. She was surprised at where the cost came in for the fabric headboard. Having something custom made may sound costly, but the price is actually comparable to purchasing a standard linen headboard that she saw at a home decor store at the mall. And by going custom, we get the height we need, as well as a beautiful raisin coloured velvet with shimmer in it. It will truly be luxurious and a focal point. This allows us to have less in the room while keeping it peaceful and relaxing. Don’t overlook getting custom made pieces because…

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