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How to keep Warm Colours looking Fresh

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Autumn is such a pretty time. The landscape comes alive with such vivid hues.  It’s spectacular seeing the rich browns, oranges yellows and reds we associate with the season. The sheer beauty of it all can take your breath away.

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Most people will tell you they like the Autumn colours and want to be outside in nature during this season. Men in particular will say they like to have these warm colours in their home. And they’ll say it out loud, because they don’t care that everyone seems to be adopting the grey trend. Most men don’t know that earth tones have a bad rep and are oh-so-1990. But I’ll say it too, I love warm colours.

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Yes yes I know…you’re thinking brown leather sofa, red and gold cushions, burgundy feature wall…heavy, dark, choking colour. You’re also thinking massive, ornate furniture. Quick, open a window, we can’t breathe.

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Yet nature get’s it perfect every time. It’s all about the mix of warm and cool. You don’t need to give up your favourite warm colours if you want to look current.

 

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Brown is such a great colour…solid, lovely, warm, strong and much much softer than black. We work with a lot of brown and there are ways to make it look fresh. Mix it with cream. Mix it with a fresh blue grey, pop it with chartreuse. A lot of people still have their brown leather sofas…and yes you can make it look of-the-moment.

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Almost everyone loves red…it’s been described as the colour of life. If images of heavy dark red dining rooms are popping into your head – give your head a shake. Instead, imagine red and cream, maybe a touch of navy or grey, lots of air and lots of light…suddenly red is fresh, current and breathable.

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Warm finishes are showing up everywhere now. Pairing gold with cool tones like greys and blues bring an element of luxe to a room. Mixing finishes is okay too. Silver, gold, pewter and black all go perfectly together.

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This hardwood floor and gold coloured rug look current when paired with the grey fabric on this chair.

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Most people have finally replaced all their burgundy and green furnishings and we never thought we’d see this combination again. Burgundy and green are back…and it looks so modern. The burgundy is a bit more plummy and the green a bit fresher.

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As you can see, it’s a combination that mother nature’s been using forever. Yet it looks so modern when done on the inside of a home.

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To me, the colour of October is orange…beautiful orange pumpkins, leaves and berries. Orange and brown together may scream 70′s or A&W…although I noticed that A&W has a new logo and a new look, but orange is a fantastic colour. Again, just make sure it’s mixed with a cool colour  such as grey, blue or cream, so it’s not too saturated.

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There are no bad colours…it’s just about the combinations. If you’re ever in doubt, take a look outside your window and you’ll see colour combinations that are perfect. Take your inspiration from nature and you can’t go wrong. Have a happy week and next Sunday, since it’s Thanksgiving, our blog is all about things in our home we’re thankful for.

Keep cozy,


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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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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Summer inspiration…how mother nature does it best

Sometimes people ask us where we get our inspiration from. Is it HGTV or magazines or what? The biggest source of inspiration for us is mother nature…nobody does colour and texture better.

Since it’s the  long weekend and the end of summer holidays, we’ve put together some of our inspiring pics. Those truly Canadian colour combinations that will stay in our mind as the warm weather fades.

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Goodbye summer 2014. It’s been a slice.

We’ve got some really big projects lined up for the next few months and some great ideas for dorm decor, budget decorating and as always the before and afters. Check back every Sunday, or sign up to get the blog emailed direct to your inbox.

Happy first day of school!!

 


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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Canada True North Colours and some holiday pics

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I don’t know about you, but there’s something about summer that brings out the Canadian in me. I’m just so darned proud of our country and think it’s so beautiful. We really are blessed to have so much wilderness around us. This year Debbie, Taegan and myself ended up vacationing nearby each other in Northwestern Ontario. We actually had a business meeting on the dock…really,  we did talk business!

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The rugged beauty of this area has inspired Taegan, and she’s been busy capturing it with her camera. Nature has always been a huge inspiration for us, and we’re constantly amazed at the colour combinations we see. Nobody does colour better than Mother Nature! We’ve put together a few collages of inspiration for you.

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We’ve also included some paint suggestions from General Paints. Started 96 years ago, General Paints is a Vancouver based company proud of their Canadian heritage. A few years ago, they took their  colours that have been consistently popular in Canada since the 1940′s, and called this collection Canadiana Historic. When it came to naming the collection, General Paints asked their staff from across the country to suggest a place or thing that evokes Canada for them. Then the head office staff set about matching the names to the colours.

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These are the colours of Canada. With names such as Trans-Canada Highway (dark grey),  Moose (dark brown), Killer Whale (black), Old Growth (leaf green) and Juno Awards (pale blue), these colours evoke our identity.

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You can pick up a brochure at General Paints that has all 120 Canadiana Historic colours. Reading the names and seeing the colours is like taking a trip to every corner of Canada.  About half way through reading, you’ll come to Canuck Red. Be careful, because your chest will start to puff out and you might find yourself proudly humming the national anthem!

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Debbie and Taegan join me in wishing you a very happy and Canadian long 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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Our summer so far…

It was a weekend of weddings. Both Taegan and I had a wedding on July 12 – hers in BC and mine in Ontario. Both were small weddings in small towns, held outdoors. Each bride put tons of thought into her special day, making sure that family and friends were received well. Two brides, two different styles. One thing was the same at both weddings though – and that was how much fun the guests had and the sweet moments when young and old spent time together.

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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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Show your Canadian Pride.

Canada Day is my favourite holiday…and not just because it happens in summer. Well, maybe the sunshine, warm weather and celebrating outside do have something to do with it. But mostly Canada Day is my favourite because I’m proud to be Canadian. We are so lucky to live in this country…and mostly I take it for granted.

The girls and I just redid a dental office and the theme was Canadiana. We wanted to celebrate what makes us special and those little touches that say ‘we’re Canadian and proud‘. Now we’re on a mission to put a little Canada in every home.

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Wendy Tancock Prints

 

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I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.
– John Diefenbaker (From the Canadian Bill of Rights, July 1, 1960.)

Happy Birthday Canada! Enjoy the party.

Canadian Party 1. Etsy 2. Crows Feet Chic 3. Chatelaine 4. Pimms Cocktail 5. Vikalinka 6. Etsy


If you would like to make good design a part of your life, email me.Karen Fron Interior Design is a Calgary based design firm. We believe that a well functioning and beautiful home makes life better. It’s not about how much you have, it’s about using what you have to create beauty.

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Truly Canadian

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

1.  Hudson Bay Blanket

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

2. Toboggans

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

3.  Log Furniture

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

4. Canadiana

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

5. Maple Leaf Forever

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

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


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

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

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Happy Mother’s Day

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Mother’s Day is one holiday that I really like, and it’s not just because I get treated like a princess. It’s because I love mothers – all mothers. I love my mother, my mother-in-law, my aunts and every mom I see with her child. I love how mom’s are the heart of the home and therefore they shape the world. I’m honoured to be part of this club.

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We have the pleasure of working with a lot of moms. They invite us into their homes and  we get to know them in a very special way. We meet new moms, mom’s of teens and mothers whose children may have left the nest but are held close in their heart. All these moms want to make the best home they can for their families. I admire that.

From my own Mother I learned the difference between a house and a home. A house is a structure or a building, but a home is full of love and laughter and acceptance. We didn’t live in a large house, and we never had the latest trends, but our home was something special.

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Sometimes I struggle with what it is that brings happiness. We are so bombarded by advertisements telling us we need to buy this and go here and do that, that my head gets crazy. So today as Mother’s Day is winding down, I’m reflecting on my blessings. I am remembering that time spent is more important than anything money can buy, that life goes by quickly, and that joy can be found everywhere. It’s really the simple sweet things that make life beautiful. Thanks Mom – you’re the best. xxx

 

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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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Easy Easter Table Ideas

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1. missrenaissance 2. decor8 3. thecakeblog 4. tinyprints 5. apartment therapy
 If you’re super organized and always prepared in advance, you probably don’t need to read this. This is a post for those of us that are doing ten things at once and plus trying to squeeze in a few more things. Below are my five easy peasy ways to decorate your table for Easter dinner. Things you can do in between peeling potatoes and whipping the cream for dessert.

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1.  Colourful Table

Always have a few solid colour tablecloths in your cupboard. Choose a light green or cream for Easter and place some colourful cloth napkins down the centre of the table. If you don’t have napkins or a cloth runner, use wrapping paper or even colourful construction paper.

 

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2.  Themed placecards

I love placecards. They’re a nice way to set a theme for the table and can add extra colour. Truthfully, I use them because it avoids the kids having a knock down fight at the table over who gets to sit where. The fighting is completely over  before the guests arrive and when it comes time to move to the dinner table, we look like one big happy family.

 

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3. Paper Bags

Always always have paper bags on hand. I got in the habit when the kids were little and we’d make puppets. Now I use them for everything from easy gift bags (can be decorated to suit occasion) ripening fruits and serving popcorn. My fav is to use them to hold fresh flowers. It not only looks great, but is ideal for hiding plastic bulb planters or disguising the fact that your vase is actually a pickle jar.

 

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4. Candles

When candles are on the table, then it must be a fancy dinner. It’s just a given. I like to eat dinner with candlelight. I find that it creates a great ambiance and when the boys were young, it actually worked to keep them calm and on their best behaviour. Floating candles were my preferred choice when they were really young – it just seemed safer with all that water around. Now I keep a collection of votive holders and use tealights. Anything can act as a votive holder and I like using coloured glasses and old jars. Tying a ribbon or even string around the votive holder will dress it up.

 

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5. Florals

If you’re smart enough to pick up some flowers at the grocery store then you have a great starting point. Otherwise it’s scrounge time. Off to the yard with kitchen shears to see what’s out there. Branches are always lovely, and evergreens look good anytime of the year. One mother’s day, I put cedar in fancy teacups and it was smashing. Fakes work well too and never feel bad for mixing fake and real. Lots of little dainty arrangements make a big statement, and they don’t take up too much room.

Oh and lucky you guys. We have a recipe bonus for this weeks blog post… and even better news – it’s no bake and super simple!

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Remember, a little fuss goes a long way. The most important part of any dinner is the company. Remain calm, put your guests at ease, and cherish these beautiful moments. Wishing everyone a lovely Easter 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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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.

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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.
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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.
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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.

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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.
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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.
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citytv.calgary
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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.