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Why You Need to Decorate for Your 5 Senses

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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.

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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.

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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?”.

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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.

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Red & Green…not only for Christmas

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I know I know…say red and green and immediately Christmas comes to mind. Green branches with red berries and bows – it’s all about that time of the year. Holly, mistletoe, stockings hung by the fire…

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elle decor

Yet red and green together can be quite spectacular. To come up with a colour scheme, we often get our inspiration from a piece of fabric, a photo or  a memory of a colour palette we saw somewhere. I’m always noticing interesting colour combinations and textures. Just ask my boys…or maybe don’t, because I’m sure they’ll have some stories to tell. But like I always tell them, there’s inspiration everywhere…you just have to look.

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via British Life
via British Life

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traditional plaid
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vintage motorcycle

As the inspiration photos show, don’t be afraid of this colour combination. Red and green works so well together. And if you like these colours, then go ahead and use them for interiors. There’s a long history of red and green used in traditional British interiors, yet they also work well for modern applications. Sure it takes a little more effort to work with unorthodox palettes, but in the end it’s worth it.

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elle decor – elaine griffin
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elle decor – visions-smyth
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via ralph lauren
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via house beautiful
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elle decor suzani fabric
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ralph lauren study
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bill huber
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elle decor

There are so many different shades of red and green to choose from. We’ve put together a sampler of some of our favourite paint colours. Lately we’ve been favouring dark green walls. Great for those rooms that you want to be moody and mysterious. We did a gentleman’s office in a dark hunter green and also a guest room/dressing room in PPG Armoury. And just like every room can use a hit of black, we love throwing in a pop of red.

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house beautiful

So when it’s time to pack away the holiday decor, don’t pack away your love for red and green. It’s a combination  that has year round appeal.

Debbie and Taegan join me in wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a peaceful and joyful 2015. Thank you to all our fabulous clients this year. We love what we do and it’s a privilege working for you.

Next week, we give you our 2015 Un-Trend List. That’s right – let the others tell you the trends, we tell you how to be timeless!


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 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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Can a chicken coop be a home?…a favourite for Remembrance Day

Fred van Zuiden was a nine year old boy when his homeland of Holland was invaded by the Germans. The year was 1940, and during the two years that followed, he endured worsening conditions. Eventually Fred left his family and went into hiding. In his book, Call Me Mom, Fred recounts his experiences of finding safety in twenty-six different places.

Fred van Zuiden

During the winter months, our family reads novels aloud. Fred’s book was on our reading list last winter. It affected us deeply, and like any good book, we were saddened when the last page was turned. After some lively discussions about Fred, we decided we had to meet our new hero. On a cold day in March, we headed out to our local Chapters and met with Fred and his wife.

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Fred’s unsentimental writing style allows for the horrors he experienced to speak for themselves. Although he writes about the worst of human nature, he also tells about  average people that stood up for what is just. This is why my seven year old was able to enjoy the book along with the rest of us.

When the same novel is shared amongst a family, it’s always interesting to see what resonates with each. What spoke to my children was the bullying that Fred went through. My husband enjoyed the chapters on the planes bound for Arnhem. For me, it was about the places Fred lived, and the idea of what makes a home.

Moving twenty-six times in the years between 1942 and 1945, Fred stayed in many places. Sometimes he was living with families and sometimes his dwelling places were a little more creative. From the end of summer 1943 to mid-January 1944, Fred stayed at the Poultry Palace. Upon seeing his new home, Fred commented,

“The old ramshackle building had probably been built as a shed. There was not a grain of paint left on it and the wood had weathered badly. The structure looked as though it was about to fall apart. I rationalized it would make a good hiding spot. After all, who would think humans could live in there?”

When Fred knocked on the door, he was greeted by a father who was about forty and his thirteen year old son. They spoke in whispers and their constant quest was to make sure their new home always looked like a chicken coop. They had a few crates to sit on and a rough wooden bed frame covered in straw, which they shared with the chickens. Fred’s world now consisted of this six by fourteen shack, two strangers and chickens.

similar to Fred’s home

Although danger and lack of food were constants, Fred says there were many sweet times. They followed daily routines, kept themselves as clean as could be, and concentrated on treating each other with goodwill and civility. Joking, reading, writing and celebrating holidays and occasions filled their day. In such despicable conditions, these human beings lived life.

Upon meeting Fred, I was intrigued with how normal he was. As if he would be anything but normal…yet I kept looking at him thinking about his young self, living in a chicken coop, or sleeping in an underground dugout. For somebody that lived through such horrors, he wanted to talk about sailing, skiing and share a good laugh. I asked him about living in the chicken coop and he said that he concentrated on making the best of things.

Fred van Zuiden

On this day of remembrance, I pause to think of the sacrifices so many made. We of the 3,000 square foot homes, iPads, electric heat and grocery superstores can hardly relate. Yet I think of Fred’s words, ‘concentrate on making the best of things’. Let us today find joy in simple pleasures and give gratitude for what we have.

If you want to meet Fred, check out his website www.callmemom.ca where he lists his book signing schedule for the Calgary area. And yes, I believe a chicken coop can be a home if those living in it have hope and faith and 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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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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Favourite orange & black paint colours…not just for Halloween

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All the Halloween preparation this week has got me thinking about black and orange. When used together, we immediately think of ghosts, goblins and trick-or-treaters.

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Halloween aside, black and orange can be a very nice combination  for interiors. If using these two together, they have to be combined with a large amount of a neutral colour. As well, you have to pick either orange or black as the main colour, and then do a small amount of the other.

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Orange is considered an energetic colour. It is often used to draw attention, such as traffic signs or advertising. Orange is fun, flamboyant, dynamic and radiates warmth. Closely related to red, orange has a gentler and more restrained energy.

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Orange painted walls are a big commitment. They can look spectacular but may not be for everyone. A pop of orange, such as a chair, desk or front door, is a much smaller commitment and can really bring a room alive. Last week we discussed the general rule of repeating a colour 3x in a space, and how it’s okay to break that rule and have one stand out piece in a fun colour. Painting one thing in a room orange in a room will give you that pop.

Orange is made up of yellow and red, so look closely at the undertone and see whether it falls on the red or yellow side of orange. I find most people like orange when it is close to a pumpkin colour or the colour of the orange fruit. Don’t play it too safe or else you’ll end up with a wishy washy shade of peach. Taking orange too dark will give you shades along the line of persimmon, which may look more red. Hmmm….notice how orange colours all relate to food?

Some of our favourite orange colours are:

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Years ago when I was in design school, one of my teachers would always preach, “every room needs just a touch of black.” How right she was. Black adds some contrast to a room which gives life. Even though black is a strong colour, a touch of it allows the other colours to shine.
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Painting window trims or garden doors black is a great way to highlight the outside. Since huge tv’s on the wall always look like black holes to us, we like to paint out the wall black to help the tv disappear. Painting small rooms black is a way to create elegance and give a tiny space some presence. Front doors always look good in a dark colour, and we like the many hues that black comes in, such as blue-black, green-black and our current favourite, black cherry.
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Some of our go-to black paint colours are:

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Although now we’re in November and Halloween is so last month, don’t give up on orange and black. Whether you use them together or separately, these are two amazing colours and though they’re artsy and high style, they are not trendy.

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Even mother nature puts black and orange together. Notice how she keeps it fresh with bright green. This combination, with the grey-white fence as background, is stunning. And now in Calgary, we have a lot of white outside on the ground and covering all the trees. I was sort of hoping the snow might hold off for a while longer. I guess the only thing to do is to go for a walk and soak up the colours of Autumn and Winter intermingling.

Hope you have a nice warm week. Next Sunday, in honour of Remembrance Day, we’ll talk about the importance of having some pieces in your home that have a history. Photos, collectibles and furniture that are tied to your past and bring sweet remembrances of days gone by.


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 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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