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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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WEDDING



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
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

thebay.com
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

woodlandcreekfurniture.com
todd falkowsky sled table

 

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

brentcomber.com

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

ebay.com

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

styleathome.com

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.

pottery barn
pottery barn
It’s also the weekend that we can drive ourselves crazy. Cleaning, shopping, making, baking…getting everything oh so perfect. Pinterest, Houzz, Martha…our standards are high.
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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.
ontariopics.com
ontariopics.com
Laughing – key word. Not me screaming to get the boys to set the table or unload the dishwasher or whatever because we’re in a time crunch. It’s me laughing and being witty that they want to be near me and willingly share the fun of cooking and preparing and cleaning. Well okay fun and cleaning don’t really go together, but you get the point.

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

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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.
citytv.calgary
citytv.calgary
canadian flag leaves
canadian flag leaves
Do something else this weekend – give thanks for you. We don’t do that enough. Celebrate our awesomeness. And maybe wipe the pizza sauce off your face.
With gratitude,


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

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

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5 easy steps

January is always the month I want to organize and freshen up the house. The Christmas decorations get packed away and I love getting back to normal. I walk around the house thinking how cozy it looks, and maybe, if I just added a few more cushions, or cleaned out the book basket, it would look even better.

Here are my 5 easy steps to create a beautiful home.

1.  Organize / Remove Clutter / Clean

iheartorganizing.blogspot.com

2.  Rearrange furniture to create balance

elle décor

3.  Paint and add wallpaper

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4.  Introduce fabrics with texture and pattern

brunschwig and fils

5.  Surround yourself with authentic accessories

elle décor

 


January is the month to get organized and be creative!

Wishing you a happy 2013!


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?

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.

the boys meet Fred

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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The time of our lives…

It was the best summer…sunshine, freedom, family and the lake. For me it’s always about the lake. Being born and raised on the shores of Lake Superior does something to you. It casts a haunting spell that keeps calling you back . The sound of waves crashing, the moon glistening at night, the pinky red skies of the sun setting behind the giant…there’s no place like it.

three boys and a big lake
The boys are at such a good age now. It seems each year gets better and better, but I really wonder if this summer can be topped.
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We rushed back to Calgary just in time to start school. How quickly we were able to get back into routine. The days rush by so quickly now, between design jobs, and doing all the mom stuff. It seems like so long ago that we were living a simple life on the shores of Lake Superior.
water water everywhere

However, there is good to every season. Autumn is such a lovely time of the year, and there is a peacefulness that comes from routine. I look forward to the leaves turning and the inspiration that comes from the fall colours. Now that we’re back to routine I also look forward to blogging more often. There’s some interesting projects that I want to share.


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

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

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A clean and crisp new year

With Christmas 2011 behind us, it’s time to focus on ringing in the new year. After the busy hustle of the holidays, new year’s eve is a chance to celebrate with a clean, crisp palette and grown up glam.

Ikea

I love to keep the decor dramatic, yet simple. A few stunning pieces will do the trick. Polish the silver and use the white linens. White, combined with silver or gold, is classic. Add in black for drama or leaf green for a fresh effect. Single bloom arrangements make a bold statement.

via lennox.com

As 2011 draws to a close, I wish you a peaceful, comfortable and interesting 2012!


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.