Your browser (Internet Explorer 6) is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites. Learn how to update your browser.
X
Post

Yard Sale 101 – decorating on a budget

Summer is here and so is yard sale season. If you want a unique look and like DIY projects, then get out and start hunting. A little bit of elbow grease and creative thinking can give new life to old pieces.

When Taegan, our junior designer, was putting together her first home, she hit the thrift stores and yard sales like a crazy. With her designers flair, she was able to spot these great finds. With a little loving care, she created a beautiful home.

GarageSalePost

 
GarageSalePost4

 
One of the best things about recycling older pieces is that you can put together a really creative style. Your place won’t have that ‘furnished from the big box store’ look. And the price…don’t forget that important fact. It’s a really economical way to get designer style.
 
GarageSalePost3

 
GarageSalePost6

 
GarageSalePost5

 
GarageSalePost7

 
GarageSalePost8

 
Beautiful spaces don’t have to be expensive. As Taegan found out, you don’t need a sack of gold to make your space nice. We believe that everyone deserves to live in a nice space that functions well. People feel better, they’re happier, children behave better and husbands are sweeter. It’s a Karen Fron Interior Design fact.
 

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

Post

What is the right interior white?

 

We’re a young couple and this is our first home. We need help picking a wall colour. We were thinking white but now we’re stuck. We don’t know which white is right because we have white trim and baseboards already. Can you help us out?  signed T&D 

Such a smart couple to know that white is difficult to choose. But when done right, white is fresh and youthful. First off, there’s nothing wrong with using different shades of white in one room. It actually looks wonderful. If the baseboards and trim are a crisp white, painting the walls a lovely warm shade of white will look great. Some of my favourites are Pointing 2003 by Farrow and Ball, as well as Benjamin Moore Cloud White (CC – 40).

Q&A32

Another favourite white is Benjamin Moore Ballet White (OC – 9). It’s a slightly chalky greyed white. It’s never harsh and still looks clean. Judging by your floor colour, Ballet White might look good because it definitely is a deeper white.

A trick of the trade is to use a combination of glossy, flat and eggshell. If you want just a slight variance between colour, changing the finish will do that.

346living
346living

When doing white walls, it’s important that the white is repeated in the room. Pops of colour can still be done, but there must be a tie-in. Even if it’s just some accent pieces or cushions, you need to continue the white.

redonline  /  houzz
redonline / houzz

Don’t be afraid to do an accent wall in a colour. The accent wall above works beautifully because of the white shelves that sit on it. There’s nothing worse than having a brightly coloured wall that doesn’t relate to anything. Be wary of doing a quick fix accent wall – usually not a good idea. Always have a tie in.

bhg / petitpapier.typepad
bhg / petitpapier.typepad

Having a little contrast in a room adds style. Notice the windows above and how they provide such a punch. A touch of dark will bring a room alive.

onekinddesign   /   blueprintmodern
onekinddesign / blueprintmodern

Dark floors with white walls look amazing, especially if there are dark touches in the room. In the room on the left hand side, note the brown colour repeated in the throw, the wall sconce, the picture frame and the door rail.

decor8blog  /   planette-deco.fr
decor8blog / planette-deco.fr

The amount of light a room receives is important to consider when choosing white for the walls. If you like a crisp fresh white like the room on the right, Benjamin Moore’s Simply White (OC – 117) is a great choice, especially if you are painting the window trim and baseboards the same as the walls.

lauriegrassi   /    twentythreefour
lauriegrassi / twentythreefour

Another way to add punch to a room is to highlight a door. Painting an interior door black will elevate the entire room. Matching the door to the furniture, as in the photo on the left, adds another layer of interest.

 

Q&A1

Because of the position of your fireplace and tv, you can have some fun with paint on that wall. Paint the wall a warm white, but highlight the fireplace by painting a vertical strip of black from the tv cutout, floor to ceiling. Since there is no stone or brick to give the room some strength, use paint to do it. You could use a flat black paint and that will give you some beautiful depth.

 

Q&A26

The best thing about paint is that it’s an inexpensive fun fix. Consider doing the above door a warm black (Benjamin Moore Black Beauty  2128-10) as well as the handrail. Do the handrail in a glossy black for a bit of shine. White and with a punch of black, such a classy combination.
Thanks for the before photos and your question about white. Have fun, think outside the box and always test colour on the wall. Don’t make your final decision from a 2inch paint sample. Oh and send us the after photos – would love to see how it looks.

For more information on how to choose the prefect white click here.


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

Image

An old fav…Small kitchens with big style

An old fav…Small kitchens with big style

We’re programmed to think bigger is better. This isn’t always the case when it comes to design. Often what happens with bigger is the details get overlooked.

via dwell.com

This small kitchen is designed for function. It has everything that a kitchen needs, as well as beautiful details.

via dwell.com

When designing a smaller space, every inch counts. Nothing is by chance.

via dwell.com

“The details are not the details. They make the design.”
Charles Eames

Good words to remember.

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

Post

Making an outdoor living room

o-VINTAGE-PATIO-570
backyard-party

Back in the 60’s and early 70’s, it was high style to have a picnic table in the backyard. On warm summer days, kids would run under the sprinkler waiting for their dads to come home and barbecue. The coals were lit and burning nicely, and the picnic table was set with a plastic tablecloth and brightly coloured tupperware containers. If it was a party, out would come the aluminum webbed lawn chairs.

Patio6
Patio7

Wow – have we come a long way. Today we look at our outdoor space as another living area. What fun it is to be outside after a long winter. Whether it’s dining or relaxing or even working on the computer, outdoor living spaces are getting a lot of use. Who doesn’t dream of a backyard cozy enough to relax in, yet beautiful enough to entertain in.

With so many stores offering items for outdoor spaces, there’s something for every budget. A mix of high and low will stretch the dollars. Don’t skimp on the accessories though, that’s what will make your outdoor room unique.

Here are five must haves for a gorgeous outdoor space.

Patio4
Large Furniture Pieces
I’m all about the soft seating and not so much about dining sets. If you must have an eating table, mix and match table and chairs.

Patio
Outdoor Area Rug
Putting a rug on your deck or patio automatically elevates it to living room status. Choose something graphic and colourful. Whether it’s from Crate and Barrel or Walmart, get a rug.

Patio2
Lots of Cushions and Other Accessories
If you read this blog, you know I’m a cushion lover. Load up your wicker settee with cushions and you immediately have ‘a look’. Now throw in an oversize wicker basket ( to hold shoes, books, games and more), a ceramic spool, wooden stumps for a coffee table and it’s high style all the way.

Patio5
Planters and Container Gardens
The joy of being outside is to be surrounded by nature, and to interact with nature. Plant up some large pots with flowers that the hummingbirds like and you’ll be visited all summer. It’s also important to me to have container gardens of herbs, tomatoes, green onions and leaf lettuce. Even a small outdoor space needs some potted herbs.

Patio3
Mood Lighting
There’s nothing nicer than sitting outside while the evening settles in. Lighting gives off a cozy ambience and adds so much to a space. It doesn’t have to be fancy or even plugged in. Solar lights are awesome. I have taken the ones that are suppose to be stuck in the ground, cut the stakes off them and used them in place of candles. Plus they shine even on the nights we’re not sitting outside.

The whole point of summer is to get outside and enjoy the fresh air. There’s nothing like feeling the warmth of the sun on your face and listening to the birds chirping. Cheers to the warm weather.


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.

Inbox

Post

A young family’s transformation.

AmandasBlog15
AmandasBlog16
For a long while life was all about babies and toddlers, trips to the park, stories, crafts and nap times. The days were full raising two little boys. Then suddenly it quiets down and there’s a moment to breath. It was during one of these moments that we were called in to help out. “My house needs help”, says the mom. “It’s a design emergency”.

AmandasBlog13
AmandasBlog23

The family is lovely, the boys are a joy and the home is a happy place. Added bonus, there’s a gorgeous art collection. We were thrilled to be working with such great clients.

The first appointment was spent deciding how the space needed to function, rearranging existing furniture, picking paint colours and hanging art.

AmandasBlog1
AmandasBlog12

By the end of the appointment we had a moving forward plan. Over the next couple of months furniture was ordered, shelving was installed, walls were painted and accessories were shopped for.

AmandasBlog2
AmandasBlog3

Amandasblog412

Finally it was installation day. The day when it all comes together. Sofas are placed on the exact angle, cushions are added, accessories are arranged, and suddenly it looks beautiful.

AmandasBlog14
AmandasBlog22

It’s always exciting to see first hand how happy a family can be in a well functioning and beautiful space.


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.

Inbox

Image

5 easy solutions for clutter

5 easy solutions for clutter

Who cares how beautiful a home is if there is junk and stuff laying all over the place. Give your home a mini-makeover by just sorting, cleaning and putting away. Here are my top 5 ways to eliminate clutter.

via walldesigns.net

1. Get it off the floor and hung up. From coats to brooms to electrical cords, use hooks to keep everything neat and within reach.

via potterybarn.com

2. Baskets are my best friend. In our home, everything goes in a basket. Each boy has a  personalized basket for mitts and hats. Each bathroom has a basket full of books (I live with four males – need I say more). Toys, papers, sports equipments, crafts, you name it, I basket it. In my closets I often use boxes that I can’t bear to part with. Everything neat, tidy and contained.

via potterybarn.com

3. Don’t just have a piece of furniture if you can have furniture and storage combined. Love benches that open, night tables with drawers, and sofa tables with a shelf to hold baskets.

via ikea.com

4. Paper always accumulates in the kitchen, so have a mini filing system right there. I use a wicker file from Ikea and keep it right on the counter. School work goes directly into their bristle board folders, stored in the pantry. Even the newspaper has a home for the day and gets tossed in the evening. Be vigilant with the paper clutter.

via ikea.com

5. After much deciding, I went ahead and put up a small (12×18) bulletin board in the kitchen by the phone. Grocery lists, phone numbers, to-do lists, now all have a home and aren’t laying on the counter. Liked this system so much, I hung bulletin boards in the boys room for all their important papers. Because I never like to put holes in the wall, I used 3M’s picture hanging velcro. Love it!!!!

Banish clutter from your home this summer. It’s the easiest and cheapest way to take your home from nice to fabulous!


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

Post

Fabulous Kitchen Makeover

The home was perfect in almost every way. Location was great, good sized yard, bungalow with just enough bedrooms, and a newly built sunroom. But for someone who loves to cook, the kitchen was a disappointment. A huge disappointment…it was really small and horribly outdated. While outdated can be fixed, it was the small that was worrisome.


After considering several options, it was decided to work within the space of the existing kitchen. There would be no knocking out walls and making a large chef’s kitchen. There would be no island, no separate prep area, no pastry counter, all the things that this hobby chef dreamed of.

With every renovation there’s give and take, and for a while this reno seemed more give. What helped get over the disappointment and allowed us to move forward, was to think of the renovation in very basic terms. What was most necessary, and who would be using the space.

Two ovens were a must, as well as keeping the large window to the sunroom. Also very important was an upgrade of the appliances. Cabinet space was sacrificed to gain a wall oven. Because the space was so small, an all white kitchen was chosen to give the illusion of roominess. Cabinets, counter and backsplash all blend seamlessly. Bulkhead was painted dark to provide some contrast.

Marmoleum

When it came time to select the floor we wanted something that would be seamless. We also had to consider that this cook will sometimes spend up to 14 hours at a time cooking! For these reasons, Marmoleum was the preferred choice.

Upper cabinets weren’t used over the counter beside the sink. Visually this opens up the space and provides an excellent pastry area. In future, reclaimed wooden shelves could be added to hold jars of flour and baking supplies. The sink is extra deep to handle big clean-ups. Cabinets were designed to accommodate this cooks favourite pots, pans and spices.


We’re happy to say that the kitchen is functioning very well for these homeowners. Though it may be a small space, there’s room for lots of big flavour.


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.

Inbox

Post

Chaos to masterpiece.


It’s style day at our client’s home. The large pieces were delivered a few days prior, and now it’s time to put it all together. This is the part we love. At first it’s all bags and loads of accessories. It doesn’t look too good. It’s actually hard to move around in the space, and there’s stuff everywhere. But shortly the magic is about to begin.

All renovations have been done before today. We’ve made a floor plan and large furnishings, chosen for function and beauty, are sitting in place. Today is the day to do pretty. Sometimes our clients like to be there for the process, but many times they let us do our thing and come home once their space has been transformed. It’s always so fun to see their reactions.


Although it may look unorganized, there is method to the process. There are simple design principles that every space needs. Most important in a room is balance. It has to feel right. There has to be a balance between large and small, square and curvy and masculine and feminine. Scale and proportion come next. Furnishings and accents have to be in the proper scale or again, the room won’t feel good.


Colour is so very important. Every room needs some warm and cool. A room that is all warm colours will feel choking. All cool colours and it just feels frosty. Sometimes it’s fun to throw in a colour that’s just a little off so it looks interesting. Chartreuse or raspberry are good colours to add for a jolt.


Within every home, there must be harmony, a natural flow from room to room. That doesn’t mean it all has to look the same, but it certainly has to work together. Focal point, rhythm, repetition, these all must be considered when designing and styling a space. As the cushions get unpacked and the accent tables put in place, we’re following good design principles. There’s a lot that goes into it.


Because we love our client so much, we styled up her home and helped her bring in extra seating for the baby shower she was hosting the next day. So no after pictures right now. We’ll get some of those when the chairs and teacups and shower decorations are taken down.


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.

Aside

What styling can do…before & after

Whenever we go out to see a new client, it always starts with our Home Design Package. First there’s a phone interview to get a feel for what the client wants. We always ask for some pictures to be emailed so we can see the space we’ll be working with. When we show up, it’s 3 hours of design ideas.

color consultation
color consultation

Clients will phone all stressed out…’I hate my house, everything’s got to go’. Or sometimes it’s even, ‘I want to move’. Not long ago there was a client who wanted us to help with picking out new flooring. It was obvious that flooring was not so much the issue. An appointment was set up and the team went in. We did a three hour consult, analyzing the way the family lived and what would make them happy. Furniture was switched around and new wall colours were chosen. We made a going forward plan, which included painting, drywalling the cut-out over the fireplace, new accessories including lamps, tables and throw cushions. The budget was modest, but the results were spectacular.

before & after collage
before & after collage

 

It’s the start of school soon, and no matter how many years I’ve been out of school, it always feels like a new beginning to me. It’s a good time to freshen up your home and start the year off in style.


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.

Image

Empty, boring and just not happening

Empty, boring and just not happening

Sometimes there are places in our home where we don’t want a lot of furniture. We need room to move and room to work. This office is an example of a client that doesn’t want any more furniture in this area. We could do a wall of pictures, but that’s already been done in the adjoining room. We could paint it a darker colour, which would add some depth.

But the best solution would be to do a feature wall in an amazing wallpaper.

Lots of my clients are introducing wallpaper into their homes. It adds warmth, colour, texture, and best of all, personality.

elle decor

Dining rooms are a great place to add wallpaper. There’s usually not room for a lot of furniture, so putting a great paper on the walls gives the room some life.

There are so many beautiful papers to choose from. It's not the same paper as years ago. Currently I'm installing one that looks like hair on hide. It looks so good that you just have to touch it to see if it's real.

It often happens that once a client  sees what a difference a papered wall makes, I get a call to return and add wallpaper to another room.

house beautiful

Thinking about adding wallpaper? Contact me and we can pick a paper that will give your home some eye popping personality!


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