Monday, 26 November 2012

Area Rugs

There are a few black friday sales still on and I would recommend taking a look at Rugs USA if you're in the market for a new area rug.  You do pay a bit of duty and a brokerage fee (unless you live near the border and ship it to border services, or something like that, to save the brokerage fee).
They have piles of really nice rugs for up to 75% off in all different styles, including some more contemporary ones like these. 


I love the one in the lower right hand corner for winter!  Reminds me of those knit sweaters that are in right now.  So cozy!
A word of advice, don't try to save a few bucks to go for the smaller size if you have a bigger room.  You don't want the postage stamp in the middle of your floor.  If your rug is too small it will actually make your room look smaller too.  Just FYI!
Happy shopping!

Thursday, 15 November 2012

A Day of Staging

I will be offering "A Day of Staging" starting in and around Deloraine on November 24 and possibly offered in surrounding communities if there is enough interest.

You can choose from 1, 2 or 3 hour sessions ($40, $55 or $75) where I will come to your home and assist you in arranging your furniture, artwork and accessories so your room will look it's best for all of your holiday guests.
While I'm there, if you would also like recommendations for things like furniture choices or paint colours that you can use down the road, I'd be happy to help!

If you're interested in booking or if you have any questions please email me at .  Sessions are limited so book early to avoid disappointment!

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Staging; Not Just for Resale!

If you watch much HGTV then you probably know what staging is. For anyone out there that isn't familiar, it's the process of rearranging and basically setting the stage so your home is shown in it's best light for resale.  Statistics show homes that are staged for sale generally sell faster and for more money than those that aren't (a little tidbit for you ;) !)

In the city this has become a common practice to help set your home apart from the competition and is becoming more popular in rural areas as well. 

The decorator/stager comes and helps you rearrange your furniture, artwork, accessories, etc. so your home flows better and looks it's best.  They also often make recommendation for paint colours or new flooring if they think it will help increase the sellability of your home.

DSC 0304 How to Make Your Listing Look Like a Million

A coat of paint, editing out a few pieces and bringing some from other rooms totally transformed this room. 

DSC 0281 How to Make Your Listing Look Like a Million

Not for resale staging, or "stayging" as I've dubbed it (haha, I'm so clever), is also becoming very popular. Why wait till you're leaving to have your home looking it's best.
If you have lots of nice stuff already but you're struggling with how to arrange your room to look it's best or if new stuff isn't in the budget yet, this is a really great option!

The decorator comes to your home and often in two or three hours time you have a room or two staged. Plus they will usually leave you with some recommendations for down the road improvements or purchases, such as paint colours, if requested! The best part is you use all of your own stuff, so it's a very quick and inexpensive way to get the most out of what you have.

If you're selling and need some help or want your home looking it's best for all those holiday guest but don't want to spend all your Christmas budget to get it in shape, staging may be the answer for you! 

Contact me at or (204)747-4480.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Exciting or Neutral?

This post kind of goes hand in hand with my last one about classics and trends.
It's common for people to think, "I want everything in my house to be interesting.  I don't want it to be boring".  Or when looking at all their options they think, "I'll just choose what I like best".

This doesn't always work out so well.

I had this picture on the last post.  I'm sure these homeowners were just thinking they liked that stone and that tile colour but didn't really think ahead about how they would look together.  Or they were nervous the stone was too neutral so they'd spice it up with the coloured tile.  But when it's all together it obviously doesn't work.  It's far too busy.  You don't know what to look at.

Source: via Kirsten on Pinterest

A wiser choice would have been a neutral tile in a colour pulled from the stone.  Or even choosing a more simple mantle and doing only stone.

Source: via Kirsten on Pinterest

Either way it would allow the beatiful (and most likely expensive) stone to be the focal point.

So the point of this post is that not everything needs to be exciting, and not everything has to be your very favorite thing in the room.  What you end up with is a very busy room with no focal point.  It feels overwhelming and uncomfortable. 
Some things need to be less exciting and blend into the background so the focal point of the room can really shine.

Beautiful glass tile is the focal point in this kitchen.  When you walked into this room you would probably notice it before anything else because the cabinets and counter tops are neutral and visually quiet (not busy).  The are still totally gorgeous but they aren't the flashiest options out there.  If they had put countertops with lots of veining or flecks of colour or if they'd done grey/blue cabinets to match, the tile would have become much less of a focal point.  Why, because your eye would have been pulled to several things instead of just the tile.

Not everything in your room needs to be the focal point.  In fact it's best to pick one (or two things max) to be features in your room and let everything else play backup.  The cabinets and marble counters prove that just because they're playing backup, doesn't mean they can't still be beautiful.  

Having trouble figuring out what the focal point of your room should be and how to make it shine?  I'd love to help!  Contact me at or (204)747-4480.

Monday, 12 November 2012

When to go Trendy and When to stay Classic

Some people are nervous about trying anything new, everything should be neutral and classic so they never have to worry about updating.  Others get excited about every trend that comes along and constantly switch everything so they won't have dated decor.

So which should it be?  Always the same or always changing?

The truth is, both. 

While your personal style and budget should really be the deciding factor in how you decorate your home there are some basic rules that I usually try to follow.

If you are changing any fixed elements (things physically attached to your home) then I recommend keeping it classic and relatively neutral.  Especially if you need to hire a professional to install it.  This would include things like flooring, built in cabinetry, backsplash tile, and stone work.  Most people can't afford to have those thing switched out every few years when trends starts to look dated (if you do, by all means).
 It's best to keep the shell neutral so as your taste evolves you aren't struggling to match your new couch to your dated fireplace tile.

(please don't do this!)
When do you go trendy?  I recommmend sticking with things that you don't mind changing as trends change.  If it's in your budget and makes you happy to change your sofa every few years, go for it!  If not, stick with less expensive accessories like pillows or artwork.  Unless you have a very definite style of home (ex. a century home full of antiques) inserting on trend items throughout your home occasionally will help it stay fresh and current.

Source: via Kirsten on Pinterest

This bistro style kitchen has neutral fixed elements.  White cabinets, subway tile, stainless appliances, and classic black and white checked floors.  It feels current because of the bold stripe and burst of colour on the bench cushions.  It's actually a very small area of the room but because the rest of the room is classic and neutral it's easily updated with a few on trend items. 

Source: via Kirsten on Pinterest

What a beautiful home!  Medium brown wood floors, white trim, classic brick fireplace surround.  It will look beautiful for years to come and easily kept on trend by switching out some accessories and a few furtniture pieces.  The furniture and accessories here a little traditional for your taste? 

It could just as easily be this furniture (from an earlier post) and still fit. Why? Because the fixed elements are classic neutrals.

There's no need to spend thousands of dollars and inconveniencing yourself with renovations in five or ten years if you keep that in mind. If you're building or renovating right now this is some advice I really recommend.

If you would like some help choosing classic fixed elements or updating with some on trend pieces, contact me at or call (204)747-4480!

Friday, 9 November 2012

Spray Paint Chic

I love spray paint!  It's quick and easy and makes just about anything look new and pretty.  There are piles of colours to choose from these days so you can almost always find one to match your decor.  It's so quick and easy!  You can spray paint just about anything if you have the right type of paint.  And did I mention it's really quick and easy?  I think it should be called "quick and easy" instead of spray paint.

Take a look at these spray paint projects and maybe save yourself a bunch of cash by giving something in your home a "quick and easy" revamp!

Source: via Kirsten on Pinterest

Some DIY art.

Make some seasonal decorations

Those old lamps you inherited from grandma might look very chic with a coat of glossy white and a new modern shade.  Or if you found some that were super cheap but an ugly colour.

Source: via Kirsten on Pinterest

A gallery wall of old frames in interesting colours or old cans, vases and jars all the same colour would be an inexpensive way to add some new accessories to any room.

Painted furniture is a popular trend right now.  Spray paint is a great option for a piece with lots of little details that would be a pain to try and paint with a brush.

Here's where you can really save a bundle!  If you have some dated fixtures or hardware you've been hoping to replace, you may be able to update them for $7/can of spray paint as opposed to $5/cabinet knob, $40/door knob, $100/faucet, etc.
At one clients we were able to save at least a couple of hundered dollars by taking down some light fixtures and painting them to match the rest of the hardware and metal accessories they had already invested in.  And it didn't take any longer than it would've to drive to the store and buy new ones.


This is on my list of things to try.  Fabric spray paint.  Unless it's a simple job you can do yourself, reupholstery is something you'll probably need a professional for and can add up pretty quickly.  This could be perfect if the fabric is in good shape and you just need a new colour.
A few spray painting tips:
Stick to outdoors or a very well ventilated area where it is out of the wind so you don't end up with a bunch of dust or junk blown onto your project.  And wear a mask and glasses.
Read and follow the directions for best results.
Make sure you prime anything that is smooth (or anything really if you want to ensure your paint adheres well) and if it's something like the door knobs or fixtures that will be handled a lot, gently sand with a very fine sandpaper and wipe it clean before you prime.
Move in smooth sweeping motions with the can about a foot away to get a smooth finish and do thin coats with the required dry time inbetween as opposed to one thick one.  Thick coats are more likely to drip and not adhere as well.
Good luck with your "quick and easy" painting!  I always love to see before and after pictures ;) !

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Countdown to Ikea

As I'm sure most of you know, Ikea opens is Winnipeg on November 28!  And I'm sure I'm not the only one that's very excited about this.
I was talking with a client last week and she was saying she would like to do an Ikea kitchen while she's renovating her main floor. 
I've seen several Ikea kitchens over the years.  While some don't look so pretty, if you do your homework and do some careful planning and selection you can get a gorgeous custom look. 
While researching I found some beautiful Ikea kitchens in real homes.  So for anyone thinking about doing their kitchen in Manitoba, it's nice to have another less expensive option on the table.
Take a peek!

I think the white one above would be my personal choice.  Love it!

Source: via Kirsten on Pinterest


They look pretty darn nice to me.  With a few custom touches and proper installation you could have a very beautiful kitchen for a very reasonable price.  Worth thinking about now that Ikea will be within driving distance. 
If you would like help designing an Ikea kitchen and making it look custom, I would love to hear from you!
Have a wonderful Wednesday!