Thursday, 28 February 2013

Tips For Furniture Buying - Think Outside the Set

I mentioned once or twice in the last post how the "set" of furniture at the store isn't always your best choice.  In fact it quite often isn't.

Source: via Kirsten on Pinterest

When you go furniture shopping you see a bed you love and it comes with a dresser, mirror, chest of drawers and bedside table.  The sales person tells you he'll give you a great deal to buy them all and it's pretty hard to turn down.  Or you need a new sofa and you think you might as well get the loveseat and oversized chair since they all go together. I get it! I've been there.  But believe me when I say you may have a headache to deal with when you get home and can't fit all those things in your room or you're now completely bound to one awkward arrangement because that's  the only way those piece fit in the room.

My challenge to you is to think outside the box a little when it comes time to buy your next piece of furniture.  Don't feel bound to the "set"!  It does take a little more work and thought to pick pieces individually but in the end you have a room full of pieces of furniture you love, that function well in the room, and a look that's unique.

The living room above is a great example of picking pieces that work together to create the best floorplan possible.  Instead of just buying the matching loveseat and chair with the sofa (which would've meant several less seats and an awkward arrangement) they took full advantage of the room and bought two of the same sofa, two of the same chairs, plus the tables match as well.  Now you have lots of seating, nice flow, and a unique room.  The two chairs in front of the window take advantage of the light and view.  I imagine they would be a great spot for reading or a more intimate area to host a friend for coffee.  The couches are perfect for larger gatherings and the chairs are still close enough to be included in the group.

In fact if you look at your favorite magazine or decorating website you'll probably notice there are lots of matching pieces of furniture, in that they often use two of the same piece, but I can't remember the last time I saw a room featured in a magazine that had a matching couch, loveseat, and chair.  Most decorators and designers realize "sets" don't take best advantage of  most floorplans plus they just don't love the look.  If we have the option of starting from scratch it's doubtful your decorator will ever choose a "set" for you.

Instead of a loveseat, if you have room, get another couch.  If you don't have room, two chairs are much more flexible and most guests enjoy having their own seat as opposed to having to snuggle up beside another guest on the loveseat.

I could go on and on but the point is, when you're thinking about getting some new furniture and you're in the planning stage, don't feel bound to another "set".  Really think about what would fit comfortably and what would best meet your needs.  The bonus is you'll end up with a much more custom look than your neighbour that will function better for your family.

Need some help making the right choice?  I'd love to hear from you!

Monday, 25 February 2013

Tips for Furniture Buying -Planning

Buying a piece of furniture isn't as simple as going to the store and picking out what you like.  I can't tell you how often I have been in a home or hear of someone buying a piece of furniture and bringing it home to find, it doesn't fit in the door, it barely fits in the room, or it doesn't relate to any of the other furniture.

I'm sure we've all seen the room where they marched off to the store, bought the whole set (because it all goes together and it's such a good price) and brought it home to cram in their tiny room.

PLEASE stop doing that!  Before you even set foot in a furniture store you need to measure your room.  Get out a tape measure and a piece of paper and draw your room labeled with your measurements.  If you happen to have a piece of graph paper, even better.  Draw your room to scale (every box = 1 sq ft).  Also measure the doors into your house and the room your furniture will go.  Can you actually fit that king mattress around all those tight corners, down the cramped hall and into your 10 by 10 bedroom?

Once you have all of your measurements think about what your needs are for the room.  A living room for example.  Do you host a lot of people in that room or is it just for you and your family?  If you host a lot of cocktail type parties in that room your needs will be very different than if it's just you and your family of four watcing movies. 

Based on your needs make a list.  Seating for 8.  Storage for 150 movies. Side tables large enough to hold table lamps. etc

Now if you want you can make a first trip to the store to get some ideas and measurements or take a look at some furniture store sites to get measurements.  With those ideas and measurements cut out some "furniture" to move around the picture of the room you drew.  You could also make giant cut outs with craft paper to use in the actual room or make outlines on your floor with painters tape but I find the drawing method much easier.  Don't make your floorplan based on a "set" of furniture (couch, loveseat, and chair for example) make it based on your needs.

Once you've come up with a floor plan that best suits your needs and you can see what comfortably fits in your room (and what size of furniture you can get through your door) then it's time to go to the store and actually start shopping.  Remember to take your tape measure along to double check sizes.

I'll have some more tips in my next post!

If that's more work than you're wanting to put in or you think you'd like some assistance making the right choice, I'd be happy to come help!  Email me

Friday, 22 February 2013

Black and White Rooms

I find I've been attracted to really dark wall colours lately and on that note I've been contemplating a change for my living room. 

I really like the colour of the dark blue feature wall that's in there but I've had the blue grey that was on the rest of the walls for awhile and I'm ready for a change.

 Plus when we mount the tv above the fireplace it leaves the feature wall in the wrong spot.  I'd be highlighting a wall that really isn't where the focus of the room is.

So if I don't change my mind before I get a chance to do the painting ;)  Then I'm thinking the fireplace wall will become the feature wall in a dark charcoal.  I'll keep the fireplace, trim, and built ins all the white they already are and probably do the rest of the walls white to balance the dark. I've also noticed a lot of my pins lately have bright white walls (white walls are popular again!). 

I love the black and white with a hit of a warm wood or leather and I think my orange brown sofas would look really nice with the white and charcoal.  I scored a couple of metal frame chairs to recover for either side of the fireplace for dirt cheap so I need to pick some fabric too!

Here's a few of my charcoal/black and white pins that are my inspiration!



Source: via Kirsten on Pinterest

Anyone else enjoying the classic black and white scheme lately?

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Breakfast Nook on a Budget - Spring Inspired

Since the groundhog said it would be an early spring, and it's such a gorgeous day out there, I felt like doing something fun, bright, and inpired by the (hopefully) soon to be here spring season. 
I have a breakfast nook that's looking pretty sad right now.  Actually my entire kitchen is, but that's a whole other post.  Anyways, we tend to eat there more in the spring and summer for some reason, so I thought I'd give it an imaginary makeover for a spring time breakfast!

So here is my spring inspired breakfast nook on a budget!

Spring time breakfast nook

1. Chairs - both from Ikea 2@$60 and 2@$80    2. Rug - RugsUSA $130 (50% off)  3. Table -Walmart $150  4. Bowls -Target $10 (set of 4)     5. Coffee Press - Target $19     6. Fabric for napkins and runner - $11/y   7. Dishes - Target $35/set       8. Toast Rack - $10      
9. Flatware - Target $30/set
= a total of $675 for my spring inspired makeover
I decided to go with two different styles of chairs, it lends a more collected and casual feel.  I liked the modern style of the white chair and the warmth and texture of the woven one.  I think they pair nicely. 
The table is super simple and clean lined.  So it goes well with the modern chairs but I like the dark colour to help ground the space and the light colourful dishes would pop on it.
The rug is just sooo fun!  The colour and pattern are great and as a bonus it's polyester so it should clean up fairly easily.
I couldn't find any cute table linens I liked in my price range so instead I found a yard of fun indoor outdoor fabric to make into napkins and a small runner.  Being indoor/outdoor fabric they will clean very easily but still be soft enough to feel nice.
The dishes, flatware and coffee press are all from target so of course they are reasonably priced.  I love the bright colours of the dishes! And the coffee press and flatware are both simple and clean lined in keeping with the modern elements.
I think a toast rack is really cute!  I don't own one...yet.  But if you're someone who likes to do a big weekend breakfast it would make your table feel just a bit more special.
And to finish off the table just add some tulips from your spring garden! Ah, can't wait for spring!!!
The whole nook furnished and table set for $675 sound pretty good to me! 
Anyone else getting excited for spring??

Friday, 8 February 2013

Do's and Don'ts for Choosing a Paint Colour

Choosing the perfect paint colour isn't as simple as going to the paint store and choosing a chip you like (as I'm sure you've figured out if you've tried this).  It's can be a bit of a process but if you take the time to follow some of these do's and don'ts your chances of finding the right colour will improve dramatically!

DON'T pick your colour at the store!  The store has much different lighting than your home and it doesn't have your furniture, flooring or trim to check the colour against.  Colours can look totally different in different lighting and when surrounded by your stuff.

DO think about what you want the feeling or mood of the room to be.  Different colours are associated with different feels and moods.  If you want your childs room to be a stimulating play area then consider a bright colour but if you want it to be condusive to relaxing for nap time, a vibrant orange might not be the best choice.

Different colours create totally different feels in this room.

DON'T choose a colour from a magazine or paint store ad without testing it.  Most ads and magazines enhance their pictures so the room looks "perfect".  In other words it isn't a true likeness of the colour, it's often much lighter and brighter than reality.  If you love the colour get a tester and try it out.

DO test your colours in your room, with your stuff, before buying.  I know this isn't always possible (like when you're building and have to paint before you move in) but if you can get a test pot and paint a piece of poster board.  You can stick it up beside your trim, baseboards, flooring, behind your couch, etc. so you can see how it will look in relation.  That gray that looks perfect in the store may look mauve or baby blue when you get it in your room.  Save yourself some money and work by testing first! 

DO consider adjoining rooms.  If you can see another room from the one your painting (and vise versa) you need to make sure those colours will look nice together (flow) or it will really take away from your room.  If you've picked out a colour but it looks terrible with the one in the next room you may want to consider a different colour or repainting the adjoining room.


DON'T ignore your furniture and fixed elements (trim, fireplace brick. etc).  Unless you are planning on changing those things in the near future you want to make sure the colour works with what's in your room.  Ignoring those elements will probably lead to a less than satisfactory look in the end.  Something will always look off.

Source: via Kirsten on Pinterest

DO take undertones into consideration.  You may think you're just picking a neutral colour (like a grey or beige) but every paint colour is made by mixing several different colours to acheive the one on the paint chip.  This creates "undertones".  There are very few neutral neutrals.  For example, most greys have a purple, blue or green undertone. 

DO remember that most colours will look lighter and brighter up on the wall.  Decorators often have to convince clients to use a darker or more muted ("greyed") version of the colour they think they want. We do that because the blue they thought would be nice in their living room would look more nursery baby blue on the wall.

If you'd like help choosing the right colour I'd love to help!  A quick one or two hour consultation is usually enough to work out a colour scheme for several rooms!  Contact me at (204)747-4480 or

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Custom Window Coverings

Real Interiors is now accepting bookings for In Home Consultations for Custom Window Coverings from Graber Blinds!

We're offering an amazing kick off sale!  You can upgrade your blinds to 'top down bottom up'* for FREE!  Plus an additional 25% off on top of that. 

Book now while the sale lasts!!! or call (204)747-4480

Check out the Custom Window Coverings page or contact me for more information.

*on blind styles compatible with this function. If the style you want aren't compatible we'll give you 30% off your entire order!

Friday, 1 February 2013

Graber Samples

My samples are in!!!  What got me really excited about Graber in the first place was their samples so, now that mine are here, I had to share my excitement!  They have sooo many options there truly is something for everyone.  From traditional to modern, and everything in between, there are endless choices.

(sorry for my poor lighting! I was so excited I had to show you some of my books!)

~Real, faux wood or composite shades and shutters
~Pleated shades
~Roller shades
~Solar shades
~Natural woven shades
~Sliding panels

These are some of the styles I'll be offering and all of them have books full of material and fabric options.
Plus there are lots of ways to customize them to your needs and decor!  Top down bottom up, motorized lifts, cordless, liners, valances, trim, tapes and wood stain matching to name a few.

If you're in the market for new blinds, shades or shutters you can have a interior decorator come to your home and help you choose the right style and materials, measure your windows, order and install everything for you!  Talk about efforless!!

What you have on your windows can make a huge difference to how the room looks.  Just check out my Living Room Reveal.  It's kind of hard to see in the before but they had plastic verticals on their window and it was really contributing to the dated feel of the room.  Changing the blinds alone updated the room in a huge way!

The best way to choose blinds is in your home.  It's kind of like paint colours.  Any decorator will say that if at all possible you should take your samples home and see them in your room, with your stuff and the lighting in your room to get the best results.  The same applies to window coverings.  Seeing samples in your home will give you the best idea what will work with your decor, wall colours, and light control needs so you know when you make the investment they will be exactly what you wanted.

If you're interested in an in home consultation I would love to come out and look through samples with you!  Call me at (204)747-4480 or email me at for more information.

And just FYI I will be offering some great introductory discounts and freebies!!! So book soon to get in on them!