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Sunday, 13 March 2016

Creating an authentic home

It's easy for a professional designer to come into someone's home and design a house that looks perfect from top to bottom with no detailed missed.  However, is the space a true reflection of the client or that of the designers taste?

Defining your design style can sometimes be challenging and overwhelming.   I have created a worksheet that helps guide my clients to help them create a language for their project and that will aid them in making decisions that stay authentic to their vision.  I have included this worksheet below for you to use as your field guide to finding your design style.

Once a client is confident about their design style it helps them trust my decisions I will make to help them execute this vision come to life.     Confident decorating is about decorating the space for those who will actually live in the home, not for anyone else.   With that confidence it will allow the client to take risks, to make their home feel highly personal no matter what the current trends are or what others are all doing to their homes.  When designing a space for my clients I encourage them to rediscover pieces of furniture, knickknack and art they currently have and give suggestions on how we can bring these pieces to life again and feel new and exciting and part of their design vision.  

The design process is a fun and unique experience for both the designer and the client.  We are uncovering who the client is, what their style and intention for the home is all about,how the architecture of the home and the decorating will conform together, and how your home feels so that it reflects your vibe. Now all thats left is getting the courage to go after it! 

I encourage you to fill out my Design Style Questionnaire below and please feel free to share it to me!

Design Style Work Sheet 

INTENTION Describe how you want to make the best use of your home. 1. I always want the sensation of having breathing room.        
2. I would love to share my love of cooking with friends.            
3. A sense of comfort and memories is paramount to me.
STYLE Style is how your intentions will actually look or appear when put into the design of your home. Describe what styles you are drawn too. I love the eclectic look of mixing old with new, I am more drawn to bohemian looking spaces with lots of neutrals. I want something that will be timeless to our home.
HOUSE Describe your home’s architecture and style Rustic, airy, open, contemporary. 
INSPRIATION  What do you find inspiring? I find my travelling, food and the wilderness inspiring.
FEEL How do you want your home to feel? I would love for my home to be a balance of calming, uplifting and whimsical.
MOOD Describe the mood of your home. I want my home to feel lived in but not cluttered and relaxed yet fun. 
COLOUR PALETTE Describe your general colour palette. I love calming serene colour palettes with touches of blues and greens. 
PROJECT LANGUAGE Your project “Language” is what results from all of this combined information.  List the descriptive phrases that apply to your specific project and use the verbiage as a litmus test or filter throughout the design process. Each and every selection of your project should fit through this “filter.” A mix of bohemian meets contemporary, with an open and airy neutral palette. A strong connection to the wilderness and the places we have travelled and an overall impression of a calming, well lived in space without feeling cluttered. An uplifting, relaxed vibe is key and the home should make life easier by being organized and conducive to creative endeavour and fun. 
END RESULT Always ask yourself, “is X in keeping with my overall vision?”  “Is this rug right with my overall vision?” “Is it relaxed enough?” “Is is too serious?” and so on. 

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Thursday, 10 March 2016

5 Tips for decorating your outdoor space

We have heard the expression of bringing the outdoors inside so why not the opposite and bring the indoors outside!  Spring is in the air today here in London, Ontario and that inspired me to write this blog on 5 Tips on how to decorate your outdoor space!

Hiring an Interior Designer might sound like a funny thing to do when your ready to spruce up your outdoor space but it’s really no different then helping a client decorate the inside of their home.   When it comes to plants, decks, etc I would leave it to the professionals but decorating is our expertise!   A Designer can help you come up with creative ideas for your large backyard or even for the tiny backyards.  They can help you with a space/furniture plan so that everything is scaled properly.  Designers also have access to many Trade only companies for Outdoor fabrics, rugs, furniture that you don't have access to at retail stores.  Some designers will even give you a trade discount which can sometimes add up to the designer fee’s!  Which is a total WIN WIN!  You have a beautiful space designed by a professional that is completely original and unique at the same price as it would cost you to do it yourself.  

1. Rugs

Outdoor rugs can really make an outdoor space come together and add a nice pop of colour, texture and interest!  Investing in a good outdoor rug will mean they are fade resistant, stand the test of time and mother nature! Some of the cheaper outdoor rugs can fall apart after one summer (Been there one too many times).  Now there are so many different types of outdoors rugs if you want something more comfortable then a seal or natural woven rug.  Add a flat weave for a more relaxed look or even layer over a sisal rug for a more bohemian vibe. Jaipur has an amazing selection and can be purchased through 

2. Lighting

Lighting is very important when you want to create a certain ambience,  including the outdoors!  A few easy ways to include mood lighting into your outdoor habitat could be as simple as hanging a string of outdoor lights or a decorative wall light fixture.  You could also have an electrician hardwire a fixture for the outdoors and hang it over your outdoor dining table. Even adding lots of candles is a great way to may an outdoor space illuminate! The LED ones are great especially if you want to light a pathway or stairs. Here are a few links to get you inspired!  1. String Lights  2.Decorative Wall Light  3.Hanging Light Fixture (image below)

3. Mirror's 

If your challenged with a small outdoor space consider adding a mirror or two to help enlarge your outdoor habitat.  You could even lean a full length mirror against your brick wall to really make a large impact! I would suggest using an old mirror you don't know what you want to do with or find something interesting at a yard sale.

4. Furniture

I hate to state the obvious but yes furniture!  Outdoor furniture has come a long way and its easy to create beautiful outdoor vignettes with the right outdoor furniture.  Hiring an interior designer to do up a space plan/furniture plan might be a smart way to help you save money and also make the best use of your outdoor space.  Maybe you want to create a beautiful dining area or a cozy area to entertain your friends or selecting the right furniture for around your pool.  Kannoa has a beautiful selection of outdoor furniture and can be purchased through

5. Finishing Touches

Just like you accessorize your indoor spaces you can do the same to your outdoor spaces!  I love the look of outdoor draperies being hung on a porch and even having some decorative outdoor pillows. There are so many beautiful outdoor fabrics to choose from so that you don't have to worry about mould growing on the drapes and pillows. You can also add some tasteful knick knack’s (Lawn Gnomes are not tasteful #sorrynotsorry) by incorporating some beautiful planters with fragrant flowers or even herbs!