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Hi, I'm Jil Sonia McDonald of Jil Sonia Interior Designs, I am thrilled to guest post for Maria while she is vacationing in the land of the Tuscan sun. I have been a professional interior designer for the past eight years, and I live in beautiful Chilliwack, British Columbia. My aesthetic is clean and streamlined, which I love to mix up a bit with pops of colour and lots of texture.
I am absolutely passionate about interior design, and it gives me great joy to create dream homes for my clients. I love what I do!
Please read along with me and see my answers to Maria's insightful questions.
1. What’s your favourite colour? Why?
I have to say my favourite colour is Simply White OC-117 by Benjamin Moore.
It is THE perfect white for walls. Not too creamy, not too gray, not too pinky. Using it allows me to change up my accessories with clients, and even at home, whenever the mood hits me. (As other designers will tell you, we love updating our own home and work spaces.)
When using white walls, we have to add texture to the room, such as this lovely distressed wood coffee table or this rattan end table. When we use all flat, smooth, finishes, white paint can look like primer – definitely not what we want.
2.. What was your biggest colour/design mistake?
I work with a 15 Step Design System that doesn't leave room for mistakes, but sometimes it’s the little things that really make a room. I once decorated a client’s home, and it turned out beautifully. The client was thrilled, but the home didn’t have anything with 'meaning' in it.
Now, I always try to add something that is personal to a client, such as a great, great grandmother’s silver cutlery (below). Our client had these beautiful heritage pieces , and now they are a wonderful conversation point – brilliant idea!
3. What is the most important colour lesson you’ve learned?
When I started out as a designer, I had no idea about undertones in colour selection. I thought a beige was a beige. Maria’s training program taught me that there are many undertones of beige – pink, yellow, and green, to name just a few! She taught me to compare colours so that we, as designers, know exactly how to give our clients, or ourselves, the PERFECT colour. I cannot recommend this course highly enough. Such a great professional development experience that you can add to your role as an interior designer.
4. When it comes to colour, what’s hot?
Gray is still hot – but I see white taking over more and more! Clients are all asking me for light and bright. White walls with pops of coloured pillows, throws, and accent trays, as pictured below. I just love it!
5. Which colour do you think is timeless?
I think a grayed blue is timeless. I strongly recommend you use a very grayed blue --- so grey looking that on the paint sample chip itself, it looks gray, not blue! Colour appears twice as bright on your walls as on the chip, so we always need to select muted gray blues unless we want in-your-face baby boy blue. One of my favourite grays with a slight blue undertone is Stonington Gray HC-170.
6. Which colour trend would you love to see disappear?
If I had a magic wand, I’d banish the world of pinky beige carpet. I’ve discussed this with carpet manufacturers – they were blissfully unaware! Pink beige can clash with so many other colours, especially yellow!
It’s one of those non-descript, all-pervasive colours that doesn’t give us the fresh, bright effect we’re all yearning for today. Often, builders who don’t hire professional designers think it’s a neutral colour, but it’s far from that!
Here, a client’s dog, Bella, shows off her timeless medium brown flooring – isn’t that much lovelier than pinky beige carpet?
5. What do you think is one of the biggest mistakes homeowners make with colour?
The biggest mistake homeowners make on their own is trying to select a paint colour first. Really, we should be first selecting our hard finishes, and in the following order: countertops and tiles, flooring, furniture, draperies, pillows. Paint comes last.
We have thousands of paint colours to select from. It is absolutely vital that homeowners choose wisely, with the help of a great interior designer. Paint colours should be a beautiful backdrop for the other items we have selected, unless the paint finish is a beautiful metallic or lacquered finish.
Here, we've added a darker, grayed blue table, which just pops against the Simply White walls.
6. Which part of participating in Specify Colour with Confidence™ created the biggest breakthrough/aha moment/insight for your business, and how did it help you move forward?
I realized just how important it is to compare colours. It is almost impossible to determine the undertones unless you compare samples side by side, with a pure white background behind them. A simple piece of white poster board is such a great tool to have on hand when choosing colour.
Now, I meet all my clients with absolute confidence. I know that I will help them choose the most amazing paint colours, fabrics, tiling, and more, making their home perfect!
For more great tips, interior design insight, or to see more photos of my work, please head over to my blog at www.JilSoniaInteriors.com/blog. I’d love to see you there!
Maria, thank you for this exciting and amazing opportunity to guest blog. I'm eternally grateful for all the colour instruction that I've received from you. I've just not found this instruction anywhere else!
We've been designing kitchens for years and our clients love us! Light and bright kitchens, that are functional and practical; rule today. However when we arrive home at night, we encounter our own drab and dreary kitchen. The designer who created this kitchen had unknowingly, selected competing undertones - orange floor, burgundy cabinets, black and PINK countertops and Tuscan gold backsplash. This is definitely not my style and I think it's time for a change! Don't you?
I know - it's bad, right? When designing kitchens for our clients, we start with choosing 2 items first. The counter top and the kitchen sink!
As I use Caesarstone almost exclusively (they have the best range of colours and patterns of quartz - in my opinion), I knew which counter top I wanted almost immediately. Frosty Carrina!
It's a warm white, with subtle flecks and veining of light warm gray. Giving almost a marble look, but without the hassle, upkeep, staining and etching of real marble. Their quartz has antibacterial properties meaning there is no need to seal the counters - eliminating the maintenance that is needed every few years.
Have a look at all the beautiful options from Caesarstone here!
The next item I choose is the Kitchen sink. Of course the size is dictated by any existing cabinetry, if you are starting from scratch, the world's your Oyster. A favourite manufacture of mine is Blanco. They sell amazing sinks of all different shapes and sizes. Silgranit, Stainless steel, FireClay and more! Here's a cheat sheet on the great points.
Apron sink - who doesn't love apron sinks?
Centre drain location
3 1/2'' (90mm) stainless steel strainer included
Stay tuned! Sneak peek photos coming up - we've just installed the gorgeous Caesarstone counter top and we are absolutely thrilled with it!
Stay tuned for more updates and tips and tricks!
Please click through to follow the link to my posting. I hope you enjoy!
Jil Sonia Interior's post.
I'm thrilled to have been asked by Maria Killam to guest post whilst she's away in Italy later this month! Maria is well known as a colour consultant and instructor. I owe all of my colour knowledge to her!
Can't wait to share the link here, after it's posted on Maria's site!
Here's a sneak peak of my lovely client's photos, that I'll be including in the blog!
Being an interior designer is a wonderful job. I just adore it. But... it can get overwhelming for the designer, trades people and most importantly, the client!
Bringing in electricians, drywallers, cabinet makers, tilers, contractors, etc. is often a time consuming endeavour for both the designer and clients. Kimberley Seldon has developed a webinar that focusses on how to increase profits and streamline your work. There are tips and tricks and a detailed plan of action to ensure things run smoothly. I'm now using this strategy and cannot believe how simple and easy it is. Saving me time, and client's money.
Growing your A Team—Strategic & Profit (Step 3)
In this intensive 2 hour webinar you will learn precisely how to increase profits while improving customer satisfaction dramatically. If you want to look like a rock star to your clients and trades, then this is the course for you. *Q&A is part of all webinars so you’ll get individual attention.
Please click here for more information and to sign up for this 2 hour webinar. I cannot recommend this highly enough!
I've never been so impressed with a blog article, that I've contacted the author, and asked for his authorization, so that I can post that article in my blog before. I've found this posting so insightful and specific, that I've asked Matt Astrella from Alglo Engineering, if I could re-post his blog. He said yes, and I truly hope that you find it as helpful as I have.
(Alglo Engineering has also come up with an unique tool that can help all interior designers, stay tuned to hear more about this new tool, below!)
What Is Color Temperature?
Color temperature is mostly a measurement of the amount of yellow or blue white a light is comprised of and is measured in degrees Kelvin (K). The term ‘temperature’ is used because designers often describe how warm or cool light appears, the more orange and yellow light is the warmer and the more white and blue, the cooler.
How Is Color Temperature Measured?
Color temperature is measured by a unit called the Kelvin (K). The Kelvin thermodynamic temperature scale is defined so that absolute zero is 0 kelvins (K). The measurement of color temperature follows similarly the color changes a piece of metal would experience as heat is applied to it. At first, the metal would glow a deep orange-red and then become more yellow-white and finally move to the blue spectrum. The lower numbers on the light temperature scale (2700K is usually the base) contain a more yellow-orange color, the middle of the scale are white and the top of the scale (often ends at 6500K) you get very bright white to blue color.
How Do I Choose Which Temperature to Use?
The color temperature you want to use to illuminate your room depends mostly on the mood you are looking to create. If you are using warm furniture colors such as rich dark woods, reds in oriental rugs, and wall paint, 2700K to 3000K bulbs will bring out those colors more. For rooms with light woods, whites, grays, and blues, and lighter wall colors such as lighter shades of purple and blue the 3500K and even up to 5000K bulbs will compliment best.
Interior designers can swap out light bulbs or use an LED Design Kit to show how different materials will look under the different temperatures.
Another tip is to base it on what the dwellers are using the room for. For example, many people will find a formal dining room more appealing with warmer light, while for a large, open-plan office neutral to cool white light is the better choice. Offices often use 5000K fluorescent lighting that creates a cool white light that has been said to keep people alert and awake.
It can also be aligned with how much natural light the room gets and whether you want to keep that same feeling through dusk and into the night or if you want to switch it up come dark. A room in full sunlight during the middle of the day will be a bright, blue white (around 5500K) while horizontal daylight is near 5000K, daylight on an overcast day is more blue (6500K), and during sunrise and sunset you get extremely warm light close to 1800K.
What Products Fall Into The Different Temperature Ranges?
You can purchase LED products in any temperature between 2700K and 6500K. Solid State Lighting makes it easy to adjust color with dyes.
Metal Hallide and Fluorescent products can also be found in different ranges across the spectrum.
Editor's note: Please click on this link, to see the Interior Designer's Light kit, that helps show how different lighting can widely change the colours of the item. I can imagine this tool being helpful when out at various showrooms, you could bring the light tool with you, take the item aside, then shine the light on the item, to show how it looks with the client's own lighting. Saving many costly mistakes.
Being an interior designer, I know the most important first step is having a great consultation with our clients. I offer a 2 hour consultation and have a checklist of items I go over, to get started on the right foot!
If you are an interior designer, I highly suggest Kimberley Seldon's new webinars. This first one concentrates on the consultation, what's important, what's not. What to say, what to do. It's all covered here. Please click here for more information, spaces are still available!
Did you hear? The 60s inspired TV series Mad Men, is in it's final season. Bad news for this wildly popular show, I know.
But to hold us over just a little longer, I created an interior design mood board based on my personal favourite style - Mid Century Modern. This MCM style, features clean lines, attention to subtle detail, simple forms; with a nod to entertaining. Here's a photo of Roger Sterling's Office.
When choosing my inspiration furniture, I went to the ever popular furniture online store called Charish. This store accepts furniture from all over the continental USA, posts great photos of the pieces, then offers them for sale. They take great care to only sell amazing furniture.
I especially love the great search options. You can search by Style, Colour, Price point, Category, Location etc. Which makes selecting the perfect item a breeze! Have a look at what I have created.
All items from Charish.
If you want to check out their direct link to their MCM furniture please click here, I promise you'll love it!
Thanks for indulging my zest for Mid-Century modern design!
If you haven't read Part One or Part Two, then please do so :)
If you're all up to date, let's continue, as we're onto the finishing coats!
Well, we've sanded and re-stained and now we needed to select the perfect finish coat.
Basically, there are 2 main types of finish coats. Oil based and water based. Each of them usually come in matte, satin or gloss. I wanted a matte look so I tried the water based matte formulas on a test piece of wood. I noticed it came out very matte looking which was great, but it looked like it was a plastic finish, with an almost gray/white look - not the look I'm going for. It didn't let the beauty of the wood shine through.
I also tried the satin finish, in both the water and oil based finishes. It showed the stain of the wood a little better, but it was very glossy. The Satin was so glossy in fact - that I knew not to even try the Gloss finish!
Can you see the original unfinished stain on the left, and the water based matte on the right above?
I wanted a warm rich, but still matte look - as we have so many huge floor to ceiling windows - I didn't want more glare from the sun showing up on our floor. Here's the oil based matte stain above on the left with unfinished wood on the right. I still wasn't loving that plastic sheen look in either the water or oil finishes.
I learnt that tiny particles of sand are added into the matte finish coats in both oil and water based finishes. Hence the dull, whitish look on the left.
So I decided, after about 6 hours of research online to try out a 3rd option - an oil rubbed finish. I did a sample on one board, and loved it, so decided to try it on a larger area of the actual floor, and finally had the tradesman (a different man as Clinton had no expertise with the oil rubbed finish) apply the oil to the whole floor. See below. My flooring re-finisher brought in a $7,500 machine that had a Scotch Brite type pad on the bottom, it applied the oil beautifully, heated up the oil and almost burnished it into the wood. We let it dry for 2 days then applied another coat of the hardwax oil. This oil goes on as a liquid, then dries to a rock hard wax finish. This is why I always hire professionals, they put the money into the top notch machines/tools that really make a difference.
It looks absolutely stunning and is exactly what I wanted! Yipee!
I used Eukula Hard Wax Oil. Read on for the application procedures.
Now, we've finally finished our floors and after a few days, we've been able to walk on them, one week later, we've moved the furniture back in.
Just to be safe, I'll leave the area rug off for a month or so, to ensure the finish really hardens. I'm absolutely thrilled with it. Look below to see the old original orange shiny floors on the left, and my new neutral brown oil rubbed floors on the right. It was a LOT of work, but was certainly worthwhile!
We finally found out what went wrong with the first staining. The flooring should have been sanded with a screen sander, it's a large square sander that gives a very even finish, but not too smooth of a finish, as you want the stain to penetrate the wood! It was sanded very smooth, to our feel, but this special machine had a screen on it which gives a different sort of sanding, which worked on the different grain patterns in our red oak.
Now the floors look so great, (thank you God!).
So the next step that I'm onto is refinishing my kitchen cabinets, and new quartz counter tops and maybe a new sectional, and maybe a rug, and lighting, don't forget the lighting....
If you haven't read part 1 of this exciting post, please do, then join me back here.
If you've already done that feel free to tag along...
So, I've left you, my dear readers, where we've sanded and stained. Due to the horrible spots that have appeared on the floor (still do NOT know why that happened), we'd had to redo the whole floor. Now we've re sanded down to bare wood AGAIN (see part 1). Yup.
I have decided to try a different stain. I'm not sure if it was the stain that was the culprit, showing those horrid white stripes, but thought, let's change everything! So this time I've decided to go with Varathane Espresso stain, another oil based stain. This is a wiping stain - you apply it, wait 10-15 minutes then wipe it off.
I've tested the stain on different samples of the same wood. As we have red Oak flooring, the grain is so pronounced that I wanted to try it on each 'type of grain'. See below - Note on the top board - left side, I did apply a second coat, as it didn't appear to have 'taken' the first time. Usually you don't need a second coat ; as the first coat almost seals the wood , not allowing the stain to penetrate.
We decide to condition the wood. There are several ways to go about doing this. One is to apply a wood conditioner. The other is to lightly mist the floor with water, wait 15 minutes for it to dry, then sand with 100 grit sandpaper - called water popping!. Note when preparing the floor to accept the stain, I recommend between 100 and 120 grit, this allows the grain to 'open up'. If you used a higher numbered grit (finer) sand paper, it would tend to 'seal' the wood and not allow the stain to penetrate. You do need to remember to very lightly sand to remove the 'hair' of the wood that will be raised up after watering.
Now Vacuum thoroughly, everywhere before applying!
Once the wood is conditioned, by lighting spraying a little water on the raw wood, then lightly sanding the wood to remove the 'hairs'; we take a pad applicator dip it into the stain, apply to the floor, in the direction of the grain or wood. Wait 5-15 minutes (we waited 10 minutes), then wipe off with a clean dry lint free cloth.
Here's my contractor Clinton Adrian working hard. Love working with him.
Yup his knees were killing him after this - poor guy!
Here's the coat of stain applied to the whole floor - now we wait for 7 days! The instructions only said 24-48 hours, but I do not want to do this again. (Note the cabinets will be painted later!).
Next step will be to apply the finish coats! Stay tuned
Being an interior designer, my home and surroundings highly affect how I feel. I have a beautiful new home, but as I did not select the finishes; they are not what I would have chosen . At all.
I have conflicting undertones everywhere and dated finishes, even though the house is just 7 years old.
What's bothered me the most is my hardwood flooring. It's orange, VERY orange, red oak solid hardwood. (And burgundy cabinets, and gold backspash, and black and PINK granite - but that's another story!)
I've decided to bite the bullet and take you on this journey with me. Pardon the dust!
1. First step is to hire someone you trust. I have a brilliant contractor who doesn't specialize in flooring, but he's done great jobs refinishing my client's floors. I trust him.
2. Determine the amount of time this will take, I budgeted 3 weeks, but I'd suggest longer.
3. Determine where you are going to live, whilst your floors are going to be sanded. We live in a large home, so we decided to take over the basement. BUT, the kitchen is among the rooms being sanded, so that will be out of commission for a while. We moved the toaster, Microwave, blender and paper plates and cups downstairs. The fridge ended up on the deck, along with the stove and dishwasher. We've had a very mild winter, so it wasn't a problem to plug in the fridge outside.
4. Next we put poly plastic sheets over everything, the cabinets, counters, railings, fireplace, lighting, stairwell, and entrance to the foyer.
5. My contractor started with a 100 grit sander, and worked about 6 hours and finished a spot only 10 ft x 4 ft. It seems every flooring finish is different, and this finish was EXTREMELY DIFFICULT to remove. To make a long story short, we ended up going with a drum roller with 36 grit paper. And the dust started to fly! We also found out the guest bed was very uncomfortable. Karma I guess.
It took him 4 days to remove 600 sq. ft of finishing and get the wood down to bare wood. We selected the perfect stain colour - not too dark, no red and NO ORANGE undertones. We applied it, looked great, did the second coat the next day, then were told to wait 24 hours, but waited 72 hours and applied the top coat. Everything looked good, so after 2 days we applied the second top coat and left it to dry overnight.
The next morning the flooring looked good but a little different. That night I noticed white patches appearing on top of certain boards. We left it another day and yup... it looked worse.
I went on every online site, talked to all sorts of professionals that I could find, to research the cause of these random white patches. It looked like someone had poured milk on the wood and let it dry, leaving a dry powdery white coating on about 25% of the boards. No one knew what to do so we....... resanded the whole bloody thing again!
4 more days of sanding - and dust. Aggh...
We vacuumed the walls, windows, floors and everything else again - and started all over....
To be continued in Part 2 of 3!
Thank you to all my wonderful interior design clients and suppliers!
I just could not have done it without you. I am truly honoured to have received this for the last 3 consecutive years! Thanks once again for all of your support!
There are an amazing amount of beautiful range hoods available now. Glass, steel and custom wood are all options. But, you need to know the SIZE of range hood you need, not the dimensions, but the amount of CFM (cubic feet per minute) needed for your hood.
First you need to select your stove, or cook top. Then you need 100 CFM for every 12" of stove width.
For example a 30" stove (2.5') x 100 CFM= Approx. 250 CFM needed, as a minimum.
But we can't just stop there...
We need to keep the room size in mind. Larger rooms need more CFM to clear the cooking odours away.
A range hood should exchange the air in the kitchen 15 x per hour.
If your kitchen is 12' x 15' and 10' high, that equals 1,800 cubic feet. To find the size of fan needed, multiply the cubic feet x the # of air exchanges (15) then divide by 60 (minutes in an hour).
In our example that would be: 1,800 x 15 = 27,000 divided by 60 = 450. You need 450 CFM minimum for this size of kitchen.
Are we finished? Not yet. Gas ranges deliver a lot more heat than electric ranges. So we need to take this into consideration. Most gas burners put out approx. 10,000 BTUs per burner. Multiply that by the number of burners, 5 shown here = 50,000 BTU Then divide by 100 to find the minimum CFMs needed. In this case 500 CFM.
Now we aren't quite finished. What about the size of the duct work, number of turns, etc.? Most HVAC suppliers recommend smooth 8" metal pipe. Add 1 CFM per foot of pipe and add 25 CFM for each bend and 40 CFM for the roof cap. Let's estimate this example as being 100 CFM needed.
Now, we ARE finished. Take the rating for the stove width (250 CFM in our example), room size (450 CFM minimum), burner type (500 CFM minimum). The highest number is 500, then add your duct work CFM calculations (100) and you would need a total of 600 CFM for this range size, kitchen size, range burner and ductwork.
I hope this helps. Be sure to discuss this with your contractor and appliance providers.
As interior designers, our go to pieces for interior decor are often toss pillows. I find they are a great way to pull a room together or to be used as inspiration for a whole room.
I was recently introduced to Therese Maria Designs from Etsy. She creates beautiful pillows in an assortment of sizes and colours.
Loving this pink and orange one above!
Haven't seen this wave edging before - love her attention to detail.
This gray one looks so pretty, I'd love to use it year round!
It was very, very difficult to chose, but here's a gorgeous teal one that I selected for our living room. I think it looks great on my mother's vintage chair which I had reupholstered.
Therese can be contacted on Etsy, I highly recommend her and will be using her for my clients in the future!
Click on photo above, then click on Events.
Upcoming other Events:_
Business of Design - Kimberley Seldon Dates - Winnipeg, Calgary, Vancouver, Toronto, New York, Chicago, Dallas, LA and more.
I've posted a photo of the Toronto seminars, but click on the photo, or this link - to see all cites that Kimberly will be teaching at, including Winnipeg, Calgary, Vancouver, Toronto, New York, Chicago, Dallas and Los Angeles!
Date(s) - 09/02/2014
6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Envy Paint & Design
Wondering about flat fees? Come hear Kimberley's take on this! Do not attempt a flat fee proposal without this course! Click here for more information._
Learn Kimberley’s step by step approach to building a Flat Fee proposal that will satisfy your customers without destroying your bottom line![Includes light breakfast and lunch ]
Kimberley Seldon has been in the interior design spotlight for more than 20 years. She is an interior designer, author, journalist, keynote speaker and broadcast personality. She presides as guest design expert on Cityline, is a Design Editor of Canada's Chatelaine Magazine and editor-in-chief of Dabble Magazine.
Kimberley Seldon Design Group is an award winning interior design-build studio. Kimberley shares her expertise and passion for design with industry peers through Business of Design.com; an online learning platform for designers. Her mentoring has helped me completely revamp our business - and I'm loving it!
Confused about this new fangled lighting called LED? Which bulb do I now select?
Here's a little chart showing the "old' wattage from incandescent lighting, vs. LED, CFL and Halogen wattage.
The new item to look for is called Lumens, that determines the brightness of the bulb, wattage shows the energy of the bulb. Just remember that the more lumens you have, the brighter the light.
Check out this chart below, happy lighting!
I've had a lot of interior design instruction over the years, and of all the courses I've taken, and schools I've gone to, Kimberley Seldon's Business of design course, is simply the best.
In design school, they don't teach you any of the business aspects of interior design, such as:
What to charge?
When to invoice?
How to handle a challenging client?
What do I look for in an interior design assistant?
Kimberley covers all that, and more. She does it in such a fun, supportive way, that I promise, you will leave the course with a refreshed feeling, knowing you aren't alone; and with a renewed vigour to take your design business to the next level.
Winnipeg - 09/02/2014 - 09/04/2014 - 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Calgary - 09/18/2014 - 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Vancouver - 09/23/2014 - 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Vancouver - 09/25/2014 - 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm - join me there!
Toronto - 10/01/2014 - 10/31/2014 - 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Toronto - 10/15/2014 - 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Find out more about her seminars, or her online monthly, or yearly courses.
Jil Sonia McDonald