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.
Have you ever wondered what the most popular paint colours are by Benjamin Moore? Well look no further, I've posted the top 10 paint colours below. Please note, every computer monitor displays colours differently, I highly suggest you hire an interior designer to ensure you select the perfect shade for your home.
This warm white above has just a touch of yellow to give you the perfect off white. Not too stark, not too creamy. But check to see this is the correct undertone you really need!
Muslin is a slightly pink undertoned beige. Works well with most couches that people think are a neutral beige (but really aren't!).
Manchester Tan is a lovely soft light beige, adding the perfect softness anywhere.
Natural Linen looks like the real fabric - can be a beautiful colour in the right places.
Shaker beige is from the Historical collections, has a slight pink undertone and works with a lot of tiles that appear neutral at first glance.
Ranchwood - beautiful colour on exteriors, make sure it works with the rockwork, or brick facing you have on your exteriors.
Taupe - nice exterior trim colour. But personally, I think we have enough brown houses in the world.
Smoke - finally we get a little colour in here. Although this looks lovely on the chip, it's a fairly bright blue - contact me or another interior designer to find your perfect shade.
Gray - a nice blackened charcoal colour that works well on outdoor trim and inside for that daring, bold, yet beautiful look.
Revere Pewter - This last one is the 'it' colour for 2013 and still 2014. A nice balance between gray and beige. Caution can go a little purplish in some areas.
If you are overwhelmed with the many paint colour choices, feel free to email me for either an online paint colour consultation, or an in-home visit. I bring along large 11 x 14" boards painted in many of the common colours, which help to ensure we select the perfect paint colour.
I cannot recommend Kimberley's course enough. If you are in the Toronto area, or even not! I'd sign up!
Click below to join!
I am happy to announce, my 12 page spread (6 double pages) in the Prestigious Canadian Home Trends Magazine....... Yippee!
I was over the moon happy to receive a letter from Canadian Home Trends magazine, mentioning that they saw my profile on Houzz and that they'd love to feature me in their Spring 2014 print and online magazine!
This prestigious magazine is the most helpful and innovative magazine I've ever seen. If you subscribe to their online magazine (which offers 168 pages!), you will see they've added special effects to the photos - such as the fireplace has a crackling sound, the photos change from the before to after right in front of your eyes. Amazing! Otherwise their print magazine is gorgeous as well. Who doesn't like to curl up with a nice glass of wine and a great magazine?
My client, was an absolute dream to work with. She completely trusted me to lead the way to make her dreams a reality.
Here's a photo of her kitchen before...
...and below, the after. We removed 2 and a 1/2 walls to open up this floor plan and allow more light to spread through the home. I simply can't believe the difference.
I always, always, always start with my counter top selection. My go to source is Caesarstone, they have such a lovely, well priced selection. We selected this gorgeous white and gray mixed engineered quartz, called London Gray. This was the inspiration for the whole kitchen renovation.
Client is an avid cook and I wanted to create a beautiful kitchen where she could work away to her hearts content - yet be able to clean up easily and quickly.
One of my favorite things about this magazine, is that the interview questions were very detailed, it took me three hours to fill out the forms as I wanted to share everything, I find people are so interested in tips and tricks to make their own home more beautiful.
I made a special point of mentioning and thanking my suppliers whom did an amazing job! One of the top reasons client's hire me, is that I know the best suppliers and tradespeople to work with. I'd like to make special mention to Warline Painting and Julie Bolton (window treatments) for their attention to detail and professional work. To top it all off, I loved the stunning Robert Allen fabric that I used. It helped tie the whole room together!
Thanks so much for allowing me to share this exciting post. I don't know of too many interior designers who get a 12 page spread and I'm truly grateful!
We are over the moon happy to be selected as the Best of Houzz 2014 in customer satisfaction. We'd love you to check out our site on Houzz.
I must admit, I have 2 offices for my interior design firm. The main one I use is painted a creamy white, with the absolute perfect shade of charcoal as an accent. Since I'm in here so much I decided this year to decorate it for Christmas!
As my logo colours are a beautiful turquoise blue and charcoal gray, I thought I'd love to have a turquoise tree. I looked and looked and finally found one in the exact shade of my logo - which was developed by my amazing brand strategist Phil Pallen. Thank you Phil!
The plain little turquoise tree needed a little Jilly love. So I sent it out and had it flocked with beautiful white 'snow'. Can you hear "I'm dreaming of a White Christmas" in the background?
I added little houses and churches, and gorgeous silver Eiffel Towers tied with turquoise ribbons.
I added those tiny fairy lights, by Restoration Hardware and when I looked at the whole tree... it looked perfect.
But after looking at the photos, I saw some things that I just took for granted... I became use to so many meaningful items in my office and home...
My Dad's first typewriter from his real estate office in Vancouver, BC.
A little vintage jar - on the left side of the typewriter- from my new friend and fantastic designer Tracey Herbert , (she brought me this jar when driving back home to Portland, she and family stopped in for a bite to eat).
A dream catcher sent to me from my friend Mim Harder - she made this herself and used my fav colour - turquoise together with lots of silver!
Two ornaments made of clay by my new grandson Theo and grand daughter Addy.
A turquoise "J" bought for me by my dear and cherished friend, Cheryl - and now my client (photos to come from her stunning home!).
My new business cards that have the most beautiful shimmery turquoise paper. Designed by Phil Pallen. (Love you Phil, thank you for understanding me and knowing exactly what I wanted!).
A vintage dish collected at a thrift shop right by the Catholic church where my dear Irish neighbours go for Mass. I think of them each time I see the dish.
These items, and many more, are things that I look at each and every day. I think of you dear friends and family, more often than you will ever know.
THIS is what Christmas is really all about.
Thank you for allowing me to share.
May God bless you with a beautiful Christmas, surrounded by friends, family and loved ones.
Interior designers looking to focus and streamline their business? Click below for some fantastic help!
Please click on Business of Design for information about interior design continuing education!
Business of Design is a network community of industry peers; an innovative professional development website specifically created for interior designers, decorators, architects, home stagers, stylists, professional organizers, landscape designers, remodelers, contractors and other industry professionals.
You can sign up for weekend conferences, or choose an ongoing monthly membership. Personally I took the conference, then followed it up with the monthly membership - only $59.95 per month, or $595.00 annually.
This has seriously changed my life. I'm now organized, confident, have a great system of forms and a strategized program of how to organize my clients, so everything is streamlined and easy to find. Check it out by clicking the link above.
As Interior Designers, we're always on the hunt for something new and fresh. Today Pantone unleashed it's colour of the year for 2014 which is.... drum roll please....PANTONE 18-3224 Radiant Orchid.
I must admit when I first saw this colour, I thought of fashion. I could see it in a gorgeous silk dress, or a man's tie, but can we use it in interior design? Well, yes and no.
The photo above shows gorgeous interior designer Andrea Anthony Brooks of Andrea Brooks Interiors . She's rocking this colour in her office entry which is Sherwin Williams - Wisteria.
Do you see how she's made this strong colour work? She's used lots of white to cool it down and has paired it with a dark grounding floor and that beautiful navy mirror.
(Did you know her photo was published in the May Issue of At Home magazine, in Arkansas? Way to go Andrea!!)
Look on page 30 to find out a little more. Andrea is waaaaay ahead of the trends - as usual.
What about Christmas decor? I can see this colour used with lots of white and silver and sparkle!
Or perhaps toned down as in Sherwin Williams colour of the year - Exclusive Plum.
Pantone's press release states, in part,
" Radiant Orchid for Interiors:
Spruce up interior spaces by incorporating this eye-catching hue in paint, accent pieces and accessories. As adaptable as it is beautiful, Radiant Orchid complements olive and deeper hunter greens, and offers a gorgeous combination when paired with turquoise, teal and even light yellows. Likewise, the vibrant color is sure to liven up neutrals including gray, beige and taupe. Uplifting and bold without being overpowering, Radiant Orchid reenergizes almost any color palette and provides a unifying element for diverse spaces."
Hmmm, sounds similar to a teen aged girls room which I designed a few years ago. The photo above shows the mood board I created for my client's bedroom. I see this pinky/purple colour best when it's toned down with grays, dark charcoals, lots of white and balanced by a little soft green.
Let's not plaster this colour all over our walls. When used in moderation, and as little accent pieces, as in the ottoman above, I think it can be fantastic!
So, over to you my dear readers, what do you think about this 'new' colour for 2014? Love it? Hate it? I'd love to know!
Well, believe it or not, it's that time of year again! Yippee!
What colours will you be decorating with this year? I think I'll be using aqua and white, with silver accents.
Here's a few tips for decorating for the holidays - with style!
#1. Declutter. Remove all of your accessories and put them into storage, in an unused room, closet, or even under the bed. We need all the knick knacks gone.
#2. What type of Christmas tree will you be having? A real, green tree? A white flocked tree? No tree at all?
More and more people are moving towards the white flocked trees - I know I am. This allows you, to use even more colourful ornaments and tinsel. But there is something to be said for the traditional green fir tree - beautiful.
#3. What are your family favorites? You know the ornaments, or decor that simply must go up each year? Incorporate this into your style and design.
#4. Colour. If possible, take into consideration the existing colour palette in your home. We're hoping to work with it, not against it. Can you pull colours from your wall, carpet, artwork and use them on your Christmas tree and mantle?
#5 Variations in tones. I love to use 3 colours or shades. One mid-toned, or darker colour; one lighter colour; and a metallic. Since it's Christmas - we need a little sparkle.
Now it's over to you? What colours are you dreaming of this Christmas?
Well, can you imagine my surprise and utter joy to receive an email from HGTV yesterday?
I'm honoured and absolutely thrilled to be featured as one of their online Interior Design Professionals.
I'd love to have you check out 2 of the rooms I recently completed for a fabulous client of mine in Surrey, BC.
Just click the Room photo above, and join the fun!
Jil Sonia McDonald is an interior designer working in the Lower Mainland, and Fraser Valley, BC.
Please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Well next week is an exciting one for Interior Designers and the public!
My favourite interior design show, IDS-West, is coming to Vancouver, BC the week of Sept. 19-22, 2013.
It all kicks off Thursday night, Sept 19th, with a party! Entertainment, a fashion show and wine - what more can you need? Especially when it's nestled in between various exhibitors booths - such as Ames Tiles, Raincoast Contoured panels, Native Trails, Van Gogh Furniture, Benjamin Moore and Urban Barn.
Tommy Smythe will be appearing Saturday Sept 20th at noon.
(PS I interviewed Tommy last year and asked if he gets tired of being call Sarah Richardson's sidekick. He said "No, not at all!" and in fact loves that moniker!)
He will be speaking on how to live and love your antiques and how to incorporate them into your design. Love that man!
On the same day, one of my all time favourite designers is speaking at 2pm. Brian Gluckstein will be sharing ideas how to spot the difference between a trend and classic design.
Have you seen his gorgeous dishware and accessories for sale at Home Outfitters?
Very well priced and have that clean, classic look that we all love.
For more information and tickets, please go to http://idswest.com/ I'll look forward to seeing you there!
Please note, all photos are from IDS West.
Do you sit in front of your computer, sometimes for hours on end? Does your back hurt, or your legs swell? I know mine do. Often this is caused by sitting 8+ hours a day. But, what can we do about it? Well, now there is a solution.
One of the great things about being an interior designer (aside from my fabulous clients), are the fantastic suppliers I have.
After meeting Edward Tchoi at the Greater Vancouver Home Builders Association; we met this week for lunch here in Chilliwack, BC. The company Edward works with, Joro Manufacturing, in Vancouver, BC, has just launched a series of height adjustable mechanisms for cabinets and desks; and height adjustable countertops.
An adjustable desk or cabinetry, provides all the ergonomic benefits of a height-adjustable sit-to-stand workstation, to accommodate a larger percentile of today's diverse workforce.
Check out this video to see just a few of the desks that have been retrofitted with the Joro system. http://www.joromfg.com/indexd54f.html?page=ijoro&video=46
JORO offers several core lines of standard workstations and also has an ability to customize workspaces – from a single desk to an entire office building – to effectively fulfill the needs of office workers everywhere.
What about cabinetry though? Have you ever strained you back reaching for an item in your upper cabinet? The top of upper cabinets are just too high up.
...but now, see the upper cabinet lowered below? How great would this be?
Have you ever seen the TV's in a cabinet that raise up or down and can be hidden away into a cabinet, to get that clean, uncluttered look that we interior designers, and our clients love! Joro can provide those as well.
Or what about the guys and girls with the custom cabinetry in their garage?
These cabinets can be lowered as well - and you can't even see how it's done... that's my Mercedes there... ( in my dreams).
It's a joy seeing the advances made with technology. For more information, check out http://www.joromfg.com .
For gorgeous interior design solutions contact me, I'd love to help!
Who's heard of Universal Design?
Simply it's a way of designing a home which everyone can function in. People with physical challenges, the elderly, young children - really all of us. At some point in our lives, most of us will have a physical disability. Whether it's your teen aged son who hurts himself dirtbiking, hubby who throws his back out cleaning out the gutters, age related vision loss, or people faced with even greater health challenges, we all want to be able to use our homes to the best of our ability.
Did you know by the year 2020 over 50% of the populations will be over 65? If we're remodeling our home, or building a new home, it's wise to make a few subtle changes that may prove beneficial down the road.
Here are just a few things to consider.
Barrier free living:
Wide interior and exterior doors and hallways - wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair - a minimum of 32", preferably more.
Showers without the 'curb' preventing us from tripping upon entering and exiting.
Exterior Ramps going up to our homes.
A 60" minimum 'square' area where a wheelchair can turn around.
Faucet location - if possible, try to have the faucets placed to the side of the sink, then people don't need to stretch across the sink to reach the faucet.
Thermostatic Valve - for showers, these valves can be a blessing. This is usually shown as a shower faucet with 2 handles, 1 to control the flow of the water, and another lever, which is set by the user to the level of temperature of water. Set it and forget it. Let's put the shower lever at 48" in height or less, of we can all reach it.
Scald protection devices are essential in homes with young children, the elderly and the physically challenged, but are recommended for every home and may even be code in some areas. We've all experienced the sudden increase or decrease in bath water temperature that occurs when another member of your household uses water. Scald protection devices can help to maintain safer water temperatures.
Using lever handles makes life easier for everyone - no twisting or turning of knobs. Even better if they can be used with a closed fist or open hand.
Well lit areas are a must for all of us. Sconces throughout the bathrooms or hallways can emit a soft gentle light, non glaring. Ensure they don't protrude more than 4" so we don't bump into them (as per ADA standards).
As life expectancy rises and better health care increases the survival rate of those with significant injuries, illnesses, and birth challenges, there is a growing interest in universal design.
Let's do our best to help everyone live life to the fullest.
I had the good fortune of attending Design Camp in Seattle last month.
Among the brilliant speakers and interior designers was the gorgeous and down to earth Bill Indursky (linkedin.com/pub/bill-indursky/9/a48/621). Here's part one of a two part series!
Design maverick Bill comes from an impressive art and home furnishings background, even dabbling in pottery in his early years. I was lucky enough to stroll through an art gallery alone with him and Interior Designer Linda Holt , and quiz him on upcoming trends.
Bill is known for his outrageous clothing choices; when he's speaking he always dresses to show a trend. When I met him, he was rocking a kilt with these crazy, large, forearm metal cuffs - indicative of the Egyptian trend that is soon arriving.
Without further ado, here are our trends for 2013:
Raw: a lot of raw materials have been making their rounds last year. Expect to see more raw woods, raw metals, rusted metals, weathered looking tables and chairs. With the chaos of the recent years financial decline, we're looking for more reality. Something stable.
Lettering is hot! Look for it in pillows, artwork, decor and wall murals.
We're digging the all over letter pattern such as shown on this dramatic ceiling. Now which client can I use that for???
What about your initials on your desk?
Or hung on the wall?
Over the top design, heavy on the contrast. Big, powerful statement pieces. Oversized and dramatic is key!
What do you think? Are you seeing a large purple chair in your living room?
Classic looks, Neo Greek key. Egyptian columns and room dividers, Grecian urns, patterned wallpaper showing old ruins, Parthenon looking furniture...
Well, I hate to say it, but Bill says: Gray is out and Brown and beige are back and here to stay!
At the Design Centre in Seattle, all we saw were various versions of beige, dark brown and cream. I even took
him aside twice and asked him to clarify this (I'm just not a brown fan!), but no, gray has had it's day and we're back to beige and brown again.
Linda Holt (www.lindaholtinteriors.com) covers this topic more in depth in her post
"It's baaaack, shocking color trends"
So tell me what do you think, is Bill spot on, or do you see something different coming down the design pipeline?
If you need help sorting out the trends that will work for YOU, or just want classic interior design that will stand the test of time, please visit: Email: email@example.com
We'd love to help!
Could I have found the perfect neutral gray for a client's kitchen?
We're just beginning a large kitchen renovation for a client. Wall colour is always selected last, as there are thousands of paint colours to choose from but only a few counter top colours, draperies etc. I select everything first, then lastly select the paint colour. I'm looking forward to sharing more in the upcoming months!
Questions about the perfect gray for your home? Email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out our Pinterest boards of our favourite Benjamin Moore paint colours!
Where to start when designing your kitchen?
I always start by collecting images from Houzz and Pinterest - such amazing resources! but lets see what IKEA's kitchen designer does!
IKEA Kitchen designer and stylist Janine Love
answers your kitchen design questions...
Where do you start first?
All images courtesy of Ikea
Collect a folder of images and pretty soon you start to see
a pattern or consistency in your choices. Put notes on the images to remind you what
you liked about it. ie. the backsplash tile, the cabinet colour/style etc.
It’s also important to think about the overall aesthetics of the kitchen space and how
that vision will work within your home. Today, many homes have open concept layouts.
All of the adjacent spaces should relate to each other from a style, colour and material
perspective. Think about what style and colours you relate to, and use this as a guide.
Which is a cupboard style that is timeless?
Great question, because typically a kitchen renovation is one most people save up for
and don’t undertake very often. Choosing a timeless door style will allow you to update
it occasionally with new accessories, lighting and accent colours. While it’s important to
keep your kitchen current, it doesn't need to follow every trend that comes along.
I like to use a Shaker style door, such as ÄDEL – it’s transitional and can be used in
many different styles of homes. It also has a chameleon-like quality that allows it to
take on both a modern or traditional look depending on what it is paired with.
Organization – How to prevent counter clutter?
My number 1 mantra for preventing counter clutter is “A place for everything and
everything in its place!” I know this is easier to say than to do, but if everything has
a designated home, then it is more likely to be put away. Here are a few examples to
help with clutter management:
1. Take advantage of ceiling heights
and utilize upper cabinets that meet
the ceiling. Store seldom used items
on top shelves.
2. Store all cooking utensils in a jar/
vessel on the counter. The jar will
contain frequently used items, and
doesn't take up much counter space.
A well selected vessel will also add a
little personality to your kitchen.
3. Create a “garage” to corral all
small appliances, utilizing IKEA’s
roll front cabinets - ensure this meets building codes.
4. Edit and clean out your drawers at
least a couple of times a year. Do you
really need 4 ladles and 78 mugs?
5. Designate 1 miscellaneous drawer
for papers, supplies, erasers etc.
Everybody deserves to have a “messy
drawer” where one cannot be judged.
Make sure drawer organizers are
utilized to keep even messy items
6. Install under cabinet rail systems
to save space, hang up items within
easy reach and get things up off of
7. Allow a catch all tray or basket on
the counter, and be committed to
sorting the items and putting things
back into their designated home.
8. Look for opportunities to mount open shelving or hooks.
9. Mount a large cork or magnetic
board (preferably behind a door) to
house all notices important papers,
photographs, and children’s artwork.
10. Keep small appliances off the
counter and arrange in a Lazy Susan
lower cabinet solution.
11. Utilize wire pullout baskets for
deep cabinets, making stored items
Tips for inexpensive refresh?
1. Changing the knobs on your kitchen cabinetry can give an instant lift and provide the finishing touch.
2. Upgrade your lighting. Create a new focal point by replacing an existing pendant lamp with a dynamic, show stopping fixture. Or revisit bulb wattage to ensure optimal lighting levels.
3. Paint is your best friend. Refreshing a room with paint not only maintains a space, it offers an opportunity to inject an “of the moment” colour.
4. If some of your cabinet doors are looking a bit tired, selectively remove some of the uppers. Wallpaper or paint the back of the cabinet to create a whimsical unfitted kitchen look.
5. Line all of your drawers and shelves with RATIONELL drawer liners. The non-slip surface is easy to clean and helps keep items in their place.
6. Fresh cut flowers or potted herbs always brighten a kitchen space.
7. Add under counter work lighting to provide an even, glare-free light.
8. Splurge on a marble tile backsplash. A small area can be less expensive than you think.
How best to design galley style kitchens?
A galley style kitchen offers work and storage areas on both sides. Its efficient layoutmakes it ideal for apartments and small spaces. Regardless of the scale of a galley
kitchen, you’ll want to maximize the work surface as much as possible. Therefore
appliance placement is crucial so that each “work function” is not placed directly next
to or opposite each other. For example, if the sink and dishwasher are placed on one
wall, the opposite wall should include stove and fridge, with counter space allowance
on either side of each appliance. Remember that an oven and dishwasher should be
positioned so they can freely be opened, not opposite to each other.
Keep things looking light and spacious by considering the use of light coloured upper
cabinets, simple clean hardware and good task lighting.
Best layouts for appliances. How can I create the perfect “work triangle” in my
kitchen to keep it functional, yet stylish?
A well planned kitchen helps to make kitchen work easier and more enjoyable.
Kitchens can be divided into 3 primary work areas; the refrigerator, the stove and the
sink. The “Working triangle” consists of a logical ergonomic arrangement of these 3
areas to make kitchen work easier and more efficient. If the 3 work areas are too close
to each other, multiple people working in the space can get in each other’s way. Too
far away and your work becomes time-consuming. Each leg of the working triangle
should measure between 5 to 11 feet in length, with the total length of all 3 legs being
16 to 32 feet. Needless to say, it is very important to consider the placement of your
appliances during the planning process.
There is so much to consider when updating your kitchen. Give these tips a try or contact me for a custom kitchen that you'll be proud of for years to come!
What's the deal about Pinterest?
It's the absolute best place to source anything for interior design - and more!
I'd love to have you check out our interior design boards on Pinterest.
I've got 52 boards - all perfectly organized into categories such as:
Lighting - table lamps
Lighting - Pendant lights
Lighting - Flush mount
Exterior paint colours
Jil Sonia Interiors Pinterest. Come join the fun !
Well, you can imagine how I felt receiving this email from the prestigious Houzz on-line site yesterday!
(Houzz is the #1 go to source for interior design inspiration and knowledge).
Houzz Unveils 2013 ‘Best Of Remodeling’ Customer Satisfaction Winners
“Houzz is the top choice for homeowners seeking residential remodeling and design services, providing an in-depth, 360-degree view of each professional through images of their work, reviews and an opportunity to interact with them directly on Houzz,” said Liza Hausman, vice president of community. “The ‘Best of’ winners are professionals recognized by our community of homeowners and home design enthusiasts for delivering exceptional customer service and results, and for creating the most inspiring and innovative residential designs in the past year.”
I'd love for you to check out myHouzz profile and let me know what you think!
We can be contacted by Email for professional residential interior design.
Jil Sonia McDonald