What is a drop zone in a house and do you need one? Learn what's usually in an effective drop zone.
I was honored to be quoted by Marianne Hayes, in Ownerly, an amazing online magazine with lots of tips and tricks for homeowners. I've cut and pasted the article here, but this is where you go to see the original article.
"We probably all agree that having a clutter-free home is a good thing. It’s nice to keep things organized, but everyday life can make that tricky. If your entryway is littered with shoes, backpacks, mail and the like, a drop zone might be just what you need. What is a drop zone in a house? It’s exactly what it sounds like—a space to neatly drop your stuff when you walk into your home.
A well-designed drop zone carves out a spot for everything you unload when you come through the door. It’s also meant to be aesthetically pleasing to blend with your interior design style. A drop zone is a simple way to tidy up your space, but it can easily become a mess if you don’t have a good system. Here’s what you need to know.
Drop zone in a house: What is it?
Drop zones are dedicated areas of your home that are either in or near your first point of entry into your home,” said Jil Sonia McDonald of Jil Sonia Interior Designs. “Imagine yourself laden with grocery bags, your mail, keys, lunch kits, sunglasses and your purse. You want to ‘drop’ everything on the floor when you arrive home. That’s your drop zone.”
Instead of dumping these things on the floor or your kitchen counter, they’ll have a designated spot that keeps your home free of clutter. Think of it as a catch-all for sports equipment, shoes or anything else your family routinely enters your home with. A drop zone can also help prevent essential items from getting lost in the shuffle.
“When choosing a location for your drop zone, consider a high-traffic area such as the entryway or mudroom,” said Jen Stark, the founder of Happy DIY Home. “This will help ensure you don’t forget items as you head out the door.”
Drop zone ideas
Focus on a busy walk-through area of your home, ideally near the most used entryway.
“Do you live in an apartment and enter through your front door? Or do you have a home where you enter through the garage?” asks McDonald. “Try placing your drop zone to the closest area upon entry.”
McDonald suggested a low dresser or console table that’s deliberately left empty and clear if you use your front door the most. You can drop everything on that flat surface if you walk in with your hands full.
“It’s a great idea to have your permanent storage right near that console table,” McDonald said. “Often my clients use the back of their hall closet equipped with baskets and hooks on the back of the door so that you can easily hang up a light coat or sweater, and there is a place for your keys, mail and purse.”
The most important part of a drop zone is having a clean, horizontal surface that’s big enough for you to unload when your hands are full. McDonald uses a low bookcase unit. She has a plastic container in one of the cubbies for her receipts, a small bowl for her keys and loose change, another bowl for her sunglasses and a space for outdoor shoes. Above the unit are hooks to temporarily leave kids’ backpacks, jackets or umbrellas.
“Baskets are also a great place to drop things,” McDonald said. “They keep things contained until you have time to place them away neatly. In a pinch, a bench seat with a basket underneath and hooks above can be a lifesaver.”
Keeping a drop zone organized
According to Stark, a well-designed drop zone should be both functional and stylish, providing a place to store your belongings while also adding to the overall aesthetic of your home. Above all, the goal is to keep this area organized and tidy—otherwise, it defeats the purpose. If you’re tight on space, you still have options.
“A narrow console table with baskets or bins underneath is a great way to add storage without taking up too much space,” Stark said. “Wall-mounted hooks are another option for small spaces for hanging coats, hats, bags and more.”
For a more substantial drop zone, look for pieces with plenty of storage, such as benches with built-in cubbies or hooks. Just be sure there’s enough space for everyone in your family to use the area comfortably.
“Label storage containers and baskets so everyone can easily find what they’re looking for, and consider using dividers or trays to keep things like keys and mail sorted,” Stark said. “If you have young children, be sure to choose storage containers that are durable and easy for them to use.”
From there, don’t be afraid to add some personal touches to your drop zone. This can include family photos or a fun doormat to make the space your own. Just remember that drop zones aren’t designed for permanent storage.
“It is simply a holding area that you can temporarily use to place items while entering the home,” McDonald said. “At the end of the night, it’s a good idea to put your shoes and coat away so that it is clean and available for the next day.”
Drop zone alternatives
There are a few reasons you might prefer an alternative to a drop zone. Maybe you prefer to keep your entryway clear and open. In any case, here are some solutions that might work for you:
Create a mudroom
A mudroom is an area of your home that’s specifically for removing dirty boots, muddy shoes and wet clothing. You might carve out space for one in your laundry room and add extra organizational systems for backpacks, keys, dog leashes, etc.
Convert a flex room
A flex room is typically a small space that may or may not be a separate room. It’s essentially a nook that you can convert into something like a home office or workout space. It might also make an ideal drop zone.
Use your garage
For those who enter their home through their garage, McDonald recommended setting up a landing pad right beside the door inside the garage. You can place hooks inside the garage wall for your coats and sweaters and set up shoe storage there.
Do you need a drop zone?
It really depends on your lifestyle. If you’re frustrated by constant clutter in your home and are looking for ways to get organized, a drop zone could be a great solution especially if your entryway has become an unloading zone for your family’s stuff.
A drop zone might also increase your home value. Every home and local market is different, so it’s best to consult an experienced real estate agent who understands what buyers in your area are looking for. Setting up a drop zone is inexpensive, so there isn’t much to lose. To appeal to future buyers, you might consider installing shelving units, a built-in bench or lockers for family members to keep their things. When you’re ready to sell, these formal touches could be attractive to buyers.
A drop zone is a simple DIY project that can help keep your home more organized. You can also dial it up a bit by installing fixtures that add to your home’s functionality and style. In the end, it could even increase your home value. " by Marianne Hayes
Let me know if you need help creating a drop zone in your home!
Well I hope you all had a wonderful new year and that 2023 brings you all sorts of love and laughter!
Purchasing the perfectly sized sofa for a small space is tough.
There are more things to think about than what initially comes to mind! Here's a few tips!
New a new mattress? Why not try the World's #1 sleep brand mattress?
Use code Jil5 for an extra 5% discount on top of the sale prices!
Nature has always been a great source of inspiration and beauty, and it can be easily embraced into the home decor. This type of decorating style is often referred to as "eco-chic," an aesthetic that seeks to bring the natural elements from outdoors into the home in a comfortable yet stylish way. Here are some tips for incorporating nature into your home decor:
Embrace natural lighting
Natural lighting is one of the best ways to embrace nature into your home decor. It helps create a cheerful, airy atmosphere and can provide energy efficiency when used correctly. Place mirrors strategically around your windows so that they reflect light throughout the room and make sure your curtains or blinds are sheer enough to let the natural light in. Light-colored walls can also help maximise any available light. Don’t forget about utilising skylights or solar tubes as well; they provide bright illumination while using no electricity at all!
Opt for natural fabrics
Natural fabric such as linen is perfect for bringing texture into any room without compromising comfort; these materials are much softer than synthetic ones which makes them ideal for carpets, rugs or throw blankets. You can also use them on window treatments (think woven wooden blinds), upholstery fabrics and even artwork frames! Magiclinen has an excellent selection of linen products for all of your home needs. Be sure to check out their website!
Incorporate organic materials
Bring nature indoors with furniture, flooring, decorations, and other items made of organic materials such as wood, bamboo, hemp, cotton, linen, jute or rattan. These will instantly add warmth and texture to any space regardless of style–rustic or modern–allowing you to easily incorporate nature into your décor. Wood accents also offer an earthy look that will never go out of fashion; choose pieces such as coffee tables, end tables or benches with dark stains for a timeless effect.
Nothing says “nature” like adding greenery throughout your space! Not only do plants bring life into any room but they also help purify the air by removing harmful chemicals from it; having houseplants in every room is beneficial for both physical health and emotional wellbeing. Choose low maintenance plants such as succulents if you’re not particularly green-fingered; these require very little attention but still add a pop of color wherever they’re placed. For larger rooms try placing tall trees in corners or against walls for added drama; these will instantly make any room look more inviting.
Use wallpapers with natural patterns
Wallpapers featuring patterns inspired by nature – think trees, leaves, branches – create a beautiful backdrop that immediately elevates any space without looking overdone; pair this with neutral elements such as white furniture or light-colored woods to really bring out the pattern's details while keeping things minimalistic at the same time! There's something very calming about having these peaceful images on display in our homes too which helps enhance one's sense of wellbeing every day while living there.
Choose eco-friendly products wherever possible - Support sustainable and ethical practices whenever feasible when shopping for home décor items; there are many businesses out there that specialize in producing furniture and accessories made from recycled materials or those that use energy-efficient processes in their production. Doing so will help reduce your carbon footprint while still allowing you to enjoy nature-inspired pieces that add beauty and warmth to any home.
By following these simple tips you can easily incorporate nature into your home decor without losing a sense of style – after all bringing together design elements from both indoors and outdoors creates a truly breathtaking result that will fill you with joy each time you look at it!
Key Takeaways:Incorporating nature into your home décor can be a great way to bring in some peace and tranquillity, while also enhancing your wellbeing. By using natural light, fabrics, materials, plants and wallpapers; you can easily create a space that feels like an oasis in the middle of busy city life. Whether your style is modern or rustic, there are plenty of ways to add touches of nature throughout your home without going over-the-top.
We hope these tips have given you some ideas on how you can achieve this look in your own living spaces!
Holidays are so important to all of us. Is the time where family and friends gather to show our gratitude for each other and to celebrate!
This year we're keeping it simple, gone are the years where elaborate decorating was de rigueur. We are now featuring more texture, adding earthy elements to the table such as olive branches, eucalyptus, or fir branches. Candles are still a must, Remember, we don't need facelifts or Botox, we just need beautiful candlelight!
Springs of Cedar, rosemary or thyme can be tucked into your linen napkins and tied with a piece of hemp rope for a casual, yet elegant appeal
Try switching up your cutlery - black or gold cutlery can make quite a statement and can be used for years to come.
Forget the Santa napkins or reindeer napkin rings. Let the food speak for itself.
Sometimes all you need is sparkling glasses, candles, natural elements running down the length of the table and of course brilliant conversation!
Really, that’s what the holidays are all about.
Let us know if our interior design firm can help with any last minute decorating, we'd love to help!
Wondering about what size coffee table you need to go with your couch or sectional?
Living Cozy has written a great article, interviewing 4 interior designers, including myself!
Here's a few tips:
How tall should a coffee table be? How should the height relate to other pieces of furniture?
In general, a coffee table should be 1- 2 inches shorter than the height of the sofa cushions. That allows us to have a more comfortable experience when setting down our coffee cup or wine glass (or for propping our feet up on the table). Most coffee tables are between 15” & 18” in height. End table heights do not have to match coffee table heights, in fact, as your arm must move up over the sofa arm, generally, they can be 4-6” higher than the coffee table, depending on the height of the chair arm.
What's the average width of a coffee table? How should the width relate to the sofas and other pieces of furniture?
The average width of a coffee table is 48 inches wide but it's important to remember that the coffee table width should never exceed sofa width, a rule of thumb is your coffee table should be 2/3rd the width of your sofa.
I have created a table showing some of the standard width sofas. It's important to note that once you have a sofa wider than 72 inches, using a round table is a little more difficult to accommodate seamlessly into the seating plan since it will likely be smaller than 2/3 of the overall sofa width.
How far from other pieces of furniture should your coffee table be?
Most coffee tables are between 18” and 24” deep.
16”-18” is the ideal distance between the edge of the seating and your coffee table, allowing for comfortable access to books, remotes drinks etc. distances smaller than this make it challenging to get in and out of your seating, while larger distances make it more inconvenient to reach the coffee table.
24 to 36 inches is the minimum comfortable distance that you need to circulate around your coffee table when there is no adjacent seating. 36 inches is a good distance for most people in both situations. However, in a small space 24 inches is acceptable but not necessarily comfortable.
I hope this helps! What size of shape of coffee table are you loving?
I was honoured to be featured in the August 15th 2022 issue of Living Cozy! 4 other interior designers & myself were interviewed and asked to provide our top tips on the benefits of both fabric and leather sofas, and most importantly, how to choose.
Please feel free to read my tips along with the other fabulous interior designers!
Let me know if you have any questions.
If you need help selecting the perfect sofa, please fill our our online contact form, that will start the process. We will respond within 1 day and in most cases, your design will be finished within one week.
We look forward to helping you!
Lighting can be complicated, we get it, it's changed a lot - and we're here to help!
We used to use the term 'wattage' to describe the amount of light that was produced. So if our old incandescent light bulb went out, we looked at the wattage on the bulb and purchased the same wattage, ie. 60 watts, 40 watts, 100 watts, etc.
But, in reality, wattage only tells us the amount of energy used by the light.
What we really needed to know was how much light is produced by a light bulb. Well, that is lumens! Lumens show how 'bright' the bulb is, or how much light it creates.
Here's a handy cheat sheet showing the conversion from the old incandescent bulbs (wattage) to the new LED bulbs (lumens).
We have been using incandescent bulbs for well over 100 years. They worked well, but the light bulbs produced a lot of heat and consumed a lot of electricity.
Then they came up with florescent bulbs, remember those corkscrew and long tubular bulbs? They gave off a horrible blue-ish light and often hummed, but they were more energy efficient then incandescents, but something had to change!
LED bulbs soon came along, they were energy efficient, at first they too were blue-ish, but throughout the years they have gotten better & more realistic looking.
So as LED light bulbs don't produce heat or use much power, we started using the term lumen, to show the amount of light being provided. But now, we can't use the term wattage to discuss light output, we need to use the word lumen.
Here's another helpful chart to show on average the amount of lumens needed in each room.
I hope this helps explain the conversion of wattage to lumens & to show you how to determine how many lumens you need in your home.
Feel free to contact us to create a beautiful lighting plan for your home.
I was honoured to be asked for my professional opinion about how to decorate with Jewel tones.
A great place to start experimenting with jewel tones is in the living room, says Jil Sonia McDonald, principal designer at Jil Sonia Interiors in Vancouver. “Perhaps start with your couch in your favorite jewel tone—turquoise, gold, and emerald greens are gorgeous colors to start with,” she explains.
Feel free to read the rest of the amazing blog here!
I'm so very honoured to have won Best of Houzz for 2022.
That makes 10 consecutive years!
A hearty thank you to all my clients for their amazing 5 star reviews! I couldn't have done it without you!
How to permanently remove the Custom Office Templates Folder from constantly popping up in your Documents folder.
I've written this short blog to show how to remove those annoying Folders that Microsoft creates and recreates from your Documents folder, so that each time you start your computer or update Windows, it's still hidden.
This worked in Windows 11 for me. Finally.
Note: others will say to:
I finally found a little bit of soluction, you can hide it so it permantely doesn't pop up when updated or restarting your Computer.
Go to Word, on left side, click: options
It doesn't permanently delete it, (I can't find out how to do that anywhere), but at least we don't see it popping up in the documents folder. I'm an interior designer, not a tech person, but I hope this helps you!
I was so honoured to help design the new Commnity center for Cheam First Nation in Chilliwack, BC.
Cheam's culture & community is so important to the Cheam Community! The Xwchíyò:m have lived in S’ólh Téméxw for thousands of years. They are a thriving community and needed a centre to support their members. We were happy to help.
Cheam’s vision is to continue looking after their fish and our environment, as the Pilalt did, and to keep their community healthy and strong.
The Vision of the Cheam First Nation management team is to encourage greatness; embody excellence; display professionalism; empathy; courage; valuing culture; tradition and integrity and deliver a service second to none.
How wonderful to work with a community who embrace that teaching.
We added a health and dental wing, traditional healing room, huge gym, several offices and meeting rooms and a large kitchen to be able to feed the community during the many events that are hosted here.
In the Fall of 2021, several areas were affected my intense flooding. Cheam kindly used their gym to offer food and provisions to those in need.
Introduction by Councillor Rick Quipp
Our culture and spiritual teachings are important to the Cheam community. It is our teachings that build the person that we become. Our most important teachings to ourselves is to have fun, respect ourselves and others, be proud of our community and be proud of who we are and where we come from. We have a program for Cheam children in foster care, this program is called “Roots and Ties”. Once a month we have a dinner and encourage family members of children in care to come spend time with their children. At the dinners, the families share stories and other cultural activities. Historical events are discussed such as colonization and residential schools and how this changed our community life and our families. In fact, these two historical events almost wiped out our spiritual and cultural traditions by: taking our identity away; banning our spiritual practices; prohibiting us from voting and enforcing the Indian Act.
I am so very grateful to Chief Andrew Victor and his team for hiring us to create this important gathering place. A place to learn, to heal & come together as community. We know that it will have an important legacy and our design team is happy to have been a small part of this beautiful factilty.
I was so honored to be featured in the Spruce again. Here's the article, penned by amazing writer Sarah Lyon!
I've copied it here.
How do you know when a decor item is timeless or whether it's just a trend? There are many factors to consider, designers say—and we asked them to share the details! Below, nine designers comment on what they think about when determining whether something is a classic or may be fleeting.
Determine Whether It Can Be "Carried Through the Ages"
"Timeless to me is about quality materials, lighting fixtures, furniture, et. cetera, that work with every style and can be carried on through the ages. Most trendy items have a hard time fitting into all design direction as they are very specific to an age or theme. I try to steer away from what is super hot and zeitgeist-esque, as it tends to get overused and worn out quickly. My take is that personal style is like selecting a wine: If you love it and it works for your taste and feels right, that is all that matters." — Samantha Tannehill of Sam Tannehill Interior Design
Look for Quality Materials and Production
"In order to avoid falling into the trend trap, I like to look for quality materials and production. Investing in natural resources like woods, metals, and stones can also turn into a savvy investment. I once purchased two vintage Finn Juhl rosewood chairs for a project in North London. Not only do they look better with time, but they have increased in value. Natural materials that are taken care of properly can age beautifully and maintain their value and classic appeal." — Susan Knof of Knof Design
Approximate When It Was Designed
"The first way to determine if an item is trendy or timeless is to try to approximate when it was designed. If you cannot pinpoint the approximate time period, then it is considered timeless. For example: Look at a beautiful Persian rug, it looks beautiful in a room, either 100 years ago or today. That is a great indication it is a timeless piece." -- Jil McDonald of Jil Sonia Interiors
Decide Whether It's Versatile or Not"
The best way we like to determine if a decor item is timeless or a trend is to think if the piece is very versatile or not. Timeless decor tends to have clean lines, neutral colors, and natural elements which allow them to fit in for a long time. Earth and natural tones such as wood, linens, stone, and leather are key materials we look for when selecting timeless items." — Megan Whalen of JL Design
Look at Design and Proportions
"Timeless pieces are those that have classic style and proportions and have been around for decades. If you flip through several coffee table design books and see the same type of lamps, tables, or fabrics in all of them, chances are they’ve stood the test of time and will still be a detail of beautiful rooms for years." — Jerad Gardemal of JF Gardemal Designs
Decide Whether It Can Be Built Upon
"I think a great rule of thumb for determining if something is timeless or trendy is to ask yourself, 'Am I able to use this design as a great base to build upon in upcoming years?'' For example, if I’m redoing a kitchen, I will want to select timeless features that will be relevant and stay fresh for years to come. How I determine that is by asking myself if I can keep all the main design elements the same and make small tweaks in the design years down the road to keep it fresh. Is the design resilient enough to withstand new waves of trends along the years and still manage to look current? Timeless design is resilient in that regardless of how many new trends or fads come and go, it will always hold its own." -- McCall Dulkys of Interiors by McCall
Determine What It Means to You Personally
"The ultimate answer for knowing if a decor item is timeless or a trend is what it means to you personally. I always advise my clients to collect and surround themselves with things that have meaning to them. I find that is the most natural and organic way to style and decorate a home. Then even if it was an item that was 'on trend' at some point, it will still feel special. My mantel is a collection of a midcentury metal wall hanging (the first piece of art my husband and I bought together for our home 19 years ago!), a painting from my childhood, and driftwood collected from beach walks with my family, while they are all of different decorative 'genres'. they are timeless because of what they mean to me." — Amy Sklar of Amy Sklar Design
"Finding a connection with decor items that relate to your personal story, or with a connection to nature, is a great way to ensure that your decor will stand the test of time. Whether it’s something you pick up during a trip abroad, something you made as a child, or a sentimental piece from your grandparent’s basement, you can use these pieces to make your spaces your own and generate a feeling of timelessness." — Nicole Cole of Vestige Home
Ignore the "Rules" and Choose a Piece Based on Whether It Brings You Joy
“I don't have many rules when it comes to decor items except for one: It should bring you joy. Honestly, it doesn't matter if it's a piece that will stand the test of time or a passing fad, if it makes me (or my client) smile, it passes muster. Books, art, and items collected over time from travels are all pieces that can work well in any space." — Molly Torres Pornof of DATE Interiors
I hope that helps determine whether an item is trendy or not. But keep in mind, your home is not a show home, it should reflect what you truly love!
It can be challenging to determine the 'wattage' of LED lights. When incandescent light bulbs dominated the lighting market, it was easy to tell how 'bright' a bulb would be.
When using LED Lighting, we use the term lumens which is the power or strength of the light. A Lumen (lm) is the International Standard unit that shows the total amount of visible light emitted from a source. Like Watts, Lumens are a standard measurement within the lighting industry and can be found on the box of most light bulbs.
The next time you purchase a light bulb, remember to look for both Wattage & Lumens. Watts show the amount of power used & lumens show the brigthness of a bulb. The best combo to look for is:
LOW WATT & HIGH LUMENS = BRIGHT, ENERGY SAVING BULBS.
We understand it's tough if you are switching out from Incandescent light bulbs to LED light bulbs, we need to know the comparable light values.
Here's a quick and easy chart to get you started!
Need to know how to space your recessed lighting & how many recessed lights do you need?
Be sure to check out my most popular blog post.
We provide a simple formula to help you layout your recessed lighting!
Interior designers get a lot of emails from our wonderful suppliers. I look at each and everyone of them as I need to know the latest trends in kitchens, bathrooms, exterior home finishes.
The email today from Marathon Hardware didn't disappoint! The Eurocucina 2022 Design Show was held in Milan, Italy from June 7-12/22. The show featured many of the latest design trends and innovations for kitchens, bathrooms, and every other room in the house.
Watch this quick kitchen video above showing the latest and greatest in kitchen design for 2022.
Did you know countertops are moveable? Well yes they are!
Let me know if you need help with your kitchen or new build, I'd be happy to help!
Wondering how to position your hanging pendant lights over your kitchen island? Here's a go to guide to make placing those lights easy peasy!
Pendant lights can be so very important over your kitchen island. I suggest placing the bottom of the pendant light 36-40" above the island, this may vary a little depending upon your height & the height of the room, but if your ceiling is between 8' & 10' high, this will work well.
Here's a good rule of thumb for calculating the width between the lights:
For spacing 2 pendant lights, measure your island's width, divide that by 4. That number is how far from the end of the island you should place the center of your pendant light in the ceiling.
i.e. 8' wide island divided by 4 = 2. Place the center of each light 2' from each edge, this provides a 4' space in between the pendants, and works well for most standard pendant lights.
See the pendant placing diagram below.
For 3 pendant lights over an 8' island in your kitchen, here's the following formula to help you place your lighting evenly over the island or peninsula.
Divide the length of the island in 1/2. i.e. 8' divided by 2 = 4'.
Place the center pendant 4' from the edge of the island at the center point of the island.
For the remaining 2 pendants:
Divide that number in 1/2 again.
i.e. 1/2 of the island is 4', so divide that in 1/2 again and place your other pendants at that mark.
i.e. 8 divided by 2=4. 4 divided by 2 = 2.
The pendant lights are positioned at the 2 foot, 4 foot, and 6' marks.
See the diagram below.
Have recessed lighting questions? Have a look at our popular blog Recessed lighting spacing - How many recessed lights do I need? How far apart do I place my lights?
Let me know if you have any questions.
Prepare fillings (below). Trim crusts from 1 loaf unsliced sandwich bread. Cut loaf horizontally into 4 equal slices. Spread one side of 3 slices with softened butter. Place 1 bread slice, buttered side up, on serving plate. Spread evenly with Shrimp Salad Filling. Top with second bread slice and spread evenly with Cheese-Pecan Filling. Top with third slice and spread evenly with Chicken-Bacon Filling. Top with remaining bread slice. Frost top and sides with Cream Cheese Frosting (below). Chill until frosting has set, about 30 minutes. Wrap loaf with a damp cloth and continue to chill 2-1/2 hours, or overnight. 12 to 14 servings.
Shrimp Salad Filling
• 1 hard-cooked egg, finely chopped
• 1 can (4-1/2 oz.) broken shrimp, rinsed and drained
• 2 tbsp. finely chopped celery
• 1 tbsp. lemon juice
• 1/8 tsp. salt
• Dash pepper
• 3 tbsp. mayonnaise
Mix all ingredients.
• 1 pkg. (3 oz.) cream cheese, softened
• 1 cup finely chopped toasted pecans
• 1 can (8-3/4 oz.) crushed pineapple, well drained
Mix all ingredients.
• 8 slices bacon, crisply fried and crumbled
• 1 cup finely chopped cooked chicken
• 1/4 cup mayonnaise
• 1 tbsp. finely chopped pimiento
• 1/4 tsp. salt
• 1/8 tsp. pepper
Mix all ingredients.
Cream Cheese Frosting
• 2 pkg. (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
• 1/2 cup light cream
• Green food coloring
Mix cheese and cream thoroughly. Add a few drops food coloring to tint frosting a delicate green.
Here on the West Coast of BC, Canada, we have had a very wet, cold Spring, but now that Summer is here - let's revamp our homes for the bright, sunshiny look of Summer. Here are 10 tips that allow you to spruce up your home for the toasty Summer months.
5. Paint. White or off-white walls have predominated the interior design scene for the last five years. Believe it or not trends are coming around to the warmer tones. Try a darker cream or light beige to add this latest trend into your décor.
6. Accessories. Lightweight Wicker baskets in natural tones add a light and airy feeling to your room.
7. Wallpaper: Have you tried the new peel and stick wallpaper? Once you get your plumb line set it's a fairly easy way to add a accent wall in your home. Try a soothing Lake mural or a floral look. You can even purchase large flower graphics that peel and stick on to the walls for a fun look.
8. Entry. Why not add a fresh bold colour to your entry area? Make a great first impression! Even one wall in a bright, fun colour will add a fun look to your foyer. Try coral or even a light green to introduce a happy Summer look into your home for 2022. Ensure that the colour that you choose is repeated elsewhere in the other rooms in your home, so it doesn't look out of place.
9. Window treatments. Either add or replace your existing curtains with breezy white linen draperies on either side of your window. Ensure you place the window treatments as close to the ceiling as possible to visually extend the height of the ceiling.
10.Fragrance: Try a citrus or floral scented candle. The light scent will drift throughout the home, and you’ll be amazed how fresh your whole home feels.
Let me know if you need help updating your home, I'd be happy to help!
How to calculate the distance & spacing for Task lighting
You hear about the different types of lighting. Recessed lighting, Ambient lighting & Accent lighting, but what is Task lighting?
In a nutshell, task lighting is extra lighting used to highlight spaces where you need either extra light, or specialized lighting.
You may want to add:
If you are using an articulating wall sconce for reading, like this brass beauty above, place the fixture approximately 60" off the ground, so that the light (not the base area that attaches to the wall), is in the perfect position for reading. Of course this varies depending upon the structure of the light, height of the bed, how far down it moves etc.
Office lamps are probably the most popular form of task lighting as they can be moved around easily.
Under cabinet lighting is the most important type of task lighting in my opinion, place them 8-10" from the back of the wall, under your 12" upper cabinets in the kitchen or elsewhere. These ones are from Amazon, note they are 4,000K, which tends to be blue-ish in colour. I recommend going with 3,000K for a soft white that is bright, but not glaring. Read more about colour temperature.
Where to position your pendant lights over your kitchen island?
Pendant lights can be so very important over your kitchen island. I suggest placing them 36-40" above the island, this may vary a little depending upon your height & the height of the room. Here's a good rule of thumb:
For spacing 2 pendant lights, measure your island's width, divide that by 4. That number is how far from the end of the island you should place your pendant light.
i.e. 8' wide island divided by 4 = 2. Place the center of each light 2' from each edge, this provides a 4' space, in between the lights, and works well for most standard pendant lights.
Have recessed lighting questions? Have a look at our popular blog Recessed lighting spacing - How many recessed lights do I need? How far apart do I place my lights?
What percentage of my interior design budget do I spend on draperies & blinds? Here's your Interior design budget breakdown...
Wondering how to divvy up your total interior design budget? What percentage to spend on furniture? What % to pay on window treatments? Here's a quick summary.
Let's say you have $30,000 budgeted for your living room décor.
Here's a wise way to break it down.
I usually tell my clients to add an extra 10% contingency fund, just in case something comes up that we don't anticipate.
Don't forget taxes & design fees are on top of this.
Our fee for full service, virtual interior design is $875 per room.
Rendering by Vasyl Mihay
I provide my clients with low, medium and high budget ranges, so they know in general what you need to budget for each room. Contact me if you'd like a copy of this!
I hope this gives you a little guidance to know where your money will go, on average, for a residential living room! Contact me if you need help!
Now that Spring has finally arrived, here are a 10 easy items to add in (or switch out) for your home design in 2022!
1. Flowers! Particularly spring flowers such as daffodils, tulips, hyacinth and even a potted crocus provides a touch of sunshine to your room. Try using a brightly coloured pot or planter in shades of Kelly green, sunshine yellow or bright fuchsia.
2. Throw blankets and pillows. Put away the heavy wool throw blankets and replace with lighter cotton ones. Heavy velvet pillows can be replaced with fresh linen ones. Simply swap out the covers and you can use the same inserts.
3. Rugs. if you happen to have a dark heavy patterned rug, try rolling that up and replacing it with a Lighter hemp or jute rug. You'll be amazed at the difference makes in the room.
4. Florals. It may not sound ground-breaking but adding florals in your draperies, planters or pillows freshen up the room. Once Fall rolls around tuck them away I'm bringing out the darker, warmer colours.
5. Paint. white or off-white walls have predominated the interior design scene for the last five years. Believe it or not paint colors are coming around to the warmer tones. Try a darker cream or light beige to this latest trend into your décor.
6. Accessories. lightweight wicker baskets in natural tones add a light and airy feeling to your room.
7. Wallpaper: Have you tried the new peel and stick wallpaper yet? Once you get your Plumb line set it's fairly easy to add a accent wall in your home. Try a Spring Lake mural or a floral look. You can even purchase large flower graphics that peel and stick on to the walls for a fun look.
8. Entry. Why not add a fresh bold colour to your entry area? Make a great first impression! Even one wall in a bright spring colour will add a fun look to your foyer. Try coral or even a light green to introduce spring into your home for 2022. Ensure that the colour that you choose is repeated elsewhere in the other rooms in your home. Add in a mirror to check your lipstick, just one more time before running out!
9. Window treatments. Either add or replace your existing curtains with breezy white linen draperies on either side of your window. Ensure you place the window treatments as close to the ceiling as possible to visually extend the height of the ceiling. Add black out lining if the draperies are going in your bedroom.
10. Fragrance: Lastly, try a citrus or floral scented candle. The light scent will drift throughout the home, and you’ll be how fresh your whole home feels. I'm loving these ones by Natural Soy in Canada.
I hope these tips provide you with some ideas to get your home ready for Spring!
(Now, if the weather would only co-operate!)
If you'd like help with your residential home interior design, just fill out our contact form, we'd love to help!
Creating a perfect home design is one of the essential contributing factors to modern homes. Besides the fact that it helps to improve general appearance, it also increases the value and creates a soothing atmosphere.
Interestingly, creating a perfect home design is not as tedious as many assume.
Do you want to create a new design or remodel your home design? Are you keen on giving your interiors a facelift without breaking the bank? You are in the right corner! This guide offers a list of essential décor items that will help to improve and remodel your home design.
1. Wall Art Paintings
Wall art paintings and photo prints are essential décor items that should be present in any modern home design. Paintings are one of the oldest means of creating fantastic home designs, and these paintings play vital roles in creating harmonious color flow and adding completeness to your décor flow. Also, they help to create focal points, improve texture, and add aesthetic value to your space.
Depending on your preferences, there are several types of wall art paintings you can explore for your home designs. It is best to consider primary factors such as theme, color, size, and design. You can choose flexible options such as butterfly wall art paintings with beautiful color mixes that will fit into any space. Alternatively, you can opt for personalized paintings specific to your design theme.
2. Colorful Area Rugs
Area rugs are essential décor items that can add more value to your space than you imagine. This décor item adds colors, creates a warm atmosphere, and offers a soft comfort under your feet. It is also one of the ways to complement your wall décor, improve texture, and personalize your space.
Area rugs make significant contributions to your home design color; hence, it is best to opt for one that flows with other décor items in your space. These rugs are available in infinite patterns, textures, colors, and styles. Feel free to choose one that best suit your needs, design, theme, and preference.
3. Add Touch of Nature with Plants
Do you wish to have a feel of nature in your space? Explore the various options of natural plants suitable for indoor decorations. Adding natural plants will improve the appearance of your home design, and it will also act as a natural air purifier. These plants can absorb oxidants often emitted by paints and some furniture.
You can enhance the quality of the natural plant by using decorative plant beds and flower pots. You can explore any of the several indoor plants available. However, it is best to remember that using natural plants requires proper monitoring, nurturing, and maintenance.
Light is another important décor item that must be included in any modern home design. Using suitable lights in your interior design helps you create cozy spots and add depth to your design. It also enhances relaxation, creates a personalized atmosphere, improves mood, and adds dimension to your space.
Consider exploring multiple colored LED lights for enhanced flexibility. Other types of lights, such as decorative chandeliers, floor lights, pendants, and lamps, will also contribute to the decoration of your home. Also importantly, don’t forget to create room for natural lights while fixing your home design.
The functionalities of mirrors in your space are not limited to admiring yourself each time you pass by. It is an essential décor item for adding brightness to your space, enhancing dimension, and creating beautiful reflections. Mirrors are also a great way to make small spaces appear bigger.
Getting the best out of mirrors in a home design deals with strategic placement, size, and type of mirrors. Avoid placing mirrors directly across bright lights to avoid harmful reflections.
Creating unique and personalized home designs is not rocket design. It only requires creative and harmonious integration of essential décor items. Feel free to explore the décor items above and many more but don’t over-stuff your space!
We work with so many amazing clients, it's always nice to get a wonderful review!
We take time to celebrate every single design project of ours!
Here's what Paul wrote:
"This review is a long time coming! I have not only worked with Jil professionally, I have also worked with her on two projects of my own. In my profession, I work with hundreds of designers in the Greater Vancouver area, including the Fraser Valley and Sea to Sky, but only one designer for my home projects! We are so thankful for the opportunity to work with Jil. She has an incredible eye for colour and attention to detail. In a world of poor communication, Jil always made herself available, and best of all she listened and understood our needs, wants, and worked within our budget. Thank you, Jil, we appreciate you!"
Thank you Paul & Amanda, I think we've come up with a gorgeous living room!
I appreciate the trust you have in me!
Many of my interior design clients recognize that window treatments, whether functional blinds, drapes, or valances (those are the decorative fabric window treatments that go on the top of your windows), add so much to their rooms esthetic, but wonder what the ball park costs are.
This post will provide you with average costs, so you know which ones, might work best for you. Of course costs will vary, but this will provide a great starting point.
1. Let's start with drapery, some folks call them curtains, which is fine with me!
Let's remember to include the rod, brackets, hooks, carriers & finials, along with the cost of the fabric, lining, labour & shipping fees. Everything can and does add up.
I'd estimate for a pair of drapes & rod to be approximately $2,000 for 2 panels, along with an 8' rod. Of course, if we go with sheer fabric, as shown at the top of this post, the pricing will be lower. If we go with a high end fabric of course the price will be higher. The ones shown above are in a mid range fabric.
2. Sheer shades, shown above, some people call them by the brand name Silhouettes, by Hunter Douglas, are a gorgeous shade, offering glare & UV protection, privacy and light filtering are beautiful. In fact, I used them for my own home.
In general, I'd estimate $1,000 per window, of course depending upon the size. This is my price for a 5' x 5' window.
A fabric blind, or hard window shutter would be approximately the same cost.
These beautiful sheer shades above are by Graber.
3. Hard blinds, which are the old horizontal blinds most of us grew up with are the lesser priced option. They come in real wood, or faux wood (we don't often see vinyl or aluminum blinds anymore.
Remember real wood blinds are very heavy to lift up, faux wood is lighter, but it still leaves a bunched area at the bottom or top area, which shuts out the light. I don't specify them too often. Their price ranges from $350 - $700 per 5' x 5' sized window.
Installation may or may not be included, depending upon the supplier.
I hope this helps give a basic guideline for window treatments.
Which ones are you loving?
I'm so very grateful to my amazing clients and interior design suppliers!
Thank you for all the wonderful reviews!
Jil Sonia McDonald - Interior Designer of Jil Sonia Interior Designs.