Our tip is to ensure you have everything in front of you, kitchen cabinet samples, tile, flooring, hardware finish, etc. Then ensure you select the paint colour that works seamlessly with those samples!
It's essential to have everything in one place, then once you've narrowed it down to 2-3 choices, use large painted samples to see just how it's going to look!
Contact me if you need help!
Don’t Stop at Walls! 23 Unique Places You Probably Haven’t Thought of to Add Accent Colors In Your Home I'm thrilled to be featured in Redfin!
Check out the recent Redfin article we were featured in:
Don’t Stop at Walls! 23 Unique Places You Probably Haven’t Thought of to Add Accent Colors In Your Home
Nothing refreshes a room quite like a fresh coat of paint. And although your walls get the most attention when painting a room, there are many overlooked areas in your home that can be brightened up with a splash of color. Whether you're looking to paint an entire wall or add subtle hints of color to perk up your living space, we've got you covered.
We reached out to experts from Vancouver, BC to Las Vegas, NV, who revealed unexpected places where you can get creative and add accent colors to liven up your home. Check out their ideas to get inspired!
1) Paint a mini accent wall behind floating shelves
For a perfect DIY décor project with little work but lots of impact, add a square or rectangular block of a bold color behind the shelves. If you're terrible at painting straight lines, you can frame the block with rail molding or use bold wallpaper. Include items on the shelves that coordinate and compliment the bold accent color. This allows your shelves to look bigger and gives an intentional feeling to otherwise plain shelves. -Amble & Awe Interiors
2) Bring character to your walls and surfaces
A splash of color on a feature wall can go a long way in giving your space a makeover. You can paint a design or lean on contrasting colors to completely change a room's look and feel. And even if you're a renter, there are plenty of products on the market specifically designed for renters with an eye for design who want to incorporate accent colors into their space. Use temporary wallpaper and stickers to change the appearance of your walls without falling foul of your contract. -Cobalt Blue 1802
3) Add colorful personality to your front entryway
You have your own personality, so why not have it also shine through your home? Your front entryway is your guest’s first impression when walking into your home, so let it stand out by adding a bold accent color. You can do this by painting a console table or even adding a bold printed wallpaper to a furniture piece or wall. -Kenna Mae Interior Design
4) Pull color inspiration from your décor
Spruce up your boring walls by pulling a bold, bright color from an existing pillow or draperies in your space. You need to ensure that the bold color relates to something else in the room to give that true 'designer look' and tie the space together. For example, you can pull a bright orange from a pillow and incorporate it into a bench seat while also applying it to one of the walls. -Jil Sonia Interiors
5) Give your kitchen cabinets a bold makeover with an accent color
Adding a paint color can make all the difference to your space. For a bold and quick makeover, paint your cabinets using Sherwin Williams Universal Khaki (SW6150) to add that pop of color your kitchen needs. -Certified Interior Designer
6) Don’t forget the fifth wall - add color to your ceiling
Not sure where to add some color? Just keep your chin up. Take full advantage of the fifth wall by adding some color or pattern. The ceiling is often a forgotten space, but it’s the perfect accent wall because it covers the entire space. -Inside Stories
7) Add a pop of color to your powder room
If you'd like to add bold color to your home without overcommitting, try paint or wallpaper in your powder room. It can offer a fun, unexpected element to an area where friends and family typically spend a short amount of time. And don't stop at the walls; the ceiling is a great place to add unexpected color too. -Letter Four
8) Highlight hallways doors with accent colors
Hallway doors, while highly functional, tend to be mundane. Breathe life into your hallways by painting the doors in beautiful colors. Whether you unify them with one single hue, watercolor them with different shades of the same hue, or go all out in an homage to the rainbow doors of Ireland, this design statement will change the way you feel about hallways forever. -Gretchen Schauffler
9) Introduce accent colors to your kitchen cabinets
If you are looking to add a splash of color to your kitchen, consider painting your cabinet doors a contrasting color to the base of your cabinets. This will create another layer of color and add a new dimension to your space. Ramp it up a notch by replacing your cabinet panels with glass. -Lindsey Murillo Interiors
10) Add interest with a vibrant trim
People tend to think of a bold color for the wall paint - but it’s much more unexpected to do a pop of color on the trim. A cherry red, navy blue, robin’s egg blue, or even mustard would look chic on the baseboards, crown, and window molding. Pair with a complementary wall color, wallpaper, or a soft white for a unique and memorable look. -Maggie Stephens Interiors
11) Refresh your stairs with accent colors
Instead of leaving your staircase to fade away into the background, incorporate it with the rest of your home’s color scheme by painting it a vibrant color. Not ready to take the plunge? Test the waters by painting a lesser-seen set of stairs first - like your basement or attic stairs. -Arters Design
12) Use accent colors to highlight a focal point in your home
Accent walls are a great way to add unexpected excitement to your space. Use color to emphasize a focal point in a room, such as a fireplace, built-ins, or a large window. Balance an accent wall with a neutral color on the other adjoining walls in a light to medium neutral color. -Dwell & Oak
13) Personalize your space with colorful fabric
One of my favorite ways to add color is with fabric. If you’re a little scared to upholster your entire sofa, liven up your pillows with a fun pattern. Pillows are the perfect place to start, and you can always switch them out when the time is right. -Lauren Ashley Design
14) Add interest to your closet with a fun color or wallpaper
Consider revamping a closet with a fun color or wallpaper to create a beautiful space for an entirely different purpose. We painted our closet a deep shade of blue and outfitted it with a changing table, wardrobe, shelving, a rug, and décor to create a makeshift nursery for our new baby boy. Repurposing a closet to utilize as an office, craft area, kids play space, or reading nook are great creative options, too. -Liz Gaffney Design
15) Use your artwork as inspiration to form a color palette
Buy a piece of art or choose a beloved piece that you already own and pick out 3-5 of the brightest colors in the artwork to use as the accent color palette in your home. From there, you can take a leap and be bold when you are painting your home. Take color risks in smaller rooms like powder rooms and guest rooms, and paint the color you love on all the walls and ceiling (use a washable low sheen paint so the color appears more saturated).
Bonus tip: Nix the matchy-matchy. One common mistake is trying to match everything to each other. For your home, try to pick five colors you like together as a base for your decor. Three of them should be neutrals, and two can be bright accent colors! -Color & Design Collective
16) Add accent colors to a folding screen
In 2021, the use of folding screens has become very popular as we can use them as our Zoom backgrounds while working from home. I recommend that the screens be painted quite soberly on one side, matching your neutral wall decor, while the other can incorporate a more adventurous zing of vibrant color. I love Farrow and Ball's Yellow Cake or a neon-esque hot pink opera rose red hue like Benjamin Moore's Blushing Red. -Áine Atara
17) Refresh utility rooms with accent colors
Who said utility rooms have to be boring? Be daring with your color choices. Midnight blue cabinets with hot pink interiors set against a crisp white background will undoubtedly get you in the mood for cleaning. Complete the look with hot pink and luxurious gold decorative accents to really pack a punch. -L'atelier Kauldhar
18) Give your mudroom the attention it deserves
Make your mudroom colors a bold and welcoming accent to your home by incorporating bright colors, both on walls and millwork. Don’t be afraid to try classics like Benjamin Moore’s Hale Navy or North Sea. Should you feel especially inspired, try a stand-out color like BM’s Admiral Blue. Add a whimsical touch by using a chalk paint for writing family schedules, shopping lists, messages, and inspirational words. -Luxe Design
19) Use a bold accent color to create a cozy atmosphere
Most have heard that dark ceilings make a room feel smaller, and while this is true, it doesn't make it a no-no in all instances. Sometimes when a room is too large to relax in, and you need a cozy, more human scale space, a dark ceiling can quickly reduce the large expansive feeling of a room to that of a perfect nook to lounge in. Bold saturated colors in paint or wallcoverings on the ceiling is a great way to personalize and humanize large spaces to feel more comfortable. -BMorCreative
20) Spruce up your wall trims
After the gloomy year we've experienced, color pops and accents are the perfect additions to making your room unique and happy. Pops of color enhance the feel and interest of a room, and adding bright trim paint to your room awakens the space and makes it shine. -Jenn Cameron Interiors
21) Add a wow factor to your entryway by painting your stairs in a bold accent color
Stairs are usually a boring feature in any home. Why not transform them into a statement piece? You could paint the individual spindles on your staircase in graduating shades or paint the face of each step in different colors for a rainbow effect. -Loving Quarters
22) Incorporate accent colors in high traffic areas within your home
A mudroom is a hectic space where families drop off their gear, whether it's a book bag, handbag, or briefcase, but it doesn't have to be left out. Painting the walls an accent color can lift the room, bring it to life, and make it the perfect first impression. I recommend Benjamin Moore Night Train 1567, Benjamin Moore Metropolitan AF-690, Benjamin Moore Hail Navy HC-154, Benjamin Moore Navy Masterpiece 1652, or Benjamin Moore Nantucket Fog AC-22 as accent color options for the space. -Bina Murphy Interiors
23) Frame fabric to create a colorful art piece
Do you have extra scraps of colorful upholstery fabric from past projects that you have tucked away in your home? Use the leftover fabric and place it in a frame with matting. Framed fabric art is a simple way to add interest and texture to your home without a lot of effort. -Jewel Marie Interiors
Originally published by Redfin
Let me know if you need help finding the perfect accent colour for your home!
Are you wondering What is the difference between an Interior Designer & Decorator?
It can get complicated, but here's a brief summary...
Interior design is the art & science of understanding people's behavior to create functional spaces within a building. They are often used for renovating kitchens and bathrooms. They know code and take all the details into consideration. They do not create architectural drawings for permits (they can hire out for that), but they do draw floorplans and furniture plans for discussion purposes, which is very helpful for clients & contractors.
Interior decorating is the furnishing or adorning of a space with decorative elements to achieve a certain aesthetic.
In short, interior designers may decorate, but decorators do not design.
We'd be happy to design or decorate your home!
Update: For More information check out my video interview below from Oct, 2021.
I speak more about it around the 19 minute mark after discussing trends for 2022.
Wow what a crazy, uncertain time right now! Now, more than ever, we need each other. We need each other for truth, for support and to feel less alone during a time that can honestly feel quite scary.
Our willingness, as a people, to step up in the face of what we are all experiencing with COVID-19 is awe-inspiring.
We are being told to self isolate and engage in social distancing. That means many of us aren't leaving our homes, unless we truly need to.
We truly believe our home is a place of refuge and hope you can love your space while you turn to family and friends in an era of social distancing.
Perhaps we can think of some fun things to do, that otherwise we might have not had time to do.
Here's a few examples:
Let’s all be there for each other OK? I’ll be posting lots of great ideas of what to do design-wise while staying inside, on my "Jil Sonia Interior Design's Facebook group."
We’d love to have you join us!
Keep safe and remember to have fun!
Quite a few of my clients haven't gotten around to putting up their Christmas tree yet.
Here's a few quick tips to get you started.
1. First select your tree.
There are so many options to choose from:
2. Choose a suitable Tree stand.
Whichever stand you choose, ensure that you select the proper tree stand that will give you stability and hold a generous amount of water if necessary.
3. Tree skirts
They add a decorative touch and provide coverage for any planters or non-decorative tree stands. Great backdrop to those pretty parcels!
4. Tree lights
We now have three options to choose from:
If you choose LED white lights - ensure that you select the warm white which is usually 2700 to 3000 Kelvin units . This will ensure you have a warm glow. The cool LED lights often give a very bluish and harsh looking light.
Incandescent lights are the most beautiful lights but they are hard to find now and produce heat which can lead to fire hazards on dry trees.
Mini battery pack lights or Fairy lights are a beautiful option, especially on smaller and more delicate trees, or tree branches. If you go this route ensure that you select the mini or fairy lights that include either a remote option or a timer option, so you are not digging through the tree to find the battery pack.
Depending upon which type of lights you use, I tend to use 100 lights for each foot of Christmas tree.
5. Hanging your Christmas tree lights.
Note this is the most controversial aspect of this post as there are many methods to do this, but I prefer the "branch wrap “approach.
Make your starting point of lights at the bottom of the tree near the trunk. Pull the string of Christmas lights taut to the tip of the branch, then work back toward the trunk, wrapping the cord circularly over itself and the branch, while working your way to the top of the tree. Make sure to select the largest branches to wrap first. Ensure there are more lights at the trunk area of the tree as this provides depth to your design. You will know your tree is "all wrapped up" when you finish at the top lone branch.
Start with the largest ornaments first, placing them near the tree trunk with a few coming through to the branch tips. Then start with the medium sized ornaments, filling in the gaps and lastly the smallest and most delicate ornaments should be placed near the branch tips. Rarely do I place ornaments on the tips of the branches, it tends to look unbalanced that way.
Placing the ornaments more in the centre of the tree, gives dimension to your tree and draws the eyes from the base to the branch outwards to allow others to enjoy your ornaments. Hanging your ornaments only on the outside of your tree can make it looked cluttered and less 3 dimensional. I've got to say I see this all the time where people only decorate the 'edges' of the trees and it's difficult to resist the urge to tuck a few ornaments into the background to provide depth.
Plan on at least 10 ornaments per foot of tree.
i.e.. 6' tree needs 60 ornaments.
Ensure your most precious ornaments are placed where they can be viewed easily. I have a special light bulb which we had only one of. It's now burned out so I've put it in a large plastic ball ornament, hung it on fishline and added a little 'snow' to it. Now I can enjoy that special blue bulb to this day, nice way to protect those keepsake ornaments!
7. Garland. Some people like to use garland. If this is the case, use it sparingly. I find it can overwhelm the tree so I tend to stay away from it.
8. Tinsel. This is optional and time consuming. Each piece needs to be placed singularly by itself. Try avoiding throwing your tinsel on by the handfuls, as I did as a child! It is truly beautiful to look at a tinseled tree, it reflects the lights and ornaments as well! It's one reason I love the aluminum trees so much. No Tinsel needed!
9. Tree Topper. Your final touch is applying the Christmas star, angel or Christmas spire to the top of the Christmas tree. Make sure the branch is strong enough to support your topper and can be seen above the rest of the tree facing the most viewed angle.
10. Almost done! Now, look at your beautiful tree that you wonderfully decorated, and see if there are any bare patches or empty spaces in the tree. Ask yourself if you may need to add more ornaments or perhaps move a few items. It's your preference on how full you want your tree to look. Some prefer a sparse looking tree while others prefer a full and colorful tree.
With all these considerations you can decide what kind of Christmas design theme you choose for this year. It all starts with your tree. Take your inspiration from the tree and dress up your mantel and a few table tops!
My preference is to put on my favorite Christmas music, have a nice glass of wine, nibble on a few (OK several) chocolates and dance around the house while decorating the tree.
Have a wonderful Christmas. Enjoy your decorating!
Merry Christmas from all of us at Jil Sonia Interior Designs.
Ready for the last post outlining the 15 Essential Steps to Design your Dream Home? Here we go!
First, let’s review, we’ve looked at steps 1-12 so far:
15 Essential Steps to design your dream home Part 1 of 5
1. Selecting your perfect structure
2. Floor plans and elevations
15 Essential Steps to design your dream home Part 2 of 5
5. Mood and Style
6. Overall design
15 Essential Steps to design your dream home Part 3 of 5
7. Bathroom and Kitchen design
8. Furniture Plan
9. Lighting plan
15 Essential Steps to design your dream home Part 4 of 5
10. Window covering
12. Wall colour
Now... we move on to the last 3 steps Part 5/5
Steps 13, 14 and 15 !
Now that you have a complete plan, exterior colours, roofing, windows etc, you can shop! Now it's time for accessories. For rhythm, you need objects that repeat. Instead of one candlestick on your sideboard in your dining room, what about 3 of the same? This way our accessories have more of an impact.
Ask yourself repeatedly through this process -- are my choices consistent with my commitment to the desired ambience? If not go back through a few steps. You cannot compromise here and get the room of your dreams.
Continuously keep the mood of your room in mind. Try to do all your accessorizing and styling within a short period of time in order to keep to one style. Note: 80 percent of the design of a room should be in one focused style and 20 percent can vary. This 20 percent will certainly stand out.
Every room needs some bling unless it's a Farm home pictured below. Fully complete one room, before moving onto the next.
14. Edit your choices:
Keep the concepts of harmony and balance in mind when editing your ideas. I find this stage often takes the most time. Your final choices should please your eye, feel balanced, and create your desired mood. Our eyes need to rest so don't be afraid to have a little bare space, that helps make everything else pop.
Line the items up along a wall to see what you are working with.
What works, what doesn't?
15. Finally - Relax:
Designing a home is not easy. There are important choices to be made and made quickly. Having a game plan and following it does ease the stress.
Now we're all done, kick back, relax and enjoy your beautiful new home!
OK, are we ready? Questions? I'd love to help!
So, let’s review, we’ve looked at steps 1-3 designing your dream home.
1. Selecting your perfect structure.
2. Floor plans and elevations.
And steps 7-9 of designing your dream home:
7. Bathroom and Kitchen design
8. Furniture Plan
9. Lighting plan
Now... we move on to steps 10, 11 and 12!
10. Window coverings:
When designing your dream home, be aware of oddly shaped windows. For some reason architects love to add them in! Notice the angle at the top of the window below.
These windows are very difficult to cover. If you like horizontal blinds these can usually be used for some of the more difficult, or odd shaped windows, however not everyone likes horizontal blinds. Many clients prefer window coverings that can be slid to the sides so that all the glass is showing. Transom windows (especially if they are arched), although beautiful, are especially difficult to cover.
Determine what kind of light coverage do you need. Do you sleep in - then curse the sunlight in the morning; or do you embrace it? You may need room darkening, or light filtering blinds. Do you have a window needing privacy? A window with lots of glare? Many solutions are available.
Discuss your drapery needs with an interior designer or window coverings specialist. Note blinds, drapery and window coverings can be a little pricey, 30% of your room's budget usually goes towards window coverings.
OK, so we are really getting to the styling part here. We know the mood we want to achieve. But where do we go from here? One idea is to start with a ‘signature fabric’, this is a fabric that sets a style or creates your desired mood. Determine the placement of your signature fabric. This can be an expensive fabric - perhaps use it just for the front of a small pillow or the back of a beautiful chair. Confirm your signature fabric suits the ambiance you desire. Use this fabric to set the colour tone of your room.
Now select complementary fabrics. In general, allow no more than three different patterns in one room! Determine placement of all fabrics i.e.:
- patterned drapery fabrics for the windows - like the example above
- perhaps a cream and raspberry stripe for an ottoman,
- black and cream polka dots for the chair backs.
Finally select trim to customize draperies or throw cushions. This trim can be a fringe on pillows, or a band of colour/fabric/ribbon along the side of a drapery panel. Then use your signature fabric to pick colours for the rest of the room.
12. Wall colour:
Now you can finally pick a wall colour! Can you believe we had to wait until step 12 for this? Wall color is not usually picked until near the end of the design, as there are so many distinct colours of paint to choose from. Kimberley Seldon says " picking a wall colour first is like buying a lipstick, then look all over trying to find a dress to match."
Remember to keep the room’s atmosphere in mind. What is your light level? Resist the urge to paint a dark room in a light colour. Donald Kaufman says "Light wall colours never come to life in a dark room..." If the room is sunny, play that up - don't use a dark colour for the walls. Look at your signature fabric for wall color ideas.
I can go on and on about colour but really colour expert Maria Killam says it best when she says "Painting a dark room in pale colours simply accentuates the shadows in a space."
Other questions to ask when selecting a colour 'theme': Are you drawn to warm, neutral or cool colours? Do you prefer many colors or a monochromatic look?
Personally, I throw out the colour theory I was taught in design school. I don't understand how someone can look at a room and say "Do I want a complementary colour scheme? What about the split - complementary colour scheme or maybe an analogous colour scheme?" Only interior design students talk in those terms. I used to be one of them!
Maybe, just maybe, those theories come into play when looking at how to spice up a room with accessories or accents, but in general the main points to remember are:
Finding all this confusing? Contact me to find out how you can have the home of your dreams!
Stay tuned for our last 3 steps!
So, let’s review, we've looked at 15 Essential steps to design your dream home Part 1 of 5.
1. Selecting your perfect structure.
2. Floor plans and elevations.
Then 15 Essential steps to design your dream home Part 2 of 5.
5. Mood and Style
6. Overall design
Now, let’s move on to step #7 shall we?
7. Bathroom and Kitchen:
In our last blog I had mentioned that, when considering the overall design of a new home or renovation, I always start with the kitchen. I find the kitchen counter top to be the most limiting. Yes, there are lots of different materials; quartz, granite, cement, laminates, etc. But the colour palette generally starts with the countertops.
Then we move onto the cabinetry itself – do we want stained or painted? The trend is certainly towards a light coloured, painted finish.
When I specify a painted finish, I usually go with MDF material for the cabinets. I find all kitchen cabinets or wood in general, contracts and expands with the moisture in the air. If you are using wood, the joints will split a little when the wood swells. If the cabinets are stained, that small gap is not noticeable, but if they are painted, it certainly is noticeable. MDF does not contract or expand to the extent that natural wood does, so we don’t have to worry about any tiny cracks.
That being said, if a raw (unpainted) area of MDF is exposed to water for an extended period of time, this will swell and will not go back down. However, all areas of MDF should be painted, leaving no ‘raw’ areas. Just take care to dry off those items before stacking them in the cupboards.
Now we’ve got appliances selected (as stated in my last post), cabinets and countertops selected, let’s select our sinks and faucets. Speak with your cabinet manufacturer and find out which size sinks you can accommodate. Ensure the sinks will be large enough to contain all the splashes from either washing dishes or washing hands. Select faucets that are easy to use and go with the general style of your home.
In the bathroom when selecting your tub – don’t be afraid to visit showrooms and lay in the tub. There are two things I don’t like selecting for clients - tubs and beds – they really are a personal preference. Make sure you’ll be comfy in the tub.
Now, select tile to coordinate with bathroom fixtures, flooring, faucets, etc. Please, please, please don’t select an accent tile. If you really need an accent, perhaps select a textured tile (i.e.. one with waves), that coordinates with your general tile. Different coloured tiles or patterned tiles date the home so easily. Remember, when in doubt use plain tile. You can always bring in accent pieces of sculpture, or flower vases, etc. to give life to the room, don’t rely on accent tiles to do this job.
8. Furniture plan:
It is essential to create a furniture plan before choosing lighting or finalizing the electrical plan. Go through each room and write down all the activities that will happen in each room. i.e. in our living room we:
Play board games
Ensure you have furniture for each activity and plan for furniture to perform double duty for several functions. We have upholstered ottomans that we prop our feet up on when watching TV, but when we have several guests over, they become seats and they also can be pulled up to the coffee table for board games. Arrange furniture around a focal point, perhaps the fireplace or a window with a view.
9. Lighting plan:
a. Choose your general lighting first. This is the lighting that you initially switch on when entering a room – it casts a soft, even light over the bulk of the room. This can be recessed lighting or perhaps a beautiful chandelier over a dining room table.
b. Task lighting next; such as Island lighting, under cabinet lighting, desk lighting. Think about what tasks you’ll perform and ensure you aren’t struggling to see what you are doing (have you ever tried to finish a jigsaw puzzle with dim lighting?). A tip when you are reading – the bottom of the table lamp shade should be level with your eyes when seated, this is the most comfortable level for most people and helps to reduce eye fatigue.
c. Decorative lighting is last; such as: wall sconces, up lighting, etc.
To me, lighting is one of the most important aspects of design. It can make or break the atmosphere of your room. Be sure to include both up lighting and down lighting (have some light sources shine up, some shine down). Ensure you have enough outlets to plug in your favourite lamp, stereo, computer etc. The electrical budget usually equates to 3% of your budget.
Stay tuned next week for more design tips. If you need help or have any questions on home design, please email contact me. I’d love to help you complete the home of your dreams!
Hi everyone, ready to hear more about designing your dream home?
Earlier, we looked at steps 1-3 of designing your dream home.
1. Selecting your perfect structure.
2. Floor plans and elevations.
Today we'll look at steps 4, 5 and 6. Whether you are building from scratch, renovating, or just tackling that one room; we'll help you solve your design dilemmas.
The dreaded "B" word - budget. Create a budget and stick to it. I know it's not fun, but yes, it is essential. Here’s some help…Speak with your builder or interior designer first. They will have a set amount of money allotted for items such as counter tops, lighting fixtures, flooring etc. Shop within this budget and see what you get for that amount. Remember a good hint is to put your money in things that you touch or see on flat surfaces, these are the items that are most visually prominent.
Materials such as flooring, counter tops and paint are often where quality really shows. Go for the best you can afford for those surfaces. Items that aren't so visually apparent like toilets, sinks, and high mounted lighting fixtures don't need to be expensive to get that great look.
So, save on some areas and splurge where it really shows! When budgeting, don’t forget to include essential items such as window coverings, home insurance and property taxes.
5. Mood and Style:
Choose to create an emotional atmosphere in your home. We live by our emotions. Have you ever seen a home that is lovely, but lacking something? It's probably lacking emotion or mood – the real ‘feel’ of the home.
What mood do I want this house to convey? What's my style? Traditional, contemporary, west coast or 50s bungalow? Look at the exterior of your home and continue that style throughout. Nothing looks worse than when you have an exterior that is a distinctive style from the interior. We need a unified and beautiful look to create a harmonious home.
I live in a Frank Lloyd Wright styled home. In design school, I learned that he spent a lot of time in Japan. His homes and interiors quite often reflected the Japanese style - low, horizontal lines, and low-pitched roofs. So, I went with a slightly Asian look in my home, minimal furnishings, no clutter, I selected furniture for function - with a Zen like appeal.
Look at those tear sheets you've collected from magazines, often they evoke the mood that you love. Try to replicate that mood - if you need help hire an interior designer- this can be the most cost-effective way of keeping you on budget. Designers prevent you from purchasing those 'one-off' kind of items. Having those types of items in your design can throw off your focus, ending up with a home that has no cohesive flow. Designers can sum up the mood you are trying to achieve and keep you on track. 80% of your style should be one focused style. Whether it's casual, modern, country, formal or informal; keep your style in mind when selecting tile, kitchen cabinets, plumbing fixtures, or purchasing furniture.
I like to start with the kitchen; it truly is the heart of the home. Select appropriate appliances before designing cabinetry. Note: non-standard sized appliances or fridges will not fit in standard cabinetry. Work with a great designer who knows how to create functional kitchen spaces.
We aren't so concerned about the traditional triangle in kitchen design – whereby the stove, sink and fridge are in a triangle formation. That worked well when there was only one cook in the kitchen, but as kitchens increasingly have multiple family cooks helping out - think about work zones. We need a baking and cooking zone, prep zone, beverage zone, clean up zone. Ensure all work areas are covered and it will make your life so much easier.
Look through the other ‘work’ rooms of your home i.e. laundry and bathroom areas. List your day to day activities and ensure your home truly functions to enable your life to flow smoothly. Isn't that what great design is all about?
Stay tuned for more great design tips from Jil Sonia Interiors.
What does your dream home look like? Contemporary, Traditional, Craftsman, Mid Century Modern? Townhome, House, Apartment?
Whichever style or type of home you choose, there are important steps to follow in designing your dream home. In this 5 part feature, we will be looking at 15 helpful steps, guiding us to complete the home of our dreams. Today we'll cover steps one to three.
1. Selecting your perfect structure.
We all know to keep a folder of tear sheets of desired looks, from magazines. Don't worry about cost just yet; I want you to keep your mind open at this point. Tear out anything at all that catches your eye or makes your heart flutter!
After accumulating several photos, look for a similarity. In general do you like ranchers or multi-level homes? Stone, brick, wood, stucco? Lots of windows, or cozy and quiet? Come up with a theme - 'your look'. Speak with your builder and architect about which type of home can be placed on your lot. Often something we like, can be incorporated into what we can afford.
The style of your exterior architecture should influence your interior design. i.e. Victorian homes generally look best with traditional interiors; lodges look wonderful with structured, but casual furnishings. Remember to bring that exterior feeling inside. For example, exterior rock siding also works for the interior fireplace surround.
#2. Floor plans and elevations:
On to the inside. Have a copy of your floor plan available, this is a must! If you are not building a new home, you can hire a design firm to draft out your existing floor plans. We need plans to either build from scratch, add on, or renovate.
Elevation plans are also important - they allow you to visualize the finished look of a vertical wall. An elevation is a view of an interior or exterior wall. You are standing back, looking directly at the wall. This is a flat, two-dimensional view. Only the height and width are obvious. This view of the wall shows items that cannot be clearly shown in plan. This could be wall moldings, doors, window sizes, light switches, electrical outlets, or a finish pattern that is applied on the wall.
List the needs you have for your house. How do you really live? Be honest!
Do you need a: play room, large kitchen, four bedrooms, den, or a large family room? Write a list of what you do each day - down to the nitty gritty- including things like how much laundry you do, which door you generally use to enter a home - garage, side or front door.
Things like these really let you customize your home to your unique needs. For example; when I come home I rarely enter via the front door. I park in the garage and usually bring items from the car into the home. I immediately enter the laundry room, so, I need a place right near the door to set down my bags of groceries, design sample boards, etc.
A pet peeve of mine is when you enter the home from the garage, come inside, then open the closet door to put away your coat - while someone in your home is trying to greet you - but they are blocked by an open closet door. To avoid this, ensure the door swings are drawn in on the plans to all you to have smooth sailings whichever door or hallway you use!
Knowing how to customize your floor plan really helps you plan a home to really suit your needs.
Stay tuned for the remaining steps!
If you need help designing a dream home, or just the perfect room, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org we are here to help.
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!
Well, you can imagine how I felt receiving this email from the prestigious Houzz on-line site yesterday!
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 my Houzz profile and let me know what you think!
We can be contacted by Email for professional residential interior design.
In our last series 15 steps to designing your dream home, we covered all aspects of home design. In this series we're looking at different aspects of lighting. Today we'll focus on hanging chandeliers, like this beautiful chandelier available here.
Lighting affects our moods drastically. Imagine a dimly lit dining room filled with good food, great company and perhaps a little champagne? Yummy.
Now imagine that same room with bright, glaring lights - yup, fully lit. Quite a difference isn't it? Sometimes we need a room with strong lighting and sometimes soft, diffused light is what's needed. Dining room chandeliers that throw bright light straight down onto a person’s face while they are eating, will cast harsh shadows and create glare and also heat up a dining area.
For the best results use a chandelier with 200-400 total wattage spread among the light bulbs. This works well for a medium to generous dining room.
In general to determine the size of the lighting fixture needed, add up the length and width of the room, convert this to inches, and this is the diameter of the light you'll be needing.
i.e. if your foyer is 10' x 8'. Add 10 + 8 = 18. You need an 18" wide light fixture.
A common problem is under sizing your lighting, go big or go home!
Overhead lighting can also be put on a dimmer switch (also known as a rheostat), which allows you to control the brightness. Changing the wall switch should done only by a licensed electrician. (If you change the wall switch yourself and it's done improperly, it might start a fire, and your home owner's insurance will probably not cover the loss.)
If a dining room is less than 10 feet high, I like to hang my chandeliers from between 30" - 34" above the dining room table. If your room is more than 10 feet high, such as this beautiful room below, just add a few extra inches.
To determine the width of the chandelier over a dining table, the minimum width of the light should be 1/2 the width of the dining room table. The maximum width of the light should be 12" less that the width of the dining table.
Did you know you can also light your chandelier itself? Often people add recessed lighting with an adjustable pivot head and direct the light towards both the chandelier and the table itself. The effect can be quite dramatic, especially on a crystal light fixture, as it allows the reflected light to bounce around the room.
In general most chandeliers have open lights with several bulbs, this is great to light up the room (referred to as ambient lighting). If you find there is too much glare, simply select a light with diffused lighting, such as this beautiful fixture below, the shade will help to filter the light and reduce glare.
"Up lights" (you guessed it, - lights shining up towards the ceiling) are a great idea as they provide diffused lighting. This way the light doesn't shine straight down on your guests, but instead it will bounce off the ceiling or upper walls, thereby diffusing it and giving a warm glow to the room. Toronto interior designer Kimberley Seldon often says "you don't need a facelift, you just need better lighting!
In our next post we will discuss the 3 aspects of lighting that every room must have.
Questions? Email email@example.com
Last September, I embarked on something new. A colour course taught by Colour Queen Maria Killam.
She is the author of the blog Colour me happy ( doesn't the name just make you smile?). Her 3 day course covered every single thing you need to know about colour. Maria took us through mixing the physical paint - to really understand the concepts of how pigments can appear to change, to creating colour flow and how to select the correct paint colour. My favourite part of the course was where she helped us determine the undertones of colour - such an integral part of interior design.
Another benefit is that after taking Maria's course, is that you can belong to a secret group on Facebook.
(isn't anything secret cool?)
Really this group focuses on supporting each other - most of us have a passion for colour. It's a safe place to ask questions or just bounce ideas off each other. Here's a secret I can share, from what I understand, Maria might be hosting colour webinars later this year! Stay tuned for more info. about that.
Since most designers find we are specifying so many variations of gray lately, Maria was asking us which grays we like. Well, one of my favourite grays is Benjamin Moore's Kendall Charcoal HC- 166.
It is a deep, rich charcoal which I adore with a crisp, clean white. In searching online to find a photo that shows just how beautiful it looks, I found this beautiful bedroom by Jennifer Holmes. This is a blog you simply must check out, she is talented beyond words.
Why this colour gray works is, of course, the attention to details, but primarily the stunning, crisp white linens and pillows, and... don't cha just love the mirrored side tables?
Yes, Kendall Charcoal is a gutsy colour to place on a wall, but when well coordinated with white, yellow or even pink. I think it's a colour you can have fun with, and isn't having fun what it's all about? Come on, I dare you, try this luscious dark charcoal - you're gonna love it.
She was hosting a seminar about upcoming colour trends in 2011. I’ve seen her for years and have always wanted to meet this little fireball! She is a Benjamin Moore expert and focuses on updating clients lives with fantastic and inspirational paint colours.
She had mentioned a poll was done where clients were asked which was the most difficult area of design --in projects ranging from $1,000 to $100,000. 80% of the respondents stated CHOOSING THE WALL COLOUR was the most difficult aspect of interior design. The reason is, it is very difficult to imagine or visualize colour!
Dog house diaries.com show the difference between men and women’s thinking. This graph shows the names of colour in women’s minds and in men’s minds.
The chart above kind of makes sense doesn’t it? Unfortunately.
Sharon explained many things impact colour forecasting such as:
Trends in society
Sharon had mentioned a good place to start finding your style is to look at the trend forecasts then narrow it down to what you find pleasing.
In other words if dark grey is trendy, but you are unsure if you like it, perhaps just use it as an accent wall or in slate grey vases etc.
It’s amazing how fashion can change your perception of colour. I didn’t formerly like Fuchsia as a colour. Several years ago when it was in style -as a clothing colour- I started wearing fuchsia and quite enjoyed it. Now that the grey trend is here I find fuchsia a colourful accent to liven up the grey tones.
More and more I find people are not filling up their homes; but are now filling up their lives. Excess is gone and a more balanced and thought provoking lifestyle is prevailing. Let’s only keep items in our homes that we truly love or truly need.
At Jil Sonia Interiors, we'd love to help make your house a home!
Jil Sonia McDonald - Interior Designer of Jil Sonia Interior Designs.