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!
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!
For the majority of modern households, investing in home security is a bigger priority than it has ever been in the past. With many of our homes now full of expensive items, from TVs to tablets, games consoles to laptops, it’s no wonder we’re more conscious of protecting the place where we live than ever before. But while security systems in the past have been unaffordable, bulky and frankly quite ugly to have around the home, new options are less obtrusive and smaller than ever before – not to mention far more affordable.
With so many new security and home safety systems appearing on the market every day, it’s difficult to know which option the right fit for you is. But never fear – we look at some of the top options on the market to find out which home security systems are the top of their game and would be the ideal addition to your home. Read on to find out more:
Secure doorbells are one of the most recent additions to the roster of home security systems, but it doesn’t make then any less valid. Building from the concept of gateway entry systems often found on high-end properties, Bluetooth doorbell systems allow for that same safety from within the comfort of your home. Home security has evolved from the older wired systems, with the development of Bluetooth and wireless technology allowing for more affordable and useable options on the market. Devices like Ring enable users to access video feeds of their front door whether they’re at home or work, and are both sleek and unobtrusive, making them ideal additions to the house without the bulk of more traditional options.
Home cameras come in many different forms these days, and they are entirely different from the bulky CCTV cameras and setups we associate with supermarkets and corner shops. Instead, these in-house camera systems are designed to be simple, barely visible and highly connected – with many options allowing for direct viewing of cameras via mobile. Google’s Nest Cam system offers all the convenience of a connected service with multiple camera options, from affordable indoor cameras to more robust outdoor options. The benefit is a system that’s wholly connected in one place, allowing for fast and easy monitoring without the use of multiple systems. If you’re looking for a home system that does it all, Nest is an excellent place to start.
Homeowners often think of alarm systems as relatively outdated, requiring intensive wiring as well as a large, unattractive control panel in the home to function correctly. But as alarm system technology has evolved, so have the options available to homeowners. Modern alarm systems are capable of monitoring windows, doors and even identify the difference between intruders and pets with ease. Verisure’s system is one example of an excellent alarm system, with a 3G panel included instead of the more old-fashioned bulky wall-based system. Wireless has revolutionised how alarm systems work and picking one that has it all is your ideal choice.
Picking the right home security system for you is entirely subjective. By having a better idea of what level of security you need, and when and where you need it, it’s possible to tailor a security system into something ideally suited for your purposes. Don’t be afraid to expand your system or reduce it depending on your requirements over time; security is a personal thing and finding the one that’s right for you is vital to its long-term success.
Sustainability is a growing trend – and it's here to stay. There are many ways you can embrace sustainability. You can buy less, recycle more – and make a commitment to use renewable energy sources wherever possible. But why should you? If you're not convinced about the importance of living a more sustainable life, here are six reasons why you should be:
1. To reduce the impact of climate change.
You can't deny the impact our lifestyles are having on our environment. Despite an overwhelming body of science that confirms the damage we're causing, the situation continues to get worse. In fact, leading scientists claim that – if we do nothing to prevent it the world could experience irreparable damage by 2050.
Do you want to be part of the climate change problem – or do you want to be part of the solution?
The World Health Organisation (WHO) lists air pollution as one of the biggest threats to our health. This is an invisible threat – we can't see it, but we also can't escape it. It's all around us, in the air we breathe. According to the WHO, 91% of the global population lives in an area where air pollution exceeds acceptable limits, causing 4.2 million deaths each year.
When you make a commitment to living more sustainably, you reduce your impact on air pollution – playing your part in reducing the impact it has in our communities.
3. To keep wildlife safe.
A 2018 report from the WWF claims humans wiped out 60% of the world's wildlife between 1970 and 2014. The evidence is pretty clear. The way we live is not sustainable – and it's harming species that do not have a say in the matter.
When we live more sustainably, we're able to reduce the threat that still exists to animals across the world. For example, when we commit to buying products without palm oil, we're doing our bit to reduce the impact of deforestation. This deforestation currently affects already-endangered species across the globe, including chimpanzees, tigers and African elephants.
When we buy sustainably, we also need to make sure the products we buy are not tested on animals. Around 75,000 animals are still killed in laboratories each year.
4. To protect the world's resources.
The world's resources are not infinite. The majority of households still use non-renewable sources of energy to fuel their homes and cars. This will not – and can not – last forever. Sooner or later, these valuable resources will be gone forever, and we will be forced to move onto renewable sources of energy.
Why not make the change now, and protect the world's resources instead of depleting them?
5. To save money.
When you live a more sustainable lifestyle, you are likely to save money in the long-run. Sustainability involves switching to reusable products wherever possible - which means you no longer need to purchase their disposable alternatives. For example, if you have a baby, using reusable diapers can save over $2,500 between birth and potty training.
6. To reduce the need for landfill sites.
Despite government efforts to reduce the amount of waste going into landfill, we are still relying on them to take the majority of our waste each year. And, in 2016, Canadians had a total of 24,940,747 tonnes to dispose of.
Recycling is not enough. If we want to reduce the impact we're having on the environment, we also need to look at how we can reduce our overall waste - and ensure that the waste we do have, is being disposed of in a sustainable way.
Well, can you imagine my surprise and utter joy to receive an email from HGTV yesterday?
I'm honoured and absolutely thrilled to be featured as one of their Interior Design Professionals.
I'd love to have you check out two of the rooms I recently completed for a fabulous client of mine in Surrey, BC.
Just click either of the Room photos above, and join the fun!
Jil Sonia McDonald is an interior designer working in the Lower Mainland, and Fraser Valley, BC.
Please contact her at email@example.com
Hi, I'm thrilled to announce I won the best interior designer by Houzz for 2019.
Just a little note, I've won this for 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and now 2019. Feel free to click on the link above for more info!
If you'd love to get professional, interior design advice, please email us.
Have a great day!
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!
We're glad you are with us. We're looking at 15 essential tips to designing your dream home, we're on Part 4/5.
Let’s review, we’ve looked at steps 1-3 designing your dream home., Part 1/5
1. Selecting your perfect structure.
2. Floor plans and elevations.
And steps 7-9 of designing your dream home: Part 3/5
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!
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, or creating a board on Pinterest, (check our our Pinterest boards here!) . 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 kitchen cabinets, fireplaces, 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, contact us here, we work virtually with our remote interior design services, and are here to help.
Hi, my name is Jil Sonia McDonald of Jil Sonia Interiors
I am thrilled to have been asked to guest post for Maria Killam while she is away vacationing in the land of the Tuscan sun. I've copied the post here.
I have been a professional Interior Designer for the past 12 years, located in beautiful Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada.
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!
Maria had a few questions for me.
1. What’s your favourite colour? Why?
I have to say my favourite color is "Simply white" OC-117 by Benjamin Moore. It is the perfect white for walls. It is not too creamy, not too gray, not too "pinky".
Being an Interior Designer, has me working with paint, furniture, fabrics, carpets and tiles, everyday. Simply White is the color that allows me to change up my accessories with clients, and even at home - whenever the mood hits me. And as other designers will tell you; we love updating our own home and work spaces.
I have found that when using white walls, it is important to add texture to the room, such as this lovely coffee table in a distressed wood from Restoration Hardware shown below, or this rattan end table. I have seen that 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, which 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, client was thrilled, but it didn’t have anything with ‘meaning’. Now, I always try to add something that is personal to a client, such this client’s great, great, grandmother’s silver cutlery. Our client had these beautiful pieces mounted in a shadow box, 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. I discovered with the training and mentorship program from Maria Killam's course “Specifying Undertones”, 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, can 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 one can add to their role as an Interior Designer.
4. When it comes to colour, what’s hot?
Grey is still hot – but I see white over taking 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 look too much like skin tones and doesn’t give clients the fresh, bright colours that 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, client’s dog Bella, shows off her timeless medium brown flooring – isn’t that much lovelier than pinky beige carpet?
7. 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.
8. 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 check out this 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!
Now, I'd love to know... Which white is your favourite right now?
It's always nice to be featured in different publications and magazines!
Beckenstein Fabrics was kind enough to ask me to present my recent projects. I was happy to be featured with 2 other amazing interior designers.
Feel free to read more here https://www.beckensteinfabrics.com/3-talented-interior-designers-share-the-projects-they-completed-this-past-summer/
Thank you so much Beckenstein for your kind words and for featuring our designs!
Would you like a few quick tips on how to calculate the correct size chandelier or pendant light for over your dining room table?
Here we go!
Add the width and length of your dining room ie. 10' + 14' = 24.
We need a light approximately 24" wide!
Or here are a few general dining room table sizes, and the width of lights that would complement the table nicely.
Oval table 42" long - light should be 18-20" wide.
Oval table 48" long - light should be 24" wide.
Square tables? Just take the table size and subtract 12" off each side.
ie. 42" sq. table. -12" and -12" = 18" wide light.
Easy peasy lemon squeezy!
Of course there are variables, but this will get you in the right ballpark!
Here's a few quick tips on lighting placement for your dining room chandelier or pendant.
Specifically, how high do we hang the bottom of our pendant or chandeliers, above our dining room tables?
Well, this depends upon the height of the room.
Here's a few quick examples:
8' high ceiling - hang the bottom of the light, 32 - 36" off of the table.
9' high ceiling - hang the bottom of the light, 36 - 40" off of the table.
10' high ceiling - hang the bottom of the light, 40 - 44" off of the table.
Hope this quick tip helps!
I've been in interior designer for 12 years now and when talking about kitchen renovation, the question I get most often is "What colour do I paint my kitchen cabinets?".
Painting kitchen cabinets is expensive and hard work, we don't want to have to do this every 5 years!
Here our client chose to go with the classic white kitchen cabinets, which is something I recommend often.
White is classic and never goes out of style. To amp things up a little, the island was painted in a soft gray colour, which works so well with the marble countertop.
Another great point about white cabinets, is that you can accessorize with whatever colour you are using in the adjoining rooms. Above it's blue! Below it's yellow!
What is your favourite colour to use when accessorizing your kitchen? I'd love to know!
I have the greatest item to tell you about. It’s a Star Map! By Modern Map Art.
A Map of the Stars for any particular night. We ordered one that was our wedding night and we were absolutely thrilled with it. You can pick the:
I'm over-the-moon happy with this and I'm thinking that other people could use this for their own wedding night or first date birth of a child, Engagement date, or even an anniversary date gift for your parents.
People love personalized items and I'm sure I will be ordering many of these as gifts.
The cost is really reasonable And there is even free shipping in the US and believe it or not in Canada as well. Check it out here (or click on any of the photos) and find out more of the details.
I also hear they have a Street map available as well..... !!
Mother's day is fast approaching.
Wondering what to get her for a gift? She's got perfume and scarves galore.
Judging from what my interior design clients say - most women want their home to look like THEY live there, not someone else!
We can provide the perfect paint colour, select the furniture that is just right - or simply answer all her interior design questions!
We're here to help!
Click here to book now, and I can email you a beautiful gift certificate that you can slip into her Mother's Day card.
Dear Interior Design friends and enthusiasts - Easter is upon us and we are celebrating by offering Interior Design Consultation vouchers for your loved ones. Show someone you care by purchasing a design consultation. We look forward to hearing from you. HAVE A HAPPY EASTER!
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Let me introduce you to my new e-Design platform! We provide interior decor services for all rooms of your home, including paint, furniture, tiles, flooring and more.
We'd love to help you, please click below!
I am beyond thrilled to announce that I have won the coveted "Best of Houzz 2018" award!
Jil Sonia McDonald - Interior Designer of Jil Sonia Interior Designs.