Hi, I'm Jil Sonia McDonald of Jil Sonia Interior Designs, I am thrilled to guest post for Maria while she is vacationing in the land of the Tuscan sun. I have been a professional interior designer for the past eight years, and I live in beautiful Chilliwack, British Columbia. My aesthetic is clean and streamlined, which I love to mix up a bit with pops of colour and lots of texture.
I am absolutely passionate about interior design, and it gives me great joy to create dream homes for my clients. I love what I do!
Please read along with me and see my answers to Maria's insightful questions.
1. What’s your favourite colour? Why?
I have to say my favourite colour is Simply White OC-117 by Benjamin Moore.
It is THE perfect white for walls. Not too creamy, not too gray, not too pinky. Using it allows me to change up my accessories with clients, and even at home, whenever the mood hits me. (As other designers will tell you, we love updating our own home and work spaces.)
When using white walls, we have to add texture to the room, such as this lovely distressed wood coffee table or this rattan end table. When we use all flat, smooth, finishes, white paint can look like primer – definitely not what we want.
2. What was your biggest colour/design mistake?
I work with a 15 Step Design System that doesn't leave room for mistakes, but sometimes it’s the little things that really make a room. I once decorated a client’s home, and it turned out beautifully. The client was thrilled, but the home didn’t have anything with 'meaning' in it.
Now, I always try to add something that is personal to a client, such as a great, great grandmother’s silver cutlery (below). Our client had these beautiful heritage pieces , and now they are a wonderful conversation point – brilliant idea!
3. What is the most important colour lesson you’ve learned?
When I started out as a designer, I had no idea about undertones in colour selection. I thought a beige was a beige. Maria’s training program taught me that there are many undertones of beige – pink, yellow, and green, to name just a few! She taught me to compare colours so that we, as designers, know exactly how to give our clients, or ourselves, the PERFECT colour. I cannot recommend this course highly enough. Such a great professional development experience that you can add to your role as an interior designer.
4. When it comes to colour, what’s hot?
Gray is still hot – but I see white taking over more and more! Clients are all asking me for light and bright. White walls with pops of coloured pillows, throws, and accent trays, as pictured below. I just love it!
5. Which colour do you think is timeless?
I think a grayed blue is timeless. I strongly recommend you use a very grayed blue --- so grey looking that on the paint sample chip itself, it looks gray, not blue! Colour appears twice as bright on your walls as on the chip, so we always need to select muted gray blues unless we want in-your-face baby boy blue. One of my favourite grays with a slight blue undertone is Stonington Gray HC-170.
6. Which colour trend would you love to see disappear?
If I had a magic wand, I’d banish the world of pinky beige carpet. I’ve discussed this with carpet manufacturers – they were blissfully unaware! Pink beige can clash with so many other colours, especially yellow!
It’s one of those non-descript, all-pervasive colours that doesn’t give us the fresh, bright effect we’re all yearning for today. Often, builders who don’t hire professional designers think it’s a neutral colour, but it’s far from that!
Here, a client’s dog, Bella, shows off her timeless medium brown flooring – isn’t that much lovelier than pinky beige carpet?
5. What do you think is one of the biggest mistakes homeowners make with colour?
The biggest mistake homeowners make on their own is trying to select a paint colour first. Really, we should be first selecting our hard finishes, and in the following order: countertops and tiles, flooring, furniture, draperies, pillows. Paint comes last.
We have thousands of paint colours to select from. It is absolutely vital that homeowners choose wisely, with the help of a great interior designer. Paint colours should be a beautiful backdrop for the other items we have selected, unless the paint finish is a beautiful metallic or lacquered finish.
Here, we've added a darker, grayed blue table, which just pops against the Simply White walls.
6. Which part of participating in Specify Colour with Confidence™ created the biggest breakthrough/aha moment/insight for your business, and how did it help you move forward?
I realized just how important it is to compare colours. It is almost impossible to determine the undertones unless you compare samples side by side, with a pure white background behind them. A simple piece of white poster board is such a great tool to have on hand when choosing colour.
Now, I meet all my clients with absolute confidence. I know that I will help them choose the most amazing paint colours, fabrics, tiling, and more, making their home perfect!
For more great tips, interior design insight, or to see more photos of my work, please head over to my blog at www.JilSoniaInteriors.com/blog. I’d love to see you there!
Maria, thank you for this exciting and amazing opportunity to guest blog. I'm eternally grateful for all the colour instruction that I've received from you. I've just not found this instruction anywhere else!
We've been designing kitchens for years and our clients love us! Light and bright kitchens, that are functional and practical; rule today. However when we arrive home at night, we encounter our own drab and dreary kitchen. The designer who created this kitchen had unknowingly, selected competing undertones - orange floor, burgundy cabinets, black and PINK countertops and Tuscan gold backsplash. This is definitely not my style and I think it's time for a change! Don't you?
I know - it's bad, right? When designing kitchens for our clients, we start with choosing 2 items first. The counter top and the kitchen sink!
As I use Caesarstone almost exclusively (they have the best range of colours and patterns of quartz - in my opinion), I knew which counter top I wanted almost immediately. Frosty Carrina!
It's a warm white, with subtle flecks and veining of light warm gray. Giving almost a marble look, but without the hassle, upkeep, staining and etching of real marble. Their quartz has antibacterial properties meaning there is no need to seal the counters - eliminating the maintenance that is needed every few years.
Have a look at all the beautiful options from Caesarstone here!
The next item I choose is the Kitchen sink. Of course the size is dictated by any existing cabinetry, if you are starting from scratch, the world's your Oyster. A favourite manufacture of mine is Blanco. They sell amazing sinks of all different shapes and sizes. Silgranit, Stainless steel, FireClay and more! Here's a cheat sheet on the great points.
Apron sink - who doesn't love apron sinks?
Centre drain location
3 1/2'' (90mm) stainless steel strainer included
Stay tuned! Sneak peek photos coming up - we've just installed the gorgeous Caesarstone counter top and we are absolutely thrilled with it!
Stay tuned for more updates and tips and tricks!
Please click through to follow the link to my posting. I hope you enjoy!
Jil Sonia Interior's post.
I've never been so impressed with a blog article, that I've contacted the author, and asked for his authorization, so that I can post that article in my blog before. I've found this posting so insightful and specific, that I've asked Matt Astrella from Alglo Engineering, if I could re-post his blog. He said yes, and I truly hope that you find it as helpful as I have.
(Alglo Engineering has also come up with an unique tool that can help all interior designers, stay tuned to hear more about this new tool, below!)
What Is Color Temperature?
Color temperature is mostly a measurement of the amount of yellow or blue white a light is comprised of and is measured in degrees Kelvin (K). The term ‘temperature’ is used because designers often describe how warm or cool light appears, the more orange and yellow light is the warmer and the more white and blue, the cooler.
How Is Color Temperature Measured?
Color temperature is measured by a unit called the Kelvin (K). The Kelvin thermodynamic temperature scale is defined so that absolute zero is 0 kelvins (K). The measurement of color temperature follows similarly the color changes a piece of metal would experience as heat is applied to it. At first, the metal would glow a deep orange-red and then become more yellow-white and finally move to the blue spectrum. The lower numbers on the light temperature scale (2700K is usually the base) contain a more yellow-orange color, the middle of the scale are white and the top of the scale (often ends at 6500K) you get very bright white to blue color.
How Do I Choose Which Temperature to Use?
The color temperature you want to use to illuminate your room depends mostly on the mood you are looking to create. If you are using warm furniture colors such as rich dark woods, reds in oriental rugs, and wall paint, 2700K to 3000K bulbs will bring out those colors more. For rooms with light woods, whites, grays, and blues, and lighter wall colors such as lighter shades of purple and blue the 3500K and even up to 5000K bulbs will compliment best.
Interior designers can swap out light bulbs or use an LED Design Kit to show how different materials will look under the different temperatures.
Another tip is to base it on what the dwellers are using the room for. For example, many people will find a formal dining room more appealing with warmer light, while for a large, open-plan office neutral to cool white light is the better choice. Offices often use 5000K fluorescent lighting that creates a cool white light that has been said to keep people alert and awake.
It can also be aligned with how much natural light the room gets and whether you want to keep that same feeling through dusk and into the night or if you want to switch it up come dark. A room in full sunlight during the middle of the day will be a bright, blue white (around 5500K) while horizontal daylight is near 5000K, daylight on an overcast day is more blue (6500K), and during sunrise and sunset you get extremely warm light close to 1800K.
What Products Fall Into The Different Temperature Ranges?
You can purchase LED products in any temperature between 2700K and 6500K. Solid State Lighting makes it easy to adjust color with dyes.
Metal Hallide and Fluorescent products can also be found in different ranges across the spectrum.
Editor's note: Please click on this link, to see the Interior Designer's Light kit, that helps show how different lighting can widely change the colours of the item. I can imagine this tool being helpful when out at various showrooms, you could bring the light tool with you, take the item aside, then shine the light on the item, to show how it looks with the client's own lighting. Saving many costly mistakes.
I am happy to announce, my 12 page spread (6 double pages) in the Prestigious Canadian Home Trends Magazine....... Yippee!
I was over the moon happy to receive a letter from Canadian Home Trends magazine, mentioning that they saw my profile on Houzz and that they'd love to feature me in their Spring 2014 print and online magazine!
This prestigious magazine is the most helpful and innovative magazine I've ever seen. If you subscribe to their online magazine (which offers 168 pages!), you will see they've added special effects to the photos - such as the fireplace has a crackling sound, the photos change from the before to after right in front of your eyes. Amazing! Otherwise their print magazine is gorgeous as well. Who doesn't like to curl up with a nice glass of wine and a great magazine?
My client, was an absolute dream to work with. She completely trusted me to lead the way to make her dreams a reality.
Here's a photo of her kitchen before...
...and below, the after. We removed 2 and a 1/2 walls to open up this floor plan and allow more light to spread through the home. I simply can't believe the difference.
I always, always, always start with my counter top selection. My go to source is Caesarstone, they have such a lovely, well priced selection. We selected this gorgeous white and gray mixed engineered quartz, called London Gray. This was the inspiration for the whole kitchen renovation.
Our Client is an avid cook and I wanted to create a beautiful kitchen where she could work away to her hearts content - yet be able to clean up easily and quickly.
One of my favorite things about this magazine, is that the interview questions were very detailed, it took me three hours to fill out the forms as I wanted to share everything, I find people are so interested in tips and tricks to make their own home more beautiful.
I made a special point of mentioning and thanking my suppliers whom did an amazing job! One of the top reasons client's hire me, is that I know the best suppliers and tradespeople to work with. I'd like to make special mention to Warline Painting and Julie Bolton (window treatments) for their attention to detail and professional work. To top it all off, I loved the stunning Robert Allen fabric that I used. It helped tie the whole room together!
Thanks so much for allowing me to share this exciting post. I don't know of too many interior designers who get a 12 page spread and I'm truly grateful!
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 the Room photo above, and join the fun!
Jil Sonia McDonald is an interior designer working virtually throughout Canada and USA.
Please contact her at email@example.com
Well next week is an exciting one for Interior Designers and the public!
My favourite interior design show, IDS-West, is coming to Vancouver, BC the week of Sept. 19-22, 2013.
It all kicks off Thursday night, Sept 19th, with a party! Entertainment, a fashion show and wine - what more can you need? Especially when it's nestled in between various exhibitors booths - such as Ames Tiles, Raincoast Contoured panels, Native Trails, Van Gogh Furniture, Benjamin Moore and Urban Barn.
Tommy Smythe will be appearing Saturday Sept 20th at noon.
(PS I interviewed Tommy last year and asked if he gets tired of being call Sarah Richardson's sidekick. He said "No, not at all!" and in fact loves that moniker!)
He will be speaking on how to live and love your antiques and how to incorporate them into your design. Love that man!
On the same day, one of my all time favourite designers is speaking at 2pm. Brian Gluckstein will be sharing ideas how to spot the difference between a trend and classic design.
Have you seen his gorgeous dishware and accessories for sale at Home Outfitters?
Very well priced and have that clean, classic look that we all love.
For more information and tickets, please go to http://idswest.com/ I'll look forward to seeing you there!
Please note, all photos are from IDS West.
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.
Hi everyone, here's my first design blog (dipping her big toe in cautiously).
I thought I would start with something that a lot of us have trouble with in interior design - scale and proportion.
Some interior designers use the terms proportion and scale synonymously.
To be professional, we will need to make a fine distinction:
Proportion is the relationship of one part of an object, to its other parts.
In other words, proportion is the relationship of one part of a single piece of furniture to other parts of the same piece of furniture. For example, the cocktail table top below, that is in proportion to its legs.
Scale refers to the size of one piece of furniture in relation to the size of the other furniture in the room, or in relation to the size of the room itself. For example, a giant lamp next to a chair, would be out of scale. An object is in scale when its size is harmonious with the size of the objects and space around it.
OK, so now what?
Let’s assume that you found a sofa for a living room with suitable and pleasing proportions. Now you've got to visualise what will happen when you add different sized pieces to create a furniture grouping around this sofa.
Take the scale test. When you visualise end tables on either side of the sofa, you don't have to measure to see whether or not the scale works, you just feel instinctively that the scale is right. You will look at an object and instinctively measure it, not by its actual size, but by its visual weight.
An object’s visual weight will be influenced by its shape, colour, and pattern, as follows:
The larger its shape, the heavier its visual weight. (OK that’s easy, what else?)
The more intense its colour, the heavier at its visual weight.
The bolder the pattern, the heavier at its visual weight.
These things we intrinsically realize, but sometimes we need to stop, look at our rooms, and see if we have design balance.
When you select furniture, you want to consider only pieces that are suitable in scale with one another. This is just another aspect of achieving harmony. A room cannot be harmonious if one or more pieces of furniture are out of scale.
How do you go about selecting pieces that are in scale to one another? Always try to start with the most important piece of furniture first. i.e. a large dining room needs a large dining room table. This piece must be in scale to the size of the room. If it's not, forget it. The room arrangement just cannot work. We need to select a different piece.
Scale in large rooms. Big rooms can handle big furniture. In fact big rooms require big furniture. In addition, a large room can handle furniture that features intense colour and bold patterns. What's more, a big room calls for large architectural features too. Such a room seems more in scale if it features big windows, big doors and a big fireplace. In other words, the architectural elements of the room should be in scale to the size of the room.
Small rooms: Well this is where we break the rules. In the 'old days', we used small furniture in small rooms. But not anymore. We're finding that we can indeed use large furniture in small rooms - however the proportion of the furniture must be in proportion to the other furniture in the room. No large sofas and tiny coffee tables here!
In reality, these are not a sequence of steps, but rather common sense using the rules of scale and proportion.
Good luck and happy designing!
Jil, Jil Sonia Interiors
Jil Sonia McDonald - Interior Designer of Jil Sonia Interior Designs.