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!
I'm thrilled to be featured in Canadian Home Trends magazine for January 2020.
There is a contest with great prizes to be won!
More and more of my interior design clients are wanting Navy couches and sectionals. It's a timeless classic colour, but still feels fresh!
I've added this rug and beautiful gold lighting and accents to make it pop!
Lots of fun pillows just add to the charm!
Wicker baskets hold cozy throw blankets and the wood toned end table and chair create a warm look!
So honoured to be able to compete. The other designer created a beautiful mood board, soft pinks and whites in a beautiful bedroom. See the whole article here :)
Happy Decorating! If you need help completing your living room, I'd love to chat!
When this time of year rolls around, designers anxiously await the Pantone's colour of the year.
Most designers I know focus on classic timeless design and don't rely on the trends, but it's always great to hear what the color experts state as their color of the year.
This year it's a beautiful blue, not too purple/blue or green/blue.
19-4052 Classic Blue
Such a beautiful colour! It works well with white, cream, light grays, taupes, beige and more.
I used a similar colour, but more muted dark blue in this media room.
Gentleman's Gray by Benjamin Moore.
The beautiful dark blue worked so well with the pink beige sectional.
Choosing a paint colour can be challenging, just a slight difference in colour can completely change the look of the room.
We are colour specialists and can help you the nail the perfect colour that works for YOU, the first time! Let us know how we can help.
Here is an outline of what a happy consultation looks like with me.
1. We meet and have a 2-hour consultation, either in your home or my design studio, we discuss your likes/dislikes, needs and priorities. We take into consideration all elements: colours, fabrics, floor plans, cabinets, furniture, budget etc.
2. I take notes, then transcribe them later (if you decide to carry on with my services), onto a worklist.
3. I provide you with an estimate of my design fees to carry out the design plan. You can choose to move forward yourself, or you can carry forward with our design services, whichever you choose (you don’t need to make that decision on the consult date).
4. If you move forward with our services, we email you the initial general written plan, which we call the Scope of Work. I update it with any additional items you’d like to include.
5. After I’ve finalized the Scope of Work, I create a mood board for most rooms, so you can see how items look like together.
6. We meet again to present the moodboards and ideas with you, using photos, and samples.
7. If you are ordering certain furniture, tile, etc. I do get trade discounts and share those 50/50 with my clients. These discounts can be substantial.
8. My fees are $395.00 for the first 2-hour consultation; then after that, my rates reduce to $175.00 per hour, and you can use me as much or as little as you like. GST is added to my rates.
If that's something that might work for you, I'd love to help. Together we'll come up with a great plan to create a home that you love.
Feel free to let me know your thoughts and if you have any questions.
Painting your home is exciting, the power of paint never ceases to amaze me!
However, we need to ensure we pick the perfect body and trim colour. Here’s a few tips to get you started!
I was thrilled that Sherwin Williams sponsored me for the paint, thank you SW!
We love their Emerald exterior latex! It went on smooth as silk and had superb coverage.
2. Likewise be aware of your neighbourhood homes to ensure you have not copied their existing color. You may need to check with neighbourhood restrictive covenants or strata agreements to ensure you are able to paint the color of your choice. Some neighbourhood covenants require you to stay within a color field to best represent a cohesive community aesthetic. It shows you are a good neighbour.
3. Paint a few large sample boards or poster boards of a minimum of 11”x14” sizing with your prospective color choices. Once dry, hold these color sample boards up against various features of your home such as in step 1 (noting exterior home elements) to see how they look.
Remember with smaller color samples, getting a true representation of color is more difficult than with larger sample boards. Your exterior contains large painted surfaces/spaces , so it’s important to have larger sample boards to get a truer representation of how a color will work.
A great hint also is to choose a flat/matte sample paint color, to allow you to see the color without sunlight glare or possible exterior lighting de-coloration/accentuation. And with that said, your exterior lighting will also play a significant role in how you color will appear. Your light’s Kelvin measurement (color of light) will change the tone of you color choice too, just as will the direction of various sunlight from North, South, East and West which is what we call metamerism.
Designer Tip: Most exterior paint colors tend to look lighter and brighter outside so it is important to test your paint samples in the actual elements outside. Beware of selecting a trim color that is too white, it might look too bright and harsh.
It's good to have a few choices pre-painted, as lighting, shade, and time of day can present color nuance to your choices. Have 3-4 color choices made up for a field/body and trim color.
The color finish (matte/flat, satin, gloss etc) can reflect light and cause a different color experience. We recommend a flat/matte finish for the body, as it does not provide too much glare or a sheen. Your home’s exterior color personality will showcase better with a matte/color. Remember you want to see color and not a mirrored reflective color tone as with satin or gloss etc.
4. Select your field (body) exterior color first, then secondly a trim color that accents it. Ensure your trim color choice works well with your window metal/polyurethane frame color. If you happen to be changing out your windows, black window frames are the best because they tend to disappear into the background of the glass from a distance. Black window frames can make selecting your paint colours easier. When choosing the trim color, keep in mind the window casing/frame color and choose a complementary shade. No one wants a “bossy” window frame color ruining a good field and trim color choice for your home exterior.
Finally, before you begin purchasing large amounts of paint, it is vital that you paint a test sample area of your home. Picking an area of your house exterior that stands alone as a test color pallet is crucial. At this point take a couple of days to think over your choices. Your color experience will change dependant upon the daytime hours, the amount of sunlight and even your exterior lighting.
And there you have it. We sure hope these tips and tricks can help you find the perfect color for your amazing home!
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.
I just had to share a great experience we had with a paint company last week with regards to one of our new built homes we are designing and decorating for a client with a young family.
Our firm was furnishing a newly built home and enjoying preparing two rooms for our client’s young girls. As the client was in Toronto and the new home is outside of Vancouver, we did the design choices, paint colour selection, furniture selections, etc. all online.
This project involved painting a feature wall that would be behind each child’s beds in their respective rooms.
Each color was individually chosen to match their style. I selected every piece of furniture and accessories, art, etc. before selecting the perfect colour. This paint color would also be focal to the decor selections for that room.
It was important to get the colour choice just perfect. I've got to say I'm the pickiest designer I know of when it comes to colour selection!
One girl wanted a light soft pink that was not too strong in its intensity, while the other wanted a lovely bold blue.
We decided to use Sherwin Williams paint. Our painters were familiar with Sherwin Williams and this is their ‘go to’ supplier.
For the blue colour I had already selected an existing Sherwin-Williams colour called Georgian Revival Blue SW7609.
But the baby pink colour I had originally selected, was from Benjamin Moore called Strawberry Yogurt BM 2104-70. I had been told that colour matching (selecting one paint colour from one brand and having it made up in another brand), cannot be done, so I decided to see for myself!
I ordered a drawdown from Sherwin-Williams which shows the paint colour match sample. A drawdown is when the paint supplier mixes up a gallon of paint, then uses a machine to equally and concisely spread out an amount of paint onto a coated piece of white paper.
If the colour match was not absolutely perfect, then they would tweak it to ensure a perfect match. This was indeed perfect!
This paint called Quali-Kote, by Sherwin Williams. It spread with ease and set up very quickly; with a remarkable exact replication of the sample we had chosen for each room. What a huge relief to confirm that this colour matched paint matches the exact representation of its fan deck color. In this case it also matched perfectly the “draw down” freshly painted sample that our Sherwin Williams clerk so graciously gave us.
Within a day our new feature walls were aglow with color that exactly represented our young client’s choices.
If you need help with selecting the perfect paint colour, we'd love to help!
Feel free to contact us here.
Thank you for allowing me to share a little designer insight with you.
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.
With the advent of the new LED light bulbs, there is much confusion.
It used to be just select the correct wattage for your lights and away you go, but now there are so many things to think about.
Rather than writing article outlining the 'do's and 'don't's of LED light bulbs, I thought I'd post links to great articles here. All links are from Waveform Lighting and are excellent articles.
What is the dreaded blue light hazard?
Are LED light bulbs safe?
Should I choose a 2,700K or 3,000K LED light bulb? What's the difference?
What is the difference between CCT and CRI and do I need to know?
Why is my LED bulb flickering? How do I stop it?
What is the difference between Lux and Lumens?
What is Colour Rendering Index or CRI?
Here's an article I posted several years ago. It's been very helpful to others!
How many recessed lights do I need? How far apart do I place them?
If you need help with lighting, we'd love to assist you!
The National Building Code (of Canada) requires non-combustible material 18” x 18” to the left and right of the stove and 30” high above the stove / range. This includes the wall behind a range, a blower unit in a wood framed hood, but does not include a (metal) vent-hood.
The manufacturer will dictate the non-combustible zone for gas ranges and that 18” x 18” zone to the left and right may increase to (18” Left + Range Width + 18” Right) x 30” high.
Another hint - Look in the installation manual of the stove you are specifying. It will show/tell you what the manufacturer’s requirements are. Quite often they are the same as the National Canadian code.
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!
It is no secret that apart from all the other luxuries, the level of comfort in your home is affected by the air quality. The level of humidity and temperature are just some of the few variables that your health and comfort while indoors hinge on. For instance, when the humidity is too high, you quickly go from a perfect hair day to a ruined one, and when it is too low, you try to pet your furred best friend's head, and you end up zapping them with bouts of static electricity. Fortunately, you don't need a sixth sense to gauge the level of humidity in your home because we have shared tips on how to do so below.
How humidity levels affect your home:
The optimum humidity level as recommended by the EPA is between 40-60%. When it goes lower or higher than the optimum, the effects are often different as highlighted below
What happens when it is too low?
When humidity is too high:
It affects your health negatively: Studies show that most bacteria, allergens, dust mites, mildew, and mold flourish in the presence of excess moisture and when your indoor atmosphere has high humidity, they thrive. When breathed in, these allergens result in health problems. For instance, molds trigger asthma attacks, constant allergies, and many other respiratory problems. Also, high humidity means that your body's cooling system must work two times harder to maintain the internal temperature. This results to dehydration, fatigue, headaches, and excessive sweating which easily triggers other skin conditions such as heat rash.
It causes structural damage to property: Apart from affecting your health, excess humidity also brings you additional repair and maintenance costs as a result of the damage it causes to your home. This occurs in different ways as shown here;
Causes the growth of mold on furniture, walls, ceilings, and even attics thereby lowering the value of the house.
Monitor indoor humidity levels
The first step to countering humidity problems is by getting accurate measurements of its level. You cannot employ other tactics when you don't know if it's higher or lower than relative. In respect to that, strategically install a hygrometer to help you monitor the levels, so you can figure out what your next step should be.
Open windows and use fans when moisture is high
When there is excessive moisture, opening windows and using fans are the cheapest and easiest ways to dehumidify your house. This is because doing so allows cold, dry air to circulate. However, opening a window may not be as effective, as the level of humidity outdoors is often higher or like moisture indoors.
Purchase a dehumidifier and a humidifier:
It's essential to note that the aspect of high or low humidity is something that you'll always have to deal with regardless of your climatic zone. This is because, during winter, the levels of humidity tend to drop and during summer they skyrocket. In respect to that, you have to find ways to cope during these different seasons. Fortunately, humidity levels can be maintained with the help of humidifier and dehumidifier in your home. So, having these two appliances gives you the option of switching one on depending on the level of moisture. For instance, when it is too high, you switch on the dehumidifier which sucks in the moisture, causing the levels to return to optimum and when it is too low, the humidifier does the trick. This combined with the tips listed above will help you keep moisture problems at bay, enabling you to live your best life when indoors.
Get your air ducts checked
Besides a dehumidifier or a humidifier, your HVAC system also helps in regulating humidity levels. However, no matter how expensive your HVAC system is, it is of no use if your air ducts have leaks. For instance, if it generates cool, dry air when humidity is high during summer, then this air escapes through the leak spots on your ducts. The same case applies during seasons of low humidity, thus rendering it ineffective. Therefore, get your ductwork checked to ensure that all leakages are sealed.
Author: Eric Langstaff
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!
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!
In the work of any Interior Designer you have clients all along the spectrum of available budgets.
You have the young couples who may be newly married involved in a first purchase of a home with a limited budget, getting their proverbial feet wet in the real estate market and trying to better themselves.
You may also have others who are at mid points in their real estate journey whom are looking to upgrade with family in mind, spaces to plan and a budget designed with a growing family.
You may have empty nesters who are in a flux looking to downsize after previously owning a larger home who need a new workable space and are involved in budgeting based on a possible retirement funds.
All these and more showcase the strong necessity to work within a defined client's budget.
One might argue that the Interior Designer might also be strongly involved in assisting the client on setting a reasonable budget that does not strain a client's potential funds and allows for the design project to be be completed and successful.
As a preface I would like to mention that in my life i have had the good fortune of a lovely father who raised me with the sincerest of business ideal, particularly that of being customer service oriented.
As a former dental corps officer in the WWII he was responsible supplying many necessary things while stationed in England.
Upon returning home to the west coast of Vancouver area he was immediately involved in sales, firstly in furniture retail then moved to real estate. This was where his strong integrity in working within the means of his clients. Later his work would bring him to starting his own Commercial Real Estate company.
This is where I gleaned a strong customer service ethic and as well as taste for modernism, mid-century aesthetic and interior design while personally spending some 20 years in the Vancouver residential and commercial real estate field. It is very client budget based.
Throughout the years and with that ethic I have found that client's budgets are a very personal thing. They are tied to various emotions depending upon their financial means. It is always a sensitive topic and needs to be dealt with in a very careful manner.
For that reason, my business model does not use pressure to have clients overextend themselves in their design. If client - designer relationship is key to a good Interior Design business, then exerting financial pressures to achieve a particular design project is not what I would consider good "customer service". In fact some may argue that it would be rude.
That in mind it would be safe to say that in the long run clients, who may not be able to afford a more pricey design, and whom have had a good experience with you as a designer, more trusting of your capability and relationship style. After all being personable and reasonable within client budgets goes a long way into creating possible repeat clients and also great referrals and even repeat business.
Here's to creating great happy design relationships one budget at a time!
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..... !!
Who has heard of the rule of thirds?
This important rule says that most designs can be made more interesting by visually dividing a wall or a photo into thirds vertically and/or horizontally; and placing our most important elements within those thirds.
If you have a fireplace on a 12' wide wall, and perhaps the fireplace is 4' wide, well, you'd place the fireplace in the centre, leaving a 4' patch of wall on each side. Thereby dividing that wall in thirds.
Another important design concept is Visual Center and Balance. Placing important elements or the focal point of the design within the visual center of a piece is another design trick. We all know the actual centre of a photo is right in the middle of the shot. But, did you know the visual center is slightly to the right of and above the actual center of the photo? This is the area that our eyes are drawn to immediately.
This "rule" originally was developed by photographers to ensure every shot looks great. Don't we as designers, or homeowners want that as well? Basically when you are composing a photograph, or a wall, imagine two vertical lines and two horizontal lines dissecting your image into nine squares as shown below.
Placing your most important elements at one or more of the four intersections of those lines, helps create interesting photos or design.
Most balanced designs (and even unbalanced ones) rely on a grid. This invisible structure helps ensure that all the elements are placed in the right location, thereby achieving balance as well as helping with continuity and consistency of design. These are design principles that help the professional designer achieve visual balance.
If you'd like more info, please visit this great site at Photographytalk.com
If you'd love to have a visually balanced room, one that is truly pleasing to the eye, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Jil Sonia McDonald - Interior Designer of Jil Sonia Interior Designs.