What is a drop zone in a house and do you need one? Learn what's usually in an effective drop zone.
I was honored to be quoted by Marianne Hayes, in Ownerly, an amazing online magazine with lots of tips and tricks for homeowners. I've cut and pasted the article here, but this is where you go to see the original article.
"We probably all agree that having a clutter-free home is a good thing. It’s nice to keep things organized, but everyday life can make that tricky. If your entryway is littered with shoes, backpacks, mail and the like, a drop zone might be just what you need. What is a drop zone in a house? It’s exactly what it sounds like—a space to neatly drop your stuff when you walk into your home.
A well-designed drop zone carves out a spot for everything you unload when you come through the door. It’s also meant to be aesthetically pleasing to blend with your interior design style. A drop zone is a simple way to tidy up your space, but it can easily become a mess if you don’t have a good system. Here’s what you need to know.
Drop zone in a house: What is it?
Drop zones are dedicated areas of your home that are either in or near your first point of entry into your home,” said Jil Sonia McDonald of Jil Sonia Interior Designs. “Imagine yourself laden with grocery bags, your mail, keys, lunch kits, sunglasses and your purse. You want to ‘drop’ everything on the floor when you arrive home. That’s your drop zone.”
Instead of dumping these things on the floor or your kitchen counter, they’ll have a designated spot that keeps your home free of clutter. Think of it as a catch-all for sports equipment, shoes or anything else your family routinely enters your home with. A drop zone can also help prevent essential items from getting lost in the shuffle.
“When choosing a location for your drop zone, consider a high-traffic area such as the entryway or mudroom,” said Jen Stark, the founder of Happy DIY Home. “This will help ensure you don’t forget items as you head out the door.”
Drop zone ideas
Focus on a busy walk-through area of your home, ideally near the most used entryway.
“Do you live in an apartment and enter through your front door? Or do you have a home where you enter through the garage?” asks McDonald. “Try placing your drop zone to the closest area upon entry.”
McDonald suggested a low dresser or console table that’s deliberately left empty and clear if you use your front door the most. You can drop everything on that flat surface if you walk in with your hands full.
“It’s a great idea to have your permanent storage right near that console table,” McDonald said. “Often my clients use the back of their hall closet equipped with baskets and hooks on the back of the door so that you can easily hang up a light coat or sweater, and there is a place for your keys, mail and purse.”
The most important part of a drop zone is having a clean, horizontal surface that’s big enough for you to unload when your hands are full. McDonald uses a low bookcase unit. She has a plastic container in one of the cubbies for her receipts, a small bowl for her keys and loose change, another bowl for her sunglasses and a space for outdoor shoes. Above the unit are hooks to temporarily leave kids’ backpacks, jackets or umbrellas.
“Baskets are also a great place to drop things,” McDonald said. “They keep things contained until you have time to place them away neatly. In a pinch, a bench seat with a basket underneath and hooks above can be a lifesaver.”
Keeping a drop zone organized
According to Stark, a well-designed drop zone should be both functional and stylish, providing a place to store your belongings while also adding to the overall aesthetic of your home. Above all, the goal is to keep this area organized and tidy—otherwise, it defeats the purpose. If you’re tight on space, you still have options.
“A narrow console table with baskets or bins underneath is a great way to add storage without taking up too much space,” Stark said. “Wall-mounted hooks are another option for small spaces for hanging coats, hats, bags and more.”
For a more substantial drop zone, look for pieces with plenty of storage, such as benches with built-in cubbies or hooks. Just be sure there’s enough space for everyone in your family to use the area comfortably.
“Label storage containers and baskets so everyone can easily find what they’re looking for, and consider using dividers or trays to keep things like keys and mail sorted,” Stark said. “If you have young children, be sure to choose storage containers that are durable and easy for them to use.”
From there, don’t be afraid to add some personal touches to your drop zone. This can include family photos or a fun doormat to make the space your own. Just remember that drop zones aren’t designed for permanent storage.
“It is simply a holding area that you can temporarily use to place items while entering the home,” McDonald said. “At the end of the night, it’s a good idea to put your shoes and coat away so that it is clean and available for the next day.”
Drop zone alternatives
There are a few reasons you might prefer an alternative to a drop zone. Maybe you prefer to keep your entryway clear and open. In any case, here are some solutions that might work for you:
Create a mudroom
A mudroom is an area of your home that’s specifically for removing dirty boots, muddy shoes and wet clothing. You might carve out space for one in your laundry room and add extra organizational systems for backpacks, keys, dog leashes, etc.
Convert a flex room
A flex room is typically a small space that may or may not be a separate room. It’s essentially a nook that you can convert into something like a home office or workout space. It might also make an ideal drop zone.
Use your garage
For those who enter their home through their garage, McDonald recommended setting up a landing pad right beside the door inside the garage. You can place hooks inside the garage wall for your coats and sweaters and set up shoe storage there.
Do you need a drop zone?
It really depends on your lifestyle. If you’re frustrated by constant clutter in your home and are looking for ways to get organized, a drop zone could be a great solution especially if your entryway has become an unloading zone for your family’s stuff.
A drop zone might also increase your home value. Every home and local market is different, so it’s best to consult an experienced real estate agent who understands what buyers in your area are looking for. Setting up a drop zone is inexpensive, so there isn’t much to lose. To appeal to future buyers, you might consider installing shelving units, a built-in bench or lockers for family members to keep their things. When you’re ready to sell, these formal touches could be attractive to buyers.
A drop zone is a simple DIY project that can help keep your home more organized. You can also dial it up a bit by installing fixtures that add to your home’s functionality and style. In the end, it could even increase your home value. " by Marianne Hayes
Let me know if you need help creating a drop zone in your home!
Jil's Inky Blue Living room
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!
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.
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!
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!
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!
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..... !!
Interior Design Gift Certificates
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 email@example.com
Can you predict the future? We think we can! We’ve looked at recent trends, at popular searches and more to come up with these bedroom design trends for 2018. Looking to update your bedroom this year? Try implementing some of these ideas for a comfy, trendy bedroom you will love.
For years, consumers have looked online for inspiration when it comes to their bedroom decor. As more and more furniture and mattress companies become online-only, we predict that consumers will begin to search there for actual pieces, rather than just for ideas.
When people find something that’s perfect, they tend to buy it, no matter the method of purchase. If they see the same mattress or piece of furniture recommended over and over again, they’ll be ready to buy when they find it online. This is especially true now that many sites are policing their reviews to make sure they’re coming from actual customers. When buyers know they can trust what they’re hearing, they’ll buy online more and more often.
Cooler Color Palettes
Many of the bedrooms featured in popular magazines, on TV, and in the movies demonstrate the extensive use of whites, grays, and light blues. All of these combine to form a cooler color palette for the bedroom than we’ve seen.
These colors go well with the minimalist look. If that appeals to you, this may be a trend you want to follow. Painting your walls is one easy way to change the tone of your room, but you can make your existing palette cooler by adding drapes, blankets, a bedspread, and more in your chosen cool colors.
A Relaxing Backdrop
We predict that empty minimalist walls are slowly going the way of the dinosaur. Not completely, of course! However, more and more featured bedrooms have one or two walls given over to some sort of nature scene. These can be painted on, printed on fabric and then hung, or brought in in the form of vinyl wall decals. No matter the method, bringing the outdoors into the bedroom is becoming more and more popular.
Four Poster Beds
These have been in the magazines and on popular blogs for a while now, but many people have been unable or unwilling to implement them because they take up a lot of space. They also make a room look smaller. With so many people buying brand new homes, though, we predict that they will make sure their bedroom has plenty of space for the beds they’ve loved for so long.
Four poster bed frames are also changing. They used to be heavy and awkward, but now are becoming lighter and minimalist. In their new form, they don’t seem to take up as much space as they used to, making them more practical for the folks who have always loved them.
If any of these trends appeal to you, implement them soon to beat the rush. Be the trendsetter among your group of friends, not the follower!
Myra Campbell is a researcher for the sleep science and health organization Tuck.com. Her passion for art and design brought her into the field. She began by researching how to create a relaxing bedroom and learned that great design can help improve our health and well-being. Myra lives in southern California and shares her queen-sized bed with two rescue dogs.
Kitchen cabinets - Just how strong do they need to be? MDF, Plywood or Melamine?
New kitchen cabinets are a wonderful thing. But do you know just how strong they need to be?
When ensuring your cabinets are sturdy and top notch, here are some tests that show how cabinets are tested. I researched and found such useful information on the ANSI/KCMA website. (Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturer Association) These tests are meant to verify the structural integrity and strength of cabinets.
We design gorgeous kitchens! Feel free to contact us below:
How to know which size bathroom fan to purchase for your main bathroom, powder room or ensuite bathroom.
How many CFM do I need for my bathroom fan?
Wondering how to calculate which size of fan you need for your bathroom? For a bathroom with a tub or shower, here's the magic ratio!
Calculate the volume of your bathroom:
Height of the room x length of room x width of the room = total volume.
ie. 8' high x 10' long x 6' wide room = 480 cubic feet.
Now divide the cubic feet by 7.5
480 divided by 7.5 = 64 cfm fan size. Or select the closest available fan size, when in between sizes, always select the higher CFM fan. Meaning, if there is a 50 CFM fan and a 75 CFM fan, select the 75 CFM fan.
There you go!
Comparing different types of Caulking and Sealants. What your interior designer and contractors, need to know.
I received a great email from Mehran from ATEC Building Envelope Consulting Inc. and I just had to share the great information.
From time to time builders or homeowners ask me what type of Caulking and sealant materials they should use. The following list provides some guidelines.
A wide variety of caulking material is available, each suited to certain applications.
They tend to be high VOC emitters; therefore, builders need to be aware of possible indoor air quality problems that can result from the use of a particular sealant , especially in housing for chemically sensitive people:
Please do not hesitate to contact Mehran Saraie, EIT, AScT if you need further information or if you have any questions. firstname.lastname@example.org
My wonderful interior design client in Fort Langley, wondered if we should use Plywood, MDF or Melamine boxes for her kitchen cabinets. She had heard Plywood was stronger than Melamine or MDF. Is it? Here's the inside scoop with help from cabinet supplier Shari from Century Cabinets:
Plywood: Plywood boxes have a finish on them, but if oil or food spills, it will get into the finish; causing rings and we can't refinish them. Therefore, if you want to use plywood, it is best to use a shelf liner to protect the finish. Wood will take on odors that melamine will not.
Any cabinet that is wider than 36" should not be used for heavy dishes as the shelves may sag over time, this applies to plywood as well as melamine. Plywood is lighter than both MDF and melamine, and the installers like it, however, plywood has more of a tendency to warp. Plywood may last a bit longer than melamine if it gets wet, but not much. It will rot if it is constantly wet. Plywood is an upcharge as well, because good quality cabinet makers don't use Chinese plywood.
Melamine: Melamine is more economical and easier to look after for the kitchen and bathroom cabinet boxes and shelves. Melamine cabinets are made of a good quality fiberboard with a hard melamine surface that is waterproof and therefore will clean up with soap and water, and stains can be cleaned with Clorox wipes. They are the most durable surface and don't require shelf paper. They also do not tend to hold odors from foods or spices, and they are the most cost effective choice.
MDF: (Medium Density Fiberboard). MDF is a dense fiberboard and very heavy, in fact, too heavy for cabinet boxes. MDF doors cost as much as Maple framed doors and they are heavier than Maple doors. Cabinets are not made of MDF because of its heavy weight. Most slab doors are made of MDF and have some veneer or laminate on the surface. Shaker MDF is a choice that allows for the shape of the shaker door without joints which crack when painted on a wood frame door.
The most expensive dining room table from Italy will often be made of MDF and have a beautiful veneer applied to it. MDF is very dense and it is what a slab door is made of with a veneer applied to it. MDF does not warp like solid wood does. This allows the table to open cleanly without sticking.
Many people have been convinced that wood is the only material to build from. This is just marketing hype. Wood has many great qualities but it also has downsides. It is worth learning about materials as they all have good sides for certain applications and they all have downsides too. Think of how old antique cabinets have squeaky doors and drawers that stick. That is because wood warps. :)
Hope this helps you make the decision between Plywood, MDF and Melamine kitchen and bathroom cabinet boxes and doors.
Check out this post featured here: http://topreveal.com/diy-kitchen-cabinet-shelf-ideas
Recessed lighting spacing - How many recessed lights do I need? How far apart do I place my lights?
Good lighting placement is key for any space, especially so for recessed lighting - (we call them pot lights in Canada - no not those sort of lights!). I've written this handy post to show you how it's done!
(We'll talk about bathroom lighting in another post!).
Note: Lumens measure the total light sent out by the light bulb.
Watts measure the amount of power used by the bulb.
So watts do not tell you how bright the bulb is - but Lumens do.
However, since we are all use to discussing wattage, often people use 'wattage' as their term denoting the brightness of a bulb, rather than 'lumens'. For this article we'll use the term "wattage" as most people are more familiar with that term.
Recessed lighting layout:
Part A: How many pot lights do I need?
Formula: total sq. footage x 1.5 = total wattage needed. Total wattage divided by 60 watts (or whichever wattage you select) = total amount of recessed can lights.
Example: 240 square foot room x 1.5 = 360 divided by 60 (the bulb wattage I'd like to use) = 6 recessed lights needed.
Part B: Draw up a ceiling diagram (reflected ceiling plan) showing the amount of lights you need (Part A formula). The cans / pots / recessed lights should be evenly distributed around the room, usually they are in rows with an equal number of cans in each row. Here's a great example, the yellow dots show the recessed lights, the red dots show the pendant lights:
Now we will calculate the spacing between each light.
Part C: Light spacing in a row:
Part D: Task Lighting Layout:
Task lighting is extra lighting used to highlight spaces where you need either extra light, or specialized lighting.
You may want to add under cabinet lighting, or pendant lights over the island to bring the lighting closer to the work area.
How to calculate the distance and spacing for task lighting:
Step 1: Determine the distance from the ceiling down to the surface you wish to light, i.e.. the floor or a countertop.
Step 2: Divide this distance by 4 to obtain the distance from the wall to the first light unit. I.e.. 8' ceiling lights should be placed two feet away from the wall.
Part E: Wall washers recessed lighting layout: (lighting that shines down onto a wall in order to highlight art or a wall feature)
Step 1: The rule for installing wall wash recessed fixtures is approx. 1.5' to 3' away from the wall.
Step 2: Fixed lights can be placed closer to the wall.
Step 3: Place adjustable lights farther away from the wall. The optimal aiming angle to minimize glare is 30-degrees from the ceiling, that way we avoid glare.
Step 4: Space wall wash fixtures the same distance from each other.
Step 5: A good rule of thumb is that your accent lighting should be 3 times brighter than the ambient light in the room.
Part F: Beam Spread
There are generally 2 types of recessed lights - Spot lights and Flood lights.
Spot lights have a narrow beam of light casting light to a focused area, usually these are used to highlighting art or important design elements in the room. They cast beams 45 degrees or less.
Flood lights case a wider beam on the floor area and are used for lighting larger, more general areas. They cast beams up to 120 degrees.
Lighting Beam calculation: Angle of beam x 0.18 x ceiling height = Beam spread in inches.
Example: 60 degrees x 0.18 x 10' ceiling height = 108" divided by 12 = 9' wide beam spread.
To create overlapping beams of light for ambience, make sure that your beam spread diameter is equal to or greater than the distance between light sources fixtures.
Recessed lighting installation:
Now that the recessed lighting placement locations are determined, we need to find out if they can be installed in these locations. Use a stud finder to determine where the ceiling joist are located. You might have to adjust placement locations to avoid hitting a ceiling joist. It's always best to pre plan the lighting design before your renovation or new build.
Please remember to contact your electrician before making any electrical decisions.
You also may enjoy this other article:
15 Steps to Build your Dream Home
The perfect White Paint Colour for your home! Interior Designers top paint pick!
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.
What is Color Temperature?
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.
Mid Century Living Room
Did you hear? The 60s inspired TV series Mad Men, is in it's final season. Bad news for this wildly popular show, I know.
But to hold us over just a little longer, I created an interior design mood board based on my personal favourite style - Mid Century Modern. This MCM style, features clean lines, attention to subtle detail, simple forms; with a nod to entertaining. Here's a photo of Roger Sterling's Office below.
When choosing my inspiration furniture, I went to the ever popular furniture online store called Charish. This store accepts furniture from all over the continental USA, posts great photos of the pieces, then offers them for sale. They take great care to only sell amazing furniture.
I especially love the great search options. You can search by Style, Colour, Price point, Category, Location etc. Which makes selecting the perfect item a breeze! Have a look at what I have created.
All items from Charish.
If you want to check out their direct link to their MCM furniture please click here, I promise you'll love it!
Thanks for indulging my zest for Mid-Century modern design!
There are an amazing amount of beautiful range hoods available now. Glass, steel and custom wood are all options. But, you need to know the SIZE of range hood you need, not necessarily the dimensions (for this topic), but the amount of CFM (cubic feet per minute) needed for your hood. Here's the rule of thumb, remember to double check with your contractor and local building code.
First you need to select your stove, or cook top. Then you need 100 CFM for every 12" of stove width.
For example a 30" stove (2.5') x 100 CFM= Approx. 250 CFM needed, as a minimum.
But we can't just stop there...
We need to keep the room size in mind. Larger rooms need more CFM to clear the cooking odors away.
A range hood should exchange the air in the kitchen 15 x per hour.
Here's a helpful example. If your kitchen is 12' x 15' and 10' high, that equals 1,800 cubic feet. To find the size of fan needed, multiply the cubic feet x the # of air exchanges (15) then divide by 60 (minutes in an hour).
In our example that would be: 1,800 x 15 = 27,000 divided by 60 = 450. You need 450 CFM minimum for this size of kitchen.
Are we finished? Not yet. Gas ranges deliver a lot more heat than electric ranges. So we need to take this into consideration. Most gas burners put out approx. 10,000 BTUs per burner. Multiply that by the number of burners, 5 shown here = 50,000 BTU Then divide by 100 to find the minimum CFMs needed. In this case 500 CFM.
Now we still aren't quite finished. What about the size of the duct work, number of turns, etc.? Most HVAC suppliers recommend smooth 8" metal pipe. Add 1 CFM per foot of pipe and add 25 CFM for each bend and 40 CFM for the roof cap. Let's estimate this example as being 100 CFM needed.
Now, we ARE finished. Take the rating for the stove width (250 CFM in our example), room size (450 CFM minimum), burner type (500 CFM minimum). The highest number is 500, then add your ductwork CFM calculations (100) and you would need a total of 600 CFM for this range size, kitchen size, range burner and ductwork.
Please remember to double check if you need a licensed mechanical contractor to install a make up damper to switch on simultaneously with the kitchen range hood to bring in fresh air to prevent a negative pressure in the home. There are many varying factors at play - location of your home, gas or electric range, differing building codes, etc. In BC, Canada our municipality states: makeup air is only required if the displacement of air exceeds .5 air changes per hour and is used with a fueled appliance (i.e. gas stove).
I hope this helps. Be sure to always discuss this with your contractor HVAC installers and appliance providers.
Check out our 15 Steps to designing your Dream Home below.
Also you might like our popular post on: Recessed Lighting Spacing:
How many recessed lights do I need? How far apart do I place my lights?
Click below to read the article
Any other Design questions, just let me know, we offer Paint selection advice, one room Interior Design and Whole Home Interior Design
Thanks for stopping in!
Jil Sonia McDonald - Interior Designer of Jil Sonia Interior Designs.
Design Links Bloggers I follow:
Kimberley Seldon Design
Linda Holt Interiors
Ina Goetz Photography