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!
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
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!
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.
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!
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
Hi, I'm Jil Sonia McDonald of Jil Sonia Interior Designs, I am thrilled to guest post for Maria while she is vacationing in the land of the Tuscan sun. I have been a professional interior designer for the past eight years, and I live in beautiful Chilliwack, British Columbia. My aesthetic is clean and streamlined, which I love to mix up a bit with pops of colour and lots of texture.
I am absolutely passionate about interior design, and it gives me great joy to create dream homes for my clients. I love what I do!
Please read along with me and see my answers to Maria's insightful questions.
1. What’s your favourite colour? Why?
I have to say my favourite colour is Simply White OC-117 by Benjamin Moore.
It is THE perfect white for walls. Not too creamy, not too gray, not too pinky. Using it allows me to change up my accessories with clients, and even at home, whenever the mood hits me. (As other designers will tell you, we love updating our own home and work spaces.)
When using white walls, we have to add texture to the room, such as this lovely distressed wood coffee table or this rattan end table. When we use all flat, smooth, finishes, white paint can look like primer – definitely not what we want.
2. What was your biggest colour/design mistake?
I work with a 15 Step Design System that doesn't leave room for mistakes, but sometimes it’s the little things that really make a room. I once decorated a client’s home, and it turned out beautifully. The client was thrilled, but the home didn’t have anything with 'meaning' in it.
Now, I always try to add something that is personal to a client, such as a great, great grandmother’s silver cutlery (below). Our client had these beautiful heritage pieces , and now they are a wonderful conversation point – brilliant idea!
3. What is the most important colour lesson you’ve learned?
When I started out as a designer, I had no idea about undertones in colour selection. I thought a beige was a beige. Maria’s training program taught me that there are many undertones of beige – pink, yellow, and green, to name just a few! She taught me to compare colours so that we, as designers, know exactly how to give our clients, or ourselves, the PERFECT colour. I cannot recommend this course highly enough. Such a great professional development experience that you can add to your role as an interior designer.
4. When it comes to colour, what’s hot?
Gray is still hot – but I see white taking over more and more! Clients are all asking me for light and bright. White walls with pops of coloured pillows, throws, and accent trays, as pictured below. I just love it!
5. Which colour do you think is timeless?
I think a grayed blue is timeless. I strongly recommend you use a very grayed blue --- so grey looking that on the paint sample chip itself, it looks gray, not blue! Colour appears twice as bright on your walls as on the chip, so we always need to select muted gray blues unless we want in-your-face baby boy blue. One of my favourite grays with a slight blue undertone is Stonington Gray HC-170.
6. Which colour trend would you love to see disappear?
If I had a magic wand, I’d banish the world of pinky beige carpet. I’ve discussed this with carpet manufacturers – they were blissfully unaware! Pink beige can clash with so many other colours, especially yellow!
It’s one of those non-descript, all-pervasive colours that doesn’t give us the fresh, bright effect we’re all yearning for today. Often, builders who don’t hire professional designers think it’s a neutral colour, but it’s far from that!
Here, a client’s dog, Bella, shows off her timeless medium brown flooring – isn’t that much lovelier than pinky beige carpet?
5. What do you think is one of the biggest mistakes homeowners make with colour?
The biggest mistake homeowners make on their own is trying to select a paint colour first. Really, we should be first selecting our hard finishes, and in the following order: countertops and tiles, flooring, furniture, draperies, pillows. Paint comes last.
We have thousands of paint colours to select from. It is absolutely vital that homeowners choose wisely, with the help of a great interior designer. Paint colours should be a beautiful backdrop for the other items we have selected, unless the paint finish is a beautiful metallic or lacquered finish.
Here, we've added a darker, grayed blue table, which just pops against the Simply White walls.
6. Which part of participating in Specify Colour with Confidence™ created the biggest breakthrough/aha moment/insight for your business, and how did it help you move forward?
I realized just how important it is to compare colours. It is almost impossible to determine the undertones unless you compare samples side by side, with a pure white background behind them. A simple piece of white poster board is such a great tool to have on hand when choosing colour.
Now, I meet all my clients with absolute confidence. I know that I will help them choose the most amazing paint colours, fabrics, tiling, and more, making their home perfect!
For more great tips, interior design insight, or to see more photos of my work, please head over to my blog at www.JilSoniaInteriors.com/blog. I’d love to see you there!
Maria, thank you for this exciting and amazing opportunity to guest blog. I'm eternally grateful for all the colour instruction that I've received from you. I've just not found this instruction anywhere else!
We've been designing kitchens for years and our clients love us! Light and bright kitchens, that are functional and practical; rule today. However when we arrive home at night, we encounter our own drab and dreary kitchen. The designer who created this kitchen had unknowingly, selected competing undertones - orange floor, burgundy cabinets, black and PINK countertops and Tuscan gold backsplash. This is definitely not my style and I think it's time for a change! Don't you?
I know - it's bad, right? When designing kitchens for our clients, we start with choosing 2 items first. The counter top and the kitchen sink!
As I use Caesarstone almost exclusively (they have the best range of colours and patterns of quartz - in my opinion), I knew which counter top I wanted almost immediately. Frosty Carrina!
It's a warm white, with subtle flecks and veining of light warm gray. Giving almost a marble look, but without the hassle, upkeep, staining and etching of real marble. Their quartz has antibacterial properties meaning there is no need to seal the counters - eliminating the maintenance that is needed every few years.
Have a look at all the beautiful options from Caesarstone here!
The next item I choose is the Kitchen sink. Of course the size is dictated by any existing cabinetry, if you are starting from scratch, the world's your Oyster. A favourite manufacture of mine is Blanco. They sell amazing sinks of all different shapes and sizes. Silgranit, Stainless steel, FireClay and more! Here's a cheat sheet on the great points.
Apron sink - who doesn't love apron sinks?
Centre drain location
3 1/2'' (90mm) stainless steel strainer included
Stay tuned! Sneak peek photos coming up - we've just installed the gorgeous Caesarstone counter top and we are absolutely thrilled with it!
Stay tuned for more updates and tips and tricks!
Please click through to follow the link to my posting. I hope you enjoy!
Jil Sonia Interior's post.
I've never been so impressed with a blog article, that I've contacted the author, and asked for his authorization, so that I can post that article in my blog before. I've found this posting so insightful and specific, that I've asked Matt Astrella from Alglo Engineering, if I could re-post his blog. He said yes, and I truly hope that you find it as helpful as I have.
(Alglo Engineering has also come up with an unique tool that can help all interior designers, stay tuned to hear more about this new tool, below!)
What Is Color Temperature?
Color temperature is mostly a measurement of the amount of yellow or blue white a light is comprised of and is measured in degrees Kelvin (K). The term ‘temperature’ is used because designers often describe how warm or cool light appears, the more orange and yellow light is the warmer and the more white and blue, the cooler.
How Is Color Temperature Measured?
Color temperature is measured by a unit called the Kelvin (K). The Kelvin thermodynamic temperature scale is defined so that absolute zero is 0 kelvins (K). The measurement of color temperature follows similarly the color changes a piece of metal would experience as heat is applied to it. At first, the metal would glow a deep orange-red and then become more yellow-white and finally move to the blue spectrum. The lower numbers on the light temperature scale (2700K is usually the base) contain a more yellow-orange color, the middle of the scale are white and the top of the scale (often ends at 6500K) you get very bright white to blue color.
How Do I Choose Which Temperature to Use?
The color temperature you want to use to illuminate your room depends mostly on the mood you are looking to create. If you are using warm furniture colors such as rich dark woods, reds in oriental rugs, and wall paint, 2700K to 3000K bulbs will bring out those colors more. For rooms with light woods, whites, grays, and blues, and lighter wall colors such as lighter shades of purple and blue the 3500K and even up to 5000K bulbs will compliment best.
Interior designers can swap out light bulbs or use an LED Design Kit to show how different materials will look under the different temperatures.
Another tip is to base it on what the dwellers are using the room for. For example, many people will find a formal dining room more appealing with warmer light, while for a large, open-plan office neutral to cool white light is the better choice. Offices often use 5000K fluorescent lighting that creates a cool white light that has been said to keep people alert and awake.
It can also be aligned with how much natural light the room gets and whether you want to keep that same feeling through dusk and into the night or if you want to switch it up come dark. A room in full sunlight during the middle of the day will be a bright, blue white (around 5500K) while horizontal daylight is near 5000K, daylight on an overcast day is more blue (6500K), and during sunrise and sunset you get extremely warm light close to 1800K.
What Products Fall Into The Different Temperature Ranges?
You can purchase LED products in any temperature between 2700K and 6500K. Solid State Lighting makes it easy to adjust color with dyes.
Metal Hallide and Fluorescent products can also be found in different ranges across the spectrum.
Editor's note: Please click on this link, to see the Interior Designer's Light kit, that helps show how different lighting can widely change the colours of the item. I can imagine this tool being helpful when out at various showrooms, you could bring the light tool with you, take the item aside, then shine the light on the item, to show how it looks with the client's own lighting. Saving many costly mistakes.
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!
Being an interior designer, my home and surroundings highly affect how I feel. I have a beautiful new home, but as I did not select the finishes; they are not what I would have chosen . At all.
I have conflicting undertones everywhere and dated finishes, even though the house is just 7 years old.
What's bothered me the most is my hardwood flooring. It's orange, VERY orange, red oak solid hardwood. (And burgundy cabinets, and gold backspash, and black and PINK granite - but that's another story!)
I've decided to bite the bullet and take you on this journey with me. Pardon the dust!
1. First step is to hire someone you trust. I have a brilliant contractor who doesn't specialize in flooring, but he's done great jobs refinishing my client's floors. I trust him.
2. Determine the amount of time this will take, I budgeted 3 weeks, but I'd suggest longer.
3. Determine where you are going to live, whilst your floors are going to be sanded. We live in a large home, so we decided to take over the basement. BUT, the kitchen is among the rooms being sanded, so that will be out of commission for a while. We moved the toaster, Microwave, blender and paper plates and cups downstairs. The fridge ended up on the deck, along with the stove and dishwasher. We've had a very mild winter, so it wasn't a problem to plug in the fridge outside.
4. Next we put poly plastic sheets over everything, the cabinets, counters, railings, fireplace, lighting, stairwell, and entrance to the foyer.
5. My contractor started with a 100 grit sander, and worked about 6 hours and finished a spot only 10 ft x 4 ft. It seems every flooring finish is different, and this finish was EXTREMELY DIFFICULT to remove. To make a long story short, we ended up going with a drum roller with 36 grit paper. And the dust started to fly! We also found out the guest bed was very uncomfortable. Karma I guess.
It took him 4 days to remove 600 sq. ft of finishing and get the wood down to bare wood. We selected the perfect stain colour - not too dark, no red and NO ORANGE undertones. Varathane wood stain in Espresso We applied it, looked great, did the second coat the next day, then were told to wait 24 hours, but waited 72 hours and applied the top coat. Everything looked good, so after 2 days we applied the second top coat and left it to dry overnight.
The next morning the flooring looked good but a little different. That night I noticed white patches appearing on top of certain boards. We left it another day and yup... it looked worse.
I went on every online site, talked to all sorts of professionals that I could find, to research the cause of these random white patches. It looked like someone had poured milk on the wood and let it dry, leaving a dry powdery white coating on about 25% of the boards. No one knew what to do so we....... resanded the whole bloody thing again!
4 more days of sanding - and dust. Aggh...
We vacuumed the walls, windows, floors and everything else again - and started all over....
To be continued in Part 2 of 3 refinishing your Red Oak hardwood floor.
I am happy to announce, my 12 page spread (6 double pages) in the Prestigious Canadian Home Trends Magazine....... Yippee!
I was over the moon happy to receive a letter from Canadian Home Trends magazine, mentioning that they saw my profile on Houzz and that they'd love to feature me in their Spring 2014 print and online magazine!
This prestigious magazine is the most helpful and innovative magazine I've ever seen. If you subscribe to their online magazine (which offers 168 pages!), you will see they've added special effects to the photos - such as the fireplace has a crackling sound, the photos change from the before to after right in front of your eyes. Amazing! Otherwise their print magazine is gorgeous as well. Who doesn't like to curl up with a nice glass of wine and a great magazine?
My client, was an absolute dream to work with. She completely trusted me to lead the way to make her dreams a reality.
Here's a photo of her kitchen before...
...and below, the after. We removed 2 and a 1/2 walls to open up this floor plan and allow more light to spread through the home. I simply can't believe the difference.
I always, always, always start with my counter top selection. My go to source is Caesarstone, they have such a lovely, well priced selection. We selected this gorgeous white and gray mixed engineered quartz, called London Gray. This was the inspiration for the whole kitchen renovation.
Our Client is an avid cook and I wanted to create a beautiful kitchen where she could work away to her hearts content - yet be able to clean up easily and quickly.
One of my favorite things about this magazine, is that the interview questions were very detailed, it took me three hours to fill out the forms as I wanted to share everything, I find people are so interested in tips and tricks to make their own home more beautiful.
I made a special point of mentioning and thanking my suppliers whom did an amazing job! One of the top reasons client's hire me, is that I know the best suppliers and tradespeople to work with. I'd like to make special mention to Warline Painting and Julie Bolton (window treatments) for their attention to detail and professional work. To top it all off, I loved the stunning Robert Allen fabric that I used. It helped tie the whole room together!
Thanks so much for allowing me to share this exciting post. I don't know of too many interior designers who get a 12 page spread and I'm truly grateful!
Jil Sonia McDonald - Interior Designer of Jil Sonia Interior Designs.