It can be challenging to determine the 'wattage' of LED lights. When incandescent light bulbs dominated the lighting market, it was easy to tell how 'bright' a bulb would be.
When using LED Lighting, we use the term lumens which is the power or strength of the light. A Lumen (lm) is the International Standard unit that shows the total amount of visible light emitted from a source. Like Watts, Lumens are a standard measurement within the lighting industry and can be found on the box of most light bulbs.
The next time you purchase a light bulb, remember to look for both Wattage & Lumens. Watts show the amount of power used & lumens show the brigthness of a bulb. The best combo to look for is:
LOW WATT & HIGH LUMENS = BRIGHT, ENERGY SAVING BULBS.
We understand it's tough if you are switching out from Incandescent light bulbs to LED light bulbs, we need to know the comparable light values.
Here's a quick and easy chart to get you started!
Need to know how to space your recessed lighting & how many recessed lights do you need?
Be sure to check out my most popular blog post.
We provide a simple formula to help you layout your recessed lighting!
Here on the West Coast of BC, Canada, we have had a very wet, cold Spring, but now that Summer is here - let's revamp our homes for the bright, sunshiny look of Summer. Here are 10 tips that allow you to spruce up your home for the toasty Summer months.
5. Paint. White or off-white walls have predominated the interior design scene for the last five years. Believe it or not trends are coming around to the warmer tones. Try a darker cream or light beige to add this latest trend into your décor.
6. Accessories. Lightweight Wicker baskets in natural tones add a light and airy feeling to your room.
7. Wallpaper: Have you tried the new peel and stick wallpaper? Once you get your plumb line set it's a fairly easy way to add a accent wall in your home. Try a soothing Lake mural or a floral look. You can even purchase large flower graphics that peel and stick on to the walls for a fun look.
8. Entry. Why not add a fresh bold colour to your entry area? Make a great first impression! Even one wall in a bright, fun colour will add a fun look to your foyer. Try coral or even a light green to introduce a happy Summer look into your home for 2022. Ensure that the colour that you choose is repeated elsewhere in the other rooms in your home, so it doesn't look out of place.
9. Window treatments. Either add or replace your existing curtains with breezy white linen draperies on either side of your window. Ensure you place the window treatments as close to the ceiling as possible to visually extend the height of the ceiling.
10.Fragrance: Try a citrus or floral scented candle. The light scent will drift throughout the home, and you’ll be amazed how fresh your whole home feels.
Let me know if you need help updating your home, I'd be happy to help!
How to calculate the distance & spacing for Task lighting
You hear about the different types of lighting. Recessed lighting, Ambient lighting & Accent lighting, but what is Task lighting?
In a nutshell, task lighting is extra lighting used to highlight spaces where you need either extra light, or specialized lighting.
You may want to add:
If you are using an articulating wall sconce for reading, like this brass beauty above, place the fixture approximately 60" off the ground, so that the light (not the base area that attaches to the wall), is in the perfect position for reading. Of course this varies depending upon the structure of the light, height of the bed, how far down it moves etc.
Office lamps are probably the most popular form of task lighting as they can be moved around easily.
Under cabinet lighting is the most important type of task lighting in my opinion, place them 8-10" from the back of the wall, under your 12" upper cabinets in the kitchen or elsewhere. These ones are from Amazon, note they are 4,000K, which tends to be blue-ish in colour. I recommend going with 3,000K for a soft white that is bright, but not glaring. Read more about colour temperature.
Where to position your pendant lights over your kitchen island?
Pendant lights can be so very important over your kitchen island. I suggest placing them 36-40" above the island, this may vary a little depending upon your height & the height of the room. Here's a good rule of thumb:
For spacing 2 pendant lights, measure your island's width, divide that by 4. That number is how far from the end of the island you should place your pendant light.
i.e. 8' wide island divided by 4 = 2. Place the center of each light 2' from each edge, this provides a 4' space, in between the lights, and works well for most standard pendant lights.
Have recessed lighting questions? Have a look at our popular blog Recessed lighting spacing - How many recessed lights do I need? How far apart do I place my lights?
Creating a perfect home design is one of the essential contributing factors to modern homes. Besides the fact that it helps to improve general appearance, it also increases the value and creates a soothing atmosphere.
Interestingly, creating a perfect home design is not as tedious as many assume.
Do you want to create a new design or remodel your home design? Are you keen on giving your interiors a facelift without breaking the bank? You are in the right corner! This guide offers a list of essential décor items that will help to improve and remodel your home design.
1. Wall Art Paintings
Wall art paintings and photo prints are essential décor items that should be present in any modern home design. Paintings are one of the oldest means of creating fantastic home designs, and these paintings play vital roles in creating harmonious color flow and adding completeness to your décor flow. Also, they help to create focal points, improve texture, and add aesthetic value to your space.
Depending on your preferences, there are several types of wall art paintings you can explore for your home designs. It is best to consider primary factors such as theme, color, size, and design. You can choose flexible options such as butterfly wall art paintings with beautiful color mixes that will fit into any space. Alternatively, you can opt for personalized paintings specific to your design theme.
2. Colorful Area Rugs
Area rugs are essential décor items that can add more value to your space than you imagine. This décor item adds colors, creates a warm atmosphere, and offers a soft comfort under your feet. It is also one of the ways to complement your wall décor, improve texture, and personalize your space.
Area rugs make significant contributions to your home design color; hence, it is best to opt for one that flows with other décor items in your space. These rugs are available in infinite patterns, textures, colors, and styles. Feel free to choose one that best suit your needs, design, theme, and preference.
3. Add Touch of Nature with Plants
Do you wish to have a feel of nature in your space? Explore the various options of natural plants suitable for indoor decorations. Adding natural plants will improve the appearance of your home design, and it will also act as a natural air purifier. These plants can absorb oxidants often emitted by paints and some furniture.
You can enhance the quality of the natural plant by using decorative plant beds and flower pots. You can explore any of the several indoor plants available. However, it is best to remember that using natural plants requires proper monitoring, nurturing, and maintenance.
Light is another important décor item that must be included in any modern home design. Using suitable lights in your interior design helps you create cozy spots and add depth to your design. It also enhances relaxation, creates a personalized atmosphere, improves mood, and adds dimension to your space.
Consider exploring multiple colored LED lights for enhanced flexibility. Other types of lights, such as decorative chandeliers, floor lights, pendants, and lamps, will also contribute to the decoration of your home. Also importantly, don’t forget to create room for natural lights while fixing your home design.
The functionalities of mirrors in your space are not limited to admiring yourself each time you pass by. It is an essential décor item for adding brightness to your space, enhancing dimension, and creating beautiful reflections. Mirrors are also a great way to make small spaces appear bigger.
Getting the best out of mirrors in a home design deals with strategic placement, size, and type of mirrors. Avoid placing mirrors directly across bright lights to avoid harmful reflections.
Creating unique and personalized home designs is not rocket design. It only requires creative and harmonious integration of essential décor items. Feel free to explore the décor items above and many more but don’t over-stuff your space!
Many of my interior design clients recognize that window treatments, whether functional blinds, drapes, or valances (those are the decorative fabric window treatments that go on the top of your windows), add so much to their rooms esthetic, but wonder what the ball park costs are.
This post will provide you with average costs, so you know which ones, might work best for you. Of course costs will vary, but this will provide a great starting point.
1. Let's start with drapery, some folks call them curtains, which is fine with me!
Let's remember to include the rod, brackets, hooks, carriers & finials, along with the cost of the fabric, lining, labour & shipping fees. Everything can and does add up.
I'd estimate for a pair of drapes & rod to be approximately $2,000 for 2 panels, along with an 8' rod. Of course, if we go with sheer fabric, as shown at the top of this post, the pricing will be lower. If we go with a high end fabric of course the price will be higher. The ones shown above are in a mid range fabric.
2. Sheer shades, shown above, some people call them by the brand name Silhouettes, by Hunter Douglas, are a gorgeous shade, offering glare & UV protection, privacy and light filtering are beautiful. In fact, I used them for my own home.
In general, I'd estimate $1,000 per window, of course depending upon the size. This is my price for a 5' x 5' window.
A fabric blind, or hard window shutter would be approximately the same cost.
These beautiful sheer shades above are by Graber.
3. Hard blinds, which are the old horizontal blinds most of us grew up with are the lesser priced option. They come in real wood, or faux wood (we don't often see vinyl or aluminum blinds anymore.
Remember real wood blinds are very heavy to lift up, faux wood is lighter, but it still leaves a bunched area at the bottom or top area, which shuts out the light. I don't specify them too often. Their price ranges from $350 - $700 per 5' x 5' sized window.
Installation may or may not be included, depending upon the supplier.
I hope this helps give a basic guideline for window treatments.
Which ones are you loving?
I'm so very grateful to my amazing clients and interior design suppliers!
Thank you for all the wonderful reviews!
When you venture out to find the perfect bed, you might be overwhelmed with several options. As there are various types of mattresses, making the right choice can become daunting. Therefore, we have compiled a list of the different types of mattresses and their features, so can you invest wisely and get the perfect night’s sleep.
When you decide to buy the innerspring mattress, you might be thinking of yourself as a little kid letting loose and jumping everywhere. Remember those days? This is the perfect standard innerspring mattress, and it is manufactured with a steel coil system inside. While you must have slept on this mattress during your childhood, you wouldn’t have ever seen it from inside. Although the technology is well over one hundred years old, it is still a popular item in most households.
After all, there are hundreds of good reasons for this choice to be trendy. This mattress is widely available and is easy to transport. If you perspire a lot at night, this is the best option for you. Innerspring mattresses have a better airflow.
If you are a larger person, or a stomach sleeper, the Innerspring provides you a much better sleep. However, make sure that you get the right mattress sizes, ensure that the mattress doesn’t slide out from the side, it’s got to fit your bed frame properly. While innersprings have their strengths, they are not the most durable and comfortable options.
● Natural Fiber
If you’ve been sifting through several options in the market, you may have come across natural fiber as well. This product is exactly what it sounds like, and you can rest assured about the quality. The natural fiber is crested between your mattress and is better than most of the conventional mattresses out there.
As materials come in a vast array of options, you can pay higher according to quality. The manufacturing process is intricate and thus, you can enjoy a good quality bed providing you with good night sleep. These are one of the most durable types of mattresses compared to other synthetic counterparts.
● Pocketed Coil
If you’re a little confused about this option, the main keyword is “coil”. It is a little confused with spring coils. It is placed in the same family. However, there are some qualities out there that set apart the coil mattresses, so beware when you shop. Good quality mattresses are in high demand, test out the bed in the show room, ask your partner to try it out beside you to ensure it’s right for both of you.
A pocketed coil mattress is uniquely designed, so you need to be wise when looking for it in the market. Instead of being coiled against the other coil, they are wrapped individually and separated in fabric encasements.
● Memory Foam
Foam mattresses are trending globally. Therefore, there's a strong chance that you must have slept on them at least once in your life. Or, even if you haven't ever purchased one for your home, hotels and tourist resorts usually have them in their bedrooms. This sort of mattress can easily envelop the user and make them feel comfortable instantly.
Today, the furniture, automotive (think comfy seats) and footwear industries are highly benefitting from this option. Secondly, if you enjoy sinking into your mattress or even getting cradled to sleep, memory foam will don these hats without any issue.
● Latex Mattresses
No wonder, latex mattresses have become a part of popular culture yet again. Apart from the fact that they are manufactured with natural resources, they are long-lasting and easily affordable. Therefore, you can make the most out of this investment easily. Even if you’re familiar with latex mattresses, you wouldn’t know that not every latex is prepared from the same material or manufactured in the same way.
● Innerspring Latex Mattress
One of the best options is the latex hybrid mattress. As the name implies, this product is the perfect combination of innerspring mattress and latex. Thus, you can rest assured about not having to invest in this option. You will also enjoy springs that can provide additional support and the antimicrobial features that are a typical part of latex.
As with the hybrid form of mattress, there’s always a chance of structural weakness. In case you want to know if this is right for you. You might want to try out the mattress first before buying it. A great idea is to look for a mattress retailer that offers a ‘sleep guarantee’, where you can set up the mattress, ensure it fits well in your bedframe and sleep on it for anywhere between 30 and 100 days. Sometimes it does take a while to see which mattress is right for you.
Ah the 1980’s, while you might think, innerspring has always had the strongest history, this isn't the total reality. These products have been around since the 1800s and are chanted as waterbeds. They were originally brought to life by a Scottish physician known as Neil Arnott. The ethos in his invention was to help patients get rid of the painful bedsores. Brilliant idea, but it doesn’t always provide the best support.
Just recently, a lot of people have come forward to claim that waterbeds are the sole cause of back issues. However, this is still being researched and nothing concrete has While this might be an issue with some of the sleepers, it isn't fair enough to generalize this idea.
● The Pillow-Top Mattress
This is a great option. They're commonly used as innerspring mattresses and pillow top technology adds a lot of comfort to everyone out there. They are also known as euro top mattresses and offer a plethora of benefits.
There are various materials that you can choose from such as cotton, wool, latex, foam, fiber film and memory foam. This sort of mattress has cooling properties, is washable, and will quickly bounce back into shape.
I hope this article has provided some insight into helping you select the perfect mattress for you and your family.
I was thrilled to be featured in my favourite online magazine, The Spruce!
I've copied the article here for you convenience, but click on the link above for the full story.
Author is the amazing Sarah Lyon.
The new year is all about embracing a fresh start and parting with objects or situations that no longer serve us. So what better time to do a full blown home cleanout and judiciously go through our belongings? Below, designers weigh in on the 10 items that absolutely must be removed from our spaces once and for all.
1. Old Cassettes, VCR Tapes, CDs and DVDs. Now that we're well into the 21st century, you're most likely streaming your music and videos. This is not only a convenient practice for those of us frequently on the go, but it can save free up of precious shelf space back home, too. As designer Dawn Heuer says, "None of us need to have old CDs or DVDs laying around... Anything that can be digitized should be!" And it should go without saying that if you’ve got cassette or VCR tapes, those can almost certainly go.
2. Themed Dinnerware.
Yes, you can certainly still get into the holiday spirit without clogging up your kitchen cabinets, designer Jil McDonald says. "Do we really need that platter that has graphics of turkeys or Christmas trees on them? Let your seasonal décor do the heavy lifting and invest in white or off-white dinnerware." Such pieces can still be used to create a stunning tablescape as long as you incorporate the right accents, McDonald adds. "Simply add candles, olive branches, or flowers to your table to invoke the seasonal spirit."
3. Lifeless Plants.
Yes, being a plant parent is all the rage at the moment, but if you've tried everything and are still struggling to keep a green friend alive, it's OK to cut yourself some slack. "Many of us don't have a green thumb and we keep holding on to old plants hoping they will bloom again or regenerate themselves," McDonald says. "Sometimes we just have to say, 'Enough is enough,' and throw it in the compost bin." Or, perhaps a plant lover in your apartment building or social circle will enjoy taking on the challenge of nursing your pathos back to life!
4. Excessive Reusable Bags.
Reusable bags are excellent to keep on hand for grocery runs, but perhaps you've found yourself accumulating far more than you actually need. "It's time to clean them out and get creative about finding them new homes," designer Marika Meyer says. "Many homeless shelters accept donations of sturdy bags. They are very useful for distributing items! You might also consider contacting local schools, who are always looking for things that can be reimagined for arts and crafts."
5. Old Towels, Blankets, and Throw Pillows
If textiles that have seen better days are starting to get on your nerves, take a cue from Allie Mann, a designer and senior interiors specialist at Case Architects & Remodelers. "Instead of just throwing them away because of holes or small tears that cannot be repaired, we donate them to the local animal shelter or vet," she notes. "They particularly need them this time of year."
6. Unnecessary Reading Material.
Are you really going to flip back through those magazines you purchased for your last vacation or re-read that book from two summers ago? "Let’s be honest, the magazines that you’re saving will never be looked at again—they’re simply collecting dust and creating clutter in your home," designer Brandi Wilkins says. Books that don't continue to inspire you can also be cleared out. "If they aren’t being read currently and they aren’t enhancing the decor of your space, let them go," she adds. "Donating old books is a great way to declutter and also share your favorite books with others who may not have easy access to buying new ones."
7. Ultra-Specific Kitchen Appliances
It's tempting to stock up on all of the latest gadgets. But designer Eleanor Trepte says, "Unless you have a massive kitchen with a large pantry for appliance storage, think about cutting back on the number of kitchen appliances you own, and instead focusing on just a few that can do double duty." And holding on to only top contenders will ultimately make your day to day meal prep easier, Trepte adds. "It will help keep your kitchen countertops stress and clutter free!"
8. Your Least Favorite Holiday Décor
Why not take time following the winter holidays to streamline your collection of festive decor? "If you're like me, not every piece of holiday glitter makes it out of the box each year," Meyer comments. "So, while you are digging through those boxes anyway, why not do some sorting and share some holiday cheer with others? You'll declutter and make someone's holiday a bit brighter!"
9. Extra Table Lamps.
If they're dated, they don't belong in your home, McDonald notes. "These are tough to get rid of because they are a useful item," she acknowledges. "Donate them to your local thrift store and purchase a new, sleek table lamp, or perhaps a gourd or wide ginger jar vase in a beautiful color." Then, she advises, insert a warm, white LED light bulb that will cast a pleasant glow.
10. Unused or Broken Toys
"As a mother of two young children, I suggest getting rid of broken or old toys your kids don't play with anymore," designer Lauren Harmon says. Items that are beyond repair belong in the trash, but otherwise, pay it forward. "If they're still in good condition and your child just outgrew them, donate them," Harmon suggests.
Hope you have enjoyed these great tips. All the best for a wonderful 2022.
Happy New Year!
Wondering what are the favourite white cabinet paint colours for 2022?
I've made up a quick pdf showing a few of the tried and true colours.
I'd love to hear your thoughts!
Click below if you'd like to find out the perfect cabinet colour for your home!
It's always exciting seeing what the big paint companies forecast for the coming year!
Well wait for it, drum roll please...… here it is... October Mist CC550,
Benjamin Moore's Color of the year for 2022!
As people are turning towards more earth friendly products & manufacturers are creating more and more sustainable items, I think this colour is right on with the times.
Just look at how many people purchased plants at the start of the pandemic!
Bamboo furniture is hot, sustainable, strong & beautiful.
Here's a better photo of October Mist CC 550 in a bedroom, paired with their soft lilac bedding, similar to Hint of Violet 2114-60. I must say, I'm still a little hesitant specifying it to my clients as we still strongly remember what was hot 15 years ago.
A few of the colours I am fond of from their 2022 collection are: a yummy dark ivory (almost beige) called Collectors item, , a dark Navy blue called Mysterious (love that name) and a softer, pretty, green blue called Smoky green. I think they all look lovely together.
I hear from High Point Market in North Carolina, that beiges are back - not sure how I feel about that!
So, tell me, are you a fan of these 'new' 2022 colors by Benjamin Moore? I'd love to hear!
Blue is my favorite color and I hear I'm not alone! Blue is consistently voted peoples #1 color choice. But when picking blues for the interior walls of your home, we want to ensure, we don't pick 'baby boy's bedroom' paint color.
Here's a cheat sheet for you! We have put together a beautiful collection of some of our favourite soft blue paints by Benjamin Moore.
To obtain a beautiful soft blue it is imperative that the tiniest Touch of Green is added into the paint, resulting in a beautiful soft Aqua shade. Otherwise it can look too purple.
For help selecting your perfect paint colour please feel free to contact our design office. We would be happy to help!
Well this is a great day!
I've just found out I was voted as one of the top 3 Interior Designers in Abbotsford, BC (as well as the top 3 in Chilliwack, BC).
Please let us know how we can help design your home, we're working virtually across Canada & we'd love to help you!
Hi, are you wondering how virtual interior design works?
I'm glad you asked!
I've created a short video below showing how our Online design services work.
We truly do not need to see your home in person.
But we do need just need a few photos and a rough measurement of the room.
We direct you to a quick online questionnaire asking you more about your taste and style, the function of the space, your budget & timeline.
Here's an example of a mood board we've made for a client's bedroom.
We then take it from there!
Need more info? Please click on the video below.
We'd love to help!
Hi, we would be pleased to help you with online interior design Project.
To start we just need a few clear photos of the room.
Here is what we need from you:
· Clear, labelled photos of each wall of the room being designed.
· If we're doing several rooms in your home it might be best to email them in batches keeping one rooms photograph per batch.
· Take photos before 2pm for the best lighting. Leave the lights off (they distort the colour) and open the curtains.
· Try not to use a flash.
· Take photos in landscape, horizontal mode
· Place a plain white piece of paper near any ‘fixed finish’, i.e. Flooring, tile, countertops, furniture etc. that you will not be changing. This allows us to see the undertones easily, it's the secret of our success!
Stand at the center of each main wall and take one photo pointing the camera straight ahead to the opposite wall.
Email them to use using the medium sized photos and you are all set!
Determine your perfect design package by clicking on any of the items below...
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!
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.
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.
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?
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!
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
Mother's day is fast approaching.
Wondering what to get her for a gift? She's got perfume and scarves galore.
Judging from what my interior design clients say - most women want their home to look like THEY live there, not someone else!
We can provide the perfect paint colour, select the furniture that is just right - or simply answer all her interior design questions!
We're here to help!
Click here to book now, and I can email you a beautiful gift certificate that you can slip into her Mother's Day card.
Let me introduce you to my new e-Design platform! We provide interior decor services for all rooms of your home, including paint, furniture, tiles, flooring and more.
We'd love to help you, please click below!
I am beyond thrilled to announce that I have won the coveted "Best of Houzz 2018" award!
Jil Sonia McDonald - Interior Designer of Jil Sonia Interior Designs.