I was so honored to be featured in the Spruce again. Here's the article, penned by amazing writer Sarah Lyon!
I've copied it here.
How do you know when a decor item is timeless or whether it's just a trend? There are many factors to consider, designers say—and we asked them to share the details! Below, nine designers comment on what they think about when determining whether something is a classic or may be fleeting.
Determine Whether It Can Be "Carried Through the Ages"
"Timeless to me is about quality materials, lighting fixtures, furniture, et. cetera, that work with every style and can be carried on through the ages. Most trendy items have a hard time fitting into all design direction as they are very specific to an age or theme. I try to steer away from what is super hot and zeitgeist-esque, as it tends to get overused and worn out quickly. My take is that personal style is like selecting a wine: If you love it and it works for your taste and feels right, that is all that matters." — Samantha Tannehill of Sam Tannehill Interior Design
Look for Quality Materials and Production
"In order to avoid falling into the trend trap, I like to look for quality materials and production. Investing in natural resources like woods, metals, and stones can also turn into a savvy investment. I once purchased two vintage Finn Juhl rosewood chairs for a project in North London. Not only do they look better with time, but they have increased in value. Natural materials that are taken care of properly can age beautifully and maintain their value and classic appeal." — Susan Knof of Knof Design
Approximate When It Was Designed
"The first way to determine if an item is trendy or timeless is to try to approximate when it was designed. If you cannot pinpoint the approximate time period, then it is considered timeless. For example: Look at a beautiful Persian rug, it looks beautiful in a room, either 100 years ago or today. That is a great indication it is a timeless piece." -- Jil McDonald of Jil Sonia Interiors
Decide Whether It's Versatile or Not"
The best way we like to determine if a decor item is timeless or a trend is to think if the piece is very versatile or not. Timeless decor tends to have clean lines, neutral colors, and natural elements which allow them to fit in for a long time. Earth and natural tones such as wood, linens, stone, and leather are key materials we look for when selecting timeless items." — Megan Whalen of JL Design
Look at Design and Proportions
"Timeless pieces are those that have classic style and proportions and have been around for decades. If you flip through several coffee table design books and see the same type of lamps, tables, or fabrics in all of them, chances are they’ve stood the test of time and will still be a detail of beautiful rooms for years." — Jerad Gardemal of JF Gardemal Designs
Decide Whether It Can Be Built Upon
"I think a great rule of thumb for determining if something is timeless or trendy is to ask yourself, 'Am I able to use this design as a great base to build upon in upcoming years?'' For example, if I’m redoing a kitchen, I will want to select timeless features that will be relevant and stay fresh for years to come. How I determine that is by asking myself if I can keep all the main design elements the same and make small tweaks in the design years down the road to keep it fresh. Is the design resilient enough to withstand new waves of trends along the years and still manage to look current? Timeless design is resilient in that regardless of how many new trends or fads come and go, it will always hold its own." -- McCall Dulkys of Interiors by McCall
Determine What It Means to You Personally
"The ultimate answer for knowing if a decor item is timeless or a trend is what it means to you personally. I always advise my clients to collect and surround themselves with things that have meaning to them. I find that is the most natural and organic way to style and decorate a home. Then even if it was an item that was 'on trend' at some point, it will still feel special. My mantel is a collection of a midcentury metal wall hanging (the first piece of art my husband and I bought together for our home 19 years ago!), a painting from my childhood, and driftwood collected from beach walks with my family, while they are all of different decorative 'genres'. they are timeless because of what they mean to me." — Amy Sklar of Amy Sklar Design
"Finding a connection with decor items that relate to your personal story, or with a connection to nature, is a great way to ensure that your decor will stand the test of time. Whether it’s something you pick up during a trip abroad, something you made as a child, or a sentimental piece from your grandparent’s basement, you can use these pieces to make your spaces your own and generate a feeling of timelessness." — Nicole Cole of Vestige Home
Ignore the "Rules" and Choose a Piece Based on Whether It Brings You Joy
“I don't have many rules when it comes to decor items except for one: It should bring you joy. Honestly, it doesn't matter if it's a piece that will stand the test of time or a passing fad, if it makes me (or my client) smile, it passes muster. Books, art, and items collected over time from travels are all pieces that can work well in any space." — Molly Torres Pornof of DATE Interiors
I hope that helps determine whether an item is trendy or not. But keep in mind, your home is not a show home, it should reflect what you truly love!
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!
Interior designers get a lot of emails from our wonderful suppliers. I look at each and everyone of them as I need to know the latest trends in kitchens, bathrooms, exterior home finishes.
The email today from Marathon Hardware didn't disappoint! The Eurocucina 2022 Design Show was held in Milan, Italy from June 7-12/22. The show featured many of the latest design trends and innovations for kitchens, bathrooms, and every other room in the house.
Watch this quick kitchen video above showing the latest and greatest in kitchen design for 2022.
Did you know countertops are moveable? Well yes they are!
Let me know if you need help with your kitchen or new build, I'd be happy to help!
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.
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!
Why Beige is Making a Comeback for 2022 & what do do about it. Happy to be quote in The Spruce Publication
I am thrilled to be quoted by The Spruce sharing why Beige is making a comeback. The Spruce is such a great source of design inspiration and helps keep me up to date on what's hot, and what's not!
At the recent design show, High Point Market in North Carolina, designers were shocked to see room after room painted in beige and filled with beige furniture.
What made it seem fresh and new was that the walls were either a very light beige (or dark cream) or else there were very dark walls with beige furniture in front. Navy Blue, dark bold mustard colours and even black walls were evident, and they played nicely with beige couches, chairs and headboards in the rest of the home.
What's new this time with beige, is that there is loads and loads of texture. Sofas were clad in boucle, which is a nubby fabric that is most often seen in creams in lighter colours. Also, a lot of the sofas had a curved appearance. Providing a nice and comfy appearance.
Texture showed up in lighting fixtures as well providing a sharp contrast against the beige décor. Rattan, shell or beaded light fixtures provided great shape and made an interesting statement, the beige element seemed to fade into the distance and the textured items seemed to pop more.
Even the case goods - wooden furniture, cabinets sideboards etc. were textured. They had ribbing details or texture carved into the front panels. The texture, along with the soft light beige walls and décor, seemed to fade into the background, showing the real star of the home, our friends, and families.
Let me know if you need help incorporating beige into your home!
Pantone never ceases to amaze me with their colours of the year. Last year it was Ultimate 17-5104, a cold, flat -battleship gray.
This year it's a fun, light hearted Periwinkle blue called Very Peri 17-3938! It's a mixture of blue & red, I'd describe it as a dark violet, or blue-ish purple.
The Pantone Color of the Year selection process requires thoughtful consideration and trend analysis. To arrive at the selection each year, Pantone’s color experts at the Pantone Color Institute™ comb the world looking for new color influences. These can include the entertainment industry and films in production, traveling art collections and new artists, fashion, all areas of design, popular travel destinations, as well as new lifestyles, playstyles, and socio-economic conditions. Influences may also stem from new technologies, materials, textures, and effects that impact color, relevant social media platforms and even upcoming sporting events that capture worldwide attention.
A toned down "useable" version of Very Peri is this purple undertoned gray, from Benjamin Moore, called Granite AF 660.
Paired with a soft butter yellow and cream, I think it looks beautiful.
Add some sparkly silver accessories to really make it pop!
Tell me, what do you think about Pantone's colour of the year? I'd love to hear it!
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!
Are you wondering what's the difference between lumens and wattage? Look no further!
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 used to discussing wattage often people use 'wattage' as their term denoting the brightness of a bulb, rather than 'lumens'.
Let me know if you have any other lighting questions, I'd be happy to help.
Here's a great post showing "How many recessed lights do I need?"
Here's a helpful Incandescent to LED conversion chart, to help you when selecting a new LED light bulb.
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!
Painting your home is exciting, the power of paint never ceases to amaze me!
However, we need to ensure we pick the perfect body and trim colour. Here’s a few tips to get you started!
I was thrilled that Sherwin Williams sponsored me for the paint, thank you SW!
We love their Emerald exterior latex! It went on smooth as silk and had superb coverage.
2. Likewise be aware of your neighbourhood homes to ensure you have not copied their existing color. You may need to check with neighbourhood restrictive covenants or strata agreements to ensure you are able to paint the color of your choice. Some neighbourhood covenants require you to stay within a color field to best represent a cohesive community aesthetic. It shows you are a good neighbour.
3. Paint a few large sample boards or poster boards of a minimum of 11”x14” sizing with your prospective color choices. Once dry, hold these color sample boards up against various features of your home such as in step 1 (noting exterior home elements) to see how they look.
Remember with smaller color samples, getting a true representation of color is more difficult than with larger sample boards. Your exterior contains large painted surfaces/spaces , so it’s important to have larger sample boards to get a truer representation of how a color will work.
A great hint also is to choose a flat/matte sample paint color, to allow you to see the color without sunlight glare or possible exterior lighting de-coloration/accentuation. And with that said, your exterior lighting will also play a significant role in how you color will appear. Your light’s Kelvin measurement (color of light) will change the tone of you color choice too, just as will the direction of various sunlight from North, South, East and West which is what we call metamerism.
Designer Tip: Most exterior paint colors tend to look lighter and brighter outside so it is important to test your paint samples in the actual elements outside. Beware of selecting a trim color that is too white, it might look too bright and harsh.
It's good to have a few choices pre-painted, as lighting, shade, and time of day can present color nuance to your choices. Have 3-4 color choices made up for a field/body and trim color.
The color finish (matte/flat, satin, gloss etc) can reflect light and cause a different color experience. We recommend a flat/matte finish for the body, as it does not provide too much glare or a sheen. Your home’s exterior color personality will showcase better with a matte/color. Remember you want to see color and not a mirrored reflective color tone as with satin or gloss etc.
4. Select your field (body) exterior color first, then secondly a trim color that accents it. Ensure your trim color choice works well with your window metal/polyurethane frame color. If you happen to be changing out your windows, black window frames are the best because they tend to disappear into the background of the glass from a distance. Black window frames can make selecting your paint colours easier. When choosing the trim color, keep in mind the window casing/frame color and choose a complementary shade. No one wants a “bossy” window frame color ruining a good field and trim color choice for your home exterior.
Finally, before you begin purchasing large amounts of paint, it is vital that you paint a test sample area of your home. Picking an area of your house exterior that stands alone as a test color pallet is crucial. At this point take a couple of days to think over your choices. Your color experience will change dependant upon the daytime hours, the amount of sunlight and even your exterior lighting.
And there you have it. We sure hope these tips and tricks can help you find the perfect color for your amazing home!
It is no secret that apart from all the other luxuries, the level of comfort in your home is affected by the air quality. The level of humidity and temperature are just some of the few variables that your health and comfort while indoors hinge on. For instance, when the humidity is too high, you quickly go from a perfect hair day to a ruined one, and when it is too low, you try to pet your furred best friend's head, and you end up zapping them with bouts of static electricity. Fortunately, you don't need a sixth sense to gauge the level of humidity in your home because we have shared tips on how to do so below.
How humidity levels affect your home:
The optimum humidity level as recommended by the EPA is between 40-60%. When it goes lower or higher than the optimum, the effects are often different as highlighted below
What happens when it is too low?
When humidity is too high:
It affects your health negatively: Studies show that most bacteria, allergens, dust mites, mildew, and mold flourish in the presence of excess moisture and when your indoor atmosphere has high humidity, they thrive. When breathed in, these allergens result in health problems. For instance, molds trigger asthma attacks, constant allergies, and many other respiratory problems. Also, high humidity means that your body's cooling system must work two times harder to maintain the internal temperature. This results to dehydration, fatigue, headaches, and excessive sweating which easily triggers other skin conditions such as heat rash.
It causes structural damage to property: Apart from affecting your health, excess humidity also brings you additional repair and maintenance costs as a result of the damage it causes to your home. This occurs in different ways as shown here;
Causes the growth of mold on furniture, walls, ceilings, and even attics thereby lowering the value of the house.
Monitor indoor humidity levels
The first step to countering humidity problems is by getting accurate measurements of its level. You cannot employ other tactics when you don't know if it's higher or lower than relative. In respect to that, strategically install a hygrometer to help you monitor the levels, so you can figure out what your next step should be.
Open windows and use fans when moisture is high
When there is excessive moisture, opening windows and using fans are the cheapest and easiest ways to dehumidify your house. This is because doing so allows cold, dry air to circulate. However, opening a window may not be as effective, as the level of humidity outdoors is often higher or like moisture indoors.
Purchase a dehumidifier and a humidifier:
It's essential to note that the aspect of high or low humidity is something that you'll always have to deal with regardless of your climatic zone. This is because, during winter, the levels of humidity tend to drop and during summer they skyrocket. In respect to that, you have to find ways to cope during these different seasons. Fortunately, humidity levels can be maintained with the help of humidifier and dehumidifier in your home. So, having these two appliances gives you the option of switching one on depending on the level of moisture. For instance, when it is too high, you switch on the dehumidifier which sucks in the moisture, causing the levels to return to optimum and when it is too low, the humidifier does the trick. This combined with the tips listed above will help you keep moisture problems at bay, enabling you to live your best life when indoors.
Get your air ducts checked
Besides a dehumidifier or a humidifier, your HVAC system also helps in regulating humidity levels. However, no matter how expensive your HVAC system is, it is of no use if your air ducts have leaks. For instance, if it generates cool, dry air when humidity is high during summer, then this air escapes through the leak spots on your ducts. The same case applies during seasons of low humidity, thus rendering it ineffective. Therefore, get your ductwork checked to ensure that all leakages are sealed.
Author: Eric Langstaff
We're glad you are with us. We're looking at 15 essential tips to designing your dream home, we're on Part 4/5.
Let’s review, we’ve looked at steps 1-3 designing your dream home., Part 1/5
1. Selecting your perfect structure.
2. Floor plans and elevations.
And steps 7-9 of designing your dream home: Part 3/5
7. Bathroom and Kitchen design
8. Furniture Plan
9. Lighting plan
Now... we move on to steps 10, 11 and 12!
10. Window coverings:
When designing your dream home, be aware of oddly shaped windows. For some reason architects love to add them in! Notice the angle at the top of the window below.
These windows are very difficult to cover. If you like horizontal blinds these can usually be used for some of the more difficult, or odd shaped windows, however not everyone likes horizontal blinds. Many clients prefer window coverings that can be slid to the sides so that all the glass is showing. Transom windows (especially if they are arched), although beautiful, are especially difficult to cover.
Determine what kind of light coverage do you need. Do you sleep in - then curse the sunlight in the morning; or do you embrace it? You may need room darkening, or light filtering blinds. Do you have a window needing privacy? A window with lots of glare? Many solutions are available.
Discuss your drapery needs with an interior designer or window coverings specialist. Note blinds, drapery and window coverings can be a little pricey, 30% of your room's budget usually goes towards window coverings.
OK, so we are really getting to the styling part here. We know the mood we want to achieve. But where do we go from here? One idea is to start with a ‘signature fabric’, this is a fabric that sets a style or creates your desired mood. Determine the placement of your signature fabric. This can be an expensive fabric - perhaps use it just for the front of a small pillow or the back of a beautiful chair. Confirm your signature fabric suits the ambiance you desire. Use this fabric to set the colour tone of your room.
Now select complementary fabrics. In general, allow no more than three different patterns in one room! Determine placement of all fabrics i.e.:
- patterned drapery fabrics for the windows - like the example above
- perhaps a cream and raspberry stripe for an ottoman,
- black and cream polka dots for the chair backs.
Finally select trim to customize draperies or throw cushions. This trim can be a fringe on pillows, or a band of colour/fabric/ribbon along the side of a drapery panel. Then use your signature fabric to pick colours for the rest of the room.
12. Wall colour:
Now you can finally pick a wall colour! Can you believe we had to wait until step 12 for this? Wall color is not usually picked until near the end of the design, as there are so many distinct colours of paint to choose from. Kimberley Seldon says " picking a wall colour first is like buying a lipstick, then look all over trying to find a dress to match."
Remember to keep the room’s atmosphere in mind. What is your light level? Resist the urge to paint a dark room in a light colour. Donald Kaufman says "Light wall colours never come to life in a dark room..." If the room is sunny, play that up - don't use a dark colour for the walls. Look at your signature fabric for wall color ideas.
I can go on and on about colour but really colour expert Maria Killam says it best when she says "Painting a dark room in pale colours simply accentuates the shadows in a space."
Other questions to ask when selecting a colour 'theme': Are you drawn to warm, neutral or cool colours? Do you prefer many colors or a monochromatic look?
Personally, I throw out the colour theory I was taught in design school. I don't understand how someone can look at a room and say "Do I want a complementary colour scheme? What about the split - complementary colour scheme or maybe an analogous colour scheme?" Only interior design students talk in those terms. I used to be one of them!
Maybe, just maybe, those theories come into play when looking at how to spice up a room with accessories or accents, but in general the main points to remember are:
Finding all this confusing? Contact me to find out how you can have the home of your dreams!
Stay tuned for our last 3 steps!
Hi, my name is Jil Sonia McDonald of Jil Sonia Interiors
I am thrilled to have been asked to guest post for Maria Killam while she is away vacationing in the land of the Tuscan sun. I've copied the post here.
I have been a professional Interior Designer for the past 12 years, located in beautiful Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada.
I am absolutely passionate about Interior Design and it gives me great joy to create dream homes for my clients. I love what I do!
Maria had a few questions for me.
1. What’s your favourite colour? Why?
I have to say my favourite color is "Simply white" OC-117 by Benjamin Moore. It is the perfect white for walls. It is not too creamy, not too gray, not too "pinky".
Being an Interior Designer, has me working with paint, furniture, fabrics, carpets and tiles, everyday. Simply White is the color that allows me to change up my accessories with clients, and even at home - whenever the mood hits me. And as other designers will tell you; we love updating our own home and work spaces.
I have found that when using white walls, it is important to add texture to the room, such as this lovely coffee table in a distressed wood from Restoration Hardware shown below, or this rattan end table. I have seen that when we use all flat, smooth, finishes white paint can look like primer – definitely not what we want.
2. What was your biggest colour/design mistake?
I work with a 15 step design system, which doesn’t leave room for mistakes, but sometimes it’s the little things that really ‘make’ a room. I once decorated a client’s home and it turned out beautifully, client was thrilled, but it didn’t have anything with ‘meaning’. Now, I always try to add something that is personal to a client, such this client’s great, great, grandmother’s silver cutlery. Our client had these beautiful pieces mounted in a shadow box, and now they are a wonderful conversation point – brilliant idea!
3. What is the most important colour lesson you’ve learned?
When I started out as a designer I had no idea about undertones in colour selection. I thought a beige, was a beige. I discovered with the training and mentorship program from Maria Killam's course “Specifying Undertones”, that there are many undertones of beige – pink, yellow and green, to name just a few! She taught me to compare colours, so that we, as designers, can know exactly how to give our clients, or ourselves, the PERFECT colour. I cannot recommend this course highly enough. Such a great professional development experience that one can add to their role as an Interior Designer.
4. When it comes to colour, what’s hot?
Grey is still hot – but I see white over taking more and more! Clients are all asking me for light and bright. White walls with pops of coloured pillows, throws, and accent trays, as pictured below. I just love it!
5. Which colour do you think is timeless?
I think a grayed blue is timeless. I strongly recommend you use a very grayed blue — so grey looking that on the paint sample chip itself, it looks gray, not blue! Colour appears twice as bright on your walls as on the chip, so we always need to select muted gray blues unless we want in-your-face baby boy blue.
One of my favourite grays with a slight blue undertone is Stonington Gray HC-170.
6. Which colour trend would you love to see disappear?
If I had a magic wand I’d banish the world of pinky beige carpet. I’ve discussed this with carpet manufacturers – they were blissfully unaware! Pink beige can clash with so many other colours – especially yellow!
It’s one of those non-descript, all pervasive, colours that look too much like skin tones and doesn’t give clients the fresh, bright colours that we’re all yearning for today. Often builders who don’t hire professional designers, think it’s a neutral colour, but it’s far from that!
Here, client’s dog Bella, shows off her timeless medium brown flooring – isn’t that much lovelier than pinky beige carpet?
7. What do you think is one of the biggest mistakes homeowners make with colour?
The biggest mistake homeowners make on their own is trying to select a paint colour first. Really, we should be first selecting our hard finishes, and in the following order: countertops and tiles, flooring, furniture, draperies, pillows. Paint comes last.
We have thousands of paint colours to select from. It is absolutely vital that homeowners choose wisely, with the help of a great interior designer. Paint colours should be a beautiful backdrop for the other items we have selected, unless the paint finish is a beautiful metallic or lacquered finish.
Here, we’ve added a darker, grayed blue table, which just pops against the Simply White walls.
8. Which part of participating in Specify Colour with Confidence™ created the biggest breakthrough/aha moment/insight for your business, and how did it help you move forward?
I realized just how important it is to compare colours. It is almost impossible to determine the undertones unless you compare samples side by side, with a pure white background behind them. A simple piece of white poster board is such a great tool to have on hand when choosing colour.
Now, I meet all my clients with absolute confidence. I know that I will help them choose the most amazing paint colours, fabrics, tiling, and more, making their home perfect!
For more great tips, interior design insight, or to see more photos of my work, please check out this blog. I’d love to see you there!
Maria, thank you for this exciting and amazing opportunity to guest blog. I’m eternally grateful for all the colour instruction that I’ve received from you. I’ve just not found this instruction anywhere else!
Now, I'd love to know... Which white is your favourite right now?
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!
I've been in interior designer for 12 years now and when talking about kitchen renovation, the question I get most often is "What colour do I paint my kitchen cabinets?".
Painting kitchen cabinets is expensive and hard work, we don't want to have to do this every 5 years!
Here our client chose to go with the classic white kitchen cabinets, which is something I recommend often.
White is classic and never goes out of style. To amp things up a little, the island was painted in a soft gray colour, which works so well with the marble countertop.
Another great point about white cabinets, is that you can accessorize with whatever colour you are using in the adjoining rooms. Above it's blue! Below it's yellow!
What is your favourite colour to use when accessorizing your kitchen? I'd love to know!
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 email@example.com
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.