Category archive - Redesign and Decorating Ideas

Kitchen Design

Kitchen Design

Clients ask “if I were to renovate my kitchen what should I do?” First off, I would never recommend someone to do just before selling your house. If you are planning on staying a while, three or more years, then it should be a consideration if you find that your kitchen is dated.

According to polls taken, and trends sighted in design magazines, white kitchen cabinets are still very popular. It goes to show you that light and bright is typically the choice of many. Counters that are of a hard surface like quarts, natural stone are still desirable by the majority, but other surfaces such as stainless or concrete have their place in today’s designs.

Smart technology is now being incorporated into appliances to bring convenience into our lives. The question I always hear is, “should we have all stainless appliances?”  Stainless has been popular for years, but at the Architectural Digest show last year, many of the manufactures were featuring black appliances. So I would not be surprised that stainless takes a back seat for a while.

The key when redesigning a kitchen is to ensure it will serve your needs first, and it will not look dated within five years time. Here I searched the internet for kitchens I find to be clean, classic, and very tastefully done that will endure the test of time for many years to come.

The white with soft gray cabinets are classic. Note the use of different materials for the counters. The open style is nice for family as well as entertaining.

If you are not hooked on white cabinetry but still like the painted look of cabinets, this soft taupe color is a great neutral that goes beautifully with the quartz counters. The color trend of gray is still around but greige is a nice blend of both gray and browns that tend to be warmer.

The classic wood cabinets here bring a warmth to all the stainless, again a mix of counter material. If you choose wood cabinets consider a shaker or smooth panel look, they will continue to look in style for a long time.

You can never go wrong with the classic black and white in a kitchen. The gorgeous soaring ceiling of course makes this space feel welcoming and open.

If you are considering building or updating a new kitchen, classic will always be in fashion. Incorporate shaker style cabinets, simple and clean. Neutral colors for your back-splash tile and counters. Stone counters are the preferred material for kitchens. If you need to put your “personality” into the design, choose one item to do the talking, do not make the back-splash, counter, cabinets, lighting and floor all stand out; pick one.

Other good reads:

Key Improvements That Will Reap a Profit | Kitchens

Kitchen Trends for 2015 and Beyond


According to “Pinterest” 2017 Trends

According to “Pinterest” 2017 Trends

If you are a Pinterest follower, and who isn’t? You can get the best recipes, DIY and decorating ideas! Currently they combined the trends they have been seeing. Some of these will definitely translate into décor trend guaranteed. Wondering how? Here is how Design Solutions KGP sees it:

Navy is the New Black:

A few years back I noticed navy coming on strong. It is so rich and of course pairs well with the gray neutral trend that we have been seeing. Blue tends to be the most popular color out there so of course navy should take center stage. When I first suggested navy to clients to update their décor many quickly accepted the idea and the results were stunning. Of course navy can be considered a great neutral in itself, think of how you wear your jeans with just about anything- and those are navy. This trend will become more popular I am sure throughout décor. Depending on what you add to it can create a totally different look.

Which brings me to the next trend Bell Sleeves:

If you grew up in the 70’s you remember bell bottoms, bell sleeves and the hippy- now we call Bohemian look? Bohemian has been popular for a while in decor when Ikats and Suzani prints took us by rage in the early 2000’s. These new feeling prints caught many designers eye and from there the Bohemian style blossomed. Many may say it is a little eclectic looking, but it definitely is a style to consider when updating décor. Think of clothing styles, we buy and try new styles as they come into fashion. You should consider the same for your home. There is a way to decorate so your style is classic and everlasting, but sometimes it’s fun to have a room that sports the recent trends to make it feel fresh and new. A simple pillow, addition of a plant, new color on the walls,  an accessory or even art can accomplish this. It’s something to consider.

Lastly another trend that I think is important for all of us to consider is our health.

In our homes and in our lives we are striving to live healthier and more consciously which is a very good thing. We are more aware of our environment, more conscious of the items we bring into our homes. When clients are selling, one of the first thing an agents will tell them to do is “declutter” or reduce the overall footprint most of us have existing throughout rooms in our house. I have been asked to do workshops on how to declutter to achieve better mental health. If our homes are our sanctuaries then we should consider what we bring in and what we put into them, as our bodies. Feng Shu is a great example of this.

So as 2017 embarks upon us there are changes we can make in our homes that can feed us positive energy to improve our lives. If you are considering changes for 2017 I would love to hear about them and how they impact your lives for the new year!

Other good reads:

2017 Predicted Popular Colors


Organizing | Out With The Old

Organizing | Out With The Old

With the holidays behind us and the New Year approaching everyone likes to make a few New Year’s Resolutions. The best way to approach resolutions, and being successful at them is to not set your goals too high or too big. As my mother use to say “inch by inch life’s a cinch, yard by yard life can be hard.” Being organized can help accomplish the simplest things and allow you to feel more positive. Here are a few suggestions to try:

1. Clear Clutter

Start small in one room, kitchen, bathroom, or bedroom pick a drawer to start, each week clean one. I have found that sometimes when I am just chatting with friends on the phone I can get a drawer organized by the time we finish our conversation- albeit over a half hour, it gets the job done without feeling like I could be doing something better. Once the drawers are finished move to the closets, and keep going throughout the house- if it takes a year so be it; but you will feel more at peace once everything is in order.

2. Out with the Old

We all tend to hang onto books, medicines that have expired, clothes that are not in fashion any more, etc. you know what I am talking about. This is the time to pick one of those things that you know have been accumulating and you have not addressed in a long time. There are many things we can remove if you really think about it. Move them out of your home, donate to charities things that you think they could use. A clear living/working space is a clear mind.

3. Clean and Update

After you clear your clutter, rid your home of old items, and organize your room, make sure you clean the room. Dust the cob webs from the corners of the ceiling, clean the flooring, evaluate the room- do you still have your 1980’s style wallpaper borders up in the room?  It’s time to update, it can be as small as adding a current accessory or updating your bedding, maybe a new current color is in order for the room- mauve, tangerine something different and fun. This is a great way to bring positive energy in. 

 4. Identify Things That Rob Your Time

Evaluate what your current situation is, routines, schedules, and goals. Learn to limit and adjust those things that you know are robbing your time that prevent you from living a productive and fun life. If you need to set a timer when you are on Face book, surfing the web, or emailing buddies, watching TV, playing Wii, set limits. Once you organize your time, limit those things that rob your time, you will find that you can do more than you ever thought!

 Have a wonderful productive, energetic New Year! Let me know how you do with your resolutions 

Other Good Reads:

Organized… the Happy Balance

Organizing | Systems to Use

Clutter Prevent it Before it Takes Over


The Perfect Guest Retreat

The Perfect Guest Retreat

When you have visitors you want them to feel welcome and comfortable in your home. Holidays are in particular, a time when it seems that our front door is like a revolving door! To make your life a little simpler and still make guest feel comfortable and relaxed here are some suggestions to create the perfect retreat for you guests.

Obviously the most important thing is the bed in your guest room. You will want to ensure the mattress is comfortable. Building from a good base is easy with nice sheets. There are many on the market but having a higher thread count does make them feel more luxurious. Natural fibers like cotton, linen and silk “breath” so you are more comfortable throughout the night.

Next add the layers. Some people prefer a fluffy down comforter, while other people like to pile on the blankets. Either works, just ensure your guest will be warm throughout the night. Of course being aware of allergies there are comforters that are hypoallergenic. Pillows should be selected with this in mind also for a guest bedroom. I typically offer two pillows one firm, one soft which will allow your guest to adjust to their liking.

_dsc0791-2wm

Lighting is important in any room. In a guest room having a light that can be turned on when you enter the room with a switch is ideal. Also having a light near the bed for reading that is on a separate switch will allow your guest to read when they retire if they choose, it also prevents them from having to get up to turn off the room light. Some people like to sleep in complete darkness, while others like a little light if needed when it is pitch black. Supply a small night light that has a switch so your guest can choose which they prefer.

Add niceties; when I travel, hotel rooms typically have small bottles of sundries, those that I do not use I will bring home to provide for my guest in case they forgot to bring something. I put these in a small basket for their use. I also will provide bottle water on the night stand along with magazines and books for guests to read.

Providing a few basics in your guest room makes your visitors feel welcome, and you know you will not be running around at the last minute trying to find small items to make them comfortable. A little planning ahead of time makes everyone happy.

Another good read:

Table Settings for the Holidays


10 Home Renovations That Are Worth The Investment

10 Home Renovations That Are Worth The Investment

Realtytoday.com is full of information to help sellers get their bang for their buck. But what if you are not planning on selling right away? I call you the dwell to sell type of homeowner. One that might be considering selling in a short time but you know you might need a few improvements to your abode before you take that jump. So where should you invest your hard-earned money so you do get a return? Take a look at this article we are quoted in with other professionals in the field.

10 Home Renovation Tips That Will Help You Pay Back The House Price Invested

To start, keep in mind everything should appear well maintained throughout the house, and outside when you are selling. Any maintenance that has been neglected, needs to be addressed. My philosophy is, why not enjoy it while you are living there? Double bang for the buck! If you are not sure what color paint, type of flooring or other hard surface material to choose would be best, call in a professional. Many will provide a consult for you at a minimal fee that will ensure your hard-earned money is being spent wisely.

Not sure, send me pictures and we can help you choose what will work best for your project.

Other helpful reads:

Key Improvements That Will Reap a Profit | Bathrooms

Key Improvements that will Reap a Profit

Home Improvement Projects | Inexpensive Updates


Fall Tabletop Decorations

Fall Tabletop Decorations

I have heard someplace that Halloween sales are second to Christmas. People obviously love decorate for this holiday. I tend to lean on the simpler side when it comes to decorating for holidays, decorate for the season, not so much for the holiday. So with that in mind I thought I would share some inspirational ideas I have come across for decorating you table for fall that could take you right through the winter holidays.

Tabletop Holiday Decorations

I do love the look of the white pumpkins. They come across so clean, and obviously coordinate with anyone’s décor no matter what colors you use! By adding other items like grapes, fruits, leaves or branches they can set a festive mood.

white-table-arrangement white-pumking-center white-and-green artichoke

Another great option is to use things you can find in and around your home, like branches of leaves, wheat,  or even feathers I love!

big-leavespinecone-woodcopper-pipe

feather

Go elaborate, or go simple I believe if you are decorate for the season you will reduce some of the stress in your life, because you will avoid all the extra effort of setting up, taking down, storing. You can get a few months out of your efforts and they will look festive!

I would love for you to share your ideas that you have used for season tabletop decor

Tricks to Save Money This Fall |US News


Room Arrangement Done Right

Room Arrangement Done Right

Arranging furniture right in a room can sometimes be a challenge, especially if you are moving into a new house and all you have are vacant rooms. But arranging the furniture can be easy if you follow a few basic rules.

  1. Find your focal point. A focal point can be a view from a window, or fire place, it can even be a piece of furniture such as in a bedroom the bed can become the focal point.
  2. Arrange the furniture with

Balance

Flow

Size

all in mind.

The balance of the furniture should sit proportionally in the room. Balance is pleasing to the eye. So when you have a bed as a focal point, it looks best with two bedside tables on either side. Think of a fireplace, if you can place the furniture on either side, it will create balance and frame the focal point, your fireplace.

Bedroom

Flow is important, being how people can move through the room. If you have a chair, table or something in the way of the traffic flow it can be terribly annoying. Also small spaces can be troublesome to move through, so keep the furniture in proportion to the room.

This brings me to size. It is important to keep in mind the proportions of a room when you are arranging furniture. Although the room may feel large when it is empty, measure it, lay it out on paper if needed so you have a good idea of the furniture in proportion to the room, and allow enough space so that it is easy to move around the room. Likewise you do not want the proportion of furniture to overwhelm the space, meaning adding a big overstuffed sofa to a room just because it is comfortable.

living room

  1. Consider Light. Many times people are not satisfied with their rooms because of the above reasons but also because of the lighting. Having a mix of natural light along with overhead, floor and table lamps are important to balance through the room to keep the lighting balanced.
  2. Size of Rugs. Make sure they are the right size for the space. Regarding rugs try to get the legs of all the large piece under the rug. You also do not want a rug so large that it does not fit in the space. A rug can anchor a seating area and if it is the right size it makes a large room feel warmer. If only the front legs can be on the rug that is ok too provided that the rug is big enough for the space, not looking like a little postage stamp in the middle of the room.
  3. Art and its position: Sometimes a wall is so expansive that you hang a piece and it does not look right. If you are hanging a piece behind a sofa make sure it is about two-thirds the length of the sofa, similar to a bed. Sometime a group of art pieces might do the trick because one piece may be too small. In this case create a wall that has similar elements to make the pieces work together. I suggest to clients either think of a color, theme, or even the same frame works.

The key to arranging furniture is measure the room, and play with the above suggestions of balance and proportion. Keep in mind the traffic flow through the room. Try and keep some of the pieces away from the walls too. By rearranging some of the pieces you already have can make a room look completely new again! Send me some pictures of your “new” rooms after you give this a try!

Other great reads:

Piecing a Room Together That Works

Things Your Home Does Not Need


What Is The Greige Rage?

What Is The Greige Rage?

Greige is a color that was introduced or identified when grays were coming onto the decorating scene after browns were the popular neutral. Although greige has been around for a while, some people, after all the browns were feeling gray was too cold, hence greige. Why and where would greige be a good color to use in a room? Let me explain so that you understand why it might be a great neutral for a room, or for selling.

Greige is that bridge neutral to help take rooms from the 1990’s beige and brown colors into the 2000’s gray trend. If you are one of those people that feel gray is “too cold,” greige is a good bridge for you. Paint is an easy inexpensive way to update any décor. When you have a kitchen that has travertine marble, and lots of brown, a greige can help you make the room look a little more updated. If you decorated last in the 90’s take a look at some greige’s because they can give your rooms a totally new look without breaking the bank.

Of course I have to talk a little bit about buyers today, they expect homes to be pretty much ‘turnkey’ they do not want to do a lot of updating. So in comes paint color to do the trick. Neutral is important when selling because it allows buyers to look at the room, not the color on the wall, or the stuff in the room. The color can actually help accentuate the architectural details that you want to emphasize when selling.

So back to why greige can be the ideal color;  identifying some ‘ideal’ greige tones that could help you update your rooms from the 90’s to what is trending is a great way to use greige. Keep in mind it’s hard to choose just one because of the undertones in floors and counters.

Although Benjamin Moore’s Manchester Tan (HC-81) has a bit of a green undertone, it is a great neutral to bridge that gap between being too brown to updating toward gray. The color works well.HC-81 Manchester Tan

 

machester tan

As you can see it can take a traditional space and make it feel more modern. Note the colors of the slate floors, dark gray, gray and greige. Of course using Benjamin Moore’s Simply White for the trim give the pop to the walls, taking it from “boring beige” to simply sophisticate.

Sherwin Williams identified one of their greige as Perfect Greige SW6073, it too closes the gap between the browns to a warm gray feeling, making the room feel more modern and updated.

SW 6073 Perfect Greige
Perfect Greige

This beautiful dining room is a great example of how the warmth of the color also adds sophistication.

natural cream

This traditional kitchen the granite appears to have gray in it, the cabinets were painted in a Natural Cream Benjamin Moore OC-14 which gives the room a warmer feeling then a gray which tends to be on the cooler scale of color.

Greige continues to be popular going forward into 2017 as Sherwin Williams choice Poised Taupe, but it really is a cross between gray and beige.

So if you are considering updating your rooms, but are not ready to rip out tile, flooring, or spend an arm and leg updating; consider color as a way to bridge the gap. Sometimes just changing your color on the walls to a more updated trending color might do the trick. Send me some pictures of your color changes and the difference it made in your rooms!

Other good reads:

Which Paint Color Is the Right One?

Eight Biggest Selling Offenders


2017 Predicted Popular Colors

2017 Predicted Popular Colors

It’s that time of year when the paint manufactures announce what they believe will be the popular color for the upcoming year.  They predict these colors based on trends they see not only in the design world but also what people are navigating towards. Color is like fashion, it will be cyclical but when the color comes back it will have a different fresh twist to it. You may have seen the predictions on my Facebook feed already, but I think it’s nice to see them altogether in one place too.

I noticed that the colors seem to leaving the neutral ‘clean’ trend that we had seen in 2016 with Alabaster and Simply White being the big news from Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore. The colors this year have purple undertones, and have a relaxing feeling. Isn’t that what we all want at the end of a busy day, to just sit back and relax? Having these colors in your rooms, if you like them, will allow you to do just that.

Sherwin Williams says Poised Taupe will be the color for 2017. Interestingly enough I have seen the trend to more beige than gray lately in décor,  and articles about décor. So this one is not too surprising to me. It is a cross between gray and beige but with purple undertones. Being a versatile color for those that were not enamored by the gray’s that have been so popular for the past ten or so years.

 

bedroom poised taupe

Notice how the room has the gray and beige in the rug, lots of light neutrals also, giving the room a relaxed feeling.

poised taupe kitchen

Instead of the gray trend for cabinets, taupe looks beautiful in this kitchen. I especially like taupe with black it makes it look so rich.

Those that like to purchase their paint at Home Depot, and now Walmart I understand; Glidden chose Byzantine Blue (50BB 32/117). It is a purplish blue. PPG the manufacture of Glidden said “Byzantine Blue is truly a purple in disguise. It stretches the boundaries of purple to borrow all of best qualities of blue and gray…”

byzantine blue bed

Soft purply blue mixed again with neutrals is such a relaxing combination. So I wonder is gray slowly fading or just morphing into a softer feeling…

What do you think of the predicted colors for 2017? We still need to see what Benjamin Moore (October 2016 they announced Shadow as their color for 2017) will come out with, which I am sure will be soon. Do you think you will be jumping on the trend, or have you been using similar colors in your decorating all along? I love to hear your feed back

Other good reads:

The Right Color for a Room


Color How They Work Together

Color How They Work Together

Maria Killam wrote a blog Introducing the Understanding Undertones® Colour Wheel  yesterday, which is so simple to see how and what colors work with one another. For those of us in the decorating industry we are all gaga about it. Back in May I took her intensive three day course; let me tell you it was chock-full of information and how colors complement one another. mkillam color wheel

She easily breaks down how colors work with one another by their undertones. When you look at a room and it’s fixed elements i.e. the floors, cabinets, stone on a fireplace… they all have a color right? The area to concentrate on is what the predominate undertone in those elements are. Some people can see it, others can not, and if you are in the can not group then it is worth every penny to have a certified True Colour Expert™ help you out.

You may think that a builder for a new home knows what they are doing when they paint the walls, but I have seen many new builds that have cooler toned fixed elements and the walls painted in warm tones. They do not work together. Color not only translates to what is on the walls, but also all the other elements throughout a space in a room. When we see a room pulled together correctly we drool over the space. The design is complementing the colors through the space. There are many professionally designed rooms that do not have the colors correct, but when it is done right it is harmonious.

So if you want a home that is coordinated and balanced, one room flowing into the next without jarring feelings, color can be the element you have overlooked. Not sure how to pull it off? It is worth every penny to have a True Colour Expert™ come and help you out. Think of it this way; an electrician, plumber, or lawyer – they all have skills that you do not embrace, pay for the help it’s worth the small expense.

Here is my testimonial on Maria’s class I took this past spring: