Kiki Interiors - Decor and Staging

Friday, May 28, 2010

How to Furnish a Room


Many people are intimidated at the idea of furnishing a room, this is probably one reason why staging is so successful - it takes the guess work away!


Furnishing a living room is like filling a wardrobe with clothing you might wear everyday. just like you would with clothing, start with the basics, so when selecting your furniture start with sofa(s), chairs, side and coffee tables. Make sure the items are classic in shape and colour and of course, take proportion into consideration. Now that you have your foundation pieces, you can start to dress your room up with details that add personality and interest.


When furnishing a room you also have to consider the room's most beautiful elements and deciding on how you want the room to flow. Is there a fireplace you'd like to be near while reading on the sofa or club chair? Or, is there a window with a fabulous view that you want to call attention to? These are called focal points. Be sure to choose pieces that you can arrange in a way to take advantage of the room's assets.


The most common pieces placed in a living room are:-a sofa, two arm chairs, two side tables with table lamps and a coffee table. how you arrange these pieces can add some uniqueness and personality to your space. Try an L-shape formation (the sofa facing the fireplace and two arm chairs side by side on one end of the sofa, end tables on either side of the sofa and the coffee table right in front of the sofa). the U-shape formation (sofa facing fireplace, coffee table right in front, side table with lamps on either side of the sofa and armchairs on each end of the sofa just facing each other). these are pretty typical formations. But here are some other suggestions:- Face to Face (place the sofa on the right side of the fireplace facing the window, and the two arm chairs side by side facing the sofa and coffee table in the middle.) Diagonal arrangement (use the U-shape formation but place the sofa on an angle and every other piece accordingly - this is a great way to take advantage of a window in the spring/summer and angle pieces in the direction of the fireplace in the fall/winter).


Dressing up the room is how we make the space ours. Adding those elements like colour, texture and shine. Adding decor pillows, throw blankets, artwork, mirrors, knick knacks, lamps, and other unique touches. Side tables and coffee tables are functional and fashionable but keep them clean from clutter, a rule of thumb no more than 3 pieces on a table. so a lamp, a small plant and a small dish is more than enough. If you want to display some of your collectibles this rule applies too - too many objects make a space cluttered an no one can see your beautiful pieces. The sofa is also a piece to present colour and texture. Try mixing different textures and patterns to create a warm and cozy area for guests and yourself. I personally like to start with a neutral foundation piece (cream, beige, camel,grey or espresso) are good tones to start with, they are classic and timeless and you can add any colour you wish.


Don't be intimidated to furnish your own space, it is fun! Afraid your place is too generic? That's where unique pieces you love, colour and texture come into play. Use books and magazine for inspiration. Take your time it does not have to be finished over night.

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Sunday, May 23, 2010

Great Garage Sales!!


It's that time of year - garage sales are everywhere! My mother-in-law is a big garage sale shopper and she always finds great deals - I never really understood how she did it, I always seemed to find junk. "It's best to start early," she says "that's where you find the best stuff at the best deals." I have heard this before but I always found them to be overwhelming, so much stuff and how to sort through it all. Many garage sales are not organized like some of the ones you see on TV shows like "Clean Sweep", so it is best to go in with a strategy or a plan of attack. Go with a list, know what you are looking for - furniture, clothing etc...but don't be too specific because this is a different kind of shopping. By narrowing your search you'll feel less stressed and overwhelmed.


Garage sales are great for unique finds such as lamps, artwork and even furniture but go in with some creativity and imagination. For example - you may find a table with great lines and the perfect size for your eat-in kitchen but the colour may not be your taste. Think about sanding off the finish and painting it. Can't find matching chairs? Purchase chairs from an inexpensive store that match or white garage sale hunting find mismatching chairs in the appropriate size and refinish them in a fun and fresh paint colour. Find an interesting lamp but the shade is dated? Switch up the shade.


If you are looking to add some special touches to your home, garage sales are a great starting point. You can really find some treasures that may need some polishing but you'll save a bundle and no one will have the same pieces that you will. It's a lot of fun too!

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Monday, May 17, 2010

Conquering kid clutter


If you have children or know anyone with children you know that kids come with a lot of baggage. Not the emotional kind but just things - clothing, toys, blankets, books, diapers, wipes, and other equipment like things needed for their hobbies.


Where can you put it all? Well, it can be a difficult task but getting your kids organized will really pay off in the end. Kids who are organized tend to do better in school, they will feel better in their space and you will feel better about their rooms too. It's never too early to start organizing the kids' rooms and for families with older children get your little ones involved in the process.


Look for storage solutions, try stores such as IKEA http://www.ikea.ca/ and stay Organized http://www.stayorganized.com/retail/ They have great ideas for any storage issues for any room. But first know what your issues are : over flowing dressers? Try adding an armoire or adding hanging organizers in the closet for toys, clothes and/or costumes. Everything is everywhere? Try creating zones. Have a desk and necessary study items in one area, add a mirror and small table with baskets for play make up and hair accessories in another area and keep a small square shaped bookcase for books and it could also double as a bed side table just add a lamp on top.


In kids' rooms don't be afraid to use big or adult size furniture - you'll have more room for everything. Sometimes bigger is better, as a large dresser could replace two small ones. Often children's furniture is not as well made (as it is not designed with longevity in mind) and it can be costly. Find furniture in a neutral tone and basic design and it could last quite a while.


What about the closet? Make it kid friendly by adding reachable bars, hooks and shelves. Use the higher space for seasonal items like extra blankets, sport equipment and snowsuits. Use clear plastic (and cheap) dressers for inside the closet. On the shelves you can keep items in boxes such as hats, scarves etc...


What about the other areas where the kid clutter exists?

The front hall is a hot zone for kids. They come home from school and drop everything - bags, books and jackets. What to do? A coat rack or coat hooks are a good idea. Consider getting a cabinet or bench in the front hall that has either drawers or baskets and assign one to each child. Show them the routine and have them practice. If you have additional drawers or baskets use them for storing seasonal items like mitts and hats.


The kitchen is a very busy space for families. Try adding an in-box in your kitchen this can help keep all of the field trip and invitations organized. The kids drop their forms and invites in the in-box and once you have had the chance to respond or fill them out they can be placed in the kids' drawers or baskets to bring back to school. If you have a desk in the kitchen a bulletin board with a family calendar is also a great idea to keep all activities straight.


Kids do not have to cramp your style. They just add extra pieces to the puzzle. Getting everyone organized will take time in the beginning but in the end it will be worth it.

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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Trend to watch for in flooring


We are seeing hardwood flooring many spaces and people are loving the look and the maintenance. They look clean and they are easy too clean. They suit all decor styles from modern to traditional but they are also extremely practical for anyone with pets and/or allergies.


So what are the hardwood flooring trends to watch for?


Wire brushed finish. this looks especially great in a wider plank but it really shows of the grain of the wood. It's very true to nature but again, works with many looks. It gives a bit more of a rustic feel which works in a country home setting or an artist's loft.


Grey hardwood. This is very popular in Europe right now. Trying to imagine what this looks like? think of weathered cedar boards but on the floor. Grey tones are still very popular and this flooring selection is no exception.


Check out Satin Finish for their wide selection of hardwood flooring. http://www.satinfinish.com/
In this image, you are seeing a grey maple hardwood floor in a very chic and modern space.

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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Hotel chic


Everyone needs an escape or a getaway, even a few days can do wonders for the body, mind and soul. So what is it about a hotel that is so relaxing? I can be anywhere in the world and as long as my room has the following elements, I am in 'heaven'. Follow these tips to bring a little hotel chic into your everyday life, because we all need an escape.


Reduce the clutter - clear off the surfaces or at least have baskets or boxes for the items you need access to. Depending on your budget you can add cabinetry or shelving units or simple storage solutions. Keeping clutter to a minimum creates a stress free environment.


Create visual interest - make your space less utilitarian and more pleasing by adding plants or flowers. Texture with blankets and/or pillows. Vases with river stone and grass, is easy to maintain, and keeps a calm atmosphere. Candles add to the ambiance as well, just keep the accessories minimal.


Clean, clean, clean - whether it is the bathroom or your bedroom be sure to dust the surfaces, make the bed, clean any reflective surfaces, and vacuum the floors. If your space is kept clean you will feel like a guest every time you enter the room.


Lighting - layering your lighting is always a good idea. Remember to have task lighting for reading (by the bed is best), candles can create a relaxing and soft light and pot lights can fill the space with light. A dimmer switch is also a great and easy idea to create a calm and serene lightning plan.


Linens - changing your bed linens regularly keeps them clean and maintained plus you get that hotel feel with crisp sheets. Investing in higher quality bed sheets really makes a difference. The higher the thread count, the softer the sheet. This is something I recommend all couples to put on their bridal registry. stay with neutral colours, again this adds to the soothing mood you wish to create in your hotel chic space.


Other touches -


*Have wet bottles or a decanter with water by the bed.

*Scented candles

*Beautiful artwork or photography that you love - maybe something personal like wedding photos or portraits

*A basket of lotions and oils


Just be sure to create a space that is relaxing and soothing for you, after all this is your escape.

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Monday, May 10, 2010

What's in your fridge?


Storage containers have come a long way and they come in all shapes and sizes. There are even stylish storage containers to keep food fresh and fabulous.


Where to start?

Begin by taking everything out. Toss out leftovers and expired products. Start by grouping like-sized items together and re-arrange the height of the shelves accordingly. A space saving tip: decant bulky juice cartons into clear pitchers.


Access is key. Items that are left at the back of the fridge tend to stay there and we forget about them. Look for a plastic (easy to clean) lazy Susan to keep your small jars, be sure the lazy Susan has a lip around it to ensure items to do not fall off. This is perfect for hot sauces, mustard and other specialty condiments.


Re-purpose your crisper drawers. I have found that by keeping pre-cut veggies and fruit in produce-friendly containers, we eat healthier. When you open your fridge having the healthy foods visible and accessible makes sense, so why not use the crisper for other items such as food and drink you don't want to see tight away when hunger strikes like chocolate and pop.

Having an organized fridge will ensure you have less waste because everything is used. It is also easier to find out what you need for your next grocery run.

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Thursday, May 6, 2010

A place for everything - stylish storage solutions


Everybody faces storage challenges. There are so many stylish storage solutions that are both functional and fashionable.


Book shelves - are a great way to store books or magazines, of course, but also display collections and other decor piece but they also act as a graphic back drop for the entire space. Other storage solutions to be used in a book case - try vintage cans to store bills and letters, a decorative clay pot could store matches and old milk bottles can keep spare change. Try finding storage containers that have personality and add to the style of the room.


Coat/hat racks - are perfect in mudrooms and front foyers, they are great for guests or everyday use. Add a bench under the rack which can not only act as seating but also storage for hats, mitts and other seasonal items.


Clear containers - glass or plastic are great for storing anything in any room. In an office, store supplies in them and leave them on a shelf. In a kitchen, store your cookies, coffee, tea, pasta and/or cereal in clear containers. Glass containers make for easy storage, easy to find items and add pops of colour.

Stackable bins - are great in the garage or storage area in the basement. Perfect for seasonal items such as decor pieces or clothing. Be sure to label them to make finding what you need easier.


Wicker baskets - are great for kid's rooms, rec. rooms and bathrooms. They looks great, they are made from natural materials and they come in all sizes. They are a great tool to teach children where to put their toys. They also make items accessible put still tidy.


Having a special place for the things you need most saves time. As with every aspect of design, you can approach creating storage with personal flair. Bringing in your sense of colour, texture, style and materials - as well as your own pieces - will add to the overall appearance of the room.

Inexpensive items like vintage canisters and antique boxes can be used as ordinary storage items but are more visually appealing and dynamic. If an object catches your eye, think about its decorative and storage potential.

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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Favourite things - chalkboard paint


Chalkboard paint has been on the market for a while but I recently used it in my own home during our renovation this fall and I just love it!


When we discovered that our current kitchen cabinet had been discontinued we were stuck on what to do for doors on our new pantry.

We decided to re-create cabinets in the same design as our current kitchen and use the same hardware but we painted the cabinet/pantry doors with chalkboard paint. It's a large surface where we keep our grocery list, to-do list and our weekly calendar. It is so useful and user-friendly. I know that when my children are older they will love drawing on the chalkboard while we are busy making dinner. It was easy and inexpensive. So what else can you do with chalkboard paint?


- a great gift idea is to paint flower pots with chalkboard paint and using chalk, write a message.


- use the paint on glass jars for the kitchen and label the container with chalk. an easy but fun way to create a cookie jar or canisters of tea and/or coffee.


- re-vamp an old coffee table by re-finishing the surface in chalkboard paint. keep a bowl of chalk near by and the keep it in the family room, your kids and their friends will love this!


- a wall or just a framed space on a wall, perfect for the kitchen or family room for keeping lists or just for drawing.


- a very creative backsplash. can't afford tile? a chalkboard backsplash is unique and easy.


Chalkboard paint now comes in a sorts of colours, so it's even more fun!

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Monday, May 3, 2010

New store in Ottawa - Urban Barn


A new,contemporary furniture store has arrived in the Nation's Capital!


That's right Urban Barn.

Based out of Canada's west coast, Urban Barn has been entering Ontario's cities with fashion, function and flair! This store offers great furniture and accessories at reasonable prices. They offer furniture in leather, wood and custom upholstery in classic and contemporary styles.


My personal favourite pieces:


The nest chair


The Irish coast rectangular table


The Poet sofa


The Whiskey bed


Check out the link below for more information.





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