Kiki Interiors - Decor and Staging

Monday, June 28, 2010

Spice it up with Stripes!


give a touch of stylish yet classic decor by using stripes. stripes come in all sizes and styles ranging from big and bold to subtle and neutral. here are some ideas to add some stripes to your decor.


-- an area rug with big yet neutral toned stripes can add some personality to any space.


-- table linens with a subtle stripe is fresh and clean looking. this is a great look for the outdoor patio.


-- bold wallpaper is a current way to do an accent wall. this looks very dramatic in a powder room or master bedroom. use wallpaper in neutral tones so your space does not look like a circus big top!


-- an upholstered headboard in a pinstripe is classic and chic.


-- add a few stripes on fabric lamp shades. the stripe will look custom and can add some pop to your room.


-- decor pillows with stripes are fresh and fun. feel free to experiment with colours as a few throw pillows will likely not overpower a room.



stripes are youthful and fresh and they will bring that into any space you choose, just remember you can go overboard, so take it one stripe at a time!

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Friday, June 25, 2010

Let's get started!


OK you have decided it's time to re-decorate! you are so excited for the fresh start and the idea of something new, so how do you get started? Re-decorating can be intimidating but here are some get ideas to help you get going.


1 -- Once you have selected the room you are re-decorating, you need to think about your needs and lifestyle. Is this room for relaxation? entertaining? or multi-purpose? This will help you determine what needs to be in place in the space.


2 -- The fun part (at least for me) is the colour selection. Start by choosing your fabric first (so that could be your bed linens or maybe your sofa) select the paint, ceramic etc...from the fabric. If you commit to a paint colour first you will be looking for coordinating fabrics for years before you find the exact one for you! You can start with an inspiration colour, for example a light blue but be somewhat flexible when it comes to selecting the final hue.


3 -- Be sure to measure EVERYTHING! Area carpets, furniture, etc... to ensure every item will fit. Ask the experts for help.


4 -- Empty the entire room before you start moving pieces in the space. This will really help you decide if you like the placement of all the elements or not.


5 -- Think about practical elements too. Drapes should have 'black-out' lining if you like to sleep in or work shift work, this allows for better sleep. Lamps with fabric shades have better distribution of light. Mid-toned area rugs hide dirt and stains better than light toned ones.


Most of all, decorate for yourself, your needs and taste. Take inspiration from others but be true to yourself and create a space you know you'll love!

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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Hosting the Perfect Backyard BBQ


It's officially summer! The kids are out of school (soon) and it's time to make the most of the summer weather and the free time with friends and family.
Looking for some great ideas to host the perfect backyard BBQ?

Here are some easy tips for parties with guests of all ages:

Set the scene
Go with a seasonal palette - greens and yellows are fresh and fun! Look for flowers that are in bloom such as sunflowers, zinnias, and Gerber daisies. If the party will go into the evening hours be sure to have some kind of lighting (for mood and safety) look for tiki torches or solar lights in the garden or around the pool. don't forget about bug protection - have bug spray available for guests to use, have citronella candles on hand and spray the air and shrubs with Raid Yard Guard outdoor three hours before the party.
Try having some hurricanes candles on the table too. A white cotton table cloth is easy to wash but if you are hosting a party with children look for a vinyl one instead. Place the table close enough to the house so the host and guests have access to the kitchen and bathroom. Position the grill so the smoke is not blowing over the table but have it close enough so the chef feels included in the party.


Music
Music can really set the tone for the party but feel free to change it up as the party progresses. start off with some Bob Marley to set the mood, maybe then add some more up beat song selections that stick with the summer theme like "Cruel summer", "Hot, Hot, Hot", "Hot stuff" etc...As the evening becomes more mellow switch it up with some "Bossa Nova Brazil" or Smooth sounds of Sade.

Signature drink
Not necessary but it adds a sophistication to any party.
Try SUMMER MELON COOLERS
(serves 12)
Fill 1/2 gallon pitcher 1/3 full of vodka. Stir in puree of 1 honeydew melon (about 3 cups), 2 cups each of Midori liqueur and sprite and 1 cup of club soda. Serve over ice and garnish with skewered melon balls.

Offer non-alcoholic options as well, such as an equal mix of orange juice, cranberry juice and sparkling water.

For the kids, add some fruit in their drinks so they will feel just like the grown-ups.

best Backyard BBQ wines - Californian chardonnay (white) or Vieille Ferme (red).

What to serve
Have a selection of different burgers - beef, turkey and veggie.
Salads that don't necessarily require refrigeration such as a green, tomato or bean salads.
Appetizers such as crudites with hummus and tabbouleh.
Dessert go seasonal or simple - strawberry shortcake is a favourite and does not need a lot of prep time or if you have a fire pit, try s'mores

Remember
- to fill the propane tank so you don't run out mid-grilling.
- give guests about 3 weeks notice, summer time is busy for everyone (especially families)
- prep as much as you can before guests arrive, that way you can actually enjoy the party
- if you want to keep the evening casual, it's ok to go pot luck just plan with everyone first so you do not end up with 8 bean salads.
- use plastic cups and plates, they can be re-used but also accidents can happen and broken glass around little feet and grown up feet can be very dangerous.
- if children will be there, have something for them to do: sandbox, crafts, sports, games be sure to have them near by for proper parent supervision.
Where to look
Some great stores to find super stylish yet budget friendly outdoor items, check out http://www.jysk.ca/, http://www.ikea.ca/, http://www.pier1.com/, and http://www.loblaws.ca/.

Have a fabulous, fashionable and fun summer!

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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Luxurious Lullabyes


Maybe being a new mom (of two little ones under the age of 2 yrs) with little sleep has played a role in my latest focus - decor in the bedroom.

A luxurious bed is a simple and wonderful way to start and end your day. I just purchased some goose down pillows and do they ever make for a better night's sleep (even if it is only for a few hours at a time).

Here are some tips to create your perfect bed.

-- Mix it. Add some accent pillows to deliver a punch of visual interest. Look at different patterns or colours. Euro pillows (square pillows approx. a 26" square) are great for reading and lounging. Look for prints/colours that coordinate with your existing duvet cover.

-- Tuck it. fold down your duvet to reveal a tucked blanket (in winter and fall) or top/flat sheet (in spring and summer).

-- Fluff it. Keep an additional duvet (a lighter weight is recommended) at the foot of the bed, this too can be in a pattern or 'pop' colour, this also adds dimension and balance to your bed.

-- Layer it. Layering an outfit adds interest, dimension and richness. Layering a bed does the same. Add some texture with a knitted throw blanket or with a quilted coverlet at the foot of the bed.

-- Finish it. Unless it is a platform bed, a floor length skirt (aka dust ruffle) really completes the look of the luxurious bed.

-- Add it. Think about the other elements in your bedroom too, such as a bench to keep your blankets and other linens but also providing seating, a cozy area rug to keep your feet feeling toasty warm, an upholstered headboard adds even more glamour and richness to the bed, a chandelier is a unique and classy touch, and lighting - having a mix of task and overhead it best.

A good night's sleep is priceless but a good night's sleep in style is perfection!

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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

It's nothing personal....


This week my team and I had a staging appointment in a great neighbourhood in the Parkwood Hills area, a well maintained 4 bedroom home with beautiful landscaping on a family-friendly street. The seller has decided to downsize into a condo now that her children have all grown up. she had lived there for years and I can only imagine the emotional attachment she has to this house. she is keen to sell but was very unsure of the staging process and why it was needed.


We arrived on Monday and toured the entire home and took some notes. The big issue in the house was the clutter - papers, family photographs, gifts from her children, and other 'collections'. We decided to start by clearing off the surfaces. We operate by the rule of 3 - no more than 3 items on a surface. The home still looks 'decorated' but not swallowed up by clutter and other items. We cleared off the fireplace mantle completely and added one simple vase with flowers. Clearing off the kitchen counter top and tucking away the small appliances made the space feel so much larger and cleaner too. And in the bedrooms and bathrooms, more of the same! What a difference!


We returned on Tuesday to add some flowers and a few splashes of colour so that the home was photo ready and much to our surprise - everything we had done to stage the home had been un-done! We had to start all over again. At least we had had some practise the day before (lol).


My assistants were somewhat confused and a bit frustrated, asking why would someone want their home staged only to un-do all of the stager's work? Well, as odd as it may seem many people, especially those who have been in the home for a significant amount of time, are offended or feel like you are criticizing them in some way. It is so important for the homeowner to understand what staging actually is and that it's nothing personal. We are there to help you sell your home for top dollar. In order to accomplish that, we sometimes have to remove (temporarily) the personal touches in the home and allow the potential buyers to mentally move-in.


The photographs are to take place this morning, I just hope the owner has not un-done all of the staging work. It is so important to have amazing photographs of your home - that is how you will draw in your buyers. It's nothing personal...just staging!
If you are interested in this listing or interested to see how the photos turned out, check out:

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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Chair-ity!


Chairs are a functional item in most rooms but this season we are going to be seeing a lot of different styles, looks and fabrics in and on chairs.


Some of my favourite looks in chairs are:


-- a mis-match set, so one look with your table maybe something from a rummage sale that looks a bit rough and add a modern looking set of chairs


-- go bright! have a neutral table with some different coloured chairs. this is a great look in an eat-in kitchen


-- have a dining set you want to update? try changing out the upholstery on the seats. i did this with my set, the seats were covered in a white vinyl and we replaced it with a funky animal print.


-- re-upholster you traditional wing back in a non-traditional print. the unexpected adds personality and unique flair to any room.


-- look for some industrial pieces to use as seating. an old work bench can be used at the front entry or in a bedroom.


-- the 'ghost' chair is a clear plastic chair that looks great in a bedroom, living room or dining room. it can make a smaller space look huge but still provides seating


Some of my favourite places to look for chairs -


- Design within Reach (check out the cherner collection, the marais collection and the navy chair) www.dwr.com


- Phillip Van Leeuwen (check out the 'petite', the ghost arm chairs and the 'frilly')


- looking for something vintage try 'Found Design' www.founddesign.ca


- check out garage sales and antique shops for something truly unique and one of a kind.


An occasional chair is another way to add personality and flair in any room. Chairs can be a bit costly but think of them as an investment piece plus you want something well made so it lasts and it is comfortable.


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