Kiki Interiors - Decor and Staging

Friday, April 29, 2011

Let's get organized!!



Don't sweat the small stuff - organize it!! Try these creative fixes using basic but brilliant household staples to cure your clutter and keep your life in working order!










One tool but four useful ways to use it!










The utensil holder





It holds your utensils but try this : using it to hold your various teas just like the pretty tea packets we see in shops and restaurants; try using it to organize and keep all of your hair tools in one spot, rollers, combs and irons can all be organized in one spot; and how about a new home for your costume jewelry? earrings can even be poked through mesh holders so they can hang on.










The spice rack





Of course, an easy and practical way to keep your spices at your finger tips but what about using it as : a desk caddy - keep the push pins, rubber bands, labels etc...in small containers of the spice rack this creates a simpler and happier workspace; another great use is in the garage or workshop, this is a great way to sort and organize your nuts, screws, bolts and other small pieces; and how about a perfect craft organizer for beads, bobble and other rainy day craft materials.










The hanging basket





Perfect in the kitchen for fruit but it works wonders in a chaotic closet to keep belts, scarves and clutches off of the floor. It can also be used for parties (especially outdoor ones) to hold kids' party favours such as hats and noise makers or another great use is for the kids' playroom to hang up small plush toys and trucks.










The bath caddy





Keeps your bath products all in row but how about for kitchen utensils and napkins, just perfect for the outdoor BBQ dinner, or, a great tool to hold onto the essential such as keys, phone, sunglasses etc...or, the perfect happy hour organizer to hold straws, fruit wedges, umbrellas and more.















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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

More, more, more Morocco!



Moroccan influence is everywhere! Fashion magazines, Travel blogs, Cooking shows, even America's Next Top Model has shot there and now Morocco is coming into your home! Check out any home decor magazine or store and you'll see the Moroccan influence.






So what are we seeing?






- gorgeous colours in vibrant and rich tones






- hand crafted bowls, sculptures, dishes and more






- stunning and detailed textiles






- embroidered pillows






- ornate rugs and carpets






- Sultan style light fixtures






Now how can you have some Moroccan inspiration without over doing it and looking like a Moroccan eatery? Just pick and choose your favourite pieces, don't use them all! But - you need to have a few elements so that you have a common thread and your space does not look like a collection of random looks. A few pillows pairs with a sultan light fixture or an ornate rug with some hand crafted pieces.






When working with a theme be sure to have balance. Start with a blank or neutral slate such as cream walls and furniture and some darker pieces like a dark espresso stained dining set and coffee table and then implement the Moroccan influences. You always want your styled space, no matter the theme, to look clean, intentional and focused.






Moroccan decor can be so exotic, romantic and chic and right now it is all the rage! Go ahead and bring Morocco to you!

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Monday, April 18, 2011

Creative Solutions for Storage


Spring is here! The grass is starting to turn green, the snow is gone, the sun is out and some flowers are beginning to bloom but spring also brings...Spring Cleaning! Things are really starting to pile up and get out of control! I dream of having organized closets, as I think many moms do. To find exactly what we are looking for with ease and grace ... ahhh, dare to dream!


Getting things under control and organized is a process and with growing families your amount of 'stuff' just grows with it! But it feels so great to tackle the clutter and keep it away. But how? Get smart with your storage and spend time sorting it.


Starting with a good purge is a great first step. Sort through the linen closet, the garage, the kids dressers, your closet (eek) and other storage areas. I am in this stage right now and I cannot believe these things that are still kicking around in plain sight. You will be so surprised at what you have held onto and for how long. If you haven't used it, worn it or even thought of it in 6 months to a year - retire it! There are so many different ways to 'get rid of junk'. Donate it, sell it, toss it, re-purpose it. Be realistic - if you wouldn't want it (due to it's condition i.e stains, tears, broken etc...) will anyone else want it? Once we unload the 'access baggage' we feel lighter in many ways. Clutter adds to stress, so by eliminating (or reducing) the clutter we are managing our stress too.


Now that you have purged, you likely still have a lot of things. So now what? They all need a place. This is where creative storage solutions come in. Unless you leave in a palatial home you likely need to have multi purpose pieces so look for furniture pieces that offer double duty.


Try these ideas:

- Baskets, baskets, baskets - with a lid or without, when things such as toys, books and magazine have a 'place' the space just feels neater. I have a great waterproof basket in my bathroom for my children's' bath toys. They love to get their toys out for bath time and then put them away too.


- Metro Shelving - this heavy duty chrome wire shelving is great in garages, laundry rooms, pantries and workshops. It has an industrial look but it is easy to clean and very sturdy.


- Bulletin Boards - best hung behind doors or in an area where they are not attracting too much attention. This is a perfect set up for kids' schedules, notes, permission forms, bills and other reminders. Think about all of the papers that get stuffed and ignored in a 'junk' drawer. By pinning them up in view, you'll be likely to purge the bulletin board once tasks are completed because the papers are in your sight line.


- Hooks and Pegs - these are great and often very inexpensive, they come in a variety of finishes from wood to metal. These work well in mud rooms, kids play areas, kids' room and bathrooms. When they are being used for children be sure to install them at a height that is functional for them, other wise the kids won't use them. These are ideal for hanging coats, backpacks, towels, dog leashes and more. A great idea for the mudroom is to pair up the hooks with a storage bench.


- Storage bench - piano benches work well too. these are great because they can store mitts, hats, gloves etc... they can also be used for seating. I have a few leather storage benches at home and we store our extra for parties in there - place mats, napkins, table cloths etc...items we don't use everyday plus the benches come out and act as additional seating - double duty!!


- Paint cans - new ones are best or use large,empty juice cans with the tops removed. These are perfect for storing kids stuff in an arts and crafts cupboard. The are great for paint brushes, crayons, rulers, beads, shells etc...You can label them and get the kids to decorate them too!


- Old trunks - check out vintage and antique shops for these but I have seen newer versions in home decor stores. They are great for storing extra linens and pillows. They look great too. In a guest room, keep one in the corner or at the foot of the bed, let guests know that they can help them selves to additional blankets, towels and pillows (some guests will be too shy to ask).


- Large fabric or plastic boxes - these are great 'hiding spots' for items such as laundry detergent, dog food, etc...things we use everyday but don't necessarily like to look at.


Now off I go to tackle some more rooms in need of organizing....

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Saturday, April 16, 2011

Just one look, that's all it took....


I do believe in love at first sight and I believe it can happen more than once in a lifetime. I have experienced love at first sight when I met (my now) husband and when I saw both of my children for this very first time, I have also seen it in real estate. The moment you see your first home for the very first time it is just perfect....well it should be.


When it comes to selling your home you always make sure that the interior is pristine. Every detail is just right and the home looks just beautiful but wait...what about your exterior? Yes, curb appeal, it matters, and in a big way. Over 80 percent of buyers will view your home on the Internet first and then decide where to book viewings so be sure to spend as much time prepping the outside as you do on the inside. Since buyers make up their mind about a home within the first 30 seconds, you don't have any time to waste.


The season you are selling your home can be a factor( selling season can be any season of the year) but there are many ways to make certain that the exterior of your home is picture perfect. Think of the many guidelines that you followed to ensure your interior is beautiful, they apply to the exterior too.


De-clutter: get rid of the garbage cans, the strollers, the sporting equipment, kids toys etc...from the front lawn and porch area


Clean: sweep, mow, rake, shovel depending on what the exterior elements call for but be sure to clean and clear the entry way to your home. And in the winter months, be sure to sand or salt the walk way (safety first plus, you don't want buyers to remember falling on the icy path leading to your home).


Details: pay attention to the small things. Is the front door paint faded or chipping? Do the stairs or walls or windows need a good power washing? Is your exterior light working? Is your doorbell working? Do your shrubs need a trimming? Are your flower pots looking alive and well? Paying attention to those details sends a positive message to buyers and gets them excited to see the inside of your home.


Decor: add some colour and life to the exterior with a decorative wreath, add some colourful outdoor pillows to your bench or chair, add some plants and/or flowers to exterior pots. This can be done in the cooler fall and winter months too.


First impressions are lasting impressions. Showcase your home and you will bring in the best buyers with the best offers, all of the hard work is worth it. Go ahead, be the envy of the neighbourhood....

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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Great Green Ideas


April 22nd is right around the corner, for those of you that don't know April 22nd is also Earth Day. Going 'green' is not just a trend but a way of living and protecting the planet for future generations. When it comes to green living there are so many options for reduce, reuse and recycle and your home projects are no exception. Take a look at some of these ideas and consider them when it comes to your next home improvement project.


In the kitchen and laundry room:

- consider Energy star appliances. They use less energy and they will save you money!


In the bathroom and kitchen:

- consider locally made counter tops and cabinets

- consider cabinets made of recycled materials or sustainable materials

- consider counter tops made of recycled glass


Throughout the home:

- consider flooring made of recycled materials or sustainable materials

- consider using paint with low or no VOC's

- consider changing to energy efficient lighting

- consider adding green or environmentally friendly insulation (if you are building or renovating)


Instead of buying all new furniture try refinishing or re-upholstering or even re-purposing your pieces.


Green is not just a fresh colour but a way of life. Living green or taking steps to being more green will help the planet and our future generations!

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Saturday, April 9, 2011

Does this house smell funny to you??


We are so used to living and being in our own space that we often overlook certain things. We don't see our collections as a big deal or our favourite (but ugly) chair as a problem, well same goes for the smells in our home! We are so used to the aroma that we don't notice it. But when it comes time to sell, we need to start noticing these things. When it comes to odour, every house comes with one, especially if you have children and/or pets.


Some of the best ways to eliminate these odours?


A professional carpet cleaning (whether it is wall-to-wall or area carpets) makes a huge difference not only does it make the space feel and smell fresh but it helps to keep your flooring in good condition. Harsh chemicals are not needed to improve the look, smell and feel of your carpets.


A good scrub down. Bathrooms and the kitchens are the hot spots for odours, so be sure to give these rooms a really good cleaning. Pay attention to your appliances too. Your fridge itself can develop an unpleasant odour. This should also include a good hose down of your garbage cans too.


So can aromatherapy help m sell my home? You bet!


Studies show that the first thing people notice when walking into a home is - the smell. Strong and unpleasant odour can really turn buyers off. A buyer's impression is made in the first 30 seconds - this 30 seconds is most critical! Staging sets the scene for a buyer to mentally move in and the scent can evoke emotion and truly appeal to the senses.


Using potpourri, essential oils, candles and other elements can help you sell your home. In a small space like a condo or a small home, be sure to stick with one perfume. In a larger home, you can use a few scents but I would recommend no more than three.


- lavender. has a very calming effect, this would be ideal in a master bedroom, an ensuite bath or even a nursery.


- balsam fir. smells like Christmas, perfect for the holiday season to help set the tone.


- jasmine. another perfect scent for the master suite, it has an exotic and romantic effect.


- peppermint. a clean, fresh and cool scent which would work beautifully in the summer months in the kitchen.


- apple and cinnamon. the smell of fresh baking appeals to all ages. during an open house you could bake a pie (homemade or store bought) . the scent is very welcoming and cozy, ideal for the kitchen on a fall or winter day.


When buying candles or oils, smell them before they are lit or assembled. The scent should be light, if it is too strong remember it will be even stronger once lit or assembled.


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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Winter drab to Spring fab!


It's now April! The sun is out and the snow is just about gone but ugh....the gardens and lawns could really use some serious sprucing up!


Here are some great tips to go from winter drab to spring fab in your yard in just one weekend!


1 - Clean up. Rake the lawn and the flower beds to remove dead leaves and perennial over growth.


2 - Maintenance. Look into some turf products to repair the salt damage, Turf Revolution has a great salt prevention product. Also many flowering bushes benefit from some early spring pruning to help them really flourish in the summer months. Also cut back your ornamental grasses to about 2-3 inches above the ground level.


3 - Mulch. Is a great way to retain moisture and to keep weeds down where they belong plus it has a great rustic finish. Be sure to keep mulching your perennial beds for once they have broken ground.


4- Plan. Lay out your plants on the ground before digging so you can know how it will look and if you have enough plants. Figure out which plants will work best and where - shade plants and sun plants need a different placement in your garden. Also plant for the season, in the early spring the weather can still be harsh, so look to plant hardier flowers such as pansies, tulips and daffodils in the early part of the garden season.


5 - Big and lush. when it comes to planting your flower pots or boxes - fill them up! You want them to look lush and beautiful. Always start planting from the middle and work outwards.


Some gardening trends to look for:


Colour blocking - just like in fashion, we are seeing gardens in one or two main colours with a splash of a third.


Height. In your boxes or pots, add height with pussy willows or dogwood.


Colour trends. We are seeing a lot of black pots and yellows, purple and white are the hot colours for this gardening season.


Small gardens. Condos and apartments can get in on the fun of gardening. There are tons of new products on the market that are suited for the urban gardener.


Veggies! People are trending towards growing and cooking with their own veggies. You'll be surprised as to what you can successful grow in your own yard!


So dig in and bring on Spring!!

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Saturday, April 2, 2011

Go with the flow!


We have been so busy staging and decorating homes this past month that I have barely had anytime to sit! So here I sit for the first time in a while and of course, I am checking out homes on the market. What am I seeing? Well, I am seeing a lot of great inventory in a variety of neighbourhood throughout the city but another thing I have noticed is how disconnected many of the properties seem.


I know when you move into a home you are so excited to really make the space your own and put a personal style stamp in your new abode, however, when it comes time to sell be sure to review your home objectively (or call a stager). Looking at many of these homes (especially the single family homes) I am seeing one room to another room in a totally different style, colour concept and overall look. The listing photo galleries almost seem like a mosaic of totally different homes.


When it comes time to sell your home, be sure to have a common thread throughout the entire home - that could be colour or family of colours or a consist theme (such as French Provincial influence). When a virtual photo tour takes you through a home that offers many colours, themes and more it feels like a crazy roller coaster ride.


When your home consists of many different colours (especially bold and bright ones) and/or different themes these entire house feels choppy because every room has turned into a separate compartment. It also sends a confusing message to potential buyers, although the buyers are not buying your furniture and personal style they are trying to mentally move in and if they can't move past the crazy decor - they are not buying!


So when it comes time to prepare your home for sale, just KISS, Keep It Simple Stupid!



One colour of paint (or family of colours) throughout the entire house makes it feel fluid and larger. Make the transition of new colours in areas where it makes sense (such as entirely separate rooms like bathrooms and bedrooms or any room with a door). Minimize the themes and try to keep just one consistently through the house. Keep your place clean and clutter free!

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