Kiki Interiors - Decor and Staging

Monday, February 27, 2012

She works hard for her money - so she deserves a pretty home office

Oh the home office can be such a headache....I know because I am trying to organize and decorate the two offices we have here at home. it's always the last space we think about decorating yet we spend so much time in there! If our home offices are anything like yours - unpacked boxes, stuff everywhere, no real sense of organization, all the materials to get organized sitting in the corner...I hear you! Here's what I did - I set a date to have my husband's home office complete. I purchased the materials to have an organized space and a stylish one too, online! the items are due to arrive at any moment....I took a few chunks of time over the span of a few days to sort and organize and if needed, throw out and now I have a great base to work with and my hubby will have a wonderful workspace.

Now how about the ladies? Offices of all kinds have this sterile, masculine look with may not appeal to your style and may not motivate you to work at home. So how can you add a woman's touch to your workspace?

1 - look for some feminine patterns - could be your stationary, your office chair, even your files. A pattern adds some flair and femininity

2 - a soft paint colour. since the furniture tends to be on the manly side offset it with a softer hue on your walls or if you have a wood desk, why not paint it in a colour custom for you!

3 - something soft on the floor. Think about an area rug with some texture and/or colour. This can really add a girly touch to your workspace

4 - drapes. fabric surrounding your window (if you have one) can add softness and if you select the right colour and/or pattern it can make the space feel even more feminine

5 - curves. look for a desk and/or chair that has curves (like the legs or the back) again adding a girly flair

6 - check out home decor stores for office supplies that have some pattern, colour and/or floral pattern you can find boxes, stationary, pencils etc...that have both a decorative and practical side

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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Cool condo inspiration

So we all know that condo living is hot! There are new condos popping up everywhere! Now one of the trickiest things with condo living is the space. How to place your furniture, what furniture to buy, what's going to fit and what's not going to work. If you are in this very situation now or will be soon, I would highly recommend checking out Ottawa's new IKEA store. It's the largest IKEA in Canada so the selection is fantastic but they also have set up model condos in the store (on the second level), where they have set up living, dining, kitchen, bathroom and bedroom spaces in various square footage. You get to see the entire set up of how the space would look including art, accessories and necessities. It's a great visual tool for a new condo purchaser to see how they can set up their place and get a lot of ideas and inspiration. You really can have it all - and a little planning can help you get just that!

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Monday, February 20, 2012

Eye candy for your walls

Looking for some great ideas to fill up those blank wall spaces in your home? Once you put something on your walls (besides paint) it can totally transform an entire space. Art is great but there are many other options out there - check out these ideas...

1. Mirrors. they are shiny plus the reflective surface lets light bounce around the room. try playing with proportion or look for various mirrors with interesting frames and create a mirror collage.

2. Chalkboard. Framed or not - is a great way to communicate, stay organized or even just to keep an inspirational saying, chalkboard is easy, inexpensive and can really be both functional and stylish. I loved my chalkboard in my kitchen !

3. Shelving. A great way to add some dimension plus a clean and fresh way to display collectibles, books, photos etc....Mix it up! Don't over do it! And you will have some beautiful displays in your home.

4. Clocks. There are so many styles an sizes to choose from. I did an office renolast year and we did a floating shelf (see idea 3) and we displayed various clocks and hour glasses. Look for over sized or even vintage to add some visual interest and personality to your space.

5. Wall decals. I have blogged about these before. they are great to almost any room and the selection is endless and the price point is great! I have used them everywhere - most recently in my baby's nursery - I don't have to worry about falling objects and yet the room is still really stylish. These are great on walls that are sloped or just plain awkward! They add colour and personality. Plus - they are so easy to remove!

6. Wall mounted candles. I have also done this in my home. They add a certain old world charm with a touch of romance. They can be paired up with art, wall decals, mirrors, shelving many options.

7. Framed paper. Such an easy DIY project and so inexpensive. I have done this a lot when I stage homes. Go to a craft store or even a home decor store. Look for cool and colourful craft paper, frame it (I always use a matte) and voila, a fabulous piece of art! I have used these types of pieces in children's' rooms, bathrooms, hallways etc...Great and easy space fillers.

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Friday, February 10, 2012

The IBS event in Orlando, Florida

I just spent a few days at the IBS (International Builders' Show) in Orlando, Florida. It is always great to get out there and see new ideas in the industry.

One thing that really caught my attention was at the Design Studio, were the trends that local Florida designers are seeing for 2012. The word that I use to sum up their list of trends is 'responsibility'. Responsibility economically and responsibility to the environment.

How does financial responsibility meet design? Well, designers and their clients are choosing timeless colours, combinations of colours and materials that are durable and environmentally friendly. The colour palettes are more tone on tone, the materials we are seeing are either recycled or re purposed or natural. The days of 'disposable' design appear to be over (or at least taking a breather for now). That way clients are not renovating numerous times in order to keep up with trends.

It's my opinion that this trend of responsible design is due in large part to the economic collapse that started in 2008, since that time anyone looking at home improvements is more aware of prices, looks and materials; and showing financial and environmental responsibility.

At the design studio, there didn't seem to be much in the way of new ideas or trends but a return to timeless classics - wood or white cabinets in the bathroom and kitchens, natural stone, tone on tone colour palettes, exterior outdoor living being an extension of the indoor space and exterior facades that are reflective of the existing neighbourhood (even if built new).

Timeless design is always in style and is easy on the pocket book too!

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Thursday, February 2, 2012

Attention Shoe-aholics!

Diamonds are a girl's best friend but I think shoes are a girl's sole sister.

Just like diamonds they can drastically change an outfit plus they always fit. But how to organize our beautiful collection so we can strut on the catwalk at a moments notice?

Well, here's a chic and easy way to achieve your dream shoe closet.

What do you need:

- a wall space that's large enough to display your most fabulous pairs (don't be shy, express your sense of style with a brightly painted wall or even a wallpapered wall)

- some pieces of lightweight cornice (available at most hardware stores)

-nails and a hammer

- don't forget a level!

*The cornice pieces are spread about 2 feet apart and are adhered with a hammer and nails. You can also display your cute clutches too.

Fashion is a form of art so why not display it?

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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Bathroom trends for 2012

Now that 2012 is in full swing what are some of the trends will be seeing this year?

Let's start with bathrooms.

The Natural Bath

You will see a trend towards warmth and nature in the bathroom this year. Wood grain tiles, porcelain tiles, use of recycled materials (such as recycled glass counter tops), soothing and calming colour palettes, also the warmth of metal fixtures in Champagne and bronze, weathered wood (such as driftwood) is hot as an accessory and for cabinetry. Wall colours will be minimalist in shades of ivory, or a light tough of green. even accessories will have an organic feel with stone accessories, wood, and natural sponges.

Streamlined and Eco-friendly design

This look is a bit more on the modern side in terms of aesthetics. Very simple and clean. Those dark, heavy vanities are on the outs and instead we are seeing light in both colour and material. Even the plumbing is getting an update, you will see flush drains (that are functional but not a focal point), wall mounted faucets, and chrome will continue to be hot with this look. You will also see a modern take on recycling with a trend toward Ice Stone and Paper Stone - these products are made of recycled glass and mimic the look of a natural stone, they are super durable and very easy to clean.

Colour and tile

This a for someone who really wants some personality in their bathroom. This is for the person who doesn't mind flaunting their stuff! Whether it's the tile floor, shower surround, or back splash or maybe all of the above - eye catching tiles are in the spotlight! Don't be afraid of colour and texture and pattern - there are so many selections for so many tastes. But you can really make incredible impact with the tiles on the marketplace these days. Colour, pattern, texture and shine - yes you can have it all!

Wood floors in the bathroom?

Sounds crazy? Well it's not. The quality of wood planks is so much better than in the past and they can stand up to the challenges in a bathroom. Just let you installer know you are putting wood flooring in the bathroom so they can do a proper install. Something like salvaged barn board is perfect since it is already weathered and it looks great - so full of character ! not sure of wood on the floor? Try introducing it in a vanity or even just a mirror frame. You can accessorize with driftwood (so sculptural and truly unique) or a vase with sticks in a corner. To offset the heaviness of wood add soft elements with your towels and look at a custom shower curtain (keep a vinyl layer for the inside but go to a fabric store and select a fabric or even look at pre-made curtains for a custom shower curtain look). Colour isn't the only way to add warmth to a room - texture can do wonders!

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White Hot!!!

Well, we see so much of this colour this season but often it just sticks to the outdoors but why not bring it indoors?
White doesn't have to be sterile and clinical - it can be warm, fresh and hot! there are so many different shades of white - it has range of moods just like any other colour does. White isn't boring it can be exciting but it's all how you put it together.

I personally am a huge fan of light colour and white colour walls and kitchens and bathrooms, why? Because it's is timeless but you can also make it modern, it's clean, crisp and fresh but can also be warm and embracing. White is so versatile!

White walls can really open up a space. This past summer my sister bought a cute home in a very up and coming neighbourhood but the previous owner had chosen a variety of heavy and muddy colours such as a grey-blue, mustard yellow and burgundy. We painted the home one colour and we chose a fabulous shade of white 'fossil' from the Benjamin Moore Affinity Collection. It's is so clean but warm at the same time. The colour truly made her entire home brighter and bigger.

White is chic. Think about the most luxurious boutique hotel...their linens, bedding and towels are always lush and rich in white. It is so soothing, relaxing and clean. Try to take your bedroom or bathroom inspiration from a chic hotel. If you cant achieve the entire look, add a few splashes such as white towels or a white throw blanket.

A white sofa and/or chair is so elegant but can also be modern depending on the style(OK, I know this doesn't work for everyone - parents especially) but this looks fabulous in a condo. It helps to open up and freshen up the space. Adding some colourful, patterned or textured accessories just adds more visual interest and comfort to the living room. White works with every colour so you have a lot of options to choose from.

Layering with shades of white. A few years ago I was decorating a model for a condo in West Wellington Village. The bedroom was small, but the builder was very insistent on having a queen size bed. I decided to layer the bedding with various shades of white - this kept the room looking fresh, rich, elegant and larger. I played with texture and pattern but kept everything in shades of white. The overall look was very attractive and the clients loved the feel of the space.

Just because a colour is timeless doesn't make it boring - it's about how you use it! Sometimes if you want to go in a very modern direction sticking with a classic colour is best because it won't date your room. Be sure with any sample - cabinet, fabric or paint that you test it in the actual space (as light is different everywhere and in every room) to ensure that you are selecting the right white for you!

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