Saturday, August 23, 2014

Wow...can you believe it? We won four Awards!

The Readers Choice Awards happen once a year, where newspaper readers nominate and vote for the companies they consider the best. These will include best restaurants, best dentist, best landscape company....etc, you get the drift.
So, for the second year in a row we've been nominated! Wow! This is so gratifying. Last year we were nominated and won a Gold for Interior Design. This year four medals! Things are looking up!

Can you believe it? We were nominated in four categories. Four! Categories! Did I mention four? 
They are Diamond medal award for Interior Design, Diamond medal award for bathroom renovations, Gold medal award for kitchen design, and last but not least, Diamond medal award for custom window treatments and blinds. 

 I am so grateful to all the people who voted for us, but more importantly, I am truly grateful to the clients who nominated us and to the trades that we employ, who make my little company look good. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

I haven't been blogging much because I've  been busy with a few things on the go; helping organize a reunion for our high school, helped a couple of friends move, designed several renovations for clients, and of course, tried to have some R&R while summer was still here. Did we really have a summer?

I've got a lot of things on the go, one of the more important things is I'm getting my website redesigned. It's really time! I created it myself five years ago, and it has had that amateur look, well now it's time to give it a professional look. I've been saving and tagging websites from other designers whose website I like as a source of inspiration. I seem to have a look… It's very clean, with not too many graphics. I also need to get a whole whack of new pictures done for all the projects I've been working on.

I'm also working on setting up an eBay account. I have inherited some China, silver, and a bunch of fun stuff that are mostly antiques. Some are collectible, some not. There's just too much to keep so, decided to share it with the rest of the world so that they can enjoy these lovely things.

This is a sneak peek at one of the items that I will be selling. A tree sculpture made of brass on the granite base.

I'll be posting more often but I'm signing off for now, stay well, and remember to be kind to someone each and every day.



Tuesday, October 29, 2013

I still love my bedroom!

I recently received an email from former clients telling me how much they still enjoyed their "spa-like" master bedroom. One of the comments " I still get so much pleasure when I come into our master bedroom, even after 5 yrs! Thanks so much for creating our dream bedroom".

Several years ago, in 2007, I was working on a commercial project, renovating and adding an addition for the offices of a company that manufactures portable and prefab buildings.  The owner asked if I also did home designs and renovations. Of course I said yes!

His wife called and explained that they had not redecorated in 27 years and that they were really ready for a change.  As their business had grown and they got to travel a lot, they found that they loved the hotel rooms they were staying in and asked me to redesign the layout of the bedroom and bathroom and create the custom "lux hotel" look they were after. 

After many meetings, many changes, many drawings and hand done renderings, this photograph shows the final concept of what I came up with. I found the circle fabric in a clearance centre and it became the jumping off point from which I pulled the rest of the fabric and color inspiration.  A total of 5 different fabrics were used and I think the effect was fabulous. 

Despite all the patterns, the room is restful and welcoming, truly a refuge after a long day.

Who do you know who could use a change in their decor, please refer them to us. Our business has been built on our happy clients referrals. Plus, we get a real kick out of seeing our clients happy! ♥

Friday, September 27, 2013

The Ultimate Color Specialist

I grew up in Northern Ontario, where in the fall, Mother Nature teaches us all about what a Color Specialist she is. 
Where else can you find the perfect combinations of colors: Peaches and rusts with yellow and dark greens, purples and grays with orange and yellow skies.

Sandy Falls, near Sturgeon Falls, Ontario - Pic by Nat Michaud

Lake Nipissing, Sturgeon Falls, Ontario-pic by B.Cockburn
This is where I grew up, where I learned to love everything about nature, where I would spend hours and hours, canoeing, in contemplation, in reading, in sketching. It was my piece of heaven. Sandy Falls near Sturgeon falls, Ontario.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Flowers for yours truly?

Saturday I attended the all day BlogPodium conference at the Hyatt on king st, in Toronto. I didn't know what to expect, this being the first conference of this kind which I have attended.  Well...I sure learned a lot! 

The main keynote speaker was Sarah Richardson. I was afraid that I would be disappointed but what you see on TV is what you get. She is genuine and unpretentious, humorous.  She shared her journey with us on how she was an overnight success.....after 20 yrs!!!  She has a great sense of humour and spoke sincerely about the hard work she has had to do. She gained a loyal fan in me.

Another notable designer who shared her blogging success with us was Meredith Heron. She gave us detailed information to follow, in order to be successful with our blogs. It was just the kind of information we all needed and wanted. Thank you Meredith.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Once upon a time....

Once upon a time, in a land not so far away, a lady wanted to get her bathroom redone. She called the contractor, who told her to call the cabinet maker, who told her to call an interior designer.

Yes, that's right!  When you are planning on redecorating, or renovating or redesigning, call your interior designer first! Your designer can then help you plan your new look and she/he can help you choose your fixtures, finishes and colour choices. She can help you set a budget, and help you and your contractor stick to that budget. When everything is planned out, a renovation becomes a pleasure.
Your contractor is happy, your cabinet maker is happy, your interior designer is happy and last but definitely not least, YOU WILL BE HAPPY!

This bathroom proposal is for two teenage boys, brothers who both wanted some red in their bathroom as an accent. We were all so pleased that they wanted the same thing.
 Mom & Dad are happy because the finishes are timeless and attractive without being too trendy.  In a few short years, when the boys leave to go to university, Mom wants to repaint the bathroom a softer shade of grey, Revere Pewter by Benjamin Moore. A simple update, planned well ahead.

This bathroom remodel also has the number one request by Mom......A SELF-CLOSING and FLUSHING toilet!
What's not to love!! Wish I had had this when my sons were growing up.

Please follow me on Facebook for daily design inspiration.

Friday, November 30, 2012

We were on TV!!

We recently staged a home for an estate sale, which had been in the family since it was originally built in 1903.  We were honoured when OmniTV Ontario asked if we would do a a TV interview featuring Homestaging. ANd of course we said yes. OmniTV is a multi-cultural television network and this interview was aired on the Cantonese news segment.

Luckily, I was interviewed in English. LOL   What would I change about this....I would have smiled more and looked into the camera, but I was directed not to.

Hope you enjoy the news clip which was aired on November 27th, 2012.  What this home needed was to be aired out, completely repainted, wall to wall broadloom removed, and all the old tired furniture that was left over was removed & donated.  Our biggest problem was to remove the strong odour of nicotine and cigarette smoke as the original owners had been heavy smokers.   I feel that we succeeded brilliantly.

After the Homestaging was completed and the house listed, it sold in less than 7 days and for nearly $100,000.00 over asking. This made for a happy family, a happy real estate agent and a happy me.

Here is a short translation:
"The introduction goes something along the lines of, "Organizing/redecorating your home not only makes it look better, but actually increases the chance of a sale. Due to this, many sales reps in Toronto are working together with home designers"

ards it's almost exactly as you'd expect. They explain a bit about the importance of home staging, and the effect that has on people as soon as they walk through the door. Home designers will analyze the house to understand how to better organize it to increase the chance of a sale. Then they introduce you. Afterwards they show the house you were working with, and briefly outlined what you did such as the carpeting, and how the house was reorganized. 

The conclusion mentions that the house sold for over $900,000 after the home staging, as opposed to the original estimated value of $800,000s. Prettying the house doesn't necessarily mean full renovations but sometimes a quick makeover will help increase the house's selling points. A good product needs good packaging. "

You can also see photos on Facebook.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Stage 2 ...and a half...planning the new kitchen layout.

When we started this renovation, my clients were sure that we would not be able to change the current U shape layout of the kitchen. This is where the magic of using AutoCad comes in...along with a very creative mind.
By drawing everything to scale and moving cabinets around, all the while keeping the mechanicals in the same place, I was able to come up with a kitchen cabinet layout that included an island. 

The placement of the island allows the homeowner to see into the living room/dining room and also socialize with anyone sitting in the kitchen...and of course, Everyone knows that the best part of any great party is hanging out in the kitchen! And my clients are delighted because they love having people over!

So here are the colour renderings for the new kitchen layout. Hope you like them.