How to make the best first impression of your home. Part 1

2. Put down a new front door mat.

Whether you prefer functional or whimsical, refresh your entry with a colourful, humourous or just a plain new doormat that makes you smile when you get to your door.

3. Brighten up your entryway with a new light.

There is a good selection of affordable outdoor light fixtures in various styles.  Choose a fixture that matches the architectural style of your home.  Some lights are motion sensitive, while others can be put on dimmers, allowing you to control the mood lighting so you can enjoy your front porch at night without feeling like you are in a spot light.

Restoration Hardware


4. Seasonal plants in a stylish planter.

If you are not a green thumb kind of person, you can purchase beautiful premade planters and hanging baskets at your local garden centre or grocery store. For those who love playing in the dirt, get creative with your planters and recycle unused items such as old watering cans or teapots.

5. Match all your front facing window coverings.

This is one decorating must-do to make your home look put together from the curb. When all your windows are dressed the same, your home will look uniform.


Nantucket entry


Finding the right covering for your windows

Having been a Hunter Douglas Select dealer since 2002, I am able to help people find the right coverings for your windows based on your specific needs and personal aesthetics. If you are thinking about changing your blinds and are overwhelmed with the choices, here are several options to consider.

Silhouette Window Shadings

These sheer shades are one of my favourite window coverings. The soft fabric vane fused between sheer panels can be tilted to give daylight privacy while allowing natural daylight to come through. Silhouette shades provide ultraviolet protection and reflect solar heat without compromising your view outside. I recommend these blinds in rooms with a view like your living room or family room.

Silhouette Shades by Hunter Douglas

Silhouette Shades by Hunter Douglas

Silhouette Shades by Hunter Douglas

 Vignette Modern Roman Shades

These shades either roll up or stack like a custom Roman shade but done with the mechanisms of a blind. There is a wide selection of 100% polyester modern fabrics, textures and colours in 3 fold sizes (3″, 4″, 6″ flat folds) and 3 opacity options (semi sheer to opaque). They have superior sound absorption, excellent energy efficiency and this product has met the stringent indoor quality guidelines from GREENGUARD Environmental Institute. These shades are great for bedrooms.


Vignette Roman shade

Duette Honeycomb Shades

Duette shades were first on the market 25 years ago. That’s a long time for it to prove itself as one of the top window coverings. With 4 different operating options, 5 light and privacy fabric options, numerous shape and design options, over 400 material and colour choices, Duette honeycomb blinds are the blind that will give you the best customized options for your lifestyle. These blinds are great for wide windows and rooms where you want to block out the daylight.

Duette Honeycomb Shades

Duette Honeycomb Shades by Hunter Douglas


Designer Screen and Roller Shades

Roller shades aren’t what they used to be. The fabric choices range from natural grass cloth, silk like design, or screens which you can see through. They are a stylish, cost effective choice for any room in your home. These shades are great for offices and on windows where you want to diffuse the sunlight but not the view.

Designer screen shades by Hunter Douglas

Luminette Privacy Sheers and Modern Draperies

Covering your patio doors or wide windows has never been more beautiful. The sheer vertical folds look like traditional draperies but with a lighter feel. The soft fabric vanes attached to the sheer in front can be tilted for privacy and light control.  The sheer face fabric protects your room from harmful UV rays when open and blocks 99% UV rays when tilted closed. The latest design feature is the Manhattan Decorative Hardware traversing rod with 3 finial options which can be used with all Luminette privacy sheers and Luminette modern drapery fabrics.

Luminette Sheers with decorative rod


Motorization Accessories

Not only has Hunter Douglas made motorized window coverings easy to use and install, they have made it easier for clients to control how and when these blinds operate. The three new accessories are Platinum Solar Energy Sensor, RF (radio frequency) Adapter and LCD Timer.

The Solar Sensor will open and close your window covering automatically during the day to optimize energy efficiency. The RF Adapter can be plugged into your electrical outlet which is controlled by your light switch so you can open and close your blinds just by using your light switch.  This can also be plugged into a light timer. The LCD Timer will allow you to set the times for your blinds to move, even when you are not there. It’s a perfect solution for people who are away for long periods of time.

Motorized accessories by Hunter Douglas

Motorization Accessories by Hunter Douglas

 For more information on Motorization click on this link.


Refresh your bedroom into a stylish, cozy space

How many of you can honestly say that you just love being in your bedroom because it makes you feel relaxed and cozy? I wonder if it is more than half of us. Even for my own bedroom, I feel like it is a work in progress, and so I was inspired to write this article. What would I do to make my bedroom more of a stylish, cozy space?

Make your own headboard

I built my own headboard using an old door, quilting batting and a remnant of fabric from the Robert Allen showroom. Some other headboard ideas would be using stylish old doors, decorative screens, or a custom made fabric headboard.  For those of you who have had the same dark wood headboard for the past 25 years that you still like, why not consider painting it a white or cream colour to freshen up the look?

Custom headboard

Custom headboard by Urban Aesthetics

Antique wood doors as headboard

Painted wood slat headboard

Refresh your walls

We all know that a new wall colour can transform a room and that couldn’t be more true than in your bedroom. Whether it is creating an accent wall (usually the headboard wall) or tackling the whole room, consider toned colours that will make you feel calm and serene. If you want to add pattern, chose a large patterned design wallpaper you feel you will love for a few years.

Subtle lattice patterned wallpaper blends in with the colour of the tuffed headboard

Wallpaper accent wall – House of Turquoise

Change up your bedding

Choices for bedding styles and colours have never been so plentiful, so why not give yourself the flexibility of changing your bedroom style just by changing your duvet cover? But remember, if you are going to purchase new bedding and you want to repaint or wallpaper your room, find your bedding first and use that as your inspiration for what to put on your walls.


Master Bedroom custom bedding and drapes

Designer fabrics made into custom bedding for this Master Bedroom – Design by Urban Aesthetics

Upgrade your window coverings

Did you know that getting the proper amount of good sleep is imperative to our well-being. Room darkening shades can help get that much needed rest, and keep your room as dark as you would like, allowing your body, mind, and soul to recuperate. Some window blinds also help with sound absorption, for those of you living in highrises on busy streets. The cost of these options are a small price to pay for years of good night’s sleeping.

Hunter Douglas Duette Blackout Shades

Hunter Douglas A Deux sheer and blackout roller shade

Change your overhead lighting mood

Some bedrooms do not have a ceiling mounted light fixture, but for those who do, how many  have the typical “boob” light fixture? It’s time to change that up! There are so many fabulous overhead ceiling light fixtures available in all styles and prices.


Beautiful chandelier adds style and drama to this bedroom

So get out your step ladder and electrical toolkit or hire your handy brother-in-law to install a new chandelier or funky drum shade light fixture. You will just love how much that can change the light quality of your space! And don’t forget to purchase a dimmer switch so you can create a cozy mood as you create your new tranquil escape into dreamland!


How to add low cost style to your Dining room

How to add low cost style to your Dining room

Even though it’s cold outside, we can pass away the time until spring’s arrival. So book a few more dinner parties with your friends and enjoy an evening in your dining room. Here are a few budget friendly suggestions to add low cost style to your dining room:

1) Style what’s under your feet.  An area carpet can add the right touch and add warmth your feet while you enjoy your dinner. Remember the carpet should extend 18-24” beyond your table to ensure all chair legs will be on the carpet while in use.

dining room style

Vanessa DeLeon Associates

2) Colour drama. Create a dramatic space with a warm, rich colour such as Benjamin Moore’s Etruscan AF 355. Not only can it create an intimate look, but it will complement your wood furniture. Rich colours just seem to glow when accent lit by candlelight.

dining room style

3) Dazzle with the right light fixture.  Make this focal point of your room something special. One of the latest styles is the drum shade light fixture or a pleated fabric rectangular shade over a long rectangular table. A way to update your existing chandelier is to add a mesh drum shade overtop of your fixture.  Remember the bottom of the chandelier should be 30”-34” above your table surface. Use dimmers for total mood control.

dining room style

Vanessa DeLeon Associates

4) Refresh your fabrics.  It only takes a few yards of fabric to recover the dining chair seats so it’s not an expensive splurge to update. Look for remnant sales at fabric stores to save a bundle.  It’s a great way to go bold!

low cost dining room style


5) Dress up your windows. There are so many low cost ways to dress up your windows.  Hang premade curtain panels from a swing arm curtain rod.  The fabric can be in a multi coloured stripe satin or silk lined panels. Drapes not only help with drafty windows, they also soften sounds in a hard wood furniture room.

dining room style

Design by Urban Aesthetics

If you are interested in styling your dining room, contact Nancy to book your in home consultation.


4 ways to add Personality to your Living room

Decorating styles for our homes in the past decade has been referred to as safe, beige, casual and stuck in a rut.

The reality is now people want to move forward and bust out of that safe zone by being more open to having fun colours and patterns on their walls and furniture.  People want more personality, more of themselves injected in to their spaces and as a decorator that is what I love to hear.  And since most of us already have our beige basics, it doesn’t have to cost a fortune to personalize a space.  Here are some ways to add a personality to your living rooms:

1.            Decorative Fabrics – A great way to get the most bang for your buck is to use fabrics with current colours and dramatic patterns for toss cushions or drapery panels.  Any toss cushion tufted with button finishing shows a great tailored look.

2.            Wallpaper – Another way to add a dramatic touch to your space even if you only wallpaper 1 accent wall. You could have a geometric pattern in monotone colours or have a large patterned design with lots of colours.

3.            Art work – It costs just as much to frame a poster as it does a piece of original artwork.  So whether you frame your child’s artwork, a floral photograph or a poster from an art show at the gallery, having it on your walls instead of nothing at all, will always add personality and style.

Photo by Nancy DeVries

4.            Room Jewellery –This is something you can add to any room. Place that special vase you bought on your last vacation front and center on your book shelf or console table; modernize your dining room light fixture with a drum-shade pendant or something more sparkly; update your kitchen backsplash with glass tiles to add reflection and color; hang a collection of framed photos of a family trip in your hallway; roll out a new area carpet; change up the toss cushions on your sofa. These are all great ways to add some pizzazz to your home.

Next month look in your mailbox for tips on making your dining room a space with purpose.