Hire a professional to help you deal with an unexpected mishap in your home

There’s no such thing as a good time for a burst pipe or any other unexpected disastrous mishap in your home, but when you hire a professional decorator to help and assist in the recovery process, you can save time and stress! Let me give you an example:

Recently, a long-time client of mine woke up to flooding caused by a burst water pipe in an upstairs guest room. Although much of the damage was confined to the guest room, water also flooded into the rooms below, affecting family room, living room, dining room and kitchen.

Before_during

Family Room before and during the restoration process

I have worked with this client since 2005, assisting her to choose paint colours for her whole home, and select and purchase custom furniture, window treatments, light fixtures and other décor accents. Our professional relationship proved very useful during this stressful event.

Below is the redecorated family room with new silver drapery hardware from JF Fabrics, drapery panels made with fabric from Maxwell Fabrics, and new wall colour from Benjamin Moore Paints CSP 830 Peaceful Garden.

Drapery panels on FR windows

Drapery panels and window bench cushion after renovation. Photo by Tracey Ayton Photography

Insurance and restoration companies often aren’t staffed with decorators who are experts in design, fabric, paint, and how to oversee the making of custom pieces that reflect a homeowner’s style. My client suggested to her restoration company that they bring me on board because she knew I could make sure that the items that needed to be replaced would be of the same quality as those we had originally installed. She also knew I had her information on hand, had her style in mind, and could supply the original purchase paperwork to make this process faster and smoother.

For example, years earlier we had chosen a beautiful light fixture with a lovely amber shade, and my client wanted to replace it when it was ruined in the flood. I still had the product code and contacted the light company to reorder the same style and the same colour. The salesperson confirmed the product via catalog photo and model number. I was assured the same fixture was on its way.

However, after almost six weeks of waiting, the fixture arrived and the “amber” shade was actually a reddish colour! Also, the size of the crystals was different (see photo below – original crystals on the right). The numbers matched, but the product had been revised and the original amber colour was no longer available.

chandelier mismatch crystals

I handled the situation by returning the fixture and taking my client shopping to find a new light that she loves.

Chandelier

 

Situations such as the light fixture can be hard to for a homeowner to handle on their own. It can be difficult and stressful to deal with wholesale companies or manufacturers when something goes wrong. I can handle the stress and deal with the bumps in the road for the homeowner.

I have professional relationships with furniture and design companies and their salespeople. I’ll visit the workrooms, check on the fabric, re-order and re-do things on behalf of my client. I can help speed the restoration and redecoration process so that a client isn’t living with dust and grime for what can feel like forever. It comes down to having a history of experience with my clients and connections in the decorating business that representatives from a restoration or insurance company just won’t have.

Working with the same professional decorator over time also assures that when something is redesigned, due to a change in preference or an unexpected problem such as a burst pipe, it’s easy to keep elements of the previous design and refresh other parts, such as paint colours or window treatments, to update a room. We were able to do that in the guest bedroom. Originally the walls were yellow and had no drapery panels. Now the walls are BM AF 515 Exhale (ironic don’t you think?) and match the drapery panels that were moved there from the master bedroom.

Drapery by UA1

When designs are classic and true to the style of the home, updating here and there is much simpler. And it’s exciting for me as a decorator to see how a client’s style can change over time.

If mishap does happen, be sure you know your insurance contacts, and consider hiring a professional like myself to save you time and stress in the recovery period.

I wish you a happy and prosperous 2015, and may all your renovations be planned!

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From concept to completion: How custom drapes for a nursery meets the due date.

Back in the fall of last year, I received a call from a new client (a referral from a past client – the best compliment!) who was looking for help with decorating the spare bedroom with custom drapes and wall paint colour to become a nursery for her yet-to-be-born baby. How exciting!

We started with looking at her existing furniture and area rug to see what she thought she would keep in the room and what she should remove. Loveseat – remove; desk – remove; chair – remove; area rug – keep; bookcase – keep. As it was a white painted bookcase, we knew we could work with that. From this point, she would purchase the nursery furniture that would coordinate with the style of the bookcase.

That left the area rug as our jumping off palette for colour and pattern design style.

Wall paint colour

We started looking at paint colours to see what colours she liked with the rug and we settled on a fresh green Benjamin Moore’s AF 455 Croquet. Since we still needed to select the fabric for the drapery, this was just a tentative colour. I always suggest that the final wall colour be chosen after you have selected all of other materials with colour and pattern on them. It’s easier to change the paint colour than it is to find the right fabric or bedding to match one particular colour.

colours

Fabrics for custom drapes

Our next consultation was to look at fabrics for the drapes. I brought over two bags of fabric books and we looked at all the fabrics, bookmarking the ones that we liked on the first flip through. Once we went through all the books, we reviewed our bookmarked options and narrowed down our preferences.

From concept to completion:  How custom drapes for a nursery meets the due date.

 

Next, I ordered larger fabric samples so we could see the individual swatches and then review our choices again. However, once the samples arrived a few days later, we still felt like we were missing our statement fabric.

The client went to various fabric stores and found a few options, but again, nothing was really speaking to her. We then met up at Fabricland in Richmond and went through what felt like every bolt of fabric only to come up with an option that was a sample of a fabric that needed to be ordered. When we asked for the information and a sample, we found out that it had just been discontinued! How disappointing!

A week or so later, I happened to go to a “to-the-trade” furniture and fabric showroom to see a new furniture line that they were showcasing. While I was waiting to speak with the visiting furniture sales rep,  I thought I would ask the showroom staff to show me some fabrics that might work for my client. In about 10 minutes, we had found the fabric that I thought would be perfect! I got a sample, snapped a photo of it and emailed it to the client.

From concept to completion:  How custom drapes for a nursery meets the due date.

She instantly loved it! I then found coordinating solid coloured fabrics that we wanted to use as banding and we finalized our decision.

Here is the “Before” photo of the window:

From concept to completion:  How custom drapes for a nursery meets the due date.

And here are the curtains on the area carpet, waiting for the rod to be installed:

From concept to completion:  How custom drapes for a nursery meets the due date.

  And here are the curtains installed:

custom nursery drapes

custom nursery drapes

Colour banded drapes

Custom baseboard heater cover

Underneath the window was a baseboard heater, so for safety reasons we couldn’t have the length of the drapes go to the floor and rest on the heater. The only option was for the bottom of the curtains to go to line up with the bottom of the window ledge, which in the end made the window look like it was wearing a dress that was too short. This look really bothered me, so I mentioned to the client that I would like to come up with a design for a baseboard cover that would the cover the heater and match the width of the curtain panels. Instead of having a wooden cover made — again not a safe choice when covering a heater — I found the company Arsco Manufacturing in Cincinnati, Ohio that manufactures steel baseboard covers. I immediately called them to see if they would ship to Canada, and was so excited to know that they could — plus they would be able to have it made in about 2.5 weeks. We were working with a “deadline” after all! My issues were solved and the end result is fantastic.

custom nursery drapes

Close up of custom baseboard heater cover

 

custom nursery drapes

 Photos by Nancy DeVries

Is there a room in your home that needs a custom touch?

Related posts:

A Fresh Update for a Client’s Master Bedroom

7 Tips to personalize your bathroom

If you have a room in your home that needs window coverings and are feeling overwhelmed with the multitude of choices, consider hiring a professional to help you with your planning and design.

Contact me here for my fee schedule and design services.

 

Republishing this article in full or in part is a violation of copyright law. © 2008-2017, all rights reserved.

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A Fresh Update for a Client’s Master Bedroom

I was happy to hear from a client recently who called to inform me she wanted to freshen up her master bedroom, along with some other rooms in her house. I had helped her decorate her main floor 10 years ago, and now, after going through some changes in her life, she wanted to make some changes in her home. This included selecting new paint colours for the guest bedroom, her daughter’s room and the master bedroom. But in addition to finding a new wall colour for the master bedroom, my client wanted to make the room feel more cozy. So the first thing I suggested was drapery panels for her window. (She had purchased the Luminette sheer blinds by Hunter Douglas from me 10 years ago.) She loved the idea, and I went back to my office to find the perfect fabric.

After searching my fabric books and not feeling satisfied that I had found the perfect fabric, I had an “ah ha” moment and knew that I had to come up with my own design of using three different coloured fabrics that I would combine to make the custom drapery panels.

When I presented this option to my client, she immediately said, “That’s the one!” In addition to the drapery panels, she wanted a new chair and ottoman for a corner in her room, so we selected fabrics for that at the same time.

Here is the end result!

custom drapery panels

The fabrics that I used were from Maxwell Fabrics and Unique Fine Fabrics. I chose the blue faux silk fabric to coordinate with the new wall colour, the gold to coordinate with the bedroom furniture, and the white fabric to match the client’s white bedding.

colour block drapery panels

                                  Close up of banding colours. Photo by Nancy DeVries

A Fresh Update for a Client's Master Bedroom

And here is the custom upholstered chair and ottoman. We selected a solid chenille Kravet fabric for the furniture and a sweet floral print from Tritex Liz Claiborne fabric for the toss cushion.

A Fresh Update for a Client's Master Bedroom

 Photos by Nancy DeVries

The wall colour is Benjamin Moore Aura AF-550 Amsterdam.

If you are thinking of freshening up a room in your home, or changing the look of your windows, get the look that you want by hiring a professional. Contact me here to book an appointment.

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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

Source

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.

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