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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Getting Ready to Enjoy your Outdoor Living Space

Each year it seems that outdoor patio furniture is becoming more and more functional and better looking. The styles are so vast, ranging from cast iron-looking aluminum dining sets, to weathered wood-looking metal tables, to woven wicker (plastic) sectionals, to colourful plastic molded stackable chairs.

Here is a small selection of furniture that outdoor entertainers, loungers and diners can be enjoying this summer in their outdoor living space:

PVC wicker lounge set with Sunbrella fabric – Villa Cabana.

outdoor living space ideas pvc furniture

 Getting Ready to Enjoy your Outdoor Living Space

This curved love seat with a ledge for books or an umbrella drink is the perfect furniture piece for any patio. The PVC wicker is lightweight and durable. But really when you’re curled up and engrossed in your summer novel, those two details are the last things on your mind.

 

 

Steel frame dining set with all-weather Olefin fabric.

Gluckstein dining set - Tudor

Gluckstein dining set – Tudor

This type of dining set is easy to maintain and will not get blown over in sudden summer wind storm. The neutral colour of the seat cushions is the perfect backdrop for any touches of colour in your accent pillows, table accessories or flowers from your garden.

Aluminium and faux wood 

Getting Ready to Enjoy your Outdoor Living Space

CB2

 

Getting Ready to Enjoy your Outdoor Living Space

CB2

Funky plastic stackable chairs like these from the Italian furniture company Calligaris. Of course this may not be everyone’s style of outdoor furniture, but for those of you who love a modern chair, you certainly do not have to compromise here. Both of these chairs come in bright colours (the new fashion trend right now) such as fuchsia, green, red, orange and white.

Area 51 Chair by Calligaris

Area 51 Chair by Calligaris

Hero chair by Calligaris

Hero chair by Calligaris

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And as a decorator, I would be remiss not to point out a few outdoor accessories to complement your new furniture.

1) Stylish accessories. Entertaining is a big part of our time outdoors during the warmer months. So not only do we need to have comfortable seating, but we also want functional, stylish accessories like these colour dishes from Brian Gluckstein that can be found at The Bay, Pier1 Imports and Pottery Barn. Colour is the new trend for outdoor dinnerware.

Getting Ready to Enjoy your Outdoor Living Space

Getting Ready to Enjoy your Outdoor Living Space

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pottery Barn outdoor dishes

Pottery Barn

2) Outdoor area carpets. You can have style and function when it comes to outdoor carpets. Most of these carpets can easily be hosed off and hung over the fence to dry.

Getting Ready to Enjoy your Outdoor Living Space

Surya outdoor carpets

Surya

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3) Umbrellas. This cheerful red two-tiered umbrella is from Pier1 Imports. It’s a great way to add colour to your patio.

Pier 1 umbrella

This modern parasol is the perfect sun shade but even in the evening, it can give you shelter from the elements while giving you overhead lighting.

Kosmos Parasol from Living Space

Kosmos Parasol from Living Space

 

4) Ambient Lighting. Real and flame-less candles encased in any of these pretty candelabras will cast a beautiful light to an evening outdoor party .

Getting Ready to Enjoy your Outdoor Living Space

Gluckstein Lanterns

Getting Ready to Enjoy your Outdoor Living Space

Oil Lamp from Inform Interiors

 

Getting Ready to Enjoy your Outdoor Living Space

I just love these LED light planters. They add ambient light with style and function. You can use them as a planter or as a cooler for your summertime drinks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Right now retailers and wholesalers are promoting their outdoor furniture, and its a good time to start thinking about the kind of furniture you might enjoy so you’ll be able to purchase it before they are sold out.

What will you be sitting on when you are spending time in your outdoor area?

If you would like help styling your outdoor space, click here to send me an email.

 

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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

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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

Refresh your bedroom into a stylish, cozy space

Antique wood doors as headboard

Refresh your bedroom into a stylish, cozy space

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.

Refresh your bedroom into a stylish, cozy space

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

Refresh your bedroom into a stylish, cozy space

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.

Refresh your bedroom into a stylish, cozy space

Hunter Douglas Duette Blackout Shades

Refresh your bedroom into a stylish, cozy space

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.

Refresh your bedroom into a stylish, cozy space

 

Refresh your bedroom into a stylish, cozy space

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!

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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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