Use wallpaper to style up your home

Wallpaper today is not your grandma’s wallpaper. It’s now trendy to use wallpaper as a way to style up your home in a way that’s unique and pretty cool.

Add style to your boring white walls

Recently I helped a client find wallpaper for their downtown condo. The boring builder’s white walls did nothing for this modern space. We looked through several wallpaper books and our final selection was quick and decisive because they just seemed perfect for the space; a zig zag pattern in metallic soft gold for the bathroom and a wide horizontal stripe for the hallway and living room.  Once we selected the wallpaper, we matched up a paint colour for the other walls.


wallpaper and paint swatch

Wallpaper final choices with paint sample

Wallpaper has been ordered, received and ready for installation!

 Wallpaper rolls

JF Fabrics Wallcoverings – Calligraphy Collection

Create an accent wall

In the living room we decided to do a feature wall and chose the wall behind the sofa to be wallpapered.

wallpaper behind sofa

Before & After Living room wall

Define your spaces

In the bathroom all the walls were wallpapered to give it a dose of oomph. And the long wall in the hallway needed some drama which is exactly what the wide horizontal stripe wallpaper does to this space.

Bathroom and Hallway

Before & After Bathroom and Hallway

The client really liked how the wallpaper transformed the look and feel of the condo. The wallpaper defines the various areas in the small condo and personalized them.

What do you think? Are you looking to add some style to your condo?

Related links:

Small space condo furnishing


Nancy’s pick of Design Apps for your mobile devices.

With technology and the accessibility of mobile devices, the selection of information that is available through apps is overwhelming, but also very exciting. App, a short form for “application”, typically refers to software used on a smartphone or mobile device such as the Android, iPhone, iPad or BlackBerry.

And in the vast world of apps, there are countless categories and options available. So I thought I would give you a short description of some design apps for your mobile devices that will fully digitize your honey-do list. And these apps might just provide the incentive your gadget-loving partner could use to tackle that list!

Nancy's pick of Design Apps for your mobile devices.

Color Capture Benjamin Moore – Free

I’m going to start off this list with one of my favourites — even though it does have the potential to put me out of a job!

This iPhone/iPad app gives you the ability to match up colours from anything that you can snap a photo of. Simply take a picture with your device within this app and it will create a colour palette from Benjamin Moore paint colours. In the image below, you can see the photo I took of the Joan Miró print that is in my office, along with some perfect colour matches that were selected for it.

Nancy's pick of Design Apps for your mobile devices.


Nancy's pick of Design Apps for your mobile devices.

Home Depot – Free

When it comes to finding what you need, the Home Depot app will help you locate the items you need at a store nearby. So now instead of asking someone in the orange apron, you can just ask your mobile device. Too bad this app can’t mix up your can of paint.


Nancy's pick of Design Apps for your mobile devices. I.D. Wood  – $4.99

This is perfect for those who work with wood in various applications. The app will help you identify 200 different wood species (like an wood identification book would have) with full screen photos and detailed description of the uses and look of the wood, all on your smartphone. It also gives you information such as wood origin, hardness, durability and common uses.


Nancy's pick of Design Apps for your mobile devices. Houzz Interior Design Ideas — Free

I love this website! While I use it for my own inspiration, it also allows me to create digital ideabooks that I can share with my clients who are looking for photos that will help bring their ideas to life. With over 1,000,000 high-quality interior design images, Houzz is a one-stop shop for design inspiration. Here’s the link to my Houzz ideabook.


Nancy's pick of Design Apps for your mobile devices. Home Improvement Calcs — $1.99

This app has over 115 calculations and unit conversions that you can use for any sort of do-it-yourself home improvements. For example, it will help you calculate the amount of materials that you need to frame a house, insulate your attic, wallpaper an accent wall in your bedroom or build a straight staircase. And more! It’s the perfect thing for the weekend warrior in your life.


Nancy's pick of Design Apps for your mobile devices.

MagicPlan — Free

The MagicPlan app measures your room just by you taking photos of that room. You can adjust and edit the plans and the measurements can be in metres or feet. You can save your layouts and email them to yourself for your records. It takes a little time to learn how to use, but for the price — free — it’s well worth the time.


Nancy's pick of Design Apps for your mobile devices.

Sketch Arm – 3D Closet Designer — Free

Sketch Arm is a tool that lets you create a fully customized closet — every organized person’s dream come true! You can create compartments for your hanging items, organize your shoes and add accessories. It did take me some time to figure out how to organize the closet, but after looking at photos of other closet designs, I was able to design my dream closet.

Below is a photo of my first attempt. What features do you want in your dream closet?

Nancy's pick of Design Apps for your mobile devices.


Nancy's pick of Design Apps for your mobile devices.

iHandy Level — Free

And now that you’ve designed your latest DIY project with your home design apps, this level app will make sure you start your home project on the level.



In addition to these apps, there are countless apps from furniture companies that feature catalogues of their collections such as  Restoration Hardware, Ikea, Norwalk Furniture, Design Within Reach, Bo Concept, Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, just to name a few.

I’d love to hear from you what apps you like to use, whether they’re tools you use every day, or fun apps that help you dream. Share your favourites by leaving a comment below.



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!


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.

4 ways to add Personality to your Living room

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.

4 ways to add Personality to your Living room

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.

4 ways to add Personality to your Living room

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.

4 ways to add Personality to your Living room

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