You are browsing the archive for design tips.
Well hi there! I’m super excited to share this gorgeous living room today. It’s the work of Lynn Morgan, and great work it certainly is! Starting with a neutral palette of beige and white, Lynn created an oasis of lovely blues and turquoise – and all tones, tints and shades in between. To tie the fresh accent colors to the neutral background, Lynn opted for floral and leaf print fabrics, representing both color extremes.
Viewed from this angle you can see how much depth this color combination of blues and turquoise, creates. Very visually pleasing and interesting, but calm and relaxed at the same time.
Lynn’s attention to details makes all the difference. See the shelving unit with the blue painted back? Scroll back to the former photo and see how it brightens up that corner of the room.
The sunroom showcases how wonderfully well the rich blue color works as a neutral on furniture, when paired with light and bright colors. Did you notice the same blue color was used on all the side tables in the living room? I simply love it! Do you?
June 20, 2010 in Beige
Today I’ve teamed up with super sweet and talented Canadian Interior Decorator Lisa Goulet to bring you some insider tips and tricks to decorating your home!
Q: On your design firm website you describe your design style as using “natural elements together with calm, soothing colours to create comfortable
and sophisticated spaces”. Do you have any staples that you always return to when you decorate?
Lisa: I tend towards natural ‘hard’ elements such as hardwood, granite, quartz, marble, limestone and linen. These products are natural and sophisticated and since they won’t go out of style, they stand the test of time. I use these items as the staples of the design and then add trend items in accessories that can be easily changed.
I also love to use flowers, sand, shells, stones, pinecones, fruit, branches, etc….to bring some of nature inside.
Q: Who are your typical clients and what is the most common thing they need you to help them with?
Lisa: My clients are hard to pin down they can be retirees, new home buyers, families, etc… But generally, people want help with their renovations, room layouts, furniture placement, furniture selections, lighting choices and colour selection (for both the interior and the exterior).
Most people just need a plan in order for them to completely finish their room.
Q: Women are generally more interested in home decoration than men. Do you have many male clients?
Lisa: I haven’t had any single male clients up to this point, but I have had the male partner take the lead in a kitchen renovation. In this instance, the wife was easy going and was happy to have him make some of the decisions – in the end she decided on the finishing touches.
Q: As an interior decorator working with clients, what is the most common decor mistake you see homeowners do?
Lisa: The most common decorating mistake that I see is that artwork is hung too high on the wall.
Generally, the center of the artwork should be 60” from the floor but in a dining room for example, the artwork should be hung at eye level while you are seated. Artwork should relate to the items around it and if you are placing it above a console table, as an example, make sure that it is hung in relation to the console and not to the wall that it is on. The console, artwork and any accessories on the console should all read as one cohesive whole.
Q: We all love decorating by season and holiday, and you give a lot of great decorating tips on your website. Do you have any hot tips for us for sprucing up our homes for an extra summery feel?
Lisa: When spring hits, I love to go around the house and remove all my winter décor items and replace them with my spring/summer items. I like to put out lighter and brighter coloured throw pillows and throws. A few of my pillows have a winter tapestry fabric on one side and a linen fabric on the other side so I can just reverse them as needed.
I like to use some white or cream accessories as it always adds some freshness to the space. Add in some flowering branches, shells and bright summery coloured table linens such as apple green or turquoise. I replace apples and oranges in my apothecary jars with lemons and limes for an extra hit of colour.
Of course using fresh flowers from the garden is always a great way to bring summer in and they smell good too!
Mouse over picture to see this room transform:
Q: How would you go about if a client hires you to decorate a room that is basically a clean slate?
Lisa: Oh I love to have a clean slate to start with – so many endless possibilities. To narrow it down I first ask lots of questions about what my client needs and wants. Then I’d go fabric or carpet shopping to find some that we both love.
It’s always best to start with the most expensive elements in the room first and the least expensive, such as paint is the last. I’d then pick some colours out of the fabric or carpet and if it’s a living room for example, we’d move onto the flooring, carpet, sofa, drapery treatments, chairs and case goods. Once that was all decided then paint would be next and of course, accessories.
Q: Do you have any go-to paint colors or color combinations?
Lisa: I don’t have any colour schemes that I go to every time as every space requires different colours. But I have to admit that I love the colour green and blue is a close second. I use different greens for different rooms and for different moods – Sag Harbour Gray from Benjamin Moore is a gray green that works beautifully with warm red woods. I also love an old Martha Stewart paint colour called Green Tea – it’s a fresh spring green that I’ve used in cottages and bedrooms.
Blues are tricky – it’s best to use ones that have lots of gray in them otherwise they can look like Kleenex box blue. Ocean Air by Benjamin Moore is a gorgeous blue/green – great for beach homes or a spa bathroom.
Q: If you had to pick anyone to decorate your home, who would you choose?
Lisa: That’s a tough one – I would have to say that I love, love the Modern Farmhouse that Jackie Glass and Pia Hugglestone did awhile back – I believe it was one of my first posts – I don’t think there is one thing that I don’t love about each of the rooms. I’m drawn to the clean spaces with a touch of cosiness.
But I also love the classic, perfectionism of Brian Gluckstein’s rooms, though they may be a bit formal for me to actually live in with my hubby, four children and three cats!
Nate Berkus is yet another designer that I admire because he insists that you use personal items you love in your design. He also uses lots of natural elements in his designs that add to the feeling that you could actually live there!
Maybe I could have all three!! I’d just need a formal city home for Brian, an east coast house overlooking the ocean for Jackie Glass and a two storey family home for Nate!