Friday, 28 September 2012

Cool and warm hot this fall

How about a cool Raindance, Revere Pewter or Thunder for your living room walls? Or do you prefer the warm and exotic Africa, Thailand and Bali? North Bay homeowners seem to be divided when it comes to colours. One group embraces greys, bluish-greens and other less warm hues. Others favour nature-inspired tans, browns and umber.
Click here to read the rest of my article on colour trends (The Nugget, Home Renovation & Decorating).

Friday, 21 September 2012

Mainly Art on Main

Orange is such a vibrant and warm colour. 
This wall sculpture by Carole Davidson has 
extra sparkle thanks to the shiny metal.

Looking for unique pieces of art for yourself or a friend? A visit to North Bay's Art on Main is sure to solve that problem. The downtown artists' collective showcases a great mix of locally-made sculptures, paintings, jewellery, pottery and more. Look for pieces that "speak to you", in shape, colour or texture; they are sure to be conversation starters also at home!

Check out the following pieces that caught my eye recently:
Carole Davidson turns thin sheets of copper, brass,
aluminum and silver into beautiful works of art.
       Tracey Timpano's Klimt-inspired painting
       stands out...

         ...and so does this humorous painting
         by Barry Burniston, in more than one way!

     Kathleen Atkinson Hindle shows a fresh take 
     on wrought iron. Imagine the interesting shadows
     from this tree-branch sculpture when the candles 
     are lit!

             Kathleen also makes funky jewellery. 

   Quirky? Yes! Fun? Absolutely!
                  The occasional table by Kathleen
                  Atkinson Hindle is made from an
                  old, rusty car brake rotor filled with 
                  concrete. On top of the table: a cute 
                  tree sculpture. Birds included!

Terryl Ryan is the artist behind this cute basket. 
Ideal for your fall apples! 

 And how about this basket, also by Terryl Ryan,
    for all your design magazines?

                Nice colour combination in this
                rug by Terryl Ryan.

Monday, 17 September 2012

The perfect couch: dream or reality?

Looking for a statement sofa, such as this showstopper 
from legendary Barrymore Furniture? Or just a comfy 
sofa for you and your family? Read on for some tips!
So you are on the lookout for a new couch. You know what size and colour you want. And you know it has to be comfortable and practical. But how about the rest: shape of legs and arms, style of cushions and backrest? Not to mention details such as piping and nail head trim? Let's start with the legs.

Skirted couch from Lee
Industries, available through
the Great Room, North Bay.

Look at the legs of other pieces in the room and repeat the same general shape on your couch. If the other pieces have exposed legs, consider breaking that trend and opting for a skirted couch, or a couch with an upholstered or recessed base with no visible feet.

Arms: Are there already many soft, round shapes in the room? Then go with a couch with a rounder appearance. Stricter lines in the room often require a straighter sofa. Choose narrow, low armrests if space is tight.  

in North Bay sells this two-cushion 


Seat and back cushions: There are many options; a three-seater for example can have three individual cushions for each seat, it can have two, bigger cushions, or one single seat and backrest. The cushions can be loose or tight. Consider this: each cushion creates vertical lines in the couch. So if you want a clean and streamlined appearance, a sofa with fewer (and consequently larger) cushions is preferable. Couches with individual cushions for each seat have a tendency to look more traditional, and that might be exactly what your are after.

Three-cushion sofa available 
at North Bay's Home Furniture.
Nail heads are decorative metal buttons applied to edges and arms. Available in different finishes and sizes, they give your couch a somewhat formal appearance. Match the nail-head finish to your cabinet hardware, and your space will read as coherent and pulled together. Achieve the same effect with the piping, the fabric that covers the cushion seams. Make it stand out by using a contrasting fabric present elsewhere in the room. These embellishing details will make your couch stand out from the rest!

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Discover the designer in you!

Do you want to update things at home, but don’t know where to begin? Here are six tips to get your design projects off to a good start:

1. Assess the situation. What room needs an update most urgently? Take note of what you want to change and what works as is. 

2. Use what you already own. Many times, swapping pieces between rooms is enough to achieve a fresh look. Take a peek also in the basement or attic; things you put away a few years ago might be just what you are looking for in your reinvented space!

3. Measure. Measure twice, buy once... Know the dimensions of the room you want to change. Draw a simple floorplan using graph paper and a scale ruler. Make mock ups of furniture with post-it notes and try different furniture layouts on paper.

4. Define your style. Look for inspiration on-line (see my post "Online inspiration for your projects") and in magazines. Save anything that represents the look you are after. Keep adding to the collection and look for trends that repeat throughout. 

5. Determine a budet. When researching your style, make sure to also note how much things cost. Decide on a budget for your project.

6. Be consistent. Make a list of the items you want to purchase and stores you want to visit. Avoid distractions and stick to your plan, defined style and budget.  

I'd love to hear how it went!

One of my favourite sources of inspiration is 
House Beautiful, both on-line and as a magazine.