The one design feature you’re overlooking

When it comes to decorating your home, it’s a smart idea to put your time, energy and money into the elements that make a difference to beauty and comfort. And don’t forget the window treatments.

An essential element in any space, window coverings manage illumination, privacy and even energy efficiency. They set the tone and ambiance; create a finished, polished look; and, can be a gorgeous design element that draws the eye.

When choosing the right window treatments for your home, consider these elements:

Light control and privacy. Harsh light at the window? Look for products with innovative fabric designs that transform sunlight into a soft glow and help protect your furnishings from damaging UV rays, such as the Silhouette line from Hunter Douglas. Want more light? Look for shades that can help channel light deeper into your room, filling dark corners and reducing your need for electrical lighting.

Privacy. You don’t need to sacrifice streaming sunlight for privacy from neighbours. Just look for products and operating systems that provide clever ways for giving you the privacy you want while maintaining your view through to the outside.

Energy efficiency. As much as 50 per cent of a home’s heating and cooling energy can be lost through its windows. But window treatments that provide insulation and solar heat control can reduce your energy bills by keeping your home warmer in winter and cooler in summer.

Safety. Kids and pets can get hurt with hanging cords and chains. From cordless and motorized operating systems, retractable lift cords, cord tensioners and wand controls, there are several operating system options for enhanced child and pet safety.

Smart-home convenience. Imagine your shades moving automatically to the exact position you prefer to achieve the specific lighting effect you love, or adjusting themselves for optimal energy efficiency throughout the day. With Hunter Douglas’ PowerView Motorization system, your shades will automatically move to schedules you set, so they’ll always be in their perfect positions 24/7.

Fresh ways to make over furniture

With more time indoors on your hands thanks to cooler weather, you finally resolve to refinish that forgotten wooden chair that’s been tucked away in the garage all summer.

Whether you’re only giving the chair a fresh coat of paint or refinishing it from scratch, be sure to protect yourself and those around you in the process. Keep these tips in mind before beginning a new refinishing project.

  1. Read the label. Follow all safety and usage instructions on the label, including how to dispose of any leftover products.
  2. Work in an area with lots of ventilation. Refinish old furniture outdoors, if weather permits. If you work inside, open the windows to make sure there is plenty of ventilation.
  3. Do not use sanders, heat guns or blowlamps. This can create dust and fumes that may contain lead.
  4. Use a chemical paint stripper. Ideally, choose one with a paste that can be applied with a brush. Paint strippers contain substances that may be harmful, so use them carefully.
  5. Keep children and pregnant women away from the work area. This will help ensure their safety.
  6. Always wear safety glasses, gloves, and a good-quality breathing mask. The label will provide more detailed information on personal safety equipment you should use. This is essential to protect you and your family.
  7. Store materials properly. Make sure that you store refinishing chemicals in a dry, cool place. Keep any hazardous material away from children’s reach.
  8. Dispose of refinishing waste materials properly. It can be dangerous to throw away rags and certain other materials that have been used for refinishing furniture. Aside from potentially starting a fire, they can also cause serious damage to the environment.

Refresh your home with new cabinet doors

Looking for a way to update your home? If you’re happy with your existing cabinetry layout, refacing with new cabinet doors is all you need. The timesaving, no-fuss solution will make your space look brand new in a week or less.

By using an in-home cabinet refacing service such as ReNuIt, which provides turnkey, in-home consultation and installation, all you have to do is pick your style and watch the beauty come to life.

Cabinet refacing is perfect for quickly refreshing kitchens as well as many other areas of your home where storage and organization are key. Here are some ideas for how to revive different spaces with fresh cabinets.

Laundry room. Updating cabinets in your laundry room is a great way to stay on-trend while keeping organized. You can use the cabinets to store detergent, laundry sheets and cleaning supplies. Consider updating with new cabinet doors in neutral tones such as beige, white or grey. These colours will bring a fresh feel and look as clean as your clothes.

Home office. Let style inspire you in this space. If you envision an energizing room, opt for cabinet doors in bright colours. There’s a variety of blues, greens or yellows that will get your creative juices flowing. Perhaps you’re looking for a luxury feel with warm tones. For this, consider a rich brown or dark burgundy, as they offer that ready-for-business vibe.

Hallway and mudroom. It can be hard to find a place to store all your shoes and outerwear. Having cabinetry near the front door will provide you with that extra storage space. Consider adding cabinetry to an unused alcove or entry nook. You can have them installed with shelves, dividers and hooks so that everything has its place. This will help hide all the clutter, creating a seamless space perfect for greeting guests.

For more information on cabinet re-facing and installation check out homedepot.ca.

Tips to remember when revitalizing old furniture

Whether you’re stripping a chair you found in a garage sale, staining a vintage dresser or painting dated kitchen cabinets, be sure to protect yourself and those around you in the process. Here is what to do:

  1. Read the label. Follow all safety and usage instructions on the label, including how to dispose of any leftover products.
  2. Work in an area with lots of ventilation. Refinish old furniture outdoors, if weather permits. If you work inside, open the windows to make sure there is plenty of ventilation.
  3. Do not use sanders, heat guns or blowlamps. This can create dust and fumes that may contain lead.
  4. Use a chemical paint stripper. Ideally, choose one with a paste that can be applied with a brush. Paint strippers also contain substances that may be harmful, so use them carefully.
  5. Keep children and pregnant women away from the work area. This will help ensure their safety.
  6. Always wear safety glasses, gloves, and a good-quality breathing mask. The label of the product will provide more detailed information on personal safety equipment you should use. These are essential to protect you and your family.
  7. Store materials properly. Make sure that you store refinishing chemicals in a dry, cool place. Keep any hazardous material away from children’s reach.
  8. Dispose of refinishing waste materials properly. It can be very dangerous to throw away rags and certain other materials that have been used for refinishing furniture. Aside from potentially starting a fire, they can also cause serious damage to the environment.

Increase resale value with new countertops

Want a quick way to boost what your home is worth? According to a recent survey conducted by Houzz, countertops are the top upgraded feature in most homes and the material most likely to be splurged on.

There are several materials to consider when replacing your countertop. Here, The Home Depot shares insights that will help you decide which style is the best for your lifestyle. Consider these tips not only when you are looking to sell your house, but also when you are searching for a new one.

Quartz. Over the past few years, quartz has become the product of choice for many consumers. When preparing to sell your house, consider quartz as a durable material that buyers will pay extra for. There are a variety of colours to choose from, but if you’re selling you’ll want to stick to neutral tones like whites and greys.

When buying a house, ask what material the countertops are made from. One of the main benefits of quartz is that it is resistant to chips and cracks. It’s also easy to clean because of its non-porous surface.

Natural stone. Another popular option to consider is natural stone. When selling your house, you may not want to spend a great deal on refreshing and some natural stone costs less than quartz while still offering a beautiful look that will last forever.

The material resists staining and cracking under high temperatures and requires little-to-no maintenance, making it an ideal option for those who love to cook and entertain. You won’t need to worry if guests spill their glass of Shiraz or put a hot serving plate on your counter by accident.

Travel back to the 70s with a retro revamp

Travel back to the 70s with a retro revampTake a blast from the past with some not-so-subtle nods to the 1970s. Incorporate iconic vibrant colour palettes, inviting textures and décor with groovy silhouettes into your home using tips from Sharon Grech, the colour and design expert for Benjamin Moore.

Bold pops of colour. This decade was all about bright hues and bold patterns, which enhance the retro feel. By incorporating neutral elements, you can add a modern spin to this eclectic look. Black and white are great neutral bases when paired with pops of colour and pattern throughout a room. Try painting a statement wall with your favourite colour or incorporating brightly painted furniture and accessories. “For cool, trendy accents, Fiji AF-525 is a refined, earthy blue hue when mixed with a black and white backdrop,” says Grech.

Retro-inspired furniture. Another great way to accentuate retro décor is by adding fun, vintage furnishings. Introduce bright and uniquely shaped pieces of furniture or asymmetrical consoles incorporating retro and colourful elements. Adding a fresh coat of paint to vintage pieces will create depth and new interest in a space. “I always recommend using Benjamin Moore Advance when it comes to painting furniture,” says Grech. Lighting is another great way to incorporate the vintage feel into your décor. Accentuate your space with geometric light fixtures in bright colours that will take you back in time.

Make a groovy statement with fun patterns and prints. When it comes to 70s-inspired home décor, the more pattern, the merrier. Create the groovy look by mixing unexpected prints and patterns as a key design element. “Be sure to mix the scale of your patterned items and work with a consistent colour palette throughout the room to keep a sophisticated look,” suggest Grech.

Add value and style to your home

Add value and style to your homeUpdating your home can make the space more livable and beautiful. But giving your home a refresh can also boost your property value. Here are some ideas to consider for your next improvement project, big or small.

Layer the lighting. The secret to making a room look like it came straight out of a magazine is layered lighting. Set the tone with ambient lighting at every height. Try experimenting with wall-mounted sconces, pendants, chandeliers or foot lamps for a brighter space and increased functionality.

Customize your window treatments. Made-to-order window coverings are like a well-tailored blazer — they instantly add timeless luxury and professional sophistication. Opt for a classic look with clean lines that’s always in style, like Vignette modern roman shades from Hunter Douglas. Unlike other roman shades, they can open from the top, from the bottom, or somewhere in-between for the perfect balance of privacy and light. Choose from an array of luxurious textures and colours to transform your windows.

Stage like a pro. Even if you’re the only one who will be seeing your home this weekend, style the place like a designer would for an open house. Start with your coffee table — combine one large statement piece like a vase or bowl and stack art books or candles for fashionable flair. Other meaningful touches are fresh orchids, plumping the pillows and draping a throw across the couch.

Modernize your kitchen. Few renovation projects offer a better return on your investment than a kitchen upgrade. This key room is the heart of the home and is often the first place guests look. Even small updates can make a big difference. Try swapping out a dated sink or an ancient microwave for a new energy-efficient model, or painting the cabinets and replacing knobs and handles with a stylish metal like brass.

 

3 ways to refresh your home for spring

3 ways to refresh your home for springLooking to update your home for the season but don’t have time or budget for a major renovation? Do it right with these three easy DIY paint projects that can each be done in just a day.

“The seasonal transition from winter to spring is the perfect time to freshen up,” says Sharon Grech, colour and design expert for Benjamin Moore. “If you’re like me, you don’t have unlimited time to devote to working on your home, which is why small weekend projects are perfect because they’re quick, easy and affordable.”

Hit refresh with paint. Nothing says refresh quite like bringing new life to a tired piece of furniture. A fresh coat of paint is the perfect solution to make old, dated furniture seem trendy and new. Look for pieces that have solid construction and interesting shapes. Grech says headboards, wardrobes, chairs and side tables are all great pieces to transform. If you are unsure of the condition of the furniture or how to paint it, visit a local paint retailer to ensure you get the product that is right for your project.

Amaze with an accent wall. Feature walls are a great way to make an impactful change to a space. “Many people think accent walls need to be very bold and vibrant hues, when they can be neutral to create a more cohesive and harmonious feel,” says Grech. Explore painting the fifth wall, otherwise known as the ceiling, for a unique and modern look that can add dimension to a space.

Front door décor. The front door has the ability to instantly create an inviting impression before guests enter your home. “Applying a fresh coat of paint to your front door is a great DIY project that can be done quickly and can invigorate the look and feel of your home,” says Grech. “Because it’s so easy, you can even change your door colour seasonally.” Benjamin Moore’s Aura Grand Entrance collection, inspired by European enamel finishes has more than 42 curated colours.

Find more information at www.benjaminmoore.ca.

 

Smart ideas when designing small spaces

Smart ideas when designing small spacesAs homes become smaller and we adopt a more minimalist lifestyle, interior décor is offering fresh solutions to furnish tighter spots. Here are some big ideas to maximize your mini space.

Consider your routine. Be realistic about your daily habits and how you use the space so you can prioritize furniture and layout. Do you really eat at the dining table, or do you bring your plate to the couch? Do you work from home, or can you do away with that stately desk? Make your floor plan work for your lifestyle and you’ll free up space in unexpected places.

Set rooms apart with colour. Developing a unique style for each space can create the feeling of a larger home. Give every room a distinct colour palette that you use from the walls to the accessories, so that each feels defined and distinct with its own mood and character.

Go vertical. One of the biggest mistakes people make in tiny living spaces is neglecting everything above eye level. But this leaves out valuable square footage. Utilize empty walls for added shelving and hanging storage, wall-mounted lighting and even a vertical herb or flower garden.

Spread the light. Natural light can make everything look brighter, bigger and more inviting. For a seamless look at the window, choose pared down designs and add visual interest with beautiful fabrics. Sonnette cellular roller shades from Hunter Douglas combine the energy-efficient construction of a cellular shade with the clean lines and simplicity of a roller shade. The innovative curved shape gently diffuses light, providing ambiance to all angles of your room.

 

Simple spring ideas add seasonal touches to your home

Simple spring ideas add seasonal touches to your homeA new season is here, and that means it’s time to give your living spaces an update. Refresh your home with a few strategic elements that can take you from winter to wow.

Surprise with unexpected florals. Flowers during springtime are not exactly a groundbreaking idea, but you can add a twist by incorporating them in creative ways. Think removable wallpaper or a reupholstered statement armchair with pretty, punchy or playful florals. Fresh flowers are never a miss, and you can make them bloom and last longer by placing an ice cube in their water every other day.

Transport outdoor greenery inside. Nothing says spring like new plants, flowers and shrubs. Even if you don’t have a backyard, you can give your interiors a touch of the garden with easy-to-maintain plants around your home. Popular varieties this year are coloured plants like the Pink Princess Philodendron, aquatic plants that require less care, and dwarf fruit trees.

Brighten with a pastel palette. Today’s trending colours are perfect for the season. Add some millennial pink, soft lavender and cheerful yellow with decorative accessories like pillows and art prints for an easy update. For a more substantial makeover, try painting an accent wall one of these shades for a pop of colour and keep everything else neutral for a balanced look.

Update your window’s look. Sometimes all it takes to energize a space are new window fashions. Be sure to choose something that lets in plenty of the sun’s rays after a long winter, like Pirouette window shadings from Hunter Douglas. Soft horizontal fabric vanes float on a sheer backing, allowing you to achieve infinite combinations of light control, view-through and privacy. The sheer fabric back panel diffuses sunlight, transforming it into a warm glow while filtering out ultraviolet rays.