A new phase – What do you want your home to be?

Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash

Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash

A new phase begins. What do you want your home to be?

So now that the kids have left or about to, how do you want or need your home to function? This is the key to making your home work for you and your partner. Think about how you want to live. 

What are your goals? 

For example, do you want to entertain or travel more, start or continue a hobby, or just get out from under the clutter?

What path would you like to go down? 

More entertaining?

If entertaining is key to you, then perhaps an open concept kitchen/dining/living area will allow you to host those larger groups more easily.  Perhaps removing some walls (once an expert has determined this is doable), will make this a reality. 

Maybe you need a guest room or bathroom for out of town family and friends, then it is time to redo a few rooms to suit grown ups.

Want to travel more?

Than how about making your home more maintenance friendly. Easy care and durable finishes are a must. Declutter spaces for easy cleaning and installing internet capable thermostats and alarm systems will give you peace of mind travels. Perhaps you want to travel so much that a condo may be the ideal move for you. No yard or exterior to maintain may just be the ticket….pun intended.

Planning on playing?

Perhaps continuing with or starting a new hobby is exactly what you want to do in the next phase. Think about changing up that extra room or space into an art studio, music, craft, sewing or even a theatre room, so you can indulge your inner movie critic. Rooms DO NOT have to stay as they are advertised on your floorplan.

Or do you just need a refresh? 

Something to make your home feel shiny, fresh and new! 

Decluttering of course, is almost always necessary. First, check with the kids about everything they may want or need. Than be pretty ruthless about this, you DO NOT want six storage units full of stuff that no one wants and that you are paying monthly fees on.  Those units should be for temporary use only. Such as if you’re moving and want to store some furniture while you are staging your home or you are keeping items for a university student to use when they get their own home (hopefully sooner than later).

I know grandparents stuff can be sentimental or valuable, if so keep the best pieces that you love and can incorporate into your home, but not the entire dining room set that you don’t care for or have the room for. That chandelier that is priceless and unique can be the focal point in a contemporary room. A mix of design styles makes your home personal and interesting so don’t be afraid to challenge the norm. Breaking rules can be just the thing. That chandelier could be a showstopper in your master bedroom or bath. It doesn’t have to be in the dining room.

Paint or new flooring can also go along way to revamp a home. If you have worn and stained carpet, install hardwood. It is timeless, especially a mid-toned brown one with medium sized planks. Think of a french chateau with those beautiful hardwood floors, they never date. A stunning herringbone pattern will be cherished forever. Just choose what you love and not what you see everywhere, because that is likely a trend.

If hardwood is not your style, then a stone such as marble, slate or granite is another classic choice. If these are too pricey, then a great faux stone tile can also work. Typically porcelain tile is more durable than ceramic, but always ask your tile supplier about the durability of your selection and make sure you tell him/her where it is going. What is durable for a busy hallway versus a hardly used powder room can be vastly different.

Keep grout in mind as well for ease of maintenance, ideally it should be mid toned as well and now there are many stain and water resistant versions on the market. They are costly but well worth the investment.

Paint should always be chosen last on a project, yes dead last. There are millions of paint colours available but not millions of sofa or drapery fabric or tile choices. And also keep in mind paint should always complement your fixtures so DO NOT ignore the pinky beige carpet or tile (if you are keeping it) or you may end up highlighting it instead of working with it.

So think about what your goals are for your home and then you can start making your Reclaim your Home plan. 

I’ll be posting more in depth information on all of these options in the next few weeks so keep checking back. 

Lisa

Updating a 10 year old home

After 10 years in this home, we  or at least, I am ready for some changes. Goodbye, warm yellows, gold and greens..so over you.  So how do you update a 10 year old home? Well, you pick some new fresh paint colours, install some new lighting and perhaps change the kitchen’s backsplash.

So for the last few weeks, I’ve been walking around with paint colours, yes it does take that long to make a decision in my own home, and I’ve finally decided upon these.

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I’m going with Grandma’s China (kind of an unfortunately name, IMO) above in the hallways, loft, living room and funnily enough in my master bath. It’s a lovely warm taupey/gray that works well with my warm fixtures, but still reads grey enough to give me that fresher tone I was seeking.

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Picket fence will greet my guests in the entrance and front den.  It is also being used in my laundry room/mud room and is the main colour for my basement. It’s just a touch darker than Grandma’s China for those rooms that need a little more mood.

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I’m using this grey/blue in the kitchen to bring down the red in my wood cabinets and it will work beautifully with the Ceragres Liverpool subway tiles in Portland, (the colour below) which I am having installed, hopefully before Christmas.  This grey/blue paint colour will also pull in the blue of my blue velvet chairs in the adjoining family room.

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I am going with a significantly darker blue in the dining room. I had wanted to do Hale Navy but it was way, way too dark for my room. It was reading as almost a black and just wasn’t doing it for me.  This dark grey/blue is much softer and works better in my already moody (read..dark) dining room.

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Fossil will be a lovely pale cream in my very bright family room and sun room.  It has a hint of violet in it which will work well with my current sofa and my blue armchairs.

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I painted my office in Wish recently and I am in love with this soft dove grey colour. It works well with my darker desk and storage units and even blends with the beigey/pink carpeting.  It has been added to my favourites list.

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My bedroom is going with a darker and more grey blue than what I currently have. This was a tricky one as I didn’t want to change the feature wall’s wallpaper but I wanted the blue to have more depth than the pale blue I have in there now. This one was the winner. And it also works well with Grandma’s China which will be in the adjoining master bath.

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And last but not least, my son’s room is being done in this pale steel grey. He requested nothing too out there and since his furniture and flooring are dark, this will work well.

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By the way, all the paint colours are from Benjamin Moore.

Picking out lighting, is one of my favourite things to do design wise, so, this was like an early Christmas gift. It’s been ten long years, since I chose what I have now and I’m so over it.  I had been drooling over all the warm metals with a touch of age, so these vintage bronze pieces were exactly what I wanted.

The top left is going in the entry (I can’t wait to see the pretty reflections this one casts), the top centre for the hallways, the middle centre in the laundry room, the bottom right, for the kitchen peninsula, the middle bottom for the kitchen table with it’s semi-flush version for the kitchen centre, and the sconces will live in the lower hallway.

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 I SO CAN’T WAIT TO GET THESE ALL UP!

I’ll be sharing some progress on Instagram and FB, so follow me along for updates.

Lisa

How to have the home you want with the family you love

How to have the home you want with the family you love, without covering it all in bubble wrap?

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Isn’t that the trick, though, a happy medium of nice furniture and finishes that stand up to the hoards, which can sometimes get totally out of hand.

I have a large family and being a designer, it  has definitely caused some friction between my wants and desires and the reality of a life, where you can’t run around telling everyone NOT to touch or NOT to sit there.  Well you can do this, but you won’t win any popularity contests.

First, things first.

1. If at all possible buy classic and quality for the larger pieces that will get used and abused.  Like the family room sofa, because after the kids have grown to the point that they don’t wipe their dirty hands on it, yes, this will actually happen.  It can be easily reupholstered and given a new lease on life.

2. Use a good quality, washable paint for the walls, this will be a life saver.  And make sure you have extra paint left over, because believe me, you will be touching it up, if you are anything like me, just before a dinner party.

3. Hard flooring is easier to clean and perhaps, disinfect (you know it, it happens) … than carpeting,  Porcelain tile, stone and even hardwood (as long as you can embrace scratches and think of it as patina) will all be worthwhile in the end. A note on hardwood, light and mid toned floors will show less dirt, dust and scratches than that ebony stained floor.

4. To soften the hard flooring use area rugs, just make sure the one you pick is cleanable.  And I am a big fan of the Flor floor tiles as if something disastrous happens you can just replace the tile or tiles that are affected…how wonderful..a do over.

5.  For smaller pieces, like coffee and end tables, this is the place to have fun and add some whimsey. Use second hand or vintage pieces, paint or stain them to suit and if they get banged up, you have an excuse to redo them.   Another tip with case goods, is to use distressed pieces, so any extra dings or dents just look like they are supposed to be there.  I have used this many, many times in my own home.

There you have it, some tips for having the home you want, with the family you love.

Lisa