Thursday, March 20, 2014

Going Bold - How To Decorate With A Bold Paint Colour

If you are the adventurous type, chances are off-white and soft paint colours are not for you. Bold colours make a statement and will add instant personality to any space.

Do's and Don'ts of decorating with bold colour.

  • Do balance a darker shade on the wall with lighter furniture.
  • Do try a dramatic colour in the powder room or dining room for impact.
  • Do use a bold colour on accent or feature walls.
  • Do use bold colour above white or cream painted wainscoting.
  • Don't add too many accessories and fabric patterns -  let the colour take center stage.
  • Don't use a bold colour in every room of the house.
  • Don't be afraid to try a colour you really love.

Happy Decorating!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Interior Decorating Program Participates In IODE Christmas Home Tour

Recently, the Interior Decorating Program at Lambton College had an opportunity to decorate a home for the Sarnia IODE Christmas Home Tour.

The decorating team consisted of IDEC program instructor Abbigail Vosburg along with former graduates of the program and current students.

Thanks to the homeowners who graciously opened their doors to us, you can enjoy a peak of this beautiful home.

I hope this brings ideas and inspiration for all of your festive decorating.

Happy Holidays!

Front entrance way
Dining Room

Living Room
Teen Room


Guest Room

Sunday, October 6, 2013


A change in season brings change in décor. If you are looking to refresh your home, here are just a few of the many trends spotted for Fall 2013.

Neutral colored fabrics on sofas, chairs and large furniture pieces.

Rich hues of purple continue to be popular on fabrics and accessories.

Lamps, pillows, draperies and throws add vibrant pops of colour such as orange and lime to otherwise neutral rooms.

Global inspired and cultural prints remain strong.

Floral patterns both vintage and modern seen on rugs and drapery.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013


If you have been wondering how to update your living room here are of few easy DIY ideas. 

  • Area Rugs can enhance existing décor and anchor your seating area. Rugs add texture, pattern and warmth to a otherwise subdued space.
  • Paintings help add splashes of colour to a room and can be used as focal points. Place art in a living room above a sofa or fireplace.
  • Wall art such as metal wall plaques or African headdresses can be hung on living room walls for unique and interesting displays.
  • Vases and bowls introduce personality to any space.
  • Large mirrors add drama while expanding space and reflecting light. Use mirrors above a fireplace mantel, console table, or against the wall.
  • Light up your room with multiple levels of light. Use floor lamps, table lamps, wall sconces and overhead fixtures to prevent shadows and bring the room to life.   

Thursday, April 11, 2013


HOW LIGHT AFFECTS COLOUR - Tips for choosing paint colours

Light is often overlooked when choosing a paint colour. The same colour you loved in the paint store might not look the same in your living room. Under your light at home you may need to use a colour that is two or three shades up or down the paint chip.
Light has a dramatic effect on how a paint colour will work in a room and here are a few things to keep in mind.

It is important to take into consideration the light in your room during the day and the artificial light at night. Many paint manufacturers now offer sample jars and big chips so you can see how the colour will look on the walls under different lighting conditions. Try painting a square of sample colour directly on the wall or paint a board that is at least 8" x 12". Look at your colour at various times of the day and night. This extra step is well worth the effort to get it right. Maybe your goal is to have multiple rooms appear the same colour if so you might find you have to vary the paint colour slightly from room to room.

In general, light colours tend to make a room feel open and airy brightening a space, while darker warmer colours tend to make a space more intimate and cozy. However, there are exceptions, a bold darker colour can look great in a room with low light conditions (such as a bathroom) if you combine it with white trim. It is the contrast that creates the feeling of brightness.
On the other hand, if you paint a room with little daylight a pale colour it could make your room appear a little dingy.

For those lucky enough to have lots of natural warm daylight in your room you can use either pale colours, drab colours or even white and it will look wonderful.

Hope these tips give you a little more confidence and inspiration when choosing paint colours for your next project.

Monday, March 4, 2013


There is no disputing that there is an element of science to colour. Colour is defined as a function of refracted light and how is it perceived by the human eye. Scientific yes, but choosing colours for your home need not all be guess work with the help of a colour wheel.
Most decorators refer to the colour wheel as a tool for choosing colour schemes, while other professionals use the colour wheel for inspiration or problem solving.


A colour wheel is a circle of hues (or colours) that show how colours relate to each other. One half of the wheel is made up of warm colours - from red-violet through the reds and oranges to yellow. The other half is made up of cool colours yellow-green through violet.
Red, Yellow and Blue are the primary colours, the colours which all other colours are derived from. If you drew a line to connect these colours on the wheel you would have a triangle.
When you blend any two primary colours together you get secondary colours e.g. yellow and blue make green, blue and red make purple, red and yellow make orange.

Mix a primary and secondary colour and you get a tertiary colour: example: red and orange make red-orange, orange and yellow make yellow- orange etc.

When talking about colour we also need to consider it's value or saturation. A high saturated colour is a colour with a lot of pigment (think fire engine red) while pink (a pastel colour) would be considered a low saturated colour. Adding white to a colour will make it it lighter, while adding black will make a colour darker. Lighter and darker versions of the same colour are called shades.

Colours that are side by side on the colour wheel are called Analogous. Colours that are directly opposite each other are called Complements. The colours that are to either side of any colours complement would be its Split Complements.

Here are a few simple methods of creating colour schemes based on a colours position on the colour wheel, while there are more complex combinations, using these basic relationships to come up with combinations is helpful.

Analogous Schemes:
Analogous schemes involve using multiple shades of the same colour (or colours that are side by side on the colour wheel) an example of this would be using shades of yellow-green, green, and blue green for your colour scheme.
Complementary Schemes:
While Green is a complement of Red, the trick to using this combination in the home is to look for ways to vary or tweak this combination,  instead of using true red with true green, a nicer combination may be Red with a beautiful sage green or try using a lighter softer shade of green in combination with pink in a little girl's room. Another example of the Red and Green scheme may be offset versions of this scheme such as  blue-green in combination with red-orange.

Split Complementary Schemes:
Split complementary colour schemes involve using three colours.The colour of your choice and the two colour that sit on either side of its complement. In keeping with Green as an example, a split complementary scheme would be using Green with the colour Reds neighbours red-orange and red-violet.
Adding White                               Adding Black

Using these basic relationships on the colour wheel to come up with colour combinations will help you create spectacular results in your home. 


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Decorating 101

Happy New Year!

The holiday season is behind us and we look forward to a new year to spruce up our interiors and start a few new design projects.
Decorators know that design projects can involve a lot of decisions and we often follow a few basic guidelines to help us make those decisions.

Here are a few commonly asked questions and their answers to help guide you through your next decorating project.

"How can I spruce up my front entrance way?"
In the front entrance way, use a console table with a tray or bowl to set down mail, change, and keys. Wall hooks are a great place to hang coats, hats and bags.
Place a mirror above the console table for a quick check on the way out the door.
Flooring in the entryway should be easy to clean and wipe. A floor mat can introduce colour and pattern to the space.
A  beautiful pendant light in an entranceway can make a great first impression while introducing your personal design style.
Finally, a chair or bench to sit down and put on shoes on is always useful.

"What height should I hang my pictures?"

Art (unless very large) should be hung above a sofa , chair or table.
Hang your art 6-8" above your sofa or 8-10" above a table.
Another rule of thumb is to hang art 57" from the floor.

Try to keep pictures all at the same height in a room to keep the eye from moving up and down throughout the space.

"What size area rug do I need for a room?"

Typically, a room looks more pulled together if all legs of the furniture are the rug, but this is not always necessary.

In the family room or living room
A good rule of thumb is approximately two feet of bare floor showing all around the area rug.

In the dining area
An area rug should extend beyond the dining table by 18- 24" on each side to allow the chairs to sit on the rug even when chairs are pulled out from the table.

In the bedroom
Approximately two feet of bare floor all around the area rug. For beds that are not centered in a room , place a rug at the end of the bed or side of the bed.

"What is the rule of thumb for hanging Drapery Rods?"

If there is 12" or more between the top of the molding and the ceiling hang the drapery rod halfway between the window frame and the ceiling.
If there is less than 12" between the top of the molding and the ceiling hang the rod right below the ceiling or crown molding.
If you have a low ceiling it looks best to hang the rod right at the ceiling.

"How high do I hang my dining room light fixture?"

A dining room fixture or chandelier should be in proportion to your table and the room.
A fixture diameter of 24" to 30" will suit most typical spaces.
The fixture should be hung 27" to 36" above the tabletop and minimum of 6" in from the edge of the table.
A dimmer switch creates low lighting for dining and can be turned up when extra light is needed.

"How should lamps be placed in a room?"
Living room
When placing a lamp on a side table, the bottom of the lampshade should be at eye level when you are seated or approximately 40"- 42" from the floor.
In the bedroom the bottom of your lampshade should be even with your shoulder when you are sitting up in bed or 20" from the top of your bed.
Home Office 
When sitting at a desk minimum 15" to bottom of lamp shade or eye level.
Floor lamps should be 40"-42" from the floor or eye level when seated.

Happy decorating!