Garden Inspirations as Easter Arrives…

The signs of Spring abound…we have had incredibly warm weather, the Canada Geese and Robins are back, and the Easter Bunny will soon arrive!

 Photo Courtesy of Style at Home

I have been excited about the arrival home of my two college aged kids…for a short stint at Easter, and then for summer as they take a break from their schooling.  And then the fear of God set in, as they both bring home with them the contents of their temporary college homes…argh…my already crunched-for- space garage will be filled to the brim!  Some current paint and decorating projects will have to be shifted around, and a Garage Sale may be in order…but til then, let the preparations for Easter begin!!

Photo Courtesy of Riches to Rags by Dori

 

The addition of fresh flowers to your home always gets everyone in the feeling of Spring.  Raised in the home of a perennial (literally!) gardener, the appearance of Easter Lilies or fresh bouquets adorning our dining table was an annual tradition.  On a recent trip home to my parents, I was amazed at my dad’s ability to over-winter Geraniums, Amaryllis, and a huge variety of house plants.  A skill I have never been able to master, I save my gardening abilities for creating outdoor beds and tending to my ever-changing design plans for my yard.  A process always in motion, I find it a relaxing time that proves to be very rewarding, even during our very short growing season!!

Photo Courtesy of Sagewood Design

One of my largest garden projects completed was my grouping of shrub beds created to take up space on our former acreage!  Low-maintenance was the main focus…we surrounded the beds with large rocks, and filled in around the shrubbery with gravel.  To keep weeds from peeking through your landscape fabric, use layers of newspaper after you have removed the sod.  Yes, the people at the recycling bins will think you are crazy…but it is all in the name of keeping life simple!  We had a well-head and a septic cover that we needed to conceal.  We used Dekorra Rock, supplied by our friend, Diane, of  Ezee Rock, to blend in seamlessly with all of the real rocks.  Pictured below is one of three huge rockery beds we created…in the background you can see the large circular fire pit area.  Designed specifically to house all seating within the area of the rocks and gravel, we no longer had the hassle of moving heavy lawn furniture each time we needed to mow.  It was a dream to keep this area looking neat and tidy, and safe because all sparks from the fire landed on the stones, rather than the grass.

Photo Courtesy of Sagewood Design

Whatever your Spring gardening projects are, save yourself time and money by planning ahead.  Just as you would inside your home, draw up sketches and plans.  Remember that those tiny trees you plant may some day be huge…so placement of those is imperative.  Consider the views from your interior out to your garden area.  Create focal points, and build up layers around these areas to highlight them from both inside and outside your home.

Enjoy the warm spring weather,  and your family this Holiday Easter  Weekend!

Stacey…

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Creating a Suite Retreat…

We talk often about creating the whole package when designing your home…you’ve got to pull all aspects together for a peaceful and harmonious balance in your life.  So what better way than keeping this philosophy in mind as you go about designing and decorating your Master Bedroom.  It often is the last place in your home that you tend to…it’s understandable that you want your public living areas to be finished first as this is where your guests gather.  But it is so important to have a restful, peaceful area to go to at the end of a busy work day!  So don’t cut yourself short…whether you are living in a tiny apartment, or enjoy the luxury of a large estate home, be sure to pay some attention to your Master Suite…a sweet retreat!

Photo Courtesy of Design Connection, Inc.

In choosing your color palette, as always, choose colors that envelope you with a peaceful feeling.  So popular now are the pale aquas and silvery greens, or a shade of champagne…what could be more relaxing (and romantic!) than champagne…whatever your choice, choose colors that you love.  Layer on shades of similar color choices in your bedding and accessories  for a serene look.  Different textures of materials will add interest, but keeping the same colors sends a relaxing message of not being too busy and crazy—the last thing you want at the end of a nutty day!

Photo Courtesy of Beyond Drapery

In choosing materials to finish and furnish your bedroom, check out the ever increasing range of allergen-free products.  If you’re prone to allergies, you are better to eliminate carpet out of your plan, and go with a hardwood surface.  If hardwood isn’t in your budget, check out the many great alternatives…there are some vinyl products that mimic hardwood that are fantastic.  Blackstock Leather is a fabulous eco-friendly product that I am considering using my own Master Bedroom.  It can be applied as flooring, or onto walls (yes, walls!!)  How about that for a feature wall behind your bed—even as a headboard it looks just great!  I am NOT in love with my current shag carpeting that was existing in our recently purchased home, and think this might be a great replacement option.

 Photo Courtesy of Candice Olsen

As a long time fan of Candice Olsen, the above Master Bedroom Suite is a perfect inspiration for a restful, luxurious retreat.  Layers  of patterns and textures in shades of blues.  Carrying the draperies right to ceiling height add height to this already grand room and highlight the architecture of the ceiling.  It is always nice if you can incorporate a chair into your bedroom if you are lucky enough to have the space.  Can’t you just picture having morning coffee here?

Photo Courtesy of Style North

Don’t have enough in your re-decorating budget for all new furnishings?  Consider spraying your current furnishings to coordinate the look.  Many people have collections of mis-matched nightstands, dressers, and such.  Choose which pieces you really love that will fit in with your new design plans, fitting your storage requirements, and furniture layouts.  Have your pieces all painted in one color coordinating with your room.  By keeping the color consistent, you maintain a cohesive look, and you have done a great thing for both the environment and your pocket-book!

Wishing you Sweet Dreams!

Stacey…

Adding some Spring to your Step…and your Home!

It is that time of year when visions of green keep popping into our head!  Spring is just around the corner,  and now is the time to start planning those spring time projects for your home, both inside and out.  Having a new yard to begin landscaping has me designing various layouts for upcoming flower and shrub beds, including moving plants that have become too large for their space and filling up a corner of my yard that is difficult to mow and really is a dead space calling out for a special feature–maybe a water fountain surrounded by some beautiful perennials.

But until the snow is gone…let’s focus still on interiors.

 

Photo Courtesy of Child Mode.com

As clients are excited about updating and freshening their spaces for Spring, various shades of green keep popping into our plans.  Whether planning a modern twist on a traditional nursery, as above, or re-creating your main living area, I love the various shades and combinations of green.  Easily incorporated into a variety of styles, we continue to see greens ranging from sages and olives to the crisp apple and acid greens.  Espresso and black tones of furnishings partner well in a traditional home.

 

Photo Courtesy of House and Home

I love these rustic end tables mixed with the crisp traditionally upholsetered side chair.  If contemporary is more your style, pair apple and acid toned greens with Chrome, brushed stainless, white and translucent furnishings.

Photo Courtesy of Stanley Furnishings

The above photo highlights a shade of green we are currently using in a project.  Benjamin Moore Grasslands CC-590 is a perfect shade to partner with medium toned rustic wood flooring.  Our trim color choice is Navajo White OC-95.  It is the perfect combination to brighten up a dull, dated interior.

Be sure to highlight a gorgeous view to the outside if your scenery allows.  As below, if you are surrounded by greenery and lush surroundings, create a vista inside your home that compliments the view to the exterior.  This beautiful island home features the armoire flanked on either side by windows with a great view to the greenery outside.  Layering the décor accessories in varying heights on top of the armoire creates height and interest. Along with keeping all colors in the room neutral with a  shot of gorgeous wood tones in the armoire makes this piece a real stand-out.

 

Photo Courtesy of Decoist.com

Whatever way you choose to incorporate green into your home, whether on the interior or exterior, it won’t be long before we are enjoying the outdoors.  So hurry and get organized with planning what’s on your Outside To-Do list…and maybe think about adding some spring shades of green to your interior space.

Happy St. Paddy’s Day!

Stacey…

Have You Got your Tangerine On?

Photo Courtesy of Furniture Home Design

Well…okay, maybe you’re not prepared to paint entire walls Tangerine.  But there are plenty of ways to bring this fun, energetic color into your home.  Voted Pantone’s Color of the Year 2012, Tangerine Tango is sure to bring some pizazz into your space.  As the trend for color continues–yes, even in Alberta, where the color of choice is tan, we can easily add a hit of Tangerine to brighten things up.

I love this shade partnered with white and chrome accents.  It is a perfect color for a teen’s room, as they move from their childhood color schemes into a more grown up theme.  Don’t worry…they are only teen-agers for a little while!  And remember my motto…it’s only paint!  Definitely use it as a feature wall.  If you just can’t commit to paint, there are some fabulous bedding and decor accessories out there to add some punch to a neutral backdrop.  Pair Tangerine with Turquoise and add a pop of yellow, and you can’t help but be instantly energized.

Photo Courtesy of Style at Home

I can think of a couple of nephews that would be thrilled to have this fantastic color added to their rooms.  The graphic prints available now are a great way to update a dated room.  The 60’s and 70’s inspired patterns are funky and contemporary.  Imagine my thrill when a client dug out an old pair of table lamps–a beautiful shade of Tangerine complete with Chrome Base!  They are minus the shades, but a quick addition of a new shade and they are right back in style.  Eeeek…how great is that!

Photo Courtesy of Lamps Plus

Here’s to a bright and cheery spring!

Stacey…

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