Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Polka Dots

Polka dots are a good way of expressing how you feel in a room. They're very exciting and can lighten up a room with different and bright colours. In some situations, polka dots can be overpowering and can seem very out of place.

This is an example of  polka dots being used in moderation. As we can see, it is a great colour palette with a light brown dresser and a white back round with black polka dots. This room feels calm and elegant. We think its because this room is very basic and there are not that many bright colours. 

This bathroom is an example of what not to do. We think this bathroom is overdone and has too many colours clashing with each other. We feel that polka dots in bathrooms are okay in small doses, because it is such a small room and a small amount of polka dots can make it look overdone. The toilet seat cover is not working for this room. To make this room better, we would tone down the colours and put in minimal amounts of polka dots, if any.

We kind of like this room, but we think that it is a bit overdone. The prints and colours clash with each other. If we could change this room, we would take out the striped bedskirt and the patterned pillows, that way, the polka dots would be the center of attention.

Polka dots in accessories look great. They create a focal point in the room. The picture on the left is a polka dotted wall clock that we think would look great in a kitchen. The pillows on the right would be a great accessory in a living room or bedroom, as throw pillows.

Overall, we feel that polka dots are a great idea in most rooms. We think they should be used in moderation and shouldn't be splattered across the entire space.

-Vanja, Hayley & Alexandra

Friday, 22 April 2011


Spring is all about fresh, new design. It's about getting out of the winter drab and bringing life back into our homes, and we think one of the easiest ways to bring life is to bring light. Mirrors are a super simple way to bring light because they reflect light so well. They can change the entire feel of a room, plus they're convenient to have for a quick touch up.

Mirrors can make a space feel literally double the size it really is, and one of the smallest space in any home is a hallway. These cramped corridors can easily become suffocating, and a mirror is the perfect way to open up the space. We chose one with table and stools underneath it for our first example, but if the hall is too small for that a mirror alone will create an illusion of more space. Just remember to keep the mirror in sync with your colour scheme, you don't want it to clash or become to overpowering in such a tiny space. In this case, a more simple, main-stream mirror is definitely the way to go.

Unlike in a hallway where less is more, a statement piece wall mirror in a bedroom looks great. This mirror is a focal point of the room, possibly even the inspiration piece, and we love how central it is to the design and feel of the space. When you walk into this room, the mirror would be one of the first things that you see, which is something that we really like. Also, we like hoe the dark frame stands out really well against the white walls. But we can't forget how functional this mirror is too! Not only is it a great accessory and piece of decor, but it's great to have a mirror in your room when you are getting ready so you aren't constantly running to the nearest bathroom to check how you look.

Mirrors in living rooms add symmetry and flare.

If there's one thing you should remember when working with mirrors, it's to have fun with them. A mirror often takes up space on your wall that would otherwise be occupied by a picture, so why not make you mirror a piece of art as well as a functional mirror? There are many ways to get creative with mirrors, here are just a few examples:

  •  Get a sculpture-like piece for your wall that just happens to be made from mirrors. Like the one pictured above, these tend to be very modern and work best as a centrepiece of a room. Try this kind of mirror in the living room with a chic, downtown feel and you should be set!
  • Keep the mirror plain, but glam up the frame! There are frames for every style, budget, and space so just know what you're looking for for your particular space. Some are very fun, like our first example which has a frame made of old pop cans, and some are more sophisticated and classic, like the ornate one we have as our second example.
  • Go for a shaped mirror. You can get a mirror cut in almost any shape, from hearts (above) to initials to odd geometric designs. The choice is really yours. So have fun with it and be creative, it will become a focal point in you room, after all.
-Hayley, Alexandra, & Vanja

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Our 3 Least Favourite Colours: #1- Orange

Out of all of the colours that make us cringe, orange takes the cake. There are various reasons that we don't like orange, especially bright yellowy oranges. One reason is that its a very strong colour. It easily overpowers most colours that it is pair with, leaving a mess of a colour scheme. This is another thing that we don't like about orange; it doesn't incorporate into a colour scheme very well. Finally, we don't like how furniture looks when it is covered in fabrics of this colour because it reminds us of a very retro, 70s feel, something that no one wants to be reminded of.

This is an example of how a colour scheme can be so easily lost on orange. We think they were attempting a somewhat analogous scheme, with the light orange-ish floors. But, as you can see, all other colour is forgotten in the presence of the intense pumpkin. The light wood which could have been a nice touch to the room just further washes the colour of the room out, which makes everything look more closed in and ultimately smaller.

We think orange is the worst when it is a fabric colour for furniture. It is hard to work with, mostly because about the same number of things rhyme with orange and match with it in interior design. Therefore it is usually used in an accented neutral room. This creates a centre of attention on the orange, which is a big no-no in our opinion.

But there are a few ways that orange can be tolerable. These ways are:

  • Burnt orange. Its a more brown, neutral version of the average orange. This also makes is more sophisticated and classy. Pair this orange with dark woods for the best look.

  • In a print. Especially in a child's room, a print with oranges, pinks, and greens can look really cute.

  • Accessories. In a modern room, an orange accessory works well and doesn't become dated like it does in a era-neutral room
-Hayley, Vanja, &Alexandra

Our 3 Least Favourite Colours: #2- Dark Green

Generally, we love green. We think that most shades look great in any room especially when use in accessories, but there is one exception; Dark Green. Yes, it can look classy in a library or office, but it also makes a room look like a cave. On the walls, dark green sucks practically all of the light out of a room. This makes dark green particularly hard to work with.

This room is an example of how dark green walls takes all the light out of a room. Though you can see that there is natural light in the room from an obvious unseen window, the only place you can tell this is the light carpet. The rest of the room sucks in the light and doesn't let any off. There is also a large chandelier that has been added in hopes of lighten ing the room, but unfortunately it hasn't helped at all. We find this room very dull and even somewhat depressing, definitely not a room we would want to spend time in.

This library type room is a little better than the last room, as in there is some light in it and you don't feel like you're entering a vampires lair, but it too is not one that we would choose to have in our homes. The green looks faded, and when paired with the dark green velvet couch and dated accessories it feels more like a museum exhibit than a place we would design. The shade of green also makes the room feel cold and almost unwelcoming. Overall, we think this room is a big thumbs down.

But there is hope for dark green yet! 

We think there are a few guide lines to using green in a room. a darker hue is not our preference, but if it's yours, try these tips:

  • Use a green with warmer undertones! An olive toned green, which has warm undertones, can actually look really classy, while a forest green, which has cool undertones, is dated and dark.

  • On walls, accent with green and keep the rest light! A green accent wall in an other wise light room will still be bright enough to prevent the cave effect.

  • Less is more! One or two touches of dark green is much better than a monochromatic mess.

  • Keep it natural! There is one place where we really like dark green; plants! in the right space, add flowers and shrubs to brighten up the room, which is usually the opposite effect of the deep colour.
-Hayley, Vanja, & Alexandra

Our 3 Least Favourite Colours: #3- Pale Yellow

Personally, we are not fans of pale yellow in interior design. Don't get us wrong, in a nursery or child's room it is a soothing colour. But outside if that, we think it just washes a space out. We don't particularly like yellow in any part of a room, but especially on furniture. When you try to mix this soft colour with a soft fabric, it just becomes bad. Plus it will dirty super easily!

This room is the definition of washed out. the paint colour, furniture, and carpet are all the same colour, which makes the room way too monochromatic and boring. This is one o the reasons pale yellow is really hard to work with. Almost always it becomes faded and old looking. Sure, the dark fireplace helped a little bit, but overall the yellow attack is a bad look, and the dark green plants only make it worse.

Unfortunately, sometimes you have to work with things you aren't too fond of. So, if you have no choice but to work with pale yellow, you have to make the best of it. We think that pale yellow looks best when it is in the background. It works as a wall colour because it isn't overpowering and can work well with other colours. Another way to use pale yellow in a fashionable way is to turn the brightness up, just a little. It can still be pale without being dated. Finally, try using pale yellow where it really belongs, in a kids bedroom or playroom. Its a very youthful colour in this scenario, and can be quite charming if done right.
On walls, we think that pale yellow is a lot more tolerable.
Turn up the intensity a notch or two, it will not only make a truer yellow, but it will make the colour pop instead of being washed out.
If there is one room pale yellow works in perfectly, it's a nursery. The pale, soothing colour is just adorable for a newborn.

-Hayley, Vanja, & Alexandra

Our Top 3 Favourite Colours-#1: White

#1: White

Out of all of the colours that are popular in interior design, our favourite is actually a neutral, white! We think white in interior design is a great, modern colour that looks good in any part of a room, from walls to furniture to accessories. White can give so many different feelings to a room, it's so versatile.

We really like this kitchen. The white ceiling makes the room look bigger, as do the white cabinets. The white tile backslash has a slight sheen, which reflects the light from the window nicely. We think this room has just enough white. If had any more, it would probably be overpowering. We like how the floors are a darker, yet muted wood, which adds to the clean cut feel of the space. Since there is a large contrast in the colour of the chairs at the island and the rest of the kitchen, the chairs really pop and become a focal point. The stainless steel appliances also work well, preventing the room from becoming too traditional or country feeling.

This room is an example of how white can look very dated. The muted colour palette of the entire room doesn't portray the soft tone that was desired, but instead looks faded. The wallpaper doesn't help the whole "Granny" look either. But there are some things we like. The fireplace is great, so the basic idea of the space isn't awful. We also like the floor lamp by the fireplace and the chandelier. The bench by the french doors is cute, too. If we could, we would add some colour to this room, take the ill-fitting covers off the furniture, and move the patio furnisher (a.k.a. the coffee table and end tables) outside where they belong. Some rooms just don't belong white, and this is definitely one of them.

Our favourite way to use white is probably in accessories. Whether modern or traditional, in an all-white room or in a colourful one, white accessories are classy and timeless. A white accessory in a room can either pop or compliment, depending on the colour scheme in the rest of the room. Just remember not to try and make an accessory stand out if it's not meant to. Some things just look better as compliments, just like other things looks better as stand out pieces. The first vases, for example, are very stream-lined and simple and would work best as an extra touch to a room, not a main attraction. The vase beneath, on the other hand, is very intricate and would make a better centrepiece for a table or mantle.

-Hayley, Vanja, & Alexandra

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Our Top 3 Favourite Colours-#2: Lime Green

#2 Lime Green

Our second favourite colour is Lime Green. We like lime green because it is a very fresh colour that gives any room a crisp feel. We like to work with green because it can be incorporated into any room. Whether in a bathroom or a kitchen, green makes the room look cleaner. We like green in every part of a room, just not all at one time. If used wisely, green can create a natural look in any room.

This bathroom shows how green can be used as a main wall colour without it becoming too overpowering. The darker green contrasts with the bright white well and since those are the only two colours in the room is has a simplistic feel. The white and green accessories complete this look.

In this living room, green is used on the furniture. This gives a different feel than the previous room, but we still like how the green effects this room. The olive hue makes it look more sophisticated, as does the patterned window behind the couch. The light wood table makes the green the centre of attention. We like this room, but we would probably add a few different pillows so the couch didn't look so monochromatic.

Our favourite way to use green in rooms is accents, particularly lamps. They are a great way to add colour to a space that reflects on the whole room, literally. whether on the stem of the lamp or the shade itself, green lamps are the perfect touch to any room with a accent neutral or analogous colour scheme.

-Hayley, Vanja, Alexandra

Our Top 3 Favourite Colours-#3: Tropical Blue


  We like tropical blue because it gives a serene and calm feeling to the room. It also create a warm tone in a room, which can be difficult to achieve with cool toned colours. This blue can be used in many areas of a room, but we wouldn't recommend it as a paint colour for an entire room. As an accent wall it would look nice, but every wall would just close off the room and probably give you a headache. Our favourite way to use tropical blue is in accents. With white and black especially the blue pops, giving the room a fun, youthful feel.

  In this picture, blue is used as an accent colour. This is how we would use tropical blue in a living room or even an office. The white keeps the room bright and open, which allows more light in. This light reflects off the blue and make the room look more modern. The other bright colours also add to this effect. This room is also a really convenient room, as you can change the tone in the room with new curtains and pillow covers.

This bedroom is an example of how Tropical Blue can be used in fabrics to create a really chic look. We love how rich these fabrics look, partly because of the hue and partly because of the slight shine that they have. This room is also an example of the black and white with the blue and we believe that this colour scheme is very modern. The chandelier table lamps and embroidered pillows add to this feeling, creating a room that any fashionable young woman would love.

We think this kitchen shows how blue can go really wrong. Its overdone as it's not only very bright on the cabinets, which is too much on its own, but the blue and white printed wall paper just completes the disaster. If they wanted to use blue, they should have chosen either the cabinets or the wallpaper and toned whichever one they picked down about ten notches. That wall you could look at this room without getting a headache. But we're not saying we don't like blue in kitchens, we just think it looks better when its subtle, like the picture below.

-Hayley, Vanja, & Alexandra

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Floral Decorations

Floral decorations are a unique way to make your home more elegant, warm, and welcoming. Also, flowers add a touch of colour and can bring a good smell to any room too!

 In this kitchen the greenery is a small pop of colour on a white colour palette. The flowers are pale pink, which gives the white walls and the white cabinets a touch of colour. In the very corner there is another plant but this time it is green, which ties in with the rest of the colours in the room. This is a great example of not to much colour and not to many flowers look very simplistic and elegant. Too many flowers can over power the room because it creates too many small focal points instead of one or two main focusses. 


 This is a good example of to many flowers in one room. Personally, we do not like the placement of the flowers of the flowers in this room. They are all crammed together in one room which leaves the room looking cluttered and  uncomfortable. Also, the flowers don't one colour theme, with green plants behind the couch and the yellow and purple arrangement to the far right. Combined with the pink and blue floral couch, this room is a design disaster. We think it needs a total overhaul, starting with taking the flowers where they belong, the garden!

We love flowers in the bathroom, they add a cool feeling to the room and really complete the fresh look and feel that a bathroom should have. But incorporating flowers into a bathroom can be tricky, so remember some basic rules. Make sure the flowers go with the colour scheme of the bathroom, as clashing flowers can ruin such a small room quite easily. Also,remember not to just shove flowers into a corner. Make sure the area is big enough so the flowers won't look squished, but not too big so the flowers look like they're drowning. A small to medium sized arrangement looks best in most bathrooms, depending on the size of the room, of course, to prevent crowding.

We love flowers for spring. Its one of the easiest, most inexpensive ways to brighten up any space and bring your rooms out of that post-winter slump!

-Alexandra, Vanja, & Hayley

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Spring Trend #4: Metallic Accessories

Our fourth trend for the 2011 spring season is metallic accessories. Metallic in general is really big right now in many design sectors, from fashion to the auto industry to, of course, interior design. Whether gold, silver, copper, or just a metallic purple or blue, its really easy to incorporate this classy trend into any room.

 This living room is an example of how metallic accessories can add a modern touch to a room. The chrome effect on the chandelier makes it look much more contemporary than an average chandelier, which can be extremely traditional and somewhat boring. This might have happened to this chandelier had it not been chrome, which would have clashed with the rest of the room. The dark lampshade on the bulbs of the chandelier also contribute to the look. The other metallic features are the pair of table lamps behind the couch. They also have a chrome finish with dark shade, matching the chandelier, and the unique shape adds to the modern mood in this room. We like this room a lot, especially the chrome light fixture. We love how the chrome will reflect the light from the bulbs, sending light out from many angles and lighting the room in a really cool way.

Metallic can also be used as a centre piece of a room in the form of wall art. We love metallic wall art. We think it's really modern and works well in many types of rooms, especially bedrooms. Metallic wall art comes in all types. Some are pictures with metallic paint while others are sculptures of shaped and woven metals. This is what makes metallic wall art so cool. Its versatile and really personal to your design style. Colour can also be incorporated into the art pieces, which can make your room feel more put together as the colour scheme is followed. Or try making the art piece the centre of attention in the room. A coloured metallic piece will pop in any neutral room.

There are lots of great things about metallic accessories, and metallics in general, but the best thing, they're neutral! True metallics like silvers and golds can be paired with any colour scheme and it won't clash. Actually, it will add dimension to the room, creating an interesting space that you'll love!

-Alexandra, Hayley, &Vanja

Our top 3 Blogs: #1-Patricia Gray

Our favourite interior design blog is Patricia Gray Interior Design. It's a interior design blog put out by Patricia Gray, an acclaimed interior designer. Patricia has travelled all over the world, but she now resides in Vancouver, British Columbia. She began the blog in 2007 as a way to show off the projects she was working on and give a designers opinion on various styles and trends.

There are many reasons we love Patricia Gray's blog. One of these reasons is the posts themselves. Patricia's posts are always very detailed and present full opinions and ideas. She often shows multiple variations of whatever the topic of her post is, whether the focus of the post is footstools or the colour white. She includes many pictures with each entry, which makes them a lot more interesting to the reader. Here are some examples of the great pictures she adds into every post.

From her post "White Paint and Other White Necessities"

From her profile of designer Stuart Membrey.

Another reason we like it is the ease of use. Like a blog we mentioned previously, Patricia Gray Interior Design separates the posts into subject categories and includes a "You May Also Like" option beneath each post. This creates a smooth experience on the blog, which goes well with the black, white, and grey colour scheme.

This blog is our favourite interior design blog, and that's probably why we wouldn't change anything about this blog. We love the layout and the designs of the posts themselves. The writing style is great and we think the fact that she adds lots of pictures only betters the blog as a whole. However, we would add a subscription option to this blog so we could guarantee that we were notified of every new post.

Here's the link to the blog:

We would suggest Patricia Gray Interior Design to anyone and everyone interested in interior design. Even if you are just beginning to read interior design blogs or haven't ever read one before, this blog is a great starting point. But we warn you; once you begin reading it, you'll be hooked!

-Vanja, Hayley, & Alexandra