Timeless Designs, What’s Trending In 2020, Part 2


In this session  we continue talking about wallpaper. I want to show you a few more ideas so you have a firm understanding about what’s trending in 2020 and where to use these different types of wallpapers.

The next wallpaper we’ll talk about is

BAMBOO: I am very much into enviromentally friendly elements and this wall paper is definately  enviromentally friendly. Handcrafted from natural bamboo and glued to paper. The only downside to bamboo is that it is delicate so really needs to be used where there isn’t much traffic or moisture and it’s  not washable. Recommend it to be professionally installed.

FLOCK: Flock wallpaperhas been around for 300 years it has a distinct fuzzy three-dimensional pattern usually damask or floral, the texture is a velvet-like fiber which is glued onto a paper backing to create a dramatic printed pattern, this was known as “flocking”. It was known for it’s durability and moth proof better than the fabrics that were used back in the 1500 ‘sand 1600’s. It is expensive and hard to maintain. A luxurrious wallpaper however, is not washable and is hard to remove. I highly recommend using it in the master bedroom, accent walls or guest room, but not a childs room. The hottest trends today are vibrant and bold poka-dots in black or fushia on a metallic background.

MYLAR: This is a printed paper base with a polyester film applied on top with a shiny/wet look that looks like foil wallpaper, the only thing about this paper is it doesnt hide imperfections so a liner paper is recommended underneath and is hard to install, has a tendency to crease. The pros, it is washable and easy to remove when needed. This paper would go well in kitchens or bathrooms.

WALLPAPER LINER: Made of fiberglass or paper it is installed on walls that are too rough or has deep imperfections that can’t be fixed easily. It smooths out the wall surface so you can use wallpaper that would not apply properly or look good showing every imperfection. It is washable, easy to apply and can be used alone or painted. Apply it on badly defective  walls that would take alot to fix, then use your paint colour choice.

For a shabby chic look or to add a bit of whimsy to a room, maybe a sassy pop or romantic air, wallpaper could be what brings those elements to the design. A traditional wallpaper pattern can instantly bring a formal mood to the decor.. A bold  print will bring a sense of the artistic side and make a statement. A tropical leaf pattern can be very calming and be the right pick for a tropical feel, layered with painted walls that compliment the theme of the room.

Measuring and Applying

You have to be so careful when measuring for and buying wallpaper as well as selecting the look and theme you want to finish with. Figuring out how much you need for the surface area to be covered is very important, wallpaper is expensive if you buy too much. Follow this basic formula for buying wallpaper and you should be safe.

  1. Measure your walls and multiply the height by the width of each wall in feet.
  2. Add all wall measurements to get the total square footage.
  3. Subtract all windows and door measurments.
  4. Make sure you read the wallpaper label for the amount of square foot coverage the roll provides and make sure it is more than your total wall square footage taking into consideration the pattern matching measurement.
  5. Buy an extra roll to make sure you have enough. Mistakes can be inevitable  so  it’s better to have an extra roll (that can be returned) then scramble for more that may or may not be available down the line and have the right colour batch. 

Note: if you run out and need to buy more, the batch (dye colour) may not be exactly the same, the hue may be lighter or darker and in certain light would be noticable. So measure right,  buy what you need, 1 roll more at least. Its good to have an extra roll anyway for future repair jobs.

Wallpaper Photo Gallery

                                                                                     Galerie Bamboo     

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Antonia Vella Shimmering Foil Metallic


Flocked Wallpaper

Ashberry Modern Embossed Flocked Stroud Flocked

Wallpaper Liner


So are you feeling inspired, wanting to add some wallpaper to bring some depth and texture into your room? I’ve inspired myself lol. 


So why would it be more advantages to have an area rug then a carpet? Let’s take a look at both. Carpeting is stationary, fixed, wall to wall. An area rug covers a specific area like under a coffee table  in front of a sofa or to define a conversation area. In my opinion it is much more hygenic to have a flooring like hardwood, laminate flooring, engineered flooring or ceramic tile and use an area rug to cover a portion then cover the whole area with carpeting. When i say hygenic, I am eluding to household traffic, pets (pet dandruff), spills etc. Especially if you or someone in your family has allergies. It’s easier and less expensive to clean laminate and or an area rug.

Carpeting will generally last you 10 years, thats the norm. 

Rugs add artistic appeal and style due to the variety of patterns, textures, and colors to choose from. You can roll it up, store it away, and buy a new style for a design change. You can’t do that with a wall to wall carpeting. I have an area rug for Summer, one for Christmas, and one for the Winter months. You can easily decorate around your area rugs changing the room’s arrangement or appearance simply by changing the area rug, adding complementary throw pillows, a colourful throw blanket over the sofa, and a few new acessories to compliment the new colour palette.One benefit of wall to wall carpeting  is the added  layer of insulation and warmth it provides. As well, carpeting is more safer for the Elderly and Children because there are no edges to trip on. One of the drawbacks to carpeting is it will eventually develop wear patterns in heavy traffic areas.

Types Of Carpets & Rugs

There are a few different types: Some are more durable then others. 

There are four basic types of carpet fiber:

  • Nylon.         Nylon being the most durable and stain resistant carpet available, when treated with stain protection.
  • Polyester.   Polyester is known for its luxurious look, feel and multitude of colours and styles to choose from.
  • Olefin. …     A synthetic fiber made from polyolefin this can be polypropylene or polyethylene. This fiber is both strong,                        colourfast, and comfortable, resists stains, mildew, abd abrasion as well as sunlight. It’s used in both                                wallpaper and carpeting, ropes, and vehicle interiors because of it’s long lasting and strong characteristic.                        Invented in Italy in 1957.
  • Wool. …       A natural animal fiber produced from sheep, it is formed in groups of wavy fibres called staples it has a                            springiness to it and keeps things cool or warm, also is fireresistant and soft. it’s used in many things like                        carpet, clothing and blankets. other wool fibers are mohair, cashmere, angora from rabbits as well as a few                      others we won’t mention here.

The Style Of The Carpeting

Twist Pile.   

Mainly in cut pile carpets, these are tightly twisted fibers, The higher the twist the better the performance                              will be. it is a blend of cut and loop construction twisting cut fibers together this increases strength and                                  durablility. Most residential carpeting have a twist of 3 and 6 per inch While some friezes have up to 8 per                              inch. Twist numbers should be indicated on the manufactures label but not all manufactures do. You can                                determine the twist by taken a strand about 1″ in length and then count the twists.


Density is the thickness or weight in a unit volume epressed in ounces per cubic yarn of the carpet a value                            of 3,000 or higher is ideal for resodential however commercial carpets should have a density of 5,000. This                            density value will be listed on the carpet as well as other manufacturing requirments. also weight is                                        important, a higher face weight means there is more yarn and makes for longer lasting carpeting. A good                              level carpet has a face weight of 40% the best is 68% face weight. In choosing a carpet the important                                    criterias are durability, weight, and style. Quesitons to ask how much traffic is in the room?

Cut Pile.      

Cut pile is the style of carpeting that is sheared and exposing the ends of the carpet fiber, coming in                                  different lengths. these cut pile styles are the most popular because they are much softer on the feet and to                      the touch than loop pile. The one disadvantage of the cut pile is that it wares quicker then loop pile even                          though the carpeting is good quality and doing what it should be doing as far as performance is                                        concerned.This is caused by the long fibers bending and untwisting over top of the shorter looped fibers.                        This carpet does contain twisted fibers which helps it stand up and resist matting and crushing. It is a good                       choice for most homes.

Cut and Loop    

This carpeting is produced by combining looped fibers with cut straight ones. This allows for  geometric and                          abstract designs. This carpet was very popular in the 70’s and 80’s and is used in commercial carpeting like Hotels and Hospitals but in commercial style fibers. Cut and Loop carperting has become trendy once again. Patterns are much simpler and smaller today although some abstracts like wave patterns can be found. The cut and loop style carpeting has a nice appearance to it, nice texture, pleasing to the eye and fits very well in a contemporay theme. One disadvantage to these carpets is they tend to be expensive like berbers, saxonies or friezes, due to the fact patterns are woven into them. Suggested uses for these carpets would be non high traffic areas like stairs and hallways use these in bedrooms, or dens, where there is less traffic flow.


                               You can see in this photo the twist and height of these fibers there is 6 twists.

Styles Of Carpeting:

Berber: These are hand woven carpets by the Berber people. They come from North Africa and Sahara Desert. You can tell the difference by the knotting patterns, dyes and fabric textures.These carpet origins date back 7000 years, hand spun cloth was named after the tribe. They used natural fibers to create cloaks, rugs and other items. The modern day version of these carpets are now much more plain with as solids or having flecks of colour throughout. These carpets are less expensive and popular for areas with high traffic patterns.These carpets are made of a varity of materials like Nylon, Olefin, and Wool. Berber is highly durable and stain resistant and quite affordable. Like other carpets Berber should be cleaned every 6 to 12 Months to prevent permanent traffic wear.


                                                                  A Piece of Berber Tribal Fabric hand woven  

                                                                              Berber Carpet Of Today

Saxonies: This is a cut loop carpet. it is designed to be very dense for a soft feel on the feet. It is highly favoured for bedrooms and livingrooms. These are very plush carpets and so are at times called plush carpets. They have a very luxurious feel with a velvety look this is created by the very tightly twisting the fibers cutting and heating them to stand up straight. Saxony carpets are also made of polyproplene and are more durable and can be used in bedrooms, diningrooms, hallways, livingrooms and stairs.If these carpets are looked after they will last a very long time. However they are hard to tell the quality and show foot prints when walked on. They have a 3 tog rating ,100% bleach-cleanable, Available in 10 colours and has a 7 year warrenty.

                                                                             Saxony Plush carpet

Freize Carpeting: This carpeting is made of choppy long twisted loops that gives a plush look to the surface, creates                                         deminsion and a plush sensation on the feet it has a more formal appearance due to the thickness of                                     it’s construction.
                               This carpeting is trending for 2020 it is typically a modern day shag due to it’s knobby look. It is a                                           unique and very clean crisp look. Comes in muti colours or solid. it is typically a bit more expensive                                       then other types of carpeting and is similar to the Berber carpet having a unique look to it usually does                                   not shed, easily hides the seams as well as is easy to clean of messes and hides footprints. Great for                                     stairways and hallways and is a good carpet if you have pets or children.

                                                                                      Freize Carpeting

You can see the difference between the look of the Plush Saxony Carpet above and this Freize Carpet. Even though they have the same quality that plush, luxuious look the Freize Carpet has much lengthier loops.

As well as the above carpets there is also many Eco-Friendly carpets on the market. These are great for the enviroment. These types of carpets are made from non-synthetic fibers like the Cashmere goat-Hair Carpet by Tretford, that is undyed to eliminate the use of harmful toxins. As well as Econyl which reclaims discarded fishing nets to make Interfaces Net Worth carpets or recycled PET carpets from plastic bottles. There is aslos BREEAM Grade A+ rated by both Tretford and Interface. Its a friendly consumer fadge for floor covering with ticks off all the right boxes for being enviromentally friendly products.

Tretford;s Cashmere Goat-Hair carpeting boasts many neat criterias like: Performs as an air filter, promotes energy savings, reducing airborne dust and allergens, improving indoor air quality, faculitaing excellent indoor acoustics if needed.


                                                      Tetford’s Cashmere Goat-Hair carpeting “Jonquille 568”

These carpets are totally unique. The quality, vibrancy, distinction is unsurpassed and is incrediably soft underfoot. These natural cord fiber carpets come in 48 stunning colours. Mainly for commercial use but would be great in basements or on stairs and in hallways of a home for durability and long lasting traffic performance. Tetford claims these carpets do not flake, rot, warp, fray, unravel or peel. Their warrenty on these carpets is 5 years limited.  This carpeting would give your home a very matchless and unequelled look.

No animals are slaughtered to make these carpets.

So as you can see there is so many different carpetings wallpaper ideas to choose from. It’s all in what is your style, taste, colour prference and enviroment. In my next blog we will talk about hard flooring. See you soon and happy decorating.





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Timeless Designs, What’s Trending in 2020? Part 1

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For online face to face consultation, Skype me, for a small fee I will help you with any decocrating needs you have. Just email me at distinctivedecors20@gmail.com to set up a date and time.

Have you been wondering about what is new as far as colour is concerned? What timess designs are trending in 2020? This blog will enlighten you by answering those questions.

        What is your style? What is your dream? I want to continue talking about different themes you can use to bring your home alive. Bringing out the character of your home that gives you joy. When you come home from a long day at work, do you come in your home and feel safe, complete, and content? Also, I want to talk about colour, and different wall coverings and where to use it.

         First let’s talk about colour. In the previous blog Utilizing Colour we put together a few scenarios. So I want to talk about colour palettes in the theme of your design, your preference and style. Everyone has a taste of what they like a dream of what they long for. First let’s talk the Colonial theme. What is a Colonial style room? Basically it is early American. Grand entrances, high ceilings, rough wood, benches. It would have Georgian elements to the room but often incorporating a bit of the Puritan crafted custom peices.Homes sparsley furnished with handmade peices.  Homes were badically constructed of rough logs ftom trees they cut down.  Settlers were more worried about a roof over their heads then decorative elements in the home. By the late 1700s, the only interior décor features introduced were trims and mouldings fashioned after classical architectural forms that were considered  as the first forms of interior decorating enhancements. 

                                                            17th Century  Early Americañ bench very simple design

                                                                                      Early 1700’s Puritan Bench

                                                                     Early 17th Century secretary and side table

Colonial Style kitchen with a modern twist above. The back splash is very geometric so adds that modern element to the kitchen as well as the stainless steel appliances. The Island and cabinets has a colonial touch to it. Pendent lighting in brass adds charm to the kitchen staying in that colonial theme. The white and light grey colour palette gives this room a clean crisp look which is very Colonial.


This master suite is very Colonial with the high ceilings, damask bedding, high arch architectural windows dressed in gold satin drapes, arched patio doors that follow the line of the windows and dressed in the same gold satin ceiling to floor length drapes, giving height to the walls, and that cabinet is to die for, with colonial crown molding finishing the top and the carved detailed cabinet doors adds a beautiful unique edge to the room. The wrought iron bed is another feature that adds that colonial element to the room as well as the corner fireplace in the background. Take a look at both the tray ceiling and the octagon cut out feature of the ceiling. Both these style cut-outs, add that colonial element to the room. In the 1600’s Early American Furniture was bare basics,  mainly chairs, beds, chests, and tables. There was nothing fancy about it. Puritans believed in living modestly.

Trending For 2020

Ok So let’s get on with what’s trending for 2020, because your theme or style is going to probably be based on that.

Rustic/natural and environmentally/earth friendly, eco-friendly. Reclaimed and re purposed, recycled, or rattan, bamboo and salvaged furniture. So do you get the idea that everything natural is in for 2020? BINGO!

We are all concerned about the environment these days, so why not use what you have or find in antique stores, second hand stores or yard sales. Re purposing them to fit into your design. I love this dresser. So I took an old upholstered bench and re purposed it, I needed a small coffee table and could not find the right size in the furniture store so I decided to reuse this bench to make a table. I bought some rustic wood peices that were in the end peices bin at 2.00 a peice, cut them to the right length I needed, screwed them to the frame, painted the frame a dark colour to match the colour palette in my room, added two end peices to the top and viola, a new re-purposed table. Pictured below

I love this wicker chair, found it at a garage sale. It was in my master bedroom until my daughter came one day and decided she needed it for her apartment.


           Louise XV armchair at Wayfair

 This Louise the XV chair, or similar could be found at an antique store. If you look hard enough afain reusing what already exsist. To help eleminate the carbon footprint.

This was a re-purposed dresser an oak top was add, then painting it a silver grey and adding new hardware and it looks brand new. I have an antique dresser I use in the kitchento house dishes. I like pulling out a drawer to get at the dishes and bowls. I want to use. I found it once again at a garage sale for 20.00. I have been contemplating whether or not to refinish it and paint it or leave it. I love antique furniture in it’s original state, so it is hard for me to want to change it at all. So if I do I will blog it for sure. Everything you see in this picture is reused. The pictures hanging on the wall, the leather decanters, the antique lamp I bought at the thrift shop, I bought a new shade for it at the lighting store, even the wallpaper was going to be thrown out by my daughter, who first asked me if I wanted it. Of course I wanted it. It added character and brightened up this corner beautifully. The little elephant head, not sure what that was, but I liked it and it added a bit of brass element to the look. The jade grapes were a gift and the runner, well I did buy that on sale.

So using what is available instead of buying something new not only helps the enviroment but gives character to your design.

Trending Colours for 2020

Behr has come up with the colours for this year and don’t they look good. I will list them here with samples of each colour. I did talk about colours in great detail on my blog 


                                                                                   Graphic Charcoal N500-6.                                                                          


                                                                                     Red Pepper  PPU2-2. 



                                                                                        Bubble Shell S160-3

                                                                                       Dragonfly PPU12-03.


                                                                                   Creamy mushroom PPU5-13                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Back to Nature S340-4 colour of the year


                                                                                   Charasmatic PPU6-14 

                                                                                          Secret Meadow S360-6.

                                                                                                Battleship Grey N360-4.

                                                                                                Dusty Lilac N110-1.

These awe-inspiring colours from Behr will definately spruce up any room in your home and fill you with a sense of beauty and emotional excitement once you’re finished and have your design elements finished. Don’t forget layering. (We’ll talk about layering next blog) You don’t always have to use one colour in a room you can also incorporate wallpaper into your plan with the paint colour you are using.You can also use two complimenting paint colours.

Be inpired by these photos of different themes, here are so many ideas to wet your appitite for decorating.

                                                                                              Middle Eastern 

The Middle Eastern style is about wealth and luxury, but also about simplicity and comfort. My decorating style blends the traditional Middle Eastern style with contemporary elegance.


                                                                                                    Rustic Country

describe as a rough, aged, natural design. Plain straight legs, natural wood, X legs,natural wood on walls, maybe even a wagon wheel light fixture. Leather chairs and sofa, studded embellishes. This may just be what you’ve  been thinking about designing.

                                                                         I love this rustic coffee table from Wayfair


Let’s talk about wallpaper. Wallpaper is awesome, hiding imperfections otherwise very difficult to hide any other way. The best way to deal with wallpaper is to have it professionally installed to get the most perfect application. Some wallpapers have the paste alread applied to it so all you have to do is wet the portion you need. However other wallpaper comes unpasted and must be pasted separately, these wallpaper applications are much more difficult to install, this is where you really need it done professionally. Wallpaper not only brings colour and character into your design, it also brings texture and demension.


Wallpaper can be more expensive than paint but there are so many reason why you may want to paper instead.

  • There are so many different designs, patterns, and surface finishes
    •  Can be considered eviromentally-friendly, because of the fact its made from natural materials and the pastes used to apply the paper contains no harmful chemicals.
    • It will  hide the defects easily, with little initial preparations.
    • If you use the peel-and-stick, it can be easily removed and replaced.
    • Some wallpapers can last 10 to15 years.
    • Some types are washable.
    • Some wallpapers are very durable and easy maintenanc
    • Thomeshe peel and stick kinds can be used for, rental homes or University dorms, because its easily installed and removed  a residue.

    Some reasons why you may not want to uee wallpaper, and painting may be your option.

    • The colours tend to be  affected by light and cast shadows.  Sunlight can fade it where its exposed.
    • Somef types of wallpaper may not last more than 5 years even though there more expensive.
    • It is more expensive than paint.
    • The edges can separate and curl where there is a lot of moisture and will have to be repasted.
    • Patterns need to be matched and needs to be aligned may need to be professionally installed. Paper is wasted.
    • It can’t be applied on raw concrete and textured walls.

      Traditional wallpaper is difficult to maintain and remove.

      The different kinds of wallpaper are:

      Vinyl Sheet – Being the most durable of the wallpapers due to the tickness of this paper and pure vinyl, it is easy to clean as well it is really easy to remove when and if you want to change it. Some of these wallpapers are embossed and adds texture and colour to the room. This is the best for hiding those very hard to hide imperfections on the wall. Great wallpaper for the kitchen area.

      Vinyl Coated Fabric – This vinyl wallpaper is actually made of fabric which is the best as it feels natural to the touch as well as has a natural texture to it which is a key element. It durable becuase of the vinyl protection covering it that’s been added as a coating over the fabric. Great for livingrooms.

      Vinyl Coated Wallpaper – This paper is as durable and washable as the above wallpapers, This is an upgraded paper from plain paper wallpaper. It’s a great alternative for high humidity rooms like bathrooms.

      The 3 Samples of Wallpaper below, trending now. These samples are from Wayfair.ca and likely available on Wayfair.com

      Ganley Antique Damask at Wayfair.ca

      For the antique theme like a Queen Anne or even an Eclectic theme this wallaperwould be perfect. Comes in 3 other colours.
      Metallic Gold/Sea Green, Metallic Silver/Charcoal Grey.

      Grasso Glitter Damask , Wallpaper in Teal this is a nonpasted wallpaper so youll have to buy the paste which usually comes in a powder, mix it together and apply it. I recommend you get a professional. This would be perfect for a masterbed room.

                                                                      Turo Tin Ceiling Destressed Wallpaper from Wayfair

      If you’re doing an antique look then this is the wallpaper to use from Wayfair.ca

      • Unpasted non woven material
      • Straight match

      Below Quantrafoil in blue comes in 2 other colours grey and black, this is a self adhesive fabric wall covering, that is easy to reposition while hanging and easy removable with no residue.

      Below, Geo Peelable Paper Prepasted Classic Wallpaper, this open trellis design ibelow is versatile for a modern contemporary theme, easy to apply from Lowes

      I hope you enjoyed What’s New In The Hue, What’s Trending in 2020, part 1 look for more on this subject part 2 coming in July.

      Happy Decorating, Leealary

      Email: distinctivedecors20@gmail.com

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      In this blog, Blinds Leading the Blinds: Custom Window Blinds, vs Cut-To-Go Blinds. I want to talk about, window treatments, shutters and shades. As an Interior Designer I dealt with many types of window blinds and shades and many manufacturers of window treatments. We will even delve into shutters. They all have different features, prices, and installation requirements, however they are all made out of pretty much the same elements, metals, wood, faux wood or materials. Some are easier to install than others and some do not stand up to the wear and tear as others do. So I want to educate you on each of the main brands and compare them to store bought window blinds and shades.

      There Are Many types Of Blinds: There are several main custom blind manufacturers, custom meaning the dealer comes into your house, measures your windows, orders your quality blinds to fit and the Manufacturer cuts your blinds to fit exactly. Blinds are an essential part of your decor for several reasons, one being that they protect any draperies you have on your windows and furniture from the suns rays that damage and fade fabrics over time, gives you privacy, enhances your decor, and shades your eyes from the sun when entertaining, or watching television during the day. I want to talk of the 3 main manufactures that I have dealt with in my career, then I want to compare those blinds with store bought blinds, and shades. So you have an informed concept of what you are buying and why.

      Here is my list of Custom Ordered Blinds:

      1. Hunter Douglas: Custom Order

      2. Shade O Matic: Custom Order

      3. Levelor: Custom Order

      Hunter Douglas: Hunter Douglas has the reputation of being the top brand and they do have a good product. An American based Company that sells window coverings all over the world. There is a lifetime guarantee on their product. They state their blinds are superior to others, and they have a product that will fit any budget. There are numerous colours to choose from and many styles of shades, shutters and blinds. These are: metal horizontal blinds, wood horizontal, roller shades, vertical blinds, woven wood, sheer and shadings, cellular honey comb shades, and roman shades, as well as faux wood, wood and shutters, there is also draperies, side panels and full draperies. You can order motorized shades as well and you can also design your own.

      We know that our windows are not the most efficient insulators, no matter how many panes of glass you get, cold or warm air seeps through the glass because the glass is cold in the winter or hot in the summer. In the winter the heat in your home escapes through your windows as well, in summer, the cool air from the air conditioner escapes. In 1985 Hunter Douglas became the industry’s leader in making a significant difference in energy savings. They invented the “Duette honeycomb shade“, a highly energy efficient shade. This was due to the energy crisis that was causing major problems in the 1970s. These shades continue to save home-owners up to 50% of their heating and cooling costs. The fabric is sown in a honeycomb design that traps the air inside the comb and forms a barrier that acts as an insulator. They now have a new product called the “Duette Architella honeycomb” it is a honeycomb within a honeycomb and gives you even greater insulation. In some places there are rebate programs you can utilize through Hunter Douglas when you use these shades. The rebates run from April 6 – June 28th for the $400.00 rebate when you select a minimum of 4 treatments with Powerview Automation.

      There is child safety  products as well when you order the cordless or motorized operating systems or retractable lift cords, cord tensioners. This does help keep children and pets safe, and the wand controls.There are warning tags on all the blinds and shades when they come into your home to be installed.

      Hunter Douglas also has blackout or diffused Light shades for those families that need it darker in the summer months. Great for those workers who need to sleep during the day and work nights, or for children in the summer who have a hard time sleeping because the sun is still out.

      Shade O Matic: Shade O Matic was one of my favorite to sell, order and install for my clients. These blinds compared to others were so easy to install. Again these are custom quality window treatments. Shade O Matic was founded in 1982 and has grown to a leading national Canadian Manufacturer. Shade O Matic became part of the Hunter Douglas Group of Companies in 1996. All their products meet and surpass the Canadian Child Safety requirements, and provide a high level of energy efficiency and function. I did like selling these shades and I do recommend them as a custom made window treatment.

      Some of their products are:

      SheerLuxe Horizontal Sheer – this is a new product added into the Shadow Magic collection.

      Shadow Magic Cordless – Cordless Luxurious Sophisticated Window Covering. 

      Pleated Shades – Provides light, privacy and sun shading.

      Romanelle Panel Track Systems –  vertical sliding panels that fit inside a track makes a dramatic fashion statement.

      My Home 

      Before we move on to Levelor I would like to show you something I think you will like. I had some draperies to put up in the Grandkid’s bedroom, they come and stay with me sometimes on weekends and so I gave them the second bedroom upstairs, they are 4 and 6. I didn’t want to put the conventional hardware for the curtain rods up I wanted to do something unique for their room so I went to the dollar store and bought tie backs with crystal bobbles on the end of them, used large white cup hooks and tied the rod up with the rope part of the tie backs. See pictures below.



      I wasn’t sure how it would look but I think it turned out just fine. Leave me a comment below and let me know what you think.

      Levelor: So to start with, Levelor has not only custom blinds but also cut-and-go blinds, in participating stores. They can be cut to size at no charge as you shop. You only need to take your measurements in, and the store clerk will cut them for you. Levelor has been making blinds, shades, and draperies for 100 years. They have quality products with innovative technology and the know how when building blinds, shades, and shutters. Some products they sell are faux wood, real wood, vertical blinds, shutters, roman shades, panel track, roller shades, and sheers. I have sold Levelor blinds and shades but find them to be a little more pricey then Shade O Matic, I find the quality to be the same however I found them harder to install.

      Let’s talk about shutters. Shutters come in faux wood or real wood the vanes are either 2 1/2″ for the more traditional style, 3 1/2″ for a contemporary look and 4 1/2″ for an ultra modern look. Shutters are custom-made to fit your window, come in all different colours and will add value to your homes bottom dollar. Looks great from the outside as well as inside the home. Gives the home that “wow factor” more than blinds or shades do, that is because they will last much longer than conventional blinds or shades, 10 or more years longer. They are actually considered part of the window frame when installed professionally. They are great insulators in summer or winter. In summer you can sleep with them open and the wind or breeze doesn’t cause them to bang. They are perfect for larger windows. Plantation shutters have a 25-year warranty, most other blinds only have 1 to 2 years warranty. People ask why are they so expensive? The reasons are they are labour-intensive. Making a quality plantation shutter takes a number of steps to assemble starting with your exact measurements, using high quality material and paint. There are cheaper plantation shutters using a thin PVC plastic that is not painted or have the UV treatment on it, and may yellow with the hot sun over time and become brittle. These do not add any value to your home. Some are painted with a paint that has VOC or Volatile Organic Compounds, it can emit an odor from the chemicals like formaldehyde or lead and are not custom fitted to your size of window. They do tend to warp and swell up and sometimes even burst when subjected to moisture. So your better off spending the extra for Custom Plantation or  California Shutters.

      Please keep this in mind when talking with a sales rep about Shutters, “THEY ARE NOT ALL THE SAME” and “THEY DON’T ALL COME OUT OF THE SAME FACTORY”. There are different qualities. 80% of plantation shutters are made overseas but not all are made the same. California Shutters are 100% made in Canada. So please be careful when buying your Shutters do your research.

      Store Cut-To-Go Blinds. These can be horizontal metal or PVC blinds, metal is better, and highly recommended, for obvious reason as mentioned in the Shutter review above, vertical blinds, roller blinds-blackout or mesh. They are ok to order in a pinch or on a tight budget, but only recommended for a short period. Custom is the best. Home Depot, Lowes, or Ikea, sells these cut-to-go blinds. There is really no warranty on these blinds due to the fact they have to be altered to fit your window. Your measurements must be exact so they will fit your window properly when you install them. Home Depot also sells custom blinds, Hunter Douglas, Shade O Matic and Levolor and also sell Shutters.

      Measuring for in store cut blinds: There are two ways to measure your windows

      1. Inside Mount: Blinds are installed inside the window casing. Measure the frame width in 3 places top, middle, bottom. For the height measure the left, middle, and right side. You want the narrowest width and the longest height measurement. Also, you will need the depth measurement of the window as well. Do not take any deductions from your measurements they will do that when they cut the blinds. Otherwise, your treatment will not fit properly.

      2. Outside Mount: This is outside the casing. The overall measurement to be covered by the blind. Consider adding 3″ to the width and the height for complete light control and privacy. Make sure you have at, least 2″ of flat surface above the window or frame for mounting the brackets. Brackets need to clear the upper frame. Or you can mount them at the side of the frame in the upper portion so the header is sitting parallel to the upper molding. These blinds do come with all the hardware you need to install them. Make sure you double check your measurements before you go to get your blinds. It’s better to be safe then sorry.

      Using the template below, draw your window on grafting paper. Use the measuring technique you want, inside or outside, putting the measurements on you drawing with the arrows pointing in the direction of each measurment like the diagram. 

      Amazon Blinds and Sheers

      Amazon sells semi-custom blinds and shades as well, at a much lower and able to manage pricing point. I have read only good reviews on these window coverings, maybe something to check out I have added a few of them to my site if you want to check them out and order. Semi-custom blinds means they have all the standard window sizes listed on the order page to order from.


                                                   Blinds by Amazon See below



      Zebra Sheer Blind: Custom Cut To Size


      Similar to the Shade O Matic Shadow Magic Horizontal Shades


      (Name of the reviewer has been deleted for privacy. Click on the picture to go to the site to see the reviewers name)

      5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning Zebra blinds at an unbelievable price!
      Reviewed in Canada on November 12, 2019
      Size : W81 x H64 (Inch)Color Name: 01.WhiteVerified Purchase
      This is my very first time buying blinds on Amazon so I was alittle skeptical with the quality. I decided to give it a try, mainly since I had local companies qoute me almost $2000 to have zebra blinds installed for our entire house. I started off by only ordering a couple of these blinds and a single from a different brand on Amazon. When they arrived and I installed the first one I was absolutely shocked with how amazing they looked. Obviously they are not luxury fabric material, but honestly for the price it definitely surpassed my expectations. I ended up returning the other single blind I ordered becouse these ones are so much better quality.
      The size came out to be perfect. I shaved about half an inch off each side when measuring my window just in case, and that made the blinds fit spot on inside my window frame. It was ridiculously easy to install. They also come with two types of brackets so I have some blinds installed inside my window frame and other on the wall outside.
      I’ve been so happy with these blinds that I ended up buying the rest of what I needed for my house, and it costed me a fraction of what I was initially quoted elsewhere. These are definitely worth every penny!

      Blackout Pleated Cellular


      Great for a temporary solution.

      Review: That Review Guy

      What a life saver! A must buy for any parent.
      Reviewed in Canada on July 5, 2018
      Size : 36-Inch by 72-InchColor Name: BlackVerified Purchase
      This is a life saver. Our baby girl sleeps in her crib in our room and we always had morning light seeping in from the sides of the windows and curtains. The blackout curtains never fully closed off the room from the light. Our daughter kept waking us all up at 530 am.
      After installing 3 of these on all our bedroom windows not a spec of light makes it past the curtains anymore. It’s 100% pitch black in our room now and we can sleep until her wakeup time which is 7-730am.
      Absolute life saver!

      Here is one more window treatment style

      Roman Shade


      Review: (the name of the reviewer has been deleted for privacy)

      Great value!
      Reviewed in Canada on September 5, 2019
      Size : 33″W X 64″HColor Name: Jamaican Truffle (Natural Woven)Verified Purchase
      I’d buy it again. A bit of a thing to hang and wasn’t thrilled with where the magnets fell when hanging but now that it’s up and I don’t really adjust it on a daily basis, I love the look of it.

      Where this shade is concerned some people did like it, some didn’t like it because of the magnets. Remember the price, some of these shades are great for a tight budget and you need a blind quickly. If you can’t wait for custom made or the price is just not in your budget for custom made, these shades will work just fine. This gives you some options to look at. I hope this blog answers some questions you might have had, and some ideas to think upon.

      I will buy the Zebra Sheer Blind for my masterbedroom. I will let you know once I get them and install them.  If your interested in any of the above treatments just double click on the picture it will take you right to the page. Till then

      Happy Decorating


      email: distinctivedecors20@gmail.com

      Phone: 403-369-6993 or Skype me just click on the purple button at the side of the website.

      Please leave a comment below and let me know how your doing in your decorating plan or, if you have any questions.

      There’s No Place Like Home

      Covid-19 Statement from Leealary:
      I just want to let all of my viewers know, in this time of hardship and uncertainty, we want you to know our first priority is our clients health and well-being. I pray for you and your families that you will stay safe, and well. We will get through this. Keep positive, keep busy around your home’s do what you are able to do, utilizing what you have, to spruce up your home’s decor, that will keep your mind off of this ordeal. I myself am self-isolating, let’s keep connected. Continue to email me or call the business phone number if you just want to talk. I am here for you. Leealary

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      Decorating Your Home with Character

      I bought a little 900 square foot condo, it was old and had that 1980s look to it. A great fixer upper with so much potential. I’m going to take you on a little journey as I renovate and decorate this little home. While the renovations were going on I had to leave for a while because of work so did not get pictures of the kitchen before the contractor started the demo.

      The kitchen had old cabinets that were stained in a dark blue, the appliances were black fridge, dishwasher and stove, which I have pictures of below. They were pretty scratched up and with some broken parts and needed to be replaced. On the floor was gold and brown vinyl flooring typical of the 80s. Up in the bathroom there was a pink toilet seat, old style sink and someone had painted the old cabinet white, which had been the same blue cabinet as the kitchen, with a gold laminate counter top and an old outdated yellowing bathtub surround as you can see in the pictures below. On the floor was white tile as you can see typical of the 80s. We ripped out a green shag rug that had been in the living room and up the stairs as well as in the bedrooms, and where there was no shag, there was the same yellow and brown vinyl flooring. Get the picture? So I hired a contractor, we ripped everything out and started with a clean slate. Let’s start with before and after pictures of the kitchen, so you can see just how beautiful you can make your space with updated renovations.

      Below is the kitchen just freshly dry walled, not painted yet.












      I decorated this kitchen in neutral tones and added colour in my accessories. Stainless steel appliances and quartz counter top that is a soft sand colour with brown flecks throughout. The sink is dark brown granite which picks up the brown flecks in the countertop. The back splash has stainless steel pieces embedded throughout as you can see on the left-hand side of the photo and the outlet covers are also stainless steel. Antique white cabinets with a dark brown edging around the face if the doors and dark espresso engineered flooring. Stainless steel appliances to pick up the back splash and stainless steel pull-down kitchen faucet. The total gut, renovation and interior decorating of this kitchen turned out awesome.
      Eventually I will use this condo as a rental unit.

      Before Picture:

      This is how the bathroom looked before with the pink toilet seat. LOL


      Bathroom after: Brown ceramic tile now adorns the wall surrounding the bath tub. The tile on the floor that compliments the brown tile for contrast, is in gray. The dark wood cabinet with a white molded sink adds a touch of luxury, the faucets are in a brushed nickel and the mirror over the sink is the same dark wood as the cabinet, the toilet now has a white toilet seat. I layered drapes over the shower curtain to add colour and the towels match it perfectly. Walls are painted a lighter grey than the tile on the floor. The picture on the wall picks up the gold in the drapes.

      So you see by changing and updating a few things, then adding colour, and accessories, you can make an out dated room look fresh and beautiful. If budget is a factor, you can use products that you already have, like paint that you have lying around giving your room a face lift, so to speak. Even if its the same colour it will brighten up the room and give it a clean, fresh look. Side note; a fresh coat of paint on a scuffed up wall will brighten up a room and give it a fresh crisp, clean look.
      As I finish each room I will post the pictures on this page.

      Living room before and after


      I specifically want to talk about the focal point. In my living room it is my fireplace. In the pictures below I want to show you how I decorated my mantel so it is balanced. So here is my fireplace devoid of any decorations and than a second picture of the finished look. I added the stone to the front, which before had a black laminate front, I took that off and glued the stones on with “no nail”.

      So here we have a fireplace that’s not decorated it’s empty and boring. I did find these great metal horse shelf hangers at a flea market and I thought it would be unique to use them to sit my painting on instead of hanging it with picture wire. Then I found these little angels and decided to use them for my lanterns.

      Here is the finished look. The fireplace has become my focal point, it is banked with a brown leather armchair on one side and the TV stand on the other, which balances that side of the room. Pictures flank each side. I love this faux candle lantern, it is the perfect size and the 2 white decorative candle holders of varying sizes I bought on my trip to Yellowknife NT adds a touch of class, on the other side. Then I put 2 special rocks I collected on the same trip to Yellowknife, on the right-hand side, one is a fossil stone of prehistoric sea creatures the other I found not too far from the fossil stone it looks like a potato to me, with veins of different colours through out it, I thought it unique. I pulled in some greenery from outside set the plant in a wicker serving tray and for a whimsical touch I added a deer head peaking out through the greenery. The colour theme is a mixture of golds, reds, sage green and white. The fireplace is a traditional style but opted to stone in the front to bring more of the natural elements into the room. The walls are painted in Benjamin Moores antique pearl 2113-70, It’s a soothing relaxing colour that brings depth to the space. It’s a hue that excites and inspires with a clean, crisp look. I also continued the dark espresso engineered flooring for contrast into the living room so that there was a look of consistency throughout the house.

      I redid my fireplace wall since I posted this blog as you can see above there is a total transformation. I painted the wall in the brown and added the gold leave design then put crown molding at the top and molding down the sides to frame it. no-nail holds the molding in place.


      Antique pearl 2113-70 from Benjamin Moore

      Putting Color Palettes Together

      I love putting colour palettes together. So many beautiful colours to work with. Here is just a couple of variations:

      Graphic charcoal, Exotic Eggplant and Sugar Maple from Behr paints, such fun colors to work with. I would use this in an office. The Graphic charcoal would be my feature wall which would consist of a bank of custom shelving and cupboards that would extend wall to wall and floor to ceiling. The other walls would be the lighter hue of the sugar maple likely 75%, the floor would be a wood flooring stained with a matching sugar maple colour, my accent colors would be a combination of all the colours including the vegetable colours which would be in some throw pillows and in the area carpet as well as in photos on the wall. I would use a true white draperies to contrast the shelving unit. The sugar maple color for my blinds toning down the hue again by 50%. Two side chairs in a striped fabric tone on tone of the exotic eggplant. That is how I would use these dramatic colours.

      Before Winter (orange), Amiable Orange (gold), Azure Lake (turquoise).

      These would be great for a bathroom. I would keep my walls a neutral colour like Benjamin Moores Frappe, see below colour sample. Using the rest of the colours as my accent colours. Before Winter, would be my main colour, Amiable orange, the secondary colour, and the Azure Lake, my accent colour.

      Colours are amazing, It’s all about what your style is, your character, and what moves you. These are just some ideas to get you thinking. Go look at all the colours you can choose from in paint stores, look at colours around your house like paintings, or photos. Pick your colours from something in your home that is special to you. Just like the painting I found and chose my colours from. The sky is the limit, there is so many colours to choose from. Benjamin Moore has great colour choices as does Sherwin Williams. I use both, the colour variations differ for each company and so I choose the paint that gives me the right colour, shade, and hue I need at the time.

      Next I have put a colour board together, so you can see colour, texture, and patterns as come together. The colour board below is in neutral colours. I picked mardi gras Rona 1051-4( burnt orange) which is a fantastic accent colour, Brazilian citrine Behr s-310 (that beautiful green) as a secondary colour. A white and sage green jute area rug, turquoise and brown fabric for an accent chair (not shown because it would have to be custom-made). My sofa and second arm chair will be the burnt orange linen sofa fabric, throw pillows that pick up the accent and secondary colours. My walls will be painted creme fraiche S240-1 from Behr and an accent wall will be painted the Glidden mocha mauve 60YR30/094, which is the colour on the top portion of the board. Even the flower arrangement adds colour and texture. So this is how you get an idea of how all your colours, textures, patterns and ideas look together. There is computer software out there that decorators and designers use today to do this, however I like using colour boards along with the computer.

      Let’s talk about Furniture and what to look for when buying your sofa or armchairs. When looking for furniture you have to make sure that the frame of the furniture is good. Too many times you buy what you think is the perfect piece and within a year or two something breaks on it usually the legs or parts of the frame will split. The frame splitting sometimes can be due to the environment you live in. Dry or moist climates can cause problems with the wood frames check and make sure that the frame is properly kiln dried at the manufacturing plant for your environment. The best woods for the frame and legs are oak, beech or ash. Pine is cheaper but is a soft wood and tends to warp and get wobbly. Cheaper furniture is made of particle board and will not stand the test of time. Plastic or metal frames are not recommended either. Make sure the legs are part of the frame and not separate unless they are attached with screws and or dowels not glued only. The fabric has to last, won’t fray or pull apart at the seams and be stain resistant. The legs have to be strong to withstand moving, jumping on as children will do, and constant use. Some up graded sofas and chairs like Stylus Furniture have a zippered opening that you can look into and see the frame, then you actually see what you’re getting. test the frame by lifting up one end, a good frame will lift up off the floor on both sides evenly. You can then tell how sturdy the frame is, you will feel it. Also, make sure the frame is connected together with dowels and metal screws, not stapled or nailed. Testing the springs if there are springs is also a good idea. Springs over time can begin to squeak and become annoying, make sure they are solid and are eight-way hand-tied springs. Also feel the springs through the fabric to insure they are place close together and sturdy. Webbing or mesh sofas are not recommended they are uncomfortable to sit on and tend to become unsteady. One more thing, check the cushions, polyester fiber seating is inexpensive, but will flatten out over time and deteriorate over time. Goose or down cushions will clump up. THE Best type and reasonably priced are the HR foam that are layered with down and foam wrapped in polyester batting. I know Stylus upholstered furniture will last for years, I’ve had one for 6 years and it still looks new, now my Son has it and with a 3 year old who loves jumping on it, it still looks good. He’s had it for 4 years now. A side note ask for the manufactures information on the frame joints to be sure of what you are buying.

      This is a picture of the sofa I had. Mine was in a colour called mink, a beautiful dark chocolate brown microfiber, which stands the test of time, is washable, stain resistant and child proof.
      The best fabric for sofas and chairs is cotton or linen try to find one with a tight weave so it doesn’t snag so easily, and the new synthetic microfibre that Stylus uses, which is stain resistant and can also mimic most fabrics.

      So I found this magnificent chair on Amazon by Homelegance, I love the tuffed back, the luxurious velvet fabric, decorative studs on the arms and the colour is to die for, Indigo Fabric by Homelegance. It has a great rating of 4.1 out of 5. Introducing the Charisma Accent/Arm Chair

      Here’s the Review:

      4.1 out of 5 stars 63 ratings

      Price: CDN$ 252.21 & FREE Shipping. Details

      New (1) from CDN$ 252.21 + FREE Shipping

      Blend stylish button tufting and nail head trimming to Modern Traditional upholstery.

      English arm features low armrest for added comfort.

      No-sag seat construction along with dacron seat cushion for long-lasting comfort.

      Durable wood frame with Cherry finished wood legs can support up to 240LBS. Fabric Content: 100% Polyester. From Amazon.ca Easy assembly (Legs Only).

      Some things to look for when choosing furniture would be:

      • Comfort
      • Durability
      • Features
      • Fabric
      • Colour
      • Texture
      • Style
      • Size
      • Price

      The space your putting the furniture in must be planned, this is called space planning. That is why your measurements are crucial. Comfort is a consideration. In a formal living room you would want more of a hard style seating. A family room probably a much softer seat. A Media room would have a sofa that reclines and is comfy with maybe cup holders in the arms and fabric that will be stain resistant which could be leather.

      When choosing your furniture, decide what you are using the room for. How do you want the furniture to look? Pick pieces that build on the feeling you want to portray. For example in a cozy feeling room you will want gentle lighting in the room, soft fabrics and warm colours. If you want an elevated feeling choose clean sharp lines to your furniture using metal for accessories and bright dramatic colours for fabrics. Remember your focal point and how you want your seating arrangement to be placed, around it. If it is a small room you might want to incorporate storage within your furniture, like cabinets with shelves, compartments with doors and drawers, banked on one wall with an opening big enough to place the television. Or, a coffee table with a compartment that opens up for storage. When choosing your fabrics remember your colour pallet. Remember texture, how do you want the fabric to feel, do you need stain resistant fabric because of the children and what about patterns. That is why I love colour boards, when my swatches of fabrics are glued to my board, not only can I see the colours and patterns together, but I can feel the texture of the fabrics, a computer program won’t give you that, so like I said, I like using both hand in hand.

      Pulling colours, patterns, and textures together is, I have to admit, an art. The basic step is to imagine. When you look at the room you want to decorate, you have to imagine how you want it to look and feel. Once you have that idea, then you want to go out and get your colour palette together. Just like the colour board above, lay it out so you can see it all working together. Draw out your room, like a blue print so to speak, on graft paper with your measurements, so you can plan your space. Keep in mind your traffic patterns and the spacing rule of 3′. Take your colour board with you when choosing your paint and fabrics and other items like furniture, paintings excreta. Don’t be afraid to mix patterns together like stripes and flower patterns or herringbone and geometric shapes as long as you remember your visual compliment. Rule of thumb for patterns is, using at least 3 patterns in varying scales. Using colours of the same intensity and distribute the patterns evenly throughout your room. Break the patterns up with solid colours. No longer do patterns have to match, like draperies and pillows all the same colour and pattern. Mix them up get creative and use complimentary colours in your patterns coupled with solid colours to break up the patterns. I will talk about patterns and their different features in more depth in another blog.
      Pictures Paintings and Photos: When choosing pictures or paintings for your walls, the theme can be your colour palette. Instead of using all floral paintings, all landscapes, or all animal pictures, be creative they don’t have to be the same. Like in my living room for example, my pictures are a mixture of landscapes, people and houses, however all have the same golds, reds, greens, and browns in them and all the frames are gold colour. Use variety to add interest. In the kitchen if you are a plate collector, as my Mother was, you can make an interesting collage on one feature wall. When it comes to family pictures group them together on a wall going up the stairs or if your using portrait paintings of people group them with the paintings in the same room on a smaller wall, using different shapes of frames, like ovals and rectangles and maybe a square frame in the center. Use the same colour palette as the larger portrait paintings in your frames on an opposite wall to distribute those colours evenly. Use white and black frames together or dark brown and gold frames. Be creative and be bold.


      There is so many ways you can bring colour into a room. I like going to second hand shops and finding paintings of French barista fronts and wine shops, so my kitchen has quite a few of them on the walls. Below I are some of them. Also below is a great plate wall for a kitchen.

      I had some wallpaper lying around and one day when I was looking at my kitchen I noticed the area between my fridge and the window where I have an antique cabinet, looked a little on the rough and a little boring so I decided to wallpaper that area instead of paint. I thought some texture would beef up that area and give it a more warm, appealing feel. So here is the area before and after.


      Just another way you can change the look of a space without spending a lot of money, even if you had to buy a roll of wallpaper it doesn’t take much. A double roll of wallpaper may cost you $30 to $60 dollars and you have a new-look.

      Here is a few of those pictures I was telling you about, that I used to bring colour into my kitchen including the one above. I paid anywhere from $5.00 for the big one to $15.00 for them, decorating on a small budget.


      Master Bedrooms

      Before Pictures of my Master Bedroom during renos Looks like the subcontractor keeps fit while he works, the dumbbell in the middle of the room.


      Master bedroom finished. The other side of the bedroom is not quite finished yet, when it’s done I will post it on this blog.


      The home we live in is our sanctuary, we work in our homes, play in our homes, sleep in our homes. Our homes speak of who we are, our character, our likes and even our dreams. When we spend money on our homes we want to get our values worth, so spending our money wisely, whether we have a large budget to work with, or a small budget to work with, it is all hard-earned money and we need to get our moneys worth. Decorating wisely is paramount. Let’s not kid ourselves, choosing furniture or anything else in our design plan can be stressful. Are you a traditionalist, modernist, scandinavanist, hmm is that a word? Well you know what I mean. Maybe you like bohemian, or Caribbean ocean on the beach style, whatever your taste, make sure you plan your design carefully and with much thought. Remember each room has its character, do your research when choosing your style. Remember, bedrooms are for relaxing, living rooms for entertainment, cozy nights curled up on the sofa with a book, or watching TV, kitchens need to be energized, for cooking, and entertaining. Example: I have a wall-to-wall – floor to ceiling picture window in my kitchen, in the summer I love sitting in my breakfast nook looking out at the flowers and listening to the birds sing while drinking my coffee, if someone comes over I love to sit and entertain in my kitchen in front of that window, so I want the kitchen to be colourful and energized. Utilize decorating books and use the tools you’ve got in paint stores, for your colour palette, fabric stores for your swatches, grafting paper to plan your space, and if need be, email me or call me for if you need help.

      Redneck Furniture Calgary Alberta Canada

      I ran into a man who makes awesome rustic furniture. I bought a piece from him and I would like to promote his furniture on my website. Below is a few photos of his work, including the piece I have. If you like rustic hand made furniture this is his website is. Tell them Leealary sent you from dyidecoratingdesigns.


         Sofa Table  

            Picture and bench


      These are just a few of the items he makes, everything is custom built. Whatever you want he will make. Call him at 403-605-0548 and his email is redneckfurniture@gmail.com. Let him make something very special for you. I just love my sofa table. (I will get a small commission for this referral.)

      Happy Decorating, Leealary

      email: distinctivedecors20@gmail.com

      phone: 403-369-6993

      Please leave me a comment below and let me know if I can help you with your designs or if you have a question about anything you’ve read or want clarification on. I would love to hear from you.

      The 7 Elements of Decorating

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      Let’s talk about decorating particularly form and function and the 7 elements of decorating. To start off with measuring your room correctly to plan, that you’re decorating, is paramount. If you don’t measure correctly and you buy your furniture, window coverings, and flooring you’re out some big money. I would recommend getting professional help with that, just to make sure your measurements are correct. There are certain formulas to each type of measuring criteria that must be done properly so you get the exact measurements for the fitting of each product. Now that we have that out of the way let’s talk about form and function, which are the foundation of you’re decorating plan.

      Form follows function. Since the late 1800’s and going forward this has been the criteria of Design. Louise Sullivan was the Architect that invented this saying. He was the first architect to invent the Skyscraper. So now form and function is the main criteria of Design in any aspect.
      Form changes, function does not change. The Rocky Mountains will always stand erect and tall, the land around a fast flowing river, will always be changing. So the rocky mountains are the function and the land is the form. Function implies the simplicity of design. If, we didn’t decorate in the space we live in, the room would be boring to say the least.

      There are 7 elements to decorating: Form, Function, Space, Colour, Light, Balance, and Texture. These 7 elements are the building blocks of your design. Form is the end result of the finished design. Form is everything that you see, the furniture, the fabric on the sofa, the paintings on the wall, the colour on the wall, and the window coverings. This is where techniques and knowing how to decorate come into play. Keeping your design balanced and flowing is key. The flow is how everything relates to each other. Even if you were to use different furniture period pieces, you still need to have that flow for balance.

      The element of Interior Design is “How You Want It To Look”.  How you imagined the room to look.

      Form: The first element in the 7 elements of decorating, is the shape of something and the function is its purpose. Form is 3 dimensional and contributes to the qualities of what you are doing in your design. Remember good design is recognizable. How does it look? How does it flow? How does it make me feel? In the decorating field, form is the shape of the room, how it relates, the geometric’s of the room. It also encompasses the shape of any object in the room that is 3 dimensional. Form can also be natural or man made. It can be opening or closing objects like windows and doors. The proportional lines of an object and the scale of the object is also part of the form. In decorating adding pieces of the same shape can create a harmonious environment, when you add too many shapes this can cause confusion. When you place your dominant piece in a room and add similar pieces that compliment it, it becomes much more pleasing to the eye.

      Function: The 2nd, is how the object works or what its purpose is. Making your room safe and pleasing to the eye. This is done by determining the space, the requirements and what type of lighting, colours, and materials you will be using in the room. What will the room be used for? What else are you doing in the kitchen besides cooking, or, what is the function or purpose of the bedroom, do you have a desk for studying or a reading nook in the bedroom? These are simple statements but very relevant in decorating. “What will I use this empty room for”? This depends on your families’ life style, is there a family or are you a single person living in your space? The culture of the people living in the space, the events that happen in the space and the tone of the function in the space. So Lifestyle and the habits of the people living in the home dictates function.

      Looking at your blue prints: Blue prints of your home can help you decide how and what can be done. They also have the floor, walls, windows, and door measurements of, the rooms on the blue print. However, remember that the measurement for window coverings will be different especially if you’re installing the blinds “inside mount”, meaning the exact measurements in three places top middle and bottom, inside the finished window not taking any deductions. We will talk more about window coverings in another article. If your doing major renovations, blue prints are a must and professional help to determine what can be done and how it can be done. A Building Contractor and Designer will save you a lot of heartache in the end.

      In the diagram above is a sample of a house blue print. You can see each room and the measurements outside of the house and inside, wall to wall, the floor space, the doors and windows all have the measurements listed on them. On your blue print is everything you need to know about your house, inside and out.

      Space: Is the 3rd element. The space is the area you have in the room to be decorated. The floor space, wall space, window space. Taking into consideration where the doors are, the traffic areas are and the obstacles you may have to work around, IE; fireplace or stairway. Look carefully at the area with function in mind. If you’re deciding to redecorate with the furniture you already have, is there a better way of rearranging the furnishings to better suit the room and traffic pattern? How can you optimize the space you have to work with? If buying new furniture, you will want to place that furniture in the best layout for the space. Keep in mind, once again, the traffic pattern, because you want a proper flow. The magic number for good traffic flow is 3 feet. Even the walls and window space is important for furniture placement. I have seen some people with their television or sofa up against a window, not a good idea. For one, it’s unsightly from the street and two, the sun beaming in hot on the window will destroy fabric or eventually burn out the components of the t.v. Paintings or photo placement on the wall space is important pictures should be at eye level, meaning the centre of the picture should line up with your eyes. Lighting fixtures placed in the proper location for proper illumination as well. Everything you do in the space you have will either be pleasing to the eye, or chaotic so, your correct measurements are a must for the space to be filled properly and functionally.

      In the picture above the home-owner is using the colour green in different shades to her advantage, giving this room a look of nature, even the drift wood on the table adds texture and uniqueness to the room. Wood, glass, metal, and fabrics, along with the plants really speaks volumes. Nature and natural elements coexist quite well together. Here’s a question for you. Is this an eclectic or modern contemporary theme? At the end of the article is the answer.

      Colour Theory: The 4th element. We talked a little about colour and how to use it in our decorating, in the article, Painting The Interior of Your Home, however I want to show you how to put a colour palette together for your decorating purpose. Remember the colour wheel? Choosing colour and how to use it. Using colour boards is a great way to put colour palettes together which I will show you in another article. It’s old school I know, but it is fun. I call it the decorating puzzle, finding just the right paint colour combo, swatches of fabric colour, patterns and textures, samples of your flooring, and window treatments then laying it out on a white painters canvas, you can pick up at the Dollar Store.
      Now let’s take your living room; the rule of thumb is that 60% of the room should be your dominant colour, say White. 30% your secondary colour, lets choose Naval, and 10% your accent colour. let’s choose a pop of Rose. What do you think? Let’s see what happens. Put together this palette then email me and tell me what you think of this colour palette. Would you use this in, you’re, say bedroom? I’ll do it too and then edit it into this article when i’m done.
      The dominant colour should be your favourite colour and should highly impact the rooms overall feel. Your secondary colour should compliment the dominant colour, the accent should be your pop of colour that sets the room off and can be pulled from a painting or area rug. In decorating today the favourite colours for a living room is grey, because grey hides imperfections and makes the room look larger. Blue, because it tends to bring people together and you feel vibrant and alive. It’s a good colour if you want a especially feel to the room using a sandy colour as the secondary, throw in some white here and there and then a pop of bright yellow or red. Beige because it is a neutral colour, goes with any other colour you want to use as a secondary or accent colour, and Decorators love to use it. Black although not a usual colour for a living room, is however a great accent colour on a feature wall for a contemporary theme. For 2020, according to Sherwin-Williams the most considered colour for decorating is navy blue. It is called Naval if you want to check it out. Navy blue is considered one of the best relaxing shades in the colour palette. Olive green is another favourite in 2020.

      Kitchen Colour Trends for 2020: Two tone kitchens, two different contrasting hues.
      1. Blue-green
      2. Dark blue
      3. pastel yellow
      4. Gray blue
      5. Black and white
      6. Greyish green
      7. Grey

      Colour is a personal choice and it shows our character. The essence of who we are. In this picture the colour that pops out at us is blue the home-owner has used different elements of blue to enhance the white. She has pulled all the colours of the room out of the picture, which has become her focal point. See how they’ve used solid colours then transformed the look with a pattern. This room is welcoming, and happy, but also has a serene feel to it. The sofa is banked by a variation of different shaped side tables which adds interest, so your eye goes from the one table up to the picture and down to the other side that way you get the whole picture, so to speak. The green glass balls and the table lamps balance the look. The whole design is well done. Form, Function, Style, Colour, Light, Balance, and Texture are all there.

      In this photo the colours once again are blues, greens, and grey. This is a very comfy room, this is an eclectic style. There are a variety of modern and period furniture. I love the fruit displayed on the table.


      This living room again is an eclectic Theme, with the reds, the warm rose coloured wood. Notice the modern red sofa and the period side chairs with the pie crust table and its raised, intricately carved edge from the 18th century, typically used for serving tea or coffee. Typically a Queen Anne and Chippendale design. This colour palette works very well together. The flow, the form, the function and the style all tie in beautifully.

      Light:<The 5th criteria of the 7 elements of your decorating plan, must be thought out very strategy to enhance the rest of the room. Show it off, so to speak. Why would you go to all that work to make your room beautiful then just through any cheap lighting in? This has to be one of the main elements in decorating. There are tricks to this portion of the interior decorating experience to create your atmosphere and mood.

      These are:

      1. Create lighting plan
      2. Layer your lighting
      3. Make sure the lighting is doing what it is meant to do effectively
      4. Use spotlights to highlight your favourite paintings or sculptures
      5. Light up the dark corners
      6. Choose your fixtures wisely
      7. Make the lighting welcoming

      These old world glass bulbs that have become popular and are a great focal feature will give you an old world look to your room, remember lighting designing has to flow. You must couple your lighting fixtures so they compliment each other not fight against one another especially in an open concept space. Choose them carefully. This fixture would be great over a kitchen island or as a chandelier in a dining room.

      Decorators use light to illuminate what has been created. Light fixtures that point upwards will illuminate the ceiling. These include touchier and wall sconces, they spread light upward to give a beautiful subtle glow to the room. Lights that point down will cast light downward from the ceiling or the walls. Some lights like table lamps and floor lamps do both because they will cast light up and down.

      Table lamps are great for enhancing a room and giving just a little more light for reading or for making the room a little more cozy. These contemporary chrome lamps do the trick nicely giving this space a modern feel. .

      A contemporary floor lamp 

      Decorative lighting creates mood, it plays with the emotions and creates a safe, harmonizing, warmth, and serenity. Light brings out the textures, colours, and shape of your surroundings, objects, and elements of the room. Even the colour of your walls will be enhanced by the type of lighting you use in the room. Lighting can not be an after thought it has to be a vital and very important part of your decorating plan. The goal is to create contrast between the light at the centre of the room and around the outer walls of the room. You want to create appeal. If you decorate your room, just the way you envisioned, but you can’t see it properly, then there is no sense in decorating it. Beauty must be enhanced by the right kind of illumination. It must be planned, thought out and applied. Creating a focal point with pendant lighting or a chandelier in a dining room or kitchen with a soft upward light will dramatically play on the design of the room. Ambient lighting will illuminate the entire room this is great for cooking, doing crafts, or reading cookbooks. Light is a powerful thing. The right type of light will lift your spirits, motivate you, and inspire you to do more. Kitchens need bright light, recessed lighting or high-hats along the outer wall will do the trick. Kitchen island will need pendant lighting to light the area. Cabinets could have led strips along the underside.

      Task Lighting: illuminates a smaller area where more light is required. Task lighting should be 3 times brighter than other lighting fixtures.

      Accent Lighting: will add brilliance to your favourite paintings or sculptures. Using bulbs that are brighter than ambient lighting by 3 times the brilliance as the other lights in the room. Accent lighting can be used to show the architectural features you want to enhance. Make sure that all your lighting is positioned so it does not cause glare. The halogen light makes the best accent light because of the intense brilliant light it emits.

      For more on lighting please read my blog on Decorating Effectively With Light’

      Balance: The 6th element in the 7 elements of decorating. This element is created by arranging items in a symmetrical way on both sides of the room, a visual pairing, as well as choosing and placing your fabrics, textures and colours in a way that it flows and compliments each other and your accessories. Using graph paper draw your room with its inside floor measurements, draw a line across the centre of your room starting at the centre point and working outwards. Now imagine your furniture and traffic patterns and draw then pieces on there to get a better view of it. Make one side the mirrored image of the other. Now looking at the objects you want to place on each side of the room, the shapes, sizes, colours, and proportions, figure out how you can place them so both sides of the room looks balanced. Do you see the picture in your mind? balance creates flow and eliminates confusion. Also, you must take into account when arranging furniture, the traffic pattern in the room. You need at least 36″ or more depending on the furnishings between each other to walk around. In the kitchen you will need 36″ to pull chairs out to sit around your table and there is room for other people to walk by. If you have an Island you need enough space to walk between the other side of the space where the range and other cabinets are, at lease 42″. The other way to balance a room is asymmetry. This is created when you have two different visual images on each side of the room. How you achieve this is by using different visual weights in the room, however it still has to have balance. This is a more difficult way to decorate, But does add interest and uniqueness to the room.

      Here’s a sample of asymmetrical decorating. You can see that on one side they placed a smaller picture frame then banked it with 3 items on then the other side a larger frame and two smaller items. When you look at the whole effect it is balanced.

      This proportionate picture shows a balance of items on the table everything is proportionate to each other, the plant in the background and would be classed as the focal point, it’s off set and gives height and interest to tho whole design. this is symmetrical

      Asymmetrical bedroom: usually bedrooms are asymmetrical because the bed is the largest piece in the room. The wall that the bed is on is decorated in a symmetrical way. The tables and lamps balance this side of the room.

      Texture: The 7th element in decorating. Texture adds life to a room, it is the pattern, the colour, the feel of the fabrics, and vibrancy of the item you are using in the furnishings, lighting, draperies, blinds, and pictures, even the walls can have texture. It is the complete picture of your design. Have you ever walked into a room and thought, “what is missing here”? Well that is what texture does, it finishes off the room by bringing your package to fruition.

      Texture is said to be the sensations you feel, the external surface of an object you get through the sense of touch. Again like colour, and lighting fixtures this causes emotion and mood. Texture is a vital part of your design projects success as well. Without it there’s no sense of beauty, flow, inspiration, or emotion. What does it feel like when you run your hand over a marble counter top, or a velvet sofa? It feels smooth, luxurious and looks beautiful. These are senses that are heightened when you feel texture. Texture is conveyed both visually or tactility. It gives weight to your design. So think carefully on your choice of texture, it is a main stay of your whole decorating look and will brings balance to the room.

      Rough textures like tapestry, thinking of the Victorian Era, or area rugs can make a space feel more intimate and grounded, while smooth textures like satin bring a sleek and more relaxed feel to the room, thinking of the Queen Anne era. One way to add texture is through , there are so many different colours and designs. This can be an easy way to bring colour and texture into your design or just a subtle look of creams and greys to enhance the room.

      Lonerock Abstract Cream/Blue Area Rug

      Abstract Cream/Blue area rug

                                        Babb Splash Polypropylene Blue/Grey Area Rug                                                                                 Polypropylene Blue/Grey area rug  


      Everything you do in your decorating plan will ultimately bring character and beauty to your home. Colour speaks volumes about who you are. Your lifestyle, your tastes, your desires, and your thoughts all culminate into your design. Be bold or be subtle, it is what you want that makes your design and you’re home your sanctuary. Feel free to email me or call using the information below, let me know how you are doing in your decorating adventure.

      Happy Decorating,

      Email: distinctivedecors20@gmail.com
      Phone: 403-369-6993


      Decorating Effectively With Lighting Fixtures

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      Lighting YOur Home

      Decorating Effectively With Lighting

      Using Light Effectively: Lighting is very important in your design planning. The overall design, how it affects your mood and where to place it for the best appeal. What type of lighting will you use when decorating effectively with lighting? Do you want an eclectic look, contemporary look, an art deco look or maybe you’re into the rustic western look? Choosing your lighting style is very important and personal.

      When choosing your lamps remember what you’re using the space for. Poor light will cause eye strain if you are working in an office or in your kitchen. Kitchens do better with recessed lighting so you have a flood of light for cooking and reading cookbooks. On a kitchen Island you could hang pendant lights overhead which will light the area without taking up room on the island surface however if your island is big you could us small decorative lamps on each side for a more interesting look. Also, under cabinet lighting is very effective for evenly distributing light into darker corners.

      Dinning room lighting can be a little less bright at times for setting the mood, however you may need it brighter when setting your table, so a dimmer switch would work fantastic. Depending on the lighting it can lift up your spirits or make you more relaxed. How you place your Lighting will definitely affect your emotions and finish off the overall look of your space.

      When decorating a room you should have a mixture of different lighting fixtures, overhead lighting, lamps either table or floor lamps, They each play a significant part in you’re decorating plan. We call this layering your light. Depending on the variations of Lamps you will transform your room. In an office the right kind of light will lift your spirits, motivate you and inspire you to produce more efficiently.

      In the bedroom you may want to hang a decorative light over head in the middle of the room for those times you are cleaning or when more task lighting is needed. Then a “mood light”, I like to call it, maybe bedside table lamps when you want less intense light in the room, maybe a desk lamp if you have a desk in the room.

      In the living room you would definitely have table lamps and a touchier floor lamp so the light bounces off the ceiling for a more serene feel to the room. Wall lights over top of a painting to illuminate it better, especially if it is the painting you are decorating your room around. Even a candle or two will give you a more romantic ambiance to the room. Creating contrast is the point, layering different lighting in your room will create the atmosphere you want and bring a feel of tranquility and harmony to the space, beginning in the center of the room and working outward toward the outer walls of the room.

      The Room’s Location: Depending on the location of the room you’re lighting plan will be different. South-facing rooms need less light than a North-facing room. Recessed lighting against a north-facing wall can illuminate the room giving the look of natural light flooding in. This can be done where a living room doesn’t let much light in or if the windows are small. A chandelier will decorate a room beautifully when placed in the center of the ceiling again put a dimmer switch in place of the regular light switch so you can brighten or dim the lighting for the effective mood. If you have a fireplace in the living room as a focal point, put sconces on each side to bring out the beautiful features of the fireplace.

      In bedrooms bedside lamps are a must for reading. Just an overhead light may be too intense and you want a more subtle feel to the room. Even a pair of sconces on each side of the bed would be an interesting and decorative feature.

      South-facing rooms are a little different in the daytime there are lots of natural light streaming in. However, keeping in mind night lighting and decorative lighting are still an essential element of you’re decorating plan. So again take a look at where your room is situated and how you want it to look and then place you’re lighting plan accordingly.

      Bathroom lighting is another essential requirement. Lights around your mirror or over your mirror is essential for putting on make-up, shaving, or brushing and curling your hair. You may want a luxurious spa-like feel, by installing a beautiful sculpted floor lamp or maybe a motion sensing light that floods the room with light when you walk in. Under the cabinet lighting that will have a more subtle feel to the room. if, the bathroom is a windowless room you will need to accommodate that by adding lighting to produce a look of natural light. Lighting needs to be planned to fit your lifestyle.

      Lightening Up Dark Corners: Consider for a moment how a darker corner feels or looks especially if it’s empty, it seems awkward. What can you do to brighten it up and make that corner feel like part of the room and not just a lost unimpressive spot? Lighting is one way. An oversize floor lamp can do the trick, make a reading area a big overstuffed comfy chair that has texture and pattern to it with all the colors of your room’s color scheme, a small table beside the chair and you have yourself a beautiful, warm, and inviting area that calls to you, “come sit here and relax”. That is much more appealing and compliments the space better than a dark corner.

      Let’s take an office area in your home, what would you do to decorate it? Here’s a few pictures that shows some ideas of where to place your lighting fixture plan.

      Above is an office where the owner used overhead floating can lighting. there is plenty of lighting for the work area.

      Here is a board room with overhead recessed lighting and pendant lighting which gives a more refined feel to the room however there is also inset lighting overhead that gives a subtle feel to the room. There is enough lighting that won’t strain the eyes.

      Below is a custom designed home office notice the recessed lighting over head. The desk is right in front of the window to get the most out of the natural light in the daytime.

      Home Office

      Remember why you are using this room, it’s an office. In this room, you will be using a computer, writing notes, paying invoices, or maybe you will conduct interviews or meetings. All this requires a certain type of lighting environment. Where do you need more light when do you need less? So plan your lighting fixtures accordingly.

      Types of Lighting: There are 3 main types of interior lighting: general or ambient, Task Lighting, and accent. Each has an essential part to play in your space planning.

      General Lighting or Ambient Lighting:
      This is lighting that provides overall lighting, along with the accent lighting in the room. It gives you a comfortable and relaxed, safe feeling. Chandeliers, ceiling lights, or track lights which gives you the basics for seeing in your home. Or office This is what we decorators call fundamental lighting.

      Task Lighting:
      This type of lighting allows you to perform tasks such as in kitchens, hobbies, or homework. Track lighting, pendant lighting, and table lamps help you do this. This type of lighting should be bright enough as not to strain the eyes by glare or light that is too dim.

      Accent Lighting:
      This type of lighting creates drama and visual interest. Accent lighting does require more light, and is used on a focal point like a painting or prized sculpture, and is very effective for setting a mood, romantic setting or a calm relaxing setting.

      task or accent lighting

      In this photo above the lights around the mirrors and down the center are essential, giving better lighting for specific tasks.

      Types of Lighting Fixtures:There are thousands of different designs and styles of lighting fixtures to choose from.
      Fluorescent lighting for industrial, contemporary to stone sculpted, crystal chandeliers to rustic wagon wheel fixtures. No matter what your decorating style may be, here is enough to choose from that will enhance the decorative theme you want to achieve.

      pendant and recessed lighting

      Recessed lighting above in the ceiling, with Old English lamp-lighter style pendant lights over the island.

      Under The Cabinet Lighting: This is usually wired in before the cabinets are installed along portions of the underside off the cabinets or if the cabinets are installed already they can be bought to plug into an outlet. There is also puck lighting that can be installed the same way or you can buy the battery operated pucks.

      Below are a few photos of different lighting fixtures.

      antique table top lamp Beautiful Vintage crystal table lamp

      Here is an interesting way to use these fun decorative novelty table lamps on a kitchen island instead of overhead pendant lighting.

      Table Lamps: come in all shapes, colours, and sizes. Each has its proper place. Small lamps for smaller areas and taller for larger areas. Small lamps could be used sitting on each side of a fireplace mantle instead of sconces for a different look. Of course in a reading nook, you would want a taller lamp or a floor lamp.

      Floor Lamps: A great way to fill a dark corner as mentioned previously an oversized floor lamp or beside an armchair instead of a table lamp if the area is too small to put a table and table lamp.

      This contemporary floor lamp is very simple in style and function, but elegant.


      Above Pendant Lighting was installed for a contemporary look, I like the variety of different shapes arranged together, the combination is unique and adds interest to the dining area.

      Above a contemporary light fixture above the Island.

      Here is a beautiful light fixture they installed in the Amsterdam Grand Hotel.

      the design and architecture of this grand hotel is phenomenal.

      Layering your lighting fixtures for optimal light requirements is essential. Upper room lighting, middle of the room lighting, and lower room lighting this is what we call layering. The type of light bulbs you use is also essential in producing the light you need for the purpose you are using it for. White light contains all the colours of the spectrum. Coloured light reflects into the room and changes the mood. A phenomenon that is quite amazing is if you were to shine a white light into a red room all the colours would be eliminated except the red. Light will also be filtered and coloured through objects and materials.

      Hard Wired Lights: These light fixtures are fixed to a surface wired to an electrical box, and would require an electrician to install.

      Mobile Lamps: Tables lamps or floor lamps that are plugged into a wall plugwhich no electrician is needed.

      Decorative Lighting:decorative lighting like sconces which again need an electrician to install.

      Create The Atmosphere You want: For a relaxed atmosphere use even and low contrast like a ceiling light and wall lights like sconces, stay away from symmetry combine different styles and use ambient lighting. Watch out for glare for that will cause eyestrain as well as too little light. For a more formal feel use balance and symmetry, a central light fixture the same style for all lighting fixtures to create a logical and hierarchy of light. Romantic, use table lamps for a more subdued glow, keeping the outer walls darker and focus the light on the people in the room by placing lights lower. Creative Lighting, use a combination of different interesting shapes as in the picture above that create a modern look to the space you can use vivid colours as well to even add more interest.

      Establish The Theme You Want: The theme you want to achieve depends on your taste. Style: decide on the style you want to create it could be a modern style or a traditional style. It just depends on how you want your space to look. The Material: Stainless Steel, bronze, wood, copper, rod Iron. There are many to choose from. Personality: What is your personal like, what do you see when you dream of a room you want to sit in, entertain in, read in, or cook in. It depends on you, your lifestyle, your family. Shape: The shape of your lighting fixtures builds the character of the room, this is the profile of the fixture, curvy or straight, thick or streamlined, old-world, or modern contemporary. Activating your lighting is very important as well using different switches can be a deciding factor inconvenience. Do you need one switch or two, dimmer switch for flexibility?

      The Type Of Room: Whether you are planning an open concept where you can see the kitchen from the living room or a bathroom your lighting plan needs to be conducive to that room and do what it is supposed to do. You have to keep your whole look cohesive from room to room. Make sure your lighting fixtures relate to your theme, style, era, finish, and shape. Try to tie everything into your plan when designing your room, right down to the type of area rug you put in the room, the colours and the style. The size must be relative to the size of the room. If your light fixture is too small for the room it will definitely not look right and if you’re like me it will bug you to no end. uniform is the key.

      Above this grand hallway takes two huge chandeliers to balance the space, if these were small pendant lights it would not work.

      So be careful when choosing your fixtures, stay plan within the height, width, length, and depth of the room.

      Conclusion: Everything you do in space planning your room counts. Bringing everything together so it looks balanced, functional, eye-catching and coordinated is very important. Choosing colours, lighting, accessories, fabric, texture all brings your room together in a very eye-pleasing way, there should be a flow in your design, where you walk into the room and go AWWW this is what I was hoping for and it is so beautiful. Decorating a room is a creative, personal, and exciting project, however, there is a science to doing it correctly, but nothing to be afraid of if you remember the few rules of thumb I explained. Function: what will I be using the room for? Style: How do I want it to look? Theme: What type of look do I want to create? Color: What colours will suit me and make me feel good in this room? These are the questions you want to ask yourself when you are planning your decorating project. Email me at the email address on the website, if you have any questions, I will be glad to help.

      Best wishes in your decorating journey,    Leealary
      Email: distinctivedecors20@gmail.com
      Phone Number: 403-369-6993


      Utilizing Colour In Your Design

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      Painting The Interior Of Your Home

      Utilizing Colour In Your Design

      Content: February 8, 2020

      Interior Paint for Houses: The paint you will want to choose, for the room you will want to paint, depends on what you will do in that room, when painting the interior of your home.

      Types of Paint: There are two kinds of paint you can use on your walls.

      The first one is water-based paint and the second one is solvent-based paint. Each has its own relevant use. Both types of paint can be tinted to a specific colour, through a mixture of pigment and a binder. Some types of speciality paints such as ceramic paint will use a paint thinner as a binder. However, for our purpose, we will only talk about latex, acrylic and solvent paint. Latex paint, as well as acrylic paint, uses water as a binder while solvent paint uses mineral spirits as a binder.

      There are many kinds of paint each of them has a specific purpose. Determining the type of paint to use depends on the type of surface you will need to cover. Which one will look the best and last the longest when washed.  Your lifestyle will determine that as well. Having young children, you will need a little better paint, so you can wash it regularly when needed. In a bathroom or kitchen, there is a significant amount of moisture, these rooms will also need a better and more durable paint.

      There are no more oil base paints or lead base paints because of environmental and health issues. However, a good acrylic paint will do the trick. Even with the solvent-base paint, there are special regulations to use it and dispose of it later.

      The two main types of paint people use today is base coats like primers and finish coats like eggshell or gloss.

      Primers: This paint goes on the wall first, especially new walls that have never been painted but also a wall you are going to change the colour on. The primer would be tinted the same colour as the finish paint you are going to use. Primers will also help to smooth out the walls that may have a bit of roughness to it. To get the already painted wall ready for new paint you will need to sand the wall first making sure there is no flaky old paint that is peeling. On a brand new wall just make sure the surface of the drywall is smooth and there is no taping mud that will cause the surface to be bumpy after painting.

      Finishing Paint: There are a variety of different finishing paints, listed below.

      Eggshell, Flat, Gloss, Satin.

      1. Eggshell: This particular finish paint is good on bedroom walls or living rooms.   Eggshell is more durable than Flat and has a bit of a sheen to it. Used mainly on interior walls. I would not recommend it for exterior walls.
      2. Flat: This paint is mainly used for ceilings. It is water resistance so won’t get damaged. There are flat paints that can be used for exterior painting.
      3. Glossy or Satin Paint: This paint has a luxurious finish to it. These paints are the most durable. Used mostly on wood or metal surfaces. Satin paint will have less of a glossy look to it almost a velvety looking texture. Both these paint finishes come in a solvent or water based and can be used on the interior or exterior walls.

      Choosing the right paint will depend on what you are painting. The type of surface, the area the wall is in and what the room is being used for. Like a popcorn ceiling will need specific paint and paint roller to cover properly. Also, consider the wear and tear factor. The paint store professional will be able to help you with choosing your paint or you can email me or if you are local, you can call me and I will help you.

      Ultra Spec Scuff-X Interior Latex
      There is a new revolutionary paint out by Benjamin Moore called Ultra Spec Scuff-X. Benjamin Moore describes this paint as “A high-performance paint and the ultimate protection for the toughest high traffic areas in busy commercial spaces. This breakthrough product offers superior durability and more scuff resistant properties than traditional 2-component coatings”. I give it an excellent review.
      I highly recommend it for any areas in your home with high traffic, like kitchens and bathrooms. Even though it is regarded as a commercial paint in these areas it will be much easier to maintain than conventional paint. It is easy to use, splatter resistant, it dries fast about an hour, it hides well, good levelling, and low odour. it is durable and covers very nicely. Has a velvety look to it after it dries. It comes in Eggshell, Matt, Satin, Semi-gloss.

      Ultra Spec SCUFF-X - EggshellUltra Spec SCUFF-X - MatteUltra Spec SCUFF-X - PearlUltra Spec SCUFF-X - Semi-Gloss


      Colour Has Emotion: The colour wheel.

      You can see the primary colours. The colour wheel is divided into primary colours, secondary colours, and tertiary colours.

      File:Color wheel .jpg


      In the interior design, the colour wheel is called the colour theory. There is an art and a science to colour and how the colour combinations are going to look good together. The colour wheel shows you the relationships between colour. Have look at a rainbow, you will see all the colours of the spectrum in there. All the colours that relate to one another and look good together are called the Harmony Colours. Colour can dictate your emotions, make you feel good or anxious. Blue has a tendency to make you will feel cool, that is why it’s called a cool colour. Yellow makes you will feel warm and happy, that is why it is called a warm colour.

      Warm and cool colours play a big part in how you feel in the room. Warm colours are the colours from red through to yellow, warm like the sun and the cool colours are blue to green and purple, cool like the ocean. If you want a warm energizing and cosy feeling to the room and the cool colours bring a serene and isolated feeling to a room. This is according to psychologists who have study colour and its effects on people.

      Colour Combinations: There are 5 colour combinations that Decorators use in their designs. These are:

      1. Monochromatic: this is a combination of 3 base colours, tints, or shades. these are more on the conservative subtle side of the colour wheel. The combination would be 3 of the same colour in different hues. Like dark brown, medium brown, and very light brown or beige.
      2. Complementary: This is two colours that are opposite each other on the colour wheel like green and purple. This would give you will an intense impact colour scheme and be much brighter and predominant.
      3. Analogous: These are 3 colours that are side by side on the colour wheel. These colours are easy and much more versatile and have a close relationship with one another. Analogous colours are the colours you see in nature like plants and in the petals of flowers. The most vibrant of these colours happen in fall when the leaves change colour. However, the way you use them can be overwhelming so you balance these colours out by using one colour as the main colour and the analogous colours as an accent colour. When using green and purple colours, you would use the green as the dominate colour and the purple as the accent colour, because purple would be very intense unless you went to a softer pale like lavender.
      4. Triadic: This Triadic colour scheme uses 3 colours, evenly spaced on the colour wheel. High contrast and less complementary, it is, however, more versatile and creates a vibrant colour combination.

      5. Tetradic: These are 4 colours evenly spaced on the colour wheel. These are bold colours and works best when you use one of the bold colours as the main colour and the others as accent colours. Remember the more colours you use in your decorating scheme the harder it is to get that balance.


        RGB Colour Wheel


      Primary colours: They are red, green and blue on the RGB colour wheel and when you add these three colours together you get pure white. In the RGB Color Wheel.

      RYB colour wheel: the primary colours are red, yellow and blue.

         The RYB Color Wheel


      Secondary colours: These colours come from mixing three adjacent primary colours together. Cyan, yellow and magenta, mixing red and green together you will get yellow, mixing together blue and red you get magenta and green and blue will give you cyan, on the RGB colour wheel. On the RYB colour wheel, the secondary colours are purple which mixing red and blue together will give you. Green, which mixing yellow and blue, will give you and orange which you’ll get when mixing red and yellow together.

      Tertiary colours: These colours come from using secondary colours with primary colours. In this category, there are 6 colours. These colours on the RYB colour wheel are red-orange, yellow-orange, blue-green, red-violet, yellow-green, and blue-violet. On the RGB colour wheel are orange, azure, spring green, chartreuse green, rose and violet.

      Tones, Tints and Shades: Mixing different colours together with white, black or grey to the base will give you different tones and shades. A Tone is created when you add black or white or grey with a base. Tones are subtler than tints and tones less pale and reveal qualities not apparent in the base colour. Tints are created by adding white to the base, thus lightening the colour and is a less intense and useful balance if your using other vibrant colours. Shades this is created by adding black to the base, thus, darkening the colour to a more vibrant hue richer and darker and can be quite dramatic.

      Hues: hues are any colour on the colour wheel. When choosing a colour you can adjust the saturation or luminance of a hue. Saturation is the intensity or purity of the colour and luminance is the brightness of the colour.

      Interior Paint Color Schemes: How to plan your colour scheme. When choosing a colour scheme, decide on where you are going to pull it from. Paintings are a good place there is a lot of colours in a painting. Then choose how you want those colours to come together. What is your theme, contemporary, traditional, Queen Anne, Shaker,  country rustic, etc? There are many themes to choose from maybe art-deco, which comes from the Happy Days area 1950’s.  It is totally up to you. When you look at the empty room you want to decorate, decide the theme, colours, style, and emotion it will produce. Go to some decorating books like Home and Style and look at pictures of different rooms decorated then decide where you will pull your colours from.

      Let’s take a look at a  bit of history you might be interested in, Queen Charlotte was born May 19, 1744, and reigned until her death on November 17, 1818, She was known for wearing the very prominent new royal blue, fit for only Royalty, back then 1830. It was a magnificent colour and was chosen for her robes as well as King George’s robes. It was created at a factory called Scutts Bridge in Rode and was then judged by King George 111 for the Royal Families Robes. Only the best and most luxurious colour could be fit for the Royal Family.

      Interior Decorating for Your Home: Picking your style and putting colour together is most challenging, but it can be fun as well if you don’t allow it to overwhelm you and you look at it as a game of choice. At most hardware stores in the painting section, you can utilize a specialized computer that will help you choose a colour scheme. There are colour generators. Colour generators are very helpful for identifying colours and colour palettes that you may want to use in choosing your colour scheme. Many times in helping my clients I will take a beautiful painting they have on their wall and choose the colour palette for that room out of the painting as pictured below, then take a picture of that painting, go to the paint store choose the paint cards of those colours and get them to make up the paint to those colours. Easy peasy.

      Beautiful vibrant colours just waiting to be pulled for decorating.

      You can find colour generators online as well to help you. If you are looking for a way to decorate the perfect room try one of the colour generators. Sherwin-Williams has a machine that will help you create a perfect colour palette for your room. Glidden Paints also has a user-friendly colour tool that will allow you to generate pictures of your own home by uploading a photo of the room you want to paint and you can see what the room will look like with those colours you’ve chosen to use.

      Colour Schemes and Color Palettes:  Based on colour theory this is the method of choosing interior colours. However, the truth is in the pudding when you see it on your wall. Remember one thing colour darkens as it dries so you have to take that into account. In a more dimly lit room where there are smaller windows, you may want to use a lighter colour and vis-versa, if the room is large and has large windows or lots of windows you can use darker colours. It is best to buy a small sample of the colours you want to use and paint them on portions of the walls you want to paint and see what it looks like in the daytime and then at night when you are only using ambient or accent lighting, which is very important in your decorating plan. Which we will talk about in another blog. Don’t be afraid of colour there is a tendency for Home Owners to be intimidated by colour. Colour is beautiful, imaginative, and emotional. Understanding how colour interacts and blends to create beautiful gardens and landscapes in nature will help you be confident in choosing your colour scheme and producing that in your home. How colours work together and cause a sense of peace or excitement, cosiness, or a sense of being at the ocean. All colours can enhance the senses and meet you at the core of your being.

      Monocromatic with a pop of turquoise

      Using grey as the main colour and adding white as the secondary colour than going for a pop of turquoise, this room emits a sense of peace, tranquillity, and luxury.

      Sunshine and warmth using warm colors

      I love this happy, sunroom. It is vibrant and exudes a place of warmth. These colours are from the Analogous Color palette.

      Babies Room soft pastels

      Pastel pinks and greys with a hint of burgundy makes this room a soothing haven for a baby. Sleep well little one. The floor is a textured grey and white carpet that match the wall colour, even the elephant picks up the wall colour. Very serene.

      Conclusion: Creating balance when using colour is the most important aspect of decorating by choosing your main colour then choosing your secondary colour and an accent colour. Most Decorators use 3 colours in combination. In decorating the rule of thumb is 3’s. Accent colours and Pop colours are the focus of your decorating. There are many tools at your disposal. The Colour Wheel is one of the most important. Just remember how colour works on the colour wheel and you won’t have trouble in coming up with your decorating plan. A good place to start is selecting your primary colour Red, Blue, or Yellow or combination of remembering hues, tints, shades, and tones, then you choose your secondary colour from the Tertiary colours as accents. Colours can easily blend into one another so you want to create contrast. You can do this by choosing your focal colour then picking a distraction between your colourful items by choosing a pattern. Use the rule of small, medium and large colour choices to create an even blend of tones that work well together in your room. Don’t be afraid of colour do your research on the colours you want to use take time to try the colours on the walls first to see how they play with your senses when you look at the patch. The best size of patch to paint is about 10″ x 10″ do a patch on all the walls than when it is dry see what happens to it. View it in the daylight and then again at night in the ambient and accent lighting of the room as I stated above. This will let you know whether you should go a deeper shade or a lighter shade How does it make you feel?

      Thank you for reading my blog on paint and its characteristics, and how to decorate with colour.

      Please join me again at my blog on lighting, its effects, and how to decorate with lighting.

      I wish you all the best in your decorating project. Leave me an email on how it went or if you need more advice on your colour choices and how to mix and blend for the perfect colour pallet.

      Happy Decorating
      Bye for now Leealary

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      About Decorating with Leealary

      Hello my name is Leealary, and I am so glad you stopped by.

      I’ve been an Interior Designer for 41 years. I love helping people create a beautiful sanctuary in their
      homes bringing out the character of the home, in a way that shows the personality and essence of the people and the environment they live in. Using elements such as paint, lighting, space planning, accessories, and window coverings to enhance the features of the room. The difference between an interior designer and a decorator is a decorator needs no formal training, or certification to start a decorating business on the other hand, am interior designer goes to school for 3 to 4 years and is certified with a degree.

      Designers use Colour Trends, Window Coverings, Accessories, Flooring and pulls it all together. My goal is to help you do this yourself by giving you ideas, reasons why and helping you pull your design together. This website is an educational platform in the do’s and don’ts of Interior Decorating. So come on board and let”s have fun.



      I am a Mother of 4 and Grandmother of 9. I now live in Calgary Alberta. I have always loved transforming homes through creative decorating. When I was 12 I would go into my friends homes and ask their Moms if I could rearrange their countertops or their living-rooms. They always said yes and always got rave reviews from them. By the time I was 16 I knew that Interior Design was what I wanted to do. In 1976 I took a 3 year interior design course and graduated certified in 1979. I started in the design business in Ontario in 1979. My first project was a club called the Junior Ranks Club in Kingston Ontario and pulled Tall Pines Interiors run by Bill Stevenson in to help me with the project it was a big job the dance hall, the dry bar, the games room and 4 offices had to all be renovated and decorated. My business name was Distinctive Decors. I later branched out and designed holiday themes for Country Club Shopping Mall in Nanaimo BC. I worked as the Senior Interior Designer for Norwalk Furniture, Kelowna British Columbia in 1994.  I retired in 2015, however my passion is still to help people bring out the beauty in their homes and decided to open up a Do it yourself decorating platform to help people understand how to decorate, the science behind it and that decorating is all about YOU, your desires, your needs and passions. So here we are.

      I believe 2020 is the year to bring color back into our lives. That mustard coloured chair or that candy apple red vase, or gold damask draperies. We’ve used white for the past couple of years, more than enough, though white is crisp and clean and can be the blank canvas for colour, I believe the browns, reds and golds are coming back, or what about cobalt blue my favourite. That hint of the Victorian era. Or maybe an Art Deco theme, red, white and black. Whatever you create it is your blank canvas that you start with and it will allow you to incorporate your ideas, your theme into your home and create a space fit for a Queen.



      Decorating is a personal choice, a desire for change, update, renew and beautify. I have seen old, tired homes come to life and the satisfaction one has when they enjoy the new room freshly painted, and a pop of color to spruce up a tired outdated spot, new window coverings to adorn the windows, new floors that create sophistication, new kitchen cupboards and new paintings on the walls that add inspiration and accessories that bring a delightful interest. I’ve heard gasps of amazement and words like “is this our home? I never thought it could be so beautiful.”” Change is good and sometimes we all need change. Decorating brings in elements that take a home to a higher level and embraces it’s character. That is why I have decided to help you, the home owner, through my website.



      My goal is to give you the education and even ideas if needed, to do it yourself. Help you plan your spaces, purchase your furniture wisely, hang your pictures in that perfect spot, and help you choose your colours to tie everything together to create your beautiful home. Give you the pleasure of seeing it all unfold before your eyes and at your hands and the pride it will give you when you stand back and say “I did this”.

      If you wish to infuse new life into your home and furnishing that give you timeless appeal, let DYI Decorating Designs help you achieve this, feel free to read my blogs or email me at the email address above or even call me if you need answers right away. Please take the time to read my blogs and view my portfolio, I know it will spark the Decorator in you.

      All the best, and thank you for reading my introduction page

      Happy decorating,
      Leealarey, Interior Designer

      Decorating Yourself Interiors, Decorating Designs
      email: distinctivedesigns20.com
      phone: 403-369-6993

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