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

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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

      Phone# 403-369-6993

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      Blinds Leading The Blinds: Custom Window Blinds vs Cut-To-Go Blinds

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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.