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  • LAS VEGAS MARKET 2018

    We've been heading to Las Vegas Market now every year for the last three years. It's a large tradeshow for everything decor and furniture related. We're talking about 3 buildings with over 5 floors of showrooms. All of the best suppliers and manufacturers are there to showcase their new collections and talk shop. During the three days that we spend at this giant tradeshow, we network, attend seminars, learn about new lines and products and place a few orders for product. The first year we went was a learning experience where we were able to see the decorating industry from a different point of view. During the second year, we placed a few orders for pillows and small accessories for our design clients. This year was special because it was the first year that we brought Melinda with us and it was the first time going with the goal of selecting pieces for our upcoming online shop. We've opened some exciting new accounts and we've hand-curated a good selection of products that represent our design aesthetic and our brand. We basically went shopping for all of you!

      

      

    Over the next few weeks, we'll be working on getting our products on a list, editing and eliminating and bringing the selection down to the best. Fingers crossed that we're just four short weeks away from launching Hibou Home officially.

     

     

    One highlight from the trip is that we'll be introducing a new line of rugs from Loloi.

     

     

    We also had loads of fun with Melinda this time. It was her first time in Vegas so we showed her around and traveling with her further confirmed what we already knew about her; she's a real team player and the perfect fit for our Hibou family!

     

     

     

    And of course, it couldn't be all work, we had to squeeze in some fun!

     

    Check out our highlights on Instagram!

  • DRESS UP BARE WALLS WITH A FRESH OUTLOOK

    Wall treatments date back as early as the 1400’s and most of us will agree that they remind us of our grandparent’s house; outdated. However, it continues to evolve into modern day society. Wallpaper can definitely make an appealing decorative statement, but at the same time can direct you towards a certain style. It helps warm a space, create a statement, or simply add some depth to an otherwise lifeless wall. While you can use wallpaper almost anywhere, we love using them in entrances and powder rooms. These are two rooms that usually don't have much space for anything else decorative, so our solution is usually to dress the walls. 

    In smaller spaces, adding a bold pattern or color as an accent really enhances a room’s design. Using geometric shapes such as linear patterns, hexagons, triangles, etc., adds a visually appealing aspect to your home while keeping it timeless. There are many creative ways to freshen up your home even if that means simply repurposing the back of a bookcase with decorative wallpaper.

    Here are a few pro tips;

    • For every design, our rule of thumb is to keep the pattern fun yet moderate. We never want the wallpaper to take over our design. 
    • Always confirm quantities with your installer before purchasing. Pattern repeats and different widths make wallpaper difficult to calculate on your own and expensive if you get it wrong.
    • Hire a professional installer. For the price of the paper these days, you definitely don't want to take a chance in having it installed poorly. Save yourselves both the headache (it's not easy) and the cost of having to start from scratch. Trust us - we've seen our share of DIY's gone wrong.
    • Lastly, don’t be afraid! That outdated wallpaper has now evolved into something current and elegant. So dress up those bare walls with some creativity to create an impactful statement within your home. 

    By: Melinda Recine

  • MY 5 STEP PROCESS FOR CHOOSING BATHROOM TILE

    It can be very overwhelming if you're choosing bathroom tile for the first time. Tile stores can offer a huge selection which can lead to some very unsure decisions. A full bathroom may include a floor tile, a wall tile and possibly a mosaic for the shower floor if custom built. Of course, you can always get creative and add accents, inserts, niches which usually just adds to the confusion and makes people even more indecisive.  

    Follow this 5 step process for a simple way to get to your end result.

    STEP 1: Start with your must have.

    Pick a tile that you absolutely love that you want to build your palette around. It can be the wall tile, the floor or an accent or even the countertop. This will simply give you a great starting point in a store with endless possibilities.

     

     

    STEP 2: Pick basic coordinating tiles.

    The rule of thumb in any room with fixed finishes is to have only one showstopper. Just like you wouldn't want a busy countertop to compete with a trendy backsplash in a kitchen, the same applies for bathrooms. If you end up going with an intricate mosaic on the floor, keep the rest of the space more toned down.

    STEP 3: Repeat the same tile.

    Don't feel obliged to pick 5 different tiles for the floor, wall, shower floor, niche and accent. Repeating a tile will create a flow and will be easier to coordinating than choosing different tiles. When you have too many different finishes in one space, it will look too busy and if you're doing this on your own, you have a greater chance of picking something that will not match. Stick to not more than 3 different tiles in one bathroom. 

    STEP 4: When in doubt, go with the same tile everywhere in different sizes.

    I do this all the time and I promise that the bathrooms I design don't end up boring or too simple. For example, I would use a 6"x24" tile laid in a herringbone pattern on a floor, the same tile in 12"x24" on the wall and the same tile in a mosaic pattern on the shower floor. The key to doing this right is to play with different sizes and pattern. This creates a texture that gives depth to the space. This is a good option for someone who will be installing a showstopper countertop or for someone who doesn't have the eye to coordinating the colours in multiple tiles. 

    STEP 5: Ask yourself two questions to confirm that you've made the right choices.

    Will the plan I've put together work with the flow of my home? Or will you be walking into a completely different style/era? Unless, you plan on slowly renovating the rest of your home, I wouldn't do an ultra modern bathroom in a country style home. It's important that the design aesthetic for the bathroom you're renovating flows with the design and architecture of the rest of your home. 

    Will I be able/willing to maintain the tiles I chose? If you love marble and plan on putting it everywhere but don't ever want to seal it or worry about toothpaste or water stains, than maybe marble isn't for you. You may want to consider using it as an accent instead or maybe look into porcelain replicas.

    Need help with your bathroom project? Contact us to book a consultation!
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  • MY TOP 5 DECORATING DOs DON'Ts

    Hello again! I've been completely caught up in being a new mom that I've neglected my blog for the last 4 months. I know - it's sad. But I'm sure all of you moms out there can understand! Personal busy-ness aside, design is still always on my mind. Following my favourite blogs, Instagram and the few projects I've been working on have kept me in touch with my passion. Which bring me to my topic of the day; this past week, I've put together a few blog-worthy visuals of my top decorating dos and don'ts. Some of these may appear obvious to some of you, but I can't tell you how many homes I walk into with these common mistakes.

    1 - Choosing the right area rug for your space. Size matters! Bigger is always better when selecting an area rug. It's so important that in a living room, the front legs of all of your furniture sit on the rug. This makes the room appear a lot larger. In a dining room, don't even bother with an area rug if the chairs will not completely sit on the rug WHEN FULLY EXTENDED.

    2 - Art is a great accent in any home but nothing will throw me off more than art that is hung too high and not aligned properly. The center of your art should be hung at eye level. Your eye level, since you will be the one enjoying it the majority of the time. All of your pieces should also be aligned in the center. 

    3 - Curtains should always be installed above the window frame. Closer to the ceiling, preferably. This will make your ceiling appear higher than it is. They should also be installed so that the panels sit on the wall beside the window when open. The point here is by installing your window covering around the window, and not over your window, you are creating a bigger window that allows more natural light to pour in. And who doesn't want more natural light in their home?

    4 - This tip applies to renovations or new constructions but it will be a life saver when the decorating phase comes around. Install all electrical switches at 36" off the floor. It appears to be that eye level is the standard and I simply can't understand why. It makes it very hard to place art on your wall. It's an eye sore and I simply cannot find the purpose in installing it at eye level. It's even more comfortable ergonomically to flick a switch at 36".

    5 - This may be a big surprise to some but your furniture should not touch your walls. Contrary to what you may think, by having your furniture float within the room, you are creating a more airy and open space. Leaving even just a couple of inches can make a difference if you're tight on space.

  • IKEA KITCHENS... REALLY?

    I wasn't able to make it over to Toronto this year for IDS, which is their version of SIDIM, but all I've been seeing from the designers I know in Toronto is about the IKEA kitchen booth. It seems to have impressed quite a few big shot designers and its left me very curious. From what I gather, they are launching a new kitchen program on February 2nd, 2015 that will bring a solution to a lot of the problems that most of us have with IKEA kitchens. They are promoting more options for cabinetry sizes, which means that you can achieve a custom look in a space that would normally not fit their standard sizes. They are also stating that we will have the option to have drawers within doors, which is very practical for a modern look where you'd like the drawers to be hidden within your cabinet doors. It looks like they will be launching some new finishes as well, including a true black instead of their standard brown black that screams IKEA. All of this along with BLUM soft closing doors and drawers leaves me with an open mind about IKEA for future projects on a budget.

    Of course, it would have to be professionally installed - I've seen one too many IKEA kitchens that are badly installed where the kitchen ends up completed crooked and looks like it's falling apart. The only real way to make an IKEA kitchen work is to pair it with a fabulous finishes; a beautiful tile, upgraded stone counter and/or an eye catching backsplash. It looks like it would also be a great solution for a custom bar or bathroom vanity, rather than a full kitchen. 

    Check out what IKEA has to say about their new line SEKTION.

    I mean, does this look like IKEA to you? I just love the drawers on this piece and even the hardware is beautiful.

    Picture taken by Toronto interior designer, Caroline McKay.

  • EVERYONE SHOULD HAVE AT LEAST ONE OF THESE IN THEIR HOME

    There are some pieces I own that I am so greatful for. This is one of those pieces that I think everyone should have at least one of in their home. The ever so versatile round side table. This one is mine, passed down from my grandmother that has so far had at least 3 purposes throughout it's lifetime. 

    It can be a simple side table used to fill a corner as seen here or on the side of a couch. It can also be used as a night table, or as an entrance table to fill in an otherwise useless space with a pretty vase in the center. I've even used it as a desk. It's the perfect height, it looks great from all angles and will pretty much fit into any room serving a different purpose.

    Here are some more examples:

    In the bedroom:

    Living room side table:

    The entrance centerpiece:

    Office tete-a-tete:
  • THE ART OF CREATING A PICTURE WALL: 5 TIPS THAT CAN HELP

    Creating a picture wall can be a great way to fill a bare wall with everything from photos to art to memorabilia to wall sculptures. However, there is a very fine line between a nicely organized picture wall and a big mess.

    Things to keep in mind:

    1. Have some kind of a structure or common theme. Choose one or more of the following: keep all of the frames the same, keep the frame colours the same, or limit yourself to two colours, use only black and white images, use only images of a certain colour, use similar frame sizes, use similar pieces; photographs, prints, paintings. Whatever it is, make sure that they have at least something in common.
    2. You don't have to cover an entire wall. 
    3. Lay your pattern out on the floor first before mounting it.
    4. Space the images apart equally, closely together usually looks better than further apart. I usually allow 1"-1.5".
    5. Centre the grouping at eye level. As you should hang all art at eye level.

    Here are a few hits, followed by a couple of misses. Feel free to share your thoughts! Happy Hanging!

    HIT: Using a picture rail give you a tremendous amount of flexible and is a lot easier than perfectly hanging individual pieces.

    HIT: Do you have few, small photos that you want to display on a larg surface? Easy, using large framing!

    HIT: This is for the super structured type. Same frame, same size, same spacing, same colour. You can never go wrong with this much structure and you are sure to achieve a clean picture wall.

    HIT: Mix & Match done right!

    MISS: My two misses have the same problem. Too heavy, too many different frames, no common factor.

    MISS

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  • DIY HEADBOARD IDEAS

    I recently started working on a 490 sq ft, two story loft for a wonderful young couple who are really trying to use every inch in their space efficiently. This even meant choosing a bed without a headboard to save on the room. I soon found myself showing them options of headboard that take up little to no space and I thought it would be great to share in case any of you are struggling with the same issue.

    A stenciled (or painted headboard take no space at all and it can really easily (and beautifully) fill in that empty space above your bed.

    Stencil found at: TradingPhrases.com.

    I grabbed this photo from a fellow blogger, Liz Marie. You can also apply this same concept of hanging antique windows to antique doors, empty picture frames, or stained glass windows. All available at any local antique store with just a little shopping around.

    I love fabric so much that I really try to use it anywhere. I've framed prints that I adore as art, so why not choose a fabulous fabric for a headboard without the space or high price tag of a traditional tufted headboard. A curtain rod is a great, inexpensive way to create a finished look.

  • WHEN IS IT OKAY TO PAINT WOOD FLOORS?

    The answer to this question is really simple - when the floor is so bad that you really don't have any other option. It of course has to suit the space. This look is perfect for a country cottage or a sunny attic. It's not exactly suitable for a formal dining room or city loft.

    From all of the images I've seen of painted wood floors, I've always wanted to try it. I've just never found the right situation. I love the way it looks in pictures but actually living with painted floors (that are usually white), is a little high maintenance. You have to be okay with scartches and scuff marks that will come up with time, but I guess that just adds to the beauty of them.

     

    My white Scandinavian home. Splash of colors. Old & new. Always in change. eclectic living room
    Bedroom. Peacefull & calm. eclectic bedroom

     

    Or you can go with a checker style pattern...

     

     

    -or a stripe?

     

     

    -or just go with a crazy pattern!