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Soft Finishes

Use these hot designer tricks for choosing the right soft finishes for your home

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Use these hot designer tricks for choosing the right soft finishes for your home

When it comes to soft finishes, like your wall colouring, fabrics, carpets, cushions or curtains, I think the best way to begin is to figure out what your home style is, and how you envision your space to look. Some of the best inspiration can be found in some of your favourite decor magazines, Pinterest boards or even a favourite TV show. For me, when I’m travelling there is nothing better than the selection of design-inspired magazines you can find virtually all over the world. I’ll take clippings of spaces I love so I have something tangible to refer to when I’m ready to design a new space. Also, I think it’s important to remember that you want every space in your home to feel comfortable, friendly and welcoming. Long gone are the days of formal sitting areas and posh powder rooms that are rarely used. You want your home to be inviting, so consider that when deciding on those soft finishes, too.

Even if you’re not a designer, you can still have the ability to visualize your space and understand what marries well together or what may clash, but there are a few designer tricks you can employ that will help you even further when deciding on the myriad of finishes you need to think about. From wall colours, to throw pillows; a carpet, or some curtains, consider these suggestions and you will be well on your way to a beautifully harmonious home.

60-30-10 rule

This is a timeless decorating that is meant to maintain proportion and balance in the colours you use in any space. Your 60 per cent is the main colour of your room, so this could be your walls, large accent pieces such as area rugs, or a couch. The idea being that this colour is the majority rule of which everything else is based from.

Your 30 per cent is your secondary colour. Since you will only be using half as much of this colour as your main colour, this could work for curtains and draperies, bed linens, or an accent wall. The secondary colour supports the main colour, but can be different enough to distinguish them, while also giving your room some interest.

10 per cent is your accent colour. In a living room, this is for your throw pillows, decorative accessories, and artwork. For a bedroom, your pillows on your bed, lamps or other decorative pieces.

Work from your base colours

I always make sure my larger pieces of furniture are neutral, regardless of the room in my home. From my bedroom to my dining room, all of my major furniture (couches, chairs, dressers or tables) are in muted shades, such as charcoal, grey, white, black or navy. These work as your anchors to ground the room, while also giving you the opportunity to take a bit of liberty with colour in the paint or your fabrics.

Forgo trends

Trendy decor looks are always fun, but they rarely last the test of time. If you invested in that purple velvet couch, chances are you may grow weary of it in the next couple of years. Trendy pieces can feel very dated very fast. The good news is that you can easily change your couch with a slip cover, switch out your curtains or try different carpets if you feel like experimenting and creating something new. I always refresh my space like this come the different seasons.

Choose your colour scheme based on the largest pattern in the space

Say you have a patterned carpet, or a large piece of artwork hanging in the space, select colours for your soft finishes (like a great throw pillow or ottoman) based on what hues you love in those patterns. That way there will be certain flow in the whole space if colours are similar. If you’re looking for a more neutral wall paint colour (and I strongly encourage that), look to the pattern’s whites or beiges to match.

Go for grey

This is a very popular neutral, and with good reason. It has the ability to appear warm or cool making it easy to pair with virtually any colour on the wheel, whether dreamy pastels or bright pops of colour.

Lisa Rogers is the exclusive interior designer for Dunpar Homes.

Lisa has shared her style and design expertise on popular television programs, such as Canadian Living TV, House & Home TV and The Shopping Channel.

Lisa is one of the most familiar faces on CityTV’s Cityline as a regular guest expert for fashion and image, health and wellness and interior design.


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Holiday Must Haves for your home

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Holiday Must Haves for your home

By Rebecca Hay

The holidays are hands down, my favourite time of year. It’s a time to gather, celebrate and indulge. It’s all about giving and sharing and I am often hosting non stop. It can be a hectic season so being prepared always helps! Here are my top 5 holiday must-haves for this year.

All of these items will help set you apart as a host but can also make for excellent gifts!

Must Have #1 : A good Coffee maker

As a continual holiday host I need coffee to fuel my fire but also to offer our guests. It’s rare these days if someone doesn’t drink coffee. Also, my husband is coffee obsessed and Craft Coffee Brewing is one of his latest passions. I’ve narrowed down my search for the perfect gift to the new Precision Brewer by Breville. It allows coffee enthusiasts (my hubs) to re-create the same balanced flavour of craft brew coffee, at home. The fact that it looks good is just a perk for me. The bonus is that it creates 12 true cups of coffee in less than seven minutes, finally we can replace our little french press and have the volume we need to fuel all the relatives!

Must Have #2 : Cozy Socks

Everyone thinks about cozy blankets but I’m digging the cozy sock trend this year. Socks are a nostalgic gift for me as my father was in the textile business and always used to gift us with more socks than we could ever wear. These McGregor socks remind me of the ones he used to gift us with the added bonus that they are holiday festive and OH so Canadian. I plan to keep extra pair on hand for guests and hope to win serious brownie points as a host.

Must Have #3 : Unique Coffee Table Book

As a designer I always try to have a few fabulous large scale coffee table books out for guests to peruse while they sit by the fire. They make an excellent conversation starter and the right themed book can make for some very interesting debates! They also make excellent gifts!

Must Have #4 : Festive Toss Cushions

Updating your sofa and seating areas temporarily with festive toss cushions is an easy fun way to add a festive designer touch. Whatever the colours you choose to decorate with, get a few pillows to match and you will feel like you’ve stepped into a new home. Since I live in a small Toronto home I don’t have the space to store an entire set of cushions year round, So I simply swap out the pillow covers and re-use the insert.

Must Have #5 : Creative Cooking Tool

This one is completely a tool for my husband who is the chef in our family. He loves his outdoor smoker and uses it every chance he gets, but it’s time consuming to wait all day for your meat to slowly smoke! So I am gifting him with The Smoking Gun. A new held smoker that uses cold smoke to infuse natural flavours of hickory, Applewood, mesquite and more, into both food and drink for a natural smoke infusion. I’m expecting it to add a bit of theatre to our holiday dinners!

Here’s hoping that this holiday is a smooth one for all of us and that these 5 Must-Haves help make sure your holiday goes off without a hitch.

Designer Rebecca Hay, is the Principal Designer of Rebecca Hay Designs Inc. This Toronto based boutique design firm for over decade has been offering complete design & renovation services for residential, commercial and vacation properties. Known and celebrated for her design work and appearances on various acclaimed HGTV shows, Rebecca and her team design classic livable spaces that reflect their owner’s personality. Servicing clientele throughout Toronto , GTA ,Canada www.RebeccaHayDesigns.com

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