Tag Archives: interior design


Five inspirational sources for interior design ideas

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Five inspirational sources for interior design ideas

The sky’s the limit when it comes to creativity. Interior design is no different, and if you like to play with colors, decor, and fashion, then getting inspiration for your interior design ideas can be as simple as stepping out of your home and into your nearest shopping plaza, concert arena, or upscale restaurant. Truly, you can get design ideas from anywhere, so let’s look at some great ways to get you inspired.

Design with sound

Listening to music is a great way to gather inspiration for your designs. By listening to unique music you wouldn’t normally favor, you can put yourself into a different frame of mind and start thinking differently about the look and feel of a room. You can start to hear the color, see the layout, feel the overall aesthetics. It sounds surreal, but if you’re designing for someone else, make a playlist of some of their favorite songs. Get yourself in their mood and let the sound of the music flow through you and into your work.

Let fashion be your passion

Patterns, colors, styles, and textures are all part of the fashion world. Just go to your nearest shopping mall and look at all of the different, vibrant trends that exist. We’re living in unique times where fashion trends from the sixties, seventies, eighties, and nineties can all be seen in any given place all at the same time. Use these colors, textures, and styles to inspire you to design something unique and superb for your home.

Sparkling designs

Take a visit to a jewelry store and look at all of the unique and elegant designs. Gems combined with precious metals can provide interior designers with brilliant ideas. For example, a one-of-kind piece of estate diamond jewelry can inspire the design of an equally distinctive chandelier, custom lamp, or other elegant fixtures for a room. Complementary arrangements of gemstones with gold, platinum, or silver can also serve as the inspiration for home decor ideas like upholstery patterns, paint color combos, and tiling.

Take a vacation

Want to add something exotic to your interior designs? Visit other places, other countries. Step outside of the routine and go do something you’ve never done before. Then think of how the sights, sounds, and how you feel can be incorporated into one of your designs. In other cultures, you’ll find different uses for raw materials. You’ll notice creative space-saving designs that are only found in those areas. You’ll inevitably be inspired when you visit a place you’ve never been to before.

Even if you don’t have the time or money to go on a long vacation, go on a road trip and go visit some unfamiliar local places. Better yet, rent a motorcycle or a convertible car and feel the wind rushing through your hair as you travel down new roads and take in your surroundings. See that rustic barn over yonder? Notice that historic tucked-away mansion? How can these be incorporated into your designs?


Crafts and hobbies

Another unlikely source for interior design inspiration is crafts and hobbies. Visit toy shops, crafts stores, art suppliers, and other places that dabble in various crafts and hobbies. Look at the colors, shapes, and textures of materials. Get a good feel for how the different materials and concepts work together. Visualize what a room would look like based on these concepts.

You could even take all of these ideas and mix and match them or put them all together. Your designs are unique to you, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take inspiration from somewhere else. Let these ideas make their mark on your subconscious. Let them flow through you. Pretty soon, you’ll wake up truly inspired, and this will show in your unique designs.


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The link between sleep and interior design

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The link between sleep and interior design

There are a lot of factors that go into how you design your home. Your furniture has to be practical, comfortable, appropriate for the space it’s in, and most importantly, attractive. You have so many choices about the color and style of paint, even the style of curtains you choose. Well, what you might not know is that all of those choices will also affect the way you sleep in your space.

How does color affect sleep?

The color you choose to be dominant in your bedroom is vital to a good night’s sleep, and the best color has been determined to be blue. All shades of blue are found to be calming and soothing. This helps prevent nightmares and can also help to lower your blood pressure, which will help to improve the quality of your sleep.

Other colors that help:

  • Yellow
  • Green
  • Silver
  • Orange

Colors that hurt:

  • Red
  • Gold
  • Brown
  • Gray
  • Purple

The style of paint that you choose can also affect your sleep. If you choose a reflective paint such as an eggshell or satin finish, you will find that it will reflect more light than you expect. Try going with a flat finish to avoid the distraction of reflected lights when you’re trying to sleep.

How does clutter affect sleep?

The more stuff you have in your room, the more likely you are to find a way to be too distracted to sleep. You’re also more likely to struggle with depression and anxiety because of it. This is especially true if you work from your bedroom.

If you’re redesigning your house and you need a space to work, try and find a space outside of your bedroom for that. Your bedroom should not be an all-purpose room. Instead, it should be designed specifically for sleep.

If you’re just fond of keeping a variety of objects around, try and go through them on a regular basis to avoid having your spaces devolve into cluttered messes.

How does light affect sleep?

If your home has a lot of natural light, this is great for during the day. At night, however, that light can be a little more difficult to deal with. Our bodies are inclined to be awake when the sun is up and asleep when it isn’t, so we have to work with that in our era with all of the electronic lights.

Try adding blackout curtains or liners to your bedroom windows in order to ensure that you have the darkness you need to get a good night’s sleep. You can also try rearranging your bedroom so that you aren’t staring directly at the window while you sleep.

Last but definitely not least, make sure your mattress is pleasing to both your sense of sight and your sense of touch. Finding mattresses that deliver to Canada can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be, thanks to this list!


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30 year old condo gets the ultimate facelift

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30 year old condo gets the ultimate facelift

Photography by Gillian Jackson Photography

Updating and renovating any home is a daunting task. My clients loved the size of their condo, but after 30 years, it was showing its age. They liked the two bedroom layout, but the kitchen was looking shabby with it’s original cabinets and appliances. Not only was it windowless and closed off from the living area, but the fluorescent, Florida ceiling cast a gloomy light. Together we transformed the entire suite from dated to daring.

Luxury is all about adding small details that collectively amplify the feeling of glamour and sophistication. – Jane Lockhart


If there’s one thing that I’ve learned about renovating an apartment condo, is that it’s best to treat it like a bandaid and take it off all at once. When you’re dealing with noise, demolition, elevator disruptions and deliveries, it just makes sense to do it all at the same time.

We asked for, and received, all the appropriate permissions. Then, we began the months-long renovation process. Once we took the walls, floors and drop ceiling back to the concrete, we were able to get a good look at what we could (and couldn’t) do.



Because you can’t install lighting into concrete ceilings, we strategically added coffered ceilings to house new LED recessed lighting. In the now-open-concept kitchen and entryway, instead of trying to blend the ceilings, we added trim to make it a feature. Now, the entry virtually sparkles with a full mirrored wall, sconces and a delicate chandelier.

Multi-patterned tiles in travertine and onyx added a reflective quality. We added crisp trim moulding to the flat panelled entry door and painted it a dramatic black.


With the kitchen now open to the living room, it was important to create a cohesive living space with complementary surfaces and materials. Hardwood flooring was installed in a diagonal pattern to add visual interest in the living room, kitchen and bedrooms.

We opted to forgo upper cabinets in the kitchen. Instead, we used glass tile in a stacked form, and had the stainless steel range hood custom designed as a sculptural element. The art deco insert on the apron sink is a wonderful feature, as is the horizontal detailing on the glossy, Macassar wood cabinetry. A white stone counter tops off the island, and black is used on the perimeter counter. For dining, we chose a warm, wood finish for the table and rich, velvet fabric for the counterheight chairs.


High-gloss black barn doors house dishware and collectables. And guests now dine in comfort without being in a closed in room.

The living room features an electric fireplace in a book-matched, chevron-patterned tile. With black as the accent colour, we added lush textiles. Here, black is mirrored in the edges of the sofa, and the black cabinets are accented with a touch of the kitchen cabinetry wood. The look is carried throughout to add an element of drama, and as a backdrop to decorative pieces. Silk pillows and the plush velvet chairs add texture and shine, as well as the shimmery band around the border of the custom-made rug.


Moulded trim was added to the walls to create balance, and to add symmetry with the artwork. A silver coffee table added just the right amount of splash, along with other mixed metals. Luxury is all about adding small details that collectively amplify the feeling of glamour and sophistication. You don’t need to renovate to achieve this, so start with adding some luxurious elements into your own home.

Jane Lockhart, B.A.A.I.D., is a multi-award winning designer, author and television personality. Jane Lockhart Interior Design janelockhart.com


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Tips to incorporate the Pantone Colour of the Year throughout your home

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Tips to incorporate the Pantone Colour of the Year throughout your home

Pantone Living Coral Entryway

The Pantone 2019 Colour of the Year “Living Coral” can do almost anything, proving itself to be much more than just an accent colour. We sat down with Nicholas Rosaci, interior design expert and upcoming speaker at the 2019 GTA Home & Reno Show, to talk decor trends and learn how to incorporate this vibrant hue into our home for the upcoming year.

Coral is beautiful and earthy, a much-anticipated arrival on the tails of the “pink” scene – a coveted colour of choice lately. However, unlike a pure pink – which can appear childlike and Barbie mansion-esque – Pantone’s “Living Coral” is a little more grown up without losing any of the juicy energy of its pink counterpart.

“Coral is a surprisingly versatile colour,” says Rosaci. “Coral can stand alone on its own while also acting as a great accent to existing neutrals like sand beige, jute and taupes. Its gold undertones naturally and luxuriously pairs well with gold hardware accents and most would be surprised by how beautifully modern Living Coral looks when incorporated with more modern grey trends. Living Coral really warms up cool grey and looks especially chic with chrome and glass.

Rosaci believes in using colour everywhere, but especially in entryways or dining rooms places where you really want to create an impression and call for drama.


In the foyer, try painting the front door both inside and out, and perhaps look for a great upcycled project like a vintage chest of drawers painted the same shade, or a touch lighter or darker for contrast.

Dining room

Pantone Living Coral Living room

“Formal dining rooms should be decorated for glamorous evenings,” says Rosaci. “The simple addition of silk drapery in a Living Coral shade adds a shimmering warm elegance to a space.”  Try upping your design game with a deep emerald-green room with gorgeous coral silk drapery, trimmed in a black-and- white Greek key trim detail.


In the den, explore painting the interior back of your cabinets or bookshelves in the hue, or using hints of the colour in all kinds of artwork, throw cushions and other decorative accessories.



Pantone Living Coral Kitchen

Coral in the kitchen can really kick up your decor a notch. Warm, inviting and unexpected, the colour works well with a plethora of wood options, tableware and accessories.  “The colour pairs well with tropical palm leaf fabrics, which really liven up a tired kitchen for an instant tropical vibe,” says Rosaci. “You can even just add a little warmth with coral upholstered bar chairs to go with a white, modern kitchen.”


Pantone Living Coral Bedroom

Try popping a few coral pillow cases into your existing grey bedsheets and watch it instantly look refreshed, revitalized and inviting. Unlike orange, Living Coral works beautifully with black. “Every room should have an accent of black to draw the eye in,” says Rosaci. “With coral, the look is very soothing and not as jarring as black and orange – which can look like a Halloween decor ad.”

Lastly, even as a winter trend, Living Coral looks especially glamorous with winter white and faux fur while still being a colour that transitions well into the spring and summer.  Ahh yes – summer – it may not be here yet, but Pantone’s new colour of the year Living Coral certainly reminds us that warmer days are only a paint brush away.

Come check out Nicholas Rosaci at the 2019 GTA Home & Reno Show on Feb. 15 to 18 to learn more design tips and tricks from the finest design experts in the city.



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Trend Report: Luxury redefined

Trend Report: Luxury redefined

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Trend Report: Luxury redefined

by Glen Peloso
Grafus Design Build

New York’s Architectural Digest Design Show in March was a wonderful opportunity to see current interior design trends.

What’s to come is a combination of customization and incredible details that create a totally unique space. One of the predominant trends is advanced technology, which allows some of the elements that used to be part of decor to disappear.

Gold fixtures add instant elegance to a bathroom. Faucet by THG Paris.
Gold fixtures add instant elegance to a bathroom. Faucet by THG Paris.


The custom kitchen with hidden details is one of the trends to watch for. With differing family sizes and cooking abilities, we have individuated kitchen requirements. To that end, I was pleased to see that JennAir has developed a line of columnar refrigeration. If you want a fridge only as an icemaker, no problem. If you have a large family, you might opt for a two-fridge and one-freezer column. The choice is entirely up to you.

You are able to utilize both fridge and freezer appliances to suit your needs, it’s Wi-Fi feature allows you to makes changes through your smart phone — change the temperature, make more ice, etc. — and should you leave a door open, it will alert you by sending you a text.

Customize the stovetop appliances for how you live. Induction cooktop by JennAir.
Customize the stovetop appliances for how you live. Induction cooktop by JennAir.

When it comes to cooking, the ovens are also Wi-Fi connected. You indicate the meat, the weight and the pan. The probe signals your smart phone when the meat is cooked to your specification.

With stovetop appliances, you custom create, à la carte; an induction cooktop next to a grill followed by a wok cooker or whatever combination that suits your needs. You design the whole kitchen for the way you live and cook. The kitchen IS the party!

Make art the focal point when you're not watching TV. Projection TV by Sony.
Make art the focal point when you’re not watching TV. Projection TV by Sony.


For a long time, home design was forced to display functional electronics. We like to look at them but never like the look of them. TVs, speakers, receivers and amps all required precious floor and wall space. Short-throw projects have become the coffee table, a projector and a speaker all in one. When you’re not watching TV there is nothing to see, but when you are, the picture is perfect and the sound emanates from the table. The technology is new and the price is high (currently about $9,000 U.S.), however, the smaller tabletop version is closer to the cost of an iPad.

These projectors return the walls to the home, and the smaller version is completely portable. If the price is a little steep right now, you can consider the reflector TV that is both a mirror and a television. There is little or no room reflection when the TV is on, which is an improvement from the past.

The latest reflector TVs offer little to no reflection. Reflector TV by Sony.
The latest reflector TVs offer little to no reflection. Reflector TV by Sony.

Home automation has helped us remove light switches and the need for house keys and speakers are hidden in lighting, to name just some of the new technology, but more and more these functional elements have a hidden form.

When it comes to the elements that we do see, both the devil and the future are in the details. Mosaics that mimic the Roaring Twenties, three-dimensional tiles that seem to grow flowers through them, hardwood flooring with in-laid metals along with wall coverings with custom images or large-scale wall “tattoos.” You create a space that is as unique as you are.

All of these elements are more and more customizable so your home is truly a reflection of all the things you love. It seems as though the future is as customizable as you would like it to be, and as hidden as the flashlight and calculator, which are also on your phone.

Glen Peloso is an interior designer and principal of design firm Grafus Design Build.


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Behind the Design with Toronto designer Rebecca Hay

Video: Behind the Design with Toronto designer Rebecca Hay

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Video: Behind the Design with Toronto designer Rebecca Hay

This week we share a peek into behind the design of our process, how we deal with surprises when managing orders, how to work with contractors and the importance of having a strong team.


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5 Beautiful Dental Office Interior Design Ideas

5 Beautiful Dental Office Interior Design Ideas

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5 Beautiful Dental Office Interior Design Ideas

Today, it makes sense to invest in a dental office that is beautiful, functional and comfortable for your patients and staff. With a proper dental office interior design, you can reach your highest potential by providing quality patient care in a conducive environment. Your staff will also enjoy a clinical environment where the practice can achieve its full income potential. As you spend majority of your day offering quality patient care, you need to ensure areas such as the treatment rooms are properly designed. Below, we’ll look at 5 stunning dental office designs that you can borrow ideas from.

White Minimalistic Look

If every dental office you visit was as stunning as Dental Bliss (located in Bangkok, Thailand), we’d all look forward to dental appointments. We love the unique flair in this dental office created by Integrated Field Co. Ltd. It’s a very simplistic look with clean lines and mirrors have been used to open up the space giving an illusion of a much larger room. The design is fun and inviting which is what we all need from a dental clinic. This particular interior design can work best in a family dentistry office especially the reception area if you don’t want to incorporate too many colors in order to achieve the classic, white appeal. White often works well in dental office renovation because it evokes a feeling of relaxation and peace of mind. We love how the cubes can be moved around to create custom seating. This is such a practical idea for any modern healthcare office. The color scheme used in this interior design is very warm and inviting.

Photo credit Integrated Field Co. Ltd.
Photo credit: Integrated Field Co. Ltd.

Chic And Modern Dental Office

For those looking for that wow factor in dental office design, there’s a lot that you can borrow from this dental clinic in Porto, Portugal. We love how Paulo Merlini has used the pendant lighting to illuminate the area and add some drama and character in the reception area. This is a great example of how lighting, if used wisely, can add glamour and life to a boring space. The walls have been painted a darker color, which is somewhat unusual for medical renovation but still the lighting doesn’t create any dark spots in the room. Get inspired by the use of white in the staircase, a section of the ceiling and reception desk with finishes that perfectly complement each other creating a cohesive look. The use of glass on the stairs opens up the area giving it a dramatic feel. This chic cosmetic dental office is perfect for a new practice or a renovation that gives your clients striking features to admire.

Photo credit Joao Morgado - Architecture Photography
Photo credit: Joao Morgado – Architecture Photography

Unconventional Dental Office Design

This unique dental office, best described as a modern practice with innovative interior design, was developed and implemented by Pedra Silva Architects in Chatswood NSW 2067, Australia. We love how this particular dental office takes the modern approach in commercial office renovation. From comfortable seating to a stunning ceiling, this dental office certainly has character. How beautiful are these wooden paned walls and ceiling? In fact, the use of wood in this clinic is what gives it an inviting and warm look. The cozy seating tends to make the waiting area feel like that chic restaurant where you’d get your favorite coffee every evening. The walls and ceiling create fine architectural lines which convert the entire dental office into a modern and simplistic space that adds a special drama without going over-the-top in the design. The operating rooms have a somewhat different design with great use of shades of white and open space. Lighting fixtures are installed in the treatment rooms to take the style of this dental clinic a notch higher.

Photo credit: Fernando Guerra | FG+SG
Photo credit: Fernando Guerra | FG+SG

Elegant And Sleek Dental Clinic

As you design your dental office, you want a space where you can work efficiently and effectively while showcasing your uniqueness in a stunning design. This dental clinic in Las Palmas, Spain addresses all these concerns. Not only do they use updated technology to provide the best patient care but also a convenient floor plan that works for their staff and patients. The interior designed by Padilla Nicás Arquitectos has bold and comfortable seating that adds character to the room. Those chairs are absolutely exquisite, and they look like they’ve been taken from a classy apartment. We are totally falling for the pendant lights used in this dental office design. It is known that lighting is especially important in areas like the treatment rooms because it helps to prevent eye strain and fatigue. Here the lighting also contributes to a warm and inviting ambience in the reception area and through the hallways. This clean and modern dental office design has a striking appeal that is achieved by using the perfect finishes. We have seen how things as simple as a comfy and colorful seating area can transform what would otherwise appear to be a dull and cold reception area. The reception area has a really nice and playful look and the ambience is enjoyable and casual, which is important to achieve if you have younger patients visiting your dental office regularly.

Photo credit: José Hevia
Photo credit: José Hevia

Simple And Modern Dental Office Design

And this one is our favorite, we’ve kept it for your as a desert. Ready? This dental clinic design by OOS AG Architects (Lucerne, Switzerland) incorporates fun and colorful finishes in the reception and social areas and then uses white in the treatment rooms. It is a perfect combination of colors to create a clear distinction between the environments. The treatment rooms look white and bright to make them look serene and hygienic. We love how the layout and accessories complement each other and point in the right direction. The reception area certainly feels peaceful and relaxing. The colors used in this design are pretty much basic, but they still create that inviting feeling that you’d want in a dental practice. You don’t have to invest in an interior that is too busy or filled with lots of accessories, different accents and finishes in order to create a more attractive dental office. This design uses simplicity to achieve an enjoyable and attractive look. Each zone has its unique color palette and we think it’s an interesting strategy to make the rooms appear distinct but maintain a style that complements each other. No more words, just check out the photos!

Photo credit: Claudia Luperto & Dimitri Semko
Photo credit: Claudia Luperto & Dimitri Semko

Article provided by SNR Contracting Ltd.

Professional Medical And Dental Office Renovator in Toronto



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Shape your space at the Toronto Fall Home Show

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Shape your space at the Toronto Fall Home Show

Get the inspiration and tips you need to organize your space at Toronto’s 29th annual largest Fall Home Show at the Enercare Centre, Exhibition Place (100 Princes’ Boulevard, Toronto) beginning Friday, September 15 and running until Sunday, September 17.

Discover ideas and answers to overcome household challenges and find innovative products for your next project — whether big or small — plus shop great deals from over 300 retailers. Everything you need to shape your space is waiting for you at the Toronto Fall Home Show featuring industry pros and experts including Sharon Grech, Carson Arthur, Leigh Ann Allaire Perrault, Jo Alcorn, Yvonne Tremblay and many more.

“Become inspired and informed with helpful advice at the Toronto Fall Home Show,” says Denise Hayward, show manager. “Organizing your space, whether it is big or small, a house or a condo, is everyone’s goal. Visitors come to the Toronto Fall Home Show to get ideas and tips for tackling their reno challenge, discovering small space inspiration and choosing the right technology for their home.”


From home interiors, renovation advice, DIY, small spaces for the home, local experts and celebrities offer insight on all your home projects and challenges. Some of this year’s line-up on the main stage includes:

Carson Arthur: International landscape designer and outdoor expert, featured on Cityline, Critical Listing, Home to Win, presented by Gladiator Garageworks will reveal the 10 biggest landscaping mistakes we make in our homes and how to correct them.

Sharon Grech: Benjamin Moore paint expert will show key looks in home interiors and share her tips to help you navigate through common colour myths to choose the perfect paint colour.

Kate Davidson and Linda Mazur: The designer offer tips on creating the perfect bathroom.

Yvonne Tremblay: Food and Nutrition Specialist from Foodland provides fall recipes using in-season, local Ontario grown and raised ingredients.

Jo Alcorn: Host of HGTV’s Home To Win will show you how to make every inch count in your small space with clever solutions.

Leigh-Ann Allaire Perrault: Cityline design and DIY expert gives advice on upcycling without spending a dime.


Inspired by the latest fashion trends, celebrity and DIY experts are taking part in the Sixth Annual Upcycle Challenge with the them: Ultimate Runway to Room. Participants will choose a piece from any of the 10 Habitat for Humanity GTA ReStores and — taking their inspirations from the runway — will use their DIY skills to create an upcycled one-of-a-kind masterpiece.

“The Ultimate Upcycle Challenge: Runway to Room is the perfect way the experts show how easy it is to be creative with upcycling a piece of furniture to give it new life,” says Hayward. “Limited only by their imaginations, they will translate a look from the runway into the perfect accent piece for the home.”

Confirmed participants include: Allaire Perrault, Alcorn, Michelle Mawby, Anne Renshaw, Evelyn Eshun, Nicholas Rosaci, Erica Gelman, Janice Fedak, Lindsey Gerish, David White, Debra Norton, Fiona Debell, Cristina Barbosa and Anna Rocoski. An online voting contest will run from September 8 to 16 to determine the winning project. You can make an offer and can walk away with your favourite piece with all entries on display and for sale at the Toronto Fall Home Show from September 15 to 17, with proceeds going to support Habitat for Humanity GTA.


Do you have a to-do list, but are not sure how to get those projects accomplished? Learn the hands-on skills you need to complete DIY projects alongside experts. From storage and organization to home maintenance, you’ll have the opportunity to get your hands dirty and try something new!


Nowhere to put your designer coffee mugs? Shoes strewn all about? Based on consumer feedback and suggestions, the Toronto Fall Home Show is going to build and solve three of the most common household issues as it relates to storage and organization.


You’ll find plenty of innovative products and great decor solutions to inspire a wide array of projects for your home. Find the latest ideas, trending and new products with Tina’s Favourite Fall Finds. Show manager, Toronto Home Shows, Holmes has selected a few of her favorites. Look for them at the show!


Wondering where to start on a home renovation? Visit RenoMark’s Destination Renovation to get all the tools you need. Complimentary one-on-one advice from expert RenoMark renovators will offer advice on how to select a renovator, insight on what the best renovation would be to deliver maximum ROI, and tips on how to ensure the project gets finished smoothly.


Interior designer Terry Edward Briceland brings decor inspiration and trends to life through vivid displays. Interior designers and decorators will be on hand offering tailored advice through complimentary, one-on-one consults. These consultations provide the opportunity to share design woes — including pictures, samples and floorplans — to get tailored advice on how to restyle your space. Book your free 15-minute consultation with Terry Edward Briceland (booth designer), Elaine Bergen, Glen Peloso, Jamie Alexander, Evelyn Eshun, Paul Semkuley, Kate Davidson, Linda Mazur, Yvonne Whelan, Erica Gelman, Janice Fedak, Karolina Adamska, Rosalia Fazzari, Kristiina Roosimaa or Catherine-Lucie Horber and have your design questions answered on the spot. Check www.renoanddecor.com for updated appearance schedules.


Craving the perfect outdoor space? Want to build a pool, deck or patio? Before you start, ask the experts. If you’ve ever had a burning question about your landscape construction project, they will have the answers. Get all your landscape questions answered with Ask the Certified Landscape Designer presented by Natural Landscape Group and Outdoor Lifestyle Magazine.


Shop, save and walk away with great buys on a huge selection of quality furniture and home furnishings from Stanley Furniture while you shop in support of Canadian HIV/ AIDS.

Enercare Centre, Exhibition Place
100 Princes’ Boulevard, Tloronto
September 15 to 17



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Designing for Comfort

Designing for Comfort

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Designing for Comfort

by Cynthia Soda

Ergonomics is concerned with the relationship between users and objects. It sets parameters based on scientific study for designing and arranging things people use so that the people and things interact most efficiently and safely. Practical examples of the application of ergonomic study include standard working heights of surfaces and that are comfortable (or uncomfortable) such as the desk chair in your office. We, as professional designers, almost intrinsically know how to apply these principles to our clients’ environments. The thing is, if everything around you fits and works with you, you don’t think about it. It’s when it suddenly doesn’t sit right, and your hand starts cramping at your workstation or your counters are too high, do you notice it. Designers have a distinct responsibility to all of our clients to think about the comfort of the end user.

When we set out to create functional and beautiful spaces for our clients, we are starting down a path that will ultimately lead to the optimization of our clients’ well-being and overall satisfaction. Having said that, the practical facet of designing for comfort only touches on one aspect of our design process and applies to everyone. It’s the emotional aspect of comfort that truly sets our designs apart for our clients. If you’ve created a space that works perfectly but evokes little to no emotion from the user, what fun is that? Enter — “why I love my job”. In a world that is constantly evolving, where there is perpetual change, it forces us to dig deeper. My clients LOVE to scour online resources like Houzz and Pinterest to send me ideas of what they like, dislike and covet for their space. They also have their own collections and interests that need to be incorporated one way or another and it is our duty to ensure that those cherished “things” are thought about and incorporated. After all, home is where the heart is, right?

I remember joking with my husband after we had moved into our first home together that home is really where your stuff is. It was that first feeling of visiting our parents in what suddenly became “their house” and it was time to go “home” that stuck with me. Suddenly we were without the comforts of home. We didn’t have everything that was ours at our fingertips. We suddenly felt more at ease in our own space where we could make our own decisions and mistakes and be surrounded by the colours and things that told our story. As designers, we need to tell our clients’ story through our filter. That’s why they hire us. If they knew exactly what they wanted and how they wanted it, they wouldn’t pick up the phone in the first place.

An important skill that we develop early on in our career is to listen, observe and pay attention to nuances in order to ensure that at the end of the day, our clients feel great walking through their door. They have a sense of pride of place and all the comforts of home are at the ready and incorporated in an efficient but meaningful way. The ultimate result is a well designed space that reflects our client’s personality and ensures both physical and emotional comfort for years to come.

CYNTHIA SODA is the Owner and Principal Interior Designer of Soda Pop Design Inc., a multi-disciplinary interior design firm providing complete custom renovation and design services for residential and commercial clients throughout the GTA.



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