Tag Archives: Lisa Rogers

Add style to your space by layering some key accessories for the fall season

Add style to your space by layering some key accessories for the fall season

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Add style to your space by layering some key accessories for the fall season

Now that the cooler season is upon us, it’s time to make our homes feel cosy for all of those times we may spend indoors. This decor trend is all about layering up some of your favourite accessories and soft furnishings so your space feels warm, inviting and welcoming for your family and guests.

Here’s some of my favourite suggestions:

Warm up

Cooler fall temperatures mean it’s time to switch up your breezy summer linens for snug duvets that raise the comfort factor in your bedroom. Be open to mixing prints and patterns with your duvet, bed sheets and throw blankets and add interesting textural elements with big pillows in different fabrics.

Living room layers

Consider adding a smaller rug atop your existing rug (or hardwood floor) to add an extra layer of warmth in your living room space (faux hide or a nubby tufted wool would work); add ottomans and warm throw blankets to inspire a space that invites relaxation and lounging on those colder days you don’t feel like leaving the house.

Accessories

Layer some of your favourite artwork on a fireplace mantle, bedroom dresser or side table mixing small frames leaning against your larger artwork. Switching out your artwork gives your space a fresh, new look for a new season.

That lived-in feel

Quality always trumps quantity: It’s a design philosophy I’ve committed to for as long as I can remember, but in saying that, when it comes to some of your cherished accessories, open shelving is the best way to showcase your collection without feeling like you’re overcrowding your entire space. Layer books, plants, small artwork and picture frames on your shelving, mixing placement and groupings. It will showcase your personality and give your home that lived-in feel.

New lighting

Warmth comes from above, so consider changing the wattage of your light bulbs, depending on the functionality of your room, to create a warmer, softer glow.

Bring the outside in

Natural accents like acorns, leaves and branches can complement your existing floral arrangements by bringing the beauty of the fall season indoors, while a variation of votive and pillar candles scattered throughout your main living areas can cast an intimate, homey glow.

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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Big Style, Small Spaces: Decorating tricks for the fall

Decorating Tricks to get your home ready for fall

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Decorating Tricks to get your home ready for fall

There are so many affordable ways to incorporate a chic autumn style into your home design when the new season hits, but that doesn’t mean you have to dip too heavily into your budget to do it. Even small changes can yield a significant impact.

Here are my top 10 decorating tricks to redecorate your space for fall:

1. Switch out pillows and throws

I always switch out my soft finishes per season. Come fall, I think about the cooler temps and staying indoors by a cozy fire, so I want my space to reflect that sense of hibernation and relaxation. I gravitate towards chunkier blankets to add a nice texture to my couch, or I’ll bring in new textiles into my bedroom: a down duvet, thicker cotton sheets, wool or chenille pillow shams, anything that makes me want to curl up with a book on a cold fall evening. Just like fall fashion, it’s all about adding up layers.

2. Play with patterns

The patterns you choose in your home will organically tell you what season you’re in, just like colours do. Summer is usually all about light, airy fabrics, bright colour stories, and florals, whereas fall is tartan and deeper tonal shades (not unlike fall’s changing leaves) and heavier fabrics. Try mixing up your rugs or your curtains with plaids or warmer colours.

3. Accent accessories in seasonal colours

The autumn is a spectrum of oranges, reds, copper, muted greens and metallics, so whether you fill a favourite vase with deep red blooms or fill a bowl with mini gourds, there are a lot of colours to choose from when playing with different accent accessories in your home. This could all work as inspiration for your Thanksgiving entertaining as well.

4. Add more light

The days get shorter throughout the fall, so add more light to your indoors by switching out your light bulbs to create either a soft glow or a bright light, depending on what kind of exposure you need, per room. I also love to add an array of candles everywhere – their cozy glow really makes me feel comfortable at home on those dark afternoons and evenings.

5. Switch up your bedding

I do this every season without fail. In the summertime it’s all about keeping things as airy as possible, so I always go for the lightest fabrics possible on my bed: linen, lightweight cotton, anything that feels gauzy and breezy against the skin. Come autumn, I’m all about bundling up and feeling warm and protected. I’ll change my bedcover into a more substantial version, whether it’s a quilted cover or a plush duvet. I’ll also add a throw blanket at the end of my bed for those chillier nights when I need it.

6. Arrange fall flowers

Take note: No fake flowers! They just don’t have the same feeling like the real thing, so instead use dahlias, ranunculus or any foraged clippings from your own backyard to create a fall-inspired arrangement that would look lovely on a kitchen table or a mantlepiece. I love taking branches from a pine tree (with the pinecones still attached) to use as an arrangement – they last all winter too. Sunflowers and Alstroemeria are also gorgeous. I’ll fill several vases throughout my home so as I walk throughout, I’m met with all of these bright pops of colour.

7. Spruce up your front door (or porch)

Fill a pair of planters with fall flowers, outdoor lanterns or faux pumpkins and gourds to create a welcoming entrance for all of your fall guests.

8. Add seasonal colours to your winter gardens

Fill your gardens and window boxes with white or purple ornamental cabbages or English ivy. It adds a bit of cheery colour to our dark winter days, plus everything will survive through our frosty temperatures and keep your landscape looking beautiful well into springtime.

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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How to decorate your deck for the summertime

How to decorate your deck for the summertime

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How to decorate your deck for the summertime

If you’re like me and you spend a lot of time outdoors, creating a warm and inviting space to chill out and enjoy nature is important. Whether we’re entertaining friends and family, or simply enjoying a morning cup of coffee, our exterior environment is equally as important as inside our home. I’ve spent a lot of time decorating our decks in our homes in Etobicoke, Muskoka and (eventually) Arizona so we always have a place outside that’s comfortable, while still in keeping with our interior design aesthetic.

Focus on furniture

Select natural materials and finishes to give an overall sense of calm and peace for your backyard deck. Teak furniture is ideal as you don’t have to store it indoors during the winter, while faux wicker pieces have a great organic feel, never break down and are really easy to clean. If you get a lot of direct sunlight, create shade with a cantilever umbrella. Transportable, small tables also work well as a convenient place to lay down a book or place a cocktail!

Pillows

Linger on your deck into the evening hours with friends and family by softening your deck and seating area with colourful, durable accent pillows in an array of lovely summer shades. Make sure you buy pillows that are constructed with outdoor fabrics so nature doesn’t take its toll. Toss them on your patio chairs, a sectional or a bench for an instant colour lift.

Build a small garden

Before you start selecting what plants and flowers you’re going to use, make sure you evaluate your sun exposure, wind and general temperature zone your home is in. All of that will affect which blooms will grow best.

Whether beside the patio/deck door, along the stairs or a railing, scatter beautiful potted plants all over in varying size and shape, while also using a bunch of annuals and perennials for beautiful shots of colour. There’s certainly no shortage of planters available, so you can virtually find any size and style that suits you. This is the time I also plant my favourite herbs (a sunny patio is the perfect spot to grow them), along with a tomato plant or two. If you’re uncertain what to plant where, your best bet is to go to a garden store so they can answer any questions you have.

Throw down a stylish outdoor rug

Turn your patio or deck into an outdoor living room by accessorizing with an outdoor rug that’s all-weather and durable. It will lend a cosy vibe to the space, plus it’s nice not to have to wear shoes! They add a nice textural element, while also being highly functional (they will help anything from being tracked when you move in/outdoors). Opt for a rug in a neutral colour so as to blend in with your existing deck (and furniture) as best as possible.

Create privacy

Love your deck, but not your view? Block out your street, a busy intersection or that nosy neighbour by using a row of evergreens to form a privacy wall where you need it. It’s the easiest way to build an intimate, private space in your backyard. I love faux hedges and plants, too! Definitely less maintenance, and they last for years. If you have the space, consider a retractable awning, that will not only protect you from the sun, but will also act as an anchor to your space giving a more intimate feel.

Alternatively, you could install a wooden lattice wall to one side of your deck and plant clematis and climbing roses that will naturally grow up the lattice. Over time they’ll form a gorgeous wall of blooms.

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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Big Style, Small Spaces

Transform an empty space into something fabulous

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Transform an empty space into something fabulous

When I was tasked with designing the Kingsway Village Square suites, a stunning new eight-storey luxury rental building in Etobicoke by Dunpar Homes, I knew I wanted to optimize the square footage as much as I could.

Although the specific suites I was asked to design are some of the smaller ones in the building, that doesn’t mean I had to scrimp on style or functionality. In fact, with the right eye and employing smart strategies, I was able to transform each unit into something spectacular and spacious.

Whether you’re downsizing from a home into a suite, or you’re looking for inventive ways to transform an existing room or small space, these tips are some of my best-laid plans.

Paint your walls white

The effect of colour in a home can be huge, and it plays a big part in how you dress a small space. Just like fashion, it’s a rather simple rule of thumb: Lighter colours will make you or the room look more prominent, whereas darker colours will make you or the room appear smaller.

With the Kingsway Village Square units, I kept the main living areas a beautiful neutral white – my constant, go-to colour – to give the feeling of freshness, airiness, and space. If I were to paint those walls dark, say a navy blue or anything more saturated, you’d feel a bit crowded in, and that’s not going to help make the space feel roomy. Plus, that leaves very little room to switch things up in my decor: A white palette on the walls gives me the freedom and flexibility to change my furnishings around if I so desire. The same can’t be said if I have to work with a different colour.

If you are a fan of colour, don’t feel like you have to reject it entirely, either. Use it elsewhere in your home, such as a powder room or a bedroom. Both could work really well, especially as a feature wall, or use it in your artwork or soft finishes, such as pillows, throws, and blankets.

Don’t fight with your furniture

When I walk into a room, I want my eye to wander around the entire space and not get stuck on the particular furniture I have in the area. So I used legs on the furniture. Elte Markets, a more affordable sister brand of Elte, has some fantastic pieces this season, most of which I used to furnish the model suites at Kingsway Village Square. I wanted people to walk into the suite where your eye is tricked into seeing through and under everything, because every piece is propped by some legs. No furniture is flush and heavy on the floor, each is “lifted” to create good flow and harmony in each room. There’s no heavy, massive couch that dominates the living room and goes down to the floor with a skirt. No, thank you! Each of my bedside tables in the bedroom have legs, the chairs have legs, everything has legs. It’s a small trick, but one that I promise will yield the most significant impact. Your room will instantly feel larger because of it.

Keep your overall colour palette neutral, nix all those acccessories

Whether in the kitchen, dining room or bedroom, I always steer clear of too much clutter as well as too bold colour choices, unless I’m playing around with the soft furnishings. Again, the lighter you go, and the less stuff you have, the more open your room will feel. I’m not a minimalist by any means, but I do think there is something to be said for having a few, choice accessories in a room as opposed to bombarding it with every one of your favourite knick-knacks. My general rule of thumb is always, for every one thing you put out, put something away.

Keep calm and carry on

I wanted to keep the kitchen as neutral as possible so it could blend seamlessly into the overall design and feel of the space, so I removed all the hardware and handles from all the cabinets. I wanted lovely, clean lines and with handles. You don’t get that, all you get is busyness. To me, it doesn’t give the impression of an inviting space. Now, I’m no modernist, but there’s something about this look that inspires the exact feeling I want: Calmness.

The same sentiment applies for the bedroom: I opted for mesh roller blinds (you could go either white or black) because the fabrication is very effervescent. They frame and balance the room well, so it isn’t too busy, and your eye isn’t drawn to fussy curtains. The black-bronze curtain rods and silver grommets help to keep the look elegant, while also not weighing down the space.

Pump up your colour with soft finishes and furnishings

For bigger pieces, whether it is a couch, bed frame or dining table, I work with lighter fabrics and lighter shades. However, one area I do play with colour is in my soft finishes and furnishings, such as artwork, duvet covers, pillows, throw blankets, accessories, and even big coffee table books. This is where you can have some fun, and it also doesn’t cost a lot. If the mood strikes where I want to switch up my space, I can do it with my soft furnishings quite easily. Williams Sonoma, IKEA, and Pottery Barn all have beautiful selections.

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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Choosing your cottage style:

When choosing your cottage style, it’s the little touches that count

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When choosing your cottage style, it’s the little touches that count

Now that summer is here, it’s time to discuss different ways you can update your cottage for the new season. This isn’t about redecorating your entire space, but more about little touches you can bring to your country home that will make it feel refreshed and new for the summer season ahead.

Whatever your style is: Quaint, rustic, pretty or traditional, all it takes is a few choice accessories and soft finishes to make your cottage feel fresh and new. Consider it a mini-makeover! Here are some suggestions:

Refresh with soft finishes

I love a relaxed, natural feel to my cottage where I can walk into the space and feel instantly relaxed and comfortable, so when we come back up for the summer, I always bring a bunch of new carpets, wicker baskets, and lanterns to freshen up the space. All of the pieces have a rustic look to them, almost as if to say I found them at some small antique shop in town.

Out with the old, in with the new

So many cottages have this old-school, tired look to them. They’re typically really dark, and full of tired old chairs and furniture. I like to brighten up the space – literally. Because many country homes have greater natural light exposure, I want to take advantage of that, so I’d re-paint the walls in oyster shell, cream or light grey, and I’d switch out any heavy, dark wood furniture with something lighter, whether it be something like wicker, or even painted white. Slipcovered furniture is also very popular in a cottage look because it offers relaxed and easily updated furnishings.

Fun with fabrics

Choose fabrics that suit the vibe of your cottage home: If you only spend summers here, consider gauzy linens, burlap, cottons and jute. They feel breezy and airy, and really go with a relaxed, comfortable setting.

Accessories

It’s always fun to update your space with accessories, but remember what I always say: edit your finds, and don’t overcrowd your space. The same rule applies to your cottage. Although it’s very tempting to meander through all of the wonderful antique and vintage shops in cottage country and buy everything you see, thinking it’s just perfect for the cottage, it’s best to be selective with what you actually buy for your home. My weakness is serving platters, plates, bowls, you name it, so if I find some charming options when I’m shopping, I’ll always pick up a few new ones for entertaining at the cottage. You can also refresh your space with new picture frames, throw pillows, lampshades or bed linens, too.

Flowers, flowers, flowers

My favourite thing about a cottage home is walking through a room full of freshly-picked blooms. I love my gardens at my cottage, so I take full advantage of what they grow in the summer and use all the wildflowers and plants as design inspiration inside.

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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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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Wallpaper is making a big comeback

Wallpaper is making a big comeback

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Wallpaper is making a big comeback

Every season brings has its fair share of home decor trends, but one such style that’s coming back for another turn around the sun causes fairly polarizing opinions: Wallpaper. Love it or hate it, this long time decorating treatment has come back to the mainstream thanks to really whimsical, on-trend prints to fabrics and inventive materials that makes the installation of wallpaper not only easier, but also removable. Installing wallpaper used to be a nightmare – all that scraping and steaming – but nowadays new technology has made it incredibly easy with adhesive formulas and even stick-and-peel fabrications that can strip off walls without that sticky residue.

Lara Skinner Mural Wallpaper. <a href="http://www.wallsauce.com" target="_blank">wallsauce.com</a>
Lara Skinner Mural Wallpaper. wallsauce.com

When choosing the right wallpaper for your own home, here are a few things to consider:

Consider the style of the room you’re decorating

What is your home style: Romantic, casual, contemporary or traditional? Decide that first, then go about choosing a wallpaper that suits that style. For example, if your look is romantic, go for delicate damasks or florals with lovely pastel colours. Beautiful! If you have a contemporary home, why not consider geometrics, metallic accents or large-scale patterns?

How do you plan on using the wallpaper?

This is obviously a critical decision: where will you install the wallpaper in your home? Remember that all styles don’t work in the same way, so if you want to cover an entire room, keep it simple. You don’t want to overwhelm a space with big patterns or large-scale designs. Stay classic with a stripe, or a muted pattern.

Also important, the choice of wallpaper should be compatible with your other furniture. You want to maintain a sense of harmony in the whole space, so remember your upholstery, furniture, curtains and other details and how they will marry with your wallpaper of choice.

Grasscloth Wallpaper
Grasscloth Wallpaper

How you will use wallpaper in the room

Next, figure out how you plan to use the wallpaper in the room. All styles don’t work in the same way. Here are the various options:

  • Cover all four walls: A classic, simple stripe design hung horizontally on all four walls gives a fresh contemporary look. Large-scale and simple designs will not overwhelm a room but add a trendy twist. My first choice is grass cloth – it has a very organic feel (it’s made from strands of actual grass woven together!). It gives texture and warmth, and you won’t get tired of it as you may with a patterned paper. My mother used it and I was always drawn to its natural beauty. Interestingly, I’m using it in my Arizona home in the TV room, as well as our master bedroom.
  • Feature wall: This is the opportunity to be dramatic! Go for a bold pattern here to help highlight an area of a room, like behind your bed, a couch or a powder room. A botanical print would work wonderfully here.
  • A ceiling: This isn’t for the faint of heart, but wow does it ever yield a result! Whether you want to mimic a Victorian-style tin ceiling look (which has been a big trend in home decor) or you want to add a unique element of surprise in a geometric print (which is a nice nod to midcentury-modern design) the ceiling is unexpected and a lot of fun.

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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Spring Decor Trends

Spring decor trends – new colours to try in your home this season

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Spring decor trends – new colours to try in your home this season

From vibrant hues to more classic neutrals, this season Pantone offers up plenty of variety in its palette. Considered the global authority on all things colour, Pantone says 2019 spring décor trends will “reflect a desire to embolden ourselves as we face the future” with colour that transcends seasonality, while remaining dynamic without being too overpowering. This year, it’s all about providing a sense of confidence, while championing our creative spirits with unexpected combinations.

I have to say: I love the sentiment! Why wouldn’t we want to take charge of our futures full-steam ahead, and what better way for us to do that then to create a home that energizes us to do exactly that. It’s interesting – we don’t even realize most of the time just how impactful colour is on our daily lives – it can uplift our spirits to give us a sense of positivity and hopefulness, just as much as it can drag us down and leave us feeling, well, frankly, less than that. Colour has the ability to do that, so what I love mostly about this year’s Pantone selects is that there is plenty to choose from, so whatever your ideas are this season for some fresh spring décor trends in your own homes, you can cherry-pick whatever colours speak to you most to start the process.

Here’s some of my favourites:

Turmeric – This spice isn’t just good for your body it’s now considered a good option for your home, too! Love how energizing the orange is with that pungent, deep palette.

Pepper Stem – Earthy, but vivid. This yellow-green is meant to encourage our desire for nature’s healthy bounty.

Lemon Verbena – Anyone else think of the Amalfi Coast (and their lemons) when you look at this colour? Just gorgeous. So fresh and cheerful.

Toffee – Rich, just like the treat, but also a beautifully classic shade.

Pressed Rose – Ah! So romantic and pretty. The pressed rose is meant to strike feelings of sentimentality.

Soybean – You know I can’t walk away from a neutral! Soybean is a favourite: more subtle and versatile. I find it quite sophisticated actually.

Eclipse – Navy has been trending for a while now, and with good reason: It’s such a sumptuous, deep blue. It’s a bit sexy, isn’t it?

Sweet Corn – Love this name and love the colour even more: Soft, almost buttery, it’s a stand-out neutral in my opinion.

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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Big Style, Small Spaces

Discover your decorating style – It’s a very personal process

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Discover your decorating style – It’s a very personal process

Do you know what your decorating style is? It feels like a simple enough question, but the answer can be more difficult to find, and deciding on what will you like (and what you will not) is a very personal process.

When it’s your own home, everything in your space inherently has to feel like “you” and that’s why it’s so critical to nail down what that actually means. Will you be happy living in a certain space with a certain style (i.e.: Traditional? Modern? Bohemian?) and then what? You need to find the pieces, colour choices and other furnishings that complement that decor style.

Whether you’re in a new, blank home that needs filling or you want to revamp your existing space, there are some tricks of the trade to help you pinpoint your favourite look. Here are a few things to consider!

Photo courtesy Covet House
Photo courtesy Covet House

Deep dive into your own life

What other interests or lifestyle choices do you consider yourself to know well? Fashion? Cooking? Look for characteristics in these other areas to give you some hints on what you may like. If you’re a minimalist in your style, perhaps you will be minimalist in your home design too.

What was your favourite vacation? Or your favourite country?

If you have fond memories of a tropical vacation and all the bold colours and patterns that go along with it, could this theme play well in your home design as well? Or if you enjoy the earthy, rustic tones of a Tuscan landscape, you might find those similar colours will lend a beloved feeling to your interiors.

Do your research

Pinterest is a great platform for all things design-oriented, and you can really go down the rabbit hole of inspired home design and décor for some fantastic ideas for your own space. I’m also still fan of home design magazines. Flipping through pages, you can easily tear out some of your favourite looks that can help you build your own mood board. Save the photos of the rooms that catch your eye and that you could envision yourself living in. Gather together a list of paint colours and fabric swatches, too. Once you bring all of this together, you should start to see a pattern forming of what you are drawn to.

Call it by its name

You may feel like you have a mish-mash of a bunch of styles together after you’ve created your mood board, so now’s the time to take your time and edit it down. What look or style is on the top of your list? Which is on the bottom? You might actually see a couple of interior design buzz words pop up: Scandi, Industrial, Modern, Minimalist, Classic, Mid- Century, and so on. Once you name your style, you can then start searching for inspiration – online or in magazines – from just these few words. Also, don’t fret if you find yourself in the middle of, say, two styles. That’s okay! I’m always between styles and often combine a few together.

Now, can you live with it?

Seems obvious, but ask yourself the question. Can I actually live in this space with this style? Consider how you live your life and who’s living with you. Your home design has to compliment your lifestyle and you have to think about the practicality of it all – your furniture, the flow of your home and everything in between.

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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home office

Have a consistent routine at your home office

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Have a consistent routine at your home office

by Lisa Rogers

Working from home has lots of advantages – the office commute is about 30 seconds, you can stick a load of laundry in between conference calls, and you can wear PJs for most of the day. The downside is you’re too close to it to get away, you don’t want to be doing laundry all day, and PJs are really a fashion crime.

Whether you work for yourself, or for a company that allows for some work from home, you still need a proper office. To start with, plan by making a list of everything you need in order to work well — natural light, tons of storage space, miles of counter top for spreading stuff around.

Where you work is important — preferably a dedicated office space in the guest bedroom, a main floor den, or the basement. This also depends on the kind of work you do – clients dropping in need a place to sit. Laptops and Wifi make it easy to move your office around, even to the back deck.

Include space for printer, phone, and resource materials. Rarely used items can be stored in the basement or a closet.

Chair

You’ll be sitting in this for six to eight hours a day, so get one that adjusts to your specific ergonomics. As pretty as leather is, refrain from buying it because you need something breathable.

Desk

Standard desks are 29 inches high, but 27 inches high is actually ergonomically better for where your arms and hands are while using a laptop. If the desk isn’t adjustable, raise your chair a little. You also need enough work space to spread out papers; if one desk won’t do it, add a second.

A writing desk is preferable to those clunky mid-century office desks – much lighter and easier to move around.

Place your desk so you have a view of the room, and of the outdoors. Remember to place it so that light falls over your shoulder.

Storage

Drawers in the desk – or in stackable containers on top – are good for having stationery, paper clips, pens, pencils, staplers close at hand. Wall mounted storage minimizes physical and visual clutter.

Wherever you keep your files – on computer, external hard drive, or in file folders – make a habit of culling regularly. If you haven’t used something in a year, toss it. (Except taxes – those you need to keep for seven years.)

Lighting

Natural light is best, especially since windows also provide good ventilation. But if that’s not possible, bump up the overhead and task lighting, like a reading lamp. If there’s no room on the desk, have it wall mounted.

Decorate

If your home office is visible from the rest of the main floor, try to tie it in decoratively, so that it blends in style, colour, and theme.

Don’t be afraid of colour, or at least adding colourful accessories. I love white space, but I still like to add colour through accessories – a Navajo blanket, or beautiful pillows on a chair. Incorporate colour as well into stationery, magazine racks, storage containers and so on. Colour affects the way you feel – orange is considered a colour that stimulates creativity, green is restful, blue is calming and yellow makes you happy.

This isn’t the corporate office, it’s your home, so get creative in making it yours, and making a place you look forward to working in. Incorporate art, lamps and accessories that convey your personality. Use what you have – turn a vase into a pen holder, wicker baskets for scrap paper, the dining sideboard for printer, phone and other supplies.

Scheduling

When you work alone, getting down to work can sometimes be hard – far easier to check out the fridge, stare into space, or run the vacuum through the main floor. Most successful people say that having a consistent routine, one that triggers the brain to get into think mode, is the only way to get things accomplished.

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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