Tag Archives: Small Spaces

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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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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AT HOME WITH MEN AT WORK: Big living in small spaces

Big living in small spaces

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Big living in small spaces

Photography by Valerie Wilcox

Living in Toronto holds its fair share of perks; however, the luxury of space is by no means one of them. If you’ve ever been in the market to buy a house in the city, you’ll understand just how valuable real estate here can be. With the average Toronto house running just shy of 1,950 sq. ft., we’re seeing more and more homeowners hold onto their valuable lots who opt to renovate or remodel to create more functional living space and storage, rather than fleeing the city for larger properties.

As a seasoned, Toronto-based design build company, we are constantly on the hunt for innovative and clever solutions to help us utilize every last square inch of living space in our clients’ homes. Whether it be toying around with the reconfiguration of the existing house, or opting to add on a sizeable addition, improving functional living space for urban homeowners is something we are proud to call ourselves experts in.

Here are some small-space design tips to consider when planning your next home renovation project:

Function first

There is no logical way to design a space until you determine its primary function. Identify spatial needs by determining how you plan to use your home. What people and purpose will it serve? Consider your lifestyle. How often will you entertain, or what type of entertaining do you plan to do? Does your job require a home office area to work from? Identifying your living needs—keeping in mind growing children and any future family additions—will allow you to plan with purpose, something that’s paramount to a successful renovation.

Free up the floor plan

Decades ago, homes were designed and built around the idea that every room had a very specific function. The kitchen— often small and shoved in the back of the house —was for preparing food; the dining room was formal and intended for proper sitting meals; and the living room was for relaxing and entertaining. While a traditional-style floor plan might be nice to have in theory, it’s not as practical or desirable as it once was. Cultural norms and lifestyles have evolved to the point where people prioritize convenient, multi-functional spaces that allow individual activities and social togetherness to coexist.

Open-concept floor plans also eliminate the need for circulation areas between rooms, such as halls, stairs and walkways, which pose as major space hogs in the floor plan. Freeing up this space gives your designer much more square footage to play with when designing your new layout.

Build in storage everywhere

When you choose to undertake a home renovation project, you can begin to really customize the storage and organization options that go into the new design. Start with identifying the storage that you find useful in your current home, and from there, make a list of features that you’d want to incorporate into your new home. Most old-Toronto homes suffer from a lack of usable storage, so the extra effort required to iron out the details of a great storage design plan is worth the time and money.

With a growing family comes growing space and storage needs. Before deciding that the only way to meet those needs is to move, sit down with a designer and weigh out your renovation options first. You might be surprised with the degree of improvement that a simple remodelling job can do for your family.

Jessica Millard joined Men At Work Design Build in 2017 while studying at Ryerson University.

The Toronto-based firm offers integrated engineering, design and professional construction services for addition and major renovation projects on old Toronto homes.

Jessica has been involved in various internal departments within the firm, including design, production and marketing.


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BIG STYLE, SMALL SPACES: Finishing Touches

Tips to help you choose your new home finishes

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Tips to help you choose your new home finishes

Once you’ve figured out your home’s style, the rest comes pretty naturally – including picking the right finishes for your house, inside and out. Here are a few tips on helping you decide which way you’re leaning towards when choosing the right finish for you.

TAKE YOUR TIME

I say this with everything related to home decor and design, but it bears repeating: Take your time and don’t rush through any decision. It can become paralyzing when you think about everything you need to do – including picking every finish for every room – so know that you don’t have to replace every door knob and every hinge in a week. Slow it down and take your time, and move from room-to-room. That way you know you’re making an informed decision and will end up with a look you love. Trust me when I say you will appreciate the process of making the right choices.

LIGHTING

Choosing the lighting fixtures for the house is one of the many details you need to plan when decorating a new space, but to make the decisions more manageable, I’ve broken a home down room-by-room to share some suggestions.

• Entryway: The right lighting for an entryway is critical because it sets the mood and it can make your home look very inviting. A large lamp or chandelier can be lovely. If you have nice artwork displayed on your walls, accent lights can help to enhance their inherent beauty.

• Living room: Used as a place to relax as well as entertain, you will need to figure out the right balance in this space because this room is used quite often. There certainly are plenty of lighting options to choose from, like pendant lamps, chandeliers, floor lamps or sconces, so do a little gut check and remind yourself what your home’s overall style is and choose the lighting fixture that best compliments that. Also, don’t forget a dimmer switch. That truly makes all the difference.

• Dining room: I think this might be the easiest room to light primarily because you have the dining table as the main focal point in the room, so that means one thing: chandelier. Although pendant lights have also been gaining momentum, so again it goes back to your own personal style. Consider adding a task lamp or accent lights, too, if you wish to spotlight a certain feature in the room.

• Kitchen: Because there isn’t a single focal point in the room, it requires a more complex lighting system because of all the lighting the space requires. You’ll need overhead lights for your basic kitchen tasks, but you will also need extra lighting for areas like over a kitchen island or over the sink. I think spotlights and pendant lights both work here.

• Bedroom: Warm, warm, warm is the name of the lighting game here – you want your bedroom respite to feel restful and relaxing. Typically task lighting is used on bedside tables, but you can have beautiful sconces as well. Accent lights could be an option, depending on what you have on your walls, and I’d also use a dimmer switch here. It’s all about ambiance!

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: Crafted

How to select a floorplan for your home

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How to select a floorplan for your home

It’s so exciting when you’re in the process of choosing a home! John and I are giddy over the place we’re building in Arizona, and although it’s taking a lot (a lot!) of work, we know it will be worth it in the end. In saying that, it’s also a major decision and one you can’t take lightly, so before you decide on anything else when it comes to your new home, it’s important to think about the floorplan first: this is what truly shapes how you experience your house, from the size and shape to where the rooms are located.

Here I take a look at some factors in choosing the right floorplan for you:

WHAT SIZE OF HOME BEST SUITS YOUR FAMILY?

Every family home doesn’t need to be this mammoth, sprawling compound, nor will every family feel comfortable in a two-bedroom abode. Choosing a floorplan should start with how large a home will fit your lifestyle: assess how many bedrooms you will need and how many bathrooms are enough for you – and for visiting guests.

WHAT’S YOUR DESIGN STYLE?

Every homeowner has their own design style, so choosing a floorplan is also about deciding which plan meets those needs, too. Do you like traditional, or prefer a more modern, open-floor concept? Take a moment to think about your furnishings and how you foresee decorating your space.

Typically coordinated colours are the most important when designing an open floorplan – so it’s best to keep this in mind.

WHAT ARE THE PROS AND CONS?

I’m going to tell you that there’s no such thing as a perfect floorplan – it doesn’t exist – so there will always be a bit of give or take (and some compromise) on your ideal floorplan situation. Say, for example, you have a large window in your living room: That will eat up energy, so your cooling and heating bills will be higher. What if you have an open, spacious floorplan that doesn’t allow for much privacy between a family room and an office? These are the things you have to discuss ahead of time. How you live in your home, what your routines are and how that will impact layout. You need to base decisions on how the home flows and how functional it is for daily life.

TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS

Yes, this is true. You have the ability to know when a space feels right, comfortable and fits the family’s needs. There are plenty of floorplans out there, so just take your time and assess how your whole family will move throughout your house.

KNOW YOUR BUDGET

This goes without saying, but stay on course with a realistic floorplan, not one that’s heavily idealized (and heavily priced). Ask a contractor or builder to help you determine the costs associated with different types of floorplans so you know what fits in your overall budget.

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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