Kitchen Pantry Project adds function

Recently, I helped a client with a modest kitchen and no separate pantry get organized. It was tricky for the home owners to take advantage of sales on non-perishables, for instance, because there was insufficient space in the kitchen to store things until they were needed. However, the kitchen opens on to the family room and this provided a good solution.

I suggested we modify the broom closet in the family room, mere steps from the kitchen. This was a good sized space with a bi-fold door and many shelves — but the shelves were just a bit difficult to reach to be practical on a daily basis. [Read more…]

How to sell a home you’ve lived in for decades, Part 2

I’ve been writing about the strengths and weaknesses you might be faced with when trying to sell an older home. The good: mature neighbourhood, mature trees, proximity to amenities, more space than modern builds. The not-so-good: maintenance and reno issues, tired-looking cabinets, worn-out finishes (flooring, countertops, tile, backsplash)  in areas such as kitchen, baths and powder rooms, a dated feel to key rooms.

Before you panic, let’s consider other aspects of your property, and practical solutions.

Chances are you need a fresh paint job throughout – the good news is that a paint job is the easiest, least expensive home staging task you can undertake. You can do the work [Read more…]

Room Makeovers – are they for you?

A room makeover – just what you need to shake off the blahs!

What is a room makeover?

Reviving and refreshing a space with:

Colour  (paint, accent pieces, art);

Lighting (lamps, window treatments, skylights);

Furniture layout (identify focal point, maximize the space in the room, create flow);

Furniture choices (make the most of pieces the client owns; source pieces that give the client the biggest bang for their buck)

A room makeover is not taking down walls, rewiring, modifying ceiling height, and other structural changes.

That’s a renovation, and you need a professional interior designer.

Before you embark on a room makeover, consider this:

[Read more…]

Easy Organizing Tips – #5

Happy New Year! We have another fresh start! So let’s start it as well organized and clutter-free as possible…

Whether you’re selling your home or continuing to dwell there, a tidy place helps enormously. I love to be able to find something the moment I need it. I don’t like to spend tons of time dusting. I like my “stuff” to be in good condition and usable when needed. Maybe I’m just impatient, but this is what works for me, and it’s what will work for you when you’re putting your home on the market.

I read a great article the other day in the community newspaper, Vistas, about recycling.  [Read more…]

Amanda Forrest charms her audience!

Best known for her many appearances on The Marilyn Denis Show on CTV over the last few years, Amanda Forrest is even funnier and more vivacious in person.

In a delightful presentation last evening at the Beth Shalom Community Centre in Ottawa’s West end, Amanda kept us totally engaged as she talked about her personal background, her career as an interior designer, marketing and branding a business, and, at the end, how to add drama to your living room. She was generous with her time and her suggestions!

While Amanda couldn’t tell us precisely when her appearances will occur on TV, she confirmed that it’s twice a month, according to her contract, and occasionally, a bit more often on special topics. Follow her on Instagram, she suggests, if you really want to know when she’s doing a show.

I know that I, for one, will be tuning in more often to see if I can catch her spots on the show. Her enthusiasm and passion, and extraordinary sincerity, not to mention her interior design smarts, make her a great face to put on the Canadian interior design industry.

And she said she liked my jacket at the end! I may never take this thing off!