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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Old Man Winter

No friend of mine, his icy grip on us here in the heart of the country seems relentless. At only the start of February it feels like winter has been with us far too long. I am dubious of promises of reprieve but hopeful just the same. Groundhogs and shadows. Weather forecasts and Almanacs. Whatever we look to for promises of spring there is one thing we know for certain...  

we still have a couple of months of the white stuff to deal with and cold is a certainty, no matter how 'balmy' we try to tell ourselves it is at -10.

There is no cure all.  Well, there is but we can't all just pack up and move to California.  I can, however, offer a suggestion which helps me to get through the tail end of winter.


There is something about freshening a room which can make even the dreariest and coldest of days seem brighter. If we cannot go outside then we can, at the very least, relax and enjoy our newly zazzed up space.

I am an avid reader/subscriber to such publications as Dwell, Metropolitan Home, Canadian House and Home and a number of other home decor mags. Decorating advice abounds in all of them, some of it beyond most budgets, some of it large in scope, but there are always a goodly number of ideas which can be tackled easily by just about anyone. Gleaned from Interior Designer contributors, here are a few of my favorite tips for easily freshening up any room.


Pretty obvious but more often than not I hear people lament that it is a daunting task or that they are afraid to try a bold new color.

Okay, then, how about just one wall? Create a feature wall using an emboldened color choice. You'll probably love the results well enough to be inspired to paint the rest of the room. Pick a complementary or contrasting color to your accessories and you'll find that those same old accessories suddenly pop in the room.


Though not typically part of a Designer's lexicon I can think of no better description. Create a whole new feeling in a room by moving your furniture. Lose a chair or add one. Swap out family room side tables with the living room tables. Shrink a conversation area and create a cosy reading corner outside of the grouping. Simply moving large pieces within a room can make that space feel entirely new.


Anonymous dining room before and after.

There is something about the simplicity of having less on display which invigorates your soul. Clean lines and minimal displays in a room make it seem more airy. The best description I have heard, and I have heard time and again, is that a minimalistic approach to decorating makes you feel like you can really breathe in a room. I have found it liberating to do more with less.

Start by taking down all of your accessories from shelves, table tops and walls. Sort through them and pick out your very favorites. Instead of a large grouping of family photographs pick out a few you love the most and place them in matching frames to create a simple, smaller, grouping on a table top or wall. Give an adored object an entire shelf to itself. Pack the remaining tchochkas away in a basket so that you can rotate them when you need to give the room a new lift.

Accent With One Color

Start with a blank canvas by taking all accessories out of the room. Pick a single color and then thread it back into the room with your accessories. Pick up a few new items in that color, from inexpensive candles to a new lamp or shade and work them into the room. A minimalistic approach works best as you don't want to overwhelm the room with too many things.

Add Art

Whether its a fabulous gallery piece you've had your eye on or a grouping of your children's most colorful and interesting pieces, art adds enough new visual interest to make a tired room come alive again. If you're art commitment-phobic then consider Adzif wall decals.  There are an astonishing number of beautiful graphics to select from.

Utilize Flower Power

Nothing, and I mean nothing, especially in the dead of winter, makes a room feel more summery than fresh flowers. 

Line up a row of vintage salt shakers with small single stems. Pick up a beautiful vase and show off a small group of gerber daisies. Replenish the flowers as they start to fade. The color and aroma of fresh cut flowers can make the last leg of winter far more tolerable.

Visit Us!

From repurposing to revitalizing, we're always happy to offer up a few suggestions. We also have an abundance of truly unique and deliciously inspiring accessories and lighting to select from to help you create a dazzling room.

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