Trend Alert: Pretty passionate pinks are the thing for spring!

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In December, Pantone, “the world-renowned authority on color” announced the 2011 Colour of the Year…

“Honeysuckle”

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This bold, energetic hue can easily be incorporated into your wardrobe and home décor.  It is fresh and upbeat, reminding us of the sunny days of summer.  It is popping up on the runways, in stores and homes.  It is stimulating and intense, just the change we need after months of dull grey skies!

This uplifting hue, a reddish pink, can be sophisticated too!  Don’t automatically attach this colour to cupcakes and ponies.  See a few tips below on how to incorporate this fun, refreshing shade into your everyday life in a grown-up way!

• In the kitchen, add linens and small accessories in this fun shade

• Add throw pillows to your sofa and bed for a punch of colour

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[Madeline Weinrib Ikat “Pink & Orange Mor” Pillow]

• Paint nails or swipe the colour on lips for a fresh look

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[OPI “Pink Flamenco” Polish]

• Upholster an accent chair in elegant velvet, instant “notice me” effect!

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[Lady Luxe Pink Chair- Modern Chic Home]

• A bright pair of pink flats or clutch are the perfect summer accessories

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[Lanvin Pink Leather Ballet Flats]

• For men, try a fun honeysuckle coloured tie with a neutral grey suit

• Paint a wall in the living room this shade; it will pop against any neutral!

• Pink peonies add a cheery burst of colour without making an investment

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• Panel drapes will add whimsy and demand attention in this colour

Visit Custom Home Interiors to find fabrics, paint and wallpaper in this shade.  Embracing this bold hue will add liveliness and freshness to your space!

Kiersten Lowden
kiersten@customhomeinteriors.ca

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Custom Home Interiors Offers a Truly Custom Co-Op Placement Experience

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Every year CHI welcomes an Algonquin College 2nd year Interior Decorating student to learn the inner workings of the company.  This year, Sarah Whetter joined the team for her co-op placement.  See what she had to say about the experience!

Image and video hosting by TinyPicCustom Home Interiors 2011 Co-Op Student Sarah Whetter

Right from the beginning I knew my experience at Custom Home Interiors as a co-op student was going to be a unique and enriching one. After assisting with a seminar set up at their main showroom located on Thurston Drive early last year, I decided that I needed to learn more about CHI.  The products and services that they offer was unlike anything I had seen in the Ottawa area previously!

Through a little serendipity, I was invited to their grand re-opening gala after visiting their incredible booth at the Home and Design Show last fall. Again, I was blown away with their level of care and commitment to their clients, other industry members and the unique line of products and services that they offer. I applied to their co-op position a few weeks later and began my placement in early March.  From day one have not stopped being amazing by the level of commitment  and passion from every member of the team at CHI.

Image and video hosting by TinyPicSarah (2nd from right) & fellow Algonquin Interior Decorating classmates
CHI Grand Re-Opening Fall 2010

At the beginning of my placement I was asked to write about what I wished to learn during my time at CHI, I found this has meant that I am getting a tailor made placement experience.  This is very typical for CHI as they are all about the clients’ wants and needs. Ensuring I get the best experience possible seems to be a priority for all employees, which not only helps me learn how the business works quite quickly, but also makes me feel very cared about and valued as a student just stepping into the design world.

Image and video hosting by TinyPicSarah gets comfortable in an oversized “Fatboy” bean bag chair, next to custom designed pillows and an original “Lisabel” painting

One thing that continues to impress me is Custom Home Interior’s willingness to continually seek out new and better products and services so that they can always offer their clientele the latest and greatest at the best value. They will also take on projects of any size, no matter how big or small. It could be a powder room make-over or the outfitting of an entire retirement complex.

Sarah Whetter
2nd year Algonquin College Student – Interior Decorating Program

Custom Home Interiors strongly supports the Algonquin Interior Decorating Program.  Director of Sales & Marketing Andrew Emmans currently sits on their advisory committee.  Many of CHI’s empolyees have graduated from this program.

It has been a pleasure having Sarah as a honourary member of the CHI family.  Her positive attitude, enthusiasm and hunger for learning has been contagious.

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Bathroom Renovations – From “Overlooked” to “Incredible”

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The bathroom is often one of the most outdated areas in the home as it is not a highly visible area.  But by tearing down the outdated wall paper and updating those mustard yellow fixtures, the value of your home can increase significantly.  So why not unveil the hidden potential that exists in your bathroom!

Minding your budget, you can choose to renovate your bathroom in one go, or work on it in stages. Either way, here are some helpful tips to make the most out of your bathroom space!

• The variety available in tiles today is endless.  Ditch the linoleum and install a beautiful porcelain tile for the floor, such as the one seen below.  This tile has the look of a linen suit, gorgeous and unique!

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• A fresh coat of paint goes a long way!  Think “spa atmosphere” and work with muted colours.  Some of my favorites from C2 include “Seraph”; a pale, soft grey, and “Parchment”; a warm fawn shade.

• Replacing the fixtures will make a huge difference.  The standard builder fixtures do not add any “sparkle” to your bathroom.  Consider the two sink faucets below.  Which one would you choose?

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standard builder Fixture

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“Dryden” Faucet by Delta

Lighting can make a world of difference in the bathroom!  A chic pot light in the shower and over head vanity light complemented by simple wall sconces make it easier to see when shaving or applying makeup.

• Small details and accessories go a long way, adding a sensible and aesthetically pleasing touch.  A stylish teak bench in the shower, glass apothecary jars on the vanity and a storage unit for towels marry practical and pretty!

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Image courtesy of: hyggenook.com

The bathroom should be a retreat.  Update this space to make the most of it now for your own use and to attract potential buyers for the future!  If you are considering a bathroom renovation in your own home, visit Custom Home Interiors Showroom & Design Center to “ignite your imagination”!

Say it with me, “Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh”.

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Kiersten Lowden
Custom Home Interiors

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Custom Home Interiors Wins 2010 Ottawa Citizen Peoples Choice Award for Housing Design!

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The Greater Ottawa Home Builders Association Housing Design Awards are essentially the Oscars for the Home & Design industry in Ottawa. This is the event where Home Builders, Architects, Designers and Industry Partners get to showcase their best work and wow the who’s who of Ottawa.

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Custom Home Interiors was eligible for one of the most coveted and prestigious awards of the evening, the Ottawa Citizen Peoples Choice Award.  This is where the people of Ottawa have a chance to voice their opinion on who they think had the best design project, and while according to the judges, it was a close call, CHI won!

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Custom Home Interiors Team Members (From left to right) Sean Howard, Tyler Dren, Michaela Shirley, Andrew Emmans, Suzy Kendrick & Tim Das

“Winning the Ottawa Citizen Peoples Choice Award is an absolute honour for CHI.  We are very proud of our team and our work and will ensure that our clients and potential clients will continue to see this from us. We will always strive to be the best we can be for the people.”  – Andrew Emmans, Director of Sales & Marketing

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Custom Home Interiors Directors Tyler Dren (left) & Andrew Emmans at 2010 GOHBA Housing Design Awards

The Housing and Design Awards features 41 categories that range from custom kitchens & bathrooms, builder homes, condos, green initiatives, renovator of the year and more.

Custom Home Interiors submission fell under the Open Category as well as the Ottawa Citizen Peoples Choice Award. The Open Category allows GOHBA members to showcase a housing project, custom home or renovations anywhere in North America.  Our submission was for a home that we had renovated and outfitted in Caledon, Ontario with furniture and décor that defined the home owners personality.  Our presentation board featured all the designs and inspirations that went toward bringing this home from concept to reality which beat out some tough competition to land itself a place in the finals amongst 3 other companies.

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CHI Director of Sales & Marketing Andrew Emmans presents an award at 2010 Housing Design Awards

On behalf of the entire Custom Home Interiors team, we’d like to thank the people of Ottawa for selecting CHI as your premiere choice for home outfitting and design in the nations capital.

By Suzy Kendrick & Tim Das

suzy@customhomeinteriors.ca
timothy@customhomeinteriors.ca

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Kiersten Lowden’s Fab 4 Booth @ The 2010 Home & Design Show

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The 2010 Ottawa Home & Design Show took place on Oct. 1-3 at Landsdowne Park in Ottawa.
If you weren’t able to make it, allow me to give you a little virtual tour of the show as well as tell you a little about the “FAB4 Design Showcase booth” that I designed.  The show was filled with people excited about their next renovations project and the Custom Home Interiors team was well prepared to answer questions and showcase our wide array or products and services!

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The Custom Home Interiors Booth at the 2010 Home & Design Show

The concept behind the “FAB4” booths was to give four designers four identical rooms with the idea of creating a living space, each one completely different from the next.
I wanted my design to be fresh, modern and young.  I’ve included some simple tips that helped me create my booth:

• New lighting will brighten and update any space!  A modern chandelier and funky silver drum shade with laser cut-outs brought my booth to life!  Simple crystal table lamps added a little extra sparkle!

• Have fun with pattern and paint!  Horizontal stripes on one wall were simple but packed a big punch!  Consider stripes on a wall behind your headboard in the bedroom or a feature wall with a console in the eating area as I did.  It’s easy and definitely makes a statement.  Unique fabrics add pattern in small doses, such as the striped pillows and lilac damask I incorporated.

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My Fab 4 Booth

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• A great design does not require a large budget!  I was able to mix high and low pieces by being savvy with my accessories.  Simple black and white prints found on the internet stood out in eclectic frames while vases with driftwood from my cottage incorporated nature into the space in an inexpensive way!

•Simplicity is key!  For the larger pieces in my booth, I kept the colour scheme simple and neutral.  The charcoal sofa and cream Barcelona chairs anchored the space.  In your own home, large upholstered furniture in neutral colours will match any bright coloured accessories.

• In a small space, keep it light and open!  The clear ghost chairs, crystal and glass accessories, and clean lines kept the look light!  Bulky pieces make a space feel much smaller.  By using furniture that is visually light, your space will feel larger and more inviting.

The bottom line is to have fun when decorating!  Mix high and low, don’t be afraid to experiment and add some fun accessories into the mix.  Designing my booth for this special feature was both challenging and exciting.  I hope sharing some of my design ideas with you inspires you to incorporate them into your own home!

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For more information on my “FAB4” booth, please feel free to contact me at: Kiersten@customhomeinteriors.ca

Happy designing!
Sincerely,
Kiersten Lowden

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Make a Big Impact in a Small Way: Simple Ways to Give Your Kitchen a Facelift Without Breaking the Bank!

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Renovating a kitchen is no easy task.  It can be time consuming and expensive!  But, with the right information and your imagination, you can position yourself to save a lot of money for when that big day arrives.

Here are a few quick tips on how to make the most out of your kitchen renovations:

Re-stain, re-face or re-finish your cabinets

Give your kitchen a simple facelift!  Changing the look without having to replace them entirely is a great way to save money and still give your kitchen that new feel. It is best that you hire a professional to do this for you to ensure that it is done correctly.

Update your cabinetry hardware

Updating your cabinetry hardware is a simple and inexpensive way to liven up your kitchen.  For chic, modern cabinets, try a long pull handle to give your kitchen a sleek look. For a traditional kitchen, try to select hardware with a bronze or nickel finish to maintain it’s overall look and feel.

Add or change your outdated light fixtures

Lighting is a great way to accentuate the ambience in a space. Lighting adds warmth and creates a welcoming environment for guests and a wonderful workspace for the whole family to enjoy. Pendant lights over top of an island are a great way to add that extra little twinkle.

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Modernize your kitchen backsplash

Changing your kitchen backsplash from the drab plain white builder’s grade tiles will definitely give your kitchen new life.  For a modern kitchen, mosaic glass tiles are a popular choice.  For a traditional style kitchen, try a tumbled marble or travertine to give your kitchen the texture and warmth to create an elegant space.

Add new window treatments

Window treatments are a great way to dress up a kitchen and can add texture, pattern and colour. Custom Home Interiors works with the extensive line of Hunter Douglas products to offer beautiful window treatments that are functional and a great addition.

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These few tips will help you save on cash and have your friends envying your gorgeous new space!

Custom Home Interiors Showroom & Design Centre is a great place to start whether you’re just at the “getting ideas” stage or you’re ready to place the order for your new cabinet doors.  We’re here to help by giving you the right information for your kitchen renovation which will make all the difference in cost, style and overall satisfaction.  Come visit us at 2202 Thurston Drive or at 855 Industrial Rd, Ottawa, where our team of representatives will help you tackle that kitchen renovation you’ve always wanted to do!

Kayla Yenson
Custom Home Interiors
Kayla@customhomeinteriors.ca

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De-Decorating Your Home: Setting the Stage for Success!

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You have heard of it. Friends have told you about it. But you still remain skeptical about the very application of it!  It’s Home Staging!

DID YOU KNOW? Research shows that a staged home will not only sell faster, but for more money.

“Home staging is preparing a home for the real estate market by making all necessary repairs and creating a neutral environment that anyone can visualize living in”.  – HGTV

One of the most important things to remember when thinking about staging is – Staging is NOT decorating.  It is the exact opposite of decorating (or de-decorating as I like to call it).  A professional stager will come into your home with an objective eye and inform you what appeals to the current market.  If you’re still living in the space, they will make suggestions as to what needs to be removed from the room and what pictures need to come down.

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Property Stylist and CEO of Capital Home Staging and Design, Kristy Morrison, is an expert in helping her clients get their homes ready to go on the market.  Kristy shared some pretty interesting facts with me:

  • 90% of buyers can NOT envision the potential of the space
  • 86% of buyers are willing to spend a little more money on a home that is “move in ready”
  • Staged homes sell 50% faster and typically for 6-30% MORE money!

Which living room would you rather be in?

Before

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After

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So, what does home staging and Custom Home Interiors have in common?  This is for all you stagers, real estate agents and home owners looking to put their place on the market…

Custom Home Interiors is developing a Home Staging Program!

The best part is, we are going to have tonnes of items for RENT!  What do you need to finish off the living room?  Artwork?  Table Lamps?  You don’t need to go and buy those things.  Just use ours until your home is sold!  We have rows upon rows of accessories, walls full of artwork and even some fibreboard furniture… more about that really cool product in my next blog post.

From the very basics where you’re staging a home and need an artificial plant or a bar height table, we will guide you through every step of the process and ensure that your home looks it’s best for a sale.

By Mandalyn Goodall

Mandalyn@customhomeinteriors.ca

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Hunter Douglas @ Custom Home Interiors

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Have you ever asked yourself, what is it that truly makes a home beautiful? What is it that really makes the home stand out? Some would say that the interior décor or paint that makes the difference. Others might claim that beauty is in they eye of the beholder?

At Custom Home Interiors, we consider window treatments to be an integral piece of what really makes a home beautiful. As the function and purpose of window treatments have evolved over time, designers and decorators now maximize the inclusions of window treatments as a means of providing privacy, controlling natural light intake into a room, as well as a way to control temperatures during summer and winter.

Modern day window treatments are designed and built with state of the art features that essentially enable a homeowner to act as Mother Nature and control light and temperature through window treatments. As we live in an environment conscious society, issues like energy efficiency become a priority as window treatments are now designed to be environment friendly.

There are many window treatment manufacturers in the industry that produce window treatments. One company in particular that we are quite fond of is Hunter Douglas. “Hunter Douglas offers the industry’s largest collection of energy-efficient, custom-made window treatments. Designed and assembled in the U.S., and backed by a lifetime Guarantee, our sheers, shades, honeycombs, blinds and shutters can be customized with lifting systems for added safety and convenience” (Hunterdouglas.com).

So what are the things to consider when purchasing window treatments?

–       Room Type

–       Decorating Style

–       Material

–       Color

–       Specialty Shapes & Design Options

–       Privacy & Light Control

–       Pricing

–       Measurement & Installation

The beautiful part about window treatments is that there are custom solutions for just about any type of consumer. Whether you are price-conscious or design conscious, Hunter Douglas has the answer.

So maybe when you ask yourself, what makes your home stand out? ; Hunter Douglas might have the answer.

Below are samples of Window Treatments that are available through Hunter Douglas:

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The Sillouette Ultraglide

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Tailored Vignette

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The Nantucket Easyrise

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The Skyline Easyrise

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Duette Honeycomb (Hunter Douglas Signature Energy Efficient Line)

With Hunter Douglas window treatments, you can Insulate your room, protect your room from intense UV Rays, absorb sounds and enhance acoustics, maintain privacy and still remain fashionable and stylish.

For more information on Hunter Douglas, visit www.hunterdouglas.com or www.customhomeinteriors.ca

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Kimberley Seldon Business of Design Highlights

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As Kimberley Seldon held her first Business of Design Seminar of the Year at the Custom Home Interiors showroom in Ottawa, participants had left the seminar satisfied and content! One of the attendees was quoted as saying “This seminar has given me a renewed belief towards my interior design business and i’m glad i attended the Kimberley Seldon Business of Design Seminar”.

The following are a few snapshots of the the Kimberley Seldon Business of Design Seminar:

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(Directors of Custom Home Interiors, Andrew Emmans (left) & Tyler Dren(right) gets a quick shot with Kimberley Seldon (centre)

If you were a attendee of the Kimberley Seldon Business of Design Seminar and would like a copy of the photos, please feel free to email me at timothy@customhomeinteriors.ca

Thank You
Tim

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Our First Post!!

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Greetings!

Welcome to the Designers Desk!

Created with one goal in mind, the Designers Desk will share some of our cool “SECRET” designer tips and engage and connect with people not only interested in design and decorating but social media as well! In the design industry, many people believe the Internet is solely for email and searching for suppliers. We are here to prove the doubters wrong!

Custom Home Interiors is an innovative Ottawa based company that focuses on interior decorating, design and home outfitting. People that walk into our 8000 sq ft. showroom all share the same expression…”WHOA!” From our fabulous décor and design concepts, to our super cool home theater and automation display, we enjoy the simple things in life and love to help people out with their projects!

We want to use this blog as a platform to get to know all you wonderful people from all walks of life and to share our thoughts and advice on what we feel is important to note!

At the Designers Desk, we have four great individuals who will be contributing to this blog. Allow me to introduce them:

Andrew Emmans
Big Man on Campus     

Tim Das
The Marketing Guy

Dawn Simpson (not related to Homer; we checked to make sure)
The Decor Diva

Peter Swail
The Techie

Along with our friends at M2JL studio, Kimberley’s Design Dish , Design Ties as well as many others, we hope to bring to you a whole new perspective to interior design, decorating and the power of social media. So as opposed to reading the assembly instructions for your furniture, my hope is that this blog will make you color outside the lines!

Let us know YOUR thoughts and feedback and what YOU want to read, so we can keep this baby running!

Follow us on Twitter @CHIOttawa
Find us on Facebook @CustomHomeInteriors

Until next time!

Tim Das

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