As a contributor to Style at Home magazine, I write about some of the most beautiful homes in Canada. So, does that mean my house is as pretty as those in our pages? Er, not by a long shot. I like the furniture I own, but I'll be the first to admit that I'm not skilled at furniture arrangement in my Toronto house. Yet, I'm not ready to hire a designer for a complete overhaul (read: I'm broke, I just bought this house!) plus, it seems much more eco-friendly to work with the furnishings I already have.
The solution? I invited Jane Nieuwendyk, a redesign specialist who owns the company Completely Chic Interiors (completelychic.com), to redesign my home. Interested in doing your own redesign? Here are the tips and tricks.
1 Harness the power of placement.
Bring sofas in a large room close together. Sure, you've heard this before, but how do you do it? In my home, the sofas in the living room were (guilty as charged) pushed against the walls. I couldn't envisage them any other way. Jane faced them toward one another in a V-shape with the coffee table in the centre. Now, the wood-burning stove is the focal point. In the dining room, she re-oriented the table to the centre of the room, making the whole room feel much larger.
2 Lower art that's hanging too high and fix "groupings" that are too spread out.
This is a mistake Jane says she sees often -- artwork spread too far apart, and placed too high, at the eye-level of a basketball player. Unless you live with Steve Nash or Yao Ming, hang artwork and picture frames at the eye level of the average woman. Jane created a few nice art groupings using things already in my home: extra picture frames that we placed pretty leftover paper in, and original paintings I created. My fave: I took an out-of-date atlas page featuring Ireland and placed it in a frame -- my husband, BNN reporter Niall McGee is from Donegal, Ireland. Jane surprised him by giving the frame a place of pride in the kitchen, next to my painting.