Design solutions: Renovating
Q: I'd like to decorate my bedroom in shades of blue but don't want it to be cold looking. The room faces south onto green trees. Do you have any suggestions to keep some warmth in the palette? A. T., VIA E-MAIL
A: Decorating a bedroom with blue is a natural, since it can create a serene and restful mood. To keep things cosy rather than cool, balance the blues with equal doses of neutral colours, touchable textures, and furniture in rich chocolaty brown wood fi nishes. For inspiration, look at this beautiful bedroom featuring the Thomas O’Brien furniture collection for Hickory Chair. The room is grounded with a warm neutral carpet and includes graceful floor-to-ceiling draperies, and shades of cream, beige and blue throughout. Since your room overlooks trees, by all means include green accents like leaf botanical prints or celadon ceramic lamps.
Q: I'm thinking about putting a mirrored backsplash on the stove wall in my kitchen. The cabinets and counters will stay the same, and the appliances will be stainless steel. Can we cut and glue on a mirror ourselves? SHAWNA WILLEMS, MAPLE RIDGE, B.C.
A: A mirrored backsplash sounds fab. It will give your kitchen a touch of glamour and a New York apartment feel. I think you should install the mirror from the countertop to right under the upper cabinets on both the stove side and the sink side. Installing it on just one wall would look like a mistake. If you want to do it yourself, look for mirror tiles that you can attach using mirror adhesive. (Try home centres and tile supply places). A word of caution: a mirrored backsplash will reflect everything on the countertop, so keep items to a minimum and make sure that what's there is attractive enough that you want to see two of it.
Main image courtesy of Hickory Chair.
Q: We live in a 10-year-old starter home that we want to stay in long-term. One of the original low-cost features is our white melamine kitchen cabinetry with basic pulls. I'd like to make the kitchen look more contemporary. Can you offer some suggestions? PATTI DURAND, HUMBOLDT, SASK.
A: First things first: clear the clutter from the counters and above the cabinets. Stash as much stuff out of sight as possible. Then, for a truly amazing contemporary statement, transform the cabinets with a custom-printed mural by the Quebec-based company Wall You Need Is Love. There's an incredible selection of images to choose from on its website (wallyouneedislove.com) – this birch tree design is just one. Select the image you like, or submit one of your own, along with your cabinet dimensions. The company will print the mural paper in sections and provide easy step-by-step installation instructions if you want to do it yourself. Switch out your existing hardware in favour of invisible touch latch hardware (check out leevalley.com) or inconspicuous plain pulls so as not to detract from the mural image.
Q: My husband and I are going to buy a sectional for our TV/movie room. How big is too big? Our room is 20' x 22'. Do you have any insight into how to choose a good-quality leather sofa? We have two small dogs who often hide their bones between the sofa cushions! JULIE REPP, CALGARY
A: My fave overscale sectional is the Dr. Pitt by Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams. The thing is massive and supercomfy. You can arrange it in so many different ways, depending on the shape of your room. Now, you'll notice it's not leather. I was hoping I might talk you into a slipcovered piece as a pet-friendly option instead. Since your dogs are given to hiding their bones in the cushions, I'm worried that their digging claws will scratch a leather sofa irreparably. I also think a large leather sectional would be way too overpowering in any room, no matter the size. A heavyweight cotton slipcover will stand up to digging dogs, plus the cushion covers can be removed and laundered if there are any messes from man or beast.
Main image courtesy of Hickory Chair.
Mural kitchen image courtesy of Wall You Need is Love.
Sofa image courtesy of Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams.