styling tips

  • Selecting the perfect white paint for your space

    Okay, let’s talk paint. Seemingly simple, selecting the perfect white paint for your space can often feel super overwhelming. I posted a photo on my IG stories last week with several different white paint options searching for the dream white for an exciting project we’ve been working on. I was FLOORED by the amount of DMs I received – y’all were dying to chat about my favourite white paint colour, and many of you were surprised there were so many variations of white. Let me tell ya, white paint is so much more than “white paint.”

    Story time: I come from four generations of painters — yup, this passion for transforming spaces is, apparently, genetic. My great grandfather was a painter back in Scotland, my grandfather started a painting company in the GTA when he came to Canada, my dad took over that company when he retired, and in recent years, my brother has been at the helm.

    While I always appreciate thoughtful use of colour, white paint is unparalleled when it comes to brightening up a space. When staging, it’s the only colour I’ll recommend to my clients for adding an instantly-fresh feel to their home. 

    But, listen – like I said, white paint isn’t just “white paint.” Every white has it’s own unique undertones that can totally impact the vibe of a room overall. Don’t believe me? Try laying out a bunch of different “white,” swatches and you’ll be shocked by the variations. Temperature (cool, warm) and undertones (blue, grey, pink, yellow…) will factor in to how the white will look on your wall, but it doesn’t end there – the space itself can play a major role. Take into account things like how much natural light the space gets, the views out the window, flooring, built-in fixtures, furnishings and artwork, all influence your white paint’s final form.

    There are so many amazing paint brands out there to choose from, but I’m partial to Benjamin Moore because the quality is great and it’s easy to access here in Toronto. My top white paints are what I would call a neutral white (meaning there are no obvious undertones) and read slightly on the warm side. Wanna see?

    Oxford White CC-30

    Simply White OC-17

    When it comes to trim, I tend to use the same white as the walls, but might switch up the sheen depending on the space.

    Yes, this is basically a love letter to white paint — it’s one of my absolute favourite colours to work with! Maybe because of the way it really allows the furnishings and decor to stand out, and works perfectly in a staging environment. Staging your home with white walls will allow the potential buyer to experience a bright space with a neutral feel — a clean slate they can envision themselves in, and won’t need to worry about painting over.

    Still feeling stumped about selecting the perfect white paint for your space? I’m always game to brainstorm a decor vision. Drop me a line!

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  • 6 ways to increase your home’s good vibes

    Have you ever stopped to consider how your home actually makes you feel?

    Sights, sounds, scents, and sensations can have a drastic impact on our mood, and we *all* deserve a home that gives us the happiest of feels. Creating good energy in your home begins with the people living there (aka, you!) so don’t forget about prioritizing those self-care routines – I wrote a whole blog all about thaaat, right here. But, today, we’re talking about the things you can do outside of the Self to fill your space with the good vibes you crave:

    Rearranging: Hands up if you used to arrange and re-arrange your bedroom about 50 times every summer? Turns out, there’s actually something to it. Playing around with a room layout can instantly transform the space, without even purchasing a single new item. Often, we become complacent with our home set-up because it’s part of our comfortable, groundhog-day routine – but when by rearranging furniture and fixtures, you can completely level UP the vibe of your space, and release any feelings of stuckness.

    Plants, plants, more plaaaants: Do I even have to explain? Fresh plants in your home have been proven to boost our mood and reduce stress (I’ll take 20, thanks). Not only can they add to the aesthetic of a space, but they *actually* clean your space by absorbing toxins and produce oxygen. SCIENCE.

    Decluttering: Let. That. Sh*t. Go. It’s time to get rid of anything broken, damaged, or that no longer serves a use for you. Having an organized, clutter-free place to live has huuuuuge benefits to your mental well-being. Decluttering is proven to decrease stress and anxiety, improve your sleep AND boost creativity!

    Smudging: Okay, I know this may be a little woo-woo for some, but I’m a big believer in smudging to clear the energy. My go-to is Palo Santo, because I love the smell, but Sage is a traditional smudging tool and works wonders. Take your stick or bundle and light it (bonus points for using a candle flame to do so!). Once it begins to singe and smoke, let it burn for 30 seconds and then carefully blow it out, moving it around the space you are clearing as the smoke billows. Meditate on the energy you want to get rid of. Once you’ve finished cleansing your space, place the stick in a fireproof bowl and allow it to burn out. You can also do this with antique or previously-loved items before bringing them into your home to clear any past energy.

    Scent: I saved the best for last, because daaaaang. I LOVE me a good candle or a new blend for my diffuser. Smell has the ability to have a strong effect on the experience we have in our environment, creating positive associations and memories within a space. A good scent can instantly help us feel relaxed, and it can *totally* set the vibe of any room.

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  • Spring Style

    A few weeks ago, we were chatting your inbox off about allll things SPRING — remember those dreamy, airy vibes?! As the seasons change, my mind is always on freshening up our staging inventory. A new wave of inspiration hits and I am in full shopping mode.

    I don’t want to give away too much (pssst — follow along over on IG to get the sneak peeks of our latest projects!), but I’ve put together a couple of spring looks with some of our new inventory to give you a little inspo for your next home styling project:

    Look # 1: Colour Me Happy

    Our team was discussing some colour combos we were feeling for spring, and everyone was OBSESSED with the idea of green paired with terracotta and nude tones. Mix that in with black and white and it feels so dang FRESH.

    sofa (Structube), coffee table (EQ3), rug (CB2), chairs (Structube), artwork (CB2), end table (EQ3), pillow (H&M Home), pillow (EQ3)

    Look #2: Not So Boring Neutrals

    This space totally channels my own personal style. I LOVE me some yummy warm neutrals – gimme all the sandy, caramel, toasty tones! The trick here is to use a mix of textures, interesting shapes and just a touch of black to give it some edge.

    sofa (Structube), coffee table (CB2), rug (EQ3), chairs (Zara Home), artwork (CB2), end table (West Elm), pillow (H&M Home), pillow (CB2), pillow (H&M Home), vase (H&M Home)

    As stagers, it’s super important that everything we buy be interchangeable, regardless of seasonal trends. Our inventory needs longevity, and that means making chic decisions that stand the test of time AND hold up to different environments. When deciding on a pair of chairs, for example, we have to consider a multitude of spaces they might work in, allowing our work to remain consistent, but still adaptable in different styles of homes. SO while shopping for new inventory is all kinds of fun, it requires lots of strategy and planning.

    And this begs the question, are you all about the colour or are feeling those neutral vibes? Share in the comments below!

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  • Unconventional colour combos: the design trick you didn’t know you’ve been coveting

    Ahhh, colour. Many stagers embrace colour, buttt here’s the thing – it’s not always done well. I tend to stick to neutrals and lots of texture when I am staging, but when I do throw colour into the mix, I like to use thoughtful combos that keep things fresh and interesting. The trick? Don’t be afraid of the road less travelled! The non-traditional choice can make for a truly beautiful vibe that oozes creativity. 

    Here’s a fun game: dig back to some of those Instagram posts or Pinterest pins you’ve saved (#homegoals!) and take stock of what colours are being used. I guarantee that your favourite spaces will include some intriguing colour combos that you hadn’t considered — or even noticed, at first glance. That’s the trademark of a well-designed room: colours should work with the other elements in the space to pull it all together, so the colour doesn’t stand out in the way you may expect. Not so sure? Check them saved posts and get back to me!

    Case in point: One of my favourite spaces designed by Sarah Sherman Samuel for Garance Dore features a nudey pink sofa paired with a cobalt blue chairs and it’s AMAZING!

    Anyway. Here are some other unconventional colour combinations I’ve been looooving, as of late:

    Orange + Black
    Nude + Green
    Bordeaux + Pink

    What surprising colour trends are cropping up in your favourites these days?!

    Share in the comments below! 

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  • Rules are (sometimes) meant to be broken

    Rules can be the enemy of self-expression, and as many of you know, being a self-employed creative empowers us to live outside the box. When I first started my staging career, I was wary – I had to remind myself that I was going to do this MY WAY, which meant releasing any “rules,” about how to design that would stop me from representing myself authentically through my work. Goodbye, stuffy staging ideals of the past – helloooo, happiness. 

    1. “You can’t put rugs on carpets.”
    Seriously, who made this rule up?! Rugs are LIFE. They can bring in personality and colour to any room, and they’re the best way to define and ground a space. Rugs are the truest of trendsetters – they set the tone and style of the space around them. I’ve got a new rule for this one: Never be afraid to use a rug, even if there is wall-to-wall carpet.

    2. “Don’t forget to style the dining table or breakfast bar with place settings!” Umm, does anyone actually live like this? Probably not – and therein lies the problem. Our secret to staging is that the property shouldn’t actually looked staged! We say a big ol’ NO to place settings. A beautiful centrepiece is all you need.

    3. “Make sure the colour palette matches every room.”
    We all know the dated staging technique I’m talking about – that not-so-subtle pop of colour carried through to every room on the property, typically red or teal. Noooo thanks. Each room can have it’s own vibe and feel – when you’re done with it, STYLE is what will tie the property together!

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