Monthly Archives: August 2010

High Style: Decorating with Natural Wood

There is something stunningly gorgeous about natural unfinished wood, wouldn’t you agree?

The texture, warmth, and uniqueness of each and every piece is something that instantly captivates me. So much so, that I often find myself unconsciously reaching out in admiration just to run my had across it’s texture. Perhaps its the connection to the earth or simply an appreciation of wood’s organic beauty. For whatever reason I think wood elements make a fabulous addition to any home, in any form. From cabinets to floors to decorative accessories wood is simply beautiful.

Feldman Architecture eclectic dining room

I recently came across this home designed by Feldman Architecture, the natural wood planks on the back of the island and the fabulous dining table are a fantastic element of  warmth in this room. Although the room itself is stunning, it’s the wood elements that make the space feel warm and cozy. And I’ll bet there’s a great story behind its acquisition.

I love using natural wood elements in contrast to starkly modern or ornate design elements, to create interest. The tension creates interest and an unexpected delight. Just like these birch poles as a backdrop for the ornate crystal chandelier creates a perfectly balanced focal point for this Dining Room

Although I don’t have a picture to show you, I once saw some very original wooden tiles lining the bar in a restaurant. The 12×12 tiles were created from a fallen heritage tree that had been cross cut into 2″ slabs and formed into the square shaped tiles. This technique produced a fantastically elaborate mosaic of wood grain, each tile a unique masterpiece. The rings, burls and knots were captivating. So much so that I found myself more engrossed in the texture of this wall, than in the conversation at the table. I say this not as an insult to my friend but as a testament to the beauty of the wood! (I really wish I had a picture to share with you, it seems almost cruel, my apologies.)

So I guess to wrap things up my closing thought would be, when you are planning your next decorating project consider using found wood objects. They are stunning, unique and usually come with a great story about how you acquired it.

What do you think? Do you have any great wood decor stories to share, or pictures (even better)? I invite you to post a comment below or send your pictures to

Choosing The Right Paint Color for Your Home

It seems that whenever I pass by the wall of paint chips in any home improvement store there is always at least one person staring blankly at the seemingly endless wall of color samples. One hand typically holds a fanned out array of color swatches while their eyes methodically scan the wall hoping for the “the perfect color” to leap out… this time.

Choosing the right paint color isn’t easy, and I’d bet that there’s enough “mis-tint” paint stashed in basement corners across the country to paint the White House 100 times over.

So how do you choose the right designer paint color for your room? Here are a few tips from long time industry pro with a passion for color (and painting):

Dark Paint Colors

Don’t Whimp Out! If you want a deep rich color on your walls check your conservative hat at the door. There is no halfway or safe way to be bold, if you want Red pick the darkest shade in the colorway otherwise you’ll end up with pink. Or a rich Chocolate will end up looking like watered down coffee with cream and so on… if you’re going to do it, be fearless!

Designer White Paint Colors

You may think that decorators are just being flamboyant when they drone on about the billions of shades of white out there, but, I’ll stand firm, the right white can make all the difference in the world. The subtle undertones can either create a soft, clean, cozy feeling in the room or it’ll end up looking the the inside of a liquid paper bottle. When choosing a white paint color the best advice that I can give is to consider the other colors in the room; for example if you are decorating a room with warm brown or beige colors be sure to stay away from whites with a blue or cool grey undertone (it’s probably the biggest rookie mistake).

Helpful Tips!

Never Ever make your final selection under the fluorescent lights of the home improvement or paint store, always take a few samples home to see what it’ll look like in the room with your furnishings.

If you’re not sure what the undertone of a paint color is, place the sample on a white piece of paper, having a neutral background will usually make the undertone jump out (even if you don’t have a lot of experience choosing colors).

There is so much more to say on this subject but I’ll have to save that for anther blog post. So for now I’ll close off by saying, never be afraid to try a new paint color, it is by far the most big-impact,  budget-friendly decorating tool available and the results may astonish you. If you’d like help choosing the right paint color for your home try using our paintIT e-decorating plan, it’s an affordable way to get a designers paint color recommendations, customized to your home. Because, in the world of paint, practice makes perfect and we’ve had lots of practice!

Have any great painting success stories, comments or tips to share? Post a comment below, I’d love to hear from you!

Inspired by Nature: Fresh Room Color Schemes from My Backyard

Summer is never long enough around here, so whenever I can I work outside I do. There is nothing quite as luxurious as having your home office outside!
So while sitting here staring off into space looking for blogging inspiration it occurred to me that my own backyard is a fantastic place to find out-of the ordinary color schemes, and it’s also a great way for me to justify taking even more pictures of flowers (a secret addiction of mine!)
So here you go, nature pics and their corresponding paint colors, stunning room color schemes inspired by Mother Nature:

Room Color Scheme inspirational picture

The Crabapple Tree
The warm grey color of the bark creates a perfect backdrop for the pale blue/green and vibrant yellow/green accent colors. I love this color palate, in fact I am even considering it for my bedroom. The greys are a fantastic masculine element but the accent colors add a pretty feminine touch!

Nature Inspired Room Color Scheme - Tree Bark

Dark Grey: Benjamin Moore 2134-30 Iron Mountain
Light Grey: Benjamin Moore 2137-50 Sea Haze
Pale Blue : Benjamin Moore HC-143 Wythe Blue
Green: Benjamin Moore 2147-10 Oregano



floral inspired room color scheme
The Ivory Tulip
I actually took this picture a while ago but I couldn’t help but be inspired by it’s clean simple color palette. Wouldn’t this make a stunning Living Room color scheme?
Room Color Scheme inspired by nature

Light Yellow: Benjamin Moore OC-115 Cream Silk
Medium Beige: Benjamin Moore 2149-50 Mellowed Ivory
Warm Gold : Benjamin Moore HC-15 Henderson Buff
Dark Green : Benjamin Moore 2145-10 Avocado

I am consistently inspired and by the way Mother Nature just throws together stunning color palettes and this was fun! Hopefully I’ve inspired you and I think I might make this a regular feature.
What do you think would you like to see more nature inspired color palettes? Are there any colors that you would like to see?

Introducing… Our Free Room Review Decorating Service!

I know it may seem a little strange that a professional decorating company is offering a free service, but yes it’s true we are now offering free decorating advice. And like most great ideas there’s a story behind it that I’d like to share with you!

I’ve been in the industry for over a decade now and I’ll admit that I’d kind of forgotten what it feels like to be in the clients shoes. The sense of uncertainty and anticipation associated with entrusting a person that you hardly know to take all of your garbled hopes, dreams and ideas and distill them into something functional and beautiful to look at, can be a little unnerving to say the least.

I became reacquainted with that feeling recently when I started shopping for a new website designer. The tables were now turned and I found myself thinking how on earth are they ever going to take my pages and pages of ideas and come up with something that I actually like and want?

So faced with having to decide between a list of prospects I became a demanding client and I flat out asked, what can you do for me?

Although I got quite a few responses I was particularly impressed with one, this designer had taken the time to look over the site, give me some feedback and come up with a few preliminary ideas on how to fix the challenges that I was faced with. I was impressed, satisfied with his dedication and felt confident that I could trust him. It was the extra effort and personal connection that made all of the difference to me.

I then realized, this is what my clients must go through when they decide to hire a decorator. Wow!

That’s when the idea came to me to offer Free Room Reviews! It’s a great way to give clients the chance to interview me and actually experience first hand how easy and personal e-decorating can be.

So here’s how the Free Room Review works, to order one all you need to do is fill out a condensed styleFinder and upload a few pics of your room. It only takes about 20 minutes.

We then review all of the info and come up with some preliminary decorating ideas (real ideas, not just fluff!) write them all down and send them off to you in 2 days or less.

Of course we hope that you’ll be so impressed with what we can do, that you decide to purchase a service but you’re also welcome to take our ideas and run with them on your own.

Our Free Room Reviews have already been a hit, and I hope that more people take advantage of this awesome service, so please tell anyone that you know who’s looking to make a change to their home!

Check it out for yourself by CLICKING HERE!

I’d also love to hear your thoughts or comments, please leave a note below before you go!

sasha | decorate IT online

Welcome to Our New Home! decorate IT online’s Reno’s Are Complete!

Hello Friends,

It’s good to see you again, just in case you missed us I’ll fill you in on what we’ve been up to.

First of all I am very excited to announce that our new website is now up and running. After helping so many people decorate and create fabulous new spaces in their homes we couldn’t resist the temptation to do a few reno’s ourselves. And like most home improvement projects it has taken us a little longer than anticipated to finish up. Nevertheless I think it was worth the wait, and I’d love to take you on a little tour, maybe get your thoughts?

My absolute favourite part of the new design is the look and feel, we’ve got a fresh new color scheme that feels warmer, cozier and I think, more like home. Plus our new space plan (okay navigation in techie terms) is so much more functional than ever before and just like a well organized home it is really easy to find what you’re looking for now!

Here’s a little peek at our new homepage:

online decorate, home, reno, space plan, color,

So I invite you to take a look around and share your thoughts by posting a comment below.

And keep in touch because I’ve got some pretty exciting new additions to share with you over the next few days… like, the introduction of our new Free Room Review Service (okay well I kind of “let the cat out of the bag” there) you can check it out under the new Freebies tab.

Before I go thought, I would like to send out a big thank you to James and Jeff at Men With Pens they are the creative geniuses behind the new design and they have been absolutely fabulous to work with! Thanks Guys!

sasha | decorate IT online