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a designers toolbox

At Nyla Free Designs Inc. we have what’s called styling day. When a project is ready for install all furniture, accessories, artwork and the like are delivered, placed and styled for our clients. It doesn’t always happen in one day but we sure try. During this day, there’s so much going on and to be honest sometimes it gets messy before it gets beautiful. I make sure to bring along our toolbox filled with necessary tools and supplies to make styling day as smooth as possible. Every designer, decorator, stager or stylist should have one. If you do, what special tools do you have to make your life easier? Here’s a look inside mine ~

The other essential tool (not shown) is my phone or larger Canon camera to snap photos of the ins and outs of the day itself as well as the ‘after’ shots revealing all your hard work and vision coming to life. Don’t forget the photos!

Nyla Free Designs is a full service Calgary Interior Design studio. Our goal is to bring your home to life by revealing your style and infusing unexpected elements of design and detail. If we can help with your project please let us know! See the contact page to get in touch.

Nyla Free Designs also offers an online design service through Design in a Box.

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design tips: table setting ideas

If you stopped by earlier this week and read about my visit to the Cooking Room in Red Deer then you may have been expecting this post. I shared a few ideas for setting an outdoor table during the class and promised the group I’d do a post showing more. I used only the items I had at the class and worked a little mix and match magic, all with melamine/outdoor worthy products from Crate & Barrel, Pottery Barn, Canadian Tire, the Bay and Superstore. I infused a little southwestern flavour into the colours and patterns to keep with the menu of the class but these ideas can be applied to any style or season for that matter. There really are so many options to play around with so the moral of this story is to have fun and embrace hosting a backyard BBQ or dinner party setting a casual table without compromising style.

Nyla Free Designs is a full service Calgary Interior Design studio. Our goal is to bring your home to life by revealing your style and infusing unexpected elements of design and detail. If we can help with your project please let us know! See the contact page to get in touch.

Nyla Free Designs also offers an online design service through Design in a Box.

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design: the power of pillows

Not long ago I blogged about those who may have a pillow problem. The type who feel pillows will solve their decorating dilemmas overnight and with no success secretly have a graveyard of pillows stashed in a closet taking up valuable storage space. You know what I’m talking about right?

There’s no doubt pillows are an important finishing touch to a room but I’m here to say, get a plan. No different than creating a furniture plan for a room, pillows deserve the same attention.

Fun, personality and unexpected elements are indeed part of pulling a room together and certainly in the final details, don’t get me wrong. Not every selection needs to be planned perfectly or you risk a contrived feeling. It may also depend on the type and overall style of the room. (Have I convinced you to hire a designer yet?)

The living room featured in the April/May issue of Dabble is one where we planned the pillows. We sourced fabrics, organized sizes and mixed colour and pattern. We also created two schemes or options if you will, one for spring/summer, the other for fall/winter. Within these two colour combinations we also have a mix and match approach where a certain pillow could be used for both. The fact is, a multitude of options and combinations exist but as you can see in the photos below, varying the pillows, changes the look of the room.

With a neutral colour palette focused on textures, we incorporated pillows with pattern and colour, arranged in an asymmetrical way within a symmetrical room.

Keeping a stash of pillows in your closet or cupboard is not a bad thing providing they have a purpose and a place. So get a plan together and brighten up your sofa or bed with a little pillow love.

I admit my favorite of the two is the turquoise. Which one is yours?

ps. I’ve uploaded the images from this photo shoot into my portfolio if you’d like to see more :)

Photography by: Lori Andrews

Art credits: Painting by Barbara Milne courtesy of the Paul Kuhn Gallery, Photograph by David Burdeny courtesy of the Herringer Kiss Gallery

Nyla Free Designs is a full service Calgary Interior Design studio. Our goal is to bring your home to life by revealing your style and infusing unexpected elements of design and detail. If we can help with your project please let us know! See the contact page to get in touch.

Nyla Free Designs also offers an online design service through Design in a Box.

 

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design details: tassles on furniture

I’m a detail person. Perhaps it comes with being a designer, but it’s the finer elements, the additions and extras that really do it for me when it comes to design and detail. During a recent trip to Los Angeles, we took a wander down the design district of La Cienega and I fell in love with the quaint boutiques with courtyards and tiny walkways between the buildings. We walked into Therien & Co., a store filled with period antiques and I couldn’t help but admire the addition of tassels to many of their pieces. This small detail hung from the keys opening doors and drawers to armoires, chests and desks. So pretty I had to share.

For me, the finishing touches really make a difference, whether it be contrast button tufting, moldings and trim or something as purely decorative as a tassel. I often think of tassels with drapery and pillows, but what a clever way of introducing them to a piece of furniture. And why not, right?

Nyla Free Designs is a full service Calgary Interior Design studio. Our goal is to bring your home to life by revealing your style and infusing unexpected elements of design and detail. If we can help with your project please let us know! See the contact page to get in touch.

Nyla Free Designs also offers an online design service through Design in a Box.

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how to: solve a pillow problem

This may be a touchy subject for some of you. I get it. I’ve seen it time and time again. It’s almost like therapy. People are unhappy with a certain room so what do they go out and buy? You guessed it, PILLOWS. Pillows are expected to work some kind of miracle and bring peace and harmony to a room. They can, and they will, but not before approaching other issues and areas.

If you’re room is in need of a pick-me-up, pillows are probably not the best place to start your purchasing. Like all the ‘P’s’? PLEASE. Save yourself a pile of money and do not purchase pillows until plans are in place.

Pillow points to ponder:

1. Resist the urge to purchase pillows in an effort to fix a tired room. If you are happy with the entire room and would like to change up the pillows. Go for it. You have my permission, and you can ignore points two through five.

2. Get a game plan. A designer will help you put this together from the space planing and organizing the furniture layout, right through to final touches like accessories which include, you guessed it, pillows! Gathering your larger items first will give you the basis for selecting the most beautiful pillows for your space.

3. The styling stage is one of the very last items on the list of to-do’s during the process of working with a designer. That’s when the pillows come into play. Even if you are not working with a designer, may I suggest you use this same approach?

4. Think of pillows as jewels for furniture. They are the finishing touches. (See point #3). Using a pillow as a jumping off point and inspiration for a room can be done, but do approach with caution. Best results yielded by deferring to a professional designer.

5. Pillows are often expensive, and I mean a few hundred dollars expensive. Each. Yes, that’s right, each. So please protect your pennies and purchase pillows towards the end of your project to save excess pillows from piling up :)

Nyla Free Designs is a full service Calgary Interior Design studio. Our goal is to bring your home to life by revealing your style and infusing unexpected elements of design and detail. If we can help with your project please let us know! See the contact page to get in touch.

Nyla Free Designs also offers an online design service through Design in a Box.

 

 

 

 

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7 things you can do before hiring an interior designer

Starting a renovation, new build or decorating project is exciting and at the same time overwhelming. The fear of making a mistake is often paralyzing, causing unnecessary stress which of course takes away from the happiness you felt at the beginning. So you decide to ask for help and bring in an interior designer. Great! You won’t regret that decision but before you get to work, here are seven things you can do to get your project started on a positive note.

How much of an investment are you ready to make?
During an initial consultation this topic must be addressed. It is imperative in moving forward with a project. Knowing the dollar value of what you are comfortable with spending is a key element for a designer in narrowing down not only where they can shop but the types of fabrics and finishings that can be selected. It also saves time and money as neither are wasted looking for items that don’t fit the budget. Discussing your overall investment with your spouse or significant other will ensure everyone is on the same page . A designer will let you know how realistic that number is and what can be accomplished within that amount.

Put together an idea file
Most clients I work with know what they like, or at least what they don’t like. Designers have ways of assessing your current space, even how you dress gives an indication of your style, but we aren’t mind readers (although some days I wish I was!). Collecting images, tear sheets, websites, even blogs that you like is a great jumping off point in understanding your style and what appeals to you. Organizing by room, or category works well and be sure to note what about the room is appealing to you. Giving your designer as much information as possible will get the project off to a great start.


Assess your lifestyle
Knowing how you live, and everyone in the house for that matter, is essential to achieving a successful end result. Only you know the inner workings of your home, how you cook, eat, sleep, watch TV, store your clothes, what rooms get used the most…. you get the idea. This is all critical information to creating a space, or several that are personalized to your needs and lifestyle. Having a good sense of this prior to meeting with your designer is a great help.

Prepare to trust
When you hire a designer, you are bringing a professional into your home. A designer offers not only their opinion and advice but also knowledge and experience. Trusting their expertise will further enhance your experience. Second guessing, wanting multiple options and indecision all add time and in turn cost more money. Designers narrow down the choices to what they feel is best based on budget, lifestyle and the overall look that is being put together. Trusting their vision will yield fabulous results.

Create a need and a ‘would love’ list
With every project there are needs that exist and they must be prioritized, but let’s face it, there are wants as well. Get as much as you can out of your renovation, new build or re-decoration by preparing a list of both. Even the little details matter. “I need a place for recycling” > “I would love it to be in the the kitchen but easy to transport outside”. Communication is key.

Have an open mind
Designers will bring forth ideas you haven’t considered, show you things you’ve never seen before and pull it all together effortlessly, right?! That’s why designers are hired. Clients are typically less than satisfied with their space and realize they need help. Or they’ve embarked on a project that is far too overwhelming to take on without the expertise and knowledge of an interior designer. Keeping an open mind to the creativity that exists inside the mind of a designer will give you an end result that is sure to leave you feeling so great about your space you couldn’t image not hiring a designer for your next project.

Choose a designer that is right for you
I can’t stress how important it is to find the right fit between you and your designer. Look at this as a long term relationship and you’ll understand what I mean. You will spend hours together, planning, reviewing, preparing, debating, shopping…I could go on. Liking each other is critical. Respecting each other is essential. I have many clients who have become great friends and I value our relationship so much. And THAT is one of the reasons why I love what I do.

Nyla Free Designs is a full service Calgary Interior Design studio. Our goal is to bring your home to life by revealing your style and infusing unexpected elements of design and detail. If we can help with your project please let us know! See the contact page to get in touch.

Nyla Free Designs also offers an online design service through Design in a Box.

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fall decorating: what’s new?

Fall is approaching fast and now that kids are back in school it’s a great time to think about giving your home a lift with new decor. Today on BT Calgary I’m sharing what’s new for fall with ideas that are easily incorporated into your existing rooms. Items that are beautiful, useful and even dual purpose bring style and function to any space.

Below are the items I brought to the show in case you’re interested in taking any home :)

Natural element and textures: 1. Samar Ottoman $139.95 3. Mackenzie area carpet (various sizes) 7. Gryfino tray $59.95 all from Crate & Barrel, 2. Salad bowl $20.00 8. Basket $7.00 from Superstore/Loblaws 4. Petrified wood trivet/hot plate $48.00 5. Umbellifers herb pot $8.00 from Anthropologie 6. Grasscloth through Interior Designers.

Colour ~ blues & purples: 1. Skype C-table in Indigo $249.00 2. Blue ombre round vase $99.95 4. Holden pillow cover & insert $169.00 5. Calluna vase $49.95 all from Crate & Barrel, 3. Bloomsbury pillow $148.00 from Anthropologie, 6. Purple/pink throw $125.00 from Maria Tomas.

Graphic patterns: 1. Suzani throw $525.00 2. Orange storage table $275.00 3. Flirt vase $155.00 5. Farrow & Ball wallpapers 6. Pompom throw $135.00 all from Maria Tomas, 4. Abstract idea pillow $88.00 from Anthropolgie.

Note: Nyla Free Designs is not responsible for discrepancies in prices or descriptions. The above details are for information purposes. Please call the respective stores for more information on stock or purchasing.

Nyla Free Designs is a full service Calgary Interior Design studio. Our goal is to bring your home to life by revealing your style and infusing unexpected elements of design and detail. If we can help with your project please let us know! See the contact page to get in touch.

Nyla Free Designs also offers an online design service through Design in a Box.

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decor mentor: save vs. splurge

You’ll find me over at Decor Mentor today with a Save vs. Splurge post on kid’s bedrooms. With kids growing as fast as they do it’s one room in the house where you will want to save a few dollars. Hop on over to see what we saved on and where we splurged. Click here to see the full post.

Nyla Free Designs is a full service Calgary Interior Design studio. Our goal is to bring your home to life by revealing your style and infusing unexpected elements of design and detail. If we can help with your project please let us know! See the contact page to get in touch.

Nyla Free Designs also offers an online design service through Design in a Box.

 

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summer solstice 2011

Is there anything better than a summer party? They are easy, casual and can go long into the night on a warm summers evening. We recently welcomed summer with our annual summer solstice party and even though it poured with rain we sparked up the bbq and had an amazing time. If you have plans to throw a bash or perhaps you end up with a spontaneous get together, I’ve got some tips for you over at Decor Mentor today. I invite you to pop over and enjoy more photos from our party and hopefully get some ideas for your own.

Happy summer!

xo

Nyla

 

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design: creating interest with neutral tile

Demolition just began on phase 2 of a home renovation project I have been working on for the past year. Yesterday we finalized the stain for the custom walnut vanity, mapped out the tub and shower placement and on Monday, I will be meeting with the tile setter to review the tile layout. My client is so in love with her samples she will not part with them! I took a photo to remind myself of the selections to prepare for Monday’s meeting and thought I would share them with you.

Cream, white, and chocolate brown are the colours we have selected for the bathroom scheme. A simple palette where the mix of patterns, textures and colour contrast will create the statement. This is an important part of bringing interest and life to a neutral space.

This is going to be quite the before and after transformation. It’s been 30 years since this home has had a face lift!