Calgary Interior Designer

Tips And Tricks

We always have some T&T (Tips & Tricks) at the bottom of our blog posts, but we thought, why not put them all together in one place to make it easier.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us, we would love to help.


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T&T – Get your contractor to draw the layout of the cabinets on the floor of the kitchen and take a minute to walk through, this will give you a good “feel” of the layout and if it is working for you.

T&T  – Make sure you choose your appliances prior to kitchen drawings as you will need the dimensions for the cabinet design, as well, code requires cabinets to be a certain distance from a gas stove as opposed to an electric one.

T&T – When choosing cabinet hardware, make sure you hold the handle up against a wall or cabinet to see if there is a comfortable amount of  room for your hand to operate the pull.

T&T – Always take the time to plan a space and understand everything you want to accomplish BEFORE you start getting prices.  Putting a plan together will go a long way to accurate quotes and all the trades understanding their part of the job.  You end up with a project that is on time, and on budget with no surprises.

T&T – When planning for an entertainment area, always take into consideration all of the electronic components you have, and some you may want for the future.  We can design a clean “wire free” space by installing conduits behind the scenes.  All your cords and wires are built-in and hidden so you are left with a very clean, beautiful unit.

T&T –  When planning your space, keep in mind any new or existing items that may need to be hung on the walls.  If, like in this project you are adding a mounted fireplace, or large tv, you can add “back framing” while you are under construction and your walls are already open.  This is extra wood inside the walls designed to support the extra weight your item may require.

T&T – When choosing your finishes, first start with what is already there, if you have existing granite or flooring that is not being changed, use that as your starting point, add products that work with your existing finishes.  Whether you are adding to a space or starting from scratch, creating a family of products is your best choice in achieving beautiful results.  The idea being, you can take any one of the products and use it with any other of the products in any configuration, that is a sign of a fabulous family of products.

T&T – If you need area rugs in your home, how about using broadloom (wall to wall) and cutting it to size…  There are so many choices now in carpet… patterns, textures and colours.  Any carpet supplier will make a custom area rug for you in exactly the size you need, they finish the edges and it looks fabulous.    It is a very economical way to get a beautiful area rug made for your space.

T&T – Take a deep breath and know that renovating your home is a process, but it doesn’t have to be stressful.  Take the time to plan and hire the right designer and you will have the home you want, on time and on budget…

T&T – When picking and building a staircase, always consider whether they will be clad in carpet or hardwood.  It really does make a difference as the stairs are build differently.  Carpet and hardwood have different depths, so the stairs need to be built to accommodate that.  It may just be 1/2 inch, but you would feel it when you walk on the stairs.

T&T – Wood finishes are a big part of any renovation, try not to get too many different types in your hard surfaces.  I usually use two extensively, hardwood and cabinets and if necessary I add a third for impact.

T&T – When removing an existing tile floor, allow time and budget for a possible new sub floor and a great deal more time to take it out.  Not every contractor puts in a tile floor correctly, sometimes it is actually glued down, so when you chip it out, your sub floor comes with it.  That means, it is really hard to get it out, so more time for your contractor and you will have to put in a new sub floor.

T&T – When framing in a new shower, that is your opportunity to add a built in niche to hold shampoo and soap, the tiler can tile inside it.  Once the walls are framed and drywalled,  you can’t add it afterwards without a lot of expense.  So think about it before you start framing.

T&T – Cabinet and door hardware can truly add some drama to your space.  Don’t be afraid to add a little bling, hardware is the one thing that you usually don’t need a lot of, so go ahead and pick the best one.

T&T – Make sure when you are planning your cabinetry (not just in the kitchen) that you take the time to really understand how you will use them.  In a master closet for instance, take a look at your wardrobe and figure out if you need a lot of storage for cocktail and formal dress, are you someone who attends a lot of fundraisers etc…do you need a place to store all of your workout gear, how about jewelry?  Once again, taking the time to plan your space to suit your specific needs will go a long way to you being happy with the finished product.

T&T – Always take some time to draw up a furniture plan, make sure it is to scale.  Once you are shopping you can always refer to the plan to make sure a piece will fit, it will also let you know which pieces you need.  If you look closely at the furniture plan in this post, you will see some small lines on the outside of the plan, these represent one foot each, another guide to help you make the right choices.

T&T – Please do not match all your items or colours.  Varying shades of the same colour create beautiful layers.  Choose items that work well together, don’t purchase a living room “set” for instance.  Pick your pieces so they complimen

T&T – When picking paint colours, understand that you may love the colour on the paint chip but you really need to see it in your space, with your light.  Always have your designer pick two or three that are close to the colour that you love and try them out in the space.  The same colour will look different in different spaces.

T&T – Refacing your cabinets can save a lot of costs and you can still have a “new” kitchen.  Replacing doors and gables (the side part of the cabinet) can really go a long way to changing how your kitchen looks without the cost of a brand new kitchen.  Also, just lacquering your wood cabinets to a solid colour is a fantastic way to update your kitchen or bath.