31 May 2011

want to go green when redecorating?

No, I don't mean by painting your walls olive (though that is a nice shade). I mean by choosing furnishings that are eco-friendly. It is now possible to be eco-minded and still buy furniture that is trendy and reflects your personal style, without spending a ton of the other green stuff.

When looking for environmentally sustainable furniture, look for it to be labeled eco-friendly. Wooden pieces should come from renewable sources or from a company that is certified for only using wood that is not treated with chemicals and is not taken from protected areas. Search for products that are locally made and minimize shipping distance. Choose fabrics that are unbleached and use chemical-free dyes. And look for natural and renewable materials such jute, bamboo, mango, teak, cork and organic cotton.

Another great way to reduce the impact on the environment is to shop at thrift, resale and antique shops to find vintage pieces and furniture you can repurpose. Paint and reupholstering are easy and have a huge impact!
Urban Tree Salvage

Brothers Dressler 
Crate & Barrel


Think you will try to incorporate eco-concious design into your next refresh? Let me know how it goes!

25 May 2011

i'm obsessed with...white

My friend told me the other day that I am obsessed with white. I admit, I do love it and use it a lot. But that doesn't mean my rooms (or me!) are boring! On the contrary, white can be one of the most interesting (non) colours there is. White signifies purity, clarity, goodness, simplicity, and beginnings. It is timeless and opulent. It is chic and fresh. And it is fantastic alone or with any other colour. It is, in my opinion, perfection.

White is actually more complicated than it sounds when decorating, however. White has a wide range of tones and hues, and can take on different looks according to the undertone used. A yellow undertone, for example is great for a mellow, aged look in a traditional room. Antique White by Benjamin Moore is a great one. Stark whites or whites with a blue undertone are great for contemporary design. Decorator's White from Benjamin Moore is also a fave.

White on white is a striking look for a room. Using several shades of white will create depth. The key to success is to add lots of texture with rugs, flooring, cushions, furniture and decorative items. I love the look of all white with natural materials such as wood. Accessories with a hint of colour also can add interest. And of course black always works with any colour to ground a space.

Here are some examples of white rooms that I love. What do you think?

Photos 1,2: The White Company; 3,4: Decor8; 5,6: A Beach Cottage; 7.8: House Beautiful; 9: Lilee Marie; 10:Decor Pad

22 May 2011

flower power!

Finally! Spring is here to stay, the grass is green and the first flowers are blooming. This is the time of year that I wait impatiently for. Not only to enjoy the outdoors, but also to refresh my home and bring some of that colour inside as well. I firmly believe in changing up the feel of a space with the seasons. Hey, we change our clothes for the seasons, why not our homes? It's easy to switch accessories like pillows, throw rugs, place settings, curtains and bed linens. Oh, and bring on the flowers!

Flowers are uplifting and bring instant happiness to your home. Luckily, floral patterns are trendy again. But it can be difficult to manage floral patterns without making your room look busy (or stuck in the 80's). Keep the pattern large, and pair it with neutrals, stripes or plaids. And make sure to repeat the pattern in order to maintain balance in the space.

Design by Tobi Fairley. Traditional Home.
Great new pillow from Crate & Barrel.

Love this wallpaper for a bedroom. House Beautiful. 

And this from Kravet. 

"In joy or sadness flowers are our constant friends." ~ Kakuzo Okakura

20 May 2011

refresheddesigns. is born!

Hi everyone! This is my first post on refresheddesigns., so let me tell you a little about myself. 

I'm Kelly, originally from the East Coast of Canada and now living in trendy Calgary, Alberta. I am a 9-5er by day, but breaking into entrepreneurship through an interior redesign, redecorating and reorganizing business by night and weekend.

I have always loved beautiful spaces and simple design. I believe homes and work spaces should make you happy and be functional -- all accomplished affordably and sustainably. You can have wonderful spaces without spending a lot of cash! I adhere to the principle of consuming as little as possible, so I always try to reuse and re-purpose when I can, and I also use things found in the great outdoors. Of course, that doesn't mean that I don't also shop my little heart out in search of a good buy! 

DIY is an ongoing passion, so I will post projects of mine and of others here to give you ideas. I am also an avid magazine and website/blog reader, so I will post lots of pictures that I find inspiring. 

So to get us started, here are a few pics of rooms that I love for Spring and Summer. Light and airy and...refreshed!! 

 From House Beautiful magazine.

From Country Living magazine.

From Country Living magazine.

I would love to hear your comments, ideas and suggestions. See you all again soon!