Keeping Cool with Window Treatments

Nancy Lucas - Decorating Den Interiors

Summer weather is here and the sunny hot days are seeping into our homes.  Air conditioners are chugging along trying to keep us cool.  Considering the costs of the next fuel bill, there is an old fashioned way to help to conserve energy.   Window Treatments!  

As our mothers did before us, keeping the window treatments closed during the hottest, sunniest parts of the day can provide excellent insulation from summer heat.  It can save you money and  save energy for the planet.


Another reason to close your drapery, blinds, etc. is to protect your furniture, carpet and wood floors from fading. Even a sheer fabric over your window can offer some protection from the damages that the sun can make.


Closing your window treatments will also shield you and your belongings from inquisitive people walking by.  Whether you are at work during the day or sitting at home at night, privacy is always important.


Choosing the best window treatments for each of your rooms is a task that requires careful thought and planning.  Not only are window treatments a beautiful addition to your home, they are a sound investment as well.

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Nifty Kitchen Organizers

Kitchen organization and storage has come a long way. The interesting options available to help you stay organized are wide and varied.  Function goes a long way to making your time in the kitchen enjoyable.  Here are a few examples…

There is no reason for food to get lost in the back of your pantry with the options available now.    The first kitchen pantry shows roll out drawers inside the doors as well as tray dividers on top and the second pantry is a pull-out pantry where the whole pantry comes out and is open on both sides.

When designing a kitchen space, much consideration is taken to use every available space. The extra inches in these upper cabinets above offer great storage.  The first filler space has a k-cup insert and the second photo is spice storage.

How convenient would it be to have a removable storage unit that holds all your cleaning supplies?  Just pick it up and take it around the house for all your cleaning areas.  The great design of this unit makes it very functional and it also has a tray that collects any spills.

So much space is lost in a corner cabinet.  Lazy susan units are well known but now there is a swivel/drawer unit available that is even more convenient.  Pull out the drawer to access the most often used products and then swivel to access the sides of the unit.  Sometimes there is not a full corner available but just one side that would be wasted if not for units that pull out to access and then tuck into the corner when not required.

Using every available space in the kitchen will go a long way to making the most important room in your house a dream to work in.


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Organization at its finest!

Being organized is an ongoing struggle.  Where does the bills go when you get home that nothing gets lost or forgotten? Where should your prettiest items be displayed? What should you do with the endless paperwork that requires being kept for years? The task of finding storage for all your “stuff” is a daunting task!

Storage comes in all different shapes and sizes.  Closet systems for the bedroom, front entrance, garage and basement are a must and the more they can be customized for your needs the better that they will serve you for years to come.

There are also the types of storage that are furniture pieces….attractive and convenient and purposeful. Here are some ideas that will simplify your storage issues…

Blog Storage 1



This open bookcase has so many uses.  It can be used as a room divider between a living room and dining room to display beautiful dishes, vases and also books and favourite photos.  It can also flank a fireplace or TV unit to create a feature wall.






Blog Storage 2




A little bit of file storage goes a long way to staying organized.  A place to file taxes, appliance warranties, children’s artwork or important financial papers.  This cabinet looks so pretty but is so functional. it has two full drawers of hanging file storage.




Below is another idea for file/office storage that sits beside your favourite chair and looks like an end table.  Pieces that are multi functional as well as beautiful should have a place in every home.


This social cabinet is a great example of functional storage in a pretty package.  It is an interesting looking cabinet when closed and so well designed. It provides a bar when it is open with space for glasses and bottle storage and drawers for napkins and openers, etc. There is also a serving area to prepare the cocktails.


Blog Storage 6


Having a large dining table that expands usually involves a number of extra leaves to store somewhere, usually in a closet or under a bed taking up valuable space.  This table has a very unique way to store its expanding pieces.  Have a look at the table photos below.





So when you think that you cannot fit one more thing into your closets or cupboards, consider the many other options available to create more storage space.


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Bringing spring inside

After April showers come May flowers and we are anxiously waiting for them to arrive. In the meantime, bring spring inside to brighten up your home.

Here are a few ideas that are simple and can be easily changed after the season…

Pillows with spring motifs are a simple way to instantly make a statement that winter is gone and a new season has begun.

spring pillow    pillow 1


Another idea is to change some of the artwork in your rooms to depict the bright warm colours of spring. Imagine the following examples of spring artwork on a kitchen wall brightening your day.


Spring Art


Accessories, botanicals  and area rugs provide more ways to make a stronger statement that spring has arrived when combined with pillows and artwork.


Spring rug

Bringing in beautiful spring colours, patterns and florals to your home can encourage the season to begin….or at least keep us happy until everything starts to bloom.


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Kitchens & Bathrooms 2016 Trends

The Toronto Design Show 2016 also unveiled the 2016 design trends for kitchens and bathrooms and below are some of the highlights.

White kitchen cabinets have been in vogue for a while and will continue into 2016.  Along with white cabinets, grey and black cabinets are becoming popular or a combination of these cabinet colours in the same kitchen.


The trend of lighter wood tones in furniture design has also moved into the kitchen.


Marble and marble look quartz is also on the rise.  The care required for marble in contrast to quartz is a major consideration when deciding which is better for your space.

The mixing of different materials and metals in the same room will also be seen more in 2016.

Decorating Den Interior Design

Along with smart appliances and designated spots in a kitchen for smart devices, functional design and custom storage is becoming even more important to the homeowner.

West Orange Residence

Textures and patterns in tile have become more graphic.  Hexagon tiles, textured tiles and cement tiles were showcased at the show.  Subway tiles will continue to be classic but a new take on an old favourite is a textured subway tile.

Lastly, a few more trends that are being highlighted for 2016 are open shelving, pull out shelves, over sized statement lighting and satin finish brass metal finishes.

There is much to consider when renovating kitchens and bathrooms.  I would love to work with you to create a customized functional space that you will love for many years to come.


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Toronto Interior Design Show 2016

A few of our interior design consultants attended  the Toronto Interior Design Show a couple of weeks ago and wanted to share some of the DESIGN TRENDS FOR 2016.

Colour – Fresh/Light/Bright

  • Pantone softer dusty rose and pastel tones.  Feminine, romantic, also go well with Mid-Century Modern and Scandinavian lines.
  • White reflects the need for peace, serenity and clean-looking spaces.
  • One room homes minimize the need for multiple colours. Results in key walls and spaces to add texture.
  • White kitchens. Minimal cabinetry, but add a punch of colour with table top accessories and accent furnishings.
  • Earthy, farm-to-table concept, reclaimed woods moving from greys to softer, warm tones and yellows.

PANTONE:  “As consumers seek mindfulness and well-being as an antidote to modern day stresses, welcoming colors that psychologically fulfill our yearning for reassurance and security are becoming more prominent.”Panetone Colours

“White is essential, transcendent, timeless, elegant, honest, powerful –  simply said, simply white.”BM Paint

Design Trends for Modern Living

  • Open concept floor plan, multi functional space.
  • Use furniture and area rugs to define different zones.
  • Looks back to Mid-Century Modern and Scandinavian design.
  • Sleek design and innovation in cabinetry, e.g. concealed cabinets and hidden charging outlets in drawers to create a seamless look.



Warm Flooring

  • Driftwood look or washed.
  • White floors, beachy and casual.
  • Wide and long planks, now available in engineered types of flooring, more stability, less shrinkage and expansion.
  • Red and white oak now stained in lighter and trendier tones.
  • Hickory, ash and walnut is classic, but now left natural and much lighter than traditionally stained floors.


Mixing Different Materials and Finishes

  • Eclectic worldly aesthetic is the new normal.
  • Minerals, fossils and gorgeous gems, natural stone.
  • Showing up in wall paper and custom murals.

mixing metals wallpaper room

This is just a small sampling of the upcoming trends that were seen at the Toronto Design show 2016.

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Let’s talk about wood furniture…

When you are looking for new wood furniture, there are many things to consider…        The type of wood, the finish and your colour preference will need to be decided upon.  What size does the furniture piece need to be to fit into your room and how will it be used will narrow down the choices available.

Hard wood such as maple, oak, ash and walnut will be much more durable than soft wood like pine.  Depending on what the furniture piece is used for and the look you want to have, this will be a huge consideration.



The next type of wood furniture is veneer.  This is a thin layer of hardwood that is bonded to another piece of wood underneath.  Many veneer pieces can be beautiful and high end.  Marquetry and wood inlay is considered veneer but the quality of the woods used along with the intricate designs make for an exquisite treasured heirloom.

inlay      inlay1

Also, veneer can be more cost effective than solid wood it is bonded to a lesser priced wood and/or particle board underneath.

7421 Table

Laminate is usually made with synthetic materials and is the least expensive.  It is very durable and easy to clean.  Great for children’s rooms or any area that needs hard wearing surfaces.



Consider looking inside and under and behind when checking for well constructed furniture.

Check a drawer for dovetail joints on all corners of the drawer.  In quality pieces, the finish should be smooth on the inside and outside of the drawers.

Also, quality wood furniture should have corner blocking that includes double dowels that have been screwed and glued into place.


Choose the quality of furniture that is perfect for your needs and your budget.  Consider that this furniture purchase will be an investment and the better the quality, the longer it will last.

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