Creating a Stunning Storefront Window Display

Do you have a storefront window? Did you know that your window display is one of the strongest weapons in making your store stand out? Creating a window display highlights your brands’ personality. You want to be sure to create a display that will catch people’s attention when they walk by and leave them wanting more!

Here are a few helpful tips and visuals to get you started or if you already have a display they will hopefully provide some inspiration to change things up.

SET THEME + BUDGET

Before you start shopping and planning – first plan your theme and budget. We all know how quickly items add up when shopping for items you love! Set a budget and plan accordingly. When planning your theme – sketch out or find some pictures that tell your story and/or have the theme you were considering for visual guidance. Here is a very small owl theme window display on a very tiny budget.

FOCAL POINT

Create a focal point. When you stand outside your window, look at where your eye level is, this will determine the center line for your focal point. What do you want passers by to be looking at first?

Image compliments of The White Company on Pinterest

GRAB THEIR ATTENTION!

You want to grab the attention of those looking in. Don’t be afraid to pull out all the stops with bright, bold colours and varied shapes. Try to think outside the box with your design.

Image compliments of PopSugar on Pinterest

KEEP IT SIMPLE

Keep your display simple but eye-popping! The last thing you want to do is over-crowd the window. Too many items in your overall display will make it look crowded, cluttered and unattractive. I see this all the time.

Remember, to make a powerful statement – less is best!

Image compliments of Hill Design on Pinterest

LIGHTING

Lighting is the key to all great design, really! Lighting sets the tone of our spaces. Ensure you have enough LED lighting and ensure your lighting is vertical as it’s more appealing in a window display.

Image compliments of FourSquare on Pinterest

Now, when your display design is completed, stand back and look at what you’ve created. Make sure you look at it from all angles and tweak where necessary. Make sure it tells your story and speaks of you and your brand.

I’m sure you’ve walked by window displays and went “wow”, that is awesome! I know I have. That is how you need to feel when looking at your own design creation. I remember when I was little, we would always visit the Simpson store downtown Toronto and look at all the beautiful Christmas window displays. It was mesmerizing. A very fond childhood memory.

Image compliments of Sarah Illenberger on Pinterest

And, as always – we are here to assist you in any way we can with your design projects. Perhaps you just need some visual aids to help jump start your imagination. Feel free to reach out!

As you can see, we love Pinterest! What designer doesn’t, am I right!? We’d love to connect with you there too!

https://www.pinterest.ca/KRSmallSpaceDesign/

 

Creating a Fall Retreat for your Home

DARE TO DREAM

Do you dream of having that perfect space to escape to within your home? Are you exhausted and wanting to hide somewhere for 20 minutes (or longer!) and chill?

It doesn’t have to take a huge amount of time to create a little cozy nook for just that – to relax and unwind after a hectic day or week. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

CHOOSING YOUR SPACE

Look at your space and locate a corner in a room to create your retreat oasis in. Try and establish it near a window to allow the natural light in, and if you can, a window with a view.

Take a moment to look outside and enjoy the natural light, trees, water, beautiful sky – this is all good for the soul!

Choose a soft – comfy cozy chair, a small table or ottoman (to place a warm cup of tea on) and a plush pillow or two. Lastly treat yourself to a lovely warm, wool throw. Red Scarf Equestrian has a beautiful selection! 100% wool and affordable.

A FEW OF YOUR FAVOURITE THINGS

Find a few of your favourite things, like photos, books, perhaps an item you brought back from a recent trip – things that make you feel good and make you happy – and place them in the space.

I have a corner in my living room where I enjoy for 15 – 30 minutes on occasion to just relax and unwind. My blue chair, a faux pillow, a wool throw, a cup of tea and a nice outside view where I can just peer out, watch the trees and enjoying the calm and stillness.

GIVE THANKS

Lastly, use this new retreat space to spend time being grateful. I have chosen the month of October to remind myself of all the things I have to be grateful for. In this fast-paced world we live in – it’s almost essential to take some quiet, reflective time for yourself.

 

What better time to create this cozy retreat oasis in your home – a space to be reflective and grateful, than this Thanksgiving season?

www.redscarfequestrian.ca

What are you waiting for? Create your corner oasis and send me some pictures! I would love to see what you’ve created! Do this for yourself – you will be happy you did.

Decorating Ideas For Your Rental Space!

Are you renting an apartment or condo? Looking to make it your oasis to come home to but need a little decor guidance? Here I offer you some decor tips for your rental spaces that won’t cost you a fortune in the process.

First: Be sure to check your rental or lease agreement to know the boundaries around decorating, painting, wallpaper etc.

VERSATILE FURNITURE PIECES

Choose versatile furniture pieces that you love and that can move with you – being creative where you place them in your space. Remember not all things need to be against the wall or a-lined. It’s your space, do what you like 🙂

Let’s look at your kitchen hardware. Something as simple as changing the door handles to something you like – perhaps more modern – will generally change the look and feel of the room.

Remember to keep the old ones in a ziplock bag and store in a kitchen drawer for when/if you decide to move.

SHELVING

With very limited storage in a smaller space, you always have to be creative. I always suggest purchasing high vertical shelves. I recommend 5-6 tier shelves so the top shelves you can place those items you only use a couple of times a month or year. You can also add a small fold-up step stool at the side of it so you can easily grab something off the units. Use your lower shelves for photos, a few collectibles, hard cover books etc.

Be mindful though to not clutter up the area.

Picture compliments of Ikea

BATHROOM + POWDER ROOM

For your bathroom or powder room – consider wallpaper! It not only adds a special element to the room – it’s also fun! (Remember, you may have to strip it off when you move but if it’s only a small room, it won’t take you too long.) You typically live in the space for more than a year, so have some fun with the decorating while you’re there. Large flower patterns and geometric patterns are trending this Fall 2018.

Picture compliments of Apartment Therapy

Most spaces have parquet flooring or hardwood these days so here’s a good opportunity to buy some fun, thick (for winter months) throw rugs for your space. You can even add a throw rug in your kitchen area. Throw rugs always add an element of warmth to your space.

Image compliments of nuLOOM

CHECK OUT THOSE WINDOW COVERINGS

Okay now open your eyes and check out those ugly vertical blinds that seem to be placed on every window! Ick! I believe you have two options here. Either take them down, wrap them with green painters tape and store them under a couch or bed, or in a closet or you can watch for long curtains to go on sale – usually near seasons end you can get them for 50-75% off! Adding this touch will really make your space feel like your home.

Image compliments of Sarah Moore

The last thing I want to mention is this – the lighting always sucks in rental units, am I right? Invest in some tall or mid-sized floor lamps and place them in various locations throughout your space. This will make a huge impact on the feel of your rooms. And don’t forget your kitchen. There’s nothing wrong with putting little lights in there, especially under the cupboards.

Image compliments of Pier 1

It really comes down to what you can and cannot do based on your rental agreement. But even if there are limitations – that doesn’t mean you can’t make your space a place you enjoy coming home to.

If you are really stuck on design and decor ideas and just need some quick advice, feel free to send us a photo of your space with a note and we’d love to help get you started. This is our gift to you for reading our blog!

Looking forward to seeing some of your pictures. You can send them to kathy@kathyrusselldesign.ca. Please add your email and phone number and we will get back to you within 48 hours with some complimentary helpful ideas.

Design Trends for Fall 2018

Fall is fast approaching! This is a good time to consider updating your space to reflect the coming season. Want to know what’s trending? If you follow fashion – design is usually right behind it.

Trending: “the overall need for flexibility within interiors” ~ Allyson Rees, Editor at Global Style Network.

As I have mentioned in a number of my blogs, décor should double as storage and decorative items – multi-functional items are big players.

OVER SIZED FLORALS

Who doesn’t love florals? Especially large ones! From cushions, bedsheets, wall murals, to artwork – adding some deep black or navy will allow the large florals to be the “stars of the show”

EARTH TONES

Bring in some earth tones. Sage is becoming the new ‘neutral’. Bring in some natural wood grains and some natural patina furnishings to add elements of texture and shape to the space.

And don’t forget to look-up my friends!  Statement ceiling designs are quite popular right now. Anything from wood mazes, tiling, wallpaper and paint – anything to make it stand out. Got to love it!

Photo compliments of Ideas For home Decorating

GO BIG OR GO SMALL

And I’m talking accessories! Bring on the black, (if you’re not a fan, just do a small element of it). Or go for the huge trending navy blue, true blue or velvety blue. Who doesn’t love the deep blues?  Lastly “think pink” Yes pink! All things dusty rose or that old fashioned pink. Make a statement with a deep velvety pink chair (my favorite) or a large cushioned sofa.

Picture compliments of Amara

WARM FEEL GOODS

Don’t forget the conscious, handcrafted pieces – the feel good textured pieces; such as tufted rugs, warm quilts and rattan lampshades. These will make for a very cozy (+ stylish) fall season.

Picture compliments of Lonny Magazine

As always, keeping this clutter free is a must and using the simple muted tones and monochromatic pallets will be a nice compliment for the upcoming season.

If you don’t know where to start or just need a little push, drop us a note or picture. We are always glad to help!

Create a Beautiful + Functional Hall Entrance

What drives you crazy about your hall entrance area? Do you find it has become a dumping
ground for papers, keys, footwear etc? Is it functioning properly? In this blog, I’d like to offer
some suggestions to help you create a more functional and welcoming entry space.

You have one chance to make a first impression when someone enters your space.

Depending on the size of your entryway and whether you have a small closet or not, will make a difference with regards to storage.

Usually when I come in the door, I always have my hands full. Whether it’s my coffee,
mail/newspaper, keys, purse or work bag, I’m always carrying stuff and I’m sure you find yourself in the same situation.

Utilize your vertical space by the door by adding a nice size decorative mirror (always good to
check your lipstick or hair when leaving home). You can hang a key rack as well – making your keys visible and easy to grab.
If space allows, add a small table, dresser or bench. By doing this, you can put your mail, bag or
purse down when removing your shoes/boots. If you have the space for a dresser, this is great for
storing sunglasses, scarves, gloves, a lint brush, a flashlight, an umbrella etc. If your lighting is
dim in this area, add a nice decorative lamp or two wall sconces. If space only allows for a small
bench, put some storage baskets underneath it for storing items.

When my kids were little, I always had three small baskets underneath a bench in our front
hallway for all their stuff – one sock, a mitten, chewed gum, empty juice boxes, notes from
school – it was all in there! Once a week we or mostly me, would tackle the junk!
When looking at your floor, consider warming the entrance way with a nice welcoming hall
runner carpet. Don’t forget the rubber backing, you don’t want to be slipping and sliding! To
avoid having a shoe store in your hallway, add a small shoe rack with 6 rungs – that way you
won’t be able to have more than 6 pairs of shoes in this space.
Remember – the goal is to keep it organized and tidy; warm and welcoming! You
will love having everything at your fingers tips in a hurry.
If you find your entrance area space isn’t working for you or your family, feel free to send me
some photos and I’ll send you some complimentary feedback.

For more design ideas for your small spaces, be sure to visit our Instagram page!

Furnishing Tips For Downsizing

Have you been considering downsizing? Have you thought about what you might be keeping? Will those pieces fit? Will they work for your new space? These are all important questions to think about when downsizing – think simple and multi-functional.

Here are some helpful multi-functional pieces to consider when downsizing.

FURNITURE

Sleeper Sofa

Whether you’re in a one or two bedroom condo, consider a good sleeper sofa for a couple of reasons. 1) you have a spot where your guest(s) can sleep and/or 2) it can be your main piece of furniture, but still be used for sleeping.

Murphy Beds

Another great option for a second bedroom or even a one bedroom. They can be custom fit to your space. They are multi-functional and can be used as an office desk.

Book Stacking/Floating Shelves

You don’t want book shelves everywhere, so one or two is suggested. They are good for displaying special items, books, dishes, crystal jugs, glasses etc.

Storage Benches

Great for many purposes is the multi-functional storage bench. The bench can hold your extra bedding, towels, etc. and can be used as a foot stool and or coffee table. If there is no lid to the bench, you can put two or three baskets underneath them with items in the baskets. We have one in the studio, see below.

Folding Chairs

If you entertain a lot, folding chairs are a great option and they are easy to store. They are comfortable and come in different colours. Storing beside your washer/dryer, or in your front closet is convenient.

Ottomans/Floor Cushions

These look great in any space and most of the floor cushions are stackable. With most ottomans the lid comes off, so you can stow away items. They can be used as extra seating, a foot stool or a small table to house your beverages or snacks.

Dressers

Three or four drawer dressers can be used as a bedside table with your clothes or extra bedding easily stored away. (We actually just did this for a client and she loved the idea). You can change up the handles to make it more modern looking (if it’s an older type dresser). Place a lamp, reading glasses and clock on top and now it’s a nightstand for duel usage.

Drawers

If you have a bed that is off the floor (which most are) you can get drawers to go underneath to create extra storage. They are a huge space saver and you can get ones made with wheels at a low cost when working within a budget.

Nesting Tables

A set of tables that nest in as one are perfect options to create extra space and are multi-functional. They are easy to pull in and use to entertain, hold a lamp, plant, books etc.

Cristollo Coffee Table

This type of coffee table lifts up, stores stuff underneath the lifting lid and also converts into a desk and dining table. These are a little more unique and a tad expensive, but are a good investment if you are tight for space.

Helpful Hints:

  • When choosing paint, choose a light colour and keep it consistent throughout the space. It will help keep the space light and airy.
  • Measure everything – don’t overcrowd your new space or under furnish it with too many small pieces. It’s all to scale. Remember, you can’t take everything with you. If you’re living in a large place, you need to start purging six months before you move.
  • Drapery – Consider full length, ceiling floor is usually a good rule of thumb for most spaces that require drapery. Depending on where the window/door is located, will help decide if it’s wall-to-wall or just the window itself that needs coverage.
  • Stackable shoe racks are a must – especially if you’re a shoe-a-holic! personally, I am purse-a-holic.
  • Get things on wheels – it makes your life easier to move things and it keeps your furnishings off the floor.

Remember, if you feel overwhelmed and need some help with the downsizing, reach out for help!

5 Essentials to Stock That Summer Bar Cart

Make the most of your summer entertaining with a well put together cocktail cart. Make it stylish, fun and decorative – without cluttering it up.

These essentials listed below make it easy for you and your guests to self-serve, relax and enjoy themselves.

I have this cart in the studio and what I love about it is all the tiers close in to make it more compact.

TOOLS

All you need for every cocktail!

You will need a good set of bar tools:

  • A shaker, muddler, bottle opener, jigger, metal spring strainer.
  • An insulated ice bucket and metal tongs. (keeps the ice longer)
  • Swizzle stir sticks – preferably glass ones.
  • A small cocktail recipe book.

BASIC ALCOHOL

Let’s get this party started

  • Whisky
  • Vodka
  • Tequila
  • Gin
  • Run
  • Red & White wine
  • Beer

MIXERS

Let’s mix it up friends

  • Dry Vermouth
  • Triple Sec
  • Soda water & a few cans of pop
  • Lemons, limes, cherries, olives (you can pre-cut the lemons & limes), whatever you fancy in your drinks and put them in small bowls.
  • Simple syrups – if you only have large bottles – pour some syrup into small squeeze bottles and put those out for your guests.

Original Pic: Clean And Scentsible

SERVEWARE

 It’s all about self-serve

  • Stylish Cocktail glasses
  • Rock Glasses – nice cut glass – Crate & Barrel have some lovely, inexpensive ones!
  • Collins glasses – this is your taller glass.
  • One size wine glass – serve red or white wine in them.
  • Cloth napkins – that match your colour scheme.
  • Coloured paper straws & stir sticks.

Original Pic: The Creativity Exchange

DECOR

Keep it simple

  • Fresh flowers – add beauty, colour and aroma to the space. (remember to keep size in mind)
  • Add a decorative pitcher or beautiful glass dispenser – again remember size.
  • Custom coasters – most people have lots of these hanging around.

Original Pic: Pinterest: Style Me Pretty

Bar carts make you feel like the hostess with the mostess, without having to lift a finger. In your small space, this is another multi functional piece (but that’s the next blog).

Remember to keep it simple! You don’t need to cram everything in it and fill every inch of the cart – stay away from the cluttered look. Think small and small sized alcohol bottles. You can keep the larger bottles in a cupboard in the kitchen or hall cupboards should you need to re-stock. Most bar carts are on wheels, so you can move them around – that’s what I love about them.

Enjoy your next cocktail!

Letting Go & Simplifying Your Living Space

Well, you’re here, so you must be thinking about living simpler – Welcome! Please
remember that this is a journey. It took you awhile to accumulate the things in your
possession and change is a process. We live in times of large homes filled to the brim with
stuff – and not to mention the garage! It’s important to keep in mind that this is a mind
shift and requires small steps to learning to live with less and live a simple, quieter life.
Don’t judge yourself, or let others judge you. It’s your life! It’s your journey.
Let’s shift your mindset so you can start letting go of those things you are not using and
are no longer serving a purpose in your life. Once you do that, you will cultivate a sense
of appreciation for what is present in your life. Here are a few steps to get you started.

Getting Started

  • Get a piece of paper and write down your goals for your space
  • Once you’ve done that – break them down room by room
  • Schedule time in your calendar – 15-30 minutes
  • Set some clear intentions for yourself
  • Prioritize what’s important

Letting Go

  • Start with easy things, like your coffee mugs,
    only keep seven
  • It’s okay to let things go, especially when
    they are serving no purpose
  • Keep in mind – these are objects, material
    things – they don’t define who you are
  • Keep a box handy to put donated items in

The Hard Stuff

  • Clothes are tough – but did you know you wear 20% of what’s in your closet 80%
    of the time?
  • Be honest with yourself. If you’re trying to lose weight and think it might fit later,
    let it go. If you lose the weight (and you will) treat yourself to something new. Do
    you really want to wear those old clothes?
  • Attachment to certain items – if it is serving no purpose, ask yourself why you are
    keeping it. It’s ok to let it go.
  • Don’t keep things thinking “Oh, I might need it someday”, you won’t – especially if
    it’s been sitting around for a long time.

If you hit a road block and feel overwhelmed – take 
a break. Rest. Keep your goals and intentions in
mind, and get back at it. Just think of the benefits
of living simpler. Not only will living simpler save
you time and money, it will make you feel less
stressed and overwhelmed. By living simpler, you
will appreciate the simpler things and enjoy life in a
whole new way!

Tips

  • Less is better! A simple, less-cluttered space
    feels good!
  • If you bring something new in, something
    must go out.
  • Ask yourself when you’re shopping, “Do I
    really need this”?
  • Resist temptation
  • The idea is not to throw everything away, just lessen the amount of stuff you have
    When you live simpler, it brings a refreshing new perspective on life. It allows you to
    eliminate the unnecessary and helps you focus more on doing the things you love. If you
    don’t think you can do it alone, reach out for help.

“There are two ways to be rich. One is by acquiring much, the other by desiring little.”

– Jackie Coller

 

I hope this was helpful for you. I promise you, living with less is worth it.

Be happy, be kind!

Are you thinking of downsizing? Becoming empty nesters? Don’t know where to start…

Downsizing, no matter the reason for it is often emotional, overwhelming at times, daunting and just plain stressful. It isn’t an easy decision or process. You must start with the end goal in mind, that you’re moving to a much, much smaller space, and you’ll have to come to terms with the fact that you simply will not be able to take everything you currently have into the new space.  Otherwise, you’ll take everything with you; and it will end up costing you more money. I recommend to all my clients that they be in the right mindset from the get-go, and to be consciously ready to “let go of stuff”.

The whole purpose of downsizing your stuff, is to edit and only keep that which is functional and will fit in your new SMALLER space.

The following tips will help you to plan and execute your move with the most peace of mind!

Plan

Create a solid plan, it will help you to l be organized and have a clear frame of mind. By having a clear plan in mind, you will find it much easier to create a comfortable and stylish environment for your new space.

  • Set clear goals and expectations – write them down
  • As you go room by room – think smaller space and smaller scale pieces!
  • Know the size or have an idea of the size of space you will be downsizing to
  • Keep the word “KISS” in your head at all times – Keep It Simple Silly
  • Get supplies (boxes, plastic sturdy containers, tape, markers, labels, wrap paper, clear bags, only)
  • If you want to sell items, consider a garage sale, auction or consignment shop (I’ve listed a few at the bottom)

 Ask Yourself:  Do you love it? Do you use it? Is there someone I know that would

like it?

Sorting

This is 100% necessary – you cannot take everything with you.

  • As you start the process, start one room at a time
  • Sort items into three categories:
    1. Keeping
    2. Nice to have, but won’t fit
    3. Donate/Recycle/Give away
  • Things you are keeping, place in clear storage bins, wrapped, labelled and put in a corner of the room (by doing this, it’s done and you don’t need to touch it again, until you are moved and un-packing).
  • The key is not to have to touch and sort things two and three times, be ruthless
  • Once you’ve made your decision – let it go! You can do this!
  • Enlist in some help – someone that will be honest and help you let go of stuff!

Remember – less is better – purge

Editing Furnishing

When editing and choosing pieces to keep – think smaller, quality pieces especially multi-functional items.

  • Trying to put large pieces of furniture in smaller space will make the space look out of place and feel cramped. More importantly – they may not fit in elevator, stairway or condo doorway – remember scale
  • Choose pieces that are light-weight that you can’t live without
  • Sentimental items – this is hard, I know, but you have to do it and you have to ask yourself “Does it bring me joy and serve a purpose”. You can always take a photo

of it.  Remember, you will always have the memories of them in your mind, heart and a photo. “I just let my grandmother’s gramophone go. I took a photo of it and have that to look back on. You may think I’m silly, but I gave it a hug and said, “Good-bye, you served me well for thirty years”.

  • Limit your collectibles – Keep a few and let the rest go or give them away to someone that will appreciate them as much as you
  • Keep only the pieces that can serve double duty in the new space

The above points will help you to start this project and will help to keep you on track.  Just remember, as you move forward continually ask yourself “will it fit in a smaller space, is it serving a purpose and do I really love it?”

I understand this is a big decision and may be very emotional for you. If you are considering downsizing to a condo, I invite you to contact me for a complimentary consultation and together we can discuss your plan.

My recommendations: (Please note, these are just suggestions, we do not receive compensation)

Auction Company – Maxsold.com

Consignment – theMillionairesDaughter.com

Donating – Canadian Diabetes, Big Brothers and Developmental Disabilities Association, there are many charities, these are just a few).