In January I went to the Calgary Home Expo at the BMO Center. A friend had texted me to say Sarah Richardson was going to be speaking at the show … and checking handy dandy google I learned so was Scott McGillivray. So we bought online tickets (they are $2 per person cheaper online than at the door) and away we went. I have been watching Sarah Richardson for years and LOVE her style. TIP: if you sign up to get emails from the 2 big home shows in Calgary (Calgary Home and Garden Show in February and Calgary Home and Design Show in September) they will send out limited time offers of 2 for 1 tickets or 50% off tickets 6 to 8 weeks prior to the show. For me, the $10 to see Scott McGillivray and Sarah Richardson was a deal in itself.
Scott McGillivray is a Canadian real estate investor and many of you will know him from his Income Properties program on HGTV. Did you know by the age of 23 he already had 5 rental properties? What a smarty pants! And I gotta say I always thought he was cute on TV but in person – hottie! He was an excellent speaker, very personable, relatable, and real. Below is a short synopsis of his presentation as it pertains to this blog (he talked a lot about real estate investing which while interesting is not relevant to my blog).
Top 5 Design Trends of 2015
- Home Efficiency – Energy efficiency and green homes, I would agree people are getting more and more interested in what is behind the walls of their home.
- Industrial Simplicity – I love this style; clean lines, professional grade appliances, black, white and grey with color in the accent pieces, making it easier and less expensive to update accessories.
- Curbless Showers – I think this one speaks for itself; how many of us have tripped getting out of the shower/tub? … I know my hand is up.
- Home Automation – NEST thermostats are on sale all the time at Home Depot, I know there is one on my wish list. But this also applies to lighting, entertainment systems, etc.
- Furniture Inspired Design Features – I love this type of thing! Using a bathroom vanity or kitchen island made from an old dresser or buffet hutch adds so much character.
After a short break, it was time to listen to Sarah Richardson. She is an award winning designer and HGTV personality. I just love her; her shows and her style (gush). My mom was kind enough to buy me her first book for Christmas “Sarah Style ” and I had it signed afterwards as Sarah stayed for a book signing. She was very nice and chatted with us for a minute or two. She’s a very good speaker and is apparently quite chatty. She went way over the hour they allotted her and mentioned that she is often being urged to wrap it up. She seemed nice and funny and a bit … awkward or maybe dorky is a better word? Design geek? (I think you can be a design geek, a computer geek, a figure skating geek – to me it means you love and are passionate about it). Scott MacGillivray was probably a better speaker but I was definitely way more inspired by Sarah Richardson. I wanted to immediately go home and start a project!
Sarah is excellent at working from an inspiration/item and designing a room around it, and below are some tips I pulled out of her presentation to help us do the same.
Choose 3 or 4 fabrics and then pull coloring for the rest of the room from there. Sarah excels at this and also in adding texture to her designs by incorporating natural materials. I always do this the wrong way – I choose my paint color, paint the room and then try to find matching fabric/accessories – which is SO frustrating! I’m trying to change this behavior.
Use tile to add visual interest. Even if your budget can only afford stock tiles, you can still add interest. For example, did you know subway tiles usually come in white and grey? So buy both and map out a graphic pattern to add interest. One of the things I like about Sarah’s programs is she always gives cost conscious tips. Like if you want to splurge on some fancy expensive tile do it in a small area like a half bath or entry way or by using the higher cost tile in a strip, and keeping the main field in the more cost effective subway tiles.
Never under estimate the need for illumination. Why do you need a dimmer switch in the bathroom? For those wine and bubble bath evenings! My friend had an even better suggestion why you need a dimmer in a bathroom – so when you stumble to the loo at 2 am, you don’t have to blind yourself with a bright light. Also you can turn the light up bright when you’re cleaning. We moved into a new home the summer of 2014 and many of the switches were cracked; my boyfriend, who is not a handyman guy (love you honey), bought new switches for about $2 each and with the help of google, changed them all out.
Re-interpret, re-imagine and re-use items that you have or are given. See the potential in that thrift store find and what it could be. This is great because it’s budget friendly and gets you in there doing some DIY! It can be as simple as making your own artwork or painting out a piece of furniture. Get inspired and look for ideas in books, travel, your city, or online sites (HOUZZ, Pinterest, Instagram).
Embrace your budget
I so love this statement as I am all about the budget. Tell your contractor your max budget right up front; if you have to prioritize and make trade-offs. Don’t be embarrassed if you don’t have a huge budget, the rest of us don’t either! Even if you’re budget is large, everyone needs to make compromises at some point. Hopefully you love a lot of the elements of your home so work with the ones you don’t love and see the potential in the rest of your home.
What’s your style?
I think this is the most difficult aspect for me; how to find my style, how to not be overwhelmed by the over-abundance of choices. Here is a TIP: go to Houzz/Pinterest and start pinning/grouping what you like. When you go back later and have a look at your selections, I’ll betcha 80% of what you’ve selected has a similar theme/style. I believe your house should be a personal expression of you, and that you should love your home. Your home needs to suit your lifestyle and preferences so that you feel comfortable there. One of the biggest things I took out of Sarah’s presentation is to think about what I am buying – ask myself – will this make me happy? Buy only what you love and fill your space with what makes you happy.
“Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”