Sunday, July 1, 2012

Summer. Where??

Have you noticed that the gray skies are manifested in the gray moods of the residents of this city? I know it’s hard to bear the rain and gray skies, day after day, day after day. We are all  getting  grumpy and just a tad snippy at times. I see it in your faces and hear it in your voices.  So. What to do.
I think the easiest thing we can do is take a page from Mother Nature’s handbook and put some color in our lives. As I walk down Okanagan , I  admire the hottest pink flowers  happily co-existing with a vibrant purple neighbor, both surrounded by several shades of green , with maybe a bit of yellow thrown in for good measure.  The assault on my  visual sense makes me smile.  No, this is not a color scheme I would want in my house all the time, but for just a while, like until summer actually gets here, I think I’ll go see Dave at Salmon Arm Florist and get a bouquet of flowers for my kitchen table.
I went to Vancouver recently; I’ve found a supplier of slipcover-weight fabric at prices that are quite fantastic, so I went to pick up enough for 3 sofa projects. Of course I had to take a walk down Main Street  to  Little India. A quick walk, I thought, because it was rainy and miserable  and I was cold. Three hours later I was still there, going store to store, chatting with the ladies, fondling the silks, admiring the colors.  Colors. There it was again, the effect of  bright colors – they  make me smile. I bought a sari.
The color of the year for 2012 is Tangerine Tango. While I don’t particularly like orange, this one is a glorious color. Maybe  a hit of bright color needs to find a place in my home. I think I’ll opt for fuscia. It could be in a small cushion, or a new coffee cup, or a single Gerber daisy .  Maybe we  all just need some bright color that make us smile every morning. Then we won’t take the gray skies out on the nice ladies behind the counter  at the Pie Company.
Let me know what your favorite color pick-me-up is. I’ll put some of your answers on my website Contact me at

Picture Framing 101

As you know, “Interior Decorating” is fraught with guidelines. Not rules, but gentle reminders of the tried and, usually, true ways of doing, displaying, painting, and coloring that tend to bring out the best in the item and your interior. It shouldn’t be  any surprise that “Picture Framing” also has guidelines.  
In the spirit of writing about decor things that you have  asked me about, I went to talk to Kevin Watson of Earth Art Studios  the other day, to get some first hand info on how to frame a picture.  While waiting to talk to Kevin, I had a look around his gallery, which is a jewel box of local artisan treasures. I am always awed at the variety and quality of the art produced in this area, and Kevin’s gallery showcases some of the best.
You know that the eye goes to the area of greatest contrast first.  It seems that this guideline is pervasive, it appears in Picture Framing as well as almost every aspect of Interior Decorating. When  framing a picture start with the matting. A mat in a high-contrast color to the image itself can draw attention to the mat and take attention away from the image. Just because there is a lot of green in the image does not mean the mat should be green too.  It seems that gentle, neutral mats  that offer a peaceful transition from the image to the frame are the most effective overall. Remember, please, this is a guideline. Remember too, that art is subjective and it is your art and your wall, and you can do whatever you want. 
Frames. Well, the scale of the frame should be similar to the scale of the image. For example, an image of large flowers would look rather silly with a tiny little frame. If the image is a traditional-style still life, a substantial traditional  wood frame is suggested. If the image  is a bouquet of impressionistic flowers, a more modern -- perhaps metal or flat-painted wood-- frame would be more appropriate. 
I learned about glass too. Regular glass allows reflections. Not good. Non-reflective glass doesn’t allow reflections but is more expensive and will blur the image if the glass sits too far in front of the image. Then there is conservation glass. You can’t see it. Period.  
A professional picture framer will ensure that your beloved art is framed with care and consideration and that it will withstand time. A professional picture framer who is also an artist, like Kevin,  will help you choose the frame that is the best for your image.  
Stop in to Kevin’s gallery, 380 Alexander - enter from the Ross Street parking lot side.


How to sell your home 30% faster.
Well, that caught your eye, didn’t it? ‘Days on the Market’  can be a huge problem for homeowners anxious to sell - usually because they are trying to buy another property and must sell the current one. Oh, and suppose we could get you 8 to 10 percent more money for your sale. If you are a home-seller, caught in the hurry-up and wait whirlwind that is real estate sales, you might want to read further.  The cost of staging could very well be less than the first price reduction you will face if your home sits on the market too long. 
Staging is the process of making the home ready for sale.  Staging is  not so new -- been around since 1975 -- and, if done correctly, will produce the results it claims. Consider, too, that 90 percent of prospective home buyers look at listings  on line and they make the decision to continue looking at the listing within 10 seconds. A well-staged home will show better in photographs. Period.
A friend is selling her home and has been looking at what is on the market to purchase. We had a little chat about the process the other day, actually that conversation is the reason for this article. She had removed a lot of pictures from her walls --- a start in the staging process --- but she didn’t like the feel that resulted, she felt it was too impersonal, and she put the pictures back up. This little exercise inadvertently showed her the exact value of staging. A staged home allows the prospective buyer to envision her possessions in the space, there is room for her own personal touch. A home that is not staged showcases the current owners personal taste.  My friend mentioned that homes she was looking at all seemed so impersonal.  A light bulb went on as we talked. She was going to take the pictures down.
Talk to your realtor, or call me,  if you are looking for a stager. I know a few good ones in the area who know what they are doing. I’ll post links on, connect to the Archives.