Winnipeg interior decoratorAs a Winnipeg interior decorator who frequently exhibits, I have spent the last week preparing two designer rooms for both the 1013 Design, Art, and Architecture Exhibit, and the 2014 Kitchen, Bath, and Renovation show.

Through this preparation, I realized how much easier it is for me as a decorator to quickly put together the essentials for both designer rooms than it is for the average home owner who is decorating a living and dining room.  With in the span of a week I was able to meet with suppliers, select flooring, lighting, furnishings, paint colors, drapery, art work, accessories, toss cushions for two rooms ( small living room, and dining room) and handle client projects all at the same time.  What makes this process easier, would be the fact that as a Winnipeg interior decorator I do this every day for a living, but what also helps are some tried and true rules that those of us in the industry follow as well as having some valuable go-to contacts.

Selecting a chandelier for dining room

  • When selecting a chandelier, select one that is at least one third to one half the length of the dining table.  At Robinson Lighting, there were a number of chandeliers that would work for size and design of my table.  As an interior decorator in Winnipeg, Robinson is one of my go-to stores for lighting in the city.  Excellent customer service, great selection of quality products with price ranges to suite any client’s budget.
  • another consideration is the weight of the chandelier and ease of installation.  Alison Demare, manager of Robinson lighting, provided me with product information about each chandelier I was considering.  Most important was the weight of each chandelier that was being considered for the show, and its ease of installation.  Home owners should always check the weight load of light fixtures and ease of installation with their electricians or contractors to ensure there is adequate support, and that installation is cost affective.  The easier a light fixture is to install the more cost affective it will be.  In this case I contacted Luke from Ridgeline Construction to ensure that a beam that is going to span my designer room can bear the weight load of the chandelier and is cost affective to do so.  Designer rooms at trade shows are temporary, so there is a need to stay within budget when it comes to the construction of the room.
  • When placing the chandelier over a dining table it needs to hang 30″ to 36″ above the dining table.  This will be determined when setting up at the show by having someone hold the chandelier at various heights with in this range until I am satisfied that it has the optimal position with regard to the other surroundings (artwork, accessories) with in the room.

Selecting a vinyl or hardwood, the pros and cons

  • Vinyl, because of its ease of install, low cost, and durability is almost always chosen as flooring for a designer room except when special occasions warrant using something different.  Homeowners on the other hand have many things to consider when selecting flooring for their homes which will greatly affect their buying decision.  Variables such as budget, pets, small children, moisture all have great impacts on what a home owner will choose.
  • Anyone with small children or pets with nails that scratch will know the long term affect these variables will have on selecting a floor for their home.  For any client with small children I suggest hardwood, with the expectation that they will have the floors re-finished when the children are older.  By selecting hardwood these clients have made a sound investment in their home, as it increases value.
  • Vinyl on the other hand does not have the longevity of hardwood, so it does not have the investment potential that the other has.  For any animal lover, who always plans on having at least one dog or more on an ongoing basis, vinyl might be more of a viable solution.  Vinyl will be more durable than a hardwood, and because there will always be pets in the home it is a great solution to stand up to nail scratches
  • A good test that I have used to compare hardwood vs vinyl is how each product stands up to the spike heels of a lady’s dress shoe.  At the convention center, I have stood all day for three days straight in designer rooms with both types of flooring.  At the end of the show the areas on hardwood where I have stood are full of puncture marks, where as when vinyl has been used there are no marks.
  • Vinyl will stand up to moisture better than hardwood.  If there are frequent spills, that are not quickly cleaned up then vinyl would be the best choice.
  • Vinyl is less expensive than hardwood, but does not have the investment potential that a hardwood has when it comes to re-sale.  New owners can re-finish hardwoods and select any stain color to match their decor.
  • Again, relying on the advice of your designer will help you make a sound decision as to which direction you should go in your home. Working with clients for the last 6 years I have also found great go-to flooring sales people who provide my clients with product information.  Flooring places, such as Curtis Carpets ensure their sales personal are up to date with product knowledge, and the latest in industry trends.
  • Curtis carpets, my sponsor for this years shows, offered me 4 fabulous vinyls to choose from.  This year, to keep with trends the floors were all lighter.  Gone are the days of purely dark hardwood (which I love so much) due to maintenance.  Cheryl Gagnon, from Curtis Carpets, explained that homeowners are now asking for lighter colored flooring because they don’t have to be cleaned as much.  The trend now a days is lower maintenance.  No matter how much I love dark hardwood keeping the look of a perfectly clean floor at a show would mean using a swiffer dust mop at least 3 or 4 times during a day.

Winnipeg interior decoratorThis is the 2011 high/low designer room from Home Expressions 2011.  half the room is an expensive solid maple hardwood, the other half a vinyl.  Both beautiful, one an investment piece that would be installed for the long term, the other a product that will stand up to dints, scratches, and moisture. From the picture it is difficult to tell which is which.  This provides a good example of how far vinyl products have come.

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