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April 12th, 2011

Styling Tips

This past weekend I had the pleasure of presenting at the South Simcoe Home show. The show was a blast and I met so many wonderful supporters who all love decorating and design. I was asked by several people what I would suggest they do/buy to become a better decorator. I really thought about what would be the 3 most important things I would suggest  budding designers do in order to become their own best decorator.. and I've decided to share these insider tips with you! 

1. Buy a decorating guide book, one that gives you practical advice on the decor basics such as paint selection, furniture arrangement… My decor bible is "Decorating is fun!" by Dorothy Draper (you can buy the book online at Chapters/Indigo for about $19). Drapers decor manifesto, (written in 1940) is a comprehensive rundown of decor basics and includes many useful pictures and diagrams. "Decorating is Fun!" is also a light hearted read and includes many amusing anecdotes. 


2. Practice, practice, practice: I use to regularly create style pages. A style page is simply a collection of items that work together. I like to base mine on a theme or trend. These pages look like the trend pages you see in decor magazines. By practicing various looks I am able to hone in on decor and furnishings I love and see what accent colours and accessories will work best with them. I also like working on polyvore as I am able to experiment with new looks  even if I'm not redecorating.  


3. Put together a stylists kit: Every good decorator, designer and stylist carries a kit of must-have tools. In my stylists kit I have a small digital camera (to take pictures of items I like, be sure to always grab a picture of the items essential information, you can do this by just taking a picture of the hang tag- then you have a record of all the dimensions, price information… product code), a notebook, a zip loc bag (for paint samples, fabric samples, business cards) always have your colour samples with you so you can make sure any new purchases complement or match your current colour scheme. A tape measure (this one is key, measure everything) the number of times I see people purchase a large furniture item and it doesn't fit into their elevator, stairwell.. or eve through the door!  I hope these tips help you along your journey to becoming a talented and confident decorator. I'm off now to visit a Concord, Ontario-based manufacturer who is going to give me a sneak peak of how all their beautiful furniture is made!

  • Posted by VBHughes on April 13th, 2011, 10:56
    This is such a great post! I will definitely buy that book, try out Polyvore, and take pics of the handtags! Great ideas :)
  • Posted by Ewen on April 13th, 2011, 15:55
    Thanks!! Dorothy Draper rocks:)
  • Posted by kern-alexander on April 13th, 2011, 16:23
    janette!!!thanks for the decorating tips!! I will look fo rhtat book and read up on the ways to figure out furniture placement and how to do vinettes.. What I do need to know is I have ben looking for a smaller sectional in a lighter beige or cream fabric. If I find one that is made great it is very expensive but then some are reasonably priced and they need to be replaced yearly..Any suggestions??
  • Posted by Reynolds on April 15th, 2011, 23:26
    Heard you speak at the home show and you did a great job of presenting this information. I already have Entertaining is Fun by Dorothy Draper and we will be getting Decorating is Fun. Thanks!!
  • Posted by buy furniture on June 16th, 2011, 08:40
    Great site. Thanks for share this with us!!!
  • Posted by share tips on June 28th, 2011, 10:46
    I read your post . it was amazing.Your thought process is wonderful.The way you tell about things is awesome. They are inspiring and helpful.Thanks for sharing your information and views.

    share tips
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Janette  Ewen

Janette Ewen has been one of Canada’s leading décor and lifestyle experts for more than a decade, passing on her passion for design and fashion to avid fans through magazines, newspapers and television.

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