April 25, 2013

Edmonton Interior Decorator | Design Services | Design Coach

This one is a game changer...

Does your home need help? If you are sick walking in the door, day after day, and seeing the same old rooms staring back at you, you need to sign up for a Design Coach session. For just $299* we will come up with a game plan for your home. We'll tackle clutter, sack outdated furniture and score a touchdown with a brand new look!

Call Rachel today! 780.999.3021 
Ask me about my Refer & Earn Rewards program.

*From $299+gst and up. Price varies by square footage.

April 22, 2013

Edmonton Interior Decorator | Upscale Magazine | Greenhouse Effect part 3


What are some other ways to go green and save energy (and money)?

To read parts 1 and 2 of this series, click here and here

 Put those smart phones to use with these "green" applications.

GoodGuide: This app instantly reveals whether products are safe, healthy, green and socially responsible while you shop.

ShopGreen: Use shopgreen to save the environment and your pocket book. Shopgreen REWARDS the user by calculating, logging and saving green actions taken to reduce the carbon footprint. Daily tips and great green suggestions help making the correct decisions easier. Carbon savings are tracked within the built-in Eco-Bank. Location aware specials and discounts are offered through participating green friendly companies. Increase the Eco-Bank balance to receive rewards in the form of coupons and specials.

GreenMeter: Computes your vehicle's power and fuel usage characteristics and evaluates your driving to increase efficiency, reduce fuel consumption and cost, and lower your environmental impact. Results are displayed in real time, while driving, to give instantaneous feedback.

Easy Eco Blog: publishes easy to follow daily tips to make you more green or eco-friendly while helping you save green or cash.

Is it true that you can you save a substantial amount of money if you unplug all of your electrical devices, when they are not in use?

Yes, idle appliances are energy vampires! Stop this phantom power drainage by using a power strip for your appliances: tv, dvd, etc. Just turn the power strip off when not in use. A conservative estimate = $20/mo in savings.

Stop throwing away your money! Single use products are designed to bleed your wallet dry. Also, all that excessive packaging is piling up in our landfills.

You don't have to become an eco warrior to make a difference. Commit to simple, sustainable changes and they will have a positive impact on your wallet, the environment, and your health. When in doubt how or where to make changes, ask yourself: "How did my grandparents live?"

April 18, 2013

Edmonton Interior Decorator | Home Stager | 6 Bedroom House Lessard

What is home staging and how will it prepare my home for a quick sale? 

Every property, from sweet and petite, to large and stately can benefit from professional home staging.

In some cases, the home may need to be furnished with rental furniture. And other times, the home just needs to be styled working with the home owner's current items.

That is precisely what we did with this 4200 square foot, 6 bedroom river view property. The home was prepared for sale by decluttering, rearranging, and repurposing the existing household items.

Formal living room before

Formal living room after

Formal dining room before

Formal dining room after

Kitchen before

Kitchen after

Family room before

Family room after

Master bedroom before

Master bedroom after

Master ensuite before

Master ensuite after

Media room before

Media room after

Boy's bedroom before

Boy's bedroom after

Guest room before

Guest room after

Guest room before

Guest room after

Do you like what you see? This 6 bedroom home is for sale! Virtually decorate it at www.483LessardDrive.com

April 9, 2013

Edmonton Interior Decorator | Upscale Magazine | Greenhouse Effect part 2

I was interviewed for Upscale Magazine. This article is a continuation from part one.


What are some unique ways to go green and save energy (and money) in the home office?

Make your business paperless: Send contracts via e-mail and pay bills online. Need to give a client a demonstration? Use a tablet and then send them an electronic brochure.

Digital fax: There are still some businesses that rely on this antiquated (paper-hungry) technology. Sign up for a digital fax services to send and receive faxes electronically. http://www.myfax.com/

Solar desk lamp: The SUNNAN led table lamp from IKEA emits 40 lumens, which is approximately equal to the light emitted by a 15-watt incandescent bulb.

Solar chargers for electronics: Sure, all of our phones, tablets and MP3 players run on rechargeable batteries, but we still have to use electricity (and therefore money) to recharge them. Free yourself from the burden of having to be near an energized outlet. Charge up anywhere the sun shines!

Staple-free stapler: Stop wasting money on staples. Not to mention, breaking nails or jabbing your fingers when you try to remove them.

What are some unique ways to go green and save energy (and money) around the yard/garage/shed?

Human-powered lawn mower: Fiskars StaySharp Max Reel Mower "Combines patent-pending technology with superior ergonomics to deliver best-in-class cutting performance without gasoline, oil, charging, the hassle of cords or the noise created by other mowers. It features an InertiaDrive Reel for twice the cutting power of standard reel mowers; StaySharp Cutting System to eliminate the cost and inconvenience of annual blade sharpening; VersaCut Technology for easy cut height adjustment to provide a clean cut on any type of grass." http://www3.fiskars.com/

Xeriscaping: The conservation of water through creative landscaping. "For most of North America, over 50% of residential water used is applied to landscape and lawns. Xeriscape can reduce landscape water use by 50 - 75%."

Keep weeds from growing through cracks in your driveway and sidewalks with baking soda. Just sprinkle and sweep into the cracks. Watch the weeds disappear.

Keep animals and pests away the natural way: Use Hot Pepper Wax. This product combines hot cayenne pepper extract with paraffin wax to make an effective deterrent that sticks onto the plants but won't affect the flavor of produce. Hot Pepper Wax is made from food-grade ingredients so you can use it anytime, indoors or outdoors, on your plants right up to harvest.

Bonus tip: Get into the practice of composting and collecting rain water. The compost (gardeners consider this "black gold") will come from your food scraps, and the water will fall from the sky. Both of these are free to gather and use.

Bonus tip #2: Before embarking on a one-off project, see if you can rent or borrow the tools before you buy.

Click here for part 3!

April 3, 2013

Edmonton Interior Decorator | New Client Moodboards | Masculine & Modern

Yes, it's true...men hire decorators too. Whether they are bachelors, or married, many of my male clients enthusiastically participate in the design process.

I had the pleasure to create a design for a gentleman that recently purchased a 2500+ sq ft show home. He inherited a good part of the staging furniture, but he found the house too cold and sterile.

He wanted to keep the look masculine, modern and clean, while adding a cozy feel to the house. We banished a lot of the black leather, chrome and glass and brought in rich wood tones, textured fabrics and wallpaper. We worked together through a series of one-on-one shopping trips, as well as working together on the development of the room designs.

Here is a partial collection of the moodboards we created for the bonus room, formal dining, lounge and office.

Restoration Hardware Inspired Room

Architectural Influence in the Dining Room

Black and Bold Office with hints of gold

Las Vegas Inspired Gentleman's Lounge

April 1, 2013

Edmonton Interior Decorator | Upscale Magazine | Greenhouse Effect part 1

From international clients to international publications: I recently had the honour to be interviewed by Shydel James for the April 2013 issue of Upscale Magazine. He approached me for some green living advice, and how it can save you some "green" around the home.

Click the image for the pre-published article!

Yes, I took some liberties with this cover image. That addition in the lower right is mine. *smile*

Naturally, I have so much more to say on the subject, so I'm putting together a three-part series on the topic. Here's part one:

What are some unique ways to go green and save energy (and money) around the kitchen?

Pressure cooker: You can cut down up to 70% of your cooking time. This means that no matter what source of energy you are using, you are using less of it.

Cast iron cookware: Designed to last several life times. You can pass them down to your grandchildren. When Teflon pans becomescratched, they have to be replaced. Cast iron is nearly indestructible. Also, as an added health benefit, cast iron emits small amounts of iron into your food, giving you added nutrients to help you produce red blood cells and prevent anemia.

Separate your fruits & vegetables: As fruits and vegetables ripen, they emit a gas called ethylene. This can lead to premature spoilage. Carrots and apples are ethylene sensitive, whereas pears and plums are ethylene producers. It's may be hard to know which ones to separate, so you can use an ethylene gas reducer (like the BluApple) to save food and money. http://www.thebluapple.com/

Unplug unused appliances: Any appliances that are used less than one time per day, should be unplugged. Even though they are not in use, they are sucking small amounts of power. Watch out for these sneaky energy-vampires.

Bee's Wrap: A great alternative to plastic wrap for food storage. The antibacterial properties of the beeswax and jojoba oil help to keep food fresh and allow you to use the Bee's Wrap again and again. http://www.beeswrap.com/

What are some unique ways to go green and save energy (and money) in the bathroom?

Beeswax candle to freshen the air naturally: Unlike soy and paraffin candles, 100% pure beeswax candles create negative ions when burning, creating a similar effect as houseplants. Negative ions neutralize allergens, dust and air borne toxins.

Baking soda and vinegar for cleaning: These are the only two cleaning products you should need. Vinegar works as a disinfectant and a deoderizer. Baking soda provides the scrubbing power to polish away grime. It's also a great neutralizer for odours.

Solatube: A cost-effective way to bring natural light to virtually any room. http://www.solatube.com

Switch shaving creams: The shaving cream you use could be dulling your blades -- lengthen their life with natural shaving products. My favourite pick is Alba Botanica. It's also fantastic for sensitive skin. (My husband rates the comfort of shaving with this cream an 11/10! He also says his blades last up to four times longer.)

Coconut oil: You can replace a plethora of beauty products with this wonderful oil. Use it as a makeup remover (yes, it even works on waterproof mascara), face & body moisturizer and instead of shaving creams or gels. (My husband rates the comfort of shaving with coconut oil as 9.5/10. As a bonus, skin is instantly moisturized.)

What are some unique ways to go green and save energy (and money) around the laundry room?

Ecosave laundry discs: The discs contain electrically charged ceramic beads which create an abundance of OH-ions in the wash water. This lowers the surface tension of the water, and cuts down on the amount of soap needed.

Soap nuts: These grow in the wild! No additives, no perfumes, no fillers and nothing to irritate even the most sensitive skin. The best part is that they can be used a bunch of times and then they can just be composted. Absolutely zero waste.

Wool dryer balls: Use these as an alternative to fabric softener sheets. They also reduce drying time!  (Did you know: The chemicals in fabric softeners are pungent and strong smelling -- so strong that they require the use of these heavy fragrances just to cover up the smells.)

Bonus tip: Always use cold water when you can, and hang to dry if possible.

Click here for part 2.


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