Finding a focal point
The focal point in a room is where your eyes are drawn to when you enter. It can be anything from a fireplace to a large picture window with an awesome view. If your room has neither then you can create your own focal point using large-scale art, painting a feature wall or both! Like the master bedroom in our new contemporary model in Ormston, shown above, a feature wall creates a bold focal point in the room to help draw design inspiration from. Finding or making a focal point in any room can help you design any room to your desired theme or style, and determine what small décor pieces or larger furniture pieces are needed for the space.
Where are some of your favourite local places to shop?
Small local independent stores can help you find those finishing touches that will give your home an individual look. We love to use pillows and rugs from Rug & Weave in Guelph and art and accessories from Wills & Prior in Stratford.
Big box stores become inevitable when you are sourcing larger pieces for your home. We do try to stay local and purchase pieces from Schreiters and the local Structube store. We also like Crate & Barrel, CB2, West Elm, Elte Market and Ikea, all based in Toronto. These stores offer classic, timeless investment pieces that you will have for years to come. The old phrase, “buy once cry once”, is how you should approach the purchase of sofas, beds and dining sets as these are not items you want to replace in a couple of years from both a financial perspective and one of sustainability.
What steps do you recommend taking to choose the right furniture for a new home?
Get to know your style! Scour magazines and the internet (Houzz, Pinterest, Instagram, etc.) to find rooms that appeal to you and catch your eye. Think about what it is in that image that you like; is it the colours? The openness? The darkness? The mix of materials? The style of the furniture? Consider how you will live in the space – if you are a large family that loves movie nights then a large comfortable sofa should be on your list. Finally, think about how you want to feel in your home. This is often overlooked but is so important – do you want your home to feel light and airy, cozy and cocooned, or minimal and organized? Knowing how you will use the space and how you want to feel will help you select the right pieces.
What are some trendy styles of furniture? How can I discover my own style?
Mid-century modern pieces have been having a revival for the past few years and it’s no wonder, as our living spaces become smaller, and these pieces are often designed with slimmer, more simple profiles. They work well in new builds as well as period properties. The option of also buying original vintage pieces is a great way to be sustainable; they are often better made and will last longer. It also really adds character and individuality to your home.
If you want to learn more about trendy styles, check out our other design blogs here and read all about our Design Studio team’s favourite current 2019 home décor trends!
What should come first: furniture or décor pieces?
Think of your larger furniture pieces like the foundation of your home. They are the anchor and can be built around with décor pieces to add your personal touch over time. If you stay classic in your anchor pieces then you can easily change the look of your space inexpensively by updating with new pillows, rugs and accessories. Keeping the large foundational pieces neutral and workable with many colours allows you to change up your décor as much as you like!
What advice do you have for new homeowners moving to a new space?
Have confidence and take your time – building a home is not something that happens overnight. I remember thinking in my first home that if I could just get this new lamp or paint that room then it will be finished. It is never finished (even less so when you are a designer). 😉 You grow and change, and your home should grow and change with you. Buy what you love and let your home tell the story of you and your family.
Want More Design Tips?
Our award-winning Design Studio is where our homeowners find the perfect finishes for their future home, from flooring to countertops, backsplashes and more, with the help of our expert Design Consultants!
Visit our Design Studio at 155 Washburn Drive, Kitchener, during our Open Hours on Wednesdays from 4 – 7 pm, and Saturdays & Sundays from 12 – 5 pm. Stop in to explore our displays, check out the new products and learn more about Activa’s design process!