Category Archive Blog

ByJulie Small

Choosing the right Colour

The Importance of Choosing the Right Colour

Staging  a house is one aspect of preparing a house for sale.  I am also asked to help with colour decisions in a space.  It could be to help sell the home or for the homeowners that want to remain.

The first step is to successfully understand the function of a space.  Once that is known what is your inspiration? Is it a piece of furniture, wall art, or area rug, you should have a source that will guide you in selecting details like paint colour, window treatments, etc.  When shopping for a car, you should not make a decision based on the colour you like.  You need to factor in the quality of the vehicle, size, mpg, price, etc.  Do you choose a Volvo or a Mercedes?  The same goes for wall colour.  Wall colour is a detail that accentuates a space, but it is not THE space.

Assess all the fixed elements – things like countertops, the colour of the brick grout, your couch, curtains that you don’t plan on changing – to ensure the palette you choose together will complement what’s existing.

Whether you’re selling a house or changing a colour of an existing space. We are all different. Knowing what inspires us is half the battle. Some clients I have met enjoy an accent wall to be bright and the rest of the space very neutral.  In that situation our eyes immediately rest at that prominent shade giving quite the statement.



Colours brighten a room.  Let’s think for a moment about fashion… What we wear makes us feel good, or it should!  When we add colour to our closet it brightens our mood.  Head to toe in the same colour may not work, but if an element of colour is infused to a blank canvas, it changes the feel and emotion of that outfit. Something as simple as adding a colourful scarf makes all the difference. It is no different when choosing colours for our home.  I love the fact that no two clients are alike which makes my job so rewarding.  Colours should be enjoyed around the home.  Colours can be bought in through accent pieces which gives great punctuation of colour.  Our eyes are drawn to those highlighted pieces.  Our eyes also notice when things don’t feel right either.  For example dull spaces that just bring our mood down.  It is paramount to have well balanced spaces.  Lighting is extremely important in each space so that showcasing the colours is maximized to its fullest potential.

I wrote an earlier blog about light.  It is attached if you missed it:-       Jms Home Staging Lighting Blog



I have some examples to show on how colours can effect a space.  If we have a long hallway for example that is very monochromatic is appears to go on forever. For me, it doesn’t feel very exciting or interesting……







If we now add some colour and furniture it gives a completely different feeling.  Warm and inviting.  Our eyes now rest on the different colours that we have added to this space. Whether it is from the green tone or the accessories. Cool and warm tones work very well together.  Or having a curved hallway with a prominent colour really adds depth to this space.  Now I know this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but it just highlights what I mean.



A much more popular idea and sometimes cheaper option is to keep the walls a lighter tone but to add elements of colour.  A low chair with a bright cushion draws the eye down the long hallway. A large piece of art can transform and highlight an area plus tells a story.



If the same colour is added to the trim as on the walls you will notice how your eye will just continue around the room.  A lot of us always use High Gloss White on the trim to have clean crisp borders.  It frames any space whether it is a window or doorway.  By not using white you will see in the following pictures how your eye doesn’t stop but enjoys the space in its entirety.  Painting the walls and trim the same colour usually minimizes the effect of a small room. So does painting everything a light colour. Dark colours and a lot of contrasting colours tend to make small rooms look smaller. In smaller spaces it is good to paint all one colour to help maximise the space.



We shouldn’t be scared to add colour to any space.  It can be done either by adding paint on the walls or with accessories and different textures that you place in that space.  Having balance and continuity is very important.  Options in design and colour are endless.   If you enjoy changing the feel of a space often, I would recommend keeping a neutral tone on the walls and punctuating with bursts of colour throughout the space with accessories.   It means you can keep the room updated with cheaper additions as opposed to changing the colour on the walls everytime.  A great example of this is the following.



When texture is added to the wall it adds a whole new dimension to the space.  Combined with the red accent pieces gives a great look and feel to a dining room.




Though it’s not a brand new thing, painted interior doors are definitely becoming a trend.  Painting the exterior of a front door has been popular for many many years, with red being the most popular colour. But, what do you think of painting the interior?  Great way to add a pop of colour?  What do you think of this trend?




To get a bit geeky for a moment it all started with Sir Isaac Newton……

Colour Psychology

In 1666, English scientist Sir Isaac Newton discovered that when pure white light passes through a prism, it separates into all of the visible colours. Newton also found that each colour is made up of a single wavelength and cannot be separated any further into other colours.

Further experiments demonstrated that light could be combined to form other colours. For example, red light mixed with yellow light creates an orange color. Some colours, such as yellow and purple, cancel each other out when mixed and result in a white light.


The diagram below shows how light is very important in a space.














Any kind of light – daylight, artificial light, even candlelight can change the way a colour appears.

The impact of daylight is particularly important when selecting colours.

Once a colour is selected I would recommend a 2 ft by 2ft area be painted in a light corner of the room and also another area in a dark corner of the room.  Observe the new colour over a couple of days to enjoy it at different times of the day.  It is a great way of not making a costly mistake by painting the whole space at once.

Paint will often appear darker when used over a large area of wall.  Lighter is a safer option.

Matte surfaces give depth to a space and makes is appear larger.

Gloss surfaces reflect the light rather than absorb it.


If you need any further assistant please do not hesitate to contact me.

ByJulie Small

What Kind of Light Do I Want?

Home is where the heart is.  Having the right ambiance is paramount and helps create the perfect setting and feel.  As a Home Stager I look at so many different things.  Whether it is the furnishings, paint colours and functionality of each space, having correct lighting is also very important to help showcase each space.  Hopefully the following will help allow a better understanding of lighting.

With the numerous advances in lighting technology, it can be hard to choose the right light source unless you understand the basics of how light is described and measured.

Light is not always what it seems. Our eyes are very forgiving, so when we move from place to place everything seems normal in terms of colour. So, for example, when moving from a bright daylight environment to a room lit by a candle all that will appear to change, to the naked eye, is the light level. Different bulbs, different colour emotions and looks.

It is important to remember that indoor spaces lit to lower light levels will typically look and feel better under warm lamps, while higher light levels are easier to tolerate using cool lighting. A space which receives an abundance of sunlight may seem more natural when cooler lamps are installed since their light is closer to high colour temperature of natural daylight.

Lighting Effects

Ambient lighting is a general illumination so the occupants can see everything and move around freely. It is usually created through a combination of natural light filtering in through windows, as well as overhead light fittings.

Directional lighting simply means lighting that travels in a specific direction. This lighting highlights a specific object or work surface. It is also usually provided by a stronger light source.

Spotlight is a strong beam of light that illuminates only a small area.

We also have Natural light.   Light supplied by the sun, as opposed to artificial light from light bulbs.

There are many lighting techniques you can use to create a mood for every room.

Task lighting is used to illuminate an area that is used for a visual task, such as reading or sewing. Task lighting is essential to every room, as you do a variety of tasks in different rooms. There is a selection of light fittings that can be used for task lighting, and combined with ambient lighting they create a well-lit room.

Accent lighting is used to add drama or style to a room by highlighting a specific area or object in it. It is also referred to as decorative lighting and is used at parties or can be used to help light a room if your task lighting is not bright enough.

Mood lighting is exactly what it says it is, lighting that is used to create a certain mood or atmosphere within a room. A combination of small light sources, it is typically used in bedrooms and sometimes dining rooms, depending on the occasion. Mood lighting is created with coloured light bulbs, dimmed lights and candles.

Lighting measurements deal with:

  1. The quantity of light – How much light comes out of the light and how much hits the surface you want to illuminate, such as a desk or countertop.
  2. The quality of light – What is the color of the light itself and how does it affect what colors I actually see. Are the blues really blue or are they washed out? Can I distinguish one item from another on a dark night with this light?
  3. The fixture efficiency – How much light actually leaves the fixture and is directed towards the area or surface that needs to be illuminated? How does that affect my cost?

The usual measure of color temperature is the Kelvin scale, abbreviated as “K,” where 2700 or 3000 Kelvins is described as warm, 3500 Kelvins is neutral and higher Kelvin values are cool.

Color temperature is what you see when you look at a neutral surface illuminated by a light bulb.

Types of Artificial Light Sources


An incandescent bulb consists of a filament that glows when electricity is passed through it.

Halogen lamp

A halogen lamp is a type of incandescent lamp where high-pressure halogen gas is inside the bulb allowing the filament to burn hotter and longer.

  Fluorescent Tube

 Fluorescent lamp fixtures are more costly than incandescent lamps because they require a ballast to regulate the          current through the lamp, but the lower energy cost typically offsets the higher initial cost.


Compact Fluorescent Light

CFL stands for “compact fluorescent lamp.” As the name implies, CFLs are compact versions of the long, tubular fluorescent lamps that are commonly seen in offices, schools and institutional buildings worldwide. CFLs are becoming more familiar as they replace the standard, screw-in incandescent bulb.

CFL bulbs can save up to 75 percent of the energy used by an incandescent bulb. Though they cost more up-front, they last much longer, and they’ll quickly pay for themselves through energy savings. They’re also cooler, fit in most lighting fixtures, and are available in warmer colour tones (earlier models cast a cold, bluish light that some users found ugly). Some models are dimmable, but others can’t be used with a dimmer switch.



LED’s are the newest type of artificial light and were born out of the electronics and computer industry. An LED (light-emitting diodes) is a tiny electronic device that emits light. LEDs turn on instantly, so there is no warm-up time. In fact, they are ideal for uses where there is a need for frequent “on/off”.

This is an advantage over fluorescent lamps, which fail faster when turned on and off often.

LED light bulbs do not contain breakable filaments or glass, making them shock-resistant, unlike fluorescent and incandescent bulbs, which are fragile.  There are so many different designs to choose from.  This type of light for me is my favourite.

Helpful Tips

  • Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent lights (CFLs). The newest CFLs do not flicker like those of old, and they have much better color quality than even just a few years ago. Choose bulbs labeled “residential color,” “warm” or “soft white.”
  • Replace dimmable incandescent bulbs with dimmable CFLs. While CFLs still do not have the dimming range of incandescents, the technology has come a long way.
  • Buy name brands. They will last longer and look better.
  • Make sure your outdoor lighting is energy efficient. Look for outdoor fixtures that use either CFLs or LEDs and that are motion sensor or photocell activated.
  • Buy Energy rated fixtures and bulbs. This means they are certified.
  • Retrofit recessed lighting with LED fixtures. It’s easy to replace recessed fixtures with super energy-efficient LED versions, and while costly, LEDs will last many years.
ByJulie Small

Design Project

Whether you are planning on staying in your home and just need some advice or considering selling and need staging advice please feel free to contact me, Julie Small ccsp, for further information.


Initial consultation which includes a thorough walk through of your home, generating a pdf report including pictures plus all recommendations.

A separate visit – Source items for your project.

Final step – Staging and showcasing ready for the market.


Recent project – Large 4 bedroom property initially looked tired has now in a short time been updated into a stunning property.  Glimpses into how this property has been transformed.

Although the outside doesn’t look too different, the inside has really changed     



From the initial 2 colour and wallpaper choice shown in picture 1.  First impressions can give a smaller, uninviting feel.  Recommending wall colour, Benjamin Moore (HC173) throughout gives a seamless look.  Punctuation of colour can be given in art, soft furnishings and accessories.



Amazing transformation.

Family Room and Eat-in Kitchen – Before


These two spaces were joined by a half wall.  By eliminating the half wall really opened up this space.  The kitchen also felt small. By moving the wall back between Formal dining room and Kitchen has really opened up this space allowing for a larger kitchen to be enjoyed.

Family Room – After


Kitchen – After


These two spaces flow much better.  The floor is all the same which allows the eye to enjoy every inch of this fabulous space.

Lounge and Formal Dining area – Before

This is the first space you see upon entering the property.  No ambient lighting in the lounge area and feels very dark.


Lounge and Formal Dining area – After


Some space was taken for the kitchen, by adding interest with the whaffle ceiling adds great interest combined with the lighting.  This space has a modern, lighter and brighter feel.

2nd Bedroom – Before and After


From drab to fab.

Master Bedroom – Before and After


By changing the floor, lighting and paint colour, what a difference it makes.

Master Ensuite – Before and After


This was quite the transformation.  Clean lines needed for this space.  The new tiles do have some pattern and interest to them which works and balances the rest of the space.

ByJulie Small

Why Staging Works

Great property which SOLD within 24hrs, multiple bids, well over asking price.  So happy to be apart of this project.

This is what makes my job so rewarding.  Meeting great homeowners who work so hard, listening to the initial consultation that I give them.

Helping and explaining every step of the way.  Then coming back to showcase making the property photo ready.

An incredible collaboration between homeowner, real estate agent and stager/designer.DANA7756