Category Archive Blog

ByJulie Small

Winter Blues

As the snow starts to fall we find ourselves being stuck indoors more often.  Many people feel stuck in a rut and it can sometimes be difficult to dig yourself out.

Jms Home staging & design snow falling (2)

Winter projects are generally those internal home improvements put off from the rest of the year when the weather is too nice to be stuck indoors.  These are normally planned and often the result of a “honey do” list.

There are a number of things that you can do in the absence of winter sports or a winter project without significant expenditure or time investment that can cheer the mood and give you the pick me up to drive you to the spring.

These things could include;

Rearrange furniture – Changing placement of furniture can give a positive feel.  This can be enhanced by adding a mirror to get that extra reflective light source into a space.

Additional Lamps – can help generate extra light to give the perception of longer days.


All types of lighting have been enjoyed in this space


Give a fresh coat of paint to add deeper warmer tones either on an accent wall or a room, maybe to doors/borders to cheer the mood.

a great accent colour can add warmth to the room

a great accent colour can add warmth to this space


For the latest “in” colours go to the following Benjamin Moore link:

Pictures portraying warmth, flowers, summer landscapes, tropical beaches

Switch some of your existing cushions or throws to fresher warm colours such as teal, red, green, yellow, pink, purple mixing different fabrics too.   Creating a cosier inviting space.

Bright cheery cushions lift any mood

Bright cheery cushions lift any mood


In your bedroom, add some warmer quilts, colourful pillows or throws/blankets to evoke the senses.

Jms Home Staging & Design bedroom

By adding warmth on the walls and added colour to the bed gives a great inviting feel


Family games – enjoy some great games whether board or computer games as a family

Exercise-Weather permitting of course – Walks by the lake/park/ forest.

Always have some fresh flowers to add colour and wonderful scent to any space.

Read a book and relax

If you need any help with any of the above I am always available to assist and make any space work for your needs.

For further information please contact me at:

Other helpful links are as follows:,default,sc.html#start=24&sz=12

ByJulie Small

De-clutter / Re-organising


How do we purge or re-organise a space? It can be very overwhelming. The following points will help you succeed with any de-cluttering and re-organising project in any space.  I am always available to help you. Do you have a space like the example of a spare bedroom shown below or a basement area where you add more and more to it and then the prospect of tackling it just becomes too overwhelming?  Or wish you could just shut the door and it all disappear?


Cluttered Room

Cluttered Room


The following  5 step process is one that I use and is a successful tool to deal with any space.  It is as follows:-

Step 1

Determine the goal for the room/space that you wish to tackle and identify any limitations for this room, being realistic.

Step 2

Create a plan of attack.  Sort into categories, get bins etc.

Coloured storage bins can be a great visual tool to aide the organising of any items no longer required.

Coloured bins can be a great visual tool to aide in the organising process

Keep it – to be used back in the space

Donate it –  Take any unwanted items to charity. Makes you feel good and also gives a great sense of helping someone in need.

Bin it – take to the dump

Store it – items that have sentimental value or items that will be used in the future.

Storage bins will be a great investment.  Take your time and make it fun.  Do as much as you can and if it doesn’t get done in one go, always remember, when you go back to it there will be less than before.

Step 3

Build and install any necessary furniture for your project. This will help maximise the function of your space.

Step 4

Re-assemble your room returning all “Keep” items to their new space.

Step 5

Celebrate your success however big or small.


Congratulations on a job well done!

If I can be of any further assistance please do not hesitate to contact me.


ByJulie Small

Curtains, where to start?

Fabric and Colour?


Firstly, you need to consider the mood of the room.

For a formal space, there’s heavy silk or velvet which can also act as a great insulator. For a more practical option include silky rayon blends and cotton sateen.

To achieve a casual feel, there are billowy linens. Cotton and cotton blends work with any type of decor and bring a crisp, neat feel.


You’ll need to decide if you want the curtains to blend with the decor or to pop. For blending, pick curtains that are the same tone as the wall but a few shades darker, or choose a non-dominant subtle colour in the room (a soft shade from the rug, perhaps). A bold colour will punctuate the room and add some wow. Also keep in mind that in a space where the sun shines through unlined curtains, the colour will infuse the room. Blue can be eerie; pink cheery.

Curtains for bay windows can be selected from a huge range of colours that are available in both dark shades and light shades. The colour of the wall and the view outside will help you to choose some of the best shades in curtains. The designs and various patterns of curtains are wide and extensive and you can easily fix your budget that suit to your bay windows.

Jms home Staging Bay window example of longer curtain

Bay Window longer length curtain example

After making a selection of curtains, it is now time to make a selection of good curtain rods. Some of these are plain and simple while others are available in various colours and designs.

Jms Home Staging Bay window example of a shorter length curtain

Bay window shorter length curtain example

Curtain rods must be perfect in size that can conveniently fit in the space for your bay windows.

Full length drapes or curtains that hang in full giving more privacy are mostly selected because of the perfect environment and style that it brings to the bay window. Curtains can either be tied back or can be left as it is to allow the natural look to prevail around the bay window.

Prints and Patterns

If you have patterned furniture or bedding (or a very elaborate rug), stick with solid curtains. If you have solid-colour furniture or bedding, consider patterned curtains. For a subtle punch of style and energy, go for a small, neutral print, like dots or paisley, which reads like texture from far. A large, graphic print in a colour that relates to the existing decor is daring but can be spectacular.

Curtain Measurements


To achieve the correct width, the size of the track or pole is required. I recommend that any track/pole should be fitted 15cm – 30cm either side of the window recess to allow curtains when open to be pulled back away from the window.

Curtain Track – ensure you measure the width of curtain track and not the window.

Curtain Pole – ensure you measure the width of the pole, excluding the finials.Jms Home Staging curtain pole example


If choosing Eyelet Heading – the drop measurement should be taken from the top of the pole – please ensure you add 3cm to the drop for the fabric allowance visible above the pole Curtain length really is down to personal preference, however there are three basic lengths you may wish to choose from:

    • Sill length – The curtain should be approximately 1cm above the sill.
    • Below sill length – The curtain should be 15cm below the sill
    • Floor length – The curtain should hoover about 1cm above the floor.
    • Breaking the floor length – The curtain extends 5-9cm on the floor
    • Pooling length – The curtain pools 15-35cm on the floor. Just hitting the floor or sill.  This look is classic and tailored; it makes sense if you’ll be opening and closing the curtains a lot (they’ll easily fall back into place every time you move them). The fabric should just touch the floor or hover 1cm above. Short drapes work in kitchens and bathrooms, where long drapes aren’t practical.
    • I hope this information has been helpful and if you have any questions or need assistance please do not hesitate to call me.
    • As a stager I tend to always recommend floor-length or 6cms approximately over. This look visually works, unless there’s a deep sill in the way. Ready-made panels are available in lengths from 160cm to 360cm. Measure from the floor to where you’ll hang the rod, then round up. You can always have them hemmed if needed. You’ll get the most current look if the fabric makes contact with the floor.
    • Panels that extend onto the floor by 5-9 cm are the most stylish right now, breaking the floor length. They’re more relaxed than those that graze the floor. In formal rooms, an exaggerated take 15-35cm of fabric pooling on the floor can look romantic but is also high maintenance; curtains need re fluffing every time you vacuum or the family pet lies on them.
    • Jms Home Staging breaks the floor curtain style example

      Breaking the floor length

      Jms Home Staging Floor Curtain length

      Floor length

      Jms Home Staging Pooling - Curtain length

      Pooling length

ByJulie Small

Barn Board

Reclaiming old barn wood is good for the environment and perfect for any space.  Barn boards are being used more and more these days.  No two boards are ever the same.  The weathered quality adds a rustic feel.  The wood has history, lots of character and lasts forever. It makes attractive accent pieces and can become useful furniture or wide-planked flooring, picture frames or interior shutters. Barn board looks right at home inside the house. 

Barn boards do vary in colour.   Add a touch of warmth to your floors by installing old barn boards on the space instead of traditional hardwood. Rough barn boards offer a weathered appearance. 

Many homes are enjoying feature walls where barn boards are being used vertically or horizontally. 

I have a basement which I am presently working on and am very excited to have a feature wall in barn board.  I have now sourced my board and am planning to also use a separate piece.  A barn board door that will hold our TV and that will move across the wall by similar hardware that is shown.  It gives the rustic and modern edge.  Barn boards will require nails instead of adhesive to attach them to the wall, but the boards add both decor and a little additional insulation against winter or summer weather. I would suggest you only want to cover one wall or two of a room with barn boards. An entire room covered in barn board can appear too dark.

  I have found that the price of barn board does vary.  I have managed to source a great supplier in Barrie and have found his prices to be around $2/$3 per ft.  Others I have found do charge $6/$7 per ft.  It is so important to shop around.  I have thoroughly enjoyed perusing different stores and locations to find the best wood for my project.


Barn boards can be used as is with just a little cleaning. Brushing and pressure washing works to clean the wood and then it can be allowed to dry before using. If you want to bring out more of the character of the wood while giving it a smoother surface, you can have it re-milled. 

Re-milling removes the outer surface so that the original colour and grain appear again, except that much of the details of aging are still visible. Re-milled antique barnwood can be used to make beautiful furniture and flooring.

The wood has weathered nail holes, old fashioned saws, different weather conditions, cracks, and insect damage. This in my mind is what makes the wood so appealing because it carries the feeling of the past.  I love these two examples of bedheads.  They both make quite the statement.



Old barns are also sourced for their beautiful large beams and timbers that will be used in new construction. Often these are of durable hardwoods like oak, elm, maple, or chestnut. These antique beams are perfect as exposed beams in the construction of a new log home.

I am finding that most companies that sell old barn wood have already prepared the planks by removing nails and treating for insects in a kiln. 

There are really two main kinds of boards, most old barns were sided in pine, these boards come in 12 inches widths, and are usually 12 feet long or longer. Then there is fence boards which are mostly cedar and are 6 inches wide and vary in length from 6 to 8 feet long.

Weathered silver grey, faded red, green and white with normal weather wear, deep etching and colouring that only decades of sun, rain, and wind can produce. It cannot be duplicated. Gently distressed by nature, it produces a restful, rustic installation reminiscent of the old days.  Some wonderful examples using barnboard with a huge impact.

If you have a future project and are considering using barn board please give me a call and I can help you with any sourcing needs.

I look forward to hearing from you…call (905) 808 2460  Please also check out my for the items we have hand crafted from reclaimed Ontario barn board.