Painting tips and tricks

Painting tips and tricks for the DIYer

After a weekend of painting I thought I would share some thoughts on how to get the best results and potentially save some time… here it goes!

1. Prep work: This is the first and most crucial step.

Purchase a drop sheet and painters tape.

Taping and prepping to paint always takes the longest… well that and cutting in… To avoid any blunders I put the painters tape along the wall and attached the plastic drop sheet to it as well. This way you are sure to capture stray paint that may have otherwise fallen on your floors, baseboards or both.

Tip: Make sure to push down the paint at the top of the baseboard. This area often springs free and you want to maintain a clean line along this area. Try pushing it down with a flat edge (metal ruler, scraper or other house tool with a flat edge).

2. Patching holes and sanding imperfections:

Every wonder how professional painters get smooth walls. Well, it’s all in the prep. Remove all nail holes and fill them and lightly sand smooth. If  your walls are “newer” take cleaning wipes or a de-greases and clean them. If you walls are “older” with many layers of paint build up you may opt to go straight for sanding with a fine grit paper. This will smooth out any old paintbrush strokes, drips or imperfects in the walls.

3. Loading your brush and cutting in: Now you’re ready to prime the walls.

First dip your paint brush in the primer/paint about 1 ½ -2” make sure enough is on and then on the side of the can or tray tap down to shed excess paint. Don’t wipe because you lose too much paint in the process.

When you apply to the wall start about 1” above your taped area and work your way toward the tape line thinning out the paint. This prevents paint build up at the tape line and ultimately leakage.

4.  Priming walls:

Tip: For dark or saturated colours always look at the paint manufacturers recommendations. Often for really strong colours they will specify a  coloured primer which helps to bring out the paint colour. I always recommend doing this because it’s the only way to ensure you get the exact colour you feel in love with. I frequently use Sherwin Williams for their bright and bold colours.  The primer code is always available on the paint card so take a look before purchasing or ask a sales associate.

Time Saver tip: Two in one primer/paint combinations:

More recently, in our own home we used Benjamin Moore Regal paint line because we were told it had great coverage and you didn’t need to prime because it was a two in one. I was a bit sceptical but being as pregnant as I am I thought my husband could use all the help he could get. We went from a very dark grey to a white. The first coat was a bit dicey looking but by the time the second coat went on I was amazed at the coverage and that it really did only need 2 coats of paint! I highly recommend this product.

5. Painting: So you’ve primed and now you get to fun part seeing the colour on the walls!

Disclaimer: No two paints are created equal, so don’t cheap out and expect to get great coverage. Higher quality paints do provide a better finish and coverage.

Apply paint in a “W” pattern and reverse back over the unpainted area in an “M” pattern. See image below. You get good coverage and no streaks.  Always completely finish one wall before moving to the next.

Tip: Paint dries to a different colour so don’t judge it until you’ve allowed it to dry completely. 6 hours is ideal. If something is slightly off you can go back and have them add to lighten or darken if need be.

6. Clean-up: It’s the end of the day and you still have more to do tomorrow. Clean-up will be key.

Completely clean the paint tray, or as a time saver purchase tray liners. Brushes can be wrapped in wrap in cellophane if you plan to go back at it in a few hours. Note roller and brushes need time to dry, you don’t want to paint with a damp or wet roller or brush. It waters down the paint and will look horrible.

Painting tips and trick for diy

design trends 2014- delolovesdesign

Interior Design trend spotting for 2014 – part 1

I’ve received some questions on how to update your home for the new year and  thought I would share a few more of my trend forecasting ideas with you over several posts. Most of these items you can incorporate in your home simply through decor, others are more geared toward those of you heading into a renovation.

1. Large feature showers. A move away from the grand bath tub and a shift towards the large spacious showers. Often seeing them designed to accommodate two. The rain shower heads are still big, along with the elimination of the shower curb. Many people are opting to have the slope change only with the larger drain capacity which provides a more spa like feel. Benches in the shower are another common addition, either teak/cedar or solid surface or natural stone material. Wondering what the bath tub trend is?  We are seeing a steady increase in the installation of free standing tubs over the alcove style. They have some stunning options available that retain heat and provide the ultimate tub experience. (More on that later)

Design trend post- showers
















2. Strong geometric floor patterns. Whether this is achieved through natural wood, ceramic, porcelain, or other materials we are seeing the emergence of exciting new floor patterns in strong contrasting colours. If you try out this trend remember to consider the scale of your space and select your pattern accordingly.

Design trend post- geometric floors
















3. Blue hues everywhere. From cobalt to navy  to pale tones, blues will be everywhere. Specifically in table top decor (plates, water jugs, table clothes) and fabric accents like throw pillows, duvet covers, curtains and other textiles. Incorporating blues into your spring summer style would be a great way to update for 2014.  Think about trying to pair different prints together to give a layered affect. The blues don’t have to match so try a few different tones. With all the great dinner wear options coming out it is sure to be all over the wedding/event planning as well.

Design trend post- blues
















Check back for the next three design trends for 2014!



Marble print lounge chair

Marble pattern: Trend Alert! 2014

I thought I would do a trending post on this frigid winter night. (In Toronto it is -17 with a “feels like” temp of -30)

What’s hot right now is marble pattern on fabrics. The classic Carrara marble pattern is being printed on lux fabrics like silk and heavy velvet. My personal favourite is when it is used as a throw pillow because it is just the right amount of texture to update a living space. My top pick is this one from Ferm living. It would look stunning on a black sofa with tan accents. This beauty is made from a silk fabric is down filled and sure to be the most comfy sofa toss cushion around. It retails for $100.00 which is very reasonable for the quality of fabrics and fill, and is available in 16″x16″, 20″x20″ and 13″x21″ formats.

Too rich for your blood but would love to have the on trend look? Try this runner up available at Zazzle for a fraction of the price at $35.95. of course for the amazing savings you are getting polyester material with a synthetic insert but it’s machine washable and wrinkle free which makes it a very appealing alternative to the silk.

This one would look lovely on a charcoal grey sofa with coral or lavender accents.

New Years 2014 - decor and games

New Years Eve Decor

I can’t believe it’s already New years Eve! 2013 was an amazing year so I’m not exactly excited to see it go, but love the idea of starting fresh and setting out goals for 2014!

I’m loving these New years eve party settings. Lots of gold, glitter and fun, perfect for a party of dinner with friends.


Happy 2014 everyone! Have a safe and joyous New years!

Black and white design inspiration

Interior Design Inspiration

I hope everyone had a nice weekend! I feel like I could use another day to recover from mine. With buying a new house, packing, cleaning, getting ready for Christmas, working and with my bump slowing me down a bit I can officially say I’m drained today. In order to get me geared up for another packed work week I did some inspiration hunting.

Here are a few things I’m loving right now….

1. { Unique colour palettes: Right now I’m into a variety of coral tones, yellows, whites with black accents}

2. { Graphic prints in contrasting colours: Polka dots, triangles, scales, herringbone, chevron, arrow head, diamonds}

3. { Texture: faux fur, wood grain, wool, basket weaves, painted wood} This one is always high on my list!

4.  {Black and white line drawings and prints, graphic art}

5. {Mixed metals: Brass, bronze Copper, silver, platinum, chrome, gun metal and matte black all in one space}

Gift guide: For the hostess

The holiday season is here!

This time of year is always busy for us because aside from holiday parties and dinners about 1/3 of our friends and family also celebrate their birthdays in this month!

Needless to say I’m always on the hunt for creative gift ideas. This post is for the hostess in your life. Most of my friends and family love to entertain but I have a few who LIVE for this time of year! Hopefully something here works for you too!

{From the right – counter clockwise} 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Sneak peak – kitchen renovation

Happy Thursday everyone! Where has the week gone?

Today I thought I would share a  ”before and after” photo!

As a professional designer they aren’t something we  put in our portfolios but they do really help illustrate the possibilities of design. I thought I would share this photo from a project I completed earlier in the year.

In the before photo you are looking at the dining room and to the left was a small kitchen in a separate room. I made the former kitchen and dining area one large open concept space. I flipped the kitchen and dining room to allow for clear sight line into the family room (they have a young child) and introduced new large french doors off of the dining room space that could be opened up on warm summer nights. The window over the sink was replaced with a larger heritage window to maximize light flow into the kitchen work space.

Gale South Beach roof top pool

Art Deco architecture and design

This summer I had the pleasure of vacationing in the beautiful South Beach, Miami Florida. As you may  know this is THE place to so so many American Art Deco because it is the largest grouping of buildings from the time period.

We stayed at the Gale South Beach Hotel right on strip which I would definitely recommend to any one who appreciates a Boutique style of hotel so close to the beach. It was beautifully designed to have a mix of Art Deco, contemporary opulence and still maintained the past feel of Italian retreat. The floors were a stunning (oak import), with beautiful “Miami Art Deco” inspired chandeliers, mirror framed windows, dark stained wall paneling, Art Deco influenced furniture and vintage photography of the beach and opulent lifestyle that once existed there… and in a way still does. :-)

Like many of the buildings in that area there was a period in time when it vacant for several years and was in such rough shape due to neglect and vandalism much of the original hotel had to be demolished and rebuilt. The history (ups and downs) of Miami beach is really interesting if your curious check out a brief rundown here. Luckily their historical society  has regulation in place  that ensure the facades are kept on buildings that represent Miami Art Deco period which is wonderful. There is also lots of interesting info on the lady who spearheaded that here.

Here are some good representations of the Miami beach Art Deco architecture I snapped on a walking tour …

I should mention we went in August which kind of feels like being in steam room…

Art Deco - Miami

Art Decor Architecture - Miami beach Art Deco - South Beach Miami


Halloween table top decor

Decorating for Halloween

Halloween is just around the corner and I’ve been searching for some inspiration. There are so many great decor ideas out there here are a few of my favorites! (I’m loving the white pumpkins below)

Fireplace design for Halloween

Halloween decor inspiration

navy dinign room cover

Moody dark navy blues

Blue is a stunning colour for the home and has become my go to in resent months. The key word here being it is an actual colour. For many years now people have been drawn to grays and various shades of white in design (my self included). While they look great, colour can also look amazing and be a wonderful additional to the home. There are several darker blues out there that can add a moody and dramatic touch while still remaining a neutral.

I rounded up a few I thought worked beautifully.

 (Images via: Elle Decor, Architectural Digest, Pinterest)