Hi!

We haven’t had a blog post in a long time because we have been posting our Simply Design segments that aired on Chex TV. They cannot be uploaded to this blog but they are on our facebook page and our youtube channel. Both called Birchview Design. We have also been posting fun things on twitter and instagram. We LOVE social media!! Come join us!

Spring and your green thumb!

If you caught this weeks Simply Design segment on Chex, you would have seen Nancy talking about using live plants in your home décor!
Live plants add a nice pop of color and texture to your space and think of all the fun pots/planters you could use!
Don’t worry if you don’t have a green thumb, we have found several low maintenance plants as well as plants that require little to no sunlight for your rooms that may have low to no lighting.
Interesting to see that some plants are on both the easy to maintain and zero sunlight lists like the spider plant and the snake plant (or as Nancy calls it, Mother-in-law tongue)

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Spring cleaning!

Now that spring is here it is a great time to tackle some “spring cleaning”
We have some tips and suggestions for certain areas in your home. You may not need to do them all, but you probably should!
Wipe down all cabinets with a soft cloth and plain water, dust tends to collect in small crevices so pay special attention to corners and around handles.
Windows, glass and sills washed inside and out (weather permitting!)
All appliances, use a light spray of a wax-based aerosol spray to freshen up the exterior of stainless steel appliances. Don’t forget to clean the inside of them too, including your dishwasher, washer and dryer
Counter tops, removed everything and wipe them down, including the backsplash. It is a great time to arrange to have your granite re-sealed.
Wood floors, again move all furniture etc and then sweep/vacuum and then wet mop with warm water. Replace felts on the legs of furniture if needed.
Carpets and area rugs, vacuum thoroughly, then either steam or spot clean.
Bedding, great time to wash your pillows/comforters (check manufacturers instructions) or take your duvet in to be dry cleaned.
Wipe down painted walls, especially in high traffic areas and around light switches.
Bookshelves, use a dry cloth and wipe everything down. Freshen paint if needed.
Patio furniture, even if you have stored it out of the elements, spring is a great time to wipe it all down with warm soapy water. Spot clean pads and cushions.
Last but not least, your broom!! It works hard, give it a warm soapy water bath and then rinse thoroughly. Air dry.
Happy cleaning! And Happy Spring!!!

Wallpaper!

Wallpaper is so much more that it was years ago!
Inspired by natural wood and stone, some of the new wallpapers have texture and depth that are so realistic people actually touch them to believe they aren’t the natural wood/stone!
We found some really cool, natural looking wallpaper on homedepot.ca
Their website even has a wallpaper calculator to help you determine the amount you will need.
Be sure to make sure the product you buy is a true wallpaper, which has a pattern repeat. Also, ensure you are buying/calculating for single/double rolls and make sure you know if the paper is pre-pasted or not!
Happy papering!

Gold!

Gold is making a comeback! The design world is starting to showcase a lot of gold in place of other metals.
If your thinking of trying to incorporate it into your home décor, try adding a few accents like candle holders, vases or lamps. Or add some fun and stylish decals to a bedroom wall to create a feature wall!
You could paint a collection of mirrors and frames to create a unique wall display!
Gold tile inserts are also being used in place of grout!

When to hire a designer

It’s never too early to hire a designer! We can help you with your first tentative plans or work with an architect of your choice.
We had a client recently bring us their preliminary cottage drawings and we sat down with them and had a close look at the plans. We suggested a few changes, the biggest being window layout in the master bedroom. We realized due to it’s size and long rectangular shape, the current window placement would make furniture nearly impossible to put in the room without blocking the windows.
So we quickly put the plans into our computer program and added some furniture, This allowed us to suggest the clients move the windows to better suit a furniture layout!
So it’s never too early to hire a designer to help you with your design needs!

Home Coffee Stations/Beverage Centers

With winter upon us, who doesn’t like a hot cup of coffee or cocoa to help them warm up?
A new trend in kitchens is a home beverage center, for both warm beverage and cold beverages!
It can be as simple as placing a tray near your coffee maker with flavored syrups, shakers with cinnamon, nutmeg and marshmallows of course!
You could also use a low shelf or piece of furniture and set it up with your mugs and some coffee beans and create a visually pleasing addition to your kitchen.
Or, convert a small pantry or niche into a fully functioning diy café!

Hosting overnight guests

Having overnight guests for the holidays??
Here are some handy ideas to set up your guest room and make them feel welcome!
Think of things often found in a hotel room; a place to set their suitcase onto, like a low dresser, bench or even a chair, an empty (or almost empty closet with extra hangers), post the wifi password (and easy access to an outlet for easy charging), leave hot drink options easy to find in the kitchen, spare toiletries (great use for those small hotel bottles we all collect!), extra toilet paper, hair dryer, trashcan, room darkening window options in case your guests like a darker room, extra blankets and pillows, some kind of clock (a quiet one!), tissues, fan, small flashlight, reading material (magazines or books with short stories) and some snacks like cereal bars, fruit or even something sweet and a few bottles of water
Once you have this all assembled, we like the idea of placing the items in a tray, basket, even a bucket in the room, include a “welcome” sign or even a personalized greeting to make them feel welcome! Fresh flowers are always a nice addition to any room!!
Most of all, enjoy your time with your guests!!

The festive season is upon us!

If your hosting this season, we have some great tips and trick to make your event go flawlessly!
We have prepared this blog post for a buffet style event.
Here are some great suggestions to set up your buffet table to everything is easily accessible to your guests and beautifully displayed!
It is always a great idea to serve a signature “festive” drink, either alcoholic or non-alcoholic to offer your guests upon their arrival.
Charcuterie boards with different meats, cheeses and fruits are very popular and a great excuse to use different wood cutting boards or buy yourself a nice new one!
Bring in Christmas accents like these neat folded napkins that look like trees or this fruit tree.

Mudrooms!

With the colder winter weather fast approaching, many of us are starting to feel overwhelmed by where to hang coats and store wet boots!
This post may help you with these common problems and our answer is MUDROOMS!
All mudrooms should have a few basic components; a seat to put on and remove footwear, hooks to hang garments/purses/knapsacks, baskets to store mitts/hats/extra footwear and keep everything neat and organized.
One easy way is to take an existing closet and turn it into a mudroom as shown.
If your lucky enough to have the space to build one, this handy diagram shows suggested spacing of a mudroom. They can be built into a hallway, laundry room or even a garage. Just make sure you aren’t far from the door you and your family will use!