We all want a home that showcases our unique personality and highlights the important elements that make up our lives. Sure, model homes look fancy, but they don’t have much character and it’s pretty obvious that no one lives in them.
You have a life filled with memorable moments, adventures, and meaning — and when you welcome these elements into your space, you will bring it it life.
Here are a few key ways to personalize your space:
Personal Items & Momentos
A simple and effective way to personalize your space is to add personal items and mementos that are unique to you and your family.
Perhaps you’ve travelled to a special destination and brought home a souvenir, or maybe there’s a type of collection that you would like to feature. Highlighting these elements can be accomplished with photos, artwork, decorative pieces, and more.
Here are some examples of personal items worth highlighting in your space:
Photos that you’ve taken of family, friends, or nature; professional photos that you’ve purchased; or a mix of both.
Sculptures, paintings, hand-crafted items, etc.
Postcards, maps, trinkets, pottery, etc.
Photos, Photos & More Photos!
Adding photos and wall art to your space is definitely on trend.
Creating a gallery wall is a fun activity that allows you to mix and match photos, paintings, artwork, mirrors, and more. It’s an effective way to showcase your life, and it will be sure to help personalize your space.
Here are some do’s and don'ts for your photo space:
Add photos that have meaning to you in your life and fill you with positive thoughts or meaningful memories. This could include family photos, baby photos, travel photos, special holidays, pets, and more.
Showcase images that are highly personal or might be considered as over-sharing. This could include images with nudity, past relationships, and more.
Mix and match photos from different time periods and with different colours. You can have black and white or colour photos side-by-side, and you can exhibit photos from your parents’ childhood as well as your childrens’.
Cram every photo you love onto your wall. Be discerning and only select pictures that you will be happy to see every day. Make sure that you leave enough space between the images, so they have some space to breathe and you can take them in one at a time.
Custom Fabric & Design
Every room in your home is different, and you want your furniture to reflect your personality and style. At Smitty’s, we carry a wide variety of furniture that can be customized to suit your taste. You can choose your fabric, your furniture legs, your throw cushions, and more.
Here are some tips on customizing the fabric and design of your furniture:
Accent furniture, like chairs, coffee tables, and bedside tables can be customized. Chairs can be covered with leather or fabric in a wide range of colours to work in your space. Some brands, like Decor-Rest, also allow you to select the type of chair legs. Tables can be stained or painted in a variety of colours. Some brands, like Durham Furniture, will also allow you to select the number of drawers, hardware, and other features.
Sofas and sectionals can be customized to suit any space. Many brands, like Brentwood, offer a huge range of fabrics and leather options. Once you’ve selected your fabric, you can add throw cushions in accent tones to add an extra element of personalization.
There are many ways to personalize your space and make it your own.
Summer’s here and it’s full of sunlight and possibility. Why not bring some of this energy into your home this season? This is the perfect time of year for a summer refresh!
Bringing some additional colour, design, and tropical themes into your home is the hot trend — and it will definitely help you invite the warmth of summer into your space.
Here are two easy ways to help you refresh your furnishings and decor without breaking your budget:
Patterned Throw Pillows
Colourful, patterned, and tropical fabrics are incredibly popular this season.
The nice thing about throw pillows is that there are no rules! You can add as many or as few as you want. You can also play around with size and shape — try grouping square pillows with rectangular-shaped pillows, or for additional fun, add in a round or cylindrical pillow!
When selecting your fabric, keep in mind the colour of your walls and the colour of any focal pieces of furniture, such as your sofa. While it’s fun to add all kinds of different colours to your space, you don’t want it to completely clash with the main pieces of furniture in your room.
Tropical Themed Everything
This year you will see tropical themed design elements everywhere! It’s the hottest trend in decor this summer.
There are a variety of easy ways to add this theme into your home. Here are some tips:
Add a colourful area rug to help define and refresh your space. Surya offers a huge variety of area rugs that will bring new life to your room.
Add colourful decorative elements, like vases, bowls, and candlesticks. Decorative pieces with sparkle, colour, and shine will help to create fun and creative focal points in your space.
Add organic elements, like ferns, palms, or decorative items that feature natural fibres, wood, or shells. Incorporating these pieces will add a tropical accent and will help you bring some nature indoors.
At Smitty’s, we have a wide variety of decorative items and furniture that can be customized to your liking.
Wall art is a fun and creative way to add some style and personality to your home.
Whether you are looking to add a punch of colour, showcase artwork, display photos, brighten with mirrors, or even add a terrarium, wall art is always on trend.
At Smitty’s, we get a lot of questions about how to use wall art and hang art. Here are some of our expert tips on making the most of wall art:
1. Go Big with Wall Art
Don’t be afraid of placing large artwork on your wall.
If you have a room with a focal point, like a sofa or a fireplace, try hanging a large, single piece of art over the centre area. The art can be anything from an original painting to a reproduction on canvas, to a large-scale printed photo.
If you have a large piece in another room of your home, try bringing it into a different room — sometimes simply moving your wall art around can freshen up your space.
2. Use Mirrors
Yes, it’s true, mirrors are considered wall art — especially with all the different shapes, styles, and designs on the market.
Similar to placing a large piece of art, consider hanging a large mirror behind your sofa or above your fireplace. Adding a mirror in this manner will bring light into your space and help to brighten your room.
3. Try Word Art
Adding word art to your walls is a fun and creative way to bring new life into your space.
Many of you might remember the trend of having the words “Live, Laugh, Love” in a front hall, but all kinds of words and phrases are being displayed throughout homes. You can have some relaxing words in the bedroom, some fun words in the family room, or even a famous food quote in the kitchen — it’s all up to you!
4. Deer Heads
Don’t worry, we’re not talking about stuffed deer heads — we’re talking about the shiny, decorative kind.
Yes, having a chrome or brass deer head on your wall is one of the hottest trends this year. Available in a range of styles and sizes, it might be just the final touch that your wall needs.
Ask yourself: How many times have you seen an image in a magazine or scene in a movie with a gorgeous, stylish room and thought to yourself, “How can I get that look?!”
The team at Smitty’s gets inspired by these kinds of things all the time, and we are happy to help you achieve your dream look with a few tips on ‘high-low decorating’.
What is high-low decorating?
High-low decorating is the art of decorating a room with both high-end, expensive pieces of furniture and inexpensive finds. Sometimes these finds are already in your home. Other times, you might locate a great piece of furniture or decor at a flea market, garage sale, or antique shop.
The high-low style of interior decorating has been around for a very long time because it works and it’s fun! It is also a great way to achieve a stylish look without breaking the bank.
How can I high-low decorate my home?
There are lots of tips to keep in mind when attempting this style of interior decorating.
Here are a few key points to consider:
Invest in a key item for your room that you want to be the focal point and that you want to last.
A sofa or sectional is an ideal piece of furniture to spend the most money on in your living room. The same is true for a quality mattress and bedframe in your bedroom. These are the kinds of pieces that you want to stand the test of time, as they will anchor your space.
Keep an open mind with your furniture and decor arrangement.
Just because the tag on the side table says ‘nightstand’ doesn’t mean that it won’t look amazing in your living room. Perhaps the nicely-framed mirror that was intended for for your bathroom would look really great in your entryway.
Repurpose what you already have.
If you have decor or pieces of furniture in your home that you really love and still have life left in them, keep them! Find suitable places to showcase these pieces in your room, or try moving them into different rooms in your home to display them in new ways. It’s surprising what moving wall art or accent chairs around will do — and remember, eclectic is in!
You see them all the time in boutique shops, in magazines, and in movies — fabulous bookshelves that showcase a stylish mix of books, decor, and plants.
Bookshelf decorating is definitely a big deal these days, and for good reason. A thoughtfully decorated bookshelf can move from being a backdrop to the focal point of your room.
Here are some expert tips on how to style your bookshelf:
One of the more recent trends in bookshelves is colour coding.
Instead of arranging your books by author or subject matter, you arrange them by the colour of the spine. Simply group colours together throughout the shelf with a different colour group on each shelf. You can also randomize the colours and have red next to blue, or you could arrange them in a rainbow.
Alternately, if colour isn’t really your thing and you want to achieve a more neutral look, you can re-cover the spines with a nicely-patterned wallpaper — or simply turn the books backwards so you see the neutral colour of the pages instead.
Showcase Your Treasures
Leave space in your bookcase to show off your personal items, souvenirs, or other collectible pieces.
A bookshelf that is loaded down with books will become more of a backdrop. If you leave space to display selected items that mean something to you, you can turn your bookshelf into a focal piece instead.
Plants and Flowers
Adding a succulent, a small plant, or flowers will give your bookshelf beauty and will bring an element of nature into your space.
Try grouping a few small vases with floral cuttings on a section of your shelf, or go for one larger succulent. Succulents are a nice idea for a bookcase, as they don’t require much attention.
All of these styling ideas require a bookshelf, and that’s really the place to begin. If you are looking for a quality bookshelf, come and visit us at Smitty’s.
The flowers outside are starting to bloom and the environment is becoming more colourful every day. Don’t leave colour to just the outside world — it’s the perfect time of year to bring some colour into your home.
We know that many people feel afraid to bring colour into their homes or aren’t sure where to begin. At Smitty’s, we know that changing up your colour palette can seem daunting, but we’re here to help!
Experts tips on adding colour to your home
Here are a few important things to keep in mind when adding colour to your home:
#1. You don’t have to change everything at once.
Don’t feel pressure to throw out all your existing decor and furniture and replace it all with new pieces. You can add in pops of colour throughout your home and get used to living with colour before deciding to make bolder choices.
#2. Colour doesn’t have to be bold.
Adding colour doesn’t mean that you have to include red, green, orange, or other bright colours. There’s nothing wrong with muted or pastel tones. There is a place for every colour — it all depends on your style.
#3. Have some fun.
Adding colour doesn’t have to be a serious business. Try adding splashes of colour in fun ways. Fun pops of colour can be achieved with custom throw pillows, colourful vase groupings, artwork, accent chairs, and more.
Once you’ve added some colour to your home, try moving the pieces around.
For example, move the colourful throw pillows from your sofa to your bed, or place the colourful vases on your coffee table instead of your dining room table, or shift your colourful accent chair into your guest room.
Moving colourful pieces around your home gives you the opportunity to see how the colours work (or don’t work) in different locations — this will help you better define your colour and style preferences.
There is no perfect solution when it comes to selecting the best colourful furniture for your home — it all comes down to form, function, and your lifestyle.
Some people prefer to have a theme or colour palette for each room or each floor of their home. Everyone is different, and that’s okay. You don’t have to fit into a particular mould.
You will want to ensure that the colours you are adding will work with the other colours in your room. To help ensure that your colours look cohesive, we recommend using a colour palette as a guide.
A colour palette will help you see what colours, patterns, and fabrics will work well together. Take the time to put together a complete palette of swatches, photos, and ideas to help ground your ideas before making a larger purchase.
Trending summer colours
If you prefer to stay on trend with your colour scheme, then you’ll want to add the following colours to your home:
It’s true that colour trends come and go, but if there is a colour that you love then you should add it to your home as you see fit. Don’t scrap what you love just because a designer told you it is no longer on trend — you can achieve a trending look and keep the colours you enjoy.
For all your colour decorating challenges, come and visit us at Smitty’s. Our expert, in-house decorators will help you bring some colour into your home.
This year’s trend is all about being bold. Bold colours, bold patterns, and bold design.
Some of you might remember the crazy colours and designs from the 1980s — the iridescent and shockingly bright tones — but that’s not the bold of today (thank goodness!).
In 2018, the focus has shifted towards strong patterns that combine well with solid and timeless colours and designs. This means you can have a classically designed sofa or accent chair that incorporates splashes of colour and pattern.
Here are a few important ‘Dos and Don’ts’ when incorporating bold patterns:
Pattern Dos & Don’ts
Do use florals.
Floral patterns are on trend and can be beautiful or funky, all depending on the design. Like the Decor-Rest chair featured above, adding a floral throw pillow or having a floral pattern design element on your furniture is a great way to achieve this look.
Don’t use busy patterns on your lampshades.
While it is recommended to have shaded, tinted, or solidly coloured lampshades, having busy patterns will pull focus in your room and cast odd patterns of light in your room.
Limit the patterns to three.
They say that three is a magic number (this is true for comedy, gardening, remembering names, etc.) and it’s magical for decorating too. Try and limit your patterns to three — and only if you’re up for it. Typically, one or two patterns will help to accent a space effectively. Adding three patterns will provide your space with some whimsy.
Ensure that your patterns make sense for your theme.
If you have an elegant living room with classic themes of wood or muted tones, you may not want to add polka dots or leopard print patterns. Adding floral throw pillows or a more colourful area rug might be better options. Choose patterns that will accent your theme without detracting from it.
At Smitty’s, we have a wide range of customizable furniture with hundreds of fabric selections to help you bring patterns into your home. Visit our store to explore our impressive range of styles and options today!
Ask yourself how many times have you picked up a interior decorating magazine or watched a movie and thought to yourself: “That’s a nice looking room. I should do that.”
If you’re like most people, you will have had this thought — perhaps many times. It can be inspiring to see a beautifully-staged room in a magazine or film, and it can excite you about redecorating your home, but you don’t want to be a decorating phony.
A decorating phony is someone who takes someone else’s design and decorating sensibilities, or a current trend, and tries to make it work in their home. This is, plain and simple, a bad idea.
Your home and your style are not the same as anyone else’s — and your lifestyle is different too. You want to make sure that your design and decor match your taste and the way you live.
Tips to avoid being a decorating phony
Don’t try and mirror a design from a magazine.
No one lives in a magazine. You live in a home that is a reflection of your day to day life, and it needs to be a place that is functional.
A magazine has expert stylists and designers who craft the perfect space with the perfect pieces because they have hours to do it, an unlimited budget, and no one will have to live in it.
Don’t try and force a style into your home.
There are some decorating styles that look great, but just won’t work in your home — and you shouldn’t try and make them fit.
For example, if you live in an older home with exposed wood and original fixtures and features, then having an ultra-modern living room is unlikely to mesh with the home. In contrast, if you live in an urban condo with polished concrete floors, a rustic cottage will probably look odd.
Ensure your choices will be functional for the way you live.
Having a white sofa and area rug might look striking, modern, and clean, but if you have a pet or children, it may not be the best choice.
Liking the look of something is not the only aspect to consider when updating your decor. Try to ensure that the furniture and accent pieces you select will work for your lifestyle.
Smitty’s Pro Tip: Magazines often showcase coffee tables that display trays of delicate glassware, books, and candle sticks. While these tables look beautiful, they may not be practical for your particular needs. If you have children, pets, or storage requirements, piling items on your coffee table isn’t a good choice. Remember that design should not trump lifestyle.
Trends come and go. Not every trend will work in your home — and that’s okay.
There are so many sofa and sectional options in stores that it can be overwhelming. Custom furniture allows for even more options. Sometimes the more choice you have, the harder it can be to make a decision.
Here are some expert tips on what to consider when looking for a new sofa:
Sofa buying tip #1
Measure your space. It sound obvious, but how many times have you gone shopping for furniture or decor and stretched out your arms to measure the length?
Take the necessary time to measure the size of your room, including its width and length — and measure any openings, like doorways, so you can account for the open spaces in your design.
Sofa buying tip #2
Take photos. If you are unsure what to do with your decorating, then it’s best to take photos to show the experts, so they can guide your selections. Smitty’s in-house interior decorators love looking at real life photos, so they can help pick the best sofas for your space.
Sofa buying tip #3
Decide how you want to use the sofa. Consider the following questions:
Will you stretch out on it to watch TV or snuggle?
Do you want a L-shape or sectional to allow you to fully extend your legs?
Do you have pets or children?
Do you eat on your sofa?
Will it be used sparingly in an extra room or guest room?
Does it need to fold out into a bed?
Sofa buying tip #4
Consider the type of fabric you prefer. There are many fabric options including leather, microfibre, cotton, polyester, wool, and more.
Consider if you prefer solid colours or patterns, as this will impact your fabric selection. Leathers are generally solid colours, whereas synthetic and natural fibres come in a huge variety of colours and patterns.
Sofa buying tip #5
Decide if your new sofa should blend in with your current decor and style, or if it is the first step on your journey to redo your entire room.
If you aren’t updating all your furniture and decor at once, then we recommend starting with the sofa and branching out. A new sofa will make a big impact, as it is generally the centre of your living room, and this makes it a great place to start.
On the other hand, if you are looking to update all the elements of your space, then the sofa is a great item to ground the rest of your design.
Visit Smitty’s to check out our impressive array of sofas. Our team will help you find the perfect sofa for your space.
Artwork will have a big impact on any space in your home. Original art, prints, photography, and word art are all excellent ways to add finishing touches to your room. Along with updating your furniture and decor, it is highly recommended to also update the artwork in your home.
Here are some answers to commonly asked questions about how to add artwork to your home:
How high on the wall should I hang my art?
A good rule of thumb is to hang single pieces at eye level. This means that the centre of the artwork should be at eye level. Typically, art gallery hanging height is 5’7”.
What should I use to hang my art on the wall?
Use the proper hanging tools. This includes measuring tape, level, picture hooks (be sure to use the appropriate size for the weight of the art you will be hanging), nails or screws, a hammer or screwdriver, and molly bolts (plastic anchors that go into your wall) to secure your hook.
What sort of frame should my art have?
The frame will depend on the artwork. Some art will look better in wooden frames or metal frames, and others will look better with no frame at all — this is the case with some canvas artwork.
You can always change your frame, so don’t stress. To start, try hanging your art with the frame that it came with and see if you like it. If you decide that you don’t like it, then you can contact your local shop to have the frame changed.
How much space do I need between artwork on my wall?
There is no hard and fast rule about spacing as it depends on your particular room, wall space, artwork, and style.
Some people place artwork together in groupings — in this case, the art could be placed anywhere from 1” to 6” apart. In other cases, you may choose to leave a substantial amount of blank wall between your art to really showcase each piece’s unique features.
Adding artwork to your home is a lot of fun, and there’s a lot to choose from. Visit us at Smitty’s and check out the latest wall art for your home.