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Decorating Questions? Here are some answers.

I am always being asked by friends and family decorating questions. I love helping and providing my feedback. I feel that no matter where you live everyone deserves a home they love. These questions range from kitchen cabinet colour choices to artwork on the wall. I wanted to however feature the most popular decorating questions that I hear. I thought you might enjoy this.


Q: I have 8’ ceilings and I would like to hang curtains in my living room over the main window. How long should they be, and how high should I hang the rod? Also, can I just have just one panel on each side of the window or do I need more?

A: I like to go as high up to the ceiling as I can with the rod, with the curtains as long as I can. I am not a fan of pooling the material on the bottom. I like them to sit on the floor without any space but no pooling. This is likely the case for me though in my own home, as I have a dog and the pooling would dirty the fabric faster. Having the curtains hung this way makes the window feel larger. I would recommend buying fabric double the width of the window to give the curtains a fuller feel, plus it allows the panels to be closed if necessary. If you never plan on closing the curtains you could go with one panel per window. I would recommend spending the money for more panels, to give it a fuller look. I provided these two pictures to give you an idea of how to hang your rods.

Area Rugs

Q: We are looking for an area rug to go in the dining room and living room. Both rooms are great spaces, with beautiful hardwood floors so we hate to cover them. We do like the comfort though of an area rug. Can you tell us which sizes to buy?

A: Do you know that almost every home I visit for decorating or staging, their area rugs are 90% of the time too small? This could be the case of a bigger investment in larger rugs, or wanting to see more of the wood floors.

A great tip is to take some painters tape and do a mock outline of where you think you want the carpet. Here are two diagrams to show you, that will help you when you are considering area rugs.

In this area rug diagram, it shows you an ideal layout for a living room space. The sofa, love seat and chair front legs will all rest on the carpet while the back legs will sit on the hardwood floor. It creates the coziness that an area rug brings, while allowing your wood floor to be appreciated.

For your dining room, I would recommend going with a layout more like this one.

I feel when it comes to dining room area rugs, there is really only one choice. You need to go as large as you can, to allow the dining room furniture, and its legs to all sit on the rug. You also need this size to prevent the chairs from catching the sides of the rug when people come to sit down at the table.

Mixing metals

Q: With so many different metals out there, how do we choose? Do we use only the same metals throughout our home, or can we mix them?

A: Lighting, hardware and faucet choices are always changing. Trends come and go. Following trends can seem overwhelming and very costly. So what do you do? I would identify your style and use the trends as inspiration. What will you like in a couple of years? Today's trends, we are seeing new metals, from gold, black, copper and polished brass. No longer are there simple choices like brushed nickel or chrome. So many options.

Yesterday, you saw matching metals, coordinating them with stainless appliances, faucets, lighting etc. Today, you are seeing a variety of metals used throughout the home. It gives the space great layers and lots of interest. If you are asking me for my personal option of mixing metals, I still am a "match all metals" kind of girl. However, seeing new uses of mix metals has really changed my thinking and design.

Throw Pillows:

Q: How do I know how many pillows to use, size, and patterns?

A: When you are choosing throw pillows, you only need to focus on two things - color and size. If you have a roomy sofa, small pillows will get lost, so always go with pillows at 22 inches square. Use smaller accent pillows that add a pop of colour to the bigger pillows. I like keeping the fabrics in the same colour palette but have some fun with the patterns. Balance the smaller to the bigger, and then you have it.

Here is a great example of a beautifully done sofa with throw pillows. I love the colour scheme, solid greens with playful fabric patterns.


Here is another great example of throw pillows. The large pillows are placed in the corners of the couch, with a horizontal accent pillow to balance. Colours in the same palette brings class and sophistication. Balance and harmony.


My best advice to you is don’t be afraid to try new ideas. However, make sure it isn’t just something that is trendy today and gone tomorrow. Find out what style you like, do your research, ask decorators like me, as many questions as you can.

If you head over to the main page of this website, you will see a “Have a decorating question” section.Fill in your question, and send it to me. I would be happy to

answer them.

Until next time, Happy Decorating.

Bye for now

Tracy x

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