Pantone’s Colour of the Year 2013

press_swatchOn December 5th, Pantone, “the global authority on colour and provider of professional colour standards for the design industries”, announced 17-5641 Emerald, “a lively, radiant, lush green, as the Colour of the Year for 2013”.

Green is the most abundant hue in nature – the human eye sees more green than any other colour in the spectrum


As it has throughout history, multifaceted Emerald continues to sparkle and fascinate. Symbolically, Emerald brings a sense of clarity, renewal and rejuvenation, which is so important in today’s complex world. The powerful and universally appealing tone translates easily to both fashion and home interiors, …

– Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of Pantone Colour Institute.


In the press release Pantone talks Emerald for Interiors.

Enhance your sense of well-being at home by rejuvenating the interior with Emerald paint, accents and accessories. This jewel-like hue will create a luxurious feel in an entryway, powder room, dining room or study and bring life to a living room as an accent wall. Add a splash of colour to the kitchen and dining room areas with Emerald dinnerware, stemware and appliances.


I know that we will be seeing a lot of this colour in the next year – and can’t wait to see how people will work this colour into their homes!






And check out – to see what KW thinks about Green!



CCSRtip Tuesday – Lighting 101

When working with clients one of our jobs is always to do a lighting plan or reflected ceiling plan (RCP). Today, I thought I would share some lighting tips for planning where your fixtures should go. There are 3 types of lighting that one should include when designing –

1. Ambient (general) Lighting | This type of lighting provides the overall illumination for a room. Bright, but not glaring, it can come from ceiling fixtures, pendants, and chandeliers, and wall-mounted fixtures.

2. Task Lighting | Focused directly on a specific area where activities such as food preparation, cleanup, or ready take place, this type of lighting typically comes from pendant, under cabinet, recessed, or track fixtures.

3. Accent Lighting | This kind highlights design elements, such as items displayed on shelves. It comes from wall-mounted lights or pendants and should be significantly brighter than surrounding ambient lighting.

Kitchen Planning & Buying Guide | Consumer Reports | July 2012

See above Kitchen RCP Plan showing all three types of Lighting.

Typically for a Kitchen Design we normally choose to use recessed pot lights to take care of the Ambient Lighting – spaced 30″ from the wall and about every 4 to 6 feet. There are a few different types of bulbs for your recessed fixtures (and sizes – 4″, 5″, and 6″ typ.) – Par 16, Par 20, GU10 (line voltage) and MR16 (low voltage) lamps are most common. (Both come in great LED options – that cost so little to operate – they should really be considerations – they also can give off a great warm light – about a 2700 K)

“Pot Light”

PAR 20


MR 16MR16

Par Bulb LED


We take special care to note areas where more “work” is happening – and include Task Lighting in the way of under cabinet lights mounted in places such as a sink (overhead/bulkhead lighting) and then lighting the countertop and also the cooktop (choosing a hood fan with a good light source). Some options for under cabinet lighting are a 2″ puck light, a 12″ under cabinet light (Halogen/LED – Halogen much hotter than LED) or LED tape lighting – ($$$) which doesn’t allow any “dark spots” in the design.

2" Puck Light2″ Undercabinet Puck Light

12" Undercabinet

12″ Undercabinet Fixture

LED Strip Light

LED Strip Light

Strip Light Example

Strip Light Example – used on a stairway.

The Accent Lighting is usually represented by a pendant fixture or a directional wall mounted fixture – something with a little more “sparkle” or “pizzazz” about it. For use above an island –  the size of your island will determine if you choose two larger scale pendants or three smaller pendants. Want to know the height to hang your fixture above a table or countertop???…. 30″. To check out some great pendants – go HERE.

Pendant 1

Pendant 2

Pendant 3

Pendant 4

(we are using the one above in the kitchen shown)

Pendant 5


There is so much to learn when it comes to lighting – but there are some basics to get you started! Happy planning – and if you need an added hand with any ideas or tips – email us at or comment below!

CCSRtip Tuesday: Sample Budget -The Ensuite

(click on image to see larger)

Here’s a neat little pie chart of information from several of the Ensuite Renovations we have worked on with our clients. If you click on the image above, you’ll be able to see a breakdown of the different budget line items to keep in mind when planning and budgeting for your Ensuite Renovation. From my experience (little as it may be!) I have noted that Ensuites (the bathroom off the Master Bedroom) along with Kitchens (of course!)  are great places to renovate because they are usually hold their value when looking to sell your home. If the “re-sale” factor isn’t as issue or something that you are considering – then both the Ensuite and the Kitchen happen to also be the spaces where people like tend to spend their time – whether gathering to eat a meal or in the case of The Ensuite – RELAXING IN THE TUB!

Ensuite Renovation Budget Breakdown

1) Design Fees – 6%

2) Plumbing Fixtures – 19%

3) Tile – 7%

4) Tile Installation Labour – 7%

5) Cabinetry – 8%

6) Plumbing Labour – 10%

7) Demolition & Carpentry – 14%

8) Painting – 3%

9) Electrical Labour – 11%

10) Electrical Fixtures – 3%

11) Glass Shower Doors – 6%

12) Stone Countertop – 4%

13) Misc. & Accessories – 2%

And this brings us to the 100% Pure Bliss from Having a Lovely New Ensuite Retreat

Many people choose to put more luxurious items in this one area: and therefore these budgeting numbers are Ensuite Specific. These more “luxe” items might include: free standing soaker tubs, tiled shower surrounds with glass enclosures, plumbing fixtures that have a beautiful design aesthetic-or greater functionality – such as body sprays, heat mats that are placed under their tile to keep a pleasant temperature, heated towel bars, and other beautiful design options.

If you want to take a look at the finished product of what the type of Ensuites we are hired to work on please look at our website: and you’ll be able to find a few there. If you ever want help planning your spaces we are always available – and would love to help you personally with budgeting. But, hopefully this quick little blog post helps you understand how to plan for your Ensuite Renovation! Thanks for stopping by – and pop by again soon to see an update to our most recent Ensuite Renovation – Project: 2011-17.

please note: these are only estimates and are taken from our personal experiences – and are to be used as a helpful guideline but not an all encompassing formula when planning your new renovation. 😉

CCSRtip Tuesday – Some bathroom renovation ideas

Today we start our first renovation of 2012 and we thought we’d share some ideas that we are using for this Ensuite Design.

Here is our elevation sketch for this project: where we used four ideas for a bathroom update.


A) Pendant lighting.

This is a unique and new way to light vanities… working the same way that sconces do – providing that great overall lighting on your face. Overhead vanity lighting and pot lights create a dark shadow on your face and a great solution for this is sconce lighting or this pendant lighting with the centre of the fixture hung at 5′-6″ A.F.F. Above is an example of a Tech Lighting pendant over vanity – beautiful.

B) Wall mounted faucet.

These faucets are a great choice if you want to add a little bit of interest to your bathroom. Used with a vessel sink, above counter sink, even a under-mount sink – these slick faucets are pretty great. They take a little more thought when specifying them – i.e.. height above sink rim- comfortable height for on/off lever and of course a plumber who has installed them before – it’s a little like a shower rough-in, but easy enough to figure out after a little research! Above are a few examples of more interesting wall mount faucets from our friends at Kohler and American Standard! We used the last example for this application.

C) Floating vanity with under-cabinet lighting

If you are going for a more contemporary look this is a great option – also adding more visual appeal to your space. When you have this great feature –  a floating vanity – what better to accentuate this, but with under-cabinet lighting. An easy way to achieve this look is with 3 LED puck lights surface mounted to the bottom of the unit. Unless you bend all the way over, you’ll never be able to see them, and this is much more cost effective that those amazing LED strips (they are amazing, you have no shadow gaps or visible fixture – but they are expensive!) This light feature will help you set a great mood or provide a neat night light.

 D) Recessed shower cubby.

Do you have a tiled shower surround? Do you find that you need more storage for your shower? Are you a little nervous of water issues in your shower? Yes??? Then these great shower cubby’s are option for you. They come in a variety of sizes and because of their design – they ensure that there is a water tight installation. Above photo shows an option from Maxx – we installed this version in our Marble Bathroom from last summer… The last photo shows another option where the installer added a beautiful tiled pattern to the recess.

CCSRtip Tuesday: Style your Home…

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When we want to create an inviting scene in a room, we will often “style” the room to create interest. For the most part we do this for our photo shoots – to make the spaces feel warmer and lived in… But, we all love the idea of having these perfectly styled homes with everything in place and all these decorative touches that showcase our most prized possessions with a real warmth along with a strong sense of organization and structure. BUT… how to achieve this is a different story.

The first place I always start is the Vignette – defined by (I know!) as:

Any small endearing scene, view, picture. etc.

SMALL – that key word is a great place to begin. Choose one or two decorative pieces in your home and then arrange them with scale, purpose, and aesthetic value in mind. Remember that simple is always best, so stay away from too many colours, textures or themes – instead layers items with similar qualities together. Contrast is important – so that visual interest in created, but one should pay close attention that pieces don’t compete with each other.

You can create these scenes in different areas of your home – and being that these Vignettes are usually small groupings – this is not an overwhelming task and one that can be done by simply rearranging things that are already present in your space. Great places to start are: bookshelves, kitchen counters, bathroom cabinets (open storage), bedside, entry and dining tables. Once you have put together your vignettes on the small scale – you can move into arranging your larger items: occasional chairs and side tables into small groupings.

Designer’s tested and true styling favourites: hardcover books, magazines, sculptural vases or bowls, candles, reflective or translucent surfaces, photos, rolled up or folded towels and organic matter – which includes the all time favourite: fresh flowers. Some more vignette ideas from CCSR Interior Design below… Happy Styling.

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CCSRtip Tuesday – Kelly Hoppen

I’ve been holding on to this web clipping for a few months, and I’m excited to share it with you today. In an article for, Kelly Hoppen (a design icon) discusses “her top ten style rules that were made to be broken”


1. ‘Don’t overcrowd a room with large furniture.’ Play with scale. In a large room, large-scale objects fill the space and make it feel more intimate. Even in small rooms a few oversized objects can trick the eye into believing it’s bigger than it is.

2. ‘Listen to your instincts.’ Plan to the very last detail. Plans might sound boring but they are essential for avoiding costly mistakes. Consider everything from furnishings and lighting to the technology so every element can be brought together in harmony.

3. ‘Kitchens need bright task lighting.’ Every room needs a variety of lighting. It’s more pleasant to cook an evening meal in a relaxing atmosphere. Use a range of sculptural soft lights and candles to create mood and interesting shadows.

4. ‘Light colours create space.’ Dark colours can create a dramatic atmosphere and, when teamed with contrasting fabrics, a sense of indulgence.

5. ‘Display your favourite objects.’ Choose the best, store the rest.

6. ‘Upgrade when you can.’ Save for what you really want.

7. ‘Don’t fuss with detailing.’ Use bands and buttons on cushions to freshen up the look of a room. They are an ideal way to unify contrasting colours and textures.

8. ‘White is the essential neutral.’ The perfect neutral is taupe. Taupe loves white, natural linens, shades of stone, metal and dark stained wood.

9. ‘A sofa should be a elegant statement.’ A sofa also needs to be incredibly comfortable, fit your practical needs and enhance your room. Using L- or U-shaped seating configurations works well and can direct the eye to a focal point such as a fireplace.

10. ‘Mirrors should be hung over fireplaces.’ Use them with abandon. Mirrors, glass surfaces and objects that reflect light add depth to a room and allow a play of light.

Hope you enjoyed some great “everyday” design and decor advice from this amazing british interior designer. Be sure to check out her website and blog for many inspiring images. She has also written quite a few books, they are currently living on some shelves in my home – great reference material for any person interested in this subject matter. Have a lovely day… Check back soon for those Project Updates – coming at the end of the week!

CCSRtip Tuesday – Cute Basics of Kitchen Design

CCSR Interior Design has had the opportunity to work on a few kitchen renovations. In design school they teach us a lot about kitchen design and about the proper layout for ease & function of the working area. There are many things to remember when working out your ideal kitchen, but when reading a past issue of one of my favourite go-to magazines CanadianHouse&Home (October 2010 Volume 32 Number 10 pg. 100) I thought they put together a concise and neat formula for putting together a functional & well designed space.

DESIGN BY NUMBERS: Classic formulas to ensure your kitchen measures up.


Minimum inches needed between an island and a counter


Number of outlets needed for an island longer than 6 feet


Minimum inches of work surface on either side of a stove


Minimum inches a ceiling fixture should be from the wall


Inches between the bottom of a pendant and the top of an island


Feet needed between recessed halogen lights


Inches tall a counter should be for bar seating

Now you can hop to designing your very own dream kitchen. If you have any questions about kitchen or even bath design – leave me a comment and I’ll answer!

CCSRtip Tuesday – Paint Pots

CCSRtip – Do you love to try new paint colours – but are a little trigger shy because you don’t know what they will look like???

Try a paint pot! Grab a little can from your favourite paint store and apply a small swatch on the walls you wish to update. You can even try a few colours next to each other… These small cans are an affordable way to see if you really want to commit to the colour you dream of. Happy 16″x16″ Testing! (PS some of these “pots” have coupon’s for when you purchase your colour of choice – ex. General Paint $6.50 off)


CCSRtip Tuesday – Smart DESIGN on a Smart BUDGET

A few weeks ago I tweeted the following:

“Was so blessed tonight by one of my first clients… we did a total new house revamp – addition w/ master/ensuite retreat, new bedrooms…”

“… for their beautiful 5 children, new kitchen w/ marble island.. the best thing??? They did everything on the Floor Plan – BUT..”

“… On an incredibly fiscally responsible budget! IT CAN BE DONE! It looks fabulous, I am so impressed and proud of OUR project! #lovemyjob

I had one facebooker (Mr. Justin Hughes from Divine Hardwood Flooring) ask: “Any tips you’d like to share?”

I thought I’d use this as one of our CCSRtips: Smart DESIGN on a Smart BUDGET.

The first thing I’d like to stress is Smart Design ie. PLANNING … this element is KEY! That is where I usually come in… but anyone can do this!!! I feel so strongly that with careful and detailed designing and planning one can avoid costly mistakes and also in the end get almost exactly what they wanted. Now with a smart Budget… sometimes the things that we want are not always in the cards at that exact moment, but if they are in the PLAN then we can do the other things first and then work towards what we want things to look like one day. That way we are not wasting our money on cheaper versions that will eventually break down, wear out or go out of style but rather carefully work towards something that will have longevity and be something that is tailor made for US!

In the example from the client’s I tweeted about, they were a family of four when we started. They were living in a 2000 sq. ft. home that just was not working for them. The kitchen was tiny and there were many “boxed up” rooms – ie. no open spaces. They really loved where they lived and therefore wanted to see what could be done to make their space more usable for them. We started this project in 2009 with four-five months just in the planning phase… meeting – going over their needs, wants and dreams. We carefully planned out exactly what they needed, then what they wanted and finally we got to a point where we worked on what they always dreamed about, which was an addition that included their master retreat on the main floor with a en-suite outfitted with a marble floor, free-standing soaker tub, 5′ glass shower and two sink vanity. NOW here comes the DISCLAIMER! This couple is not like the rest… We planned and planned and then they did almost all of the construction work themselves, they “craigslisted” almost everything, they researched everywhere to get the best discount, they used their designer’s (CCSR ID) 10-35% discount at stores, and they still are working on the project currently (2011). They are an amazing couple and now with their FIVE children (yes, a fifth came to be during our planning phase) and a lot of faith and prayer, they are closer than ever to finishing their amazing project. It was truly such a blessing to see what stage they were at and to see how they took their budget and made extremely smart decisions – let’s save any and all money we can. Some examples: They bought various furniture pieces off of craigslist and painted an old farmhouse table bright yellow, they bought an old sectional for $50 and re-covered it, they found a discoloured (but beautiful) piece of marble and somehow got it fabricated for a fraction of the normal cost, they bought almost their entire Ikea kitchen off of craigslist as well because I had done up a detailed plan of what they needed – and then they found it!

I am so proud to say that I had the chance to see what it means to truly “Design Smart” and then to “Budget Smart” – and that lesson was really learnt when working on that one specific project. Money seems to be tight for almost anyone you speak to these days… but there are ways to make sure that you don’t have to part with all of it to get what you truly want – no wait… dream of!

Happy Dreaming – and remember Smart Design & Smart Budgets!

Before & Demolition Floor Plan

After Floor Plan

After Exterior View

CCSRtip Tuesday – Hiding Media Components & Their Wires

What do Media Components ie. – DVD/BluRay players, CD players, Gaming consoles – all have in common? Ugly wires that poke up and hang out everywhere!

What can be done about it?

CCSRtip – Hide those unsightly media component wires and even the units themselves with a custom built mantle or media unit!

In our example below, we designed a recessed mantle that could house all of our media components and then have all the wires come up a neat grommet hole through the back of the flat mantle piece – where all the wires could hide nicely behind the TV unit itself. This mantle doubles as a nice accent to our fireplace feature wall – one that you would never guess is loaded with all the necessities for movie watching and game playing.


Thanks to TDR Woodcraft for always understanding the visions and for BUILDING this amazing piece. Thanks to Crystal Loewen Photography for the always beautiful photos.

For project elevation drawings, click here.