Turning Your Home into an Eco Friendly Home

There are many different ways to transform your home into a “green home”. Whether you are renovating or building a new house, Nicola Interiors- a Mississauga based interior designer- has all the tips to help you design an eco-friendly home that is beneficial not only to you, but also to the environment. Reducing Your Energy Consumption Tankless Water Heaters- Investing in a tankless water heater will contribute to a  significant amount of savings on your energy bill, while reducing your ecological footprint. Tankless water heaters heat water on demand and do not require a storage tank to store water. As a result, they have a lifespan up to twice as long as traditional systems since the risk of rust and corrosion is significantly reduced. Gas Powered Systems: Since these systems are powered by propane or natural gas, they require a gas line to the water heater and must be vented to the outside. Tankless gas units output a larger GPM (gallons per minute), providing an endless amount of hot water on demand. Electrical Powered Systems: Tankless electric water heaters use an electrical element to heat the water, therefore, they need to be hardwired to the circuit breaker or electrical panel. Although they output fewer GPM than the gas powered systems, they are more affordable and do not require venting. Energy Efficient Appliances- Replacing your old appliances with new and improved, energy efficient appliances will make a big impact in reducing your energy consumption. Whether they are small changes or large ones, you will be saving money and the planet at the same time. CFL/ LED lightbulbs: Compact fluorescent bulbs...

Styling Windows

Windows play a complimenting factor in any room. In addition to letting in light and providing a beautiful view of your surroundings, framing your windows with the right curtains can add to a room’s style. However, decorating the interior of your home can often times be quite difficult, so Nicola Interiors has composed a how- to guide to help you give your windows the right treatment. Function Before considering the stylistic element of curtains, you must first think about its functions, which will be helpful in limiting your curtain choices. Opt for lined curtains if you want a private and dark atmosphere for your space. Among other advantages, lining can shield curtains from sun damage, making curtains last longer. Since the lining adds weight, it will allow the curtain to fall more luxurious and stand against incoming drafts. However, if you prefer a lit room, decorative and unlined curtains are ideal. Texture Curtain textures are dependent on the mood you wish to create in the room. Heavy silks and velvets- which are great insulators, but are dry-clean only- are typically suitable for formal spaces. More practical options, that are often washable, include silky rayon and cotton sateen. For a more casual feel, lighter fabrics such as billowy linen and crinkly crushed velvet is ideal. Cotton blends and wool blends create a neat and professional atmosphere, and often work well with any type of decor. Colour When choosing the colour of your curtains, you must decide whether you want the curtains to blend with the decor or to make a statement. If you wish to follow the colour scheme of...

Arranging Wall Art: Let The Walls Speak For You

Artwork is a great way to add flare to any room, however just like decorating, it can be quite stressful. With these tips from Nicola Interiors, based in Mississauga, you can turn those plain walls into beautiful works of art for stunning interior decor. Plan Arrangement To spare you the frustration of hanging and rehanging (and of course, ruining your walls), plan your arrangement before hand. Trace each art piece onto kraft paper and map out your display accordingly. Hang At Eye Level Typically, the rule of thumb for hanging wall art is to have the halfway point of the piece at eye level. In rooms with standard 8-foot high ceilings, artwork should be hung so that the middle of the picture is approximately 5’ off the floor. Artwork can be hung slightly higher for rooms with taller ceilings. When hanging artwork in rooms where people tend to sit, a good height is approximately one hand width above the sofa or 10” to 12” above a tabletop or counter. Balance and Symmetry is Key A symmetrical arrangement creates a striking and simple focal point. When hanging multiple pieces in a group arrangement, keep heavy pieces to the bottom left or centre and work around it, to form a relatively square or rectangular shape. This geometric symmetry will be eye catching and create balance. Arranging Art in the Bedroom Personal art, such as family photos or your own photography is much more suitable for the bedroom. It is recommended that you keep wall art more subtle by sticking to one colour scheme between pieces, either all black-and-white or all colour...

A Recipe for Kitchen Remodelling

Kitchen remodelling is among one of the most expensive and time consuming home processes. Therefore, much thought and planning should be put into designing a kitchen that is beautiful, functional and easy to work in. Here at Nicola Interiors, we believe modern interior designs should be implemented to suit your needs and personality. Below are a few guidelines to help you revamp the heart of your home. Plan Ahead Although it may be tempting, don’t prioritize the aesthetics of your kitchen when planning its design- always put function first. Ensure that all your kitchen tools are easily accessible and organized. Opt for appliances and surfaces that are easy to clean and care for, as well as being highly resistant to damage. Also, remember that there is no such thing as too much space and storage in a kitchen. Go For Quality The kitchen is the most used space in the home, therefore you should not compromise quality for cost. Invest in top quality door slides and hinges, so that cabinets and drawers will stay closed and intact. For cabinet interiors, opt for wood veneers instead, as they are more durable than melamine or particleboard. Make the most of your money by investing in quality appliances that will surely last long. Design Wide Walkways There is nothing worse than cooking in a crammed kitchen. Ensure that pathways around the kitchen are at least 36 inches wide, and paths within the cooking zone are at least 42 to 48 inches, to easily accommodate two people. Also, when planning, adjust kitchen islands accordingly. Determine Cabinets and Drawers For standard eight-foot high ceilings,...

A Guide to Designing Your Home Office

Working in the comfort of your own home has been desirable among many in recent years. At Nicola Interiors, an interior decorator situated in Mississauga, we believe that you should not only enjoy what you do, but also where you do it. Therefore, we recognize the importance of designing a home office that is suitable to your comfort and profession. Below are a few tips and tricks for revamping your workspace, without breaking the bank. Be Location Specific Mixing work with your personal life can be tempting, especially since your office is in your home. Therefore, allocating the perfect space that best suits your working style is essential in creating a productive, yet comfortable home office. Workspaces should be separated from distractions such as the kitchen and the living room. Instead, opt for a spacious and airy room with a window. Regardless of your choice, ensure that the location you select adds to your work capacities without hampering your comfort levels.   Selecting the Right Interior To avoid a dreary workspace, you’ll want to incorporate your own personal touch and inspiration in your home office. Selecting the right interior and designs will sustain a positive and lively atmosphere, allowing you to comfortably work on your tasks. Perhaps, integrating a certain theme for your home office will help with furnishing and styling your space. Feel free to experiment with new technologies, methods of organization, and designs until you’ve created a pleasant workspace that is fitting for you.   The Desk And The Chair Comfort and support are crucial matters to your mood and work productivity. Therefore, investing time and money...

April 2014

Going Green As Easy As… One, Two, Three Green design is forging ahead, and it makes a big difference for all of us. Using sustainable resources in home design will go a long way in helping Mother Earth. Many people get uneasy at the thought of going green in the home, simply because they do not know where to start. Here are three simple things you can do to join the ranks of those who take action for a better planet – AND a lovely home! 1. Re-Use, Re-Cycle, Re-Design Consider re-designing instead of buying all new home furnishings. Re-designing can make your former furnishings come to life in a powerful way. You can hire a professional re-designer – who is skilled at restyling what you already own, or try rearranging just one room yourself. You will be surprised at what a new look can do to lift your mood. Re-design is a cost-effective way to be good to the planet. 2. When You Purchase New, Buy Recycled-Content Materials Many responsible companies are helping us shop wisely, saving everyone money and resources. Look for packaging that informs you of recycled materials used in the manufacturing process. Even if only some of the product’s materials are recycled, it will make a big difference. 3. Substitute By substituting some of our often-used household products with more eco-friendly versions, we can make the Earth a happier place. Use interior paint with low VOC (volatile organic compounds). Check your local paint store or ask your designer. These paints are better for the environment, and they don’t leave behind fumes or a bad smell. Instead of using...
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