St. Albert Kitchen Renovation

This year, I finished a renovation for a client’s kitchen in St. Albert. At the initial consultation, my clients made it very clear that they were not happy with the oak that was present throughout their home. We decided to remedy that by painting the oak trim throughout the home, replacing the oak kitchen cabinets, and removing the oak sunshine ceiling.

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We started with some product & finish selections. The clients wanted something more modern and updated than their traditional oak. We decided to go with a high contrast kitchen and mixed media tile. The cabinets would be dark, almost black, with a plain shaker front. The counter top would be white quartz. The backsplash tile would be brushed metal and glass. After choosing the exact finishes, we chose the lighting – LED panel lights. We also picked new paint colours, trim colours, and furniture fabrics.

IMG_4209Once we finalized the finishes, we began the construction stage.  We had quite a few trades on this job, including our tile setter, painter, ceiling scraper, and electrician. The construction went smoothly, even with the additional work and changes that came up.

The finished product turned out stunning! It was a dramatic change from the oak. The clients were very happy with the final product. It met all of their needs and had a high end feel without the high end price tag. The kitchen was not only made for my clients, but for their children as well. It is very easy to clean, functional, and modern.

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Let us know what you think of this kitchen renovation in the comments below!

 

–T.M.

Urban Timber Reclaimed Wood Co. Breakfast

We recently visited Urban Timber Reclaimed Wood Co. for a breakfast & learn! My first impression when I walked in was “That dog is so cute!”. Yes, they have their very own adorable boxer dog that greets you when you enter. And her name is Munch! If the dog isn’t enough to warm your heart, when you look up you can see beautiful reclaimed and re-purposed wood everywhere. The brick wall adds to the feel-good vibe of the building. And the staff is incredible friendly. The entire atmosphere makes you feel right at home.

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The staff walked us through the showroom, explaining what kind of products they had that they could offer our clients. We started with furniture: wood tables, metalwork, and expert craftsmanship. There were some custom-built pieces in the showroom that really wowed us!

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Then they showed us Timber Tiles in various patterns. There were wall tiles made from reclaimed barn wood, hardwood flooring, and wood boats. There were herringbone patterns, mosaic square patterns, and linear patterns. The herringbone was my favourite! And as a bonus, they are sealed so that you can use them in a kitchen as a backsplash! There were also a variety of colours available.

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Next, we looked at some of their beautiful options for hardwood flooring. You can see from the picture below that reclaimed wood flooring is definitely a feature piece that will have everyone talking! It is as durable as it is unique. The flooring is also low maintenance, and easy to finish yourself! It is available in different species of wood and different finishes, plank widths, as well as textures.

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So why reclaimed wood? What is so special about it that we can’t stop talking about it? For starters, it is a natural wood product. Mother nature has a way of making natural products beautiful and unique. Secondly, It is a great way to re-purpose a great natural resource. It is also a great alternative solution for old barns. Rather than burning them down, you can have them re-made into something incredible! We are so excited to be working with these fabulous people and their incredible product!

 

We want to hear from you! Tell us what your favourite thing about reclaimed wood is in the comments section below!

An Eventful Day Full of Awards & Cake!

This has been an exciting time for us at Jostar!  Last Tuesday, most of the team attended the Consumer Choice Awards luncheon to celebrate our company winning for the tenth consecutive year!  It is an honour to be chosen by our consumers among the top interior design companies in the Edmonton area.  We had the pleasure of speaking on stage at the luncheon to the other companies that were also accepting the award for 2016.  We focused on one of our greatest assets: being a team!  We love working together and bouncing ideas back and forth to give the client the best option for what they want and need.

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From left to right in the photo: Our newest designer: Megan, Taylor, Joanna, Laura, and our practicum student: Jeanine

Later that day, we had the opportunity to attend the C&S Tile 45th year anniversary!  This was such a fun event and we had the pleasure of meeting the owner of the company, Claudio.  It was inspiring to see a person who has such a passion for the work they have done their entire life, and the passion is reflected in the amazing tile they supply us!  We all felt like we could listen to Claudio talk for hours, as we enjoyed cake with him to celebrate his birthday.  Claudio was born in Italy and immigrated to Canada in 1957 (Margranite-Ceramstone. About Us.).  Italy has been, and always will be, the heart of the company for C&S.

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Picture of Claudio and his daughter

 

While we were there, we were able to see samples of the amazing products they carry.  Some of the samples included Margranite, the concrete series of tile, and their new glass blocks.

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Beautiful space done with the concrete tile series http://cstile.ceramstone.com/products/industrial/concrete-series/

 

Overall, it was another great week for us!  We are always learning lots and meeting new, amazing people.

 

C&S Tile had a really great quote that stuck with everybody at Jostar:

“The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of a low price is forgotten.”

 

-J.E.

Monthly Feature: Area Rugs!

So we have decided to feature a product/room each month that can help you with creating your dream home! For May, we are going to talk to you about area rugs.

Area rugs can get a bad rep for being “grandma rugs” or “shag rugs”; however, I would like to debunk this theory. Area rugs come in all shapes, sizes, styles, patterns, and fibre contents.

So why should you use an area rug? Simple: it ties together a space. Now, keep in mind that there is a time and place for area rugs. A bathroom probably is not the best place for one, for example. We like to use area rugs in living rooms, bedrooms, and dining rooms. Some other common reasons that people use area rugs include the following:

  • protecting your flooring
  • decoration
  • adding colour to a room
  • dividing open concepts
  • making a room feel softer
  • absorbing sound
  • keeping furniture from sliding around

You want to make sure that your area rug is proportional to the rest of your space. There are ways to make sure that your area rug is going to look like it belongs there. Here are some examples:

Some other things you want to look for in an area rug include fibre content, durability, and clean-ability. Most area rugs are made from nylon or another synthetic fibre, but some of the higher end ones are made from wool. The main reason to pay attention to this difference is allergies. Many people are irritated by or allergic to wool. This is where the synthetic becomes more appealing. However, you really can’t beat a classic wool rug when it comes to quality.  Some other common fibres found in area rugs include cotton, bamboo, flax (linen), sisal, jute, hemp, sea grass, coir, leather, and other blended synthetic fibres.

When shopping for area rugs, you also want to look at durability. Is the rug going to stand up to your pets or children? You want to look for an area rug that is not going to snag easily or wear too readily.

Cleaning area rugs is also important because, like any textile product, it can collect dust. You should always check to see how your area rug has to be cleaned before you purchase it. If it has to be dry-cleaned or cannot be vacuumed, you need to ask yourself if you are willing to live with that. The area rug needs to be able to match your lifestyle and budget.

The next thing you have to look for when purchasing area rugs is the type. Below are some examples from one of our suppliers:

When it comes to style, purchasing area rugs can be very personal. That is why it is so important to be honest with yourself. Do you want something timeless or something trendy? Colourful or neutral? Bold or subdued? If you are like most people, you like to see and feel the area rug in person before purchasing. Often, the feel of the rug is more important than the style, but the feel and the style do go hand in hand.

Here are some examples of area rugs that we have used in past projects. To see more, check out our Pinterest Board!

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Looking Back on 2014

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2014 was a big year for everyone here at Jostar Interiors. We had many successes and many new experiences and opportunities. Some of these include the following:

  • We took on a new intern
  • Launched this blog & our new social media campaign
  • Successfully planned and had a great Renovation Show
  • Won the Consumer Choice Award for the 9th consecutive year
  • Won the Top Choice Award for the second time
  • Worked with new clients
  • We hired our intern as an Interior Design Consultant
  • Worked with experienced and new designers in the industry
  • We participated in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
  • We were featured in the Womanition Magazine
  • We trained another intern
  • We forged new relationships with tradespeople
  • We were featured in the Business in Edmonton Magazine
  • We attended product knowledge seminars

CCA 2015 9 years Top Choice Award Logo - 2014 - Colour

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This is not all that we accomplished; each client project is a success in itself.

This year was not without its sadness. We each lost someone dear to us this past year and remember them with love in our hearts. With aid from our friends, family, and co-workers, we were able to move forward. We have also accomplished so much personally this year. Taylor graduated from the University of Alberta with her BSc and finished her certificate program in Residential Interiors. Leona welcomed a new grandson. Pat’s daughter got the lead in her school play. Joanna earned the recognition that she deserves for all of her dedication.

We would like to wish you all a very successful, happy, and fabulous new year filled with love, hope, and creativity!

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Here are some links to the previously mentioned achievements:

http://www.womanition.com/index.php/womanition-editions/book/10/1?page=93

http://www.ccaward.com/Edmonton/jostar-interiors.html

http://winners.topchoiceawards.com/winner/jostar-interiors-ltd/1b670163a25c4c83982c16805901ef59

http://issuu.com/businessinedmontonmagazine/docs/jostarinteriorsltd_lores

 

 

Clear as Mud: Answering some FAQs

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There is no such thing as a silly question. All questions are worth asking. If you have a question, chances are quite high that someone else has the same one. We are here to de-mystify the world of interior design and bring information to you so that you are well-informed.

1. What does an interior design consultant do?

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– Many interior design consultants specialize in a few key areas. Our design consultants specialize in all areas of design and renovation. We do everything from design concepts to project management to finishing touches. We do product research, drawings, pricing, space planning, staging, as well as green and universal designs.

2. Do you watch HGTV all the time?

– We live HGTV! We watch it on occasion, however, it is always nice to go home and watch something that has nothing to do with your work.

3. Is your life super glamorous?

– We are just like you! We are not celebrities, we are not afraid to get our hands dirty, we just make your home glamorous for you!

4. Where do I start?

– You start by looking at your space and writing down what you do and do not like. Then you determine whether you think you will need a decorator or renovator. Next, you call or email us to set up an appointment! From there, we walk you through the rest.

5. How do I hire you?

– You can call or email us at the office. Let us know what you’re looking for, and then we will assign a design consultant to you!

6. Why should I hire you instead of a contractor?

– We can do the work of a project manager, but we are so much more than just that. We start with the design concept and product/finish selection. Then we hire the trades for you. We oversee the project and make certain that the design is being followed. This way, you do not have to worry about scheduling trades people.

7. Can’t I just do it all myself?

– You can! But the question I always like to ask is: do you want to, or do you have enough time? We are the professionals in this field and can dedicate time to your project. We are very efficient due to the experience we have in this field.

8. Do you do window coverings?

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– Yes! We do blinds, shades, drapes, and so much more. We carry a wide variety of suppliers for window coverings and have hundreds of fabrics to choose from for drapery. And as a special bonus, it is all custom, which means no one else will have the exact same window coverings as you!

9. Do you do full renovations?

– We most certainly do! Our design consultants are trained in design, space planning, project management, and much more! We can take your project from concept to completion.

10. Do you have trades people?

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– We do, yes! We have a variety of trades people that we work with that we trust to do an excellent job!

11. What if I change my mind?

– Depending on what stage of the project we are at, we will sit down together and work out a solution that works for both of us. We always try to accommodate our clients and their needs whenever possible!

12. What kind of fees do you charge?

– Each project is unique and will require special attention. A design fee will be decided during one of the first consultations, once the scope of work is determined. Then, pricing of products and labour will be written up, depending on your needs.

13. Is there a way for me to see what the space will look like after the renovation before we start any construction?

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-Yes! We offer drawing services where we can create and present computer generated drawings. We can also provide 3-D computer renderings of what the space will look like.

 

 

Letting your inner child decorate

When I think about my inner child decorating, I try not to think about my pink Barbie bedroom I had in elementary. Instead, I try to think about the things that my inner child loved and was inspired by. This is helpful for finding out what I have consistently enjoyed throughout my life. For example: I have always enjoyed bright patterns and clean lines. Perhaps this has something to do with the extensive amount of Disney movies in my childhood. The bright colours in the films with the clean animation could have easily influenced my design style.

If you can find those few things that you have enjoyed since your childhood, the chances of you getting tired of a space are less likely. By recognizing and releasing your inner child, you are allowing yourself to decorate like you would have when you were young: without the restraint of your adult self’s worry and self-doubt.

Now, sometimes what we liked when we are kids might not be in style anymore. I grew up in the 90s but love the bright colours of the 80s. Maybe this is because I didn’t live through that decade.Whatever the reason, I have to be careful when I decorate my own personal space so that I do not repeat the 80s. It allows me to be creative when I try to find solutions for incorporating bright colours into my design.

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If you loved dinosaurs, there is a classy way of incorporating them into your space. Instead of putting a bunch of plastic toy dinosaurs on display, try using faux-fossils (or real ones if you can afford it or are lucky enough to have found some). There are always lots of options for this as today’s home decor style is so eclectic. There is no one right way to decorate a room. I would like to challenge you to have fun with your space! You are the one that has to live there, make the most out of it.

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Colour Faux-Pas: Still a thing?

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I like to think that today, we are rulebreakers when it comes to colours. There are always exceptions to colour rules and we like to find them! When you mix different tones and shades of colours, you can always find an exciting combination. So throw your grandmother’s ideas of colour rules out the window and lets look at some rule breaking ideas!

Blue and Green must never be seen. My grandmother used to say this to me all the time. She had a lot of little rhymes like this, but this one stands out to me because of the significance it has in this industry. When it comes to fabrics, we deal with upholstery and drapery more than any other kind of textile product. There are many fabrics that combine the two colours in interesting and successful ways.

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Not only do these two colours work well in fabrics, they also look great in room settings! Especially in kids rooms. The colours have a calming effect on their own, and combined the effect doubles. It’s no wonder that humans love these two colours, afterall, they are found in nature all the time. Blue is the colour of the sky and water, green is the colour of grass and trees. Both represent life and both are always surrounding us in the environment. So why not bring that indoors?

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So, to you I say this: Forget the rules of colour that your grandmother told you. They applied once, but this is a time of change, of reinvention, of pushing the envelope. These colours can create beautiful harmonious spaces. I think it’s time we made our own colour rule: Try it. Try everything at least once in your life. Always let your style evolve with you. Decorate your space as if it was just that: YOUR space! It is always a relief that at the end of the day, you can come home to a place that is your own. A place that is your sanctuary.

Thanks for reading, and keep an eye out for the next blog post!

 

Fabrics courtesy of JF Fabrics and J Ennis Fabrics.

Purple: What it really means

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Copyright Yang Ming-Huang

Since the colour of the year is Radiant Orchid, a shade of purple, I thought it would be fun to talk more about the colour. Purple has so many different shades and such a rich history (literally!) that I could write a novel on it! Instead, I will just summarize my findings for you in this blog.

All purples have a rich history of being used by humans. Because it was so rare to find purple dye or pigment, it was a colour reserved for royalty. Now, purple is available almost everywhere! And we have synthetic dyes to thank. Mauve was the first synthetic dye ever produced, and like most things, it was accidental.

I should also explain some of the terminology. There is a difference between a warm purple and a cool purple. To make it easier, I will call them by their appropriate names: red-violet, violet, and blue-violet. Each of these has different meanings.

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Colours affect us physically, emotionally, and psychologically. According to Kate Smith, colour expert, it “uplifts, calms the mind and nerves, offers a sense of spirituality, and encourages creativity”. Read more at: http://www.sensationalcolor.com/color-meaning/color-meaning-symbolism-psychology/all-about-the-color-purple-4329#.VBiPGfldWbN | Sensational Color. Purple also has two sides, as I mentioned earlier. The warm red-violet invokes more emotional responses while the cool blue-violet invokes rationalized responses. The colour has been said to represent mystery, magic, drama, royalty, and duality. This also makes it a favourite of schizophrenics because a true violet is often both warm and cool. But not to worry. If this is your favourite colour, that does not mean you are schizophrenic. It simply means that you are drawn to the colour for some reason or another. There is something special about purple. Maybe it resonates with so many people because it is found so infrequently in the wild, or because of its history. Either way, it is a powerful colour. Whether we are looking at lavender, plum, lilac, or grape, the colour purple is a significant colour in both the past and present.

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What to do when things go wrong

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Photo Courtesy of Business Insider Inc.

There is no such thing as a perfect world. The world we live in is one where humans make mistakes. We are not perfect. We should not try to be. Perfection would be boring. But what do we do when our lack of perfection leads us to make mistakes?

Mistakes can be great for personal growth– as long as you learn from them.

In our field of work, mistakes happen too. When you have so many different people working on a project, mistakes are bound to happen. Accidents and delays occur as well. There is no way to truly avoid these, as most mistakes, accidents, and delays are caused by unforeseen incidents. And lets face it, we’re not psychic. So what do we do when we are faced with these issues? We keep trudging through. We take proactive and reactive measures to keep projects moving forward.

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Photo courtesy of Critic@l Essays.

If a product doesn’t come in on time, we have to reschedule everyone that is supposed to come in after. The same goes for when work is delayed somewhere. Everyone that was supposed to come in afterwards has to be bumped back. There are many reasons why this might happen.

  • Products are backordered
  • Trades people get busy with other jobs
  • An unexpected issue arises
  • The work takes longer than predicted

For these reasons and many more, the project can be delayed. So we ask our trades people if they can work more hours to get the job back on track. Most of the time, they are more than happy to do this because it means that they can move onto the next job more quickly. If someone makes a mistake, they are usually determined to fix it themselves. Often it is a matter of pride. Almost everyone takes pride in their work, it is a natural and healthy thing to do. After all, if you aren’t proud of the work that you do, maybe you’re not doing the work that makes you happy.

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Photo courtesy of Interior Design Society.

When things go wrong on the job site, we work as fast and efficiently as we can to keep the project moving forward. We keep our minds clear and focused on the tasks and deal with them as they arise. We do not freak out or burst into tears. We put on our thinking caps and get to work.

We are problem solvers.

We deal with mistakes, accidents, and delays head on. We deal with the problems so that you don’t have to.

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Photo courtesy of Stress-Free.ca