Monday, January 31, 2011

Double duty storage pieces perfect for a small space den!

As seen on the Steven and Chris Show Watch this episode online now

Designer Jo Alcorn takes us on a tour of the stunning den makeover she recently did for a condo-dwelling client, then shows us double duty storage pieces perfect for a small space den!
More and more, we're seeing condos and lofts designed such that the "second bedroom" is a small space without windows. The challenge in decorating tight quarters with no natural light is two-fold: make the space feel bright and fresh and choose your furniture wisely!
A murphy bed is an amazing space-saving solution for any issue where floor space is a commodity! Here's one we love from CLEI UK:Mirrors are the best things ever for a small space! They create the illusion that the room is bigger and help bounce off the light as well. You can't go wrong with adding mirrors. Fake it! By using mirrors in the right place, you can create the illusion there is a window or an adjoining room. We love the way Elle Décor has used mirrors here!

Basements are another space often lacking natural light. Look at this gorgeous room designed by Candice Olson via HGTV. Hanging curtains gives the illusion that you are framing a window...when, in fact, there isn't one! Fake it and you will be amazed at the results!
When it comes to furnishings, Jo says the following pieces are ideal choices for any den - especially where space is an issue!

We love this upholstered armchair with under-seat storage and side arm storage boxes - the best part is it's an environmentally friendly piece and you can't beat that!

This streamlined storage solution keeps your work area open and clutter-free. It also works as a petite console storage unit for those tight places. You can hide objects behind the door and display your nicer pieces on the shelves and on top. We'd love to see it used as a little bar storage area or as a small entryway table.

Perfect for a small office, this multifunctional cabinet has a file drawer with a sliding printer shelf and two storage drawers, keeping everything conveniently within reach and neatly stored.
CLIO CORNER DESKThis desk makes great use of corner space, which is key in tight rooms! Its surface makes a great desk with lots of extra counter space. We love the idea of rolling a small filing cabinet or baskets underneath for additional storage.

Where you get it:
Den Makeover:
Wardrobe, shelves, picture & frames from IkeaRug, pillows, lamps, mirror & wall decals from Bou Clair

Studio Furniture Pieces:
Cubert Chair from 608 Design
Airia Media Cabinet from Design Within Reach
Office Console from Casa Life
Clio Corner Desk from Structube

Until next time,
w&c designer girl!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Small Space Tables

(As seen on the Steven & Chris show)
Designer Jo Alcorn shows us her current 5 favourite small space kitchen tables!
The SKY TABLE from InStyle Home & Rugs has a gorgeous sand- blasted tempered glass top and a chrome finish. This stunning table doubles in length making it perfect for both everyday use and entertaining!

The Ikea NORDEN table is made of solid wood. It's perfect for a small space as the drop-leaf construction provides seating 2-4 people and can be adjusted according to need. Drawers are great for storing: cutlery, napkins, candles, etc.

The OTTO Bar Table from Structube has many uses! This chrome and tempered glass table has an adjustable base allowing it to be lowered to 66cm/ 27 inches and as high as 104cm/ 41 inches. Would be great as a side table, a low bistro table or raised full height as a bar table.

The OLIVIA table by Calligaris is a drop leaf that seats up to 6 and folds down to 41cm/ 16inches. With a metal frame & wooden top, castors on 2 wheels and an adorable handle this table is light and easy to manoever in any small space.

The Desk/ Dining Set from BLVD Interiors converts from a compact desk (W31.5" x D23.5" x H30") into a dining table (W47" x D31.5" x H29"). Comes with 4 Modena dining chairs. Ideal for any small space especially a bachelor or studio where its dual purpose function would be put to great use!Where To Get It:
NORDEN Table - IKEA $219
Olivia Flash Table & Ice Chairs ($237 each) - Calligaris $783
Desk/Dining Table Set - BLVD Interiors $597
OTTO Adjustable Bar Table - Structube $279
Sky Table - InStyle Home and Rugs $1349

Until next time,
w&c designer girl!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Breaking Small Space Rules!

(As seen on Steven & Chris)

Living in a small space often means less is more and they seem to be the big thing these days. Baby-boomers are seeking simplicity in smaller, uncluttered spaces, and young up-and-comers want affordable living that's found in minimalist condos and lofts. It's safe to say that small spaces have become the new trend in homes. Jo Alcorn was on the Steven and Chris show to tackle small space living with her rules and how to break them.

"There are rules and guidelines out there for small spaces but rules are made to be broken, right!? When you break the rules and it is done right, the outcome can be spectacular!" - Jo Alcorn

1. De-Clutter your credit: Nick Olsen

HOW TO BREAK THIS RULE: Accessorize with style. Don't be afraid to put things on display. I love this room it is so colourful and packed with oversized accent pieces. Now the trick to being this bold is keep with your theme and carry it through, completely commit to it and it will come together like this image.

2. Choose lighter monochromatic colors to give the room a more open feel and to unify the credit: smallspacestyle.blogspot.comphoto credit:

HOW TO BREAK RULE: Be Bold! It's ok to pick a great vibrant colour to brighten your space but don't go overboard here. So here are two examples, one with a more subdued bold colour and one with a more playful colour scheme. Adding a touch of white where you can will help your room feel brighter when playing with a strong colours scheme.

3. Avoid patterned credit:

HOW TO BREAK RULE: Welcome Wallpaper. When used right as an accent wall, it can give your space a unique look and feel while adding some texture to your room. Play up an accent wall and have fun with it! in this picture they have a wall with mirrors on it as well, which helps bounce light and other areas of your space to give a larger feel to your room.

4. Reduce visual weight by using fewer, larger pieces of accessories and furniturephoto credit:

HOW TO BREAK RULE: Hang Big Pieces of art and source furniture that you love but just make sure it fits in your space and goes with the over all design scheme. Aim for furniture that's multifunctional. Go big or go home! Don't be afraid to make a statement and add pieces that clearly can't be missed when you enter the room.

Until next time,

w&c designer girl!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Top 3 Small Space Sleeping Options

(As seen on Steven and Chris)
Small spaces don't mean you have to scale down entertaining or make up excuses as to why your out-of-town family members can't visit you anymore. Embrace your small space by looking for comfortable pieces of furniture that easily pull out into comfortable beds. There are so many options out there right now. Let's take a look at Jo Alcorn's three favourites.

The key thing you need to think about when buying guest beds - functionality!
Is it easy to maneuver or will it just be a pain in your butt to prepare for a guest?
Also, make sure to test it out to see if it is comfy.

Do your research and truly understand what you need your piece to function as before starting to shop.
Do you need a single or double bed or the option of both?
What size will fit in your space?
Do you want a metal or wood frame? Having a checklist will help narrow down what you really need and then you can start your search!

These pieces are Jo's favourite because they are double duty which is a must in small spaces and they are bang for your buck! Why just buy a sofa, when you can buy a pull out sofa and have two functions for the purchase of one!?

HEMNES DAY BED with SULTAN FLORVAG MATTRESSES IKEA $499.00 (available in black/brown or white)Mattress $99.99 each (need two for the bed)Sofa, single bed, bed for two and storage in one piece of furniture.

LEATHER OTTOMAN $1785.00 CASALIFE in black, brown, white, and red leather.Dimensions Height (in):15.5" Width (in):63" Depth (in):28.5"The top of this Canadian made ottoman lifts up to reveal double bed. With a smooth mechanism allowing you to easily pull out and unfold the compact and comfortable 2² mattress on a Euro slat frame where slats are strategically placed for comfort.

SLEEPER CHAIR $658 CASALIFE clever contemporary chair effortlessly folds out to transform into a single bed. Chair sits on a swivel base with hidden feet.Dimensions: 31"W x 35"-75"D x 30"H

Keep watching!

Until next time,

w&c designer girl!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

3 Ways to Make a Small Space Multifunctional


Most of us have had to deal with a small space in our home at some point in our life, whether it's an awkward nook in your house or maybe you live in a small city condo. Jo Alcorn joined Steven and Chris to show us how you can make one room serve many purposes to maximize your space.

Jo says:"One of the biggest questions I get is how to maximize small spaces. Working with a limited amount of space can often scare off a lot of people because they assume they won't be able to get full use out of it BUT with a little creativity, small spaces can actually be easier to design, even more so than larger spaces. Seriously! Over the past few years, retailers and manufactures have been more accommodating by creating a variety of pieces that are multifunctional. This allows you to get the most out of each room - make those rooms work for you! An office can function as a reading nook or a dining area and a living room can turn into a guest bedroom - it really can be easy, just think about these 3 things before you get planning."

Jo's Top 3 Tips for Creating Your Own Dual-Purpose Room

1. Space plan properly - measure, measure, measure! 2. Use light, moveable furniture where possible - wheels work wonders. 3. Source multifunctional pieces of furniture for your room.

Jo's Multifunctional Picks:

1. Chair Bed LYCKSELE HAVET in Hanen BlackSeen on the show courtesy of Ikea $339.002. Stow Storage Ottoman Lemongrass Leather Storage Ottoman Seen on the show courtesy of Crate and Barrel $149.00

3. Swivel Coffee Table Picasso SIGNE Seen on the show courtesy of Structube $499

Until next time,

w&c designer girl


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