“Dianne has an incredible eye for colour and she always finds just the right fabrics to complete our design projects. She was very patient and allowed us the time we needed to make our decorating decisions with complete confidence.”

Juliet & Angus,
clients of Dianne Wallis, Ontario

October 2013


Every year when we receive the entries for the Decorating Den Interiors Dream Room Contest, I am awed by the diversity of designs our interior decorators submit. Decorating Den Interiors is not like most home furnishing retailers that sell a limited brand associated with one particular style. Our clients come to us because they want their homes to match their own personal style and individual taste.

Our extensive range of product sources allows DDI decorators to design rooms for clients whether their preference is American or European traditional, transitional or eclectic, contemporary or country. Each situation is different and like the three room examples shown here, each reflects the vision of the homeowner.


The story behind this new house project began twenty years ago when one DDI decorator designed a dining room around a set of Thonet bentwood chairs that were particular favorites of the husband of her client. In the process of redoing other rooms in the home the client's husband passed away. As she adjusted to her loss and other changes in her life her decorator became more than a professional consultant, she became her friend and confidant. Together they decorated each room, one at a time, as I wrote about in the final chapter of my book, "Decorating...the professional touch." Then a few years ago the client began a new chapter for herself and built the Spanish Colonial style home of her dreams.

In the family room the decorator intermingled classic furniture from her client's previous home with some new pieces and fresh old world textures, all reference the client's passion for the Mediterranean. Their first decision was to paint the walls a warm custard cream color, and select a palette of rich blues, clays and golds. One of the new selections was a hand-knotted area rug. For the windows they chose a washed global Moroccan print for the outer drapery and a sheer neutral for semi-privacy panels. It is the flat-screen television mounted over the fireplace that brings this room into the 21stC electronic age. For the photo shoot, the decorator set the television to her client's favorite movie, Casablanca and the famous last scene with Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, which supports just the right romantic touch to the room's worldly ambiance.


When the decorators interviewed their client they heard, "We have a large family and want to make the room more comfortable and stylish for entertaining." They were tired of their plain living room and needed tables, and asked their decorators to work around the neutral upholstered pieces.

Their mission was to revive the overall tired look of the room. Seeing the blank space behind the sofa as a great space for an accent wall they selected a fabulous Robert Redding handcrafted paper with large gold star bursts with silver medallions. The circle design is carried out in the dramatic lamps. New case goods of glass and espresso wood were chosen to contrast with the white upholstery. The silver of the wall medallions is repeated as the finish on the drawer handles, while the lift top coffee table provides an impromptu work surface for a tablet or a laptop. A large contemporary area rug beautifully marries the old with the new.


The homeowner desired his living room to have a comfortable conversation area where he could entertain business associates as well as have a place to relax. There were several problems that the decorators faced when it came to arranging furniture. One wall is entirely glass and receives full sun in the afternoon. Another side of the room is a walkway to the master bedroom and lanai. A third side opens to the kitchen. The room is very large and has a tile floor that allowed sound to bounce around and made the space feel cold. Plus, there were those oddly placed small windows.

The first step to solving these problems was the placement of a sectional sofa and two swivel chairs along with an oversized upholstered ottoman. This left the long hallway to the bedroom and lanai doors unobstructed while creating a cozy place to sit and visit. The sheer draperies, motorized shades, block the majority of UV light that flowed into the room in the afternoon. The decorators chose a Sunbrella fabric for the sectional sofa to ensure it does not get damaged by the sun when the homeowner desires to have the draperies open. They had a large broadloom carpet cut and bound to warm the space, soften the sound, and define the conversation area. Pops of orange brightened the neutral room and the medium brown leather chair added contrast. Now those odd windows seem a part of the wall display.

Multiple product sources and the desire to please clients allow decorators from Decorating Den Interiors to give their clients the personal look they covet. Call a DDI interior decorator to achieve the look you have in mind for one of your rooms.

This month's decorating tips brought to you by:
Carol Donayre Bugg, ASID DDCD
Vice President and Director of Design

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