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Queen & Portland

In this episode, Janette visits the over 9000 square foot Tribute Communities Décor Studio to view all the amazing features and finishes it has to offer.  Check out the great tips from the Tribute Communities design consultants to help you take the fear out of decorating a blank canvas.

Tips for Making the Right Decisions: What's perfect for you!
With more Canadian's becoming new-home buyers many are soon discovering that decorating a new home or condo can be completely overwhelming. From selecting finishes, paint colours, furnishings, and accessories, to figuring out what to put on all those walls, decorating your new home is as exhilarating as it is daunting. To help take your space from beige to brilliant, the award-winning design team from the Tribute Communities Décor Studio has put together the top ten insider tips to take the fear out of decorating a blank canvas.

  1. Get inspired! Visit local design shops, look at displays of room vignettes that appeal to you, take plenty of pictures. Pick up stacks of décor magazines and books— clip tear sheets from the magazines and scan images from the books. Keep all of the images divided by space, for example have a folder for bathroom images, kitchen and so on.

  2. Revisit the Showhome or Presentation Centre that sparked your purchase: Look at what décor elements and finishes in that space inspired you most. Showhomes showcase a wide range of finishes from standard to options to help you make your new house your home. Try touring other Showhomes as well, for directions to Tribute Communities Showhomes visit

  3. Purchase a décor guidebook: Dorothy Draper's classic "Decorating is Fun!" is a must have for any decorator. Available at, this bible of design is full of practical tips, clever ideas, whimsical anecdotes and useful design lessons.

  4. Colour Confidence: When it comes to picking paint colours, try before you buy, visit your local paint store and ask for sample pots or oversized paint chips. Ask yourself if this is a colour you will like for a few years. This easy extra step saves time, money and frustration in the long run. And don't forget you can save even more time and your floors by having Tribute paint your walls for you!

  5. Think like a Pro: Any good decorator or stylist always travels with a small "kit". This kit consists of a notepad (for measurements, store addresses, notes), pencil (for sketching), floor plan for reference, a measuring tape, camera (take pictures of everything you like and make sure to note where you saw the item), your paint swatches (colours can look the same to even a trained eye- it's best to have a swatch for reference) and an envelope (for collecting small fabric samples, business cards, quotes).

  6. Practice your styling skills: Log onto sites like and create your own design pages. Polyvore allows you to clip and save images of anything you find on the web. Scour your favourite furniture stores and collect a roster of furniture, rug, and accessory images you like. Once you have a database start putting together "look books" and you'll soon sort out what will look best in each room.

  7. Create an inspiration board: Once you have selected your first round of paint colours, fabrics and images of furniture assemble them onto a large piece of foam core. Play with the items and tweak them until they look right; go back to it after 48 hours, do you still like it?

  8. Shop Smart: Whenever you are about to make a major purchase make sure the store you are buying from has a cash back return policy. This will allow you to see how large items like sofas, area rugs, tables, will look in a space. And if for some reason they don't work you won't be stuck with them. Buying everything for a new space can be overwhelming allow yourself room to make errors and correct them. It's actually how the pros do it! First buy isn't always a charm.

  9. DIY: When it comes to window coverings create a signature, well-designed look for less. Having an entire house or condo that needs window coverings in every room can lead you to pick all simple and plain (just because it is less confusing). Visit stores like Designer Fabric Outlet ( all of Canada's fave design celebs shop here including Sarah Richardson!) the staff will help you pick a selection of fabrics that can be used for drapes (bring your window dimensions), drapery rods and any accessories you will need. If you don't want to sew your own drapes (it's actually pretty easy) the sales people at the fabric store will be able to recommend a local drapery company.

  10. Let your space evolve: When decorating a new home it can be tempting to buy everything at once or even purchase large items before you move in. While you will need to make some purchases in advance (custom orders) don't be in a rush. Live in your new space first; learn how you live there. What is each room being used for? What are the traffic patterns of the family? By asking these questions you will be better able to select the right furnishing and accessories for a space.
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