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What to Expect Series: Session 9: Planning Your Decorating Project {Part 1}

Updated: Feb 16, 2022

Whether your renovation is off to a good start, or you’re planning a smaller scale project, planning your decorating project is an essential step to get that finished look that we are all after. We believe that homeowners should plan for finishing each space to completion including furniture and decorating so that you can truly enjoy it.  So many times, people renovate but then do not have the budget to furnish the renovation for many years. If you don’t get to really enjoy your newly renovated space… what was the point? If you need to phase the project to be on a smaller scale so you can include final decorating, we can help you work on a timeline so that you enjoy each space to the fullest once each space is complete.

In this session, we are going to discuss a few different decorating elements and what you can expect for timelines, options, and decisions that need to be made. Because this is such a large element of the project, we have broken it up into two posts. Today, in Part 1,  we will discuss commission artwork, window treatments, and wallpaper.


Working with an artist on a custom piece can be a very exciting time! You are putting an investment into your home decor as well as supporting someone who works hard at their craft. We have a number of local artists we love to recommend to our clients. We have created a document titled "AMR Design's Favourite Artists" that rounds up our favourite artists, along with samplings of their work and contact information. The document can be downloaded here.

While working with an artist can be “customized”, it is also important to note the different styles that each artist focuses on. The art should call to you and does not necessarily have to “fit”’ with the aesthetic of your furniture, however we should make a plan for sizing depending on the wall size/location etc. If you are investing in a commissioned piece, it is important that you have it properly showcased. Many clients like having their artwork lit as a way of making it a feature of the room. You can also back light the artwork for another way to draw interest to the piece.

 Another option to bring a focus to your newly commissioned artwork is by having it recessed in the wall or inset into a feature built-in. When planned correctly, this can be a stunning showcase for your work of art. We will also consider what will be the feature art walls versus the smaller intimate groupings of photographs and artwork. Your interior designer can also help determine if the artwork will require backing for weight and what kinds of hanging materials are required. 

Timelines for a commissioned piece vary depending on the artist, so be sure to ask upfront on timelines to avoid disappointment!


Drapery and blinds can also have a huge impact on how a space looks and feels. They can create a sense of grandeur or intimacy and comfort. Depending on what kind of style you would like and the size of your windows, your interior designer can help you choose the right elements to nail the look you want.  Window coverings provide great value for sun and temperature control, and privacy as well as beauty. 

Forget about store bought curtains and go custom! There are endless choices for fabrics that can be used for window coverings and we have access to all of them! In addition to beautiful fabric choices, you can also have your drapery and blinds automated. This means that you will need to consider this at the framing stage to ensure that there is hardwiring available.  This is also a good time to plan for extra backing support for drapery brackets to ensure your curtains stay where they should.

Other things we consider with drapery and blind installation:

  1. Depth of the window frame 

  2. How the window opens (this will affect the type of inside mount blinds you can use)

  3. Will you do a combination of blinds and drapery? Or just one or the other?

  4. Would you prefer decorative panels or panels that can be closed to block out light?

  5. Does the window require inside or outside installation due to window decorative trim? 

  6. If you are doing wood blinds or shutters, do you want the trim and/or millwork to match the stain and wood species of the blinds/shutters or would you prefer a contrasting colour?

As you can see, there are a lot of decisions to be made in regards to window treatments. Thankfully, an interior designer can help with these and provide advice on what will work aesthetically and reasonably within your space.


The wallpaper options these days are not your mom’s 70’s flower power wallpaper. Wallpaper has come a long way in regards to design, application and removal techniques, and the view of it from the design community. Depending on the size of the room/wall that is being wallpapered, it can be done in as little as a day (provided the paint underneath has had plenty of time to cure) and can have a great impact on your space. When choosing wallpaper, you will first want to decide if you are doing a feature wall or a whole room. This decision will affect the kind of pattern you will choose as you may want something more or less intense depending on how much you are using. You must consider the scale of the wallpaper pattern in relation to the wall it is going on as well.

fun modern wallpaper in dining room with wood light feature

Extra consideration needs to be made when wallpapering a bathroom or a room that will contain humidity. In this case you should consider vinyl wallpaper for bathroom. Your wallpaper installer will also consider how/where to apply the seams in a wet location.

PRO TIP: Do not wallpaper your newly built home for at least a year. This allows the house to shift and for any nail pops that may show up to be repaired.

Next Week

Next week we are continuing the discussion about decorating and diving into the world of custom furniture! We will review comfort and quality in upholstery, creating custom wood furniture, and the timelines for all things custom as well as adding in those decorating accessories.


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