Big Spring renovations at home are all on hold for now but since we’ve been looking at the same walls for over a month now, we can’t help but to dream! Besides, creative thoughts help get us through these days…and nights. We’re trying to look at this as a gift of time. But where do you start?
I first met interior designer Sacha Nizami while working on a story about her dreamy collaborative design line Sacha Grace. I put her name in my back pocket for future reference and when we were ready for a few projects she was our go-to. What did I like about her? Not only did I like how she was able to truly marry vision with style and function but she also proved to be very knowledgeable about the mechanics with tradespeople. We eventually did work with Sacha on a few projects in our home that we’ve been over-the-moon about. Okay, and if you’re doing any research on her, you’ll also find her work has been featured in editorials in national magazines, newspapers, and design-related websites in Canada and the U.S..
But back to the question of where do you start and when is the right time? With everything that’s going on in the world today, it may just be the little projects we’ve been meaning to get to that give us the refresh and reset we are looking for. After all, your home (or now home office) should be a space where you look forward to spending time — for us, it all comes down to comforting and positive energy. What we hear often from friends and family is that our home is somewhere you’d like to linger and always feel welcomed.
I reached out to Sacha to get some ideas and she’s offered a few helpful suggestions for smaller projects…
REPURPOSE: Sacha has always had a soft spot for repurposing items already in the home and it’s something she’s done for over 15 years. As part of her general design/decorating consultation, she looks at current furniture and assesses how it can be given a new life. A dresser, for example, with paint and new hardware. She can suggest the colour and the hardware style/where to order it. “Not everything needs to be newly purchased,” she tells us. “We often have what we need – it just needs to be freshened up, moved into a different room, or used for a different purpose. Shop in your home!”
RE-UPHOLSTER: Sacha is often asked by her clients, and the general public, who wander into her studio, whether or not they should have an old chair or sofa re-upholstered. The answer is not always a simple yes or no! Rather than tossing it out consider having the piece re-upholstered. During “stay home” time, people can email their dimensions and photos to her and she can also provide quotes for the labour costs. Thanks to technology, she can also do virtual fabric selections and mail samples if needed. This is a great way to freshen a space and provide character.
Some thoughts to consider when re-upholstering …
Q: Is it solid wood construction and a good quality piece?
A: Upholstery services are really only worth exploring if the piece is well-built.
Q: Do you love the shape and the overall lines of the piece?
A: While a frame of a chair or sofa can have minor edits, if you have a roll armchair (and you hate roll arms) then this is probably not a piece working on.
Q: Is it comfortable?
A: We can certainly add plushness to a piece but if the depth of the seat isn’t comfortable then move on!
Q: Does it fit in your home or intended space?
A: Upholstery can work wonders in changing the look (and comfort) of a piece but if the piece is too big or too small for your space, it isn’t the right fit.
Q: Does it have sentimental value?
A: I am a big believer in the importance of sentimental value in decorating a home. It isn’t always about function first. If it is a small side chair or footstool which belonged to your grandparent, have it refinished, give it another 30 years of life and simply enjoy it.
Q: What is your budget?
A: Upholstery services are not inexpensive. It may be cheaper to buy a lesser quality piece of furniture (no shortage of that stuff on the market!), but if you value solid wood frame construction with good joints, proper webbing and quality custom fabric, then re-upholstering your grandma’s chair is a great idea!
Our master bedroom has been a jade green for 20 years and we wanted to freshen up and, to be honest, we wanted a colour that wouldn’t tire over many more years. Sacha selected a soothing shade of grey that easily made our room seem larger. Paint colour virtual consultation can now be done live on FaceTime or via Zoom. “Paint is the single most transformative thing you can do – for relatively low cost and effort,” said Sacha. Local paint stores are providing curbside pick up as well. For her colour consultations, Sacha likes to see images of the space, see what colours are currently existing (furniture, area rug, hardwood floor). She also asks her clients a few colour related questions such as lighting conditions in both natural and artificial settings. “It is important to establish what mood you want out of the colour – energized, warm/cozy, neutral, or bold for example.”
GENERAL DECORATING CONSULTATION:
Often her clients have a laundry list with a question or two in a few different spaces. For example, what colour should I paint my bedroom? (haha…that was me!) or I need a sofa for the living room and what kind of storage would you suggest for the family room for the kids? A general decorating consultation is a sort of “ask all” or “pick-a-designer’s-brain” session to all those needling questions many people are now getting as they are looking at the same walls for extended periods of time. “Since we are all now stuck inside, we notice things we have always wanted to clean up, freshen up, make more functional and maybe haven’t had the time to get to them,” said Sacha.
It is great to ask a designer, to give you motivation and an outside perspective on how to make an impact in any room.
UPDATING ACCENTS: In addition to these projects, you may just need a little refresh in your home that can easily be done with new throws or artwork. Sacha is a great supporter of Canadian artisans and have placed their works into some high profile homes. Her studio and showroom (now temporarily closed due to government mandate on non-essential businesses) is a treasure trove of great pieces she’s personally sourced and even have collaborated on.
We love her collection of vintage maps printed on cottons and linens that reflect great Canadian escapes to areas including the Muskokas, Kawarthas. She also features local Torontonian artist Farida Zaman and her work in a collaboration collection that’s also available currently via email for contactless delivery.
Interested in learning more? Contact Sacha Nizami at www.sachanizamidesign.com
*Photo credits: Lead in photo by Anna Prior. Sacha Nizami Design.