Up close and per­sonal

Dec­o­ra­tor and and home stager Char­lotte Sk­iba re­minds us that Pin­ter­est is pretty, but it’s not real life.

The Coast - Homes Halifax - - Expert Advice - BY MOR­GAN MULLIN

Char­lotte Sk­iba of Char­lotte In­te­ri­ors has a home decor Pin­ter­est board just like any av­er­age day­dreamer. The cer­ti­fied dec­o­ra­tor and home stager loves us­ing the site when­ever she starts a new pro­ject. “Mod­ern can mean to­tally dif­fer­ent things, so it gives me a way to see what the client likes,” she says. But once you’ve loaded a board with pins, the show is far from over. Here, Sk­iba shares tips on what to do next.

Her se­cret first step

Never over­look fur­ni­ture lay­out, Sk­iba says. “I al­ways start with a floor plan, with get­ting a good idea of the space. Even if it’s just quick sketch­ing, lay out where you want to put your chairs, your sofa. An­other trick is to take pain­ter’s tape and tape out your fur­ni­ture be­fore you buy it. Then you can ac­tu­ally see it on the floor be­fore you go ahead and make that big pur­chase.”

Her big­gest decor don’t

“Matchy-matchy fur­ni­ture, like bed­room sets or liv­ing room sets. It looks like some­one looked in the Sears cat­a­logue and just pur­chased ev­ery­thing from that one lit­tle set. I like to mix and match pieces. I think it gives it more au­then­tic de­sign feel,” Sk­iba says, shad­ing your grandma’s dec­o­rat­ing skills.

Avoid the dreaded cat­a­logue look by blend­ing styles and tex­tures be­tween your sofa and chairs. “It keeps it from be­ing bor­ing, you get a lit­tle more per­son­al­ity.”

How she fin­ishes a room

“Ac­ces­sories—pil­lows, throws, things like that—those are what re­ally fin­ish off a room and give it that kind of lived-in look, but with de­sign. A lot of peo­ple skip that part and just get the main things and then are like ‘Why isn’t my room pulled to­gether?’” Sk­iba says. The so­lu­tion? “Pulling a colour out of your drapes and putting that into an ac­ces­sory—that’s what pulls it all to­gether.” Her typ­i­cal fin­ish­ers in­clude mix-and-match throw pil­lows, art that high­lights a colour in the room and plants for tex­ture.

Don’t for­get to chill

“I also think it’s im­por­tant for peo­ple to note, when they look at Pin­ter­est or mag­a­zines and feel they want their house to look like an im­age, a lot of what they’re see­ing is styled pro­fes­sion­ally just for the pho­to­graph,” says Sk­iba. “That’s not how peo­ple ac­tu­ally live.”

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