Down with Decor – Showhome Inspiration

“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list” –  resident decorator Chloe gives us her inspirations for how the concept goes from an idea to beautiful, finished showhomes.

Travel is the best form of education. Most of my design inspiration comes from all of my travels. Every place has its own form of architecture, culture and history and I like to draw on those for inspiration.

When it comes to planning a showhome, there aren’t very many styles you can go with besides contemporary, traditional and transitional. But the great thing is, you can give each one a unique twist! As a designer, I like to play on those design styles by adding touches of places I have traveled to. If a showhome is ever themed towards a country, it is because I found a lot of inspiration from that country. An idea or a theme is usually in mind before we go into the selection phase. When we are given a pallet to work with, I look at what colours I am working with and start a theme from there.

Once a themed is picked, I jump in to fabric and wallpaper selection. I typically start with wallpaper because it is a lot easier to find colours within the paper, rather than the other way around.
In a home I tend to do at least four accent walls with wallpaper (master, den, one kids room and bonus room.) The other walls that I think need an accent wall, I pick a paint colour.

After this process, I pick fabrics that have a unique pattern that will complement the theme of the house (bedding and throws are typically bought during set up as it is easier to find solids than patterns.) After the wallpaper and fabric are selected, I look at the floorplan to see how many pieces of art are needed. In a single family home, I will typically need 40 pieces that range from small to large. In a condo or townhome, I typically will only need 15-20 pieces (I use Shutterstock to find the images that correspond to my theme.)

The furniture planning and purchasing is usually done a month and a half prior to set up. We like to go through our inventory to see what we have before we purchase remaining items. Anytime we see something that is amazing at HomeSense, we will pick it up prior to the setup, while the rest of the accessory purchasing is done during the showhome set up period.

When it comes to the time frame of staging a home, it all depends on the organization and the size of the home.
I book the movers months in advance, and then on set up day it will take them about four hours to load the truck and then unload into the home, along with assembly. While they assemble and unload, if we have accessories on hand, we will start placing them around the home. There is no plan for where accessories go within the home. It is not until after the first giant shop and placement of furniture and accessories, that we start detailing our shopping list to what we think we still need to finish the home.

Staging a showhome is not as elegant and glamorous as many think. It is emotionally and physically stressful at times. You forget to eat because you have been too busy, you cut open or bruise parts of your body from all the heavy lifting….

But is it worth it in the end? Yes! To see a house turn out how you imagined, is such a rewarding feeling!

Until next time,

Chloe @ Homes by Avi