Backsplash Designs

A beautiful 23k gold or silver design on a marble, tile, or glass backsplash adds a personalized touch of luxury to any kitchen. The design should not only be beautiful, but have a meaning that resonates with you, that speaks to your personality. The designs I create are meant to inspire, and many have deeper meanings! Laurel Wreath Although many people now associate the term “wreath” with fragrant evergreen boughs hung on doorways at Christmas time, the wreath is actually a term used to describe any assortment of leaves, twigs, flowers and fruits that form a partial or complete ring. The wreath has been a symbol of power and eternity since ancient times. The Ancient Greeks awarded laurel wreaths to triumphant victors of both athletic and academic competitions. In Ancient Rome, laurel wreaths were a coveted prize given for martial supremacy to top commanders. Reward yourself for your cooking supremacy and masterful culinary creations with this design in your kitchen! Golden Pheasant This native Chinese bird is revered for its beautiful plumage – in fact, its fiery feathers are thought to have inspired myths of a flaming Phoenix. As such, this majestic creature was associated with nobility and royalty. More common varieties of this bird were served as the main course dish at lavish banquets thrown in honour of kings, tsars, and emperors – their lovely feathers often decorated the plates. Louis XIV of France was especially known for throwing luxurious banquets at the Palace of Versailles with pheasant as the mouth-watering main dish. Koi Fish(Gold or Silver) The stunning Chinese Koi fish is known for its ability to...

4 Tips for Decorating with Animal Print

Take your home décor to a whole new level by incorporating animal print! In moderation, animal print adds a touch of flair and class to any room; whether it is leopard, cheetah, tiger, or zebra. Although the patterns may seem bold, animal print is actually a very classic neutral that works with any décor and never goes out of style. So while wallpapering an entire room in tiger stripes may be overwhelming, a chic tiger-stripe pillow adds an instant element of interest. Here are some tips for decorating with animal print. 1. Don’t be afraid to mix up the animal prints! There is no rule that you have to stick to one type of animal print – using multiple species is fun! Choose patterns and colours that complement each other to tie your accents together: for example, a bold zebra print pillow works well beside a soft grey leopard-print curtain. You can also mix up the scale of the prints: a large-scale giraffe print wall hanging works well with a detailed cheetah-print throw, for example. Sticking to different scales makes sure your room doesn’t appear too busy. 2. Go monochrome. If you are worried about your décor becoming too overwhelming, choose animal-print accents that stick within your colour scheme. Zebra print is an obvious choice for black-and-white enthusiasts. Giraffe and big cat prints work exceedingly well in warm, neutral colour schemes. 3. Make it animal print art. Animal print isn’t just for throw pillows and rugs. Try adding an animal-print wallpaper accent to one wall to add a timeless, luxe focal point to the room. Pair the print with solids in...

Ottawa Fall Home Show 2016

Design shows are the perfect place to find inspiration for your home! I will be exhibiting at The Ottawa Fall Home Show 2016, so I can tell you that this an event that no home-owner (or prospective home-owner) should miss! Click below to get tickets: Pro tip: If you purchase a ticket for this show, and decide to come back the next day, get a free pass at the customer service area. When: Thursday September 29th, 2016 to Sunday October 2nd, 2016 Where: EY Centre in Ottawa, Ontario What: The show is jam-packed with events, features, exhibitors, and contests all weekend long! Exhibitors: Whether you’re interested in design, decor, architecture, renovation, construction, or landscaping - there will be booths to pique your interest. (Make sure you check out our booth to see our gold-leaf marble and hand-made wallpapers in person!) Here’s a sneak peek at my new wall covering – Four Winds: Feature Home: Tiny homes are all the rage. Get ideas on making small spaces work when you tour this minimalist 872 sq. ft. Bonneville home. The Main Stage: Presentations on the main stage include interactive renovation seminars from “Renovator of the Year” Steve Barkhouse, presentations from award-winning design expert Sarah Richardson, DIY expert Leigh-Ann Allaire Perrault , editor-in-chief of Ottawa At Home magazine Mary Taggart, window covering expert Cathleen Van Der Westhuizen, and HGTV paint pro Andrew Downward. Upcycle Challenge and Auction: Watch as 10 of Ottawa’s biggest style influencers re-purpose a pre-loved home decor piece, inspired by a favourite item in their closet. All the pieces will be auctioned off, with proceeds going to support Habitat...

How to Rent Out Your Cottage

Cottage rentals are quickly becoming a popular choice for summer vacationers. With the purchase price of cottages climbing higher than ever, many people opt for the rental option to get their cottage experience. If done properly, renting out your cottage can offer serious financial benefit. But it isn’t as easy as slapping an ad on Kijiji - repeat renters and glowing testimonials will form the backbone of your success. So how do you make sure every renter wants to come back? Give directions: This might seem obvious, but if your property is down a winding lane with confusing signage, your guests will be irritated when they arrive - if they arrive at all! Provide clear, easy to follow instructions so make sure getting there is a breeze. Make the cottage shine: Although the cottage might be in a rustic setting, people still have hotel-quality expectations. Finding dog hair on the sofa, and footprints on the hardwood floor is a big turn-off. Be thorough with the cleaning after every renter. Make the bed: Spots, tears, and discolouration on the bedding can quickly sour a renter’s opinion of a property. Bedding should be crisp and clean, and neatly arranged on all available beds. Heavier bedding for cooler nights should be easily accessible. Provide the essentials: Although many people bring their own supplies, offer the essentials to help out those more forgetful renters. Hand soap in the bathroom and dish soap in the kitchen is a must. Small bottles of shampoo and body wash are great, but not necessary. Bath towels (not beach towels) and hand towels in the bathroom is a...

Why You Should Listen to Your Designer

Everyone expresses their creativity differently. When you hire a designer, you are trusting in their professional ability to make your creative vision into the best possible reality. While you may have ideas about how to achieve that vision, it is important to realize that sometimes, the designer knows best! Here are the top 3 reasons you should listen to your designer. 1) They are professionals. When you hired a designer, it was because you believed that they would be able to do a better job than you would. You did your research, and found a fully qualified person with relevant credentials. Don’t forget why you hired them in the first place! They have built a reputation on creating beautiful spaces, and have experience bringing things together and seeing the big picture. There is a reason that you didn’t just tackle this yourself. 2) There is more to it than you think. Design is a complex processes. It is about more than just picking colours. A good designer will consider a vast array of elements when they produce a design: colour, space, texture, flow, accents, tone, timelessness, etc. So although you may believe that a purple accent wall will fulfill your vision, your designer may have other suggestions that will fit better with the overall design. In order to get that “wow” factor, you have to be open-minded. Your designer is considering a lot more than meets the eye, so while their suggestions might seem risky, rest assured that they have the grand plan in mind. Most good designers will have no problem explaining why things will or won’t work....

How to Declutter and Reorganize Your House When the Kids Grow Up

Clutter can build up without us even noticing, and take away from the beauty of our homes. If you have children, clutter can build up even faster! But decluttering and re-organizing your home doesn’t have to be an overwhelming task. Declutter About twice per year, take stock of everything in your house and closets. Do you have clothes and shoes that no longer fit you or your children? Have your children outgrown toys and games? Do you still have unopened gifts, unused decor sitting in packaging, or knick-knacks taking up valuable storage space? Get rid of them! Assess your possessions carefully: do you really need it? Have you used it in the last 6 months? Some items with sentimental value should be kept, but not every trophy, drawing, or toy needs to be saved. If clothing is still in good condition, package it up to take to a consignment store or the Salvation Army Thrift Stores. Furniture can be photographed posted on sale pages like Kijiji or Craigslist. Invest the money you earn from the sale of your clutter into timeless decor pieces for your home that won’t need to be thrown out in a few years. After you rid yourself of clutter, you may discover that you do not need more cabinet space after all, and can instead use that money to purchase beautiful wall art, a Persian rug, or a family holiday! Make sure that once you have decided where something should go, you take it there! Having bags and boxes “ready to go” to donation bins, consignment stores, friends houses, or the trash is just another...

Timeless Design Style

Keeping up with changing fashion trends can be as simple as buying a statement jewelry piece, or a few new tops. Keeping up with changing interior design trends can be much more difficult - and expensive. So while things like red appliances, or cartoon characters on children’s walls might seem like a neat idea, changing those things will likely put a sizeable dent in your pocketbook. Most homeowners don’t expect to revamp their decor style every season, or even every year. Creating a timeless look in your home ensures that you can build upon your design over time, and always keep it looking fresh and current. Mix it Up Draw inspiration from multiple decades and eras; Pair an art deco inspired coffee table with a traditional Oriental rug, or a an industrial lamp with an antique end table - choose pieces that compliment each other’s lines and aesthetic, rather than compete. Selecting pieces from a variety of style periods will ensure that your home doesn’t look like a time capsule. Carefully chosen handpainted wallcoverings are also a very good idea. Try not to purchase your furniture in sets: eventually, that style won’t be trendy anymore, and then you’ll have to replace all of your pieces. Use Natural Materials Natural materials lend a home a classic feel: these materials, after all, have been used since ancient times! Real wood, granite, and marble have already stood the test of time throughout history. For example, a jewel-tone glass backsplash might pack a seriously colourful punch, but is likely to look dated in a few years. A marble backsplash, perhaps with a subtle...

Home Reno Mistakes to Avoid

Don’t Make These Home Reno Mistakes Whether you are updating your house to sell, or simply for your own pleasure, avoid these common renovation mistakes to get the most out of your home. Ignoring Your Trees Unkempt and overgrown shrubs, bushes, and trees are not only an outdoor eyesore; They can block light from getting into your home, obscure beautiful views, and promote the growth of nasty mould. Some basic landscaping to prune back greenery is a very inexpensive way to freshen your home’s appearance. Putting in Fancy Upgrades First Most people know that the upgrading the kitchen can bring a huge return on investment - and lots of personal enjoyment. But putting in granite countertops and new cabinets won’t win over buyers, or your spouse, if the faucet is leaky, the wiring is shot, and the HVAC system doesn’t work. Address the basics first, and make sure that everything in your house is safe and functioning properly. A Boring Front Door First impressions are everything. Your front door should reflect the rest of the house: it should be in good repair, with fresh (not chipping!) paint, a working doorbell, and preferably a covered section so you can stay out of the rain while you fumble for your keys. Even if you aren’t looking to sell, a beautiful front door can make coming home that much more enjoyable.     Going TOO Neutral Having neutral walls and tiles can help prospective buyers project their own design ideas on the house. However, a beige-laden house will blend in with every other house the buyer tours. And if you aren’t looking...

Contemporary Art

Art is subjective. What one person is drawn to and covets another is repulsed by; Art can be a truly individual experience. The process of creating art is an individual experience as well: each artist produces their creations differently. But regardless of their style, all artists learn in some form - formally at school or in their own kitchen - and then draw from what they’ve learned. With time, life experience, and hard work, a personal style emerges that differs in a critical way from the styles they’ve learned from. It is in part that effort, that arduous and individualized creative process, that fracturing from established style in a meaningful way that makes art so valuable. That’s why contemporary art is often so controversial. In recent years, the prices of contemporary art pieces have skyrocketed, and left many wondering: is it worth it? Is contemporary art “real” art? Should it really command price tags in the hundreds of millions? Sometimes, those questions can be answered easily: if an artist “mass produces” their work, completing a high volume of pieces in a short amount of time, we should be skeptical. That lack of respect for the creative process suggests that the artist has their eye on the potential price tag instead of on the beauty they give the world with their art. Sometimes, answering those questions can be difficult. Whether or not the art is “real” depends a lot on your perspective. Some people are drawn to pieces that others scoff at: those pieces may be real to those who love them. But when we discuss whether a piece is...

Design Shows

Design shows are a crucial opportunity for artists to promote and showcase their work, and to be inspired by other artists. The Interior Design Show: January 21-24, 2016 in Toronto, Canada I had the opportunity to exhibit my custom wallpaper and gold leafed kitchen backsplash at the Interior Design Show in Toronto this year. It was a fantastic experience, although it was quite exhausting. After a full day of set-up, followed by an intense 4 days of exhibiting, I certainly have a new appreciation for artists who travel the world exhibiting their work! The show was extremely well organized: over 60,000 people went through the show with no issues. I loved meeting the other exhibitors and designers, and was inspired by their work. Two of my favourite exhibitors (and new friends!): Jordan Söderberg Mills: his anaglyphic mirror was absolutely mesmerizing. Jordan was trained in Toronto, and apprenticed as an artist/blacksmith with master sculptor Francisco Gazitua in San Juan de Pirque, Chile. Jacob Antoni: his Latitude lamp was unlike anything I have seen before. In fact, it won an award for “Best Prototype”. His work is truly unique! The Opening Night Party was one of the best parts of the show - over 5700 design movers and shakers rubbed elbows and sampled some delicious food and drink. It was swanky, artistic, and stunningly decorated. It was a real Toronto nightlife experience, and I soaked up every second of it. I would love to exhibit in New York and Paris in the future!   Architectural Digest Design Show: March 17-20, 2016 in New York, New York The AD Design Show offers...

Decorative Wall Finishes

How Decorative Wall Finishes Can Add Luxury to Your Home Wall’s don’t have to be covered in flat, boring paint.There are many creative ways to add texture and interest to your wall decor - some of which have been around since ancient times! Consider using one of these decorative wall finishes. Lime Paints and Washes Lime washes are an eco-friendly paint alternative that has been around since the ancient Romans. It is composed of natural substances, with no toxic chemicals or additives. Quite simply, it is composed of limestone: rock with high levels of calcium and magnesium carbonate. The crushed limestone is mixed with water, aged, then thinned with more water. Without any added pigmentation, this paint is a white-ish colour - but natural pigments can easily be added to create a different wash effect. Lime washes are mottled and matte, and create a striking chalky, shadowy texture. But it isn’t just a gorgeous effect: the high pH levels of the wash give it anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties. Patina Paint can be used to create a faux aged look - like the delicate coppering of ancient buildings, or the fading of an old parchment document. The simplest way to achieve this look is to apply a darker colour atop an existing lighter colour: the dark colour is rubbed on with a rag or sponge, allowed to dry marginally, then rubbed off before completely dry. This is repeated in small sections, until the light surface has been covered in a layer of the darker colour. Using turquoise, aqua and greenish colours atop metallic bronzes and golds will mimic the authentic...

The Feng Shui Trinity: The Living Room

In “Part 1” of this series, we learned that Feng Shui principles were important in the kitchen because it is the center of energy creation in the house through food. In “Part 2” of this series, we learned some tricks to apply Feng Shui principles to the bedroom to make it the most restful environment possible. The last room of the Feng Shui “trinity” is the living room, the place where family and friends gather. Applying feng shui principles to the living room will help make it conducive to gatherings filled with love. Furniture Arrangement Furniture should not impede easy movement through the room: if people have a hard time getting around the furniture, so will the chi! Make sure your couch is placed with its back to a wall: a “floating” arrangement, where the couches and chairs are in the center of the room, is not ideal. Avoid perfect L-shaped arrangements, since they create “poison arrows”. If you must use an L-shaped sectional, place a live plant at the end of the arrow caused by the furniture to cancel out the negative effect. Couches should not be placed underneath a beam: this implies that the family is entirely dependant on one breadwinner, and will cause stress in the breadwinner’s life. Don’t make the TV the center of the room! Hiding it away in a shelving unit is ideal. Decor The living room is the perfect location to utilize the elements of the “compass”. Decorating each section of your living room with pieces that match the element associated with that spot on the compass generates lots of positive energy....

The Feng Shui Trinity: The Bedroom

As we learned in “Part 1” of this series, applying Feng Shui principles to the 3 most major rooms of your house - the kitchen, bedroom, and living room - can help create the most harmonious living environment possible. The kitchen is where energy is created in the form of food; The bedroom is where relaxation (and a little bit of love!) happens. Your bedroom should be an oasis, a paradise, a sanctuary from the rest of the house. As the most important piece of furniture in the room, the bed has the biggest effect on the energy flow. Here are some things to consider when placing your bed: You should be able to clearly see the door when lying in bed, but not be directly across from it. If your feet are directly across from the door, this is called “coffin pose” for a good reason: it kills all the good energy! The bed should not be directly under a window, or the energy will simply flow overtop of you and outside: not only will you lose the positive energy, it will make for a restless sleep. Make sure your mattress is raised off of the ground - if it is on the floor, it will impede the flow of energy. Raising it up off the ground allows the chi to circulate. Do not have the bed reflected in a mirror. When the soul leaves the body for its nightly travels, it may be startled by its own “reflection” in the mirror, causing negative energy. Try not to have your bed positioned above the kitchen, or at least...

The Feng Shui Trinity: Kitchen

Feng Shui may sound like New-Age nonsense, but its principals are based on literally thousands of years of collective wisdom, and are actually very helpful when designing the interior of your home. Feng Shui is all about the interaction of human with their surroundings, and the effect this interaction can have: maintaining positive energy is key. In order to maintain this positive energy (and who doesn’t want more positive energy!), Feng Shui principles are especially important to apply in the “trinity” of your house: the kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom. These rooms really make up the heart of the house - it makes sense that these rooms should be the most pleasant, since we end up spending the most time in them!   The kitchen is where you create the physical energy necessary to live: food! So the energy in the kitchen should be as positive as possible, to make preparing food a pleasant experience - an unpleasant kitchen means more greasy takeout and microwavable dinners. Here are a few Feng Shui principles to keep in mind to make your kitchen as harmonious as possible:   Kitchens should not be within immediate view of the front door: otherwise, all that positive energy you stir up in your kitchen could simply escape through the front door! A small part of the kitchen being visible from the front door (such as an island), is perfectly fine. Similarly, stoves should not be close to windows: the wind can steal the delicious “chi” (energy) from your food. And unused stove means you aren’t accessing your full potential: use your stove as much as possible, and...

Why Choose Marble?

Marble has been used for centuries to create stunning works of art. But marble isn’t just for Greek sculptures and Roman fountains: it is the perfect choice for inside the modern home. Why choose marble? 1.  It’s Aesthetic Beauty Its association with ancient works of art and architecture lend marble a refined, timeless beauty. There is just something so classic and elegant about marble. Yet it also fits perfectly with cutting edge, modern décor: it looks just as gorgeous in a sleek New York City loft as it does in a stone farmhouse from the 1800s. Often people are drawn to the classic white marble because it is so versatile. It easily mixes with other styles and textures, like wood or metal, and it can appear formal or casual depending on the setting. However, marble can be found in a staggering array of colours: dusty salmon, deep forest green, subdued blue-grey, bright goldenrod… not to mention the stunning patterning! When limestone is exposed to intense heat and pressure, it re-crystalizes – those coloured streaks and streams you see come from other minerals layered within the limestone. That means that no two marble slabs are the same: the beauty each one offers is completely unique! I love working with marble because of that uniqueness: each tile is slightly different! Adding gorgeous gold leaf designs enhances the natural beauty of the marble itself, and provides a perfect canvas for art. 2. It’s Durability Marble is a hard stone. Although it can be prone to staining given its porous nature, with the proper care it can easily withstand regular use. Especially on...

The Benefits of Wallcoverings

Wallcoverings have a rich and storied past as a popular décor item. But they are not ancient history – there are many modern benefits to using wallcoverings in your home. The sheer number of design choices Wallcovering design can quite literally be anything: stripes, flowers, Victorian style murals, abstract shapes – the list is endless. The designs are limited only by the artist’s imagination. Many of my hand painted custom wallcoverings are used as the room’s focal point. I think of it like a painting or statement wall décor – it is something that reflects your unique style and flair, not just another colour on the Benjamin Moore colour wheel. Wallcovering can change the visual appearance of any room in many ways: they can be used as an accent wall in the bedroom or living room, or as complete wallcoverings in foyers, powder rooms, dining rooms and libraries. Wallcoverings can act both as a background to wall art and as art on its own, depending on the overall design desired. But wallcoverings are not limited only by colour or pattern – they can be textured and made from different materials like silk, linen, bamboo, velvet… whether it is actually textured or simply provides the illusion of texture, it adds an element of interest and personality to the room. Depending on the design chosen it could become a great conversation topic in your dining or living room during gatherings with family or friends. It is extremely durable Under normal usage conditions, wallcoverings last five times longer than paint. When installed correctly, wallcoverings can retain their original beauty and performance characteristics...

Wallpaper: From Imitation to Art

Hanging things on walls for decoration is nothing new. So while it is true that wallpaper is enjoying a recent surge in popularity, it has actually been around for longer than you may think: some historians place the earliest European wallpapers in the 1400s! Historically, wealthy Europeans hung large, elaborate tapestries on their walls – both to keep out the draft, and to display their wealth and status. The scenes on the tapestries were complex, intricate, and beautiful: which also means they were extremely expensive! The earliest wallpaper was thought to be created to imitate these tapestries (without the expensive price tag). But early wallpaper creation was a painstaking process: the motifs were created with wooden blocks and stamped onto the paper – colour was added by hand. In 1785, the first machine for printing wallpaper was invented. Suddenly, printing wallpaper wasn’t so hard anymore. By the 1820s, colour printing was invented, and the luxurious hand-stamped and coloured papers of the past were being tossed aside in favour of hastily produced, machine-made papers. Who can blame them! With this new technology, “designers” could give the masses what they wanted without all that hard work. The quality, and thus the popularity, of wallpaper began to suffer. Although the technology made wallpaper more widely available, it was no longer being treated as an art form. It got so bad that some, like William Morris, railed against the machine and returned to hand printing wallpaper – and these pre-industrial style designs were like the Prada of wallpaper in their day.   The British nobles and royalty in their palaces and grand houses...

The Kitchen: From Smokey to Sumptuous

As you sit on a bar stool at the island of your open concept kitchen with its gleaming stainless steel appliances and granite counter top, it might be hard to believe that the kitchen hasn’t always been the focal point of the home. It’s actually kind of funny – the kitchen has come full circle. In the more primitive days, the “kitchen” was actually just a hearth: a large flat rock that a fire was built on top of. It truly was the center of the home… but I can’t imagine the smoke! Once the chimney was invented, the open fire simply moved to the side of the room. Kitchens used to be dark, miserable, badly ventilated places relegated to basements and annexes and often staffed by servants. Dining was a formal affair, not meant to be experienced where the food itself was cooked. But as technology progressed, the kitchen began to change. Although the upper class still kept their kitchens separate, those living in smaller apartments began to use the kitchen as the main room – without the smoke and dirt, the kitchen was much more hospitable. That being said, it wasn’t until the 1930s, with the dawn of small consumer appliances that the kitchen started to look like the kitchens we know and love. Industrialization and electricity changed the way kitchens were organized. Kitchens became a sort of domestic conveyor belt: a long, narrow corridor with sinks, ovens and cabinets for ultra-efficient cooking and cleaning. The layout was meant to empower women; the faster they could finish their domestic duties, the more time they’d have for factory work and leisure....
Still Life

Still Life

It could have been a random event, but I like to think it was fate. Two years ago I found myself in sunny California, using my artistic eye to help a client stage her home. It was a beautiful home, but I knew it could show even better. As I fluffed and fretted over pillows and furniture, re-arranging and tweaking and re-arranging again, something caught my eye. There was something on the floor behind the piano that just didn’t belong. I reached behind the piano and grasped the object in question, pulled it out into the light, and gasped. It was a painting. Now, I am an artist myself, and a collector of fine art: I have seen my share of paintings. But this… this was stunning. I knew immediately that this had been painted by someone who’s soul flowed through the brush strokes: a true artist. The technical skill alone was jaw dropping. I was spellbound - I had to know where this forgotten painting had come from.  As it turns out, my clients had impulsively purchased this work of art on  a Mediterranean cruise. While exploring in Athens, they became so taken with   both the artist and the painting that they bought it on the spot. However,  upon returning home they couldn’t seem  to decide on a place for it. I tracked down the artist, and discovered  she was a Russian-trained painter living  in Greece: Elena Kaplina. Elena has since  painted me five works, and I have become her representative here in Canada. She paints in the still life style, and I have yet to see a...
Wall Covering Pricing

Wall Covering Pricing

Wall Covering Pricing   Pricing reflects high quality, hand crafted wall covering as well as the size and complexity of your request. Custom single paintings or murals on canvas or walls are also available. We are happy to accommodate client design changes no matter how extensive or to produce custom designs (see “Ordering Procedure”). Wallpaper prices vary with design and priced per panel, with a one-panel minimum. Designer discounts are available. Please call 1(613) 698-6993 or e-mail actdesigndecor@gmail.com for more information. Samples Wallpaper samples can be purchased or loaned for a fee. Please call or email for more information. Ordering 1. Choose a Design Our designs are primarily created for one accent wall. However, we can create wallpaper to enhance any space you would like to stand out. We are also able to create and produce *custom* designs. 2. Choose a Design Height Designs are available in any pattern height between 8ft (244 cm) and 9ft (274 cm). Heights outside of this range are considered *custom* orders and are subject to an additional charge. Unless otherwise specified the panels are made 0.5ft (15 cm) longer to allow trimming. 3. Calculate the quantity required Prior to placing an order, accurate elevations and floor plans must be provided. Once received, we will calculate the total panel requirement. 4. Requirement for additional durability We offer the choice of additional protective glaze with either a Gloss or Satin finish for our wallpaper designs. (see ‘Protective finishes’) 5. Quote and order placement Once you have decided on a design, we will supply a quote, and request a 50% deposit on the order. The next...
Installation and Touch-up Services Wallcovering Hanging Instructions

Installation and Touch-up Services Wallcovering Hanging Instructions

Note: All our wallcoverings require expert installation. Prior to starting your installation, please ensure that the wallcoverings meets your requirements and expectations. Actual Design & Décor declines all responsibility for problems that may arise when our installation instructions are not followed. This includes additional labor charges or other consequential loses. We cannot accept returns on any wallcaverings that has been trimmed, pasted or installed. Following these easy steps will ensure your walls are well prepared to hang your Actual Design & Décor wallpaper. -Given the hand-made, custom nature of our products, elements of their appearance are subjective and thus each set of panels may be slightly different than those seen in the catalogue. -Upon receipt of your wallcoverings, please inspect it, checking for any defects, damage or color variations. Also, do not start your installation if you suspect you will have insufficient materials. -Walls must be properly prepared for wallcoverings installation. Surfaces must be dry, smooth, flat and free of any loose material. The quality of the final result is dependent upon good preparation. New plaster and very absorbent surfaces must be properly sized. -Hanging wallcoverings on top of previous layers of wallpaper is not recommended. -Smooth gloss painted surfaces with glass paper. -Freshly painted surfaces should be left for at least three days before preparing them. -Use only water based priming products. -Use the correct adhesive containing anti-fungicidal agent, mixed to the manufacturer’s instructions. -All walls should be lined with a plain white heavy grade paper lining paper. -The lining paper should be hung with the same adhesive as will be used to hang the final panels (see...
Standard Care & Protective Finishes

Standard Care & Protective Finishes

Our wallpapers are made of traditional and stable materials that will last for decades when correctly installed and cared for. Installation must be done according to our Wallpaper Hanging Instructions. As with any work of art, dampness, excessive humidly and all extremes of temperature can damage your wallpaper, as such, we recommend you protect it from these elements. Also, over time, fading will occur if your wallpaper is exposed to direct sunlight. Do not attempt to clean your wallpaper or allow cleaning products to come into contact with it. All wallpapers can be dusted with a feather duster or vacuumed with a soft clean vacuum brush. Protective Finishes For Our Wallpapers: All our wallpapers are available with an applied water-based protective layer which renders it water repellent and wet stain resistant. Where this finish has been applied, no cleaning should be necessary. However, this finish does not prevent dirt from being ground into the fibers of the fabric or protect it from other forms of damage. When wiping a treated pane, it is important to use a soft damp cloth and not rub the surface vigorously. The protective treatment will help to repel liquids but does not ensure that it will remain colorfast. Protective finishes are available in Satin or Gloss at extra cost. Please refer to the Wall Covering...
Marble Backsplash Installation Guide

Marble Backsplash Installation Guide

Note: All our custom backsplash designs on marble require expert installation. Prior to starting your installation, please ensure that the tiles meet your requirements and expectations. Actual Design & Décor declines all responsibility for problems that may arise when our installation instructions are not followed. This includes additional labor charges or other consequential losses. We cannot accept returns on any tiles that have been broken or installed. Following these easy steps will ensure proper installation of your custom backsplash design. Backsplash Marble Design will Arrive Unassembled Tile murals will be shipped unassembled with individual tiles stacked on top of each other. Each tile will have a number on the back of it (Ex: 1, 2, 3, etc.). We will include an easy to follow installation guide that will explain in what order the tiles should be installed. STEP 1: Using an orbital sander, go over all the areas where tile will be applied to smooth out any high spots and create a more tactile surface for applying mortar. Clean up any residual dust with a vacuum cleaner or tack cloth. Use a spirit level to draw straight lines delineating areas, where your marble backsplash will go. STEP 2: Mix Tile Adhesive following manufacturer’s instructions, combine water and mortar mix in a deep bucket. Fit mixer bar into electric drill and thoroughly mix until the mortar is lump-free and the consistency of peanut butter. Begin spreading mortar and applying marble tiles. Keep it leveled. As you go, use the spirit level to ensure a straight line. This is especially important in any areas that aren’t resting on the countertop, like...
About Actual Design & Décor

About Actual Design & Décor

Philosophy: Welcome to Actual Design & Décor based in Ottawa, Canada. Our mission is to work with you to transform your living space into a luxurious refuge that erases the stresses of everyday life. Whether it’s a luxurious custom wall covering designed to enhance an accent wall,  gold leafing or a custom wall mural or kitchen backsplash on marble,  you will love walking into any room we have put our creative touch on. Each piece we create is a one of a kind, hand painted or hand made treasure in which the artist leaves a little bit of their soul, thus distinguishing it from machine made replicas   ​About the Founder​: Actual Design & Décor was created by Tatiana Mandel in 2012. Ms. Mandel has 20 years of experience in innovative design and has a reputation for remarkable craftsmanship and outstanding customer satisfaction. Ms. Mandel’s background is in oil painting, custom murals and graphic design, all of which have been her working passion for twenty years. She is a member of  Interior Designers of Canada (IDC).  Ms. Mandel’s work has been published in Ottawa at Home magazine and Applied Arts. Her love of unique, personalized home design has inspired her to create Actual Design & Décor, an Ottawa-based company. Ms. Mandel is also the co-founder of Professional Decorative Art Classes in the South of France, www.pdaclasses.com All of our creations represent a unique piece of custom, hand-painted art work.  Our artisans are highly skilled painters who excel in their focus on attention to detail and quality.  They proudly imprint a piece of their soul into each work of art. Our inspiration comes our worldwide travels and what we discover; be...