Tip Tuesday

Renovation Reminders

Feb 13, 2019

Renovations whether large scale remodels or small improvements continue to be a popular choice amongst consumers in Canada. Renovating your space allows you to customize it to fit your changing needs and can keep you in a home or neighbourhood that you love.

In working with clients on renovation projects big or small, we encourage them to consider these tips when planning and tackling a home renovation:

What rooms do you want renovated?

While this may seem like a no-brainer, keep in mind that making changes to one space can ultimately affect the connecting spaces as well. If your budget only allows for a “one room at a time” approach, you may want to consider putting some of the budget aside for some minor upgrades to things like fabric or accessories just to make sure that the neighbouring spaces don’t feel out of date.

Budget, Budget, Budget

This is a sometimes painful but extremely important exercise. Before taking on a renovation project, it is important to figure out what you can afford so you can enjoy your new space without the worry of overspending. In addition to construction expenses be sure to include consultant fees, costs to cover accommodations should you need to move out during the renovation, and any furnishings or fixtures you may need for the new space(s).

Make decisions early

There is no such thing as over-planning when it comes to a renovation. Making your decisions when it comes to structural changes, material selections, finishes and paint colours well in advance of construction allows things to move along on schedule and will make it a better experience for all involved.


If only real renovations could happen as quickly as they do on HGTV! Be sure to get a realistic estimate of time from your contractor and schedule your reno at a time that enables the work to be done properly. And be prepared for the odd delays long the way – even the most organized projects can face hiccups like weather delays or backordered materials.

At the end of the day a renovation is a wonderful opportunity to customize your space to fit your needs and ensure that your home is telling your story. So plan, plan, plan and allow the time to enjoy the process!

* kitchen renovations done in partnership with @michaelburrdesign and Legacy Kitchens.

Sturdy Design Co. is on the move!

Oct 1, 2018

What we tend to love so much about our job is the opportunity to be part of change. It seems to be innate that the heart of an interior design firm can always see new possibility and craves new spaces to explore. Usually we live through our clients creating spaces that offer them fresh ways to live and experience their surroundings. (Dream job…we know!)

This time the urge for ‘new’ got to us.

We are thrilled to announce that we are moving into the Essential Living Design Trade Centre.

The idea of our suppliers bringing in the latest wall papers, rugs, custom furniture and lighting right under our noses seemed to honestly be too good to be true. And working even more closely with our community of suppliers, vendors and fellow designers will allow us to continue to pass on the best service and products to you our clients.

Not only will we be fuelling our creative minds and staying on the leading edge of what is trending we will also have the opportunity to work smarter not just harder. Making the client experience that much smoother. And oh how we love smooth!

This is the beginning of our new chapter and we can’t wait to write you into our story!

Our Design Community Continued

Sep 20, 2018

Being in the business for 11 years, our team has had the opportunity to build relationships with some of the top suppliers in the city. CDL Floor Centre is one of our favorite partners because of their commitment to their clients and their vast selection of tile, hardwood, carpet, area rugs and more.

Who knew you could get so excited about carpet and hardwood flooring?! The team at CDL is super passionate about what they do and it shows when they work with all of our clients. Their focus has always been to provide the best service for their customers through their vast product knowledge and being able to make recommendations that best suit the client’s lifestyle. Similar to SDC, they really do want their clients to feel happy and inspired in their spaces.

CDL is a family owned business now being run by the second generation and the value they put on those relationships comes out in the way they respect each and every one of their customers. They would never recommend a product for a customer that they wouldn’t be confident and proud to install in their own homes.

We love having CDL as our flooring partner and always look forward to working with them on all our client projects.

Learn more about CDL @cdlcalgary or www.carpetandflooring.com

Better Homes & Gardens Decorating Book

Jun 19, 2018

As designers today, our resource libraries no longer consist of design books and subscriptions to decorating magazines. We have access to a number of great online tools including design sites, blogs and instagram accounts that we turn to for inspiration.

And while we don’t claim to be book critics, we couldn’t resist sharing this amazing find with all of you. Jeannie first found this book at the Costco in Palm Springs. It is a re-release of the original 1960’s decorating classic, which back in the day was considered the “bible” for injecting style in to American homes. We love the mid-century theme of the book, a look that still remains a classic today. And while a few of the tips involve matching patterned wallpaper and fabrics in a living room or quirky naval and cowboy themed wallpaper, most of the decorating rules outlined in this book still hold true today. Some of our favorite tips include:

“What’s your family’s style preference?”

The writers of the book offer you two choices - Traditional or Contemporary. Today there are many more decorating styles to choose from and while we encourage our clients to not get hung up on a particular “style”, we agree that it is important to think about the look or feel you want to incorporate in to your own space. We also love that they make it a question for the whole family – at Sturdy Design, we strongly believe that a home should tell a story about all the people living in it.

“Area rugs define space with colour”

Area rugs can still be used to separate one area from another and are the perfect way to add warmth and colour to a room. We particularly like how the rug in this photo is sized appropriately to allow all the furniture pieces to sit on it.

“When and where to use accessories”

These are three rules we still use when recommending and sourcing accessories for our own clients and particularly like the reference to using accessories to inject personality in to a space and make it “truly yours”!

If you’re a design and decorating enthusiast or just want a fun book for your coffee table, we encourage you to get a copy of your own. We have copies available for sale at our studio – email us to reserve one today!

Our Design Community

Apr 1, 2018

When we’re not busy with client meetings, site visits and working on projects, we love the opportunity to get out and visit with some of our supplier partners.
Interiors to Inspire

Jennifer & Melissa – the perfect example of when a friendship becomes a thriving and successful business! Both artists, they came up with the idea for ITI after spending time working alongside Jennifer’s mom in Spokane where she ran a studio and hosted classes. Their plan was do the same here in Calgary, but once their work became known they were called upon to create finishes for designers, restaurants and retail spaces in the city.

The process by which these beautiful treatments are created is particularly awe-inspiring. Typically clients will bring pictures or samples of wallpaper of a look that they like and from there a finish is created. Sample boards are done up for clients– but its once the material starts going up on the wall that’s when the magic happens. It never ends up looking like that original wallpaper swatch – the finished product is a one of a kind stunning piece of art.

At SDC we feel that every home should tell the story of the people living in it. And what better way to customize your space and inject some of your own personality then with a beautiful finish from the talented team at ITI.

Check them out @interiorstoinspire or www.interiorstoinspire.com