New kid on the block

Soooo…I’m the new kid on the block …

a brand new player in this beautiful business of home decor…Newly minted entrepreneur…what an intimidating challenge! My website is finally up and running and I feel …so many things. First of all I feel like a new kid on the playground …terrified…excited to play…excited to meet new play mates…happy…a bit shy…This is an incredible challenge for me. I tried so many hats on, so many paths in my professional life…and the one that I’m most happy to walk is the one that allows me to bring beauty to a space…find the potential of a room and bring the best of it. At the end of the journey, I just want people to feel happy and excited about their homes/offices… cause that’s what makes me happy.

And now…I am excited and anxious to share my first project with you.


My first project was a bit challenging because of various reasons. One of the challenges was the fact that the place was a rental therefore more restrictions in terms of layout, paint , floors, allowed changes etc… Besides that, the layout of the place was very bizarre…so that called for various creative ways to dress a wall or fill in an empty space. The budget was also fairly limited. Considering that this is a rental and there was no point investing in major changes since becoming a home owner in the near future is a priority for the current tenants.

Take a look and let me know what you think. :)

So here’s the end result: a place with vibrant colours to compensate for the limited amount of light in the living room and work area (home office)…







12 11.46.49 PM

…and soft colours for the bedroom with punches of colour to make it a bit more fun.


16 18


Elements of coastal style were incorporated via the colour scheme (neutrals, tints  and shades of blue, yellow, orange) and the accessories (the lamps, the framed prints, rope etc).

So don’t be shy about criticism! It will only make me better. :)

PS: for more pictures & better resolution, feel free to visit

Good night cool cats!


Irena :)

Marrakech vibe – Interior designers’ Moroccan obsessions

Hello my dear friends,

It’s been sooo long…BUT …I have been working really hard on something I’ve been dreaming about for a long long time so I was forced to leave the playground for a while. Sooooo….before I jump into talking about the topic of this post….I’d like to introduce you to

Irena Carter Interiors .

ICI logo

Yes, I have started my own business and I am scared, happy and excited …all at the same time. But, the thought of delighting you and inspiring you with beautiful interiors, that will carry my signature in the near future, motivates me tremendously. Stay tuned for more news soon. If you would like to show your support, feel free to visit / like / share my  Facebook page as I hope to share some of my projects soon enough. You can also follow me on Pinterest and Houzz :)

Now let’s go back to our sheep. I have strong reasons to believe that one of the greatest influences in interior design in the past couple of years (if not more) is the Moroccan influence. In fairness…I have to raise my hand and say “I’m guilty” …because I am also a fan of the Marrakech vibe. So… I decided to make a top 10 of the Moroccan accents that I keep running into on Pinterest or interior design blogs or home decor magazines.

Here we go :

1) The Moroccan berber rug AKA Beni Ouarain rug or Moroccan shag rug

…cozy, warm, charming, dichromatic (in general) but sometimes colorful …it is probably the  pièce de résistance in a lot of interiors…







2) Another popular item : the Moroccan pouf

…an easy way to add color and dimension to a space





3) The Moroccan garden stool is another favorite …used mostly as a side table or coffee table …can also add color and definition to a room





4) The Moroccan trellis …a pattern that you will see frequently in rugs, curtains, decorative pillows etc …another favorite of interior designers.







5) The Moroccan tables are also an accessory that a lot of designers prefer to add in their projects

… the tea table  is used either as an end table or a coffee table or even as a  night stand






6) The Moroccan mirrors…

…simple, mimicking the Moroccan arch or with a more intricate design…they can add character to a room





7) the Moroccan lanterns…

…ohhh so colorful and delightful…they are so versatile…They can be used as an accent pretty much everywhere inside or outside your home.






8) The vintage wedding blanket…

blanket 2



9) The brass details





10) And last but not least : the famous Moroccan blue AKA  the Majorelle Blue…

…a very intense blue (which I absolutely adore)





So this is my top 10.  What about you?Do you like Moroccan accents? Let me know.


Laters gators


PS: photos source

Seduced by the white hardwood floors


Hello Hello,

I’ve been pretty busy working on my latest project but I really wanted to share with you my latest obsession:

The white hardwood floors 


I know…I know what you’re going to say. It would be so hard to keep them nice and clean and it’s really not worth it with all those cats and kids  and busy lifestyle…BUT…I’d definitely make that effort just because they look so darn nice. There’s a sense of peace & serenity that I’m getting out of them…It must be the eternal association of white with purity, cleanliness and light…and white is the perfect color when you want to create the illusion that a space is much bigger than what it actually is.


Look at this sunroom. How can I not love it? :)

Let’s take a look at some spaces with white floors and go ahead and get inspired !


In the workspace / home office


(my favorite combo…all white with a touch of green)


In the living room



(I love the striped rug on the white floors and the Scandinavian feelling in this cute little living)



(simple yet charming…note the red naked bulb...pretty IN right now)

In the kids’ room / nursery


(white & beige…one soothing combo & perfect color scheme for a neutral nursery)



In the kitchen




In the bedroom


 (white floors are perfect for a zen bedroom)




And if you want to know how to get those white hardwood floors…it’s pretty simple. Here’s how :

1) you need to prime your floors with an oil-based primer (ex:Behr #434 Oil-Based Primer) (at least 2 coats…and wait a couple of hours between coats )

2) after the primer dried completely, apply the floor paint (ex:Behr Porch & Floor Paint )  (2 coats…but wait 4 hours in between the coats…and wait 24 h before enjoying your fresh floors ) !


So what do you think? Would you give white hardwood floors a try?

Let me know! :)

Laters ,


How to invigorate your home…

We are right in the middle of spring, down here in Georgia. And I’m right in the middle of a brand new project which I’m hoping to share with you soon enough. But for now…I’ll keep it a secret.

In the meantime, I’d like to share with you a little debate I’ve been having with myself. How do I invigorate our home?  The first thought that came to mind was GREEN…we need a bit of green infusion.

green plants

So we need some green plants but what kind of plants? Fake plants or real plants?


So here are the pros and cons:

Fake plants  


– no need to water them

– no need for green thumb

– very little to no maintenance

– the change of season does not affect them

– pose no risks to pets



– great collectors of dust

– they might look cheap

– they can be expensive

– the sun can discolor them




I especially love the topiaries …


They have an interesting story but that will be for a different time. :)



They come in so many sizes :)…


Real plants


– they improve the air quality so they’re perfect for a home detox

– they reduce fatigue, noise and headaches

– they reduce stress (allegedly by 15% according to some studies) and promote a peaceful environment

– a proper placement can reduce heating and cooling costs

– they’re more accessible in terms of price



– they need to be watered (but that problem can be solved either by mixing the soil with the water storing crystals…or you can make or buy a self watering pot)

– some of them need extra care (too much sun or too much lack of it can kill them)

– dry leaves might create more work for yourself

– the change of season can very much affect them

– some of them pose risks to pets


Here’s a list of 10 plants that help detox your home :

I personally prefer the Boston fern. It’s lush, it doesn’t need a lot of sun, it needs to be watered every few days and it completely transforms a space for the better. For more  about its care you can  click here .

You can decorate with fern pretty much every space.

Starting with the entrance ….



…the dining room



…the livingroom



…the kitchen



…the work space



…even the bathroom



I just bought 2 Boston ferns from Home Depot  ( only 9.98$ each) the other day and let me just say that I’m so in love with them, that I think I’ll go back and get a couple more.


So…what do you guys think? Fake or real greens?

Let me know!

Laters kittens,


The best tools for measuring a room


It’s been a while since I last signed in. A lot has happened. So here I am, in Georgia, with a new life, new home, new car, new cat (yes we got a 3rd cat and there’s a lot of cat drama going on…they don’t call it “cat fight” for nothing…let me tell you)…new everything.  The highlight of the move: relocating our 2 cats who are pretty old (one is 13, the other one is between 12-14 years old) from Montreal to Atlanta. I was extremely worried because one of them is a very anxious cat with several health issues and I was convinced this move would take a toll on her… To our surprise everything went super smooth…and…she’s been better than ever and even her health issues seemed to have vanished.


We haven’t had a problem ever since we got here. She’s super energetic and exploring, watching the birds and catching bugs on the balcony. She’s also super loving and cuddly which is very unlike her since she’s more self sufficient and independent. Wow…this must be a really good sign (we said to ourselves)…And then the cat drama started because we started introducing them to the new cat (which we adopted since November, here in Georgia)…and again I was worried about this little anxious old cat because she’s tiny and pretty frail and declawed while the new one is very young and strong and muscular and a little bigger.

ingrid Again …we were wrong. The tiniest cat in the house is actually running this house. She put the youngest one in her place and she’s definitely the boss. Surprise surprise!!! There’s still some hissing and growling going on but hopefully it will go away in time. Ohhh well…cats!

The boy stays out of it. 


As for me…it’s too early to say…but I think I already like it. The weather is great…Spring is actually coming… so, the fact that we get temperatures that we would barely get in Montreal at the end of April or even May, is actually a huge plus. Ask me again in 5 years. I’ll probably be in a better position to say if I like it or not. But I have a really good feeling about this place. Georgia is a very special place.

But let’s get back to business …I’ve been working on a pitch that I want to present to the owner of our complex as I’d like to renovate this place…albeit we’re planning to move into a new home by the end of the year. But I thought I should give it a try since I have a bit of time on my hands. 

So I started making the floor plans. I’d like to talk a little about the tools you need before you get to the drawing part.

The measuring part. Well…that can be quite “fun” and time consuming when the space has a lot of uneven corners and angles and walls and challenges and all.



But…if you have the right tools…that is no longer such a big problem.

Tools you need:

1) a classic tape measure (to whom I said “Good bye!” after it broke in less than 24h)



2) you could go for this little fellow: Bosch 50ft compact laser measure


or this little fellow: Laser Dimension Master II


Click here to see how to use it!

Both of them are around $50 but trust me, they’re worth every penny when your time is money. They’re small, quick, easy to use, accurate and you won’t regret the purchase.

3) what you also need is a protractor  to measure those funny uneven angles or corners



4) You can download the Photo Measures app on your smarty phone or tablet / iPad. This is an app which can also help you measure corners/angles. The free version allows you to upload up to 2 photos but for $5 you get much more freedom.

After all that measuring party going on, you can hop on drawing the floor plan. Another fun party! But that story is for a different time.

And at the end, after you took all those measurements , here’s what you can do. You can also use the Photo Measures to go shopping. You upload all the pictures of the rooms that you need to work on, add/edit the measurements, add comments and you can go hunting  for furniture, accessories, paint, appliances etc.

So what do you think? Do you have any other suggestions? What tools are you using for measuring?

Laters kittens,



Georgia on my mind!

My absence on the blog is motivated. I promise. The moment when we relocate to Atlanta (Georgia, USA) is really really really close. So you can only imagine the frenzy surrounding this major event in my life. So much to do.

I am anxious and excited, all at the same time. It is tough to move to a different country. It’s one thing to visit (and I’ve visited Atlanta quite a bit) but it’s a completely different story to actually move there. And it’s not because I dislike Atlanta. Not at all. But I’m getting out of my comfort zone, familiar faces and familiar places. I am scared a little bit. Ok…I admit…I am scared a lot actually. I’m ending an era, only to start a new one…and I don’t know anyone who’s not afraid (even a tiny bit) of the unknown.

However, despite the whirlwind of emotions, preparations, closures, I am doing my best to focus on the parts that are most exciting.

So I made a top 3 of the things that I’m looking forward to the most:

The first thing that really makes my heart jump with joy is the fact that Atlanta has gorgeous architecture.

I’m pretty sure that’s one of the things that I will enjoy the most while trying to adjust to my new life.

I can hardly wait to enjoy the southern colonial and Greek revival architectural details:

  • The Greek white columns: Doric, Ionic, or Corinthian – I love them all
greek columns

Picture 019

La grange

  • The soothing symmetry

  • The formal elegant style of the facades

  • The multi-pane windows

  • The cast stone balustrades with classic white balusters like small Greek amphorae aligned in a rhythmic order




  • The wide and welcoming porches
Stately Oaks Plantation

Stately Oaks Plantation, Georgia (Inspiration for Tara in ‘Gone With the Wind’)

  • The centered front door
Ansley Park

I adore all these architectural features.They are timeless, elegant and majestic . And maybe some of the stories hidden in some of these houses are not necessarily glamorous and happy but I am still humbled by the beauty and elegance of the southern colonial style. This is at least one of the things I’m looking forward to enjoy in Atlanta.

Number 2 on my list of things to look forward to: the history.

Atlanta has so much history to discover and I want to learn all about it. The thought of it is overwhelming. I want to understand this place and I want to learn to love it since it will be my home…maybe forever. Besides, Scarlett O’Hara is part of that history so you better believe I want to know all about it. It’s my favorite movie of all times and I don’t care if it’s cheesy. After all, it won 10 academy awards …and it made history with Hattie McDaniel winning the first African-American Oscar winner for best supporting actress as Mammy.



And number 3:

Well…Georgia is the Peach state. Mind you, my favorite fruits are the peaches! Sweet!!! I guess I’ll be getting plenty of those this coming summer.

Sweet as a Georgia peach :)

I’m psyched. Georgia, here we come! Show us some love!

Now I leave you with a timeless song

“After all, tomorrow is another day” , right?


Good night peaches,



Palm tree love

Hello hello hello!!!

Before I start on today’s topic I’d like to wish you all a wonderful and successful New Year!

It’s Monday…first Monday of the 2015…and all i can think of is vacation. In fact, I’ve been thinking about it since Christmas. Living in Canada equals 6 months of winter with everything that it entails: lots of snow, cold, below O temperatures, freezing rain (yes, we got that yesterday) and lots of grey and white landscape. Hence me and my husband …tired of so much winter…we were lucky enough to be able to create a bit of a tradition and every year we try to take a break from winter in January…Where do we escape? Mostly in  places with palm trees because palm trees & sun = vacation, right?


But  here’s what the palm trees were associated with in the past :  In the past, palms were symbols of victory, peace, and fertility (in Roman times). The Romans rewarded champions of the games and celebrated success in war with palm branches. Palmam qui meruit ferat means in Latin, “Let him bear the palm who has deserved it”. Jews also had a tradition of carrying palm branches during festive times.  Jesus was welcomed to Jerusalem with palm branches (hence the name of the Palm Sunday). So many meanings …such interesting symbolism, right?

 Today the palm trees are a symbol for vacation and are associated with tropical destinations . We can all agree on that! :)


Speaking of palm trees…It’s safe to say that palm trees are my favorite trees. Since there are so many species out there, I should probably mention which palm tree I love. I love the Christmas Palm Tree! They’re so gracious, so luxurious, so lush and rich and I will always associate them with exotic sunny& warm destinations. My father was travelling a lot for work so maybe that’s another reason why I will always associate palm trees with Casablanca, Palma de Mallorca  or the Caribbean, destinations from where he brought a lot of pictures, beautiful souvenirs and good memories.

And how can I not love the palm trees? They only bring fuzzy warm feelings in my heart because they make me think of sun, ocean scent, sand and amazing sunsets and I love all that. I like the palm trees so much, that my husband gave me a palm tree pendant for my birthday! (Imagine my panic when I lost it briefly a few days ago)


My little palm tree pendant <3

Since I like vacationing in warm places where palm trees are at home, I thought that maybe I could find a way to make them a part of our future home’s decor in Atlanta. Maybe that would make me feel like I’m on vacation ….at home. Hmmm! That could be a good idea. While looking for places where I could purchase some baby palm trees,  I found some cute medium multi-stem Christmas Palm Tree for about $300 on which is not too bad. Surprise surprise ! I had a much bigger figure in mind.


So how can we decorate with palm trees?Let’s take a look!

Normally we would find them outside

* in the garden


 * by the pool


* standing guard at the entrance


* in the courtyard


But we can also find them inside

* in the living room











 * in the kitchen / dining room


* even in the bedroom



* or bathroom



I wish you all an amazingly productive week and let me know what you think about palm trees indoor?


Irena :)

Chair meets Art – a love story!

My favorite book on my coffee table is a book about furniture “British furniture: 1600-2000″


The cover of the book I was telling you about

and as you might recall, my favorite piece of furniture is the chair.

It’s a book that presents the evolution of the British furniture and it’s fascinating to see the journey from heavy bulky uncomfortable pieces of furniture to mass produced functional & comfortable pieces of furniture. If the book included designers from the past 10 years as well, then I’m sure Christopher Guy Harrison would’ve made the list of the most influential British contemporary designers.


Christopher Guy Harrison was born in Britain in 1960 but he grew up in France and Spain and you can tell from the design of his furniture that his cosmopolitan upbringing had a positive influence on his work. “I believe that through traveling, a young designer will be more exposed to different cultures and elements. This is important in order for them to create and broaden their own portfolio and to be inspired to create new designs. It is the journey of travel that will make a good designer better.”

I especially love the chairs designed by him. I adore the fluidity and elegance in them. There is a beautiful and artistic mix of classic and modern elements in such a harmonious way and the end result is simply stunning. In my humble opinion, the chairs signed by Christopher Guy could easily pass for art.

His signature design is the Chris-X leg design which became patented in US, China and Europe.


I’d like to share with you some of the most gorgeous pieces signed by Christopher Guy.



Narissa –


Monaco –


Le premier 1 –


Le jardin –


Flame –


Givenchy –


Evita –


Cote D’azur –


Cafe de Paris –


Arch –


Boutique –


Ada –


Lily –


Villepin –

the chairman

The chairman -

Christopher received multiple awards for his luxurious exquisite design. His work is showcased in famous upscale hotels and restaurants like Harrods’ Georgian Restaurant (the epitome of elegant dining in London) and Trump Plaza New York. But we can also find Christopher Guy’s signature in beautiful  private residences. Now let’s take a look at some beautiful interiors, home of some Christopher Guy pieces.






Christopher resides in London (where he has his headquarters as well) but his time is well spent also between Java, Indonesia (where his workshop is located) and US.

In closing I have a question for you: What’s your favorite furniture designer?

Since this would be my last post on 2014, I wish you all an amazing and successful 2015!



Little Red Riding Hood or Santa ?

I know Halloween passed but here’s your chance to play Little Red Riding Hood… in style…for the holidays. Albeit, you could also opt for a feminine & chic  version of Santa ! Anyone interested? If yes, then guess what?! The red coat  IS  one of the trends of this Fall/ Winter season that will guarantee you a chic look for the holidays…but only if you do it right.

See below! :)


The red coat was spotted on the runways of several designers . For instance:

Narciso Rodriguez



Christian Dior



Dolce & Gabbana



Rosie Assoulin



 Armani Privé



Red is a very powerful color. You have to be careful what you pair with it . Trust me…you don’t want to look like a clown but if you marry it with the right color and texture, you will look fabulous. Let’s take a look at how you can take a shot at the red coat . My favorite combos are :

White, black & red



Ladylike  – red coat & heels for a night out

red coat




über casual - paired with blue jeans





(I love the leopard touch)

Red on red



Red & grey (always loved this combo)


Red & beige



Red & stripes



 And yes, your pet might like  red coats as well ;)



So, would you go for a red winter coat?

Let me know kittens.




How to tell the difference : modern or contemporary design?

I know it’s been a while since last time I posted. I’ve been researching a bit the material for my next post and I hope you won’t be disappointed.

Let’s pretend for 1 minute that you’re just about to renovate your home and you hire an interior designer or home decorator. One of the first questions they will ask you is this: what style would you prefer?

Well…there are quite a few styles out there but 2 styles that almost always get mixed up are the modern & the contemporary design. Let’s just call it out: modern and contemporary is not the same thing, yet people keep making this mistake.

How can you tell the difference? So this is what I learned:

Let’s start with modern:

it started with the  Bauhaus movement in Germany in 1919. Bauhaus literally meant “house of construction”. Beginning of a new century, new times, new needs, new wants. Some of the main characteristics of the Modern design were:

  • sharp & clean lines & polished finishes
  • metal & leather furniture
  • function and form coexist in harmony
  • lack of texture & ornamentation
  • asymmetry
  • simplified sleek forms
  • neutral colours mixed with a single bold colour

 The main theory was that all design should be functional as well as aesthetically-pleasing and that art should meet the needs of society and that there should be no distinction between form and function”

A good example of a designer that created iconic pieces of modern was Florence Knoll, an american furniture designer influenced by the Bauhaus school . I’m sure you all saw the Barcelona chair by now.


She also designed other iconic pieces, like this Knoll Lounge Chair


or this sofa


Below you will see a pretty cool picture that sums up the most iconic modern chairs:


Let’s take a closer look at how these iconic pieces look in modern interiors:

The Mies chair designed by Mies van Der Rohe for the Bauhaus in 1927


The wishbone chair


The tulip chair also seen here



The Barcelona chair


Panton S chair


The Ball chair


On the other hand contemporary interior design refers mostly to trendy looks that are in style at any current moment. It’s the most popular style requested for residential projects. Here are some of its main characteristics:

  • simple, clean, uncluttered
  • natural materials mixed with industrial materials (glass & stone are materials that are preferred)
  • black and white combo very common, but also neutrals mixed with bold colors
  • each piece of furniture could stand out as individual and unique
  • pastels have no place in the contemporary color scheme usually

The interiors look simple and uncluttered, without excessive decoration. Let’s take a look:

















So…which one do you prefer? Modern or contemporary?