Carolyn Munro of Carolyn Munro Designs, Kanata ( 

I have just bought a wonderful older house downtown. It’s full of charm and possibility, but the kitchen and bathroom are drab, dull, and outdated. The rooms themselves are in good shape. They’re just boring! How do I find a good interior designer to get me started?


If friends or family have worked with a registered professional interior designer, I would first ask them. Word-of-mouth is usually a good way to find the right person.

If they have no suggestions, you can contact the Association of Registered Interior Designers of Ontario through They can provide you with a list of local designers in the area.

It is good practice to interview a few designers and ask them what kind of services they provide, their experiences, past references and fees. Fees will likely be determined by the type of services they can provide, so it does help to have a list of what your requirements are before you meet with them. Know the size of the room, the style you think want and your budget. Once you get that far, you’re ready to start making exciting changes.


My husband and I live in a 35-year-old house. We raised our children in it, and we have many happy memories. However, the children have left the nest now, and when we look around at the house, we realize it has become tired and stale-looking, even though we have always maintained it well. We don’t want to spend a great deal of money; we just want to give the interior a bit of a facelift. How can we do this?


The least expensive way to update your home is with paint. An interior designer can come to your home and provide on-site colour selection.

I find that people gravitate to certain colours, and that’s great. However, you can update an area by selecting a current shade (the one you like the best) and perhaps adding a new accent colour for a subtle change.

Don’t be shy. Have fun. Experiment. You can start with one room and try a new colour before you change other areas. It’s a low-risk, reasonable-cost way to update and refresh your home.


Are designers required any kind of certification to prepare construction drawings for a building permit?


Since 2006 designers have been required to write building code exams for specific areas of the code so they can submit construction drawings for building permit. They have to carry professional errors and omission insurance and pay a yearly fee to maintain their standings with the Ontario Building Code.