Catching up with Interior Decorator Michaela Burns from Mint Décor - Bosley Real Estate Ltd. Brokerage - Homes and houses for sale in Toronto including Cabbagetown, The Annex, Danforth Village, Lawrence Park and Riverdale

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18 April 2019
Bosley Real Estate

Catching up with Interior Decorator Michaela Burns from Mint Décor

Finding the right home is just as much about the house itself as how it will be styled once you own it.  We recently sat down with Michaela Burns, Owner and Principal Designer for  Mint Décor, to chat about all things interior decorating and give our community a better sense of what revamping your space means. We want to help put our clients at ease when considering buying a home that requires a facelift – be it minor or extreme.

Starting the Project

First thing’s first, it might seem simple but Michaela suggests coming to any interior decor project or larger renovation project with an idea in mind. Something specific such as wanting to bring in more light or create a crowd-friendly environment is more helpful than just simply having a distaste for the current kitchen. Updates in a starter home may be limited to paint colours, window coverings and furniture. Remember that any change you make, no matter how drastic, should work towards achieving the functionality that best suits your needs.

Providing images of your inspiration will also help a designer to focus on your desired style. While Michaela’s personal style is more feminine and art deco inspired, she’s loves designing around whatever style you gravitate towards. Her Dawlish Media Room  project is the perfect example. The client wanted a room that was neither feminine nor art deco and yet she had their trust and free reign to move forward, and it is certainly a beautiful room.


The next step is setting a budget. Not only will it determine the extent of work you can do but also when. Now that you have a clearer picture of what you want to accomplish, having a set budget will dictate just about everything from whether you will be updating major appliances or sticking to minor updates such as hardware.

Michaela’s best advice for those who do not yet have the budget necessary for their dream project is to wait. As long as you are in a livable space your money will be better spent on achieving exactly what you want rather than on a renovation with major sacrifices along the way. Whether you are decorating a starter home or a flip, stick to your guns and decorate in the way you initially intended.

To Sell or not to Sell?

Buying a home is a significant investment so, naturally, homeowners want any changes they make to improve the value of the home or at the very least, level it. However, changes you make should ultimately focus on improving the home’s value to you as the current owner. You are the one enjoying the space. In the case of Michaela’s Soudan project , the design was specifically focused on family and dinner parties, with their son’s piano playing at the core. This may have not been what every homeowner would want from their home, but for this family, their home was much more valuable with their musical sanctuary space.

If you have any apprehension about making a permanent change, discuss it with your designer. Michaela keeps her focus on the family but designs can be evolved if selling is in mind for the future. When it comes to choosing tile, for example, consider moving in a more neutral direction to appeal to a wider range of future homeowners. When it comes to converting one space into another, be sure it is not a permanent change. Converting a dining room into a yoga studio is certainly possible. As long as it is done in a way that can be easily converted back, what’s stopping you?

Committing to buying a home that needs work does not have to be daunting. Do your research and come to the table with ideas, inspiration, and a budget to move your project along. Remember that you are going to be the one living in the space so center your designs on what is most important to you. Whether your changes are big or small, design for yourselves first and keep selling in the back of your mind. Just like that, owning a home that needs work is a cinch!

What are your current design dilemmas? If you have recently completed a project we’d love to see the before and after below!

*All images taken from