Screen shot 2014-10-21 at 1.43.48 PMFinally- a projet I have been working on for basically a year if you count when I took these photos- is up and running. Lisa Canning: Blueprints for a Beautiful Life is my new new website / platform where I will continue to share my love of design plus honest stories about motherhood, entrepreneurship, authentic living- all in pursuit of a beautiful life. I would love for you to join me!

And thank you, dear readers, some of whom have been following me since my early days of Marriage Under Construction. My business and brand have evolved and changed and through it all I have felt the support of this community. If you like what you have read here I promise you’ll love my new site.

So today I bid a formal goodbye to and invite you all to come visit the new!

With lots of love, Lisa



First off- to the wonderful group of women who sat with me at my Blog Podium round table discussion last week- I am so grateful. A post on this topic to follow I promise!

Today’s agenda: selling houses. For the last little while I have been working behind the scenes in design TV on the hit show Buying and Selling with the Property Brothers. And yes, the brothers are super nice. And only one of them is single (lol- those are the most commonly asked questions I get about these talented brothers!)

But since working with them on the design team I have realized there really are a few easy methods to top dollar for your house- and sell it in 48 hours! (True story- totally happened to one of our homeowners! Sale within 48 hours!)

This is kinda huge. Paint everything a really really nice neutral- a gray, a soft gray teal, a soft gray blue (notice the gray theme?). If you need help picking the right gray come visit me at the Rexdale Home Depot this Thursday from 6-8pm as part of my #CILontheroad tour and I will pick a gray for you ๐Ÿ™‚

Get rid of the boob lights, track lights, ugly lights. Lighting has come a long way in regards to price point- making beautiful fixtures a lot more accessible. Pay close attention to the master bedroom and dining pendants where you might be able to do something really special!

Notice the word correctly! Even a $19.99 drape can look amazing as long as it is installed correctly. Drapes should ideally just break at the floor- and the curtain rod should in most cases split the difference between the frame of the window and the ceiling.

This one is super basic but essentially clean like you have never cleaned before.

We use a local staging company, Executive Rentals, and the difference gorgeous furniture makes I think is really what will expedite the sale. When a buyer can see the potential of their life in the space- and that their life will be AWESOME in it- it can certainly speed up the sale process.

What are your tips on fast house sales? Love to know in the comments below.






I love a good blazer. And I really love Smythe blazers. The lovely Canadian dynamic duo who create this brand really know how to make a gorgeously fit, make a girl feel awesome, feminine and polished, blazer. To celebrate this birthday, I joined in the fun with a treat for my closet from their pre-fall collection. It’s my new go to ๐Ÿ™‚

Hat: Rag & Bone. T-shirt and pants: Bluenotes. Shoes: Target. Cuff: Winners. Photo by Mike Dizon.


Plaid is awesome.


That is all. #canningreno


Happy Friday of the long weekend!!!! First off, big thanks to everyone who came to visit me at the Yorkdale Home Depot for my #CILontheRoad tour. I’m back again next Thursday September 4 at the Dufferin and Steeles location offering free paint advice.

Today’s post I have a feeling might resonate with everyone (especially this long weekend)- the desire for more time. With work and family demands I know my life can feel unmanageable at times- and I love any strategy that will give me more margin, more balance, and more joy.

So I am pretty excited that I will be leading a round table discussion at Blog Podium 2014 on the topic of maximizing your time: strategies to save you time so you can balance blogging, family and work. Does more time sound good to you? Then read on!

Probably the best strategy that has allowed me to feel more balance in the full life of raising 4 little kids, keeping house, running a business, renovating my #canningreno, etc etc has been Strength Finder. Sharing my strengths and then delegating / hiring out my weaknesses has proven to be the best strategy for making more time and finding more joy. While the notion of letting go of control has always challenged me (and still challenges me!) it has been the best way to find more balance.

Another strategy for finding more time is ensuring you have a very clear sense of why you are doing what you are doing- made ensure that everything you do is measured against this goal.

Final tidbit that I am going to share a ton more in my round table discussion is on making a schedule. While I am not perfect at it I have worked very hard at practicing the art of scheduling my time, and prioritizing what needs to get done within blocks of time. Again I am not perfect- but with 4 kids with various schedules, a husband who travels for work on the regular, and clients in various parts of the city… you can imagine I have to be somewhat organized.

This weekend I am getting my house organized and spending time cuddling with my kids on my new couch (eee!).

How do you find more time in your busy life? What plans have you got on the go this holiday weekend? Love to know ๐Ÿ™‚



Lisa CILI am thrilled to announce that for the next 2ย months I am going on the road with CIL Paints- helping you get rid of paint paralysis at Home Depot locations across the GTA every Thursday evening from 6pm – 8pm! I’ll be available for complimentary one-on-one design consultations right in The Home Depot in the paint department. Bring me your fabric swatches, wallpaper selections, floor plan layouts and let’s talk paint!

I’m joining some awesome company from across Canada in Home Depot locations in their areas including Jennifer Brouwer, Jo Alcorn, Emma Reddington, Monika Hibbs, Heather Eigler, Angie Pitre, Jennifer Ashley, Courtenay Hatrford, and Mary Taggart. For more info on where you can meet a CIL Decor Expert visit the CIL page here.

Tonight I am at The Home Depot’s Toronto Yorkdale location from 6pm – 8pm. Bring me your design questions and see you there!




As I wrote about earlier this summer, this wallpaper basically inspired the entire design of my main floor. And last night, I put her up.



I have a ton of experience wallpapering so in my house, I was confident to DIY it. I will say though, on the level of easy to difficult this ranks right up there in the difficult ranks with tiling (see my fun first attempt at tiling here).

Here is the secret to awesome wallpaper application- do it with a baby on your back:



I am obviously kidding. Wallpapering with my baby on my back actually made the whole process way harder (although it was a great work out for my abs). Baby was fussy and mommy was way goal oriented so baby came along for the ride. (On a completely unrelated note- this is the first time baby was in the carrier in the backpack position and she LOVED IT. She was so happy riding piggy back!)

Here are my actual secrets to awesome wallpaper application- especially with a large focal area like I am installing- 1) work with 2 people. 2) AND BE PATIENT. This is the best advice I can give. Not pictured here is my awesome assistant Monica who is really gifted in meticulous, patient tasks like this. It is simply just easier to manipulate the paper with 2 people- one person can work on the ladder while the other passes tools. I did a portion of this on my own and while still doable, moves along a lot faster with a friend.

Other secret of course is to hire. Wallpaper is very delicate- and if you rip it- there goes $$$$.

Final secret- use the sharpest blade possible to do all the trimming. I change my blade with every 3rd panel installed- so basically I go through an entire knife for my 20′ wall.

Like tiling, I think wallpaper application is a task that can be learned- but it requires a ton of patience and based on personal experience, experience installing is the best teacher.

Another fun fact: about an 8′ length of my living room wall took us about 6 hours (and I consider myself fairly experienced). Wallpapering is not a job you can rush. So also think about the time you will invest doing it yourself and if it is worth the cost- cause your time is valuable.

Love to know in the comments below if you’ve ever attempted wallpapering and if you are pleased with the results!!!!


A quick update this weekend on the status of my house. #canningreno has windows and boy are they pretty. I have never been more excited about a piece of glass in my life.

I promise to do a full breakdown of the costs of this reno but let me tell you black interior windows were more expensive than I thought- but for me essential to the modern, slightly industrial feel I wanted for the house. We went with white interior windows everywhere else in the house to be more conservative on costs (cause it was a significant jump) but both windows in the front are black. Love the contrast with our light floors (which is the topic of another lengthy post… Because my floors I kid you not caused me to lay awake at night!)

I hope everyone is having a great last leg of summer (pains me to write that!) with whatever money I have left after this reno I am excited to do some back to school wardrobe updates.

How are you spending the last few weeks of summer?


So my post earlier this week may have been a little sad. But let me show you what can get this girl’s spirits up:




I had energy sucking, money wasting, old single pane windows in my house. And thanks to the help of the team at Fieldstone Windows, new ones are going in. Tune in later this week for the after!
And how fun- cookies delivered at installation time. A welcome treat ๐Ÿ™‚ come back soon for new window goodness!!!!


Ok. Get ready for a super honest, heart on sleeve type, maybe I ugly cried, kinda cranky, post.

As I type this I am covered in drywall dust, my hair is in a very disheveled not at all hipster like top knot, and I have moved maybe my 20th box for the 20th time.

I am super grateful for the opportunity to renovate. And I do not for a second want to seem ungrateful that we are able to do this, and the results of all this hard work will be worth it. It could be so much worse. There are really serious things happening in the world beyond my little bubble of renovating / working basically full time / talking care of my kids / and fitting in the odd television appearance.

What I am feeling right now is the depressing feeling of taking 3 steps forward and 2 steps back. We finished our floors (yay!) but then got them all dirty with more construction mess (boo). We are moving back home (woo hoo!) but there’s still so much to do before it is really done (sigh).

And I am also feeling pretty tired. Like fall asleep in my oatmeal type tired!

So today I am distracting myself, and energizing myself with my finishes. Here are a couple of the fun light fixtures going in my house:



Super excited to learn about new e-tailer Mirens where all these fixtures are from. Even more excited to be working with them on my house. Thinking about all the pretty keeps me excited and motivated. The house will be finished one day. And it will be great for my family.

What do you do when you get tired in the middle of a project? How do you keep your spirits up? Love to know in the comments below.