Category Archives: PROJECTS

LEARNING TO COMMIT: MODERN WALLPAPER

My fried and colleague Meredith Heron asked me recently how my #canningreno is going. I responded, quite honestly, that I am the worst client ever. Like, the worst. Mainly because I keep changing my mind about finishes for my house ALL. THE. TIME.

Thankfully, we are approaching drywall stage so I am being forced to make a decision about things. But one thing that I have known I have wanted as the basis of the design of my house is this:

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Meet Audrey by Graham and Brown. She is pretty. So pretty. I like that she is a little bit classic, but slightly edgy. And there’s going to be a lot of her going on in my house.

I explain this to clients all the time- it’s important to start somewhere. Start with a fabric, or a rug choice, or even an amazing print on a dress that makes you feel like a million bucks when you wear it. Let something inform the design for a cohesive look.

In other news, big thanks to Jacklyn and Michelle who invited me to be a part of their media panel at the first #communique101 PR conference at the Spoke Club this week. It was a fabulous event chatting with new entrepreneurs.

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Like in design, when running a business you also have to commit- what is your value, what do you offer the market place that is unique and exciting?

I hope everyone has had a great week- and an even more fabulous weekend.

Photos courtesy of Graham and Brown and Jacklyn Denise

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#CANNINGRENO BEFORE

Howdy! I regret it has been a while- boy have we been busy. Big client project underway, a bit of behind the scenes design TV work for a popular pair of twin TV hosts that are back in Toronto, and the regular hilarity of a family of 6 living in rental across from a major renovation. Watching it like hawks through my front window.

Speaking of my renovation, I thought I would share a bit of the before plans of my #canningreno:
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Want to see the proposed plans? Here you go:
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Main floor- hello to new kitchen, a fireplace, a more open concept style of living. We’re adding an actual closet to our bedroom (our previous one was a big opening with no doors, so sad), sliding barn doors to our bathroom (to take advantage of the hallway to make it feel bigger!) and just loads and loads of functional, small space strategies.

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The basement is becoming one big urban living space. A small kitchenette, lots of play space, a table that will convert to accommodate large parties, a 2 way fireplace into an office (so excited for that!!!) and a furnace room that makes so much more sense.

I promise I will post proper before images so you can see what my house looked like in all it’s ugly glory. But the floor plans give you a sense of how poorly laid out my house was for a family our size.

Thanks for following along this #canningreno adventure. I am so thankful for all of you who read and are joining me in this crazy exciting time for my family 😉

Happy happy Friday!

#THEKITREVEAL CONTINUES

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This project I have been working on for the fashion / beauty publication The Kit is ready to be shot professionally (love this part). I just love how this glam and gorgeous project has turned out.

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A few fun glam details including some Bouclair accessories, Decorum Decorative Finds accessories,Switch Studio custom upholstery, and custom cabinetry by Built Toronto.

STAY WARM, STAY HAPPY

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It’s freezing in Toronto (again. shocker.) and I am day dreaming of being cozied up at home with the kids under a blanket in front of a fireplace like this one (a shot from a promo I styled for Toronto fireplace company Paloform).

Whatever you are doing today I hope you are warm and happy!

Photo by Valerie Wilcox

HOW TO MAKE THE BEDROOM BEAUTIFUL

20140223-195549.jpg One of my favourite bedrooms designed for a client- love the dark walls!

Happy Monday- I hope you all had a great weekend. I spent mine obsessed with the Olympics, and obsessed with my house. We are undergoing a significant home renovation this year, and pretty much every room is getting some attention- including our master bedroom.

At a recent seminar at Toronto retailer Elte, sleep expert Dr Neil Stanley implored upon the audience the importance of the environment you sleep in, in order to actually sleep well.

Well my environment is pretty crappy. I am not brave enough to post a picture today- but it’s basically a gong show of laundry baskets, diaper boxes with kids clothes, falling apart furniture, window treatments that are too short.

But the end is near and I’ve been thinking lots about what makes a beautiful bedroom. Here are my top 5 things that I will be keeping in mind when tackling my bedroom:

1. MATTRESS QUALITY
Dr. Neil Stanley told the National Post that you don’t have to buy the most expensive mattress- he believes in purchasing something that works with your budget and lifestyle. He explains in the article above that a $1000 mattress per night over 10 years is $0.14 per night, while a $5000 mattress at $0.70 per night. Purchase what works for you.

2. SHEETS
Joanna Goodman from Au Lit Fine Linens converted me on sheets as an investment vs something to pick up last minute at the big box store- quality does make a difference here. This is an area I think you should spend as much as your budget allows.

3. CLOSED STORAGE
20140223-202048.jpg Master Bedroom at my #riverdalereno project. So much storage!

Through many client projects I have discovered how much good organization contributes to a better quality of life. Thus I am all about organized drawers and closed storage like what we did above at #riverdalereno. No more staring at piles of clutter in the bedroom! Closed storage for the win.

4. MOVE THE LAUNDRY OUT
On a similar point to the point above- I never want to see laundry in my bedroom again. I’m moving all dirty laundry to a hamper in a closet just outside the room. It’s a simple shift to create a more serene, beautiful space.

5. GO DARK
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It’s definitely not for everyone- but if you’re open to it, go dark. Dark paint or wallpaper on the walls can feel intimate, dramatic, cozy, and certainly conducive for sleep.

What makes a bedroom feel beautiful to you?

Blue bedroom photos by Larry Arnal, #riverdalereno provided by Black GC

SPRING IS NEAR, RIGHT?

We got a small taste of spring today in Toronto- 4 degrees! It hit 4 degrees! I know I speak on behalf of an entire city, nay, entire country I am sure, when I say: Spring. Please. Get. Here. Soon!
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These colourful photos of spaces I’ve worked on recently (with a fun painting app applied) are keeping me thinking springtime. It’s coming!

What are you doing to remind yourself spring is near? Love to hear!

RIVERDALE RENO

Very excited to share our #riverdalereno project is so close to completion. If you’ve been following along on my social media, you might recall this is the project where we have been as eco-conscious as possible for this urban, environmentally conscious family living downtown Toronto.

We are thrilled with the results. Here are a few small peeks:
20140213-070109.jpg Custom reclaimed barnboard drawer fronts.

20140213-070139.jpg Reclaimed barn board beam and custom island.
20140213-070209.jpg Pretty pretty custom millwork and custom sliding mirrored door in the master bedroom.

20140213-070423.jpg A cosy corner capturing tons of memories in a gallery wall that goes up the staircase.

It is always thrilling to see a design that was in my head, then on the computer, appear in real life after months of hard work.

Photos provided by the superstar team at Black General Contracting.

IDS14 HIGHLIGHTS

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A big big thanks to everyone who came and visited me at the National Bank Design Stop at the Interior Design Show this weekend. It was a great pleasure to meet with so many show goers to talk about their renovation and decorating projects. It was also a great to chat with a few design students about career direction and how to get started in this business. It was a great weekend all around. Here are a few things that stood out to me:
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This is Avani, a new line of kitchens by Aya Kitchens. 2 most fantastic things about this kitchen: the colour options (matches my pants!) and the counter moves- it shifts to create a larger island, or tucks away completely into the back millwork for more space. Love the sleek European lines and made in Canada quality.
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Tony Koukos, photographer and down right lovely person, showcased his wall coverings, rugs, and my new obsession- table tops. I have plans for a tabletop in my house in the near future.
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In the VIP lounge Roche Bobois provided the furnishings. Love this rug and sofa colour combination.
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Korhani, a rug line I have used in many of my television and client projects, installed this very creative, slightly psychedelic, fun installation where their rugs were fashioned into outfits on mannequins. This company has worked hard to position itself as a fashion forward rug maker- and installations like this certainly show its’ prowess.

For those of you that attended IDS14, what were your highlights from this design filled show?

IDS14: OPENING NIGHT

20140124-221316.jpg The Interior Design Show is here and I am so excited. As I mention in this awesome article by Sara Duck for Home Decor and Renovations, IDS is like home coming for the design community. And this year it was so glam!
20140124-221841.jpg Starting with this dressing room by Ikea. What I love about Ikea’s booth at IDS every year is that they show how (with an expert eye) high and low items can be combined for striking results. Amazing- and gold! Huge trend for 2014. Lots of gold to be seen at the show.
20140124-222142.jpg This Town and Country fireplace has been outfitted with their brand new (soon to be mandatory in 2014) safety screen. I love that it is seamless, blends in with the gorgeous brass frame, and provides an important layer to keep little hands safe.
20140124-222603.jpg I am booth neighbors with the always on trend Andrew Richard Designs. Love the product- and their booth is always so graphic, linear and glam. Another great one this year.

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And of course, so excited for my booth the National Bank Design Stop where I will be offering complimentary consultations on Saturday and Sunday. Bring your photos, fabrics, inspirations to the show and I will help you strategize and start your renovation or decor project off to a great start!

Thanks to Larry Arnal for the pics of the National Bank Design Stop!

INTERIOR DESIGN SHOW NEWS!

Hello and I hope you are all having a great week! I want to start by saying hi to a few new bloggers I have had the pleasure of reading and getting to know: hi Foggy Daydreams, Rarely Taken Seriously, and Love On Sunday. It’s been a joy to read your blogs and get inspired by your passions.

I am so passionate about good design and helping people live the best life possible. With this sentiment I am excited to be partnering with the National Bank at the Interior Design Show this year! At The National Bank’s Design Stop, a really fun outdoor inspired space right in the center of the show floor beside the main stage, I’ll be highlighting the top trends for 2014 and offering design consultations for a few lucky show attendees. Stay tuned for how you can be selected as one of those lucky attendees!

I was thrilled to work with the National Bank 2 years ago at IDS. Here are a couple of shots of that space (when I was pregnant with Leo!)- I am excited to be working with them again to bring you the latest and greatest in Interior Design!

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