Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Jump Start Your Decorating With a Pinterest Board... A Local Client's Lake House Project

I recently had the privilege of meeting with a client who is going through a major gut renovation of her cottage lake house. Her home is nestled on the bay of a beautiful lake. I can just imagine looking out of the windows during the changing of the seasons! What a treat! She hired me to come in and give her a jump start on ideas for her home, so she can hit the ground running. She took advantage of a new local design package that I offer for clients... it's a style session complete with a pinterest board! We had our initial meeting at the cottage and brainstormed ideas. She came ready with all of her questions and we started to get to solving them right away. Then, I came home and began work on a pinterest board just for her. This board will help her get a start on the decorating process and is complete with specific ideas and inspirations for her to complete her cottage herself, over time. She can click on the product links to take her directly to the site for purchase. I also made specific comments under each image, so she can go back and know exactly why the image was pinned to her board. This is a great design package if you are looking for a designer's advice, but you primarily want to accomplish the work yourself over time. My client told me she wanted to hear that her ideas were valid and also wanted the answers to some of the questions that had puzzled her about her home. Here is what the cottage looked like when I visited...

Cottage Lake House

The main entrance is the door to the right

This is an antique mantel that will be used

There will be built ins on either side of the fireplace

Amidst all of the renovation, there sits a little potted plant I brought to give to my client. I always like to come with a small gift in hand.  :)  

This will be the serving counter and dining area 

I love all of the windows and natural light!

This was my first time seeing a project from the ground up like this and I was so excited! The part that made me the most excited was the fact that I could envision this cottage complete. That was such an amazing feeling to walk around and tell her where the furniture should go and how the layout will flow throughout the main floor. This visit, we tackled everything from a wall color scheme to furniture placement, counter finishes, etc. We covered so much during that session. I then came home and got to work on the pinterest board.

Since my client wanted to tackle this project herself over time, this style session/pinterest board design package was perfect for her. It gave her a start on the process and encouragement to move forward with some of her ideas and many new ones from myself. Here is a glimpse into her pinterest board and the direction we will take with this cottage lake house...

The Plan via her Pinterest board

Ship Lap on the ceiling throughout the main level
pin via

Four club chairs facing each other, by the wall of windows
pin via

Coastal accents
pin via

A basket for cozy blankets
pin via

A window seat to lounge and watch the water
pin via

An overall cozy design aesthetic with slipcovered furniture pieces
pin via

A warm and rustic, yet modern style with hints of green accents
pin via

My client is excited to move forward and is so happy about the design vision. She is also a pinner to this board, so she can add and edit the board over time. To see the rest of the board, visit my pinterest page HERE.

Would you feel at home with a cottage like this??
To see this new local design package and other packages I offer, visit my design services page HERE!

Have a wonderful and happy Thanksgiving!!  :)

Friday, November 21, 2014

Featured in Chatelaine

I am excited to announce that my mom's popular stair redo has become even more famous, with international notoriety! My mom's chevron painted stairs that I first blogged about HERE was part of an article Chatelaine put together for how to style your staircase. Chatelaine is a leading Canadian lifestyle magazine and web site. Here it is on their amazing web site...

Congratulations, mom! Her stunning stair transformation first made major publication news when it was featured in Woman's World magazine. If you missed that, I blogged about it HERE. I just keep telling her she's going to need to start a blog of her own with these great projects! If you want to see more stylish ways to transform your stairs, make sure you check out the article!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Shelf Styling is a Process

I recently stopped over my client's house to begin styling her shelves in her family room. I wrote about the progress of her room in this post and after this most recent visit, we both feel that the finish point is near! And that's definitely an exciting thing to see. All of the room's elements have been on the design board and it is now so rewarding to get to see the results in action. Shelf styling is definitely a process, though. Every designer approaches it differently, but for me, I have some tried and true methods when I work...

1. Start from scratch. The shelves should start with a clean slate, i.e. empty. My client was amazing and already spread out everything she had, so we could see what we had to work with. That's so refreshing and helpful, so you can get right to it.

Where we started...

Today, I styled the shelves seen behind the sectional. There is my empty slate.

2. Find all of the hard cover books you can use and remove the book jackets. You will be amazed at how they all of a sudden look like bound collector's books.

3. Before placing items on the shelves, I hung a trio of sunburst mirrors on the wall. I made sure I did that first, so I had the mirrors right where I wanted. Then, I styled around them. Hanging mirrors on the walls behind your shelves gives the furniture piece depth and interest. You could also hang small pieces of artwork or family photos.

4. Start placing the items on the shelves to see how they will work together. This can be a long process. And it may even change from today to the next styling visit. I like to take pictures and study them, to see if the shelves are how I like them. This can involve a lot of editing, but it is really worth it and the true fun part of the room!

This was how I had the shelves styled in phase one...

Like I said earlier, the three mirrors were hung first. I then started styling around them. But this first phase seemed a bit too cluttered to us. I made a few more changes...

This was how I had the shelves styled in phase two...

I removed some of the books on the top shelf, but the globe still didn't look right in that spot and it all felt cluttered and busy.

And this was how I styled the shelves in the final phase...

5. Editing, editing and more editing! I think it is almost impossible to get it 100% right the first time. Stepping back to see the changes you have made is a great way to finalize your shelves.

Do you like the changes? I moved the globe to the top shelf, removed some of the glass bottles and added a blue and white bowl to the small stack of blue books. We are both excited about the transformation of these shelves. And we were happy to be able to use so much of what my client already had! I know adding those personal items will be meaningful to the overall design. We are now on the lookout for two more storage bins for the bottom left shelves. I won't necessarily match them, but find coordinating bins in a similar size. We will also add another detail to the wall space next to the globe. This room has a very high angled slope to its ceiling, so we will add a wall clock to visually draw your eye up and to also help make that tall wall feel useful.

So stay tuned... we will be having much more fun in this space in the coming months! 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

In Love With... Sarah Style

I have been a long time fan of the design work of Sarah Richardson. I was thrilled to be able to meet her and tour her Toronto design studio last fall. She has that perfect blend of traditional with modern, new with vintage. It is always a treat to watch her television shows and see what projects her and her team are up to next. So when Anneliese from Simon and Schuster Canada contacted me about receiving a copy of Sarah's new book, Sarah Style, I jumped at the chance.

I have loved going through this book page by page and studying the rooms she has designed. I also really like the way this book is written... Sarah takes us through the book by room type, showing various ways to make each space in your home unique and personal to your style. I also love the tips along the way, giving us a glimpse into her thought process when she designs a room. I was even surprised to find out that some of the spaces I have long admired were her designs. She is literally a design genius! Let's take a glimpse into the decorating goodness you will find in this book...

Amazing, right?!? And these images just scratch the surface. There is so much more in the book, including foyers, bathrooms and kid's spaces! To order your copy, visit HERE.

Thank you so much to Anneliese and the people over at Simon and Schuster Canada for this book!

Friday, November 7, 2014

A Local Client's Family Room {Making Great Progress}

I have been working with a local client who I am happy to also call a good friend. We have been plugging away on her family room, making it a space that has a blend of traditional with modern. She has been a joy to work with so far, because she truly gets as excited as I do about design and it feels like a girl's day out when we meet to discuss the progress in her space. Here are some before pictures of the room to show you where we began...


We will be working with the main furniture pieces in the room, such as the Pottery Barn sectional and storage cabinet. Since we are keeping these warm furniture pieces, I immediately thought we should cool down the walls with a color that balances all of the warm elements. I chose Revere Pewter by Benjamin Moore and she loved the idea. The walls in this family room are daunting... they slant up to a dramatic height and painting this room is a huge undertaking. My clients realized it needed to be done to transform the space, but I also totally understood the hesitancy of the project. Luckily, the tried and true Revere Pewter was a winner and my clients could not be happier with the result! This tall wall in the photo above needed some architectural interest to help visually bring that wall down to feel more cozy. I suggested adding board and batten to this wall (up 3/4 of the wall) and painting that a dark gray/brown shade. I selected Equestrian Gray, also by Benjamin Moore. Here is the design board I initially presented to my client...

The Design Board...

And here is the amazing progress of this room so far...


We changed the color palette a bit for the accessory pillows, but for the most part, the rest of the plan stayed the same. We also replaced the curtain rods with brass options and purchased longer drapes, so the rods could be installed much higher than the windows. That visually brought your eye up, making the windows feel grander and in better fitting with the height of the room. Love that trick! Our plan moving forward is to replace the slipcovered chair and ottoman with a leather club chair/ottoman, place console tables behind the sectional, add ceiling beams to warm up the tall ceilings and install a fireplace/mantel where the TV is currently. We will also accessorize the walls and shelves, but the transformation is already coming along so well, that I had to share!

Thank you so much to my amazing client and friend for allowing me to share the progress here on the blog. I look forward to sharing more, as the room design unfolds! 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Before and After {#projectdelicatenursery Reveal!!}

I am so excited to share my latest client reveal! I have been working on a girl's nursery with a wonderful local client. She lives in a gorgeous 1930's home and the room has a lot of great potential. The space has beautiful hardwood floors, glass door knobs and loads of character. My client did a great job purchasing the area rug, dresser and crib before we met. I came in to make suggestions on wall color, accessories and the rest of the furnishings. Here is the room before we started...


We immediately started talking about wall color and how we wanted to lighten it up and give the nursery a warm glow that feels cozy and inviting. She wanted the space to feel soft and delicate and a room her soon to be daughter can grow with. We met a couple of weeks later and I presented her with the design plan...

The Design Plan

{To read more about this design board, I spoke about it in a post HERE.}

We basically went ahead with every plan, but changed the art a bit along the way. Here are the after pictures...


My clients are so happy with the room and I am so excited they love it! There are only a few elements left to fully complete the room. We have a beautiful paper cut mobile going above the crib that has yet to arrive. My client chose the gold lotus ceiling pendant, but it is currently out of stock. In the meantime, we also love the character of the original brass fixture. That might work out after all. Also, wall ledges for book display will be mounted to the right of the glider. I will go into more detail about the space in the coming weeks. Now we anxiously await for this beautiful bundle of joy to arrive!

Thank you so much to my amazing clients for allowing me to share the nursery! 
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