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finds … porch refresh

It’s been raining consistently since October here and the seasons have blended themselves into one: The WET season. Surely it must be spring by now and time to step outside!

It’s this time of year that I like to add a little happy to the front porch with some original standout pieces found on ETSY.  Here are my top picks for adding renewed life and fun to your porch.

porch life

  1. Pop O Color : throw pillows
  2. Green Desk : hanging planter
  3. Petrified Design : bench
  4. Moda Industria : mailbox
  5. Urban Mettle : house numbers
  6. Wasatch Creative : concrete  planters
  7. Olive Paper Company : doormat
  8. Masaya Trading Company : mid century modern armchair

Note: Although I haven’t personally purchased these products, I’m looking forward to incorporating them into my future design projects

feature boho makeover

design … boho makeover

Recently, our nine-year old (turning 17) declared that she is done with rainbows and forest friends in her room.  “I’m into Boho now”, she’s stated.  I’m pretty sure I didn’t know the term “Boho” when I was nine, but in her eyes it means arrows and feathers, matching a pair of her favorite pajamas.

And so, with that, and the fact that we are in a new house, we are ditching the rainbow motif and siding on a Bohemian retreat for her new room.  The furniture will remain the same, so for this project I am simply painting and switching out all the decorative elements. To create the bohemian vibe, I will be adding layers of pattern and texture.

Although I would like to think that this room will grow with her into her teens, I know it’s wishful thinking on my part.  Therefore, to increase the longevity of this room I’m going to incorporate some classic items (such as the navy duvet covet), that can easily be updated in any future room design. For the bolder design choices (like the area rug), I’m going to stick with budget friendly options as I know they may lose my daughters adoration over time.

This has been a fun project to work on together. The design board created below provides a visual guide for some of the key elements that will be implemented in the space. Fingers crossed she loves the finished product.

Design board for boho makeover

  1. Amazon : Safavieh Monaco Collection Bohemian Multicolored Area Rug
  2. Target : Wild and Free Wire Wall Décor – Pillowfort™
  3. Anthropologie : Pom Tassel Curtain
  4. The Land of Nod : Soft Festival Garland
  5. Urban Outfitters : Plum and Bow Sofia Block Duvet Cover
  6. Amazon : INK+IVY Jersey Cotton Duvet Cover
  7. Urban Outfitters : Bobo Patterned Lounge Chair

Paint: Benjamin Moore, Kensington Blue 840, Blue Lake 2053-40, Cloud Cove 855r, Hydrangea Flowers 2008-40

Color Blush

color … a touch of blush

Recently I was asked to create a color story for a master bedroom inspired by this striking gray & blush bedding from Simons.  I was intrigued by this project for 2 reasons.

  1. This color story is completely reminiscent of my older sister’s bedroom circa 1989, and I wanted this room.  Although, back then I believe the ‘it’ pink was called ‘dusty rose’.
  2. This Blush is different. Blush is often used in rooms with a soft, romantic feel. In this case the bold graphic print of the duvet balanced the softness of the pink.  This room could be both strong and pretty.

This is their story….

Note: All products, including paint, are available in Canada

  1. Simons: Pastel Ikat duvet cover set
  2. EQ3: Posey Vases
  3. Tonic Living: Macramé Wall Hanging Grey
  4. Urban Outfitters: Sage Solid Crochet Pillow
  5. Urban Barn: Mongolian Toss Rose Ombre
  6. Simons: Rose Gold Metal Basket

Paint: Benjamin Moore Canada, Sombrero CC-300, Cool Lava 2088-50, Gray Owl OC-52, Coventry Gray HC-169

color … greenery

Recently, the Pantone Color Institute announced its color of the year for 2017 as Greenery. Green is popping up in all of today’s design trends and the home is no exception.  From green chairs to green lamps, Greenery is here!   Pantone states that Greenery is “A refreshing and revitalizing shade.  Greenery is symbolic of new beginnings”

Green has always been one of my favorite colors but I’ll admit that it’s not a color I have used in my own home.  These finds have inspired me to ‘freshen’ things up a bit.

  1. All Modern: Horn Cut Glass Vase
  2. Walls Need Love: Lucky Rabbit Removable Wallpaper
  3. Dwell Studio: Kinney Ottoman
  4. Blu Dot: Real Good Counter Stool
  5. Anthropologie: Ikat printed Rhys Settee
  6. Crate & Barrel : Port Au Prince Print
  7. Home Depot: Philips Domo Light
  8. Tonic Living : Mill Reef Palm Pillow
  9. DENY Designs : In Lisbon Shower Curtain

Note: Although I haven’t personally purchased these products, I’m looking forward to incorporating them into my future design projects

Photo: Anthropologie: Ikat printed Rhys Settee

Paint: Sherwin Williams, Mindfull Grey SW7016, Natural Choice SW7011, Ardent Coral SW6874,  Gecko SW6719, Great Green SW6430

Ombre Dresser

color … drawers of color

Although color on the walls is the norm when decorating a space, white walls is a current trend that I can’t get enough of.  In fact, Sherwin-Williams has named “Alabaster” (white) as their 2016 Color of the Year.  White brings a crisp, bright and airy feeling to the space, which allows you to showcase so much more in the room.  It creates the perfect opportunity to introduce color through textiles, accessories, artwork and furniture.

I chose to incorporate this trend in my daughter’s room as part of my Charlotte’s room series. I wanted Charlotte’s room to be a bright, HAPPY place that will grow with her. Her white walls are the perfect backdrop showcasing her colorful bedding and newly painted dresser.

While painted furniture is nothing new, there are definitely some fresh, exciting design trends today.  One of those being the ombre painted dresser.

Ombre Painted Dresser

source: brit +co

Ombre Painted Dresser

source:The Budget Decorator

In every room that I design, I think it’s important to always create at least one DIY project for myself or my clients.  It’s one of those things that adds a little personal touch and style to the space and definitely brings a sense of accomplishment.

For Charlotte’s room I chose to add color to her dresser and created an ombre design.   This is a project that allows you to be as bold or as subtle as you like with color while still making a huge statement.  It’s a fun addition to any child’s space and is also budget friendly as you can buy new or use what you have on hand. For me, this project started with a free dresser found on the side of the road (Thank you Ottawa Neighbours!)

Here are the before and after….


DIY Ombre Dresser


DIY Ombre Dresser

DIY Ombre Dresser

I love how it turned out and I think it creates a perfect focal point with a subtle splash of playfulness.  LOVE it!

Here are some additional awe-inspiring dressers for your next DIY project……

DIY Dresser

source: Poppy Seed Living

DIY Dresser

source: decor 8

DIY Dresser

source:Prodigal Pieces

DIY Dresser

source: Project Nursery

DIY Dresser

source:The Berry

girls room

design … Charlotte’s room PART 2

Now back to Charlotte’s room…

Last month I introduced this project to you with Charlotte’s room PART 1: Inspiration.  The initial steps in the design process are really about getting to know your client and their space. It’s identifying their likes and dislikes, discovering what they love and how they wish to utilize the space. It is through this process that inspiration and direction for the room is found and the project can move forward.


The planning process is where everything comes together.  It’s matching esthetics with function.  It’s about creating a well- designed floor plan that looks and feels right.  I think it’s important to utilize and repurpose what clients already have.  So, it’s at this stage that I like to take inventory of everything that is available so we can work with what they have and look for what they need.

Along with a floor plan, a design board also helps to visualize the room design and bring the design to life. It is here that all the choices for hard and soft surfaces are made; paint colors, flooring, textiles, window coverings, furniture and accessories.

Don’t forget BUDGET!  Budget is a huge part of the design process.  Anything and everything can be done for a price.  It is very important to establish an honest budget at the very beginning of a project so that there are no disappointments.


With Charlotte’s room, inspiration came from a collection of old and new things that I love.

inspiration girls room

The room was pretty much a blank slate when I started.  Just a lonely little crib sitting in a “Builder Beige” room.  Not even window coverings. The PLAN was to create three zones within the room for this toddler.  1. play zone, 2. sleep zone and 3. dress zoneIt was also important to introduce storage solutions to the space as the room had no closets.

design plan girls room

  1. Play: To start, I introduced some cube shelving and floating shelves for toy & book storage.  Brought in a table lamp and adult sized pouf ottoman for story time.  Installed playful hooks for dress-up clothes and provided space for Charlotte’s existing doll bed and highchair.
  2. Sleep: Charlotte’s crib was converted into a toddler day bed.  As she gets older this will be replaced with a larger bed and nightstands.  The Bedding was custom made using the inspirational fabric. Window coverings were also added to promote sleep.
  3. Dress: An existing dresser was refinished and brought into the room along with a laundry hamper.

The design board created for Charlotte’s room creates a visual guide for all the key elements that will be implemented in the space.

design girls room

Ceiling Fixture:  Pottery Barn Kids

Fabric: Joann

Paint: Sherwin Williams, Quite Coral SW6614, Cooled Blue SW6759, Aqueduct SW6758, Overjoy SW6689

Fabric: Birch Organic Ipanema birds and clouds

Art: Children Inspire

Wall hooks: IKEA

Pouf: Target

Over the next few weeks I will post Charlotte’s room PART 3, where I will feature some of the DIY projects for the room and finally, the completed room.

design girls room

design… Charlotte’s room: PART 1

This is a room that I have been waiting to do for a long time.  It’s my little girl’s room, and to be honest, it’s now one of my favorite rooms in our home

Through this post, I hope to walk you through my design process with a three part series Part 1: Inspiration, Part 2: Planning, Part 3: Finished Project.

When I first meet with clients to discuss their living space, we discuss the obvious; wants, needs, likes and dislikes, but I’m also looking for elements of inspiration. I always encourage clients to share their favorite pieces that they would like to incorporate into the room. Inspiration can come in many forms. An object, a photo, an emotion. It’s these elements that help create a vision for the room and start the design process.


With Charlotte’s room it was time to update from nursery to kids room.  My main objectives for this space were to give her a place that is hers to play, read and thankfully SLEEP. I wanted a modern, happy, clean space that she could grow into. I tried to incorporate as much of Charlotte as I could but ultimately she has little say at this point.  As her opinions grow, I have made sure that her room can be easily altered and grow with her.


Inspiration for this room came from a collection of old and new things that I love.

Seven years ago, when I was expecting my first, I bought a set of wooden blocks.  I loved these blocks so much, that they were strictly for display for child 1 and child 2.  Well, child 3 has no rules, so the blocks are now hers. I have always been drawn to the colors and graphics on the blocks.  Next is a set of teal and white bear bookends that I found on a clearance rack and couldn’t resist.  Third, is a piece of art work that was in Charlotte’s nursery, and fourth is a fabric swatch.  I discovered this fabric while working on another project and immediately fell in love with it for its color and print.  I think it adds some playful whimsy to the space.

inspiration girls room

ArtChildren Inspire

Fabric: Birch Organic Ipanema Birds and Clouds

fabric pattern birds clouds

With this group of inspirational items, I can now create a design plan.  In the next week I will post Charlotte’s room: PART 2, where I will focus on room layout, color, furniture, lighting and accessories.


kitchen color

finds … kitchen color

Currently my kitchen is gray, on gray, on white, on gray.  I love the simplicity of it, but in between the rain and the rain, I’m looking for some sunshine!  I’m looking to add some color to my kitchen without changing the color of my kitchen.  Changing up the accessories in a room can instantly alter the mood of a space without a major overhaul.

As always, I start my search with ETSY looking for some fresh, original products to add interchangeable color to my kitchen. I’ve noticed a trend in my search… and may have to write a future blog posting on ‘paint dipping’.   I absolutely love it.  Here are my top picks for adding instant color and SUNSHINE to your color

  1. For The Host : wood kitchen utensil set
  2. Sea & Asters : geometric air plant cube
  3. Little Design Haus : apple pear prints
  4. Earth Cadets : hand printed kitchen towels
  5. Objectify Homeware : Objectify demi blue wall clock
  6. Gleaming Renditions : nesting trays
  7. Willful : wooden snack bowls

Note: Although I haven’t personally purchased these products, I’m looking forward to incorporating them into my future design projects

color green chair

color … the green chair

Sometimes inspiration for a room can come from the most obscure item.  It can be anything; fabric, artwork, pillows, jewellery, nature, socks…anything!  No matter what the item, the one common denominator is that the item holds personal meaning for someone. It may be for its color, shape, texture or memories, but it is CHERISHED.

In this case, the ‘color story’ was inspired by a GREEN LEATHER CHAIR.  The clients were a young couple who were looking to update their Master Bedroom.  They had requested a warm, but playful (almost quirky) master suite incorporating a small reading nook and some mid-century influence.  This is their story…

color green chair

Fabric: Kravet, Jessup 1216

Paint: Benjamin Moore: fall harvest 2168-10, Castleton mist HC-1, misted fern CC-668

Clock: Dot & Bo

Bedding:  West Elm, CB2




color farmhouse

color … the farmhouse

The farmhouse has been one of my favorite projects to date.  My clients were a lovely couple with a beautiful old farmhouse on a picturesque dairy farm (complete with indoor ice rink). They were recent ‘empty nester’, who were looking to update their ‘country’ home for a fresh, inviting, “country-ish” home.

This particular ‘color story’, is for their front entry and living room.  Inspiration was gathered from the beautiful gardens and fields surrounding the house.

color farmhouse

Fabric: P. Kaufmann: Leaf Sampler in Cloud

Paint: Benjamin More: georgian green HC-115, jamestown blue HC-148, smoky green CC-700 (

Pillows: Zone Maison, Tonic Living, ClassicByNature