IDS18 observations

I’m just back from Toronto’s Interior Design Show (IDS18) that was held last weekend. And I thought I’d share a few of my observations about the show over the next while.

For me, the Benjamin Moore booth totally summed up the show and what’s happening in decor at the moment. It had the pattern (in the tiled floor and the fireplace), the neutral and jewel tones (in the furnishings and artwork), and the greenery that was everywhere. And it was eclectic, the envelope of the room was traditional with the black and white checked floor and panelled wall treatment, the fireplace was mediterranean inspired and the furnishings were all mid-century modern.

Benjamin Moore ids18

Benjamin Moore ids18

Benjamin Moore ids18

Could you live in this space? I certainly could.



Classic, warm, beachy home

Classic, warm and beachy, these were the adjectives my client used when describing to me how she wanted her home’s living room/dining room and kitchen to feel. She also wanted to have lots of storage in all three rooms. And we achieved just that. I visited her last week and took some photos to show just how great the transformation turned out.

This is the view from the entry now.

After – beachy living and dining room

The befores:

before living room before living room

I did up a couple of mood boards and sourced products for her so that she could follow the plan along at her own pace as her time and budget allowed. She also has an extremely handy father who did alot of the hands on work. Trades people were hired for the jobs that were not DIY and I think this makeover shows just how much you can do on a fairly strict budget.

So obviously this was a fairly extensive makeover, new hardwood floors were installed in a medium tone brown to keep the look classic and timeless. The dining table was an existing one that her father had made so it was incorporated into the space.  The sofa was custom made and the case goods were picked up from big box stores.

I suggested that she use some of her own family pictures in the 4 large frames and they have turned out perfectly. She already has plans to rotate in some newer pictures. The drapery was ready made and adds some graphic pattern to the palette.


The bird and octopus artwork was purchased by my client on her yearly trips to Prince Edward County and they are the perfect compliment to the space.

after - beachy living room

after - living room



Now onto the kitchen. Here’s what it looks like now.

After - warm beachy kitchen

And here’s the befores:

Before - kitchen before - kitchen Before - kitchen

We continued with the same drapery as the living room and dining room as the windows are literally right beside each other. The hardwood floor was continued throughout the kitchen as well to keep the flow from room to room. The existing dark wood cabinetry was painted out to match the new pantry and open shelving.

An antique feeling dark wood table was added to tie in with the dark wood floors and the chairs were my client’s grandmothers, which serendipiously match the table perfectly.  I selected a clear glass pendant to keep the sight lines open to the new backyard deck, as well as a glass and gold flush mount fixture (not shown) for the working area of the kitchen. Under cabinet lighting was also added during the renovation.

The bronze/gold Brizo Talo faucet sparkles like a piece of jewelry on the Caesarstone Quartz white counter and the backsplash is actually tile that looks so much like barn wood, you have to touch it to believe it.

After - warm and beachy kitchen

After - kitchen pantry and open shelving area

These extra cabinets added much needed storage to the space challenged kitchen and a little touch of display area, which can be changed out to a bar or appetizer area when guests are expected.

After - kitchen wallpaper and mirrors

This long, long wall opposite the stove, was treated to some softly textured wallpaper that is wipeable and adds a little extra pattern to the kitchen. My client found these adorable mirror spheres that hide the unused and unsightly phone outlet.

Kitchen faucet - Brizo Talo

The Brizo Talo faucet.

After - kitchen open shelving

Some added display area that also showcases the backsplash.


My client is thrilled with her home and it’s new look. She says when she gets home she breathes a happy sigh and settles in for some R & R. Which just makes me smile!







Two mantels, two different looks

Mantels are one of the best places to decorate for the holidays and if you are like me, you love looking at different ones and different styles to get some ideas for your own.

I’m lucky enough to get to do two totally different ones every year, just for me.  Here’s my cottage mantel that I keep pretty minimal and rustic, totally appropriate for the country setting that it is in.



Photo credit: Justin Frost



I used lots of fresh local greenery, some pinecones in a vintage apothecary jar, some antique encyclopedias (which I have sprinkled around the entire place), some sparkly grapevine balls, a birdcage and of course some candleholders. Honestly, this mantel took me all of half an hour to do. Quick, simple and rustic, just the way I like my country Christmas mantels.

Now for my city house, I went with a more sophisticated style.




Some similar elements here, fresh greenery and some dried magnolia leaves (they do last a few years, if you are careful when you store them), some fairy lights and of course candlesticks and candles. I may just tuck in some white and clear christmas balls amongst the leaves, at some point.  Pretty, simple and classic, perfect for my home in the city.

Merry Christmas!




Update on my updates

So I thought I’d give everyone a little update on what’s been happening at my house this December. (Click here to see my previous post about what we were planning). We’ve had the painter in for 3 weeks now and it looks like we will be done early next week.  Phew! It’s been a bit of a long haul having the whole house painted at once, every night is spent putting a room back to together and taking another one apart.  I’m so looking forward to that being over.

So the living room, lower and upper hallways have been painted in Benjamin Moore’s Grandma’s China and doesn’t it look so very fresh and clean?


The kitchen is soft and lovely in Subway Tile.  I love the way the gray/blue looks against the warm wood.


We also decided at the last minute to do the den in the same colour, instead of Picket Fence.  Pics of that room later, we are still putting it back together.

I hate to play favourites, but the dining room is the best….shhh…don’t tell the others. This is Andes Summit and I’m in love with the colour, so rich and dramatic. Perfect for entertaining.


My master bedroom went just a bit darker than it was, as I was keeping the wallpapered accent wall.


The family room, sunroom, guest bathroom are also done but I haven’t got a great picture of them yet as we are having this done as well and the mess is encroaching on those two rooms.


I know, I know, I’m crazy for doing this now.  But really, it should all be done by next Tuesday….fingers crossed.


Artemano’s Grand Opening in Ottawa



I’m so excited to be co-hosting Artemano‘s Grand Opening at the Trainyards in Ottawa, on Wednesday, November 19th between 5 – 9 pm.

This Canadian company has the most amazing wood furniture and now we don’t have to travel to Montreal or Toronto to see it.

Just take a peek at some of the deliciousness Ottawans are in for.

_MG_8822 ARTEMANO-BR_0004 ARTEMANO-BR_0028 10520260_705045429542735_581030950_n (2) ARTEMANO20140619_0080 Bedroom

I would love to see you there.  Please RSVP to me at by November 13th and I’ll make sure you are on the guest list.

grand opening invite lisa2

And mum’s the word…but a little birdie tells me there is going to be fabulous sales on as well during the evening….shhh!

And please feel free to pass this invite onto your family and friends.