Updating a 10 year old home

After 10 years in this home, we  or at least, I am ready for some changes. Goodbye, warm yellows, gold and greens..so over you.  So how do you update a 10 year old home? Well, you pick some new fresh paint colours, install some new lighting and perhaps change the kitchen’s backsplash.

So for the last few weeks, I’ve been walking around with paint colours, yes it does take that long to make a decision in my own home, and I’ve finally decided upon these.

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I’m going with Grandma’s China (kind of an unfortunately name, IMO) above in the hallways, loft, living room and funnily enough in my master bath. It’s a lovely warm taupey/gray that works well with my warm fixtures, but still reads grey enough to give me that fresher tone I was seeking.

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Picket fence will greet my guests in the entrance and front den.  It is also being used in my laundry room/mud room and is the main colour for my basement. It’s just a touch darker than Grandma’s China for those rooms that need a little more mood.

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I’m using this grey/blue in the kitchen to bring down the red in my wood cabinets and it will work beautifully with the Ceragres Liverpool subway tiles in Portland, (the colour below) which I am having installed, hopefully before Christmas.  This grey/blue paint colour will also pull in the blue of my blue velvet chairs in the adjoining family room.

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I am going with a significantly darker blue in the dining room. I had wanted to do Hale Navy but it was way, way too dark for my room. It was reading as almost a black and just wasn’t doing it for me.  This dark grey/blue is much softer and works better in my already moody (read..dark) dining room.

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Fossil will be a lovely pale cream in my very bright family room and sun room.  It has a hint of violet in it which will work well with my current sofa and my blue armchairs.

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I painted my office in Wish recently and I am in love with this soft dove grey colour. It works well with my darker desk and storage units and even blends with the beigey/pink carpeting.  It has been added to my favourites list.

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My bedroom is going with a darker and more grey blue than what I currently have. This was a tricky one as I didn’t want to change the feature wall’s wallpaper but I wanted the blue to have more depth than the pale blue I have in there now. This one was the winner. And it also works well with Grandma’s China which will be in the adjoining master bath.

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And last but not least, my son’s room is being done in this pale steel grey. He requested nothing too out there and since his furniture and flooring are dark, this will work well.

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By the way, all the paint colours are from Benjamin Moore.

Picking out lighting, is one of my favourite things to do design wise, so, this was like an early Christmas gift. It’s been ten long years, since I chose what I have now and I’m so over it.  I had been drooling over all the warm metals with a touch of age, so these vintage bronze pieces were exactly what I wanted.

The top left is going in the entry (I can’t wait to see the pretty reflections this one casts), the top centre for the hallways, the middle centre in the laundry room, the bottom right, for the kitchen peninsula, the middle bottom for the kitchen table with it’s semi-flush version for the kitchen centre, and the sconces will live in the lower hallway.

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 I SO CAN’T WAIT TO GET THESE ALL UP!

I’ll be sharing some progress on Instagram and FB, so follow me along for updates.

Lisa

It’s a new year and finally, a new post

Happy September! Doesn’t September feel more like the beginning of a new year, than January? It always has to me. After a ridiculous long blogging break, I’m trying to get back at it. Lots has been going on here.

The cottage kitchen was finished in late March/April and I LOVE it. I am trying to get it published so I’m very limited on what photos I can show here, but here’s a few teasers.

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All photo credits above: Melissa Kew Photography

We also took a short but fabulous trip to Nashville and Memphis in May. My appreciation for country music and cowboy boots has increased exponentially after this trip.

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The view from our hotel room.

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The site of a civil war clash.

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We both picked up cowboy boots and a friend got the same ones.

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We both thought this highway sign was hilarious but accurate.

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In Memphis, we had to do the Graceland tour.

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And of course, Sun Studio, the birthplace of Rock ‘n Roll.

We also had another very short trip to Quebec City this summer, where I used to live many, many years ago as a child. It is my favourite Canadian city, so old world and charming.

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Work wise, I finished up a condo decorating project in Mont Tremblant, a complete master bath remodel, started a new client’s living room/dining room/kitchen remodel, commenced another bathroom renovation, helped another client with the finishing touches to her mid-century modern apartment, gave a bunch of consults for painting and decor clients and I’m so excited to be starting a client’s very challenging and huge cottage renovation this Fall.

I’ll be sharing some pics of these decorating projects and renovations in the next while.

On the family front we have been very busy. Our youngest daughter graduated from her Masters program and started her first permanent job with the Government. Our other daughter got engaged and bought her first house, all in the same weekend in March. One of our sons moved back home from out west and will be going back to school this year.

And last, but certainly not least, our eldest son is getting married at our cottage, in like….less than 3 weeks. Whoa, that scares me to write that.  We are well into the throes of final decorating projects and this past long weekend, we were a beehive of activity. The beach got de-weeded (is that a word?), long grass got trimmed and manicured, trees were cut back, things got painted, take away gifts were embellished and readied, terrarium centrepieces were done, chalkboards were written on and general planning and details were ironed out.

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Lisa

Guest room mood board, living room designs and some reno updates

I hope you’ve been enjoying some of the spectacular weather that has been happening.  Makes it really hard to spend the day at the computer, but I may just be bringing it out on the deck.  It has sure been a busy few weeks here.  I’ve just finished a guest room mood board for a client.  Keeping in mind that we wanted to stay on a tight budget for this basement guest room, with a light and fresh beachy feel, here is the mood board.

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The background colour is the room’s current colour – Benjamin Moore’s – Collingwood OC-28.  And I’ve suggested painting the existing unmatching wood side tables in New Hope Gray 2130-50.  A sheer pretty roll up blind for the tiny  window is perfect to let the light in. A soft upholstered headboard in a linen fabric keeps the bed looking fresh and clean and works well with the existing soft blue/gray tone on tone paisley bedding.  A mirror in a fun shape and a simple bright white dresser are perfect for storage needs and a graphic striped runner completes the beachy feel.

I’m also working on a client’s family room that is very long and narrow.  With dimensions of  23′ x 9′,  it’s a tricky one.  I’m loving the suggestions found on Pinterest, check out my Long Narrow Rooms board to see some of the inspiration photos I’ve collected.

Also on my desk, is the finishing touches to a client’s living and dining room that is all things minimal and modern, oh yes…and with lots of Indian touches and style.  Having lots of brilliantly coloured artwork to play with makes me a happy designer 🙂

And we also been having some fun with the cottage renovations, the sunroom roof was replaced and some skylights removed at the same time.  Lots of mess, but heaven knowing we will not have any more water pouring into it, when it rains heavily.  And we will be replacing some tile flooring in there as well, stay tuned for a tile repair that will look like an entrance rug…fingers crossed….

Hubby is also in the process of making a fire table for the cottage deck.  Lots of stone and concrete bought for it and here’s hoping he has some time in the near future to actually get it finished.  I’m looking forward to leisurely sitting around the fire with a glass of wine while enjoying the river view.  Here’s our inspiration –

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Via www.techo-bloc.com website

And in anticipation of having a beautiful fire table to sit at, I’ve ordered some outdoor fabrics to make some cosy pillows for our rather hard wood chairs.

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Well, you’re all caught up now, on what I’ve been up too.  How’s your summer going so far?

Lisa

Stenciling how tos

As promised, here’s my DIY instructions for stencilling the back of cabinetry. I did this in my laundry room, you can see the reveal of that room here (and you’ll see the original room and cabinetry).

I started off with regular plain cabinetry and after removing the doors, I wanted to do something to dress up the backs of the cabinetry a little.

These are my tools – a stencil, fat stencil brush and Pittsburgh Paints sample pots in:

– silent night

– swan lake (missed this one in the photo…geez)

-napoleon

– prussian blue

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And I was off, I just did a random pattern using one colour at a time.

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My tips for stencilling with a small stencil like this is to use a dry brush and only put a small amount of paint on the brush.  Dap the brush to take off any excess paint and then pounce or pound the brush against the stencil.  Having very little paint on the brush helps to ensure that there is no bleeding behind the stencil.

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I’m not an expert and the main thing to remember is that it is supposed to look handmade and as such it won’t be perfect.   So don’t sweat it!

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How to rejuvenate a tired laundry room in 5 easy steps.

I have been working on my cottage laundry room for awhile now and I am thrilled to share with you my completely rejuvenated (and inexpensive) laundry room.

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This is the before shot, when the previous owners had the cottage.

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1.  First thing we did was change the floor.  We had put these wood look porcelain tiles in our adjoining hallway and nearby powder room and I made sure that we purchased enough to also do the laundry room.  They are durable, easy to clean and look fabulous.   Goodbye, old, stained and tired vinyl flooring and hello, lovely!

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2. Next up, painting the walls, though it is usually recommended to do the painting prior to new flooring going in, I must admit I did this backwards.  I chose the same colour as I did for my nearby powder room, Benjamin Moore’s  Woodlawn Blue HC-147.   I  justified this as both rooms have no natural light and I wanted something cheerful, light but definitely a colour and of course, I already knew that this paint colour went beautifully with the new flooring.  As a bonus, it also helps tone down the faintly striped pink countertops and cabinetry, that due to budget constraints, were not getting replaced.

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3. Change the hardware (click here to read my previous post on this).  Just by replacing this, it made a huge difference in the entire space. It completely modernized it and made the cabinetry that much more sleek.  To make things as easy as possible I went with hardware that fit the existing drilled holes, as I knew I wouldn’t be painting the cabinetry.

You can see the blackboard painted laundry chute well in this photo. If you want to read more about it, click here.

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4. Remove some cabinetry or just some doors. This room was cabinet heavy, which don’t get me wrong is great for storage. But as this is our cottage and we are fortunate enough to have a ton of storage in this place, I wasn’t going to get too upset about losing a few cabinet doors, in order to lighten up the space.  Plus, I added in some grey fabric boxes that are just perfect for tucking away small items.

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5. Add some decorative touches.  I painted out the laundry chute as I blogged about in this previous post.  I couldn’t hide it so making it a cute little whimsical piece was the next best thing.   I also decided to stencil some flowers randomly at the back of the open cabinetry, this adds a little bit of pattern.  I’ll be posting about this little project next week.

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I also added in some cute black hooks for drying items and a few colourful pieces on the counter make it fun to do laundry…well sort of….fun.

Lisa