How to hang a wall full of plates

It feels so much like spring here, even though it is really still a few weeks away, but that’s okay we will definitely take it.  When spring hits, I always get a little bit of spring decorating fever. Are you like me and want to repaint the entire house and change up all the accessories?

Well, the last few weekends I’ve kept myself busy redoing my dining room plate wall at our cottage.  And I’m absolutely loving the results below.

Blue and green plate wall

When we purchased the cottage, the wall looked like this.

Before - plate wall with plate railsI loved the idea of decorating with plates, but I wanted to modernize it and give it more of a free flowing feel.  So here’s the step by steps on how to achieve your new plate wall.

First off, I removed the plate rails and filled all the holes in the wall. Then after a quick coat of paint on this wall, I got started.

Oh yes, before I forget, I purchased these Plate Hangers from Ebay.  I didn’t want to use regular plate hangers as I wanted a more clean and modern look, but feel free to use whatever hanging method you prefer.

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1.  You want to gather all the plates and lids (I used one casserole lid that was minus a casserole bottom) that you would like to hang. I would suggest keeping a somewhat cohesive theme, like I did with mostly blue, green, and white plates. But don’t be too rigid, a few surprises are always a good thing.

2. Measure out the width and height of the wall area that you are looking to cover. Once you have these dimensions, tape out these measurements on a flat surface, a table or perhaps the floor, and start playing with the plate placement.

3. Tips for plate placement –  I placed the larger plates first and then added the smaller plates. I also tried to disperse similar colours evenly throughout.

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4. Next, I cut out newspaper templates of each plate and labelled it with the plate colour. I then followed the instructions for the plate hangers and left them to glue on the backs of the plates overnight.

5. Mimicing the plate placement on my table, I taped the newspaper templates on the wall (with painter’s tape) and stood back.  I adjusted them to ensure a fairly consistent space between the plates and kept standing back to see how it looked overall.

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6. Once I was happy with the placement on the wall, I measured the back of the plate, from the hook of the plate hanger to the edge of the plate, and marked the corresponding measurement on the newspaper template, so that I knew exactly where to place the screw.

7. Once I had each screw in place, I removed the newspaper and hung the corresponding plate. I worked from the top to the bottom and it went really, really quickly.

So here it is ALL DONE! As you can see, there is lots of room to grow. It is my perfect excuse to hit up the antique/vintage stores and garage sales this spring/summer to fill it all in.

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Blue and green plate wall Blue and green plate wall

Blue and green plate wall

Blue and green plate wall

 

Lisa

Artesso articulating faucet in the kitchen

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Now, is that not a pretty awesome faucet?  I am totally in love with the Artesso Articulating Faucet from Brizo. 

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So as you can see my kitchen reno is coming along. Just down to the final little pieces.  We have almost all of the lighting installed, just one more articulating sconce to be put up (I sense a theme with all this articulation). Unfortunately, one of them arrived damaged in the box so we are awaiting a replacement at the moment.

We had some trim pieces for around the windows and on the ceiling made but I have yet to get to the paint store to have the stain custom matched.  I’m really hoping to get to that this week.

Even the central vac outlet under the cabinets has been all connected up. I have one of these in my kitchens at home and love it so since, it’s relatively easy to set up, since our basement area is open, it was a no brainer to do it here.  Sand and dirt be gone!

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**Disclaimer: Brizo was kind enough to offer me the opportunity to test out this faucet, that I had been admiring, in exchange for an honest evaluation. Well, honestly, I love it. Absolutely everyone who has been in the kitchen has commented on how handsome it is.

As you can see it articulates from the middle, so you can have it higher (easier to fill large pots) or lower, towards the sink. The faucet head also detaches easily so that you can clean the sink and anything else easily.  I know I’m going to love this feature when I’m filling large vases or bowls.

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The oil rubbed bronze finish is a great complement to the light quartz counters.  Is anyone else in love with all the succulents out there?  They are perfect for the cottage, as they are regularly neglected.
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It has this great little switch on the front of the faucet, so you can go from a steady to a spray stream quickly.

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It comes in three other finishes, chrome, polished nickel (shown below, which is pretty spectacular if I do say so myself) and stainless steel.

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And the finish line is just around the corner…phew!

I’ll leave you with a little snippet of my FINALLY installed live edge wood shelves (that I just managed to stain before this pic).  They were a real pill to get this far, but I’m so happy with them. I will be putting a coat of clear polyurethane on them, but for now, I couldn’t wait to style them.

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**Brizo provided me with this faucet in my colour of choice in exchange for sharing my opinion of it here.

Lisa

Modern, rustic and slightly industrial kitchen reno update

After a loooonnnnggg Christmas break, I’m back.  Hope you all had a great holiday with family and friends.  We finally got winter here and let me tell you, I didn’t miss it.  But, now onto more fun updates.

So there’s been lots of progress with my modern, rustic and slightly industrial kitchen reno.  Cabinetry fronts finished….check, hardware added…check, appliances installed and working…check, sink and faucet done…..check.

A little sneak peek at the cabinetry that was installed just before Christmas (obviously before the hardware was added).  I’m absolutely loving the blue/grey cabinetry, it is such a refreshing change from the overwhelming presence of honeyed wood in the house. Please excuse the dust on these as I was so excited to take a pic and share that I didn’t even wait to dust them off.

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Together with the grey/black island, it’s pure GORGEOUS!

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What are we still working on?  Well, the backsplash and therefore the rest of the electrical outlets, lighting and live edge shelving are still in line.  Trying to figure out how to install floating 100 lb+ maple wood shelves onto a tiled backsplash wall has been quite the learning experience.  In the end we got lots of advice from our contractor, our cabinet maker, a steel company, fellow designers and our local welder.  We, actually my  hubby did most of the legwork on this problem, hey…I just come up with the ideas, the implementation…well that’s a whole other issue.

So they came up with a custom made steel bracket that has three rods that will fit into the corresponding holes that will be bored into the wood shelf.  These brackets will be lag bolted into the wood logs that form the frame of our log home, and the shelves will then slide onto the rods. Presto……magic!  Apparently we will be able to park a car on the shelves 🙂

So since we couldn’t finish the tiling until the brackets are totally completed and installed, my hubby just tiled the areas where he could.  We are really hoping to have both the brackets installed this weekend and that the tiling can continue.  I will then resume the sanding of the shelves….which is a joy, let me tell you. Then a coat of a clear finish and we will be ready to get them up there and start using them.

We also have some trim work that needs to be completed. I’m going to be trying to match 24 year old wood stain, so that the new trim is not too noticeable against the original pieces…wish me luck!

The electrician was also hoping to have this large lantern installed over the island and all the switches and outlets finished this week as well.  I can’t wait to see it actually hanging in the space!

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That will just leave the articulating sconces and of course, the shelves, to be installed on the backsplash wall after all the grouted is done. So exciting!  I am seriously dreaming (no, not kidding) about styling those live edge wood shelves.

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I’ll leave you with one more pic that I shared on my Instagram account recently.

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****Some design inspiration coming up, I’ll finally be sharing some pictures from my recent trip to Miami for #ModenusTalksMiami and #DesignMiami in my next post.

Lisa

‘Modern meets rustic and tangles with industrial’ kitchen reno update

Well, if that title isn’t a mouth full, I don’t know what is.  Obviously, trying to come up with catchy titles isn’t my strong suit…so modern/rustic/industrial kitchen it is.

It’s been awhile since I posted any updates on this ongoing reno, but not to fear things have been moving along, slowly…but still moving forward.

When I last left you, I had posted about the finishing touches and we were patiently waiting for the new cabinetry boxes to be done.  Well, they were finished up fairly quickly and installed.  Which meant lots, lots and I mean lots, of boxes filled with various kitchen paraphernalia, most of which will not be making their way back into the new kitchen.

Once the cabinet boxes were installed, the counter fabricators came in to template the kitchen and about two weeks ago the new counters were installed.

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Swoon……(excuse the reflection in the photo, my bad…)

The Caesarstone quartz looks exactly as I had expected it to look, warm, calm and natural. The perfect compliment to the busy, stone island wall.  The stone, black island cabinets, hardwood floor and the quartz make me very, very happy.

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And speaking of counters, I had originally wrestled with the thought of putting butcher block (which I had in my previous cottage kitchen and loved) on the lowered cabinet area (under the windows) to break up the quartz and to also make this area look even more like a piece of furniture.  Well, I had decided to keep things simple and just go with quartz everywhere. But when my fabricator came to measure, we discovered that we would be short with two slabs and we would need to order a third to complete all the counters. Well, I felt that it was a big neon sign that I should go back to my original thought about the butcher block and it would also keep our budget in order.

So, off I went to Ikea and I picked up the Hammarp countertop in Oak, the best match with the oak flooring and the golden oak stained pine.

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I also received this stunningly gorgeous runner from West elm that I had ordered a few weeks ago and placed it up against the blue/grey cabinets. Isn’t it charming?

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And for my November birthday, I asked hubby for some new everyday dishes. The current ones at the cottage are a hodge podge of my first set of dishes, my Mom’s old dishes, my sister-in-law’s, mother-in-law’s old dishes (I knowwww) and the previous owner’s dishes.  I mean…really…..it was time to move them all out to their new homes and get some fresh new ones.  I knew I wanted white, organic, matte and durable.  It took quite some time to find and commit, but I’m thrilled with my new dishes.  I think they will be so pretty sitting up there on the wood shelves.

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And speaking of the wood shelves, when I was in Miami last week for Modenus Talks Miami (stay tuned for a future post), we spent some time at DesignMiami.  And when I saw this vintage 1950’s credenza in all its live edge loveliness, I knew this was exactly the look I wanted for the shelves.  So, I will be sanding my little heart out to get the rough maple slabs, currently in my garage, to get to this look.  But it will be well worth it, don’t you think?

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That’s it for now. Thanks for reading. If you are interested in the previous posts on the kitchen, here’s the links.

Appliances, lighting and faucets, oh my!

Changes, compromises and cabinets

Industrial farmhouse kitchen reno update

Rustic/industrial/farmhouse kitchen makeover

 

Lisa

 

Appliances, lighting, and faucets, oh my!

The most fun part of any reno, well to me anyways, is the finishing touches.  Early on in the renovation planning stage, I sourced and decided on the appliances, lighting fixtures, faucet and sink so that they could be ordered and already be delivered when they were needed.  I didn’t want any problems with waiting for items to be in stock or shipped.

For appliances, I had a wish list, an induction cooktop, downdraft fan, a microwave/convention oven, wall oven, a warming drawer (since we entertain a lot at the cottage and in the winter, it’s always nice to have warmed plates), a wine fridge and a new dishwasher (which quickly became a panelled dishwasher). I decided on Bosch, for everything but the wine fridge, because their appliances hit every mark and I love their sleek look.

Early on, I had seen this Brizo Artesso faucet and I had to have it.  The cool industrial yet rustic vibe was perfect for my vision of the kitchen. Brizo agreed and I’m the happy recipient of it, in a beautiful oil rubbed bronze finish.

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For the sink, I was very torn between a large single, double or a sink and a half. I went back and forth relentlessly.  A large single sink is great, lots of room to do those large pans and soak just about anything, but I really wanted a place to stash my dirty or drying dishes (I hate on-counter drying racks, which I’ve  had and continue to have, and I resent it a little every day).  A double sink would give me that extra space to hide dishes but each sink was a little on the small size, given that I had to stay within a 31″ total width, so I compromised with a sink and a half.  I settled on a Franke sink as it gave me the contemporary edge that I wanted, had the size I needed and had slightly rounded corners to make clean up a breeze.

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Onto my lighting choices – I’ve had a hate on for the existing white track lighting, as there is typically only one or two of the lights working at any one time and let’s face it they are just fugly.  We added the Pottery Barn pendants when we first bought the cottage and they have certainly helped but I desperately need more light than they can give. (see before pics here).

An open rectangular lantern fixture with plenty of lights would be the perfect fit for the long island. I also wanted one without glass, to keep glass cleaning down. The Hinkley Fulton open lantern is perfect with it’s black iron exterior frame and it’s soft bronze interior finish which ties in with the oil rubbed bronze faucet.  To mount this, we will have to have the electrical boxes (where the track lights are now) capped and then somehow hidden (I’ve given this job to our fabulous carpenter and electrician).

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To coordinate with it, Restoration Hardware’s  20th Century Library sconces with their iron finish and touch of brass (to pick up on the warm bronze tones) were an easy choice.  Three of them will line up on the far wall between the windows to light the counters and open shelves there.

prod2460589_av1I also had my heart set on a pendant light over the sink and wanted something that was light and bright but with some dark metal.  Hinkley hit it again with this Clancy fixture, in a warm bronze finish.  Again, some creative carpentry will have to be done to hide the wiring…oh the joys of a log home.

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**Disclaimer, Brizo provided me with the faucet of my choice, in exchange for my honest opinion of it, here on my blog.

Lisa

Changes, compromises and cabinets

Well, as I mentioned last week, we are plowing ahead with our cottage kitchen makeover.  Here’s how it’s looking these days.

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Part of keeping on budget, was the plan to reuse the solid cherry fronts of the cabinetry by painting them out. But sadly, after talking to two separate painting companies, it was a no go.  The cabinet fronts have a stained finish and don’t look too bad from a distance for 23 years old. But up close, well that was a different story, where they have been well handled, the finish is sticky and you can actually scrape it off with a fingernail.  Also, there was a constant white dust that accumulates on both the fronts and backs of the doors.  I would wipe them clean and two weeks later it was all back again.  Both painting companies didn’t feel comfortable trying to remove the finish and guaranteeing a new painted finish on them. Both tried various methods of sanding and paint finishes but they ended up a mess.

So the only option was to go for entirely new cabinet fronts, a shame really but I can’t say I was completely surprised, as I had wondered if the badly deteriorating finish was going to be a problem.

So onwards and upwards.

Earlier this week I met with the carpenter and he was looking skeptically at the drawer interior hardware and how the drawers sagged downwards when they were opened.  So, the next decision was made, to replace all the lower boxes, so that I could have new stronger drawer hardware and soft close drawers. Deep breath…..

Oh yes, and since we are going with new cabinet fronts, I may as well change the stainless steel fronted dishwasher I originally order with a panel ready one. I’ve always wanted one and what’s a few more dollars….sigh…..

Well, with my budget feeling very pinched, I went to Homesense to check out their stools and lucked in with getting two of these lovelies.  Then the next day, I went across town to see if I could score another one and lucky, lucky me, they had one.  Minus a few screws in the seat but that meant I got it at a steal and it’s an easy fix.

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So since that was a great way to save some bucks, I decided to keep going. Instead of having the live edge shelves custom made we decided to take them on ourselves.  After a couple of visits to WoodSource in Manotick, I chose two live edge maple slabs (here’s one close up).

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They will need to be cut to size and then lightly sanded and then I’ll give them a few coats of polyurethane to protect them.

Yay, for some budget saving this week.  We are waiting on the electrician to start some re-wiring this week, hopefully…fingers crossed.  Once that’s done, we will replace the drywall and then we will be waiting  for the cabinet boxes to be installed.

Lisa

 

Industrial farmhouse kitchen reno update

So, I finally have some time to get you guys updated on the cottage kitchen renovation.  Hubby and I went away for a couple of weeks to Barcelona, Spain for our 30th anniversary, so I did have a good excuse.  It was FABULOUS, by the way….what a great city!  But more on that, in another post.

Back to the kitchen reno. When last I left you guys, I had shown you a mood board showing some items that would give you the feel of the kitchen I was going for.  And here it is again.  (If you want to see the before pictures take a look here.)

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So here’s my design plans for the space.

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We wanted to largely keep the footprint intact, with some minor changes here and there. Mostly because logs homes, don’t make it easy to move walls, electrical or even plumbing, but also because we have a fairly strict budget.  And with the island being part rock, well, that wasn’t getting moved either.  But, as per usual, things change when you are renovating and this space has been no exception, more on that later.

Let’s talk islands first:

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The island will have be one flat surface counter as opposed to the lower edge that it has now. That way we can actually use it for stool seating. As it is now, it’s far too low for anyone to sit there.

All the perimeter cabinets will be painted Benjamin Moore’s New Hope Grey.  A beautiful blue/gray that I’m so excited to use.

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Benjamin Moore’s New Hope Gray 2130-50

Hubby requested that the island be a contrasting colour and black, was the no-brainer choice. It will coordinate nicely with the black chalkboard wall, the existing knobs & cup handles (which I’m hoping to reuse) and the new light fixtures and faucet which are also in dark finishes.

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Benjamin Moore’s Almost Black 2130-30

I will be reconfiguring some of the island cabinetry. Two wine racks will be moved from the left side of the island end to live beside the two on the right side of the island.  They should fit nicely side by side and that way I can square off the island, as I’m really not keen on the angled island ends.  A wine fridge is also being added to the island so the cabinetry will have to be adjusted for that as well.

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The upper cabinets have all been removed and will be replaced with two live edge wood shelves.  That was a hard sell with hubby, but I persisted and I’m thrilled with how open the kitchen already looks without any upper cabinets.

I decided on a matte white, large scale subway tile with a handmade feel to it.  It is shown below, except the ones I’m using are actually a little wider, but the same length.  I’ve chosen a soft grey grout as well, since I don’t want to deal with having to clean white grout…phbttt….

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There is a lower part of the counter (due to two lower windows) at the end of the cabinet run. It turned the corner and ended with a never used desk. I have to admit it had me stumped for a long time, I originally wanted to do a window seat with storage but after going back and forth with designs, I just couldn’t commit.  Hubby wasn’t thrilled with this idea, as he felt that since we were having stools at the counter, we didn’t need a second seating area in the kitchen, especially because right outside the kitchen is a large window seat and a huge dining table with 12 chairs.  I agreed that it was probably seating overkill, so I ditched that idea and decided on making the area feel a bit more like a free standing buffet.  This way I would still have lots of storage and I could get rid of the useless desk at the end of the run and also have a nice little open area to feed the cats.  I’m going with open shelves between two closed cupboards so I have a little display area that will feel a little different than the run of drawers right beside it.

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The upper microwave cabinet with be replaced with one that is shallower and slightly wider.  I am still going back and forth as to whether I want it to be an appliance garage but I will hold out judgement on that, until I talk it out with my carpenter.

So there you have it, the kitchen plans and I’ll update you next week, on how they have changed.  Stay tuned as I’ll be posting in the next few weeks, about the lighting (one of my favourite parts of any reno), the appliances and the fixtures.

Lisa

 

 

 

Rustic/industrial/farmhouse kitchen makeover

I am super excited to say that we are going ahead with our rustic/industrial/farmhouse cottage kitchen update this fall…wow that was a mouthful. I’ve been such a busy bee getting all the items chosen, sourced and ordered that I haven’t even had any time to blog!

It’s so exciting! I’ve been dreaming of redoing this kitchen ever since I saw it.  This is how it looked when we originally purchased the home. (This is the realtor photo)

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And how the kitchen looks now:

DSC_0194So you can see that I painted the side panel in blackboard paint (which I love and I’m leaving as is). I added the hanging pendants, due entirely to my hubby’s cleverness.  The white knobs were exchanged for the black square knobs and cup handles.  And the wood shutters were removed from the windows, they banged into the cupboards and generally, just drove me crazy.

Now, we will be doing a much bigger change to the kitchen, but it is still not a total gut.  We are leaving the footprint the same, since it’s a log home, any floor plan or lighting changes are a challenge.  I’m okay with the layout, so I’m just doing some fine tuning.  But, can I tell you how happy I am to be finally rid of those white track lights, they are definitely on their way out! More on the layout and all the details in another post.

But I will leave you with the kitchen’s mood board.  As you can see it has a rustic/industrial/farm house aesthetic together with some blue, of course!

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Stay tuned for progress reports!

Lisa

How to add the magical details to a space

Do you ever get right to the end of a makeover or renovation of a space and find that there is just something missing?

Well, I can pretty much be certain that you are just missing a few little details, to get the room of your dreams.

Want to learn more? Click here to read my Wicker Emporium post.

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Lisa

Kips Bay Show House 2015

The last day of my NYC trip was spent exploring the Kips Bay Show House for the Boys and Girls Club. And what a beauty it is!

Here’s just a few pics of the gorgeousness!

Starting at the Foyer (done by Drake Design Associates) I fell in love with these light fixtures that looked like clouds against the stunning polished sky blue ceiling.

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And who could forget that staircase! (Done by Ronald J. Bricke)

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THIS FLOOR! (Done by Peter J. Sinnott IV – Home Works)

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And yet another gorgeous bathroom. (Done by Clive Christian Interiors)  The wall covering was absolutely luminous!

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And yes, an exterior bath set up high! (Done by Greener by Design)

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A masculine and sexy bar tucked in a small corner. (Done by Alan Tanksley, Inc.)

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I was really taken with this bedroom. I am loving the tartan fabric on the walls.  (David Pheonix, Inc.)

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And last but definitely not least…the kitchen! (Done by Christopher Peacock)

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And a little garden retreat on the main floor. (Done by Janice Parker Landscape Architects)

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So that’s the end of my little tour.  Which room is your favourite? I have to say the bathrooms were outstanding! So hard to pick my favourite.

I have tried to be accurate with my design credits, but if I’ve made a mistake, please let me know and I’ll correct it asap!

Lisa