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?

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

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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.

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

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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.

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

Lisa

Bright and fresh guest bath

Before and after bath

I’m sharing a before and after of a small guest bath that was completed recently.  As you can see, it is now bright and fresh and ready for some Christmas guests.

A few befores. removing the bulkhead made such a huge difference.

Before bath before bath Before

This was a budget makeover as it is a little used bathroom and my clients just wanted to bring it up to date and make it fresh and clean.  We shopped big box stores and used budget friendly pieces wherever we could.

shower curtain, vanity and toilet view

We did a solid rectangular grey tile on the floor and a simple grey vanity from a big box store.  The client had purchased the mirror a few years prior and was itching to use it in the space. It adds a nice dose of personality to the room.

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The large scale white horizontal tile with strie detail are absolutely stunning in real life.  It’s a little hard to see the detail in a picture but trust me they are spectacular! And the graphic black and white shower curtain, just adds the right amount of pop.

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You can see them a little better in the above photo and we laid them in a grid pattern so that it the horizontal lines were unbroken, also 2 tiles fit the length of the tub and 1 worked for the depth…perfectly. Little to no cutting involved!  When does that ever happen???

Here’s a good look at the vanity and the mirror.  I pulled the blue out of the mirror for the towels but you could use any of the accent colours in the mirror to change it up.

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We painted the walls in white that matched the shower tiles, to make it feel bigger, as there’s no demarcation line between the tiles and the walls.

shower curtain, vanity and toilet view

My clients also picked up a new low-flow toilet that is a higher more comfortable height.

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graphic shower curtain, toilet, flooring

A better look at the floor tile that were done in a grid pattern.

After full view bath

And if you look really close in the far left corner, you’ll see that even Phoebe approves.

Sources: Wall and floor tile – Ceragres, paint – Benjamin Moore, vanity, shelf, toilet – Home Depot, Mirror, artwork – client’s own,  faucets – Delta, shower curtain – Bed, bath and beyond

Lisa

 

Simple and easy turquoise accented Christmas urn

As promised, here’s my urn and wreath at my city house. As you can see I went with turquoise accents on my Christmas urn, this year.  I love the way the turquoise stands out against the evergreens.

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And a close up.

Closeup of turquoise and evergreen exterior urn

It was super quick this year, I just picked up some cedar and boxwood branches from Loblaws and I used some leftover pine branches that I had brought home from the country and layered them together.  I added in the huge pinecones, which I always seem to use,  along with some birch branches.

I’ve used the turquoise bow and butterfly before and I just pulled them out of my supplies and that was it.  Quick, simple and inexpensive

I also picked up a ready made boxwood wreath and just added a few pinecones and another turquoise butterfly for a super simple DIY.

Exterior christmas wreath with turquoise accents

I love the way the turquoise and green pops against the dark brown door.  Hopefully the boxwood wreath will hold up all the winter.

Exterior urn and wreath with turquoise accents

Exterior christmas urn with turquoise accents.

If you haven’t seen my first Christmas urn I did last week for my cottage, you can see it here.

I also decided to go back and share some of my previous exterior urns and decor from years past. I think you’ll see that I stick with a pretty similar style, year and year.  And they may give you some inspiration to get yours done, if you haven’t already.

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Lisa

This year’s country christmas urn

After our 15-25 cm of snow this weekend, it now looks just like Christmas here! So pretty but NOT so great for driving.

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This past weekend, I got my country log home ready for the holidays (minus the real tree). Have you started your decorating yet?  Yesterday, I did my country Christmas exterior urn and the rest of my entrance’s decor. I rarely have a plan for this, I just go where I’m feeling it, and this is the result.

Exterior Christmas urn with snowflakes

I found these adorable wooden snowflakes at Wicker Emporium last year and I was excited that I fit them into this year’s decor. I kept it pretty simple and rustic with some pine branches, cut from our own trees, my old standby birch branches (from my neighbour’s lot) and some bought cedar branches, as we don’t have cedar on our property.

Closeup of christmas urn with snowflakes

I added in some red dogwood branches in the middle (from my backyard in the city) and of course, a huge pinecone and a sparkly bow to finish it off.

Exterior christmas sled

I also did up my vintage sled and two of the lanterns that I had spray painted black (from their original rusted silver) this summer.

Exterior christmas lantern

Exterior christmas entry with urn and sled

Please ignore all my little wet footprints, everywhere.

Exterior christmas sled

Exterior Christmas urn and lantern

Later this week I’ll be sharing my city home’s exterior urn and I’ll be taking a look back at ALL THE ONES I’ve done in year’s past. Wish me luck finding all those old pics.

Exterior Christmas urn with snowflakes

Lisa

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

Rustic and warm wedding table setting

Well, so far I’m hitting a new post every 6 weeks…Yikes.  I will be trying to improve my deplorable record in the upcoming weeks.  Stay tuned…..

As I previously mentioned, my son got married at the end of September at our cottage, it was a beautiful day, sunny and a little cool, perfect when you are doing plenty of eating and drinking ;-).

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This wedding was a labour of love and we had many personal touches to make the day extra special for the newlyweds.  My new son-in-law shares of love of all things decor and DIY with me, so we kind of went to town on wedding DIY decor.

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The rustic and warm table settings got many oohs and aah so I thought I’d share them here with you.  Justin, had a very specific vision for them and I just gave him a hand implementing his ideas.  I think they turned out beautifully.

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They had decided on terrariums for the centrepieces, together with some vintage silver vessels filled with tiny baby succulents.

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Aren’t they adorable?  We managed to get most of them done with lots of family help, on the long weekend in September.  The large terrariums were given to the wedding party as a thank you for being part of this special day and we hope they live a very long life in their new homes.

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I think the first thing that was decided upon, was to use burlap runners (hard to see in the following pics).  I found ready made ones online but they were a little short for our long wood tables, so I just sewed two together to make it work for us.

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The table numbers were printed up on paper that looked like chalkboards and we just inserted them into these budget friendly white frames.  The name tags were also printed professionally and placed in “previously loved” wood branch place card holders.

The caterers provided the gorgeous wood boards, and votives and we think that the terrariums looked absolutely spectacular on them.

Together with some beautifully simple white platters and dishes, that pop…. and…VOILA!

You have a simple, rustic yet so interesting and warm wedding table setting.

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Lisa

From dark and drab to bright and pretty

Well, I can definitely smell fall in the air.  Makes me want to get all my cosy sweaters, leggings, tall boots and chai pumpkin tea out. It really is my favourite season, cool, sunny and not too hot.

As promised I thought I’d catch you up on some design projects that I worked on this past winter/spring.  And this master bath renovation definitely brings to mind a fresh, bright, spring day.

Quite a bit of work has been done on this client’s home, as the previous owner used a wheelchair and there was some retrofitting that needed to be done for my client.  High up on the wish list, was her dark, brown and dreary master bathroom.

Here’s the befores and I apologize for the absolutely terrible before pics. In my defence, it’s a small bath so it is very hard to get some good pictures but I think I accidentally deleted a few that actually were better than theses (shakes head).

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My client explained that she really wanted a white, clean, spare, spa bath with a freestanding tub and no shower (there’s one in the basement).

So, first up was removing the large brown walk-in shower.  I gave my client the exact measurements she’d need for a tub that would fit into small alcove (where the shower had been) and she was off shopping.  It was very important that she tried out the tub herself and made sure it was comfortable for her, tubs are like mattresses and seating, everyone fits in them differently.

And happily, she found the perfect one, modern, clean, oval and exactly the right size for our space.

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Vanico Maronyx – Vesso

Isn’t she pretty?

Now it was time to find tiles. She loved the look of marble but with budget being an issue, I found some marble lookalike, large scale porcelain tile which fit the look and budget perfectly. We used them on the floor and then ran them up the wall about a third of the way, but just around the tub.

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Ceragres Anima & Onix Nature

When I came upon this pretty matte and  iridescence mini hexagon tile border, I had an aha moment. However, the large scale tile and the border tile were different thicknesses, but after adding in the chair rail moulding tile and pencil tile, it will never be noticed.

 

Due to budget constraints we decided to keep the existing white vanity.

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Caesarstone Organic white quartz

But upgraded to a new Caesarstone’s Organic White quartz countertop (above). Together with a simple white square undermount sink, shiny new Moen faucets and hardware you’d never guess it was the same cabinet. Feminine and sparkly!

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Moen Weymouth

We added the matching two handle tub filer from Moen, which really makes a statement in the small bath.

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Moen Weymouth

Again, excuse the photos, I haven’t had it professionally photographed yet, or even photographed by me properly, but here’s a few iPhone pics of the after.  And yes we were still waiting for the new handles to be installed in this pic as well as for a small shelf above the toilet.

White. grey and yellow master bath

White, grey and yellow master bath tub

White, grey and yellow master bath detail

Quite a difference from the previous space, wouldn’t you say?  Bright and pretty, it’s the perfect spot to enjoy a nice soak.

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

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.

Blue and green plate wall

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.

Blue and green plate wall

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