Planning a Makeover: Master Bedroom & Ensuite

Apr 29, 2015

Recently I was able to help a friend with a decor dilemma in her master bedroom. She desperately wanted to transition the colours of the space from cream based to whiter, more cooler tones. So we set out to choose new colours for the walls, trim and doors, plus choose something alternative for the window coverings.

Picking paint colours, especially for someone else, is no easy feat! It's natural for people to view colours differently, especially if that person is not experienced with paint colours and viewing the undertones. We also had to consider the colours in the fireplace surround, the light fixture and the existing furniture, as none of these would change, plus, the additional natural light as a result of the many windows of this room.

After several trips to the paint shop, looking at design magazines and then through the process of elimination, we settled on the look that we were going for - a mix of French elegance and coastal charm. To achieve this look we choose a light pink colour called Ecru for the walls of the sleeping area, Ocean Air for the dressing room area and Chantilly Lace in a flat finish for the ceiling and  Chantilly Lace in pearl finish for the crown and trim - all colours are Benjamin Moore. The result is an up to date, elegant sanctuary that both occupants of this bedroom love & enjoy.

We wanted to scale back the window coverings and go with the bare minimum in order to allow the natural light to flow through and  to showcase the fabulous ocean view. We chose a roller shade from the Paint Shop in a light white colour (unfortunately, not being installed for another few weeks). The style of the shade is striped, with alternating solid and sheer stripes which can be "rolled" to either be all solid, or solid and sheer. Having these extra options was a great benefit to the homeowners. And again, we chose this style and colour to allow the main focus of the room to be the beautiful view and the coastal feeling.

This makeover is the first of many for this home as we continue to transition the colours from the previous cream and beige tones to newer and fresher white, cool and airy tones. Stay tuned for more updates as we continue our progress!

Projects in Progress Update

Apr 27, 2015

Happy Monday everyone! It's the last week of April (already) and I'm happy to say that we got a lot accomplished this month. On that note -  I realized that my last recap on some of our ongoing projects was back in November (!), so today, I'm giving a  recent update on how everything is coming along. If you missed it, here's the first post on these projects where I outlined our list of things to do.

Spare room 1 is actually the room that I'm working on as part of the One Room Challenge. So for the past 4 weeks I've been providing updates on that room every Thursday. You can read the latest update here, and there are links in that post to the previous weeks' updates as well. There will be a major update on this room on Thursday; it's so exciting to finally see things come together.

As a reminder, here's how it looked when we moved in:

And here's where we are now (just a sneak peek because the big update will come on Thursday).

We also decided on the closet and bedroom doors. They are both this style, 2 panel square smooth, from Kent. (sorry for the blurry pic!)

Here's where we are on the list...not much left!

Spare Room 1:
Remove carpet
Remove baseboards
Remove wallpaper
Hang new wallpaper (this is in progress)
Lay hardwood flooring
Change light fixture
Install new baseboards
Install new bedroom door and closet doors
Add bed & decor
Install Closet Organizer

Spare room 2 is now going to be a spare room/dressing room for the time being. The plan is for Nick and I to move into these two rooms while our master is getting renovated and one closet really won't be enough for both of our things - so I've decided to take on the second bedroom as my dressing room :)

Here's how it looked when we moved in:

And here's how it looks at the moment.

I have light fixtures for both rooms; and installation will hopefully happen today or tomorrow.

Spare Room 2/Dressing Room:
Remove carpet
Remove baseboards
Plaster, prime and paint
Lay hardwood flooring
Change light fixture
Install new baseboards
Install new bedroom door and closet doors
Add bed
Install closet organizer.

When I look at the list for the front foyer, I see that it's really the temporary front foyer list as our final list will involve replacing the tiles and taking down some of the walls. But for now, this list is done!

As a refresher, here's how the foyer looked when we moved in:

And after completing the list, here's how it looks now.

Front Foyer:
Plaster, prime and paint (in progress)
Install new light fixture
Hang pictures
Add rugs, key hooks, shoe rack and sitting bench

And last but not least...the main stairs. In all honesty, this list hasn't changed; but there's good reasoning behind it - we decided to leave the carpet down in the upstairs hall and on the stairs until the master bedroom reno is complete. I'd rather that carpet get damaged than the new hardwoods!

Main Stairs:
Plaster, prime and paint (in progress)
Remove carpet
Paint risers and treads, install carpet runner
Relocate and install new light fixture
Add mirror

It's so rewarding and uplifting to see items getting crossed off of these lists! Will be sharing the reveal for both of the spare rooms in the next few weeks so stay tuned.

One Room Challenge: Week 4

Apr 23, 2015

Wow - the weeks are really flying by and as we approach week 6 I'm starting to feel the crunch. By the end of today, all of the "major" reno items (installing the hardwood floor, baseboards, crown moulding and closet doors) will all be complete. All I will have left to work on then, in my opinion, the fun stuff...decorating!

Here's the room as of this morning:

I can't wait to see how it looks when I get home this evening as the crown mouldings and baseboards will be installed. Just those small additions will really have a big impact and bring the space together.

I've been struggling with which type of window coverings I wanted to go with. Initially I was thinking I would go with something different that would make a big statement; so I sent this photo from Pinterest to my trusted Mom for her opinion.
Her immediate response was similar to the thoughts that I was having deep down. Although I like aspects of this setting, and certainly think it's beautiful, it isn't really my style. It's not clean and simple and there isn't much white - all of which are themes that usually prevail in my decorating.

So I went back and looked through my Pinterest board for bedrooms and was only reassured that Mom (and my gut) was right. Most of the photos I had pinned were similar to these rooms -  light and airy with simple window coverings.

So yes, it's important to step outside of your comfort zone and experiment with new ideas and trends in decorating. But also keep in mind that you still want enjoy, love and feel comfortable in the space that you've created. There's no need to do something that's out of the box if it's not you.

If you're excited to follow along on my progress since I started this challenge 4 weeks ago, check out the links to  previous weeks posts for the One Room Challenge below.

One Room Challenege Week 3 - no post from me for week 3!

And be sure to check out everyone else's progress over on Calling It Home.

images: via // via // via // via

House Tour: A Cozy Rustic Toronto Apartment

Apr 22, 2015 I ever thrilled to be sharing another house tour with you today! House tours are my favourite, I love seeing how other people pull together great spaces with things they love.

The Home
This one floor apartment is located on the second floor of a house in Toronto's Little Italy. The home, and this apartment in particular, has an abundance of old building charm with a brick wall, tall ceilings and lovely bay windows.

Prior to moving in, the couple renting the space gave nearly every room a fresh coat of paint. As you will see, they went with cool neutral colours of whites, greys and a navy blue accent wall in the living room. Then they chose their decor and furnishings based on a rustic/country theme. Like most homes, this apartment home is currently a work in progress, but you've been invited to come on in and take a look at how things are coming together to date. Enjoy!


Isn't the space beautiful? The homeowners have done a great job of mixing together pieces that each had in previous apartments, as well as vintage store finds. As there is limited square footage and the homeowners both love entertaining, they have easily transformed a bookcase shelf to act as a temporary yet convenient bar. Another way they accommodated for the small space was by choosing a love seat for their seating instead of choosing a full couch or sectional.

Can you believe that the kitchen table was made out of wood from a bowling alley?!

Thanks for taking another tour with me! Check back in tomorrow for updates on our spare bedroom for the One Room Challenge.

Fresh Changes for Spring!

Apr 20, 2015

Hello again!

In case you didn't notice, I took a little break from posting last week. I was so busy preparing for our weekend trip to NYC and working on some projects with my "day job", that finding the time to prepare posts was nearly impossible. After an amazing whirlwind weekend in NYC,  I'm glad to be back home and catching up with all of you here!

We had such amazing weather on our trip - I'm taking 20 degrees!  Even though its still freezing in Newfoundland and there may be a forecast of flurries, I'm officially feeling the change of seasons.
My favourite way to welcome the season is by making some changes in my home. I don't necessarily mean Spring cleaning, more along the lines of some minor decor changes to help welcome the long evenings and warmer days.

First things first, change your bed linens! Say goodbye to dark and heavy comforters or fleece sheets and hello to cotton sheets and a light and bright coverlets and duvet covers.
via // via // via // via // via // via 

Next, put away (or throw out) your salt and dirt covered door mats and replace them with clean,  bright, new ones! There are several stylish options to choose from including contemporary and traditional patterns or something fun like a floral or nautical print.  
via // via // via

And finally, you can further add colourful injections of Spring through some small accessory additions like pots, dishes, pillows and dish cloths. 
via // via // via // via

Snow or no snow, I'm not waiting any longer to bring Spring into my home. How do you incorporate the changing seasons into your decor?

Simple Inspirations

Apr 10, 2015

The time has come again for our weekly instalment of Simple Inspirations. This week's round up showcases some unique ways to decorate your home through both fixtures and layout. I love doing things that are not necessarily on trend or are a little different and some of these concepts are definitely just that.
1. via // Install a recycled/reclaimed plank accent wall. This concept has been popular for some time and I still love the look of it however I'd choose to incorporate it with some modern accents rather than the full on rustic country theme.

2. via // This horizontal tongue and groove wainscoting adds a rustic feel to an otherwise glam bathroom. As you know, I love mixing contrasting elements and this look is totally inline with that.

3. via // Vertical wainscoting and painted stairs. It can be extremely pricey to replace a stairwell so work with what you have by giving it a coat of paint (especially if it's a temporary fix and you plan to replace the stairs down the road).

4. via // Fireplace mantles add so much to a room - a ledge to display your keepsakes, architectural detail and also a focal point for the room. No need to install a fireplace, just position a reclaimed (or new) mantle. Go for the monochromatic look or paint it a contrasting colour and you'll have an instant wow factor.

5. via // Allow natural light to flow and add instant character by using a reclaimed window as a room divider.

6. via //  Loving this alternative to cupboard pulls. I think this clean and modern look could easily be DIY'd with any existing cabinetry depending on the detail of the cabinet fronts.

7. via // Nope, this isn't wallpaper! It's a DIY'd stencil wall. Check out the link for the full details. I've also seen Sharpie markers used to create pattern for an accent wall. The options seem endless when you can use a Sharpie and a stencil rather than going through effort of hanging wallpaper to get a similar look.

Most of these ideas can be finished in a weekend. If you give any of them a try be sure to share how it turned out!

One Room Challenge: Week 2

To be honest, not a lot to report on our the guest room makeover this week for the One Room Challenge. Although we did make a bit of progress, I'm planning to make some bigger strides with our makeover this coming week.

We continued hanging the wallpaper and I also got a start on painting the ceiling. The few home decor items I ordered from Ikea have arrived and I've been brainstorming some ideas for DIY curtains.

I've also been thinking of some DIY options for the nightstands. Right now I'm leaning towards a modern style floating box with a shelf. Something maybe a little like these.

Just a little short update, will have more to share next week! Happy decorating!

photos || 1..2..

My Go-To Decorating Methods

Apr 8, 2015

As I've mentioned many times before, I very easily get tired of my home decor. Not so much the major things like large furnishings or paint colours, but smaller things like furniture layout or the placement of decorative accessories. I like to move things around and play with different layouts and styling to keep things feeling fresh and inspired.
There are a few go-to design methods that I find always give me the results I'm looking for. All you need is a few objects that you probably already have lying around and about 15 mins!

1. Add an Element of Surprise.

That's right, add a little something that will throw people off. Whenever you're room or space feels like it's "just so", I recommend adding in something totally out of the ordinary and unexpected. For instance, these skull shot glasses are definitely a little out of the ordinary for me, but since they're small and clear, they aren't overpowering or intrusive and they add a little whimsical detail to the mix. Your element of surprise could be anything from a small decorative item like mine,a throw pillow in a bold contrasting color, a piece of abstract or out of the box art.
2. Stack and Display

This is my absolute favorite method. I practice this basically wherever I have an awkward free space that just needs "a little something". To get this look stack 2 or 3 color coordinating books horizontally and then display a photo or a small plant or an accessory on top of it. It's that easy and it's instant "magazine worthy" styling.
3. Display it on a Tray

Trays are so versatile and they can easily make any table top or shelf look organized and stylish. Feel free to use whatever you have on hand and make it work within your space. The tray in our living room was handed down to me by my mother. It's probably not something I would've picked up myself as it's a tad more vintage than my regular taste - but, by stacking a few of my favourite home decor books on it, adding a trendy mason jar vase and a candle, the tray now fits right in with my decor and even adds a little of that surprise element that I mentioned in #1. 
4. Vignette It

In decorating, a vignette is a small grouping of objects that create a pleasing focal point and "tells a story". Vignettes can be used almost anywhere throughout your home. A popular place for vignettes is on a tall and narrow table in the entryway, like I have done here. I recently changed up this vignette and the new additions really help the objects to tell story. The main theme here is Newfoundland focused but I obviously had to toss in an owl object and this lamp was the perfect addition.  There really aren't any rules to creating a vignette however I would recommend a mixture of objects of different heights and textures to add dimension and keep your vignette interesting. 

5. Mix It Up

I've said before and I'm saying it again, mix up your decor! Ok, this may not be for everyone but it's my surefire way to add creativity, interest and intrigue into my decorating. By mixing it up I mean adding objects that speak to you, something that's close to you and something that's maybe a little out of the ordinary. To me, decorating isn't about having a matchy-matchy cookie cutter space, it's about creating a comfortable livable and inviting personal space. Here in our living room, I've included souvenirs from my Dad's trips to Labrador. Some might say that they don't really "go" with the decor vibe of the room, but they go with "me" and they are also great conversation pieces. Instead of boxing them up in storage or grouping them all together, I've mixed them in with my other decor. So keep your eyes peeled when you're out vintage shopping or browsing second hand stores, and unpack your box of travel souvenirs and put them on display!
As always, the most important thing with decorating is to have fun and not take it too seriously.

Check back in tomorrow for an update on our guest bedroom for the One Room Challenge. Read more about that here. 

Sunroom Makeover Update

Apr 6, 2015

Hi there! I hope everyone had a lovely long weekend. Easter is one of my favourite times of the year -  it usually means Spring is around the corner, it involves too much chocolate, and is a great time to spend with family & friends. I hosted our families for Easter brunch - if you follow me on Instragram you may have seen this photo I posted of my Easter themed table setting. I wanted to keep the table fairly simple to let the tablecloth stand out, so I went with some faux greenery and flowers, keeping the pots and jars white or clear, and just a few candles.

Now...onto the updates to the sunroom.
We've made a small amount of progress to date in the sunroom.

In case you missed it, check out this post where I discuss my plans and vision for the sunroom.

So far we've moved in some furniture (couch, table & chairs, bookshelf), added a few plants, and hung sheer curtains and lights for privacy and ambiance. The major items left to do include painting the room, installing the faux brick panelling and spray painting some of the light fixtures.

Although it's not perfect, or finalized, I already enjoy spending time here; reading on the couch or having my morning coffee at the table. It feels good to finally have a purpose for this beautiful room.