Design inspiration, Style ideas, Shopping information and more…
8 Great ideas for creating a pet-friendly laundry room complete with pet shower your pups will love!
Design elements for creating a glam master ensuite with luxurious spa-like features.
Moving to the country. Sounds idyllic, right? It has always been a dream of mine and my dream has come true – but not without a few nightmares along the way! Like any move, particularly one that involves extensive renovations, it’s never easy on the family but with smart planning and a mindset that “what can happen, will happen” the process can be just a little bit easier to live through!
My husband and I had decided that once we had purchased our country home, we would move out of our Hampton-style home in the historical town of Oakville and dig right in to start the renovation of our newly purchased, never-renovated, mid-century bungalow in the heart of Ontario Wine Country at the foot of the Niagara Escarpment. Ambitious right? You got it!! But before we started demolition, we had to make a big decision. Where were we going to live during the renovation? It had to be somewhere close by to so we could regularly check up on the progress of the reno. After a disappointing search for acceptable accommodation, we decided to purchase a new trailer home from SmithvilleRV.com that we would park on our 14-acre property just steps from the house. It was a brilliant decision! Living on-site allowed us to manage and monitor the reno on a daily basis and avoid painful and costly surprises that arise during any reno.
Although the trailer decor was quite acceptable and comfortable, naturally, as a Designer, I couldn’t resist adding a little personal touch to brighten the space. Knowing my husband and I would be living in the trailer over the late summer and early winter months, we wanted our temporary accomodation to look and feel like a home that would house the two of us, occasional weekenders (my son, his girlfriend and dog) and my 3 dogs! Sound idyllic now? It was a challenge but somehow we made it work…and keep the family in tact!
I’m happy to report that, thanks to our cozy trailer home, my husband and I survived our home reno in comfort and style through to the start of the winter of 2016 and were able to move out and into our new home – although a far cry from finished! – just one day before the first snowfall in December and just in time for Christmas. Phew!
Here’s how I magically – and inexpensively – transformed our trailer into a welcoming summer/fall home that we’ll always be thankful for and will never forget!
Above: My trailer home was parked just steps away from my newly-purchased mid-century bungalow. Living on-site saved us time, money and a whole lot of stress! It’s always a good idea to be on site as much as possible during any renovation.
Overlooking the large pond fed by a water fall from the Escarpment on the property, I always felt like I woke up at the cottage and not a construction site.
Check out the next blog to see how I created a deck to die for that extended our living spaces all summer long. We couldn’t have survived without it!
Let’s take a look inside!
BEFORE- LIVING/DINING ROOM: Nicely decorated in a warm neutral palette the new trailer included stunning features including an electric fireplace, carpeting and a wood-look vinyl floor in the living room/dining/kitchen area. Two swivel/rocking chairs, a comfy leather sofa with storage and wood dining chairs with upholstered seats and backs, make the space quite comfortable. Check out all the storage cabinetry! Bonus!!!
To brighten the 400 +sq ft space, I repainted the fireplace wall and cabinetry in Benjamin Moore Balboa Mist OC-27 with countertops in Onyx 2133-10, all other walls in Silver Satin OC-26, replaced the original rocking/swivel chairs with 2 classic upholstered chairs and added an ottoman reupholstered by Switch Studio with JFFabric’s Coco 67 blue velvet, all from my previous home in Oakville. I had striped pillows made in JFFabrics ‘Oliver’ for the sofa and chairs.
I was so pleased that both my upholstered chairs, ottoman and bench all fit perfectly in my tiny living room to accomodate seating for at least eight! Good thing all my friends and family enjoy each others company! Everyone is happy to cozy up around the fire to watch TV or just chat about how amazing my trailer is!
I painted my dining table in Benjamin Moore Onyx 2133-10 – you’ll see it in the kitchen too – and replaced the original dining chairs with my comfy upholstered dining chairs. Sweet!
BEFORE – KITCHEN: How happy was I to see that the trailer came with a full-size fridge and a good sized oven with ventilation hood (above), both powered by propane. My culinary passions were not challenged in the least!
The original kitchen was warm and inviting but I decided to paint the cabinets and countertop for a more sophisticated look.
I started by replacing the vinyl diamond “backsplash”, with a stone mosaic peel & stick backsplash! Cheap and easy to install and very chic! After installing the backsplash, I primed the cabinets and countertop in Benjamin Moore Advance Interior Paint primer (K790) then painted the countertop in a white Advance and the cabinets in Onyx 2133-10 semi-gloss (Advance comes in all Benjamin Moore colours) for maximum durability and it’s so easy to clean. Available in matte, pearl, semi-gloss and high gloss finishes, it’s specifically designed for cabinets, furniture and work surfaces. I installed a new, more efficient and stylish pull-down faucet for the double sink. I love that there’s a window at the sink to provide a view and fresh air when cleaning up! Under cabinet lighting illuminates the work area.
Above: I discovered this peel & stick tile at Home Depot. If your store doesn’t carry it ask for help to order it. It’s amazing!
BEFORE – BATHROOM
The teeny yet efficient bathroom has all the essentials; a shower stall, toilet, vanity and linen closet. I painted the vanity and countertop in the same colours as in the kitchen/living room and added an Ikea vanity mirror (below) complete with shelving and towel bar.
Below: After painting the bathroom walls in Silver Satin OC-26, I added a ladder behind the toilet for towels and magazines.
BEFORE – BEDROOM
AFTER: In the bedroom, I removed the headboard and painted the walls in Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace OC-65. Custom pillows in JFFabrics Lush (34J7331), a pretty neutral leafy pattern, and pretty dotted sheers (JFFabrics 51334 in Vanilla 552) that diffuse the light, add privacy and a touch of romance to the room. A lovely transformation!
Below: Ikea’s space-saving Norberg wall-mounted drop-leaf table was the perfect addition to this tiny space offering me a surface for my iPad and a place to apply my makeup or blow dry my hair when the bathroom is in use.
Photos by Karen Kirk
Visit HouseandHome.com to see the video.
For Sale! Sadly we will be parting ways with our beautiful trailer home this summer (2018). If you’re interested in purchasing my trailer, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. I’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.
A well-planned layout is crucial to create an easy flow in a spacious open-plan kitchen designed for more than one cook and lots of family and friends! In my new home, it was important to me to design a kitchen that spoke to my design aesthetic and lifestyle – a social place where everyone, including me, could enjoy cooking, dining and entertaining in style and comfort. As an avid cook with a large family and three active dogs – and a couple of doggie cousins, I wanted my kitchen to be bright and feature high-performance, easy-to-maintain, durable surfaces. I chose Silestone by Cosentino Ariel countertops for all the surfaces in my kitchen including the large island, breakfast bar and secondary island, for a seamless look that’s light, airy, and a breeze to clean.
If the kitchen is where you spend most of your time with family cooking, dining and entertaining, think as big as your budget and space will allow. You’ll save time and money if you choose durable work surfaces in timeless, simple designs that are easy to keep clean. Quartz is a non-pourous, food-safe, scratch-, stain- and scorch-reistant surface that’s perfect for any busy culinary kitchen. It’s not only practical for islands and countertops for preparing and serving food, with so many designs and colours available today, quartz provides a gorgeous surface for informal dining and entertaining in the kitchen. Always hire a reputable kitchen designer who is well-connected to a qualified team of reliable, certified trades, contractors, and suppliers to ensure a successful installation of all your kitchen finishes.
Above: A small breakfast bar is one of my favourite places in the kitchen. It’s where I sit and enjoy the view over morning coffee and croissant each morning. And even better, it goes without saying that my beverage station with a wine-lovers Thermador wine reserve column, beats out the breakfast bar by a nose…or a glass of wine! Creating zones in my kitchen has added convenience distributing the activities – and bodies – throughout the kitchen, especially good when I have a houseful of family and guests. Countertops: Silestone by Cosentino in Ariel , Cabinetry by Parand Design , Floors by Lauzon
Above: l love my walk-in pantry. Rather than incorporating it into the kitchen proper, I positioned it outside my kitchen, just behind the appliance wall. Along with floor-to-ceiling open shelves and cupboards, I also added a small coffee station featuring a Silestone Ariel countertop that comes in handy for preparing snacks and beverages when entertaining.
Need help with your kitchen design, home decor or renovation? Click on Contact Us and drop us a line. We’d love to hear from you!
Photos by Paul Chmielowiec, paulc.ca
Spring has never been more anticipated or welcomed by Canadians! Mother Nature has tested our patience this past winter but as reliable as the crocus, forsythia and daffadils in our garden, she always delivers spring, although stylishly late, to brighten our lives. Spring has finally arrived!
And there’s more good news! Spring has sprung at 1400 Castlefield Ave, Toronto where Jardin de Ville opened their new summer showroom, the sister showroom to their permanent 44 Sherbourne St, Toronto showroom.
My design team and I frequent the Castlefield Ave design district so we’re delighted to have another fabulous resource for incomparable, high-quality design in the neighbourhood.
A Quebec-based company, Jardin de Ville is a leader in both design and retail of high-end outdoor furniture. With four permanent showrooms in Quebec, one in Toronto, and one in Fort Myers, Florida, Jardin de Ville offers numerous of collections, including brands such as Cane Line, Manutti and Roda.
Well established on a national level, Jardin de Ville distributes worldwide including France, Bahamas, and Korea. Their expertise extends with the production of outdoor pavilions and textiles, all of which are manufactured in Mirabel, Quebec.
I was pleased to be asked by Jardin de Ville to share a few of my must-haves patio pleasures from their beautiful outdoor furniture collections. As it turns out, I was already swooning over Jardin de Ville online to furnish my two new patios this spring. I love the modern looks, unique materials and durable weather-proof finishes of their collections. They’re perfecty suited for the mid-century modern style of my new home and my family’s outdoor lifestyle.
Made of a combination of high-performance synthetic materials that mimic natural rope, wicker, rattan and rust-resitant, aluminum, my selection of Jardin de Ville’s furniture featured here is built to last and will stand the test of time when it comes to style. Whether furnishing outdoor living spaces that are under cover or open-air, these super-comfy and stylish pieces will stand up to the elements for years to come.
I’ve chosen five fabulous pieces manufactured with aluminum frames to make them easier to move around and a breeze to keep clean with warm soapy water and a garden hose! Manufactured with over thirty unique weather-resistent materials including Aluminum, steel, cast iron, PVC and teak, the design options are limitless.
This summer, create a seamless transition from inside to out with beautiful furnishings designed for living outdoors in grand style.
KOBO Collection by MANUTTI
Made of chunky natural rope on an aluminum base, this KOBO Collection chair and sofa simply says “Sit and stay a while!” Crafted in treated synthetic rope this unique collection requires little maintenance, is weather and UV resistant, and dries quickly, making it perfect for outdoor use. This collection can be cleaned occasionally with mild household products.
SIENNA Collection by JARDIN DE VILLE & MOMENTS Collection by CANE-LINE
Dine alfresco in style with SIENNA Collection by Jardin de Ville aluminum dining table with a unique ceramic wood-look top. These MOMENTS Collection by Cane-line chairs featuring a UV protected woven rope design on an aluminum base are comfy and cool. I love their iconic vintage vibe. All fabrics and materials are treated to be UV and water resistant.
MACAO Collection by JARDIN DE VILLE
Light up the night and elevate your dining and entertaining alfresco experience with Jardin de Ville’s MACAO Collection intricately crafted in synthetic rattan-wrapped aluminum. The oversized articulating floor lamp and latterns, lit with solar candles, will make an illuminating statement in any outdoor living space.
(I’ve written this blog as a brand ambassador for Jardin de Ville and is a sponsored blog.)
Photos by Karen Kirk
A custom designed wine storage system by Papro Wine Cellars is built into the new wine room of my recently renovated home in Ontario Wine Country.
Fall has to be one of my favourite seasons. From witnessing the vibrancy as the leaves begin to change, to starting the first fire in my living and dining rooms, it is something I always look forward to. As we transition into the fall, I wanted to share some tips that I always look forward to implementing this time of year.
Just a few more tips…
- Drape a “way too expensive but glad I bought it anyway” cable knit throw over the sofa or your favourite lounging chair. It’s the perfect accessories for a little cuddle action on Friday nights when I watch bad movies my husband selects.
- Whirl up a fall veggie soup in the blender, heat and serve! My favourites? Cream of mushroom, potato fennel, tomato fennel and minestrone.
- Pick up a couple of bottles of Beaujolais nouveau in November!! As a serial white wine drinker, the nouveaus are a welcome diversion after a summer of crisp whites!
Time for some Cider?
Images: Karen Kirk
Designer Jackie Glass uses nesting coffee tables and console tables to conserve space.
Just when we’re feeling as gloomy as a dull, frosty February day, suddenly there they are – buckets of bulbs and bunches of fragrant tulips, daffodils, hyacinths and pansies to brighten our day and remind us that spring is just around the corner. Get a little creative with your market-variety spring posies and arrange them in unexpected ways in minutes. These five arrangements are sure to lift our spirits and brighten our days until the snow stops falling and the warmth of the sun encourages these sweet little harbingers of spring to poke their pretty little heads from beneath a blanket of snow in our flower beds once again.
PLAIN AND SIMPLE
Keep it simple and long lasting. Strip off some of the leaves from a bunch of tulips or daffodils, make fresh diagonal cuts to shorten the stems to the desired height then plop them into a narrow cylindrical vase with some fresh water. Add the florist food that comes with your bunch and remember to change the water every couple of days for as long as they last.
Create little floral vignettes composed of potted violets, fragrant tulips, pansies and hyacinths by a sunny window in the corner of any room. Raise them up on a stack of gardening books on a chair or stool and they’ll look amazing arranged on a tray and placed on a coffee table or dining table.
TEACUP DAFFODIL & TULIP FLORAL ARRANGEMENT
I can’t bear to throw away the little flowers with broken stems, so before I toss the fading potted bulbs I clip the last surviving blooms and create cheery mini arrangements in a vintage teacup or other small container. The trick to supporting these short little three-inch stems is a glass floral frog that fits inside the cup. You can find these at flea markets and floral shops in a wide variety of sizes. Even though these wee arrangements won’t last long, they’ll pack a punch on a breakfast table or tea tray. Keep in mind that daffodils are slightly poisonous and may contaminate the water, affecting the life of other cut flowers in the arrangement.
TULIPS IN A FISH BOWL
This is one of my favourite ways to arrange my tulips. Purchase tulips that are not yet open. Remove some of the leaves and lay the bunch on the counter, out of water for an hour or so or until the stems become limp and pliable. Fill a fish-bowl style vase with about two or three inches of water and add floral food. Once the tulip stems are limp enough to bend, clip the stems on a diagonal and place one tulip at a time inside the bowl, bending gently to conform to the shape of the bowl as shown. Make sure the end of each stem is submerged in water. Stagger the tulips as shown. Tulip stems continue to grow and lengthen after they’re cut so trim them accordingly so they won’t overcrowd the bowl.
Remove tulip and hyacinth bulbs from their not-so-pretty plastic pots and repot them in vintage vessels such as Depression glass pitchers, ceramic jardinières and cachepots. You can find these for peanuts at thrift shops and flea markets. Cover the soil with fresh green moss, pebbles or seashells.