I have spent the last 2 days at the Platform 2014 conference in beautiful Colorado Springs, Colorado. It has been an inspiring, invigorating few days with some of the best speakers in the country. More on that later. 

I am so inspired that I'd like to extend an invitation to you. I'd like to invite you to get to know me better. My blogs up until now have primarily been focused on interior design. Moving forward, I'll be adding to this content by inviting you into my home, into my family life, and into a more personal relationship with me. I hope you'll enjoy my soon to come posts on interior design, fashion, food, family life, and the all around pursuit of a beautiful life. Blueprints for a beautiful life, if you will.

But first, I would like to get to know you better. I have a few questions that will help me to understand YOU better, and ensure that the content I am producing will help you to live a beautiful life. If you could fill out the survey after the jump I would be so grateful!!!!


I recently posted the gargantuan list of things still to be done, and my ambitious ambitious goal of getting it all done before November 30. As this date quickly approaches I am coining a new hashtag: #canningrenocountdown. Here's a quick update- progress makes me so happy. It's a small dent, but a dent. Stay tuned for more! 


– black eavestroughs to match new black doors and windows reason this was done this fast: my neighbour was having theirs done and I walked up to the team and asked them to quote my house, and they came the next day. I did google them to make sure they were legit- WOO HOO for fast turn around. 

– new porch fixture

– new house numbers

– new mailbox 

– repair broken concrete at window sill and on front stairs

– replace or fix hand rail

– make it pretty with some flowers or something!


– replace the one cabinet pull that was damaged upon delivery

– finish painting: edging, trim, baseboards

– swap out 2 light bulbs that burned out that I have not bothered to replace

– install one light that has been sitting in my car for… an embarrassing amount of time 

– organize all the shelves with interior fittings of some kind

– buy garbage / recycling bin for our new pull out drawer under the sink

– go through every shelf and make sure it's well used, buy interior organizers where appropriate

– buy dish towels (all mine are Christmas)

– make a stationary drawer so I am never hunting for a pen, stamp, note card again….

– figure out where to hang kids' artwork / school notes that doesn't look like a massive mess

– buy modern baby gate for opening to basement (or custom make one?)

– learn how to optimally pack my fridge and optimally load my dishwasher

– get a lightbulb for my range hood (cause it did not come with one and of course never bought one)


– hang some art (pick it too…)

– lamps or sconces on the wall?

– upholster tub chairs

– buy a settee or bench?

– pick carpet 

– build side tables that have been sitting in boxes since July

– finish fireplace tile installation, add safety screen to fireplace

– style the space


– paint all the newly applied moldings, baseboard, crown 

– install cabinet hardware

– install new chandelier 

– commit to fabric for drapery, get drapery made, order drapery hardware

– find bedding

– do I need an ottoman for the end of the bed?

– side tables?

– art work 

– style space


– paint touch ups & paint baseboard, casing

– send out vintage dresser (my grandmother's!) for painting

– get her a night stand

– artwork 

– find chair for vintage dresser

– mirror?


– redecorate: do they need bunk beds? Or does the current configuration work?

– new carpet? 

– find and install new light fixture

– add trim to a wallpaper mural currently installed to make it more polished 

– add art

– find solution for lego storage, toy display, books


– finish painting

– build her crib

– install window treatments

– find solution for clothing storage as there is no closet

– carpet

– toy storage?


– install shower curtain & rod

– find bathroom accessories (soap dispenser, etc)

– hang towel rod, hooks, etc

– install more storage? cabinets or open shellving?

– find bathmat

– install new sink and counter on vanity

– finish the door jams on the bathroom door 

– finish painting


– go through all cabinets and optimize storage, use interior fittings where needed

– finish TV unit 

– add trim to wall oven

– buy small under cabinet fridge for basement kitchen

– install faucet now that counters are in (it's only been a month or so since they went in…)

–  commit to a carpet

– install galley wall

– install new sofa

– figure out side tables

– do I need a kids' table and chairs? 

– finish fireplace tile installation, add safety screen to fireplace

– finish painting

– upholster bench cushion, commit to fabric


– clean up wallpaper 

– finish painting

– find (or make?) cool lamp

– install wall shelves 

– hang art

– find small sitting chair, side table (vintage?) 


– pick up Cutler vanity I won on #Cutlerdesignday! 

– pick up mirror

– buy toilet

– select wall sconce

– select light fixture 

– measure for glass shower wall

– have plumbers back in to install shower and faucet and toilet

– figure out closet- open shelving? install doors? 

– bathmat, towels, towel bar, hooks, etc. 



Renovating a house requires lots of coordination- so any chance I get to streamline the process of purchasing products I take it. And I certainly took at The Home Depot this summer shopping for materials for my #canningreno. While big box stores can be overwhelming to navigate through, you are able to accomplish A LOT within an afternoon. Here are all the goodies I was able to pick up in one shot (with my daughter in tow).

I grabbed all my bathroom tiles at the Home Depot- we went with a beautiful marble mosaic on the tub surround, and a simple 12" x 24" porcelain tile on the floor. The Home Depot organizes coordinating tile together- so you can pick up a suggested combo of tub surround, flooring, and accent, all in one shot. A quick tip- if you aren't shopping with a designer and are stuck for grout colour- the Home Depot even suggests best grout colour and where to pick it up alongside the tiles on the board displays. 

For my bathroom vanity, I wanted something with a minimal, European style flat front profile- but I wanted to keep the cost reasonable so I selected a Canadian made vanity by Cutler. I have purchased similar looking vanities in the past for a price point in the thousands- I'm happy I was able to find something in a similar stylish esthetic, but at a price point in the hundreds. Here's a tip- the Home Depot sells tons of product online only. I was able to check out the construction of Cutler vanities in the store, but found a colour and size more appropriate to my space online. You might be surprised what you find online that can then be delivered to your front door. 

I have reflected in the past that it has not been as easy as I thought to work on my own house. In fact, there is still a ton to do. So sometimes it is VERY WELCOME when something can show up at your doorstep, like, yesterday. The Home Depot has some rapid delivery laminate flooring options that makes it super easy to stay within your schedule (and help souls like me who sometimes forget to pick certain finishes because they are so busy and fail to realize that floors on schedule for the basement would be important!!!!) So we selected a dark grey flooring for the basement that got delivered 2 days later. 

Shopping at a store the size of the Home Depot can be very daunting. Here are some quick tips for making your shopping experience a success:

1) Make a list and write it down. I am notorious for not making a list and having to make multiple trips. Things I always forget when shopping for myself or clients are light bulbs for lights, grout for tiles, batteries, underpads for carpets, etc. etc. etc. Use a list making app on your phone or plain old pen and paper so you don't forget.

2) Measure before you leave the house. Again, from experience for both myself and clients, I have found myself on more than one occasion sadly standing in the window blind section trying to remember how wide my window is. So actually take inventory, record on your phone or write it down, and then go shopping. I promise it will make for a more efficient experience! 

3) If you know you will need help, try to go at off peak hours. Middle of the day on a weekday if your schedule allows. And if you can't find someone to help you, you can go to customer service and ask them to page someone to the department you need.  

Love to hear your thoughts- what tips do you have for making a big shopping trip a successful one?

Thanks to The Home Depot for partnering with me on my home renovation and for hosting us in the store. Photos by mdd photography  

For more from this series on shopping for items for my #canningreno check out my recent shopping trips here and here.