My friends, I did it! It’s done! This is the third home tour in a series I did of my #canningcabin, a new home for my family that I have spent the last 4 months renovating and decorating (all while pregnant with our 7th child LOL). You can check out my main floor tour and our master bedroom and closet tour (and yes, I put up shiplap in a rental!)
If you’d prefer to watch the transformation (and see a real life work-at-home mom moment with my kids), click below. Otherwise, read on for how to create a modern playroom, and learn about the home office I created for my husband, and a “secret room” that was so much fun to transform.
1. KEEP THE PALETTE BLACK AND WHITE
I love colour, but I wanted to try something different and edgy in my basement. For a long time, I’ve been inspired by Scandinavian design for its austere, simple forms- but for a long time I had a limiting belief that it was just not possible to have minimal decor when you have a bunch of kids. But what creating this space has shown me is the power of a minimal palette of black and white.
The way to keep things interesting is to vary your patterns but all within this black and white palette. Think stripes, geometric prints, painterly lines, and high contrast cabinetry. Speaking of cabinetry…
2. UTILIZE FLOOR TO CEILING CABINETRY
This is my secret weapon in playrooms. Honestly, THIS IS A GAME CHANGER. I know I call a lot of things game changers, but this is REALLY an important strategy for parents who want serenity, function, and a modern aesthetic in a playroom.
Putting in floor to ceiling cabinetry allows you to HIDE ALL THE VISUAL CLUTTER AND CHAOS that comes with toys, books, Pokemon cards, florescent blinking plastic, and all that fun stuff behind beautiful, closed storage. You literally get to close the door on visual clutter and it is a big reason why I love spending time in this room.
I worked with Tailored Living on this space, and the big reason why I love working with them (check out this ultimate craft room I did earlier this year) is they make it so convenient for you to achieve organization and order by bringing you all the samples during an in-home consultation, taking all the measurements, working with you on a 3-D design that will be ideal for your family, installing the cabinets quickly and simply, and really just getting you where you need to go in regards to your organizational goals. With franchises across the US and Canada, there’s a solution waiting for you.
I wanted high contrast in the cabinetry so I went with white modern shaker cabinets on the perimeter of the room, and dark drawer fronts on this generous island that allows my kids ample room to spread out and get messy. The combination of drawers and tall cabinets is an important strategy- the tall upper cabinets are great for books and board games, the deeper lower cabinets are fabulous for large bins for toys and oversize, bulky toys, and shallow drawers are great for art supplies, paper, Shopkins and lego. We used laminate for its durability as well as its accessible price point.
And to add a bit of sparkle to the space, I added these new pulls by Shayne Fox Hardware. I love the handmade, rustic element these bring to this cabinetry.
But the biggest thing I argue cabinetry brings in a playroom is PEACE. Even if the contents of the drawers and toy bins are a jumbled mess, behind closed doors and drawer fronts, no one is the wiser. Like I said, GAME CHANGER.
3. KEEP THE BLACK MATTE
I chose to put a sink in this space as it’s so practical with my 6 little kids. In keeping with my monochromatic palette, I chose to use a matte black faucet and turned to one of my favourite partners Delta Faucets (I still mourn the loss of all the faucets in my old house!) with their new Esque faucet.
The name Esque is inspired by the suffix meaning “in the style of” and a clipped ballet pose that speaks to elegance, grace and movement, clearly visible with its sleek pull-down design and modern innovations (watch my video above to see the ShieldSpray technology in action, watch how the water is dispersed in a truly unique pattern to clean up dirty dishes while containing mess and splatter- seriously, go press play on the video above!)
And I kept the matte black going with the wall paint colour which makes me so happy. I don’t think I would have been as bold to do this if I did not have so much natural light in this space- but I’m so happy with how this Wrought Iron colour by Benjamin Moore turned out. And whenever I use dark shades I like using it in a matte finish, as opposed to eggshell or satin. It’s rich, and lush and I love its modern look.
4. USE LARGE SCALE ART FOR A GRAPHIC ELEMENT
I think this is my favourite element in my playroom. We went to Staples, paid $15 a print, and had large individual portraits of my children blown up to fit this inexpensive Ikea SILVERHÖJDEN frame. We hung them around our TV about 3″ apart and it creates a graphic element that makes me smile every time I enter the room. Keeping things black and white helps the TV to not feel like a major focal point of the room, and instead sort of blend in to the composition.
5. CREATE A SPACE FOR THE GROWN UPS
Sometimes mom and dad need a moment to steal away, but still keep an eye on the little ones. One of the things this house did not have that my old house did (and we needed) was a home office space. So we actually put this wall up ourselves, including these beautiful doors I painted blue from Metrie. I love how the clear glass gives us the option to still peek in and see what is going on with our children.
We put in this electric fireplace media unit by Dimplex in this space and I just love how it creates instant cozy with the press of a button. You can put an electric fireplace virtually anywhere you can run the correct power, and the results are fast, stylish, cozy and so comfortable.
There is something about a fireplace that promotes instant comfort and relaxation at home, don’t you think?
And if you watch my video above, you’ll learn about this crazy “secret room” we discovered while walking around our property- this room was literally full of garbage, and had been enclosed with drywall (complete with drapery still up!) inside the office. We tore down the drywall, cleaned up the room, and now enjoy a sweet little space that I am hoping forces me to slow down every day to literally smell the roses, LOL.
What do you think? Could you create a modern playroom somewhere in your house? Let me know in the comments below.
Thanks to Tailored Living, Delta Faucet Canada and Dimplex for partnering with me on this post. I work very hard to research the brands I partner with to ensure they provide you my reader ways to make your life more beautiful, functional and effortless. Opinions are very much my own. Photos by Larry Arnal
I don't know about you, but in all the houses I have lived in, I have always left decorating my bedroom for last. I'm not alone, right? I find its pretty common that people spend lots of energy, effort and funds decorating more public spaces, or their kids' rooms, but then leave their own bedrooms to be a collection of hand me down furniture and sheet sets from college.
In this house, I was determined to give my husband and I a luxurious master retreat- but do it in a way that did not break the bank. To watch the tour of my master bedroom and closet on my YouTube channel, click below. Or if you prefer to read the tips on how you can create a luxe bedroom and closet without breaking the bank, scroll on down below. And don't forget to see the full list of all the products I used in this room at the bottom of this post!
1. GO LUXE ON THE BED
I have always wanted a canopy bed since I was a little girl- and I just felt like the style of this piece fit in with my whole cabin in the woods vibe we have going on in this house (check out my living room tour here). I think the bed is a great place to begin the design of a bedroom as it really is the focal point of the room.
I basically had this bed in my shopping cart for 3 months, because I was a little shy to pull the trigger as I have never personally spent this much on a bed before for myself (for the record, it is incredibly well priced under $2000, I just never have spent this much personally on a bed for myself)- but I am so happy I did.
I love the drama the canopy creates, I love the natural wood texture, I love the upholstered high headboard that offers even more drama, I love that I purchased this online and that there were no surprises when the bed was assembled.
So whether $2000 is cheap, affordable, or luxe to you, invest in your bed, you won't be sorry.
2. CREATE INSTANT COZY WITH A FIREPLACE
There is something so luxurious about a fireplace in a bedroom. I love the instant warmth it creates, the ambient glow, and how relaxing it is to watch flames dance in a pitch black room.
The beauty of utilizing an electric fireplace is that it really is plug in and go (although of course ensure you have the correct amperage for your electrical outlet so that your breaker does not trip every time you use it). I went with a unit that has a built-in mantel, as it was a simple way to add another design element, and gave opportunity to create a focal point at the foot of our bed with art and accessories.
A fireplace-mantel combination is a great way to add a little luxury without breaking the bank, as the cost really is a fraction of what it would cost to run a gas line and install a unit. Plus, if you're in a rental like I am, it's the kind of piece you can take with you.
3. SAVE $$$ WITH SMART HACKS
Due to some of the permanent structural changes we made in this rental (and the $$$ that came with those choices), I had to stretch my budget creatively and let me tell you, I think this is my FAVOURITE HACK I HAVE EVER DONE.
This is a $99 dresser. I added these Shayne Fox Hardware pulls that are worth more than the dresser itself! The combination makes me so happy. The night stands are a good scale compared to the large bed, and the handcrafted geometric pulls are works of art.
4. KEEP TEXTILES NEUTRAL
A really easy way to make a space feel luxurious is to keep the colour palette of your textiles neutral, or analogous shades on the colour wheel. I stayed with neutral tones with grey-blue undertones on everything. I love colour and drama (have you seen my blue sofas?) but if you want a fool proof way to make a space feel luxe, keep things all within a similar palette.
And speaking of luxe, this rug is worth every single penny I paid for it. It is so soft underfoot, so inviting, and just worth it!
5. CREATE A CLOSET THAT MAKES GETTING DRESSED EFFORTLESS
One of the ways that a space qualifies as luxurious to me, is if it makes my life more effortless. And this closet transformation has been a GAME CHANGER. Getting dressed in this closet before was no fun at all. We were living out of boxes for far too long, and could never find anything without having to rifle through piles and piles of stuff.
Our closet (and master bedroom in general) also became a pitiful storage room for items that we were too lazy to walk to the basement or the garage.
So to create order in a space we start our day in is a luxurious element to me. I partnered with Neatfreak! on all the organizational elements in this closet, and oh boy do they help me feel less chaos and increase my ability to get dressed quickly!
Being 8 months pregnant means my wardrobe is a little segmented- I have a bunch of clothing that is non-maternity and does not fit. I have a whole other set of clothing that is too uncomfortable / too small to wear at this stage of my pregnancy, and then my current rotation of clothing I gravitate towards everyday. I love how these bin drawers allow me to flip the drawers around for closed storage, and flip them the other way for easy view storage.
And to further add harmony to my life, and create another area to help me be efficient in the mornings, I reused the table from the basement in my old house (reduced down to console size), and a shelf we had in our old office, as a spot to house a necklace tree, trays for jewelry, and bowls for accessories.
What do you think? Would this bedroom make you feel restored and increase your peace both at night and when getting dressed in the morning? Let me know in the comments below.
And stay tuned for next week's post on my full basement tour- so excited to share this with you!!!!!
Special thanks to Neatfreak! and Dimplex for partnering with me on this project. Opinions are all based on my authentic experience.
You're here! We made it! We have at long last put the finishing touches on our #canningcabin, our brand new (to us) property that we moved into 4 months ago.
As many of you know, we sold our house earlier this year for a few different reasons, and we've spent the last four months unpacking boxes, decorating, and doing some small renovations in this rental property- and I am so excited to share our main floor with you today! If you prefer to watch the home tour, click below, otherwise, read on! And make sure you scroll down to the end for the full list of items in the room.
Decorating a rental was a challenging task for me. There were so many things I wanted to do, and I constantly had to weigh my decisions against my not unlimited budget. In the end, I am so pleased with the balance we struck in terms of making this space truly our own, making it functional for the unique needs of my large family, and making it a space that is beautiful and inspiring! I love it so much and I hope these tips on how to decorate a rental like it's your own help you in your decorating pursuits, whether you own, or you rent.
1. UPDATE YOUR TRIM
This property is old and when we moved in, it was literally like stepping back in time to the 1970's. One of the biggest things that gives away the age of a property is trim (baseboards especially)- and so one of the best updates you can do to make an old rental look new, is replace your trim.
Now this is an option that will cost some $$$ and might not be in everyone's budget. But because of the impact trim (especially baseboards!) make, I argue it should always be a consideration when moving into a new space.
I took this one step further of course and added shiplap everywhere that made sense in my main open concept space. And as I share in my video tour, I struggled with this decision BIG TIME. The installation for the shiplap, and the material fee, was not a small one. But as I really wanted to embrace the cabin in the woods feeling this property has, and the fact that I am slightly obsessed with the textural quality that trim provides, we simply decided to make installing shiplap, new baseboards, crown moulding, and casing, a priority in the budget.
Believe me when I tell you I considered other options- I looked at temporary wallpaper for renters like this and this, and I really wanted to like it, but in the end I wanted the look of the real thing, and boy am I happy with the results.
I partnered with Metrie, the largest North American supplier and manufacturer of solid wood and composite moulding. I used their pre-painted shiplap, which snaps together so easily. I love how innovative the design of this product is, and I finished the shiplap off with baseboards, casing and crown from their Very Square collection.
We also updated the doors. The doors were originally all louvered- as in, you could hear everything through them! And with soon to be 7 children in this house, let me tell you replacing the doors to solid core doors was a NEED not a want! It also gave us an opportunity to do something fun with paint, and I embraced pink in my entrance way with this soft pink called Pleasant Pink by Benjamin Moore on this solid door from Metrie's Very Square collection.
So while it did take up a significant portion of our budget, it was a priority for me in this space, and one I definitely do not regret investing in for the beauty and the function it has created!
2. BE BOLD IN YOUR FURNISHINGS
Another easy way for a rental to really feel like you is to be bold in your furnishings. I had been eyeing these Sven sofas from Article for a while, but was extremely hesitant to buy something like a sofa online. Honestly, the designer in me that needs to sit test things was really, REALLY reluctant to do this. But after reading several reviews online, and reviewing Article's return policy, I decided to go for it and happy to report they are really lovely.
I have always loved velvet and navy blue, and have made similar furniture pieces like this for clients for $$$$. So when I discovered I could get two sofas for just over $3000 it was not a difficult decision to make.
They are beautiful, but they do require maintenance. I find everything- dust, stains from leaky baby bottles, sticky fingers, etc. shows up on the navy fabric. The great news is, every single stain has come off with soap and water. The bad news is, it's another chore to add to the list of cleaning chores- so while I would 100% recommend them for their comfort, style and quality, you need to be prepared to wash stains regularly if you want them to look clean! But honestly, if these sofas can stand up to my 6 children ages 9 and under, I am pretty sure they can survive anything.
3. BE BOLD IN YOUR COLOUR CHOICES
I know I already talked about pink, but we must talk about it again- because I just love how this pink door looks in my dining room! In an old space, I think a small hit of a trendy colour is just fun and unexpected. This was one of the easier decisions for me in this space- for some reason, knowing the space is temporary as it is a rental made me more bold in my paint selections. And the fabulous thing about paint, is that it is changeable- if I change my mind on this colour, in an hour and a half I can have it changed to something else.
And how sweet is this colourful tray (and pom pom paperclips!) from HomeSense?!
4. LET FUNCTION BE YOUR GUIDE
One of the things we always have to have top of mind in design is function. A space needs to make a family's life EASIER, not harder. So consider areas you need to increase function, and don't skimp on those areas!
For me, I had to increase function in how I store paper and keep my business life organized. While I am a big fan of the concept of deep work, and locking myself away in a quiet space to get focused stuff done, there are lots of times when I am paying bills while my children are around, sorting receipts and paper work, and filing things that they come home with and I come home with. In the past, I have had a dedicated office space in an area away from the main commotion of the house. But what I found was that filing of everyday paper just wasn't happening as it was too far away and I never really developed the behaviour to keep paper organized.
In this house, I was determined to figure out a system that would work and YOU GUYS I THINK I FINALLY FOUND ONE. Having this office space attached to my main living room makes it really easy to find a home for school permission forms, library book reminder slips, crafts that come home from school and all my business correspondence as soon as it comes into my house.
And watch my YouTube tour for a clip board system that has SERIOUSLY CHANGED MY LIFE! Organization makes me SO HAPPY!
5. STRETCH YOUR DOLLAR BY INVESTING IN SECOND HAND
As I mentioned at the top of this post, discerning where to spend money was really challenging for me. I basically had to get really comfortable with the fact that I was spending money on things like trim, shiplap and mouldings that I would definitely not be taking with me.
To make this decision more palatable, I chose to be really savvy with items I purchased, and this included shopping on the online platform Kijiji. I am a big supporter of the 2nd hand economy. In my line of work, I acquire LOTS OF STUFF, and I enjoy selling items I no longer need. To me, I just don't see the need to hang on to things I might need in the future when it could be bringing someone else enjoyment today (and money in my pocket today)! And for this project, I was able to pick up an amazing light fixture from a seller on Kijiji for $50 (check it out in my YouTube home tour) and a few other items for my home which really helped to stretch my budget.
The other thing I find helpful about supporting the 2nd hand economy is that it offers less pressure to keep items you do purchase. While I am a big believer in investing in quality and things you might own for a lifetime, I am also super comfortable with the notion of changing your mind, or simply wanting new items in a new space. For example, I really love my velvet couches, and if it turns out that I own them for 15 or 20 years I will be very happy to have them! But I am also super comfortable with selling them, or giving them away in a year, or two years time, if that simply made sense for me.
Finding creative ways like shopping second hand can really help get you closer to making your rental, your own.
I hope this tour and my tips made you feel a little inspired today- and come back next Friday for the reveal of my master bedroom and master closet! Scroll to the bottom for a complete list of everything in this space, and thanks so much for spending a little time with me in my living room, office, dining room and entryway.
Special thanks to Metrie and Kijiji for partnering with me on this project, opinions are 100% my lived experience!
Photos by Larry Arnal.
Here are some helpful links to the products I used in this space! I hope they are helpful in your decorating adventures:
When you are an entrepreneur, work happens everywhere- in the car, at the kitchen table, even in your bed! But there eventually comes a point when it is time to create a dedicated office space for everyone's sanity and productivity- and that is exactly what I did for entrepreneurial mom of 2, Jennifer Pike.
To know Jenn Pike personally is to constantly be inspired to be more healthy (she is an incredible women's health and wellness expert). So of course in her master bedroom, we invested in amazing materials to increase healthy sleep habits, proper spine alignment, and more- and I am so excited to share it all with you! If you prefer to watch, click on my YouTube video below, otherwise read on!
1. START WITH A BEAUTIFUL BED
I'm a big believer that all hard working mamas DESERVE a beautiful bed. After a hard day of raising kids, working outside the home, working inside the home, whatever it is you do- MOMS (AND DADS) ARE TIRED. So let's invest in a BEAUTIFUL bed.
And this Wayfair bed does not disappoint. Both Jenn and I are pretty time strapped between our entrepreneurial and family activities. So the ability to shop online, and have delivered quickly a major design element of the room, is so strategic for us! This bed is soft, plush and elegant- I love the tufted headboard and the drama the wingbacked headboard possesses. And as I have shared in my past projects I have done with Jenn (check out her laundry room and her kitchen), this house has such limited storage (no garage, no basement). So any opportunity I could find to give her additional storage I did- including in the bed!
And finally, of all the pieces in the room, this one for sure is my favourite in the category of value obtained for dollars spent. I have spent upwards of $4000 on custom upholstered beds like this with storage- and so get something like this for less than $2000 all in is just fabulous.
And of course a beautiful bed needs a quality matress. For the mattress and sheet set, we used The Casper Mattress. Again, ergonomic health is a major priority to Jennifer- so selecting the right mattress for her and her husband was really important. This mattress offers ZonedSupport, an innovative foam framework that contours specifically to each area of the body for incredible comfort, ideal anatomical support, and focused spinal alignment. This award winning mattress boasts four supportive layers of high-density memory foam to provide balanced support.
And for the pillow, sheet set, and duvet cover, we used Casper as well. Casper’s pillow-in-a-pillow was designed for all-night comfort, for every sleep position. With just the right balance of squish and support, the inner pillow is supportive, while the outer pillow adds a soft comfort. And when it comes to sheets, I am really picky. I like a cool, crisp feeling to my sheets, and these totally fit the bill. Casper’s cotton percale sheets are smooth, airy, and get softer with every wash. The breathable percale weave sleeps cool all night long, and we went with white to keep everything serene and peaceful.
And again, convenience. The mattress and sheet set showed up within days of ordering, to Jenn's front door. So convenient.
2. Designate a spot for the office
Once your bed is taken care of, designate a spot for the office. This could look like a stand alone desk, or like we did in Jenn's bedroom, custom millwork. I chose to go custom because I wanted to give Jenn every square inch of storage I could, and so fitting her desk in this nook by the window, and taking shelving to the ceiling, was the best plan for this space. The other amazing thing about going custom, is that we were then able to paint the desk this gorgeous turquoise colour, Benjamin Moore Waterfall 2050-50.
When planning your storage options, definitely consider a combination of closed and open storage. Closed storage is essential for hiding visual clutter, and in a bedroom this is so important. You need to be able to end the workday, without a chaotic mess next to your bed, and closed storage makes this possible! It's also important to have open storage, as this allows you to display the motivational elements and decorative items that remind you of your purpose, and keep a positive energy around you!
And can we talk for a second about these brass, hand cast cabinet pulls? They are designed by a local Toronto entrepreneur Shayne Fox, and they like jewelry on this desk. I love them so much.
And for the chair, let me tell you did I get educated on ergonomic health. Being almost 8 months pregnant, I basically suffer from low back pain all the time. And even more so when I am at my desk for long periods of time. THIS CHAIR IS A GAME CHANGER YOU GUYS. It literally felt like a hug for my low back and pelvis. The CoreChair is an ergonomic active sitting chair that provides optimal support while introducing movement into your workday- i.e. you kind of wiggle when you sit in it, which keeps the muscles active which is how we avoid all the low back pain. The low back support combined with an aggressively sculpted seat embraces your pelvis, positioning you to sit tall with optimal posture. With four levels of resistance, the tilting mechanism allows you to move up to 14 degrees in all directions, loosening up your joints, promoting blood flow and relaxing your tight lower back muscles in order to reduce pain.
Seriously, this chair needs to be in homes and offices everywhere! And for someone like Jenn who promotes mobility and healthy living as much as she does, this chair was such a good fit.
3. Add your personality
This is an important aspect of design to me, regardless of the kind of space you are creating. The space has to reflect you and your unique personality. Jennifer's personality is so vibrant- so I just had to add elements like this Metrie door painted Benjamin Moore Yellow Highlighter 2021-40. To ensure that this really was like the exclamation point at the end of a sentence, we kept the adjacent Metrie sliding closet doors in white to ensure some balance.
And again to ensure the space didn't feel too overwhelming with all the vibrant pops, I wrapped the room in Metrie's tongue and groove paneling and painted it out Benjamin Moore Decorator White CC-20. It's no secret how much I love interior mouldings. They provide such a beautiful textural element to a space. Metrie has been my go-to partner for architectural elements for years-their passion for design and innovation has allowed them to become the largest supplier and manufacturer of solid wood and composite moulding in North America.
And of course a bedroom needs to feel cozy and comfortable, which is why I added ample blankets and pillows in a variety of textures – all within our colour palette to stay harmonious – and displayed them on this ladder from Bouclair. Lighting also makes a big impact in the room, with a stunning modern chandelier from Bouclair adding an architectural element.
And of course you can add your personality in all the fun accessories. I picked up this tray and yellow pen holder at Bouclair, where it's not hard to come home with a carful of fun, well-priced accessories for your home. I love the painterly element of this tray and on trend rope detail.
What do you think? Would you be productive in a space like this? Love to know in the comments below!
Special thanks to all the brands mentioned who partnered with me on this project by providing products. I love working with brands who care about families thrive at home, and I do ample research to ensure and products I use will provide value to you!