WHO ELSE WANTS A BEAUTIFUL HOME? I DO. HERE’S THE LIST I NEED TO GET THROUGH TO GET THERE!

WHO ELSE WANTS A BEAUTIFUL HOME? I DO. HERE’S THE LIST I NEED TO GET THROUGH TO GET THERE!

I want a beautiful home. Since April of this year, we've been working on the rather ambitious project of our #canningreno. To remind you, we basically gutted 80% of our semi-detached home in North York and have slowly but surely been transforming it into something I am pretty proud of.

Everyone kind of assumes that when you're a designer you have a nice house. This was so not the case with mine. See evidence here:

Kitchen with no storage. Bedroom with no storage (so scary that closet). Basement full of knotty pine.

And we've been transforming the house to reflect our modern style and the functional needs of our family of 6. Here's a quick peek:

A quick shot of our kitchen, our new living room sofa, and the sliding door to our new expanded bathroom!

After renovating for 6 months, we are home- and it feels great. HOWEVER, there is still SO MUCH TO COMPLETE. The last 20% of a project is always a really difficult push- but push I certainly am. Because I want to live in a beautiful home that brings me joy and makes my life easier : ) I have a taste of it right now, and cannot wait for the BIG PICTURE to be complete. 

So in a spirit of accountability- and let's keep it real, to make my husband, who has patiently been waiting for all these things to be completed, happy- here is my punch out list for my house. Brace yourself… it's long…

FRONT OF HOUSE

– black eavestroughs to match new black doors and windows

– 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!

KITCHEN

– 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)

LIVING ROOM

 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

MASTER BEDROOM

– 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

EVELYN'S ROOM

– 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?

BOYS' ROOM

– 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

ROSE'S ROOM

– finish painting

– build her crib

– install window treatments

– find solution for clothing storage as there is no closet

– carpet

– toy storage?

BATHROOM

– 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

BASEMENT REC ROOM

– 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

OFFICE

– clean up wallpaper 

– finish painting

– find (or make?) cool lamp

– install wall shelves 

– hang art

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

BASEMENT BATHROOM

– 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. 

THERE WE ARE. I am sure I am missing things from this list but PHEW! Lord give me strength to finish this list! My goal is to have this all wrapped up in a tidy bow by November 30.  For extra accountability I'll write specific blog posts on each room to prove to you all I will keep my deadline ; ) let's hope this whole "the internet will keep me accountable" thing actually works!

What projects are you trying to wrap up in your home? Love to know in the comments below!  

LISA ON LOCATION: MODERN SENSIBILITY

LISA ON LOCATION: MODERN SENSIBILITY

In the beginning years of my career I worked on a lot of condos- to the point that I had basically memorized the floorplans of certain buildings in Toronto! So I really appreciate what small space, dual-purpose furniture can do for people living in tight quarters. Living in a small space myself (a north Toronto semi-detached home, under 1300 square feet with 6 people!) I have to be really strategic about utilizing my square footage- every inch counts. And with 4 small kids, I need SO MUCH STORAGE for all their bits and bobs.

So when I was introduced to Toronto's Modern Sensibility, I was 1) sad I only learned about them now and 2) pretty impressed with some of their space saving offerings. 

Coffee tables with storage are always handy- but a coffee table that can become a dining table like this one above- that is pretty cool.

It was this product that basically made me giddy with excitement. Now let me preface this by saying- storage of toys has always been a pain point for me since having kids. They can really, really, really overtake a house if you don't have practical storage solutions. So knowing this, I took great pains to figure out storage while planning our basement as part of our #canningreno. I have one full wall of floor to ceiling millwork, with ample interior fittings for all the little bits and bobs that come with little kids' toys. On the opposite wall of this millwork the Waterloo is going to live. As you can see in the signage above, it's a sectional that also becomes a bed, that also has storage in every seat, that also has 20 configurations for seating, that also has washable slipcovers, that also is going to SAVE MY SANITY in the basement. Can you tell I'm excited about this piece? 

I mean come on. Storage in every seat. And it's washable.

Here's another example of clever dual-purpose furniture. I think this table is great for people who like to work from their couch- files and office supplies can be kept neatly inside, and out of site when the work day is done.

And of course I had to enjoy a little snuggle with my daughter who came along for the shopping trip. 

Modern Sensibility is located at 380 Alliance Ave. in Toronto, or you can shop from the convenience of home on their website

Where in your home could you use a space saving solution? Love to know in the comments below. 

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

HOW TO PICK THE PERFECT PAINT

HOW TO PICK THE PERFECT PAINT

Over the last 8 weeks I’ve been traveling around the Greater Toronto Area on a fun tour with CIL Paints and the Home Depot. During #CILontheroad, experts have been in cities across Canada giving paint and decor advice every Thursday evening. It has been great fun and super insightful. While selecting a paint colour can be overwhelming, it can also be very simple. Here are my top tips for picking the perfect paint colour.

1. THERE IS NO “PERFECT” COLOUR FOR A KITCHEN- BUT THERE IS A PERFECT COLOUR FOR YOU

The most common question I was asked on the tour was “what is the perfect colour for my kitchen / living room / bathroom.” What the actual question should be- is what is the perfect paint colour for me! I would love for people to approach selecting their paint from a more personal point of view. What is the unique look I want for my space? What style am I trying to acheive? If you need help discerning this, pour through images of spaces that resonate with you. Look through magazines, pin things on Pinterest, and try to see common patterns and elements that emerge. Build your scheme around the unique space you are creating for you and your family. I often begin a decor scheme with a piece of fabric, rug, or artwork- and let all the paint colours, other fabrics and finishes be drawn out of one grounding pattern.

2. TAKE A LOOK AT THE BIG PICTURE- EVERYHING MUST WORK IN HARMONY

I had a lovely lady visit me twice on the tour- and as per my note above, she was so prepared. On her first visit she came with a gorgeous patterned pillow, and on her second, she brough along a floor tile I had suggested she try. We picked a perfect warm white, with just a hint of sherbert yellow, that picked up on the tones in the tile and accents in the pillow perfectly. Everything- including your paint- should coordinate in some coherent way.

3. PICK PAINT LAST

After you have picked all your finishes- your flooring, wallpaper, fabrics, light fixtures, other finishes- then pick your paint. Rather than committing to a paint colour first, commit to all your other items. It is much easier to customize your paint to your scheme than the other way around.

4. CUSTOMIZE YOUR COLOUR

In my own house, I brought my wallpaper to the paint counter and had them custom match the EXACT grey in the paper for the paint on all the adjacent walls. You can do this with almost anything- fabric, a paint chip, an old paint can- anything with a 1″ x 1″ area of colour that the scanner can read. This allows you to create a completely custom colour to suit your decor needs.

5. WHEN IN DOUBT GO WITH A NEUTRAL

I am a BIG fan of saturated colour and pattern on walls- but I acknowledge it is not for everyone. I would say 75% of the people I assisted in picking a paint colour ended up with a neutral colour. While paint is a simple, and relatively inexpensive thing to change- it does takes some effort to change. So if you are unsure, a neutral paint will allow you the flexibility to be bold in your decor choices and change palettes up with some flexibility. 

Finally, I’ll leave you with the most popular paint colours that came up for me during my #CILontheroad tour. Are you more neautral, or do you love to be bold on your walls? Love to know in the comments below.

 

 

EXPERT CLEAN UP

EXPERT CLEAN UP

Over the summer the lovely Vicky Sanderson invited me into her home to assist her with designing her laundry room. As she describes in her recent Toronto Star article, I came in at a time when she was overwhelmed by the number of options / decisions that come with any interior design project. 

With a narrow space to work with, we used the strategy of using as much floor-to-ceiling wall space as possible, using Ikea Akurum cabinets. 

For a full break down of this project and how a design consultation helped Vicky make this space in her house amazing click here. Thanks Vicky for inviting me into your home! Photo by J. Michael Lafond