September 28, 2012:

Canmore Exterior: Reveal!

I've shared a bit about this long distance project I've worked on for the last 5+ years with dear clients who have become family truly! A year ago this past spring I got a call to start picking colours for the exterior but as it often is the case in the mountains, the weather didn't work with us and we had to put off the transformation until this year.

Here are the befores.... prepare yourself.

Taupe & Cranberry with shades of Aubergine.  Burgandy is all the rage in fashion this fall but it's always about re-imagining the combinations to avoid the dating.


Soaring Peaks.

WOWSAS. This is Goldenrod from Para Paints. If you will recall last fall, I said it would be all the rage. I'm currently owning pants and a blouse in said colour. Yes, I'm gloating. See HERE. Imagine the stairs lined with Yellow Mums for fall with white Gourds mixed in? I DIE!

The Cabana got Heavy Metal'd by Para Paints too. 

We need to give the door a lil more love. New hardware and lights to come!!!

September 26, 2012:

#Boston Master Sneakage

Just a few little snippets coming your way all things Boston.




I die. 

This dressing room closet was dark wood when we found it. We had it all painted, changed out the light, hardware and then there was a lil dance floor sitch happening in the middle. Found this baby in HomeGoods of all places and voila. We Sex N the Citified the room.

Ensuite. Why YES. Those apothecaries ARE filled with assorted Hersey's Kisses. Betcha haven't seen that in a bathroom eh??? #pregnantclient

MORE. Window Treatments and a stunning chaise to come.... oh and artwork.

So much awesome in this Master Bedroom. Though I will say that Celia and I have a differing opinion on how the bed should be styled which is why I'm showing you this angle only. I will have my own way soon enough!!!!

September 24, 2012:

You Want MORE #Boston?

Not that I blame you. I'm practically whipping out my iphone to show strangers in the grocery store, drugstore hell even at my kid's music class. Redonkulously proud to say the least.

I had to read back through my own blog because I'm not entirely sure of what I've shared. I mean I've let a lot of sneak peeks go out via instagram. Hells yes. But I seriously couldn't remember what I shared so on to the bloggy I went. I think I thought I'd shared a lot more than I did... ooops.

Here are some sneaks of bedrooms & bathrooms. Enjoy!!!

Baby Girl's chaise in the nursery. This is the room that has the orange paisley ceiling and is about to have a pink make that fuchsia,  Les Touches style slipcover on the uber swanky glider.

I think we all need to take a moment and give thanks and praise for the Toile that is courtesy of Robert Allen Fabrics. The dip dyed pillows from West Elm were a fun and unexpected find. We were going to go with David Hicks La Fiorentina but this is less predictable and I'm very smitten.

Baby Girl and Baby Boy have an adjoining bathroom. LOOK AT THAT FLOOR TILE!

Baby Boy's Room. Yes, we did turquoise and white stripes on the ceiling.

And there are cubbies to match.

Guest Bedroom. We repurposed previous master bedroom bed into here and brought with the side tables and lamps from the clients' condo. I'm not going to lie, I was hoping that the tables and lamps would meet an untimely death at the hands of the movers. Hence I'm not including them in this shot. Still hoping for a freak accident to occur double sided.

The Guest Ensuite. Client wanted apple green walls and well we just went with it and added a vintage Key West vibe to the space. I'm keeping the Master Bedroom for another day. The dressing room alone.... ERMMMMAGAAAWWWDDDDDDD just you wait!

September 19, 2012:

Boston - It’s All in the Details

Exhausted. Exhilarated. It's a toss up which I am more of right now.

I've driven up and down the 9/90/95 more times in three days than I do the Gardiner/DVP/401/400 in Toronto in a month. (Those are highways if you're scratching your head right now wondering what I'm talking about).

I'm barely able to type this because you see... we took a little detour this afternoon.


Oh Hell to the Yes.

Cannoli & Lobster Tail - the pastry filled with cream version. Oh my sweet jesus I'm in Insulin shock as I type this. SO FREAKING GOOD. Oh wait, you wanna see pics. I will indulge you but you can see why words are failing me just a bit.

Insanely Gorgeous. We call this SJP. I'll let you guess why.

Sarah from Storibook Designs did an impeccable job with our romans and Frauxmans/Fromans AND with all the drapery installations. Like hard core, killer steaming and zhushing. 14 hour day. Eternally grateful.

We used Visual Comfort lighting throughout with a few pieces from Arteriors & Robert Abbey thrown in for added measure. These are throughout the hallways/foyer.

We have a LOT of hammered metal accents throughout the house. I love hammered metal. The end.

Changed the entire house to cool wall colours from the jaundiced yellow throughout thanks to the previous owners. This cabinetry now looks like it belongs.

Ornamental. LOVE.

We've used a lot of pattern in unexpected ways.

And a lot of colour punches.

Hand-painted. Gorgeosity. HOME GOODS.

September 16, 2012:

Hiring An Interior Designer

As I'm putting this blog together, I'm chuckling to myself thinking - there really should be a Hiring a Designer Guide for Dummies. Not to insult anyone, I didn't come up with the book series but still... I have had enough conversations lately around this to think that it is, in fact, warranted.

Interior Design is and will always be a Luxury Service. You are of course always, at any time, able to do it yourself but your results will be impacted by skill, access to resources and of course how much you are willing to invest. I've heard some tout that Great Design can be affordable but I will argue that that is a sliding scale and that ultimately, you willl get what you pay for or the person offering you the service at a minimum wage rate will go bankrupt shortly thereafter.

It's a business. Designers not only expect to be paid what their cost is but the whole goal is to actually make money doing it. I think that because so many designers or decorators are women, we tend to apologize for it. My male designer friends don't have nearly the same issues with charging fair fees for their service and for products as women do. That's the best explanation I've come up with but would love to hear more about your experiences or thoughts.

If you are thinking of hiring a designer, look at your budget. Allot 20% of what you have to spend toward their fee. We do percentage based fees on projects over $100,000.00. Under $100,000 we opt for hourly billing. Yes, we do take projects that are under $100,000. I know that this surprises some people. I judge projects based on their being entire rooms, an entire floor or an entire house. If you want to do a rough calculation on what your budget SHOULD be here's some math for you.

Take the square footage of your room. Say your room measures 10ft x 10ft. This means you have a room that is 100 sq ft (yes I'm making it easy on myself). If you are working with a designer and you are looking at lower budget use $75/sq ft as your multiplier. Times that by the sq ft and you will have a budget of $7500.00 to decorate the space. If you want to invest in some custom pieces, multiply your sq ft by $100.00 which in this case will equal $10,000 and if you want to do entirely custom with premium finishes times it by $150/sq ft and that will be your starting point for high end - $15,000++.

Have I scared you yet?

I'm going to throw out some other numbers at you.

Kitchens including Ikea kitchens, cannot be designed & professionally installed for under $25,000. Okay they can but they won't be pretty. I've seen a few done for under $10 and well stapled cabinetry means you'd be better off setting fire to your money actually. If you are willing to do it yourself, you'll save between $5-15,000 but the process will for sure take longer. I say this not to make people feel bad, it costs what it costs. Save up, include a 20% contingency and you'll still run into surprises. I'm not even touching appliances. Some appliances when totalled up are more expensive than an entire house.

There are tons of ways to spend less on a kitchen, working with a professional designer can help you with these items especially if you are planning to redo down the road. Heck sometimes a simple wall colour change & some new hardware & lighting can work wonders to a tired kitchen!

Bathrooms - if you have a tub/shower and you want to hire out the work you can't change everything for less than $25,000. I've tried and I'm sure some will be able to say AHA I've done it. When you look at the labour being between $7500-$12,000 then factor in construction materials (cement board), fixtures, tile, counters, lighting, cabinetry, hardware, paint (all the new towels you'll need to buy and accents to make it pretty)... it just adds up. Boom you're at $30K and you haven't even hired a designer yet.

That's the problem with these types of renovations. You can save a bit here and there but rarely do the savings add up into the tens of thousands. A few dollars here and there but you're still hitting these numbers. However, hiring a designer can help you utilize materials & fixtures that you might not have realized were available, in creative and imaginative ways that while they won't save you money, can help you make it look like you spent a whack more than you had to begin with. They can also help you maximize your layout and save space or in some cases make choices for you that enable you to purchase off the shelf vs having to opt for a custom route. Lighting plans are often overlooked but are entirely important in kitchens and baths - functional rooms in your home. In almost all bathrooms now, I insist that heated floors be added in or at least planned for.

You're investing in your home. Hiring an experienced design professional is a smart investment.