Reveal – Client’s Bedroom

The bedroom. Ah, the bedroom. Such a misunderstood and often feared (for so many reasons!) room. However, it is an important one. A very important one. I mean really, don’t we all need our beauty sleep? I think we do and because of this, it is important we feel comfortable and at ease in our bedroom. Our clients were not really either of those things in the previous iteration of their master bedroom.

The room itself is a nice size with ample space for furniture, lots of closet space, and natural light. However, something wasn’t quite right in this room and the clients knew it. The red on the walls was a second attempt at getting the wall colour right and a significant departure from the previous icy blue. However, they loved it… or at least thought they did. The comforter was a wedding present hand-made by a parent; a heart warming labourious gift. Naturally, the couple wanted to make us of it but as you can see from the photos, the true blue in the comforter was fighting with the red on the walls in effect making it a disquieting and un-enjoyable room. Further to this, the furniture they loved so much all but disappeared into the walls.

The bones of the room, and the furniture in it, provided an excellent foundation to start this project and bring the room together. We opted for a blue/grey on the walls. Thankfully this colour is more grey than blue offering more calm than colour. The windows did not have any curtains previously, only blinds/shades, so to “complete” the room and for consistency we brought in beautiful navy curtains. In addition to this we modernized the blinds adding another bit of consistency and upgrade. To soften the comforter we turned it over to find, voila!, a beautiful toile fabric that works perfectly in the room.

Another favourite in the room is the rug. Consisting of mostly bright red, we wanted to bring that colour into other areas of the room so we had custom pillows made. The red is now in three different places in the room offering the perfect “hits” throughout. The kidney pillow on the bed was made from fabric left over from when we hemmed the curtains. How much do we love our seamstress?

The over-sized wing back chair helped complete the room. The taupe/linen colour is picked-up from the rug however, is versatile enough that it could be moved to other rooms in the house and used no problem. A chair, or sitting area, in a bedroom is so important to comfort. It is nice to have a place to sit and put your socks on in the morning. Don’t you agree?

A second ceiling fan, to match the first one, was purchased to provide symmetry to the room. Picking up on the brushed nickel finishes, new hardware was added to the closets. The room is now looking more cohesive and from what the clients tell us, much more calming and comfortable. The furniture they love so much is now beautifully showcased against soft grey walls and the rug they enjoy provides the perfect hit of colour. Also, the versatile comforter on the bed has found a new life as the beautiful and comforting bed cover. You may have also noticed that regardless of which way the comforter is turned, Jenna-The-Cat loves it.

This room is a perfect example of how successful “working with what you have” can be. Enjoy!









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Reveal – Client’s Dining Room

This room is the dining room in the house we showcased in last week’s living room reveal. Like that room, this one is beautiful, a grand size and had wonderful furniture. What it didn’t have was much light or life. The room had not been update since the 60’s and although the wallpaper (which the homeowner’s mother put up in the 40s) and bank of heavy velvet drapes were impressive, they had to go.

What is most interesting about this room is the fact that very few new things were introduced to the room, but how different, exciting, and new the room now looks. The biggest challenge with this room was having the wallpaper removed and the walls repaired/re-plastered. The walls were then painted a lovely green – the colour was chosen so we could “work with what we had”. The dominant colour in the existing rug (from Eaton’s, no less!) is a lovely green, so that was a starting point.

Once the painting was finished, the floors were refinished. The dining room chair seats were recovered in a deep yellow with a pattern that mimics that of the rug and picks up on some creamy yellow accents also in the rug. Because the drapes in the living room were so heavy, hid the light, and had been up for so long, we wanted to go with something very light and airy on the windows. We chose a classic sheer topped with a very simple valance. The valance has a green stripe, matching the rest of the room, with a golden yellow border to help tie in the chairs.

The furniture was rearranged in order to showcase it better and to spread it out. The huge china cabinet , which was previously tucked away in a corner, now holds a more prominent position and features a few, carefully chosen pieces of china that add to the room with their colour. Prior to this, the cabinet was used more for storage than show and contributed to the heavy feeling in the room.

The light fixture was a steal of a deal from the Habitat for Humanity Restore. $50 and brand new! The candelabras on the table mimic the patter of the light fixture – this complement allows it all to work together and look like a vignette.

The client tells us she has been trying out each and every chair to see which one is her favourite. Our favourite part of this is finding out she is actually now using the room to enjoy and eat in!

Here’s a picture of what the room looked like when the client was growing up in the house.

And a few pictures of the room prior to the renovation and redecoration.

And here’s what the room looks like now.

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Reveal – Client’s Livingroom

What a beautiful room. This room and more importantly, the house, is chock full of history and character. The marble fire place, the gigantic windows, amazing ceiling height, and the overall room size. All wonderful bones to work with. The house is a historic home that, over its almost 200 year history, has only had a few owners. The current owner more or less grew up in the home, as did her family. The house has been very, very well taken care of over time but it did lack a little something – comfort and a place to sit!

The formal living room was used as the pool room when the children were in the home and later became a storage room of sorts. The client wanted to turn the room into a comfortable, practical room that was “homey” and where she could relax and read a book. Great! Off to the design races we go.

The wall colour is a calming and serene taupe. It affords an excellent opportunity to allow some of the other pieces in the room, like the fireplace and over-sized walnut bookcase, to be showcased. The slip-covered sofa is Rowe, from Cottage Industry, and the chairs are Decor-Rest from Hambly’s. After the paint colour, the sofa was the jumping off point. We knew we wanted to move the bookcase from the upstairs hall (where it was completely under appreciated) into the living room and so to counterbalance that scale and colour, we went with a blue/brown fabric on the chairs. The creme pillows on the chairs help tie them in with the couch, as do the pillows on the couch with the chairs.

The rug was a carpet end we found at Markan and had cut and bound to our custom size. The navy blue (with small gold circles) offers an excellent anchor to the room. The coffee table was a $50 find at a used furniture store which we had professionally spray painted. The “Ballet White” colour suits the room and the client! The blue piece in the centre of the coffee table is a piece of Scott Barnim pottery from Details (Victoria Row) that was purchased as a treat for the client.

The “sitting” chairs are a beautiful (like all of the furniture in the house!) “his and her” set that the client already had but wanted brought back to life. The rich and inviting fabric is mostly a darker palette with hits of turquoise. Family legend has it that the table between the two chairs once belonged to a hotel room that Sir John A. stayed in. Together,  they make an excellent conversation area and wonderful accents at the front of the room. We went with light valances to ensure as much light as possible enters the room. Mission accomplished!

The accessories and art, including everything in the bookcase, was already in the house with the exception of the lamps. It was A LOT of fun to go “shopping” in the client’s home for accessories and personal pieces. “We’ll take that… and that… and oh, we NEED that…”. The house is a treasure trove and we were so excited and flattered that this client asked for our help. This was only one of two rooms we did in the house. Stay tuned for the upcoming dining room reveal!

First, here’s a picture of what the room used to look like when the client was growing up in the house…

And a few pictures of what the room looked like a few months ago….

And the room now…

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Church Update

This past weekend we headed back to The Church and with a couple of friends in tow. We had a grand time – no, a magical time. The weather was amazing, we had great company and conversation and I tried the first s’mores of my life. What more could we ask for?

Of course we did the requisite treasure hunting and came across many. We will share those at a later time. For now, however, we wanted to provide an update to a couple of items that had yet to be completed with the “reveals”.

First is the dining room table – it lacked a centre piece. In keeping with wanting to ensure the space was light and buoyant we went with clear glass candlesticks, bottles and an oil lamp. The bottles are actual candle holders from a church! They look fabooshe. We were also able to secure a couple more pillows to accent the pew. Thanks again to Cynthia King for her help and willingness to be dispatched to Winners during our design dilemma.

And look at these bad boys! What do you spy?

Next up is the milk glass on the top shelf of the bookcase. The majority of it is hobnail with a few other pieces thrown in. The full shelf of white matches well with the sectional and helps to define the space and offer an “airy” feel to the room.

Here is a shot of the of the unfinished master bedroom built-in bookcase. Originally this had a headboard on it and a built-in bed frame. We decided to change the room by removing the bed from this location, changing to the other wall and removing the headboard. We were left with a huge focal point and a lot of shelves to fill! We purchased all of these vases at Treasure and Collectibles for just under $100. This is an easy and relatively inexpensive way of filling up a lot of space. The books along the top are Harlequin novels purchased for $.25 a piece. Again, inexpensive. Would anyone like to sign one of them out? We will finish this when we find the perfect wall hanging to go in the centre.

Finally, we installed an oil lamp in the original place it would have been when it was an actual church. The previous owners and those that did the conversion went to painstaking lengths to ensure much of the original detail was kept. This lamp is an excellent example of this. If you know of where we can find more, please let us know!


St. Alban’s Vacation Home

Be sure to check out the latest section to the website – St. Albans Vacation Home. Here you will find everything you need or would like to know about renting our piece of paradise. Also, be sure to check out the photo gallery  to see everything the home has to offer and, admire Craig’s photography skills!