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!


Church Reveal # 3 – The Living Area

Voila! The main space, or living area. The heart and soul of The Church. Where we live, eat and laugh.

This space is huge, and as a result, our challenge was to make it feel warm, inviting, and light. Oh the light, or should I say the wood. Oh the wood. Look at it. It is everywhere and in so many variations. We like light – natural light – and of course, colour and we knew that for the main living area we needed to lighten it up as much as possible; so the challenge became where to find light and colour in this otherwise wood-filled and (potentially) gloomy space.  Where else would we find it but in a 10 foot, linen coloured/covered, down filled sectional from G Romano thanks to our friends at Cottage Industry.

WOW. I mean seriously, wow. We had no idea you could actually fall in love with a sofa. I mean sure, designers and decorators say all the time “I love…” but this is love of a different level. What an amazing experience (yes, I went there) this sectional is. It is beyond comfortable and simply envelopes you when you sit down. Oh, how we love it.

The sectional is the largest and lightest piece in the room next to the giant built in bookcase. What a dream they were to work with! Most everything you see on those shelves was in storage and awaiting the perfect home. Well, we found it! We shipped the boxes over from PEI and thought, initially, we shipped too many. How wrong we were. We didn’t send enough! We’ve done the best we could with what we have on the top shelves but didn’t have enough hobnail milk glass with us to complete them to our liking. However, we plan to bring more with us the May long-weekend and promise and update after that visit! As for the other items on the shelves, take a look and enjoy. They are all treasures we’ve collected over the years.

Rather organically a “criss-cross” designed emerged within this space. You will notice the legs on the harvest table, the Eiffel chairs, the coffee table and the ironing board (doubling as a sofa table) all have a cris-cross pattern. We decided to take it one step further and make a criss-cross with the colour scheme in the room. Were we successful? You be the judge.

The green rug (Dash and Albert, Cottage Industry) under the harvest table matches the mostly green throw cushions on the sectional and the mostly blue, with green, rug under the sectional matches the blue/green Cobi chairs (Hambly’s) at the end of the dining room table, the Eiffel chairs and the cushion on the pew. Note, there are more cushions coming. Our good friend and consummate helper, Cynthia King, was dispatched to Winners recently to secure more of the pillows. They, like the hobnail milk glass, will appear at the long-weekend.

The kitchen is fairly well complete. Although we would one day like to change it, that would not be a viable option right now given how functional and “finished” it is. Instead we decided to work with what we have and this meant 1) having super cute bar stools that are actually called “church” stools and 2) purchasing an amazing wall hanging. The rooster is actually a rug we found at a local antique shop. Obviously we had to have it. The colours work well in the space because the muted red ties in nicely with the cupboards and the size of the rug helps break up the wood in that area and to define it as a separate space.

An honourable mention goes out to the coffee table. What an amazing beast of a table and design. This is a prime example of “loving” something without really loving it, or in the way we love our sectional. This beauty was introduced to us by Jennifer at Cottage Industry. Jennifer is kind of like our drug pusher – if she shows us something we are likely to buy it. Now that we think of it, we have more than one person like this in our lives.

At any rate, we love the table… and the sectional…. and the main-space at the church, and hope you do too.

The bedrooms and bathroom will be revealed after they are finished – after the long-weekend. Stay tuned!

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Church Reveal # 2 – Harvest Table

Where and when we got the idea we needed a 10 ft. harvest table, we don’t remember. However, did get the idea and we obviously needed one.

This table was handmade by a talented and award winning carpenter (and we’re proud to say also our friend), Karl Taylor. Karl has worked for Mike Murphy and Paul Smith for a couple of years now, working on their award winning properties in downtown Charlottetown, and has now branched out on his own. When we decided we wanted an original harvest table we knew Karl was just the man to call. Not only did he know and listen to what we wanted but also made suggestions and offered solutions to our ideas and problems! What more could we ask for?

Karl made the table using reclaimed studs from a heritage house in the city. Each piece was individually cut and planed to create a smooth and level top. The edges were routed and joined together with biscuits, and then glued, screwed, and clamped. Breadboard ends were also made and glued, screwed, and clamped. Then, the entire table was sanded to a smooth clean finish. Last but not least, braces were made and screwed to the bottom for stability and strength. Let us tell you, this table is strong and sturdy enough to dance on (as it should be).

The legs were specially crafted by a local metal work shop. The criss-cross of the legs mimic that of the Eiffel chairs as well as other pieces of furniture in the room (soon to be revaled!). The legs are well built and very sturdy however, there was a small issue with them – they were too long! What a shock we received when we fastened the legs, excitedly turned over the table and found it was better suited as a work bench or kitchen island than a dining room table. WOW! However, after a bit of work and help from father-in-law, everything is now perfect and as it should be.

For the chairs we wanted to mix it up a bit. We, of course, needed a church pew in the church and thought where better than right at the dining room table! We searched high and low for an actual pew from this church, St. Alban’s, but were unsuccessful. The pew we found came from a church on the north shore of PEI. We found it the way most things on PEI work and/or are found – word of mouth. A shout out to our friend Annie Leroux for helping us with our hunt.

The blue Eiffel chairs are a classic, retro looking chair that offer visual interest and a pop of colour. These chairs are available in several different colours at Cottage Industry. The chairs at the end of the table are from Cobi and available at Hambly’s. As mentioned with the furniture in the loft (recently renamed the “Lady Loft”, opposite of “Man Cave”) Cobi offers a beautiful array of fabrics as shown on the inside of these chairs. These chairs are a perfect example of how a little can go a long way – in reality, the fabric was too expensive for us to use on the entire chair so we opted to do the inside only and used a lower grade fabric on the outside, which as you will see, matches the soon to be revealed sectional it shares the living area with and in the end saved us about $200 a chair.

The vignette atop the table is a simple setting that allows the table underneath to be showcased. The block-print napkins from Cottage Industry offer a colour anchor on the table while the crystal stemware offers a nice lightness. The cushions on the pew help tie in the colours in the room and make the pew less, well, church-like!

We are pleased as punch with our table and feel ever so fortunate to have people like Karl in our lives. Hopefully one day we can all sit together at the harvest table for a lovely dinner together. Enjoy!

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