Tag Archives: my take

Two is better than One – Coffee Tables

Written by on 2nd December 2014 in Blog POSTS with 1 Comment

When it comes to coffee tables and small spaces I really believe two is better than one. I’ve been wanting to do tandem coffee tables  for awhile…some of my past client’s reading this might even recall my valiant attempts to sway them:) Recently one of my client’s agreed and two little square glass lovelies arrived in the mail shortly thereafter. We got around to styling them today and I love the simple mix of some of her art books with some  accessories and a small, somewhat dodgy, arrangement of berries from her yard.


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You know me, I love stylish interiors AND getting a deal for less. So, as usual I sourced a table that looks almost exactly like it’s much more expensive cousin. Full disclosure: My client painted the “Steal” tables in a flat black paint because the distressing on them wasn’t exactly to our taste. I think they look fantastic and everyone is satisfied that we didn’t pay a premium for the same look. Go team!

tables compare

If you want some help making the place you live a place you love…contact me, I can help!

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Holiday Decorating Tip #3 – Songza

Written by on 23rd November 2014 in Blog POSTS with 0 Comments


My tip this week is to select some great tunes to get you in the mood to decorate. I’m obsessed with Songza (a free Music site) on my computer and my iPhone and I can tell you that the xmas playlists they have ARE the soundtrack to my holiday season!

If you’re like me you have had various colour phases with your tree decor… This year my goal is an Authentic Christmas  and so I picked the most special ornaments at random from each of my whims from Christmas past … I also enlisted an impartial third party to hang the ornaments (my two nieces) so you can be guaranteed that anything they ever made me out of macaroni is featured front and center. It’s cool, and I like it.  The only thing I would do differently is to tell them at the beginning This is NOT a race:)DSC_1214[1] 600 pix

This year I also opted to use my summer garden globe lights instead of my little Christmas strings. Those old Christmas ones were half burnt out anyway, and I like the slightly retro feel of the big fat bulbs.

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So there it is, my happy random and big bulb Christmas tree for 2014. My nieces selected the teen pop Christmas playlist from Songza while we did this holiday decorating…I didn’t know Beiber wasn’t cool anymore. Now I’m off to get the sparkles off my face.

If you want some help making the place you live a place you love…contact me, I can help!

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Holiday Decoration Tip #2 – One Thing You Love

Written by on 16th November 2014 in Blog POSTS with 0 Comments

polish edited

No matter what your style, and no matter which holiday traditions you celebrate, there are items that we cherish during special times of the year.  Sometimes it’s a new shiny thing you fell in love with in a shop, and sometimes it’s an heirloom piece that you have loved forever. Either way, my holiday decoration tip #2 is to seek out that one piece of holiday happiness…just one, and put it on display. It’s kind of like a warm up for the real deal decorating but also a reminder that less is more, and that sticking to the things that matter most is what makes holiday decorating feel authentic.

This year I chose a new item, this Polish Pottery ornament I found at Homesense. It’s not expensive but it’s simple beauty and my Polish heritage drew me to it right away. I put it in a cool root bowl and just let it shine on its own. I can’t wait to hang it on the tree and hope that no wayward dog tails smack it down like last years carnage…but that’s another story…

polish ornament

Remember that anyone can buy a sleeve of ornament balls and decorate a tree….it’s the meaningful things that matter. Even if they don’t match your decor, even if they’re super ugly clay and macaroni blobs that were made by a child in art class. Those are the keepers. One of the sweetest stories my in laws told me about my husband was that he made a clay snake in art class when tasked with making a Christmas ornament…and so, the Christmas snake was inducted into their family traditions from that day forward. Find your snake.

Tell me about your One Thing, I’d love to hear about it!

If you want some help making the place you love a place you love…contact me, I can help!

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Holiday Decoration Ideas – Tip #1 Berries

Written by on 1st November 2014 in Blog POSTS with 0 Comments

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Every holiday season I get lots of requests for holiday decoration ideas and I simply LOVE helping clients decorate their homes for the holidays.  Did you know that I can help with everything from tree placement and colour choices to arranging beautiful vignettes using your existing decorations?  In addition to my in home design and shopping services I also LOVE to share my tips and tricks for a beautiful holiday display…so… even if you don’t have me over for eggnog, you can still get my decorating input:)

Now, I know it has been a hot minute since Halloween so, let’s take it easy and start off slow. Remember that we are working our way up to the big enchilada and these are little steps that you can take in November to start to get in the spirit of the season…no matter which holiday you celebrate.

Let’s start now, here’s holiday Decor tip #1. Berries in a Vessel. Yep …you take some berries and put’em in someth’in. Simple Simple and beautiful. You can do this, I know you can.

Tip -  I will use the berry stems for a centerpiece now and in December I stick them in the branches of my decorated tree.  If the colour doesn’t match your tree ornaments a couple bursts of spray paint will do the trick.Fall-Berries-in-Vase

If you want some help making the place you live a place you love…contact me, I can help!
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Star Chart Goodness

Written by on 18th April 2014 in Blog POSTS with 0 Comments

My Constellation Star Chart is up and looking marvelous.  Don’t overlook maps and charts as art. They’re graphic, usually inexpensive and best of all…BIG!

DSC_0081[1] RESIZEDIf you want some help making the place you live a place you love….contact me, I can help!

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Pipe and Board Shelving

Written by on 31st January 2014 in Blog POSTS with 0 Comments

It’s no secret that I have a design crush on Trade Roots on Herald Street. I love them cause they make awesome custom pieces at an affordable price.  For instance, right now I have a client wanting pipe and board shelving in the living room. So of course, I think of them to build it and then my thoughts turn to Kyle Schuneman’s awesome living room (BELOW) utilizing this DIY shelf goodness for inspiration. It’s one thing to build it, but another to fill it properly. And that’s where I come in!


I think it’s tres importantay to make sure your shelves are spaced to show off your things in a balanced and collected/cool sort of way.  It’s easy to do it wrong, so I figured I would show you some examples of filling this style of shelves to their best advantage. Think about shape, colour, size left to eight and back to front. Utilize the whole shelf. It’s totally finE to have some accessories from HomeSense tossed into your mix but it shouldn’t all be new stuff especially with this sort of vintage industrial look – You will probably have to hit the Vintage stores cause mixing is Key!

pipes mashI like a fuller look, so I want to see books and stuff, and YOU when I take a browse over by your bookshelf. So represent yourself well and display all the weird and wonderful things that make you unique. Measure some of your tallest books’n things to make sure they’re gonna fit.

suspipeYou can consider painting the wall behind your pipe and board too. This black backdrop looks great and adds to the industrial feel.

suspipblkIf you want some help making the place you live a place you love…contact me, I can help!

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Hammer Time

Written by on 17th October 2013 in Blog POSTS with 2 Comments

When I started my design business a few years ago I never could have imagined how quickly it would grow or how different it would be from how I imagined. I guess I dreamed about fabric and lights, couches and chairs…rugs and refinement…. not really paying attention to all that has to come before the pretty.

At the moment I have several projects in various stages of construction and planning which does not leave much time, or canonroom, for pillows and pretty things. Nope, it’s “hammer time” and project management time and budget time. Not sexy.  The good news is that once these work sites are cleared up there will be time for glorious decorious implementus (aka – Nicole get’s to make it pretty!!)  Another bright spot amidst the drywall dust and paint fumes is that I’m gearing up for my first professional photo shoot in a couple weeks to document a finished project in Oak Bay. Can’t wait for that!!

Patience Grasshopper. Your time to decorate will come.

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Bathroom – Weekend Update

Written by on 6th October 2013 in Blog POSTS with 3 Comments

A few weeks ago I set out to paint one of my bathrooms over the weekend. It was the builder peach/beige since we moved in and I couldn’t take it anymore.  I knew white was right and chose BM Snowfall White OC-118 for the walls and although I didn’t have the budget to swap the counter top – I changed the hardware on the cabinets. I added some accessories from Homesense and on the white walls hung an  industrial welcome sign, a vintage eBay soap label and a sign I made with a funny and famous quote from Austin Powers. I mean…let’s not take things too seriously right!?

full front

Here’s how it looked before…

Bath mashPaint and Homesense are both wonderful things!

DSC04255I bought this new shower curtain from West Elm. I recently used the same one in a client bathroom too. I must have had this cool metal welcome sign for almost a year and finally found a good spot for it!

industrial sign This sign makes us smile all the time. I love that it’s not too serious around here. Everyone keeps telling me I should make more and sell them on Etsy. If I only had the time!

DSC04278I painted this little bathroom in one weekend and the mister helped with the skylight part. It’s both high and confined….not great for me but he did an awesome job considering this was supposed to be “my” project.

DSC04281A little paint and elbow grease and I have a whole new bathroom. Easiest thing I’ll do all year I bet!

DSC04254If you want some help making the place you live a place you love …contact me, I can help!

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Living Room Love

Written by on 25th September 2013 in Blog POSTS with 2 Comments

I wrapped up another project in Victoria recently which involved a living room for a young family.  I absolutely loved working with them… and because they were so willing to take my ideas and make them happen – the whole thing was done in no time at all!  You can see that bookcases were added to each side of the fireplace for storage and style.  The large Persian rug was a deal from ecarpetgallery and the over-sized leather couch makes an inviting and casual statement.

ddedc337-74bd-4f66-9f75-0d4c95798653_zpsb32c2810Some of the tips and tricks for personalizing this space involved collecting some of the homeowners things in one place and then deciding what would be good for the walls and shelves.  Once we knew how to use the existing items they loved I knew what we might need to fill in a few gaps and make it feel finished.

004-600My clients built the shelves on either side of the fireplace themselves! Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about!

002-600We agreed that the green tile was dated, but instead of changing it we chose to put bits of awesome in every other place in the room so it’s not the focus – and to be honest – you don’t even notice it.

005-600I added lots of colour to this room to make it bright and light.  I used the carpet as an inspiration and convinced them to go with the primary palette for accessories because I didn’t want them to take it too seriously. They’re young and fun and their home should reflect that.

008-600They did the gallery wall themselves and I could not be more proud! Bravo you guys! I couldn’t have done it better!

015-600The furniture in this room is a mix of one of a kind custom pieces and thrifted scores..that’s my favourite kind of space.

024-600We really played with a mix of furniture styles in this room too…. Bridging the Mid-Century teak and vintage Persian rug with colourful accents…

023-600As usual I’m happy it’s done, and sad at the same time:(  I always miss my projects when they’re done.  Thankfully we are also finishing the dining room – Pics of that someday soon.

Check out how it looked before:

before 2



If you would like help making the place you live a place you love ….contact me, I can help!

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White Hot! Another New Project – It’s White

Written by on 1st September 2013 in Blog POSTS with 0 Comments

I’m so lucky to be working with another great family on a White Hot new design project combining contemporary sophistication with some traditional touches. Working on a monochromatic white / Off-white interior is harder than it looks so I am proceeding carefully with each choice. Here’s some of my ideas beginning to take shape. You will notice some references in the art (from 1001 treasures) to the ocean view of this beautiful home along with panel details on the walls and some pops of blue here and there….what’s not to love?!

MASH UPIf you want help making the place you live a place you love…contact me, I can help!

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