Happenings >> Best of Houzz 2015

Screenshot 2015-01-19 21.43.46Guess what? I opened my inbox yesterday to find the sort of message that just makes a person happy.

I was voted Best of Houzz 2015 in both the Design & Customer Service categories by the readers. If you don’t know houzz it is a comprehensive resource for homeowners seeking information and ideas on all things home remodelling and design.

My work was voted most popular among the more than 25 million monthly users and so I am very flattered.

Receiving recognition for my design work feels pretty good, but I am really thrilled that my customer service stood out.

You can check out the shiny new badges and the reviews and portfolio that won at

Design Inspiration >> Frank Lloyd Wright

Space Art Quote


The Design Inspiration for this week is from architect Frank Lloyd Wright who said: Space is the breath of art. I agree. It’s the punctuation of design. What do you think?

Shows + Finds >> Escape Pendant by LZF


I’ve been working with a fun-loving couple who want to infuse ethically-sourced and environmentally sensitive choices into their home.

There is a lot to understand and learning about the available products and what it takes to manufacture them has been interesting for me.

One of the choices we are moving forward with is a pair of these Escape pendants over the dining table. They were designed by Ray Power, an Irish designer.

The criss-cross pattern on these contemporary lights will cast gorgeous light and shadow in the dining space and set the tone for the room. I recommended my client’s use two to balance the length of their dining table.

LZF Lighting in Spain manufactures the lights. All of the company’s veneers are forested under environmentally sustainable guidelines, and certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.

Happy Holidays

Screenshot 2014-12-10 11.28.11We are off to enjoy family and friends this holiday season. The blog will be back the week of January 5. In the meantime, we want to wish you and your family the very best of the season!

Shows + Finds >> Rubik Console

Rubik Console


Redford House designed the Rubik console with form and function in mind. Behind the six doors, this functional mid-century, modern style cabinet has three storage compartments with adjustable shelving to maximize storage space.

I’m excited to be using this piece in client’s home. We’ve chosen to go with white doors and a washed grey case (the console is available in 26 different finishes).

Would you use this piece in your home and what function would it serve?

Design Inspiration >> Alexander McQueen

Screen Shot 2014-12-02 at 2.18.46 PM

Project >> Refined Living + Dining Room

IMG_7090I received the images from a photo shoot last week at one of my favourite recent projects. I’ll get the whole gallery loaded on to the website soon, but wanted to share a sneak peak of some shots I took that day.

These clients have such an elegant, clean style and it was so fun to work with them putting together their living room and dining room.

A big part of this project was the lighting. The home was built in the thirties and some of the lighting added over the years was not terribly respectful of the existing architecture and home.

We spent a lot of time looking for the right lighting and while our final picks do have a contemporary sensibility they could be mistaken as original to the home. The burnished brass and warm bronzes in the lighting also inspired a lot of the palette for the project.

The couple wanted a calm, inviting space where they could relax, but also entertain their friends for dinner parties. We set up the living room to draw people in when they enter the house and made sure the table could expand to seat eight when required.

A layered palette of neutrals was key to getting a calm energy and we and played around with the client’s existing art and collections in the styling to give it a bit of punch.

Storage was a major requirement for this client because older homes tend to be a bit short on it. We focused on furnishings that would provide that functionality for them.

The Bernhardt console with the antique brass base and carved silver doors that we placed in the living room is my favourite piece.

What are your favourite elements in this design?

TECHNIQUE >> Before You Start

Designing a new space, or enhancing an existing space with fresh decor can be intimidating. The feeling of overwhelm can totally paralyze the design process. One way to overcome this feeling is by taking the time to plan and asking yourself the right questions.

Here are a few things to consider:

1/ Take time know what inspires you. This may mean taking a walk in nature, finding an inspiring mood board on Pinterest or getting lost in Houzz ideabooks or a home magazine. Be sure to take note of the things that speak to you. This is a personal process, but understanding what you like and don’t will make the decisions easier down the road. It also makes it easier for professionals and sales staff to make suitable recommendations for you because they are not guessing.

‘When I am in this space I want to feel…’

2/ Let your life influence your design process. Think about the attitude you have toward to space. How does it need to function for you? The more specific you can be about those needs the better your final design will be. For example, don’t say: I want to entertain. Say: I want to have dinner parties for 6 to 8 people, or I want to host Grey Cup parties.

‘I am going to make the following changes to better reflect my style and my needs…’

3/ Map it out. It is easy to move furniture and cabinetry on paper. It is messy, time consuming and often expensive to do it in real life. This is why I strongly recommend drawing things. It gives you a sense of how everything works together, and to analyze whether the space will meet the goals you have set for your lifestyle.

‘Activities that must happen in this room…’

Have you experienced design paralysis? What has helped you overcome this feeling?


Shows + Finds >> Imola Chair


A modern take on the wingback chair, the Imola chair by BoConcept demonstrates where modern-style meets retro. Designed by BoConcept’s Henrik Pedersen, this iconic piece was inspired by the lines on a tennis ball.

This piece of furniture could be easily made part of a living room, bedroom or office. Recently we used this piece to complete a mid-century library. I can’t imagine a more cozy place to curl up an read a good book, what about you?

Design Inspiration >> Henry Ford