Project Fairbairn- Cruz’s Room

Good Morning design lovers, 
It’s Saturday and I don’t normally do reveals on Saturdays but I didn’t want you to have to go all weekend without seeing the vintage airplane room to complete our trilogy of boys rooms at Project Fairbairn. 
Similar to the racecar room the homeowners already had a lot of the vintage airplane accessories. They knew what they wanted in this room and really just needed me to pull it all together. The furniture was actually Dads furniture set from when he was a little boy and it’s not only still very sturdy and strong but has lots of sentimental value. I snuck in a new blue nightstand though 😉 Convinced him to let me break up the set a little bit 👍🏼
Here’s what we came up with: 

The room has a very long narrow hallway at the entrance with one side lined with closets. We decided to do our old triple mirror trick here to make the hallway feel bigger but also serve as a spot to check yourself out once your outfit is picked 👍🏼

The jumping off point again was this mural. It screams for vintage airplanes and gives the room texture and interest. 

We added two airplanes flying around in the sky from restoration hardware. 

I added some drapery to frame out the window around the desk and added in a blue denim chair. 

This blue bookshelf was another amazing homesense find. I literally had to fight off two woman in the store for it. One tried to take it from my cart when I wasn’t looking. No joke. This actually happened. 

New pillows and airplane bedding finishes off this look. It’s grown up and whimsical all in the same breath. 

I had the homeowners remove the remove the mirror that was attached to the dresser and we did a little airplane gallery wall above instead. 

I love kids spaces that don’t take themselves too seriously. This room can grow with this little guy. Im Sad to be finished this project but delighted that there is already talk of which room is next in this home for 2018. 
Have a fabulous holiday if I don’t talk with you guys before then. 
And as always 
Happy Decorating 

Vision board I gave the client: 

Before pictures: 

Project Fairbairn- Matteo’s Room

It’s Day 2 of thenots Room reveals over at Project Fairbairn and if you are a racecar fan this rooms for you. 
Once upon a time Dad was actually a legit racecar driver. Cool right? There is actually a picture of him racing in this room which I’ll get to soon. 
This room is big a bright and belongs to their oldest son. They already had most of the accessories and all the furniture we just simply painted, added a mural, added drapes and a rug, and re-arranged the art. Not a ton of work but it made a big difference. 
Here’s what we came up with: 
I found the art placement in the before pics a little jumbled but they are beautiful restoration hardware pieces so we wanted to keep them all. What we did was group them together to make s bigger impact and create some cohesiveness. The striped mural was again our inspiration. Like a modern racing stripe. 
We also added some drapery to frame out these big beautiful windows. 

The furniture remains the same we just added a few pillows and accessories. This room was more of a re-fresh than a re do. 

These big racing banners are also from restoration hardware and really fill up that big wall beside the dresser. 

There’s that picture I was telling you about with Dad racing. What a celeb! I believe that was his helmet as well. There are lots of little touches in this room that are near and dear to the homeowners heart. It may look like we tried to make a theme here but really we styled the room around existing pieces they already owned and loved. 

I think this vintage racecar Room is the perfect room for the eldest guy in the family. It’s fun. It’s fresh. It’s functional. 

Happy Decorating folks 
Vision board I gave the client: 

Before pictures: 

Project Fairbairn- Ethan’s Room

Hello design lovers,
I’m finding it just so fitting that I closed out blogging for 2016 with project fairbairn’s family room and dining room reveal and I’m now going to close out blogging in 2017 with project fairbairn’s 3 little boys rooms. 
The idea behind these rooms was that you do them once and although each one has a nod to a theme, all of the main elements of the room don’t. So if dinosaurs need to be switch to zambonies one day you are still cool 😉
These homeowners love that traditional yet industrial restoration hardware vibe. Classic and classy let’s call it with a hit of vintage. They wanted the three boys rooms to follow that same feel that the rest of the home has. 
Today I’m going to reveal the vintage dinosaur room. Here’s what we came up with:

So each room had most of the furniture already. In this case this is a big boy bed converted out of the little guys crib. We hid the teeth marks with a new Dino duvet 😂👌🏻. 
The jumping off point for each of these rooms was the murals. Thank god for companies like A new Wall who make fun whimsical murals that are perfect for both kid and non kid related rooms. It’s just a step up from sticking a Dino decal on the wall you know? We loved the vintage feel this one had and pictured dinosaurs roaming through those mountains. It was also the perfect color palette for the room. 
That giant t-Rex head took a little convincing. Will it eat me? The little boy asked. No no it’s not real. You are good. Lol. It’s from restoration hardware and just even better in person. 

We carried through that vintage vibe with a new mirror that’s made to look rusty and old. I found this cage like shelving unit at homesense. It was a great find. We use it to house the boys little Dino toys. Toss in A little faux fur rug under the bed to add softness and texture underfoot and voila. 

Crisp white drapery with little navy arrows onit frame out the window. They have blackout lining too so perfect for that pipe dream parents have every night when their heads hit the pillows that their kids will actually sleep in. Here’s to hoping. Also if anyone knows any tips to getting your kids to sleep in please email me. Asking for a friend. 

We nestled in a little reading chair perfect for nighttime stories. 

This lamp is from urban barn and reminded me of dinosaur bones hidden in rocks. Fossils if you will? The thing about kids furniture is they are rough on it. Especially three little boys so it didn’t make sense to replace his nursery set at this time. We added a new nightstand to try and break up the set. We topped their old dresser with a mini gallery wall of metal framed mirrors and restoration hardware dinosaur art pieces.  

I love this room and hope you do too. What a pleasure it is to design spaces for kids. It literally is just fun. I can’t believe I get to call this work. Especially when you have amazing homeowners who trust your vision and let you run with it. 

On to the next reveal tomorrow. Hint: think racing stripes. 

Happy Decorating 

Vision board I gave the client: 

Before pics: 

Project Binns- Kitchen

Happy Fri-yay all and happy thanksgiving to all our American friends and happy Black Friday shopping to us all. 
While everybody eats/shops I’m going to reveal a kitchen. The last reveal for Project Binns until we start phase 2 (the dining room and office). 
So this is not a new kitchen. We sprayed it. Yes that’s right it’s the exact same kitchen as the before pictures but we sprayed it Benjamin Moore pale oak (as the homeowners wanted to keep the counter tops and we couldn’t go too white or it wouldn’t jive with the counters) so this was the perfect shade. We also sanded down and re stained these floors, switched out the lighting, new hardware on the cabinet doors, and new furniture. 
Looks like a total gut but In all reality it was a refresh. 
Here’s what we have done with it:

A kitchen eating are for a family of 5 including 3 boys can’t have light upholstery in it. Ok that’s just reality. So we went with a burst of color in these totally wipeable red masters chairs. The dining table and stools are also very durable and kid friendly with metal bases so knicks and dings won’t be an issue and were purchased from Saturday Afternoons in Aurora. 

The lighting really helps to modernize the look. 
The thing is the kitchen had great bones. The profile on the doors was not dated. It’s very current. So why throw it out when it can we refreshed. 
New Roman blinds in a lighter brighter fabric and new matte black hardware make all the difference. Psssst… the hardware is in stock at Home Depot and like $5/handle 🙌🏼

With staining the floors dark the counter top now makes sense. Even if it wouldn’t be their first choice today it now flows with the rest of the house and looks like it was always meant to be. 

I’m so thrilled with how this house turned out and I know the homeowners love it as much as I do. They were just such a pleasure to work with and I’m excited about phase 2 in 2018 👍🏼
Have a great weekend all, and as always 
Happy Decorating 

Vision board I gave the client: 

Before pictures: 

Project Binns- Family Room

Happy Thursday friends, 
I’ve got a goodie for you today. Project Binns family room reveal is live…and It’s good. It’s just so good. 
We started out with a space that felt dated but really it was the color pallet that dated the space. Much like the hallway it is a huge space but the homeowners were having a hard time figureing out the furniture layout. 
Here’s what we came up with: 
So clearly the built in cabinets take center stage here. It provides closed storage for a family of three boys, open shelving for all the pretty, and it gave us a focal point for our furniture set up. 
We added in a cozy Sofa, 2 armchairs, concrete looking side tables, and a marble topped coffee table to tie in the homeowners existing counter tops. All from Saturday Afternoons In Aurora. 

Because there are a ton of cabinets in this space we needed to soften things up…. que the fabric. Drapes and Roman blinds add softness, light control, and privacy in this space. The rug adds a nice softness under foot and helps divide the room. Pillows and luxurious faux fur throws complete the cozy look. 

I love to mix new objects and homeowners treasured knick knacks when styling bookshelves. People are always surprised at the amount of books needed to style a shelf. Lots. Lots and lots and lots.  

We kept the built ins linear to keep the look fresh and current and added matte black pulls. We updated the kitchen with the same pulls so everything was unified. I’ll reveal her tomorrow so stay tuned. 

In between the family room and kitchen we added a new dining table and bright red masters chairs to give us a little jolt of color. 

These gear mirrors have been a huge hit and really finish off the space. 

Check back in tomorrow for the kitchen reveal. 

Happy Decorating folks 

Vision board I gave the client: 

Before pictures: 

Project Binns- Front Hall

Oh hi. Hi there. It’s been a while hasn’t it? 

I’ve been the busiest I’ve ever been and it’s both amazing and exhausting. Amazing because I never dreamed of being in the position of having this many people want me involved in their home projects and exhausting because I’m just one person and have started to outsource everything I can but I think expanding my team will be in the very near future. The good news is I have so many fun projects that are going to be ready to share with you very soon. 
Today I’m revealing project binns. This is a unique project because the before and after shots are incredibly dramatic but we did not rip out the kitchen, take down any walls, change the floor plans, etc. We painted. And sprayed, and re stained, and added some built ins and new tile. 
The homeowners had bought this house for its large size and great location… But they never felt it reflected their taste. They told me most of the furniture were hand me downs or things they had from college or their first home and for two professionals with beautiful careers and a beautiful family of 5, it no longer was the right fit. 
This house has a huge beautiful entryway with a double staircase. Like that’s fancy. Super fancy in my opinion. Let’s take advantage of that. 
Here’s what we came up with: 

First on the chopping block was the floors. Bye bye dated tile and hello to beautiful hemlock hardwood that we put in to try and mimic the hardwood in the other rooms. It was then all sanded down and to unify the floors. I won’t lie. These floors were super high maintenance. It took several go’s to get the right stain color. I’m remembering back to walking into a site visit to see floors that looked like they spilled grey paint randomly and tried to blend it in.  After seeing that we made the executive decision to go dark. We just went dark and it was the answer to our prayers. Then the sealing process… the family had to move out the smell was so bad into a hotel. It seemed to be a never ending process. But. Look. How. Beautiful. They. Are. Now!!! 

We decided to inlay a beautiful marble mosaic into the front entryway for an added punch. The family does not use this as their primary entryway so it’s really only for guests. It’s just stunning and 10 feet long so it makes a big impact in the space. 
We added a new large geometric lantern style light fixture and some art and accessories to warm things up. The wainscotting was existing but we had it painted all the way up the same color as the wall to modernize it. 

This is s stunning original painting the homeowners picked up while on vacation mid Reno. We accented it with a reclaimed wood desk/console table and added a fun little fox umbrella holder. Books and florals complete the look. These two adjoining rooms are next up on the chopping block. Phase 2 if you will do stay tuned. 

The stairs were also a big transformation.  New pickets and posts go a long way. 
Quick designer tip. Pay attention to the scale. Details are ok on pickets but if you have two massive staircase to add those details every other picket would start to look busy. Here we added the round detail every 5 pickets which I think was the perfect mix. 
We painted the risers and stained the treads to match the new hardwood. It’s slick, and classic, and cool and it feels warm and inviting. 
I hope you love this space as much as I do and I’ll be back tom true revealing the family room and kitchen reveal. 
Happy Decorating design lovers
Vision board I gave the client: 

Before pictures: 

Project Dorchester- Staircase Transformation

Happy Saturday Design lovers: 
I don’t normally post a blog on a Saturday mornings because… well… Saturdays are for relaxing and spending time with family but this one is a quickie so enjoy with your morning coffee ☕️
We are talking staircases today. If you scroll down to the before pic I’m sure it is not an unfamiliar sight. I see tons of these in many homes I walk into. All orange all the time. That orange builders wood really dates a space. I believe they call it a “natural” stain but it’s not. It’s a ursthan that goes makes the wood look orange almost immediately. 
To improve this, There are several tricks. If you are tight on budget maybe simply paint the risers and pickets white. It takes time but if you can do it yourself the paint using too expensive. At minimum that breaks up some of that wood. At Project Dorchester we really went for it. The treads were sanded down and stained dark to match the new hardwood. Risers and sides painted white. A new railing and wrought iron pickets finish off the look. Oh and our big beautiful lantern. How fab is that? 
All of those changes along with painting out the whole main floor and upper hallway white gives us that fresh, hot off the pages of style at home magazine kind of look we were after. 
Have a great weekend all
And as always 
Happy Decorating 

Vision board: 
Before picture: 

Project Dorchester- Kitchen

Happy Fri-yay design lovers, I am thrilled to be sharing the kitchen reveal today with you from Project Dorchester. The homeowners had lived with their old orange wood kitchen for far too long. They were dreaming of bright and white. The man of th…

Project Dorchester- Dining Room

Happy Thursday Design lovers, 
I’m still recovering from the aftermath of a 5 year olds birthday party last night. Anyone who has planned a kids birthday party before will understand….it’s exhausting. Everyone had a great time so that’s all that matters. Especially the birthday girl. 
We are moving right along to the dining room reveal at Project Dorchester….So there’s a thing that happens when you have young kids and everyone says “I’m not going to do that” and everyone eventually gives in and does it. What I’m referring to is making an entire room on your main floor (usually it’s the dining room) a playroom. You are in a stage where relaxed adult dinner parties are a distant memory and play dates between the hours of 9-5 are your jam. You fight it for a while but then when you have 2 kids under 2 and need to make dinner and have contact with them you throw in the towel and make your life easier. You turn that big beautiful dining room into a playroom. 
So that’s where this room started. A toy room. That being said there is this magical time as a parent when your kids are past diapers, and bottles, abd cribs, and you no longer wear shirts with breastmilk stains, and you have time to shower again. The culmination of making it through those early years is that you get to high five your partner and reclaim some of that adult space back. You have made it. Pat yourself on the back and enjoy this time before the tween and teen years hit because from what I hear they are a doozy. 
I give you Project Dorchester’s dining room: 

These homeowners already owned this dining set and wanted to keep it for now with the idea that we would swap out the end chairs for some nice upholstered captains chairs. We simply removed the top glassed in piece from the hutch and replaced it with an art print and a set of silver lamps. It modernized it a bit and again the goal was the break up the set and layer in some different textures. 
This rug is an indoor/outdoor rug and can literally be hosed down when spilled upon. Notice that I didn’t say if. Spills are going to happen in a space meant for eating so I always go with something durable underfoot in a dining room. 

The chrome chandelier sets the tone for the lighting throughout the main floor. Little hits of silver and chrome are sprinkled throughout to create a little interest against the white walls. 

We framed out these windows with some beautiful custom drapes that have a hint of our bluey/green accent color that’s carried through the family room and kitchen. 

The carpet was replaced with rich hand scraped dark hardwood, the ceilings were scraped, and fresh paint was applied to the walls. 

This dining room provides a formal yet relaxed elegant spot for the homeowners to entertain family and friends on special occasions. It’s also the first room you see when you walk in the house so we had to bring in the pretty. 

Stay tuned for the kitchen reveal tomorrow and folks it’s quite the before and after transformation 👍🏼

Happy decorating 
Vision board: 

Before picture: 

Project Dorchester- Family Room

design lovers, 
How the heck have you been? Feels like it’s been a while. I’ve been so busy with projects lately I haven’t had a lot of time to take photos and share them with you. But it’s important to me and it always feels like closure on a project once I do. That way I can release it back to its owners and carve out room for new creativity for the next space. 
I’m so excited to share with you Project Dorchester. This was a whole main floor Reno. Today I’m going to share the family room reveal with you but I’ve also got the kitchen, dining room, and front entryway to share so stay tuned this week as I’ll be releasing them day by day. 
The homeowners on this project were hands down the most laid back individuals I’ve ever worked with. It was like a breath of fresh air. I remember one meeting we had to choose hardwood. I knew they wanted a darker floor. I met them at the store, suggested this floor, and they were like yep ok see you later. I was like wait….you don’t want to see more? Then obsess over the choice for months and send me 5000 panicked text messages changing your mind only to come back to the original choice? They were like nope we are good with this one. Have a great day. 
And. That. Was. It. 😍  
Every choice to follow was the same scenario. Because of their ability to make quick decisive choices this project seemed to fly by (at least for me but I wasn’t living through the Reno lol) it turned out so so so good and it was such a pleasure to work with these homeowners. 
I give you the family room folks 
When we started this project the homeowners just felt their space was a little tired and dated and didn’t reflect their taste. It’s a big house but the main floor was chopped up into many smaller rooms. We wanted to open things up as much as possible without blowing out every wall and getting involved in major structural work. It also had its fair share of design challenges. The fire place was kitty corner (hate it when builders do that) and there was a large jet out on this tv wall hiding hvac. I designed these built ins to hide that jet out, create some symmetry in the room, and provide storage and warmth. 

Who doesn’t love a beverage centre in their family room? It’s such a long walk to the kitchen. Right? Lol. But seriously how much better is it to grab a cold bevy 2 steps from your couch? To break up all the white we infused into this space I had the fellas paint the walls behind the builts ins mill reef blue by Benjamin Moore. It really gives us the pop we were after but it’s a strong color so we used it sparingly on the walls and repeated it through art and accessories. 

When you are doing a large Reno like this (and by the way they also did their entire backyard including a pool at the same time) the funds dry up eventually no matter how big your budget is. If you don’t have money left over for a large piece of original art buy several inexpensive pieces and arrange them in an interesting way. Here I bought 4 cheap and cheerful pieces from my second home (homesense) and hung them in a grid to create interest. I think it looks great and they could always add the very special art piece in later once recovered. 

When designing the built ins I wanted that bulk head wall panel to go away (see before pictures) so I asked them to cover it with a dummy door panel. We mimicked the same door panel on the other side of the fire place (except this one opens and provides storage) to give it symmetry and look like it was meant to be. That left a little bit of wall where the fire place used to be We painted her the same mill reef blue and created a little reading corner out of it. 

Because we went with the dark hardwood and the homeowners wanted to keep their brown leather sofa we kept everything else light and bright. Our accent color is brought through in these new urban barn chairs and you will find accents of shiny chrome throughout the main floor. 

This is an electric fire place y’all and you can pretty much put them anywhere. It also provides a lot of heat for our Canadian winters and beautiful ambiance all year around. We framed it out with glossy white marble looking tiles and a stained dark wood mantle that’s sleek and contemporary. 

I’ll leave you with the reading nook and I hope you enjoy the before and after reveal on this project as much as I did. Scroll down to see the vision board and before pictures. Next up….the dining room. 

Happy decorating folks 
Vision board:

Before pictures: