Category: before and afters

Clients who love colour!

If you know my affinity for white, white and more white, you may be surprised to know how much I also LOVE working with clients who desire bold colour choices in their homes. Over the last two weeks I have worked with two different clients (one residential, one commercial) who opted to go bold with these beautiful colours. Would you dare use a bright, bold colour in your home? Even just a little? xo

Small changes can have big impact!

Sometimes all you need is a little paint, a few new accessories and voila! A whole new look! The living room felt stagnant to me, and for over a year, remained the same sad green paint colour as when I moved in. It definitely needed a shift and over the course of a few days of meditative cleaning, painting and careful selection of accessories, a light, colourful, dreamy living room emerged. This was truly an inexpensive update and I’m happy to enjoy this space until I can get to the next phase…keep an eye out for that, I have some dreamy dreams!!!  Paint colours: black iron 2120-20 and of course, simply white OC-117 from Benjamin Moore, carpet: from Homesense. xoLiving room quick makeover

Living room before


white paint addiction?

I do realize how silly it is to even think about being addicted to white paint! I can’t help myself, I truly love it’s purity and freshness, so it’s become a staple for me. And in the case of the meditation room, I couldn’t find a colour I feel more at peace with – as good a reason as any to continue with Simply White. Painting a new home white from top to bottom is actually a great way to start fresh, erase what the previous owners had chosen and decide from there where you will want to go. It’s expansive and light and even if it is an addiction, it’s one I’m willing to live with. xo

All-time favourite whites for walls and trim: (all Benjamin Moore)
OC-117 Simply White
OC-130 Cloud White
OC-118 Snowfall White
OC-17 White Dove


Do my pants make me look like a messy painter?


meditation room update 2

Hello friends! Progress has been slow but steady for the meditation room; the drywall is up on three walls, the opening for the exterior door is being cut right now and the new door will be installed on Tuesday. I’m super excited to have a quiet space of my own!

Thinking about the many places I’ve lived, I realize that I have always managed to carve out space to dream, reflect and explore. Once I even converted my bedroom closet into an art studio (well, studio might be a stretch!) but I remember the safety and coziness I felt being cocooned in that small space. This 7′ x 7′ space feels expansive, in more ways than one. xo



meditation room update

What can you do with a 7′ x 7′ room? Create the perfect yoga and meditation space! The old bathroom will be given new life and just because it’s teeny – tiny, doesn’t mean it can’t be a valuable part of the house. We decided to add an exterior door and small balcony to ‘expand’ the space, create a beautiful perch for sunset watching and to bring my yoga practice outside when the weather is warm. A bit decadent? Perhaps!

We planed the wood for the floors today and are reinforcing the joists. It’s truly amazing that the toilet did not fall to the floor below because the joist was cut 3/4 of the way through! As I write I am listening to the sounds of Shane and Adam telling jokes, and laughing as they work together to make the repairs. This is the kind of happy energy I want in this special space. I promised the yellow brick beauty we’d have only kind people work in this house. Makes sense, after all this is a labour of love. xo

planed boards are ready to install



shop reveal: before and afters

Welcome to Adam’s workshop! Goodbye to the days of Adam and his chop saw on the sidewalk in front our tiny Toronto home. This is a dream come true for him – in fact, I may never see him in the house again!

workshop exterior before and after

In case you’ve forgotten what we started with (a solid shell with hydro and a few furry inhabitants) here is a link to the before and in-between photos.

The requirements for the space: lots of room to work, storage for tools and lumber, room for ‘clean’ projects as well as messy ones with lots of light, air flow and a heat source for the winter. We plan to re-use our existing kitchen cabinets for storage but since we aren’t quite ready to tackle that project, the shop interior is still a work in progress. But hey, isn’t every space? (However, the bones are done! Insulation, roof ventilation, six windows and two new doors make the shop super comfortable.)

workshop interior before and after

Here are a few more interior pics!

The overall look of the structure – the board and batten, dark stain, and cottage feel sets the tone for what we want our backyard to be; a relaxing retreat, a place where dreaming is highly encouraged, naps are mandatory and living alongside nature is more than just a big city dream.

I can already tell this will be Adam’s happy place, to create, relax, play and dream. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to see what this artist gets up to next! xo



sneak peek: Adam’s workshop

What an amazing transformation to the exterior! Thanks so much for your input on the stain colour. We agreed with those folks who chose the Westcott Navy and opted for a solid Arborcoat stain, another great product from Benjamin Moore!

We realize that the name is a bit deceiving, it’s not very navy! The deep grey colour blends nicely with the roof’s asphalt shingles and creates a gorgeous backdrop for my soon-to-be fall gardens. The final reveal pics are coming soon! xo

demo has begun…again!

Not sure how many people spent their holiday Monday on house renos…I’m certain we can’t be the only ones! We had a great time tearing apart the old bathroom space – and by ‘great time’ I mean a physically exhausting, incredibly dusty but absolutely rewarding day. Once we removed the tub and closet nook, the room is actually quite a nice size – perfect for my yoga/meditation room!

Check out my Pinterest meditation room board to get a glimpse of the inspiration for the space.

The befores…

The in-betweens…

The afters might take a while. The layers of flooring came up this morning and many of the wood boards underneath are rotten, patched and have huge holes cut for the fixtures. I reluctantly have to admit they are beyond saving.

The empty space presents an especially exciting point in the process for me; the dreaming, the inspiration, the endless possibilities to create something magical. I think I’ll linger a while…xo

to stain or not to stain

The exterior of the shop is finished and looks amazing! We are undecided about whether to seal or stain the rough pine. I like the natural look but also think it could be stunning in a dark, opaque stain. Will you help us decide? Here are a few options we are considering.

  1. keep it natural and simply use a matte clear coat
  2. stain option #1: Westcott Navy
  3. stain option #2: Ashland Slate
  4. stain option #3: Black

Rationale behind choosing a solid stain over a translucent one: the yellow of the pine adds a not so lovely greenish hue to a translucent stain, and because the wood has been installed in stages, some areas are much lighter in colour than others and would stain differently.

stain colours

Once stained/sealed we are moving onto the interior shop completion! xo


bathroom afters: the big reveal!

Oh happy day!  We don’t regret for a single moment giving up a small bedroom to create this luxurious bathroom. It is the only full bath in the house and is functional as well as beautiful.
bath tub view 1

You may remember that we originally planned to reconfigure the old bathroom but decided to convert the smallest bedroom into the new bath. This greatly extended our timelines as well as our budget. Pictures of the befores (and in betweens) can be found here.


The bathroom is neutral and will work with a variety of styles. Being a decorator, I like to try out new things, so the simple black, white and wood envelope provides the perfect backdrop. Right now, I am loving the soft pink and feminine look to this space which balances out the masculine lines. The coolest piece was found in my grandfathers garage, an old mesh top to a wine press, repurposed here with a few flowers. The macrame wall hanging was made at the Craft Bee and the candles/holders are from Chapters and Homesense. And of course, no space would be complete without a few older items, the rug and glass bottle are vintage finds and the wood trim is original, carefully salvaged during demo.

splurges and saves

In every reno there are places it makes sense to splurge and places to make more economical choices. Here is how it played out for our reno.

Splurges: Brizio tub and shower faucets, glass shower stall, freestanding soaker tub, radiant floor heating, skilled tradespeople

We needed A LOT of help with this one!  Thanks to our drywaller, tiler, electrician and plumbers who gave this bathroom project a professional finish. And of course, we could not have done it without the amazing Shane!

Saves: Vanities (Adam made them! click here for details), wall sconces, subway and hex tiles, accessories and artwork, we did our own design, demo, trim work and painting



For some items, no matter how much we looked, we couldn’t find exactly what we wanted. So we made things ourselves and customized standard items. For example, we purchased a shower kit in a chrome finish and had it powder coated in glossy white with a matte black handle. H & G Powder Painting did a flawless job of painting all of the little bits and pieces, and are a great local London resource. We couldn’t find a mirror in the size we wanted, so we made one from the same walnut plywood as the vanities and ordered the exact size mirror we needed, with polished edges, from Provincial Glass and Mirror. The blinds were originally measured and made to hang from the top but we didn’t want to block the view of the trees and sky, and since we don’t need privacy from the birds we decided to shorten the pull chain and hang the blind so it covered the hardware in the middle of the window to give a permanent view of the sky. If you don’t have room for a built in shower seat, a ceramic stool works well and looks amazing. This one is from Urban Barn. Even the towels have  been customized with little loops for hanging.

shower full view


view of back yard


We found some amazing local sources for our bathroom reno (and some familiar Toronto sources too!) I hope you find these resources helpful in your own renovations.

London Bath Centre: We sourced our tub and shower kit from this great showroom on Wharncliffe. If you have ever sourced a modest sized tub with a centre drain and two sloped sides, you know it is no small feat. Thanks Wendy!

Household Plumbing: Were great at getting us the products we sourced online and at good prices too! The matte black Brizio shower and tub faucets are perfect in this space. Thanks Janet!

Ciot: This large Toronto tile retailer has a great selection. The simple white subway and 2″ black hexagon tiles are classic and on trend. Thanks Sasha!

The Lighting Shoppe: The simple black and brass industrial sconces are perfect mood lighting for the space! The Edison bulbs create a warm glow that is quite flattering.

Rona: We scoured the big box stores trying to find matte black faucets and were lucky to find the two vanity fixtures at Rona (one found in London, one in Brampton!)

IKEA: Long, shallow depth trough sinks were a great find in a beautiful ceramic (I love the feel).

Homesense: Plush new towels make any bathroom feel fresh and Homesense is my go to place for linens and home accessories.

Home Depot: We sourced the edge drawer pulls for the vanities online, and since Home Depot carries other products by the same manufacturer, we asked for them to be ordered for us. Yes, you can do this too!

Trades: I’m happy to share contact info for the great trades that worked on this project. Send me a message and I will get you their info.


We thought a short video might explain the layout of the space a little better. Enjoy!

As always, thanks for following along. I think we’ll be puttering outside for the next little while! The workshop completion is next…xo


Leo approves :)