Ink and Reverie – Changing the Plan AGAIN! The Dream House is Having a Little Baby…and No, I’m Not Pregnant

There has been some big decisions made on this front in the past few weeks…


As you know, together with my fabulous architect Wallace Brown, we’ve been working on the drawings and plans for the ‘dreamhouse’ for almost 2 years now and as the date approached towards ‘groundbreaking’, I found myself getting increasingly stressed and uneasy about the decision.

Here’s the jist of why:

The lot we purchased is a few doors down from where we live now, which is essentially, the worst street in the nicest area sort of deal.  As such, the return for anything we sell down the line sort of caps out at a certain amount. As the plans for the house continued to develop, it became increasingly clear that what I want to build is going to exceed that cap. On top of that, and to be very frank/honest, the new build is definitely pushing our limits in terms of budget at this point.  With my business just really starting and my husband in a new job for less than a year, it just doesn’t seem like the best possible time to dive into such a huge financial commitment.  Though I’m a creative at heart, my DNA does have some banker in it and seeing those kind of debt numbers on paper just sort of made my heart sink.

So…after a meeting with our banker last week, I sort of came to a very clear realization that this house on this lot and at this time, just wasn’t meant to be…and then I wallowed in self pity for about 24 hours…after that, I pulled up my big girl panties and started thinking strategically.

And at the end of a 3 day brainstorming session with myself, I presented hubs with my grand plan and I’m SO excited about it…I think you’re going to be to.

On the lot right now stands a 60 year old tear down…

383 pine

…and I don’t say that lightly. It’s a shit box…no redeeming architectural details…knob and tube wiring…tile that is very likely made of asbestos…cracking plaster…a kitchen addition build with no foundation or insulation etc. etc.  My big master plan is to renovate the sucker to within in inch of it’s life…stick a garage on it and wrap it up in a big shiny ‘looks great for as little money as possible’ bow.  In 5 months, I want to basically build a new house and then flip the sucker for a profit.  My very own little…

project flip

Working for us, is our neighbourhood…it’s very in demand and building lots alone fetch a pretty penny. Creating a nicely finished house at the price point we’ll hope to sell for puts us in a good place because we really did buy the lot for a comparative steal and there’s very little inventory in the range we’ll list it for.

So yah…on paper and in my head, I don’t see how this plan of mine can fail…and when it does work (thinking positively of course:) we’ll bank the profit and be in a really good place to find a lot that’s better suited to the ‘one day’ house…and we’ll be in a better place financially to take that much bigger plunge.

While all of this is happening, I’m going to be blogging every single week about progress/plans/money etc. etc. I want to show everyone the reality of what’s going on…both in terms of building/planning and budget.

In my head, I totally see already what I want the house to be…the look I’m going for is going to be ‘modern Georgian bistro’…white siding, black windows, restrained details, no trim, horizontal interior paneling etc…

Here’s some inspiration I’ve pulled so far…




interior inspiration project flip christine dovey



panelling project flip christine dovey

Design notes:

– wall to wall subway tile in kitchen

– black windows

– no crown/trim

– horizontal panel moulding

– some wood accents

– IKEA kitchen – lower cabinets only with open shelves above

– vintage lighting

– great room/kitchen/living at the back

Basically, I want this house to be a very scaled down version of what I want to do in the dream house but with less fussiness/marble/moulding/herringbone etc.  I’m hoping it will be a bit more stream-lined and warm if that makes sense…it needs to appeal to the masses so there won’t be wallpaper with busts or pink ceilings anywhere…white, black and wood etc.

Stay tuned for more apres the holidays…this is going to be a whirlwind of renovation and real estate fun because though I definitely would have loved to have jumped right into the dream house as planned, making lemons of lemonade is always when the best things happen.  Challenges make for the best steps forwards and I’m really so excited about this new venture…feeling lucky to be able to do this and to get to share it with all of you!!!

And PS, if you live in the Toronto area and are looking to buy, you may want to wait until October 2015:)


A Media Tour for Canadian Tire- CANVAS

I’m the worst blogger ever lately…so sorry:((( Truthfully, I’ve just been so swamped with work that by the time I get 8 seconds to rub together, all I want to do is drink wine and stream TV…for realz.

Anyhoo…things are sort of calming down a bit so I thought I’d take the chance to catch you up on a little of what I’ve been up to as of late, starting with one mucho large/very exciting project.

A few months ago, I was approached by some PR peeps asking if I might be interested in working as a media spokesperson for Canadian Tire this Christmas season…more specifically, I was asked if I’d be interested in taking part in a media tour for their exclusive new CANVAS line, an amazing new selection of products for the home and seasons.

While doing the tour, I wanted to give people inspirational and inexpensive holiday decorating and DIY ideas, using the new CANVAS décor brand. I always suggest mixing and matching your favourite decorations with a few new items each year to create a signature look of you own for the holidays. This year, Canadian Tire had a team of experts travel the world to determine the ‘it’ colour of the season and came up with apple green. By choosing a few accent pieces from the CANVAS collection in this colour, I was able to add a fresh pop of colour and update my look for this year.

So, with all that said, prior to the tour starting, I got to work putting together my 2014 holiday look, using a palate of neutrals found already in my house (black, white, gold and silver) with the addition of the apple green accent.  The schedule for the tour included 5 morning show appearances, 4 taped videos, 2 magazine articles and 1 radio show and for these, I needed to come up with: a fireplace mantle, dining table, Christmas tree, DIY project and outdoor arrangement.  Prior to leaving for the tapings, I set everything up in my house over the course of a few weeks just to get everything ready and then packed it all up so that we were ready for the Toronto- Calgary tour.

Here’s the business prior to the big trip…

christine dovey christmas tree CANVAS canadian tire

christine dovey christmas tree CANVAS canadian tire

christine dovey christmas tree CANVAS canadian tire

christine dovey christmas tree CANVAS canadian tire

christine dovey christmas tree CANVAS canadian tire

christine dovey christmas tree CANVAS canadian tire

christine dovey christmas mantle CANVAS canadian tire

christine dovey christmas mantle CANVAS canadia

christine dovey christmas table CANVAS can


christine dovey christmas table CANVAS canadia

christine dovey christmas table CANVAS canadia

christine dovey christmas table CANVAS can

christine dovey christmas table CANVAS can

christine dovey christmas table CANVAS can

christine dovey christmas table CANVAS can

christine dovey christmas mantle CANVAS can

christine dovey christmas DIY CANVAS can

Before leaving for the 4 day whirlwind tour, I packed all of this up in boxes and got myself ready etc.

And then, all this happened…

Starting in Toronto…

1. Canada AM- how to trim the perfect tree

christine dovey canada am christmas tree canadian tire

…plus 4 taped ‘Master Class’ videos:

christine dovey canada am christmas master class videos canadian tire

a. DIY

christine dovey canada am christmas diy marquee sign

b. table setting

christine dovey canada am christmas table setting canadian tire taped video

christine dovey canada am christmas table setting canadian tire

c. greenery and flowers

christine dovey canada am christmas wreath and flowers canadian tire

d. fireplace mantle

christine dovey mantle canada am canadian tire canvase

And then on to Calgary for…

2. BT Calgary – creating the perfect holiday mantle

christine dovey bt calgary fireplace mantle canadian tire canvas

3. Global Morning Calgary – putting together a holiday table

christine dovey holiday table gobal morning calgary canadian tire canvas

4. Trending on Shaw- holiday table

christine dovey holiday table trending on shaw canadian tire canvas

And then back to Toronto for…

5. Global Morning Toronto – outdoor decorating

christine dovey global morning christmas outdoor arrangement canadian tire

…finishing up with a radio interview with AM 770 Calgary…PS, radio is harder than it sounds!

It was an intense and incredibly awesome 4 days. I honestly was sort of scared to death by the idea of live television but I think I pulled it off and again, feel so so lucky for the opportunity and feel very grateful to all the vendors and people who helped me put it altogether.

A GINORMOUS thank you to Fiori Oakville for putting together the gorgeous floral arrangements you see on the Canada AM table…the flowers were so pretty that the folks at the show kept them on set after we left and enjoyed them for that whole week.

And of course, a huge thanks to the PR team at North Strategic and Canadian Tire for entrusting me with this whole gig:)




A Christmas DIY

I’m back!

After a whirlwind week (that I’ll tell you all about tomorrow,) I’m settling back into some semblance of a normal schedule, which means it’s most definitely time for a blog post or two.

For today, I promised a few Instagram peeps that I’d tell you all about this little DIY marquee sign I did…

diy marquee sign christine dovey style

I got the inspiration from Homey Oh My’s version….

homey oh my marquee sign

…that I first saw in Merry Mag

merry mag

…which is PS, a fabulous homemade holiday idea guide.

To start, and this was probably the hardest part, I went looking for paper mache letters. I could have ordered them from JoAnn but needed them super fast so looked around locally until finally finding an option that worked at an art supply store called DeSerres.

For the lights, I used small gold balls from Canadian Tire

diy marquee sign christine dovey styl

diy marquee sign christine dovey style

diy marquee sign christine dovey style

The trick was to make sure the gold balls: 1. looked like lights 2. were the same width as the letters.

Once the materials were home and ready, the first step was to cut the top off the letters, using an exacto knife…

diy marquee sign christine dovey style

Next, I laid out the balls just to make sure they fit in nicely…

diy marquee sign christine dovey style

Because I wanted the letters to look like the real deal metal ones, I decided to spray them matte black…I didn’t get a picture of me doing that part but here’s them after painting…

diy marquee sign christine dovey style

And since I suck at DIY turotials, I also didn’t take a photo of the last step, which is using a hot glue gun to secure the letters.

Basically, you just take off the hanging part of the ornament and glue the sucker in- easy peasy.

And when you’re done, they look like this…

diy marquee sign christine dovey style

Super fun.


New Sponsor Welcome…and TV

If you follow on Instagram, you’ve seen a few sneak peeks of a little Christmas goodness I’ve been working on…

candian tire christine dovey style

canadian tire christine dovey style

I don’t want to let the cat totally out of the bag right now, but let me just say that if you’re in Canada and like morning shows, you might be seeing a little bit or yours truly this week.

What that means for this neck of the woods is that I’m going to be super duper busy styles between now and Thursday…the Christmas/TV business will be taking place between Toronto and Calgary so it’s unlikely that I’m going to have much time to check in here before the following week:(

What I can promise is that when I get back, I’ll share all the photos I’ve taken of the prep I’ve been doing for the past few weeks in order to get ready for this Christmas decorating TV blitz…so stay tuned:)

Until then though, I’d love to leave you with another type of prettiness thanks to my newest sponsor, TMH Style

tmh style banner

…aka a pillow hoarder’s answer to nirvana…

tmh style gold triangles pillow with flowers

tmh style black and white grid pillow on bed

tmh style indigo pillow on chair

tmh style jessica zoob pillow on chair

tmh style leather leopard pillow

tmh style skull pillow on sheepskin


tmh style mosaic pillow on chair

tmh style aztec pillow

tmh style mary macdonald pillow

tmh style faces in bedroom

tmh style pierre frey pillow on chair

Sooooo happy to have them on board the B&B train.

And because I now you want all of the above, use code bijoufree to enjoy FREE SHIPPING…subscribing to the TMH Style site will get you a further 10% off so yup…goodness all around.


Christmas, A Launch Party and Work

Yikes…I haven’t posted in way too long. Sorry about that:(

Turns out I’ve been a bit of a headless chicken as of late…reasons being:

1. I’m working on a top secret Christmas related tour of sorts that I’ll tell you all about soon soon. For now, here’s a peek at some business I’ve been pulling together…

christmas christine dovey hand sharpied ornmanents

christmas christine dovey

2. Last week was spent getting ready for the Toronto launch party of Citizen Atelier. As you know, I ADORE this site and was thrilled when the owner asked me to help style all the gorgeous art at another of my favourites, Black Rooster Decor.  Here’s a peek at that…


citizen atelier rebeca cygnus styling christine dovey

citizen atelier styling christine dovey art zena holloway black rooster

citizen atelier art wall black rooster styling christine dovey

Not only did I get to work with some seriously stunning art and decor, but I also got to spend 3 days with some of the most inspiring/gorgeously awesome woman there are…

joanna christine dovey ashley woodson bailey alessandra citizen atelier ashley capp hollie cooper nina black rooster decor

From left…Joanna (my client aka #projectgreenbay…more on that in a minute), moi, Ashley Woodson Bailey (floral photographer extraordinaire), Alessandra Salituri (owner Citizen Atelier), Ashley Capp (photographer), Hollie Cooper (designer/pillow-draper making genius), Nina Ber-Donkor (owner Black Rooster Decor).

Sitting at this table with these woman = beaucoup luckiness.

I was sooooo happy to meet Ashely Bailey who is PS, my sister from another US mister and just in case you didn’t put two and two together from my little bracket mention above re: the pretty lady on the left…Joanna is #projectgreenbay!!!! Yup…she jumped on a jet plane from Chicago and surprised me by showing up in Toronto and when she walked into the party, I squealed like a 5 year old getting her first Cabbage Patch Kid on Christmas morning- BEST SURPRISE EVER!

3. Speaking of Joanna/Greenbay……lots has been happening there…most noteably…curtains (thanks to the amazing Hollie Cooper)…

project greenbay christine dovey style hollie cooper curtains schumacher hollyhock

project greenbay christine dovey style hollie cooper curtains


And along with curtains, we just got these photos of our custom dining chairs…

project greenbay dining chairs carrocel

…and canopies (pair)…

project greenbay canopy chairs carrocel

…that we had made by the amazing people at Carrocel…could not be happier and can’t wait to see them installed.

And also on the work front…I just received this sneak peek of the dining room at #projectbrownstone…

christine dovey style project brownstone

And I’m loving it…here’s a shot of the joining living room, which is mid-install…

project brownstone settee

And…I think that’s all I have for now.

Because of the little secret business I spoke about above, posts here will probably be few and far between for at least the next two weeks…sorry in advance about that and please stay tuned…I promise tons to come after that finishes up.  I’ll be in Chicago early December so some real life action shots of #projectgreenbay will be coming:)