Project Flip – The Befores…and I’m Hiring

So far, I’ve done a crap job with my resolution to be a better blogger in 2015.

I have good news on that front though.  I’m about to free up some mage time because, Christine Dovey Style is…


Yup…the time has officially come. I’m in DESPERATE need of an assistant so if you love design and want to help yours truly get her organizational shit together etc., please email me to set up a chat.

I’m hoping having an extra set of hands and one more brain trust in the mix will free up some time so that I can get back to doing some things I love, like keeping these here pages up to date.

And on that front, I’d love to really get down to brass tacks and start sharing progress on the…

project flip christine dovey style


I spent Friday morning with my architect going through the house and am meeting with a builder today to discuss options etc.

In my head, I’m seeing a total gut to the rafters, along with a garage and kitchen/great-room addition. Right now the house rings in at about 1600 square feet and we’d like to end somewhere around 2100. Here’s the catch though…I have $200k to spend and not a penny more.  I’m already feeling like things and ideas are going to chopped before they even start but we shall see.

For now, here’s the starting point…aka a cement cube of a house built in the early part of the century that lives 3 houses down from my current abode.

christine dovey project flip exterior

christine dovey project flip exterior 1

christine dovey project flip living room


christine dovey project flip dining

christine dovey project flip kitchen

christine dovey project flip staircase

I’ve got 8 months max to get this place gutted and renovated to within an inch of its life.

Excited/terrifed but mostly excited.

This is the last month the renters will be in and at that point, the fam jam and I will be eating peanut butter sammies for most of 2015 so the faster this gets done and sold, the better.

God speed to me as it were:)



Happy New Year my friends.


Pretty sure I thought we’d have flying cars and food that appeared behind magic robotic shoots by now but anyhow;)

I love the start of a new year…rapped with possibilities and new beginnings but still tinged with a hopefully rather pleasing sentimentality about the year that’s just passed.

For me, 2104 was for the most part, mucho beuno.

For one, at least half of it was played out with Songza’s ‘Commercial Indie Pop’ via my gifted Jambox on repeat.  Having music in the background as the soundtrack of your life makes everything seem better so just that alone was a good, good thing about this past July- December anyways.  Right now, as luck would have it, I’m typing to ‘I’m Gonna Take You To My Show’ so that’s sort of fitting;)

As for what actually happened, I think this past year was a turning point for my business.  Here’s a quick look back, thanks to my life record, otherwise known as Instagram (it’s much better at following along lately because I admittedly, wasn’t the most diligent blogger in 2014- on of my pseudo resolutions is to be better at that…I miss the writing and the diarizing etc.)

So…the year that was…here were some of my highlights…starting today with January- June…I’d be here all day if I tried to do the full 2014 at once.

1. One of my client’s home in Chicago was featured in Style Me Pretty

christine dovey 2014 style me pretty

christine dovey chicago project vicarious settee 2014

2. And then SMP followed that up with a 2 part feature on yours truly…first, a ‘Behind the Blogger‘ feature…

christine dovey behind the blog smp 2014

…then a house tour

christine dovey smp home tour 2014

3. I taped my first Steven and Chris episode of Season 7/ 2014…

steven and chris

…the featured my nursery and the little girl’s room I did for Project Whole House aka ‘the piano room abode’…

christine dovey little girls room curtains christine dovey style 2014

christine dovey little girls room steven and chris 2014

4. Malcolm decided he wanted to do acting like his sister and got his first photos done and quickly landed a commercial that ended up being shot in this amazing house that I found gracing the pages of House and Home just a month later…

christine dovey malcolm photoshoot 2014

christine dovey malcolm commercial 2-14

christine dovey malcolm shoot house 2014

5. My new website went live!!!!

christine dovey wesbite 2014

6. My sweet Jasper nugget turned one in March…

christine dovey jasper turns one 2014

7. Project Bistro Chic got did…

christine dovey project bistro chic 2014

christine dovey project bistro chic kitchen 2014

christine dovey project bistro chic chairs 2014

8. The epicness known around here as Project Greenbay really got under way with fabric, paint and wallpaper selections…

christine dovey project greenbay fabric selections 2014

christine dovey project greenbay fabrics 2014

9.  My big girl turned 8 and we had a tea party to celebrate…

christine dovey scarlett birthday party 2014

christine dovey scarlett tea party 2014

10. I tackled my first One Room Challenge and overhauled a client’s piano room in 6 weeks…and patted myself on the back large btw…if you missed the before and afters on this one, check that here…(all photos by Ashley Capp for Citizen Atelier)

christine dovey piano room 2014 ashley capp photograph ashley woodson bailey flowers

christine dovey piano room 2014

christine dovey piano room fireplace 2014

11…oh and PS, the room was then featured in DOMAINE!!!! Cue so much happy dancing…

christine dovey domaine feature 2014

12. My first ever art show happened at Black Rooster Decor and I’m happy to report, all of these goodies sold!

christine dovey artwork black rooster 2014

christine dovey artwork black rooster decor 2014

christine dovey painting 2014

13. And speaking of Black Rooster, I had my first merchandising gig there to get the store all prettied up for it’s grand opening…

christine dovey merchandising black rooster decor 2014

christine dovey merchandising black rooster decor

14. My year long birthday celebration kicked off (friends and family will know what I’m talking about with this one…my 40th was a big one for me mentally and well, I took advantage of the depression by extending it for a looooong time…not really planned per se but I can’t say that I was unhappy about getting 4 events:) with a trip to Miami with my sister…and it was SUCH good times…

christine dovey miami 2014

christine dovey miami beach 2014

15. I got together with Citizen Atelier to style an art shoot in my home and a client’s for their website…

christine dovey citizen atelier styling shoot

christine dovey styling citizen atelier 2014

…which included some photos at the piano room that got completed mere minutes before the shoot started;)…

christine dovey citizen atelier shoot piano room one room challenge 2014

16. On May 4th, a mommy miracle happened when I actually caught Jasper’s first steps on video…no joke…not scripted or re-done…it happened and it was heaven in a baby bucket…

christine dovey jasper walks 2014

17. And on the family note, Mother’s Day rolled around as it does every year and I as always, thanked the stars and moons for these 4 perfect humans…

christine dovey mothers day 2014

christine dovey mothers days kids 2014

18.  Work started on FINALLY getting the master bedroom’s shit together…

christine dovey master bedroom makeover bedside table 2014

christine dovey master bedroom overhaul 2014

19.  My business cards ARRIVED…and they were/are the business…

christine dovey business cards 2014

20. I got on a jet plane and headed to Chicago to meet my Project Greenbay peeps in person and it was. the. best…

christine dovey project greenbay trip 2014

…because I saw goodness like this for realz…

christine dovey project greenbay chandelier 2014

christine dovey project greenbay mural 2014

christine dovey project greenbay wallpaper 2014

21. I started taking selfies…mostly because it was the only way I could get any photos with me with my kids…for those who know hubs in real life, you’ll understand why I have to take control of this business;)…

christine dovey jasper selfie 2014

christine dovey malcolm selfie 2014

christine dovey scarlett and me 2014

…Natasha was pretty happy she was at school the day I got focussed on this new pastime;)

22. Some commissions were finished off…like this soft one, that made me want to dive back into this side of things…

christine dovey art commission 2014

23. I contributed to ‘The Happy Space Project‘ with a feature on my fave art sites and pieces…

christine dovey happy space project 2014

And that my friends was pretty much January- June.  There was a lot of other day to day design work thrown in there but these were the highlights I’d say.  The second half of the year turned out to be sort of crazy pants insane in terms of wurk so I’ll go through that tomorrow.

For now, I want to take a minute to thank you all for continuing to pop by here and read up on the comings and goings at CDS…again, I know I’ve been a bit of a backseat driver blogger for the last little bit but I promise, promise to be better. It’s a priority for 2015 because honestly, I miss it…I miss you.

So yup…cheers to what’s coming. It’s going to be the gong show called life that it always is but I’m pumped for the unknown…the uncertainty…the curvy/crazy paths…all of it:))))


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.