This is ridiculously embarrassing to admit but up until very recently, we’ve been been paying 200ish dollars/month for a POD storage container. We first rented the thing when we began renovating this house and trying to sell our other…we needed it then. Once our house was sold, and we moved into this one, we brought the POD out of storage and parked it in our driveway…and it sat there for a year. At one point, we emptied everything and got ready to finally cart the thing away but then the One Room Challenge rolled around and I decided I needed to renovate the basement. So then, all that we had literally just unpacked, got loaded back into the POD.
I’m sure my neighbours legit hated us. POD’s are not pretty. Not at all.
I’m not sure why a permanent storage solution hadn’t occurred to use earlier but when the lightbulb finally went off, when went an bought ourselves a backyard shed and…we finally got to say goodbye to Mr POD…
At 10×10, the shed comfortably holds all of our extra stuff. The furniture that I like but that doesn’t fit in this house, the extra backyard toys, the boxes we’ll probably never unpack, lawn equipment etc. etc.
We purchased the shed in a raw unfinished form and selected the model we thought best matched our house in terms of shape and roofline etc.
We’re still playing with the flower situation to see what colour we prefer…
But regardless, she’s a pretty little shed that fits in so well with our house…and holds EVERYTHING!
After finishing off the shed, we also decided to build a pergola over our dining area. Our contractor Andrew Burke put the baby up in a couple of hours and then painted it in the same Premier Infinity colour…
We couldn’t be happier with how it’s all come together. Having this storage shed to hold all the stuff that doesn’t fit in the house is pure and total Bliss. And the paint has made it all so perfectly blend with the house. Happy days!
Ok friends…I’m coming here asking for some help because my current workload is making it next to impossible for me to make a decision on anything related to my own house…brain dead as it were.
I have a shoot coming up that requires me to finish off some spaces in my house that are almost there but not quite. In my kitchen area, I have an attached dining room that has now seen three tables come and go. The first was the white tulip table from my old house.
(photo Donna Griffith)
I like the shape but it was making the whole space way too white and black…as well, though the oval works great functionally, it just wasn’t large enough for the space. So…I decided to sell that one off and really wanted something that brought some warmth in…enter wood. I had a harvest long narrow table custom made and was super excited for that situation…but…the finish on it just wasn’t what I had expected and was actually quite grey and in a weird way, didn’t actually look like wood. With this one, the shape and size was perfect, but it just wasn’t aesthetically what I was looking for.
So…I sold that one off and to make due until a decision on something new was made, I brought up the walnut Tulip table from my newly renovated basement…all well and good but now the basement is without a table and as with the white earlier version, it just doesn’t maximize the space. I also find the finish difficult to manage with the kids and their endless spills.
(photo Stephani Buchman)
As you can see, the walls are white, the chairs and cabinet are black.
The attached kitchen has more of the same (subway tiles, black cabinets, marble like counter) with a little brass and raw oak thrown in.
So what do I do for a table?!?!?!
My first thought was something old and made of wood.
I am so excited to let you know about a recent collaboration I did with one of my most favourite furniture and decor retailers, Mobilia.
As part of their Creative Direction campaign, which allows guests to showcase products with their own artistic flare and direction, I was given the amazing opportunity to highlight velvet in all it’s luxurious beauty.
According to president Johannes Kau, velvet is “one of the rare fabrics that are both noble and timeless” and I couldn’t agree more. Using a modern bohemian approach, I worked to create a cozy space that felt layered with texture, pattern and spirit. The centerpiece of which was the incredible emerald Narnia Sectional…
And added to it, a scheme based around this lush fabrications, that mixed in: jewel toned elements, wood pieces for warmth, metallics for some additional glamour, textural pieces, and a touch of black for grounding…the moodboard for which, looked like this…
After a quick trip to Montreal to style the whole thing in person, all came together pretty close to the original vision and ended up being a little space I’d very much like to actually own…
Working and collaborating with brands that I love is truly one of my favourite parts of my job and it was an honour to work with Mobilia on this. If you’re a velvet fan, their selection of beauties is definitely something you’ll want to check out! I mean behold some of the lookbook…
I’m not sure what it is about me in general, but there must be something deep in my inner consciousness that enjoys struggle. When I signed up for this round of the ORC, I immediately knew I wanted to do my basement because well, it was the last bastion of this house to get touched and it was BAAAAD. Like really, really bad. Because we did an addition on a very old house, the various spaces in the basement were insanely disjointed and made no logical sense in terms of layout. We had channels cut in concrete so walking was possible in the hallway…giant HVAC bulkheads running everywhere…trim sort of hacked together and way too much for a bunch of tiny windows…no real storage other than a room under the old house that lacked electricity or any real functionality…dirt…construction debris…piles of unwanted and unused furniture…and just well…overall grossness. It was a space that reminded constantly of the errors I made along the way while renovating this house…it made me sad and anxious and then anxious on top of that…
A small reminder…
And honestly…it was worse then what’s shown here…these shots were taken after we cleared most of the crap out of the spaces…the now playroom/then storage room was literally packed to the rafters with boxes covered in original construction debris.
Anyhoo…you get the idea…BAAADDDDD!!!
So…again, when the opportunity came by to take part in this round of the ORC, I knew this had to be the space…I also knew it would be hard…like really, really hard. And well, it was I promise you, harder then any work I’ve ever done in my life…ever. Like ever. I’ve never in poured myself into anything like I did with this.
Maybe I felt like I needed to redeem myself a bit from this whole house or something…move it past it’s historical flaws…it’s renovation mistakes. Not sure. But what I can say is that whatever was motivating me on this one, was intense. I DIY’d my brains out, built maybe 20 pieces of IKEA furniture, slept so so little it hurt, painted, glued, screwed, nailed, agonized, planned, ordered, shopped, wrote, photographed, analyzed, negotiated, designed, styled, worked and then worked some more…and at this moment as I sit writing this post at 3am after another night of maybe 2 hours sleep, I feel freaking proud of myself…like really. I also, and more importantly, feel SO INSANELY GRATEFUL to everyone who helped me along the way.
I’m going to call out people and sponsors as they come up throughout the deluge of pictures but to begin, it makes sense to start at the beginning so a giant thanks to my architectural designer Katherine who set forth a plan on paper that I knew had the potential to completely change the function and look of the whole space. I’ve long learned that proper plans are essential to this sort of renovation and having someone on my team that has so much architectural talent is well, quite simply, invaluable.
Once again, here is what the original plans outlined…
Next, up on the thanks list, my contractor Andrew Burke and his team. I really don’t know where to start on this one but quite simply, they were incredible. I’m endlessly grateful for their commitment to my project and to the ridiculous effort they put into to getting it across the finish line. These guys pulled so many late nights and long hours to get my basement finished, including a 26 hour shift prior to the photo shoot yesterday…and at no point, was any work not put forth without an extreme attention to detail and wonderful care for the final product. I honestly can’t express my gratitude enough. My basement looks the way it does because they worked with all of it’s little weird nuances and so carefully worked with every one to customize literally every piece of everything…beyond, beyond impressive and I can’t recommend or thank them enough.
We also had a fabulous electrician who went the extra mile so a large high five and thanks to Dave at Greybrook Electric…also Peter my painter and RMS for pitching in on my concrete floors and stairs.
ho took plans and built them.
PS…the first photo was taken during said 26 hour shift…a much deserved break at maybe midnight…the second, at 5 am on the day of my shoot…note how much was still going on.
These guys = superstars.
And then of course, there’s the ORC sponsors that I used to complete my space…
…side table, Black Rooster Decor, floor lamp by Lamps Plus and sheers throughout living room are by Hollie Cooper (who is PS, the bestest friend a girl could hope for and helped me so much come reveal time!!!!)
…fabric on Louis chair, Olea by Fabricut…again rug, Annie Selke, side tables Bouclair and amazing fireplace, Dimplex.
The living room paint is a combo of Farrow and Ball All Black, Wimborne White and Slipper Satin.
Wallpaper…a custom colourway of Drop it Modern’s Parisian Mural…and a quick note on the wallpaper…as I’ve spoken about in earlier posts, I worked with Bree from Drop it Modern on this paper and the one in the bedroom…what a dream to be able to create custom papers for this project. Drop it Modern is just my favourite:)
And that my friends, is this round of my One Room Challenge Bijou Basement Blitz revealed!!!!
I so hope you like it…I/we really do.
After a long few days of finishing and shooting, I finally got to reveal all to my kids last night and it was super fun to see their reaction to the whole thing, and most especially the secret playroom…I’ll leave you with a video of that business…
…along with a final ORC shout-out from them…
…and a HUGE thank you again to Linda from Calling it Home for organzing and dreaming up this whole thing…it’s definitely not ‘for the faint of heart’ sort of challenge but wowzers is it ever gratifying and at the same time, so so much fun!!!!!
I for one can’t wait to pour through every one of them…after a giant nap…and a giant hug fest with my kids since I feel like I haven’t seen them in a week…same goes for the husband…the good egg made no less then five or so trips to Lewiston, NY to pick up deliveries for me…and single parented for the last few weeks so yes…grateful and happy and tired lol.
Oh and one more quick note…I think I’ll do a construction post/behind the scenes look at the stuff that went into actually building this whole thing. Stay tuned for that in the next week or so:)
Last week, I got a once in a lifetime opportunity…
…along some other super lucky peeps, and the most ridiculously charming Colin McAllister and Justin Ryan….
…..I got whisked away by helicopter…
…on an exclusive ride to witness the World’s Premier Paint Experience. From 1000ft in the air, we were able to see the World’s Largest Paint Swatch, a stunning representation of 185 of the most impactful and vibrant colours from Canadian Tire’s PREMIER paint collection…
From this vantage point, I was able to select the most perfect warm white, (Cirrus Clouds PR16Y14) to use for a DIY project I’ve been dreaming up for my One Room Challenge makeover. I’ll be outlining the full DIY in a post later this month, but for now, here’s a little peak at what that business is about…
Stay tuned on that front and for now, I’ll leave you with this amazing video that captures just a little of the magic of what I got to experience…
The whole chopper/incredible view combo thing, is definitely something I could get used to!
* this post was sponsored by Canadian Tire but all opinions are my own