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:)
As well, my amazing contractor Andrew Burke ( a huge thank you to my friend Vanessa Francis for the referral!) spent a lot of time at Home Depot Canada buying up all the lumbar, oak sheeting, oak veneer, plywood, mdf and concrete needed to that he could work triple time to:
1. construct my open box bookcase that will go in the hall…
2. make me a ply box to use for my DIY daybed…more on that later in the post…
3. pour the fireplace ledge…
4. router out some letters for another little DIY project I have in the works (a separate post on this one will be introduced in a post tomorrow:)…
5. paint the entire basement
6. remediate a little 911 flood emergency we had Tuesday morning when our sump pump was accidentally disconnected the night before, which resulted in me waking up to an inch of water sitting on the entire main room floor…holy god…terrifying. Thankfully, contractor managed to shop vac up all the water and used dyers the rest of the day to soak up any wall dampness. We were so lucky that our floors were concrete, the wallpaper still wet as it had just been installed and that no furniture was yet in place…things could have been a whole whole lot worse.
And that’s the construction nitty girtty for this week…all good but still a ways to go as it were.
In other news, I put my ‘put things together’ belt on and did a whole lot of IKEA building and DIYing. I gave some sneak peeks of a few projects on my Insta page and a bunch of people asked for full tutorials so here we go on that front.
To start, I spent the weekend building some IKEA goodies:
…pretty impressed with myself on the ‘follow directions and actually build things’ front lol.
In addition to these items, I also spent pretty much ALL day yesterday on probably my favourite IKEA piece of all time…that also PS,took me most of the afternoon to put together…the PS 2017 loveseat, that I refer to as both ‘a most magical unicorn cloud of a sofa’ and ‘that which murdered all of my fingers and made me never want to see a bungee cord of any type again as long as I live’…re: the later title…this thing was not a cake walk to put together…the bungees are small and my hands must be a little weak because, man, it was HARD. I’ve only done one of the two armchairs and have a whole other one to finish to make a loveseat. Seriously and very honestly having to psych myself up to do it.
In any event, it’s pretty special now that it’s put together. The sofa is made to work with the accompanying PS 2017 cushions. Part of made mine so hard to put together probably, is that I decided to add something to the intended configuration by putting Vigdis linen covers on each pillow…all 38 of them;)
The linen adds a hit of texture and luxe to the whole thing that I really wanted…unfortunately, it also probably adds fabric/dimension to each pillow, which of course, makes the bungees even tighter…anyhoo…at the end of the day it came together and looks freaking PRETTY…effort definitely worth it!
So that was my IKEA for the week…I built some things and pseudo hacked another…super excited to see all of these goodies installed in the basement this week.
And as far as the other DIYs on my list, I’m super excited about all of them. In last week’s post, I introduced the four I’m doing and I’ve knocked three of them off the list…the IKEA cloud (well I guess I’m only half done that but still,) my teddy bear chair and the fringe daybed.
1. Teddy Bear Chair
I’m so so happy with this little chair. I got the idea from my fabulously creative friend Nicole Cohen…
And the DIY could not be easier.
To start you will need:
a. a bunch of old teddy bears
b. plastic zip ties…I used the longest ones available in black
c. an armchair that is nice and open so that you have something to attach the teddys too…I used IKEAs Stockholm 2017 rattan chair…
And to do:
Theres just one instruction…place each teddy where you want it and zip tie it to the chair…
And then bang…teddy bear chair
I decided to stick to mostly brown, white/cream and black but you could do in any range of colours…Super easy and super fun!!!!
2. Fringe Daybed
When I saw this inspiration photo from Domino, I knew immediately that I wanted to try and make my own version…
To make this you will need:
a. a ply box cut to the dimension of the mattress you are using…in my case, 39″W x 80″ long
b. paint…I used Farrow and Ball Slipper Satin
c. hot glue/gun
d. fabric tape…I used Fringe Markets 3″ Santorini tape
e. bullion fringe…I used 12″ cotton natural bullion from Fringe Market
f. a mattress…I used an old french mattress I had from the daybed I had in Jaspers nursery, purchased at Black Rooster Decor
a. construct your ply base…my contractor did this part using ply sheeting from Home Depot Canada
b. paint box in a colour that mimics your tape/fringe…
…make sure you also paint the top in by about 4/5″ so that any gaps between base and the mattress won’t expsose raw ply.
c. glue the tape to the top edge of the daybed base on the three sides so that it overlaps onto the top…
I used the D300 glue for the tape but really, you could stick with the hot glue for everything.
d. once the tape is dry, use a hot glue gun to attach the fringe on to the tape, at a level that allows it to just skim the ground…
e. place mattress on top and voila!
So thats the DIY stuff:)
To finish off for this week, here’s a quick peek at some pretty furniture, accessories and art that arrived this week and that I’m so excited to be able to really showcase soon!
Welcome back to my #bijoubasementblitz One Room Challenge.
If you’re new here, thanks so much for dropping by and to catch up, here is what I got up to during week one and week two.
For this week’s update, I wanted to focus on all the texture…all those pretty bits that are going to layer together to form warmth and coziness in what was before, a very unloved and cold space.
First up, let’s talk about the foundation of any room…paint and wallpaper.
For the basement, I decided early on that I really wanted a bright and airy space but that I wanted it to be warm and not too bright white. And I was of course super thrilled to discover that Farrow and Ball was a sponsor this round. After previewing their colours, I settled on Slipper Satin for the walls that aren’t being wallpapered…
So basically, lots of warm white…with the exception of some furniture and textile pops of colour…starting with a little hit of St Giles Blue in the playroom on my old geometric credenza.
…will be getting a little of this action…
Excited about that.
The whole palate in the playroom is sort of fun I think:)
…and will repeat in the other rooms, in a more muted way.
Back to the ‘regular colours’…after choosing the two FB taupey whites, I colour matched just about everything else that’s going up on the walls to these colours…which leads me to the wallpaper…oh man the wallpaper.
As I mentioned, last week, I’m so lucky to have partnered with three amazing paper companies on this renovation.
The pattern will bring a little bit of brighter white to this space, which I’m good with because it’s the very dark part of the basement…two tinsy little windows brighten the whole 23′ span so any light I can fake is good. I’ll warm it up in this zone with wood and whicker.
Wallpaper. The big story.
Aside from these two areas, I also have wallpaper going on on the walls in the main room and all the walls in the bedroom/office. And all this paper is coming from the incredibly talented, amazing Drop it Modern. I’ve been a huge fan of this company since forever and have partnered with them on great projects like the Elle Canada Closet and Best Buy Smart Home…along with a ton of client projects. What I love about Drop it Mod is that every print is customizable in terms of scale and colour…the patterns are fresh and current, without being trendy…they beat to their own amazing drum and I love that. Plus the owner Bree is just about the nicest most supportive person ever and goes SO out of her way to help with things like time crunches, design ideas, colour palates etc. I honestly can’t imagine being a designer and not having this beautiful shop as a resource.
So with that, when I started this round of the ORC, I knew I wanted something special from DIM…to start, I decided that I wanted something subtle but interesting and dynamic on the main walls…modern but also warm. Their Parisian Mural was a perfect fit…
…and when we spent a little time on the colour so it blended seamlessly with the FB Slipper Satin, this is where it ended up…
i.e. chalky old plaster wall heaven.
In L to the love.
Next up, the bedroom and here’s where things get really interesting.
Right off the bat, I decided I wanted granny ugly pretty chic in this space and knew that a chintz of sorts was in order. Playing with my palate of cream, green, yellow and brown, I went through a zillion colours and sent the brief over to Drop it Mod and what then ensued was a whole lot of graphic design. Floral pretty times a whole bunch of editions…
We started here…
…and then went to these places…
And are now very close to finalizing this in either the lighter or the darker option…
Designing wallpaper is hard lol…so many things to consider and so many little things that you can change over and over and over again.
Two things are for sure though…1. I love, love doing it and coming up with something brand new and your own is the most exciting thing in the universe. Stay tuned for more on that front;) 2. Drop it Modern is THE BEST and sooooo incredibly awesome to work with…the talent there is off the charts…feeling lucky to know/work with that place.
Next week, I will show you the official pattern and then the week after that, this prettiness will be up the walls…oh and ps, were printing fabric to match so that will be up re: curtains in the same room…like I said, old lady chic is going to happen up in here.
So thats the paint and wallpaper.
In terms of other textiles, the big story on that front is upholstery.
Thanks to fabulous sponsor Fabricut, I was able to piece together this sum of the prettiest of fabrics…
And with it, I plan on doing a whole lot of things.
Thankfully, I have the best upholsterer J and J Made, who is taking some older pieces of mine and breathing a lot of new life into them.
Next, my wee little mini Louis chair, which I sadly dont have a picture of because the orange was just so not my favourite and I never apparently took a photo of it. The important thing is the after anyways…here she is, all newly covered in Fabricut Box Fur, with About You on the back…
So much happy.
And finally on the upholstery front, my alky chairs and platner…
…are in process…the afters of those will be coming next week. For now, the hint is cobalt blue and floral:)
To wrap things up with all the texture goodness for today, I’ll leave you with some of the carpet fabulous that will be coming my way.
And their plush, delicious Exquisite Affair in warm Starlet to cover the nook behind the stairs…
My friends at Alexanian will be doing the install of both:)
On the area rug side of things, the most beautiful piece of plush wool fabulous arrived last week from Annie Selke and I had to put it down immediately…it’s waiting in my living room right now to find it’s home in the basement space but I’m honestly, going to have a hard time moving it…the colour is perfection with my living room walls…
Called the Hugo, this is the nicest rug I’ve ever owned…hands down. I’m obsessed with it.