Glam Living Room

Whenever a client asks me what to do with their "designated" living rooms 
I always ask them "what would you like it to be?"

It's often a decent size space at the front of the house with good natural light

It could be an office
it could be a den
it could be a tea room
it could be a lounge

The last one is my favourite and often the direction the client takes

This is absolutely lovely...

A space to serve drinks & apps before a dinner party
or for those that don't entertain formally
it can become a lounge for hanging out with a bevy and some friends
before going out or relaxing at the end of a busy day with a stiff drink!

My clients just bought a newly built custom home
and we are furnishing their front room as a lounge for drinks or tea

We start with this chic boxy tufted loveseat with chrome nailhead trim
in a luxe cream coloured velvet

Then we will add in a couple of stream-lined, sloped arm chairs
in a textured cream chenille fabric
I like to mix up the shape of the seating to create interest, 
the clean lines of the chairs is a nice contrast to the "busyness" of the tufted sofa

A patterned rug in muted blue and cream tones
these two are being debated

A glass coffee table with lucite & chrome legs feels light
in the room but still sculptural
anything that goes on this table looks amazing

For our bar cabinet
a mirrored piece with patterned doors to store bottles and barware
while lovely glassware is displayed on top
A large mirror on top and maybe some sconces

Cap off the space with a contemporary crystal pendant
this one is definitely a statement piece

One wall behind the bar cabinet will have wallpaper
we are considering something like this with a soft grey background
and a metallic pattern

We are looking at various artwork options
we may keep ethereal with muted blues, creams & grays
or bump it up a notch with some deeper indigo and cobalt pops

Drapery fabric is going to be a luxurious silver damask I'm still sourcing

The overall plan looks luxurious and inviting

Drinks anyone?

Colourful Rooms

FROM THE RIGHT BANK | Creating a global modern home inspired by travels around the world.

As much as I love my neutrals, there's nothing like a blast of colour in a room to really make it come alive.   And, I don't mean just throwing a few colourful pillows on the sofa or putting up a bold piece of art in a beige or gray room, I mean colour like you mean it... in commitment pieces!

A large sofa, floor tiles, kitchen cabinets
massive rugs and glorious wallpaper!

See what colour can do to impart drama, infuse energy, create interest and establish a sense of mystery in these rooms,  and then see how it stacks up to plain old neutrals.

10 Bathrooms with Showstopping Tile Plus Where to Find It: These gorgeous hexagonal tiles, called 'Dandelion', are by Swedish maker Contemporary Tiles.
via Apartment Therapy
Love Painted Kitchen Islands? Read tips for incorporating one in your home:
Better Homes & Gardens
black, pink and grey -   wallpaper panels!

A beautiful dining area
Amanda Nisbet

Gold/Brass/Bronze Kitchen Sinks | FROM THE RIGHT BANK

ellie cashman wallpaper
Ellie Cashman wallpaper

DREAM HOME: Geremia Design’s 25th Street Residence | Rue
Geremia Design via Rue Magazine
Kelly Wearstler
Kelly Wearstler

Second Wind Interior Design

Miles Redd blue kitchen with high gloss paint - the only dark cabinets I've ever loved.
Miles Redd

Ok, so pink silk walls and high gloss navy kitchen cabinets may not be for the faint of heart, 
but it's what makes designer's like Kelly Wearstler and Miles Redd legendary artists.

Consider all the many ways that colour can make any room feel really special, and go for it.  
Decorating your home should be fun, not scary, and certainly not something that gives you angst when it comes to choosing the right colour.   

Start with at least one new colour on a piece of furniture
 (a painted cabinet or an upholstered chair) and go from there.
You may just find it lifts your spirits when you walk into the room and makes you smile.  
Don't be afraid to colour your world!

Check out more colourful spaces on my Colour Blast pinboard

Ceilings Treatments that Make You Look UP!

Design Cosmos has completed the design of a new office for Tulip Infratech, a real estate development firm, based in Gurgaon, India.

That fifth wall up above
that's so lonely and overlooked at times can be a real gift.

Especially when it looks like this!


Rarely do I get the chance to do something really interesting with the ceiling because it can be an investment to create beautiful architecture and often the client wants to focus the budget on furnishings that they are going to be sitting on and using every day.

But part of Interior Design is to enhance the good qualities in a room, while downplaying or improving the not so exciting elements.

I'm working on a project now with a beautiful 14 foot ceiling in the dining room (pictured below)
just crying out for a stunning chandelier to replace this boring shade.

And a gorgeous coffer ceiling in the family room (below)  
oh joy, oh bliss I get to start with this!

I MUST do something to enhance these beautiful surfaces.

There will be a stunning crystal fixture in the dining room for sure, client wants a very formal space.  I'm thinking a metallic finish of some sort in the central coffer, perhaps antiqued gold or silver leaf as a backdrop to the crystal fixture, like this

silver ceiling in pantry. AMAZING

Or we could simply apply a dark paint to enhance the trim work

magnificent coffered ceiling

But fret not if you don't want to change the architecture of your room,  you can still get major bang for your buck with high gloss paint and a fantastic chandy, of course!

This black lacquered ceiling reflects the soft glow of the chandelier so beautifully as well as the sconces.  It truly creates a mysterious backdrop for this room with textured wallpaper and beautiful millwork.

velvet couch with black white and yellow

Speaking of millwork...
How creative is this ceiling below?
Some trim strategically placed to form a circle then painted gold and sunbeams added 
make this room feel very special and again enhances the chandelier while providing 
a whimsical feeling to this lovely space.

ceiling treatment

A little bit of tape and some metallic paint... eh Voila!
A boring white ceiling is now a piece of art.

Tracery Interiors

Or something as simple as a vintage ceiling medallion on a dark painted surface
even the simplest pendant looks fantastic.

painted #ceiling

Ceilings -Parlor Design - Exquisite Transitional NYC Townhouse - Simplified Bee

This ceiling helps give the dining room an outdoor garden feeling 
echoing the lines of the floral area rug

Karen Bow's colorful home

Add a zingy lemon yellow to a neutral colour scheme and BAM!

L’ Autre Appartement Paris by Gilles & Boissier

Why not create the illusion of a coffer ceiling with patterned wallpaper?
Love this geometric pattern in a very modern room office space.
The contrasting gold chandelier creates a bit of tension but they work well together.

office | Dunbar-Southlands House by Terris Lightfoot Contracting

So the next time you walk into a room, look up and see the possibilities!

All images via Accents & Details board on Pinterest

Lower Level Living - Basement Renovation

You think you have a big house, until your teenagers, pets, hobbies, and active social life start to make it feel cramped.  This is the point where you think about moving, right?  
But wait, what about all that space down there.... in the basement?

It's not just for storage and hoarding great deals on detergent and paper towels.  
Especially if you have a larger home, it could be hundreds of square feet or more that are wasted.

That's what happened to my clients.  
They have a 10-year old home with a  large basement (about 1000 square feet) that was merely storing bikes, sporting equipment, and lots of boxes of stuff that was barely touched in years.  They needed more function out of all that space; more room to entertain, and for the kids to hang out with their friends.
So, they asked me to help them make the most of the space 


A full size kitchen with an island
separate dining area
 media space with a large TV
 3 piece bathroom
exercise space
a large laundry room 
a crafting space
lots and lots of storage

No problem!!  I'll have the plans to you next week (HA!)

Here's the BEFORE of the unfinished basement

I had a pretty good brief and spent lots of time getting to know my client's needs and the specifics of how they wanted to use the space.  I started off creating zones for all the activities required.  We had a couple of options for where the kitchen could be located, but all the other areas were determined based on the architecture of the home and working around the endless bulkheads, plumbing and HVAC that is a necessary evil in every home.

Here's the overall floor plan and the furniture layout I came up with.

Note:  red dots show where the lighting goes - potlights & ceiling fixtures

As you can see,  every inch of space has been allocated to this highly functional space. 

So after some new plumbing, HVAC, electrical, framing, dry walling, 
installing floors, doors, cabinetry, fixtures, tiles, lighting and paint....oh my!!  

Here's the AFTER


I designed this kitchen without upper cabinets because of the low ceilings.  I prefer to see open shelving and a beautiful back splash all the way up the wall; this one is a glass mosaic.  
There was lots of room for two open cabinets on either end of the kitchen and a very large pantry (far right) for all kinds of storage.  The island houses a dishwasher and microwave oven.

I had custom live-edge walnut shelves made to float on the tiled backsplash and along the side wall 
to add warmth and display pretty dishes and glass ware.  
White quartz counters in Calacatta Nuvo from Ceasarstone provide contrast to the espresso brown cabinets and help brighten up the space .  
Sleek grey, backless stools with chrome legs invite guests to hang out with the cook.  
Glass pendants with industrial bulbs are light and airy, adding artisan quality.

Rustic wood-look laminate floors in a warm greige tone were installed throughout.  
They are great for basements, and durable enough for teen gatherings & the family pets.


Adjacent to the kitchen is an eating area / bar hangout.  
The space between the two pillars was the perfect size for a table and created a cozy nook 
that would otherwise just have been a hallway.  

I chose a bar height table so that it could facilitate watching the TV while having a brew
 and by altering the height from the counter height of the island, 
it creates more interest and feels like a distinct "room".  

The table is reclaimed wood and the white powder-coated steel stools can be tucked away 
under the table when not in use.  
A single industrial ceiling pendant helps ground the space while adding to the pub vibe.

An overview of the kitchen and bar area from the stairs (shown below).


The main colour of the basement is Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter with a couple of accent walls in Van Deusen Blue.  Low media cabinets from Ikea were selected to create a modern, sleek design where the TV could sit on while a single side tower cabinet offers some height in the space and a contemporary look for additional storage.  The client's sofa and loveseat were reupholstered in grey/blue coordinating fabrics.  Pillows in lemon and aubergine add fun pops of colour.

The reading nook wall was given an accent colour and dedicated lighting to create it's own zone.
A large graphic area rug in light blue and cream grounds the space and makes it extra cozy.  

Only artwork still remains to be purchased.  There will be a series of black & white photographs from the client's travels framed on the large side wall (right) and a few more accessories.


This area at the bottom of the stairs houses a custom built cabinet with chunky shelves that store craft supplies and the home owner's treasured vintage books.  
A cork craft project in progress (featuring the letter T)  shown on the table below.
The wall behind the bench is painted in chalkboard paint. 

The light fixture was a vintage flea market find the client was holding on to 
until it found the perfect spot right here.  A grey tufted bench offers more storage.
Pedestal table and chairs are durable, easy for clean-up, and stylish for this hard working space.

Back wall is done in chalkboard paint - a large, vintage white frame will hang here


My client is very active and exercise is important to her.  
This space is her sanctuary for yoga and TRX training, so it also had to be ZEN, which is why 
it's the only closed off space (with double doors), other than bathroom and laundry. 
I chose a light grey wall colour, Benjamin Moore Marilyn's Dress, to coordinate with the floors.   
Built-in cabinets are finished in the same colour to keep the space feeling very calming.  
Custom built panel door covers the home's electrical panel.
Off camera on the other side of the room is a small wall-mounted TV. 


The original laundry room was located in the main floor mudroom that was the family's main entry access from the garage.  It was small, dark and always cluttered with the necessities of daily life.  So we moved it to the basement and created a large, bright hardworking room of its own.

We created a fresh, modern and highly efficient space with a quartz countertop in Frosty Carrina, large light gray porcelain tiled floors, white subway tiles above the stainless steel sink with an industrial faucet for washing the pet dog.   

The walls are painted Benjamin Moore Wedgewood Grey.
Large glass canisters hold soap and detergent keeping the counter free of bulky plastic bins.
The white organizer rack on the wall serves as the dedicated "lost sock" destination.
Stainless steel drying racks installed on the wall to the left (and off camera) make maximum use of some awkward corners.  Lots of pot lights make this space bright and super functional.   
My client actually loves doing laundry in this space now.


The floor is a wood-look porcelain tile to coordinate with the rest of the basement.
Countertop is Frosty Carrina quartz, cabinets were painted Benjamin Moore Stormy Monday
walls are BM Cement Gray.  Mosaic tile laid in 12" wide vertical pattern helps make the narrow space feel taller.

Still needs some art and a couple of bathrobe hooks on the back wall.  
The quartz-like door handles and "bubbles" mirror add a touch of whimsy
 to this modern chic space.

The bubble-glass finish of the sconces is echoed in the etched glass mirror surround.  
A sleek chrome faucet with single "joystick" handle is cool and fun!

At the end of it all my clients are using the space daily and bypass the main floor living space often to hang out on the lower level.  It's now a space that the whole family can enjoy, 
although Mom tells me that the kids have taken it over!.  

It just goes to show that the basement is an untapped goldmine when left unfinished.  
When you take the time to think about what kind of space you need for your lifestyle and invest in the design of the basement with the same care and attention that you give the rest of your home, 
lower level living can truly rise to new heights!

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