Painted Cabinets

Painted Cabinets

Current trends in kitchen design favor a little color and I'm a fan of this. Monochromatic, all white kitchens have their place, but painting your cupboards is a great way to add some color without coating your walls. And if you anchor the room with color on the lower cabinets, you can still have a clean, light look from the counter top to the ceiling

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Cottage Life: Rustic Refinement

Cottage Life: Rustic Refinement

While most retailers have already moved on from Cottage Life themed decor and are trying to get us to think about autumn, I say relax.  It's summer time. Mix yourself a G&T, kick back, and savor the warm weather while it lasts. To help you with this, enjoy this gorgeous summer home in the Laurentians that mixes rustic charm with small, but refining touches.

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Before and After: A City Condo

It's time for another great Before & After from a recent project. A blank slate project is always fun for a decorator and this condo was no exception. The remit from the client was to keep this open living/dining room space simple, modern and clean. The walls had already been painted an off-white, with a single wall in dark grey, but other than that, it was wide open. The client had some art he wanted on the walls, but was happy to leave space for future purchases. This is an approach, by the way, that I'm fully behind. Your walls need not be filled if it means putting up objects or pieces that you have no connection with. You don't need to hang expensive art, or even limit yourself to pictures and paintings, but what you do hang, you should love for one reason or another. But never mind all that, on to the before and after pictures!

Before And After of a city condo - clean, modern, comfy monochromatic scheme in grey and white

 

Before And After of a city condo - clean, modern, comfy monochromatic scheme in grey and whiteWhen we said, blank slate, we meant it. There was barely a lick of furniture when we started, and even that was destined for the storage room.

 

Working with the client, we decided on a monochromatic palette of greys and whites with natural accents through wood and greenery. this is a simple scheme to use and it holds well over time. Additionally, should the client ever feel the urge to add pops of color, this would be simple to do through cushions, throws and other accessories around the space. It also allowed him to add a huge splash of color with a painting by local artist Mitchell Wiebe.

Before And After of a city condo - clean, modern, comfy monochromatic scheme in grey and white

This space is typically used for socializing (read: the TV is in another room) so we created two distinct spaces: a living area  and a small dining area that takes advantage of the space without making things cramped.

Before And After of a city condo - clean, modern, comfy monochromatic scheme in grey and white

With a big piece of art on one wall, and wall space reserved in the dining room for future purchases, the lights were kept simple - a flush mount in the living area, and this clear globe in the dining area.

Before And After of a city condo - clean, modern, comfy monochromatic scheme in grey and white

Greenery gives the space light. A small grouping like this can be built on, or even split up later.

Before And After of a city condo - clean, modern, comfy monochromatic scheme in grey and white

A simple dining table and lucite chairs keep the look light. With limited space, using pieces that have clean lines and avoid bulk helps to maximize the feel of the room.

Before And After of a city condo - clean, modern, comfy monochromatic scheme in grey and white

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Before And After of a city condo - clean, modern, comfy monochromatic scheme in grey and white

 

Before And After of a city condo - clean, modern, comfy monochromatic scheme in grey and white

When choosing plants, we kept in mind that the client travels quite a bit. We talked to staff at a local nursery to ensure we chose plants that would flourish in indirect light, and require moderate to low levels of care. Succulents, yuccas and cacti fit the bill.

Before And After of a city condo - clean, modern, comfy monochromatic scheme in grey and white

We also included an air plant, which make wonderful solitary or group displays, and require no watering in the pot, just the occasional soak and air dry.

Before And After of a city condo - clean, modern, comfy monochromatic scheme in grey and white

The bar stools gave a dose of wood to the space, while still keeping in stride with the calm palette of greys. Modern with a hint of retro, their low profile doesn't crowd the living space.

Before And After of a city condo - clean, modern, comfy monochromatic scheme in grey and white

Before And After of a city condo - clean, modern, comfy monochromatic scheme in grey and white A simple, clean modern space that is comfortable and allows the works on the wall to shine. To see more of our work, visit our gallery.

 

Black and White Mudroom

Beige or putty coloured walls are a fairly common way for people to add "colour" to a space without really committing to colour. Full disclaimer: beige neutrals are not a favourite of mine and I would offer other suggestions to clients who don't want bright colours. Keeping a space relatively neutral doesn't mean shades of tan - it can be as simple as a little black and white. This example of a mudroom that went from, well, muddy walls to bright and cheery, shows how easy it can be to stay neutral while still offering a a bright, contrasting look. A beige mudroom transformed with black and white. A great example of not committing to color while avoiding boring beige.

The before and after is stunningly simple. Painting the doors black seems like a bold choice, but it really is a small commitment in terms of space covered by this color. In doing this, they add a fantastic and simple punch that is grounded by the dark floors and creates wonderful contrast to the white walls and hanging cupboard. the use of a dark color at the end of a space also tricks the eye into thinking the space is longer than it really is. The red sign and red in the simple rug on the floor bring a spot of color - no bright paint on the walls required!

A beige mudroom transformed with black and white. A great example of not committing to color while avoiding boring beige.

Using a light fixture with clear glass ensures you get maximum brightness in the space, and adding some simple decor gives the area personality.

A beige mudroom transformed with black and white. A great example of not committing to color while avoiding boring beige.

The space looks clean, fresh and larger than before. A simple and very effective transformation. See more at Pretty Practical Home. 

Kakelugn: The Swedish Ceramic Wood Stove

Necessity is supposedly the mother of invention, and this was true for the Swedes back in the 18th century. A critical shortage of firewood led to the development of a more efficient type of wood stove - the kakelugn. I'll show you the inner workings of one later in this post, but for now, lets just marvel at the fact in designing something so needed, they also created something so beautiful. Created in a range of colors, shapes and styles, these stoves burn hotter than the average wood stove, but use very little wood. They were designed with vents and channels to allow for a controlled burn that radiates heat day and night (see the illustration at the bottom). But enough about their inner workings, let's ogle some gorgeous stoves. Swedish ceramic wood stove - an amazing design for efficiency and beautiful to look at. You can find them in a variety of shapes, color and sizes.

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Swedish ceramic wood stove - an amazing design for efficiency and beautiful to look at. You can find them in a variety of shapes, color and sizes.

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Swedish ceramic wood stove - an amazing design for efficiency and beautiful to look at. You can find them in a variety of shapes, color and sizes.

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Swedish ceramic wood stove - an amazing design for efficiency and beautiful to look at. You can find them in a variety of shapes, color and sizes.

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Swedish ceramic wood stove - an amazing design for efficiency and beautiful to look at. You can find them in a variety of shapes, color and sizes.

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Swedish ceramic wood stove - an amazing design for efficiency and beautiful to look at. You can find them in a variety of shapes, color and sizes.

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Swedish ceramic wood stove - an amazing design for efficiency and beautiful to look at. You can find them in a variety of shapes, color and sizes.

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And for those who like to see the innards:

Swedish Tile Stove inside

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Decor: A Thanksgiving Table

It's Thanksgiving weekend up here in Canada and I'm hosting the family get together.  Next weekend we throw our annual Friendsgiving dinner  -  another turkey but this time with some of our closest friends.  It gives us an opportunity for a seasonal get together after the rush of family celebrations.  And the chance for me to cook more and make another centrepiece! For today's dinner,  I've got with a simple and light decor theme.  The fact that the trees in the yard haven't turned fiery red yet has  necessitated this. I tend to decorate with what's at hand locally,  so that means if the warm weather sticks  around,  I have to adjust.

A pretty harvest centrepiece with small white pumpkins and green foliage. A simple and understated decor choice.

Happy Thanksgiving to our Canadian readers  -  and check back next weekend for more seasonal decor ideas.

I Want: O'Keefe and Merritt Vintage Stoves

I love to cook and I have a lot of kitchen-crushes on different ranges and ovens from Aga to La Canche. And then this popped up in my Facebook feed...A stunning O'Keefe and Merritt restored antique gas range with multiple ovens. What a great stove. The white and chrome finish are amazing.

It feels like I passed "want" back at a gas station about 7 miles back, and have hurtled straight to need. NEED. Dear me. My brain is having trouble processing how wonderful this is.

It's a restored O'Keefe and Merritt stove. They were American made and no longer in production but there are some companies that keep them going, like Antique Gas Stoves. What a dream, yes?

 

A Folded Lamp With a Surprise.

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The Metrocuadro Lamp looks beautiful by day. Crisp white with sharp lines and a lovely pattern on the inside of the shade. Turn it on at night and you get a bonus - the shade is transparent and the pattern shines through. Clever. Metrocuadro-swing_suspension_lamp_2-600x600

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See more at Design Milk. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]