Design & Decor Blog

farewell to our dear lauren

It was a sad day at the Style at Home office. Today we bid adieu to Lauren McPhillips — our web editor, social media whiz, passionate blogger, style maven and good friend. She’s off to explore new opportunities and while we couldn’t be more excited for her as she embarks on this new journey, we’re so sad to see her go.

eat my words farewell to our dear lauren
Our farewell party for Lauren included these bite-sized treats from Eat My Words. A special thanks to Sacha for making these with such care. They’re as beautiful as they are delicious!

For those of you who have worked with Lauren, emailed her or read her blog, please join us in wishing her all the best in her new adventure. A fond farewell from all of us at Style at Home!
nat signature farewell to our dear lauren

bathroom renovation: day two

So, things are trucking along on my bathroom renovation. Here’s a look at how things are going:

bathroom renovation day2 2 bathroom renovation: day two
The mess in my condo has multiplied by, oh, I don’t know … three? Understandably. There’s a lot of stuff that needs to go in the bathroom and not a lot of space. But again, these guys are as neat as they can be and considerate. I can tell that they’ve been taking good care not to damage my floor, especially.

bathroom renovation day2 1 bathroom renovation: day two One of the guys from the Home Depot installation crew. So far, so good!

bathroom renovation day2 3 bathroom renovation: day two We’ve only run into one small issue. While researching everything I needed for this bathroom renovation, I learned that standard tubs are now smaller than tubs from 20 years ago. My original tub was 64″ while the newer tubs are only 60″. (You can order a custom tub if you really want.) To make up for that difference in space, we decided to create a tiled ledge, which would not only solve the problem but give me some space for shampoo bottles and the like. When I got back to my condo yesterday, I saw that instead of a ledge, the guys had built out the wall. Looks fine but since this is already a small space, why make it even smaller? I talked to Tony, the project manager, and he says it’s not a problem to put the ledge in as originally discussed. Pictured above is how it looks with the wall that was built to meet the tub. We’ll see shortly what it looks like with the ledge. I think the ledge is a better solution. Do you agree?

bathroom renovation: can you guess which paint colour I chose?

After choosing all of the fixtures for my bathroom renovation – the tub, toilet, vanity, mirror, lighting, shower tiles and flooring – the final element was the paint colour. But with SO MANY COLOURS to choose from, how do I narrow it down to just one? This is what I’ve been sifting through:

paint fan decks bathroom renovation: can you guess which paint colour I chose? I have finally made my selection and you can actually see the chip I chose in this photo. Any guesses? You’re going to have to wait for the final reveal to find out, but I will tell you that I chose a colour from Olympic Paints’ Colours of Inspiration line. I liked that all 1,200 shades of the Colours of Inspiration palette are available in zero-VOC and low odour. After much debate and looking at chips in this light and that light, I love the shade I FINALLY settled on. Now I just need to see it on the walls!

re-formed, canadian company spotlight

I’m hugely sentimental. My basement storage room is filled with boxes and boxes of saved birthday cards, airplane tickets from trips, Oscar’s first baby clothes … the list keeps growing. Although I take great delight in opening a box up and going through memory lane, it’s sad to have certain things packed away. Sarah Gunn (@lovelaughshop) tweeted last week about getting a piece of work from @ReFormedArt and curiosity got the best of me and I went to Re-Formed’s website. I fell head over heels for this gem of a Canadian company.
Untitled 1 re formed, canadian company spotlight

What Re-Formed has done, is put a modern spin on the shadow box. You give them something you love and they permanently frame it in a beautiful plexi box, allowing you to also customize the background colour, and even add on text to the front of the box.

By putting something in one of these boxes, it transforms your memento from being just an object, to being a really cool conversation piece in your home as well as a beautiful piece of art. I’m now going to go dig through my boxes in the basement and find some things I know I’d like to have done! Pricing starts at $95 and increases with the size of box.

Untitled 12 re formed, canadian company spotlight

Pssst – The current boxes permanently encase your item (which is fine for most things) but Amanda, the designer behind Re-Formed mentioned that they are going to be releasing a new box that can open shortly.

Visit Re-Formed website here for pricing and more (gorgeous) photos.
Photography by Margaret Mulligan

Lindsay Stephenson is our guest blogger who has her eye on all things fabulous in Toronto. When not scouting out the coolest stores and the fabbest finds in the city, Lindsay runs a graphic design business (Penny People Designs) and blogs about her life and home decorating projects on Aubrey & Lindsay’s Little House Blog.

bathroom renovation: day one

Welcome to day one of my bathroom renovation! The demolition began yesterday and I returned home to find everything … GONE! Here’s what my bathroom looks like today:

bathroom reno during1 bathroom renovation: day one Yikes!

bathroom reno during2 bathroom renovation: day one The wall-to-wall mirror is gone, as are the sink and vanity. Can’t say I’m sad to see ‘em go.

bathroom reno during3 bathroom renovation: day one Adios, bathtub!

bathroom reno during4 bathroom renovation: day one I found this drawing behind the tile on the shower wall. I’ve heard tons of stories about the things people have found behind walls and underneath floors when doing a renovation. Have you ever found anything interesting? A friend of mine found well preserved newspapers from the 1920s when she renovated her house.

bathroom reno during5 bathroom renovation: day one I have to hand it to the installation crew from Home Depot. I’m so pleased with the way they’ve been treating my home. They put up plastic coverings in all the right places and have kept the mess contained to the bathroom. We’ve all heard horror stories about renovations gone wrong, so it was nice to start things off on the right foot. Thanks, guys! I really appreciate it.

the perfect pitcher

Fab find
Glass Solano pitcher, $24 US; Pottery Barn.
fabfind pitcher the perfect pitcher
It’s time, my friends. The days are officially here where you can toss the throw blanket and slippers and, instead, take comfort in an ice cold bevvy in the backyard. The sun, thermostat, and my thirst is screaming to whip up some liquid refreshments to beat the heat! I love the Solano pitcher for its sleek, elegant shape, which can hold 1.3 quarts – great for some summertime entertaining. It also comes equipped with a glass wand, for those who prefer their cocktails stirred, not shaken.
What are your favourite summer drinks?

how to perk up your space with pattern

Pattern, pattern everywhere! From dainty to graphic to global, patterns are popping up in all the right places. Style at Home’s June issue is filled with pages of colourful, pattern-packed interiors. If your home is drowning in a sea of solid beige, the thought of both colour and pattern might be just too much. Never fear…West Elm has got you covered with these lovely neutrals.

West Elm Rajasthan Stripe Printed Dhurrie how to perk up your space with pattern Why not roll out an area rug in a tone-on-tone pattern?! You’ll get wow factor with this global inspired pattern without the worry of committing to colour.   Rajasthan-Stripe Printed Dhurrie, in Slate, 80% wool / 20% cotton, 5′ x 8′ - West Elm, $199.00 (other sizes available).

West Elm Stripe Duvet Cover and Shams how to perk up your space with pattern

If nautical is more your thing, stripes are just the right touch for your home. I love the soft, yet striking appeal of these grey and white striped linens.   Stripe Duvet Cover and Shams, in White and Feather Grey, 100% cotton, Full / Queen Size – West Elm, $69.00 (other sizes available).

West Elm Hand Blocked Multi Pillow Cover1 how to perk up your space with pattern

Too many textiles got your head spinning? Want an eclectic mix, but not sure how to create it? Just toss a couple of these hand-blocked cushions on your sofa and you’ll have a patchwork of pattern without the headache.   Hand-Blocked Multi Pillow Cover,  in Stone White / Iron, 100% Raw Silk, 20″ Sq. – West Elm, $39.00.


Amy Walters is a Winnipeg-based design enthusiast and blogger. For more design inspiration from Amy, check out her blog aDESIGNdock.

ready to start a bathroom renovation

The long weekend is coming to a close but there are no fireworks for me. Instead, I’m home preparing for a bathroom renovation that’s scheduled to begin in the morning!

Needless to say, I’m tres excited to get this ball rolling. My bathroom, as you’ll see from the photos below, could use some work. I live in a condo building that was constructed in 1988. All the fixtures are original and I suppose when you take that into account, they’ve weathered the past 23 years pretty well. But now everything, from the vanity and the tub to the flooring and mirrored wall needs to go! It’s time for a fresh, new, modern look and it wasn’t hard to find everything I was looking for at Home Depot. I just needed one afternoon of one-stop shopping and now I can’t wait to get started! I’m going to share the whole process with you and I’d love your feedback along the way.

OK – here are the photos of my bathroom. Be nice!

bathroom reno1 ready to start a bathroom renovation
The shower. I can’t WAIT to get rid of that grey tub.

bathroom reno2 ready to start a bathroom renovation
And I can’t wait to get rid of the matching grey sink and toilet. Ugh.

bathroom reno3 ready to start a bathroom renovation
When I moved in, the bathroom was covered in a pink, white and purple floral wallpaper. Not so much. After painstakingly removing the paper, I opted for a charcoal grey paint. This time ’round, I’m ready to lighten things up. I haven’t decided on my colour yet. The new fixtures will be black and white. Suggestions for the paint colour?

bathroom reno4 ready to start a bathroom renovation
Coming soon: Polished marble.

Stay tuned – the fun begins tomorrow!

the essential earth tones

Our designer secrets special issue is out on stands now and I love all the tips inside from some of our fave design experts. I always get stuck trying to choose the perfect paint {hey, some shades just look too darned alike}, so I really enjoyed the paint section of the issue with designers sharing their fave shades. Here are the earth tones that are making the experts swoon.

earth tones the essential earth tones
1 Split Pea 16-28, Pratt & Lambert

“I use this yellowy green in bathrooms and bedrooms to create a serene ambience.” -Michelle Mawby, Lucid Interior Design

2 Floating Islands P5127-34, Para Paints

“”think Florida home circa 1990 meets Mies van der Rohe. This ‘blush’ adds a light, soft hue to any space and looks amazing when paired with charcoal, cream, navy or white.” -Angela Robinson, AR Design

3 Never Land P5026-85, Para Paints

“I’ve always had a weakness for jewel tones! I recommend painting this green on walls in a semi-gloss finish to create drama, elegance and sophistication, then accenting the colour with accessories in burnt orange, electric blue, eggplant, black or white.” -Angela Robinson

4 Granny Smith SD008, Style at Home Collection, Beauti-Tone Paint

“When used to create a feature wall, this shade provides a gorgeous pop of colour that doesn’t overpower a room. It’s a huge trend right now to use a chartreuse or citron.” -Jessica Kelly, Jessica Kelly Design

5 Folly Green 76, Farrow & Ball
“This green, one of my most asked-about colours, looks great on library walls broken up with lots of bookshelves and neutral elements.” -Stacey-Litwin-Davies, Litwin-Davies Design

6 Willow CC-542, Benjamin Moore

“This rich wall colour adds dimension to any room. I’ve used it on the walls in a panelled library, a dramatic dining room and a tiny jewel-box powder room. I love pairing it with brilliant colours like indigo blue or saturated colour.” -Samantha Farjo, Farjo Design

7 Rockies Brown 2107-30, Benjamin Moore

“This colour, best in a pearl finish, pairs well with one of favourite David Hicks wallpapers called The Vase, which was actually inspired by his famous Coca-Cola-coloured walls.” -Timothy Mather, TM Design

8 Kendall Charcoal HC-166, Benjamin Moore

“We’ve used this warm grey to make a bold statement and give rooms weight and depth. Whether it’s used on a piece of furniture, built-ins, interior doors, or to accent a handrail, that bit of darkness creates a layered effect.” -Cindy Bleeks, Feasby & Bleeks Design

9 Black Blue 95, Farrow & Ball

“This paint colour, which has a hint of blue, looks great on exterior doors.” -Cindy Bleeks

diy floral arrangements

Two years ago, my husband and I had a wonderfully small and intimate wedding in the backyard of my parent’s house. Due to the fact that the day we chose was the busiest wedding date of the year, and that we planned the whole thing in only a few months, there were no florists available. My mum, who has always had a keen design eye and a crafty nature, decided she could take on the task herself. She went to her favourite florist, Sweet Violets, ordered all the flowers and asked a few questions. From there she got to work, designing and executing all of the floral arrangements for the big day.

I asked her to disclose her method for anyone who might be interested in creating their own floral arrangements – whatever the occasion!

For the small arrangements that would be used at the dinner, she cut out a circle of sheer, green organza and pulled it around a small glass vase, using a piece of cream-coloured organza ribbon around the neck to secure it. She trimmed ten ‘super green roses’ and arranged them in the vase tightly, like a bouquet:

dinnerfloral diy floral arrangements

For the larger arrangements used in the ceremony, she ordered green spider mums, green al chamilla, white dahlia, white hydrangea, decorative cabbages and a collection of filler greens. She took 1 ft tall vases and made a grid on the opening using floral tape. First, she filled the grid with the greens, packing them tightly. She arranged the large hydrangea and cabbage and then filled in the rest of the vase using the spider mums, freesia, dahlia and al chamilla:

ceremonyfloral2 diy floral arrangements

ceremonyfloral diy floral arrangements

entry diy floral arrangements

ceremony diy floral arrangements

What do you guys think? Anyone have any great tips for creating your own floral arrangements?

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