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The Shimmer

Project Hester

Thursday, June 18

I shared a glimpse of this project months ago and after more than a year of working together (a really FUN year), we're finally nearing completion. This was a floor-to-ceiling decorating job - the only furniture my client had was a bedroom set. She's really fun and adventurous, and loves things with a little bit of edge - so obviously, it was a blast to put this space together. It won't be ready to be photographed for another few months, so you'll see the full before-and-afters later, but I thought I'd share some iPhone previews of two of the almost-finished spaces today.

This little foyer was begging for some personality. When my client first moved in, it was pretty bare. After scoring an amazing bench, we sorted through a bunch of movie posters she had bought while travelling and picked a bunch to frame and hang. 

My client killed it at auctions and found this gorgeous hutch, and a pedestal table with a set of chairs. 

We paired them with this gorgeous vintage rug.

Then we recovered the chairs with a fun zigzag and styled up the hutch to give the room a dose of personality.

We still need to hang some art but this room is almost wrapped up!

These are just two of the rooms we tackled but the others, including possibly my favourite living room to date, will have to wait until some pro-photos are taken!

Scheming & Dreaming

Tuesday, June 16

In the midst of helping other people decorate and style their homes, sometimes our house takes a backseat. It's honestly a bit embarrassing how long I've left parts of our house unfinished while I focus on other projects! But just because they're not done yet doesn't mean I don't have tons of plans and dreams up my sleeve.

Are you plotting and planning anything fun for your abode? The more I stare at these ideas, the more impatient I am to get started!

West Dining

Thursday, May 28

Alright, I'm back with the second half of this week's post. You've seen this client's bathroom and living room before, and now it's time to share their dining room. My job in here was fairly minimal, as they already had a number of gorgeous antiques. They were just looking to help the room feel more finished. Here is the (grainy iPhone) before:

And here's what it looks like now:

I recommended that they choose a modern white dining chair to contrast the dark traditional look of the existing antiques. I love how the juxtaposition of the two extremes makes the beautiful details of each piece more noticeable.

They already owned these beautiful antiques. The rich wood really warms up the cool tones of the space.

Everyone needs a bar cart (or liquor locker?) in my opinion, and this one was perfectly sized for this tiny wall. We added a decorative mirror above it to reflect light coming in from the living room, as the dining room isn't naturally very bright.

My client made these curtains herself, and I loved the soft blues and greens. I used them as inspiration for choosing the art for the gallery wall. 

The other main role I played in this space was helping choose some additional art to round out my clients' existing collection and create a gallery wall. We chose the iceberg piece in the middle and the wild horse at the top. Then, I arranged the gallery wall in my typical fashion.

It's a little bittersweet to wrap up a project with someone you've been working with for so long! These clients were a lot of fun and very trusting of my judgment, which is always super helpful, haha. 

I also think that a lot of people believe working with a decorator or designer means they need to start from scratch, which can be so intimidating. You really don't. Your decorator might suggest that you switch out a few items that just won't work, but a good one will find a way to embrace the pieces you already have and love, while still updating the room to feel fresh and new. If you're local (Halifax and area) and are looking to update your space or just help it feel more put together, feel free to send me an email (use the little envelope in the top right corner) and we can chat about how I can help!

West Living

Monday, May 25

Remember this bathroom? Well those lovely clients had me back to help them polish up their living and dining rooms. They already had most of the key furniture but they needed help pulling everything together, which is totally my favourite part! We finally wrapped it up last month and I thought I'd share a few snaps of their living room today. First off, here's what it looked like before (according to my grainy iPhone):

And here's what it looks like now:

My clients already owned the couch, coffee table, rug, artwork, and a few of the pillows. I chose this gorgeous peony fabric for the drapes to help pull all the colours together and filled the vacant space beside the couch with a petite modern side table and tripod lamp, which together mimic the tones of the coffee table.

We brought in a few additional pillows (can you ever have too many?), and a gorgeous rust coloured basket, which helps to pull the orangey-red tones from the curtains across the room. I also added an intricate lace-like tray to the table as a place to corral remotes. I'm always a fan of trays on coffee tables because they help the necessary clutter of living (remotes, coasters, etc.) feel intentional and organized - and they're also nice for showcasing flowers.

I couldn't resist the yellow gold of these ikat dots.

These two pillows already owned by my clients were the inspiration for the drapes, which in turn, inspired the rest of the room! I chose a floral pattern to balance all the geometric patterns happening elsewhere.

I adore this lamp from Target, and I'm very very sad that I no longer have access to it. Dang you, Target, for closing.

To flank the fireplace, we brought in a leaning mirror and sculptural bookcase. I love big mirrors in small rooms - not only do they make the room look bigger but when they're placed in the right spot, they can also make it so much brighter by reflecting twice the light.  We had hoped to switch out the traditional sconces for something more modern, but it was out of budget at this point. Maybe in the future!

It's a fairly narrow room, which limits the options for furniture placement. I think my clients were so smart to invest in a sectional and square coffee table. They give you plenty of space for sitting and resting a drink, without feeling like you're constantly tripping over furniture.

Here's the view from the other side, including a sneak peek of the dining room, which I'll share later this week.

I'm really happy with how this space turned out! It feels sunny, cozy, and welcoming - and as you can see, my good friend, Salty has given it her seal of approval over there by the window. I guess she likes the new look ;)

For Your Mama

Wednesday, May 6

This is your PSA that Mother’s Day (in Canada, at least) is this coming Sunday, May 10th. I know, you forgot. You’re not alone. But I’m here to save the day! Save the day with bluebellgray! (Sorry. Couldn’t resist.)

Have we talked about bluebellgray before? I feel like we must have. They’re a UK-based textile company and they design the most stunning watercolour-esque florals. Chapters/Indigo carries a line of their pillows and I’m dying to find a client whose style they suit.  All wispy, pretty, feminine. Perfect for Spring! Perfect for YOUR MOTHER.

So here’s the deal: They were lovely enough to send me this gorgeous shopping tote and I want one of you to have it! You can keep it for yourself (get those groceries in style!) or gift it to your mom/maternal figure as thanks for all the hard work she did bringing you into this world (and keeping you alive for 18+ years... no small feat).  Your choice. (But your mom is pretty awesome, just saying.) And, even cooler – this bag isn’t actually available anywhere in Canada… so your mom will be one of a kind.

To enter, leave a comment below and tell me how you refer to your mom/maternal figure. I only call my mom "Mother" when I'm angry and she knows it... so I always have to search extra hard to find a mother's day card without the word "mother" in it. Trying times, I tell you. 

Giveaway is now closed and the winner has been notified. Thanks!

(P.S. If you're using Google to comment, make sure you sign in BEFORE typing your comment so your comment won't disappear!)

Best in Spring

Tuesday, April 7

The forecast may still be calling for snow (WTF?!) but at least it can feel spring-like in your abode. 

'Sherbert Long Board' by Teil Duncan
Moonlight Jade Platter and Divided Server from Chapters/Indigo
Citron Metallic Striped Pillow from Chapters/Indigo
'Salt the Skies' Serving Board by Millie Fairhall
'Indio' Foil-Pressed Stationery by Amber Barley via Minted
'Hello Friend' Foil-Pressed Stationery by Erin Deegan via Minted
Striped Jewelry Tray from Chapters/Indigo
Fresh Coconut & Vanilla Candle from Chapters/Indigo
Indian Lace Wood Grain Platter by Nicole Porter Design
Violet Antique Anatolia Turkish Kilim Rug from Shoppe by Amber Interiors

How to Emphasize Flesh-Tone Trim

Friday, April 3

It's been ages since I shared a foyer update. Apologies for the prolonged absence. Life, you know? But I'm back. And you know that expression, “it has to get worse before it gets better”? I can’t think of anything more apt to describe our foyer’s current state. A few weekends ago we tackled painting the walls. Three coats of Benjamin Moore’s Paper White yielded this:

Pretty dramatic difference from before, right? The whole space feels so much brighter. Unfortunately, it’s also managed to somehow make the flesh-toned trim look even MORE disgusting. 

Don’t worry though – the trim isn’t staying! We’re going to add pieces to the existing trim to make it more intricate and it seemed like a waste of time to paint the trim before we did that. But… if it takes us much longer to get to the trim details, we may just need to do an in-the-meantime paint fix.

Lesson Learned:  Sometimes progress can make things look worse instead of better.  Keep going.  Also, never ever let anyone paint anything in your house the colour of flesh.

P.S. We finally bought a wide-angle lens. It hasn't arrived yet but when it does, it will make it SO much easier to photograph this tiny little space!

P.P.S. More foyer posts here, here, and here.