Let’s Do Spring

A few weeks ago the nice folks at Home Depot invited me to their Spring Preview. I love these types of events, as they give me a ton of inspiration for the next season. This preview was especially welcome as it got me out of  the frigid Canadian winter and into a spring oasis filled with bbq’s, patio furniture and flowers.

I have been dreaming of planting my garden, building on a new patio and hosting many a fun summer bbq. I thought I’d share some of my inspiration so you can daydream about what you’re going to do with your outdoor space this year.

For the backyard:

Brown Jordan Highland Set
Brown Jordan Highland Set

This year Home Depot has brought in some amazing pieces from Brown Jordan. You may be familiar with the high end luxury outdoor furniture brand, but not at these prices. Home Depot has made some awesome quality furniture available at an affordable price.  They even have a swivel glider that I absolutely fell in love with. It was like sitting in your Dad’s old recliner, but outside and way more fashionable.

They also have a more contemporary set called Northshore that would be perfect on an urban patio or roof deck.

Brown Jordan Northshore
Brown Jordan Northshore

I love the clean lines of this set, and it would be perfect in our backyard. I have a total crush on it. They even use Sunbrella fabrics, which are the creme de la creme of outdoor fabrics with UV protection.

Although we do not have room for a dining set in our backyard, I still lusted after the contemporary dining sets. This one was my fave; the Larmont.


It actually looks like indoor furniture! The captain chairs add a lot of class. Patio tables & chairs can sometimes feel flimsy and cheap, but this one feels super durable.

There were also a ton of great BBQ’s and you know El Granto & I are huge bbq fans. I fell in love with this Napoleon Charcoal Kettle grill. We have a natural gas bqq, but miss the flavour of charcoal.

Napoleon Kettle Grill
Napoleon Kettle Grill

They did a really ingenious thing with this new model. The top opens to the side like a book, so that you don’t burn your hands trying to open the lid.


If we didn’t already have a bbq, this one would be on my wish list. It is a propane (or natural gas) bbq with a smoker box. Om nom nom.

Brinkmann 5 Burner Gas Grill with Smoker and Sear Burner
Brinkmann 5 Burner Gas Grill with Smoker and Sear Burner

For my fellow Urbanites. The Home Depot also showed some great small space items perfect for a balcony or rooftop deck. I thought these flooring tiles were great. They lock together to make a brand new floor surface over ugly old concrete or decking.

Multy Home Enviro Tiles
Multy Home Enviro Tiles in Flagstone Earth
Multy Home Enviro Tiles in Grey
Multy Home Enviro Tiles in Grey

They also have a great electric bbq if your condo board doesn’t allow gas.

CHAR BROIL Patio Bistro 240 Small Space Electric Barbecue
CHAR BROIL Patio Bistro 240 Small Space Electric Barbecue

To put the icing on the cake backyard, they had some really great outdoor rugs, throw pillows and flowers.

Hampton Bay Decorative outdoor pillows
Hampton Bay Decorative outdoor pillows
Proven Winners Flowers

Excuse me while I go wish for the snow to melt.

P.S. Home Depot invites me to these previews, and I sit on their comfy chairs and eat their  hors d’oeuvres but I am in no way compensated, or get anything from writing about it. I just like to share my inspiration with you guys.

Staircase Inspiration

After painting the upstairs hall, getting started on our tin ceiling, and adding a new light to the staircase, the shabby beige walls of the staircase are looking pretty sad. Not to mention they are the LAST beige walls inside the house. (I have been mounting a war on beige as the entire house was beige when we moved in, no really outside and in, whole house was beige.)

The walls in the staircase (the back wall in this pic) are the last beige walls in the house
The walls in the staircase (the back wall in this pic) are the last beige walls in the house

The problem with doing anything to the staircase walls, is that they’re HUGE and TALL. Remember El Granto precariously hanging on the top of a ladder to hang the new light? Yeah…not fun.

Giant scary staircase
Giant scary staircase
The Staircase
The Staircase

I would really like to do something with high impact in the space. I am thinking a bold paint colour, wallpaper or a stencil. The entire main floor is a light grey, and the upstairs hall is white. I think this is the perfect place to inject something a little crazy.

Here are some ideas that I am loving right now, I just cant decide on one direction!

I am loving the panelling with the pop of the runner!

Houndstooth is a big fave in the Storefront house right now. Even the dog sports a houndstooth coat. Would it be too much on the staircase walls?

I love a wallpaper with some humour, and this dog print makes my heart smile.

I LOVE the drama in this space!

Source: auctiva.com via Kristen on Pinterest

I am loving the blue in this wallpaper, but is it too close to the damask in our master bedroom?

This is a more classic style with the wainscoting + wallpaper. Is it fun enough?

Now this is colour!!!

So what do you think I should do to the staircase? Bold colour? Crazy wallpaper? Or keep it more traditional and do paneling or a mix of paneling & wallpaper?

Tin Tile Inspiration

Three years ago, before we owned the house, heck before we were even really house hunting, we were at the Aberfoyle Antique Market with my parents when I spotted some antique tin ceiling tiles, and fell in LOVE. They were reclaimed from an old storefront in London Ontario. My parents bought me 20 of the 2×2′ tiles for Christmas that year, and I have been waiting to put them up somewhere in the Storefront since we moved in.

One of the Tin Tiles
One of the Tin Tiles
The Tiles
The Tiles

The tiles have their original white paint still on them, and are in varying states of disrepair. Some are almost perfectly painted, while others are missing half their paint, or are rusted.

We could do all sorts of cool stuff with the tiles.  The ideas are so endless that I in fact could not decide on one… No really. Its been 2 years and these tiles are still sitting in my basement. Its not that I dont want to use them, I just cant make my mind up.

Do they get painted, stripped, left as is?

Do we put them on a ceiling, or use them as a wall covering, or as a backsplash in the kitchen?

Do I procure matching cove moldings and filler panels to do a ceiling the proper way?

See, its a bit overwhelming right? I don’t want to screw it up. So here is some of my inspiration.

Source: decorpad.com via Kristen on Pinterest

Source: mobfin.com via Kristen on Pinterest

Source: houzz.com via Kristen on Pinterest

Source: hgtv.ca via Kristen on Pinterest

Source: google.com via Kristen on Pinterest


What would you do with the tiles?!



The Basement

The entrance to the Storefront is level with the street. What that means for our basement is that it is completely underground and has no windows. At all. Most basements at least have some tiny windows.  Not our house. Our basement is dark, damp, and the ceilings are about 6 1/2 feet tall. Continue reading “The Basement”

Exterior of the Storefront

You’ve seen pics of the first floor of the storefront’s exterior, but what you haven’t seen is what the second story of our house looks like. That’s for one very good reason; its pretty ugly. Nah, I’m being mean to my poor house, its not THAT bad, but its not how we’d like it to look.  Continue reading “Exterior of the Storefront”

Project Guest Bedroom

When we purchased the house, we envisioned a cottagy guest room, and both of us instantly thought yellow. We picked out a sunny buttery yellow, and purchased the paint prior to moving in. Our first weekend in the house we painted, and it was….BRIGHT.  We decided to try to live with it, see if we liked it any better. Then when Holmes Inspection renovated our house, they colour matched the room and re-painted, but the colour was even BRIGHTER. Now when the sun pours in the bay window every morning, it’s a bit…well…neon.

We did do a few things right, we bought a nice bed, linens, hung custom blinds, and re-used some dressers. It just needs a bit more “lipstick and mascara” (and maybe a pair of killer heels).

So here goes Project Guest Bedroom

Pinterest Guest Bedroom Inspiration Board


To Do List

Really?! All that for a room I thought was almost finished? Eeep, what do I get myself into?

Project Powder Room

Our main floor powder room needed some sprucing up, and you guessed it, de-beige-ing. We wanted something dramatic, yet still functional. I will be posting the results of our powder room facelift in the next week, but wanted to give you a sneak peak of our inspiration, and our to do list. Even though it was a small room, there are still a lot of things on that to do list! (and they are still not all finished…)

My Pinterest Bathroom Inspiration Board


  • Add Wainscoting and Chair Rail
  • Change Lighting
  • New Mirror
  • Paint
  • Hang Art
  • Change Towel Rack & Paper Holder
  • Add Open Storage for Towels and Toiletries

    *UPDATE* Check out this post for a view of the finished powder room

Hallway Inspiration

Our house is very very skinny (our property alone is 12.5’ wide, and after walls we’re left with less than 12’). I know what you’re thinking, how on earth can we live in such a skinny house? As many other Torontonians know, size isn’t everything, layout is. The people who renovated our house prior to us, did an exceptional job with the layout. On the main floor they squeezed in an open concept 35’ long kitchen/dining/entryway, a compact but cozy living room and a powder room. On the second floor, we have three bedrooms and an 8×8 bathroom. The one problem with the second floor is to make that layout work you need one big long hallway. It is long, and skinny, and dark. It is currently painted (you guessed it) beige, has two “spaceship” lights for lighting, four doors to the bedrooms and bath, one skylight over the staircase and a strange little nook. I have been trying to come up with solutions to make the space feel bigger, lighter, and more polished.

Hallway Nook (Outside Master Bedroom)

Here are some of my (hairbrained) ideas:

  • Cut out the spaces above all the doors, and install transoms. The bathroom & office each have large skylights, the front bedroom has a big bay window and our master has a glass door and large window. I think that with transoms all this light that is usually kept captive in the rooms will spill out into the hall. I think it will also make the ceilings feel higher.


Source: houzz.com via Kristen on Pinterest

Source: google.ca via Kristen on Pinterest



  • Paint the walls white, trim white, and the doors gloss black. Wait wait wait, before you have me committed, hear me out. I think the contrast of the dark doors, light walls and all the natural light will actually make the space feel bigger. Contrast does wondrous things.


Source: houzz.com via Kristen on Pinterest



  • Replace the lighting. This one is a necessity. There are two forms of cheap flush mount lights from the big box stores. They will hereafter be known as boob lights and spaceship lights. My metaphors are pretty straightforward. One looks like a boob, and the other like a spaceship. They both suck. Cant anyone make cheap attractive flush mounts? I would love some schoolhouse pendants in the hall space.


Source: google.com via Kristen on Pinterest



  • Large scale artwork. The one problem is that it needs to be thin. The hallway is incredibly narrow, and already the walls get bashed with elbows when you try to carry anything down the hall. The artwork needs to not get in the way, and be well secured to the wall, and it needs to break up the large expanse of space. This is the only part that is still stumping me. You will only be looking at the art while walking down the hall, and even if you stop and look at it, you will be a foot away, so its not an ideal gallery space. May be a good candidate for some Blik vinyl wall art. Graphic and impactful, and gives definition to the space.
Blik Fox


Blik Birds of a Feather
  • Bigger mirror for the nook, small artwork and a nice large plant, preferably of the citrus tree variety. I love the thought of having a lime or lemon tree in the house, and think this would be a great place for it.



So what do you think? Have I won you over with my black doors?