*free* design notes: 7.11.11

My husband and I love to entertain so I often find myself gravitating towards images that evoke a sense of gathering and community. This dining area does exactly that. Simple, yet so interesting. I feel like I could spend hours here.

Chime in with your thoughts. As always I love to hear from you.

Happy Monday!


Image Source: Skona hem

dabble issue 3: a few of my faves

If you haven’t already had a chance to take in the pages of the latest Issue of Dabble Mag, then let me whet your whistle with some of my favorite articles. I can’t stress enough the amount of time and effort that goes into each publication. I see the Issue just as you do, hot off the press and the night before I often get butterflies with excitement wondering what this issue will have to share. From inspirations in the world of design, photography that instills the travel bug or mouth watering food images that cause a quick run to the grocery store, it’s all here. And don’t forget that the Dabble website is updated daily.

Dabble does Seattle! This city comes alive with more than just coffee and seafood. A perfect weekend getaway.

Nathan Turner shares colour inspirations. Love this space!

Looking for the latest and greatest? Lisa Canning shares fabulous finds in the Dabble Digs section.

If you’re like me and feel like cooking can sometimes be a chore, dive into the food section for recipes galore. (Hey that rhymes!)

I adore this new column! Tell us what you dabble in and you could see yourself on the pages of the magazine. How great is that?! Submission details here.

My column this Issue is all about custom millwork. Come and learn more about the process and see this recent Calgary project of Nyla Free Designs. I’ll be sharing more on this home library next week.

Do you have a favorite article in this issue? I would love to hear about it!

Happy weekend!


colour inspirations for a happy stampede!

Whether you’re a cowboy or not, over the next 10 days Calgarians and visitors will put on their cowboy duds to celebrate the Stampede, hitting the streets for free pancake breakfasts, music, beer gardens and of course, the Rodeo. It’s an all out party and working hours are at a minimum as folks jump from event to event. After all, it is considered the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth. The city comes alive and you can’t help but feel the energy.

You’re either one of two people. You put on your boots, kick your heels and crank the country tunes, or you flee the city. As it happens we are not typically in Calgary during Stampede. Not because we make a run for it but it’s just the way our summer vacations have worked out. This year however we are here and I’m not quite sure what do with myself. I don’t own cowboy boots or any stylish country western items so I’m taking some tips from probably the coolest country dude out there, Ralph Lauren. I’m not terribly interested in the red paisley bandanas and cowboy hats so I’m on the hunt for some inspiration. I am loving the colours in these photos which means some shopping may be in order to pull together the right designer duds. Any excuse right?

Happy Stampede to my Calgary friends and a special ‘Howdy’ to those visiting. YeeHAW!

Image sources: Ralph Lauren, Paint colours, Cowboy boots

bathroom reno: progress report

A current bathroom renovation project is well under way so I wanted to share the progress with you. The tile work is coming along nicely and I’m quite pleased with the dramatic results. The black granite tile is going to offset the stylish white tub beautifully and how about that tiled area rug? Gorgeous!

Next on the agenda is cabinetry which will be quarter sawn oak in a natural finish. A quarter sawn oak has a linear grain which will compliment the lines of the limestone shower. You can see the inspirations that we started with over at my bathroom reno: sneak peak post.

We have an early August deadline as there is a wedding in the family. Can’t wait to show you the final result!



red & white interior for a happy Canada day!

I hesitated to post a red and white interior for Canada Day but when I saw this home I really couldn’t resist because it is red and white done right. Julio Jimenez del Corral of Circle Q Architects, has created an classic modern home with the perfect amount of red. It is crisp, but not cold. It is white and bright yet inviting and warm. If you are the least bit hesitant to infuse colour into your home, this is the perfect example of a space that has colourful accents and still maintains a sense of neutrality.

In the spirit of our homeland colours I hope you enjoy this home from Madrid and wish you all a peaceful and relaxing Canada Day weekend.

Images: micasa


summer solstice 2011

Is there anything better than a summer party? They are easy, casual and can go long into the night on a warm summers evening. We recently welcomed summer with our annual summer solstice party and even though it poured with rain we sparked up the bbq and had an amazing time. If you have plans to throw a bash or perhaps you end up with a spontaneous get together, I’ve got some tips for you over at Decor Mentor today. I invite you to pop over and enjoy more photos from our party and hopefully get some ideas for your own.

Happy summer!




dabble issue 3 is live!

Can you believe we’re on to Issue 3 already? I’m really excited to share this issue’s Reality Check column where the topic is Custom Millwork and all the details that you will need to consider when starting a project of your own. I’m also proud to show you my clients space that we photographed for this feature. Floor to ceiling bookshelves stacked with books that have been collected over the years creating a space filled with incredible stories and adventures. I hope you enjoy, get inspired, and learn a little something along the way. Pop on over to Dabble to find my column along with more inspirations in design • travel • food.

Photo credit: Lori Andrews


design: lake house sneak peak

Last Tuesday I flew to Kelowna to help a client receive and install furniture at their new (to them) lake house property on Lake Okanagan in British Columbia. I got off to a late start due to a crazy morning illness (NO it’s not what you might think so move on from that notion!)

I had put together a collage of some of the items we will be installing that you can see on my A Day in the Life‘ post.

The delivery truck was late arriving at the house so the timing ended up perfect. Plus I stayed overnight so we had extra time to work on unpacking, placement and putting together all of our fab purchases. When I arrived most of the furniture had been placed with packing still attached. The white glove delivery service was due to arrive within an hour so we got down to business to prepare for more pieces to arrive.

First thing on the agenda… hello beautiful view!

The state of the living room when I arrived.

A pile of pillows waiting for a special place to rest.

Here is the living room when I left Wednesday morning. Our original plan was to place the cane chairs upstairs in the family room. We’ve been looking tirelessly for a pair of danish modern chairs to take their place. With company soon to be arriving, these chairs will add the extra seats needed in the space and the hunt for our modern finds will continue.

We hung a fabulous white starburst over the fireplace with a concave mirror. I thought this was a fun shot of the space from a distorted angle.

Family room with pull out sofa that also acts as a guest room. Because we borrowed the cane chairs for the living room I didn’t capture the end result as it will be evolving over time.

Small bedrooms for the kids will accommodate two twin beds. We opted for low profile beds as to not obstruct the windows. I must say the girls room has the most incredible view.

White glove service building the kids beds. These guys were nothing short of amazing going above and beyond the call of duty and so incredibly nice to boot.

I adored how the girls rooms were coming together. We decided to hang the round mango wood mirrors (shown in the family room image above) on the wall across from the beds to capture the view. That way the girls will have a view of the lake from almost every angle.

The main eating area in the house is not yet complete. We have an ‘L’ shaped built-in banquette to be installed against the wall with a wide striped sunbrella fabric for the seat cushion and several fabulous pillows we ordered from Etsy that were lost in the abyss of the Canada Post strike. I was so hoping we would have had more to show you here!

A collage of kids artwork will hang over the banquette and as you can see we planned the placement of the art with kraft paper for ease of hanging after I left.

As the sun was setting on our day I quickly grabbed a shot of the outdoor deck. Such a spectacular view of the Cascade Mountain Range.

Working together with my client on achieving the perfect summer getaway for their family has been so incredibly fun. It’s what really makes me love what I do.

There is still lots to do here at the Lake House however I’m so pleased with how everything has come together, especially considering this is the first time I have been in the home. So much can be done from a distance yet it’s very gratifying to be able see it all come together in person.

I hope you enjoyed this little sneak peak into one of my projects. And as always thanks for stopping by!



free design notes: 6.27.11

When I look at this kitchen, my first thought is “when can I move in?”. There’s really nothing I don’t love and oh how I wish I could flip the page of this Metropolitan Home image and see the rest of the house. *sigh*

What do you think? Are you bored with white cabinetry? Do you mind open shelves? Would love to know your thoughts!

Image: Elle Decor

Happy Monday!


a day in the life: lake house installation day

I’ve done a few projects outside of Calgary and most recently a Lake House property in the Okanagan. I don’t often get the opportunity to see the end result and help pull all our hard work together but today I’m headed to Kelowna and could not be more excited to see this place come together.

Our goal was to create a casual, beach-y feel that is stylish and family friendly. Here’s a sneak peak at some of the pieces we have on the truck ready to be unloaded and welcomed into their new home.

I hope to take lots of pictures and share some of the results with you!

Have a great day. I know I will :)

Sunbrella fabric, Ikat pillow, Chair, Bedding, Sectional, Chevron rug, Platform bed, Blue pillow, Floor lamp, Yellow patterned pillow, Coffee table.

free design notes: 6.20.11

While perusing the internet this weekend I came across, and fell in love with this image. Immediately I started to make notes in my mind so here it is as today’s *free* design notes. Of course you are always welcome to share your thoughts as well :)

Image source The Brooklyn Home Company via Design*Sponge. Photo credit: Emily Gilbert