SPECIAL: Home Makeover Announcement

I am excited to announce that I have collaberated with the folks at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, MasterBrand Cabinetry and The Home Depot Canada to create a wonderful dining room makeover story that appears in this month’s issue of Canadian Living magazine. Here’s how my makeover story all began:

Just over a year ago I was visiting my friends at the Martha Stewart offices in New York. While chatting over coffee, I proposed an idea to creatively use the Martha Stewart brand cabinetry (exclusive to The Home Depot) in a way that takes it out of the predictable kitchen and bath use. The idea was to creatively use standard kitchen cabinetry and add decorative & useful storage, display and entertaining service in a dining room. As a designer, I know the importance of an attractive room, but also the practical side of it too. Everyone loved the idea and our wheels all started churning.

Well, a year later and I am ready to show you the end result. We ended up creating the makeover story in my own Toronto townhouse so lucky me; I got to work on a super-creative project and then reap the benefits of living with the end result. But before I give you a sneak peek, I want to explain my storage dilemma:

I have a very small dining space that is adjacent to the kitchen in my townhouse. In a regular-sized family home this room would be considered a breakfast/ dinette area but for me, its the only place I have to eat and entertain. Here is a picture of the dining space BEFORE:

DSC09146I need storage, I need a servery while entertaining and I could not afford to give up much space to accomodate my large collection of wine glasses, dishes and serving pieces. I was using a book cabinet that offered very limited storage and it certainly was not going to hold my dining collections. Here’s a picture of the  proposed cabientry wall. Its about 10 feet long and almost 10 feet tall. Here was my INITIAL IDEA:

DINING project- drawing

By using standard 12″ upper cabinets, I will acheive a slim wall of storage that only takes away  a 12″ strip of floor space. I wanted closed storage, an open servery area and a display area for more attactive items. I wanted a very simple door style and neutral colour:

Martha Stewart’s Maidstone cabinet style in Sharkey Gray (available at The Home Depot). Here’s tha happy day when the cabinets got INSTALLED:

Dining cabinets install

And here’s the finished results. I hope you like the makeover; it really has changed the way I entertain in my home. Time to start polishing the silver!

Low res photo shopped 8

The pale blue ceiling reflects a brighter light durint the day and visually drops the ceiling at night by turning pale gray.

Low res photo shopped 7

Everything has a place; whether hidden away on bottom shelves, proudly displayed behind glass or sitting on the open servery area.

Low res photo shopped 5 copy


A Brand New Deck!

Last summer I knew it was time to replace the old deck hanging off the back of my historical townhouse. I estimate the last one was built 50 years prior- the decking boards were green with mold (the townhouse shades the narrown deck for most of the day) and the flooring was soft and worn. I got my attached neighbor to agree to re-do his too; this way we could save on demolistion cost, deliveries, installation, etc. I worked with the Home Depot to design the deck and to help choose colours & materials. I am very happy with the results and feel like I have extended my living space during the warm weather months.

BEFORE: During demolition. Each deck is 12′ deep and 14′ long.

eck junk


AFTER: The results were so dramatic that Canadian Living magazine featured in their May 2015 spring issue. You can read the article online HERE.

CL KL Story


I wanted the main part of the deck to feel like an extention of my townhouse sitting room. Although the deck is quite modern, traditionally-styled furniture and lighting create a focal point that reflects the style of my inside space.



The solid teak wing-back chairs were purchased at an end-of-summer sale from Restoration Hardware. When I am tired of using them outside, I will paint them a glossy white and re-purpose them indoors with new cushions. All the greenery is faux… I am a horrible gardener and wanted an easy-care deck so ‘everlasting’ plants were the way to go for me. PS: even the orchid is faux… planted in an aluminnum champagne bowl to add some sparkle to the deck!



I painted the old brickwork on the back of the house fresh white; this really helps to reflect light and brighten up the shaded space. The everlasting cedars stay in the urns year-round and look fantastic with white mini lights during the winter.



A backyard screen helps to visually divide off a grilling area and create a room-like feeling on the deck. Notice I used two different colours for the decking material; Trex Enhanced Clam (walls) and Winchester Grey (floors). This helps to take away the boxiness that all one colour would have created (this was a great tip offered by the deck designers/installers at M.E. Contracting. The decking material looks like wood but is an engineered decking material that will not fade or wear like real wood- I just love how easy it is to keep clean and care for.



Like the new deck? Please click the LIKE buttom below. Not following me? Click the FOLLOW button below. I look forward to sending you more inspiration style ideas each week. Cheers!

My Townhouse Upper Terrace Makeover, in Canadian Living magazine

Last summer I embarked on 2 outdoor makeovers at my townhouse. With a tight-budget and grandious ideas in mind, I set out to create two very different outdoor spaces; 1 for dining on a small ground-level deck and a space for entertaining on a sunny upper terrace. As the lower deck was in dire need of demolition, I spent the majority of my budget on that (this will be featured in an upcoming blog post). The upper terrace was purly cosmetic… outdoor carpeting, paint and a few small luxuries to make climbing the 3 flights of stairs worthwhile.

Here’s a picture of the ‘BEFORE’ terrace… a space I had only used to store my bike.

Terrace before


Here is the ‘AFTER’… brighter, fresher and a completely different space! The artificial shag grass is from Home Depot (less than $400) and the electric fireplace is from Dimplex; an industry leader in electric fireplaces for indoors and out. The paint is an off-white putty colour and is much more soothing on the eye than crispy white- especially on a super-sunny day.






I was very happy with the results and more thrilled that Canadian Living magazine featured the terrace in the May issue. I had a lot of fun planning and working on the photoshoot with Canadian Living’s Home & Garden Director, Brett WaltherClick here to read the online article and find all my shopping sources for this terrace makeover.