Wednesday’s Style Deal

Every once in a while I like to test my designer eye and head to a discount store and see what I can find. On a recent trip to Niagara, Ontario I stopped at a Giant Tiger store. I found the store very well merchandised with great stuff for kids, outdoor living, clothing, staple food items and home decor. Spotted on an end isle display were these bath mats. The colour was great, quality very good (machine washable, 100% cotton and quality fibres) and larger in size which makes them perfect for in front of a sink or a long tub. Anyways… the price got me… $12. I would expect to find similar for a price of $35-75 in specialty bath store. Where could I find a stylish, well-made bath mat for less than $20? (if you know, please send a message!!!). So the lesson is… keep your designer-eye open as you never know what you might find. Until my next Style Deal post…

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Another version that you can find at Giant Tiger online:

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Note: This post was not solicited by Giant Tiger in any way. KL

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!

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

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

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Christmas In July -with Karl!

Anyone who knows me will tell you that I LOVE Christmas. This past July I had an incredible opportunity to create a Christmas Wonderland in my Toronto townhouse. My home was decorated to showcase the Holiday ’16 offerings to the media; exclusively from Walmart Canada. I had a blast assisting the art directors, buyers, public relations specialists and of course hosting the media throughout my home. The house took on a very elegant and festive mood for 2 weeks in July… here’s 3 quick snapshot decor ideas in the townhouse; welcome to Christmas In July!

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In my small dining area we assembled a slim tree to fill one of the empty corners. Slim trees are perfect for creating an on-trend or themed tree in foyers, guest rooms or in any empty corner of the house. I decorated the tree with a colour combination of pewter, gold and champagne ornaments; all colours inpspired by my Wedgwood’s Fabled Crane drapery fabric (available through JF Fabrics). I also added similarily coloured Christmas crackers to the tree! This is now an interactive tree for small children or when I have a buffet; everyone can help themselves to a fun, little gift. (Glitter placemats, White-fur window wreaths, Fur-collared reindeer, Tree ornaments and Crackers: Walmart. Florals are from Bruno Duarte at Fresh Floral Creations-stylishly incorporating simple Walmart holiday ornaments).

 

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Adding garland and decor to a stair banister is always challenging; especially when there is only one hand rail. I came up with the idea of hanging the garland along the steps so not to take up the handrail. Adding simple silver and gold tree ornaments (they were all unbreakable) allowed for a festive staircase without the high-traffic concerns.

 

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And the simplest idea of them all: hang a beaded snowflake ornament (any flat-style tree ornament will do) from the on/off switch on your lamps. A nice was to add a festive touch to an already gorgeous lamp! (Beaded snowflake oranament: Walmart. Lotus lamp by Barbara Barry )