[style]: London Style


In searching some of the interesting London rentals I've expected to find about the same number of wowing spaces as I found in Paris. To my surprise, it was not as easy to find as many of them that I liked, even less the ones that I really liked. Here are some that made the cut... very simple spaces and a lot of books...

[home]: Before & After - Girls Bedroom


We are battling some viruses around the house hence the lack of energy on the blog as I wanted to share a bit on decorations for the holidays and girls' room source book. For now, here is a look of how far we've come with the girls' room from our walk through of the house up to now.

Except furniture and styling other changes in this room were:

1. Replace laminate floor
2. Replace both the room door and closet doors plus trim
3. Replace baseboards
4. Repaint the room in different shade of white (Cloud White)

To see more images of this room click here.

[home]: Girls' Room Reveal


I've written before about room sharing as 4 kiddos and 2 kid bedrooms translates to that. Our girls who are 2 and 10 are successfully sharing a room so far, but that can change at any point as our oldest is entering tween years, whatever that means... In any case, she worked with me on making their shared bedroom work for them. She even helped me style the room by placing the book on the bed as if she was just reading it. Coincidentally, it is the book she's been 'reading' for past two years but she just can't finish... shhhh...

Here are the photos of their bedroom and more details to follow....

[design]: Little Girl’s Bedroom e-Design


My brother-in-law and his wife have interior design company keeping them very busy. From time to time I share some of their work. I am really liking designs of this small room for a little girl and can't wait to get some 'after' photos to share as well.

Here are some of the other e-designs in case you missed them:

[home]: Answering Comments


Last week Apartment Therapy shared our basement bathroom renovation as 'Basement with Potential' Bathroom Makeover. As much as I was happy to see our work featured at AT, I was equally happy to see readers' comments as I can pretty much hear crickets on the blog when it comes to comments. Since there are no comments on this side and there were some questions on the feature, I've decided to share my answers here.

1. Great job! Would love to see the rest of the room. 

Rest of the basement can be found here. I am still working on styling the space - just need to find time for some finishing touches and I am hoping to share updated photos really soon.

2. Woaaah lovely! I adore the tiles. Tho I think the mirror is a bit too big for the room. It makes the space look very tiny.

Personally I like oversized items in small rooms, especially mirrors as I think they make the space appear larger than it is. Added bonus for us with this mirror is that we could forgo backsplash and add some small savings with that.

3. Really lovely. It is so gratifying to do a reno and know the stuff you don't see is done right and will last. Peace of mind, eh?

This is so true - I think I was having many nightmares imaging all sorts of things hiding behind those old walls, not only in that basement bathroom but our other two bathrooms as well. While I was imagining loads of mold and severe leaking everywhere - things were not as bad as that once we opened those walls up, but due to some shoddy workmanship they could have been and probably would have been if we did not address them then. Peace of mind knowing that everything is sealed and works properly is priceless.

4. Well, it's another black and white bathroom. Needs some color. I do agree that knowing the bones are solid can be calming.

Yes, there are a lot of black and white bathrooms out there and I guess there is a reason for it. They are quite classic and by changing some of the styling and accessories one can interject some colour. In our case it can be as easy as changing a mirror for example, or adding colourful towels, or orange stool I've been planning to try out there anyway... 

5. I don't understand the recent trend of the horizontal stripe in the shower walls. What's with that?

A few readers had answers for this and I agree with all of them. This not a recent trend - if anything, it might be out of date. In our case the bathroom is rather short and while I was debating of potentially adding a vertical stripe to take your eye upwards, I felt that it did not have a lot of height to travel and that it would have opposite effect - so I've decided to work on visually enlarge the space. Other reason is to add oomph in affordable way by purchasing only a few square feet of tile at $15/sq ft compared to $2/sq ft for while tile. For some 110 sq feet of shower we are talking about over $1400 in savings in this example. Finally, it breaks up all that white tile.

6. My brother works in the interior design industry and for the customer that does not have a ton of bank for a renovation, this is an affordable way to add a little oomph or color. People seem to like bathrooms that have a little pizzazz to them, but not too over the top. I believe my brother would also like that stripe higher up, but that is just a personal design choice.

Yes, I agree that it is a personal design choice when it comes to the height of the stripe. In our master bathroom we have two stripes, one at 3 ft and other one 1 ft from the ceiling. In the case of our basement shower, I've decided on lower stripe in order to create an illusion of higher top part of it and therefore create illusion of height. 

7. Fellow Torontonian here, and as the (proud?) owner of a hideous old basement bathroom, I'm inspired by the dramatic changes you were able to make! One question: did you also move the sink and toilet?

We ended up moving both sink and toilet as we changed the entry to the bathroom to accommodate bar area in the basement on the other side of that sink wall. It allowed for better layout in rest of our basement renovation and it did not add to much to cost of it all.

8. It appears that both your toilet and shower are installed on an exterior wall in Toronto where it gets super cold? I've been told you can't install plumbing on an exterior wall - if that's bad information, HURRAH 'cause I've got a longed for reno in my future and this is so inspiring! Thank you!

I was happy to see this comment as I forgot to mention in my write-up that we ended up creating a 'double' wall really to the outside to offset any potential issue with having plumbing exposed to cold in the exterior wall. This did not take away too much of the space but gave us more freedom in choosing where to place fixtures. 

9. I think this is the first time I have ever seen subway tiles I could tolerate looking at -- that herringbone is lovely! I may have to rethink my bias. Well done!

I love it as well! Tiler was not too happy about it really and was definitely relieved when I gave up on some other ideas I had which was really to have multiple penny round stripes following the herringbone pattern. The reason why I gave up was because it was hard to line everything up - and it would not have been symmetrical. What I failed to do was to prepare for this properly as I kind of just assumed that it would be easy for the tiler to both understand what I want and do it easily - it was not the case. We wanted to see the example - but there wasn't any and there was not too much time for me to start playing around on my computer creating an image of how this would look. So I took the easy way out at that moment and settled for something that I knew would look good. Lesson learned for me from that day is not to assume and to draw and prepare in advance for next project.

Thanks for all the nice comments.

[style]: Wooden Beams in London


I had a chance to visit London around holidays a few times and I still think of the atmosphere, decorations and lights. I guess there is a good reason why we really like those English holiday movies in our household.

Thinking of London I had to see what was being offered in the rental department. I am struck with number of lovely spaces with wooden beams:

[decor]: Weekly Roundup - Holidays


While I do hit an occasional store or two lately, it is more to find ski gear for kids and prepare for our skiing trip to Gore Mountain, NY state on 21st. It will be a good 7 hour drive and this year we will be accompanied with my parents. Which is a good thing not only as we will more adult company, family, warm meals at the end of skiing day, but also will be able to ski together while they watch the baby. We rented the same townhouse we were in last year which we loved and which really helped with the whole holiday atmosphere.

In the meantime, here are some holiday decor finds, first up from Target:

As usual, very on trend and little bit of everything for every taste. I really like wreaths inside and outside the house and this year there are some really nice ones to be found. Interesting trend with deer and fur wrapped around it - both in the wreath from Home Sense and little statue from Target (image above).

/1/Target /2/Home Sense /3/Home Sense /4/West Elm /5/Home Sense

A handful of things caught my eye:
/1/West Elm /2/Goodwill /3-7/Home Sense /8/West Elm /9/Home Sense

/1/ I like collecting ideas from stores on how to style something and lately I am drawn to anything master bedroom related. 

/2/ Found this great mini-billiard table at local Goodwill for $20. Sadly I really don't have space for it and even thought he kids would have loved it - I had to pass it 

/3-7/These dishes from Home Sense are just spectacular so I went a bit photo crazy

/8/ I would like to get those curtains to go with our new bed for master bedroom, but it will have to wait a bit... 

/9/I always like to run into fun rug