Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Sarah Off The Grid ~ Main Hall + Mud Room

Hello Tuesday! After a stormy weekend, the sun is finally shining in Toronto and we are ready to check out the mudroom and the main hall (which includes the foyer, the staircase landing, living room, the sun room) at Sarah's latest adventure to build her forever home in the country: Sarah Off The Grid.

The front hall is where you greet your guests and set the tone for the rest of the house.  In her forever home, Sarah wants her guests to feel welcomed, relaxed, and rejuvenated from their busy city lives upon their arrival. Well, nothing untangled our hectic lives better than a breathe of cool country breeze and this was exactly how I felt the moment I saw this space.

The crisp white paints on the walls and ceiling, the classic herringbone pattern on the floor, a 2nd life on vintage chandelier and architectural fragments for character, plus a pair of mirrored stars for a brilliant mix of country charm with city chic to create a stunning at first impression.  


Turn right on the front hall is an incredible landing space to the second floor.  That's right folks, this is just a casual cozy arrangement for a couple of friends to catch up and enjoy a cup of tea! I love that all the furniture pieces, lighting fixture, and the spectacular columns are all reclaimed items and yet the space feels so fresh.  I am crazy about that cream and grey fabric as drapery and the fringe on the chairs, I so have to try this on my next upholstery order!   


At the opposite end of this cozy seating arrangement is the mudroom and the powder room. 


After a few personal touches from Sarah and Alexander, this must-have space in the country is ready to face our Canadian climate all year round. 


The polished, smooth surface of these blue grey tiles means spotless floor is just a quick sweep away.  Another top tip from Sarah for a tidy mudroom: personalized baskets so everyone knows exactly where to find and put away their items.


Ready for the powder room? Powder room is probably one of my most favourite rooms to decorate because it's the one place in your home where you can totally go outside of your comfort zone and be experimental to wow your guests (here is my powder room for One Room Challenge Fall 2017).  Sarah re-purposed a pair of antique windows as mirror, created a vanity base that was once a salvage panel, and the blue stars on the floor + the blue marble-like ceiling + the pattern cascades from the pendants immediately scream starry night to me.   


Here is a real fun way to add personal touches in the powder room: a gallery wall of family photos + lots of room to grow!


What's behind a pair of vintage Egyptian pocket doors you ask? 


A sensational living room with everything one could hope for in their homes!


On top of character and charms from treasured furnishings and antique fireplace mantel, Sarah has decided to up the ante to create this breathtaking ceiling that are often found in historical homes: instant history in the making my friends!


The soft, delicate grey and cream palette is used throughout this spacious living room with not one, not two, but three separate seating arrangement for large family gatherings.  A roaring fireplace that's every bit as attractive as energy efficient, a personal gift from Tommy for special memory, and Sarah even tugged a pair of speakers at either corner of the room without us even noticing them (plus stereo system is housed by the sideboard ... clever!): this room will be loved by everyone for years to come!  


Last spot for today's tour is the sun room.  Surround by windows on three sides, this is the ultimate sweet spot on the main floor to be amazed and inspired by Mother Nature.  You all know I love a good fabric mix and in this case, other than the sofa and the tufted ottoman, all upholstered pieces and pillows are graced by patterned fabrics and yet this space feel so serene, elegant, and tranquil.  So much more for me to learn on how to master the art of pattern play.  


The heated floor and the chic wood stove means this room will also be cozy and toasty when it's a winter wonderland right outside the windows!


Sensational right? Wait until you see the dining room, the kitchen, and the breathtaking outdoor space next week as Sarah wraps up #SarahOffTheGrid! 



Note: all photos courtesy of HGTV Canada

Thursday, October 12, 2017

One Room Challenge Fall 2017 ~ Week 2


Welcome to Week 2 of One Room Challenge Fall 2017! What an amazing group of talents this fall with 20 featured designers and over 200 guest participants to re-imagine one, two, or ten rooms (hats off to Oksana of Foxy Oxie) in 6 weeks!  I will be making over two spaces this time around, mostly motivated by the wallpaper choice.  After all, if we are installing the same wallpaper in two rooms, why don't we just do them at the same time right?

For the guest bedroom, I am inspired by these serene, sophisticated, and light-hearted spaces.  The upholstered bed, the neutral walls, the simple yet impactful greenery, and a touch of unexpected whimsy for character and charms are the core elements I want to incorporate into my design.

image via 
image via
image via

Well here is what I came up with! On top of the elements I mentioned from my inspirations, I also want the guest bedroom to have a vacation vibe.  Sailing along the Mediterranean Sea, hanging out at beautiful sandy beaches, lounging in a luxe design boutique hotel: now that is what I want to achieve in this space.     


A quick breakdown of some of the key elements / tasks: 
The list isn't too long but it does require everything coming together as planned in order to meet our deadline in 5 weeks.

Now let's talk about the Makeover #2: the Powder Room 

image via
image via
image via

The boldly patterned wallpapers in the inspiration images serve as my jumping off point to make this smallest space of the house a real showstopper.  Since we are installing the Nuvolette wallpaper in the bedroom already, why not give the powder room a fab new look?    

I want the guests to be blown away the moment they stepped inside this powder room.  Dramatic, edgy, and unexpected, I plan to marry a variety of styles and materials to outfit this decadent jewelry box. 

My critical must-haves in this powder room include:
The handyman will come over next week to get the core essentials in place and I can't wait to share our progress next week.  Be sure to check out the Week 2 progress of the 20 featured designers and guest participants of One Room Challenge!


Wednesday, October 4, 2017

One Room Challenge Fall 2017 ~ Week 1


Welcome to Week 1 of One Room Challenge! It is hard to believe October is already here, and over the next 6 weeks, the #ORC featured designers and guest participants will battle with time, surprises and challenges and reveal their stunning transformations.  For those who are new friends to Design Maze, I am a decorator based in Toronto who loves mixing colors, patterns, and pairing contemporary classics with vintage treasures to create rooms that are eclectic, sophisticated, and personal.

images via Style at Home courtesy of Donna Griffith 

For the Fall 2016 and Spring 2017 One Room Challenge, I have re-imagined and transformed two beautiful rooms:

       kitchen / dining room images courtesy of Stephanie Buchman  

After tackling two looks in my last #ORC (office by day and dining room at night), I am ready to give a guest bedroom and a powder room the standing ovation they deserve.  Here is the classic bedroom inherited from the builder:


And here my inspirations for a stylish, restful, vacation getaway to welcome our guests: 

   image via
   image via
   image via

I love the neutral palettes but I also know myself well enough that this bedroom won't be completed without some layering of patterns and pops of color.

   image via

In addition to a restful sleep, I also want to create a lounge + desk zone so my guests can read a book or write a postcard or two during their stays.

   image via
   image via

For the Fall 2017 #ORC, I will also be tackling a powder room.  I see the powder room as the perfect spot for impact and drama, a real departure from the rest of the house.  After all, where else can we go wild with design desire and imagination without people wondering: what were you thinking!   

   image via 

Here is the ugly duckling soon to be a stunning jewelry box:


My vision of a dynamite powder room includes spectacular wallpaper, fantastic light fixture, a statement vanity, and sexy bathroom accessories.

  image via
   image via

   image via

Aside from the finishing touches, I am also super excited about the sloped ceiling in the powder room.  


Because this powder room is directly under the staircase, I can't run wire to add a chandelier or pendant fixture to emphasize the soaring ceiling height. But what I can do is to wrap this entire place with stunning wallpaper for impact and drama, not to mention this treatment also disguises the "slope" aspect of the walls.   

   image via
   image via

I simply can't wait to see these two rooms come to life in 6 short weeks! 


Before you go, for sure to check out the 20 talented featured designers and guest participants for Fall 2017 One Room Challenge!