Wednesday, October 26, 2016

One Room Challenge Fall 2016 ~ Week 4

Welcome to Week 4 of One Room Challenge Fall 2016! It is hard to believe we are only two weeks away from the final reveal and what was I thinking to tackle a kitchen with custom built-ins?  As scary as this may sound, I am thrilled to see the incredible progress we have made so far in this builder-basic kitchen:

Here is what I have set out to accomplish in Week 4:

I was so excited to see the lantern and the roman blind back from the shops last week.  It's amazing how a little customization could totally turn a standard element into a standout conversation piece.  This fabulous pagoda style lantern was previously in charcoal grey and now it's a sight for sore eyes sitting beautifully in front of a stunning backdrop thanks to Zimba from Schumacher and stripes from Tonic Living.  

The round marble table from Blvd Interiors and the Cord Chairs from Avenue Road will arrive shortly but for now, let's take a moment enjoy this spectacular view!  Oh right, the whimsical Donut Dip from Black Rooster is currently sold out, so yours truly will try to create his own master piece.  More on that next week ... wish me luck!

Another sophisticated addition to the kitchen are these Palmerston Stools from Coolican & Company.   I just love the simple yet sexy silhouette and the impeccable construction of every piece of the small batch collection.  Check out the details and you may want to pre-order yours before they are sold out!    

Now it's time to tackle that feature wall (a.k.a blank slate thanks to builder) and my plan is to create an entertaining / storage solution with floating shelves and sconces to showcase artwork and daily essentials.  Due to a shortage of the finishing materials we selected, I have asked the carpenter to build us the shelves with raw lumber first while we wait for the arrival of the veneer.  This arrangement allows us to dry fit the shelves, finalize the placement of the sconces, and start tiling the backsplash and feature wall.

Ideally I would like to have the custom cabinet and shelves installed before tiling but sometimes you just have to roll with the punches.  On the bright side, I do have to say I quite like the raw finish of these shelves ... that might have given me another idea on how to finish them off.  Stay tuned for week 5 on that.

Back on the feature wall: 45 mins later, we have our game plan mapped out so we can start tiling.

When I said "we" can start tiling, I really meant the tiler can start tiling.  It took the poor guy almost a day to finish the job but we couldn't be happier with the result.  Now we just need him to come back this weekend to grout and hook up the sconces.

That's it for Week 4 and I have to say we have made fantastic progress! Week 5 is all about getting it all done and finding the perfect accessories to complete the transformation.  See you all next week!

Be sure to check out my dear friends, Vanessa of Vanessa Francis Design, Sarah of The Curated House, and Nancy of Marcus Design for the Week 4 progress! 

Thursday, October 20, 2016

One Room Challenge Fall 2016 ~ Week 3

Welcome to Week 3 of One Room Challenge Fall 2016! Can't believe we are half way through six weeks timeline!! After sharing with you the before kitchen and my design plan in the last couple of weeks, today I am happy to share the progress we have accomplished so far (but super nervous with so much more still to do).

Even without any other changes in the kitchen, a fresh coat of white on the espresso cabinets will completely transform the space.  While the doors are sprayed professionally, the gables and the island need to be painted on site.  With the help of Para Paints, I am adding Sophistication, literally with P5220-14D, to the kitchen.

All hands on deck is what I would say with client priming and sanding the island and Chris painting  the gables.  I was busy taping, painting, and taking snapshots of course.  If you are tackling a similar makeover at home, primed once and two coats of color of your choice is all you need to take your kitchen to a whole new level.

Now that the gables and the island are under control, I am super excited to see the sprayed doors being done (you are the best Tim!) and the sleek + top quality hardware from Lew's Hardware available at Upper Canada Specialty Hardware is here!  Can't wait to see the doors popped back on and hardware installed this week.

The BRIZO delivery arrived last week and without any delay, this elegant Solna kitchen faucet is installed and what a transformation! The faucet is the jewelry of the kitchen and just like the accessory to your perfect outfit, Solna takes a kitchen from standard to standout!  

Now here is the part that gets me nervous, my To-Do list for the coming weeks:
  • custom cabinet order is finally in but the material I previously selected is no longer available.  The next best alternative is picked but it's a super rush order to meet our deadline
  • pair of sconces to arrive and subway tiles to install as backsplash + feature wall 
  • pendant / roman blind to install at breakfast nook (we have got to order the marble table from UpCountry ... fingers crossed it's in stock)
  • sourcing artwork and accessories

It's time to take a deep breath but don't you think this kitchen is looking a million times better already even with the mess? And yes, the Palmerston stools from Coolican & Co are here too!  You will see more of them in the next couple of weeks.

See you all in Week 4 of #ORC and in the meantime, check out the #ORC progress of my dear friends, Vanessa of Vanessa Francis Design, Sarah of The Curated house, and Nancy of Marcus Design.

#ORC: week 1 / week 2 

Thursday, October 13, 2016

One Room Challenge Fall 2016 ~ Week 2

Hello Thursday and welcome to Week 2 of One Room Challenge Fall 2016!  What an incredible group of talents with over 200 guest participants onboard and 20 featured designers transforming every room you could imagine + inspirations for your very own home.

For my One Room Challenge makeover, I am tackling a builder-basic kitchen at my client's townhouse.  I had shared with you how this ugly duckling looked like in Week 1 and with a healthy dose of re-imagination and a lot of product sourcing, I am ready to show you my design concept to take this kitchen from "Take-out Only" to "Gourmet" in 6 short weeks!

First thing first, these espresso cabinets desperately need a fresh new outfit.  Solidly built in shaker style, I only wish the bulkhead isn't there and the cabinets go all the way to the ceiling.  Well, that really isn't in the cards (both budget and timeline) and they do offer great storage capacity, so the doors are heading to my favorite sprayer + super handy guy, Tim of Beresford, for a much needed facelift in my favorite white: Sophistication (P5220-14D) from Para Paints.

Once the doors received the refreshing coat of white, the sleek and stylish Lewis Dolin's bar series in brushed brass at Upper Canada Specialty Hardware will take centre stage.  With six finishes to choose from, these knobs and pulls are my go-to top picks!

Just like the hardware, another jewellery in the kitchen is the faucet.  See that very popular faucet in every new home? Well it's heading to ReStore and thank to Brizo Faucet, Solna with its graceful profile will surely elevate the elegance factor in the kitchen.

We are also complementing all the contemporary elements with the sleek Palmerston stools from Coolican & Company for casual dining.  Brilliantly designed and constructed + beautifully white washed, each of the small batch collections is truly a master piece.  I have secured a pair for my transformation and now I am wondering if I need four!

Subway tile is the ultimate companion to a creamy white kitchen.  To give this timeless classic combination a twist, I am going for a glossy white artisan style elongated subway tile from Olympia Tile.  These handcrafted tiles will also cover the entire wall next to the cabinets.  

Enough of this corner of the kitchen, let's talk about the breakfast nook.  I am a big fan of adding a little "cafe" right in the kitchen if the real estate is available.  In this case, we can actually fit seating for two + a round table (up to 40") comfortably in front from the window.  This table from UpCountry with a marble top is a mid-century classic and its simple, elegant base keeps the room feeling light and airy.  

Another modern classic is the cord chair originally designed by Jacques Guillon. A pair of them from Avenue Road: checked! 

To add a touch of bold pattern in this serene, creamy white kitchen, we are going for Zimba from Schumacher in soft chartreuse with a striped border (similar one from Tonic Living) as roman blind for a practical yet stylish statement.  For a hint of Hollywood glam, a pagoda style lantern will brighten the breakfast nook.  

The blank walls are in desperately need of artwork and I am crazy about the Donut Dip from Black Rooster Decor and this adorable owl from The Animal Print Shop.

Here comes the fun part.  The builder has left a sizable space next to the cabinet "blank" and it's screaming feature wall with storage and entertaining essentials to me (especially when it's right next to the outdoor patio).  Admiring the clean line and elegant custom built-ins by Nam of Nam Dang Mitchell Design, I will attempt one right here to house the microwave plus two floating shelves for plates and collectibles.  A pair of wall sconces from Visual Comfort will provide extra lighting and visual impact, while the Pear print by Alanna Cavanagh add a light-hearted whimsical sensibility to the space.

With the design plan nailed down, we are moving fast to get this kitchen makeover going before the 6 week deadline is up.  Here is our progress in Week 2:

It's time to check out the progress of the talented ladies, Vanessa of Vanessa Francis Design, Sarah of The Curated House, and Nancy of Marcus Design from Canada!  See you all next Thursday on #ORC!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

One Room Challenge Fall 2016 ~ Week 1

Hello Thursday and welcome to One Room Challenge Fall 2016! For those who are new to DesignMaze, my name is Tim and I am an interior decorator based in Toronto Canada, and I love layering patterns, textures, and colors to create eclectic yet elegant, sophisticated spaces.  Specializing in small spaces, my work has been featured in Style at Home (#ProjectChris, #Project Rental) as well as other printed / online publications including Toronto Life and National Post.

After being a spectator for over two years and being inspired by hundreds of incredible transformations (see my favorites from the last two challenges here + here), I have decided to join in the fun and be a guest participant this fall to tackle a generic kitchen to give it its much needed personality.  Here is what I've dreamed up with to achieve in the next 6 weeks:

I will share more details of my design plan next week but for today, let's chat about the kitchen AS-IS and my inspirations for this makeover.  The builder kitchen we inherited is actually quite decent with quality cabinets in espresso, quartz countertop in classic taupe, spacious island for food preparation and bar seating, generous amount of storage for kitchen essentials, and two large windows to fill the kitchen with bright natural light.

Now these are the elements I am not too crazy about: 
  • deprived personality and we could probably find many identical kitchens within the complex
  • dark cabinets make the space feels smaller and enclosed
  • standard generic faucet, hardware, and pendant have to go! 

Despite its shortcomings, this kitchen has great potential to become a showstopper, entertaining hub with the following key ingredients: 
  • backsplash wasn't installed ... meaning I can install what I love without taking down the existing tiles and risk damaging the drywall
image courtesy of Chatelaine
  • clean slate in front of a big window for a stylish yet cozy breakfast nook
image courtesy of House & Home
  • large empty wall next to existing cabinets is the perfect spot for a feature wall incorporating custom storage + doubles as an entertaining hot spot for drinks and delicious treats
images courtesy of Sarah Richardson Design
It's a tall order to complete the kitchen makeover in 6 short weeks but I am glad to be amongst the amazingly talented ladies including Vanessa of Vanessa Francis Design, Sarah of The Curated House, and Nancy of Marcus Design.  

Be sure to check out the brilliant ideas of the 20 featured designers and other guest participants!  Thanks Linda for hosting One Room Challenge Fall 2016 and let the fun begin!  

Monday, October 3, 2016

Bedroom Renovation with #ShopSarahStyle

Hello Monday!  Hope the rainy (and windy may I add) didn't damper your spirits as we head into Autumn.  It maybe getting chilling outside but inside, my bedroom is looking bright, cheerful, and colorful thanks to Home Textiles collection by Sarah Richardson.

After being inspired by all the colors and patterns of Sarah's collection last week (see my top picks here), I have decided to mix and match my favorites from various collections to create a truly dynamic look.  This may sounds challenging but Sarah has made it really easy for us as all her items work harmoniously together.

For my makeover, I have paired Modern Chevron in Celestial with Pickupstix in Lemon and added drapery in Seagrass Palette.  I have also mixed in my custom zebra pillow and polka dot sheets by Ralph Lauren, and a throw blanket by Nate Berkus.  The result is relaxed, lighthearted, and elegant: exactly what I want to achieve in my bedroom.

Best of all, Sarah has designed patterns and colors to be so versatile that they work perfectly for both ladies and gents.  I have tried out two vignettes for this bedroom renovation.

Look #1:

Some of my favorite details and sneak peek of Look #2:

Look #2:

So glad that I have created this open display area when I designed the custom built-in.  It's the perfect spot for me to showcase my latest obsession with mid-century modular candleholders and my quartz treasures.

I have also tackled a DIY project (it has been ages since I used the staple gun) to reupholster the seat of my vintage faux bamboo arm chair.  Love my Brooks Brothers suit by Alanna Cavanagh!

What a transformation from its former glory with a yard of Brookhaven in Opal by Sarah for Kravet.  By the way, Sarah's new collection, Harmony, is now available.  Check it out! 

Think I like the chair better at this corner.  What do you think? 

Of course I have to take a shot of this little vignette.  Love this vintage orange number I recently scored and of course the Leopard Loafters print from The Aestate.

As you can see, it is certainly easier than you think to renovate your bedroom this Fall.  All you need to do is to pick what you love from Sarah's collection and you will have a fresh new retreat in record time!  

Hope my "renovation" inspires you to tackle yours and I would love to hear what you have picked for your home! 

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Renovate Your Bedroom w/ Sarah Richardson

Hello Wednesday! Are you transitioning well from those warm summer days into the cooler autumn nights?  If you are like me (who would like to keep summer all year round), I'd say it's time to extend the relaxed, breezy summer mood into our homes by renovating our bedrooms with some help from Sarah Richardson!

I love spending my summer days by the lake at the cottage ... in fact I am there right now for the last bit of summer!  So it's no surprises that I love the Oasis Collection in Sarah's signature palette.  From 100% cotton bedding, accent pillows to throw blankets and table linens, the various shades of watery blue will surely remind you of the ocean in the winter months.

Here is one fabulous example of how to mix patterns to master a dynamic look!

From ocean blues to pebble grays, the Pebble Collection is light, serene, and sophisticated.  I love how current and impactful this subdue palette looks in this neutral bedroom thanks to the graphic, geometric patterns and the whimsical fans through accent pillows and bedding.

These are some of my favorite beauty shots:

Nothing speaks Mother Nature better than the Grass Collection!

The stripes remind me of lemon grass while the light-hearted leaves make me want to go for a hike  right now!  Bedroom linens aside, I am crazy about the Nate headboard and of course my all time favorite, the Coco tufted chair.

In case you haven't noticed, yellow is one of my favorite colors (see the Mimosa wallpaper from Cole & Son in my bedroom) so naturally I couldn't help but wanting this entire yellow and grey ensemble from the Lemon Collection.

The Pickupstix and the Confetti had me at hello! What do you think? 

|  all images courtesy of Sarah Richardson Design |

I will be busy "renovating my bedroom" this weekend with lots of help from the Sarah Richardson's Home Textiles Collection to give it a whole new look! Come back next week for the reveal but for now, I would love hear what are your favorites from Sarah's collection?

images courtesy of Style at Home & Donna Griffith
images courtesy of Style at Home & Donna Griffith