BLOG

Projects
  • LAS VEGAS MARKET 2018

    We've been heading to Las Vegas Market now every year for the last three years. It's a large tradeshow for everything decor and furniture related. We're talking about 3 buildings with over 5 floors of showrooms. All of the best suppliers and manufacturers are there to showcase their new collections and talk shop. During the three days that we spend at this giant tradeshow, we network, attend seminars, learn about new lines and products and place a few orders for product. The first year we went was a learning experience where we were able to see the decorating industry from a different point of view. During the second year, we placed a few orders for pillows and small accessories for our design clients. This year was special because it was the first year that we brought Melinda with us and it was the first time going with the goal of selecting pieces for our upcoming online shop. We've opened some exciting new accounts and we've hand-curated a good selection of products that represent our design aesthetic and our brand. We basically went shopping for all of you!

      

      

    Over the next few weeks, we'll be working on getting our products on a list, editing and eliminating and bringing the selection down to the best. Fingers crossed that we're just four short weeks away from launching Hibou Home officially.

     

     

    One highlight from the trip is that we'll be introducing a new line of rugs from Loloi.

     

     

    We also had loads of fun with Melinda this time. It was her first time in Vegas so we showed her around and traveling with her further confirmed what we already knew about her; she's a real team player and the perfect fit for our Hibou family!

     

     

     

    And of course, it couldn't be all work, we had to squeeze in some fun!

     

    Check out our highlights on Instagram!

  • MONTREAL HOME MAGAZINE, JULY 2018

    We've been published again for the third time this year in Montreal Home Magazine! Pick up your copy to check out our Canadians Condo Project. 

    It makes us so happy to be getting this much recognition for our work and it feels like it's coming all at the same time with 10 articles written about our projects in the last 12 months. Click here to see some of the other publications we were in.

     

  • CHARLEVOIX STREET PROJECT

    This project was such a breeze to work on because our clients were so simple and easy to work with. The mandate was clear, they wanted a new bathroom that was clean, fresh and functional. We gave them just that!

    Our clients were on a budget and had one must have -  a more functional shower. We started with building out the shower wall to give our clients a more spacious custom shower with built-in niche for their products. With a custom shower as a requirement, it left little room in the budget to splurge on fancy finishes so we opted for an inexpensive subway tile on the walls, a store bought vanity from Costco that came with the countertop and under-mount sink and we reused their toilet, tub, and tub filler. With basic finishes, our wow in this space was the floor tile. This is what brought the room to life and gave it that one focal point that it needed. 

     

     

     

     

     

  • HIBOU HEADQUARTERS

    It's been a long and slow process of getting our offices completed and we're so happy to share that this project is officially closed. We started renos in February of 2017 and we officially have a fully functional working space over a year later. I know it sounds crazy but it's because our client's projects have always taken priority and we always left all of the small details to the last minute for our own space. We were also so overwhelmed with our projects that our office is that one project that we kept making mistakes on. It's true when they say that it's a totally different ballgame when designing for yourself. 

     

    The good news is that it's all done and it's beautiful. We share a common open work space with five station - so the conversation is constantly flowing, and we also have a kitchenette and powder room that we've designed with Hibou in mind. The kitchenette is so on brand with its black and white palette and touch of sophisticated brass accents. The powder room (which is not photographed here) has a much more playful element with a navy vanity and bright, bold large scale floral wallpaper.

     

    Check it out and let us know what you think!

     

     

     

  • BASIN STREET PROJECT

    Our most recent project came to an end just in time for the holidays. We first saw the condo unit prior to the completion of the construction in mid-August, which allowed our clients to give us a clean slate to work with. Starting a design with a blank canvas is always fun because you can let your imagination carry you.

    Our clients fully trusted us with everything that was presented, making very few adjustments to our initial concept. Their only request was to have a pop of colour in their decor. After our first in-store shopping day, we were able to finalize 90% of their home.  What a success!

     

     

    The warm tones of the kitchen created a perfect backdrop for these stitched camel leather stools, that remind us of a baseball glove.

     

     

    Thin black metal details were carried throughout the open concept. Scaling back the kitchen pendants allowed the sculptural, oversized lighting in the dining room to take center stage.

     


     

    The jewel-toned teal, found in the dining chairs, was the client's choice for the pop of colour. We then carried that same palette throughout their living room by incorporating the accent colour in the throw cushions and a faux-fur throw.

     

     

    The white walls gave us contrast in order for the bold shades of teal to pop, in addition, we used a black wallpaper accent with gold metallic detail to complete the space.

    With such a modern and more masculine living space, we felt the need to let our client have a little fun in her bedroom… and what a great husband, he gave her the go for PINK!

    Soft and girly was our main objective for the bedroom. We opted for hanging pendants as opposed to traditional table lamps. The marble-topped nightstands with light oak drawers and a creamy headboard brought everything together.

     

      

    This project met completion within 3 months of our first encounter with the clients. Usually, there are back and forths with decisions on design, but they made everything so simple! Trusting our expertise, they were able to enjoy their new purchase ever so quickly. We hope they love living and entertaining in their new home! To see the full project, head over to our portfolio.

  • WINCHESTER BATHROOM RENO & DECOR PROJECT

    Every once in a while, we are blessed with an exceptionally easy client and this one is one of them. Our Winchester client was such a pleasure to work with and truly trusted our opinions which yielded some of our favourite results. The mandate started with the decor of her living room, master bedroom and her son's room and moved on to the renovation of a full bath.

    Although this old Westmount townhouse had beautiful bones, the challenge with this property was the crooked walls and working around the original plaster crown mouldings. Our trusted trades skillfully installed our designs without any hiccups.

     

     

     

    This bathroom renovation features a custom floating walnut vanity. The Carrara marble countertop is repeated on a sill in the shower and we've carried through the graphic Italian imported tile from the kitchen to this bathroom floor. We had fun playing around with a pattern for the floor tile that slopes right down to the linear drain in the shower. It took a long brainstorming session between the designer, the contractor and the tile installer to make sure our vision was feasible. The bonus in this reno was when we removed the heater cover to expose an original wall mounter water heater with beautiful detail. Our original plan was actually to remove it and replace it with a baseboard heater and a wall mounted heated towel bar. Instead, we ended up keeping the original heater exposed and slapping on a fresh coat of paint, which added to the character of this bathroom as we now see modern, clean finishes adjacent to an original element of the home. 

     

     

     

    By: Eugenia Triandos

  • ROSEMERE HOME RENO & DECOR PROJECT

    We're so happy with the results of our recently photographed project. This was one where we started with a major home renovation and ended with the decor of the main living spaces. When we first walked into this home, the kitchen was placed in the center of the house with absolutely no natural light and low ceilings. 

    The first step was to renovate. We turned a three season solarium into a home extension to accommodate the new dining room, tore down a few walls to extend the kitchen and refaced the fireplace in the living room. The result - an open common living space, flooded with natural light that carries through from the front to the back of the house. The focal point is the kitchen featuring a 14 foot island that runs through the center of the home and divides the living room and dining room. The outdoor space was impeccably designed which creates the perfect backdrop to the understated dining room with wall to wall windows. 

     

     

     



     

     

    All of the colours, fixed finishes and decor added to the overall light feeling of this home. We kept the theme going with lots of white, soft blues, warm woods and leather. The flooring is a natural walnut which was repeated with a waterfall countertop on the island and carried through to the fireplace mantle, the inside of the built in buffet and some of the furniture. 

     

     

     

     

     

    Phase two was to furnish the living room, kitchen and dining room. Our client really wanted to achieve a casual, comfortable feeling which kept the space light and airy. We opted for white slip-covered upholstery, a pale blue rug and a warm camel ottoman that can double as a coffee table with the right tray.

     

     

     

    In the dining room, we specified a stunning Ethan Allen dining table and our favourite upholstered Crate & Barrel dining chairs. The white Hudson Valley pendant over the dining table really stands out since it's surrounded by so much greenery. Our client’s existing outdoor living space became an extension of the decor since it incorporates all of the right colours; beautiful greens and blues. 

      

     

     

    The last step to any decor project is when we come in with tons of small accessories and stage the client's home to make it "photoshoot ready". Then our clients get to pick and choose the pieces they'd like to keep and we return the rest. It's the most fun in-home shopping experience and it allows us to see and photograph our interiors exactly how we envisioned them. A win/win that’s the perfect conclusion to any project. It’s always bittersweet closing a mandate of this scale - specially since we enjoyed working with these clients so much. Which is why we were thrilled when our clients told us they’d like to move on to their office and bedroom decor next and a full basement renovation next year!

     

     

    By: Eugenia Triandos

  • PROGRESS POST: ARTOIS RENO

    In December of 2016, we were hired by a family to help them design and renovate their new home. Our clients were so special in the sense that they really knew what they wanted yet allowed us creative freedom to work around their style. This old home located in Saint-Lambert needed work - and a lot of it. We remember first walking in thinking wow - everything has to go, but our clients had something else in mind which resulted in a marriage of old and new. We kept the existing plumbing fixtures in the powder room, the exposed beams in the bedroom, the sliding pharmacy in the master bath and a decorative room divider that was repurposed and moved to a new location. The charm that these original fixed features bring to the overall design proves that new isn't always best. The space now has character and is a new unique version of itself.

    Here are some progress shots that we took today. We simply cannot wait for it all to come together to have it professionally photographed. For now, please don't mind our IPhone shots.

    Let's start at the heart of the home, this kitchen is a mix of warm walnut and painted white cabinetry. The hood and backaplash will eventually be wrapped in a Calacatta style tile and the counter will be dressed in a mat black Dekton surface, with a waterfall edge. 

     

    The entrance and powder room were dressed up with this fun, graphic cement tile. When working with small spaces that would otherwise be hard to decorate, it's interesting to add some drama through the fixed finishes and paint. We used Benjamin Moore Hale Navy on the walls in this tiny powder room and it really left quite the impact.

     


     

     

    Upstairs, we head to the master suite featuring custom wall sconces with a matching custom chandelier.

     

     

    The master en-suite was decked out in white tiles with black plumbing and accents. The walnut floating vanities bring warmth to the room and the playful hexagone tiles add depth. We're still waiting for countertops, a wall-to-wall mirror and the shower glass to be installed.

     

  • POIRIER PROJECT

    In May of 2016 we started working on a very unique project that was referred to us by one of our real estate agents. The clients, Eric & Jean-Francois were both living abroad when they reached out. We've offered virtual design services before but this was very different. This referral had yet to close on the sale of a property that they were interested in when they contacted us but their goal was to complete a major renovation virtually. Our clients knew what they liked and absolutely wanted to create a home fit for them (both over 6' tall), even if that meant coordinating from half way across the world. Originally from Quebec, where they met and were married, they then both moved away for work; one in Switzerland and the other all the way in Saudi Arabia. They were buying a property with plans to finally reunite and move back to Montreal after several years abroad. 

    We started by completing a walk through of their prospective home via FaceTime at which point we threw around some ideas and confirmed that what they wanted to do would be feasible. That gave them the green light to go ahead and finalize their purchase. We discussed tearing down some key walls, redoing the kitchen and all of the bathrooms, redoing the divisions in the basement, and finally the addition of a family room, full bathroom and laundry room over the existing garage. We also ended up having to redo the garage entirely for it to structural support the extension, and we had to change the majority of the exterior brick, at which point the clients decided to redo the front entrance. The flooring, interior doors, staircase, railing and all hardware was changed throughout as well. To say it was a big project would be an understatement, not one square inch of the home was left untouched. The challenge was completing this scale of a renovation without even having met the homeowners. 

    So, we got right to work. We took our measurements, drafted construction plans, electrical plans, cabinetry details. We met with the contractor to get quotes and to set up a timeline, all while keeping the client in the loop via FaceTime and getting approvals on the design through countless emails. Finally the time came where we met our clients, probably a month after we started working on their project! They were in the city for only one week, and they had a lot on their agenda. We spent a day together for the presentation of their finishes. We reviewed plumbing fixtures, tiles, cabinetry, hardware, lighting and even paint colours. Everything was finalized in one - long but productive - consultation. Happy with the design, we moved forward to placing all of the orders and waiting for demo day! 

    The major hiccups in this project were delays with city permits pushing the project's start day by several months. Once we got over that hump, it was smooth sailing for the majority of the reno. We had weekly FaceTime meetings every Tuesday where we would show Eric the progress and review details. We worked closely with the contractor, HMR Construction, and we saw the renovation through right to the end. 

    The project was just recently completed this past March, nearly a year after it was started. It's bittersweet since after having worked with these amazing clients so closely, they will definitely be missed, however we are very happy to see it come to a close. Had we not had such understanding and easy going clients who were completely comfortable trusting us with their space, this project would not have gone nearly as smoothly. Eric & Jean-Francois are now happily living in their new home and we cannot be more thrilled with the results! 

     

     

    By: Eugenia Triandos

    Photos by: Guillermo Castro

  • SENNEVILLE PROJECT

    A few months ago, we met with a client who recently purchased a new home in beautiful Senneville and needed some guidance along the way. She initially hired us for a colour consultation, where we assist in choosing the right paint colours for every room of the home. However, we clicked right away and since our client was considering several renovations for her new purchase, she decided to go ahead with our design services for her master bathroom. So exciting!

    Here are the three mood boards that we presented to her just a few weeks ago.

     

     

     

    We adored all 3 concepts, as did she, however one in particular instantly made her fall in love; Option 1.

    Our plan was to build out a wall and increase the square footage of her master bathroom, creating a larger shower with a linear drain, a custom vanity, and an overall more functional layout. However, as we all know for those who have been through the process of renovations, there can be unexpected costly repairs, which in our case resulted in having to make necessary cuts to our design.

    Here are the changes we had to make which helped bring down overall costs;

    1. Reducing the shower to accommodate a standard glass of 6 feet. A custom shower glass can start at $1000 and easily work it's way upward of $2000+. A standard store bought shower can quickly save quite a bit without drastically affecting the aesthetics of the bathroom.

    2. Keep existing plumbing placement as is. As most of us know, moving plumbing can get very expensive. What's more is that it sometimes opens the door to a snowball effect - specially in an old home. We never know what can happen when we open up walls and start shaking old pipes. 

    3. Keep existing centre drain instead of linear. Although a linear drain can be a pretty addition to any custom shower floor, it's priced at about $750 - an easy place to cut if you're not willing to sacrifice any of the other fixed elements in your bathroom.

    Although we offered her a store bought vanity to help reduce costs, our client was not willing to give up our idea of the custom vanity painted in our fave navy; Hale Navy by Benjamin Moore. The key to sticking to any renovation budget is balancing the expensive with the inexpensive. To do that you must first assess your priorities to figure out what's important to you and then figure out which improvements can make a great impact on the overall design and which are worth dropping.

    Renovations are never easy, and trust us - we've seen it all. When hiring us, we're there by your side to help find solutions for problems that may occur along the way. Whether it's budget restraints, unexpected surprises found during demolition, or unforeseen family events, we stick around to see your project through to the end. Give us a call today to schedule a consultation for your next renovation project!

    By: Melinda Recine

  • TOUR DES CANADIENS CONDO

    For most of our projects, a big portion of getting it right is understanding our client's needs and lifestyle. We need to learn details about how they use their space, what they need storage for, and what we can do to make their home work efficiently for them. We recently had the pleasure of working on a special project because it's not our typical residence that would be eventually occupied by our clients. This project was different because we were hired by a business and mandated to create an entertainment space where they can host their friends and suppliers as well as a stay for out of town guests and business contacts visiting Montreal. This meant that we simply needed to focus on aesthetics and we didn't have to take into consideration practical solutions that would otherwise dictate our design - like storage for example. The result; a high design condo that is light and airy. 

    Although storage and comfortable extended stays were not a high priority, nailing our client's design aesthetic still was. We worked closely with our client to understand how she wanted her condo to look and feel and we're both very happy with the results. Her tastes had us layering textures and patterns while keeping the colours scheme neutral. We incorporated black and brass accents throughout and played with furs, knits and cowhides. 

    Our clients purchased two units at the Tour des Canadiens condos downtown and played with the layout to create one two bedroom condo that is open and roomy - both hard to find at the well-known Canadiens development. 

    We start by walking into a large entrance that we filled with elements that set the tone for the rest of the decor. One of our favourite rooms in the unit, this expansive vestibule was furnished with seating, a warm rug and a long console that fill the long hall perfectly.

      

    Check out this beauty of a rug that we're slightly obsessed with!

     

     

    The small kitchen is perfect for its intended use, therefore it was left untouched. We created an environment for entertaining by adding stools by the island and a bar that can be filled with refreshments for guests. Because the building is linked to the Bell Center, where the Canadiens hockey games are held, hockey had a small influence on the art selected. We found these great hockey patents on Etsy that we had framed locally.

     

     

    The dining room and living room are both simple and understated, allowing the view from the 38th floor to take center stage.

     

     

      

    The master bedroom is another favourited room in the condo. We had enough square footage to create a cozy seating area by the wall mounted TV, and just enough room to squeeze in a king bed with two small end tables.

     

     

     

    This was truly a turn-key service that we provided to the client. Our client actually never saw the progress until we handed over the keys on the day of our photoshoot. We really took care of everything from A to Z. We were there to schedule and supervise the trades, accept all deliveries, to place the furniture and hang the art, even to run the laundry and make the beds. We sourced everything you need to stay the night - we even fully stocked the kitchen. It was a wonderful experience to work with such easy going clients who knew exactly what they wanted. Amazing clients truly do yield amazing results and we're excited to work with them again! Check out the full project on our portfolio.

    Are you looking for a full service design firm to take your project to the next level? Contact us to book a consultation!

    By: Eugenia Triandos

  • DRESS UP BARE WALLS WITH A FRESH OUTLOOK

    Wall treatments date back as early as the 1400’s and most of us will agree that they remind us of our grandparent’s house; outdated. However, it continues to evolve into modern day society. Wallpaper can definitely make an appealing decorative statement, but at the same time can direct you towards a certain style. It helps warm a space, create a statement, or simply add some depth to an otherwise lifeless wall. While you can use wallpaper almost anywhere, we love using them in entrances and powder rooms. These are two rooms that usually don't have much space for anything else decorative, so our solution is usually to dress the walls. 

    In smaller spaces, adding a bold pattern or color as an accent really enhances a room’s design. Using geometric shapes such as linear patterns, hexagons, triangles, etc., adds a visually appealing aspect to your home while keeping it timeless. There are many creative ways to freshen up your home even if that means simply repurposing the back of a bookcase with decorative wallpaper.

    Here are a few pro tips;

    • For every design, our rule of thumb is to keep the pattern fun yet moderate. We never want the wallpaper to take over our design. 
    • Always confirm quantities with your installer before purchasing. Pattern repeats and different widths make wallpaper difficult to calculate on your own and expensive if you get it wrong.
    • Hire a professional installer. For the price of the paper these days, you definitely don't want to take a chance in having it installed poorly. Save yourselves both the headache (it's not easy) and the cost of having to start from scratch. Trust us - we've seen our share of DIY's gone wrong.
    • Lastly, don’t be afraid! That outdated wallpaper has now evolved into something current and elegant. So dress up those bare walls with some creativity to create an impactful statement within your home. 

    By: Melinda Recine

  • OUR RETRO/INDUSTRIAL CONDO PROJECT

    We recently met with a very cool client who just bought his first place and needed help decorating it. He moved to Montreal from out west, purchased a two story condo in Pointe St Charles and simply didn't know what to do with it, so he called us. We met with him a couple of weeks ago to go over his vision for the space. He gave us hints of what he liked which included very simple spaces with pops of colour. He also expressed that he had an interest in old school rap, 80's pop culture and retro art. The best part is that he likes to read more than watching TV and he had no interest in finding a space in his condo for a TV at all. This always makes for a more interesting layout since the upholstery no longer has to face a wall. It allows for a more open concept, a better entertaining space, and great conversation circles.

     

    This project had a healthy budget that was easy to work with but of course, when you're furnishing an entire home at the same time, you need to try to save wherever you can. The key to making this space work at a reasonable cost is to mix lower end furniture with higher end pieces and we like to throw in a couple of staples by iconic designers to dress it up a bit. For the record, we came in $2500 under budget! 

     

    I'm sharing this project in detail because I often get asked how we work when it comes to decorating projects. This was an excellent example to give you an idea of what kind of service we can offer. After meeting with the client to find out what they want and need for their space, the next step is to come up with a concept, a mood board and to present our client with their options.

     

    We presented our client with two mood boards and he was able to mix and match pieces from each design. This is what we came up with. 

     

     

     

     


     

     

    Here's one of the presentation boards that we gave him so that he can see and feel the fabrics and finishes we suggested, which definitely helps with choices.

     

     

    From there we guide our clients with their choices and send them a final shopping list of everything they need to purchase. Some clients prefer that we do the purchasing and other prefer to see the pieces in person and buy them themselves. We cater our service to our client's needs and every project is usually very different.

    Do you need help with a decor project? Contact us today to schedule your first consultation!

  • MONTREAL POWDER / LAUNDRY ROOM RENO

    This week, I had the pleasure of working on a powder room and laundry room renovation. The space is on the main floor of the house and is used as the main powder room for guests as well as the laundry room. It's a long narrow room that's connected by a door. You have to walk through the powder room to get to the laundry room.

     

    This is going to be a complete gut because the wall separating the two rooms needs to be moved closer to the toilet to create a smaller powder room and a larger laundry room. This is what we have so far. I presented my client with three vanity options; wood, painted MDF in white or warm grey. My favourite is definitely this warm grey option.

     

     

     

    We're looking at this colour palette:

     

    Wall Colour: Pale Smoke by Benjamine Moore

    Cabinetry: Silver Fox by Benjamine Moore



    Countertop: Fantasy Brown

  • GRIFFINTOWN NURSERY PROJECT

    I recently consulted with a client who is pregnant with her first child for a nursery and playroom in their Griffintown townhouse. (I know - I was equally as shocked that there are townhouses in Griffintown.) What was fantastic about meeting this client in her newly renovated home was that I was able to understand her and her husband's design aesthetic right away. They renovated and decorated their space carefully to their taste which gave me a great direction for the remaining two empty rooms. They like minimalist, modern pieces with simple black accents. Their space was bright and inviting and that was exaclty the feeling they wanted replicated in their nursery.

     

    Here is where we are so far; I presented them with this moodboard that they completely went for with some minor modifications. The next step is shopping the individual pieces to make sure they like the quality and comfort of all the selections.

     

     

     

    On a side note, I just re-installed the latest version of Sketchup. I took a big break from Sketchup when Google sold the program and I have to say, I missed it quite a bit. I don't have a big demand from my clients for 3D perspectives but there is something very rewarding about building the space you designed and seeing your creation come together, without having to wait for the full install.

    For those of you who are wondering, I use Sketchup for the 3D modeling, and Thea render to create the photo realistic rendering. They are two seperate softwares that work together to give me the finished drawings.

     

     

  • SOPHIA & TIM'S CARTIERVILLE HOME RENO

    My sister's home was finally completed and photographed. This project has really been a pleasure to work on for so many reasons. Let me start by saying that designing your sisters home can easily be the easiest project as well as the most nerve wracking. The easiest because it's my sister -  so we have a way of speaking to each other where we are well understood and can say whatever we want. The most nerve wracking because it's my sister - so my entire family and a lot of my friends will be walking through this home, judging my work. Not to mention that I wanted to make my sister and brother in law over-the-moon happy; so the pressure was definitely on.

     

    I've been fortunate enough to design several different kind of projects over the years; new constructions, full kitchen renovations from demo to details, furnishing full homes, even just decorating one room. But this is the first time that I've been fully in charge of a complete gut to a 4000 sq. ft. home. AND where I was given carte blanche to do whatever I wanted to do, right down to choosing the perfect coasters. I'm not kidding - my sister wasn't allowed to buy a single picture frame without getting it approved by me first. Needless to say, this was definitely a learning experience for me. I've learned that a project of this scale can easily take a full year to complete, from demo day to hanging the last piece of art. I've learned never to put all of your trust into a contractor - no matter how many times you've successfully worked with him before. I've learned that pleasing your client is really all about communication. And I've learned that I really, really, really love what I do (even more, if that's possible) when I'm given full control.

     

    I'm very grateful to have an amazing sister that trusts me fully and respects my opinion and I'm even more grateful to have a brother-in-law who will question everything I say and still let me have the last word. I can confidentally say that I've exceded their expectations and that I've achieved the over-the-moon happiness rating that I was seeking. Mission accomplished!

    Check out their BEFORE pictures to really see the transformation.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

      

     

     

     

     

     

     Okay, I may have fibbed a little, we aren't 100% complete. Still missing decorative pillows for the master bedroom.

     

     

  • ANNE'S FUN & FEMININE SMALL SPACE

    I had the pleasure of working with an old client/friend this week while styling her home for a much overdue photo shoot. This project was completed 3 or 4 years ago and I just recently got the push to have it photographed after the Montreal Gazette asked me for pictures for an article about small spaces. We worked with photographer, Telly Goumas who made this interior shine on a very foggy Sunday afternoon.

    What made this project so special was the 600 sq. ft. space and the fact that Anne and I shared similar taste in interiors. This loft in the old port featured high ceilings with exposed wood beams, original steel columns and historic floor to ceiling windows that really gave it some real Old Montreal charm. To give you a little background about the person occupying this wonderful home, Anne is a 28 year old ambitious social butterfly. Her place needed to be equally as comfortable for her living alone, as well as when entertaining. She's bubbly, friendly and full of personality but my favourite part about working with Anne was that she was not afraid to use colour - and that we did!

    Given the fact that we were working with such a small space, we incorporated several features to enhance storage and create intimacy while still providing an open area for entertaining. We tore down an existing wall in the kitchen to create a bar height counter, hid some useful storage in the banquette and used functional poufs and side tables that can double as extra seating. There's something about having a bed where you will be hosting parties that just doesn't work, which is why we opted for a murphy bed. Four years later, Anne still loves her bed and yes - it's very comfortable. 

    All of these details make Anne's cozy loft her perfect hangout, whether lounging alone or entertaining a party of 12.

    For before pictures, click here.

  • CARTIERVILLE HOME RENO PROJECT

    As promised on my previous post, below you will find the BEFORE images of my siter and brother in law's new home.

    These are the scary images of the rooms that we're completely gutting and re building. The house actually has great bones. Good amount of space, a comfortable layout, great natural lighting and big windows. The really great thing is that besides the kitchen and bathrooms, we don't have to touch much else. The wood floors were beautifully redone and the main floor is wrapped in elegant wainscotting.

    They just started demolition. I'll keep you all up to date with the progress. Enjoy!

    Here's a better image of the nicer side of the house.

    Like what you're reading? SUBSCRIBE to our monthly newsletter for design updates and blog posts.

  • NEW PROJECT AND ITS FIRST HICCUP

    Some of you may already know that I'm working on one of my sister's most recent projects; a new home renovation. In result of this renovation, she and her husband have been living with us for the last month and probably for another two. At first, I really thought it would be torturous. It brought back memories of when we used to live with each other before we both moved out of our parents place and it was really one fight after the next. Luckily, without the teenage hormones present, we're actually having a lot of fun. 

    I wanted to bring up her renovation because for one thing, I will be documenting it on my blog and I also wanted to share our first hiccup that relates a lot to the blog that I just recently wrote about choosing the right countertop. 

    My sister, Sophia, and her husband, Tim, bought an older home that is in excellent condition but definitely needs a facelift because nothing has been renovated except for the floors and maybe the beautiful wainscotting that frames the main floor. The project consists of a full kitchen renovation, we're also starting from scratch in the master bathroom, powder room and adding a third full bathroom in the basement.

    I'll be posting the before picture shortly since we lost them when the listing was taken down. Once posted, you will see that it was kind of like walking into a time machine since everything was dated but in great condition.

    They get the keys in about ten days and until then, we've been working on plans and ordering all of their finishes. Sophia absolutely wanted a natural stone countertop. She's sick of seeing quartz and for some reason, whenever she doesn't like something she'll refer to it as being "too condo". It's kind of funny how she associates everything that she's seen too much with condos, it's probably because she's one of the first among her friends that's making the transition from condo life to purchasing their first house and she wants it to feel like a home.


    We reviewed her options and found that she absolutely loves the look of marble but of course, my sensible self could not allow my OCD sister to choose a product that will surely stain over the years and most likely give her nightmares. So I suggest going with a quartzite to achieve the look and feel of marble but with the durability of granite. We started shopping and I absolutely fell in love with a slab that I found at a local supplier. The name of this quartzite is Fantasy Brown but as you will see in the image below, the slab I chose is not very brown. If I chose a colour to accurately describe it, it would be taupe, and maybe even a grey-taupe, with a pink undertone.

    Once approved by Sophia and Tim, I picked up a sample and went on to creating a beautiful palette for their kitchen that was carried through to the rest of their home. Everything was done, we were all so happy with our choices and then I get a call from my installer to tell me that the slab I chose has a defect and I absolutely had to choose another one.

    I was kind of disappointed because I was so happy that I found the perfect slab on my first visit, but I just thought that I would search for a similar slab elsewhere and that would solve that issue. WRONG. I went to at least another 3 suppliers asking for Fantasy Brown and every slab I saw was completely different. Some were too dark, some of the veins were too busy and most were too brown. Here are just a couple examples, and really I only took images of the slabs closest to my original.

    Can you imagine that this is the same stone? I clearly could not settle since that would mean changing the look and feel of the space. 

    This is where I started to panic and realized that this changes EVERYTHING. Since I couldn't find anything I like in Fantasy Brown, we decided to go with our plan B quartzite, which was Super White. 

    This meant that I had to re-shop her kitchen tiles, backsplash and even change her cabinetry colour. Being my sister/best friend who I'm living with and who has done so much for me in my life, I'm not charging her, so this didn't mean much to them. But if this was a client, it would mean at least another full day of work, if not more. All of this because of one little uncontrollable hiccup.

    Anyway, all worked out, really, we loved Super White from the start, and we chose beautiful finishes to bring it to life in her new kitchen. Construction is starting in mid June and I think we're all anxious to see this project start.

    Like what you're reading? SUBSCRIBE to our monthly newsletter for design updates and blog posts.