Monday, October 15, 2012

Chic Storage Reveal

My latest project was a typical storage problem in a downtown Toronto condo. How do you maximize storage while maintaining a sophisticated look?  
[ contemporary sideboard storage ]

This condo owner needed additional storage for kitchen items such as large bowls and other pieces less often used.  We decided on this chic sideboard- sleek, contemporary, and perfect for modern condo living.  To add visual interest, I added some decorative pieces in reflective finishes and varying heights, seating, lighting, and wall art.    


Monday, October 8, 2012

Balcony Reveal

When I left the house this morning wearing a light jacket and froze for the next 2 hours, I finally came to the realization that it’s officially the end of balcony season, and has been for a few weeks now (my sense of denial when it comes to the end of summer is rather strong).

I spent the end of August and early September finishing up on a balcony project in the FestivalTower condo in Toronto.  This 15' long East facing balcony is complete with a keg fridge, ambient night lighting and plenty of seating with custom upholstery; perfect for entertaining.  While it wasn’t completely ready before the end of this year’s hot summer weather, it’s now 100% finished and ready for an early start next spring!

Here are some shots of the final product:
[ Festival Tower balcony ]

[ Festival Tower balcony ]

[ Festival Tower balcony ]

[ Festival Tower balcony ]

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Bathroom Chronicles Part VI: The Reveal

Since the day I helped rip out the floor tile in my bathroom, I’ve been looking forward to finally revealing the finished product.  So here it is…enjoy!
[ bathroom reno- before ]

Drum roll please...

[ bathroom reno- after ]

[ bathroom reno- after ]
[ bathroom reno- after ]
[ bathroom reno- after ]

[ bathroom reno- after ]

Ladder:  Aberfoyle Flea Market; Glass Shelf: IKEA; Glass Apothecary Jar; Home Sense; Mirror: Lowes; Chandelier: Vintage; Towels: Home Sense; Shower Curtain: Home Outfitters; Shower Hooks: Home Sense; Bath and Shower Tile: X-Tile; Vanity Wood Stain: Home Depot; Accent Table: Bouclair; Vanity Hardware: Home Depot; Paint: Behr- Silver Chalice 640E-1

Photos by KLasiuk Photography

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Sweet Table

First of all, thank you everyone for bearing with me through my break in blogging for the past month.  I’m glad to be back!

I’m very excited to share with you my girlfriend Izabela’s beautifully delicious company Sweet Table.  Founded by Izabela of ‘Design Your Footprint’ and Stephanie of ‘Cupcakes and Sundry’ in 2011, Sweet Table is a design focused dessert table business that works with clients to create custom dessert and sweet tables for any event you could imagine (weddings, birthdays, showers, holidays, galas, etc).    

Customize everything from your concept, design, theme, colors, and chosen treats for the perfect show stopping event table!  They truly are stunning.
[ spring sweet table ]
[ spring sweet table ]

[ launch party sweet table ]

[ launch party sweet table ]
[ wedding shower sweet table ]

Monday, July 9, 2012

Alicia Bock Photography

While looking for a skin for my new iphone, I stumbled upon this photographer’s website, Alicia Bock, and I am completely in love with her work.  The colors are absolutely incredible and are inspiring me for some upcoming projects.  The only problem is I can’t decide which one I want!

Some of my favourites:
[ Alicia Bock iphone skins ]

[ Cycle #3 by Alicia Bock ]

[ Double Trouble by Alicia Bock ]

[ All Things Good by Alicia Bock ]

[ February Shine by Alicia Bock ]

[ Return to Summer by Alicia Bock ]

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Bathroom Chronicles Part V: Rustic Ladder DIY

I chose to incorporate a combination of sleek, reflective materials (lots of glass, mirror, metallics, and high gloss tiles) with some rustic, vintage looking pieces to create a unique style in my bathroom.   

One of the pieces I really wanted was an old wooden ladder in lieu of a towel bar.  I searched high and low, but every ladder I found turned out to be too polished and perfect looking. 

I ventured out to the Aberfoyle Antique Market, which turned out to be a vintage lover’s paradise.   The market consists of hundreds of vendors from all over Ontario, selling everything from furniture, to old records.  No doubt, I found the perfect ladder I’d been searching for.  It was in rough shape, which is what I wanted- but it still needed a little work.  Here is how I spruced it up (just enough) so that it was bathroom ready.

1.        Use a palm sander to thoroughly sand down the sides of the ladder. 

2.       By hand, use medium to heavy grade sandpaper on the dowels of the ladder until smoothe.

3.       Mix a combination of paint and water into a small bucket (about 3 parts water, 1 part paint).

4.       Lay down drop sheets outside and choose an area to work that can handle a spatter of paint or two.

5.       Wearing gloves to protect your hands from both paint and possible splinters, use a rag to dip into the bucket of paint/water combination and wipe down the entire ladder, covering all areas. 

6.       Depending how much of the ladder you wish to cover vs leave exposed, let dry and do another coat. 
Ladder DIY- Before
Ladder DIY- After
Ladder DIY- After

Optional:  Cut and put some rubber or felt pieces on the bottom of the ladder to avoid slipping and scratching the floor tile. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Mwanzoleo: South African Paradise

Again, I’ve been drawn in by another spectacular pool image.  I don’t think I really realized how much of a sucker I am for them! 

Mwanzoleo is a stunning holiday home in Bantry Bay, Cape Town (South Africa).  Built with amazing views of the sea, the d├ęcor style is contemporary, simplistic, luxurious, and decadent all at once.  It is available for rent, for a minimum stay of five days.  I don’t think they’d have any problem convincing anyone to stay, rather, I think they’d have more trouble trying to kick me out!
Mwanzoleo, via

Mwanzoleo, via

Mwanzoleo, via

Mwanzoleo, via

Mwanzoleo, via

Mwanzoleo, via

Monday, April 30, 2012

The Bathroom Chronicles Part IV

Demolition day! 
After a ton of banging, cracking, and ripping, day 1 of the shower enclosure is over. 
We decided to bring in a professional to do this entire portion of the bathroom reno for many reasons.  Not only do I want to ensure the waterproofing is done properly, but after doing the floor ourselves and realizing what an incredibly hard job it was, the decision to hire someone for anything else involving tile was an obvious one!

Here’s what it looks like after today:

Bathroom Demolition Day 1

Bathroom Demolition Day 1

Thursday, April 26, 2012

HOW TO: A Summer Night at the Movies

I’ve been spending the past few days dreaming up a list of things I want to do this summer.  So far, my list includes: camping, concerts, sunning under a big floppy hat poolside, a group trip (hopefully to the Mediterranean), a picnic, watching the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, and the CN Tower ledge walk.  The latest addition to the list, an outdoor movie night, is one that I think I’m looking forward to the most.

Pottery Barn has posted some simple steps to make your very own outdoor movie theatre.  All you’ll need is 2 white queen size sheets, a couple poles, and some rope.
Outdoor Movie Theatre.  Photo via

For instructions on how to create your own outdor movie theatre, visit the Pottery Barn site by clicking here. 

Grab some snacks, a ton of pillows, blankets, candles, and a bunch of friends and you’ve got yourself a night out(side) at the movies!  For an ambient atmosphere, hang lights from nearby trees, plants, or fence.   

Outdoor Movie Night extras, photo via At Home with Kim Vallee

Outdoor Movie Theatre, photo via

Other ideas: 
Combine an outdoor movie night with a barbeque or outdoor dinner party.  After your main course, move your way over to the cushions and watch a flick with dessert!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Well Worth the Climb

Having been a swimmer for most of my life, I am always drawn to photos of magnificent swimming pools, but I have never seen anything like this before. 

This stunning mountain home in Park City, Utah designed by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson Architects caught my eye not only because of its beautiful modern architectural structure, but mainly because of its extremely unique feature: the glass-enclosed indoor pool that appears to continue right into the forest.  Beautiful!
Glass-enclosed pool, Park City, Utah.  Photo Via.

Modern mountain home, Park City, Utah.  Photo via.

Modern Mountain home, Park City, Utah.  Photo via.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Bathroom Chronicles Part III: Vanity Affair

The vanity is one of the only pieces of furniture in a bathroom, so it needs to look fantastic.  The old vanity that’s in my existing bathroom is 21 years old, and still going strong.  It’s the perfect size for the room, has an ideal number of drawers in great sizes, and a good amount of additional storage under the sink.  Made of solid wood, this is a quality piece of furniture. 

Bathroom Vanity, Before

Because this reno project is on a budget, it made a lot of sense to salvage something that already worked perfectly in the space.  Nothing a little paint and a paintbrush can’t fix!

After removing all of the drawer and cabinet door handles, as well as the doors themselves from the vanity, I chose an acrylic latex semi-gloss paint by Behr called Bitter Chocolate (790B-7).   You can buy tester pot sizes (just a quart) from Home Depot, which is a great way to reduce waste and project cost.  Three even coats proved to do the trick, along with some new hardware.  I chose long modern handles in a brushed silver to bring the vanity up to date. 

Next step:  new counter top!
Bathroom Vanity, after paint and new hardware

Bathroom Vanity, after paint and new hardware

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Bathroom Chronicles Part II

Even though I just spent the past hour scrubbing myself in the shower after being covered in dirty water and buckets of dried up crunchy mortar, I’m still very excited about how my bathroom reno is coming along.  It’s my first time laying tile (with lots of help from my parents!), and I’m completely shocked at how difficult and time consuming it is.

Follow along on twitter (@kathleenedesign) and on Ambiance and Armoires as the bathroom reno continues!

Here’s a recap of the first few days:

Day 1:  Ripped up half of the existing tile.
Day 2:  Completed removing the remaining tile.
Day 3:  Layed the Ditra, let set for 24 hours.  Determine center point for tile pattern.
Day 4:  Began tiling.
Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 3 {Haley checking things out}

Day 4
Day 5

Day 6