Thursday, January 28, 2010

An Opening Soon Story

For today's post I thought I would share with you ... another Moving Designz design project.  And how I ended my work week on a snow stormy Friday in PEI.  15-20cm with high winds.  I have been working with Oasis Kitchen and Bath on various client projects, as well as, having them do work on my home.  This is a fabulous local Summerside company that specializes in plumbing and plumbing fixtures.  And I have to add ... really amazing plumbing fixtures and plumbing services for kitchen and bath.

About a month ago they asked me to design their store washroom and also do a couple of their display booths.  Did I jump at it?  Hell yeah!   The main thing critera for them was ... Make it stunning, make it a statement, show us your best stuff.  We want to have every inch of our store a show piece for customers to be inspired.  Being in retail and service myself I know every inch of your store has to count and be made public.  Designing the store washroom was a perfect project for me and highest on their priority list.

This empty room was my starting point.  I was so excited because I could choose whatever I wanted, afterall this is part of their show and tell.  The floorplan was predetermined by the location of the plumbing pipes and electrical outlets.  And see that ugly black pipe, on the floor ... well that had to stay.  Surely I could hide it somehow?  Okay, I thought ... vanity to the right, cabinet to hide the pipe and toilet had to be straight ahead.  Now to design the space...

This amazing tile was my inspiration and jumping off point for the bathroom.  I came across this tile shortly before they asked me to design this room for them.  I  had a sample in my design centre for maybe 2 days.  I just knew it would be fab for some project and as fate would have it.... it was perfect this project :).  It's a combination of tumbled and polished Carerra Marble.  Can you believe I found it at Home Depot?  Brand spanking new to their in-store shelf inventory.  And I am not kidding, if this tile would have been on shelf previous to choosing my new kitchen countertop... some 2 weeks before.  It would have been mine, mine, mine.  And my kitchen would be looking a little, well actually a whole lot different.  So please, run,  don't walk to the store to check out this amazing tile!

This morning when I arrived the washroom was looking like this... almost there.  I've been in and out many times over the past few weeks (without camera) and this excited me today.  Things were definitely coming together.  The tile was installed and looked incredible along with all the other room elements.  The lighting, the custom vanity and shelving cabinet were all in place and the whole room was coming together. I hid those bossy ugly pipes within the cabinet.  See, I like that word too, bossy!

At this point today the countertop had just arrived and they placed it for fit. Two minutes before and we had barely hung the mirror. This beautiful mirror is special order from Moving Designz Home & Cottage. The countertop is quartz, Hanstone Swan Cotton. I love this countertop... it is a favorite of mine for bathrooms but it ould look equally nice in a white kitchen.

Okay so now we're looking at the toilet view.  The first thing you see when you enter this room.  Which... with the tile is the main attraction.  Normally would you empathize a toilet?  No, not ever but you have to remember ... this is a showroom and plumbing fixtures are their gig. 

These are the accessories from Moving Designz Home & Cottage.  Fire, Water, Earth and Air.  Anita and I chose white, chrome, glass and fresh spring green accessories to set off the dark cabinetry.  Somewhat Seaside, somewhat Zen, definitely Now.  I placed them on the lower shelf of the wall cabinet just before I left today with strict instructions as to which glass shelf they should be placed on:)  The glass shelves, well, they didn't come in today and won't be installed until Monday.  Opening day!

 This is afterall an Opening Soon story... everything is last minute and does not always follow the predetermined schedule even with the best of plans.  As I left late this afternoon, the countertop was removed for installation of the undermount sink.  The faucets and cabinet hardware will have to be installed over the weekend.  And I will have to wait for a week to see the final results.  I promise to post them along with the other showroom booths I've designed.

Toronto tomorrow, another buying trip for the shop and I will miss finishing this space.  Ashley and I are off to The Canadian Gift and Tablewares Show.  I won't be posting for awhile since I'm out of town and taking a 3 day R&R in downtown Toronto after the show.

I would like to extend my congratulations Spencer Myers owner of Oasis Kitchen and Bath on the opening of his new and expanded store in this new location.  We will miss him downtown since his shop was less than a block away from my shop.  Please visit his website here  The new showroom is on Read Drive next to Prestige Kitchens.  Also thanks to Bruce, Joceyln and all of Spencers top notch people.    Fantastic teamwork.

Thanks for reading.  Have a great weekend and a great first week of February.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Another Day Another Beautiful Kitchen Complete

I know I usually only post once per week but after being on-site this morning I couldn't wait to share how wonderful this creamy white kitchen turned out.  Dreamy.

I've been working with these clients on updating their entire house over the past year, maybe more :0.  One of the last rooms on our list was updating and upgrading the kitchen.  For those of you who follow my blog you might remember that in December I posted on the family room which is part of this open concept kitchen family room space.  If not rewind to early Dec... Field Trip Friday.

My clients had recently purchased and installed all new stainless steel appliances and wanted their kitchen updated to complete the main floor of the house.  The final installations happened 2 days before Christmas.  I had my fingers crossed and our ever reliable supplier Tops to Floors came through with flying colours.

View 1 - The original kitchen... I know some of you are probably thinking, hey there is nothing wrong with this room, it's rather pretty.  Which is true... but what if?  You took it a step further...

View 2- This morning and wow.  The kitchen cabinets were repainted with BM Cloud White, which I simply adore.  We have now added quartz countertops, a stacked marble backsplash, brushed nickel knobs and pulls, new sink and faucet and a new roman shade for the window treament.

View 3- Showing the old cooktop and the mess left behind the cooktop after the old tiles we removed.

View 4 - The new look for the cooktop and backsplash.  Doesn't it look so pretty!  And hey that counterdepth fridge is now looking tres glamourous and right at home with the new look!

View 5 - The Bottocino Marble backsplash close up and personal.  I absolutely adore these tiles.  They are so pretty and a find ... off the shelf from The Home Depot at only $13.99 sq ft. 

View 6 - The former sink, faucet and bare window.  Still pretty especially with the outside view but then...

View 7 - Add this sink and faucet with the oh so pretty curvy lines. And the new custom roman shade adds a nice dash of texture.  We have an awesome seamstress who makes the most amazing blinds ever!  Oops I think we lost a couple of knobs and pulls.  Note to self add to "to do list :)

View 8 - One last time, one last view of before.  Take note of that light valance.

View 9 - I have to talk about this island and the 6' eating extension.  It took a whole lot of convincing to get my client on side with this 4 weeks and 2 house visits.  Previously they had a table and 4 chairs occupying this space and they rather loved it.  However, it totally cramped the space.  It is a rather small room afterall and I felt extending the island was the perfect solution for the space issues.  The quartz is Hanstone Victorian Sands, a personal fav of mine.  It looks really good with either white, cream or dark cabinets.

Are we done yet?  Almost, not quite... :)  Two more things...  Our site visit today was to measure for a new light valance which will be constucted and attached to the ceiling next weekend.  We will then have 4 lovely glass pendants, seen above, completing this amazing glam kitchen transformation.   And lastly the remaining 3 barstools which have been on back order since November were shipped out today.  Halalujeh!  A special note to the homeowners and you know who you are ... it has been a pleasure. 

Stay tuned for Kate and Gordie's kitchen and their amazing new house. We're almost there. While the cabinets were being installed last week... Kate and I were busy choosing the hardware and confirming the right shade of white quartz countertop. Here's a sneak peek from last Thursday.

Thanks for reading.  Have a great week!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Historic Renovation Part One

For today's post I thought I would share the construction progress on one of our ongoing projects.  This is a project I have been involved with for well over one year.  The planning process has been enormous as the entire interior needed to be rearranged, gutted and rebuilt.  My clients purchased this lovely historic home in downtown Charlottetown to turn into their dream business.  "A 5 star luxury boutique style Bed and Breakfast".

Here a picture of the house taken just after the purchase.  This is the view from West St.  The house is located at the corner of West and Grafton.  The actual street address 1 Grafton St.   And once open the inn will be appropriately named "Number One Grafton". 

A little background on the property.

1 Grafton Street, or Caroma Lodge and the Cottage, as it was once known, is a wood framed home that shows influences of the Queen Anne Revival style. It sits on the corner of Grafton and West Streets. The home was designed by renowned Island architect, William Critchlow Harris for the prominent businessman, Frank Richard Heartz.  It was built between 1894 and 1895.  It is a very large home and this renovation is all encompassing.  No surface is being untouched.

Another angle of the house.  The actual construction phase began in September with the outside landscaping and exterior work.  While that work got underway the interior renovations began.  The interior was divided into 3 apartments sometime over the past 50 years.  All of these are now gone, ripped out and in their place will be 5 beautifully appointed guest suites.  The third story which was once an empty storage space is being turned into the innkeepers suite. 

Lets look at some progress pictures of the kitchen.  The kitchen, main floor powder room and the laundry areas are almost complete except for little odds and ends and the lighting. The rest of the home is in various stages of construction...

View 1 Before - The original kitchen eating area with the tiny little kitchen work area to the right through the doorway.

View 2 During -  Here the kitchen installer is busy putting everything together.

View 3 After - The kitchen is looking absolutely fantastic with the space now totally opened up and rearranged to be more functional and a whole lot prettier.  Shaker style cabinets painted a pretty shade of yellow, dark countertops, butcher block island, stainless steel appliances, brushed nickel hardware, simple white subway tiles and new hardwood floors give this room a high end traditional feel.

View 4 Before - Looking from the other direction into the tiny preparation space.

View 5 After - Amazing!  The 12" deep shelving is perfect display storage for lovely glass containers which will eventually hold cooking ingredients.  My guess is alot of cooking will be going on in here.

View 6 Before - A close up of the teeny tiny outdated prep area.

View 7 After -  Clean, modern, totally functional.  I love the apron front sink.

View 8 Before - Looking from the opposite direction

View 9 After - Showing the same end wall and another great storage cabinet.

View 10 Before - The end wall as it was...

View 11 After - This is the view as you enter the kitchen from the hallway of the main living areas.

Soon a pair of these beautiful pendant lights will be hanging over the island.   Our seamstress is busy working on roman shades for the windows.  Dressing all the windows in this house is a project in itself and no small feat.  All of the fabrics and treatments have been chosen and approved.  It's just a matter of time now... 

I will post more on this fantastic project in the next few posts.  There are so many rooms that are undergoing dramatic changes with the addition of all new layouts, washrooms, plumbing,electrical.  The house should be complete in the next couple of months and open for business in May.  I'm itching to get at the decorating :)

Thanks for reading.  Have a great week!


Saturday, January 16, 2010

Dinner with Style at Home Magazine

Normally I read Style at Home Magazine for decorating inspiration however for the past couple of issues I've also been intrigued with their recipes section.  Since I love to cook (and eat) I decided to test drive a couple of  their recipes.

It started with Novembers issue of Style at Home magazine. And I have to say their cover shot room is amazing. Loving the white room, the low laquered table and most especially those amazing velvety green cushions.  However, my dog simply would not allow me to have these white sofas.

Since PEI is known for growing potatoes, how could I not resist making "Lemon-Scented Potato, Dill and Bacon Soup. In fact, It was super easy and delicious.

- 5 slices bacon cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 2 cloves garlic
- 3 large Yukon Gold potatoes cut into 1 inch pieces
- 2 stock celery finely chopped
- 1.5 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1 tbsp grated lemon zest
- 1/2 cup 35% cream

Cook bacon in small skillet over medium heat for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.  Combine stock, garlic, potatoes, celery, salt, and pepper in large pot and bring to low boil. Simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and puree. Return to stove over medium heat. Add lemon zest and cream. Simmer for 5 minutes. Garnish with bacon and lemon wedge.

My newest Style at Home magazine January 2010 issue.  What's Hot Now or High/Low depending which side of the magazine you open first.

My favorite room from inside the pages.  Fresh traditional.

I'm starting to sense a pattern here.  This is my livingroom :)  A softer more muted colour scheme but basically the same room.

I went to the recipe section once again... after browsing the beautiful rooms, I found yet another recipe to try out in the Dinner Tonight section. 

Ricotta + Spinach Pasta

Since I love pasta and this picture made my mouth water, this recipe seemed like a no brainer.  It was so easy and fast to prepare it truly deserves its descriptive title as A Fast Five.  You should try this super easy and delicious pasta recipe by Style at Home food editor Donna Hay.

-4 oz. (125 g) fresh ricotta cheese
-7 oz. (200 g) cooked warm, short pasta
-Baby spinach leaves
-Lemon juice
-Extra-virgin olive oil
-Pinch sea salt
-Pinch of basil
-1 tsp. cracked black pepper
-Fresh grated Parmesan cheese

Add fresh ricotta to cooked warm short pasta. Toss with baby spinach leaves, lemon juice, extra-virgin olive oil, cracked black pepper, sea salt and basil. Serve with grated Parmesan.

We arrived back from the furniture show late this week.  We bought lots of new and fresh spring merchandise for Moving Designz Home & Cottage.  If you are in the market for a new sofa or chairs, we are clearing out last years floor models at up to $400 off to make room for our new items.  I will be sharing some of our finds in upcoming posts. 

In the meantime this is one of our interior design projects currently on the go. 

A Craftsman Style beach house overlooking Confederation Bridge. Photo taken November 28/09

2 weeks later Dec 12/09 and the house in almost weather tight.  And note winter has arrived.  I needed a hot bowl of soup after that 2 hour site visit.  We have just finished choosing and getting approval on all of the interior surface finishes and materials between Christmas and New Years.  The construction schedule should see this house complete by late June. I'll post some updates as we progress further along.

Thanks for reading.  Have a great week!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Tomorrow we Shop

It's January and the time of year when we travel to Toronto to attend The Toronto Home Furnishings Market. It's here where we check out the trends, scope out deals and shop for new merchandise for Moving Designz Home & Cottage. This large trade show is open to retailers, designers and industry professionals and is held every year in early January.

Anita will be joining me this year. She's an awesome sidekick and a great shopping gal. Normally we attend the gift shows together held at the end of January and mid summer. This year we're taking turns and Ashley will attend the CGTA with me later this month.

We're flying up tonight and with any luck all the snow will hold off. Travelling in winter is tricky.
Last January in Toronto looked alot and I mean alot like this picture. The city had record breaking low temperatures. It was freezing.

This is the Toronto I prefer, mid summer, when the temperatures are lovely and warm. We go every August.

From last year's summer trip I took this photo while enjoying a meal and refreshment on a patio 4 floors up overlooking Younge St.

We also checked out Kensington Market last summer on our buying trip. What an awesome area for personal shopping. I scored the most amazing vintage designer skirt for a mere $15. I brought it home had $20 worth of alterations, it fits like a glove. I love a great buy especially when it's beautifully constructed and tailored. I also found the most lovely sequined slipper shoes in Chinatown for $10.

This image was painted on a brick wall in colourful Kensington Market. I love the city and each year I discover another new area to check out. Since the buying show is held in the vicinity of the airport we always tag on a few extra days at the end of the show to experience downtown Toronto.
I must run I have a flight to catch and I am so excited to see what new things we will see and find for restocking the store this year.
Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Bathroom Renovation Complete

I took a few weeks off blogging over the holidays to allow me to shop, spend time with my loved ones, socialize and do a little year end unwinding. I originally thought with 2 long weekends in a row I would find some time to do a little extra blogging but I was wrong. I'm going to dedicate this post to Claire, one of my biggest Summerside fans and the wife of Moving Designz handyman/installer/carpenter extraordiare Mike. Thank you Claire for all your positive comments throughout the year :) And Thank you Mike.
I'm back and feeling totally refreshed and ready for all our projects this year. Can you believe its 2010? I wish all of my readers and followers a belated and Happy New Year.
Todays post is a bathroom renovation project we finished up in late December. One of our last projects of the year.

This is the tiny main floor powder room in it's original state.

The in between stage... What we decided to do was change the entire layout which involved moving all the plumbing and electrical. Normally we don't do this but if you have an open basement beneath the room the job is much easier. We had the existing vanity, toilet, faucets, lighting and tile removed and replaced.

This main floor powder room is now complete. The toilet is now where the old sink and vanity were located so the first thing you see when you open the door is the vanity... perfect. This free standing vanity unit is like a piece of high end furniture constructed of beautiful cherry wood, topped with a lovely cream marble countertop and gleaming crystal knobs. The lighting was replaced with a pair of lovely glass and chrome sconces.

I would have liked to post a few more after pictures but blogger seems to have a bit of a snag with moving pictures down or around once you start your post. Ahhh.... I hope they fix that soon.
Thanks for reading. Have a great week!