Friday, July 30, 2010

Seaside Summer Decorating

For todays post I am inspired by the beautiful PEI summer scenery and our island beach vibe.  

I also thought I would share some of the creative accessories and tablescape displays we've put together in the store this week.  And a sneak peek at a cottage we recently finished. 

I took some holiday time last week as the weather here has been absolutely fabulous. This is an image I took while heading to a job site in the New London area.  A beautiful summer day... with gorgeous views.... Ahhh .... NICE

A beautiful cottage entry and deck ... white trim, cedar shingles and colourful adirondack chairs.

North Shore Cottage project random pictures .... creating the mood with a beautiful table setting.  Anita and I put this together using accessories from the shop.  The table is a custom solid pine harvest table that we had made especially for this project.

The side table/console is also another custom pine piece.  And the lovely Lupins, well we picked those growing wild at the side of the road. 

A view of one of the bedrooms.  White painted furniture and wicker chairs ooze cottage charm.

Cocktail table accessories include fav mag "Style at Home" and a glass container full of shells.

Summer on PEI...
means beaches and beachcombing for shells, sea glass and driftwood. Perfect accessories for the cottage, the home or a spa bathroom.

LOVE creating displays with our selection of shells, sand, rope and coastal inspired accessories from the shop, Moving Designz Home & Cottage.  This painted wooden bowl arrangement was made by Anita last summer for one of our design projects.

We also coiled a length of rope, available at any hardware store for about .69 per foot, inside a tall glass vase and added a few tiny starfish.  My point is seaside works in homes and/or cottages for a warm summery feel.

On Tuesday,  Ashley made us delicious cappucinos ... from our wonderful espresso machine.  We all love it as do most of our clients.  And Ashley makes the best coffee ever :) 

With our caffiene highs fully cranked up we started playing with the in store displays... ( BTW Anita is on a much deserved holiday this week:)

Our first tablescape ... in the front window.

A close up view.  You have no idea how much fun it is setting up these displays.

This is one little corner of the shop.  We have starfish in 4 sizes, multi-colours and even silver.  Sand, and about every type of shell you can think of, we have in stock. 

Our second table scape.  All blues, silvers and whites.

A close up of the center piece.  Creating vignettes in glass vessels is something I love to do and now Anita and Ashley are hooked.

Our lovely fish dishes... complete the tablescape.

Tablescape three... the caffiene really does have a kick :) 

Close up... this time it was creams, navy and grey shells. 

We also made up a number of "Ready to Go" out the door arrangements.

This centerpiece sits on our sales counter, Ashley actually made this early in the summer.  It's very pretty!

Looking from the outside in... while I'm at it I must show you the shops window boxes.
I planted these myself, I usually get the greenhouses to do these for me.  However they are never as full and nice as when I take the time and do them myself.  I'm loving the pink and white!

Shot of the beach in downtown Summerside at low tide.

Thanks for reading.  Have a great weekend!

Monday, July 19, 2010

One Grafton Project Complete

For todays post I am going to share with you our recently completed project at One Grafton St.  We have been working steadily on this massive renovation project over the past two years.  And I've been working on getting this blogpost ready for 2 weeks.... huge house, huge blog post!

This project is the largest most extensive renovation we've done to date.  The house has 3 floors, 5 suites, an innkeepers suite and every room needed to be either redone or rebuilt or both.

If you've been following Grafton St on my blog you've no doubt been reading my posts during the construction phases.  My involvement has included everything from being the initial on-site liaison with draftman to refering the builder, Tom Gill.

Tweaking floor plans, selecting paint and colour schemes, supplying custom draperies and window treatments, reupholstery services, new furniture, new lighting, surface finishes, working on room layouts, and just being there throughout the entire renovation process. 

Construction and reconstruction of the interior and exterior began last September on this very large century home.  Turning what was 3 apartments into a spacious luxury boutique style B &B, while maintaining the integrity of this designated heritage home.

One Grafton, as it is now called, is located at the corner of Grafton and West Streets in downtown Charlottetown.  The Innkeepers are Graeme and Judy Sheldon.  They didn't want your average Victorian B & B.  They wanted  modern, fresh and classically designed interior... for them to enjoy, for their guests to enjoy.  

Let's start at the new entry to the home.  I love the Sheldon's collection of Chinoiserie.  It was perfect for setting the tone in the entry.  It's stunning!

The entry was a small dark foyer with a closet and a solid wall on the right.  The antique piece came with the house and after some cleaning up is now repurposed as the serving console in the diningroom

The new entry (same angle as the above image).  The stairs were reversed from the backside of the house to face the front door. 

With the wall to the right removed a new office and reception area was created.

I literally have hundreds of photos I took while working on this project.  Too many to post!  As an example here is the kitchen in it's original state.

Fast forward to this spring and the kitchen was the first area to be completely transformed.  The cabinet maker was Joe Dunphy, who did an amazing job.

Modern, fresh, clean.  It is the perfect galley style kitchen.

The cabinetry is painted a soft yellow with a black countertop, farm house sink, brushed nickel fixtures, stainless steel appliance and white subway tile backsplash.

Next up a new modern laundry centre.  Running a B & B means lots of bedding to wash!

One of our challenges was incorporating as much of Judy and Graeme's existing furniture thoughout the home.  This image of the diningroom was taken just after their container load arrived from Britain. 

A beautiful new diningroom for the guests to enjoy a sumptious breakfast and Judy's homemade goodies.  Judy is an amazing baker and cook.

I had to post an image of the beautiful diningroom chandelier.  All of the lighting was replaced throughout this entire home.  We used fixtures from The Downtown Collection by Quoitzel on the main floor.

The livingroom or lounge as I now refer to it.  Working with clients who are British has given me new words and lounge is one of them.  So is garden which actually is a yard in Canadian lingo.

A new seating area in the lounge.  The colour scheme in the main floor is muted yellows, soft greeny blues, and creams supplemented with co-ordinating patterned fabrics.  The chairs are from Moving Designz Home & Cottage, the settee was reupholstered with fabric chosen and supplied by us and the lovely pedestal table is an antique from France.

Suite 1

Inspiration colours for Suite 1 came from this fabric, which we used in the custom draperies for the bedroom and custom roman shades in the adjoining bathroom.

Suite 1 was once painted purple with aging saging blinds....

Suite 1 completed. 

We also did a few DIY projects along the way.  I spied these solid wood doors at the hardware store and thought they would be perfect for headboards.  The one on the left for Suite 1 and the one on the right for Suite 4.  They were the perfect size to mount on the wall and use for the king bedrooms.

Testing the stain get exactly the right shade.


After several coats of stain and laquer, which Judy and Graeme did themselves, the headboard is stunning and matches perfectly with the cherry bedside tables from Moving Designz Home & Cottage.

The ensuite bathroom for Suite 1.

We kept things simple and elegant in all of the ensuite bathrooms, using chrome faucets and accessories with more white subway tile to surround the tubs and surfaces of the glass shower enclosures.

Suite 2

Here again we used an MDF 5 panel door to create the headboard.  Suite 2 so far seems to be the favorite room.  It has views over Charlottetown Harbour.

Suite 3

We chose this stunning drapery fabric as the jumping off point for our room scheme.  The room is a lovely mix of fresh greens, blues and creams.


Suite 4

Starting off with our inspiration fabric... a gorgeous pale brown leafy fabric with huge aqua blue blossoms.  This is my favorite room which we nicknamed Susie's room throughout the project.

Before I go on I had to show you what suite 4's ensuite originally looked like.  This suite was once a one bedroom apartment and this was the kitchen.

Since the plumbing was already in place this former kitchen was transformed into the master ensuite.

Suite 5

We gave new life to this bench when we had it reupholstered it from a faded out and stained fabric...

... to a rich red perfect for Suite 5's colour choices.

And that brings this project to a happy ending!  The Sheldons have been busy with bookings since they opened in mid June.  The reviews are in...

"My favourite place to stay in PEI. Thank you" - June 2010 - ON, Canada

"Terrific place. Great people. Can't wait to return" - June 2010 - NJ, USA

"Fantastic B&B a real luxury stay and find. Thanks for all your kindness and good luck for the future and continued success" - June 2010 - York, UK

Thanks to Graeme and Judy for choosing me as their designer.  It was a pleasure working with you.  This project captured my heart and allowed me to be creative with what I felt would give this home the upscale yet cozy feel they desired.

If you would like more information on One Grafton, please visit

Thanks for reading.  Have a great week!