Monday, March 29, 2010

My Daily "Inspired" Read

I am still so happy, and excited to get the Beautiful Blogger award from Kelly and Victoria over at Design Ties.  Thank you again.  It seems to come with a clause to pass it on to 8 more lovely beautiful bloggers.

I could go ahead and list my 8 favorites but I have so many more that I love to read and chances are you already know of them.  So I'm going to introduce you to someone totally different... totally unique.  He is not a designer or a decorator or a wanna be .... He is one hell of a creative thinker.

Whereas I am lucky to get one post done per week he posts almost every single day!  His blog posts will really get you thinking.  He somehow has the uncanny knack of posting the perfect subject blog post on any given day.  He will make you think, make you smile and hopefully inspire you toward the good life.

Ladies and Gentleman please go visit Gair Maxwell's blog for knowledge, power, insight, life lessons, entertainment and a daily dose of humor or business insightfulness.  I love learning and I learn something new or thought provoking every time I read his posts.  His posts seem to cross the barrior between both business life and personal life.  There is always a message.  Enjoy :)

Thanks for reading.  Have a great week!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

A Lovely Saturday Morning

Yesterday while doing my typical Saturday morning blog reading I was caught off guard, totally surprised and honoured to find myself given a Beautiful Blog Award by Kelly and Victoria over at    I want to give them a big sincere Thank You for this award.  They nominated me along with a number of fellow bloggers.  Some of them were known to me and others will be new ones to add to my ever growing reading list.

I encourage you to head right over to Design Ties, and check out their blog. It's one of my favorites. And also visit the list of other talented bloggers who were also on their list.  Congratulations to all of you too :)  And congratulations to Design Ties who won the award first and then passed it on to the rest of us. 

From the smallest province in Canada a special Thank You to Kelly and Victoria and all of my readers, friends and clients who follow my blog, post comments and are interested in the work I do. 

Thanks for reading.  Have a great day!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Monday Field Trip, The Fireplace

Inspiration for todays post came from my Monday field trip to meet the masons on our Craftsman style beach house...  aka the SGG project.  I had the Monday morning early call.   Susan can you come out and meet with the mason to confirm how you want the stones placed?  Nobody wants to make a mistake on this enormous fireplace, especially me.  In fact, there are three of them in this house but for today we're going to look at the great room, as it was the main focus of Mondays work.

The exterior is coming along nicely with the addition of the upper balcony rails.  Looks so good.  But as you can also see it's still spring in PEI, a mix of snow and mud covering the ground. 

On days like these "Special Gear" is required for on-site meetings.
That's Anita's foot with the very muddy boots and the black designer rubbers are mine.  I was very careful where I walked... that day.

Actually both pairs are mine and this is how the the ones she was wearing got so muddy... I am walking with my camera taking a picture as I inch my way through the muck.  This was one week before at another new construction job site.  Since Anita was with me Monday I had to lent her my extra pair.  On PEI you never know when you're going to need them. 

Obviously I wore the wrong shoes on this day a couple of years ago.  Since then I always have a pair of rubber boots in my trunk.  Yes ... us designers sure have glamourous jobs :)

As we turn the corner to go into the house we are first greeted by one of several very large boxes of cultured stone that will be applied to the fireplace.  The fireplace will be a mix of fieldstone and ledgestone.

The fireplace,as you can see this is no small job.  The stained mantlepiece is in place so the mason can apply the stone.  The piece is a solid wood beam from salvaged from another project.  It has been stained and looks amazingly perfect.

After much discussion about how the stones should be laid the mason got underway.  This is the first stone he applied at the base of the hearth.

And this is what the hearth looked  like as we left Monday afternoon.  Still looks messy but he actually got alot done as we did a walk through of the house. 

There's just something about a stone fireplace that exudes coastal charm.  Lets look at a few more stone fireplaces for inspiration.


Thanks for reading.  Have a great week!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Design Attic

For this weeks post I want to share the construction progress at "Number One Grafton". 

I posted on the kitchen a few weeks ago from this amazing all encompassing heritage house renovation.

Soon to be luxury 5 Star B and B in downtown Charlottetown. 

The renovations have been ongoing since last September and are almost complete.  My clients, Graeme and Judy Sheldon and myself are getting very excited seeing the project come together.  We're getting to the finishing stages after almost 2 years of planning, dreaming and waiting.

Taking on this project was no small feat.  When they purchased the house it divided into 3 apartments.  After months of planninng the entire house has been nearly gutted, rebuilt, rethought and reconfigured to accomodate 5 luxury suites for their guests.

Today we're going to look at progress in the attic space.  This will be Graeme and Judys private domain "The Innkeepers Suite".  Located on the 3rd floor, this space was unfinished, dark, and filled with old building materials and junk.  The space presented various challenges and unearthed a few treasures too!  Today it has become a light bright spacious living space.  Let's do a before and after run down...

This was the original staircase entry to the third floor attic hatch.

The old stairs were removed, the hatch and ceiling were opened up and the entire area was repositioned to accomodate a lovely new staircase and brand new entry to the suite.

View 1 - This is the original dark attic space with lots of old building supplies and junk piled everywhere...the yellow hole is the old attic hatch and entrance.

View 2 - This is Graeme and Judy and my camera lens covered in drywall dust.  After a walk through and brief sneezing fit we left to let the seamfillers to finish their work...

View 3 - This was Tuesday afternoon, March 09.  As you can see the space has changed considerably.  Drywall, paint, new staircase, new lighting and the gorgeous light birch flooring. 
With one more coat of urethane the flooring will be ready and we can start moving furniture up.  Design dilemna - to paint or not to paint the old brick chimney?  Leave it for charm or paint it the same Cloud White as the walls?  I personally would like to see it painted.  Readers?  I'm welcoming thoughts, opinions and comments?

View 4 - This view is looking in the opposite direction and the doorway to the right of the picture is where the new bathroom is now located.

View 5 - A wide angle shot looking in the same direction.

View 6 - The finished seating area with built-in book shelves, a fireplace and on the left of the firebox a niche for the flat screen television.  It will make a perfect relaxing lounge.  (Judy and Graeme have taught me many lovely English words lounge = livingroom)

View 7 - This little annexed space just off the main living area is about to become the master bathroom.

View 8 - Ahhh now we're talking.  A beautiful claw foot tub, pale cream tile flooring and a lovely nook perfect for a soak!


View 9- Looking the other way...

View 10 - This wall now houses the shower and a nice little built in storage area under the eave wall.

Since I'm at it I might as well post a couple extra images of other spaces that have and are still undergoing major transformations.

Before Suite 4 - A tiny little sitting area was once part of a one bedroom apartment.

During, we're starting the transformation.

This little space has become a convenient little kitchette area for Suite Four, aka Susan's suite :)

Through the doors of the sitting area there once was a kitchen....

And now it has been transformed into an ensuite bathroom.

I cannot wait to share more of this fantastic project... most especially I am looking forward to sharing the finished rooms complete with furniture, window treatments and accessories  In the meantime here are a few of my most favorite beautiful and inspiring attic spaces...

This image is very similar to the furniture we will be using in the Innkeepers Suite ... Stay tuned.

Before I end this post I must thank Judy and Graeme who have been with me since I started my design business.  First choosing me to work with them on their PEI cottage and then inviting me to work with them on this project.  They are wonderful clients, and friends now.  Always a pleasure  :)  xoxo 

Thanks for reading.  Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Monday's Site Visit

Today I'm posting an update on one of my design projects, the craftsman style summer home.  I posted a couple of exterior pictures way back in December but since work is progressing so nicely I thought I would share some updated images of the progress.  Last Monday I was on-site with the owner, the builder , the cabinet maker, and the foreman to review the details. 

Our discusssions centered around the cabinetry including the kitchen, baths and built-ins, the electrical plan, the staircase, tiling patterns and the fireplace facades.  My images are a mix of before and afters, which I am hoping will give you a feel for the space and just how much work has been done.

Here's a review of the exterior first.

 Late fall... the builders were trying to get it closed in as quick as possible to get ahead of winter weather.

Mid December... the windows, roof, chimneys and house wrap are almost complete, just in time for our first of many snowfalls.

Last Monday... the siding is almost complete, all the windows are in and the house is really shaping up. Isn't it gorgeous?  Love it!  The blue Hardy Plank siding looks wonderful.  And as you can see we have about a foot of snow left on the ground now and looking at the images the sky is the same grey tone.  P.S. The sun does shine here but it didn't make an appearance on any of my visits.  Brrrr....

This is the back side of the house that you can't see from the road and for obvious reasons is the main entry to the house.  The driveway runs up to the right of the house and curves around to the garage and front door.  This image illustrates why I own and wear insulated rubber boots :)

As you enter the home you can see right through to the front side which is the waterside.  Look up and you will see a bridge.  But not the Confederation Bridge kind :)

Fast forward to last Monday with the drywall installation well underway.  There's that bridge again.  It spans both sides of the second floor and on either side of the bridge there are 2 large bedroom suites.  The suites are complete with full baths, walk in closets and each has it's own balcony overlooking the water view.  They run from the front of the house to the back.  BIG.

Everyones favorite beach house, The Something's Gotta Give movie set.  Look up at the staircase landing and you will see a bridge.  This is what ours is going to look like when complete.  Yes, it's true I'm working on a Something's Gotta Give beach house :)  A dream job for moi.

So now we're looking at the great room with just the framing and water all over the place since we were not closed in just yet...

Monday.  The drywall is now up the room is really taking shape.  You can actually get a feel for the size of the room.  The floor to ceiling fireplace will be clad in a combination of mixed fieldstone and ledgestone with built-in cabinets on either side.


Here's another angle.  The ceiling, way up there, is a barrel ceiling following the curve of the eyebrow windows.  It will be finished in white beadboard.  And what do you hang for a light fixture in such a grand space?

I chose this 15 light chandelier to grace the ceiling.  My client had one stipulation with the lighting... make it fabulous.  Do you like it?  It's from Kichler, Hendrik collection.  42.5" wide and 36" deep.

Named after renowned Dutch architect, Hendrik Belage, the Hendrik Collection is a gorgeous family of contemporary fixtures that honor the man who was regarded by many as the "Father of Modern Architecture".   We're using this series throughout many of the rooms.

The view from upstairs... that's the Northumberland Strait with The Confederation Bridge in the distance.

And this is the view from downstairs, it's pretty impressive.  However much better in the summer...

As I was driving away this little creature was walking up the middle of the road. Which goes to prove you never know what you're going to see or what is going to happen next on any given day.  He eventually climbed up the snowbank at the side of the road was making his way along the top of the snow as I safely drove past.

Actually it was pretty cool to watch him walking along without a care in the world.  Nobody messes with
The Skunk.  I definitely kept a safe distance.  Seeing skunks out is a sure sign that spring is just around the corner :)  Oh I hope so, it's been a long winter season.

Thanks for reading.  Have a great week!