Sunday, May 16, 2010

Colin and Lisa, a young couple in their mid-20’s, contacted me to help them decorate their first home. In her initial email to me, Lisa wrote “I am a disaster when it comes to decorating and choosing colours (but know the look I'm going for).”  This is the ideal client – they know the look and feel they want but are unsure how to get there. They know that working with a design professional will help them realize their vision.

Tired of living like university students with hand me down furniture, they envisioned their first home to be comfortable and stylish. This is the living room looking all dowdy and dull.


This is how it looks now. The jumping off point for the room was the wool throw (seen on the ottoman) that was lovingly made by Lisa’s grandmother. This inspired the colour palette of fresh green and blue, linen and cream.

Chocolate brown maple hardwood and a soft gray-blue on the walls (Pratt and Lambert Nickel 25-25) instantly updates and brightens the room.  If your budget allows, ripping out basic builder carpet and installing hardwood is a wise design decision.


We kept the side tables and painted them Benjamin Moore Cloud White.  They are the perfect size for the room and can be replaced as their budget allows. I'm all about re-purposing what you have if it will work in your space.

The sofa and chairs are made right here in Canada – love that. The table lamps and ottoman are from Crate and Barrel, one of my favourite retailers.  Have I told you how much I love ottomans?  This one is a great choice as it has a shelf for storage and display.

We added oodles of texture with the jute area rug, the baskets on the shelves of the side tables (out of view) and the tray.

Originally we were going to frame two large black and white photographs from their travels for above the sofa. Because budget was an issue (sometimes at the end of a project this happens), one of my good friends, who happens to be a very talented artist, offered to help me paint the two paintings. We did it together (OK – it was mostly her) using watercolours and I think they turned out beautifully.  We placed them in inexpensive Ikea frames.  My clients love them and it adds so much life  to the room.  (Excuse the glare in the photo though.)

Colin and Lisa wrote this sweet note at the end of the project. Next week I will share the dining room project.


I’m linking up to Layla’s  Room Re-do party.


Update:  The Spanish edition of Elle Decor featured this room on their website.  I’m not sure how they found me, but I’m thrilled.

Want to take a room from frumpy to fabulous? Please contact me at


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