Ottoman Considerations

Did you have a good weekend? I think the busyness of the holidays and client projects caught up with me, and I found myself with less energy than normal. I’m not a big fan of lazy weekends, but I guess occasionally doesn’t much matter.

Today I’m back at it with a trip planned into the city to check on the progress of a client’s renovation project and then I’ll be swinging by a few furniture and accessory stores to source items for our basement. Luckily our sectional sofa has been ordered and our ottoman fabric has been chosen in a couple shades darker with a textural woven pattern. Now I just need to decide on the style. Because the sectional is the same length on either side, I’m leaning towards a large square ottoman with storage for blankets, pillows and whatever else we want to tuck away (too much storage is never a problem).

Ryley Ottoman- WhittakerThe difficulty lies in finding a large square storage ottoman with some kind of detailing. I don’t want it to look like a large lump in the middle of the room, yet it needs to be comfortable and serve as a cocktail table (equipped with a tray) while entertaining. I really like the look of button-tufting, but adding it is a substantial upgrade, and I’m trying to convince myself it’s worth it.

Square Tufted Storage Ottoman- Ballard

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Family-friendly Upholstery Fabrics + Basement Sectional Update

As soon as we were able to clean and organize everything in the basement after our renovation, I turned my focus on a few other projects around the house. Do you ever get tired of focusing on one area of your home for so long that you’re happy to put it on the back burner for a while and tackle something else?

That’s not to say we haven’t enjoyed spending time down there. In fact, our basement family room is used on a daily basis and we’re really appreciating the flexibility it has given us while entertaining, as well as being the perfect solution when I just don’t want to watch another football game and can retreat to our upstairs family room instead.

Now that I’ve had some time to look at the basement with fresh eyes, I’m ready to push forward and make the final decisions for furniture and window treatments. You may remember that I wrote a post way back about some of the sectional sofas we were considering. Well, I discovered a few downsides to some of the fabrics we were looking at, like not being able to spot-clean them or having a tendency to pill quite bad. I had to go back to the drawing board and find a balance between design and function.

At the moment we have it narrowed down to two sectional styles- one with a roll arm by Stylus and another with a square arm by Whittaker Designs. The roll arm is definitely the most comfortable choice, but the square is a nice clean-lined look.

Tofino roll arm sofa by Stylus

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Construction is Finally Done! {Our Basement Reveal}

After weeks of planning, and what turned out to be months of construction, our basement is finally ready to occupy. If you’ve been following along on this renovation journey, you know that back in early May we set out to create a family TV and entertaining area. With a few obstacles, combined with summer holiday trade schedules, our timeline seemed to expand. But, as of this week, we are finally able to make use of the space.

Remember what we started with? It was basically an open space to store everything from hockey equipment to Christmas decorations. It was also where my teenage son and his friends would hang out (reluctantly). Definitely not the most welcoming area in the house!



I don’t think we have anything to feel guilty about anymore. Somehow I think the basement may be preferred over our upstairs family room! Here’s a shot of the newly added closet that fit perfectly between those two support posts.



As you may remember, we wanted to fully utilize the area to the left of the stairwell and decided to create a storage room.



We added double doors to allow for easy access to our treadmill and large storage tubs.


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Basement Renovation Finally Underway!

As I hear clanging and banging coming from the basement, it’s a good sign for me. We’ve been planning our basement renovation for several months now and it’s finally underway. Yesterday everything was mapped out on the floor and the rest of the week will be framing, with the electrical work starting on Monday.

Although we’ve put a lot of thought in to the design, there are always obstacles that come up in any renovation. I’ve already had to make some quick decisions about door placement and exactly how high we want the flat screen TV mounted on the wall. With my husband being away on business this week, I’m feeling a little pressure and I’m crossing my fingers that it will be in the right spot.

One feature we want in the media room is a snack bar (similar to a wet bar, but without the sink). We decided the best place for it is within the niche below the stairs and it will serve as a place to store a few snacks, some glasses, bowls and beverages. We’ve decided to install a stainless steel beverage fridge (which I’ve already changed from my previous basement post as I didn’t like the quality when I took it out of the box), as well as a base cabinet with a drawer and door. What we’re still determining is whether or not we want open shelving up top or a cabinet with double glass doors. This will influence the placement of the lighting as well, to either overhead or under cabinet.

Here are some photos I’ve pulled inspiration from:

Wet Bar

I love the cabinet paint color, as well as the backsplash of this wet bar configuration shown above via Decor Pad.


Painted Cabinet Interiors

If we decide to go with glass door uppers, I may paint the cabinet interiors a pop of color like these via Better Homes and Gardens.

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One Room, Two Looks

Following the completion of a sunroom E-Design for one of my clients a month or so ago, I was asked to create a plan for the bonus room as well. Similar to many scenarios I see time and time again, Patty had purchased new furniture pieces and a few decorative accessories, but she didn’t feel like the room was coming together and it seemed, as she put it,  ”kind of blah.” The main purpose of the bonus room was a place for Patty’s teenage daughter and her friends to hang out in. It also served as an occasional sleeping spot for her family when they visited. She wanted this space to have a more contemporary and fun vibe than the rest of the home, but still be classy and comfortable enough for everyone to enjoy.

After receiving photos, samples (paint swatches, carpet, furniture fabric, etc.), as well as written information about the room, I realized that Patty needed elements that would tie the room’s finishes, her furniture selections and accent pieces together. Although the furnishings were fantastic stand alone pieces, the overall look of the room was disjointed. In addition, some of Patty’s original purchases included red accessories, but she was open to any color suggestions.

What I decided to do was create one general plan along with two different color scenarios. I started using Olioboard as a tool for putting mood boards together and it made completing this task much easier. (I’m quite new to Olioboard and I’m definitely in the learning phase. However, after only trying it for a short while, I’m hooked and will be using it moving forward.) The first scheme I put together incorporated the red décor items Patty had previously purchased and the second option included turquoise.

One Room, Two Looks- Red Bonus Room Design

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