I've met so many wonderful people thanks to the internet. Some of them through blogging and others through home decorating forums where I hang out, such as GardenWeb. The common thread that links us together is our passion for design and decor that transcends age, location, and even what language we speak.
I think all you have to do sometimes is see the pictures someone posts and you can almost instantly know whether you and that person could be friends in real life. Maybe they have white slipcovered furniture that you covet, or their home has a certain "look" that you find yourself attracted to over and over again and you just know you've found a kindred spirit.
That was the case for me when I first saw Lisa's photos of her family room. Her beach inspired decor and love of white immediately struck a cord with me. Even though she's miles away in Canada, I knew we could hang out and chat about house stuff because we were on the same page when it comes to decorating.
I also knew that she would be someone that I would want to feature on my blog because, although she isn't a decorator by trade, she has such a wonderful sense of style of her own. She recently sent me some pictures of her wonderful family room and hallway transformation so that I could share her lovely home with all of you. I know you all will love it just as much as I do!
The before photo (above) of her family room looks pretty darn good to me, but like most of us who love decorating, Lisa and her husband, Danny, were ready for a change.
Their first order of business was to paint the walls a soft gray color, Benjamin Moore's Beacon Gray, and to add hardwood floors. In this "transitional" photo (above) you can see that they also added a lovely fireplace.
"In the Family Room, we put in the gas fireplace, ripped up the carpet in the hallway, and had hardwood laid. We also replaced the trim with wider baseboards and installed crown moulding. We hired a tradesperson to do the basesboards/crown moulding and hardwood. He did a great job in matching it to the hardwood that was in the family room, you would never know it was laid 6 years later. This work was all done within a week, but the room decorating has evolved over the past couple of years."
This after shot, shows the addition of beautiful new built-ins on either side of the fireplace. They provide storage and give Lisa a place to display some of her stylish accessories. The juxtaposition of the warm wood tones of the new flooring and all of the clean crisp white woodwork give the room a nautical feel and prevent it from feeling too cold or sterile.
"I honestly have struggled to decide on how to decorate a room as there are so many looks I like. The style that I love most remains consistent...simple, fresh, calm. I have always been drawn to pale colours and favour casual, welcoming rooms. My husband's preference is modern, but I don't think the style of our home lends itself to that look. Mind you, the family room has a Beachy vibe to it and we're certainly not sitting seaside. (Lake Ontario is just 10 minutes away...does that count, lol) I love flipping through Home Dec magazines...favorites are Style at Home (Cdn) and Canadian House and Home. I also like House Beautiful and some BHG special publications. My Dream Home...the set from 'Something's Gotta Give'. Love it!"
Accessories are always so important to finishing off any room and Lisa has a knack for finding the perfect pieces and grouping them together to create interesting and eye catching vignettes.
"My husband, Danny, and I have lived here for 6 years. Most of the furniture, with the exception of our family room, came with us from our previous home.(And I desperately want to replace some of it!) Accessories are frequently changed to keep the look fresh. Besides, I love to shop and see so much that I like!"
Lisa's love of design permeates the entire house. She finds inspiration through some of her favorite designers while infusing her own sense of style to create a room that is truly her own.
"My DH calls it 'obession', I call it passion! If I had to do it over again, I would study Interior Design. Guess it's never too late though...My favorite designers are those whose work I can relate to...Sarah Richardson and Candice Olson. They can come to my house anyday! I recently bought Suzanne Kasler's 'Inspired Interiors' and really like her style also."
The tasteful nautical touches found throughout the room give a nod to Lisa and Danny's coastal roots.
"We moved to Ontario from Halifax, Nova Scotia almost 8 years ago. ( NS South Shore, Halifax and the Cabot Trail in Cape Breton are all beautiful places to visit...go in the Summer!) Both of our families are still on the East Coast so at least we return home on a regular basis."
Another view of the fireplace wall gives you a peek into the re-styled hallway. You can also see Danny's favorite feature of the new room, the TV!
"Oh...my husband just piped in that his favorite piece in the room is the TV (roll-eyes) He'd have bigger if I'd allow it...and it took a lot of convincing to have it over the fireplace in the 1st place!"
The picture above shows you how the hallway leading off of the family room looked before the redecorating began. Their adorable chocolate lab Mocha continues to keep an eye on everything.
This after shot shows you the dramatic transformation. It's so light and bright now. The addition of the white shelves gives Lisa another venue to showcase more of her beautiful sea inspired accessories. I also love the colorful artwork and large round mirror she's chosen.
"The only things that truly have special meaning are the 2 prints on the (soon to be painted) yellow wall in the hallway. They are pictures of seascapes in Lunenburg and Mahone Bay on Nova Scotia's South Shore, so these represent a piece of home for me. Besides loving the ocean and sailing, I was drawn to the bright colours in this artwork. Jose Valverde-Alcalde is the artist."
The calming color palette creates a soothing space to escape to after a hectic day of work. It's also the perfect place to indulge in some of Lisa's other hobbies such as jewelry making.
"I'm a National Key Account Manager for a Cosmetics/Skincare company. My other passions are home decorating of course, and I have recently taken up making jewelry using beads and semi-precious stones."
You might be wondering how they keep all of their beautiful furniture white with a chocolate lab!
"What can I say? I love white, but I love my dog more than anything so I needed to find a way to make it work together! As it turns out, white slip-covered furniture can be so easy to live with for pet-owners, and children. In the wash, a little bleach, and voila, they're like new again!"
Not one to sit still for very long, Lisa still has a few things on her to do list, like making over her self described "teeny" office. She also wants to purchase new light fixtures (overhead) and paint the yellow staircase wall a new color and the staircase spindles, leaving the handrail stained wood.
Lisa offers up some great advice when asked what she would tell others about decorating and how to develop their own style.
"Look for inspirational pictures to decide what style you might love if you are unsure of what direction you want to go... You'll see a pattern of what inspires you time and time again. Stay true to what you love and not necessarily what is the latest trend."
She is also a bargain hunter, a trait which you all know I admire, and she's provided me with a list below of some of her favorite places to shop.
"This room definitely falls under the 'Affordable' category! I'm pretty happy with how the room has turned out and nothing is high-end."
A few of Lisa's favorite decorating sources:
Sofas and Cabinets (Granemo) beside fireplace: Ikea!! (Note: We-repainted the cabinets white to match the fireplace as they were solid wood. We also added narrow trim to fill-in beside fireplace)
Shelves in hallway, Jewelry Box w/ silver on fireplace cabinet: West Elm
Various accessories from:
Pottery Barn (lamps, pillows, shells/coral)
Thomas Paul: blue/white coral pillow
Z Gallerie (Whenever I have the chance to visit in the US...we need one in Canada!)
Homesense (similiar to US HomeGoods): White mirror cabinet, white vases and white mirror in hallway (there's a theme here, lol). I pop in every week or two to check things out.
Local (Toronto) home decor stores are all great places to shop because their stock changes frequently and the price points are so affordable.
Thank you Lisa, Danny, and Mocha for letting us see your beautiful home!
I'm linking up for Transformation Thursday at The Shabby Chic Cottage.
For White Wednesday over at Faded Charm.