Sunday, February 21, 2010

Beautifully Beachy

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!

" 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.


  1. Wow Kat! I loved Lisa's family room before, but I really love it now that it has been madeover! Those pale blue walls and white furniture really have the WOW factor, it looks so beautiful, and like a very calm and peaceful place to relax. I love the white slipcovered sofas and the cabinets next to the fireplace look amazing!! What a wonderful job ~ congrats to Lisa on a fabulous makeover, and thank you Kat for sharing Lisa's beautiful home with us all ~ Tina x

  2. So gorgeous! The built-ins really took that room to a whole new level!

  3. very nice indeed...loving the light and fresh looking=)


  4. As another who loves white and anything beachy, I instantly fell in love with her decorating style. The look is as calming as the sea.

    Thanks for sharing to both of you! You've given me lots of ideas for my new home.

  5. What a beautiful home! I love the wall color, so soothing. And the artwork in the hall rocks! I just really love how light and airy this looks. Thanks for sharing this. Kathy

  6. Great posting! Thanks for taking the time to do it. Love the house. Those wall shelves in the hallway are something I'm going to remember!

  7. Wow... Lisa's home is gorgeous! Love how light and airy it looks!

  8. Oh you are so right, this home is just so fresh and lovely. Gorgeous. Thanks for sharing. Hugs, Marty

  9. Gorgeous! What an eye Lisa has for this sea inspired atmosphere. That shot of the hallway is magazine worthy. Wow. Thanks Kat for a tour of this amazing home. ~Lili

  10. Wow gorgeous is all I can say. She has a nice decorating style. I loved the before and after pictures. Its funny how those obsessed with interior decorating will transform a room that already looks amazing and make it even more beautiful.

    Thanks for featuring her decorating:)

  11. Oh my, how lovely. I thought the before shot was the after...I loved that one. The new look is so soft and relaxing. It couldn't be more different than my taupes and chocolate browns...but since we both use shells and beach accents, I love it!


  12. What a beautiful home she has. Thanks so much for sharing it with us.

  13. HI Kat! What a truly beautiful beachy inspired home!! Of course I love all of the white :) Oooo, and those built ins are fabulous!

    :) T

  14. This is a very beautiful home, so bright, fresh and airy! Glad you featured it...Christine

  15. Oh, wow. I'm swooning over these gorgeous photos. Love her style! Thanks for giving us the tour.

  16. Everything is so beautiful, clean and warm :)

  17. Wow! Double Wow!! I love that lamp with the seashells in it. The colors are dreamy!! The blue gray against the white and then you turn the corner and see that pale yellow!! This has always been my style, too!! B3B (before 3 boys) I used to have my entire space blue and white!

  18. The blue and white is so cheerful! Beautiful!

  19. We absolutely love everything here! What a calm, relaxing, unpretentious room!!!!

  20. WOW! That's quite a transformation! BEAUTIFUL! And so peaceful! Those mirrors are awesome! Your friends home is breathtaking! Thanks for sharing!

  21. Stunning!!! So many beautiful things to look at. Nice way to start my day, thank you!

  22. A very pretty room, so my style.
    Our living room is white & grey so I love white sofas & chairs etc.
    I have just this weekend washed all our sofa & chair covers & just popped up some new white curtains & voiles today to replace ones that were looking a little tired.
    I love those mirrors & the pretty silver bird.
    *Happy White Wednesday*

  23. Oh I am terrible depressed now. I need a change too ~ please come help!!! It is absolutely gorgeous ~ so light and beachy. Love it. Thanks

  24. A beautiful room.

    And no, it's never too late to study interior design or decorating. Having been talked out of it when I was in school years ago, I went to a decorating school in my thirties. I was well ahead of the game having my own decorating experiences.

    It's never too late to learn and grow.

  25. Love the clean look and you can't go wrong with a beach theme.


  26. Such a beautiful home! I love all the white, especially the built-ins. Just found your blog, and its lovely! Thanks for sharing.

  27. Lisa,
    Your home is beautiful, absolutely stunning! Love everything about it, but I, especially, love the coffee table and end table. Would you be so kind as to share where you got them, please? Mocha is quite the cutiepie!
    Tried to email you through THS/GW, didn't find one so came bach here to have a second look bwhile leaving my comment.

    This is the second time I've written this.. 1st one seems to have disappeared, don't know if it will reappear ;)

    Thanks and if anyone else knows please email me eileenmcdonald at (trying to head off any unwanted spammers, just write out email addy in the @ usual way. Thanks again.


  28. Thank you so much everyone for your kind comments and a big thank you to Kat for featuring on her beautiful blog!

    It seems like it's taken a while for everything to come together but we're almost there.
    I plan to re-paint the yellow wall leading up to 3rd level either a soft-white or a light sandy-beige. I dread painting the staircase spindles (creamy-white) although I think it would look better...but what a job that's going to be.

    Eileen-The coffee & end tables were purchased at a store here in Toronto (In-Vu Drapery...some great home decor here), however it was a couple of years ago. I think I saw similiar style at Sears Whole Home...

    Thanks again everyone for the nice feedback:)

  29. Her style truly is very calming and relaxed feeling. She did such an amazing job! I love it. I love to see anything Canadian made! Thank you for the opportunity to see her beautiful home. Hugs, Cindy S.

  30. So pretty - What a wonderful transformation! So happy to find your blog. Can't wait to explore!!

  31. Beautiful rooms!! where did you get the sea shell lamp???

  32. I'm new to your blog. Does Lisa have a blog? Beautiful room. Thanks for sharing!!

  33. Hi there! I'm not sure where Lisa got her sea shell lamp, I'll have to ask her.

    And no she doesn't have a blog, but she should! Did you hear that Lisa?! ;)

    Kat :)

  34. Thanks again everyone for the kind compliments:)

    The seashell lamp is from Pottery Barn, however, it was purchased some time ago now & no longer available. (Maybe check E-Bay...sometimes these things show up?)

    No, I don't have a blog...maybe someday.
    I enjoy reading them so much!

    Thanks again:)

  35. Hi All-
    I've just discovered that Pottery Barn has a very similiar-style lamp that you can fill with any items of your choice. (The top portion of the lamp lifts up, leaving a 'vase' to fill with items...same concept as mine that was filled with shells)

    Not sure how to attach the link, but just search Pottery Barn Bacchus Table Lamp. Happy Shopping:)


  36. I love it, I am moving in. Just added you to my favorites. Will be spending some time here.

  37. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  38. I love your style, Lisa. All of your choices show a real flair for making a warm, inviting home.

  39. I absolutely love your style!
    I have been searching for inspiration for awhile and i've found it.
    Beautiful Beautiful Beautiful!
    Thank you.

  40. I need Lisa to come to my house and redesign my home. Lisa's style is really nice. I'm really impressed your friend is a great artist.


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