Project Sweet Maple - Dining Room Makeover

I recently had the pleasure of working with a young family to redesign their dining room. The client, Laura (of Sweet Maple), had some great pieces to start with, but was having trouble pulling it together into a cohesive look. For me, the big challenge was making the different wood tones in the room work. The floors were quite dark, the table was a rustic pine, and the console was a mid-century modern teak.
I knew that the room needed a lovely, natural rug to neutralize the competing tones.

The room also had great ceiling details, but the walls were quite plain. We added some simple paneling to give some more architectural interest. I knew I wanted to go with white walls, so paneling is also a great way to add interest to walls rather than doing it with colour. This also allowed for us to do some very bold drapery on their huge window looking into their front yard. The drapes are my favourite feature in the room!
To add even more colour, we found an inexpensive hutch and had it sprayed the prettiest blue. It was a happy accident that the colours that I proposed for the space in the initial design meeting went perfectly with Laura's vintage china. It was a design match made in heaven.

It just goes to show you that you don't need a massive budget to have a huge design impact on a space. I love how this room turned out. It feels fresh, young, and hip - perfect for the family who lives there!

See the Before's below!


Beauti-Tone Colour of the Year - You Look Mauvelous

The guest bedroom at my parent's house was in sad need of a facelift. This room was actually my childhood bedroom, and it still had the same bright yellow walls, purple border and matching bedding that I picked out in sixth grade (I've come a long way). On top of that, it had become the 'catch all' space for old Christmas decor, old furniture, and some plain old junk.

When Home Hardware approached me to try out their new Beauti-Tone colour of the year 'You Look Mauvelous', I was a bit hesitant, because as we all know, I am a white walls kind of girl. About as adventurous I like to go is a shade or two off from white. But my parents love colour so I knew this was the perfect opportunity to push myself outside of my comfort limits. I have to say, it is a gorgeous shade- a mauve tempered with enough grey to not be offensive. It looks particularly good against brass, so we accented the room with small brass details.

A sweet little white and gold starburst mirror over the bed frame adds height and whimsy.

For the accent pillows, we loved this sweet mauve floral fabric that I had left over from another project. From here, we pulled the teal blue hues to make the scheme more dynamic and lively. This throw by Sarah Richardson Design worked perfectly and added some necessary texture. 

 I think that the guest room is such a great space to use a bolder hue, because it is not a room that you see all the time and it offers a nice departure from the usual for any guest staying over.

Oh, and in case you are curious about the 'before' (who doesn't love a dramatic transformation?!):

A big thank you to Home Hardware and Beauti-Tone paints for sponsoring this post and for their lovely new colour of the year! It really is Mauvelous.

xox Tiffany


Style Me Pretty Home Tour

Hi loves! I've been holding in a big secret, but today, I can finally let you in on it! I'm so excited to announce that my apartment has been photographed and today is featured on Style Me Pretty Living! My dear and talented friend, Mike Caringi, did the photography. He is the owner of 5ive15ifteen Photo Company and their work is seriously stunning guys (you may remember these bridal mag shots they did for me awhile back). I am so thrilled with how he captured the essence of my space!! This is my first 'official' apartment (read - non student apartment) and it has been a labour of love!

Check out the full feature over at Style Me Pretty!!
(Some sneak peeks below)


Switching out the Lights - Making a Rental Feel Like Home

With Labour Day over, it feels like the summer is coming to a close (although, full disclosure, I'm heading to a cottage for the week to try and stretch out every last bit of summer fun I can). While feeling sad about summer ending (it's been such a blast!), I'm also accompanied by that old, familiar September feeling of wanting to renew my energy and pour my efforts into work and progress. So here I am, writing a post. 

I recently (okay, not that January - eek time flies!) wrote an article for outlying 10 Ways to Turn Your Rental into a Real Home.  One of my top tips is to change out your light fixtures. Let's be honest, Light fixtures in apartments are notoriously bad (hello boob lights!) and this is a pretty easy fix.

The fixture over my dining table actually wasn't horrible (although it was quite dirty) but wasn't right for the rest of my decor. It has more of a mid-century vibe, and my furnishings, and the bones of the apartment itself, are much more traditional. 


While out antiquing at the Aberfoyle Flea Market last summer, I came across this vintage brass and crystal chandelier that I knew would look perfect in the space. After a good cleaning, it was ready to be hung.


Tip: Chandeliers should hang about 30" above your dining table.

I also switched out the ceiling fan in my living room. Although it provided a nice cool breeze, it was an eyesore, especially since it reflected double in the large mirror over my fireplace. The vintage wheat sheaf chandelier (found for me at the St. Lawrence market by my friend Tim of Design Maze Tim) is the perfect scale and adds texture and interest to the room.



I often find people neglecting the power of attractive lighting - it's too often an afterthought rather than a showpiece. Good lighting really makes a room feel complete from top to bottom. Keep the original fixtures in a rental to reinstall when you move out, and take your new, attractive lighting with you to your next place!

To read the rest of my tips for Making a Rental Feel like Home, check out my article with here!



Project Northlake: Kitchen Reno - After Pictures

Well guys, we made it here to the fun part - after photos! Getting to work with my parents as clients was such an amazing and unique experience. We had a few tense moments and many fun ones, and I am so happy with the final product. More importantly - they are happy. For over 30 years my parents have been putting me and my brothers first, and it makes my heart so glad to see them do this for themselves. They really deserve it!

The space feels so much brighter, lighter, bigger, and up to date. It also functions better and has way more storage. I know we will make many more memories together as a family in this kitchen!

Taking out the railing and bringing the cabinets right to the ceiling really increases the feeling of space. The light cabinet colour helps with this too. The cabinets are solid maple and sprayed in Simply White by Benjamin Moore. It is a slightly creamy white, which is warmer, more traditional, and works better with the style of the rest of the house than a cooler white would.

We went with polished nickel as our metal finish. It has a warmer tone than chrome, so it works great if you want to mix in brass finishes as well (we didn't do that here, but mixing of metals in the kitchen is becoming increasingly popular and is a look I personally love, so I'm passing on that handy little trick). Our hardware is the Studio Collection from Hickory Hardware in 3" and 5".

The hardware selection is actually one of those tense moments that I was talking about, as my parents and I had differing views on what the hardware should be...and by different views, I mean they were picking out some crazy 90's looking curvy things. When we found the Studio Collection, however, we all knew that we had a winner. It has nice clean lines with just enough detail to keep it from feeling modern or trendy. We were mindful of picking classic elements that would stand the test of time.
This is true of our backsplash as well. The oriental white marble backsplash from Creekside Tile in Toronto will never go out of style. The classic subway tile pattern in a slightly smaller size (2"x4") is simple and clean, and the natural material has beautiful variation in tones of cream, white and grey.
The quartz countertops are speckled to hide crumbs so my mom isn't constantly scrubbing. I had to push my parents into quartz a bit (it has a higher price tag), but it is the best product on the market in terms of durability without compromising appearance.
This feature of the microwave cabinet coming down to sit on the counter adds extra storage and function. It also makes the microwave look more built in without the high price tag.
The old kitchen had a desk on the end of the run of cabinets. We still needed a spot for the phone and stationary items, but we chose to end the run of cabinets with a deep pantry. This way, the (sometimes messy) 'office' area is neatly tucked away as opposed to being the first thing you see when coming into the kitchen. Also, no one actually sat at the desk so we opted for a bottom cabinet for more storage.
Vintage glassware in shades complimenting the wall colour (Amalia by Beautitone Paint) is displayed in the angled glass cabinet. It's a bit of a tight squeeze here and we walk by this corner to get to the patio door, so angling it provided a less hazardous solution. 

I really love the polished nickel pagoda lantern. It doesn't have any glass sides, which is key in a kitchen where grease and smoke in the air can be an issue. It was purchased at Universal Lighting in Toronto. It's large and makes a statement - perfect as it is in the direct sight line when you walk in the front door of the house.

What a transformation! I love you Mom and Dad!


My Apartment: Bedroom Planning

It has officially been one year since I took possession of my one bedroom apartment (what?! How is that possible?!). So far, I've been focused on every area besides the bedroom, because it's the one area guests don't really see. 
Now that the rest of my space is more or less finished (just a minor list left: runner for the front hall, paint dining table, new side table lamp, find hardware for bookshelf doors), it's time to give the bedroom a little loving. I really dislike my bedroom right now - it simply doesn't function properly so it always ends up a mess. The layout is very strange because of the placement of doors, windows and radiators. And the white walls and lack of bedskirt, etc. leave it feeling very temporary and dorm-ish.

I've finally come up with a plan that I feel very confident in. I had bits and pieces of it brewing for awhile, but I had my big eureka moment recently while watching The Intern. I love every set Nancy Meyers has designed (Something's Gotta Give, The Holiday, etc.) but I think Jules's house in The Intern is my very favourite. It literally made my heart skip a beat. And when I saw her dark grey master bedroom, I knew this was the piece to the puzzle that I had been missing.
Jules's Bedroom in The Intern, Designed by Nancy Meyers, via Architectural Digest

Those charcoal walls were speaking my language, and the play between greys and natural linens really works well. I love the idea of wall sconces as I don't have room for bedside lamps. Picking the perfect grey is proving tricky, but I'm leaning towards Elegant Boutique by Para. Do you have a favourite?

Here is another room that is inspiring me for my bedroom:
Victoria Solomon's Apartment, Designed by Victoria Soloman, via The Everygirl

The grey here is a bit lighter and probably better for my space that doesn't get much light. And those sconces are my dream. MY DREAM! They are reasonably priced, but still out of my budget so I'll have to find an alternative.

Other things floating my boat:
Michelle Adams's Bedroom via Lonny Mag, 2012
I've been obsessed with Pyne Hollyhock for the bedroom ever since I saw this spread of Michelle Adams's place way back in 2012. If I haven't gotten sick of it yet, I doubt I ever will. Of course I can't afford much of this fabric, so maybe just a small lumbar pillow on the bed?

Also I'm craving emerald green. I used to always say I want an emerald green headboard, but I think that a neutral headboard is better. Instead, I am going to get a couple of large emerald green velvet pillows from Live Love Smile.

The hardest thing for me to master styling wise is making the bed look good. I tend to get very hot while I sleep, so I need to use the thin 'cool' IKEA duvet cover, but it makes the bed look flat and uninviting. I think the key is to layer, I can always take a thicker, fluffier duvet cover off before I go to sleep.

Here is the current state of the bedroom (I'm only showing you all this because I love you...):

Okay now I am sufficiently embarrassed. Time to get ready to paint!!