HOME TOUR SERIES: Theo’s Room

To date, I’ve designed three kid spaces of my own and helped friends design spaces for their little ones as well. I only have a few rules when planning out these rooms…

1. Be cohesive

I once read that most people spend an average of 87% of their lives inside a building. How those spaces are designed affect how we feel and behave. I adopt that way of thinking to all of the spaces in my home, including the boys’ rooms. It is important that there be good flow in the room so that they’re free to move around and, most importantly, I want the room to still feel as though it is a part of the rest of the house. One way to ensure that Theo’s space is an extension of our home and of who we are is to use the same muted and natural color palettes in there as we have elsewhere.

In Theo’s nursery (in our last home), for example, I had done a two-tone striped design on all four walls. The lighter color in the pattern was the same greyish/white paint that we had used throughout the entire home and the darker grey stripe was still neutral enough that it matched our whole color scheme at the time.

2. Remember your audience

Theo was too young to ask for much in his first room but, in this room, his list of must-haves seemed to grow by the day. While my initial instinct was to flat-out say no when he asked me to paint the walls rainbow; I also tried to listen to what he was really asking for – a little bit of color instead of mom’s usual white, black and neutrals. I was careful to not dismiss any of his requests because this was his room – I kept reminding myself that he was the intended audience.

So while I did not give him rainbow colored walls (they are still very much the beautiful crisp white that I have throughout the home), I did ensure to add color through the accessories with green drapes, blue bed, books, art and toys.

3. Good time but maybe not long time…

This one can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on how much you love your kid’s space when it’s done.

Essentially, if you like it but don’t love it, then rest assured, you won’t be stuck with the design of that room forever. Kids grow, their personalities develop and, if we remember #1 and #2 above, their space also needs to evolve with the times. So while there are certain aspects of Theo’s room that I don’t intend on changing (such as the very detailed wall moldings that we did), I am fully prepared to revamp his furniture and the layout sometime down the road.

The fact that a kid’s space will evolve with time is also something to keep in mind when deciding on furniture and accessories. I remember seeing the most beautiful (and really expensive!) cribs when I was designing Theo’s nursery and it was hard not to fall in love with those pieces but I opted for a simpler and more economical crib since I knew it would have a very short life span in his room.

Now for the actual Home Tour Series part… here’s the latest rendition of Theo’s big boy room. I’ve linked as many of the sources as possible but feel free to leave a comment below if there is anything that I missed.

Sources

Curtains

Light pendant

Wall sconces

Desk and chair (Facebook Marketplace)

Bed

Mattress

Duvet cover

Bed sheets

Decorative pillows (Pehr; discontinued)

Alphabet pillow (LD Shoppe; discontinued)

Bean Bag

Book shelves

Shark head (Home Sense)

Toy basket (Home Sense)

Name banner

Be A Nice Human sign

Wooden Hanger

Wall basket

Art frames

HOME TOUR SERIES: Coffee Station

One of my favorite parts in designing our home was making sure every corner was built to suit us and the way we use our space. Our coffee station is a perfect example of how we transformed a small corner into one of the most used areas of our main floor (anyone who needs coffee to live will understand!).

In our first set of house plans, we had a dead space between the kitchen and our master bedroom that our architect made in to a broom closet. I asked to remove the closet and just leave it as an open space where I figured we could add shelves and décor. Then, as we started designing the kitchen and allocating cabinet and counter space to our various uses, I decided to include some millwork in that nook – the goal was to make it feel as though it was an extension of the kitchen but still its own space. From there, the concept for our Coffee Station was created!

We worked with Sebo Woodwork for all of our millwork. We chose their custom color, Clamshell, for our kitchen island and shelves and then brought that color into several areas of our home, including the coffee station. We integrated lighting into the first shelf that we often turn on in the evening for ambiance.

We went with basic matte black handles to mimic what we used in our kitchen island. The goal here was to keep the hardware as subtle as possible so as not to compete with our bolder bronze hardware that we used throughout the rest of the kitchen.

We used the same backsplash in our coffee station as we did in the laundry room (which you can see here). The counter, however, was chosen to match the counters used in the kitchen.

What makes this space so useful is the organization that we included in the cupboards. I am not one to hoard coffee mugs but there was a time where my collection of mismatched cups was keeping me up at night. So when we moved in, I got rid of all mugs that didn’t “spark joy” and only kept what we use regularly.

Because this isn’t a big space (it’s 30″ wide), I have to make the décor on our open shelves work double duty – pretty and functional. We store our extra coffee pods in the glass pitchers on the second shelf; our sugar/cream set are on the first shelf along with some purely decorative pieces. On the counter, we have our Nespresso machine and the ground coffee that Paolo likes is in the white jar next to his French press.

All in all, I’m so happy with the coffee station that almost wasn’t. We use this space a ton and I love that I don’t have to allocate any kitchen real estate to my mugs or coffee products.

I will say, however, that if you are thinking of creating such a space in your home, give yourself a decent amount of room between the counter and the first shelf. We left the standard 18″ height which is perfect for a Nespresso machine but if you have a fancier espresso machine that has the coffee beans grinder incorporated, you would need to pull out the machine each time you wanted to add coffee. It’s not a big deal for us since I do enjoy my Nespresso but it is something to keep in mind when designing a space like this.

Additional Sources

White Dough Bowl

Oak Tray

Silver Spoons

Coffee pod containers

Tea Box

Clear coffee cups and Black Spoons (colored mugs are from Home Sense)

HOME TOUR SERIES: Laundry Room

After two months of being in our new home, the first space to feel “done” is our laundry room! And while I’m grateful for every room in our house, I am especially thankful for an efficient and beautiful (to me anyway!) space where I can scrub, wash and fold my family’s laundry to my heart’s content! [Raise your hand if you actually love doing laundry!!! Nobody? Just me? Cool…]

When we first started designing our home, I wanted a separate mud- and laundry room but ultimately we ended up combining the two to save on square footage. Now that we’ve used the space for a while, having the two together turned out to be the best set up for our family. Theo’s able to take off his dirty clothes as soon as he walks in or our dog comes in from his walk and we’re able to wipe him down and throw the towel in the hamper before even entering the main living area.

One of the rules I had when building this home is that each space we tackled during the build process had to be fully done. If the budget didn’t allow for us to get everything in a specific space, then we just held off completely. I learned from our last home that if I did some upgrades to a space (for example, if I added only lower cabinets to the laundry room and not uppers) then I would likely just end up living with it that way for far longer than I would if the space was empty and in need of finishing. So while we have a joint mud/laundry room, the only part of the room that is finished is the laundry area. The mudroom will be tackled in the (hopefully) near future.

Our entire house (with the exception of one feature wall) is painted in Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace. Our laundry room cabinetry and shelves are custom made by Sebo Woodwork. I wanted a colour that resonated with a typical laundry room and that was a little outside of my white, black and wood tone comfort zone – so we went with Benjamin Moore Mount Saint Anne as the colour for the cabinets. It’s a subtle blue that can lean towards grey or green depending on the lighting and it feels timeless for a laundry room. The shelves are a custom colour used by our millwork company – they call it “clamshell”.

In terms of cabinetry, there were a few items on my wish list that we were sure to include. The first being a space to hang clothes – we installed the clothes rod near the sink area for those items that have to be hand washed and hung. The second must-have was a rack for those items that we have to lay flat – we opted for three pull out drawers with metal racks in each that I can just close with clothes in them so that they’re not on display while drying. The third must-have was upper cabinetry that went to the ceiling – we did a combination of uppers and open shelving to allow the space to feel bigger and brighter.

We went with a classic 3cm white quartz countertop mainly because of it’s clean and low maintenance characteristics. We included a quartz drip ledge under our farmhouse sink and I love how it stands out against the blue of the cabinetry.

We extended the backsplash from the counter to the ceiling to highlight the height of the room (10 feet) and give the space a fresher and more finished look. The backsplash is Pasha Marlow Cloud from Euro Tile & Stone.

The floor tile was actually our least expensive flooring (coming in at under $1.50/sq ft) but it turned out to be my favourite tile in the whole house! I knew I wanted a diamond-patterned checkered floor for this space but I had a hard time finding something that would meet my vision at an affordable price point. And then, on a whim, I was scouring through pages and pages of tile options on the Home Depot Canada website and came across two 12×12 tiles that I thought could work well together (gray/white). They weren’t even displayed on the same page but I knew they would complement each other. I was skeptical at first given how inexpensive they were but my tile installer explained that so long as tile is installed properly, we wouldn’t notice a difference in the flooring and he was right, we don’t.

Finally, when all of the “hardscape” was done, it came time to add the finishing touches. The first thing I knew I wanted were the pull-out hampers from The Home Edit x Steele collection. We designed our hamper opening to accommodate two 3-bushels pull-outs and had one labelled “Laundry” and the other labelled “Towels”. For hardware, we went with polished chrome latches on the double-door cabinets, knobs on the single-door cabinets and bar pulls on the drawers. The lantern pendant above the sink is quite large in person and is the perfect “antique” white (almost cream) finish.

The decor is mostly items I shopped from my home. We added some hooks near the sink to house our brushes and hand towel and added a frame above that I got years ago from a thrift store. In the corner we have two of my favourite McGee&Co. items – their raw steel stand that is quite stately and versatile and their in-house white planter.

What is not pictured in this first Home Tour Series is the “mud” side of the room which currently includes, among other things, a bar fridge, an old bench and hooks for jackets. Once our kitchen fridge is delivered (apparently we’ll be lucky if we get it within the next 6 to 12 months…), then we’ll be able to move the bar fridge to the basement and start working on adding a broom closet, a gift wrap station and a bench with storage. Until then, I’ll just enjoy this prettier view of the space.

Additional Sources

Sink

Faucet

Hooks

Brush

Art Print (discontinued)

Jars

Washer / Dryer