Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I am ready...

To take the plunge into our basement renovation! After interviewing a couple of contractors, we've decided mid November is a good time to start finishing our basement. I like the idea of wrapping a timeframe around a project, and have all the people work towards a deadline. In this case, timeline is a no-brainer -- Christmas! Who doesn't like to get things done before Christmas and call it a wonderful year?!

The most exciting part of the basement renovation for me ought to be the bathroom. See, I wasn't just talking the talk...I actually drew up a design board again (love this exercise). And yes, I did just order the Hutton vanity from Restoration Hardware.
And after consulting with the Feng & Shui, and thanks to the honest feedback from Shannon at 8Foot6, I've decided to go with straight walls around the utility room. Toilet is also relocated as supposedly it's bad Fengshui to have it directly face the door. So here you have it, our final basement design plan that's Fengshui-blessed and also signed off by our contractor. Three more weeks to go before the project starts...can't wait!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

And The Winner Is...

Tracy from Fooding with JT. You've been chosen by Anne-Quinn Furniture to win the fabulous Mahogany Pedestal Side/Foyer Table. Please leave a comment with your email address to reach you.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

To Pouf or Not To Pouf

First thing first, don't forget to enter to win the fabulous Mahogany Pedestal Table Free Giveaway sponsored by Anne-Quinn Furniture.

Of late some decor accents from the 70's glam design era have caught my attention: faux bamboo, geometric patterns, gold-leaf bombe chest, tufted velvet chairs, etcetera, etcetera. I was instantaneously hooked when I saw the use of a Moroccan Pouf in these pictures.

Source unknown
As you could see, this little fellow is so versatile that it can be worked into so many different decor styles: elegant/glam, French Provincial/causal, and even contemporary!

This is a close-up look of this Moroccan Pouf in Silver Leather. It comes in many other colors as well. I've already had a few too many ottomans in my house, but I really want one of these. Would you add a Pouf to your living room? Bedroom? Is it too casual to be in a formal living room? Which color would you pick?


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Basement Design Plan 2.0

I've incorporated thoughtful comments from Shannon and Daniel into this V2.0. Changes I've made are:
  1. Enlarge the bathroom to 8' x 10';
  2. Inside the bathroom add a featured tiled area -- is it an overkill in a basement bath? I really want to venture it. I am thinking of plain Carrara tiles with chevron mosaic featured area. 
  3. Diagonal wall around furnace to eliminate awkward corners (thanks Daniel!).
  4. Add an open wine rack and bring forward the cold room door (thanks Daniel!).
  5. Add built-in shelf and cabinets along the living room wall as pictured.
So what do you all think?

Don't forget to leave your comment and enter to win the fabulous Mahogany Pedestal Table Free Giveaway!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Finishing the Basement

After much deliberation, we've decided to finish our basement first before we renovate our master bath. As much as I am dying to have an elegant master retreat like Janice's, the practical thing for us to do is to reclaim the massive living space downstairs -- our basement is frigging 1,500 sq ft in size.

Here is a quick design plan I threw together. What do you think? Anything you'd change to maximize the liveable space? Bigger bathroom maybe? We are interviewing a few contractors so I will post some good (and professional) ones when I have them.
And if you know me, you will guess the next thing I am going to do after I finalize the structural plan is to compile a mood board (love this exercise, it's like my fantasy world). I will post updates as I have them.

Btw, don't forget to leave your comment and enter for the fabulous Mahogany Pedestal Table Free Giveaway!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Free Mahogany Pedestal Table Giveaway

This is not the first time I mentioned about Anne-Quinn Furniture on my blog. For those that are new to this site, Anne-Quinn (AQ hereafter) is a family-owned Toronto-based company offering custom built, quality solid mahogany/teak furniture at very affordable price. In fact when I first worked with AQ back in early 2009, the then Christine’s Custom Furniture, it was hard to believe I could get such substantial pieces of solid mahogany furniture for what I paid!

Christine and Brian, the young couple/entrepreneurs behind the AQ Furniture, are offering this exclusive Thank-you Giveaway to my blog readers because you are awesome.

This giveaway features a Pedestal Side or Foyer Table made of Solid Mahogany valued at $250! The table is 24” in diameter, and 26” in height. If you win, you are getting exactly the table featured in the pictures below.

Here are the simple steps to enter the draw: 

  • Visit Anne-Quinn's web site at, and come back to my blog to leave a comment on: 
    • What is your favourite piece of furniture from the web site and why?
    • What other ideas you have for custom-built furniture (e.g. your initials embossed on a chair back, slots for adults’ book and kids’ books built right into a nightstand, etc.).   
  • And that's it! Told you it's simple! :-) 

I would really like to gather at least 20 comments in return for AQ’s generous offer, so please spread your word and let’s bump up the comment count. Random draw will take place on Friday October 21st, and the winner will be announced on my blog the same day.

Unfortunately due to the size of this giveaway, we have to limit the entries from GTA/Ontario. But if you live outside of GTA and could pick up the table in person, please throw your name in the hat as well. Brian from Anne-Quinn will contact the winner to arrange for the pickup or delivery of this fabulous pedestal table. 

Good luck everyone!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Home Office Before and After

Two months ago while flowers were blooming, birds were chirping and grass was growing at an insane speed outside of the house, I realized if I had to work indoors most of the day, I needed to be in a room that's not as dark and messy as my home office. Acting on impulse, I quickly drew up a mood board (which was shortly upgraded to 2.0) to revitalize the room. Though it's pretty much a wiping-the-slate-clean type of transformation (replaced every single piece of furniture and fixture), this project turns out to be quite painless and enjoyable.

So here are before-and-after pictures from different corners of the room. You can click on the image to enlarge.






  • From Ikea: Ikea's office furniture rocks!
    • Billy bookcase x 3 in white with custom crown moulding;
    • Micke desks x 2;
    • Rast dresser hacked in library chest style;
    • Malm 4-drawer dresser in white;
    • Ribba photo ledge in white.
  • Bergère chair: a family gift.
  • Ikat drapery fabric from Tonic Living, sewing by yours truly.
  • Antique Windsor comb-back chairs x 3 spray painted in Krylon Satin White. Chair pad fabric from Etsy.
  • Ceiling light fixture: Semi-flush white organza/linen double shades by Z-Lite.
  • Lantern: Bowring.
  • Framed art prints on the wall: "Noon I" and "Noon II" by Caroline Gold from

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Random Scores

I drove by a Value Village today on my way back from a meeting in Hamilton. Here are a few things I picked up:
Mayell England Crystal Sugar Ball Silver Basket
 This adorable quail is added to my ever-growing birdie figurine collection.
White Porcelain Quail
White Porcelain Quail in Living Room
 An antique watercolor illustration of someone's house. I will likely silver/gold-leaf it. 

I am so behind the schedule this year that I haven't put out any Halloween decor or shopped for the Thanksgiving dinner. I am seriously thinking of giving that Butterball and oven a break and eat out in a restaurant. What are you folks doing for Thanksgiving?
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