We're not gonna lie: our guest room, as we found it, was more like a petting zoo -- for unwanted critters -- than a potentially indulgent space for our friends to relax. Cue a weekend long clean up, gallons of bleach, miles of new drywall, acres of replacement plasterboard and a careful construction plan.
OK -- we're gonna say this right here, right now. Canadians are obsessed with the weather. So imagine the ensuing delight when our allotted timetable to build a sunroom looked like it might somehow align with a period of bright, sunny early fall weather. But then Mother Nature timed her first SNOWFALL of the year to perfectly coincide with our reveal...
Consider, if you will, this bathroom: a veritable den of designer no no's. An ergonomic, stylistic and visual wash out, with little in its favour, it desperately needed to change. Petite? To the power of ten. Carpet? The devil's own harbinger of human excretions, toe nails and mouse poop. Are we painting a picture?
A really good deck doesn't stop at the luxuriant lumber from which it is constructed. To bring any deck (patio or terrace) alive it needs subsequent "layers." In precisely the same manner in which décor and accessories will alternate interior "beat," so too can visual and physical tricks make your exterior scheme look "considered."
Four months of extreme nail biting. The appraisal of several hundred pages of property details and appointments to view perhaps 45 cottages. Yup, the search for a new cabin was arduous. Just as we were about to throw in the towel, Rob emailed one last prospect: a 1980s A-frame. But it was clearly a bag of problems...
Working, as we do, with a client inventory that spans suburban bungalows, condominiums, back splits and city centre semis, we've problem solved every decorative issue that bad taste can muster. Here's a quick roundup of pointers that should help make better of any small space, cottage inclined or not.
So, you've come to grips with the fact that the only workouts you plan on getting are the continuous long treks up the stairs to refill your pitcher of sangria. But before you get too comfortable with this soothing summer schedule, what if you could bring workout equipment to the cottage that will increase exercise intensity, reduce total time AND won't even take up space in your suitcase?
Hallelujah! We can finally reveal our cottage kitchen, whose transformation has been a veritable state secret these last few months. Truth is we wanted to avoid stealing our own thunder and opted, therefore, to throw a veil of secrecy across the mini miracle. Now we're revealing it in these virtual pages.
Oftentimes, it's nice to afford (and be afforded) a little privacy when friends arrive. Sure, we're all for mix and mingle, but personal chill time is welcome too. So come one, come all (overseas pals and family are you reading?) safe in the knowledge we've fashioned, as your holiday haven, an annex to which you can escape when our laughter becomes too raucous or our music too loud.
A bomb shelter as inspiration for our cottage shower room reno? Well, actually, yes; the curious notion was birthed having espied a tin sign perched high above the entrance to a now defunct air raid space in New York. Exploring the city on business, we froze like pillars of salt when confronted by the ancient sign.
Forget expensive silk and satin and search instead for polyester mix weaves with the look and feel of their posher cousins. We lined basic man-made pale gold fabric with bargain basement heavy gauge cotton to give a bulky interlined effect. Made up by our seamstress, with pinch pleating and black bobble edging to add punch, they belie their inexpensive roots.
While the bedroom transformation was successful and went (for the most part) without too many hitches, the same can't be said for the rest of the cottage transformation. Indeed as work progressed in other zones, project drama truly escalated. Little did we know what lay in store. Exacerbated by a tiny design budget -- and an even smaller team -- something had to give. Jeesh.