Hello, again!

You know there are two things that I can’t stand in the world of Blog: checking in with a site that has no new information for weeks and weeks and weeks. And reading posts where the writer bitches and moans about how badly they feel about not writing in so long. As you will soon read, I am officially guilty of both of the things! Ugh. I will spare you all of the multitude of reasons why I have been radio silent and tell you about four of the reasons.

#1 NO TIME: lots and lots of work (yay!), lots of kids to take care of (only 2 but they keep me super busy), lots of housework (yuk), lots of social commitments (yay!).

#2 FEAR: the longer I went without writing, the less inspired I was to write, the more paralyzed about writing I got. Classic Annika styles.

#3 WINTER: for the first year since I’ve had kids, I have fully taken advantage of outdoor winter fun-skiing, skating, sledding, trips to the country. Maybe it is my children being older and therefore less whiny about being outside in -20 weather. Maybe it’s because I finally have learned to dress for cold weather after a lifetime of living in it. Maybe it’s because I am more active and my husband is crazy active (or an elite athlete as he likes to call himself ). This year, any “free” moment has been spent out of the house.

#4 TECHNOLOGY: yes, I’m going to go there. I’m going to blame all of technology for my sorry contribution to this website. My website kept getting spammed and hacked ( to those of you who wrote in and had emails bounce or got no response back, I deeply deeply apologize ). My home computer was up in arms and refusing to work at it’s usual decent speed making even writing the simplest email total torture much less writing and researching for the site. I wanted to start the year offering you two reveals: one of my amazing Mile End Project and the other of a quick and lovely bathroom renovation. I even lined up a professional photographer to capture the spaces. His camera broke before we could start and he is still in the process of getting it fixed. You see? ALL of technology conspired against me.

But now, as of now, no more bullshit. No more procrastination. No more giving myself a hard time. About writing that is. Consider this my THREE (!!!) month late New Year Resolution: I will write again. I will write often or sometimes. I will write big posts and small posts and no posts. And it will be ok. It will be fine. I will stop beating myself up over it. And hopefully, some of you will continue to join me on this ride. I will try to make it worth your while.

For my first day back (and to ease myself back in a little), I thought I’d give you a sneak peak at the job I have been spending most of my time on. As I previously mentioned here , I got the amazing opportunity to work for a great new client. This is someone that has a creative eye, a healthy budget, and no major deadlines so there is the time to get things right and without compromise. Often in my line of work, either budget or time constraints mean that some part of my vision for the client or the space will have to give. In this case not so much. I’ll take you through a couple of the spaces that I am attacking on this project which I am calling St-Adèle.

The house is a country home that was last decorated about fifteen years ago. Many of the furniture pieces were culled from various other properties. I’ve been hired to update the space and make it more cohesive.

Guest Bathroom:


This is a nice little bathroom and it is more than decent size wise. But the vanity is too big and heavy for the space, the toilet too bulbous, and the room too wood-y. I was inspired by these images:

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(1) From The Design Files; (2) from De De Ce; (3) from Homelife.

My goal was to lighten and brighten and modernize. I wanted to have a vanity made that would be floating off the floor and not taking up the entire width of the space. I wanted bright tile on the floor (with heated coils beneath it) to cut out all the contrasting woods. I wanted sleeker fixtures.

At Ramaccieri Soligo, I was shown this brand new cement tile and I paired it with this new-on-the-market faucet finish called Vibrant Gold from Kholer:

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(It will look more tarnished as in the picture on the left)

I am head over heels in love with this tile. The white is bright and the grey bits match the shower tile which I am keeping. And with the old gold of the faucet, it is going to be just gorgeous.

For the vanity, I am working with a company called Treebone Design. They are located in the Mile-Ex neighbourhood of Montreal and they make beautiful wood pieces. I think we are going to go with a pale teak for the vanity-  not too orange or too yellow. We are getting a slab of Nero Carrara marble from Ciot for the counter. It looks so beautiful with the tile, picking up the black, grey, and white theme. We’ll pop this sink on top:

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As soon as the tile arrives, we will rip out the floor, the old vanity, the convector on the wall, and the toilet. We’ll install heated coils then lay the tile down. We’ll pop our new vanity, counter, and sink in. We’ll remove the existing granite shower sill and put in a marble one to match our counter. We’ll install a new toilet and new accessories (also from Kholer in Vibrant Gold). Paint the walls in a nice bright white. Bingo bango brand new guest bathroom! I can’t wait.


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This is an office/library. It is a lovely space but it is serving so many different purposes that it ends up not getting used properly or purposefully. The idea here is to sleek it up, clean it up, and add storage so that all of the busyness can get tucked neatly away. When there is less clutter, you can make the objects that you truly want to have shine (in this case artwork and family photos and the pretty desk), shine. Another problem in this room is the overabundance of different woods: the knotty pine shelves, the birch desk, the old ceiling beams, the exposed original walls. Too much brown.

My mandate for the room is to clean it up, add storage, brighten the room up. Originally, I wanted to keep the knotty pine shelving and add storage below it. I thought we could paint the new lower cabinets a nice white and match the wood to the new cabinets. Then my contractors started talking me out of that-they felt that the shelves would need lots of repairs and tons of sanding, and they worried about colour matching. I resisted at first. My goal is not to rip everything out here: honestly that is not the kind of designer I am. I love eclectic design; I have eclectic tastes. I want to reuse as much as we can and there is a lot in this home that we should be reusing. Anyhow, when my client stated that she wasn’t attached to the shelves in any way, the decision was made easy for me. So the knotty pine will go. Building the lower cabinets are my go-to cabinet makers Steam. Their designer Patrizia and I work so well together- she is a dream come true. We came up with a clean and bright design for the space:


Tons of new storage to tuck away all the clutter, the counter tops are ready to hold some family pictures and artwork. Some books and magazines can be placed on the two floating shelves. From my client’s Montreal apartment, we will bring in this rug and this Eames chair and ottoman:

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In a few short days, we will demo the old shelves, remove the couch, paint the walls Cloud White CC-40 (same as the new cabinets), change up the artwork, move the desk in between the two windows, install the new Steam furniture. I think the room will be a bright and relaxing haven, a place to work or to read by the window. I’m very excited!


So there it is folks. A glimpse at some of the work that I’ve been up to. I’ll have pictures of the finished office in a couple of weeks.

This writing process never ceases to amaze me: it took me soooooooo long to get writing again. I’ve spent what little time I’ve had these last two days writing this post.  BUT once I start, I can’t stop. It is such a great exercise for me. Maybe if I could afford an assistant to talk to and hash out the work with, I wouldn’t need to throw all this out in the universe. Maybe that’s why some people have blogs: they don’t have anyone to talk to about their passions or their work. Hmmm…I don’t know. All I do know is that it really helps me to clarify my vision for the spaces I’m working on, to work out problems I’ve been wrestling with, to make me see the cohesion (or lack thereof) of the overall space, the big picture. Just in writing this post, I’ve resolved two issues that were nagging me and remembered something I’d forgotten. So as much as I can find the process of writing at times difficult and long, it truly benefits my work. I see that now. I hope it will benefit my client’s life. And maybe some of you out there.

Thanks for checking in.








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