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HOMETOWN HEART: A Surprise Master Bedroom Makeover

Hellllloo Sunshine. Boy am I ever late to the game! In June Leon’s launched the fourth in their series of Hello lifestyle + home decor magazines, Hello Sunshine.

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I’ve been up to my eyes with projects, deadlines, recording voice overs, making big life decisions.. you know, the usual. Better late than never, am I right? // SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM FOR THE VIDEO REVEAL!

As editor in chief of the Hello magazines for the past four issues I worked quietly behind the scenes. For this past issue of Hello Sunshine I was very fortunate to be able to flex my own design skills and complete a very special makeover project, for my parents. I shared the big #ProjectParentReno Reveal in this year’s issue, but I also wanted to share a bit more about the process leading up to our big shoot. Firstly, I’ll start by saying that what started out as a “Hey Mom and Dad, I’m going to makeover your bedroom.. It will take one month”.. Turned into 5 months of my parents being temporarily kicked out of their bedroom haha. Isn’t that always the case with renovations?

As a bit of a backstory- the whole reno was spawned out of a couple health scares and a few lucky breaks. My family had a tough couple years with accidents and overall well-being.. that really led me to want to create a safe space for my parents to unwind in. A fresh start, a new outlook, a relaxing retreat.  From new floors to trims, to paint and everything in between- it was truly a head to toe makeover.

To get started on the design process I began by pining some overall design concepts based on a need to create a space that felt eclectic and bohemian to appeal to my Mom.. but also equal parts mixed metals to appeal to my biker Dad. Previously a pretty boring box-like-room, I knew I wanted to add as much architectural interest as possible to really make it feel like a new space. So, I called on the board-and-batten experts- Bethany and Art  from This Little Estate for some expertise. Little did I know one phone call looking for some advice would turn into a full on collaboration to re do the space together. Bethany and Art are two of the most kind hearted, generous and truly genuine people I’ve ever met.  Back on their blog in 2014 they started a project called The Porch Project– which in a nutshell was all about doing kind things for other people- specifically in this case by leaving unexpected packages on peoples doorsteps. This year, they decided to bring the project back- but this time- rolling up their sleeves and using their design knowledge to surprise people with updated spaces. (See one of their makeover reveal videos here. AND, they are actually tackling a lucky contest winners space for the next issue of Hello Holiday.) This makeover would not have been possible without this design duo, so Bethany and Art- thank you SO much.

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We partnered up with Metrie to bring the ho-hum walls to life and the difference was DRAMATIC. This was my first time working with trim and it’s actually stunning how much of a difference great trim can make in a space.

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I nixed their ratty old comforter for this stunning high quality duvet set from Unison home. The sheets are also Unison and are oh-so-smooth and super dreamy!

Art even built a 100% custom herringbone barn door using wood from Metrie. (I’m honestly jealous it’s not in my space!) Art was truly the master installing the trims..Driving to my parent’s place through sun, snow, rain.. you name it. Many a’ Tim Horton’s coffees were had in this room haha! See the POWER of trim below & the incredible herringbone barn door created by TLE Build and Design!

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We went with Hale Navy by Benjamin Moore on the walls. I knew I could go dark and moody on the top half of the walls because the pop from the white trim would brighten up the overall space. And I knew from the get-go I wanted a big fluffy textured JUJU hat above the bed- so picking a dark hue to contrast with was a priority. Plus, adding a splash of something rich is just so nice.. My parent’s home otherwise is pretty safe, lots of creams and neutrals- so this was totally unexplored territory.

One other element I was sure of was that I wanted a sophisticated brass sputnik. Brass + Navy= a winning combination. And you’d never believe this was a cheapie from Costco, spray painted brass! (It was like $120!) I used Gold Sabotaz Spraypaint- as recommended by Lindsay Stephenson– and I loved it! You can pick it up at Deserres.

Sputnik Progress

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How stunning is this brass drapery hardware from Tonic Living?

The closet, actually came as an afterthought. Basically I was obsessed with having a Herringbone barn door (rightly so).. but totally forgot that when the door slid on the barn track- it would bump right into the dresser I had perfectly measured out to go along that wall. So.. I changed the plans, moved the dresser under the window- and found the PERFECT mid century dresser to go into the closet to create a thoughtful little nook for my mama. (This dresser was actually found in the BABY section if you can believe it!)

I decided straight away I wanted to paint the inside of the closet HARLEY orange for my Dad.. but wanted to figure out a way to make it feel feminine and lovely for my Mom.. So floral wall it is! I had the greatest instructor (Bethany) as she’s done a couple floral walls in her day.  I found a few designs I loved from Rifle Paper Co and combined them to create something unique to my Ma. (To paint them on, I cut out templates I made from bristol board, traced em on, and filled em’ in!)

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Ta da!

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And here’s a look at the closet before.. a bit of an upgrade I think ;)!

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You can see my parent’s adorable/emotionally charged reactions to their new space in finale episode of our Hello Sunshine web series below.

 

+ If you’re just tuning in now- be sure to catch up on the other 5 episodes! (And subscribe to the Leon’s Youtube channel so you’ll be notified when new content goes live!)

EP 01 | NEW BEGINNINGS | We travel to Edmonton Alberta to shoot Kristina and Jack.

EP 02 | THE NOT SO TERRIBLE TWOS | Shooting Twin Toddlers in Cobourg Ontario.

EP 03 |EASTERN HOSPITALITY | Rainbow eyes in Berwick Nova Scotia.

EP 04 | BEHIND THE CURTAIN | We visit a Canadian factory.

EP 05 | SUMMER LOVE | Nothing but sunshine in Guelph Ontario

SHOP THE ROOM:

Simmons Paradise Plush Mattress | The Pineridge Bed | Calvin End Table |The Finley Dresser (Also available in white.) | Tibet 8×11″ Rug | Benjamin Moore’s Hale Navy | Benjamin Moore’s White Dove | Himmeli Duvet Cover- Unison Home | Chambray Stone Sheets- Unison Home | Striped Beige Throw- Le Flique | Mudcloth Pillows- My Haven Home | JUJU Hat | Kilim Lumbar Pillow | Mudcloth Blanket | Hanging hammock Chair | Moroccan Pouff-Baba Souk | All trims by Metrie. Herringbone barn door was custom created by TLE Build and Design with Metrie Products. |Matte Brass drapery hardware- Tonic Living |Final photos by Scarlet O’Neill

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#Life

Is anybody else kind of sick of the Internet?

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A few weeks ago when I was getting my eyebrows microbladed, the girl doing my eyebrows Crista Nicole said the greatest thing.

“I just feel like Instagram is that hot popular girl in highschool that everyone wants to be friends with, but secretly nobody actually likes”.

Bingo.

Maybe I am just going through a phase. Maybe I am kind of depressed with the state of the world. Maybe I am soooo sick of all the bullshit. But there’s just this little spark inside me that says, there’s more than this. There’s more than staring at a tiny screen as soon as you open your eyes in the morning. There’s more than getting high off of internet likes. There’s more than constantly comparing your life to others. There’s more than consuming, changing your apartment decor every week, or sharing a zillion photos of your dog.

I’m just feeling like… we are doing this to ourselves. We dislike that we are in this constant state of wanting more. More followers. More engagement. More content. More more more more more. But we feed this beast. We feed it every time we get annoyed that our significant other is talking to us, because we’re reading on our phone. We feed into it every time we spend hours choosing the right outfit, Googling the right coffee shop, searching for the right hashtags. I always shy away from posting these types of blogs because A: I don’t want to be a downer. And B: I’m a hypocrite. But aren’t we all?

I think I often get sucked up into this feeling that basically I haven’t found my calling yet. That I have dabbled in lots of things I like, but I don’t think I’ve fully unlocked that fiery passion that I love yet. I definitely don’t think I am alone in feeling this way either. I just often feel like I am capable of more or that my life should have more meaning, more impact. That there is more I can be doing.. That my focus should maybe shift. That I am wasting time on things that don’t matter in the grand scheme of life. It’s hard to think about life because it’s uncomfortable. I just think I need to do some soul searching because I don’t feel content, and I am not sure why. Part of the problem I think, is that I don’t have a clear idea of where I want to go. I just think that I have this incredible life to live, and I want to make it worth while.

Did you know the odds of actually becoming a human are something like 1 in 400 quadrillion? I got that fact from the Internet, so it’s 100% true ;)… but if you really consider it.. All of us have won the biggest race of our lives. We are alive on this earth. We beat out everybody else in the race, and we are here.. But why?? To tap on Instagram photos? To talk about toothpaste or Iced Tea? Come on people, you do not stand for Iced Tea.

I’ve often felt like I want to break away completely from social media, or dreamt of living in an era where it didn’t exist. Where you were free to find yourself, your passions, your desires- on your own- without the influence of hundreds of thousands of people. I think the internet and social media make you want things you don’t need and make you question your own, life, body, house, etc. I’m a marketer, but I am sick of being marketed to. From the moment we take our first breath on this planet people are telling us what to do. How to live. Movies and advertisements, the internet, everything we see as we grow up shapes our minds as to what a “good life” should look like. What success looks like. What a good family looks like. What beauty is. What is important.

What if everything you’ve ever learned about living was all wrong?

This post doesn’t get wrapped up with a pretty bow and a quirky idiom filled ending with a call to action. I don’t have any answers, I just know that my life is important, and so is yours. 

 

Keeping Tabs

Keeping Tabs NO. 4 | FloralCOLORAY, Lash Lifts, The Broadview, Copper Gutters + Porter re:view

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  • I am working on an itty bitty office makeover that involves a custom yellow velvet sofa + this stunning peel and stick floralcoloray wallpaper. Sooooo perfect for renters, or in my case- corporate office employees.
    • All about that beauty shit. I love the look of long lashes. I think sometimes people with fake lashes can look a bit ratchet haha to be honest. But SOMETIMES you’ll bump into a girl that has super fab lash extensions that look so natural and lovely.  In the past few years my lashes have been growing like crazy. Maybe it’s because my diet is much more healthy than past years- or maybe it’s from all the margaritas.. regardless- I have a pretty good  base and I recently found out about this wild new thing (probably just new to me) called a lash lift and tint. Basically, it’s a process where your eyelashes are “permed” for lack of a better word, and tinted darker. AKA. No more mascara. If you guys can’t tell, I am literally trying to make it so that all I have to do is brush my teeth in the morning before work because, sleep. (Learn more about my microbladed eyebrows here). BEAUTY. Anyways- I am going tonight, wish me luck.
    • Formerly Jilly’s stripclub (cool), Toronto is coming out with a new hotel and I am into it. The Broadview will feature a stunning rooftop patio + a casual and slick interior a La Drake (via BlogTO).
    • I stumbled upon copper gutters on Pinterest and I don’t think I can ever look back. I will never look at an aluminum gutter the same way again. Studio McGee.~* Prayer Hands.*~
    • I mmmayyyyyybbbee appeared for a millisecond on HGTV Canada’s Home to Win on Sunday evening.

(Laughing because my Dad had to sit through an entire episode waiting for me ;)!) Did you know that you can actually WIN this insanely crazy amazing incredible house that these HGTV celebs are renovating? Yep. This week you can also win a Temperpedic Sleep System. (If you didn’t know- Leon’s is actually the title sponsor of Home to Win and almost all of the furniture you see revealed is from Leon’s! We share weekly roundups on the blog in case you want to get your paws on any of the goods!)

 

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GET A ROOM: Hotels, Travel, Uncategorized

GET A ROOM: Hotel William Gray

hotelwilliamgrayI recently visited Montreal with my boyfriend Bo for a quick getaway. Our Porter flight was as good as ever, making for a quick and simple trip both ways. Flying Porter is actually life changing. No lines. No hassle. Nothing but great service and impeccably dressed flight attendants in pill box hats. It really makes a trip to Montreal as simple as a bus downtown. It takes me longer to drive to my parents house than it does to fly to Montreal and check into my hotel. Hmmmmm. haha. 

One of the MAJOR highlights of our trip was our stay at Hotel William Gray. I love myself a good boutique hotel and have stayed at some great places like The Walper and The Ace– but I gotta’ say- Hotel William Gray really pulled out all of the stops and made us feel incredibly welcomed. I may even chalk it up as one of the best hotel experiences I’ve had yet. From the food to the decor, to the incredible customer service- I have nothing but great things to say about this hotel. Also, that yellow chair (!!!)

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When we arrived in Montreal we were so happy that Hotel William Gray was able to let us check in early. Not only that, shortly after we checked in- we were surprised with fluffy pink pillows, chocolates, and a hand written card- welcoming us to the hotel. The customer service at Hotel William Gray was just as incredible as the furniture, and that is no short order. Glam velvet and brass poufs mixed with handsome structured mid century sofas, exposed concrete walls, and sleek brass wall sconces-this place will pull the heart strings of any design aficionado. Not to mention, the hotel is nestled right in the heart of Old Montreal making it the perfect place to both relax and getaway, but also close to all that Old Montreal has to offer.

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There’s a first time for everything, and breakfast in bed, and room service was a first for Bo and I. We kicked back with a bit of luxury in the form of fresh bacon and eggs delivered to us in bed…with mimosas of course. *kisses fingers*

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And if breakfast in bed wasn’t enough– Hotel William Gray also has a luxurious restaurant right inside its doors.

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Down the hall past the “living room” you’ll find their in-house restaurant Maggie Oakes. Cozy, intimate, and decadent would be three words I would use to describe Maggie Oakes. A dimly lit, impeccably designed space with friendly service and a robust menu- Maggie Oakes is conveniently located right in Hotel William Gray. We were very fortunate to meet and chat with Chef Derek Bocking- we actually saw him visit a couple tables, which we thought was a very kind gesture.

Maggie Oakes menu boasts seasonal greens and local high quality meats. Serving every meal from breakfast to cocktail hour- there’s ample opportunity to pop in for a bite, or two during your stay!

For dinner we tried the pan seared salmon ”gravlax”. It was absolutely delicious. To be completely honest, we laughed all night because we finished our starter before the waitress could get pepper on top of it! (It was that good). When it came to ordering our mains, we decided to be a bit bold and we went for the Montérégie region duck breast. We also ordered a triple AAA steak and shared bites from each other’s plates. I was personally very surprised by the duck breast (as it’s possible I’m known to be a picky eater haha). It was spicy and very tasty! The steak was also melt-in-your-mouth- fantastic. (So sorry, the lighting was dark and I didn’t get any beauty shots of our meals, but trust us- they were amazing.)

If you’re looking for a quaint and lovely stay in Montreal I wholeheartedly recommend checking out Hotel William Gray. I’ll be sharing more about my trip with Porter and our wild encounter at Parc Omega soon. (It was SO awesome).

Until next trip!

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