Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Sarah Off The Grid ~ Gourmet Kitchen + Outdoor Oasis

Hello Monday! What a fabulous weekend in Toronto again with amazing weather and I bet it was just  incredible at Sarah's brand new country home.  After touring the main hall / mudroom, master retreat / den, girls' bedrooms / laundry, family hangout / guest suites, and the Belvedere, we are starting our tour today in this sensational kitchen.


Classic yet contemporary, this is definitely one of my top dream kitchens.  From the vintage lighting fixtures (in place of pot lights), a pair of super chic pendants by the windows, to the dynamite polished brass pendants over the island, the mix of lighting options is absolutely inspiring.

The brass accent is used throughout the kitchen including the panel on the range hood and on the side of the beautiful island.  Loving the drawer idea at the island as an attractive and functional storage solution.

Did you notice the tile pattern on the backsplash and on the floor? That's exactly how you could achieve a highly customized designer look at fraction of the cost! I love love LOVE the patterns!


Guests always hang out in the kitchen, so max out seating arrangements in the heart of your home.  In Sarah's brand new kitchen, she has incorporated a bump out, envisioning a bay window area for causal family meals, at the blueprinting phase.  Who doesn't want to enjoy lunch + the spectacular view right at this corner? 

Once again, simple white and grey tiles play up a dramatic and graphic effect next to the white wood stove.  Pairing with couple of Margot armchairs, I am ready to get cozy up right here with a cup of hot coco and my favorite novel.          


From kitchen to dining room, Sarah has thought of every detail including this sensational pass through / buffet.  Packed with smart storage solution and rich in architectural presence, this pair of cabinet towers provide practical storage on the kitchen side and an area for Sarah to display her china collection in the dining room.  Top with natural marble, this reclaimed wood cabinet is sophisticated and elegant.     


Are you ready to see the dining room? Being the first space you see the moment you step inside the foyer (with the pair of Egyptian pocket doors being opened), Sarah came up with a custom star medallion to anchor the room and to echo the star motif seen throughout the house.  Next to impossible to install, the team did a phenomenal job and the result is breathtaking!  I also love how both the dining room and the living room has its own distinct ceiling personality yet the two look like a perfect match. 

To contrast against the more traditional style in furnishings, an edgy contemporary fixture is staged as the crowning glory in this showstopper dining room.    


Before we wrapped up our tour, it's time to check out the landscaping and the backyard oasis! 


It is hard to believe this entire home was built from the ground up in just one short year.  With the summer-like weather well extended into October, Sarah and her family can truly enjoy their hardworking and creativity this year at #SarahOffTheGrid



Note: all images courtesy of HGTV Canada 

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

One Room Challenge Fall 2017 ~ Week 3


Welcome to Week 3 of One Room Challenge Fall 2017! Time truly flies and we are now at the 1/2 way point of the 6-week transformation.  For #ORCFall2017, I am giving the blend builder basic guest bedroom and powder room their much needed personality and wow factor to welcome guests.  In case you are new friends to DesignMaze, here are the links for the past 2 weeks:


image courtesy of Sarah Richardson Design

Guest Bedroom:


We are making great progress at the shopping department as many of the key pieces were picked up / arrived over the weekend.


Before we can install our breathtaking Nuvolette wallpaper, the electrical work has to be mapped out and completed first.  To ensure the wall sconces are placed at the right spot, a quick mock-up was done up to avoid confusion about the height and how far horizontally the sconces should be away from the adjacent walls.  I highly recommend this method as it's far easier (and better result) than to google the standard height and placement of wall sconce in bedroom that may not work with your bed / bedside tables.


While we wait for the patchwork to get settled, we turned our attention to mapping out the wallpaper installation.  This is such an important step, especially when the cloud wallpaper comes with Roll A and Roll B for pattern match + this wallpaper represents a good portion of our makeover budget.  If we screwed this up, we wouldn't have enough time to have the paper reordered, shipped, delivered, and reinstalled in the next three weeks.  So we measured three times to ensure we have enough wallpaper for both rooms and to minimize the amount of wastage wherever possible.


Our handyman is fantastic with many things but wallpapering is truly his specialty.  He is so precise in his installation I honestly couldn't find the seams between the wallpaper panels!


And the result? Let's just say I was totally blown away upon my return after a short trip to Lowes for some extra supplies.  Now that wallpaper is up, the sconces could go up next week since we do want to give the wallpaper enough time to "rest" on the wall.


Of course I couldn't resist pulling some of the key pieces into the space to try them out, and now I can go shopping for accessories and other finishing touches. 


Powder Room:


True to all renovation, it always looks a lot worse before things starting to look brighter.  In my case, the old vanity, faucet, mirror, wall sconce all went to the local ReStore so someone who could use these gently used items in their homes.  

While the new vanity base is looking fabulous, the plumbing looks more like a horror story: hot water, cold water, water supply for the fridge on the other side of the wall all jammed up right here in the powder room.    


Our handyman will come up with a solution to "beautify" this plumbing situation.  In the meantime, we nailed down the location of the overhead pendant.  Man I love the laser action.

The pendant will be installed next week after the wallpaper is up and I can't wait to see the Jason Wu faucet makes its entrance into our dramatic powder room.  


Before we wrapped up Week 3, I also managed to visit Caviar 20 pop-up store in Toronto to pick up the sophisticated and super fun wall art: You Look Great by Jade Rude.  Caviar 20 pop-up shop is by Harbord Street and Brunswick Avenue (best to email for appointment time).  You can also check out some of Caviar 20 top pieces at Art Toronto 2017 from October 27-30.     


A lot will be happening in Week 4 in the powder room and I can't wait to see the custom desk installed in the guest bedroom.  Be sure to check out Week 3 of the 20 featured designers and other guest participants on One Room Challenge!


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Sarah Off The Grid ~ Main Hall + Mudroom

Hello Tuesday! After a stormy weekend, the sun is finally shining in Toronto and we are ready to check out the mudroom and the main hall (which includes the foyer, the staircase landing, living room, the sun room) at Sarah's latest adventure to build her forever home in the country: Sarah Off The Grid.

The front hall is where you greet your guests and set the tone for the rest of the house.  In her forever home, Sarah wants her guests to feel welcomed, relaxed, and rejuvenated from their busy city lives upon their arrival. Well, nothing untangled our hectic lives better than a breathe of cool country breeze and this was exactly how I felt the moment I saw this space.

The crisp white paints on the walls and ceiling, the classic herringbone pattern on the floor, a 2nd life on vintage chandelier and architectural fragments for character, plus a pair of mirrored stars for a brilliant mix of country charm with city chic to create a stunning at first impression.  


Turn right on the front hall is an incredible landing space to the second floor.  That's right folks, this is just a casual cozy arrangement for a couple of friends to catch up and enjoy a cup of tea! I love that all the furniture pieces, lighting fixture, and the spectacular columns are all reclaimed items and yet the space feels so fresh.  I am crazy about that cream and grey fabric as drapery and the fringe on the chairs, I so have to try this on my next upholstery order!   


At the opposite end of this cozy seating arrangement is the mudroom and the powder room. 


After a few personal touches from Sarah and Alexander, this must-have space in the country is ready to face our Canadian climate all year round. 


The polished, smooth surface of these blue grey tiles means spotless floor is just a quick sweep away.  Another top tip from Sarah for a tidy mudroom: personalized baskets so everyone knows exactly where to find and put away their items.


Ready for the powder room? Powder room is probably one of my most favourite rooms to decorate because it's the one place in your home where you can totally go outside of your comfort zone and be experimental to wow your guests (here is my powder room for One Room Challenge Fall 2017).  Sarah re-purposed a pair of antique windows as mirror, created a vanity base that was once a salvage panel, and the blue stars on the floor + the blue marble-like ceiling + the pattern cascades from the pendants immediately scream starry night to me.   


Here is a real fun way to add personal touches in the powder room: a gallery wall of family photos + lots of room to grow!


What's behind a pair of vintage Egyptian pocket doors you ask? 


A sensational living room with everything one could hope for in their homes!


On top of character and charms from treasured furnishings and antique fireplace mantel, Sarah has decided to up the ante to create this breathtaking ceiling that are often found in historical homes: instant history in the making my friends!


The soft, delicate grey and cream palette is used throughout this spacious living room with not one, not two, but three separate seating arrangement for large family gatherings.  A roaring fireplace that's every bit as attractive as energy efficient, a personal gift from Tommy for special memory, and Sarah even tugged a pair of speakers at either corner of the room without us even noticing them (plus stereo system is housed by the sideboard ... clever!): this room will be loved by everyone for years to come!  


Last spot for today's tour is the sun room.  Surround by windows on three sides, this is the ultimate sweet spot on the main floor to be amazed and inspired by Mother Nature.  You all know I love a good fabric mix and in this case, other than the sofa and the tufted ottoman, all upholstered pieces and pillows are graced by patterned fabrics and yet this space feel so serene, elegant, and tranquil.  So much more for me to learn on how to master the art of pattern play.  


The heated floor and the chic wood stove means this room will also be cozy and toasty when it's a winter wonderland right outside the windows!


Sensational right? Wait until you see the dining room, the kitchen, and the breathtaking outdoor space next week as Sarah wraps up #SarahOffTheGrid! 



Note: all photos courtesy of HGTV Canada