Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Sarah Off The Grid ~ Girl's Bedrooms + Laundry Room

Hello Tuesday and what a beautiful summer-like day in late September!  I wish I knew the weather is going to be THIS gorgeous and had booked myself a week of cottage relaxation.  For those who owns a little piece of paradise up north and looking for inspirations to reimagine your home away from home, you have got to check out Week 3 of #SarahOffTheGrid on HGTV Canada.    

True to Sarah's signature cottage style, this inviting and stylish bedroom is dressed in soft pale blue and fresh pastel green.  Though designed to be aesthetically pleasing for guests at any age, this casual yet serene bedroom belongs to Sarah's youngest daughter, Fiona.  A lover of nature and an adventurous spirit at heart, Fiona picked the gorgeous Deco Waves and Latticely in jade from Sarah's Harmony fabric collection for Kravet as the jumping off points.  

And of course when your mother is Sarah Richardson, your country retreat is destined to be filled with one of a kind vintage treasures (painted in white occasionally), an intricate mix of patterns, and a chaise by the window for a breathtaking view.  

What's the best trick to combine practical storage and an attractive desk? Check out this ingenious solution to sandwich a faux bamboo desk with two built-in closets! To free up space for a shapely mirror, Sarah opted to install a pair of sconces on the side of the closets. 

Here comes the ensuite and yes, this bathroom belongs to a nine year-old! Dynamite fabric as drapery, marble floor in chevron pattern with mosaic bands as accent, a pair of faux bamboo sconces, a free standing soaking tub, and a vintage desk reimagined as vanity ... really, who would not be jealous of Fiona? 

Now let's take a look at Robin's room: a vision in blue.  The blue and white palette is always crisp and fresh.  To make it appropriate for Sarah's teenage daughter and to reflect her personality, an eye-catching graphic fabric is used as window coverings.  A dynamic tropical inspired fabric as seat cushions on a pair of occasional chairs, and accent pillows on the floating window bench and on the canopy bed add a touch of whimsy + bringing the outdoor into the room.  To complement these bold patterns, sophisticated checkers and stripes were also introduced to the mix.

To add warmth to a cool blue and white color combo, rustic wood elements such as a pair of mirrors by the window bench, the wood frame on the headboard, and a beautiful chandelier were hand-selected by Sarah for her daughter!

Determined to give her new forever home character and soul, Sarah has incorporated salvage architectural elements in every room of the house.  In Robin's bedroom, both the desk and the floating window bench are supported by vintage corbels.  Fantastic idea of instant charm don't you think?

Two bathrooms in one reveal, we are surely in for a treat!  Similar in design concept, Robin's soft blue and white ensuite has a luxurious freestanding tub, a glass shower with meticulous tile plays, and of course a repurposed vanity that is truly a showstopper.  The white-painted tongue and groove panels immediately speak country.  Made out of solid wood, these panels also offer the towel bar some extra support for years to come.  

The connection between these two bedrooms and the Belvedere is this charming landing / hallway on the second floor.  Outfitted with wallpaper throughout, a pair of starlight pendants, a contemporary area rug that reminds me of quilt, and a pre-loved door with a new lease on life, Sarah has given this often-neglected space its star treatment!

What is behind the sliding door you ask? An attractive laundry room + office + craft room with a spectacular view of the fields and forest!  Why go for simple white cabinets when you can have blue ones in the country?  These cabinets are bright, fresh, and uplifting: all the elements you need in a laundry room and home office! 

What do you think about this week's makeovers? I can't wait to see what Sarah and Tommy are up to this Sunday!

Note: all images courtesy of HGTV Canada    

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Sarah Off The Grid ~ Family Hangout + Guest Suites

Hello Wednesday! What a glorious weekend we had in Toronto and I could only imagine what a fantastic time folks had in the country.  Out in the nature, warm summer breeze, bright blue sky with birds singing all day long, now I just need to sign myself up for a timeshare property!

Speaking about relaxing country living, it is time to check-in progress on Week 2 at Sarah Off The Grid on HGTV Canada.  This week, Sarah and her team tackled the entire lower level for family living and a cozy, welcoming place for guests to call home. 

I have never met a blue and white room I don't love.  This sensational family gathering space is dressed head to toe in style and it wears many different hats.  From lounge / movie sweet spot, kids play / dance zone, to pool game / mini bar for the grown ups, this basement does it all.  

If there is one major element that gives this space its incredible character and charm (aside from the color palette), it is the use of salvage barn beams.  Once a weathered barn about to be dismantled, now these beams live a second life and are being showcased as a stunning post and beam feature in Sarah's brand new home.  Accentuated by a roaring wood stove in glossy dark blue (a.k.a. the inspiration for the either color scheme of this room!), heritage inspired tiles with a star motif, organic / natural materials in fabrics, rugs, and accessories, this case study of white + blue in the country is right on!          

Who knew pool table can be this chic? For those who don't know how to play pool (like me), I am ready to hang out by those comfy armchairs.  Storage is key, especially out in the country, when you may need extra supplies after a big snowstorm.  The walls of storage with simple door profile and understated hardware satisfy the functional requirement, while the sleek black and white color combination serves as the perfect backdrop to showcase the many shades of blues and a stylish contrast to the rustic reclaimed wood.     

The wood shelf for drinks and accessories: #bravo!

Let's check out the "sleeping quarters" for overnight guests.  Known for her genius creativity to mix a variety of complementary fabrics for stunning results, Sarah opted for a single print to shine in this neutral bedroom outfitted by grasscloth wallpaper and painted wall panels.  From drapery to chairs and accent pillows, this dynamic and graphic fabric is it!  For a soothing and calming effect, a lighter shade of blue was pulled from the main fabric and is used throughout the room via throw pillows, area rug, accent table, and glass accessories.    

I am usually not a fan of red but this effortlessly elegant bedroom is so welcoming and inviting that I may want to try it out in my own home!

Have you ever secretly wished a sophisticated yet playful kid bedroom is actually where you will spend the night? Well this one is on top of my list! I love the energy and happiness of a cheerful yellow, especially when pairing with grey and white.

This wallpaper with a tree motif is perfectly suitable for adults (you probably have seen it used in other design makeovers) and what a great reference to the breathtaking view right outside the windows.  With sleeping capacity of four (maybe up to six), these DIY bunk beds are put together with simple wood materials available from the big-box store.  Once painted a fresh coat of white, they look phenomenal without breaking the bank.     

With some savings from making the beds from scratch, Sarah was able to install these super cool sailboat inspired wall lights, invest in a pair of good looking and tech savvy table lamps (wireless phone charging my friend), outfit a homey spot for two with the whimsical rockers, and put a smile on your face with an oversized floor lamp.  

Just as I thought that Sarah would never use a dark color as a permanent installation in a bathroom (usually darker colors are used as accent and can be easily changed), well she surprised me with this beautiful glossy blue tile! To add interest to this otherwise windowless box, Sarah focused on the execution of the finishing details. The ceiling detail, the band of vertical tiles in the shower (I so have to do this in my next bathroom), the mix of rustic and refine with a vanity made from salvage lumber + marble top, the matte black, oil rubbed bronze faucet, shower, and accessories, this guest bathroom is incredible!     

And the linking point of all these sensational rooms in the basement: this super attractive hallway, a fabulous focal point as you walk down the stairs, and a mud room that houses all the boots, jackets, and sport gears.  That hex floor tile, what a great idea for impact and to act as transition between the white oak floor and the practical grey tiles in the mudroom.

 * all images courtesy of HGTV Canada

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Sarah Off The Grid: Belvedere Room

Hello Wednesday! With bright sunshine and slightly cool air, fall is definitely one of my favourite seasons (well summer is fabulous but I could live without the humidity).  From back-to-school to happy Thanksgiving, autumn is the best time to be inspired by nature and to give our home a quick update with a healthy dose of warm, earthy hue.

A fall refresh at my home maybe a cosmetic one but Sarah Richardson, along with her husband Alexander (Minister of Exteriors) and her two daughters, and of course Uncle Tommy, is set to build a 5,000 square feet country home in Creemore Ontario.  With an ambition plan to power this family home off the grid without sacrificing comfort, Sarah and Alexander have to explore all possible green energy options to keep the rooms cool in the summer and warm in the winter ... and to cook up a feast or two.

For the next six weeks, Sarah and the team will build the home from ground up, tackle the room one by one, share with us the fun (and stress) as general contractor, and how to decorate the entire house in Sarah's signature style.

Welcome to Sarah Off the Grid and for week 1, we are at the Belvedere Room.

Belvedere means "fair view"and at this country home, the view is breathtaking. 

To make sure this little piece of heaven functions as an adult oasis for Sarah and Alexander, as well as a cozy spot for their daughters to host sleepovers, Sarah and Tommy cooked up a game plan to create a loungey hangout that also maximizes an uninterrupted view of the stunning Niagara Escarpment.

From plan to reality, here is a bright, airy space filled with natural lights (there are 95 windows in this house after all) and a custom U-shape bench topped with throw pillows for a master class of how to layer patterns / textile, not to mention the huge saving from building the sofa with simple lumber supplies.    

With the entire room painted a creamy white, your eyes are drawn to the incredible views beyond these energy efficient vinyl windows.  And to bring the outdoor in, Sarah and Tommy opted for a color palette of white, grey, gold, and navy: all the accent colors you see in the horizon.

To up the cozy factor with warm, earthly tones, Sarah added two leather poufs with beautiful embroidery detail, a contemporary yet rustic solid wood coffee table, and a hide rug that injects an extra shot of cognac.  The collection of pillows in a variety of fabrics most certainly add character and charm to the Belvedere.      

Speaking about character and charm, nothing beats a vintage candelabra for a romantic and worldly touch + a few sensational fixtures such as the lantern inspired pendant and a pair of brass sconces.    

A winding staircase means not much in the way of furniture could make it up to the Belvedere.  Sarah managed to find a well-proportioned hutch that provides storage and offers an ideal surface for a minibar and accessories that remind us of the great outdoors.

Perfectly put by Tommy: this view never gets old.  I couldn't agree more.

Sarah is off to a great start with the Belvedere Room and I look forward to check out the main floor this Sunday for another exciting episode of Sarah Off The Grid.

* All images courtesy of HGTV Canada