The Beautiful Shelter: Kitchen

It's here! I'm so excited to finally unveil the first room in the Beautiful Shelter home series. As someone obsessed with food and decorating, the kitchen seemed like the most appropriate place to start.

(Side note: If you've taken a quick peak and are thinking "does she not know how to use a computer?!", let it be known that I can....barely. I have fought with several trying to format this in a great way, but maybe by the end of the series I'll have that down.)

The beauty of doing a kitchen for a home that doesn't exist, for clients who don't exist, is I've been able ignore all rules of budgets or client needs. I tried to be practical, just like I used to take attendance when I taught "school" to the imaginary kids in my room. Now I'm making up client families. Can't be a good thing.

Photos 1 and 2 taken from Modern Glamour...one of my favourite design resources!

For this space, I've even surprised myself with an unconventional mix. Think traditional meets modern. Vintage meets industrial. Johnny Depp meets Kim Cattrall. Yes, an unlikely pairing. But trust me, it works!


Mid- and dark-tone woods. Bright whites and dark caviar. High polished lacquers and distressed wood. Old world charm. Modern functionality.

The Space
A page from my notebook - selected colours and finishes. This incredible cipollino bianco marble from CIOT ties in all of the colours beautifully, and is a modern take on statuario or carrera.
Modern stainless hardware matches the appliances - from Richelieu.

Since these clients are avid chefs (actually he is.....this is a dream situation, after all) and frequently cleaning up messing little hands, this industrial faucet and deep apron sink fit the bill for both style and function.

I love the soft rounded corners on this apron sink.

Viking appliances are like jewelry for a room, and I think this gas stove would work well in this kitchen...with a nice big fridge, of course.
To compliment the "European farmhouse" design, a large hutch with open storage for cookbooks, pottery and wine glasses will sit near the eating area. Imagine this gorgeous piece times three.
In fact, if there were tall ceilings and the cabinetry could be built-in sky-high, I would love to see a rustic ladder perched up to it.
I found these incredible vintage industrial stools that would work beautifully at the island.

In keeping with the modern marble counters, this white lacquered table is the perfect match. It can take a serious beating from the little tikes, or seat a large group for casual dining.

To keep the balance between light and dark, vintage and modern, I'm pairing the sleek kitchen table with these beautiful Eames chairs, done in a wood veneer.

These bubbly Reeves pendant lights from Arteriors would be stunning as a pair over the island.

Over the long kitchen table, these Arteriors pendants would look glamorous and sparkly. I would stagger as many as eight, in small and large, to create a custom fixture that sets off the space.

Last but not least, the kitchen needs a piece of memorable artwork to admire while cooking or eating. My colleagues often tease me that I'm always throwing in an unexpected hit of colour in my projects, so this is no different! I think either of these stunning paintings would pop against the neutral backdrop...and of course, turquoise is the colour of 2010.
"Abu Dhabi Green Cities" by Karen Parker

There you have it! "Renovation" of room #1 complete. No window treatments in this kitchen - just lots of french doors out to the patio. To the outside of the palace. Bon appetit!

Next up....the living room!

Jenna's notebook selections:
Hardwood Flooring
Paint from Benjamin Moore: Trim and ceiling: Dove White, Cabinets: Deep Caviar, Walls: Stonington Grey
Marble Counters and Back splash

For further selections, leave a message and I'll list the source!

All photographs used in this post are linked to their original source, and are not property of The Beautiful Shelter.


Virtual Design

The Globe and Mail published an interesting article a few weeks ago about the new luxury condominiums being built in Oakville's lakefront. The property was formerly owned by Mattamy Homes President Peter Gilgan, but when developer Marc Hewitt purchased the property from him, he had bigger dreams.

Actually, "bigger" might not be the correct term here. Gilgan had built a 32,000-square foot home on the lot in 1994. However Hewitt has decided to develop the land into a luxury condo community, and after consulting with architect Peter Clewes, it was revealed that tearing down Gilgan's former mansion was going to be the optimal approach.

For the full article by Carolyn Ireland, click here.

Peter Clewes' architect firm architectsAlliance developed some incredible computerized images of the future Edgemere Estates, and I'm absolutely amazed with the level of detail they have achieved. I'm not sure which program they have used, but I've never seen anything like it! If you know....let me know!

All images displayed are taken from the Globe and Mail article that has been linked, and are the work of architectsAlliance.

I highly recommend visiting the architectsAlliance website to view more of their projects. They have generated some incredible online renderings that are well worth seeing!


I've Struck Gold

It's funny how life is. I intentionally overwhelm myself with design resources, be it blogs, magazines or TV shows, for inspiration and ideas. I feel like I eat, sleep and breath this stuff, and every once and a while, something really stands out.

After flipping through a million (approximately) wallpaper books to no avail for a very particular client, I figured the answer had to exist on the internet (I can't be the only person who goes online before looking through catalogs?). In amongst my search, I found the most incredible work of designer Elizabeth Dinkel.

Similar to Celerie Kemble, Dinkel originally embarked on a career in television after completing her degree. However, the successful career of her interior designer mother inspired her to pursue her true passion. As someone who has also taken a slight detour, finding this out was like the icing on the cake.

Her interiors are contemporary, traditional, colourful and bold. She mixes all the elements to create these inspiring and original spaces that I can't help but admire. Elizabeth Dinkel sits up there with the likes of Celerie Kemble, Suzanne Kasler and Alexa Hampton (my design Gods).

If you also love her work, there's a great interview HERE that's well worth a read. Among her great advice, she mentions that Benjamin Moore's “Acadia Green” is one of her favourite colours - "its almost a non color, a grey-blue-green and works really well as a backdrop in both modern and traditional venues".

All photographs taken from websites linked in this article.

Maison Claire

I have discovered the loveliest website of a boutique in England, named Maison Claire. The owner, Claire Gray, has a love for all-things-France and has been collecting beautiful French vintage pieces to sell. Here are a few of my favourites (unfortunately the beautiful sofa above has sold!).

Claire's unique finds have been featured in several magazines. I love this seaside spread from Country Living's August 2009 issue.


The Beautiful Shelter: A Series

I'm so excited to launch the first Beautiful Shelter series!

As an HGTV home reno series fan (Sarah's House, House of Bryan...), I wanted to do something similar with my blog. Well, I saw the decorating light and decided that even though I won't have cameras rolling (or an actual house when I'm finished), I'm going to redecorate an entire house on The Beautiful Shelter!

So here's the scoop:
Over the next few months, I will be redecorating a room (in posts!) per week in The Beautiful Shelter dream house. Just about every space from the typical suburban home will be covered - kitchen, bathrooms, bedrooms, living rooms, etc. I will choose an inspiration and follow with paint colours, fabric, furniture and accessories to make the room complete. Oh yes, and to make this fun for all of us, I will have the budget of Bill Gates.

I'd love to get your feedback on this! If you have any room or decorating style requests, I would love to see what I can come up with. Hopefully this series will be inspiring, original and give you a good laugh periodically.

I'm officially opening the doors to......The Beautiful Shelter: A Series.


Best Room of the House

Oh, it's almost that time of year. Patio weather. Sitting out for dinner, drinks or lounging by the pool....there's nothing better on a hot summer's day!

I have a particular soft spot for outdoor living spaces, (if you know me, you're probably laughing right now). Throughout university, I spent the summers selling high-end patio furniture (no, not the stackable plastic chairs from Canadian Tire, Walmart or Rona...but thanks). As crazy as it sounds, it was a lot of fun and without realizing at the time, it groomed me for my eventual career path!

Summer Classics is one of the collections we sold, and I still think they have some of the finest outdoor furniture available. In a time when most people simply had four chairs and a patio table, they launched the most elegant outdoor sofas, swivel rockers and coffee tables. I'm a HUGE fan of big comfy couches outdoors - so long as you don't mind dragging cushions in in the rain. Ah, we still love you, Canada.

Here are a few of their most beautiful collections (the settings aren't bad either):

Thanks to the latest Lonny issue, I was introduced to Room & Board. They have a less formal, more contemporary approach to outdoor spaces, which I also like. It makes me think...Jennifer Aniston's Malibu beach home.

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