Wednesday, May 13, 2015

DESIGN EXCHANGE | MY CURATED AUCTION PICKS + A GIVEAWAY!





I'M DELIGHTED to be curating some of my favourite pieces today for the upcoming May 29th auction in support of Toronto's Design Exchange. This live and silent auction will feature a stunning collection of furnishings and accessories, and the proceeds all help to support the work of the Design Exchange, Canada's Design Museum. To say there are some gems in the mix would be a major understatement.

What is the Design Exchange, you ask? Located in the Historic Stock Exchange Building, the Design Exchange {DX} is a registered charitable, not-for-profit cultural institution, and Canada’s only museum dedicated to the pursuit of design excellence and the preservation of our design heritage. From furniture and architecture to graphics and fashion, DX exhibitions and talks are curated to reflect what is most current in contemporary culture, while reminding us of the relevance and importance of design in everyday life. Guest curators have included Pharrell Williams and our very own Canadian fashion icon Jeanne Beker.


ONE: This Dorwin Chair from Bernhardt is a classic revival of a mid-century design that is utterly timeless, while the brass frame makes it entirely fashion-forward and of-the-moment. I'll take a pair for my soon-to-be redecorated family room, please and thanks!


TWO: Gone are the days of the eyesore of a doggie day bed in some bland brown microfibre. Jo Alcorn has brought her fresh edge to the realm of home decor and honours our four legged friends in style. You'll be happy to coordinate your throw pillows with your pooch's perch when they're this hip.



THREE: Madeleine Weinrib's rugs and decorative accessories have graced the pages of luxury shelter magazines such as Elle Decor, Dwell and Coastal Living. Her designs epitomize relaxed elegance at it's finest.


FOUR: I adore anything paying homage to the beauty, vastness and wonder of our Canadian terrain. The Landscape Tableware from Drake General Store more than fits the bill. I'm hankering for a full set to use for endless summer entertaining.


FIVE: What can I possibly say about this iconic design classic? Eero Saarinen's earlier studies in sculpture reveal themselves in this side table's fluid form. Truly timeless, the Saarinen side table is equally at home in an otherwise traditional space as it is in a restrained, minimalist environment. 


SIX: The Dream Chair looks like a modern invitation to the imagination, the sensual curves ready to embrace and the subtle pillow ready to support your daydreams.


SEVEN: Doesn't every dream home need a touch of Kelly Wearstler? Strong and graphic, this electric sculpture would bring dynamic energy to any room in the house.


EIGHT: I've been crushing hard on Sebastian Herkner's bell tables for awhile now, and his Bleeker Street Table only confirms my design crush. Simple, timeless and elegant. The man can do no wrong.

These eight pieces are my design favourites, but there are even more amazing selections up for grabs at the auction. I'd love to know which pieces you love most!

Fancy the opportunity to see them all in person and bid on one {or all} of them for your own nest? Well here's your chance! I'm giving away one ticket to a lucky reader to attend this design event on May 29th from 7-10pm at Toronto's Design Exchange. Rub shoulders with the who's-who of design and design media and try your luck at picking up an iconic design treasure while you're at it!

Here's how to enter:

1. Follow The Curated House on Instagram
2. Follow The Design Exchange on Instagram
3. Save and share the photo of your favourite piece from this post on Instagram using the hashtag #designexchangeXthecuratedhouse

The winner will be announced on Monday, May 25th on Instagram. Good luck!

xo
s.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

THE ONE ROOM CHALLENGE | WEEK SIX | THE BIG REVEAL!


Happy Thursday design lovers! If you're new to The Curated House, you've chosen a great day to stop by as it is at long last time to share the "afters" for our project for this season's One Room Challenge. Do the last six weeks feel like a blur to anyone else? What an adventure! I'm so excited to share my little Luxe Laundry Room project reveal with you.

Before I do, I need to say thank you. First and foremost, I need to thank my incredible husband who has tackled this room on top of his extremely busy job as a software executive, all in his "spare time." His perseverance, patience, persistence and incredible work ethic are the number one reason I have beautiful "after" photos to share with you here today. I am incredibly grateful to him and for him, not just in this project but in our real and everyday life together. I love you, babe.

I'd also like to thank Linda from Calling It Home for creating such a dynamic event. As a designer I can say that we all need someone to light a fire under our behinds when it comes to completing our own personal projects, and the One Room Challenge is the perfect spark. I plan to fan it into a flame with the Fall 2015 edition, and I hope more of my fellow interior designers will join me in taking on this design dare once again.

Speaking of design community and lighting a fire, I'd also like to thank my friend Lisa Canning for cheering me on with this little personal project. For years I've worked solo and been very isolated in my design business. Now that I have a design sisterhood, there's no turning back! You are a gift, my friend.

A HUGE, heartfelt thank you goes out to all of my incredible brand partners, all of whom I will list with much gratitude at the end of this post. Without your generous support, this project would not have been possible.

Thank you, too, to all of you lovely people for following along and commenting on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and right here on the blog. I have loved having you weigh in on the selection details with me! You've made the process fun and engaging and I'm so grateful we got to do this together.

OK, so without further ado, here is our much awaited "after."

Vases - Black Rooster Decor

Do you remember how dark and dreary our "before" was? The typical basement dungeon of a laundry room.

Well as Florence And The Machine would say, the dark days are OVER!

Now it is bright and pretty, happy and practical, full of storage solutions not just for laundry, but also for calligraphy, art, sewing, gift wrapping, painting and all kinds of other fun and creative activities. I now think of this space as my laundry-room-meets-arts-room in the storage sense of things, and I love how the TooFifteen bins accommodate everything with casual elegance.


Remember the problem of the furnace and water heater visually dominating the room? Such an eyesore! Not anymore. The incredible sliding door hardware system from Upper Canada Specialty Hardware matched with the gorgeous rift-cut raw white oak solid doors from Metrie mean that this now feels like a feature wall when the doors are closed, while still keeping the furnace and water heater totally accessible when necessary. These raw, rift-cut white oak doors add natural texture and interest while hiding a multitude of sins {including the rest of the floor tile yet to be installed on the other side of the floor-mounted track!}. I now love this side of the room - when the doors are closed, of course! - and it feels harmoniously balanced with the feature wall. 


Two of the design decisions you so kindly weighed in on that I waited to reveal until today include the countertop selection and the grout colour. In the end, I chose Silestone's Lagoon for the countertop, which led to the selection of Silver grout from Mapei to pull out the soft and subtle grey tones in the counters. I'm thrilled with the final result. The combination offers just enough contrast to be interesting without competing with the stunning statement floors, and somehow the palette speaks to a quiet femininity that just works for me.

Woven Ombré Towels + rose quartz Rock Soap - Anthropologie
Another of the decisions I kept secret until today was the question of which faucet would win the day. If you've been following along, I think it will come as no surprise that the Delta Trinsic was the right faucet for our space.

Cucina Hand Soap - Anthropologie

The champagne bronze finish of the Delta Trinsic is absolutely perfect with the gorgeous satin brass Lewis Dolin pulls from Upper Canada Specialty Hardware, don't you think? This faucet is extra special in that it features SmartTouch® technology. The proximity sensor allows us to use the faucet totally hands-free when needed, and just a touch of the faucet also allows us to tap it on or off. We can of course just turn it on and off the old-fashioned way as well if we choose to!

I decided to have a little fun with the storage for my pre-soak stain removal detergent and picked up the black faceted geometric terrarium you see below on the right from West Elm. Paired with an antique silver spoon it makes stain removal seem almost an elegant affair, don't you think? Perfect to use with our amazingly deep and functional Blanco sink from The Home Depot.


If you're a detail freak like me, you'll notice there are little touches that have yet to be finished {like caulking in the corners along the edges of the cut tile} but overall I couldn't be happier with this dramatic transformation. From the floors and brass details adding sophistication, to the white oak doors and floating shelf adding a humble yet modern warmth, to the vases and bins adding a feminine edge and sense of style, this little laundry room has a new lease on life and has successfully converted me into a laundry lover after all!

A huge thank you to Ashley Capp for doing such a beautiful job of capturing the space for me - you are truly the loveliest!

And once again, a massive and heartfelt THANK YOU to all of my incredible brand partners for making this laundry room not only possible, but ultimately a gratitude project:

Subfloor R+ and SMARTWALL system - Dricore
LED pot lights - CREE Canada
Casing, baseboard and white oak slab doors - Metrie
Brass cabinet pulls and sliding door system - Upper Canada Specialty Hardware
Cabinet, wall and trim paint - Para Paints
Trinsic Faucet - Delta
Blanco Sink - The Home Depot
Silestone Lagoon slab for countertops - Cosentino
Bevelled subway tile - Creekside Tile Toronto
White + brass vases for flowers and brass jack - Black Rooster Decor
Tyvek storage bins - TooFifteen

Now it's time for me to pour over the details of all of the reveal posts from these amazing talents!

Coco + Kelley * Jana Bek * Autumn Clemons * The English Room * Vanessa Francis * Greige Design * Hi SugarplumI Heart Organizing * Jenna Sue Design * Stephanie Kraus * The Pursuit of Style * Julia Ryan * Savvy Home Simple Details * Simply Grove * 6th Street Design * Jill Sorensen * Swoon Worthy * Waiting On Martha * Kimberly Shlegel Whitman * and my friends and linking participants Lisa Canning and Abby M. Interiors. Go to Calling It Home to check out all of the amazing "afters" posted today by the Linking Participants for the April 2015 edition of the One Room Challenge!

Be sure to leave me a comment below telling me what your favourite details are from our little laundry room makeover. I'd love to hear what you think of the final reveal. I hope you love it as much as I do!

Now, off to do some laundry! *wink*

xo
s.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Mother's Day 2015 | A Curated Gift Guide


Searching for unique and beautiful ideas on how to spoil your Mom {or perhaps how to be spoiled as Mom} this year? Look no further. This year's Curated Mother's Day Gift Guide has a little something for everyone.



ONE: This sweet little book entitled Collected Quotations from Chronicle Books is the perfect place to jot down all those quirky quips and unforgettable tweetables your kids come up with, and the cover's so pretty you'll be happy to keep it on display for regular reading and updating.

TWO: It's impossible to measure the number of kisses a Mom dishes out in a day, but it is possible to give her a little something to keep her lips perfectly kissable! Tata Harper's new Lip and Cheek Tint in Very Popular is totally organic, absolutely gorgeous and totally on my wish list.

THREE: What could be more decadent than a bit of pampering with a modern manicure from Her Majesty's Pleasure? Add a glass of champagne and the company of a good friend to savour the experience with her and she'll feel utterly spoiled.

FOUR: Infuse her wardrobe with a little leopard love with this gorgeous clutch from Clare Vivier. It's timeless and fashion forward all at the same time. The perfect clutch for a little pattern play.

FIVE: Tell her she's golden with this gorgeous Tom Dixon votive holder from Anthropologie. Even better, get a set of three to decorate the table for that brunch you're going to make her. *wink*

SIX: Looking for the perfect way to spoil Mom rotten? Go for gold with this stunning rose gold Cleo Necklace by Carbon and Hyde, available through Gilding The Lily.

SEVEN: Give her fresh flowers that she can enjoy for years to come with this stunning art print Alex by Ashley Woodson Bailey via Citizen Atelier.


More than anything, use your words. Tell her how much you love her. Take the time to write down all of her most uniquely beautiful qualities. Tell her how much she means to you. Thank her for all the little things she does to make you feel loved. And keep telling her these things day after day after day. It's the best kind of gift you can give her.

Happy Mother's Day!

xo
s.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

THE ONE ROOM CHALLENGE | WEEK 5 UPDATE | DETAILS, DETAILS


Raise your hand if the last 5 weeks have flown by in a sawdusted swirl of activity! My, how one little project - when added on top of two full-time jobs and two full-time kids for two full-time grown ups - can make the time simply evaporate! But here we are at Week 5 of the One Room Challenge and things are starting to get good.

If you're only just joining in on the fun and aren't familiar with what this madcap adventure is all about, check out my intro post on the One Room Challenge as well as my updates for Weeks Two, Three and Four.

I love this crazy stage of a design project, when the details descend upon the space and the "after" starts to take shape out of the dust and chaos. We still have SO much to do, but here's where things are at right this minute:


Our amazing French Curves baseboard from Metrie has been primed and cut and is ready to be installed and painted. I love the dimension and elegance of this profile, and it connects so well with all of the paneling we have throughout the rest of the house. Très élégant.


The matching casing from Metrie is just as lovely and ready to be filled and painted. Getting there!!!


Now onto one of my favourite solutions in this space. As you'll remember from our hideous "before" photos, we have a water heater and furnace in our laundry room that could not be moved. I wasn't willing to settle for those elephants in the room, so I worked with the amazing Don + Ed at Upper Canada Specialty Hardware to come up with an elegant solution. We built a bulkhead to accommodate the header track and installed a matching floor track in order to allow us to install their beautifully functional and totally fluid Crowder sliding door system in front of the water heater and furnace. Using these gorgeous raw white oak slab doors from Metrie, we have now almost finished installing what will be a most elegant solution to a most unattractive problem.


It was the solution to that problem that led me to the design choice of the raw white oak floating shelf {above} instead of uppers on the cabinetry wall. I love the clean lined openness of it, and I love that it speaks to the humble poetry of the natural and unstained wood of the Metrie doors on the opposite wall of the room. We called an audible on this one and had my amazing furniture maker Matthew make it for us. We were just getting to the point where it was clear that we were not going to get everything done on our own, and it was the best decision we could have made, as it looks gorgeous! Our incredible contractor Pete came over last night to help Graham install it as it was truly a two-man job, and I have to tell you, I L-O-V-E love it!


Our CREE Canada pot lights are finally installed and they have transformed our dark little dungeon into a light, bright and airy space. I am extra happy about them because CREE pot lights are no ordinary pot lights. They are LED pot lights, meaning that they are so energy efficient we may not have to change a bulb for the next 20 years! Unlike LED's of the past, these babies have come a long way and offer a warm, natural-looking light that is not at all harsh or hard to look at. My Eco-Chic conscience is very happy about this design choice, and my next house will have CREE Canada LED pot lights from stem to stern!


Our amazing Blanco sink from The Home Depot is in place and ready to be hooked up to the plumbing which is all kinds of exciting! This sink is so generous and will be perfect for soaking soccer cleats and stained shirts and cleaning out paintbrushes and garden tools and taking care of just about any other messy job we can throw at it. Just what every mom of boys needs!


On the organizational front, these incredible Tyvek bins from TooFifteen are being assembled as we speak and will grace the top of our beautiful floating white oak shelf with effortless style. If you follow me on Instagram you will have seen another photo I posted of a TooFifteen bin earlier this week. I am still swooning over their elegant simplicity. To me they embody a kind of Scandinadian {Scandinavian + Canadian} aesthetic that I'm crazy about. They are perfectly imperfect in their rumpled, casual sophistication, and they are remarkably sturdy and functional despite their paper-like appearance. They are equally as strong wet as they are dry which means you can even plant a tree in one if you're so inclined {I already have plans to do this with my Christmas tree this year!} and they wipe clean really easily, resisting oil, grease and stains like a champ. They are the perfect mix of feminine and tough all at the same time. Totally my jam.


Again with the Instagram reference {go follow me there if you don't already!}, but I posted a concept I had for the labels for the TooFifteen bins earlier this week. While I loved the concept, the black ink blots were too harsh for the stark and simple beauty of the TooFifteen bins, so I collaborated with my friend Aileen from Plume Calligraphy who gave me a calligraphy lesson earlier this week and helped me find my calligraphy-nib-soul-mate. At Aileen's suggestion, I also played with some gouache instead of ink and landed on what you see above for the bin labels.

What do you think?

I still have lots to learn from Aileen in the calligraphy department, but I was pretty happy with the result. {You should follow her on Instagram too - her work is amazing!}

Speaking of following along, go check out what all the other beauties are up to as a part of the Spring 2015 edition of the One Room Challenge!

Coco + Kelley * Jana Bek * Autumn Clemons * The English Room * Vanessa Francis * Greige Design * Hi SugarplumI Heart Organizing * Jenna Sue Design * Stephanie Kraus * The Pursuit of Style * Julia Ryan * Savvy Home Simple Details * Simply Grove * 6th Street Design * Jill Sorensen * Swoon Worthy * Waiting On Martha * Kimberly Shlegel Whitman * and my friends and linking participants Lisa Canning and Abby M. Interiors. Go to Calling It Home to check out all of the 150+ Linking Participants for the April 2015 edition of the One Room Challenge!

And now I'm off to hit the to-do list with Graham, including:
* Hook up the plumbing to the sink and install the faucet
* Finish installing baseboard
* Fill holes and paint trimwork
* Finish installing sliding doors
* Install backsplash
* Style, shoot and REVEAL!

One more week! Can't wait to show you the final "ta-da" and see everyone else's transformations as well. Soon, my loves!

xo
s.

P.S. Couldn't resist including a little teaser of the extra "bonus" room I decided to tack onto this design dare deadline. Marine blue + dove grey crosses = total eclipse of the heart. Swoon! More soon...


Thursday, April 23, 2015

THE ONE ROOM CHALLENGE | WEEK FOUR | I Have This Thing With Floors


OK, so I have a confession to make: I have this thing with floors. I have since, well, forever. Looking back on over a decade of design projects, I can't think of a single house where I haven't created a tile carpet or custom tile pattern of some kind. Quite seriously, in every bathroom, entryway and otherwise tiled room of every house I've ever done. Not for the sake of overkill. For the sake of custom design. And for the love of details. They are, after all, a love language.

So it should come as no surprise that when it came time to design my laundry room, the floor was front and central in my mind. So much so, that I scoured the earth {OK, so just the Americas} for exactly what I was looking for. And friends, I found it!

But I was not satisfied with just finding my treasure and keeping it to myself. No, no, I wanted to make sure this tile would be accessible to everyone - designer or otherwise - and so I called upon my long-time friend Enrique at Creekside Tile here in Toronto to see if he would be willing to be the importer. The awesome news is, he said yes which means I can now point you in the direction of an incredible tile purveyor who can help you access these amazing encaustic cement tiles {along with just about any other pattern of encaustic cement, marble, ceramic, porcelain or glass your design-loving heart could desire!}. Go see him. He will not disappoint you.

And without further ado...It. Is. IN!!!


I can't wait to show you even more of it with the full reveal and proper photos. It is graphic and dramatic yet somehow feminine and classic all at once, and I lurv it. A lot.

If you follow me on Instagram, you'll know I posted this photo earlier today of the amazing Lewis Dolin brass bar cabinet pulls from Upper Canada Specialty Hardware.


They are so pretty I want to bite them! Perfectly crisp, brushed brass bars of beauty. It's a lot of alliteration, I know. They're worth it. Who knew four cabinet pulls could make a girl so happy?

That of course leads us back to the Gold vs. Brass debate of last week. Here's how our Delta Trinsic and Brizo Solna faucets look with the Upper Canada Specialty Hardware Lewis Dolin pulls:


They have their backs to one another because they know someone's getting voted off the island here.

Thoughts? I've settled on my selection but would love to know where you all land with it now that you can see the pulls and the faucets together.

As we speak, Graham is installing the base cabinets in prep for the counter template tomorrow. The counters take quite awhile to manufacture so that has been forcing Graham to burn the midnight oil. Can I just take this moment to say how incredibly grateful I am for my incredibly hardworking man? Seriously. He's remarkable. This project simply would not have happened on our tight little budget without his faithful devotion to his family and to gittin' 'er done. Love him like mad. And dreaming up ways to reward him for all his hard work when this little luxe laundry is a fait accompli.

We had the drawer faces colour-matched in Para Paint in order to paint out our MDF end gables. This is going to make our builder's box base cabinets look way more custom. And in prep for the counter templating we also picked up our amazing Blanco undermount sink from the fine folks at The Home Depot.


From soaking painting smocks after crafting with Tate to de-stinkifying sports gear after Noah's games, this sink is going to be the workhorse sidekick to our washer dryer, and I'm thrilled it's as clean and modern looking as it is functional.

The to-do list remains lengthy as we didn't manage to get the walls painted this week thanks to a classic, slapstick "slip and fall on a hidden toy at the bottom of the stairs and spend the day in emerg with an evulsion fracture in my foot" moment I had earlier this week. Sheesh! It's been quite the last couple of weeks, hasn't it? These things always happen when it's least convenient.

But that said, we've persevered and it feels like we really are rounding the corner to the home stretch.

This week's to-do's?

* Paint ceiling and walls after very carefully protecting the floors and cabinets {not my preferred order of operations}
*Finally finish installing our CREE LED potlights
* Install sliding door system from Upper Canada Specialty Hardware with our raw white oak slab doors from Metrie
* Install and paint baseboard and casing from Metrie
* Install floating shelf

So you know, enough to keep us more than busy here. Then of course there's the styling and the photography and well...one day at a time, right?

Be sure to get caught up on what the other designers and bloggers are up to here and let me know which ones are your favourites:

Coco + Kelley * Jana Bek * Autumn Clemons * The English Room * Vanessa Francis * Greige Design * Hi SugarplumI Heart Organizing * Jenna Sue Design * Stephanie Kraus * The Pursuit of Style * Julia Ryan * Savvy Home Simple Details * Simply Grove * 6th Street Design * Jill Sorensen * Swoon Worthy * Waiting On Martha * Kimberly Shlegel Whitman * and my friends and linking participants Lisa Canning and Abby M. Interiors. Go to Calling It Home to check out all of the 150+ Linking Participants for the April 2015 edition of the One Room Challenge!

xo
s.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

THE ONE ROOM CHALLENGE | Week Three Update | Gold vs. Brass


Hello lovelies!

I hope this finds you all happy and inspired now that Spring has finally shown up on the scene. My body has decided to continue to do some "Spring cleaning" of its own by way of the nastiest flu I've ever experienced. Yes, I mentioned we had it run through our household last week. Well, it decided it wasn't quite ready to break up with me and came back for an extra special bonus round. So grateful I'm the only one its clinging to, but that said, I'm working on my harshest break up lines as we speak. It's not me, Flu, it's you.

Gratefully, my amazing husband is currently picking up our incredible floor tile which has just arrived! More on that next week once we have it installed. I. Can't. Wait!!

In the meantime, let me update you on the current state of affairs.

STONE SELECTED!

First off, thank you for weighing in with your thoughts on the Silestone countertop selection via Facebook, Instagram and here on the blog! The decision has been made and with a 25 year warranty, it's a countertop that will definitely stand the test of time. I can't wait to reveal it to you on Week Six!

THE GREAT FAUCET DEBATE

The decision of the hour relates to the great faucet debate. It's a battle of gold vs. brass by way of two awesome faucet options. On the left you will see the more gold finish of the Delta Trinsic, and on the right, the more brass {dare I say slightly coppery?} finish of the Brizo Solna.



This is what I call a good problem to have, my friends. I love them both! But I want to hear from you. Which one do you prefer?

Here are the amazing Lewis Dolin pulls from Upper Canada Specialty Hardware that I will be working with:



As you can see, much more gold than brass. I really think the hardware makes the decision pretty clear, but I'd love for you to weigh in. Do you like mixing various tones and hues of metal, or do you prefer to keep it all in the family so to speak?

I have to tell you that Don, Ed and the team at Upper Canada Specialty Hardware have been an absolute dream to work with, and they've been instrumental in helping me to create a most beautiful solution to the ugliest problem in the laundry room using a phenomenal sliding door system. I seriously can't wait to get it installed. More on that in the next couple of weeks!

If you follow me on Instagram you will have seen the video I posted earlier this week showing how ridiculously easy the DriCore SMARTWALL system is to mud. We've just got a few seams left to mud, but here's how the room looks right this minute with the ceiling drywalled and the DriCore Subfloor R+ and DriCore SMARTWALL systems installed:



I can't tell you how excited I am to get to the pretty part! Here's THIS WEEK'S TO-DO LIST:

* Finish installing our CREE LED pot lights
* Paint the ceiling and walls
* Install the track for the sliding door system from Upper Canada Specialty Hardware
* Seal the tiles
* Lay them out to ensure the pattern is correct and we have what we need
* Cut and install the tiles and let them set
* Grout the tiles
* Paint the MDF end gables
* Install end gables and base cabinets
* Get countertop templated

Sounds do-able with a wicked flu and only a week to do it all, right? SO much more to be done once we make our way through that list, but we are just taking it one week at a time, one day at a time. I figure I can rule the world from bed with my laptop and iPhone at my side, and the plan is to be back on my feet as of tomorrow so I can dive in with Graham into the tile installation.

Be sure to check out what the other designers and bloggers have been up to and let me know what your favourite projects are so far! Stay well and have a wonderful Spring weekend!

xo
s.

Coco + Kelley * Jana Bek * Autumn Clemons * The English Room * Vanessa Francis * Greige Design * Hi SugarplumI Heart Organizing * Jenna Sue Design * Stephanie Kraus * The Pursuit of Style * Julia Ryan * Savvy Home Simple Details * Simply Grove * 6th Street Design * Jill Sorensen * Swoon Worthy * Waiting On Martha * Kimberly Shlegel Whitman * and my friends and linking participants Lisa Canning and Abby M. Interiors. Go to Calling It Home to check out all of the 150+ Linking Participants for the April 2015 edition of the One Room Challenge!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

THE ONE ROOM CHALLENGE | Week Two Update



Hello friends and design lovers! How is it Thursday again already? Man, this week has flown by! I hope yours has been a bit less of a whirling dervish than mine. Mixed in with the flu passing through our household {it still hasn't read its eviction notice properly}, we have been working hard at moving the needle forward on progress with the laundry room.

As with real life, it has not been without its challenges. The plumbing was a fairly tall order as we had to remove all the old copper pipes. Let's just say it proved more of a chore than anticipated and we actually had to move the back wall in a bit to accommodate some of the "choices" made by the previous home owner that could not be changed without ripping up the concrete. That said, my super-hubs got it done and we were able to check that off the list. We are just waiting for the electrical inspection and then we can check that off the list as well, which will be great as I can't wait to finish the drywall and get our Cree LED pot lights installed...but I'm getting ahead of myself.

Right now, we are still very much in the early stages of construction. The amazing DriCore Subfloor R+ is in, though, so although the space doesn't look glamorous yet, it feels so much better. By that I mean it is so much warmer. 

The Subfloor R+ comes in square tiles that click together, making the installation super fast and easy, and amazingly it actually raises the temperature of the finished flooring by up to 5.6° C {10.6° F for all of my American friends}. That is so important in basements, especially when you aren't splurging on radiant heat. Bye-bye popsicle toes, hello happy feet!

Hello cozy toesies!
The only thing to slow us down with finishing the installation of the subfloor was our vintage 1969 concrete foundation which is ridiculously hard and dense. The older the concrete, the harder it is, which wouldn't be a big deal if we weren't tiling. But tiling means securing the Subfloor R+ with tapcons drilled into the concrete to stabilize it so the tiles won't crack. Let's just say getting those suckers into the concrete was a little bit like trying to nail jello to the wall. We had to go up a size in tapcons before we could get them to stop snapping off at the halfway point. And by "we" I mean Graham. And by "snapping off" I mean making Graham lose his proverbial jello.


My involvement in said scenario was making the run to the Home Depot to get bigger tapcons when the first ones failed completely. That and offering lots of words of encouragement to the hubs as he wrestled the concrete into submission. Gratefully, Graham can now add "concrete tamer" to his resumé and our Subfloor R+ is totally stable and secure and ready for the tile to be laid.

We {aka Graham} have also been working away on installing the DriCore SMARTWALL system. Smart is an understatement. This product is like the superhero of basement refinishing, and it will make you feel like the superhero of your basement reno.

Of all the jobs involved in finishing this space, the drywall would be what Graham likes the least, mainly because of the mudding and taping. If you have ever tackled this task yourself, you will know that it is something of an art form. A very messy, very challenging art form. Looks easy, really isn't, and looks terrible if you get it wrong. Not only that, but there are several time consuming steps involved: 1. Install insulation and vapour barrier, 2. Attach drywall to the studs, 3. Mud and tape the seams, 4. Wait for the mud to dry, 5. Sand that down, 6. Repeat the mudding with a feather coat, 7. Wait for that to dry, 8. Sand again... You get the idea.

Well, not so with the Smartwall system. Here's a side view of the product so you can get an idea of the anatomy:


SMARTWALL is brilliant because it allows you to install your insulation and drywall all in one fell swoop, but that's not even the best part! The panels click together {just like the interlocking Subfloor R+ system}, and the very small seams are then filled with a simple-to-use putty that takes the mess out of the usual experience of mudding. Hello! Happy, insulated, drywalled walls in a fraction of the time it would take to accomplish traditionally. Thank you DriCore!

We hope to finish installing the SMARTWALL panels over the weekend {remember that part about the flu slowing us down?} and I will be sure to share a photo of that stage of things next week.

In the meantime, I would love your input! I am trying to decide between two similar but different-enough-that-it's-a-decision choices for my countertop. Both are amazing engineered quartz from Silestone, and both are in quiet grey tones. Weigh in with me? Which one do you like better?


The top one is called Lagoon, and the bottom one is called Helix. I like the subtlety of the tones in the Lagoon, but I like the movement in the Helix. What do you think? I feel like they both do a great job of replicating natural stone and I love that Silestone is perfect for a high-traffic laundry room with its stain resistant, scratch resistant, bacteriostatic technology. This is truly a win-win decision I have before me! Can't wait to see where it lands. Cast your vote in the comments to help me finalize the decision!

That's it for me this week. Be sure to go and check out what these amazing creatives are up to and get inspired by their progress:

Coco + Kelley * Jana Bek * Autumn Clemons * The English Room * Vanessa Francis * Greige Design * Hi SugarplumI Heart Organizing * Jenna Sue Design * Stephanie Kraus * The Pursuit of Style * Julia Ryan * Savvy Home Simple Details * Simply Grove * 6th Street Design * Jill Sorensen * Swoon Worthy * Waiting On Martha * Kimberly Shlegel Whitman * and my friends and linking participants Lisa Canning and Abby M. Interiors. Go to Calling It Home to check out all of the 150 Linking Participants for the April 2015 edition of the One Room Challenge!

I absolutely love the Moroccan-inspired wallpaper that Vanessa Francis is using in her bathroom update. The art addict in me is all over what is happening over at Waiting On Martha, and the pattern play of fabrics in Cassie's design plan over at Hi Sugarplum is totally my cuppa. Which projects are getting your creative juices flowing? Can't wait to hear from you all this week. Here's to less flu and more follow through!

xo
s.
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