How To Buy A Home And Have Someone Else Pay The Mortgage | Responsive Homes with Bobby Berk

We all have one – a vision of our very own dream home. A space to host the most fabulous parties, to live a meaningful and connected life, all the while easily entertaining both indoors and out. But paying the mortgage on that dream home can sometimes feel out of reach.


Enter the brilliant space planning of the Responsive Homes we recently visited as a part of the Modenus BlogTourKBIS in Las Vegas. With interiors designed by Bobby Berk and built by Pardee Homes, these innovative spaces blur the lines between indoor and outdoor living with an apparent simplicity that belies their clever flexibility. But beyond designs that include sliding walls that open to invite the outdoors in, these unique floor plans offer homes that really can pay for themselves.

Targeted at Millennials, the Responsive Homes are uniquely designed with main floor “lock off” suites. The suites include a bedroom, bathroom, sitting area and small kitchenette that allow the homeowner to rent the space out to either a long term renter or – at higher short term rates – via online rental services like Airbnb.

Not only does the rental suite option make a new mortgage payment easier for Millenials in the short term, but it also offers a space that will flex with the needs of the home owner, evolving into a nanny suite, for example, when future kids come along. From bachelor parties to birthday parties, these houses will have no problem growing with their owners through the many seasons of life ahead.

What do you think? Are you inspired by this innovative approach to space planning, either for your own home, for a child’s first home, or for an investment property? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

And stay tuned for all of the many design finds I spotted at the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show. I’ve got lots of great highlights and exciting trends to share with you in the coming weeks!


By |January 26th, 2016|3 Comments

2015 Local Gift Guide for Last Minute Shoppers

We’ve all been there. Work life or home life or real life has just been crazy busy and here we are a mere week before the big day and our holiday shopping isn’t quite done. No judgement, friends! It happens, and sometimes we just need someone to point us in the right direction. That’s why this year I decided to do a local {Toronto/Oakville} Gift Guide for those who are panicking from the last minute rush. All of these gifts are ones you can pick up at a local shop in either Toronto or Oakville, and all of them are guaranteed winners under the tree. Ladies, you may want to pass this one along to your sweet man with an espresso and a hug and a wish for light traffic and easily-found parking spots.

ONE + TWO: I love a good piece of jewelry under the tree, and local love BluBoho has you covered with an absolutely gorgeous selection of treasures. These origami posts and this glittering half-moon pavé necklace are guaranteed to elicit squeals of delight. With locations in Toronto and Oakville, this is your one stop for all of the jewelry lovers on your list.

THREE: If you haven’t experienced the wonder that is Technical Cashmere yet, you need to get yourself into your local Kit + Ace. The only problem you’ll have is choosing what to give {and perhaps what to keep for yourself!}. I fell in love with the Bryden scarf and {hint hint} would love to find it under our tree Christmas morning. If their product wasn’t gorgeous enough, each of the stores {yes, there’s one in Oakville as well as Toronto locations} are uniquely designed by partnering with the local creative class on things like light fixtures and art installations that are truly inspired and unique. Clearly the folks at Kit + Ace speak my love languages. Technical cashmere + the creative class = all kinds of yes.

FOUR: I’ve had a design crush on Tom Dixon for forever and a day, and I’m thrilled to say that you can find a thoughtfully curated selection of his beautiful objet at the lovely Medulla & Co. on Queen St. This gorgeous trio candle gift set {gold, copper and nickel – oh my!} each have their own subtle and unique scent, the perfect gift for the design lover in your midst.

FIVE: If the design-lover on your list to really feel like you did your research, pop into your local Indigo or Chapters and get them a copy of Jean-Louis Deniot’s Interiors. This stunning volume will transport you to a place of Parisian perfection, with countless pages to drool over, filled with all of the delicious details that make Deniot one of the most internationally recognized designers of the moment.

SIX: I’m pretty sure that coffee is its own love language, and the folks at Pilot Coffee Roasters are definitely fluent. I’m not ashamed to say that heir beans are all you’ll find in our house. It’s worth the drive to East Toronto. If you can, give your love an experience along with a bag of perfectly roasted beans and take them to the tasting bar on Wagstaff for a wine-tasting-esque tour of everything from espresso to Chemex perfection and even the wonders of a deconstructed latté.

SEVEN + EIGHT: If you want to join the cult of Chemex, you’ll want to pick up the Chemex from Pilot and then get in line for the perfect pouring kettle from Monarch Methods. Hand crafted in Toronto, these copper beauties take the guess work {and weighing} out of a perfectly brewed Chemex experience, taking the ritual of coffee making to a whole new {more beautifully designed} level.

And that’s it, my friends! My top picks for lovely last minute treasures that will feel anything BUT last minute when they are unwrapped on Christmas morning!

More than thoughtful presents, my wish for all of you is that you would experience the gift of each other’s presence over the holidays. Slowing down to savour each other is truly the best gift we can give and receive at any time of the year.

Merry Christmas, lovelies!


By |December 18th, 2015|3 Comments

The Secret To Staying Creative | A Modern Calligraphy Class With Plume Calligraphy

Would you believe me if I told you that the secret to being creative is actually about play?    PlumeCalligraphy-SarahWalker-03

They say creativity begets creativity. In other words, playing with new mediums – whatever they may be – can lead back into creativity in your own professional practice. Most importantly, creative play opens you up to new ideas and ways of seeing the world.

So lately I’ve been playing by learning the art of modern calligraphy. Guys, I have absolutely fallen for it. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll see little snippets of it in my feed. It’s almost meditative as you start to find your groove, and I feel like my calligraphy game got way stronger after a private tutorial I had recently with my lovely friend Aileen Fretz of Plume Calligraphy.


Like me, Aileen is a slashie: in her case, a calligrapher slash photographer slash graphic designer slash artist slash wife and mom. If you don’t currently follow her on Instagram, today is the day to fix that. I mean, just look at this daily dose of gorgeous:


Aileen’s work has been featured on wedding sites like Style Me Pretty, Once Wed and the UK’s Wedding Sparrow – as well as the gorgeous online lifestyle mag Cottage Hill – because all her work is stunning. Here’s a sneak peek at a recent Plume Calligraphy feature on Style Me Pretty:


In addition to all her ridiculous talent, Aileen is also an incredibly inspiring and generous-hearted teacher, full of insights and little tidbits to up your calligraphy game. I came away from our time together so excited to keep exploring as I keep pursuing my own hand lettering style, and I loved how Aileen sparked new ideas in me. I could have spent hours with her!

 PlumeCalligraphy-SarahWalker-01 PlumeCalligraphy-SarahWalker-05

Never one to keep a good thing all to myself, I asked Aileen if she would partner with me to share a Modern Calligraphy Workshop with you lovelies, and gratefully she said YES!


My favourite purveyor of fine fabrics, wall coverings, furnishings and accessories – Kravet – is kindly hosting us in their Mississauga showroom, and there are just 12 spots available.

Here are the details:

taught by
hosted by
TIME: 10am-12pm
COST: $125*
*All calligraphy materials are included in the class fee. 
Light refreshments will be served.

If you are interested in joining us, please reserve your spot by emailing me at sarah@thecuratedhouse.com. We’re so excited to have you join us!

Cheers to raising your creative game, friends.


*All photos by White Photographie except where otherwise noted.


By |August 11th, 2015|0 Comments