One Room Challenge | Spring 2017 | The Big Reveal!!

Beauty reminds us to slow down, to become more mindful, more grateful, more present to each moment, more focused on the good, more connected. Beauty in our outer environment invites us to create an inner environment where we can heal.


As we were taking a moment to sit and savour the finished product together on Tuesday, Amber asked me if I do a lot of design work for businesses. The truth is, I’ve chosen to focus almost exclusively on residential design over the last 14 years for one specific reason: A sense of meaning.

You see, I believe design has the power to create a transformational environment that supports relationships, creates personal sanctuary, and can become the context where dreams come true and powerful life stories unfold. In my experience, this purpose has been harder to connect with on corporate projects. Until now.

Through my own health journey, I’ve become passionate about the belief that spaces intended for healing should welcome the senses. Every touchpoint should be considered for the way it contributes to the experience. Does it invite inspiration? Relaxation? Calm? Hope? Aspirations for a healthier, more beautiful life? These were my goals for Docere, and thanks to our incredible sponsors, I think we did it!

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Levine Cocktail Table – Bernhardt | Ghost Side Chairs – Rove Concepts |

Crystal Drum Shade Chandelier – LampsPlus | White Wolf Ledgestone Marble Wall Treatment

ErthCoverings | Black Textured Tray – Renwil Decor | Vase, Amethyst Geode, Selenite Tea Light Holder –

HomeSense | Baseboards – Metrie | Aspens At Altitude fine art print – Minted | Black Frame + Matting –

Framed & Matted


I have to say, I am absolutely thrilled with the massive impact the ErthCoverings White Wolf Ledgestone panels have made to the welcome for the senses in the reception area at Docere. The two feature walls now clad in this stone feel natural yet luxurious, textured and organic yet refined and elevated. The envelope they create is both dramatic and understated in its elegance, and the texture of the walls plays beautifully with the larger scale striation in the floors, the radiant texture in the stunning Bernhardt Levine Cocktail Table, the gloss of the Rove Concepts Ghost Chairs and the shimmering and delicate crystals on the LampsPlus chandelier.

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All of these natural textures and materials pay homage to the natural approach to medicine that Amber offers at Docere: a functional, holistic way of supporting the body’s own God-given ability to heal.



There is a significant amount of trust involved in the practioner-patient relationship, especially when regularly poking one’s arm to infuse the body with the nutrients it needs to heal. This trust requires a level of professionalism, empathy and compassion on the part of the practitioner that is rare. That’s why I wanted the IV Suite to feel both highly professional and carefully considered as a reflection of Amber’s approach. She doesn’t just throw nutrients at her patients arbitrarily, but rather carefully tests and retests them to ensure they are getting just what they need when they need it. This is a safe place, and I wanted the design details to communicate that well.

The featured wall of Metrie panel moulding, painted out in Farrow & Ball’s All White No. 2005, really sets the stage in my mind. The look is clean and elevated while feeling carefully considered and thoughtfully detailed. The panel moulding and crisp white paint make an otherwise blank wall feel polished with nothing else on it, and it will make for a supportive backdrop when Amber opens up the moveable glass wall for educational presentations in this space.

The larger lozenges of paneling anchor the comfy chairs, which are made all the more welcoming thanks to the luxurious Annie Selke Nodo Zinc Shams. These soft and elegant pillows will support patients’ arms during their IV infusions which is why they are standard sized pillows and not decorative throw pillows. They are both practical and decadent at the same time as the 500 thread count cotton sateen feels almost like silk. The Renwil Hearth Side Tables that nestle in between the chairs make for the perfect spot to rest a cup of tea and a good book, again making each patient’s space feel thoughtfully considered and welcoming.


Significantly adding to the sense of professionalism in this space is the Perlick 15″ Signature Series Refrigerator Drawers. Amber is over-the-moon thrilled with how functional these drawers are in the IV Suite, making the access to her injectables effortless and adding ease to her workflow as she serves her patients. “I seriously love that fridge” she told me with a grin as we sat and took it all in on Tuesday. And I can see why. It is a professional grade product that seamlessly integrates into the space for a beautiful, highly functional work space.


To top it all off, Amber now has a beautiful Blanco Urbena Faucet, Blanco Torre Soap Dispenser and Blanco Quatrus 15 U1 Undermount Sink to anchor the Nurse’s Station. The edgy elegance of the Top Knobs Lydia Knobs and Pulls with their hexagonal shape adds dimension and subtle sophistication to the clean look of the glossy white cabinetry.


One of the areas of great concern to me was the Hospitality Centre in the IV Suite. I wanted this to feel truly welcoming and nurturing in its simplicity, offering green tea and infused water as a gracious invitation to exhale and relax. I can think of no better way to set the stage for that welcome than Bernhardt’s extremely handsome Winston Credenza. A visual anchor that offers practical storage beneath and a generous surface above for beverage service, the Winston makes a strong and refined statement of elegance that significantly elevates the entire aesthetic of the IV Suite.


Also central to the Hospitality Centre was the selection of artwork, and I love the mental escape that Minted’s Praia da Ursa by Hi Uan Kang Haaga offers. The tones in the art – a mixture of warm and cool – work beautifully with the tones in the Bernhardt Credenza, creating a metaphorical harbour for the eye to rest upon while receiving treatment.



Amber offers many kinds of treatment, including holistic dermatological treatments, so having a functional washing station in her office was just as important as at the Nurse’s Station in the IV Suite. Once again, the combination of Blanco’s beautiful Urbena Faucet and Torre Soap Dispenser with the Top Knobs Lydia Collection of hexagonal pulls and knobs are a match made in heaven. The artwork by Melody Hansen and Amy Friend via Citizen Atelier framed in a classic Framed & Matted frame to me tell a story of healing waters and letting go. The aqua glass vase from HomeSense ties it all together with vibrant yellow forsythia branches joyfully reminding us it’s Springtime.



This special project would not have come together so beautifully without our incredible sponsors, and Amber and I could not be more grateful! A thousand thanks are not enough, but we offer them with our deepest appreciation to:

Annie Selke | Bernhardt | Blanco | ErthCoverings | Farrow & Ball | Framed & Matted | LampsPlus | Metrie | Minted | Perlick | Renwil | RoveConcepts | TopKnobs

Thank you for your trust and partnership. I truly believe your products will offer beauty and a context for healing for many lives in the years ahead.

Our great thanks also goes out to Larry Arnal for so beautifully capturing the space for us with his photography.

In the spirit of acknowledging that it takes a village, Amber and the team at Docere would also like to thank the many trades that helped to make this space a reality:

George and the team at Elite Stone for their excellent customer service in fabricating and installing the quartz counters | Hal Graham of Hal T Graham Contracting for framing, insulating and drywalling | Bruno Baglioni of B&B Construction for installing the tile floors and ErthCoverings Ledgestone marble wall panels | Marc Ingraudo of AMI Electrical for installing all of the electrical including the LampsPlus chandelier | Scott Boden for painting (even during the Leafs’ season).

And lastly, I would like to thank all of you for coming along on this journey, for believing in the power of design and for joining me in the quest to make the world a healthier, more beautiful place one space at a time.

HUGE thanks as always to Linda of Calling It Home for creating this epic online design event, and the fine folks at House Beautiful for being the official media partner of the One Room Challenge. Be sure to drink in all of the design goodness that has been poured out over the last couple of days by checking out all of the links here and here.

And with that, I wish you a weekend ahead filled with inspiration for designing a healthy home and life you love! Be sure to pop back next week when I’ll share my favourite spaces from this round of the One Room Challenge. Until then, be well my friends!


By |May 11th, 2017|16 Comments

One Room Challenge | Spring 2017 Edition | Week Five Update


Welcome to Week Five of the One Room Challenge! True to form, this online design event, hosted by Linda of Calling it Home and media partner House Beautiful, has gone by in an absolute blur. I couldn’t be more grateful to see things coming together! Here’s a quick look at our progress thus far:

Feature Wall With Metrie Panel Moulding


The feature wall, created with panel moulding from Metrie, is almost complete with just a couple more pieces and the baseboards to be installed. It looks fantastic already, and will look so much better with the final coat of Farrow & Ball All White No. 2005 applied!

The idea behind creating a panelled feature wall was not only to elevate the level of sophistication in the IV Suite, but also to create a stunning backdrop for Amber’s educational presentations when the retractable glass wall is opened up between the reception area and the IV Suite. The panelling allows us to forgo artwork on that wall while still creating a very polished finished look, and I couldn’t be happier with it!

Sadly it is not looking like said retractable glass wall will be installed in time for the reveal, but suffice it to say it will bring in an abundance of natural light into the space while still offering privacy thanks to a 3M film we will be applying (a major cost savings over frosted glass).

Cabinets, Hardware & Fridge Drawers, Oh My!

The Nurse’s Station in the IV Suite is also starting to take shape with the cabinets and modern Top Knobs hardware installed. I love how clean and elegant the hexagon shaped knobs and pulls look on the sleek and glossy cabinets, and the repetition and rhythm of the bar pulls next to the Perlick Refrigerated Drawers looks fantastic.

Due to an unexpected delay in fabrication that was entirely outside of my control, we are quite literally saying our prayers that the quartz will be installed in time for the photo shoot. Cue serious nail biting and deep breathing.


The Art Is My Favourite Part

If you’ve been following me for awhile, you know I’m not exaggerating when I say I am a total art addict. Art is such a powerful opportunity to imbue meaning into a space. It helps us tell a story and set the stage for the mood we want to create. That’s why I took a lot of time settling on just the right pieces for the reception area and IV Suite. I wanted to find pieces that spoke to a feeling of hope, and also a representation of a “happy place” or mental escape.

If you’ve done any meditation at all, you know that having a visual place to escape to in your mind can be a powerful tool when working to calm and centre your body, and I wanted the art to offer that kind of visual escape. Amber and I share a love for the beauty and healing powers of Le Scandinave in Collingwood. The property is surrounded by birch trees, so when I landed on this gorgeous print from Minted by Utah photographers Marilyn and Kaleb Nimz called Aspens At Altitude, I knew it would be the perfect welcome for the senses in the reception area.


I think it looks amazing finished in its Framed & Matted crisp black frame and simple white matte. To me, the perspective of the photograph invites a sense of daydreaming, laying on your back and watching the wind gently sway the trees as you unwind to the sounds of nature.

The mood for the IV Suite is slightly different, but it still let’s nature take centre stage. For me, Minted’s Praia da Ursa by photographer Hi Uan Kang Haaga represents a bucket list vacation destination, and one I will be quite happy to escape to in my mind when getting my IV therapy infusions. There are few things more healing and grounding than a walk on the beach, after all, and that natural outcropping of rock is mesmerizing when you consider how it actually came to be! This piece is going to look incredible framed up in a simple black Framed & Matted frame and installed above the stunning Bernhardt Winston Credenza.


Starting to Finalize Styling Details

With the photo shoot scheduled for Monday, I’m in the home stretch of gathering together styling details. As with all of the decisions I’ve made for Docere, I want the details to tell Amber’s story, even if they do so very subtly. I’ve been searching high and low for reasonably priced quartz geodes and was thrilled to score these three gems at Winners this week!


The two rose quartz tea light candle holders will be perfect for beeswax votives. I adore beeswax candles not only for their incredible smell, but also because they clean the air of toxins. I’m thrilled to have found a way to integrate them in a beautiful way, as white beeswax candles are hard to come by and the yellow ones (while they smell amazing) aren’t so pretty to look at.

The amethyst geode is just beautiful and will make a thoughtful touch either on the coffee table or at the nurse’s station.

The To-Do List

While things are definitely starting to take shape, there’s no lack of things yet to be done in the next 5 days!

  • All baseboards and cabinetry toe kick to be installed
  • Paneling to be completed
  • Final painting to be completed
  • Chandelier to be installed
  • Stone feature walls in reception to be installed (this is a biggie!)
  • Sinks, faucets and quartz counters to be installed
  • Styling and photo shoot to be done!

Needless to say, we will have our hands full between now and next Thursday, but I couldn’t be more excited to see this space completed and to share it with you.

In the meantime, be sure to head here and here to check out what all of the other ORC design daredevils are up to as there are some incredible projects coming together! I can’t wait to pour over all of them on reveal day next Thursday!

Until then, enjoy your weekend!


By |May 4th, 2017|1 Comment

One Room Challenge | Spring 2017 Edition | Week Four Update

Hello and welcome to Week Four of the One Room Challenge! If you’re just finding me for the first time, welcome! I’m thrilled you’re here and am excited to share what we’ve been up to and what is to come as I work on transforming a Natural Wellness Centre into a spa-like health retreat.

Love Is In The Details
How To Choose Paint For A Healthier Environment

It’s been a busy week this week with several exciting deliveries rolling in! Our amazing Farrow & Ball paint has arrived, and I’m so excited to see it up on the walls. I choose to work with Farrow & Ball paints not only because they offer a rich, historical palette of colours, but also because their clay-based paint is VOC-free.


Why does that even matter, you ask?

VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds) have been proven to have a significant impact on both our indoor air quality and ultimately our health. Some of the signs that VOC’s are having a negative impact on you can include:

  • Eye, nose and throat irritation
  • headaches, loss of coordination, nausea and vomiting
  • damage to liver, kidney and central nervous system
  • allergic skin reactions
  • difficulty breathing
  • nose bleeds
  • fatigue
  • dizziness and difficulty concentrating

I know, I know. Not very pleasant to talk about! But when our goal is to create beautiful, inspiring spaces that soothe the senses, we really have to be concerned about the impact our design choices make on our environment as well. One day I dream of building a home that is as healthy as it is beautiful, and you can bet your bottom dollar that Farrow & Ball will be at the top of my list of preferred products when it comes time to make that dream a reality!


We have chosen All White No. 2005 for this project as it is a perfect match to the modern, high gloss cabinetry going into the IV suite nurse’s station. It is crisp and fresh and the ultimate chameleon, blending in harmoniously with everything around it. We chose Farrow & Ball’s Modern Emulsion for the walls, an exceptionally velvety matte finish that is surprisingly durable and will be more forgiving of any imperfections in the commercial drywall. For the trim, we chose their Estate Eggshell which will offer a beautiful semi-gloss sheen and is ideal for the interior woodwork and the solid metal doors on the treatment rooms.

How To Use Texture To Tame Your Mood

Did you know that soft textures have been clinically proven to improve our moods? That’s right! According to Psychology Today, soft and soothing textures can actually help turn around a negative state of mind. Not only is this proof that our kids are brilliant for reaching for their favourite blanket for comfort, but it also reveals why high thread count linens are so treasured. It’s ALSO the reason why we decided to significantly up the comfort factor in the IV suite by selecting Annie Selke Nodo Shams to cover the pillows that will be used under patients’ arms as they get their IV’s. With a 500 thread count, these beauties feel more like silk than cotton, and they will add another layer of warm welcome to the senses as Amber’s patients work to reclaim their greatest health and vitality.


The stunning pattern doesn’t hurt either! I can’t wait to see these in place (and experience them myself when I’m in for my IV infusions)!

Textured Stone For The Win

The only sad news this week was the revelation that our hopes for a book matched stone reception desk are not meant to be. Blame the B-word (budget), a real thing when investing in highly sensitive testing equipment that allows you to offer greater health insights and treatment options to your clients! That said, we are still making a huge stone statement in the reception area thanks to this stunning split face marble by ErthCoverings.


Rather than using this stone on the desk, we will feature ErthCoverings’ White Wolfe Ledgestone on the wall to be erected behind the reception desk. I’m super excited as I know it is going to make a stunning vertical statement. For the sake of balance and further impact, we will also feature it on the wall opposite the reception desk against which the Ghost chairs will sit. White Wolf Ledgestone is brand new to ErthCoverings and in my opinion it’s one of the most stunning products they’ve made yet. It will offer the kind of organic, sophisticated first impression I’m looking for, and I couldn’t be happier about it!

And that, my friends, is this week’s update! The fridge has arrived from Perlick, the counters, Blanco sinks and faucets should be installed very soon, the panelling from Metrie and the ErthCoverings stone will be next on the to-do list, and then it’s on to art and styling! I can feel the momentum building, and I couldn’t be more excited for Amber and the official launch of her beautiful new natural wellness centre. Only two more weeks!

In the meantime, be sure to visit here and here to check out what all the rest of the One Room Challenge design daredevils have been up to this week, and I look forward to catching up with all of you next week!


By |April 27th, 2017|1 Comment