Friday, August 31, 2012

Beautiful in blue: Chef Michael Smith’s kitchen

I clicked over to Food Network Canada yesterday morning and Chef Michael’s Kitchen was on. Michael Smith is an honours graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in New York City and is Prince Edward Island’s official food ambassador. But I had no idea what he was cooking – it was his unique and colourful kitchen that grabbed my attention.

Michael Smith FN

All the cabinetry was designed and built by GCW Custom Kitchens & Cabinetry Inc. in Ontario. Michael selected the beautiful marine blue to pay homage to the waters surrounding PEI.

Michael-Smiths-kitchen 2 gcw

The open storage is both pretty and practical. Dishes and ingredients are easy to spot and access, and the labels and cookware add pops of colour around the room.

Michael-Smiths-kitchen 3 chefmichaelsmith

The stainless steel clean-up area is a touch of industrial in the rustic kitchen.

Michael-Smiths-kitchen 5 food network

The wrought iron pot hanger above the sink is a wonderful work of art. It represents the pastoral beauty of PEI, and was forged by local artist William Dowling.

Michael-Smiths-kitchen 9 food network

At the opposite end of the spectrum is this work area with a two-burner induction cooktop. And how about that knife block?! The frame of the cabinet is walnut and the drawer fronts are reclaimed barn board. It’s my favourite feature in the kitchen – I love the rustic look and the warmth of the wood.

Michael-Smiths-kitchen 8 food network

The pantry is open and clad with wood from crates of Michael’s favourite wines. Such a whimsical and creative idea.

Michael-Smiths-kitchen 6 food network

Michael-Smiths-kitchen 7 food network

Probably not a kitchen for someone who doesn’t like open shelving, but perfect for a cook who likes to have everything close at hand.

Michael-Smiths-kitchen 4 chefmichaelsmith
I highly recommend checking out the video tour of Michaels’ kitchen. He shows and describes all of the amazing details that went into his kitchen – you could incorporate lots of them into your own kitchen :-) Click here or click the image below to watch the video.

michael smith vimeo

In a design world where white kitchens are the norm, Michael Smith’s colourful rustic kitchen is a nice change of pace. What do you think – would you have a colourful kitchen in your home?

Happy weekend!
Thanks to everyone who selected This or That in Wednesday’s post about shower benches. Your feedback was great, and has given me a lot to think about! I’ll let you know which way I decide to go in next week’s instalment of This or That :-)

Images via Food Network Canada, Chef Michael Smith, and GCW Custom Kitchens & Cabinetry Inc.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

This or That: Shower bench

I thought I’d start a weekly feature called “This or That” where you can help me choose between two different things that I’m contemplating for our bathroom makeover. This week it’s shower benches.


teak benchesImages via Houzz | Designs by The Wood Shop of Avon and Andrea Schumacher


tile benchesImages via Houzz | Designs by Rossington Architecture and Niki Popodololous

Do you prefer a free standing teak bench or a built-in tiled bench?

Monday, August 27, 2012

The final tile verdict

We have floor tiles! Well, not literally in our hands, but I ordered them on Saturday. Thanks to everyone who commented on my moonstone vs. porcelain dilemma. The winner is…

floor tile

…the porcelain Volcano tile. And the icing on the cake – it ended up costing $4.50/sq ft, so a lot less than half the price of the moonstone. Which means we can splurge somewhere else :-)

We’re still working on some options for the floor accent tile, but we’ve decided to use single strips of Carrara marble mosaic:

floor accent tile

Maybe something like this:

floor mock up

The shower walls will definitely be the wavy tile:

wavy tile 2

And the niches in the shower and accent will be done in this blue mosaic:

blue accent tiles

I really like the accent tiles in this shower:

tileImage via

We’ll use the small blue mosaic tiles to do the same in our shower (the mockup represents the wall that will have the faucet and two niches, and the long side wall):

shower wall with niches and stripes 2

This is the written-in-stone final tile decision, honest! Hubby plans to start demo at the beginning of September – can’t wait!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

My dream has a beautiful Brizo twist!

Ever since I was first introduced to Brizo a few years ago, I’ve been coveting the beautiful Virage faucet…

brizo virage[3]

So I’m absolutely beside myself with excitement that Brizo is graciously providing Virage sink, tub, and shower faucets & shower body jets for our master bathroom makeover.

Are you kidding me?!

No, you’re not kidding me!

It’s even more exciting than a cupcake covered with sprinkles!

In case you aren’t familiar with Brizo, it’s Delta’s high end fashion-forward line of kitchen and bathroom faucets. I have the Talo faucet in Venetian Bronze in my kitchen, and I love it. And I know I’m going to love the Virage faucets in the master bathroom! The lines are so beautiful and unique, and will work perfectly with the combination of linear & curvy elements that are going into the bathroom. I also really like that the Virage design is a blend of traditional and modern, which is the design style we have going on throughout our house.

brizo faucet

The unique twisting and turning details of the Virage bath collection were inspired by the beautiful iron work that Brizo’s designers found on gates, balconies, and doors throughout Europe.

brizo 1

The design is carried through every element of the collection, which includes bathroom faucets, showerheads, shower trims, a roman tub-filler, and a complete line of accessories.

brizo 3

The Virage collection is available in five finishes: Polished Chrome, Venetian Bronze, Brilliance Brushed Nickel, Brilliance Polished Nickel, and Brilliance Brushed Bronze. We chose the Polished Chrome finish for our bathroom faucets. It’s pretty & sparkly :-)


The Virage raincan showerhead and body jets feature Brizo’s H20kinetic Technology, which provides a warmer and more luxurious shower while using less water by controlling the water’s shape, velocity, and thermal dynamics. It’s a great option for anyone who wants to go green in their bathroom, but doesn’t want to sacrifice the luxuriousness of a high-flow shower.

brizo shower

A HUGE thank you to Delta & Brizo for their amazing generosity, and to Communications Specialist Farah Ng for all her help :-) We’re going to have one seriously super sexy bathroom when we’re done!

If you’re looking for unique and beautiful faucets for your home, check out Brizo’s collection of kitchen and bathroom faucets. They have something for every design style and taste!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A bump in the bathroom makeover road

Our bathroom makeover plans were going along great – and then we hit a bump in the road. I’m the queen of finding bumps and potholes, just ask my poor little smart car ;-) Remember the beautiful moonstone tiles we were planning to use for the floor?

SR moonstone floor and niche

Saltillo will have to order new stock from their supplier, and the tiles won’t arrive for at least ten weeks. Booooo! Hubby doesn’t want to start the reno until we have the floor tiles on hand, seeing as they have to go in before we can do pretty much anything else once the demo is done. Which means the reno won’t start till November – I want the reno finished by November!

So last Friday, I embarked on a hunt for the elusive 12" x 24" moonstone floor tile. I had a list of 10 stores to hit, and I made it as far as… one. Lewis & Clark, I ain't. My expedition ended at Westboro Flooring. They don't have moonstone tiles, but they have lots of beautiful porcelain tiles. These are two that caught my eye – Midgley & West Volcano on the left and I-can’t-remember on the right.


I like that they both work with the striped accent tile and the Super White quartzite that we’re going to use. But now I’m thinking that it might be better to use the “sunflower” mosaic instead of the glass tiles for the accent  so I can still get some moonstone in the room.

As much as I love and want the moonstone floor tiles, I think we’re probably going to go with the Volcano tile (or something similar) for a few reasons:

  • They’re half the price of the moonstone tiles (big thumbs up from hubby!)
  • Quick availability (7-10 days after ordering)
  • Textured/honed finish is for better traction
  • Porcelain is more durable than moonstone, which scratches easily

The only real negative is that they’re not as pretty & unique as the moonstone tiles.

A big reason for doing the bathroom reno is for resale value. So pretend you’re a potential buyer and let me know – would you prefer a bathroom floor that’s pretty and durable and not slippy, or a bathroom floor that’s beautiful & unique, but scratches easily and is slippy?

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Toby-inspired colour palette

When I was looking at our foster puppy Toby a couple of days ago, it occurred to me that he’s a great interior design colour palette of cream, beige, brown, black, and blue.


And it looks like a lot of designers think so too! Here are some rooms that could have been inspired by Toby…

LR Artistic Designs for Living Tineke TriggsArtistic Designs for Living, Tineke Triggs

bedroom Nina sobiNina DesignNina sobiNina Design

FR kitchen Catalyst Architects LLCCatalyst Architects, LLC

DR Asher Associates ArchitectsAsher Associates Architects

LR BHG pinterest megan nolettoImage via BHG

LR decorpd pinterest studio1201designImage via Decorpad

LR lmk interiorsLMK Interiors

LR michael abramsMichael Abrams Limited | Interior Design

LR Mikal Otten design Beth Armijo Photo Emily Minton Redfieldekd Design Mikal Otten & Armijo Design Group | Photo by emr Photography

LR MuseInteriorsMuse Interiors

bedroom museinteriors photo michael partenioMuse Interiors | Photo by Michael Partenio

Colour inspiration can come from the most unexpected places! Where do you find your colour inspiration?

Happy weekend!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Tobasco in the house!

Hi, I’m Tobascotobasco

Don’t I look like a sweet and innocent puppy in my mug shot? I did that on purpose so that someone would feel sorry for me and help me break out of this joint. I’m sneaky that way :-) And it worked too! ‘Cause now I’m living in a house with a Catahoula brother and a Lab sister to play with and a yard to run in and a little pool to plop down in when I’m hot and I get to sleep on a big bed every night and there’s peanut butter right within puppy reach OHMYGODIMSOEXCITED!!!!!!!!


Oh, and there are also lots of toys for me to chew on too :-)


I’m so happy here in my foster home, and I know I’ll be even happier when I move into my furever home. Do you think you might be able to adopt me?


I’m part Catahoula and part something else. Maybe my other part is Lab, ‘cause I love playing in the water. Hey, that would make me a Labahoula – cool!


I’m almost six months old, and I’m catching on to my new name {the humans are calling me Toby}. I know  sit {unless there’s something better to do}, I sort of know lie down, and I’m learning that when I pee outside, I get told I’m a good boy. I have no idea why, it’s just pee – but I like being told that I’m good, so I pee outside as much as I can. And I LOVE to give puppy kisses!

toby 2

Overall, I’m a pretty fantastic puppy package. Oh, speaking of packages, mine seems to have disappeared. I don’t know where it went – one day I was sitting there licking it, then I fell asleep and when I woke up, it was gone! What’s up with that?!


If you think you might like to adopt me, you can find out more about me by contacting the nice lady at Catahoula Rescue Ontario. She helps lots of dogs just like me find their furever homes – I love Gloria, she rocks! ♥  You can also send an e-mail to

OK, now I have to go torment – I mean, play with – my big brother… see ya!

jackson toby 2

+ Toby image