Saturday, January 9, 2010

My First Design Job! Before and Almost After!

I haven't mentioned this yet, but a while back my sister bought a sweet little rancher with a fabulous lay out. My sis knew she wanted to do some renovations and she wanted it done and over with as soon as possible. She agonized about which direction to take the renos, how to complete it while working full-time, and then she became a bit overwhelmed by all the decisions and the scheduling. She's pretty savy, but needed a little help with the details - talking out decisions and being able to visualize the big picture. There are so many decision and if you don't trust your own ability to put things together tastefully it is very hard to commit to anything at all. Since she knew I absolutely loved this stuff and she trusted my taste she decided to hire me as her designer, which was a big load off her mind and such fun for me. Spending other peoples money is way more fun! Don't you think?


We worked on the whole house.
We picked out paint colours that flowed from room to room, then had the whole place painted. She put in beautiful wide plank hand scraped oak flooring throughout.
We picked out new lighting throughout the house (the sunshine ceiling had to go),
as well as all new baseboards and door trim,
complete with new door hardware.
Both fireplace have also been redone with the exception of a few finishing touches.
Next we are working on furnishing and decorating her house on a shoestring.

It truly is the little things that make the difference, and knowing what is worth the splurge is also important - such as a fantastic faucet, great lighting and quality hardware.

This is the yummy faucet we chose.........

and check out this fabulous pendant light.
Two of these hang above the island in an oil rubbed bronze finish.
I love the glass on these babies and we made sure to pick out a glass with imperfections
for the glass in the cabinet doors as well.
(it's not too matchy-matchy but they definitely go well together.)
The picture you are about to see was e-mailed to me by my sis,
it is hard to see the details but I will post better pictures when I get them.

And now for the big reveal.

The Almost After Shot

While there is still a lot to be done, such as the tile backsplash and window treatments, my lucky sis has a beautiful kitchen and this house has now become her home.


  1. Squeal! Ooooo, can't wait to see everything done. It's looks amazing. I've helped a friend of mine thru several projects, and we're gearing up to do her tween daughter's is definitely fun to spend other folk's money!

    I can tell already that you've done a bang up job with your sister's home. :) Hurry up and share some more pictures!!!! I'd love to run a feature on the blog about it. I'm obviously really into the 'process', and you've explained really well here how you did it. Let me know if you'd like to play at cottage instincts :)

  2. Love it the kitchen!
    I also enjoy helping others decorate and design - fun to use other people's money. I am helping my sister too! We are hoping to make a headboard, paint children's furniture, buy drapes, new bedding, etc. It is fun-fun-fun!

  3. Amazing! Ah-maz-ing! You and your sister are design goddesses, Catherine. I love everything that you've done with her kitchen, so I can imagine that the whole house is going to be just stunning. Can't wait to see more.

    I can't begin to tell you how much your comment meant to me. I do know exactly what you mean about blog friends. It's a very different kind of friendship than any I've ever had before, but it means the world to me. Knowing that you and my other blog friends are thinking of me is really helping me through a tough turning point in my life. I think maybe it helps, too, because sometimes there are things we can't talk about with even our closest friends that we see every day. The fact that we've never met our blog friends gives us the distance we need at the same time that we feel an intimate connection with each other through words and images. I feel so fortunate to have stumbled into this world!

    All best to you and yours,

  4. Hey Auntie Cath--
    You did SUCH a good job on mamas place. I will be sure to swing by with my Nikon sometime soon and take some detail shots for you and your internet gang. Looks SO good though. Cant wait to see what you do with my guest room..!

  5. Wow! Beautiful job! Could you tell me where you got the island?

  6. Corrie, sister with the chequebookJanuary 12, 2010 at 3:41 PM

    The island was ordered along with the cabinets, except in a beaufiful rich espresso colour instead of the cream. We (Cathy) chose wonderful hardware, and we designed it to have lots of space for pots and pans, as well as appliances. The wine rack and spot for cookbooks/dipslay items was all by custom request as well. Hard to tell by the picture, but there is wainscotting on the exposed side to give a little more visual interest. Now to find just the right stools...

  7. I like this kitchen! I have been scouring magazines and books and blogs and on and on for kitchen ideas since we are building a house now. I love the two different color cabinets, and dark countertops with dark floors. That is the look I want...let's see if I can talk hubby into it!


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