Browsing Tag



My Tips for a Spacious and Luxurious Bathroom for Montréal en Santé Magazine

bathroom design tips :: montreal en sante spring 2013

If you are thinking about renovating or redecorating a bathroom, I invite you to read my tips on how to give your bathroom a boast in space and style on the Spring 2013 issue of Montréal en Santé. I talked about family bathrooms with a dual faucet sink, a communal shower, stylish light fixtures up to how to achieve better circulation and an airy feeling. Continue Reading


I Want: DIY Play Kitchen for a Boy

play kitchen for a boy

My husband can vouch how much I am dreaming about a play kitchen for our son. Most play kitchens on the market are too girly or won’t nicely fit in our home design. Which is why I want to create my own. I found my starting point for inspiration.

Ethan’s mom Becky designed a fabulous play kitchen for his little boy. Her DIY play kitchen is full on details and realistic functionalities. A magnet keeps the oven door closed while a motion sensor light turns on when the door is opened. Awesome! Continue Reading


Kitchen Style for the Serious Cook

functional English style kitchen pantry dining

→ Creating a Homey Restaurant-Style Kitchen with a Chef Table at Home

functional English style kitchen prep and cooking areas
photo: Deulonder Domestic Architecture (kitchen 1)

You see plenty of pretty kitchens in magazines and online. Unfortunately, some kitchens are more beautiful than useful. I am interested by kitchens that are practical and beautiful. I found several ideas when I looked at the portfolio of Deulonder Domestic Architecture. They are is a Spanish interior design studio that cater to passionate cooks. Their kitchens fill the needs of people who really cook in their kitchen and who love to have guests over while they cook.

airy country kitchen deulonder
photos: Deulonder Domestic Architecture (kitchen 2)

One common denominator in their design is how they juxtapose three main areas: the kitchen, the dining room and the butler’s pantry/serving area.

The English Home Restaurant-Style Kitchen

functional English style kitchen with a banquette dining room
photo: Deulonder Domestic Architecture (kitchen 1)

This is unusual kitchen and dining room layout works if you like to entertain or have a large family. The kitchen itself is a mix between a galley-style kitchen and a L-shaped plan. Deulonder imagined a kitchen for a large family living on the outskirts of London or Boston. Let’s look at the ideas to steal in this stunning kitchen and dining area designed by Deulonder for Casa Decor Barcelona 2011.

functional English style kitchen
photo: Deulonder Domestic Architecture (kitchen 1)

For one thing, the fact that the kitchen/ prep / serving areas are wrapped around the dining room means that you can hire staff without jeopardizing the intimate mood of your dinner.

Secondly, you have to admire the efficiency of this kitchen. It is equipped for serious cooking. You have one big sink per prep area; which means you are never on someone else toes. There is a two-oven, four burner Viking stove with a grill and a teppanyaki. And there are plenty of the storage shelves or holes to store your large platters and baking sheets! I’m jealous!

functional English style kitchen view from the kitchen
photo: Deulonder Domestic Architecture (kitchen 1)

The third great feature are the glass walls. Without them, the dining room would be very dark. On a bright sunny day, I imagine myself serving brunch in winter and feeling warm. Another advantage is that they cook can see what is happening with the diners. If you need to keep a wall divides your dining room from your kitchen, you could examine how you can incorporate a big window inside your wall.

If you are still convinced that it is an amazing space, look at this view from the dining room.

functional English style kitchen pantry dining

For Outdoor Entertaining

I like the room interactions of this outdoor entertaining heaven space created by Minim, another Spanish interior design studio. This project was also presented at also presented at Casa Decor Barcelona 2011.

kitchen for outdoor entertaining by minim
photos: Luis Sanchez for Minim

Here a wine pantry is located between the kitchen and the terrace. You can bypass the wine pantry to access the terrace from the kitchen. This means that you can prepare your wine service out of sight and keep everything at the right temperature if you lounge outside.


Three Things I Like about Viola Park’s Kitchen Islands

viola park island details

First, I like the minimalist design of Viola Park’s kitchen systems. I wish I could live in a house where my floor plan would allow for that type of kitchen layout. In fact, I would make it my priority if we ever move to another house.

viola park integrated bread box

A cool thing about these airy, open islands is that they have more in common with furniture than kitchen cabinets. It suits me since I would use an island more as a food preparation area and a buffet station. I have never been keen about including a cooking surface and to a lesser extent, a sink, into an island. What I crave is to have access to a long uninterrupted work surface.

Their optional accessories are a sweet bonus to achieve that goal. The recessed bread box could be used to store onions, garlic, potatoes and root vegetables. The pivot storage units neatly keep cooking knifes and other cooking tools at reach, without reducing your work surfaces.

viola park pivot storage units

Lastly, the end shelving units enables you to keep your cookbooks or your favorite serving ware close by. You could opt for a drawer unit if you need more closed storage for plates, kitchen linens or small appliances.

As you can imagine, it is an upscale American made kitchen system, manufactured by Henrybuilt. Island B is available in lengths up to 11’ and widths of 24”, 30” and 36”. Island C can go up to 12’ in lengths and widths of 24”, 36” and 42”. Viola Park also produces a mobile island with a variety of drawer configurations.

viola park mobile island

+  Viola Park’s Kitchen Islands



Oxo Makes It Easy to Organize your Kitchen Drawers

oxo Drawer Organizers

oxo Drawer Organizers

It is not because you rent an apartment that you could not realize your dream of well-organized kitchen cabinets. You can reach that goal with versatile drawer organizers like the ones made by Oxo. Available in height of 4 and 5 inches, the expandable drawer dividers will separate your plastic ware lids from the bowls, keep your pan lids, cutting boards and cookie sheets upright or neatly stack your table linens.

The line includes interlocking deep drawer bins, a drawer tray with movable dividers, and an expandable utensil organizer.

+ Oxo Drawer Organizers from $8.99 to $24.99 USD


New Uses for Old Things: Baking Sheet Magnet Board

Baking Sheet Magnet Board

Baking Sheet Magnet Board

Yesterday’s easy end-of-the-year teacher gift project got me thinking about everything else that comes with the end of the school year: piles of projects, artwork and report cards making their way from the classroom to every room in the house.

A little spray paint gives everyday kitchen baking sheets a new life as wranglers of colourful artwork and rainy day creative projects. Photos and display-worthy drawings are held to the baking sheet with magnets glued to the bottom of fluted metal tart cups, which are filled to the brim with pretty, stacked sewing notions.

This idea would look at home on the wall of a kitschy kitchen, in a kid’s bedroom or a craft room – whether you choose a colour that adds punch, or leave the sheets unpainted for a more modern look.

For full project instructions, check out the Crave Paper Blog.

+ DIY Baking Sheet Magnet Board from Crave Paper Blog


Kitchen Planning Like A Pro

kitchen storage planning drawer organizing

kitchen storage planning drawer organizing

If you’re going to all the work of renovating a kitchen, you might as well make it worth the effort – even if your custom kitchen dreams don’t have a dream budget to match.

Though they may only be visible behind closed doors and drawers, a few well-planned extras can add a layer of luxury to basic big box cabinets.

Over at The Farm Chicks, Serena turned double-decker drawer space into a chopping block with a built-in garbage shoot for scraps (the drawer underneath houses a compost bin).

Better Homes & Gardens has no shortage of custom-kitchen-on-a-budget ideas, but this one stood out for its organizational simplicity. Not only does it offer double the storage of a typical cutlery drawer organizer, you can size the slots to fit other culinary accoutrements too. Check out more ideas here.

What special “just for me” feature would you add to your kitchen if you could?

+ Chopping Block Drawer at The Farm Chicks
+ Silverware Organizer at Better Homes & Gardens


Hide Away your Kitchen Tools with Trim by Dada

There is more to kitchen cabinet design than the standard 12-inch and 24-inch deep cabinets. To achieve a certain look or for function, you might have to consider a custom made depth. For example, I designed a 6-inch deep kitchen cabinet over my sink to achieve a continuous flow of cabinets of the same height. It is very useful despite its small space. I am simply more selective about what I can put there.

Trim Kitchens by Dada

narrow storage details of Trim kitchen by dade

But what about the need to hide away the food products, tools and tableware that we either hang on the backsplash or rest on the countertop. Dante Bonuccelli came up with a cool solution when he designed the Trim kitchen system for Dada. He designed a narrower cabinet system that fits between the countertop and the upper cabinets. The crystal doors disappear beneath the work top when you cook. The rest of the time, they hide the contents.

dada trim kitchen system

It also hides the electrical plugs and illuminates your work surfaces. The end result is a neater space that is very efficient. I love it!

+ Trim kitchen system by Dada


Meaningful Kitchen Wall Decals by Hommu

dishes by wall decals

dishes by wall decals

The Spanish-brand Hommu specializes in fun wall decals and wallpapers. I particularly like their kitchen recyclable vinyls that you can apply on walls or cupboards.

cutlery vinyl decals by hommu

A nice practical touch it is that you can use it to identify what behind the doors or drawers. Every set from the “shelf” collection is modular, which means you can divide to create several vignettes or combine the pieces to fit the space you have.

coffee and glassware wall decals

Your friends will not have any more problem to find where you put your cups, glasses, coffee pot or bar ware.

cocktail bar ware wall decals

Or you could display a Spanish recipe, like the gazpacho. A unique element are the ingredient illustrations. The gazpacho set is available in four colors.

gazpacho recipe wall decals

Stay tuned as I will share my fabulous wallpapers for kids from another Spanish brand this weekend.

+ Dishes recyclable  vinyl decals 45 €
+ Cutlery decals on recyclable vinyl decals 45 €
+ Coffee decals recyclable vinyl decals 45 €
+ Cocktails vinyl decals 45 €
+ Gaspacho recipe on recyclable vinyl 110 €


Bulletin Boards and Magnets

bamboo magnet dry-erase board with channels

bamboo magnet dry-erase board with channels

Having a bulletin board makes your life easier. My husband and I are adoring the chalkboard wall we painted in the kitchen. We keep track of our to-do-list, shopping list and write down what we would like to eat for dinner.

Another place that a bulletin board comes handy is the office. For an home office, a dry-erase magnetic wall panel is often the best choice. I compiled a list of stylish and fun message boards by Three by Three Seattle.

If you have the space, the Bamboo Dry-erase Wall Panel is a great choice. Optional channel panels can be added to the basic panel. It is perfect for a craft room. I think that the channel panels are a must. You can tailor it to your  needs since they offer several possible configurations.

magnet dry-erase bulletin boards

The 12 x 12-inch Hang on Board provides three hooks to hold a pair of scissors, personal accessories, utensils, keys, etc. For a narrow spot, look at this vertical dry-erase magnet board that is backed with magnets and that can also be mounted with an adhesive tape. Both models are available in white, spring green, silver, and real bamboo.

Fun Magnets

bright colors dot magnets and the mighties

For a punch of color on your board, go with bright dot magnets. Three by Three Seattle makes a kit with ½ inch, ¾ inch and 1 inch diameter colorful vinyl dot magnets. Know that they supplies their Mighties magnets with anyone of their magnet boards.

+ Bamboo Dry-erase Wall Panel $40-$100 USD at Three by Three
+ 4×11 inch Dry-erase Magnet Board $10-$13 USD at Three by Three
+ Hang on Board $25-$30 USD at Three by Three
+ Bright Color Dot Magnets $7.95 USD at See Jane Works
+ Mighties $13.95 USD at See Jane Works


Healthier Eating in the Bag

produce bags by Credobags

produce bags by Credobags

Do your new year’s resolutions included eating healthier? If you’re stocking up on fruit and veggies, you’ll also want to stock up on Credobags produce bags.

Made of organic cotton mesh, Credobags are a practical alternative to often unnecessary plastic produce bags. Plus they help to prolong the life of produce in the drawer of the fridge – which helps reduce food waste and save money. Plus, they’re compact enough to tote along to the farmer’s market and the grocery store.

In addition to mesh produce bags, the Credobags line includes stylish options for storing bulk food items, shopping and catch-all tote bags in reusable, environmentally-responsible fabrics like organic cotton, hemp and bamboo. So you can cross “be more eco-conscious” off your list of resolutions.

Check out the complete Credobags line at They also have gift sets.

+ Store locator for Credobags