Friday, August 8, 2014

Happy Homeowners

After several months of looking for a home outside the city (and years of dreaming), my buyers finally chose this beautiful 1940s stone cottage in Senneville to be their family home.

Here were 10 deciding factors in choosing this property:

1 - LOT SIZE: this home is on a large and private wooded lot with plenty of room for a future addition

2 - LOCATION: located in a family friendly, long established neighbourhood with schools and amenities near by

3 - ORIGINAL INTERIOR:  untouched for many years which will give my buyers the opportunity to renovate to their taste and at a high standard. Many properties we viewed had been poorly renovated and shoddy renovations were hidden behind beautiful finishings

4 - SOLID CONSTRUCTION: the inspection showed that the home had a solid foundation and even though there was some water infiltration in the basement (as all homes do in this part of Montreal) it will be easily fixed with the addition of french drains and proper landscaping

5 - CHARACTER: this property has an overall feeling and character that new homes just can't match

6 - GOOD TIMING: neighbourhood is transitioning from older couples who have moved or passed away to younger couples with families and homes that are not updated are still affordable

7 - VALUE: surrounding homes that have already been renovated have increased significantly in value as will this property in the future

8 - PRICE: we were able to purchase for a reasonable price since it was being sold as part of a succession as the couple who had owned it had passed on in recent years

9 - CURB APPEAL: with its's stone exterior and country cottage charm, this property was very inviting

10 - FAMILY: last but not least, this will be a beautiful home for mom, dad and baby Elliot (aka Pip) and animal friends to grow up in!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Contemporary Condo

Pointe-St-Charles, in the southwest borough of Montreal is where this beautiful and unique 3-storey condo is found. 

When homeowner Claire purchased the condo five years ago from builder Steve Steinwold, it was sold as an empty shell with a simple floorplan. She saw the potential of this space and in this up-and-coming corner of the neighborhood.

The space was planned and designed by it's homeowner alongside architect Jan Davis. The footprint of this condo was only 20 feet wide and to maximize the space they agreed it should be kept open concept. 

Since the staircase was going to be one of the main features in this space, Claire wanted it to be unique. She had always imagined a contemporary and industrial-style loft and having a custom-made floating steel staircase would help her achieve this look.

A color scheme was quickly established to be mainly white with a few touches of color in the accessories and fabrics. 

While Claire enjoys great food, she doesn't find herself cooking at home that often. For this reason, she chose a simple white galley-style kitchen from IKEA and continued the cabinets up to the ceiling. Choosing white appliances has also kept this kitchen monochromatic as well.

Craigslist and kijiji was a great resources to find several pieces of furniture for this condo such as this antique sofa and ottoman that were recovered in simple fabric. The framed art are a nice graphic compliment to the aztec-style weaving.

The dining table is quite a statement piece and its light unfinished wood matches the pale caramel tones in the curtains and sisal rug.

The basement is quite open and bright and with its big comfy couch is a great place to hang out. The framed wall hanging came from a thrift shop years ago and is a real statement piece. The pops of orange and red are a great contrast against the tone-on tone color scheme throughout and the orange pillows add just enough color to tie everything together.

This simple yet elegant bar cart is a nice contrast against the whimsical framed art piece.

An off-white faux cow skull is a nice touch against the painted brick wall. There was much hesitation from the painters as they were instructed by the homeowner to paint the original brick wall white but once it was done it turned out beautifully. 

The cost of the bathroom was kept low by using standard finishes of inexpensive white tiles with a black accent. The IKEA countertop, cabinet and sink were also simple and cost effective choices.

Our home tour concludes with the bedroom on the top floor which was kept open-concept as well to let light in from the windows at both ends of the condo. The curtains and bedding fabrics in this area are a dark bluish grey and are a nice compliment to the warm wood floors. 

After seeing this beautiful home, it's surprising that it's homeowner is not working as an interior designer but instead in pharmaceuticals.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

GRANGES - 2014 Calendar

Happy New Year everyone!

For the past few years, I have been taking photographs of barns and abandoned homes (granges) throughout Qu├ębec and Ontario.

I fell in love with the weathered barn wood, peeling paint and rusted tin roofs. To me there is an unexpected beauty in these structures.


This calendar is a collection of my favorite photographs.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Favorite Things: Grasses

Over the last few years, grasses have started to appear in urban landscaping, throughout cities and in suburban gardens. Grasses move and sway in the wind and when planted together they make a gentle relaxing rustling sound.

A beautiful country setting is where True Grasses grow wild.

They often grow along farm fences and in marshy areas we can find Cattails.

New trends in landscaping have brought a piece of the country to cities and suburbs and are called Ornamental Grasses.

This condo complex uses Purple Fountaingrass in their landscaping.

Many shopping centres have planted grasses around medians like this Japanese Silver Grass.


Bronze New Zealand Hair Sedge planted on either side of this bench softens the weight and hard lines of the cement.

By the side of the road, I found Feather Reedgrass.

Timothy Grass is easy to find growing wild around cities.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Color for curb appeal

A friend of mine purchased this 1912 home outside of Montreal a few months ago. He loved its Edwardian charm and beautiful landscaping but the white-on-white exterior didn't allow the home's best features to stand out.

Many friends and family had suggestions of what color to paint the home but I wanted to show him some options in photoshop before he started tackling the job.

The color schemes I chose are respectful of the home's vintage without specifically being heritage paint colors.

The red door is what I wanted to feature in this color scheme and I chose  Benjamin Moore RASPBERRY TRUFFLE and BARREN PLAIN as the background.

This dark color scheme was one my friend had suggested from the start that he wanted to see a dark grey, this is Benjamin Moore NIGHTFALL and I paired it with a light blueish-grey for the door called SMOKE.

This color scheme features a mossy green Benjamin Moore GRAY HORSE with a dark slate green DARK PEWTER.

Which color scheme do you like best?