Tuesday, February 7, 2017

In 2011, my dream home had to have…

Last week I was looking for something on my old blog, and I came across a blog post that I wrote for my friend Nancy at Marcus Design in 2011. I thought it would be fun to post it again here…

It’s really hard to narrow down my one big dream home must-have – there are so many things that my dream home just has to have! Not that I’m greedy or anything ;-) But I’m so inspired by d├ęcor magazines and blogs that I now have a huge list of things I love – black steel framed windows, kitchens with no upper cabinets, herringbone wood flooring, floor-to-ceiling windows, amazing architectural details…. but the one thing that truly takes my breath away is a house on the water with spectacular views. Seeing as this is my dream house, I’m dreaming big – REALLY BIG!

Beautiful blue everywhere you look from this home in Greece ...

Design Elements

And this home in New Zealand ...

Hillery Priest Architecture

Living in this house would be like living on a cruise ship, minus the animal towels ;-)

Architecture Design |Home Decoration | Furniture

I could wake up to these views every morning!

Creative Home Idea

Home Decorating Plan

Alexander Gorlin Architects

If I lived by the water, I'd definitely have as many windows as possible so I could enjoy gorgeous views from every room.


Although I'd probably spend most of my time outside on my waterfront patio.

Home Decorating Plan

Cooking dinner every night wouldn't be so bad if this was the view out the kitchen window ...

TMS Architects

And then I'd eat my supper out on the patio.

TMS Architects

Although it wouldn't be so bad to eat at a table inside with a great water view like this ...

Hillery Priest Architecture

My waterfront dream home definitely needs an infinity pool too :-)

Home Decorating Plan

Yep, no doubt about it, my dream home has to be next to water. It can be big ...

Rotarian Home Exchange

Or small ...

K&B by the Sea

As long as my dream home is on the water, I'm happy :-)

I hope this inspires you to follow your dreams – six years ago, I never would have imagined that I’d actually be making my dream come true!

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Sunday, February 5, 2017

Windows on the water side DONE!

It was cold and it got windy, but we kept plugging away and got the rest of the windows on the water side of the house installed on Saturday :-) It was great to finally remove the boards and Tyvek from the window openings and get the views from inside the house back.


A few hours later, the kitchen windows were in.

kitchen side done 2

Pretty good view from inside :-)

kitchen windows from inside

Action shot ;-) It’s not easy to squeeze caulking in the cold. We kept the tubes in a cooler with a bottle of hot water. Whatever works!


Not the greatest picture, but here’s the view from the guest bedroom. Who wants to come over for a sleepover? ;-)

bedroom windows

All done!


Eight windows down, 20 more to go!

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Linking to….


Friday, February 3, 2017

Our windows to the world

Woot! We got two windows installed! Before…

windows before 1

windows before 2



windows one in

And after!

windows two in

windows after 2a

Two windows down, 26 more windows and 8 skylights to go! EEEK! I’m really happy that we finally settled on these tilt & turn windows from PolyTech. I’m also happy that we added transoms to the windows. They add a nice detail without interfering with the view.

windows from inside

And in other progress news…. Brian finally finished installing the underlay on the roof, so the house is pretty much weather-tight now. YAY! And he’s installed some of the exterior trim too.


I started filling and taping all the seams in the styrofoam insulation before Christmas and finally got back to it this week.  There’s still some left to do at the tops of the two end walls, but that job might have to go to Brian. I’ve overcome my fear of heights a bit, but not that much! All the red stripes are my handiwork :-)



After a day of work on the house, we had a nice sunset walk on the beach with the dogs.

gizmo jackson 1


Next on the agenda – buying 600 screws and installing more windows. We’re doing a pretty good job of keeping all the local hardware stores in business!

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Wednesday, February 1, 2017

The Living Beach – February 1, 2017

To go out with the setting sun on an empty beach is to truly embrace your solitude.
Jeanne Moreau

It’s been a pretty easy winter so far – we had a couple of big snowfalls on a weekend in early January, but between the following rain and warm temps, all of the snow is gone. That being said, there are some small flakes falling right now…

Without much stormy weather, the waves haven’t removed much more sand from the beach. Sometimes it fluctuates from day to day, and there was a whack of seaweed on the beach for a while. But overall, the quotient of stone to sand has stayed pretty much the same.


hell point

straight ahead

gaff point

There’s definitely been a lot of sand removed from the beach. This rock was completely hidden under sand in the summer,


rock and kelly

Comparing the beach to how it looked on January 1st (top) and February 1st (bottom). Not much change….

living beach jan 17February collage

Let’s see what February brings to the beach…

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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Kitchen planning

Last week I showed you the inspiration for our kitchen design. Today it’s time to show you how that inspiration will hopefully come to life.

First off, here’s my inspiration board….

kitchen mood board with numbers


  1. Shaker style cabinets
  2. Glass insulator chandelier (I’ve been buying up glass insulators like a madwoman!)
  3. Cunard harvest table from MRB Contracting
  4. Blue soapstone countertops
  5. Wood beams to frame opening to kitchen
  6. Boat cleats & glass knobs for cabinetry pulls
  7. Preverco hardwood flooring
  8. Samsung stainless steel induction slide-in range

Paint colours are all Benjamin Moore. Not necessarily the exact colours we’ll go with, but I really like how the green and blues and greys work together. This colour scheme will likely be used right through the whole house.

main floor colour palette

After not being able to agree on a layout for the kitchen, I asked my friend Paul for help. It was money well spent to have a kitchen designer solve our problems!

Here’s the kitchen area:


We sent Paul the layout that Brian had come up with and I told him what I didn’t like about it – mainly the sink location and the fridge on an angle in the corner next to the windows on the right. Paul came up with a layout that was kind of similar to Brian’s layout, but with some modifications to make me happy. You know what they say – Happy wife, happy life!

kitchen no colours

My main complaint was Brian wanting the sink under the windows on the right side, looking out towards the trees. I wanted it on the left side, looking out towards the water. But as Paul pointed out, putting it on the right side keeps the right side of the kitchen as the functional side and the left side as the dining side.  It also makes sense because with the dishwasher placed to the right of the sink, it’s next to the cabinets where the dishes will go. Paul added a second smaller prep sink to the island, so there’s a sink with an ocean view after all :-) And he took the fridge out of the corner and incorporated it into the wall of cabinetry. The original plan was to hide the microwave behind a cabinet door, but for code reasons it’ll be built in instead. The large pantry on the right side of the diagram will house a chest freezer and will have doors.

So that’s the final layout for the kitchen. And now here’s the colour scheme that I envision for the kitchen. Brace yourself, it’s kinda crazy! Just keep in mind that this is a quick & dirty mock-up in MS Paint to get an idea of the overall look.

kitchen colours

The green cabinet doors will have flat fronts and push latches so it’ll look more like a wall than cabinetry. The cabinets under the windows and the island will be shaker-style. I’m leaning towards Super White Quartzite for the island countertop to contrast with the navy blue. Although I’ve seen some other cool natural stone slabs that I’m thinking about (more on those soon).

I don’t know if our kitchen will turn our exactly like this – I have a habit of changing my mind a lot! – but it’ll definitely be colourful. The challenge will be creating a pretty and functional space that doesn’t take away from the view through the windows. Because the ocean is going to be the real star of our house!

sun ring

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