Wednesday 25 January 2012

Ready for Spring


remember the feeling of sun on your neck? toes in the sand…bees and blooms?


lemonade, tea or romantic dinners under the sun or stars, a small fire and a blanket…


dining alfresco is a favourite things to do in the warmer months…


I think food tastes better when eaten outside…

Monday 16 January 2012

Nuu-chah-nulth Mountain Man


I love a reference to the area in any interior, and for Christmas, my husband received this special tribal mask by Patrick Amos, called “Nuu-chah-nulth Mountain Man” He watches over our little part of the mountain now. Nuu-chah-nulth is the First Nations Band closest to Ucluelet, about two hours away; I know many personally. I love the cedar hair and crazed look on his face, like he just spotted something in the bush…Mountain Man would scare anyone off, but is beautifully crafted, and somehow makes me feel protected.

More of Patrick’s work at the Du Quah Gallery in Ucluelet, and a local article here.

Saturday 14 January 2012

Mom’s Spare Room- a Christmas Gift

moms l side


My mom has always been there to support me…and this is my old teenage room at their home in Ucluelet. Last Christmas I gave her a rendering of her spare room, and when she was away on holidays, I came and did a redo to match. It’s a budget job, but it brought tears to her eyes; something I will always remember. My dad said it looked like the homes section of the Sun, and my mom said she didn’t want to use it, it looked so nice. I love my parents!

My sister and I went to Norwoods for dinner and had some great wine…and her dog Bailey was part of the weekend too. Also, there are some pictures of the progress and before shots too…headboard is IKEA, matelassĂ© set is Homesense and vase is from Superstore.

moms headboard cropped

Allot of work, but the gift of time is always worth your efforts, and won’t go un-noticed ;) the budget was under a thousand dollars, including paint and draperies…thanks IKEA!

moms sidetable

Merry Christmas Mom,

Love, Michelle

Tuesday 3 January 2012

Visualizing a 70’s Split

Lots of times, a client or contractor will hire me to help visualize their ideas, or ask me to give them some ideas…I like the schematic phase of design, so I am always thrilled to do it. I guess I didn’t need to tell you that, since my blog name gives away my fondness for that part of the design process. It’s doing some quick programming, extruding a 2d plan, and imagining materials for the space.

These drawings are for a realtor trying to sell a 70’s split level home, which is in need of upgrading. Part of the programming included taking a peek into the attic to determine which way the ceiling joists ran, in order open up the volume of space on that side of the home. I’ve included new lighting and finishes, along with a dark stained floor and ceilings. I have designed an all white kitchen, including integrated appliances and a walk out to a new deck.

These drawings are included in packages the agent is using for particular properties, because it’s difficult for them or their clients to imagine an upgraded space, and the small investment has paid off several times for them in the competitive Vancouver market.

van kitch 1

A new deck space is created by pushing the kitchen into the existing DR, and adding double frameless doors. The side yard of this home was previously inaccessible and underused. Re-doing the fireplace facade in large stone or concrete slabs modernizes, keeping the function of an open flame. Yellow metal accents tie the interior elements together, including hanging pendants over the new island, where an existing wall once stood. The dark floor is complemented by a large custom rug, which keeps the space from becoming too dark.

van kitch 4

The new double doors open to a new deck, which steps down immediately for privacy, and to fulfil the FSR (percentage of home vs. non-permeable surface on the property as a whole) requirements. Fencing at 6’ and concrete pavers added later, as well as black iron furniture keep the look simple, so you can imagine feeling at home in the space…maybe even buy it!van kitch 2

The price of real estate is high in Vancouver, so an 800K home with 250K of work is still a great investment, because homes in this area are selling for over a million to 1.5 million. Also, there is never a better time than before you move into a home to renovate it. I say live with your great reno right out of the gate, and sell it in 7-9 years to retain your investment.



Thanks ladies…good luck with this one…it could be a great home!

Best, Michelle