Saturday, June 5, 2010

CREED: One Year Anniversary!

CREED: [ noun. = A summary of principles, beliefs or opinions]
BEAU-TY: [noun. = The quality that gives pleasure to the mind or senses and is associated with such properties as harmony of form or color, excellence of artistry, truthfulness, and originality.]

A year of blogging.  Last week marked the one year anniversary of this blog and I have to say, I can’t believe its been a year already??  You can click here to read my very first post and introduction to blog land just 12 months ago.

Keep’n it Real.....
I will admit I’m not one who follows any of the ‘rules of blogging’,,,,,,I’m sure there are rules but I’ve never read them, I just dove right in and started blogging.  I’m just doing my own thing here and if others want to read, or share my posts or even leave a comment - I’m thrilled, I love receiving comments from readers and look forward to the feedback. My goal on this design blog has simply been to post original content and to be authentic, a blog about interior design written by an interior designer.  For me the best way to achieve that is to simply express my point of view by writing about and photographing my own projects and my own experiences, as honestly as I can. Afterall,,no one else can do this, except me!

My living room.

Clearly, my goal was never to set out to achieve as many followers as I could, cause that would require a strategy of sorts requiring much more participation in blogland than I can possibly manage right now.   I’m so appreciative of the 24 readers who have been followers on this blog and I’ve enjoyed reading all your comments here and I’ve enjoyed visiting your blogs too!   I’m still amazed I have any followers at all, but as my stats counter tells me there are actually several hundred visitors a day to this site which kinda freaks me out, honestly!  I’d like to share a special thanks to my very first two followers,,,who signed up within hours of this blogs launch, they are my most faithful and loyal readers and the only 2 followers I actually know.  Its no coincidence they also happen to be two of the most important people in my life - Anita being not only my mentor for many years but also one of my closest and dearest friends,,,and my younger brother Tom who was my very first best friend and will continue to be my bff,,,he’s also the only family member who is computer savvy enough to figure out how to become a follower on a blog (I’m not kidding!). I come from a pretty large family and honestly, my family readers alone would total 40+,,,,if only they knew how. 

This is Anita...isn’t she beautiful!  This photo was taken about 2 weeks ago while having lunch together.  She’s also a designer and runs her own design firm, I learned everything about the design industry (and business, and relationships, and cooking, and life in general) from her.  We worked together for 10 years, but it never seemed like work.  I miss seeing her everyday.....   

This is Tom aka 'Six' .......aka the rock star!  He’s an avid curler and last year he made it to the provincial’s (a once in a lifetime opportunity for a rare few), it was a 7 day televised tournament and I couldn’t have been more proud and excited for him.  I quickly elected myself president of his fan club and created a blog that chronicled his trip to the provincials, it was called ‘Six Rocks’,,,it was only online for 2 months and accessible only to our family and friends but it was hugely popular.  It was 2 months after that little experiment with blogging that I launched this design blog.  

Most popular Post....
Why I love Ikea kitchens.  This post definitely generated the most comments and emails of any other post.....over the years I’ve designed a LOT of ikea kitchens and what makes them successful in my eyes is when nobody can believe they’re ikea kitchens!  Proving that Its not about how much something cost or where you buy it - its about how you use it!  For me designing with Ikea products is like playing with lego blocks,,,the possibilities are limitless.  I look forward to posting Part II of Why I Love Ikea Kitchens in the upcoming year featuring new bespoke Ikea kitchens and more tips and tricks.

Yes - this is an Ikea kitchen.  More after photos of this project will be shared in the year ahead.

My Favorite Posts....
I have a couple of personal favorites from this past year. One was The Before & After of an E-Design project. Simply stunning! For anybody who hasn't considered the benefits of using e-design services, this is bound to impress you. My client's after photos prove that a small investment in a good design plan will net you maximum value from your reno dollars. You can also check out my e-design website thedesignshop for more images of this project in the sample gallery.

This is an after photo the client sent to me, I'm planning on visiting the house in person in the upcoming weeks to take my own photos which I'll share with you here.

Another personal favorite post was the Victorian House Tour. Having the opportunity to tour this house was a thrill for me and such an unexpected surprise. My sister-in-law was the listing agent for this house and as she was preparing for the public open house she invited me to come by for a tour. I have a thing for victorian houses and this one, happened to have been designed by the well know Toronto firm of Powell & Bonnell some 10 years ago, and probably one of the few (if not only) traditional home they've designed. Of course, I fell in love the second I walked thru the door. I had come armed with my camera and I excitedly went from room to room just shooting away candidly. I must have taken hundreds of photos in about 20 minutes. I composed a blog post from some of the photos and the homeowners were so thrilled with the post they printed it out and left if with all the real estate agent’s literature for the public open house. Of course it didn’t take long for the house to sell and I’ve been invited to visit the homeowners new home one day once they’ve settled in, and I can’t wait to see what they’ve done with it.

Living Room vignette from the Victorian House tour.

The Year Ahead......

{Before & Afters} I’ll finally be getting around to posting final after photos of Brian’s Condo, along with More after photos of the 70’s Sidesplit, more photos of a mid-town condo reno, and after photos of the stunning e-design bathrooom reno...

Sneak Peek of the 70's Sidesplit master bedroom.

{Client Projects}:  In the coming year there’ll certainly be no shortage of subject matter for me to blog about, my biggest challenge will be finding the time!  New projects include the dramatic transformation of Gail’s Kitchen and Family Room currently under construction,,,,,,I’ll be  collaborating with one of the city’s hottest landscape designers on the redesign of a rooftop deck of a mid-town condo, I’ll be furnishing a modern suburban family home for a yonge couple including a hip nursery and very chic his/her dresssing room,,,I’ll be tackling a new kitchen design for a idyllic log cabin retreat in north ontario that is nothing short of this designer’s dream setting.  And all this, will be happening over the next few months......

The plan for Gail's Kitchen & Family Room reno.

Modern love - furnishing a home for a young couple.  I've got the main pieces in place for this Living Room, wait and see how the rest of it comes together.

{Student Work}:  Each month I receive dozens of portfolio’s and resumes from students seeking employment or internship opportunities.  Unfortunately I can’t hire them all but I’m blown away by the level of talent and skills these students have developed, i wish ci could. , One thing I’ve been wanting to do for some time now is to start posting some of these amazig projects that the students have created.  I hope to illustrate the level of talent and skills design students possess and provide a platform that will give them some well deserved exposure.  I’m thrilled to tell you my first post featuring student work will be this month and i’ll be intrudocing you to the the work of of 2nd year student Lisiane D'Amico .... of Sheridan college.  She’s also a graduate of Ryerson’s architectural science program and you’ll be blown away by her talent..

Loft renderring by student Lisiane D'Amico.

{My Home Renovation}:  The most exciting topic of all for me will be my own home renovation,,,hopefully I’ll be starting on it before the 2nd anniversary of this blog, first I have the huge challenge of finding the house.  I actually had to shelf house hunting this past winter and spring because i was too swamped with work.  So I plan on spending a lot time with my real estate agent in the near future,,who i’ll be introducing you to here on the blog....

{A Special Guest blog}:  Featuring Kara Reed one of Toronto’s busiest real estate agents.  You may recognize her as Sarah Richardson’s agent most recently appearing on HGTV's Sarah’s House 3, but she’s been my sister-in-law for the past 20+  years and not only is she one of the most special people in my life she's also been a favorite client.  I had the pleasure of designing (a total gut and reno) her 3 level mid-town condo in 08 and 09.  Kara's client list reads like a who’s who of Toronto, from the design industry, entertainment, sports and finance, she has access to some of the most spectacular homes in Toronto.  Her and I have toured hundreds of houses together, often she’ll call me and say ‘where are you ,,you gotta come see this house!!”  And of course I do and I’m never disappointed!  She’s sold two of my own homes (for record breaking prices) and has lots of experience seeking out those diamonds in the rough.  So I'm going to collaborate with her on a feature post or two in which we'll share our views on the realities of investing in home improvements in today's market. 

Real Estate Agent, Kara Reed

I'll leave you with my favorite photo of the year. I can't exactly explain why its my favorite, perhaps because it was such a candid photo of a completely undesigned room, there was no plan or intention for this space, things that the homeowner already owned just fell into place here by happenstance and the simple beauty of these things together captivated me - I just grabbed my camera and snapped away. I hope there'll be many more images like this to come. : )

Thanks for reading,



  1. Happy blogiversary!! I'm a fairly new reader but a regular one and I have to tell you I love your blog. The amount of thought and effort you put into each post is commendable. Not many interior designers are so willing to share their sketches, product finds, thought processes and ideas so readily - so thank you for sharing them with your readers!

    I look forward to your new content. And how lucky are you to be related to such a famous realtor - I'm sure you've seen many of the best houses in Toronto!

    It's great to see such a talented local designer online. Keep it up!

  2. Hello RR,
    Thank you so much for taking the time to leave such an encouraging comment. I've enjoyed visiting your blog too and hope to visit more often in the future! Oh yah I've toured some fabulous homes with kara but in contrast I've also seen some of the most shocking - requiring face masks, flashlights, hard hats, sticks to beat off the rodents and raccoons - but nothing phases her, she enthusiastically points out all the features and is like 'oh, this has great potential, c'mon wanna see the basement .....and I'm running as fast as I can back to the car.....

    Thanks for reading and I look forward to following your renovation adventures too.


  3. Wow...that's quite a milestone! Can't wait to see more this coming year! I'm loving everything you do :)

    "Modern Love" looks exciting...and I can't get over the student rendering ...nice job to her!


  4. Thank you so much Michelle, that's a huge compliment coming from someone as talented as you! I appreciate how supportive you've been on this blog - plus you've inspired me to work on my rendering skills (the student's work makes mine look like chicken scratch huh). : ) Yours is one of my favorite blogs and I always look forward to seeing what you'll be working on next.



  5. Happy one year of blogging! I have been reading your blog for awhile and love hearing about your design projects. Your posts are so detailed and well written and I especially loved your Ikea kitchen post - a must read for anyone considering Ikea kitchens. It was also nice to learn a bit more about you. Sounds like you have a very busy few months ahead - look forward to following along.


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